Wealden Times | WT223 | Sept & Oct 2020 | Kitchen & Bathroom supplement inside

Wealden Times - The lifestyle magazine for the Weald

Wealden Times - The lifestyle magazine for the Weald


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Inspirational Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes

Nursery & Prep School

St Leonards, East Sussex TN37 7PW . 01424 751555

Senior School & Sixth Form

Bodiam, East Sussex TN32 5UJ . 01580 830396

enquiries@claremontschool.co.uk . claremontschool.co.uk/events

Be Yourself

at Claremont

”Being able to prepare young people for

Maths degrees at Harvard as effectively as

for Fashion courses in London is something

all our staff are deeply proud of”

Ed Dickie

Head of Senior School


From 3 months to 18 years

State-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre

Forest School up to Year 6

New Nursery & Pre-Prep

building for April 2021

01580 291221 jminteriorsuk.uk

Please call to arrange an appointment at our Biddenden showroom



We are actively looking for land for

residential development all over

the South East.

Based in Kent, family run Jarvis

Homes is one of the oldest known

house builders in the country and

has unrivalled experience in creating

the highest quality homes using

traditional methods.

We have a great track record of

successful planning applications that

maximise land values.

Plots of any size will be considered,

from half an acre to over 100 acres!

Contact us in confidence


01580 761300


JarvisNewHomesWT223.indd 1 27/08/2020 10:41

5 High Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3EB

01580 715144

Email: kld@kingsfords.net www.kingsfords-solicitors.com

We offer an excellent, swift and friendly service.

Conveyancing - Wills & Estates - Commercial Law -

Matrimonial Law - Prenuptial Agreements - Litigation -

Employment Law - Family Law - French Property

Conveyancing Services from £550.00+VAT

Wills from £220.00+VAT / Mirror Wills from £350.00+VAT

Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA's) from £250.00+VAT

(Initial fixed-fee appointments also available at our Cranbrook offices)

Litigation Solicitor from £200.00+VAT

Matrimonial Solicitor from £150.00+VAT

We will always try and match any quotation

Kingsfords Solicitors Limited registered office address 2 Elwick Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PD

Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority 621466



KingsfordSolicitorsWT208.indd 1 07/05/2019 11:00


September/October 2020













Maggie Alderson peruses the

best of the housing market


Home portraits, creative workshops

and a whole host of exhibitions


Take a guided tour of Sadie

Dorchester’s Victorian terrace


Our guide to Sadie’s signature style


Prime staycation spots


A sensitive renovation

of a period cottage


Imitate Rebecca’s dreamy pinks


We pick some of our

favourite designs









Josephine Fairley’s

beauty discoveries


Sarah Maxwell sings the

praises of online exercising


Jo Arnell’s recipe for a

spicy seasonal supper


Sue Whigham analyses her

garden experience of lockdown


Jo Arnell keeps the colour

coming as the garden

winds down for winter


The latest info from

around the Weald


How Frewen identifies and

supports dyslexic students

Published by Priceless Media Ltd. Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street,

Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF | Call 01580 714705 | Email info@priceless-group.com

Visit priceless-group.com Copyright © 2020 Priceless Media Ltd. The views of

the advertisers & contributors are not necessarily those of Priceless Media Ltd.









What Gabriella from Ashford School learnt



Hilary Wilce’s valuable advice


Planning for private school fees


Creative school talent


Find out ...


Win a beautiful casserole from Le Creuset


Jane goes pond dipping




24 pages of

contemporary ideas

and inspiration.

After page 88



View the new Kitchen & Bathroom Directory online at wealdentimes.co.uk

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Wow! Where do I start? The last few months have

certainly been a rollercoaster – and that’s a bit of

an understatement. After a long stint at home with

our families, the Wealden Times and Surrey Homes teams

have regrouped to put together the first of two double month

issues that we’ll be producing to complete 2020, before moving

back to our usual monthly magazine from February 2021.

We’ve so missed touring the South East taking in its wealth of

sights, events and stunning properties, but we’re now back with a

bang and eager as ever to catch up with where we left off. We were so

bitterly disappointed not only to have to cancel our 2020 Midsummer

Fair, but our Midwinter Fair too, and have spent the last few months

working hard to come up with an alternative to a ‘physical’ event.

It is with great excitement that we can now announce our Wealden

Times Midwinter Fair Online – a brand new online event which will

run from 12–15 November, where you can shop from the comfort

of your sofa, browsing gorgeous offerings from a host of hand-picked

exhibitors whilst taking advantage of special offers and discounts that

are unique to the Midwinter Fair Online. You can find out more

on the new website: midwinterfair-online.com where you can also

watch exclusive video interviews for inspiration and festive gift ideas.

In the meantime, browse this issue’s interiors shoots and our

special Kitchen & Bathroom Supplement, as I’m sure many months

spent at home have certainly highlighted more than a few potential

projects! Get your inspiration from our carefully curated pages.

Elsewhere, our regular contributors have resumed their columns,

with Josephine Fairley spilling the beans on her lockdown beauty

finds, Sue Whigham reflecting on how the last few months have

impacted on the environment, Sarah Maxwell’s analysis of an

exercise revolution and Jane Howard’s grounding reflection of

farming life. And Jo Arnell has been busy in both the kitchen

and garden, giving us her horticultural tips alongside cooking

up an autumn feast to brighten the shortening days.

Green and Pleasant Land

Andrew Lansley

Opens September 19

Sunny Intervals and

Gentle Breeze

David Atkins

Opens October 17

Enjoy your Wealden Times and Surrey Homes!

Wealden Times



O nline

12-15 November

Catalogues Available

Wealden Times & Surrey Homes Teams

Editor ............................................................................................ Lucy Fleming

News & Features Editor ...............................................................Rebecca Cuffe

Design Director ..........................................................................Anthony Boxall

Executive Chairman ...................................................................... Julie Simpson

Managing Director .............................................................. Vivien Cotterill-Lee

Sales Managers .................................................................................. Jen Shearer

Lisa Gordon-Hughes

Senior Account Manager ................................................................ Maria Hurley

Rachel Norrie

Wealden Times Show Director ....................................................... Flo Simpson


117 High Street


Surrey GU7 1AQ

T: 01483 860591


9 priceless-magazines.com

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McAllister Thomas Half Page Surrey.indd 1 19/08/2020 16:33





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01622 608400

Online Auctions

Since lockdown has been in effect, we here at Clive Emson

Auctioneers took the decision to move all of our upcoming

auctions online for the time being. This was a decision we

did not take lightly as we know a big part of an auction is

being able to attend and participate on the big day itself.

However, while there were discussions around the possibility

of hosting socially distanced auctions, we felt the logistics of

doing so would make managing the auction a difficult and

less inclusive experience for all.

More importantly, with the normal number of attendees,

as well as the issue of needing to sign contracts, we would

not be able to guarantee the safety of both of our staff and


Now almost five months on, we are overwhelmed with the

positive response we have received.

We understand for many that it could be difficult to get

accustomed to the change, which is why we aim to make

the process as easy as possible. Once registered online, all

lots are easily accessible, with all the relevant documentation

and information to browse before auction day itself. Once

the day arrives, users can then place bids on the lots as they

wish at the click of a button. Our next catalogues will be

available online on 4th September and 16th October.


Competitive High Profile

Bidding Marketing


Chance of



Selling By Auction is often the BEST method of sale. Each

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legally binding contract at the fall of the Auctioneer’s gavel.

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recognising that selling under the hammer achieves the best

possible price.

Many properties are sold by executors, trustees, power

of attorneys, beneficiaries, receivers, companies, local

authorities and government bodies as well as private sellers.



Vacant Residential for Improvement; Residential and Commercial Investments; Vacant Commercial; All Types of Land;

Development Sites & Conversion Projects; Garages (lock-up & compounds); Freehold Ground Rents and the Unique and Unusual.

Contact us to discuss available Lots

or to arrange a no obligation auction

appraisal on 01622 608400 or at


Upcoming Online Auctions

Wednesday 23rd September (bidding live 21st September)

Wednesday 4th November (bidding live 2nd November)

Join us on:


‘Looking for the convenience of a new build but wanting design choice?

– Why not have both’

Buying a bespoke home gives the prospective home owner the

opportunity to work with the developer to take on the design and

construction of their new home. Although the external elevations are a

fixed design (due to planning stipulations), the scope for personalising the

home is endless.

How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?

Open Plan living or do you want your own space?

Do you work from home and require a large office space?

Do you have a special requirement – for example adaptation for hoists

or bedroom facilities on the ground floor.

Are you a multi-generational family who need a home to suit individual

family requirements.

Bespoke build offers your vision to become a reality using our expertise

to create the home of your dreams.

Current plot availability

Linton Hill ME17 4AP

1/4 acre plot

Turnkey price £920,000

Call now for more information


01732 379947





of the


Water Features

Maggie Alderson picks her favourite homes on the market

Hales Place

The dream: This is a house of

such rare character – and Grade

II* listed to prove it – it includes

a listed cottage (attached by a

striking archway), a listed barn

and listed 16 th century turrets

and well house in the garden.

Where: Quite astonishingly, this

country house with 27 acres of

formal gardens, orchards, fields and

grounds, is at the end of a long

drive in the middle of Tenterden.

Setting: In its own green paradise,

within this picturesque small town.

Beds: 8 (three more in the

adjoining cottage) Baths: 3

Special features: Glorious beams,

panelling, carved wood and stone

fireplaces and a splendid oak staircase.

Pleasing details: There are two

staircases up to the first floor.

Outside: Stunning walled gardens,

further grounds with specimen

trees, swimming pool, tennis court,

pond and a lovely orchard.

Time to town: About an hour

from Headcorn (fifteen minutes’

drive), to Charing Cross, London

Bridge or Cannon Street.

Agent: Savills, Cranbrook

01580 720161 savills.com



Darling Buds Farm


The dream: A striking barn conversion

so-named because it sits on the farm

where the popular TV series was

filmed. It has an exceptional doubleheight

vaulted oak-beamed reception

room, with the kitchen and dining area

running off it. There is also a brickbuilt

shepherd’s hut in the garden.

Where: Just outside Bethersden.

Setting: On a quiet farmstead.

Beds: 3 Baths: 3

Special features: The beautiful beams are

a particularly lovely honey shade of oak.

Pleasing details: There is a groundfloor

en suite bedroom with an

external door, which can be let

as holiday accommodation.

Outside: A cottage garden, plus

expansive lawns with mature

trees and pastures, and a deck

overlooking the pond.

Time to town: It’s only seven miles

to Ashford, from where it’s 36

high-speed minutes to St Pancras.

Agent: Jackson-Stops, Cranbrook

01580 720000 jackson-stops.co.uk

Thornsdale Farm


The dream: Three uses of the word ‘location’

wouldn’t be enough for this gem, on three acres

in an AONB with beautiful views over the

tranquil River Rother and 100 yards of private

river frontage with a mooring and fishing

rights. The house is special too – a Grade

II listed Sussex Farmhouse, with generous

accommodation perfect for family life.

Where: At the end of a long private lane

outside Iden, ten minutes from Rye.

Setting: A peaceful idyll.

Beds: 4 on the first floor, with three more

rooms at the upper level Baths: 2

Special features: The triple aspect family

room is really lovely with doors out to

patios on both sides of the house.

Pleasing details: Beams,

inglenook, red brick floors…

Outside: As well as the river, there’s

a swimming pool and a large

pond, in mature gardens.

Time to town: Just over an hour

to St Pancras from Rye.

Agent: Warner Grey, Tenterden

01580 766044 warnergrey.co.uk

15 priceless-magazines.com



Have you got a large

garden or plot of land?

We are experts at working

with owners to maximise

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Industry leading experts

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Amanda and Robert Petch

June 2016

"The cost involved to try and

get planning on our land

were just not feasible for us.

Working with Country House

meant we didn’t have to risk

our money as they took care

of everything"

Mr C Partridge (Loose, Kent)

September 2016

For a free appraisal call 0843 557 4080



“Guy and team at CHH did a fantastic

job securing planning permission on

our rear garden plot. Although a fairly

problematic application (which took

over 18 months), they kept us informed

throughout the entire process.

I would certainly use them again”

David J (Oxted, Surrey)

January 2017

‘Our Focus Determines Your Reality’


MARDEN THORN £1,495,000


• Entrance hall • Four reception rooms • Kitchen and

breakfast room • Utility room • Six bedrooms (three

ensuite) • Partially walled garden • Summer house •

Garden w.c. • Garaging • EPC: n/a

Cranbrook School Catchment Area

CRANBROOK £1,295,000


HALL • Reception hall • Two reception rooms •

Kitchen/breakfast/sitting room • Utility room •

Cellar • Five bedrooms (two ensuite) • Enclosed

garden • Garaging • EPC: n/a

Cranbrook School Catchment Area

HAWKHURST £1,250,000


• Three reception rooms • Conservatory • Study

area • Kitchen/breakfast room • Five bedrooms (two

ensuite) • Attractive garden • Swimming pool with

pool house • EPC: F

Cranbrook School Catchment Area



BUILDING • Vaulted living/dining room with

mezzanine • Handmade kitchen/breakfast room •

Four bedrooms (one ensuite) • Garden • Parking

with charging point • EPC: n/a

Cranbrook School Catchment Area


The Cornerhouse, Stone Street, Cranbrook

01580 715400


Sales & Lettings Team

Jane Emilie Chez Cathy Sara Debbie Debbie S Sharon Caroline Dianne



for life

In uncertain times a

trusted helping hand

can be all you need.

Call us to learn how our investment and

wealth planning services can help you.

Follow us on: +44 (0) 20 7600 1660



The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors

may not get back the amount originally invested.

JM Finn and JM Finn & Co are trading names of J.M. Finn & Co. Ltd which is registered in England with number 05772581. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.




HIGH HALDEN £695,000

An individual three bedroom detached chalet bungalow which sits on

an approximate 2-acre plot with detached stable block and views over

open countryside, located on the outskirts of the desirable village of High

Halden. EPC TBC

HEADCORN £600,000 - £625,000

A delightful detached barn conversion with three bedrooms offering

a wealth of features including vaulted ceilings and exposed beams and

forming part of a farm hamlet situated on a country lane in the rural

outskirts of Headcorn, within easy access to the mainline station. EPC D

TENTERDEN £565,000

NO CHAIN. A well presented four bedroom detached family home with

two reception rooms and detached double garage, located in a popular cul

de sac just off the picturesque tree-lined High Street of Tenterden. EPC TBC

ROLVENDEN £550,000

Four bedroom detached period family home with a wealth of period

features, detached large four bay garage, self contained home offi ce and

views over the village cricket ground, located within the CSCA and in the

heart of the popular village of Rolvenden. EPC TBC

TENTERDEN £550,000 HEADCORN £650,000

A charming Grade II listed three bedroom cottage with a wealth of 1930’s detached family home which retains many of its original features, two

period features, together with the benefi t of off-road parking space, reception rooms and is ideally situated close to the local schools and within

located in an enviable position offering convenient access to the

easy access to Headcorn’s Village and Mainline Station to London. EPC E

picturesque High Street of Tenterden. EPC EXEMPT

MEET YOUR LOCAL Tenterden Team!


Over 150 independently owned branches across the UK. Jake, Andrew & Laura



01580 763 278


01233 613 613

01303 261 557


01303 210 335

Over 200 independently owned branches across the UK.


A Rene Lalique ‘Perruches’ bluestained

opalescent glass bowl,

circa 1931, model 419

SOLD FOR £1,900

• Regular selected sales including

Fine Art, Asian Art, Jewellery, Silver,

Clocks, Medals, Watches, Wines

and Furniture

• Weekly sales of antiques, collectables

and general items from £50 to £1,000

(Payment made in two working days)

• Free internet listing for all sales

• Free auction estimates

• Valuations for Insurance

and Probate

For a FREE valuation on items you would like

to auction, simply email your images to:


To arrange an appointment call:

01892 556 860



Grosvenor House, Grosvenor Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2BF

5532-Gorringes (WT) (Aug2020) 130x185b.indd 1 10/08/2020 17:25

If you think your land or property has development potential,

why not give us a call without obligation and in confidence.

