Absolutely West Essex October 2022

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West Essex

JO O'MEARA Romford singer
on moving on from S Club 7 • BUMP IN THE NIGHT Halloween adventures in West Essex • MONEY MUM The local mother helping you to save cash Over 20 pages of inspiration and insight SPECIAL ZONE Comfort CHANGE WITH THE SEASONS AT BONMARCH É IN BASILDON STYLISH / INTELLIGENT / ELEGANT
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From S Club 7 to K-9 Angels


The Essex local known as the 'Money Mum'


The many delights that make up the district



The latest trend to add some sparkle


Classy outfits from Bonmarché for autumn


Mixing it up for your wellbeing



Ghouls and goodies in Ingatestone


One pot wonders from Jamie Oliver


Tony Long waxes lyrical about English gardens



The latest to open this month's special


Essex's up-and-coming design star


Feeling blue inside the home

The online guides to inspirational living and what's on in Essex

ON THE COVER Bonmarché AW22 collection (bonmarche.co.uk)

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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. and bar owned by Terence and Caroline Howard and offering classical British dishes with a European influence using only the best locally sourced ingredients The Creek Flag Hill • Greta Bentley • Colchester • Essex - CO7 8RE Tel: 01206 586435 or 01255 317950 thecreekgreatbentley.co.uk Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on what’s happening, new dishes, booking availability & more. We look forward to welcoming you with a smile. New Autumn Lunch and Dinner Menu 3 Course Set Menu £28 (off peak) Visit our website for Christmas Day Menu Festive Party and New Years Eve Champagne Lunch Menu available soon THECREEK_HP_ABS_ESSEX_OCT22.indd 1 15/09/2022 14:56

LETTER Editor’s


Iam writing this letter the day after the funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II. What a momentous 10 days it has been, from all the pomp and ceremony, to the astonishing outpouring of grief and stoicism from those who queued up for over 10 hours to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty lying in state. I have heard from several readers in Essex who did just that, describing it as one of the most powerful moments in their lives.

In my 43 years, Queen Elizabeth II was all I knew. I never had any personal dealings with Her Majesty, but there are some connections – the amateur football club I am now chairman of saw its founder awarded an MBE from her two decades ago. The response to that from those in the club and outside was monumental, showing just what it meant to be honoured by Queen Elizabeth II. It also made me chuckle when he told me he chatted to Her Majesty about football tactics and she seemed to be interested in his thoughts on the beautiful game. It seemed Her Majesty had time for everyone.

The Queen had many different connections to Essex, far too many for me to list here, but it's clear she will never be forgotten. A new era awaits and it's one I am sure we will all look upon with interest. Rest in peace Your Majesty. God save the King.

Home Special

Everything you need this winter, including



The best places in the county to have a frightfully good

Halloween Uttlesford From Great Dunmow to Thaxted, the best spots in the district (p24) Jo O' Meara The Essex star on going from S Club 7 to K-9 Angels (p14) Interiors Trend Why you should be feeling blue at home (p101)
the best stoves
October issue highlights 32
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10 things we Absolutely love


Molly Goddard's AW22 collection is full of bright colours and voluminous shapes for maximum autumn impact. mollygoddard.com


Jonathan Adler's Mustique collection pairs juicy, dimensional colour with bold, Memphis-y geometrics. Featuring swirling poppy tones, each Mustique vase brings one-of-a-kind shine to any modern tablescape. jonathanadler.com


Henry Holland's new collection of artisinal hand-blown glass includes this beautiful pink swirly concoction. henryhollandstudio.com


With a gentle nod to Scandinavian folk art, Bjørn Wiinblad's romantic, imaginative art is now reinterpreted in this modern, functional range of ceramics fit for a new generation. scandinavianshop.co.uk

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Mustard Made's brightly coloured lockers come in a variety of shapes and sizes to bring locker room chic to any space. Pink is our favourite, naturally. mustardmade.com


These gold vermeil hoop earrings feature a pink opal gemstone at their centre – and the stones are interchangeable for a truly versatile look. lilyblanche.com


Pink and red is an excellent colour combination and this marbley candle promises an interesting melt. £15 rockettstgeorge.co.uk



Paolita's Zephyr Bianca One Piece is a beautiful statement swimsuit that has an off -the-shoulder ruffl e with a delicate trim edging. harveynichols.com


Bold colours characterise Margo in Margate's eyecatching and characterful artworks. margomcdaid.com the stationary afi cionado.

Caran D'Ache's new collection takes the iconic 849 Ballpoint Pen and injects a range of pastel and bright block colours, creating a collection of bold and trend-led pens ideal for the stationary afi cionado. carandache.com

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Michael Palin, the Monty Python legend and intrepid globetrotter, brings his new new solo tour, 'From North Korea Into Iraq', to Essex for the first of just ten UK dates. He will tell the story of his challenging adventures in the tightly controlled time bomb that is the People's Republic of North Korea, and the bruised land of Iraq. colchester-events.co.uk/ event/michael-palin

Jo O'Meara 14 • Money Mum 20 • Uttlesford 24
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Jo O’Meara rose to fame around the same time as I started to grow up.

S Club 7 were huge at the turn of the Millennium, with the seven members – including Jo – becoming celebrities. They weren’t my bag as I was going through a grunge phase, but turn on a radio and it was a cast-iron guarantee that it wouldn’t be long till an S Club 7 song filled the airwaves.

It’s also quite common to speak to singers who were part of a girl or boy band some years later and their recollections are not exactly rosy. Not so Jo. “I do look back on that time with fondness,” she says. “I’m very proud to have been a part of something as special as S Club 7. We had some amazing times and shared some life-changing experiences together. It will always be a part of who I am.”

It was certainly a time when Jo’s fame was sky high, rather apt considering


she has just completed a wing walk in aid of the K-9 Angels dog rescue charity. “The wing walk went as well as it could I guess,” she laughs. “It was possibly the most terrifying thing I have ever done, but I am so proud to have done it. It was worth it to try and help raise money and awareness for a charity close to my heart.”

K-9 Angels is run solely by volunteers and was created in order to help dogs all over the world. Their mission is to improve the quality of existence of our canine friends as well as educate people about animal welfare. It was founded by Victoria Featherstone Pearce and Pola Pospieszalska, and it was recently announced that Jo was joining as ‘the third Angel’. “As soon as I was asked if I wanted to become the third Angel, I literally jumped at the chance,” Jo smiles. “Animals have always been a big part of my life and rescuing and helping in any way I can is something that is very important to me.

“I have two dogs and a cat,” she adds. “My little Wilson was more of a re-home,

but Wilma is a full-on rescue. She came from a very traumatic past, so watching her bloom into the beautiful girl she is, is just the most amazing feeling. I think anyone who rescues will know how it feels to save a dog’s life and make them happy again. My cat Peggy is also a rescue. I really believe in adopt-don’t-shop.”

Keeping her feet on the ground, Jo is also involved in the launch of a very special single in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Making music lovers of a certain age feel old, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is 40 this year, so was ripe to mark Halloween with a new celebrity version. “It is an all-time classic song, isn’t it,” Jo says. “I have always been a huge fan of Michael Jackson. The first time I heard this song and saw the video as a young girl, I just remember how unbelievable I thought it was. The dance, the costume, the story… It was all just pure perfection.”

Featuring the vocals of Hollyoaks star Bethannie Hare, ITN news reader Faye

Essex-based Jo O’Meara hit the heights with S Club 7, but she tells Absolutely that she’s never been happier with her career and charity work
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“Helping animals in any way I can is something that is very important to me”
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Barker, ITV presenter Verona Rose, Outnumbered’s Tyger Drew Honey, world famous actor Ivan Kaye, and Anne Hegerty of The Chase, who is here to warn you that if you don’t have the soul for getting down you must stand and face the hounds of hell. It’s quite a cast joining Jo for the charity single. “We recorded the song and video all in the one day,” Jo explains. “I wrapped up the lead vocal in a couple of hours in the morning and then the video was shot at the same time. It was pretty full on, but a very funny day.”

It's a welcome reminder that Jo’s singing career is more than just S Club 7. Although there have been di erent incarnations of the band since they broke up in 2003, Jo has continued to impress with her solo work. “That is still very active,” she says on her solo career. “I am looking forward to getting back to the studio soon to begin writing and recording the follow up to With Love. I want to try and find some new sounds and explore myself as a solo artist some more. There is still so much I want to do and so much I want to learn. I believe you never stop

learning. I feel I am developing in the right direction as a singer. I’m finding my place and enjoying what I do more now than ever. My new management, Saga Entertainment, have been just incredible at steering me in the right direction.”

It's fair to say that Jo’s career has had its ups and downs, but it’s clear she is in a good place right now. “I am the happiest I have ever been in my life and I really mean that,” she states. “I learned so much from being in S Club 7, from work ethic to giving myself a break. I don’t get so hung up on things as I used to, but I do believe if you want something, you have to work hard to get there. I feel completely satisfied with the way things are going and the direction I am taking, and I am very lucky to have such amazing people around me. Life is good.”

See more at joomeara.uk, and visit k-9angels.org for more on the animal rescue charity. The charity Thriller single is out now, with 10p of every download being donated to GOSH! Charity

Jo’s joys

What the Essex born and bred singer loves about our county

Q What does Essex mean to you?

A I have been in Essex my whole life; this is where I am from and I love where I come from. I think Essex used to get a bit of stick back in the day, but it really is a beautiful place to live. It’s home.

Q Can you pick your three favourite places in the county?

A Epping Forest is definitely one place I love; there’s nothing better than jumping in the car with the dogs and going for beautiful long walks. It’s stunning!

I also love Sheesh Restaurant. The food is out of this world so that’s on the list. Lastly, I would have to say good old Collier Row. It’s been my home for 43 years and I love everything about it. There’s no place like home.




Absolutely heads to PRC Direct’s new Basildon store to chat to company director, George Digwa, about how they have stayed ahead of the curve

Q What originally inspired the launch of PRC Direct?

A PRC originally sold films and records on LP vinyls in the 1970s. As technology progressed, films then became available on cassettes, so consumers required cassette players in order to watch these. We then expanded our product range to cassette players and hi-fi, which has evolved ever since.

Q Where were you based from the beginning?

A We were originally based in Forest Gate, East London from a store on Romford Road. It was very popular and well-known amongst the local community. Even to this day, we have the same customers and families buying from us after three generations.

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Q Back then, what did you sell?

A From LP vinyls to cassette players in the 70s, hi-fi to TVs in the 80s, then camcorders to home cinema equipment in the 90s.

Q How would you say you have evolved?

A We have always stayed relevant alongside the ever-changing developments in technology. Technology has changed rapidly over the years, but PRC Direct has always kept its product range up to date focusing on consumer demands.

Q Home entertainment has come on leaps and bounds over the years. What is in demand right now?

A Large screen TVs from 65-inch to 120inch screen sizes are in demand right now with sleek speaker solutions to blend in seamlessly in customer’s homes.

Q Are you able to kit out a whole home cinema?

A Yes, we have completed many home cinema installations over the years throughout Essex and East London, and have trained and qualified personnel to carry out our professional installations. We also o er site surveys and welcome customers to visit our home cinema demonstration room in Basildon where we can discuss your budget and requirements.

Q What other appliances do you sell?

A We also sell a wide range of kitchen appliances, including laundry, refrigeration, cookers, co ee machines, mixers, floorcare and much more.

Q What tends to be the best sellers?

A Samsung home appliances are amongst the best sellers and Rangemaster cookers are also very popular.

Q How do you decide on the brands to work with?

A We have worked with some of these big global brands for almost 50 years and have built strong partnerships over the years. The premium brands always keep their product ranges innovative and relevant, so we invest heavily and focus particularly on these brands and they support us in return.

Q Why the Rangemaster partnership?

A Rangemaster is Britain's best loved range cooker brand. They made the world's first range cooker in 1830 on the very same site in Royal Leamington Spa where they continue to design and manufacture all their 90, 100 and 110cm range cookers. Their range cookers are at the heart of more homes than any other. As Britain's number one cooker manufacturer, they're a pivotal part of everyday life. Rangemaster cookers

are really the essential ingredient to a perfect kitchen and they also o er a wide range of other products including refrigeration, built-in appliances, sinks, taps and wine cabinets.

Q As we head into autumn, what special o ers can we expect?

A There will be an abundance of special o ers this autumn particularly on TVs for the World Cup and Black Friday, but these change regularly so we recommend checking our website for the latest updates, or speaking to a member of sta in our Ilford or Basildon stores who will advise the best deals at the time to suit your needs.

Q You opened your Basildon branch not too long ago. How’s that going?

A We opened the new Basildon branch back in June and are thrilled with the results. Above all, feedback from both our suppliers and customers has been extremely positive and we are very grateful. It really is a must-see store. It’s just o the A127 with ample free parking, so we’d encourage everyone to visit and our sta would be delighted to show you around and have a friendly chat on your electrical needs over a cup of co ee. We are also planning to expand the business even further with some exciting new projects.



Gemma Bird’s practical and savvy moneysaving tips have made her a social media sensation. With 286k followers on Instagram and over 68k on TikTok, Gemma’s legions of fans can’t get enough of her helpful and relatable advice.

From entertaining the kids, useful money-saving apps and the best deals and freebies, hard-working mum Gemma shares the ‘need to knows’ to push through economically challenging times with a smile.

The key to Gemma’s success comes from her own motivation, a working mum who frequently held down multiple jobs to make ends meet; she is the antithesis of the ‘wealthy’ influencers who leave their followers feeling negative and inadequate.

