Eastlife December 2018


The countdown to Christmas is officially on! If you’re looking for festive fun to fill your weekends in the lead up to the big day, then keep reading, as this issue is stacked with seasonal events, gift ideas, food, travel and more.There’s something for everyone from winter wonderlands to choirs and carols; we’ve left no event off the list! If your children are more excited than Santa’s elves, read our guide to the best grottos across the region on page 53.

It’s the most important meal of the year, so if you’ve taken on the task of cooking for the family on Christmas Day then turn to page 62 for how to cook the tastiest turkey. There’s also shopping, fashion and guides on spending Christmas by the coast.

I’d like to thank everyone that has taken the time to read eastlife or comment, like and share on social media this year. The team and I appreciate each and every one of you!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Time to downsize?

One and two bedroom bungalows

built exclusively for the over 55s with prices from £180,995

Do you want to live in a real community?

The Croft at Baston,

Mayfield Gardens (off Chesham Drive), Baston, Lincolnshire PE6 9QW

Telephone 07917 761020 Sales office open: Saturday to Tuesday 10am – 5pm

Email: thecroftatbaston@larkfleethomes.co.uk


3277 1118



Settling Settling in in to to our our new new home home and and lifestyle lifestyle

W e finally made the move. We have a new home and a new lifestyle – and both of them are just

great. e finally Couldn’t made be the better. move. We have a new home and a new lifestyle – and both of them are just

great. Couldn’t be better.

They used to call us ‘empty nesters’ – the kids had

grown They up used and to left call home us ‘empty so we nesters’ were living – the in kids a house had

twice grown as big up as and we left needed home with so we a were garden living to match. in a house It

was twice all a as bit big too as much we needed to look with after, a to garden be honest. to match. Taking It

too was much all a time bit too and much energy. to look after, to be honest. Taking

too much time and energy.

So, we moved to The Croft at Baston – a tranquil

village So, we between moved Bourne to The in Croft Lincolnshire at Baston and – a tranquil the city of


village between Bourne in Lincolnshire and the city of


The second phase of The Croft has just opened. It is a










The Croft








It is a


small number

first phase,

of new


homes which









it at a





extending the community but

keeping it at a modest scale.

All the homes here have been designed to need minimal

It is well located, too, close to the A15 for swift access to All the homes here have been designed to need minimal

It is well located, too, close to the A15 for swift access to ongoing maintenance. It means that we benefit from

the cities of Peterborough and Lincoln, as well as nearby ongoing maintenance. It means that we benefit from

the cities of Peterborough and Lincoln, as well as nearby the security of property ownership without the concerns

Bourne. And if we don’t want to use the car, the frequent the security of property ownership without the concerns

Bourne. And if we don’t want to use the car, the frequent of property upkeep – and the garden is a lot smaller so

bus service provides an easy alternative.

of property upkeep – and the garden is a lot smaller so

bus service provides an easy alternative.

there’s less mowing and weeding!

there’s less mowing and weeding!

The bungalows are located around attractive walkways

The bungalows are located around attractive walkways

and gardens, creating a pleasant residential environment.

and gardens, creating a pleasant residential environment.

The village itself has a number of shops and two

The village itself has a number of shops and two



















































estate estate agent agent said said its its location location near near London London helped helped to to

push push up up the the value) value) and and we we spent spent much much less less than than that that on on

our our new new home home in in Baston. Baston.

Now Now we’re we’re wondering wondering what what to to do do with with all all this this money we we

have have in in the the bank. bank. Not Not that that we’re we’re short short of of ideas! The The table

is is covered covered with with brochures for for holidays, cruises and and new

The The whole whole development is designed is designed to to provide provide over-55s

over-55s cars.

(whether (whether retired retired or or still still working) working) with with the the independence


of owning of owning our our own own homes, homes, combined with with the the benefits

We’ve We’ve done done all all the the research on on the the internet, of of course,

of being of being part part of a of community a of of people people with with a similar a similar but but I do I do like like a a printed brochure to to look at at when we’re

outlook outlook on on life. life.

spending this this amount of of money. And they are a topic of of

conversation with with our our neighbours –– we’ve not been here

The The properties are are mostly mostly one one and and two-bedroom

long long and and have already made some good friends.

bungalows. We We bought bought one one of of the the larger larger ones ones so so that that we we

have have somewhere for for the the children to to stay stay when when they they visit. visit. Although I am I am still still working there is is definitely a different

They They have have already been been down down a couple a of of times. And And

pace pace and and style of of life life here which will be be ideal when I I

maybe maybe we’ll we’ll have have grandchildren to to stay stay in in future – who – who

knows? It’s It’s definitely worth worth having the the spare room.

finally retire. We We love it! it!

The all-new A-Class. Just like you.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class features an

interior that redefi nes the concept of modern

luxury in the compact class. Demonstrated by

MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) the

touch-screen control, an innovative voice control

system and augmented reality navigation revolutionises

the way drivers can interact with the

A-Class as your car learns who you are and

intuitively updates your preferences.

As standard, the 7.0-inch dual wide-screen cockpit

displays driver related information to the instrument

cluster along with navigation and entertainment

information to the touch-screen to allow for a more

immersive driving experience.

Representative example

A 180d SE

48 monthly payments of*(Term of agreement) £269

On-the-road price £24,200

Customer deposit £4,788.89

Retailer deposit contribution £0

Optional final payment † £10,075

Total amount of credit £19,411.11

Total amount payable †† £27,785.89

Option to purchase fee † £10

Representative APR 6.1%

Fixed interest rate 5.95%

Official government fuel consumption figures in mpg (litres per 100km) for the A-Class range: urban 41.5(6.8)-62.8(4.5), extra urban

60.1(4.7)-72.4(3.9), combined 51.4(5)-68.9(4.1). CO 2

emissions 108-141 g/km. Official EU-regulated test data are provided for

comparison purposes and actual performance will depend on driving style, road conditions and other non-technical factors.

The indicated values were determined according to the prescribed measurement method. These are the “NEDC CO2 values” according to Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test

Procedure (WLTP). For more information on these values and how they have been calculated please see www.mercedesbenz.co.uk/WLTP. Official EU-regulated test data are

provided for comparison purposes and actual performance will depend on driving style, road conditions, chosen optional exras and other non-technical factors. Whilst this offer is

only available through Mercedes-Benz Finance, we do arrange finance behalf of other finance companies as well. Model featured is a Mercedes-Benz A 180 d SE at £24,200

on-the-road (on-the-road price includes VAT, delivery, 12 months’ Road Fund Licence, number plates, fist registration fee and fuel). Specification imagery may show optional features.

Content relating to finance is promoted by Mercedes- Benz Finance. Your Retailer may offer finance on behalf of other companies. *Finance offer based on an A 180 d SE on a

Mercedes-Benz Agility Agreement, on 10,000 miles per annum. Vehicle condition, excess mileage and other charges apply. †Payable if you exercise the option to purchase the car.

††Includes optional purchase payment, purchase activation fee and Retailer deposit contribution. Orders/credit approvals on selected A-Class models, between 1 October and 31

December 2018, registered by 31 March 2019. Guarantees may be required. Offers cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Some combinations of features/options may

not be available. Credit provided subject to status by Mercedes-Benz Finance, MK15 8BA. Prices, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions correct at time of production.

The best or nothing.

Mercedes-Benz of Bury St Edmunds 01284 769676

Mercedes-Benz of Cambridge 01223 401100

Mercedes-Benz of Kings Lynn 01553 777307

Mercedes-Benz of Norwich 01603 980800

Mercedes-Benz of Peterborough 01733 294900


PUBLISHER - Sean Thompson

sean@eastlife.co.uk - 01954 267696

EDITOR - Emma Kemsley

emma@eastlife.co.uk - 01954 267904



paul@eastlife.co.uk - 01954 268142

SOCIAL MEDIA - Nicole Ranaweera

nicole@eastlife.co.uk - 07921 235539




accounts@eastlife.co.uk - 01954 268129


Darren Marshall - 01954 267088

Stewart Hedges - 01954 267164

Jim Leishman - 01954 267635


Unit 4, Avenue Business Park, Elsworth,

Cambridge, CB23 4EY

Special thanks to our contributors

Gerla De Boer, Dolly Osborne, Sue Cooke, Katrina

Otter, Collette Hoefkens, Wendy Howes, Ruth Essex,

Mike Garside, Ben Aveling, Erica Roffe,

Victoria Magnall, Jessica Hutchinson

From the

Dear Reader,


The countdown to Christmas is

officially on! If you’re looking for

festive fun to fill your weekends

in the lead up to the big day,

then keep reading, as this issue is

stacked with seasonal events, gift

ideas, food, travel and more.

There’s something for everyone from winter wonderlands

to choirs and carols; we’ve left no event off the list! If your

children are more excited than Santa’s elves, read our

guide to the best grottos across the region on page 53.

It’s the most important meal of the year, so if you’ve taken

on the task of cooking for the family on Christmas Day

then turn to page 62 for how to cook the tastiest turkey.

There’s also shopping, fashion and guides on spending

Christmas by the coast.

I’d like to thank everyone that has taken the time to read

eastlife or comment, like and share on social media this

year. The team and I appreciate each and every one of


Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Emma Kemsley

EASTLIFE is published by Thompson Media Partners Ltd.

All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without the written

permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. The views expressed by

contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher. All times, prices and

dates of events were correct at the time of going to press but readers are

advised to ring and check before setting out. Printed by Buxton Press.

Find us on online:



On the

front cover:

‘The Market Square’ by Karen


Karen grew up in Cambridge,

but currently lives in Kenilworth.

She admits to being

strongly influenced by LS

Lowry’s style and particularly

his palette, which, by its limitations,

gives a beautifully subdued

hue to her paintings - a

very English colouration. Prints

& cards are available to buy at

Lawson Gallery, Cambridge.







Available on the Google Play

and Apple App Stores.

Just search “eastlife”

eastlife.co.uk 5

On all orders placed

before 31st December




A round-up of monthly news

and events


Enjoy a fun festive day out


Find the perfect present


The best Christmas shopping

destinations in the East



Tails About Town and pet presents


Mum’s the Word and Santa’s Grottos

57-63 FOOD & DRINK

News, the Cambridge Foodie &

tasty turkey tips


66-69 HEALTH

How to stay healthy through

December and tips for sleeping


Winter whites and personal styling


Top tips for choosing your venue


Bargain Xmas decor, gardens and

how to move with children



December 2018


95-97 ARTS

Monthly column and the latest news



99-111 SUFFOLK

A dreamy Christmas on the Suffolk


113-121 NORFOLK

Secret Norfolk & a North Norfolk

festive break


Christmas in St Albans & Bedford


Say hello to our new Cambridge

columnist, Victoria Magnall

141-145 ESSEX

Christmas in Colchester, plus theatre


eastlife.co.uk 7



Jess Gillam

The Hallé

BBC Big Band:

Nat King Cole 100

Sir Bryn Terfel

Nicola Benedetti

Scottish Dance


The Ronnie

Scott’s All Stars

Box Office


0845 548 7650

Eastlife Diary


the region

Kids’ Christmas Party

Friday 21 Dec 4 – 6pm

Forest of Marston Vale

MK43 0PR

Get little ones into the Christmas spirit

with a party full of festive fun.

£10 per child, which includes a kids’

meal, squash and gift from Santa.

Parental supervision is essential.


Life & Times

4 December at Chelmsford Civic Theatre

Sir Chris will present his ‘Life & Times’ talk, covering his sixty years spent

in the mountains. With original images and raw footage, this is a rare

opportunity to hear about some of the greatest expeditions of the twentieth

century, from one of the greatest mountaineers in history.

To book tickets, contact the Box Office on 01245 606505 or


Thursford Christmas Spectacular,

6 November – 23 December, 2pm

& 7pm

Thursford Collection, Thursford,

Fakenham NR21 0AS

This is the largest Christmas Spectacular

in the country. An annual sell-out

extravaganza of non-stop singing,

dancing, music, humour and variety. It’s

a fast moving celebration of the festive

season featuring an eclectic mix of both

seasonal and year round favourites.


Winter Wonderland at

the Museum of Power,


Sunday 11 December

Browse the Christmas stalls,

take a spin around the ice rink

and hop aboard a sleigh ride to

see Santa.


An afternoon of

Christmas Words and

Music Maddermarket

Theatre, 5-6 December

Phoenix Players proudly present an

afternoon of Christmas words and

music. Join in singing all the well

known Christmas songs including

‘White Christmas’, ‘The Christmas

Alphabet’ and ‘Rudolph The

Red Nosed Reindeer’ alongside

wonderful Christmas poems and

carols. You’ll also be served tea or

coffee alongside a festive mince

pie. Price £12.


Christmas Craft Workshop - A Natural Christmas for

Children 1, 2, 8, 9 December 10.30am-12noon and 1pm-

2.30pm. Holkham Hall, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AB

Families, get creative and into the Christmas spirit! Join the

festive workshop and make some decorations to take away

using a combination of natural materials including berries, twigs,

pinecones, greenery and moss. You can even add a spot of

Christmas sparkle too! Please be aware that, weather permitting,

there will be a short walk at the start of the session to collect some

materials from Holkham park. This session is suitable for children

aged 3 and above. Pre-booking is essential, adult supervision

required. Please bring a large cardboard box to take your child’s

creations home in. £8.50 per child (3 – 12 yrs)

eastlife.co.uk 11

Around the


Late night Christmas Shopping in


If you need to grab those last minute gifts the Grand

Arcade in Cambridge will be the place to be for that

magical festive feeling as late night shopping hours start

from 10 December and will run until 29 December.

Grand Arcade’s stores will be open until 7pm Monday

to Saturday and from 10.30am to 5pm on Sunday. On

Wednesdays the stores will be open from 9am to 8pm

as usual. Customers can park for less after 6pm with a

reduced rate of £1.20 per hour.

Throughout December there will be a festive choir or

band performing Christmas favourites every weekend

in the shopping mall. From wind bands to choirs, all the

local favourites will be entertaining shoppers under the

cover of twinkling Christmas decorations. From the Perse

Wind Band, the Wintercomforter Choir to the Oakington

Singers, there will be a host of local delights to bring the

festive spirit to Cambridge.

RMG photography

Grand Arcade will be closed on Christmas Day and will

re-open from 11am – 5pm on Boxing Day for customers

to make the most of the Boxing Day sales.

New Year’s Day Dog Walk with BRoW4

Following the success of an event earlier this year,

BRoW4, the non-profit fundraising group, will once

again be hosting its ‘New Year’s Dog Walk’ on Sunday 6

January at Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Huntingdon,


Returning for its fourth year, the walk will cover a

two-mile scenic route around the park. The walks start

from 10am, with another every hour on the hour until

the last walk at 2pm, so you can choose when you’d like

to take part. It costs £10 to register and included in that

fee is hot refreshments to warm you up when the walk is

over. Dogs will also get a treat when the walk is finished.

The money raised will be split equally and donated to

BRoW4’s chosen four dog charities; the Dogs Trust,

Canine Partners, Medical Detection Dogs and Therapy

Dogs Nationwide. You also have the option to raise

sponsorship money for any dog charity of your choice –

get in touch for a sponsorship form! You don’t have to

have a dog to take part, you can use it as an excuse to

burn off some of the Christmas calories.

If you don’t want to take part in the walk, there will also

be a wide variety of stalls in the Countryside Centre,

which will be open between 10am and 3pm.

For more information about BRoW4 visit


eastlife.co.uk 13

We put customers

at the heart of

everything that we do.

Nuffield Health Brentwood Hospital.

We offer fast access to experts who can provide a diagnosis and treatment.

Don’t wait. Get in touch now. Whether you’re insured or want to pay for yourself,

don’t just go private, go personal.

Our services include:

• Breast Care

• Cataracts/Eyes

• Cardiology

• Children’s Services

• Cosmetic Surgery

• Ear, Nose & Throat

• Gastroenterology

• Hernia Repair

• Men’s Health

• Orthopaedics/Sports Injuries

• Varicose Veins

• Women’s Health

Don’t wait. Get in touch now. For more information

and to find out about our open events:

01277 886 706



Nuffield Health Brentwood Hospital

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 8EH

Parker’s Tavern launches afternoon tea

It’s the ultimate British tradition and where better to tuck

into finger sandwiches and scones than Parker’s Tavern.

The Cambridge restaurant will be drawing on the city’s

history and chef Tristan Welch’s playful signature style to

create the ‘Historical Afternoon Tea’, which will be served

in the Library at the University Arms, complete with a

roaring fire, perfect for escaping the cold this December.

When creating the menu, Tristan was inspired by

Cambridge and the long list of legendary academics

that have made their mark in the city. Every dish on the

menu has an interesting story behind it, or pays homage

to an exciting moment in the history of Cambridge.

Savory treats on the menu include a trio of sandwiches

which have been inspired by the 4th Earl of Sandwich,

who invented his namesake afternoon tea staple. Other

savory delights include Crayfish Pastry Boats, inspired

by the famous Oxford vs. Cambridge boat race born in

1829, made with puff pastry and fresh crayfish.

In addition, Musks Sausage Rolls are served warm and

made with meat from Cambridge’s finest butchers,

Musks of Newmarket (also the Queen’s go-to for the

royal breakfast table).

Afternoon Tea at Parker’s Tavern costs from £33 per

person. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.


Australian homeware brand opens in


There’s a new ‘House’ on the block in Cambridge.

Homewares and kitchen specialists, House, have

opened one of their new UK stores in the Grand Arcade


The Cambridge House store will offer more than 4,000

products including cookware, bakeware, glassware, kitchen

gadgets, small electrical appliances, knives, table linens

and accessories – perfect if you have a foodie to buy for

this Christmas. With online ordering available in store, as

well as collections, Cambridge residents will have access to

an even bigger range of products and brands.

The store is part of the UK rollout. A store opened at intu

Chapelfield centre in Norwich in August, and since the

launch in Cambridge, others have opened in Westfield

Stratford city and Bromley The Glades.


Local artist designs charity Christmas cards to support

cancer research in dogs

Norfolk-based award-winning wildlife and animal artist, Yvonne Lamden

Cooper, is supporting the Animal Health Trust (AHT) this Christmas by

using her talents and passion for animals to create two Christmas card

designs to support the charity’s canine cancer research.

Yvonne primarily works with pastel and charcoal and spent weeks working

on two designs for the AHT’s Christmas cards. ‘Who Me?’ is of a cheeky

Golden Retriever unwrapping a stolen present, and ‘Winter Fun’ is of a

gorgeous chestnut horse galloping through the snow. The Christmas cards

are sold in packs of 10 for £3.99 and can be ordered by calling the AHT

on 01638 555648. 100% of the profit generated from the card sales will

support the AHT’s vital cancer research work.

In addition, both original pieces of artwork will be sold through the AHT

to raise even more funds for the cancer research team, which is led by Dr

Mike Starkey, Yvonne will also make a donation to the AHT from every

piece of newly-commissioned artwork she does. For further details about

pet portraits contact yvonnelamdencooper@tiscali.co.uk and mention the


eastlife.co.uk 15

A warm welcome

f y

At Clayburn Court care home, we understand that we are part of a wider community. We also

understand how important it is for all of us to share, to talk and to feel safe and secure. That

is why we are reaching out to older people within the community and inviting you into our

home to enjoy a warm meal and some good company.

Pru -f-rfi.

Clayburn Court care home

Clayburn Road, Peterborough, PE7 8LB

If you, or someone you know, would benefi t from this then please call

us for more details on 0808 102 4991 or visit ClayburnCourt.co.uk

Rated Sept 2017


We would like to wish you

all Merry Christmas!

Open all year from 10am

For more information please visit

www.thrigbyhall.com - 01493 369477

Thrigby Hall, Filby, Great Yarmouth NR29 3DR

Ho, ho, ho, it’s time to get festive. The magic

of Christmas is spreading across the region

with markets, dazzling light displays, cosy pop

ups, ice rinks and more. Read our guide to winter

in the East.

German Christmas Market at Battlesbridge,

8 November – 23 December

Meadow Croft Garden Centre, Woodham Rd,

Battlesbridge, Wickford SS11 7QU

This year there’s German beer, Gluhwein and traditional

market stalls, manned by teams in costume. Tuck into

festive food, purchase gifts and decorations, and get into

the seasonal spirit!


Tunnel of Light,

15 November – 5 January,

Hay Hill, Norwich, NR2 1QX

Returning for its third year with glittering new sequences,

Norwich’s Tunnel of Light will once again thrill the senses

with its 45-meters long, 4 meters high and 6 meters wide

tunnel made from 50,000 pulsating LEDs. As well as all

the usual colours and thrills, new for 2018 visitors can

experience a James Bondesque sequence with speeding

colours firing through the tunnel as well as a sequence

giving the illusion of splashing, cascading water with

waves rolling high above your head. It’s free to visit.


The North Pole,

17 November - 6 January

Parker’s Piece, Cambridge

Get into the festive spirit, whatever the weather, and

skate in style at The North Pole Cambridge, featuring an

undercover ice rink and cosy Alpine Cabin Bar. Adults

priced £12.50, children under 15, OAPs, students and

concessions £11 and children under 12 £10.50.


The Big Skate

24 November – 13 January

The Parade, Watford, Hertfordshire

Set in The Parade, families can relish in the magic of

Christmas, as Watford Borough Council’s Big Skate returns

for its fifth year. After whizzing around the ice warm up at

the ski lodge bar. watfordbigevents.co.uk

The Big Skate

Great Yarmouth Winter Festival,

Weekends from 30 November – 23 December

Market Square, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2AX

A mixture of wooden chalets and gazebos will take

shape in the Market Square, creating a perfect festive

atmosphere with gifts, handmade crafts and treats for

everyone on offer.


Deepdale Christmas Market,

30 November – 2 December, 10am to 5pm

Dalegate Market, Shopping & Cafe, Burnham Deepdale,

PE31 8FB

One of the most popular traditional Christmas markets in

the county, visitors can browse goods from over 120 local

artisans and producers. Free entry and car parking.


eastlife.co.uk 19

Christmas at the Colosseum

Throughout December, Watford Colosseum,

Rickmansworth Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 3JN

Families are spoilt this Christmas at the Colosseum, as

‘Santa Claus and the Magical Christmas Journey’ runs

for the entire month of December. Not only will you be

whisked on a theatrical adventure with songs and stories,

there will be a chance to meet Santa at the end of the

show. No Christmas is complete without The Snowman,

enjoy an immersive experience on 17 December. Don’t

miss the Rudolph Rave on 16 December; with a DJ on

the decks, glow sticks, gallons of glitter, a spectacular

laser-light display and a licensed bar for the big kids, this

family-friendly party afternoon will make Christmas 2018

truly unforgettable! www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk

Ice skating at Lee Valley

1 December – 6 January, Lee Valley White Water Centre,

Station Road, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire EN9 1AB

Get your skates on and take to the ice at the London

2012 Olympic legacy venue which will host an array of

seasonal activities and entertainment for families and

friends to enjoy throughout the festive period including

an ice rink, curling lanes for a taster of the winter sport,

a Santa’s grotto and fun fair. Ice skating prices start from

£5pp for a 45 minute session, curling lanes available from

£18.75pp based on eight people hiring a lane for a two

hour session. gowhitewater.co.uk

A Victorian Christmas Evening

1 December, 6pm, Long Shop Museum, 15 Main St,

Leiston IP16 4ES

Experience Christmas from a different era. The museum

will be creating an amazing Victorian atmosphere, with an

abridged version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,

accompanied with piano, festive refreshments and carols

from Ipswich’s Song Community Choir. Fancy dress is

encouraged! Tickets £12.50 for adults and £7.50 children

under 14. www.longshopmuseum.co.uk

Carol Concert

5 December, performances at 6.30pm and 8.30pm, doors

open 30 mins before. Silsoe, Bedfordshire, MK45 4HR

Join in the Christmas celebrations at Wrest Park with

carols sung by Christ’s College, Cambridge choir, in the

stunning surroundings of the Library. Get in the festive

spirit with a mix of traditional and modern Christmas

Carols. Make the most of your evening by booking to

have Christmas dinner in the splendid state rooms.

Dinner is only available for the 6.30pm performance,

booking for this is essential. Priced: Adults: £15


English Heritage Carol Concert

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

1, 8, 15, 22 December, 10am – 4pm

Strangers’ Hall, Charing Cross, Norwich, NR2 4AL

Strangers’ Hall is a delightful museum to celebrate

Christmas and is the perfect setting for its Victorian

Father Christmas visits themed with the famous poem

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, creating an authentic

and exciting immersive experience for children and adults



Enchanted Audley End

6-9, 13-16, 20-23 and 27-30 December, 4.30-9pm.

Audley End Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JF

Make the most of the winter evenings this

December with an enchanting experience of light,

colour and sound as Audley End is transformed

into an illuminated world. Follow the charming trail

inspired by fairy tales and folklore and discover the

magical secrets hidden deep within the woodlands.

Step through tunnels and pathways of beautiful

fairy-lights, cross the enchanted bridge, encounter

a lively family of talking trees and watch as the

rivers and landscape burst to life in remarkable,

unexpected ways. Buy marshmallows to toast under

the night sky as well as warming mulled wine and

mince pies. Remember to book early to avoid

missing out. Adults: £12, Children £7.50


20 Download Our App Today!

Santa Run,

6 December, 1pm. Suffolk Business Park,

Bury St Edmunds

A sea of red jackets and white beards will descend on

Suffolk this month when East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

(EACH) hosts a Santa run. The fun run, just shy of two

kilometres, is a non-competitive event and everyone is

welcome to join. Tickets are £12 or £15 will also get you a

Santa suit. www.each.org.uk.

Credit: EACH

Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival

7-9 December, Town Centre, Brightlingsea,

Essex, CO7 0BP

Stand among the twinkling Christmas trees which have

been decorated by local residents and businesses. The

spectacular display is accompanied by a Christmas shop,

homemade festive treats and music from choirs and

musicians. Entry is £3.50 adults and children/students

free, 10am-6pm, last admission 5.15pm. A festival shuttle

bus also operates on both days.


Lavenham Christmas Market

7-9 December

The Market Square is transformed into a winter

wonderland with a funfair, big wheel and over 50 stalls;

it’s truly a family affair. There’ll also be carol singers to get

you in the mood and village shops will be open for late

night shopping during the event.


Cambridgeshire Christmas Craft & Food Fair

8-9 December, 10am-4pm. The Arena Wood Green,

London Road, Godmanchester, PE29 2NH

A huge range of over 100 arts, craft and gift stalls

where you might find anything from jewellery and other

accessories, handmade cards, photography, candles,

aromatherapy products, through to ceramics and wood

turning as well as food & drink – Christmas shopping

all under one roof! Tickets: £3, concessions £2.50

accompanied young people 18 & under free.

