SEPTEMBER 2023 / £3.95
LOOKS FOR THE SEASON
Strike a News and views from the county's best schools SPECIAL North & East PLUS ALTERED IMAGES African photography at Somerset House • TO THE MAX Get the maximalist look • SUPER NOODLES The lowdown on ramen STYLISH / INTELLIGENT / ELEGANT
DESIGN YOU CAN FEEL
DESIGN YOU CAN FEEL
LOCATED AT BATTERSEA REACH, HARRODS, FINCHLEY ROAD, NOTTING HILL, TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD, WESTFIELD LONDON, GUILDFORD, BENTALLS KINGSTON, FENWICK BRENT CROSS AND ST ALBANS
LOCATED AT BATTERSEA REACH, HARRODS, FINCHLEY ROAD, NOTTING HILL, TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD, WESTFIELD LONDON, GUILDFORD, BENTALLS KINGSTON, FENWICK BRENT CROSS AND ST ALBANS
WHY DR NYLA : Doctor Nyla is a skin specialist, trusted by TV personalities, well-known celebrity ﬁgures and some of Britain’s most familiar faces in the media industry. Founder and Medical Director of Doctor Nyla Medispa is a highly respected and much sought after cosmetic Dermatology GP. Dr Nyla is a winner of Best Cosmetic Clinic 2019 to 2020 and a nomination for Best Cosmetic Doctor 2021. With the largest Exilis Elite skin tightening in the UK, alongside the 2nd largest CoolSculpting clinic in Europe. Dr Nyla is considered one of the top cosmetic doctors in the country. Having practised medicine for over 20 years and having personally delivered over 200,000 treatments with truly exceptional results, she has gained the admiration of the industry. Over her 20 years in medical aesthetics, she has transcended across the years to personally understand how to manage the menopause.
: Doctor Nyla is a skin specialist, trusted by TV personalities, well-known celebrity ﬁgures and some of Britain’s most familiar faces in the media industry. Founder and Medical Director of Doctor Nyla Medispa is a highly respected and much sought after cosmetic Dermatology GP. Dr Nyla is a winner of Best Cosmetic Clinic 2019 to 2020 and a nomination for Best Cosmetic Doctor 2021. With the largest Exilis Elite skin tightening in the UK, alongside the 2nd largest CoolSculpting clinic in Europe. Dr Nyla is considered one of the top cosmetic doctors in the country. Having practised medicine for over 20 years and having personally delivered over 200,000 treatments with truly exceptional results, she has gained the admiration of the industry. Over her 20 years in medical aesthetics, she has transcended across the years to personally understand how to manage the menopause.
UK CLINIC OF THE YEAR 2019 TO 2020 SAFETY IN BEAUTY AWARDS doctornyla | 0162 552 3307 | 0800 009 6661 | www.doctornyla.com
UK CLINIC OF THE YEAR 2019 TO 2020 SAFETY IN BEAUTY AWARDS doctornyla | 0162 552 3307 | 0800 009 6661 | www.doctornyla.com Dr Nyla aged 20, 40 & 60
AESTHETICS IN MENOPAUSE
AESTHETICS IN MENOPAUSE
The Transformation FaceliftTM is a bespoke treatment, which Dr Nyla has designed to treat many of the ageing affects the menopause can cause. Unique to the medispa group, this treatment, combines a variety of incredible anti ageing treatments to make you look and feel 10 years younger in the space of only six weeks! The next generation, multiplatform transformational facial offered exclusively at Dr Nyla. This treatment offers non-surgical skin tightening and lifting to treat all anti-ageing concerns –from textured, dull skin, to deep wrinkles and loss of laxity.
The Transformation FaceliftTM is a bespoke treatment, which Dr Nyla has designed to treat many of the ageing affects the menopause can cause. Unique to the medispa group, this treatment, combines a variety of incredible anti ageing treatments to make you look and feel 10 years younger in the space of only six weeks! The next generation, multiplatform transformational facial offered exclusively at Dr Nyla. This treatment offers non-surgical skin tightening and lifting to treat all anti-ageing concerns –from textured, dull skin, to deep wrinkles and loss of laxity.
During menopause, lower levels of estrogen have a big impact on your skin. Less estrogen makes you prone to thinning, sagging, and wrinkling. Skin looses elasticity making open pores much more visible. Skin is also much less hydrated. Fortunately, you can relieve some of the skin-related effects of aging by taking care of your speciﬁc skin care needs using the Dr Nyla skincare collection.
During menopause, lower levels of estrogen have a big impact on your skin. Less estrogen makes you prone to thinning, sagging, and wrinkling. Skin looses elasticity making open pores much more visible. Skin is also much less hydrated. Fortunately, you can relieve some of the skin-related effects of aging by taking care of your speciﬁc skin care needs using the Dr Nyla skincare collection.
PLEASE SCAN THE QR CODE TO BOOK A COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION Medispa Mayfair 32 Dover Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4NE
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North Bridge House
North Bridge House is on a constant journey of getting to know every child as an individual, realising their unique potential through a rich and diverse academic and co-curricular programme at every school stage.
‘Personal challenge with tailored teaching in a nurturing setting’ Good Schools Guide
NURSERY & PRE-PREP WEST HAMPSTEAD 2 - 7 YEARS SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER NURSERY & PRE-PREP HAMPSTEAD 2 - 7 YEARS SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER PREP SCHOOL REGENT’S PARK 4 - 13 YEARS SATURDAY 23 SEPTEMBER SENIOR HAMPSTEAD 11 - 16 YEARS SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER SENIOR CANONBURY 11 - 18 YEARS SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
an Open Day
SEPTEMBER 2023 CULTURE 10 ABSOLUTELY LOVES 10 things we’re coveting this month 14 W HAT'S ON Your diary for September 20 P ICTURING AFRICA African photography at Tate Modern FOOD & DRINK 30 KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL News from the industry 36 RECIPES Three ways with ramen F ASHION 46 THE SHOOT Fresh tailoring from Really Wild Clothing 54 JEWELLERY Flora and fauna-inspired pieces HEALTH & BEAUTY 63 B EAUTY NOTES What's hot and what's new 65 B EAUTY TREND What to buy now INTERIORS 72 INTERIOR INSPIRATIONS News and views from the industry 76 MAXIMUM IMPACT Why minimalism is dead TRAVEL 102 ANCIENT ISLE The beauty of Crete EDUCATION 116 ARTS FOR LIFE The many benefits of the Arts 140 IN PARTNERSHIP Schools' valuable connections ABSOLUTELY.LONDON The online guide to inspirational London living that helps you stay one step ahead of the crowd and gives you the chance to win exclusive prizes. ABSOLUTELY Contents 102 ON THE COVER reallywildclothing.com 46 36 7 ABSOLUTELY magazines
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ABSOLUTELY’S September issue highlights
eptember is the start of the new school year, and with it comes all the good intentions and resolutions associated with the regular new year. For anyone with children returning to primary school, the weeks leading up to the the beginning of term are a ﬂurry of buying new school shoes, making calls on whether items of uniform are too small or good for another term, and establishing the truth on whether holiday homework has been set. PE kits need to be located and laundered, pencil cases inevitably must be replaced, and bedtimes need to be reset. Most people are quite relieved to send their little darlings back to the grind, but there's a sentimental feeling associated with saying goodbye to another year. In this issue we're looking at education in general, with lots of news and views from some of the country's best schools in our extended education section. Happy new school year to you all.
Go bright with makeup this month
Shades of plum are the hottest new colours for interiors 3 1
Autumnal accessories We're loving Anthropologie's new pieces
PENDLE HARTE EDITOR
2 Eclectic interiors At home with collectors in Chelsea.
9 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Don't miss Tate Modern's exhibition of African photography 5
IKKS' pledge to stop using virgin polyester by 2025 is part of the brand's committment to improving its carbon footprint in pursuit of real responsibility
in the fashion industry. ikks.com
Eberjey's pyjamas are oﬃ cially the so est and most comfortable. We love this yellow set in jersey. eberjey.com
Anya Hindmarch has designed a delightfully dinky and highly collectible leather Carmex coin purse, perfect for storing your lip balm. £225 anyahindmarch.com
Zou Zou is a compact cross-body bag with two tassles for extra pizazz. It ﬁts all of the essentials and is handcra ed by skilled European artisans using the ﬁ nest nappa bubble lambskin.
COMPILED BY PENDLE HARTE
10 things we
10 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Brodie is a boundary-pushing luxury clothing brand. Originating in Yorkshire, from a long family lineage steeped in cashmere manufacturing, the focus is on a responsible supply chain. brodiecashmere.com
ON THE NAIL
Chanels' new Codes Couleur limited edition Mirror, Brush Set and Nail Files have been created in the bran's bright nail polish, Le Vernis Colours. chanel.com
This Lemonade Ceramic vase brings an amazing pop of colour to any room and is perfect for both fresh and dried ﬂ owers.. thehappyblossoms.com
British jewellery brand Rachel Jackson celebrates life’s beautiful moments by creating timeless personalised jewellery that is rich with symbolism. From humble beginnings on a market stall in Spitalﬁ elds, the brand is now sold in Selfridges and Liberty. racheljacksonlondon.com
CATCH A WAVE
We love this fun and cheerful yellow mirror with its statement wavy edge. Use on its own to brighten up a wall, or style with prints and other mirrors. roseandgrey.co.uk
Reina Olga is a female-led luxury swimwear brand using mostly recyled fabrics, biodegradable fabrics and small runs. reinaolga.com
11 ABSOLUTELY magazines
ABSOLUTELY • LOVES
The Agenda 14 • Punchdrunk's party 19 • African photography at Tate Modern 20 CULTURE ADJEI TAWIAH,
ON CANVAS, 180 X 150
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND GALLERY 1957 13 ABSOLUTELY magazines
EVENTS NOT TO MISS IN LONDON
Designed for Life
FROM 6 SEPTEMBER, LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION
London College of Fashion, UAL, opens the doors to its new home as part of East Bank with a brand-new, free, cultural programme. Through mixed media, this inaugural exhibition will celebrate decades of work by LCF research, outreach and engagement teams using fashion and design to demonstrate how creativity and fashion can change the world.
7 September - 1 October ANTHROPOLOGIE
For London Design Festival 2023, Anthropologie is collaborating with Artfully Walls to exhibit work by artists including Jonathan Lawes, KT Smail, Luiza Holub, Molly Benson, Sharan Ranshi and Sonal Nathwani in the King's Road gallery, along with a programme of workshops. landmarkartscentre.org
The Missing Thread
From 21 September
Spanning from the 1970s to the present day, The Missing Thread charts the shifting landscape of Black British culture and the unique contribution it has made to Britain’s rich design history. somersethouse.org.uk
FLOWERS FOR MRS HARRIS
From 30 September
Based on the novel by Paul Gallico and adapted for the stage by Richard Taylor and Rachel Wagstaff, Flowers for Mrs Harris is a celebration of kindness, friendship and carrying on in the face of grief. For Ada Harris, day-to-day life is spent cleaning houses. But one day when she is working for a wealthy client in Belgravia, she happens upon a Dior dress that takes her breath away. concordtheatricals.co.uk
This Month’s Must See
The Art of Banksy
From 13 September
84-86 REGENT STREET
The Art of Banksy is the world’s largest collection of original and authenticated Banksy artworks showcasing more than 110 pieces including prints, canvases, unique works and fascinating ephemera, many of which are on display for the very first time anywhere. Girl With Balloon, Flower Thrower and Rude Copper sit alongside one-off unseen pieces and personal works. artofbanksy.co.uk
Art TO WATCH
QUEEN'S PARK BOOK FESTIVAL
2-3 SEPTEMBER, QUEEN'S PARK NW6
This year’s programme features everything from fiction, memoir and poetry, to current affairs, history and cookery, with 25 events and over 50 guest writers, speakers and performers planned. Headlining the two festival days for 2023 are Sebastian Faulks who will talk about his new book, The Seventh Son, and Queen’s Park resident Zadie Smith (pictured) returning to the festival with her new novel The Fraud shakespearesglobe.com
Coinciding with the UN International Day of the Girl Child, Lost Girls boldly addresses the profound challenges faced by girls affected by war. The exhibition will launch on Artsy at the end of September with a physical exhibition at Flowers Gallery from 10-14 October, sure to be a Frieze week highlight. Funds raised will go towards War Child UK’s crucial work, providing support to children and their families in 15 countries worldwide. The stellar line-up of artists including Ai Weiwei, Maggi Hambling, Caroline Coon, Tracey Moffatt, Penelope Slinger, Owanto, Tewedros Hagos, Pam Hogg, Peter Howson and Linder Sterling. Curated by InFems, Lost Girls aims to empower with a focus on survival rather than victimhood and the selection of artists includes individuals who have deep and personal connections with refugee communities, PTSD, or come from territories where War Child provides urgent care and support.
Ai Weiwei is perhaps one of the world’s most famous artists and activists who has consistently sought to highlight the plight of refugees and human rights abuses through his work. He comments, “No matter the extent of efforts dedicated to the welfare of women and children, it consistently falls short. It is impossible to contemplate humanity's future without their presence. When assessing the contemporary level of civilization within our society, there exists a sole criterion: the capacity to safeguard and nurture the health and well-being of women and children.”
Lost Girls, Artsy from 26 September 26th. Flowers Gallery, Cork Street 10-14 October
CULTURE • DIARY ABSOLUTELY magazines
Physical comedy Peter Pan Goes Wrong comes to Richmond Theatre this month
Photography by ALASTAIR MUIR
Mischief, the multi awardwinning company responsible for the global comedy phenomenon, The Play That Goes Wrong, and the BBC One television series, The Goes Wrong Show, are heading out on a major UK tour of their West End hit show, Peter Pan Goes Wrong Co-penned by Mischief’s celebrated writing trio, Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keatoninspired slapstick, delivered with splitsecond timing and ambitious daring. The play sees the 'Cornley Drama Society' back on stage battling technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes as they attempt to present J.M Barrie’s much-loved tale. But will they ever make it to Neverland?
Nominated for an Olivier Award for ‘Best New Comedy’ in 2016, Peter Pan Goes
Wrong has enjoyed two West End seasons, a 16 and a half week run on Broadway, a tour of Australia and New Zealand and two UK tours. BBC One broadcast a onehour version of the show on primetime television in December 2016, starring David Suchet as the guest narrator, watched by an audience of over six million worldwide.
Jonathan Sayer, Creative Director of Mischief says: “I'm absolutely delighted that Peter Pan Goes Wrong will be returning to bring joy across the country. It's such a special show for us and includes some of our most ambitious comic sequences to date.”
Mischief’s other stage successes include The Play That Goes Wrong (West End, Broadway and on tour across the UK and internationally with productions staged on every continent - with the exception of Antarctica), Mind Mangler - Member of the Tragic Circle, Magic Goes Wrong, Groan Ups, A Comedy About A Bank Robbery and Mischief Movie Night. Their ‘Royal Television Society’ award-winning BBC One series The Goes Wrong Show aired in December 2019 with a Christmas special, with further episodes in early 2020, and a hit Nativity special last Christmas. The second series aired in September 2021 on BBC One and iPlayer. Mischief Theatre Ltd. was founded in 2008 by a group of acting graduates of LAMDA and began as an improvised comedy group.
Opening at Richmond Theatre on 23 September, the production will tour the UK into 2024 – see production website for details. Book tickets for 23 September
– 1 October at Richmond Theatre from atgtickets.com/Richmond
“A highly physical comedy packed with finelytuned farce and slapstick”
@pangoeswrong CULTURE • PROMOTION
T&Cs apply. Ends 30/09/23 Join now and get 15% off
The BURNT CITY
Punchdrunk’s epic production is set to close this month with a huge final party. If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s your chance
By PENDLE HARTE
Punchdrunk’s spectacular The Burnt City opened March 2022 and has sold over 200,000 tickets.
The epic retelling of the end of the Trojan war, set between the neondrenched backstreets of downtown Troy and the menacing but opulent shadow of Greece, plays out across two vast warehouse buildings. Part of the old Woolwich Arsenal, these buildings provide Punchdrunk with its first permanent home in London.
By the time it closes at the end of September, the show will be the longest running mask show that the company has presented in London. Over 600 people worked on it, making it the largest project in Punchdrunk’s history.
So if you haven’t seen it yet, now’s your final chance. The show is unlike anything else. It’s a disorientating space on what seems like several levels, taking in a sandy wasteland, an industrial ruin and an abandoned tent settlement – this is the Greek city of Mycenae and the ambulatory audience must decide which paths to follow. Actors appear from nowhere, leading the audience to witness fragments of wordless action in dance and mime in a space that looks apocalyptic and terror-filled – yet strangely empty. Follow Agamemnon upstairs to witness Iphigenia – having been sacrificed by her father earlier – transform herself into a bear in a 1920s style childhood bedroom. It’s a surreal recreation of a fever dream.
THE LAST RITE
A closing party to celebrate The Burnt City on Sunday 17 September, will feature pop-up performances by the cast and extended performing family of The Burnt City and guest DJs including Mynxie. A reunion of past Punchdrunk show The Drowned Man’s house band The Walk of Terror will perform in the speakeasy Peep, and there will be special pop-up food concessions. Tickets for The Last Rite are on sale now and can be purchased alongside the show or as a stand alone event. The final performance of Punchdrunk’s The Burnt City will be held on 24 September 2023.
CULTURE • THEATRE
ABSOLUTELY magazines 19
AWORLD IN COMMON
A new exhibition of contemporary African photography at Tate Modern
By EVE HERBERT
20 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Tate Modern is showing a major new exhibition celebrating the dynamic landscape of photography across the African continent today. Bringing together 36 artists from different generations and geographies, A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography explores how photography and video has allowed artists to examine legacies of the past while imagining more hopeful futures. Unfolding across
three chapters, the exhibition charts the dialogue between photography and contemporary perspectives on cultural heritage, spirituality, urbanisation, and climate change to reveal shared artistic visions that reclaim Africa’s histories and reimagine its place in the world. Since the invention of photography in the 19th century, Africa has been broadly defined by Western images of its cultures and traditions. During the colonial period, it was used as a tool to construct the representation of African societies through a Eurocentric lens. Challenging these dominant images
of the continent, A World in Common features over 150 works that illuminate how photography can imagine alternative visions of Africa’s many histories, cultures and identities. Regal portraits of kings and queens join intimate scenes of family life and stark documentary images of post-industrial ruin. Family photo albums and stylishly composed studio portraits reflect the shared sense of community and belonging that connects Africa and its global diaspora, while scenes of devastated coastlines and otherworldly landscapes consider the growing impact of the climate emergency. Guiding viewers
CULTURE • PHOTOGRAPHY
Maïmouna Guerresi, M-eating – students and teacher, 2012 5 photographs, colour, lambda print, on paper mounted on aluminium; 1500 × 3880 mm Courtesy of the artist and Mariane Ibrahim
along many landscapes, borders, and time zones, the exhibition showcases how photography allows the past and future to co-exist in powerful and unexpected ways.
During the precolonial period, many African societies were governed as kingdoms where ancient dynasties held an important role in the shaping of spiritual and cultural identity. Interweaving historical narratives with imagined scenes of Africa’s regal past, artists including George Osodi and Kudzanai Chiurai explore histories of anticolonial resistance and political revolt. The power of ritual plays an important role in many African religions and spiritual practices. For artists such as Khadija Saye, Rotimi Fani-Kayode and Maïmouna Guerresi these rites of passage and acts of remembrance offer portals between the living and their ancestors. Shape shifting between the spiritual and physical world, West African masquerade has traditionally been used to embody spirits during performances and ceremonies. In photographic works by Edson Chagas and
Saro-Wiwa, it becomes a powerful medium for the activation of cultural memory and collective identity. The exhibition explores the rise of studio
CULTURE • PHOTOGRAPHY
“Photography imagines alternative visions of Africa’s many histories, cultures and identities”
1. Mario Macilau, Breaking News from The Profit Corner series, 2015 Archival pigment print on cotton rag paper © Mário Macilau, Courtesy Ed Cross Fine Art
2. Aida Muluneh, Water Life Series 2018 at A World in Common Tate Modern 2023 (c) Tate Photography
3. Ruth Ossai, Student nurses Alfrah, Adabesi, Odah, Uzoma, Abor and Aniagolum. Onitsha, Anambra state, Nigeria, 2018 Photograph, inkjet print on paper; 1016 × 673 mm© Ruth Ginika Ossai
4. François-Xavier Gbré Untitled, 2013 © François-Xavier Gbré
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photography across the continent during the 1950s and 60s – a time when many African nations gained independence. Working within their local communities, pioneering photographers such as James Barnor in Ghana and Lazhar Mansouri in Algeria, photographed families and individuals who would gather proudly to have their portraits taken, often for the first time.
The legacy of postcolonial utopias continues to inspire artists to confront present-day landscapes at a time when Africa’s place in the world has never been more vital. The stark realities of globalisation and inequality are made visible as artists contemplate the impact of climate change and urbanisation on local communities.
A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography continues until January 2024 tate.org.uk
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT
4. Atong Atem, Adut and Bigoa, The Studio Series, 2015 Ilford smooth pearl print; 840 × 590 mm © Atong Atem. Courtesy of MARS Gallery and Atong Atem
2. Edson Chagas, Tipo Passe, Pablo P. Mbela, 2014 C-print on matte Kodak photo paper; 100 x 80mm Courtesy the artist and Apalazzo Gallery
1. Julianknxx, In Praise of Still Boys 2021 at A World in Common Tate Modern 2023 (c) Tate Photography
“The exhibition showcases how photography allows the past and future to co-exist in powerful and unexpected ways”
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HHHHH ‘A FEAST OF SUMPTUOUS SILLINESS’ Radio Times SAT 23 SEP - SUN 1 OCT ATGTICKETS.COM/Richmond * *Fees apply CAUSING PAN-DEMONIUM IN RICHMOND!
Photo by Alastair Muir featuring previous cast
PORTRAIT OF MARGUERITE KELSEY BY HEDWIG PILLITZ
Ready to BID
Olympia Auctions is hosting an Artists' Studio sale
This specialist sale showcases a fascinating and fresh-to-market range of pictures consigned by the artists’ descendants or the trusted keepers of such material.
It is an unmissable sale for art collectors, interior designers and those seeking one-off pieces. The diverse group of artists’ work ranges from work by by the extraordinarily talented family of artists, the Rothensteins, to the colourful 1980s abstractions of James Hull. Sir William Rothenstein (1872 - 1945) became principal of the Royal College of Art and is particularly known for his portraits, many of which are in the National Portrait Gallery. His brother Albert Rutherston (1881-1953) was a member of the New English Art Club and talented draftsman, while William’s son Michael Rothenstein (1908-1993) was a celebrated print maker.
The work of the female British Hungarian painter Hedwig Pillitz (1896–1987), who kept her studio in Hampstead and specialised in portraits of well-known 20th century figures in the Arts and society will also be a feature of the sale. One of her portraits of actress ‘Dorothy Black as Emily Bronte’ is in the V&A collections.
Another North London figure whose work is in the sale is the German emigré colourist Hans Feibusch (18981998), a celebrated painter of murals in churches and public buildings. Many of his paintings, sculptures, drawings and studio effects are now in the collection of Pallant House Gallery.
Glowing oil and pastel still-lifes, landscapes and nudes by the late Bernard Myers (1925-2007) will be included. Myers was a contemporary of Frank Auerbach and John Bratby and later a teacher at the Royal College of Art among other institutions;
his works in the collection of Tate Britain. Latterly a resident of Chiswick, the work of Myer’s neighbour Hugh Cronyn (1905–1996) will also be featured, as will the work of James Hull (1921-1990) and Leo Davy (1924-1987) both of whom were groundbreaking abstract artists in Britain of the post-war period.
Works by other artists will also be in the sale, each having a chapter dedicated to them in the catalogue, complete with their biography and featuring between ten and thirty-plus examples of their work.
Estimates range from £100 - £2,000
The Artists’ Studio Sale: works from artist’s estates. 11th October. olympiaauctions.com
ABSOLUTELY magazines 27 CULTURE • PROMOTION
THE OLIVE GROVE BY HANS FEIBUSCH
UNTITLED WITH RED SQUARE BY JAMES HULL
“An unmissable sale for art collectors, interior designers and those seeking one-off pieces”
As twilight falls, the magic begins...
There are new lights, a new trail route and new memories to be made. Don’t miss new creations from world-wide artists presented uniquely for the first time in the UK.…. It’s a botanical world brimming with seasonal cheer.
Your merriest Christmas starts here.
Raymond Gubbay 15 November 2023 _ 7 January 2024
FOOD & DRINK
MIX AND MATCH
Opening soon in Charlotte Street is Kink(all)y, a Georgian inspired restaurant featuring small plates and the local dumpling khinkali.
Downstairs is Bar Kinky, an inventive subterranean cocktail den led by Andrew Pruts, part of the team behind Insider, which reached number 13 on the World’s 50 Bars list. The menu, ‘Enter Bar Kinky’, tells the story behind each drink and how it was created. kinkally.co.uk
Food News 30 • Eating out 33 • Recipes 36
29 ABSOLUTELY magazines
WHAT TO DRINK
London’s food news and most exciting openings this month
By PENDLE HARTE
Wine recommendations for the month
By ABBOTTS & DELAUNAY
The grapes for this wine come from two terroirs: the Hérault plain which lends richness and roundness and the Aude area which gives character and freshness. Aromas of wild strawberry and raspberry enhanced by mineral notes. Very fresh and round on the palate.
‘Les Fruits Sauvages’ Malbec 2020/21, Languedoc £10.99
The grapes, with their aromas and ﬂavours of tangy red berries, lend ﬁnesse and freshness to the wine. Ruby colour enhanced with red highlights. Aromas of liquorice and both red and black fruits, with spicy notes. The vines of the Ormarine cellar overlook the Etang de Thau, a Natura 2000 classiﬁed area, and the Mediterranean Sea, which act as a thermal regulator and guarantee the freshness of the wine and the characteristic saline notes.
available at majestic.co.uk
New York Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn opened to critical acclaim in Brooklyn in 2015 and now it's come to London. Known for its freewheeling, modern approach to Peruvian cuisine, Llama Inn will bring its signature dishes and killer cocktails from NYC to the rooftop restaurant at The Hoxton, Shoreditch from 1 September. Dishes are founded in the diverse culinary heritage of Peru but seen through a New York lens.
Fruits Sauvages’ Grenache Rosé 2021, France £9.99
30 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Ormarine Picpoul de Pinet £10.75
Made in Chelsea
DONUTELIER From the team behind Notting Hill’s Laylow comes Chelsea’s new restaurant and delicatessen Lórian, with a menu that focuses on vegetable forward hyper-seasonality. Choose from a selection of daily prepared salads, a rotation of fresh pastries and a selection of desserts including apple tart with Neal's Yard créme fraiche or a rotation of cakes from Lauren Duncan, founder of Presto London.. loriandeli.com
Co ee beans, pods and grinds
Subscribe to Grind's pods, beans or ground coﬀee and you'll get a Henry Holland-designed tin. And the coﬀee's great too. grind.co.uk
CORE BY CLARE SMYTH
For one night only on 14 November, Dom Pérignon and Chef Clare Smyth celebrate the journey of creation and reinvention with an exclusive sixcourse dining experience paired with Dom Pérignon Vintages. Tickets go on sale on 3 September at £1,200 each. Don't delay. corebyclaresmyth.com
Dualit's environmentally friendly pods feature ﬂavours including Vanilla Cream and Rich Hazelnut, and are compatible with Nespresso machines. dualit.com
Fresh pasta enthusiasts will be soon blessed with a new addition to Baker Street’s food scene. Emilia’s Crafted Pasta is set to open their fourth restaurant, o ering their much-loved pasta dishes which are all freshly made on site every morning at each restaurant with 100% natural ingredients. emiliaspasta.com
Hermanos is a sustainable coﬀee brand bringing the very best single origin Colombian coﬀee to the UK. hermanoscoﬀeeroasters.com
A partnership between Neal’s Yard Remedies, premium mixer brand The London Essence Co. and Dalloway Terrace launches a delicious limited-edition afternoon tea and the Dalloway Terrace itself will also be transformed with a beautiful new ﬂoral installation.