Money Mum is actively instigating change, dropping the perceived shame and secrecy around being strapped for cash, in debt or economising and saving, challenging peer pressure and anxietyinducing financial choices. Absolutely spoke to her to find out more…

Q When and why did you first start posting money-saving advice online?

A I have lived and breathed deals my entire life; I've never earned lots of money, so I have always had to do my best with what I have.

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Q When did you morph into the 'Money Mum', and what do you think of the moniker?

A I never started calling myself Money Mum originally; people started calling me that, but I like it!

Q Given the cost of living crisis, how key are blogs like yours?

A It's so important to talk openly about money in clear and simple terms, and to discuss everyday money issues that are sometimes overlooked. We need to drop the perceived shame and secrecy around being strapped for cash, in debt, economising or simply wanting to make some savings. I'm also an advocate for money management classes to be included in the UK school's National Curriculum.

Q What are your top moneysaving tips right now?

• Turn o all switches at night.

• Take your washing machine down a degree or two.

• Make sure you have things installed like Honey on your computer to get the best coupons and savings.

• Shop around for the best deals.

• If you're a mum, invest in a good

quality backpack for you and the kids, and take drinks and snacks with you on family days out.

Q Was it fun putting together your book 'Money Mum O cial – Save Yourself Happy', and what would we find inside?

A I loved the experience of putting the book together. The money mindset is so important – it's about changing your attitude towards money and respecting a tenner, thinking about how much you are earning and what things really cost.

Q Away from the 'Money Mum', who is family, and where is home?

A I live in Billericay with my husband and two children.

Q Can you pick out your three favourite places in the area or further afield in Essex?

A I like to take the children to the

local Wetherspoons as they have great deals – including the pizza.

Wat Tyler Park is brilliant, there's so much for the kids to do there, and it's all free; plus I love to go for walks.

Any of the local libraries – with free story time for young children and activities during half term, it's always worth checking out what they have going on.

Q This interview will be in our October issue, with autumn here. Are there any Essex outdoor spots you love at this time of year?

A King George's Park in Brentwood is also a favourite for my children and me.

Q What's next for you Gemma?

A I have a new book coming out –more news on that soon.

Follow Gemma Bird on Instagram: @moneymumo cal

“It's so important to talk openly about money in clear and simple terms”
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Celebrating the iconic Tina Turner in a musical extravaganza

From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her triumphant transformation against all odds into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner didn’t just break the rules, she rewrote them.

Set to the pulse-pounding soundtrack of her much-loved hits, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical is written by Olivier Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning

playwright Katori Hall and directed by the internationally acclaimed Phyllida Lloyd. Presented in association with Tina Turner herself, TINA is an exhilarating celebration of the artist you know and love. One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy Awards and her live shows have been seen by millions, selling more concert tickets than any other solo performer in music history.

TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL Aldwych Theatre; booking to 23 September 2023 tinathemusical.com
“Leaves the audience breathless.” The Guardian 22 ABSOLUTELY magazines “A raw
triumph.” The Times

Why we love… Uttlesford

Looking at the many reasons why this Essex district is perfect to explore in the autumn

Discover Uttlesford this autumn where you can explorequintessentially English villages brimming with chocolate box thatched cottages, take insplendid lively market towns, and visit castles and country houses. It is a wonderful time to marvel at the beauty of Uttlesford’s natural heritage and walk in the footsteps of history through its town and village centres.

Within the district is the picturesque, medieval town of Sa ron Walden in north-west Essex. Situated just 15 miles south of Cambridge, it has a rich heritage of historic buildings that reflect its wealth as a rural market town.

At the heart of the town lies St Mary’s Church, the largest parish church in Essex. Amongst the nearby buildings there are fine examples of elaborate moulded plasterwork (pargetting), which can be seen on the Old Sun Inn and the houses in Castle Street and Bridge Street. Also of note are the Eight Bells, the timberframed Cross Keys, and the medieval building located at 1 Myddylton Place.

Sa ron Walden Museum is of particular interest. The collections are housed in one of the oldest purpose-built museum buildings in the country, completed in 1835. It has everything from mammoth tusks and mummies to an early Tudor bed and a natural history museum gallery. Within the grounds of the museum sit the ruins of the Castle Keep, which dates to the 1130s or 40s.

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Bridge End Garden is a real jewel and an environment of great charm on the north side of Sa ron Walden. Careful restoration has replicated gardening techniques and designs typical of the Victorian era and brought the garden back to its full splendour. The wonderful hedge maze is of particular appeal to children. The path into the garden passes the Fry Art Gallery, which houses a collection of works by a Great Bardfield group of artists, who settled in the Essex countryside in the 1930s.

The attractive Common is the oldest of Sa ron Walden’s open spaces and on its eastern side is the largest turf labyrinth still surviving in Europe. Children of all ages enjoy following the ‘path’ through the turf, which winds for about one mile within a circle that measures at 100 feet (30.5 metres) in diameter.

Throughout Uttlesford are rich rural

footpaths and bridleways, coupled with ancient woodlands and rolling farmland. It is perfect for exploring on foot or by bike. Visit the ancient Royal hunting ground at Hatfield Forest, be wowed by the splendour of Audley End House and Gardens, take a trip on Audley End Miniature Railway or enjoy some world class musicians at Sa ron Hall.

Families will love Uttlesford and can challenge each other to a game of adventure golf at Golf World Stansted or step back in time to see what life was like in 1066 Norman England at Mountfitchet Castle and Toy Museum. The Toy Museum has over 80,000 items on display making it an Aladdin’s cave of nostalgia.

Moving around the district, the small market town of Great Dunmow is steeped in history with mellow plaster cottages, a riverside church and beautifully restored Maltings.The town is famous for its Flitch Trials, a custom of awarding a flitch of bacon to those who can prove marital harmony, believed to date back to 1104 and written

about by Chaucer.Just outside the town centre are wonderful green, open spaces.The Doctors Pond is a great place to relax and while away the time feeding the ducks or trying your hand at angling. Take a walk along the River Chelmer or along the Flitch Way to take in the lovely North Essex countryside.

Great Dunmow is full of wonderful businesses, such as Market Place Dental. At Market Place Dental, the team o er quality general dental care for all the family.

“Great Dunmow is famous for its Flitch Trials, a custom dating back to 1104”

They provide implant restorations, tooth whitening and injectable facial aesthetics, as well as short term adult orthodontics (Invisalign and Six Month Smiles).

Market Place Dental’s small, friendly team of dentists and hygiene/therapists take pride in their personal service and gentle, meticulous dentistry that reassures patients of all ages. Patients have their own dedicated dentist and hygienist to ensure Market Place Dental provide a high level of individually tailored care, delivered with continuity and consistency. Children are welcome, however young.

No trip to Uttlesford would be complete without a visit to Thaxted, one of Britain’s most attractive and well-preserved small towns, set within open countryside halfway between Sa ron Walden and Great Dunmow. It has a wealth of medieval buildings, thatched cottages and quaint streets.The magnificent Thaxted Parish Church is of cathedral proportions and the Guildhall, thought to be Essex’s oldest building, is ample evidence of the town’s former prosperity.

Discover Uttlesford and find a world away from the hustle and bustle of

everyday life, a place where sightseeing and shopping are a real pleasure and the perfect backdrop to great memories.

To discover more about Uttlesford, visit discoveruttlesford.co.uk or download the DSCVR app, available on iOS or Android.

For more information about Sa ron Walden, head to visitsa ronwalden. gov.uk, or contact the Tourist Information Centre on 01799524002. To find places to eat and stay as well as things to do in Uttlesford, head to visitessex.com

“Thaxted is one of Britain's most attractive and well-preserved small towns”
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RHS Glow Tue 22 Nov – Fri 30 Dec Enjoy an unmissable after-dark spectacle of lights at Glow this festive season. Your visit supports our work as a charity rhs.org.uk/hydehallglow BOOK NOW Market Place Dental Short term adult orthodontics with clear aligners, aesthetic braces and FREE teeth whitening. Call today for your complimentary consultation. Market Place Dental The Old Exchange, Mill Lane, Great Dunmow, CM6 1BG Tel: 01371 872 300 www.greatdunmowdentist.com ✝ *Reflects average treatment time of 6 months. £20 booking fee redeemed on start of treatment * ✝
NEW BUILDS, EXTENSIONS, COMPLETE RE-MODELS & INTERIOR DESIGN. From initial architectural design through to completion. RKSIGNATURELIVING.COM

Cast a SPELL

This autumn, there is plenty to do across Essex, from peaceful countryside walks where you can kick up leaves and take in a variety of colours, to exciting Halloweenthemed events. Visit Essex, the county’s tourism organisation, is encouraging people to have some spooky-themed fun this month at these great county spots.


Get into the seasonal spirit at Hedingham Castle this autumn with a wreathmaking workshop on 16 October from 10am-12.30pm. Work under an expert florist to make a beautiful wreath

to hang inside or outside. Once you are finished, why not explore the spectacular grounds at Hedingham?

Standard entry tickets cost £42.


The Walls at Manningtree is a stunning short walk along the newest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Stour Estuary. The Walls also has a gruesome history as the location for the start of the 17th century witch trials, led by the Witch Finder General and Manningtree resident, Matthew Hopkins. The walk also passes Mistley Towers, now looked after by English Heritage, ‘Old Knobbly’, one of England’s oldest and largest oak trees, as well as quaint tearooms, pubs and even a shop selling wine and vinyl.

magic in Essex
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Immerse yourself
this October


For some spooky fun this autumn, head down to Marsh Farm. The whole family can get involved and wear their favourite Halloween costume, visit the spooky 3D cinema or even explore the farm on a Trick or Treat Halloween Hunt. Marsh Farm’s Pumpkin Picking Village will also be open, so every member of the family can find the perfect pumpkin so you can get carving when you get home. The Halloween festival will run on 15-16 and 22-30 October, and tickets cost £19.99.


All aboard the eerie Halloween train, as Audley End Miniature Railway will be hosting a spooktacular event. The Halloween express sets o at the station, winds its way through the woods and eventually arrives at the house of a coven of witches, who will cackle and cast spells over their cauldrons. Children can then

go on to meet William the woodland Wizard, who will need help performing a spell to keep woodland creatures warm over winter, and then the whole family can enjoy a breather in the Tipi tents. This spooktacular event will run from 22-31 October and tickets start at £8.50.


Thrillseekers will love ‘Over the Hill 2: Spooksville’ at Adventure Island in Southend this autumn. The cartoonthemed ride takes you through a haunted house, where you will encounter a variety of monsters and other spooky creatures. This scary attraction is suitable for all the family, although some younger riders may find parts of it scary, and there is no minimum height limit, so all can enjoy. Wristbands start at £5 and can be used to enjoy a variety of attractions.

To discover more, go to visitessex.com/things-to-do

“You will encounter a variety of monsters and other spooky creatures”

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It’s been a hectic year for The Overtones. The four-piece soul vocal harmony group made up of Mike Crawshaw, Mark Franks, Jay James and Darren Everest have been touring non-stop, so it’s by some miracle that we have managed to find some time to talk to the latter.

Despite his love of being on the road and soaking up the audience’s energy, Darren always looks forward to returning home to his fiancée and former Coronation Street actress Rhea Bailey, and their oneyear-old daughter Ilaria. “It was hard being away in Mexico for ten days. I don’t want to miss anything!” he exclaims with a big grin. “Rhea is the most amazing mum and it’s great to come back home to them. Ilaria is amazing and such a character. We laugh every day; she loves her food and is always giggling and laughing. She loves Stevie Wonder! I am besotted with her,” he gushes.

It’s evident that becoming a dad has made a huge impact on 41-year-old Darren as he proudly shares his journey over the last year. “Ilaria fits into our lifestyle in the most amazing way,” he continues.

“She came on tour with The Overtones for a few dates and we’ve travelled to LA, Spain, and Italy with her. It’s a dream to see her from the stage as I perform.”

Darren and Rhea, younger sister of Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Corinne

The Overtones singer Darren Everest is embracing change. He chats to Absolutely about becoming a dad, growing up in Essex, and learning to be present
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Bailey Rae, moved to Roundhay in Leeds with their rescue dog Binkie after meeting five years ago at a party. “Rhea was born and bred in Leeds so it made sense to move up north,” explains Darren. “I am always up for di erent experiences and so is Rhea. She lived in LA for six years and I’ve moved around a bit. I love Yorkshire, everyone is so friendly, and people really do have time for you up here.”

With family still living in Essex where Darren grew up, he speaks fondly of his life there. “I still have a lot of friends in Essex, and I always love visiting my nan, who lives in Barkingside and my family in Chigwell. We usually go for a lovely meal at The Bell Sit, an Italian restaurant in Woodford.”

Recalling his early years, football was the ultimate dream. His football career ambitions, however, dissipated after Darren caught glandular fever which “wiped him out” for a year, forcing him to change direction. Some might call it serendipity, but this led him to music. “I was at a point where I had the potential to get signed to a club, but after glandular fever I fell into music and at that time I never thought of it as a career. I started going to auditions and open mic

nights, but I never knew it would take so long. I am happy it all happened for me later in life. I have seen people get jaded when they get into this business so early on.”

At the age of 28, like a scene out of a film, Darren and his bandmates were working as painters and decorators on Oxford Street and were discovered by Warner Bros while singing on a tea break. It’s the stu of dreams. Ditching paintbrushes for perfect harmonies, The Overtones have since racked up multi-platinum record sales, released six studio albums, toured with Cli Richard – and even performed at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Buckingham Palace.

