Taunton and South Somerset Living 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!

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Contents

A Note

from the EDITOR

16

Delicious

A Culinary Journey through

Northern Ireland

dishes for afternoon tea

Our competition

page returns

06

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

his upcoming appearance at

Gardeners’ World Live. 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.

24

Editor Katie Thomson

e katie.thomson@minervapublications.co.uk

Easy interior updates

for a quick refresh

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 Claire Harris

e claire@minervapublications.co.uk

t 01225 984 494

twitter: @TauntonLiving

28

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


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COMPETITION

Time

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

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Find the competition and enter on that post,

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

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6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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Summertime...

The Kennel Club advises us on how take care of your

friends during this time of year

Warm summer and autumn months are

great for spending time out with your

four-legged friend, catching up on the

adventures we all missed during the

pandemic, exploring new ‘walkies’ routes

or enjoying ‘staycations’ and trips.

These newly found freedoms and

socialisation opportunities can be very

exciting for dogs, and it is important that

owners know how to make sure their canine

companion is safe and comfortable wherever

they go.

The Kennel Club, the UK’s largest

organisation dedicated to dog health, welfare

and training, has rounded up top tips on how

to make sure you and your dog are enjoying

the end of the summer safely:

Seaside adventures and BBQs

If you are planning to enjoy the last weeks

of the English summer by the seaside or

throwing a garden party, keep an eye on your

four-legged friend too.

Many dogs enjoy water and swimming in the

sea, rivers or ponds, especially on a warm

day. To make sure your dog is enjoying the

water safely, always start off in a shallow

water to help them adjust before testing

deeper water. Never let your dog swim in a

rough sea, ensure they don’t swim too far

out, and make sure they come back if you

call them.

8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

When taking your dog swimming, be aware

of blue-green algae, which can be found in

water bodies and is toxic for dogs. Algae is

especially common after heat waves and

can cause a range of serious reactions. If

your dog becomes unwell, contact your vet

immediately.

Whether you are planning your own

celebration or walking around popular BBQ

spots on the beach, make sure to look out

for any leftovers and watch your dog closely.

Skewers, cooked bones and even corn on

the cob can be dangerous for dogs.

Travel and staycations

If you are planning to enjoy a well-deserved

holiday soon, it’s important you also keep

your canine travel companion safe and

happy.

Whether you are off on a day trip or a

longer staycation, make sure to check the

dog-friendly status of all sights and places

you intend to visit and stay at to avoid

disappointment. The dog-friendly status of

some places might have changed during

lockdown or have seasonal restrictions in

place too. Whilst visiting attractions or pubs

and restaurants, keep an eye on your dog

to make sure they aren’t overwhelmed and

if it’s sunny or warm, make sure they have a

shady area to rest in. Wherever you go, be

sure to bring water for your dog.

It is also important to keep your dog safe

on the road - making sure they have a

comfortable and cool spot in the car and

taking regular breaks so they can go to the

toilet or have a drink. Most importantly, never

leave your dog alone in a car, even for a short

while and especially during warmer days

Wildlife and countryside walks.

If you are planning a long dog walk in the

countryside, make sure you’re aware of local

dog walking rules, many of which change

during the year, so you and your dog can

enjoy time in nature responsibly.

Whilst out with your four-legged friend, follow

pathways and pay attention to signage about

dogs being on leads or not allowed. Make

sure you prevent your dog from approaching

and chasing any wildlife or livestock and use

a lead if necessary or required by signage.

The Kennel Club’s Paw by Paw Guide is

a useful hub with information and advice

including seasonal dog walking and

travelling tips, helping owners and their

four-legged friends enjoy the summer whilst

staying healthy, happy and safe. For more

information visit: thekennelclub.org.uk/

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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 9


THE WOOLVERTON GALLERY

SUMMER EXHIBITION

Bath based Artist,

Ray Jones, has opened

Bath’s latest art venue:

the Woolverton Gallery

in Woolverton near

Bath...

The official opening ceremony

took place on Saturday 26th June with a number of the

participating artists due to Covid restrictions.

More to explore

than ever before!

The new gallery is made up of 5 exhibition rooms, and showcases

the work of 26 resident artists. The emphasis is on colourful,

contemporary artwork in a variety of styles.

The Summer Exhibition features the work of well-known Bath

artists such as David Wilkey, David Ringsell and Brian Elwell as

well as many contributors from further afield.

Ray said “It is difficult for artists to find an exhibition space for

their work, and I am pleased to be able to provide a permanent

exhibition space for this group of highly talented artists. Each

resident artist has at least 2 works on show at any time, and we

always have at least 60 paintings on display. The Gallery is linked

to the company website www.bathartsales.com, and this further

showcases all our artists with more of their available work.”

Apart from the permanent seasonal exhibitions, there will be

special events including one man/woman exhibitions at frequent

intervals.

ADVERTISING FEATURE

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10 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Learning through play

Katie Paynter - discusses

the value of play in the

development of children

Nothing is as natural as a child at play. It is a

cherished part of childhood. It is important

to recognise that it is difficult to give a single

definition of play. It can be defined as ‘what

children and young people do when they

follow their own ideas and interests, in their

own way, and for their own reasons.’ Play

has also frequently been described as ‘what

children and young people do when they are

not being told what to do by adults’.