Santa’s Grotto for Dogs

8 December 2018, 11am – 3pm

The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF

Bring your dressed up pooches to meet Santa Woof Woof

in his kennel shaped grotto and be part of the seasonal

silliness. Santa’s little helpers from the RSPCA will be

handing out doggie treats and helping you take family

pictures. The event is free but donations to the animal

charities are encouraged. www.theforumnorwich.co.uk

Dickensian Christmas

8-9 & 15-16 December, Kentwell Hall, Long Melford,

Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9BA

Step back in time and experience a Christmas from 1869.

Kentwell Hall will be decorated in Victorian style, offering

an insight into festive traditions from a time gone by.

There will be activities throughout the day including Mr

Dickens himself narrating ‘A Christmas Carol’, complete

with Victorian illusions. Adults from £22.15, Child 12-15

years from £19.60, Child 4-11 years from £14.95 and Child

18months – 3 years from £7.25.


True Stories Live Christmas Special

9 December, 7.30pm. Norwich Arts Centre, St Benedict’s

Street Norwich NR2 4PG

Intimate monthly storytelling event True Stories Live has

some exciting guests for its Christmas Special. ITV News

Arts Editor Nina Nannar and writer and actress Helen

Linehan will join a line-up of people telling their personal

anecdotal stories to a warm and friendly audience.

Advance booking is recommended.


True Stories Live compere

Molly Naylor TSL

photo credit: Robin Mair

Ware Dickensian

7 December, 6pm-10pm, Town Centre, Ware

Crowds will gather in the High Street as residents and

local shops celebrate the start of the Christmas period!

Expect a buzzing atmosphere and festive entertainment.


Hitchin Christmas Big Weekend

8-9 December, 10am-4pm, Market Place, Hitchin

A little piece of the North Pole lands in Hitchin with an

arctic theme featuring street entertainment and a reindeer

procession with Father Christmas. Visit Santa’s Grotto and

enjoy the Giant Snow Globe! www.hitchinherts.com

eastlife.co.uk 21


Fern Carpenter

Christmas Specials – Norwich Ghost Walks

10-21 December. Begins at Adam and Eve Pub,

17 Bishopgate, Norwich NR3 1RZ

The Christmas Specials feature winter ghost stories

from around the country, with a mince pie and a glass

of mulled wine at the Adam & Eve, before heading

out on a one-hour special around the chilly streets!

(Before heading back to the pub to warm up!)

Tickets £9. www.ghostwalksnorwich.co.uk/events

A Christmas Soiree

11-13 December. Hylands House, London Road,

Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8WQ

Settle in to the Banqueting Room and enjoy a

performance from The Cameo Players as they bring

their blend of music, drama and joviality to Hylands

House with a new Christmas Show. The Victorians

certainly knew how to enjoy the festivities – and

who could be a more genial host than Mr. Pickwick

himself? Tickets priced £16.


The Baron in the Trees –

a Christmas Circus Spectacular

13-16 December, 6.30pm, The Oak Circus Centre,

Oak Street, Norwich NR3 3AE

A taste of Italian festivities comes to Norwich this

Christmas with Lost in Translation Circus’ spectacular

inspired by Italo Calvini’s 1957 novel of the same name.

The family show will feature astonishing and astounding

performances, high flying aerial stunts and amazing

acrobatics mixed with slapstick poetry and juggling to

create a show to thrill young and

old alike. Tickets £10 adults, £6 children.


Festive Cruise on the Queen of the Broads

9 & 16 December

Broads Tours, The Bridge, Wroxham, Norwich, NR12 8RX

Adults are not forgotten at Broads Tours this festive

season, with two days of special mulled wine and mince

pie trips. The Queen of the Broads will depart from

Wroxham with an entertaining live commentary on the

outward journey, where your skipper will explain the

origins of the Broads, whilst pointing out the local wildlife

and any other points of interest. On the return journey sit

back and listen to Christmas music and soak up the festive

atmosphere on board – the perfect way to kick start your

Christmas celebrations. Booking recommended - £13 per

person. www.broadstours.co.uk

Santa in Love

13-15 December, Civic Theatre, Fairfield Road,

Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1JG

This production includes everyone’s favourite

Christmas characters including the fairy on top of

the tree, elves, Frosty the Snowman and of course,

Santa. A magical festive family-friendly afternoon!


Disco Underground

22 December, 9.00pm – late

2648, Trinity Street, Cambridge

Head underground for a night of Christmas

craziness. A festival style party with secret guest DJs

(psst - we hear a rumour it’s a big name ...initials SF)

house, disco and funk music, wild decor, glitter from

Starlight Boutique and plenty of surprises.


Bottomless Festive Afternoon Tea

13 December. SIX, The Varsity Hotel & Spa,

Thompson’s Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8AQ

Enjoy the tasty delights of afternoon tea with

unlimited mulled wine while taking in the wintry

landscape of the city from the hotel’s panoramic bar

and brasserie. Priced £29.50 per person.


Festive Food Fair at Holkham Hall

15-16 December. Holkham Rd,

Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AB

A delicious collection of food and drink from the

best of local and regional producers.



22 Download Our App Today!

Christmas Magic at Peterborough Cathedral

15 December, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Peterborough Cathedral

Warm up those vocals for ‘Christmas Magic’, which will

round off Peterborough Cathedral’s 900th anniversary

year in spectacular style. Now in its eighth successful year,

the ever-popular Christmas extravaganza features all your

festive favourites including ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’,

‘Walking in the Air’, ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘Silent Night’ and

many more. Tickets from £18.


A Winter’s Tail

19 December – 2 January

Pensthorpe Natural Park, Pensthorpe, Fakenham,

Norfolk, NR21 0LN

This fun family event encourages visitors to explore the

beauty of Pensthorpe’s natural habitats. Learn enchanting

stories about the animals that tuck themselves up for a

long winter’s sleep, the incredible creatures who adapt to

handle cold conditions, and those who take the long and

adventurous migratory journey to warmer climates. There

will also be some craft-making activities and a winterinspired

self-guided trail weaving through the reserve.


The Sky is Full of Light: The Voice Project Choir

10th anniversary concert,

22 December, 7.30pm, St Andrew’s Hall,

Norwich NR3 1AU

In celebration of their 10 years of song, Norwich’s Voice

Project Choir are presenting a very special Christmas

concert titled ‘The Sky is Full of Light’ after the song

written for the choir by famed jazz musician Barbara

Thompson (one of the first to be specially written for

them). The concert will feature some of The Voice

Project’s favourite pieces from the past decade alongside

new seasonal songs especially written for the event.


A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

24 December, King’s College Chapel, Cambridge

A truly beautiful festive event to start the Christmas

holidays. Televised for the BBC, the service includes carols

and readings from the Bible. You’ll need to be eager

to get tickets, queues start forming the night before!

Tickets are distributed at 7am, and those who do receive

tickets will be invited to come back after 1:30pm to gain



Boxing Day Kayak

26 December, Hickling Broad, Norfolk Outdoor

Adventures, cost around £55 pp

An opportunity to get out on the water on Boxing Day

morning and to experience the stunning beauty and

nature of Hickling Broad from a wonderfully different and

totally magical perspective! Be quick to book - there are

only 16 places up for grabs! Tickets cost £55 per person.


Festive Falconry,

27 -28 December, 11am-3pm

Church Street, Framlingham, Suffolk, IP13 9BP

Witness graceful hawks, elegant owls and glorious

falcons in flight as expert falconers demonstrate the art

of training, exercising and hunting with birds. Hear how

food was caught for the Christmas dinner table whilst

these amazing birds swoop overhead. Adults: £11.80,

Concessions: £10.60, Children (5-15): £7.10


English Heritage

Christmas Farmers’ Market,

22 December, 9.30am Snape Maltings

Let’s face it Christmas is about the food! Stock up on

the finest regional produce for your Christmas dinner

and parties at this fantastic market!


eastlife.co.uk 23

EOR2322-Christmas2018-105x148mm-001.pdf 1 01/10/2018 14:43






Santa and his fantastic team are coming back to the Epping

Ongar Railway for the 2018 Santa Specials! We’ll have the

Redbridge Brass Band, Christmas-themed

stalls and of course Santa on

his special train.


Don’t forget!

Mince Pie Specials 28, 29, 30 Dec

Steam into the New Year 1 Jan 2019



1 2 8 9 15 16

20 21 22 23 24


£17.50 / £20.00


Epping Ongar Railway


01277 365200

in association with Jordan Productions present

Frankie Jones

as Jack

Jon De Ville

as Fleshcreep

TICKETS JUST £15.50 (£10 CON)



BOX OFFICE 01223 511511




Nicholas Pound

as King Clarence

Tom Lowe

as Dame Trott

Written by Chris Jordan Directed and Choreographed by Julia Cave

15 December 2018 - 6 January 2019

Box Office: 01707 645005


Wyllyotts Theatre, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 2HN

Thursday 29th Nov – Sun 2nd Dec 2018

Thursday : 12.00noon – 7.30pm Friday : 9.00am – 7.30pm

Saturday: 9.00am – 7.30pm Sunday: 9:00am – 5.00pm

Market Square & Town Hall

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON Thurs 29th Nov at 6.30pm

d Fun for all the family d Meet Father Christmas d Children’s entertainment

d Festive food and drinks d Live music stage d Christmas gifts & stocking fillers

To find out more, visit:

Facebook: Huntingdon Christmas Market 2018

Website: www.huntingdonchristmasmarket.co.uk

Email: natasha.pierson@huntingdontown.gov.uk



Enjoy a special Christmas

at the Cathedral this year

Join us for our annual Carols by Candlelight service on Saturday 15

December at 7pm and a new service for this year, ‘The Longest Night’ which

will be held on Saturday 22 December at 3.30 pm. Please see details of the

other services and events on our website. You will be most welcome to join

us at this very special time.

Limited spaces, booking now available through our website.


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Where style is Diverse

et the chestnuts roasting, stoke the fire and reach for the Festive tree

Gbefore heading to Mia’s Luxury, Bond Street Chelmsford. There you will

find a fabulous range of tree decorations and innovative gifts such as luxury

tableware from Culinary Concepts, depicting the ornate Stag, Octopus and

elegant Crab ice bucket centre pieces.

You will also find novelty designed silver cruet sets and champagne cork keep

sakes, together with warm copper toned cutlery, just perfect for entertaining.

Complete your room with one of their spectacular metallic or natural cowhides

of varying sizes and colours. Explore the beautiful Ashleigh & Burwood ‘Wild

Things’ range of ceramic room fragrances, including the 2018 Limited Editions

of Christmas Spice, Cashmere Musk and Earthy Patchouli to fill your room with

a festive warmth.

Whether you have your heart on a particular

design of furniture, or looking for inspiration,

Mia’s will help source anything from modern,

traditional, French to industrial the list is endless,

unlike delivery which is generally within two

weeks. Open Mon-Sat 9.30-5:30, Sun 11-4


Where style is Diverse

22 Bond Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1GH

01245 265625 info@miasluxury.co.uk


Looking for

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01508 481000


Open Mon - Sat 10am - 5pm


01223 312 971

Gift shopping

– it’s a wrap!

If you’ve still not started your Christmas shopping don’t panic, we’ve

pulled together gifts from local artists, craftsmen, designers and

businesses all guaranteed to put a smile on a loved-ones face!

Bee Happy! This 925 sterling silver set, plated

with gold, makes the perfect gift this Christmas.

Prices: Pendant £42, Bracelet £53, Earrings £36

Available from Cloud Nine Gems, St Ives


Gin lovers will adore Pinksters gift set.

Created in Cambridgeshire, the gin has a

subtle fruity flavour. Fancy a taster? Drop by

the Pinkster Gin pop-up bar in Debenhams’s

beauty hall at intu Watford.


Stuck for a gift idea for the artist in your

life? PhotoART GB’s vouchers, ranging

from £10 to £100 are redeemable against

any of their services, from Fine Art Giclée

Printing to Picture Framing. These are

also ideal for anyone who is getting

married next year and will want their

treasured wedding photographs framed!

Available from www.facebook.com/photoartgb/shop

or by calling 01223 834411

eastlife.co.uk 29

10 Specially Selected Beers including the

Michelin Star Chef Galton Blackiston’s

No.1‘s, a Moon Gazer Glass, Keyring bottle

opener & pen.

Price: £29.99

Available from: Beers of Europe, Norfolk


Give the gift of a new hobby or chance to be

creative with vouchers for the beautiful and

newly launched Cambridge Writing Retreat

based in Elsworth, Cambs. Your recipient

can then choose from the Spring 2019

programme, the course they would like to

attend. You will receive a lovely voucher via

email for you to print, or a hard copy through

the post.

Writing courses or retreat days - £75 and £45


Who doesn’t love jewellery? Make

it extra special with a personalised

touch. This is just one of the many

items available for personalisation

at Norwich’s Lisa Angel.

Price: £22


30 Download Our App Today!

A cuddly soft toy version of Redwings

Horse Sanctuary’s own adorable Rumpel,

available at a special festive price. Suitable

for children aged 36 months upwards.

All sale proceeds will go towards

supporting the 1,500 rescued horses,

ponies, donkeys and mules in the care

of the charity.

Special price: £11 (was £15)


‘It’s always happy hour somewhere..’ No cocktail

connoisseur should be without this print in their

kitchen (or by their drinks cabinet!). Discover

gorgeous prints by Jen Roffe. Signed archival

print in black and white.

Available in A4 and A3 unframed and framed,

from £20.

Check online for

Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire stockists.


Do you know a keen cook, gardener or artisan?

An Aabelard apron could be the ideal gift. Hand

sewn and created in a home in rural Hertfordshire.

Price: The Atelier apron (with a cross-back strap), £85.

The Heritage (deep wrap around pockets), £75.


eastlife.co.uk 31

Buy in store or online

www.pebble-sanctuary.com 01462 458885


17-18 Bucklersbury, Hitchin,





17-18 Bucklersbury, Hitchin, SG5 1BB

All cakes are designed

and made to order.

We will discuss a range of options

with you, allowing you to create

the cake of your dreams!

All occasions catered for.


Design led furniture and accessories

for the home and garden

36 - 38 Station Road, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2SS

01787 312126 www.aglifestyle.co.uk

Open Monday to Saturday 9.30 AM - 5.00 PM

Whether you’re looking for a warming Christmas scented

candle for yourself, or a gorgeous gift for a friend, you’re sure

to find exactly what you’re looking for at The Home Fragrance

Company. If you are buying a present, there’s also a great

selection of cards and wrapping paper to ensure that everything

you need to achieve the perfect gift is catered for. They will even

wrap your purchases for you at no extra cost!



to 2019

Say goodbye to 2018 in style, with a

New Year celebration at one of the

region’s finest venues

New Year’s Eve is a chance to put on your party dress

and heels or pull on your favourite shirt and get ready

to dance the night away with loved ones. The prospect

of fresh beginnings and times ahead is exciting so put

on your finest, pour the Champagne and raise a glass

to 2019.

If an exclusive black tie evening accompanied by good

food and live music sounds like your ideal celebration

book at table at The Sculpture Gallery in Woburn. On

arrival you’ll be welcomed with a drink, before tucking

into a four course dinner. The five piece band, Blue

Rinse, will be performing throughout the evening with

music from a variety of genres including Motown, swing,

pop, soul and pop-rock. Tickets cost £120 per person

and can be booked at www.woburn.co.uk. After a night

of fun, if your feet just won’t carry you home, then make

sure you book an overnight stay at The Woburn Hotel.

With its stylish rooms and Olivier’s restaurant, it’s a great

place to wake up fresh in 2019!

Picture the scene; a beautiful wintery walk followed by

snuggling in front of a roaring fire under oak beams

surrounded by twinkling lights. If this sounds idyllic to you

then pack your bags and head to the Swan at Lavenham

Hotel and Spa this New Year. The historic hotel is offering

a flexible two-night NYE package arriving on either 30

or 31 December. The trip includes an afternoon tea,

Champagne reception and candlelit dinner with live entertainment

which will keep you dancing until midnight.

To ensure you look your best for the big event, book a

treatment at Weaver’s House Spa, prep your skin in the

sauna and steam and relax in the outdoor hot tub. The

two night package starts from £435 per person. Book at


If a chic city break is more your style make your way to

Norwich. With its vibrant bar and restaurant scene there’s

plenty of places to celebrate. During the day trot along

the cobbled Lanes and Timber Hill while shopping at the

city’s independent stores, admire the ancient buildings

such as St Andrew’s Hall, Dragon Hall and Strangers’ Hall

and as night falls step under the glittering Tunnel of Light.

There’s no shortage of places to stay in the city, book a

room at Gothic House, Norfolk Mead or The Assembly


34 Download Our App Today!

What could be better than an

escape to the Essex countryside

for New Year’s Eve?

Check-in at Down Hall Hotel &

Spa for a night to remember

(downhall.co.uk). Start your

day with a walk around the 110 acres of woodlands and landscaped grounds

before unwinding at the spa. In the evening, it’s time to get dressed up and

indulge in a four course meal, enjoy a game of Roulette or Black Jack and dance

the night away!

With so much on offer throughout the region, forget watching the countdown at

home on TV, be amongst the celebrations and see the New Year in with a bang!

eastlife.co.uk 35

Westgate • Peterborough • PE1 1RB

New Year’s Eve

Masquerade Ball

Monday 31st December

£170 per adult

Check into your room from 2pm followed by Afternoon Tea served between 2:30pm &

4pm. Join us for a pre-dinner reception with cocktails and canapes from 7pm and then

sit down to our chefs mouth-watering 4-course menu for all of your party to enjoy!

(black tie optional, smart attire) Enjoy live entertainment throughout dinner, then

dance the night away courtesy of our resident DJ. Includes overnight accommodation

and a Full English breakfast served on New Years Day from 9am-12 noon.

To make a reservation or for more information, please take a brochure

or contact our events team on 01733 561 364.

events@bull-hotel-peterborough.com • www.peelhotels.co.uk

Make it a jolly holiday with

a meal at the

King’s Head at Ivinghoe

Festive Menu @ £29.95


Tel: 01296 668388


Sugar and spice make Christmas nice!

See website for

Christmas Menus




Get your


digital copy of

Eastlife EVERY


Like us on Facebook /eastlifemag

Follow us on Twitter @eastmagazines

Follow us on Instagram @eastlifemag


All NeW


lightS & DeCoRAtioNS

Plan your perfect

festive celebration

With the Riverside Bedford party planner at:


Festive riverside setting in BedFord town centre ● christmas lights & giant present decorations

traditional and not-so traditional menus From £12.95pp * ● gluten Free, vegetarian and vegan choices

two Bars to keep the party going ● great For large and small groups For christmas & new year

Riverside Bedford, Riverside Square, Bedford, MK40 1AS


* details correct at time of printing. £12.95 per person menu is tapas buffet at albero lounge.

• Blackthorpe Barn christmas Festival 2018





Blackthorpe Barn

Country Christmas Shop | British Crafts

Workshops | Christmas Trees | Artisan Wreaths

Café | Festive Nights


J45 A14. Rougham, 3 miles from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP30 9HZ

On the


Christmas shopping in the


If your Christmas list is starting

to look longer than Santa’s,

escape the heaving high

street and pick up the perfect

present at one of our favourite

shopping destinations

eastlife.co.uk 39

There’s something special about Christmas shopping

that makes us want step away from a screen and get out

among the crowds and festive atmosphere. If you’re still

looking for gorgeous gifts and one off finds for loved

ones, take a trip to the region’s best shopping villages

stacked with crafts, handmade goods, tasty treats and

bargain brands.

Christmas in the Countryside

Surrounded by beautiful landscapes and woodlands

are some of the region’s most wonderful shopping

opportunities. Their sense of secrecy makes shopping

feel extra special and you can always guarantee

excellent customer service and a festive atmosphere. In

Cambridgeshire visit Burwash Manor

(www.burwashmanor.com). Located on a working

organic farm, it offers a variety of independent shops, a

tearoom and day spa, housed in beautiful converted farm

buildings. With clothing, jewellery, wine, local produce,

flowers, toys and furnishings available, you’re sure to find

gorgeous gifts for loved ones. The festivities officially

begin on 2 December with a day of Christmas cheer

including a visit from Father Christmas, carols and festive

food and drinks.

Snape Maltings (www.snapemaltings.co.uk/shop) has

firmly established itself as the go to shopping destination

in Suffolk. Pick up a tasty gift at the huge Food Hall,

lose yourself among the antiques and collectables, pick

up quirky gifts in the craft store or snap up a traditional

or contemporary piece of art from British artists in the

gallery. Stores will be open until Christmas Eve, Father

Christmas will be sailing by on 21 December and there’s a

whole programme of festive fun throughout the month.

Even the biggest scrooge will find it difficult not to get

into the Christmas spirit at Blackthorpe Barn

(www.blackthorpebarn.com). The medieval thatched barn

is home to an abundance of Christmas shops, crafts, trees

and workshops. Visitors to the country Christmas shop

are treated to colourful themes of gorgeous and often

hand-made decorations both, traditional and highly

contemporary, and nostalgic gift ranges for all the family

and its pets. There’s also warming aromatic candles,

beautiful gift wrap and festive accessories to transform

your home. The Christmas shop is open every day until 22


Extra creative inspiration can be sought from the weekend

crafts, showcasing the very best of British talent. There

are six craft weekends this year, starting 10 November.

Visitors can be wowed by the beautiful individually handcrafted

items. Many exhibitors change each weekend

so there are new inspirations for each visit. Each item is

hand-crafted by the exhibitor themselves, allowing visitors

to meet and chat with the makers.

Equally as exciting as the House and Gardens, the Stable

Yard at Hatfield House (www.stableyardshops.co.uk) is a

fantastic retail experience. Located in a beautiful setting,

stores are open Tuesday to Sunday and include jewellery,

country clothing, gifts, toys and a restaurant. On 9

December the Old Palace will be filled with the joyful and

uplifting sounds of the Hertfordshire Chorus.

Historic Finds

Discover a sense of nostalgia on the Norfolk and Suffolk

border at Earsham Hall (www.earshamhall.co.uk). In the

grounds of the 15th century country manor house, you’ll

find Earsham Hall Furnishings which features beautiful

homewares, lighting, accessories and more. Their gift

vouchers would make the perfect present for an interior

obsessed friend or loved one. There’s also the chance to

pick up one off gifts, many of which have been imported

from around the world!

40 Download Our App Today!

Christmas shopping in Norwich

Your trip can be finished off with a Vintage Bus Ride

around the city. Available from 20 December to

Christmas Eve, the free vintage Routemaster rides is

great for sightseeing and ideal for taking the weight

off your feet and soaking up the festive atmosphere in

the city.

City Treasures

Looking for a wider range of little independent shops

to look around? Then it is definitely worth heading

to the Norwich Lanes. Draped in Christmas lights,

the Lanes offer the ultimate Christmas shopping

experience, with atmospheric lighting, cafes galore and

a wide variety of stores. Pick up a beautifully crafted

gift from Lisa Angel, a small boutique on Lower Goat

Lane, selling a variety of items from delicate jewellery

to little touches for the home.

Alternatively wander through the light filled streets

down to The Book Hive and find yourself surrounded

by titles fit for any reader, something that can easily

be gifted to anyone in the family. If you love all things

vintage then stop by the Books, Antiques and Vintage

Fair at The Forum on 20 December. Browse the

collections and see if you can find the one-off piece

you’ve been looking for. Expect ceramics, glass, silver,

jewellery and more. Visit the book fair, where you can

lose yourself within the titles, find a hidden treasure or

discover a new author from the wide variety of secondhand

books of all genres.

In the lead up to Christmas, Cambridge is a shoppers

paradise. Home to household names such as John

Lewis, designer labels such a Hugo Boss and LK

Bennett, one off independent stores and boutiques

such as Della Kaur, which is a great for jewellery,

and Modish perfect for finding must-have seasonal

footwear, plus homewares, clothing and local crafts

and food - you won’t be leaving empty handed!

Bag a Bargain

December is the month that is going to drain the

pennies from your purse, however there are savings to

be made at Freeport Braintree in Essex

(www.freeport-braintree.com). With more than 85

stores and amazing deals on big named brands, high

street retailers and quality businesses, it’s the perfect

location to save some money this Christmas and get

your shop done smoothly. Stores are outside and

have a village style so you’ll still feel as though you’re

escaping a shopping mall.

Alternatively, Clacton Factory Outlet also in Essex,

advertises 60 percent off of high street stores with a

wide variety of shops making gift shopping a breeze.

With so many opportunities to pick up the perfect

present, you might need a bigger tree to put them


eastlife.co.uk 41




Our extensive showrooms house a large range of pine, oak & hand painted

furniture in East Anglia, traditional fireplaces, surrounds and accessories,

solid brass lighting, mirrors, prints, giftware and decorative accessories.

Monday - Saturday 9.00am Open – daily 5.00pm - Bank • Sunday holiday 10.00pm opening – times 4.00pm 10am • Bank to 5pm Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm

Tel: 01986 893 Tel: 423 01986 - Email: 893 423 enquiries@earshamhomefurnishings.co.uk - Email: earshamhomefurnishings.co.uk - - Web: Web: www.earshamhomefurnishing.co.uk




Christmas Party Menu

throughout December

Works Christmas Parties

Family Get Together

Celebrate in style this festive season

Real Reindeer

2nd & 9th


The Flight of

Wines Menu

13th December

Real Trees & Wreaths in Store

Breakfast with Santa - Book online

Tea with Santa - Book online

Elton, Peterborough, PE8 6SH

Tel: 01832 343104 www.bosworthsgc.co.uk

We serve a full breakfast menu and light lunches

with seasonal daily specials. A selection of teas

and locally roasted coffee, ground to order make

this cafe a welcome rest after a days shopping!

1 High Street, Clare CO10 8NY

01787 278932 - kent.palmer@btinternet.com

Opening Times : Monday to Saturday – 9am-5pm

Why not try our sister cafe, Platform One?

Situated in Clare’s

beautiful country park

Parking available

A warm welcome

awaits you in this

popular local Cafe

in the centre of

the historic

Town of Clare

Christmas hampers made to

order with no minimum spend

01787 277850 - Station House, Clare Castle Country Park

Maltings Lane, Clare CO10 8NW

With a new name and new stores,

your favourite shopping destination

just got even better.

For the latest news and information

visit ClactonShoppingVillage.com

or fi nd us across social media.

With a new name and new stores,

your favourite shopping destination

just got even better.

For the latest news and information

visit ClactonShoppingVillage.com

or fi nd us across social media.

COMING SOON - Doglife 2019

Your essential guide to the dog friendly

services of the East of England.

• Dog friendly hotels, cottages, campsites • Where to eat and drink

• Shopping for and with your pooch • Dog friendly events/ dog shows

• Dog friendly walks/ beaches

Email enquiries@eastlife.co.uk to advertise or to pre-order your copy!



