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Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0ES
Tel: 01732 762682
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Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2UY
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Logic wiLL get you
from A to B
ImagInatIon wIll take
John Graham-Hart finds
Get the know-how
on good digestion
What’s going on near
you this month
A HEALTHY START
LIGHT & FANTASTIC
visits an unassuming
Dorking home – with
a spectacular interior
GET THE LOOK
Fabulous home accessories
SHARING THE LOVE
Jennifer Stuart-Smith visits
a home with a warm heart
Start the year with
bright, bold clothes
HEALTH & BEAUTY
The latest products
for your face and
body, plus a great male
SEEDS OF SUCCESS
Jo Arnell shares her
passion for seeds and
Win a night in the
Love Nest at The Bell,
Ticehurst, tickets to
their comedy night,
supper and breakfast
Jane Howard marvels at
her new-born calves
GSA Girls’ Boarding and Day School 11-18
Saturday 6 February
10.00 - 1.00pm
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PriorsfieldS15.indd 1 18/12/2015 11:50
The Property Ombudsman
Substantial Victorian home of great charm and character in a secluded and rural setting
Main house - impressive entrance porch, reception hall, elegant drawing room, dining room, sitting room, study, kitchen/breakfast room with Aga,
utility room, cloakroom, cellar with 3 rooms, elegant staircase to spacious first floor landing, 6 bedrooms, dressing room with potential to create ensuite
bathroom, two bathrooms, former coach house with consent to convert to a dwelling, covered swimming pool, long driveway with ample parking
and turning, mature formal gardens, 2 paddocks, sand school, stables and tack room, in all, about 6 acres. Annexe - family room, bedroom, en-suite
Guide price £1.95m Fast Find 63222
A most appealing and superbly appointed family home in one of Reigate’s most convenient locations
Entrance porch and reception hall, charming sitting room, reception room, beautiful kitchen/breakfast/family room, utility room, potential study area,
cloakroom, first floor landing, master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, four further bedrooms, luxurious family bathroom, additional WC, mature
southerly aspect garden, driveway providing parking, garage.
Guide price £1.295m Fast Find 63568
coming 26 January 2015
The Property Ombudsman
Southwater, nr Horsham
A fine Grade II Listed country house in mature grounds
Reception hall, cloakroom, drawing room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, larder, conservatory, master bedroom with en-suite shower room,
bedroom 2 with en-suite bathroom, 4 further bedrooms, family bathroom, loft storage room, beautiful cottage style gardens.
Guide price £925,000 Fast Find 61639
Stunning and substantial luxury family home in a quiet and established location
Entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, substantial kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, lower ground floor with media room, further reception room
and cloakroom, 5 bedrooms, 5 en-suite bath/shower rooms, dressing room, storage space, 5,200 sq. ft. of living space, gardens.
Guide price £1.695m Fast Find 62871
coming 26 January 2015
Do you own a listed property or are
you thinking of buying one?
Join the Listed Property Owners Club
for vital insider information, financial
savings, advice and peace of mind.
The Listed Property Owners Club - the UK’s only advice
service dedicated to helping the owners of listed buildings.
Membership starts from as little as £4 a month. For more
information and to become a member please speak to
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Plus, don’t miss The Listed Property Show!
Olympia London 20-21 February 2016
HIC Harrogate 12-13 March 2016
Download your FREE show tickets today
– visit www.lpoc.co.uk
• FREE LPOC telephone helpline
• Specialist Directory of trusted suppliers
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• Logbook of information sheets and briefi ngs
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• Access to specialist insurance – our providers insure
virtually any type of building including those undergoing
renovation and conversion
OLYMPIA LONDON 20 - 21 FEB 2016
HIC HARROGATE 12 - 13 MAR 2016
For FREE tickets visit www.lpoc.co.uk
In association with
The Property Ombudsman
Oxted Westerham Limpsfield
These are just a few
properties we have sold
for clients during 2015.
To see how we can help
you in 2016 call us on
01883 712375 or visit
Oxted Limpsfield Limpsfield Village
Oxted 01883 712375
coming 26 January 2015
Exciting new chapter takes shape at
Elmbridge retirement village
A computer generated image of Elmbridge
Manor, which will provide a range of
communal facilities for residents
The story unfolds
Elmbridge Manor is the exciting
new addition to our already
established retirement village off the
Elmbridge Road, on
the outskirts of
represents a major
enhancement right in
the heart of the village, providing existing
residents, as well as new purchasers,
with a brand new
clubhouse and leisure facilities, plus
additional new retirement apartments.
We have worked closely with our
architects and now our builders to
ensure this is a clubhouse and
apartment project that will not only meet,
but exceed, the aspirations of people
looking for modern retirement living.
We want the clubhouse to be the type
of facility that any village, anywhere in
the country, would be thrilled to have,
while the apartments will offer people in
their mid-60s and over, the complete
answer to comfort and peace of mind in
a modern home within the wider
village setting of like-minded people.
For more information, contact Gill
Davies on 01483 676100
Roger Coupe (selling agents) on 01483
State of the art clubhouse facilities
The new clubhouse promises
facilities that any village
community would be delighted to
There will be a village hall with
its own stage and green room,
perfect for one of the many
concerts, performances or other
social get togethers.
The clubhouse will also
- main restaurant and smaller
separate private dining room
- terrace bar and verandah
- library and reading room
- village shop
The clubhouse sits at the heart
of this established community
which already has more than 20
clubs and groups up and running.
It is an extremely active and
thriving retirement community
where there really isn’t time to
get bored or feel lonely.
LEFT: A computer
generated image of
the dining room.
BELOW; A computer
generated image of
the proposed village
hall, which can be
used for concerts.
The beauty of moving to Elmbridge
Village is the peace of mind in
knowing you will be joining an
already established community of
Owning a brand new one or two
bedroom apartment in the heart of
the village means you can watch
village life and all the comings and
goings from the comfort of your
property and join in, as and when
you want to.
Village manager, Simon Baird
said: “I think people appreciate
that everyone has their own life
to lead and so privacy and
independence are paramount.
Some people use the village as a
base and go out daily to Cranleigh
and further afield to meet up with
friends and run errands.
“Complementing this is an
extremely rich social fabric which
brings the village together. It might
be a computer club meeting or a
luncheon with guest speaker, it is
really quite amazing how much
residents have organised.
“The real beauty is, no-one is
made to feel they have to join in,
the choice is very much theirs.”
village with a
wide range of
arranged on a
Contact us to
find out more
Building work is well underway.
The first phase of 18 apartments
will be ready to move into
towards the end of the summer.
There will be numerous
apartment footprints from which
to choose.Floor plans,
apartment aspects and prices
are released this month.
For a brochure or DVD of
this next exciting addition to
Our sales specialist
would be delighted
to discuss our
plans with you.
Tel: 01483 676100
Roger Coupe (selling agents),
tel: 01483 268555
HOUSE OF THE MONTH by John Graham-Hart
Going with the flow
War Coppice Road | Caterham | Surrey | CR3 6AS
John Graham-Hart finds waterside properties
1. The Mound
Where? The Mound sits high on the
North Downs a couple of miles south of
Caterham and has fine southerly views
The Mound_V3.indd 1 27/10/2015 09:13
once met up with a friend to celebrate the birth of his first child. He
was both elated and depressed. Elated for obvious reasons, depressed
because his wife had decided on both a home birth and a water birth.
The birthing pool had been set up in their bedroom and all went swimmingly
until there was a crack like a rifle shot and pool, wife and 200 gallons of
water started to disappear through the floor into the drawing room below.
The mother-to-be scrambled clear with surprising agility but my friend’s
beautiful Georgian drawing room would never, alas, be the same. “It looks
like the Norwegian whaling fleet has been through,” he muttered.
What is it about our love-affair with water? Why are we so fascinated by it?
Humankind just can’t keep away from the wet stuff. We are the only non-aquatic
mammal that has such a close relationship with H2O. Most of us have at least
one close encounter with water every day, in the form of a bath or shower. When
we come to select that hard-earned holiday, many of us choose to spend it on a
beach. We love to watch it in motion and will even go to great pains to get it to
defy gravity and flow up into the air.
Whatever the reason, we certainly do like to be around water and have water
around us. Properties on the coast, with sea views, by rivers or on lake-sides all
come with a premium price tag. From a humble pond to a dramatic beach, we’re
up for it. So have a look and see if one of these homes whets your appetite….
(Google Maps CR3 6AS).
What? The property is one wing of a
large Victorian country house upgraded to
provide an elegant and substantial family
home while retaining attractive period
features including stained glass, high
ceilings and pretty ironwork. The drawing
room has a superb ornate ceiling, original
herringbone parquet and a bay window
with French doors to the terrace. There is
also a contemporary kitchen/dining room
adjoining a family room and a study that
opens off the entrance hall.
Above, there is a master bedroom
with en suite bathroom and four more
bedrooms. Outside, in two acres of
outstanding gardens with fine views, there
is a former grass tennis court, now a lawn,
a vegetable garden, two double garages
and an attractive ornamental pond with
decking and a gazebo.
How much? The Mound is
£1,295,000 and is with Fine & Country in
Woldingham. Call 01883 653040 of visit
EQUESTRIAN FACILITIES AND SO MUCH MORE
pythingdean manor lodge, pulborough, west sussex
2. Ballards Shaw
Where? Ballards Shaw is in a soughtafter
private road in Limpsfield about
a mile and a half from Oxted. (Google
Maps RH8 0SN)
What? Part of a large house built
at the turn of the last century, it is in
outstanding grounds and gardens and
retains many of the original features
of its period, including sash windows
and attractive fireplaces. Downstairs
accommodation includes a spacious
drawing room with a quadruple bay
window overlooking the gardens, a sitting
room with matching bay window,
inter-connecting dining room with French
doors to the garden, a family room and
Upstairs there is a master bedroom
with en suite bathroom and three more
bedrooms. Outside, in just under an acre
and a half of grounds, is an attractive
lake with an island, extensive lawns, a
vegetable plot, greenhouse, fruit cage and
a double garage.
How much? Ballards Shaw is on the
market for £1,445,000 with Jackson-Stops
& Staff in Oxted. Call 01883 712375 or
3. Mollstone Wood
Where? Mollstone Wood is set in large
and secluded gardens just south of Hurst
Green near Oxted (Google Maps RH8
What? A handsome Arts and Crafts
home built in the 1930s and substantially
and sympathetically extended in 2003, the
property has a wealth of character features
but all the benefits of a contemporary
family home. Accommodation includes
a drawing room with fine panelling and
a fireplace as well as French doors to the
terrace, a dining room with two sets of
doors to the terrace, a sitting room, study,
games room and kitchen/breakfast room.
Upstairs there is a master bedroom with
en suite bathroom, a dressing area, four
further bedrooms – one with en suite
bathroom – and a sauna. An attached
annexe offers two more bedrooms, a
living room, kitchen and bathroom.
Outside in grounds and gardens of over
two acres, there is a large and attractive
Koi carp pond next to a pretty thatched
summerhouse and a swimming pool.
How much? Mollstone Wood is
£3,250,000 and is on the market with
Jackson-Stops & Staff in Oxted. Call
01883 712375 or visit
4.Pythingdean Manor Lodge
Where? Pythingdean Manor Lodge is
on a rural lane within the South Downs
National Park, a mile and a half from
Pulborough (Google Maps RH20 1BS).
What? Built in the 1970s, The Lodge is
a substantial family home in over 30 acres
of gardens, stables, pastures, woodland,
lakes and streams. The property also
includes a detached two-bedroom cottage.
