Surrey Homes | SH16 | February 2016 | Wedding supplement inside


The lifestyle magazine for Surrey - Inspiring Interiors, Fabulous Fashion, Delicious Dishes



Wealden Times

The lifestyle magazine for Surrey

Inspiring Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes

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New displays in our Tunbridge Wells showroom

Please call for a brochure or visit our showrooms

Unit 9, Chart Farm, Seal Chart

Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0ES

Tel: 01732 762682

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Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2UY

Tel: 01892 520730





T: 01483 T: 01483 454 454 091 091




Prestons have have always been been famous for for diamond

engagement rings. Every diamond picked for for its its

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the the centrepiece of of extraordinary rings rings in a wide a wide array

of of styles. Thousands of of happy couples have have visited

Prestons to choose the the most most special ring ring of of their their lives, lives,

and and will will continue to to do do so so for for decades to to come.


February 2016











John Graham-Hart

finds bright and

beautiful properties


What’s going on near

you this month


Jennifer Stuart-Smith visits

Belvidere Place – a coastal

home and boutique B&B


Fabulous home accessories



Jane Howard finds style

and functionality in this

interior designer’s home



Be enchanted and inspired

by our wedding pages








A focus on mental health


A romantic meal for

two from Jo Arnell



Penny Kemp welcomes

our feathered friends

into the garden


Find out...


Win an overnight

stay and breakfast in

the Maiden’s Tower

at Leeds Castle



Jane Howard moves

on from calving

to lambing




Tips to keep you

feeling gorgeous

Published by JPS Media Ltd, Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street,

Cranbrook, Kent. TN17 3HF. Tel: 01580 714705 Fax: 01580 715983.


copyright JPS Media Ltd 2016©


BellegroveWT168.indd 1 13/01/2016 15:30

Internal images of the show home

Show Home Open Saturday & Sunday 10.30 am -3.30 pm


Over 50% reserved

A delightful collection of seven, four and six bedroom family homes in

a highly desirable location within walking distance of the town and station.

This sought-after area benefits from great commuter links and good local schools.

T: 01883 712 375 | E:

Luxury retirement living and so

much more than a new home

Purchase a one or two bedroom independent living apartment in

the established setting of Elmbridge retirement village and enjoy

the exclusive use of all the village amenities including the new

purpose-built clubhouse incorporating a restaurant, bar, library,

shop, function and guest rooms.

New apartments now available to reserve for late

summer/autumn 2016 completion.

Marketing suite open Thursday to Monday 10.30am - 5pm.

For residents aged 65 and over.

Selling agent 01483 268555

Elmbridge Village, Essex Drive, Elmbridge Road,

Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8TR.

Call 01483 676100 or visit

Fine & Country Head Office 121 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 7AG

Local Office 7 The Crescent, Woldingham CR3 7DB

Tandridge, Surrey £1,269,000

Beautiful Grade II Listed 17th Century 4 bedroom detached, equestrian residence including a sand school and set in around 3 acres of gardens and paddocks. A rare

opportunity to acquire a country home within easy reach of the mainline rail services and amenities of the popular market town of Oxted. Believed to date from

the 17th Century, Brook Cottage is a wonderful example of a period home. Its importance has been recognised as the house has been Grade II listed. The house

oozes charm and character but still works well for modern living and the well-proportioned rooms all enjoy views out over the gardens and surrounding countryside

beyond. Features include an Inglenook fireplace, Aga cooker, exposed beams, attractive double car barn and large driveway for parking. In addition to the internal

accommodation there are several outbuildings currently used as a workshop, utility room and storage.

The property is located just outside the hamlet of Tandridge with its popular infant school and local pub. Shops and amenities are located within a few miles in either

the pretty village of Godstone or the popular market town of Oxted. The area boasts some wonderful options for schooling and excellent recreational facilities. This

part of the world is always popular with commuters and offers a fast regular service into London Bridge or Victoria via East Croydon. The M25 can be accessed at

Junction 6 (Godstone)

Call 01883 653040

mORe pROpeRTies uRgenTLy RequiReD


Priory Mews, Caterham, Surrey

Prices from £565,000

Priory Mews is a small and exclusive development of

just 2 four bedroom detached and 2 substantial three

bedroom semi-detached homes situated in a quiet

cul-de-sac within the popular Harestone Valley area

of Caterham. Caterham town centre, the mainline

railway station and Caterham school are all within

easy walking distance.

Rayners Town & Country are pleased to offer an

early opportunity to acquire the first properties

to be released prior to the formal launch.

Warlingham, Surrey - P.O.A

A superb development of just 10 beautifully

appointed luxury apartments and penthouses

in a favoured residential location, convenient

for mainline railway stations and less than a

mile from Warlingham Village Green. Each

property will have a balcony or private patio as

well as reserved parking and use of landscaped

communal gardens. Ready for occupation early

summer 2016.


The Pilgrims, Godstone, Surrey

Prices from £425,000

The Pilgrims, is a brand new development by

Quantum Homes, only a few minutes walk from

the heart of Godstone Village. No.3 & No.4 The

Pilgrims are both spacious and well-proportioned

three bedroom homes with allocated parking and

private rear gardens. Offering all the convenience

of a brand new home as well as the character and

charm of a village property. There are only two

houses remaining at the development which is now

60% Sold stc. Ready For Occupation March 2016.

Please call to reserve your place at the Open Day.

96 High Street, Godstone, Surrey, RH9 8DP T 01883 744344 E

HOUSE OF THE MONTH by John Graham-Hart


Let there be light

John Graham-Hart shuns the dark, for houses

that are bright and beautiful

Some years ago a group of Japanese scientists proved that, like fireflies and

through the same metabolic processes, we humans, too, glow in the dark.

Actually, they found that we glow even more in the daytime. No matter

– the loopies were in alternative seventh heaven. Throughout the country, ley

lines were instantly overloaded. It was official. Auras were real.

Obviously, it proved no such thing but it was, however, another quite

interesting discovery about the most complex organism on the planet. Why a

diurnal creature should have evolved this ability is anyone’s guess but it did and

it underlines, if in a rather oblique way, our love of light.

Throughout our history, light has been associated with good and the dark with

things unpleasant. Wherever we find darkness, whether literal or figurative, we

try to bring light. It follows then, as the night does the day, that among the

places where we value light most highly is the space we call home.

The earliest windows were just holes in the wall that let in all-important light

but alas, they let in everything else as well and so were necessarily small. The

Romans were the first to use glass in around 100 AD but it was over 1,000

years before the windowpane as we know it made its appearance. Finally, in the

1950s, plate glass manufacture was perfected by Sir Alastair Pilkington allowing

the creation of walls of glass and providing architects with one of their most

valuable resources. So let’s hear it for glass – and light.

1. Cranford

Where? Cranford is between Hurst

Green and Limpsfield Chart a couple of

miles from Oxted. (Google Maps

RH8 0RF).

What? A handsome Edwardian country

home built in 1912, the property has been

extended and refurbished over the years

and today offers more than 4,000 square

feet of attractive, bright and versatile

family accommodation. On the ground

floor there is a triple-aspect drawing

room, study and, flowing into each other,

a kitchen/breakfast room opening on

to the garden, dining room and superb

conservatory. On the lower ground floor

is a family room. Upstairs there is a

self-contained studio flat, a master

bedroom with dressing room, en suite

bathroom and south and west-facing

balcony plus four further bedrooms and

two bathrooms. Outside, in grounds

of almost eight acres, are formal and

informal gardens, a large area of woodland

– with stream, pond and spring – a

paddock and a leisure centre with indoor

swimming pool and gym.

How much? Cranford is priced at

£2,350,000 and is on the market with

Jackson-Stops & Staff in Oxted. Call

01883 712375 or visit








2. Westgarth

Where? Westgarth is on the edge

of the village of Woldingham with fine

south and westerly views over an Area

of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Google

Maps CR3 7DN).

What? This Edwardian family home

combines all the traditional architectural

strengths of the period along with the

benefits of a high standard of upgrading

carried out over recent years. On the

ground floor is a large open-plan family

room and orangery with under-floor

heating and full-width bi-fold doors on

to the garden as well as large windows

into the breakfast area of the kitchen. The

drawing/dining room has French doors to

the garden and overlooks Marden Park.

Upstairs there is a master bedroom with

an en suite shower room and a private

balcony plus five further bedrooms – one

with en suite shower room and another

with a private balcony garden and a cellar.

Outside there is a wide terrace with steps

to a large lawn and pond. At the top

of the drive there is a detached double

garage. The whole plot extends to about

three-quarters of an acre.

How much? Westgarth is on the

market at £2,225,000 and is with Fine

& Country in Woldingham. Call 01883

653040 of visit

3. The Old Garden House

Where? The Old Garden House is in

Fredley Park, a former country estate in

an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

in Mickleham, just south of Leatherhead

(Google Maps RH5 6DD).

What? This elegant and distinctive

family home has been substantially

refurbished over the past few years and

has impressive views over the surrounding

countryside. Accommodation includes

a drawing room with French doors

to the garden and a traditional open

fireplace, open-plan study, dining, and

kitchen/breakfast rooms – the latter

with bi-folding doors on to a terrace.

Downstairs there is a family room with

access to the garden and a self-contained

studio/gym, wet room and kitchenette.

On the first floor there is a master

bedroom with en suite shower room and

dressing area, a guest bedroom with en

suite shower room and a third bedroom

– all with access to a balcony. On the

second floor are three more bedrooms.

There five acres of secluded grounds

including formal gardens and extensive

equestrian facilities.

