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HERTFORDSHIRE

Hertfordshire JUNE 2021 / £3.95

On the hunt in

CUFFLEY Tracking Ed Stafford’s next adventure

JUNE 2021

SWORDS & SCENTS The surprising story of Hitchin Lavender

SPECIAL 20 pages of inspiration and advice

ABSOLUTELY-HERTFORDSHIRE.CO.UK

Modern MAKEOVER

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How The Grove has reinvented itself

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ABSOLUTELY

Contents JUNE 2021

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26 C U LT U R E 14 ED STAFFORD

44 TOBIAS OLIVER INTERIORS

22 THE GROVE

52 THE TREND

26 HITCHIN LAVENDER

FA S H I O N & B E A U T Y 64 OANA MILLINERY

Why the adventurer is heading to Herts

A Berkhamsted showroom with a difference

Inside our cover star’s modern transformation

Surprising tales from the outdoors favourite

The latest in kitchen storage

The Herts designer who is top of the pile

FOOD & DRINK 30 KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL

68 BAKER BROTHERS

32 ANDREI LUSSMANN

76 AVIVA DAY SPA

36 RECIPES

FA M I LY 82 SAMANTHA HUNTER

News from the industry

On his Herts culinary journey

Experience the taste of Vietnam

A B S O L U T E LY H O M E 41 CARPE DIEM

Our special kicks off with the finest in beds

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Jewellery trends for the summer

On launching a brand new academy

A B S O L U T E LYH E R T F O R D S H I R E .C O. U K The online guide to inspirational living that helps you stay one step ahead of the crowd and gives you the chance to win exclusive prizes.

Improving children's self-esteem

87 HOWND Pet superfood in Borehamwood

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EDITOR MARK KEBBLE DIGITAL EDITOR LAYLA TURNER ART DIRECTOR PAWEL KUBA SENIOR DESIGNER MIKE ROBERTS MID-WEIGHT DESIGNER REBECCA NOONAN MAGAZINE MANAGER PATRICK DUNNE MEDIA CONSULTANTS CLAIRE FREENEY HAYLEY LANT BRAND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER NAVINDER LALL FINANCIAL DIRECTOR JERRIE KOLECI CREDIT CONTROL MANAGER ALEXANDRA HVID DIRECTORS CRAIG DAVIES, LEAH DAY, JAMES FUSCHILLO NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ALEXANDRA HUNTER MANAGING DIRECTOR SHERIF SHALTOUT

For editorial enquiries please email: mark@zest-media.com For advertising enquiries please call 07862 000612 or email: claire.freeney@zest-media.com

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Fo l l ow Us O n Fa c e b o o k @ABSOLUTELYHERTFORDSHIRE T wi t t e r @ABSOLUTELYHERTS In s t a g ra m @ABSOLUTELYHERTFORDSHIRE We b si t e

a b s o l u t e l y - h e r t fo r d s h i r e . c o . u k

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THE HIGH SHERIFF OF HERTFORDSHIRE

Welcome

Absolutely Hertfordshire is all about the people that make this county special, so we thought we’d ask them to open our magazine. First up, the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Lionel Wallace

THE EDITOR’S June issue highlights

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I

was born and brought up in Hertfordshire and know it reasonably well, although I am still very often surprised by the hidden areas of immense beauty that I discover on a casual wander or drive around the county. What I love most is the people. I have travelled significantly around the world, but always enjoy coming home to Hertfordshire. It is here that I received the investment as a young person from not only my parents and family, but work colleagues and community leaders, which still holds good for my vision and outlook on life.This is one of the reasons why I am passionate as High Sheriff to create opportunities for young people. My Youth in Herts programme looks to strengthen the very powerful investment made in young people through compulsory education, by the focus on civic and community values through leadership skills development. Working with the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, we aim to deliver the Young Leaders Award programme to do this. This is my first pillar, a programme that recognises each individual’s ability to serve regardless of where they sit on the academic spectrum. It is confidence building at this stage that spurs on the entrepreneurial skills to create great businesses that look at problems and develops customer focused solutions. Opportunities for great mentors are present through various programmes and I am delighted to be working with Jack Parsons and The Youth Group on making this vision of supporting as many deserving young people as possible to grow their own business a reality, subject to funding. When we build self-respecting and serving young leaders in our community, this has a direct correlation to how we see society itself operating and fabulous community relations. This is Hertfordshire – a most extraordinarily generous community of people.

Charles Elliott Inside the sculptor's Herts studio

O N T H E C OV E R Photographer: Catherine Harbour Stylist: Antonia Kraskowski Hair & makeup: Caroline Piasecki using Vanderohe Model: Ariana Damant at Nevs Fashion assistant: Gavrielle Weiss Location: The Grove, Hertfordshire thegrove.co.uk • Pleated dress, £1380, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi at Fenwick fenwick.co.uk Suede heels, £195, LK Bennett lkbennett.com Gold earrings, from a selection, Aaria aaria.co.uk

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Grow your own How to add colour to your garden

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Absolutely Home 20 pages of interviews, tips and advice

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Wish LIST 10 things we Absolutely love COMPILED BY

PENDLE HARTE

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C U LT S TAT U S Couverture's latest arrivals fuse new and emerging designers with more established cult brands. Seasonal favourites include beautiful floral print silk dresses from Christian Wijnants and blooming puff sleeve blouses of Rejina Pyo mixed with slow fashion labels Untitled Co. and Ssone. couvertureandthegarbstore.com

TRUE BLUE Redefining relaxed Scandinavian glamour, Valle&Vik's pared back silhouettes showcase folk-art inspired prints and brilliant colours splashed on perfectly cut luxurious silk. The Cannes Do dress in turquoise, £415 valleandvik.com

EDITOR’S PICK

RARE F LOW E R

C O L O U R M AT C H

Guerlain's annual limited edition bottle of Muguet lily of the valley fragrance is an equisite creation by young Parisian textile and paper designer Lucie Touré in a limited edition of 4,500. £450 guerlain.com

Anthropologie's new summer collection is a riot of print, pattern and colour with beautiful flowing dresses and bright summer knits including this striking multi-colour cardigan. anthropologie.com

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ABSOLUTELY • LOVES

O N E T O WAT C H This ladies TAG Heuer watch is part of the Formula 1 collection and features a blue dial with Arabic and index markers with the date function at 3 o'clock. £1,000 bakerbrothersdiamonds.com

STELLA FOR G R E E N P E AC E

HOOP HOOP Cartilage Cartel's Stoned Huggies in gold and turquoise have a summery feel and are set to bring joy to your ears. £25 cartilagecartel.com

Stella McCartney is releasing a capsule supporting Greenpeace’s campaign to stop deforestation in the Amazon. Launched as part of the Summer 2021 collection, the Stella x Greenpeace capsule features graphics inspired by vintage eco activist designs on sweatshirts made from soft organic cotton in pale blue and white marble colourways. stellamccartney.com

TO U C H OF CLASS Fishpools’ Lottie accent chair brings a touch of Art Deco style to your home – the perfect focal point for any cosy corner. £249 fishpools.co.uk

IN THE SHADE GIGI Studios' new sunglasses designs are made in natural acetate and inspired by the 1970s. All of them have the triangular details characteristic of the Vanuard collection. gigistudios.com

DIVE IN Flattering swimwear is on everybody's wishlist at the moment and Amelie's Follies has a great selection. We love the Hypnotique Bette Miraclesuit in blue. ameliesfollies.co.uk

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C U LT U R E

DRAWING CREATIVITY LIVING CRAFTS

17-20 JUNE, HATFIELD PARK

Living Crafts, the popular heritage festival, is heading back to Hertfordshire for its 47th year. Expect to see hundreds of independent designer-makers and artists, who will be selling their unique crafts as well as offering workshops and demonstrations. livingcrafts.co.uk

Agenda 12 • Ed Stafford 14 • The Grove 22 A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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The Agenda H E RTS ' H OT T E ST H A P P E N I N G S

F I L M

Hideaway Cinema From 20 May VARIOUS LOCATIONS Hideaway Cinema is coming back this summer, with locations dotted around the UK. Film fans are invited to choose from a number of movies to enjoy outside on warm summer evenings in some of the UK's most picturesque locations. Scheduled films include Mamma Mia and Pulp Fiction. hideawaycinema.com

P H OTO G R A P H Y

Nature Photography FO RT Y H A L L • 27 JU NE

This workshop will look at how to take great close ups of flowers and insects, how to compose colourful images of flower beds and gardens, and how to use light effectively in flower and plant photography. The spectacular, vibrant patterns and colours of flowers and insects, especially in early summer, provide wonderful photographic opportunities. fortyhallestate.co.uk

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F E S T I VA L

SUSTFEST2021

Until 6 June ST ALBANS SUSTFEST2021 returns with 100+ events to inspire sustainable living and connect people with nature. Now in its fifth year, the festival begins and ends with a huge Sustainable Market in St Albans town centre which runs in association with sponsor, St Albans Business Improvement District (BID). The market features everything from fashion to crafts. sustfest.org

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CULTURE • WHAT'S ON

A RT

The Living Hand Until 31 October HENRY MOORE STUDIOS & GARDEN Wonderful news to us all, when lockdown is lifted visitors to Henry Moore Studios & Garden will be encouraged to touch sculptures on show, as part of a new exhibition curated by acclaimed artist and author, Edmund de Waal. Safety measures will be in place, but this will be a timely reminder of how much we missed the experience of touch. henry-moore.org

A DATE WITH

LO N D O N See the city through fresh eyes with a unique tour

TREASURE HUNT EXPERIENCES Take a journey through London with HiddenCity and experience undiscovered places and secrets about the capital. Opt for the Cheshire Cat game and solve a range of clues on an ‘adventure in the strange, surreal and absurd’. inthehiddencity.com

E X H I B I TI O N

ELECTRIC CITY:

GOD’S OWN JUNKYARD TAKEOVER AT LEADENHALL MARKET

This Month’s Must See

26 May - 31 July MONUMENT From 26 May, Leadenhall Market is getting a neon makeover from the brains behind God’s Own Junkyard. Designed to inject colour and joy back into our lives after a difficult year, the exhibition will celebrate the reopening of the market’s 35 restaurants, bars and shops with an immersive technicolour light production. leadenhallmarket.co.uk

GUIDED WALKS

H E RT S F E ST I VA L OF M U SIC

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4 -10 J UN E • VARIOUS

ostponed last year due to the pandemic, Hertfordshire Festival of Music will be particularly special as it will be the first time many in the county have enjoyed live music for over a year. Events will take place across Hertford, with a real highlight being the prodigiously talented violinist Chloe Hanslip (right) named as this year’s Principal Artist. hertsmusicfest.org.uk

Discover the history behind the streets of London with a guided walk. The Jack The Ripper Tour takes you through the dark streets of Whitechapel and Spitalfields, revealing the city's dark history. The tour is dedicated to the victims of Jack The Ripper. walks.com

HOP ON, HOP OFF

Play tourist for the day with one of London’s famous open top bus tours. See London illuminated with a ‘London By Night’ bus trip, or enjoy a night of laughs with ‘Comedy Night On An Open Top Bus’. Public transport has never been so much fun. goldentours.com

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Step into the

UNKNOWN After months of streaming and sofas, there's no-one better than Ed Stafford to encourage us back out into nature. Here he talks about the Amazon, lockdown and new-born twins By MARK KEBBLE

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CULTURE • INTERVIEW LEARN TO MAKE FIRE WITH ED STAFFORD

E

d Stafford has experienced more adversity than many of us can ever imagine – from walking the length of the Amazon, to being dropped solo on an uninhabited island and being “left for dead” – but has he ever had to deal with dodgy wi-fi after months of being cooped up at home? Despite my system, twice, crashing, Stafford remains calm and can finally answer my question about, after a life full of thrills and spills, the boredom of lockdown. “I’m not complaining at all,” he insists. “Like everyone, we have had a slightly twitchy period, not really because of the actual illness itself, but because it has just shaken everything. Weirdly, what I do has been really good experience to go through something like this. I am always dropped in the middle of nowhere and suddenly you have got to cope with a completely new landscape, and you don’t have all the answers.” It’s a decade since the ex-Army captain became known to the public, when Walking the Amazon was first aired on our TV screens. It was a quite astonishing feat – and earned Stafford a Guinness World Record, no less – and he encountered all manner

NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO GET BACK OUTDOORS

“Weirdly, what I do has been really good experience to go through something like the past year” of obstacles, from mosquitoes to the very real threat of death. “Before I went everyone told me it was impossible,” he reflects. “We went and did it in a slightly ‘two fingers up at the world’ bolshy way. People who had never been to the jungle would tell me it was impossible. “It was gruelling at times,” he says almost nonchalantly. “You are waking up, putting wet clothes on, being bitten by mosquitoes and ants – it was those little things that were probably the most sapping of motivation. But I thought it was possible [to do]. I think I also have a faith in human kindness. There were some dodgy people who lined the route of the Amazon, drug smugglers and opportunists, and some of the mining community is pretty lawless – people have disappeared for fronting up against them. But I just thought I was not a threat to them, so I was as polite and respectful as possible to everyone I met. Looking back I am so proud of what I did and it has led to the most amazing opportunities in life.” TV shows and books have followed, and Stafford’s passion to pass on his skills to the next generation also means Hertfordshire families will benefit this summer. He has joined forces with Camp Wilderness, who run the Cuffley Camp site, to create weekend exploration

events. “Everyone has different levels of experience of the outdoors,” Stafford says, “so there is a three-day camp for kids who would just benefit massively from being outdoors and sleeping under canvas, and we have evolved that to the five-day residential camp. This takes things to another level.” Considering the extent of my childhood experience of the outdoors involved a scout camping trip that was cut short after a day when my stomach decided it did not like cooking over a fire, what children visiting Cuffley Camp will experience is astonishing. “There is the fire lighting, for example,”