But after the tragic death of their bandmate Timmy Matley in 2018 (later replaced by Jay James), it forced the band to reevaluate their future. “After Timmy passed away, we hid under a rock,” recalls Darren, “we didn’t know whether we’d continue, but ultimately we wanted to carry on his legacy. Our job is to make people smile.

“In the last four years I’ve realised how important our music is for people,” he continues. “We get so many messages and emails thanking us for helping people in their lives. I feel blessed to be in a band that makes people feel good and smile.

“I love vocal harmony, soul and appreciate it even more. We now have our own label; it eases the pressure, and you can enjoy the moment a bit more. I remember not enjoying special moments along the way because you get so nervous and worked up, especially being on a major label. It’s easy to become obsessed with getting a number one album and charting high, dreaming of making it in America, and packing out arenas. I’m learning to be more present – it’s easy to be obsessed with what is next.”

When he’s not touring or with family, Darren also manages two acts: Ramzi and

Princes to Kings. “I’ve always wanted to manage talent and develop them,” he says. “Ramzi is a multi-instrumentalist and Princes to Kings are two brothers from Hertfordshire and they are developing into a serious pop group, they write and produce their own music. They are getting better and better. I want the music to be organic – it’s important that they’re at peace and happy with their work.”

As if life couldn’t get any busier, there’s plenty more in the pipeline – a wedding to plan, and potentially more kids to add to the fold. “I am a workaholic and a dreamer, but having Ilaria has chilled me out a bit,” Darren reflects.

“We do want more kids, but now we have one we realise how tiring it is! Let’s see what happens. We do want a little sibling for her to play with and we have a boy’s name ready. Rhea and I would love to get married in Italy or Yorkshire next year or in 2024.”

Ahead of that, Indonesia beckons in December as The Overtones head on tour once again. “There’s also been talk of returning to Mexico and having a crack at South America, and we’d love to return to Germany as we have a great fan base,” Darren says. “We’re in a great place and having the best time on stage together. We just want to keep making music that makes people smile.”

“In the last four years I have realised how important our music is to people”
34 ABSOLUTELY magazines
PUMPKINTRAIL 22October-30October Findthe30pumpkinsto claimyourmunchkin pumpkinprize! www.markshall.org.uk Coggeshall, Essex

Golf for ladies is thankfully on the increase. I often hear people say that golf is boring - on the contrary it is not only great fun, but is great for your fitness, reduces stress, releases endorphins, burns up calories - all the while you’re having a great time with your friends.

Fancying a game, we took a trip to Abridge Golf Club, in Romford, and joined their ladies for a friendly competition. Abridge is one of the most beautiful private courses in Essex with a superb 18-hole par 72 Championship Golf Course, first designed by Henry Cotton.

Facilities at Abridge include a 300-yard driving range, 18 putting green, chipping area and practice bunker, making it the perfect club to enjoy a game of golf. Justin, the Club Manager who greeted us, would love to invite the ladies of

Essex to Abridge for a free lesson to see what it is all about and just give it a go.

We played Texas Scramble in groups of four. This takes the best of the four shots, making it more of a team game. The weather was cooler than it has been recently, and the ladies were all lovely company, and after a good three and a half hours we were ready for the 19th hole and a well-deserved drink and lunch.

We chose to have lunch in the New Clubhouse restaurant where they have a good selection of wines and beers and an extensive menu with a special dish of the day. The other option is to enjoy a drink on the patio overlooking the 18th hole.

I couldn’t recommend the course and club more. It has all the facilities you need and is perfect for beginners intrigued by the game – you can join the ladies on Tuesdays and Thursdays for fun competitions –and the more experienced amongst you who want to work on your handicap.

Look out for some new special o ers too. You can enjoy a free trial lesson with a Pro, and there is an o er on Full Membership, £1,200, and a Five Day Membership, £900, guaranteed until May 2024, So why not pop down for that free lesson or just to catch up with your friends over a very good lunch – you never know you might just get hooked.

1ST, 01708 688396

ABSOLUTELY magazines 37
Abridge Golf Club is welcoming to all, as one of Absolutely’s writers finds out in person “Abridge features a superb 18-hole, par 72 Championship Golf Course, first designed by Henry Cotton” PRO MAX WESCOTT THE BEAUTIFUL COURSE THE LADIES OF ABRIDGE GOLF TAKE A SHOT ABRIDGE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB Epping Lane, Stapleford Tawney, Romford, RM4
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Jewellery 41 • Fragrances 43 • The Shoot 44 FASHION
ABSOLUTELY magazines 39

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Slip into autumn effortlessly with the AW22 collection from Bonmarché, available at their stores in Basildon and Chelmsford





The creative director for Dior makeup, Peter Philips, created this stunning look for the brand’s autumn/winter Haute Couture Collection. Peter describes it as “a look where light and a pure complexion dominate” and used “nude tones that blended subtly with the skin, giving the face a natural glow”. dior.com

Made By
50 • Beauty Products 53
49ABSOLUTELY magazines


In the MIX

We chat to Essex-based Clare Cooper about the wellness brand that she launched with her husband which uses apothecary to deal with all manner of health issues

Q When did you start su ering from anxiety and how debilitating was it for you?

A I had bouts of it as a child, which would manifest as stomach aches (as we know the gut is the second brain and often linked to anxiety), then as a teenager –and when it became an actual anxiety disorder it was when I was around 25 to 30 (so over 10 years ago now). It was really debilitating when there was a point that I no longer felt there was any enjoyment left in life. Normally fun activities like meals out with friends were taken over by thoughts of panicking about having an anxiety attack and people noticing, or my mind focussed on drinking alcohol to lessen the anxiety feeling.

Q Why did you start studying apothecary?

A I started to learn about aromatherapy and natural remedies when I started my healing journey in my late 20s. I found a shop in Camden Market that sold frankincense resin, so I started burning it and took up meditation. The sedating e ects were so profound and really helped me ease anxiety. I also started di using grapefruit essential oil, which really helped lift my mood and helped with depression. I truly believed in natural remedies as they really helped me, so naturally I wanted to learn more about them.

Q Where did your travels take you to learn the craft?

A I got into yoga and meditation, which alongside aromatherapy really helped

50 ABSOLUTELY magazines

me heal from the anxiety disorders, so as part of my journey I was drawn to India, the birthplace of yoga. I went for three months and stayed in ashrams and ayurvedic centres. At the ayurvedic centre, we were shown the farm where the plants were grown and then how they turned into natural remedies in the form of botanical pastes and oils.

Q What inspired you to launch Made By Coopers?

A After returning from India, we were inspired to start a wellness brand that helped with anxiety, low mood and sleep problems. All of which myself and partner Darren had su ered. We now had a lot of knowledge in natural ways to help heal.

Q Was it tough to get o the ground?

A It was really tough, especially as we had never had a business before. At first, we focused on what we knew and what we had studied – then came up with core blends after lots of research and testing.

Q What do you o er today?

A We have a range of products that include aromatherapy oils, room sprays, candles, bath and body products, a clean beauty

facial range and relaxation aids such as an eye pillow and meditation cushion.

Q How do you go about creating products?

A We literally create aromatherapy blends for a common problem such as poor sleep, then create for example three final possible blends in the form of sprays and give to friends and family to test on themselves and get feedback. Once we have a resounding success, we choose which product we will bring to market.

Q You recently moved to Essex – where to and what do you love about it?

A We now live in Benfleet. Previously we lived in Lancing, not far from Brighton, but we decided to move to Essex which is where Darren’s from. As our business grew, it made sense for us to be nearer family as we were here a lot of weekends anyway. We have two children so being close to family really helps. Mine are in South London, so in West Sussex we didn't have anyone near. Also, Darren's dad passed away a year ago, so we wanted to move to help out with his family and be closer. I have no problem moving to di erent places, it keeps life exciting! I like Essex as you have countryside and beaches not far away, yet you can easily get into London.

Q How would you like to develop Made By Coopers?

A I would like to meet other Essexbased businesses for collaborations like yoga studios, yoga teachers and other people in the wellbeing industry. We are all in it together, so it makes sense to create collaborations which help us all grow together.


51ABSOLUTELY magazines
“I truly believed in natural remedies as they really helped me” HEALTH & BEAUTY • PROFILE
133mm in height x 190mm_133mm in height x 190mm 23/06/2021 15:56 Page 1


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Why Virgin Active ticks all the boxes when inspiring you to get fit and look after your mental and physical wellbeing

At Virgin Active, they’re firm believers that whatever gets you moving, it all counts. Whether you prefer to restore your sense of calm in a yoga class, find alignment and build core strength in Pilates, or move to the groove in a cycle class, it all counts.

At Virgin Active, they have such a wide range of exercise experiences for the body and mind, they know you’ll find something you love. They pride themselves on being a place where everyone and every fitness ability is welcome.

Love fitness already, but want to reach new heights? Why not book a free 45-minute Kickstart session with one of their topnotch Personal Trainers to get you started?

Keen to give it a go, but not sure where to start? Go and join a One Series class, a set of classes across yoga, Pilates, cycle, boxing and strength & conditioning where you can move at your own pace. Learn the basics or refresh your memory on the moves. All are welcome here.

They love to inspire their members to Live Happily Ever Active, but they’re also all about the relaxation and rest days too. So, if you’re more of a take a dip in the pool, then chill out in the sauna type person, they’re proud to have some lovely indoor and outdoor pools and spas to choose from.

Whoever you are, whatever your fitness level, they’re here for you. And with every type of activity from swimming to boxing to gentle jacuzzi bubbling, they can help you find your thing.

Virgin Active Chelmsford is located in

the heart of the city and the heart of the action. Grab your trainers and jump onto a buzzing Grid Floor or unwind in the pool and spa. Try high-intensity, interval Grid Training, bring the kids to family events and club activities, hit your body goals on the fully-equipped gym floor, and jump into our wide selection of classes.

With two swimming pools and fun activities for the whole family, Virgin Active Thundersley is a club that's got it all. Explore their kid’s club, parties and fun family activities, take your swimming to the next level in their luxurious pool, or come together in group studio fitness classes.

Visit virginactive.co.uk and find your nearest club. Join now and get 50% o the rest of 2022 (T&Cs apply. O er ends 31/10/2022)

“There's a wide range of exercise experiences for the body and mind”


milestone in answering the fundamental question ‘when to start a family?’.

At IVF London, they o er a Fertility Wellness Check, where within a few hours, you have a pelvic scan, a blood test (AMH), Semen Analysis and time with a consultant to understand where you place on the fertility scale and if there are any factors that need addressing.

Egg Freezing is a process that allows women the freedom of choosing the time at which they wish to become mothers. A woman can freeze her eggs and at a later time of her choosing decide to use them.

Artificial Intelligence is a new and exciting avenue available at IVF London that allows their embryologists to choose the best embryos for transfer. Another avenue for screening is (PGD) Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis which allows them to screen for some of the genetic hereditary ailments.

The experts at IVF London ensure the journey to parenthood is informed, well thought out and comfortable. They are an end-to-end clinic, with state-of-the-art facilities, where patients get to know the team and have continuity of care.

How do we know when it is the right time to try for a baby? This fundamental question often plagues many of us. Clinic Director and Embryologist of IVF London, Mr Alpesh Doshi with 30 years under his belt, says: “It’s a huge dilemma for women who want to focus on their career or education.

Often women face the conundrum between taking a break in their career/ education to pursue their familial plans.”

The stark truth of a women’s reproductive health is set in stone in that

the women’s reproductive health starts to decline after the age of 35 and the decline only accelerates as she nears 40. This can sometimes make IVF the only option with reduced chances for patients who have left it later in life to embark on their fertility journey. The buck doesn’t stop with women; men equally face challenges brought on by lifestyle choices, poor habits inculcated by a demanding work life and stress that directly impact a man’s fertility.

There are measures in place to help understand and assess reproductive health. A little investment of time allows one to gauge their reproductive health and helps give a realistic

How IVF London can put your mind at ease when deciding when is the right time to have a family
“Artificial Intelligence is a new avenue available that allows their embryologists to choose the best embryos to transfer”
ABSOLUTELY magazines 57
Keeping your home Healthy MOLLY MAID Braintree Call us today to learn more about HomeSafe and why you can trust MOLLY MAID in your home. Please call: 01376 349419 or email: julie.ward@mollymaid.co.uk See what our customers say at uk.trustpilot.com Excellent The HomeSafe cleaning system puts the health and safety of you, your family and our team of maids at the core of how we work. • Uniformed and professionally trained staff • 100% guaranteed and fully insured • Regular and occasional cleans • Free in home estimate • All materials supplied • No contracts

Up, up and AWAY

A first-hand account of the wonder of a Balloon Safari in Kenya

Soaring majestically over rolling grasslands in Kenya, the best ballooning season is July to October, and with a 360 degree view, it’s absolutely worth it.

It’s also the best time to go on safari in the Masai Mara during migration season. Over a million wildebeest gather, forming vast herds, a moving bu et for predators and the greatest wildlife show on earth.

In the dewy darkness under spectacular stars at the Balloon Safari, heady anticipation hangs in the air. There is a heavy breathing sound, as nerves kick in, of gas cylinders inflating the rainbow striped balloon. We climb into a sectioned corner of the heavy-duty basket. The exhilarating sound of the fire blasting resembles a dragon breathing. Flying is the most wonderful sensation in the first glow of dawn. The gliding motion is e ortlessly smooth, with the hiss of pilot lights.

