Absolutely Essex July 2023

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PLUS SIEGE MENTALITY A fresh look at Colchester's darkest time • ADDED ATTRACTIONS Ten of
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Inside Grayson Perry's Manningtree masterpiece


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The Creek Flag Hill • Great Bentley • Colchester • Essex - CO7 8RE Tel: 01206 586435 or 01255 317950 thecreekgreatbentley.co.uk Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on what’s happening, new dishes, booking availability & more. We look forward to welcoming you with a smile. 3 COURSE SET MENU £28 available NEW WINE LIST from GRAPE PASSIONS GARDEN MENU now available
and bar owned by Terence and Caroline Howard and offering classical British dishes with a European influence using only the best locally sourced ingredients
JULY 2023 CULTURE 17 COLCHESTER Looking at a special 375th anniversary 25 NICK STAAB Meet the Chelmsford business guru 32 TOP 10... Destinations for summer family fun FOOD & DRINK 36 THE SUN INN DEDHAM 20 years of the latest tasty incarnation 42 RECIPES Dishes to make you feel great FASHION & BEAUTY 48 SWIMWEAR The top looks to dive into this summer 52 THE SHOOT Michelle Keegan's sunny outfits 61 BROOKSIDE AESTHETICS The founder of the Essex institution on tackling hayfever INTERIORS 70 LUCY FERGUSON Taking shelter with the founder of the East London Parasol Company 74 A HOUSE FOR ESSEX The inside story on the local landmark 85 TREND The best in garden products EDUCATION 94 TALKING HEAD Katherine Je rey on over two decades as Principal of New Hall School 101 FOREST SCHOOL Bringing action into classes ABSOLUTELY-ESSEX.CO.UK ABSOLUTELY-WESTESSEX.CO.UK The online guides to inspirational living and what's on in Essex ABSOLUTELY Contents 52 ON THE COVER Michelle Keegan, launching her new collection for Very 74 36 9 ABSOLUTELY magazines

This summer, immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes of Suffolk & Essex, where rich cultural history, scenic settings and endless adventures await.


LETTER Editor’s

ABSOLUTELY’S July issue highlights

What did the Romans ever do for us?

Reference to a classic sketch from the Monty Python team there, but for me personally the Romans sparked an interest in history.

It all started with a visit to the Jorvik Centre up in York, where I was fascinated with their conquest across the globe, gladiators, the many coins on show... you name it, I was hooked. That interest has never diminished over time, so you can imagine how excited I was when I first came across Colchester.

The city has so many connections to the Roman era – it was the site of the first Roman capital of Britain after all. They built a fortress and they called the new town Camulodunum, meaning “fort of Camulos” (the Celtic god of war). That past remains important today, and this month we feature the Colchester Roman Festival alongside a very special focus on the city as it also marks 375 years since the Siege of Colchester. History buffs rejoice.

Not interested in the past? We also pick out our top ten destinations for all the family, so I am sure there's something that will tick all the boxes. Enjoy!

(p32) 1 Travel Holiday like the celebs in Lake Como (p88)
Top Ten Family destinations for the summer
3 2
top events to look forward to in the city this month (p23) 5
Colchester The
The Shoot
Michelle Keegan's looks for all occasions (p52)
Interiors Trend
The best in garden products (p85)
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New York's Ellis Brooklyn has just launched in Space NK with its stunning fragrances using as many natural ingredients and sustainable methods as possible. There are four scents for summer. spacenk.com


A classic shopper with a burst of summery colors, the Alegria Hawaii is made from bespoke luxury raffia made exclusively for Tissa Fontaneda. tissafontaneda.com

COMPILED BY PENDLE HARTE 10 things we Absolutely love
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This Splatter Oval Platter by The Conran Shop is expertly created in the historic ceramicmaking district by a family-owned business in Grottaglie. £105 conranshop.co.uk


Tombolo's effortlessly cool Scuba bucket hat is made from cotton terrycloth with a tactile towelling fi nish. £75 koibird.com


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ABSOLUTELY magazines
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This month is a very special one for the city of Colchester. Inside, we take a closer look at the 375th anniversary of the epic Siege of Colchester, plus pick out other events worth your time this summer - with one highlight being when Castle Park will transform into a magical world of colour, music and dance as Colourscape returns to Colchester. The unique outdoor experience invites audiences of all ages to enter a labyrinth of spectacular, sun illuminated, coloured chambers and make their way on ‘a journey of the senses’. colchester-events.co.uk/Colourscape-2023/

Siege of Colchester 17 • Nick Staab 25 • Harlow 28
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375 MAKING years in the

Searching for clues into Colchester Castle’s dark past and bringing those stories to life is an integral part of Ben Paites’ day job.

The collections and learning curator for Colchester Museums has led the meticulous selection of artefacts for the museum’s latest display on the Siege of Colchester.

The 11-week blockade in Colchester took place in 1648 during the English Civil War. The royalists, who supported King Charles I, had taken control of Colchester, but the town was besieged by the parliamentary forces led by Thomas Fairfax.

“This year marks the 375thanniversary of the Siege of Colchester, which lasted from 12June to 28August 1648,” explains Ben. “It was arguably one of the darkest times in the city’s history. The siege was bleak, you had citizens of Colchester who were supporters

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A rare opportunity to get up close and personal to objects from Colchester’s famous 1648 siege unveils glimpses into the city’s rich and gruesome past
“It was arguably one of the darkest times in the city's history”

of parliament, and you had this group of royalists, the enemy, looking for shelter.

“It meant the royalists were trapped inside the city walls as the parliamentarians surrounded the city hammering it with cannon. You had two sides in this town for 11 weeks – at a time when there was no access to food, and routes to the town and river were blocked o . Within a few weeks the two sides resorted to eating rats and candles (made from animal fat). It was a terrible situation for both sides.”

A single display case will feature a range of artefacts from the Museum’s own collection

including siege tokens – a highlight of Ben’s finds in the museum’s stores. “These tokens or coins were produced during the siege as emergency currency – when a town is under siege you couldn’t get out to trade coins or food. We only have one genuine siege token from Colchester and some from other sieges in 1648 during the second English Civil War.

“One of the best things about this project was looking through our collection and it was interesting that a lot of tokens were not from Colchester – one was from Pontefract Castle and one from Scarborough Castle, both had sieges at the time. These coins are more worn and not as gold and shiny as the Colchester siege token,” smiles Ben.

The display will also feature a spade that could have been used to dig the parliamentary defences, and several pamphlets on loan from the Essex Society for Archaeology and History at the University of Essex. “These loans are very exciting and the pamphlets produced during and just after the siege of Colchester give accounts from each side, both incredibly biased,” laughs Ben. “The pamphlets were once kept in Colchester Castle and they are back for the first time in 200 years.”

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“Within a few weeks the two sides resorted to eating rats and candles”
BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW www.colchester-events.co.uk COMING SOON
COLCHESTER Abba Sensation Friday 14 July Essex Property Show Sunday 16 July Tribute To Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Friday 28 July Music of James Bond by Candlelight Friday 1 September Dreamcoat Stars Thursday 12 October Forbidden Nights Thursday 5 October Songs & Music of George Michael Friday 22 September Gyles Brandreth Can’t Stop Talking Friday 6 October The Diana Ross Story Saturday 30 September

A highlight of the exhibition is a letter written by the parliamentary leader Thomas Fairfax, on public display for the first time. The letter provides a fascinating insight into this turbulent period of English history. “This incredible letter was rediscovered a few years ago in the Special Collection at Essex University and it’s an important administrative document,” continues Ben, who made an appearance in an episode of Sky History TV show River Hunters in 2021 to discuss the historic siege.

“During the English Civil War leaders of forces would write these letters giving permission for specific individuals to travel around without being harassed. The letters were issued as proof that you were on the side you claimed to be on. Thomas’s letter would have ensured that he wouldn’t come to harm.”

Alongside Thomas Fairfax’s letter is a painting of the man himself with his wife. A series of artworks will be on show by various artists who have reimagined what the siege might have looked like.

Visitors to Colchester in August will have the chance to immerse themselves in the 1648 Siege of Colchester – set to be re-enacted by the English Civil War Society in Castle Park and Colchester City’s centre, as part of Colchester’s Year of Celebrations, to mark its new city status on 19 and 20 August. The free immersive weekend will bring history to life where visitors can meet the protagonists and witness battles.

“We’ve also produced a series of short films,” adds Ben. “We wanted to show what life was like during the siege through a special video diary created by the English Civil War Society and students from Colchester Institute. They document the life of one royalist soldier who found himself trapped within the town walls.

life was like during the siege through a special video diary created by the English the storytelling part using objects and artefacts,” Ben adds. “The siege is a dark

“One of things I love about my job is the storytelling part using objects and artefacts,” Ben adds. “The siege is a dark and terrible part of our history, but by working with local students, and producing online content and activities, we’re hoping we’ve found diverse ways of engaging the public and sharing these stories.”



A Day at The Roman Games

15 July 2023-14 January 2024

You might think that bloody gladiatorial battles only took place in Rome, but evidence suggests otherwise.

Colchester’s Gladiators exhibition, included in the admission to Colchester Castle, features inspiring objects from the Colchester Museums collection and beyond.

Highlights include an ancient Roman vase which shows bloody battles were fought in Roman Britain, namely Colchester. The Colchester vase, unearthed from a Roman grave in the city in 1853, was made from local soil around AD 160-200, when it was known as 'Camulodunum'.

Potentially a piece of ancient 'sports memorabilia', it depicts a pair of gladiators named Memnon and Valentinus engaged in confl ict. Roman oil lamps, including one shaped as a gladiator’s helmet, will be among the exhibits.


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“We wanted to show what life was like during the siege through a special video diary”
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5 MORE not to miss in Colchester

Under Siege is not the only big event in the city this July


Internationally acclaimed psychological illusionist Derren Brown has announced a brand-new show Unbelievable, which premieres in Colchester at Mercury Theatre from 28 July.

Following the extraordinary success of Derren’s recent production of Showman, Unbelievable will be a magic show like no other. Fusing the best of theatre with jaw dropping illusions never before seen, Unbelievable features a New York Subway band and a company of multi-talented performers who will bring to life, live on stage, an evening of bewildering trickery. mercurytheatre.co.uk


Back for its second year, the Roman Festival from 29-30 July is held in the heart of Colchester, once known as Camulodunum, and capital of Roman Britain. Brought to life by Britain's top re-enactment groups, The Vicus (the 'village'), Britannia, The Ermine Street Guard and a host of other fabulous contributors including our very own Colchester Roman Society and experts from The Castle Museum and The Roman Circus Centre.

There's something for everyone: fearsome gladiators battling it out in the arena or local tribesmen attacking Roman soldiers, falconry, archery, and some fabulous engines of war. Expect high-quality crafting, donkey rides, dressing up, and chatting to enthusiastic and knowledgeable re-enactors who are always keen to share their passion. visitcolchester.com


The tasty Sausage & Cider Festival will be returning to Colchester for the third amazing year for the outdoor festival on 15 July. This year they will have bigger bars with an amazing range of craft cider from around the UK, cocktails, and beers. Plus, of course, great food vendors with 12+ types of sausage flavours and

other street food vendors available on site. The event will be held at Lower Castle Park. sausageandciderfest.co.uk/colchester


The Colchester Garden Festival will take place from 21 July-22 August. There will be a mixture of free and paid events, including workshops, public installations, podcast recordings and shows. Businesses in the town centre are also invited to decorate their store fronts and create themed displays. visitcolchester.com


The Ibiza Orchestra Experience is returning to Colchester on 14 July, following a sell-out event last year. This year’s event promises to be even more spectacular, with an incredible line-up of the most iconic dance tracks of all time. Expect to be blown away by the live orchestra performances of unforgettable hits from top artists. With the perfect blend of classical and electronic music, their orchestra will create a unique and unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling exhilarated and energised. colchester-events.co.uk

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Get to know… NICK STAAB



Q Whereabouts in Essex did you grow up?

A I was born and raised in Romford and went to Rise Park Primary School, then on to Marshalls Park Academy for secondary. I went to Havering College and studied a BTEC in IT, before doing a foundation degree in IT and Computing. I now live in Chelmsford with my partner Suze and our two dogs, an Australian Miniature Labradoodle named Winston, and a Cockador, named Rose.

Q You recently entered the Expert Speaker Hall Of Fame as Speaker of the Year for closing over £1m in stage sales in 2022 – but how did you first get into sales?

A I got into sales during my gap year in Australia, selling electricity. I realised the earning potential was unlimited as it was based on my performance and, the harder I worked, the more sales I got. Back in the UK, I became the sales area manager for one of the biggest gym chains in the UK before setting up my coaching company, The Elite Sales Academy, which is now the number one training academy in the UK.

Q What was the catalyst that made you make the jump into coaching?

A When I worked for the gym chain I was always working, having to miss significant family events – including a funeral – to hit sales targets. Despite loving my job, I wanted something di erent because it just didn’t seem sustainable. Then, a few years ago, I nearly passed away in hospital due to acute pneumonia and that’s when I made a

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You won’t just hear it. You’ll feel it.

promise to myself to do what it takes to get back to health and live the life I want. That meant investing in my skillset, so I found a mentor – property investor Liam Ryan – who helped me understand my potential and jump into the world of training.

Q What makes a good sales person?

A I think the best sales people must be: problem finders, as well as problem solvers; good listeners; and caring because that’s the only way you’re going to find solutions for your clients. Yes, I teach people how to make more money, but I do so by teaching them to serve their clients and make the world a better place doing it.