31 FOOD & DRINK • NOTES
Our Largest Warehouse Clearance Yet Up To 50% Off - Online Only 1000s of lighting & furniture deals Visit Our Showrooms www.hollowaysofludlow.com BATH BERMONDSEY BROOK-GREEN KENT LIVERPOOL WINCHESTER WIMBLEDON
ABSOLUTELY eats out…
e had just returned from two weeks in Greece, where we ate grilled fish, Greek salad and lots of gyros. We are fans of taverna fare and could happily exist on grilled sardines and tzatziki for longer than the annual two week break. We’d only been home for a few days before we headed to Holland Park’s Vori, which opened in January to offer
W‘soulful and rustic’ Greek cooking to the people of W11 and beyond. We weren’t happy to be home. Our London summer has nothing in common with the Greek climate and Holland Park Avenu can’t be confused with Corfu, or even with downtown Athens. Our grey skies share nothing with their blue ones. Still, Vori has a welcoming vibe and a smarter feel than a coastal taverna, though there is a wall of bright blue shelving that nods to the Greek blues. The menu is less island taverna and more W11, and there’s a list of exclusive and rare
“A welcoming vibe and a smarter feel than a coastal taverna”
wines instead of simple carafes, but the holiday feel is definitely there. To start ,we order pan-fried king prawns with Ouzo and feta, and they’re impressively huge and tasty, improved by the aniseed sweetness and feta saltiness. Deep-fried courgette fritters come with more feta and greek yoghurt; they’re small and elegant balls rather than fat patties. Portion sizes are very murch urban, not rustic, and Vori’s small plates for sharing scheme is let down only by the table being too small to accommodate many plates, even if they are small. Next comes seafood: octopus on the grill with gremolata, baby potatoes and tomato sauce is a large curled tentacle, excellently grilled with no toughness or rubberiness. The texture is lovely. Grilled squid is simply served with green taramolata and it’s just as stylishly served. For pudding there’s Greek cheesecake, which is a deconstructed pot of biscuity, honeyed creaminess, and a delicious Greek ice cream with tahini and honey. Vori has launched a breakfast menu too, so we’ll be back to try that.
ABSOLUTELY magazines 33 FOOD & DRINK • REVIEW
Island taverna meets Notting Hill Smart, minimal, urban
FOOD DECOR Various plates £4 - £45
PRICE Excellent postholiday spot
Greek cusine in Holland Park
By PENDLE HARTE
120 Holland Park Avenue, W11 vorigreekitchen.co.uk
What to drink this month
By PENDLE HARTE
Scotch whiskymakers Compass Box have unveiled the third expression in their Extinct Blends Quartet, Metropolis, a limited edition paying tribute to the city. Presenting an array of tasting notes, Metropolis embodies all the senses of the city. A parcel of Blended Scotch nurtured in sherry casks brings out a dried fruit richness over a creamy and zesty grain whisky. compassboxwhisky.com
Earth & sea
57˚ Skye earth + sea London Dry Gin and 57˚ Skye earth + sea Cask Aged Gin celebrate the Isle of Skye, the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago, surrounded by fertile waters and a place of unspoilt natural beauty. Key ingredients are local botanicals from the land and sea, including juniper, coriander, angelica, pomelo peel and heather blossom. 57skye.com
A classic rum cocktail
By EVE HERBERT
The iconic Don Papa Rum is aged for seven years in ex-bourbon and ex-rioja American Oak casks for depth of ﬂavour. Lingering fruit notes combine with warming oaky spices and a delicate, rich sweetness of apricots and cinnamon. A deliciously appetising liquid of unquestionable quality, each sip of Don Papa Rum is a link to the mystical world of Sugarlandia – a unique but marvellous place where senses are heightened, and everything is not as it seems..
This spirit-forward twist on a classic seems to slow time with each sip, delivering layers of bright, fruity notes paired wonderfully with Don Papa Rum’s unmistakable molasses proﬁle.
• 50ml Don Papa Rum
• 25ml Sweet Vermouth
• 5ml Luxardo Maraschino
• 1 Dash of Angostura Bitters
• 1 Dash of Orange Bitters
• Chilled Cocktail Coupe
La Grande Dame 2015 vintage comes in a range of colourful gift boxes and label born from the imagination of Italian artist Paola Paronetto. The new eco-gift box, crafted sustainably in France is made from 100% natural hemp paper and 100% reusable and recyclable cardboard. Dividing the CO2 impact by three, it is a feat of innovative thinking and commitment to green packaging. selfridges.com
in a range of colourful gift boxes and
1 Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and ﬁll with ice. Stir for 15 seconds to chill down the cocktail. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, and zest with orange oils.
2 Garnish with a Maraschino
FOOD & DRINK • NOTES
ABSOLUTELY magazines 35
Makiko Sano’s wonderful ramen recipes
Pho-style Beef Ramen
• 1 kg (2¼ lb) beef tendon
• 50 ml (1¾ ﬂ oz/scant ¼ cup) mentsuyu (Chinese soup stock)
• 1 litre (35 ﬂ oz/4¼ cups) cold water
• 300 ml (10 ﬂ oz /1¼ cups) hot water
• 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
• ¼ teaspoon ginger purée
• 200 g (7 oz) beef strips, or steak cut into thin strips
• 240 g (8½ oz/2 nests) Chinese glass noodles
• Spring onions (scallions), sliced
• Lime wedges
• Thai basil sprigs
1 Make the broth. Place the beef tendon, mentsuyu and cold water in a lidded pot, bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Alternatively, place in a pressure cooker for 1 hour. Add more water to the broth if it reduces too much.
2 Drain the stock through a ﬁne sieve. Discard the beef tendon (all the meat will absorb into the stock). Now ladle about 300 ml (10 ﬂ oz/1¼cups) of the broth and the hot water into a pot over a mediumhigh heat. Add the chicken stock powder, ginger purée and beef strips, then stir. Bring back to the boil, stirring occasionally, until the beef is cooked.
3 Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Divide the between 2 serving bowls and pour over the soup. Top with the spring onions and Thai basil, and serve with lime wedges.
Mushroom Miso Ramen
Me de taberu Nihonjin, or ‘We eat with our eyes’, is a popular saying in Japan. This delicate bowl has beautiful stalks (stems), trumpets and caps of mushrooms ﬂoating in an umami broth.
• 150 g (5 oz) shiitake mushrooms
• 150 g (5 oz) shimeji mushrooms
• 150 g (5 oz) oyster mushrooms
• 2½ tablespoons white miso paste
• 2 tablespoons cooking saké
• 1½ tablespoons sugar
• 1½ teaspoons Japanese soy sauce
• ½ tablespoon sesame oil, plus 2 teaspoons for frying
• 240 g (8½ oz/2 nests) fresh Chinese noodles
• 1 litre (34 ﬂ oz/4 cups) water
• 4 teaspoons vegetable stock powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
1 Cut o the stalks (stems) of the shiitake and shimeji mushrooms and roughly chop them. Roughly chop the oyster mushrooms. Place the miso, saké, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.
2 Heat the 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add all the mushrooms. Fry for 4–5 minutes until soft.
3 Add the miso mixture over the mushrooms and stir-fry over a medium heat for another 3 minutes. When the ﬂavours start to become aromatic and coat the mushrooms, remove from the heat and set aside.
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and divide between 2 serving bowls.
4 Fill another saucepan with the water over a medium heat and add the vegetable powder stock and salt, mixing well. Bring to the boil.
5 Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour over the noodles. Pile the miso mushrooms in the middle of each bowl and scatter the spring onions on top.
ABSOLUTELY magazines 37 FOOD & DRINK • RECIPES
Chilli Miso Ramen
The trend for chilli ramen originated in South Korea, where spice is used both for preservation and taste. As the spicy noodles reached the shores of Japan, fusion recipes started to emerge. The addition of miso here adds a distinctly Japanese twist to this dish.
• 300 g (10½ oz) frozen fresh ramen noodles
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 240 g (81/2 oz) minced (ground) chicken
• 1 tablespoon ginger purée
• 1 tablespoon garlic purée
• 400 ml (14 ﬂ oz/1¾ cups) water
• 1½ teaspoons white miso powder
• 1½ teaspoons gochujang (Korean red chilli paste)
• 1 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon cooking saké
• 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
• 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
• 2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds
• Chinese chives, chopped
• Fresh red chilli, sliced
• Wakame seaweed, rehydrated for 5 minutes in cold water
1 Boil the ramen noodles as instructed on the packet, then plunge into iced water to ﬁrm them up. Set aside.
2 Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, stir- fry the minced chicken, ginger and garlic until the chicken is cooked through. Add the water to the pan and bring to
the boil, then reduce the heat. Now add the miso powder, gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, saké, chicken stock powder and spring onions. Cook over a low heat for 2–3 minutes, stirring gently.
3 To serve, place your noodles in a bowl and top with the chicken and soup mix. Add the ground sesame seeds and mix gently. Top with the chives, chilli and wakame.
38 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Recipes taken from Ramen by Makiko Sano, OH! Life, £18.99
FOOD & DRINK • RECIPES
tomhixson.co.uk Offering an exclusive 20% off your order using code ʻABSOLUTELY20ʼ. Valid until 1st October 2023
S weet MEATS
The finest cuts at Tom Hixson of Smithfield
Tom Hixson of Smithfield is a third-generation wholesale butchers founded in 1963 in the world-famous Smithfield market.
Tom and the team have over 125 year of a wealth of knowledge in the meat industry, and work tirelessly to bring you the most exclusive and award-winning produce from the UK and around the World.
Trusted by the UK’s most talented executive head chefs, our produce can be found on the menus of some of the country’s best restaurants, hotels and pitmasters. We are delighted that home cook enthusiasts can also enjoy our awardwinning produce with friends and family.
Our ethos is providing our customers with the best quality meat produce
available, resulting in a premium dining experience. That's why we've taken the time to carefully curate our selection of passionate producers, ensuring that each one meets our high standards for ethical, sustainable, and delicious meat.
By partnering with the best producers around the world, we're able to bring you the finest cuts of beef, poultry, pork, and more, all sourced from trusted farms and ranches. From the highly sought after A5 Japanese Wagyu, to decadent Argentine beef, mouth-watering
Australian Wagyu, exquisite USDA
Pure Black Angus beef and more.
We are thrilled to announce that our limited Tom Hixson Wagyu Ribeye Steaks have won a Great Taste Award 2023 from the Guild of Fine and Wine. These mouth-watering wagyu steaks are 31% off today and selling out quickly.
Here's what the judges had to say about our unique crossbred chocolate fed wagyu beef:
"We thought this wagyu was fabulous. It cut through like butter and the flesh was meltingly soft. There was a good proportion of fat left on it and this on its own had a great flavour. The meat was multi-layered in its complexity, and we are not sure whether this was from the chocolate diet, but that sweetness shone through. We could have happily eaten all of it (but we're not allowed!)
This steak has a very nicely developed, rich flavour and is superbly cooked with lovely caramelisation on the edges enhancing the experience. It is wonderfully tender and succulent, which delivers a most enjoyable eating experience.
This is a lovely looking steak with a good amount of fat to meat. Juicy and flavoursome. We loved the innovation in the provenance of this beef. The flavour is a resounding applause to the pastures and welfare of the animal itself and the steak had a gorgeous umami finish."
So, what are you waiting for? Head over to the Tom Hixson website and get mouth-watering steaks before they are sold out! Still not sure whether you should give us a go? We have over 2,790 4.3 stars service reviews on Feefo.
Contact our customer service team on 020 7248 3569 or email email@example.com.
40 ABSOLUTELY magazines
FOOD & DRINK • PROMOTION
HIXSON of Smithfield is offering an EXCLUSIVE 20% OFF your order using code ‘ABSOLUTELY20’ Valid until 1st October 2023.
entertainers.co.uk/adelphi • lwtheatres.co.uk 19 SEP 14 NOV 21 NOV 10 OCT 31 OCT •HALLOWEEN• 24 NOV 6 OCT Hits from T.Rex, Mud, Slade, Bowie, SweeT 1 DEC axs.com entertainers.co.uk/indigo Book Now! atgtickets.com/wimbledon* *Booking fees apply 14 OCT 22 OCT
Wisley Flower Show
5 – Sun 10 Sep
us for a vibrant show full of inspiration, expert tips and delicious food and drink.
Your visit supports our work as a charity.
Making your own ice cream is a breeze with Kitty Travers’ tempting recipes. Here’s her passionfruit sour
Passion fruit sour
Passion fruits have a surprise inside. Their crinkly, dun skins disguise highly scented, enticing pulp. They are dependable, too – easily available and can be relied upon to yield rich, tropical ﬂavour. This sorbet is very easy to make and delivers a highimpact sweet ‘n’ tart ﬂavour. It’s a real crowd-pleaser.
• 180 g sugar
• 200 ml water
• 2 large oranges
• 8 ripe passionfruit (choose large, deeply wrinkled fruit)
1 To prepare the sorbet: heat the sugar and water together in a pan, stirring to dissolve the grains of sugar. As soon as the syrup starts to simmer remove it from the heat.
2 Rinse the oranges then pat dry and grate the zest of one of them directly into the hot syrup. Set aside to cool.
3 Cut the passion fruit in half horizontally and use a teaspoon to scrape the seeds and pulp of each half into a clean bowl. Weigh this – you should have about 180 g of pulp.
4 Squeeze the juice of both oranges over the passion fruit and then add the strained cold sugar syrup (discard the zest). Liquidise the lot together for 3 – 4 minutes until the passion fruit pips have broken down somewhat (leave these in the ﬁnished sorbet for texture) and the mixture is frothy and slightly milky-looking. Cover the mixture and put in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours until chilled.
5 To make the sorbet: once cold, whisk the mixture in case it has separated, pour it into an ice cream machine and churn according to the machine’s instructions, about 20 – 25 minutes, or until thick and frosty-looking.
6 Scrape the sorbet into a suitable lidded container. Top with a piece of waxed paper to limit exposure to air, cover and freeze until ready to serve.
ABSOLUTELY magazines 43
Taken from La Grotta Ices by Kitty Travers, Square Peg, £22
FOOD & DRIN K • RECIPE
The timeless and versatile blue jean has been reinvented by Maria Grazia Chiuri in a series of denim pants. Named Dior 8, in homage to the founding couturier’s lucky number, these exceptional creations come in bootcut, flared, wideleg, boyfriend or cargo styles, as well as a new straight shape. dior.com
Really wild fashion 42 • Fashion Q&A 49• Floral jewels 50
ABSOLUTELY magazines 45
Really Wild Clothing's relaxed tailoring combines British heritage with timeless style
Q Did your time living in di erent countries inﬂuence your approach to footwear design?
A Absolutely, my time spent living in di erent countries has deﬁnitely had an impact on footwear design. For instance, holidaying at our family home in Puglia, surrounded by the fabulous star-topped trullo houses and magical starlit skies, massively inspired the design of the Star Collection. The unique atmosphere and experiences I share with my children in that region have undeniably left their mark on my designs. Furthermore, my circle of friends from various nationalities has played a crucial role in shaping my design perspective. Interacting with people from di erent cultures has enriched my life and also understanding of aesthetics, preferences, and styles; ultimately inﬂuencing the way I design footwear.
Q Why did you decide to follow your passion for shoes?
A I’m a total shoe addict! So the decision to pursue my passion for shoes was a natural one, rooted in my lifelong love of heeled footwear. From a young age, I found myself captivated by shoes, often wearing my grandmother's heels and noticing how they transformed her sense of femininity and conﬁdence. This had left a huge impression
Rosamund Muir on how a healthy addiction to shoes evolved into a successful business producing statement footwear
AURORA GOLD COBRA AND BORDEAUX EVENING
52 ABSOLUTELY magazines
ROMERA GOLD COBRA AND BLACK
ANNABEL BLACK AND WHITE LIZARD
on me and sparked the desire to create a similar experience for our customers. My love for heels and vibrant colours serves as a driving force behind my design choices. I've always found that colours have the ability to uplift moods, and I wanted to share this positive energy with our customers.
Q Has being a mother inspired your creations in any way?
A Absolutely, being a mother has been an immense source of inspiration for my creations. Raising my three children has provided me with very valuable insights into the practical challenges that mothers often face with footwear. I remember too well moments of wearing heels to special occasions like weddings and christenings and looking after my young children required me to be on my feet constantly. The discomfort caused by poorly designed and crafted designer shoes was a reality that drove me to prioritise both style and comfort in my designs. As a woman designing for fellow women, I understand the expectations and needs of those seeking stylish footwear which don’t compromise on comfort. This empathy has fueled my commitment to crafting heels that not only offer elegance, but also offer the ease and support required for mothers and women with active lifestyles.
Moreover, as a mother, I have experienced too well societal judgments and expectations placed upon women's fashion choices, particularly when it comes to wearing heels. I aim to challenge these norms and empower fellow mothers to make footwear decisions based on their personal preferences and comfort.
Q W hat does Rosamund Muir offer today?
A Rosamund Muir provides exquisitely handcrafted statement heeled footwear aimed at all ages, which embrace and celebrate individual style. Our brand is dedicated to the principles of slow fashion, steering clear of fleeting seasonal trends. Each pair of our footwear is meticulously crafted in limited quantities from surplus stock leathers, exemplifying our commitment to sustainability and uniqueness.
Q Are there elements of your approach that you believe makes you stand out?
A I believe our stand out factor lies in our genuine commitment to sustainability. While many brands claim to offer sustainable footwear, we distinguish ourselves by practicing what we preach. Our approach involves creating slow fashion footwear through the use of only by product surplus stock leathers. This ensures that we avoid
contributing to environmental harm caused by tanning processes and excessive water consumption. Also our sustainable ethos revolves around zero waste, and any leather pieces which are unusable for our shoes are given to schools for use in craft projects.
Q W ho are the artisans you work with?
A We have a very small atelier of six very experienced staff and each has their own role in the shoe making process. For example, I discuss patterns with Elena and she develops them, Gina hand cuts the upper and lining leathers, Lili and Ruxi work on stitching and adding accessories, and Mihai and Cris work with placing the stitched footwear on to the lasts and attaching the soles and heels.
Q W hat’s new for AW23?
A I’m so excited to introduce a fabulous collection of loafers and boots, online from 1 September. These collections have a strong focus incorporating beautiful reptile textures such as lizard, snake and crocodile. These patterns are printed onto by-product cow leathers, a conscious choice aimed at raising awareness about the inhumane breeding of real lizards, snakes, and crocodiles solely for their skins. By using only by-product cow leathers with reptile textures, we are offering a stunning range of footwear and also contributing to a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry. These collections represents our commitment to both style and environmental responsibility, providing our customers choices which align with their values.
ABSOLUTELY magazines 53
FASHION • PARTNERSHIP
Dreamlike pieces inspired by enchanted ﬂora and fauna
By CARLY GLENDINNING
Turks and Caicos Earrings, £129.99 crystalhazejewelry.com
18K Yellow Gold, Turquoise, and Tiger's Eye Mushroom Charm, £1300 selfridges.com
18K Yellow Gold, Aquamarine, and Agate Flower Earrings, £7,798 guitam-jewelry.com
Sunlight Ring 18K Rose Gold with Brilliant Cut Diamonds and Pink Sapphires, £9500 piaget.com
14K Yellow Gold, and Gem Stone Rainbow Wildﬂower Chain, £1,258 lionheartjewelry.com
18K Yellow Gold, Diamond, and Pastel Sapphire Butterﬂy Earrings, £5,905 suzannekalan.com
EMILY P. WHEELER X SUPER SMALLS
18K Yellow Gold, Sapphire, Crystal Quartz, and Natural Clover Necklace, £7,700 emilypwheeler.com
18K Gold, Diamond, and Double Ethiopian Opal Pavé Ring, £5,504 akailareid.com
One of a Kind 18K Gold, Aquamarine, and Opal Flower Necklace, Price Upon Request ireneneuwirth.com
FASHION • JEWELLERY ABSOLUTELY magazines 55
You can book an appointment using the QR code, online or by calling us on 020 3475 6644 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org anthonylabanhome.com 3 Bennet Court, 1 Bellevue Road, London, SW17 7EG Your experience at Home will always be incredible.
Photograph by Oladimeji Odunsi
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Chantecaille's new limited edition Wild Mustangs of North America make-up collection supports the American Wild Horse Campaign and their work protecting a recently discovered isolated herd of wild horses in Utah’s Cedar Mountains. chantecaille.co.uk
• Colour swipe 65 • Fitness
Beauty notes 63
57 ABSOLUTELY magazines
FOR MORE INFO: 020 8876 8634 • FIND US HERE: Unit 1, Dairy Court, Orchard Rd, Richmond, TW9 4FG www.majesticﬁtness.com OWN THE DAY . OWN YOUR DAY . F T FOR MORE INFO: 020 8876 8634 • FIND US HERE: Unit 1, Dairy Court, Orchard Rd, Richmond, TW9 4FG www.majesticﬁtness.com OWN THE DAY . OWN YOUR DAY .
Amazing opportunities to boost your ﬁtness journey at Majestic Fitness:
Amazing opportunities to boost your ﬁtness journey at Majestic Fitness:
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• Enjoy one week of Small Group Personal Training at no cost. Sign up today!
• Enjoy one week of Small Group Personal Training at no cost. Sign up today!
The latest in luxury makeup and skincare
By CARLY GLENDINNING
A blend of clean and natural ingredients, the Balancing Marine Cream from ishga contains seaweed extract and Hebridean spring water, which together yield 86 vitamins and minerals. £54. ishga.com
Scalp Detox at Gielly Green Salon
Australian brand Tropicology use the healing and restorative powers of antioxidantrich organic avocado oil. Suitable for all skin types, the range is cruelty, soap, paraben, and sulphate free. tropicology.com
Eighth Day’s supercharged Regenerative Serum was formulated by Dr. Anthony Nakhla in a clinical setting. The magical blend of high-potency, nutrient rich ingredients is designed to stimulate your own cells, promoting healing, repair, and renewal. £270.
Hair and Scalp Analysis, £250; Scalp Detox, £230 monpure.com
63 ABSOLUTELY magazines
HEALTH & BEAUTY • NOTES
REVIEW SUPER SKINCARE
Even though my hairdresser repeatedly tells me o , my biggest beauty sin is that I love to overwash my hair. And I had no idea what it was doing to my scalp until I visited the lovely Soﬁa Baig, MONPURE London’s expert trichologist. Her clinic at Gielly Green salon is the UK’s ﬁrst destination aimed at revolutionising the treatment of hair loss, hair thinning, and scalp conditions. I ﬁrst visit Soﬁa for a Hair and Scalp Health Analysis, where she uses a hightech Trichoscope and her expert eye to analyse the health of my scalp. Close-up images show a lot of oiliness, inﬂammation, and baby hairs that are too weak to grow. Seeing the damage on-screen was a huge eye opener and after the appointment I vow to stick to Soﬁa’s bespoke hair care plan. She suggests washing my hair three times a week as well as using products from the MONPURE range, which contain potent active ingredients such as retinol, vegan silk peptides, AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C and coenzyme Q10. Two weeks later I’m back in Soﬁa’s clinic and I’m pleased to see that my scalp is already a lot less oily. This time, I’m booked in for a Scalp Detox, which is a little bit like having a targeted facial on your scalp. After a deep cleanse, Soﬁa uses MONPURE’s Clarifying Scalp Rub to gently remove all of the built-up oil and dead skin in my scalp. She works the brand’s Heal and Energise Jade Comb through my hair to stimulate the follicles. She then puts me under the steamer to seal my hair cuticles, whilst a combination of MONPURE’s Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum and their Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask get to work. The treatment is ﬁnished o with a blow dry. My hair is so soft and shiny and all the inﬂammation in my scalp is magically gone. My hair looks amazing for days afterwards, and I’m not tempted to wash it at all. Time will only tell if those baby hairs will grow through, but I have very high hopes. Time
Skywash in Pool, £18 uk.glossier.com
The Summer Look
Eyeshadow Palette, £45 net-a-porter.com
Split Liner, £11.50 sephora.co.uk
PAT MCGRATH LABS
Luxe Eyeshadow Quad: Passion Fleur, £55 patmcgrath.com
Skywash in Pool, £18 uk.glossier.com
MAKEUP BY MARIO Master Metallics Eye Palette, £50 makeupbymario.com
RARE BEAUTY Discovery Eyeshadow Palette, £30 rarebeauty.com
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS
Mini Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Vol.3, £33 beautybay.com
Get creative with popping pastels and rainbow lids
By CARLY GLENDINNING
MILK MAKEUP Color Chalk 3G, £17 spacenk.com
Les Phyto-Ombres Eyeshadow, £40 net-a-porter.com
Kaolin Clay Face Mask, £18.99 upcirclebeauty.com
Eyeshadow Crème in Bwindi Forest, £24 emolyne.com
HEALTH & BEAUTY • TREND
ABSOLUTELY magazines 65
BUILD THE HOME GYM YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED Try Before You Buy Expert In-Store Advice Never Beaten on Price 0% Finance Available † DISCOVER OUR RANGE OF TREADMILLS, BIKES, CROSS TRAINERS, RACKS, WEIGHTS & BARBELLS 7.5% OFF Use code ABSOLON0923 Bring your favourite gym workouts home with Fitness Superstore! Head in-store to discover some of the industry’s biggest brands at the best possible prices, get some top home gym advice from our expert team and get to grips with any cardio and strength products on-display before you buy. Ready to build the home gym you’ve always wanted? Come and see us today! FREE HOME GYM DESIGN SERVICE Visit us at Hyde House, The Hyde, Colindale, NW9 6LH or call 0203 3708 855 Life Fitness IC1 Group Exercise Bike 18kg aluminium flywheel Friction resistance system Was £745 | Now £495 Nuobell 2-32Kg Dumbbells (x2) with Stand Just one pair replaces 32 individual weights Switch weights by simply twisting the handle Our Price £849 Nautilus E626 Elliptical Cross Trainer 0-11° motorised incline 29 built-in workout programmes Was £1,099 | Now £649 Worth £35 FREE Body Composition Analysis * Get accurate results for your weight, body fat %, muscle mass and much more on a takeaway readable report from our in-store Tanita Body Composition Analyser. FREE FLOOR PROTECTOR MAT *** with every Life Fitness cardio purchase Syncs with the Explore the World™ app** Code expires 1st October 2023. Prices may vary, see website for current price. † Subject to age and status. *When you spend over £300 in-store, worth £35. **Subscription required ***Free mat subject to Life Fitness purchase.