CAMP WILDERNESS TEACHES CHILDREN NEW SKILLS

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CULTURE • INTERVIEW

CAMP WILDERNESS

AT C U F F L E Y C A M P CUFFLEY CAMP IS THE PERFECT SETTING FOR AN ED STAFFORD RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND

“If you are free to have unstructured play, then you can learn by your own mistakes” Stafford explains. “Here you have more time practicing and learning. There is ponassing fish, there’s foraging, it’s all a little bit tougher. Part of the whole remit of putting people in situations where they don’t have all the answers is not wrapping them in cotton wool and not making life too easy for them.” During Stafford’s residential camps, children can expect to find themselves dealing with emergency scenarios, complete with actors, where individual subjects they have been taught all come together in a meaningful exercise. After

all, you just never know when you may need to rely on your own knowledge and what’s around you. “When I walked the Amazon, I didn’t know how to light a fire with two sticks,” Stafford says. “So to come away from [one of the camps], to be able to master the bow drill and blow an ember into flames, is a really cool thing for a kid to do. If you go into woods and you don’t have anything, then you have got more confidence to know the type of wood you need to get a fire going.” Times are different in the 21st century, of course, and even though I wasn’t a particularly adventurous child, there were some things that I did that were off the (health and safety) chart. “When I was young, I was free to go and play in the fields behind my house, build dams and ditches and that sort of stuff. I think for me having something like Camp Wilderness offers a safe environment to have these explorative times. If you are free to have unstructured play, then you can learn by your own mistakes.” Lockdown restrictions permitting, Stafford will soon be back traversing the globe and exploring far flung places, and you get the feeling that he can’t wait. “It’s been a very domesticated time,” he smiles. “I have spent the last year and a

“It’s awesome,” Ed Stafford enthuses about Hertfordshire’s Camp Wilderness site. “The woods are stunning and those sleeping under canvas will be in a glorious setting. It has got everything you could possibly want to have for an adventure as a kid.” Kicking off in July, the weekends are designed to immerse families into a world of exploration that is designed to be fun, challenging and exciting. There’s a choice of three weekends: the two-day experience to reset the family dynamic out in nature, the three-day version that is designed to test the mind and body, and Stafford’s five-day advanced weekend, which will offer more challenging bushcraft and survival experiences. “We are very fortunate to have Cuffley [as a location],” says Camp Wilderness managing director, Max Folkes. “A lot of people in Hertfordshire know it from when they were young, it has been open for over 100 years. The advance course Ed has put on will push children, at a time where many have been sat in front of technology for over a year. It’s going to be a fantastic summer.”

campwilderness.co.uk

half being at home for the entirety of my wife’s pregnancy with twins [Mary and Camilla, younger sisters to Ranulph], and being around for the first seven months of their life, which I am utterly privileged to have been there for. But… I am slightly bored of being a domestic help! I want get out and be a provider again.” A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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“Creativity is at boiling point, so I am being sent some of the most interesting scripts”

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CULTURE • PROFILE

the m a k i n g of a

M A ST E R

We delve into the key inspirations that have shaped the career of Hertfordshire sculptor, Charles Elliott By MARK KEBBLE

I discovered I had a talent for sculpting by trial and error. I always liked breaking down the anatomy, muscles and proportions of animals then sketching them before creating them out of the material I’d chosen. I was told by my teacher “art is 80% observation and 20% sculpting” and it’s something I definitely believe in even now.

CHARLES ELLIOTT GETS TO WORK

With a fairly artistic family background I was encouraged and supported. My uncle is a blacksmith and we used to tinker in his workshop as children. I always had a passion for art and found my way through school by being “arty”– I did GSCE & A-level art, but the rest is all self-taught, by trial and error, watching others, listening and asking the appropriate questions when needed to make sure I now provide the best outcome for our clients with my team. I feel the way I have done it has taken me on a journey rather than being told how to do it – so I guess I’m a little more open minded and more of a daring sculptor. It enables us to push boundaries.

One Christmas I decided to sneak off to my uncle’s workshop for a break from the family and festivities and thought I would try to make something. We had a skip full of old horseshoes from my brother and the local farriers and I thought an “upcycled sculpture” would be a great start. We live close to Ashridge National Trust Estate and the stags up there have always been the talking point in the local towns, so I thought I would give it my best shot – even I was shocked by the first outcome! I popped it on social media when I had finished and it was sold within the week. It fuelled me to get more creative. I have been brought up around horses and my mother encouraged us as kids to give it a go. I was even a member of our local Pony Club branch as a child for many years with my infamous pony Cheesy Cracker! Horses just amaze me, how they have literally served our country from working the streets of London, farming the land to working alongside our armies in the war. A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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Shop Handmade

British Craft

Workshops

Artisan Food & Drink

Live Entertainment

Showcasing the UK’s finest designer-makers

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CULTURE • PROFILE

“I love our Bronze Horse Head. You can almost feel the war horse emotion”

THE BRONZE HORSE HEAD

AN EARLY SKETCH

For thousands of years they’ve been a part of our very important British history. My favourite time is when I get to work in my Hertfordshire studio. Once we have had all the conversations with the customer I will sit and brainstorm for a few days, analyse the animal in question if there is one and do some research into their anatomy, muscle forms and confirmation. Then it’s pen to paper to sketch it. I will do a few different stances and styles when it comes to the animals, and with the contemporary or abstract pieces I’ll work on the movement in a few different ways. Once the client is happy and has picked the favourite, I then go to the steel “blackboard” floor where I sketch it to scale on the floor in chalk to check it’s all correct… then it’s time to start the build!

My aim was to always try to create sculpture to suit the area in which the clients requested it to be in. I love the variety that I’m able to create, which enables me to create for garden space, outdoor areas, public art, stately country homes to town houses and everything else in between. I am often asked what my favourite piece of work is. I can’t pick just one if I’m being very honest. I absolutely love our Bronze Horse Head, which is currently on show at FORM Sculpture Exhibition at Sculpture by the Lakes – it has a different energy about it, you can almost feel war horse emotion from it, and has encouraged me to continue pushing myself. I hope to create monumental public art sculptures that can be cherished for hundreds of years for many generations to enjoy. Myself and my fiancée Sammy hope to have our own sculpture parks and galleries to exhibit our sculptures and other artists’ work, this would be open to people all over the world to see and enjoy. I’d also really like to open up opportunities to young artists and sculptors to allow them to come to us to learn different methods and express their creativity. elliottoflondon.co.uk

ELLIOTT OF LONDON NOW CREATE GARDEN SCULPTURES

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TRANSFORMATIVE

EFFECT

Scene of Absolutely Hertfordshire’s first ever cover shoot, The Grove’s Anna Darnell explains how the luxury hotel has revamped its look By MARK KEBBLE

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CULTURE • COVER STORY THE GLASSHOUSE WAS REIMAGINED IN 2019

The last year must have been an incredibly difficult time for The Grove. Have there been any positives? Looking back on the past year it still seems a little surreal, but there have certainly been some positives. We’ve invested in our hotel, grounds and team, and have been fortunate enough to have some time to help our local community in more ways than one. Right from the get-go, a team of dedicated colleagues volunteered their newfound free time, making meals for local hospital staff at Watford General. Over on the golf course, we were incredibly lucky to remain open for the majority of the year, which kept team morale high. And when the course did have to close, plenty of our local community made use of the estate by taking their daily walk through The Grove’s beautiful grounds. Perhaps most importantly, we had the time to invest in the entire estate. Just days before the first lockdown, Martin Hulbert Design had finished rejuvenating the Lounges and the refurbishment of the first 50 bedrooms had also come to an end. Fast forward to now and The Grove as you knew it before has been completely reinvented. What can we expect from the newly refurbished bedrooms? Undoubtedly the largest part of the refurbishment, all 189 bedrooms in the West Wing have been completely reimagined with luxurious modern TIME FOR TEA?

THE MARTIN HULBERT DESIGN TEAM HAVE CREATED STUNNING INTERIORS

“Fast forward to today and The Grove as you knew it before has been completely reinvented” touches and a scheme to reflect the rolling English countryside on our doorstep. There are two different colour schemes: one is a fresh green and the other a warm sepia, inspired by the British seasons. Bespoke, handwoven wall hangings sourced from Italy sit above king size beds, while soft velvet furnishings offer luxurious comfort and the ideal setting in which to unwind after a day spent exploring the grounds. Whilst the refreshed interiors are a very important part of the bedroom refurbishment, so too are the technology enhancements. As well as a dedicated lighting panel to set the mood, each bedroom comes with access to Netflix and Disney+. Have any other areas of the hotel been remastered? Masterminded by Martin Hulbert Design, the refurbishments began with the reimagining of The Glasshouse restaurant in 2019 and have continued ever since, injecting a new lease of life into the whole hotel. With breath-taking contemporary interiors featuring kinetic sculptures overhead and a new crital-style orangery, The Glasshouse promises an international theatrical feast. In summer, guests dine with beautiful views of the formal gardens, and in winter the outdoor fire pit makes the perfect spot to cosy up under a blanket, cocktail in hand. The Lounges were ready for guests just before the first lockdown, so sadly, it’s remained relatively unused throughout the past year. That being said, since re-opening, it has been full with afternoon tea bookings

by day and residents enjoying the all-new cocktail bar in the evening. As you step through from room to room, the interiors move from rich blue to comforting neutrals, ending with the wonderfully bold library. Each space boasts bespoke artwork and even some re-upholstered furniture, as a nod to the previous chapter in the hotel’s history. At the other end of the property, the warm and welcoming The Stables restaurant and bar has also had a design refresh, along with a new dining ethos. Taking a step beyond organic, regenerative agriculture is placed firmly at the centre of The Stables narrative – it’s all about small-scale farming as nature intended, resulting in nutrient-rich dishes that are as delicious as they are sustainable. Finally, the hotel lobby now has a new look with rich, earthy tones and warm, layered upholstery – the perfect welcome! The Glasshouse and The Stables are both firm favourites amongst many Hertfordshire residents. What’s the plan for these restaurants over the coming months? In April, we welcomed a new executive chef to The Grove, Maarten Geschwindt. Having previously worked at The Savoy, The Wolseley and Odette’s, Maarten brings masses of experience, along with a passion for the provenance of food, sourcing ingredients from small, sustainable artisan producers. We’re very excited to see how Maarten takes our dining experiences to new heights. THE FOOD OFFERING REMAINS KEY

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RALPH'S BEACH IS A POPULAR ATTRACTION THE BEDROOMS HAVE BEEN REVAMPED

“There is a jam-packed schedule, including everything from hawking displays to sandcastle competitions” It’s not just the interiors you’ve transformed during the various UK lockdowns. Could you tell us a little more about the five enhanced activity areas? Our brand new Anouska’s Kids Club is based in a lovely little lodge, beside the day nursery. Managed by OFSTEDregistered Old Macdonald’s, it offers solace for our residents who want to escape for a child-free spa treatment, round of golf or romantic dinner for two. HAVE FUN GETTING AROUND THE GROUNDS

Set in the Walled Garden, Jemima’s Kitchen Garden is a true haven of biodiversity, providing a beautiful space for guests to explore and plentiful produce for our chefs. We’re even making our very own honey (well, the bees are doing the hard work for us). This summer, over at Ralph’s beach, we’re being joined by Jude’s ice cream. Our guests will be able to lounge by the beach, take a dip in our heated outdoor pool and enjoy the tastiest ice-cream to top it off. Asher’s Woodland Trails have had a huge transformation, from new musical instruments to our new archery activity area and masses of wildflowers planted by our very talented team of gardeners. And last but by no means least, Gabriel’s Football Pitch has mostly been used by Football Escapes, one of our brand partners who provide football camps and coaching, courtesy of ex-Premier League football players and famous faces alike. This feature will appear in the June issue, so what plans do you have for the summer? We have a dedicated activities team who have planned a jam-packed schedule, including everything from hawking displays

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to sandcastle competitions and forest camps. In May half term and August, Football Escapes are returning once again, following the success of the camps in 2020. We also have two new restaurants for our guests to dine in. Madhu’s will be returning after their last pop up was cut short by lockdown restrictions – guests can expect South Asian dishes fit for royalty. We will also be joined by Jimmy Garcia again this summer, as he brings a taste of his Southbank BBQ Club to the Hertfordshire countryside. Set in the Walled Garden, guests will have the choice of two dining experiences – the relaxed a la carte BBQ Club and immersive dining experience, Jimmy’s Garden Table.

T H E G R OV E Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire WD3 4TG. 01923 807807 • thegrove.co.uk

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Experience summer at The Grove 20 June - 1 September — As a reader of Absolutely Hertfordshire, experience summer at The Grove and enjoy a complimentary welcome drink at the Lounges and a bottle of wine with dinner. Terms and conditions apply. To book, visit thegrove.co.uk/absolutely or call 01923 296010, referencing Absolutely.