Q And what about becoming a good entrepreneur?

A Get a mentor and invest in your education as a business owner, know how

to outsource to others, and leverage their skills and be willing to take action.

Q What’s your favourite part of your job?

A Helping people is the number one thing I love – it's way more important than money.

Q Proudest moment?

A It’s hard to name my proudest moment as I have quite a few! When my book, SELLING IS SERVING: Master The Art Of Selling Ethically With Confidence And Conviction, became a number one bestseller in 21 categories on Amazon on its launch

in September 2021, that was very special to me. Launching the Elite Sales Academy fills me with pride, and every time I do an event and see all the businesses who want to work with me, I’m super happy.

Q What do you like doing in your spare time?

A I like to keep on top of my fitness, going to the gym working out and staying healthy. I'm a very big foodie so I love going for meals and trying out nice restaurants –Chinese restaurant Zenxi in Chelmsford is a favourite. And I also love hanging out with Suz and our dogs or visiting my parents, who live in Coggeshall, it’s a lovely little town with lovely pubs and restaurants.

Q What do you love most about living in Essex?

A I love living in Essex because I'm a real Essex boy – I was born here, I was raised here and I'm proud that all my family are here. I love the diversity and the fact that there’s so many di erent landscapes from countryside to cities, towns and villages. There’s so much opportunity here in Essex and there’s so much going on.


“I made a promise to myself to do what it takes to live the life I want”
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Why we love… HARLOW

An unforgettable summer of fun is on the cards at this West Essex town


elcome to Harlow, a vibrant town nestled in the west of Essex. Originally designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, the ‘New Town’ of Harlow is a place of contrasts. The designated sculpture town houses artwork by some of the world’s best-known sculptors (Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, and Barbara Hepworth to name a few) and is the birthplace of fibre optics, without which we wouldn’t have the internet as it is today.

The mixture of urban landscapes sitting side by side with open, green spaces, the River Stort and its towpaths, means you are never far from the countryside, perfect for taking long walks. Harlow also boasts a huge cycle track network linking all areas of town. Whether it’s shopping, food, drink or exploring, there is something for everyone and lots of free things to do, promising a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.



The Grade II listed site is home to five unique gardens, a bandstand, adventure playground and inclusive play area, a paddling pool, outdoor gym, skate

Harlow’s ‘jewel in the crown’ is the town park – with over 160 acres it’s one of the largest urban parks in the country. park and a café.

Also situated within the park is the everpopular Pets’ Corner, which has welcomed visitors since 1966. Pets’ Corner is home to a wide range of traditional farm animals as well as more exotic ones such as reindeer, llamas and alpacas, and an aquarium and reptile house. Pets’ Corner is free to enter and open seven days a week.


Harlow has four paddling pools and two splash parks, which are operational during the school summer holidays and are free to use. The perfect solution to keeping the kids cool and entertained during the hotter months.


Parndon Wood, which is free to enter, is an ancient area of woodland that includes a 1.5km nature trail, observation hides for viewing the wildlife and a conservation centre to learn more about the flora and fauna. There are plenty of free activities, plus evening music sessions.


Another Grade II listed site, the Gibberd Garden is a fascinating place created by Sir Frederick Gibberd himself. Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the

yourself in the tranquil beauty of the

“The designated sculpture town houses artwork by some of the world's best-known sculptors”

garden full of sculptures, pools, streams and even a moated castle with drawbridge.


Step back in time and discover a historic and significant place with over 1,000 years of local history. The museum’s (which is also free to enter) gallery spaces highlight the history of the town from the Iron Age to the present day. The site is also home to three historical gardens set across two acres of lush green space, perfect for picnics.


Embark on a fascinating journey with over 100 sculptures dotted throughout Harlow. Enjoy at your leisure or follow a trail which will guide you through the town to take in all the amazing public art. And why not engage the whole family with an interactive experience at the Gibberd Gallery.


Whilst in Harlow you can also pay a visit to one of the town’s unique features – a Roman Temple site. The area, which is now known as Templefields, has a long history – even before the Romans it was a settlement with a few farms and an Iron Age temple. When the Romans arrived, they re-dedicated worship to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and war.


Let your imagination soar at the Harlow Playhouse with two theatres and a studio for creative workshops and performing arts classes. Enjoy a full programme of shows and events year-round, from music concerts, dance shows, pantomime – there is something for all ages and tastes.


If it’s retail therapy you’re after, the Water

Gardens o ers a range of fashion and jewellery retailers as well as places to eat and drink when you need a break. Just round the corner is the Harvey Centre, a shopping centre featuring a wide range of retail and fast-food outlets as well as a six-screen cinema. Towards the north end of town there are a number of retail parks stocking bigger ticket items, as well as restaurants and another cinema.


The Harlow facility is a specialist climbing and paddle-sport centre and is home to ‘The Lock’ – one of the largest indoor climbing walls in the south east. Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding are all on o er through miles of tranquil waterways.

For places to eat, things to do and places to stay in Harlow, head to visitessex.com

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“Whilst in Harlow you can also pay a visit to one of the town's unique features – a Roman Temple site”

for all the



county hotspots that will provide plenty of summer fun, for the younger and older generations

Essex certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to summer fun for all the family. Treat yourself to a special day out along the county’s stunning coastline, tuck into its top food and relax at a historic garden or stately home. Here’s Visit Essex’s top ten things to see and do.


Visit the county’s top seaside resorts or head o the beaten-track and wander around the county’s estuaries. Go fossil hunting on Mersea Island or Walton-on-the-Naze and take Insta-worthy pictures of pretty beach huts.


Take a trip to Audley End House and Gardens, near Sa ron Walden, and step back in time. Wander around the grounds,

experience life upstairs and downstairs and discover more about Essex’s history.


The county is home to historic gardens at RHS Hyde Hall near Chelmsford, which boasts ornamental horticulture, wild woodlands and majestic meadows. Pack a picnic and relax in an English country garden. Or visit Beth Chatto’s inspirational 1960s dry garden near Colchester, which is celebrating what would have been Beth’s 100th birthday.


Southend-on-Sea is one of the UK’s latest cities and there’s plenty to do. Ride a rollercoaster at Adventure Island, catch a train to the end of the world’s longest pier, take in culture at the Focal Point Gallery and enjoy an ice cream at Rossi’s Ice Cream Parlour on the seafront.


Essex is renowned for its seafood, so visit authentic cockle and oyster sheds along its

shores and tuck into freshly caught local produce. Treat yourself to a traditional cream tea at Tiptree tearooms across the county, or head to Galvin Green Man in Chelmsford, voted the nation’s best pub.



Hop on a traditional Thames Sailing Barge from historic Maldon. The barges are still a familiar sight along the coastline and used to ferry goods from the county to London. Once the sails are up, you can also take in the local wildlife.


Colchester was Britain’s capital in Roman times and there’s lots of historic artefacts to explore around the city. Walk by the Roman walls that run through the city and are lit at night and take in stunning mosaics, or tour the Roman Circus visitor centre. Colchester Castle, the largest Norman Keep in Europe, is built on the grounds of a Roman temple and has many historical artefacts inside.

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A must for animal lovers and families alike, Colchester Zoo is home to 180 species across 60 acres of parkland and lakes. Children love to feed the gira es and elephants.


For scenic, postcard-worthy views, explore the villages of Essex. Dedham is located in the heart of Constable Country and o ers independent shops, pubs and walks by the river. Finchingfield is another must visit with its picturesque duck pond. Also explore the ancient Flitch towns of Sa ron Walden, Great Dunmow and Thaxted, famed for their spired churches and mediaeval architecture.


Essex is also home to a growing number of vineyards, sip the best on a wine tasting tour in the Crouch Valley or north of the county for award-winning vintages.

For more, head to visitessex.com/things-to-do


& Dine Stay

Experience culinary excellence at The Angel Inn, a fine dining haven in Stoke-by-Nayland.

Led by Head Chef Ruben Aguilar Bel, this hidden gem in a historic Tudor building offers an unforgettable dining experience.

With award-winning rooms, it’s the best of Suffolk’s cuisine and hospitality.

01206 263245 info@angelinnsuffolk.co.uk




Allegra has long been one of the hottest dining tickets in Stratford, and now chef Patrick Powell has taken things up a notch. The now renowned Wednesday tasting menu of 11 servings over 7 courses for just £58 is being extended as the principal dinner offering Wednesday-Saturday. Each individual dish is more than capable of standing on its own, but presented as part of a tasting menu over 7 courses, the guest gets to truly experience the kitchen's brilliance. allegra-restaurant.com

The Sun Inn 36 • Recipes 42
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DAYS in the SUN

The owner of The Sun Inn writes about reaching the 20th anniversary of running the Dedham favourite

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Before The Sun Inn, I was General Manager of four pubs in London from 1998-2002. I was part of the team opening rundown boozers and turning them into busy, food-led pubs with great wine lists and beer from independent brewers.

I’d been looking at pubs in Essex and Su olk for around a year. As far as we can tell, The Sun Inn building has always been a resting post for travellers going back as far as the 17th century. It was known as Wards (due to the L shape layout of the building), The Sun Tavern, and Sun Hotel. The lower part of the restaurant is where the old stables were and there are pictures in the pub of horses and hay being thrown down from what is now the guest room Dovecot.

It was one of the first places I looked at, but the price was too high for what needed doing to it. The layout was perfect – space for people that just wanted to drink, a restaurant area, snug lounge and lovely garden with a car park. By the time I’d exhausted my search, it was still on the market, but the price had halved. So I made an o er and eventually paid a nominal amount due to the extensive structural and refurbishment work required.

When we opened, we o ered a short menu of 10 dishes, no starters or puds really. The first menu was on blackboards with people ordering at the bar like our London pubs, but that didn’t last long due to the distance from the restaurant area to the pub. But what we o er now in 2023 is simply an extension of what was first o ered in 2003 – robust, simple and

seasonal food that changed regularly, great beer from independent brewers and eclectic wine from hands-on winemakers. And seven rather than four guest rooms. There was a core of customers who got what we were trying to do immediately without much explanation – a lot of them are still customers today. Day visitors were a bit harder to crack, but pretty quickly we extended the menu to o er a good ploughman’s and a couple of sandwiches in our style. There were some that just couldn’t understand that chips weren’t available, a steak would be sliced as part of a Tuscan-style salad called ‘Tagliata’ and fish was served whole with a head and tail on. There were some drinkers who thought we were a wine bar – it took about 2-3 years to work out we served real ale, and they’re now regulars. Some weren’t used to the music we played – a mix of Latin Jazz, Samba, American, but now we have many followers of our playlists that vary throughout the day. And some thought our non-black uniform was a bit odd!

In 20 years, I’d say while we’ve broadened our o ering, we’ve also become better and more consistent in our delivery of it. A lot of our evolution has been down to our team, many of whom have given 8-10 years of service and some returning from the very early days. They’ve helped us adapt to customer feedback without losing the core of what we believe in.

The menu is still seasonal led, simply executed, using as much local produce as possible. The menu o ers something for most, whatever the time of day or occasion. There is a casual element to the menu of soup, burgers, seafood platters, mussels, but we also have a great main menu of starters, pasta,

“What we o er now in 2023 is simply an extension of what was first o ered in 2003”
ABSOLUTELY magazines

seafood and meat dishes as well as vegan and vegetarian, which are integral in our menu. You can have a sandwich and a bowl of soup for lunch on Monday, a bowl of pasta on Wednesday evening, come for a slap up three course meal on Saturday and back for a roast on Sunday!

Our Head Chef Jack Levine is a brilliant chef, getting tonnes of flavour into a dish without overcrowding it with too many ingredients or techniques. Some dishes look deceptively simple, but a lot of work goes into them and they burst with flavour. He ensures the menus are exciting but balanced

and are deliverable as we can serve up to 180 people in a service. His team of seven chefs – with combined service of about 35 years – contribute massively to this.

Making use of the produce around us has become more di cult as the years have gone by. Originally, we bought from around 20 growers of fruit and vegetables from within five miles of the pub. Now only two exist – baby vegetables from Remfresh in Ardleigh and strawberries from Lawford. Our fruit and veg supplier, Anglia Produce, work really hard in sourcing great produce from East Anglia. Our meat comes from Willshers’ in Marks Tey and Direct Meats in Earls Colne who get a lot of meat in from East Anglian farms. And our fish comes from The Little Fish Company who buy from East Coast and South Coast day boats.

Our cheese comes from Hamish Johnston in Woodbridge who imports from Europe as well as the UK and Ireland. But certainly, anything we can get from around us, we use. Right now, we have a Roman Style Lamb Stew on our 20 Year Menu. It might sound unseasonal and heavy, but it’s the opposite. Spring lamb, slowly cooked with white wine and a touch of vinegar. And then asparagus, baby turnups, peas, new potatoes and masses of mint added at the last minute. It is deeply delicious and bursting with freshness.

The 20 Year Menu began in March and changes each month. It features a starter, main course and pudding from dishes that appeared on some of our original menus back in 2003, all updated by Jack to reflect his style and skills. And, for £200.03, you can stay the night and enjoy this menu with a couple of glasses of wine. And have breakfast the next morning!

Al Festo is our annual event over 15 and 16 July. On Saturday we have six bands playing from 1.30pm with the last act on at 6.30pm. The music is Americana, a bit more rocky in the late afternoon. On Sunday we have three acts, a bit more chilled, finishing with Cable Street Collective hot o their Glastonbury appearance - upbeat rhythms with Congolese-influenced guitar sounds. The food will feature our legendary burger, loaded fries and a selection of tacos. A great way to celebrate the anniversary.