GorringesWT223.indd 1 17/08/2020 17:26


Many of our clients retain our services and, in the majority of

cases, pay our fees saving property owners significant costs.

Commercial buildings for residential conversion, former public houses, redundant

buildings for redevelopment, buildings for conversion or replacement, houses

for improvement, large sites on the edge of town, barn conversions, large

gardens in residential areas and major regeneration projects.

Contact Stephen Donnelly on

07739 514350 or 01892 579937

website: sjd-projects.com

email: steve@sjd-projects.com

For regular updates, visit us at




SJDprojectsWT214.indd 1 01/11/2019 14:49






Ready to embrace life in a vibrant,

supportive community? Ready for easy

living in a beautiful home designed with

the future in mind? Ready to enjoy peace

of mind knowing help is at hand should

you ever need it? Then you’re ready to

move to Lynwood Village.

With virtual tours on our website,

real-life viewings (strictly in accordance

with guidelines) and our helpful sales team

available from 10am to 4pm seven days

a week, we’re ready when you are.










Terms and Conditions apply. Call our sales team on 01344 797830 for details.

Independent living made easy for the over 65s


Owned and operated by Ben

Ben – Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund. Lynwood Court, Lynwood Village, Rise Road, Ascot,

SL5 0FG. A charity registered in England and Wales (no.297877) and Scotland (no.SC039842). A company

limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (no.02163894). Registered with the Homes and

Communities Agency (no. LH 3766).

To arrange a visit, please call: 01344 797830

visit: lynwoodvillage.co.uk or

email: sales@lynwoodvillage.co.uk

Surrey, Sussex

& Hampshire’s

Premier Oak

Framed Specialist

Surrey Oak Barns is a specialist

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We offer a complete service from

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01483 420 258






Two Hundred Years

of John Ruskin

17 August -

102 November 2020

Including works by J. M. W.

Turner, John Everett Millais,

and Edward Burne-Jones.

Produced by YCBA.

Pre-booking required

for timed admission


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WellersOfGuildfordWT223.indd 1 03/09/2020 17:01


What to do and see near you this month

House Calls

Renowned Sussex-based artist Eli Ofir is offering

free house visits for South East residents until the end of

November, in line with Wealden Times Midwinter Fair Online.

If you’re interested in commissioning a portrait of your house in

Kent, Sussex or Surrey, you couldn’t ask for better. Eli is a full-time

professional House Portrait Artist, specialising in detailed English

period and current architecture. Last year he was commissioned

by Hever Castle to create a series of ‘Then & Now’ portraits that

will soon be made available as prints and stationery. With over

1,700 commissions for portraits of private homes over the past

decade in the South East alone, Eli is considered one of the

most sought-after and busiest artists in his field (and one of our

favorite Wealden Times Midsummer Fair exhibitors). These

days, in line with social-distancing restrictions, Eli is offering

to take photos of your house from the outside, and then

conduct a Zoom consultation a few days later to present his

thoughts and ideas. If you’d like to see if Eli can work his

magic on your property, the first step is to send him a few

initial photos to see if the house will benefit and be suitable

for his technique and artistic style. For more information and

consultation, please visit Eli’s website at homeportraits4u.co.uk



21... in Tunbridge Wells is back

and is kicking things off by offering

a 15% discount on any Hair and

Beauty combinations over £80 up

until Saturday 31 October (not in

conjunction with other offers and

not including retail products). This

little Georgian haven near The

Pantiles is filled with award-winning

stylists and beauty therapists who

are great at pampering and listening

to exactly what you want, all while

using enviromentally kind Aveda

products and (major bonus) they

even serve homemade cake with their

teas and coffees! 21londonroad.co.uk



Nature Refocused is an exhibition

hosted by Scarlett Woodman and

Hannah Buchanan at The Red Door

Gallery in Rye, between Wednesday

30 September and Monday 12 October.

The exhibition celebrates the South

East, where Scarlett and Hannah have

lived all their lives, and how they

reconnected with their surroundings

over lockdown. reddoorrye.com /

hannahbuchanan.com /


27 priceless-magazines.com


Top of the Crops

For three weekends in August, September and

October, Brogdale Collections is holding Heritage

Orchard Days to help save the Charity’s orchards.

Enjoy an orchard walk, fruit displays, juice

tastings, a family apple trail, cider sales and more.

Plus, included in the ticket price, for

the first time, you can harvest your

own apples and enjoy the use of

Brogdale’s lovely picnic field.




From September, The Bell in Ticehurst is teaming

up with Sussex’ premier creative course specialists,

Curious House, to run a series of one and two

day courses. The first course, from Monday 21 to

Tuesday 22 September, combines a picturesque walk

with creative writing. Other upcoming

courses include topics such as

modern calligraphy,

sculpting with wire

Hannah Peschar

Sculpture Garden

September is set to be a beautiful month

at The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden.

With weekends booking up quickly, be

sure to check ahead to book your slot.

They hope to partner up with some

local creatives for a few interesting

events through the month as well!


and lampshade

painting. Courses

are £95 a day and

attendees can enjoy special

rates on accommodation

at The Bell the night

before or after. A classic

double room including

breakfast costs £110 for

single occupancy or £125

for double. (These rates can

be extended for up to 4 days

if booking a course, subject to

availability.) curioushouse.net

Green and Pleasant

Nostalgic for home after travelling Europe,

Andrew Lansley returned to the UK to paint the

“green rolling hills of home,” with new appreciation of

them as “a symbol of comfort and contentment.” His

solo exhibition, Green and Pleasant Lands, opens at

McAllister Thomas Fine Art of Godalming on Saturday

19 September. For more information and an exhibition

catalogue contact the gallery. mcallisterthomasfineart.co.uk


A real breath of fresh air. In collaboration with Watts

Gallery Trust, Surrey Hills Arts presents the Forest Listening

project by artist Liz K Miller. Wander through Limnerslease

woodland to hear the hidden sounds of a rainstorm recorded

from beneath the forest floor and see a display of blueprints

hanging from the trees, each one a visualisation of the forest

rainstorm sounds. It’s free with admission to Watts Gallery

Artists Village and will run from Monday 7 September to

Sunday 4 October. wattsgallery.org.uk



A Unique Gift That Will Last for Decades

Bespoke, Hand-Drawn Portrait of Your House by Eli Ofir

This original art piece could be a heart-warming and special gift to give yourself

or a loved one, especially in these challenging times, where our home has quite

literally become our ‘Castle’, and the place where we feel safe and protected.

Free house visit by the artist in the South East.

Receive a framed original and copy for stationery.

Visit Eli’s website, click on the Request Consultation

button. We will then contact you to talk about your house,

your vision, and your timetable requirements.



Making your Will

The The dangers of of DIY Wills, the the dangers of of the the unregulated sector and andthe the desperate

dangers of of on-line Will construction packages

Making a Will a Will can can be bessential to to ensure

suffer a loss a loss or or - worse - still still - inherit - solicitor taking the the instructions should get get

that that on on your your death certain assets are are nothing.

to to know know their their client client and and provide advice not not

distributed according to to your your wishes. If If

restricted solely solely to to the the Will Will but but to to related

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capacity. A AWill Will made made in in such such long-term care. care. Some online Wills Wills involve

Despite this, this, two twout out of of three three adults do do circumstances is likely is likely to to be be challenged

no no human contact at at all all - information - is is

not not have have a Will a Will in in place. Of Of those those who who do doafter after death. If that If that challenge succeeds,

inputted and and a Will a Will generated. Algorithms

have have Wills Wills these these often ofteneed need updating or or assets are are distributed according to to are are increasingly sophisticated but but can can a a

are are invalid. Why?

intestacy rules rules or or a previous a Will. Will. With With an anprogram provide tailored advice or or

ageing population and andisharmonious

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One One reason is cost. is cost. Wills Wills drafted by by a a families, contested Wills Wills are are on on the the rise. rise.

solicitor - who - who has has taken taken detailed

Using a solicitor a helps helps safeguard against

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needs and and aspirations as as well well expertise in in Your Your Will Will may may also also be be challenged if it ifcan

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statute and and common law law - have - have a price a price be be suggested that that it was it was procured

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tag. tag. This This can can be be off-putting, even even though

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contact us us now now on on 01892 510222, or or at at

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Wealden Times Hinged ring.indd 1 16/01/2020 18:18:51

Cover Girl

Former Fashion Director turned upholsterer,

Sadie Dorchester takes Antonia Methuen

on a tour of the interior of her spacious

Victorian terrace, the gorgeous result

of a seven-year renovation project

Words: Antonia Methuen

Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Holly Levett


Sculpture | Paintings | Prints | Art Advisory | Installation

Belgravia Gallery specialises in art by Nelson Mandela and HRH The Prince of Wales, and also has

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Contact us to arrange an appointment. We are happy to offer home or office visits

Previous pages & this page: The cabinet work and cupboards

in the kitchen have all been painted in a bright grass green,

Sadie’s favourite colour, with black accent walls around the range

cooker and the picture window Right: The family sitting room

Like many people who move to Hastings, Sadie

Dorchester and her family were only intending

to stay for a few months. Sadie and her husband

had spent nine years living in South Africa. In 2011 they

made the decision to return to the UK with their two

young children. “We rented a house as we had family

nearby, thinking we would end up in Brighton or Hove,

but in the end we really liked it and so we decided to

put our new roots in Hastings instead,” explains Sadie.

We are sitting at the well-loved pine table in her kitchen,

swathed in the sunshine pouring through the large Crittallstyle

picture window at the far end of the room. Sadie

is explaining the seven-year renovation and decoration

process that has transformed a large unloved Victorian

terraced house into her stunning family home. “We were

lucky, as we were renting a house a few doors down when

we first arrived. So when we bought this place, and were

gutting it from top to bottom, I was able to easily visualise

each room and what to do with it, as I was living in the

blueprint of the same space just a few doors down!”

Sadie decided the easiest thing to do, due to the size

and scope of the renovation, was to strip and re-plaster the

walls and strip the floors across the entire house and

43 priceless-magazines.com

A stunning etched glass light fitting, comprising five glass baubles hangs over

the dining table. “I wanted a light like this for ages. Then one day I popped

into a local shop and there it was!” says Sadie. “I had to get the wiring re-done

to make the drops longer, but it was exactly what I had imagined.”

then paint all the walls and the stairs white. She could then

move her young family in and begin to add colour and

personality without any pressure. Pregnant with her third

child, moving into the new house was a priority for the

family, but a new baby meant that Sadie’s interior design

ideas had to be put on hold for a few years whilst she

focused on being a mum. “I had been very sick in South

Africa, and had to stop work having contracted bacterial

meningitis when my second child was very young. I wanted

to focus on family life after moving back from South Africa.”

Slowly taking her time, Sadie eventually began to add her

unique style and eye for design to the house. “The kitchen

and garden renovation was finished three years ago,” says

Sadie. “At the back of the house was a loo, a utility room

and the kitchen. It all felt very removed from the rest of

the house as well as from the garden. It was that very old

fashioned sort of layout where everything was hidden away.

Also the house is on a hill so we had to have the garden

terraced, to push it back from the house and give us more

light and space at the back and a better working garden. We

then opened up the whole area around the old kitchen,

knocking it all through and added the large window



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In the dining room, the colour palette is also in tonal greens, like the

kitchen, and a dark slate grey. An accent wall in House of Hackney

palm print wallpaper gives the room a fashionable edge

47 priceless-magazines.com

This page: Houseplants and flowers are found in almost every room, from the bathroom to the bedrooms, the kitchen to the living rooms

at the back to flood the new room with sunlight. I really

wanted a kitchen that could be the heart of the home,

where we could all eat and live as a family. It’s always tricky

trying to make a Victorian house work in a modern way

to suit our lifestyle, but I think we have achieved it now.”

The cabinet work and cupboards have all been painted

in a bright grass green, Sadie’s favourite colour, with black

accent walls around the range cooker and the picture

window. “I wanted an island but I knew that in the

space we had available, any off-the-shelf kitchen wouldn’t

work. There are also very few right-angles in this house,

everything runs off, so we had to have the kitchen handmade.”

The expense was however entirely worth it, as all

the cupboards seem to disappear, with the bright green

echoing the garden outside, allowing the room to be more

like the family entertaining and living space that Sadie

had desired, than a functional and utilitarian kitchen.

“I love sourcing things,” says Sadie. “So much of the

furniture and accessories in the house I found on Ebay or

in local antique shops. The Hastings Antique Centre on

Norman Road is one of my go-to places. I also love mixing

the old with the new.” In the kitchen – where the vintage

pine table and kitchen chairs and armchair sit next to slick

contemporary Philippe Starck dining chairs, Carrera marble

worktops and three large industrial BTC lights – and next

door in the dining room, the same mix and match style

continues. The colour palette is also in tonal greens, like the

kitchen, this time with accents of Farrow & Ball Nearly



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This page: Sadie’s own bedroom is decorated in a palette of dark and light greys, golds and leather


Black. A wall papered in House of Hackney Palmeral gives

the room a fashionable edge. Sadie has picked up an apricot

colour in a piece of artwork by local artist John Lipsham and

dotted it around the room in the Love Frankie lampshade

on the standard lamp, the leather upholstered armchair

that is also mimicked in the piano and stool. A stunning

etched glass light fitting, comprising five glass baubles

hangs over the dining table. “I wanted a light like this for

ages. Then one day I popped into a local shop and there it

was!” says Sadie. “I had to get the wiring re-done to make

the drops longer, but it was exactly what I had imagined.”

Just like all the other rooms in the house, light floods

in to every room. A set of glazed double doors lead

into the garden to the rear of the house. Indeed the

inside-outside conversation is apparent throughout the

entire house that is blessed with views to the rear of the

terraced private garden and to the front of the house over

the leafy Alexandra Park. Sadie also keeps this theme

flowing with the use of houseplants and flowers that

are found in almost every room, from the bathroom

to the bedrooms, the kitchen to the living rooms.

The dining room leads directly into the large family

sitting room. Sadie explains that she uses the designer

Abigail Ahern’s 60/30/10 colour ratio in each room.

Inspired by the William Morris fabric on an armchair, the

room follows the perfect ratio of Farrow & Ball Drawing

Room Blue on the walls, blue accessories and upholstery,

Farrow & Ball Old White on the oppositional walls,

51 priceless-magazines.com

This page A cluster of mismatched floral lampshades that Sadie found on notonthehighstreet.com hangs from the soaring ceiling in this

peaceful bedroom

and a soft pink as the accent. Also applying her love of

mixing old and new, Sadie re-upholstered an antique

chaise in soft pink velvet which she trimmed herself. A

contemporary sofa that the family brought back from South

Africa sits under a Cameron Design sculptural lampshade.

“I bought that lampshade when the designers had just

launched at London Design Week. They are huge now,

but back then they drove all the way down from Camden

and installed it themselves!” Artwork on the walls were

gathered during the family’s travels in South Africa as well

as from Zimbabwe and other pieces from closer to home.

Although Sadie had been a high-flying Fashion Director

back in South Africa, on her return to the UK she decided

she wanted to follow a less pressurised career path. With

three young children and a new home, she didn’t want

to return to commuting up to the city. She explains how

her new career blossomed. “My former neighbour was a

surface print designer and so we decided to collaborate

on repurposing some old chairs with her fabrics. The only

trouble was the cost of upholstery was taking up all our

profit margin. I had always loved sewing, knitting and

crochet, so I thought, why not try it myself, and so I decided

to re-train as an upholsterer. I spent a year on a course

in Shoreditch and then found myself in a basement in




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This page: The family bathroom’s bespoke vanity unit was created from an eBay find sink, a metal trolley from Rusty’s Reclamation,

some scaffolding boards and a chunk of slate

Tunbridge Wells working as an apprentice. I used to laugh

when I looked at myself, working away for nothing after

my life in fashion. How things had changed since South

Africa!” However Sadie’s hard work paid off and over the

past two years she has set up her own upholstery business,

Sadie Dorchester, creating contemporary upholstered

storage pieces and cushions inspired by artists like Georgia

O’Keeffe and the Russian artist Kasimir Malevich.