Regardless of definition, the importance

of play cannot be underestimated. It is

undeniably instrumental in children’s learning

and development and is particularly integral

in a child’s early years, given it indubitably

supports their foundational social, emotional

and cognitive growth.

Anyone spending any time with young

children will understand that providing them

with opportunities for play provides so much

more than a few minutes or hours of ‘fun’.

Many instrumental skills are developed. It

develops communication and language skills

and vocabulary, an understanding of emotion

and empathy, social skills and creativity. It

also supports and strengthens co-operation,

collaboration, sharing and problem solving.

Children will observe those around them

and mimic language and behaviour. It

teaches self-expression, nurtures a sense of

imagination and simultaneously gives children

a feeling of adventure.

Dramatic play is absolutely essential to a

child’s social and emotional development and

can enhance their physical development too.

It is also very closely connected to intellectual

development. This is when children make

sense of the world in which they live by

acting out situations before they experience

them and by mimicking what they witness

around them. Most children are innately

imaginative and will happily chat away to

someone on their toy telephone or pretend

to travel to hospital in an ambulance made

from a cardboard box! This creativity must be

actively fostered!

Encouraging young children to embrace

physically active play is extremely beneficial

and necessary for their development. It

helps them to learn about the ever-changing

environment and gives them the opportunity

to use their whole body and develop their

gross motor skills. It can meet their multisensory

needs and will promote significant

health and well-being benefits. Whether it

is messy play, creative or role play, it is an

essential part of learning.

Play provides a platform through which

children are not only able to learn about the

world around them through interacting with it,

but it also gives them the opportunity to learn

about themselves. As play is fun, children’s

focus tends to be over a sustained period. In

turn, this helps children to develop the ability

to concentrate. It is important as parents not

to push your child too hard. Children develop

in their own ways and in their own time and,

rest assured, their levels of focus will steadily

augment.

It is imperative that children are given the

time ‘to be children’ and being able to play

is essential, if the aforementioned physical,

social, emotional and cognitive skills are to be

securely embedded.

Katie Paynter, head of pre-prep and EYFS at

Lochinver House School and IAPS pre-prep

and EY adviser

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11


Florence is doing more than her

bit on her street clean mission!

Florence, aged nine, came to bibic in January for an assessment

after concerns she had ADHD and Autism...

ADVERTISING FEATURE

She had difficulties with anxiety and her behaviour, something that

has really helped her is litter picking, which she has now been doing

for five years, not only has she inspired the whole family to pick but

also a team of over 40 other Yeovil residents.

Therapy Manager, Chelsey stated “Litter picking gives Florence

responsibility, which massively improves her self-esteem, it has given

her something to identify with, instead of feeling she has no place

in the world. She feels a sense of achievement from her street clean

mission and it gives her purpose.”

Florence’s street clean mission began, as her mum stated, when “She

got annoyed at the litter on the beach on holiday and when we got

home, she asked me to video a message. That simple message was

uploaded as a bit of a joke, but we were contacted by the paper and

TV within 48 hours.”

Florence’s important message didn’t stop there, she has met the

major, local police and several TV and newspaper reporters. “Florence

has done TV and radio interviews but anxiety was massive for the

BBC Somerset sound one and I actually thought she may bottle it.

She was desperate to share her message and with some calm time

from the interviewer she did brilliantly.”

Litter picking for Florence and her family is an ongoing mission, “We

love helping keep the town tidy however it can be frustrating when the

litter appears within hours of picking.”

However, this doesn’t get Florence’s spirit down, “Florence rarely gets

annoyed with it and has that endless mission to keep on trucking. She

has befriended a fair few of the

South Somerset District Council

teams and insists I beep at every

litter picker in the South West.”

Florence’s passion has also rubbed off on her younger brother,

“Harrison joined the ranks as a tiny two-year-old and she now calls

him her deputy in charge. They have cleared flytips, litter, laybys. We

rarely come home without a bag in the boot.”

Since Florence’s assessment at bibic, there has been an improvement

in home life, as well as managing situations, Florence’s mum stated

“I am going away armed with the information I need to help my

daughter achieve and be her very best. ” The assessment helped

Florence’s family understand the world through her eyes.

What an inspiration Florence has been and continues to be to keep

our streets clean, with the help of her family and a huge team behind

her, backing her along the way.

bibic is a national charity based in Langport, Somerset. It delivers

therapeutic programmes to children and young adults aged 6 months

to 25 years with developmental and neurological difficulties. bibic

sees them with or without diagnosis and supports a wide range of

neurological and genetic conditions.’ If you would like to support us in

helping children just like Florence to reach their full potential, you can

Sponsor a UK child with bibic.

Visit our website to find out how.

bibic.org.uk/support-us/sponsor-a-uk-child

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12 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Man of the sea

Mitch Tonks

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

14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

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

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.

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!

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 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.

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


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COURSE DATES

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Wednesday 8th and 15th September are

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10am-3pm lunch included £150pp.

Artisan Bread Baking Sandpits,

Curry Rivel, Somerset.