ACCESSORIES FOR STRENGTH AND BALANCE
By CARLY GLENDINNING
A modern and stylish take on old school weights, the Heavy Kit from Bala Bangles is designed to help you increase strength, agility, endurance, and balance. £148.82; shopbala.com
The Duality Yoga Strap From Alo Yoga can be used to carry your mat and also as a support in practice. Yoga straps can be used to create resistance, improving balance, and increasing muscle strength. £39; aloyoga.com
Carly Glendinning tries Reformer Pilates with My Pilates London founder Pete Pallai
hen I arrive at the My Pilates London Studio in Putney on a rainy Friday morning the ﬁrst thing I do is warn founder Pete Pallai that I’m not very ﬂexible. “My range of motion is terrible” I say.
I’m here for a one-on-one session and I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
Reformer Pilates is having a huge surge in popularity right now, and it’s my very ﬁrst time trying it out.
Wthe process of learning to move your body with more strength, control, and awareness.
Pete is a two-time Olympian bobsledder and former rugby player. He discovered Reformer Pilates later into his career and is extremely passionate about its beneﬁts for both women and men.
strengthening my core. I slide up and down the machine, working my whole body – from my legs and glutes to my arms and chest. At points, my legs are burning and trembling, but I actually surprise myself in the range of movements I can do.
ON THE MAT
This natural rubber mat from Lululemon has a grippy top layer to help you ﬁnd balance in your practice. Stretching can have positive eﬀects on your gains in muscle mass. £78; lululemon.co.uk
Pete explains that although ﬂexibility is often the thing people tend to think about when it comes to Reformer Pilates, it’s actually only one part of it. He tells me that Pilates was initially called ‘Contrology’. He prefers this name as it better describes
Now an experienced Balanced Body (the largest Pilates company worldwide) trained practitioner, people of all levels come to Pete for his expertise. He divides his time between running courses for Pilates instructors, leading advanced level classes, and giving one-to-one sessions.
Pete takes me through some basic moves, modifying them as we go to make the session uniquely bespoke to my needs. Pregnancy and life with a toddler has left me with pain in my left hip, and I’d like to work on
The challenge is concentrating on my breathing whilst making sure I’ve got the correct form. Pete explains that you really have to focus.
He tells me that this is another thing that people really enjoy about Reformer Pilates – it’s time where you have to leave the day’s stresses behind.
At the end of the session, I might be leaving with slightly wobbly legs, but I think Pete’s enthusiasm for Reformer Pilates might have just rubbed o .
HEALTH & BEAUTY • FITNESS
020 3489 8010 | 7 High St, Cheam, Sutton SM3 8RQ email@example.com | definitionaesthetics.co.uk Advanced Skin & Body Aesthetics Clinic DEFINITION_SKIN_AESTHETICS_HP_ABS_AUG22_v5.indd 1 29/09/2022 10:46
Why St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is north London’s favourite for eyes
St John & St Elizabeth Hospital in St John’s Wood is North London’s top choice for eye issues, according to the latest PHIN (Private Health Information Network) data. *
The hospital, due to everincreasing demand, has expanded its Eye Clinic in response.
Over the summer, the hospital:
• Created an additional consulting room specifically for eye patients;
• Introduced a new patient sub-waiting area; and
• Invested in new equipment, including an upgraded slit lamp - this unique instrument permits three-dimensional visualisation and measurement of the fine anatomy at the front, and inside of the eye.
The hospital, which is affectionately referred to as John & Lizzie’s by local residents, has re-invested substantially
into its services over the years to stay at the forefront of medical technology. Only recently it unveiled a brand new £35m new wing, with state-of-the-art theatres and equipment; a refreshed department for scans and tests, which features two upgraded MRI scanners and the latest X-ray technology for a wider range of exams; an expanded Urgent Care Clinic for the community; bright airy rooms, and warm and welcoming waiting areas. The Eye Clinic’s expansion is the latest in the hospital’s re-investment and upgrade programme.
The clinic’s team of expert eye consultants works in conjunction with a multidisciplinary team that includes (amongst others) orthoptists - experts in diagnosing and treating defects in eye movement and problems with how the eyes work together, medical photographers, and nurses specially trained in eye procedures. Paired with the latest medical technology, the team can diagnose, treat, and provide aftercare for a broad array of eye conditions, including:
• Blepharitis – a chronic or recurring inflammation of the eyelids.
• Glaucoma – a common condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged.
• Diabetic retinopathy – a condition that can cause sight loss in people that have diabetes.
• Macular degeneration – a common condition that affects the middle part of your vision. The clinic’s doctors can also help treat urgent conditions, such as torn or detached retinas, and its specialist eyelid surgeons can also help with anything from excess skin on the eyelids, misaligned eyelids, or complete eyelid reconstructions.
DID YOU KNOW?
• 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives. Half of this sight loss is avoidable.
• An eye test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough. Other health conditions, such as high blood pressure can also be detected. Regular eye tests are an easy way to stay on top of your eye health and everyone over the age of 16 should be getting their eyesight checked every two years, even if they are not experiencing any problems with their eyes. Children should get their eyes tested more frequently – once every year.
If you would like to book a routine eye exam or have a specific eye issue you’d like checked out, call the Eye Clinic’s friendly team on 020 7078 3848.
Excellent healthcare, impeccable standards
Founded in 1856, St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is one of the UK’s largest independent private hospitals. Over the years, the hospital has earned a reputation for delivering the best possible outcomes with compassionate care, and it is proud to attract world-class consultants and dedicated nursing staff. All treatments in the hospital help fund the onsite St John’s Hospice, which provides free quality-of-life care to over 4,500 people and their families each year, across seven boroughs.
St John & St Elizabeth Hospital
60 Grove End Road, London NW8 9NH
*2022 PHIN published procedure volumes for independents.
ABSOLUTELY magazines 69
ABSOLUTELY • PROMOTION
Kitchens Furniture Accessories Lighting Paint Design services Chiswick, 020 3814 1220 Fulham, 020 7371 9997 Wimbledon, 020 3362 8240 neptune.com
design, built to last a lifetime.
MODERN BRITISH CLASSICS
The new oak-topped Ardingly desk smoothly folds into an elegant console table. Look out for this and more new designs at Neptune stores in Fulham, Chiswick, and Wimbledon. As British furniture designers, Neptune values the beauty of natural materials, thoughtful and practical design, and sustainable craftsmanship to create homes that feel both timeless and contemporary. neptune.com
INTERIORS Interior inspirations 72 • The new maximalism 76 • House tour 88
71 ABSOLUTELY magazines
NEPTUNE ARDINGLY DESK, FROM £1,195
Ideas, designs and styles for your home
By PENDLE HARTE
The beautiful Foxmoor display cabinet is perfect for storing your best dinner service, your collection of object d'art, or even your favourite books. It features a roomy cupboard space, fitted with a fixed shelf and 3 adjustable shelves in the cabinet top. With a depth of just 37.4cm it will fit unobtrusively into most spaces.
Designed by French designer Nathalie Lete exclusively for Anthropologie, this luxurious velvet curtain lends instant charm to any interior with its array of artful and inviting motifs. anthropologie.com
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HAY X LIBERTY
Hay's exciting new collaboration with Liberty merges Inga Sempé's iconic Matin Lamp with timeless prints. The shade's classic pleated construction features Liberty's distinctive prints as a contrast to its steel-wire frame in polished brass. hay.com
Grind's collaboration with Henry Holland features a stylish limited edition Grind coﬀee tin, printed with his signature marble print, and a special limited edition hand built mug. The partnership brings together two East London brands that are each celebrated for their cra . grind.co.uk
Diptyque's Glass strives upwards while summoning up the iconography of antique lamps. Lovingly, the ﬂame candle lids extol the memory of ﬁre dancing in the darkness, like replica ﬂames blown into being by the heat. diptyqueparis.com
HOLLAND X GRIND
INTERIORS • NOTES ABSOLUTELY magazines
TOM RAFFIELD Mylor Bowl, £95 tomraﬃ eld.com
MICUCCI INTERIORS Watermelon Salad Bowl, £80 micucci.co.uk
ROCKETT ST GEORGE Dark Green Cabbage Salad Bowl, £38 rockettstgeorge.co.uk
KATE WELTON Bowl, £30 katewelton.com
V&A SHOP Salad Bowl Schizzato, £55 vam.ac.uk.uk
THE NATURE COLLECTION
The Nature Collection pays tribute to Kaare Klint and some of his most sophisticated and visionary furniture designs - such as the graceful Faaborg Chair, originally made for the interior of Danish Faaborg Museum. Discover a limited series of Kaare Klint furniture upholstered in olive tanned aniline leather in four exclusive colors. The colors in the collection, Shadow, Oak, Moss and Ebony, represent the serene hues of Scandinavian nature. Price: £4,078
Retail prices incl. VAT.
Kaare Klint1914 KK96620 Faaborg Chair Carl Hansen & Søn Flagship Store 48A Pimlico Road, Belgravia London, SW1W 8LP +44 0 (20) 7730 8454 Monday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm CARLHANSEN.COM firstname.lastname@example.org carlhansenandson_london
Counting down to the return of Decorex
Decorex, Europe’s finest highend design event, is back for 2023 and it's bigger, better and more sustainable than ever before. This year’s show will take place from 8 to 11 October at Olympia, offering a space unlike any other to connect with the finest interior brands, discover innovative new products and be inspired by emerging trends.
Discover exclusive Interior Design Brands
Browse an impressive selection of products including wallcoverings, fabrics, furniture, lighting and decorative accessories from a stellar line-up of exhibitors including Arte International, Coat Paints, Curiousa, Ian Sanderson, Little Greene, Pooky Lighting and Vincent Sheppard. Discover an expertly curated line-up of both new and established interior design brands at Olympia London this autumn.
Decorex x NAT MAKS
After being part of the Decorex 2022 Making Spaces feature and a proving a huge success with attendees, the NAT MAKS 2023 collaboration was the perfect evolution. The creative behind this year’s branding features autumnal tones including deep oranges and complex greens, beautifully complementing the time of year in which Decorex will take place. "Decorex is a show like no other. The recognition and support the show provides to new craftspeople is invaluable to the interiors industry. This is very much reflected in Decorex's attendees who are keen to discover new talent and learn about the process behind our work," says Natascha Maksimovic of NAT MAKS.
The popular interactive Making Spaces feature will return with a new and inspiring line-up of talented craftspeople. Decorex is proud to be working with Cockpit, The Black Artisans, Future Icons, QEST and Rycotewood communities this year.
Unmissable Design Collaborations
This year Decorex is excited to be working with one of the UK’s most talented interior designers who is creating a decadent and luxurious treat for visitors to the VIP Lounge. Another innovative and exciting studio is behind the design for this year’s iconic Decorex Bar.
The Decorex Design Talks Programme Returns for 2023
In the Decorex seminar theatre, the Design Talks Programme will welcome expert speakers such as Linda Boronkay, Sophie Paterson, Natalia Miyar making it the perfect place to learn from industry greats.
Olypia, 8-11 October; secure your ticket today at decorex.co.uk
ABSOLUTELY magazines 75
INTERIORS • PARTNERSHIP
Words PENDLE HARTE
For many years, the world of interiors was seduced by the cult of minimalism. It’s easy to understand why: there’s something undeniably appealing about swathes of uncluttered white space punctuated only by single, carefully chosen items of unembellished, architecty funiture. Abandoning doorknobs, light switches and skirting boards to create uninterrupted lines everywhere is the pursuit of the dedicated minimalist, and hiding all traces of life behind meticulously crafted storage solutions is their holy grail.
Granted, this looks good in photographs, and an orderly home suggests an uncluttered mind, which we might all aspire to. But isn’t it a bit boring? And why claim to such an ascetic life anyway? Increasingly, interiors trends are now moving away from Scandi monotones and towards a maximalist explosion of print, pattern and colour. This might alarm people who have
Everyone used to want neutral schemes and clean lines – but the new looks are bold, colourful and full of pattern
OTTOLINE INTERIORS • FEATURE ABSOLUTELY magazines
become used to a simple palette and clean Nordic lines – but others will welcome some new visual interest. But what does it all actually mean in practice?
To start, walls are shunning neutral shades, neurotic whites and the ubiquitous, datedlooking greys in favour of inky dark blues, or plaster-inspired pinks, or warm greens, all trimmed with bright contrasting woodwork. Try yellow doors with pink walls, say – or dark brown walls with red window frames. Colour is not something to be afraid of – walls can be repainted and numerous new paint shades are launched every season. Also, chintz is back, though not in its 1980s pastel incarnation –instead there are bold, dark colours and big, blousy florals and paisleys. With wallpaper, a new rule is: the bolder, the better. Look at House of Hackney’s room schemes and consider whether you’re brave enough to choose wallpapers, curtains, carpets and upholstery fabrics in contrasting prints – a floral wall and a stripe sofa, for example – or even to repeat the same strong pattern across walls and curtains.
For floors, we’re seeing a resurgence of fitted carpets. All those years of rustic stripped floorboards dotted with a few rugs are giving way to a whole new luxe look and feel, with thick, velvety carpets in dark rust colours or deep blues, or even deep pile patterns. Suddenly, exposed floorboards are beginning to feel spartan, uncomfortable and draughty in comparison.
And then there are the objects. While a minimalist aesthetic requires all unnecessary objects to be binned – or at least hidden in cupboards – the new, relaxed look is a fine environment for decorative accessories. The brilliantly named ‘cluttercore’ is a license to indulge all your favourite antique shop finds, holiday souvenirs and eclectic collectibles. Paintings, lamps, vases, pot plants, candlesticks, mismatched ceramics and ornaments are all part of the new aesthetic, along with books on shelves, multiple cushions and throws and signs
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INTERIORS • DESIGN
“The brilliantly named ‘cluttercore’ is a license to indulge all your favourite antique shop finds”
of life everywhere.
Of course, the look to aspire to is bohemian and stylish rather than simply messy and overwhelming. The key to achieving this is to display items in considered groups, so for example, take three items of different sizes and place them together. Make sure that while surfaces aren’t empty, they’re also not unconsidered – so think about themes or temperatures when displaying pieces. Mix textures, colours and periods, but retain a common thread and don’t be shy. The maximalist look is forgiving and doesn’t mind a bit of inconsistency.
Kitchens and bathrooms are also experiencing a change in aesthetic. Stylish bathrooms aren’t simple and neutral any more – today’s desirable bathroom offers spa-quality luxury in its fittings and functions, with a focus on design details. Whether your taste is for a Moroccan hammam-style space with mosaic tiling, or for an Art Deco theme with wall lights and decorative mirrors, or for an industrial space with dark walls and brass fittings, your bathroom should definitely not be boraing. Likewise for kitchens: the ubiquitous white gloss fitted units and shiny metro tile look is very much over. In its place are a variety of deliberately mismatched styles, with lots of open shelving displaying vintage crockery collections, cookbooks, plants and curiousities. Kitchen cupboards might be free-standing and painted in vibrant colours; islands will have dramatic pendant lights above them and floors are tiled in patterned encaustics. Vintage glass-fronted cabinets are popular choices instead of MDF units, and reclaimed worktops are everywhere.
So if you're ready for a new look, there are lots of things to consider – but the main point is, anything goes. Be brave and make your mark.
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INTERIORS • DESIGN
“The maximalist look is forgiving and doesn’t mind a bit of inconsistency”
A NEW KOLLEKTION
For AW23, BoConcept is asking: how does great design make you feel? Home is where we recharge, express ourselves and provide protection from an increasingly uncertain world. With our homes taking center stage as our safe havens, Claus Ditlev Jensen, BoConcept’s Collections and Visuals Director, says: “With the new Kollektion we lean into the power of design to bring a feeling of deep satisfaction. The new pieces are designed to bring sensorial pleasure into the everyday.”
From BoConcept’s new Kollektion, the oversized proportions of the Salamanca sofa
respond directly to this desire for next level comfort. Meanwhile, the Santiago dining table reinforces the current trend towards organic, sculptural shapes and tactile materials that also have a soothing effect. The other big story comes with Calgary that taps into the huge appetite for inspiring storage.
The Santiago dining and coffee tables fulfil our appetite for long-lasting materials and timeless styles featuring hard-wearing ceramic tops, whilst the Calgary is a piece designed to evolve over the years as the consumer discovers new keepsakes to display or even wishes to adapt its usage to a different room or function.
New for AW23 is Salamanca, designed by
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Infuse your world with the warmth of comfort and style at BoConcept
Henrik Pedersen. “Salamanca is very big, very soft and very comfortable. It’s designed not to live with but to live in. There is no strict system to this bohemian style - play around with the cushions, find your favourite position and chill,” he says.“This season we continued to focus on soft aesthetics underlined with tactile fabrics but with the Salamanca we take comfort to the next level”, says Ditlev Jensen. With a 1970s bohemian feel, Salamanca is a low and ‘floating’ lounge sofa with oversized proportions designed for really kicking back.
“With Salamanca we offer a more casual, cosy family sofa”, says Ditlev Jensen. Comforting curves meet a square shape to create what Pedersen describes as a “cushion box”. With freestanding or modular versions available,
the design also allows for customisation and flexibility with the moveable cushions. Where beauty and functionality meet, the new Santiago dining table makes an elegant statement piece for people who love to entertain. Designed by Morten Georgsen, this simple yet striking design will appeal to those who love clean lines and upscale finishes. “Living room and dining room are one now in a lot of houses”, says Georgsen. “We have torn down the walls and what does that mean? It means we have room for a bigger dining table because that is where we are with our friends and family.”
The oval-shaped top comes in durable and hardwearing ceramic, available in white, brown and AshGrey. “The natural expression of the ceramic really comes into its own on a large surface like this”, says Ditlev Jensen. The glossy top is combined with bevelled pillar-style legs available in Dark Oak and AshGrey. “The clean lines and organic shapes make a stylish statement.”
Discreet desk, mini bar, stylish storage - Calgary focuses on the art of display.
“Since BoConcept first opened in 1952, traditional bookcases have been in our product portfolio”, says Ditlev Jensen. “The designs have been adjusted from time to time, but we are now at a point where we welcome a new storage direction. Calgary is so much more than storage.”
With the growing trend towards consumers showcasing their individual style and identity through interiors, Calgary is a versatile storage system that fuses aesthetics with functionality. “Consumers are still looking to refurnish and re-organise their homes as part of general home improvement projects after the pandemic”, says Ditlev Jensen. “Simple yet sophisticated, the design allows you to curate belongings with open storage that
elevates its contents.” The Calgary system is customisable without being overwhelming.
BoConcept’s AW23 Kollektion is a celebration of comfort, versatility, and personal style. From the compact Kingston dining table to the additional 1.5 seat option for the Bergamo sofa, the collection offers solutions for various living spaces. New finishes and materials, like Dusty Green, Dark Oak, and Ash Grey, extend the customisation options. The introduction of a white ceramic finish adds a touch of luxury and resilience. So, are you ready to infuse your world with the warmth of comfort and style?
BoConcept’s AW23 Kollektion promises to transform your space into a haven of feelings, making every day a delightful experience. Stores located at Battersea Reach, Harrods, Finchley Road, Notting Hill, Tottenham Court Road, Westfield London, Fenwick Brent Cross, Kingston, Guildford and St Albans.
BoConcept was founded in 1952 in Denmark and is today the world’s most global furniture retailer, with over 328 stores spanning 67 countries. The brand works with award-winning designers to create collections of furniture, accessories and lighting for private homes and business spaces. Under the heading ‘Live ‘Ekstraordinær,’ BoConcept is committed to bringing its flexible Interior Design Service and industry-leading customisation to spaces both private and public – without compromising on design vision or aesthetics. Get inspired at boconcept.com
ABSOLUTELY magazines 83
“THE NEW PIECES ARE DESIGNED TO BRING SENSORIAL PLEASURE INTO THE EVERYDAY”
INTERIORS • PARTNERSHIP
Come to our showroom and create your dream kitchen beautiful kitchens A fantastic selection of Burbidge Kitchen Stori Aisling Corian Durasein Hanex Staron Durat Silestone Modern Quartz Classic Quartz CRL Kitchens & Worktops Unit 1 Four Seasons Crescent, Kimpton Road, Sutton SM3 9QR 020 8641 0354 email@example.com kitchensandworktopsltd.co.uk Initial design & quotation is free
J ADAMS Spot Desk Light, £588 jadamsandco.com
BODE LIVING Pink Ceramic Check Lamp, £120 bode-living.com
Erna 1 Light Table Lamp, £87 darlighting.co.uk
SAZY Oron Dome Table Lamp, £110 sazy.com
HOUSEOF Charcoal grey tube table lamp, £199 houseof.com
Fireﬂ y Portable Table Lamp Lotus, £320 micucci.co.uk
All the best table lamps
By PENDLE HARTE
RV ASTLEY Irwell Table Lamp, £291 limelace.co.uk
J ADAMS Luna Table Light, £1,500 jadamsandco.com
Toile Blue Table Lamp, £295 frenchbedroom.co.uk
NICHOLAS ENGERT INTERIORS
Table Lamp Sorry Giotto, £975 nicholasengert.co.uk
SPICER AND WOOD Seagrass Table Lamp, £110 spicerandwood.co.uk
HOUSEOF Olive green marble column table lamp, £199 houseof.com
HOUSEOF Teal Xou Table Lamp, £299 houseof.com
INTERIORS • TREND
Damson is the new shade of the season
By PENDLE HARTE
INTERIORS • TREND
WHERE SAINTS GO Burgundy Eucalyptus Stems, £39 wheresaintsgo.co.uk
EARTHBORN PAINTS Lady Bug, £54 earthbornpaints.co.uk
POOKY Murphy table lamp, £110 pooky.com
SHIMU Viscount Rug Burgundy, £129 shimu.co.uk
BEAUTIFUL WALLS Floral Impressions Leaves and Berries, £42.98 beautifulwalls.co.uk
EICHHOLTZ Trapezium Chair, £1,124 sweetpeaandwillow.com
SCHNEID Eikon Circus Pendant Lamp from £191 nunido.co.uk
FLOS Captain Flint outdoor wall light, £799 inspyerlighting.co.uk
VICTORY COLOURS About Damson No 50, £44.95 victorycolours.co.uk
LIGNE ROSET Taru One Arm Settee, £3,620 chaplins.co.uk
JYSK End Table, £30 jysk.co.uk
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Inside Tommaso Franchi’s vibrant and eclectic Chelsea home
By EVE HERBERT
89 INTERIORS • HOUSE TOUR
The 1970s dining table was bought from the Cambi auction house in Genova, and the dining chairs from Prague
Tommaso Franchi, founder of creative architecture and interior design studio Tomèf, and his husband, real estate consultant Marco Pasi, have taken their shared love of art and collecting to curate a vibrant and layered interior with a diverse selection of objects from around the world.
The pair were first drawn to the home in Chelsea thanks to its high ceilings and original mouldings, large windows and abundance of natural light. A rental flat, it has been decorated to feel uniquely theirs with bright colour, bold pattern and an assortment of contemporary
90 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Tommaso Franchi and Marco Pasi
An original print of a 1920s exhibition in Monaco by Leonetto Capiello
art, family heirlooms, bespoke pieces and antique finds collected while travelling or at auction houses. Full of personality, the interior expresses the couple’s shared Italian heritage, their life in the UK and a love of travel.
A small but well-considered hallway welcomes you into the home, creating an important separation from the main rooms. As well as a concealed wardrobe, the hallway features a marquetry chess table found in Morocco, on top of which stand traditional statuettes bought in China, and hung on the wall is a painting by Venetian contemporary artist Davide Battistin, giving a nod to the couple’s Italian background and connection with the Italian lagoon city.
The spare room also functions as a dressing room and relaxation area, featuring bespoke wardrobes designed by Tomèf, with green Fortuny fabric behind latticed glass which fills the space with colour and light. On the daybed lies a vibrant Indian
block-print quilt picked up on Tommaso’s travels, and an embroidered Turkish runner and cushions from Ottoman Touch.
The open plan living and dining room area is bright, bold and eclectic. The 1970s dining table was bought from the Cambi auction house in Genova, and the dining chairs from Prague by the designer Jindrich Halabala have been reupholstered by Tommaso in tiger fabric from Clarence House. The vibrant artwork by Mario Schifano was purchased at auction from Bonhams, and a range of objects, including candlesticks from Fabio Salini, French urns from the 1810s belonging to Tommaso’s family and a Mirko Basaldella sculpture on the mantelpiece add to the interior’s distinct and eclectic character. In the centre hangs a Scheherazade chandelier from Fortuny in Venice.
In the adjacent living area, an armchair inherited from Tommaso’s family has been reupholstered in cotton zebra fabric, which sits alongside armchairs in a domino velvet bought at Lots Road. The artisanal Indian side table and coffee tables are topped with books that encapsulate the couple’s passion for art and design, Italian heritage and love of London. Above the sofa, a wooden artwork by Arte Povera artist Mario Ceroli titled ‘Casa dell’architetto’ (meaning ‘the house of the architect’) is of particular importance to Tommaso; it was the first piece of art he invested in, and its title seemed particularly well suited to the architect and interior designer.
Imbued with rich and comforting colour, the bedroom is anchored by an 18th-century embroidered Indian quilt, topped with embroidered cushions by Susann Eschenfelder. French 1950s lamps with Indo-Chinese shades designs found at Toad Gallery in Southwest
91 INTERIORS • HOUSE TOUR
“Full of personality, the interior expresses the couple’s shared Italian heritage, their life in the UK and a love of travel”
Above the sofa, a wooden artwork by Arte Povera artist Mario Ceroli titled ‘Casa dell’architetto’ is of particular importance to Tommaso
London sit on faux bamboo Victorian bedside tables. On the wall, painted in Farrow & Ball’s dramatic Studio Green, two paintings by Argentine artist La Chola Poblete flank the bed, and in the centre hangs an original print of a 1920s exhibition in Monaco by Leonetto Capiello, a famous Italian and French poster designer known as ‘the father of modern advertising’.
In the bathroom sits the second of a pair of Indian side tables, also seen in the living room, and an art deco mirror hangs above the sink.
Tommaso Franchi says: “We’ve lived in this flat for five years and have enjoyed redecorating and making it uniquely ours by adding art, vintage pieces and one-off items collected on our travels that reference the different aspects of our lives. With my work in interior design, and Marco’s in real estate, we are both immersed in the world of art and design and have built our collection together. Although we are both Italian, we love London. I particularly admire the architecture and feel fortunate to live in a flat with such beautiful proportions and light.” tomefdesign.com
92 ABSOLUTELY magazines
In the bathroom sits the second of a pair of Indian side tables
The spare room also functions as a dressing room and relaxation area
INTERIORS • HOUSE TOUR
“A vibrant and layered interior with a diverse selection of objects from around the world”
BEAUTIFUL FUSED GLASS INTERIOR PIECES AND BESPOKE ARCHITECTURAL INSTALLATIONS, HANDMADE AT OUR CORNWALL STUDIO
GLASS FUSING WORKSHOPS ALSO AVAILABLE AT OUR SUNNINGDALE GALLERY
15% off any purchase over £30*when you enter ’AB30’ at checkout or present this advert in the gallery
*Excludes private commissions & workshops. Not available in conjunction with any other offers.
