Ludlow Lifestyle Mar - Apr 2020


Spring has awakened and our magazine is alive with a bountiful bouquet of features - from interviews with famous faces, delicious Easter recipes, travel to Santa Barbara, UK staycations, a bathroom and tile guide plus advice on choosing the right school.





The Courtyard has a huge range of shows with

something for everyone this season!

The Courtyard has a huge range of shows with

something for everyone this season!


Wed 18 Mar, 7.45pm


Wed 18 Mar, 7.45pm







Mar, 7.45pm



Sat 21 Mar, 7.45pm


UMPTEENTH VIOLIN Thu 26 Mar, 7.45pm




Thu 26 Mar, 7.30pm Thu 26 Mar, 7.45pm


Pre-concert talk, 6.30pm

Thu 26 Mar, 7.30pm

Pre-concert talk, 6.30pm



Sat MARRIAGE 28 Mar, 7.30pm OF FIGARO Fri 3 Apr, 7.30pm

Sat 28 Mar, 7.30pm



JOHN Mon 6 SPIERS Apr, 7.45pm

Mon 6 Apr, 7.45pm



ME, Wed MACBETH 22 Apr, 7.30pm AND I

Wed 22 Apr, 7.30pm



Tue Tue 19 19 - Sat - Sat 23 23 May, 7.30pm

Sat Sat matinee, 2.30pm

BOX OFFICE 01432 340555

In partnership In partnership with with


Mon 1 - Sat 6 Jun, 7.30pm

Thu & Sat matinee, 2.30pm

MarApr 2020.indd 1 03/01/2020 15:32:30

MarApr 2020.indd 1 03/01/2020 15:32:30


A Note

from the editor

Hello Spring – I’ve been waiting for your arrival

like a lovelorn maiden, excitedly hopping out

of bed to look out the window for signs of new

life and sunny skies. I know that in recent years

March weather has been…unpredictable, but

nevertheless I’m hopeful and cheery.

A Culinary is nearly Journey here, through so we celebrate

Northern 19Easter with a weekend Irelandof


Avid readers might remember reading about

my new year’s pledge last issue – to walk, run

or cycle 5km every day of 2020. Not having a

bike, or access to a stationary one continues

to be slightly problematic, but apart from a

particularly grim night during a storm (I can’t

remember which given name, we’ve had so

many of late), I’ve done it! I’m not sure yet if

I’m fitter or slimmer, but I’ve really enjoyed

carving little moments out of my usually hectic

day to go for a head-clearing walk. It’s never

too late to start!

In this issue...

Fabulous UK


04 What’s On


As spring comes into full swing we

touch on the best local events and

attractions for the whole family

15 Easter Biscuits

Perfect Easter biscuits - made easy!

The only challenge will be deciding on

your decoration

17 Mitch Tonks

We catch up with the renowned fish

chef on where his passions lie and his

love of his community

22 Foodie Santa Barbara

We journey to the Golden State of

California to sample the famous Santa

Barbara food scene

28 Amazing Glazing

Architectural glazing elevates

any home - we explore the best

investments and new technologies

44 Care Needs

How to stay happy and healthy in your

autumn years and identifying care

needs when they arise


Chef Mitch




& Tile Guide

Editor Katie Thomson


Publisher Sally Thomson

Pre-Press Manager Kate O’Connell

Contributors Rebecca Rose, Peter Thomson, Sue Cooke, Matthew Biggs

Angela Cave, Lucy Saunders and Pete Lawrence.

Key Account Manager Karen Wytchard


d/l 01225 613 515

twitter: @LudlowMag

This issue we have really turned the focus

on Easter, with cracking pressies and some

egg-cellent recipes – hey, if you’re running five

kilometres a day, you go ahead and enjoy that

hot cross bun pudding! There’s also lots to

look forward to in the calendar, with some of

our favourite attractions opening again.

Continuing the foodie note, we have an

interview with top Devon chef Mitch Tonks –

you’ll probably recognise him from a supremely

popular show he presented with rugby star

Matt Dawson a few years back – he’s a

titan in the fish industry and is passionate

about sustainability. We caught up with him to

discuss his role in creating a community feel

and growing his business.

That, plus some fantastic interviews and a

bumper crop of home inspiration, makes this

issue a great read.

We will see you back in May!



County Gate, County Way

Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 7FJ

t 01225 308 128

visit our website

Disclaimer: The publishers shall not be held liable for any loss occasioned by failure of an

advertisement to appear, or any damage or inconvenience caused by errors, omissions and

misprints. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission from the

publishers. The opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of the publishers. | 3


Finally, the days are getting longer and

spring is just around the corner.

Looking for the best local places to visit and

things to do at this time of year?

Then make the most of the season with our

extensive guide...

Assembly Rooms


1 Mill Street, Ludlow SY8 1AZ

01584 878141

Friday 20 March, 5.55pm - 9.45 pm

Der Fliegende Holländer (15) (Met)

“As Live”

The great bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel

returns to the company for the first time

since 2012, in the title role of the cursed

sea captain doomed to sail the open ocean

for eternity. Valery Gergiev conducts a

new production by François Girard, whose

visionary 2013 take on Parsifal set the

recent MET standard for Wagner stagings.

Saturday 28 March, 7.30pm

My Dearest Hedgehog

This narrated recital, devised and

written by Henrietta Bredin, explores the

relationship between Richard Strauss and

his wife Pauline. Strauss wrote many of

his greatest songs with her voice in mind

and the fascinating and witty narrative is

interspersed with a number of these works.

Henderson Hall, Moor Park SY8 4DZ

Saturday, 18 April, 7.30 pm - 9.20 pm

The Good Liar (15)

Career con artist Roy Courtnay (Ian

McKellen) can hardly believe his luck when

he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish

(Helen Mirren) online. As Betty opens her

life and home to him, Roy is surprised to

find himself caring about her, turning what

should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the

most treacherous tightrope walk of his life.

Berrington Hall

National Trust

Berrington, near Leominster HR6 0DW

01568 615721

Sat 21 & Sunday 22 March, 10am - 4pm

Mother’s Day

Tuck into a delicious afternoon tea in the

tea-room, treat Mum to something special

in the gift shop and plant a seed to take

home with you in the gardens.

Create a bunch of flowers for Mum for £3.

You could also take a springtime stroll

through ‘Capability’ Brown’s final

landscape masterpiece and learn about our

ambitious restoration projects, including our

plans to revive and reimagine the walled

garden and pleasure grounds.

Saturday 15 - Sunday 23 February

Blossom and Birdsong Trail

Step into spring this Easter holiday at

Berrington Hall and spot the signs of the

4 |

new season; budding leaves, chattering

birds and trees laden with blossom in the


Croft Castle and


Yarpole, Leominster HR6 9PW

01568 780246

Saturday 15 - Sunday 23 February

Wildflower Meadow Sowing

The garden team sow the wildflower

meadow in spring with a mixture of

chamomile, poppy, corncockle, cornflower

and corn marigold. Help them sow the

seeds, which are a haven for butterflies in


Hereford Racecourse

Roman Road, Hereford


Monday 16 March, 11am - 3pm

Spring Racing

Monday afternoon Spring racing is set to

take place on the 16th of March!

Why not come down to our racecourse

and see what we have to offer this Spring.

This our penultimate raceday of the season

and you don’t want to miss out on a great


Tuesday 24 March, gates open at noon

Little Princess Trust Charity Race


Go along for the one and only Little

Princess Trust Hair & Hope Charity

Raceday as we welcome 80s music icons

Chesney Hawkes and Nathan Moore to

Hereford for a truly special day. The Rusty

Bridge Restaurant will offer a delicious

three course luncheon raising money for

Little Princess Trust before guests then

enjoy live entertainment into the evening

as Chesney Hawkes, Nathan Moore and

Herefordshire’s own The Hey Yahs take

to the stage for a musical extravaganza,

the like of which Hereford has never seen



Bromfield, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 2BT

18 March

Ludlow Charity Race Daay

Ludlow Racecourse is one of the few

privately owned and perhaps one of the

friendliest racecourses in the country.

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums have

been chosen as the charity fundraising

beneficiary for the Day.

Shropshire Hills

Discovery Centre

School Road, Craven Arms SY7 9RS

01588 676060

21 March

Guided Bird Walk - Early Spring

The Onny Meadows are home to a huge

variety of birds as well as many other

species through every season of the year.

With ox bow ponds, river, woodland and

open meadows, there is a whole range

of habitats to be explored. Join in with a

series of bird walks as we search the Onny

Meadows at different times to find what

lives in the rich habitats.

Saturday 28 March

Discovery Club -Who has seen the


Experiment with different ways to know

when the wind is passing by.

A club for 3+ years olds packed full of fun

things to do encouraging children to get

back to nature, enjoy the outdoors and get


St Laurence’s Church

College Street, Ludlow SY8 1AN

Saturday 4 April, 11.30am

The Moon and I

Two outstanding ENO Harewood Artists

are joined by Testuumi Nagata from the

Piatti Quartet in works by Howells, Bridge,

Lehmann and Hoiby together with another

première: Rhian Samuel’s The Moon And I.

Pianist Gamal Khamis is the first holder of a

newly created Finzi Bursary.

Saturday 4 April, 8pm

The Phantom

The sudden death of his first wife inspired

Thomas Hardy to write a group of poems

unique in English literature. This specially

devised programme interweaves settings

by Finzi, Ireland and Bussey with the

poems themselves, read by acclaimed

actor Richard Goulding. Two brilliant young

baritones explore this dark repertoire, in the

splendour of St Laurence’s Church.

The Edge Arts Centre

Farley Road, Much Wenlock TF13 6NB

01952 728911

Wednesday 4 March, 7pm

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet

has been hailed as ‘the single most

eagerly awaited dance show for 2019’

by The Daily Telegraph. This passionate


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and contemporary re - imagining of

Shakespeare’s classic story of love and

conflict is set in the not too distant future

in ‘The Verona Institute’. Here ‘difficult’

young people are mysteriously confined

by a society that seeks to divide and crush

their youthful spirit and individuality. Our

two young lovers must follow their hearts

as they risk everything to be together. A

timeless story of forbidden love, repressed

emotions and teenage discovery, filmed

live at Sadler’s Wells in London especially

for cinemas.

Monday 16 March

The Peanut Butter Falcon (12A)

Zak runs away from his care home to make

his dream of becoming a wrestler come

true. Monday Night Cinema.

Tuesday 17 March, 7.15pm

ROH Live: Fidelio

Beethoven’s only opera is a masterpiece,

an uplifting story of risk and triumph.

In this new production, conducted by

Antonio Pappano, Jonas Kaufmann plays

the political prisoner Florestan, and Lise

Davidsen his wife Leonore (disguised as

‘Fidelio’) who daringly sets out to rescue

him. Set in strong counterpoint are the

ingredients of domestic intrigue, determined

love and the cruelty of an oppressive


The Place

Limes Walk, Oakengates, Telford TF4 6EP

01952 382382

Wednesday 11 March, 7.30pm

One Night in Dublin

Go along for “One Night in Dublin” and be

transported to “Murphys Pub” where the

house band, The Wild Murphys, will be

performing great Irish songs by the likes

of The Pogues, The Dubliners, The Fureys,

The Saw Doctors and many more

Thursday 26 March, 7.30pm

Francis Rossi - I Talk Too Much

Legendary Status Quo lead singer Francis

Rossi will share the extraordinary secrets

of his 50-plus years in rock’n’roll when he

takes to the stage for an intimate evening

of chat and music.

In Francis Rossi: I Talk Too Much, the

founder, lead singer and lead guitarist of

Status Quo will talk about his mishaps and

adventures of life on the road with one of

the biggest and most loved bands ever.

