Wealden Times | WT194 | April 2018 | Garden supplement inside

JPSmedia

Wealden Times - The lifestyle magazine for the Weald

GARDEN Supplement inside

Inspirational Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes

PRICELESS

APRIL 2018


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www.rencraft.co.uk


01580 291221 jminteriorsuk.uk Biddenden Showroom


MINTERIORS

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T: 01892 547 132

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Contents

April 2018

52

124

28

41

52

LATER LIVING STYLE

Maggie Alderson finds the best

of retirement properties

APRIL NOTEBOOK

Wealden events to take

note of this month

FAMILY FAVOURS

Interior designer Alexis Wylie

rejuenvates a family home

117

124

137

FLOOR PLANS

We take a look at three

fabulous flooring trends

RAIN OR SHINE

Kate Watts combats

April showers in style

SOAP STARS

Jo Fairley is bringing

back the bar

157

161

167

148

SPICE IT UP

The Bell in Ticehurst’s head

chef spices things up with

South American flavours

LET THE CHILDREN SPEAK

Hilary Wilce on the importance of

helping children find their voices

WHAT’S ON?

Events to keep you busy this month

77

GET THE LOOK

Inspiration for how to emulate

Alexis Wylie’s unique style

141

SPRING INTO SUMMER

Strictly no scalpels in these

summer-ready solutions

173

COMPETITION

Win a dazzling pair of

diamond earrings

80

INTERIOR DIRECTIONS

The details that will bring

your home bang up to date

145

A YEAR OF WELLNESS

Eminé Rushton begins her Year

of Wellness with a cleanse

174

FABLES FROM THE FARM

Jane Howard warmly welcomes

new arrivals to Coopers

92

115

COASTAL HAVEN

Kathryn Flett loves the lack of

cliché in this maritime cottage

GET THE LOOK

Ideas to try from Marta

Nowicka’s style sheet

147

148

NATURAL WISDOM

Yoga, skin treats and priceless

advice from a wellbeing guru

FROM AN ENGLISH GARDEN

Aaron Bertelsen of Great Dixter’s

simply beautiful recipes

Published by JPS Media Ltd. Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF

Telephone 01580 714705 Email info@wealdentimes.co.uk Visit wealdentimes.co.uk

Copyright © 2018 JPS Media Ltd. The views of the advertisers and contributors are not

necessarily those of JPS Media Ltd.

GARDEN

SUPPLEMENT

34 pages of

flowers, veg,

hens, lawns and

expert advice on

outdoor living

After page 158.

Gardens

A Wealden Times Supplement

Sponsored by

View the new Garden Directory online at wealdentimes.co.uk View the new Garden Directory online at wealdentimes.co.uk

9

Flowers • Veg • Hens • Lawns • Outdoor Living

06WT194Supplement.indd 1 20/03/2018 10:09


Staplehurst

A compact Grade II listed country estate in a quiet and peaceful setting

surrounded by its own land

6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 5 reception rooms. Separate 2 bed cottage. Separate 3

bed bungalow. Double garage, triple garage, stabling and studio. Tennis court. In all

approximately 40 acres.

Guide price: £1,750,000

simon.biddulph@knightfrank.com

01892 310700

KnightFrank.co.uk/tunbridge-wells

julia.robotham@knightfrank.com

01892 310700

KnightFrank.co.uk/country

@KF_HomeCounties

KnightFrank.co.uk


Our understanding of the

ever-changing market enables us

to price your property accurately.

And with our local knowledge

and extensive network of London

offices, you can rely on Knight

Frank to get you moving.

Call us today on 01892 310700 to

discuss your property search or to

arrange a free market valuation.

Guide price: £450,000

Iden Green

* Computer generated image

Opportunity to build a detached family house within the Cranbrook School Catchment Area

Building plot with Planning Permission to construct a detached 4 bedroom family house

with ancillary gardens, parking and 2 car ports (one double and one single).

In all about 0.6 acres.

@KF_HomeCounties

KnightFrank.co.uk

Guide price: £1,595,000

Hawkhurst

An impressive period property on the Moor side within the Cranbrook School Catchment Area

5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 4 reception rooms. Detached double garage with 1 bed annexe above. Swimming pool, paddocks, stables

and manege. Detached games room. In all about 9.72 acres.


Winchelsea, East Sussex - £675,000

Four bedroom link detached house on the edge of the

Ancient Town of Winchelsea. Living/dining room, kitchen,

study, bedroom 1 with en-suite, 3 further bedrooms.

Attached double garage. Garden. EPC C

Fairlight, East Sussex - £735,000

Lovely detached Grade II Listed thatched cottage in a rural

position. Living room, dining room, kitchen, utility, master

bedroom with en suite, two further bedrooms. Double garage

and attached office. Garden & grounds of approx. 1 acre.

Rye, East Sussex - £450,000

An attached modern property in a favoured hill top location

in the Conservation Area. Living room, open plan dining

room and kitchen, 3 double bedrooms. Double garage.

Shared front courtyard. Partly walled rear garden. EPC F

Winchelsea Beach, East Sussex - £530,000

Detached three bedroom bungalow situated within the

coastal village of Winchelsea Beach overlooking the Harbour

Field. Sun room, dining room, living room, kitchen, utility, 3

bedrooms. Tandem garage. Off road parking. Gardens. EPC D

Rye, East Sussex - £925,000

Stunning detached period house close to Rye. Reception

hall, sitting room, drawing room, living room, dining room,

study, kitchen/breakfast room, cellar, master bedroom

suite, 4/5 further bedrooms. Garage. Parking. Garden.

Rye, East Sussex - £650,000

An attached Grade II Listed period property on a cobbled

street in the central Conservation Area with views. Sitting

room, dining room, kitchen, cellar, three bedrooms, bathroom.

Walled rear garden. Store. Permit parking.

RYE OFFICE 01797 227338

MAYFAIR OFFICE 0870 112 7099

phillipsandstubbs.co.uk


‘Our Focus Determines Your Reality’

HARPERS AND HURLINGHAM

CHAINHURST £1,695,000

SUBSTANTIAL COUNTRY HOME

Entrance hall · Four reception rooms · Kitchen/

breakfast room · Seven bedrooms (four ensuite)

· Detached two bedroom cottage · Pool complex

with gym and sauna · Approx. 7.6 acres · EPC: G

Rural yet convenient hamlet location

GOUDHURST £1,395,000

QUINTESSENTIAL GRADE II LISTED COTTAGE

Three reception rooms · Kitchen with Aga · Utility/

cloakroom · Four/five bedrooms (two ensuite)

· Delightful, well stocked garden with stunning views

· Garage and parking · EPC: n/a

Cranbrook School Catchment Area

RURAL STAPLEHURST O.I.E.O. £1,350,000

STUNNING UNLISTED PERIOD FARMHOUSE

Three reception rooms · Kitchen and breakfast room

· Utility room · Six double bedrooms (two ensuite)

· Extensive outbuildings with planning to convert

· Gardens approximately 0.72 acres · EPC: D

Cranbrook School Catchment Area

GREAT CHART £1,195,000

GRADE II LISTED FARMHOUSE

Two reception rooms · Kitchen/breakfast room · Four

bedrooms (one ensuite) · Annexe · Pool and pool

house · Snooker room and gym · Equestrian facilities

· Grounds approximately 4.5 acres · EPC: n/a

Must be viewed to appreciate all that is on offer

Sales & Lettings Team

Harpers&Hurlingham

The Cornerhouse, Stone Street, Cranbrook

01580 715400

www.harpersandhurlingham.com

LONDON OFFICE: KENSINGTON 020 7938 2311

Jane Emilie Chez Cathy Sarah Debbie Jane A Debbie S Janey Caroline Dianne


SALES / LETTINGS / MANAGEMENT

VISIT US AT HUNTERS.COM

HERE TO GET you THERE

BROOKLAND £800,000 - £850,000

Equestrian Property | Rubber School, Paddocks and Stables | Four Bedrooms

A unique detached family home with a detached self-contained annexe and

yard with alarmed containers ideal for commercial use, set in approx 1.66

acres, located off a quiet country lane.

EPC RATING D

ROLVENDEN O.I.E.O £800,000

Open Plan Living Space | Mature Private Gardens | Located in the CSCA

A truly unique and one of a kind three bedroom detached home that has been

converted from a water tower, set in grounds of around 1.4 acres with fantastic

far reaching views over the surrounding countryside in a popular village.

EPC RATING D

HIGH HALDEN £775,000

Five Bedroom Detached | Three Reception Rooms | Views Over Countryside

A spacious well-presented fi ve-bedroom detached family home with three

reception rooms, situated in a private development of only 12 executive homes,

and on a third of an acre plot with fantastic views over open countryside.

EPC RATING D

OLD ROMNEY £800,000

Underfl oor Heating | Three Reception Rooms | Detached Double Garage

If you have an eye for detail and high quality then this exclusive 4/5 bedroom

property is a must view. The home has recently been built to a high

specifi cation and has wonderful views across the Romney Marsh countryside.

EPC RATING B

GREAT CHART £400,000 - £425,000

Four Bedroom Cottage | Three Reception Rooms | Period Features

Beautiful Grade II Listed detached cottage in a tucked away position, backing

onto open countryside. The property has retained many period features to

include exposed beams and inglenook fi replace.

EPC EXEMPT

WOODCHURCH £500,000

Five Bedrooms | Two Reception Rooms | En Suite and Bathroom

A spacious fi ve bedroom detached family home with 24ft reception room,

large kitchen/dining room, conservatory and located in a quiet cul de sac just

off the village green in the desirable village of Woodchurch.

EPC RATING D

HERE TO GET you THERE

TENTERDEN

01580 763 278

ASHFORD

01233 613 613

HYTHE

01303 261 557

Over 150 independently owned branches across the UK.

FOLKESTONE

01303 210 335

MEET YOUR LOCAL Tenterden Team!

Jake, Andrew & Laura

Over 200 independently owned branches across the UK.


Cranbrook Guide PriCe £2,350,000

5 Receps · 6 Beds · Leisure Complex · S Pool · 6 Acres · CSCA · Grade II*

robertsbridGe Guide PriCe £775,000

2 Reception Rooms · 4 Beds · Superb Kitchen · Walk to shops & MLS · EPC C

HiGH Halden offers in exCess of £700,000

3 Receptions · 5 Bedrooms · 3 Bath/Shower Rooms · Extended Victorian · EPC E

betHersden offers in exCess of £500,000

1/2 Reception Rooms · 2/3 Beds · Income Potential from Pod · Listed Grade II

Thinking of moving? Contact us today for a free market appraisal

For Lettings call Ella Krzos or Sales call Rupert Newcomb

biddenden Guide PriCe £375,000

PP to create: 3 Receptions · 3 Beds · 2 Baths · Secluded Setting · CSCA · EPC E

benenden Guide PriCe £295,000

2 Receptions · 2 Bedrooms · Centre Village · Walk to Shops · CSCA · Grade II

SALES 01580 720 000

LETTINGS 01580 720 400

37 Stone St, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF

cranbrook@jackson-stops.co.uk

lettings.cranbrook@jackson-stops.co.uk

jackson-stops.co.uk propErTy ExpErTS SINcE 1910


My son mentioned it,

so I decided to look

round. The apartments

were stunning and the

facilities fantastic. I can’t

wait to move in.

LUXURY RETIREMENT COMMUNITY, HEXTABLE, KENT

Opening soon, Emerson Park, Hextable, will provide an

exceptional choice of beautiful, elegant apartments all

designed for active, independently-minded retirees. Live life to

the full with exclusive private amenities, on-site services and

fully-managed maintenance – all from as little as £315,000

*.

• Reception/concierge

• Lounge, restaurant & bar

• Exercise studio & gym

• Hair and beauty salon

• Cinema/TV room

• Private transport service

• Recreation and social

events calendar

• 24 hr emergency call

system to on-site staff

Take control today. To find out more, and

to visit the show suite, call 01322 515417.

SHOW SUITE OPEN Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm

Emerson Park, Rowhill Road, Hextable BR8 7RL

Web: www.cinnamoncc.com/emersonpark

* Other costs and charges apply, please talk

to our advisers for further information.


MAXIMISE THE VALUE

OF YOUR LAND

Have you got a large

garden or plot of land?

We are experts at working

with owners to maximise

the full value of their land

Industry leading experts

We take care of the planning permission!

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What our clients say…

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knowledge and every step was handled

in a professional manner. Their excellent

relationship with the local planning

department helped achieve a fantastic

result for us. We would have no

hesitation in recommending them to

anyone who wants to achieve planning".

Amanda and Robert Petch

June 2016

"The cost involved to try and

get planning on our land

were just not feasible for us.

Working with Country House

meant we didn’t have to risk

our money as they took care

of everything"

Mr C Partridge (Loose, Kent)

September 2016

For a free appraisal call 0843 557 4080

www.maximisemyland.co.uk

sales@countryhousehomes.co.uk

“Guy and team at CHH did a fantastic

job securing planning permission on

our rear garden plot. Although a fairly

problematic application (which took

over 18 months), they kept us informed

throughout the entire process.

I would certainly use them again”

David J (Oxted, Surrey)

January 2017


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BEAUTIFUL NEW HOMES

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At the heart of Tenterden is an exclusive collection of

apartments, coach houses and houses available on a

shared ownership basis (part buy/ part rent) with Moat.

Register your interest today: moat-churchview.co.uk

For more information contact Jenny Slatcher at Moat on 0845 359 6228 jenny.slatcher@moat.co.uk


Because we understand

that it’s so much more than

bricks and mortar

+44 (0) 1580 713825 | fionapenny.com

Property Search in Kent and East Sussex


Highest Returns

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land-sales-support.co.uk

Unlock the

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our team of experienced architects and surveyors we

will explore all of your planning and sales options and

expertly guide you through each stage of the process.

Unlike some others we work solely for the benefit of the

landowner so we do not partner with developers or any

other buyers.

• Free site visits and valuations

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• Land Promotion Agreement specialists

To discuss the potential of your land or to

arrange a free site visit please call us on

01424 251976

01622 673086

enquiries@sibleypares.co.uk

sibleypares.co.uk

LandSalesSupport192.indd 1 15/01/2018 12:31

50%

SOLD

Esquire Developments

Invite you to see the home

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Take the opportunity to view a range

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These two exclusive private gated developments

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*Call for all other appointment

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Prices from £475,000

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wealdentimes.co.uk

22

SibleyParesWT194.indd 1 16/03/2018 14:59


Residential Sales

#TheGardenOfEngland

NO CHAIN

Tenterden

OIEO £625,000

Elegant 4 bedroom Georgian town house with

a self contained one bedroom cottage in the

grounds, off road parking. EPC Rating E

Charing

Guide £1,295,000

Beautifully restored Kentish farmhouse in 1.4 acre

gardens, two adjacent dwellings available separately

and up to 18 acres of additional land. EPC Rating NA

Great Chart

Guide £970,000

Converted period barn, courtyard setting, garden

frontage to the River Stour (fishing rights). Good

access to the International Station. EPC Rating D

Charing

Guide £995,000

Detached 5 bedroom Georgian house - high

specification with contemporary and traditional

styling, gardens with coach house. EPC Rating C

Tenterden

Guide £875,000

Extended 4 bedroom detached family home, double

garage, south facing gardens overlooking fields,

walking distance of town centre. EPC Rating D

Tenterden

Guide £675,000

Well presented detached 4 bedroom house, double

garage, gardens backing onto woodland, in a popular

residential area of the town. EPC Rating C

Hobbs Parker Estate Agents www.hobbsparker.co.uk

Tenterden 01580 766766 | Ashford 01233 506260

01580 766766


sJD – Developing potential

If you think your land or property has development

potential, why not give us a call without obligation

and in confidence.

Many of our clients retain our services and,

in the majority of cases, pay our fees saving

property owners significant costs.

Call us now

For regular updates, visit us at twitter.com/projects

Contact Stephen Donnelly on

07739 514350 or 0845 456 8969

web: sjd-projects.com • email: steve@sjd-projects.com

Commercial buildings for residential conversion • Former public houses • Redundant buildings for redevelopment

Buildings for conversion or replacement • Houses for improvement • Large sites on the edge of town • Barn conversions

Large gardens in residential areas • Major regeneration projects

We are alWays on the lookout for lanD anD property With Development potential

We call it home

We call it it it home

SJDprojectsWT191.indd 1 30/11/2017 17:16

The Coachworks. Luxurious properties

The The The Coachworks. in a unique Luxurious and beautiful properties

location.

in a in in unique in a a Discover unique and the and and hidden beautiful delights location. of village life in retirement.

Discover Discover the hidden the the There hidden delights are delights few of villages of of of as village vibrant life in life as life in in Ticehurst in retirement.

and the generous

There There are There few are villages are few

apartments

few villages as vibrant as as

of as vibrant

The

as Ticehurst

Coachworks

as as as Ticehurst and

are

the and

but

and generous

the

a

the short

generous

stroll from its heart.

apartments of The of of of The Becoming The Coachworks part are but of are our a are but short community but a a short stroll a short from stroll and stroll its from right from heart. its its sizing its heart. heart. for retirement

Becoming Becoming part of part

will

our part of of

give of our our

you community freedom

and right and

to

and

make sizing right right the

sizing for sizing

most

retirement for for of

for retirement

every day, whether that

will give will will you give give freedom you you involves

freedom to make to

looking

to to make the make most

after the the of most

the

most every

grandchildren

of of of every day, every whether day, day, or

whether

hopping that

that

on

that

the Eurostar.

involves involves looking looking after More the after after spacious the the grandchildren than

or

most

hopping or or

and or hopping

set on

in

the on

delightful

on Eurostar.

on the the Eurostar.

courtyard gardens,

More spacious More More spacious than most than than and most most set and in and

we set delightful

think

set in in delightful in

you courtyard

will like

courtyard what

gardens,

you

gardens,

see.

we think we we we you think Come think will you you and like will what will visit like like you what and what see.

you have you see. see. a drink on us at our

Come Come and visit and favourite and and visit visit have and local. and have a have Please drink a a drink a on quote us on at on us CHEERS us our at us at at our our to retrieve this

favourite favourite local. local. Please offer Please quote when quote CHEERS booking CHEERS to your retrieve to to appointment to retrieve this

this this with us.

offer offer when offer when booking booking your your your appointment with with us. with us. us.

THE COACHWORKS

THE THE COACHWORKS

TICEHURST VILLAGE

TICEHURST High Street, Ticehurst, VILLAGE

East Sussex TN5 7EX

High High Street, Street, Sales: Ticehurst, 01580 East East Sussex East 200 Sussex TN5 557 TN5 7EX / TN5 07506 7EX 7EX 177 233

Sales: Sales: 01580 01580 Green 200 200 Lizard 557 557 / 07506 Wadhurst: / 07506 / 177 177 233 177 01892 233

786 720

Green Green Lizard Lizard Wadhurst: 01892 01892 786 786 720

720

www.coachworksticehurst.co.uk

www.coachworksticehurst.co.uk

www.greenlizardhomes.co.uk

www.greenlizardhomes.co.uk

wealdentimes.co.uk

24

CourtRoyalDevelopmentWT194.indd 1 21/03/2018 16:53


In property, trust is everything…

01580 242700

2 Windmill Oast, Windmill Farm, Rolvenden, Kent TN17 4PF

CaNterBury £650,000

Grade II listed 4 bedroom townhouse sitting proudly within the City walls.

BeCkley, Nr. rye oieo £875,000

3/4 bedroom detached Eco house set in 11 acres of semi-ancient woodland.

sold

sold

WittershaM £725,000

Enchanting Grade II Listed 4 bedroom detached Oast House.

let agreed

horsMoNdeN oieo £900,000

3/4 bedroom detached, period cottage set in almost 5 acres.

let agreed

BoughtoN MoNChelsea

£3250 pcm

A magnificent 5 bedroom, 16th century house set in an idyllic rural position.

PeasMarsh, Nr. rye

£3000 pcm

Unique and architecturally significant 4/5 bedroom Oast conversion.

Boxley, Nr. MaidstoNe – to let £2300 pcm rolveNdeN layNe – to let

Poa

16th Century, 5 Bedroom Grade II listed farmhouse in pretty village location. Exceptional 6 bedroom country house with breath-taking rural views.

Weald Property… trusted to sell and let exceptional Wealden homes since 1985.

wealdproperty.net


Playden Guide Price £995,000

A delightful detached family home with versatile accommodation in excess of 3,700 sq ft set on a quiet country

lane with rural views. 7 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 4 Reception Rooms, Kitchen/Breakfast room, Cellar, Utility room and

Cloakroom. Workshop/Store/Potting Shed. Garden grounds 0.8 acres - EPC: F

Icklesham Guide Price £675,000

A modern rebuilt character thatched cottage, with open plan living, situated on a quiet country lane with stunning

rural views looking over the Brede Valley. 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 2 Reception Rooms. Large open plan Kitchen/

Dining Room, Utility Hallway and Cloakroom. Detached Garage. Garden grounds approx. 0.25 acres - EPC: D

Thinking of Moving - Now is the Time.

With spring on the way and new shoots blooming, come and talk to the

experienced Anderson Hacking team for a Free market appraisal.

www.andersonhacking.com 55 Cinque Ports Street, Rye TN31 7AN Rye 01797 224852 | London (Park Lane) 020 76294141


EXQUISITE

COMFORTS

Elegantly crafted three, four and five bedroom homes.

Just 400 metres from Tenterden’s boutique High Street.

YOUR STYLE OUR QUALITY

High specification homes available now with a

bespoke range of premium fixtures and fittings

and paint colours by Farrow & Ball.

Prices from £450,000.*

Show homes open daily 10am to 5pm

01580 854076 churchview-tenterden.co.uk

RESERVE EARLY AND HAVE

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*Prices correct at time of print. Farrow & Ball colour shades apply to front door.


HOUSE OF THE MONTH

1.

1.

Later living it up

Maggie Alderson is looking forward to the

next of life’s housing stages

Life’s housing stages used to divide up neatly into parental home, first

home and family home… then it all got a bit vague. If you were lucky

there would be a granny flat arrangement with one of the sprogs, if not

there were very few options, especially once the point was reached when even a

retirement bungalow got a bit much to deal with.

How quickly and brilliantly that has all changed, with the dawn of the

appealing concept of ‘later years living’, with the emphasis very much on the

word living. That’s how we think about the stage after the family home years

now, another style of living, not a custodial sentence. Something to look

forward to.

Now there is a whole new genre of retirement living options, with

developments so well designed that, rather than induce regret at the house

and environs left behind, they can inspire a whole new lease of energy, with

an invigorated social life. And not having to worry about roofs, gutters, lawns,

fallen leaves etc ever again. The joy.

I consider myself particularly well versed in this segment of the property

market, having researched it very thoroughly for my mother and being so

impressed with what I saw I was inspired to set a large part of the action in my

most recent novel in a glamorous retirement development (The Scent of You, out

in June).

The apartments themselves, in every later years set-up I visited, are sleek and

thoughtfully equipped to take unnecessary little irritants out of daily life, with

luxuries such as electric windows, illuminated light switches at elbow height

and front doors that don’t lock automatically on closure.

I can also attest to the quality of the social aspect. Lunch with my mum’s

new group of friends is a riot and the wine flows. Here are some of the best

retirement developments currently on the market.

1. Audley Mote

Where? Audley Mote is situated near

the village of Bestead, from where trains are

just over an hour to London Victoria, just

over ten minutes drive to Maidstone.

What?In a development by premium

retirement home specialists Audley

Number 3, The Stables is set within the

Grade II* listed Georgian stable block at

Audley Mote House retirement village.

This two-bedroom cottage has a walkin

wardrobe and en suite in the Master

bedroom and a high quality kitchen with

SieMatic units and Corian worktops. The

kitchen and dining room are open plan

and look out over the sunny courtyard.

The cottage also has a downstairs WC

and main bathroom next to the second

bedroom upstairs. All owners automatically

become members of the Audley Club, with

use of the restaurant, bistro bar, health

and wellbeing centre, fitness suite and

swimming pool.

How much?The apartment is priced

at £414,000. Contact Audley on

01622 297192 audleyvillages.co.uk

wealdentimes.co.uk

28


2.

3.

4.

2.

3.

4.

2. Emerson Park

Where? Emerson Park is situated in

the Kent village of Hextable with easy

access to the M25 and M20 motorways.

The nearest train station is a five-minute

drive away, and from there, central

London is just 35 minutes.

What? Emerson Park is a brand new

retirement village providing wonderful

facilities including Club Room, cafébar,

hair and beauty salon, cinema

room and gym. Services include staff on

site 24 hours a day, a daily scheduled

transport service, a dedicated Events and

Activity Manager as well as all external

maintenance. Apartment 11 is situated

within Emerson Lodge and is a generous

911 sq ft two-bedroom apartment. The

large lounge has an adjoining fully-fitted

kitchen, complete with granite worktop.

The main bedroom has an en suite

shower room while there is a second

bathroom off bedroom two.