“It’s been great, having set down roots in Hastings I now

feel my family are settled and I can begin to focus again

on my career. The new business has taken over 18 months

of experimentation, creating and developing designs,

building a website (sadiedorchester.com) and attending

retail fairs, but now I am really excited by the future. I

want to develop the storage range and my designs and also

look at possible collaborations and consultancy. I have

started doing cushions as well, and I think the designs are

strong and unique and really reflect my overall aesthetic.

I would love to work on a hotel project for instance.”

Throughout the house Sadie’s own designs are dotted

around the rooms. Beautifully upholstered inside and out

with her signature wool fabric in abstract patterns, strong

colour combinations and bespoke feet, Sadie’s storage pieces

provide the perfect combination of style and practicality.

In the hallway and in each of the bedrooms, her boxes sit

elegantly, working effortlessly with the different styles

55 priceless-magazines.com

Sadie decided the

easiest thing to do, due

to the size and scope

of the renovation, was

to strip and re-plaster

the walls and strip the

floors across the entire

house and then paint

all the walls and the

stairs white. She could

then move her young

family in and begin

to add colour and

personality without

any pressure.

she has created within each space. From the hallway, where

brass feet sit under a chic pink, cream and black design

to her son’s top floor bedroom where the box of blues

and greys sits under an explosion of abstracted shards of

red and blue (inspired by a pet pygmy hedgehog and a

splash of futurist graffiti). Within the other bedrooms,

the boxes again add a contemporary touch. In Sadie’s own

bedroom, with its palette of dark and light greys, golds

and leather, there are two upholstered boxes in a range

of contrasting colours, adding the perfect counter to the

colours and textures she has curated within each room.

Sadie Dorchester took a blank white canvas and roomby-room,

floor by floor, has transformed a vast Victorian

house into a family home bubbling with character and

life. From the bright green hand-made kitchen to the vast

family bathroom, with her bespoke vanity unit (created



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GrahamClarkeWT223.indd 1 07/09/2020 OakGlasshouseWT223A.indd 11:14

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• Automation, repairs, servicing

and installation

• Entry phones and access control

• Repairs and servicing of

• existing systems

• Hardwood and metal gates made

to order for automation and

non-automation purposes

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automated electric garage doors



TEL: 01483 379954



57 priceless-magazines.com

HarrierGatesS60.indd 1 20/09/2019 11:11



+44 (0)1892 574 576



Sadie’s storage pieces provide the

perfect combination of style and

practicality. Her designs are dotted

around the rooms, beautifully

upholstered inside and out with her

signature wool fabric in abstract

patterns, strong colour combinations

and bespoke feet

from an ebay find sink, a metal trolley from Rusty’s

Reclamation, some scaffolding boards and a chunk of slate).

Sadie’s unique eye for colour, shape, design and texture

is apparent throughout. The blending of the old and the

new, the neutral and the bold, the soft and the angular is

also fully reflected in her own storage and cushion designs.

Hastings has provided a home and a sanctuary to the

family and has in turn allowed Sadie the space and time

not only to raise her young family, but also to develop her

new career. It is a journey that I for one, cannot wait to

see develop and perhaps stay in the first Sadie Dorchester

interior designed hotel in the not-too-distant future.

Address Book:

To find out more about Sadie Dorchester’s

furniture designs and to speak to her about

bespoke commissions, visit sadiedorchester.com

Cameron Design camerondesignhouse.com

The Hastings Antique Centre St Leonards 01424 428561

House of Hackney houseofhackney.com

Love Frankie lovefrankie.com

Rusty’s Reclamation Bexhill 07970 349199

59 priceless-magazines.com

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Xero is online accounting software that helps you to save time on your paperwork

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TenterdenRoofingWT202.indd 1 22/01/2019 15:08

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HildenParkAccountantsWT223.indd 1 02/09/2020 OohHowLovelyWT223.indd 13:05

1 04/09/2020 13:06

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1 Paints in Urbane Grey, Smalt and Atomic Red, £47 for 2.5L (Absolute Matt Emulsion), Little Greene littlegreene.com

2 Drift pendant, £385, Tom Raffield tomraffield.com 3 Amelia pendant £375, Elstead Lighting elsteadlighting.com

4 Franklin pendant, £135, Elstead Lighting elsteadlighting.com 5 Saloon cluster pendant, £129, Wayfair wayfair.co.uk

6 Marquis Mirror, £175, Respire Living respireliving.com 7 Sketches, from £170, Neptune neptune.com 8 Bongy

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61 priceless-magazines.com



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Wealden Times



O nline

12-15 November



After making the incredibly difficult decision to postpone this year’s Midwinter Fair to

2021, we are thrilled to announce that we will be running our very first Wealden Times

Midwinter Fair Online from Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th November 2020.


Visit midwinterfair-online.com to

register for VIP shopping access

and be one of the first to receive an

early-bird discount code to shop with.

During the weekend we will also be

bringing you exclusive interviews

for inspiration and festive gift ideas.

Follow us @wealdentimes for up to

date information and sneak previews

of what will be on offer.


Browse our handpicked mix of

exhibitors across fashion, jewellery,

homewares and foodie treats and use

the special code to unlock discounts

and offers unique to our four-day

online event. We’ve got all the

ingredients to ensure Wealden Times

Midwinter Fair Online is the perfect

start to your Christmas.


With many of your favourite

exhibitors joining us – and of course

we’ve handpicked some gorgeous new

ones, too – get Christmas sorted,

all from the comfort of your own

home. With purchases delivered to

your door, they’ll be ready for you to

beautifully wrap at your leisure.


“The most spectacular open skies

and an opportunity to get close to

nature in the cosy comfort of our

Shepherds Huts on the beautiful

Romney Marsh”

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Aldington, Kent TN25 7BT

01233 721800


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RomneyMarshWoolsWT223.indd 1 14/08/2020 EverndenInteriorsWT223.indd 15:40

1 26/08/2020 15:31

Come visit us in store

for a warm, friendly

welcome, stocking

all your needs for

outdoor pursuits.

Our store is open 5

days a week, visit us at





ME13 0NX

Wed Sat 10am - 4pm


01233 742700



IntheCountryWT223.indd 1 02/09/2020 12:55

Love where we live

Explore a wealth of unique staycation choices right on your doorstep

Escape from it all... Wealden Times fair favourites,

Romney Marsh Wools recently opened up their traditional

shepherds huts with a touch of luxury, situated at the heart of

the family farm on the Romney Marsh. Savour vast open skies,

miles of Kent countryside and beautiful, peaceful surroundings

which make this the perfect rural retreat to relax and recharge.

The huts are fully equipped with a double bed, kitchen and

outdoor fire pit plus a built in loo and shower room. Settle

in for a night under the stars, or cosied up with the log

burner, you can enjoy the huts in all seasons, experiencing

summer sunsets and crisp winter mornings, as well as all

the colours of autumn and the famous marsh mists in the

spring. Find out more at romneymarshshepherdshuts.co.uk

and book online at kentandsussexcottages.co.uk.

Quirky credentials... The Bell in Ticehurst, East

Sussex has proven that a global pandemic won’t dim their aesthetic

ambition. Mustering a local workforce, who had just finished a

fabulous refurbishment of their function rooms prior to lockdown,

the already gorgeous garden at The Bell has been lavished with love

to create counter-Covid spaces to eat and drink. The Potting Shed

platform’s corrugated iron pods, reminiscent of allotment sheds,

for groups of 4 to 6, will delight customers as catering is taken al

fresco for the summer to enjoy food by Head Chef, Oscar, who

will be cooking up a storm on an industrial sized barbecue. Whilst

inside, The Bell’s seven beautifully decorated hotel bedrooms

and four rustic lodges offer an ideal base from which to explore

the gems of the South East or to settle down to enjoy a blissful

five minutes’ peace. The Bell is currently open for drinks from

12 noon to 10pm daily, serving food on Friday, Saturday and

Sunday from 12 noon until 8.30pm. thebellinticehurst.com

Family-friendly luxury... Once home to celebrated publisher

and backstage politician 1st Baron Beaverbrook, the quintessentially

English Beaverbook estate in Leatherhead overlooks the picturesque

Surrey Hills. This beautiful 470 acre estate boasts a stunning spa,

several places to eat, a cookery school and a private cinema. Opt to stay

in either The House, The Garden House or The Coach House where

you can expect warm hospitality coupled with impeccable design. Relax

in spacious, interconnecting rooms and take advantage of a dedicated

kids’ club for over 5s, woodland outdoor area (complete with tree house

and teepee) and endless on-site activities which make the Beaverbrook

Estate the perfect destination for a family getaway, without having to

compromise on luxury and style. beaverbrook.co.uk

A romantic escape... With 12 boutique

bedrooms to choose from, Weybridge’s Hand &

Spear is the perfect retreat for immersing yourself

in an indulgent staycation. Order room service to

deliver your freshly cooked breakfast to your room

and enjoy hearty British classics, seasonal vegan dishes

and lighter nibbles in the stylish pub and garden.

Take advantage of Hand & Spear’s summer promotion,

where you can enjoy two nights’ bed and breakfast, with

complimentary Warner’s Rhubarb Gin and Fever-Tree

Mediterranean tonics, plus dinner included on the first

night, for just £95 per person. handandspear.co.uk



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SlumberBoutiqueWT223.indd 1 03/09/2020 RuralPlanningPracticeWT223.indd 17:46

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Stay Home and Release Equity – is this a way forward?

The last few months have seen such

immeasurable changes in every element

of our lives and the Equity Release

market has certainly adapted to try and

cope with the ongoing demand for applications.

Local adviser, Sarah Ferrell, has been speaking

with an increased number of people who

are concerned about their own finances but

who are also looking at their properties as a

means of helping their children financially as

a result of the impact of the coronavirus.

How might Equity Release be a solution?

There are two “new” reasons why people

may be considering Equity Release.

In order to be eligible for Equity Release you need

to be 55. Many people who have been furloughed

or whose businesses have taken a downturn are

worried about how they are going to continue

to pay their mortgage. Whilst it is generally

advisable not to consider Equity Release at too

young an age, there are a number of routes

available that will enable people to continue

to service the loan and for those home owners

over age 55 who are concerned about their

ongoing mortgage and the affordability of this,

Equity Release may be an option to consider.

Not only are people finding they need financial

assistance for themselves but many retired people

have seen their children struggle financially over

the last few months and are looking at using the

equity in their own homes to help their children.

Whatever the reason for considering Equity

Release it isn’t right for everybody. Many schemes

allow ongoing payment of interest and capital

and the long-term figures do not have to be as

“scary” as many people think. This said, in many

situations Equity Release will have a longer-term

impact on the equity remaining in a property

and should only be considered after seeking full

advice as to the variety of routes available.

Sarah says, “I have seen Equity Release do

so much good for so many clients however I

have also spoken to people who have entered

into schemes without seeking appropriate

advice and have been confused”.

In Sarah’s opinion somebody considering

Equity Release needs advice, guidance and

information that is relevant to their particular

situation and with over 27 years’ experience

in finance Sarah takes pride in the time

and care she takes with her clients.

Call Sarah on

07789 007447 / 01622 631372



Equity Release can reduce the value of your estate and can affect your eligibility for means tested benefits.






67 priceless-magazines.com

Sarah Ferrell, local Equity Release Adviser,

spends much of her time talking to people

SarahFerrellWT223.indd 1 01/09/2020 17:52

who are retired, or approaching retirement,

and are considering their financial options.



Interior Vocation

Words: Jo Arnell Photographs: David Merewether Styling: Holly Levett

With an eye for design that she has honed working

on the complete renovation of her own period

cottage, and following a career in events management,

interiors lover Rebecca Middleton has hit the ground

running with the start of her new company

69 priceless-magazines.com

The Garden Flooring Company

beautiful driveways and patios, beautifully created

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Urban&GreyWT223.indd 1 18/08/2020 14:23

“I wanted a statement

floor with a pop of colour.

I have collected things

over a long period of time

and pink just seems to run

through most of the rooms”

Previous pages & above: A huge pink lampshade by Anthropologie hovers over the dining table. The tiles on the walls in the

kitchen, from Bert & May, miraculously match the floor tiles

Give me a child who constantly changes their

room around and organises ‘photoshoots’ of

the results and I’ll show you a future interior

designer. Except that life is never quite that simple. All too

often in our lives other influences take precedence over

formative ideas and we find ourselves far from our early

dreams. It takes courage and determination to listen to

those inner thoughts and allow our dreams to flourish.

We are at the home of Rebecca Middleton and it has

now been a year since Rebecca gave up her career in

events management and officially came out as the interior

designer she always knew she was. As we step over the

threshold of her period cottage she makes it clear that

this is not the interior of a show house, but her own

lovingly curated and characterful home – dear to her heart

and very different in style to the interiors she designs

for her business, Rebecca Middleton Refined Luxe.

“The style of this house is not at all the style of my clients

or even my partner’s house – there it is more neutral, with

greys, navy and marble tiles.” Rebecca stresses that this is not

a prescriptive look; she is flexible in her approach and tries to

reflect her clients’ tastes within her designs. “I’m not like

71 priceless-magazines.com

Above: A cosy macrame-style swinging chair is adorned with blankets and suspended from the ceiling in the dining room

Kelly Hoppen or Abigail Ahern, where you either like their

style or not and you know what you are getting before you

approach them. Homes are personal. People have to go through

a process and have to bring their own personality into it.”

Rebecca has lived in her house for 10 years, auspiciously,

she says with a smile, moving in on Friday 13 August 2010.

Since that fateful day, she has lovingly modified and updated

the whole house, building a kitchen extension, relocating

the bathroom and reinstating some of the period features to

the cottage. “The bathroom was downstairs,” she explains.

“There was an outhouse for the washer-drier and the people

who lived here were using gas heaters.” The ground floor

needed some serious updating and a priority was to move

the bathroom upstairs. “I didn’t want to traipse up and down

the stairs,” she says, “the bathroom should be near to the

bedrooms.” Rebecca also felt that the ground floor needed



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73 priceless-magazines.com

BupaUkWT218.indd 1 24/02/2020 11:54

to be expanded to balance the house. “The downstairs was

too small and didn’t reflect the three bedroom home, so we

opened it up and extended the kitchen to make it all more

suitable for a family.” As a result there is now a spacious

kitchen diner and separate sitting room on the ground floor.

The property is part of a terrace that was built to house

mill workers and their families. The original mill looms

quietly at the end of the street, transformed from a place of

industry and toil into luxury apartments, overlooking the

now tranquil mill pond. The line of terraced houses was built

all at once – for economy and ease of construction, and the

original floorboards run right through all the houses. “You

can see them continue upstairs, through the wall into next

door,” Rebecca explains. Each front door opens straight into

what would have been the parlour and the stairs are tucked

into the middle of the building. At first glance, it’s as if there

are no stairs, just a small cupboard in the wall. “People always

think the door to the stairs is just a cupboard,” she laughs,

There is a subtle Alice in Wonderland theme in here, highlighted by a

neon ‘Follow the White Rabbit’ sign next to the imposing fireplace

75 priceless-magazines.com

Above: Dusky pinks and vibrant yellows are an eye-pleasing contrast in the sitting room

opening the narrow louvred door to reveal an unusually steep,

but space efficient staircase that teeters (unnervingly for those

with vertigo) up two flights to the very top of the house.