ABSOLUTELY magazines 38
“Some dishes look deceptively simple, but a lot of work goes into them”

Bring the garden into your home with stylish bi-fold doors

Open up your home to create an inspiring space for relaxing or entertaining with bespoke bi-fold doors that seamlessly merge the interior with the exterior. As a family-run business, we have more than 50 years’ experience making beautifully-crafted products from wood to complement your style of home –whether it’s a listed period property or a striking contemporary design.

For more information call 01206 735287/01473 365167 or visit www.hall-brothers.co.uk

Self catering accommodation in eight converted barns on a working arable and dairy farm Situated in Waveney Valley adjoining the Norfolk Broads close to fantastic beaches and attractions Luxury Norfolk Holiday Barns  01502 677208 | wheatacrehallbarns.co.uk | Wheatacre Hall Barns, Beccles, NR34 0AS WHEATACRE_HALLFARMS_HP_ABS_ESSEX_APR23.indd 1 20/03/2023 14:36


What to drink this month



Colwith Farm Distillery, Cornwall’s only single estate distillery, and the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery have devised a ‘Crowning Royale’ cocktail in celebration of the coronation. Crafted using Aval Dor Original Cornish Gin, Duchy of Cornwall Nursery Myrtle, Tregothnan Earl Grey Tea, and Crème de Cassis, it is topped with fizz, o ering a classic and elegant toast. Order a pack of three for £25. colwithfarmdistillery.co.uk



Once a working farm, the Rathfinny Wine Estate planted their first vines in 2012. The vineyard now encompasses more than 230 acres of primarily Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier in the South Downs National Park. The sparkling wines are matured in the bottle for at least 30 months, allowing the complex flavours to flourish. rathfinnyestate.com


Set to be the new drink of the season, Beesou is the first B Corp aperitif blended with honey from the Cotswolds and is on a mission to help save the bees with 10% of all profits going directly to Bees for Development charity.

The luxury unique blend contains complex notes of cinchona bark and chinotto which give way to a burst of bitter orange and pink grapefruit that rounds into the mellow sweetness of raw honey. beesou.london


Le Cratère

An organic sparkling rosé grown inside a metorite crater

Haut-Languedoc fine wine producers, Domaine du Météore, have recently discovered that grapes grown in their vineyard, the only vineyard in the world known to be inside a meteorite crater, take their minerality from nano-diamonds created by the impact of a meteor that fell to earth over 10,000 years ago.

The recently launched pale rosé sparkling wine, Le Cratère, captures the essence of wines from another dimension. Le Cratère is an organic ‘methode champenoise’ sparkling rosé wine made in limited quantities (970 bottles) from Syrah grapes, which are all grown inside the 200 metre-wide meteorite crater from which Domaine du Météore takes its name.

Nano-diamonds were formed when the meteorite crashed into the ground with a force equivalent to that of an atomic bomb. Nanodiamonds are found in tiny spherules of the meteorite iron and nickel that can only just be seen by the naked eye and which are present in abundance in the soil in and around the meteorite crater.

Owners, Dr Paul Jenkins and Dr Paul Jarman, say: "The distinctive minerality found in the wines, due to the schist soil and high altitude, helped, by a little cosmic space dust from the meteorite, brings an elegance to our wines."

Le Cratère RRP: £28 per bottle. £33 per bottle with wooden bird box. £168 for case of 6. ABV: 13% UK delivery: £5.00 for a bottle; £15 a case domainedumeteore.com

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Gut feeling

Recipes to reconnect with nature, food and self


Photography by ANNA BOGLIONE

Grilled peaches,

sunflowerseed gazpacho, toasted sunflower seeds

Serves 8

I’ve taken the term ‘gut feeling’ and translated that, quite literally, to the feelings, thoughts and emotions that eating a beautiful dish can evoke – the sensory beauty of food and how it connects so closely with the mind. This got me thinking about those immediate, visceral reactions we experience when we eat certain ingredients, namely the nostalgia that certain dishes can evoke, be it a reminder from childhood, travel or particularly happy times. Peaches are one ingredient that has this effect on me personally. I can actually remember specific moments when I ate a particularly good peach, normally always outside, on hot days or trips abroad.

Marinating time: 2–24 hours,

Cooking time: 20–30 minutes


• 6 peaches

• Olive oil

• 16 courgettes with their flowers

• Fine salt

Sunflower-seed gazpacho

• 110g toasted sunflower seeds

• 25g bread, roughly chopped

• ¾ cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped

• ½ garlic clove, thinly sliced

• 400ml oat milk

• 1 teaspoon olive oil

• 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar

• 1 teaspoon salt, pinch of black pepper


1 Mix together the sunflower seeds with the bread, cucumber and garlic. Add the milk, olive oil, sherry vinegar and seasoning, mix well and leave to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours.

2 Blend the gazpacho until smooth, check the seasoning and adjust to taste.

3 Cut the peaches in half and remove the stone. Cut each half into 4 wedges, lightly salt and very lightly oil. Place on a griddle pan or barbecue for a few minutes to allow them to take on some of the char and to soften slightly.

4 Next, separate the flowers from the courgettes. Cut the courgettes lengthways and season lightly with fine salt and oil. Place the courgette on the griddle or barbecue and cook for approx. 2–3 minutes on each side until almost cooked.

5 To plate up, place the peaches and courgettes on the plate. Drizzle with the sunflower-seed gazpacho. Tear the courgette flowers into petals and place randomly. Roughly chop the remaining sunflower seeds and sprinkle over.

Scallop, sweetheart cabbage, crab, orange

Serves 8

I was very fortunate to grow up sailing on the west coast of Scotland on my family holidays. So from a young age, I was around beautiful seafood, scallops in particular. Admittedly, I did eat them deepfried, but as a child this was incredible!

Cooking time: 30 minutes


• 3 large sweetheart cabbages, halved

• 2 scallops per person (approx. 50g/1¾oz per scallop)

• Olive oil

• 120g butter, plus 1 tablespoon for the scallops

• 300g white picked crab meat

• 2 oranges, segmented and diced

• 30g anchovies, drained and chopped into small pieces

• Salt and pepper


• 50g (1¾oz) breadcrumbs

• ½ teaspoon fennel seeds

• Zest of 1 orange


1 Begin by making the pangrattato

as this can be done in advance.

2 Separately toast the breadcrumbs and fennel seeds, taking the breadcrumbs to a golden brown colour. Chop the toasted fennel seeds slightly, then mix through the breadcrumbs. Finally, zest the orange into the mix.

3 Blanch the cabbage halves in boiling water for approx. 2 minutes until almost cooked, then cut the halves into halves again and sear in a hot pan to get a nice char on each side.

4 Start cooking the scallops. Season them on both sides, then place in a hot pan with a little oil. Make sure to get a nice even, golden brown colour on each side. Finish by adding a tablespoon of butter and once it has melted, use the foaming butter to baste the scallops. This helps the scallops cook through and adds a delicious buttery nuttiness.

5 Gently melt the remaining butter and add the crab, orange and chopped anchovies. To plate up, add a tablespoon of the anchovy, crab and orange mix in between the layers of cabbage. Finish by covering the top of the cabbage with the remaining crab mix, sprinkle with pangrattato and place the scallops next to the cabbage on the plate.


Chilled apricot, ginger & almond rice pudding

Serves 8

Beautiful ingredients and joyful eating experiences are commonly an antidote to stress and sadness, and therefore food is always integral to good health, body or mind. Rice pudding is such a nostalgic dish for me, and for a lot of people, bringing back memories of childhood, and always decorated with a big dollop of jam. My recipe is the more grown-up version of what has come to be one of my favourite desserts of all time; you can’t but be happy when you eat it.

Cooking time: 2 hours

Apricot jam

• 375g (13 oz) fresh apricots

• 50ml (2fl oz) water

• 225g (8oz) sugar

• Juice ½ lemon

Rice pudding

• 100g (3½oz) butter

• 220g (8oz) pudding rice

• 1 litre (1 ¾ pints) almond milk

• 250ml (9fl oz) cream

• 100g (3½oz) sugar


• 100g (3 ½oz) golden (corn) syrup

• 40g (1 ½oz) treacle

• 40g (1 ½oz) light soft brown sugar

• 100g (3 ½oz) butter

• 50g (1 ¾oz) oatmeal

• 125g (4 ½oz) self-raising flour

• ½ tablespoons ground ginger

• 2 tablespoons milk

• ½ egg

• 10g (¾oz) stem ginger, chopped Almond crunch

• 60g (2oz) flaked almonds

• 40g (1 ½oz) feuilletine flakes

• 110g (3 ¾oz) almond butter

• 60g (2 ¾oz) icing (confectioner’s) sugar

• 1 teaspoon salt

• Parkin

• 6 fresh apricots

• 2 packets of edible flowers


All the elements to this dish can be made in advance.

1 To make the apricot jam, halve 375g of apricots and remove the stones. Place them in a pot with the water. Slowly bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the apricots start to break down. Add the sugar and lemon juice, bring to the boil and cook until the jam reaches the setting point – 105°C. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2 To make the rice pudding, melt

the butter, add the rice and sauté for approx. 30 seconds, allowing the butter to start foaming and go brown. Add the almond milk, cream and sugar, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pot. Keep checking to see if it’s cooked. Once cooked, strain through a sieve, reserving the liquid, and place the rice in a container covered with some clingfilm to avoid it getting a skin. Do the same with the cooking liquid. Allow both to cool and then refrigerate.

3 Preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4. To make the parkin, melt the syrup, treacle, light brown sugar and butter together until the sugar has dissolved.

4 Mix with the oatmeal, self-raising flour and ground ginger and stir into the syrup mixture, then add the milk, half an egg and the stem ginger. Spread thinly onto a parchment paper-lined tray and bake for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and break into smaller pieces, then cook for an additional 5–10 minutes until crispy when cool. Once baked and cooled, chop down into smaller pieces (approx. 1cm/1/2 inch).

5 To make the almond crunch, toast the flaked almonds in an oven preheated to 170°C, Gas Mark 3 for approx. 10 minutes. Check and move the nuts around on the tray every few minutes. When golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Mix all the almond crunch ingredients together – you will have to use your hands to incorporate all the butter and icing sugar. Now that this is made, you can mix it together with the ginger parkin. Gradually start adding the rice cooking liquor to the cooked rice until you are satisfied with the consistency – it should be slightly loose.

6 Halve the apricots, remove the stones and cut into approx. 1cm pieces.

7 Now everything is prepared, you can plate up. Place the apricot jam in the base of the bowl, then spoon the rice into the bowls on top of the jam. Finish by sprinkling the ginger and almond crunch on top and decorate with edible flowers.

Recipes to Reconnect by Anna Boglione. Kyle Books, £35


our contemporary

British Menu in


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Bookings@the-spotted-dog.co.uk | 01245 231598 High Easter Road, Bishops Green, CM6 1NF Dog Friendly us for an unforgettable dining experience in an Award-Winning Restaurant
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It's a WRAP


KAYLL is a fusion of designer Jessica Kayll's love of travel with her handpainted textile design. Finding resortwear which was modest, timeless and beautifully made was difficult for Jessica to find, and so KAYLL was created. Carefully working with a tailor for months to create the most flattering silhouettes for every woman’s shape, Jessica designed a collection of 12 silk robes and coverups inspired by the shape of Japanese kimonos. kayll.com

Swimwear 48 • Jewellery 51 • The Shoot 52
ABSOLUTELY magazines 47




piece or two? Here are our favourite swimsuits
ADRIATIKA Amhara halter one-piece, £115 adriatikaswimwear.com PEARL LOWE Shirley Floral swimsuit, £195 pearllowe.co.uk AWAY THAT DAY Palma top, £89, and Maui bottom, £59 awaythatday.com OCEANUS Lale bikini, £240 oceanusthelabel.com CHILLY SWIM Shark Bite neoprene swimsuit, £159.99 chillyswim.co.uk OSEREE Gem Maillot swimsuit, £315 koibird.com AGUA BY AGUA BENDITA Monarca swimsuit, £293 harrods.com MARYAN MEHLHORN Optimist swimsuit, £249 ameliesfollies.co.uk REINA OLGA Ginny bikini set, £150 reinaolga.com LES WAVES Mermaid Is Real swimsuit, £87.85 leswaves.com DEGREAS Cherry Bomb triangle bikini, £220 koibird.com
48 ABSOLUTELY magazines
MARYAN MEHLHORN Libertine halter swimsuit, £249 ameliesfollies.co.uk EDITOR’S

Choose from an array of treatments and day spa packages, using only the very best spa brands including the fantastic Elemis range, and unwind with a relaxing and personal experience.

There is a glorious open fire, hot tub and sauna and it is ideal if you are looking for a spa escape with friends or family or simply to enjoy an individual treatment if you live locally.

Talbooth House & Spa offers a number of treatments and packages, with something for everyone.