How much? The Old Garden

House is £2,250,000 and is with Jackson-

Stops & Staff in Dorking. Call 01306

887560 or visit

4. Three Trees

Where? Three Trees is in the small

hamlet of Bucks Green surrounded by

open countryside about a mile from

Rushwick and just over four miles from

Cranleigh (Good Maps RH12 3DW).

What? The accommodation, which

is arranged over three floors, includes on

the ground floor, a drawing room with

bi-folding doors to the garden, a dining

room and a bright and spacious open-plan

kitchen/family room with bi-folding doors

to patio and garden. On the first floor

there is a master bedroom with en suite

bathroom, a guest room with en suite

bathroom, two further double bedrooms

and a family bathroom. The second floor

would make an ideal teenager’s suite with

a spacious landing/sitting area, good-sized

double bedroom with en suite bathroom

and a large in-built store cupboard. The

property also as an integral double garage.

How much? Three Trees has an

asking price of £1,125,000 and is on the

market with Roger Coupe in Cranleigh.

Call 01483 268555 or visit

11 11

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New Car Sales Manager on

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01737 365365



BUSS MURTON advertorial

PRE NUPS: to have or have not?

Although the multi million pound divorce

settlements which are often reported

in the press are of little relevance

to the vast majority of divorcing

couples, the financial consequences of

any divorce can be significant and far reaching.

It is hardly surprising therefore that couples

planning marriage are increasingly considering

entering into pre nuptial agreements in order

to try to retain control over their finances.

So what is a pre nup? Essentially it is an agreement

governing financial arrangements not just during a

marriage, but crucially, in the event of a divorce. Pre

nups can govern all financial issues including what

should happen to the family home, how other capital

assets should be divided, how pensions should be

shared and even whether maintenance should be

paid by one partner to the other and for how long.

Understandably, many engaged couples feel that

they would rather deal with what should happen

to their finances in the (hopefully) unlikely event of

a divorce, whilst they are able to do so amicably

and on a theoretical basis, rather than against the

background of an actual breakdown in the marriage

with all the emotional upheaval that brings. However

by definition, pre nups deal with future arrangements

and so without a crystal ball, it can be very difficult

to predict what would constitute a fair settlement

in an unknown set of circumstances. After all, what

may seem fair in the context of a short marriage with

no children and where both parties work, may seem

very unfair some years down the line when one party

may have given up a career to care for children! What

however is very clear, is that no one should enter

into a pre nup lightly, as even though the divorce

courts are not currently bound by the terms of a pre

nup, increasingly, as long as certain safeguards are

Melanie den Brinker

met, the courts are enforcing these agreements. So

any couple contemplating a pre nup should obtain

legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity to

help them to decide if a pre nup is appropriate for

them and if so, what its precise terms should be.

Melanie den Brinker is the head of the Family

Department at Buss Murton and offers a

free 30 minute meeting for anyone who

may be considering a pre nup. To arrange an

appointment, please contact Louise Huxstep,

Family Team Secretary on 01892 510 222

or email:



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street banks for cash on deposit.

Properties are tangible investment

assets that can be purchased to

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value over the medium to longer term.

Property is viewed as being less volatile

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with multiple exit strategies when

selling. Owning property gives owners

legal title to an asset and the ability

to pass it on to future generations.

Gower & Mae is a property

consultancy dealing with property

assets in the UK, working with clients

from a number of domestic and

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property for investment purposes.

Based in Guildford in Surrey, we operate

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partners. In 2015, Gower & Mae

opened their first international

offices in Japan and Indonesia and

conducted client visits to Kuwait,

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We pride ourselves on adding value to

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If you are new to property, have a

specific monetary target in mind (e.g.

£2,000 extra monthly income) or are a

seasoned property investor, we would

welcome the opportunity to speak with

you and discuss your goals for 2016.

Gower & Mae are a family

run private business in

Guildford celebrating their

5 th year of working with local

property investors to improve

and maximise the security

and returns they achieve on

their property portfolios


To book your luxury villa holiday call our travel experts on 020 7563 7996

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You can read the full story behind these customer projects, the products that were used and see more photos by

logging on to your dedicated page

Jacksons Fencing

News, topical treats and more...

Three of the best! February can be a grim month, but

don’t despair – here are three of the best of our customer

projects with some photos of glorious gardens to inspire

you to think of 2016 garden projects and to help get you

through the cold winter months.

Below: You can almost feel the heat radiating off the gorgeous

circular paving in Maureen Vinall’s garden designed by Earthstone

Landscapes. One of the aims of the redesign was to make what

was essentially quite a small garden appear more spacious. This

was achieved by terracing different levels within the garden using

Jakwall to make flowerbeds that radiate outwards and step

upwards from a central round paved area.

Above: Jacksons Venetian panels are used to dramatic effect in

this stunning garden refurbishment by Brighton designer Dawn

Banks - she says“I always use Jacksons Fencing as it provides the

high quality contemporary effect required within my designs. The

added benefit of the 25 year guarantee is very important when

creating a beautiful space for clients. It is important, not only to

use the highest quality material, but it is essential that they stay

looking good and last for many years to come. A garden is an

investment that grows and matures over time, so it is unthinkable

to introduce a product that will perish or rot. So by installing

Jacksons I can be sure these integral parts of my design will stay

looking great as the garden grows around it.

Below: The lovely garden below belongs to Brian Hattersley. He

saw the Retreat shelter at a show Jacksons were attending and

decided to incorporate it into the design for his new garden. He

explained that he actually wanted something a bit larger than the

standard Retreat shelter, so he’s adapted it to make a ‘one and a

half’ sized one, see below. I think you will agree, it looks great,

especially with the matching Venetian fencing.

Win £300

of Jacksons


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:

For info on any of Jacksons

products or brochures, please call

0800 408 4754 to talk to your

local Jacksons Fencing Centre.

To the point...

McAllister Thomas are delighted to present the latest work of

Polish born artist Ewa Adams. Journeys in Colour is her second

solo exhibition with the Godalming-based gallery, and focuses

on her speciality; landscapes. Her style is unique, and offers a

contemporary take on pointillism, which is a labour intensive

technique using circles of pure colour juxtaposed next to one

another, creating an optical interaction when viewed at a distance.

Her palette is bright and her paintings buzz with new life.

They’re on display at the gallery from Saturday 20 February,

so be sure to make a visit.



Exhibitions & events

near you this month...

Distant endeavour...

The UK and Ireland Banff Mountain Film

Festival World Tour offers audiences the

opportunity to travel the world and experience

a selection of exhilarating, inspirational and

unforgettable adventures. The films highlight

remote cultures, intense expeditions and exotic

landscapes. Visit G Live on 23 February to

make the most of this amazing opportunity.

Book your tickets at

Sweet melody...

Catherine Sykes and Colin Anthony on vocals

get together with the Moonlight Serenaders

and the Uptown Hall Gang to relive the spirit

of the forties in this great evening of Glenn

Miller music. Featuring all-time favourites like

Tuxedo Junction, Little Brown Jug, American

Patrol, Moonlight Serenade and In the Mood,

you’re guaranteed to be transported back and

to feel nostalgic. To book call 01753 853888

or visit

Cut loose...

Join Georgian House Hotel on Saturday 13

February for what promises to be an amazing

evening at the annual Haslemere Museum

Valentine’s Dinner in aid of our ‘Museum

in a Million Campaign’. This fun black tie

event combines a delicious dinner, auction

of promises and plenty of dancing. For

more information phone 01428 642112

Field day...

Enjoy a great day out on Bocketts Farm,

Leatherhead this February Half Term with the

start of the spring lambing. Up to 90 lambs

are due from 12 February and, if you’re lucky,

you’ll see one being born. From Monday to

Friday meet birds of prey and watch the flying

demonstrations twice daily, enjoy pony rides,

tractor rides, animal handling and pig racing, plus

jumping pillows, pedal go karts and play trails. For

more information visit

Woodland wisdom...

Have a wild time this half term at Painshill. From

16 - 18 February keep the kids occupied with

tracking, wild art, bushcraft and den building,

using the natural resources of the forest. Learn

to make a fire and toast tasty marshmallows on

it, for the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup

of cocoa. Advance booking is required so call

01932 868113 or visit

Into the jungle...

Banish the winter blues with a visit to the exotic

glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley. Be amazed

at the tropical display of colourful butterflies

of all shapes and sizes and learn everything

there is to know. The new educational tent is

perfect for children as they interact with exhibits

providing information about the life cycle of the

butterfly. Beat the queues and book online at


Quality | Variety | Integrity

The most Comprehensive selection of Stoves, Fireplaces & Gas Fires in the South.

Fireside Accessories. Flues, Chimney Systems & Liners.

Woodburning Stoves in Contemporary & Classic designs.

Elegant Marble Chimneypieces. Antique & Modern Grates & Firebacks.

Sleek & Efficient Gas Fires. Traditional Fireplaces & State of the Art, Modern schemes.

A stunning variety of Fires. Genuinely knowledgeable & helpful staff.


Holly & Laurel, Horsham Road,

South Holmwood RH5 4NG

Telephone 01306 883201


Pew Corner, Old Portsmouth Road

Guildford GU3 1LP

Telephone 01483 571026



…just clip in for great looking blinds.

For that extra touch of luxury why not motorise your blinds?

Come To The Showroom To See Our Superb Range Of Quality Window Dressings

Including Curtains, Blinds, Luxaflex Blinds, Security Shutters And Grills.

Unit 6, Harvington Business Park, Brampton Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN22 9AF

Telephone 01323 509 661 Freephone 0800 988 1071 Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 9am - 2pm

Silvermere Retirement Home.

Where your Well-being flourishes.