Waterbucks chase o a stalking leopard, the rest of the herd alert and watching. Gliding above these glorious creatures is a whole new perspective. Below the balloon we spot elephants, crocodiles, hippos, gira es, hyenas, warthogs, vultures, marabou stork, a duiker, reedbuck, zebras and wildebeest. We enjoy the tranquility and breeze and marvel at all the amazing wildlife.

What goes up must come down. Back down to earth with a bump, the basket tips us laughing onto our backs – our world turned upside down, in the best sense. Elated as the balloon is deflated, we wriggle out of the basket and we hop into a waiting vehicle. A warm ‘Karibu’ welcome to beautifully laid tables as chefs cook breakfast under an acacia tree. We drink prosecco and excitedly chatter about one of the most incredible experiences. What a special day and undoubtedly the Best. Journey.

Ever! There is nothing more thrilling than silently drifting over animals and predators on early morning hunts. A definite one to add to any bucket-list itinerary.

On the afternoon game drive we spot a family of four elephants, a cheetah and her cubs, and lions who sprawl lazily in the sun, contentedly sleeping, ears twitching, ignoring us gazing in admiration.


For more information about this experience, contact Abbotts Travel at 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA on 020 8989 9445 or by email info@abbottstravel.com

ABSOLUTELY magazines 59
IL Vino Our new tasting room is now open for private and corporate events. Carefully selected outstanding wines from around the world, paired with delicious meats & cheeses for a truly memorable experience. Give us a call to discuss your requirements. 28 Queens Road Buckhurst Hill  020 8504 8799




Square One, located in the centre of Great Dunmow, was taken over by the restaurant manager and head chef along with their dedicated and passionate team in August after being awarded 2 AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence earlier this year.

Streamlining their expertise, they offer a set lunch and tasting menu using locally sourced seasonal ingredients. As we move into the autumn months, you'll find mouthwatering dishes to warm the soul.

You can book a table via the DishCult app or by calling on 01371 859922.

The Star Inn 63 • Jamie Oliver 66 • Il Vino 71
61ABSOLUTELY magazines
The perfect place for your Christmas party or an unforgettable seasonal celebration Grand Trunk Road, 219 High Road, South Woodford London E18 2PB 020850 51965 | 074834 46818 | manager@gtrrestaurant.co.uk gtrrestaurant.co.uk We have two offerings to make your festive frivolities as delicious as possible… Our Dawat Menu (Festive Feast) is a three-course delight, while for larger parties in the mood to have their minds blown, our Shahi Dawat Menu (Royal Festive Feast) is a bespoke six-course experience designed to make your celebrations truly exceptional Why not upgrade your meal with a deluxe wine pairing option? MULTI AWARD WINNING INDIAN RESTAURANT Full menus are available on our website – Bookings available now Dawat Menu - £42pp • Shahi Dawat Menu - £75pp (or £105pp with wine pairing)



Considering what month it is, do you fancy a ghost story? In 1956, two sisters paid to stay at The Star at Ingatestone and reportedly left in a hurry after the lights in their room turned themselves on and o all night and their bedroom door repeatedly opened and closed. Another tale concerns that of the ghost of a dog that was said to haunt the premises in the 1960s. The landlord at the time described a black dog with bared teeth, a description that fits with a dog that lived on the premises in 1914. The story goes that following the dog’s death his head was stu ed and hung from one of the beams in the pub – and the ghostly goings on only started when the head was removed…

The Star Inn in Ingatestone has quite the past, with its latest incarnation celebrating over a decade of inspired ownership
63ABSOLUTELY magazines

It’s little surprise that a venue like The Star has such stories attached to it considering its long history. It dates from around 1480 and was originally built as a private dwelling named Bramwood. By 1560 the property was leased to a Mr Thomas Sturgeon who paid a rent to the owner of one shilling per annum (it’s gone up a tad since then).

The first o cial records of the building come during the reign of Charles I, when it was conveyed to Jane Aylett in a deed dated 20 February, 1631. It was at this time it became a pub and was called The White Horse.

The next couple of centuries the building was used for a number of di erent trades. In 1749 it was a butcher with a slaughterhouse at the rear and then some 100 years later it became a bakery. Eventually it joined the estate of pubs owned by a local brewer named Walter Gray when he purchased it in 1883 for the princely sum of £530. In the early 20th century, horse fairs were

held at the end of what is now Star Lane. Unfortunately, the fairs attracted many undesirables who would fight and steal. They were not allowed inside the pub and were served through a window and the pub became known as The Hole in the Wall.

Today, things are rather more gentile, having been overseen by Liz Haines and Arthur Gilchrist since 2011. Rather than fighting, you will find a relaxed place for drinking and dining. There’s a real family feel to proceedings here, with Liz telling us it is undoubtedly due to the team they have built. “We are so proud of team Star and boastful that a lot of our core team have been with us from day one,” she smiles. “When the doors were first opened, by my side were Karen, Beth, Lucy and Ingrid, and around them we have built a team. There are now chefs Eleanor and Chris, and servers Djamel and Archie. Every member of the team is an important cog in our well-oiled machine.”

Over the last decade, as well as a warm welcome, The Star Inn has become wellknown for its food o ering. “Versatile,” is how Liz sums up the menus. “With an experienced kitchen brigade there is always something new to try, balanced with traditional favourites. With a great o ering of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and healthy choices there is something for everyone.”

Are there certain dishes that Liz believes makes them stand out? “The monkfish and king prawn curry is to die for,” she says. “Also, Chef’s pie: deep filled homemade shortcrust pie, creamy mashed potato, gravy and seasonal vegetables, a permanent staple on our menu. Our new autumn menu will be up and running during the first week of October. We have a special Chef’s Tasting Ukrainian Menu we are currently working on, with a date to be confirmed.”

As The Star’s history suggests, the building has been a key part of local life for centuries, and the modern-day incarnation certainly does its utmost to support those around it. “We try our very best to stay local and support local businesses where we can,” Liz nods, before reeling o a list of suppliers they use: Grays & Son, Galleywood; The Cheesemonger, Ongar; Cellar 12 in Writtle; Galvin’s Butchers in Ingatestone; Milbury Butchers in Galleywood; The Cheeseman, Southend; Vines Fruiterers in Great Baddow; Ginger Tree Florists in Ingatestone Palmers Fishmongers in Navestock. The list really could go on.

As the nights draw in, everything points towards spending more time at The Star Inn. “As always our open fire will be roaring,” Liz says. Perfect for telling a ghost story.


“With an experienced kitchen team, there is always something new to try”

Live Music




The Perfect Place to Celebrate this Christmas Book online at: www.channelsestate.co.uk Tel: 01245 440 005 Channels, Pratts Farm Lane East, Little Waltham, Chelmsford CM3 3PT (Entrance by the Park & Ride) December Set Lunch Menu BOOK NOW New Year’s Eve Celebrations DETAILS ONLINE Boxing Day Lunch 3 courses £59.95 2 Courses £54.95 Children (10 and under) 3 courses £29.95
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Words JAMIE OLIVER Photography DAVID LOFTUS & RICHARD CLATWORTHY Jamie Oliver’s new book keeps things simple with a single pot
66 ABSOLUTELY magazines

Fragrant Fish Stew

Pumpkin dumplings, coconut, cherry tomatoes & sugar snap peas

Serves 2

Total time: 15 minutes


• Olive oil

• 2 x 125g chunky white fish fillets, skin on, scaled, pin-boned and from sustainable sources

• 1 lime

• 4 spring onions

• 250g ripe mixed-colour cherry tomatoes

• 2 heaped teaspoons Keralan or korma curry paste

• 2 heaped teaspoons coconut cream

• 450g pumpkin gnocchi

• 160g sugar snap peas


1 Put ½ a tablespoon of olive oil in a 30cm non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat, then place the fish skin side down to one side of the pan and finely grate over the lime zest. Trim the spring onions, chop the white parts into 2cm lengths and add to the pan with the tomatoes, halving any larger ones. As soon as the fish skin is golden and crispy, move the half-cooked fish to your board. Boil the kettle.

2 Stir the curry paste into the pan for 1 minute, then squeeze in half the lime juice and add the coconut cream and gnocchi. Pour in 300ml of boiling kettle water, bring back to the boil, then sprinkle in the sugar snaps. Sit the fish fillets on top, skin side up, cover the pan, and cook for 4 minutes. Finely slice the green spring onion tops and scatter over, then serve with lime wedges, for squeezing over.

PER SERVING Energy 565kcal Fat 12.2g

• Sat fat 4.6g • Protein 37.9g • Carbs 72.8g

• Sugars 20.6g • Salt 2.7g • Fibre 10.8g



Fennel seeds, Chianti, garlic, tomato & parsley

Serves 1

Total time: 14 minutes


• 125g fresh lasagne sheets

• 1 clove of garlic

• ½ a bunch of flat-leaf parsley

• 15g of olive oil

• 1 higher-welfare pork or veggie sausage

• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

• Chianti or other Italian red wine

• 200ml passata

• Parmesan cheese, for grating

• Optional: extra virgin olive oil


1 Boil the kettle. Cut the lasagne sheets lengthways into 3cm strips

to make pappardelle. Peel and finely slice the garlic. Finely chop the top leafy half of the parsley, then the stalks, keeping them separate. Put a 28cm frying pan on a high heat. 2 Once hot, put a little drizzle of olive oil into the pan, then squeeze the sausagemeat out of the skin into the pan, breaking it up with your spoon (if using a veggie sausage, crumble or slice). Fry and stir for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, parsley stalks and fennel seeds. Once lightly golden, add a good splash of red wine, let it cook away, then add the passata and scatter the pasta into the pan. Carefully pour in enough boiling kettle water to just cover the pasta – about 300ml. Let it bubble away for 4 minutes, or until the pasta has absorbed most of the water and you’ve got a nice rich sauce, stirring regularly and loosening with an extra splash of water, if needed. Turn the heat o , stir in the parsley leaves, then season to perfection. Finish with a grating of Parmesan and a kiss of extra virgin olive oil, if you like.

PER SERVING Energy 464kcal Fat 13.8g

• Sat fat 4.1g • Protein 20.1g • Carbs 55.4g •

Sugars 11g • Salt 1.1g • Fibre 5g


Sweet Potato Chilli

Black beans, chipotle, cumin, coriander & feta

Serves 12

Prep: 12 minutes

Cook: 2 hours


• 6 sweet potatoes (250g each)

• Olive oil

• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

• 1 x 95g jar of chipotle chilli paste

• 500g fresh or frozen chopped mixed onion, carrot & celery

• ½ a bunch of coriander (15g)

• 3 x 400g tins of black beans

• 3 x 400g tins of quality plum tomatoes

• 60g feta cheese


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put a large deep casserole pan on a medium-high heat. Peel the sweet potatoes, placing them in the pan as you go. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until starting to get golden. Push to one side, add the cumin, let it sizzle, then spoon in the jar of chipotle chilli paste and add 2 jars’ worth of water. Tip in the chopped mixed veg, finely chop and add the coriander stalks, reserving the leaves, then bake for 1 hour.

2 Remove from the oven and add the beans, juice and all, then the tomatoes, scrunching them in through clean hands, along with 1 tin’s worth of water. Stir well, then roast for another hour, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Season to perfection, then – if enjoying straight away – crumble over the feta and tear over the coriander leaves, to serve. Enjoy as is, batching up extra portions to stash in the fridge or freezer for future meals.

PER SERVING Energy 229kcal Fat 3.4g

• Sat fat 1g • Protein 8.8g • Carbs 38.8g

• Sugars 13g • Salt 0.6g • Fibre 12g

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silentpooldistillers.com Please enjoy Silent Pool Gin responsibly UNTAMED LUXURY



English wines are coming into their own at an amazing rate. This may well be something to do with the increasing influence of climate change on our fair isle and the similarity of our sub-soils to that of the Champagne region, but it is also testament to the vision and skill of a number of producers who have made significant investments in their vineyards and wineries over recent years and are now reaping the rewards.

Across the southern counties of Hampshire, Sussex and Kent some of the finest, award-winning sparkling wines are being crafted by English winemakers and just about everywhere one looks, more and more farmland is being given over to vines (including Essex!)

Kent has long been known as the ‘garden of England’, so not surprisingly it is home to one of the most established English wine producers – a family-owned winery called Balfour. Founded in 2002 by property entrepreneur Richard BalfourLynn (Hotel du Vin, Malmaison, etc), the vineyards are nestled in the beautiful Kent countryside. The 162ha estate has just over 80ha under vine and is planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as a few of the less well known varietals used in some fine Champagnes.

Add to this the apple orchards for producing cider, a beautiful ancient oak woodland with wild-flower meadows (home to fallow deer, buzzards and barn owls), and an outstanding visitor centre and restaurant, Balfour is a wonderful place to visit and take in the beauty of the surroundings and sample the quality of the wines they produce there.

Balfour’s reputation has been growing by the year – their 2007 vintage Brut Rosé was the only English wine to be served at the 2012 London Olympics and they pick up awards every year, but as well as sparkling whites and rosés, Balfour also produce some excellent still wines, including Chardonnay, Bacchus, Pinot Noir and Rosé, so you’ll be spoilt for choice whichever style you prefer.

