Absolutely Essex October 2023

Page 1


On early starts, exercise and Epping


The county's best cycling spots


Five of the best new restaurants

Over 30 pages of inspiration and insight

Essex OCTOBER 2023 / £3.95


An exclusive collection of only thirty three 3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes.

From £795,000 | Station Road, Felsted, CM6 3HD

An exciting new development of just forty two 2, 3 & 4 bedroom luxury homes.

From £339,950 | Rayne Road, Braintree, CM7 2QQ



A small development of twenty one 3 & 4 bedroom homes in Kelvedon. Coggeshall Road, Kelvedon, CO5 9NU A collection of twenty five 3, 4 & 5 bedroom detached homes in Felsted. Clifford Smith Drive, Felsted, Essex, CM6 3UG
Exterior CGI depicts The Redwood, The Mulberry and The Juniper housetypes at Felsted Gate.
Navigating your financial horizon with
Services for Business, Specialist Sectors & Individuals – From Start-Up to Long-Term Success
expertise and care

At Cooper Paul our primary aim is to assist you in achieving both your business and personal financial goals. We not only take care of all your accounting and compliance needs, but o er the advice, support and experience needed to help you succeed. We o er a trustworthy and personal service, making it easier to address the financial challenges faced in today’s economic environment.

Let us help you to get your business o to a flying start or an alternative view if you are already trading.

info@cooperpaul.co.uk Abacus House, 14-18 Forest Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 1DX
020 8508 8214 •




WHY DR NYLA : Doctor Nyla is a skin specialist, trusted by TV personalities, well-known celebrity figures and some of Britain’s most familiar faces in the media industry. Founder and Medical Director of Doctor Nyla Medispa is a highly respected and much sought after cosmetic Dermatology GP. Dr Nyla is a winner of Best Cosmetic Clinic 2019 to 2020 and a nomination for Best Cosmetic Doctor 2021.  With the largest Exilis Elite skin tightening in the UK, alongside the 2nd largest CoolSculpting clinic in Europe. Dr Nyla is considered one of the top cosmetic doctors in the country. Having practised medicine for over 20 years and having personally delivered over 200,000 treatments with truly exceptional results, she has gained the admiration of the industry. Over her 20 years in medical aesthetics, she has transcended across the years to personally understand how to manage the menopause.

UK CLINIC OF THE YEAR 2019 TO 2020 SAFETY IN BEAUTY AWARDS doctornyla | 0162 552 3307 | 0800 009 6661 | www.doctornyla.com Dr Nyla aged 20, 40 & 60


The Transformation FaceliftTM is a bespoke treatment, which Dr Nyla has designed to treat many of the ageing affects the menopause can cause. Unique to the medispa group, this treatment, combines a variety of incredible anti ageing treatments to make you look and feel 10 years younger in the space of only six weeks! The next generation, multiplatform transformational facial offered exclusively at Dr Nyla. This treatment offers non-surgical skin tightening and lifting to treat all anti-ageing concerns –from textured, dull skin, to deep wrinkles and loss of laxity.

During menopause, lower levels of estrogen have a big impact on your skin. Less estrogen makes you prone to thinning, sagging, and wrinkling. Skin looses elasticity making open pores much more visible. Skin is also much less hydrated. Fortunately, you can relieve some of the skin-related effects of aging by taking care of your specific skin care needs using the Dr Nyla skincare collection.


The Creek is a multi award winning family run restaurant and bar owned by Terence and Caroline Howard and offering classical British dishes with a European influence using only the best locally sourced ingredients

3 course Set Menu

2 for 1 Cocktail Happy Hour 6pm - 7pm Wednesday – Friday Christmas / Festive Menus are now online




























For editorial enquiries please email: mark@zest-media.com

For advertising enquiries: please call 07862 004024 or email: celia@zest-media.com or please call 07861 994764 or email: claire@zest-media.com

Studio G06, Wenlock Studios, 50-52 Wharf Road, London N1 7EU; 020 7704 0588

Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

Follow Us On






Websites absolutely-essex.co.uk absolutely-westessex.co.uk

The Creek
Hill • Great Bentley • Colchester • Essex - CO7 8RE Tel: 01206 586435
01255 317950
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.
thecreekgreatbentley.co.uk Follow
Menus are now available
Restaurant & Bar
OCTOBER 2023 CULTURE 18 AGENDA The best October events to look forward to 20 BEN SHEPHARD Fighting fit with the TV presenting star 30 CYCLING IN ESSEX The best places to enjoy a ride FOOD & DRINK 36 TASTING NOTES The latest from the Essex food and drink scene 41 FIVE OF THE BEST... New foodie openings in Essex FASHION & BEAUTY 46 THE SHOOT Autumn looks at Barbour Billericay 51 JEWELLERY How flora and fauna inspire 56 BRETT MACDONALD The celebrated Essex hairdresser on opening a luxury London salon ABSOLUTELY HOME 66 INTERIORS NEWS New launches for the home 68 EDITH + LOU We meet founder Joanne Arthur to find out more about the ethical business 72 DESIGN Essex's most iconic hotels EDUCATION 109 TALKING HEAD Louis Taylor on what it means to take over at St Aubyn's 113 STOKE COLLEGE Why they are a good choice for sixth form ABSOLUTELY-ESSEX.CO.UK ABSOLUTELY-WESTESSEX.CO.UK The online guides to inspirational living and what's on in Essex ABSOLUTELY Contents ON THE COVER
Photo: David Oldham Hair: CULt. Creative Team Makeup: Elizabeth Hsieh
46 41 83 11 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Stylist: Amy Leonard (cult.london)

LETTER Editor’s


During my studies en-route to becoming a journalist, we had an opportunity to host our own morning show as part of a broadcast news segment. It was a great idea by those running my degree, shame half the group couldn't make the early start (including me). Any TV dreams evaporated there and then.

The early morning TV shows are big business, of course, and I often juggle between the BBC and ITV juggernauts when on the treadmill for my morning run. But when Essex boy Ben Shephard is on Good Morning Britain, I do tend to veer towards the latter as I have always been a fan of his approach to presenting (whether it's hard hitting news or a fun look at football).

This month I realised I had a fair bit in common with him, particularly our mutual appreciation for the world of fitness. Given how much he does, no idea how he makes those early morning calls –that's still something I struggle with even now...

Our pick of the best October events in Essex (p18)

Luxury Design

October issue highlights 2 Agenda

Inside some of Essex's finest looking hotels and B&Bs (p72) Absolutely Home The latest launches and must-have products for the home (p66) Ben Shephard The TV presenter on his latest fitness fix (p20)
Brett MacDonald On opening his new London hair salon (p56)
3 1
4 13 ABSOLUTELY magazines


10 things we Absolutely love



IKKS' pledge to stop using virgin polyester by 2025 is part of the brand's commitment to improving its carbon footprint in pursuit of real responsibility

in the fashion industry. ikks.com


Eberjey's pyjamas are offi cially the so est and most comfortable. We love this yellow set in jersey. eberjey.com


Anya Hindmarch has designed a delightfully dinky and highly collectible leather Carmex coin purse, perfect for storing your lip balm, £225. anyahindmarch.com


Zou Zou is a compact cross-body bag with two tassles for extra pizazz. It fits all of the essentials and is handcra ed by skilled European artisans using the fi nest nappa bubble lambskin. tissafontaneda.com

14 ABSOLUTELY magazines PICK

Brodie is a boundary-pushing luxury clothing brand. Originating in Yorkshire, from a long family lineage steeped in cashmere manufacturing, the focus is on a responsible supply chain. brodiecashmere.com


Chanel's new Codes Couleur limited edition Mirror, Brush Set and Nail Files have been created in the brand's bright nail polish, Le Vernis Colours. chanel.com


This Lemonade Ceramic vase brings an amazing pop of colour to any room and is perfect for both fresh and dried fl owers. thehappyblossoms.com


British jewellery brand Rachel Jackson celebrates life’s beautiful moments by creating timeless personalised jewellery that is rich with symbolism. From humble beginnings on a market stall in Spitalfi elds, the brand is now sold in Selfridges and Liberty. racheljacksonlondon.com


We love this fun and cheerful yellow mirror with its statement wavy edge. Use on its own to brighten up a wall, or style with prints and other mirrors. roseandgrey.co.uk


Reina Olga is a female-led luxury swimwear brand using mostly recyled fabrics, biodegradable fabrics and small runs. reinaolga.com

15 ABSOLUTELY magazines

Have you visited your local Haveyouvisitedyourlocal rboretum? Arboretum?




The 59th Essex Open will open on Saturday 7 October at Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend. The event is open to any artist, over the age of 16 living or working in Essex (including those London boroughs formerly part of Essex). Works you can expect to see will include paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture (including ceramics). southendmuseums.co.uk

Agenda 18 • Ben Shephard 20 • Essex Cycling 30
17 ABSOLUTELY magazines

The Agenda



Simon Reeve

8 October


Simon Reeve - To The Ends of the Earth follows his 72-date sell-out tour An Audience With Simon Reeve, which ran from 2018-2020. With behind-the-scenes footage and stunning imagery, Simon will share surprising and thrilling stories, deeper thoughts and hearty laughs. Simon’s travels have taken him to more than 130 countries, across jungles, deserts, mountains and oceans, and to some of the most beautiful, dangerous and remote regions of the world. southendtheatres.org.uk

FAMILY Science Festival

21-22 October


The Royal Society of Chemistry Essex Section are looking forward to attending the Chelmsford Science Festival family fun day, bringing with them a selection of chemistry themed hands on activities for all the family. These will include Periodic table crafts, electrolysis microscaled, plus dazzling experiments right before your eyes. aru.ac.uk

Latent Spaces


London’s acclaimed and newest experiential art hub, Illusionaries, has announced its latest exhibition, Latent Spaces. Members of the public will step into a unique multisensory world exclusively created by Illusionaries, to experience the latest immersive audio-visual art at the Canary Wharf venue, seeing a dazzling fusion of art and technology.


ABSOLUTELY magazines



22 October


The award-winning Tailenders podcast are heading on their biggest live tour to date - The Inaugural (Annual) Farewell Tour. Broadcaster Greg James, musician Felix White and England's greatest cricketer Jimmy Anderson will take their alternative (and sometimes musical) look at cricket on the road across the UK this autumn. Expect a night of cricket, laughs and surprises. southendtheatres.org.uk

This Month’s Must See

THEATRE Beautiful Thing

Until 7 October


Teenage boys Ste and Jamie are neighbours on a South London estate. Jamie is more knowledgeable about The Sound of Music than football, while classmate Ste never misses a sports day. Both are being bullied, Jamie at school and Ste at home by his violent father and brother. One night, when things get too much, Ste seeks refuge in Jamie's flat and, sharing a bed, the boys strike up a new relationship. Together they come to terms with their sexuality and explore their feelings alongside their Mama Cass loving, rebellious friend Leah. stratfordeast.com


Say hello to the best of Oktoberfest in Essex


6-7 October

The world famous Oktoberfest returns to Chelmsford for the sixth time. The event at Central Park will feature VIP tables with waitress service, two pint steins of beer, live oompah bands, DJs, fancy dress and a whole host of fun, games and frolics. oktoberfestessex.co.uk

Gyles Brandreth


He’s back – and unstoppable. Gyles

Brandreth can’t stop talking. The jumperloving This Morning and Just A Minute star, has been babbling since he was a baby, and in his hilarious new one-man show the award-winning raconteur is trying to work out why. He’s won the Audience Award for Most Popular Show on the Fringe, multiple 5-star reviews and every time he’s in Edinburgh his shows sell out. colchester-events.co.uk


20-21 October

The most important date of Germany's cultural calendar arrives back at Priory Park in Southend. Taking place inside what is set to be one of Europe’s largest bier tents for a Bavarian style festival, this promises to be one of the biggest shindigs in Southend this year. oktoberfestsouthend.co.uk


27-28 October

Still have room for more Bavarian celebrations? Taking place inside a huge tent, this Bavarian style festival in Lower Castle Park includes a showcase of some of the best and authentic oompah bands from around the world across both days. Expect a large selection of traditional German foods, plus those all important steins. oktoberfestcolchester.co.uk


Need for SPEED

Ben Shephard talks to Absolutely about his Epping upbringing, West Ham’s moment in the sun and early morning wake up calls

Interviewing Ben Shephard is a strange experience for Absolutely. This wonderfully a able TV presenter has been a steady, comforting constant on our TV screens for as long as we can remember. Being an original member of The X Factor team – when it was good – meant primetime exposure, but for us his double act with Chris Kamara on Goals on Sunday was always a staple of long, hungover days in front of the box.

The credits have kept coming. He has taken the lead on Safebreakers (Sky 1), The Krypton Factor (BBC1), Behind the Magic of Harry Potter (ITV1), 1 Vs 100 (BBC1), One Night Only with... Rod Stewart (ITV1) and also with Phil Collins, and today we enjoy watching him on the everpopular quiz show Tipping Point and, come the weekends, presenting ITV's hit Saturday night show Ninja Warrior alongside Rochelle Humes and that man, Chris Kamara, again.

Then, of course, there is ITV’s behemoth, Good Morning Britain. Given Apple TV’s hit The Morning Show has returned, the first question has to be: are there any similarities? “Ha ha,” he laughs. “Well, none of my colleagues have ever brought me a motorbike for my birthday,

sadly [Steve Carell’s character Mitch Kessler saw his 50th birthday marked by being gifted a Ducati motorcycle in the studio]! But to be fair, I’m happier with a slice of cake and a pint anyway, which is how things mostly work out.”

How does he cope with those early morning wake up calls? “It definitely helps me to keep fit. I need less sleep and can still vaguely function and stay alert. There is also an amazing team who make sure we are fully prepared and briefed before we go on air – they are the unsung heroes and deserve a medal for putting up with us!”

Fitness is, in fact, why we are talking in the first place. He is the ambassador of Speedflex, high-intensity, low-impact HIIT training that takes place in a group class. “From the first time I tried Speedflex, I loved it. The intensity of the training, the fact you can train in groups of mixed ages, abilities, mobilities and fitness levels, as well as the energy in the class – it is so infectious. For me, it really was love at first lift,” Ben smiles.

“There is a twist due to its unique technology. The machine reacts to the force you exert into it. The harder you push, the harder it makes you work – its genius is that the way the machine works means you train concentrically, so always shortening the muscle, so you can

20 ABSOLUTELY magazines
ABSOLUTELY magazines 21
“For me, Speedflex really was love at first lift”

smash a workout and not feel any pain the next day, so you can go again. That’s why we call it ‘HIIT without the Hurt’.

“I’ve never trained with anything like it,” he adds. “Firstly, because you don’t get that dreaded post-workout DOMS, it means you can keep coming back for more sessions. I also love the sense of community and energy in the class; you feed o everybody else’s hard work. It’s e cient, too – and we’re all time-poor, so to find a way you can train intensively, in a way you like, that isn’t going to get in the way of anything else, is priceless.”