Silvermere is our flagship retirement and care home. It brings to Surrey luxury community living, the highest

levels of care and support and an unrivalled Well-being and Activities programme – NEW FOR 2016.

Located in Cobham with stunning views over Silvermere Lake and the adjoining Golf Club, our hotel standard

services and fine dining options will make Silvermere your number one choice

Highlights of our Well-being Week

Join us at Silvermere for our free ‘Well-being Week’ with a series of events and activities for all to enjoy.

Activities Day | Monday 21 st March | 10.30am-6pm

Come and try one of our many activity groups running on this day including – Yoga – Ageless Golf

Creative Minds Art Class – Zumba – Zoo Lab and many more.

Falls Prevention Event | Tuesday 22 nd March | 4pm-5pm

Dr Clarence Chikusu from St Peter’s Hospital will be speaking around the prevention of falls

and will offer his expertise in this field. With afternoon cream tea served.

Memory Care Event | Wednesday 23 rd March | 11am-12noon & 7pm-8pm

Paul Evans from the Alzheimer’s Society will be addressing the ways we can best support

those affected by any form of dementia. With cheese and wine served.

Everyone is welcome. Please call 01932 642216 to book your place.

Silvermere Care Home

Redhill Road | Cobham | Surrey | KT11 1EF

Watch our video at

To request a brochure please call 01932 642216


TEL: 0208 481 7970


TEL: 01932 224 784



Supply, design and installation

of luxury bathrooms

6,000sq ft of showrooms

Over 60 brand new displays

Dedicated tile studio

Experienced in-house designers

Shop online at:

Open Mon - Sat 9am - 5pm.

Walton Bathrooms, The Hersham Centre,

Molesey Road, Hersham, Surrey KT12 4HL.

(Easy parking next to Waitrose)

For the gin lover in your life this Valentine’s day


Open seven days a week, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. For details and to order online, visit the website.

Orlestone Oak

Tailor-made Oak Joinery and Oak Flooring












OAK DECKING & BEAMS 01233 732179

SHOWROOm Open mOnday tO FRiday 9am-5pm, SatuRday 9am-12pm

OrlestoneOakWT167.indd 1 02/12/2015 11:42

Find Your Style

1980s Cream

Enamel Ladybird



Discovered by us... delivered to you


Half Page Ladybird Filler.indd 1 27/01/2016 17:25




Wealden Times is always filled with the things we love – and

this month is no exception. If anything, there’s even more love

in the air, as we think about Valentine’s Day, visit a romantic

boutique B&B and play at being princesses on a bridal fashion

shoot at Leeds Castle. There’s also plenty for those who aren’t

‘feeling the love’ but who are looking forward to longer days

and warmer weather.

Sunshine or showers, it would be hard not to enjoy a trip to

the seaside at Broadstairs – and a stay at Belvidere Place B&B, a

dramatic Georgian building just a stone’s throw from the beach.

Owned by Jilly Sharpe, a photographer and entrepreneur, its

atmosphere and style attracts an arty crowd, as well as those

in the mood for proposing. For those who’d rather stay in, Jo

Arnell offers recipes to warm your heart, lift your mood and –

perfect for preparing in advance – leave more time for romance.

Regulars include our health page, which this month focuses

on mental health, Sue Whigham on sweet peas and Penny

Kemp, our Green Goddess, on the benefits of bird tables.

Spring is in the air, as well as love, it seems.

Journeys in Colour

Opens 20 February 2016

Enjoy your Wealden Times!

Wealden Times Team

Editor .................................................................................Jennifer Stuart-Smith

Fashion & Beauty Editor.................................................................Helen Barton

Design ..........................................................................................Powerful Pierre

Design Team ...............................................................................Anthony Boxall

Rob Cursons

Phoebe Gilbert

Tanya Goldsmith

Managing Director .........................................................................Julie Simpson

Commercial Director ................................................................ Colin Wilkinson

Sales Manager..................................................................... Lisa Gordon-Hughes

Sales Team.................................................................................Hayley Biddulph

Adam Donovan

Becky Smith

Lisa Smith

Distribution ......................................................................................Jude Brown

Wealden Times Events & Team

Sales Director......................................................................................Joy Adams

Events Organiser .........................................................................Fiona Saunders

E-Commerce & Marketing Executive............................................James Godfrey

E-Commerce Assistant............................................................Megan Longworth

Original Art

For Your Future


117 High Street


Surrey GU7 1AQ

T: 01483 860591


McAllisterThomasFineArtS16.indd 1 13/01/2016 17:12


Kitchen Studio

Offering the

combination of


and classic kitchen

design using fine

furniture by

Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RP 01737 240403

where to find your copy...

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Leatherhead Caterham

Redhill Oxted

Guildford Dorking Reigate






HOLE PARK, Rolvenden, Kent

9th, 10th & 11th June 2016

3 for 2

Pre-launch Discounted

Tickets *

MS Logo.indd 1 24/01/2013 11:15

The following are our major

distribution points across Surrey


• Cook


• Buckland Deli


• Buckland Nurseries


• Waitrose


• Cook


• Waitrose


• Notcutts


• Cook

• Jackson-Stops

& Staff

• Kingfisher

Farm Shop

• Waitrose


• Waitrose


• Cook

• Waterstones


• Doves Barn Nursery

Forest Green

• Butchers Hall &

Country Grocer


• Cook

• Waitrose

• Waterstones


• Knights Garden


• Rayners Estate



• Waterstones


• Lythe Hill

Hotel & Spa

• Waitrose


• Waitrose

• Limpsfield Stores


• Robert Leech

& Partners


• Fanny’s Farm Shop


• Secretts

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Seaside Salvation

Words: Jennifer Stuart-Smith Photographs: David Merewether Styling: Helen Barton

When Jilly Sharpe left Peckham, south London, for Broadstairs, she needed a

home and a way to make a living. Belvidere Place, a run-down and dilapidated

Georgian building that had been neglected for 200 years, was to be her saviour –

but only once she had carried out some serious salvation of her own ...



eautiful oak framed buildings

Above: Much of the furniture in Belvidere Place, such as this elegant pedestal dining table, came from Jilly’s former home in Peckham, south London. Jilly was

inspired to paint the downstairs breakfast room in dark grey after using, and liking, the colour of a grey undercoat she had been using to paint woodwork

As well as bringing many of her London friends with her, Jilly also brought the

contents of her London home – items which fit perfectly with

the pared-down rustic interior of Belvidere Place

In the latest film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s

The Lady in the Van, Miss Shepherd escapes her

unconventional Camden existence to spend short

spells by the sea in Broadstairs. Admittedly, she is far

from your average holiday-maker but, nonetheless,

her attraction to this unspoilt Victorian seaside

town is something many of us can understand.

In 2007, Jilly Sharpe was also an escapee from

London, but from Peckham in her case and, rather than

living in a van, her former home was a large London

townhouse. “I already had a house in Broadstairs, so

knew the town, but moving here was a matter of survival.

I was a single mum who needed to make a living – so

it wasn’t just a case of escaping to the seaside.”

It should also be noted that the huge Georgian building

she was about to buy, was not an entirely tempting

holiday destination or home. “Nobody had repaired it

in 200 years and it was rotten to the core,” says Jilly. “It

had been run as a B&B, although initially I bought it

simply as a home for my son Gus and me. It was horribly

institutional, with fire doors and glass partitions everywhere

and many of the original doorways were boarded up.”


Above left: This ‘babyfoot’ table came from Columbia Road in east London and, according to Jilly, ‘it could tell some stories’ Above right: For vintage finds and

quirky items, Jilly is a fan of the Sunbury Antiques Market as well as Dolly Miller in nearby Margate. “I just buy what I like,” says Jilly. “There is no grand plan.”

London is still a big influence here, and Jilly thrives amongst the

creative crowd that has been attracted to Broadstairs in recent years,

either as permanent residents or as guests at Belvidere Place

In its current incarnation, this is difficult to imagine

– and Jilly has had to put in an immense amount of

work, and a certain amount of money, to get it to its

current state. “It took every penny I’d got,” she says.

As funds dried up, Jilly decided that she would return

it to being a B&B – but one that would attract people

rather than repel them. Her background as a fine art

and interiors photographer would stand her in good

stead as far as decoration was concerned, as would a

seemingly huge array of creative friends and contacts.

“At one point, I was at rock bottom financially but

due to open in a matter of weeks. A huge parcel arrived

and it was full of beautiful embroidered cushions made

by my friend Charlene Mullen.” Charlene’s quirky,

distinctive cushions are still dotted throughout Belvidere

Place, adding a touch of Shoreditch cool – as well as

London scenes – to this Kentish seaside home.

London is still a big influence here, and Jilly thrives

amongst the creative crowd that has been attracted to

Broadstairs in recent years, either as permanent residents

or as guests at Belvidere Place boutique B&B.

“Some fantastic people live round here; there’s a great

community and I feel surrounded by friends,” says Jilly.

The paying guests obviously add to the family atmosphere

too. “I love having people around me,” she adds.

As well as bringing many of her London friends with

her, Jilly also brought the contents of her London home

– items which fit perfectly with the pared-down, rustic

interior of Belvidere Place. A characterful refectory

table in the ‘breakfast room’ came from Gus’s paternal

grandfather and a large circular pedestal dining table is

equally fitting. Less ‘fitting’ and rather more funky is




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Above: The living room has bare floorboards, blackboard paint on the chimney breast and, on closer inspection, brown wrapping paper on the walls

– a surprisingly effective look

a giant representation of a Royal Mail stamp, made from

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It is another reminder of Jilly’s art-world connections

and was made by the artist Ann Carrington, one of the

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Hirst, the Chapman Brothers and Tracey Emin. There is

another Ann Carrington original, this time of a Union

Jack, over the bedstead in one of the guest bedrooms.