Friday 10 & Saturday 11 April, 1pm &


Once Upon a Panto

Once Upon a Panto, a tale for the 21st


Take your seats and enter Far Far Away.

Church bells chime for the wedding of

the ages. Snow and Charming are finally

married and the power of their love is all

but unbreakable... Or is it?

In a jealous rage, the Evil Queen has cast

a dark curse that destroys Charming’s

memories, emotions and feelings. Snow

assembles a team of famous princesses

from across the generations in an attempt

to save the day. Will our team of unlikely

heroines thwart the Evil Queen or will she

succeed in breaking true love... Forever?

6 |

Friday 24 April, 7.30pm

The Tina Turner Experience

This fully live energetic show charts the

life and career of one of the world’s iconic

performers Tina Turner - “The Queen Of

Rock”. The show is full of hits like “Private

Dancer”, “Nutbush City Limits”, “Proud

Mary”, “River Deep Mountain High ”and“

Let’s Stay Together” to name but a few,

this show is the ultimate night out.

Theatre on the Steps

Stoneway Steps, Bridgnorth WV16 4BD

01746 766477

Saturday 21 March, 8pm

Forever Elton

Forever Elton and band return in 2020 with

their Homage to the music of Sir Elton John

and Bernie Taupin.

The most enduringly successful singer/

songwriters of their generation.

With a back catalogue and sales exceeded

only by Elvis and The Beatles, Elton John

has been at the forefront of the pop - rock

music business for 50 years.

Take this musical journey along the ‘Yellow

Brick Road’ via ‘Crocodile Rock’ to ‘Candle

in the Wind’.

Saturday 8 - Sunday 9 February

Patrick Monahan: Started From The

Bottom, Now I’m Here

Smart and funny observations on a

new found, middle class lifestyle with

ski holidays, through the prism of poor,

immigrant, living-in-a-caravan roots.

Easter Market

Ludlow Market, Castle Square, Ludlow


Sunday 12 April

A special Market for Easter offers a

wide range of products sold by over 30

different stall holders.

Ludlow has held street markets since the

twelfth century. Nowadays, a traditional

open-air market, managed by Ludlow Town

Council, takes place in the town square

every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and

Saturday throughout the year. In addition

to the regular market, most Sundays see

the market stalls being used either as a

Antiques & Collectors Market or for various

specialist themes such as books, gardens

or crafts.

Ludlow May Fair

Ludlow Town Centre, Castle Square,

Ludlow SY8 1AS

Thursday, 30 April - Monday 4 May

Ludlow May Fair is a traditional May

Fair with a large variety of rides and

amusements. Open every day till late

throughout the May Bank Holiday, come

along and have a fun day and night out.


Castle Sq, Ludlow SY8 1AY

01584 874465

Saturday 4 - 19 April, please see website

The Great Easter Dragon Egg Hunt

Calling all knights, princesses, and general

dragon egg hunting superstars! Ludlow

Castle is holding an extra special event

during the Easter break. It will be perfect for

school holiday entertainment, and a great

day out for the whole family.

The dragon egg hunt will be a fun way to

explore the medieval ruins and stunning

grounds, keeping youngsters enthralled

and engaged.

Friday 15 May, evening only 5pm - 9pm

Saturday 16 May, 10am – 9pm

Sunday 17 May, 10am - 5pm

Ludlow Spring Festival

There will be over 60 of the finest food and

drink exhibitors to tempt your taste buds!

Be prepared to stock up on your favourites

and discover new ones too.

There is a great line-up this year - you will

be guaranteed live music, a wide selection

of real ales in the Festival Pub, and free

talks from some of the fabulous producers

in the region on the Talks & Tipples stage.

Judging for the Wales & West SIBA beer

championships takes place in a closed

session on the Friday, then the doors are

swung open to the public for an exclusive

tasting of the newly crowned winners!

The Marches Transport Festival will also be

there with an impressive display of classic

and vintage vehicles - some from the early

years of the last century..

For further information please go to www.

We take great care in compiling the listings,

however, we recommend that you contact the

venue in advance as events and activities

may be subject to change





A r t s & C r a f t s , B o u n c y C a s t l e , R a f f l e ,

C o f f e e & C a k e , E g g H u n t

10.00 am - 12.30 pm

£5 per child

Moor Park - Richards Castle - Ludlow - SY8 4DZ



Saturday 7th March

10.30am - 1pm

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01952 265603 • • | 7

Mazda CX-30

compact SUV

Motoring Journalist Sue Cooke test

drives the rather attractive Mazda

CX-30 Compact SUV...

I remember having a bright pink road test

car delivered some years ago which I

absolutely loved, but for some reason my

male colleagues were not so enamoured

when it was their turn to road test. And

according to the latest figures released by

the Society of Motor Manufacturers and

Traders (SMMT), pink, cream and maroon

are the least popular for car paint. While

colour is the first of many options that

buyers select on their new car, design

and shape are the next most popular.

And Mazda’s new compact SUV has a

gorgeous curvy shape.

The CX-30 slots between the CX-3 and

CX-5 into a new market segment for

Mazda. The styling is a sophisticated

evolution of Mazda’s KODO design

philosophy with the streamlined

silhouette of a coupe. The black cladding

lower down, and the CX-30’s dimensions

deliver the sense of rugged stability you’d

expect of an SUV.

There is a choice of eight exterior

colours. SE-L and SE-L Lux cars feature

16-inch grey metallic wheels, while from

Sport Lux onwards 18-inch wheels are

standard. There is a choice of silver

metallic on Skyactiv-G and bright silver

metallic on Skyactiv-X models.

The versatile luxury cabin is spacious

and has practicality and comfort which

were ideal for my long journey to another

car launch. Available in five trim levels,

seats are covered in a premium dark

grey cloth with navy blue accents as

standard, while GT Sport and GT Sport

Tech models feature black leather with

rich brown accents or for £200 there is a

stone coloured leather. The 430-litre boot

ensures it’s as practical as it is desirable.

The CX-30 has a generous list of

standard equipment and technology

features a colour windscreen projecting

head-up display, radar cruise control and

LED headlights to name just a few of the

high-grade items.

“The new technology delivers diesel

rivalling economy combined with

low CO2 emissions and flexible


Facts at a Glance

Model: Mazda CX-30 2-wheel drive

Price: £22,895 otr

Engine: 2 litre 122 PS SE-L Manual

Performance: 0-62mph in 10.6

seconds and on to a top speed of 116


CO2 emissions: 116g/km

Combined fuel consumption: 45.6

mpg (WLTP)

The new Skyactiv-G engine which I drove

for the first time in the Mazda 3 last year

makes its second appearance in the

new CX-30. The choice is a 122ps 2 litre

Skyactiv-G engine or the 180ps 2 litre

Skyactiv-X petrol engine. Both are offered

with a manual or automatic transmission.

The new technology delivers diesel

rivalling economy combined with low

CO2 emissions and flexible performance.

CO2 emissions start at 105g/km which in

my experience, is very good for a petrol

SUV and WLTP combined economy

figures are as high as 47.9mpg. Both

petrol engines, feature the 24v Mazda M

Hybrid mild-hybrid system.

For those seeking the safety and

assurance of driving on flooded roads,

the CX-30 powered by the Skyactiv-X is

available with Mazda’s latest advanced

i-Activ all-wheel drive system.

Priced from £22,895 to £33,495 the 26

model Mazda CX-30 range went on sale

in UK dealers in January and is a car with

a new style, quality and great technology.

And hitting top spot as the UK’s favourite

new car colour for 2019, is grey. More

than one in five new cars – 22.6% are

sold painted grey.

8 |


Lucton School growing steadily

Lucton School is our local independent through school,

taking children from 6 months, right up to Sixth

Form and in recent years, the pupil numbers have

been steadily growing...

At the moment, the total numbers are

the highest they have ever been and in

the summer term, the Department for

Education agreed to lift Lucton’s capacity

up to 400 pupils.

This growth has had no impact on

the school’s approach and ethos,

with Lucton’s small classes, talented

and committed teachers, a friendly

atmosphere and a wonderful rural

location, which all combine to provide

an outstanding, all-round educational


An Oxford University admissions tutor

commented that the typical thing about

Lucton students is that there is no typical

student – they are very much individuals!

What they do have in common is that

they leave Lucton confident in their

abilities and strengths, ready to embrace

opportunities and play their part.

They also achieve excellent results

at A-level and GCSE and secure an

impressive range of university places. The

School is justly proud of its remarkable

added-value scores and its ability to draw

out the full potential of every individual.

A safe and secure location

Founded in 1708, the School is set in a

safe, rural location in 55 acres of beautiful

Herefordshire countryside. There is a

good mix of day pupils, weekly boarders

and full boarders. Many team and

individual sports are offered and boarders

enjoy a wealth of weekend activities –

sporting, cultural, social and just good

fun – all included in the fees.

Senior boarders have individual rooms

– although some younger ones prefer to

share – and pastoral care at Lucton is

second to none.

Strong academic record

Offering a wide range of GCSE and

A-level subjects, Lucton has a strong

academic record and an established

tradition of getting the best possible

results from each pupil. We accept mixed

ability students, yet over the last two

years A-level results have averaged 80%

A–C. In 2019 the A-level results were

30% A* to A grades with nearly 60% A*

to B and all leavers gained places at their

first-choice universities.

Excellent facilities

Facilities include junior and senior

libraries, science laboratories, ICT rooms,

a design and technology workshop,

sports hall, tennis courts, indoor

swimming pool, many games fields and

Equestrian Centre. Senior students enjoy

their own sixth-form centre, including

library, IT suite, comfortable common

room and quiet study area.

Admission can take place at any time

of year by interview and assessment.

The School offers discounts to Forces


For more information or to arrange a

visit, please contact:

or telephone 01568 782000.

10 |

The importance of preparing

students for the workplace

Dr Joseph Spence, head of Dulwich College, discusses the value

careers-based workshops can bring to independent schools and

their state school partners...

Careers education is an important

element of a school’s provision, and

a service one cannot introduce to

pupils too early. Prospective parents,

even of 11‐year‐olds, are asking far

more questions than they used to

about how we are preparing children

for the workplace of the future. This is

inevitable given all of the rhetoric about

the percentage of jobs not yet created

into which our pupils will move, and the

fact that they will likely have multiple

careers, possibly across many countries

or continents, over the course of long

working lives.

Networking events focused on particular

professions or industries have proven

immensely popular. These bring together

former pupils and current and past

parents, alongside pupils from both

independent and state schools.

However, it is also useful to look for

ways older pupils can deliver light‐touch

advice to their younger peers at partner

schools. As co‐director of the Southwark

Schools Learning Partnership, I have

been delighted in recent years to be able

to encourage a hub of careers advisers

from a good number of our 16 schools

(12 state schools and four independent

schools) to share best practice between

schools and across the sectors. Latterly,

we have had our own students help focus

the minds of younger pupils at a partner

school on potential university applications

and the world of careers.

Last June, a group of Year 10 students

from City Heights E‐ACT Academy

in South East London had a careers

workshop with our careers adviser

at Dulwich College, and a group of

the College’s Year 12 students. The

workshop introduced the UCAS process

with a short ‘true or false’ activity, with

students from both schools working in

teams to decide on the veracity of various

statements. The statements included

the number of applicants to university

through UCAS, World University

Rankings, average graduate salaries and

deciding what degree courses some

famous people had taken. This was an

effective ice-breaking exercise, which

ensured that no one could feel he or she

was an expert when it came to university


The Year 10 City Heights students were

then given a brief overview of the UCAS

applications process and the Year 12

students explained what A‐levels they

were doing and the different courses

and universities they were planning to

apply to. The City Heights pupils were

introduced to course and career options

they had not previously considered, while

the Dulwich College pupils said it really

helped them to clarify their own plans

by having to articulate them for younger


The next activity consisted of a wideranging

discussion of the likely nature

of jobs in the future that haven’t been

created yet. Students were also advised

about courses and careers on to which

one could move later, e.g. becoming a

solicitor or barrister via a post‐graduate

law conversion course.