Everyone will have a chance to experience its gains, and potentially win a trophy at the end of it, with a tournament that will culminate in a grand final in November, thanks to a workout run by Everyone Active, called FORTIS, Powered by Speedflex. “Last year we ran the first ever FORTIS Championships and with incredible success, so we’re really excited it's going again for the second year and we can’t wait to welcome more locals into the classes,” Ben explains.

“FORTIS, powered by Speedflex is a 30-minute inclusive workout, based around Speedflex’s unique personalised resistance concept, that allows every person to train at their own level.

“The championship consists of teams of two, competing against others from across the country, completing a series of high-energy,

low-impact challenges.

Contestants will make their way up the leaderboard by collecting points awarded for time spent exercising in each individual’s personal heart rate zone. In this way, e ort and tactics become far more important than fitness levels, making the FORTIS Championships a challenge that anyone can win. We want as many people as possible to get access to Speedflex so a national event to spread the word is really exciting.”

It will also mean another return to our county for the man born and bred in Epping.

“I was home recently and it was great being back,” he says on Epping. “I’ve got such a ection for my time growing up there, mum and dad and all their friends are all still there and it’s without doubt shaped who I am today.

“I was in Chelmsford recently opening the new Ninja Warrior Adventure Park, which is awesome,” he adds. “I love going back to Woodford Rugby Club where I spent most of my formative years and catching up with all our friends there. Visiting the Theydon Bois Balti house, which we’ve been going to for years as a family, is always a highlight too!”

Heading east, too, means a trip to see his

beloved West Ham play, fresh from winning their first trophy since 1980 when they won the Europa Conference League back in June. “Literally the greatest moment ever,” Ben grins. There’s another big tournament on the horizon where Ben will be getting stuck in. “I’m excited for the Rugby World Cup. I'm working with England Rugby Travel, so I’ll be in Paris for the semi-finals and final. It would be amazing if England can get things together and make it that far, you never know it might happen – but that could be the eternal optimist in me!”

Given all of this screen work, we have to ask: how does he stay in shape? “I have to be organised and make time. Without it I really struggle mentally so it’s a priority and makes everything else more manageable,” he says. “I’m never happier than when I’m doing something active - whatever, wherever, preferably with a few others and having a laugh sweating! I love being active with my kids now, but I also love HIIT workouts like Speedflex but also love calisthenics, cardio… honestly, I’ve not found any fitness I’ve not enjoyed.” The secret to his success is out.


Sign up your team of two via the Everyone Active App. Booking opens on 16 October 2023. Single participants are also encouraged to sign up to be matched with a compatible challenge partner. The challenge is open to both Everyone Active and non-Everyone Active members and is completely free of charge

22 ABSOLUTELY magazines

Get to know…



Q You launched your own business a decade ago. What have been some of your stand out highlights during this time?

A Goodness there have been so many! I think blagging my way into a PR agency whose owner had worked with the likes of Simon Cowell, Mariah Carey and Samuel L Jackson was a dream come true. While I worked there we had Meghan Markle (pre-Harry) and Richard Branson on the books. I didn’t work on either account, but it makes a good conversation piece. Working with the Damilola Taylor Trust, being responsible for strategy around the inaugural memorial event. Getting to work with people I’ve watched on TV; Apprentice contestants such as Khadija Kalifa, Alex Murphy from DOI, getting Lizzy Cundy on the panel of my client’s event. Having clients go viral in the press. One because of a commentary on the Cambridge’s parenting and another because of her unusual attitude to dating and the number of women she had helped get engaged. One of my most surreal moments has to have been sitting on a Zoom call with Rio Ferdinand to discuss a Damilola Taylor project. Then of course there is securing interviews and a performance gig for my childhood hero Heather Small.

Q This interview will appear in the October issue, when you are looking to host a dinner in aid of FOOTBALL4iMPACT. What’s that all about?

A FOOTBALL4iMPACT is a programme set up by my colleague, Paula Powell, to bring together young people from di erent cultures and socio-economic backgrounds through their common love of football. The program is an exchange for young people from inner-city London and Switzerland

24 ABSOLUTELY magazines

with a view to show young people a di erent way of life, foster relationships and improve outcomes of young people aged 16–18-yearsold in some of the poorest London boroughs. A number of high-profile foundations have come together to help make the project a success including The Paul Canoville Foundation, The Rio Ferdinand Foundation, Kicko @3 and mental health charities.

This month Paula and I will be hosting a private dinner at the Langham, London as a collaboration between FOOTBALL4iMPACT and my new private membership club Proximity LUXX. The aim is to raise funds for

an exchange programme for young female football players. We will invite our celeb female friends and contacts, but also open the doors to women who wouldn’t ordinarily get the chance to hang out with TV celebs and sports stars. I’m really looking forward to it.

Q You live in Billericay, where are your favourite places to visit in the area?

A In my opinion Billericay is one of the best places to live for so many reasons. I didn’t even know it existed before we started looking for somewhere within commuter distance of London and Kent. Stock is so picturesque and remote. My favourite local is French Martini, they play good music and the people are always up for a good time. Sheesh as a top end venue to dine at and have drinks. The vibe is cool, it’s good for celeb spotting and the food and cocktails are pretty good. Toby Carvery Basildon. I’m a Northerner and nothing beats a good roast. When I don’t feel like doing a Sunday dinner, it’s a great shout with decent sized Yorkshires and no restriction on roast potatoes. One of my favourite shops is a N. Shelly on Billericay High Street. It’s been run by the same family for over 100 years. The service in there is second to none. The assistants are knowledgeable and are happy to spend time helping you find exactly the right outfit. It’s rare to receive that level of service these days.

Q What’s on the horizon for you?

A I’ve just launched my private membership club for networking and have recently set up a talent management division of my PR agency. I also have plans to launch a podcast about fame. I plan to host some international events. I haven’t left the country since 2019 so plan to accrue some air miles. On the list is Grenada, where my family is from, Dubai, Atlanta, New Orleans and hopefully California.

Find out more about Brenda and her work at brendagabriel.co.uk

ABSOLUTELY magazines 25
“In my opinion, Billericay is one of the best places to live”

A Sofa For Every Space

Sit back, snuggle up and sink into the extraordinary comfort of Bridgman’s new premium sofa collections. From the softness of each cushion to the nish of every fabric, you'll never nd furniture quite like it.

Transform your home just in time for Christmas when you shop your perfect sofa today. Visit our En eld Showroom, call 020 8443 0880 or head to bridgman.co.uk to indulge in luxurious living.



Why Markshall Estate is the place to be enjoy autumn to the full

Autumn is a magical time of year: the burnt ambers, fiery reds and golden yellows sweep across our trees, creating a kaleidoscope of autumn colours. The leaves patiently wait for their time to descend to the woodland floor, where their crisp and crunchy form creates the perfect hiding spot for an array of wildlife.

There aren’t many places in the county or even the UK where you can roam around a world of autumn colour all in one place.

The Essex Arboretum found at Markshall Estate is home to trees and plants from every temperate area – allowing visitors to explore autumn colours across several geographic zones all in one visit.

Visitors begin their journey in the Europe geographic zone, an area designed to resemble the natural Essex countryside. The first autumn star to be seen is the weeping copper beech. In the autumn months this tree is deep purple in colour and is nicknamed the witches hat for its shape. A little further along the path, the real European zone showstopper can be found. The Raywood Ash, which stands tall by the Coach House Flower Garden, turns a fiery red in the autumn months. Another sight not to be missed is the 800-year-old Honywood Oak during the autumn months, watching the reddish-brown leaves fall to the ground.

Over in the Asia geographic zone amazing acers and magnificent maples are some of the best of the autumn colour to be found. Acer japonicum is a particular favourite with its striking red foliage, situated by the Dragon Pond, early in the season.

Also in the Asia zone, visitors can take a crisp stroll through Birkett Long Millennium Walk, which was designed by former trustee Peter Thurman. The planting provides ample autumn colour that continues into the winter months. But for the team at Markshall, the must-see area in the autumn months is the North America geographic zone. With plenty of liquidambars, sumacs and sugar maples creating unmissable displays of colours throughout the season, this area leaves visitors feeling as though they are far away from rural Essex. With 200-acres of autumn colour to discover at Markshall, there really is nowhere better to see an autumn colour spectacular.


ABSOLUTELY magazines 27
“It is home to trees and plants from every temperate area”

In a milestone year for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) marking 25 years of saving lives, colleagues and friends have paid tribute to CEO, Jane Gurney, as she reaches 20 years of loyal service with the charity.

At a special event held at Earls Colne Business Park, members of the EHAAT ‘family’ joined Jane in celebrating not only her contribution to the charity, but also to the wider air ambulance sector nationally. As one of the longest-serving CEOs of a UK air ambulance, she was also a Director for the Association of Air Ambulances from 2013 to 2019, and from 2016 to 2020, she was a Trustee on AAUK’s Board, which supports 21 air ambulances around the country. A very special moment for Jane professionally was when she received an honorary degree from the University of Essex last year, in recognition of her dedication to expand and improve pre-hospital care for those in need.

Jane’s career with EHAAT started in 2003, when she joined the ‘driven and enthusiastic’


The CEO of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance marks 20 years of loyal service to life saving charity

small team that were running Essex Air Ambulance (EAA) out of a small side room at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford. Jane says: “I remember waiting in EAA’s reception and overhearing the paramedics talking about this ‘flying ambulance’. I thought it was just absolutely amazing and sounded so inspirational. I quickly knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Over the following years Jane progressed into management and was appointed as CEO in 2009. She has led the team and the charity through many milestones, which have included the launch of Herts Air Ambulance in 2007 and then its amalgamation with EAA to form Essex & Herts Air Ambulance; the establishment of its two dedicated airbases and visitor centres at Earls Colne in 2011, and North Weald in 2021; the purchase of the charity’s first wholly owned AW169 helicopter in 2017, and the charity achieving an ‘outstanding overall’ rating by the Care Quality Commission in 2022. Another immensely proud moment was hosting a visit

by the former Earl and Countess of Wessex, Edward and Sophie, to EHAAT’s North Weald airbase. During Jane’s tenure, the charity has also taken massive steps forward in achieving its aim to provide the highest possible standards of pre-hospital clinical care. “We have come a long way since our story began, and from our airbases at Earls Colne and North Weald, today we serve the communities of Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas,” Jane says proudly. “We have a Donation Centre in Stevenage and nine charity shops located in the very heart of our local communities. It has been a true privilege to lead Essex & Herts Air Ambulance through so many milestones over the years, and to work alongside our amazing supporters, our dedicated sta and volunteers and our highly skilled critical care teams. However, it goes without saying our patients and their families are the ones who truly inspire me and my team.”

To find out more visit ehaat.org

ABSOLUTELY magazines 28

Tax-free PA% / AER%*

If 3 or less withdrawals per calendar year


A great way to save, with easy access to your money.

•Variable rate savings account

•Interest calculated daily and added annually

•Minimum balance £1 up to £250,000

•Accounts can only be opened online, in branch or by post

•Maximum investment limit for the tax year

/ AER%*

View product information at harpendenbs.co.uk/tripleisa Rate current at time of publishing *The gross rate (PA) is the rate before deducting tax at the rate applicable to savings income. The annual equivalent rate (AER) is a notional rate which illustrates what the gross interest rate would be if the interest was paid and added to the account annually. Harpenden Building Society is a member of the Building Societies Association. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm reference number: 157260. Our branches: Harpenden | Radlett | Tring | Leighton Buzzard Scan for product information

4 variable We our community
4 or more withdrawals
calendar year
Triple Access Cash ISA Account
Tax-free PA%
1.6 variable

Wheely GOOD

Having steadily risen in popularity before the pandemic, e-bike sales over the last few years have rocketed across Europe. Industry experts have predicted that this growth will continue and the UK has also witnessed this upward trend.

According to research, substituting a bike or trike over a petrol vehicle just once a day reduces the average person’s carbon emissions by 67%, but if saving the planet isn’t enough to turn your head, tricycles are also a great value investment and fantastic way to explore the great outdoors.

Tricycles o er much more stability than the traditional two wheels, and provide another option to those who are unsure about cycling or lacking confidence. This might include elderly people or those who struggle with balance, co-ordination or customers

30 ABSOLUTELY magazines
The managing director at Jorvik Tricycles picks out his favourite cycling routes across Essex

that simply enjoy the benefits of being able to cycle safely with extra bags and luggage.

Electric tricycles are really versatile – they are road legal at 250W so you can take them through the city and along country roads. Jorvik Tricycles has a huge range available, from agile tricycles best for the city right through to mountain trikes that can take on the countryside and coast. Each charge will usually get you about 35 miles, which is more than enough for a day out, and the benefit of a tricycle is that you have more space to carry cargo. No need to pack light for the full day!

As the industry grows and consumers look for new and exciting routes to explore, here are some of the best cycling routes across Essex. With a relatively flat landscape, quiet country lanes, coastal paths, canal towpaths and woodland trails, Essex is the perfect county to explore on three wheels.


Where: Pier Hill, Southend-on-Sea

Distance: 6.1 miles/10 kilometres

The picturesque seaside town of Southend is a great place to visit for a day of cycling and exploring. The seafront cycling route located between Chalkwell beach and Shoebury is ideal for children and those new to cycling or with limited mobility as the route is safely segregated from tra c. The 10 kilometre route can be joined at several easily accessible spots along the route and one section goes directly through the centre of Southend and city beach where you can cycle along the promenade.

Cycle and picnic on the beach in style and invest in a Jorvik Tricycle dutch style front wicker basket, perfect for adventurers to carry bags, pets and a beach picnic.


Where: Hanningfield Reservoir, Chelmsford

Distance: 8.5 miles/13.8 kilometres

The Hanningfield Reservoir loop o ers a gorgeous bike ride for any fitness level. Providing panoramic views over the 870 acre reservoir, the reservoir is surrounded by mature woodland, which has proved a popular spot for bats and is filled with bluebells throughout spring.

Mainly paved surfaces and lots of local cafes and pubs, it’s a great spot for a day trip cycling on a foldable Jorvik Tricycles JET-E electric tricycle. All the benefits of an e-bike with the stability of three wheels, the JET-E is perfect for city cycling and exploring. Unleash electrifying on-road performance as you conquer hills, traverse grassy fields, and e ortlessly cover miles with ease. With pedal assist options, you can choose your level of assistance and ride confidently.

“The picturesque Southend is a great place to visit for a day of cycling”

Enhance your home for years to come with energy-efficient doors and windows

By updating your doors and windows you can add value to your home and reduce heat loss, ensuring you are warm and comfortable – now and in the future. As a family-run company, at Hall Brothers we have more than 50 years’ experience of creating bespoke high quality doors and windows with excellent thermal efficiency that complement the style of your home – whether it’s a period property or a contemporary design.

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



Where: Hadleigh, Benfleet SS7 2PP

Distance: Multiple distances

For those cyclists wanting to try some harder trail and mountain biking routes, Hadleigh Country Park is home to the London 2012 Olympic mountain biking route. Jorvik Tricycles recently launched a new range of mountain tricycles, the new JMT-11 and JMT-13 boast all the benefits of an e-bike with the stability of three wheels. Thanks to wide tyres, ground clearance and strong front suspension, a mountain trike is perfect for conquering grassy fields and eating up the miles on muddy trails with ease.