How much? Apartment 11 is on the

market for £453,000. For more details call

01322 515417 or visit

cinnamoncc.com/emersonpark

3. The Coachworks

Where? The Coachworks sits in the

centre of the lovely (you could say perfect)

Wealden village of Ticehurst, with its great

shops, the wonderful Bell pub (see page

157) and the Lighthouse Bakery. There’s

so much going on here you probably

wouldn’t want to leave, but there are

several stations on the Charing Cross line

in easy reach, with journey times just over

an hour to. Tunbridge Wells is 30 minutes

by car.

What? There are just 25 apartments in

The Coachworks, so they are larger than

most other ‘right-sizing’ homes on the

market, all with more than 1,000 square

feet of space, and set around beautiful

courtyard gardens. Each has its own

private outdoor space, whilst inside is

light and spacious. From the silent fresh

air exchange system to generous storage,

these apartments have been thoughtfully

designed throughout

How much? Prices start at £330,000

for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom

apartment. Coachworks is marketed

through Green Lizard, 01892 786720

greenlizardhomes.co.uk

4. Durrants Village

Where? Durrants Village is set amongst

30 acres of idyllic parkland and beautiful

West Sussex countryside in the hamlet

of Faygate, close to the market town of

Horsham, from where it’s just over an hour

to Victoria. Gatwick airport is a cheeky 20

minute drive.

What? The village offers 175 luxury

retirement properties – two-bedroom

apartments and two and three bedroom

cottages. The homes centre around an

on-site clubhouse providing country

club-style facilities, including a restaurant,

bar, lounge, swimming pool, gym and

library. Within the landscaped grounds

there is also a croquet lawn and a lake

with duck houses. The management will

also be implementing bespoke home-care

services that will offer residents a hotel-style

standard of service, as well as an increased

level of care, should their needs change in

the future.

How much? Prices start from

£510,000 for a two-bedroom cottage and

from £527,950 for three bedrooms.

01293 851935 durrantsvillage.co.uk

29 wealdentimes.co.uk


OAK FRAMED BUILDINGS

HOME & GARDEN FEATURES

QUALITY DECKING & CLADDING

TUMBLED & CRACKED ENGINEERED FLOORING

OAK & WALNUT FLOORING

www.roundwood.com

Tel: 01435 867 072

Round Wood | Newick Lane | Mayfield | East Sussex | TN20 6RG


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Had enough

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Hands up all those who feel they’re in a

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diets have you tried and failed, feeling

totally frustrated and not knowing what

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Having had a weight problem for 35 years, Rachel was

desperate to find a way of being able to lose weight once

and for all. ‘I had just about resigned myself to the fact that I would be

overweight for the rest of my life, when I came across the principles

of the Metabolic Weight Loss Programme. I followed these and to my

amazement, I lost 3 stone in just over 3 months and then

went on to successfully maintain my weight. The

relief was enormous to have found something

that finally worked for me.’

Leading Weight Loss

Consultant

Rachel became passionate about

wanting to help as many people

as possible with their weight

problems, which led her to

become a qualified weight loss

consultant. In the last 15 years,

she has helped over 5,000 clients

from all walks of life to help bring

their dieting days to an end once

and for all. Clients’ ages range

from 8 to 90 years, so there is hope

for everyone!

A sustainable way to lose

your weight and keep it off

One of the popular aspects of the Metabolic

Weight Loss Programme is there’s nothing

faddish about it. There are no meal replacements,

diet shakes or diet pills. All the foods on the programme are

easily obtainable. Clients frequently say just how easy it is to follow,

they don’t feel hungry and are not having to constantly battle with

cravings. The four stages of the programme are tailored as necessary

to provide the maximum results for each client.

‘We set your target weight at the beginning and then get on with the

business of helping you lose the weight, addressing any difficulties

along the way, then we help you keep it off – for good!’

Health Benefits

With an average

weight loss of 7-14lb

a month for clients

and hundreds of hand

written testimonials,

Rachel’s results speak

for themselves.

Rachel Ricketts, Weight Loss Consultant

Clients often comment on how impressed their doctors are with their

results. ‘My doctor is very happy, I’ve been able to come off blood

pressure and cholesterol medication,’ says one. Another doctor said,

‘All my lady patients on thyroid medication are struggling to

lose weight, but you’ve lost 2 ½ stone despite being

on thyroxin – well done!’

One-to-one support

Rachel and her team give weekly

one-to-one consultations, guiding

you through the programme with

personalised support, lots of

empathy and total conviction in

the success of the programme.

Email support is available in

between consultations.

For those who are not able to

visit, a very successful remote

support service is provided

throughout the UK and overseas.

With an average weight loss of

7-14lb a month for clients and

hundreds of handwritten testimonials,

Rachel’s results speak for themselves. ‘I

see real results daily, time after time I see

people’s lives change in front of me.’

Do visit www.rachelrickettsweightloss.co.uk for

client’s videos and testimonials.

Rachel offers free consultations for those who

are wanting to lose their weight once and for all

Call now: 01342 327396

Email rachel@rachelrickettsweightloss.co.uk

www.rachelrickettsweightloss.co.uk


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LIVING SPACES MADE BEAUTIFUL

THIS KITCHEN WAS DESIGNED AND INSTALLED BY HKS

OUR DESIGN

YOUR SPACE

KITCHEN BEDROOM BATHROOM LIVING SPACES

01435 866166

HEATHFIELD HILL HOUSE, MUTTON HALL HILL, TN21 8NL

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www.hks-uk.com


Selection from ‘Colour Corrosion’ Limited Editions

JUST TEN GALLERY

RYE

LIMITED EDITION FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY

BY CLIVE SAWYER

103a High Street, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7JN

www.just-ten.gallery clive@just-ten.gallery M: 07738 715354


7th, 8th & 9th June 2018

Hole Park, Rolvenden TN17 4JB

Pre-book

discounted

tickets online

now!

Using this code

WT1

Sponsored by

HARPERS AND HURLINGHAM


INTERIORS & SOFT

FURNISHINGS

Interiors are close to our hearts here at

Wealden Times and we’ve hand-picked a

collection of makers and collectors to

showcase their products at the fair! See

wealdentimes.co.uk/events for the full list.

Gardens

Where better to find glorious plants and

outdoor accessories than in the ‘Garden of

England’ amongst the formal borders of

the Hole Park Estate? See page 158 for this

month’s Garden Supplement and keep an eye

out for some of our fabulous exhibitors!

Don’t miss...

The Fenwick Beauty Hub will feature

a range of complimentary treatments

from brands including Charlotte Tilbury,

Dermalogica and Clarins. Plus, throughout

the three days there will also be talks and

workshops from Kiehl’s, Aveda, Caudalie

and many more still to be announced!


Design & Planning

Restoration

New Build

Barn Conversions

Extensions

Joinery

COX

Developments

(Charing) Limited

www.coxrestorations.co.uk

www.coxdevelopmentscharing.co.uk

NATIONAL AWARD WINNER COX DEVELOPMENTS

(CHARING) LIMITED – BEST SMALL DEVELOPMENT

For a free consultation please contact: 01233 714950

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Established 1986


Over 30 years of inspiration

Everything for your home

• Traditional Hand-Made

English Furniture

• Contemporary Furniture

• Upholstery

• Lighting

• Accessories

• G i ft s

High Street, Tenterden. 01580 764481

tenterdenhouseinteriors.co.uk


The Kitchen is the Heart of Your Home

See how we can transform your home today www.bentonskitchens.co.uk canterbury@bentonskitchens.co.uk

Showroom: 17 Maynard Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 3RH Telephone: 01227 767576


Sourdough School...

Both beginners and more advanced bakers can learn the lifelong

skill of baking bread, sourdough, pasta, pizza and/or sweet-dough

at Canterbury Baking School. At their Sourdough classes on

Monday 2, Sunday 15 and Sunday 22 April, students will make

two different starters and learn to develop, shape and adapt a

variety of different sourdough breads. The usual entry price is

£165pp but Wealden Times readers can claim £10 off when

you quote Wealden10. For details and booking email vicky@

canterburybakingschool.com or visit canterburybakingschool.com

April

notebook

Exhibitions & events

near you this month...

Mechanical Cabaret...

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre comes to Hastings

for the first time with an unmissable exhibition

of mechanical moving toys and inventions. From

Thurs 15 March to Sun 15 April Hastings Pier

will be home to works by renowned artists Paul

Spooner, Keith Newstead, Ron Fuller, Peter

Markey, Matt Smith and Carlos Zapata as well as

creations by members of the Craftivist Network, a

consortium of local community organisations. For

more information visit hastingspier.org.uk

Circus Fun...

Prepare to be amazed this Easter bank holiday

weekend as Leeds Castle’s spellbinding outdoor

show, Tarzanna, presents a playful aerial theatre

show where children can learn circus skills

including the trapeze and tightrope! For the rest of

the school holidays, seek out clues hidden around

the Castle grounds on a fun quest for children

of all ages. This will be running from Friday 30

March to Sunday 15 April and more information is

available online at leeds-castle.com

Flower Crowns...

Those looking for a fairy-tale addition to their

wedding outfits can learn how to make this

‘must-have’ floral accessory on Friday 20 April

at Blooming Green in Maidstone. Using freshly

picked flowers and foliage from the Blooming

Green flower plot, Jen will show you how to

make anything from simple flower-girl circlets

to abundant bridal crowns. All materials and

homemade refreshments provided. Find out

more at bloominggreenflowers.co.uk

Heritage...

Heritage and vintage vehicles are driving over for

another year at the Kent Showground as the Heritage

Transport show aims for a record of 800 vehicles in

its ninth year. On Saturday 7 April you can expect

the South East Bus Festival, trade stands, autojumble

and a farmer’s market all celebrating heritage and

vintage vehicles including cars, buses, motorbikes,

steam and tractors. Find more details online at

kentshowground.co.uk/heritage-transport-show

Garden History...

On Thursday 19 April at 11am garden historian

Stephen Harmer will be walking visitors to

Sissinghurst Castle through the history of the

formal gardens, exploring how poet and novelist

Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold

Nicolson shaped the garden we know today, and

the influence of other gardens and people such

as Hidcote Manor and William Robinson. Go to

sussexcountrygardener.co.uk to find out more.

Tulip Season...

20,000 tulips will be in bloom in Hever Castle’s

stunning grounds this month. Visit from

Wednesday 18 to Friday 27 April to indulge in

a tour with head gardener Neil Miller, visit the

Italian Garden’s kaleidoscopic display by the lake,

and venture inside the castle to learn about the

flower’s history and view in-house florist Pamela

Brise’s striking floral displays. Go to

hevercastle.co.uk for more information.

41 wealdentimes.co.uk


The Furniture Event

20% off *

furniture orders

PLUS 10% OFF * INTERIOR DESIGN

ORDERS AND SERVICES

‘Fairbanks’ in Leoni Velvet Topaz

*Exclusions may apply, Please ask in store for details.

Thursday 22nd March to Saturday 21st April

2-12 Mount Pleasant Road | Tunbridge Wells | Kent | TN1 1QT | 01892 530222


Is Under New Family Ownership

Gold, Diamond Jewellery &

Prestigious Watches Purchased For Cash

Pre-owned Antique Timeless

Family Owned

96 High St, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6JB

Telephone 01580 763 155

www.whitesjewellers.co.uk

info@whitesjewellers.co.uk

35 St Leonards Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea TH40 1HP

Telephone 01424 211 835

www.thomasfrenchjewellers.com

thomas.frenchjewellers@gmail.com


RDO

Kitchen Studio

Offering the

combination of

contemporary

and classic kitchen

design using fine

furniture made

in England by

www.rdokitchenstudio.co.uk info@rdokitchenstudio.co.uk

Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RP 01737 240403


BE INSPIRED AND

CHALLENGED /

SHORT COURSE

PROGRAMME

A selection of inspiring short courses from

our summer programme. Study for personal

interest or self-development, among

like-minded people and without assessment.

Art Collecting and Collectors

Study day Sat 7 July 10.00-16.00 £42

Paul Klee: ‘taking a line for a walk’

6 weeks from Tue 5 June 11.00 - 13.00 £90

Empowering Images:

Tudor to Jacobean Portraiture

4 weeks from Thurs 7 June 10.30-12.30 £60

The Cold War in Literature

6 weeks from Fri 8 June 10.30-12.30 £90

How to listen to

JS Bach’s Church Cantatas

Study day Sat 7 July 10.00-16.00 £42

For the full programme, more information and

to book your place: www.kent.ac.uk/tonbridge

POSTGRADUATE

LEVEL

TASTER COURSES

TONBRIDGE

These small group, non-accredited courses are designed for anyone

with the passion and motivation to develop their knowledge at an

advanced level. They can be studied for pleasure or as an indication

of your suitability for a postgraduate programme.

ArT HISTory

Beyond Beauty: The Weird and the

Wonderful in Art Practice and Theory

4 weeks from Weds 20 June 11.00-13.00 £135

CrEATIvE WrITIng

Writing Historical Fiction

3 Saturdays 12 May; 9, 30 June 10.00-16.00 £250

LITErATurE

100 years of Women’s Suffrage: Celebrating

a Century of British Feminist Literature

5 weeks from Sat 4 May 10.30-12.30 £170

For more information about these courses and

to book your place: www.kent.ac.uk/tonbridge

university Centre Tonbridge, Avebury Avenue, Tn9 1Tg

01732 352316 tonbridgeadmin@kent.ac.uk

Just a few minutes’ walk from Tonbridge railway station and the High Street


At Krieder we produce furniture of beauty, rich in quality and daring in

combination. We spend time understanding the needs of our clients, to enable us

to create the most effective and usable products at a surprisingly affordable cost.

To discuss your ideas contact us today 01892 619721

Showrooms in TONBRIDGE | TUNBRIDGE WELLS | LONDON

www.KRIEDER.COM


Editor’s

Letter

I

write this with sunshine pouring in through the window

of the Wealden Times offices, wearing three less layers

of clothing than were necessary even last month.

Spring really is here. And what better way to embrace

this most glorious time of new sproutings and

beginnings than getting out into the garden? Our

annual gardens supplement is chock full of ideas and

practical expert advice to inspire and guide you.

And continuing the horticultural theme, we’ve also

got exciting news about the Garden Hub at the

Wealden Times Midsummer Fair in June (which

can never come around soon enough for me).

Among the brilliant speakers this year, you will have the

chance to meet the real David Archer. Yes, that David

Archer - or at least the actor who plays him, the fabulous

Tim Bentinck, who will be talking about his new book

Being David Archer. (Shall I say it again? David Archer!)

With any luck that will be a gorgeous sunny summer

day, meanwhile – embracing April’s rainy reputation

- our fashion editor Kate Watts has chosen the best of

the stylish new generation of waterproof jackets which

keep the wet out without making you feel like a boilin-the-bag

curry – or look like a train spotter.

Enjoy your Wealden Times.

Wealden Times Team

Editor ....................................................................................... Maggie Alderson

Editorial Assistant ........................................................................Rebecca Cuffe

Digital Editor ...................................................................................Emily Pavey

Fashion Editor ................................................................................... Kate Watts

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

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

Rob Cursons

Freya Bruce

Tanya Goldsmith

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

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

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

Sarah Norwood

Nick Robinson

Distribution ....................................................................................... Kate Watts

Wealden Times Events Team

Sales Account Manager ...................................................................... Joy Adams

Jude Brown

Show Director ................................................................................. Flo Simpson

Local solicitors

for all your

personal and

business needs

Property

Wills, trusts and probate

Family and divorce

Employment law

Dispute resolution

Company and commercial law

www.bussmurton.co.uk

TUNBRIDGE WELLS | CRANBROOK | EAST GRINSTEAD | DARTFORD

Buss Murton Law LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership No OC345994

and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

47 wealdentimes.co.uk

BussMurtonWT188.indd 1 11/09/2017 14:30


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49 wealdentimes.co.uk

ABSBlindsWT194.indd 1 08/03/2018 16:01


DESIGN & PLANNING | RESTORATION | NEW BUILD | BARN CONVERSIONS | EXTENSIONS | JOINERY

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© 1996 Forest Stewardship Council A.C.

Where to find your copy of

Call 01580 714705 to find your nearest distributor of

Wealden Times or to have your free copy delivered

for 12 months for just £22 postage

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STATIONS:

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Also available in:

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PEFC/16-33-795

Distribution of Wealden Times published in Cranbrook for Kent & Sussex.

The mark of responsible forestry

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51 wealdentimes.co.uk

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wealdentimes.co.uk

52


Family favours

A lovely family home which had got a bit lived in, was brought

back to peak condition by interior designer Alexis Wylie

Words: Maggie Alderson Photographs: David Merewether

53 wealdentimes.co.uk


white outline + white text

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KSEHomeImprovementsWT183.indd 1 21/04/2017 17:52


Previous page: Ally commissioned bespoke bookshelves to create a focal point in the sitting room. The walls are painted in Farrow &

Ball’s Varta, to add a splash of bold colour. Above: the oak sideboard used to be in the kitchen, but Ally thought it deserved a grander

location. The chairs and sofa are from Furniture Village – to save money to spend on the bookshelves

The Weald of Kent is a very special part of the world,

with its beautiful rolling landscape peppered with

postcard-worthy villages – and an unusually high

volume of dream homes in ideal family proportions.

This house is one of them. Set along a country lane with

views from the back over a pond (and a swimming pool) to

farmland and the rise of the High Weald in the distance. On

one snowy morning visit, a robin red breast perched on the

hedge, as if positioned by a stylist, with the winter silhouettes

of trees against the sky beyond like a living Ravilious painting.

It’s a magical spot.

The house is equally blessed, a perfect combination of cosy

beams – and no fewer than three inglenook fireplaces – with

Victorian and 21st century additions which allow that modern

ideal of lateral space. The kitchen melts into the dining area

and on again to the sofas in the family snug.

It also has that lovely circular flow, which always makes a

house feel happy. You can walk round clockwise starting from

the hall, past the cloakroom, into the snug, through the arch

to the dining area, right turn into the kitchen and then back

out to the hall.

There are also various sets of French windows, so you can

pop in and out at different places, or if you wanted to get

away from everyone, there is an elegant sitting room off the

other side of the hallway.

But while the bones of the house are perfectly arranged

55 wealdentimes.co.uk


Above and left: These chairs which had belonged to homeowner

Jo’s mum, were looking a bit tired, but reupholstered with two

old Mexican blankets Ally found in the big clear out, they are

now the focal point in the hall – and a very handy place to hang

a handbag

for family life, there was a time when the hectic demands of

that very set up had taken its toll.

With three kids growing up through the stages of school life,

with associated sports equipment littering the place up and an

owner with a demanding career in town, the loveliness of the

house had begun to feel rather lost under the tide of life.

Owner Jo had put in the dining room extension that so

brilliantly links the kitchen and the snug when they moved

down to Kent 14 years ago. Then after that output of cash

and energy, she was happy to let things be for a while and

postpone decorating and refurnishing, but when her oldest

child was heading off to university she decided it was time to

bring the house up to date with their lives.

That was when she decided to call in a professional and on

the recommendation of friends got on the phone to interior

designer Alexis (Ally) Wylie, who lives a handy ten minutes

away. “Ally will sort you out,” she was told by happy previous

clients – and they were right.


wealdentimes.co.uk

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Right: Looking from the cloakroom hallway, through the hall,

down another passage and on to the sitting room Below: the

snug – with one of the three inglenook fireplaces in the house.

The painting over the mantle is by Cranbrook-based artist Sandy

Dooley. All the curtains and blinds on this floor are in the same

fabric from Bell House Fabric and Interiors. Ally covered the

small chair on the right with a patchwork quilt which had been

made by Jo’s mother

Using one fabric for the curtains and

blinds throughout the ground floor unites

the layout, giving the space a chic, pulledtogether

look which makes you wonder

why on earth we fuss about putting

different patterns in every room


59 wealdentimes.co.uk


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SianLarkenDressageWT194.indd 1 20/03/2018 CPJFieldWT194.indd 11:15

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Above: Ally had the dresser made to replace the dark wood dresser she moved to the sitting room and to reflect the kitchen’s

contemporary country style. Baskets and apple crates are her favourite tools for keeping clutter organised


61 wealdentimes.co.uk


Above: Jo put in the dining room extension which joins up the kitchen and the snug, when she first moved in 14 years ago,

combining the beams of the original 16th century cottage with a light airy modern feel. The glorious four-oven Aga, was already in

place

Ally first visited at the end of September, had her swat team

on site by November and then it was six weeks hard slog to

have it ready for Christmas.

“I was hanging pictures on December 23rd…” she says.

But that was the fun end of the project, which started with

three skips outside, with Jo determined to clear out all the

stuff they didn’t need any more.

“Jo was ruthless,” says Ally. “We had a system: in the skip, or

to the side of the skip. The next morning, if it was still on the

ground next to the skip it went into the skip. The house looks

twice the size now we’ve cleared it out.”

And while Jo was determinedly getting rid of unwanted

belongings – and local charity shops had a bonanza from

it – Ally was at work organising the interior starting with the

entrance hall, which had been ‘a lost space’.

She created a deep cupboard at the back of it, fitted out

with apple crates, each with one family member’s name on it,

as their designated space to stash their stuff between outings.

No more hallway clutter.

She was also on the hunt for family pieces that could be

given a new lease of life. The two chairs now in the hall had

belonged to Jo’s late mother and inspiration struck when Ally

spotted some bold Mexican blankets and rescued them from

the skip.

“They’d been on the floor for years,” says Ally, “and looked

seriously past their best, but I had them dry cleaned and they

came up beautifully.”

The chairs were transformed and what had seemed like

rubbish, was upcycled and given a whole new lease of life.

Also pressed into service was a trove of fabrics Jo found

stored in a cupboard. A lovely patchwork quilt, which had

been made by her mother for the babies’ cradles, was used to

reupholster two chairs, one in pride of place in the snug as a

lovely daily reminder of granny.

Another great find was bolts of African printed fabrics,

brought back from Tanzania by the family, which Ally had

made into piles of brightly coloured mixed cushions and

upholstery, creating a vibrant theme which runs through the

house.

This unifying technique is also used across the curtains

wealdentimes.co.uk

62


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Above: The main change Ally made in the dining room, was to turn Jo’s table round, so it leads on invitingly from the kitchen. Ally

had Jo’s existing dining chairs recovered in a mix of prints to contrast the graphic design of the curtains and blinds


65 wealdentimes.co.uk


Above: The copper-lined pulley light over the dining table is by Original BTC (it was a bargain Ally found under the discontinued

clearance table.). The leather club chair was a family favourite. Ally gave it new life with cushions covered in vibrant African fabrics

brought back from Tanzania that turned up in Jo’s clear out

and blinds on the ground floor which are all made of the same

material – an Ikat-style print from Bell House Interiors in

Cranbrook, which is very wide, so economical to use.

It’s an idea which would never have occurred to me – I

was almost shocked at the concept – but once you see it in

place, using one window treatment fabric throughout unites

the layout, giving the space a chic, pulled-together look,

which makes you wonder why on earth we fuss about putting

different patterns in every room.

This is a perfect example of the kind of savvy Ally has

gathered in her nearly 30 years of experience as an interior

designer, working for eight years for South Africa’s doyenne

of the profession, before returning to continue her trade in

London, where she still does big projects, and then 15 years

ago moving down to Kent.

Another cheeky little solution learned from those years of

experience was her treatment for the less than lovely radiators

all over the house. Rather than replace, she disguised them.

“We covered them with latticed box radiator covers, but the

trick is, before you put the cover on, you paint the radiator

charcoal grey, so you can’t see it through the air vents.”

It works like magic and the box covers also created useful

– and once again, unifying – shelves, perfect for grouping

displays of ornaments and mementoes, many of which had

been languishing in cupboards.

It was with such individually small, but very effective en

masse details, rather than any big structural building work,

that Ally helped Jo transform the house.

“It turned out the whole place needed rewiring, which was a

pain, but it gave us the chance to put sockets where we needed

them, which is so important and you have to do it first before

you plaster, so it can all be made good afterwards.”

With a chunk of the budget taken up by such invisible

works, there was less left for decorating and Ally had to be

very creative.

“The first thing I do is always a floor plan. I draw every

wealdentimes.co.uk

66


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Above left: Ally has used the same curtain fabric upstairs in a different colourway. The chair is a Dunelm find, with one of Ally’s

signature cushions covered in fabric from an old grain sack. Ally urged Jo to buy the beautiful armoire to give the room a focal point.

Above right: In one of the children’s bedrooms, Ally had the headboard upholstered in the grain sack fabric, to set off the mixed

prints of the cushions

room, to scale with a pencil and ruler – I don’t use a computer

program – then I measure all the furniture you are going to

keep and cut it out with graph paper to see how it all fits.

Then I use one colour of PostIt notes on the existing furniture

and another to indicate pieces which need to be sourced.

“You keep a record of those measurements in a notebook,

then if you wake up in the morning and want to go and do

a little impulse buy, you know what sizes will fit and you can

shop with confidence.”