GRAPE news

Tony Long’s three picks for October

Balfour Skye’s Blanc de Blancs 2014, Kent, England  £45

Brilliant white gold, with a fine sustained bead and mousse. Clean and fresh on the nose with a touch of white pepper and dried herbs. Vibrant and increasingly complex on the palate with a dry, steely lime acidity. Citrus and apple notes precede a slightly salty finish.

Balfour Blanc de Noirs 2018, Kent, England  £40

A pale peach hue and copper highlights leading to tangerine and lime with blackcurrant undertone. On the palate, tangerine zest leads seamlessly onto a wonderfully intense fruit flavour, followed by a rich and complex finish of oyster shell and lemon.

Balfour Brut Rosé 2018, Kent, England  £45

Burnished copper with a fresh nose with hints of cranberry, sloe with an underlying orange citrus note. More cranberry than strawberry on the palate, this is a complex sparkling wine that is more than just primary fruit, with notes of burnt orange combined with a wonderful herbaceous finish.

ll Vino is the premier independent wine merchant in West Essex, offering a selection of outstanding wines, champagnes, and cognacs and cigars from around the world.

Il Vino is now offering customers private and corporate wine tasting events at their shop in Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill. ilvino.co.uk

The founder of Il Vino in Buckhurst Hill on why all’s well in the gardens of England



It’s all happening at Forest School. With their best ever GCSE and A-level results bucking the national trend, Forest School offers outstanding academic progress and personal development, gold award-winning pastoral care, an engaging and comprehensive co-curriculum, and competitive sports at regional and national levels. Forest is the place ‘where people grow’. forest.org.uk

EDUCATION Dyslexia Awareness Week 74 • Quidditch 80 • Education News 84
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Dyslexia Awareness Week, from 3-9 October, is an important reminder of issues some children face – and why the outlook is in no way negative

Did you know that about 10% of the UK population are dyslexic? You may, indeed, be dyslexic yourself or have a child who has dyslexic tendencies.

Dyslexia, derived from Greek, literally means “di culty with words” but, with specific teaching, strategies can help overcome these di culties. We are all di erent, dyslexic or not, but some of the positives of being dyslexic can include excellence in spatial awareness, problem solving, inventing and creativity, to name but a few.

Within our teaching centre, we house Laidlaw Hall, our specialist centre for the teaching of children and young people with dyslexia. We are a registered body with CReSTeD (Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils), the kitemark of excellence in this area of teaching. We are proud and humbled to work with schools, children and young people for whom dyslexia is part of their lives; we are not dismissive of how this can a ect each student, or how it can dent confidence, but we celebrate the hard work, tenacity and also the talents that can all

be part of having dyslexia as part of your profile. We have taught elite tennis players who have exceptional spatial awareness and have known students who have become architects, fashion designers and surgeons.

There are many preconceived ideas about dyslexia. Indeed, even now in some quarters, dyslexia is dismissed as something that does not exist. So here is some myth busting…

• Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. There are plenty of dyslexic students who gain excellent GCSEs, A-levels and degrees, including those from Oxbridge.

• If your young child is finding it di cult to grasp the basics of reading and spelling, it does not mean that they are dyslexic. In fact, most educational psychologists do not want to make a formal diagnosis of dyslexia until a child is at least seven years of age. There are, of course, exceptions. If you have a family history of dyslexia, then this may be diagnosed earlier.

• It is not true that nothing can be done about dyslexia. Professional, targeted intervention can work wonders and, in turn, build self-esteem and a more positive approach to learning.

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If you have a child who is struggling and you are concerned, do seek specialist teaching support. We try to explain it to the children as teaching them a di erent way of “cracking the code”.

Dyslexia Awareness Week is in October. The theme this year is ‘breaking through barriers’ and will allow us all to reflect on the barriers that those living with dyslexia often face. Let’s celebrate how the world needs us all to think in

di erent ways, with di erent strengths (and weaknesses). Let’s help each child to find their individual strengths and support them in their challenges.

And let’s hold on to the fact that dyslexia can come with unexpected bonuses. Just look at the work of designer Paul Smith, or enjoy Jamie Oliver’s culinary talents or the dramatic work of Keira Knightley and Tom Cruise. Thank you all for your wonderful creative brains.


is founder of Laidlaw Education LLP. For 30 years, Sue and her team have offered educational advice, lessons and courses for children of all ages through their centres, including Laidlaw Hall, a specialist centre for children with dyslexia and the Laidlaw Virtual Academy.

Find out more at laidlaweducation.co.uk or call 020 8487 9517

“Let’s help each child to find their individual strengths and support them”

Making the MOST OF IT

Life at New Hall School for Sixth Form students is full of new discoveries and exciting challenges. Among these are opportunities to learn and to stretch yourself academically, to take up leadership roles, to embrace co-curricular activities and to make new friends.

There are 24 subjects to choose from at A-level, including Business, Politics, and Psychology, and the number of clubs and societies available will ensure that all Sixth Form students can grow and flourish beyond the classroom. Whether your passion is sport, dance, science, art, drama, music or outdoor pursuits, the selection is designed to spark interest and develop skills.

Sixth Form students have exclusive use of the dedicated St Thomas More Sixth Form Centre, a place for individual or group study and meeting up with friends over a co ee. The school’s Good Hope Café, adjacent to the Sixth Form Centre, is another popular spot

for grabbing a bite to eat throughout the day

– paninis and flapjacks are firm favourites!

Over half of New Hall’s Sixth Form students board for between one and seven nights a week, enabling them to maximise access to sta expertise, school facilities and resources alongside the wide range of activities. Perhaps they have swimming coaching early in the morning, want to help with a voluntary group in an evening or wish to reduce commuting time and prepare themselves for life at university. Whatever the reason, the experience is always a positive one.

Here are some top tips from students for making the most of New Hall Sixth Form:

• “I really value the independence at Sixth Form– it’s a good preparation for university.”

• “Co-curricular activities are an invaluable outlet, I always recommend trying something new, you may find a hidden talent somewhere unexpected.”

• “Try any club that grabs your attention, balance work and social time (don’t work too much!), and always go to school concerts and debates!”

• “Boarding at New Hall completely exceeded my expectations. Each week is packed with activities – sushi-making, ‘Open Mic’ nights, sports socials, formal dinners and dances... becoming a boarder was by far one of the best decisions I have made in my whole school experience!”


“I really value the independence at Sixth Form– it’s a good preparation for university”
Exploring the Sixth Form experience at New Hall School
New Hall School A Catholic independent boarding and day school for girls and boys aged 1-18 Find your voice at New Hall Sixth Form The Avenue, Boreham, Chelmsford, CM3 3HS newhallschool.co.uk | 01245 467 588 | admin@newhallschool.co.uk Sixth Form Open Evening: Tuesday 11 October 6.30-8.30pm
St. Aubyn’s School For further information please contact the Admissions Registrar registrar@staubyns.com 020 8504 1577 Bunces Lane Woodford Green Essex IG8 9DU www.staubyns.com bravely fortiter faithfully deliter happily feliciter co-educational independent ages 3-13 central line Woodford Registered Charity No: 270143 “A splendid school, catering for bright children and those who will seize opportunities.” Good Schools Guide High Road, Woodford Green, IG8 0RF | 020 8505 4821 | www.bancrofts.org AUTUMN OPEN EVENTS FOR ENTRY 2023: 16+ Thursday 29 September 5.30pm to 7.30pm 7+ Saturday 8 October 10.00am to 12 noon 11+ Saturday 12 November 9.30am to 1.00pm Please book on https://www.bancrofts.org/admissions/open-days/

The next STEPS

Why you should choose Colchester Royal Grammar School at Sixth Form

Named East Anglia State School of the Decade by The Sunday Times in 2021, Colchester Royal Grammar School (CRGS) is a selective day school for boys aged 11-18 years with a co-ed Sixth Form for both day and boarding students. This year CRGS achieved the best A-level results the school has ever seen. Headmaster John Russell says: “Securing these results is testament to our

outstanding students and devoted sta . We believe that these results are more than just about academic excellence. Happy students who feel supported achieve well, and through our pastoral care and focus on wellbeing we do all that we can to ensure that students enjoy their time at CRGS.”

Not only does CRGS focus on students attaining academic success, but it also aims to promote students’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development with a broad extra-curricular timetable that includes sport, music, theatre, field trips, visits to museums and galleries, and trips abroad.

‘Pupils feel listened to’ (Ofsted, Feb 2022) and the wide range of studentled, sta -supported clubs and societies all help to encourage and shape the school’s equality, diversity and inclusion work, which include Afro-Caribbean Society, Christian Union, Asian Society, FemSoc and LGBTQ+ Society.

‘Pupils say school is a safe and enjoyable place to be’ (Ofsted, Feb 2022) and central to the ethos of CRGS are its core values: Compassion, Respect, Generosity and Support. The Student Support Hub, run by

the Student Welfare Manager, is available to every student and o ers a designated safe space where they can talk about any concerns and are o ered support from the school counsellor, the school mental health nurse, and the school Chaplain.

There is an option to board in the co-ed Sixth Form o ering the perfect step before university, allowing students to have a safe taste of independence before they embark upon their next chapter. Housing 30 boarders across two beautiful and characteristic houses allows for a truly lovely family atmosphere and all boarders have full access to the school’s facilities in the evenings and on weekends, including the school gym, tennis courts and music department.

After the last few years of lockdown restrictions, CRGS is thrilled to welcome parents, carers and prospective day students and boarders to the Sixth Form Open Evening on 18 October, 6.30pm-9pm. No booking is required. They hope you will join them.


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Wizard PLAY

A once fictional game is finding a loyal following among students. We catch up with QuidditchUK to find out the state of play

Quidditch – that game in Harry Potter that required wizard powers and real broomsticks – has, by some strange magic, become a sport. Not only that, but it's played in some 40 countries and with a set of rules and grassroots approach that make it fast-paced, fun and with a great sense of community. In fact, if you are looking for a case study that ticks boxes for 21stcentury sporting ideals around inclusivity, quidditch would be a good place to start.

It emerged when a couple of Vermont college students set out to take the rules from the Harry Potter books and codify them to create a game Muggles could play. This was back in 2005, and since then it has developed structures, nationally and internationally. QuidditchUK (QUK) started out playing to those Vermont rules, but it is now a full member of the International Quidditch Association. Other active nations include Canada, Chile, Australia, Argentina, Turkey and several European countries. There are emerging and associate members spanning the globe, from Japan and Pakistan to Uganda and Vietnam.

As a full member, QUK participates in rule making and changing – ensuring the game works as it continues to grow.

Beck Throup, QUK Media Director, began playing the sport while she was at University of Bristol and believes the secret of its growth is the community spirit involved. "It's a well-loved sport – a small community of a few hundred players in the UK, but it's such a tight community," she says. It may be diminutive but it's gathering momentum and QUK recently hosted its national championships involving a community league for the first time, alongside the university league.

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When you consider that a full team complement is 21 players (due to the number of substitutions), you get the sense of what an inclusive activity this can be. Also, and this is vital, it's mixed sex and with scope for every body type. "There's no stereotypical quidditch player. I'm five foot two and then you've got six-foot rugby lads – you've got so many di erent ways of playing the game and so many tactics involved that it always ends up fairly evenly matched. The only thing that tends to a ect the outcome is if one team doesn't have its full roster of 21 players."

Beck was drawn in, like a lot of people, by the idea of playing a game she'd read about. "I did love the Harry Potter books and I met the captain of the quidditch team at a party and I promised I'd come to training – and about a year later I showed up!" She enjoys the fact that this is a game of equals. "That's important to us to a degree where it's actually in the international rule book. We have a Gender Rule, where you can only have four people

of any one gender on the pitch at any one time. Referees and o cials are made aware of all the players on each team's gender for when they are subbing on and o ." This ensures a balance of weight and strength or, as Beck puts it: "You don't have a team of seven rugby lads on the pitch at any time."

QUK is building a youth outreach programme to work with younger players – including through schools who want to organise games or taster sessions. There are also, curiously, a fair few enquiries from stag and hen parties who want something di erent. "There's a lot of goodwill," says Beck. "Even when people retire from play a lot of them stick around in the community and volunteer, as well as coming to tournaments. These volunteers are essential to running the sport."

Watch a game in play, and you can see why people stick around – there's a lot happening on the pitch. "It's essentially a cross between rugby, dodgeball and wrestling," says Beck. "It's great fun to watch." There's enough complexity in quidditch to keep those who love rules in clover, while those who don't will still find it thrilling, if mystifying.

With seven players on each team in play at any time, the aim is to outscore opponents by getting the qua e (a volleyball) through

one of three opposition hoops. Each team defends their own hoops with tackles and bludgers (dodgeballs). The game ends when the winning team has a legal catch on the snitch (a neutral player, who enters play 15 minutes in wearing what is e ectively a tennis ball in a sock attached to the back of their shorts) or when one team has a 30-point lead. You can understand why students love it: fast, fun and a bit wacky – you play while holding what is e ectively a broom handle between your legs in homage to the fictional game.

While quidditch is, at 17 years of age, a newcomer, it's looking ahead. One current discussion centres on whether the name should be changed. "As we're moving away from 'oh there's that sport in the Harry Potter books', it will be interesting to see where we go," says Beck. A two-year goal for QUK is to get quidditch recognised here as a sport. So, next stop the Olympics?

Beck believes there's a fair way to go yet. But then again, 30 years ago no one would have bet on skateboarding or BMX earning Olympic stripes. For quidditch fans everywhere, there's everything to play for –and they're also having a wizard time.