Where: Holyfield, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 2EF

Distance: Multiple distances

Stretching over 26 miles, the River Lee Country Park around Waltham Abbey and Roydon has lots to explore whether you’re on foot or by bike. The 1,000 acre park has several pathways ideal for walking and cycling, with the river and canal passing through the park filled with waterways, lakes, open grassland and woodland areas to explore. The park has a range of wildlife, history and heritage, and is a great spot for a family adventure.

The valley boasts several di erent cycling routes, including the 12-mile long Fishers Green Foray. One of the longest routes in the valley with lots of regular points to stop or ideal for those using an electric tricycle.


Where: The Flitch Way, Flitch Way, Rayne, Braintree

Distance: 8 miles/13 kilometres

Passing through 15 miles of Essex countryside, this route takes you along the former Bishop’s Stortford to Braintree railway line in the heart of rural Essex. The Braintree to Bishop’s Stortford line, which was closed in 1972, is now a beautiful country park, with bountiful wildlife and dotted with

attractive Victorian old stations. Perfect for a leisurely cycle with the whole family, a few miles in you’ll reach the old Rayne Station, once one of the busiest stations on the line and now a popular cafe and picnic spot. The Flitch Way has several easy detour options where you can hop o your bike to explore lakes, ponds and woodland of the Great Notley Country Park.

For more information, visit jorviktricycles.com

“It is a beautiful country park, with bountiful wildlife”
ABSOLUTELY magazines




Pidgin - the unassuming neighbourhood restaurant in East London with newly appointed head chef Naz Hassan at the helm - offers a weekly-changing tasting menu. Bangladesh-born Naz brings 15 years' experience working in the kitchens at some of London’s most celebrated restaurants. His dishes at Pidgin will offer refined, contemporary European cooking with East and South Asian accents. pidginlondon.com

Food News 36 • Essex Openings 41
35 ABSOLUTELY magazines



Wine recommendations for the month

‘Les Fruits Sauvages’ Grenache Rosé 2021, France  £9.99

The grapes for this wine come from two terroirs: the Hérault plain which lends richness and roundness and the Aude area which gives character and freshness. Aromas of wild strawberry and raspberry enhanced by mineral notes. Very fresh and round on the palate.

‘Les Fruits Sauvages’ Malbec 2020/21, Languedoc  £10.99



Essex's food news and most exciting openings this month

Ormarine Picpoul de Pinet  £10.75

The grapes, with their aromas and flavours of tangy red berries, lend finesse and freshness to the wine. Ruby colour enhanced with red highlights. Aromas of liquorice and both red and black fruits, with spicy notes. The vines of the Ormarine cellar overlook the Etang de Thau, a Natura 2000 classified area, and the Mediterranean Sea, which act as a thermal regulator and guarantee the freshness of the wine and the characteristic saline notes.

Available at majestic.co.uk

Going swimmingly

Restaurateur Roberto Costa, known for his much-loved restaurant group, Macellaio RC, has now opened the doors to Fish Game, located in Canary Wharf. True to its name, Fish Game puts ultraseasonal, sustainable British ingredients centre stage, showcased by a pared-back seasonal changing menu of the UK’s best game and fish. Monkfish from Cornwall, langoustines from Isle of Skye, game meat from Windsor Park and mutton from Yorkshire all take centre stage.


36 ABSOLUTELY magazines

In the family

The Creek is a family run business in the truest sense, with the owners Terence and Caroline Howard’s daughter Gabrielle, 20, having now gained 18 months’ experience working alongside her dad in the kitchen. Gabrielle has future ambitions to join the Essex police force, but for now is enjoying getting positive feedback from diners regarding the food she helps create.



Three Essex hotspots to mark UK Co ee Week this week




Great tasting coffee is at the heart of what they do at the Bakehouse in Maldon. In fact they love coffee so much that they have created their very own artisan 'Bakehouse Barista' blend – smooth, aromatic and locally roasted in Writtle. bakehousecoffeeshop.co.uk

It’s never too early to prepare for Christmas… Talbooth Restaurant takes on a magical atmosphere in December for the run-up to Christmas, with special menus, rooms for private dining and a special stay at Talbooth House & Spa. Their Christmas Gourmet Menu is a delicious fivecourse menu, available every evening from 1-23 December. milsomhotels.com

Feeling sky high


As the nights draw in, enjoy a taste of autumn at Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate. Incorporating seasonal ingredients, harvested from its very own kitchen garden, the hotel’s AA Rosette restaurant, Garden Room, will be serving up the very best of British produce, including butternut squash risotto and roasted celeriac wellington. There are also delicious new treats on the afternoon tea menu. downhall.co.uk


The traditional family grocers and coffee roasters in the heart of Colchester celebrated their 85th anniversary in 2021. They are still thriving in their Crouch Street store, featuring a fab deli counter plus top of the range coffee. guntons.co.uk




Driink was founded in 2018 by tattoo artists Jason Butcher and Lianne Moule with the mission of bringing speciality coffee to Chelmsford. In 2019 Joel Rivers, head of coffee, joined the crew. One for top notch speciality coffee. driinkcoffeeclub.co.uk

Join Surya across their Essex hotels throughout October and enjoy two courses for £15. Their chefs have put together menus full of classics for you to enjoy when you dine Monday-Friday. Whether you’re visiting The George, Colchester, The Mill Hotel, Sudbury or the Kingscli , Holland on Sea, they will have a menu for everyone. suryahotels.co.uk

ABSOLUTELY magazines




What makes Balblair so exceptional is how its whisky is produced. From sourcing its water from the nearby Allt Dearg burn, to the meticulous cask selection policy meaning only the fi nest handselected casks are used, Balblair has its own distinctive qualities. balblair.com



Lagavulin is the site of the fi rst legal distillery on the Isle of Islay where with time, this deep and intense 16-year-old whisky can be aged to perfection. Stored in oak casks this single malt has a sweet, peat smoke and seaweed fl avour, followed by wood and salt touches. farrar-tanner.co.uk



Anglo-Saxon Museum and Distillery, Ad Gefrin has launched its inaugural whisky blend. Tácnbora features Scottish and Irish whiskies with notes of honey, vanilla, candied citrus peel and spices. adgefrin.co.uk



Renowned for pushing boundaries, the Scotch whiskymakers’ unique creations are blended to entice the senses. From light, delicate and elegant to big, smoky, and peaty, there’s a serve for all whisky-lovers. compassboxwhisky.com



Scottish distiller Eden Mill has launched three limited edition single malt whiskies, matured in the fi nest rum, port and madeira casks, selected for their distinct and fl avourful characteristics. edenmill.com

1 3 4 5 1 2 3 2 4 5 FOOD & DRINK • WHISKY


A popular Essex food blogger picks out a quintet of new launches to whet the appetite


Situated around the corner from Brentwood train station, this hot new restaurant serves up the best sushi and seafood in town. Its stunning interior attracts local commuters for dinner and cocktails as it is just a stone’s throw away from the main train line. Mirroring the quality of their second restaurant in Soho, Zebrano is quickly becoming an Essex favourite with its winning cocktails and sparkly nightlife. If seafood isn’t your thing there’s room on the menu for other dishes such as steak, cheeseburgers, chicken, and lamb. Voted ‘Diners’ Choice Winner’ in 2023, Zebrano also features a dog-friendly outdoors terrace for when the sun is shining. Every Friday and Saturday night, this lively restaurant boasts about its late closing time (open until 2am). If you’re looking for a new restaurant to try in Essex that your taste buds will enjoy, give Zebrano a go.


If you’re after a takeaway with a twist, then you’re going to love newly opened Kaani Kaana in Chelmsford. Focusing on the sheer quality of the ingredients and recipes, this Indian

ABSOLUTELY magazines 41
www.milsomhotels.com TALBOOTH HOUSE & S PA Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6HN Tel: 01206 322367 MILSOMS Dedham, Colchester, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6HW Tel: 01206 322795 THE PIER The Quay, Harwich, Essex CO12 3HH Tel: 01255 241212 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

takeaway brings more to your table than just your average local delivery. Its dark green and gold interior stands out amongst other shops along the high street, and attracts a crowd at the weekend. Kaani Kaana o ers a dish to satisfy every palette, they even o er a vegan menu. If you’re wanting to try something above and beyond your local Indian takeaway, give Kaani Kaana a try and see for yourself.


It is essential that you visit the newly installed Pali Kitchen, a lunch spot located in Lakeside’s food court. Bursting with vibrant flavours, this restaurant o ers everything you need for a quick shopping break. Rice bowls, wraps, samosas, chicken bites – you name it, they have it! Served up fresh by someone behind the counter, you are able to mix and match to your heart’s content (and try new flavours). Paired with a refreshing drink, I’d say this is the perfect meal to keep you on your toes.


Taking over from Bourgee’s Steak and Lobster restaurant in Lakeside, Busaba

makes a fantastic entrance serving delicious Thai dishes. The popular venue has welcomed many guests after opening earlier this year. Alongside their lunch menu, Busuba have also just recently launched their new breakfast menu with dishes like the Bangkok Breakfast with home-made lemongrass and garlic pork sausages, the crispy grilled pork belly BLT, and the delicious Pandan Pancakes with Thai glazed pecans. Perfect for catch-ups with friends and family, will you be giving Busaba a try this year?


This brand new restaurant has finally come to life after a £20,000 renovation by a local brother and sister from Clacton. Located on Marine West Parade, this American diner-style restaurant has been a roaring success since they first opened their doors a couple of months back in July. Their new menus consist of a variety of meat and salad dishes, burgers, hot dogs and desserts, as well as a kids’ menu.

“At Pali Kitchen, you are able to mix and match to your heart's content – and try new flavours”





The timeless and versatile blue jean has been reinvented by Maria Grazia Chiuri in a series of denim pants. Named Dior 8, in homage to the founding couturier’s lucky number, these exceptional creations come in bootcut, flared, wideleg, boyfriend or cargo styles, as well as a new straight shape. dior.com

The Shoot 46 • Jewellery 51
ABSOLUTELY magazines 45

SHAPE of things to come

The Edit by Barbour –found at their Billericay store – offers a blend of nostalgia and original designs with a futuredriven aesthetic

STEP OUT IN STYLE AT ERNEST DOE Ulting, Maldon, CM9 6QH Tel:01245 380311 Other Essex branches: Rochford, Fyfield, Braintree, Colchester View our full range online at ernestdoeshop.com

Magic Garden

Dreamlike pieces inspired by enchanted flora and fauna


Turks and Caicos Earrings, £129.99 crystalhazejewelry.com


18K Yellow Gold, Turquoise, and Tiger's Eye Mushroom Charm, £1,300 selfridges.com


18K Yellow Gold, Aquamarine, and Agate Flower Earrings, £7,798 guitam-jewelry.com


Sunlight Ring 18K Rose Gold with Brilliant Cut Diamonds and Pink Sapphires, £9,500 piaget.com


14K Yellow Gold and Gem Stone Rainbow Wildflower Chain, £1,258 lionheartjewelry.com


18K Yellow Gold, Diamond, and Pastel Sapphire Butterfly Earrings, £5,905 suzannekalan.com


18K Yellow Gold, Sapphire, Crystal Quartz, and Natural Clover Necklace, £7,700 emilypwheeler.com


18K Gold, Diamond, and Double Ethiopian Opal Pavé Ring, £5,504 akailareid.com


One of a Kind 18K Gold, Aquamarine, and Opal Flower Necklace, Price Upon Request ireneneuwirth.com

W W W . V I E - A E S T H E T I C S . C O M WWW.VIE-AESTHETICS.COM Celebrating10YearsofExcellenceinHealthandAesthetics 02033438500 V I E A E S T H E T I C S H A R L E Y S T R E E T VIEAESTHETICSHARLEYSTREET 2HarleyStreet, Marylebone, London, W1G9PA 02071646140 V I E A E S T H E T I C S H O L B O R N VIEAESTHETICSHOLBORN 95Gray'sInnRoad Holborn, London, WC1X8TX V I E A E S T H E T I C S E S S E X VIEAESTHETICSESSEX 78LondonHill Rayleigh, Essex, SS67HP 01268778615 DrIoannisLiakas,MedicalDirector VickyGrammatikopoulou,CEO OURMISSION ISTOHELPYOU THRIVE! MedicalMenopauseServices FemaleIntimateRejuvenation MedicalWeightManagement HairlossTreatments ThoroughandHolisticConsultations ComprehensiveHormone&BloodTests AntiageingAestheticTreatmentsforFace&Body Lifestyleadvice,productsandtreatments CQCregulatedMedicalPro tocols IVDrips,Boosters,Supplements Follow-upCare&Monitoring PersonalisedTreatmentPlans V O T E D VOTED B E S T A E S T H E T I C BESTAESTHETIC C L I N I C G L O B A L L Y CLINICGLOBALLY (( M Y F A C E M Y B O D Y MYFACEMYBODY A W A R D S 2 0 2 0 / 2 1 AWARDS2020/21)) Scantofind outmore



This hydrating, skin barrier strengthening cleanser is packed full of ceramides and pre and post-biotics. Avocado oil helps to break down make-up, whilst also nourishing the skin, £25. cultbeauty.co.uk

56 • Beauty Products 61 • Fitness Notes 63
53 ABSOLUTELY magazines

Q&A CUT above

Essex’s Brett MacDonald on staying at the top of the hairdressing game for over two decades and why now is the right time to go it alone

Twice nominated Australian hairdresser of the year, and winner of the coveted Australian new creative force award, Brett MacDonald has thrived as a teacher, designer, and visionary within the world of hair styling for more than two decades. In that time he studied with Vidal Sassoon, helped establish British hairdressing franchise Mahogany in Australia, and acted as UK creative director for the prestigious Saco schools and salon. His wide-reaching responsibilities have covered everything from brand guardianship to trend curation and day-to-day operational management. Brett travels extensively to inspire and train hairdressers around the world – demonstrating his technical ability and imparting his enthusiasm for beauty to everyone he encounters. His lasting dream has been the creation of a cutting edge salon, a space which combines the di erent schools of style into an inclusive new approach to hairdressing – CULt. is the realisation of that dream. Here the Essex local explains the thinking behind it and just how much work has gone into its creation.

Q What’s the latest with your new salon, opening in October?

A Today we spent the day doing research around the acoustic sound systems for the space. It’s a large full height open gallery space, so we have to make sure that the music and acoustics are comfortable.

56 ABSOLUTELY magazines

Q How long has it taken you to find the right spot?

A We’ve been working on this particular unit for two years, however there were others before COVID and during which did not pan out for di erent reasons. Securing quality retail space in London is a minefield, and as it’s my first venture I’ve been cautious to make sure it has the right balance.

Q What challenges have you faced so far?

A One of the biggest challenges is finding the space that enables clients to have the quality of the experience. We believe it’s fundamental for our success.

Q What will make your salon di erent from the competition?

A Service. Service. Service… Every

detail from our high spec technical laboratory to our German manufactured architectural lighting, to our hand and head massages right down to our glassware and refreshments has been carefully thought through for years.