Rebecca’s instinctive and long held love of interiors came

to the fore as she began to renovate the cottage. “I did most

of it on my own – with help from my dad,” an electrician –

and all round handy person it turns out. “There was carpet

in the bathroom and the kitchen,” she grimaces, “the decor

was very dated – there was even horsehair in the plasterwork

on the walls.” They stripped out the interior, installed central

heating and replaced the original fireplaces, finding the

surrounds from various places, often in the north of England,

as this is where Rebecca’s family are from. “One came from

a skip,” she remembers. “My dad retrieved it – he asked the

owners first, then other items came from places like Hornsea

Pottery up north – it’s a real treasure-trove.” The hearth

in the sitting room is from Wright Stone and she sourced

the reclaimed radiators from Bygones in Canterbury.

Rebecca decorated the whole house herself, even

painting the reclaimed radiators and incorporating them

into her colour scheme. “I try to use good paint,” she

says. “The furniture is painted with Annie Sloan and

I use Little Greene, as their range has less toxins.”

The colours on the ground floor are dusky pastels, mainly

pink and pale blue and underpinned by the amazing pink

tiled floor by Bert and May. “I wanted a statement floor

with a pop of colour,” she explains. A pink theme was

becoming apparent through the house; “I have collected

things over a long period of time and pink just seems

to run through most of the rooms.” There’s a huge pink

lampshade hovering over the dining table by Anthropologie

and a whimsical swing chair dangling from the ceiling.



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Dulwich Spirit

Encouraging innovation and independence,

building confidence and resilience


This page: In the restful master bedroom an inky-blue wall and

period fireplace have replaced built-in wardrobes

The tiles on the walls in the kitchen, also from Bert & May,

miraculously match with the floor tiles, although Rebecca

had to paint the tops of them with Valspar masonry paint

from B&Q. There is a similar attention to detail in here –

even down to the pastel kitchenware from Bloomingville.

“The clear splash back was the thing that made me

choose Wren kitchens, as they were the only people

who seem to do a clear perspex splash back I didn’t

want to hide the exposed brick wall behind.”

Rebecca has been savvy in her choice of oven too.

“The Rangemaster cooker came from a friend of my

father’s. It was green, but I just changed the panels on the

doors – they have a service that enables you to do that,

so I chose cream. I try to up-cycle whenever I can.”

The back door was custom made by Sanderson Brothers

in Preston. Rebecca has big plans for the garden – which

seems to stretch an impossibly long way for a modest

cottage. Midway into the space a huge and joyous cherry

tree fills the view from the kitchen window, its pale pink

blossom drifting prettily into the kitchen’s colour scheme.

A pair of enormous insulating yellow curtains have

been designed to pull right across the front of the house,

engulfing the windows and the front door, creating a swathe

of comfort on a winter’s night – like wrapping the house

in a warm yellow blanket. “I settled on the yellow curtains

because they were cheap – the place I got them from

79 priceless-magazines.com

This page: The bathroom, previously a bedroom, is now a sleek and luxurious space with pale, olive green tiles

and gleaming sanitaryware

was closing down,” smiles Rebecca. The yellow colour now

cascades from the curtains as an accent throughout the

room. There is a subtle Alice in Wonderland theme in here,

highlighted by a neon ‘Follow the White Rabbit’ sign next

to the imposing fireplace. A pink occasional table has been

hand-painted to match the theme by Cathy McClymont. She

also painted the table and the picture in the kitchen diner.

“I like to source locally and support local businesses,”

Rebecca says. “I love the Wealden Times Fairs. Not

only is it a great day out, but I’m able to meet up with

entrepreneurs and local suppliers, make contacts and

source accessories and furniture for clients. My mum

comes down for them – and we always go on the

Thursday, have a glass of bubbly and go shopping.”

Sustainability is another key theme in Rebecca’s approach.

Up-cycling wherever she can, painting her grandmother’s

hall table, designing her own lights, made and installed

by her father. The set of three hanging lamps in the front

room were ingeniously turned into a single piece by

simply wiring them into a ceiling rose. Elsewhere there are

lamps made from a teapot and a bowler hat. It’s all a bit

Alice in Wonderland – which is a part of the theme.

“I wanted the decor to look eclectic, but still in keeping

with the stye of the house – this is not a modern house,

so I can install an authentic look, but with a twist. It’s

all about utilising the space,” Rebecca explains, adding

that clever storage can be a key to success. That and the

dreaded word de-cluttering. “There is not much storage

in this house, so I’ve had to streamline a lot. That can

be hard, especially with clients – I have a friend who

does wardrobe de-cluttering, which is very useful.”

There’s streamlining from an ease of living point of view

too; “flow-through ergonomics” says Rebecca, demonstrating

the concept in the kitchen with a handy water tap that’s been

plumbed in away from the sink. “Everything needs to be

nearby, so that there’s no stretch. I can fill a saucepan near to

the cooker while standing in one place,” she says. “I keep the

glasses next to the drinks fridge, with a chopping board above

it ready on the surface for slicing lemons. I like to make it so

that living in the space is as simple as hanging your keys by the

front door when you come in; having a place for everything

so that you’re not scrabbling around searching for things.”



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AlbanyFuneralsWT223.indd 1 14/08/2020 16:57

Finish shown – Antique distressed






CALL 01233 732179

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OrlestoneOakS57.indd 1 21/06/2019 14:14

This page: Up on the top floor, the space has been divided in two to

provide a guest bedroom and home office – handily combined with a

walk-in wardrobe and dressing room

As we go up those precipitously steep stairs to the first

floor bathroom, the cosy up-cycled look becomes one

of sleek comfort and luxury. This former bedroom was

transformed into a spacious bathroom seven years ago, but

has a timeless elegance and a retro, yet contemporary look.

The master bedroom continues the understated theme. One

wall – originally a wardrobe, but now re-instated as a wall complete

with a handsome period fireplace, makes a statement. “I chose a

feature wall, installed the master suite fireplace and wanted it to

be an inky blue colour – it came out purple when we first put it

on – and my dad said, ‘are you sure?’” Rebecca laughs. “The thing

is, if it doesn’t work you can always paint over it and cover it up

– don’t be scared. I do use tester pots with my clients, however at

home I have more conviction and trust in my instincts. I haven’t

had to paint a wall again yet.” The large framed photographs on

the walls are scenes and views from Rebecca’s childhood, taken

by photographer Christine Middleton (Rebecca’s mum).

Up on the top floor, the space has been radically altered. “It was

all one big room with a giant closet in the corner,” she explains.

“You had to walk through one room to get to the other, so I

opened out the staircase and made two rooms on either side.”

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Above left: The pale pink conveniently continues outside with the beautiful blossom of a mature cherry tree Above right: The guest

bedroom features a dreamy pink tassel pendant light from Homary

the house. The other is her home office – handily combined

with a walk-in wardrobe and dressing room. A feature wall at

the office end is papered with a Laura Ashley design, where

the wallpaper birds even have their own tiny birdhouses.

Rebecca is really enjoying being able to be working from

home. “Working for myself is much better. It suits my

temperament and gives me more flexibility – inspiration

comes at all different times of the day, so you can seize the

moment.” It also means that she can hone her practical

skills too. “I change things all the time. I enjoy re-styling the

interior on a daily basis; pottering around. I love being here,

it’s a proper home. And we’re doing the same in my partner’s

house in Surrey. I feel at peace – you need to feel safe in a

place, you know – relaxed and calm in your own rooms.”

The process of interior design incorporates an understanding

of how people use the spaces they live in and a respect

for that environment. “It’s an honour being invited into

somebody’s home – to be curating part of their life. For

me it’s about how people interact with their interior

and what makes it into such a joy.” It is clear that all the

practice Rebecca has had helping friends and family –

and in transforming this house – is going to pay off.

Address Book:

Find out more about Rebecca Middleton

Refined Luxe and her design services at

rebeccamiddletonrefinedluxe.com or call 07931 920566

Annie Sloan anniesloan.com

Anthropologie anthropologie.com/en-gb

Bert & May bertandmay.com

Bloomingville bloomingville.com

Bygones Canterbury 01227 767453

Find out more about Cathy McClymont’s

paintings by searching her name on facebook

or see Instagram @cathymcclymont

Homary homary.com

Hornsea Pottery can be sourced through

various websites including Etsy

Little Greene littlegreene.com

Rangemaster rangemaster.co.uk

Sanderson Brothers Preston sandersonbros.co.uk

Valspar valsparpaint.co.uk

Wright Stone graniteshowroom.co.uk

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Kitchen & Bathroom Supplement sponsored by

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Let’s look forward with a 2021 kitchen trend forecast from the experts

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A room flooded with light and pale Honed Carrara

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Charné Achterberg, founder of Ganz Interiors

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Kitchen & Bathroom Supplement sponsored by

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17 priceless-magazines.com

Kitchen & Bathroom Supplement sponsored by

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My Lockdown Loves

& The New Beauty ‘Normal’

Josephine Fairley gives us a run down of the gems she’s discovered

Oh, it’s so nice to be back. What a lot

has happened since I last shared my

beauty finds with you – but what an

extraordinary opportunity the last few months

have offered, as a beauty editor, to spend much

more time than usual trying out products, not to

mention perfecting my at-home beauty skills.

I wouldn’t say I’ve been lazy, over the past few

years – but I realised I have come very much to

rely on other people to dry my hair, paint my

nails and smooth my 10,000-steps-a-day feet to a

marble-like finish, so it’s been one of my proudest

achievements of the last few months that I am now

completely self-sufficient, on that front. I drew the

line at colouring my hair myself – although I do

rather wish that I’d been brave enough to go pink

or blue or mauve for a few months, as so many

people have done. Because really, anything goes

now, doesn’t it? (I also rather wish I had shares

in Bleach London, which has become everyone’s

go-to brand for crazy hair transformations.)

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you some

of my ‘lockdown loves’ – the products which

kept me going, and kept me looking more than

OK. I will never be without them again.

Dyson Airwrap Styler Volume+Shape, £399.

This is an arm and three legs – but amortised over

the last few months, I more than saved in blow-dries

what this cost me right at the start of lockdown.

It’s just so, so easy to use. If I want something easypeasy,

I can literally brush through my hair and

dry it. There’s no damaging high heat, and initially

I use the pre-styling drier to get out most of the

moisture, leaving it just damp. But to style into the

slightly flicked-out, tousled style I like, I use the

styling brushes and attachments that come with the

gadget, including curling ‘tongs’ using a super-clever

technology which ‘attracts’ the hair to the barrel (but

without tangling) to wave or curl. The Airwrap Styler

leaves hair unbelievably smooth, shiny – and I don’t

use the words ‘life-changing’ lightly, but this is.

Micro-Pedi, £39.99. Astonishingly, I walked 500

miles in lockdown. Only in local bursts as my ‘daily

exercise’, for sure, but that still took its toll on my

feet. So this truly came into its own as an alternative

to my Margaret Dabbs medi-pedis, so brilliant at

removing hard skin. Simply press the button,

and the roller at the top starts rotating.

Hold it against areas of hard skin

and it literally sandpapers them









Hand Sanitiser,



Paris Rouge






Rouge Lip

Ink, £31



Silk Face

Mask by

Edina Ronay,


to smoothness. Just takes a bit of practise to get

the pressure right: too hard, and it stops rotating

– because you’re doing it too hard. Lighten up a

bit, and whizz, whizz! Hard skin and calluses are

history, my feet have remained baby-soft, 24/7, and

walking is comfy as anything – so I can lace up my

trainers and hit the Hastings promenade once more.

L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Lipstick, £9.99.

So many Zoom calls… So many hours spent

staring at my face on screen (not something I love

at the best of times). What I found I needed was

a really long-lasting lipcolour, so that by the end

of the Zoom hour I didn’t look completely palelipped

and washed out (even though after these

endless Zooms of Doom, I felt it). This absolutely

bargain lip product is super-comfortable on the

lips; you honestly can’t feel it’s there, and there’s

none of the dryness so often associated with longlasting

lipsticks. I fell for a brick-y red called

Parisian Sunset – and that’s when I made my great

discovery, which is that it also does double-duty as

a brilliant, budge-proof cheek stain. I keep it on

my desk and do a quick touch-up, before calls.

Another great lip product has come into its own

lately: Chanel Allure Rouge Lip Ink, £31. This is

another long-lasting lip treat that I apply before I

need a bit of Chanel ‘armour’ to head outdoors into

the world of face masks and hand sanitisers, patting it

into lips to leave a stain. It sinks in, so that it doesn’t

stain my (gorgeous silk Edina Ronay) masks – check

out edinaronay.com for swoon-worthy styles – but

the tint’s still there when I un-mask later. Lip glosses

and lipsticks are pretty useless, at the moment,

because they stick to fabric – but this is perfect. (NB

I don’t apply it thickly, but pat the stain into lips.)

It’s A 10 Minute Miracle Hair Mask, £29 for

240ml (victoriahealth.com). I’m not sure of the

physiology behind the fact that everyone’s hair seemed

suddenly so dry in lockdown – perhaps linked to

being unable to get it trimmed. Thank heavens then,

for this pot of hair wonder, which worked minor

miracles. I slathered it onto seriously highlighted

hair that had lost its lustre and bounce, big-time;

it can be used as a 2-3 minute treatment, but I

actually left it on for 15 minutes, post-shampooing,

underneath a warm towel. The natural ingredients

which help to power this mask include apricot

kernel and sweet almond oils, linseed and oat kernel

extracts; there are silicones in there, too, and this

isn’t what I’d call a ‘natural’ product, but I honestly

couldn’t have cared less at that point. ‘Miracle’?

Always an ambitious claim, but not in this case.

Calm.com (iTunes). I’ve been tuning into this

app every morning for a couple of years but have

never needed it more than over the past few months.

Whenever things felt a tad overwhelming – as they

often did – I tapped the Breathe Bubble, following

instructions to breathe in and out while looking at a

kind of balloon inflating and deflating, to slow the

breath right down. There are all sorts of meditations

on breaking bad habits, focus, anxiety – you name

it. And you’ve got to love any website or app which

offers a Winnie the Pooh series, with episodes on

worry (that’ll be Piglet), pessimism (Eeyore), busyness.

Body Guard Fragranced Hand Sanitiser, £5

(bodyguardprotect.co.uk). We all need sanitisers in

our bags right now, and having trialled what felt

like a gazillion since they became de rigueur, Body

Guard’s are my faves. They’ve been created at a

perfumery in Provence, so you can tell that the focus

really is on fragrance. These exceed the required

alcohol level of 60% alcohol – but what I love is the

choice of four fab scents; my choices are Moringa

Blossom, a mix of divine white flowers that smell

very exotic, and Citrus – like a fresh, classic eau de

Cologne scent: uplifting, fresh, zesty and instantly

clean-feeling. Best of all? Super-affordable too.

For more of Jo’s beauty writing, visit beautybible.com

for daily ‘loves’ and features.




5 reasons why

your lockdown


may be lingering

Losing weight can be a simple exercise for a lucky few,

but for many people, weight loss is far more complex.

Weight loss is influenced by multiple factors and understanding some of

these can help you win what sometimes feels like a losing battle.

Dr Kim Prescott discusses a few reasons you may be

struggling to get rid of those last few pounds.


Just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean

you can eat it excessively. Avocados, nuts, fruit

and olive oil are essential components of a healthy

lifestyle, but when eaten out of balance with the

rest of your diet, they will contribute to weight gain.

It’s good to include healthy oils and fats in your diet but

watch the calories if you’re not on a strict keto programme.


On the other hand, eating too little can also make

it harder to shift those extra pounds. Your body

is fi nely tuned to protect itself, and when it feels

deprived of nutrients, it goes into starvation mode.

Your metabolism slows and your body will hoard anything

you eat as fat. If this goes on for a while, the body will

make every effort to slow down your weight loss in order

to conserve energy.

Your body functions most effi ciently with all the required

nutrients and minerals on board, so make sure you follow

a balanced nutrition programme, even when you’re cutting


Low calorie programmes can be highly effective for weight

loss, but should be carefully managed in order to avoid

metabolic slow-down and weight re-gain.


