from the EDITOR
A Culinary Journey through
dishes for afternoon tea
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 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.
Easy interior updates
for a quick refresh
Editor Katie Thomson
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
t 01225 984 496
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visit our website www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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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
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!
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3
To enter any (or all!) of our competitions, head to
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
dedicated to bringing you feelings of luxury, comfort and
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and sustainably sourced styles. Loop Cashmere is offering
one lucky person the chance to win a cashmere hoody and
jogger set from its new SS21 range in ‘midnight’.
This luxurious outfit is perfect for downtime at home, thrown
on after a workout, or to embrace weekend athleisure style.
It will not only keep you cosy but will last you a lifetime as
Loop Cashmere products are made from the highest quality,
Closes 05/09/2021 - Competition keyword ‘LOOP’
3 x £85
Gin sets to be
Berkshire Botanical is an
artisan spirits collection from
West Berkshire, which takes its
inspiration for the local flaura
The range boasts an Original
Dry Gin, as well as delicious
fruity flavours including
Rhubarb & Raspberry and
Honey and Orange Blossom
which are perfect for
They’re offering three lucky
winners the chance to try out
the range with a fantastic gin
bundle worth £85.
Closes 05/09/2021 -
Competition keyword ‘BOTANICAL’
From the hero 100% natural multi-use
Original Nipple Balm which can be
used as a ultra-thick and long lasting
lip balm, cuticle cream, brow balm
and more, to the newly launched BFF
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hands, body & delicate areas, your
summer skincare needs are taken
care of with Dr.Lipp! Additive free,
fragrance free, and of course not
tested on animals! Simplify your life
One lucky winner can
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Closes 05/09/2021 -
FIYAH is a
2 x £125
of their beautiful
sterling silver and
gold jewellery takes
influence from the
natural world and
seeks to emphasise
the human experience
and connection between
people – knowing how significant
and personal jewellery is to the
wearer. They minimise their impact
on the planet by only using sustainable
manufacturing practices and recycled
materials where they can.
Two lucky winners will have the chance to win a £125
voucher to spend online! fiyah.com
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 pair of
4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Thinking of letting your holiday home?
With demand for self-catering holidays at an all time high, we passionately believe that now is a
great time to let your South Devon holiday home.
Find out how our locally-based team in Salcombe and Dartmouth 01803 can 227991 support you,
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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
The remodelling and relaunch of Occombe Farm Shop is part
of our wider scheme to regenerate Occombe Farm as a brand
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
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
offer and our proceeds go towards caring for Torbay’s special green spaces.
Find out more at www.occombe.co.uk
6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
than a steam
Ask us about...
Buckfastleigh • Staverton • Totnes Riverside
Steam trains every day March to October,
from Buckfastleigh to Totnes Riverside,
alongside the stunning River Dart.
Free parking at Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0DZ.
www.southdevonrailway.co.uk 01364 644370
Much More than a toy shop
TOY - GAMES - BIKES - WETSUITS
ELECTRIC BIKES ADULT & KIDS
31 Fore St, Kingsbridge TQ7 1PG 01548 852923
8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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
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
Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/ gas mark
6. Line two baking trays with greaseproof
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
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
PREP TIME: 30 MINUTES PLUS 90 MINUTES
TO RISE AND 30 MINUTES TO REST
COOK TIME: 25-30 MINUTES
175ml warm milk
2¼ teaspoon fast action dried yeast
50g caster sugar
2 Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs, plus 1
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
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
12 Clarence Court quail eggs
250g good quality British sausages,
removed from skins
1 egg beaten
100g panko breadcrumbs
100g plain flour
Vegetable oil for frying
2x egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, plus extra for
1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar (or white
250ml olive oil (or rapeseed)
Juice of ½ lemon
Handful of fresh tarragon leaves, picked
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
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
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
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
BERRY AND LEMON
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
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
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
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.
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
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 40-50 MINUTES
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
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
250g full-fat cream cheese
1 whole peach
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
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
Fresh Local Fruit & Veg
Britannia Frozen Fish
Vintage Style Cafe
COLJAN Cafe, Wine Bar
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
01364 654011. You can also contact us via our website
A local agency
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,
Devon, Dorset and the New Forest, meaning our team are always on hand to
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
PUBLISHED BY JON CROFT
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS TERRY
AVAILABLE AT ROCKFISH
RESTAURANTS AND ONLINE AT
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 17
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
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.
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
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.
18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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.
8 garlic cloves
100ml olive oil
2 whole sea bream, weighing about 450g each,
1 small fresh bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced
4 sprigs of rosemary
50ml white wine
finely chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan/180°C/Gas
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.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 21
Adam Frost is an
television presenter and
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
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT GEOFF
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
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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Fascination kitchen by
Mowlem & Co
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.
Image from @studiomcgee
Image from @houselust
Trends not to be missed...
1 Zuiver Dendron
Side Table, £89,
com; 2 Cushions from Modern
Vintage Collection, www.hauslife.co.uk;
3 Leather Foostool, £1839.50, www.
4 1950s Brass and
Holder Model 4019 by
Carl Auböck, Austria,
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.
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.
1 Sione Pendant, £45,
2 Raegan Dining Table, £1176,
3 Whole Birch Kitchen Door,
4 Cement Taupe Concrete
Effect Tile, £18.95,
Image from @amberinteriors
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 27
Need that Lump or
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.
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
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
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
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
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:
That is also the address to send the
“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
Getting your financial
ducks in a row for a happy
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
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
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
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
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
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MRS RICHARDS, CORNWALL
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