The main house has a spacious drawing
room -- with inglenook and separate
doors opening on to a terrace – as well
as a conservatory, dining room, generous
study, a large games/family room, second
conservatory with lily pound and an
indoor swimming pool.
Upstairs there is a master bedroom
with en suite bathroom and three further
bedrooms, two with en suite bathrooms.
It has extensive equestrian facilities–
including four stables, two barns and a
tack room – two greenhouses and two
How much? Pythingdean Manor
Lodge is on the market with Savills in
Guildford and is £1,795,000. Call 01483
796 820 or visit www.savills.co.uk
13 13 www.wealdentimes.co.uk
£4,500 off selected
Stock Audi TTs
Terms and conditions apply.
Reigate Road, Epsom, Surrey KT17 3LA
BUSS MURTON advertorial
Government extends permission to convert office
to residential developments
Brandon Lewis, the Housing
and Planning Minister,
that the Government
has permanently extended the
permitted development of officeto-residential
The Government initially introduced
the scheme in May 2013, and these
temporary measures were due to
expire 3 years later on 30 May 2016.
Now, the permitted development
rights have been made permanent.
This will effectively extend the time
limit for those who already have
existing prior approvals to complete
the conversion by May 2019.
Developers will have further
permitted development rights
to allow the demolition of
office buildings to then rebuild
as residential dwellings. This
will also include the change of
use from light industrial and
launderettes to residential use. A
developer will have three years
to complete the change of use.
The announcement is clearly good
news for developers and owners
of office units that are currently
underused. The shortage of
residential housing coupled with
empty office space, particularly
during the recession, meant
the scheme was an attractive
proposition for developers.
However, with an upturn in the
economy, we may potentially see
an imbalance between residential
and commercial property availability
in some areas as the demand for
office space picks up. One possible
outcome may mean a squeeze on
rental prices by commercial landlords
for tenants requiring offices.
Under the current scheme, local
authorities have the ability to
make what is known as an Article
4 direction which allows them to
continue to determine permitted
development on a planning
application basis provided they
are able to justify their decision.
It is envisaged that this will be
allowed under the new scheme
with local authorities having to
apply by no later than May 2019.
Another concern has been raised
by the Royal Institute of British
Architects (RIBA), who have stated
that whilst they are not opposed to
the idea of an offices function being
adapted to a housing use on a case
by case basis, the homes delivered
under the policy are exempt from
space and environmental standards
and there is a clear risk that this will
lead to low quality housing. They
are particularly concerned about the
number of very small apartments
being squeezed into converted
office buildings across England.
As the Housing Bill passes
through Parliament, full details
of how this scheme will work
should become clearer.
Timothy Collins is a Trainee
Solicitor in Buss Murton’s Property
Department. For further advice
or to make an appointment in
our East Grinstead, Tunbridge
Wells, Cranbrook or Dartford
office, please call us on
01892 510 222 or email us at
COMMERCIAL & PERSONAL SOLICITORS
and classic kitchen
design using fine
Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RP 01737 240403
RDO, not just an Appliance Retailer!
In the same location and family ownership since 1952, RDO Kitchens
& Appliances offers a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Often thought of as
only an appliance
store, RDO also runs
a very successful
RDO is proud to be an Appointed
Kitchen Centre for Stoneham
Kitchens. We specialise in stylish,
bespoke kitchens and quality
furniture making. Contemporary
kitchen design is met with stateof-the-art
engineering to create
luxury fitted kitchens of modern
and traditional style, and hightech
functionality. Handmade in
Britain, every Stoneham kitchen
displays the skills and unfailing
attention to detail built over five
generations of family ownership.
Designed to enhance your home
and lifestyle, during its 150-year
history Stoneham has provided
designer kitchens and bespoke
furniture for customers all over the
UK, including the Royal Family.
Whether it be timber, as in our
Walnut Strata range, Painted
Shaker as in our ever popular
Edwardian Range, or a handleless
lacquer or laminate, RDO
Kitchen Studio is able to meet
the needs of nearly everyone!
With our own vans and delivery
teams we pride ourselves in
getting your new kitchen and
appliances to you safely and with
the utmost care. Our fitting teams
have many years of experience of
fitting bespoke furniture, working
seamlessly with our other experts
to help create your dream kitchen.
RDO is rightly famous in the South
East as the place to go for all your
appliance needs; with nearly 500
appliances on display from the
majority of quality manufacturers
you are bound to find the perfect
appliance for your requirements.
With many displays fully working,
we are able demonstrate the
advantages of modern cooking
techniques, such as induction and
steam cooking, and how to integrate
these into your new kitchen.
At RDO our philosophy is simple.
Every project we undertake –
whether creating a totally new
kitchen or extending or refurbishing
an existing one – is as important
to us as it is to you, for our
reputation is at stake. Frequently
listed as a major selling point
in property advertising, the
cachet of a Stoneham kitchen
adds appeal and value.
So whether it’s a complete
new kitchen or a replacement
appliance, RDO is the place to go.
RDO, Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 7RP 01737 240403 rdokitchenstudio.co.uk
Sale Now On
19 St. Margarets St,
Kent CT1 2TH
Tel: 01227 765294
2 East Cross,
Kent TN30 6AD
Tel: 01580 765159
6 High St,
Surrey RH2 9AY
Tel: 01737 249224
CountyClothesS15.indd 1 11/12/2015 11:55
• CARPETS • VINYLS • WOODS
• NEXT DAY FITTING • COLLECT SAME DAY
• HUNDREDS OF PRODUCTS IN STOCK
FREE ESTIMATES AND MOBILE SHOWROOM AVAILABLE
Guildford Flooring Co Limited, One Acre, Aldershot Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 3HQ
01483 232 640 www.guildfordflooring.co.uk
GuildfordFlooringS01.indd 1 29/10/2014 18:40
Talk to Vanilla - Properties of Distinction
‘Your one-stop solution, for all things construction’
Planning a construction or refurbishment project?
Vanilla – Properties of Distinction is a renowned and professional building firm, where quality of service really matters
We provide a no obligation & free consultation
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All Architecture and Engineering plans undertaken,
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Skilled work force: polite, professional, reliable
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Experience with all types of property,
in both rural and urban areas
We handle all legal and regulatory matters, with
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Fixed cost scope of works & realistic time
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We are fully insured, with all work finished to a high
standard, fully backed by our meaningful warranty
Our total-services solution takes care of
everything, so you don’t have to. Call us today
Project Enquiries - Telephone: 0808 1000 882
Proud to support
the Matt Hampson
Foundation. See our
website for details.
Join Jane Anderson Wood on this two-day workshop on Saturday 30
and Sunday 31 January, and learn the basics of watercolour painting.
Using the winter trees as the perfect focus and inspiration, you’ll
be guided through interpreting a subject matter, and what material
and equipment are best used in watercolour. The cost for the two
days is £140, and this includes all materials and a buffet lunch.
To book visit www.painshill.co.uk or phone 01932 868113.
Exhibitions & events
near you this month...
New Year, new hobby? Learn to crochet with
artist Barbara Touati-Evans at The Lightbox,
Woking, on Saturday 16 January. Develop the
skills to get started on some simple stitches, and
make a beautiful mug warmer for your favourite
cuppa. This course is suitable for those aged
16 years and above and advance booking is
required. All materials are included in the entry
price of £18. For more information visit www.
thelightbox.org.uk or phone 01483 737800.
Stars, hide your fires...
If you’re a Shakespeare fan then be sure to
book your tickets for the Harlequin Theatre’s
production of Macbeth on Friday 15 January.
After murdering King Duncan and seizing the
throne, Macbeth becomes consumed with guilt and
paranoia as the ghosts of his wrong doings come
back to haunt him. To book tickets visit www.
harlequintheatre.co.uk or phone 01737 276500.
Charge a glass...
Join Denbies and celebrate their 30th anniversary
year. Matthieu Elzinga, Denbies’ very own
winemaker will be hosting a tasting of the beautiful
range of wines grown and created on the estate.
Including a three-course meal, tickets are £30 per
person, making it the perfect reason to get together
with friends for an evening of great fun. To book
tickets or for more information visit their website
www.denbies.co.uk or phone 01306 742002.
From Saturday 16 January, pay a visit to New
Ashgate Gallery, Farnham and witness an
exciting collection of art work on display. Joseph
Harrington interprets landscapes and rugged
coastlines, whilst Heidi Harrington’s screen printed
ceramic designs are inspired by both movement
and stillness in nature. Adam Green draws from
his love of Mexican and African iconography.
Take a look online at www.newashgate.org.uk
Discover & create...
This consumer event at Sandown Exhibition
Centre is aimed at anyone and everyone, beginner
or enthusiast. If you’re interested in learning
new crafts, stocking up on supplies or just
creating a project for a special occasion, then
this is the event for you. Enjoy demonstrations,
workshops and make & takes which cater for all
levels of ability from Thursday 28 to Saturday
30 Jan. Visit www.sccshows.co.uk for more
information and to book tickets in advance.
Mini Aces club on Thursday 14 January brings
Brooklands Museum to life through stories, craft,
song and dance. With a focus on different objects,
stories and exhibits, children will discover the
treasures we have in our collection and build
self-confidence in a new and exciting environment.
Contact 01932 857381 or visit
for more information.
The best bed
Best quality. Best prices.
is now on!
Best service. Guaranteed.
Wells Bedding and Interiors
44 High Street, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1XF
y o u r h o m e
( 01403 269261
( 01293 782404
( 01428 641947
( 01903 234811
The new hedgehog friendly gravelboard from Jacksons will help our prickly friends to roam from garden to garden and forage more easily, keeping off the roads.
Find full details on these and all our 25 year Jakcure guaranteed products by going to your dedicated page www.jacksons-fencing.co.uk/ashfordlocal
Giving hedgehogs a helpful hole
I think you must have been
completely out of circulation
recently, not to have heard about
the plight of the humble
hedgehog. These appealing little
chaps, who are commonly
considered the gardener’s friend
because they feed on some of
the pests in the garden, have
suffered a severe decline in
numbers. The current population
is estimated to be around 25%
down in the last decade, which
may mean there is only a million
or so left.
This may be caused by a
reduction in their natural
habitat, the countryside. Which
means more of them are
resorting to living in towns,
where unfortunately a whole raft
of new threats exists. The most
obvious is getting run over by
vehicles - possibly 50,000 come
to grief on roads. We all know
that the hedgehog’s first defence
mechanism is to curl up, so they
present a prickly ball, not many
predators will find an attractive
proposition. Sadly this doesn’t
work in any way to deter cars,
they just squash them!
The list of bad stuff that can
happen to hedgies (as I like to
call them) is lengthy: many
drown in garden ponds because
we don’t think of putting
something in there to help any
hapless creatures climb out. They
are also poisoned by careless
gardeners who still haven’t
cottoned on to the fact that
slugs eat slug pellets, slugs are
then eaten by hedgehogs, then
hedgehogs die a very nasty
death from poison!
The list continues with getting
trapped in netting, which can
result in horrific injuries when
they try to escape, being burnt in
bonfires that seem to be a nice
place to make home, until it is
set on fire, and apparently
strimming accidents are fairly
So what can we do to help?
We can avoid leaving netting
around for them to get caught
in, also check carefully before
strimming that there aren’t any
animals that will get hurt when
you let rip with the machine,
and check the bonfire hasn’t
become a hedgie hotel. If you
have to use slug pellets, please
find a wildlife friendly version
that isn’t going to harm any
If you are of a kind nature you
could try feeding them a little
cat food and please don’t forget
Hedgehogs used to be able to
move much more freely
between gardens, finding a
variety of locations to feed and
make a home. Nowadays we are
all a lot keener on fencing in our
properties, and sturdy
gravelboards at the bottom of
fence panels probably have put
an abrupt stop to many an
established hedgie run.