It seems to make sense to wake up early for a

workout, but only do this if you are getting to bed

early the night before. A lack of sleep not only

minimises the benefi ts of exercise, but endurance

is reduced as is your capacity for recovery after a hard

workout. Over time, you will start to exhibit the signs of

stress with prolonged increases in cortisol, a powerful

appetite stimulant, and infl ammatory changes in the brain

that result in memory loss and decreased mental acuity.

When you have a period of poor sleep, you get increased

ghrelin, the hormone that tells the brain you need to eat, and

decreased leptin, the hormone that signals you when you

are feeling full. This results in a voracious appetite that is

made worse by cravings and a slowing of your metabolism.

Place a particular emphasis on ways to manage your stress

and make sure you make an effort to get enough sleep!


One of the most common reasons for difficulty

losing weight is insulin resistance. Your cells

essentially become less responsive to insulin,

the hormone that enables the body to convert

the food you eat into the fuel you need for energy. Excess

glucose builds up in the blood and your body quickly stores

this as fat.

Some of the implications of insulin resistance are:

• you feel sluggish and low in energy

so you fi nd it difficult to exercise

• your body receives the message that you

need more food so you feel hungry all

the time – even after eating a meal

• Your brain doesn’t function as efficiently with

high blood sugar so you experience “brain fog”

You are at higher risk for diabetes and other chronic health

conditions if your waist circumference is greater than 37

inches (94 cm) for men, or 31.5 inches (80 cm) for women.

If this is you, speak to your doctor about the best ways

to prevent diabetes and future ill-health. Eating plans

for insulin resistance should be customised as certain

programmes are better than others - but need to be

appropriate for you as an individual.


Growing older, belly fat, nutritional deficiencies,

genetics and ill-health can all lead to a decline in

the effectiveness of your hormones, contributing to

an inability to lose weight. When you do succeed

in losing weight, however, your body is quick to respond to

changes that it perceives as harmful through a series of

“metabolic adaptations”.

Your thyroid hormones decline causing your resting

metabolic rate to slow down. Testosterone decreases, and

your stress hormones – particularly cortisol – are increased

leading your body to store fat. Just to add to this, you end

up with a constant feeling of hunger due to a number of

mechanisms mentioned earlier.

This cascade of events is exactly what you don’t want for

successful long term weight loss, and needs to be avoided

by including researched dietary principles like intermittent

fasting and calorie cycling to help prevent weight loss

plateaus and rapid weight re-gain.



Studies have shown that the majority of people who do

successfully shed pounds will regain around 60% of that

weight within 12 months. A specialist can help design a

programme that is tailored to your individual needs, and

that incorporates lifestyle changes and scientific principles

to help you to lose the weight and to keep it off.

There are a number of drugs that are licensed for weight

loss in the UK, and in some cases, your doctor may

consider it appropriate to prescribe one of these alongside

your diet and lifestyle programme in order to improve your

outcome and overall health. Drugs for weight loss should

never be used without medical oversight.

Dr Kim Prescott is a highly trained medical doctor with

a special interest in Lifestyle and Aesthetic medicine.

She has a particular focus on optimising health, weight

and hormonal balance alongside her aesthetic medicine

practice. For weight loss and lifestyle programmes, she

works alongside a team of specialists in exercise, medical

weight loss, nutrition and nutrigenomics to optimise long

term results of lifestyle programmes.

For more information, please send your questions to

Dr Kim: info@drkpclinic.co.uk or drkim@psmd.co.uk


Tel: 07394 567325


Sarah Maxwell explains how lockdown

has forced a fitness revolution

Prior to lockdown, just thinking

about exercise brought many

out into a cold sweat! Staying

fit and healthy meant you went

along to the gym, worked through

a stack of celebrity fitness dvds or

fitted a Pilates or Zumba class into

your already packed out schedule.

Between free online fitness sessions

on social media, to attending your

favourite instructor’s online Zoom

workouts (which we loved, after the

initial stresses of learning how to

use Zoom!), regular walks, cycling

and running started being a normal

part of many people’s daily lives.

It certainly made a huge

difference to overall health and

wellbeing for those who viewed it

as an essential part of their day.

One of my clients was training, as

we went into lockdown, for a 70 mile

running event which was to take place

over 24 hours in June. Like everything

else it was cancelled and as she was

using it as the basis to raise money

for four charities to celebrate her 60th

birthday she decided to take the event

virtual by running the distance locally,

so we took her training online early on.

Normally preparing for such an

event would involve a lot of running

in addition to the training I provided,

but this would have been difficult

with the various rules about exercise

outside of the home put in place by

the Government. We therefore had

to adapt the one-to-one training to

take this into account. She did already

have some exercise equipment at home

and bought a few weights, so it was

fairly easy to train her as if she was

in my studio. Having said that, it’s

easy to adapt what you already have

and before the arrival of the weights

tins and wine bottles were used!

In the end she completed the

virtual event successfully and, as she

said, “Online training can actually

be more intense and even more

effective as it really concentrates the

mind. It is still fun and we still had

a laugh as we would have done in

the studio but it is testament to that

training that I went into the virtual

event fit, strong and ready and I

completed it without a problem!”

This approach, of course, isn’t

for everyone – many people prefer

in-person training. Going forward,

as gyms and studios reopen, I

think there will be a real mix and

combination of in-person and online

training. Online has opened up a

whole new world of possibilities and

I, for one, am embracing it fully.

Sarah’s Lockdown Saviours

In my quest to explore the range of

online opportunities and branch out

of my comfort zone this is what I did

during lockdown to keep my spirits up.

Online experience 1

An online beginner’s flamenco class

in Seville with one of Spain’s top

instructors. I am only grateful that

this wasn’t videoed and hasn’t been

made public!

Online experience 2

A group taco making experience in

Mexico with my family and many

other families around the word. This

was hilarious because we failed to get

the correct ingredients and had to keep

muting ourselves as we shouted at each

other for not being organised.

Online experience 3

I decided that I needed to cheer my

daughter up, so booked us into a

Booty Shake class in Chile. I was

the oldest by about 30 years and

by far the most uncoordinated!

Lockdown pushed me way out of

my comfort zone and I needed it.

I now know that at the tip of my

fingers I can access opportunities

to train with whoever I like and try

so many things that I didn’t have

the opportunity to do before.

This is a whole new world for

us all. (You are so lucky that this is

print, not video because, I sing it

on video regularly – so badly!)

Online/offline and everything

in between, is something to

embrace and carry forward to

ensure a better and healthier future

for us and our loved ones.

Sarah Maxwell is a multiple awardwinning

Fitness and Lifestyle coach

and mum of two who juggles a lot

of balls. Find out more about Sarah

and her work at sarahmaxwell.com

Sarah shares her Fitness and Lifestyle tips

on Instagram @sarahmaxwelllifestyle

97 priceless-magazines.com



The change in season means we’re seeking

comfort and warmth. Curries are flavoursome

and invigorating, helping to keep us bright

through the darkening days. International

Coffee Day falls on 1st October and National

Curry Week later in the month; welcome them

in with these fragrant and spicy recipes.

Recipes: Jo Arnell

Photographs: David Merewether

Styling: Lucy Fleming

Onion and courgette bhajis

The hardest bit in this recipe is the eye-watering process of

slicing the onions. These bhajis are so simple to prepare and

may help to use up any courgettes still lurking out there.

Serves 4 Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 15 mins

• 2 free-range eggs

• 4 medium onions, thinly sliced

• 1 courgette, roughly grated

• 120g plain flour

• 1 tsp ground coriander

• 3 tsp cumin seeds

• 1 level tsp sea salt

• 3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if required*

For the mint raita:

• 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves

• 2 tbsp finely sliced cucumber

• 150g natural yoghurt

1 Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

2 Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan, then spoon out

the mixture carefully into small rounds, cooking 4 at a time.

3 As the bhajis crisp, transfer to a baking tray and keep warm.

4 Serve with lemon wedges, and cucumber and mint

raita (mix 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves, 2 tbsp finely

sliced cucumber and 150g natural yoghurt).

99 priceless-magazines.com

Bull Green,

Bethersden TN26 3LB

Tel: 01233 822463



Email: Shop@BullGreenFarm.co.uk

Email: Shop@BullG

We are a family-run farm rearing Dexter

cows, sheep and chickens. We believe

animals should be able to roam free in the

fields and enjoy fresh air and green grass.

We have a nicely stocked shop with fresh

eggs daily, home grown veg, and a variety

of local products such as Kentish honey,


jams, and occasionally freshly baked cakes.




We also have a freezer packed with locally

made pies and tasty treats.

TEL: 01580 890420 / 895320

17 The Parade,

High Street,


TN12 0LA

We are a family-run farm rearing Dexter

cows, sheep and chickens. We believe

animals should be able to roam free in the

fields and enjoy fresh air and green grass.

We have a nicely stocked shop with fresh

eggs daily, home grown veg, and a variety

of local products such as Kentish honey,

jams, and occasionally freshly baked cakes.

We also have a freezer packed with locally

made pies and tasty treats.

Bull Green,

Bethersden TN26 3LB

Tel: 01233 822463

Email: Shop@BullGreenFarm.co.uk

We are a family-run farm rearing Dexter cows, sheep and

chickens. We believe animals should be able to roam

free in the fields and enjoy fresh air and green grass.

We are a family-run farm rearing Dexter

cows, sheep and chickens. We believe

animals should be able to roam free in the

fields and enjoy fresh air and green grass.

We have a nicely stocked shop with fresh eggs daily, home

grown we veg, are and OPEN a variety CHRISTMAS of local products DAY such (SET as MENU) Kentish

honey, jams, and occasionally freshly baked cakes. We also

OPEN have a freezer AS USUAL packed ON with CHRISTMAS locally made pies EVE and & BOXING tasty treats. DAY

We have a nicely stocked shop with fresh

eggs daily, home grown veg, and a variety

of local products such as Kentish honey,

jams, and occasionally freshly baked cakes.

Bull Green, Bethersden TN26 3LB

Tel: 01233 822463 Email: Shop@BullGreenFarm.co.uk

We also have a freezer packed with locally

made pies and tasty treats.

JumeiraIndianRestaurantWT223.indd 1 07/09/2020 BullGreenFarmWT223.indd 18:02

1 19/08/2020 14:14

Reasons to visit

The Queen’s Inn

• A warm, friendly, relaxed atmosphere awaits you

• 1 AA rosette restaurant

• Covid precautions are fully in place

• New tapas menu available

• Delicious homemade sourdough pizzas

cooked in our wood fired oven

• 7 newly refurbished Luxury bespoke guest rooms

• Al fresco dining available

• Private dining room for hire

• Takeaway service available

• Fully stocked bar with gin and cocktail menu

• Large free car park for all hotel

and restaurant guests

• Large inglenook fire in our bar area

for those cozy winter nights

We look forward to welcoming you, all that’s

left for you to do is sit back, relax and enjoy

The Queen’s Inn, Rye Road, Hawkhurst, Kent, TN18 4EY | 01580 754233 |




QueensInnWT223.indd 1 03/09/2020 16:48

Easy Monkfish curry

This curry can be made with any firm white fish and if you make the

sauce in advance and refrigerate overnight (or freeze until needed)

it can be made very quickly.

Serves 4 Prep time: 20mins

Cooking time: approx 30mins

• 1 tsp



• 1 tsp turmeric

• 1 tsp cumin seeds

• 1 tsp dried red chilli

• 1 tsp garam masala

• 2 sq cm piece root ginger,

peeled and grated

• 4 garlic cloves, crushed

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 1 tbsp tomato puree

• ½ tin chopped tomatoes

• 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk

• 1 tbsp soft brown sugar

• 800g firm white fish fillets,

cut into chunks

• 2 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil

• handful chopped coriander (1-2 tbsp)

1 Add all the spices and oil

to a heavy-based pan and fry

lightly for 2-3 minutes.

2 Add onion and cook for

5 mins until soft.

3 Add in the tomato puree, tomatoes,

coconut milk and sugar and simmer

for 15 minutes until the mixture

thickens and reduces a little. At this

stage you can refrigerate or freeze

the sauce until ready to use.

4 Gently add the fish (try not to stir

too much or less firm-fleshed fish will

fall apart) and cook for a further 10

minutes, until the fish is just cooked

through, but not overcooked.

5 Garnish with fresh coriander

leaves and serve with rice.

Coffee and cardamon

(no-churn) ice-cream

This is adapted from Diana Henry’s

recipe and is the simplest ice cream I’ve

ever made. Actually, I don’t make much

ice-cream, as the thought of having

another kitchen-clogging machine puts

me off, but the addition of a single

ingredient means that you don’t need

an ice-cream maker: condensed milk

sweetens the ice-cream, but also keeps

it smooth and creamy – as if you’ve

gone to the trouble of churning.

1 Simply whisk 300ml of double cream

until it thickens to ‘soft peak’ stage.

2 Gradually add the condensed

milk and other ingredients,

whisking gently all the while.

3 Pour into a container and

freeze for at least 4 hours.

4 Leave out for a few minutes

to soften, then serve.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 mins plus freezing time

• 4tsp instant coffee dissolved

in 2tbsp water

• 15 cardamom pods – remove

seeds and lightly grind

• 400ml double cream

• 200ml condensed milk

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WealdSmokeryWT223.indd 1 17/08/2020 PerryCourtFarmWT223.indd 17:16

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Visit our charming pub situated in beautiful countryside

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Outside terrace | Ample parking

Walkers & Riders welcome

Warm & welcoming open log fires

Opening Times:

Tuesday to Saturday

from 11am - 3pm | 6pm - 11.30pm

Food Served: Lunch 12noon - 2pm

Evening 6.30pm - 9.30pm

Sunday Lunches: 12noon - 3pm

Closed Sunday Evenings



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GardenproudWT223.indd 1 03/09/2020 09:27




Sue Whigham reflects on

her garden experiences

during lockdown

Peach Blossom Moth Thyatira batis

This year has been a roller

coaster in more ways than

one. And that really is an

understatement. March, of course,

brought the lockdown during

which all our lives changed.

Incessant rain earlier in the year

was closely followed by weeks of

glorious sunshine and latterly,

soaring temperatures, high humidity

levels and ‘tropical nights’.

And the sunshine brought bumper

crops of the less usual fruit and

vegetables. I swapped a bag of plums

for a beautiful bowl of mulberries.

Unfortunately for me the mulberries’

arrival in the house coincided with a

weekend visit from the grandchildren

who buried them deep into their

cereal and then wanted more.

Very early this morning when I was

out visiting friends whilst they opened

their moth trap, they showed me a

tweet they’d had from a neighbour

which went like this: ‘OK, rustic types

of Twitter, suggestions for what to do

with around 1,000 peaches all ripe at

the same time please’. He has only had

his peach tree for five years. This must

be some sort of record in Kent surely.

The moths, meanwhile, were being

taken out of the trap, identified

and then put carefully into a Wine

Society cardboard box to rest

until the evening when they fly

off. One of the two prettiest this

morning were ‘Peach Blossom’ and

my favourite, ‘Mother of Pearl’.

Moths are so interesting;

wonderfully marked and fancifully

named. It’s fascinating to learn about

them and get to see them so close up.

One thing I didn’t know until this

morning was that wasps absolutely

love them, too, but as prey and so it

was a bit disconcerting to see these

gorgeous creatures being dive bombed

and decapitated in one fairly quick

movement. But I suppose that they

are all part of nature’s food chain.

In early July when the hairdressers

reopened, the talk in there was all

about what people were growing.

Two of the young hairdressers said

how much fun they were having

with their first horticultural efforts.

One of them now owns her first

ever plant – a sunflower in a pot.