The final part of the workshop consisted

of a question and answer session, much

of which focused on what subjects were

needed for certain careers. This also gave

the Dulwich students and their careers

adviser the opportunity to talk about the

importance of engaging in co‐curricular

activities that might support a career

aspiration, such as volunteering in a

hospital or care home for healthcare

related careers. The feedback from the

session was universally positive and

this workshop has provided a template

Dulwich College will consider repeating

at City Heights and taking to other 11‐16

partner schools.

There was a time when the only careers

advice the head of an independent

school needed to offer sixth formers was

on how to write a personal statement.

Those days are long gone. Whether

explicitly or implicitly, the new order is

that everything we do with our students

has some bearing on preparing them for

the fast-changing workplace. The jobs

they will go into may be newly minted

or newly branded, but the skills and

aptitudes they will require to succeed

in them are, in fact, those which have

always been needed in the world of work:

the ability to lead on a project, to work in

a team, to communicate clearly and the

ability to think outside the box.

All this they learn in their representation

of the school on its sport field, in

the joining of musical and theatrical

ensembles, in their community projects

and charitable fundraising and in their

adventurous activities. We are all careers

educators now – but explicit, nuanced

careers advice delivered by those

who work hard to keep up to speed

with changes in the major (and new)

professions, is still absolutely essential.

12 |


WEEK 2020

National Butchers’ Week gives us the

opportunity to celebrate and support a

mainstay of the British High Street

One of the most popular events in the butchery calendar,

National Butchers’ Week takes place 9-15 March 2020. National

Butchers’ Week highlights the great work being done by butchers

from around the UK that sets them apart from the competition. It

also focuses on the fantastic innovation that takes place within

butchers’ shops across the land.

Never has it been more important to understand our food

provenance - especially as more of us are reshaping our diets to

eat meat less often, but crucially eating better quality when we

do. That means engaging more with the process of buying meat

- selecting carefully reared livestock, butchered properly. It’s not

always possible to get that information from the supermarket.

This engagement with our food chain is essential, and should

start in the butchery shop - a butcher can not only tell you where

your meat has come from (usually a farm whose name you will

likely recognise!) but also can advise on the best cuts for certain

dishes, give you great value for money on cheaper cuts and

impart their wealth of knowledge with ready cooking tips.

Throughout the awareness week, butchers across the area will

be participating in events and putting on offers to help educate

and inform potential customers of the benefits of shopping

with them. The key takeaway is that consumers don’t need to

feel intimidated about shopping there - far from needing an

extensive knowledge of each and every cut available, shoppers

can ask advice and can learn about cuts not commonly

available in the shops. As well as in the shops, lots of online

butchers will be running specials in this time, so it’s well worth

looking out for those - premium meat with all the convenience

of your regular weekly shop.

So, when you’re planning your meals this week, why not carve

out 10 minutes to go and visit your local butcher - you’ll come

away with a lot more than the ingredients for tonight’s dinner.


Suppliers of locally sourced traditional breeds of beef and pork

D.W. Wall & Son Ludlow butchers shop,

is one of Shropshire’s best known

family butchers.

Preparing and supplying high quality meat

for many years, we are proud owners of

the multi award winning Ludlow

sausage, among other award

winning flavours and our produce

is supplied to the very best chefs

and restaurants in town and

throughout Shropshire.

Monday - Thursday: 7.15am - 5pm


6.15pm - 5pm


6.15am - 4pm

Griffiths A.H.













01584 872060

14 High Street, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1BS




01584 872141

11 Bull Ring


01547 540231

22 High Street

14 |


Makes about 25 biscuits. Recipe

adapted from Mary Berry.


200g/8oz softened butter

150g/6oz caster sugar

2 large free-range egg yolk

400g/14oz plain flour, plus extra for


1 level tsp mixed spice

1 level tsp ground cinnamon

2-4 tbsp milk


1-2 tsp lemon juice

250g/9oz icing sugar

about 2 tbsp cold water

different coloured food colouring


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Lightly grease two baking trays lined with

baking parchment.

Measure the butter and sugar into a bowl

and beat together until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg yolk. Sieve in the flour and

spices and add enough milk to give a fairly

soft dough. Bring together, using your

hands, to make a soft dough.

Halve the mixture and set half to one side.

Roll out to a thickness of about 5mm/¼in.

Cut into rounds using a circular cutter.

Place on the prepared baking trays.

Sprinkle with caster sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15

minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Keep

a careful eye on the biscuits - it doesn’t

matter if you open the oven door to check.

Sprinkle with caster sugar and lift onto

a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight


For the iced biscuits, knead the remaining

half of the biscuit dough mixture lightly on

a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to

a thickness of 5mm/¼in. Cut out Easter

biscuits using an assortment of shaped

cutters, such as bunnies, Easter eggs,

chicks, spring flowers.

Lightly grease two baking trays lined

with baking parchment. Place the biscuit

shapes on the prepared baking trays and

bake in the preheated oven for 10-15

minutes. Remove from the oven and lift on

to a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing, pass one teaspoon

of lemon juice through a fine sieve, to

remove any pips or bits. Mix the icing

sugar with the lemon juice, and then add

about two tablespoons of water, adding

it little by little until you have a relatively

stiff but smooth icing. Add a splash more

sieved lemon juice if necessary. Add food

colouring if using.

Spoon a little icing into a piping bag and

pipe your decorations onto the biscuits.

For a smooth finish, you can pipe the

outline of your design in the firmer icing,

then slacken it down a bit by mixing in a

little more water, giving the icing more of

a runny consistency, and use this to fill in

the designs.

• Central heating oil •

Telephone: 01588 660166 | 15

living on the edge

If you haven’t come to The Edge

Adventure by now, you really should...

This year The Edge Adventure is determined to put a spring

in your step and shake off the winter blues. Over the next few

months we have activities deals for everyone one, from family

days out to be treasured, to team building days that you will

be laughing about for years. We are always striving to find that

new and exciting activity, that is why we have welcomed the

adrenaline pumping Archery Tag to our centre and also we have

built a brand new Air Soft range where you can put your target

shooting to the test.

To book your adventure day you can call our office or drop us an

email where our helpful and informative office staff will be happy

to help create an unforgettable day.

Spring offers:

• Junior Easter Holiday Deals, prices starting from £23 per

child for three activities.

• 10% off per person for Team Building events booked for


March Hen and Stag offers, for groups over 15 people the

groom or bride to be goes free.

• Climbing Wall hire reduced to £400 if booked and paid

before the end of April.







20 JUNE 2020




01905 459309





16 | ABBA_PROG_AD_153mmx110mm.indd

1 10/02/2020 17:09


that rocks

Famed for his growing group of fabulous fish restaurants,

Rockfish, Mitch Tonks is a chef, author, restaurateur and a

passionate, lifelong advocate for all the morsels that emerge

from the deep blue sea. Sally Thomson caught up with him

to discuss expansion plans, career motivations and why his

heart will always belong to the kitchen...

Sally: I hear you have another book

on the horizon?

Mitch: I do! We’re doing another

Rockfish book. It will be published

October. All very exciting!

Fantastic! How many Rockfish

Restaurants have you got


At the moment there are

seven but there will be

nine by the end of the year.

They will be in Poole, Lyme

Regis, and Sidmouth. Poole

opened in January, Lyme

Regis will open in June

and Sidmouth will open

in October. We then have

two or three sites ready

for 2021 that we are just

negotiating on.

That is incredible,

when you think about

where you’ve come


It’s kind of been an

up and down journey,

because we had

Fishworks, which

grew to thirteen,

but it was a public

company and the

wrong environment

to grow restaurants

in and ultimately

the project failed.

But since 2009

Seahorses has existed down in

Dartmouth, and Rockfish is ten years

old, so we’ve done well to rebuild over

that period.

When we last had a chat you’d

opened Joe’s Bar, how’s that going?

It’s going really well, and since May last

year we actually moved the entrance to

the restaurant through Joe’s Bar, and

that’s been a real success as people

enter the restaurant through Joe’s

Bar, have a drink and start their dining

experience off with something more

special and fun.

So how do you stretch yourself with

everything going on?

Well the business is over three hundred

people, with a really good senior team,

finance, marketing, and then over four

hundred in the summer. So, I obviously

work very closely with my senior team

and I am clear about what I want to

achieve in a period of time and helping

other people to achieve those goals.

Sometimes its challenging but when you

work as a team and you are supporting

each other you can make stuff happen.

That’s it really!

Managing those people, helping them

manage others, then I spend my time in

the restaurants, as well as consistently

looking at the business as a whole and

thinking ‘How can our business provide

better solutions for jobs, how can we

be better than anywhere else to work

"I tend to think of the restaurants like a

community now. Everybody who works for

us belongs to the community. We talk a lot

about family but of course family are hard to

get rid of and communities are made up of

people all contributing"


"I think when Fishworks

failed…well it gives you

plenty of time to reflect on

what’s really important to

you and what’s not"

So I made a phone call to my agent who

was on the train on the way up. He was

mortified! All I could say to everyone was

that 'I’m sorry, I just don’t want to do

it'. Financially it was suicide as it was a

very well paid job but it was prime time

television and all the things that go with

it and I didn’t want to be known as a guy

on telly. I wanted to build my reputation

as a restaurateur and a chef which is

what I actually really enjoy.

I think when Fishworks failed…well it

gives you plenty of time to reflect on

what’s really important to you and what’s

not and allowed me to make my own

choices, not get swept along with ‘this is

a great idea’. It was a great idea, it was

magnificent. The TV show would have

been great but it just wasn’t for me. So

the answer is I am regularly asked to do

television bits and I will 99% of the time

turn them down and occasionally I might

do the odd thing but I don’t wake up

thinking ‘I’d like to do more television’.


for, how can we have a really amazing

strategy over five years that gives people

top pay, freedom, how can we create a

development programme so that people

can develop in the organisation.’

I tend to think of the restaurants like a

community now. Everybody who works for

us belongs to the community. We talk a lot

about family but of course family are hard

to get rid of and communities are made up

of people all contributing, so when people

don’t contribute they move out of the

community and new people move in.

One thing I didn’t realise is that you

made significant changes to your menu

with regards to being gluten-free. That

must have been a big change?

Yes! About ten years ago we set about

rebuilding all of cooking ranges and

changing all of our practices so that offer

everything gluten-free. We committed to

the business being gluten-free, not just

by saying ‘here’s a gluten-free menu’.

Everything we do is gluten-free. If we

have to swap a bun for a gluten-free bun

we do, and it basically means that the

whole menu is available to somebody

with a gluten intolerance rather than

them feeling in a minority and only being

able to choose from say five things on

the menu.

Going back, I first met you at the

beginning of the century! 2000, a

long, long time ago! Since then you’ve

appeared on TV, most notably with

Matt Dawson, the rugby player, but

do you find yourself too busy to make

room to do any shows as of late?

The television career took off back

around 2008/09. The series Mitch and

Matt’s Big Fish became very successful

and Denham Productions and the BBC

wanted to do series two. So there was a

lot of euphoria and excitement from Matt

and the team, and they were on their way

to London to sign the deal.

