The Lifestyle Sep - Oct 2021

minervapublications

THE

LIFESTYLE

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

WIN

LUXURY

STAYCATIONS,

JEWELLERY,

ART AND

MORE!

+

GARDEN DESIGNER

ADAM FROST

BAKER RICHARD

BERTINET

ULTIMATE COMFORT

FOOD RECIPES

VITAMIN

A REVITALISING TRIP

TO THE MALDIVES

SEA

TRAVEL | HOME & GARDEN | FOOD & DRINK | BEAUTY | INTERVIEWS


PANTO’S BACK!

(OH YES IT IS)

FRIDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2021

SATURDAY 8 JANUARY 2022

THE

GIANT

FAMILY

PANTO

BOX OFFICE 01432 340555

In partnership with

courtyard.org.uk


The Home Hit

List, page 28

EDITOR’S NOTE

a dose of vitamin sea

It might be that my partner is currently on a boys trip in

Solvenia, or maybe it’s the incredible pics of the Maldives

in this edition, or it could be literally any picture of any

swimming pool/beach/sunshine that I happen across, but

my goodness I’m in need of a holiday - and I know I’m

not the only one. It’s a desire I can almost feel palpably

in my bones.

It doesn’t even need to be abroad - but I think so many of

us have lacked that sweet sensation of having something

to look forward to, of counting down sleeps until the big

day arrives, and crucially - of mentally switching into

holiday mode once we are checked in at the airport.

Now, I might be temporarily grounded, but I’m awfully

tempted to book a trip to the aforementioned Atolls after

reading about it on page 42. I’m just going to close my

eyes and pretend I’m there now.

I think the changing of the seasons might also be to

blame - Autumn is, though a pretty wonderful time of

year and we are looking to the West Country gem of

Stourhead as one of the loveliest places to experience that

final firework display of colour this year.

Autumn also tells us it’s high time to make sure our

fortresses are prepared for the onset of bad weather - we

are making an assessment of those top jobs around the

home in our ‘Home Hit List’.

We hope you enjoy this edition - we will be back with

the next one at the beginning of November when it will

be no-holds-barred Christmas mania - don’t say I didn’t

warn you. If you haven’t checked to see if there’s a local

magazine near you, please do check out our website www.

minervamagazines.co.uk and take a look - they have the

same great content as The Lifestyle but with more of a

local flavour. Remember, The Lifestyle also has its own

exclusive features, so make sure you catch them both so

you don’t miss out!

i minervapublications | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

MINERVA PUBLICATIONS

Paxcroft Farm, Hilperton BA14 6JB | T 01225 984 550

Front Cover courtesy of Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

Would you like to find out about the cost of advertising?

Simply email ben.hollis@minervapublications.co.uk or call

Ben on 01225 984 503.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3


CONTENTS

41

06 COMPETITIONS

Fabulous goodies

to be won, from

furniture to food

13 EDUCATION

Advice from the

experts

22 GARDENING

The most important

jobs to tackle this

September

24 ADAM FROST

We catch up with the

garden designer

28 HOME LIST

The big jobs to tick

off before the onset

of winter

32 GREAT BAKES

We interview baker

Richard Bertinet

36 COMFORT FOOD

Fabulous recipes

which are like a hug

in a bowl

41 AUTUMN SHOW

Amazing autumn

colour at Stourhead

4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


BOTANICALS

COLLECTION

N O W O N L I N E

36

42

www.minervamagazines.co.uk

STERLING SILVER AND GOLD

VERMEIL JEWELLERY WITH

SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES -

FROM £10 | hauslife.co.uk

| 5


We are giving one lucky reader

the chance to win the Ultimate WIN

Starter Pack from Kit & Kin, the The Ultimate

eco-friendly brand co-founded

by Emma Bunton. Offering an baby Starter

unbeatable bundle of ethical

Pack!

baby essentials, the beautiful

collection of products is bursting

with everything a new parent needs,

night and day, including the brand’s Eco Nappies,

Biodegradable Wipes and Nappy Sacks. The standout

set also contains the heroes from Kit & Kin’s range

of 100% organic cotton babywear, including the

adorable Bunny Hat and super soft Alphabet All-in-

One, as well as a luxuriously snuggly Knitted Blanket

and Sleeping Bag, to ensure everyone gets the best

ZZZ’s, naturally!

kitandkin.com

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword ‘BABYWEAR’

WIN

A Home

Tasting Box

for two!