Chat to the team on 01206 806102 or email talboothhouseandspa@milsomhotels.com
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29 Prep School Open Morning SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30 Senior School Open Morning The workplace of tomorrow will be driven by the worlds of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. That is why we have put STEAM at the heart of our curriculum. Visit colchesterhighschool.co.uk WE ARE EXCELLENT. ISI INSPECTION 2023 A co-educational independent school for ages 2 to 16


Wild at heart

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Essex’s Michelle Keegan has launched a new collection with Very, featuring colourful co-ords, form-fitting dresses, and broderie shirts





Laneige has teamed up with Hollywood actress Sydney Sweeney to launch the brand's new Hydration Deep Dive campaign. Highlighting her favourite products, the Euphoria star said of the brand's Lip Sleeping Mask: "It's a cult classic for a reason", £21. spacknk.com

Brookside Aesthetics 61 • Fitness Notes 67


Award-winning Doctor Nyla Raja is a trusted darmatology GP and skin specialist, who has practised medicine for over 20 years and delivered over 100,000 life-changing treatments, earning the admiration of industry experts worldwide. She is the Founder and Medical Director of The Medispa Group, with stunning clinics located in Cheshire, Liverpool and London, providing patients with the highest standard of care and service. Her clinics feature state-of-the-art equipment, she is a pioneer in innovative treatments such as EMFACE, Morpheus8, and her bespoke Transformational Facelift treatment.


Doctor Nyla Medispa have the latest technologies to help contour and transform the body. The CoolSculpting Elite is even more powerful and with larger sized applicators to freeze even more fat - the results are seen even quicker than traditional CoolSculpting. One of the best things about CoolSculpting Elite is that we can treat two areas at once. You can have both arms treated at the same time, making the treatment much more efficient for busy lifestyles. With the treatment typically taking 35 minutes, and results noticeable within three weeks.


• The largest Ultracel Clinic outside of London.

• Winner of the prestigious “BTL Face of the year” award.

• The largest Skin Tightening clinic in the United Kingdom.

• “Clinic of the year 2019/20” at the Safety in Beauty Awards.

• The only Diamond Premiere Coolsculpting clinic outside London and the second largest Coolsculpting clinic in Europe.

Stay in touch @doctornyla | 0162 552 3307 | 0800 009 6661 | www.doctornyla.com UK CLINIC OF THE YEAR 2019 TO 2020 SAFETY IN BEAUTY AWARDS


• Anti-wrinkle injections

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• Emerald laser

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• Exilis elite

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• 8 point facelift

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EMSCULPT is the only procedure which helps women and men build muscle and burn fat simultaneously. In addition, EMSCULPT provides the world’s first non-invasive buttock lift.


Exilis Elite uses radiofrequency to gently heat the dermis and cause new collagen growth deep within the dermal layer. When used as a bodysculpting treatment, it also targets unwanted fat cells using radiofrequency waves, breaking fat cells down so that the body can safely

EMSCULPT is based on highintensity focused electromagnetic energy. A single EMSCULPT session causes thousands of powerful muscle contractions which are extremely important in improving the tone and strength of your muscles.


The BTL Unison is a safe, noninvasive treatment which targets cellulite at the root cause instead of just superficially. This helps to drastically improve the appearance of unwanted cellulite dimples. The combination of

carry them away. It’s the ideal body solution – reducing body fat and tightening the skin, all without the need for surgery! The award-winning Exilis Elite is a clinically proven treatment to help. you contour your body and reduce stubborn pockets of fat.

using monopolar radiofrequency at the same time as targeted pressure energy works by remodelling the collagen deep within the skin and removes metabolic waste while increasing blood flow to the area.

At Doctor Nyla Medispa, we provide complimentary consultations to evaluate each patient’s needs, enabling us to deliver the highest quality care by crafting customised treatment plans that cater to their specific ob ectives.

95.6% Patient recommendation: Ramsay Health Care† †Cemplicity Survey (June 2020 – July 2021) we care. It’s why we’re one of the leading independent healthcare providers in the world. Kindness, compassion, empathy… and knowing what matters most to our patients. These things are ingrained. It’s what we call “ People caring for people”. So from our quality private hospitals to our specialist consultants, delivering exceptional patient care remains at the heart of everything we do. See why we care: RamsayHealth.co.uk/WeCare Call us today on 01206 753 295


Hay fever can cause misery for so many of us, but the founder of Brookside Aesthetics in Essex shows there’s plenty you can try to alleviate symptoms

Welcome to the arrival of peak hay fever season. According to NHS data, approximately 20% of UK residents su er from hay fever. Hay fever, medically known as allergic rhinitis, is caused by environmental allergens, such as pollens, dust mites, moulds, and animal dander.

When your nose or eyes meet microscopic allergens, your immune system identifies these airborne substances as harmful and produces antibodies against them. In spring, the allergens can be from the wind borne pollen of plants and di erent types of grass.

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it's warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest. Hay fever will last for weeks or months, unlike a cold, which usually goes away after one to two weeks.

Some people experience symptoms now and again; for others, they can be persistent and severe. Common hay fever signs include: sneezing; runny or stu y nose; itchy throat; watery eye; congested nose; and snoring.

Complications may include: sleep disturbance; daytime tiredness; headaches; poor concentration; recurrent ear infections in children; recurrent sinus infections in adults; and asthma, which is more di cult to control When symptoms of hay fever strike, most of us reach for medication – like an antihistamine to give us much-needed relief. But not everyone has that option. Some hay fever su erers can’t use medicines, whether it’s because they’re pregnant, allergic to certain medications, or it’s just a personal preference. If that’s you, there’s no need to worry; there’s a whole range of natural remedies for hay fever to try. Here are four natural home remedies for hay fever season for you to try.


Evidence from a review of clinical trials suggests that acupuncture may ease nasal symptoms, lower the level of medication you need and generally improve your quality of life.


Healthy gut bacteria can play a huge part in keeping your immune system healthy. So it makes sense that it could also help during the hay fever season. Allergies and hay fever are immune responsive, which causes allergic reactions to di erent pollens, weeds, and grass. This isn’t a quick fix to give you immediate relief for hay fever symptoms – it’s a long game.


Lavender, frankincense and camomile are among the oils sometimes used to ease hay fever symptoms, but there’s no firm evidence of their e ectiveness. Try the calming aromas to see if they work for you. You could try putting a few drops of Eucalyptus oil into a bowl of hot water and breathe in the steam. This oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and could help to relieve a stu y nose.


Probably one of the sweetest home remedies, local honey can work wonders for hay fever su erers. Try your local farmers' market – this honey has to be local, as regular honey you find in a supermarket won’t do the trick, as the bees need to create the honey from local pollen. Once you start eating this, you’ll build up a natural tolerance to the pollen in your area.

For more information, call 01245 363889

ABSOLUTELY magazines 61
Experience Golfing Excellence All Year Round 7 Day Full - £ 1,200 5 Day Full - £ 900 Ladies Membership

omen’s golf has always been a hot topic for discussion at golf clubs. Golf Clubs have continually frowned upon women’s golf for some reason. Was it because golf was considered an exclusive boys club? Time to be away from partners? Who knows why, we can only assume.

Much like the game of tennis, the big names created the spark and set the sexy trend. The golfing world saw the likes of Anika Sorenstam, Georgie Hall and Catriona Matthew creating sparks and all of a sudden female golfers started signing up at their local golf clubs, taking lessons, enjoying both the game and the social aspect of the sport. This was definitely the beginning and the uprise of women’s golf. Change is always good, so it was out with the old and in with the new.

Over the years of working in the golfing



The General Manager of Abridge Golf tackles a burning question within the game

Windustry I have kept a close eye on the various golfing trends. I have come to realise and strongly believe that no golf club should be without a lady’s section – it should be well supported by both the men and women of the club. Therefore, as the current General Manager of Abridge Golf Club, a championship course, I formulated unique membership and training packages, tailored specifically for female golfers and the golfing lifestyle. At Abridge we provide the female golfer with opportunities in the development of their game, both as a beginner and as an advanced golfer, supporting them during this ongoing process.

Recently I sat down and spoke with several ladies for a casual chat, trying to find the answer, gain some insight and catch up on the current trends and the answer to a famous question: what do women really want? To be honest, it was such an enjoyable afternoon, finding out new things, confirming various aspects of the game, seeing what the ladies were

wanting, what really sparked their interest.

It’s not about the status of the club, how cheap the club is or what freebies you are getting, it’s about the enjoyment and camaraderie of the sport, both on and o the course. Many ladies start playing the game to network, improve business relations and, let’s not beat around the bush, most business deals are made on the course. However, at the end of the day it’s all about enjoyment of the game, spending time with other lady’s and developing both personal and professional relationships.

The game of golf not only ticks all the boxes, but it also provides a pleasant environment for women to relax and enjoy the company of others. Perhaps it’s simply having a well-deserved break in routine, enjoying a round of golf in the fresh air, getting some sun, enjoying that glass of wine with friends, perhaps this is what women really want… or is it?


ABSOLUTELY magazines 63

Above & BEYOND

Absolutely takes a closer look at the Essex accountant who has raised thousands for Diabetes UK in honour of his daughter

Hundreds of pounds have been raised for Diabetes UK by the Partner of Loughton accountancy firm, Haslers, in this year’s Ride LondonEssex 100 challenge. Mal Shah completed the 100-mile bike ride for the charity, which saw him cycle through the busy streets of London and out to the beautiful rural lanes of Essex, to give thanks for the support given to his daughter.

His daughter, Disha, was diagnosed at the age of 9 with Type 1 Diabetes. He said that charities like Diabetes UK have enabled her to manage this condition and live a normal life.

With the support of his colleagues, family, friends and local businesses, Mal managed to raise £2,077 for his chosen cause.

Speaking after the ride, Mal said: “The research and advancements made by Diabetes UK have really made a di erence to so many lives, including my own daughter's. Riding 100 miles is something that I have never really considered doing before, but I knew I wanted to give back to a cause that is so close to my heart. Supported by donations and well wishes from our team at Haslers, I was driven to cross that finish line.”

Jon O’Shea, Haslers’ Chairman, adds: “We are all really proud of Mal’s fundraising e orts. He has been training for some time and has worked hard to raise so much for an incredible charity.”

Haslers itself is no stranger to charity work, having previously raised more than £200,000 through its own in-house charity foundation. Whether you're looking for diabetes information, or just someone to talk to, Diabetes UK is there to help you. Their incredible supporters help them to provide their helpline, local support groups, Type 1 events, online Learning Zone, and even insurance, to name just a few.

Whilst Mal may have finished his challenge, his funding page is still open for donations at justgiving.com/fundraising/parimal-shah

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“I knew I wanted to give back to a cause that is so close to my heart”
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Touchscreen friendly, this lightweight and breathable armband from Lululemon is the perfect phone holder for listening to all your favourite upbeat tunes on long distance runs, £35. lululemon.co.uk


Super lightweight, the Garmin Forerunner® 965 gives you advanced training metrics and recovery insights, has built-in maps, and up to 31 hours of battery life in GPS mode, £599.99. garmin.com


Dr Federica Amati PhD’s ‘De-Code

Your Liver Clinic’ with de-liver-ance puts your liver health to the test…

Most people associate cirrhosis of the liver with drinking. So as someone who only has an occasional G&T, I don’t feel very nervous when I’m invited to Dr Federica Amati PhD’s ‘De-Code Your Liver Clinic’.

night's takeaway, I’m suddenly feeling slightly less confident. The FibroScan device uses soundwaves to measure the sti ness of the liver. There’s some light thumping on my side and after a few minutes the nurse tells me that my liver actually looks very healthy.


The Cloud X 3 Shi trainers from On Running are designed for everyday training. The CloudTec®sole gives superior cushioning, whilst the Speedboard® energises your step, £150. on-running.com

The first step of the process is a FibroScan and blood test at The Light Centre. As I lie down on the bed, the specialist nurse explains to me that the liver is responsible for 500 vital functions as well as the e ciency and health of our entire system. Everything we put in our body can have an impact on our liver health. As I think back to last

A week later, I’m scheduled in with Dr Amati. It’s good news – my bloods have also indicated that my liver is functioning well. I explain that I follow a plantbased and low sugar diet and she tells me that it’s clearly paid o .

Dr Amati, who has a PhD in clinical medicine, a Masters in Public Health, and is an AfN registered nutritionist, works with patients with a variety of

health concerns – from high blood pressure and cholesterol, to infertility and menopause.

I ask what the next steps would be if my results weren’t so optimal. Dr Amati asks her clients to make a food diary and then she puts together a long term plan for them. This includes a course of de-liver-ance, an antioxidant rich, plant-based elixir that helps to rejuvenate the liver.

The whole experience has been an enlightening one and it will definitely make me more conscious about taking care of my liver health.


From £97 (excluding blood test)

ABSOLUTELY magazines


The Era chandelier is an elegant statement lamp inspired by the clear lines and geometric shapes of the 20's Art Deco Movement. With three opal glass globes resting effortlessly on a light, powdercoated iron structure, the chandelier has a simple yet stylish vibe, £589. fermliving.co.uk

House for Essex 74 • Trend 85
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Absolutely meets Lucy Ferguson of the East London Parasol Company


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Q How did the East London Parasol Company come about?

A I had the idea to create flamboyant garden parasols after spending a lot of time in Kerala and becoming entranced by the temple umbrellas they use in celebrations. After a breakup I decided I wanted to do something joyful and colourful and the parasols were the perfect idea. I went back to India, travelled around Kerala and Rajasthan finding umbrella makers and launched my first parasols in 2016. The parasols naturally create an intimate space underneath which bring people together. And popping up a parasol immediately creates a theatrical scene. Seeing customers’ photos of how they style their parasols makes my day.

Q You have been inspired by India. How?

A I first visited India about 25 years ago as my dad worked there and I was blown away by the colour, noise, sounds, fabric and magic of it. Once you’ve been exposed to that it’s hard not to want more. I’ve been lucky to spend a large part of the last 13 years in India and its crafts, colour and capacity for joy is unlike anywhere else.

Q Can you tell us about the manufacturing process?