We had agreed it, gone through it all and

I started to get cold feet. I was sat in the

restaurant having a brandy and a coffee

and I was just thinking to myself ‘I don’t

actually want to be a television chef, I

want to be in this restaurant cooking’.

Surely your heart has to be in it if it’s

what you are going to do?

I think you are either on telly to drive

people to your restaurants, well I’ve been

there when you are in a restaurant and so

many people want to talk to you because

they’ve seen you on telly but never for

the right reasons, and the thought that

somebody comes to the restaurant just

to catch a glimpse of the person they’ve

seen on telly is just the wrong motivation.

I want people to restaurants because

they are really great places socially to

go and they have importance in the

community and they like your food and

that it’s somewhere they want to come to

celebrate birthdays and all of that stuff!

Absolutely, and you’ve done so, I mean

The Seahorse is just brilliant I’ve got

to be honest. It’s just delightful the

minute you walk in there, it’s such

a lovely place to be and I absolutely

love coming down there and hopefully

when the weather brightens up I’ll be

back. One last question; are you doing

Salcombe Crab Festival this May?

I’m still not sure if I’m going to do it this

year. I didn’t do it last year, but I did

the year before, but I am hoping to do

a fish festival in Brixton, a crab festival

in Dartmouth which we always do, and

also Dartmouth Food Festival in October

which is always great.



The next big cooking fest after the festive feast, we think cooking for

Easter should be easy. So we've gathered some seasonal favourites with

minimal fuss, all from the fantastic cooking app



with citrus hollandaise

The perfect starter, light and delicious - it

also lets seasonal hero asparagus shine!

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 20 mins

Serves: 4


450g asparagus

1 lemon

1 dash olive oil

For the hollandaise:

2 large egg yolks

1 tbsp fresh orange juice

half a lemon

2 tsp lemon zest

125g cold butter


Juice the half lemon, grate the lemon

zest from the whole lemon, then cut that

lemon into slices. Dice the cold butter.

To make the hollandaise, in a medium

heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg

yolks, orange and lemon juice, lemon

zest, and some salt and freshly ground

black pepper. Sit the bowl over (but not

touching) a pan of gently simmering

water and add 2 or 3 pieces of butter,

whisking continuously until melted.

Continue adding the remaining butter in

this way, whisking until the sauce is thick

and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Heat a griddle pan until hot. Drizzle the

asparagus and lemon wedges with a

little olive oil and griddle for 2-3 minutes

each side, until just tender. Season with

salt and pepper, and arrange on a platter.

Drizzle with the hollandaise to serve.


ONION seeded rolls

Something about Easter makes baking

feel right. This is great for the main meal or

as a sandwich with any leftover lamb.

Prep: 65 mins | Cook: 15 mins

Makes: 10


3 tsp black onion seeds

375g seeded bread mix (from M&S)

200g mature Cheddar

180ml lukewarm water

flour, for dusting

olive oil


Heat a frying pan over a medium-high

heat and add the onion seeds. Move

them around the pan for 1 minute, until

they produce an oniony aroma. Set aside.

Tip the bread mix into a large bowl. Stir in

three-quarters of the cheese, two-thirds

of the onion seeds and the lukewarm

water. Mix to form a ball of dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and

knead for about 10 minutes until soft and

elastic. Shape into rolls, then put on oiled

baking sheets, well apart.

With a knife, slash the tops of the rolls.

Loosely cover each sheet with lightly

oiled cling-film and leave in a warm

place for 40 minutes, until the dough has

almost doubled in size. Heat the oven to

220°C/425°F/gas 7 (200°C for fan ovens).

Once the rolls have risen, scatter them

with the reserved cheese and onion

seeds. Bake for 12-15 minutes until

golden and hollow-sounding when

tapped underneath. Delicious served

warm with butter.


4 (160°C for fan ovens). Transfer the

potatoes to a roasting tin, drizzle with the

oil and sprinkle with the seasoning. Roast

the potatoes for 40 minutes, turning

occasionally, until tender and crisp.



The Easter centrepiece - this one is meltin-the-mouth

delicious and just needs

low, slow cooking.

Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 4 hours 10 mins

Serves: 8


2kg leg of lamb (bone in)

400g shallots

2 whole garlic bulbs

150ml Madeira/Marsala or other sweet

fortified wine

2 tsp plain flour

2 tsp butter

Seasoning paste

2 lemons

4 sprigs rosemary

4 garlic cloves

8 anchovies

1 tbsp olive oil


To prep: If large, peel and half the

shallots. Half crossways the whole garlic

bulbs. Soften the butter. Zest and half

the lemons. Finely chop the leaves of the

rosemary. Finely chop the garlic cloves.

Chop the anchovies.

Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3.

To make the seasoning paste, put the

lemon zest, rosemary, garlic cloves,

anchovies and freshly ground black

pepper in a bowl. Use a fork to mash

together into a chunky paste. Stir in the oil

and set aside.

Heat a roasting tin on the hob and brown

the lamb for a couple of minutes on each

side. Remove the lamb from the tin and

place on a board.

Cook the shallots in the roasting tin (add

a little olive oil if necessary) for 5 minutes

or until golden, stirring occasionally.

Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, use a thin, sharp knife to

make deep, angled incisions all over the


Push the seasoning paste into the cuts.

Return the lamb to the tin. Add the

shallots, garlic and lemon halves. Pour

the Madeira and 100ml water around the

lamb. Cover the roasting tin tightly with

foil and roast for 3 hours.

Remove the foil and return to the oven

for a further hour. Meanwhile, mix the

flour and butter to form a paste. When

the lamb is ready, transfer it to a carving

board or platter, with the garlic, lemons

and shallots, and loosely cover with foil.

Strain the juices from the roasting tin into

a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Whisk in the flour and butter paste, then

simmer until the sauce is thickened and

glossy. Serve with the lamb.




Perfect roast potatoes with a flawless,

crisp crunch.

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 45 mins

Serves: 6


1kg potatoes

1 tbsp Seasoning for Roast Potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil


Peel and cut the potatoes in half, or into

quarters if large. Boil the potatoes in

salted water for 5 minutes and drain well.

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas


with roasted squash and

tarragon olive mayonnaise

The perfect celebratory fish dish for

Good Friday.

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 1 hour 5 mins

Serves: 8


1 lemon

2kg whole Lochmuir salmon, cleaned

3 tbsp olive oil

8 sprigs tarragon

20g unsalted butter

1 large butternut squash

8 whole garlic clove

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

200ml mayonnaise

2 tbsp pitted green olives, chopped


Heat the oven to 190°/170°C fan/gas 5.

Halve the lemon, set one half aside and

slice the other into rounds. To cook the

salmon, start with two large sheets of

foil, one on top of the other, in a roasting

tin large enough to hold the whole fish.

Brush the foil with 1 tablespoon oil and

lay the salmon on top.

Stuff 4 tarragon sprigs, the lemon slices

and a little salt and pepper in the cavity.

Dot the butter over the surface of the

salmon and bring the foil around it in a

loose parcel, sealing the edges tightly.

Roast for 1 hour, then set aside to rest for

15 minutes before opening the foil.

Meanwhile, slice the squash into wedges,

skin on, and toss with the remaining olive

oil and the whole garlic cloves on a large

baking tray.

Roast for 45 minutes, until the squash

is golden then scatter with the pumpkin


seeds and return to the oven for a final 5


To make the mayonnaise, strip the leaves

from the remaining tarragon sprigs and

finely chop.

Stir into the mayonnaise with a squeeze

of lemon juice from the remaining lemon

half and the chopped olives.

Season with black pepper only. Serve the

baked salmon with the roast squash, soft

garlic and tarragon-olive mayonnaise.



A great alternative to bread and butter

pudding - and a way to use up any

leftover hot cross buns and Easter eggs!

Prep: 40 mins | Cook: 40 mins

Serves: 6


2 eggs

8 mini hot cross buns, or four large

1 pear, peeled, cored and cubed

4 tbsp hazelnut chocolate spread

25g dark chocolate, chopped

150ml double cream

25ml whole milk

25g caster sugar


Cut each bun in half, then sandwich

together with the chocolate spread.

Arrange in an ovenproof dish and scatter

over the pear cubes and chocolate.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk and

sugar. Pour the mixture over the buns

and leave for at least 30 minutes to allow

it to soak in.

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4

(160°C for fan ovens) and bake for 35-40

minutes until golden and just set. Stand

for 5 minutes before serving.



meringue cake

Another seasonal favourite - rhubarb.

Meringues can be made ahead, but eat

on the day you assemble with cream.

Prep: 1 hour 25 mins | Cook: 2 hours

Serves: 8


For the purée:

400g rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, deseeded

4 tbsp orange juice

For the meringue:

225g caster sugar

4 egg whites

For the filling and topping:

50g icing sugar

350g mascarpone

30g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped


Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

Toss together the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla

pod pieces and orange juice. Spread

out the mixture in a small baking dish

and roast for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Remove from the oven and set aside

to cool.

Turn the oven down to 110°C/90°C fan/

gas ¼. Reserve 10 pieces of rhubarb

for decoration, and purée the rest in a

blender. Only add the juices from the

baking dish if the purée seems too thick.

Set aside.

Trace 4 x 18cm circles on baking paper

as a guide for the meringue discs. Put

the sugar and 90ml water into a heavybased

saucepan. Carefully swirl the water

around to ensure the sugar is covered.

(Do not stir after swirling as this will

encourage sugar crystals to form on the

sides of the pan.) Put the pan over a high

heat until the mixture bubbles.

Reduce the heat to medium and allow

the mixture to bubble away for about

10 minutes. If using a thermometer the

syrup is ready when it reaches 116°C.

Otherwise, test the mixture by dropping

a small amount into a cup of cold water,

lift it out and if it can be rolled into a soft

ball, it’s ready. If it’s still slippery and loose,

bubble a little longer.

Meanwhile, in a clean bowl, whisk the

egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric

whisk. When the syrup is ready, add it

to the whisked egg whites, whisking

continuously until the mixture is glossy

and the syrup is fully incorporated.

Pipe or spread the mixture onto the

prepared baking sheets, filling in the

circles. Bake for 2 hours, then keep the

oven door ajar with a wooden spoon and

bake for another hour to crisp up the

surface. Turn the oven off and leave the

meringues to cool in the oven for a further


To make the filling, beat the icing sugar

into the mascarpone, adding more if you

prefer a sweeter flavour. Then gently fold

about two-thirds of the rhubarb purée

into the mascarpone.

To assemble the cake, spread a meringue

disc with a third of the mascarpone and

top with some of the reserved purée,

gently rippling it with a table knife. Repeat

these steps with the other discs and

decorate the top with the reserved pieces

of rhubarb and the chopped pistachios.







Kate O’Connell tackles

the culinary scene of

Santa Barbara. One

mouthful at a time...

Harbor View Inn Hotel


When it comes to traveling, shockingly enough I had yet to actually

get round to visiting the USA. This also came as a surprise to my

fellow journalists on this trip. Our two nations are bound together

by much history, an overlap in religion, a common legal system and

language, so how had I not visited at least one state at one time or


Who knows. Our family holidays didn’t stretch that far I guess. Which

may explain my eagerness when I was offered the chance to explore

Santa Barbara. Quite the destination for a first time visitor to the USA!

Aptly nicknamed ‘The American Riviera’, Santa Barbara is situated

90 miles (a 2 hour car journey) north of Los Angeles, tucked within

a south-facing pacific coastline on one side, and the rolling hills that

stretch into the Santa Ynez Mountains on the other. But it is its charm

and sense of style that makes this small city so tempting - indeed it is

a hotspot favourite for the rich and famous, with a whole host of A-list

celebrities calling Santa Barbara home.