Another of Ally’s techniques is to bring furniture into the

body of the room. A common mistake ‘civilians’ make is

to push it all against the walls to maximise the space in the

centre, whereas in fact, if you articulate it with furniture a

room will actually look bigger – and more appealing.

The two sofas in the snug, which Jo already had, were

recovered and restored with new seat cushions.

“Channelled feather cushions,” says Ally firmly, “it is

essential they’re channelled, or you are constantly heaving the

cushions out to plump them up.”

One sofa was re-covered in taupe devoré velvet, the other

in wool blanket plaid in complimentary tones. Both sit away

from the wall, the velvet one in front of what appears to be a

bespoke shelving unit.

“It’s IKEA,” says Ali, grinning. “I had the carpenter build a

plinth to raise it up, so it appears to be built in.”

Probably the simplest change Ally made and one of the most

transforming, was in the dining area. She turned the table

around, so it is now sitting alongside the French window,

69 wealdentimes.co.uk


Above left: A chair in a spare bedroom recovered with a patchwork quilt made by Jo’s mother. Above right: Ally had bookshelves

built in the guest cloakroom and papered the walls with Jane Churchill’s March Hare wallpaper in the stone colourway

not pointing out into it and back into the snug.

You can see immediately what a difference this would

have made to the flow of energy, with the length of the table

stretching out appealingly from the vantage point of the

kitchen and just inviting you to sit down.

The biggest makeover was to the sitting room, in its almost

separate wing, which had become one of those dumping

ground rooms you can close the door on and forget about.

Jo’s extensive collection of was scattered around the house

in “random stand-alone bookshelves” as she puts it, so Ally

commissioned some shelves as the focal point on the far wall

of the room, framing the piano which all the family play.

“I wanted to make this the special room,” she says. “As it’s

at the other end of the house from the high traffic rooms I

thought we could have a little bit of fun with a big pop of

colour, although it is still a calm haven, opening onto the

garden.”

The result is an elegant room, with a great sense of occasion

conveyed by her choice of Farrow & Ball’s marvellous peacock

green Vardo. And you’d never guess that all the furniture in

there, apart from the antique sideboard, which Ally pinched

from the kitchen (replacing it with a bespoke dresser) is

wealdentimes.co.uk

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McAllister Thomas Half Page 2.indd 1 07/03/2018 10:25


Above: This chair was a wedding present to Jo’s parents. “It was very comfortable but not very cool,” she says. “Ally had it painted

white and covered in African fabric – transformed!”


73 wealdentimes.co.uk


“I spent two hours with each of Jo’s children so I could understand what

they liked and wanted, so they would each have an individual space”

from Furnitureland – and on sale too.

“Saving money on the furniture paid for the bookshelves

and to decorate the whole room,” she says.

Upstairs, Ally concentrated on giving each of the children

the room they really wanted.

“I spent two hours with each of them, so I could understand

what they liked and wanted, so they would each have an

individual space.”

The result is three very individual rooms, all featuring

elements of the African fabrics and combinations of cheap

and cheerful shelves and wardrobes, raised up on Ally’s clever

plinths so they reach up to the ceiling and appear built in.

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bakersbicycle.co.uk

Product, £price

Company

website

Old Salt Rum

£35.00, English

Spirit Distillery

englishspirit.uk

TICKETS

ON SALE

ONLINE

wealdentimes.

co.uk/events

Midsummer Fair

Here’s a little taste of some of the delicious food and

drink on offer. There is something for everyone, from

enticing homemade treats to mouth-watering sausage

rolls and local ice cream sellers…

Very Very Vanilla Jelly

£4.50, Briscoe’s

Artisan Jellies

briscoesjellies.co.uk

Rendang curry mix

£5.95 each,

Nonya’s Secrets

nonyasecrets.com

Lord London

Alsop & Walker

alsopandwalker.co.uk

Ardine filets with Nice

olives, £4.80, Claude &

Basil’s Epicerie

claudebasilsepicerie.co.uk

Balfour Brut Rosé

2013

£38.00, Hush

Heath Estate

hushheath.com

Black Olive Mayonnaise

£4.50 Casa de L’Oli

casadeloli.com

NEW

EXHIBITOR

Orange Gin

RRP £40.00

Show price £33.00

55 Above

55above.co.uk

Arbequina Olive Oil cold pressed

with fresh Lemons, From £8.95 –

£16.50, Casa de L’Oli

casadeloli.com

Caramelised Onion

Sausage Roll

£3.00, Dine Thyme

dinethyme.co.uk


Interior

directions

House Doctor

coon sofa in black

rattan £662 Lagoon

vivalagoon.com

Rattan armchair

£395 Cuckooland

cuckooland.com

HJÄRTELIG platforms

£75 and headboards

£60 Ikea ikea.com

Hanging rattan

bowl chair £540

Out There Interiors

outthereinteriors.com

White rattan bed

£1,355 The French

Bedroom Company

frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk


Patterned hanging

bowl chair £625

Out There Interiors

outthereinteriors.com

Long oval

lampshade £175

Abode Living

abodeliving.co.uk

Black firefly chandelier

£235 Respire Living

respireliving.com

Wire pendant light with

braided rattan border £79

Lenleys lenleys.co.uk

Rattan bar stool £260

Smithers of Stamford

smithersofstamford.com

Industriell pendant

lamps from £22 Ikea

ikea.com

Peacock chair with

seat cushion £675

Out There Interiors

outthereinteriors.com

Handwoven dark

rattan sunburst mirror

£350 Oh What’s This

ohwhatsthis.com

Hubsch modern green

chair £300 Lagoon

vivalagoon.com

Cruz cocoon chair

£495 Respire Living

respireliving.com

Rattan

A touch of tropical flavour with

appealing 70s flair, lovely for light

fittings and fabulous for furniture


Untitled-4 1 29/09/2017 08:57

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Printed velvet

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Forest orchids cushion £45

The French Bedroom Co

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Floral velvet chair

£1729.00+6 mtrs of

fabric Rume rume.co.uk

Maroque Lazurite printed

velvet £144/m

Black Edition

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Florenza Graphite fabric

Designers Guild £205/m

designersguild.com

Paradisa ‘Daley’ cockatoo

lampshade spruce green,

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Zoffany Gondolier

fabric £120/m

Mister Smith

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Union Jack sofa £1499 The

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Saleem leaf pattern

printed velvet

£18.99/m Yorkshire

Fabric Shop

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Bloom Velvet Black available

for use in a variety of made to

order furniture pieces

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Round ancient

pattern £17.99/m

Yorkshire Fabric Shop

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Floral damask

fabric £17.99/m

Yorkshire Fabric

yorkshirefabricshop.com

Espinillo velvet cushion

£69 Clarissa Hulse

clarissahulse.com


Khayma Fairfield pale

grey rug £310 Modern

Rugs modern-rugs.co.uk

Shimmer rug in

oyster from £69.99

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Louis De Poortere

fading world rug

in blue night £139

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Farrow & Ball from

£1,150 farrow-ball.com

Ivory and charcoal

Morocco rug £140

Amara amara.com

Belle wool rug with

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Eastern palace mint

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Atelier note rug

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Luxe berber rug £349

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St Martins Pastels

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SofasAndStuffWT194.indd 1 07/03/2018 17:15


Brass details

Touches of the metal of the moment bring any room bang up to date

Linea gold trinket box

£8 House of Fraser

houseoffraser.co.uk

Gubi brass base multi

lite pendant £507

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Eichholtz Messina

turquoise sofa £1790

Sweetpea & Willow

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Marilyn velvet

armchair £520

Audenza audenza.com

Newton bedside

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Atkin and Thyme

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Vogue 3 Door

Sideboard £549

Furniture Village

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Main floor lamp

£539 BoConcept

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Osaka sofa from

£1569.00 as shown

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Brown leather accent

chair with brushed

brass frame £599

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Bouffant twist stool £120

The French Bedroom Co

frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk

Finger filodrendon wall

hangings £31 BoConcept

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Lex table lamp in

bali brass £234

Elstead Lighting

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Manhattan tray from

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Orla Kiely ceramic

hanging pot £35

Printer + Tailor

printerandtailor.com

Teal flower wall plate

£10 The Contemporary

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Belgravia sofa £1,695

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Tivoli three seater sofa

kingfisher Velvet Walnut

£1099 Swoon Editions

swooneditions.com

Gold and green agate

mirror £149

The French Bedroom Co

frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk

Self green micro fibre

velvet £1729.00 +6m

fabric Rume rume.co.uk

Dragon fly

cushion £13

B&Q diy.com

Pistachio brushed

cotton mix throw £59

Layered Lounge

layeredlounge.com

Vintage ship clock

£78 Curated Living

curatedliving.co.uk

Terrazzo cushion

cover in menthe

£65 Yves Delorme

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Cheese plant print

£19 Papermash

papermash.co.uk

Plant appliqué

cushion £16 Next

next.co.uk

Velvet upholstered

dark teal armchair

£159 Cult Furniture

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Duck egg ceramic

lattice lamp £325

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Rose bush canvas £135

Sweetpea & Willow

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Green accents

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HUUTT-WT193.indd 1 13/02/2018 StaggsCornerWT194.indd 10:19

1 15/03/2018 16:43

Distinctive Interiors & Design. Specialists in handmade curtains, blinds, shutters, upholstery and soft furnishings

Situated just off the High Street www.skinnersoftunbridgewells.co.uk

6 Castle Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1XJ Tel: 01892 532003

Email: sarah@skinnersoftunbridgewells.co.uk *Ordered in March/April 2018

89 wealdentimes.co.uk

SkinnersWT193.indd 1 13/02/2018 14:45


SPRING BED LINEN

DESIGNS FROM HARLEQUIN

Spring is here and it’s a time for new beginnings, when we feel full of purpose and excitement for the

season ahead; a time to cast away the old and bring in the NEW. What better place to start than the

bedroom. The bedroom is your sanctuary, where you can find peace and tranquillity after the stresses

of the day. A room that can both calm the mood and lift your spirits.

Whether you are looking for cool and contemporary designs or something more vibrant, full of colour

and pattern with a fun and playful twist, Fenwick has it all! And we have great delight in introducing

to you the latest designs from Harlequin for spring. Come and see the beautiful selection of bed linen

with co-ordinating cushions and throws to make your bedroom complete.

We are here to inspire you!

HARLEQUIN | POSTELIA

Exhibiting an exotic mix of

sea-plants swaying over the

fabric, the all-over duvet cover

design combines line drawings

with whimsical watercolour plant

designs with a plain reverse on

100% cotton sateen. Accessorise

the look with the velvet cushion in

lagoon blue with an embroidered

feather motif.

DOUBLE DUVET COVER £105

KINGSIZE DUVET COVER £120

OXFORD PILLOWCASE £25

CUSHION 40x60cm £50

HARLEQUIN MOMENTUM

COLLECTION | MAKRANA

Makrana features an all-over

marble pattern with beige

highlights with a moonstonecoloured

plain on the reverse.

The co-ordinating cushion is

appliqued with a metallic string

design and produced on a

linen/cotton mix fabric.

DOUBLE DUVET COVER £95

KINGSIZE DUVET COVER £110

CUSHION 40x50cm £50

THROW 170x220cm £195

ROYAL VICTORIA PLACE TUNBRIDGE WELLS KENT TN1 2SR | 01892 516716 | WWW.FENWICK.CO.UK


HOME ACCESSORIES

Discover what’s NEW on the 1st Floor at Fenwick Tunbridge Wells. This season we are introducing

a range of contemporary furniture pieces that will complement your home; from console tables, coffee

tables and armchairs to statement mirrors and lighting to create the perfect ambience in any room.

The spring season is looking bright at Fenwick!

LEAF PRINT | CHAIR £230

BALLOON | HANGING SHADE

This balloon shape and sprayed

fabric strands ensure a soft shadow

is cascaded around the room £39

LEAF PRINT | STOOL £40

CROSS | FLOOR LAMP

A beautiful and statuesque

floor lamp in natural

hardwood, great for rooms

with a little less headroom

H162 W40 D40cm £135

ENSO | MIRROR

Injecting a touch of zen-like

calm into any interior, this

beautifully made mirror

comes complete with a neat

wooden hanging peg

H87 W60cm £195

TENBY | CONSOLE TABLE

The perfect proportions of the console will make

it a welcome addition to many a home £275

TOTEM | HALL STAND

Stylish and practical, the stand has

pegs to hang your coats and slatted

shelves for storage £425

The stand shown has additional

storage and a bench should you want

a seat while you get your footwear

on, these are sold separately

TENBY | OVAL COFFEE TABLE

An alternative shaped coffee table with

finger jointed oiled oak top £325

Leaf print chair from Kaemingk, all other products from pr home.

ROYAL VICTORIA PLACE TUNBRIDGE WELLS KENT TN1 2SR | 01892 516716 | WWW.FENWICK.CO.UK


Coastal

haven

This old coastguard’s cottage is gloriously

free of all those corny seaside decor

clichés thanks to interior architect Marta

Nowicka’s sophisticated vision

Words:: Kathryn Flett

Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Helen Bratby

wealdentimes.co.uk

92


93 wealdentimes.co.uk


1978 | CELEBRATING FORTY YEARS | 2018

London . Tunbridge Wells . Oxshott

0333 011 3333


Previous page: The dining table is medieval. It was given to

Marta’s father, an architect by a client in lieu of fees. Marta

deliberately exposed the brickwork around the fireplace to reveal

the building’s fabric. The mirror is from McCully & Crane in

Rye This page: the kitchen has an industrial feel with stainless

steel appliances. The drawer unit is from IKEA

Occasionally, even the most stylish seaside holiday

rentals succumb to coastal clichés. If it’s not wallto-wall

tongue-and-groove it will be the pots

of beach stones and assorted weather-beaten flotsam and

jetsam by the front door—just below the storm lantern.

There may also be jaunty blue-and-white striped roman

blinds and a porthole mirror in the bathroom. Then, of

course, there will be more pictures of boats than you can poke

an oar at.... Oh, and while we’re at it, a pair of old oars above

a fireplace festooned with old fishing nets is pretty much

seaside interiors’ answer to the country pub’s horse brasses.

Rest assured, as a seaside dweller of thirteen years standing I

have been guilty of more than a few of these decorating clichés

but now I’m also a qualified interior designer I recognise

that the trick is to successfully acknowledge a building’s

sense of place — and allow it to retain its integrity —

95 wealdentimes.co.uk


Savouring the architectural

quirks of a family home that was

built primarily for the business

of coastal defence, not pleasure,

Marta retained as many of the

original features as possible


15

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LilyMatthewsWT189.indd 1 10/10/2017 12:57

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97 wealdentimes.co.uk

RobinsonWatersWT155.indd 1 09/12/2014 ConceptsWT193.indd 14:40

1 15/02/2018 16:11


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Previous page: The clock in the

sitting room was found in South

Kensington on one of Marta’s

father’s sites This page left: The

salvaged shutters are French.

Marta put them in to suggest a

window where there isn’t one. She

also wanted to have French things

in the house to reflect Rye’s status

as a Cinque Port Below: Marta

left the patina of old paint on the

main staircase, as part of the story

of the house

without letting that dictate the terms of engagement.

It’s a balance which is pulled off quite beautifully by

the interior architect Marta Nowicka at her holiday-let

coastguard’s cottage at Jury’s Gap — a weather-swept

stretch of coastline between Camber and the MOD

shooting range at Lydd, close to Romney Marsh. This, of

course, isn’t the tastefully manicured seaside of counties

further west; it’s a thoroughly no-nonsense and in-yourface

variety of seaside and as such it isn’t for everyone.

Marta, a Londoner, fell in love with the area by accident,

finding her way to the East Sussex and Kent coastal borders

via friends who had property there. Alerted to the existence

of the striking row of four-storey Victorian coastguard’s

cottages inhabited by similarly creative owner-occupiers, she

bought the one at the end, closest to the sea, in 2009 with

a legacy from her late father, and renovated it with love,

before moving in with her young son, now a teenager.

“Obviously he never visited, but many of my father’s

99 wealdentimes.co.uk


This page: Fresh paint on the chimney breast in the westfacing

single bedroom sets off the untreated walls on either side. The

window looks out onto Rye Harbour. The curtain fabric is from

Vintage Bird in Hastings

objects are here, so I feel the house is very much of him.

These days all the coastguard’s cottages here are holiday

lets, however at that time, just a few years ago, there was

still a resident community of mostly artists and writers.

My son was at school in Ashford and so we basically

just battened down the hatches here. It was magical.”

It was also, one may say, quite brave. Though glorious

from spring through to autumn, in winter it will come

as no surprise to learn that this stretch of coast can be,

at best, bracing. I live 30 minutes to the west along

the same coast, in Hastings and St Leonards, and I’m

used to what we call the “Lid-On” months, when

the weather hits the shoreline with a vengeance.

There’s a romance to it, for sure — and the ozone blast

of seaside living is wonderfully cobweb-busting—however,

when I visit Marta’s house on a bleak, nearly spring

morning, I’m struck by the bravery of being a newly-single

mother living here with a young child. However, after

even a few minutes in her company you are struck by the

sense that Marta is a woman who makes things work and,

as she says, “it worked very well for us, for a while.”

It’s not hard to see why. Savouring the architectural

quirks of a family home that was built primarily for the

business of coastal defence, not pleasure, Marta retained


wealdentimes.co.uk

100


We can produce made-to-fit Glass Balconies I Mirrors I Glass Shower Screens I

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Kitchens

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101 wealdentimes.co.uk

WoodworkWT193.indd 1 19/02/2018 15:08


Back From Black

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5 th Year Anniversary

KARENS FOAM STORE

AND BESPOKE SEWING SHOP

Upholstery tools

Tacks, Cotton, Felt, Hessian

Webbing

Polyester

Calico fabric

Foam cut to size

Replacement sofa cushions

Car park opposite store

Upholstery supplier

Bespoke cushion making

Outdoor seating/cushions

Camper van/caravan

139 CAMDEN ROAD

TUNBRIDGE WELLS, TN1 2RA

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102

KarensFoamStoreWT191.indd 1 14/02/2018 16:11


This page: The staircase from the ground floor up to the

first floor. The rope handrail is a subtle nod to the maritime

connection of the cottage

as many of the original features as possible, including

the coastguard’s gun cabinet by the front door; these

shores, after all, have long been a smuggler’s beat and

the coastguards would often have had their work cut out

dealing with looters in the aftermath of shipwrecks.

Indeed, the entire area is one of dramatic extremes and

stark contrasts; from the dunes and romantic white sands at

Camber you are just a few minutes’ drive from the isolated

weather-beaten bluff of Dungeness — which is not only one

of the largest shingle landscapes in the world but one of the

few nature reserves graced by a hulking power station (not to

mention blessed with very fine fish and chips, at The Pilot).

Inland, the 100 square miles of Romney Marsh — all big

skies and brooding landscapes, embracing woodland, wetland,

sand and shingle and thirteen beautiful medieval churches —

is no less intensely atmospheric. This is, in short, a corner of

the country that attracts escapists, from near and far, opening

its arms to visitors now as easily as it once put up defences

— nearby, there are numerous frontline relics of conflicts

ranging from the Napoleonic wars to the Battle of Britain.

Perhaps the most enduring metaphor for the contrasts of

this fascinating area is the 28-mile Royal Military Canal which

was built as a defence against Napoleon in the early 1800s,

scything through the landscape from Hythe to Rye which,

these days, is an important nature reserve for migratory birds.

Though Marta fell in love with the romance of all this

immediately — ‘it seemed to attract so many of my kind of

people’ — her architect’s eye also meant that pretty should

occasionally outweigh pragmatic. The empty house was

in a desperately unloved state bordering on the derelict.

“It had been vandalized and there was graffiti

everywhere. The bathroom had been smashed to pieces

and radiators pulled off the walls…” which would have

been sufficient to put off most people. Luckily, Marta

not only had a vision of what it could become but could

see that the ‘bones’ of the building were strong.

“There is a vernacular Victorian ‘coastguard’s

cottage’ design you will find all over the country,

as though there was a government blueprint.”

All it would take to bring the house back to life, she

surmised, would be… a total refurb and a lot of visual TLC.

Having studied interior architecture at Kingston

University, Marta founded her own successful practice

in 2004, after a period in partnership at another firm

and as a course leader in interior architecture at


103 wealdentimes.co.uk


This page: The house had been vandalised before Marta bought it, the bathroom smashed to pieces, so she had to put an entirely new

one in. She panelled it with horizontal tongue and groove to make it feel warmer and put in a freestanding bath as that is what would

have been there before

wealdentimes.co.uk

104


See potential.

Realise the vision.

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fabrics & wallpaper • curtains & blinds • headboards & upholstery • lighting • home accessories

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Showrooms in Frant, nr Tunbridge Wells and Cuckfield, nr Haywards Heath

105 wealdentimes.co.uk

EnsorInteriorDesignWT191.indd 1 07/12/2017 17:20


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Mirrors inc. antique

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wealdentimes.co.uk

106

CPGlassWT194.indd 1 08/03/2018 17:01


The cottage’s warm

homeliness – squidgy leather

armchairs in front of roughand-ready

open fireplaces

– combines with touches

of genuine glamour

This page: In the East facing double bedroom, Marta stripped

off the old wallpaper and liked the distressed plaster beneath it so

much she decided to keep it. She has had the 1950s wicker chair

for many years. The French painter’s ladder was found at Wish

Barn Antiques in Rye

London Metropolitan University. She fast became a go-to

architect for the generation of artists known as the YBAs,

designing projects for Gavin Turk, Gillian Wearing and the

contemporary art dealer Karsten Schubert, among others.

Originally, at Jury’s Gap, there was no view from the

single-storey ground floor kitchen extension in order to

protect the building from the full force of the weather —

that is, until Marta created a big picture window above the

stainless-steel work surfaces, sink and the large range.

“And there’s no extractor, though there probably

‘should’ be,” she shrugs, smiling. However, this really isn’t

a ‘should’ kind of house… “so we just open the door.”

Next to the kitchen, Marta added a spacious wetroom

and downstairs loo. The coastguards may not have

bothered, however modern weekenders “want to be able

to shower off the sand and the salt straight away.”

Surprisingly, even on the day I visit — alluring skies

and biting winds over the desolate landscape — the

house is filled with light. You can easily imagine freerange

kids and barbeques against the backdrop of sun


107 wealdentimes.co.uk


This page: Looking from the East facing bedroom onto the landing with the ladder steps going up to the attic bedroom

and sea and… an MOD firing range (note to would-be

guests: if the proximity of barbed wire and the occasional

rat-a-tat of working firearms scares you more than it

thrills you then this may not be your kind of place).

The cottage’s central staircase leaves walls free for the

windows and many of the rooms are double aspect.

Even with the predominantly white palette, it’s still a

surprisingly warm and welcoming space, even in winter.

There are five spacious bedrooms which sleep eleven when

the house is full, making it affordable for big groups of

friends or families at a rate starting from £300 per night.

Two of the bedrooms are on the lower ground floor

and are, again, surprisingly light with, I note, windows

perfectly positioned for smaller guests to clamber in

and out of very easily during games of hide-and-seek

— “I suspect there is a lot of that,” agrees Marta.

There are two further bedrooms and a family bathroom

on the first floor, while the bedroom for which I imagine


wealdentimes.co.uk

108


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109 wealdentimes.co.uk

BellHouseWT182.indd 1 21/03/2017 GraceyardWT194.indd 14:12

1 09/03/2018 14:23


ADVERTISING FEATURE

The Benefits of Bespoke…

Rencraft has been designing and making kitchens in Kent for over 37 years.

Here’s why they believe the difference is in the detail…

John Stephens, Managing Director

of Rencraft, explains “We make

all our kitchens and furniture in our

workshop just outside Sevenoaks

and we take great pride in the care and

attention to detail that we put in to every

single design we do. The craftsmanship

we offer can’t be recreated on a factory

production line. Here, every cabinet is

built by hand, every solid wood cutlery

insert is made to order and every larder

cupboard is kitted out in a way that is

personal to you. The end result is a

kitchen that is functional, beautiful and

built to stand the test of time.”

While Rencraft takes great pride in

offering a more traditional approach to

manufacturing, its designs are far from

old-fashioned.

John adds “We’ve invested in the latest

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provide our clients with an insight in to

what their finished kitchen will look like.

Our designers focus on layout, interiors

and practical considerations, as well

as materials and finishes. Our bespoke

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spaces can usually be worked around

and we can also draw upon our years

of experience to offer guidance on

everything from worktops to appliances

and storage solutions.”

The team are delighted to have had their

efforts recognised by others within the

industry, with one of John’s designs being

announced as a finalist in the prestigious

2018 KBB Retail & Design Awards.

“To have one of our designs recognised

in this way is a great achievement,”

says John “but nothing compares to the

great feedback we get from our clients. I

know people who have had our kitchens

for upwards of 20 years, and they are

still happy with them. That’s the real

compliment, that’s the buzz, and that’s

why we’ll never compromise on the quality

of what we do.”

To fully appreciate what Rencraft can do

for you, simply visit their website

www.rencraft.co.uk or make an

appointment at one of their showrooms.