Q Can you give us an idea of what we will find inside the salon?

A Fortunately the spaces in East London have a large open plan design with beautiful glass floor to ceiling walls. Because of this we’ve incorporated open contemporary design – industrial, yet with the warmth and comfort of a modern home.

Q Was opening your own salon always the plan since you started out in the industry?

A Yes. I’ve worked in 13 di erent salons across the world in my career. And from each and every one I took away positives and negatives with the understanding that one day I will use this knowledge to provide the best possible atmosphere in salon for not just my clients, but also my sta .

Q How do you look back on your 25 years in the business?

A Hairdressing has been really kind to me. It’s something that got in my blood very young and it’s taken me around the world again and again, and provides me with a lifestyle and healthy family. It is hard though and in no way is it a 9-5 job. It can be sometimes very limiting as an industry, but if you want more and you’re willing to work (like anything, I guess) it has endless opportunities.

“We wanted to find the space that would enable clients to have the quality of the experience”

Q How has hairdressing changed in that time?

A It is like many crafts and trades that are su ering from a bit of a throw away attitude at the moment. Sta don’t commit, salons won’t train, and vice versa. Everyone wants something, but won’t give anything… It’s a sad circle and it’s the industry, hairdressers, professionalism and ultimately the clients’ hair that su ers. I have made a personal commitment that at CULt. we will train, employ properly, educate, build and support our team. I hope it does not send me broke, but I have to believe in people and the good nature of them wanting to learn, aspire to be better, to grow and to support their family and get

ahead in life. These are the goals we hold to and use to guide our decisions in business.

Q Is there a typical Brett MacDonald look?

A I don’t believe so. For me, really talented hairdressers can create many di erent looks and have varied approaches to their aesthetic. I’m not someone that cares to look at my style too much. I guess in some ways CULt. is a reflection of my personal taste. And that in a nutshell is simple, modern and elegant hairdressing for today's busy woman.

Q What are the top hair trends right now – and do you follow them?

A Heavily layered wolf cuts, a modern mullet, blonde roots and black ends are all about. Yes we track trends, but we have more fun moving ideas on than trying to copy. You see something coming through and you take elements and say let’s explore this di erently or maybe we can push that further.

Q Do you get much time o to enjoy your Essex home?

A At the moment yes, too much as I’m on daddy duty while we are building the salon! I find it frustrating as I’m a bit

of a workaholic, but the time with my young family is really priceless, I believe you can find positives in all situations… And meals in the beautiful garden at this time of year are really special.

Q Where are your favourite spots in the county?

A Essex is a hidden gem, and I love it as it makes life here extremely private yet full. One day you can share Oakhill trail with horse riders or go to High Beech with the Vizsla Club. But to be honest, spotting deer and passing the local bee hive with my son on afternoon walks from the end of our street is really rare and priceless when you're living less than 45 minutes from the financial heart of London.

Q What are you looking forward to when CULt. Hairdressing opens?

A Well, I want to say two things – client centric and team centric. The first one – attracting and educating a passionate team that really wants to provide great service to clients. And the second – I want to see happy clients, as simple as that. That will make me extremely content.


58 ABSOLUTELY magazines
“We will train, employ properly, educate, build and support our team”
Proud members of SAIF, the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors 24 HOUR SUPPORT haroldwhitefunerals.co.uk OUR OFFICES: For out of hours enquiries, call 0208 529 1530 and speak to one of the team at Harold White. Harold White have been arranging meaningful tributes for over 135 years. Whether it's a low-impact sustainable funeral or a traditional service, we can help. Buckhurst Hill0208 505 7051 Chingford 0208 529 1530 Walthamstow0208 520 4166
Raising funds for the Haslers Foundation FRIDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2023 7:00PM - 11:00PM @WEST ESSEX GOLF CLUB £95 per ticket *includes welcome drink, 3 course dinner and half a bottle of house wine SCAN TO BOOK This event is proudly sponsored by Hightower Wealth Management Ltd


The Summer Look

Eyeshadow Palette, £45 net-a-porter.com


Skywash in Pool, £18 uk.glossier.com


Split Liner, £11.50 sephora.co.uk



Luxe Eyeshadow Quad: Passion Fleur, £55 patmcgrath.com

Skywash in Pool, £18 uk.glossier.com


MAKEUP BY MARIO Master Metallics Eye Palette, £50 makeupbymario.com

RARE BEAUTY Discovery Eyeshadow Palette, £30 rarebeauty.com


Mini Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Vol.3, £33 beautybay.com


Get creative with popping pastels and rainbow lids

MILK MAKEUP Color Chalk 3G, £17 spacenk.com


Les Phyto-Ombres Eyeshadow, £40 net-a-porter.com


Kaolin Clay Face Mask, £18.99 upcirclebeauty.com


Eyeshadow Crème in Bwindi Forest, £24 emolyne.com

ABSOLUTELY magazines 61
Try Before You Buy Expert In-Store Advice Never Beaten on Price 0% Finance Available † DISCOVER OUR RANGE OF TREADMILLS, BIKES, CROSS TRAINERS, RACKS, WEIGHTS & BARBELLS Visit us at 35 New London Rd, Chelmsford, CM2 0ND or call 01245 808918 Prices may vary, see website for current price. † Subject to age and status. *When you spend over £300 in-store, worth £35. BUILD THE HOME GYM YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED Space saving equipment Try before you buy FREE home gym design service available in-store Kick-start your home gym collection with Fitness Superstore! Head to your nearest store to try any of the products on display before you buy, design your training area with our free gym planning service and get some top advice from our expert sta , helping you build the home gym you’ve always wanted. F2I Bench List price £499.99 Our Price £299 Multi-Functional Trainer List price £2,299.99 Our Price £1,599 Worth £35 FREE Body Composition Analysis * Get accurate results for your weight, body fat %, muscle mass and much more on a takeaway readable report from our in-store Tanita Body Composition Analyser. Two 90kg weight stacks Range of cable attachments included 9 backrest angles, from flat to incline Textured rubber finish for extra durability Integrated multi-grip pull-up bar Pro Round Rubber Dumbbell Set 5-20kg with 2-Tier 32in Rack List price £917.94 Our Price £429.99





A modern and stylish take on old school weights, the Heavy Kit from Bala Bangles is designed to help you increase strength, agility, endurance, and balance, £148.82. shopbala.com



The Duality Yoga Strap From Alo Yoga can be used to carry your mat and also as a support in practice. Yoga straps can be used to create resistance, improving balance, and increasing muscle strength, £39. aloyoga.com

Absolutely heads to the capital to try Reformer Pilates with leading expert in the industry, Pete Pallai

hen I arrive at the My Pilates London Studio in Putney on a rainy Friday morning, the first thing I do is warn founder Pete Pallai that I’m not very flexible. “My range of motion is terrible,” I say.

I’m here for a one-on-one session and I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and trepidation.

Reformer Pilates is having a huge surge in popularity right now, and it’s my very first time trying it out.

Wthe process of learning to move your body with more strength, control, and awareness.

Pete is a two-time Olympian bobsledder and former rugby player. He discovered Reformer Pilates late into his career and is extremely passionate about its benefits for both women and men.

strengthening my core. I slide up and down the machine, working my whole body – from my legs and glutes, to my arms and chest. At points, my legs are burning and trembling, but I actually surprise myself in the range of movements I can do.


This natural rubber mat from Lululemon has a grippy top layer to help you find balance in your practice. Stretching can have positive effects on your gains in muscle mass, £78. lululemon.co.uk

Pete explains that although flexibility is often the thing people tend to think about when it comes to Reformer Pilates, it’s actually only one part of it. He tells me that Pilates was initially called ‘Contrology’. He prefers this name as it better describes

Now an experienced Balanced Body (the largest Pilates company worldwide) trained practitioner, people of all levels come to Pete for his expertise. He divides his time between running courses for Pilates instructors, leading advanced level classes, and giving one-to-one sessions.

Pete takes me through some basic moves, modifying them as we go to make the session uniquely bespoke to my needs. Pregnancy and life with a toddler has left me with pain in my left hip, and I’d like to work on

The challenge is concentrating on my breathing whilst making sure I’ve got the correct form. Pete explains that you really have to focus.

He tells me that this is another thing that people really enjoy about Reformer Pilates – it’s time where you have to leave the day’s stresses behind.

At the end of the session, I might be leaving with slightly wobbly legs, but I think Pete’s enthusiasm for Reformer Pilates might have just rubbed o .


ABSOLUTELY magazines
For your free home measure/consultation please contact: Tel: 01702 781200 or alternatively Email: showroom@kesselersouthend.co.uk Website: www.kesseler.co.uk/southend We would be happy to answer any questions in relation to your upcoming project. *Get a Free Quooker Flex/Fusion in chrome when purchasing a kitchen above £15,000.00 *Free Quooker Boiling Tap 3-in-1 hot, cold, boiling



At West End Interiors they pride themselves on a seamless journey to your new kitchen. Through the stages of designing and installation, they understand how to make best use of your space within your budget, ensuring there is no compromise to the designs. westendinteriors.co.uk

inside this section:
65 ABSOLUTELY magazines


Ideas, designs and styles for your home


The beautiful Foxmoor display cabinet is perfect for storing your best dinner service, your collection of object d'art, or even your favourite books. It features a roomy cupboard space, fitted with a fixed shelf and three adjustable shelves in the cabinet top. With a depth of just 37.4cm it will fit unobtrusively into most spaces.



Designed by French designer Nathalie Lete exclusively for Anthropologie, this luxurious velvet curtain lends instant charm to any interior with its array of artful and inviting motifs. anthropologie.com

66 ABSOLUTELY magazines



Hay's exciting new collaboration with Liberty merges Inga Sempé's iconic Matin Lamp with timeless prints. The shade's classic pleated construction features Liberty's distinctive prints as a contrast to its steel-wire frame in polished brass. hay.com


Salad bowls



Grind's collaboration with Henry Holland features a stylish limited edition Grind coffee tin, printed with his signature marble print, and a special limited edition hand built mug. The partnership brings together two East London brands that are each celebrated for their cra . grind.co.uk



Diptyque's Glass strives upwards while summoning up the iconography of antique lamps. Lovingly, the flame candle lids extol the memory of fire dancing in the darkness, like replica flames blown into being by the heat. diptyqueparis.com

ABSOLUTELY magazines
TOM RAFFIELD Mylor Bowl, £95 tomraffi eld.com MICUCCI INTERIORS Watermelon Salad Bowl, £80 micucci.co.uk ROCKETT ST GEORGE Dark Green Cabbage Salad Bowl, £38 rockettstgeorge.co.uk KATE WELTON Bowl, £30 katewelton.com
V&A SHOP Salad Bowl Schizzato, £55 vam.ac.uk


My journey into the world of interiors has been a lifelong passion nurtured by a background in project management and marketing. While I began on a path to enrich my understanding through a KLC interior design course, the beautiful chaos of motherhood led me to pause my aspirations midway. Yet, the desire never lessened.

Interior design has always been my creative heartbeat, a realm where I find inspiration and solace. As my son embarks on his own academic journey, I realised that the timing was ripe for me to turn my aspirations into reality. The culmination of my passion, my marketing

68 ABSOLUTELY magazines
The Billericay founder of edith + lou writes about inspirations, sustainability and her hopes for the future

expertise, and the fervent desire to curate exquisite spaces has led me to finally take the leap and establish my own interior business.

In a world increasingly attuned to sustainability, I realised that there was an aspect that deserved equal attention: our living spaces. The realisation struck me with profound clarity – the quest for beauty and elegance in our homes should align harmoniously with sustainable principles. This realisation was a catalyst, a call to action that crystallised the purpose of my interior business. I firmly believed that creating beautiful, sustainable living spaces wasn’t just a desire; it was a necessity that resonated with the times we live in. And thus, my journey to combine my passion for interiors with my commitment to sustainability was set in motion.

Naming my business after my grandmothers was a heartfelt decision deeply rooted in love and admiration. I had the privilege of growing up with two remarkable women who left an indelible mark on my life. My maternal grandmother was the embodiment of a nurturing homemaker, radiating boundless love and warmth that enveloped everyone around her. On the other hand, my paternal grandmother was a captivating character, brimming with a great sense of humour and an endless supply of stories. Hours would pass as I sat enthralled by her tales, a testament to her charm and vivacity.

Naming my business after these exceptional women felt instinctively right, a way to honour their legacies

and embody the qualities that they exemplified. Edith and Lou are not just names; they are representations of the values of love, warmth, creativity, and humour that my grandmothers embodied.

The sensation of having launched is nothing short of exhilarating; it’s a feeling that often leaves me pinching myself to believe it’s real. The culmination of countless hours, dedication, and unwavering determination has led me to this moment, and I’m genuinely proud of how far I’ve come.

Yet, this is just the starting point. My heart is set on developing the brand further, cultivating its identity, and nurturing its growth as a thriving business. The path ahead holds endless possibilities, challenges to overcome, and moments of triumph to celebrate. I’m eagerly anticipating the journey ahead and embracing the opportunity to shape the future of the brand. The adventure is underway, and I’m ready to embrace it wholeheartedly.

The product range offered by edith + lou is carefully curated, featuring a diverse array of items from different corners of the globe. Among these treasures are vintage

ABSOLUTELY magazines 69
“Interior design has always been my creative heartbeat, a realm where I find inspiration”

pots from Nepal, 100% European flax linen from Lithuania, ceramics from Indonesia and India, and handwoven Ikat cushions from Uzbekistan – each designed to bring timeless beauty and comfort into our homes.

Many of the items are handcrafted and many are vintage. I love the fact that my items are not perfect. Instead, they bear the hallmark of history, hard work and skilled craftsmanship, making each piece unique and more beautiful.

What sets me apart is that every piece that I source is chosen for its sustainable qualities, as well as its beauty. My collection is a testament to my unwavering commitment to sustainability, seamlessly interwoven with exquisite beauty.

My dedication to sustainability is more than a trend; it’s a foundational pillar of my brand. Each piece carries the narrative of responsible sourcing, from handcraftsmanship to the use of renewable materials. My collection stands as a bridge between aesthetics and ethics, uniting the appreciation for beauty with a deeper resonance for sustainable choices.

When you invite an edith + lou piece into your space, you’re not just adorning your home; you’re making a conscious statement. The uniqueness lies in the fusion of elegance and responsibility, transforming interiors into sanctuaries that echo a mindful way of life.

One of my greatest hopes is to expand my reach and connect with a growing customer base who share my values. With each interaction, I aim to inspire and empower individuals to make conscious choices for their living spaces, sparking a ripple effect that extends beyond interiors.

I see edith + lou evolving into a hub where beauty and sustainability co-exist harmoniously. As the brand grows, I hope to continue curating exquisite pieces that carry a story of responsible craftsmanship and timeless elegance. I aspire to cultivate a platform where meaningful conversations on sustainability thrive.

Ultimately, my journey is driven by the hope that my brand becomes a source of inspiration, a catalyst for positive change, and a testament to the fact that beauty and sustainability are not mutually exclusive – but rather, they flourish together.