Thursday 9th, Friday 10th and Thursday

16th September at Sandpits in Curry Rivel,

Somerset Classes are limited to 4 spaces.

10am-3pm lunch included £150pp.

The Art of the Tart - perfecting pastry

Wednesday 22nd September 10am to 4pm.

Cost £175 pp lunch included.

Venue to be confirmed.

Visit www.thekitchengardensomerset.com to

book online or call 07899 665635

Little Kitchen is a specialist cookery school

offering a spacious relaxed environment for

hands-on cookery classes. There is wide range of

classes to choose from for adults and children,

which can all be booked online. Workshops make

great gifts; vouchers are also available online.

www.little-kitchen.co.uk

Little Kitchen

Cookery School

32 Oxford Street

Totterdown

Bristol

BS3 4RJ

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15


TIME FOR tea

With Afternoon Tea Week taking place from 9-15 August, plus the MacMillan Coffee

Morning on the 24 September, it’s time to don your apron and get baking! Recipes

from Clarence Court Eggs

CLASSIC TEATIME SCONES

MAKE 18-22 SCONES

INGREDIENTS

450g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

100g cold butter, cut into cubes

50g caster sugar

2 medium Clarence Court Hens Eggs

plus 1 beaten and a little 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.

QUAIL SCOTCH EGGS

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

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

250ml olive oil (or rapeseed)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Handful of fresh tarragon, 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.

16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

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. 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.

BLUEBERRY AND

PEACH CAKE

SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

150g 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

2 Clarence Court Braddock Whites

150g self-raising flour, sieved

50g ground almonds

1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons natural or peach yoghurt

2 x 120g punnets blueberries

250g icing sugar, 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.

Cream the butter and sugar together 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, then release from tin.

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.


the kitchen garden

ADVERTISING FEATURE

You cannot learn to be a good cook without

learning how -and how not- to eat and

without an abundance of greed and curiosity.

It’s not just about eating the best chefs’ food

or cooking with the finest ingredients. You

need to eat bad food to know what good

food is, and to burn and ruin a lot of your

own food and learn from your mistakes. And

learn from the chefs who follow food fashion

and scatter micro-herbs over everything,

even sticky toffee pudding, who paint and

glaze, drizzle and dribble, fiddle and faddle

with tweezers and puddles on plates rather

than make the ingredients taste simply and

intensely of themselves.

I was lucky enough to discover French

and Italian food at an early age. My mother

would drive crazy distances in search of a

good restaurant when we were children. We

would roam the back streets until we found

ourselves in a fish market where they were

hosing down and closing and she would

demand the best bouillabaisse in town. We

ate L’Aioli and Soupe au Pistou in a tiny

village restaurant in Murs in the Luberon. We

picnicked in cherry orchards on ripe cheeses

and rabbit pates bought in a deli in Apt,

on rillettes and brandade from Carpentras,

melons from Cavaillon.

When my mother wrote The Art of the Tart

I was her sous chef helping cook for the

photographs for the book.

‘But I’ve never made a tarte au citron

before,’ I wailed.

‘Nor will the readers of the book have,’

she replied, ‘if you can’t understand my

instructions I’ll re-write them.’

I was twelve at the time!

recommended Paul Merry at Panary. I went

on Paul’s wood-fired course first and was

instantly hooked. Next came, German,

French, Italian and sourdough courses. I

moved on to Paul’s professional course,

baffled by the hydration maths and ratio

of flour to water to yeast yet determined to

understand it.

When I had my first baby, Alba, I left her

on a Thursday to become the sorcerer’s

apprentice, even though, to begin with, Paul

only let me grease the bread tins. Finally he

allowed me to make croissants, christening

me ‘the croisssie girl.’

They were tough, cheesy, and a little yeasty

to my taste buds, something wasn’t right,

wasn’t French. I snuck in a little more sugar,

then a little more, and they turned out

buttery, golden, flaky.

Paul upgraded me to ‘oven girl,’ to weigh,

fold and knead the dough and by the time I

left Panary I was a fully fledged baker.

When we set up the pub restaurant our

pizzas were, I like to think, the best between

Taunton and Yeovil, in fact if I dare, the best

between Taunton and Bath. But the highoctane

life of a pub kitchen is not a place for

the mother of two small children, so when

I had Rory in 2018 I quit the seventy hour

weeks and cooked for my family. The daily

round of purees, packed lunches, teas and

supper. Until a year later I went back to help

Paul.

But what did I really want? A bakery? A

restaurant? A cafe?

Photo

© Tom Waller Food Envy Photography

sourdough loaves after seven years of

baking. And I started a business with Carol,

my former chef at the pub. We called it The

Kitchen Garden.

It wasn’t long before we were catering

private dining and had opened a cookery

school. In the let-up from lockdown we

catered holiday lets through Sleeps 12. We

eat breathe and bake dough and rise to

every challenge. Baking is a labour of love.

There are no short-cuts, and dough is as

temperamental as two small children. You

never know quite what it is going to do next.

We’ve driven loaves across Somerset

sometimes for a single figure profit. It is

only sustainable with our private dining and

cookery school, now booked up until the

autumn.

