South Hams Lifestyle Aug - Sep 2021

minervapublications

The August/September issue is here, bringing together the best of high summer and early autumn. We are shining shoes in preparation for a new school year and feasting on delights for afternoon tea week. We’ve also got two fantastic interviews with chef Mitch Tonks and gardener Adam Frost. Don’t miss our competition page either - with over £1400 of goodies to be won!

Contents

A Note

from the EDITOR

09

Delicious

A Culinary Journey through

Northern Ireland

dishes for afternoon tea

Our competition

page returns

04

Isn’t it funny how quickly we can go

from loving the hot weather to doing

a rain dance - is there anything more

British? Day one sees us calling

every available neighbour into the

garden for a BBQ, making sangria

and filling up the paddling pool...but

by day three we are complaining

about not sleeping in the heat,

getting sunburnt and worrying about

the grass dying under said pool. At

least the garden is looking pretty

happy though...

Happy gardens are a theme as this

edition we were very happy to chat

to Chelsea seven-time gold medal

winner Adam Frost about getting the

garden ready for autumn. Then we

are beginning to turn our attention

to the indoors and this edition that

means bringing together some easy

ideas to give your home that little lift

- you only need to make some small

changes to give a space a refresh.

On the foodie side, we are talking to

chef Mitch Tonks - he’s a passionate

advocate of British seafood and has

lots of exciting plans afoot. We are

also feeling a little indulgent with

some delicious recipes for another

British classic - the afternoon tea.

27

Easy interior updates

for a quick refresh

Editor Katie Thomson

e katie.thomson@minervapublications.co.uk

Publisher Sally Thomson

Pre-press Manager Kate Norris

Contributors Peter Thomson, Sue Cooke, Matthew Biggs, Angela Cave,

Front cover courtesy of Steve Haywood

Key Account Manager Adrian Hill

e adrian.hill@minervapublications.co.uk

t 01225 984 496

twitter: @SouthHamsLife

30

Planning for

Retirement

MINERVA PUBLICATIONS HQ

Paxcroft Farm, Hilperton, Trowbridge

BA14 6JB t 01225 984 550

w www.minervamagazines.co.uk

visit our website www.minervamagazines.co.uk

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

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

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

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

On the later life side, we are taking

stock, and showing that retirement

planning is important no matter

your age. We go through the major

pointers to help you get your

financial ducks in a row.

Finally, we have the amazing

competitions - last edition we had

an unfortunate misprint on the

closing date, so we’ve extended the

previous edition by another month,

alongside bringing you a host of

amazing new goodies to be won this

time around!

All that’s left is to wish you a fabulous

summer of fun and to say we’ll be

back in October - brace yourself, we

may just be mentioning...Christm...

no I can’t, not yet. But be prepared,

it’s coming! See you then!

Katie

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3


COMPETITION

Time

WIN

A cashmere

lounge wear

set worth

£500!

To enter any (or all!) of our competitions, head to

www.minervamagazines.co.uk/competitions.

Find the competition and enter on that post,

using the appropriate keyword.

T&C’s apply and no cash alternatives available. Winners chosen at

random - entries made after closing date will not be accepted.

Look good, feel good and do good. Loop Cashmere is

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It will not only keep you cosy but will last you a lifetime as

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Closes 05/09/2021 - Competition keyword ‘LOOP’

WIN

3 x £85

Berkshire

Gin sets to be

won

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The range boasts an Original

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Honey and Orange Blossom

which are perfect for

summer.

They’re offering three lucky

winners the chance to try out

the range with a fantastic gin

bundle worth £85.

berkshirebotanical.co.uk

Closes 05/09/2021 -

Competition keyword ‘BOTANICAL’

From the hero 100% natural multi-use

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used as a ultra-thick and long lasting

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One lucky winner can

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drlipp.com

Closes 05/09/2021 -

Competition keyword

‘LIPP’

WIN

Dr. Lipp

bundle

worth over

£250!

FIYAH is a

female-lead,

online family

jewellery

business.

WIN

2 x £125

vouchers to

spend on

jewellery online

with FIYAH!

The forms

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gold jewellery takes

influence from the

natural world and

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Two lucky winners will have the chance to win a £125

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Closes 05/09/2021 - Competition keyword ‘FIYAH’

Zoflora, the UK’s number one Concentrated Multipurpose

Disinfectant, has been keeping homes hygienically clean

and beautifully fragrant for almost 100 years. To help bring a

little magic into your cleaning routine, we’re giving four lucky

readers the chance to win a year’s supply of Zoflora!

With over 30 fruity, floral and fresh perfumer

developed fragrances to choose from, there’s a

scent to suit every room and mood, whether

you spray it, soak it, wipe it or mop it!

T’c and C’s: The prize is a year’s supply of

Zoflora, for 4 winners. zoflora.co.uk

Closes 05/09/2021 - Competition keyword ‘ZOFLORA’

WIN

A year’s

supply of

Zoflora!

Win a pair of

unisex, vintage

Christian Dior

sunglasses worth

£99

4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 5


Torbay Coast &

Countryside Trust: We're

opening a brand-new

farm shop at Occombe.

We’re opening a brand new Occombe Farm

Shop, in Paignton, this August.

We’ve extended and refitted the former shop to

create a much bigger and better space, 3 times

the former size!

The new Occombe Farm Shop will showcase the very best

produce the West Country has to offer. There’ll be a massive

6,000 product range including fresh and wholefoods, wines,

spirits, beers and ciders, bakery and deli, and lifestyle and gifts.

Our team has spent months seeking out the cream of our region’s

crop, listening to producer stories and tasting and sampling, to

select an exceptional, handpicked product range. We have all

loved the journey and now can’t wait to share it with you!