And despite it not having produced

a flower yet, she is enjoying its

company. Then someone else chipped

in and said that she had raided her

store cupboard at the beginning of

lockdown when the garden centres

were closed; the online seed suppliers

were inundated and it was difficult

to even buy a bag of compost. She

decided to grow quinoa. I hope she

has a lot of space as these plants

definitely need to be socially distanced

as, planted out in May, they should

reach heights of six foot by August!

It’s interesting to read about quinoa

as although it is very much recognised

as a source of pure protein now, it was

known as ‘the gold of the Incas’ and

it was obviously grown for its health

giving qualities centuries ago. It is

105 priceless-magazines.com

Bees enjoying an artichoke flower

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta

in the Chenopodium family which

includes spinach, beet and chard. The

Real Seeds Catalogue (realseeds.co.uk)

lists Rainbow Quinoa which has

seed heads tinged with traffic light

shades of red, amber and green.

Their catalogue looks interesting

and with an eye to next year, I

thought it would be fun to try one

of their ‘very, very big sunflowers’

with heads measuring between 18”

and 24” in diameter. Wow. You

might need a bit of space. They get

to 10 feet in height too. The other

thing I spotted in the catalogue was

Yacon, another rather spectacular

edible South American plant. There

is a large specimen up in the High

Garden at Great Dixter. Visitor

numbers there and at other charities

such as the National Trust and the

RHS and the National Garden

Scheme have of course plummeted

this year. It doesn’t matter how big

or small the charity, everyone has

been affected in the same way.

Many of our local nurseries took

to taking orders online and many

delivered plants or organised times

and dates for plant collection once

they were allowed to reopen. I know

one locally where the couple running

the nursery were working a twelve

hour day in order to fulfil orders

and keep their heads above water.

So during these past few months

between working from home, coping

with home schooling and trying

to get on to the online system of

supermarket shopping, it’s been an

ideal opportunity for us to be outside,

to reconnect with nature and see how

wildlife thrives when there are fewer

cars and fewer people around. It was

liberating to be able to wander down

the road without the fear of being

mown down by cars in a hurry and

then get to the woods where, in the

spring, the birds were singing their

hearts out. We recorded bird song

in the early mornings and pinged

it up to London where we thought

people were deprived of the sounds of

spring only to find that they had just

as much going on up there without

any traffic or much movement in

their area. And we have seen owls

close up (pretending to be asleep in

the hope that we’d pass by quickly),

young fox cubs ambling through the

long grass, all manner of chirruping

grasshoppers in the meadows as

well as, for the first time, the sight

of Marbled White butterflies, grass

snakes and Privet Hawk Moths.

Requests for allotments have

soared with many mentioning their

mental wellbeing as a reason for their

application. One of the national

newspapers recently held a Lockdown

Gardening competition which had

eight hundred entrants, with different

categories such as Family, Sanctuary

and Vegetable Growing. The overall

winner, a novice gardener, turned her

‘muddy patch’ in Peckham into a space

growing over sixty edible plants. This

led to a community garden accessible

to locals who can come and ‘pick your

own’ and contribute to an honesty

box. It seems that the most popular

produce were ‘wonky’ cucumbers.

A succulent soaking up the sunshine

Supermarkets take heed! She is now

doing plant swaps, and exchanging

excess produce for local artwork.

The ‘Sanctuary’ category was

particularly popular with gardeners

finding peace and seclusion. Even a

little patch of nature seems to help

make things better. I particularly

like this quote by one May Sarton.

“Everything that slows us down

and forces patience, everything that

sets us back into the slow circles

of nature, is a help. Gardening

is an instrument of grace.”

Sue Whigham can be contacted

on 07810 457948 for gardening

advice and help in the sourcing and

supply of interesting garden plants.



Bespoke design & build treehouses, playhouses

and elevated platforms.

Commercial & International commissions welcomed

Tel: 01403 262219


ADLLearningWT223.indd 1 28/08/2020 CheekyMonkeyS40.indd 14:19

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PetalsForPlantsWT223.indd 1 09/09/2020 ChartwellOakBuildingsWT214.indd 13:04

1 06/11/2019 11:06



Jo Arnell’s tips to keep your garden

blooming all year round

I’m humming along with a wistful (and if I’m honest,

slightly depressing) tune as I type this. I do know that the

summer sun is fading as the year grows old, and darker

days are drawing near. But hey, Mr Haywood, cheer up –

autumn is a beautiful and golden season. It’s my favourite.

And the sun isn’t really fading, it’s just that as the earth tilts

on its axis the sun appears lower in the sky – and that makes

for gorgeous backlit effects through the grasses and lateflowering

perennials. Darker days are drawing near, true,

but that should spur us to seize the moment and squeeze

the most out of the shortening days. Autumn is such a busy

time for gardeners; a time to take stock, to look back at

the year, to see what worked – and what didn’t. A time to

make, prepare for and implement plans and the very best

time to be planting all but the most tender, easily frosted

plants. The one thing that we don’t do so much any more is

put the garden ‘to bed’. These days autumns are milder; the

cold weather often doesn’t arrive until the end of December;

plants stay looking good for longer and some will even

keep flowering until then, if we don’t get an early frost.


Planting shrubs and trees that produce fruit, nuts or

berries will attract insects, birds and small mammals into

the garden at this time of the year. A tree is an ecosystem

in its own right and there are plenty of small trees that

are both pretty and useful to wildlife. A mountain

ash or rowan will have blossom, berries and autumn

colour, as will crabapple, cherry and Amelanchier.

Bug hotels, log piles, hollow stems, fallen leaves and

compost heaps make snug homes for creatures to burrow into

and eke out the winter months. We garden more for wildlife

now and the creatures don’t appreciate it when we sweep away

their overwintering places. Untidy gardens have now been

renamed wildlife havens – a big relief to this untidy gardener.

Annuals and biennials

Many annuals will go on flowering into winter if the weather’s

mild, so do keep deadheading if you want to extend the

display. I’m usually happy for the seed to set by this time, as

this ensures some new plants for next year. If the weather’s

dry it can be very satisfying collecting the seeds of annuals to

sow again. Hardy annuals can be sown now, either straight

into the garden where they are going to flower, or into small

pots and kept in a sheltered place until they’re ready to

be planted out next spring. Many seeds will store

until spring, but remember to keep them in a

cool dry place. Any biennials sown earlier

in the year can be planted out now

into their flowering positions.

Perennials and grasses

The late summer flowers will extend right into November

providing there aren’t any early frosts and the weather

stays calm. You may be tidier than me – I like to let

everything gently subside before clearing up – it’s like

the end of a glorious party when everyone starts drifting

home. Seed heads can look as lovely as the flowers,

are great in arrangements and rather poetic when

left to be dusted with frost or snow in the winter.

Grasses are at their very best now and will persist

through the winter, bringing an airy, ethereal presence

in the borders until the spring. They mix well with late

summer flowers and I often use the bigger varieties,

like Miscanthus, Molinia and Calamagrostis in place of

shrubs to lighten up a space. Grasses are fairly easy to

maintain – cut back the growth on deciduous varieties in

early spring. Evergreens will shed old foliage, so should

just need a comb through before growth starts again.

Dahlias will keep going if deadheaded, but they are

tender and once the temperatures begin to fall, they’ll

show the effects. The slightest frost will kill the top

growth, as if a bad fairy has visited them in the night.

Then comes the dilemma of whether to lift the tubers.

I don’t lift as my soil is light and free-draining, but it

might be a different matter if your soil is heavy clay – this

tends to be wet over the winter and not appreciated by

a tender bulb or dahlia tuber. If you are leaving them in

the ground, cut the foliage back once we’ve had the first

frost and then put a good layer of mulch over the space

(and maybe a stick or label incase you don’t remember

where they are buried). Most of my Dahlias come back

the following year, but I have to keep a vigilant eye out for

slugs and snails in the spring as the new foliage appears.


Planting bulbs is an act of faith; spring will return –

and with it a spectacular reward for your hard work

and patience. Start with the early flowering bulbs like

crocus, narcissus and anemones, then plant alliums and

leave the tulips until last. You can leave tulips as late

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KibblewhiteWT223.indd 1 13/08/2020 10:02

as January before you need to plant them, but by then

the ground could be frozen, or too wet. Tulips need to be

planted once the soil has cooled down, as this suppresses

some of the many viruses that they’re prone to. Woodland

bulbs such as snowdrops and anemones will appreciate

moist, humus-rich soils and a semi-shaded position, but

most other bulbs – and especially tulips, which may rot

in the wet, prefer the ground to be free-draining.

Vegetables to sow and grow in autumn

It is too late to sow many vegetables now, but quick crops

such as pak choi, spinach, chard and oriental vegetables

will be ready to pick in just a few weeks. These leafy

vegetables prefer to grow during the cooler months and

are hardy enough to harvest through the winter. You

could also sow micro-greens – basically just veg plants

sown close together and harvested at seedling stage.

Broad beans and the hardier pea varieties can also be

sown now. They will spend the winter as small plants

and start growing again in the spring. The advantage of

autumn sowing is that the plants have time to develop a

good root system, tend to be sturdier, stronger and will

be ready to harvest earlier than those sown in spring.

Onion sets (basically baby onions) and garlic can

be planted now. Again, these will spend the winter

developing roots and start growing top growth

ready to swell their bulbs the following year.

Some plants at their best in autumn:

Trees and shrubs for autumn

colour, berries and fruits:

• Malus – in variety


• Sorbus aucuparia (Rowan)

– varieties with red, pink,

orange or cream berries

• Euonymous alatus

(Wayfairing tree)

• Callicarpa bodenieri – with

weird metallic purple berries

• Pyracantha, Cotoneaster

horizontalis – scarlet

berries and foliage

• Prunus subhirtella –

autumnalis, a cherry tree

that flowers in November

and December

• Hydrangeas; paniculata – for

early autumn, followed by

mophead Hydrangeas and

the oak leaved H. quercifoia

which also has reddish leaves

• Cotinus coggyra – has

attractively coloured

leaves all year, turning

fiery scarlet in autumn

Perennials and grasses with

attractive seed heads:

• Pennisetum – fluffy,

tactile seed heads on

a medium-sized grass,

some are not hardy

• Physalis (Chinese lanterns)

– keep their lovely orange

colour well and look good

in seasonal arrangements

• Phlomis – whorls of seeds

heads on stiff stems persist

well right through the winter

• Lunaria annua (Honesty),

poppies and Nigella (Lovein-a-mist)

– very decorative

Contact Jo for border designs, planting and garden

advice: 01233 861149 hornbrookmanor.co.uk






Garden Perfection

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The Wharf, Rye Road, Newenden, TN18 5QG

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Regular Maintenance

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Small one off works

Turf care management

Problem area Solutions

Seasonal Bedding plant displays

Approved pesticide/

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GardenscapeWT223.indd 1 12/08/2020 CityEscapesWT204.indd 15:45

1 24/01/2019 10:40

Love Love Learning,


Love Life

Love Life

Open Day

Our excellent teaching team

understands 9th October how to draw the best

from every individual boy; inspiring


confidence, nurturing a love of

learning and exploring new ideas.


We were right to entrust

Prep School is the time to build firm

foundations, The New Beacon when boys with are happy,

growing these important in confidence, years enjoying a

full and fulfilling school life.

our child’s education.





Our excellent teaching team

understands how to draw the best

from every individual boy; inspiring

confidence, nurturing a love of

learning and exploring new ideas.

Prep School is the time to

build firm foundations, when

boys are happy, growing in

confidence, enjoying a full

and fulfilling school life.



New Head for

Spring Grove

September sees a new Head

for Spring Grove School in

Wye as Therésa Jaggard takes

over from Bill Jones, who

is retiring after 12 years at

the school. Mrs Jaggard is

already well-known to the

Spring Grove community,

having spent a ‘handover’

term at the school since

Easter, teaching online as part

of the team that delivered

the SG Home Learning

programme during lockdown.

Mrs Jaggard has experience

in both state and independent

education, and was most

recently Deputy Head Teacher

We were at Leybourne right Ss Peter and

Paul CEP Academy. As Spring

to entrust Grove’s new The Head she plans

to continue to grow the

New culture Beacon of the school, where

wellbeing and academic




go hand-in-hand, while

preserving the school’s strong

important years

foundations and traditions.

in our Mrs child’s Jaggard commented:

“The children at Spring Grove

education. are curious, confident and

creative – and they clearly

PARENT love 2018 learning and enjoy living!

After one term at the school

I can confidently say that

it’s a ‘great place to grow’!”


Exam Success

Claremont Senior School is celebrating the success of its 2020 graduating class

following the publication of this year’s A Level results. Despite the uncertainties

surrounding the awarding system this year, the school managed to see significant

rises in its A Level performance, with close to two thirds (66%) of results graded

between A* and B. Ed Dickie, the Head of the Senior School commented: “It

has been a very difficult six months for these students since their schooling came

to an end so abruptly on March 21st. I am thrilled that so many of them have

seen their efforts in the Sixth Form rewarded.” claremontschool.co.uk

Action Packed

Pupils at Cranleigh enjoyed a full

distance learning programme last

term, with everything on offer to

accompany academic lessons – from

sports to chapel. Lessons were

mostly live in class groups, taught via

Google Classroom and assessed with

submitted prep as usual. However, as

a boarding community Cranleigh also

prioritised keeping pupils engaged

socially as well as in a co-curricular and

cultural programme. The school held

online sport and fitness sessions and

challenges, alongside art, music and

drama – all the co-curricular elements

that are so important as part of day-today

education – and pastoral leaders

kept going with contact, challenges

and support through the lockdown

journey. The school is looking forward

to opening in a socially distanced way

in September, but fully prepared in

the event that further remote learning

programmes are needed. cranleigh.org

Open days

Please check and register

for the following open

events before attending

Sat 26 Sept



Virtual Open Morning

Sat 3 Oct 10am-12noon

Open Events on Campus

throughout Sept, Oct & Nov

Box hill School


Virtual Open Day Sat

3 Oct Cranleigh


Sat 3 Oct, 10am

Manor House



9 Oct 9am-12pm

THE New BEacon


Sat 10 Oct, 9am-12noon


House School


Sat 10 Oct,


Spring Grove



Find out about

Ashford School’s

Virtual Open Mornings

at ashfordschool.co.uk

Battle Abbey PREP

SCHOOL will be

conducting a series of

bespoke tours. Register

at battleabbeyschool.com



will be offering a

personal virtual visit

and online meeting.

Register at


Book a private online

appointment with TASIS’s

admissions team by phone,

Skype, Zoom, or Google

Meet tasisengland.org

113 priceless-magazines.com

Opening Times:

4th April to 1st November - 10am to 4pm

but May to September - 10am to 5pm

Last entry one hour before closing.

We are closed on:

Mondays, except Bank Holiday Monday.




The Premier Collection of

Battle of Britain Artefacts

Aircraft ·Vehicles · Weapons ·

Flying Equipment · Fine Art Prints ·

Relics from over 700 crashed aircraft

Adults: £10.00 £8.00

OAPs: £7.50 £9.00

Children: £4.00

Museum Shop, No.25

Squadron Squadron Mess Mess and and Tea Tea Room

Room Free parking Free parking for cars for and cars

and coaches coaches

On the grounds of both security

and copyright, we regret that no

cameras, video recorders, mobile

phones or any other type of

electronic recording equipment is

allowed in the museum.

Aerodrome Road, Hawkinge, Nr. Folkestone, Kent, CT18 7AG


)01303 893140

KentBattleofBritainWT223.indd 1 01/09/2020 15:43




Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow

Situated in the heart of Surrey with

a wide range of transport options

serving the area.

Virtual Open Morning

Saturday 3rd October, 10am - 11.30am

Open Events on campus

Tuesday 29th September, 9.15am - 11am

and 1.30pm - 3.15pm

Wednesday 30th September, 9.15am - 11am

Friday 2nd October, 9.15am - 11am and

1.30pm - 3.15pm

Friday 9th October, 9.15am - 11am

Tuesday 13th October, 9.15am - 11am

Tuesday 3rd November, 9.15am - 11am

Wednesday 11th November, 9.15am - 11am

Our open events have limited places available,

therefore please book early to avoid disappointment

at boxhillschool.com. All attendees must book in

advance, unfortunately due to current circumstances

we are not able to accommodate walk-ins on the day.