I do not regret the long, hard slog for a

minute. I’ve met some amazing people and

cooked for people who really appreciate

good food. And the joy is, we don’t operate

behind closed doors like chefs, we can see

people enjoying what we’ve produced and

almost taste their pleasure.

My passion for bread baking took longer to

mature. At home as a child we were always

fed dense, branny, organic wholemeal

bread. Baguettes on holiday were a treat.

So were our nanny Gladys’ ‘scooby snacks’

made with crusty cobs when Mama was

away filming. That sense of wickedness:

giant sandwiches piled with ham and

cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise,

coleslaw; we could hardly get our mouths

round them.

When I was asked to set up a new kitchen

in a pub in Somerset I decided it was high

time I learned to bake and my mother

I started doing cookery demonstrations at

my husband’s wood-burning stove shop. I

baked my way through Dan Lepard’s ‘Short

and Sweet.’ Customers stopped by, tasted,

asked for lessons. I set up an Artisan Bread

Baking Airbnb Experience. Pretty soon I had

5 star reviews and a full order book. I taught

Wonderful Walkers Picnics. And then...

You all know what happened in March 2020.

Stuck at home with the children I refined

my skills. The kitchen was stacked with

flour sacks. I mastered the perfect bagels,

baguettes, brown, white and finally

“We eat breathe and bake dough and rise to

every challenge. Baking is a labour of love.

There are no short-cuts, and dough is as

temperamental as two small children.”

Miranda Shearer

Perfect Neapolitan Pizza and Fresh Pasta

Class Sandpits, Curry Rivel, Somerset

Wednesday 8th and 15th September are

limited to 4 spaces. 10am-3pm lunch

included £150pp.

Artisan Bread Baking Sandpits, Curry

Rivel, Somerset Thursday 9th, Friday

10th and Thursday 16th September at

Sandpits in Curry Rivel, Somerset Classes

are limited to 4 spaces. 10am-3pm lunch

included £150pp.

The Art of the Tart - perfecting pastry

Wednesday 22 September 10am to 4pm.

Cost £175 pp lunch included Venue to be

confirmed.

To book please visit

www.thekitchengardensomerset.com

Miranda: 07899 665635

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 17


Vauxhall

Mokka

Motoring Journalist Sue Cooke test drives the bold

new Vauxhall Mokka...

I admit to momentarily closing my eyes

behind the steering wheel on an awful

car journey which took twice as long as

it should have, because of bad weather

and traffic jams. It was the jolt of hitting

rumble strips that frightened me so much

I remained alert for the rest of the trip.

Four million drivers have admitted to

falling asleep for a moment, in a recent

study by IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s

largest independent road safety charity.

It paints a worrying picture of fatigue

among motorists as 1-in-10 surveyed

admitted to momentarily closing their

eyes because they were so tired.

Help is at hand with the secondgeneration

Vauxhall Mokka which

features as standard, a very useful driver

drowsiness alert. Some of the long list of

other driver aids and safety technologies

have previously only been available in

premium vehicle segments. I found the

Side Blind Spot alert and Panoramic

Rear-View Camera very helpful when

backing out of a drive onto a main road.

18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

The compact SUV has a bold new

look and is the first model to feature

a distinctive Vauxhall Vizor front panel

which has glare-free headlights that

automatically switch to main-beam when

driving outside urban areas and will

switch to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic.

The new Mokka is shorter and wider

which give it a sporty and dynamic

stance and there is a gorgeous new

Mamba Green paint colour. Customers

can choose a combination of contrasting

roof and bonnet colours which look

stunning. I like that the doors locked

automatically when I walked away from

the car and unlocked when I approached

with the key in my pocket.

The quality interior has two screens up

to 10 and 12 inches in size. Both screens

face the driver so I found instructions

easy to read. Many functions are

accessible via touchscreen but what I

appreciated while on the move, was the

button to turn the volume up or down

for the audio. The air conditioning is also

operated with buttons. There is a push

button stop and start. Gears change by

flicking a lever between the seats into

reverse neutral or drive. A ‘P’ button is

pressed when parking and in front of that

there is a lever for braking. They are all

very simple to use rather than the larger

more cumbersome traditional ways of

changing gear and braking.

The innovative technology allows for a

good amount of storage space between

the seats and in the doors. Rear leg

space is adequate and I like the double

boot space with a hand hold grip to

close the tailgate. With the rear seats

up, the new Mokka has up to 350 litres of

storage space, extending to 1,105 litres

with the rear row of seats folded.

As well as a choice of petrol and diesel

engines, the Mokka-e is the 100%

electric variant. With a 50kWh lithium-ion

battery and a 100kW (136hp) electric

motor, the WLTP-approved range is 201

miles and emissions are zero. 100kW

rapid charging up to 80% takes less than

30 minutes.