Rencraft can be found at

Unit 9, Chart Farm, Seal Chart,

Sevenoaks TN15 0ES

Tel: 01732 762682 or at

81 Calverley Road,

Tunbridge Wells TN1 2UY

Tel: 01892 520730


This page: Marta created a new double bedroom

in the eaves of the house, large and airy with

light pouring through Velux windows, accessed

by this ship-like ladder

dice need to be rolled, or straws drawn,

is the large Velux-windowed airy-yetcosy

double tucked up in the eaves.

Marta created the room from scratch

(“there was a lot of insulation and glazing;

this is a house which may look ‘easy going’

but because of its position also needs a

lot of maintenance”) and it is reached by

a ship-like wooden staircase that makes it

unsuitable for the very small or elderly.

Here, floor to ceiling tongue-and-groove

cladding creates a genuinely romantic whiteon-white

den; seaside escapism as it should

be played. Never mind Camber, up here you

can squint and imagine yourself pretty much

anywhere from Corfu to Cape Cod. No

wonder that in 2014 the house was voted No7

in The Guardian’s Top 100 seaside rentals.

Elsewhere, the cottage’s warm homeliness

— squidgy leather armchairs in front of

rough-and-ready open fireplaces, beds

made for bouncing as well as dream-filled

sleeping — combines with touches of

genuine glamour… Yes, that is a Bridget

Riley print in the dining room, which

also boasts a chandelier the likes of which

Victorian coastguards could only dream.

If, however, your idea of the perfect coast

is to be found in Cornwall or California, it’s

unlikely that this little spot — geographically,

it’s ‘Camberness’ — will also be your idea

of fun. However, for those of us who both

love and live in the area the more subtle

attractions are precisely what appeal.

Marta also remains passionate about the

spot where Kent collides with East Sussex;

her recent redevelopment of a 1950s St

John’s Ambulance station situated in the

centre of historic Rye attracted a great deal

of interest, with TV appearances and features

in Grand Designs magazine and is also

111 wealdentimes.co.uk


Never mind Camber, up here you can squint and imagine

yourself pretty much anywhere from Corfu to Cape Cod

available as a holiday let among the portfolio of properties

designed or selected by Marta at domstayandlive.com —

dom being the Polish for ‘home’, referencing her roots.

“It’s a go-to website for people wanting to rent unusual

and contemporary spaces to live or holiday in, or even buy.”

Meanwhile, the coastguard’s cottage at Jury’s Gap is

today pretty much exactly as it was when Marta and her

son were in situ. However, this is far from being a house set

in aspic. In fact, this sense of a home having been curated

for others to enjoy is precisely the reason the space doesn’t

come across as yet another cool-but-soulless holiday let.

Instead, this quirky and authentic seaside cottage wears

its heart on its sleeve, feeling as warm and welcoming

(yes, even in January) as any loved and lived-in family

home. And that’s precisely where the cliché ends.

Read more about Kathryn Flett’s interior practice at

luxeforlife.com

Address Book:

To rent the cottage contact DOM Stay and Live

marta@domstayandlive.com 07949 564550

domstayandlive.com

Mccully & Crane 27 Cinque Ports Street, Rye

mccullyandcrane.com

Pale and Interesting 21 Mermaid Street, Rye

paleandinteresting.com

Vintage Bird 48 High Street, Hastings

Wish Barn Antiques Wish Street, Rye

wealdentimes.co.uk

112


E

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Photo Claire Banks

For free quotations and professional advice

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SashWindowHeritageWT187.indd 1 15/08/2017 KarlTerryWT186.indd 15:18

1 19/07/2017 15:56

HAND

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113 wealdentimes.co.uk

TraditionalBespokeFurnitureWT194.indd 1 16/03/2018 MonarchOakWT147.indd 09:52

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35 Monson Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1LS 01892 517986

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Rudyard table lamp £118

Dar Lighting darlighting.co.uk

Swoonworthy wood effect tiles

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5 Hook antique rack £33.99

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Black and gold moving gears

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Large distressed blossom

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Rustic metal bar stool, £74.50

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Burghley chair £1519

Darlings of Chelsea

darlingsofchelsea.co.uk

Aged zinc florist’s vase £10.50

The Farthing thefarthing.co.uk

Reclaimed wood chest of

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modishliving.co.uk

Oak towel rail £94 Lime

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Mogg Zio Tom sideboard

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gomodern.co.uk

Vincent Sheppard garden

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vivalagoon.com

115 wealdentimes.co.uk


2

1

4

3

6

Floor plans

All kinds of wooden floors, encaustic tiles and neutral coir-style

carpeting are still gorgeous and desirable flooring choices, but

there are lots of fun new trends for covering the ground beneath

our feet. Even some we thought we’d never like again - wood

effect tiles and patterned carpet - look fresh and exciting in

contemporary interiors

5

7

Herringbone

8

9

All kinds of surfaces, from wood to ceramic and

vinyl tiles look fresh laid in this jazzy pattern

1. Goodrich Espresso Oak £79.95/m 2 Woodpecker Flooring

woodpeckerflooring.co.uk, 2. Lexington Bianco £55+VAT/ m 2 The Stone

Tile Warehouse thestonetilewarehouse.co.uk 3. Amtico Herringbone

flooring from £50/m 2 Dewitt Floors dewittfloors.co.uk, 4. Reclaimed

wood effect floor tiles £19.95/m 2 Walls and Floors wallsandfloors.co.uk

5. Haven wood tiles £32.95/m 2 Walls and Floors wallsandfloors.co.uk

6. Paintwash white tiles £3.17/tile Tile Mountain tilemountain.co.uk

7. Little wood blend tiles £25.99/m 2 Tile Mountain tilemountain.co.uk

8. Herringbone marble polished brick tiles £9.95/sheet Walls and

Floors wallsandfloors.co.uk 9. Tavola tiles £10.99/m 2 Tile Mountain

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wealdentimes.co.uk


at CLARK’S

Carpets and fine floor coverings

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Our comprehensive range of wall and floor tiles

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Natural Stone, Encaustics, Porcelain

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Rug shown Farrago Gold

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wealdentimes.co.uk

118

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


Terrazzo

This tutti frutti flooring inspired by Venetian

pavements is an architects’ fave when poured in place

but also comes in tile form

Quality

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Showroom: The Barn, Main Road, Sundridge, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 6EE

For a free no obligation estimate call us on 01959 563063

visit our website: www.dbwf.co.uk

5 7

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Mulberry Flooring Ltd

DavidBrownWT194.indd 1 20/03/2018 15:11

An independent family run business.

Offering an impressive range of rugs, carpet & hard

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1. Ofelia rustic porcelain floor tile £28.99 Tile Mountain tilemountain.co.uk 2. Lime terrazzo

approx. £54.50+VAT/m 2 In Opera in-opera.co.uk 3. Kaleo terrazzo cement tile from £75.44/

m 2 Terrazzo Tiles terrazzo-tiles.co.uk 4. Verde Alpi approx. £54.50+VAT/m 2 In Opera in-opera.

co.uk 5. Francesca terrazzo cement £72.11/m 2 Terrazzo Tiles, terrazzo-tiles.co.uk 6. TE007

Diespeker £85/m 2 diespeker.co.uk 7. GV terrazzo cement approx. £54.50+VAT/m 2 In Opera

in-opera.co.uk 8. Alameda cement tile £75.44/m 2 Terrazzo Tiles terrazzo-tiles.co.uk 9. Snow

field £85+VAT/m 2 The Stone Tile Warehouse thestonetilewarehouse.co.uk


Visit our lovely showroom at

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119 wealdentimes.co.uk

MulberryFlooringWT193.indd 1 07/03/2018 14:24


Perfectly patterned

2

We’re used to pattern in rugs, but now it’s looking good again in fitted

carpet - geometric, floral, stripe, or plaid (like at Balmoral)

1

3 4

5

6 7

1. Bloomsbury Summer Breeze RRP £59/m 2 Ulster Carpets ulstercarpets.com 2. Crucial Trading 100% wool

Biscayne carpet £65/m2 Dewitt Floors dewittfloors.co.uk 3. Braeburn Myrtle RRP £74/m 2 Ulster Carpets

ulstercarpets.com 4. Blue baroque carpet £39.99 Carpetright carpetright.co.uk 5. Beaumont Turtle Dove RRP

£79/m 2 Ulster Carpets ulstercarpets.com 6. Gleneagles Carpet £29.99 Carpetright carpetright.co.uk

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wealdentimes.co.uk

120


Coban Rugs

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CobanrugsWT194.indd 1 13/03/2018 FreelandsTilesWT194.indd 16:27

1 19/03/2018 12:26

New showroom

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121 wealdentimes.co.uk

C15 M41 Y10 K0

DewittFlooringUKLtdWT194.indd 1 19/03/2018 10:38


SPRING EDIT

The spring/summer collections at Fenwick have landed with an array of uplifting and joyful

colours, from sugared almond pastels to all the colours of a rainbow. Yellow mania continues, but

now with a warmer softer tone. Millennial Pink looks like it here to stay but this season it has a rival,

Lilac; a light purple with a twist. Crinkle silks and linen mixes will create light and shade, and

shape will come in the form of opposites; from soft ethereal layering to strong clean lines with sharp

detailing. Our buyers have travelled far and wide to find product that is quite unique, to inspire our

customers and offer a point of difference, beautiful designs not found everywhere on the high street.

Here is our spring edit, pop into store to discover so much more!

©2018 EILEEN FISHER INC.

FENWICK | CANTERBURY 01227 766866 | TUNBRIDGE WELLS 01892 516716


CONTACT YOUR LOCAL STORE FOR AVAILABILITY | WWW.FENWICK.CO.UK


Rain or shine

With wet weather gear the choice used to be stay dry – or stay stylish, but high tech

fabrics and a new generation of labels have combined the two. Bring on the rain!

We would like to thank the team at Hastings Pier for allowing us to

photograph at this iconic location. For more information on the history

of the pier or upcoming events visit hastingspier.org.uk

Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Kate Watts

Model: Ella Parsons

Make Up: Natasha Valerie Makeup natashavaleriemakeup.com

wealdentimes.co.uk

124


125 wealdentimes.co.uk


Ilse Jacobsen raincoat, £230, Travelling

Bazaar travelling-bazaar.com; denim jacket,

£38.49, Gap at Ashford Designer Outlet

ashforddesigneroutlet.com; printed jumpsuit,

£165, Bod & Ted, bodandted.co.uk;

rust leather clogs, £119, Kitty Clogs

Sweden kittyclogssweden.co.uk


First Page: Soft trench, £99, French Connection at Ashford Designer Outlet, metallic biker jacket, £59, Guess at

Ashford Designer Outlet, frayed hem jeans, £27.99, Gap at Ashford Designer Outlet, leather bag, £89, Jaeger at Ashford

Designer Outlet ashforddesigneroutlet.com; longline shirt, £110, Bod & Ted, bodandted.co.uk; garnet leather clogs, £125,

Kitty Clogs Sweden kittyclogssweden.co.uk. This page: Trench, £149, Jaeger at Ashford Designer Outlet, high waist

trousers, £20.99, Gap at Ashford Designer Outlet ashforddesigneroutlet.com; embroidered hooded sweatshirt, £85, Odyl

odyldesign.com; leather trainers, £90, Travelling Bazaar travelling-bazaar.com

127 wealdentimes.co.uk


Left: Ilse Jacobsen raincoat, £115, Travelling Bazaar travelling-bazaar.com; silk drop waist dress, £215, Bod & Ted, bodandted.co.uk;

D&G sunglasses, £140, Sunglasses Hut at Ashford Designer Outlet, transparent bag, £23, Fiorelli at Ashford Designer Outlet

ashforddesigneroutlet.com. Right: Packmack, £79, Fenwick Tunbridge Wells fenwick.co.uk; Ray Ban sunglasses, £127, Sunglasses Hut at

Ashford Designer Outlet ashforddesigneroutlet.com

wealdentimes.co.uk

128


cashmere and silk knitwear

Ladies Shopping Event

Wednesday 25 th April

5pm–8pm

Enjoy champagne

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Telephone 01580 761222 Shop online at www.cashara.co.uk

Hawkhurst-No6 The Collonade Rye Road Kent. TN184ES

01580 752118

Rye- No12 High Street Rye East Sussex. TN317JF

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Lewes -27 High Street Lewes East Sussex. BN72LU

01273 480896

Come to Charing for White Vanilla

CasharaWT194.indd 1 12/03/2018 CordeliaJamesWT193.indd 16:30

1 06/02/2018 17:10

Our new range of White Vanilla styles plus our core

fashions in cotton, linen and silk have arrived. We’ve

added great accessories to complete the look.

While you’re here, explore the rest of Charing and have tea at

Mulberry’s, choose some great cards and gifts from our friendly

Post Office, or hop along to the butchers for a juicy steak.

44

Opening Hours: Tuesday—Friday 10.30am—5pm

Saturday 10.30am—3.30pm

44 High Street, Charing, Kent TN27 0HX 01233 714689

LINDAPOPEOPTICIANS

FACEBOOK.COM/LINDAPOPEOPTICIANS

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TELEPHONE 01580 753744

129 wealdentimes.co.uk

Elizabeth44WT194.indd 1 16/03/2018 LindapopeWT194.indd 10:14

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130

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Ilse Jacobsen raincoat, £160, Travelling

Bazaar travelling-bazaar.com; star print

neck scarf, £4.50, cross body bag, £19,

M&S at Ashford Designer Outlet,

patchwork denim dress, £75, French

Connection at Ashford Designer

Outlet ashforddesigneroutlet.com


Insane in the Rain jacket, £95,

American Vintage t-shirt, £45,

Paige Hoxton jeans, £275, Fenwick

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garnet leather clogs, £125, Kitty

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132


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133 wealdentimes.co.uk

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Raincoat, £95, Cashara,

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135 wealdentimes.co.uk

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Beauty

Soap stars

Josephine Fairley washes her hands of liquid soap in those

environment-wrecking plastic bottles and goes back to the

good old bar variety

I’m all for life’s small pleasures. A delicious

cappuccino, enjoyed while gazing at a beautiful

view. Dancing around the kitchen, cooking dinner

to a favourite Madeleine Peyroux album. Or a new

bar of soap: fresh, fragrant, the beauty equivalent of

a brand new notebook, or crisp clean sheets.

And you know? I absolutely never take it for granted.

A couple of decades ago I went to Romania with The

Body Shop’s Anita Roddick, to visit the orphanages she

was sponsoring. One night, we drove around the nearby

villages giving away bars of soap from the back of a Body

Shop truck – almost triggering a stampede, because

it turned out: there’d been no soap in that part of the

country for 10 whole years. Gulp.

So I’m delighted that proper bar soap,

eclipsed for virtually a generation by hand

and body washes in pump-action plastic

bottles, is making a comeback.

Banho citron

verbena soap £14

Liberty London

libertylondon.com

And those bottles are one

of the main reasons I’m

glad about this shift.

Increasingly (thanks largely

to David Attenborough…)

we are all starting to think

about the catastrophic

environmental impact

of single-use plastics -

and the bottles which

hand and body washes

come in are some of

the worst offenders.

The components in

them can feature

several different

types of plastic

and sometimes a

metal spring, as

Chypre cedar

poinsettia soap £14

Liberty London

libertylondon.com

“We are all starting

to think about

the catastrophic

impact of singleuse

plastic bottles”

well, which

makes them

Luxury Soap

Collection £40 Floris

florislondon.com

challenging to recycle. In landfill, these hard

plastics will take thousands of years to break

down, so switching to a product where the only

packaging is a piece of paper or simple cardboard is a very

simple step to take to cut down on plastic wastage in your life.

Another reason to shift back to the kind of soap

our grannies used – and which has been traced back

as far as ancient Babylon 5000 years ago – is that it

doesn’t contain any of the increasingly controversial

ingredients which are found in the liquid kind.

Liquid soaps contain sulfate foaming agents, triclosan and

formaldehyde, all of which have been linked to health issues –

too complex to go into here, but very much worth Googling.

And I have another personal reason for

loving old-fashioned bars of beautifully

fragrant soap: I like to store them in drawers

where they make my underwear, knits and

bed linen smell pretty. Another advantage

of this is that if you keep them for a while

they harden off and will last longer, rather

than turning to pulp in your soap dish.

Which is something you may need

to invest in again – or possibly for the first time – if

you’ve been using liquid soap. I like to hunt out pieces

of vintage china and moulded glass to keep my soap in,

but I’ve noticed Zara Home do particularly good soap

dishes, a nice new accessory for your bathroom.

There are countless fabulous soaps, out there, but I

thought I’d share my favourites. So if you’re in the mood

for a new bar, after this, get in a lather over these.

Little Soap Company Natural Olive Oil Bar Soap, £2.95

(littlesoapcompany.co.uk). Little Soap Company create

artisan-style soaps in the Cotswolds, literally - the business

began on the founder Emma Heathcote-James’s kitchen

table. This one uses organic extra virgin olive oil, as

simple, but effective, as soap gets and the olive oil ensures

it’s not drying. Ideal for the touchiest skins. (I find that

some artisan hand-made soaps go squishy very quickly,

but Little Soap Company’s are more resilient.)

137 wealdentimes.co.uk


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Beauty

Fox Trot violet

soap £9.50

Fragrence Direct

fragrancedirect.co.uk

of cedarwood), zesty citrusverbena

Banho, or – when

I can find it – the powdery,

violet-scented Fox Trot.

Liberty carries a wide selection,

including some amazing gift sets.

Fragonard Le Jardin de Fragonard Perle

de Thé Soap, £7.95 (Marks & Spencer

beauty departments and on-line). I’m

crazy in love with Fragonard soaps,

Claus Porto Soaps, from around

£15. These are fabulously packaged,

with eye-catching vintage designs

– and smell equally ravishing.

They’re made in Porto, the

Claus is actually the name of the

German founders, who started

the company in 1887. There are

dozens of soaps in the range, any

of which I’d gladly receive as a gift,

but if pushed to choose favourites,

I’ll opt for Chypre, (a stunningly

sophisticated fragrance, with whispers

which you can watch being made,

if you visit the classic perfume

house’s museum, in Grasse. The

soaps look like porcelain treasures,

embossed with different designs,

in this case, an Indian-inspired

Paisley design on a soap that’s gloriously

jasmine-scented. They do another range

that you can only buy in their stores (I

always stock up in Paris), which look

like exquisite cameos. Great gifts, these.

Chanel No.5 The Bath Soap, £22.

What can I say? The ultimate luxury. My

bar of this scented my underwear gloriously for

Le Jardin de

Fragonard Perle de

Thé Soap £7.95

Fragonard

www-uk.fragonard.

com

months before I finally began to use it; the trail of Chanel

No.5 that it leaves on the skin is really quite impressive.

Bamford Mini Pebble Soap Set, £32. A fab gift (um, to

yourself?), this brings together all three soaps from the

Oxfordshire-based natural beauty brand of which I’m

becoming an ever-more-ardent fan. The scents are rose,

geranium and jasmine, and the very pleasing, hand-friendly

shape is taken from a heart-shaped pebble found on the beach.

L’Occitane Bonne Mère Honey Soap,

Natural olive

oil bar soap, £2.95

Little Soap Company

littlesoapcompany.

co.uk

£5.50. Many of L’Occitane’s

divine soaps are made

using the traditional

Marseilles soap method.

For a mega-swoon, check

out the soaps in their new

Regent Street flagship

store. A must-visit destination

for your next beauty pilgrimage to London

Geranium &

– although this particular choice is a webonly

option, fabulously scented with honey,

rhubarb soap £9

Soap Co

which also has a skin-softening action.

thesoapco.org

Soap Co. Geranium & Rhubarb, £9. Last

autumn I visited the Soap

Co. factory in Walthamstow,

and have been giving their products to

friends ever since. Soap Co. is a new

and very chic venture within a longestablished

charity project offering

employment to blind and otherwise

disabled people and those with mental

health challenges. It’s as heart-warming

as beauty gets, frankly, but the reasons to

buy their soaps (and the rest of the range)

go beyond philanthropy; the range offers

great smells and textures. Here, a coldpressed

soap hand-made from olive oil,

organic cocoa butter, borage and calendula,

and with the loveliest of fragrances.

Floris Luxury Soap Collection, £40.

The soap-lover’s ultimate dream: a beribboned

gift box showcasing six of the

long-established Jermyn Street perfumery’s

most-loved soaps, including White Rose,

Stephanotis, citrusy Cefiro, Lily of the Valley,

Edwardian Bouquet and Rose Geranium – a

movingly nostalgic fragrance, for me, as it was

the scent of my father’s shaving soap, and one which has

been known to make me cry. Yup, that. From a soap.

For daily health and beauty updates from Josephine Fairley,

visit beautybible.com and for all the latest in the fabulous

world of perfume look at perfumesociety.org

“Another reason to shift

back to the kind of soap our

grannies used is that it doesn’t

contain any of the increasingly

controversial ingredients

found in the liquid kind”

139 wealdentimes.co.uk


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140

StonerockDentalPracticeWT194.indd 1 16/03/2018 13:00


Beauty

Spring into

summer

Start getting your body holiday

ready now with non-invasive beauty

treatments to leave you smooth, slim

and sleek – strictly no scalpels!

Alevere weight loss system – Health and Aesthetics, Godalming

If you find before and after weight loss pictures fascinating

– take a look at the ones on the Health and Aesthetics

website. Men and women of various ages who have lost up to

ten stone each on the Alevere system in a matter of months,

not only look astonishingly better, in much nicer clothes –

they all seem so much happier. It’s really inspiring.

But while the aesthetic side of things is great, what’s more

important is that this is a medically based weight loss system,

with very significant health benefits. It’s not just about inches

lost; clients shed that very hard to shift visceral fat, around the

organs, which is so damaging to health, putting you at much

greater risk of getting cancer, among other serious conditions.

The medically supervised weight loss system is based on a

guided protein-rich food programme designed to stablilise

blood sugar so the body achieves and then stays in the crucial

fat-burning ‘ketosis’ state, with weekly health checks and

blood tests to ensure safety.

Clients also have regular Medi Contour ultrasound

treatments, to break down that really dangerous organ fat,

plus Body Analysis, which gives a detailed picture of body

composition. Seeing fat percentages turning steadily into

muscle is very encouraging.

Hannah Betts - Practice Manager and Aesthetics Therapist

What is the nicest things clients say to you after reaching

their goal weight? “They feel like their life has completely

changed. When they tell you that previously they couldn’t

play with their children and now they can keep up with

them, it does make you gulp a little bit ...”

Why do you think the system achieves such amazing

results? “It’s the combination of all the different elements,

but really it’s about attitude. They think they’ve tried

everything and then this starts to work and they feel so

proud of themselves. They also say how helpful all the

encouragement at the clinic is.”

What would you say was the most common amount of

weight people come to you to lose? And how long does it

take? Some are dangerously overweight, but even people who

only want to lose a stone can do it, as long as it’s to get down

to a healthy BMI. A woman on average loses a stone a month

and a man on average a stone and a half.

Are there any other therapies you suggest having to

complement the Alevere system? CoolSculpting is excellent

for removing those stubborn subcutaneous fat bulges which

stay even after a client has lost the visceral fat and reached

their target weight.

Find out more about the Alevere weight loss system,

CoolSculpting and Body Analysis from Health and Aesthetics

in Godalming. They are having a CoolSculpting Event on

20th April with live demonstration, personalised treatment

plans and amazing discounts on the day. 01252 933133

healthandaesthetics.co.uk


141 wealdentimes.co.uk


CoolSculpting – Illuminate Skin Clinic, Kings Hill

Never again do you need to be tempted to look at those

weird online ads which promise to tell you ‘Seven foods

never to eat to lose belly fat…’.

Now you can get rid of those maddening pockets of

flubber that just won’t shift no matter how much you diet

and exercise by having them - literally – melted away by the

CoolSculpting procedure. While lying down. No wonder

CoolSculpting is the world’s number one non-invasive, nonsurgical

fat-reduction procedure. No scalpels, no sucking

tubes and no revolting tanks of extracted fat…

The system was invented by two scientists at Harvard

University who observed that some children got dimples in

their cheeks after eating ice lollies. They investigated and

developed the process of freezing and eliminating small

pockets of fat cells into a safe and effective fat-zapping

treatment, approved by America’s very strict FDA.

Faye Taylor: Medical Aesthetician

How does it work? “It uses a process called Cryolipolysis

to apply targeted cold to small areas of unwanted fat via a

handheld device applied by the therapist. The controlled cold

temperature freezes and damages the fat cells, causing the fat

to be expelled through the body’s lymphatic system.”

How long does each treatment take – and how long does

the effect last? “Depending on how many cycles you have,

each cycle carried out is 60 minutes. The overall result from

the treatment is permanent.”

How many treatments does it take to remove, for example,

a double chin? “Everyone is different with their body shape

so we take this into consideration in a consultation. On

average it is normally one treatment per area.”