Scholarships available for Year 7, Year 9 and Sixth Form

At Box Hill School, we understand all students are individuals and approach learning in

different ways. Our holistic approach to education develops our children’s intellectual,

social, physical and artistic talents.

It encourages them to explore a path of self discovery thus stimulating the unique

abilities within each child to achieve success.


Box Hill School | London Road | Mickleham

Dorking | +44 (0)1372 373382




BoxHillSchoolWT223.indd 1 07/09/2020 16:03



*Deadline for September 2021 entry is 28 October 2020

01233 739 030 | registrar@ashfordschool.co.uk | ashfordschool.co.uk

N U R S E R Y | P R E P S C H O O L | S E N I O R S C H O O L | S I X T H F O R M | B O A R D I N G


The Dyslexia School

Since 1910


Celebrating our three

expanding Nurseries

across Kent


TONBRIDGE 01732 365188 / tonbridge@juniorsdaynursery.co.uk

CRANBROOK 01580 713033 / cranbrook@juniorsdaynursery.co.uk

HEADCORN 01622 891422 / headcorn@juniorsdaynursery.co.uk



Full daycar

For more

Email: tonbri


Dan Goldsmith Photography


Recruiting for qualified and experienced staff across all three Nurseries.

We offer numerous opportunities for career progression and training.




• •




JuniorsDayNurseryWT223.indd 1 19/08/2020 12:36

Frewen College is a leading Day and Boarding

School for boys and girls aged 7-19 with Dyslexia

and Dyspraxia and associated Specific Learning

Difficulties. We are proud to be different:

Frewen is the oldest specialist

dyslexia school in the UK

Best GCSE grades in 2020 and pupil

progress for the 6th consecutive year

All classroom staff have specialist

dyslexia qualifications

Assistive Technology is used

throughout the school


Oak Frame Buildings

Over 50 years’ experience making oak frame buildings

Winner of the BDA’s

‘Best Dyslexia-Friendly School’ 2018

Email: office@frewencollege.co.uk

Tel: 01797 252494

Frewen College, Northiam, East Sussex, TN31 6NL


• Garages

• Garden Rooms

• Complexes

• Gazebos

• Bespoke Buildings

01323 765410 Quality in its finest form




FrewenCollegeWT223.indd 1 04/09/2020 MonarchOakWT147.indd 17:03

1 26/07/2018 12:30

Help is at Hand

Mr Nick Goodman, Principal at Frewen College in Northiam, East Sussex, explains how

to identify and support pupils who are experiencing difficulties with dyslexia

It is widely accepted that defining dyslexia is complex and

that there is not one universally recognised definition.

Every student who has dyslexia will have a unique

range of abilities related to their literacy learning. In 2009,

Sir Jim Rose gave the following definition, which was

subsequently adopted by the British Dyslexia Association:

‘Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills

involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.’

Although commonly regarded as a difficulty with reading

or writing, there are many other symptoms which can

help parents to spot dyslexia much earlier – being slow to

start talking, or reversing sounds in multi-syllable words.

Then, later, displaying difficulty identifying ‘directional’

opposites such as over/under, right/left, before/after, enjoying

stories but showing no interest in trying to read the words;

difficulty learning the names of letters or sounds; or learning

the alphabet, or telling the time by a clock with hands.

As well as problems with literacy, and the organisational

problems outlined above, many dyslexics have co-occurring

conditions such as dyscalculia, DCD or ADD and this can

affect the severity of their learning difficulties (e.g. in terms

of concentration, arithmetic and motor coordination).

Parents will want to support their children as much as

possible, and this will need patience and understanding.

Before making progress, a dyslexic child needs to believe

that they can succeed. Never compare their work with

that of their brother or sister; don’t get angry when they

lose or forget things, and be prepared to go over things

several times before it becomes embedded. If you have

reason to suspect your child is dyslexic, you should get

them assessed, in order to understand the nature of the

dyslexia and to inform the school, who should be able

to support them through 1:1 sessions with a dyslexia

specialist, and by ensuring teachers are aware.

Teachers need to use a range of specialist approaches. For

example, at Frewen College these include multi-sensory

teaching (sitting still, listening to the teacher and taking notes

will not work); constantly referring back to, and reinforcing

previous learning; modifying learning resources through use

of specific fonts, coloured paper etc; and the use of suitable

assistive technology.

Frewen College is a dyslexia school for young people

between the ages of 7 and 19, with Specific Learning

Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and

dyscalculia, and speech, language and communication

needs. Further information, advice and instructional

videos can be found at frewencollege.co.uk.

117 priceless-magazines.com

Meet the


Head Girl

Gabriella reflects on her experiences

at Ashford School and what being

Head Girl has taught her

Being the Head Girl of Ashford School was without

doubt the best way I could challenge myself to

develop invaluable skills and inspire my peers.

I feel a strong will to give back to school, and the best

way I can do this is by being a role model to the student

body and by motivating not only

them but my teachers as well.

I have led an amazing team and had

the chance to be proactive in assigning

tasks that match each individual, coping

with challenges that arise unexpectedly

as well as improving our strategic

thinking and time-management skills

as a group. What I enjoyed the most is

that the position allowed me to always develop new ways

of operating, to take time to communicate with the others

to ensure that everybody is moving forward and to drive

people to reach success. I know people tend to look up to

someone who is honest and full of life and this is what I am

always willing to do, be who I am, be genuine and positive.

“I was given the courage to

step outside my comfort zone

and this is a skill which will

come in very useful as I go

on to study at University”

At the same time, I have achieved so many transferable

skills at my school by trying something I’ve never tried

before such as netball and hockey. I was given the courage

to step outside my comfort zone and this is a skill which

will come in very useful as I go on to study Liberal Arts

and Science at Maastricht University,

and also will hopefully stand me in

good stead in future employment.

Lastly, I was ready to expect the

unexpected and I did experience

mixed feelings as I faced different

challenges, but I could see myself

growing and discovering how to

thrive. From holding a speech in

front of an entire school for the first time to growing

into a responsible individual, the position of Head

Girl at Ashford School has offered me opportunities

at every turn to be the best version of myself.

To find out more about Ashford School, see ashfordschool.co.uk

119 priceless-magazines.com

Babington House School

Independent Day School from 3 to 18 years

Grange Drive, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5ES

Headmaster: Mr T Lello, MA, FRSA, NPQH, PGCE

Inspiring Teachers, Inspiring Children

You are invited to an

Open Morning

(If we are unable to open the School this will be a Virtual Open Morning)

Saturday, 10th October 2020

Register Now


A Parents’ Guide to Teenagers

by Hilary Wilce

Why are teenagers so, you know, teenager-y? Why

are they so messy, angry and impulsive? And

so funny, irreverent and interesting? Mainly, of

course, because this is a time of massive social, physical and

mental growth as children get ready to fly the nest and launch

out into life on their own. To do this, they need to acquire all

sorts of things, from physical strength to the ability to make

logical decisions, and they need to do it

fast because the bulk of these changes

are squashed into just a handful of hectic

years. Change and development carries

on – the adult brain isn’t fully cooked

until we hit our mid-twenties – but if

you consider the difference between

a spindly, biddable ten-year-old and

a developed, bolshy sixteen-year-old,

you can see how much happens fast.


The teenage body is morphing rapidly from a child’s body

to an adult one. Emerging sexual maturity throws teens into

a world of turbulent hormones and violent mood swings,

while sudden growth spurts mean that many young teens

simply don’t know where they are in the world. They take

up more space than they used to, trip over their own feet,

and maybe even talk more loudly than before. They’re

beset by new problems – acne, body odour – and, at the

same time, they and their friends are coming to these

changes at different rates, so a teen may feel awkwardly

ahead of the body curve, or shamingly behind it.

“Teens are painfully aware

of their peers. Uncertain

about their adult selves,

they suffer and burn as they

try and fit in with others”


We now know much more about the teenage

brain than we used to, and this new knowledge

explains much about teenage behavior.

The teenage brain is programmed to start exploring

and pushing limits and as it does so it prunes synapses

and builds more efficient neural networks.

Scientists believe this is nature’s

way of helping young adults learn to

confront the world on their own – and

if laboratory mice are anything to go

by, healthy teenage exploration seems

to lead to a longer life later on.

The teenage brain is also busy releasing

dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ hormone,

which is why teens are more likely than

adults to give into impulsive desires.

But this ‘reward’ centre in the brain is in a constant tussle

with the more sensible ‘planning and organising’ part. The

reward centre says ‘Yay! Let’s do it! It’ll be brilliant!’ The

logic centre says, ‘But if we do, we could get drunk/hurt/

pregnant/picked up by the police.’ Unfortunately, the logic

centre lags behind in development, so the early teenage years

can be short on things like empathy, risk analysis and insight

– although thankfully they start to kick in after about 17.

The teenage brain is also fabulously plastic. It

is ready to learn, adapt and change according to

anything thrown at it, which means this can be a

peak time for academic engagement, as well as for

creative development and sporting challenges.

121 priceless-magazines.com


All this rapid change makes teenagers more susceptible

to stress and mental illness than adults. Conditions

like anxiety and depression can emerge in these years,

as can problems with eating or self-harming.

Teens are also painfully aware of their peers.

Uncertain about their adult selves, they suffer

and burn as they try and fit in with others, or

attempt to stand firm against peer judgments.

And they can find it hard to understand themselves

– their mood swings and intense

emotions – which in turn can

make them angry and confused.

Teenagers also see the world they are

growing up into with the fresh eyes

of youth. This is one reason so many

young people are passionate and angry

about issues like climate change and

homelessness. They are waking up to

problems that we’ve lived with for a

long time, and tend to see through a weary adult gaze.


As in all stages of parenting, our teenagers need us to be

as understanding and supportive as possible. They need

us to allow them a looser rein, while also maintaining

boundaries that help them feel safe and loved. They need

us to be there for them, even if they don’t want us there,

they need us to pick them up if they stumble, and above

all else they need us NOT TO BE EMBARRASSING!

On a practical level, they very much need us to help them

get enough sleep. Teenagers need between eight and ten

hours a night, to process all their brain changes, but since

they tend to be wakeful at night and slow to wake up in the

morning, few teenagers get the sleep they need. Our job is to

do everything possible to help them – maybe by encouraging

a slow wind-down to bed and banning devices from the

bedroom at night – while at the same time acknowledging

that their natural body rhythms make this hard for them.

They also need us to try and steer them away from drugs

or alcohol, and to talk to them about why it’s good to be

cautious in these areas. Both are far more damaging and

addictive to the sensitive teenage brain than to an adult’s. For

example, studies show that regular weed smoking in the teen

years can damage both IQ and memory.

“The teenage brain is Teenagers also need us to watch

programmed to start out for problems and take action if

it’s needed. All teenagers are naturally

exploring and pushing limits

prone to obsession, for instance.

and as it does so it prunes This goes back, again, to the way

the brain develops. But the boy who

synapses and builds more

shuts himself off to play video games

efficient neural networks” all the time, or the girl whose crush

on a rock star edges into fanaticism,

needs your help to stay connected with family,

friends and the real world around them.

They also need you to move fast and decisively if

they develop an eating disorder, or other evident mental

distress. There are services to help but they are badly

over-stretched, so if this is the case, you may have to

roll your sleeves up for a long, stubborn battle.

Of course, the best possible way to guard against

serious problems is to encourage your teenager to feel

secure, confident and well-grounded. But the honest

truth is that this is something that has its roots way back

in childhood. So if your children haven’t yet hit the teen

years, you can be confident that any good parenting

work you put in now will reap great rewards later.




Saturday 3 October 2020 at 10am

Academic, Art, Music, Drama and Sport Scholarships available at Year 7

Academic and Performing Arts Scholarships available at Year 3

“Unpressured (for the most part) and friendly, but this is no soft option

... the girls both work hard and play hard, with results to match.” The Good Schools Guide

Celebrating 100 Years in 2020-21

www.manorhouseschool.org | 01372 457077 | admissions@manorhouseschool.org

‘A great place to grow’

for children aged 2 to 11 years

Open Morning

Saturday 10 October 2020

9.30am-12 noon · call 01233 812337 to register

Wye, near Ashford, Kent · www.springgroveschool.co.uk · admissions@springgroveschool.co.uk

M ay fi eld

SpringGroveSchoolWT223.indd 1 03/09/2020 17:26












Virtual Open Morning SATURDAY 26 TH SEPTEMBER 2020






MayfieldSchoolWT223.indd 1 08/09/2020 09:50

Ahead of the Game

If you’re thinking of budgeting for private school fees, then the sooner the

better, as Chartered Financial Planner Simon Wong explains

The information provided in this article is of a general nature. It is not a substitute for specific advice with regard to your own circumstances. You

are recommended to obtain professional advice from a professional accountant or solicitor before you take any action or refrain from action.

Any aspiring parent wishing to send their children

to private school will be fully aware of the huge

cost to do so, with the average annual fees of a

private day school at around £14,000 rising to £34,000 for

boarding according to the Independent Schools Council.

And these figures are set to rise further as schools grapple

with the need to enhance their teachers’ pension pots as

part of the Treasury’s shake-up of public sector pensions.

Are there any ways to cut the cost of a private school

education? There are limited ways to reduce the cost but

it is always worth exploring with the school if there are any

relevant bursaries or scholarships available, which can range

from 5-50% discounts depending on the school; it can be

worth nurturing that musical or sporting talent. Secondly,

many schools offer a discount for paying all the fees up

front. This only works if you have the capital available but

sometimes the discount is not attractive enough to make

it worthwhile and you may be better off investing the

money elsewhere. Alternatively, retrain as a teacher and

seek employment at a private school. The only real way

to reduce the cost of educating your children is to plan

for it and to ensure you are as tax efficient as possible.

How far in advance should you be planning financially

for your child’s educational needs? As ever, the sooner you

start planning the better. I would always recommend a young

couple to start saving for school fees if they are planning to

have children, as the sooner you start saving the more benefit

you achieve from compounding your returns. I also regularly

have conversations with grandparents regarding their estate

planning and more often than not, there is a desire to help

with private school fee funding. This can be an extremely

tax efficient way to cover the costs either by making a gift or

setting up a trust, most likely a Bare Trust. These options can,

if correctly structured, reduce the inheritance tax burden, but

all require forward planning and above all, expert advice.

Are there any risks of school fee planning? Depending

on the route chosen, whether it’s to invest your capital in

a growth strategy or to focus on reducing a tax burden to

increase a future inheritance, there are always risks. Investing

puts your assets at the risk of stock market movements and

it must always be remembered that past performance is

no guide to future performance and as such it is possible

you could end up with less than you started. Tax efficient

strategies are at the mercy of HMRC as tax rules can

and do change often without notice and in the current

political environment prudence in this regard is essential.

Another risk is that school fee payments are interrupted

due to the death of the primary provider. This can be

mitigated by insuring the appropriate person(s). The key is

ensuring you take appropriate advice from a wealth planner

or tax expert who can help put your school fee funding

plans into the context of your wider financial situation.

What are the pros/cons of parents/grandparents paying

the school fees? Setting up a bare trust is the most tax

efficient method for grandparents to pay the fees. The

pros for this are that it is potentially inheritance tax free,

can be relatively straightforward to set up and makes use

of the child’s tax allowances with any growth held outside

of the grandparent’s estate. The cons are the exposure to

investment risk and the fact that the child has access to the

trust aged 18 which means the assets cannot be preserved

in trust for future generations. Gifting is advantageous as

it contributes to fees immediately and can be tax efficient

by using annual gift exemptions. However, these gifts are

limited to £3,000 a year per grandparent and any gifts

above this level may be taxable upon death, unless the

gift is using gifts out of normal income exemption.