A In 2017 I started working with artisans in Bali to create our bamboo parasols and wooden bases. Then, in addition to working with Indian printers, I found a family of stone carvers in Rajasthan to make parasol bases, and the business grew. During lockdown I decided I wanted to champion British craftsmanship and found a skilful carpenter in Hampshire who had been making scenery for theatres, but needed to pivot due to Covid. We have been working together over the last few years to hone our frame design and they are beautiful. Each of our octagonal parasols is assembled to order.

We sell our designs of parasols, decorative bases and cushions. Our production is slow and careful, with minimal waste and no mass production. We use sustainable woods and plant a tree in India or Indonesia for every parasol we sell – partnering with a responsible reforestation initiative.

Our Round Bamboo parasols and wooden bases are made in Bali where we work with many villages of artisans – each bamboo parasol is made in over

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20 stages. Following that, our octagonal parasol frames are made in Hampshire using FSC certified sustainable ash wood. The octagonal parasol canopies are screen printed in India and our cushions are block printed by hand in Jaipur, while the stone bases are hand-carved by 7th generation stone carvers in Rajasthan.

During my 20s I was fortunate to spend many summers at festivals with the people who created the event spaces. The whimsical and gorgeous worlds they created definitely gave me confidence in dreaming up opulent garden parasols when there weren’t really any others like them on the market.

Q What is your background?

A I went to university at St Andrews in Scotland and studied English Literature and theology - I tried many careers after university, starting in financial communications, then professional kitchens, then working in the House of Commons before writing a book for children and working at Neals Yard Dairy selling cheese. What I learned from all those experiences was that I love people - and that’s not something you are taught at school. Throughout my career adventures, the people I worked with were the high points for me, and I’m so lucky that I’ve found brilliant people to work with to create the parasols over so many years.

Q How do your parasols fare in the British climate?

A The parasols are named after divas, known personally or internationally, because they aren’t runof-the-mill, they’re extra special. With care they’ll last years. We try to be as helpful as possible about how to

prolong the life of your parasol on our website. A vital thing is to make sure it’s dried out before you pack it away. The most important element of having a happy parasol is a very good parasol base.

Q Which is your best seller?

A Everyone loves the Whitney Round Bamboo, the pink, gold, orange and yellow colour combination is pure summer. Our Green Aretha Octagonal Parasol is a close second, the outside of the canopy has green zigzags and it’s lined with rose pink. Not only is the parasol stunning and playful, the frame is made in Hampshire by incredibly talented carpenters and our customers are always delighted by the high quality.

Q What’s next? Will you stick to parasols or branch out into other things?

A I like doing one thing and perfecting it! Furniture would be a natural step, maybe one day. At the moment I still have a head filled with designs for parasols I’m yet to bring into the world.


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“Customers’ photos of how they style their parasols makes my day”



Living Architecture’s project, A House for Essex – a daring and provocative collaboration between FAT Architecture and Grayson Perry – launched back in 2015 to plenty of fanfare. The house, which is situated in Wrabness close to the Essex coast, is an extraordinary work of architecture and art, which provides a setting for a number of speciallycommissioned works by Grayson Perry exploring the unique qualities of Essex.

A House For Essex was conceived as a landmark in the tradition of wayside and pilgrimage chapels. Like a pilgrimage chapel, the house is dedicated to a saint – in this case a secular one by the name of Julie Cope – and gives architectural expression to her life.

The design relates to a number of influences including Stave churches, arts and crafts houses and English baroque architecture. Charles Holland of FAT Architecture has described the building as “a radical statement about architecture and its capacity for narrative and communication. The design embraces decoration, ornament and symbolism in order to tell a rich and complex story. Formally, it is like a Russian doll, a series of archetypal house shapes that step up in scale as the building descends the hill”.

The interior features a number of Grayson Perry’s handmade ceramic pots and tapestries depicting the fictional life of Julie. Visitors to the house pass through a series of unfolding spaces before entering the chapel, concealed behind two ‘hidden’ doors. The chapel itself is organised around a striking decorative object – part medieval rood screen, part baroque façade – that frames a ceramic statue of Julie herself. Upstairs the two bedrooms – with views to east and west – have walk-through cupboards that lead to internal balconies overlooking the chapel space.

A House for Essex is the ultimate in interiors inspiration in the county, and with summer stays now available, we take a closer look

The exterior, clad in more than 1,900 green and white ceramic tiles, are cast from originals made by Perry, depicting Julie as mother and icon, along with symbols associated with her life. She appears again on the roof in the manner of a giant weather vane in addition to a beautifully cast ceramic chimney pot, wheel sculpture and beacon.

On the project, Grayson Perry says: “When Living Architecture o ered me the opportunity to collaborate with FAT, it was a golden chance to realise a long held ambition to build a secular chapel. Charles Holland and I batted ideas back and forth until a bonkers yet dignified design emerged glistening. The resulting building is a total art work, a fiction in which you can live, a digital age shrine and a homage to Charles’ and my home county. I hope the people who stay in the House for Essex find it playful yet monumental, cosy and maybe slightly disturbing. It is a three dimensional musing on religion, local history, feminism, happiness and death.”

A House for Essex will be available to rent on a short-term holiday basis, and can sleep up to four people in two bedrooms. Mark Robinson, director at Living Architecture, invited Absolutely in to tell us a little more about the unique project that everyone has the opportunity to stay in.

Q What is Living Architecture?

A Living Architecture was founded by Alain de Botton, to create a number of one-o architect designed homes for holiday letting, enabling people to experience contemporary architecture first-hand, by having the chance to stay in them for a few days. At the time, such homes were generally privately owned, with little opportunity to see them, let alone stay in one.

Q How did the idea for A House for Essex originally form?

A The collaboration came about through a conversation between Grayson Perry and Alain de Botton. Grayson had in mind the idea of creating a living shrine to an Essex every-woman, and Alain thought we could help achieve this.

Q How was it working with Grayson Perry?

A While Grayson had proposed the idea, when it came to going forward, he was already very

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“The resulting building is a total art work, a shrine and a home to my home county, Essex”

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busy with many other projects, therefore it was a while before he could fully focus on it. Once he was fully engaged, it proved to be a hugely enjoyable process.

Q It is described as a ‘daring and provocative’ collaboration with FAT Architecture. Why?

A FAT Architecture was seen by many in the architecture world as ‘outsiders’, with clients maybe a little afraid of what they might get if they hired them. Living Architecture had always admired their design ambition and wit, and thought they would be a good match with Grayson. Charles Holland (one of the three cofounders of FAT) was also from Essex, therefore had an immediate a nity with Grayson and the county.

Q Who is Julie Cope?

A Julie is a woman born in Canvey Island in 1953, during the great floods; she grew up and worked in Essex until her untimely death in 2014 – for Grayson she represents the women he encountered throughout his own years in Essex,

Architectural amenities

What you can enjoy at this incomparable house, overlooking the River Stour

who lived their lives: childhood, adolescence, marriage, children, divorce, education, marriage...

Q Is the chapel the project centrepiece?

A It is, here you see the whole of Julie’s life in the one space, with two tapestries designed by Grayson that portray her birth and growing up in Basildon, and meeting her first husband Dave and having two children – her subsequent divorce, going to college to gain an education, and then meeting Rob, who following her death on Colchester High Street, by curry delivery moped, builds the House for Essex as a shrine to her.

There is a larger-than-life ceramic figure of Julie set into an alcove, facing three large ceramic pots, all made by Grayson, with motifs depicting periods in Julie’s life. A ceiling covered in original prints, from which is hanging the curry delivery moped, now converted to ‘chandelier’.

Q How would you describe the exterior?

A As a ceramic and gold jewel sitting in the Essex landscape.

Q Do you have a favourite element of the project?

A The favourite element for me is showing people around the house and telling them the story of Julie – for many people it can be very overwhelming and something they have not experienced or had access to beforet often gives them pause to reflect on their own lives.

Q It has become something of an Essex landmark - how does that make you feel?

A For all involved, from the local builders to Grayson, Charles and Living Architecture, we are all in awe of what was achieved, and how it has become embedded in the Essex landscape –we are very proud!

At the end of a private lane you encounter this uncompromising house, set in an undulating landscape leading down to the shores of the River Stour. Guests enter through a large wooden door into a lobby and hallway, off which a small bathroom is situated, and across the hall the staircase leads to two bedrooms and a second bathroom on the first floor. The firstfloor bathroom has both shower and large sunken bath, from where you can soak and take in the views. Each bedroom has an internal balcony overlooking the main living space, as well as views across the river. An intimate kitchen and dining area has hidden doors, through which guests enter into the double-height living room lined with decorative timber panelling and Grayson Perry's richly coloured tapestries. Other specially commissioned artworks including furnishings, pots and mosaic floors to celebrate the story of Julie Cope and her life in Essex. Glazed and shuttered double doors can be opened to reveal a sheltered porch. A House for Essex is a testament to the idea that art and architecture can li our spirits and allow us to experience the world through the eyes of others, both in reality and fiction.


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G&M Plumbing & Heating has been proudly serving Colchester and the surrounding area for over 20 years. In its infancy, there was only a trade counter, but the business has grown significantly since then. The store now includes a retail shop, a selection of handmade bedroom furniture and a large, dedicated bathroom showroom available to the public and trade.

Following the recent takeover of the business in April 2023 by Chris and Lee, the expertise of the team at G&M continues to grow. It has a combined 36 years’ experience in the industry, which means that their extensive knowledge enables them to advise and support customers to ensure they get the bathroom of their dreams.

Chris says: “We understand the importance of excellent customer service and take pride in supporting our local community with quality

plumbing, heating and bathroom products at an a ordable price. We know that great products or services on their own are not always enough to keep a customer’s loyalty, but outstanding service is. With an extensive range of products in-stock for collection or delivery directly to site, G&M are a reliable and dependable merchant for all your supply needs.”

The newly refurbished showroom is deceptive from the outside, as there are so many impressive collections of bathroom ranges and styles on show inside. From sleek, bathroom furniture in a range of designs to aspirational freestanding baths and wetrooms, there are options to suit everyone.

Lee is very passionate about ensuring the customer gets what they want and says: “We understand that choosing the right bathroom for your home can be daunting, which is why our talented team are always available to provide expert guidance when selecting products. No matter the budget or size of your

project, we can o er you a design service that is fully tailored to your measurements and individual requirements. Once you are happy with the designs, we can provide you with a free, competitive quote in store with a choice of purchase options.”

If you are unsure where to source a recommended tradesperson for your job, G&M have a selection of highly skilled fitters available to bring your vision to life. They ensure a smooth transition throughout by liaising directly with your chosen installer to arrange delivery times and help to guarantee your completion date.

G&M is proud to be part of The IPG, a membership group founded on the belief that independents should have a better voice in today’s competitive market, a value that is still upheld and fiercely advocated by the group – championing the great British independent, helping them to grow and compete.

Nike Lovell, Marketing Director at The IPG, comments: “Support your local independent, you might be surprised to hear that alongside unrivalled service and unbiased honest advice your shopping basket at the end of your visit is likely to be cheaper!”

The team at G&M is committed to serving its local community, so visit G&M for your perfect bathroom.


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After a takeover in April, G&M Plumbing & Heating in Colchester now o ers even more quality and expertise
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Ahome is not just a place to live, but also a reflection of your personality and style. If you've been dreaming of a perfect living space that meets all your needs and desires, but your current home falls short, consider an extension.

A stunning single-storey extension is the perfect way to improve your home and create your dream living space, opening a whole world of possibilities – while leaving a lasting impression.

Whether you have always had your heart set on an elegant orangery or an exquisite conservatory, getting it right is key for both your home and your future.

Firstly, you must assess your needs and what you feel you might be lacking in your current home. Do you need more space for a growing family, a home o ce, a hobby room,

or an entertainment area? Identifying your specific needs will help you plan the type and size of the extension that will best fulfil them. It’s then time to look at the design of your dream living space. Consider the layout, flow, and functionality of the space. Think about how you will use it and how it fits into your daily life, and how it will maximise natural light and complement your existing home. There are various types of extensions to choose from, including orangeries, conservatories, bespoke single storey extensions and flat roof extensions, and each type has its own advantages and limitations,

so it's essential to choose the one that best suits your needs. For example, a rear extension can expand your living space and create a seamless connection to your garden.

Designs can combine modern and traditional ideas for contemporary living, while stylish glass, tiled and lantern roofs can flood your space with natural light while being highly energy e cient in the process.

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How you can create your perfect living space, courtesy of an extension from SEH BAC
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There are few places in the world more beautiful than Lake Como, and few hotels more fabulous than the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Read all about it on page 88. grandhoteltremezzo.com

TRAVEL Lake Como 88 • Ibiza 90
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There’s nothing original about believing that Lake Como is the most beautiful place in the world. This region has been attracting visitors since Roman times and remains a celebrity magnet; George Clooney, Madonna, Richard Branson and Sylvester Stallone are just some of the international crowd known to have villas here (as any local taxi driver will tell you). It’s easy to see why: the lake is breathtakingly beautiful, its clear waters surrounded by strikingly lush flora, with mountains in the distance and grand Italian villas and dreamy villages sprinkled around the coast.