Here at Jacksons we’ve tried
to find a way to help our
spiky friends, we’ve created
the hedgehog friendly
gravelboard. It is the same as a
normal gravelboard, but it has a
hole at one end, large enough
to allow them free passage,
with a reinforcing strip along
the top of the board to ensure it
isn’t weakened by the hole.
It may seem a small and simple
move on our part to try to
redress the balance. We know
there will probably only be a
small percentage of our
customers that will opt for
installing one of these boards in
their fence run, but it will give
us, as a company, the chance to
talk about the hedgehog decline
to our customers and anyone
else who will listen. The sincere
hope is that it will help to make
One last word to the dissenters,
To enter the free prize draw and
be in with a chance to win £300
of Jacksons vouchers simply log
on to your dedicated page,
address below and follow the
easy instructions on how to
enter. The draw closes 29.2.16.
To enter go to:
who immediately shout out that
having a hole in the
gravelboard will encourage rats.
My response is, if you’ve got
rats, a gravelboard will not
deter them. They are prolific
climbers and they have a
special squishy skeleton (there
is a scientific name for this, but
I refuse to look it up!) the
flexibility of their bone structure
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Here’s wishing all of our readers a Merry Christmas and
a Happy New Year! Whether you are holed up with
your January issue of the Wealden Times, enjoying
your Christmas break, or are already looking to the
year ahead, this month’s magazine is sure to brighten
up your day – before you’ve even got past the cover.
This month’s cover star is a dazzling 1920s home, in
Dorking, Surrey, the interior of which will make your heart
sing. Bright, light and airy, it’s testament to the power of
clever design and the benefits of having an artist in the family
whilst underlining the point that good taste is not all about
having a big budget. Closer to home we visit a classic Wealden
farmhouse near Ulcombe in Kent, transformed by its owners,
Sarah and Dean, into the perfect, cosy house for country living.
As well as our two interiors features, we’ve got some
mouth-watering and revitalising recipes from Lou Lou
Hamilton at Cocolicious – perfect if you have overindulged
over Christmas – Jo Fairley’s expert ‘beauty
resolutions’ as well as a health and beauty supplement
to help you feel tip-top as you go into the New Year.
Enjoy your Wealden Times!
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Wealden Times Team
Editor .................................................................................Jennifer Stuart-Smith
Fashion & Beauty Editor................................................................Helen Barton
Design ..........................................................................................Powerful Pierre
Design Team ...............................................................................Anthony Boxall
Managing Director .........................................................................Julie Simpson
Sales Manager .....................................................................Lisa Gordon-Hughes
Sales Team .......................................................................................Mandy Agar
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BellegroveWT167.indd 1 30/11/2015 12:13
Light – and fantastic
Words: John Graham-Hart Photographs: David Merewether Styling: Helen Barton
It is often said that ‘mother knows best’. In the case of this 1920s home in
Dorking, Surrey, it would be hard to dispute this – especially when you discover
that the mother in question is an award-winning artist and a designer who has
helped her daughter transform a simple family home into a masterpiece...
Above: The kitchen space was once three rooms and a corridor, but is now
open-plan light and airy Right: Pops of colour add to the general brightness
of the rooms
Once upon a time we lived in caves. It wasn’t ideal
but it sure beat rubbing two sticks together in
the pouring rain. However, after a few tens of
thousands of years, some bright spark grew tired of the
damned great hole where his cave met the elements and
decided to build a mud wall across the entrance. It probably
collapsed two or three times in the making but ultimately it
was finished and he stood back to admire his work. His wife
joined him and after a moment or two he turned to her.
“Architecture is reaching out for truth,” he grunted. “A
great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go
through immeasurable means when it’s being designed and in
the end must be immeasurable.” In the blink of a low-browed
eye, architecture had been born and with it, architects.
Both are, by and large, A Good Thing. The latter, however,
can have a tendency to eclipse Miss Piggy when it comes
to pretention – the words above were not actually spoken
by our caveman but by the great American architect Louis
Khan. There are of course, exceptions and one of the most
notable is Sir David Chipperfield whose contribution to
architecture worldwide is truly immeasurable and whose
pronouncements are invariable enlightening and inspiring.
Above left: Kate has mixed designer items with affordable pieces from shops such as IKEA and Made.com Above right: The ‘simple yellow’ of the Tesco bar
stools in the kitchen is echoed by lamps in the living room and the painted doors of a downstairs storage cupboard.
“There is a danger when every building has to look
spectacular, to look like it’s changing the world,” he says.
“I don’t care how a building looks if it means something,
not to architects but to the people who use it.”
Which brings us, perhaps a little circuitously, to Kate
and Jason’s house in a leafy residential street in Dorking.
Externally it certainly does not have ambitions that rock the
universe. It is, however, my favourite in its street. It was, in
1928, the first to be built here and today is set apart from
its rendered neighbours by its individual style, warm-andweathered
brown brick and general air of gentle welcome.
However, the house’s unassuming exterior belies an interior
that is one great basket of light – an interior that, while not
changing the world beyond the front door, has certainly
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Above: A light and well-equipped home office makes Kate’s one day working from home much more pleasant. ‘It’s a really nice place to work,’ she says
changed the lives of all lucky enough to live here. Kate
and Jason took over a house that was designed for 1930s’
living and updated piece-meal over years, and transformed
it into a truly outstanding home for a 21 st century family.
Two years ago the couple decided to move from
their previous home to be closer to work and to have
more space for the family which includes nine-yearold
Amber and seven-year-old Joe. They started looking
in the Dorking area and, as fate would have it, this
was the first house they looked at. “I don’t think I was
wild about it but I knew it would work,” says Kate.
The property had only just come up for sale for the
first time in a generation and the market was moving
fast. They immediately put their own house up for
Above: The stylish white-topped oak desk in the home office space once served as Kate and Jason’s kitchen table. The white bookshelves are from Ikea and the
on-trend grey sofa was £100 from Homesense. A white leather rocking chair, to the left of the picture and on the previous page, was from Habitat
sale and again fate took a hand and it sold within 48
hours. In two weeks it was a done deal. There was only
one slight problem -- they were going to have to do
a considerable amount of pretty radical work on the
property, had nowhere to live and winter was coming on.
The answer was to move into a campervan in the driveway,
make swift decisions and watch builders tearing apart walls,
interior and exterior, as temperatures began to fall. They did,
however, have a design heavyweight on their team – Kate’s
mother, the artist Gill Wyche. Gill and her husband designed
and built their own home, Tyneham House in Caldy, a
property shortlisted in this year’s Northern Design Awards.
“My mum has had a big influence on this house,” says Kate.
Looking at the acres of glass at Tyneham House, one can
see the importance Gill attaches to natural light and it’s a
priority she has brought to her daughter’s home. From an
inter-war property with many rooms serving a family with
six children, it has become a contemporary home with fewer,
larger rooms and fewer walls – both internal and external.
Wherever possible, entire exterior walls have been replaced
with great expanses of glass in the shape of bi-folding doors.
The new kitchen space, for instance, was three rooms
and a corridor and is now one glorious space with one
wall entirely composed of bi-folding doors with oversized
panes opening out on to a patio and high-banked flower
beds. “This side of the house is south-facing so the light
pours in all day,” says Kate. “The doors were a real drama
to get in but they were well worth it in the end.”
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WINTER SALE NOW ON
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Above: A central landing allows light to flood into every room and is an
attractive focal point of the home Left: Although many of the rooms have
been knocked through to create open-plan living, there are still intimate
spaces such as this dressing room on the first floor
All the units are bespoke and in a Little Greene grey.
The walls are white. Any particular kind of white? “Just
trade white,” says Kate. “Sorry but to me white is
white and that’s what I asked for and that’s what they
are.” The Corian surfaces are also just white and the
£30 Tesco bar stools are just yellow. On the walls is a
selection of bright Anthropologie prints and a daffodil
still-life by her mother. The floor is a lightly limed,
not-quite-white Fired Earth herringbone parquet.
The fridge is called Goliath. This is not an
anthopromorphic affectation by the family but a
model name assigned to it by its makers, Fisher &
Paykel. “I was so tired of having such a tiny fridge in
my previous kitchen that when I found a fridge called
Goliath, I knew I had to have it,” says Kate.
Above: Amber’s room is painted in a ‘simple white’ but livened up with bright and cheerful fabrics. Kate, rescued the miniature wrought iron day bed from a
florist’s shop, where it was being used for display. Original oak mullion windows throughout the house are a reminder of its 1920s origin
More glass doors lead into the drawing room, this
time doors with more regular-sized panes and then more
bi-folding doors with larger panes open out into the garden.
This means, optically speaking, that the entire garden
becomes part of the kitchen. “The window manufacturers
and fitters were seriously concerned that the large panes at
one end of the room wouldn’t match the smaller ones at
the other,” says Kate, “but we worked it out in the end.”
The fireplace was pretty much as it is today except that
the grey tiles have been replaced with slate. Kate has retained
the oak mantle above it. “When we came to look at the
detail, so much in this house may have dated back to the
‘50s and beyond but, given a slightly different treatment,
looked very contemporary -- so we retained as much as
we possibly could.” This included the oak mullions of the
windows, which were stripped, and a stunning staircase that
again was stripped to put the natural oak centre-stage.
The two high sofas are from the Sofa Workshop gather
round a Habitat glass-topped coffee table, while underfoot
the original oak flooring has been stripped and limed. The
rug is from Homesense and the TV unit from MADE.com.
The study is not so much a mere study but a cool
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Above: It’s clear from the layout of all of the rooms, including those of the children, that there is a designer’s influence at work. Here, two playful gingham
lampshades and classic bedside tables add symmetry and order to the space, while not being overly formal
and elegant office. Kate is Head of Strategy for the
NSPCC and takes one day off from her desk in London
to work from home. “It’s a bit over-kill for one day’s use
a week but it is a really nice place to work,” she says.
The centrepiece is a stylish white-topped, oak-legged
desk which once served as Kate and Jason’s kitchen table.
The white bookshelves that cover one wall came from
Ikea and a swish grey sofa that looks as if it should have
cost considerably more was bought from Homesense
for just £100. My favourite piece, however is a million
dollar white leather rocking chair from Habitat.
Upstairs, past a Habitat tripod standard lamp standing
sentry on the landing, is the the master bedroom
fashioned, along with its bathroom and dressing
room, from a number of smaller rooms. The oak bed
is Habitat and, beside it, an Anthropologie flamingo
head sticks out of the wall. One half expects to find the
rear end protruding into the bedroom next door.
Amber’s room, like virtually all the rooms in the house,
is ‘just white’. Hiding behind the door is an old school
Above: Bright dashes of colour and touches of humour, such as the flamingo’s
head protruding from the wall, prevent the rooms feeling at all austere –
despite the liberal use of white paint on the walls Right: Kate’s love of colour
and preferred palette is reflected in her shoes
An Anthropologie flamingo head sticks
out from the wall. One half expects to
find the rear end protruding into the
bedroom next door
desk and, in an opposite alcove, a Victorian washstand.
Under the window is a miniature wrought-iron day bed
which Kate rescued from its previous life as a florist’s prop.
Joe’s room really could not be more of a boy’s room.
Virtually every sport known to man is represented and
by the window is an Austin J40 pedal car – but not, you
understand, just any pedal car. This is the car in which Joe
competes in the Settrington Cup at Goodwood Revival each
year. “It’s really just a great day out,” says Kate. “It’s not really
meant to be that competitive.” A boy in a racing car on a
racing track in a race and it’s not competitive? Please.