Your Big Day Out

Plan your big day out at www.thegalleria.co.uk

Plan your big day out at







Tails about town

Written by Emma Kemsley

The most dog-friendly towns in East Anglia

The East is a region of dog lovers, but

there are some areas which stand out

from the rest and get a paws up from our

furry friends. Fletcher and I have visited

a fair few towns on our travels; he brings

a whole new meaning to the definition of

a ‘working spaniel’. Rather than joining

the beating line and retrieving on cue,

it’s Fletcher’s job to sniff out biscuit bars

in dog friendly pubs, taste test the water

bowls dotted around towns and hunt

out the best walks. It’s a tough job but

someone has to do it, and who better

than a spaniel with more energy than the

Duracell bunny.

Fletcher has sniffed, sprinted and splashed his way

around the region, while I’ve technically been dragged

along and covered in mud, to bring you our verdict, in

no particular order…

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

A few months ago Bury St Edmunds’ town council,

tourism boards and Canine Crèche came together to

launch an initiative to give dogs a warm welcome in the

town. Shops, eateries, hotels and attractions display

a paw print logo sticker in their window and put out

a water bowl to show visitors they are part of ‘Dog-

Friendly Bury St Edmunds’.

Fletcher, my husband and I recently spent a beautiful

sunny autumn Sunday walking around the town. We

enjoyed a stroll through the Abbey Gardens (though

dogs aren’t allowed off lead) and Fletcher managed to

drain every water bowl dry. Though he was welcome

to step inside many of the shops, his excitement and

small spaces is a disaster waiting to happen so we

chose to window shop instead. It’s great to see a town

recognising doggy visitors – it’s a paws up from Fletch!

Saffron Walden, Essex

There are a surprising number of businesses throughout this

historic Essex town that welcome four-legged friends. Of

course most of the pubs are dog friendly, but unexpectedly,

so are high street clothes chains, independent boutiques

and interiors stores. I was delighted to hear that one of my

favourite businesses, Angela Reed, a high end furnishing

store, which has a cute café on its second floor is dogfriendly.

I’ve not been brave enough to take Fletcher yet as

the idea of taking him past gorgeous homewares is slightly


There are plenty of local walks. Audley End Park is ideal for

adventurous dogs who like to run free, explore hedgerows

and splash in streams, while The Common, in the middle of

Saffron Walden, is perfect for stretching those four legs. The

large green space is surrounded by roads so only obedient

dogs should be let off lead. There’s water bowls around the

46 Download Our App Today!

town for rehydrating after walkies. Head further out of

the town, and country walks can be found in the nearby

villages of Debden, Newport and Wimbish.

Woodbridge, Suffolk

A firm favourite for a walk and a pub stop is

Woodbridge. It’s heaven for dogs who love to be off

lead and enjoy a splash in the water. Take a stroll along

the footpath of the River Debden before heading

into the town for a bite to eat at one of the many dog

friendly pubs. There are taps by the boat yard for

washing down mucky paws and water bowls throughout

the town.

At The King’s Head furry guests are welcomed with

treats and water, and can dine from the ‘Mutts Menu’.

Tag your dog enjoying their visit on Instagram and they

could star on the King’s Head Hounds wall of fame!



If you’d like to discover more dog

friendly towns, pubs, accommodation

and attractions throughout the East then

Christmas has come early as eastlife will

be launching a brand new publication all

about dogs!

‘DogLife’ will be available from January

2019 priced £3.95.

Email us at editorial@eastlife.co.uk to

pre-order your copy.

eastlife.co.uk 47

Ask Wood Green

anything about

owning a pet

We offer free pet advice

We can help you:

find your perfect pet

understand how best to care for your pet

improve behaviour and your relationship with your pet.

Call 0300 303 9333 or visit woodgreen.org.uk


Wood Green – bringing pets

and people closer together

Wood Green, The Animals Charity, Registered Charity No. 298348 00396JJ1118

00396 Ask Wood Green dog 148x107 Eastlife magazine.indd 1 21/11/2018 13:48

8 b/c Stortford Road

Dunmow Essex CM6 1DA

01371 875840

Pet & Wild Bird Supplies / Key Cutting

Director - Jo Rosewell

Visit: www.eastlife.co.uk/dog-friendly/





It’s their Christmas too, so

spoil your pet with our gift

guide for furry friends…

Say goodbye to tangled fur

with the Pet Teezer

De-Shedding Brush

Price: £12


Everything you need for an

adventure with your furry BFF

Price: £22


Swap stinky wet towels for a

stylish drying mitt!

Price: £18


Make a style statement with this

gorgeous green leather collar.

Price: from £30


The must-have drying coat

for any mucky pup.

Perfect for the winter and

available in Burgundy, French

Navy and Mud.

Price: Small £41.50

Medium £44

Large £49


eastlife.co.uk 49

In the darkest and most

painful of times,

EACH has been

our lifeline.

Rob Dodsworth


Your legacy can help EACH be there for future generations,

helping every child make the most of life – no matter how short.

To receive your information pack call 01223 800807

or email supportercare@each.org.uk

www.each.org.uk • Registered charity number:1069284

a1135 EACH Legacy Ad 107mmH x 148mmW.indd 1 26/07/2018 14:30

Luxury Self Catering Accommodation

Lakeside home set in 30 acres of gardens, woods and

lakes. Tennis, rowing, kayaking, birdwatching, walking

and open swimming in the grounds. Short breaks

available. Stamford and Peterborough close by.

Ideal for families and groups.

House per week: £1730 to £1835

Short breaks available Sleeps 8+2

Buses depart every 10 minutes (Mon-Sat) until 6.30pm and

every 20 minutes after.

Every 15 minutes (9am – 6pm) Sundays and public holidays.


• Park & Ride return, £3 and with this ticket up to three

children travel for free

• Park & Ride Group Ticket, £8.50 (purchased from driver),

allows a group of up to 5 people to travel together

• Park & Ride Weekly Ticket, £14 and valid for 7 days

Contactless payments are now accepted on all Park & Ride


Concessionary pass holders travel for free with their passes

after 9.30am Monday to Friday, and all day at the weekend

and on bank holidays.

*Parking is free for up to 18 hours.

Charges apply for longer stays, see

www.cambridgeparkandride.info for more.

View the Christmas timetable at


Lake Lodge, West End Road, Maxey, Peterborough PE28 5LS

01832 293688/07702 210608



The Word

Written by

Dolly Osborne

Little East




’m an unashamed Harry Potter geek and gobble

up all manner of memes and listicles about the

Wizarding World. Usually I’m just happy to add

to my vast geek knowledge reserves but recently

I read something I took umbrage with: why

would wizards celebrate Christmas?

The concept of wizards celebrating Christmas was called

out as some kind of gaping plot hole, I’m guessing the

crux of which is that anything that has been heralded

as miraculous can just be put down to witchcraft and

wizardry and therefore religion would not have a place.

Not only do I find this nonsensical in a world where

Christmas is often celebrated by the secular community,

but for me it misses what is at the heart of Christmas.

Christmas is magic.

I think magic is key to Christmas time, that certain

something in the air that makes even the Grinchy-est of

people smile at strangers on Christmas Eve, the flutter in

your stomach as you count down the days of advent, the

family that comes together to share joy and love whilst

pushing the humdrum of daily life to one side. The magic

that makes Christmas special, even to non-Christians, is

something that you can’t quite put your finger on; it’s

something that you feel rather than something you can


The magic of Christmas is very literal to children waiting

on Santa Claus, screwing their eyes up tight on Christmas

Eve and willing the morning to come, but as an adult I

don’t think the magic dies, it just changes. Our gifts may

now come from relatives and not from the North Pole but

the delight of making others happy and of sharing joyful

times with the people we care about is definitely magical.

Christmas magic is something very real to me and as a

Harry Potter aficionado I think it makes perfect sense that

the one time in the year that muggles get to feel the joy

of magic is celebrated throughout wizardkind.

Read more from Dolly at www.raggydollywrites.wordpress.com

or follow her on Twitter @Osborneosaurus

eastlife.co.uk 51

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13 Magical



Written by Jessica Hutchinson

Instagram @jessicahutchy

One of the most magical moments that

you can have as a child is meeting Father

Christmas in his grotto, with his elves all around

and maybe even Mrs Christmas or a reindeer

or two! To help you find the perfect place to

meet the jolly fellow this Christmas, we’ve put

together a guide of the best Santa’s Grottos in

the region.

Audley End Miniature Railway Christmas Special,

1- 24 December

Audley End Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JB

Go on a Christmas adventure on the Santa Express

to Father Christmas’ Winter Wonderland among the

woodlands of the Audley End. You can meet the man

himself as well as the mischievous elves, watch their

dance and every child will receive a little gift. There is also

face painting, Father Christmas letter writing and crafts

for children too. This is a hugely popular event so book

quick! www.audley-end-railway.co.uk

Lee Valley White Water Centre’s Christmas Event

Santa’s Grotto, Weekends during 1-24 December

and Christmas Eve

Station Road, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN9 1AB

Come and meet Father Christmas and receive a

special gift if you’re on the nice list! There are photo

opportunities to capture the special moment with Santa

as well as ice skating and a Christmas Market to look for

some stocking fillers. Booking is recommended.


Blackthorpe Barn Santa’s Grotto, Weekends during

1 -16 December, and 19 -22 December

Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9HZ

Blackthorpe prides itself in its beautiful Santa’s Grotto

and is a special and atmospheric place to meet the guy in

red. All children will meet Santa as well as receive a small

gift too. You can also pick up your Christmas tree, enjoy

walks, crafts and the Christmas Shop.


An Audience with Father Christmas,

Weekends 1-23 December

Audley End House & Gardens, Audley End Road, Saffron

Walden, Essex, CB11 4JF

Meet Father Christmas amongst the festive decorations

and listen to his Christmas stories. Children will also

receive a small present. Please be aware there is an

additional £5 charge for all children to see Father

Christmas and pre-booking tickets is essential.


Perrywood’s Christmas Grotto, Weekends 1-16

December, everyday 17 – 24 December,


Perrywood Garden Centre, Kelvedon Road, Tiptree,

Inworth, Colchester, CO5 9SX

Complete with a northern lights sky, this year’s grotto is

set to be better than ever. There are singing reindeers,

friendly elves, art and crafts and a little toy for every child.

Perrywood is also hosting a more relaxed magical grotto

experience to be tailored for those with additional needs

who might find the grotto overwhelming. Booking is

essential. www.perrywood.co.uk

eastlife.co.uk 53

Santa’s Magical Journey,

Weekends 24 November – 16 December

Everyday from 17 – 23 December

Thursford Collection, Thursford, Fakenham, Norfolk,

NR21 0AS

You’ll feel as though you have been transported to the

North Pole at Thursford, minus the frost bite! Have a

fantastical journey past the penguins and polar bears,

elves and snowmen to Santa’s House to meet Father

Christmas. There are gifts for the children and you can

get a professional photo taken of your little one with

Santa to take home! www.thursford.com

Santa Cruise, 1 –24 December

Broads Tours, The Bridge, Wroxham, Norfolk,

NR12 8RX

Come aboard the Santa Cruise for an hour of festive

fun. Children can take part in Christmas quizzes, a

colouring competition and sing-alongs. Santa’s pixies

will serve mulled wine and mince pies for adults and

soft drinks and a festive cookie for children. You’ll

find Santa in his saloon where he will give out named

presents for every child. Tickets must be booked in

advance. www.broadstours.co.uk

Audley End Miniature Railway

The Magic of Christmas at Mead Open Farm,

1-23 December (excluding Mondays and

Tuesdays) and Christmas Eve

Mead Open Farm, Stanbridge Road, Billington,

Bedfordshire, LU7 9JH

Not only can you meet Father Christmas here, children

can listen to a group story with the man himself, walk

through the magical enchanted forest, make your own

bear in the workshop, go to reindeer flying school,

make reindeer food and decorate gingerbread in

Merry Berry’s Christmas Kitchen.


Santa’s Grotto Brampton, Weekends 1-16, 20-24

December, 8.30am-7.10pm

Buckden Road, Brampton, Huntingdon, PE28 4NF

Santa’s elves will start things off with some singing and

dancing and then Mrs Christmas will show the children

how to decorate their own gingerbread biscuit. Then

it’s time to meet Santa who will read an enchanting

story, after which, the children can choose their toy to

take home. www.frostsgardencentres.co.uk/gardencentres/brampton

Santa and His Real Live Reindeer, Selected dates

until 24 December

Hearts Delight Home and Garden Centre, Long Road,

Lawford, Manningtree, Essex, CO11 2EF

For another year, Hearts Delight garden centre is

hosting Father Christmas and three of his very friendly

live reindeer! You can see Santa’s workshop and the

busy elves making toys, meet Percy the Polar Bear as

well as the gorgeous puppies. By that time, Santa will

be waiting to hear all your Christmas wishes and give

out presents. www.hearts-delight.co.uk

54 Download Our App Today!

An Audience with Father Christmas

Steam Trains to Santa, 1, 2, 9, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23,

24 December

Bure Valley Railway, Wroxham Station, Norwich Road,

Aylsham, Norfolk

Come and visit Santa in the Broads on a Steam Train.

Roll up to Santa’s Grotto, with Wroxham station

dressed beautifully in twinkling lights to get everybody

into the festive spirit. Steam Trains to Santa departs

from Wroxham travelling to Santa’s Grotto, where

Santa and his railway sleigh are there to welcome

you all. Let Santa know what you’re hoping for on

Christmas Morning and receive a personalised early

Christmas present from Santa himself. Entertainment

and festive refreshments for all the family add to the

Christmas magic, before climbing aboard the train for

the return journey to Wroxham.


Father Christmas at Fairhaven, 15-16 December,

11am to 5pm,

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, School Road,

South Walsham NR13 6DZ

Have yourself a twinkly woodland Christmas

experience. Take a stroll through our illuminated winter

woodland garden to meet the reindeer and visit Father

Christmas tucked away among the trees. There will be

live music, illuminations and an Elves’ Workshop with

free Christmas crafts and face painting to keep the

children busy. Warm up with hot food in the tearoom.

Garden entry applies for adults (£6.85) and £8 per

child to visit Father Christmas and receive a present

(includes garden entry). Booking essential.


An audience with Father Christmas, 15, 16, 19,

20 December, 10am-4.30pm

Holkham Hall, North Norfolk

This is one of the most magical visits to father

Christmas in Norfolk, in one of the most splendid

settings - which means it’s one of the most popular!

£18 adult, £18 child (aged 0 to 16 years), booking

essential. www.holkham.co.uk/events/christmas-atholkham/an-audience-with-father-christmas

For more festive family-friendly events taking

place this month visit www.eastlife.co.uk/christmas

Stay up-to-date with events in your area by

joining our ‘What’s on’ Facebook groups:




eastlife.co.uk 55

"Where Quality & Freshness Counts"

We're a small family run business, passionate about fresh, local produce and

quality products and we want you to share our passion too!

Our new café serves tea, coffee, light lunches and delicious cakes.

NS Risdon, a top quality traditional butcher is located in store.

With full traceability his meat is superb. We also now have a cheese counter

serving a wide range of British and continental cheeses.

Something for every taste and occasion!

Monday : Closed Tuesday : 8.30am – 5.30pm

Wednesday : 8.30am – 5.30pm Thursday : 8.30am – 5.30pm

Friday : 8.30am – 5.30pm Saturday : 8.30am – 5.30pm

Sunday : 10am – 2pm

Cafe opening hours differ from the shop, please check the website.


Calcott Hall Farm Shop, Ongar Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 9HS Tel: 01277 264164

Star Fishmongers

Now open

in store

A great place to meet friends,

host a party or just pop in for

Coffee & Cake


Visit us in Walsingham

and Heacham and grab our

2018 Christmas brochure!

Order everything you need for your Christmas feast

in store, online via email or call us today.

Check out our fantastic meat, deli and winter

vegetable hampers making Christmas easy!

Walsingham Farms Shop

Guild Street


Norfolk NR22 6BU

tel: 01328 821877

Walsingham Farms Shop

Norfolk Lavender

Lynn Road, Heacham

Norfolk PE31 7JE

tel: 01485 570002

Email: info@walsingham.co



Using as much locally sourced produce as possible, the aim of the

team at the Picnic is to provide customers with a relaxed dining

experience; Our Table service offers advice when making choices

from our daily changing Picnic counter.

Or why not opt for the more traditional Brunch style dishes which

are cooked to order, inc gluten free & vegetarian options. Coffee

& cake are a real must when visiting the Picnic, our daily cake

selection reflects our team. Never dull, fun & unusual, you never

quite know what the flavour’s will be today.

Brick Yard Ban, Norwich Road, Hedenham, Bungay NR35 2DE

01508 483947

Email: everydayapicnic@gmail.com Tel: 01508 483947



Find us on Facebook


& Drink news

Food & Drink

Happiness is in the Hamper

If you dream of tucking into Norfolk’s finest produce this

Christmas then make sure you pre-order ‘The Grand Dial

House Christmas Hamper’, created by The Dial House in

Reepham, Norfolk.

The restaurant has created a collection of tasty food and

treats which features everything you need for an indulgent

festive feast including favourites from The Dial House, its

additional restaurant The Farmyard in Norwich and its

suppliers such as Pump Street and Norfolk Raider. The

hamper costs £195 and must be pre-ordered. A smaller

‘Deluxe’ hamper, priced £70 is also available. Hampers

must be collected on either Saturday 22 or Sunday 23

December from The Dial House between 11am & 1pm.


An Exotic Christmas

For the first time the Giggling Squid in Norwich and Bury

St Edmunds is offering a Christmas day sitting. Between

12pm – 4pm visitors can enjoy festive fun and frivolities

Thai style. Guests can expect a Thai Feast (£60pp) with

sharing dishes chosen personally by founder Pranee

Laurillard. Dishes include Giant Prawn Satay with Exotic

Thai Rainbow Salad; Chive and Black Pepper Squid;

12-Hour Slow Cooked Beef Rib and Red Snapper with

Kang Som Curry. Just one dessert is never enough this

time of year, so Giggling Squid’s Christmas Day menu

showcases a trio, including a Coconut and Pineapple

Finger; Salted Caramel Soufflé and the rich decadent

Chocolate Melt. Tables must be booked in advance.


Dining Pop Up at the Sir Garnet, Norwich

One of Norwich’s best loved pubs is supporting the city’s

food scene with a series of monthly dining pop-ups with

neighbouring stalls from Norwich Market.

The concept at the Sir Garnet will encourage current

customers to engage with the array of food offerings

which have sprung up throughout the market. The next

pop up will be taking place 3-5 December, 12-3pm and

6-9pm, and will offer a taste of Chile with homemade

cuisine from Cocina Mia. Many of the dishes are made

from traditional family recipes and use ingredients

sourced from Norwich market.

The exclusive three-day menu includes small plates such

as Humita’s (parcels of steamed corn and basil) and

seafood empanadas as well as larger plates; Chorrillana

(Chimichuri seasoned steak) Chilean chicken casserole

and a sea bass fried fillet sandwich.

The idea coincides with the launch of its new ‘The Sir

Garnet’ newspaper, which features news, local history

and fun facts from the Market Place.

For more information visit


eastlife.co.uk 57





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Toft Road, Cambridge CB23 2TT

01954 718057

info@bourngolfandleisure.co.uk www.bourngolfandleisure.co.uk



Gerla de Boer, founder

of the Cambridge Food Tour,

(www.cambridgefoodtour.com) shares her

wisdom of the city’s cuisine…




I thought I would never get into the Christmas mood

this year with temperatures more like the Southern

hemisphere. White Christmas’ seem to be something of

the past. I’ve always loved the festive season, but when

I was living in Cape Town I found it really difficult to get

into the seasonal spirit. Temperatures over there are close

to 28°C that time of the year and instead of snuggling

up around a roaring fire in the comfort of your home, we

would gather around the braai outside.

With moving to the countryside of Saffron Walden in

2002, this all changed. Snow would arrive quite early in

the season, sometimes as early as November. It is hard to

believe, but I remember, that we would always get snowed

in around the 8th of that month. A good excuse to get the

mulled wine and mince pies going and to meet up with

the local villagers in the pub after long country walks.

Christmas in Cambridge is ‘wearing a new jacket’ this

year! Have you seen the stunning lights in the city centre?

Instead of the traditional Christmas tree, there is now

a walk-through illuminated tree, and the Guildhall and

many of the trees around the city will also be picked out

with glittering strands and golden uplighters. The new

illuminations will also include enhanced schemes on Green

Street, Bridge Street and Magdalene Bridge.

The rooftop at The Varsity Hotel

This exciting lighting scheme has to be celebrated! So

here is where I would be heading off to for a festive drink,

and of course not to forget the morning after partying to


Swanky cocktails

• The University Arms for posh notch

• Novi Cambridge for fantastic botanical cocktails

• 196 Bar - go dirty for a dirty Martini

• The Gonville Hotel, great for live jazz music

• Six Cambridge for the amazing views

• SmokeWorks – stop by for happy hour and for sharing

boards (vegan options available)

• The Gin Lab - The Green Street Gin is only available here

Want something warming?

• Old Ticket Office - Mulled wine

• Foy Cafe - Mulled wine

• The Royal Standard - Mulled apple juice and mulled


• The Pintshop - Mulled Sloe Gin

The morning after

• The Petersfield - Great Bloody Mary and Bottomless


• The Free Press Pub - Bloody Mary with homemade

horseradish vodka and pub grub

• Novi Cambridge - If you need a caffeine fix try the

Espresso Martini

eastlife.co.uk 59


Win your Christmas

Food Order for FREE

Simply place your Christmas order by Sunday 18th November

to be in with a chance of winning everything on it for free!





Welcome to

Excellent Food - Monthly Quiz - Live Music

Senior Citizen’s Lunch every Wed 12pm - 3pm

Happy Hour £2 a pint Tues - Sat 3pm - 6pm

Great selections of Ales & Wine


01223 812425 info@the-shed-pub.co.uk

45 Lode Road, Lode, Cambridge CB25 9ET



Order your spectacular Christmas

dessert now from The Linton Kitchen!



8 Dec 2018 10-3

credit: Sam Palmer Photography

Open right up until Christmas Eve, or have your cake delivered locally

(Courier charges apply)

Black Forest Bundt Cake

Meringue Wreath with Cranberry,

Orange Blossom & Pecan (gf)

Salted Caramel Tart

Chocolate, Chestnut & Brandy Roulade (gf)

Traditional Christmas Cake

For more details, or to book: 01223 89 49 49

or @TheLintonKitchen

On the Menu

Written by Ben Aveling


Christmas Day is a time to be indulgent and

when it comes to lunch, the star of the show

is of course, the turkey! If you’re planning a

family festive feast and want to make it a meal

to remember, then Ben Aveling has the answers.

We’ve asked the Cambridge based poultry and

egg farmer, retail and online entrepreneur, food

producer, butcher, chef and restauranteur to

share his expert advice on how to cook up a

storm in the kitchen.

As long as I can remember I have loved Christmas. I would

like to take this up a notch. I LOVE Christmas, more than

anyone and I challenge anyone to prove to me otherwise.

Because of this love I have made it my personal mission

to provide Christmas cheer to families all over Cambridge

by providing the best ingredients for a Christmas dinner.

Over the years this has become more of an obsession.

As you can imagine my Christmas dinners are never short

of epic and today I’m going to let you into some of my

best tips to sourcing and cooking your Christmas turkey as

well as what I believe will make your Christmas special.

So where do I start?

Buy the best turkey you can afford - it’ll make your


You probably already do just that, but for those of you

reading this who don’t, it’s possibly the most important

part of your Christmas dinner. Quality food whether it

be meat or even the potatoes, shine through. It’s very

difficult to spoil good bacon or dislike a nice red wine.

In this category the most important thing is the meat! I

recommend the Kelly Bronze. I have sold them for a long

time now and I’m always astounded by the quality.

Ditch the cookbooks

This is a controversial tip. My reason for this is that if you

buy the right turkey, make sure you taste that turkey!

Don’t cover up the flavour. If you softly brine a turkey or

just season it well, I assure you that will be sufficient.

Keep it juicy

There’s many ways to do this and my way will differ to

many but I like to cover the bird entirely in Radmore

Streaky Bacon, cover with foil and pop it in the oven.

Wait until the last 40 minutes and take the foil off, crisp

the bacon for 30 mins and take it off. You can put the bird

back in without foil to crisp the skin.

Keep the steam in

Place the bird into a deep baking dish on a bed of onions,

garlic and some stock if you wish. Top with water or stock

to half or three quarter up the dish and then attempt the

62 Download Our App Today!

previous tip! It’s a great way of gently cooking the bird

and helping it to keep juicy too!

Upside down

This is where “fortune favours the brave” but I have

attempted this with great success. Cook the bird upside

down, breast down. The theory for this is that the juices

run down with gravity and keep the great extra juicy, only

turning it over at the end to crisp the skin.

Cooking times

Probably the most simple of the tips but it’s very

effective; cooking times. This is essential because this

stops you worrying and you can enjoy that extra glass of

eggnog with the family!

Poultry: 20 mins per lb of weight and add 20 mins to this

number and that’s your cooking time based on Fan Oven

of 180/190 °C.

For Beef/Red Meat: If you’d like it a tad pink this will

work as above but do it for 15 mins per lb and drop the

end 15 to make it pinker.

This is a thrifty tip to help the pocket - buy a smaller

turkey than you perhaps need

This may sound crazy but think about how many years

have gone by and you’ve been so fed up of turkey

sandwiches you’re glad next Christmas is a year away.

The most expensive part of Christmas food is the meat

so don’t buy more than you need and go all out on the

trimmings! Pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, the works.

This will massively help your pocket and actually look like

you’ve done more!

Best time to buy - get the order in!

Butchers always have cut off days to order so keep an

eye on those dates, but in my business we have always

taken orders right up to Christmas Eve. In short there’s no

correct time to buy but don’t leave it to chance. Get your

name down on a beautiful bird but make sure the butcher

knows the size you’d like and that they are confident they

can deliver that size and this will make the buying process

easy for you. You can rest assured when the orders in, you

just have to pop and collect it on your chosen day.

Leftovers - it’s easy to have zero waste

This is by far the biggest question we get asked; what

about the left overs? Any tips? Well now that you

mention it, here’s a few of my favourite leftover tips for

cooked turkey:

Turkey stock: Just google a recipe for plain stock. It’s

very simple and as your bones have already been roasted

this will help the stock to not be greasy.

Risotto: Made using the stock and most importantly use

up any spare crispy bacon bits! Amazing!

Curry: Simply my

favourite, just be

lazy and buy a nice

jar and throw in

the cooked meat

until it’s cooked

through. You’ll be

amazed how tasty

this is.