70 ABSOLUTELY magazines
“Many of my items bear the hallmark of history, hard work and skilled craftsmanship”






72 ABSOLUTELY magazines


Love luxe? Then you just have to check out these stunning design-led stays on your doorstep. Absolutely has teamed up with the county’s tourist organisation, Visit Essex, to give you the lowdown on the best places to stay, which provide the ultimate in style.


Relax in ultimate luxury at Down Hall, set on the Essex/ Herts borders. The magnificent mansion was built in the 1860s in the Italianate style and is an architectural wonder. The hotel offers 98 individually designed bedrooms, all of which offer grandeur and elegance. For extra special occasions, treat yourself to the newly created Liddell Suite, which includes a real flame fire, feature bath at the bottom of the bed, plus a spacious en-suite. Stays at the hotel start from £170 per double room, suites from £410 per room.


Explore historic Harwich at the Pier Hotel, a stunning building that was built in 1862 in the style of a Venetian palazzo to provide overnight accommodation for passengers travelling to Europe. Situated opposite the pretty Ha’Penny Pier, the Pier Hotel now attracts discerning seafood and fine wine lovers and provides the perfect stay for travellers looking for a stylish short break.   The 14 bedrooms are individually styled to match the local seascapes, which take full advantage of the brilliant coastal light. Rooms are priced from £160.


Contemporary design meets outdoor living at Piglets, winner of this year’s Best B&B award in England. The adult only stay is a short drive from the picturesque market town of Saffron Walden.

Piglets is a beautifully converted farm structure that offers the utmost in modern living. The wooden clad exterior is home to five outsize bedrooms, which all offer super king-size double beds, stylish interiors and en-suites. Piglets’ real treat for guests lies outside where visitors can plunge into a tranquil cold water swimming pool. Rooms are priced from £190 per night for a minimum two-night stay.


Bed and breakfast does not come grander than a stay in the King’s Chamber at Hedingham Castle. The regal hideaway offers a grand four poster bed, draped in red curtains plus stunning chandeliers. Guests can recline in the double bath set by a roaring fire with a glass of champagne, taking in the surrounds of the 900-yearold keep. The Royal Chamber costs £495 per night for two people and includes champagne, chocolates and breakfast.

Essex is home to a host of luxurious places to stay, which are also eye-catching in their own unique ways
ABSOLUTELY magazines


Glamping isn’t just about luxury yurts and Shepherd’s Huts; the world of luxury living in the outdoors is taken up a notch at Coleman’s Farm near Ongar: be astounded by the lavishness on offer living in a 500-year-old oak tree.

Old Oak is an amazing two-storey treehouse which offers a double bed, double bathtub, toilet, plus veranda with hammocks, all prettily decorated with fairy lights. The treehouse is available at £250 per night with a minimum two-night stay.


Step into a world of wonder at Browning Bros’ idyllic world of secret escapes. Enjoy a romantic getaway at Kingfisher’s Nest, an ultra-contemporary cosy cabin situated on the edge of a hidden lake. The property is designed for couples and offers open plan Scandi-style living with lots of luxuries. Enjoy an en-suite master bedroom, plus standalone bath with views over the lake. The cabin also offers a sauna, hot tub and wood-fired heating. The Kingfisher’s Nest sleeps two and is available for a minimum two-night stay, priced £480.


A golfer’s dream location, set in the grounds of the Stoke by Nayland Resort, which offers two renowned 18-hole golf courses. The stylish Apple Tree Lodges offer modern spaces for large groups and families. The front-glazed buildings provide stunning views over the golf course, set within Constable Country. Each lodge has two levels, which offer sumptuous bedrooms and penthouse units, plus spacious lounge, kitchen, dining room and huge wooden decks. All lodges are fully equipped, and guests can visit the resort’s takeaway service, or book a table at one of their award-winning restaurants. Two-bedroom lodge breaks are available from £420 for a minimum two-night stay.


Fans of history and design will fall in love with the Hexagon in Tollesbury. The cabin offers impressive hexagonal open plan accommodation, sat next to an historic radar tower. Set in stunning fields close to the Essex marshes and nearby bird sanctuaries, this six-

sided building is a must for lovers of the great outdoors. The unique building provides floor to ceiling views and has heaps of rustic charm. The stay can sleep two and offers a king-size bed and fully fitted kitchen. Guests have the option to add a travel cot, or pop-up a tent in the outside area for children.

The Hexagon also offers a top viewing floor, which has been stylishly designed with a wood burning stove and sofas. The top level is the ideal place to spot marsh harriers, hawks and migrating birds, plus admire magnificent sunsets over the estuary. The property is priced from £426 for a two-night stay.

To find out more about these recommendations, head to visitessex.com/accommodation

74 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Old Oak is an amazing two-storey treehouse which offers a double bed and double bathtub


Futureproof your home with stylish energy-efficient doors and windows

With energy prices in the news on a daily basis, there’s never been a better time to review your home in terms of maximising energy e ciency to ensure you will be warm and comfortable in the years ahead.

Updating your doors and windows can play a key role in reducing heat loss and adding value to your home, as well as making your own contribution to sustainability.

At Hall Brothers, they can help achieve all of these objectives by creating high quality madeto-measure doors and windows that complement the style of your home – whether it’s a period property or a contemporary design.

They are a three-generation family business, started by Reginald Hall and then Roy Hall, and now run by two brothers, Philip and Richard, who have a love for wood, an eye for detail and old-fashioned pride in the job.

This means that exceptional design, precision and quality come as standard, delivering a finish that’s second to none.

As a registered member of FENSA, all Hall Brothers’ doors and windows o er excellent thermal e ciency, with U-values that comply with the latest Building Regulations.


Your external wooden doors not only need to be welcoming and look good, but also o er functionality in terms of maximising insulation, withstanding weather conditions and keeping your home secure.

Whether it’s the main front door to your home, a practical back door or feature doors onto the garden – such as double doors or three, four or five panel bi-folding doors – all are made in their joinery workshop in a choice of highest grade FAS hardwoods, including oak.

76 ABSOLUTELY magazines


At 58mm thick, Hall Brothers’ external doors are over 25% thicker and stronger than the average store-bought equivalent. They are made using traditional mortice and tenon construction and incorporate 100mm butt or three-way adjustable hinges, compression draught weather seals and high security multi-point locking systems with a choice of lever handles.

There’s a wide choice of finishes too –stained coloured, opaque colours or white – all spray-applied to give an even coating and maximum weather protection ensuring minimum maintenance.

All their doors are professionally hung by expert joiners and finished with your choice of high quality door furniture – and for extra peace of mind, each door comes with a fiveyear guarantee.


Windows are an important feature of every room, but can be another major source of heat loss. Hall Brothers’ bespoke made-tomeasure windows will not only reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions, but add style and value too.

Built specifically to your requirements of size, shape, style and opening method, they use only the highest grade FAS hardwoods for optimum quality.


Hall Brothers’ craftsmanship is clear in all their products, but nowhere is it more clearly seen than in their windows, where meticulous attention to detail is of paramount importance.

They use glue mortice and tenon joints that are extremely robust, as well as making their own ‘lambs tongue’ and ‘ovolo’ casement mouldings, which add feature, strength and quality.

For excellent insulation they use high performance low-energy double-glazed glass units, as well as compression draught weather seals, combined with multi-point locking systems that bolt in multiple locations along the frame for maximum security.

For the perfect finishing touch, Hall Brothers’ window furniture is of the highest quality and available in a choice of materials including durable brass, stainless steel, chrome and black wrought iron finish.

Hall Brothers of Colchester Ltd

For more information on Hall Brothers’ windows and doors and how they can help make your home more energy e cient, please call 01473 365167/01206 735287 or visit hall-brothers.co.uk or to request a brochure

ABSOLUTELY magazines 77
This means that exceptional design, precision and quality come as standard, delivering a finish that's second to none
23 Hutton Road, Shenfield, CM15 8JU | westendinteriors.co.uk West End Interiors KITCHENS | BATHROOMS | BEDROOMS Call now to enquire for your next project 01277 263000

alure Autumn

Prepare your home for the cosy seasons ahead

As the vibrant hues of summer give way to the crisp, golden tones of autumn, and the colder weather draws in, it’s time to prepare your home to make sure you are cosy and safe inside. One of the quickest ways to achieve both is by replacing your windows and doors, explains Steve Rawding, Sales Director of leading South East home improvement company SEH BAC. “Autumn’s chilly winds can seep through cracks and gaps around windows and doors, causing you to have to put on your heating system more than you would like,” says Steve. “As temperatures start to drop, upgrading to energy-efficient windows and doors that are properly sealed will help prevent drafts and cold air from entering, while also making sure the warm

air in your home doesn’t escape, helping you to save on your energy bills.

“Glass is one of the most important factors when it comes to replacing your windows and doors and can make a significant difference to how they perform once installed,” adds Steve. “Look for double glazing that has a smart low-e coating as it’s a guaranteed way to have a more comfortable and energy-efficient home and provides the same level of insulation as a triple glazed unit. It also includes a layer of laminated glass which doesn’t shatter, making it much more secure.”

Security of your home will be boosted by upgrading your windows and doors too. They will feature advanced multipoint locking systems and reinforced frames, while they will also come with optional security extras.

“It has been proven that November is the prime month for opportunist thieves to break into a property as the clocks go back meaning earlier, darker evenings with thieves targeting houses around 5pm as chances are occupants are still at work,” explains Steve. “While 5 November is also a date thieves target as people can confuse the sound of breaking glass with fireworks.”

Ensuring that your home is energy-efficient and secure means you’re not only preparing your home for the changing, colder weather, but also ensuring a more sustainable and secure living space for years to come.

To find out more, visit sehbac.com, call 0333 258 5495, or visit the showroom in Great Amwell, which is open seven days a week



G&M in Copford may look modest from the outside, but once you enter there are over 50 bathroom displays across the impressive 2,500 square feet showroom upstairs. From sleek or traditional bathroom furniture to aspirational freestanding baths or wetrooms, there is a variety of leading brands to choose from. This paired with the extensively stocked plumbing trade counter downstairs enables G&M to offer their services to both the public and trade in Colchester and the surrounding area.

With over 100 years of combined experience in the industry, the team at G&M pride themselves on their outstanding customer service and extensive knowledge. Whether you pop in for a tap washer or an entire bathroom upgrade, the service will be con-

sistently excellent with competitive pricing and high quality products. Manager Nick says: “We’re a passionate and dedicated team who always strive to go above and beyond to help our customers. We have over 4,000+ product lines in stock and access to fast delivery on a multitude of others due to the strong relationships we have built with suppliers.”

If you are looking for a new bathroom for your home, G&M offer a fully tailored design and installation package for your project from initial site visits through to completion. Their 3D design service allows you to see products situated in your chosen space, bringing your dream bathroom to life.

Co-owner Chris adds: “We know choosing the right bathroom can be daunting, which is why we are there every step of the way to provide guidance when selecting products.” Once a customer is happy with the products they have selected, a free competitive quote

is provided with a variety of payment options available including credit accounts for their trade customers.

“It doesn’t stop there,” he continues, “G&M is currently in the final stages of expanding the showroom to add an even more comprehensive range and brand offering for their customers. One of the most recent showroom additions includes a bespoke bathroom and bedroom furniture range.”

As Nick concludes: “We’ve been fortunate enough to have had a strong year so far, which hopefully will continue allowing us to offer more and more to our customers.”

G&M is proud to be part of The IPG, a membership group that champions the great British independent. The group's main mission is to help their members thrive in today’s competitive market, enabling them to offer you the best brands at great prices.


80 ABSOLUTELY magazines
How G&M Plumbing & Heating, the independent bathroom showroom and plumbers’ merchant, is flourishing
*Up to 35% Off Windows, Doors, Conservatories and Extensions, no minimum spend. Terms and conditions apply, please ask for more information. Offer ends 31st October 2023. Get your quote online www.sehbac.com or over the phone 0800 666 444 Visit your nearest showcentre today 2 Stanway Retail Park, Peartree Road, Colchester, CO3 0LX Poplar Nurseries, Coggeshall Road, Marks Tey, Colchester, CO6 1HR WINDOWS • DOORS CONSERVATORIES & EXTENSIONS 35 % OFF UP TO * SAVE MONEY AND MAKE YOUR HOME MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT IMPROVE THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF YOUR HOME and make it cosy, ready for the colder winter months by upgrading your windows, doors or conservatory roof today. Call us on 0800 666 444 for more information.

Happy returns Many

Celebrating nearly four decades of excellence in high-end home interiors

In a world where businesses are often fleeting, Paul Newman Interiors’ showroom has stood the test of time, thriving for an incredible 39 years. As they approach their 40th anniversary next year, they take this moment to reflect on what has set them apart in the demanding markets of high-end kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.


For nearly four decades, they have been the trusted partner for discerning homeowners looking to enhance their living spaces. Their journey began with kitchens, but they quickly expanded their expertise to include bathrooms, studies, and bedrooms, each with its own set of challenges and demands. Adaptability has been their cornerstone, enabling them to evolve with changing trends, adopt new technologies, and maintain their unwavering commitment to quality.


Quality is not merely a buzzword for them; it's their ethos. Whether it's the seamless joints of a kitchen cabinet, the luxurious finish of a bathroom vanity, or the ergonomic design of a study desk, every element is chosen and crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Their experienced team of manufacturers and designers uses the finest materials, state-of-the-art technology, and cutting-edge design principles to create spaces that are as durable as they are beautiful.


What truly distinguishes them is their all-inclusive approach. They're not just about showcasing beautiful products; they manage every aspect of your project

from conception to completion. This includes design consultations, selections, and even building work like demolishing walls or rerouting plumbing. They collaborate closely with architects, contractors, and designers to ensure a seamless process and a final result that perfectly realises your vision.

Their longevity is a testament to their pursuit of excellence, attention to detail, and a deeply ingrained culture of customer satisfaction. As they prepare to celebrate their 40th anniversary next year, they invite you to discover the unparalleled service that has made them an industry leader in high-end interiors.