What parts of the body can it be used on? “The abdomen,

flanks – sides of body between the hips and ribs - outer

thighs, inner thighs, bra fat, back fat, banana roll (underneath

the buttocks), arms and under the chin.”

Are there any pre-existing conditions that make it

unsuitable to be used? “If there has been any recent surgery

or there is scar tissue it would be necessary to wait six months

before treatment. Any patients with chronic pain, sensitivity

to cold, or anxiety disorder can still be treated, however they

may experience more discomfort during the treatment. We

also don’t treat pregnant woman, because there hasn’t been

any research yet to show it will not harm the baby.”

Does it hurt? And do you have to rest after? “When

the applicator is applied to the skin you may feel slight

discomfort due to the vacuum suction, where we are drawing

the fat cells into the applicator, and the first 10 minutes of

freezing. The next 50 minutes of the treatment is relaxing.

Afterwards, you can carry on with your everyday routine

including going to the gym.”

Does the fat area come back if you put weight on? “Once

the fat cells are removed from the treated area they will not

return - and if you put weight on it will go to another part of

the body. However, if you returned to having a poor diet with

lack of exercise, then remaining fat cells in the treated area

may multiply.”

Illuminate Skin Clinic 01732 647007

illuminateskinclinic.co.uk

IPL laser hair removal – Purenique, Hawkhurst

Shaving, waxing, threading, those terrible smelling

creams…? Forget them all. Superfluous body hair

and all its associated inconvenience can become a distant

memory.

All it takes is an obligation-free complimentary

consultation to make sure you have a sufficient contrast

between body hair colour and skin tone (most people

do) for the treatment to work and to assess the area to be

treated – then you’re off. And so is that maddening hair.

Kimberley Brook – salon owner

What kind of laser do you use? We use the Lynton

Lumina system, medically graded laser equipment, as used

by the NHS, with a gold standard treatment protocol.

How long do the results of laser hair removal last? The

results vary, but permanent reductions in hair growth are

seen in the majority of people. The more treatments you

have, the greater the chances of you achieving longer hairfree

periods. Treated follicles may re-grow hair though

and repeat sessions will likely be needed in the future to

maintain hair free results.

How many treatments does it take for a really good

result and can everybody have it? It varies, but typically

six or more treatments are needed. Most people are suitable

for treatment, although best results are achieved with

clients who have fair skin and dark hair, as dark hair has

a high concentration of melanin. Grey/white hair has no

melanin so is not suitable for treatment.

Does it hurt as much as waxing? Treatment sensation

varies but is often described as “a flick of an elastic band”.

Typically no anaesthesia is required and most clients

describe the discomfort as moderate and tolerable.

Are you doing any pre-summer packages? We are offering

a Summer Body permanent hair removal package, with a

course of six treatments for underarm, bikini line and half

leg (lower or upper) for £1500, which is over £600 cheaper

than getting them done separately.

Find out more from Purenique, Hawkhurst 01580

753383. Book your Free consultation online at.

purenique.co.uk

wealdentimes.co.uk

142


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IDD Therapy has changed Paul’s life

In June 2017, Paul even completed

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Non-invasive treatment solves

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Paul Bowman has always lived an

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bulging discs, and take pressure

off the nerve root, which was

causing my terrible sciatica.”

Because of the severe nature of

his pain, Paul knew that he needed

a series of treatments, but actually

started to feel considerable

relief after the first four. Within

a couple of weeks, he was even

back in the gym, swimming and

walking for pleasure again.

“I walked all the way

around Herm island in a

single afternoon. There

was once a time when

the sciatica was so

intense it made me fall

over. Not any more.”

“Today, I feel fine and I’m near

enough pain-free. Best of all, I can

walk long distances again and

things just keep getting better.”

“A few months after my course

of IDD Therapy, my partner and

I went on holiday to the Channel

Islands, and I walked all the way

around Herm island in a single

afternoon. There was once a time

when the sciatica was so intense it

made me fall over. Not any more.”

“I no longer need the surgery, and

I’ve avoided all the after-effects

of that. I would recommend

this treatment to anyone.”

James Pickering is delighted with

Paul’s progress. “We see so many

patients like Paul, who’ve been

taking painkillers long term, and

struggling with other forms of

treatment, such as physiotherapy.

People often feel like they’ve

run out of options, but we offer

a non-invasive solution that’s

safe, gentle and effective.”

“IDD Therapy is an invaluable

part of our service now, and

our first choice for long term

back, neck and sciatic pain.”

To find out about IDD Therapy

and other treatments offered at

Wealden Osteopaths & Spine

Centre, call: 01580 212833 or visit

www.wealdenosteopaths.co.uk


Wellbeing

A Year of Wellness

The last thing our bodies need when it’s still cool and damp is a

brutal detox with raw food that is hard to digest, much better work in

harmony with your body and the season says Eminé Rushton

April: A gentle cleanse

Detoxes are big business. Pills,

oils, scrubs, masks, juices...

add the word ‘detox’ to the Dlabel and you have people clamouring

to purchase the promise of ‘purifying’

their bodies and shifting weight, while

clearing skin and boosting energy levels

in the process.

As a holistic therapist and student

of Ayurveda, I don’t believe that any

one of us needs to actively detox. We’re

in possession of some hugely effective

in-built detoxification organs and

mechanisms, from our small intestine

and liver, to our kidneys and

skin and what best benefits

our bodies (and minds and

spirits while we’re at it), is

a gentle, seasonal, bodysupporting

cleanse.

As spring arrives

many of us feel the

shift quite naturally,

as the mood lightens, the body

feels more vital and the urge for

fresh, vibrant green foods takes

hold. This is the ideal time to

work with your body, to help clear

winter’s ‘leftovers’.

In Ayurvedic terms, there is often a

build up of damp, cold energy in the

body after winter and it is helpful to get

things moving, before the spring cough

and cold can take hold (which is simply

nature’s way of getting excess mucous

out of the system).

I begin with Weleda Birch Juice,

£10.95 (weleda.co.uk), an allnatural

age-old tonic that

supports the body’s inbuilt

cleansing processes, taking it

with warm water, in

the morning.

“Steer away

from raw juice

and foods until

the weather is

properly warm”

Dry body brushing is also very helpful

at getting the lymph moving, flushing

out any small pockets of toxicity, which

can build up in the adipose tissue. Begin

with the soles of the feet, then work up

the calves, thighs and buttocks before

going down the arms, back and gently

over the chest and tummy.

A generous dousing of oil on the skin

should follow. In Ayurveda, organic

sesame oil is considered wonderful for

heating a system, while organic coldpressed

sunflower oil is good for all body

types and conditions. Massage in well.

Given that spring

in England is still cool

(and often wet), make

daily food decisions that

support the body, based

upon the weather, mood

and appetite – and steer

away from raw juice and

foods until the weather

is properly warm. It takes a fair bit

of digestive energy to break down

uncooked roughage and fibre and if

the immune system is flagging, you can

actually deplete yourself further.

Cold mornings are amply warmed

with steaming porridge, served with

seasonal stewed fruit and cinnamon.

Cook some linseed into the oatmeal to

get the bowels spring-cleaned

too. Warmer days can support

raw, live yoghurt eaten at room

temperature, delicious with

homemade granola.

If it’s cold outside, cook up

the season’s first spring greens

with cinnamon, ginger and

garlic for stews and warm

salads, or whizz into a soup

that will warm up the innards.

Eminé Rushton is Wellbeing Director-at-Large at Psychologies magazine, and

co-founder of the conscious living blog, The Balance Plan, balanceplan.co.uk

As our bodies start

to shift into spring, it’s

also important to support the

process with at least eight glasses of

warm, filtered water daily. Herbal teas

count toward your intake. Naturally

detoxifying nettle, burdock, elderflower

and fennel, are just the ticket.

And fennel being perfectly in season

in spring, is also an ideal cleansing

veg. Try baking it with fish, for lunch

or dinner, too. Great spring herbs

that support the inner cleanse include

chervil, tarragon, rosemary and mint.

Bake, cook, garnish with them and

you’re getting extra flavour, with

antioxidants to boot.

And no spring awakening would be

complete without a thought for the

quality of our breath. Lungs can take

a bit of a battering over winter, with

perpetual central heating inside, and

gale-force winds out, so work to open

them up with breath-led yoga. And

in this glorious season of renewal, just

get outside a bit more, for brisk walks

and gentle jogs, through parks and

woodland.

Feed your soul

In Grow, Cook, Nourish bestselling cookbook

author and legendary cook Darina Alllen draws

on more than 30 years’ experience gardening

at her Irish home Ballymaloe to explain not

only how to grow and cultivate, but to cook

inventively and excitingly with home-grown

produce – great if you have a glut.

With over 500 recipes, this enormous

book will likely stay in our family

for generations. An instant classic.

Grow, Cook, Nourish Kyle Books

£30. Read more about Darina

Allen at ballymaloe.ie

Credit: Evans Amos, Freeimages.com/Karl Mooney, John Evans, Sarah Williams, Jozef Szoke


FROM

£15.96

PER MONTH

It’s reassuring to know

that help is at hand,

even if you can’t be.

Your loved one cherishes independence.

You need to know they’re safe.

Welbeing’s Telecare service provides

affordable 24-hr support you can trust.

It’s precious peace of mind for everyone.

For more details call

01323 644422

www.welbeing.org.uk


Wellbeing

Natural wisdom

Nutritional therapist Henrietta Norton, of Wild Nutrition

supplements, shares the practices and resources that support her in

her busy life as a mother and businesswoman

Henrietta Norton is the co-founder

of the trailblazing supplements

brand, Wild Nutrition, which uses

a special ‘Food-Grown’ process that

guarantees maximum beneft. Having

suffered with chronic and debilitating

endometriosis throughout her 20s,

she was told she would never have

children. Determined to overcome her

condition, she sought out a nutritional

therapist who specialised in female

health, before going on to train herself.

Now, as a mother of three, product

formulator and practising therapist, she

is dedicated to helping other women

turn their health around too.

What one piece of seasonal wisdom

helps you in April?

“Walking in nature. This helps me all

year round, in a different way each

season. In April, I find it immensely

uplifting and cleansing.”

Which area of self-care do you never

skimp on?

“The quality of my food. As a society

we have to take more responsibility

and be aware of the way our food is

produced and grown, on a nutritional,

environmental and spiritual level.

A great inspiration for this is Satish

Kumar’s book Soil, Soul and Society.

We are lucky to have great local meat,

veg and fruit suppliers. For cupboard

staples I use my local health food store

Charlotte’s Cupboard. This is a brilliant

packaging-free food delivery service. You

provide your own containers and pay by

weight.” charlottescupboard.com

What’s cooking in your kitchen this

month? “I am getting very creative with

vegetables. Spring greens, chard and

courgettes are being lightly fried with

fresh herbs (whatever is in the garden),

garlic, lots of lemon juice and zest,

generous portions of virgin olive oil,

cracked pepper and rock salt. This is

either a wonderful meal in itself or as

an accompaniment to pasta, rice or

fresh fish.”

Is there one book that taught you

something amazing about life – and

made you better at living it?

“Without doubt Limitless Sky by

David Charles Manners (who,

coincidentally, happens to be a

Wealden dweller) which describes the

true story of a young man who on

a chance meeting in Nepal, begins

an inspiring, enlightening personal

journey facilitated by a Nepalese

Shaman in the Himalayas.”

What always makes you smile?

“My children. They bring a lot of

other faces too....but without fail,

many smiles each and every day.”

wildnutrition.com

Give your skin a treat

Are you starting to think about that spring clean yet? Not just the

house, it’s also the perfect time to spring clean our skin with a face

mask. Taking an extra 10 minutes, even once a week, can give skin

time to renew and regenerate, revealing your spring glow.

To achieve this, we tried Freyaluna’s Bright & Beautiful

Brightening Face Mask, full of natural ingredients designed to

reduce inflammation, hydrate and improve circulation to the skin

surface. The active combination of rosehip, coffee and turmeric

feed the skin with vitamin C, stimulate and heal. The powder

formation is great as you can tailor this mask to suit your skin

type, mixing with aloe vera gel for spot-prone skin, or a few drops

of a facial oil for an extra moisture boost.

Relax with the mask on for 10 minutes and remove in

circular motions with warm water and a muslin cloth,

to add gentle exfoliation.

Freyaluna Bright & Beautiful Brightening Face

Mask costs £8 for 10g packet or £25 for a 40g jar.

freyaluna.co.uk (review by Kate Watts)

Eminé says:

Try this in April

Practising yoga has become the

healthy, spiritual foundation of

my week. When I can’t get to my

regular classes at the brilliant

Kingdom Yoga in Penshurst,

I turn to my online teachers,

at Movement for Modern

Life. Via their videos, I

practise yin yoga, yoga

nidra and hatha

yoga, dependent

on my needs of the

day all in the comfort

of my bedroom while my children sleep.

Bliss ! movementformodernlife.com

147


From an

English

garden

Vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter,

Aaron Bertelsen has written a cookbook which

celebrates the link between the plot and kitchen

so precious to the garden’s iconic creator, the late

Christopher Lloyd

Words: Aaron Bertelsen Photographs: Andrew Montgomery


Food

Beet top and feta tart

Serves 8 Prep time: 15. Cooking time: 50-60 mins

Beetroot tops are often ready in the spring before the spinach

and chard, which is what gave me the inspiration for this tart.

They have a nutty, earthy flavour and are also good eaten on

their own as a steamed or boiled vegetable. I love this tart so

much that I cook and freeze the leaves for use all year.

Rhubarb tart

Serves 8 Prep time: 15 mins plus chilling Cooking time: 45-50 mins

Spring rhubarb is wonderfully pink and tender, so you can

dispense with the poaching step and put it straight into a pastry

case, with a little brown sugar before putting it in the oven. The

sugar caramelizes to give an almost toffee-like flavour. Eat hot or

cold. Either way, it goes well with cream, custard or ice-cream.

• Oil or butter, for greasing

• 1 quantity chilled

shortcrust pastry

• flour, for dusting

• beet tops (greens) from

8 plants, rinsed and

chopped

• 175 g/6 oz feta cheese,

diced or crumbled

• 300 ml/10 oz

(1¼ cups) crème fraîche

• 3 eggs

• 100 ml/3½ fl oz

(scant ½ cup) milk

• salt and pepper

1Preheat the oven to

180°C/350°F/Gas Mark

4, placing an oven rack in

the lower part of it. Grease

a 30-cm/12-inch loosebottom

tart pan. Roll out

the pastry (dough) on a

lightly floured work surface

until it is large enough to

line your tart pan.

Put the beet tops

2 (greens) into a pan with

just the water that clings to

them after washing. Cover

with a lid, cook over low

heat for about 5 minutes

until wilted. Let cool, then

drain and spread over the

bottom of the pastry case

(shell). Sprinkle with the

feta.

3Put the crème fraîche,

eggs and milk into a

bowl and beat together.

Pour this mixture into the

pastry case and season with

salt and pepper. Place on a

baking sheet and bake for

40–45 minutes until just set.

Take the tart out of the

4 oven and carefully slip

off the outer ring, leaving

the tart sitting on the base.

Return to the oven on

5 the baking sheet for

another 5–10 minutes so

that the sides get really crisp.

• Butter, for greasing

• 1 quantity chilled sweet

shortcrust pastry

• flour, for dusting

• 1 kg/2¼ lb rhubarb,

chopped into 5-cm/2-inch

pieces

• 2 tablespoons demerara

(turbinado) sugar

• 120 g/4 oz (½ cup) caster

sugar, plus extra for

sprinkling (optional)

1Preheat the oven to

190°C/375°F/Gas Mark

5, placing an oven rack in

the lower part of it. Butter a

25-cm/10-inch loose-bottom

tart pan.

2Roll out the pastry

(dough) thinly on a

lightly floured work surface

and use to line the prepared

pan. If using spring rhubarb,

arrange it in the pastry case

(shell) and sprinkle with the

demerara (turbinado) sugar.

If not using spring rhubarb,

put the caster (superfine)

sugar and 200 ml/

7 fl oz (¾ cup) water into

a pan and stir together over

medium heat until the sugar

dissolves. Bring to a gentle

boil, then add the chopped

rhubarb and simmer for 1

minute – you don’t

want it to lose its shape.

Drain the rhubarb, then

arrange inside the pastry case.

3Place the filled case on

a baking sheet and bake

on a low oven rack for 40

minutes. Take the tart out of

the oven and carefully slip

off the outer ring, leaving the

tart sitting on the base.

4Return to the oven on the

baking sheet for another

5–10 minutes so that the sides

get really crisp.

Slide the tart onto a plate and

sprinkle with caster sugar,

if desired. Let cool to room

temperature before serving.

149 wealdentimes.co.uk


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Wine tasting club

wealdentimes.co.uk

150

FizzOnFootS41.indd 1 28/02/2018 14:14


Frozen pea and mint pesto

Makes 3 small jars Prep time: 10 mins. Cooking time: 5 mins

An excellent item for your storecupboard (pantry), pesto is great

for using up gluts of produce. This recipe is perfect

for using up any forgotten peas in the freezer, and it is a real

taste of summer, which I hanker for in the winter. It is

delicious with pasta, adding a real depth of flavour.

• 250 g/9 oz (about 2 cups)

shelled fresh or frozen

peas (about 900 g/2 lb in

their pods)

• 2 fat cloves garlic, finely

chopped

• 50 g/2 oz (about ⅓ cup)

pine nuts, toasted

• 50 g/2 oz Parmesan

cheese, chopped into

small chunks

• good handful mint leaves

• 6 tablespoons extra virgin

olive oil

1Cook the peas in a pan

of boiling water for 2–3

minutes, until just tender, then

drain and refresh in cold water.

Drain again and pat dry.

2Tip the peas into a blender

or food processor and add

the remaining ingredients.

Pulse very briefly, until

everything is roughly chopped.

Don’t overdo it – the mixture

should still have some texture.

3To store, put into a tightly

lidded container, cover the

surface with a little more olive

oil and store in the refrigerator

for 1 week, or freeze in plastic

food bags for up to 1 month.


151 wealdentimes.co.uk


26 Maytham Road • Rolvenden Layne • Kent TN17 4NP

Telephone 01580 241837 • www.eweandlamb.co.uk

Situated in the idyllic Kent countryside,

off the beaten track with a cosy

and relaxing atmosphere.

Whether it’s a meal with loved ones or a

business lunch, catch up over a glass of Chablis

or pint of Harveys. You are always welcome.

We pride ourselves on home cooked local produce with

a new lunch and main menu for the Spring season.

Nothing beats a log fi re and a freshly cooked meal.

All wines are available by the glass and with

over 20 choices, there’s something for everyone.

We off er a variety of both vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Around the world at the Ewe and Lamb.

Every Monday night we travel and sample a delight from a

different country. Phone now to book your seat with us.

Park Farm Butchers & Graziers

Where Quality Comes Naturally

EweAndLambWT194.indd 1 21/03/2018 18:35

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From our traditionally managed farm

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TAKING ORDERS FOR EASTER

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· 21 day matured Sussex beef · Free range Berkshire Pork

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· Chipolatas & Sausagemeat · Sausages · Cooked Hams

FRUIT & VEGETABLE SELECTION - LOCAL & SEASONAL

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wealdentimes.co.uk

152

ParkFarmWT194.indd 1 21/03/2018 18:22


Food

Beetroot chutney

Makes 5kg/11lb Prep time: 30mins. Cooking time: 1 ¼ hours

Chutney is a great way of using up gluts of produce – we often

have lots of beetroot in the garden at Great Dixter. This recipe

is courtesy of Mary Coward, mother of Tom Coward, head

gardener at Gravetye Manor.

• 1 kg/2¼ lb Bramley

(Cortland or Granny

Smith) apples, peeled,

cored and sliced weight

• 2 kg/4½ lb raw beetroot

(beet), peeled and

roughly chopped

• 1 kg/2¼ lb (about 6

cups) soft light brown

sugar

• 450 g/1 lb (3 cups)

sultanas or golden raisins

• 3½ tablespoons salt

• 1 tablespoon ground

ginger

• 1 small onion, finely

chopped

• 500 ml/18 fl oz (2 cups)

malt vinegar

1Put the apples into a

heavy pan with a little

water, cover and

cook gently for about 10

minutes until soft but not

mushy.

2Add all the remaining

ingredients to the pan

and boil for 1 hour or more,

until the mixture thickens

and erupts in small craters,

like lava in a volcano.

Spoon into warm,

3 sterilized jars, cover with

a double layer

of greaseproof (wax) paper,

then seal tightly, label and

date.

The chutney can be eaten

immediately, although I

think it’s best stored in a

cool place and enjoyed after

a year.

Pickled pears

Makes 3 x 450g/1lb jars Prep time: 15mins. Cooking time: 20mins

It was my friend Tom Coward, head gardener at Gravetye

Manor, who first introduced me to this lovely preserve. There

are lots of recipes for pickled pears, but some take up to a week

to prepare. This version can be made in an evening, and I have

found the results to be just as good, though they are best left for

a month before eating so that the flavours can really penetrate the

fruit. Use pears that still have some bite, but not so much that

you cannot get your teeth into them, and make sure you reduce

the liquid well to intensify the flavour. The pears go really well

with blue cheese.

• 900 g/2lb pears, peeled,

cored and sliced

• 425 ml/14½ fl oz (1¾

cups) apple cider vinegar

• 450 g/1 lb (2 cups) caster

sugar

• 1 cinnamon stick

• 10 cloves

• thumb-size piece of stem

ginger, sliced

1Put all the ingredients into

a pan with 850 ml/1½

pints (3½ cups) water and

cook slowly until the pears

start to soften, but only just

(about 10 minutes). You want

them to retain a bit of bite.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer

the pears to a colander and set

aside to drain.

2Meanwhile, increase the

heat under the syrup left

in the pan and boil rapidly

for 15 minutes, or until it has

reduced by about a third and

thickened slightly.

3Pack the fruit into warm,

sterilized jars and pour in

enough hot syrup to cover.

Seal immediately and store for

a month before eating.

153 wealdentimes.co.uk


Brewery Tours

FAvershAm Kent

01795 542016

WWW.SHEPHERDNEAME.CO.UK


Makes 30-40 slices Prep time: 20 mins.

Cooking time: 2 ½ hours

This is my grandmother’s recipe, so very special to me. The cake

is intensely fruity and moist. I sometimes make it in the evening,

turning the oven off after two and a half hours and leaving it in

the oven overnight so it has time to settle. In an airtight container,

wrapped in greaseproof paper, it will keep for months.

• 1 kg/2¼ lb (10 cups)

mixed dried fruit, plus an

extra 50 g/2 oz

• (½ cup) each of sultanas

or golden raisins and

currants

• 12 pitted prunes, chopped

• 1 x 400-g/14-oz can

sweetened condensed milk

• 225 g/8 oz (2 sticks)

butter

• 1 tablespoon black treacle

Nana’s fruit cake

(molasses)

• 1 tablespoon golden syrup

or corn syrup

• dash vanilla extract

• dash brandy

• 350 ml/12 fl oz (1½ cups)

water

• 50 g/2 oz (½ cup) flaked

(slivered) almonds

• 1 slightly heaped teaspoon

bicarbonate of soda

(baking soda)

• 1 teaspoon mixed

(apple pie) spice

• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 300 g/11 oz

(scant 2½ cups) plain

(all-purpose) flour

• 1 slightly heaped teaspoon

baking powder

1Preheat the oven to

140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1.

Line a 23-cm/ 9-inch square

cake pan with parchment

(baking) paper. Put the dried

fruit, prunes, condensed milk,

butter, treacle (molasses),

syrup, vanilla and brandy

into a pan. Add the water

and bring to a simmer for 5

minutes.

2Let cool slightly before

stirring in the almonds,

bicarbonate

of soda (baking soda) and

spices. Finally, incorporate

the flour and baking powder

a bit at a time, stirring well

between each addition.

3Pour the mixture into the

prepared pan and bake

for 2½ hours. Turn off the

oven and leave the cake in

there to settle – I usually do

this overnight. The

following day, turn

it out and store it

as described in the

introduction.

The Great Dixter Cookbook is published by Phaidon £24.95. Wealden Times readers can buy it with a 30% discount

and free UK shipping, using the code DX30 at phaidon.com/dixter offer open until 25 June. Aaron Bertelsen is

appearing at The Garden Hub at the Midsummer Fair, see page 22 in the Garden Supplement.


155


At Your Service

Extraordinary food and a

warm welcome guaranteed

Book a table: thebellinticehurst.com or 01580 200300

www.thebellinticehurst.com

BellinTicehurstWT194.indd 1 12/03/2018 BullAtBenendenWT194.indd 17:07

1 19/03/2018 12:30

The George Inn

High Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5AW

01580 880315 www.thegeorgerobertsbridge.co.uk

Delicious freshly

cooked local food

Bar, Restaurant

& Rooms

Come and spoil your

loved ones with us

Easter Weekend

Sunday 1 st April

Forthcoming Events

Live Music

Sunday 29 th April

Big Royal Bash

Saturday 19 th May

wealdentimes.co.uk

156

GeorgeInnRobertsbridgeWT194.indd 1 21/03/2018 15:17


Food

Spice it up

Chef Oscar Fonseca Volknar is adding South American

flair to the food at a classic British venue

The most British of institutions, a

country inn, in a perfect English

village –- The Bell in Ticehurst,

may not be the place where you would

expect to find dishes influenced by the

cuisine of the ancient Inca empire.