The Grove | Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire WD3 4TG 01923 296010 | www.thegrove.co.uk

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21/05/2021 16:27


HITCHIN’S historic HERB With lavender season here in time for lockdown easing, we venture back in time at one of Hertfordshire’s most scenic spots By KRISTIANNA ENGBRECHT

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CULTURE • OUTDOORS

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trolling around Hitchin’s lavender fields today, you’d probably be surprised to learn that the plant first came to the UK to prepare for the onslaught of battle. The use of lavender can be traced back 2,500 years to the Mediterranean, Middle East and India, and it was most likely introduced in the UK by the Romans who would have used it as an antiseptic for battle wounds or for cooking and washing: thus the name lavender after the Latin word “lavare” – to wash. With early uses such as treating migraines, curing infection and preventing disease, lavender has had a long history of soothing pain and calming stress – and even now it is one of the oldest perfumes used in England. It’s little wonder, then, that Hitchin Lavender will soon be welcoming the tourist throngs, where each summer their fields are open to the public welcoming in tens of thousands of visitors a year to witness the blooms. Family-run for more than 100 years over the span of five generations, Cadwell Farm is home to lavender and traditional arable crops alike. Peak flowering season occurs between mid-June to mid-August. There visitors can find two main species of lavender, explains Emily Lovett from Hitchin

Lavender. “Angustifolia, which makes up the first seven rows on the left-hand side and on the far right, and Intermedia or Lavandin, which makes up the majority of the field,” she explains. “Our season begins with the Angustifolia, which blooms between mid-June till the end of July. The Lavandin blooms between mid-July to the middle of August.” In addition to lavender, Cadwell Farm is also home to a wildflower patch and a sunflower field. Lavender fields such as this one are rooted in a history that can be traced back to the early 1500s, when Hitchin became one of two major lavender producers in England. As lavender became more and more popular for medicine and perfume, Harry Perks established a pharmacy. From there his grandson would forge a partnership known as Perks & Llewellyn, which gained fame for their renowned lavender products in the latter half of the 19th century. Despite the later evaporation of the company, a replica of their pharmacy can be viewed on site in the Hitchin Lavender museum. Provided by the Hitchin Historical Society, guests can visit the pharmacy and learn all about the history of lavender in Hitchin. Since then, lavender was introduced to the Cadwell Farm in 2000 by Alexander and Zoe Hunter, where its production for essential oil has flourished, keeping the lavender legacy alive in Hitchin. In 2012, Tim Hunter and Maria Noel Castro de Hunter were paid a visit by Queen Elizabeth II on her Diamond Jubilee, where she was gifted a bouquet of assorted locally grown flowers and a basket of essential oils, the same that her great grandmother Queen Victoria would have received 150 years prior. This summer, guests will be able to witness fields that span over 30 miles. “When in flower these rows create an amazing sea of purple where visitors are welcome to

“When in flower these rows create an amazing sea of purple” walk through and pick their own lavender,” says Lovett. Visitors can also shop for a larger selection of products made from the lavender on site. These include gins, jams, marmalades, essential oils, wellbeing products and handmade pieces from local artists found exclusively at Hitchin Lavender. Hitchin Lavender also provides a variety of activities and workshops that run throughout the summer for those looking for a touch of relaxation among the beauty of these fields. Outdoor activities pencilled in for this summer include a full moon meditation, Pilates, yoga and the return of the outdoor cinema – a world away from those battle-laden fields of yesteryear. hitchinlavender.com A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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23/04/2021 13:34


FOOD & DRINK

MIX OF INGREDIENTS FOX & HOUNDS

James and Bianca Rix, who’ve independently owned and run the Fox & Hounds in Hunsdon for 15 years, have transformed the pub into a community hub as well as a pub and restaurant with shop and café following the success of the pop-up shop they ran during the COVID-19 lockdown. foxandhounds-hunsdon.co.uk

Food Notes 30 • Lussmanns 32 • Recipes 36 A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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WHAT TO DRINK

GRAPE news Wine recommendations for the month

TASTING NOTES

Hertfordshire's food news and most exciting openings this month B y L AY L A T U R N E R

By WINE&SOMETHING

Champagne Corbon Absolument Brut NV  £40 This non-vintage Champagne grown from just 2.7ha has a base of 2009 paired with other recent vintages, and offers a truly appealing palate of creamy almonds, white flowers and lots of sweet, juicy cherries. This has flesh and fruit, and finishes polished and elegant.

Domaine Gueguen Petit Chablis 2016  £15 A Petit Chablis that offers wonderful freshness in a rich vintage. This moderately simple but flavoursome wine opens up with notes of smoky gunflint that is further fleshed out by red apples and lime. Unlike some other Petit Chablis, the grapes for this one are grown on the region’s famous Kimmeridgian soil.

Gros Ventre High Country Red Passe-tout-Grains 2017  £25 This unique wine delivers a lifted nose and crunchiness on the palate. It offers aromas of pomegranate, cherry, violets and sweet spice. The Gamay brings supple and generous red fruit flavours with lively acidity. A wonderful example of this style of wine, rarely seen outside of Burgundy.

WINE AND SOMETHING Ambitious, innovative and gratifyingly different, Wine&Something support small family run wineries around the world.

Absolutely readers enjoy a 10% discount with Wine&Something using the code ABSOLUTELY10 wineandsomething.com

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Feel The Love T H E I V Y ST A L B A N S B R A S S E R I E

We all deserve some fun this summer. The Ivy St Albans Brasserie is launching its ‘Summer Of Love’ campaign to celebrate the reopening of indoor dining. Alongside The Ivy’s much-loved menus (which will be refreshed with seasonal dishes), guests will be able to enjoy entertainment provided by live DJs as well as an array of refreshing summer of love cocktails. We can’t wait. 1-3 Verulam Road, St Albans AL3 4DA theivystalbans.com

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FOOD & DRINK• NOTES

BRUNCH DATE The booziest brunches to enjoy this month

D E VO N S H I R E T E R R AC E

Young at heart ALBAN'S WELL

If you enjoy disco balls and smoke machines , then boogie on down to Devonshire Terrace to enjoy their Disco Brunch. Every saturday from the 29th of May, guests can enjoy bottomless cocktails alongside a brunch dish of your choice. Devonshire Square, EC2

St Albans is set to welcome a new pub to the high street with the opening of Alban’s Well. Located on the bustling St Peter’s Street, the new Young’s pub has taken over the ground floor of the former BHS site, undergoing an extensive refurbishment to create a 168-cover pub and dining room, complete with 62-cover alfresco patio. Seasonal British menus will champion underutilised and ethically sourced ingredients. albanswell.co.uk

GI N PLEASE PUDDINGSTONE DISTILLERY

Small batch gin producer Puddingstone Distillery has been awarded Distillery of the Year 2021 at The Gin Guide Awards after picking up three category wins and a highly commended for the four gins in the Campfire Gin range. This is a great achievement for the Tring distillery, founded by Ben and Kate Marston. puddingstonedistillery.com

T H E A N T H O LO G I ST Sometimes, you just need to have a sing. Lift your spirits by paying a visit to Motown Brunch, the latest offering by The Anthologist. Sing along to classics by Beyonce and Aretha Franklin whilst enjoying dishes including pancake stacks, eggs royale and braised short ribs with polenta masks. Happy weekend. 58 Gresham Street, EC2

S U S TA I N A B L E

CHOICE

Apple of our eye

SPRING

BRAMLEYS

Bramleys is a family-owned restaurant based in Oakwood. Their focus is to use the freshest seasonal produce as well as some foraged goods. Their ultimate goal is to extract as much as they can from every single ingredient while creating this unique, flavoursome menu. bramleysrestaurant.co.uk

T H E F O L LY West End Drag Brunch by The Folly is set to be an experience like no other. Featuring drag queens from top West End shows such as Kinky Boots, it’s a fun filled day of entertainment. Guests can enjoy 90 minutes of a bottomless cocktail of their choice alongside a range of grazing plates. 41 Gracechurch Street, EC3

Skye Gyngell, acclaimed chef and owner of Spring restaurant in Somerset House, is opening Spring Farm Shop in London. The products on offer will all be sustainably sourced from ethical farmers, and will include jams, vinegars and preserves. springrestaurant-shop.co.uk A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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21/05/2021 11:37


SUSTAINING

LIFE

The hospitality industry has been through the ringer, but Andrei Lussmann – the owner of four Hertfordshire restaurants – sees light at the end of the tunnel By MARK KEBBLE

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FOOD & DRINK • INTERVIEW

LUSSMANNS OFFERS SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FOOD

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ndrei Lussmann is well-known around these parts, with four restaurants bearing his name, as well as a commendable approach to sustainability. He is a founding member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, winner of the Food Made Good Awards 2018 ‘Source Fish Responsibly’ and now the only restaurant group currently in the UK to be completely MSC-friendly. But then along came a pandemic. “We might be a sustainable restaurant,” he muses,

“but the most sustainable thing you can do is make sure your staff get paid.” We are speaking a couple of weeks before diners, finally, can head back inside their favourite restaurants, but rather than twiddling his thumbs for the past 15 months, Lussmann has been busy. “It’s been quite an exhausting year,” he adds, “and it’s been a year where the core team have had to rely on their resilience and their ability to innovate.” When the first lockdown arrived and hospitality closed, Lussmann wanted to continue to support the local community with a food ‘To Go’ delivery service, so he had to turn the business into an e-commerce

“The most sustainable thing you can do is make sure your staff get paid” LUSSMANNS ST ALBANS

ANDREI LUSSMANN

site within 30 hours. It was the start of something special. Lussmanns began delivering simple pre-prepared cookat-home dishes, but also artisan breads, sustainable fish, fruit and vegetable boxes, premier cheeses and drinks. The service was very popular right from its launch. With the arrival of summer and the easing of restrictions, Lussmanns created burger and hotdog BBQs outside its main restaurants. After a brief period when restaurants reopened and then shut down again, Lussmanns changed the burger business to a “Saturday Night Takeaway” order and collect service (then also a midweek version). The “Strictly Burger” was enjoyed by hundreds of Herts residents while watching Strictly on the television. And recently Lussmanns devised the “Celebration Boxes” – premium supper boxes (think steak, lobster, premium sustainable fish) to share, with everything needed to mark a very special occasion, including sauces, vegetables, sides, puds and wine. These flew off the shelves for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day and proved that, a year on from the first lockdown, people were still craving a luxury experience for that special day. You’d think, as owner of a business that has created something that has been in demand, Lussmann would want to continue offering this side dish to the main course – but you’d be wrong. “We are closing down the ‘To Go’ service,” he says simply. “I am very aware we A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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CAMPFIRE GIN

From the Distillery of the Year 2021 The multi-award winning gin range to share with friends around the campfire.

Visit Puddingstone Distillery on Fridays & Saturdays for gin tastings FREE delivery on orders over £35 at puddingstonedistillery.com Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 4NT

At The Cricketers, we are known CAMPFIRE GIN SHOP TAS TINGS TOUR EVENINGS EVENTS for our great service and food. Get together with friends or family for

a truly special dining experience Visit our gin distillery on Fridays & Saturdays Ts&Cs – offer applies to all orders that include a 50cl bottle or 3 x 10cl gift pack

Enjoy a quick drink or light-bite in our traditional bar, or dine in our contemporary restaurant. If the weather is nicer, we have our picturesque garden, overlooking the common and until September, our spacious marquee for that outside-in experience This is perfect for groups and private parties.

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Or for that real outdoor luxury get cosy in the comfort of your at puddingstonedistillery.com very own heated dining pod*. Settle in with friends and family, entertain, have a meeting or celebrate that special occasion under the stars. In our dining pods we offer our full menu, alternatively you can just hire the dome for drinks and nibbles with friends. We have three beautifully furnished, lit and heated private dining pods to choose from with their own bluetooth speaker and seat 6 guests in comfort. DINE WITH US! Whatever the THE CRICKETERS OF REDBOURN weather and East Common, Hertfordshire AL3 7ND occasion 01582 620612 info@thecricketersofredbourn.co.uk www.thecricketersofredbourn.co.uk

21/05/2021 16:24

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FOOD & DRINK • INTERVIEW

LUSSMANNS HERTFORD

need to get back to basics of what we do best, and that’s the right thing to do. There are examples of people pivoting and creating new businesses from their existing offering, but most of us will go back to what we were doing well before.” It typifies Lussmann’s approach to the industry and business in general, which from a foodie point of view began nearly two decades ago. “The idea was to fuse together the best things that make a brand successful – good cost structure, very consistent, accessible to a wide audience – and the other thing was there was nothing sustainable on the high street,” he looks back. “Lussmanns would be an alternative, so people wouldn’t feel they had to go to a high-end restaurant, which is invariably Michelin star, to buy into those ethics. You could go to a normal fish and grill restaurant and enjoy all the trappings, and know fully the power is green energy, it’s LED lighting, everything is recycled, the staff are looked after… There are 101 things THE RESTAURANTS OFFER GREAT FOOD AT REASONABLE PRICES

we do, but without the sustainability being a badge you waved too loudly. I always believe restaurants are a home from home – you don’t go out to be told about the wonderful virtues of a business, you go out for the company of somebody else.” It’s fair to say it’s worked. Since first opening in Hertford in 2004 after being frustrated time and time again with trying to find a location in London, Lussmann has not looked back, now having restaurants in St Albans, Harpenden and Hitchin too. “I have made lots of mistakes along the way,” he admits, “and I have had to make lots of changes in order to improve and stay in business, but I think we have got better at running a business and I think we have become more sustainable. Quite often as businesses get bigger and bigger, what happens is they become less sustainable because it’s about making decisions that are more financially driven, and being sustainable isn’t the most financially competent decision to make

THE DESSERTS MENU IS ALWAYS POPULAR

“For 20 years, we have every year become more sustainable” in a business. I am happy that, for nearly 20 years, we have every year become more sustainable in what we are doing.” It helps, too, that their menus – from the heart-warming classic options, to really good value set courses – consistently offer up dishes of the highest order. So we come, hopefully, to the end of a year like no other, and Lussmann is looking forward to what lies ahead in Hertfordshire. “I think we will have a busy, hedonistic summer of 66 where everything will be fantastic,” he enthuses. “The sun will shine, everyone will enjoy a brilliant summer, and we will not really be going abroad, so it will add to the unique charm. Restaurants that are good will carry on doing well.” lussmanns.com A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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Simple

VIETNAMESE Easy and delicious Vietnamese favourites to make at home Recipes UYEN LUU

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FOOD & DRINK • RECIPES

Singapore Fried Noodles with purple sprouting broccoli Serves 2

This is great as part of a feast, weekend brunch or a midweek special. Swap out broccoli for any other seasonal vegetables or herbs.