The new Vauxhall Mokka provides a

stylish, sporty but practical drive however

long the journey. IAM road safety experts

advise that when driving a long distance

never drive for longer than two hours

without a break and take particular care

if driving at a time when you would

normally be asleep.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Vauxhall Mokka SRi

Price: £26,245otr

Engine: 1.2 litre with 130PS with eight

speed automatic

Performance: 0-60mph in 9.2 seconds

and on to a top speed of 124mph

CO2 emissions: 137g/km

Combined fuel consumption: 47.9mpg


The Rowcliffes difference

Exclusive savings on the latest Vauxhall models

We pride ourselves in bringing the very best motoring

experience to Somerset. From buying a new or approved

used Vauxhall to its servicing and maintenance, we are

here for you. Get in touch for the latest offers and to book

a test drive in the latest models, like the new Grandland.

TAKE A TEST DRIVE & SHOW THIS VOUCHER

FOR AN EXTRA £250 DISCOUNT!

Terms & conditions apply. Cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts. Valid until 20th December 2021. Present prior to ordering a new car.

Taunton

01823 250497

Bridgwater

01278 454021

To find out more visit vauxhallpartners.co.uk

Yeovil

01935 381741

Street

01458 550898

Fuel economy and CO 2 results for All-new Corsa and New Crossland ranges. Combined mpg (l/100km): 45.7 (6.2) – 70.6 (4.0).

CO 2 emissions: 140 – 105g/km.

www.rowcliffes.co.uk

Models shown are All-new Corsa SRi 1.2 (100PS) with brilliant paint and New Crossland SRi Nav 1.2 (83PS) with brilliant paint. Offer available via the Vauxhall Online Store only. Savings only available

when vehicle financed through Vauxhall Finance. Personal Contract Purchase. Finance subject to status, Ts&Cs apply. Applicants Follow must us be for 18+. news Finance by & Vauxhall offersFinance, CF15 7YT. 24-48

month term available. At the end of the agreement there are three options: i) Part exchange the vehicle, where equity is available ii) Pay the optional final payment to own the vehicle, or iii) Return

the vehicle. Offer applies to Vauxhall Partners only. Not available in conjunction with other Promotions via the Vauxhall Online Store. Orders from 7 April to 6 July 2021. WLTP figures shown are

for comparison purposes and should only be compared to the fuel consumption and CO2 values of other cars tested to the same technical standard. The fuel consumption achieved, and CO2

produced, in real-world conditions will depend upon a number of factors including, but not limited to: the accessories fitted (pre- and post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and

vehicle load. For more information, contact your local Vauxhall Retailer. Vauxhall Motors Limited reserves the right to change, amend or withdraw this offer at any point in time. Correct at time

of publication.


Citroen

New e-C4

Motoring Journalist Sue Cooke test drives the

economical yet sleek Citroen New e-C4...

Following 15 months of lockdown

and fewer cars on the road, people

living in the Northern state of Punjab

in India, were able to see the snowcapped

Himalayas, 200 kms away, for

the first time in 30 years. The reason

being, reduced air pollution. In the

UK concentrations of NO2, a pollutant

commonly associated with road transport

were estimated to have declined by

45 per cent in the Spring of 2020. (RQ

magazine Summer 2021)

Unfortunately, there are already signs

that pollution levels are returning to levels

closer to those observed prior to the

pandemic. So driving all electric cars will

benefit every one of us.

The new Citroen ë-C4 is the fifth

model launched as part of Citroën’s

electrification offensive and is powered

by a 136hp electric motor and 50kWh

battery that can charge at speeds of up

to 100kW through CCS rapid charging. A

single charge gives up to 217 miles.

This compact hatchback has the

qualities needed to shake up standards,

particularly with the exterior design which

I think is absolutely gorgeous. New

V shaped LED lighting front and rear

have distinctive front fog lamps with

a cornering function. A black spoiler

across the rear window didn’t hamper my

vision and adds to the sporty look. There

are 31 combinations of body colours and

colour packs and tinted side windows

with matt black detail.

The interior is just as good looking,

is spacious and full of gadgets. The

large 10 inch high touchscreen central

display controls the DAB digital radio,

six speakers, Apple car play and android

auto which I discovered can also be

operated by a voice command. There

are simple buttons to change the air

conditioning easily and a flip lever instead

of a handbrake. There is so much storage

space and I like the sun visors with

illuminated vanity mirrors.

The integrated Smart Pad support to

which I attached my tablet computer is

useful when using the car as an office.

The steering wheel controls and driver’s

instrument cluster let me know the

average mileage I was achieving. The

head up display showed the mileage I

was driving at and the mileage for the

road ahead.

Bumping along potholed urban roads can

be very uncomfortable but this compact

hatchback has enhanced suspension

and supportive seating which provided

me with a very smooth ride. Citroën’s

Progressive Hydraulic Cushion®

technology, has Progressive Hydraulic

cushions with advanced comfort seats.

With broad cushions and seat backs, they

combine high-density foam at the heart

of each seat, and a thick 15mm layer of

extra textured foam on the surface. It is

so relaxing for long journeys.

The ë-C4 has a “Brake” feature to

increase the slowing of the car without

pressing the brake pedal. The system

allows for the recovery of energy when

slowing the car, and the driver can

partially recharge the battery and increase

the range. Several driving modes are

available, activated by the mode selector

on the centre console: Eco, Normal

or Sport. The system allows the driver

to choose between performance and

optimal eco-driving.