Our destination is Tremezzina, 90 minutes’ drive from Milan, and we’re feeling the part in our rented Fiat Cincquecento. There’s one road that runs around the lake and it’s a narrow and windy one, best suited to a small and nimble car. It’s only April and the tra c is already hotting up – because the only problem with Lake Como is that its beauty attracts a lot of visitors. So we’re at a definite advantage, season-wise, though it’s also not quite warm enough to swim in the lake. We pass through pretty villages with impressive churches and dreamy lake views, struck by the intriguing combination of palm trees and mountains that characterises the area.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo transports you straight into the Belle Epoque glamour,

its vast presence looming majestically from an elevated position overlooking the lake. It’s cinematic in scale and strikingly beautiful. Built in 1910, the hotel has always been family-owned and dedicated to elegance and luxury, and routinely features high up on lists of Europe’s top hotels. Open from March to November only, it avoids ever feeling dated by tweaking its interiors during the rest period – so the feeling is contemporary luxury in a traditional setting, and it’s brilliantly done. Every detail is considered, from the genius use of orange (awnings, sun umbrellas, stripes on crockery, leather accessories, even the ribbon on the doorman’s Panama hat – but think sunshine, not easyjet) to the hotel’s own scent that wafts from vast di users throughout

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the building. Imagine yourself in the golden age of travel, staying here before continuing onto the Venice Lido, or to a sanatorium in Switzerland, or alternatively, imagine yourself as an extra in a Wes Anderson fi lm.

Our rooftop suite is magnificent, with a large terrace o ering views of the lake as well as the hotel’s beautiful gardens and pool, all of it spectacular. Loungers on the terrace are well-positioned, as is the sunken hot tub. Our suite is stylishly decorated in a grandeur befitting the architecture, but with a contemporary feel. There are green walls and antique cabinets, a comfortable modern sofa and a large gilt-framed mirror on the wall that we discover to our enormous surprise – and only when coming across an

unidentified remote control – is in fact a TV. Bathroom products are all unique to the hotel, with its signature scent, and there’s even a bottle of perfume for you to use during your stay. We smell fantastic all weekend.

The hotel has five restaurants – a lot for somewhere that has fewer than 90 rooms (recent refurbishments have made the rooms bigger, which means fewer actual rooms, but more luxurious ones). La Terrazza pays tribute to the late Gualtiero Marchesi, the pioneering Italian chef credited as being the father of modern Italian cuisine. Our dinner is a feast of lobster, veal with foie gras, seabass and the signature highlight, a risotto with sa ron and a large square of gold leaf. This comes with a certificate, because each

dish is numbered – we’re 4,350 and 4,351. Travelling around is easy by ferry from just outside the hotel. Tremezzina is 15 minutes away from Belaggio, known as the Pearl of Lake Como – it’s one of the lake’s prettiest villages and famed for its colourful centre and sillk products, while the stylish town of Menaggio is 15 minutes’ drive to the north, and the city of Como, worth a visit for its impressively ornate cathedral, is 40 minutes away, on the way to Milan. Life doesn’t get much better than a weekend on Lake Como. grandhoteltremezzo.com

Rooms from £657 per night including breakfast + VAT. Grand Rooftop Suites start from £3,451 per night including breakfast + VAT.

Life is good in Lake Como, especially when you’re staying at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Eat, sleep, waves,


Why The Balearics are hard to beat

There’s something magical about Ibiza despite its reputation for being a bit of a party animal. Beautiful nature, incredible restaurants, beach clubs, swimming, sunbathing, stylish hangouts, leisurely lunches, wellness, yoga, and of course dancing!

Cala Benirrás has spectacular sunsets with drummers, hippy market and pedalos. Look over the crystal clear sea as the sun sets behind rock formation of Cap Bernat or ‘God's finger’. Listen to the waves lapping on the shore and the gentle drumming whilst sipping sundowner cocktails at Elements.

Health and happiness, and delicious brunch is on the menu at Passion Café: superfoods, green juices and matcha lattes. Lilac shimmers on the salt flats as we head to the turquoise water and white sand of Salinas beach, hidden in the dunes. Lunch at old-school Jockey Club with a magnum of rosé or partake in paella at Beso Beach.

Pacha’s Flower Power procession parades on the sunny beach – all smiles and sparkles in front of the sparkling sea. At Sa Trinxa for music and big jugs… of sangria, then sunset at Experimental Cocktail Club. Music and magic are everywhere in Ibiza.

Sail across on a boat from Marina Botafoch to Talamanca beach, sea breeze ru ing hair. Spacious, bright hotel Ocean Drive Talamanca has a sustainable ethic with ‘a heart that beats to the rhythm of music, art, technology, innovation, responsibility and multiculturalism’. Its rooftop OD Sky Bar has infinity 360 views, so relax and enjoy the best views of the bay.

Chill on Talamanca beach. Wade into the warm water. Dine at Nobu, La Bodega, Laylah Ibiza or Sa Punta. Boutique hotel Pikes is an institution – Wham’s Club Tropicana video was

filmed around the iconic pool. The hotel has had a refurb, contemporary and stylish, with a wink to Pikes’ eccentricities and a sprinkling of timeless rock’n’roll. Enjoy a decadent dinner and pre-party cocktails at poppy pink Pamelas. Wander through winding streets of UNESCO Old Town / Dalt Villa, past historic buildings, lively restaurants, shops and galleries. Lights twinkle above the shiny cobbled streets, as we enjoy the club night processions parading past. We browse the night market, buy cherry merchandise from the Pacha shop and admire

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the ostentatious yachts in the marina. For great people watching and atmosphere, dine at La Torreta in the plaza or colourful El Olivo Mio Restaurant. At the foot of the slope is authentic tapas restaurant La Bodega, with a buzzy atmosphere, fun sta and hierbas shots. Mexican cantina Chidas has tasty street-style tacos and agave.

UP at The Standard rooftop has panoramic views in the heart of the Old Town. Set in a white building, with bright, eclectic décor and lush landscaping. Wine and dine in Jara restaurant or on the roof beneath the stars for stellar views of the Castle of Ibiza.

We love shopping at Sluiz Ibiza, a fun store with cool interior homeware and furnishings, it’s like Ikea on acid! For the wow factor and cool vibes, head to eclectic hub House of WOW with a fabulous cocktail lounge and concept store SPRMRKT.

After a boat ride, sun and sea spray soaked, we head to cute restaurant Marytierra Santa Eulalia on the marina, with batik

tablecloths and super sta . Chiringuito Blue on the beach has live music and sea views, its hessian roof ru es in the breeze.

Cala Bassa beach Club is great for lunch with friends by turquoise waters in a beautiful cove with a DJ playing and endless bottles of rosé. Casa Jondal is a lavish restaurant on Jondal beach, sublime food on a wonderful, shaded terrace. Its picturesque setting draws island insiders and A-listers alike.

Classic Collection has 4* and 5* hotels, from exclusive and ultra-modern adult only properties to family-friendly. Airport lounge passes, private resort transfers and concierge service make the perfect start to your luxury holiday.

Perched on a cli top within 7 Pines Resort Ibiza, ‘The View’ has exceptional cuisine and incredible seaviews of Es Vedra. An uninhabited island surrounded by sea, myths and legends, Es Vedra is magic and mystery.

Insotel Fenicia in Santa Eulalia is a small, classy luxury hotel and a great family option with separate kids' facilities in a superb location.

Setting the contemporary dining scene alight is flame grill restaurant La Llama in W Ibiza. Boho-chic design hotel W Ibiza brings a more playful vibe to this part of the island. New Hotel Mongibello is inspired by the Amalfi coast and the Ibiza of the 60s. This destination hotel evokes the Italian Dolce Vita in the Mediterranean. Near Siesta, my favourite sunrise place – get up or get home in time to witness the stunning sunrise. Described as magic by guests who didn’t want to leave is wonderful hotel Six Senses. Check out dining destination HaSalon under the olive trees, and secret speakeasy bar The Beach Caves.

La Paloma, a delightful restaurant in San Lorenzo, is an old favourite. Soak up the ambience at Casa Maca for farm-to-table

dinners under the stars, with an impressive grill, great cuisine and al fresco dining. Its special atmosphere is evocative of the energy the island is so well known for.

I love the White Isle and try to catch as many beach clubs and breathtaking sunsets as possible. Sunset dinner on the rocks looking out to sea is gorgeous at Hostal La Torre, our table lit with a jam jar filled with shells. Eden is a remote restaurant in Punta Galera – we navigate the hilly drive like a cross between Driving Miss Daisy and Formula 1 Grand Prix, it’s worth it for the epic view. Feel good vibes are at Sunset Ashram in Cala Conte. Kumharas near Oceans is favoured by the locals, or try a sunset cruise.

Ibiza is glorious by day, glamorous by night. Sun beating down on the beach, Balearic beats playing. And, of course, there’s clubbing…


134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA 020 8989 9445



Saturday, 23 September 2023

8.30am - 1.00pm

Forest - Where People Grow

0208 520 1744 | E17 3PY | www.forest.org.uk | admissions@forest.org.uk
“A must-see option for parents wanting an education that’s so genuinely rounded you could make hoops from it”
Open Day




Parents looking for new ways to keep their children active, happy and engaged in the summer holidays have found the solution in the form of performing arts workshops at Stagecoach Performing Arts in Chingford and Walthamstow. Their ever popular summer holiday workshop runs this year from 31 July-4 August. No previous performance experience is necessary, just enthusiasm for singing, dance and drama. stagecoach.co.uk

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Oak-Tree Group
• Forest School

History MAKER

Over two decades as Principal, links to King Henry VIII and a forward-thinking school - there’s plenty to talk about with New Hall’s Katherine Je rey

Q New Hall School has quite the history...

A Despite having been Principal for 22 years, the novelty of this palatial Grade I listed building has still not worn o ! The site has existed since before William the Conqueror; changing hands with royalty and landed gentry over the years. The most notable being King Henry VIII who purchased it from the Boleyn family in 1517 and named it Beaulieu Palace. We still have his Royal Coat of Arms in our Chapel, which catches the eye of anyone who visits, history fan or otherwise.

New Hall School was founded in Liège in 1642 by the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, whose mission was to educate girls – a radical concept at the time! The Canonesses settled at our site in Boreham in 1799 when it o cially became ‘New Hall School’.

Whilst continuing to respect and to celebrate our rich heritage, we are dedicated to making strides in innovative and inclusive approaches, such as welcoming boys into our school from 2006 and, in 2013, becoming the first independent school to sponsor a primary academy, Messing Primary School.

Q What has kept you at the school for over two decades?

A Well, the short answer to that is the people. We are blessed to have the opportunity to work with young people from one-year-olds up to Sixth Form. Many of our students have been with us for more than 15 years, and connections with some families span

generations. It is a privilege to work with the young people as they make discoveries in their learning and as enthusiasms become passions that they pursue in higher education or employment. Alongside the students, our sta and parents are very much part of our New Hall community. And, of course, our Grade I listed building and the Grade II Registered Park & Garden are beautiful environments in which to work.

Q How have things changed at the school in that time?

A The obvious change is that the school has grown from a small mixed prep school

and girls’ senior school to the all-through mixed school of 1,400 pupils today. The school welcomed senior aged boys from 2006, and very quickly boys made up 50% of our students. We opened our Nursery in 2019 to support both our teaching sta and our families who wanted their children to benefit from New Hall’s unique setting. Over recent years, the area surrounding New Hall has been transformed by housing, a new road network and the construction of a railway station at the foot of our main entrance, The Avenue. It is exciting for New Hall to be at the heart of a growing and vibrant community.

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Q Why do you think the Diamond Model approach works?

A At New Hall, children are educated in co-educational classes from ages 1 to 11 and at Sixth Form. However, from ages 11 to 16 they are taught in single-sex lessons. The main benefits of the ‘diamond model’ and five years of single-sex teaching derive from the ability to tailor pastoral and academic provision more sensitively and expertly to the needs of young people going through the physical, emotional and social upheaval of adolescence. Young teenagers are liberated from the negative peer pressure of having to perform in mixed classes. The gender stereotyping of subjects is also removed. Girls and boys follow an identical curriculum and do not learn to perceive subjects as being more suited to either girls or boys. Outside of the classroom, at all ages, there are plenty of opportunities for girls and boys to socialise and to take part in co-curricular activities together. This really does o er children the best of both co-educational and single-sex education.

Q What would we find in a typical classroom?

A A typical classroom at New Hall is full of engaged, enthused students who are keen to learn. They have access to the latest technology which supports their learning and they are led by inspirational and knowledgeable teachers. All students in Years 3 to 13 are given a school iPad and they will use these in most lessons. Not only does this complement their learning, it also allows our students to develop key skills in utilising technology as they work. The other thing you will find in a New Hall classroom is a supportive and nurturing environment. Our class sizes are small and our teachers know their students as individuals.

Q As we approach the end of the school year, what have been the highlights for you?

A There have been so many highlights that it is hard to choose. The purchase of a 70-acre equestrian centre, New Hall Park Farm, just over two miles from New Hall is a significant development in the

life of our school. This site will enable us to re-open the riding facility that was so valued by our students in the past. But the highlights always come back to people, whether that be the children in the Nursery proudly showing o their art display, the striking academic achievements of our students, one of the many shows and concerts across the school, or welcoming New Hall alumni back after 10, 20, 30 or even 50 years.


NOW RANKED 22nd BEST PREP SCHOOL by The Sunday Times
Up seven places from last years rankings

Branching together

How the four schools in The OakTree Group are all o ering a flexible approach to suit parents and children

Four privately-owned independent schools make up The Oak-Tree Group: Braeside in Buckhurst Hill, Coopersale Hall in Epping, Normanhurst in North Chingford and Oaklands in Loughton. The Group caters for children aged 2½ to 16. One of its strengths is recognising trends, and the schools are aware of the ongoing requirement of more and more flexibility for working parents.