We’re planning a range of farm-cooked picks for our deli and

across our product selection we’ve looked to minimise single-use

plastics and incorporate refillables and recycling. We promise

a very special, local shopping experience; one where you’ll be

able to buy milk from a dispenser, wholefoods by weight, meat

reared on our doorstep, even sourdough baked on the edge of

Dartmoor.

The remodelling and relaunch of Occombe Farm Shop is part

of our wider scheme to regenerate Occombe Farm as a brand

ADVERTISING FEATURE

new, all weather, year-round, farm visitor attraction. The visitor

attraction will be a mix of indoor and outdoor activities for all the

family. Occombe Farm Park & Play will incorporate exploratory

and inspirational indoor play for children aged 2 – 12 years, an

outdoor jumping pillow feature and a self-guided animal trail with

animal encounters barn and farm animal paddocks. The visitor

attraction is planned to open later this year.

Shopping and visiting Occombe will raise funds towards Torbay

Coast & Countryside Trust’s care of the many treasured green

places and spaces in Torbay. Simply buying a loaf of locally

baked bread, a slice of home-made cake or a bottle of locally

produced wine will help support the charity’s important care of

Torbay’s beautiful natural heritage; for wildlife and for people, for

generations to come; Good times that do good!

Follow our progress on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

(@occombefarm) or via our website: www.occombe.co.uk

OPENING SOON

GOOD SHOPPING THAT DOES GOOD

A Brand New Occombe Farm Shop

Our A products Brand are regionally New sourced Occombe from the best the West Farm Country has Shop

to

offer and our proceeds go towards caring for Torbay’s special green spaces.

Find out more at www.occombe.co.uk

@occombefarm

6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Far more

than a steam

train ride

Ask us about...

Buckfastleigh • Staverton • Totnes Riverside

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from Buckfastleigh to Totnes Riverside,

alongside the stunning River Dart.

Free parking at Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0DZ.

www.southdevonrailway.co.uk 01364 644370

South devon

railway


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Trading Post

Much More than a toy shop

TOY - GAMES - BIKES - WETSUITS

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TO HELP

CHOOSE

YOUR

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PRESENTS

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thetradingpost .co.uk

8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


TIME FOR

tea

CLASSIC TEATIME SCONES

You can’t go wrong with a freshly baked

scone. Simple to master and can be

whipped up in a matter of minutes!

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 12-15 MINUTES

MAKE 18-22 SCONES

INGREDIENTS

450g self-raising flour plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

100g cold butter, cut into cubes

50g caster sugar

2 medium Clarence Court Hens Eggs plus

1 beaten

Milk

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/ gas mark

6. Line two baking trays with greaseproof

paper.

Put the flour and baking powder into a large

mixing bowl, add the butter and rub it into

to the flour with your fingers until you create

a fine breadcrumb texture. Stir in the sugar.

Crack the eggs into a measuring jug and

top up with enough milk to get to 270ml.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mix

and pour in the eggs and milk. Stir using a

dinner knife to start then use your hands to

form a rough dough. Tip out on to a lightly

floured work surface and roll to a rough

oblong about 2cm thick.

Use a 5cm cutter to cut out as many scones

as possible then arrange over the 2 trays

making sure they aren’t too close to each

other. Roll out the remaining dough and cut

out more scones. When all the scones have

been cut out, brush the tops with beaten

egg and place the trays in the oven to bake

for 12 - 15 minutes or until pale gold in

colour and nicely risen.

With Afternoon Tea Week

taking place from 9-15

August, plus the MacMillan

Coffee Morning on the 24

September, there’s never

been a better time to gather

your nearest and dearest,

don your apron and get

baking! We’ve gathered

together the best recipes

from Clarence Court Eggs

Allow to cool a little on a wire rack and

serve warm with clotted cream and your

favourite jam.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 9


SESAME BRAIDED EGG BUNS

A mix between a brioche and a pretzel, Nicola

Millbank’s sesame braided eggs buns are best

served warm fresh from the oven, slathered in

salted butter.

PREP TIME: 30 MINUTES PLUS 90 MINUTES

TO RISE AND 30 MINUTES TO REST

COOK TIME: 25-30 MINUTES

SERVES 12

INGREDIENTS

175ml warm milk

2¼ teaspoon fast action dried yeast

50g caster sugar

2 Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs, plus 1

yolk

60ml vegetable oil

440g plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon of milk

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

A pinch of flaked sea salt

METHOD

The following can be done in either a stand

mixer with the dough hook attachment or in a

large bowl with a fork.

Into the bowl, add the warm milk, yeast, castor

sugar, eggs and egg yolk, vegetable oil, plain

flour and salt. Turn the machine onto low and

mix until the ingredients have come together

and a sticky dough is formed, completely

coming away from the bowl.

Turn out onto a floured surface, kneed for a

couple of minutes until smooth and form into

a ball. Place the dough into an oiled bowl

and cover in clingfilm for 90 minutes until it’s

doubled in size.

After 90 minutes, turn the dough out onto a

floured surface. Cut the dough into quarters

then each quarter into three. Working on one

piece at a time, cut the piece of dough in half,

and roll both halves out into two sausages,

around 20cm long. Place one down horizontally,

and the other, over the top vertically creating

a cross. Then picking up the ends of the

horizontal sausage, cross them over each other

and place them back down. Repeat this with the

vertical sausage, criss-crossing the pieces of

dough to form a plait.

Tuck the ends under the bun and place the

braid onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof

paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Cover the braided buns in cling film and allow

to rest for another 30 minutes and preheat the

oven to 170˚C/ 150˚C fan. Uncover the buns.

Mix together the egg yolk and milk and brush

evenly over the buns. Scatter with sesame

seeds and a sprinkle of seat salt.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a

deep golden brown. Allow to cool a little before

removing them from the baking sheet; but these

are best served warm with salted butter..

10 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


QUAIL SCOTCH EGGS

Libby Silbermann, has shared with us her

perfect picnic addition. These Quail Scotch

Eggs are a delicious bite size treat, served

with tarragon mayo, dip and enjoy!