“There's a lot happening on the pitch in quidditch – it's essentially a cross between rugby, dodgeball and wrestling”

Forest is a large, vibrant, co-educational independent school that o ers outstanding academic progress and personal development, award-winning pastoral care, and an engaging and comprehensive co-curriculum. Forest bene ts from a tremendous location, surrounded by ancient forest but situated within a wonderfully diverse part of North-East London with 30 acres of grounds.

Forest - Where People Grow

A modern education in a traditional environment for boys and girls aged 3-11 Find out more: 02085047108 admissions@daiglenschool.co.uk www.daiglenschool.co.uk Excellent in all Areas ISI Inspection Report 2022
0208 520 1744 | E17 3PY admissions@forest.org.uk | www.forest.org.uk


How Daiglen Preparatory School in Buckhurst Hill impressed the ISI

There was some fantastic news recently for the pupils and sta at Daiglen Preparatory School in Buckhurst Hill after the school was rated ‘Excellent’ by the ISI. In its latest Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) report, Daiglen has been recognised as fully compliant and ‘Excellent’ in all areas. This judgement represents the highest possible outcome that any school can achieve.

The inspection team observed lessons and interviewed pupils and sta on areas including safeguarding, health and safety and academic progress and attainment. Parents, pupils and sta were also surveyed and progress and attainment, as well as the school’s curriculum, were thoroughly analysed over the three-day visit.

The report positively reflects on all aspects of school life, including teaching and learning, inspectors noted: “Throughout the school pupils make excellent progress in the development of their knowledge, skills and understanding. The personalised and individually supported approach throughout the school, ultimately enables pupils of all abilities to make significant progress in all curriculum areas.

“Pupils throughout the school, from the EYFS upwards have an exceptionally positive attitude to learning. They are consistently enthusiastic and eager to learn.

“Pupils are highly accepting of each other as individuals. They are secure in the knowledge that everyone is treated equally and fairly and they strongly defend the right for everyone to be an individual.”

Headteacher, Patrica Dear, says: “Needless to say, we are extremely pleased with the judgments made by the inspection team, which is testament to our fantastic pupils, the hard work of the sta and teachers and the special place that is Daiglen. It is so encouraging to have this recognised and celebrated by the inspectorate.”

As well as a wonderful inspection report, the school has also been shortlisted for ‘Small Independent School of the Year 2022’ in the Independent School of the Year Awards. Founded in 1916, the school is built around an elegant Victorian house and is pleasantly situated on the borders of Epping Forest, near Chigwell in Essex. Modern features include a gymnasium/hall, art room, science laboratory, music room and mobile devices for computing and IT.

The full report is available for download at daiglen.essex.sch.uk

“Pupils make excellent progress in the development of their knowledge and skills”
ABSOLUTELY magazines 83


The latest from schools across Essex

Hit for six

New Hall School is delighted to announce the appointment of England and Sussex cricketer Ravi Bopara as a visiting Cricket Professional. Ravi is joining New Hall from September 2022. An all-rounder, Ravi started his career playing for Essex in 2001, joining Sussex as a T20 specialist in 2020. He has played 171 games for England including three back-to-back test centuries, an Ashes victory and a World Cup. Born and schooled in Newham, East London, Ravi has won every trophy in the English cricket calendar. He is one of only two players worldwide to score 8,000+ runs and take 250+ wickets in T20 cricket. In his professional career to date, he has made a total of over 32,000 runs and taken 775 wickets. Matilda Callaghan, Head of Cricket at New Hall, says: “I am really excited that Ravi is joining our coaching team. He will play a huge part in helping to develop cricket here, inspiring those in the Preparatory School and helping to mentor our Senior players in taking the next steps. I am looking forward to our students making the most of their opportunities to learn from him.”


Top class

Saint Nicholas School are delighted to report that 97% of their pupils achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 4 and above. These strong results improve upon the record results the school achieved in the last written examinations in 2019. Headmaster, Terence Ayres, says: “All at Saint Nicholas are so proud of our ‘Class of 22’. The challenges that this cohort of Year 11s has faced have been well-documented and they should be extremely satisfied with their achievements.”

While the academic core skills are at the heart of the school, Saint Nicholas School is dedicated to teaching pupils how to learn, instilling key learning

Results speak volumes

Once again, Braeside students performed exceptionally well in their GCSEs as the first cohort to have sat full public exams since June 2019. Nearly all of the outgoing Year 11 students achieved 100% passes, with subjects such as Maths, English Language, English Literature, Art, Drama, Music, Spanish, French and Russian recording 100% grades 4-9. Chloe Moon, Headmistress, was delighted with this year’s results.

“Congratulations to all of our students on their well-deserved grades,” she says. “I am particularly pleased that the percentage of top grades 7-9 was strong at 40%. It has been wonderful working with this group of students and their families, and we will miss them. The staff join me in wishing all of our students a fantastic start to the next chapter of their education.”

skills, such as initiative, resilience, collaboration, teamwork and independent thinking. To achieve this goal, ‘Saint Nics’, as it is affectionately known, has a committed and dedicated staff that know the pupils well and who tailor the journey of each pupil so they can achieve to their own best.


Tel: 0208 504 5045 Email: admissions@wgprep.co.uk www.wgprep.co.uk Nurture Curiosity Creativity Excellence www.wgprep.co.uk School & Alumni registration also available Register online for 7+ Assessments Independent Co-educational Day School For 3 - 11 Years Assisted Places Available from 7+ see our website for further details Independent Co-educational Day School For 3 - 11 Years Assisted Available see


The CH07 Shell Chair was created in 1963, but the design was ahead of its time. Today, it is considered one of Hans J. Wegner’s most groundbreaking works.

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87ABSOLUTELY magazines



Ideas, designs and styles for your home


The new Elsie bed linen collection is made from 70% cotton mixed with linen yarns, resulting in a fabric that has to be felt to be believed. Laundered to perfection, it has the relaxed look of linen, but the softness of cotton. The delicate, stunning embroidered border is embroidered and handattached. The set looks beautiful and feels incredible.




A new collection of wallpaper murals features warm tones and calming scenes from collections including the Royal Horticultural Society, Ashmolean Museum, and the V&A Pictured is 'Flowering Shrub and Mauflies' Wallpaper Mural from the V&A Collection. surfaceview.co.uk

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MICUCCI INTERIORS Pumpkin bowl, £44 micucci.co.uk



KEF's New LSX II Wireless HiFi System adds a touch of contemporary style to any room with its minimal, elegant design whilst also delivering high-fi delity audio. The Carbon Black and Cobalt Blue models are clad in a specially designed fabric from Danish textile designer Kvadrat. uk.kef.com


Vintage style glass bowl, £16 rockettstgeorge.co.uk



Fashion designer-turnedceramicist Henry Holland has launched his first collection of artisinal glassware, all hand-blown in the UK with inspiration taken from Henry's own interpretation of the nerikomi pottery technique. henryhollandstudio.co.uk

Serving Bowl,






stoneware bowl,



For AW22, the Modern Country trend celebrates a connection to simple pleasures, cra s and rituals with honest and utilitarian materials and a focus on natural forms. johnlewis.co.uk

89ABSOLUTELY magazines steel serving bowl,

OKA Kintaro


Words DAISY WHITTAKER The founder of Daisy Whittaker Designs on learning from Kelly Hoppen and launching a business during a pandemic

Ihave always been creative. When I was younger, I was very interested in my mums’ handbags, particularly her Lulu Guinness collection. I was always fascinated by the incredible designs and thought that I wanted to be involved in fashion when I was older. Around the age of ten, I wrote to Lulu Guinness and sent off some of my own handbag designs and sketches, she very kindly responded with some encouraging words as well as a signed book, which I still treasure to this day.

My mum was a big influence and support when it came to my interest in interior design. We have always had lovely family homes which she put a lot of effort into creating for us. Growing up, my dad was an interior decorator, so I remember watching him transform a space to meet my mum’s vision, which was inspiring.

I was very lucky that my parents always let me have creative freedom, so when I was old enough [early teens] I decided to decorate my own room. Then, whenever I got bored or grew out of it, I could raid my dad’s left-over paint in the shed and decorate again and change the space. I realised how enjoyable I found that and decided to study it at a higher level to develop my skills.

I studied 3D Design as a Diploma at South Essex College. Other people from my class have gone onto automotive design, furniture design and jewellery design, so it was a really creative environment that I loved. When I went onto university to study Interior Design, I really enjoyed being able to push myself to learn new skills, better my existing ones, and network with a wide variety of people from different aspects of interiors.

Kelly Hoppen has been a big name in interior design for as long as I have been interested in the field. Her work is inspiring, and I love that she creates her own pieces; be that furniture, lighting collaborations, accessories, soft furnishings etc. The level of detail that gets considered is incredible and I was so excited when the opportunity arose to work there. I was lucky to also work at Princess Yachts for a few years prior and it was because of this experience that I was able to land the role at Kelly Hoppen Interiors.

I learnt a lot throughout my studies, but working at Kelly Hoppen Interiors gave me a whole new perspective. I learnt

“I had concerns I was too young to launch a business, but realised I have fresh ideas”
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that lighting, colour and textures have a massive influence on a space. It sounds silly, but what might look white in some light, will look green or cream in another. So, seeing designers combat that on large scale projects was a great practice.

Launching my business in 2020 seemed like a natural progression for my career. Initially I had concerns that I was too young to start up my own company, but realised that actually, this is an advantage as I have fresh new ideas.

In a way, I think that the pandemic benefited my business rather than delay it. So many of us no longer had to pay to commute or were able to spend any money on going out, a lot of my clients were saving that money to invest in their homes instead. I have since done a lot of home office designs which I am sure would not have been the case pre-Covid.

I decided that I wanted to offer a design package that I would be interested in if I were a client. This means that I am involved in the full design, from start to finish. I create concepts, designs, mood boards, floorplans, elevations, joinery drawings and then go onto create FF&E Schedules (a document that details all the required items, where to source them and how much), I even offer a service to procure the items on behalf of my clients should they choose it. I then help set up the spaces and do all the styling so that all the details are perfect for my clients.

I think a transparent and relaxed approach is key for my relationship with my clients. It is very personal to invite someone into your home to change it, so I always want my clients to feel that we are a team when designing their spaces. Naturally, as the projects develop, I get to know my clients very well and, as a result, I may decide to tweak a few things to suit them and their needs better.

I would say that my favourite design style is transitional modern. Something that is simple, but warm and homely. I want my designs to feel instantly calming for my

clients while incorporating contrast and character. Our homes are an extension of who we are as people, and I like to give my clients spaces that they can escape the stresses of everyday life.

Stand out projects for me have been some of the smaller ones I have worked on. I have a client in Bicknacre and we are doing one room at a time. We started with her home office then moved onto the dining room. It was the first home office I designed after lockdown, and it was such a great feeling knowing that my designs have completely changed how she uses the space. My client said that she now looks forward to using the space rather than dreading working in there!

I have a full home renovation in Brentwood which has been a very special project as it has been in the pipeline for over a year now. I have developed a great relationship with my clients, and they give me a lot of creative freedom due to the trust we have developed. Another exciting project is an eco-build in Westcliff-On-Sea, which is the first project of its type that I have worked on, so I am able to learn a lot of new information and techniques.

In the future I would like to branch into furniture design. As a designer I know the gaps in the market and the products that I struggle to find so feel this would be a great progression. I would also love to progress my business to become a design and build company. This is an important goal of mine because the stronger the relationship between myself and the trades, the better the outcome we’ll produce. It is one less thing for my clients to have to consider and worry about so watch this space!

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With the autumn chill on its way, here's our buyer's guide to choosing the right stove

Stoves are a great way of adding a cosy focal point to living spaces, and the right design can lift a room scheme – especially as you can choose from bold colours, and streamlined modern or elegant traditional models. There's a stove to suit just about any space and you don't even need a fireplace for many designs, just a suitable outside wall or roof space to accommodate the flue system.

But there's another good reason to consider investing in a new stove this autumn – bills. Unless you're planning an extended trip to the sun, staying warm this winter is a very real concern. It's something the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) is certainly hot on, also reminding us of the benefits of reducing reliance on central heating.

Stoves are never a recommended alternative to central heating, but an efficient, modern design will ramp up the cosiness and potentially offer a way of saving on other energy costs. This is something that SIA is emphasising, pointing to recent research about the "zonal heating" approach. This suggests that using a wood-burning stove while turning down your gas central heating to 18°C for three hours five times a week could save almost 8.5% on average

heating bills – potentially more if fuel bills continue to rise. Not only that, but you have the reassurance of staying cosy during a power cut (outages do happen) bringing peace of mind that can justify the outlay.

If you're warming to the idea of snuggling around the fire while saving money, here are five tips for choosing and running a stove.


If you're sitting in front of an open fire or running an older stove (10 years plus) it's almost certainly worth considering an upgrade to an Ecodesign-compliant model (for example clearSkies certified). The latest compliant stoves generate 80% fewer emissions than the older stoves, and 90% less than an open fire.

“An efficient modern stove will ramp up the cosiness and potentially offer a way of saving on energy costs”


If you're in a Smoke Control Area, as most of London and many surrounding areas are, you'll need to choose a stove that is Defra exempt. The penalties for breaching Smoke Control regulations can be hefty – so upgrading makes financial as well as ecological sense. Get advice from your stove retailer but, as a guide, look for clearSkies Level 3 and above stoves.