Not that Joe cares but his great red-striped blinds are
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from Houzz and his elegant desk from Habitat. He chose the
poster of President Obama on the wall but not the cowboy
spread on the bed. “Not a great success,” admits Kate.
This house, however, most certainly is. Alas, does it reach
out for truth? Is it truly, truly immeasurable? Probably not.
It does, however, mean something – in fact, considerably
more than something – both to those who use it every day
and those lucky enough to visit it, even for just an hour
or two. Kate, Gill and Jason have taken a promising but
tired 1920s house and quite literally poured light and life
into it, transforming it into an outstanding home that
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Words: Jennifer Stuart-Smith Photographs: David Merewether Styling: Helen Barton
When Sarah and Dean made the decision to move to Kent from Hertfordshire, they agreed that
they would only buy a house they both truly loved. When they found this 16th century Wealden
farmhouse near Ulcombe, in need of restoration and decoration, they knew they’d found the one...
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Above: A Welsh ‘deuddarn’ cupboard takes pride of place in the kitchen
Right: Sarah met the designer of this chicken wallpaper at a craft fair in
Norfolk and decided that she had to find a place for the paper in their home.
The downstairs loo was one of the few rooms with sufficiently straight walls
It would be easy, when walking into such a homely,
perfectly furnished Wealden farmhouse, to think that it
had been in the same family for generations. Everything
is ‘just so’ – not in an uptight, take-your-shoes-off-at-thedoor
kind of way – but in the sense that the interiors work
so well with the timber-framed structure and its role as a
cosy and hospitable home.
Its owners, Sarah and Dean, moved to the house near
Ulcombe in 2008, from Bourne End in Hertfordshire,
having scoured the southeast for something they both loved.
“There was no compromise,” says Sarah. “We agreed that we
both had to love the home we were going to buy.” Both had
family connections in Kent – grandmothers from Appledore
and Hythe, respectively – but it was still a big decision,
leaving leafy Buckinghamshire.
“Many of the houses Sarah spotted online looked lovely,
but when she came to do the initial recce, they turned out
to be on busy roads, or not in a nice location,” says Dean.
“But I couldn’t find this house,” adds Sarah, “and had to ask
The other big selling point was its location between
three decent country pubs. “We went for a drink in the
Above left: The couple bought this Salvador Dali lithograph, from the Femmes des Fleurs series and dated 1939, in Paris. It hangs above a chaise longue that
Sarah had re-upholstered by Steve Burton in Appledore Above right: Cocker Spaniels Milly and Pip enjoy the fire in the living room
nearest pub, before we put in an offer, to get a feel for the
area,” says Dean. “As we don’t have children, we knew that
our local, or local pubs, would be a social hub – and our
way of getting to know people”.
It’s clear that their research paid off – and they are now
an intrinsic part of the village. But things could so easily
have been different... On the day they put in an offer on the
house, Dean received a phone call.
“I was asked to head-up the Yorkshire Bank, whose
head office is in Leeds,” he says. “So, for three years I was
travelling up to Leeds, to be in the office for 9am on a
Monday morning, and coming back to Kent on a Thursday.
I was leading a bit of a double life for a while! I had to give
the impression that Yorkshire was the place for me, when
really my heart was in Kent.”
So, while Dean was away in Leeds, Sarah focused on
renovating the place. “I’d been working in an interiors shop
in Berkhamsted, so had a great contacts book – but that was
no good to me in Kent. I had a couple of friends down here,
but had no idea where to find decent tradesmen.”
Her saviour was the local hardware store, where the
manager had a fantastic address book of her own. “I found
several great tradesmen through Headcorn Hardware, and
then it was just word of mouth from there,” says Sarah.
The first room you enter, from the box-edged gravel drive,
is the kitchen. It is under a cat-slide roof at the back of the
house, with the ceiling raised to the roof, revealing what was
once the exterior rear wall and windows of the farmhouse.
“The house was very old-fashioned when we looked at it,
and needed a lot of money spent on it. But I wanted a
project and a house that needed work,” says Sarah.
A new kitchen was a priority, and Sarah had heard about
JM Interiors at Frittenden so, after a visit to the showroom,
they were booked in for the job: “I wanted to use local
On the day they put in an offer, Dean was asked to go and work in Yorkshire. ‘I
was leading a bit of a double life for a while. I had to give the impression that
Yorkshire was the place for me, when really my heart was in Kent’
A collection of beautiful home accessories with
influence from France and Scandinavia.
Gentle calm colours, reflected in soft furnishings,
lighting, gorgeous flowers, room fragrances and so
For the stylish and homely home.
19 Bell Street, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7AD
Tel: 01737 221 105
off our usual prices on
home accessories and furniture
252 High Street, Cranleigh,
Surrey GU6 8RT
Telephone: 01483 346720
29 Bell Street, Reigate,
Surrey, RH2 7AD
MagpieHouseS15.indd 1 22/12/2015 13:41
Above: The view from the kitchen window, across the lawn to the oak-framed,
cart-shed-style garage Right: The kitchen’s flag-stone floor was already in place
when the couple bought the farmhouse and is ideal in a household where
visitors often have muddy wellies – or muddy paws
businesses, and we liked them and their family business
instantly,” she says. “They did a stonking job, especially as
none of our walls are straight – and I kept on changing my
mind on colours!”
It’s certainly an interesting space in which to fit a kitchen
– but with gorgeous existing features, including long, low
windows under the eaves and an original, reconditioned,
Aga at its heart.
A Welsh ‘deuddarn’ cupboard next to the Aga, which
Sarah and Dean brought with them from their old house
(their Herts home was dated 1595, whereas their current
home is even older, dating from 1525) would originally have
been a larder in the top half and clothes storage in the
lower half. Today it holds crockery. They also brought an
old-fashioned clothes airer with them, which hovers,
perfectly, high above the room.
At the pantry and utility end of the kitchen, there is a
charming loo, decorated with quirky chicken wallpaper,
designed by the artist Belynda Sharples. “I’m not making
it up, but I was on a hen weekend in Norfolk, and met the
artist,” says Sarah. “There was this fantastic craft market
in Burnham Market – I was nipping round – and was
Above: Notable upstairs, are the unspoilt views from every room, out over little
Wealden fields and hedges, or across the extensive lawn. Right: The ‘snout’ of
a 24-stone marlin, caught by Dean in Mauritius, is used as a doorstop in the
The floors in the upstairs bedrooms
are so uneven that Sarah and Dean
had special furniture made, with
different-length legs, to compensate
drawn to her work. I decided then and there I would find a
place for it in our house.” The downstairs loo was one of the
few places with sufficiently straight walls for wallpaper, one
of the foibles of an historic house.
Yet, for a house of this age, it’s surprisingly warm and
draught-free. “It does take a bit of heating, but the Aga
makes a huge difference, and I have put heavy roller blinds
and thick curtains in every room,” says Sarah. The blinds
are discreet and dark purple, so when rolled up, are hardly
visible, whereas striking curtains throughout the house, are
from Bell House Interiors in Cranbrook. “We also put new
carpets in every room – thick sisal, which I love – which is
tough, practical and keeps the cold out.”
Sarah and Dean have resisted putting a wood-stove
into their classic inglenook fireplace: “When we arrived,
PROPER FURNITURE SINCE 1962
Branches in Leatherhead & London
Above: The cosy attic bedroom, with a newly fitted en suite is reached via
steep ‘paddle stairs’, as sometimes seen on yachts Right: Ascending and
descending the stairs takes some practice
it looked like a pub fireplace, with a large metal hood, and
horse brasses all around,” says Dean. “We had a guy remove
the hood, and hide it in the space above the fireplace,
but we didn’t know if the fire would draw properly. We
decided it was worth a try, and that if it didn’t work, we’d
put in a wood-burner. But it burns a treat.” The fireplace
features firedogs, bought this year from an antiques market
in Montpellier, France, while the fireback is one of several
purchases from Symonds reclamation yard at Bethersden. It
is a fitting focal point for the living room, which contains a
mixture of antiques, many of which were bought from the
renowned antiques dealer, John Bly, as well as replica pieces
skilfully made by the Headcorn carpenter, Tim Smith.
A rustic wooden door to the right of the fireplace leads
to the dining room and the stairs. The dining room is
furnished with dark, period furniture – almost all from their
former home – including a refectory table and ladder-back
chairs from about 1780.
Despite the care that has gone into sourcing these
antiques, this is no showroom – and the room is regularly
used for lively dinner parties. A large, seemingly old,
maritime painting along the side wall gives a nod to
the couple’s sense of fun: “I said to the artist, Donald
Make yourself at home
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DoorToDoorWT158.indd 1 20/03/2015 10:12
Above: A seating area in the garden with a fire-pit made by Cranbrook Iron
Right: Sarah is kept busy tending the large garden, which includes a duck
pond, fruit trees and trellises, as well as a vast lawn
‘We threw a party to celebrate finishing
the house. The guy who dug out our pond
brought round some of his homemade cider
and we all got extremely merry’
MacRead: ‘I want a picture of Nelson beating the French at
sea,’ so he knocked this up for me.”
Shallow stairs lead upstairs to the first floor, with a
gorgeous master bedroom, modern wet room and a
spectacularly wonky guest room. Notable, on this level, are
the unspoilt views from every room, out over little Wealden
fields and hedges, or across the expansive lawns. The main
bedroom has the pick of the views, across the garden to a
newly built oak-framed cart shed, and paddocks beyond. It
is also home to an impressive roll-top bath: “It’s meant to
look like cast iron, but we would never have got it upstairs,
and I was worried about the floor taking the weight,” says
Hidden behind doors next to the upstairs chimney
breast is a generous walk-in wardrobe, with textured
pebble flooring to echo that of the wet room. It works
eautiful oak framed buildings
Above: The duck pond at the back of the house is thought to be the result of digging for clay to make roof tiles. When the couple decided to clear the pond and
dig down to its original depth, they discovered that it was 20 feet deep. ‘The digger and driver completely disappeared out of sight,’ says Sarah
surprisingly well and, as Sarah says, is ideal when your floors
are so uneven; tiles just wouldn’t work.
One look in the second bedroom, and you can see the kind
of uneven floors the couple have had to deal with; floors so
uneven that they had to have a special bedside table made,
with different-length legs.
Short legs are needed upstairs, in the attic bedroom –
though on guests rather than on the furniture. Nestled into
the upper beams of the house is a gorgeous, almost secret
bedroom which has been made extra cosy with the addition
of thick luxurious carpet, a reindeer skin on the floor and
discreet lighting. It is reached by a quirky and steep ‘paddle
stairway’, as you sometimes see on boats, and Sarah and
Dean had a loo and basin installed en suite, to save guests an
awkward climb down the stairs.
This kind of consideration is typical of Sarah and Dean,
consummate hosts and now a key part of village life.
Both these facts are borne out by a story about the end of
their restoration and decoration: “At the end of the job, we
had all of the tradesmen – about 20 of them – plus some
of our neighbours, round for a party. The guy with the
digger, who dug out our pond, brought round some of his
homemade cider, and we all got extremely merry,” says Sarah.
What an appropriate way to celebrate moving to Kent.
Bell House Fabrics and Interiors Cranbrook
01580 712555 www.bellhousefabrics.co.uk
Belynda Sharples (Wallpaper and fabric designer)
01508 531171 www.belyndasharples.co.uk
Cranbrook Iron 07765 344298 www.cranbrookiron.com
Headcorn Hardware 51 High Street, Headcorn
TN27 9NL, 01622 890409
John Bly 020 7351 7799 www.johnbly.com
JM Interiors Frittenden 01580 291221 www.jminteriorsuk.uk
Symonds Salvage Ltd Bethersden 01233 820724
T J Smith Headcorn 01622 891025
To start the New Year, here’s a few bright and
beautiful pieces for you to reflect upon.