1 Station Parade, London Road, Sunningdale, SL5 0EP
CROSSWATER Lever Basin Side Deck Mixer in Slate, £429 crosswater.co.uk
DRENCH Burlington Gold Riviera Basin Pillar Taps, £168.99, drench.co.uk
DOWSING & REYNOLDS
Tinkisso Colour Pop Kitchen
Tap Miami Pink, £146.99 dowsingandreynolds.com
Beck Cloakroom Basin and tap, £520 crosswater.com
SWADLING BRASSWARE Invincible Collection Basin Taps, POA crosswater.co.uk
Minta Blue Pure ﬁ ltered water tap, £615 grohe.co.uk
BIG BATHROOM SHOP
Milano Elizabeth Traditional Crosshead Basin Pillar Taps, £99.99 bigbathroomshop.co.uk
It's all in the details: here are some of the ﬁnest taps
By PENDLE HARTE
PLANK HARDWARE Armstrong Kitchen tap, £139.95 plankhardware.com
Trent Brushed Brass Wall Mounted Basin Mixer Tap, £89.99 bathroommountain.co.uk
CROSSWATER Beck Cloakroom Basin and tap, £520 crosswater.com
INTERIORS • TREND 95 ABSOLUTELY magazines
OpenSquare Bespoke Glazing Solutions, tailored for any size project, Covering London & The Home Counties Glazing + Design • COMPETITIVE LEAD TIMES AND PRICES • PRE-INSTALLATION CHECKS • FULL PRODUCT AND ACCESS SURVEY • FULL INSTALLATION BY IN-HOUSE INSTALLERS opensquareglazing.com | 0208 0791079 | firstname.lastname@example.org Working with Architects and contractors/developers throughout the south Architectural Glazing Glass Partitions Glass Box Extensions Walk On Glass Rooﬂights & Skylights Glazed Balustrade Slimline Aluminium Window & Door systems Contemporary internal window screens & Door systems Front Entrance Doors “Crittal Style” window & door systems
Innovative West London rental agency Smarter Rent helps landlords to meet net zero in style. Here’s how they do it
Going green is one thing. Understanding the best way to go green – and which shade to choose – is quite another. Studies repeatedly show the majority of renters want eco-friendly homes and are willing to pay more for them. With the UK’s energy security under threat, a green home can also be a serious ‘renting’ point – and Smarter Rent can help.
“So few landlords are using ecofriendly measures. This is shortsighted,“ says Neil, an entrepreneur from Canada who has bought two properties with
Smarter Rent. ”Renters should have the option to choose,“ he adds.
Smarter Rent is a property rental agency creating homes for renters and up to 83% better returns for landlords. For those looking to acquire their first buy-to-let, Smarter Rent will source the ideal investment property and manage any refurbishments they think will boost the income.
For existing landlords who switch to Smarter Rent, they get a hasslefree management service, including a consultancy service to recommend and oversee works to reduce the energy consumption of the home by 85% and reduce bills to almost zero.
Neil wanted his second Smarter Rent investment, a three-bedroom house in Guildford, to be as eco as possible. As well as transforming it into a light, bright, beautiful home, Smarter Rent insulated the windows, walls and roof space. They also installed a heat pump, storage cylinder and batteries.
“It makes economic sense,” says Neil. “While the costs are higher initially, the long-term investment is a no-brainer. We all need to do our bit for the environment.”
Helen, a business owner, has just bought a two-bedroom terraced home in Surrey with Smarter Rent. It has been completely refurbished to create a modern, familyfriendly space. At the same time, they added solar panels, a heat pump and upgraded insulation throughout, offering the eco-conscious a greener way of living.
This is Helen’s fifth investment with Smarter Rent. Although yields have gone down slightly, due to interest rates going up, she is still getting net yields of around 5%.
Alex Sullivan and Adrian Sutherland founded Smarter Rent to help friends and family find and manage buy-to-lets. They have 120 properties across West London and the home counties on their books — all with higher-than-average EPC ratings.
The team are always looking at how the cost of upgrades can be offset over the long term. “Our aim is to have the most energy-efficient properties on the market, with the long-term vision of getting them all to net zero,” says Alex.
“It makes sense for both tenants and landlords. We know that 98% of renters would prefer a property that’s optimised to increase energy efficiency. Plus, we’re helping landlords meet net zero targets.”
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ADRIAN SUTHERLAND AND ALEX SULLIVAN
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How to unwind in Crete 94 • The magic of Istanbul 100
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Why Crete's St Nicolas Bay Resort is a captivating piece of heaven on earth
By SANDY CADIZ-SMITH
Crete is the largest and arguably the most enchanting of the Greek islands. It’s a captivating sort of place steeped in ancient legend. Zeus, the king of Gods was born and raised here, the mythical Mintoaur lurked here and the tale of Daedalus and Icarus unfolded in the skies. Complete the Arcadian Greek package with spectacular scenery, the most welcoming of people, myriad sun-kissed beaches, exceptional food, ancient history and dreamy towns and villages. Welcome to a piece of heaven on earth.
Our destination on this magical island is St Nicolas Bay Resort, a short and scenic drive from Heraklion airport. The resort sits on the edge of the sparkling azure Mediterranean on the northeastern coast. It’s laid out like a traditional village in beautifully lush gardens with panoramic views of the sea and across the majestic Mirabello Bay.
The warmest welcome awaits us with complementary bubbles and cheery kalisperas all around followed by a private tour of the grounds. Personal service and hospitality reach new heights at St Nicolas Bay, we can’t remember staying in a friendlier place or being better looked after in all our travels. Everyone goes the extra mile to make sure our every wish comes true.
Having got our bearings we are shown to our classic studio with its private pool. We gasp with delight on entering our spacious living space, heading straight out through the patio
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doors to our verandah and pool, complete with a dining table and sun loungers. It’s the epitome of privacy, where we can’t see or hear anyone or anything else and can bask in our own Greek wonderland. This is the place where we can live our dream to the full and we never want to leave. But we do because there are so many lovely experiences to enjoy. Days start with breakfast al fresco at The Club House with its incredible spread, far-reaching views and more smiling faces. There’s a large outdoor pool at the heart of the resort and a lovely private beach lined with luxurious loungers with temptingly balmy waters for frequent dipping. And there are plenty of surprises around every corner - we discover di erent beautiful locations every day for eating, drinking or simply chilling. We also discover delightful food at every turn. We love the beachside Greek Kafenion a la carte restaurant serving authentic Cretan dishes with the sea as its backdrop and live music playing. On the other side of the hotel the Minotaure is next to the Lagoon Pool (yes, another pool) and we dress up in style to sample the ﬁne dining menu and listen to some excellent live jazz. For more casual dining Labyrinthos is a combination of a deluxe bu et and a la carte - the perfect chance to savour all those Cretan ﬂavours. We treat ourselves to facials and massages at the beautiful Poseidon Spa with its luxurious treatment rooms and breathtaking views. There’s also a fabulous indoor pool and relaxation area exclusively for spa users. And when we’re feeling a bit more energetic there’s no shortage of activities to keep us entertained, like a wide selection of watersports, boat trips, cookery classes and ancient archaeological sites to explore. The nearby town of Aghios Nicolas is within easy walking distance and we love browsing the treasure trove of boutiques, galleries and artisanal shops as well as gourmet delis packed with delicious treats. And stopping for a drink beside the lake or overlooking the sea. It’s thirsty work all that shopping
So it’s back to our luxurious suite to chill by the pool and unwind. From the breathtaking views of the sparkling Mediterranean to the impeccable service and delectable food, every moment spent at St Nicolas Bay is a joy. It’s a luxurious and tranquil retreat with incredible hospitality that will remain in our hearts forever.
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“We discover different beautiful locations every day for eating, drinking or simply chilling”
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Istanbul is a captivating east-meets-west blend, and with no better base than Shangri-La Bosphorus overlooking the capital's mighty waterway
By SANDY CADIZ-SMITH
Turkey's capital Istanbul is a magical place straddling Asia and Europe and separated by the mighty Bosphorus Strait. The most populous centre in Europe, it’s an ancient city. Indeed, there’s so much history here that walking around it feels like you’re exploring a huge open-air museum. The Old City reflects the cultural influences of the many empires that have ruled here and shaped these ancient streets and handsome squares. Tantalising aromas of baking baklava, kebabs, roasted
chestnuts and grilled corn fill the air. It's exciting – a place where you feel that adventures await round every corner. Our adventure starts at our Istanbul home. Standing on the European shore of the Strait, Shangri-La Bosphorus is an elegant landmark building, and the moment we sweep into the grandeur of the driveway we feel that Istanbul buzz. The lobby sparkles and shines with glittering chandeliers, giant flower displays and exotic decor reflecting a mix of influences from east and west. And, of course, there’s that unique Shangri-La aroma. There really is – it’s called Essence of Shangri-La and designed to evoke the
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STANDING ON THE EUROPEAN SHORE OF THE STRAIT, SHANGRILA BOSPHORUS IS AN ELEGANT LANDMARK BUILDING
HAGIA SOPHIA TRAVEL • EUROPE
flavours of the East with its heady blend of vanilla, sandalwood and musk, plus top notes of Bergamot and ginger spiced tea. It triggers the feeling of coming home every time we step inside the door and inhale.
Shangri-La days start with the most gorgeous spread imaginable. From myriad juices in all the colours of the rainbow to local specialities, exotic fruit and eggs any way you want them, lazy breakfasts on the terrace are a perfect way to take in those dazzling waterfront views and fuel up for some serious exploration. There’s a lot of ground to cover.
We visit the glorious Hagia Sophia, a sacred Byzantine building that dazzles with its mosaics and shimmering golden aura, and holds myriad stories of bygone days at its heart. We head underground at the Basilica Cistern, the largest of several hundred
ancient cisterns beneath the city. It is an incredible feat of engineering with its 336 majestic marble columns – cool, dramatic and eerily showcased via multi-coloured lights.
Then there are the must-see alleys and avenues of the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Here, we bag some bargains and stock up on great local produce, as well as soaking up the excitement and clamour of business being done in multiple languages. We also love the exotic aromas and vivid intensity of the nearby Spice Market. One morning, we take to the water to watch the sunrise from a private yacht while enjoying a typical Turkish breakfast feast – a heavenly way to start the day.
Back at the hotel there’s time for a visit to Chi, the Spa for a Turkish bath (hammam) and massage experience –curiously invigorating and relaxing at the same time – before heading for our Baklava Butler High Tea. These melt-in-the-mouth traditional morsels are ceremoniously sliced and sandwiched around ice cream by our personal baklava butler to make the sweetest and most moreish of buttery snacks.
There’s no doubt they know their food at Shangri-La Bosphorus and there’s a delightful international menu to savour. At IST TOO we devour mounds of sensational sushi served in bamboo boats and the menu includes Turkish delicacies and classic European cuisine. A stay at Shangri-La Bosphorus and time spent discovering the rich culture of this unique east-meets-west city are, quite simply, unforgettable.
Activites include walking the rooftops of the Grand Bazaar, learning how to create Turkish marble art, lunch in the Old Town at 1741 Restaurant at Cagaloglu Hammam (stunning food) and observing baklava being made by hand at Gulluoglu, Turkey’s oldest baklava bakery. We flew direct from London to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines – named “Europe’s Best Airline in 2022" by Skytrax. shangri-la.com/istanbul/shangrila/
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“It's exciting – a place where you feel that adventures await around every corner”
BAKLAVA BUTLER HIGH TEA
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SHANGRI-LA BOSPHORUS POOL
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Enjoy a stylish staycation at Cedar House near Dorchester
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Cedar House Bed & Breakfast, nestled in the picturesque county of Dorset, offers a delightful and charming accommodation experience. With its idyllic location and warm hospitality, it is the perfect retreat for those seeking tranquillity and relaxation.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a warm welcome by the friendly staff, who are always ready to assist with any queries or requests. The charming exterior with its well-manicured gardens and traditional architecture creates a welcoming ambience from the moment you step onto the property.
The rooms at Cedar House are tastefully decorated, blending modern
comforts with a touch of traditional charm. Each room is spacious, well-appointed, and equipped with all the necessary amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. The attention to detail in the interior design is evident, with carefully chosen furnishings and tasteful décor, as well as interesting artworks detailed throughout
One of the highlights of staying at Cedar House is undoubtedly the scrumptious breakfast served each morning. Guests can indulge in a variety of freshly prepared options, including a selection of cereals, pastries, fruits, and cooked-to-order hot dishes. The breakfast room is light and spacious, adding to the overall dining experience.
The location of Cedar House is another major advantage. Situated in the heart of Dorset, guests have easy access to a plethora of attractions and activities. The charming town of Dorchester is an hour's drive away, with its range of historical sites, museums, and quaint shops. For nature enthusiasts, the stunning Jurassic Coastline is within close proximity, providing an opportunity to explore breathtaking coastal walks and discover hidden coves. Throughout my stay at Cedar House, I found the staff to be attentive and professional, always going above and beyond to ensure a memorable stay. Their knowledge of the local area and willingness to offer recommendations for places to visit and dine was greatly appreciated.
In conclusion, Cedar House Bed & Breakfast is a hidden gem in Dorset. With its charming ambience, comfortable rooms, delectable breakfast, and convenient location, it is the perfect choice for a relaxing getaway. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or an adventure-filled exploration of the local area, Cedar House is sure to exceed your expectations. I highly recommend this delightful bed and breakfast for an unforgettable experience in the heart of Dorset.
Room rates £185 per night
Inc all facilities spa and breakfast
29 Salisbury Road, Burton Christchurch, Dorset, BH237H 07787574939
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“A CHARMING HOUSE WITH WELLMANICURED GARDENS AND TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE”
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The Gleneagles experience is oneof a kind – you can now enjoy it from the comfort of a Glenmor luxury holiday home, located in the heart of Gleneagles. On your stay you can enjoy complimentary golf for one person, plus access to all of the leisure, dining and pursuits of the 5 star estate. We have 2, 3 and 4 bedroom properties available, perfect for all the family. With prices starting from £3,680 for a 2 bed, £4,630 for a 3 bed and £5,080 for a 4 bed for 7 nights.
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The Chelsea Harb our Hotel
Bringing Monaco, St Tropez and Palm Beach vibes to Chelsea
Is there anything that rivals the romance, adventure, and freedom of cruising in a luxury yacht? Yachts are associated with only the most beautiful and glamorous destinations; St Tropez and the French Riveria, Monaco, Palm Beach... and Chelsea. The calm waters and boat views of the Thames makes The Chelsea Harbour Hotel the perfect place to yacht-watch and a hidden haven. Join the jet-set and escape from the hustle and bustle, because there is plenty going on at this refined hidden gem location. The Chelsea Harbour Hotel offers afternoon tea, a luxury spa and the perfect location for a luxurious restorative break in the heart of a contemporary development on the banks of the river Thames.
An al fresco bar and restaurant called ESTIVA is open daily offering unrivalled views of the water, yachts and the London skyline. Guests can enjoy marina views, a peaceful oasis to avoid the crowds at this urban riverside retreat. The seafoodbased cicchetti food menu perfectly pairs with flowing rose wine and champagne. Why not start with freshly shucked oysters? Moving onto a choice of dishes of ‘spigola’ - sea bass crudo served with Mediterranean condiments, tuna tartare served with carpaccio of black tomato, burratina and heirloom cherry tomato with taggiasches olives, lobster pappardelle with crustacean sauce, fritto misto with aioli sauce or roasted octopus on tomato cream and confit datterini. Jazz night happens every Friday with a live band.. Enjoy a spa day package and you’ll leave feeling de-stressed, relaxed and refreshed. There are a range of treatments from facials, deep tissue massages, Indian Head massages and a perfect leg treatment to find your zen. The spa
features a 17-metre indoor swimming pool with swan neck body jets, as well as a fitness suite. Sauna and steam rooms are located in each changing room, and are complemented by five treatment rooms and a relaxation suite. A warm and inviting spa awaits for therapeutic pampering. millenniumhotels.com
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“The perfect place to yacht-watch and a hidden haven”
Strive for Excellence
Fulham School is an independent co-educational school for children aged 3-18 years old.
Values inspire excellence
With a strong emphasis on its distinctive values ethos, and metacognition approach, Dulwich Prep London provides a wellrounded education that focuses on academic excellence, character development, and personal growth. It nurtures boys to become confident, compassionate, and prepared to impact the world positively. As a result of these efforts, an impressive 95% of boys successfully secure their preferred senior school.
Inside this section THE ARTS –BROADENING MINDS 116 MENTAL HEALTH IN SCHOOLS 124 A NEW SIXTH FORM FOR MAIDA VALE 132 SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS 140 PLAY STREETS 152 PET THERAPY 162 SPECIAL ABSOLUTELY magazines 115
for life ARTS
SARUM HALL SCHOOL
Hampstead prep Sarum Hall is an Artsmark School, committed to embedding arts and creativity across the whole curriculum. Alongside traditional art lessons –covering areas such as ceramics, print making, painting and drawing – the team takes a crosscurricular approach. This means, for instance, that when Year 3 studied the Anglo-Saxons in history, they had a go at dying yarn with vegetables and then weaving their own cloth.
Student Art Ambassadors have a formal role, ensuring the student voice in how the arts are taught across the school. There is also a distinctly immersive approach, with challenges such as recreating particular paintings, such as Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Obliteration Room’ – this involved plenty of fun with spots and a wild transformation of the playground shed.
Alongside art lessons, dance, music and performing arts are all popular parts of the school day and a core part of the curriculum. After school clubs cover a wide range of areas – from choir and music to
The arts develop creativity, social skills, persistence and sometimes luminous talent. Absolutely speaks to schools that make the arts journey one of mind-broadening possibilities
LEFT & BELOW ARTS ADVENTURES AT SARUM HALL SCHOOL
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‘ambitious artists’. Speciﬁc events have been held to mark important events such as World Arts Day, with children dressing up as characters from their favourite paintings and then taking photographs.
For those pupils who are more engaged in science subjects, Design Technology is, say the sta , a great crossover activity where they can build kites, create marble runs or design 3D posters. Technology is used wherever possible (and appropriate). For the same Anglo-Saxon project where pupils were dying and weaving, they then conducted a fashion show and ﬁlmed post-show interviews.
Sarum Hall has no doubts that the arts are invaluable for igniting children’s enthusiasm and helping them develop skills for life. “Children who understand and have an appreciation of the arts tend to be those who are willing to listen and understand the views of others. We believe that creative thinking is a life skill, useful for any subject or future career,” says Headmistress Karen Coles. “The arts can unlock the potential of children and young people, develop their characters, talent and conﬁdence and increase their knowledge and understanding of so many di erent areas of life.”
QUEEN ETHELBURGA’S COLLEGIATE
At Queen Ethelburga’s (QE), the creative arts are supported and celebrated across all four schools. In Chapter House, there are specialist lessons in music, performing arts and dance alongside a full arts curriculum. At QE’s Kings Magna Middle school, creative arts curriculum lessons include art, 3D design and technology, music and drama. QE students get extra opportunities through the enrichment and super curricular o ering, giving Years 6-9 tasters of musical theatre, dance, ‘Class Brass’ (a brass ensemble), music composition and a whole range of extra arts options, such as photography, animation, anime art and 3D design.
When students move on to either College or Faculty, this breadth continues. In College, there’s a full range of creative GCSE options. In Faculty, students can choose BTEC or GCSE options.
Once they move up to Sixth Form, students have a wide range of A-level and
BTEC options across the arts. There are opportunities to specialise in areas such as fashion, illustration, print or interactive media. Similarly, with performing arts, students may specialise in areas such as directing or musical theatre.
Vocational Curriculum Manager and Head of Creative Arts at QE Helen Stephenson says the extra-curricular o er is “huge” across performance and visual arts areas.
“We o er a Saturday school, Queen’s Academy. Here students can take part in a wide range of activities from self-directed study and workshop time to practitioner-led workshops – recent examples have included shadow puppetry, collage, portfolio building for university applications, and visiting speakers with an emphasis on creative careers.” She points to recent examples where students have focused on fashion marketing and ﬁlm and documentary making.
QE also runs Saturday arts academies and the King’s Academy theatre school is open both to students at the school and young people in the area and includes dance, singing, drama and musical theatre. There’s a Saturday music workshop where students get involved in band, jazz band, rock and pop choirs, wind group or music theory for the ABRSM exams. “All these weekend
“At a very basic level, exposing children to creative pursuits might well uncover a latent talent or undeveloped skill that can be nurtured”
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QE STUDENTS DEVELOP THEIR CREATIVE TALENTS
activities are in addition to our whole school collaborations,” adds Helen Stephenson.
“We have a whole school musical each year in the Autumn term, most recently this was High School Musical. We o er drama performances, dance competitions, house music and musical recitals as part of assemblies throughout the year.” There’s also a creative collaboration between the Creative Arts and Sports departments for the annual Gym and Dance Display, always including a workshop with a professional dance company.
QE o ers an Arts Award, giving its students the chance to achieve in a creative or performance area. The school is keen to o er the whole range of possibilities. For instance, interactive media and techniques and concepts of game design are being introduced this year. Helen Stephenson believes this is important in ensuring enthusiasm is built among all students – and they gain the soft skills required by employers. “New statistics reveal the Creative Industries sector is growing more than ﬁve times faster than the national economy,” says Helen Stephenson. “We open up our students from the very earliest ages to the 6th form to a breadth of creative opportunities.”
CRANLEIGH PREP SCHOOL
At Cranleigh Prep, there is a strong focus on the arts, with art, drama and music lessons every week. There are also dance lessons in Years 3-5, and with DT and food technology also in the mix up to age 11. “We also celebrate the arts in whole-school events, such as the House Singing Competition, which involves all pupils,” says Deputy Head (Operational) and Music Teacher Catherine Beddison.
Of course, o timetable is where many children discover their passions, and the school’s rich mix of co-curricular activities range from Music Production Club and Awesome Book Awards Club to activities such as rehearsals for school plays and an
after-school Media Club where children get hands on with cameras and editing equipment. There are also invitation-only activities, such as Da Vinci Club for prospective art scholarship students. The team manage things carefully to ensure that there are no clashes between, say, Chapel Choir and Street Dance. “Children and sta have developed a sense of mutual respect between disciplines,” adds Catherine Beddison.
Whatever a child’s natural interests, curricular and extra-curricular activities are designed to cultivate engagement. Drama is a classic example, says the Head of Drama, Philip Waller. “It is important to show the relevance of Drama for each pupil. I am not looking at merely working in a cross curricular way through script work and improvisational games, which of course is a fundamental part of it, but more importantly using Drama as a training ground to permeate
“Children who have an appreciation of the arts tend to be those who are willing to listen and understand the views of others”
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THE ARTS ARE CENTRAL TO LIFE AT CRANLEIGH PREP SCHOOL
confidence across all learning.” Philip Waller ensures students have access to film making as part of these activities, showcasing modern and technical aspects of the craft.
Similarly, with Art, children are introduced to newer mediums alongside the traditional forms. “Digital art becomes far more serious, and therefore interesting to children, if the link between digital art and concept art for movies and video games is explained and investigated,” says Director of Art Rob Perry. “It is the enjoyment and confidence, gained through a greater sense of achievement and self-worth, that the children take most from their artistic experiences,” he adds.
Music at Cranleigh Prep is all about inclusivity, with open-access choirs at all stages. Pupils can sing or take part in percussion groups, even if they don’t formally learn an instrument. “As a whole school community, pupils sing together in weekly Chapel services as well as congregational hymn practices,” says Head of Music Ruth Williams. “We have pupils who take part in County and National ensembles and choirs, as well as individuals with casting agents for West End shows.”
The school broadens music perspectives, embracing areas beyond Western classical
music – which pupils love. Music technology is also hugely popular and offered all the way through to A level at Cranleigh. “We are always looking at different ways to ignite creativity, and we take a bespoke approach to musical ensembles,” adds Ruth Williams.
The school has opted for an approach that sees some compulsory subjects – so everyone tries them out – before offering electives as they get older. “Compulsory arts subjects for younger children certainly benefit them at school and beyond,” says Cranleigh Prep
School Headmaster Neil Brooks. “At a very basic level, exposing children to creative pursuits might well uncover a latent talent or undeveloped skill that can be nurtured.”
He adds that arts build confidence and teamwork, as well as providing a balance with other subjects. “The need for children to recognise that they are a part of something bigger and have a responsibility to others has increased post pandemic and the arts, along with sports, provide a wonderful vehicle for meeting it.”
ST SWITHUN’S SCHOOL
Winchester school St Swithun’s offers the full range of mainstream arts subjects, including History of Art, Textiles and Design and Technology. The school has an approach it calls ‘appropriately academic’, with plenty of opportunities to get creative outside the classroom. Indeed, the whole approach here is to encourage girls to try new things and learn from them. Along the way they develop the broad range of skills that arts teaching and learning can bring – from perseverance to teamwork.
The school says that while some girls naturally gravitate towards participating in lots of activities, others need a bit more
FINE ART EXPLORATION AT ST SWITHUN’S SCHOOL
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A DRAMA PERFORMANCE AT ST SWITHUN’S
STAGE CRAFT AT CRANLEIGH PREP
persuasion to spread their wings. Boarders here are expected to sign up to a certain number of after-school co-curricular activities and day students are also welcome to join. Tutors ensure a good balance of activities – and also make sure pupils honour their co-curricular commitments made at the start of each term.
For students who are more focused on, say, science subjects, the school designs options that will appeal. For instance, creating science-themed videos or animations and fashion theatre productions can help to bring girls’ interests into play. A recent example of the cross-disciplinary approach was a drama production Welcome to Terezin, about life in a wartime concentration camp. It was an ambitious production, warmly received, and with appeal to historians as well as pupils who enjoy acting and behind-the-scenes roles.
St Swithun’s sees a chief beneﬁt of arts activities as developing critical thinking, alongside communication and creative skills. It adds that promoting cultural awareness and emotional intelligence are vital parts of what the arts bring to young people’s lives within and beyond school.
Downe House o ers a full curriculum across creative subjects, including History of Art, Ceramics, Textiles and 3D Design. Art and Design is on the curriculum for the ﬁrst two years “This enables pupils to develop the ability to appreciate the visual world and to respond in a personal and creative way,” says Downe House Director of Admissions Tara Reeve. “They have the opportunity to work using a variety of subject matter and media and
develop skills to interpret and convey ideas and feelings.” Just as important are the analytical, experimental and documenting skills developed and honed by these subjects.
Co-curriculum activities are broad, and an important part of life at the Berkshire school. “Our department and pastoral sta support the girls to ﬁnd the right balance and diversity of activities, which can include joining a formal group or creating their own group,” says Tara Reeve. These may be sta or pupil led, but the focus is on encouraging girls to try new things. “We also ﬁnd opportunities for our pupils to visit exhibitions and galleries, enjoy stage productions and
ﬁlms, as well as providing performing and creative arts workshops,” adds Tara Reeve.
The emphasis at the full-boarding school is on ensuring a rounded education – and some fun. “There is no better way of getting pupils involved than introducing a little healthy competition – and our inter-House competitions (House Drama, Dance, Art and Music), led by our Sixth Form House captains, are a great way of encouraging participation.” Cross-department initiatives, such as a recent groundbreaking Art/Music collaboration called ‘Soundscapes’, add depth and innovation to the creative o er.
Tara Reeve says school facilities such as 3D printers are well used for creative endeavours, and weekend workshops in areas such as jewellery making are a huge hit. All media and mediums are explored, and one popular annual event is a Year 9 project with a ﬁlm company where teams spend a day creating a ﬁlm around campus. “The pupils fully embrace this opportunity, and the project is rounded o with an Oscars-themed evening of ﬁne dining, where all the videos are shown, and everyone dresses up for the occasion.”
Tara Reeve says the arts have a vital role in developing young people’s conﬁdence and self-belief. “Finding and nurturing a pupil’s strengths and talents is our mission and in the case of the creative arts and performing arts, there are so many opportunities for our pupils to explore their artistic and creative potential.”