Quality is not merely a buzzword for Paul Newman Interiors, it's their ethos

Our showroom is now open, with a variety of bespoke joinery on display including a fully functional kitchen

To arrange an appointment please visit our website or join us on our Friday open afternoons which run from 12 – 5pm

01787 827250 | www.precisionmade.co.uk



Damson is the new shade of the season

WHERE SAINTS GO Burgundy Eucalyptus Stems, £39 wheresaintsgo.co.uk EARTHBORN PAINTS Lady Bug, £54 earthbornpaints.co.uk POOKY Murphy table lamp, £110 pooky.com SHIMU Viscount Rug Burgundy, £129 shimu.co.uk BEAUTIFUL WALLS Floral Impressions Leaves and Berries, £42.98 beautifulwalls.co.uk EICHHOLTZ Trapezium Chair, £1,124 sweetpeaandwillow.com SCHNEID Eikon Circus Pendant Lamp, from £191 nunido.co.uk FLOS Captain Flint Outdoor Wall Light, £799 inspyerlighting.co.uk VICTORY COLOURS About Damson No 50, £44.95 victorycolours.co.uk LIGNE ROSET Taru One Arm Settee, £3,620 ligne-roset.com
JYSK End Table, £30 jysk.co.uk
Responsible and renewable heating, that you control Visit or phone our Essex Showroom now to discuss your cosy new fireplace Open 9:30am to 5:00pm. Closed Wednesdays and Sundays. OrionHeating.co.uk Wood Burning Stoves & Cookers Takeley Business Centre, Dunmow Road, Takeley, Bishop’s Stortford CM22 6SJ 01279 813591
to exceed the latest EcoDesign standards
and elegant gas fires, offering amazing visuals and controllable heat
Renewable and
heating using the best wood burning stoves British stoves designed and
built in


All the best table lamps

HOUSEOF Olive Green Marble Column Table Lamp, £199 houseof.com MICUCCI INTERIORS Firefl y Portable Table Lamp Lotus, £320 micucci.co.uk FRENCH BEDROOM Toile Blue Table Lamp, £295 frenchbedroom.co.uk NICHOLAS ENGERT INTERIORS Table Lamp Sorry Giotto, £975 nicholasengert.co.uk J ADAMS Luna Table Light, £1,500 jadamsandco.com HOUSEOF Charcoal Grey Tube Table Lamp, £199 houseof.com J ADAMS Spot Desk Light, £588 jadamsandco.com HOUSEOF Teal Xou Table Lamp, £299 houseof.com RV ASTLEY Irwell Table Lamp, £291 limelace.co.uk SAZY Oron Dome Table Lamp, £110 sazy.com

Build with ORIGIN

Ready to dive in and install an indoor pool? You need a company that will take on everything from planning to construction

The idea of fi nally taking the plunge and deciding to go ahead with the indoor pool you’ve always dreamed of can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure about the process. After starting their own business, the Langleys had reached a stage where maintaining their health, enjoying life and everything they have worked so hard for was becoming even more important. An indoor pool would offer all of this and more so the search for a contractor began.

Building swimming pools is a specialised field, out of the many companies the Langleys researched some could offer the design and build of the pool and others could build the pool house, but what about a company that could do it all?

Knowing they wanted a company that could take care of everything and alleviate

the hassle of dealing with separate contractors, the Langleys decided on Origin. Origin drew up the preliminary designs and handled the planning applications, working around any potential risks or challenges. Once approval was granted, the build began.

Origin arranged for the Langleys to visit a variety of their recently fi nished projects to provide inspiration for the style, pool size and atmosphere they were looking for.

This type of invaluable experience sets Origin apart from the rest and shows the type of relationship they maintain with previous clients.

The Langleys were eager to be as environmentally conscious as possible and were delighted with Origin’s knowledge and variety of low carbon heating and running options. Like many people, the Langleys had some unpleasant experience

with builders in the past, but having Origin show complete professionalism as well as plan, design, manage and build their indoor swimming pool has shown just how different they are.

Origin pride themselves on their communication, believing it to be one of the hallmarks of a successful project. From the beginning of the project and throughout the build, Origin maintain frequent meetings which alleviate any stress from the client as they’re always kept in the loop.

The Langleys now have their dream pool, their daily routines have changed and their health is better than ever thanks to swimming, and Origin provide all the aftercare, maintaining their clients pools for years to come. What advice would the Langleys give? “Use Origin! Seriously though, look at previous projects and talk to previous clients, use a company with extensive experience – Origin offer all of this and more.”

ABSOLUTELY magazines 89
Scan the QR code to see more of this project... originpools.co.uk info@originpools.co.uk 01895 453996

Buoyant &


Regal Kitchens in Chelmsford have a rich history steeped in craftsmanship and dedication to providing bespoke kitchen designs to their customers.

Established as a trusted name in Essex, Regal Kitchens has been at the forefront of kitchen design and fitting for the last 15 years.


Regal Kitchens was founded in Essex with a commitment to creating functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen spaces. Their dedication to quality and craftsmanship quickly earned them a reputation in the region. Over time, they have adapted to the changing tastes and preferences of its customers.


Regal Kitchens takes pride in their meticulous attention to detail. They have a dedicated Customer Service Manager to ensure customer expectations are met. Additionally, they provide a full post-installation inspection and further support by sending a home economist to assist clients with their new appliances, hence adhering to their tagline ‘Where Client is King’.


The company embraces innovation by incorporating cutting-edge materials, appliances, and latest trends in their kitchen designs. This commitment to staying up-to-date ensures their kitchens are not only functional, but also environmentally conscious.


Beyond their commitment to craftsmanship, Regal Kitchens has been an integral part of the Chelmsford community. They have actively participated in local events, supported charitable causes, and contributed to the growth of the area.


Regal Kitchens' dedication to excellence has not gone unnoticed. Over the years, they have received numerous awards and accolades for their outstanding work in kitchen design, fitting and customer service.


Regal Kitchens remains a trusted name in Chelmsford and Essex. In October 2023, they will relocate to a brand new location in Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, offering a wide range of kitchen displays and ideas. An exciting launch party with Masterchef contestants showcasing Neff appliances in their new showroom is planned for November.


90 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Over time, they have adapted to the changing tastes of customers
How Regal Kitchens have evolved to meet the demand of Essex homeowners - and impress awards judges along the way
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.
0800 0742 721 | sbiproducts.co.uk SBI Ltd has been providing all of your shelter and shading requirements, since 1998 We provide comprehensive awning services, from cleaning and repairs to seasonal maintenance. Get in touch today for the highest quality awning servicing! Verandas • Glass Rooms • Awnings • Pergolas Carports • Solar Garage Doors & Shutters SBI_HP_ABS_OCT2023.indd 1 11/09/2023 09:44 *Offer available for a limited time – please ask in-store for details. Terms and conditions apply. Proud to be Carbon Neutral | Handmade in Britain and 100% recyclable hypnosbeds.com AUTUMN SALE A LUXURY KING SIZE BED OR MATTRESS FOR THE PRICE OF A DOUBLE * 4506 Hypnos Autumn Sale Ad Retailer 190x134 v1.indd 1 04/09/2023 12:11 22 Redenhall Road | Harleston | Norfolk | IP20 9ER T: 01379 855456 or 855461 |www.bestpricebeds.co.uk Visit our Showrooms: Mon to Sat 09.00 – 17.00 BEST_PRICE_BEDS_HP_ABS_SUSSEX_OCT2023.indd 1

In a world often consumed by mass production and fleeting trends, the enduring value of craftsmanship, design, and exceptional service shines brighter than ever. Kesseler Kitchens, a name synonymous with quality and innovation, exemplifies these timeless virtues in the realm of kitchen design. Every kitchen that emerges from their workshop is a testament to the skilled hands and dedicated hearts that craft it. The mark of true craftsmanship is the union of form and function, and Kesseler Kitchens strikes this balance with finesse. Their patented cabinet joint system is unique to Kesseler Kitchens. They call this Fortis: their fortis joint supports every kitchen and offers unrivalled strength and rigidity. It’s one of the reasons they offer a lifetime guarantee on all their kitchens.

At the core of their success is a deep appreciation for design. Kesseler Kitchens

Timeless APPEAL

Exploring the craftsmanship that goes into a Kesseler kitchen

Southend understands that a kitchen is more than just a space to prepare meals; it is the heart of a home, a place where families gather, memories are created, and bonds are strengthened. Their design philosophy reflects this understanding, as they seamlessly blend aesthetics with functionality. Whether you desire a modern, sleek kitchen with minimalist lines or a classic, timeless design with intricate detailing, Kesseler Kitchens Southend brings your vision to life. However, craftsmanship and design alone are not enough to earn the loyalty and trust of clients. Exceptional service is the cornerstone of Kesseler Kitchens Southend's reputation. From the moment you step into their showroom, you are welcomed by a team of passionate professionals eager to guide you through every step of the design and installation process. Their dedication to customer satisfaction goes beyond the sale; it extends to ensuring that

your kitchen remains a source of joy and functionality for years to come.

In an era where speed often trumps quality, Kesseler Kitchens Southend stands as a beacon of enduring values. Their commitment to excellence in design and service means that every customer receives a kitchen that not only meets, but exceeds their expectations.

Kesseler Kitchens knows the importance of craftsmanship, design, and service. They remind you that in a world of mass-produced mediocrity, there is still a place for the artistry of the handmade, the elegance of thoughtful design, and the warmth of exceptional service. When you choose Kesseler Kitchens, you are not just investing in a kitchen and their brand partners; you are investing in a legacy of quality, beauty, and satisfaction that will endure for generations


ABSOLUTELY magazines 93

London today to explore all our mattresses. One of our knowledgeable staff members can help you find the right mattress and will tell you more about our delivery options.

020 8524 1821

020 8529 5345


36-38 Hatch Lane, Chingford London E4 6LQ
Celebrating 50 years of family business Unit 5, Chingford Industrial Estate Hall Lane, Chingford, E4 8DJ 020 8529 8129 | andrewshome.furniture andrewshomefurniture.co.uk Visit Andrews Chingford showroom for a huge range of home and office furniture. Boucle set available in grey and cream. Special Offer £1995 for set ANDREW_OFFICE_FURN_HP_ABS_ESSEX_OCT2023_v4.indd 1 18/09/2023 20:29
Comfortable, High-Quality Mattresses and Beds




Morsø cast iron stoves can generate plenty of heat even in the tightest space, thanks to its ergonomic design and sleek chimney, plus it has a handle that always stays cold. From £1,999. morsoe.com


With easy-to-control settings that can turn up the heat in moments, this effi cient stove is suitable for fi replace or freestanding installation and would be a classic addition to any living space. From £1,129. hunterstoves.co.uk


The ACR Rowandale is a handsome multifuel design with an air wash feature to make sure the glass stays clean. This stove is suitable for wood burning in smokeless zones. From £1,799 in cream. directstoves.com


The Solution 5 (S4) has traditional styling, but is available in a variety of contemporary colourways, including a rich Miami blue. All of Arada's stoves meet the latest eco-ready credentials. From £849. aradastoves.com


Designed and made on the Isle of Wight, the Regency-inspired Cranmore 5 comes in matte black or coloured fi nishes and has a large picture window for cosy evenings fi reside. From £1,864. charnwood.com

1 3 4 5 1 2 3 2 4 5 ABSOLUTELY magazines 95 HOME | STOVES

CROSSWATER Lever Basin Side Deck Mixer in Slate, £429 crosswater.co.uk


Burlington Gold Riviera Basin Pillar Taps, £168.99, drench.co.uk


Tinkisso Colour Pop Kitchen Tap Miami Pink, £146.99 dowsingandreynolds.com


Beck Cloakroom Basin and Tap, £520 crosswater.com


Minta Blue Pure Filtered Water Tap, £615 grohe.co.uk


Milano Elizabeth Traditional Crosshead Basin Pillar Taps, £99.99 bigbathroomshop.co.uk


It's all in the details: here are some of the finest taps

PLANK HARDWARE Armstrong Kitchen Tap, £139.95 plankhardware.com


Invincible Collection Basin Taps, £POA crosswater.co.uk


Trent Brushed Brass Wall Mounted Basin Mixer Tap, £89.99 bathroommountain.co.uk

CROSSWATER Beck Cloakroom Basin and Tap, £520 crosswater.com

BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW www.colchester-events.co.uk COMING SOON TO CHARTER HALL, COLCHESTER Jurassic Earth Sunday 5 November Dalacey-Boo Management Ltd Proudly Presents RP A5 Xmas Vegas 2023.indd 1 27/03/2023 20:57 The Rat Pack – Christmas in Vegas Sunday 19 November Nashville - Bad Boys of Country Friday 27 October Pop Forever 2023 Monday 23 October Garth Marenghi’s Incarcerat Book Tour Friday 10 November Fairytale of New York Sunday 12 November Art of Believing –Flamenco Sunday 26 November Swing Into Christmas Wednesday 29 November Thank you for the Music Ultimate Abba Tribute Sunday 3 December



Mallorca's Carrossa Hotel and Spa is a luxurious retreat with a strong focus on gastronomy. The location is impressive too, with beautiful views over the eastern part of the island, and a great base to visit the Catedral de Mallorca. carrossa.com

African Adventure 100 • Milsom Hotels 104
99 ABSOLUTELY magazines

Sea and


Jump on board for an African adventure that encompasses cheeky monkeys, cave restaurants and colourful coral gardens



At The Sands at Nomad hotel, a receptionist shows us to our beautiful room with whitewashed walls, high thatched ceiling, mahogany furniture, and cerulean blue accents. He warns us to shut our room door or ‘monkey make party’. I assume he’s referring to the wildlife.

The roaring sound of the ocean envelops the room and shushes you to sleep on the high fourposter bed. We wake up to glorious sunshine, blue skies, and azure sea. At beachfront restaurant, Nomad, we enjoy a fresh fruit platter overlooking a stunning view of powder white sand and palm trees. Traditional 'mahamri' doughnuts are served in an African print napkin. Wooden white fish hang from the ceiling.

Camels stroll down Diani Beach, which meets the Indian Ocean on Kenya's south coastline. A lazy afternoon is spent on sunloungers catching the rays, as a baboon wanders past, its baby clinging to it tightly.

As evening falls, we feed a wide-eyed bushbaby delicately accepting banana from its perch on a parasol. Dinner is at Ali Barbour's Cave Restaurant set in a natural coral cove. White tablecloths and red roses under twinkly lights – an opening in the cave above shows stars and the moon. Flames light up diners' faces as crêpes are cooked at their table. We’re greeted on our return from the balcony of guest relations… by a bushbaby bounding down the stairs.

During a leisurely breakfast, I let out an involuntary scream as a monkey takes advantage of me reading a guidebook and swipes the banana left on our fruit platter. Cheeky monkey. We walk down the deserted wide white beach for some obligatory haggling and a satisfying shop at sandy-floored Silent boutique. After a sunny beach stroll, hot and windswept, enjoying the salty sea breeze we stop for a cold drink at vibe-y The Salty Squid. Lunching on tasty fish tacos, coconut chicken curry and rice washed down with a

ABSOLUTELY magazines
“Diani beach on the Mombasa coast is known for the world’s best beaches”

gin cocktail and a White Cap beer. We sit on peach and peppermint chairs, as wicker basket lampshades swing in the breeze.

Next morning, the sunrise streams through the conch shells hanging in the window, and a monkey strolls past. We’re picked up early and grab bananas from the restaurant –wrapped in foil against the thieving primates.

Driving into the lush garden of Baobab hotel, we’re thrilled to see a dik-dik near the Baobab tree, known locally as the upsidedown tree. On the road to the Tanzania border, Lungo Longo, driving past stone houses with corrugated iron roofs, cockerels, tethered goats, a titanium mine, mud huts with thatched roofs, and a coconut farm. Through the ramshackle town, the landscape opens up to vast sugar cane fields. Palm trees flank the road on the horizon.

Arriving at a tiny coral reef islet: Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park – a small island in a protected area of coral gardens, home to colourful fish, sea turtles and dolphins. We board the rickety traditional Pilli Pipa dhow boat. Breakfast is triangles of dough

‘Mandazi’. A pod of dolphins bob alongside the boat. We stop to snorkel, seeing a giant turtle, starfish and angel fish.