Photographs: David Merewether Styling: Helen Barton
Hybrid dress, £128, Odyl, Cranbrook 01580 714907 www.odyldesign.com; 1950s red and navy beaded necklace, £135, brooch, £125,
Eclectica Vintage Jewellery 020 7607 6327 www.wealdenfairs.com/eclecticajewelleryltd / www.eclectica.biz; Maharaja short pendant, £80,
Maharaja bracelet, £75, Maharaja earrings, £65, Bill Skinner www.billskinnerstudio.co.uk
Ochre blue cashmere jumper, £99,
Spice, Cranbrook 01580 714156
www.spicecranbrook.co.uk; Glen Prince orange
lambswool scarf, £46, Darcey Sussex Boutique,
East Sussex 0800 111 4974 www.darcey.co.uk;
blue tassel keyring, £5, Cashara, Tenterden
07966 033000 www.cashara.co.uk; amazonite
and labradorite necklace, £70, gold and
white agate Bonbon bracelet, £60, silver and
Korean jade Bonbon bracelet, £55, Victorious
Bee 07734 848911 www.wealdenfairs.com/
victoriousbee / www.victoriousbee.co.uk
PLEASE NOTE WE HAVE
NOW MOVED TO
Starts 2nd January
JeremyHobbsS14.indd 1 25/11/2015 09:47
Autumn / Winter ranges at
Open Monday—Saturday 10am—5pm
64 Station Road East, Oxted, Surrey RH8 0PG
Telephone 01883 730635
VisageS15.indd 1 17/12/2015 12:38
We are proud to be able to announce this year that we are celebrating
35 years trading as Surrey’s longest-standing Occasion Wear Boutique!
Over this period of time we
have had the pleasure
of dressing thousands
of Mothers’ of the Bride
and Groom and of course guests!
We take pride in offering friendly,
expert service in an unpressured
comfortable environment along with
a selection that is second to none.
We have always been renowned
in Surrey and beyond for carrying
the largest, most varied selection of
the leading designers in occasion
wear, Condici being one of the
most popular sought-after brands,
along with John Charles, Luis Civit,
Ian Stuart and many more…
We also carry a wonderful
collection of hats and fascinators
made to co-ordinate with the outfits
along with a ‘bespoke’ service from
many of our designer milliners such
as Vivien Sheriff and Sarah Crozier.
To complete the look we also have
wonderful shoes and handbags from
Lisa Kay in various colours to match the
outfits in leather, suede and patent.
During 2015 the shop was
extended and completely refurbished
to include a new upstairs space. We
also enlarged the ground floor area to
1,500 sq feet in all. The shop now has
5 spacious fitting rooms and plenty
of comfortable seating for those
dedicated husbands and friends!
Last but not least! Another very
important service is our in-house
seamstress who will ensure your outfit
will fit perfectly for your special day!
Melita it seems is
definitely the “The One
Stop Shop For Mothers’
Of The Bride and Groom”
57 High Street, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8AF Tel: 01276 856308
turqouise quilted handbag, £110, Cashara, Tenterden 07966 033000 www.cashara.co.uk; 1950s earrings, £65, Eclectica Vintage
Jewellery 020 7607 6327 www.wealdenfairs.com/eclecticajewelleryltd / www.eclectica.biz; silver and purple agate mixed media necklace,
£65, gold and yellow agate mixed media necklace, £70, Victorious Bee 07734 848911 www.wealdenfairs.com/victoriousbee /
www.victoriousbee.co.uk; Columbia RX Optikals in Red Zeppelin, £249, Rock Optika Ltd, St Leonards On Sea 01424 430 007
www.wealdenfairs.com/rockoptika; Diva blue dress, £120, Odyl, Cranbrook 01580 714907 www.odyldesign.com
pink cloud cream
eyeshadow, £18, Inika
ultra protective enlivening
lip balm, £7.95,
BLEND collective www.
Lotions and potions to keep you fresh faced and glowing...
£40, Knowle Grange
Health & Spa www.
£13.50, Inika www.
£6, Balance Me
pretty cheeks, £18, Bagsy
Joy visited Eastwell Manor
to try out an
I arrived at the Dreams
Beauty Spa at Eastwell
Manor to be met by
Ellen who talked
through the whole
process of the facial,
the products being used and
what to expect. She explained that although
this facial is suitable for all skin types, it would
be particularly good for my very sensitive, and
it has to be said - mature-skin. Whilst it would
be soothing and anti-ageing, it would also take
down any puffiness, particularly around the
eyes, and as an added bonus, help to reduce
any sinus problems, which is something I
frequently suffer from. After being left to make
myself comfortable on the gently heated bed,
Ellen began with a very soothing cleanse and
tone, followed by an enzyme peel to exfoliate
and the rose infinity anti-ageing facial oil
massage on both my face and décolletage. An
eye cream was then applied and while all of
the beautifully rose aromatics worked on my
face, Ellen massaged my scalp with the oils. I
think it was at this point that I first fell asleep,
much to my later embarrassment! I don’t
think I have ever fallen asleep while someone
is massaging my face and scalp! After this
heavenly treatment, more was to come with a
rose hydrating face treatment, the first of two
masks. This was followed by a shoulder, neck
and back massage – I think this may have been
my second drift into oblivion, I’m not really
sure as the whole process was one long, warm
and dreamy state of relaxation. The second
treatment was an overnight repair mask. The
eye and sinus area were very gently massaged
with cool stones to soothe and reduce puffiness.
Finally, a serum eye cream and nourishing
face oil was applied ending with the rose
infinity moisturiser, and I was left to slowly
bring myself back into the real world until
I was ready to get up, and reluctantly leave
this little oasis of heavenly peace. My skin felt
amazing, really lifted and glowing. Thank you,
Ellen - an hour and 20 minutes of sheer bliss.
This has to be the best facial I have ever had.
Aromatherapy Rose Infinity
Facial, 80mins, £90
Molly make-up bag,
£10, Ragged Rose
facial cleanser, £73
101 ointment in cranberry,
£7.99, Lanolips www.
Say goodbye to
With the New Year, you may well be
determined to finally tackle your
weight once and for all. If this isn’t the
first time you have made a resolution
to do so, read on! Rachel Ricketts,
a leading weight loss consultant
has helped thousands of people to
successfully lose weight.
Having had a weight problem for 35 years, Rachel was desperate
to find a way of being able to lose weight once and for all. ‘I had
just about resigned myself to the fact that I would be overweight
for the rest of my life, when I came across the principles of the
Metabolic Weight Loss Programme. I followed these and to my
amazement, I lost 3 stone in just over 3 months and then went on
to successfully maintain my weight. The relief was enormous to
have found something that finally worked for me.’
‘This isn’t an open-ended slimming club,’ says Rachel. ‘We set your
target weight at the beginning and then get on with the business
of helping you lose the weight, addressing any difficulties along the
way, then we concentrate on keeping it off – for good!’
For those who are not able to visit, a very successful remote support
service is provided throughout the UK - distance is no object!
Rachel became passionate
about wanting to help as many
people as possible with their
weight problems, which led her
to become a qualified weight
loss consultant. In the last 11
years, she has helped over
4,000 clients from all walks of
life to help bring their dieting
days to an end once and for all.
‘My clients’ ages range from 8
years to 85 years old, so there is
hope for everyone!’
With an average weight loss
of 7-14 lbs a month for clients
and hundreds of hand written
testimonials, Rachel’s results
speak for themselves
Clients often comment on how
impressed their doctors are
with their results. ‘My doctor is
very happy– I’ve been able to
come off blood pressure and
cholesterol medication,’ says
one. Another doctor said, ‘All
my lady patients on thyroid
medication are struggling to
lose weight, but you’ve lost 2 1/2
stone despite being on thyroxin
– well done!’
One of the popular aspects of the Metabolic Weight Loss Programme
is there’s nothing faddish about it. There are no meal replacements,
diet shakes or diet pills. All the foods on the programme are easily
obtainable. Clients frequently say just how easy it is to follow, they
don’t feel hungry and are not having to constantly battle with
cravings. The four stages of the programme are tailored as necessary
to provide the maximum results for each client.
Rachel and her team give weekly one-to-one consultations, guiding
you through the programme with personalised support, lots of
empathy and total conviction in the success of the programme.
Email support is available in between consultations.
With an average weight loss of 7-14 lbs a month for clients and
hundreds of hand written testimonials, Rachel’s results speak for
themselves. ‘I see real results daily, time after time I see people’s
lives change in front of me.’
Rachel offers free consultations for those who are
wanting to lose their weight once and for all.
Rachel Ricketts 01342 327396
YOUR SECRET RETREAT
...At Knowle Grange
Combining a DNA Test report with
a Bespoke Exercise & Nutrition Plan
“You can’t change your DNA,
but you can train it”
“If you are looking for somewhere to gym, swim and relax in a private and
friendly environment, then Knowle Grange is just for you”
Membership : Gym : Sauna : Spa Days : Beauty & Holistic Treatments :
Natural Spring Water Heated Pool : Personal Training : Classes
To find out more call 01892 750761 or 01892 750055
Or Visit www.knowlegrange.co.uk
Wadhurst Road, Frant, Kent TN3 9EJ
Dare to bare
your legs next summer?
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If not, we can help you! Vanishing Veins is a specialist team of expert
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KnowleGrangeHealthWT167.indd 1 14/12/2015 VanishingVeinsWT158.indd 18:09
1 24/03/2015 18:21
TandridgeTrustS15.indd 1 10/12/2015 14:19
bee kind body butter,
240ml pump bath & shower
gel, £13, Romney Marsh
detox, £29.95, The
Organic Pharmacy www.
almond dragee loose
leaf tea, £5-£5.50,
Jen visited Just Heaven
to try out a
Swedish Full Body Massage
This really was the perfect antidote to festive,
or post-festive stress, and left me feeling blissed
out - and beautifully scented - for the rest of
the day. Hannah, the owner of Just Heaven,
showed me to the cosy upstairs treatment
room, before leaving me to get ready for my
treatment. I slipped under the warm cover of
the treatment table and waited a few moments.
I’ve had a few massages in my time, including
sports massages, and like a firm massage and
muscle rub, rather than a tickle... and this
was the perfect combination. Hannah started
on the backs of legs, before working up to
my back and shoulders, using ‘revitalising’
(rather than relaxing) bergamot and mint
massage oil by the French company, Payot.
The light oil was just right for this time of
year, when one’s skin tends to be a little dry,
but did not feel heavy or greasy... and the
smell was gorgeous. I lost track of time, so
when Hannah had finished on my back and
neck, I was convinced that my massage was
over. It was a lovely surprise to find out that
my feet, front of legs, arms and face were still
in for a treat. The foot rub was especially nice
and reminded me of a relaxing reflexology
treatment. Hannah was great at finding knots
and tension I didn’t realise I had - from the
usual places, such as my shoulders and calves,
to less obvious places such as the palms of
my hands. She finished by using a scented,
cool moisturiser on my face, and eliminated
the last bit of tension in my forehead. After
a minute or two to compose myself, post
treatment, I drove home basking in the scent
of massage oil and moisturiser. The effects of
my full body massage will last much longer.
Swedish Full Body Massage,
60 mins, £40
five element aromatherapy bath
and shower oil collection, £34,
Elemental Herbology www.
high energy enlivening body
wash, £11.95, BLEND
Be pampered from the inside out...
hand soap, £17.50
celebrate body lotion,
£12.95, LUSH www.
coco rose body
polish, £27.50 www.
strawberry thief hand
cream,William Morris, £10
SMART Master Bullet
Set, £79.99 www.