If there’s one things that strikes you, it’s that Santa Barbara doesn’t

really feel like a city at all. There’s no hustle and bustle here, instead

just a wonderfully laid-back, chilled vibe. Infused with the spirit

of Spain, we were informed that 6.8 magnitude earthquake near

enough flattened the city back in 1925. Devastating yes, but like a

phoenix from the ashes, this proved the making of the city in terms of

architecture, as the city planners were convinced to rebuild the city in

a unified, Spanish Colonial Revival style inspired by the historic Old

Mission (founded by Spanish Franciscans in 1786). Red-tiled clay top

roofs and white washed walls litter every building, and in addition to

the climate, give the city its Mediterranean charm.

Our first stop; checking in to the newly developed North Wing of

Harbor View Inn hotel. A premier beachfront hotel, Harbour View Inn is

centrally located within the city, and made for a fabulous base to start

our trip. My room featured a very inviting king size bed, complimented

by gorgeous modern Spanish Colonial furnishings, and to top it off - a

balcony view, a chance to sip on a morning coffee and watch the

world go by. But not yet. First; dinner!

We made a short walk around the block to Loquita Restaurant for

some authentic Spanish tapas. Created as a love letter to the Spanish

origins and history of Santa Barbara, Loquita’s showcases a medley

of paellas, charcuterie, cheeses and seafood. We were offered a

sample of a variety of dishes on the menu, with the squid ink seafood

paella being a personal favourite of mine.

After a restful nights sleep in my luxuriously comfy bed, I was ready

for a day of exciting activities. To get us started, we required a hearty

breakfast, and Goat Tree was just the place to go. A gourmet cafe

with a relaxed vibe, Goat Tree offers everything from fresh pastries

and baked goods cooked in-house by their resident pastry chef,

through to cooked breakfasts with a Mediterranean twist. I opted

for the classic Shakshuka, accompanied by homemade flat bread.

Possibly the best, tastiest start to a morning ever.

Feeling suitably energised, it was time for a spot of kayaking down

at the harbour front, courtesy of Santa Barbara Adventure Company.

Kayaking is a great way to view a side of Santa Barbara that perhaps

few visitors get to see, so it felt like such a treat. Not only this, it was a

perfect opportunity to spot some of the resident wildlife.

Loquita Restaurant


Kayaking around Santa

Barbara harbour


It was perhaps my enthusiasm at this

opportunity that had me labelled a

‘Twitcher’ on this trip. On every dock

we manoeuvred around brought hoards

of enormous pelicans, gangly herons

and rather amusing loons to name but a

few. We even managed to paddle right

up to a raft of sealions. So much of the

wildlife on show were species that I had

never seen out of captivity, it was a very

special morning indeed. I can’t say I am a

particularly experienced kayaker, having

only dabbled on holidays in the past, but

I needn’t have worried. The Adventure

Company specialise in providing tours for

all abilities, so I was in safe hands!

A great way to experience the harbour

front is to sample some of the

specialities, and so with this we took a

stroll over to Stearns Wharf; California’s

oldest wharf named after builder John

P. Stearns. There we took some seats at

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, and

were served an array of locally caught

seafoods, all washed down with some

local beer.

To garner more of an overview of the city,

we then took a ‘trolley tour’ via Santa

Barbara Trolley Co. This 90 minute tour

is lead by a highly insightful guide, who

relays all sorts of interesting facts about

the city, as well as a little local celeb

gossip on the side!

After a quick freshen up it was time for

a bite to eat. Cue...Cubaneo! Californian

Cuban cuisine served alongside cocktails

from Shaker Mill who neighbour within

the same premises. It is easy to see how

you could happily waste away an evening

here, and we did just that! With a cubano

sandwich in one hand and a ‘Bay of

Santiago’ cocktail in the other, you could

have easily fooled us into thinking we

were in Havana!

After another restful night's sleep, I

skipped breakfast in order to make room

for the immense amount of food we

would be sampling on the Eat This, Shoot

That! Funk Zone Food & Photo tour. A

three-hour expedition, this is a chance to

sample some of Santa Barbara’s finest

fodder, as well as learn a little more about

the city’s history, all while discovering

how best to maximize your photo-taking

ability, achieving the most Instagramworthy

images that will make you the

envy of all your friends.

The tour is also a great chance to get to

grips with the layout of the city. Santa

Barbara is made up of several districts,

one of which, The Funk Zone, has seen

its popularity boom in recent decades.

Comprising of a series of converted

warehouses, this contemporary district

is very much the place to be to sample

artisan foods from up-and-coming chefs,

and out-of-this-world Santa Barbara

Country wines. Shop fronts and walls

are adorned with graffiti murals and art

pieces; this district really is an everevolving

artistic neighbourhood that is

well worth a visit.

It was then time to travel up into the

foothills to our next hotel. And what an

iconic hotel indeed. The Belmond El

Encanto. Recently renovated in 2013,

Belmond El Encanto offers stunning

views of the American Riviera and a

whole heap of Hollywood glamour on

the side. This resort manages to feel

relaxed and low-key, while at the same

time feeling like the most exclusive place

on earth. Sitting poolside whilst sipping

a glass of ‘Belmond El Encanto Cuvee’,

life truly feels timeless up here. It’s little

wonder that it was a favoured getaway of

the Hollywood elite.

We made our way back down from the

hills to State Street for an Italian feast

at Due Lune Cucina. Serving fresh

ingredients and hand-made pasta, I

would have been mad not to order the

Linguine alle Vongole. This was paired

with some fabulous local wines, and the

staff couldn’t have been more friendly

and attentive. We topped off the night

with a nightcap at Pearl Social; an

intimate and beautifully furnished cocktail

bar. The night felt like a very classy affair


Somehow, our final day had sadly rolled

around already! It was time to do a spot

of botanical sight seeing. Lotusland was

our destination. This 37-acre estate and

botanic garden is situated in the foothills

of Montecito, which is located to the

East of Santa Barbara. Purchased by

the rather marvellous socialite Madame

Walska (Google her, honestly!), she spent

43 years designing the gardens to her

liking. To say they were breathtaking is

an understatement. Home to all sorts of

exotic, rare collections of plants, this is

truly a garden like no other.

After another spot of wine tasting at

some of the local establishments (it

would be rude not to!), we made our

way to Bibi Ji for dinner. A modern take

on traditional Indian cuisine, Bibi Ji are

experts at pairing quality, local wines

with the most brilliant of dishes. The

moment came when the aptly nicknamed

‘Californian Gold’ was bought out; Santa

Barbara’s locally caught sea urchins.

Beautifully presented, and filled with

biryani rice, I couldn’t lie...I was a little

hesitant to try them. After all, my only

knowledge of them was to avoid standing

on them when on sandy beaches abroad.

I needn’t have worried. Creamy and

indulgent, they were fantastic.

What a dish. And what a trip.

Sea Urchins at

Bibi Ji Restaurant

At a glance

2 nights at harbor view inn

hotel, 2 nights at belmond

el encanto hotel, private

transfers and return

flights with Norwegian air.

Parking and lounge access

with holiday extras.

No1 Lounge at Gatwick

Airport (South Terminal)

from £26 PP

Harbor view inn - Nightly

Rates vary from $268.00-


belmond el encanto -

nightly room rates start

from $560 (inc tax),

suites from $811 (inc tax)

Glorious walks from the Highbullen Hotel, Devon

STYLISH Staycations

Whether you want the buzz of the city or a

complete country retreat, here are our pick of

UK staycations...

the best of the city and west end at


Having welcomed guests since 1909, the Strand Palace is surrounded by

the best London has to offer - located just minutes from Covent Garden.

Having recently undergone a large-scale multi million pound renovation,

myself and my partner decided to tie in a spot of winter shopping/

sightseeing in with a stay in what is most definitely the heart of London.

The Strand Palace creates a fabulous impression the minute you meet the

doorman! The front entrance, lobby and reception are one large, bright,

open spaced hub, featuring art deco influences that create a very relaxed

and sophisticated atmosphere. We checked in and made our way up to

our room, which was a tranquil, comforting retreat from the hussle and

bustle of the street below.

It is at this stage that I feel I must confess: I am a bit of a tourist when it

comes to London. In the past I have found myself booking into hotels that

seem to be on the other side of the city in location to all the spots I wished

to visit, and although there’s the tube, it’s still nice to be situated near

the action. This is what makes The Strand Palace so perfect. Its location

is brilliant - right in the heart of the West End, and with Covent Garden

a mere two minutes away you really have got it all on your doorstep.

I couldn’t believe our luck when a trip to The National Portrait Gallery minutes on foot!

We made our way back to the hotel after a spot of lunch, opting for the

pre-theatre menu which is brilliant value for money if you are trying to

keep costs down. Pre 7pm, you can indulge with 2 courses for £20, so

we tucked into some crispy lime squid, followed by fish and chips, with a

lovely light batter. All washed down with a bottle of red. Delightful!

The city felt like ours for the taking! We took ourselves off for a stroll around

Covent Garden, closely followed by a visit to a couple of ‘proper’ London

pubs. If you are after a weekend away in the city and want to make London

your own, The Strand Palace offers a truly unbeatable location.

Sam Norris |, rooms from £175 per night

escape to the country at



There is surely no better ointment for the weary

soul than a weekend in pristine countryside

with your closest friends. I found that sense of

reatreat at the beautiful Upper Tetchwick House,

booked through

With a whole host of different holiday

accommodation options to suit couples, families

and large or small parties,

was the perfect site through which to book our

little staycation. We settled on Upper Tetchwick

House, which sleeps 12.

In a rural location on the outskirts of Aylesbury,

the property is a home away from home - if your

home is a resplendent country pad complete

with six bedrooms, a swimming pool, a billiards

room and a duck pond, with far reaching views

across the countryside! It’s a house that would

cater in any season - with a huge garden and

pool for the warmer months and a wonderful

wood burning stove when the chill sets in.

The whole process was easy as anything -

meaning we all felt immediately on holiday - that

was in part thanks to the lovely locally-sourced

welcome hamper waiting on the counter.

The house had the added benefit of being dog

friendly too, meaning my pooches didn’t miss

out on any of the holiday action.

Katie Thomson |,

a three night stay costs £1,568 total


take time out at



It really does go without saying that a visit to the

spa is a great way to relax, de-stress and unwind

from the day-to-day. However we should never

need an excuse for a little pampering. After all,

many of our modern-day spas have deep roots,

dating back thousands of years. Hence my

lack of guilt in booking myself and Mum in for a

weekend stay at Donnington Valley Hotel.

A privately owned hotel, spa and golf club,

Donnington Valley is located just off the M4.

Arriving in the surrounding beautiful Berkshire

countryside, this truly felt like a retreat.

Sharing an Executive suite, we were graced with

gorgeously comfy beds and a rather spacious

bathroom! We quickly put on the robes provided

and made our way to the spa. There we had

a luxury 55 minute Sonoma Aromatherapy

Massage. Melting our tensions away, my

thoughts drifted to the hustle and bustle of

life, and what a rarity it is to have 55 minutes

to yourself to just…be. It occurred to me how

important it is to take time for yourself. It’s a

win-win for everyone too surely, as by feeling

and looking your best, you are better able to take

care of your loved ones without feeling burnt out.

We took ourselves off to the capacious pool,

and made use of the indulgent sauna and

steam rooms, not to mention a quick lounge

in the jacuzzi, before quickly freshening up for

our dinner reservations. On the menu: scallops

on a bed of pea purée, black pudding and

smoked pancetta, followed by a juicy sirloin

steak, all complimented beautifully by some

well-recommended wine, and last but not least

followed by a delectable espresso martini.