Each bedroom has a very different feel, though none

of them is named or numbered, thus keeping a sense of

homeliness – and avoiding hints at the building’s former

life as a rather unpleasant boarding house. Despite


Above: Many of the generous rooms are more ‘suite’ than bedroom, with comfy seating areas and furniture that is reminiscent of a stylish country house.

the size of the building and the huge windows, it stays

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“Despite setting up on a budget, the things I would

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Jilly also added simple, modern en suites to every

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problem, despite a challenging start. “At the beginning,

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Each room has magnificent sash windows – sometimes three in a room –

and gorgeous inviting beds.“Despite setting-up on a budget, the things I

would not compromise on were mattresses and bed linen,” says Jilly


Above and left: An armchair that originally came from Claridge’s and a lamp

that was retrieved from a skip, complete the look in an upstairs bedroom

Other sources of furniture include

boot sales, a doctors’ surgery and even a

skip: “A lamp upstairs was on its way

to the tip, before I rescued it,” says

Jilly. The furniture just seems to fit –

rather like Jilly’s many happy guests

couldn’t afford advertising and didn’t even have a sign!”

says Jilly. Fortunately, in her first week, a TV crew came

to stay, and word spread: “In my third week, the BBC

booked the place for six weeks solid.” So, as well as

having a house full, she’s had some pretty special guests.

“We do seem to be a popular place with actors,” she says,

though she’s careful not to name-drop, “and it makes a great

party place.” She still doesn’t advertise and attracts almost

all her business through word-of-mouth recommendation

– and appearances in numerous glossy magazines.

Opposite the ground floor breakfast room and its

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Above: An Ann Carrington original, this time of a Union Jack, hangs above the bed. The embroidered cushions were made by Jilly’s friend, Charlene Mullen

“At one point, I was at rock bottom financially but due to open in

a matter of weeks. A huge parcel arrived and it was full of beautiful

embroidered cushions made by my friend Charlene Mullen”

comfy chairs and a distinctive ‘foosball’ or ‘babyfoot’

table – which, apparently, is often a focal point at

parties. Jilly bought it on Columbia Road in London.

“It could tell a few stories!” says Jilly, though that is as

much as she will say. I can’t help imagining Dame Maggie

Smith – who plays Miss Shepherd in the film adaptation

of Alan Bennett’s play – playing a game or two of table

football. (I am informed, sadly for me at least, that Dame

Maggie has never in fact stayed at Belvidere Place.)

The living room has bare floorboards, blackboard paint

on the chimney breast and, on closer inspection, brown

wrapping paper on the walls – a surprisingly effective

look. Against the wall is a large, glass-fronted ‘cupboard of

curiosities’ which in a way reflects the eclectic contents of

the building itself: in the breakfast room a vast mirror is in

fact an old TV prop, there is an armchair from Claridge’s in

one of the bedrooms and a stunning Japanese-style cabinet

– which contains a kettle and other B&B goodies – in

another. “There was no grand plan or design,” says Jilly.

It’s hard to imagine that the interior wasn’t carefully

planned and curated, especially as the dark-grey

walls and woodwork downstairs make such a bold


Each bedroom has a very different feel, though none of them is named or

numbered, thus keeping a sense of homeliness – and avoiding hints at

the building’s former life as a rather unpleasant boarding house







The new Perfect Fit solution from Schmidt allows the units to adapt perfectly to any space in the room.

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A4_NOTORIETE_COULEUR_HORIZ.indd 1 20/01/2015 1

Richard and Lucy decided to renew their kitchen last year. With a wish for a more

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“When we first bought the place it was horribly institutional, with fire doors

and glass partitions everywhere and many of the original

doorways were boarded up,” says Jilly


Above left: The carpets have been removed throughout, to leave characterful, marked floorboards which fit perfectly with the original panelling on the stairwell

Above right: The grey-painted hallway is naturally lit by an original fanlight window above the front door as well as more contemporary fairy lights and spots

Sea view or no sea view, it’s clear that guests love the atmosphere

at Belvidere Place, the homely touches and the romance of this

majestic building, in a quintessential English seaside town

statement. “It’s not a fancy Farrow & Ball colour. I

was doing some woodwork and liked the colour of the

grey undercoat I was using – then had a similar colour

mixed especially. I’ve thought of trying other colours

since, but few things go so well as they do with grey.”

Jilly also takes the same ‘unplanned’ approach with

furniture: “I just buy what I like.” Sunbury Antiques

Fair is one place she likes to visit, as well as Dolly Miller

in Margate and Spitalfields Market in London.

Other sources include boot sales, a doctors’ surgery

and even a skip: “A lamp upstairs was on its way to

the tip, before I rescued it.” The furniture just seems

to fit – rather like Jilly’s many happy guests.

“I don’t do internet bookings, only phone

bookings, as I like to speak to my guests when

they book,” she says. “I need to talk to them, to

find out if this is the right place for them.”

One thing she makes clear straight away, is that there

is no sea view – although the beach is only a short

stroll away. “If it’s not right for them, I point them in

the right direction. That way, everyone’s happy.”

Sea view, or no sea view, it’s clear that guests

love the atmosphere at Belvidere Place, the homely

touches and the romance of this majestic building

in a quintessential English seaside town.

“We get loads of proposals here,” says Jilly, with




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Above left and right: The courtyard garden at the back of the building is filled with potted plants, and is as appealing in winter as it is in summer. “It’s a great

place for parties,” says Jilly. “We recently had a party out here, where we gathered around a brazier made from an old oil drum. It was a really fun evening.”

a certain pride. “One was at breakfast time, and all

the guests welled up.” She has also advised guests

on a romantic, outdoor spot to pop the question.

“Kingsgate Bay is gorgeous. I make up a little

Champagne picnic basket for that kind of occasion –

we’re not Claridge’s, but we’re homely and cosy.”

It’s clear that Jilly is in her element – working

from home, surrounded by interesting, creative

people and just a short walk from the beach:

“I didn’t come here thinking it would be some

kind of goldmine. I came to enjoy life, make a

living and be around to look after my son.”

This award-winning boutique B&B with clientele from

across the world is just a rather wonderful spin-off. “I

almost accepted an offer from someone who wanted to buy

the place, but Gus persuaded me not to. Belvidere Place is

our home after all, and not just a business.” I think this is

eminently clear to anyone who is lucky enough to stay here.

Address Book:

Belvidere place is in the heart of Broadstairs and a short walk

from the beach. Each room is individually designed, with

unusual one-off pieces of furniture and sleek contemporary

bathrooms. Breakfasts are freshly made from local produce

and, most importantly, the welcome is always warm.

Belvidere place Belvedere Road, Broadstairs, Kent

CT10 1PF, 01843 579850

Ann Carrington

Charlene Mullen Shoreditch 020 7739 6987

Dolly Miller’s 20 Market Place, Margate CT9 1ES

Sunbury Antiques Market Kempton Park Racecourse






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Design Project

Words: Jane Howard Photographs: David Merewether Styling: Helen Barton


After spotting the potential of this Victorian house

near Camden Road in Tunbridge Wells, Justine

Hodgson-Barker, an interior designer, and her

husband James set about transforming it into a

stylish yet functional family home







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Above: The open-plan kitchen and dining area both feature reclaimed parquet flooring, interconnecting the rooms and making the whole area feel light and

bright. The kitchen, which now opens directly on to the garden was once dark and cluttered and accessed via a dining room

They always say it’s who you know and not

what you know and, in the case of the

interior designer who owns this charming,

funky house in Tunbridge Wells, it’s patently true.

Justine Hodgson-Barker has a black book to die for

and has used all her professional contacts and skills

to turn a fairly typical Victorian terraced house into

an original, stylish yet functional family home.

Justine studied design at The Chelsea College of Art

& Design and has had a successful and busy career

in interior design ever since. Juggling work with two

young daughters, she now runs barkerdesign and has

never been so busy, working on anything from whole

house projects to single rooms. She has just finished

the refurb at The Black Dog in town and is already

working on several new commissions including a

beautiful Decimus Burton house in Tunbridge Wells.

Justine and her husband James decided to move down

to the town five years ago and started looking for suitable

properties. As a professional she knew she wanted a “

‘project’ and when they found their current home

she knew they had found one. “Everything about

the house was dark and pokey,” explains Justine.

“To reach the third bedroom you had to go through

the second one, there was no upstairs bathroom and

everything and I mean everything – carpets, walls,

tiles, doors was mustard-colour!” Game On.

As well as creating stylish designs, Justine also stresses

the importance of understanding what the space has to do

and the need to find a compromise between the desires

of all parties involved - in this case her and James.

“Personally I like quirky, old-meets-new interiors

where signature pieces play an important role while

James prefers clean, contemporary, gadget-boy

minimalism. I had to make it work for both of us.”

At the back of the house, typical of Victorian terraces,

there was a dark and underused dining room leading to

a cluttered kitchen with a small window overlooking the

garden. As is the norm, Justine drew up plans to extend

the kitchen laterally into the side return but then did

the sums and, always being conscious of the return on

investment on any serious building project, decided it

wasn’t worth it. With two young children she wanted

to use the garden as an extra summer living room, so

put large bespoke wooden glazed doors in the kitchen

and dining room which created the desired inside-


Above: Justine describes the living room, which is at the front of the house,

as a ‘work in progress’. Even so, the subtle paint scheme and signature pieces

of furniture, including a Charles Eames chair and a Hans Wegner rocker,

give it understated style Right: Retro fashion posters brighten up a wall.