While the idea of a toasty room can be enticing, overheating (or underheating) will be a serious problem if you buy the wrong size. This is why it's important to

get a proper survey of the room you'll be heating. An authorised stove dealer and installer (HETAC or OFTEC registered) can advise on the right wattage, as well as undertaking a survey to ensure your chimney or other flue point is safely prepared. Also, look for a stove with responsive controls – you want a design you can adjust quickly and easily.


The right fuel is essential for safe and efficient stove operation. If you buy logs from a local dealer, they should be at or below 20% moisture content – this is for safety as well as smoke control compliance. If you buy logs from a variety of sources, look for the 'Ready to Burn' logo. Never burn wood that has been chemically treated or use the stove to incinerate paper and other rubbish. Also ensure you store logs safely – avoid stacking them too close to the heat of the fire.


Your stove chimney should be swept at least once a year by a registered chimney sweep (visit the Federation of Chimney Sweeps' page for local members). This is the best way to ensure safe and efficient running – and many insurers also insist chimneys are swept regularly. Sweeps are also a wonderful source of practical expertise on all things fireside.

For more advice, visit the SIA website at stoveindustryalliance.com

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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 Nuseries, Coggeshall Road, Marks Tey, Colchester, CO6 1HR *Up to 40% OFF Windows, Doors, Conservatories and Extensions, no minimum spend. Terms and conditions apply, please ask for more information. Offer ends 31st October 2022. ** Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority SEH BAC Limited, acts as a credit broker and not the lender, and offers products from a range of financial providers. Credit is subject to application and status. Credit terms will vary depending on products. Admin fee applies. With energy prices set to rise even more in October, your home needs to be as energy efficient as possible. Upgrading your windows, doors or conservatory roof will help your home perform to its full potential – and save you money on your energy bills. A WARMER HOME MEANS A BIGGER SAVING ON YOUR ENERGY BILLS WITH SEH BAC WINDOWS • DOORS CONSERVATORIES & EXTENSIONS UP TO with only £99 deposit and pay nothing until 2023** BUY NOW PAY LATER PLUS ecodesign ready 2022 All Clock Stoves are ECO Design 2022 ready as standard. Clock Blithfield DS 13 Responsible and renewable heating, that you control Transform your home with a UK EcoDesign Clock Stove Exquisite Dutch woodburners ORION_HP_ABS_ESSEX_OCT22.indd 1 15/09/2022 14:52
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The Solution 5 (S4) has traditional styling but is available in a variety of contemporary colourways, including this 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, this Regency-inspired Cranmore 5 comes in matte black or coloured finishes and has a large picture window for cosy evenings fireside. From £1,864 in purple; charnwood.com



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



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



The Morsø 4043 cast iron stove 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

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Whatever type of home you live in – a period property, a barn conversion or a modern house – Hall Brothers’ bespoke windows and doors will complement your style and fit the exact space. We can also offer matching wooden staircases and flooring to complete the look.

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

CONSERVATORIES | ORANGERIES | KITCHENS | DOORS | WINDOWS | STAIRCASES | BARNS | CONSTRUCTION | FURNITURE Traditional craftsmanship, first class products –a love for wood and an eye for detail
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BLUE VELVET All the best blue pieces this season HOME | TREND 101 NICHOLAS ENGERT INTERIORS Diva Wall Light, £625 nicholasengert.co.uk HK LIVING Blue Swirl High Wine Glass set of 2, £25 hkliving.com ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS Handmade rug for Illulian zaha-hadid.com SNUG The Cloud Sundae 3 Seater Sofa Bed, £1,969 snugsofa.com SWEETPEA & WILLOW Umage Audacious Cabinet Petrol Blue, £659 sweetpeaandwillow.com LOAF Mini Bubble Lamp With Vintage Linen Shade, £65 loaf.com JONATHAN ADLER Ripple bed, £POA jonathanadler.com GISELA GRAHAM Blue Nude Heart Ceramic Ornament, £16.99 giselagraham.co.uk MICUCCI INTERIORS Gea ceramic vases, £280 micucci.co.uk CURATED LIVING LIMITED Blue Plate 23cm, £25 curatedliving.co.uk ROSE & GREY Twister Side Table, £215 roseandgrey.co.uk
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Mix and match Piglet's bed linen colours to work with the aesthetic of your home with duvet covers, fitted sheets, fl at sheets and pillowcases. Natural, no-fuss, comfort for every bedroom. pigletinbed.com


This delightful bed linen by Sanderson depicts botanical illustrations in a paired back bohemian feel, providing an exotic escape to tropical island life and warmer climates. frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk



Linus organic cotton percale bedding is covered in white oversized bendy blobs on a muted terracotta, and a plain white backside. This super so , crinkle textured fabric is made from organic cotton in Portugal. undercoverliving.com



Isola depicts hand-painted bunches of garden fl owers in a distinctive palette of warm colours with a mustard coloured background. Mustard colour reverse side. ukmmlinen.com



George is a naturally striped, tumbled so , duvet cover with a difference. Made in Portugal the unique herringbone weave is 68% responsible sourced cotton and 32 % fi nest linen yarns. secretlinenstore.com

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Paul Newman Interiors have been creating, designing and installing exciting and exclusive kitchens and bathrooms since 1984 from leading manufacturers Schroder Kitchens, Mobilturi Cucina, Charles Yorke and Villeroy & Boch. 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. 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 • MOBILTURI • VILLEROY & BOCH • HANSGROHE • ARDECO • TOTO • THOMAS CRAPPER & CO. • BURBIDGE



Paul Newman Interiors has been in Hadleigh High Street for 38 years this year. Collectively they have nearly a hundred years of kitchen and bathroom knowledge and a wealth of experience supplying the best products and design for both retail customers and trade contracts.

They have a keen interest in latest designs, innovative technologies and above all customer satisfaction. They still have the same mission from the beginning and that is to offer quality products, outstanding service, but keeping it very friendly and professional at the same time. They want clients to have the best experience making their choices, from their ranges of furniture, colours, and materials. They realise it is a huge commitment for anyone looking at purchasing a kitchen or bathroom and probably one of the largest investments for the home. They

are fully committed to their clients’ happiness from the showroom staff to their installation teams. Their installers have been with the company for many years undertaking the best craftsmanship – their knowledge and detailing for a quality finish is exemplary.

They have two ranges of handmade English kitchen furniture, from the luxurious Charles Yorke, with outstanding design and superior finish, and the Paul Newman Handmade range offers many different colours and styles. They have noticed a surge in Shaker style kitchens over the last couple years and with a choice of metal or wooden drawer boxes and accessories it is a winning combination at a good price point. They also have a large Germany range that they have supplied for many years and the range just keeps growing and advancing with new material technology.

Bathrooms have been a huge success for them since adding them to the collection. Villeroy & Boch have some outstanding products and Toto are the ultimate in

Japanese toilets being super hygienic with their bidet seats and their flushing system is incomparable. They have tiles from Villeroy & Boch and imported tiles from Spain, Italy and Portugal. Offering tile trends, from classic white and grey marbled large format tiles to bright colour subway style tiles, so something for everyone in every aspect.

They have some of the best appliance companies on the market on display from top of the range German company Gaggenau along with American Sub Zero and Wolf, Siemens, sinks and taps from Blanco, Franke, Villeroy & Boch.

They would be happy to show you around their showroom. If it’s a kitchen, any bespoke fitted furniture or bathroom you are contemplating, they would like to think that you will be inspired by the products, their knowledge and their willingness to help you reach your dream results

Buying a new kitchen or bathroom can be a huge financial decision – but Paul Newman Interiors make the process easy
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Terrazzo is still a major worktop trend, whether cement, porcelain or resin, and comes in a huge variety of shades and patterns. Or design your own with Diespeker's online tool. diespeker.com


A separate utility room is a must for every modern kitchen, as is a pantry. Or why not combine the two as in this clever design by Inglis Hall, incorporating storage as well as laundry. inglishall.com


These new ceramic wall tiles closely mimics authentic and traditional zellige tiles. Each colour option offers a melange of shades with a subtle gloss finish which highlights the surface contours. mandarinstone.com


One of the best things about British Standard Cupboards is that every cupboard comes primed and undercoated, ready for you to get painting in any shade you pick. We love a contrast interior too. britishstandardcupboards.co.uk


A kitchen island is practical, sociable and versatile. In Poggenpohl's Kitchen Architecture philosophy, functionality and aesthetics combine harmoniously to make the most of all available space. poggenpohl.com

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1 The Old Iron Works, Maldon, Essex, CM9 4LE Telephone: 01621 841300 sales@wickham-flooring .co.uk www.wickham-flooring.co.uk Local Flooring Specialist Contact us or visit the showroom for a huge selection of carpets and flooring Specialist Amtico One Supplier 36-38 Hatch Lane, Chingford London E4 6LQ 020 8524 1821 020 8529 5345 bedsbedsbeds.net 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. Comfortable, High-Quality Mattresses and Beds Celebrating 50 years of family business

Caplen Estates has the pleasure in presenting to the market Hill Farm, which o ers nearly 10,000 sqft of living space. The property o ers four reception rooms, a sub level cinema room and no less than eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms. There is also a wonderful spa area with swimming pool and hot tub. Doors from here lead to the landscaped gardens with stunning countryside views.

ESTATES 020 3937 7733 caplenestates.com

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The award winning Balgores Hayes Ongar office is oc ed in ro inen osi ion on the High Street. Our professional team is led by Director Paul Hayes MNAEA and backed up by Associate Director Joe Hayes MNAEA who can both offer years of experience and expert local knowledge. The team will be on hand to offer an outstanding service to those looking to purchase or sell a property in Ongar and surrounding areas, making Balgores Hayes a superior choice of estate agents in the locality.

When it comes to marketing your property, we have a range of tools including modern, attractive window displays to ensure that your home is given maximum exposure and is showcased at its best. We use professional photography to

Basildon t: 01268 271 110 Gravesend t: 01474 369 955 Chelmsford t: 01245 492 424 Brentwood t: 01277 216 800 Hornchurch t: 01708 470 756 Dagenham t: 0208 592 1038 Ongar 134 High Street Ongar, Essex CM5 9JH | ongar@balgoreshayes.com | 01277 369 925 provide the most beautiful images of your home and these are used to create premium listings of your property on popular portals including Rightmove and Zoopla.

Romford t: 01708 755 507 Upminster t: 01708 259 539 Loughton t: 0208 502 1559 South Woodham Ferrers t: 01245 323 729 Ongar t: 01277 369 925 Wickford t: 01268 763 477 balgoresproperty.com Bridge Road, Moreton Detached Grade II listed home Balgores Ongar | Guide Price £820,000 Great Stony Park, Ongar Three bedrooms, exclusive gated development Balgores Ongar | Guide Price £850,000 Meadow Rise, Blackmore Four bedrooms, spacious and versatile Balgores Ongar | Guide Price £875,000 Station Bridge Mews, Ongar Four bedrooms, exclusive gated development Balgores Ongar | Guide Price £1,200,000 Alderwood Drive, Abridge Three bedrooms, maintained to a meticulous standard Balgores Loughton | Guide Price £675,000 Osprey Road, Waltham Abbey Five bedrooms Balgores Loughton | Asking Price £750,000

algores Wickford is led by Sales Director Matthew Butler and Branch Manager Ross Willis, who bring a breadth of knowledge and skills to the Wickford estate agents’ role. With almost four decades of experience in Estate Agency, their understanding of the Wickford property market is second to none. Our Wickford office is located centrally at 10 High Street, Wickford, SS12 9AZ Together, our team will provide a superior level of service for all buyers, vendors, landlords and tenants throughout Wickford and the surrounding areas.

Basildon t: 01268 271 110 Gravesend t: 01474 369 955 Chelmsford t: 01245 492 424 Brentwood t: 01277 216 800 Hornchurch t: 01708 470 756 Dagenham t: 0208 592 1038 WE LOVE WHAT WE DO. WE LOVE TO MAKE THE BUSINESS OF SELLING AND LETTING YOUR HOME AS SIMPLE, SUCCESSFUL AND STRESS-FREE AS POSSIBLE. B
Wickford 10 High Street, Wickford, Essex SS12 9AZ | sales@balgoreswickford.com | 01268 763 477
Romford t: 01708 755 507 Upminster t: 01708 259 539 Loughton t: 0208 502 1559 South Woodham Ferrers t: 01245 323 729 Ongar t: 01277 369 925 Wickford t: 01268 763 477 balgoresproperty.com School Lane, North Benfl eet Six bedrooms, approx. 7,000 sqft Balgores Wickford | POA Ceres Court, Brentwood Road, Gidea Park 1 UNIT REMAINING Balgores Hornchurch | Starting from £475,000 Hall Lane, West Hanningfi eld Five bedrooms, 1.15 acre plot Balgores Wickford | Offers In Excess Of £1,600,000 Mendoza Close, Emerson Park Six bedrooms, no onward chain Balgores Hornchurch | Guide Price £1,650,000 Hall Lane, Upminster 3 EXCLUSIVELY DESIGNED FIVE BEDROOM PREMIER HOMES | READY LATE 2022 Balgores Upminster | POA

Elliott James are delighted to o er this beautiful traditional detached family home located in the highly sought – after Goldings Manor Estate. This property is an ideal family home and provides the opportunity to extend further in the future and into the loft subject to obtaining the required planning permission. To the rear of the property the garden is mostly laid to lawn with a spacious patio area which is perfect for al-fresco dining and entertainment in the summer months. The front of the property has a large driveway which provides parking for a couple vehicles and a well-presented front lawn and a beautiful magnolia tree.