“Promoting cultural awareness and emotional intelligence are vital parts of what the arts bring to young people’s lives”
creative in EDUCATION • ARTS TEACHING
THE ARTS IN ALL THEIR FORMS ARE CELEBRATED AT DOWNE HOUSE
OPEN MORNING SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER 9:30AM–11:30AM FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL ADMISSIONS@WHITEHOUSESCHOOL.COM THE WHITE HOUSE PREPARATORY SCHOOL & WOODENTOPS NURSERIES School minibus available
St Dunstan’s College, Catford, south London, has championed a forward-thinking approach to education for over a century, with the opening vision of the school in 1888 being to provide a curriculum ‘in advance of the present time.’
The school’s first head, Charles Maddock Stuart, was a pioneer in heuristic education, designing the college to have science laboratories for students to discover learning themselves. St Dunstan’s was one of the first schools in the country to have laboratories and to devote significant time to hands-on scientific practical experiments for students to innovate and ‘do’, rather than passively observe.
Today, St Dunstan’s modern senior school curriculum builds on the legacy of its founding heads. Students entering the school embark on an educational journey of curiosity, studying a wide range of subjects, enhancing their study skills, and committing to a variety of co-curricular activities, not just in those they arrive more confident in, before specialising in the older years. The school, led by
Head Nick Hewlett, believes that this wide-ranging and ambitious approach to education sets up a lifetime of inquisitive independence, allowing students to approach new and challenging concepts with courage and conviction.
‘Our world is changing at breakneck speed. A truly globalised future dominated by AI and biotechnology will require different skills and attributes from the young people we are educating today,’ Nick Hewlett explains. ‘Our social values are more precious to us than ever before, and so are they under threat. We inhabit a society where the art of rhetoric has diminished and the polarised, entrenched view has consumed us, amplified as it is through the platform of globalised cyber-space. We have a duty to respond to this in the curriculum we offer. Yes, pulling out
values through education is important, but we need to be more radical than this.
‘We need to see beyond the GCSE conveyor belt and offer young people an education that facilitates an understanding of self and of the importance of diversity of thought. An education that teaches young people the skills they require to navigate the increasing complexity of an uncertain future. An education that equips young people not just with a knowledge-rich foundation, but one that is agile and from which children can move to adulthood with the ability to be flexible in their thinking, empathetic to others and active challengers to falsehood and injustice.’
Most recently the school has won praise around the world for its groundbreaking Stuart Curriculum, which looks at relationships, skills for the future and critical thinking. Stuart lessons have tackled the rise of toxic masculinity and individuals such as Andrew Tate. Speaking about the lessons, St Dunstan’s Deputy Head Academic, Jonathan Holmes, says: ‘As well as having the confidence to react to specific examples such as Andrew Tate, it is important that our teaching is predominantly proactive and enables students to independently understand when views are harmful
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Education for today and tomorrow: St Dunstan’s College is leading the way as London’s most progressive school
“Students entering the school embark on an educational journey of curiosity”
and dangerous, and how they can protect themselves from being exposed and influenced by them online.’
St Dunstan’s bold and brave approach to education has led to the school winning many accolades. Last month, the school was named the ‘Most progressive independent school in London’ at the Private Education Awards 2023. Last year, St Dunstan’s was also named Independent Senior School of the Year at the Tes Awards in London, which are known as the Oscars of education. Judge David James, who has worked in independent schools for over 20 years, said: ‘There’s a very clear and coherent vision of what they want to do, both with the curriculum and the local community.
‘The head is asking interesting questions of the sector, including areas like privilege and responsibility, which go beyond the usual platitudes.
It’s a really interesting school in a tough market, trying to not just survive but actually make something different for the children and families they’re working with.’
Following the pandemic, St Dunstan’s marked the opening of the most significant developments to the school grounds. A new Junior School, STEM Centre for Excellence and Innovation and Sixth Form Centre was opened. The College’s forward-thinking approach is now matched by modern, bright, and inspirational facilities. However, the Head has more plans for the site over the next few years. ‘We are soon to receive our 10 year master plan from Walters and Cohen, our chosen architects,’ Nick Hewlett says. ‘We are very excited for our future plans. I don’t want to give too much away but I can tell you that sport and recreation features very highly.’
Find out more about St Dunstan’s College at their upcoming open day on Saturday 23 September 2023, or their Sixth Form Open Evening on Tuesday 3 October 2023. St Dunstan’s offers a variety of scholarships and bursaries for students joining at 11+ and 16+. Find out more information and book at stdunstans.org.uk
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EDUCATION • PARTNERSHIP
Knightsbridge School’s pioneering Place2Be partnership prioritises good mental health across the whole community. Absolutely finds out more
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Child mental health has risen up the agenda over the past decade. This is thanks, in part, to landmark work by the charity Place2Be.
High-profile support – notably from HRH The Princess of Wales – has helped to spread the message about the value of early support to build children’s wellbeing and their ability to talk through emotions and problems. It’s so obviously a good idea that it’s easy to forget we weren’t always so attuned to the challenges young people face.
Knightsbridge School stands out for spotting the need early. KS Principal and Founder Magoo Giles brought Place2Be into the school back in 2014 as a partnership. It was the first independent day school to take this step. The partnership is supported enthusiastically by pupils, parents and staff
– all benefit from Place2Be’s independent counselling support and advice service.
Paula Losch is the School Project Manager for Place2Be and is based at KS for three days a week. While she is employed by the charity, she considers herself part of the school team and is very much involved with day-to-day life. “Anyone can talk to me – we offer a service to the parents, the students and the staff,” she says, adding: “As Mr Magoo always says, ‘It’s a compassion service’”. Compassion is an important word here –offering a service that anyone can use freely helps to embed a mindset of self-care, also, as one staff member put it: ‘a level playing field’. Visibility is key to this school culture. Take, for instance, the location of the Place2Be office, a few steps from the school’s dining hall – a place children pass every day. This reinforces the idea that it’s as normal to tend to your mind as to refuel your body. There’s an open-door approach – so any child or young person can knock on the
door for a ‘Place2Talk’ session and get counselling for whatever is bothering them. It might be worries about work, friends, or something that makes them sad – perhaps the absence of a family member or loss of a pet. There are other ways to approach Place2Be. Children can leave a slip in a box, ask their teacher to book them in or their parents can email at any time.
“When a child comes to us, what we do, depends on the child,” says Paula Losch. “Children communicate in so many ways and are eager to express themselves. We offer them a safe space to share their feelings and thoughts verbally, but also through art and play.” Alongside one-to-one chats, there are in-class circle times where children
are encouraged to discuss issues together. This feeds back into the knowledge KS and Place2Be have of wider potential problems –think of it as an early warning system for the issues that might be coming down the track.
Parents can and do access support, too. This is a vital part of the service, and what KS calls the Parent Partnership. Family therapy is offered, along with one-to-one support if parents request it. “It’s not an easy job parenting,” says Paula Losch. “It’s difficult for everyone. We’re not there to humiliate or shame any parent. We offer this to parents to empower them and say, ‘you know, it’s really not easy, what can we do to support you in this?’.”
Knightsbridge School has a very international cohort, wonderful for the life and spirit of the community, but it can bring its own difficulties. Families may be a long way from home and their own support networks, and they may be adjusting to life in a busy city environment. And, like every
KNIGHTSBRIDGE SCHOOL WELLBEING AMBASSADOR WITH YOUNGER KS PUPILS 125 ABSOLUTELY magazines EDUCATION • WELLBEING
“The Place2Be office is near the school’s dining hall –reinforcing the idea that it’s as normal to tend to your mind as to refuel your body”
school, KS feels the impact of geopolitics – for instance, there are families from Ukraine and Russia here. While there can be worries specific to families, Paula Losch says parents around the world share a lot of common ground when it comes to concerns about their children. “Parents all deal with the same sorts of issues – children struggling with friendships, with anxiety related to friendships, to social media.”
With this in mind, Place2Be hosts a forum for parents every term on a key issue. This is ‘ear to the ground’ stuff gathered via in-class circle times or the things that individual students are mentioning. “Without divulging who brought the issues, we talk about the things we are hearing, the things our pupils are struggling with.” Parents can also flag
up issues they are worried about – there’s a vibrant parent group called Knowledge Society, which co-ordinates many elements of the wider Parent Partnership.
All KS parents also have access to Place2Be’s Parenting Smart website and online courses – a series of online modules that talk about situations every parent deals with – such as setting boundaries, giving praise and reward and managing temper tantrums. It’s designed for parents of 4 to 11-year-olds and free to access.
There are, as we are all coming to realise, specific issues since the pandemic. Paula Losch shares that teenagers have been particularly badly affected. “We see more and more teenagers having issues with depression and thinking they’re not capable,
and that it is all too much.” Pre and post pandemic, boys are harder to reach – more reluctant to get help when they are down – something the whole team at Place2Be are working hard to address. “Whereas girls come, they talk, and they are used to having support – and then they can work through their emotions,” says Paula Losch.
“That’s something therapy gives you – you become much more resourceful.”
In other words, it builds tools and inner resources to help with current problems and problems you might face down the line. “Counselling is not about giving advice, but asking the right questions so that the child can find the best solution,” she adds.
And that’s the thing about Knightsbridge School’s work with Place2Be. It is embedding the kind of child-centred support that builds a toolkit, giving young people strength and resourcefulness for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. It’s a mark of how effective – and wellloved – the partnership has become that parents have made Place2Be a cornerstone charity, alongside Royal Chelsea Hospital and The Knightsbridge School Education Foundation (which provides generous full bursaries). This means Place2Be fundraising takes place all year round and KS has also helped to pass it forward by supporting its services in local partner state schools.
Speaking about the partnership, Head, Shona Colaço has said: “Place2Be has opened our young people’s eyes to the importance of good mental health and helped to nurture empathy and selfawareness in our school community. We owe it to our children to care for their mental and physical wellbeing as the springboard to success in school”.
“Parents all deal with the same sorts of issues – children struggling with friendships, with anxiety related to friendships, to social media”
KS PUPILS KNOW IT’S GOOD TO SHARE HOW THEY FEEL
EDUCATION • WELLBEING
MAGOO GILES (RIGHT) AT A PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION FUNDRAISING GALA
St Benedict’S School a minimis incipe www.stbenedicts.org.uk View our website for a full list of our Open Events or arrange a personal visit with our Registrar, Louise Pepper, on 020 8862 2254 stbenedicts stbenedictsschool stbenedictsschool Outstanding Catholic Independent school for boys & girls aged 3 - 18 WHOLE SCHOOL OPEN MORNING SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES ARE AVAILABLE 11+ Scholarships on offer at St Benedict’s: Academic, Art & Design, Drama, Music and Sports
Wetherby Pembridge Minors Holland Park School is an independent co-educational school for children aged 2-4 years old
Lights, Camera, Action!
Hurtwood House's Film Academy is a professional ﬁlm school within a school
If you are interested in ﬁlmmaking and the world of the Media, Hurtwood House is the only place to be. The Media department at Hurtwood, a school set in the beautiful Surrey Hills specialising exclusively in the sixth form, stands head and shoulders above that of any other independent school in the country. As ‘The Good Schools Guide’ stated “This is professional stu . The media/theatre complex is huge: think masses of green rooms, mixing studios, dance studios, recording studios, video studios”. So, what is it that makes Media at Hurtwood famous? Perhaps it is the industry standard TV studio kitted out with the latest cameras and green screen or the cutting-edge post-production facilities and editing suites. Maybe it is
the expert tuition from talented teachers many of whom are industry professionals. Perhaps it is the real-world practical skills that the students learn both in the A Level and in Hurtwood’s own ‘Film Academy’, a ﬁlm school within a school. Through the curriculum students are taught camera and lighting skills, screenwriting and directing as well as high level post-production editing, as they make broadcast-quality music videos and opening ﬁlm title sequences. In Hurtwood’s prestigious Film Academy elite Media students take their training to another level. They make documentaries, ﬁlm and broadcast Hurtwood productions live and experience the old traditional ﬁlm making methods using 16mm ﬁlm. Hurtwood’s annual Media Awards Evening (think the Oscars) is a particular
highlight of the Hurtwood calendar. Held in the local cinema this is a night of celebrating the students’ hard work by giving them the chance to see their ﬁlms on the silver screen. Hurtwood boasts its own Media Channel on YouTube o ering students yet another vehicle to showcase their talent. Hurtwood Media students are without doubt part of something special and it is no surprise that Hurtwood alumni now include BAFTA nominated directors, cinematographers, and ﬁlmmakers working behind the camera as well as Hollywood superstars working in front of them.
Whatever the reasons for the school’s Media fame, there is no doubt that when Hurtwood students arrive at their next destination they are ahead of the game. Hurtwood sends ﬁlm students far and wide from London College of Communication (UAL) to Ravensbourne to New York Film Academy and sometimes they go straight on set. Spielberg here they come!
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EDUCATION • PROMOTION
And crucially, this exciting school is equally successful academically. In fact, it’s statistically one of the top co-ed boarding schools in the UK.
So, if you’re looking for a really exciting and rewarding change of school at 16 – don’t leave it too late. Contact
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it too late to
simply the best for acting, dancing, singing, film-making – “A utopia for creative minds” –as the Good Schools Guide says.
Cosmo Jackson or visit our website for more information.
Charterhouse Online's one-year A Level programme
Charterhouse Online provides a genuinely alternative approach to A Levels. Their one-year option will suit students for various reasons: they might wish to change academic direction or catch-up because their sixth form studies have been interrupted. Perhaps they need a back-up plan if they do not get the grades they need or they might simply want to do things di erently and traditional school is not for them. Other students might want to study one A Level a year over a longer period to ﬁt around elite performance commitments. It’s a great concept, so we caught up with Karen Davies, Principal at Charterhouse Online, to ﬁnd out how the programme works and who can apply.
Q How can Charterhouse Online o er a one-year A Level programme?
A Accelerated A Levels are based on a range of educational strategies that enable students to learn quickly and e ciently. The most important of these is ‘ﬂipped’ learning, where students focus on acquiring the basic knowledge of a subject for themselves and the time they spend with a teacher is all about using that knowledge to develop their understanding as well as how to use it e ectively in an exam situation. Charterhouse Online has a highly structured, day-by-day, self-study programme that supports students through the knowledge acquisition.
Q What does a typical day as a student with Charterhouse Online look like?
A Whether they are studying one, two or
three A Levels, every student will have a live lesson with their teacher in every subject, every day. In addition, they will also have a live tutorial to provide support with their university applications or can drop into a live subject clinic if they need some extra help with a topic. On top of this they will do an hour of self-study preparation and around half an hour of ‘homework’ for each subject, every day.
Q Can Charterhouse Online students travel or be based internationally while they are studying?
A Yes, they can study with Charterhouse Online from almost anywhere in the world. Obviously, they need to allow for the time variations in di erent countries in order to be able to attend the live lessons which are delivered between 08.00 and 14.00 in the UK.
Q How do you look after the wellbeing of students studying with Charterhouse Online?
A The heart of our approach is based on the mantra that you need to eat well, sleep well and get plenty of exercise in order to study at your best. Social interaction, mindfulness and the availability of a listening ear are also vital. As part of the Student Induction Programme tutors will work with each student to plan how they balance their studies with their wellbeing needs and encourage regular use of the resources of our Wellbeing Hub
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EDUCATION • PROMOTION
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“The mix of talents and interests is exciting and will bring a bright and energetic cohort”
Maida Vale School is an exciting addition to the London education scene and now, in the second phase of its development, the Sixth Form opens this September. Understandably, this is creating a good deal of excitement among its first student cohort getting ready to step up to MVS Sixth Form life. This has been a carefully planned moment for Maida Vale School and its parent, the Gardener Schools Group. As MVS Deputy Head Academic and Teacher of English Nicki Ridley explains, it has been about ensuring the school grew from the ground up. This meant a staged refurbishment of the magnificent light-filled Victorian building it inhabits to deliver truly 21stcentury learning spaces. The initial phase was timed for the school opening in 2020. Those first pupils enjoyed imaginatively remodelled learning spaces, including a superb Design Technology workshop and Computer
Science lab, plus lofty Art studios with views across London. Also, an entire floor for the creative arts (top-notch theatre included) and a dedicated food and nutrition kitchen classroom. Phase two has now happened, adding on 12 new classrooms. Some are smaller – designed specifically for the seminar-style lessons used by 16+ learners – while larger rooms are designed to accommodate the growing cohort lower down the school. As part of phase two works, the school has also added a practice basketball court to the existing MUGA. The outdoor sports facilities here are particularly good for a central London school and a great draw for students and their parents. “The jewel of all this, and perhaps one of the jewels of the building, is our Independent Learning Centre (ILC), so our key Sixth Form Space,” adds Nicki Ridley. “It has got high cathedral ceilings, a wall of windows and then another wall of glass looking into the corridor and other classrooms. It’s light, it’s airy – a breathtaking space.”
After much anticipation, Maida Vale School Sixth Form opens this September. Absolutely finds out more
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It certainly is a large and inspiring space – cool pendant lighting, tactile textures and calm colours, perfect whether you are studying alone or in a group on the large co-working desks. There’s a library, breakout and cosy study spaces and access to a lovely roof terrace. And what Sixth Former wouldn’t get excited about having their own personal cafe? While the ILC is the Sixth Form space, staff will use it too, which adds to the sense of agency – of being ‘the grown-ups’. Nicki Ridley says that’s part of the point. “We want them to feel a bit more adult, a bit more privileged. They also have privileges such as going out at lunch. They will be held more responsible, so we are giving them the space, as well as the skills, in order to use that well and correctly.”
The fact that staff will be dropping by – to catch up on marking, grab a coffee or have a quick chat about an assignment – is a deliberately light-touch approach to supervision, and also replicates the modern university and office spaces that students will encounter further down the line. It’s based on a similar ILC design at Gardener Schools Group’s sister Senior Kew House – so the team
already know it works brilliantly. Of course, there is also reassurance in this soft staff presence. Pupils know there’s a friendly ear if they are stuck on something or want an informal chat. This will provide invaluable extra
support for the new cohort arriving. “We want pupils joining us in the Sixth Form to also feel instantly that this is a supportive place,” says Nicki Ridley. Recruitment is happening apace. Ridley has been interviewing prospective pupils from across London (MVS is easy to get to from all points in the capital by public transport), but also places like Oxfordshire, Dorset and as far afield as Switzerland and the Middle East. “The mix of talents and interests is going to be really exciting and will bring a fresh, bright and energetic cohort to add to our existing Sixth Form pupils. All our staff have taught Sixth Form and A levels before and produced fantastic results. They are chomping at the bit to teach Sixth Form again,” says Nicki Ridley. The new MVS Head Teacher Magnus Bashaarat takes over the reins from Founding Head Steven Winter in late April. Bashaarat brings with him a wealth of experience – both in Head and senior leadership roles and in ensuring happy and fulfilling Sixth Form life – and he’s already been busy meeting pupils and parents.
Nicki Ridley says academic rigour and lots of options are key to the approach of the new Sixth Form. “We’re offering a wide range of
MANY OF THE FIRST SIXTH FORM COHORT HAVE BEEN WITH THE SCHOOL SINCE YEAR 7 134 ABSOLUTELY magazines MVS HAS GOOD SPORTS FACILITIES – INCLUDING A BRAND NEW PRACTICE BASKETBALL COURT
“We want external pupils joining us in the Sixth Form to also feel instantly that this is a supportive place”
subjects.” While most pupils will opt for three A levels, other options are on the table – many will complete the EPQ, and BTEC is available for the vocationally and technically minded. The school will consider all possibilities, including T levels. This is, in part, inspired by what students are asking for. There is also the sense (very apparent among all educators right now) that this incoming Sixth Form – those who were at the formative teenage years of 12 or 13 when Covid hit – bring somewhat di erent perspectives and a strong desire for individualised pathways. “Our current pupils will say they have absolutely adored the attention, the support, the guidance that MVS can a ord them. Every time we host an open day, a tour or an event, we really try and emphasise that because that is what we will continue. And because our classes are small, there’s so much help and guidance.”
There will be extensive careers support – including help with applications to North American universities and navigating apprenticeships and work placements. But it’s not all about study. “With any Sixth Form, balance and variety are essential if pupils are going to
feel like they are enjoying school life as well as excelling at it,” says Nicki Ridley. With that in mind, MVS is including three hours of Games on the Sixth Form timetable every week. This spans traditional team sports, but also locally sourced alternatives such as yoga and boxing, all guided by the activities pupils want to try.
Pupils will be encouraged to keep
up broader interests – participating in some form of academic enrichment every week and getting involved in the Year 12 Volunteering Programme that supports MVS’ local community. There’s a diverse Sixth Form Lecture Series in planning, and creative and performing arts enrichment (productions, bands and the rest) promises to be just as vibrant as it is further down the school.
As with any new addition, there’s a feeling of promise – of evolution. These young people will take a lead, both as the ﬁrst role models for the uniformed part of the school, and in helping to deﬁne and establish bold new MVS traditions. “Our new Sixth Form will all have the ability to create, and therefore run, any kind of enrichment club with the help of our teachers and then trickle that interest down the younger areas of the school,” says Nicki Ridley.
“No one at MVS believes that one size ﬁts all. We value diversity, in all regards, and we just know that every young person is so individual and unique,” she adds. “So whether they are studying A levels or T levels, BTEC or EPQ we will create a bespoke curriculum for them. And it’s going to be so exciting!”
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DEPUTY HEAD NICKI RIDLEY
EDUCATION • SIXTH FORM
THE LIGHT-FILLED INDEPENDENT LEARNING CENTRE WILL BE A HUB OF SIXTH FORM LIFE
Iwas talking with parents the other day about preparing for 11+ entrance exams in London. Their children were being educated at state schools and they were incredibly anxious about the competitive system they had entered. The high standard required of candidates applying to many of our independent senior schools was taking a toll on the whole family.
One mother explained that she had a network of tutors providing extra support so that her son could reach the academic level needed. It transpired that his entire week was taken up with studies beyond the school day and there was little time for anything else. My heart sank. I passionately believe that a proper education – not to mention a proper childhood – should involve physical activity, including access and exposure to a wide range of sports. It is easy to become so obsessed with planning for the future, that we forget our children are living their childhoods now: give them the present of the present!
At Broomwood, our boys and girls enjoy a co-ed setting until the age of eight when they move to our single-sex prep schools. We believe this gives them the chance to mature academically at their own rates, but at the same time, they do come together for selected sports and a whole range of learning and social activities beyond the classroom. When it comes to sport, we are ambitious for them in the broadest sense. Of course, we want them to win trophies
and tournaments (and they do), but we also want to instil in each of them a love of physical exercise, regardless of gender or ability.
We are in the process of increasing the number of sports sessions in school, but this is not the trend nationally. A recent report by the Education and Training Inspectorate found that 74% of primary schools are unable to provide the minimum government requirement of two hours a week. Playing football, sliding in the mud and twenty seconds later becoming a hero teaches our children valuable life lessons: teamwork, camaraderie, self-discipline and tenacity. Even those who do not see themselves as ‘naturals’ can improve immeasurably when they are well coached. The satisfaction on the faces of girls and boys who realise they can do something beyond what they thought possible is a joy to see.
Schools should be taking the lead here, providing exposure to a
wide range of different sports and inclusion for all. Boys shouldn’t be discouraged from trying sports traditionally associated with girls, like netball or lacrosse, and although girls are beginning to achieve considerable international success, with sports like football through the Lionesses, there is still much to do at grass-roots level.
Much has been written about the effect the pandemic had on our children. Teachers across the country have noticed a deterioration in behaviour and a decline in classroom engagement and emotional health. I would argue that a large part of the problem is connected with the denial of sporting engagements. It is critically important for the wellbeing of our children that we bring back balance in their education. Sport, and proper physical exercise, is the way to do it.
Kevin Doble of Broomwood, a group of London prep and pre-preps, on how sport teaches the important lessons in life and why our children need more of it
“It is easy to become so obsessed with the future that we forget our children are living their childhoods now – give them the present of the present!”
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KEVIN DOBLE Principal Broomwood
FUN ON THE FIELD AT BROOMWOOD
David Wingﬁeld, Headmaster of Eaton House
The Manor Pre-Prep School for boys aged 4-8, discusses how to build self-motivated learners
It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that I can’t do it yet!’ is an oft-repeated phrase at Eaton House The Manor Pre-Prep. We believe in encouraging boys to have a go, even if the path forward is not immediately illuminated. With the average number of jobs per lifetime increasing with each generation, it is more important than ever that those ﬁrst few years of school build a deep-rooted love of learning. As educators, it is our duty to foster an environment in which children are not only stretched but wish to stretch themselves. We want them to relish each new challenge, rather than run from it. With this in mind, I have broken down the strategies that we use to motivate the boys in our charge to want to expand their own potential.
We know that one of the surest ways to build resilient motivation is to support boys’ individuality and freedom of expression, while challenging ‘permission culture’ and anxious perfectionism in relation to schoolwork. It boils down to encouraging children’s natural ability to want to push boundaries, do things
their way, take risks and have a go, and it applies equally to English and mathematics.
SMALL STEPS TO SUCCESS
We support every child, by breaking each task down into small, achievable steps that form part of a challenging trajectory. Teachers make hundreds of micro-assessments in every lesson to gauge how each pupil is progressing through a task, and how that task may be adapted ‘on the ﬂy’ in order to enable them to make progress during the lesson. Whether a boy has taken his ﬁrst steps in forming a letter or a number, remembered – at long last! – to include capital letters and full stops, or written a self-motivated description of their favourite food, well-judged praised for e ort reinforces self-esteem and builds motivation.
MOTIVATION CAN EBB
We do not expect our pupils to be robots, with equal levels of motivation every hour of every day. We treat them with empathy and understanding when things just will not ﬂow. Our aim is to help them to view dips
and slips as part of the process of deep and e ective learning, rather than a cause for disappointment and despondency.
FOSTER A MASTERY APPROACH
We use a multi-sensory and graduated teaching style that prioritises depth of conceptual understanding as the foundation of pace and ﬂuency of procedure – from developing a deep understanding of composition of the number six, to considering how commas may be used in clauses. We run welcoming and inclusive classrooms, with a culture of high expectations. Activities and lessons are designed so that boys across the attainment spectrum may commence a task – often choosing it themselves – that is pitched at a level ‘just right’ for them, before moving on to progressively more challenging activities.
DAVID WINGFIELD Headmaster Eaton House The Manor Pre-Prep
Our aim is to educate pupils to be adventurous, curious, and brave. This starts in our classrooms, and it quickly spreads beyond the walls of the school because the insights above, I believe, are as valuable for progress in life as they are for academia.
“Our aim is to educate pupils to be adventurous, curious, and brave”
PUPILS AT EATON HOUSE THE MANOR PRE-PREP
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S CHOOL PARTNERSHIPS
School and community activities are a priority for independents, and activities range from volunteering and to student-led teaching of younger students. Absolutely speaks to four schools about the benefits – for all sides
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Tonbridge School runs a Learning Mentor Programme, working in partnership with nearby Royal Rise Primary School. This sees 60 primaryage children and 60 Tonbridge Mentors meeting each Monday lunchtime in the school’s Smythe Library for one-to-one tutoring sessions in maths, literacy and co-curricular studies. Tonbridge School’s annual Giving Day sees performance poetry workshops for visiting primary schools, driven and delivered by the Learning Strategies teaching team, with the support of the Learning Mentors. Local schoolchildren also join in with an inspiring calendar of activities in the science and sports centres, galleries and chapel.