Justine has found other quirky prints at Rockett St George and, for unusual

art deco and modernist furniture, uses the online boutique, MAR-DEN

out feel and flooded light into this end of the house.

With the help of designer Karen McClure the garden

has had a very stylish makeover. The narrow steps leading

up to the higher level were widened, thus creating a wide

and inviting vista when you look out from the kitchen

and the beds were planted with architecturally interesting

shrubs. What really works is the clever use of black paint

on all the hard surfaces. The black fences either side of

the lawn really make the grass look greener and the brick

walls that wrap round the patio look very smart and

contemporary. With the addition of some quirky finds

such as a large French industrial mirror and Amish metallic

barn stars, good lighting and a corner sofa, this area really

has become a fun extra living space in the summer -

affectionately referred to by friends as the Mojito Garden.

Back inside, Justine has laid reclaimed pale parquet

wood flooring throughout the ground floor which

cleverly interconnects the rooms and makes it all feel

very light and bright. The neutral, simple kitchen

units are from Krieder in Tunbridge Wells and are


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The house has a large, spacious hallway, with walls painted in Farrow

& Ball’s Elephant’s Breath. A fabulous French chandelier, sourced on

eBay, and flashes of bright red make this a really smart space


Above: The neutral, simple kitchen units are from Krieder in Tunbridge

Wells with open shelving as a design feature in itself and home to colourful

ingredients and recipes books, as well as a collection of retro Homepride

‘Freds’ Right: Light floods into the narrow kitchen from three sides, including

the large glass doors which lead out on to the garden

topped by polished concrete work surfaces. “This was

an experiment,” explains Justine. “I love trying out new

materials and, although it looks beautiful, it’s not all that

practical; advice I can at least now pass on to my clients.”

The look does however appeal to James’ desire for a

modern minimalist feel, while Justine has funked it up

with colourful displays of oils, spices, books and jars.

Then she’s added quirky touches like the glass lampshades,

originally funnels from a science lab and sourced from

Retrovius in London, and teamed these precious ‘one

offs’ with Ikea stainless steel shelf units – and, hey

presto, it’s a great look and keeps everyone happy.

What was the dining room and previously used as a

‘walk through’ is now effectively the hub of the home

and a useful family room. Decorated in neutral tones

the room is brought to life by an eclectic collection of

pieces that Justine has picked up along the way. “Being an

interior designer, I am always going to antique fairs and

shows such as the Midcentury Modern in Dulwich – a

great source for the best 60s, 70s and 80s pieces – and



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Above: Justine is on-trend with her copper-coloured kitchen accessories and

complementary ply retro boards used as a splash-back Below left: The layout

of the downstairs was reconfigured to create an ‘inside outside’ feel and easy

access to the ‘mojito garden’ – as friends affectionately call it.

looking for signature items for my clients. Or sometimes

I grab some for my own home. The lamp is a wonderful

1960s Swedish design by Uno Kristiansson, the antique

settle with original blue patina is from Ardingly, and the

dresser is new from Blooms in Southborough. And then

there are all the lovely German 1960s jars, vases and signs

– many sourced from Love Inc in Tunbridge Wells.”

Unusually for a terraced Victorian house, this one has

a large square spacious hall with the stairs leading off at

right angles to the front door. Painted in Farrow & Ball

Elephant’s Breath, with a fabulous French chandelier

sourced from eBay and set off with flashes of bright red,

Justine has created a really smart space that is much more

interesting and useful than a standard narrow hall.

And then surprisingly, under the stairs there is a

bathroom – the only room to retain the original mustard

tiles that came with the house when they bought it, and

they look terrific. It was just a shower room but Justine has

added a bath and painted all the walls in Abigail Aherne’s

dark Bedford Brown paint. It works amazingly well and is

the perfect backdrop for a print from Rockett St George,

an online emporium for quirky treasures. Other unusual


“Personally, I like quirky, old-meets-new interiors with signature pieces, while James prefers

clean, contemporary, gadget-boy minimalism. I had to make it work for both of us”

art deco and modernist pieces are sourced from another

of her black book contacts, MAR-DEN. By leaving the

copper pipes exposed and panelling the bath with an old

Victorian mirror that reflects the tiled floor she has made

really imaginative and interesting use of a small space.

The front room is still ‘work in progress’, the room she

will get round to when the demands of work and babies

allow. Even so, painted in neutral tones and with some

fabulous pieces of furniture – like the Charles Eames

chair Justine bought James for his 30 th birthday and the

Hans Wegner rocker – it already looks very stylish.

Go on up the stairs and originally you turned right to

the front bedroom and left to the second bedroom which

led through to the third. By taking out the fireplace in the

second room Justine has put in a landing off which you

can now access both the girls’ rooms directly and managed

to shave off some extra space for a second bathroom.

Clever stuff, which looks like it has always been there.

A lovely big window at the top of the stairs is

dressed with a cosy tartan blind – sourced from the

very reasonable Moon Fabrics. It’s also home to a

wonderful old rocking horse found at the Ardingly



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Above: The girls’ bedrooms are very much the creation of the Hodgson-Barker’s

eldest daughter who wants to be a teacher, so chose to have a blackboard

wall as well as a white board. The wall and ceiling are painted in coral

Left: Open shelves are both practical and decorative, with this wire-work

shelving unit in the nursery showing more than a hint of Justine’s style

antiques fair. The new bathroom off this landing, painted

in another dark colour – Invisible Green from Little

Greene – is finished by 1960s Art Deco Bakelite lights

and more of the eye-catching red 1960s German vases.

The master bedroom is also painted in a dark colour,

this time Bone China, also from Little Greene. Beautiful

ticking linen curtains and Indigo blinds create a very

cool feel and the perfect backdrop for an amazing light

fitting. This comes from Gong Lighting, a company that

specialises in taking original vintage ideas and giving them

a twist. In this instance the ubiquitous Habitat paper

shade has been reproduced in a wonderful floral fabric. It’s

fabulous and goes so well with the ochre velvet bed sourced

from another useful contact – Love Your Home For Less

– that will do semi-bespoke pieces at reasonable prices.

The landing leading to the girls’ bedrooms is

where Justine says you enter the fun part of the


The one stop shop for all your restoration needs!

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Above: The master bedroom is painted in Bone China by Little Greene with

a striking light fitting from Gong Lighting – who specialise in vintage ideas

with a twist Left: An original fireplace makes the perfect focal point for the

room and a collection of ‘objets trouvés’

house. She’s wisely decided there’s no point trying

to inflict her own design ideas on the children and

they should have what they want. But obviously this

little girl – the other one is a baby – has as much

style as her mum; if you think it will be an explosion

of bubble gum pink and sparkles, think again.

She wants to be a teacher, so top of her wish list was

to have a blackboard and more recently, keeping up

with the times, a white board. The walls and ceiling are

all painted in a coral – Justine thinks by using just one

‘up and over’ colour you draw more attention to the

hero products in the room such as the amazing IKEA

Mascros light fitting which she spray-painted to create

a unique piece – she refers to it as ‘Ikea hacking’.

She tips me off that companies like IKEA and French

Connection employ teams of young, talented designers

to create their original and affordable collections and

as she wisely points out you never know, one of them

might just turn out to be the next Eames or Wegner. It

has been a very educational visit, so many generously

shared ideas and contacts, though I rather suspect we

only scratched the surface of this very original and

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Above: Easy access to the garden and masses of natural light are just two of the advantages of the redesigned kitchen space (Photograph courtesy of Janet Penny)

Address Book:

Justine Hodgson-Barker offers a design service for homes

and businesses in Kent, from concept right through to


Blooms Furniture Southborough, 01892 864103,

Decorative Antiques uK 01580 860317

Gong lighting

Janet penny photography

Karen McClure garden and landscape designer

01892 852983

Krieder Tunbridge Wells 01892 619721

Little Greene paint & paper

Love Inc Tunbridge Wells 01892 319887

Love your Home

MAR-DEN 20th century furniture

Moon fabrics

Retrouvius Kensal Green 020 8960 6060,

Rockett St George


New This Month...

Discovered by us... delivered to you

Bandstand At Sunset

(left), £2.80; Brighton Pier

Greetings Card (right), £2.80

Lucia 3 Stone Ring (right),

£99; Mistral Stacking

Rings (left), £15

Green Garden Chair // £160

Antique Look Birdcage // £170

15 Bottle Wine Rack (left), £72; Handmade

Chest Of Drawers (right), £156, both

products upcycled from genuine apple crates

Saltdean Lido Print (left); Scotney

Castle Print (right), from £39.50

Lemon Extra Virgin Olive

Oil (above), £12; Murcia

Sweet Paprika (right), £6

Follow us for new products,

competitions and promotions.

Sell online with us...

Become a member of our community of unique, vintage, handmade & bespoke sellers

Wealden Times


JULY 2015

The lifestyle magazine for the Weald



Shop online with us 365 days a year at

Exclusive Editorial - Reach our 105,000 + monthly readers of

Wealden Times as well as other local and national publications.

Promote your business with the Wealden Times brand - gain access to our extensive audience

of website and event visitors, social media following as well as our monthly magazine and app readership. Benefit from

email newsletter campaigns, product and interview features, blog posts, social media exposure, competitions and more.

Get More From Google - Manage your own micro-site and URL address within 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 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

Minnie Craske”

Decorative Antiques UK

“ 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

Harry Cunningham

King John’s Nursery

“The article in today’s Wealden

Times is wonderful! I’m delighted!

Thank you ever so much!

Sally Scott”

Sally Scott Paintings

Discovered by us... delivered to you

To apply please call 01580 713915

or visit

Damsel &

the dress

Photographs: David Merewether Styling: Helen Barton Hair: Hair at Fifteen

An enchanting castle rising from the still waters of a moat,

surrounded by 500 acres of ancient parkland. One bride, and a

selection of beautiful dresses. There’s a story to be told...