We stop at Wasini island for lunch. A stray dog, Lucky, thumps its tail on the floor. The Dutch owner tells us how a python ate his dog and has a photo to prove it. Ew! Not so lucky. I am grateful, despite all the wildlife, I’ve been lucky enough not to see any snakes.

They set up REEFolution project to restore and stimulate a more sustainable use of coral reefs. Increasing environmental awareness, and conservation e orts include using artificial coral with incredible results so far.

The jeep rattles, giving us an ‘African massage’ on the rocky road back, past vibrant colours of the bustling Sunday market. Stopping to see the dank, gloomy Slave Caves where they chained poor slaves up for three weeks before being taken to Zanzibar.

Dinner at Salty Squid of traditional Swahili prawn curry with rice kachumbari washed down with local Dawa cocktail of vodka, sugar cane, lime, and honey. Dessert is delicious salted caramel ice cream that tastes like a

Werther's Original. I hug the baobab tree on my way out. Blame that on the cocktail. Taking a taxi, then a boat, entering via a wooden boardwalk over aqua water to The Sands at Chale Island. A stunning white beach fringed by coral reefs and a tidal saltwater lake surrounded by a mangrove forest. Eight colobus monkeys are lined up on a boat like they're at a meeting. A peacock struts along the weathered walls. Colourful African fabric parasols line up on the white sands of the private beach. Paradise. Fabulous large white rooms and inviting swimming pools make us wish we could stay longer.

Walking around the island as the sun sets over the ridged wet sand. A large boat-shaped bar on the beach is perfect for posing Titanicstyle on the bow. “I’m the king of the world!”

We don’t want to leave just yet, but are governed by the tides on our leaving time. They use a tractor for hotel guests when the boat is not an option. Driving past ‘matatus’ into the hustle and bustle of the city. Goats feed in the middle of the highway. Little monkeys play on the side of the road on the way to the airport.

What an incredible holiday it’s been.

For holidays to Africa for sea, safari and Swahili, contact Abbotts Travel, 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA, 020 8989 9445, info@abbottstravel.com (Colobus monkeys and sunset photos @CrystalMcClory)

“They set up the REEFolution project to restore and stimulate a more sustainable use of coral reefs”


In the heart of Constable Country, Talbooth Restaurant and Talbooth House & Spa o ers all you need for the perfect getaway, as MD Paul Milsom explains

ABSOLUTELY magazines

Q Can you tell us a little bit about the history of the venues...

A Le Talbooth Restaurant was discovered by Gerald Milsom in 1952, and was a simple tearoom on the superb location by the River Stour in Dedham. In 1969 Gerald bought Maison Talbooth and established it as a luxury hotel.The hotel and restaurant were rebranded in 2022 as part of the Platinum Anniversary celebrations.

Q What kind of experience are you looking to o er with the restaurant?

A Talbooth Restaurant has 3 AA rosettes and boasts a picturesque setting beside the River Stour, which makes dining in Dedham a delightful a air. The riverside terrace and lawn in the heart of Constable Country enjoy a natural backdrop which would inspire any artist.

Q How have you approached the menu?

A TalboothRestaurant is all about great food. The food is carefully designed, meticulously prepared and exquisitely presented. And then there’s the taste. Taste is never easy to communicate in words, so as an example here are a few menu choices.

Mersea Crab Tartletwith Avocado, preserved lemon andpickledradish, orEnglish Asparaguswith smoked egg mayonnaise and black garlicto start.Followed byGruyere crusted halibut, farfalle, tiger prawns, peas and sauce Americaine orfillet of dry aged Dedham Vale beef and short rib, chestnut mushroom, boulangere potatoes, shallot rings and watercress for your main course, and maybeRhubarb and Vanilla Parfait, macerated raspberries and pistachio orBlueberry

Sou ewith maple and yoghurt sorbet, followed by co ee and hand-made chocolates.

Q What private dining options do you o er?

A Located on the first floor of the restaurant, the Weavers Room at Talbooth Restaurant is ideal for small parties, intimate weddings, private lunches, business dinners and family birthdays. With capacity for between eight and 34 guests, the Weavers Room is also a great choice if you’re hosting a business lunch meeting, holding an intimate wake or arranging a private Christmas party.

Q For those looking to stay over, what accommodation do you o er?

A Talbooth House & Spa is a 4 AA Red Star hotel looking out across Constable’s Country and the Dedham Vale. The hotel has 12 individually designed bedrooms, each di erent in style, decor and character. All named after English poets from Shakespeare and Keats to Newbolt and Betjeman; and there’s a copy of each poet's most famous poem framed in each room. The hotel lends itself to a short break for a night or two, in fact the Dedham Vale has been mentioned in the Telegraph as one of the top places for a ‘cheeky weekend’.

On arrival you’ll be greeted with a friendly welcome. Through the front door, the light and relaxed lounge will lead you through to the Garden Room, which opens fully to the outdoor terrace.

If you would like a little more activity, we have an excellent tennis court that overlooks the pool and the fantastic countryside views. The Talbooth House team can also arrange canoe, paddle board or bike hire, an excellent way to explore the Dedham Vale.The hotel is dog friendly with many interesting and varied walks on the doorstep.

Continental breakfast can be served in your room or on the terrace. Alternatively pop down to Milsoms (5 minutes on

foot or we can take you in the courtesy car) if you prefer a full breakfast.

Q What elements do you think makes a stay at Talbooth House & Spa unique?

A It is an oasis of calm, just for adults. It is quiet, relaxed, discreet, and ideal for enjoying spa days or individual treatments during the week and at weekends where guests can step back, relax and indulge and just 55 minutes from London Liverpool Street to nearby Manningtree Station. Children are very welcome to stay at Talbooth House and can enjoy the pool supervised between 8-9am and 5-7pm.

Q What else is in store this year?

A Book a stay at Talbooth House & Spa during December and indulge in our special Christmas Gourmet Getaway from £245 per person, including five-course gourmet dinner at Talbooth Restaurant overnight in one of our 12 beautifully styled bedrooms and full bu et breakfast at Milsoms Dedham the following morning.





Although the words from Brentwood School’s motto – ‘Virtue, Learning, Manners’ – were written in 1622, they are remarkably timeless. They guide the school’s core purpose in helping young people discover and develop their talents with both self-assurance and humility. Register by 1 November 2023 for entry in September 2024. brentwoodschool.co.uk

Talking Head 109 • Stoke College 113 • Oak-Tree Group 117
107 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Saint Nicholas School SAINT NICHOLAS To book your place or for further information, contact admissions@saintnicholasschool.net or call 01279 429910 Hillingdon House, Hobbs Cross Road, Old Harlow, Essex CM17 0NJ Strong academic ethos and excellent pastoral care A co-educational day school for children from 3 months to 16 years Open Morning Saturday 14th October, 10am-midday

NEW beginnings

Q Before your role at Glebe House School Trust, what was your background?

A I started my career over 20 years ago working in a state primary school in Rayleigh, Essex. I moved into the independent sector and have taught in Prep Schools in Radlett, Woodford (Bancroft’s Prep) before taking the Deputy Head role at Stormont School in Potters Bar.

Q What did the CEO position at Glebe House School Trust entail?

A Being the Headmaster and CEO meant a responsibility for the big things and small things. As well as leading the school, giving assemblies, managing curriculum and assessment, the job of CEO involved working with the Nursery Area manager

on the three separate nurseries that form part of the trust. Glebe is a wonderful community school and trust and overseeing the progress of that establishment through Covid and the other di cult times was always challenging, but rewarding too.

Q What enticed you to St. Aubyn’s?

A I knew about St. Aubyn’s from my time working at Bancroft’s earlier in my career. From the minute I saw the position was available, it was an opportunity that I could not turn down. The school has a community, family feel, a fantastic team of hard working teachers and sta , and a supportive and engaged parent body. It is truly an honour to be leading such a fantastic educational establishment.

Q What can you tell us about the school?

A St. Aubyn’s is a school that has everything. Incredible facilities, beautiful grounds and fantastic teaching leading to great academic outcomes for our pupils. Our aim is that each boy and girl enjoys the present while preparing for their future.

Q How would you describe the setting?

A Set in eight acres of leafy grounds, St. Aubyn’s has outstanding facilities

109 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Louis Taylor on taking over the St. Aubyn’s headship from Leonard Blom, and what he plans to introduce and keep resolutely the same
“It is truly an honour to be leading such a fantastic establishment”

to complement excellent educational provision in all areas. We have a sports hall, three all weather pitches, a large sports playing field, a pupil kitchen, a spacious art and design technology studio, a pupil wellbeing garden, a performing arts centre, a performance studio, music practice rooms, a whole school library, two ICT rooms and a science laboratory.

Q What are you most looking forward to?

A I am looking forward to getting to know the pupils and doing whatever I can to ensure that they are moving through their educational journey, like the school’s motto: Bravely, Faithfully and Happily.

Q Is it a privilege to oversee the start of a child’s learning journey?

A Absolutely. In the role as Headmaster I am able to directly influence the lives of hundreds of children. The harder I work, the more opportunities and progress those pupils will make – I view it as a privilege and a huge responsibility. I have two children of my own and therefore I am well placed to see the influence that a good school has on each individual child.

Q Are you able to sum up your approach to teaching?

A I always talk to the parents and stakeholders about a dual approach. My focus is very much on the academic progress that our children make – they are given the tools and the opportunity to reach their full potential across the range of academic pursuits. Equally important is the progress our pupils make as human

beings. The whole range of subjects that we o er are vital in the way I think a good school should run. Furthermore, my approach to teaching is one that encourages children to be resilient, brave, communicative and open to the challenges that will face them in the modern world.

Q Do you have many plans to introduce new things to St. Aubyn’s?

A There is not a lot that needs changing! I am fortunate enough to be in the position where the school has been run incredibly well by my predecessor, Leonard Blom, and his team. I would like to look at how we use IT across the school for our learning and setting of homework, along with some longer term goals of sustainability with regards to our carbon footprint.


110 ABSOLUTELY magazines

We are one of the UK’s leading independent schools for boys and girls aged 3-18 with a history spanning almost 500 years

Register online by 1st November 2023 for entry in September 2024


Decision TIME

Why you should consider an independent Sixth Form for A-level

Choosing the correct educational path for A-level study is a pivotal decision that can significantly impact your future.

Moreover, scholarship opportunities can open up this pathway for a wider group of students, with some independent schools, such as Stoke College, o ering up to 100% scholarship for exceptional students. Independent schools stand out as institutions of excellence, o ering a range of advantages that can enhance your academic journey and best prepare you for success in higher education and beyond.

Independent schools o er small class sizes, expert teachers and a rigorous curriculum all leading to academic excellence. Students at Stoke College Sixth Form receive personalised attention and support, allowing them to reach their full academic potential. Like many independent schools, our A-level programmes

are designed to both challenge and inspire students, fostering critical thinking, research skills and a deep understanding of their chosen subjects. Learning in small class sizes provides each student with the opportunity to flourish into their studies in a manner that allows a seamless transition between GCSE and university. Independent schools o er support beyond the classroom too. Students benefit from a rich extra-curricular programme with activities

that help build confidence, leadership expertise and practical skills, ultimately shaping students into well-rounded individuals that are ready to make a positive impact on their future communities. Stoke College Sixth Form introduces students to a range of skills from financial management to cookery; preparing them for life at university and beyond.

A-level programmes at independent schools are designed to prepare students for university success. Our UCAS and Futures team meet regularly with students to o er guidance and advice with the university application process. We encourage all Stoke students to reach for their best futures: we provide additional specialist support and preparation for those with their sights set on Oxbridge and Russell Group institutions.

Many independent schools o er scholarships to attract and support outstanding students for whom a fee-paying education may be otherwise unattainable. Scholarships can cover part or all of the tuition fees, providing financial relief for families. At Stoke College, we are proud to o er Sixth Form scholarships in recognition of a student’s academic achievement. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis with part or whole financial support o ered. Students are invited to apply for scholarships during the autumn of Year 11 and are reminded to include extra-curricular achievements, special talents, evidence of community involvement as well as academic success and predicted grades.

In conclusion, choosing an independent school for A-level studies can be a transformative decision. The academic excellence, individual attention and personal support o ered by independent schools can dramatically enhance your educational journey. The availability of scholarships can make attending an independent school more accessible and a ordable, making it a compelling choice for students who aspire to excel academically and personally. If you have the drive, ambition and talent, applying for a scholarship at an independent school, like Stoke College, can be a wise investment in your future.

ABSOLUTELY magazines 113
Mark Logan is the CEO of Stoke College. Find out more at stokecollege.co.uk
Register here 01787 474040 admissions@gosfieldschool.org.uk www.gosfieldschool.org.uk NURSERYPREP SENIOR SIXTH FORM A CO-EDUCATIONAL INDEPENDENT THROUGH SCHOOL Sixth Form Open Evening Thursday 12th October 2023: 5pm Generous Scholarships Available

Winning moves

How Brentwood School is making waves in the chess world

Chess is one of the oldest and most popular board games in the world and it is certainly enjoying a renaissance at Brentwood School with hundreds of students, including UK chess title holders, regularly competing at the highest level.

From across the board tournaments to national inter-school competitions, House events, lunchtime and afterschool chess clubs and team challenges, there is something for everyone.

Head of Chess, Robin Slade, aims to make Brentwood School one of the UK’s strongest chess schools o ering top level coaching and 11+ chess scholarships. But his ambition doesn’t end there – as well as raising the profile of chess within the school, making it fun and accessible to everyone, he also promotes chess across Essex.

He explains: “The many benefits of chess are well established. As a sport, a science and an art with 1,500 years of history, it is not only tremendous fun to play, but has been proven to develop problemsolving and risk-assessment skills and concentration among much else. Our chess scholars are applying to join a school where chess is a mainstream sporting and social activity. House Chess attracts up to 150 players, while the Year 7 chess club alone in 2022/2023 had over 90 members.”

Brentwood School is also enjoying success at National Level. In 2022/2023, Brentwood came second in the National Finals of the English Chess Federation Junior Team Challenge (for Year 7 and 8 students) and sixth in the ECF Under 19 National School Championship Finals (which Brentwood qualified for as East Anglian Champions).

But as Robin points out, these competitions are only the tip of the iceberg. “Students

of any age and any level get a huge amount from the game,” he says. “Without realising it, they are learning problem solving and risk management. They are also learning to deal in the right way with all the emotions of leading and trailing, winning and losing. Just as importantly, it is simply a fun way to spend time with and make friends.”

Brentwood School is proud of its record of promoting junior chess locally and across Essex. “We run a number of tournaments in partnership with the Essex Junior Chess Association. Online, we run monthly individual blitz events open to all juniors with live TwitchTV commentary.

“Chess fits in with so many aspects of Brentwood School’s learner profile: creativity, problem-solving, reflection, resilience and much more. The future of chess at Brentwood is looking very bright indeed!”