Trim, tone, treat and moisturise...
facial fuel energising
face wash 250ml,
£17, Kiehl’s www.
luxury leather washbag,
labrador, £75 www.
comb, £8.29 www.
Molecule 02, £38, Escentric
escentric 03 body wash
200ml, £20, Escentric
beard kit, £25 www.
kit, £19.95 www.
Edwin Jagger luxury 3
piece shaving set, £77
Ben visited Clarins Skin Spa
at Fenwick Tunbridge Wells
Energising back, neck
and scalp massage
As a long time proponent of slouching and poor
posture, the discomfort of little battles being
fought in my back is pretty regular. Hence,
when I walked into Fenwick for my Energising
Back, Neck and Scalp massage I was hoping for
a comfortable chair and a firm hand to ensure
I sat properly whilst some poor soul tried to
cure me. I got neither of those things. Instead,
I was led to the Clarins Spa in the corner of the
lower level. There I was soon made to realise,
much to my surprise, that I would in fact be
getting the full works, not fully clothed as I
had initially expected. Despite the confusion, I
was put completely at ease by the staff and the
ambience of this calm oasis in the otherwise
chaotic Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre.
Toni led me to a fragrant, dimly lit room with
a massage bed in the middle and an adjoining
changing room complete with a shower. It
was only when she left me to undress that I
remembered, much to my horror, that I was
wearing my lucky Chelsea FC boxers – you will
only understand if you have a football fan in
the family. However, Toni put me so at ease that
I doubt it would have mattered if I had been
wearing my grandmother’s bloomers. Toni began
by explaining the procedure and offering me
either to finish relaxed with an active mind, or
total relaxation. I suspect this article may never
have reached print had I chosen the latter. She
began with breathing exercises to ease the tension
in my muscles and calm my respiration with the
aroma of the oils. I then turned over and after
some exfoliation Toni began to untie my back.
I made sure to apologise for its state as Toni got
going but she politely assured me it was nothing
like some of the concrete she’d previously been
required to knead. The combination of the oil’s
perfume, the soft classical music and the pleasant
temperature was intoxicating. Though I tried to
keep mental notes of the process, I must confess it
did not take long for my mind to surrender along
with my body to Toni’s craft. She eased each side
of my back up and down with Clarins’ “Tonic”
Body Treatment Oil, soothing every muscle
before working my neck with the same majesty.
She finished with a scalp massage, using Clarins’
Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate, which
fittingly crowned the experience. Toni left me for
a couple of minutes to relax while I tried to come
to terms with the new looseness of my upper
body. It was only whilst I was getting changed
back into my clothes that I realised I had been
so scantily clad in one of the busiest shopping
centres in Kent, testament to the hospitality of
my hosts and the power of the procedure. As I
walked back out into the warfare of Christmas
consumerism, I took solace in the fact that at
least one battle had been won that day and peace
literally followed behind me for the rest of it.
Energising Back, Neck & Scalp Massage,
35 mins, £45
this charming man
gift box, £40 www.
facial fuel heavy
50ml, £38, Kiehl’s
This Month’s Top Picks...
Discovered by us...
delivered to you
Original French Enamel
Sign // £98
19th Century French Planter // £195
Floral Oven Range
Mats // £20
Men’s Grey Tee (above), £25; Lunan
Lounge Pants (below), £39.99
Gill Giraffe iPad Case // £30
Chrome Pyramid Wine Rack// £22.95
Blackthorn Throw // £154.95
Sal De Ibiza Ceramic Pot (left), £15; Flor De Aceite Lemon
Oil (middle), £8; Sal De Ibiza Hot Chili Salt (right), £10
Follow us for new products,
competitions and promotions.
Rich foods and too much alcohol can definitely leave us all
feeling sleepy, sluggish and a bit rubbish. After a little over
indulgence during the festive period we’re talking about
digestive health, so we chatted to a few specialists...
The nutrition & lifestyle coach
Fiona offers consultations in both Optimal
Health and Sports Nutrition...
What is healthy digestion? Healthy digestion requires adequate chewing to allow stomach
acid and digestive enzymes to chemically break down food particles small enough to pass
through the gut wall into the bloodstream. Adequate elimination of toxins, as well as excess
hormonal metabolites e.g. cholesterol, is also part of healthy digestion. Healthy digestion
additionally involves feeding the beneficial bacteria, which live in our digestive systems, which
manufacture various vitamins and play a huge role in supporting our immune systems.
Other than gastrointestinal symptoms, what other effects can bad digestion have
on our bodies and lives? As healthy digestion is key to optimum well-being any
imbalances in the digestive system can have an impact on almost all aspects of health
including skin, cardiovascular, hormonal, mental and immune health. Often people do
not make the connection between their symptoms and that it may be an issue with an
underperforming digestive system. As the digestive system plays the most important
first line defence for the immune system, supporting it is key to optimum health.
Can this be treated through diet alone, or are there any other lifestyle changes that
can help? In addition to diet and appropriate nutritional support, addressing stress levels is
equally important for digestive health. Lifestyle management techniques that lower breathing
rate e.g. meditation or any activity where a sense of calm is achieved can be particularly
helpful. Also identifying triggers that exacerbate symptoms, which may involve removing
specific food groups for a period of time, may be essential for allowing the body to heal.
Fiona Brenninkmeijer is based in London, Tunbridge Wells and is also available for home visits
by appointment. For more information visit www.mylifestylemenu.co.uk or call 07980 611668.
The specialist for Integrated Medicine
Christine is a homeopathic physician
and medical acupuncturist...
What is Candida and how does it affect our digestion? Fungal related disease and
specifically Candidiasis is common and often triggered by frequent consumption of
antibiotics and refined carbohydrates. Candida albicans constitutes one of the yeasts, which
are found in small amounts in even a healthy bowel. Antibiotic use destroys harmful and
beneficial gut bacteria, creating space for an overgrowth of yeast in the bowel. Refined
carbohydrates like sugar let them thrive. This aggressive activity creates damage in the gut
lining and the fine filter mechanism of the bowel becomes compromised. Enlarged holes
or ‘leaky gut’, allows incompletely digested food to enter the blood circulation. These
particles mimic natural cytokines leading to migraines, asthma, eczema, arthritis etc, and
natural hormones causing mood swings, fluid retention, bloating and weight gain.
What are the symptoms of yeast overgrowth? Symptoms include the following: chronic
fatigue, generalised malaise, gastrointestinal complaints (bloating, wind, diarrhoea), IBS,
food intolerances, recurrent infections, allergies, skin problems, decreased concentration or
‘brain fog’, depression, irritability, craving for sweets or carbohydrates, hypoglycaemia (low
blood sugar) symptoms, migraine, arthritis, asthma, obesity, reduced alcohol intolerance.
How can this be treated naturally? Candidiasis can be successfully treated
naturally with a combination of a herbal anti-fungal medicine, a homeopathic
organ support made up of natural remedies to support liver, pancreas and kidneys
to deal with the ‘die off’ effects of the fungus, a probiotic to recolonise the gut with
healthy bacteria, and a diet avoiding sugars, yeasts and fermented foods.
Christine is based at Rose Cottage Homeopathic Clinic near Maidstone. To book an
appointment visit her website www.homeopathykent.co.uk or call 01622 741086.
The Ayurvedic doctor
Dr Asmita Jani deals
with a huge variety of
clients and patients...
What are the principles behind Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a very sophisticated medical science and
emphasises the need to prevent illness and maintain
health. The main principle is about having a life of
balance. This can be achieved through understanding
our own body type or ‘Prakriti’ (wrongly described
as dossier in the West!). The healthy function of
the body’s numerous processes is governed by three
physiological energies briefly categorised as Vata
(air and ether), which determine activity-motion,
mobility and breathing; Pitta (fire and moisture)
which governs metabolism, intellect and immunity;
and Kapha (water and earth) which oversees
growth, reproduction, water and fat metabolism.
What other factors should be taken into
consideration? Ayurveda recommends that we
should select our well balanced fresh and nutritious
diet according to our body type, digestive capacity,
age, medical condition, and our imbalances (Doshas).
Regular appropriate fasting is also advisable for good
health and preventing illness. We should eat regularly
at the right time according to our bio-rhythms,
with a pleasant mood, concentration on our food
and chewing well. Do not rush when eating or
completely fill the stomach. Avoid a noisy or negative
atmosphere and negative emotions particularly
anger, distress or jealousy, as this changes the potency
and quality of the digested food in the body and
influences the brain, liver and heart function.
When seeing a new client what are you assessing
and how do you help them? It is important to
establish the client’s trust in Ayurveda. Once I have
established their needs, state of mind and emotions,
I take their full medical and social history and assess
their body type with them, sharing the characteristics
applying to them: their diet, habits, lifestyle issues.
I work out a plan for them to restore balance and
achieve a disease-free body with enhanced energy and
clarity of mind. I may also recommend Ayurvedic
herbal remedies according to the condition.
Asmita is also trained in traditional Panchakarma
and offers an Ayurvedic cookery course. For
more information and to book an appointment
call 01273 298286, email info@asmita-ayurveda.
co.uk or visit www.pavilionhealth.co.uk
Press ad_Layout 1 19/08/2011 4:06pm Page 1
The taste of Kent
from your own local farm shop
These three delicious and revitalising recipes, put
together by Lou Lou Hamilton and the team from
Cocolicious in Cranbrook, are the perfect antidote
to festive overindulgence and New Year blues.
Photographs: David Merewether
You’ll taste the difference when you purchase
your produce from us.
We’ve sourced fruit and veg from local
suppliers so we can guarantee its’
freshness – and that means great tasting food.
Why not make
a day of it?
Visit Polhill Garden Centre
for the best ideas for
And why not treat yourself to some of our
specialist items: jams, pickles, chutney, cheese,
milk, biscuits, honey, confectionary, ice cream,
frozen foods and much more. Great for gifts –
or treat yourself!
We’ve got easy on-site parking so come and
visit us soon.
Kent TN14 7BD
Tel: 01959 533089
The Taste of Kent
Winner of the Garden Centre Association
Farm Shop of the Year Award 2010
PolhillWT116.indd 1 16/09/2011 16:54
Find Your Style
Super Berry Chocolate Smoothie
( enough for 2 large )
• 100g raspberries (I use
frozen, they work best)
• 50g blueberries
• 1tbsp raw cocoa nibs
• 1tbsp raw cacao
powder (from any good
healthfood store or
• 1 tbsp milled mixed
pumpkin seeds or any
good milled mix
• 1tbsp chia seeds
• 1tbsp organic or virgin
pure coconut oil
(should be a firm butter,
• 400ml organic almond,
rice or coconut milk
• 1 cup of ice
Put all your ingredients in a powerful blender,
(we find the Nutribullet works the best).
Enjoy as a smoothie/slushie straight away or sip
regularly during your morning
Discovered by us... delivered to you
Quarter Page Working Template.indd 1 22/12/2015 15:42
TARTINES ( open sandwiches)
Soda Bread Tartine with Beetroot Hummus,
Avocado and Shaved Fennel
For 4 portions
• 300g cooked beetroot
(buy precooked or roast
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 150ml olive oil
• 1 tin of chickpeas in
• 1 lemon zested and
• 2 tbsp tahini
• 100-125ml extra virgin
• salt and pepper
• 4 slices of soda bread,
• 2 ripe avocados
• 1 fennel
1. Place cooked beetroot in food processor and blend until
2. Add chickpeas, lemon zest and juice, tahini and garlic
with ½ of the olive oil and blend until smooth. If you
feel it is too dry and needs more liquid add the remainder
of the olive oil or water until the desired consistency is
3. Taste and season accordingly and store in fridge until
ready to use.