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

previous page: crystal hairband, £75, So Baroque; Brazilian amethyst & labradorite

earrings, £94, Me Encanta; Honour dress, £2595, Stephanie Allin, The Bridal Boutique of

Jules, Deal 01304 389710; table flowers and table setting, price on request, Leeds Castle Floristry

long sleeved dress, £1400, Sacha James, The Bridal Boutique of Jules, Deal 01304 389710; flower

headdress, price on request, Ali, Sissinghurst Flowers, 01580 852144; Eden earrings, £10,

Tanglewood Studios




With the new season fast approaching, we are already

pleased to be able to offer the first part of our new

ranges, amongst these are collections from DIGEL, a

German tailoring company, specialising in fine, mid

and lightweight fabrics, tailored in two collections.

DIGEL CONCEPT, a range of jackets and trousers

in a modern yet comfortable fit, with refined

detailing, and DIGEL MOVE, an urban styled

collection, in a slimmer fit, with a consistently

modern and perfectly shaped silhouette.

To celebrate the 150 th anniversary of MAGEE 1866

clothing, both our Canterbury and Reigate stores are

pleased to be able to offer their celebration collection

of contemporary clothing, in linen and cotton blends.

As always, we welcome you to visit our stores and

allow us the chance of showing you what’s on

offer for the ensuing spring / summer season.

We are proud to be sponsoring Tom Ward in the Pirelli Superstock 600 Championship

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

Follow us


CountyClothesWT168.indd 1 18/01/2016 11:42



JeremyHobbsS16.indd 1 18/01/2016 17:08

green amethyst calypso earrings, £42, Christin Ranger Jewellery; bird cage hairband,

£125, Timeless Couture, dress, £1100, Sacha James, The Bridal Boutique of Jules, Deal 01304 389710




Wedding Ring World is the perfect place to continue

the celebration of your engagement, whether you

toast over a glass of champagne or you are simply

looking to explore the variety Prestons has to offer.

At Wedding Ring World you’ll find the most stunning

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Loren dress, £2515, diamond crochet shrug, £730, Stephanie Allin, The Bridal Boutique of Jules, Deal 01304

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Find Your Style

Men’s Flecked

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Discovered by us... delivered to you

Effie dress, £1400, veil, £140, Minna, The Bridal Boutique of Jules, Deal 01304 389710; Dougal the

snowy owl, Leeds Castle Falconry

Wealden Times would like to say a huge thank you to Gemma, the Hospitality

team and the Falconry team at Leeds Castle for providing a beautiful location,

table setting, flowers and Dougal the snowy owl. Wedding packages at the castle

can be tailored to your requirements and can include all of these services and

more. (Please note that only flowers created by the Leeds Castle Floristry team

are available for functions) The Castle offers everything from stunning photo

opportunities and ceremony locations to wedding breakfast in the Henry VIII

Banqueting Hall and luxurious bedrooms. For more information visit www. or contact / 01622 767877.


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Wealden Health & Beauty

Wealden Times talks to Amanda, a fitness

instructor and beauty expert...

Do you follow a

beauty regime?

I’ve always loved the ritual

of cleansing, toning and

moisturising and I’ve been

doing it since I was about

12 years old. My mum

taught me the importance

of taking care of your

skin from a young age to

prevent sun damage and

premature ageing. I’m

definitely a wrinkle phobic,

so I make sure I cleanse,

tone and moisturise twice

a day, and I exfoliate

my face twice a week.

Do you have a particular

product you couldn’t

live without?

I can’t live without Max

Factor false lash effect

mascara. I love it! No

matter how little sleep

I’ve had or how much of

a rough day I’m having, it

always comes to the rescue.

It makes my lashes appear

from nowhere and really

opens up my eyes. As a

local fitness instructor it’s

difficult not to sweat off my

make-up, but this mascara

always stays put even in

the most hardcore classes.

What’s your ultimate

pampering treat?

My ultimate

pampering treat is a

microdermabrasion session.

This is a deep exfoliating

treatment that makes my

skin baby soft and helps

treat signs of ageing as well

as combatting breakouts.

My skin feels silky smooth

afterwards. I run a fitness

and beauty company from

my home in Marden and

microdermabrasion is

definitely the facial for best

results on all skin types.

Who’s your style icon?

It’s so hard to choose just

one style icon. I love all

the old school pin-ups like

Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn

Monroe. They have a

classic feminine look and

I think they’re fabulous. I

also love Davina McCall.

Her fitness regime and

healthy lifestyle are really

inspiring, and she balances

this with a busy family life.

Amanda Cunningham is

based in Marden, Kent

and teaches Zumba classes

in the Memorial Hall on

Thursday evenings and the

Vestry Hall on Thursday

mornings, where children

are welcome to come

along. Amanda also offers

amazing beauty treatments

from her home salon,

including everything from

tanning and waxing, to

lashes, nails and facials.

To book an appointment

or for more information

on her classes call

07583 014086 or email

Catching zzz’s...

Valerian is a perennial herb

commonly known as Garden

Heliotrope or All-heal, and

has been used for medicinal

purposes since ancient

Greece and Rome. In the

Middle Ages it was carried in

clothing as a moth repellent,

Fabius Calumna first noticed

it as an anticonvulsant for

epilepsy in 1592 and it was

pocketfuls of valerian root

that supposedly helped the

Pied Piper charm the rats out

of Hamelin. It’s now become

well known by gardeners for

the pungent aroma released

when its roots are exposed

(comparable with well worn

socks apparently), but is still

consumed today in capsule,

tincture and tea form. It is

recognised as a mild sedative,

and can aid with stress,

anxiety and restless sleep

patterns. Grow your own

by sowing seeds in spring.

They like shallow compost

and good light to germinate.

Alternatively, pop to your

local health food shop and

find a nice sleepy time tea.

Natural Glamour...

We love experimenting

with make-up in the WT

editorial office, but as we’re

becoming more conscious of

what we put in our bodies,

we’re questioning what we

put on our skin too. This

is where Inika come in and

take the stage. They believe

that you shouldn’t have to

sacrifice your style or your

skin, with their beautifully

produced and packaged

natural, organic make-up.

We tried out their Perfect

Party Eyes kit; a soft pink

cream eyeshadow which

adds a natural highlight, a

rich mineral eyeshadow with

a subtle hazelnut shimmer,

the soft black eyeliner

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Rachel offers free consultations for those who are wanting to lose their weight once and for all.

Rachel Ricketts 01342 327396 email

Healthy mind

Many things can affect your mental health, from environmental

factors such as stress and poor diet to the way you were

brought up and your genetic make-up. Equally, there are

many ways you can look after your mind. Here are a few...

The therapist and coach

Dr Suzannah Hill sees clients at her clinics in

Pluckley and Egerton, by telphone or via Skype

What are key signs that you may have depression? Common symptoms

include: changes in appetite, weight and sleep patterns, e.g. early morning

waking – or a desire to sleep more. Prolonged periods of low mood, feeling

helpless and hopeless, angry or irritable, or feelings of worthlessness and guilt.

However, feeling numb or an absence of feeling can also occur and this can be

just as unsettling, meaning it is hard to feel pleasure from activities that were

previously enjoyable. A person with depression may have some, all or only one

or two of these symptoms. Depression is sometimes accompanied by anxiety.

If you think you have depression, what can you do? The first step is

recognising it and finding the support that feels right for you. This could

involve talking to someone you trust, who will respect your privacy, and

who can be impartial; be it a friend, your GP, the Samaritans, or a therapist

or mental health professional who may recommend a drug treatment and /

or seeing a therapist. There are a range of therapies available and the most

important thing is finding what works for you. You can also find a therapist

on the or through the BACP or UKCP websites.

Make sure the therapist is registered with a professional body. It is essential you

feel comfortable with your therapist. Trust your instinct, and if they don’t feel

right for you, find someone who does. Lastly, self-care is extremely important,

so try and eat well, make time to rest and be kind to yourself. Unfortunately

suicidal thoughts can accompany depression, and if these thoughts start

to develop into plans and you feel you are at risk of harming yourself or

anyone else, seek urgent medical help – call NHS 111, your GP or A&E.

Dr Suzannah Hill, Therapist and Coach, 01233 226104

The life coach

Maureen Dickie helps people to find their sense

of purpose

What are the negative effects of stress in the short and long term?

Too much stress leaves us feeling as if we are not living our own life. In the

short term this can lead to lethargy, frustration or anxiety as we feel unable to

listen to our ‘inner voice’. In the longer term, this can culminate in a sense of

loss, regret or anger and physical ill health.

How can we manage or reduce stress day to day?

A few minutes’ daily reflection can bring insight – and the strength to trust in

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What can be achieved by managing stress effectively?

Clarity and focus. Our actions become aligned with our values, how we truly

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For further details please contact:

The book

Eating a feel-good diet

Meals that help maintain good moods,

energy levels and general health and wellbeing

are based around a blood-sugar

balancing diet rich in nutrients. However,

we do not always manage to translate

these theories into the food on our plates:

busy lifestyles, bad dietary habits and

the apparent convenience of less healthy

foods often take over. Yet, by recognizing

the powerful impact of eating good food

and following some general strategies for

boosting your moods and energy levels,

it becomes remarkably easy to take the

principles pretty much anywhere you go.

Feel-good diet basics:

• Start each day with a cup of warm water

• Add lemon juice or fresh

ginger if required

• Include slow-release, low

glycaemic load carbohydrates

• Include lean protein at each

meal and as snacks

• Include essential omega 3 fats daily

• Eat foods high in B vitamins,

zinc and magnesium

• Eat fruit and vegetables at every meal.