INGREDIENTS For the sauce • 1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar • 1 tbsp soy sauce • 1 tbsp oyster sauce • 2 tsp sesame oil For the omelette • 2 eggs, beaten • 1 spring onion (scallion), sliced diagonally • 1 cm (½ in) thick • Pinch of caster (superfine) sugar • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper • 1 tsp soy sauce • 1 tsp vegetable oil • 1 small round shallot, sliced For the noodles • 2 tbsp oil, for frying • ½ bird’s eye chilli or 1 whole red chilli, finely chopped • 2 round shallots, roughly chopped • 10 dried shrimp, soaked in boiling water for 10–15 minutes until soft, then drained (optional) • 70–100 g (3–3½ oz) purple sprouting broccoli, sliced, bite-sized • 150 g (5 oz) fine rice vermicelli (0.8 mm), soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, then drained • 100 g (3½ oz) beansprouts • 1½ tbsp Vietnamese curry powder • 100 g (3½ oz) cooked king prawns • 100 g (3½ oz) Roast Barbecued Pork (see below), roughly chopped (optional) • 20 g (¾ oz) garlic chives, cut into 5 cm (2 in) pieces • Freshly ground black pepper

METHOD Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside. 2 In a small bowl, combine all the omelette ingredients except the shallots. Set aside. 3 In a large frying pan or wok, gently fry the shallots with a dash of oil over a medium heat until golden, then pour the egg mixture over and fry until set. Remove from the pan, slice into 1 cm (½ in) strips and set aside. 4 Place the same pan back over a medium heat, pour in 1 tablespoon 1

of oil and fry the chopped chilli, shallots and dried shrimp together for a minute until soft. Then turn to a high heat, adding the purple sprouting broccoli and continue to fry for a further 3 minutes, shaking the pan and charring the edges. 5 Still on a high heat, add the beansprouts for 30 seconds, then the noodles, mix together and stirfry for a couple of minutes. Pour in the sauce ingredients and evenly sprinkle with the curry powder, covering the noodles all over and mixing well together for 2 minutes. 6 Add the omelette to the pan with the cooked prawns and continue stir-frying for a further 3 minutes, or until the noodles are soft. Turn off the heat and mix in the garlic chives. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.

favourites, making great additions to many meals. You can also use water or chicken stock instead of white wine.

INGREDIENTS • 1 tbsp vegetable oil • 30 g (1 oz) ginger root, julienned • 1 Asian or small round shallot, sliced • 2 red chillies, finely chopped • 15 g (½ oz) butter • 1 tsp fish sauce • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 4–6 anchovies, coarsely chopped • 50 g (2 oz) cavolo nero, sliced 3 cm (1 in) thick • 100 g (3½ oz) baby courgettes (zucchini), halved lengthways • 100 g (3½ oz) tenderstem broccoli, sliced diagonally 3 cm (1 in) thick • 100 g (3½ oz) fine green beans, topped and tailed • 75 ml (2½ fl oz / ¼ cup) white wine

METHOD

Hot & Fiery Greens with anchovies Serves 2-4

You can use a variety of vegetables for this or just one kind; the garlic, ginger and anchovies will lift the vegetables to another level and you’ll find that these vegetable sides become household

1 Have a wok or large frying pan (skillet) on high heat and get it hot. Add the vegetable oil, ginger, shallot and chillies and cook for 2 minutes until lightly golden. 2 Add the butter, fish sauce, garlic and anchovies – stir, fry, toss. Add the vegetables and let sit for 1 minute to char. Toss again, then leave to sit for another 1 minute. 3 Finally, add the white wine – if your pan is hot, this should create some flames. 4 Leave to sit for a couple of minutes then cover with a lid for 1 minute. The vegetables should be soft but still retain some bite. Serve immediately.

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FOOD & DRINK • RECIPES

• Leaves from a few sprigs of Thai basil and/or sawtooth (if you can get it) • Freshly ground black pepper • Bird’s eye chillies, sliced (optional) • Lime wedges

METHOD

Chicken Pho Makes 4-5 bowls

Easy to pull together, this is a favourite among the young, the old and everyone in between, all across the world. This is a much lighter fragrant pho. Among the Vietnamese, the rules are strict with the flavours of pho – but don’t let that stop you. It is okay if you don’t have all the spices, but it is important to have star anise. Make ahead broth 5 days Herbs & noodles 2–3 days

INGREDIENTS • 2.5 litres (88 fl oz/10 cups) water or enough to cover the chicken • 1 corn-fed, free-range chicken (about 1.5 kg/ 2 lb 4 oz)

• 1 large onion, cut at both ends to stand • 150 g (5 oz) ginger root, halved • 10 cm (4 in) daikon or parsnip (optional) • 15 star anise (10–15 g/½ oz) • 4 whole cloves • 1 cinnamon stick • 2 black cardamom pods (optional but good to have) • 1 tbsp coriander seeds in a ball strainer or small muslin infuser • 30 g (1 oz) rock sugar or 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar • 15 g (½ oz/1 tbsp) sea salt • 4 tbsp fish sauce (or more to taste) • 1 chicken stock cube • 75 g (2½ oz) dry flat rice noodles per serving or fresh ho fun noodles • Freshly ground black pepper For the garnish • Coriander (cilantro) leaves, torn or coarsely chopped • 3 spring onions (scallions), white and green parts, sliced lengthways, soaked in cold water until curled • 1 red or white onion, thinly sliced

1 Measure the water into a saucepan just large enough to hold the chicken and bring to the boil. 2 Trim off any excess skin and fat around the cavity and neck of the chicken, then submerge in the boiling water. To achieve a clear broth, once the pot comes back to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally skimming off impurities. 3 In a griddle or frying pan over a high heat, char the onion, ginger and daikon or parsnip on both sides, then add to the broth. Use the same pan to toast the spices until fragrant, then add them to the broth with the stock cubes, sugar and salt. Simmer for a further 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. 4 Remove the chicken from the liquid and check that the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh. Set aside to cool. Remove the vegetables, bones and spices from the broth and discard. Separate the meat from the carcass and slice the chicken against the grain into bite-sized pieces. 5 Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Divide the noodles among serving bowls. Place the sliced chicken on top, garnish with coriander, spring onion, red onion and basil leaves. Season with a pinch of pepper and a couple of slices of chilli, if using. 6 When ready to serve, season the broth with fish sauce, tasting with every spoonful to see if it’s to your liking. Bring to the boil, then ladle the hot broth into the bowls, making sure that all the ingredients are submerged. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lime and more of the garnishes.

Recipes taken from Vietnamese by Uyen Luu, £22 h/b Hardie Grant

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John Ladbury & Co

Hand Built Furniture

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14/05/2021 16:34


W H AT ’ S I N S TO R E KITCHEN STORAGE

It’s the hub of the home, which invariably means it is stuffed full of too many accessories. However, today there are unique ways to store away all those pots and pans without ruining the kitchen’s aesthetic. p52

inside this section: T H E L AT E S T INTERIORS NEWS p43 BERKHAMSTED DESIGN WITH TOBIAS TRIGG p44 FEEL GREEN WITH ENVY p58

BED REST

How to sleep well – advice from Carpe Diem Beds

TI PS TO N U RTU R E YOU R OWN GARDEN p60

I N A S S O C I AT I O N W I T H

A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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H O M E | NEWS Compiled by

PENDLE HARTE

I N T H E N E WS U P DAT E S F R O M T H E I N D U S T R Y STAR BURST NEW LIFE

TO M D IXO N Burst is a new, dynamic and threedimensional array of lighting without lots of dangling wires. Intended for larger spaces and ceiling voids, it's inspired by an interest in molecular structures and the space age with its chrome aesthetic and geometric configuration. tomdixon.net

H A R K V I N TA G E Midcentury glass, ceramics and enamelware as well as Ercol chairs, rattan stools and French posters are all part of the offering at Hark Vintage. It's a great source of unusual and one-off pieces. @hark_vintage harkvintage.etsy.com

SO FA SU R FERS

LOCK IN

SW YFT New at Swyft is the sofa bed in a box, promising comfort as well as practicality. The Model 04 is also everything you expect from Swyft: it comes in a box, is delivered within 24 hours, is guaranteed to fit no matter how tight the entrance, and can get up lots of stairs. swyfthome.com

M U S TA R D M A D E New at Mustard Made is lilac, the shade of the moment, adding to the colourful collection. These metal lockers are versatile and stylish, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. mustardmade.co.uk

FISH EYE BIORB Aquariums can be stylish too. The biOrb aquarium has practical and aesthetic benefits, bringing its user closer to nature while providing a calm and tranquil place for contemplation. From £89.99 oase.com

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The founder of Tobias Oliver Interiors on Berkhamsted, his interior design inspirations and three stand out local projects Words TO B I A S T R I G G

B HOME SWEET HOME 44

eing creative has always been intrinsic to me. I was fortunate enough to travel a lot as a child with my family. Seeing different countries and cultures inspired my creative nature, I felt motivated to learn more about other cultures and their histories through exploring museums and sifting my way through shops and marketplaces. I started my training at the Chelsea College of Art & Design to confirm I wanted to specialise in interior design. After this I went to the Regent’s University in London to gain two degrees in Interior Design, one British and one American, which means I have the correct accreditations to work as a professional interior designer around the world. Before launching my business, I gained experience across the different arenas of interior design, from commercial boutique, to hotels and offices, and finally high-end interior design. I wanted to be sure that I focused on the area of design I was going to be most passionate about. My inspiration to launch Tobias Oliver came from my family. We are all selfstarters, and it has always been my goal to open my own design studio once I had the correct amount of experience in the field of interior design. I wanted to go above and beyond the client’s design aspirations,

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H O M E | Q&A

to add that something special they were not expecting and achieve that wow factor. We are experts in tonal interiors that seamlessly work throughout the house, but always with a hint of quirk and fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously here and I think that is important when it comes to interior design. Otherwise, we don’t have a typical in-house style, instead we focus on our client’s design aspirations and guide them through the design process to achieve their dream outcome. We are typically recommended by word of mouth, and new clients will first meet us at our interior design showroom in Berkhamsted – which we opened in 2019 and also houses an art gallery – where we showcase the level of interior design we strive to achieve. This is then followed by a site visit at the clients’ home – once these stages are complete, we would have a good sense of the relationship between the client and designers, which is of vital importance. Once the client is happy with our proposals, we begin the design process. Having grown up in Berkhamsted it felt natural for me to come back here. I love the local sense of community and support. Most of my family and friends also work or live here and that’s an aspect of my life that is really important to me.

The stunning Berkhamsted showroom

Project in

FOCUS BERKHAMSTED SHOWROOM Q What look have you gone for? A In terms of products, we stock the same as what you would typically find in a Central London luxury department store, but all with the convenience of being on Berkhamsted high street. In terms of interior design, we have set the showroom out like an opulent apartment including a lounge area and a bar! Upstairs we also have a show kitchen and bathroom. Expect to see the work of artist Marc Agusil in the showroom

Q What will we see in the art gallery? A We have several artists we represent, and we showcase these in the showroom, but primarily in the design studio upstairs. We often commission bespoke pieces for our clients. This is where we will take the artists to the client’s house, and help the artist and client conceptualise the artwork. We have very exciting news; we will be representing a new artist, Marc Agusil, this summer. Based in Barcelona he works with high impact colour and texture and we are confident he will make his impact on Berkhamsted and our art gallery. A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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H O M E | Q&A

thrilled – we managed to get the original drawers working again too!

This period home featured Tobias Oliver’s bedroom collection

Q What unique touches did you bring to the project? A Specifically for this project we used two elements of the design to give our clients the impact they were seeking. We used a silk embroidered chinoiserie wall covering and then used beautifully layered Austrian hung curtains with a shot silk soft roman blind to frame the windows. These were finished with a Normandy beaded silk fringe which we echoed on the chair trimmings.

PERIOD HOME Q Considering this features your inaugural collection of bedroom furniture, is this an important project for you? A Every project is important to us, but yes, this one was special. As you mention it was the first to incorporate our furniture collection and we were able to use beautiful eucalyptus veneer and faux shagreen inserts and aged brass inlays.