But without changing the core values

of this much-loved venue, Colombianborn

head chef Oscar Fonseca Volkmar

has introduced a sprinkling of South

American spice, taking traditional

British dishes and reinventing them with

the influence of his own heritage cuisine.

The chorizo Scotch eggs recipe below

has become a classic on the Bell menu.

Other dishes with Oscar’s southern

hemisphere touch include ribeye steak

served with chimichurri, a sauce of finely

chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive

oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar.

Calves’ liver is marinated and cooked

using the traditional anticuchos method

of grilled skewered meat, which can

be traced back to the Inca empire.

At pudding time there is caramelised

banana, served with banana ice cream,

almond and coconut crumble and

dulce de leche. So Scotch eggs to

start, steak, then crumble… a classic

British menu, with a cheeky touch of

South American flair. Estupendo!

Chorizo scotch quail eggs

with guacamole

Makes 12 portions

For the scotch eggs

• 250g cooking Spanish chorizo

• 100g Cumberland sausage meat

• 12 quail eggs

• 2 eggs lightly beaten

• 100g plain flour

• 100g panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

• Vegetable oil for deep frying

For the guacamole

• 4 large ripe avocado

• 4tbs chopped fresh coriander

• 3tbs chopped jalapeño chillies (seeds

and membranes removed)

• 4tbs chopped red onion

• 4tbs cored, seeded, and finely

chopped plum tomato

• 4tbs lime juice

• Drizzle of rape seed oil

• Salt & pepper to season

Scotch eggs

To make the chorizo and sausage

1 meat casing, chop and dice the

cooking chorizo really fine. Meanwhile

heat a little bit of oil in a heavy based

pan over a medium heat and sauté

the chorizo until the oil and fat from

the chorizo starts to render making

sure it does not start to caramelise.

Take off the heat and allow to cool.

Place the sausage meat in a food

2 processor (if you don’t have one you

can do this with your hands, in a bowl)

with the cooled chorizo and pulse until

the two meats are well combined. Place

in a container and put it in the fridge.

the quail eggs, pierce the base

3For of each egg with a pin (this makes

the eggs easier to peel later on). Bring 1

litre of water with a dash of vinegar to

the boil over a medium heat. Add the

eggs and cook for 2 minutes and 20-25

seconds, depending on the size. Remove

and refresh in ice water for 10 minutes.

Carefully peel the eggs, place in

a container and refrigerate.

Pre-heat the oven to 180c.

4Split the chorizo and sausage mixture

into 25g balls and flatten each

ball between the palms of your hands

into a ½ cm thick round patty. Place a

quail’s egg in the centre of a patty and

carefully wrap the meat mix around the

egg to enclose completely. Repeat the

process with all the remaining eggs.

3Arrange 3 bowls in a row,

to separately hold the flour,

beaten egg and panko.

Roll the scotch eggs in flour, then

dip in the beaten egg and then roll

in the panko breadcrumbs. Repeat

the process till all the eggs are

completely covered in breadcrumbs.

Fill a large heavy-based saucepan or deep

fryer with oil and heat up to 180c.

Deep fry the scotch eggs in batches

till golden brown, drain on a paper

towel and place in the oven for 4

minutes. Take out of the oven, cut

in half and sprinkle with sea salt.

Guacamole

mash the avocados in a

1Gently bowl until chunky but smooth

then drizzle over the rape seed oil.

Fold the coriander, onion, jalapeño

and tomato into the mixture. Stir in

the lime juice and adjust the seasoning

with salt and pepper to taste.

In the restaurant we serve these

on deep-fried tostadas (see

photo), but they are also delicious

served with warmed tortillas.

The Bell, Ticehurst TN5 7AS

01580 200300 thebellinticehurst.com

157 wealdentimes.co.uk


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WT Garden Supplement

Contents

Chick, chick,

chick, chicken

page 21

6 In full bloom

Jennifer Stuart-Smith’s tips for planting

your own cutting garden

11 Outside living

Great furniture for the great outdoors

12 Inside out

Gorgeous garden buildings

15 Cool veg for warmer days

Jo Arnell’s guide to getting ahead

18 Pretty practical

Lovely things for garden life

21 Chick, chick, chick, chicken

Martin Gurdon’s life with feathery friends

22 Everything in the Garden Hub is lovely

The thrilling speakers at the

Wealden Times Midsummer Fair

25 Animal Magic

Water in your garden attracts fauna and

flora says Sue Whigham

29 How does your garden grow?

Expert horticulturalists on the joys of brand new

hedges, bespoke garden tonics and landscape design

33 Grass roots

When it comes to lawns – don’t do it yourself

Pretty practical

page 18

3

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wealdentimes.co.uk

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BattleMowersWT194.indd 1 05/03/2018 SissinghurstCastleWT192.indd 16:36

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WT Garden Supplement

Editor’s letter

Animal Magic

page 25

Welcome to our Garden Supplement. I’m currently

in the process of renovating a house and

the front garden is in a very sorry state, to the

point I’m worried that my lovely neighbours might stage

an intervention. So I fell on all the information in these

articles as they landed in my inbox from our brilliant contributors,

looking for inspiration, but more importantly –

for expert advice.

If anyone can teach me to grow a decent crop of courgettes,

it’s Jo Arnell, and Sue Whigham has convinced me

that I must have a water source of some kind in my finished

garden to encourage wildlife into it.

But while I am excited at the prospect of getting my own

hands into the soil (perhaps with a Great Crested Newt for

company...) talking to landscape designers, mature hedge

and tree specialists, and lawn masters has reminded me of

the enormous benefits of calling in the professionals.

For now I’m dreaming of a time when my vegetable plot

is brusting with produce in a professionally designed and

planted garden, with at least one lovely tree – and the gorgeous

outdoor furniture I will be admiring it all from.

Happy gardening.

5 wealdentimes.co.uk

PetalsForPlantsWT194.indd 1 09/03/2018 10:15


WT Garden Supplement

In full bloom

Jennifer

Stuart-Smith of

Blooming Green shares her

expert knowledge on how

to start your own cutting

garden and fill your house

with flowers

Nothing gives a house a lift like

vases of fresh flowers – there’s

a reason interiors stylists

always arrive at shoots with armloads

of them – but until quite recently

most people only had cut flowers as an

occasional treat on special occasions,

or if in the summer months, they had

a garden from which they could snip a

few blooms without spoiling the display.

Dedicated cutting gardens for a

constant source of fresh flowers were

mostly the preserve of stately homes,

with walled gardens, a team of gardeners

to tend the banks of peonies and

housekeepers to trim and arrange them.

Things have changed now that

supermarkets stock banks of very cheap

cut flowers – but the almost painfully

bright colours of them and how

unnaturally long they last gives a hint

of how they are produced and gradually,

people have become more aware of

where their flowers come from.

With that understanding, rather

like the organic produce and veg

box schemes, people are now more

appreciative of seasonality, variety and,

in the case of flowers, scent. People

drive miles to pick their own flowers

at our cutting gardens in Kent and our

wedding customers in particular, go

wild for the ‘just picked’ wild-flower

look.

The idea for setting up our business

came about well over a decade ago,

when I was working on a newspaper

and kept on seeing articles about the

unpleasant side of the global floristry

industry; poor working conditions, the

use of unpleasant chemicals and masses

of plastic packaging.

My cousin Rebekah,

who has a background in

environmental biology

and horticulture, was

considering new avenues

alongside raising a family,

so together we hatched the

idea of setting up an ecofriendly

‘green’ floristry business.

Our flowers are grown on two sites,

in the countryside south of Maidstone,

on what were once orchards. We grow

at least 500 varieties of flowers and

foliage, so that we have something

to suit every taste, from April right

through to October, and we cultivate

“You don’t have

to have a large

garden to grow

your own cutting

flowers ”

them using an organic ‘no-dig’ method

that improves productivity, soil health

and saves our backs too.

But you don’t have to have a field, or

even a large garden to grow your own

cutting flowers. By planning ahead,

choosing your plants carefully and using

every bit of available space you can have

a steady supply of blooms for the house,

or for friends, in spring, summer and

autumn.

And once you get into having – truly

– fresh flowers and foliage

in your home, it can

be hard to live without

them, and even in winter

you can find interesting

things in the hedgerow

or cut stems of winterflowering

shrubs such as

forsythia.

When it comes to deciding where

to plant your cutting flowers, there are

many options. You don’t even need a

dedicated cutting patch – simply dot

plants in your herbaceous borders, plant

them amongst your vegetables, potagerstyle,

or grow some in containers

outside the back door.

wealdentimes.co.uk

6


WT Garden Supplement

Finding great varieties of cut flowers

to grow is also easier these days, as seed

merchants, nurseries and garden centres

have cottoned on to the demand for

home-grown flowers and have developed

wonderful new varieties, perfect for

cutting.

Always check labels and descriptions

for the ‘scissors symbol’ or any reference

to stem length and suitability for

cutting. In order to have a good variety

of blooms and foliage, it’s a good idea

to plant a mixture of annuals (seed to

flower in one year), biennials (seed to

leaves in the first year, then to flowers in

the second), herbaceous perennials (grow

and flower for more than two years) and

shrubs (perennials with woody, rather

than sappy stems).

To get you started here are a few of

our favourite cutting flowers arranged,

roughly, by when they are ready for

cutting – although this will of course

depend on factors such as when you sow

and what the weather chooses to do.

Sweet rocket Frothy sweetly scented

flowers in purple or white or pale pink

when there is not much else around

(May/June). Biennial (flowers in its

second year)

Sweet William Clusters of flowers

smelling lovely in a range from white

pink and red and purple an absolute

classic. Flower June-September. Biennial

Ammi visnaga A white cow-parsleylike

flower, that’s great as a filler and

more robust than its cousin Ammi

majus. Flowers June-September.

7 wealdentimes.co.uk


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WT Garden Supplement

Hardy annual easy to grow from seed

and readily self-seeds.

Mint A great foliage and also a

wonderful flower in purple or white

which insects go crazy over. Flowers

throughout the summer, though we

tend to use it for foliage. Just the job

for Pimms. Perennial which spreads

by roots; will go mad left to its own

devices.

Dill Big umbels of lime green flowers,

edible, great for bees and an awesome

filler. Hardy annual, easy to grow from

seed and self-seeds readily. Use the seed

heads decoratively, from June until the

autumn.

Cosmos Large flowers from red to

pink and white, can grow lovely and

big. Blooms from June, all summer.

Half-hardy annual very easy to grow

from seed.

Achillea Small plates of tiny

flowers in all shades of yellow, orange,

red, pink and white, from June to

September. Very dreamy and meadowlike.

Short-lived perennial really easy

to grow from seed.

Sunflower (Soraya or Valentine)

These sunflowers produce many

heads and are great for cutting. Soraya

is orange yellow and Valentine is a

delicate pale lemon, flowering from

midsummer to autumn. Half-hardy

annual.

Agastache Spikes of flowers in

white, blue pink and orange. Smells

delicious and the minty flowers and

foliage are edible. Perennial, easy to

grow from seed and flowers from July

to September.

Verbena bonariensis Small clusters

of luminous purple flowers are held

above the rest of the flower bed on

long straight stalks, flowering from

July to November. Butterflies adore

them. Perennial easy to grow from

seed and self-seeds very readily.

Jen Stuart-Smith & Bek Bibby are

co-founders of Blooming Green, an

eco-friendly floristry business based

at Linton, near Maidstone, where in

summer months you can pick-yourown

fresh flowers to fill your house

with blooms.

If you would like to learn how to

grow your own cut flowers, need

flowers while your garden grows – or

have a wedding coming up - visit

bloominggreenflowers.co.uk

How to keep

your cut

flowers fresh

for longer

Strip any leaves from stems so

that they don’t sit below the

water level in your vase

Always use a clean vase and

replace the water regularly as

bacteria can build up and reduce

the life of your cut flowers

Add a splash of lemonade to

the water. The carbon dioxide

inhibits bacterial growth while

the sugar will make your flowers

last longer

Position your vase carefully. The

vase life of your flowers will

be reduced if they are placed

somewhere warm or in direct

sunlight

Keep cut flowers away from fruit

bowls as fruit produces ethylene

which causes cut flowers to die

9 wealdentimes.co.uk


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wealdentimes.co.uk

14

GeoffTiltmanWT194.indd 1 19/03/2018 GardenShowWT194.indd 10:16

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WT Garden Supplement

SEE JO ARNELL

AT THE

WEALDEN TIMES

MIDSUMMER FAIR

ON THURSDAY

7 JUNE

Cool veg for

warmer days

It’s the moment Jo Arnell has been waiting for since

October – time to get going in the veggie patch

It’s all about to take off in the vegetable garden and the

first of the summer harvests are just around the corner.

The weather and soil are warming, the light has come

back and the garden is properly waking up. April is the

perfect month for sowing quick to mature crops that will

be ready in a few weeks time and also for starting off tender

crops under cover to plant out when the frosts have gone.

Some of us have been waiting since October for this

moment.That same some of us (we know who we are) have

also, in previous years, ended up with an enormous glut of

crops; either too much of one thing, or a single glorious

harvest of everything in late summer - and nothing before or

after. The beginning of the season is an exciting place to be,

but it is just the beginning and we must plan before we plant

- and keep our cool.

Direct sowing

You can tell when it’s time to start sowing crops directly

outside if you look at a patch of bare earth in the garden.

Tiny weedlings will be popping up, eager to conquer the

world. Weeds have learned to be cunning and are always

ahead of our pampered plants, but we can use them as coal

miners once used canaries, as a sign that it’s safe to sow some

seeds of our own.

In newly cultivated soil you will often see a great rash of

weeds appear, brought up to the surface through cultivation -

and mingling disastrously with precious seedlings. It is worth

preparing the soil a few weeks before you sow; then you can

hoe off the weedlings prior to sowing or planting the crops.

Sow in rows, because this makes it easier to spot your crop

when it emerges - weeds are wayward outlaws and don’t care

for straight lines. You can avoid most of the direct sowing

pitfalls by growing crops in pots and planting them out once

they’ve grown a few leaves. You can buy them at this stage

too. It is not cheating, but it does mean you don’t get a huge

choice of cultivar.

Some like it hot

Vegetables like French and runner beans, courgettes,

tomatoes, squash and sweetcorn are not frost hardy, so cannot

be safely grown outside until at least the middle of May. The

problem is that in order to get a reliable harvest, many of

them need to be started off before this. Sow seeds under cover

- on a window sill or in a greenhouse and then gradually

harden them off before planting outside.

These crops (like some of us) need lots of hot summer days

for best results, so find a warm sheltered place for them. They

can be thirsty too, especially those that form fruits or juicy

pods, so they may need extra watering if the weather does

become hot and dry.


15 wealdentimes.co.uk


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My soil dries out quickly, so I usually dig something called

a ‘bean trench’, which involves making a trench in the bed

about 50-70cm deep and filling it with a combination of

kitchen waste and compost. You can use anything organic

that will help to hold in the moisture; I have used newspaper,

cardboard, old woollen jumpers, even an old hat. Then pile

on some soil and plant the crop. The compost layer will act

as a reservoir later in the season and keep the roots cool and

damp in dry weather.

Some like it cooler

A few vegetables respond to warmer weather by getting

overexcited and running to seed almost as soon as you’ve sown

them. These cool weather crops do not like hot dry weather,

so grow things like spinach, rocket, coriander and oriental

greens in early spring or late summer and avoid growing them

at the height of the summer.

The quickest summer harvests

If you are impatient to see results, there are vegetables that

will spring into action and be ready for harvest in as little

as 3-4 weeks. The fastest maturing crops are probably leafy

salads; look for seed packets of ‘speedy’ salad mixes. Radishes

are also quick to grow, and kohlrabi is also speedy. There are

other leafy crops, like rocket (the name gives a clue), some

mustards, spinach and oriental greens. Be careful when you

sow these, though, as they are prone to bolting (running to

seed and turning bitter).

Keep on cropping

Growing in succession is the ideal way to avoid a glut, but it

doesn’t work with all vegetables. The idea is to sow a small

quantity at regular intervals, ensuring that you spread the

harvest. I have done this successfully with peas, French beans,

salads such as loose leaved lettuce and rocket and other fast

growing vegetables. The problem comes when the weather

starts to warm up and speeds up the rate of growth, so that

later sown crops quickly catch up with the earlier ones.

Spave-saving summer crops

Even if your plot is tiny there are ways of growing crops -

climbing plants like beans and small pumpkins make use of

the vertical growing area (i.e. the sky) and there are dwarf,

but bountiful versions of many crops that can be grown in

containers or squeezed into corners.

I have talked before about growing three different

vegetables together in one space; the ancient native Indian

technique called the three sisters involves squash, climbing

beans and sweetcorn all grown together and using each other

for support and nutrients.

Beans climb the sweetcorn and feed the soil with nitrogen,

sprawling squash plants provide shade and suppress weeds,

but (as often happens when three sisters are grown together)

the result can be a bit chaotic.

Too much of a good thing

Even if courgettes are the mainstay of your diet, I promise

that you will only need two plants. You may only need one,

but for pollination purposes it will help to have more than

one plant. Do not plant a whole row.

Fortunately, there are 101 delicious recipes for courgettes,

less for monstrous marrows, which is what they turn into

when you’re not looking. Beans and tomatoes can also be

overwhelming. If you can’t help growing in quantity, make

space in the freezer, or cultivate some new friends to offload

your surplus onto.

Permanent crops

If you have a dedicated place to grow your vegetables, then

it is well worth growing a permanent crop - asparagus and

artichokes are top of my list. They do take a few years to

establish, but will then go on to provide regular harvests for

many years to come. Asparagus beds just need to be kept

weed free and supplied with an organic mulch in spring or

autumn. Artichokes form impressive, architectural clumps and

look just as good in the borders as in the vegetable garden.

The mad spring rush is hard to resist, but with just a little

planning, we will be able to sow the right thing, in the right

quantity at the right time - in theory at least. Let’s get out

there.

For details of Jo’s vegetable growing course visit

hornbrookmanor.co.uk or phone 01233 861149

Cut and come again

This works well with salad leaves, as you can harvest the outer

leaves, let the plants recover, then cut again. I find that after

two or three cuts it is best to sow a new lot, but it is possible

to make one row of salad last a whole summer.

17 wealdentimes.co.uk


WT Garden Supplement

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Winter in Venice

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Martin & Priscilla

WT Garden Supplement

SEE MARTIN

GURDON AT THE

WEALDEN TIMES

MIDSUMMER

FAIR ON FRIDAY

8 JUNE

Chick, chick, chick,

chick, chicken…

They wreck the lawn, eat freshly planted bulbs and hardly ever lay an egg, but

Martin Gurdon couldn’t be without his hens (and one psychotic duck)

We were living in a clapboard cottage in Frittenden

with a long, narrow garden and we thought a flock

of chickens would add a pretty, bucolic touch, and

they did, until they turned the lawn into a desert.

Two bantams and a pair of full-sized birds, brought colour

and movement to it, but they also brought avian power

struggles, flowerbed robbery, lawn scarification, and endless

quantities of acidic guano.

Gentle reader, if sparrow dung can leave its unwanted mark

on your car’s paintwork, then hen doings have the power to

rot through the metalwork. Grass on a small lawn has no

chance at all. Eventually we moved to a house in

Woodchurch with a bigger garden that has a sort

of lattice Berlin Wall so that our current flock is

unable to trash my wife Jane’s flowerbeds. This

doesn’t stop them trying.

If I leave the gate open for a moment there

will be an avian raiding party, and I’ll see a

trio of rapidly receding feathery bottoms as

their owners make an ungainly charge for the

promised land of milk, honey and flower bulbs.

The birds in question are called Slasher, Priscilla and

Hadron. Slasher might lay three eggs every other year and

is in charge of everybody else. She’s an Araucana; neat, fleet

footed, with a floppy red comb and luxuriant tail feathers.

She’s also ten years old – which is ancient for a chicken – and

recently suffered a suspected stroke. I found her lying outside

the hutch with a back to front head and unable to stand.

Two days R&R in a cage in my home office soon had her

mobile, and other than holding her head at a slightly quizzical

angle you’d never know there had been a problem. My wife,

Slasher

“Priscilla is a

gentle, lumbering

serial parent

with a basso

profundo cluck”

Wonky & Hestletina

who did not welcome our stinky houseguest, has conceded

that in animal husbandry terms, the pong was worthwhile.

Hadron is a heavy chicken who is remarkably light on her

feet and oddly elegant. Think Dawn French with feathers.

Priscilla is a gentle, lumbering serial parent with a basso

profundo cluck, who has brought up several generations of

chickens and ducks, as our garden is also graced with a small

flock of Indian Runner ducks.

These include a drake called Bombay, who is as old as

Slasher and has some rheumatic issues. These have meant

making senior duck mobility aids to assist egress from the

pond. In his younger days (think last year) the

summer months would see Bombay develop

unhealthy and rather confused lusts for one of

the chickens, if it happened to be blond.

Priscilla is light brown, but that hasn’t

deterred Bombay from chasing her, so at this

time of year we keep them separate. When

we didn’t, Bombay dragged one of Priscilla’s

predecessors into the pond for reasons that

we won’t go into, and it was fortunate that I heard the

commotion and hauled the poor bird out.

You might be asking why we put up with this stuff. Well,

we do get eggs, sometimes, but the chicken breeds we favour

tend to live longer partly because they don’t wear themselves

out laying all the time. Also, chickens are most productive

egg-wise during their first year or two, and ours stick with us

until their dotage.

However, the answer is simple. Entertainment. Our

hens are endlessly amusing and interesting, whether they’re

trundling about the garden doing their birdy thing, which is

never less than watchable, or giving us their full attention. We

once had a chicken who would stand on my feet and give me

a penetrating stare when she felt

it was time to be fed.

Our birds aren’t great

intellectuals, but they are great

personalities who are variously

controlling, comic, passionate

and inquisitive. They’ve caused

expensive trips to the vet and

the garden centre, but I can

honestly say that I’ve never met

a chicken I didn’t like.

Martin

is author of

Hen & The

Art of Chicken

Maintenance (Fox

Chapel), a book

about sex, death

and living with

domestic

fowl.

21 wealdentimes.co.uk


WT Garden Supplement

Everything in the

TICKETS

ON SALE

ONLINE

wealdentimes.

co.uk/events

Garden Hub is lovely

Be inspired by the speakers at the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair

The Wealden Times Midsummer Fair is a gardener’s

delight with stalls offering plants, outdoor furniture

and statuary to enhance your patch – and added to this

we have some brilliant speakers to inspire your horticultural

ambitions appearing at the Garden Hub sponsored by

NFU Mutual. All talks are included in the ticket price.

Tim Bentinck

Jo Arnell

Tim Bentinck

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet David Archer – yes, that David

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Jo Arnell

You read her every month – now come and meet our

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Aaron Bertelsen

The vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter,

Aaron will be talking about cooking inspired by what is

growing in the garden. (See an extract from his wonderful

book The Great Dixter Cookbook on page 148.)

Martin Gurdon

There are people who keep chickens for eggs – and then there’s

the rest of us, who start with the eggs and then fall in love with

the chickens. Former Telegraph columnist Martin Gurdon

will be talking about his life with ‘the feather-clad soap opera’

and his book Hen & The Art of Chicken Maintenance.

Aaron Bertelsen

Martin Gurdon

There will be more Garden Hub speakers announced in the next

few weeks, so keep an eye on the website for the full timetable.

The Wealden Times Midsummer Fair Garden Hub is sponsored by NFU Mutual.

wealdentimes.co.uk

22


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PassmoresWT175.indd 1 11/04/2016 10:54


WT Garden Supplement

Animal magic

Creating a pond in your garden will bring in wonderful wildlife says Sue Whigham

The big chill of February and

March were very unkind to my

lovely little water lily (Pygmaea

rubra) that has spent eight years in a

large copper in one of my flower beds.

Hibernating plants like that won’t survive

a cold spell if the water freezes over

completely. And, oh boy, it did.

But I won’t be giving up on water

plants and the other things that make a

garden attractive to wildlife. To increase

the number and variety of animal species

around you the essentials are: trees,

plants and shrubs that produce seed

heads and berries, deadwood, areas of

unstrimmed long grass and – most of

all – water.

It seems that one in ten British gardens

has some sort of a pond, making about

two million in total. They provide a vital

network of ‘wetland habitats’ throughout

our ever-expanding urban areas. The

combination of what seems like frenzied

house building on green fields and

climate change means a significant loss of

wildlife havens, but we can all do our bit

to ameliorate this.

It doesn’t even matter if we have

limited space, as even a balcony, roof

terrace or patio can accommodate some

sort of water gardening. All you need

is a watertight container which is deep

enough to give aquatic plants some space

and ensures that the temperature of the

water doesn’t fluctuate too much when

things warm up in the summer.