PREP TIME: 45 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

12 Clarence Court quail eggs

250g good quality British sausages,

removed from skins

Fresh thyme

1 egg beaten

100g panko breadcrumbs

100g plain flour

Vegetable oil for frying

Tarragon Mayo:

2x egg yolks

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, plus extra for

seasoning

1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar (or white

wine vinegar)

250ml olive oil (or rapeseed)

Juice of ½ lemon

Handful of fresh tarragon leaves, picked

and chopped

METHOD

Boil the quail eggs in a pan of boiling

water for 2 minutes. Then plunge into

an ice bath - this will stop them cooking

further and ensure you have a runny yolk

at the end.

While they are cooling, make your Mayo.

Place 2 egg yolks in a large bowl. Add

the mustard and vinegar and whisk them

well until they are paler. Slowly drizzle

in the oil in a steady stream, whisking

continuously - this will emulsify the egg

yolk and it will thicken and become

glossy. Keep slowly adding until you

have added half of the oil.

At this stage squeeze in juice of ½ a

lemon. Then drizzle in remaining oil,

whisking continuously until all is added.

Season the mayonnaise with the chopped

tarragon, salt and some more lemon or

mustard to taste. Set aside.

Peel the quail eggs carefully as they

are delicate. It is quite therapeutic and

satisfying!

Time to assemble. Add fresh chopped

thyme to your sausage meat. Season

the plain flour well with salt and pepper.

Place a small amount in the palm of your

hand and press to flatten, place a quail

egg in the middle and cup your hand to

enclose the egg in the meat. Gently press

the sausage meat around the egg so it is

completely covered and there are no air

pockets.

Next place the egg into the flour and

coat, then dust off the excess. Do the

same in the egg, and then followed by

the panko. Repeat with all the quail eggs.

Heat vegetable oil in a high sided pan so

it comes up 2 inches high. Heat until it

reaches 180˚C.

Fry the scotch eggs in batches for 2

minutes until golden brown on all sides

and crisp. Remove carefully with a slotted

spoon and drain on kitchen paper to

remove excess oil. Serve alongside the

tarragon mayo!

BERRY AND LEMON

SEMIFREDDO

A version of the classic Italian dessert

(meaning semi-frozen), whipped egg

whites and cream stop the ice cream from

setting hard which makes it easy to cut.

PREP TIME: 50 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 4 HOURS

SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

300g fresh or frozen summer berries

150g good quality lemon curd

1 tbsp limoncello (optional)

50g caster sugar

3 Large Clarence Court Burford Brown

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11


Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons

400ml double cream

50g shelled unsalted, pistachios

(blanched if you can find them)

50g good quality shortbread biscuit

METHOD

Line a 2lb loaf tin with a long strip of

greaseproof paper that lines the base

and goes up the shorter sides of the tin to

leave overhang, this makes it a lot easier

to remove or you can fully line the tin with

cling film. Then place the tin in the freezer

to chill.

Place 150g of the berries into a small

saucepan. Simmer on a low heat for

around 20 minutes until the fruit has

broken down, strain through a sieve into

a bowl and allow to cool.

Mix the lemon curd with the limoncello (if

using) and place to one side. Meanwhile

place the egg yolks and sugar in a large

mixing bowl and whisk until pale then

stir in the lemon zest. In a separate bowl

whisk the cream to soft peaks. Then in

another bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff

peaks. Carefully fold with cream and egg

whites into the egg yolk mixture using a

large metal spoon.

Remove the tin from the freezer. Spoon

half of the semifreddo mixture into the

lined tin ripple in half of the blitzed berry

mixture and scatter in some whole berries

then spoon over the lemon curd mixture.

Spoon over the remaining semifreddo

mixture and ripple in the remaining berry

mixture. Reserve the remaining whole

berries for serving. Place the semifreddo

in the freezer uncovered for 4 hours, then

cover and freeze for at least another 4

hours or over-night.

When you’re nearly ready to serve,

remove the semifreddo from the freezer

and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.

In a food processor blitz the shortbread

and pistachios together to make a crumb.

Turn the semifreddo out onto a serving

plate or board and scatter over crumb.

Slice and serve with the remaining fruit.

BLUEBERRY AND

PEACH CAKE

An impressive-looking but easy to make

cake, topped with cream cheese frosting

and lots of fresh fruit with the added floral

flavours of a little fresh rosemary! Duck

eggs help keep the sponge light and

fluffy.

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 40-50 MINUTES

SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

150g baking spread or softened unsalted

butter (plus 50g softened unsalted butter

for frosting and for greasing)

100g caster sugar

4 tablespoons thick peach puree or

blitzed tinned or fresh peeled peach (or

just use 50g extra caster sugar)

2 Clarence Court Braddock Whites

150g self-raising flour, sieved

Pinch salt

50g ground almonds

1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped plus

extra sprigs for serving

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons natural or peach yoghurt

2 x 120g punnets blueberries

250g icing sugar sifted plus extra for

dusting

250g full-fat cream cheese

1 whole peach

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 160˚C/ 320˚F/ gas

mark 3. Grease and line the base and

sides of a 20cm, deep round cake tin.

Place the spread or butter in a large

mixing bowl and add the sugar. Cream

together well in a mixer or with a wooden

spoon until soft and fluffy. Crack the

eggs into a jug and whisk with the

peach puree. Stir in a little at a time until

incorporated. Mix the flour, salt, ground

almonds, chopped rosemary and baking

powder in a mixing bowl then fold into

the butter and egg mix then stir in the

vanilla extract and yoghurt. Scatter in

half of one punnet of blueberries into the

prepared tin, followed by half the sponge

mixture. Top with the remaining ½ punnet

blueberries and finish with the rest of the

cake mix.