Naughty? Yes. But perhaps we all need to take

a weekend every once in a while to look after

number one.

Kate O’Connell |,

rooms from £135 per night

find sanctuary in the city at


As a former Londoner who now resides in the countryside, there is always a

thrill when returning to the capital. The beauty of being a visitor, instead of a

resident, is getting to appreciate the wealth of culture, architectural marvels

and general buzz of this sprawling metropolis. And there is nowhere better

located to explore it all from than the Park Plaza London Riverbank.

Located on the south side of the River Thames, it sits near many of

London’s most legendary tourist attractions. The Houses of Parliament, the

seat of England’s political authority, are just across Westminster Bridge, and

the London Eye, the city’s enormous Ferris wheel, is only a 15-minute walk

away. My room had an uninterrupted view out to Big Ben and the Palace of

Westminster. Being so central might feel chaotic, but the hotel really does

feel like a sanctuary away from it all.

I visited with my small niece and nephew in tow - travelling with children

is never easy, but the London Riverbank hotel has taken a huge step

toward making it a breeze - it has just launched the capital’s first hotel

room designed by families, for families - featuring elements such as chalk

board walls, neon lights, a bunk bed for the kids, and chic décor and iconic

London view for the adults, along with bespoke services. The suite is

available from just £179 per night and can be booked by visiting

Daniel Weston |

Rooms from £119 per night

sleep like a royal at


I would call myself an explorer, but it isn’t often that I can feel as I’m back

in the 17th century and living as the royals once had. That is exactly how

this weekend felt, exploring the warmth, romance and delicious cuisine that

Hartwell House had to offer.

The hotel makes an impression straight away - the exquisite drive to the

front entrance, greetings from smiling staff and the aroma of a burning stove

made us feel we were somewhere very special.

As we settled in our large room, with far-reaching views across the fields we

were very pleased by the little touches - the room’s decor transporting you

to an era of vintage style. History oozes from every pore of this house and

there is so much to be explored - even the walk to dinner took us past the

characterful staircase - each spindle of the bannister is hand carved into a

caricature - we delighted in spotting famous historical figures, including a

grave-faced Winston Churchill.

The house has both Jacobean and Georgian features with outstanding

decorative ceilings and panelling, fine paintings and antique furniture. It has a

remarkable history too: its most famous resident was Louis XVIII, exiled King


soak in the views at



Arriving after nightfall to a hotel destination is always a bit of a treat -

there is something exciting about waking up to an undiscovered view

- pulling back the curtains to reveal the surprise.

This delight surely hits its peak at the Highbullen Hotel, nestled in the

rolling hills of North Devon. As I ambled, sleepily, from the sumptuous

seven-foot bed in our suite, I opened the curtains with a cup of tea in

hand, I was greeted by the most glorious, expansive views - rolling hills,

a view down the Mole Valley and out towards national parks. From the

hotel’s high vantage point on a ridge between Dartmoor and Exmoor, on

a clear day you can see for 18 miles across pristine British countryside -

it really is something to behold.

An opportunity to enjoy these views is never missed - as well as a

lovely reading nook in our own room, the elegant drawing rooms and

sun terraces offered chances to sit and soak it all in. The hotel’s Devon

View Restaurant also offers these panoramas, alongside its 2 AA

rosettes - making for a very special dining experience. With a changing

daily menu featuring the best local, seasonal produce, the restaurant

is a foodie destination in its own right. We dined on the house-smoked

salmon with avocado, a deliciously light leek and cheddar tart and

perfectly succulent lamb cutlets with a perfect umami punch. The

portions are perfect, leaving just enough room for a shared dessert of

treacle tart with clotted cream - simple dessert pastry at its best. This is

also the restaurant where residents can enjoy breakfast -

it’s a great spread with lots to choose from.

If the dishes in the restaurant gets you in the indulgent

foodie mood (and they will) you can also head down to

the lovely Laura Ashley Tearoom on site for a classic

Devon cream tea or a more indulgent offering with fizz.

As well as the main hotel, guests have accommodation

options in self catered cottages - meaning the facilities

of the whole resort are still on their doorstep. An 18-hole

USGA golf course set within richly wooded parkland,

tennis courts, a multi-sport simulator, a leisure centre,

fishing, shooting, snooker - the list is expansive and

caters for every member of the family, making it a

wonderful holiday destination. Keen walkers can also

make the most of miles of local country walks, Exmoor or

the nearby South West Coast path.

Katie Thomson |,

B&B from £110 per night

of France, for five years from 1809 - no wonder we felt like royalty.

That evening we shared a decadent three course dinner. The food was

wonderful and the ambiance pure romance - with a piano playing in the

background. I would highly recommend a starter of scallops or smoked

salmon, the cod for a main and a trio of the delicious sorbets to finish it off.

The majestic tone set the night before continued at breakfast - the

spread pure elegance - hand polished silverware, white table cloths and

loose leaf earl grey tea. Then it was out to explore the grounds. Hartwell

House is a National Trust owned property with Capability Browninspired

landscapes - we pretended it was all our domain as we strolled

from one spectacular vista to another.

Then it was time to relax even further in the beautiful spa - with its

stylistic echoes of a Roman bathing house. Our treatments were

sublime - taking away all the strain of a working week.

From the first sights of history, to the genuine comforts of a homely room

and stunning food, I arrive back in the big city, relaxed, romanced and so

full of fond memories. Hartwell House comes highly recommended and I

can see why - it is the perfect weekend away, only if you wish to get lost

in time and take a moment to enjoy your surroundings.

Lucy Elamad |, B&B from £250 per night




When we think about our homes, it’s really the windows

and doors that create the wow factor. We are all so

keen to flood our properties with natural light and the

constantly evolving technology in the world of glazing is

making some truly astonishing designs achievable, not to

mention more affordable than ever.

Whether you are self-building, extending or even

renovating your home, apportioning budget to windows

and doors is a savvy move. As well as making your home

more valuable - 69% of people say that light rooms make

them more inclined to buy - investing in clever glazing can

make you fall in love with your space once more.




PROS - for those looking for that wonderful sense of a

garden room that brings the outside in, bi-folds can help

create the sense of one open-plan space as the panels

fold away fully to the walls.

CONS - an expensive option - poorly constructed bi-folds

can also suffer from air-tightness issues around the joins

so do your research and get guarantees.


PROS - generally cheaper than bi-fold doors, sliding

doors also have fewer frame elements, meaning when

they are closed your view is less obstructed.

CONS - you won’t get the full, uninterrupted view of the

garden - instead only a portion of the doors are openable.



69% of people say that light rooms make

them more inclined to buy - investing in

clever glazing can make you fall in love with

your space once more...


Roof Lanterns and Skylights

Compared to windows of the same surface area, skylights and

roof lanterns can increase light in a room by up to five times.

They are particularly good in extensions and for channelling

light to darker corners of the home and adding opportunities

for ventilation. These additions are no longer considered just a

luxury and can be used in a wide variety of scenarios:

• In a loft extension, tucked beneath sloped rooflines, the

presence of skylights may spell the difference between a

bright, friendly space and a murky cave.

• In a home built between closely adjoining neighbouring

houses where overlooking might be an issue, skylights may be

the best solution for introducing good natural light into rooms.

• In a single storey house build or extension, built with an open

floor plan, skylight shafts can bring much needed natural light

into the centre of large spaces.

Many of the issues experienced in the past of rooms

overheating or being hard to clean have been mediated with

a tranche of new technology, including glass panels with heat

regulatory and storage abilities and self-cleaning glass.


In a single storey house build or extension, built with an

open floor plan, skylight shafts can bring much needed

natural light into the centre of large spaces.

Energy Efficiency

Our homes are one of the biggest energy wasters out there and

traditionally windows are the biggest energy leakage point, so

with any renovation, it can really pay to invest in glass tech to

ensure the best temperature regulation - creating huge savings

down the line. We all know that double glazing is much more

efficient than single, but newer technologies like triple glazing

are making windows nearly as efficient at energy retention as

the walls they are installed within.

As well as the glass, it is important to do you research into

frames and opt for the most airtight models.

With great green credentials, triple glazed units have the

added benefits of better thermal comfort, noise reduction and

a reduced risk of condensation between panes – so for the

self-builder or home improver looking for a premium finish with

added benefits, it’s a natural choice.




dark ARTS


The trend for sleek black finishes

continues, with lots of companies

now supplying dark taps, shower

enclosures, towel rails and tiles

Dark tiles and fixtures look amazing - the only thing

to be aware of is living in a hard water area and the

effects that will have on the finish of taps over time.

For a sleek look, pair large-scale dark floor tiles with

white tiles on the walls, framed by black hardware.


Images: 1. Aquaglass Velar 8mm Black Crittall Corner

Entry Enclosure,; 2. Original Style

Tileworks Steel Midnight Blue,; 3. Merlyn

Black Showerwall With End Panel,;

4. Duravit - Stonetto (Sand) Shower Tray,;

5. Contour Radiator,; 6. Pitch

Bluetooth Mirror,; 7. Finissimo

Black Bath Filler,; 8. Valverdi Iguazu







With homes becoming

smarter in the main, it

makes sense that similar

technology would be

extended to the bathroom.

We love this bluetooth

mirror which can play

your favourite songs and

has automatic demisting






A roundup of the trends that can beat the bathroom blues

and turn your bathroom into your own slice of heaven

1 2


ensuite DREAMS

According to a survey carried out by Nationwide

Building Society, an ensuite can add as much as 5%

to your home's market value - if you have the space,

it's a great investment which is luxurious too

If space permits, a roll top or freestanding

bath looks wonderful in an ensuite and

gives a true sense of luxury. If your space

is more modest, the smaller scale is a great

place to experiment with some interesting

tile combinations and colours. There are

some fabulous examples of encaustic tiles

out there at the moment, but if you do opt

for those, be aware and prepared for more

maintenance than printed tiles.

Images: 1. products from Original Style; 2. String

lights from; 3. image from; 4. Floris tile from Boniti





THE way to add style and personality to

your bathroom - choices are limitless.

Avoid following trends too closely and pick

something you really love




When choosing

tiles, functionality

is key - tiny mosaics look amazing, but you

don't want them in high traffic areas of a family

bathroom. Try to keep floor tiles low maintenance

and add decorative flourishes in smaller spaces.

Ceramics aren't the only option either - vinyl tiles

and laminates can work effectively.



Images: 1. Selection from Ripples; 2. Havana Dawn Self

Adhesive Vinyl Floor Tiles,; 3. Odyssey

- 8051V Seville Tile,; 4. 3D Offset

Hexagon Tiles,; 5. Original Style Living

Spirit Tile,; 6. Windmill Geometric

Tile,; 7. Odyssey - Persian Floor Tile,


green SPACES

Houseplants are taking over - and

we love it! If you have natural light

in the bathroom, lots of plants can

thrive in the space!

The best plants for bathrooms are

moisture lovers - these are our

favourites: -

Zamioculcas zamifolia (the eternity

plant - so named because it is hard

to kill!), the spider plant, most ferns,

snake plant, aloe vera, cast iron plant

and orchids.

Image, left, from Dobbies - plants and

plant pots available.


No problem! LED growing lights can be

easily installed to help your plants grow,

even without natural light.




Twojays Corner Antiques

Unit 21c, Lamledge Lane Industrial Estate,

Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 8SD

Find the perfect piece for your home or garden

ArchitecturAl brAss And

iron fixtures And fittings for

period homes

4 High Street, Church Stretton, SY6 6BU

Tel: 01694 720189

Tel: 07949 385618


View our displays

of designer fireplaces

& more traditional

styles with built-in

wood or gas fires or

free-standing stoves

01694 724 199

Showroom - Main A49,

Church Stretton, SY6 6PH | 33

south Shropshire's

major kitchen

appliance retailer

South Shropshire’s

Major Kitchen

Appliance Retailer

A&B Smith is a friendly, family run

independent shop with a great team of staff

supplying households with goods and services...