Ramekins & Wine offer

immersive dining

experiences where the

wine takes centrestage,

the food is

designed to showcase

its character and deliver

a true taste sensation. We

are giving readers the chance

to win a Home Tasting Box for two people

which includes six specially selected wines

and perfectly matched ramekins of food.

T’s and C’s: Three

lucky winners will enjoy

a Home Tasting Box

for two people.

ramekinsandwine.

co.uk

Closes 01/010/2021 -

Competition keyword

‘WINE’

Master goldsmith Jana Reinhardt is

inspired by the natural world and created

this pendant as part of her Polar Nights

collection, a celebration of the animals

of the Arctic. Handcrafted from 100%

recycled silver by Jana at her seaside

studio, this finely detailed piece has

been hand polished to a high shine.

WIN

A handmade

silver polar

bear necklace

worth

£95

As well as bears, the Polar Nights range

features tactile hand-carved miniature seals,

penguins, whales and narwhals. Jana has also crafted

collections based around the sparrow, the exotic birds

of the rainforest, woodland creatures and African wild

animals such as elephants and big cats. Passionate

about animal welfare and green living, Jana has also

created several exclusive pieces intended to raise

awareness and funds for charities which help orangutans

(OVAID), bears (Animals Asia), greyhounds (Galgos Del

Sol) and pangolins (Flora and Fauna) among others, as

well as establishing partnerships with charities including

NAWT and PETA .

www.janareinhardt.com

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword ‘REINHARDT’

6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Whittlebury

Park, a four-star

countryside

hotel in

WIN

A a two-night stay

for two people at

Whittlebury Park

WORTH

£338

Northamptonshire,

is nestled in

hundreds of acres of

tranquil ancient parkland,

making it the perfect destination to get

away from it all. It’s surrounded by a host

of local attractions, from lakeside walks at

Stowe Gardens to designer retail therapy at

Bicester Village and thrilling history at the

Silverstone Experience Museum.

Terms and conditions: The prize is for a winner

plus one guest. Prize winner and guest must be

aged 18 and over. Only one winner will be drawn.

The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable, nonexchangeable

and there are no cash alternatives.

Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer

or promotion. The prize is available Friday – Sunday.

Valid until 31 December 2021 excluding Good

Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, New Year’s

Eve and Bank Holiday Mondays. Full terms and

conditions available on website.

whittlebury.com

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword

COMPETITION time

To enter any (or all!) of our competitions, head to www.minervamagazines.co.uk/

competitions. Find the competition and enter on that post, using the appropriate keyword. *

WIN

Sports bra

worth £67!

The Air Control DeltaPad

Sports Bra from Anita

active is a totally new

concept in support thanks

to its patented Delta

Pad Foam Cup which

is triangular in shape

for optimum ventilation.

Instead of the cup being

foam all over it is only a

triangular section allowing

air flow through the mesh

on the lower and side areas

of the breast resulting in a

much cooler experience for

the wearer.

The foam pad itself is

air permeable and lined

inside with terry cloth facing the skin

and stable extra light mesh on the

outside to keep the body temperature

as cool as possible. The bra also has a

new particularly soft air permeable and

supporting underband for comfort.

www.sheenuncovered.co.uk

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword ‘AIR CONTROL’

Leading

flowers WIN

and gifts A beautiful flower

delivery arrangement from

service,

Floward’s new

Floward, is

collection

delighted

to offer 8

lucky readers

the chance to win

an arrangement from its new

letterbox collection.