The dining room in the Victorian manor house

“We needed to create something that was full of glamour and which provided a chic boudoir feel”

VICTORIAN MANOR HOUSE Q What was the initial brief? A The client wanted to restore as much of the existing feel of the room as possible, to keep its original character. The clients have a large family and entertain a lot, therefore they wanted to have an opulent dining room which they could enjoy with their guests. Q Were there any challenges or obstacles you had to overcome? A As well as fully restoring all of the original panelling, the clients also requested their original 20seater dining table to be restored. Therefore, we carefully took this apart and transported it to our furniture restorers. Once the restoration was complete the dining table was brought back to the house; the clients were

Q Is there a particular theme prevalent throughout? A There is a lot of layering in this room. With the window treatments, bed treatments, cushions, furniture and lampshades – all the fabrics and trims featured on each of the components giving a fully considered sumptuous and somewhat extravagant result, which is exactly what the client was striving to achieve. Q What elements of the finished work stand out for you and why? A The most impactful element is the window treatments and how they frame the shaped headboard. We had to carefully look at how each aspect of the room would function whilst keeping the bed the focal point; we needed to create something that was full of glamour and which provided a chic boudoir feel. Finally we designed a bespoke wall light featuring metal leaves in slightly different shades of brass and bronze which emulated a gust of leaves – this works as a piece of wall art against the 16th century wattle and daub walls. tobiasoliverinteriors.com A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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D E S I G N E D for S L E E P Sweden’s cult sleep brand Carpe Diem Beds is gaining popularity in the UK. Absolutely discovers why

C

Words P E A R L B OY D

arpe Diem Beds is a household name in Sweden, associated with the ultimate in sleep comfort. This is a bra nd that has patented a mattress designed by a chiropractor together with a team of medical experts with the aim of offering a lifetime of quality sleep. Relatively new to the UK, Carpe Diem Beds opened a showroom on Wigmore Street last year, where visitors can experience the company’s ethos first hand. The store is dedicated to optimising the bedroom environment to create an oasis of calm. And while choosing the perfect mattress for you is at the heart of the experience, there’s a strong focus on

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bedroom design and streamlining, so that the bed you choose can be housed in an environment that’s conducive to optimum sleep health. For manager Rui Franca, guiding clients through the process involves paying close attention to their needs. The showroom is a very calming place and people are encouraged to take their time. “We like people to come and spend an hour or two trying the beds. We can provide sleep masks, lower the lights and let people rest,” he says. For the UK market, Carpe Diem Beds has introduced 36 different Designers Guild fabrics for beds and headboards that can be colour matched with carpets, cushions and curtains. Franca explains: “In selecting the fabrics we look at colours that are neutral and subtle. Bright colours are energising

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H O M E | PROMOTION

1 K E E P TO N E S N E U T R A L Bright colours are not conducive to relaxation – neutral shades of beige and grey create a sense of calm that will aid sleep.

and we need to be relaxed in a bedroom, so there are no oranges or shiny finishes. It’s all about neutral tones, which are adopted in Scandinavian design to create a sense of calm in the mind.” Fabrics are beiges and greys with some darker tones and maybe some light pinks at the more colourful end of the neutral palette. “In store we have access to side tables, carpets and throw

Neutral tones create a sense of calm in the mind

cushions. We have slick metal side table and lamps too, with finishes in chrome and marble, all in calming soothing tones.” The look is luxurious but minimalist and the neutral tones are designed to be mixed and matched alongside lifestyle products such as kimonos, slippers, sleep masks and scented candles. The latest addition to the range is a matching dog bed, made to the same exacting standards as the regular beds, which achieved immediate cult status on its launch in Sweden. There’s a widespread misconception that a firm mattress is better for you, says Rui. “But we believe that you should sleep in the bed, not on the bed, and our contour pocket system is meant to contour your body so that you feel you’re sleeping on a cloud.” Carpe Diem Beds was founded 25 years ago by chiropractor Börje Thuleskär in partnership with the Spinal Unit at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden. The company’s patented Contour Pocket System has a unique cushioning ability, which gently yields and supports at the same time, instantly moulding to your body’s contours and changing with your every movement. Now the brand is associated with high quality Scandinavian design and innovation. A Carpe Diem bed is a long-term investment in sleep, with a superking model priced between £4,500 and £30,000. If that sounds expensive, Franca says: “We spend a third of our lives asleep and it’s funny that we’re inclined to spend more on our cars than on our beds.” Funny indeed.

2 C L I M AT E C O N T R O L The room shouldn’t be very warm or very cold. 18-20 degrees maximum is a good temperature. Bedrooms should be well insulated and the heating should be off.

3 NO DEVICES! Checking your phone makes your brain active. It’s better to read a book. The ideal sleep experience comes with mental relaxation.

THE WIGMORE STREET STORE

15 Wigmore Street, W1 020 3982 3252 carpediembeds.co.uk A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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E A T ' S S T O R W H I N N E V E R B E F O R E H AV E W E H A D SO MUCH CHOICE WHEN IT C O M E S T O K I T C H E N S T O R AG E AND HOW IT CAN COMPLEMENT MODERN DESIGN By MARK KEBBLE

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On the money MONEYHILL INTERIORS

This stunning concrete, beech and black kitchen proves that storage can be fun as well as practical. Making a focal point of open shelves creates an open plan feeling with really easy access to everyday items. The bank of mid height units house the ovens and steam appliances in a neat row with cupboards beneath for pots, pans and oven accessories. This stunning kitchen from German Pronorm is one of a huge range of kitchens available from Moneyhill Interiors in Rickmansworth. moneyhillinteriors.com

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H O M E | KITCHENS

Dress to impress DOBSONS

This modern take on a dresser unit from Dobsons offers a versatile storage solution that is also perfect for hiding all your kitchen gadgets out of sight. The bi-fold doors allow you to completely open up the space to slide out your kitchen contraptions. Power sockets can be installed in the back of the dresser if required for a coffee machine or mixer, and then once you are finished using your appliance it can be pushed back and the doors closed keeping your work surfaces clutter free. dobsonshome.com

Hide and seek W R EN K ITC H EN S

When it comes to kitchen storage, you don't want guests to be able to see your pots and pans piled high on top of each other. Subtle storage is the way forward, as shown in this pull-out tower storage. It features here in Wren Kitchens' industrial Autograph range in a textured Flamed Oak colour. Even the bottles of ketchup look fetching, and you'll never have to rummage around for them at the back of a dusty cupboard. wrenkitchens.co.uk

Light the way B R AY E R D E S I G N

You know how it is. The clock ticks past midnight and you are peckish. Rather than blaze a light trail throughout your darkened home, what you need is a cabinet that illuminates as you open it. This pantry cabinet for Felsted kitchen design boasts traditional shaker style doors in 'Strong White' by Farrow & Ball and a contemporary walnut interior with handleless drawers, spice rack storage – and the all important automatic LED lighting. Enjoy your midnight feast. brayerdesign.co.uk

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B e d : S a n d ö | Fa b r i c : D e s i g n e r s G u i l d Z a r a g o z a E g g s h e l l | C a r p e t : L i g h t B e i g e | B e d l i n e n : St o r m P e b b l e & D r i f t w o o d | H e a d b o a r d P i l l o w s : D e s i g n e r s G u i l d Z a r a g o z a E g g s h e l l | B e d s i d e Ta b l e : H o l m e B l a c k 15 WIGMORE ST REET | LO ND O N W 1U 1P E +4 4 (0) 2 0 39 8 2 3 25 2 | m a r y le bo n e @ c a r pediem beds.co.u k c a r p e d i e m b e d s o f s w e d e n | # m y u n w i n d | w w w.c a r pedie m beds.co.u k

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H O M E | KITCHENS

Shake things up PLANET FURNITURE

No matter what size of kitchen Planet Furniture work on, storage is one of the most important aspects they discuss with clients, if not the most important. Often the layout of the space determines the type of storage that will work best. This example shows that instead of a separate utility room this floor-toceiling bespoke Shaker cabinetry was the perfect solution for hiding away the washing machine, dryer and all sorts of other kitchen essentials. planetfurniture.co.uk

Country living B R AY E R D E S I G N

The Kingswood Country Kitchen pantry / breakfast cupboard, with practical pocket doors, automatic interior lighting and a composite worktop matching the rest of the kitchen covers off everything you could possibly need when it comes to storing kitchen accessories. With grey hand-painted shaker cabinets in 'Drury Lane' by Mylands, it also features burnished brass handles and walnut interiors. The worktops are 'Lucerne Lake' Quartz composite, with interior design and styling by Emma Merry. brayerdesign.co.uk

Timeless appeal K ITC H EN M A K ER S

Thanks to door styling with quarter round beading, concealed hinges and a delicate classicality, the Somerton collection is elegant and considered, yet can be soon super-sized into a more stylised look, whether across a vintage basement, apartment galley or neobarn setting. Further enhance your open shelving with painted colour. A gentle tonal notch up against the base Fjord Green elevates daily storage into a feature piece delivering on both function and display terms. burbidgekitchenmakers.co.uk

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LEADING FIREPLACE SHOWROOM

• Natural stone • Marble & wood surrounds • Full installation service by HETAS & Gas Safe engineers

• Gas fires & electric fires from £175 • Stoves & fire baskets • Surrounds from £349 • Free surveys • Supply only

Showroom open Mon-Sat - 9am-5pm 01707 657070 9 Barnet Road, Potters Bar, EN6 2QX | www.hertsfireplacegallery.co.uk HF.indd 1

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Bespoke luxury spaces tailored just for you From walk in wardrobes to home offices in a range of styles

Nordikka Interiors Blinding Bifolds Showroom, The Dutch Nursery, The Great North Rd, Brookmans Park, Hatfields, Hertfordshire AL9 6ND E: info@nordikka.co M: 07738469691

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H O M E | KITCHENS

Magnetic appeal JOHN L ADBURY

This fitted hand-painted breakfast cupboard in the Edwardian style is ideal for storing larger breakfast appliances and has bi-fold doors on gold hinges that completely fold back enabling easy access. Magnetic catches at the top stop the doors from swinging open once closed. The workspace is enhanced by a walnut interior cleverly housing an integrated Miele coffee machine and a fitted Neff microwave. The gold handles match the hinges and enhance the white painted furniture and the Silestone Eternal Calcutta Gold quartz worktop, which is integral to this beautiful bespoke fitted kitchen by John Ladbury Kitchens. johnladbury.co.uk

Best thing since... GARDEN TRADING

When thinking about kitchen storage, it's not always about the cupboards and shelves – products, too, can help keep your space clutter free, but also look good too. Garden Trading's contemporary Borough Bread Bin, for example, combines matt steel with a natural beech lid, cleverly doubling as a chopping board for quick and convenient slicing. Choose from two colours – soft Lily White or smart Charcoal – as well as adding to the look with more from the Borough collection. gardentrading.co.uk

Country living K ITC H EN M A K ER S

An imaginative blend of classic elegance and contemporary flair, the Alderley range holds its own against today’s interior trends and lifestyle needs. The design draws on the Burbidge wood-crafting heritage, having been expertly produced in an authentic inframe style and is available in a choice of 16 carefully selected paint finishes, ranging from subtle to bold. It's a design that will complement any kitchen. burbidgekitchenmakers.co.uk

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H O M E | TREND

MADE Asuna Wide Sideboard, £399 made.com

DAALS Clarence velvet green sofa, £309.99 daals.co.uk

EARTHBORN Faerie paint 2.5 litres, £46 earthbornpaints.co.uk

OMG KITTY

HOT POTTERY Salad bowl, £35 libertylondon.com

GREEN LIGHT

Art Print Pink Green, £10 omgkittyclub.com

This summer's hottest shade By P E N D L E H A R T E

NICHOLAS ENGERT Cage Cordless Floor Light Green, £566 nicholasengert.co.uk

WOODCHIP & MAGNOLIA X FEARNE COTTON Pondering Peonies Duck Egg Wallpaper, £99 woodchipandmagnolia.co.uk

ABODE LIVING Fish Fish medium green glass £8.50 abodeliving.co.uk

GLOW LIGHTING

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Bertie Cluster Coloured Glass Pendant Light, £550 glowlighting.co.uk

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H u n n e b o D o g B e d : L a r g e | Fa b r i c : Z a r a g o z a E g g s h e l l 15 WIGMORE ST REET | LO ND O N W 1U 1P E +4 4 (0) 2 0 39 8 2 3 25 2 | m a r y le bo n e @ c a r pedie m beds.co.u k c a r p e d i e m b e d s o f s w e d e n | # m y u n w i n d | w w w.c a r pedie m beds.co.u k

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H O M E | GARDENS

Growth INDUSTRY Niki Irving is on a mission to get us all to experience the joy of growing flowers Words K R I S T I A N N A E N G B R E C H T

“It feels like the ultimate reward to pick the flowers we nurture”

Growing Flowers: Everything You Need to Know About Planting, Tending, Harvesting and Arranging Beautiful Blooms by Niki Irving is out now

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Q What drove you to bring your love of flowers into print? A I have always loved sharing about flowers and my farm through my blog. Last year – right as the world was shutting down due to COVID – I was approached by an editor at Mango Publishing with an opportunity to write a book. The timing was absolutely perfect because I suddenly had more time on my hands with 2020 weddings being postponed, and there was also a huge resurgence in gardening with everyone being stuck at home. It was an ambitious project to write and photograph an entire book in less than a year, but I am so grateful for the opportunity and so pleased with how it came together. Q Who is your book aimed at? A My hope is that the book gives beginners a road map for how to get started with a flower garden, while providing seasoned gardeners with deep dives into tricky plants like how to grow ranunculus and dahlias. I also have a chapter on floral design with recipes on how to make several different arrangements. There is something for everyone! Q Do you have a favourite part of the flower growing process? A I love every stage of the process, but harvesting is my favourite. It feels like the ultimate reward to be picking the flowers that we so carefully nurtured for many months. Q Of everything you grow, are there any personal standouts or do you have any favourite flower combinations? A My absolute favourite flowers are ranunculus. They are just so romantic and

beautiful with their layers of petals, and they have a lovely soft citrus scent. A close second favourite are dahlias. If I could grow ranunculus and dahlias year round, I would be a happy lady! But I suppose part of what makes them so special is that they are only blooming for a few months each year. Q Do you have any quick tips or advice for people who are just getting into gardening or flower growing? A My advice is to just start small! Each year brings new challenges and successes in the garden, so I always encourage people to keep trying and learning. That is the joy of growing flowers.