So take a deep breath and take

advantage of the environmental benefits

of driving Citroen’s all electric e-C4.

New owners will find zero odour and

zero noise, zero vibrations, zero CO2

emissions and zero congestion charges.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Citroen e-C4 Shine

Price: £32,390 otr

Power: Lithium ion battery and electric

motor

Performance: 0-62mph in 9 seconds

and on to a top speed of 93mph

CO2 emissions: Zero

EV Range: Up to 217 miles (WLTP)

20 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


DISCOVER THE

NEW CITROËN RANGE

AT ROWCLIFFES YEOVIL

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New C4 sets itself apart with the elegance, fluidity and

dynamism of a compact hatchback, plus the strength,

character and robustness of an SUV thanks to large alloy

wheels, generous and muscular shapes New C4 also

introduces a 100% electric version to the range for the first

time - New ë-C4 100% ëlectric.

NEW C3 AIRCROSS SUV

New Citroën C3 Aircross goes upmarket and asserts its

character with a new expression of the front end, new

quarter-light trim and more on-board comfort. Versatile and

modular, New Citroën C3 Aircross is the ideal SUV for both

the city and leisure!

TAKE A TEST DRIVE & SHOW THIS VOUCHER

FOR AN EXTRA £250 DISCOUNT!

Terms & conditions apply. Cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts. Valid until 20th December 2021. Present prior to ordering a new car.

Visit rowcliffescitroen.co.uk

Or call us on 01935 381741

Summer House Terrace, Yeovil BA20


SUBARU OUTBACK

Motoring Journalist Sue Cooke test drives the all-new smart

and rugged Subaru Outback

My work colleague is a back seat driver

and enjoys telling me how to drive. He

will irritatingly point out that the car in

front has moved forward. This week,

while driving alone in the new Subaru

Outback I was shocked to see a message

flash onto the screen and a piercing note

inform me that the vehicle ahead had

moved on.

It is called Eyesight Driver Assist

technology and is a standard feature with

11 new or improved safety functions for

2022. It would only take a moment’s

glance away from the road ahead to

be in an accident. But the technology

on this sixth generation crossover

ensures drivers have a second pair of

eyes without a back seat driver. The

technology offers the highest possible

front crash prevent rating and has been

found to reduce rear end crashes with

injuries by up to 85%.

Since its launch in 1995 the Outback has

combined the station wagon crossover,

passenger car and SUV which became

the forerunner of a new car segment.

As the flagship model for Subaru this

popular everyday companion is the safest

Outback ever built says Subaru, offering

comfort, practicality, capability and it’s so

good to drive.

The exterior makes the Outback one of

the more attractive crossovers on the

road and is tougher and more rugged

looking. When I was driving at night the

LED headlights equipped with high beam

assist really lit up the road ahead but with

an adaptive driving beam which reduces

glare.

The quality interior has a choice of three

trim levels, Limited, Field and Touring

and the quiet cabin has more space. The

windshield has moved forward and the

front door windows have moved out. The

total length has also extended and the

wider boot opening creates a cavernous

flat load area to accommodate up to 522

litres of cargo. I enjoyed the benefits of

the first hands free power tailgate on a

Subaru. With hands full I waved an elbow

near the badge which automatically

raised the tailgate. Marvellous. And

there are no items rolling around in the

boot as there are more hooks and net

pockets so objects can be easily secured.

I found it much easier to hoist myself

into the driver’s seat as the side sill steps

have been widened and now have a nonslip

pattern.

For tough off roading situations, the

Outback has a newly evolved X-Mode

technology with Hill Descent Control

for reliability on steep, wet, or slippery

terrain. Switch between snow/dirt mode

to negotiate snow, dirt, or gravel, or

snow/mud mode for soft conditions

where lesser vehicles get stuck.

The Outback is powered by a 2.5 litre

Boxer petrol engine which has instant

and fast acceleration.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Subaru Outback Limited edition

Price: £33,995 otr

Engine: 2.5 litre petrol Boxer engine

Performance: 0-62mph in 10.2

seconds and on to a top speed of

123mph

CO2 emissions: 193g/km

22 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


SUMMER SPECIAL OFFERS

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We typically receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to International Motors Finance Ltd. This may be

a flat fee or percentage of the amount you borrow. Vehicle shown is an Outback 2.5i SE Premium Lineartronic, OTR price

of £36,810. Model shown price includes optional special paint finish at £550.

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Rowcliffes Subaru, Trading as Blackdown Motor Company Ltd is a credit broker and not a lender

SUBARU Outback 2.5i fuel economy and CO2 results (WLTP): Combined 33.0mpg, CO2 emissions 193g/km. Mpg figures are official EU test figures for comparative purposes & may not reflect real driving results. Fuel consumption achieved in

real life conditions & CO2 produced depends on a number of factors including accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles & vehicle load.