Place the cake in the oven and bake

for 45-50 minutes until golden and risen

or if a skewer is poked in the middle it

comes out clean. Remove the cake from

the oven and place on a cooling rack for

about 40 minutes. Carefully release the

cake from the tin and allow it rest on the

cooling rack until totally cool.

Place the icing sugar and 50g of softened

butter in a mixing bowl and mix well until

soft and fluffy. Mix in the cream cheese

until you have a whipped, stable frosting.

Transfer to a small bowl and pop in the

fridge to chill whilst the cake cools.

When ready to assemble place the

sponge on a serving plate or board.

Destone and slice the whole peach

into thin slices. Spread the frosting

over the top, scatter over the remaining

blueberries and peach slices. Sprinkle

over a few rosemary leaves and dust over

a little icing sugar. Serve with a cup of tea

or a fresh, crisp sparkling wine.

12 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


AUNE VALLEY MEAT &

VALLEY VIEW CAFE

Award winning Butchers, Farm Shop & Cafe

Traditional Family Butchers

Delicatessen

Fresh Local Fruit & Veg

Frozen Foods

Britannia Frozen Fish

Vintage Style Cafe

Play Area

www.aunevalleymeat.co.uk


COLJAN Cafe, Wine Bar

and Restaurant

Ade Hill meets Nathan and Michelle

Siddle and discovers COLJAN Café, Wine

Bar and Restaurant in the heart of the

ancient Stannary town of Ashburton...

Tell us more about Coljan Cafe Bar & Restaurant?

Coljan is a family run Cafe, Wine Bar and Restaurant, established in

2018 in the site formerly known as the Old London Inn. We are open

6 days a week over the summer period and offer a range of breakfast,

brunch and lunch dishes throughout the day and by evening we

transform the dining room into a warm and friendly yet relaxed place

to dine.

You’ve both recently launched a range of natural wine?

Yes, within our small restaurant, we now offer, a range of up to 90 all

natural wines available for purchase at our table or yours (meaning

you can buy to takeaway).

What is a natural wine?

This is a difficult one, but there is no real definition. To us and the

people who supply us, natural wine refers to a generalised movement

among winemakers for production of “natural” wine without

pesticides, chemicals and other additives. We help champion the

best of small independent winemakers who have amazing products

to share.

Where can I buy a bottle?

This one is easy, you can buy at our table, by dining in the restaurant,

there is a selection available by the glass, carafe and extended

range by the bottle. You can buy from the restaurant to take away or

ADVERTISING FEATURE

buy online at www.coljan.co.uk/shop. If unsure you can also but

wine tastings to come and sample some great wine and we offer a

selection of charcuterie and great local cheeses to sample alongside.

Tell us more about the menu range?

Our menu is an eclectic mix. We try very hard to have a solid range

of local produce and winder range from the West Country. We do

have to bring some products in from further a field, to meet current

customer demand, but we make these a small portion of the menu

and the dish served. Our sample menus are available online at

www.coljan.co.uk.

What natural wine would you recommend for a crab dish, such

as Mitch Tonks Singapore chilli crab?

For this amazing dish, we would recommend this Austrian Natural

Wine from ARNDORFER. This Exceptional little Gruner, fermented

on its own yeasts and aged in a variety of formats including stainless

steel and wood. Slightly cloudy colour with good concentration of

yellow plum and greengage with some spicy-leesy grip at the end of

the buttery palate.

How can I get in touch to find out more?

You can contact us via email at info@coljan.co.uk or phone

01364 654011. You can also contact us via our website

www.coljan.co.uk.

A local agency

big

with

aspirations

Our experienced team of property managers have the knowledge to

ensure that your investment fulfils its potential throughout the year.

Call us now for free and honest advice.

We believe having a local presence is key to successfully managing a holiday

property, that’s why we now have 7 offices spread throughout Cornwall,

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advise guests, meet owners and pop to properties should an issue arise.

www.toadhallcottages.co.uk Call us on: 01548 202020

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15


Man of the sea

Mitch Tonks

The Rockfish Boat

Mitch Tonks, image courtesy Steve Haywood

Sally Thomson was

delighted to catch up with

chef and entrepreneur -

Mitch Tonks who she has

known for over 25 years....

SALLY: HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Mitch: We are doing great! We are looking

forward to finally getting the restaurant

open. I think we are going to have a nice

bounce back, but what a strange time.

I’m one of the people that has benefited

and enjoyed it to be honest. Getting to my

age and not really taking any time off, I’ve

had lots of time to spend with the kids and

rethink things to make things better.

I’D LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR

BEAUTIFUL BOOK THE DISHES LOOK

MOUTH-WATERING. MY FIRST QUESTION

HOWEVER, IS HOW

HAVE YOU ADAPTED TO THE LOCKDOWN?

I must say that the first 2 weeks were

scary; I didn’t really know what was going

to happen, I knew how much money was

in the bank and how long that would last.

I had some truly beautiful and humbling

experiences where my children took care

of me, cooked for me and said: “Dad, you

just concentrate on work and we are going

to look after you and cook for you.” My son

Ben is a chef and works in The Seahorse

and so does my daughter along with Ben’s

partner who is now the general manager.

FANTASTIC, WHAT A LOVELY FAMILY AFFAIR!

It is, and it was lovely being at home with

them. When we started to think about

survival, “I thought this is it we are going to

survive this” We had 274 staff and I thought

we are going to get through this and I’m

going to take care of every single one of

you and come out the other side.

There was a lot to think about and we really

took care of people. During the time we

thought about, “How can we make this

business

better” and we started

pulling apart everything that was wrong

and thought how can we make it better?

These are things that we couldn’t do when

we were open, so we did a whole lot of

things like shortened inventory, better

shift patterns, closed the restaurant for an

hour in the afternoon, went down to a 4

day week in the winter, all the kind of stuff

that we didn’t have the foresight to do

previously.