• Make each plate as colourful as possible

• Keep hydrated – drink at least

1.5 litres of water daily

Based on the book

Lift Your Mood

With Power Food

by Christine Bailey,

£10.99, Watkins

Publishing Limited


Food of



Press ad_Layout 1 19/08/2011 4:06pm Page 1

The taste of Kent

from your own local farm shop

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

your garden

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.

London Road,

Badgers Mount,


Kent TN14 7BD

Tel: 01959 533089

The Taste of Kent

Winner of the Garden Centre Association

Farm Shop of the Year Award 2010

Jo Arnell shows us how to create a simple, heartwarming

three course meal that is simple to put

together and can be prepared in advance – so you

won’t have to get into a sweat on Valentine’s Day

Photographs: David Merewether

PolhillWT116.indd 1 16/09/2011 16:54


Avocado and bacon crostini

( Serves 4-6 )

Crostini base

• Cut slices of French

or ciabatta bread,

drizzle with a little

olive oil and bake for

15-20mins until crisp.


• 1 tbsp mayonnaise

flavoured with lemon

and garlic *

• 1 ripe avocado (a

mood enhancing food)

• 2 rashers streaky

bacon or pancetta,

lightly grilled

• 1 tomato, finely


• 1 small handful

of pine nuts

Flavour mayonnaise by adding a little lemon zest, juice

and garlic. Mix in well, then spread a spoonful on

each slice of bread, add a little chopped tomato and a

few pine nuts. Next add a layer of sliced avocado. Cut

the grilled bacon into thirds and place on top of the

avocado. Finish with a sliver of Parmesan.

Subscribe to our newsletter on our

home page and receive a video guide

for making these delicious flower eggs.

Aberdeen House, High Street, Oxshott 01372 844890


SurreyHillsButchersS11.indd 1 26/08/2015 13:17

Duck parmentier

Serves 2

• 2 confit duck legs

• 1 medium diced onion

• 1 small diced carrot

• 1 handful chopped

mushrooms (2-3)

• 1 crushed garlic clove*

• 1 small handful chopped


• A sprig of thyme (1 tsp)

• 30g butter

• 100ml red wine, plus a

little extra stock if needed

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 600g floury potatoes

(approx 3-4 med)

• 50g butter

• 1 tbsp crème fraîche


• Handful Parmesan

cheese for topping

1. Peel and boil some floury potatoes for the mash.

2. Gently fry onion, garlic and diced carrot in butter for 5

mins until soft. Add the wine and let it bubble to reduce

for approx 15 mins.

3. Shred the duck and add together with the chopped herbs

and simmer for a few more minutes, then transfer to a

baking dish.

4. Mash the potatoes with butter, crème fraîche, salt and

pepper. Spread over the duck mixture and top with grated


5. Cook in the oven at 180˚C for a further 20 mins, until the

cheese topping is golden. Serve with seasonal vegetables.

*Garlic can be omitted on Valentine’s Day…

Dark chocolate tart with pomegranates

Serves at least 2

Use either a half-sized quiche tin (12cm) or make as

individual tarts

• 12 Bourbon or Oreo


• 30g salted butter

• 100g best quality

dark chocolate

• 75g butter

• 100ml single cream

• (A little extra sugar

if you prefer a

sweeter taste)

1. Chocolate biscuits make a fantastic tart base

and save you from preparing pastry. Simply

crush them (use a Magimix, pestle and mortar

or whack a bag of biscuits with a rolling pin)

until you have fine crumbs.

2. Melt the butter in a pan and combine with the

biscuit crumbs. Spread this mixture on the

base of the tart tin and cool in the fridge.

3. Make the filling by heating the butter and

cream in a pan – if you have a sweet tooth,

add a little sugar to the melted mixture, then

add the chocolate. Stir until smooth and pour

on to the chilled biscuit base.

4. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours

(or make the whole thing the day before).

Serve topped with pomegranate seeds.



Cullenders delicatessen & kitchen has been serving the people of Reigate great coffee and food for six years

and we have been nominated for the second year running best independent retailer by Surrey life magazine.

13 Bell Street, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7AD | 01737 240 800 |

Creating the most amazingly unique day of your lives

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Find Your Style

The Gathering Place

Fire Sphere


Discovered by us... delivered to you




Penny Kemp

shares her tips

for taking care

of the natural


If you want a variety of birds to visit your garden, one of

the most productive things you can do is make your own

bird table and feeders. There are many designs available on

the internet and one of the easiest is this design from the rural


I particularly like it because it has a roof which keeps the food dry

and offers protection to the birds. If DIY isn’t your forte, the Royal

Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) sell very reasonably priced

tables. And if you want a luxury bird table, Welsh dovecotes make an

attractive octagonal table for around £200

Try and site your bird table away from trees, to stop grey squirrels

from jumping from branches, and a squirrel baffle will deter them

from climbing the pole. Once you have got your bird table, feeding

garden birds does not have to be expensive - although special bird seed

is available. Many of our leftovers provide excellent food for garden

birds. Bacon (not salty) and other fats put out on the table will attract

a variety of birds - and sometimes the neighbourhood cat - so keep a

lookout. Birds like bread but it should not form their complete diet as

bread hasn’t got the range of nutrients needed to ensure birds survive.

It is important to put out only the amount of bread that birds will eat

in a day. Putting out too much bread could attract rats, especially if left


Welcoming a variety of birds into your garden means putting out

different foodstuffs that particular birds like. Tits, thrushes, wrens

and great spotted woodpeckers love fat, including suet. Making your

own fat balls is a great idea and children love to get involved. The

Gardeners’ World website has a good recipe.


Grated cheese is enjoyed by robins, dunnocks, blackbirds and song

thrushes. Other goodies include cooked potatoes and fruit such as

raisins, sultanas and currants as well as apples, pears and plums. Pastry

either cooked or raw is another good source of food for our garden

birds. A word of warning though: don’t put salt out for birds as it is

highly toxic to them and harms their nervous system and never put

salt in the bird bath to stop the water freezing. Following the above

steps should ensure that you have a wonderful variety of birds in your

garden for you and your family to enjoy.

The RSPB have their Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January

and invite people to count the number of birds in their garden for

an hour. Go to the RSPB site below to register your details and

get involved in the many projects they do to keep our beautiful

bird population safe.




CheekyMonkeyS08.indd 1 26/05/2015 11:37

Crown reduction, lifting

and thinning

Stump grinding

Deadwooding of tree canopies

Hedge trimming and reduction

Supply, planting and aftercare of new trees

& hedges

Removal and responsible recycling of

green waste

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

Waller & Smith

Landscape & Driveway

Family Construction Est.



Patios, Paths, Driveways,

Hard Landscaping, Block Paving and Fencing

Find Your Style

For all your landscape or driveway

construction we produce quality,

crafted workmanship at good prices

01483 276913

07860 748938

Earthenware Side



Discovered by us... delivered to you

WallerAndSmithS14.indd 1 25/11/2015 Quarter 16:46Page Working Template.indd 1 22/12/2015 15:42


YoghurtRoomsS16.indd 1 25/01/2016 10:15

What’s On In February

Children & Family

Sat 13 - Sun 21 Feb 10am-5.30pm

Bocketts Farm, Young Street,

Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9BS

Half Term Fun

Daily activities include pony rides,

tractor rides, animal handling and pig

racing. Outdoors, enjoy the jumping

pillows, pedal go-karts and play trails,

plus the large indoor area with a giant

heated playbarn, trampolines and

ride-on tractors means you can have a

great day out whatever the weather.

Entry: £9.30 / £9.95 / £8.20

Info: 01372 363764 / www.

Mon 15 - Fri 19 Feb 10am-4pm

Brooklands Museum, Brooklands

Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0QN

Family fun

Take a trip in a vintage-style car up

Test Hill or along the Members’

Banking of the old Race Track,

courtesy of the Brooklands Volunteer

Car Rides Team (subject to weather).

Entry: £11 / £6 / £10 / £30

Info: 01932 857381 / www.

Mon 15 - Sat 20 Feb

The Electric Theatre, Onslow Street,

Guildford, Surrey GU1 4SZ

The Electric Theatre

Family Festival

Come to The Electric Theatre and

delight in the return of our twiceyearly

Family Festival. From free arts

and crafts and storytelling, to hilarious

family shows and classic family films,

there’s something for everyone all

week, whether you’re 3 or 103.

Info: 01483 444789 / www.

Tues 16 - Sat 20 Feb

Surrey History Centre,1-30

Goldsworth Road, Woking,

Surrey GU21 6ND

Half term dropin


Come along to the Surrey History

Centre and take part in our History

of Super Sports, free family dropin

activities. Enjoy fun crafts

like making your own racing car,

designing your own team kit, creating

a horse ready for the Derby and

making your own winner’s medal.

Parents/guardians are responsible

for supervising their children.

Info: 01483 518737 / www.

Wed 17 - Fri 19 Feb 1.30-4pm

Chobham Road, Woking,

Surrey GU21 4AA

Half term fun

Escape the chilly winter weather

and keep the children entertained

this February half term with a

selection of fun-filled creative

activities at The Lightbox gallery

and museum, Woking.


Music & Theatre

Wed 3 - Sun 7 Feb

Richmond Theatre, The Green,

Richmond, Surrey TW9 1QJ

Moscow City Ballet

Experience the magic of two

stunning performances. Swan

Lake and The Nutcracker are

true highlights of the company’s

repertoire, so don’t miss out.

Info & Booking: www.atgtickets.