4. When ready to serve, spoon hummus onto toasted bread,
top with sliced avocado and shaved fennel, drizzle with a
little more olive oil and lemon, season if needed
Smashed Avocado with persimmon, pomegranate
and pumpkin Seeds
• 4 slices soda bread
• 2 ripe avocados
• 1 or 2 persimmons
• 1 pomegranate
• a handful of pumpkin
• olive oil to drizzle
• juice of 1 lemon
1. Cut the avocados in half , remove the stones and scoop
out the flesh into a bowl, smash with a fork and squeeze
over ½ of the lemon juice to flavour and also to stop the
avocado going brown.
2. Spoon onto toasted bread, thinly slice the persimmon
fruit and place 4-5 slices on top of the avocado.
3. Cut the pomegranate in half, hold over a bowl and tap
the top of the fruit quite hard with a rolling pin to get
the delicious seeds out. Sprinkle over tartine together with
AWARD WINNING GIN FROM THE SILENT POOL IN SURREY
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What was the most exciting moment for your business
in the past year? It’s been amazing to have my products
featured in magazines and being picked as Kirstie
Allsopp’s maker of the week
at The Handmade Fair.
Did you have a best selling
product or range? My most
popular design is ‘Long
Dog’, whether he is just
natural or parading with the cupcakes, which he
did actually steal in real life. Other popular designs are
the hares and the mad scaredy-cat which is very much
based on next door’s very vocal moggy!
What was the biggest challenge you faced? The most
challenging aspect of designing is which ideas to add
to the range next. I have loved meeting and growing
a following of loyal customers at the fairs. It is a thrill
when they pull one
of my phone cases
out of their handbags
to show their friends
what they bought last time and to ask what
is new to buy this time.
Tell us about your plans
for the year ahead? Next
year will see the two
favourite designs put on
tea towels and brooches
after the sellout success of
the Christmas decorations.
Even more exciting is the prospect of having my own
fabric produced, and after that, who knows!
Shop online: Wealdenfairs.com/hillyhubb
Rare Skills Gallery
Did you have a best
selling product or range?
Our most popular series
is called ‘My England’;
it’s evocative of railway
posters of the 1930s, and
features places of interest,
predominantly in Kent,
Sussex, Devon, Cornwall,
Suffolk, Norfolk and
What was the most
exciting moment for
your business in the
past year? Turning
a tiny, forlorn shop
into a stimulating and
vibrant space which
people often describe
as ‘So uplifting’.
What was the biggest challenge you faced? Though
very beautiful and historically notable with the Corn
Exchange as one of its most prestigious buildings, The
Pantiles is increasingly off the beaten retail track. As
a result, footfall is less than on a normal high street,
and so rather than waiting to be discovered, we have to
continually build awareness and encourage referrals.
Tell us about your plans for the year ahead? We’ll be
expanding the ‘My England’ series with new pictures
of Rye, Great Dixter, Penshurst and many others, and
we’ll be attending a number of prime exhibitions and
events. We’ll also be talking to local businesses about
helping them bring life to their walls.
Shop online: Wealdenfairs.com/rareskillsgallery
Jo Arnell shares her excitement for seed catalogues
Hark! Is that the merry thud of the Christmas post,
or rather, the post-Christmas post landing on the
mat? The arrival of the seed catalogues is - for sad
old me anyway - part of the magic of the season. It might
be dire and dismal outside, but inside their glossy pages it’s
already high summer and looking gorgeous. The fact that
these are just pictures and ideas of what could appear after
laborious sowing, growing and nurturing is, right now, in the
depths of winter, a side issue. I’m ashamed to say that even
before the turkey’s cold I’m ready to settle down in front of
the fire with a pile of them and start my spring dreaming.
Seed sowing trends for 2016
The gardening world turns fairly slowly, so many of last
year’s trends are still in our minds for this year, but the seed
catalogues are a good place to look for up-and-coming ideas,
especially for new plants and new colour schemes. The pastel
colours of a few years ago are becoming a bit deeper, more
muted; I’m enjoying the coppery tones, faded dusky pinks
and the ‘antique’ look, that’s popular at the moment.
Heirloom varieties There are also subtle changes on the
grow-your-own front, and more people are growing heirloom
vegetables. There’s a huge range of crops available now: from
rainbow carrots and purple-pod peas to beetroot with a candy
stripe. The heirloom, or heritage, tag is banded about in much
the same way as ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’ are in fashion and interiors,
but to be a proper heirloom variety, the seed needs to be at
least 70 years old and ‘open pollinated’. This means that it will
reliably come true from collected seed each year so, in theory
at least, you need only buy once. Heirloom vegetables are
renowned for their flavour, rather than supermarket uniformity.
If you want an ‘uber’ crop (think of all those lovely straight
rows standing to attention) then choose an F1 variety. This
denotes seed that has been bred to create a champion plant
with all the best characteristics of its parents, plus an enigmatic
superpower called ‘hybrid vigour’ to make the seed extra fast
growing and high yielding. These are the racehorses of the
seed world, so they come at a price; not quite the price of a
racehorse, but much more expensive than ordinary seed.
Meadow flowers - We are still stuck on the meadow theme
it seems, but the loose, romantic look is becoming more
sophisticated, and interesting flower combinations are
appearing. It’s a style of gardening that looks carefree and
simple, but requires some thought and co-ordination in
order to avoid a messy tangle of competing plants. The good
news is that a blousy, meadow-style border can be made
from scratch in an instant (a horticultural instant, that is)
from just a few packets of seeds. It’s a fun and relatively
cheap way to experiment with colour and style too.
Butterflies and bees
Pollinators need nectar rich flowers and our crops need
pollinating. This is true on a macro scale, and in our
domestic spaces too. We are mad about the bees; for very
worthy, planet saving reasons and because they bring our
gardens to life. Growing companion plants in the veg
patch and simple (as opposed to over-frilled and sterile
double) blooms in the borders will bring beneficial insects,
beautiful butterflies and buzzing bees into your garden.
Annuals make ideal cut flowers because the simple act of
cutting them keeps them flowering, and the more you
cut, the more you get. Flowers like sweet peas, cerinthe,
cosmos, and sunflowers are easy to grow from seed and once
they start to flower, will fill your vases all season long.
A perennial problem
I don’t want to put anyone off growing perennials from
seed, but it’s worth looking into it a bit before you do. Many
perennials need stratifying to break their dormancy. It’s a
trick of mother nature’s, enabling the seeds to germinate only
when conditions are right. So they may have to go through
vernalisation (a period of cold, such as the winter), or the seed
coating needs some form of abrasion, (many are triggered
FOR ALL YOUR TREE
Crown reduction, lifting
Deadwooding of tree canopies
Hedge trimming and reduction
Supply, planting and aftercare of new trees
Removal and responsible recycling of
Tree Protection Order (TPO) research,
application for planning consents with local
authorities and conservation area trees
completed free of charge
AlpineS13.indd 1 28/10/2015 17:12
The finest of British
From Passmores - Est 1909
The ideal home for your
daily run around or classic car
AND STAND ALONE
View our picture gallery on line
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Excellent range and service.
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Tel: 01634 290033
For further information visit : www.passmores.co.uk
out of dormancy by passing through the digestive tract of
an animal). They may need to be sown fresh, covered by soil
and kept in the dark, or left to germinate in the light - or
all of the above. Annuals and biennials on the other hand,
haven’t got time to mess about waiting for the equivalent
of a handsome prince to stir them into action. Their life is
short and to the point - their only job is to flower and set
seed for the next generation, so they’re under starter’s orders
as soon as you tip them out of the packet, and will virtually
germinate before your eyes. If you’re growing plants from
seed for the first time, or want to encourage the children
to join in, growing annual seeds is a good place to start.
Six of the best seed catalogues
Chiltern Seeds - quirky and charming descriptions of
the plants make for an entertaining read. The printed
catalogue is description only, but the online version now
has pictures too. Chiltern offer an enormous range of seeds,
and it’s easy to get tempted into sowing seeds of unusual
plants or even giant trees. You have been warned…
The Real Seed Catalogue - sells new and unusual
heirloom vegetable seed, although most varieties
have been around for at least 100 years. These vegetables
have been grown for their flavour, reliability and beauty.
Kings Seeds - this company have been producing their own
seed for many years, both for wholesale distribution and
direct to the public. They offer very good value for money and
have a broad range of no nonsense vegetables and flowers.
Seeds of Italy (Franchi) - are very generous with
their seed and good for Mediterranean vegetables like
tomatoes, courgettes, and also salad leaves, green beans
and cavolo nero. I like their strapline too - ‘you will reap
what you sow.’ It must sound less ominous in Italian.
Sarah Raven sends out ravishing catalogues and has a great
website. It’s a really good source of inspiration, especially for cut
flowers, colourful veg and companion plants. The instructions
that arrive with each order are excellent, but their seeds are
quite expensive and they’re a bit mean with quantities.
Special Plants is run by Derry Watkins, a well-respected
nurserywoman and plant hunter based in Wiltshire. Much of
the seed is collected from the nursery and is very fresh. They
are helpful, informative and respond quickly to queries.
It might still be several months before we can start sowing,
but just thinking about it makes the spring feel a tiny bit
closer. From the depths of bleak, dark January, let’s march
forward with Seeds of Italy’s motto ringing in our ears. We
will indeed reap what we sow. Happy new growing season!
Contact Jo for border designs, planting and garden
advice: 01233 861149, email@example.com
PassmoresWT141.indd 1 10/10/2013 11:00
Sell online with us...
Become a member of our community of unique, vintage, handmade & bespoke sellers
The lifestyle magazine for the Weald
LIVING SPACES SUPPLEMENT
Shop online with us 365 days a year at Wealdenfairs.com
Exclusive Editorial - Reach our 105,000 + monthly readers of
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email newsletter campaigns, product and interview features, blog posts, social media exposure, competitions and more.
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Wealdenfairs.com and strengthen your own page ranking by linking from our site to your
own. Benefit from on-page product optimisation by our SEO specialists.
“I have been an exhibitor with
Wealdenfairs.com for the past two years and
feel that it has raised my profi le considerably.
Not only are the staff extremely helpful, but
it is also great to be featured in a magazine
that showcases local businesses
Decorative Antiques UK
“Wealdenfairs.com has been fantastic
for me over the last few years, for not only
selling my goods but for raising my profi le
through Wealden Times magazines
King John’s Nursery
“The article in today’s Wealden
Times is wonderful! I’m delighted!
Thank you ever so much!
Sally Scott Paintings
Discovered by us... delivered to you
To apply please call 01580 713915
or visit wealdenfairs.com/exhibit-online.html
YvonneArnaudTheatreS15.indd 1 14/12/2015 12:18
Rolvenden.indd 1 23/07/2014 17:31
What’s On In January
CHILDREN, FAMILY & FRIENDS
Fri 1 - Fri 29 Jan 10am-4.30pm
RHS Garden Wisley, Woking,
Surrey GU23 6QB
Explore this newly created winter
walk full of winter scents, colours
and textures. With architectural
outlines softened by modern mass
plantings and new views to enjoy.
Entry: Free with normal garden admission
Info: 08452 609000 / www.
Thurs 7, 14, 21, 28 Jan
Farnborough Library, Pinehurst
Hampshire, GU14 7JZ
BABY RHYME TIME
Rhymes for children aged 0-2 and their
parents and carers. Every Thursday.