Established in 2017 by CEO

Abdulaziz B. al-Loughani,

Floward is a full-fledged

e-commerce solution that offers prime fresh-cut flowers

sources from the best growers and farmers around the world

which are arranged locally by an expert team of florists and

designers. Following a successful launch into London at the

start of the year, Floward is expanding its distribution across

the country, to offer a next day delivery service which allows

customers to place orders by 12pm and guarantees that their

flower arrangements will arrive the next day. What’s more, as

part of Floward’s worldwide CSR programme, 1% of all annual

revenue generated by sales will be donated to the Mental Health

Foundation.

floward.com

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword ‘FLOWARD’

*T&C’s apply and no cash alternatives available. Winners chosen at random - entries made after closing date will not be accepted.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 7


WIN

One of two

personalised

travel mugs

Win one of two reusable

bamboo coffee cups from

Global WAKEcup. This

bestselling coffee cup is

durable and lightweight with

an insulated interior to keep

your coffee hot while you’re

on the go. The leak-proof lid

and snap top fits snuggly to

stop spillages.

Each cup is made of organic

bamboo with a stainlesssteel

lining and recyclable

polypropylene lid.

The winner’s WAKEcup will be engraved

with a name or message of their choice.

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword

‘WAKECUP’

www.globalwakecup.com

The office chair is a very

important part of the home

office and with the Lule Office

Chair from Lakeland Furniture,

comfort and support is never

far away.

By being covered in high

grade faux leather, the seat is

perfect for busy households.

The faux leather is used to

prevent any unnecessary wear

and tear, and ensures the item

is easy clean and maintain.

Joining the backrest with the seat of this

office chair are two sloping arms. The

arms add stability and a well needed place

to rest your tired arms after a long day.

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword

‘LAKELAND’

lakeland-furniture.co.uk

WIN

An office

chair worth

£149

Eliza Southwood practiced as an architect for ten

years before deciding to take up a career as an

artist and illustrator full-time in 2010, although she

has consistently drawn and painted throughout her

life. Her first illustration commission was a Spanish

children’s book, when she was aged 13.

Eliza’s speciality is silk screen printing, but she also

works in mixed media, watercolour and acrylic. As

a keen cycling fan, she is known particularly for her

cycling themed artwork, but she also produces work

on a wide range of subjects such as cityscapes,

dogs, sports and people.

We have two prints worth £250

each to give away. For a chance

of wining, enter on our website.

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition

keyword ‘ELIZA’

www.elizasouthwood.com

WIN

A print

worth

£250

Embodying the spirit of the Mockingbird, humbly mimicking the

traditional taste of Tequila, allowing you to have all the margaritas

with none of the migraines.

We have a bottle of Mockingbird plus a case of 0.5% ABV

Esmeralda Cerveza

to give away!

Closes 01/10/2021 -

Competition keyword

‘MOCKINGBIRD’

www.

mockingbirdspirit.

com

Forever Living’s eco-friendlybio-cellulose face mask is

infused with aloe and a host of skin-loving nutrients. Through

a special process aloe vera gel is naturally fermented with

seagrass and is fused into the bio-cellulose to moisturise,

soothe, and condition skin.

In addition, a serum enriched with glycerine, green

tea, and horse chestnut helps to hydrate and

rejuvenate dull skin, reduce the appearance

of redness, and it helps to fight free radicals

to combat the signs of ageing.

Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword

‘FOREVER LIVING’

foreverliving.com/

WIN

Skincare

masks

worth £51

WIN

Nonalchoholic

drinks bundle

8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


georgina franklin

jewellery

Individual contemporary jewellery

designs, handmade in the studio

workshop in the heart of Tenbury Wells.

Using traditional techniques, Georgina creates unique pieces

in precious metals with beautiful gemstones and diamonds,

chosen for their unique colours and cuts.