Terms of Offer: 50% deposit followed by the remaining 50% paid in one payment after 12 months. Credit available subject to status to UK residents aged 18 and over. This credit offer is only available through Subaru Finance provided by International Motors Finance Limited,

St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff CF10 5BH. We can introduce you to Subaru Finance and a limited number of lenders who may be able to provide funding for your vehicle. We may receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to these lenders. OTR price

includes VAT, delivery, number plates, 12 months road fund licence and first registration fee. Prices correct at time of going to print. Offer available on new vehicles registered between 01.07.2021 and 30.09.2021. Stock subject to availability. Subaru reserves the right to amend

or withdraw offers at any time without prior notice. Private customers only, not available in conjunction with any other offers. Excludes Personal Contract Hire and Business Contract Hire. Also, excludes fleet, BASC, NFU and Griffin Members Affinity Scheme sales. Available

at participating dealers only. †Outback is covered by a 3 Year/60,000 miles (whichever is sooner) Manufacturer’s Warranty (bumper to bumper, excluding clutch driven plate).

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SEARCH: Rowcliffes Subaru

SUBARU FORESTER e-BOXER fuel economy and CO2 results (WLTP): Combined 34.7mpg, CO2 emissions 185g/km. Mpg figures are official EU test figures for comparative purposes & may not reflect real driving results. Fuel consumption

achieved in real life conditions & CO2 produced depends on a number of factors including accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles & vehicle load.

*Saving of £3,000 (incl. VAT) on a 2.0i XE Lineartronic Forester e-BOXER or a saving of £2,500 on a new 2.0i XE Premium Lineartronic Forester e-BOXER. Offer available on new vehicles registered between 01.07.2021 and 30.09.2021. Stock subject to availability. Subaru reserves the right to amend or withdraw

offers at any time without prior notice. Private customers only, not available in conjunction with any other offers. Excludes Personal Contract Hire and Business Contract Hire. Also, excludes fleet, BASC, NFU and Griffin Members Affinity Scheme sales. Available at participating dealers only. †Forester is covered

by a 3 Year/60,000 miles (whichever is sooner) Manufacturer’s Warranty (bumper to bumper, excluding clutch driven plate).

32490 Subaru Q3 Dealer Ad_HP_Forester_AW.indd 1 30/06/2021 13:29


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

24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


We are the number one choice for

plumbing & gas related work in

Taunton and the surrounding area.

Fully insured, Worcester Accredited and Gas Safe

registered we are committed to our customer’s needs

and will guarantee our standards for both service and

workmanship to give you peace of mind.

T: 01823 413 999 (Emergency): 07799 614977

E: info@neilrobertsonplumbing.co.uk

www.neilrobertsonplumbing.co.uk

THE SOLUTION WE HAVE

ALL BEEN LOOKING FOR

Transforming the one you have, to one you love

THE GREEN ALTERNATIVE TO CONCRETE THAT WILL

CREATE INSTANT DIY HARDSTANDING, ANYWHERE

TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT • YARDS • PATHS • DRIVEWAYS • GATEWAYS

PARKING AREAS • PONY PATIOS • 60+ TONNES RATING • 100% RECYCLED

FOR REVIEWS & TESTIMONIALS,

FIND US ON FACEBOOK & YOUTUBE

WWW.MUDCONTROL.CO.UK

SALES@MUDCONTROL.CO.UK

TEL: 01536 669630

With over 25 years experience in the

kitchen industry offering a quality service.

• Complete New Kitchens •

• Granite Quartz Worktops • Replacement Doors •

• Sinks & Taps • Top Brand Appliances •

• Kitchen Alterations • Design Consultation •

www.kitchenkind.co.uk

Unit 30 Ilton Business Park, Ilminster TA19 9DU

01935 250310

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25


PROVIDING LEVEL-HEADED FINANCIAL ADVICE

Visit www.albertgoodman.co.uk for more information,

or call 01823 286096 to arrange a free consultation.

26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Acorn Solicitors are a friendly, local,

family run firm based in Taunton

and Street. We are well known

for our specialist knowledge and

personal style of working.

we are recruiting in your area...

join our team!

Wills and Trusts

Powers of Attorney

Probate

Executor/Trustee

Conveyancing

Notary Public

Elderly Client Matters

Commercial Property

We have no hidden charges or costs - we

tell you upfront clearly what you will pay.

for more information, go to

affinitytrust.org/jobs

07584 528380

50 Upper High St, Taunton TA1 3PY Tel: 01823 273010

www.acornsolicitors.com

lucywhite@affinitytrust.org

in Bath

SPECIALISING IN CHINESE AND ASIAN WORKS OF ART

Highlights

from April

21st Sale

A Chinese Junyao

purple splashed

dish, 12-14th

Century. SOLD

£12,900 inclu.

premium

Above:

A Chinese

wucai ‘dragon

& phoenix’

bowl, Jaiqing

(1796-1820)

SOLD £14,190

inclu. premium

Accepting

consignments

for future

sales

Pair of Chinese doucai ‘Chicken’ cups, Kangxi

(1662-1722) SOLD £8385 inclu. premium

Pair of Chinese

doucai wince

cups, Yongzheng

(1722-35) SOLD

£23,220 inclu.

premium

2 Princes Buildings, George Street, Bath, BA1 2ED Tel: 01225 318587

www.masanauction.com

A Chinese underglaze blue

and red ‘Bajixiang’ stem cup,

Qianlong (1735-96) SOLD

£28,380 inclu. premium

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 27


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.