All four schools in the Group o er wraparound care. Breakfast Club starts at 7.30am and After School Club enables children to stay on site until 6pm. Headmistress of Oaklands School, Gretchen Copeman, says: “Our wrap-around care is very popular with parents looking to balance work with their children’s school lives.”

Moreen Barnard, Head of Coopersale Hall School, adds: “We have also been introducing more holiday clubs in the longer breaks at Coopersale Hall as well as at the other Oak-Tree Schools. These include Early Years activities, MultiSports clubs, Drama or Performing Arts workshops, and general activities weeks.”

In addition to wrap-around care and holiday clubs, the Oak-Tree Group o ers parents flexibility when it comes to choosing which sessions their children can attend in the Lower and Upper Kindergarten years.

Jacqueline Job, Head of Normanhurst School, comments: “Our parents find this flexibility extremely helpful, especially if their situation changes and they find they need to increase the number of sessions needed every week. We always try our best to accommodate these needs. Some children are ready for full-time school at 2½, whilst for others it is best to start with three halfday sessions that can increase over time.

More and more families are looking for their young children to start in the more formal school environment at an earlier age.”

Chloe Moon, Headmistress of Braeside School, adds: “There are so many benefits to attending a school early. The curriculum is based on the Early Learning Goals, but is enriched with a wide range of additional activities. As the Kindergarten is part of the school, we have many subject specialists at our disposal. Our children have excellent relationships with their dedicated key workers, who are responsible for monitoring their progress and development.”

Find out more at oaktreeschools.co.uk

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“Our parents find our flexibility extremely helpful”
of fun SHOWS • WORK S H OPS • ACTIVITIES festival 30JUL-13AUG OURSUMMERPANTO-'THREE' TALESBIGDAYOUT | TALESYOGA TALESFROMTHESHED | SINGSIGN STORYWORLD | FESTIVALINADAY PLANETPLAY | SOUNDADVENTURES FUNFORALLTHEFAMILY SCANFOR MOREINFO &TOBOOK SPECIALOFFERS AVAILABLE WHENYOUBOOKFOR MORETHANONEEVENT Tel: 0208 504 5045 Email: admissions@wgprep.co.uk www.wgprep.co.uk Nurture Curiosity Creativity Excellence Join us at our next Open Event Saturday 23rd September 2023 Register interest via - www.wgprep.co.uk Independent Co-educational Day School For 3 - 11 Years EXCELLENT IN ALL AREAS Inspection June 2023 “From an early stage pupils of all abilities make excellent progress” “Pupils exhibit outstanding communication skills” (Inspection June 2023)

ROYAL reflections

On 7 May, the local community of Wanstead came together to celebrate the King's Coronation at the Wanstead Coronation Festival, a joint initiative by Treehouse Nursery School and Jingle Bop. The event turned out to be a resounding success, with attendees showing immense support and enthusiasm for a noble cause.

The festival brought together families, friends, and residents of all ages to commemorate the King's Coronation and contribute to the community's wellbeing. One of the highlights of the day was the performance by the talented children from Treehouse Nursery School, who captivated the audience with their heartfelt rendition of the National Anthem.

The event also aimed to give back to the local community, with all funds raised on the day going towards the Mayor of

Redbridge's charities: King George and Queen's Hospital and One Place East. The generosity and compassion of the attendees were truly remarkable, helping raise an impressive total of £5,000.

The festival was graced by the presence of esteemed individuals who added prestige and significance to the occasion. Thavathuray Jeyaranjan, the Mayor of Redbridge, and Councillor Jas Athwal honoured the event by inaugurating the ceremony, further emphasising the importance of community solidarity and collective support. Lieutenant Mr Chan also delivered an inspiring opening speech, highlighting the significance of such events in fostering unity and celebrating the spirit of giving.

“I am grateful to the entire Wanstead community for supporting this wonderful cause. The generosity displayed today will have a lasting impact on the King George and Queen's Hospital and One Place East. It is heartwarming to witness such unwavering support,” said Jas Athwal.

The event's organisers, Treehouse Nursery School and Jingle Bop, expressed their heartfelt gratitude to all participants, sponsors, volunteers, and community members who contributed to the festival's triumph.

“We are overwhelmed by the support we received from the Wanstead community. This event was a true reflection of unity and compassion, and we are thrilled to have raised such a substantial amount for the Mayor's charities. We extend our sincerest thanks to everyone involved,” expressed the organisers.

The success of the Wanstead Coronation Festival is not just measured by the funds raised, but by the sense of togetherness and community spirit that prevailed throughout the day. It serves as a shining example of how a collective e ort can make a significant di erence in the lives of others, and it stands as a proud milestone in Wanstead's history.


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How Treehouse Nursery School helped to bring together Wanstead residents to mark King Charles’s Coronation

New Hall School

Catholic independent boarding & day school for girls & boys aged 1-18 The Avenue, Boreham, Chelmsford, CM3 3HS newhallschool.co.uk | 01245 467 588 | admin@newhallschool.co.uk Book your place for our Open Morning on Saturday 30 September 2023 The best start in life for your child A moder n education in a traditional envir onment for boys and girls aged 3-11 Open Morning Tuesday 19th September 2023, 9:30am - 11am The Daiglen School PERSEVERE & EXCEL See our website for more details: www.daiglenschool.co.uk


How Forest School goes above and beyond in o ering their pupils memorable learning experiences

Forest School has an outstanding programme of educational visits, designed to challenge pupils, support them as life-long learners, and as the Good Schools Guide recently wrote about them, integrate with the whole child o ering to provide ‘an education that’s so genuinely rounded you could make hoops from it’. From residential trips in Prep for every year group to places such as Amsterdam, and the stunning heritage coast in Dorset, and choir trips to the South of France and Malta, this continues to be built upon in their Senior School. Politics trips to Washington and art in New York, language visits to France, Spain and foodie excursions to Germany. Adventurous training with the CCF, DoE, and sports team camps across the world – there is something for everyone. The highlight, however, is the whole school Forest In Action programme. Forest In Action is their way of exploring the world, stepping out of our comfort zones, supporting our communities and expanding our horizons. From a sustainable educational visits programme that builds year on year, starting with the Year 7 residential camping trip in Wales (including coasteering, boat trips, bug farming, and learning about the environment and our impact on it), to investigating next steps and honing those ‘power’ skills sought after in the workplace, Forest continues to provide exceptional opportunities for young people to flourish and find out who they really are. What’s more, you now have the opportunity to go and talk to their pupils and hear for yourself. The Forest School Open Day 2023 will be head on Saturday 23 September, from 8.30am-1pm.


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“Forest In Action is their way of stepping out of comfort zones”
homehubgroup.co.uk There’s no place like Home Hub With no pressure sales, transparent pricing and exceptional service levels you’ll feel right at home with Home Hub. Our elegant lifestyle showroom is now open in Epping, call us to book an appointment. @HomeHubGroup 01992 948 980 essex@homehubgroup.co.uk 137-139 Epping High Street Windows • Sliding Doors • Bifold Doors • Roof Lights Bifold doors, sliding doors and roof-lights available for next day delivery.






Durden & Hunt International are delighted to welcome to the market this exceptional detached house comprising of multiple detached outbuildings and a seven bedroom detached house totalling over 11,000sqft in total. Externally the property benefits from a large gated driveway, leading to a triple garage, and particularly expansive grounds.

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Roebuck Lane, Buckhurst Hill Guide Price £950,000

Located in one of most prestigious turnings in Buckhurst Hill. A stunning three bedroom detached property which has been completely transformed by the present owners with contemporary styling throughout. Further features include air conditioning and an air source heat pump, filtered water and new flooring throughout the ground floor and potential to extend.

Bradwell Road, Buckhurst Hill Guide Price £685,000

A delightfully extended and well-presented family home which is ideally situated for schools, shops and the Central Line with Roding Valley nature reserve just a stroll away. The accommodation is arranged over three floors and includes 3/4 bedrooms, a superb open plan kitchen/ living space, and being on a corner plot, has a larger than average rear garden.


At this time of year, with sunny days and warm weather, it's natural for our minds to drift to the great outdoors. A thoughtfully designed outside area can not only add to the value of your home, and its attractiveness to potential buyers, but also to the usability and enjoyment of the space whilst you are living there. In essence it can act as an additional room to your home, so now could be the perfect time to undertake a few updates.

Remember there are no rules when it comes to creating your own, or a potential buyer’s, perfect outdoor living space so it’s worth considering the balance between what needs to be done and what could be done. This di erentiation will not only help you prioritise, but also to budget.

Perhaps you don’t need to undertake a complete renovation of the space to make an impact. You could consider it in stages and start with a general spruceup. Leaving space to perfect, improve, or build on what you have o ers opportunity for buyers to add their own mark.

If it is in need of a complete overhaul try to keep larger elements and the structure simple, such as neutral paving or decking, and embellish with smaller items, such as cushions and mirrors, that can be changed or removed to

taste. Consider sectioning the garden, using layers and textures, to create zones with dedicated uses, whether sunbathing, film screenings or socialising.

Don’t forget balconies! These can be a great place to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine and might benefit from a curated selection of furniture and plants to showcase their potential.

When it comes to the work itself, design and build to last. For example, if you are laying decking and installing trellises ensure they are treated so they keep their look for years to come. Thinking with the future in mind will help to retain the added value of your home whilst also looking great and being a nicer place to enjoy.

One to buy

A stunning property on the market with Durden & Hunt

Kings Place, Loughton, IG10 Durden and Hunt welcome to the market this exceptionally spacious detached home in a sought a er location in Loughton.

Internally this immaculate property offers a large living room with inglenook fireplace and patio doors leading onto the garden, a TV room, a modern kitchen with linked dining area and separate utility space, a downstairs wc and an office. The first floor consists of a master bedroom with dressing room and a contemporary en-suite with his and hers sinks, a second bedroom with an en-suite shower room and walk-in wardrobe, a third bedroom with fitted wardrobes and a large family bathroom. The second floor includes two additional bedrooms both with en-suites and fitted wardrobes as well as eaves storage space. Externally, this property benefits from a rear garden with patio area and a good sized driveway with side access and a lawned area at the front. It also boasts a double garage, which is currently being used as a gym.

Asking price of £1,850,000


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James Hunt, co-founder of Durden & Hunt, on how a spruce up of your garden space is just what buyers are looking for


Moat Hall was built in the Georgian period, and has been carefully restored to create this fine country home which o ers over 5,000 sq ft of impeccable accommodation.

Each room enjoys spectacular views of either the moat or pretty landscaped gardens. The property combines charming period character with a contemporary feel, located on the outskirts of the popular village of Fordham. Surrounding the Hall, is land owned by The Woodland Trust.

The formal entrance at the front of the house opens into a generously proportioned reception hallway, with an attractive turned spindle staircase ascending to the first and second floors. From here, all of the principal reception rooms can be accessed, including the drawing room and dining room, both with two sash windows overlooking the formal front garden.

The kitchen/breakfast room is superb with a high vaulted ceiling incorporating exposed timbers. It has underfloor heating and a wonderful dual aspect with French doors leading out to the terrace, perfect for summer entertaining. The bespoke 'Orwells of

Ipswich' kitchen has a range of hand-painted units with granite and stone work surfaces, and a double larder cupboard. The focal point of the kitchen is the Everhot, with three independently controlled ovens, an additional plate warming oven, cast iron hot and simmer plates, and a three-zone induction hob.

The principal suite comprises three rooms; the bedroom with feature fireplace, ensuite and large dressing room. The en-suite bathroom has a stunning antique French, ball and claw foot slipper bath. From here, a door leads into an L-shaped room, currently used as a dressing room, which could alternatively be used as a nursery/further bedroom, with a separate door to the rear landing.

On the second floor are three double bedrooms, all with walk-in or built-in wardrobes, a family bathroom and a separate cloakroom with WC. The family bathroom has a corner bath, WC, tiled shower cubicle, washbasin, cast iron radiator and underfloor heating.

A bridge over the moat leads to the formal gardens, which are predominantly west facing and laid to lawn. There is a floodlit all-weather surface tennis court with a small pavilion and a substantial meadow beyond. To the front of the property, on the opposite side of the road is a large enclosed 'wild garden' under the ownership of the vendors.

For more on the property, which has a guide price of £1,950,000, contact Fenn Wright’s Stanway team on 01206 216543 or visit fennwright.co.uk

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We take a closer look at a stunning property in Fordham currently on the market with Fenn Wright
136 High Street, Hadleigh, Essex, SS7 2PB T: 01702 552 868 | E: info@paulnewmaninteriors.co.uk www.paulnewmaninteriorsltd.co.uk • WOLF • SUB-ZERO • SIEMENS • SCHRODER KITCHENS • CHARLES YORKE • BORA • GAGGENAU • SCHROEDER • DAVAL • VILLEROY & BOCH • HANSGROHE • ARDECO • TOTO • THOMAS CRAPPER & CO. • BURBIDGE
Paul Newman Interiors have been creating, designing and installing exciting and exclusive kitchens and bathrooms since 1984 from leading manufacturers Schroder Kitchens, Charles Yorke, Gaggenau, Villeroy & Boch, Ardeco and Thomas Crapper. Attention to detail sets us apart and our team of expert tters will ensure you are delighted with your new room. We also offer a complete building programme.


Leading homebuilder Bellway is working on developments

Aspen Walk in Eight Ash Green, and Hollytree Walk, on the edge of Colchester. Threebedroom houses currently on the market at these locations will be complete in the coming months. Meanwhile at Bellway’s Willow Park development in Halstead, a selection of fourbedroom detached houses are available to buy.