Tonbridge Head of Learning Strategies
Hayley McLintock believes this is a win-win situation. Primary school children benefit from the peer-to-peer learning and personal support. Meanwhile Tonbridge’s Mentors build a range of skills, including social interaction, awareness of neurodiversity and emotional intelligence. What’s more, the planning and organisation involved in teaching others improves their own learning skills and their sense of responsibility. There’s a ‘tiered’ approach to prepare boys for taking on these roles, beginning in their First and Second Years as they learn to offer guidance and support to visiting children. As they move up the school, boys become internal Learning Mentors, offering guidance to Lower School boys. By the time they reach Sixth Form they can become
subject specialists, passing on their knowledge to younger pupils with the same interest. This is a volunteer scheme (running for more than a decade now), and each year around 80 boys give up their time – this includes training as Learning Mentors in lunchbreaks. As they train, they also build their own numeracy, literacy and communication abilities. Hayley McLintock says the boys see it as a mutually beneficial arrangement where, as well as helping others, they build metacognitive skills. Equally important, the Programme widens understanding of other people’s situations and settings. “This is an opportunity for staff, boys and children in multiple settings to forge networks, share experiences and resources and celebrate each other’s successes as and when they come along,” she adds.
Knightsbridge school More House has formed partnerships with two local Catholic state schools, Oratory Primary School and Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School. With Oratory Primary, the partnership was launched with a collaborative Winter Collection of warm items in support of three charities that work with the homeless and refugee communities. More House’s Careers Coordinator also visits Oratory Primary to speak to pupils and give advice on potential future pathways.
Music has been another enriching partnership, with the Music Departments of More House and Cardinal Vaughan bringing school choirs together for inspiring Easter Choral Concerts, which take place each March. Similarly, the two Modern Foreign Languages departments have liaised to offer reciprocal GCSE and A-level lesson observation and moderation support.
More House has recently installed a new Creative Suite – and there are already exciting plans to open it up to Oratory Primary by facilitating a special Lego building competition.
More House Head Faith Hagerty says the school culture is outward facing, adding that pupils get excited by the idea of reaching out beyond the confines of their
STRICTLY HEADERS IS A SCHOOLS COLLABORATION
EDUCATION • FOCUS
“This is an opportunity for children in multiple settings to forge networks, share experiences and resources and celebrate each other’s successes”
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MORE HOUSE PARTNERS WITH ORATORY PRIMARY
own school and see the value in working with people from other walks of life. “They find the experience incredibly enriching.”
Faith Hagerty brought other talents into play last year when the school led on an initiative called Strictly Heads. This was cross sector, bringing 16 schools together in a Strictly-style dance competition between headteachers to raise funds for icandance, a charity delivering dance and movement to young people with disabilities. This school-wide affair included pupil committees launching their own dance-related fundraising initiatives. There was also an Online Youth Seminar with children from each school and young people from the charity.
The Strictly Heads dance event was a huge success, raising well over £12,000. This year sees a similar cross sector initiative – Strictly Headers, with another 16 school leaders competing in a football match in May. This time, schools are working with the charity Play it Forward, which uses football as a vehicle to engage young people in southern Zambia in educational projects.
Primary Ambitions is Emanuel School’s Friday flagship enrichment programme and sees Year 5 and 6 children from 16 partner schools visiting the Battersea school for educational enrichment activities. Led by the Lower Sixth at Emanuel, this Friday-afternoon activity offers 285 pupils a fabulous array of studentled options – from filmmaking and DJing and science and robotics to art and drama.
In fact, Emanuel partners with 32 state primary and secondary schools locally and Lisa Irwin, Head of Community Partnerships & Outreach, says the activities and enrichment are multi-faceted. Ascent is a programme offering academic support for Year 5 children and GCSE boosters. There are fruitful collaborations between Year 6 pupils at Emanuel and partner schools. The school also acts as host for sports tournaments, literary quizzes, performances, cultural opportunities, careers’ fairs, collaborative debating and French clubs.
“We are constantly on the look out for opportunities to share resources and opportunities with our partners,” says Lisa Irwin. All Emanuel pupils benefit from these interactions and for the Lower Sixth pupils who lead Primary Ambitions, the experience is formative – they become role models and teachers. “They develop their leadership, facilitation and teamworking skills. It is wonderful to see them embrace the challenge and grow in confidence through the 20 weeks of the programme.”
Lisa Irwin says that the benefits to pupils include looking outwards, showing empathy and helping others, and they are actively encouraged to make connections
through community service, volunteering, entrepreneurship and fundraising. “Effective partnerships are mutually beneficial. Our goal is to inspire, share and learn with our partners for the collective good.”
Emanuel School is active in borough-wide initiatives. It supported an art project, ‘Place to Call Home’ that included 13 independent and over 50 state schools across the borough. Emanuel is also working with Putney High School in support of its annual crossborough sports extravaganza involving partner primary and secondary schools.
There are other strong links across the wider community. For instance, the school’s mini Astro is shared with Fulham Football Club Foundation and Wayfarers’ Flyerz to coach disability football and hockey. The school provides free weekly swimming lessons for partner schools and meeting facilities for community organisations such as ACEN (African Caribbean Education Network).
“We are very proud of our partnerships programme,” says Stuart Turner, Deputy Head: Co-Curricular, Partnerships and Admissions. “We are ambitious for our pupils in all ways, but we want them to recognise their place within the community and realise the positive impressions they can make on others.”
“Strictly Heads was a whole-school affair, with committees of young people in each school launching their own dancerelated fundraising initiatives”
FILMMAKING AT EMANUEL’S PRIMARY AMBITIONS
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STRICTLY HEADS: PHOTO FIONA BAILEY
EMANUEL SCHOOL’S ASCENT PROJECT
Developing remarkable people Open Events 22 - 30 September 30 mins from London Euston berkhamsted.com Nursery x Pre-Prep x Prep x Girls x Boys x Sixth
Channing School enjoys enriching partnerships with Highgate Newtown Community Partners (HNCP) and Brookﬁeld Primary School, working together to deliver a whole range of activities. This includes chatting with older guests at monthly community teas, problem-solving sessions organised and taught by Year 12 students for Year 5 and 6 pupils at Brookﬁeld and a Science Club to inspire future bo ns. During lockdown, Channing girls also made videos to support Under 5s.
As part of the Highgate school’s Education Plus partnership, there’s an annual summer camp where both fun and education are in the mix. Free places are available for pupils from a number of local primary schools, with a speciﬁc focus on those who would not normally have the opportunity to participate in such activities.
The partnership with HNCP has led Channing to reach out to other schools in order to build mutually beneﬁcial and collaborative projects that deliver both academic enrichment and cultural capital. One such exciting development has been through extra-curricular clubs. The Latin Club at the Junior School has been opened up to Brookﬁeld Primary and Yerbury
Primary students – leading to fascinating discussions. Debating Club has also had a valuable collaboration with these schools.
Channing Year 10 and 12 students help with reading for the very youngest St. Joseph’s and Brookﬁeld primary pupils at
its breakfast club. Other club collaborations with these schools have included German, iBrick, sports and maths problem solving. Sta at Channing ﬁnd their pupils really value and beneﬁt from these tutoring and problem-solving partnerships, with students citing development of leadership and communication skills – and their own interest in the subjects they are helping younger pupils with. Pupils have also enjoyed the pleasure of engaging with younger children, getting to know them and seeing them progress in their learning.
Channing also collaborates with other local schools to enhance the spirit of community and deliver learning. For instance,
St. Aloysius College pupils join Channing girls for HE events and clubs, including Medical Discussion, Debating, Robotics, and Latin Channing pupils also enjoy the use of St. Aloysius’ specialist facilities for weekly DT and Cookery club sessions. In the same spirit, Channing opens its facilities to other schools and organisations, free of charge, for around 330 hours a year – all adding to the sense of community spirit and educational openness that can bring people together and improve outcomes across this area of London.
“Pupils have enjoyed the pleasure of engaging with younger children, getting to know them and seeing them progress in their learning”
CHANNING PUPILS WORK ACROSS THE COMMUNITY AND WITH A NUMBER OF LOCAL SCHOOLS
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Embracing an innovative, modern approach whilst keeping traditional values at its core, Kew House School takes an exciting stance on 21st century education. With state-of-the-art facilities, a broad curriculum and excellent pastoral care, Kew House is a place where you would want to be – a place of learning and discovery, laughter and friendship.
Book your place at one of our Open Events at www.kewhouseschool.com/ openevents @KewHouseSchool DISCOVER MORE T: 020 8742 2038 W: www.kewhouseschool.com An independent co-educational senior school for students aged 11-18 in West London
When children have fallen behind in reading by the age of 11, the impact can last for the rest of their lives.
Their wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem are impacted, educational opportunities are severely diminished and job prospects negatively affected. For almost 300 years, Coram has created better chances for children. Founded in 1739, we are the first and longest continuing children’s charity.
We have evolved from the eighteenth century Foundling Hospital, to a dynamic group of specialist charities, directly supporting over 140,000 children, young people and families every year
Coram’s specialist reading support charity, Coram Beanstalk works tirelessly with teachers, parents and carers to stop our children falling behind. Coram Beanstalk’s volunteers provide one-to-one reading support in weekly 30-minute sessions with the children most in need.
Over the last 50 years, Coram Beanstalk has given children the opportunities they need to thrive supporting over 250,000 children to build confidence and find joy in reading.
The cost of living crisis is having a devastating impact on children’s learning. It has been reported that one in five parents and carers are spending less on books and one in six parents say their children are struggling more in school than a year ago.2
Last year, the generosity of people like you helped us to provide children in need with specialised support. You can create better chances for children who have fallen behind.
coram.org.uk to find out more.
1.Now the whole school is reading: supporting
struggling readers in secondary school. Ofsted Report.
Parents and carers spending less on books as cost-of-living crisis impacts families across Britain. National Literacy Trust. 27/02/2023
names and some of the details of the children mentioned have been changed to protect their identities. Funds will be used where the need is greatest Coram Campus, 41 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ Phone: 020 7520 0330 email@example.com www.coram.org.uk
The Thomas Coram Foundation for Children (registered charity no. 312278) was established by Royal Charter in 1739.
“READING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OTHER THING.”
Coram Ab Ed Advert 210x297_1b.indd 1 09/08/2023 16:40
Approximately 1 in 4 children leave primary school unable to read at the expected level.1
At a time when the Prime Minister is talking up the value of maths ‘to the age of 18’, it is worth thinking about other subject areas where more, if not all, school leavers should have some proﬁciency. Another, surely, is modern languages? Once pretty universal at GCSE, across all schools, numbers have tumbled, and for German, even French perhaps, study at 16+ is pretty much the preserve of the independent sector. What should our students know and understand in terms of languages, and at what ages?
Well, in the age-old battle for British educators to instil a love of and desire for language learning – fuelled, as we all know, by the prevalence of English across the world –we language teachers (I was – I don’t say am – one) have not made life easy for ourselves with dull GCSE speciﬁcations and sometimes patronising textbooks. Students don’t even want to talk to adults about their home life and holidays in English, let alone Spanish. So,
had to study a language, either for A or AS level or as an ab initio (‘get by in’) course, or simply undertake some further study in the language they had done to GCSE. And every boy did indeed do some language.
Another is that modern languages are not for any student with learning di culties, especially dyslexia. Again, not necessarily true: Wellington insisted on all students studying French to GCSE, and even those who struggled rose to the challenge.
Many also accept the myth that ‘hard’ languages are beyond children’s capabilities. At Whitgift, we ﬁnd the opposite.
could still do it, I started to learn Arabic. And here I discovered the transformational role Artiﬁcial Intelligence can play. Duolingo and Busuu both respond to the learner’s progress, prompt you to practise and, in the case of the latter, put you in touch with native speakers who can help you.
despite excellent work by the likes of John Claughton and Ste an Gri ths and their excellent ‘Wollow’ programme, language study still su ers from some misconceptions.
The ﬁrst is that studying languages is di cult and therefore not for all. Well, it depends on where you set your sights. My ﬁrst job in teaching was at Shrewsbury School, where we ran a (for then) radical programme entitled Languages For All. Every sixth former
Setting the expectation that all students will master some Korean, Japanese or Mandarin bears fruit – they actually like the challenge.
As an all-boys’ school, we are also able to disprove the myth that boys, speciﬁcally, don’t like languages.
Three years ago, partly to try to prove to myself that I
So, I would put language learning, at some level, alongside maths as something which should be part of every senior pupil’s experience. It’s both humbling (in that it genuinely puts the learner into someone else’s shoes) and exciting. To have a Moroccan actually answer a question I’d asked in Arabic was probably the high point of my recent holiday.
As with all things, the key is to aim high. Don’t avoid ‘di cult’ languages, don’t assume less ability than pupils have and, above all, ﬁnd topics which excite them. Holidays, family and future plans out, culture, ﬁlm and revolution in!
CHRIS RAMSEY Headmaster Whitgi
With the study of maths to 18 being debated, Whitgift Headmaster Chris Ramsey suggests we might also look at prioritising modern languages
“Setting the expectation that all students will master some Korean, Japanese or Mandarin bears fruit – they like the challenge”
PUPILS AT WHITGIFT
EDUCATION • TALKING HEAD
• Live lessons every day, in every subject
• Daily tutorials and subject clinics with teachers
• Structured self-study materials to keep students on-track
Two residential modules to
• develop exam and practical skills
Individually-tailored university application support
Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Maths, Further Maths, Physics
To find out more go to www.charterhouseonline.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The International School of London (ISL) has been o ering the International Baccalaureate programme to all its students (from age 3 to 18) for almost 50 years, and our students beneﬁt from the consistently personalised learning approach we o er, as they are encouraged to ﬁnd ways to follow their individual passions.
This September, ISL will be launching an adaptation of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for Grade 6 students (equivalent to Year 7 in the British system) that aims to increase the focus on product-based learning and create a tailored approach for each student. The revised curriculum will be more interdisciplinary than before, with students carrying out research and building to a ﬁnal output using the full spectrum of academic subjects together, rather than learning subjects in separate silos.
This approach requires students to apply conceptual and procedural knowledge to real-world scenarios, in contrast to traditional didactic instruction. It is a hands-on approach that enhances students’ collaborative skills, problem-solving skills and learning motivation. This productbased learning aims to equip students with contemporary competencies, making their learning relevant to real-world situations.
Working in interdisciplinary teams will allow students to go at their own pace, pursue their own interests and build their strengths, as well as receiving
targeted support and guidance as needed. For some parts of the school week, yeargroup classes will be merged, with multiple subject teachers joining these larger groups to collaborate across disciplines.
For example, students will experience one full day per week of STEM teaching and another full day of Humanities, during which time they will be able to explore more deeply those areas that motivate and stimulate their learning. In addition, students will continue to make the most of the rich and varied learning opportunities on o er in their real-world surroundings: London.
The ISL academic leadership team has been working with Lucy RycroftSmith, a curriculum expert and Cambridge mathematician, to develop the new curriculum, ensuring that all learning modules expected in each Grade are covered, but taught in such a way as to contribute to the output of each unit. In this way, students will learn through the creation of a ﬁnal product or
presentation, using student-centred teaching techniques that give more autonomy –allowing them to ‘play to their strengths’.
As Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General of the International Baccalaureate organisation, recently commented: “Students…need to become independent learners, to challenge what they are learning and why, and to problem-solve with courage and imagination. It is not either knowledge or life skills, it is both, in a way that is meaningful to the students in the world they have inherited”.
ISL Is passionate about giving students the scope to pursue their interests and research areas of study that will motivate them to perform to the highest level.
This change to our curriculum will be a breakthrough in understanding how traditional ‘school subjects’ interact in the real world – and the new approach will give our students the tools to approach and solve genuine issues that will arise in their future lives.
RICHARD PARKER Head of School International School of London (ISL)
The Head of the International School of London on how its enhanced IB Middle Years Programme is set to o er truly personalised and real-world learning
“This change to our curriculum will give our students the tools to solve genuine issues that will arise in their future lives”
EDUCATION • TALKING HEAD ABSOLUTELY magazines 149
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LONDON STUDENT
KEW GREEN preparatory school
A perfect blend of highly nurturing, personalised education with outstanding academic results.
Open morning Friday 22nd September 2023
Cumberland Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3HQ www.kewcollegeprep.com
An Independent School for Boys and Girls aged 4-11
Quality of Pupils’ Achievement and Learning - “Excellent”
Quality of Teaching - “Excellent”
Quality of Extra-curricular Provision - “Excellent”
Quality of Pastoral Care - “Excellent”
Quality of Links with Parents - “Excellent”
Quality of Pupils’ Personal Development – “Excellent” “Pupils of all ages benefit from a rich and exciting curriculum.”
Independent Schools Inspectorate Report - July 2015
To book your place on an open morning, please go to www.kgps.co.uk/openmornings or phone 020 8948 5999
Layton House, Ferry Lane, Kew Green, Richmond TW9 3AF www.kgps.co.uk
KGPS.indd 1 22/07/2020 12:52
There are moments in the development of a school where a relatively simple change to the curriculum can have a dramatic effect. Moving from a singlesex to a co-educational sports programme at Ravenscourt Park Prep School (RPPS) was one such moment.
RPPS is a co-ed school on the border of Hammersmith and Chiswick and located on the south side of Ravenscourt Park. We are very fortunate to have access to the park’s facilities, including bookable grass spaces, tennis and netball courts and an Astroturf. We used to follow a traditional sports programme from Year Three. Boys participated in football, ruby and cricket while girls played netball and rounders. If girls wanted to play football and cricket, they had to join clubs outside school – and an increasing number were doing just that. If we were going to meet the needs and interests of our pupils, we needed to make a change.
In 2016, I put the case for change to the Headmaster Carl Howes and he agreed. The new programme was launched in September 2017. For Years Three and Four, all sports were now played together. There were blocks of time allocated for netball, rugby, football, rounders, cricket and cross-country. After feedback from the children, hockey was added for Year Four. Children in Years Five and Six were given the opportunity to select the sports that they wanted to play each term, and the number of fixtures against other schools increased. Initially, there were concerns that it would be challenging to find other schools willing to bring along co-ed teams, and also that increasing sporting disciplines would reduce specialist coaching time. Neither concern has been realised. Many local schools have been delighted to provide mixed teams, or to permit our co-ed teams to play rugby against all-boys teams. As for sporting achievement, our U11 Netballers recently qualified for the IAPS finals for the second time in two years. Other teams are frequently placed in local tournaments, so we have not seen any diminution at the top level. What of the other benefits? Children now participate in a minimum of three fixtures per
term, so all represent their school in a team. We have seen a mutual respect for the sporting interests and abilities among the children –playground football involves boys and girls, as does shooting practice at the netball posts. This attitude is also reflected in the classroom – there is never any fuss if boys and girls are partnered up to work on a collaborative task.
With last year’s Euro triumph for the Lionesses, and runner-up positions for women’s cricket and rugby teams in the 2021 World Cups, there has never been a better time to make these sports available to girls. This has also coincided with the emergence of national successes in ‘non-mainstream’ men’s sports. And, in this increasingly co-ed world, why not involve boys and girls together in sport until the age of 11?
“We have seen a mutual respect for the sporting interests among the children – this attitude is also reflected in the classroom”
Chris Bryan of Ravenscourt Park Prep School discusses the positive benefits, on and off the sports field, of a 2017 move to co-ed sports
Head of PE and Games
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Ravenscourt Park Prep School
SPORT AT RAVENSCOURT PARK PREP
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“Street play requires no expensive entry fees or kit, no enormous planning – and children love it because it is self-directed”
OUT to PLAY
How many times have you heard talk about the way things used to be when it came to play? In that far off world – before soft play and activity centres were even a thing – children would just head outside and get on with it. This is where Playing Out came in, back in 2009, when two mothers in Bristol got into a discussion with friends about the frustrations of finding a safe local space for their young children to play. The two friends, Alice Ferguson and Amy Rose, decided to do something and, with the help of neighbours, they embarked on a simple but groundbreaking experiment.
Applying using existing powers around temporary road closures for street parties they persuaded Bristol City Council to let them close their own road for a few hours, just for children’s play. Everybody loved it, residents young and old gathered on the streets – they were on to something. “It was a really successful way to animate the street with children and it captured the interest of the local press and Bristol City Council as an idea,” says Playing Out’s Streets Development Officer Lucy Colbeck. Captured is probably an understatement – it energised. Other Bristol streets started asking for the same thing, Bristol City
Council drew up a simpler way of enabling streets to close and soon there was a ripple effect, nationally and even internationally. Playing Out was born as a movement to give children the right to play on home turf (or, rather, tarmac). Today its aims are officially supported by 94 councils across the UK, although many more are receptive. Internationally, it has sparked a plethora of street play models across Europe and as far afield as the US, Australia, India and Japan.
The reason everybody loves the idea is that it is fundamentally a simple one. It empowers local communities to reclaim their area, just for a while, in order to let children do the most natural thing in the
Playing outside on the street where you live is a campaign with momentum – and it’s not only good for children, but for parents and neighbourhoods
PLAY STREETS FOSTER COMMUNITY SPIRIT – RESIDENTS MAY COME OUT TO WATCH OR HELP OUT EDUCATION • FEATURE 153 ABSOLUTELY magazines
world. It requires no expensive entry fees or kit, no enormous planning (apart from the closure of the road, cul-de-sac or other chosen space) and children love it. They take their own toys outside, many learn to ride a bike on their own road and they meet other children. Often, older residents without children come out to watch, socialise or help steward. “There is something quite magical about it. People feel quite buzzed after it. It’s very much for everyone,” says Lucy Colbeck.
HOW IT WORKS
Playing Out remains a small grass-roots team based in Bristol and, while it’s on hand to offer advice via its website, newsletters and guides, Playing Out schemes are community generated – activated by and for residents. Schemes are best started with conversations among neighbours. “We always say the best champion is a parent who’s doing it for themselves,” says Lucy Colbeck.
From there, residents win over others and persuade their local council or authority to give its blessing too. It’s important to note that a play street does not exclude anyone who lives there, so residents can drive home or away during a session. It’s all stewarded in a light touch and sensible way by the adults involved (whistles to start and stop play and a steward to walk in front of arriving or departing vehicles). A taster session is often the best way to see how the idea works. Many streets and
neighbourhoods that have tried it become play streets regularly and this can be a year-round activity. Rain and cold do not deter well wrapped children from play (far from it) and adults can watch them getting pink cheeked in the fresh air while they enjoy a mug of hot chocolate and a chat with neighbours. In summer, of course, it’s hats and suncream for all.
If it sounds old-school idyllic, then that’s because it does seem to inspire old-school camaraderie. Neighbours get to know each other; children make new friends – and it’s all free. For children it’s also about getting a sense of the neighbourhood where they live. “Children have become almost invisible on our streets and their lives have become very packaged up – they are delivered from one place to another,” says Lucy Colbeck.
FREE PLAY BENEFITS
Playing Out has lots of research evidence on its website about the benefits of this style of free play. The consensus among academics is that there is huge value for children in its spontaneity. “It’s so important for their development to come into contact with the unpredictable nature of the world. It’s their first step in engaging with other adults, other children, challenges that help them develop.”
Alliances, make believe and peer-topeer learning all happen on the street, as children make friends and find older children who will look out for them. They
learn about sharing and collaboration, and how to stick up for themselves and each other. Researchers have also pointed to the fact that children engaging in free play are being active without even realising it – valuable in an era when obesity and mental-health challenges are front of mind. Some play street organisers worry that younger children will get confused when the road opens again. Lucy Colbeck says that all evidence suggests not. Indeed, the careful stewarding to indicate when it’s safe to play may even increase children’s awareness of road safety and how to behave around traffic. Playing Out has seen a big shift in attitude in areas where there are regular play streets – and welcomes it. “There are cul-de-sacs and quiet streets where over the years the culture has changed so much that the children play out between sessions and go and knock on the door to get each other,” says Lucy Colbeck. “That’s our end goal. We don’t really want play streets to exist. We want to see a world where children can just play out, but play streets are a really important part of that.”
* To find out if your council supports play streets, and how to organise your own play street, visit playingout.net
“Children engaging in free play are active without realising it, valuable in an era when obesity and mental health challenges are front of mind”
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PLAY STREETS IN ACTION – CHILDREN ORGANISE THEIR OWN GAMES AND ACTIVITIES
GUIDE girl s’
By LIBBY NORMAN
Nobody ever said growing up was easy, but these days it can be particularly tough – especially for girls.
That’s where Dr Zoe Williams came in, with a desire to create a new guide for the 9+ age group – not just focusing on the physical changes of puberty, but the social and emotional pressures of 21st life. You Grow Girl! The Complete No Worries Guide to Growing Up is the result.
Zoe Williams is a well-placed voice of authority, a London GP, with day-to-day experience of the issues young people encounter. She is also a familiar and trusted medic on our screens, including slots on BBC and ITV shows. Her schedule includes roles with the Royal College of General Practitioners and British Society of Lifestyle Medicine. Oh, and she’s a former rugby player (Blaydon Women’s RFC) and appeared as ‘Amazon’ on Sky 1’s Gladiators. By anyone’s lights – but especially if you’re a girl growing up –that last bit adds up to pretty cool.
She is clear about the challenges girls face today – and they go way beyond the physical changes that make puberty such a confusing time. “It was really important to me to make sure we included topics that young people are not only interested in but should be aware of,” she says. The book gives all the sound advice you’d hope for (looking after your body and healthy eating), but also covers off everything from building body confidence to being empowered to speak up when something doesn’t seem right.
Williams thinks that the information children are exposed to in real time makes trusted sources and sound guidance more
important than ever. “If I think about myself, I had limited access to information. I could ask my parents, my teachers, find a book or magazine or ask my friends. Whereas now young people can find information on anything online. And they may get good sources of information, or they find information that is incorrect or misleading or dangerous,” she says.
She believes young people today are more attuned to the society in which they are growing up. “I think when we were young, we didn’t feel war and global issues were any of our business, whereas young people do now – and rightly so. They are not just feeling the weight of their personal experience of growing up on their shoulders.”
While You Grow Girl! focuses mostly on supporting children through their own individual journey, it also provides inspiring case studies and guidance to reflect these bigger-picture concerns. These include topical issues such as poverty (food insecurity and period poverty). Williams felt it was important for the book to acknowledge and support people with the most challenging lives. “People who are experiencing poverty
“Young people are not just feeling the weight of their personal experience of growing up on their shoulders”
A working GP, and a familiar face on TV, Dr Zoe Williams has written a new book designed to guide girls through the physical, mental and social trials of growing up
156 ABSOLUTELY magazines
PHOTO: CHARL MARAIS
ABSOLUTELY magazines 157 EDUCATION • FEATURE
DR ZOE WILLIAMS
beneﬁt, but actually poverty a ects all of us, so the more aware we are the kinder and more supportive we can be as a society.”
The book provides thought-provoking, analysis around bullying. “It’s not just about the person being bullied or the bully, we all have the responsibility and an ability to support both the bully and the person doing the bullying. It’s important, at a deeper level, for young people to feel, empowered and to know they have the permission to speak out and do the right thing.”