Pull off the A49 into Craven Arms Business Park and pop into the

showroom to see what is on offer for yourself. You’re very welcome,

we’re here to help. You can take away, or have your purchases


If you can’t find what you want in the showroom we offer a sourcing

service with advice and best quotes. We can recommend local

installers and hold purchases for you.

Should you experience any issues during your warranty period, you

only have to ring us; we will take the hassle away and communicate

with you until all issues are resolved.

We also offer part exchanges and second hand appliances, as

available, fully tested and warranted too.

We sell refrigeration, laundry, cooking, cleaning and heating

appliances, large or small, freestanding or built in.

We sell and deliver daily, across South Shropshire, Calor Gas for all

your appliances and heating.

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(Not Bank Holidays)


• Brand New, Graded &

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Craven Arms,

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01588 673647

• 71 Litres Main Oven,

34 Litres Top Oven

• Fan Assisted, LCD Digital Display

• Variable Integral Grill,

Double Glazed Door

• Dimension: H88.5xW59.4xD55cm

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A Energy Rating

• 71 Litres Main Oven,

34 Litres Top Oven

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Double Glazed Door

• Dimensions: W59.4xW59.4xD55cm

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A Energy Rating

• 71 Litres Fan Oven

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Double Glazed Doors

• Dimensions: H58.5xW56xW55cm

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A Energy Rating

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• Removable Door, Enamel Lining

• Dimensions:


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• Electric Combi Fan Oven

• 15 Programmes, 900W

• Variable Integral Grill,

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34 |

Do you want to make money while

heating your home sustainably?

Ludlow Stoves & Renewables have the answer.

We can offer Air & Ground Source heating, biomass

either as a cooker, room heater or utility boiler to suit

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The current Renewable Heating incentive is available

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We also offer stoves, boilers, gas and electric stoves.

Come and have a look at over 50 stoves which are

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Please call in or give us a call for further details:

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Ludlow Stoves Ltd

85 Gravel Hill, Ludlow

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Look Before You Leap

While the SPAB warmly encourages people to take the

plunge and make an old building their home, it’s easy

to be swept away by romance. SPAB Director Matthew

Slocombe offers a checklist of key considerations to

help potential buyers make the right choice – both for

themselves and for the building of their dreams.

Think with head and heart

Old buildings are more than a space in

which to live. If all that really interests you

is location or floor area, an old building is

unlikely to be right for you. If you appreciate

style and character, and are keen to

embrace the quirks and idiosyncrasies of an

old building, the potential rewards are great.

Compromise to get what you want

For the majority of buyers, historic interest

is a desirable factor but not the key. If your

number one aim is to live in an interesting

old building, but your means are limited,

compromising on other requirements can

sometimes help.

Authenticity can’t be re-created

If you want something genuine and

authentic, recreation of lost parts is unlikely

to act as a fitting or worthwhile substitute.

Look for genuine survivals. It may be that

fireplaces have been boarded up and plaster

overlaid with modern materials, but if the

originals survive behind this offers a much

better starting point than a gutted interior.

Choose something that will fit your

longer term needs

Look a few years ahead and try to consider

whether the building is likely to fit your plans.

If you think you might need more bedrooms

or a bigger kitchen, consider whether the

building is likely to be able to accommodate

this without major change. In a modern

house, adding extensions or knocking down

walls may be relatively straightforward. In an

historic building it may not.

Consider auctions

Many old buildings needing work are sold

at auction. This can be a way to find an

interesting project, and perhaps also a

bargain. But the buyer must beware and it

is especially important to do your homework

seeking specialist help in advance.

Purchase is not the only possibility

If living in an old building is your goal, but

prices are unaffordable, other options

may exist. The commercial rental sector

general lets buildings that have been heavily

updated, but estates, farms and some

private owners may offer old buildings to

rent in a more rustic state.

Distinguish between decorative and

structural needs

This is vital. Small cracks are normal in old

buildings and can be easily remedied as part

of the redecoration process; larger cracks

may hint at structural movement.

Get good advice

The cost of professional advisers can

seem off-putting, but sound advice is

an investment. There are accreditations

schemes run by the RICS, RIBA and AABC

and the Society can offer suggestions

via its Technical Advice Line (0207 456

0916 weekday mornings). The advice of a

structural engineer, conservator (see ICON’s

accreditation list), quantity surveyor or

historian may also be invaluable.

Put together the right team

If work is needed, the right team will be

crucial. Consider not just price, but the

expertise of team members. Listen to

craftspeople - good ones know exactly

what they’re doing and the expertise is often


Adjust your lifestyle

Occupying an old building brings huge

benefits to your quality of life, but don’t

expect it to be the same as a perfectly level,

hermetically sealed modern box. Floors

may slope, windows may be draughty, and

elaborate modern services may be difficult

to accommodate.

Research and understanding

Understanding an old building includes

knowing how it’s put together and what

it’s made from, as well as the uses it’s had

over time and the changes previous owners

have made. Combine this with background

research, advice from organisations like the

SPAB, and knowledge from neighbouring

owners and a rounded picture of the

building should emerge.

Don’t ignore consents and other statutory


Planning consents and building regulation

requirements should always be adhered

to. This is particularly so in the case of

listed buildings. If you buy a listed building

that has been altered without permission

you inherit the liability and enforcement

action could be taken against you. If you

alter or demolish a listed building without

permission you could be prosecuted.

Don’t count on grants

Grants for private owners were once

relatively common. They are now rare and

should not be counted on.

Settle in before making big changes

A vacant house offers an opportunity

to tackle problems without upheaval to

occupants, but avoid the temptation to do

too much, too fast. A period of occupation


often brings realisation about what’s

necessary and what’s not important.

Deal with the boring things first

Kitchens, bathroom and decorative works

may be most fun, but they should be bottom

of your list. Fixing the roof and making sure

the gutters, drains and electrics work will

provide you with a sound basis from which

to make other changes.

Scratches and Witches

Loving the lumps and bumps is all part of

old building ownership. Appreciate them

as part of the building’s character and

history and avoid erasing them for the sake

of tidiness. Think too about witches! Old

surfaces often carry superstitious markings

designed to ward off bad spirits.

Repair is good

Building conservation is a branch of

environmental protection and sustainability:

repair is better than replacement. Decay

is rarely uniform and repair can allow

the undamaged parts to remain. An old

window with 20% new timber is better for

the environment and our history than a new

window with 100% fresh timber.

Make sure materials are compatible

New, innovative building products can

be valuable, but historic buildings are not

generally the place where they should be

tested. The potential for side effects is great

if incompatible materials are used.

Get involved but know your limitations

The SPAB has always encouraged a handson

approach. There is no better way to get

to know your building than through practical

work. However, it is important to know the

limitations of your own skills, to consider

safety issues, and to get training if you are

unsure. The SPAB and others run practical

conservation courses. If in doubt, call on an

experienced craftsperson.

Good new design

Where a strong and justifiable case exists

for a change or addition, sympathetic

new design offers the best approach.

This requires good design advice and a

thoughtful choice of materials.

Enjoy it!

An old building deserves to respected and

cared for, but it should be enjoyed rather

than revered.

Call the SPAB Technical Advice Line on:

020 7456 0916

36 |


The Detective!

Traditional properties can be challenging at the best of times, and

when a little thing goes wrong, it can have a knock on effect if not dealt

with promptly and correctly...

Modern construction heavily relies upon rigid and waterproof

structures, whereas traditional construction relies on flexibility

and permeable or breathable structures. There is therefore a

major difference when combining the technical philosophies of

old and new, and difficulties can easily occur.

framed building, where this would have been constructed in

a barn during winter, then transported to site in spring, and in

operation by summer. Our modern urgent and fast construction

process and periods are very much at odds with the traditional

building construction process.

Since the extensive use of cementitious materials during the

C20, many traditional buildings have suffered from inappropriate

repairs or alterations. Using impervious materials to lock out

moisture, can also lock moisture in, causing a multiple of other

issues to arise. The condition of rising damp has provided a huge

line of business to many companies trying to apply treatments.

On the pretext that nature will always win, and that it is extremely

difficult to inject a barrier liquid successfully into a wall, the

process can be considered as highly flawed. Management of

water levels, entry points, and the use of breathable materials

are far greater tools to be utilised. Our modern “instant fix”

attitude presents a considerable difficulty to many repairs

undertaken, especially where insurance is involved. In essence,

the thought process for a repair will take longer, may involve

experiment measures, and almost a detective approach to unpick

a structures construction in order to establish a productive way


There are some true advantages of traditional materials, that

are easily overlooked, but could be beneficial to modern

constructions. I mentioned earlier about cementitious materials

being impervious and locking moisture in and out of fabrics. Lime

products have been in use since Roman times, and have great

advantages in enabling moisture to move within, allowing that

importance of breathability. Couple that with the self- healing

nature of the material, and it is a true wonder product. Whilst

cementitious products will fracture under stress and leave cracks,

lime products will still fracture, but water will enter and react with

the calcium carbonate, resealing the crack, and restoring the

weather-shield capability.

Nobody can be a complete expert on all these matters, but

having an understanding of the principles is a good start in a

detective game of establishing pragmatic and workable solutions

for traditionally built properties.

The development of materials used for traditional buildings, were

heavily influenced by the growth of transport mediums. Material

travel distances for traditional buildings were paramount, as well

as the time of year for construction. Take a traditional timber

Andrew’s to do with Building that old building? Conservation Ltd

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T:03451161381 | M:07703811381

Andrew’s Building Conservation Ltd

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ABC Ltd is a Shropshire based Chartered

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Andrew is an experienced, self-motivated

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encourage the use of all buildings.

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Surveyor and project manager. undertaking Specialising standard and surveying qualified manager. work. in Specialising and qualified in

historic building’s conservation but also undertaking

standard surveying work.

Why not give Andrew a no obligation call to discuss

your property and try and establish

a suitable way forward.

All projects considered

both large and small.

Andrew Shenton

BSc(Hons) DipCons MRICS HBPC

Andrew Shenton

Andrew Shenton


Contact Andrew 0345 1161381 or 07703 811381

Contact Andrew 0345 Contact 1161381 Andrew or 07703 811381

0345 1161381 or 07703 811381

Anne Netherwood

RIBA- accredited Conservation Architect

historic building’s conservation, but also

undertaking standard surveying We’ve worked work. on several conservation projects recently

including the repair of a farmhouse in France, alterations to a

listed terrace property in Wales and an extension to a Victorian

church in Shropshire. We aim to follow the SPAB guidelines

of minimum intervention - making a thorough survey, careful

conservative repair work and focus on good maintenance.

11 Cottage Fields, St Martins, Oswestry SY11 3EJ

Tel: 01691 778495 | 37

Mazda 3 Hatchback


“Just drive it.” Sue Cooke takes the all

new Mazda 3 for a test drive...

I always find the presentations at a

Mazda launch a bit technical. You know

that point when someone is blinding

you with science and a woolly cloud

descends. Well it does with me. But after

a painful number of questions to the

University of Bath Professor, I began to

understand why the ‘ground breaking’

Skyactiv-X engine is so fantastic. What

sealed my very favourable impression

was the following non-stop two hour

drive of the new Mazda 3 hatchback.

The handling capabilities, the really quiet

engine and the instant response to every

command were a breath of fresh air for

someone like me who just loves a proper

driver’s car.