WHEN SOMEONE IS SO ENGROSSED IN

MANAGING A BUSINESS IT’S SOMETIMES

HARD, THIS MUST HAVE GIVEN YOU THE

OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE A NEW VISION?

I think it was a bit of that, but I’m always

very outward looking with my business

any way but I think one of the challenges

was trying to get people to go along with

it as they would be like we’re too busy or

that’s not the way we do it. Everybody was

great, and I think I realised that we were

a lot more capable as I thought we were

which was great and hugely uplifting, so I

thought right I’m going to write a book. We

wrote the book in November after a really

good summer obviously we didn’t know

that we were going to be in lockdown the

first quarter. We were also working hard

on getting the planning permission for our

Salcombe restaurant which should be

ready next year. Then we started sending

16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


out boxes to people like a seafood meal for 2

and we suddenly built up to several hundred

boxes a week which was quite a considerable

amount.

What we did was open a fishmongers in

Brixham just before lockdown, so we ran it

from there sending out all these boxes. I then

started to reflect on my own behaviour at

home, how it had changed and how I was

buying my toilet roll, my chemicals, my meat

and things stuff that I had never bought on

mail order before and subscriptions and I

was really enjoying it. I started to think about

how much people had loved our boxes and

how Sainsbury’s had closed their fish counter

and I thought why can’t we set up a seafood

at home business so we completed buying

our fish supplier, we buy off the fish market

everyday we have our own boat out there

fishing so we bought that company and then

we bought another company that makes

sauces and things for us but also makes

things for Fortman & Mason and the big fancy

retailers. So, we are launching in July a really

innovated seafood at home business where

you will be able to buy amazingly fresh fish

packaged brilliantly, nice and easy recipes

available nationwide. Hopefully the reputation

will be great, and people will trust us, they

can see our fishing boats our restaurants and

they will want to buy fish from us.

KNOW YOU ARE EXTREMELY BUSY BUT WHAT

DO YOU DO TO RELAX?

I’m a sailor, a big reader so I love to read,

and I love to cook and entertain at my house

with the children. I’m a sailor so I love to plan

voyages I can’t wait to get on the water, and

we are sailing our boat up to the West Coast

of Scotland. I’m leaving in 3 weeks and we

are going to try and live a little bit up there

and a little bit down here and just take some

valuable time.

LETS TALK ABOUT YOUR BOOK WHICH

LOOKS WONDERFUL. WHEN YOU DO YOUR

RECIPES WHAT INSPIRES YOU? DO YOU

DRAW ON YOUR EXPERIENCE OR DO YOU

LIKE TO CREATE NEW DISHES?

I think in this book I draw on my love of

seafood which is really nice and my own

experiences in the rock fish book there’s quite

a lot of new dishes things that I mainly cook

at home. What I really enjoyed about this

book is there’s no boundaries. This is food

that I love like Asian food Singapore Chilli

Crab (pictured top right) and Crispy fried Chilli

cuttlefish. It’s really great!

excel in education so when I

got a doctorate from Plymouth

University, I was very proud.

I had to stand up and do a

speech in front of the students

and I never imagined that

I would get to university

and receive an honorary

doctorate and it was my most

personal proudest moment of

recognition.

Singapore Chilli Crab

I’VE NEVER WORKED WITH FRESH CRAB SO

MAYBE WHEN I NEXT COME DOWN YOU CAN

SHOW ME WHAT TO DO WITH IT.

I can definitely do that, and you know when

you eat a wonderful fresh crab it’s a mindblowing

experience.

YOU HAVE SOME FABULOUS ACCOLADES BOTH

ON YOUR WEBSITE AND IN THE LATEST BOOK

To be honest it’s not one of the things I ever

think about but they are very humbling. I think

the thing I was most proud of was the fact I

was a council house boy and didn’t really

THE ROCKFISH COOKBOOK BY

MITCH TONKS

PUBLISHED BY JON CROFT

EDITIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS TERRY

£18

AVAILABLE AT ROCKFISH

RESTAURANTS AND ONLINE AT

THEROCKFISH.CO.UK

Rockfish Cookbook

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 17


Canned

sardines

on toast

with capers & red onion

By Mitch Tonks

I love canned seafood. It becomes something

different in the canning process. Oily fish like

tuna, mackerel and sardines are particularly

delicious. I have always wanted to can seafood

caught in the UK. Canning seems to be

something we don’t do much in this country yet

in ports across Brittany and northern Spain it

is quite a craft, and the canned anchovies and

tuna from those areas are revered the world

over. They’re even more expensive than the fresh

catch.

There is a healthy sardine fishery in Cornwall.

We bought a tonne of the new season’s catch

in 2019 and worked with a Spanish seafood

cannery to have the fish popped into cans.

We tasted them alongside the very best of the

Portuguese and Spanish rivals and arrived at the

conclusion that the Cornish sardines set the bar,

being fat, oily and delicious.

I’m often asked what you can do with canned

sardines. This is how I prepare them at home,

just a simple combination of ingredients. But the

sardine mayonnaise we make at the restaurants

is what transforms the dish.

SERVES 2

1 x 140g can sardines

(I recommend Rockfish brand or Ortiz)

Sardine mayonnaise (see page 130)

½ red onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon finely chopped curly parsley

1 dill pickle, finely sliced

2 slices of sourdough bread

salt and white pepper

METHOD

Drain the oil from the can of sardines and use it

to make the mayonnaise.

Put the sardines in a bowl with the onion, capers,

parsley and pickle. Gently break up the fish but

leave nice chunks. Season. Toast the bread, then

heap the sardine mixture on top.

Serve the mayo on the side.

THEROCKFISH.CO.UK

18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Sea bream

baked in

paper

with garlic, olive oil,

chilli & rosemary

By Mitch Tonks

Cooking a fish ‘en papillote’, or in a bag, is an

excellent way to prepare it. The fish retains its

moistness and the other flavours that you add

really get a chance to develop with the flavours

of the fish to create something quite magical.