Sandwiches: I know, you’ve

already nailed this one but use it as an opportunity

to make an awesome sandwich. Get some fantastic

sourdough, thick with rich butter one side and a spread

of cranberry sauce in the other and load it up with mayo

and stuffing!

Flat breads: This is great and very different. Buy some

simple wrap/tortillas, spread with hummus and a touch of

harissa, with crunchy salad and top with the turkey. You

can also heat the turkey in a bit of harissa with some oil if

you fancy it warm.


I am not a big drinker but I always have a glass of wine

with my Christmas meal. I could go on about what wines

to drink but honestly, walk into any independent wine

shop (I use Baccanalia in Cambridge) and tell them what

you are looking for and how much you’re looking to

spend. The independent wine shops are usually very

good quality, very good on price and have a real interest

in giving you the wine you’ll really love.

Ben has been in the farming, food produce and retail

business since 2006. He is the owner of Radmore Farm

Shop Online, Cambridge’s only independent online food

supermarket selling food and produce from his farm, local

businesses and high quality nationwide brands.

eastlife.co.uk 63



Bury St. Edmunds t: 01284 752804 | Ipswich t: 01473 253164 | glasswells.co.uk

For a free

brochure on any

of our services call

us on

01603 764567

“Mum’s carer has given her back the confidence

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Live-in Care Specialists since 1980.




Written by Mike GarsideSTOP

Keeping fit and healthy over the festive season

better start with an insincere apology

I to everyone I’m about to upset with the

following nuggets of advice. I’m banking on

the fact that I’m probably still just a tad faster

than most of them, so here goes anyway...

“Life is like a box of chocolates. It

doesn’t last long if you’re fat”*

Well, that’s cheered you all up. He’s going to tell us the

feast’s off now I can hear you all thinking. For most of us

the religious engagement went on its long vacation years

ago. So if the cheese festival’s cancelled, then you may

be ready to holiday!

Only the proper health professionals aren’t of course

allowed to say that. They’re bogged down in the world

of modern political correctness, endlessly pussy footing

around the bleeding obvious, that being, that most

of the UK’s adult population are eating and drinking

themselves to death! Hunter-gathering a massive excess

of calories every day, a lot of them in the form of alcohol.

Quietly pickling themselves.

When does it all start to go wrong?

In most part the Christmas gluttony starts in earnest

sometime around mid November and lasts past New

Years Eve. One big final push for the year. The collective

excuse to throw caution to the wind and work your

coronary arteries and liver enzymes towards the long

vacation you’ve been promising yourself. Otherwise

known in the trade as a premature death!

Well no. I’m not actually, because I’m not a ‘proper

doctor’ anymore so I don’t have to, and telling you

you’re eating too much, drinking too much and smoking

(naughty) has been proven to be almost a complete

waste of time.

And I’m no angel myself. Last year our Christmas

celebrations started in our house early November with

an over indulgence of cheese and mulled wine and

resulted in a substantial weight gain by the new year.

The supermarkets encourage us to start the festive food

treats earlier and earlier every year, so that they can

make more money, by selling us the same item multiple

times. But if we are eating and drinking it all the time,

it is no longer a special treat but a habit, and a bad one

at that. This year we will be saving the festive treats for

the festive season and not buying them until at least mid


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Are we bothered enough to change?

Actually, the only person who can make a blind bit of

a difference to your medium and long term well-being

is you! It all comes down to the very simple notion of

you “being bothered”. Bothered to think you want to

change, bothered to change your existing habits and

bothered to maintain the changes. Bothered to find out

what needs to change in your life instead of expecting

a doctor to tell you is a good first step. Bothered to feel

hungry during some part of the day, and bothered to

ignore your mouth telling you it needs something tasty,

when your stomach’s still feeling bloated. Bothered to

get out from in front of the TV and move more.

Bothered to be nice to yourself over Christmas, nice to

your liver, lungs and guts by not over indulging to excess

in volume or duration.

Where’s the secret fat burning tip, magic pill, gene

therapy to shrink you, home liposuction kit? Sorry...run

out of page. What a bother!

My Top Tip

Treat yourself to a book called ‘Shine

Rediscovering your Energy, Happiness

and Purpose’ by Andy Cope and Gavin

Oates and read Chapter 6 ‘Shining on

the inside’. In fact read the whole book.

Ps: Oh and get yourself a dog or borrow

one - they always want to go for a walk, and will get you

outside whatever the weather.

*Quote from ‘Shine Rediscovering your Energy,

Happiness and Purpose’ by Andy Cope and Gavin Oates

Mike Garside was a full time practicing UK GP until he

started his Medical Supply Company, Valuemed, 18 years

ago. He now works full time in the company as Medical

Director. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and four dogs.


eastlife.co.uk 67

Independent Diabetes Trust

PO Box 294 Northampton NN1 4XS


I N D e p e N D e N t D I a b e t e s t R u s t

For further information about

all our FREE leaflets contact us:

Diabetes at Christmas

HELPLINE: 01604 622837

Email: enquiries@iddtinternational.org


HELPLINE: 01604 622837


Charity Number 1058284 Registered Number 3148360

Diabetes at Christmas?

Xmas tips

Ask for your FREE copy of our Diabetes at Christmas booklet,

full of tips for enjoying the festive period.

InDependent Diabetes Trust

P O Box 294, Northampton NN1 4XS.


Charity Number: 1058284

Registered Number: 3148360


Sleep Well

Stay warm in bed this winter and

take advantage of the longer

nights to refresh your sleep routine, is

the advice from The Sleep Council.

Dark mornings and evenings can have lots

of amazing health benefits including helping

you get a better night’s sleep. Melatonin

- the hormone that stimulates sleep - is

produced when daylight starts to fade, which

occurs far earlier during winter. So take

advantage of the fact that your body will fall

asleep earlier and stay asleep for longer.

However, with temperatures usually at their

lowest during the early hours, the risk for

many people is waking up shivering and

being too cold to get a good night’s rest.

The Sleep Council has produced some top

tips to help ensure we don’t turn into ice

cubes during the night but stay warm as


• Wear night clothes such as pyjamas or a

large T-shirt to keep you cosy. Natural fibres

such as wool, cotton or silk are better than

synthetic materials.

• Have a warm bath just before you go to

bed. This will raise your body temperature

which in turn will also help to make you


• Have a warm milky drink before bed.

• Try to take some exercise which will get

the circulation going. It is also worth looking

at the bedroom, the bed and the bedding all

of which play a part in keeping you insulated

in the cold night air.

• Keep the bedroom around 16° to 18° and

free from draughts.

• Avoid a saggy bed. It may be nice to

cuddle up to share a bit of body heat when

you first get into bed, but it can be very

uncomfortable and clammy during the night

if you are thrown together by a bed that isn’t

giving you the correct support.

• Look for a mattress which has a thicker side

for use during the winter. A soft sleeping

surface is a better insulator than a flat one

Use a fleecy underblanket to retain the heat.

• Choose a duvet with a high tog rating or

use several layers of bedding rather than

one single layer. Layers will trap the air and

are easily removed if you get too hot.

• A hot water bottle is an ideal way to keep

cosy once in bed. Make sure it has a cover

on it to avoid scalding and also so that it

won’t feel cold in the middle of the night.

• Electric blankets are ideal. Underblankets

will warm the bed up before you retire for

the night, while overblankets maintain a

constant temperature throughout the night.

A Warm Winter Wake Up

eastlife.co.uk 69

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Wearing Winter


Written by Ruth Essex


When there is a sprinkling of frost in the morning

my sartorial thoughts turn to white; beautiful,

soft, winter white. For those who aren’t attracted to

wearing colour, winter white is a lovely alternative.

Organic Cashmere

Cable Hat, Natural

White, £55

The exact shade of white that is most flattering on you

depends predominately on your skin tone. Whites range

from the brilliant, icy whites with a bluish tinge, to the

warmer, yellow based, oyster creams. The joy of winter

white is that it is white softened by a hint of ivory so

flatters nearly all skin tones: it is neither cool nor warm,

but somewhere in the middle.

Those silver foxes, platinum blondes, cool brunettes and

raven-haired beauties out there look brilliant in crisp

and cool brilliant whites, sharp and icy, contrasted with

deep navies and black or soft dove greys. However, if

you have warmth in your hair, eyes or skin, then ivory and

cream is the way to go to enhance your natural beauty.

Your whites will be creamier, and you will look fabulous

complimenting your winter white with camels, toffee and


Winter white is a neutral colour, so maximise the texture

for impact like chunky Arran jumpers that are full of

interesting patterns. What about angora with its slightly

fluffy, hazy texture? Kitten soft cashmere doesn’t have a

great deal of texture but any fabric that feels that good

against your skin will be forgiven for any lack of texture.

You can add an ivory camisole for the added luxury of a

satin feel against your skin.

A winter white coat is a bit of a luxury due to the drycleaning

requirements, however you will feel glamorous

and elegant wearing it. It takes day clothes into evening

wear and worn with jeans adds an insouciance to your

look. The sheer lack of practicality makes winter white an

indulgence, but you don’t have to worry about matching up

tones, they will all blend together, and the differing shades

add another element of interest to your outfit. There is no

better time than Christmas to reward ourselves by wearing

something decadent, so why not just indulge and enjoy?

Ruth Essex, - Stylist & Image Consultant

ruthcrofts@btinternet.com - Tel: 07900 910 666

Gassato Textured Roll Neck Sweater,

Soft White, £125

eastlife.co.uk 71

The Little



Nothing beats a little black dress! This stylish

LBD from the Rochelle Humes collection at

New Look will see you through the party season

Throw on some shimmer, sparkle and heels for a

party look or dress down for festive gatherings

with boots and a winter coat.

Dress £24.99

Belt £7.99

Earrings £5.99


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Eastlife’s Emma Kemsley steps inside

the styling suite at intu Lakeside


’m a self-confessed shopaholic. I love clothes

and I love shopping. I can spend hours scrolling

through the apps on my phone looking at the

latest trends, subconsciously spending thousands

of pounds. In fact, I recently put myself on a

spending ban for one whole month, and I’m

embarrassed to admit how much I saved. Let’s

just say I clearly have a problem, but hey, better

clothes than crack, right? So, when I heard

intu Lakeside, in Thurrock, Essex, offer a free

personal styling service, I jumped at the chance

to try it.

It’s a problem of mine, like many other women; a

wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear! With

Christmas just around the corner, I’ve been desperate to

find the perfect party outfit and I was hoping the personal

styling session would do just that.

was knowledgeable, passionate about her job and her 16

years of experience shone through.

I told her my unachievable life-long goal of being

effortlessly…she finished my sentence: “cool”.

“It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it,” she said.

To be effortlessly cool you need to have confidence in

what you wear. My first tip from the fashion pro.

I explained my need for something classic and chic that

will see me through a month of festivities. After we

discussed my budget, Carlene pointed out it was probably

unlikely I’d wear the same thing five times in one month.

Of course she was right, who was I trying to kid? However,

she immediately knew which store to take me to. She

already had an outfit in mind. We spent some further

time discussing my body shape (I’m a V shape, FYI) and

colouring before heading out into the mall to shop!

The swanky styling suite is located on Brompton Walk. On

arrival I was greeted by the lovely Carlene, intu Lakeside’s

personal stylist. We sat down for a chat over Prosecco and

chocolate (what’s not to love about that?), and Carlene

asked questions about how I perceive my style, sizing, the

colours I like to wear and what I wanted to achieve from

the session. Friendly and fashionably fabulous, Carlene

Carlene led me to Marks & Spencer’s, somewhere I would

never think of shopping, but who was I to argue with

someone who has styled for Marie Claire, Selfridges,

music videos and high end and commercial shoots?

I instantly loved the look she picked for me. A sleek

pair of black tailored trousers with gold trim down the

eastlife.co.uk 73

side – not too much sparkle, but just enough to say hello

Christmas! She picked up a black cami and black courts

to finish the look. I also picked up a pair of gold culottes

before heading to the changing rooms. While I got

changed, Carlene picked up some accessories, another

top option and heels. She put together several looks and

explained each one, taking note of what worked and what

didn’t. She even convinced me to try an off the shoulder

top, not my usual style, but somehow it worked.

She busily swapped sizes and styles, and had me falling

in love with a pair of black heels I didn’t know I needed

and the same style of trouser but in teal! In the end I stuck

with Carlene’s original choice of trouser and stopped by

River Island to look at another top option, though my size

wasn’t available. The whole experience was like shopping

with a great friend; easy, relaxed, fun and at no point did I

feel uncomfortable or obliged to buy.

Each personal styling session lasts approximately two to

three hours. The service is completely free and there is

no minimum spend fee or pressure to buy. Booking in

advance is highly recommended.

I love my trousers, I can’t stop thinking about the teal

pair and I now kind of want a personal stylist on a daily

basis – I wonder if I can put that on my Christmas list?

After sharing the details of my fun fashion-filled afternoon,

I have friends and family wanting to book a session…

Carlene you’re going to be busy!

For further details or to book your session visit


The service is available to everyone; men and women. It’s

a great option for those looking for an outfit for an event

such a big birthday celebration or a mother of the bride.

It’s popular with women that have lost their way with their

personal style after having a child or those who simply

want to add classic staples or trends to their wardrobe.

The team at intu Lakeside Personal Styling are available to

help no matter what the style scenario.

74 Download Our App Today!

With Christmas just around the corner, Carlene

has picked her favourite pieces currently in-store

to help you dress for the party season!

Plain Crepe Cami , Primark UK - £4

Oasis Rainbow Sequin Pencil Skirt available

at Debenhams and House of Fraser - £46

Hobbs Henrietta Coat,

available in House of Fraser

and Debenhams - £229

Rainbow Heels from Next - £34

Black Sequin Pouch Clutch

available instore at Dorothy Perkins

- £10

eastlife.co.uk 75


are made of this …

Unexpected. Understated.

Unique. Unpretentious.

Just some of the words our delighted

couples have used when describing their

South Farm wedding.

From your very first visit to the end of your

special day, we take pride in guiding you

through the perfect wedding; unobtrusively

efficient, always approachable, and entirely

focused on making your dream a reality.

South Farm:

Distinctly Different weddings





01223 207581



2018 11 East Life Cmas Gift Vouchers QP.qxp_107mm h x 71mm w 12/11/2018 14:12 Page 1

Image © Fiona Kelly Photography

The perfect gift

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01245 605500 hylands@chelmsford.gov.uk


Top Tips For Finding

Your Dream

Wedding Venue

Written by Katrina Otter

Instagram @katrinaotterwed

For the majority of couples, the first big decision

they make about their wedding is their venue.

Your venue sets the scene for your day, it can

influence your wedding style and dictate how

much of your budget is left for everything else!

So, choosing your perfect venue is a hugely

important step on your wedding planning journey.

If you’re starting your search, then these are my

top tips for finding your dream wedding venue.

Start with the basics

There are literally thousands of venues out there

and they come in all styles and sizes and in every

location. So, before you even begin researching and

creating your shortlist, you need to start with the


What style of wedding do you want? Roughly how

many guests do you want to invite? How much can

you afford and where do you want to get married?

Is onsite or nearby accommodation essential? Does

your venue need to have a licence for ceremonies or

a church nearby?

You don’t need precise information here, just rough

parameters that will help you narrow down your

options when you start researching.


Now’s the time to get out there and see just what’s

available. Armed with basics, use a wedding venue

website such as Coco Wedding Venues to search

by location, style, capacity etc. Via Coco you can

also contact venues directly and create your own

shortlist, so it really is a fabulous wedding planning tool.

Alternatively, an internet search using keywords that include

the style of venue and location will help you find even more

locations to check out.

Keep notes

Some couples create a spreadsheet so that they can easily

compare all the venues they find, others use Pinterest or

an app and some just go with an old-fashioned notebook.

Whatever option works for you is just fine but don’t ignore

the importance of keeping notes and records when you’re

planning your wedding.

Visit your shortlisted venues

Make appointments to see your shortlisted venues and do

a little prep work before you go. Write down a list of things

you want to know or questions you need to ask. Do you want

to check their availability for certain dates? Do you need to

know about catering options, accommodation or payment

schedules? You’ll find plenty of tips online for making the most

of your venue visits.

Know what you’re looking for

What’s important to you in your wedding venue? Do you

want open fires, quirky details, impressive interiors or luxury

78 Download Our App Today!


accommodation? Are you really keen to have a live band,

fireworks, fine food or gorgeous outdoor spaces? Think

about what you really want and then see what each

venue can offer. Are you prepared to compromise or is

everything on your list a must-have? Only you can answer


Make sure you see everything

Most venues are really great at showing you all the

important areas when you visit but if there’s something

you specifically want to see, don’t leave until you’ve

seen it. It might be that you want to check out the

baby changing facilities, the disabled toilets, the guest

accommodation or the chairs for the wedding breakfast!

This is your time to gather as much information as

possible to make the most of your visit.

Don’t be afraid to go back!

There’s no need to feel under pressure to book when you

visit venues. It’s a huge decision and it’s not one to be

made lightly. Don’t ever be afraid to make a second or

even third appointment. You need to be absolutely sure

that you love your venue before you book.

Check the paperwork

Once you’ve decided to go ahead and book your

dream venue, always check the paperwork. Make sure

that all the details contained in the booking reflect

any conversations that you’ve had with the venue

staff – if they’ve told you that something’s allowed or

available without an extra charge, you should see this

somewhere in your terms and conditions or at least in a

covering note. Be sure you’re aware of all the payment

dates, check the venue’s policy on damage deposits,

arrival/departure times, minimum numbers and ask for

clarification on anything you’re not sure on.

Finally, sign on the dotted line, return everything to the

venue and give yourself a big pat on the back – you’ve

booked your wedding venue and the planning can now

start in earnest!

Katrina Otter is a Cambridgeshire based wedding

planner and event organiser with over 10 years

experience. Find out how she could help you plan your

wedding day at www.katrinaotterweddings.co.uk

eastlife.co.uk 79

Business Accountants for

Business People



for mid week


Trio’s Wedding & Event Catering

Whatever style or size of Event you have in mind Trio’s can help.

Natalie & her team offer a personal and tailor made service ensuring your

event, however large or small runs smoothly. Let us inspire you with our

diverse range of Wedding, Buffet & Street Food Menu catering from

formal to informal gatherings. Breakfasts can also be catered for to suit

your venue & budget.

If you are looking for a friendly but professional service with a high

degree of flexibility then look no further.

Contact us on 01508 522039 or email: tasty@trioscatering.co.uk

New for 2018 - Mobile Horse Box Bar,

Wood Fired Pizza Oven & Paella Pans for outdoor & corporate Events.

Hall Green Farm | Norton Road | Loddon | Norwich | NR14 6DT

● Accounting and Bookkeeping

● Tax and Tax Planning

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● Fixed Fees

● Straight and Direct Communication

● Local Presence and National Strength

● We Do Not Charge By The Hour

Good Accounting is

Good Business


T: 01 485 521 756

M: 07969 163021

E: mike.barnes@aims.co.uk


The charity Peterborough Environment

City Trust (PECT) can help to cut your energy

costs and household carbon footprint this winter

with a free advice service

What is on offer?

• A FREE home energy advice visit with a goodie bag

• Impartial advice in choosing the best energy tariff

• Information on the national £140 Warm Home Discount

• Help to make your home as warm and healthy as possible

Do you qualify?

This service is available to residents in Fenland and

South Kesteven over the winter months.

To book your FREE energy advice home visit,

call 01733 568408 or email warmhomes@pect.org.uk


All Hallows


in Ditchingham

A purpose-built centre for adults

who are elderly or disabled.

We’re open 5 days a week.

Monday-Friday, 9.30am-3.30pm.

• Socialise & make new friends

• Enjoy games & activities

• Live entertainment

• Bathing service

• Offers a valuable break for


• We offer a FREE trial session

Call Linda for a chat & a cup of tea!

01986 891999



Martin Lewis Talks...

Free cash in time for Christmas


There are laws against bribery. Luckily they don’t

apply to banks wanting to bung you free money in

return for your custom. There’s a banking price war on

right now which means you can earn up to £200 for

switching account. So take a bribe, and get some extra

cash in the kitty before Christmas. And don’t just do

this for the money. I get more complaints about banks

than any other sector apart from energy, yet people

loyally stick with the perpetrators for years. If that’s

you – stop bitching and start switching – many of the

accounts that pay have decent service too.

Switching is easy, they do it all for you.

Before I get to the best-buys, let me deal with the “isn’t

switching bank a nightmare?” question. I’m sure you’ve

heard stories. Yet do ask people, when, this happened.

For five years now we’ve had the switching guarantee in

place, and that changed everything - for the better.

To get the free cash you’ll be credit scored (it’s not

too harsh) and will need to go through bank’s official

switching services. The switching guarantee means

you’re switched within seven working days. Your new

bank moves direct debits and standing orders for you

(some require at least two to be moved), and closes

your old account. All payments to your old account are

automatically forwarded.

The top current account give-aways

These change regularly, for full daily updated details

and all the tips and eligibility criteria see my full guide at

www.moneysavingexpert.com/bestbankaccounts. Here’s

a quick summary of the top deals at the time of writing…

- Free £200 (£150 upfront, £50 if you stay) + 5% fixed

savings. Switch to the hsbc.co.uk Advance account and

you can get £150 free cash. Stay with it for a year and

you’ll get another £50. It also lets you save up

to £250 per month in its linked 5% fixed

regular savings account.

With HSBC like most banks

there’s a minimum monthly pay

in. Here it’s a relatively large

£1,750 a month - equivalent

to £25,900 a year. This is

effectively just a way to get

you to pay in your salary.

Yet if you don’t earn enough

to meet this, there’s a way

around the rule. If you earn

£1,000 a month, then just

withdraw £750 and pay it straight

back in and you will qualify.

When do you get the money? Within 30 calendar days

of switching, so do it now and it should be in time for


-Free £125 plus 2% cashback on bills. Switch to most

NatWest.co.uk current accounts and you’ll get £125.

Among those is the NatWest Reward account where for

a monthly £2 fee you get 2% cashback on household bills

that you pay via direct debit from it, including council

tax, water, energy and broadband – many can earn £100

a year from this. Its minimum monthly pay-in is £1,500

(equal to an annual salary of £21,500).

When do you get the money? It’ll be paid in February

- so way after Christmas - and you’ll need to keep your

account till then.

-Free gadgets plus top service. Though not free cash,

switch to FirstDirect.com and you can choose a free gift

from choice of gadgets (e.g. £120 Amazon Echo or £120

Fitbit), or a £150 Expedia voucher. Plus it’s won every

customer service polls I’ve done for the past eight years

- 89% rate it ‘great’. You’ll also get a £250 0% overdraft,

and can open a linked 5% regular saver. The minimum

monthly pay in is £1,000 (equal to a £12,675 salary).

When do you get the freebies? Within 2 weeks of paying

in your first £1,000 you’re emailed instructions on how to

get the freebie which can then take up to a month or so

to arrive.

- Free £125 M&S vouchers with no monthly pay in.

Switch to bank.marksandspencer.com and you get a

£125 M&S gift card with no-minimum monthly pay in.

Though if you do pay in £1,250 a month (equal to a

£17,080 salary) you can earn an additional £5 a month

voucher for a year. It also has a linked 5% fixed regular

savings account.

Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair

of MoneySavingExpert.com.

To join the 13million people who

get his free Money Tips weekly

email, go to



eastlife.co.uk 81




Written by Sue Cooke

Twitter @cookecars

asked the man who delivered the Jaguar

I F Type Convertible if he would mind just

opening the front bonnet to see if there

was any luggage space. Well other sports

cars have a boot under the bonnet! His face

wore one of those looks that suggested he

might be pandering to the request of some

slightly mad woman, but he very obligingly

pulled a lever and peered inside. “Nope”

he said, “just one whopping engine!” I was

so disappointed. Well ok, I had THE most

gorgeous car in the world sitting on my drive,

but I had plans to go Christmas present

shopping with my daughter. There was no

chance of that in this two-seater sports car,

with one small boot in the rear.

But out on the road, boot capacity was the last thing

on my mind. The beautiful exterior is a magnet for

every passer-by. There is no door handle on show, but



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press the remote and they emerge, which is

a good security measure. Slide into the low

placed sports seats and everything fits and

hugs. When pressing the ignition button

there is a terrific roar, which was a little

embarrassing when I had an early start. I

must go and apologise to my neighbours.

What faces the driver in the quality interior

with its heady smell of leather, is a large

8” touchscreen and a dash which is clean

and uncluttered. Fiddle with the well

labelled air con buttons and two vents

rise majestically centre dash. The steering

wheel is flat bottomed in typical sportscar

style and paddleshift gears sit behind if

you fancy a little more excitement. In fact,

changing gear and breathing become linked and there is a

feeling of being one with the car as you listen to the poppopping

of the throaty switchable active sports exhaust,

which is another reason for having the top down. The

black fabric top slides very quickly into the boot space and

in this mode, and with side windows in place and a small

wind deflector behind the seats, it is possible for a wind

free ride.

The stop start is one of the best I have experienced and

the engine will start immediately you need to move off.

You do need a light right foot though as acceleration and

subsequent increase in speed is very quick. The doors

on this convertible are the same as most two door cars

and are very wide which you have to think about when

parking next to other cars. The rear parking aid makes

manoeuvring the wide chassis easy.


To celebrate 70 years of Jaguar sports cars, since the

reveal of the XK120 in 1948, Jaguar has launched the

Chequered Flag Special Edition of the F-Type, itself

winning 170 global awards. Based on my road test car,

the R-Dynamic Convertible, this car features subtle visual

enhancements and a chequered flag logo.

When having the opportunity to drive the Jaguar F Type

Convertible, boot capacity is somehow just not important.

So sorry if you don’t get a Christmas present from me

this year but I was just too busy driving the most beautiful

sports car in the world.

eastlife.co.uk 83


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The countdown to Christmas is on, and those

playing host will be turning their minds to

gifts, food and games in the weeks ahead.

In amongst the endless to-do list, decorating

can easily be rushed or forgotten. This is why

interior design service Designs Direct, has

introduced a brand new Seasonal Package that

simplifies decking our halls with boughs of holly.

Whether you already have decorations or need to

purchase new ones, the team of interior designers,

available through Designs Direct, will help you sprinkle

your home with Christmas magic. By just sending some

pictures of the areas in your home that you would like

to decorate, the designers will get to work making your

whole scheme cohesive, magical and fun.

Cindy Fuller, founder of Designs Direct, knows all the tips

and tricks required to find high street products that look

like they have been sourced from luxury and high-end

stores. Here are her must-have festive dupes so that

hosts can purchase decadent decorations for a budgetfriendly


Image: All items from Marks & Spencer | www.marksandspencer.com

Drinks cart

If you have space, drinks carts have made a considerable

comeback lately along with home bars. Oliver Bonas

offers a beautiful chic option in golden tones for £435,

but if you are looking for something more affordable and

just as stylish, you can make a saving of more than 50%

with the Urban Outfitters dupe drinks trolley, currently

priced £150.