Info: 0300 555 1387
Horsham Museum & Art
Gallery, 9 Causeway, Horsham,
West Sussex RH12 1HE
London was undoubtably the hub
of the 60s fashion revolution, with
Kings Road and Carnaby Street at the
epicentre, but even in sleepy Horsham
people ventured out and bought clothes
from up-and-coming designers. A
selection of these outfits taken from the
museum collections will be on display.
Info: 01403 254959 / www.
Tues 26 - Sat 30 Jan
New Victoria Theatre, The
Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre,
Woking, Surrey GU21 6GQ
Horrible Histories -
So it’s time to prepare yourselves for
Horrible Histories live on stage. Using
actors and 3D special effects, these
two world premieres are guaranteed to
thrill you and your children. Historical
figures and events will come alive on
stage and hover at your fingertips.
Info & Booking: 0844 871 7645 / www.
Sat 23 Jan 6.15 for 7.00pm
Park Barn Day Centre,
Guildford, Surrey GU2 8EN
BURNS NIGHT SUPPER
The Rotary Club of Guildford
Chantries is again organising this
superb Burns Night celebration.
A three-course supper followed by
dancing to a traditional Ceilidh
band with caller. Proceeds in aid of
‘The Royal Surrey County Hospital,
Hascombe Ward’, SERV Blood
Runners and other Rotary charities.
Info & Booking: 01483 573814
MARKETS & FAIRS
Sun 10 Jan
MacDonald Berystede Hotel
& Spa, Bagshot Road, Ascot,
Bagshot, Berkshire SL5 9JH
The Macdonald Berystede Hotel
is a perfect venue for a Wedding
Fair or of course, a wedding. The
large Windsor & Eton suites will
showcase a wide variety of the
area’s local wedding businesses.
Info: 01276 451498 / www.
Sun 17 Jan 11am-3.30pm
MacDonald Frimley Hall Hotel &
Spa, Lime Avenue, Off Portsmouth
Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2BG
This peaceful ivy-clad Victorian manor
house is set in beautiful landscaped
gardens and mature woodland. It
is the perfect venue for a Wedding
Fair with its large Frimley Suite
showcasing the best local wedding
suppliers and Bridal Fashion Shows.
Info: 01276 451498 / www.
Thurs 28 Jan - Sat 30 Jan 10am-5pm
Sandown Exhibition Centre,
Esher, Surrey KT10 9AJ
THE CREATIVE CRAFTS SHOW
This consumer event is aimed at
anyone, beginner or enthusiast,
interested in learning new crafts,
stocking up on supplies or just
interested in being creative for
a special occasion. The event
features demonstrations, workshops
and make & takes which cater
for all levels of ability.
Info & Booking: www.sccshows.co.uk
Sun 24 Jan 10am-1.30pm
Central Car Park, Farnham,
Surrey GU9 7PT
FARNHAM FARMERS’ MARKET
Farnham Town Council organises
a Farmers’ Market on the fourth
Sunday of every month, giving you
the opportunity to buy fresh produce
direct from the producer. Expect to
find local cheeses, fresh meats and
veg. Many stallholders are happy to
provide free tasting sessions before
you buy delicious ingredients.
Wed 13 Jan 7.30pm
The Pavilion, Guildford
Rugby Club, Guildford Road,
Godalming, Surrey GU7 3DH
LATIN JAZZ NIGHT
A night of sizzling Latin Jazz to
welcome in the New Year, with a
quintet featuring some of the UK’s
top jazz musicians. Expect an evening
of hot rhythms and world-class jazz.
Entry: £12 on the door - £6 in advance
Info & Booking: 01483 444334
Wed 20 Jan 7.30pm
Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue,
Epsom, Surrey KT18 5AL
THE GLEN MILLER ORCHESTRA
The Epsom Playhouse is delighted to
welcome The Glenn Miller Orchestra to
the theatre on Wednesday 20 January.
Get “in the mood” as legendary
bandleader, Ray McVay presents a new
show for 2016 complete with Colin
Anthony and Catherine Sykes on
vocals and added harmonies from the
Moonlight Serenaders and swinging
jazz band the Uptown Hall Gang.
Info: 01372 742555 / www.
Sat 30 Jan
St Mary’s Church, Quarry Street,
Guildford, Surrey GU1 3UA
Verdi - Great Opera
An exceptional evening of arias
and ensembles from the operas of
Giuseppe Verdi, including Rigoletto,
La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Otello,
Simon Boccanegra and many more.
Fri 8, 15 & Sat 9, 16 Jan
2.30pm, 6.30pm, 7.30pm
Haslemere Hall, Bridge Rd,
Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2AS
RED RIDING HOOD
All the glitz, glamour and spectacle
which have come to be expected from
Haslemere’s greatest pantomime will
be present, not forgetting lots of fun,
jokes and audience participation! Pre
book to avoid disappointment.
Info: 01428642161 / www.
Sun 10 Jan
The Harlequin Theatre & Cinema,
Redhill, Surrey RH1 1NN
This beloved holiday classic will
enchant the whole family with its
fairytale setting and Tchaikovsky’s
timeless score. The Bolshoi’s version
of The Nutcracker has a unique
and beautiful sense of romance,
danced by the heroic Denis Rodkin
as the courageous prince and the
magical Anna Nikulina as Marie.
Info & Booking: 01737 276500
Mon 18 Jan - Wed 20 Jan
New Victoria Theatre, The
Peacocks Centre, WOKING,
Surrey GU21 6GQ
Direct from four sold-out seasons
in London’s Hyde Park Winter
Wonderland, Britain’s favourite
contemporary thrill circus embarks
on a nationwide theatre tour.
Combining contemporary “cirque”
style skills with off-the-scale thrilling
stunt action, Cirque Berserk is a
danger-filled spectacle that will
amaze audiences of all ages.
Info: 0844 871 7615 / www.atgtickets.
Listings are correct at time of going to
press but may be subject to change.
Readers are advised to check with
venues before making arrangements.
We can list your event in the next issue
of Wealden Times for only £15! Please
supply up to 50 words that should
include date, time, venue, and any
entry price to whatson@wealdentimes.
co.uk or send with payment (cheques
payable to JPS Media) to What’s On,
Wealden Times, Kettle Chambers, 21
Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17
3HF. Wealden Times reserves the
right to edit text to fit space allocated.
If you would like your event listing
to be accompanied by a full colour
reproduction (42.5 x 62.5mm) of a
poster or other pictorial image, the
total charge will be £95. Deadline for
February issue is 11 January 2016.
Food & Drink
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WIN an evening of
Top-notch comedy, supper, an
overnight stay & breakfast
at The Bell in Ticehurst
Jane looks forward
to a new year and
It is hardly surprising that having a laugh at The Bell is proving so
popular. The venue’s first season of comedy evenings has featured
the very best from the Edinburgh Festival and top London comedy
venues. By visiting festivals and shows across the country to scout
for acts, we’ve brought amazing talent to The Bell – some famous,
some up-and-coming. Comedy trickster Paul Zenon, fabulous
musical comedy act Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo, laconic
raconteur Marcel Lucont, rap comedians Abandoman and the
amazing Frisky and Mannish are all recent sell-out acts.
On 11 February, young stand-up Ivo Graham will take to the
stage at The Bell. This award-winning comedian has appeared
on various Radio 3, Radio 4 and 5 Live shows, has sold out at
London’s Soho Theatre and now he is coming to Ticehurst.
The Bell is offering two tickets to see Ivo on Thursday 11 February
with supper, plus an overnight stay in its famous Love Nest. Enjoy
a sinfully comfortable bed, wood-burner and copper bath in your
room as well as a twin shower – encircled by luxury. Goodness,
there is even a curved TV! In the morning, you’ll start your day
with a delicious Bell breakfast before departing.
The Bell would like to offer Wealden Times readers 20% off
room and lodge rates for a mid-week stay throughout March
and April, subject to availability. To take advantage of this special
offer, call Reservations on 01580 200234 quoting ‘WT1’. For
more information on up-and-coming comedy at The Bell, go to
For your chance to win two comedy
show tickets, supper, an overnight stay
and breakfast at The Bell, just answer this
question: ‘What is the name of the rap
comedy act that appeared at The Bell?’
Enter your answer with your contact
details* in the online form at www.
wealdentimes.co.uk/competition or post to:
The Bell Competition, Wealden Times,
21 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17
3HF by 18 January 2016. There is no
cash alternative and the prize must be taken by Thursday 11 February. *All
entrants’ details will be passed on to The Bell and Wealden Times Events. Please
let us know if you do not wish your details to be passed on.
After all the good living and late-night partying that’s
been going on in recent weeks it’s pleasing to be
back to normal in terms of meals and bedtimes
– except that we’re not. Last year our new bull George
arrived at Christmas and, being keen to get on and use him,
we let him run with the cows earlier than usual, from late
March, so the calves will start arriving in early January.
It’s a very special time, and after fifteen years, still every
bit as wonderful as a new calf slips into the world, usually
in the dead of night. All being well, after all the heaving
and pushing, the mum will be straight up again licking
her newborn – that’s where the saying ‘licking into shape’
comes from – talking to it in a low, gentle moo and
generally encouraging it to get up and start drinking.
And that’s very important, because the calf needs to drink
2½ litres of colostrum – the thick milk produced once the
calf is delivered – in the first six hours of life. This special
milk is full of the mother’s antibodies and, during the first
hours, the calf can absorb these large molecules which protect
it from all the local microbes. After six hours the gut lining
changes and the antibodies can’t pass through, so the calf that
hasn’t drunk has no resistance to disease and will succumb,
most commonly to E. coli, in the first few days of life.
If it’s been a difficult birth and the cow and calf are
exhausted, it is best to leave them for an hour or so to
recover, but you can’t leave it too long. As a beginner, I
used to really worry and was never sure if the calf had
drunk or not drunk. Now, if it’s an older experienced
cow, they’re both up and about and she’s speaking to
it and shoving it in the right direction (towards her
udder) then chances are that all will be well and it will
soon be sucking. There are four options after all!
But with the heifers you can’t be so sure. For these firsttime
mothers you can quite understand why, after pushing
out a 30kg calf, they are sometimes startled, cross and not
the least bit enamoured with the prospect of motherhood!
So you then have to tether mum, usually between a gate
and the wall, and encourage the small, slippery calf to stand,
find the udder and latch on – without either of you getting
kicked. A good trick is to squirt some warm milk from the
teat over the calf’s nose and ideally into its mouth – along
the lines of a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ message.
Quite often you miss and squirt milk up your sleeve
or into your own face, and all this as the mum sambas
this way and that, swishing her mucky tail around your
head. Not a job for the squeamish! But heavenly when
at last mum and calf get it together and you leave the
cowshed covered in milk, muck – and worse – but
very content. I’ll take my coffee black, thank you.
Follow Jane on Twitter @coopers_farm
Congratulations to Jonathan Nixon who wins the December competition for
a beautiful selection of copper kitchenware from Steamer Trading.
Field Sales Executive for
Wealden Times Magazine
The lifestyle magazine for Su rey
bridge Wells, Kent TN1 1YB
| Fax. 01892 510536
om | www.gcollinsandsons.com
G. Collins & Sons
By Appointment to
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igh Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells, kent TN1 1YB Telephone: (01892) 534018 Fax: (01892) 510536
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Inspiring Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes
Shop online with us 365 days a year at Wealdenfairs.com
Inspiring Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes
The lifestyle magazine for Surrey
Shop online with us 365 days a year at Wealdenfairs.com
Wealden Times magazine has an exciting opportunity for an experienced
Field Sales Executive to sell advertising for the Surrey magazine.
To apply, email your CV with a covering letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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