The combination of roasted garlic, chilli and

rosemary is a good one, as is thyme, lemon and

cumin. But you will find your own preferences.

Look for wild gilt head or black bream, or use

farmed gilt head bream, which are delicious and

perfectly acceptable. Ask your fishmonger to

scale and gut the fish and remove the head.

SERVES 2

8 garlic cloves

100ml olive oil

2 whole sea bream, weighing about 450g each,

head removed

1 small fresh bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced

4 sprigs of rosemary

50ml white wine

finely chopped parsley

salt

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan/180°C/Gas

Mark 4.

Place your garlic cloves, with the skin on, on

a small roasting tray, drizzle with a little of the

olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Roast for

10 minutes or until soft – you should be able to

squeeze the garlic from the skin. If not then just

cook a little longer. Set aside to cool slightly.

Turn up the oven to its maximum heat.

Cut out 2 pieces of baking parchment large

enough to enclose a fish. Lay the parchment on

the worktop and place the fish on it. Sprinkle the

chilli over the fish and place the peeled garlic

around it. Tuck some rosemary into the belly.

Sprinkle with salt and pour over the rest of the

olive oil. Fold the paper up and over the fish, and

just before you seal it up completely, pour the

wine into the corner, then finish sealing.

Place the parchment bags on a baking tray

and cook for 15 minutes. Cut the paper open,

sprinkle the fish with chopped parley and serve

straight from the bag.

THEROCKFISH.CO.UK

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19


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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 21


IT’S A

SUSTAINABLE HOUSING

DEVELOPMENT IN

GLOUCESTERSHIRE REACHES

KEY MILESTONE

GARDENERS’

WORLD

Adam Frost is an

award-winning British

garden designer,

television presenter and

motivational speaker.

Best known for his

successes at RHS Chelsea

Flower Show, he is

passionate about inspiring

adults and children

alike to create their

own gardens and watch

hedgerows spring to life.

Sally Thomson caught up

with him to discuss all

things green...

WE WERE TALKING ABOUT GEOFF

BARNWELL?

It was originally in North Devon Parks

depart that I did my apprenticeship and

then I went to work for Geoff when I was

21 years old and then spent an amazing

mind blowing, not that I think you realise

it in your early 20s working 6-7 years with

Geoff until he passed away in 96.

AN INSPIRATIONAL MAN I SHOULD

IMAGINE?

Yes, looking back I don’t think you

realised what he was talking about, Peat

free gardening, Organic gardening, stop

ripping up limestone pavements and

destroying the countryside all the things

that were way before their time really. We

are now 30 years on and we’ve only just

decided to ban peat. I think in reality he

set my gardening moral compass.

HIS SON HAS GONE INTO THE SAME

LINE OF WORK ALSO?

He had 3 sons but Nick the middle son

was left the garden & nursery, so he’s got

Barnwell plants and gardens.

TELL ME HOW THE GARDENER’S

WORLD EVENT WENT AT BEAULIEU?

I had a lovely weekend! I’d be lying if I

didn’t say I was a bit nervous. I had just

had my 2nd injection It was the first time

I had done anything in a public arena for

about 18 months! You realise that all the

shows are now your general catch up.

WITH THE PANDEMIC DID YOU FIND

IT STRANGE NOT BEING OUT &

ABOUT WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC?

Definitely, We run a school as well so

we had to close that. I did some stuff on

zoom like most people but that’s a very

strange experience. I’ve never spent

so much time at home or in the garden

through the summer months with my wife

& kids which was a mixed blessing and

gave me time to stop which I don’t think

I’ve done since I was 16.

I BET YOU MISSED THE VIBE OF

BEING AT CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW?

I was due to go back and do a garden

in 2020 so that went but it looks we will

be able to go back in September and

22 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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do some filming but I’m not building

anything now.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT BUILDING A

GARDEN FOR CHELSEA?

It can be 12 months to 2 years planning

but at one point I was doing them back to

back finishing one then moving straight

onto the next one. But it’s fascinating, it’s

how I built my career.

HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR

FIRST CHELSEA GOLD?

If I’m honest, I think I was slightly

oblivious to what they actually meant. My

dad was a landscaper and he built early

John Brooks gardens in the early 70s I

recently met Professor David Stevens

Garden designer who also worked for

John Brooks. We were talking about

Chelsea and he said that my dad would

have been a few gardens along from

where we were. David also taught me a

lot about design in that sense.

WHEN YOU START A DESIGN IS IT

FROM A THOUGHT OR ARE YOU

PLANNING IT IN ADVANCE?

It depends on whether its for a client.

I think ultimately gardens are about 4

things; People, Space, Plants and Place.

It’s normally one of those that I tap into

first and it might be a bit of landscape

it might be an individual picture I’ve

seen it might be the shape of something

whatever it is that gives me an insight

into a person or if it’s a show garden what

particular design will drive it that’s how I

start and then create from there.

DO YOU THINK BEAULIEU WILL BE A

REGULAR EVENT NOW?

I think so, I walked in and thought

what a glorious piece of landscape

and the moment I walked in the gate it

had a good feel. People really enjoyed

themselves and as a setting it had quite a

lovely intimate feel to it, even the stages

had an open canopy, and everybody

was sensible and had plenty of space.

The standard of the displays was really

good and Hilliers had gone there and

built a garden, so it was great that you

had something there of Hilliers quality. I

think a positive out of the last 15 months

is that people have slowed down have

connected or reconnected with what’s

outside their back door or in the area.

I’ve seen a report saying we now have

3 million new gardeners. Everybody

you talk to in the industry says that

the hunger from last year is still there

which is great. I just hope in a way that

stays. I think even the people that knew

gardening was good for you physically

and mentally, even for me I don’t think I

realised how important it was to my life.