The technical bit is this, the 2.0 litre, fourcylinder

Skyactiv-X engine is the world’s

first commercial petrol unit to combine

the spark ignition of a petrol engine with

the compression ignition of a diesel so

you get the free-revving performance

that you find with a petrol engine and the

superior response of a diesel.

Combined with Mazda M Hybrid

technology, fitted as standard, this

intelligent 24V mild-hybrid system

minimises fuel consumption, increases

fuel economy, up to 52.3mpg and

lowers emissions to 96g/km (depending

on model driven) by recycling energy

recovered during deceleration that

powers an electric motor that assists the


The new Mazda 3 hatchback with a

different engine, which I road tested a

couple of weeks ago is gorgeous looking.

I made a long journey to a motoring

celebration and as is usual at these

events, the hotel car park was full of

brand new models which everyone is

road testing! But the exterior styling of

the Mazda 3 hatchback still commanded

attention. It is the first production car

to embody the evolution of KODO

design which eliminates unnecessary

character lines meaning the design relies

on beautifully curved body panels that

reflect with dark metallic colouring and

bold contouring of the signature wing and

grille. It is stunning.

The quality cabin is comfortable and

stylish. Mazda says the hatchback

is specified with a level of standard

equipment never seen before on a Mazda

hatchback. The most useful technology

is the windscreen projecting colour head

up display which means without moving

your eyes from the road ahead, you can

see the speed of the road and the speed

you are achieving. There is Mazda Radar

Cruise Control and LED headlights and

every model features navigation, Apple

CarPlay/Android Auto and an advanced

eight speaker audio system.

Joining the family hatchback is a

compact premium small saloon. The

two body styles share just a bonnet

and windscreen, ensuring that the

saloon delivers a uniquely sophisticated

and executive look distinct from the


The 2019 Mazda3 has been awarded the

maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP

in its latest series of tests. Following

the Mazda6 last year, this is the second

Mazda to achieve an overall five-star

rating under the new, more stringent 2018

Euro NCAP crashworthiness ratings.

Other engines include a 2 litre Skyactiv-G

petrol or 116ps Skyactiv-D diesel engine.

There is a choice of a six-speed Skyactiv-

MT manual or six-speed Skyactiv-Drive

automatic transmissions. Additionally, for

the first time since the Mazda 323 AWD,

Mazda is offering an all-wheel-drive car.

The new Skyactiv-X engine adds to

Mazda’s ‘fun to drive’ line up. You don’t

need to understand the technical bits to

appreciate the good looks and superior

driving dynamics of the new Mazda 3

Hatchback Skyactiv-X. Just drive it.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Mazda 3 Hatchback M Hybrid

Price: £23,555otr

Engine: 2 litre Skyactiv-X Petrol 180PS

Sport manual

Performance: 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds

and on to a top speed of 134mph

CO2 emissions: 100/103g/km

Combined fuel consumption: WLTP


38 |

Children: getting them

interested in gardening

Here our resident gardener and radio personality, Matt Biggs

aka The People’s Gardener, explains the benefits of getting

children involved in the garden and how it provides them with

skills to help their development.

You and your children will enjoy every stage of the process. We

hear a lot about children not knowing where their food comes from

and, of course, if we don’t give them the info then, with all of the

distractions of modern living, it is not surprising if they think a chip

comes from the freezer aisle and kohlrabi is a character in the latest

Star Wars film!

Gardening for kids is just such a great thing - exercise, knowledge,

fun and hopefully an interest that will last them a lifetime, what more

do we need? Many garden centres offer kids activity days, whether

that is pumpkin carving, seed sowing or making animals out of fruit

and veg. there is a lot you can get them involved with and much of it

is free too. Many garden centres have clubs for children, and this is

a good option if you have one near to you. It is good for socialising

and excellent for learning the basics and having fun.

If you have a garden marking them out their own space is an easy

thing to do. It gives them a sense of responsibility and you can

make a bug hotel out of recycled bits and bobs, plan to grow some

herbs or mini veg, write down their favourite colours and hunt

through plant catalogues or online for suitable plants to match.

There are lots of skills involved in all of these activities, from maths

- how many plants do we need for the space, to practical skills

in making things, to research and planning skills - so one small

space can lead to a lot of learning! If you have a local country

show or fayre there will probably be a few children’s classes in that

too - making a miniature garden or a dinosaur from fruit and veg.

whatever it is take advantage of it - country

shows are a great day out!

So, having got the kids organised it is time

to do our own planning for summer, whether

you have a window box, a court-yard or

acres of space there is summer colour for

every option. If you are fortunate enough to

have a greenhouse then you can start early and bring on your own

plants, you can share with neighbours or garden clubs which is a

very economical way of gardening or you can visit your local nursery

or garden centre to see what choices are available - and there is a

lot of choice.

Every year Chelsea highlights a new favourite plant or colour

scheme, gardening magazines and books have so many ideas

- one of the most pleasurable jobs in the year is planning your

garden - and then - best bit of all, enjoying the fruits of your labour!

To discover more about Matt and his books please


Open 9.30 – 5.30,

7 days a week

Happiness is: your garden in Spring

It’s time to check your garden for “room for improvement” areas. Tired or mismatched

pots? The Plant Centre has an even wider range of planters this year, and locallygrown

bedding plants. Gaps in beds and borders or lack of all-season colour? Browse

our huge range of perennials from £2.49 (Barbara Austin) or £3.49 for the bigger 1L

pots. For instant impact we have large-sized plants too. Our shrubs are mainly grown in

Worcestershire so you can buy with confidence that they will be hardy and of excellent

quality. If you like indoor plants our ever-growing selection of houseplants, hanging pots and

cache-pots offers something new every week, with mini plants from under £2.

We offer FREE advice, FREE local delivery and we even gift-wrap plants for FREE!

Dog-friendly • Local delivery • Tel: 01584 856873

40 |

Everything for your house and garden - and more

• Bedding Plants • Shrubs • Perennials

• Trees • Fruits • Roses

• Seeds • Compost • Pots • Fencing

• Chemicals • Tools

• Free Local Delivery

• David Austin varieties grown under licence

• Stockists of Hillier Plants


Ludlow Homecare Ltd

Ludford Bridge, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1PE

Tel 01584 874554 / 876042 Fax 01584 873285 | 41


ask the experts

If you’re considering surgery, let

Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital

look after you...

Nuffield Health have been awarded both

the Health Investor and Laing Buisson

Private Hospital Group of the Year awards

for the last three years running, with

Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital

receiving a rating of ‘Good’ from the Care

Quality Commission.

It’s only natural to have questions or

concerns when considering potential

surgery. Why not obtain peace of mind

at one of our consultant led events,

where our specialists will be happy to

answer any questions you may have and

will explore the potential options and

best route of treatment, tailored to your

individual needs.

Our open events are hosted by our

specialist Consultants and are held in a

quiet and personal surrounding within the

Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital. The

events are completely free to attend, with

complimentary refreshments available

and free on-site parking.

We have two confirmed open events for

cosmetic surgery, both hosted by Mr Amir

Ismail. The first event on 23rd March will

offer complimentary mini-consultations,

providing you with valuable one-to-one

time with an experienced cosmetic

consultant. The second event on 30th

April will provide a wider overview and

will include a presentation, still with

the ability to ask questions. Mr Ismail

specialises in cosmetic breast surgery,

skin grafts, reconstruction surgery, eye

lift (upper only), thigh lift, ear pinning

plus much more. For a full range of

cosmetic treatments offered by Mr Ismail,

please visit


On Monday 23rd March, Ophthalmology

consultant Mr Ewan Craig will host a

presentation on cataract surgery, offering

an insight into the various lens options

available, helping you to decide what

the best option is for you. For a full

list of treatments that Mr Craig offers,

please visit


Mr Sunil Bhatia will share his experience

and knowledge of common oral and

“Our open events are hosted by our

specialist Consultants and are held in a

quiet and personal surrounding within

the Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital.”

maxillofacial problems on Thursday

2nd April. The presentation will also

explore the options available in terms

of treatment, such as submandibular

gland removal, with Mr Bhatia on hand to

answer any questions you may have. For

more information, please visit:


Are one of your hip or knee joints limiting

your lifestyle or causing you pain and

discomfort? Why not learn more about

hip and knee surgery on Thursday

23rd April with Mr Wilhelm Wagner and

Mr Richard Roach. Our orthopaedic

consultants will offer a thorough overview

regarding surgery on hips and knees.

For more information on the consultants

present at this event and to see the

treatments they offer, please visit www.

or www.nuffieldhealth.


Whilst it’s completely free to attend any of

our open events, booking is essential as

places are limited. You’re also more than

welcome to bring someone with you.

To book your place(s), please book

online at

hospitals/shrewsbury or call

01743 282628.

42 |


Parkinson's UK

Striding towards a cure together in Ludlow

Walkers across Shropshire are

being asked to sign up to ‘Walk for

Parkinson’s Ludlow’ second walk

and stride towards a cure by funding

groundbreaking research.

By taking part in the walk you will be

raising money for important research

into Parkinson’s. Research that can

change the lives of your family, friends,

colleagues and community.

Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing

neurological condition in the world, and

currently there is no cure, an estimated

145,000 people across the UK are living

with Parkinson’s.

There are over 40 symptoms of

Parkinson’s including loss of mobility,

pain and depression and every hour two

more people are diagnosed.

Parkinson’s UK is the largest charity

funding Parkinson’s research in Europe

and over the past 50 years have

invested £93 million into research

for Parkinson’s treatments. The

money raised for Parkinson’s will take

Parkinson’s UK a ‘step closer to finding

a cure’.

Emma Crouch and her Dad John

Heasman are calling on people to join

them on the walk because John’s wife

Anthea passed with Parkinson’s in 2018​

,​they hope that local people of all ages,

abilities and fitness levels will join them

on the day and take part in the walk.

John said; “My wife Anthea, struggled

with her symptoms bravely for the last

two years and funding research is vital

to help those with Parkinson’s, please

come and enjoy the walk and bring your

family and friends ”

At this family and dog friendly event, there

are options to take part in either a 1.5

or 5.5 mile route. Both routes will take

walkers through breath-taking scenery.

The walks will start at Ludlow Rugby

Club at 6pm and will finish there too.

Refreshments will be available and there

will be a tombola and book stall as well as​

the Shropshire Strummers Ukulele Band

to entertain.

The registration fee for the event is £12 for

adults and £6 for under 16s, in advance.

available. We ask walkers to aim to raise a

minimum of £50 in sponsorship.

Sign up here:,

call 0800 138 6593, or email

Emma Crouch and her father

John Heasman

All photos courtesy of

44 |







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Parkinson’s UK is the operating name of the Parkinson’s Disease Society of the United Kingdom.

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Parkinson’s UK is the operating name of the Parkinson’s Disease Society of the United Kingdom.

A charity registered in England and Wales (258197) and in Scotland (SC037554). © Parkinson’s UK

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- tekraMthgiR ni detaerC MA 02:14:01 | 45

Meet our

experts at a

free event on…


Thursday 26 March 2020

6:30pm to 8pm with Mr Oakley,

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hands and Wrists

Wednesday 15 April 2020

6:30pm to 8pm with Mr Powers,

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


Wednesday 1 April 2020

6:30pm to 8pm with Mr Pitman,

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


Tuesday 21 April 2020

6:30pm to 8pm with Mr Clark,

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


Thursday 9 April 2020

6:30pm to 8pm with Mr Mehta,

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Foot and Ankle

Tuesday 28 April 2020

6:30pm to 8pm with Mr Bissell

and Mr Rao, Consultant

Orthopaedic Surgeons

For a full list of our events,


Nuffield Health Hereford Hospital

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

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