Festive scented candles

Introducing scented candles will fill your space with

gentle light and soothe you and your Christmas guests’

souls. Whether it’s my home or someone else’s, the first

thing that strikes me when entering is the scent. Your

visitors will immediately get a lovely welcome with a waft

through to their olfactory nerve. Try something that looks

and smells like Christmas! Like the Winter Indulgence

Botanical Candle from The White Company for £85 or

for something similar that won’t need you taking out a

second mortgage try Stoneglows version for £26.

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Christmas Crackers

Christmas crackers are essential accessories and

entertainment for any Christmas party. They have been

a festive favourite since around 1850 when sweet maker

Tom Smith from London came across French ‘bonbon’

sweets whilst living in Paris; he tried to sell them on

return to his home city with little success. While seated

by the fireside one evening he saw the sparks from the

fireplace and came up with the ingenious idea of adding

them instead within beautiful packaging that could be

pulled apart and generate a cracking noise! They became

an enormous hit and the rest is history. These luxury

Nancy and Betty Studio crackers will brighten up any

festive table at £49.95. But Meri Meri offers a similar

effect for just £22.50.


Light up your home to make it a magical Christmas

wonderland! Place little lights in glass vases or even

around your garland and decorations. Battery operated

lights are easy to hide and transform any dull space. But

there’s no need to spend a fortune when there are so

many LED lights on the market. Pick up lights from John

Lewis at £20, but if you want to save even more money,

Primark is offering similar with a set of 100 battery

operated string lights for only £7!

Rainbow baubles

Rainbow decorations are a new Christmas trend and why

not stray from tradition and add some colour to your

tree? Try the vibrant rainbow baubles from Anthropologie

priced £14 for a more luxurious and metallic feel.

Alternatively, if you prefer a more classic rainbow, there

are decorations from Primark are just £1.50 and bound to

win over younger guests.

Image: Prmark

Image: Oliver Bonas | www.oliverbonas.com

Faux fur throws

Being wrapped up by the fire with friends and family is

the best way to warm up and unwind after a cold winter’s

day! Hence there’s no shortage of snuggle blankets on

the market, including the gorgeous Grey Faux Fur Throw

from Habitat for £120. However the Dunelm Mill dupe is

just as silky soft and only a fraction of the price at £25.

Champagne flutes

It’s not only festive accessories that have affordable

dupes – home accessories to decorate your Christmas

table do too! Champagne Glasses by Sophie Conran

have added festive cheer and will add an extra hint of

glamour to your Christmas table. But you will pay £34

for a pack two, whereas Ikea’s – Konungslig Champagne

Glass duo that also boasts patterned detail is just £6.

Designs Direct offers the expertise of interior designers

for 80% less. Made possible by the designers sourcing

from not only their own contacts but also from high street

and online stores. You can find out more about the new

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Image: Dunelm | www.dunelm.com

eastlife.co.uk 87


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Say hello to Wendy Howes, our

gardening columnist, who will be

revealing the trials and tribulations of her

garden restoration project every month…

As I write the trees are adorned in their

golden autumnal crowns, which thin with

each day as their spent leaves flutter to the

ground. We have been blessed with an incredibly

mild autumn so far, and it does feel like

Christmas has come charging out of nowhere.

to add a few Siberian dogwoods (Cornus alba Sibirica)

whose brilliant, bright red stems look particularly striking

against a stark winter backdrop.

Daphne odora Aureomarginata

Our local farmer has planted a field of winter wheat so

whilst the various oaks and willows will look stark by the

time you read this, they will at least have a lush green

background to set them off.

Like many of us, I am a great lover of flowers and bursts

of colour throughout the garden. In the height of spring

and early summer it is very easy to get carried away at

your local garden centre, buying anything and everything

that is in bloom. We have all done it and it is exactly what

the garden centres bank on us doing. The real talent lies

in taking some time to consider what you want the garden

to look like in the depths of winter. The best gardens are

those offering points of interest throughout the year.

Last year I acquired some Daphne shrubs which I potted

up and placed close to our entrances. My favourite is

Daphne odora Aureomarginata. In an attempt to attract

the early pollinators, it is adorned in clusters of heavily

scented pretty pink blooms in early spring. However,

it is the beautiful cream margined leaves which I find

particularly striking, especially in the depths of winter.

Daphne’s are notoriously hard to propagate, hence they

come with quite a hefty price tag. Frustratingly, mine have

struggled with the heat this year and I was faced with no

choice but to give them a rather brutal prune and now

wait patiently, with green fingers firmly crossed.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for

the New Year ahead.

Read more on Wendy’s blog at


Cornus alba Sibirica

We are very lucky to have an evergreen backbone to our

rose garden with the formal hedging provided by both

Taxus buccata and Ilex crenata. In time it would be lovely

eastlife.co.uk 91


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Top tips for moving at Christmas with Children

Housebuilder David Wilson Homes

(www.dwh.co.uk), which is currently

building homes in Cambridgeshire at Romans’

Edge in Godmanchester and Great Pastures

in Warboys, is offering homebuyers its five

top tips for moving home safely with young

children over the festive period.

With a range of properties across the county that will be

ready to move in before the big day, the developer wants

to ensure people have a hassle-free move and keep their

children safe.

Jason Hearn, sales director at David Wilson Homes South

Midlands, said, “It’s commonly known that the most

frequently-occurring accidents happen in the home, and

the last thing we want is for them to happen part-way

through your move!

1) Install safety gates

If you have a child under two, it is recommended that you

install safety gates on the stairs as soon as you can, even

before the child enters the house. This sounds drastic,

but they will be very excited and keen to explore and you

may be busy with the move and easily distracted from

supervising them as closely as you would normally.

2) Keep windows and doors secure

While moving, doors and windows are often open as

people come in and out the house with boxes. Make sure

that windows and doors are secure while you’re busy

sorting out the new house and ensure your child can’t run

or climb out while you’re pre-occupied with unboxing.

3) Keep furniture at a safe distance

We all know toddlers love to climb, so when it comes to

moving day, although you may not have decided where

you want your furniture to be positioned, we recommend

that you keep it away from windows until you are sure.

Once you do settle on a final position, it is advisable to

secure furniture in place, particularly if it’s a heavy cabinet

or table.

4) Explore the garden

Gardens are a great place for children to play, but it’s

a good idea to have a walk around your new garden to

check whether your children might be able to find their

way into neighbouring gardens or out onto the street, and

secure the area if necessary. As babies and young children

can drown in as little as 5cm of water, if your garden has

a pond or water butt, it is recommended that you install

appropriate safety measures as soon as possible.

5) Get used to your surroundings

If you’ve moved to a new area or even just a new street,

it is likely that the roads as well as the volume and

speed of traffic will be unfamiliar. We recommend you

practice the new school run if you can – even with older

children. To help children get used to a new area, research

it with them so they can get excited about the new


eastlife.co.uk 93

Sir Alfred Munnings forged much of his early reputation

from time spent as a war artist in France during 1918.

In 2019, for the first time in 100 years, 41 paintings by

Munnings are returning together from the Canadian War

Museum, Ottawa. In this once-in-a-lifetime display the

finished paintings will be shown side by side with the

surviving sketchbooks, from the museum’s own collection,

that inspired them.

An additional 150 of Munnings life’s works will be hung

chronologically throughout the museum to give a sense

of the man and his art.

23 March - 3 November 2019

2pm-5pm, Wednesday to Friday

and Bank Holiday Mondays

Adults £8 (inc seniors) Children £1

Concessions for students and National Art

Pass holders • Group bookings welcome

Car and coach parking • Cafe and shop

The Munnings Art Museum

Castle Hill, Dedham, CO7 6AZ



01206 322127 Reg. charity no. 310671

3031 MAM-Advert_Eastlife_148x107.indd 1 12/11/2018 13:49


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The Arts Column

Written by Collette Hoefkens,

proprietor at Norton Way Gallery

and an artist in her own right |


At last, the pinnacle of the year, December,

the busiest and most exciting month on the

calendar. Amidst the buzz and sparkling chaos, take

time out and visit one of the many dazzling fine art

shows, on offer across the county.

To the West of the region, in the picturesque village of

Woburn, there is a super treat in store. Seasoned art

dealer, Johann Bester, has brought together some of

the finest contemporary artists from across the country

to adorn the walls and plinths of his brand new venue,

Woburn Mosaic. Having opened its doors in November,

its debut exhibition will be in full swing throughout the

festive countdown.

The gallery is specializing exclusively in original pieces

of art, with a catalogue of paintings, sculpture, glass

and ceramics. This first collection will be a mixed show

of diverse and impressive artists. Amongst the host

of dynamic and thought provoking talent you will find

names such as Jonathan Hateley, Jane Rhodes and Justin


Those familiar with Tew’s tranquil and impressionist

coastal views may be surprised to find new, rather

different works from his inspired palette. Returning to

his roots of wildlife, many of Justin’s latest pieces focus

on the portraiture of endangered species. Sensitive and

characterful studies of elephants, rhinos and pangolins,

ooze warmth and narrative. Each individual, softly

Autumn Backwater by Jane Rhodes

captured soul tells its story and demands that the viewer

takes heed.

With a similar gentle approach, pastel painter Jane

Rhodes invites us to enter her world of shimmering daubs

and dashes. Earthy, vibrant marks and shapes combine

to create welcoming vistas of woodland, coastline

and townscape. Whether Jane is portraying a leafy,

beckoning sunlit glade or a bustling, busy street, we find

ourselves drawn to her lively and harmonic scenes.

No less commanding is the organic and mesmerising

sculpture of Jonathan Hateley. Born in the West

Midlands, Jonathan now lives and creates from his studio

in Kent. Originally crafting models for theatre and film his

work retains the strong sense of drama that his creative

origins are steeped in. Beautifully textured, intricate

surfaces flow and ebb across bronze figures of man,

woman, beast and some creatures of pure imagination!

Poised characters, reminiscent from fairy tales, are

clocked with arrangements of leaves, stems and all things

natural. Awe-inspiring and endearing, his wondrous life

forms seem truly born from nature.

The list is endless. Johann has pulled together a superb

body of known and emerging talent. Will Shakespeare

and Stuart Akroyd are two of many that are representing

glassware, whilst Richard Baxter and Ikuko Iwamoto form

part of the ceramic contingent. Whatever your preferred

medium of art, this gallery is sure to satisfy and enrich

your day, or private collection!

Elephant Study by Justin Tew

December 2018, Woburn Mosaic

13/14 Market Place, Woburn, MK17 9PZ


eastlife.co.uk 95


Just a ‘new town’?

There’s more beneath the surface.

Treasures. The new exhibition at

Peterborough Museum

25 Aug 2018 - 6 Jan 2019

Download your free guide at vivacity.org/treasures

or visit Peterborough Museum

Arts News

for December

An Active Reality Adventure Story Opens in

King’s Lynn

Last month saw the launch of ‘Reveal’ in King’s

Lynn; an active reality adventure story that will see

thousands take part across the town and at various

locations in West Norfolk.

Active Reality is a way of describing a project that

brings multiple elements together in an episodic

manner – in this case live performance, augmented

reality and large-scale projection. These are then laid

over a specific location to create a reality-bending


There will be five live theatre sequences each Sunday

from 25 November at 4pm, taking place across

heritage protection sites in King’s Lynn until 23

December. During this time, the public are invited

to follow the story and use their mobile phones to

discover clues and other content each day, including

geo-locative and augmented reality experiences. To

crack ‘REVEAL’ players must find all 24 codes and

unscramble them to make a sentence. Code breaker

leaflets will be available online and at the pop up

shop at 10 Norfolk Street in King’s Lynn.

The project runs until 4 January. Further details at


Behind the Lines: Alfred Munnings, War Artist,


Celebrated as one of England’s finest equestrian

painters, Sir Alfred Munnings forged much of his early

reputation as a brilliant war artist. Now, for the first

time in 100 years, 41 wartime paintings by Munnings

are returning to the UK on tour from the Canadian War

Museum, Ottawa for the exhibition ‘Behind the Lines:

Alfred Munnings, War Artist, 1918’ at his former home,

Castle House in Dedham from 23 March – 3 November


In this once-in-a-lifetime display the paintings will be

shown side by side with the surviving sketchbooks that

inspired them. This is the first time these sketchbooks

have ever been on public display together with the

finished pictures, and will provide a unique view of life

‘behind the lines’—in every sense of that phrase.

More than 150 other works by Munnings, from his

boyhood sketches, through his early commercial work,

to his iconic horse paintings, will also be on display

throughout Castle House at the same time, offering a

complete survey of his life and development as an artist.


Thompson’s Gallery Christmas Exhibition

Thompson’s Gallery in Aldeburgh will be holding its annual

Christmas Exhibition from 1 December to 6 January.

The exhibition will showcase art from its most established

artists and introduce new ones.

Works will include South African artist Hennie Niemann Jnr

whose cubist observations of the male and female form

are striking and romantic. To represent the Scottish aspect

of the exhibition, which has long been the backbone of

Thompson’s Gallery, is a landscape by John MacLauchlan

Milne to satisfy the 20th century enthusiast and then there

are also paintings Joe Hargan, Robert Kelsey, Ronald Smith

and Judith Bridgland.

There will also be collections of paintings and sculptures

by contemporary and Modern British artists.


eastlife.co.uk 97


With all the hustle and bustle of the festive season, the last thing you want to worry about is how

you are going to get into town, or spend all your hard-earned money on a parking space.

The new multi-storey Crown car park is the answer. It’s at the heart of the town and offers 540

spaces in a well-lit, fully staffed and safe environment. All of Crown’s spaces are wider than normal

- ideal when you have Santa’s little helpers with you!

8am - 11.30pm Mondays to Saturdays, 8am - 8pm on Sundays

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Unit 5 Bridge Business Park, Top Street, Martlesham, IP12 4RB.


Spotlight On


Ipswich’s Cornhill welcomes the town’s Christmas craft fair

The refurbished Cornhill in Ipswich is now open

– a development that has turned the town

centre into ‘something to be proud of’. Part of a

huge transformation under way in the town, the

redevelopment aims to support Ipswich in becoming a

thriving retail and commercial destination.

Ipswich has had the Cornhill as its central focal point for

centuries. And now the area will be the place for visitors

and residents to eat, shop and enjoy themselves, with

plans not only encouraging new businesses to move in,

but also creating space for special events to take place

throughout the year.

During the Cornhill redevelopment, Ipswich Borough

Council, on behalf of the Ipswich Vision partners,

conducted a survey to ask residents what events they

would want to see on the Cornhill once completed. Over

half (54%) of respondents specified crafts or specialist

events; comparable to those that take place annually

across Suffolk and even Europe.

The feedback has been taken on board, and between

10-23 December this year, the Cornhill will become the

proud home of a Christmas craft fair. Run by Eden Crafts,

shoppers will be met by a superb selection of seasonal

trinkets, all located on the stunning new Cornhill.

eastlife.co.uk 99

K&T Eastlife .qxp_1 21/11/2018 17:45 Page 1

24 November 2018 - 28 April 2019


There is a story

behind every

kiss ...

Kiss and Tell: Rodin and

Suffolk Sculpture

Auguste Rodin, The Kiss, ©Tate, London 2018




“a unique establishment

serving an

active community”

day & evening leisure learning


lending library & reading room

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restaurant & café

15 Tavern St, IP1 3AA & at 13 Tower St IP1 3BE

telno: 01473 253992



Traders will be offering a wide variety of local arts, crafts,

gifts and jewellery.

David Ellesmere, leader of the Council said: “We’re

delighted to have Eden Crafts on board, and after all

the hard work on the Cornhill redevelopment, I’m very

excited to see the new space being used for important

town events once more. It will be wonderful to see

everyone getting into the Christmas spirit.”

The survey also highlighted that two thirds (67%) of

respondents will feel prouder of Ipswich once it has

a modern and exciting town square, while more than

half (55%) said they are feeling more optimistic about

the town centre’s future as a result of the Cornhill


Right next to the Cornhill, and leading down into Queen

Street, is the regular four-day market, which is a favourite

with residents and visitors alike.

And it’s not just the Cornhill – Ipswich has many national

stores, both large and small, within a five minute walk

from the Cornhill, two thriving shopping centres and

fantastic independent shops, such as those in The Saints

on the way to the Waterfront.

What’s more, Ipswich has recently been named as one

of the fastest growing urban centres in England by The

UK Powerhouse, and has huge potential for growth. The

report revealed that Ipswich had the second-highest GVA

growth rate (a measure of the value of goods and services

produced) recorded in the UK in the first three months of

this year (2.5%). These are all promising signs of a bright

future for Suffolk’s county town.

Further information on the redevelopment can be found

online at www.allaboutipswich.com/highlights/cornhill

For more things to do and events taking place in Suffolk

during December visit


eastlife.co.uk 101

Thompson’s Gallery would

like to wish all our clients

a very ‘Happy Christmas’

and a ‘Prosperous New

Year’ & invite you to visit

our Aldeburgh Christmas

exhibition where we will

showing a vast & varied

selection of leading

20th/21st century artists.




1 DEC - 6 JAN 2019

Please ring for catalogue

HELEN TABOR Making Marmalade on a Snowy Day

Oil on board 29 x 28 inches

175 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. IP15 5AN

Tel: 01728 453 743 www.thompsonsgallery.com

Let Premier Glass & Splashbacks help guide you

through the world of design, our talented glaziers and

installation engineers have years of experience in

creating some of the most amazing bespoke kitchen

and bathroom glass work around.

We supply a large range of high quality outdoor

apparel and footwear, as well as a full range of

branded hunting, fishing and shooting

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Custom made at our workshop in

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Tel: 01394 385567 Fax: 01394 387757


Find your perfect coastal Hideaway

Suffolk Hideaways, based in the bustling coastal town of Aldeburgh, offer a fantastic

and ever-growing selection of holiday homes throughout this glorious county.

The portfolio boasts a broad range of properties with converted barns, contemporary

homes, thatched gems, cosy hideaways and boltholes with coastal views.

So, whether you’re looking for something romantic,

dog-friendly or somewhere for that big family get-together,

let the local team at Suffolk Hideaways take the stress out

of finding your dream retreat.

Call us on 01728 666 300

visit suffolkhideaways.co.uk

Wentworth EastLife quarter page.qxp_Layout 1 21/06/2018 10:22 Page 1

The Hotel for all seasons




at TheWentworth


at the Wentworth, Aldeburgh

Dining out at the Wentworth can be exceptional value when

you take advantage of our Special £20.19 offer.

Enjoy two courses (from our three course fixed price menu)

in the relaxing restaurant for just £20.19.

Free wine – If your party is of four or more diners we’ll include a

complimentary bottle of delicious House wine and if there are eight

or more of you we’ll include two complimentary bottles of House

wine for you to enjoy at the table.

Offer available 6.30pm – 9pm, Monday to Friday evenings inclusive.

To book your table please call 01728 452312 quoting 2019 ‘£19 offer’.

- only available for tables up to 10 people, exclusions apply.





Tel. 01394 610528



A Festive Break on the


Baby, it might be cold outside, but Suffolk

will really have you wanting to stay…

The crowds of families are gone and there’s not a bucket

or spade in sight, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops on

the Suffolk Coast. For those that are in the know, now is the

time to enjoy the best of Southwold & Aldeburgh. Mingle

with the locals at cosy pubs by the crackling fire, escape

the hustle and bustle of the high street with the town’s

independent boutiques and sleep tight at some of the

region’s most stylish accommodation.

A Self-Catered Christmas

There are few places more magical than the Suffolk Coast

at Christmas. Spend your days exploring quaint villages

and market towns adorned with twinkling lights, pick up

last-minute handmade gifts at Christmas Markets, and blow

away the cobwebs with a walk on a fresh, winter beach. But

after a long day of exploring, there’s nothing like returning

to a cosy Suffolk Hideaways cottage, lighting the fire and

settling in.

It may sound like a Christmas Eve fairy tale, but more and

more people are deciding to spend Christmas somewhere

different. It’s easy to see why. Most of all, it’s an excuse to

escape the pressure which can come with hosting the most

wonderful time of the year! Instead, people are choosing to

share the load with a winter’s break away.

Suffolk Hideaways have many large holiday homes

available throughout the season for families wanting to

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get together. This can be a great option as there’s no

need for airbeds on the floor and no more knocking

elbows around the dinner table – a property with room

for everyone (including, in many cases, the family dog!) is

the answer to getting everyone together for a stress-free


Of course, there’s also a great deal to be said for a cosy,

intimate Christmas, away from the hustle and bustle.

Suffolk’s beautiful coastline and rolling countryside is

perfect for a festive escape, and Suffolk Hideaways have

plenty of romantic boltholes to choose from. After all,

what could be more perfect than spending Christmas Day

in front of the fire, sharing a bottle of wine and presents

with your special someone?

Once the presents have been opened and the plates

have been cleared, there’s still plenty to do in Suffolk

to keep that festive feeling going. A popular choice is

the traditional Boxing Day swim in Aldeburgh. Proudly

sponsored by Suffolk Hideaways, 2018 will be the 30th

time participants take to the 8°C water. Make sure to

head along to cheer on the 150 swimmers as they brave

the cold or, if you’re feeling bold, join in yourself! All

money raised goes towards local medical charities to

help them continue their great work.

Whatever kind of Christmas getaway you’re looking for,

Suffolk Hideaways have the perfect holiday home for you.

Just visit www.suffolkhideaways.co.uk or call their local

team on 01728 666300.

Let a Hotel be the Host

Both Aldeburgh and Southwold have exceptional

accommodation choices. If you fancy wrapping up

warm and enjoying long walks on the beach (perfect for

burning off those Christmas calories), The Brudenell and

Wentworth Hotel in Aldeburgh and The Swan Hotel and

award-winning Crown in Southwold, are all within easy

reach of the shore and local amenities.

The White Lion, which sits opposite Aldeburgh’s pebbly

beach and fisherman sheds, is offering a three-night full

board package from £552 per person. You’ll arrive on

Christmas Eve and start the celebrations with a festive

afternoon tea and mulled wine around the fire. On

Christmas Day enjoy a Buck’s Fizz breakfast, and take a

long walk to work up an appetite before tucking into a

delicious traditional lunch. There’s a buffet supper and

quiz in the evening. On Boxing Day watch the annual

charity swim and enjoy a day of food and entertainment.

To book call the White Lion on 01728 452720 or for more

details visit www.whitelion.co.uk.

Festive Fun

Thatchers Cottage, Suffolk

With your bags unpacked and bellies full, you’ll need

to find some fun things to do. Before the Christmas

celebrations begin, take the time to wander the streets

of Southwold, where you’ll find cute cafes, independent

boutiques and the famous Adnams brewery if you fancy

a festive tipple. Denny of Southwold is a must visit

for classic style staples or stylish Christmas gifts. The

store has a traditional feel and stocks designers such

as Cath Kidston, Valentino, Lulu Guinness and Vivienne

Westwood to name a few.

On 23 December, head to the Snape Maltings and

get into the seasonal spirit with a screening of ‘The

Snowman’. The Christmas classic will be accompanied by

a live orchestra with Poulenc’s ‘Babar the Little Elephant’

narrated by Zeb Soanes. With a superb choice of

accommodation, festive fun and wonderful winter walks,

have yourself a merry little Christmas in Suffolk!

eastlife.co.uk 105






10am - 1.15pm


Join a glittering West End cast for a sparkling seasonal show

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27 – 30 DECEMBER

Thu – Sun 7pm; Sat & Sun 3pm. Bars open 1h before performance



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Telephone 01502 714234

What’s on: Suffolk


30 Nov - 13 Jan Sleeping Beauty

As a newborn baby she was cursed

by the evil fairy Carabosse. On the

day of her 16th birthday, Aurora will

prick her finger on a spinning wheel

and die! Will Nanny Fanny, King

Edmund and Grub the kitchen boy

be able to protect the un-suspecting

princess? Will Fairy Fortune find a

way to defeat her sister, the wicked

Carabosse? And what part does the

dashing Prince Florin have to play?

Theatre Royal, Westgate Street,

Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1QR. 01284

769505. www.theatreroyal.org

5-Dec Jason Manford: Muddle Class

Delivered with Jason’s amiable charm

and captivating wit, this is a show

not to be missed. Ipswich Regent

Theatre, 3 Saint Helen’s Street,

Ipswich, IP4 1HE. 01473 433100

6-Dec Spiderwomen

Dr Eleanor Morgan, artist, expert and

author of book about the human uses

of spider silk, from gun sights to royal

underwear, stars in Spiderwomen!

The Cut, New Cut, Halesworth, IP19

8BY. 0300 3033 211. newcut.org

9-Dec Boyface and The Christmas


This is a deliciously silly and wonderfully

festive piece of musical theatre

for children and their families.

The Apex, 1 Charter Square, Bury St

Edmunds, IP33 3FD. 01284 758000


10-Dec The Lock In ‘Christmas


Half gig, half dance show and half

panto! Join the BBC award-winning

team of musicians and dancers for

150% of the very best festive live

music, song and dance, featuring The

Demon Barbers! The Apex, 1 Charter

Square, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3FD.

01284 758000. www.theapex.co.uk

10-Dec Film: The Nutcracker &

The Four Realms

Disney’s new live-action spin on The

Nutcracker tale. Haverhill Arts Centre,

High Street, CB9 8AR. 01440 714140.


12-Dec Film: The Third Murder

A complex 4 star courtroom drama.

Misumi is on trial for a murder to

which he has confessed. It seems to

be a straight forward case, yet his

defense lawyer senses that there

is more to this than meets the eye.

As for Misumi, he seems bent on

persuading the jury that he is guilty.

The fact that the death sentence

still operates in Japan adds to the

tension. It’s a captivating plot, full

of twists and turns that keep the

audience guessing. The Cut, New

Cut, Halesworth, IP19 8BY

0300 3033 211. newcut.org

13-24 Dec The Lion, The Witch And

The Wardrobe

Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are

evacuated from London during the

Blitz to stay with the Professor. Whilst

exploring, Lucy stumbles across the

wardrobe; a gateway to a magical

world called Narnia. Very quickly, they

find themselves caught up in a deadly

struggle between good and evil as

they encounter the evil White Witch

and the good King of the Beasts,

Aslan. Will good triumph over evil?

The Seagull, 19-75 Morton Road,

Lowestoft, NR33 0JH. 01502 589726


13 Dec - 1 Jan Peter Pan

Join Wendy, Michael and John

Darling as they fly over London with

Peter Pan to join the Lost Boys and

Tinker Bell in Never Land where

Captain Hook wants to outwit and

out-manoeuvre the hero. Marina

Theatre, The Marina, Lowestoft,

NR32 1HH . 01502 533200


13-Dec An Evening of Eric and Ern

at Christmas

This is a brilliant homage crammed

full of renditions of those famous

comedy sketches, that hits all the

right notes! The Apex, 1 Charter

Square, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3FD.