Something pretty like a copper, an old

galvanised container or ceramic pot is

lovely, but you can also use something

cheap and perhaps not so beautiful like

a bin or large plastic tub and sink it into

the ground. This has the advantage of

keeping the water cool in summer and

protects from freezing – with a bit of

luck – in the winter.

I think spring is the ideal time to

set up a new pond and an informal

arrangement is best for wildlife. In a

perfect world you would choose a sunny

site, away from overhanging trees, with

shallow edges that allow animals easy

access to the water.

If your site is on the shady side

you’ll find different inhabitants setting

up home than if you have the pond

somewhere brighter and warmer. The

best ponds have gently shelving edges

25 wealdentimes.co.uk


WT Garden Supplement

Credit: Rob Cursons

fringed by grasses. Some of the carexes

are perfect for this.

I love the bright gold C. elata ‘Aurea’

and the stripy phragmites growing with

the variegated leaves of Iris pseudoacorus

‘Variegata’, perfect marginal plants for

the damp edges of your pond.

Once you’ve put your pond in –

whether dug straight into the ground, or

in a vessel – it will fill up naturally with

rain (which is why August is not a good

month to do it).

Avoid topping up with tap water as

it has high nutrient levels

and will upset the balance

of the pond water – and

remember, it is normal for

water levels to go up and

down, benefitting different

kinds of creatures. When

water evaporates in summer

damp mud is ideal territory

for many invertebrates.

The really marvellous thing is that

once your pond or water container is in

place and filled with life-giving H2O, it

will colonise naturally.

Small animals may well arrive

within the hour and water beetles and

dragonflies within a couple of days.

Plants take their time and it may be a

year or two before the amphibians spot

a new residence. You may have to add

algae-eating ramshorn snails as well as

great pond snails, to keep algae growth

in check (available on line).

Plants for shallow water and ledges

Apart from the yellow flags (irises),

include water forget-me-not (Myosotis

“Once your pond

is filled with

life-giving H2O,

small animals

may well arrive

within the hour”

scorpioides) which is a perennial

wildflower with creeping roots.

The flowers are rather pretty;

blue with a pink or yellow central eye.

water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica)

has clouds of pinky white flowers above

rosettes of oval leaves on long stalks. It

has two major advantages in that it self

seeds and the seeds are highly desirable

for wildlife.

Floating/deep-water plants

Hottonia palustris or water violet is an

oxygenating perennial and is perfect once

your pond is established. It flowers early

with blooms rising up above its leaves in

spikes of white and pale lilac.

Frogbit, too, is a rather handsome

perennial, free floating

plant with shiny, kidney

shaped leaves and a threepetalled

white flower. It

provides a good cover

and shelter for aquatic

creatures. Oxygenating

plants such as this, curled

pondweed and water

starwort, are an important

food source for wildlife.

A couple of years ago we were rather

mystified to find a great crested newt

wandering around on the

kitchen floor. Had we still had

cats, it might have been easier

to understand. However it

seems that great crested newts

hibernate in a variety of habitats

depending on the time of year

and this one was no exception.

Common newts often

overwinter in ponds, as do

frogs and any tadpoles that

didn’t emerge the summer

before. Water snails tend to

disappear into the deeper

recesses of any pond in

the winter, as do other

creatures such as water hog

lice, but occasionally in the

summer you’ll see snails

on the surface taking great

gulps of fresh air.

Then there are the insects.

Dragonfly will lay its eggs on

aquatic plants or drop them

on to the surface of a pond in

summer. Their nymphs then

spend the next three or four

years in the pond before they

metamorphose into the

spectacularly iridescent creatures that we

see hovering over water in the summer.

Common pond skaters live on the

surface of a pond and feed off any

smaller insect that has the misfortune

to fall in. Then there are lesser water

boatmen, whirligig beetles, great diving

beetles and common backswimmers

which fly at night and are usually one of

the first arrivals to a new pond. It seems

that they are predators of other water

inhabitants.

So with all these creatures and the

summer visits from birds to bats how

could you ever be bored? Finally, of

course, your pond will provide water for

mammals such as badgers and foxes –

although having just had a devastating

visit from a fox to my hen house, I’m

finding it difficult to have good thoughts

about them right now.

wildaboutgardens.org.uk is a joint

information and advice partnership

between the Royal Horticultural Society

and Wildlife Trusts.

Sue Whigham can be contacted on

07810 457948 for gardening advice

and help in the sourcing and supply of

interesting garden plants.

wealdentimes.co.uk

26


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CAMgardensWT194.indd 1 19/03/2018 11:49


WT Garden Supplement

How does your

garden grow?

We are a nation of gardeners, but sometimes it pays to

bring in the professionals

A worker from Heritage Grounds Service maintaining mature gardens

We buy the books, watch Gardeners’ World and

avidly read the brilliant gardening writers in

Wealden Times, but if your plot needs serious

attention – or is even brand new - it’s really worth getting the

expert help of qualified horticultural consultants. We asked

three major companies to tell us what they do.

Heritage Grounds Services and the

Tree & Hedge Company

Alan Jones, owner and horticultural consultant

You have two horticultural businesses, what do they each do?

I’ve been working in the industry for over forty years and I set

up the Tree & Hedge Company, which specialises in putting

in and maintaining those things. My oldest son Ben is also a

horticulturalist and set up Heritage Grounds which improves

and maintains larger mature gardens, including several for the

National Trust, and private gardens. We do the grounds at

Cliveden, for example.

What are the main things the Tree & Hedge Company does?

We provide a lot of hedges for quality new builds. Companies

come back to us and say that it’s our hedging that actually sells

the houses. Clients ask them how they managed to build the

houses round the hedges and trees! Even the most beautiful

new houses look hard when they’re first built, but softened

with greenery, the appeal is instant.

Is there a lower limit for the scale of projects you take on?

Not at all. A client has just called wanting to buy his wife

a copper beech hedge for her birthday. People buy trees for

special birthdays and memorials.

What specialist services do you offer?

We might be called in by someone who is having a wedding

in the garden and wants it to look its best. Our Garden Medic

Plant Nutrient Service can do an analysis on the whole garden

and prepare a bespoke tonic which will make it look amazing

for two weeks.

Is there a project you look back on with particular

satisfaction?

One couple really wanted a rhododendron but the soil in the

area was much too alkaline, so I built a circular wall in local

stone, put acidic soil inside and then planted a white flowering

rhododendron, with lighting so it’s illuminated at night. All

their neighbours were amazed ‘How have you got that growing

here?’ Five years on it’s still doing very well.

What is the tallest tree you have ever put in?

A London plane tree 11 metres tall. They are my favourite

trees, the beauty of them is they can be pruned very hard, so

we use them in many ways, to create avenues of flat table top

trees, or to create shade for outdoor eating areas.

What is your favourite hedge?

We do a beautiful native mixture hedge, which we use for

wine producers and around orchards to attract bees. It’s like

a hedgerow only better. We put special mixes together, fruits

and nuts, hazels so there is always something interesting

throughout the season.

What feature do you think makes the single biggest

difference to a garden?

Gardens are a lifestyle now. In the summer it’s another room

to the home and people should look at it that way. If you like

dining outside with friends, you should create something for

that, or if you like sunbathing, have nice colourful things to

look at in those months.

heritagegrounds.com 01895 438 811

treeandhedge.com 01895 438811 or 01386 841708

29 wealdentimes.co.uk


WT Garden Supplement

Practicality Brown

Graeme Jenkins

Wealden Country Landcraft

Tim Playfoot, garden designer

What scale of projects do you take on? We mostly build

large country projects, but we are doing more smaller stuff

for high-end people. Modern housing in built-up areas

doesn’t have large gardens, but the homeowners want the

outdoor area to the same spec as the house. So it’s not the

size of the garden as much as the aspirations of the owners.

What can a professional garden designer landscaper bring

to a garden? We’ve been in business since 1998. There

are thirteen of us and we offer a very professional service,

bending over backwards to give our clients what they want.

Many of our clients want something done in the garden

but don’t know how to do it. They don’t know how to

deal with changes of level and different materials. I’m a

designer, so I look at it from a design perspective, but I

also understand the practicalities and costs involved. Even

when we are building a garden with a budget of a quarter

of a million, that is still the budget. There’s no point in

planning something that would cost another £50,000.

How does the process work? There are four stages: design,

build, plant and maintain. We can do all, or one, or any

combination of those, but the point is that we do the whole

shebang from designing, to building, planting, with just one

point of contact and that’s how you get the maximum benefit.

How do you work with the client to understand what

they like? We have the initial consultation, to discuss

the garden and what they think they want and need.

I show them jobs we’ve done and we talk it through.

They can say what they like and dislike, images are

very powerful. Then I write the brief, giving the client

a summary of what I think they want me to create.

What would you say was your ‘signature’ feature or style?

Our gardens are very strong on planting. I started my career

in horticulture working for a landscape company, very hands

on with plants. We do lots of hard landscaping, but until

you put the plants in the landscape is lacking its soul.

What is the most quirky project you’ve done? We built a really

expensive garden last year and we could suggest all manner of

nice finishes and materials from day one which was great fun.

wealdencountrylandcraft.co.uk 01892 722699

How did the name of the company come about? The

company was started in 1981 by Alastair Beddall, who named

it in tribute to Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the famous 18th

century landscape designer, who created some of Britain’s

most spectacular park landscapes at historic homes.

Is there a lower limit for the scale of projects you take on?

We can work on projects that are just a few trees, or

improving 10m of mature hedging, but as Instant

Landscape Specialists, we are able to provide a complete

service, from suggesting semi-mature trees for specific

situations to sourcing unusual topiary specimens

and planting our home-grown instant hedge.

There are some amazing before and after shots on your

website, how long does it take you to finish a project

like that? Our installation team are very experienced and

can plant over 50 linear metres of hedge a day. With trees

and topiary, more planning is needed and some projects

can take several weeks. We do have a few large projects,

usually involving a new house build, that have taken a

few months, working alongside the construction.

Do you provide all the labour, as well as the trees, shrubs

and lawns? Yes, we provide a comprehensive service, from

sourcing the right trees, topiary or large shrubs and using

our instant hedges, which make a dramatic impact.

Are you designers as well, or do you work to a design

prepared by another company? We are experienced

horticultural experts, rather than designers. We

work with several award-winning garden designers

and landscape architects on a regular basis.

What is your favourite tree? There are so many fantastic

trees – we have over 500 species on our website alone

– and different ones are perfect for different situations,

whether it’s a small garden, an avenue, a coastal area, for

a formal situation or screening out a neighbour. We have

‘help me choose’ guides on our website for this purpose.

What feature do you think makes the single biggest

difference to a garden? Almost all gardens can have a tree,

even smaller ones, and trees can bring all sorts of focus

whether it’s through their flowers, foliage, fruit or bark.

pracbrown.co.uk 01753 652022

An instant hedge and semi-mature

trees put in by Practicality Brown

wealdentimes.co.uk

30


Creating Beautiful Gardens

for Brilliant Year Round Results

Wealden Country Landcraft

Wealden Country Landcraft

For all your design, construction and maintenance requirements, contact:

Adam Sutton BSc (Hons) Environmental Science | Tim Playfoot BA (Hons) Garden Design

Tel:01892 722699| Adam:07979 362241 | Tim:07990 751353 | www.playfootgardendesign.co.uk


Would you like a

greener healthier lawn?

Let us provide it for you.

We care about lawns and are committed to providing a

friendly, professional, independent service.

Aeration, Scarification, Over Seeding, Top Dressing,

Feed/Weed Disease Control.

With tractor towable and manual equipment,

we cater for lawns of all sizes.

Contact us for free visit-advice and quotation.

Telephone 08454 670258

www.kentsussexlawns.com

info@kentsussexlawns.com

Kent & Sussex

Lawns

Complete lawn care service

KentSussexLawnsWT194.indd 1 13/03/2018 16:46

WALK IN THE

FOOTSTEPS

OF A QUEEN

Excite the senses with beautiful

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“the Loveliest Castle in the World”.

EXPERIENCE MORE

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wealdentimes.co.uk

32

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ZestLtdLeedsCastleWT194.indd 1 07/03/2018 12:53


WT Garden Supplement

Grass roots

It’s that time of year when you suddenly notice your lawn is not at its Wimbledon best – time for expert advice

No matter how much you love gardening,

there is one job you really shouldn’t try

and do yourself: fix your lawn.

Grant Goldfinch, of the Lawn Revival Team, tells

us that one in five of the lawns he is called out to look

at have been damaged by the homeowners themselves

over fertilising using garden centre products. So we

asked Grant, and Matthew Boatwright of Kent & Sussex

Lawns, to share some of their lawn lore with us.

Grant Goldfinch, Lawn Revival Team

Has lawn care changed in the twenty

years you’ve worked in it?

There is a movement towards natural solutions, because

legislation is removing a lot of the magic bullets we used to

have in the form of chemicals. A lot of what we do is around

good soil health - 90% of lawns can be renovated through a

regular treatment programme, aeration, scarification (raking)

overseeding and top dressing. Using those techniques we

can bring them back to their former glory or better.

Do you offer regular maintenance packages?

We do seasonal lawn treatment programmes,

predominantly based around weed and feed, controlling

the moss. We conduct four or five treatments a year

depending on the lawn and every time we treat it, we

will inspect the lawn and if we identify a pest or disease

issue, such as red thread, we would treat that.

Do you give your customers advice on what they can

do to improve their lawns themselves between visits?

Yes, cultural control is advising customers what they can do

to maintain the lawn in its best condition. For example, if

you have a lot of coarse grass growing, from blown in weed

grass seeds, you should change your mowing direction each

time, because those grasses don’t like being mown into. Also

avoid mowing too short because it will encourage moss and

weeds. A lawn is all about competition between species and

if you’re knocking back the grass too low, you’re putting it at

a disadvantage. The optimal length is 1.25 to 1.5 inches.

Is there an ideal time of year to start lawn care?

All four seasons need different treatments for different

reasons – you can start at any time of year, but we will

be doing different things. In spring you kill weeds and

feed grass, continuing through summer, then in autumn

and winter it’s moss control and hardening the grass up.

If you start a seasonal treatment plan in the summer

we wouldn’t be able to start killing the moss until

autumn – and you can’t kill weeds in winter, because

herbicide is only effective if the plant is growing.

Are there ever lawns that are beyond repair?

With new build houses, the lawn tends to be thrown down

on top of debris and compacted ground, so it looks lovely

when you buy the house, but as soon as you have a hot

summer, it starts to suffer. A lot of the lawns we lay are

replacements for new houses. It’s not cost effective to keep

repairing them, better to start again and prepare the soil,

have the right kind of root loam and then it will last.

Do you offer services for other parts of the garden?

In autumn we do leaf clearance because of the damage it

can do encouraging bugs. Most of our customers are lawn

enthusiasts themselves and like to do the mowing themselves,

but we do a lot of pre-season and post-season mowing,

because you want to make sure you are removing any debris

getting it ready for the season, or putting it to bed for winter

and we have specialist mowers which act like vacuums

clearing it all up. The main other thing we do is putting

in steel edging, to create a neat edge next to flower beds.

Lawn Revival Team, 01580 712129, 07769 705231

lawnrevivalteam.com

Matthew Boatright, Kent & Sussex Lawns

What are the most common lawn

issues people call you about?

Moss. People call me after the winter when it’s been wet

and there’s a lot of moss, also fungal diseases, particularly

red thread which creates bleached patches on the lawn.

Do you offer regular maintenance packages?

Essentially that’s what we do. We offer regular visits,

two or four times a year, to fertilise, do treatments,

weed control, scarifying and aeration in the autumn

and through the winter months. It helps with drainage

and to allow oxygen into the root system.

Is there a minimum lawn size you will treat?

If I can walk on it, I can treat it.

Are the products you use safe for

children, pets and wildlife?

They are rigorously tested and it’s all about applying them

correctly, at the correct dose rate. Some you need to be

prudent with, because they can be harmful to aquatic

life, so you leave buffer zones if people have ponds –

that’s why you need an expert. We also make sure our

customers know what time we’ve finished, so they can

keep pets and children in until enough time has passed.

Are there ever lawns that are beyond repair?

There are often problems with

lawns with new build houses, but

even with properly laid lawns,

they have a life span like any

plant and the time will come

when they start to thin out and

the moss starts to take over, so

then you are better to relay it.

Kent & Sussex Lawns,

0845 467 0258,

kentsussexlawns.com

33 wealdentimes.co.uk


Gardening Courses

Courses and workshops in design, vegetable growing and general

gardening skills. Held in Woodchurch, Kent. No experience needed.

Contact Jo 01233 861149 www.hornbrookmanor.co.uk

Garden Design and Landscaping

HornbrookManorWT194.indd 1 13/03/2018 17:05

Pop-up Shop Now Open

Ockley Road, Hawkhurst TN18 4DP

Unique garden consultations.

Understand the possibilities

07831 868 848

info@gardeneye.co.uk | www.gardeneye.co.uk

bespoke ironwork for home & garden

07765 344298

www.cranbrookiron.com

Open: Wednesday - Saturday

GARDEN perennials

CAKE bedding plants BRUNCH

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open seven

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Call: 01580 890713

Clapper

• frankiesfarmshop.co.uk

Lane, Staplehurst, TN12 0JT Clapper Lane

01580 890713

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Clapper Lane, Staplehurst, Opening TN12 times: 0JT9am-5pm Mon-Sat

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159 wealdentimes.co.uk

StaplehurstNurseryWT194.indd 1 19/03/2018 11:08


Let the

children

speak

Listening to school age kids is vital – but first you

have to get them to talk says Hilary Wilce

AAll All the research shows that children whose parents

support them at school and show an interest in what

they’re learning do better than those children whose

parents don’t.

And all parents know that while that sounds simple, it’s

actually really hard.

“What did you do today?” “Nothing.” “Who did you play

with?” “Don’t remember.”

“What was your best lesson?” “Don’t know.”

Little wonder that – as a survey of 2,000 parents done last

summer shows – we only spend about 14 minutes trying to

have after-school conversations with our children before getting

back to our own lives.

But some schools are finding imaginative, new ways to foster

home-school 00013MHSWT185x130_Layout links, like the primary 1 19/09/2017 school in Somerset 14:03 Page that 1

sends its youngest pupils home with a bag of three pebbles, one

shiny, one dull, and one pointy.

These represent one special thing that happened in the day, one

dull thing, and one difficult thing, and both parents and children

are encouraged to use them as ways to get a conversation going.

However, even if your child’s school is not so creative, there are

many useful things you can do to encourage post-school chats.

Don’t come on too strong. Children need time to transition

from school and hate being put on the spot. Be warm and

welcoming when you pick your child up, say you hope they had a

good day, and leave it at that.

Learn patience. Many children like to chat about school

just before bed. (A good delaying tactic. Children are brilliant

strategists.)

Chat about things from your day, to encourage your child to

Not too big, Not too small, Just right.

The perfect size school to unlock the potential in every child.

We have an enviable record of Cranbrook entry success over the past 10 years, a 100% CE pass rate

and each year our pupils win scholarships to many leading independent senior schools.

MARLBOROUGH

HOUSE

SCHOOL

Marlborough House School, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent TN18 4PY 01580 753555

161 wealdentimes.co.uk

MarlboroughHouseWT188.indd 1 19/09/2017 14:17


Blackland Farm

Outdoor Activity Centre

Kayaking

Canoeing

Bungee trampolining

Rock climbing

Archery

Crate challenge

Zip wire

Abseiling

Aeroball...

...and many more!

Come and join us for

fun-filled activity days.

Why not have your

birthday party here too?

01342 810493

blackland@girlguiding.org.uk

www.blacklandfarm.org.uk

Blackland Farm

Sutton Valence School

BlacklandFarmWT138.indd 1 10/07/2013 SpringGroveSchoolWT194.indd 17:31

1 15/03/2018 15:22

svs.org.uk

Open

Mornings

Prep School

Friday 27th April 2018

Senior School

Saturday 28th April 2018

Book online now

wealdentimes.co.uk

162

SuttonValenceWT194.indd 1 07/03/2018 11:44


Education

respond. “A really funny thing happened to me at lunchtime…”

Ask open questions. “What was the best part of your day?” not

“Was it music today?” (Open questions can’t be answered with a

yes or no.)

Learn as much as you can about your child’s routine, teachers

and friendships. Then you can ask what happened at whole-school

assembly, or about Harry’s poorly kitten.

Don’t feel you have to solve every problem that comes up, or

always quiz your child about tests and homework. But when you

do need information, don’t fish, simply ask.

Seize useful moments. Many parents find that talking in the car

is a brilliant time to have a conversation – no awkward eye contact!

Other times might be at bathtime, or when sharing a chore like

walking the dog. Whatever your family routine, always be alert to

times when you might get a chance to talk with your child.

But whatever you do to draw out a conversation, be aware that

the way you respond will always either open it out or shut it down.

Aim to be as relaxed and natural as you can – children will close

up like clams if they feel information is being prised out of them.

Don’t shower them with questions, and keep your responses as

calm and non-judgmental as possible.

Sometimes you might discover that your child is unhappy or

unsettled about something at school in a way that you hadn’t

realized. If that’s the case, do your best to find out more about the

situation and try not to jump to conclusions.

There is a world of difference between one hard-to-follow maths

lesson and a maths teacher who is totally not up to the job, or

between a temporary falling-out between classmates, and a case

of systematic, ongoing bullying, and you need to be sure of the facts

before deciding to take things further.

It may be that your child simply wanted to offload what’s on their

mind, and there is no need at all to take up arms on their behalf.

But if you do sense that you need to act, explain to your child why

you feel you must speak to their teacher, or friend’s parents, and what

you plan to say, and let them tell you any worries or objections they

might have.

Whatever the age of your child, if you run roughshod over their

confidences, ignoring anything they have to say on the matter, you

can be one hundred per cent sure there won’t be any more.

In this situation, as always when talking to your child, remember

the old adage – ‘two ears, one mouth’ – and always listen twice as

much as talking.

Type it out and stick it on the fridge.

What’s testing you about education?

With an education system which seems to get ever more

complex the whole schools experience can be bewildering

for parents. With our annual education magazine,

supplements and regular features we address a wide range

of issues in the field, but we would love to know what

your particular areas of concern are. We won’t be able to

answer individual questions, but please email to tell us

what you would like to read more about at education@

wealdentimes.co.uk

See potential.

Realise the vision.

Open Morning

Come and see the difference

Thursday 3rd May

9.00 am – 12 noon

Contact our Registrar for details:

registrar@dulwichprepcranbrook.org

dulwichprepcranbrook.org

163 wealdentimes.co.uk

DulwichPrepWT194b.indd 1 06/03/2018 14:37


Easter Fun

at the Farm! - 30 March - 15 April

Farm Activities and Live Entertainment!