Stanmore Way, Loughton

The Elliott James team are delighted to bring to market this superb five-bedroom semi-detached family home built in 2019. It has been finished to an incredible standard and is located on one of Loughton’s most sought-after roads and o ers immediate access to Loughton Central Line Station, Epping Forest and Loughton High Road with its fantastic selection of independent fashion and social amenities. The accommodation is arranged over three floors with the ground floor comprising of spacious entrance hall, large family living room covering almost 400 square feet, modern cloakroom, bright newly fitted kitchen with integrated appliances, central island and stunning bi-folding doors leading into the private garden. The ground floor also benefits from a separate utility room which features a door leading to the property’s side access.

Elliott James is pleased to o er to the market this beautifully presented five bedroom detached family home which has been updated to a very high specification by its current owners. The property is situated in a prestigious and elevated location on Brancepeth Gardens which is within close proximately to Buckhurst Hill central line station and the Chingford mainline. In addition, the property is within walking distance of Queen’s Road and its local amenities.

Elliott James are delighted to bring exclusively to the market this immaculately presented three bedroom semi-detached family home located within catchment for the popular Staples Road Primary School which has recently undergone a full renovation by its current owners.

0208 0165 333 | 165 High Road, Loughton IG IO 4LF Ollards Grove, Loughton £1,750,000 Brancepeth Gardens, Buckhurst Hill £1,450,000 Harwater Drive, Loughton £950,000 3D WALKTHROUGH 3D WALKTHROUGH
www.ejpr.co.uk | Follow us on social media | Search ‘ejpr165’
Hill Hall, Theydon Mount, Epping £3,600PCM • Available November • Four Bedrooms • Unfurnished • Gated • Stunning Views Of Extensive Greenery Aldersbrook Road, Wanstead £2,500PCM • Available Now • Sought-After Location • Parking • Close to Local Amenities • Three Bedrooms Dell House, Epping New Road £8,500PCM • Seven Bedrooms • Character Build • Gated Property • 1.5 Acres • 10 Parking Spaces Oak Hill Close, Woodford Green £3,100pcm • Available Now • Five Bedrooms • Three Bathrooms • Unfurnished • Private Parking 3D WALKTHROUGH 3D WALKTHROUGH 3D WALKTHROUGH 3D WALKTHROUGH
Charlie Parsons Sales Consultant Leah Christou Property Consultant Milo O’Neill Buckhurst Hill & Chingford Manager Wayne Cohen Lettings Area Manager Butler & Stag Buckhurst Hill
With offices in Buckhurst Hill, Theydon, Chingford & Bow. butlerandstag.uk Sales, Lettings, Land & New Homes Focus areas for this new branch will be Buckhurst Hill, Woodford Green, Chingford, Chigwell and Loughton. 1 4 ueens Road Buckhurst Hill, Essex I 9 5BD 020 504 9000 | buckhursthill@butlerandstag.com e dy to do things di erently
Ella Halcro Office Co-Ordinator Tony ame Head Of West Essex Sales Bradley ale Senior Sales Consultant elicity Walker Head of Prime Office Helga Hanning Company Sales Progressor Chris Marsh Assistant Sales Manager
Hornbeam Lane, E4 Chingford Lettings O ce Per Calendar Month £4,750 5 Bedrooms | 3 Receptions | 4 Bathrooms ust off Bury Road is a highly pri ed residential turning ideally placed for local amenities. There are an excellent selection of shops, bars and restaurants and several well regarded state and private schools are within easy reach. Nevin Drive, E4 Chingford Sales O ce Asking Price £1,250,000 5 Bedrooms | 4 Receptions | 2 Bathrooms An impressive semi-detached family home located on a popular North Chingford turning. The garden is in excess of 100ft, with great local schooling nearby. Priory Avenue, E4 Chingford Sales O ce £650,000 – £675,000 3 Bedrooms | 2 Receptions | 1 Bathroom A beautiful character property, fabulous rear garden, close to shops, transport and schools. Bury Road, E4 Chingford Sales O ce Guide Price £2,750,000 – £2,850,000 4 Bedrooms | 2 Receptions | 3 Bathrooms A beautifully presented family home occupying a plot of approximately a quarter of an acre and backing on to West Essex olf Club. Well located for some outstanding state and independent private schooling. Chingford Sales & Lettings 020 524 3333 chingford@butlerandstag.com Buchhurst Hill Sales & Lettings 020 504 9000 buckhursthill@butlerandstag.com
West Essex Sales & Lettings 01992 667 666 westessex@butlerandstag.com
Michael Director Neil Leahy Director Ted Rayment Associate
Whether you’re searching for your next development site or looking to sell your land, Butler & Stag can help. Let’s discuss your plans today... 020 4542 2999 landandnewhomes@butlerandstag.com Epping Green, CM16 Prices from £865,000 Register your interest now call us 020 4542 2999 Valley View is a collection of just four newly built, four-bedroom family houses set in open countryside and yet within close proximity of Epping High Street. The properties are set back and accessed via a private driveway. They offer an Indian sandstone finished patio and turfed rear gardens. There is also a garage with up and over door alongside modern car charging points. The properties are built with eco-friendly utility sources promoting efficient and sustainable living whilst maintaining all the benefits of the Essex countryside. 4 Bedrooms | 1 Reception | 2 Bathrooms | EV Car ChargingValley View With offices in Buckhurst Hill, Theydon, Chingford & Bow. butlerandstag.uk Sales, Lettings, Land & New Homes
West Essex Sales & Lettings 01992 667 666 westessex@butlerandstag.com Piercing Hill, CM16 West Essex Sales O ce O ers in Excess £2,995,000 5 Bedrooms | 4 Receptions | 3 Bathrooms ‘The Chestnuts’ is located in a most highly sought after part of Theydon Bois, offering total peace and tranquillity whilst being within easy reach to Theydon Bois village and Central Line Station, major motorway links, excellent schools and local amenities of both Epping and Theydon Bois. Epping Road, EN9 West Essex Sales O ce O ers over £1,000,000 3 Bedrooms | 2 Receptions | 2 Bathrooms This charming grade II listed detached house offers a wealth of historic features and has been beautifully finished throughout. Plus it has planning permission for a three bedroom detached house. Whitehall Road, IG8 West Essex Sales O ce Asking Price £800,000 2 Bedrooms | 1 Reception | 2 Bathrooms A truly stunning two bedroom/two bathroom penthouse in arguably one of West Essex’s finest & most prestigious developments. Luxborough Lane, IG7 West Essex Sales O ce Asking Price £1,250,000 5 Bedrooms | 3 Receptions | 2 Bathrooms A stunning five bedroom detached home set within an executive residence with easy access to all major transport links. London & Home Counties Land & New Homes 020 4542 2999 landandnewhomes@butlerandstag.com Epping New Road, IG9 West Essex Lettings O ce Per Calendar Month £8,500 7 Bedrooms | 6 Receptions | 6 Bathrooms Set within this private gated development, is this fantastic seven-bedroom detached home in the heart of Buckhurst Hill.
MANOR HALL, MANOR ROAD, IG7 PRICE £2,850 FALLOW FIELDS, IG10 PRICE £3,000 4 21 THEYDON BOWER, CM16 £600,000 ALFRED ROAD, IG9 PRICE £550,0003 21 2 12 The key to your future Sales ■ Lettings ■ Property Management WYNTERS COTTAGE, CM5 £1,850,000 EPPING NEW ROAD, IG9 £1,500,0007 33 6 23 2 21 FORSALE FORSALE FORSALE FORSALE TOLET TOLET

Rain or shine, when it comes to your property journey we will be by your side every step of the way

With what you are currently hearing and seeing, you may be feeling unsure as to what the future holds. Here at Caplen Estates we want to reassure you that we are here to make your property journey as stress-free as possible

With our extensive knowledge of the local area, our unparelled team ethic and our love of what we do, we wanted you to know that we will be by your side every step of way!

Get in touch if you are looking to SELL, LET, BUY, RENT or MANAGE a property.

Caplen Estates @caplenestates 0203 937 7733 | info@caplenestates.com | caplenestates.com 12 Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 5BY
Would you like to know what your property is worth? SCAN THE QR CODE for an INSTANT VALUATION or to ARRANGE A HOME VISIT

Situated right in the heart of Buckhurst Hill is this unique property which offers stylish accommodation throughout, three double bedrooms and a wonderful 90ft garden with garage and parking. The Central Line Station, Queens Road and Epping Forest are all just a stone’s throw away, so there really isn’t a more convenient location to be had.

Situated in one of Buckhurst Hill’s most sought after turnings is this delightfully presented four bedroom semi-detached family home. The property features two reception rooms, a contemporary kitchen / breakfast room, four spacious bedrooms with en suite to master and a south facing garden with a double garage.

Buckhurst Hill Epping New Road, Buckhurst Hilll Guide Price £935,000
Guide Price £725,000



There can be little doubt that we are living in turbulent times, with the war in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis and the recent sad passing of Her Majesty the Queen all serving to destabilise us somewhat. However, the property market remains stable, for the time being at least.

Okay, so the Halifax reported a 0.1 per cent fall in house prices for the month of July, but various other sources suggest that the average house price has risen by between 8 and 10 per cent in the last 12 months. So despite all the doom and gloom out there at present, the property market continues to be robust.

But it would be naive to think that the soaring cost of living, growing inflation and rising interest rates will not e ect the market long term. After all, the situation is such that many people are now seriously tightening their belts and economic change is afoot.

What impact this will ultimately have on confidence in the market remains to be seen, but we are still seeing plenty of people who are able, willing and committed to moving. In addition, buyer demand is still outstripping supply, so properties continue to be snapped up at and beyond the asking price.

When times become uncertain, there’s a tendency to remain static. However, we at Hunt Property Services believe that if you’re thinking of selling your home now is an excellent time to do so. We urge potential vendors to get in touch and draw on our wealth of experience and huge skill set to deliver the result you want.

Our advice is always sincere and reliable, with the aim of maximising both your chances of a swift sale and the price potential of your property – something we can confidently achieve whatever direction the market takes. So pick up the phone and give us a call. The market might be changing, something that buyers are acutely aware of, but our commitment to serving our clients remains as steadfast as ever.


Hayley Hunt is the founder of Hunt Property Services located at 732 Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 8AL 020 8502 7667 huntpropertyservices.co.uk

Despite everything that is going on around us, Hayley Hunt says we can still be optimistic when it comes to the property market
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Hunt Property Services is an independent boutique estate agency with a portfolio of luxury properties for sale and rent in London and Essex.

We are also the agent for Repton Park, an exclusive gated development in Woodford Green, where founder and Director Hayley Hunt has been a resident for over 20 years.

Our award winning team of experts will provide you with an outstanding bespoke service to guide you through every aspect of buying or selling a property.

We have also been recognised for providing excellence in property renovations, proudly winning Woman in Build Award two years running.

The Hunt team are available for consultations, market appraisals and viewings seven days a week.


Hunt are delighted to present to the market this stunning six double bedroom, four bathroom detached house in an enviable position of the prestigious gated development of Repton Park with 24 hour concierge night time security and an exclusive Virgin active spa gym and beauty rooms.

Guide Price £2,300,000

Sitting on an impressive plot with an ancient feature tree on the front lawn lit by fairy lights, this family residence has an abundance of character and space.

Boasting a beautifully designed south facing private garden which is this property’s main feature, allowing you to entertain and enjoy this silent retreat at its best. Open plan and free flowing, this home is ready for you to enjoy. Every detail of this remarkable property has been carefully chosen to create the ultimate setting for luxurious living and entertaining in a peaceful haven.

Walk the grounds of Repton Park and Claybury Woods totaling 300 acres. Short distance to local amenities, restaurants, shops as well as transport links into Central London.


It’s almost hard to believe that summer is over and already we find ourselves in these autumnal months. As days grow cooler and it becomes darker earlier, having a well lit property can not only improve your time at home, but also create a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests – or prospective buyers if you’re looking to sell. Lighting should always be functional and provide adequate illumination where needed, but it should also elevate your space and decor. Here are a few things to consider when planning your lighting schemes.

Hallways are the first impression of a home so it’s important to make an impact and immediately welcome people with a considered, cosy lighting scheme.

In the kitchen ensure working areas are well lit with su cient task lighting. Why not opt for under cabinet lighting or hanging pendants above an island to create supplementary lighting where it is needed most.

Layering your lighting can help to create di erent ambiences, depending on which are turned on, whilst also establishing zones and focal points. The addition of dimmer switches can help to control the atmosphere and intensity of the space.

Whether you choose pendants, wall lights or lamps, always consider the size of the room and scale of your chosen design. A large floor lamp can make a statement, however styles with slim bases will be more suitable for smaller rooms and o er a way to illuminate darker corners and hallways without imposing on the space.

Keeping lamp bases understated allows for personality, colour and texture to be added by way of shades; whether they be bold patterned fabrics or mixed materials such as brass and glass.

Don’t forget outside lighting. In addition to any decorative pieces or solar lamps in your garden, consider outside security lighting as this will not only serve you, but can ease concerns of prospective buyers who have safety on their mind.

Finally, with ever increasing energy bills don’t forget to invest in e cient lamps and bulbs wherever possible.


Co-founder of Durden & Hunt, James Hunt, o ers some illuminating advice for you and your home this autumn
“Having a well lit home can not only improve your time there, but also create a warm welcome”

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