01284 758000. www.theapex.co.uk

14 Dec - 2 Jan Snow White & the

Seven Dwarfs

A pantomime full of excitement,

including a Good Fairy, a Magic

Mirror and the craziest Seven Dwarfs

you’ve ever seen! Ipswich Regent

Theatre, 3 Saint Helen’s Street,

Ipswich, IP4 1HE. 01473 433100

19-Dec Christmas at Haughley Park

An evening of festive food, drink and

entertainment in the beautiful setting

of historic Haughley Park. There will

be music, drama and improv comedy

to accompany the delicious food and

festive cheer. Haughley Park,

Stowmarket IP14 3JY

20-Dec Santa and the Magicians


Featuring some well known characters,

including Santa, lots of familiar

songs. and even a little magic; this

production is a must to all parents

of children aged 1-6. No baddies to

be scared of, only lots of laughs and

fun for all. The Seagull, 19-75 Morton

Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0JH. 01502

589726. www.theseagull.co.uk

21-23 Dec The Liar, The Bitch and

The Wardrobe Malfunction

The Adult Panto team returns with

another production which isn’t a

panto. If you like swear words, playground

humour, bullying and stuff like

that; it’s worth a punt. The Seagull,

19-75 Morton Road, Lowestoft,

NR33 0JH. 01502 589726


21-31 Dec Dick Whittington

A traditional family panto for all the

family to enjoy packed with fun,

magic, song and dance and lots of

terrible jokes! With TV funny man

Bobby Dazzler, magician Des King as

well as the young stars from the Lisa

Mason School of Dance. Haverhill

Arts Centre, High Street, Haverhill,

CB9 8AR. 01440 714140



4-Dec Carols from Cambridge

Enjoy seasonal favourites to get you

in the festive mood, sung by the

euphonious voices of the choristers

of the Selwyn College Chapel Choir.

Book early to avoid disappointment!

Theatre Royal, Westgate Street,

Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1QR. 01284

eastlife.co.uk 107















10.30am –

10.30am 4pm


Christmas 2018

8th, 9th, 15th, 16th Dec







10.30am – 4pm

£7 per child

Santa’s Santa’s

Grotto Grotto



Christmas Farmyard

Come and and see Santa arrive Craft on his sleigh pulled Fair

by his Suffolk Punch







Santa arrive on his sleigh pulled by his Suffolk Punch

before Santa you arrive meet on him his in sleigh his magical pulled by Grotto his Suffolk Punch

















Santa’s Grotto available at set times Saturday

and Santa’s Sunday, Grotto booking available is essential. at set times Saturday

Visit and www.suffolkunchtrust.org Sunday, booking is essential. for full details

and Visit to book www.suffolkunchtrust.org online, or call 01394 411327 for full details

and to book online, or call 01394 411327

Santa’s Grotto available at set times Saturday

and Sunday, booking is essential. Visit

www.suffolkpunchtrust.org for full details

and to book online, or call 01394 411327

Santa’s Grotto available at set times Saturday

and Sunday, booking is essential.

Visit www.suffolkunchtrust.org for full details

and to book online, or call 01394 411327

ind The Find The Perfect Christmas Gift

ind The Perfect Christmas Gift

Stockists Of

Stockists Of Of

ind The Perfect Christmas Gift

Find The Perfect Christmas Gift

Stockists Of

Stockists Of

arket Place, Southwold, Suffolk

arket n 7 Days Place, | 01502 Southwold, 722372 | Suffolk


n 7 Days | 01502 722372 |


11 Market Place, Southwold, Suffolk

arket Place, Southwold, Suffolk

Open 7 Days | 01502 722372 |

n 7


Days | 01502 722372 |


769505. www.theatreroyal.org

7-Dec Have Yourself a Merry

Little…Christmas with Frank, Dean

& Judy

Back by popular demand, a festive

tribute to Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack

and their infamous residence in

Vegas. The Seagull, 19-75 Morton

Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0JH.

01502 589726. www.theseagull.co.uk

8-Dec Nashville Nights

The evening will be full of songs

from all your favorite Country stars

including Waylon Jennings, Johnny

Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson,

Hank Williams and more.

The Seagull, 19-75 Morton Road,

Lowestoft, NR33 0JH . 01502 589726.


8-Dec Big 10

Paul Firman presents a night of

Christmas ‘Madness’ and ska music.

Haverhill Arts Centre, High Street,

Haverhill, CB9 8AR. 01440 714140


11-Dec Lets Twist Again

Love 50s and 60s music? A full

company of critically acclaimed

artistes and musicians deliver a

show that combines great music,

fun and laughter with the greatest

hits of Elvis, Dusty, Lulu, The

Beatles, Sandie Shaw and many

more. The Apex, 1 Charter Square,

Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3FD

01284 758000. www.theapex.co.uk

18-Dec The Sweet:

Blockbuster Christmas Party

With the hits ‘Blockbuster’, ‘Ballroom

Blitz’, ‘Fox On The Run’ and ‘Love Is

Like Oxygen’, The Sweet became one

of the biggest bands of the 70s, and

were the quintessential glam rockers

who brought androgynous looks and

crunching guitar pop to the masses.

The Apex, 1 Charter Square, Bury St

Edmunds, IP33 3FD. 01284 758000


19-Dec Jazz at the Movies:

A Swinging Christmas

This joyous show gets jazzy with a

stocking-full of 20th century holiday

classics and curiosities. The Apex,

1 Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds,

IP33 3FD. 01284 758000



8 Sep - 23 Dec Lucinda Rogers -

Snape Drawings

Artist and illustrator Lucinda Rogers

will exhibit drawings of familiar and

hidden scenes of Snape Maltings and

Aldeburgh, centred around the original

drawings she made for the Snape

Maltings seasonal brochures over the

last year. The Quay Gallery, Next to the

River Alde, Snape Maltings, P17 1SP.


17 Nov - 31 Jan Christmas Exhibition

A mixed exhibition to include all

gallery artists. Southwold Gallery,

64a High Street, Southwold,

IP18 6DN. 01502 723888


20-Dec Abstraction

Looking at the many artists who

participated in the abandonment

of representational art and helped

develop a new artistic language.

Many pioneers were women, such

as Vanessa Bell, Hilma af Klimt and

Barbara Hepworth. The Cut,

New Cut, Halesworth, IP19 8BY

0300 3033 211. newcut.org


1-2 & 5-9 Dec Christmas at


For the first time ever Helmingham

will open its gates during the winter

to welcome guests to its very own

winter wonderland with a Christmas

Market and very special Illuminated

Garden Trail which will show the

gardens as never before! Helmingham

Hall, Helmingham, Stowmarket,

IP14 6EF. 01473 890799

5, 13 & 22 Dec Lavenham by

Lantern Light

See the medieval village of Lavenham

in a whole new light on the Lantern

Walk. The beautiful timber-framed

buildings will come alive as you listen

to the history of this hidden gem.

Market Place, Lavenham, Sudbury,

CO10 9QZ. 08442 491895

7-16 Dec Christmas Spectacular at

Snape Maltings

With a cast of 100, a live orchestra

and a huge dose of Christmas

magic, this year, there’s exciting new

costumes, dazzling stage effects and

a story that will leave you ready for

the festive season. Snape Maltings,

Snape, Saxmundham, IP17 1SR.

01728 687110. www.snapemaltings.


7 & 14 Dec Southwold Artsian Craft


A selection of local crafts including

textiles, pebble art, stained glass,

jewellery, natural products, paper

cutting, homemade cards, sun

catchers and more. High Street,

Southwold, IP18 6DS . www.facebook.


7-9 Dec Lavenham Christmas Fair

Over 50 stalls in the Market Place;

gifts, food & drink, clothing, jewellery

& handicrafts. Live entertainment.

Father Christmas Grotto, big wheel

etc. Market Place, Lavenham,

Sudbury, CO10 9QZ

9, 15 & 29 Dec Weekend Winter

Wildlife Wander

Discover what makes Minsmere such

a special place to visit in winter as the

guides show you some of the wildlife

and historical highlights. RSPB

Minsmere, Westleton, Saxmundham,

IP17 3BY

13-14 Dec Christmas at Otley Hall

Experience a Tudor-style Christmas

with a guided tour of this stunning

15th/16th century building rich in

English history. Candle lit rooms,

decorated trees and roaring log fires

enhance your festive experience,

and the tour is followed by mulled

wine and festive nibbles in the Great

Hall. A perfect way to begin your

Christmas celebrations! Otley Hall,

Hall Lane, Otley, nr Ipswich, IP6 9PA

01473 890264. www.otleyhall.co.uk


9-Dec Suffolk Antiques & Collectors


Open 9.30am - 4pm. Admission £1.

Lavenham Village Hall, Church Street,

Lavenham, CO10 9QT

29-20 Dec Long Melford Antiques

and Vintage Fair

Featuring 50 tables selling antiques,

jewellery, ceramics, collectables,

militaria, vintage clothing and

accessories, vinyl records, ephemera,

kitchenalia etc. Free parking. Dog

friendly. Entry £1. Open 9.30am -

4pm. The Old School, Hall Street,

Long Melford, CO10 9DX

eastlife.co.uk 111


Bar, Restaurant, B&B

On board historic sailing ship Albatros,

The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk NR23 1AT

Traditional DUTCH CUISINE including our famous


Chef’s DAILY SPECIALS MENU with vegetarian,

vegan and gluten-free options available.

Fully LICENSED BAR serving the best choice of

local REAL ALES from cask

Listed in The CAMRA GOOD

BEER GUIDE since 2010

Speciality LODGING/B&B

in the former CREW CABINS



For more details visit


LIVE MUSIC every weekend

OPEN daily for LUNCH and DINNER from 12 noon


Sheringham Cottages 1-4 Jan18.qxp_1/4 PORTRAIT GRID 11/12/2017 16:34 Page 107979

For Enquiries


Relax on the North Norfolk C oast


Local family run business

We are a family-run business and offer a wide

and varied selection of woodburning, Multi-Fuel

and Gas Stoves. In our showroom in Holt,

we have several on display and below

are just a small selection of those on offer...

Six delightful 4 star / families welcome graded holiday

properties sleeping from 2 to 15 in Sheringham

Foresters, Augusta & Madge are all rated suitable for

wheelchair users by Visit England, as well as being

great for families

Superb quiet location. Blue flag beach, shops, family

pubs, theatre and 18-hole golf course all within 200


Free use of local leisure centre, inc. swim and gym,

Sky TV, sports and movies, Wi-fi, gardens and off

road parking

Free pick up from Sheringham train & bus station

Call: 01263 577 560

Web: www.sheringhamcottages.com

Email: enquiries@sheringhamcottages.com

Unit 3H Glaven Road, Hempstead Road

Industrial Estate, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6DL

Opening hours: Mon - Fri 9.30am - 4.00pm,

Saturday 9.30am - 2.30pm

Tel 01263 711593 Mobile 07880 658866





Life in a Fine County

5 of the Best Boxing Day Walks

Written by Nicole Ranaweera

Is there anything nicer than a brisk walk on Boxing Day

with family or friends to walk off a bit of that Christmas

indulgence? Whether you’re local or just visiting, here

are 5 of the best walks in Norfolk…

1. A Seaside Stroll

A trip to the coast is a winner with all the family, old or

young and where better to go than Brancaster beach,

an area of outstanding beauty. Once you’ve had your

fill of the beach, follow the Norfolk Coast path towards

Brancaster Staithe harbour. A little way along the coastal

path, a path heads inland to the White Horse pub

(www.whitehorsebrancaster.co.uk) and is perfect for that

post-walk warm up!

2. Historic Haunts

The beautiful Blickling Hall, its gardens and 950 acres of

woods and parkland are ideal for a Boxing Day visit. Stroll

around the lake or explore the woods – it’s a beautiful area

and with the historic Buckinghamshire Arms

(www.bucksarms.co.uk) right next door, you have a

welcome rest stop that sports a wonderful open fire.

3. Get Arty

Located in a 1,000 acre deer park is The Gunton Arms

(www.theguntonarms.co.uk), a remarkable pub with a

passion for art! There’s a public footpath that runs parallel

to the deer park so you can stretch your legs before

heading indoors to warm up to see if you can catch a

glimpse of a cheeky Damien Hurst! It’s a popular pub so be

sure to book well in advance.

Blickling Hall

4. Easy Going

If you want to stay close to town then the pretty broad at

Whitlingham Country Park in Trowse may be the perfect

circular walk for you. It’s a flat, easy going walk surrounded

by a plethora of wildlife and stunning scenery. Once you’re

ready, head into the village to either the River Green

Café (www.rivergreencafe.co.uk) which is a very popular

vegetarian/vegan restaurant or The Crown Point Tavern

(www.crownpointtavern.co.uk) for a traditional country


5.See the Seals

Probably the most popular walk on Boxing Day in Norfolk

is a trip to Horsey to see the seals and their newborn

pups. Check www.friendsofhorseyseals.co.uk for up to

date information about the seals and visiting information.

Nearby you’ll find The Nelson Head (thenelsonhead.com)

for a warm welcome and bite to eat.

To find out what’s on in Norfolk this December visit

www.eastlife.co.uk or join our Facebook group: What’s

On in Norfolk with Eastlife: www.facebook.com/groups/


eastlife.co.uk 113




at Bressingham


Father Christmas at is coming to Bressingham on

selected days in December

Father Christmas is coming to Bressingham

Sat 3 Dec 2016 to Sat 24 Dec 2016

on selected days in December.

Rudolph is away on his holidays so Santa decided

to use his old faithful Steam Car for the journey to


Sat 1st December to

Monday 24th December


He and














at Bressingham

decided to


use his

old faithful Steam Car for the journey to Norfolk.

the 3/4, 10/11, 17,18 and 21,22,23,24 December 2016.

Entry times vary depending on the day.

He and his wife and elves, will be at Bressingham on

the 1/2, 8/9, 15/16, and 21, 22, 23, 24 December 2018.

Entry This times year vary Santa depending is including: on the day.

All • days A ride but on the the 24th Steam have Train entry on from the 2pm Nursery to 5pm Line close for

no everyone. earlier than 6pm. 9, 15, 16 have an additional 12pm to

2pm entry slot, 24th has an 11am to 2pm entry slot and

• For those up to the age of 12 a visit to Father

we will close earlier. Why not stay all afternoon and visit


Christmas and

on Sea

a present

at Christmas.

from him.

• Rides on the Gallopers are included too.

This year Santa is including:

• The Dads Army Exhibition will be decorated for

• Christmas A ride on the and Steam a Childrens Train on entertainer the will be in the

Village Fen Railway Hall. for everyone

•There will be food available at Wyevale if you arrive

• For those up to the age of 12 a visit to Father

before Santa is ready and at The Steam Museum too

Christmas and a present from him. Rides on the

during your visit.

Gallopers are included too.

• Booking The Dads is Army advisable Exhibition and can will be be made decorated by telephone for

on Christmas 01379 686900, and a Children’s online or entertainer person at will the be ticket in the

office. Village You Hall. can There also will choose be food to pay available on the at day Wyevale

(if you tickets arrive are before still available), Santa is ready Ticket and numbers at The Steam are

limited Museum so too it’s during best to your book visit. online.






are offered

are £11.55

at discounted rates:

Children (advance) 3-12 £14.85

Adult tickets are £11.55

under 3’s (advance) requiring a present are £7.15

Children aged 3-12 are £14.85


under 3’s

is advisable



a present

can be




by telephone on

01379 686900 or in person at the ticket office.

You Tickets can also on the choose day to will pay be on £1 per the day person (if tickets more are still

available), than in advance. Ticket numbers All prices are include limited £1 so Gift it’s best Aid to book

online. donation. All offer types (including Tesco Deals) are

excluded from use at this event.

Tickets on the day will be £1 per person more than in




Gifts from Santa Claus

Nursery Railway Train


Gallopers Rides

Sweet Shop

Dads Army at Christmas

Childrens Entertainment

Sat 1st Dec to Mon 24th Dec 2018

29 th Nov | Dec 5 th & 6 th ,12 th & 13 th ,19 th ,20 th ,22 nd ,23 rd & 24 th

Check bressingham.co.uk

for entry times

Search Bressingham Steam

Book online at


or call 01379 686900

Winter in North


It’s the most wonderful time of year, and there has never

been a truer saying for when it comes to visiting the North

Norfolk coast. The countryside feels magical as it glints

with frost, the sea swirls under stunning sunsets and wildlife

comes to life. With the crowds of holidaymakers long gone,

you can often find yourself alone on big beaches, feeling as

though you have the entire county to yourself.

Cosy Christmas Villages

Head inland and you’ll find Norfolk’s finest town’s putting

on a show for Christmas. Holt is known for its dazzling

fairy lights hung along the gables, gutters and roofs,

accompanied by impressive festive windows. The Georgian

village of Burnham Market has a magical atmosphere in

the lead up to Christmas with lights twinkling in the trees,

shopping opportunities and pubs with cosy corners and

roaring fires to escape the cold. If you’re lucky, you’ll also

catch a glimpse of the pink foot geese that fly over the

village at this time of year.

A walk on the wild side

Norfolk’s wildlife really does shows off during the winter

months, and emerges from the depths of forest and the sea

to unveil natural spectaculars. Wrap up warm, pull on your

wellies and take a walk through the countryside where you’ll

find herds of deer, pheasants and more. Hundreds of deer

roam the estate and woodlands of Holkham Hall, and it’s

worth booking a wild deer safari.

116 Download Our App Today!


hundreds of

festive events in

Norfolk at


Brave the cold and take to the coastline for an enjoyable

winter walk with the dog or family. The shoreline, sea and

sky are memorising at this time of year. However, it’s the

colony of seals and their pups with their cuteness that

draw in visitors throughout the winter months. Thousands

of them gather along the coast, and can most likely be

spotted on walks at Horsey, Blakeney Point and Morston

Quay. If you’d like a closer look, book a boat trip with

Beans Boat Trips or Temple Seal Trips.

It’s easy to have your very own winter wildlife safari in

Norfolk, but afterwards, thaw out at a traditional cosy

pub complete with a warming fire, top grub and local

booze. The Gunton Arms, King’s Head in Letheringsett

and Red Lion in Stiffkey are popular choices. Despite

being winter these pubs do get busy so book ahead if

you’re planning to eat.

A winter wonderland in Wells

Unlike other traditional seaside towns which shut down

during the winter, Wells-next-the-Sea continues to

boom with its excellent selection of shops, pubs and


This year the famous Wells Tide took place on 24

November, which officially kicked off the town’s

Christmas celebrations. Don’t worry if you missed it,

there’s still plenty of festive fun to be had. Starting with

food. Yes, if there’s one thing that Wells does well it’s

delicious food.

Start your day with a walk along the sandy beach with its

colourful huts and pine forest back drop. If the weather

takes a turn for the worst, there’s a footpath that runs

alongside the beach through the forest. Once you’ve

worked up an appetite get cosy at one of the town’s

pubs. The Golden Fleece on the Quayside and

The Globe Inn at The Buttlands are well worth a visit

- even on a cold rainy day it’s best to book a table in


For something a little different hop aboard the Albatros,

a former Dutch cargo ship moored on The Quay; their

pancakes are highly recommended! There’s of course

plenty of opportunities for fish & chips but if it’s a taste of

the sea you fancy, book a table at Seasons.

As the name would suggest, the menu changes with local

produce that is currently in season, and in December

the sea comes into its own. Hake, clams, oysters, lobster

and mussels are at their best in December. Just imagine

warming up with a bowl of steaming garlic mussels and

dunking fresh crusty bread into the creamy broth, yum!

The restaurant is currently adding a first floor restaurant

and lounge bar, so watch this space!

There’s festive fun for little ones at Wells & Walsingham

Light Railway with its Father Christmas Specials from 8-22

December. Travel through the countryside on a steam

train followed by a visit to Santa’s Grotto.

Whether you’re visiting for a day, weekend or longer,

North Norfolk is the perfect place to explore this winter.

eastlife.co.uk 117



t Alcosa you’ll find the finest fireplaces,

Awoodburning and multifuel stoves, and fireplace

accessories in this region. We have a fine showroom,

with over 60 exquisite wood stoves, gas fires and

cookers to view, many set in live displays.

Our distinctive range of products will fuel your

imagination. This diverse collection includes the

impressive Clearview wood burning stoves, Harrie

Leenders ceiling mounted and rotatable stoves,

Piazzetta double and triple sided stoves and the

elegant Rais range. We also have a large selection of

Gazco gas and electric fires and stoves.

We are based in the historic market town of

Wymondham in Norfolk. Our Showroom is just off

the A11 and we have a large free car park.


01953 602482



TO INSPIRE 1 Penfold YOUR Drive, Wymondham HOME Norfolk, NR18 0WZ



Twelve issues for only £24.95

01953 602482


email: accounts@eastlife.co.uk

or call: 019541 268129 Penfold Drive, Wymondham

Norfolk, NR18 0WZ

Roller Garage Doors Up & Over Garage Doors Sectional Garage Doors Side Sliding Doors Entrance Doors

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Cooks Blinds & Doors

Sweetbriar Industrial Estate,

Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 2BS.

T: 01603 410304 F: 01603 405090

E: sales@cooksblinds.co.uk

Est. 1965

Blinds & Doors

All types of Garage Doors supplied and installed. Whether you

require it standard or purpose made, for any application,

we have got the door for you.

We have been established for over 50 years and are renowned in

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Showroom Open: Monday to Friday 8am - 5pm & Saturday 8.30am - 12.30pm

Roller Blinds Fire Shutters Steel Doors Industrial Shutter Doors Awnings Security Grilles Crash Doors

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What’s on: Norfolk


6 Nov - 23 Dec Thursford Christmas


An extravaganza of non-stop singing,

dancing, music, humour and variety.

It’s a fast moving celebration of the

festive season featuring an eclectic

mix of both seasonal and year round

favourites. Thursford Collection,

Thursford, Fakenham, NR21 0AS

01328 878 477.


24 Nov - 30 Dec The Cromer Pier

Christmas Show

The Cromer Pier Christmas Show

returns for its 14th year and is now

considered to be one of the best

family Christmas shows in Norfolk,

strengthening the county’s fantastic

festive entertainment offering.

Pavilion Theatre, Cromer Pier,

Cromer, NR27 9HE. 01263 512495


26 Nov - 1 Dec The Full Monty

This production about six out-ofwork,

impoverished steelworkers

from Sheffield with nothing to lose,

took the world by storm and has become

one of Britain’s most successful

shows. Norwich Theatre Royal,

Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RL

01603 630000


1 Dec - 1 Jan Snow White and the

Seven Dwarfs

Stunning costumes, creative choreography,

scenery straight from an

enchanting fairy tale and a fast paced

story line which will ensure this year’s

production of ‘Snow White and the

Seven Dwarfs’ is a truly magical experience.

Princess Theatre,

13 The Green, Hunstanton,

PE36 5AH. 01485 532252.


5-30 Dec Sleeping Beauty

Ohyesitiz Productions Ltd are pleased

to return to present for you the traditional

family pantomime ‘Sleeping

Beauty’. Gorleston Pavilion Theatre,

Pier Gardens, Gorleston-on-Sea,

Great Yarmouth, NR31 6PP.

01493 662832. gorlestonpavilion.


5-6 Dec An Afternoon of Christmas

Words and Music

Come along and join in the singing of

well known Christmas songs including

‘White Christmas’, ‘The Christmas

Alphabet’ and ‘Rudolph The Red

Nosed Reindeer’ alongside wonderful

Christmas poems and carols. Maddermarket

Theatre, St Johns Alley,

Norwich, NR2 1DR. 01603 620917


6-Dec Beauty and the Beast

A tale of love and adventure, this

classic story examines morals, truth,

friendship, bravery, fairness and

forgiveness packed full of live music,

comedy and energy. Westacre Theatre,

River Road, Westacre, PE32 1UD.

01760 755800


7-31 Dec Sleeping Beauty

The Princess is searching for happiness,

Evil Carabosse is searching

for revenge, Chester the Jester is

searching for someone to laugh at his

terrible jokes and Dame Nellie Night

Nurse is searching for a man…in

the two front rows! King’s Lynn Corn

Exchange, Tuesday Market Place,

King’s Lynn, PE30 1JW. 01553 764864


8 Dec -1 Jan Beauty and the Beast

Packed full of modern songs, dances,

hilarious characters, mayhem and

stunning effects, join us as we take

you on a special journey of enchantment

in one of the best loved fairy

tales of all time. Sheringham Little

Theatre, 2 Station Road, Sheringham,

NR26 8RE. 01263 822347


8-Dec Intellectual Hooligans

The show will consist of “Whose

Line Is It Anyway?” style games

based entirely on audience suggestions.

Anything goes (and we mean

anything!). Maddermarket Theatre,

St Johns Alley, Norwich, NR2 1DR

01603 620917


12 Dec - 13 Jan Aladdin

Written and directed once again by

Richard Gauntlett, the show is set in

the Far East and promises dazzling

costumes, a stunning set, mischievous

fun, and entertainment for all the

family. Book now. Norwich Theatre

Royal, Theatre Street , Norwich,

NR2 1RL. 01603 630000


12-Dec Much Ado About Crimbo!

Boogaloo Stu & Lorraine Bowen

This Christmas, prepare watch the

sparks fly as Boogaloo Stu’s crimplene-clad

comedy character Derek

Daniels and the polyester queen

Lorraine Bowen join forces for this

hilarious festive show. Norwich Arts

Centre, St. Benedict’s Street,

Norwich, NR2 4PG. 01603 660352


14-23 Dec Dick Comes Again -

Adult Panto

The return of Dick in his new (Strictly

Adult Only!) adventure. Gorleston

Pavilion Theatre, Pier Gardens,

Gorleston-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth,

NR31 6PP. 01493 662832. gorlestonpavilion.ticketsolve.com

15-31 Dec James and the Giant


Roald Dahl’s extraordinary adventure

of a little boy and a GIANT peach!

Maddermarket Theatre, St Johns

Alley, Norwich, NR2 1DR. 01603

620917. www.maddermarket.co.uk

15-29 Dec - Selected Dates

Wind in the Willows 2

More action from the Riverbank and

the Wild Wood with the further adventures

of Mole, Ratty, Badger and,

of course, the irrepressible Mr. Toad

in this completely original production.

A seasonal treat for all ages!