BANK HOLIDAY

WEEKEND

EASTER

EGG

HUNTS

EASTER

CHICKS,

LAMBS &

BUNNIES

PARK

& FARM

ENTRY

ONLY £3

PER PERSON!*

Plus see Paw Patrol’s

Chase & Marshall at

intervals on 12 April

Children’s Attractions

HOVERMANIA LASER GAMES OUTDOOR ADVENTURE PLAY AREA

HOPPER’S ANIMAL FARM HOPPER’S DINER & SOFT PLAY 4D CINEMA

JUMPING PILLOWS MAGIC CASTLE GROOM A PONY INDOOR

ENTERTAINMENT FARM ACTIVITIES HORSE & CART RIDES

FACE PAINTING AND MUCH MORE…

SUBJECT

TO CHANGE

The Hop Farm Family Park

Maidstone Rd, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6PY

01622 872068

www.hopfarm.co.uk

*INCLUDES ALL DAY INDOOR SOFT PLAY, OUTDOOR ADVENTURE PLAY, CRAZY GOLF, ANIMAL FARM & FREE PARKING


Rhythm of the Night

Thu 5 April

RTWSO: Walton’s

Cello Concerto

Sun 8 April

Rumours of

Fleetwood Mac

Mon 9 Apr

Pop Divas

Wed 11 Apr

Walk Right Back

Thu 12 Apr

Alice in Wonderland

Fri 13 to Sun 15 Apr

Jason Manford:

Muddle Class

Wed 18 Apr

Banff Mountain Film

Festival

Thu 19 Apr

Yolanda Brown

Sun 22 Apr

RTW Choral Society

Sun 29 Apr

Bernstein- Chichester Psalms

Rutter- Magnificat

Stravinsky -Symphony of Psalms

Box Office: 01892 530613

assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

/assemblyhalltheatre /ahttw assemblyHallTheatre

RTWCS, and the Salomon Orchestra

Conducted by Rebecca Miller

8, 9, & 10

June 2018

elm wood, hawkhurst

Off risden Lane, hawkhurst,

KENT, TN18 5du

AssemblyHallTheatreWT194.indd 1 21/03/2018 17:17

small, intimate & family friendly...where kids can be kids again & you

can relax, immerse yourself in great music, fantastic food &

drink. be together, reconnect or simply escape...if only for a weekend

live music >

line up to be announced

kids activities

including woodland

treasure hunts,

storytelling

& bushcraft

south east's finest

STREET FOOD TRADERS

THE BIG

outdoor

cinema+

silent disco

woodland spa

beautiful campsite

+ boutique camping

for more information and tickets go to:

www.woodlandsfestival.co.uk

/woodlandsfestivaluk

woodlandsfestivaluk

woodlandsfestuk

in aid of

165 wealdentimes.co.uk

EPM-WT194.indd 1 14/03/2018 14:43


PAINT YOUR OWN CERAMICS

Come in & have a go…

• PAINT YOUR OWN CERAMICS • DECOPATCH

• MAKE A BEAR • SILVER KEEPSAKES

• PARTIES • WORKSHOPS • GIFTS AND MORE…

www.slapndash.com

01580 755674

Open times: Mon-Fri 10.00 to 5.00, Sat & Sun 10.00 to 4.00

(Evenings by appointment)

Disabled access • Ample Parking • Cafe on-site

Easter

Trail

26th March to 6th April 2018

10am until 4pm

£3.00 10% OFF

Slap ‘n’ Dash

Easter Gift

Child's Craft Trail Map &

Activity Sheet

Includes:

HAWKHURST FISH FARM

!subject to terms & Conditions

SlapNDashWT169.indd SlapNDashWT194.indd 1 04/02/2016 05/03/2018 GodintonHouseWT194.indd 12:57 10:49

1 19/03/2018 10:24

2018

Mayfield

Festival

of Music and the Arts

28 APRIL - 13 MAY 2018

- FEATURING -

MENDELSSOHN

NO 2 HYMN OF PRAISE

SAINT-SAENS

ORGAN SYMPHONY

POULENC - GLORIA

FRANK SINATRA “HIS WAY”

TALES OF HOFFMANN

- AND -

STEPHEN KOVACEVICH

THE ART TRAIL

JAZZ WITH ONYX BRASS

JAMES O’DONNELL

POETRY AND CHAMBER MUSIC

The old and the new, the unjustly obscure and the justly celebrated

CLASSICAL • CHAMBER • JAZZ • FILM



TULIP FESTIVAL



TICKETS • MAYFIELDFESTIVAL.CO.UK • 0333 666 3366

in association with

Mayfield School

Beautiful 11 Acre Gardens; Café with Terrace; Gift

Shop; Sculpture Exhibition; open from 31st March

Ticehurst 01580 200888

pashleymanorgardens.com

wealdentimes.co.uk

166

MayfieldFestivalWT194.indd 1 14/03/2018 PashleyManorWT194.indd 11:32

1 15/03/2018 09:38


What’s On In April

Art

Sat 31 Mar – Sat 30 Jun

Artichoke Gallery, Church

Street, Ticehurst, Kent TN5 7AE

BENEATH THE CANOPY

An enduring fascination with

trees: their majestic forms and

graceful branches, the abundant

wildlife they support. A mixed

exhibition featuring paintings,

sculpture, ceramics and jewellery

inspired by our love of trees, birds

and insects #visitTicehurst. Open

Tuesday to Saturday 9.30-4.30.

Info: 01580 200905 /

artichokegallery.co.uk

Fri 13 – Sun 15 Apr

High Hurstwood Hall, Chillies

Lane, High Hurstwood,

Uckfield, Sussex TN22 4AD

Handcrafted Arts Fair

Over 32 different artists, designers

and makers from the Sussex area

gather for an amazing show.

Entry: Free

Info: facebook.com/

highhurstwoodhall

Sat 21 Apr – June

Portico Art Gallery, 25 London

Road, Riverhead, Sevenoaks,

Kent, TN13 2BU

Jan Grasty and Robert

Cobuz

Explore the beautiful works of

Jan Grasty and the intriguing and

unexpected creations of Robert

Cobuz. All works for sale.

Entry: Free

Info: porticogallery.co.uk

Sat 21 Apr – Sun 8 Jul

Jerwood Gallery, Rock-A-Nore

Road, Hastings, Sussex

TN34 3DW

Paul Feiler: One

Hundred Years

This year the Paul Feiler Estate

and The Redfern Gallery will be

running a year-long centenary

celebration of the life and work

of Paul Feiler (1918-2013), one

of the foremost figures of the

Modern Art movement emanating

from the South West of England,

centred in St Ives, fascinated by

the achitecture of space and the

ambiguities of visual experience.

Info: jerwoodgallery.org

Children & Families

Sat 7 – Sun 8 Apr 10am-4pm

Betteshanger Park, Sandwich

Road, Deal, Kent CT14 0BF

Spring on the Park

Celebrate spring with the Essex

Dog Display team, Sky Birds of

Prey team, Mikey’s Donkeys, dog

grooming with Hadlow College

and lots of stalls, crafts and local

food and drink.

Entry: Included with park entry

Info: betteshanger-park.co.uk

Thurs 12 – Sat 14 Apr

Chiddingstone Castle, Hill

Hoath Road, Edenbridge, Kent

TN8 7AD

Alice in Wonderland

The Mad Hatter is hosting a

fabulous tea party with all your

favourites from Lewis Carroll’s

classic tale hosting themed

activities all over the castle

grounds. The hatter will be

awarding prizes and there will be

certificates for all.

Entry: £14.56

Info: chiddingstonecastle.org.uk

Sat 21 Apr 7pm

United Church Hall, Croft

Road, Crowborough TN6 1HA

Quiz and Picnic

Enjoy a quiz and picnic with

tea and coffee available. Teams

can be up to six people and

visitors should bring their

own picnics and drinks.

Entry: £6pp

Info: 01892 653596 / bureau@

crowboroughcab.cabnet.org.uk

Sat 21 Apr

Maidstone Museum, St Faith’s

St, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LH

St. George’s Dragon Day

Meet Flame, the massive smokebreathing

dragon and his smaller

friend Bunsen the baby dragon

this St. George’s day as Maidstone

Museum celebrates England’s

patron saint by also honouring the

other countries he is also patron

to. Follow the flag trail, make

your own dragon and get your

face painted in this multicultural

special event.

Info: museum.maidstone.gov.uk

Mon 23 – Sun 29 Apr

Various Locations

Peppa Pig’s Muddy

Puddle Walk for Save

the Children

This spring will see the return of

the UK’s muddiest fundraising

event for little ones. Whether you

splash in puddles along a trail at

the park or get creative and make

your own puddles indoors from

paper and foil – your Muddy

Puddle Walk will be a fun day to

spend together that littles ones

won’t forget.

Info: savethechildren.org.uk

Easter

Fri 30 March – Sun 15 Apr

Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent

ME17 1PL

Easter Quest

Seek out clues hidden around the

Castle grounds on a fun quest for

children of all ages. Answer each

of the questions and receive a

chocolate treat as a reward.

Entry: Additional £1 charge

Info: leeds-castle.com

Exhibitions & Tours

Fri 9 Feb – Sat 9 June

Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art

Gallery, Civic Centre, Mount

Pleasant, Royal Tunbridge Wells,

Kent TN1 1JN

Seasons of Change: The

Fegans’ Story

Fegans has been championing

childhood and transforming

mental health since 1870. This

exhibition will take you through

its story, from the work of its

founder James Fegan, through to

the support services the charity

offers children and families in the

South East today.

Entry: Free

Info: 01892 554171 /

fegans.org.uk/seasonsofchange

Thurs 5 Apr – Sun 28 Oct

Smallhythe Place,

Smallhythe Road, Tenterden,

Kent TN30 7NG

Triumphant Women

In 2018 Smallhythe explores

women’s history and suffrage

through the anniversary of

women gaining the vote. This

new exhibition celebrates the

women of Smallhythe in the

Suffrage movement. ‘Edy Craig:

Women, Suffrage and the

Theatre’ will be on show in the

Barn Theatre and green room,

whilst ‘The Shakespearean

Lectures of Ellen Terry’ will be

exhibited in the main house.

Info: nationaltrust.org.

uk/smallhythe-place

Sat 7 Apr – 28 Oct

Historic Dockyard Chatham,

Church Lane, Chatham,

Kent ME4 4TE

Call the Midwife Tours

For those needing to fill the

long gap between now and the

Christmas special, the dockyard

has an official re-worked tour

overseen by the show’s producers

featuring props, costumes

and of course the much-loved

backdrops behind many of the

show’s most iconic scenes.

Info: thedockyard.co.uk

Festivals & Shows

Tues 3 – Mon 30 Apr

Brogdale Collections, Brogdale

Farm, Brogdale Road,

Faversham, Kent ME13 8XZ

Hanami Festival

Brogdale is one of the only places

in the UK where you can celebrate

this Japanese festival. With over

350 flowering cherry varieties and

over 4000 fruit tree varieties in

the National Fruit Collection it

is a truly unique experience and

beautiful spectacle. Enjoy a pretty

spring picnic throughout April or

visit on Saturday 14 for the full

festival experience with cultural

demonstrations, drumming and

sword displays, a tea ceremony,

bonsai, calligraphy, and origami.

Info: brogdalecollections.org

Sat 7 Apr

Kent Showground, Detling,

Maidstone, Kent ME14 3JF

Heritage Transport

Show

Heritage and vintage vehicles

are driving over for another year

at the Kent Showground as the

Heritage Transport show aims

167 wealdentimes.co.uk


What’s On In April

for a record of 800 vehicles in its

ninth year. You can also expect

the South East Bus Festival, trade

stands, autojumble, a farmer’s

market and more.

Info: kentshowground.co.uk/

heritage-transport-show

Food & Drink

Fri 13 Apr

Albury Vineyard, Silent Pool,

Shere Road, Albury GU5 9BW

Cocktail Night

Tattams are returning to the

vineyard on Friday 13th April for

an evening of cocktails and fizz.

Get a group of friends together

and celebrate the end of the week

with a hand-crafted cocktail

featuring Albury Estate sparkling

wines and their new spirit, Attila’s

Bite. Watch and learn how the

cocktails are made and learn about

the English wine scene.

Entry: £10 including a cocktail or

glass of bubbly on arrival

Info: alburyvineyard.com

Gardens

Fri 16 Mar – Fri 13 Apr

Sissinghurst Castle Garden,

Biddenden Road, Cranbrook,

Kent TN17 2AB

Garden Photographer

of the Year exhibition

The very best of amateur and

professional garden and landscape

photography from across the

world will be showcased in the

oast house in an exhibition

brought to life by the Sissinghurst

gardeners using plants and flowers

from the world-famous garden.

Info: nationaltrust.org.uk/

sissinghurst-castle

Sun 15 Apr

Penshurst Place, Penshurst, Kent

TN11 8DG

Spring Stroll

Enjoy a springtime stroll through

the vibrant parkland that

surrounds Penshurst Place, with

general manager, Ben Thomas,

and discover the history of

Penshurst Place and the variety of

wildlife living within the grounds.

Your walk will be followed by a

delicious two-course roast lunch in

the Garden Restaurant, and tickets

to the house and gardens.

Entry: £30

Info: penshurstplace.com

Weds 18 – Fri 27 Apr

Hever Castle, Hever Road,

Hever, Edenbridge, Kent

TN8 7NG

Tulip Celebrations

20,000 tulips will be in bloom

in the historic castle’s stunning

grounds this month. Indulge in

a tour, visit the Italian Garden’s

kaleidoscopic display by the lake,

and venture inside the castle to

learn about the flower’s history

and view Pamela Brise’s striking

floral displays.

Info: hevercastle.co.uk

Fri 20 Apr – Thurs 3 May

Hole Park, Benenden Road,

Rolvenden, Cranbrook, Kent

TN17 4JA

Bluebell Festival

The beautiful Hole Park Gardens

in Rolvenden, Kent will open to

visitors every day from Sunday

1 April, and will be updating

the bluebell barometer regularly

throughout the month. One of the

Seven Wonders of the Weald, the

colourful gardens will be blooming

with swathes of crocus, narcissus

and daffodils.

Entry: Adults £7.50, Children £1

Info: 01580 241344 / holepark.com

Sat 21 Apr 9.30am – 12.30pm

Godinton House & Gardens,

Godinton Lane, Ashford, Kent.

TN23 3BP

The Annual Garden

Viv Hunt, will be giving advice on

choosing and growing annuals for

cut flowers, pots and long-lasting

colour in the borders throughout

the year.

Entry: £35

Info: 01233 643854 /

godintonhouse.co.uk

Tues 24 Apr

Pashley Manor Gardens, Pashley

Road, Ticehurst, Wadhurst, East

Sussex TN5 7HE

Tulip Festival

The Tulip Festival sees Pashley

Manor Gardens, carpeted with

over 40,000 tulips, creating

stunning scenes for visitors.

Entry: £11

Info: 01580 200888 /

pashleymanorgardens.com

Health & Wellbeing

Fri 13 Apr 2 - 4.30pm

Blooming Green, Loddington

Farm, Linton, Maidstone, Kent

ME17 4AG

Awaken your Creative

Spirit

Yvonne Fernando, NLP Master

Practitioner and Life Coach

collaborates with Blooming Green

in this experiential workshop set

in an enchanting, organic flower

plot. Includes inspiring talk,

flower arranging demo, flowerpicking

and cake.

Entry: £40

Info: 01233 878474 /

yvonnefernandonlp.co.uk

Fri 27 April, 11am-2pm,

Stalisfield Village Hall,

Stalisfield Road, Faversham,

Kent ME13 0JE

Breathe Better

Created by Yvonne Fernando,

NLP Master Practitioner and Life

Coach, this experiential workshop

is designed to help you become

more aware of how you breathe

and make conscious changes

to breathe better with tips,

techniques, discussion and a light

healthy snack.

Entry: £35

Info: 01233 878474 /

yvonnefernandonlp.co.uk

Music

Sat 7 Apr 7.30pm

Parish Church of St. Peter & St.

Paul, Church Lane, Tonbridge,

Kent TN9 1HD

The Lydian Orchestra

Spring Concert

Join the Lydian Orchestra for a

programme including Strauss,

Finzi and Brahms with Alex

Frank-Gemmill conducting and

soloist Nelson Sinclair-Strong on

clarinet. Tickets at the door.

Entry: Adults £15, Students £6,

Under 16s £1

Info: tonbridgeparishchurch.org.uk

Sat 21 Apr 7.30pm

Rochester Cathedral Garth

House, Rochester, Kent

ME1 1SX

Gravesham Choral

Society & Orchestra

Alan Vincent conducts Verdi’s

Requiem. Charlotte Richardson

(soprano), Katarzyna Balejko

(mezzo-soprano) Stephen Brown

(tenor) and David Ireland (bass).

Info: graveshamcs.co.uk

Sat 28 Apr 7.30pm

St Peter’s Upper Church,

Pembury, Kent TN2 4PD

Concert for Lifeboats

An evening of shanties and other

nautical songs & entertainment,

featuring established artists. All

proceeds to the RNLI. Tickets

from Pembury Pharmacy or

01892 822945/823759.

Info: esch4lh@btinternet.com

Sun 29 Apr 3pm

Assembly Hall Theatre,

Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LU

ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS

CHORAL SOCIETY

To celebrate the centenary of

Leonard Bernstein’s birth the

choir will perform his Chichester

Psalms. The concert will also

feature Rutter’s Magnificat and

Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms.

The choir will be joined by the

Salomon Orchestra and the

performance will be conducted by

Rebecca Miller.

Entry: from £10

Info: 01892 527958 /

geraldchew26@gmail.com / 01892

530613 / assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

Shopping

Fri 16 Mar – Mon 9 Apr

Fenwick Tunbridge Wells, Royal

Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells,

Kent TN1 2SR

Linens Event

Give your bedroom an instant

boost this spring with a bed linen

update, and save up to 50% on

selected lines during this event.

Layer up your bed linen with

beautiful contrasting cushions

and throws that will tempt you at

the end of a busy day and where

you can languish on a relaxing

wealdentimes.co.uk

168


DAILY MAIL

WHAT’S ON STAGE

The Winslow Boy

Terence Rattigan’s classic family drama.

TUE 15 - SAT 19 MAY

marlowetheatre.com (bkg fee)

01227 787787 (bkg fee)


weekend and enjoy.

Info: 01892 516716 / fenwick.co.uk

Sun 22 Apr 10am – 4pm

Penshurst Village Hall,

Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8BP

The Penshurst

Brocante

Shop beautiful vintage and

artisan products with the style,

atmosphere and flavour of a

French Brocante. Refreshments

available from Dolly’s Diner

throughout the day.

Entry: £2

Info: 07885 610912 /

facebook.com/CherishVintageFairs

/ cherishthevintage.co.uk

Theatre

Mon 30 Apr 7.30pm

Marlowe Theatre, The Friars,

Canterbury CT1 2AS

Mozart: The Marriage

of Figaro

English Touring Opera’s energetic

new production of Mozart’s

beloved classic comedy The

Marriage of Figaro sung in English.

During the course of one eventful

day, Figaro and Susanna must

overcome every obstacle put in

their way by Count Almaviva and

his cronies before they can finally

be united as man and wife.

Entry: from £14.95

Info: marlowetheatre.com

Workshops

Mon 2, Sun 15 & Sun 22 Apr

Canterbury Baking School, 22,

The Ness, Canterbury, Kent

CT1 3NL

Sourdough Made

Simple Workshop

At Canterbury Baking School,

beginners and more advanced

bakers can learn the lifelong skill

of baking bread, sourdough, pasta,

pizza and/or sweet-dough. At this

Sourdough class, students will

make two different starters and

learn to develop, shape and adapt

a variety of different sourdough

breads. Lunch included.

Entry: £165pp, £10 off for Wealden

Times readers, quote Wealden10.

Info: vicky@canterburybakingschool.

com / canterburybakingschool.com.

What’s On In April

Fri 20 Apr 1-4pm

Blooming Green, Loddington

Farm, Linton, Maidstone, Kent

ME17 4AG

Flower crown making

Those looking for a fairy-tale

addition to their wedding outfits

can learn how to make this

‘must-have’ floral accessory using

freshly picked flowers and foliage

from the Blooming Green flower

plot. Jen will show you how

to create different looks, from

simple flower-girl circlets to more

abundant bridal crowns, with

ribbon or without. All materials

and homemade refreshments

provided.

Entry: £40

Info: 01622 298676 /

bloominggreenflowers.co.uk

Sat 21 Apr & Sat 12 May

Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent

TN15 0RP

Beginners Patchwork &

Quilting

Learn how to create beautiful

patchwork quilts by hand with

Cowden Quilt School. Over two

days work through every stage of

the process to create your own

modern family heirlooms, starting

with a unique cushion cover.

Entry: £150 (both dates)

Info: 01732462100 /

nationaltrust.org.uk/knole

Listings are correct at time of

going to press but may be subject

to change. Readers are advised to

check with venues before making

arrangements. We can list your event

in the next issue of Wealden Times

for only £15! Please supply up to

50 words that should include date,

time, venue, and any entry price to

whatson@wealdentimes.co.uk or send

with payment (cheques payable to

JPS Media) to What’s On, Wealden

Times, Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone

Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF.

Wealden Times reserves the right

to edit text to fit space allocated. If

you would like your event listing

to be accompanied by a full colour

reproduction (42.5 x 62.5mm) of a

poster or other pictorial image, the

total charge will be £95. Deadline for

the May issue is 13 April 2018.

Ibbett Mosely

AuctIoneers & VAluers

Limited Liability Partnership

The Auctioneer's Next Sale Will Be On

Wednesday 4th April 2018

Commencing at 12.30pm | Viewing 10.00am - 12.30pm

At Ibbett Mosely Auction Rooms, Argyle Rd, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1HJ

Valuation Day - Wednesday 18th April 2018 11am to 4pm

At Crown Inn, School Road, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5PQ

Tel: 01732 456731 Web: www.ibbettmosely.co.uk

125 High St, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1UT

Registered in England No. 0C341637 Regulated by RICS Registered at the Sevenoaks office as Ibbett Mosely Surveyors LLP

IbbettMoselyWT194.indd 1 09/03/2018 16:29

Clare Langdon

INTERIORS

Made to measure

curtains & blinds

Tracks & poles

Measuring & fitting service

Home consultation

Fabrics & design advice

Telephone 01233 850829

clarelangdoninteriors.co.uk

ClareLangdonWT184.indd 1 12/05/2017 16:19

Registered Charity No. 239992. Company No.

171 wealdentimes.co.uk

KentWildlifeTrustWT194.indd 1 07/03/2018 10:40


COLLINS BESPOKE

BEAUTIFUL KITCHENS

www.collinsbespoke.com

T. 01233 822595 E. info@collinsbespoke.com

A. Unit 40 Old Surrenden Manor, Bethersden, TN26 3DL


Competition

Win a pair of 18ct white

gold dazzle diamond

stud earrings worth £555

Established in London in 1991 and in Riverhead for 18 years, Dominic

Walmsley Jewellery has earned itself a highly respected reputation. Specialising

in bespoke, contemporary jewellery, handmade in our workshop at the back

of our shop, the professional and welcoming team are delighted to offer guidance

on their collections or discuss and design bespoke pieces for any special occasion.

In recent years they have specialized in redesigning and combining

existing jewellery to create breathtaking new pieces which retain their

sentimental value and can be handed down through future generations.

How to enter: For your

chance to win a pair of 18ct

white gold dazzle diamond

stud earrings worth £555,

just answer the following

question: When was Dominic

Walmsley established? Enter

your answer with your

contact details* in the online

form at wealdentimes.

co.uk/competition or post to:

The Dominic Walmsley

Competition, Wealden Times,

21 Stone Street, Cranbrook,

Kent TN17 3HF by 30 April.

There is no cash alternative

or exchanges and the prize

must be taken before 30 April

2019. *All entrants’ details

will be passed on to Dominic

Walmsley and Wealden

Times Events. Please let us

know if you do not wish

your details to be passed on.

Congratulations to Patricia Saunderson who wins our February competition for a Denbies Wine Estate Gift Experience

173 wealdentimes.co.uk


Jane Howard’s

Fables from

the Farm

It’s that joyous time of year for new arrivals on the farm

and Jane has some very important dates in her diary

Spring officially kicked off on 20th March but after that

especially cold and snowy snap, the arrival of the real

yet unofficial thing, whenever that happens will be

very warmly welcomed. April usually delivers the goods and

heralds lots of changes on the farm and all of them are a cause

for great joy.

Given hay and somewhere dry to shelter, our hardy native

Sussex cows would happily outwinter, but they would churn

all the fields into a muddy quagmire and effectively put paid

to any expectation of a good flush of spring grass. Instead, our

grass was only winter grazed by sheep, so once the soil reaches

a temperature of about 10C it will turn green and start to

grow again and will be the sweetest, freshest grass of the year.

Having been housed since November, turnout is a cause

for major bovine celebration. Tentative at first, the cows

come out of the barn and suddenly realising they’re free they

stampede off, frolicking and kicking their heels in the air in a

complete show of joy and happiness.

For the mums things will settle down after about three laps

of the field but for the calves it’s a completely

different matter. Having been born in February

and March they’ve never really had the

opportunity to test drive all four legs. But once

tried there’s no stopping them. Round and

round they go, turbo charged, until, they run

out of muscle power and puff.

For the bull, the advent of spring is even

more exciting. George, our resident stock bull,

who I’ve written about often, has now packed his bags and set

off up the M40 to pastures new in Great Missenden.

After three years of loyal service, his two-year-old daughters

– now known as bulling heifers - are ready to come into the

breeding herd so we needed a new sire. Enter Eric, who will

arrive on the farm at the end of this month.

But Eric won’t be the only arrival this month. The first

swallows should come back to Coopers from south of

the Sahara (which makes George’s journey seem a little

insignificant) any time from 14th April.

Last year it was the 16th and for the past

“It’s funny how

despite advancing

years, the journey of

tadpoles into frogdom

remains fascinating”

ten years they have only ever varied the date

by one or two days. I know this because I

keep a diary of events that happen on the

farm – and have done so ever since we came

here twenty years ago.

In our first year a purveyor of animal

feeds and mineral blocks gave me a swanky

A4 desk diary, and has done so every year

since. With no appointments or meetings to write in, it makes

for a wonderful record of our farming year and of what’s

going on in the natural world. This recording of the times of

recurring natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate

is called phenology and it’s a very addictive hobby.

Frog spawn always appears in the ponds at the beginning of

March and is now just hatching into a wriggling black soup

– funny how despite advancing years, the journey of tadpoles

into frogdom remains an absolute fascination.

I’ve also seen our first bumble bees, butterflies, ladybirds

and moths. But what I haven’t yet heard is the cuckoo.

When we first came to Coopers, they were a common sound

(anywhen from 12th April, if you’re interested) but last year I

only heard the cuckoo once and that wasn’t here on this farm

so it looks like they are in deep trouble.

Is there anything we can do? Fingers crossed the

nightingales arrive on 2nd May.

Follow Jane Howard – and the farm – on Instagram @coopersfarm

wealdentimes.co.uk

174


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