Sat 6 Feb

St Nicolas Church, Great

Bookham, Surrey KT23 3PF

Dorking Chamber


Andrew Morley will conduct Bach-

Symphony No 1 in D, Vanhal

- Symphony in G minor, Albinoni

- Concerto for 2 Oboes No 3 in F,

Corelli - Christmas Concerto, JS

Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No 4.

Entry: £12, £10 (over 60s), £7 students

Booking & Info: 01306 877176 / www. /

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 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

March issue is 15 February 2016.

25% off * in Denbies

Gallery Restaurant

The Gallery Restaurant, located in the

heart of England’s largest vineyard.

Unrivalled views, overlooking 265 acres of vines. Fine

dining with a contemporary edge. We would like to extend

a warm welcome.

Open daily from 12pm - 2pm

Sunday 12pm - 3pm

Friday & Saturday evening

*Enjoy a 25% discount off your total a la carte food bill on presentation of

this voucher/subject to terms & conditions, offer available Feb 2016 (does

not include Valentine’s weekend)/does not apply to fixed menus.

Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking Surrey RH5 6AA

T. 01306 876616


Designed by Photo credits: visit

Find us on Facebook


Follow us on twitter



DenbiesWineEstateS16.indd 1 27/01/2016 14:52

We are supporting

Things to Do ● Childcare ● Education ● Parties ● Helplines ● Support ● and more...

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Food & Drink

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Come and learn a new skill or brush up on an old one!

Tabatha Thomas offers a range of creative and inspiring

knitting workshops and knit & natter groups in and around

Sussex. Workshops are relaxed and friendly and the number

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everyone from complete newbies to the experienced.

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win an overnight stay for two

people in the 5 star exclusive

Maiden’s Tower at leeds castle,

with a full cooked breakfast

Visitors never forget their first breathtaking vision of Leeds Castle

in Kent, rising majestically from the moat as it has done for over

900 years. With 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens,

daily activities, free flying falconry displays, special events and year

round attractions, Leeds Castle is one of the best days out in Kent,

you will want to come back time and again! Open all year, there is

something new for everyone to discover every day. Your admission

ticket allows you to visit as many times as you like across a whole


Leeds Castle is also an idyllic setting for the most romantic of

weddings whatever the season. The choice of historic venues and

packages will be tailored to meet your requirements by the team of

experienced Wedding Co-ordinators. From your initial enquiry to

the day itself, a superb level of service will be provided to ensure you

have the perfect wedding at “the loveliest castle in the world”.

During its 900 year history, Leeds Castle has been a Norman

stronghold, the private property of six of England’s medieval queens

and a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of

Aragon. More recently, the castle was an elegant early 20th

century playground for the rich and famous, as Lady Baillie, the

last private owner, entertained high society down from London

for the weekends. The Maiden’s Tower is a 16th century stone

building that was used for weekend house parties in the 1920s. It’s

now a glamorous self-contained venue perfect for your wedding

ceremony, evening celebrations and overnight accommodation. For

more information visit

For your chance to win an

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question: ‘Who was Henry

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in the online form at www.

or post to: The Leeds Castle

Competition, Wealden Times, 21 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF by 19

February 2016. There is no cash alternative and the prize must be taken midweek

by March 2017 *All entrants’ details will be passed on to Leeds Castle and Wealden

Times Events. Please let us know if you do not wish your details to be passed on.


e started calving at Christmas and now, as February

approaches, we’re almost half way through. We should

be finished by the end of the month – apart from the

stragglers – and at Coopers Farm there always seem to be one or two.

On many farms, these out-of-step girls wouldn’t be allowed.

Labour is one of the most expensive costs of running a beef suckler

herd and during calving the stockman needs to be on 24-hour call

– and get up at 3am to check all is OK. So, not surprisingly, steps

are taken to ensure the whole herd calves in a tight block of about

six weeks. This includes some simple and obvious measures like only

letting the bull run with the cows for two cycles (six weeks) but it

also pays to have a youngish herd.

When people discover we are livestock farmers the two questions

we are most frequently asked are: a) what time do you get up in the

morning? (answer: not as early as most) and b) how long do farm

animals live? This is more difficult to answer. A cow is capable of

producing a calf well into her mid-teens but as she ages it takes

longer to conceive – often not the statutory two cycles – so she will

be culled in favour of younger models. I should, I know, adopt such

a sensible strategy and, when I’ve been doing that 3am shift for two

months, I always swear I will. But somehow those favourite cows

always seem to get the benefit of the doubt and a few more weeks

with the bull.

While the cows are nearly done and dusted, we’re just getting

ready to start lambing in March. The scan man has been to PD

(pregnancy diagnose) the ewes. Like a human scan he simply rubs

the camera under their belly (though the sheep version seems to

work through wool). A dot is then sprayed between the shoulders

if they are expecting a single, above the tail for twins or a strip across

the rump for triplets – vital information when you have a tricky

birth and need to know how many lambs are involved.

We also have to go shopping for all the necessary bits and pieces

such as iodine navel sprays, castration rings, colostrum powder,

bulbs for the heat lamps, lubricant jelly, latex gloves, dried milk,

bottles and teats. The list goes on and on. And finally we need to

get the lambing shed ready; lots of deep clean straw and individual

‘mothering up’ pens where the ewe and her lambs will spend the first

24 hours or so just to make sure everyone has got the hang of the

mother/ baby bond.

All that will then remain is to bring the ewes in. When the rams

went in with the ewes in November they were fitted with a harness,

known as a raddle, that holds a block of coloured wax between their

front legs. As they mount the in-season ewe they leave a waxy mark

on her rump and, as the colour of the wax block is changed after 18

days, it’s possible to know the order in which the ewes will lamb.

The shepherd, my husband Adrian, is every bit as sentimental in

giving the ewes plenty of opportunity to conceive, so the rams stay

in longer than six weeks and he’ll be getting up in the night well into

May – when at least it should be heavenly weather!

Follow Jane on Twitter @coopers_farm



The Farm

Jane welcomes more

calves and prepares

for lambing

Congratulations to Shona Brown who wins the January competition for a

comedy night, supper, an overnight stay and breakfast at The Bell in Ticehurst.




Inspired by her own hectic lifestyle, Sally Godfrey

came up with the concept for Kaboodlebag

primarily out of necessity. Even now, she is

surprised by the number of uses people find for

her fun and versatile bags.

What’s the significance of your company name,

‘KaboodleBag’? I wanted a name that encompasses the

practicality of the product and that would be catchy and

memorable. Originally, the name comes from the phrase “the

whole kit and caboodle”

which conveys the fact

that it can be used to carry

anything and everything!

What inspired you

both to start your

business? Primarily it was

need! With a busy, muddy

and active lifestyle which

includes a farm and four

sporty children. I needed a

large tub-style bag that was

roomy, waterproof and tough

to get kit in and out of the car. I also needed it to be easy to

store when not in use. After a lot of searching, I realised what

I was looking for did not exist… so I designed my own!

Have you always been a creative person?

Yes, I consider myself pretty creative. I’ve run my own

interior design business for 20 years and love making

things: curtains, designing cushions, flower arrangements.

I also love painting and drawing (in my spare time!).

What’s your favourite product from your

collection? I love all the bags! The KaboodleBag is definitely

one of those things that you never knew you needed until

you have one. Having sold them now for a few years, I am

constantly surprised at how people find new ways to use them!

Top Ten Uses:

1. Wellies in the boot of Car

2. Laundry Bag

3. Wet Suits & Life Jackets

4. Beach Bag

5. Muddy Rugby Kit

6. Horse Riding Stuff

7. Gardening Trug

8. Shopping Bag

9. Children’s Toy Box

10. Log Basket

Do you enjoy working for yourself?

Yes, I love working for myself as I can combine and balance all

the elements of my life: my family, the farm, my interiors and

KaboodleBag… I don’t like being bored!

What makes all the hard work worth it?

I love it when I’m at a Fair, people walk past my stall and stop in

their tracks saying ‘that’s what I need!’. When people just “get”

the product and realise it is what they have been missing, it’s

incredibly satisfying!

What influences your product aesthetic? As well as

the practical side, I wanted the bags to look funky and fun in a

variety of bright and appealing colours. The bag itself comes in

two sizes and is designed to stand up on its own like a tub but can

be easily rolled up for storage. The handles are very strong and

the perfect length to either carry by hand or over the shoulder.

What is the essence of the business? I wanted to go

back to traditional values, to offer a really practical, well made

product that will last for 25 years and is made in the UK.

Tell us about the process of creating your

product? I had great fun designing the patterns and making

prototypes over my kitchen table. The next step was to scour

the country to find a manufacturer as well as sourcing fabrics

and parts. I went on to designing the logo for labels and letterheads

to start to create a memorable brand. Next I created a

website to sell KaboodleBags and to get the name out there.

All of a sudden my entrance hall was full of KaboodleBags

and I realised ‘Gosh, this is real... I have to sell them now!’

Clockwise from above, Large Turquoise & Lime Kaboodlebag,

£33; Small Aqua & Pink Kaboodlebag, £28; Large Navy & Pink

Kaboodlebag, £33; Large Kaboodlebags in assorted colours, £33







WAS £15sqm NOW £7.50sqm





Please AT YOUR call SERVICE for a brochure FOR OVER or visit 20 our YEARS showrooms




Unit 9, Chart Farm, Seal Chart 81 Calverley Road

Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0ES Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2UY


Tel: 01372 271 871

by Rencraft

40 The Street, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2AH

76/78 High Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1YB

Tel. 01892 534018 | Fax. 01892 510536

Email. |

‘When two halves meet’

Designed by Josh Collins

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