Westacre Theatre, River Road,

Westacre, PE32 1UD. 01760 755800


16-Dec Toast

‘Toast’ is a poetry organisation committed

to the continued professional

development of poets in the U.K. Toast

runs workshops for poets, live literature

events and discussion panels. Norwich

Arts Centre, St. Benedict’s Street,

Norwich, NR2 4PG. 01603 660352.


eastlife.co.uk 119

Seahorse StudioAdforUNN1#AW:Layout 1 09/05/2017 11:37 Page 1

Unique glass beads,

jewellery and gifts

1 Albert Street, Holt NR25 6HX

01263 478020



Find me on Facebook!













19-Dec Sh!t Theatre: Muppets

Christmas Carol

Come and sing-a-long to the best

Christmas film ever! Norwich Arts

Centre, St. Benedict’s Street,

Norwich, NR2 4PG. 01603 660352


20-24 Dec Princess and the Pea

This quirky and inventive adaptation

of Hans Christian Andersen’s bedtime

tale is played out among sheets and

blankets with puppets and projections.

Norwich Puppet Theatre,

St James, Whitefriars, Norwich,

NR3 1TN. 01603 629921



7-Dec The Sweetbeats

Dance all night to the joyful sounds

of The Sweetbeats as they blend selfpenned

songs with twisted versions

of the classic Ska, Reggae, Bluebeat,

Soul and dub tunes that inspired

them. Norwich Arts Centre,

St. Benedict’s Street, Norwich,

NR2 4PG. 01603 660352


9-Dec Jazz @The Hub

A programme of vocal jazz with The

John Whitehead Trio and special

guest Jan Jinkerson. Sheringham

Little Theatre, 2 Station Road, Sheringham,

NR26 8RE. 01263 822347


17-Dec An Albion Christmas

This show takes you on a guided tour

through the Christmas customs of

Britain. This is the first time this show

has appeared at the Little Theatre.

Sheringham Little Theatre, 2 Station

Road, Sheringham, NR26 8RE.

01263 822347.



13 Oct - 24 Feb Elisabeth Frink:

Humans and Other Animals

‘Elisabeth Frink: Humans and Other

Animals’ features over 150 works

by the artist, and will be the largest

showing of Frink’s work in 25 years.

The exhibition will explore Frink’s

enduring preoccupation with human

and animal forms and the symbiotic

relationship between them. Sainsbury

Centre for Visual Arts UEA, Norwich

NR4 7TJ. www.scva.ac.uk

1 Dec - 9 Jan Christmas Exhibition:

Part 2

The second of two great collections

for Christmas from selected artists.

Bircham Gallery, 14 Market Place,

Holt, NR25 6BW. 01263 713312


1 Dec - 27 Jan Mechanical Circus

Roll up, roll up for the greatest

mechanical show on Earth! This

entertaining exhibition marks the end

of our Circus 250 celebrations. Featuring

beautiful mechanical sculpture,

physics games and puzzles there will

never be a dull moment! The Forum,

Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF

01603 727950


4-6 Dec Art Norfolk

‘Art Norfolk’ comes together this

Christmas for an exhibition in The

Forum with a display of paintings,

prints, sculpture and mixed media.

The Forum, Millennium Plain,

Norwich, NR2 1TF. 01603 727950

13-15 Dec UNIK Design

UNIK Design return to The Forum

with their stunning craft collections.

A great selection of local, hand-made

crafts for sale straight from the designers.

The Forum, Millennium Plain,

Norwich, NR2 1TF. 01603 727950

21-23 Dec Skye Art Exhibition

‘Skye’ is the brainchild of two very

driven people, a painter with a desire

to share their art and a videographer

with the skills to get them out there.

Skye’s first solo exhibition will take

you on an adventure across land and

sea in oil paintings and prints.The

Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich,

NR2 1TF. 01603 727950


1-21 Dec Deck the Halls

Explore Blickling Hall in all its festive

splendour. This year, to reflect upon

its five year conservation project

of the 18th century, Long Gallery

library, there will be a Georgian focus

throughout the house. Blickling Hall,

Blickling, Norwich, NR11 6NF .


5 & 12 Dec Festive Wreath Making

With special tuition, spend the day

creating your own festive wreath using

greenery from Holkham’s parkland.

Holkham Estate, Wells-next- the-Sea,

NR23 1AB. www.holkham.co.uk/event/


8-Dec Modern Country Craft

Christmas Fair

A craft and gift fair with an eclectic

mix of stalls selling quality bespoke

products, sourced and made locally.

The Forum, Millennium Plain,

Norwich, NR2 1TF. 01603 727950


8-Dec Santa’s Grotto for Dogs

Bring your dressed up pooches to

meet Santa Woof Woof in his kennel

shaped grotto and be part of the

seasonal silliness. Santa’s little helpers

from the RSPCA will be handing out

doggie treats and helping you take

family pictures. The Forum, Millennium

Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF

01603 727950

9-Dec Ramble and Roast at NWT

Cley Marshes

A guided stroll around the reserve

taking in the sights and sounds of

winter wildlife on the North Norfolk

Coast. Then head back to the centre

to warm back up with a home cooked

Sunday roast and delicious pudding.

£17 NWT members, £20 non members.

Coast Road, Cley next the Sea,

NR25 7SA. 01263 740008

12-Dec Giant Hannukkah Lighting

Join the Norwich Hebrew Congregation

for the lighting of a 9ft Hannukkia

with doughnuts and latkes to celebrate

the Festival of Hannukkah.

The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich,

NR2 1TF. 01603 727950



9-Dec Antiques & Collectors Fair

While many vendors specialise in

particular wares, others offer an eclectic

mix, making the prospect of an

interesting find at a reasonable price

a strong one. Open 8.30am-3.30pm.

Hemsby Village Hall, Waters Lane,

Hemsby, Great Yarmouth, NR29 4LE

07919 022352

9-Dec Norwich Does Vintage

Expect a fabulous array of authentic

vintage stalls. Free entry. The Forum,

Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF

01603 727950

eastlife.co.uk 121

A 24 hour live-in Care Service as

an alternative to residential care

At Able Care we believe that people are

happiest in the familiar surroundings

of their own home. We can support

you in maintaining your independence

by providing a valuable alternative to

residential care, whilst easing the reliance

upon family, friends and neighbours.

Able Care can provide:

✔ Carers that you prefer returning to you on a

weekly or fortnightly basis

✔ Carers that can assist with personal care

✔ Carers to help you with your household needs

✔ Carers that can provide support from

companionship through to palliative care

Call Able Care on 01603 624135

e: enquiries@ablecareagency.co.uk w: www.ablecareagency.co.uk

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Sweetbriar Industrial Estate,

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don’t retire.

It’s time to throw yourself into the things you love - at Park House in quintessential

Harpenden. Set around a leafy courtyard, the development offers a friendly, sociable

collection of homes bordering popular Rothamsted Park. Enjoy a delicious lunch at

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Prices published correct at time of print.

Properties of character

Find your Christmas spirit in

St Albans

There’s something magical about

being in the city during December.

The smell of chestnuts fills the air, choirs

sing and twinkling lights make Christmas

shopping among the crowds almost

enjoyable. If there’s one city that knows

how to celebrate in style its St Albans,

here’s everything you need to know…

Christmas Market

St Albans has been home to a market for

1,000 years, so it comes as no surprise

that the city has welcomed its traditional

market chalets for another year. Back,

bigger and better than before is the

European-inspired Christmas Market,

taking place from 30 November to 22 December.

For the first time the market is being held within the

Meraki Christmas Festival at Verulamium Park. The

merge of the events will create a winter wonderland of

entertainment for both adults and children. You’ll be

able to shop for handmade goods from the wooden

chalets, enjoy fairground rides and experience a virtual

reality Santa’s Grotto. This year’s highlights include the

‘igloo smoke and ice bar’ where you can chill out and get

merry with a festive cocktail and the ‘snug movie house’

which will be showing a great line up of films throughout

December – make sure you stop by for a festive family


A Christmas trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without

a twirl around the ice. Visitors can do their best Torvill &

Dean impression at the synthetic skating rink. All levels

are welcome, but wrap up warm!

Fun & Games

St Albans has a long history of gaming and sport that

dates back thousands of years, and this December the

heritage is being honoured with the ‘Game Plan’

exhibition at St Albans Museum + Gallery from 1

December to 3 March. Originally displayed at the V&A:

Museum of Childhood, this exhibition celebrates the joy,

excitement and occasional frustration of playing board

games, with some of the most iconic, enthralling and

visually striking games on show.

There’s a chance to get involved from 15 December to

6 January as giant games will be available to play in the

Assembly Room at St Albans Museum + Gallery – best of

all it’s free to play.

The Advent Trail

There’s festive fun to be had at every turn in St Albans as

every day at 1pm from 1-24 December a business will be

unveiling their advent window. Check the Enjoy St Albans

social feeds daily for posts of every reveal, and every like

or share has the chance to win a prize from that business.

After the final reveal at St Albans Abbey, you can vote for

your favourite display at enjoystalbans.com and be in a

chance of winning a £100 St Albans Gift Card – who needs

chocolate, eh? The fun begins at The Albans Arena!

124 Download Our App Today!

Beds, Bucks, Herts

Christmas Carols

There’s plenty of opportunities for a Christmas singa-long

throughout December, but one not to miss is

‘Carols on the Hour’ at the Cathedral on 15 December.

Between 11am-4.30pm there will be carol services to

help the whole family get into the Christmas spirit. Each

carol service lasts just 30 minutes - enough time to sing

some uplifting carols with the Cathedral Choirs and local

visiting choirs, and to get a real taste of Christmas in the

beautiful, atmospheric surroundings of the Cathedral. It’s

free to attend.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for Christmas in St

Albans. There’s a packed programme of festive fun

including crafts, wreath workshops, cookery classes, wine

tasting, live music, entertainers, pantomime, visits from

Santa and much more. Don’t miss the live reindeer at

the Christopher Place Shopping Centre on 22 December

from 11am-3pm – a great free event to get little ones

excited about the big day!


Venture out of the city to Harpenden and enjoy a

programme of Christmas classics. Harpenden Public

Halls will be showing a special screening of the animated

film ‘The Snowman’ on 9 December featuring a live

performance of Howard Blake’s musical score performed

for you by the Hitchin Band.

From the 8 – 30 December families can enjoy an

enchanting faiytale of ‘Snow White and the Seven

Dwarfs’ full of dazzling costumes, special effects and

laughs aplenty! This year’s pantomime stars Hollyoaks

and Holby City actor Jeremy Edwards. For tickets, visit


See the full list of events at www.enjoystalbans.com/


eastlife.co.uk 109

It’s a very Bedford Christmas

Saturday 1st Dec 10am

Bedford Prep School Choir sings Carols at

The Kiosk at the Park in Russell Park. All welcome!

Saturday 8th December 2pm - 4pm

Lantern Decorating with Creative Days

Pavilion at the Park.

Sunday 9th December 3:30pm

Pavilion at the Park & Hope Bedfordshire present:

Open Air community Carols, retiring collection

for SoupFest, helping our homeless.

Monday 10th December 2pm

Pilgrims Choir sing carols at The Pavilion.

Saturday December 22nd 10am

Award-winning Children’s Illustrator

David Litchfield and his world famous

Bear Band at the Kiosk at The Park.

Christmas Eve December 24th 4pm

Carols at the Kiosk, now in its 6th year.

All welcome. Santa hats

and Christmas jumpers optional.

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b e d f o r d p a r k

www.attheparkbedford.co.uk 01234 351104








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A Very



Written by Erica Roffe

www.explorebedford.co.uk | @bedfordexplore

From the Christmas light switch-on on

Thursday 22 November, right up until

Christmas Eve, visit Bedford’s town centre and

buy from independent shops, find well-known

brands, eat, drink and be merry!

From Wednesday 5 - Sunday 9 December, the annual

Christmas Tree Festival takes place in St Paul’s Church,

raising money for the Bedford Hospitals Charity. Visitors

can see over 65 trees individually decorated by local

businesses and community groups on the theme of

Christmas around the world. Wednesday 5 - Saturday 8

December 10am - 5pm / Sunday 9 December noon - 4pm.

Entry: £2.50. Under 16 free.

St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Square, Bedford MK40 1SQ


On Saturday 1 December, Bedford will be celebrating

Small Business Saturday. GCH Fishmongers on Newnham

Street are offering 10% discount on any Christmas orders

placed on the day, while Ready Steady Roll in Sharnbrook

will be offering a free slice of cake with every game

purchased. If you head to Boutique Planet in the Old

Arcade you can help them choose a name for their giant

pink flamingo! More events and offers will be taking place

on the day. Check out explorebedford.co.uk for up-to-date


Made in Bedford Christmas Artisan Fair

The twice yearly Made in Bedford Artisan Fair is at the

Corn Exchange and Harpur Suite on Sunday 2 December

from 10am - 4pm. Buy from a huge range of stalls

featuring Bedford’s best local artists, craftspeople and

producers. Top up on festive cheer with some homemade

mulled wine accompanied by carol singers and musicians.

A fabulously festive day out for all the family. Admission is

free! Bedford Corn Exchange, St Paul’s Square, MK40 1SQ

Over at the Higgins on 2 December, kick off Christmas in

the Cultural Quarter. The Museum will be open from 11am

with lots of family-friendly activities, including drop-in

decoration workshops and a brilliant interactive Christmas

story session in Cecil Higgins’ house with Punchdrunk

Theatre’s Katy Balfour. Plus, we’ve had a tip off that it

might even snow…

Santa’s Grotto

Santa Claus will once again be taking up residence in his

Grotto in Bedford’s Harpur Centre. You’ll find him in Unit

13 (next to SuperCuts) from Saturday 24 November. Price

includes meeting Santa and a gift on arrival (£4 per child /

£7.50 for two children / £10 for three children and £13.50

for four children).

Sat 24 November/1 December/8 December/15 December

10am – 5pm

Sun 25 November/2 December/9 December/16 December

10am - 3pm

Wednesday 19 – Saturday 22 December 10am – 5pm

Sunday 23 – Monday 24 December 10am – 3pm

eastlife.co.uk 127






What’s on: Beds, Bucks & Herts


30 Nov - 27 Jan Snow White and the

Seven Dwarfs

Join in on a magical adventure to

meet a Wicked Queen with a jealous

streak, a handsome prince who’s

searching for love and the fairest of

all damsels in distress. The Gordon

Craig Theatre, Lytton Way, Stevenage

SG1 1LZ. 01438 363200.


1 Dec - 1 Jan The Astonishing

Adventures of Pinocchio

Chock full of sensational, splintering

songs; bursting with beautifully

turned dances and packed to the

rafters with timber-splitting fun.

Hertford Theatre, The Wash,

Hertford, SG14 1PS. 01992 531500


1-24 Dec Santa Claus and The

Magical Christmas Journey 2018

From the producers of last year’s

record breaking production, the

next adventure in the collection is

filled with songs, nursery rhymes and

magic promises to be the Christmas

treat you won’t want to miss. Watford

Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road,

Watford, WD17 3JN 01923 571102.


5 Dec - 5 Jan Jack and the Beanstalk

A lavish spectacle with live musicians

on stage, stunning sets and

costumes, song, dance and slapstick,

performed straight from the heart by

a talented company of new faces and

Palace favourites. Watford Palace,

Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road, Watford

WD17 1JZ . 01923 235455


7-31 Dec Peter Pan

Meet the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and

Tinker Bell, and get ready for a family

show full of fun, fairy dust and pirates

galore. Set sail for Neverland, take on

Captain Hook and prepare for out-ofthis-world

flying effects, galleons of

laughter, and the hungriest of crocodiles!

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre,

Exchange Street, Aylesbury,

HP20 1UG. 0844 871 7607


8 Dec - 13 Jan Robin Hood

Don’t miss the ultimate pantomime

adventure ‘Robin Hood’, starring

one of the nation’s favourite soap

actors Shane Richie. Milton Keynes

Theatre, Marlborough Gate, Milton

Keynes, MK9 3NZ. 0844 8717652


8 Dec - 5 Jan Beauty and the Beast

With spectacular sets and costumes,

stunning choreography and a feast

of magical effects it’s a festive family

treat for all ages. Rhodes Theatre,

1-3 South Road, Bishop’s Stortford

CM23 3JG. 01279 710200. www.


9-11 Dec Santa’s New Sleigh

Christmas is fast approaching and

Santa’s Sleigh is nowhere to be

found. Will Sprocket and Dibs be

able to create a new sleigh in time or

will Christmas be cancelled? Can you

help them save the day? Only time

will tell but with audience participation,

sing-alongs and a present from

Santa for every child it promises

to be the perfect festive treat.

Broadway Theatre, Eastcheap,

Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3DD

01462 681300


12-Dec The Get Stuffed Christmas

Comedy Night

‘The Get Stuffed Christmas Comedy

Night’ returns with a storming line

up of its favourite comedians. Don’t

miss out on what will be a brilliant

evening. The Court Theatre, Station

Road, Tring, HP23 5QY


15-Dec Baby Broadway Christmas

Enjoy well-known numbers from

‘The Polar Express’, ‘The Sound of

Music’, ‘Elf’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘The

Snowman’, ‘Frozen’ and many more

plus there will be bubbles, bells,

flying babies and puppetry in an

interactive family concert performed

by West End singers. Watford

Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road,

Watford, WD17 1JZ. 01923 235455


16-Dec Santa in Love

A magical fun filled Christmas show

with sing-along songs and lots of

interaction followed by a meet and

greet with Santa that includes free

presents for the children and photo

opportunities! Quarry Theatre, 26 St

Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2NN

01234 362337


17-30 Dec Tabby McTat

Tabby McTat is a cat with the loudest

of meee-ews and a best friend

with a guitar. Together they sing

their favourite songs delighting the

crowds, until one day Fred disappears.

Separated and alone, Tabby

finds shelter and a new life with

all the home comforts that any cat

could dream of. However, memories

of his life with Fred haunt him, and

he sets off to search the streets for

his long-lost friend. The Stables,

Stockwell Lane, Milton Keynes,

MK17 8LU. 01908 280800


17-Dec The Snowman

An immersive magical journey and

experience the heartwarming tale

of ‘The Snowman’, screened with a

live orchestra. Watford Colosseum,

Rickmansworth Road, Watford,

WD17 3JN. 01923 571102.


18-Dec The Scummy Mummies

Christmas Show

Expect scummy carols, yuletide

sketches, festive stand-up and very

scummy Santa stories! Book your

tickets now, before it sells out. The

Stables, Stockwell Lane, Milton

Keynes, MK17 8LU. 01908 280800.


19-29 Dec The Yule Lads

Blending Icelands seasonal legend

of the Yule Lads with original songs

and music written specially for this

show, this is a heart warming tale of

overcoming adversity, friendship and

the spirit of adventure. The Place

Theatre, Bradgate Road, Bedford,

MK40 3DE. 01234 354321


eastlife.co.uk 129




Only a short walk from Hatfield railway station and within

easy reach of central London it is ideal for guests attending

events at Hatfield House and visitors to the area who want

to enjoy the beauty of historic rural England.










20-Dec The Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky’s much-loved music is

matched to a magical adventure on

Christmas Eve for Clara and her Nutcracker

doll. Watford Palace Theatre,

20 Clarendon Road, Watford,

WD17 1JZ. 01923 235455


22-23 Dec The Sleeping Beauty


Theatre UK’s spectacular production,

set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious music

with stunning classical choreography,

by the Artistic Director, Christopher

Moore, reawakens the magic of the

world’s favourite fairy tale. Watford

Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road,

Watford, WD17 3JN 01923 571 102.


22-Dec That’ll Be The Day

Christmas Show

The UK’s most popular Rock ‘n’

Roll variety show celebrates the

festive season with all your favourite

Christmas classics from the 50s, 60s &

70s, plus plenty of hilarious comedy!

The Gordon Craig Theatre, Lytton

Way, Stevenage, SG1 1LZ. 01438

363200. www.gordon-craig.co.uk

22-Dec Film: Home Alone

It’s not Christmas until you’ve seen

Home Alone at least once! Here’s

your chance to see it on the big

screen. Exciting Christmas gift with

every child ticket purchased. Quarry

Theatre, 26 St Peter’s Street,

Bedford, MK40 2NN. 01234 362337


28 Dec - 6 Jan Aladdin

Cheer on the heros, as Aladdin goes

in search of true love and help us to

ensure good triumphs over evil. The

Court Theatre, Station Road, Tring,

HP23 5QY . www.courttheatre.co.uk


6-7 Dec West End at Christmas

Stars from the West End present a

magical evening of entertainment

featuring hits from the musicals and

the best of Christmas song. The Place

Theatre, Bradgate Road, Bedford,

MK40 3DE. 01234 354321


7-Dec Matthew Floyd Jones:

Richard Carpenter is Close To

You Richard used to be on

top of the world, to the left of (and

slightly behind) Karen. Now he’s back

with a vengeance, only to find out

it’s not exactly yesterday once more

anymore. The Stables, Stockwell

Lane, Milton Keynes, MK17 8LU

01908 280800. www.stables.org

12-Dec Christmas Carol Concert

The Palace Community Choir invite

you to join them as they sing a

medley of carols and festive favourites.

Everyone is welcome to come

inside, warm up and prepare for the

holiday season with a fun evening

of yuletide song. Watford Palace

Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road,

Watford, WD17 1JZ. 01923 235455


14-Dec Jazz At The Movies: A

Swinging Christmas

‘Jazz At The Movies: A Swinging

Christmas’ gathers jazzy festive favourites

as made famous by Ella, Eartha,

Frank, Doris, Dean, Bing and a whole

gang of cool celluloid cats and hip

Hollywood chicks. Quarry Theatre,

26 St Peter’s Street, Bedford,

MK40 2NN. 01234 362337


14-15 Dec Cleo’s Christmas Show

Kick off the festive season in style

and take your seat for Cleo’s annual

Christmas celebration. She’s invited

a host of friends and family to create

a show packed with great music

and seasonal fun, as well as some

surprises along the way. The Stables,

Stockwell Lane, Milton Keynes,

MK17 8LU . 01908 280800



13 Nov - 8 Dec Four East Anglian


Mixed media, paintings, drawings,

prints, cards and gifts from a group

who met when studying together. In

time for Christmas, this collaboration

is a celebration of friendship and creativity.

Courtyards Gallery, Port Vale,

Hertford, SG14 3AA. 01992 509596.


26 Nov - 24 Dec Members’

Christmas Show

A gift of platinum shows you are rich,

but a gift of artwork from the Eagle

Gallery shows that you love them!

The Eagle Gallery, 101 Castle Road,

Bedford, MK40 3QP. 01234 346995


15 Dec - 6 Jan Twelve Days of

Christmas Gallery Trail

Discover Verulamium Museum’s

hidden treasures with its very own

twelve days of Christmas trail.

St Albans Museum + Gallery, Market

Place, St Peter’s Street, St Albans,

AL3 5DJ.



2, 9 & 16 Dec Sunday Lunch With


Give your family an early Christmas

treat with a fantastic lunch at

Knebworth Barns, complete with a

visit from Santa and a gift for every

child. It’s never too early to be

thinking about Christmas, tickets are

expected to sell out early! Pre-booking

is essential. Knebworth House,

Knebworth, SG3 6PY. 01438 812661


15-Dec Carols on the Hour

Take a break from the last-minute

Christmas shopping and enjoy this

special St Albans Cathedral event.

Each service lasts just 30 minutes,

enough time to sing some uplifting

carols with the Cathedral Choirs.

Everyone is welcome to come

and sing and experience the true

meaning of Christmas at these hourly

Carol Services from 11am to 4pm. No

tickets required and admission is free.

St Albans Cathedral, Sumpter Yard,

St Albans . 01727 860780


26-Dec St Albans Mummers

For over 40 years the St Albans

Mummers have performed their

unique adaptation of George & The

Dragon on Boxing Day in various

locations in the City Centre.

Various location in St Albans


16-Dec Biggleswade Antique &

Vintage Fair

Over 45 stalls of just about every type

of antique you can think of including

silver, jewellery of all types, books,

small furniture, pictures, advertising,

china and tons of vintage. Open:

9.30am - 4pm. Admission: £2. The

Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road,

Biggleswade, SG18 8JH

eastlife.co.uk 131

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We’re ending the year with the

announcement of our new

Cambridge columnist,

Victoria Magnall...

There really is no better place to enjoy the festive season

than historical Cambridge. Spending time in our beautiful

city at this time of year evokes a sense of stepping back

in time to savour the traditions and customs that make

Cambridge so uniquely magical.

The annual carol service ‘Carols from King’s’ held on

Christmas Eve at Cambridge University, is one of the most

famous carol services in the world and is available for

anyone to attend should they have the patience to stand

in the queue! People begin queuing at 7.30am and the

college porters count the number of people joining the

line. Once there are as many lined up as there are seats

available in the chapel, the porters tell new arrivals that

they’re unlikely to be seated. If you are planning to be

part of this Christmas treat, do dress up warmly because

the doors to the chapel don’t open until 1.30pm. The

service starts at 3pm and ends at about 4.30pm.

When in Cambridge why not order a delicious hot

chocolate from one of the cosy cafes only a stone’s

throw from King’s College. Fitzbillies is particularly lovely

(although you really are spoilt for choice of venues with

extensive menus including vegan and gluten free options)

and is famed for its Instagram friendly exterior; a great

photo opp and awesome cakes!

134 Download Our App Today!


Gift shopping in Cambridge is an extremely Dickensian

experience as one can meander the cobbled paths of

Trinity Street, Trumpington and the colourful market.

Take time to window shop and pop in to welcoming

boutiques to purchase speciality food treats and

presents for loved ones. With the city’s superb Park and

Ride scheme you really are able to shop until you drop!

A city made for the discerning palate, there is an

abundance of restaurants to choose from. The Pint Shop

(Peas Hill) has everything from a range of 23 keg and

cask beers, a gin of the day and a menu which includes

some of the best traditional fayre and insanely good

chips and gravy! The warm interior and friendly team

make this venue a real ‘must visit’.

If you have time, visit the Varsity Hotel for a stunning

view of Cambridge from their stylish rooftop bar.

Tempting you with an eggnog or mulled wine, there is

surely no better place to relax and unwind after a festive

afternoon in such a picturesque city!

Say hello to Victoria...

Victoria Magnall is Eastlife’s newest contributor who

will be taking over our Cambridge Scene pages to

bring you the latest news and events from the city.