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FA S H I O N

BEST FOOT PENELOPE CHILVERS

Summer shoes at Penelope Chilvers span everything from statement espadrilles, 70s clogs and suede wedged sandals to velvet sneakers, understated flats, and floral platforms. penelopechilvers.com

Oana Millinery 64 • Baker Brothers Diamonds 68 • Floral Jewellery 70 A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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OANA GHEORGHITA

Q&A

Crowning

GLORY Rickmansworth’s Oana Gheorghita takes us on her journey to the top of the millinery tree By MARK KEBBLE

Q Looking at your background

Oana, it sounds like the arts were all around you as a child… A I am lucky to come from a talented family, where the military, law and engineering careers were balanced with playing viola, sculpture (my great-grandmother), piano, painting in oil, acrylic or watercolours, and even photography. I could add here that all the ladies in my family were sewing beautiful and unique clothes – in the 80s there were not too many options for fancy dresses. So, art, beauty and crafting, all of this was around me.

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Q When did you move to Rickmansworth? A I moved to the UK at the beginning of

2015, with my family and my Yorkie. I was a category manager for one of the biggest FMCG companies in the world, which at that time had their HQ in Rickmansworth. I had never been to the UK before this job, and moving to this amazing town convinced me that I took the right decision to bring my family with me.

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FASHION • Q&A

Q How did you learn the craft? A When I first started, I had an intensive

five-day course with Sahar Freemantle of Sahar Millinery. I studied her style (she made some of the hats in Downton Abbey) and I loved it, so I contacted her to see if she was teaching. I was so happy when she offered me a week of intensive training, as the only thing I knew was how to sew. It was good enough to get me started. She taught me in one week the main techniques of making felt, buckram and sinamay hats and fascinators. With what she taught me, I was good to go and practice myself, and this is how I created my first five hats. Not long after, I went to different masterclasses with the royal milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan, where I learnt a very old technique in making straw hats. Then there were other masterclasses with Noel Stewart and Edwina Ibbotson, and I’ve been to a curation about the work of Philip Treacy OBE and Stephen Jones OBE. I am so obsessed with hats now, so much so that when I am watching movies, I am paying more attention to the costumes, hats, and décor, than the movie itself!

Q When did you first become

interested in making hats?

A Creativity is so important to a balanced

life, especially when my whole professional life was about spreadsheets and numbers. When I decided to start making hats and fascinators, it was a difficult time in my career, when I had to take bold decisions to safeguard my mental health. But the real trigger was when Catherine Middleton and Prince William got married in 2011 – I was thrilled with all the hats! I decided to learn more about the history of royal hats, the etiquette of wearing one, and how to create a design and collections. It involved so much research, and it is a continuous process, especially when new materials and techniques are developed – and, of course, new trends are emerging in fashion.

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Our Opening Hours Mondays - Saturdays 10am - 5pm Sundays 11am - 4pm 2 The Green, Westerham TN16 1AS manukashoes.com 01959 565644 Sizes 2-8 available

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FASHION • Q&A

Q During your learning process with

other milliners, was there one piece of advice that has always stayed with you? A Practice, practice, practice. I understand it, because it is so obvious – practice makes everything better. Q When did you decide to

start your business?

A I decided to take it seriously, moving

from a hobby to a paid service, at the beginning of 2018. It made sense, especially as I was creating so many hats – with new techniques – that I did not have any space to store them in the house any more! And after my first clients, with the word of mouth and recommendations, I have got more and more requests for wedding, bridal, cocktail, Ascot and even funeral hats. I have done some crazy hats too, with LEDs blinking the number 50 (for someone’s 50th birthday).

Q Your bespoke approach is

understandably popular. Can you create anything within reason? A I strongly believe I can create almost anything I want to create. There are still hundreds of techniques and materials to explore, but with my skills and my ability to understand how a headwear works, I can transform a sketch into reality. Q What has been your

favourite creation to date?

A I have made some nice hats, I can say

that, but closest to my heart is the Hot Poppy Fascinator. I made it for the 2020 capsule collection, which is a free-formed red and black tulle fascinator, with some red sinamay going wild on top. I love it because it incorporates my personality and being different – standing tall and out from a crowd is my style. Red takes courage to wear, to attract attention. And because it is all hand free formed, it took me some time to make it and to find the right balance and shape. I would wear it at Ascot, and I would feel excellent!

Q Have you still been busy

during lockdown? A Lockdown was very unexpected for everyone, especially for the events and wedding industry. All the associated industries stood still, everyone now was concentrating on staying safe, saving money, and even trying to keep their jobs. As my hats were mainly for weddings and events, people postponed their hat making sessions, and even cancelled their plans overall. The last wedding

“I strongly believe I can create almost anything. There are still hundreds of techniques to explore”

hat I have made before first lockdown was in March, for a wedding planned to happen in August 2020. I am not sure what happened with that event. But then my need to keep creative and, at the same time, to help the community, made me buy my first sewing machine. So, I have started to make facemasks: three layers of cotton, for men, women and children, and I have donated them to the people in Rickmansworth that needed them the most. Additionally, I have created little stuffed hearts and donated them to the Harefield Hospital for the ICU COVID patients, to share with the family home – one for them in hospital, and one for the family, to have a connection. I felt like I could make a difference. oanamillinery.co.uk

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T h e M i d a s T O U C H Sisters Lizzie McAuley and Rebecca Church, directors of Baker Brothers Diamonds, reveal the latest must wear jewellery trends By A M A N DA O ’ H A R E

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FASHION • JEWELLERY

W

hen it comes to the latest looks and top trends, stylish sisters Lizzie McAuley and Rebecca Church are the ones to go to for style secrets from the world of jewellery and desirable diamonds. For fashionistas looking to emulate the latest on-trend looks, layering necklaces at different lengths is all the rage and anything goes when it comes to mixing and matching your stunning silvers or gorgeous golds. Whatever the occasion, jewellery adds those essential finishing touches. Selecting stylish accessories can also help elevate your look taking you from day to night, from (home) office to drinks with friends (finally!).

Jewellery and diamond experts McAuley and Church reveal how you can revitalise your style with some exclusive, elegant, eclectic touches. Their bespoke boutique Baker Brothers Diamonds specialises in creative collections from distinctive designers including signature styles from BBC television’s All That Glitters judge and award-winning jewellery designer Shaun Leane, alongside luxury brands including Fope, Georg Jensen and Marco Bicego. “The big trend is wearing a layered number of necklaces,” McAuley confirms. “This could be something quite short to the throat then three longer chains cascading down. Another key look is wearing several different bracelets all together, which don’t have to match. The latest look is about wearing different jewellery pieces together that reflect your personality.” Wearing different golds together is another popular look. The trend, influenced by our fashion-forward, elegant European cousins, sees us Brits catching up in the style stakes. “Yellow gold is coming back in a big way,” Church adds. “What we’re increasingly seeing is women wearing all the colours of gold together, something the Italians and French have always done. Whereas the reserved British think they must wear all platinum, white gold, or only yellow gold together. Now we are evolving in our tastes and being more European wearing all these

different colours of gold. You don’t have to wear all your jewellery in one colour. “It’s fabulous gold’s making a comeback,” she continues. “We’re seeing women who have platinum engagement rings and wedding rings, but they will wear a pair of big yellow gold earrings or a yellow gold chain or gold pendants.” Diamond style trends reflect what’s popular alongside which diamonds never go out of fashion. What celebrities are currently wearing can influence diamond cut choices with the princess, marquise, square and cushion cut making regular reappearances in the diamond desirability stakes. Diamond buyer McAuley revealed pear and oval cuts proved particularly popular in recent months; however, she adds: “The timeless round brilliant diamond is still the favourite and will always outshine the others when it comes to the cut as you get the most sparkle out of it. Diamond stud earrings, including single stone, halo and flower designs, continue to prove popular and another fashion-forward trend is for fine, diamond set thumb rings, which are also being worn on the first finger.” B A K E R B R OT H E R S D I A M O N D S Diamond House 11-13 St. Peters Street, Bedford MK40 2PN 01234 630 821 bakerbrothersdiamonds.com

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FASHION • JEWELLERY

Flower power Floral jewels are guaranteed to bring joy B y PENDLE HARTE

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GALIO

ANNOUSHKA

BAKER BROTHERS

Cara Tonkin Icarus stud earrings gold, £75 galio.co.uk

Diamond and lapis tulip drop earrings, £2,025 annoushka.com

Shaun Leane rose gold vermeil cherry blossom pendant, £350, bakerbrothersdiamonds.com

HELENA THULIN

AMALILY

NINFA HANDMADE

Viola Tricolor earrings, £149 helenathulin.com

Tokyo Lilypad pearl earrings, £18 amalily.co.uk

Tulip earrings, £45 ninfahandmade.com

CLED

MONDO MONDO

PAREL PAREL

Periwinkle trio earrings, £180 thecled.com

Diamond daisy studs, £189 mondo-mondo.com

Morning Glory earrings, £85 parelparel.com

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HEALTH & BEAUTY

O UTE R LI M I TS PARKFIT

At a time when gyms are now welcoming us back indoors, don’t forget about the benefits of exercising outdoors. Parkfit host classes all over Hertfordshire and are the best way to get fit outside. parkfit.co.uk

Beauty Notes 75 • Aviva Day Spa & Academy 76 A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO ENROL ON ONE OF OUR POPULAR BEAUTY COURSES Join this multi billion pound industry. Work your own hours. Be your own boss! Complete online theory at home in your own time and practical training in the salon. Courses start from £99 Over 25 Beauty, Holistic and Business courses available ◆ Fully accredited and insurable by the UK’s leading awarding body, The Guild of Beauty Therapy ◆ 121 training available ◆ Bespoke training by award winning salon ◆ Hands on salon experience by multi award winning trainers with over 20 years in the industry ◆ No experience in beauty necessary to start ◆ Fast Track ((1-2 day practical) ◆ ◆

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HEALTH & BEAUTY • NOTES

BEAUTY NOTES

The latest in luxury makeup and skincare B y L AY L A T U R N E R

FOCUS

EDITOR’S PICK

HELLO

Hydra-tion

Choosing the right hair colour with Vita Krafty

CHANEL

B y L AY L A T U R N E R

The Hydra Beauty range by Chanel is gaining another hero product with the launch of Hydra Beauty Concentrate. The product, packed with radiance-boosting active ingredients, promises smoother, more radiant skin after just one month of use. Yes please.

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chanel.com

Spa Secrets PIETRO SIMONE

Flemings Mayfair has recently launched a new private skincare clinic in partnership with celebrity facialist Pietro Simone, where you can enjoy the wide range of services Pietro has to offer, including the signature 'encore facials'. Selected products from the Pietro Simone skincare range will also be available to purchase. pietrosimone.com

T R AV E L SIZE T R E AT S NOBLE ISLE

Hand sanitiser is the new necessity. Noble Isle have the perfect solution with their Rhubarb Rhubarb hand care trio. Containing three 75ml sizes of the rhubarb scented hand wash, hand sanitiser and hand lotion, the set is perfect for keeping hands clean, soft and sumptuously scented. nobleisle.com

MANE attraction e’ve all been there: you secure an appointment with your hairdresser, excited to unveil a brand new look, only to leave feeling less than glamorous. There is more to deciding on a hair colour than just picking out a shade you like. Skin tone plays an important role, and it’s basic rule of thumb that those with a cooler skin tone should stick to a shade with cooler undertones while those with warm skin tones will match with a colour with warm undertones. Vita Krafty, long time hairdresser based at Head Spa salon, shares her advice on choosing the correct hair colour. ‘Most people come in wanting to go blonde or refresh their blonde shade. Platinum shades always work best on porcelain-skinned girls, whereas more gold or caramel-based blonde shades look great on those with cooler undertones, too. For those wanting a fresh new brunette shade, fortunately brown hair is a flattering option for most skin tones, while deep brown and black hair looks amazing on those with darker skin tones. For those deciding between blonde and brunette, a balayage is a great way of combining the best of both worlds’. For colour maintenance, choose the correct shampoo and conditioner for your shade. Purple shampoo works wonders for blondes, whereas products for brunette hair add shine and dimension. HEAD SPA

36A Barnes High Street, London SW13 9LP headspa.uk • @vitakrafty

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Q&A

Beautiful

O U TLO O K As their academy expands, we caught up with Janan Saher, the founder of Aviva Day Spa & Academy in Stopsley Village Q When you launched back in 2008, what were you looking to offer? I wanted to open a “one stop beauty shop”. I wanted a beauty salon in a central location that would offer a wide variety of beauty treatments. There were not many beauty salons in the town centre at the time. We had hit a recession and I was taking a huge risk, one that I’m glad I took as it was the start of creating my dream and vision. Q How have you evolved in the years since? A When we opened, we were a beauty salon offering a wide range of services. In the earlier years I launched my own mineral make-up and did make-up parties at people’s homes and fundraisers. This was an invaluable experience for me. I went on to open a training academy and through this I was able to share my knowledge and skills. Today we offer over 25 beauty, holistic and business courses. We are accredited by The Guild of Beauty Therapy and now have a second premises, which we use exclusively for teaching and mentoring.