Simon Wong is a Senior Wealth Planner at JM Finn. To

contact one of JM Finn’s Chartered Financial Planners to

discuss tax, estate or wealth planning, see jmfinn.com.

125 priceless-magazines.com

art for

all ages

A creative showcase from schools around the Weald

Camouflaged Ant, Zane C, Y8, Dulwich Prep Cranbrook

Joyce, Y13, Ashford School

Roman mosaic print, Rupert, Y4, Junior King’s Canterbury

Jack, U6, Sutton Valence

Y7, Dulwich Prep Cranbrook. Papier mâché birds.

Lilirose, Y8, Claremont

Nuri, Y11, Frewen College. Photographs of cells under a microscope

manipulated in Photoshop, and combined with photographs of light trails.

The more they learn,

The more they grow,

The more they know,



Contact us to arrange

your tour of the school.

e: info@battleabbeyschool.com

t: 01424 219674

Battle Abbey School

Founded 1912

Battle Abbey Prep School

Tel: 01424 219674 www.battleabbeyschool.com/prep

Exciting New



from age 2 and up

Quality Mark



Sutton Valence School

Get in touch to find out more:

01622 842117 | office@littlelambsnursery.org.uk


SuttonValenceWT223.indd 1 07/09/2020 15:07

A hidden gem of a school and

nursery, just 15 minutes from

Tunbridge Wells in rural Wadhurst.

An Independent Catholic primary

school and nursery welcoming

boys and girls aged 2-11.

ISI rated ‘Excellent’ in all areas.

Individual and exceptionally high

level of care and education



Scholarship and 11+ success

Small classes

Surprisingly affordable fees

Contact us to book a personal tour

01892 783414 admin@sacredheartwadhurst.org.uk



129 priceless-magazines.com

SacredHeartSchoolWT223.indd 1 01/09/2020 12:19

What’s On in Sept & Oct


Various dates

Up the Garden Studio, Green

Lane, Boughton Monchelsea,

Maidstone, Kent, ME17 4LF

Up the Garden Studio

Graham Clarke’s Studio Gallery

in Boughton Monchelsea is well

worth a visit. Just like his prints,

there’s something fascinating

or funny wherever you look.

Bookings are being taken for

one party at a time to aid social

distancing. To book your

visit please call Wendy on

01622 743938 or email

wendy@grahamclarke.co.uk. Every

measure will be taken to protect

the health of visitors and staff.


Children & Families

Sat 26 – Sun 27 Sep &

Sat 17 – Sun 18 Oct

Brogdale Collections,

Brogdale Road, Faversham,

Kent, ME13 8XZ


For three weekends in August,

September and October, Brogdale

Collections is holding Heritage

Orchard Days to help save the

Charity’s heritage orchards. Each

day visitors will be able to enjoy

orchard walks, fruit displays, juice

tastings, a family apple trail, cider

sales and more. Included in the

ticket price, for the first time,

visitors will also be able to harvest

their own apples and enjoy the use

of Brogdale’s lovely picnic field.

Entry: Children £4.50 Concessions

£9, Adults £10, Families £25

(including fruit to take home)


Wed 28 Oct 10am-3pm

The Salt Box, Red Oak Barn,

Priory Farm Estate, South

Nutfield, Surrey RH1 4EJ

Family Fire Cooker

A family day of wild cookery,

beneath the trees, using

ingredients you’ll forage yourself

in a walk to the woodland glen.

Suitable for children aged 9+.

Entry: Children £30, Adults £50


Food & Drink

Saturdays 5 Sep – 10 Oct

Spa Valley Railway

Gin & Steam

On these rather special Saturdays,

catch the 14:30 train from

Tunbridge Wells West for a return

trip to Groombridge, and you’ll

be swept off in a heritage carriage

and treated to three different Gins

from Marden’s fabulous Anno

Distillery along the way. Waiting

staff will all wear appropriate PPE,

including masks to serve your gins

and you will be seated 1m+ from

other bookings with protective

screens between bays of seats.

Entry: £30


Sat 19 – Sun 20 Sep

Eridge Park, Eridge Green

Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 9JT

Pub in the Park’s Drive

in Garden Party

Keane, Gabrielle, Squeeze, plus

gorgeous food from a whole host

of cracking pubs and restaurants

serving up tasty dishes for you

to enjoy in your enclosed private

garden! You can book a parking

spot or, if you live nearby, you

can walk in, either way you get a

private garden for you and your

bubble to sit in the park and enjoy

some good food and great tunes.



Sun 4 Oct 5-6.30pm


Virtual tour of the

World Garden with

Tom Hart Dyke

A Zoom chat with Tom Hart

Dyke as he gives an exclusive

virtual tour of his glorious World

Garden at Lullingstone Castle in

Kent. He will be talking about

growing up at Lullingstone

Castle, his time in captivity in

Colombia and fulfilling his dream

of creating the World Garden

followed by a live Q and A session.

Entry: Free, but donations happily

welcomed to support hospice

work in south east Europe.


Marden Cricket & Hockey Club

KentPaintersGroupWT223.indd 1 18/08/2020 10:54


A Variation application has been made by: Marden Cricket and Hockey

Club for the premises Marden Cricket and Hockey Club, Maidstone

Road, Marden, Kent, TN12 9AG on the date of the 14 th September 2020.

Summary of proposed licensable activities & proposed hours of opening:

Type of Activity Day(s) of the Week Start Time End Time

Opening Hours Mon-Thurs 08:00 23:59

Fri 08:00 01:00

Sat 08:00 02:00

Sun 08:00 23:00

New Year’s Eve 08:00 03:00

Exhibition of films Mon-Thurs 08:00 23:59

Fri 08:00 01:00

Sat 08:00 02:00

Sun 08:00 23:00

Performance of Live Music Mon to Fri 18:00 23:00

Sat to Sun 11:00 23:00

New Year’s Eve 18:00 02:00

Playing of Recorded Music Mon to Sun 09:00 23:00

New Year’s Eve 09:00 02:00

Supply of Alcohol Mon to Fri & Sun 11:00 23:00

Sat 10:00 23:00

New Year’s Eve 11:00 03:00

Any person wishing to view details of an application may contact the

Licensing Partnership on 01732 227004. Any person wishing to make

representation about the application should make them in writing on or before

the 12 th October 2020 Licensing Partnership, PO BOX 182, Sevenoaks, Kent

TN13 1GP. licensing@sevenoaks.gov.uk. http://pa.sevenoaks.gov.uk/onlinelicensing.

It is an offence knowingly or recklessly to make a false statement in

connection with an application. The maximum fine for which a person is liable

on summary of conviction for the offence is £5000.

131 priceless-magazines.com

MardenSportsClubWT223.indd 1 09/09/2020 17:23

The Auctioneer's Primary Next logo Sale Will Be On

secondary Primary logo logo & pattern

IbbettMoselyWT223.indd 1 07/08/2020 12:30

lare langdon clare langdon clare langdon


Ibbett Mosely


Limited Liability Partnership

Wednesday 28th October 2020


Currently to


be held online only at

easyliveauction.com/ibbettmosely at 12.30.

Viewing by appointment only, please contact us for more information.


secondary logo & pattern

clare langdon

Made to measure curtains, I N T E Rblinds I O R Sand soft furnishings


Showroom by appointment

clare langdon



Tel: 01732 456731 Web: www.ibbettmosely.co.uk

125 High St, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1UT

Registered in England No. 0C341637 Regulated by RICS Registered at the Sevenoaks office as Ibbett Mosely Surveyors LLP

clare langdon

ClareLangdonWT200.indd 1 12/09/2018 17:10

C = 20

C = 0

M = 15

M = 5

Y = 72 colour palette Y = 5

K = 5

K = 60

Clare Langdon business card 3 heavier font.indd 1 15/05/2018 21:49

Clare Langdon business card 3 heavier font.indd 1 15/05/2018 21:49

Gotham Book


clare langdon

01580 712209

colour 01580 palette






Association House, St David’s Bridge,





St David’s

TN17 3HL


Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 3HL





Wood Floor


- Family

C = 20


C = 0


M = 15

M = 5

Gotham Book Caleigh

Y = 72

Y = 5

We also restore K = 5 wooden K = 60 kitchen tops

FREE estimates - call any time

07794953597 gerardgrover@gmail.com

David Hall

AllWoodsSandingServicesWT2171/8.indd 1 21/02/2020 12:55


Cabinet Maker


Antique Restorer

* High Quality Bespoke Furniture

* Antique Restoration of all types

* Carving and Copy Carving

* Polishing


Phone 01797 270761

Email: hallcrocket@aol.com

What’s On in Sept & Oct


Sat 17 Oct – Sun 1 Nov

Borde Hill Garden, Borde

Hill Lane, Haywards Heath,

West Sussex RH16 1XP

A Spellbinding


Explore the Garden on a

bewitching trail full of spells,

potions and mystery.



31 Aug – Oct 11

Royal Victoria Place,

Tunbridge Wells TN1 2SS

Support Local’s

First Pop-up Shop

Support Local, the brand behind

the hugely popular Support Local

Pop Up events has launched its

first pop up shop in Royal Victoria

Place. It will operate on a ‘rent a

shelf’ system and aims to support

small independent businesses as

they weather the effects of the

ongoing coronavirus pandemic,

and is sure to be filled with all

sorts of wonderful goodies.


Sports & Leisure

19 Aug - 23 Oct

Leeds Castle, Broomfield,

Maidstone ME17 1PL

The Leeds Castle

Trail App

Explore the grounds of Leeds

Castle with the help of their app.

It has a selection of brand new

fun activity trails, and, as you go,

you simply scan codes to complete

them and collect keys. If you

manage to find all the keys within

the app then you will be entered

into a prize draw to win a family

half-day Bird of Prey Experience!



Various locations across

Kent and Sussex



High Weald Walking Festival

has curated fifty self-guided

walks which will be available to

download free from their website

during September. They are a

fantastic opportunity to get off the

beaten track, discover hidden gems

and explore safely, responsibly

and at your own pace. From the

beginning of September you

can download the walking route

pdfs including clear printable

directions and a map. They’ll

only be available for one month

and will disappear on Thursday

1 October, so don’t miss out!

Entry: Free


From Wed 23 Sep

Blenheim School Sports Hall,

Longmead Road, Epsom,

Surrey KT18 7SR

Olympic Fencing

The ideal Covid-friendly sport

– you have to wear a mask and

gloves, and if your opponent gets

within two meters you can poke

them with a stick! Epsom Fencing

Club’s new ten week beginners

class will start on Wednesday 23



Please note that most events will

require pre-booking and we advise

checking with event organisers and

the latest government advice before

travelling to events.

Listings are correct at time of going to

press but may be subject to change.

Readers are advised to check with

venues before making arrangements.

We can list your event in the next issue

of Wealden Times or Surrey Homes

for only £15+VAT. Please supply up to

200 words that should include date,

time, venue, contact for enquiries and

any entry price to whatson@pricelessgroup.com

or send with payment

(cheques payable to Priceless Media

Ltd.) to What’s On, Priceless Media,

Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street,

Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF. Priceless

Media reserves the right to edit text to

fit space allocated. If you would like

your event listing to be accompanied

by a full colour reproduction (42.5

x 62.5mm) of a poster or other

pictorial image, the total charge will be

£95+VAT. Deadline for the November/

December issue is 31 September 2020.


DavidHallWT108.indd 1 14/01/2011 15:27


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Le Creuset is proud to introduce

their new colour for the AW20

season. Deep Teal combines

the calming properties of blue with

the renewal qualities of green, making

it a revitalising and rejuvenating

shade: and the perfect addition to Le

Creuset’s iconic colour offering.

Velvety and vibrant, the stylish new

colour will add a touch of class and

sophistication to any kitchen. With

shades of blue set to continue to be the

on-trend interiors choice, darker, moody

hues embody an inviting atmosphere

in the home encouraging relaxation.

Le Creuset began producing its

first enamelled cast iron pots in 1925

from its foundry in Fresnoy le Grand,

France. It is from here that Le Creuset

continues to produce its world famous

cast iron casseroles. While Le Creuset

has expanded its range and has taken

advantage of many technological advances

since its beginnings in 1925, some things

have not changed in the manufacture

of Le Creuset’s cast iron. Le Creuset

has continued to use the hand-crafted

techniques and the original process of

forging and casting in the manufacturing

of its cookware. This attention to its

heritage is also characteristic of the

design. The Cocotte, or French Oven,

was one of the first cast iron items

produced by Le Creuset and is still the

most popular item sold in a range today.

With their high-performing and

timeless cookware, Le Creuset offer

quality products that are the ultimate

kitchen companion. From their Signature

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a pop of colour to your home to their

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cookware ranges. Each Le Creuset piece

marries everyday functionality with

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your chance to win a 24cm

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by 31 October 2020. There

is no cash alternative and the

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135 priceless-magazines.com

Jane Howard’s

Fables from

the Farm

Jane and the family go pond dipping

Back in March, when the UK went into lockdown we

were just about to start lambing which means twelve

hours on and twelve hours off seven days a week for

about six weeks. And after a busy session in the lambing shed

there is very little desire for gadding about anyway. And since

the farm and all the animals have carried on with their utterly

reliable seasonal rhythms blissfully ignorant of the global chaos

unfolding all around them, life at Coopers Farm in the past

few months has been little changed. We are incredibly lucky.

But while it has been business as usual in work terms,

like many others this new order has given us much

more time to stop and stare and enjoy the natural

world, one that is so fantastic in the Weald.

I have especially enjoyed the ponds – I still collect frog spawn

every year and am ridiculously thrilled when the baby frogs,

“my baby frogs”, eventually pack their bags and set off into

the big wide world. So with plenty of spare time I decided

to learn more about these watery worlds, officially called

Limnology, and I could easily – it might have happened already

– become an obsessive but please read on!

The first thing I didn’t know is that defining

what is and what is not a pond is a hotly debated

topic. But having read widely I’m going to stick

my neck out on this and say it’s an area of water at

least a metre square, less than that and it’s a lowly

puddle, more than 2 hectares and it’s a lake – and

it must hold water for at least four months a year.

There are lots of ponds in The Weald –

13,408 mapped ones to be precise – and most

of them have been made by humans. And

there are lots of different types such as Dew

ponds which were dug out of the Wealden clay to provide year

Pond numbers

were at their

peak in 1840

but around 75%

have been lost in

the last 100 years

round drinking water for livestock while Hammer ponds were

made by the Tudors who damned streams to power the forge

hammers that pounded the iron into shape. Pond numbers were

at their peak in 1840 but around 75% have been lost in the

last 100 years and of those that remain many are in trouble

So I decided to look in more detail at all the ponds on this

farm and try and find out more about what

was living in them and how they might be

improved. I particularly wanted to know if we

had newts and especially Great Crested ones.

Amazingly the idea of a newt finding

expedition was more popular with my “stuck at

home” daughters than I imagined, or could it

be there wasn’t much, indeed any competition

in lockdown Stonegate? Whatever, one evening

armed with an Observer Pocket Guide to Pond

Life (me) and downloaded Apps (them) we set

off after dark to see what we could find. We

all had a torch and wandered around various ponds sending

beams into the margins to investigate what might be lurking.

And yes, there were plenty of them. Using our printed and

digital guides we all agreed they were Smooth newts rather

than the much rarer Great Crested and many of them were

Efts, i.e. juveniles, and then we got the giggles as we tried to

pronounce Smooth Newt Efts (try it and you’ll see what I

mean) and decided it was time to go home for a glass of wine.

In the meantime, the hay is made and in the barn,

the hedges are laden with blackberries and sloes, the

cows and calves are looking fat and sleek after a long

hot summer and the pigs are tucking into the acorns.

Thank goodness some things never change.

Follow Jane Howard – and the farm – on Instagram @coopersfarm



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