I FIND IT VERY THERAPEUTIC AND

GOOD FOR THE SOUL

It’s interesting that we are seeing

statistics people moving out of cities

and into the countryside and are wanting

bigger gardens it wasn’t that long-ago

people were downsizing and didn’t want

a big outdoor space and this time has

now changed that.

I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE AN

RHS AMBASSADOR? WHAT DOES

THAT ENTAIL?

Yes, I’ve done that for quite a few years

now. Basically, I help them with stuff

looking at helping youngsters to engage

more through events and I did a lot

of work a while back with Homebase

creating apprenticeships so that’s how it

started. I also do a lot of community stuff

with RHS and I’m just about to start a

new project which I can’t say too much

about which will be good. I have travelled

all over to schools, events for them. I

was brought up just outside London and

wasn’t the best behaved, I’m dyslexic

and obviously I’ve done OK and I think

that’s why they wanted me to help.

YOU ARE AT THE NEC IN THE

SUMMER WHAT WILL THAT INVOLVE?

I normally go from stage to stage and talk

all things gardening and there’s different

themes on different stages from talking

about Grow your Own, Unusual edibles,

soil & compost so all sorts really. What

I love about that show is you have the

gardens and displays but it also interlinks

with food and because its at the NEC if

we do have poor weather people can get

inside. Because it’s such a large venue

everything will feel alright.

DO YOU DO ANY JUDGING IN YOUR

ROLE?

I’ve been asked, and I’ve done bits and

pieces, but I don’t really like to just turn

up and judge other people’s work.

SO, AT CHELSEA FOR EXAMPLE ARE

YOU THERE WHEN THE JUDGES

COME AROUND?

You have a 2 minute conversation the day

before to explain if anything has changed

or there have been any adjustments

to the design. They then arrive at your

garden anytime between 7:30 and

9:30am on the day and you must be away

from your garden. Then you have another

24 hours until you find out the result.

WHEN DID YOU REALISE THAT

YOU HAD AN APTITUDE FOR

PRESENTING?

I don’t think I did really, I love what I do I

think it just happened. I was talking to a

Robert Hillier at Chelsea and he said can

you remember the conversation we had

in 2015 where you said the BBC want

me to do some presenting as they think

I’m half decent and he said are you sure

that’s what you want to do and you said

I don’t know but I’ll give it a go and here

we are now.

WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE OUR

READERS TO DO TO THEIR GARDENS

BEFORE AUTUMN?

Don’t disengage with the garden, I think

we get to September the kids go back to

school and people pack up their gardens.

I think our environment has changed

so much that you cant month to month

garden anymore you have to react to the

month you are in September, October

and even going into November we can

still have some cracking days and only

have our first frosts going into December

so I would say to anybody there is so

much glorious flower colour foliage

colour stem colour to be had and the light

is different so the atmosphere is different

you can still wrap up and enjoy it just

don’t disengage. Don’t chase perfection

just enjoy the moments.

Adam Frost, along with other gardening

celebrities, will be appearing at the NEC

in Birmingham from Thursday August 26

to Sunday August 29.

For ticket information, please visit

www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com

24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Image from Fireclay

Tiles x Jessica Davis

Tiles can really reflect your personality, so you

don’t need to go with trends, but they can

be inspiring. This season sees a lean toward

inviting, earthy tones and using floor tiles up to

half height on the walls. Geometric tiles are still

hugely popular, and lots of ranges are bringing

out ceramic versions of en-caustic tiles for

easier upkeep.

Fascination kitchen by

Mowlem & Co

MIXING

materials

1

4

TILE

style

2

3

1 Kyoto Green Wall Tiles, £1.36 per tile

(304x76mm), www.londontile.co.uk; 2 Kromatika

Green Tile, £39.95 per sqm,

www.tilemountain.co.uk; 3 Bella Craquele,

£35.99, www.tilemountain.co.uk; 4 Priory

Cross Encaustic Effect, £1.06

per tile, www.londontile.

co.uk

Image from @studiomcgee

1

Image from @houselust

MODERN

rustic

3

2

1

INTERIOR

refresh

Trends not to be missed...

1 Zuiver Dendron

Side Table, £89,

www.cuckooland.

com; 2 Cushions from Modern

Vintage Collection, www.hauslife.co.uk;

3 Leather Foostool, £1839.50, www.

darlingsofchelsea.co.uk;

4 1950s Brass and

Leather Magazine

Holder Model 4019 by

Carl Auböck, Austria,

£1290.24, www.

thekairoscollective.com

This trend combines

a focus on integrity

of items (think antiques)

alongside comfort. It’s a lived-in

look that envelops - large convivial

pieces of furniture, paired with lots of

texture. Hardwood floors are key to

this style, as is a strong architectural

framework to the room.

The colour palette for this look tends

to be very neutral, focusing on a mix

of taupes, whites, creams and beiges,

intermixed with framing black and

other earth tones, like terracotta and

wood. Finally, small pops of colour can

be added in soft furnishings.

4

Inventive mixes of different finishes

have been really evident in lots of

kitchens this year - choosing surfaces

which age with a nice patina can also

add to the depth of the space - think

about brass and wood, or concrete

with stainless steel. Natural textures

should really shine through.

3

4

2

1 Sione Pendant, £45,

www.cultfurniture.com;

2 Raegan Dining Table, £1176,

www.sweetpeaandwillow.com

3 Whole Birch Kitchen Door,

www.thelifeofply.co.uk;

4 Cement Taupe Concrete

Effect Tile, £18.95,

www.wallsandfloors.co.uk

Image from @amberinteriors

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 27


Need that Lump or

Bump removed?

Sentinel Healthcare

can help!

As the restrictions imposed by the COVID

lockdown end, we can all look forward

to enjoying the warmer weather in our

beautiful part of the world. Soaking up the

summer sun does come with its own risks

to our skin and we spoke to a specialist

clinical service based in Plymouth and

Barnstaple for their view and on what they

can offer our local residents.