The Varsity Hotel

She is also the newest member to join the

prestigious British Guild of Beer Writers. The aim of

the Guild, established in 1988, is to spread the word

about beer, brewing and pubs as well as ‘improve

standards of beer writing and extend the public

knowledge of beer’. Members make up the elite of

the beer world, all raising the profile of the Great

British local and the beers you find there. Former

Greene King event manager, Victoria Magnall has

a wealth of knowledge about what makes a great

local pub and you can read her findings of local

establishments in Eastlife or via her

Instagram @victorias_social_scene

Twitter: @victoriamagnall

Blog: www.victoriamagnall.wordpress.com

eastlife.co.uk 135

Santa’s Christmas Party

Thursday 20th December

Tickets from £10.50, u2s FREE

See in 2019 in style

New Year’s Eve Party

Monday 31 st December

Tickets £25

It’s PANTO time!

at the Burgess Hall

9th - 13th January

Tickets from £8

Thursday 20th December

10.30 am or 3 pm shows

Tickets from £10.50, Under 2s FREE

1 December Merry & Bright Christmas Party

8 December Jingle Bell Ball

10 December Tea Dance

19 December Christmas Bingo

20 December Santa’s Christmas Party

22 December Christmas Boogie Nite

29 - 30 December St Ives Antiques Fair

31 December New Year Party

9 - 13 January Snow White and

the Seven Dwarfs

25 January Boxing Dinner

30 January Burgess Bingo

2 February Boogie Nite

8 & 9 February 1940s Weekend

17 February Indoor Car Boot

22 February Anthem: Ultimate Queen

25 February Tea Dance

Westwood Road, St Ives PE27 6WU

01480 388111


Managed by Huntingdonshire District Council

What’s on: Cambridgeshire


29 Nov - 6 Jan Aladdin

Aladdin sets off on an adventure that

will change his life, and fortunes,

forever...Cambridge Arts Theatre,

St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge,

CB2 3PJ. 01223 503333


3-Dec The Nutcracker

‘The Nutcracker’ has long been

one of the most delightful ways to

discover the enchantment of ballet

– and makes for a delicious seasonal

treat for all the family. Key Theatre,

Embankment Road, Peterborough,

PE1 1EF. 01733 207239


4-Dec Choreocracy

Record-breaking dance artist Tim

Casson and BAFTA award-winning

digital artist Seb Lee-Delisle, present

their first collaboration ‘Choreocracy’

- the fun interactive dance show that

puts the audience in control of the

performance. Mumford Theatre,

East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT.

0845 196 2320. www.anglia.ac.uk

4-8 Dec The Girl in the Glass

Ranging from 1918 to the days of Oliver

Cromwell, this is an intriguing and

exciting ghost story for Christmas

from award-winning local playwright

Sean Lang. ADC Theatre, Park St,

Cambridge CB5 8AS


5-31 Dec Snow White

An original take on the classic

Brothers Grimm fairytale, filled with

live music, magic and festive fun. The

Junction, Clifton Way , Cambridge,

CB1 7GX. 01223 511511


6-Dec It’s a Wonderful Life

George Bailey has so many problems

he is thinking about ending it all - and

it’s Christmas! As the angels discuss

George, we see his life in flashback.

As George is about to jump from

a bridge, he ends up rescuing his

guardian angel, Clarence - who then

shows George what his town would

have looked like if it hadn’t been for

all his good deeds over the years.

Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough,

PE1 1EF. 01733 207239


6 Dec - 6 Jan Peter Pan

Fly to Neverland and join Peter and

his friends in the magical tale of

fairies, pirates and friendship. Key

Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough,

PE1 1EF. 01733 207239


7-Dec Hammer & Tongue

Hammer & Tongue Cambridge is part

of the national poetry and spoken

word organisation, bringing slam

poetry democracy to regional audiences

in Oxford, London, Brighton,

Cambridge and Bristol, and featuring

different world-class poets every

month. The Junction, Clifton Way,

Cambridge, CB1 7GX. 01223 511511


8-30 Dec Robin Hood

All the characters you know and

love from this ever popular tale are

involved, with Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck

and Little John alongside our brave

hero as he steals from the rich and

fights for the good - he’s the man we

all know as Robin Hood! The Cresset,

Bretton Centre, Peterborough,

PE3 8DX. 01733 265705


10-Dec A Christmas Carol

A heart-warming evening in the

presence of the author himself! Actor

John O’Connor delightfully recreates

Dickens’s famous performance of his

best-loved ghost story. Mumford Theatre,

East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT

0845 196 2320. www.anglia.ac.uk

11-Dec A Christmas Carol

Simon Callow and director Tom

Cairns have created a one-man

theatrical extravaganza of festive

storytelling that is both heart-warming

and deeply moving. Key Theatre,

Embankment Road, Peterborough,

PE1 1EF. 01733 207239


12-Dec Love Actually in Concert

Following a sold out 2017 tour, ‘Love

Actually’ will once again be screened

live across the UK with a full orchestra

performing its enchanting score – just

in time for Christmas! Cambridge

Corn Exchange, Wheeler Street,

Cambridge, CB2 3QE. 01223 357 851


12-Dec The Scummy Mummies

Christmas Show

Join Ellie and Helen as they celebrate

the scummier side of parenting, from

drinking wine at teatime to hiding

from the PTA. Bring your friends and

make it a Mums’ (or Dads’!) night out!

The Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge,

CB1 7GX. 01223 511511


13-15 Dec The Nutcracker

In a limited run of eight performances

directed by Ballet Central Artistic

Director Christopher Marney, Ballet

Central will present their dazzling

45-minute version of the time-honoured

Nutcracker. ADC Theatre,

Park St, Cambridge CB5 8AS.


14-Dec The King and I

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical

tells the story of the unconventional

and tempestuous relationship that

develops between the King of Siam

and Anna, a British schoolteacher

whom the modernist King, in an

imperialistic world, brings to Siam to

teach his many wives and children.

Key Theatre, Embankment Road, Peterborough,

PE1 1EF. 01733 207239


15-16 Dec Cinderella

Packed solid with comedy, excitement

and adventure, the children will

love to to cheer their hero, Prince

Charming, and boo the horrible

stepsisters, Fifi and Lala as they try

to keep Cinderella from going to the

ball. Mumford Theatre, East Road,

Cambridge, CB1 1PT. 0845 196 2320


15-Dec Sing-a-long-a Muppet

Christmas Carol

Come sing-a-long to the best Christmas

film ever! The Junction, Clifton

Way, Cambridge, CB1 7GX.

01223 511511. www.junction.co.uk

eastlife.co.uk 137

ian stacey





Ian Stacey Photography

01353 776267



Under Under the Personal the Personal supervision of of principals, Tina Pilgrim & Donna Buchanan

Classes Under the Personal for children's supervision of principals, Tina Pilgrim & Donna Buchanan

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levels Classes in for children's

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Classes for children’s

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Teaching contemporary faculty are & all fully

tap dance

qualified Teaching and faculty CRB are checked all fully

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For further details, Please contact 01223 356023

For further details, Please contact 01223 356023

or email us at king.slocombe@tesco.net

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8 Emmanuel Road, Cambridge, CB1 CB1 1JW 1JW

8 Emmanuel Road, Cambridge, CB1 1JW

Free delivery & erection • Free quotes

Free survey • Free consultations

Fully customised • Built for you

See our website for testimonials

Unit 5a, Saxon Business Park

A10 Bypass, Littleport, CB6 1XX

Tel: 01353 861707



5-Dec The Overtones Christmas


Teaming up, once again, with

producer Julian Hinton and engineer

Simon Bloor, the album – a collection

of thoughtfully chosen covers

and originals - is a tribute to Timmy,

a celebration of everything that the

group has achieved together. Cambridge

Corn Exchange, Wheeler

Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QE.

01223 357 851.


8-Dec The Magic of Motown

Prepare yourself for 40 back-toback

classic Motown hits, glittering

costume changes, dazzling dance

moves and outstanding musicianship

in this explosive concert experience.

Cambridge Corn Exchange, Wheeler

Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QE.

01223 357 851


8-Dec The West End At Christmas

Direct from their sold out tour last

year, ‘The West End At Christmas’

returns to the Mumford Theatre with

their brand new show for 2018!

Mumford Theatre, East Road, Cambridge,

CB1 1PT. 0845 196 2320


10-Dec The Albion Christmas


‘An Albion Christmas’ is widely

regarded as the premier seasonal

show, which has been touring for

nearly 20 years, and attracts sell-out

audiences across the UK. Indeed

many people say that their Christmas

doesn’t start until they have

seen ‘The Albion Christmas Show’.

Key Theatre, Embankment Road,

Peterborough, PE1 1EF.

01733 207239


15-Dec Ezio

Ezio is a folk music band from Cambridge,

England formed in 1990.

Ezio have eight studio albums, one

compilation album, four live albums

and three videos/DVDs, built up a

large fanbase without breaking into

the mainstream of the British music

scene. The Junction, Clifton Way,

Cambridge, CB1 7GX.

01223 511511. www.junction.co.uk

16-Dec Prime Brass Family

Christmas Concert

Once again, Prime Brass brings its

special brand of festive music-making

to West Road Concert Hall in its

all-new Family Concert, with performers:

Prime Brass, Junior Prime

Brass and TongueTwister. West Road

Concert Hall, Cambridge, CB3 9DP

0845 196 2320. www.anglia.ac.uk

21-Dec The Craig Charles Funk &

Soul Club.

With a primetime slot on BBC 6

Music for over 10 years now and

performing at a range of festivals

and events over the UK, there really

is nothing stopping him spreading

his love for Funk & Soul! The Junction,

Clifton Way, Cambridge,

CB1 7GX. 01223 511511.


22-Dec Family Christmas Concert

Some of the country’s most talented

young musicians from Cambridgeshire

Music will play an array of festive

favourites in this heart-warming

concert. Cambridge Corn Exchange,

Wheeler Street, Cambridge,

CB2 3QE. 01223 357 851



10 Nov - 24 Dec Christmas

Cracker 2018

Picture, sculpture, craftwork, hand

made original print and jewellery.

Byard Art, 14 King’s Parade,

Cambridge, CB2 1SJ. 01223 464646


4 Dec - 3 Mar 2019 Collecting and

Giving: Highlights from the Sir

Ivor and Lady Batchelor bequest

See highlights from the Sir Ivor and

Lady Batchelor bequest, through

the Art Fund, on display for the first

time. Works include drawings by

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin,

William Orpen, Walter Sickert and

Gwen John. The Fitzwilliam Museum,

Trumpington Street, Cambridge

CB2 1RB. 01223 332900


10-Dec Half day fused glass

workshop with June Massey

A festive half day workshop in the

gallery with June Massey, Member

of the Creative Glass Guild. Create

a Christmas dish, decorations or a

gift for a friend. Babylon Gallery,

Waterside, Ely, CB7 4AU. 01353

616991. www.babylonarts.org.uk


17 Nov - 6 Jan The North Pole

Cambridge Festival

Festive fun for everyone with ice

skating, an alpine bar and fun fair.

Parker’s Piece, Cambridge.


2-Dec Mill Road Winter Fair

Mill Road will come alive with festive

entertainment and food stalls. Cambridge.


15-16 Dec Christmas at Ely


Come and celebrate Christmas at

Ely Museum. Father Christmas will

be in the Victorian Parlour from

10.30am-12.30pm and 1-3pm on

Saturday and from 1pm-3.30pm on

Sunday. Every child will receive a gift

and have the chance to join in with

fun, Christmas themed crafts.

Tickets £3.50 per child. Ely Museum,

The Old Gaol, Market Street, Ely,

CB7 4LS. www.elymuseum.org.uk

16-Dec Lights of Love

The ‘Lights of Love’ carol service is

an opportunity for family and friends

to come together and remember

their loved ones. Peterborough

Cathedral, Cathedral Office, Minster

Precincts, Peterborough PE1 1XS


19-Dec Cathedral by Candlelight


Come and enjoy this after-hours

tour with one of our trained guides

and let your imagination soar as

you hear stories from the Cathedral’s

long history. Peterborough

Cathedral, Cathedral Office, Minster

Precincts, Peterborough PE1 1XS.



9-Dec Ely Antiques and

Collectables Fair

With approx 20 dealers with a good

mixture inc. stamps, glass, watches,

kitchenalia and variety of decorative

items from a range of eras. Free

parking. Entry £1. Opens 10am.

Centre E, 24 Barton Road, Ely


eastlife.co.uk 139

Please quote


for 10% off

your next

online purchase

(T&C apply)

Belle Love Clothing

2-3 Eld Lane, Colchester, Essex CO1 1LS.

01206 503414




Christmas in


The Essex town is spreading the Christmas

cheer and going all out this month with festive

entertainment, markets, events and more. Here’s five

reasons to visit Colchester this Christmas…


If you’ve not yet started your Christmas shopping or

perhaps there’s a few last items to tick off the list, then

hop in the car and make your way to Colchester. The

town centre is home to the famous Fenwicks. Offering

everything from clothing and jewellery to food and

beauty, here you can have a West London shopping

experience without the crowds and chaos.

However it’s the independent retailers dotted throughout

the historic streets that make it the perfect place to pick

up presents. A favourite is Belle Love which sells beautiful

Italian designed goods including handbags, women’s

clothing and jewellery. Located in a historic building on

Eld Lane, which is built on top of the old Roman wall,

the boutique has stylish hand-picked collections which

showcase the finest Italian leather and craftsmanship.

On Wednesdays in the lead up to Christmas there will be

late night shopping, with many of the stores staying open

until 9pm, with free parking from 3pm.

An Enchanted Christmas

The Town Hall is bringing the magic of Christmas to life

on 16 December, as the Frost Queen and her sister, the

Snowflake Princess, make an appearance for an afternoon

tea filled with sing along festive songs and the telling of

traditions from other kingdoms. It’s a great chance to get

children into the Christmas spirit. Tickets are priced £10

for children aged 2-12 and adults priced £15.

Christmas Market

The annual Christmas market will be returning to Culver

Square from 8-9 December. Feel the festive vibes with

delicious seasonal treats, crafts and more.

Santa’s Grotto

There’s no shortage of places to see the man in red

in Colchester. Families can choose from a range of

enchanting grottos including Colchester Castle and

The Barn Garden Centre. If you have a little one who

adores animals book your ticket to Colchester Zoo for

a Santa visit with a twist. On selected dates from 1 – 24

December, children will be able to meet the reindeers,

get crafty at the elves workshop and enjoy a staff

pantomime and Christmas tale.


It wouldn’t be Christmas without the slap stick comedy

of a panto. The Mercury Theatre will be putting on

a performance of the time old classic ‘Jack and the

Beanstalk’ until 20 January. As one of the most popular

pantomimes in the region, tickets get booked up fast

to see the magical mayhem full of laughter, music and

dance. It promises to be a glittering Christmas treat for

the whole family to enjoy! Book tickets at


eastlife.co.uk 141

The Peldon Rose

70’s Night on New Years Eve £10.00 per head

Limited Tables available for dinner that evening.

Open Christmas day for Drinks 12.00 -2.00pm .

We cater for parties, wakes, small weddings. B & B is available.

A 14th-century rural inn with 3 modern guest-rooms feature country-style

decor and en suite bathrooms. Amenities include a restaurant serving

modern British cuisine, an oak-beamed bar and a function room, as well

as a historic well pond in the garden.

Colchester Road, Peldon CO5 7QJ - Tel 01206 735 373


Always a


Come in and

warm up!

Fill up!

The Dorrington

2 great venues for your event!

The Dorrington for your celebratory

parties, both large and small.

The Trinity Nightclub

The Trinity Nightclub on the first floor has

a capacity of 230 guests and is available to

hire FOR ONLY £275 for a four hour slot to

include DJ. Alternatively you can have

The River Lounge FREE OF CHARGE

for smaller parties.

It can hold 60 guests and is ideal

for Birthday Parties, Baby Showers,

anniversaries etc. Email your enquiry

to thedorrington@gmail.com

The Dorrington Halstead - Essex CO9 1JD

Tel: 07790955805 www.thedorrington.co.uk

enquiries to: thedorrington@gmail.com

What’s on in Essex


24 Nov - 20 Jan Jack and the


‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ promises all

the laughter, sparkle and excitement

you’ve come to expect from

the seasonal show that just keeps

breaking box office records!

Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate,

Colchester, CO1 1PT 01206 573948


30 Nov - 6 Jan Cinderella

Will Cinderella be rescued by her

prince and live happily ever after?

Civic Theatre, Duke Street, Chelmsford,

CM1 1JG. 01245 606505


30 Nov - 6 Jan Aladdin

Featuring an exciting blend of live

music, quality professional performers,

stunning sets, lavish costumes

and jaw dropping effects, The Harlow

Playhouse is the home of family

pantomime in Essex this Christmas.

The Harlow Playhouse, Playhouse

Square, Harlow, CM20 1LS. 01279

431945. www.playhouseharlow.com

4-18 Dec A Christmas Carol

Dramatized with flair and wit in a

version first performed by the Royal

Shakespeare Company, this adaptation

of the ageless story captures

Dickens’ ironic point of view while it

creates a panoramic view of Victorian

London. The Old Court Theatre,

Springfield Road, Chelmsford . 01245

606505. www.chelmsford.gov.uk

5-8 Dec Season’s Greetings

Every year, millions of us repeat

the same well-trodden process of

assembling families for a 2 or 3 day

festive celebration that frequently

turns out to be disastrous. And that’s

exactly what Alan Ayckbourn’s 1980

play is all about – a family Christmas

peppered with tensions fuelled by

drink and the stress created when

people with little else in common but

their biological origins face confinement

together. Perfect timing at the

start of the festive season! Palace

Theatre, 430 London Road, Westcliffon-Sea,

SS0 9LA. 01702 351135


6-Dec Love Actually in Concert

A full, live orchestra will perform

Craig Armstrong’s evocative score

at these shows, with the film being

projected onto a huge screen.

Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road,

Southend-on-Sea, SS0 7RA.

01702 351135


7, 14, 19 & 21 Dec Boys From Jersey

Festive Lunch

Outstanding vocals, tight harmonies,

and slick routines combine with a

huge dose of showmanship to leave

you “Beggin” for more.

A three course lunch is included.

Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea,

SS0 7RA. 01702 351135


8 Dec - 1 Jan Peter Pan

This swashbuckling adventure will

captivate audiences of all ages with

stunning special effects, spectacular

scenery, some truly amazing flying

and a good helping of fairy dust!

Princes Theatre, Station Road,

Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1SE

01255 686633. www.tendringdc.

gov.uk › Leisure › Princes Theatre

11-15 Dec Oh Yes It Is!

‘Oh Yes It Is!’ is back with more

chaotic, off-the-cuff Christmas cheer!

They’ll be asking the audience for

more than just booing and cheering;

they want suggestions for locations,

characters and a whole host of other

ideas that’ll get the improvisers into

mischief! Palace Theatre, 430 London

Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9LA

01702 351135


13-15 Dec Santa in Love

Maybe you’d like to know where

the fairy on top of the Christmas

tree comes from, or why you never

see a Christmas elf, or what exactly

happened to Frosty the Snowman?

You’ll never guess, so if you want

to find out then join Santa and his

friends in this fun filled family musical

complete with games, giggles and

all your favourite Christmas songs.

Cramphorn Studio, Duke Street,

Chelmsford, CM1 1JG. 01245 606505


13-Dec Our West End Christmas

An evening of song and dance showcasing

songs from all your favourite

musicals, with a sprinkle of Christmas

magic. West Cliff Theatre, Tower

Road , Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1LE.

01255 433344.


14-24 Dec The Great Christmas

Sleigh Ride

The Great Christmas Sleigh Ride is

a brand new, fun-filled, sing-a-long,

interactive festive show for 2-6 year

olds, their families, pre-schools and

nurseries. The Harlow Playhouse,

Playhouse Square, Harlow,

CM20 1LS. 01279 431945


14 Dec - 5 Jan Aladdin

Hop aboard your magic carpet and fly

to old Peking to enjoy this must-see

show packed full of magical genies,

laugh-out-load comedy, spectacular

flying effects and a lamp-full of

audience participation. Cliffs Pavilion,

Station Road, Southend-on-Sea,

SS0 7RA. 01702 351135


16-Dec The Christmassy Christmas


‘The Christmassy Christmas Show

of Christmassy Christmasness!’ is an

over-stuffed stocking of seasonal

surprises crammed with puppets,

songs, quizzes and comedy, and

over-flowing with crazy characters,

silly slapstick, tall tales and fantastic

facts. Palace Theatre, 430 London

Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9LA

01702 351135


16-17 Dec Christmas Gothic

Come in from the cold and enter into

the Christmas spirit as a dark and

spectral woman tells haunting tales of

the festive season, lighting a candle

to the frailties of human nature and

illuminating the cold and chilling

eastlife.co.uk 143

Bring the benefits

of a real fire into

your home...

Visit the largest display of traditional and contemporary

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Our Essex showroom:

42 Halstead Rd

Earls Colne


Essex CO6 2NL

Tel. 01787 222608

Our Suffolk showroom:

Overland Park,

Great Whelnetham,

Bury St Edmunds,

Suffolk IP30 0UL

Tel. 01284 388188


depths of the bleak, wintry dark...

Cramphorn Studio, Duke Street,

Chelmsford, CM1 1JG. 01245

606505. www.chelmsford.gov.uk

19-22 Dec The Christmas Show

A festive spectacular. West Cliff

Theatre, Tower Road, Clacton-on-

Sea, CO15 1LE. 01255 433344


21-31 Dec Holly and Ivan’s

Christmas Adventure

A magical tale of two brave little

toys, Holly and Ivan, who fall off the

back of Santa’s Sleigh on Christmas

Eve. Not wanting their new owners

to wake up to no presents, they set

off on an epic journey to find them.

Palace Theatre, 430 London Road,

Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9LA.

01702 351135


21-Dec The Adult Panto: Hansel

and Gretel Go Down in the Woods

The Market Theatre Company have

taken a traditional fairy story and

corrupted it beyond belief - packing

it with corny jokes, raunchy plots

and blatant sexual innuendo!

Braintree Arts Theatre, Notley Road,

Braintree, CM7 1WY. 01376 556 354


29-31 Dec Cinderella

The classic rags to riches tale of

Cinderella will be transformed into

a breath-taking youth extravaganza

with dazzling sets, gorgeous

costumes and music that the

children will know and love.

West Cliff Theatre, Tower Road,

Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1LE.

01255 433344



5-Dec The Magic of the Beatles

If you’re looking for an authentic,

lively dose of ‘Beatlemania’ then you

need to look no further! Queen’s

Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch,

RM11 1QT. 01708 443333


8-Dec The Four Seasons By


The verve and virtuosity of the

18th century is brought to life in

this enchanting concert staged in

an elegant candle-lit setting with

an evocative programme crowned

by Vivaldi’s sublime masterpiece.

Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea,

SS0 7RA. 01702 351135


19-Dec The Big Band at Christmas

Swing ‘n’ sing-along into Christmas -

with the unique Five Star Swing Big

Band show. Palace Theatre,

430 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea,

SS0 9LA. 01702 351135


21-Dec Christmas Classics with


Back by popular demand, Brit-Awardwinning

vocalists BLAKE celebrate

Christmas in style, with a show

featuring over twenty festive anthems,

top class musicians, hand-picked

choirs and guaranteed snow-storms

every night! Palace Theatre, 430

London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea,

SS0 9LA. 01702 351135


21-22 Dec Xmas Jazz

In their regular Christmas slot,

Larry & Zak bring another special

programme packed with great antics

and fun Jazz guaranteed to land

you in a festive mood. Cramphorn

Studio, Duke Street, Chelmsford,

CM1 1JG 01245 606505



28 Sep - 31 Dec Not Yet At Ease

‘Not Yet At Ease’ explores the

history of psychological disorders

resulting from conflict and the

stigmas attached to them. Using

poetry and performance, this

immersive artwork is inspired by

letters written by soldiers during

wartime. Firstsite, Lewis Gardens,

High Street, Colchester, CO1 1JH.

01206 713700. firstsite.uk

17 Nov - 17 Jan Paloma Proudfoot

| Metropolitan Wares

Paloma Proudfoot presents the

culmination of her 16-month

tenure as Sculpture Town Artist in

Residence (STAIR). Proudfoot works

in sculpture, ceramics, site specific

installation, performance and

clothes-making. Gibberd Gallery,

Civic Centre, The Water Gardens,

Harlow, CM20 1WG. 01279 446404.



7-9 Dec Christmas Tree Festival at

All Saints’ Church

A display of Christmas Trees

representing organisations within

the church and town, vote for your

favourite by making a donation to

the Children’s Society. The Sunday

viewing culminates in the Christingle

service at 3pm. Maldon, CM9 4QE


8-Dec Christmas Craft and Food


A collection of craft and food stalls.

Clavering Village Hall, Hill Green,

Saffron Walden, CB11 4QS


8-Dec Burnham Festive Street


There will be plenty of Christmas

Market stalls, food & drink stalls,

games, mulled wine and entertainment.

Kids can enjoy the fairground

rides, bouncy castles and the real

Santa will be landing in Burnham

High Street laden with smarties.

Town Centre, Burnham-on-Crouch


12-Dec Christmas Open Evening

A seasonal treat as Colchester

Castle opens its doors for free!

Come and soak up the Christmas

atmosphere with carols, mince pies,

entertainment and possibly even

meet Santa before his big night!

Colchester Castle Museum, Castle

Park, Colchester, CO1 1TJ


4-Dec Saffron Walden Emporium

- Collectables, Crafts at Saffron

Walden Town Hall

A variety of stalls selling small-scale

antiques, collectables, bric-a-brac

and crafts, cards and home-made

preserves. Market Place, CB10 1HR

15-16 Dec Colchester’s Record


A treat for both enthusiasts and

casual collectors alike. Come browse

through stall holders’ collections

of vinyl and CDs from a vast range

of genres. Grab yourself a bargain –

or perhaps something a little rarer.

Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street,

Colchester, CO1 1JH

01206 713700. firstsite.uk

eastlife.co.uk 145

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Enter our biggest competition

of the year for your chance to

win some amazing prizes!

In the lead up to Christmas we’ll be giving away

a prize a day from Monday 3 December

our gift to you!

Credit - @IrishPixel Gamlingay South

There are some fabulous prizes to be won. Winners can

get festive with board games at Ready Steady Roll in

Sharnbrook and ice skating at the Lee Valley Centre.

What could be better than a meal for two at the likes of

Turtle Bay in Norwich and Slug & Lettuce in Bedford. Or

perhaps you fancy afternoon tea at the luxurious Parker’s

Tavern, Cambridge? There’s also plenty of goodies for

Christmas including a hamper of Newmarket’s Powters

sausages, the Luxe Box from Hotel Chocolat, a voucher

from Prezzybox.com and home fragrance from Aroma

Holidays courtesy of Eagle Travel.

Then there’s the gift that keeps

on giving, an English Heritage


Credit - @chris_alpacas

Christine Mitchell - Holme Cambridgeshire

Credit - By Nicole Ranaweera

Brancaster beach

This is just some of the fabulous prizes up for grabs

throughout December. For your chance to win,

‘Like’ our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/eastlifemag

and look out for daily updates. All information and details

on how to enter will be available at www.eastlife.co.uk

Good luck!

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