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Q You are multi award-winning – what does this recognition mean to you? A Building and running a business as a woman and mother of three is very tough. Many times I’ve questioned if what I was doing was the right thing – I would feel tremendous mum guilt when working late nights and weekends. It feels incredible to have all my sacrifices and hard work recognised in this way, especially in an evergrowing and competitive industry. We are constantly growing and evolving, keeping up with the latest beauty treatments and

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BEAUTY • PROFILE

Indulgence, a three-hour top to toe pamper experience, to a Mother to Be package, safe and relaxing for expectant mothers. We can put together a bespoke package within your desired budget. There is something for everyone.

“Winning an award validates all the tireless hours I've put into the business”

trends. Winning an award validates all the tireless hours I’ve put into my business. Q Today, what kind of experience can visiting clients expect? A We tailor our services for our clients’ needs to enable us to provide a unique and memorable experience. Our therapists are professional and friendly, and we offer quality beauty services and products. The salon is beautifully decorated and relaxing. Our treatment rooms are warm and inviting, which encourages our clients to switch off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Q Do you offer any treatments that give you a unique selling point? A All of our treatments can be tailored to suit our clients’ needs. One treatment does not fit all. We listen to our clients, which is important. We want them to feel they have received a bespoke service that is unique to them. Q What kind of pamper packages do you offer? A We have a number of luxury pamper packages. From The Ultimate

Q What kind of courses do you offer at the Academy? A We offer over 25 different courses, all within beauty, holistic and business, from facials, massage, nails and brows to reflexology and hot stone massage. Our business courses vary from how to start a beauty business to marketing your business on social media. I want to help other women/mothers to achieve their aspirations. I love to see women grow and become independent and successful business women. I’m just glad to be part of their business journey. Q Do you have anything exciting planned for the future? A We recently launched our very own professional gel brand, Aviva ProGel. Its 100% vegan, cruelty free and exclusively for professionals. We offer training alongside our products from conversion courses to complete nail technician courses. Within this range we have our own nail tools, gel polishes, washable nail files and cuticle oils. We opened Aviva Beauty Academy after lockdown three, so we now have more space to teach which is great. We saw a huge rise in students enrolling over the lockdown period. It looks like we have a very busy year ahead of us! avivadayspa.co.uk

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HEALTH & BEAUTY • FITNESS

TOP

PICKS Supplements to supercharge your workout

FITNESS NOTES By A B B I E S C H O F I E L D

INNERMOST Innermost’s tasty protein powders are scientifically proven to support your workout goals, whether it’s to increase muscle and strength, or support immunity and recovery. They’re also available in travel size. liveinnermost.com

INDI Indi is designed to fill the ‘nutrition gaps’ which are increasingly common in our diets, such as fibre and vitamins C and D. The powders are plant-based and free from synthetic fillers, additives and sweeteners. indisupplements.com

LET'S ST RETCH Gym classes are back — here are four to put you through your paces

MUSCLE MARY Quite possibly the most delicious protein we've tried, Muscle Mary’s Chocolate Crush vegan powder can be blended with plant milk to create a creamy, chocolate shake. It also contains superfoods and vitamins. musclemary.co.uk

ST UDIO YO GA

D AV I D L L O Y D E N FI ELD

 Established in 2011, the purpose of Studio Yoga is to create an environment where anyone can go to escape and restore. Their stunning studio in N21 is fully equipped, underfloor heated and air conditioned. The vibe is relaxed, modern and they welcome everyone. Classes are capped at 15 people, everyone has their own personal space, and it's a friendly environment. studio-yoga.co.uk

 David Lloyd Enfield is a first-class fitness destination. Reach your fitness goals in their state-of-the-art gym and improve your game in their unparalleled racquets facilities. Take to the waters in their indoor and outdoor pools, or unwind in the soothing spa facilities after enjoying one of their varied classes. Plus, with a lively Clubroom, there's something for everyone to enjoy. davidlloyd.co.uk

HE LEN CO O PER  Helen Cooper is a traumainformed yoga teacher, passionate about sharing how yoga can transform your mental health and wellbeing. She teaches both online and in the privacy and comfort of your home, serving Hertfordshire, North London and beyond. helencooperyoga.com

T H E P I L AT E S WO RKSHOP  The Pilates Workshop was founded in 2009 with an aim to make Pilates and its associated benefits accessible to everyone of all ages and abilities. They offer dozens of classes each week, which range from matwork to private one-to-ones and Pilates machine sessions, including the Reformer, Cadillac and Chair. thepilatesworkshop.co.uk

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SPECIALISTS IN INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SHADING Contact us to arrange a showroom or home appointment

Awnings

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F A M I L Y

ANIMAL MAGIC YO R K H O US E

Pupils at York House, a local independent prep school on the outskirts of Croxley Green, have been celebrating the birth of no less than 14 lambs as the new arrivals were welcomed into the school’s on-site smallholding. Eddie the Ram was introduced to ten of the school’s ewes back in 2020, and to date, eight out of ten have now given birth.

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"We need to share important life messages with our children early"

Perfectly PRETTY A Hertfordshire author writes about how she hopes her new children’s book will encourage creative self-expression and boost self-esteem By SAMANTHA HUNTER

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FAMILY • FEATURE

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y early childhood memories are of fun, sport, adventure, friendship and creativity. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I became more conscious of my looks when “fitting in” seemed to become more important and “looks” seemed to be the ticket to achieve that goal! I don’t think I particularly fretted about these things any more than any other teenage girl, but I was often told that I was unattractive during my teenage years, which definitely had a bearing on my self-confidence well into my 20s! My young children’s book, Flamingo Fashion, started with a fun idea, “What if flamingos opened a fashion boutique?”, and it was not until I started writing that the obvious moral of the story appeared: “We are all perfectly pretty the way that we are.” This is a value that I have very much come to appreciate over the years and is certainly one that I want to impress upon my children as they grow up. In fact, it’s a value that I still need to remind myself of sometimes, both for my own happiness and to ensure that I am role modelling self-esteem to my children. At the end of the day, I feel I was pretty lucky growing up as the rise of the “celebrity” was very much in its infancy

back then, the internet had barely kickedoff and social media was non-existent. Children today are living in a much different world where projected images of “perfectly pretty” are on the front of every magazine, internet site and billboard. I am living in this image conscious world with an adult’s mindset so it is easier for me to find perspective relative to all that I am seeing, but I can only imagine that this creates a very different story for children and teenagers. A research report from PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) in 2016 showed that 24% of childcare professionals had seen body confidence issues in children as young as three- to five-years old, and this number rises to nearly 50% for children aged six- to ten-years old. These statistics are hugely upsetting to me and I feel give cause to ensure that we are sharing important life messages with our children early, so that they have the tools and values they need navigate the world we live in. A Children’s Bureau article shares that: “When you begin reading aloud to your child, it essentially provides them with background knowledge on their young world, which helps them make sense of what they see, hear, and read.” The article goes on to say that: “A childcare provider reads to a toddler. And in a matter of seconds, thousands of cells in these children’s growing brains respond.

Some brain cells are ‘turned on’, triggered by this particular experience. Many existing connections among brain cells are strengthened. At the same time, new brain cells are formed, adding a bit more definition and complexity to the intricate circuitry that will remain largely in place for the rest of these children’s lives.” Reading stories and engaging in conversations about the idea of body confidence and self-esteem are a powerful tool that we can use as parents to prepare our children for today’s modern world. If we can help our children appreciate their inner and outer beauty from an early age, hopefully it might just help them grow into the self-confident individuals they were born to be.

SA M A N T H A H U N T E R is the author of new audiobook Flamingo Fashion (for early years). All proceeds from book sales are going to the LitWorld charity supporting literacy in children, and the audiobook is narrated by The Crown actor Michael Maloney, illustrations by Maggy Roberts

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Safeguarding your wealth for a brighter future Despite the precarious economic conditions that characterised the majority of 2020, Britain’s household wealth now stands at a record high of £11.4 trillion. Little wonder, then, that more families than ever are seeking our advice on matters relating to their private wealth. We work with high-net-worth individuals, families, business owners and landowners, with one simple and straightforward aim: to ensure they achieve their objectives in managing, growing and protecting their wealth. Our two centuries of expertise covers family law, Wills and probate, tax and trusts. We also provide expert advice on matters relating to clients’ residential and commercial property, as well as safeguarding their business interests. Opening up conversations Money can be a delicate topic for many families, which is why our trusted lawyers are often called upon to assist clients in broaching these topics and facilitate positive discussions 0330 221 8855 enquiries@attwaters.co.uk www.attwatersjamesonhill.co.uk

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Making your objectives, our objectives Every family is different, resulting in the need for a unique approach to your wealth. Starting with a conversation about your legal objectives, for example acquiring property, updating your Will or passing assets tax-efficiently down the generations, we will then help you put a robust plan in place to meet those goals. Advice you can trust Legal issues relating to high-net-worth individuals and businesses are often complex, with assets frequently held in complicated structures that span multiple jurisdictions. With an excellent track record of assisting wealthy individuals in managing their wealth, our clients know we provide advice they can trust.

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between the generations. Experience informs us that clients find it helpful to have an impartial third party present during such conversations, as it enables them to view the situation objectively and make the best legal decisions for their circumstances.

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21/05/2021 13:16

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FAMILY • EDUCATION

“We can educate pupils who set out to leave people and places better than they find them”

WORLD WISE The head of York House School on teaching global responsibility in the classroom B y J O N G R AY

R

ewind 20 years and there was much less emphasis on children’s need to become global citizens. Whilst overseas travel wasn’t rare a decade ago, it certainly felt like a real journey of adventure into the unknown. Children today travel (at least before the pandemic they did) relatively easily and inexpensively to a range of nations. In our digitally driven world, it is sometimes hard to fathom that not so long ago, communicating with people overseas meant either talking over the telephone or writing letters. Whereas learning about other countries was a staple diet of the curriculum in the past, children may now need more encouragement to participate in the local society they belong within. The

curriculum of course, still features knowledge of the world especially in subjects like geography and science, where topics such as the environment are thankfully put on centre stage. Seeing individuals including Greta Thunberg play a real part in that geopolitical landscape helps children feel they are part of the story and not just simply observers. It is important that this admirably broad canvas still attracts brush strokes from the children viewing it. They may not be able to do anything directly about the level of emissions in a major country, but they almost certainly can plant new trees in their gardens at home or on their school site. That in itself is valuable; a generation that acts will contribute more than one which “de-platforms” and feels virtuous about itself as a result. As schools we can hope to have a positive impact on this front by educating pupils who set out to leave people and places better than they find them. It’s not just about a global outlook. Children are certainly changing the way they think about their local area today. Something that comes strongly via the lens of sustainability is the importance of “doing no harm”. That is immediately related to the environment, but it also goes to areas of vexation such as traffic flow and the aesthetic landscape. Sometimes, of course, the wider landscape is almost too vast to grasp. The individual story of the individual child in another context is often more attainable and effective. Visiting inspirational speakers who have really been there, seen it and tasted it can also be extraordinarily powerful.