Bellway Essex Sales Manager, Emma Hawkins, says: “These three developments are proving to be incredibly popular with families, who love the semi-rural locations, the family-friendly layouts with lots of open space, and the spacious style of the three and four-bedroom property designs. The fact that all this is available within easy reach of the centre of Colchester makes these developments even more appealing to buyers.

“These homes are all from our Artisan Collection, which was designed based on

feedback from our customers. So, these homes truly deliver exactly what today’s homebuyer wants. Open-plan spaces that are perfect for family life, for hosting visitors and for relaxing at home, are central to our designs.”

At Aspen Walk, off Halstead Road, Bellway is building 150 properties including 105 for private sale and 45 affordable homes for rent or shared ownership, surrounded by 20 acres of land boasting vast public open spaces including footpaths, meadows, and a children’s play area. There is a collection of three-bedroom houses currently available from £359,995 at Aspen Walk.

At Hollytree Walk, off Bromley Road, Bellway is building 101 properties for private sale and 44 affordable homes, with threebedroom detached houses priced from £389,995. There is also a range of two-bedroom houses which will be ready to move into this autumn currently available from £309,995 at this development. The development is on an 18-acre site less than half a mile from

the Hazelmere Infant and Junior schools, which have been rated good by Ofsted. Willow Park launched in 2020 and is set to be completed this summer. It is a sought-after development off Winston Way with more than 30 acres of public open space including parkland, footpaths, and a children’s play area.

The four-bedroom houses that are currently available here are in the homebuilder’s Philosopher house style. This design, which is perfectly suited to modern family living, features an open-plan kitchen/family/dining area that spans the back of the house, a spacious living room, a utility room and study. Prices for the Philosopher start from £517,995. Willow Park comprises 218 homes in total, including 153 for private sale and 65 affordable homes.

For information about the spacious family homes covered here, visit bellway.co.uk/new-homes/essex

Stylish new homes in the Colchester area that will be ready to move into this summer

A striking 6 bedroom Georgian country home with over 5,000 sq ft of impeccable accommodation, and spectacular views of either the moat or pretty landscaped gardens. Sitting in around 4 acres, the property combines charming period character with a contemporary feel.

Guide price £1,950,000

Mallards is a contemporary 3 bedroom detached bungalow with landscaped grounds of approximately 0.7 of an acre. The accommodation includes a spacious kitchen that opens into the light -filled garden room which features a vaulted ceiling and bi-fold doors leading to a large patio. Offer s in exce ss of £1,000,000

This imposing 6 bedroom Grade II* listed Georgian family home offers elegant and spacious accommodation, with many fine period features and far-reaching panoramic views towards Hedingham Castle. Steeped in history, the property is believed to date back to 1714.

Guide price £1,100,000

This stunning Grade II* listed 4 bedroom farmhouse dates back to the mid 1500’s with later Victorian additions. The property has some modern touches and is abound with period features, including three inglenook fireplaces, exposed brickwork and original timbers throughout.

Guide price £650,000

Thinking of selling?

Our team of friendly and experienced professionals are on hand to assist with expert advice on pricing strategy and marketing options and we have a dynamic pool of active potential purchasers ready to buy this spring and summer.Simply get in touch to arrange a free, no obligation, market appraisal.

01206 763388
Sible Hedingham
01787 327000
01376 516464 Ramsey 01206 397222
David Nesmith Tony CathroScott Cracknell Jonathan Perry James Gunther
Commercial Property Water & Leisure Lettings Farms & Estates
Sales Surveyors

The Essex Property Show promises to be the biggest property show in the county and is coming to Colchester’s Charter Hall on Sunday 16 July 2023. The event will bring a variety of industry experts and local businesses together under one roof to o er insider knowledge and advice on all things related to buying, selling, owning and renting property – as well as providing an ‘everything for house and home’ shopping experience.

This brand-new event, organised by Colchester-based, mother and daughter codirected Estate Agency Belhus Properties, features an exciting all-day programme of live talks and demonstrations from industry experts who will provide knowledge and fresh perspectives on the property industry. Topics covered include mortgage and legal advice, property investment strategies from leaders in the industry, property auction tips, home staging and organisation ideas,

All under ONE ROOF

Get set for the ‘ultimate home and lifestyle show’ coming to Colchester this July

eco-friendly home guidance, interior design inspiration and much more. In addition to learning from the experts, attendees will have the opportunity to network with industry professionals and connect with local businesses, Plus free corporate headshots courtesy of Happy Days Creative and free furniture upcycling workshops from Timeless Furniture Art. An array of stalls from local businesses o er a diverse home shopping experience for those looking to transform their house and garden. Businesses include: Beverley Ann Design Ltd, Cinema Rooms, Cinema Luxe, Harry Alexander Flooring, The Pond Men, Henson and Sons Fencing Services, Blueprint Woodcraft, My Claybrick Home, Orton & Wenlock, Creative Kitchen Wraps, Timeless Furniture Art, Harmony Landscapes, La Vista Designed Interiors, The Honest Florist, Thyme and Place Kitchens, Lenz Security, 1st Homes, Mensa Heating and Zigi’s Fireplace, as well as many more to be announced very soon.

Lydia Adams, event organiser at Belhus Properties, says: “The Essex Property Show is all about bringing the local community together. It is a place where anyone who needs advice, information, or is simply interested in making their house a home can go to for ideas and inspiration. There is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for advice on anything property related, or just want to gain inspiration for your home, this is the event for you.”

Belhus Properties, the host of the Essex Property Show, is dedicated to supporting the local community and is pleased to announce that Colchester Food Bank will be there collecting donations on the day. They are encouraging everyone who attends to ‘bring a tin’ or food item with them.


The event takes place on Sunday 16 July 2023 at Charter Hall, Colchester. Tickets are available at essexpropertyshow.co.uk

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“The Essex Property Show is all about bringing the local community together”


Rohan Ruddock

BUSINESS : Partner, Ruddocks & Co

WEBSITE : ruddocksandco.co.uk

Q Can you tell us a little bit about the history of your company?

A Based in the east of London, Ruddocks and Co are Chartered Accountants who provide across the board accountancy services as well as individual and business advisory services. We strive hard to stand out from our competition by providing the right service for the right clients at the right time. Our core values are integrity, diligence, drive and a friendly approachable nature. Our core values instil confidence in our clients and lead

to personal recommendations, thus growing our business. As such we are the grateful recipients of the AI Award for Construction Accountants of the Year 2023 – London & Southeast.

Q What area of accountancy do you specialise in?

A Construction, Hospitality, Property Industries and Dentistry sectors, but also we represent individual clients. Regardless of whether you are a big or small company or an individual looking for accountancy advice, we will serve your needs with e ciency and to a high standard. We work with companies and individuals all over London and Essex, giving us an advantage of familiarity with their local community and business environment.

Q Do you have a particular case study that highlights what you do as a company?

A We have clients who have

engaged our services at a point in their lives where the business is in trouble and could possibly go under. With our guidance and advice, not only have these businesses recovered, but they have prospered and become extremely successful and profitable.

Q In terms of your team, what makes you the best in this area?

A Building a friendly working relationship with our clients, making them feel valued 365 days a year, not just when we are doing their accounts. It is important to us that they know they can call our o ce and get the advice they need, but we don't stop at that, we reach out to our clients regularly to ensure they are happy and to ask if there is anything we can assist them with. In short we are very much a hands on company, with a friendly, approachable and conscientious team.

Four of Essex’s leading accountants reflect on why their company stands out

Nisar Ahmed

BUSINESS : Director, Ridgell & Guildway Chartered Management Accountants

WEBSITE : rg.accountants

Q Can you tell us a little bit about the history of your company?

A The practise has been trading since 2004, servicing the needs of local businesses and individuals. In 2020 I and my wife joined, developing our client base, and updating o ce systems to cloud-based – which certainly came to our aid during lockdown. In 2022 we merged with another firm based in Thaxted and rebranded as Ridgell & Guildway Chartered Management Accountants. We now have two Essex based o ces and a satellite in Southampton.

Q What area of accountancy do you specialise in?

A We provide services from compliance to value added. The compliance services are bookkeeping, payroll, annual accounts, self-employment, personal and corporate tax compliance, and planning. These are the core elements that keep a business functioning, preventing penalties and fines. The latter covers tactical and strategic services, designed to help businesses monitor, investigate,

measure, and evaluate both short and longer term aims and objectives, resulting with actionable plans.

Q Is there a case study that highlights what you do as a company?

A One of our clients owns several businesses in the hospitality industry. After developing a 5-year business plan we are now working with them to provide guidance and advice with regular meetings to keep on top of a changing and challenging sector. The business environment has been under stress over recent years, not least the hospitality industry.

Q What makes you the best in this area?

A I feel we have a great team - our two newest members came from a practice that was managed very di erently than ours and they have adapted well. How do we judge this? By the quality of work and the happiness of our team members – it pays to have a happy team that is willing to support each other and have great rapport with our clients. Obviously, any change to a client’s accountant can be of concern and we’ve had a busy year reaching out to reassure. However, I feel that if our team are happy, that will feed through and probably give more reassurance than our words could.

Maxym Powroznyk

BUSINESS : Corporate and Personal Tax Manager, Cooper Paul WEBSITE : cooperpaul.co.uk

Q Can you tell us a little bit about the history of your company?

A Cooper Paul are based in Loughton and have been serving the interests of businesses and individuals since 1965. Services we provide range from compliance requirements, such as the preparation of tax returns and accounts, to tax advisory work covering areas such as inheritance and capital gains tax.

Q What area of accountancy do you specialise in?

A I am both a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Advisor and therefore, aside from more straightforward accounting and tax matters, I often work on more complicated matters of taxation. Common examples of the latter include exit/ succession planning, inheritance

tax, trusts, and capital gains tax, particularly in relation to family homes, rental properties and owner managed businesses.

Q Is there a stand out case study?

A Recently, I advised a company with two director shareholders on the purchase of own shares where one of the directors was seeking to retire. This involved considerations as to the nature of payment for the shares, capital versus income treatment, subsequent application for clearance to HMRC and finally attending to matters of compliance after completion of the transaction. Another recent case involved reviewing a sizeable property portfolio, considering the benefits of incorporation and reliefs potentially available as to the transfer of the properties into a company.

Q In terms of your team, what makes you the best in this area?

A We take our time to understand what it is that our clients are trying to achieve. We then present the options available along with our views for them to discern as to which they deem preferable.


The Tendring Show

The 106th Tendring Show will be celebrating creativity in the countryside this month

This year’s Tendring Show will take place on Saturday 8July and will celebrate “Creativity in the Countryside” as its show theme. Last year’s show saw crowds of over 20,000 return to the much-loved one day event.

The Tendring Show was first held in 1899 and has become an important event in the local calendar and a unique opportunity to bring the rural and urban populations of North Essex and the surrounding area together.Organised by the non-profit Tendring Hundred Farmers’ Club, it maintains its strong agricultural heritage with large displays of agricultural machinery, livestock, and opportunities to buy food from local producers.

The 2023 President for Essex’s leading agricultural and family show is local businessman Steven Rose, managing director of Rose Builders. He has strong family and personal links to the show and the local farming community, and his father Bill was previously President in 2004.

Looking ahead to the show and his chosen theme for this year, Steven says: “Since childhood, I have been fascinated and inspired by creating, designing, and making things. There is so much creativity that goes on in the countryside that is just not seen or appreciated. This led me to want to ‘shine a light’ on some of the talent and creativity that goes on around us with this year’s theme.”

Will King, Chairman of the Tendring Hundred Farmers’ Club, adds: “Visitors can expect that special Tendring Show atmosphere that celebrates our agricultural heritage and the best of our local communities, including brilliant entertainment, plenty of shopping opportunities, livestock showing classes, big machinery, and small animal tents.”

While recognising the popularity of some

of the core features of the show, there will be plenty of new things to enjoy. Examples include new and returning show entertainment –Army exhibits, The Imps Motorcycle Display Team, the W2W BMX Display Team, and the popular Sheep Show. The Food Pavilion will feature a record number of exhibitors and Street Food area, celebrating regional food and local producers. The Art Show & Lifestyle area will welcome regular and new artists to exhibit their work. The Education Tent will showcase the work of over 20 local schools and institutions. Andmain ring displays include new vintage and modern farming machinery displays, the “Farming on the Move” agricultural machinery show, the fastmoving scurry, hound parade, vintage cars and finishing with a Grand Parade of Livestock.

Full details can be found at tendringshow.co.uk

114 ABSOLUTELY magazines
why everyone is talking about…

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The Tendring Show

pages 114-115

Maxym Powroznyk

page 113

Nisar Ahmed

page 113


page 112

All under ONE ROOF

pages 110-111


pages 108-110


pages 106-107


page 105


pages 103-104


pages 101-102

ROYAL reflections

page 99

Branching together

pages 97-98

History MAKER

pages 94-96

Eat, sleep, waves, REPEAT

pages 90-92


pages 88-89


pages 83-85


pages 81-82

Comfortable, High-Quality Mattresses and Beds

pages 78-80


pages 75-77


pages 70-73


pages 67-69

Above & BEYOND

pages 65-66


pages 63-64


pages 61, 63


pages 58-60

Grilled peaches,

pages 43-46


page 41

DAYS in the SUN

pages 36-40

for all the FAMILY

pages 32-33

Why we love… HARLOW

pages 28-31

Get to know… NICK STAAB

pages 25-27

5 MORE not to miss in Colchester

pages 23-24

375 MAKING years in the

pages 17-22


pages 12-14

LETTER Editor’s

page 11
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