ADVERTISING FEATURE

Lee Grant, Clinical Services Manager

Lee Grant is the Clinical Services Manager at Sentinel Private

Healthcare and he answered our questions.

So the summer months do bring their

own risks to people’s skin?

Yes absolutely, it’s in the summer months

that we wear fewer clothes which would

normally protect us from the potentially

harmful UV rays. It’s important that

any lesion on the skin that is new, has

changed shape or size or just doesn’t

look right is checked as soon as possible

to rule out anything untoward.

How can Sentinel help?

We offer a photo assessment by one of

our doctors or a face to face Lump and

Bump check in our clinics in Plymouth

and Barnstaple.

How much does that cost?

It’s a free service that we offer for photo

assessments. The Lump and Bump

check is just £35 and also guarantees

a 10% discount if you book any

procedures.

What sort of lesions do you treat?

The most common treatments are mole,

keratosis, lipoma and cyst removals

as well as skin tags and warts. We

only provide treatment for benign

(harmless) lesions and if we spot anything

suspicious then we will direct patients to

their GP for an NHS referral.

Can you tell us more about the removal

process – is it painful?

Each procedure uses a slightly different

technique. For example, warts and

skins tags are usually frozen off whilst

moles may be shaved whereby layers

are carefully and gently removed back

to skin level. You will be awake and the

procedures need a small amount of local

anaesthetic which is the only, and brief,

discomfort that patients will be aware of.

Do I need a GP referral?

Not at all; patients can self-refer by

emailing or calling us. If you have a

procedure with us then we will let your

GP know.

Can I not have treatment on the NHS?

A lesion that is not a clinical risk is

classed as cosmetic and will not usually

be treated under the NHS. But we know

that people still want the lesions removed

for a whole range of reasons.

Are the procedures expensive?

Not compared to other providers! Up

to 20 skin tags removed is £199 and a

keratosis removal is typically £410 with

the discount. Most of our prices are 50%

less than other providers.

How quickly can I be seen?

We can usually offer an appointment

within 2 weeks.

How do you know that a lesion isn’t a

possible problem?

We send all moles, cysts and lipomas to

the local hospital lab to be checked.

Is the service regulated?

Yes, we are audited and inspected by the

Care Quality Commission (CQC).

How do I make contact with Sentinel?

You can call the dedicated number

0333 332 2105 or email us at:

asksentinel@nhs.net

That is also the address to send the

photos to.

“A lesion that is not a clinical risk is classed as

cosmetic and will not usually be treated under

the NHS. But we know that people still want the

lesions removed for a whole range of reasons.”

28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


RETIREMENT

PLANNING:

A GUIDE

Getting your financial

ducks in a row for a happy

retirement...

Retirement planning is a multi-faceted

process which evolves over time - to

have a comfortable and secure future,

you have to have the means to fund

it. Fewer people have access to the

guaranteed income that comes with a

final salary pension, and with longer to

wait until eligibility for the state pension,

it’s pertinent to start planning as early as

possible for the retirement you want. The

better prepared you are now, the better

your retirement will be.

There are many strands to retirement

planning, and much of it depends on

your stage of life. It’s important to seek

advice from a registered financial planner

who can help you make the most of your

unique circumstances.

There are some handy way points to help

you get a grasp on where you are and

what you will need - here’s a checklist of

things to consider:

Understand what your retirement

income is likely to be:

You will be adding to your pension fund

during your working life, but it’s important

you get a handle on your various pension

pots to forecast the actual figure you will

have access to.

Check your state pension:

The rising state pension age can have a

real knock-on effect to your retirement

planning - a state pension forecast will

help you to gauge how much you’re on

course to get from the government.

Get an understanding of your

expenditure:

Having an idea of your expenditure will

help you plan longer-term. Your living

costs are likely to be a lot lower than

in other phases of life - you might be

mortgage-free and you don’t have the

same costs for commuting, recreation or

childcare for example.

You may wish to improve your home

or go on some amazing trips, so it’s

important you know you have the

financial reserves to do this.

When should you start drawing a

pension?

You don’t have to stop working to draw

down your pension - as long as you

are over the age of 55 - but be aware,

the sooner you start dipping into it, the

sooner the pot will deplete.

How much will retirement cost?

This is the golden question, and really

depends on the level of comfort or luxury

you are looking for in your autumn years.

A recent Which? study found that the

average retired household (those living

alone or as couples) spent an around

£2,170 per month - this is covering all

the basic areas of expenditure and some

luxuries like European holidays. Those

looking for a more luxurious lifestyle

including longer-haul trips and new cars

every five years would need to allow

for approximately £3,400 per month, or

£41,000 per year.

Once you have a framework for the

amount you’ll need, and what you are

on track for saving, you also need to

consider how you will access your

pension pots - these might be state

pension, a final salary pension and a

money purchase/defined contribution

pension.

With your defined contribution pot,

such as the one you might get in the

government employee scheme, you can

draw the entire pension pot in one go,

but this will mean it’s entirely down to

you to make the money last and you’ll

invariably pay a substantial tax bill. Most

people with these pensions will opt for

income drawdown or an annuity, or a

combination of both when it comes

taking money out of their pension.

With careful planning and accurate

forecasting, your retirement can be

something to really look forward to, but

it is essential to make an assessment of

your position as early as possible and

use the advice of experts to make your

money work harder for you.

30 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


“Our home is more comfortable.

In fact, if I could have my time over again,

“Our home is more comfortable.

I would have had them fitted earlier.”

In fact, if I could have my time over again,

MRS RICHARDS, CORNWALL

I would have had them fitted earlier.”

MRS RICHARDS, CORNWALL

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Call Call us us on on

01209 714 600

info@southwestheatingsolutions.co.uk

www.southwestheatingsolutions.co.uk


01548 521339 ∙ 07595 914330

info@mooregardenrooms.com

mooregardenrooms.com

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