J O N G R AY is headmaster of York House, an independent school for girls and boys aged 3-13, located just outside Croxley Green in Hertfordshire. york-house.com

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FAMILY • PETS

Ta c k l i n g C A R B O N P AW P R I N T

How HOWND are changing the way we think about dog food – and saving the planet while they go about it By MARK KEBBLE

T “It is absolutely possible for our canine companions to thrive on a meat-free diet” MARK HIRSCHEL AND JO AMIT (AND FRIENDS)

he last decade or so has seen a real shift in the food industry in the UK, with many vegan restaurants popping up across Hertfordshire and beyond – and, it seems, this is extending to pet food too. Contrary to popular belief that dogs are obligate carnivores, they are actually omnivores and can therefore not only survive, but thrive on a plant-based diet. It’s something HOWND, based in Borehamwood, know only too well as they have launched their Plant Powered Superfood. It is a balanced blend of highly digestible proteins, fats, carbohydrates and essential nutrients, which are as nutritionally complete as any premium meat-based dog food, but minus the potential toxins, hormones and antibiotics often associated with such diets. It's also naturally hypoallergenic, making it a fantastic alternative for four-legged allergy sufferers, and at a time when pet obesity is rife, dog owners will be pleased to know it’s low in fat too. The new launch is a natural progression for HOWND, which was co-founded by Jo Amit and Mark Hirschel. “Everything we do at HOWND is rooted in maintaining optimal health in dogs while doing as little harm to the planet as possible,” explains

Amit. “We are animal lovers making compassionate products and we are excited about joining the pet food space as a healthy and ethical option for dogs at a time when a microscope is being placed on ingredients and brands more than ever.” It's an approach that has been warmly received by those in the public spotlight. Dr Marc Abraham – or ‘Marc the Vet’ as the broadcaster, author, and animal welfare campaigner is popularly referred to – says: “One of the most important things to think about when feeding your dog is always making sure they’re receiving the correct, required nutritional balance, and extensive research has shown that it is absolutely possible for our canine companions to thrive on a meat-free diet – whether flexitarian or fully plant-based. The team behind HOWND have a complete understanding of how to provide this high-quality nutrition, as well as having a strong ethos around animal welfare.” With the new range launching with the rather tasty sounding Hearty Quinoa & Pumpkin Casserole recipe, it appears that dogs are now taking the lead when it comes to preserving the planet. H OW N D 020 3004 5255 hello@dogslovehownd.com dogslovehownd.com

PLANT POWERED SUPERFOOD LAUNCHES WITH HEARTY QUINOA AND PUMPKIN CASSEROLE

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FAMILY • CARE

Life

CHANGER We visit Potters Grange to see how they offer exemplary boutique residential care with nursing By M A R K K E B B L E

D “Elements would not look out of place at a fivestar hotel”

espite the evolution of the residential care industry over the last decade or so, nothing quite prepares you for a visit to Potters Grange, an Ardale home located in Potters Bar. It’s not an exaggeration to say that elements of Potters Grange would not look out of place at a luxurious five-star hotel. Absolutely Hertfordshire was given a guided tour by Robert Myers, head of care pathways at Ardale. He’s clearly very proud of what he has to show off and rightly so. Potters Grange will be home to only 20 residents across two households. With such a low number, it’s a guarantee that round the clock care if needed will never be an issue, and it’s sure to create a delightfully intimate community feel. The recreation spaces are something else. Potters Grange has its own cinema room, which will bring to life move nights; there is a hair salon, which is always open with an expert on hand; there is a wonderful library area in the sitting room; and the furnishings are top of the range. There’s a wealth of options when it comes to dining at Potters Grange. The kitchen is for the residents’ use if they want to make their own favourite dish, otherwise chefs are only too happy to rustle up some comfort food or something a little more extravagant, and there’s the option to eat alfresco if the weather plays ball. There’s a private dining room too, which is a real touch of luxury, to celebrate a special occasion. While clearly a lot of thought has gone into the surroundings, Potters Grange’s residential care is second to none. Their skilled team of nurses are available 24/7, and with a dedicated key worker assigned

to each resident, there is someone who can be trusted to know exactly what’s needed at a particular moment. The designs of the bedrooms highlight how a resident’s needs are put first. There is a Staff Call System in place and beds are electrically adjustable. Some rooms offer a view of the grounds, others are a little more tucked away, so there’s something that will satisfy any preference. All rooms have an en-suite wet room, but there is also the option of an assisted bath in a separate room, for those who love a relaxing soak. It’s fair to say that every single aspect of residential living has been taken into consideration at Potters Grange. It’s a boutique experience unlike anything you have come across before. P OT T E R S G R A N G E Barnet Road, Potters Bar EN6 2SJ 01707 938 938 • pottersgrange.co.uk A B S O L U T E LY m a g a z i n e s

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Brand New near Potters Bar

Potters Grange

Brand new 20 bed Boutique Residential home with Nursing • Bespoke New Build • Luxuriously Appointed • Like no other you have seen

At Potters Grange you have all the features of a large luxury Care home, without having to share it with 80 or 100 other people • • • • • •

COVID safe for residents and visitors All bedrooms feature ensuite wetrooms Freshly prepared meals and private dining. Air conditioning in lounges and dining areas Cinema room and optional daily activities Home comes with its own fully accessible vehicle

Come and meet the team today to see just how special Potters Grange is O1707 938 938 | Potters Grange | Barnet Road, Potters Bar, Herts, EN6 2SJ | www.PottersGrange.co.uk ARDALE.indd 1

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FAMILY • UK GETAWAY

Beaverbrook SURREY

Helen Baron heads to the Surrey Hills – and takes the kids

THE HOTEL

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refined grandeur is the order of the day at Beaverbrook – as it appears to be throughout this quietly contented corner of Surrey. The magnificent main building, former home of Lord Beaverbrook, has been beautifully maintained. Artworks and antiques jostle for space in the airy central atrium, while the stunning Sir Frank’s Bar is decorated floor to ceiling with landscapes, horticultural paintings and animal portraits from the four corners of the arly modern globe. Our accommodation was in more contemporary quarters a short walk up the drive, two adjoining rooms featuring large, luxuriously appointed bathrooms, walk-in showers, superking beds and views across the estate. Everything, from layout and decor to the choice of family amenities, was perfectly pitched.

THE ACTIVITIES

THE RESTAURANT

THE ESTATE

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he spectacular scale of the grounds is revealed in halting fashion. As you approach the house itself, you only catch glimpses of what’s in store: open meadows and ornamental gardens, a kids’ playground built around a wooden tree-fort. But the full panorama is witnessed for the first time after checking in and making your way to the rear lawns, where shell grottos and tinkling fountains recline beneath stone steps and towering shadetrees. It’s a fine spot to watch the sun set over the wooded slopes that surround the estate.

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e hitched a ride on a buggy to dinner at The Garden House Restaurant (which doubles as a cookery school). The building and its peaceful terrace lead out onto wildflower meadows and one of the most replete kitchen gardens you’ve ever seen, complete with Victorian glasshouse. Our littles loved gambolling around it in the gathering twilight, naming the vegetables that were shortly to be seen again, reconfigured and delicious, on our dinner plates. The food was as magical as the setting and the service warmly attentive – staff were swift and happy to help when a sudden downpour meant we had to abandon our terrace table.

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eaverbrook offers trout-fishing, clay pigeon-shooting and wine-tasting, but there’s lots for families too. Think tennis, indoor and outdoor pools, and a kids club with activities organised by popular entertainers Sharky and George – not to mention this mama’s favourite, the exquisite Coach House Health Club & Spa. Check the website for the different day-spa packages, which are underpinned by a belief and expertise in natural healing.

Rooms start from £385 on a room only basis;

beaverbrook.co.uk

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Commanding a magnificent location between Cuffley and Goff’s Oak, surrounded by leafy ancient woodland and designed for those seeking an idyllic haven less than an hour from the Capital*, St Edward’s Gate offers 23 contemporary homes within a private gated development. Prices from £950,000.

S H O W H O M E O P E N F R I D AY T O M O N D AY 1 0 A M – 4 P M

104 Cuffley Hill | Goff’s Oak | EN7 5EY CALL 020 8441 9555 NEWHOMES@STATONS.COM www.chasenewhomes.co.uk *Journey time travelling from Cuffley to Kings Cross by train c.50 mins, taken from National Rail

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PROPERTY

LOWER PLANTATION WD3

£3.25m

his is an attractive modern house subsequently substantially extended, updated and improved by the current owners in more recent years to form a fabulous contemporary home of great charm and quality incorporating some of the very latest technology throughout. There are six bedrooms, four bathrooms and absolutely stunning outdoor space.

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SAVILLS RICKMANSWORTH 01923 725 501 savills.co.uk

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Scan here to see the full details of all our properties

Cherry Tree Cottage, Rickmansworth, WD3 £1,375,000 F/H Full of character, this four double bedroom detached house has a one bedroom annexe attached and a mature delightful garden. The property also comes chain free.

Highfield Way, Rickmansworth, WD3 £1,195,000 F/H

Salisbury House, Rickmansworth, WD3 £1,695,000 F/H

New to the market, this 4 bedroom detached home is located on one of our most prestigious roads. The property sits on a wide plot and has a patio and landscaped rear gardens with a driveway and parking for 2/3 cars to the front. .

One of two exceptional new build homes in the prestigious Chiltern Grove development. As we went to press both of these beautiful five bedroom arts and craft style homes went under offer and we require similar developments to satisfy customers who have missed out.

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01923 773 616 www.trendandthomas.co.uk | sales@trendandthomas.co.uk TT.indd 1

21/05/2021 12:57


PROPERTY • INSIGHT THE COMMUNITY CAME TOGETHER FOR THE STREET ART PROJECT

Unlocking

INSPIRATION The director of Trend & Thomas on how a tough year has reiterated the finer things in Hertfordshire By B E L I N DA- JA N E G U I L F OY L E

“Despite challenges for many, we are lucky to be living somewhere so good”

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ow delighted we were at Trend & Thomas to hear there was a new Absolutely Hertfordshire magazine coming to our homes – because if there is one thing lockdown taught us, it’s that Hertfordshire is absolutely fantastic. From the beautiful countryside, the canals, the restaurants, pubs and cafes, the walks and nature, the schools that coped with the enforced shift to digital learning and the wonderful people that make up our communities – despite challenges for many, we were lucky to be living somewhere so good. It has not gone unnoticed Hertfordshire is a special place and demand to live here has grown so much, but that is not how we forecast it in March 2020 when the reality of the pandemic was starting to sink in. We thought house moves would slow to a halt. We don’t favour price increases as a method of evaluating the market (Rightmove puts the increase of local prices at 16.36% in the past 12 months), we prefer to discuss transaction numbers and we have seen a 12% increase in these year on year. As we contemplated a potentially frozen 2020 property market, we decided the best thing we could do was to support our community, other local businesses, help out with charities supporting those that were struggling and do whatever we could to keep spirits up. We produced a colouring book of local attractions for children and displayed their creations on our social media and in our windows. We donated chrome books and printers to local schools to assist with home schooling, and created a webpage of all

the local restaurants providing takeaways and home deliveries. It was a strange time for everyone, but there was a silver lining – we found a community of locals and businesses we’d not known before. We swapped lockdown surviving experiences with other independent business owners, we learnt about amazing new local walks and cycle routes from our clients, and we enjoyed food from restaurants and ventures we’d never tried before. When the High Street opened up in mid-April, we celebrated with chalk art created by Y12 students from St Joan of Arc School. It was a wonderful inclusive, creative and fun way to pull our community together and we hope to repeat the street art project again over the summer. Whether you decided to remodel your existing home or to start afresh, there is no doubt the pandemic, aided by the Stamp Duty holiday, has created a very busy property market. It is a great time to sell your home and at Trend & Thomas we would be delighted to welcome you to the area.

B E L I N DA- JA N E G U I L F OY L E is director at Trend & Thomas in Rickmansworth. For more information call 01923 773616, email sales@trendandthomas.co.uk or visit trendandthomas.co.uk Photos by suelaceyphotography.com

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E M O ! H EN W P O WO SH O N

A STUNNING COLLECTION OF 4 & 5 BEDROOM CONTEMPOR ARY EXECUTIVE FAMILY HOMES A PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT WITH GARAGES AND/OR OFF-STREET PARKING IN BROXBOURNE High specification and quality finishes – Less than 30 minutes to London Liverpool Street* Close proximity to The Broxbourne School

STAMP DUTY & LEGAL FEES PAID ON SELECTED PLOTS

Plus a choice of curtains or blinds in a range of styles and materials from our interior designer, fitted and included in the purchase. Offer available exclusively on plots 37 & 40.

SALES & MARKETING SUITE OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK By appointment only. 10am–5pm.

PR ICES FROM £655,000

CALL 01992 663 890 salesherts@lanesnewhomes.co.uk

LANESNEWHOMES.CO.UK *By train travelling from Broxbourne station. Travel times taken from National Rail. †Stamp duty & legal fees up to £2,000 paid on plots 37 & 40.

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21/05/2021 13:27


PROPERTY • DEVELOPMENT

SPACE TO

LIVE , WORK & VISIT Looking at the many different facets to Hatfield Park

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he events of the last year have, for many, called into question where we live, work and play. Destinations which provide access to green space and fresh air, yet remain conveniently located, have become more appealing. Hatfield Park is a long established visitor attraction; however it is also at the centre of a thriving estate and community.

SPACE TO WORK Individual and characterful workspaces in and around the park continue to appeal to a diverse range of businesses looking for something unique. Despite the lockdowns, the Estate has, amongst others, welcomed several new new tech companies, an awardwinning independent dessert creator and a boutique florist. Hatfield is increasingly viewed as a destination for energetic, creative and innovative businesses.

SPACE TO LIVE Hatfield Park Estate also offers a wide range of characterful homes for people to rent. Whether a period farmhouse or cottage, modern townhouse or flat, all properties are maintained to modern standards whilst retaining original features. In the coming weeks properties on Fore Street, in Old Hatfield, will be marketed to let representing a rare opportunity to join this thriving community. Residents benefit from free membership to Friends of Hatfield Park, which provides access to Hatfield Park all year round as well as exclusive offers from Stable Yard retailers. The Stable Yard acts as a central hub where residents and businesses can enjoy the Coach House Kitchen for coffee catch ups, breakfast meetings and lunch breaks.

SPACE TO VISIT Over the last year travel restrictions have resulted in many of us reconnecting with our local area and appreciating what

is on our doorstep. As the country now opens up again, so do the shops, woodland walks and gardens in Hatfield Park.

LOCATION AND COMMUNIT Y “Whilst history has defined both our values and the place, our primary focus is ensuring that Hatfield Park remains a vibrant location,” says Anthony Downs, Estate Director. “Whether that be through the provision of first class homes or workspace, or taking a sustainable approach to farming and forestry, we seek to be creative, forward thinking and agile when working with our tenants and partners. We have greatly enjoyed welcoming new businesses and residential occupiers during the last 12 months.” If you are considering moving home, relocating your business or perhaps plan to launch a start-up and appreciate the benefits a home or workspace in a setting such has Hatfield can offer then to learn more visit hatfield-house.co.uk

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