Sex, mental health and consent are all covered in a sensitive and age-appropriate way, but also with that ‘dip in’ tips and pointers approach that is so useful in helping young people absorb information without feeling overwhelmed. Williams is also excellent on inspiring case studies, including drawing on her own recollections as she was growing up. She gives a great account of how she
learned to improve her own body conﬁdence on Gladiators and o ers advice on adopting a gladiator name and stance in testing situations. “All evidence based,” she says. “Your body language in, say, an interview or a situation where you don’t feel that conﬁdent can make a huge di erence to how you come across.”
Body conﬁdence is a major issue for girls as they grow, and she delivers insights about this by talking about her own teenage insecurities and her game-changing moment – in the communal showers after her ﬁrst competitive rugby game. She had prepared for anything, bringing along a bikini. Then everyone just stripped o and got in the shower. “And there was this sudden realisation that nobody cared what I looked like,” she says. “Everyone is di erent, there is no normal. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that, and that’s why I’m telling the young people reading my book.”
She thinks that, as adults, we have a duty to approach the whole business of dispensing advice to young people with care, and also due respect for their intelligence. “We have to give young people credit for the knowledge they already have,” she says. On areas such as consent and sexual identity, she suggests young people are often more aware than we realise, arguably a bit more savvy on some things than we adults.
“As a parent, teacher or grown up, it’s about saying: ‘you know what, you might know more than me on this. I’ll share what I know, and I’d really appreciate it if you’d share what you know, and then maybe we’ll both end up with more knowledge and be empowered’. What a wonderful thing to do, rather than the parent, the teacher or the doctor always being the educator and the young person always being the recipient of knowledge.”
“Everyone is di erent, there is no normal – I wish I could go back and tell myself that, and that’s why I’m telling the young people reading my book”
You Grow Girl! The Complete No Worries Guide to Growing Up
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by Dr Zoe Williams is
by Wren & Rook,
EDUCATION • FEATURE
ZOE WILLIAMS’ GUIDE BALANCES SOUND HEALTH INFORMATION WITH INSPIRING TIPS AND CASE STUDIES
Head of College, Steven Turner, explains how Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate prepares its students for successful futures
Queen Ethelburga's (QE) takes pride in fostering future readiness in our students through instilling transferable life skills, providing the mindset needed to thrive and inspiring them to become lifelong learners that make a positive difference to our community and to society.
This year, we introduced the Stretch and Challenge Programme and the Whole School Revision Project, which has enabled our students to develop vital life skills, including mental agility, resilience, teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, and effective study habits. These initiatives have not only prepared our students for
a rapidly changing future but have also empowered them to become well-rounded and successful individuals.
Our Stretch and Challenge Programme goes beyond the confines of the classroom, encouraging students to seek opportunities that enrich their learning journey and foster a lifelong passion for knowledge. This includes attending industry professional and alumni lectures, entering internal and external competitions, and partaking in both personal and group research projects. This year saw a first place in the ISA Photography and Young Musician of the Year, 11 Elite Awards at the Oxford University Computing Challenge, two Maclaurian mathematicians, 27 Gold Awards at the Science Olympiads, and a prestigious Roentgenium award in
the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. In addition, one student had his business research paper on the ‘Motivations of Impulse Buying of Luxury Goods’ published by Atlantis Press. It is through this approach of developing students interests and achievements beyond the curriculum that we distinguish our students from their peers, provide opportunities to challenge themselves with hands-on experience and equip them with essential future-ready skills.
The Whole School Revision Project takes a research-led approach to develop the most efficient revision techniques for our students, so they are prepared to retain knowledge, apply critical thinking skills, and excel in examinations not just in the immediate future but for life. By revolutionising our students’ approach to revision with effective methods such as Cornell notes, flashcards, and blank page retrieval, we have been able to empower them to become future-ready individuals. The project also developed leadership skills among 27 Student Ambassadors who promoted the project to their peers. The impact of this project is evident through student feedback, with 43% of students expressing increased focus and dedication to their revision.
Nestled in 220 acres of countryside between Harrogate and York, QE is a coeducational day and boarding school for students from 3 months to 19 years known for its academic success and state-of-theart facilities. A set of four ‘family-feel’ schools linked together as one ‘Team QE’, the collegiate hosts a dynamic community of aspirational, future-ready learners, who feel a real sense of belonging. Contact admissions@ qe.org to book onto our open mornings on 30 September or 18 November, or to organise a private tour.
QUEEN ETHELBURGA'S COLLEGIATE
Thorpe Underwood, Estate, York YO26 9SS 01423 333300; qe.org
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EDUCATION • PROMOTION
PET THERAPIST: COCO
Variety: Chocolate brown Springador (Springer Spaniel-Labrador cross)
Coco joined Wellington College in September 2021 and she's based in the Modern Foreign Languages department with her owner, Head of MFL Dr Rachelle Kirkham. Coco attends all Spanish lessons, greeting students when they arrive and then lying quietly in her bed until the end of class, when she gets up to say goodbye to them all. She can do commands (sit, paw, down, high five, etc) in three languages. Alongside her human pals, she has a lot of toys – Paddington being her favourite – which she's keen to show to everyone. Coco has her own email address at Wellington, where students and staff can request a personal visit.
Coco has a natural aptitude as a pet therapist, says Rachelle Kirkham, and has been in training since she was eight weeks old. She still has regular training visits from experts at CAL (Canine Assisted Learning) and it's hoped she will move from ‘assistance dog in training’ to fully qualified school
assistance dog this summer. "There are lots of assessments both for Coco and me as handler."
So what does Coco add to school life? "She has the best role in the school – basically to help everyone feel happy! Her role is primarily to support the wellbeing of our students by offering sessions where they can come and play, cuddle or stroke her and talk through things that are on their mind," says Rachelle Kirkham. "Coco is always pleased to see everyone and it takes us a long time to get anywhere."
It's not just students who request meetings. Coco is a regular in staff departments (particularly IT and the Library}. Rachelle Kirkham says there's lots of evidence about the power of stroking a dog to relieve stress – and there's an added benefit in a boarding school, where students may sometimes miss their own animals. Coco is especially useful to students during Year 11 and 12 oral exams. "She goes and sits next to them, puts her head on their lap or paw on their knee and it really helps them at a time of high stress."
As to the joy she brings: there's no question about it. “Even on my worst days, seeing Coco never fails to make me smile and brighten my mood,” says one student. "Coco is the absolute best thing about Wellington,” adds another.
Animals bring joy, calm and even improve learning outcomes. Absolutely spoke to schools about their pets' therapy superpowers
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HANFORD HAS LOTS OF ANIMALS TO LOVE AND CARE FOR
“Hanford girls head to the stables to help with the ponies, visit the guinea pigs, feed the chickens or walk a dog round the grounds”
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Wells Cathedral School
PET THERAPIST: RIO
Variety: Huntaway-Collie cross
Rio is a rescue dog from Bath Cats and Dogs Home who loves nothing more than spending time with people, chasing tennis balls, eating salmon and ear-scratches. Although he had a difficult start to life, his new owner soon recognised his strengths of calmness and balance. Pets as Therapy had Rio assessed as a therapy dog – he passed with flying colours.
Fully qualified, he started visiting Wells on a weekly basis back in 2017 and has been a star member of visiting staff ever since. "Rio is a huge part of the Prep staff; his presence is so calming," says one member of the team. "The security of his presence and the calmness he brings to all is wonderful. He is also the best listener."
Staff say that the minute Rio enters the classroom, pupils' demeanour changes. After the initial excitement of seeing him, the atmosphere in the room becomes calmer thanks to his presence. They say the children love to sit on the bean bag and read to Rio and he is extremely pleased to lie next to them, listen to their stories and watch their confidence improving. Staff have noticed that Rio also seems to sense when a particular pupil might be having a challenging day and will make a beeline –going to lie by their feet as they complete schoolwork. Alongside his prep duties, he has special visits with a pupil in the senior school
who uses this time as a form of therapy.
Rio especially enjoys the weekly 'Walking with Rio' club, where a group of pupils explore walks around Wells, enjoy the fresh air and learn about responsible dog ownership. He also accompanies staff to Claver Morris, Wells' prep boarding house, which is a lovely experience for all boarders, but especially those who might be missing their own pets at home.
Pupils at Wells see Rio as part of school life and a great source of comfort. As one puts it: "When I first see Rio I feel so warm as he’s so fluffy and happy – I love dogs so much." Another adds. "I love dogs and especially Rio. I am so happy I still get to see him, even when I am in the senior school. I feel calm and happy when I am with him."
PET THERAPIST: NUMEROUS
Variety: Includes ponies, guinea pigs, dogs and cats
Pet therapy has long been in the mix at Hanford. There are too many names to list, with some 25 ponies, many dogs, one pig, two cats, five guinea pigs and a growing population of chickens (five chicks hatched just recently). The Dorset boarding school has always been a destination for pony-mad girls, but also welcomes non-riders, who might like to learn or just enjoy pony company. The sheer variety of animals at the school means something for
“Wellington resident Coco has picked up language skills and can do all commands – sit, paw, down, high five – in three languages”
164 ABSOLUTELY magazines EDUCATION • WELLBEING
RIO HAS A CALM NATURE AND LOVES EAR SCRATCHES
COCO HAS HER OWN EMAIL ADDRESS AT WELLINGTON
Falcons School is an independent co-educational school for children aged 2-11 years old.
Falcons School is an independent co-educational school for children aged 2-11 years old.
I have made friends for life.
Be inspired Be brilliant
BOOK YOUR VISIT FOR YEAR 9 OR SIXTH FORM ENTRY
everyone. The animal companions they share their lives with are a huge part of pupils' enjoyment, and remembered years down the line. Old girls become misty eyed at the memory of their animal friends – and especially the experience of riding before the start of the school day. "I can still remember the excitement of being woken early for a morning ride and having breakfast in riding clothes afterwards!" says alumna Arabella. "My favourite part of school life," adds Harriet.
All the pupils have part of every day left untimetabled. It is their time to do as they choose, whether it's reading a book, playing a game, climbing a tree or building a den. In fact, that's when many of them make a beeline for the animals, heading to the stables to help with the ponies, visit the guinea pigs, feed the chickens or walk a dog around the grounds. The school says it's important that young people not only get the beneﬁts of the animals, but also understand the responsibilities that come with having them around – and that includes mucking out, cleaning out and exercising.
But the extra support they bring is also recognised. "When we have exams and I am feeling super stressed, I run and hug a pony and it makes all the di erence," says one pupil. "The guinea pigs are adorable, so cute and gentle. It is fun to go and visit them with your friends and have a chat – there's such a cosy atmosphere in the stables," says another.
Francis Holland School
PET THERAPIST: KANGA
Variety: Hungarian Vizsla
At Francis Holland School, life is made happier by Kanga, a trained therapy dog who belongs to the school's Lead Counsellor Zoe. She has been at FHS for four years, having begun her training as a pet therapist when she was just a puppy. She is considered a key member of the team at ContemPlace, the school's counselling service, working alongside ﬁve therapists within the Wellbeing Suite. Students and sta can visit her during the school day for a chat, a pat or to tell her their worries.
Vizslas are renowned for their a ectionate nature, says Zoe, and have earned the nickname 'Velcro dogs' for their loyalty. Kanga is happy to spread her a ection wide and many girls will come to lie down next to her for a few minutes to boost their mood. Zoe says stroking an animal helps create a sense of calm – particularly useful for any student who is feeling anxious. This helps girls 'reset' their emotional state and the rest of their day becomes much more manageable.
At the beginning of the academic year, Kanga helps pupils starting at FHS to settle in. She's on hand for everyone from Reception children missing their parents to Year 7 girls feeling overwhelmed by the step
up to secondary school. A side beneﬁt is that many friendships are forged when children gather to meet the resident pet therapist.
During exam periods, she is also on hand to save the day, helping to soothe anyone ﬁnding the stress too much. One especially popular therapy service is 'walk and talk', where girls take a short stroll round Chelsea with Kanga and a counsellor – often that's all it takes to restore perspective.
Sta say Kanga o ers a good way for some students to explore the idea of counselling. They drop-in to see her and then ﬁnd themselves opening up to one of the counsellors. They have realised that if you're stroking a dog you don't have to look the person you are talking to in the eye –making it much easier to broach di cult subjects. For all the children at FHS, Kanga is a reassuring conﬁdant. "I love Kanga's ears – they're so soft and they listen to all the worries I tell them," says one. "Visiting Kanga is the highlight of my day. She is unfailingly calm and peaceful," adds another.
“At the start of each school year, Kanga's therapy role at Francis Holland is particularly valuable as she helps everyone new settle in”
EDUCATION • WELLBEING
PONY TIME AT HANFORD
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KANGA IS VALUED BY ALL THE PUPILS AND STAFF AT FRANCIS HOLLAND
find out more at kcs.org.uk Whole school Saturday 16th September | 9am 16+ Thursday 21st September | 6pm 11+ Wednesday 27th September | 6pm
Bonding and BOARDING
Advice on preparing your child for boarding school from the houseparents at Gordon's
Boarding schools have come a long way since the tales of cold showers, uncaring, strict staff and huge dormitories filled with rows of homesick children. Now students often describe them as ‘one big sleepover’ and a ‘home from home’: secure, friendly places where they can flourish academically, learn tolerance, resilience, discipline, independence - and make life-long friends. Evenings and weekends are packed with activities, and as well as large grounds and facilities, children can enjoy the company of perhaps hundreds of others every day and weekend. With the right culture, the older students become older sibling figures who guide the younger ones in the ways of boarding.
Head of Boarding at Gordon’s, a state coeducational day and boarding school in Surrey and TES Boarding School of the Year for 2022, Sam Cooper is also a joint Houseparent with his wife Daisy, for the school’s youngest contingent aged 11 years old. They run their boarding house as an extension of their home and start settling in their new charges months before they actually arrive, through in-person meetings or Zoom calls with overseas parents.
In the early stages the children are kept busy with activities. If they’re playing ‘capture the flag’ then they’re building relationships through play and are less likely to dwell on home. However, homesickness is always going to crop up, usually at bed-time. Then they come downstairs and talk it through on the sofa with a warm drink. They also support each other in their bunk beds really early on – that is how they develop those lasting friendship bonds.
PREPARING YOUR CHILD FOR BOARDING
• Encourage independence – support them in looking for lost items themselves; preparing books and equipment for school.
Encourage activity rather than passivity - the real confidence booster is some control over their own kit, schedule and learning.
• Get them to do chores around the house such as tidying their bedrooms and making their bed.
• Encourage personal hygiene values and healthy eating options.
PREPARING YOURSELF FOR YOUR CHILD BOARDING
Think about the ‘empty nest’. It will never fully prepare a parent but it may help to imagine it. Learn to let go. Let your child fail and make mistakes, it’s the only way to be sure they’re learning and we will catch them if they fall.
• Remember that good things take time. Take a bit of a step back and let them have an adventure!
Bagshot Road, Woking GU24 9PT gordons.school
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On arrival at Gordon’s the new Year 7 boarders are off on an activity and team building overnight stay with their day boarding friends
Sixth Form boarders at Gordon’s relax over a game of pool
EDUCATION • PROMOTION
Gordon’s youngest boarders enjoying an evening of board games and chatting with Houseparents Sam and Daisy Cooper, their children and Barney their Labrador
Rosemead Preparatory School, in the heart of Dulwich, looks ahead to an exciting future
Rosemead Preparatory School and Nursery, Dulwich, south London, is an independent, coeducational day prep school for children aged 2 and half to 11.
The school’s motto ‘Inspiring Brilliant Futures’ is at the forefront of all the school does. Their focus is providing a unique education to each and every child, nurturing their individual strengths, interests and needs.
Speaking about the school, newlyappointed Head, Graeme McCafferty says: ‘At Rosemead, we strive to provide a balanced curriculum that nurtures the holistic development of each child. While academic achievement is important, we firmly believe that education should encompass much
more than just exams and grades.
‘Our approach is centred around ensuring that your child receives a well-rounded education that includes a strong emphasis on Music, Art, Drama, and Sport, without compromising on academic excellence.’
‘Every year, we witness the artistic talents of our children as they win National Art Awards and perform in breathtaking productions. Moreover, our sporting achievements are equally commendable, with several students qualifying and competing at the National Athletics competition in Birmingham this year.’
Most recently, Rosemead merged with St Dunstan’s College to create a community of schools consisting of St Dunstan’s Junior School, St Dunstan’s Senior School and Rosemead Preparatory School. Speaking about the merger, Rosemead Head, Graeme McCafferty explained: ‘This is such an incredible opportunity for sharing best
practice, working collaboratively and sharing experience to make all schools in the community unique, excellent educational establishments. We have a shared vision to provide an ambitious, forward-thinking education to the young people under our care and to ensure that, in so doing, we both inspire and support each child to thrive as an individual.’
He added: ‘There are numerous advantages presented by the merger. For children, we can share facilities, resources and learning opportunities. For staff, we can share best practice and work collaboratively through staff training and development. It is probably the most exciting and significant development for Rosemead in its 80-year history.’
Rosemead is also taking the lead in its approach to artificial intelligence (AI), incorporating it into its forward-thinking curriculum.
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‘At Rosemead we like to take risks in our learning, we instil this into the children but also encourage our staff to do the same,’ Graeme McCafferty explains. ‘At the early stages of our journey into using AI in the classroom the fundamental question to ask was whether it genuinely enhanced the quality of teaching and learning.
‘Upon exploring Century Tech and AI in the classroom, we determined that the answer was a resounding yes. A year ago, we introduced a comprehensive digital strategy at our school, which
outlined the transition to a modern and dynamic curriculum, moving towards 1:1 Chromebooks in Years 4, 5 and 6 with iPads being used in Nursery to Year 3.
‘At Rosemead, we value balance and moderation in all aspects of our curriculum, including the use of AI. We recognise the immense potential of personalised learning programs for our students, and the progress they have made throughout the year stands as a testament to our model of embracing technology.’
In June, Rosemead also announced an
exciting new garden wall with the school’s Eco Club working closely with SovTech. The project, led by the Eco Club, will build upon the school’s commitment to sustainability and outdoor learning. Pupils in the club have eagerly embraced the new opportunity and will play a nurturing role in looking after the new wall, ensuring it supports the club’s sustainability pledges and helps to combat pollution.
‘We are incredibly excited to be working closely with SovTech to develop our new wall garden,’ the Head adds. ‘I’m looking forward to seeing the work of the Eco Club in building and bringing this space to life over the next few years.’
Find out more about Rosemead Preparatory School and Nursery at their upcoming open day on Saturday 7 October 2023. To book, please visit rosemeadprep.org.uk
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EDUCATION • PROMOTION
“We firmly believe that education should encompass much more than just exams and grades”
Ivy House School is an independent co-educational school for children aged 2-11 years old.
TOP MUST READ
From fun guides to maths and baking and a pair of Georgian girl sleuths to vicious villains and a grumpy dragon, our pick of great reads for the new school year
Sheep Can't Bake, But You Can!
by Sarah Walden
Illustrated by Mr Griff NOODLE JUICE, £12.99
Sheep and his friends join young chefs on the journey to learning key cooking skills and delicious recipes. As you'd expect, there are traybakes and muffins, but also a masterclass in perfect shortcrust pastry, divine cheesecake and breadmaking – and with dairy and gluten free options, too. Useful guidance on essential equipment and getting started are included, along with simple step-by-step instructions. And there are some yummy recipes – from Key lime pie to stromboli.
by Chris Smith
Illustrated by Elina Braslina
MAMA MAKES BOOKS, £12.99
Written by Scottish Teacher of the Year and musician Chris Smith, this book is based on the lyrics of the Tom Lehrer song. The book came about thanks to a lockdown musical tribute to the American satirist (and mathematician) that Smith devised with friends – it went viral. This is fun and practical maths, with questions, lots of everyday examples and exercises for young readers to try to deepen knowledge and understanding. There's a useful glossary and parents' notes section at the back.
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WELCOME TO OUR TABLE
by Laura Mucha and Ed Smith
Illustrated by Harriet Lynas NOSY CROW, £14.99
This foodie celebration explores what is on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner across the world. From baguettes to biryani, there's a terrific spread, and with information about how staples such as maize, rice, bread and noodles appear in different guises. Spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits are in the mix, and with information on meat, dairy, fishing and future foods. Fascinating facts –what's in a lunch box around the globe and different types of ice cream – are gourmet details children can savour.
THE LIZZIE AND BELLE MYSTERIES: PORTRAITS AND POISON
by J.T. Williams
Illustrated by Simone Douglas FARSHORE, £7.99
The second in a mystery series by J.T. Williams (the first was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize), this period pleaser is set in Georgian London. Williams based the action around two real Londoners of that era – Dido Belle and Ignatius Sancho – and our heroines are united by a love of detective work. This time, the girls set off on the trail of a stolen painting, only to discover a tangled web of conspiracy and corruption spreading out across the streets of the capital.
THE MYSTERY OF THE MARSHES
by Mark Dawson and Allan Boroughs
Illustrated by Ben Mantle WELBECK FLAME, £6.99
The third of the 'The After-School Detective Club' books reunites Lucy, Max, Joe, Charlie and Sherlock the dog. Max is horrified when he has to go on a weekend camping trip for his Duke of Wellington award – only made bearable when his pals agree to join him. They make a friend called Byron and camp out in woods near his home. But then Byron disappears, and it's almost as if he's been kidnapped by a UFO. Dawson writes adult thrillers too and this gripping middle-grade read includes classic whodunnit twists.
Call the Puffins!
by Cath Howe
On the island of Egg, a group of young puffins are in training for a search and rescue team. There's Muffin, following in her father's footsteps and anxious not to let him down. Young Tiny has eyesight problems but is determined not to let that stop him, while Forti seems over-confident but is really just desperate to impress. This opener to a new series for young readers combines an engaging cast with lessons about teamwork, resilience and finding your wings.
Illustrated by Ella Okstad WELBECK FLAME, £6.99
5+ Editor's pick
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DEPTH JOY STRUCTURE SPACE
Your child’s primary years are fundamental in shaping not just what they become, but who they become.
King Alfred School has over 120 years of experience of designing joyful learning experiences which give each child the space they need to discover and develop their passions, to embrace challenge and reflect on their achievements.
Our creative curriculum inspires children because they do it
through experience, through play, through genuine interest; we nurture an eagerness to know more and encourage greater depth of understanding. We have high expectations for our children and give them the freedom to explore and grow - all within a structure which lets them develop at the pace which is right for them. The results speak for themselves; happy, confident children who love to learn.
Find out more about the school, or book to attend an open event at www.kingalfred.org.uk
by Britta Teckentrup PRESTEL, £19.99
Britta Teckentrup's beautiful illustrations and poetic text mark her out as one of the most distinctive voices in children's literature. The Swing tells a story about the passage of time, friendships and memories, using a swing on a hill overlooking the water as its centre. It's a book to read aloud to children and let them return to as they grow – and her richly detailed collage paintings of the swing and the characters who pass by make this a book to treasure.
A Calamity of Mannerings
by Joanna Nadin
Illustrated by Emma Block
Billed as the perfect choice for I Capture the Castle fans, Joanna Nadin's new coming-of-age novel is set in the Roaring Twenties and follows the lives of the eccentric Mannering sisters. They live in Radley Manor with grandma and a pet sheep, and in a state of genteel poverty since their father's untimely death (survived the War, run over in Whitehall by a dustcart). It's written in diary form by Panth, and her dramatic turn of phrase and yearnings for high-life experiences – romantic ones especially – make this a satisfying romcom with an endearing female cast.
INTERVIEW WITH BLACKBEARD & OTHER VICIOUS VILLAINS
by Andy Seed
THE STORM CHILD
8+ by Gabriela Houston
UCLAN PUBLISHING, £7.99
Gabriela Houston's The Wind Child duology concludes with this fast-paced adventure about Mara, the granddaughter of the God of Winter Winds. Having defied the laws of gods and men, she and Torniv, her shape-shifting friend, are on the run. Their enemy is Koschei the Deathless, who will stop at nothing to destroy them. Inspired by the ancient folklore and vast forests of Eastern Europe, and the author's Polish homeland, this is a gripping yarn about all-powerful beings and monsters, and with positive messages about courage, friendship and loyalty.
Andy Seed had a lot of fun creating this set of entirely fictional interviews with celebrated baddies through time. Subjects include the infamous pirate of the title (unsurprisingly, his first answer is: "Arrr", although not for the reasons you might think). Others in the mix include Emperor Nero, Guy Fawkes, Vlad the Impaler, Bonny and Clyde and fearsome female pirate Zheng Yi Sao. You find out what happened next to each of them, plus there are maps, illustrations and a quiz and glossary at the back.
BOOKS • REVIEW
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Illustrated by Gareth Conway WELBECK CHILDREN'S BOOKS, £7.99
UPCOMING OPEN EVENTS AT PANGBOURNE COLLEGE
We are an ‘excellent’ rated independent, co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 11 to 18, nestling in 230 acres of outstanding Berkshire countryside.
YEAR 7 2024 DISCOVER PANGBOURNE EVENT
Thursday 28 September 13:15 - 16:00
We are opening our doors to families who are interested in joining the College in Year 7 admission in 2024. The event will enable parents to discover more about Pangbourne, focusing on the incredible opportunities and experiences on offer. End the event by enjoying an afternoon tea in our Junior Division (house)!
For further information, visit: pangbourne.com/visit email@example.com | 0118 976 7415
SIXTH FORM OPEN EVENING
Tuesday 3 October 18:15 - 20:30
We are delighted to offer a special information evening for pupils and their parents who are exploring their Sixth Form options. Attendees can look forward to a welcome talk by the Head and Head of Sixth Form, before enjoying a self-guided tour, visiting subject departments and meeting with our friendly staff and pupils.
A community where you can flourish
Kate on the Case: The Headline Hoax
by Hannah Peck PICCADILLY
The third in this illustrated series about a female newspaper reporter and her sidekick mouse Rupert, The Headline Hoax sees Kate invited. to the HQ of The Lookout Post to help her idol, reporter Catherine Rodriguez. But when she gets there, this dream assignment turns sour. She discovers that all is not as it should be because someone is tampering with stories and the famous paper might even be forced to close.
Ably assisted by Rupert, will she solve the mystery, catch the culprit and make the scoop of the century?
ALBI, THE GLOWING COW BOY
by Georgia Byng
Illustrated by Angela Cogo UCLAN PUBLISHING, £7.99
Under the light of a magical milk moon on a quiet farm near Stonehenge, a boy calf is born. Albi has no idea just how special he is. A few miles away lives Rufus, a human boy who has no friends and no one who loves him – he will do anything to find the family he never had. And so each of them embarks on an incredible journey that will span continents and reveal a world they never imagined – and perhaps explain the special connection between them.
LUMA AND THE GRUMPY DRAGON
by Leah Mohammed
Timir may look like a puppy most of the time, but every so often Luma's pet turns into a baby dragon – a perfect starting point for a book to engage young animalloving readers. There are two stories here to introduce our characters. In the first, Timir gets very grumpy when Luma's friend comes round to visit and decides to cause trouble. In the second, our duo set out on an adventure to track down another missing dragon. Easy-to-read text and fun illustrations bring both tales to life.
by Fiona Woodcock GREENWILLOW BOOKS, £12.99
A book made for reading out loud, Silver Linings tells the story of Pip and Parker, next door neighbours who are such great friends they don't even need to talk to communicate. Parker always sees the silver lining and knows just how to console Pip when her crayon breaks or rain threatens to stop play. But when Parker makes a mistake and feels sad, will Pip be able to do the same? A simple text and lovely drawings tell a story of friendship and looking on the bright side.