28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Feel at home at

Stockmoor Lodge.

Stockmoor Lodge

Bridgwater TA6 6WT

At Stockmoor Lodge, we provide high-quality,

person-centred residential, dementia and nursing

care, as well as a range of support services tailored

to your individual needs. Our home is furnished

to a high standard and equipped with en-suite

bedroom facilities, comfortable communal

areas and beautiful gardens.

If you are looking to find the perfect place to

call home, either for yourself or a loved one,

make the move to Stockmoor Lodge today.

Search online for:

Stockmoor Lodge

www.somersetcare.co.uk

0800 817 4990

FRIENDSHIP • SUPPORT • UNRIVALLED CARE • COMMUNITY

Beauchamp Gardens is a beautiful and unique

development of 14 assisted living mews cottages

and apartments available to rent.

To help you maintain an independent lifestyle, a bespoke

home care package can be made available, or a respite stay at

Beauchamp House care home can help you recover from illness.

Beauchamp Gardens offers a wonderfully social atmosphere, with

the reassurance of care and assistance on hand when you need it.

Welcome to Beauchamp Gardens

Assisted living properties are rarely available to rent, to

avoid disappointment please call 01823 481500 to arrange

an immediate viewing.

Contact us today to arrange a visit or find out more.

01823 481500 | care-south.co.uk

Hatch Beauchamp, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 6SG

Care South is a leading provider of residential and home care across the south of England.

Registered Charity No. 1014697

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29


LUXURY LIVING FOR THE

OVER-70S IN TAUNTON

Kingfisher Court is the latest Retirement

Living Plus development in Taunton from

McCarthy Stone...

Exclusively for the over-70s, the development presents a range

of beautifully-finished, low maintenance, spacious apartments,

which will be available to buy off-plan in early 2022 and will offer

all the home comforts you could ever need, with a choice of

social and leisure activities right on your doorstep.

Once complete, Kingfisher Court will have plenty to offer the

most discerning retirees, with stylish fixtures and fittings,

including top of the range built-in appliances in every apartment.

Beautifully landscaped gardens will be maintained all year round

for the enjoyment of Kingfisher Court homeowners and will be

the setting for many garden parties and social activities during

the summer months. There will be private parking on-site as well

as local transport links nearby, with Taunton train station just two

miles from the development.

As a Retirement Living Plus development, Kingfisher Court

will also bridge the gap between conventional retirement living

and residential care, and an Estate Manager and experienced

team will be on hand day and night to oversee the running of

the development, and also provide tailored domestic support

packages to suit individual needs.

It is reassuring to know that Kingfisher Court will have a 24-hour

emergency call system in place to provide emergency assistance

should it ever be needed. Kingfisher Court will also provide

ADVERTISING FEATURE

added peace of mind and security for homeowners with video

entry systems to all apartments.

More than nine out of 10 customers would recommend McCarthy

Stone to a friend, ensuring it has received the full Five Star award

for customer satisfaction from the Home Builders Federation for

16 years’ running. McCarthy Stone is the only UK housebuilder

of any size or type to achieve this accolade for 16 consecutive

years, which is every year the awards have been run.

McCarthy Stone also received the Housebuilder Special

Recognition Award 2020 for working hard to protect its

customers – Covid-19 infection rates among homeowners are

significantly below the national rate of infection across all age

groups – and for innovation in the retirement sector.

For more information on Kingfisher Court, you can book a place

at the development’s Discovery Days, which are taking place

at The Castle on Thursday 12th August and Friday 13th August

between 10:30am and 5pm.

For further details, please call 0800 310 0383 or visit

www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk/kingfisher-court.

The West Country welcomes you to its

newest, most exclusive development.

Located on the edge of the beautiful market town of Bridgwater,

17TH-18TH AUGUST 2019

9AM-4PM

Somerset and within easy reach of the picturesque Quantock Hills

and the vivid landscapes of Exmoor. Enjoy a relaxing round of golf

at some of the region’s challenging courses or a visit to Chilton

Lakes for fishing, a stroll along the beaches of nearby Burnham-on-

Sea or Minehead, all within easy reach of Chilton Park. Across of the

road will take you to the brand new leisure centre, featuring a gym,

exercise classes, 4 court sports hall, swimming pool and more!

Chilton Park, Chilton Trinity, Somerset TA6 3JW | www.chiltonpark.co.uk | 01278 426005 or 07858 404593

30 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


COMING SOON

KINGFISHER COURT, TAUNTON.

One and two bed apartments

available in a beautiful development

designed to let you live your way.

• Exclusively for the over ?Os

• Balcony to selected apartments

• High-spec fixtures & fittings

• Bistro serving meals daily A

• Staff on-site 24 hours a day

Kingfisher Court, South Street,

Taunton, TAI 3AQ

To book your place,

call 0800 201 4822.

McCARTHY STONE

,,

'Extra charges apply. Imagery is representative and facilities vary by location.


discover our world

michaelspiers.co.uk

M_Spiers_Taunton Living-Ad-JUNR2021.indd 1 18/06/2021 13:25

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