ABSOLUTELY magazines 115
“They are learning problem solving and risk management”
Year7Information Evening Tuesday3 October SixthForm Information Evening Wednesday 11 October SnapshotMornings Friday6&13 October WholeSchool Open Morning Saturday2March Independentdayandboardingschoolforboysand girlsaged2-19.Nurseryopenallyearround. stjos.co.uk AtStJoseph’swesupportthe intellectual,spiritual,physical andemotionalgrowthofevery student. Childrenwhothrivearethe happiestofall. Nurture Curiosity Creativity Excellence “EXCELLENT IN ALL AREAS” ISI JUNE 2023 Independent Day School for pupils aged 3-11 Years Tel: 0208 504 5045 Email: admissions@wgprep.co.uk www.wgprep.co.uk

The Best START

Elevating Early Years education at Oak-Tree Group of Schools

When it comes to the early education of your child, making the right choice can set the course for their future success. The Oak-Tree Group of Schools, comprising Braeside in Buckhurst Hill, Coopersale Hall in Epping, Normanhurst in North Chingford, and Oaklands in Loughton, o ers a distinguished range of kindergartens that form the foundation of an exceptional educational journey.


One of the hallmarks of an Oak-Tree Kindergarten is the intimate class sizes. This deliberate approach ensures that each child's uniqueness is celebrated and their individual needs are met. Qualified teachers and teaching assistants play a pivotal role in providing the necessary support during this

crucial stage of rapid development. Oak-Tree Kindergartens create an environment where structured learning through play takes centre stage. Specialist subject teachers add an extra dimension by introducing activities such as sports, music, dance and computing, enriching young minds with a wide range of experiences.


Children in the Oak-Tree Kindergartens have access to a plethora of resources across the schools that, depending on the sites, include libraries, computer suites, studios, extensive outside areas and banks of iPads. The Group's fleet of minibuses opens up a world of exploration, facilitating regular visits to farms, museums, trampoline parks and zoos, broadening horizons and fuelling curiosity.


Starting at an Oak-Tree Kindergarten has a distinct advantage as there is an automatic

Personalised Tours and Open Mornings

Kindergartens first hand. Contact the schools directly to arrange personalised tours and experience the nurturing environments that await your child. Open Mornings in October o er a unique chance to see what an Oak-Tree education o ers up close.

Oaklands School

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Normanhurst School

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Coopersale Hall School

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Braeside School

Wednesday 11 October 2023

pathway to Reception and beyond. This spares parents from the hassle of further assessments and interviews at age 4 or above. This continuity often leads to a closer relationship between pupils and the school, creating a sense of belonging and stability throughout their educational journey.


Feedback from parents is positive. Braeside's new Early Years outdoor area, Coopersale Hall's purpose-built classrooms and grounds, the Oaklands extensive grounds and Normanhurst's nurturing atmosphere all contribute to the exceptional experiences given to these younger children. From ‘Welly Walks’ in Epping Forest to Bear Hunts around the grounds, parents cherish the opportunities their children have to learn both inside and outside the classroom.”

Learn more at oaktreeschools.co.uk

117 ABSOLUTELY magazines

THE Next Steps

A-levels, BTECs, CTECs and more - why St Joseph’s College o ers a world of opportunity at Sixth Form

Choosing where to study at Sixth Form level is an important decision that has a lasting impact on the trajectory of a student’s academic journey. Whether their subject choices are A-levels, BTECs, CTECs or a combination of the above, professional and experienced guidance and support are vital at this stage to ensure the choices are relevant, engaging and facilitating. The Sixth Form team at St Joseph’s College is focussed on the academic and all-round achievement of every student. From the very beginning of each journey, the team enables thorough discussion and decision making processes to set the right path for individual success.

The modern and light-filled dedicated Sixth Form Centre provides students with a learning environment that is designed to maximise their progress. Students are supported through supervised study periods and have the space to develop and refine their independent and collaborative group study skills and methods of revision.

St Joseph’s College o ers a wide range of subject choices at A-level, BTEC and CTEC in addition to the Extended Project Qualification and Mathematical Studies AS level. This range ensures that students may choose subjects that will facilitate their progress to university study, degree and other apprenticeships, and professional sporting contracts – whichever route is most suitable for them. In addition to this tailored approach to subject choices, the

school also o ers regular one-toone careers consultation via its highly-experienced Futures Advisor. This key service is available to all students throughout their time in the Sixth Form and beyond, to discuss university applications, CV writing, work experience and other relevant networking opportunities.

Students are encouraged to develop the independent study skills which are core to the successful completion of their courses and their comprehensive tutorial programme provides them with the skills and knowledge to work e ectively, e ciently and to the best of their ability.

The range of extra and ultracurricular activities is superb and students are warmly encouraged to take advantage of all of the opportunities available to them. These include a diverse range of sports, musical and artsbased activities, debating, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, charity and volunteering programmes and mentoring and support of younger students across the College. The Sixth Form experience at St Joseph’s College presents a wonderful opportunity for every student to flourish and thrive within a supportive and rigorous environment.

118 ABSOLUTELY magazines
“The focus is on the academic and all-round achievement of every student”
Sixth Form & Boarding Open Evening Tuesday 17th October 6.30pm - 9.00pm 6 Lexden Road, Colchester, CO3 3ND 01206 509100 crgs.co.uk Colchester Royal Grammar School Compassion - Respect - Generosity - Support In 2022, CRGS students achieved 86% A*/A at A level 30 Oxbridge o ers 26 Medicine o ers 152 Russell Group o ers Talks from the Headmaster and current students. Tours of the school. No booking required. St.SchoolAubyn’s registrar@staubyns.com 020 8504 1577 Bunces Lane, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 9DU www.staubyns.com Registered Charity No: 270143 We are delighted to announce our Bursary opportunities at 7+ within the School. ST_AUBYNS_HP_ABS_ESSEX_OCT2023.indd 1 20/09/2023 09:31

The Daiglen School

A moder n education in a traditional envir onment for boys and girls aged 3-11 100% 11+ PASS RATE 2023
our website for more details: www.daiglenschool.co.uk
PERSEVERE & EXCEL “Academic excellence
a given, it
opportunities offered outside
ultimately set Bancroftians
for life.” Good Schools Guide High Road, Woodford Green, IG8 0RF | 020 8505 4821 | www.bancrofts.org 11+ OPEN DAY FOR ENTRY IN SEPTEMBER 2024 SATURDAY 11 NOVEMBER 9.30AM TO 1PM Please book on https://www.bancrofts.org/admissions/open-days/
is the
Reassuring legal advice you can rely on Colchester | Brightlingsea | West Mersea 01206 576151 01206 302694 01206 384441 Visit us online at www.johnfowlers.co.uk info@johnfowlers.co.uk


ernbrook Hall is an 11,000 sq ft country estate featuring an impressive manor house on a 17 acre plot in the secluded sought-after setting of Wickham Bishops. It has eight en-suite bedrooms and six reception rooms. Fernbrook Hall’s exceptional design, features and entertainment options create an unparalleled, sophisticated living space.


ABSOLUTELY magazines 123
BERESFORDS COUNTRY & VILLAGE 01245 397 475 beresfords.co.uk
£5,250,000 CM8 GUIDE PRICE
124 ABSOLUTELY magazines


WHERE Buxton Road, E4 7DP


This exceptional residence, originally a Grade II listed church dating back to 1890, underwent a remarkable transformation in 2004 by a local company turning it into one of the most renowned church conversions in London. In fact, this remarkable conversion has garnered significant attention, gracing the front pages of numerous books, magazines, and newspapers. The property has even earned the distinction of winning three international interior design awards.


Upon entering the premises through an impressive gothic-styled brick arch surround, one is immediately struck by the grandeur of the space. The high ceilings, original stained glass windows, and oak doors and beams e ortlessly blend with the cutting-edge interior design, creating a truly mesmerising ambiance. The reception area, divided into three sections, includes a main reception room, a dining room, and a workstation. Additionally, the ground floor encompasses a utility room, a WC, and a generously sized storage cupboard. Access to the upper level is granted by a curved staircase, leading to a long landing that overlooks the magnificent nine-metre-tall vaulted living area. Two bedrooms, separated by the landing, feature en-suite bathrooms and dressing areas with the principal bedroom boasting a spacious walk-in wardrobe. For storage, there is a two-storey loft space accessed from the principal bedroom.


The property o ers a front driveway with tandem parking for two vehicles. The south facing private garden has recently been uplifted to include new composite decking. Notable features of this extraordinary home include a state-of-the-art alarm system, a comprehensive CCTV security system, underfloor heating throughout the property, and an impressive 106 indoor spotlights, the majority of which can be controlled remotely.




Savills Loughton

020 8498 6600


A magnificent Grade II listed church conversion
o ering lots of character

Little Pluckett’s Way, Buckhurst Hill Guide Price 1,500,000

This detached family home is situated in Buckhurst Hill’s most prestigious turning and offers enormous potential to both extend and improve. The property presently offers four bedrooms, two spacious reception rooms, an attached garage, and the house sits on a large plot with a rear garden measuring approximately 180ft in length.

Forest Edge, Buckhurst Hill Guide Price £950,000

A wonderfully spacious 1930’s semidetached family home which is situated right in the heart of Buckhurst Hill, just a short walk from schools, the Central Line and Queens Road. The house has been extended to the ground floor and more recently into the loft to add a fourth bedroom with an en suite shower room. The perfect home for any growing family!

First time for EVERYTHING

According to a recent study by Zoopla, 42% of adults aged 18-39 who don’t own a home say they’ve given up on the idea of buying one in the next ten years. Perhaps unsurprisingly the three main reasons cited for these feelings include the cost of living crisis, increasing house prices and higher mortgage rates Although this is not a particularly positive statistic it is important to remember that there is a large proportion of this age group that do believe that they will purchase a property.

We may have dreams of our first home being ‘perfect’, however this is not often the case so consider where you might have space to compromise on slightly in order to help secure your property. Could you sacrifice the spare room and invest in a sofa bed for the living room?

You may also want to think about buying with a friend or relative to reduce costs. Although it would be a joint commitment, getting legal advice and signed documents can make the process quite straight forward. Consider the type of home you are purchasing. Are you looking for a new build,

character home or perhaps a fixer upper? A fifth of those surveyed by Zoopla said they would be open to buying a near-derelict home and doing it up, whilst 19% would consider building a home themselves.

It's important to keep up to date with current buying assistance schemes that are designed to help people get on the ladder, such as shared ownership or 95% mortgages. In fact, knowledge is key so it's worth getting as much information as you can to better understand your search and your position; whether that be speaking to mortgage brokers or investigating new areas and local transport. Of those who are planning to buy, or are in the process of doing do, 85% of those surveyed suggested they made financial sacrifices to do so. From not going on holiday to socialising less, consider where you may be prepared to prioritise your home purchase with the view to increase your deposit or budget.

Calling local estate agents and registering your details will ensure you are kept up to date with any new properties coming to the market that might suit you. Additionally if you let them know which requirements you have might have flexibility on they are sure to keep you front of mind for anything relevant.

On the market

A stunning property on the market with Durden & Hunt

Great Warley Street, Brentwood, CM13

Durden & Hunt present two remaining three bedroom apartments in the modern Old Pump Works development in Brentwood; designed in consideration of the characteristic feel of the rural surroundings. Ideally located on a secure gated complex, the high specification homes have allocated parking and full length balconies whilst being close to local shops and amenities as well as excellent transport links including the M25, A127, A12 and Brentwood train station.

Offers in excess of £525,000 durdenandhunt.co.uk

ABSOLUTELY magazines 127
James Hunt, co-founder of Durden & Hunt, on why there are plenty of options and ways you can get on the property ladder


John Fowlers has existed in the local area for nearly 100 years, and they are proud to operate a Commercial department that serves many local businesses in a variety of fields. Below they outline some key considerations when you are ready to begin your business journey.

Firstly, you may wish to separate yourself from the business and incorporate as a limited company, this enables the company to have its own distinct legal personality, allowing a company to enter into contracts and agreements in its own name. There are then implications on tax and the personal liability of shareholders and directors.

You may find this is not what is right for your business and a partnership would better suit with your needs. Partnerships begin on a handshake, but it is desirous to create a more formal arrangement.

The business need premises to operate from, and this is usually one of the largest expenses and concerns of a business. There are many

considerations to consider whether you are leasing a property or acquiring the property itself. In this uncertain market, there is greater scope for those terms to be negotiated.

Daily operations may also require the use of legal services if suppliers or clients fail to pay on time or there is a dispute over the nature and quality of a product or service. Having practical legal advice from a local firm can ensure that these disputes do not take any more time than is absolutely necessary, allowing you to focus on the day to day running of the company. Of every growing importance is the understanding of the rights and obligations of employees, and how you can correctly cater to the wide legislation a ecting them.

Once your business is up and running and has proved a success, you may consider expanding the business further by looking into the acquisition of another company. This can be one of the most commercially beneficial, but also commercially risky enterprises with careful due diligence needed over the company’s assets, accounts, internal procedures and ensuring you are fully aware of what liabilities will continue to a ect you.

All business owners will know that there is a commercial risk with all decisions. John Fowlers aim to explain that risk clearly to enable you to make the most informed decision you can for your business. Their team understand the practical issues that may a ect you, but also the desire to proceed with the transaction swiftly, confidently and in a cost e ective manner.


How the Commercial department at John Fowlers Solicitors can help you on any venture

Braintree Village

How you can get your skates on at this popular Essex shopping centre this Christmas

Afirst-of-its kind ice rink will be unveiled at Braintree Village later this year as part of the outlet shopping centre’s Christmas celebrations, o ering guests a truly magical skating experience. Set to create an enchanting environment for guests to enjoy during the fun-filled festive season, the 50 metres x 30 metres undercover ice rink will open to the public on Thursday 9 November for over eight weeks.

O ering guests the perfect activity come rain, snow or shine – as well as a spot of Christmas shopping for all the family to enjoy – it will be the first time in its 24-year history that Braintree Village has o ered guests an ice rink experience. Featuring real ice, and designed and installed by Icescape, the custom-built ice rink will be adjacent to the top of the North Car Park and will provide skaters with a captivating festive atmosphere for anyone looking to enjoy Christmas shopping. Skaters and spectators will be able to warm up after their session in one of Braintree Village’s eateries, as well as finding the very best Christmas gifts at more than 75 premium brands.

Josef O’Sullivan, centre director of Braintree Village, says: “We are incredibly excited to announce the arrival of Braintree Village’s first-ever ice skating rink this Christmas and we’re sure it’s going to be a big hit.

“The creation of the new rink will be a magical new addition at the pinnacle of our Christmas celebrations, giving guests the ultimate festive shopping

experience whether they’re local or visiting from across the East of England and beyond. We’re now putting the final touches to our festive plans and will announce more details about Christmas at Braintree Village as soon as we can.”

As it is expected to be popular, guests are advised to book their ice skating tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Details of tickets and prices will be announced in the coming weeks. The news of the festive addition to the Essex-based outlet shopping destination follows the recent opening of Pret A Manger’s 70-seater café and a ZWILLING store.


130 ABSOLUTELY magazines
why everyone is talking about…

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.