BOOKS • REVIEW
Illustrated by Loretta Schauerl WELBECK FLAME, £6.99
Editor's pick 179 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Q What is your background?
A I went to a state girls’ school, and this was followed by reading French and Spanish at Cambridge University, and lots of netball, athletics, cross county and football. After graduating I flirted with accountancy before taking up a teaching role. Initially, I was at Lord Wandsworth, followed by Oakham, Queenswood and City of London Girls’ –and now my role here at St Swithun’s.
QWhat excites you most about your role at St Swithun’s?
A First, I love having the opportunity every day to combat the stereotypical nonsense about girls and women that is still so prevalent even – or perhaps especially – in 2023. Everything we do aims to give our students the opportunity to develop interests and personal characteristics to reflect their unique character rather than some outdated notion about how women should think and behave. Secondly, I love seeing young people emerge from their chrysalis to become butterflies.
QWhat is your academic philosophy?
A Most importantly it’s: ‘everybody can’. By that I mean that with the right structure in place and the right attitude, everybody can improve. Secondly, it’s important to understand that things will always go wrong at some stage, whether in the classroom or elsewhere, and we simply need to learn from this. After all, there would be no point in coming to school if we could already do everything perfectly.
Q Can you tell us about one pivotal moment in your career?
A When I was unsuccessful in my first headship application, I received the feedback that I spoke so fast in the interview that some of the governors had trouble understanding – useful feedback that I try to remember to this day. Similarly, I was unsuccessful in an application for deputy head, but went on to get a far better
role at a school to which I was more suited. That ‘failure’ led directly to my current role.
QWhat is St Swithun’s School’s approach and what sets it apart?
A As an accredited High Performance Learning school, we are serious about education and committed to the belief that all students can make improvements – but we proceed with a lightness of touch. We certainly have rules, but we break them if we need to because we are guided by the
needs of individuals. We have created our bespoke Positive Education programme to encourage students to use their best qualities to deal with their worst moments. We don’t sugar-coat life, but we teach students to laugh their troubles away. We embrace eccentricity and we encourage people to be who they want to be – in all their glory.
QWhat makes a great student?
A A great student keeps asking why? They are never complacent about their knowledge. They are open to advice and happy to take risks and learn from things that don’t work out first time. They understand the power of focused practice and they are kind to others. They laugh.
Q From your experience, what makes a great school environment?
A It’s a place where students feel safe and are gently nudged to try new things, whether problem-solving, entrepreneurship, public speaking, abseiling, fire-walking or standup comedy. A great school environment understands the importance of fun.
“Our Positive Education programme encourages students to use their best qualities to deal with their worst moments. We teach students to laugh their troubles away”
The Headmistress of St Swithun’s School in Winchester on her background and educational philosophy
ABSOLUTELY magazines 180
Reddam House Berkshire is an independent co-educational school for children aged 3 months to 18.
Independent School for Boys and Girls aged 4-11
Quality of Pupils’ Achievement and Learning - “Excellent”
Quality of Teaching - “Excellent”
Quality of Extra-curricular Provision - “Excellent”
Quality of Pastoral Care - “Excellent”
Quality of Links with Parents - “Excellent”
Quality of Pupils’ Personal Development – “Excellent”
‘’The curriculum is excellent for all ages and abilities, and is expertly matched to meet the needs of the range of pupils in the school.’’
Independent Schools Inspectorate Report - March 2016
9.15am Tuesday 14th November 9.15am Thursday 18th January 2018
9.15am Thursday 9th May 2019 9.15am Tuesday 11th June 2019
To book your place on an open morning, please go to www.rpps.co.uk/openmornings or phone 020 8846 9153
9.15am Thursday 1st February 2018
To book your place on an open morning, please go to rpps.co.uk/admissions or phone 020 8846 9153
To register your attendance at one of our open mornings, please phone 0208 846 9153 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Ravenscourt Park Prep School
16 Ravenscourt Avenue, London W6 0SL www.rpps.co.uk
preparatory school RAVENSCOURT PARK
RPPS.indd 1 23/04/2019 12:48
RPPS_PRINT.indd 1 Book your place dulwich.org.uk/admissions Entry into Years 3 and 5
7 and 9) Entry into Year 7 and Year 9
11 and 13) Bursaries of up to 100% and Academic Scholarships
to one third of full fees
AlwaysOriginal ASCHOOLFORGIRLSAGED4-18, inSOUTHKENSINGTON www.queensgate.org.uk Empowering girls to forge their own path since 1887 Book online for open event dates throughout the year www.sydenhamhighschool.gdst.net @SydenhamHigh
Time to purple up!
Baby Carrier Mini Dark purple
In this section:
BACK TO SCHOOL
Heading back to class in style
• NEW SEASON STYLE
What’s new for little ones
• LET’S PARTY
The latest party trends
• ABSOLUTELY MAMA AWARDS
We announce the 2023 winners!
Minimalist mamas will love Little Beacon’s hand block printed pieces. Made from natural fabrics, including linen and organic cotton, the collection features essentials such as muslins and play mats, as well as the most adorable rompers and sun hats. Find out more in our interview with Founder Rachel Walker inside. little-beacon.com @little_beacon
185 ABSOLUTELY magazines
PHOTOGRAPHER: KIRSTY HASTIE MODELS: KELLY AND ETTA TURNER
Back to school
Glendinning rounds up the most stylish coats, shoes, and accessories
Perfect for encouraging creative, free play at home, Stapelstein’s new ‘Inside ‘ range can be used for stacking, pouring, balancing, rolling, throwing, and more. stapelstein.de
ZIG + STAR
Zig + Star’s school shoes have a genius ‘Good-To-Grow’ removable midsole, giving you an extra half size of wear. Great value for money and better for the environment. zigandstar.com
BAGS OF STYLE
Your little one will be excited to get to class with these initial backpacks from Small Stu . Made from recycled fabrics, and spacious enough to hold all of their essentials. smallstuﬀ accessories.com
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More inspiration for heading back to class...
Better for the environment (and your pocket!), you’ll only need to buy them one coat this winter with this clever reversible style from eco-friendly brand Töastie. toastiekids.com
Perfect for young learners, the edx education® GeoStix® Letter Construction Set allows children to use their creativity and problem solving skills to form colourful and fun designs and learn letter formation. edxeducation.com 4
This classic backpack from Scandi-favourite Liewood has a padded back for comfort and a laptop compartment. liewood.com
mama BACK TO SCHOOL
1 2 3
1. Tonies, Matilda Tonie Figure, £14.99; tonies.com
2. Rockahula Kids, Starlight Hairclips, £6; rockahulakids.com
3. Bobux, Venture Waterproof Shoes, £66; bobux.co.uk
4. Djeco, Flower Watch, £23.99; tickety-boo.co.uk
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5. OYOY Living Design, Yummy Bottle, £23.50; oyoylivingdesign.co.uk
Q Can you tell us about the story behind Meri Meri?
Interview CARLY GLENDINNING
A I started Meri Meri because I wanted to pick my kids up from school – a business that fitted around my life. I soon had a team of about 70 San Francisco-based mothers crafting cards from home, collecting supplies from my basement and working around family commitments. Around my son’s 7th birthday, I was decorating his cakes with cut-out pirates on sticks and the idea for the Cupcake Kit was born. A foolproof way to ensure treats looked cute and memorable, with a choice of themed toppers. We’ve now sold over 50,000 Cupcake Kits to date!
Q What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting Meri Meri?
A It was hard to be a woman in business in the 80s and 90s. But I had an advantage, in that no-one thought I was going to be successful. I was selling handmade greetings cards and I didn’t look like competition. That helped me. Boutiques in Los Angeles turned down my home-made cards, which no-one else was making at the time but then a huge order of Christmas cards from Bergdorf Goodman at a trade show in 1987 changed everything.
Q What are the most popular party themes and trends at the moment?
A Greta Gerwig’s brilliant Barbie movie has had a huge influence so all things pink are currently popular. The classic mermaid and dinosaur themes continue to be big as does
our compostable or reusable collection as people want to host more sustainable parties. When it comes to the party table, charcuterie boards are a huge trend. Boards are being used for desserts too… little cakes, cookies, mini tarts. A wonderful way to display food and you can go to town with the table decorations.
Q As a trendsetter in the partyware space, how do you stay ahead of the curve?
A I trust my instinct. I love fashion, spotting trends and bringing ideas back to the team. Other brands copy us, so we have no choice but to innovate.
Q Where does your inspiration come from, and how are your products made?
A Inspiration comes from many sources: fashion, magazines, exhibitions, people on the street and more. To stay current and fresh we travel to London, Paris and New York. Every idea is developed in our design studio in Cheltenham, UK. Our products are handmade in the studio first before they go into production.
Q And finally, do you have any top tips for throwing the perfect children’s party?
A Start with a theme. Think of your child and go for something they love whether it’s pirates or mermaids or space. Once you’ve got the theme, everything else from cake to decorations falls into place.
188 ABSOLUTELY magazines mama XXXXXXXX Q&A
Absolutely Mama talks party planning with Meredithe Stuart - Smith , founder of Meri Meri
Everyday travel companion
Award-winning compact stroller that faces and folds both ways, packs up in seconds, and quickly converts to an agile travel system for everyday life on-the-go.
kids FASHION NOTES
Carly Glendinning rounds up the month’s best styles, looks and launches
Danish brand Liewood is known for its practical, play-ready pieces and this season is no diﬀerent. Expect perfect denim pinafores, dungarees, and jeans, as well as cosy essentials. liewood.com
How utterly cute is this retro baby knit from the new season Bobo Choses collection?
Full of playful prints, Shoreditch stockist Luna & Curious has a great selection of pieces. lunaandcurious.com
KNITS TO KNOW
Danish brand Fub is one of our favourites for timeless knits for mamas and minis. The brand only uses OEKO-TEX® certiﬁed non-mulesed wool and GOTS certiﬁed organic cotton. fub.dk
190 ABSOLUTELY magazines
Cosy & Cuddly
The new collection from dreamy Portuguese brand Bebe Organic features the most adorable cosy pieces for little ones. This season has lots of gorgeous pieces for mamas too, so you can coordinate with your mini. bebe-organic.com
MORI X PEPPA PIG
The new collection from sustainable brand Bonmot is full of crayola colour prints. Pieces range from 0-11 years.
5 of the best true blue
Parents of Peppa Pig-mad minis will appreciate how hard it is to ﬁnd pieces inspired by the popular cartoon character that are not overly garish or emblazoned with big logos.
So we were excited to see that MORI (one of our favourite sustainable brands for little ones) has launched a Peppa Pig collection that will please parents just as much as kids. Coming to the rescue for parents with little ones who refuse to wear anything that doesn't feature their favourite characters, the capsule collection includes daywear (we love the oversized George Pig sweatshirt), sleepwear, a baby sleepsack, and a very cute reversible jacket.
As usual, all of the pieces are made from the brand's signature super soft organic cotton, so you can be sure they will be gentle on little ones' delicate skin.
The highlight of the collection for us has got to be the subtle repeat print that's featured on the pyjamas, a dress, a pair of ﬂares, the jacket, sleepsack, and on the inside of a pair of dungarees. In pastel tones and with cute moon and sun motifs, it's deﬁnitely the most stylish Peppa Pig print we've come across.
The collection also gets a big tick from us for being gender neutral. Whether your little one loves Peppa, George, Mummy, or Daddy Pig there really is something to please everyone.
Sustainble baby brand MORI has launched a Peppa Pig collection
ABSOLUTELY magazines 191 mama KIDS FASHION
Corduroy jacket, £114; tinycottons.com
BONMOT Blue trousers, €78; bonmotbrand.com
LIEWOOD Denim pinafore, £70; liewood.com
STYCH Gingham Skirt, £40; stychaccessories.com
FUB Baby bonnet, €35; fub.dk
Together we create magical moments.
Everyday is magical when Mickey Mouse is around. Get to relive that magical time when you were a kid through the eyes of your baby discovering the famous Mickey Mouse for the first time. Watch your children’s eyes light up with wonder and excitement.
With the new Disney | Stokke® Collection, whether it’s sitting, sleeping or even bath time, you get to add an extra dose of magic to your everyday life. So, let's embrace that magic together, as we watch our children grow, learn, and discover the world.
©Disney Disney I Stokke® Collection
Absolutely Mama meets Rachel Walker , founder of Little Beacon
Interview CARLY GLENDINNING
Q How did you come to start Little Beacon and what’s the story behind the brand?
A Little Beacon started properly about 4 years ago but the idea grew gradually when I was waiting for my first baby to arrive. I struggled to find the simple, neutral textiles for kids that I would love in my home, so I took matters into my own hands and began my first print run with little wooden blocks borrowed from a friend’s kindling stash. It all starts with the print, the colours, and the fabric. The first attempts were far from perfect but it became a very meditative process, with no plan. So I just taught myself really, feeling my way through, lots of intuition, trial and error!
Q What’s your design process and how are your products made?
A The designs usually start with the blocks. Each block is unique, it’s a shape I’ve either carved myself, or someone has helped me
cut! I’ll develop a print slowly, with each shape being individually pressed by hand to eventually build up the completed print. When I started out, every product was hand printed by me, but as the business has grown I’ve had to look at more sustainable ways to expand our production.
Excitingly, we’ve just partnered with a new family-run, organic factory in Portugal, and sustainability is a huge focus for them. When we visited in May their factory was running about 90% off solar power.
Q How important is sustainability to the brand?
A It’s vital. It’s been one of the main drivers of the business and a consideration from day one. I only use organic cotton or oeko-tex certified linen, and have worked incredibly hard to minimise waste. It’s such a big project for us.
Q Are there any exciting things coming up that we should watch out for this season?
A Absolutely! I’m really excited to reveal all the works for The Good Paper Project, and then the new partnership with our factory in Portugal has meant we can produce a range of organic babywear essentials for the first time! I’m so pleased with them, it’s a very thrilling new chapter for Little Beacon!
Q How do you juggle the business with being a busy mama of two?
A It’s a juggle for sure! The kids are most often around, being very curious! All my studios have either been at home or very near to home, so they’re very clued up on the process, they could probably start their own rival business! But in the last year I’ve been incredibly lucky and now have a beautiful little team of freelance mamas that support me. We work super collaboratively together in the limited hours we have to tackle the work.
Q And finally, what’s a perfect family day?
A We’re currently on holiday with friends from Australia in France, and it has completely reaffirmed that our perfect family day is exploring new places together, going on an adventure, finding something delicious to eat, even if it’s a good baguette and hunk of Comte on the side of a road somewhere! Tiring ourselves out making new memories, and snuggling down at the end of the day to watch a film with the kids after dinner. Something surreal and dreamy from Studio Ghibli to send everyone off to sleep with heads full of wild ideas.
“I’ll develop a print slowly, with each shape being individually pressed by hand”
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RACHEL WALKER, FOUNDER OF LITTLE BEACON
winners of the Absolutely Mama Awards 2023!
You, our loyal readers, and our expert parenting panel here at Absolutely Mama judged each category and you can see who won each of the awards below. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted and to all the brands who took part.
Congratulations to all of our winners!
Best Nappy/Wipes Range
Kit & Kin - Gold
Waterwipes - Silver
Waterful - Bronze
Best Cot, Crib, or Moses Basket
Kiki & Sebby - Gold
MoKee - Silver
Bababing - Bronze
Most Eco-Friendly Brand
Hevea - Gold
Eeny Meeny - Silver
Grass & Air - Bronze
Best Baby Essentials Range
Nanobébé - Gold
Hevea - Silver
Once Upon A DuaBronze
Can’t Live Without Parenting Product
Mori - Gold
Annabel Karmel - Silver
Nuby - Bronze
Best Compact Stroller
Joolz - Gold
Babyzen - Silver
Leclerc Baby - Bronze
Lovevery - Gold
Voxblock - Silver
Le Toy Van - Bronze
Best Mealtime Product
Stokke - Gold
Annabel Karmel - Silver
Little Freddie - Bronze
Blade & Rose - Gold
Grass & Air - Silver
Hello Hossy - Bronze
Best For Baby Sleep
BugBag - Gold
Just Chill Baby SleepSilver
Owlet Care - Bronze
Weleda - Gold
bbhugme - Silver
Body Clock - Bronze
BabyBjörn - Gold
Organix - Silver
Scandiborn - Bronze
KIT & KIN
STOKKE BLADE & ROSE
KIKI & SEBBY MORI
AWARD WINNING BATHROOM SHOWROOM & TILE GALLERY Tel: 01784 426900 193 L ondon Road I Staines-upon-Thames I TW18 4 HR E-mail: email@example.com Monday - Saturday: 9.00am - 5.00pm www.batheandbeyond.com PROUDLY INDEPENDENTSince 1989 Over 50 Bathroom Displays l Working Displays l 4D Design Service l Quality Brands l Large Car Park
ABSOLUTELY magazines 197
Marlborough Road, W4
Situated directly off Chiswick High Road, an impressive seven bedroom house arranged across four floors. There is a generous reception room leading onto a dining room and a large garden, ideal for entertaining friends and family. On the first floor you will find the principal bedroom with a luxury en suite bathroom. The property also has a driveway with parking space for two cars, energy rating f.
Dexters Chiswick. 388 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 5TF
T: 020 8995 5439 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Parade, W4
Located within the sought after Bedford Park, this exceptional six bedroom house would make the perfect home for a growing family. Offering plenty of living space, there are three spacious reception rooms and a garden room opening onto a garden. In addition, there is a garage and a utility room. Overlooking Chiswick Common, the property is set close to the local amenities and transport links, energy rating d.
Dexters Chiswick. 388 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 5TF
T: 020 8995 4321 E: email@example.com
Wolseley Gardens, W4
£2,077 per week
This recently refurbished home has been finished to a high standard throughout. There is a generous reception room and an eat-in kitchen with patio doors opening onto a secluded garden, energy rating c.
020 8742 4100
Addison Gardens, W4
£2,000 per week
Set on a highly sought after road in the heart of Brook Green, a grand four bedroom house which has been beautifully modernised. The property has a landscaped garden and a roof terrace, energy rating d.
020 7603 0603
Cornwall Grove, W4
£1,150 per week
Ideally located next to Chiswick Lane, a remarkable four bedroom house. Offering impressive living space with a through reception and a L-shaped kitchen and dining room, energy rating c.
020 8742 4100
Beverley Road, W4 £1,558 per week
Positioned on a tree-lined road and parallel to Chiswick High Road, a five bedroom family home including a spacious reception room, an extended kitchen, a roof terrace and a garden, energy rating e.
020 8742 4100
Netheravon Road South, W4
Perfectly placed between Chiswick High Road and the River Thames, this four bedroom family home has been tastefully designed by the current owners. There is an exceptional kitchen with bi-folding doors leading onto a landscaped garden and a detached outbuilding, energy rating d.
Priory Road, W4
A three bedroom Victorian house which has been recently remodelled and extended to an excellent standard. Retaining its original period charm with a twist of modern living. There is a large reception room and an open plan kitchen and dining room, energy rating c.
020 8987 3000 firstname.lastname@example.org
020 8987 3000 email@example.com
A look at the new Riverside Gardens development of beautiful homes on the water
Thirty percent of the homes at Riverside Gardens in Weybridge had already been reserved at the multimillion pound riversideliving development, even before developers Consero announced the launch of their much anticipated show home in July.
Riverside Gardens comprise 51 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, finished to a luxurious standard. The apartments are being sold for between £350,000 - £975,000, sized between 44 sq m (475 sq ft) and 124 sq. m (1,339 sq ft). Completion of the final homes is expected in December 2023.
Jason Lawrence, Operations Director of award winning developer Consero says: “We were delighted with the fantastic response before we even opened the doors to the show home and expect the apartments to continue to be reserved quickly.
“We designed Riverside Gardens as contemporary, generously sized apartments, enclosed in four elegant pavilions, which are each named after beautiful local birds including the kingfisher and the swan. The pavilions have prominent brick gables and a mansard roof with dormers. A selection of apartments have stunning Juliet balconies, some offering spectacular views over the Engine River to the rear, and others have terraces. The carefully considered interiors maximise space and light, use subtle colours and incorporate luxurious work surfaces, high ceilings, energy-efficient high-end appliances and underfloor heating for modern 21st-century living.”
Selling agents Curchods’ Regional New Homes Manager, Caroline Rogers, says: “These exceptional apartments are aimed at professional couples, first-time buyers, downsizers, London movers, frequent travellers who wish for good access to Heathrow, and locals already from the area,
who want to enjoy the cosmopolitan riverside life. Buyers can enjoy riverside walks, boat hire, a wealth of sporting activities from paddleboarding to fishing, and shopping and dining at local eateries. The community will be perfect for those wanting to make new friends, escape from the city, or relax after work. It is just a few minute’s walk from the front door to the marina and coffee shops.”
Riverside Gardens is set amongst thick manicured hedges, rolling lawns and a beautiful, landscaped garden. There is cycle storage, each apartment has allocated secure parking and purchasers have the option of requesting the installation of an EV charging point as a purchase add-on.
Riverside Gardens is located close to Weybridge and Walton, and London is just 35 minutes away. 01932 823 623
ABSOLUTELY magazines 203 PROPERTY • PROMOTION
312 UPPER RICHMOND ROAD WEST, EAST SHEEN, RICHMOND, LONDON, SW14 7JN Tel: 020 8876 0070 • wwww.rugstoreonline.co.uk RUG STORE specialise in a wide selection of new, old and Antique Persian, Turkish, Caucasian and Turkmen Carpets. Various antique, old and new Kilims are available. We o er a professional hand-cleaning and restoration service. We buy old and antique carpetseven damaged rugs. Part exchange and evaluations. RUG_STORE_QP_ ABS_JUNE2023.indd 1 28/04/2023 11:43 That holiday feeling. Every day. More Info? markilux Designer Awnings. Made in Germany. Innovative technology and highest quality, outstanding when it comes to relaxing outdoors. Create the most alluring shade in the world. markilux showroom at Business Design Centre London N1 0QH · 52 Upper Street · T: 020 7288 6810 · markilux.co.uk Visit us NOW! markilux pergola cubic
A rare opportunity to buy new build homes in the Surrey village Weston Green
West-Sussex based Sigma Homes has launched its £18m Merrywood development, located in the affluent Surrey village of Weston Green, just south west of London. Located off Weston Green, the 1.2-acre site will comprise 26 thoughtfully designed energyefficient apartments and houses, with plentiful green space. The first phase of homes includes 12 three-bedroom detached houses, which will be ready to move into from December 2023. The spacious family homes each offer 1,370 sq ft of high-quality accommodation, designed for the requirements of modern living. Offplan prices range from £1.15m to £1.175m.
Geoff Potton, Chief Executive of Sigma Homes, said: “Weston Green is often described as the perfect suburban village, as it offers an idyllic riverside lifestyle with the added benefits of connectivity and commutability. Thanks to its quick connections to central London, the village is highly sought-after by city professionals, while there is also a wide range of quality schooling for local families. The features that make living here so special are the array of picturesque buildings and traditional architecture, the outstanding parkland and riverside, and the thriving high street with cafes, boutique
shopping and community facilities.
Sarah Jones, New Homes Board of Management Partner from Barnard Marcus’ Surbiton office, says: “Weston Green has an extremely fast-moving property market due to its highly desirable offering of community, family life, and the ease of commuting into the City. Merrywood provides house hunters with a rare opportunity to not only purchase a brand-new energy-efficient home, but the flexibility to choose from a selection of beautiful house designs within the exclusive development. From choosing your perfect plot, to working with the Sigma Homes team to add your own stamp to the specification choices, buying new at Merrywood offers very good value. Each home echoes Weston Green’s desirable traditional architecture but offers light and bright aspirational interiors, with a very high EPC-rating to minimise energy usage.”
Sigma Homes prides itself on building homes that exceed Building Regulation requirements for efficiency, renewable energy, and comfort. Each home at Merrywood will feature an EV charging point and be constructed in timberframe to maximise thermal efficiency and achieve an EPC-B energy rating. The triangular shaped site borders a number of private residences to the western and southern boundaries, while to the north east boundary is Esher Sixth Form College. The development is a short walk away from Thames Ditton train station, which offers frequent 30-minute train services to London Waterloo.
For further information and to register interest, contact appointed Sole Selling Agents Barnard Marcus 020 8390 8181 or visit merrywoodthamesditton.com
ABSOLUTELY magazines 205 PROPERTY • PROMOTION
INTERPRETATIONS OF THE DEVELOPMENT
IMAGES DEPICT CGI
Previous developments by INTRODUCING... MERRYWOOD, WESTON GREEN NOW TAKING OFF PLAN RESERVATIONS With a limited time to choose your luxury German Bauformat Kitchen* Located off the sought after leafy Weston Green, a select enclave of 12 three bedroom semi-detatched houses. All Enquires contact 0208 390 8181 www.merrywoodthamesditton.com *Subject to t&cs, please ask for further information
Somerset Road, Wimbledon Common
A delightfully charming property with self-contained annexe on a plot of 0.65 acre with scope for extension and alterations stpp. Reception hall, double reception room, sitting room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, hobby/garden room, 6 beds & 3 bath/ shower rooms (incl flat), garage & gated driveway ER/E
St Aubyn’s Avenue, Wimbledon
A beautifully presented house in a quiet cul-de-sac between Wimbledon Village and the town centre with a wonderful 124’ garden. Entrance hall, reception room, study, kitchen/dining r oom, family/media room, gym, wine cellar, self-contained suite, 6 bedrooms, 4 bath/shower rooms, OSP ER/D
Atherton Drive, Wimbledon Common
Lingfield Road, Wimbledon Village
An attractive house with many fine features located in the heart of the Village. 2 inter-connecting reception rooms, study, kitchen/ dining/family room, 4 bedrooms, 4 bath/shower rooms, delightful 117’ garden with outdoor swimming pool, garage & off-street parking ER/D
In grounds of almost 0.6 acre with planning permission granted for a separate 2 storey dwelling in a prime location. Reception/dining hall, drawing room, sitting room, conservatory/dining room, kitchen/ breakfast room, study built in a chapel style, 6 bedrooms, 4 bath/shower rooms, extensive parking ER/F Wimbledon Village Office Sales: 020 8947 9833 Lettings: 020 8879 9669
Explore our beautiful Royal Terrace Showhome We’re delighted to announce the launch of our elegant new five bedroom showhome created by Nick Auston Design. 4 & 5 bedroom homes from £1,550,000 Ready to move into this year Get in touch to find out more and book an appointment Discover our 5 bedroom showhome Sales Suite Open Daily 10am – 6pm (Thursdays 10am – 8pm) Knights Quarter, Romsey Road, Winchester SO22 5TB 01962 418 729 Price correct at time of going to press.
Experience the Finest in Highland Hospitality A spectacular hotel offering unique features and outstanding views. The Atholl Palace is the ideal location for a leisurely break, business and private conferences, weddings and functions. Visit www.athollpalace.com/special-offers/ for our latest Summer breaks! Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5LX 01796 472 400 | firstname.lastname@example.org
www.maidavaleschool.com t. 020 4511 6000 e. email@example.com Maida Vale School, 18 Saltram Crescent, London W9 3HR @MaidaValeSchool Book an open event by visiting www.maidavaleschool.com/openevents who you are matters A co-educational independent school for 11-18 year olds “Maida Vale School will be modern and innovative yet reflect many of the traditions and values established over thirty years at our schools.” - Gardener Schools Group