Commissions are regularly undertaken for wedding and

special occasion jewellery. Georgina works closely with clients

through the design process to create original new pieces. The

remodelling of heirloom jewellery is a speciality creating a

contemporary piece of jewellery retaining the original special

sentimental qualities of family treasures. Repairs are also

undertaken to the highest standards on the premises.

If you would like to discuss your ideas with Georgina for

designing your own Bespoke piece of jewellery personal

appointment slots are available at the shop in Tenbury Wells.

Virtual appointments are also available.

Contemporary jewellery, designed and made

on the premises. Commissions undertaken.

Please see website for opening times.

www.georginafranklin.co.uk

Phone 01584 810085

The Forum, 18 Market Square,

Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.

WR15 8EA

Facebook - Georgina Franklin Jewellery.

Instagram - georginafranklinjewellery.

ADVERTISING FEATURE

Tel: 01584 810085

18 Market Square | Tenbury Wells | Worcs | WR15 8EA

www.georginafranklin.co.uk

Official distributors of PRG Trailers,

Debon, Cheval Liberte and MOTIV

amongst many other popular brands.

Sales – Hire – Parts – Service

01789 777159

www.thetrailermarket.co.uk

sales@thetrailermarket.co.uk

Unit 3, Bird Industrial Park

Station Rd, Long Marston

Stratford CV37 8RP

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 9


WEEDS The beauty and use of 50 vagabond plants - by Gareth Richards

Weeds are nature’s first responders, healing the wounds that man

inflicts upon the earth. They valiantly bring life back into even the

most polluted land, pushing green shoots of raw ecological power

through tarmac and concrete on abandoned sites.

The cheerful daisy in the pavement crack - or even, dare it be said,

the buddleia that turns derelict buildings into butterfly havens.

Countless plants that we dismiss as weeds have amazing powers.

Every weed has some redeeming qualities.

When the chips are down, weeds come to the rescue. You cut

yourself miles from home on a country walk, there are several

weeds you can reach for to help stop the bleeding - and they even

have antibacterial properties too. We might have lost much of our

countryside but a select band of plants paint the grey concrete

green again. They are a defiant echo of the wild.

In an age of extinctions, weeds offer hope: their very existence is

continual proof of nature’s resilience. Yet we are so often blind to

their beauty. “The notion that a plant is a weed is the most effective

barrier for stopping us looking at it closely” wrote acclaimed

naturalist Richard Mabey first published almost 50 years ago.

Does being native matter? Our perceptions are very much a

question of time: many of our most-loved wildflowers such as

field poppies and cornflowers are technically just as ‘non-native’

as Japanese knotweed, yet because they’ve been here for many

hundreds of years we’ve grown to appreciate and even love them.

Pinning down the native ranges of weeds is a tricky business. Often

they’ve been around mankind for so long that their precise origins

are unknown. Furthermore, the ever-accelerating rate of climate

change means that in Britain our definition of native and nonnative

(one that seeks to freeze our flora into what it was like many

thousands of years ago) is looking more irrelevant by the day.

Only humans make

weeds. Nature abhors

a vacuum. Bare soil

exists rarely in nature,

yet we strive to create

it by ploughing,

digging our gardens

and constructing

buildings and roads.

If we hadn’t created

these ecological

vacuums, these

empty spaces,

there wouldn’t be

nearly so many

weeds. They are

simply trying to

heal our scars on

Mother Nature’s

green skin.

About the

Author:

Gareth Richards is

Digital Features Editor at RHS

and delivers the RHS podcast. Gareth has provided

horticulture expertise for a leading nursery, the BBC, ITV and Bauer

Media.

The Royal Horticultural Society is Britain’s premier gardening charity,

promoting horticulture and helping gardeners by providing inspiration

through its shows, gardens and expertise.

RHS Weeds - The Beauty and use of 50 vagabond plants is

published by Welbeck

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10 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


ADVERTISING FEATURE

INTERVIEW:

NOVa fine arts...

We had a chat to Oliver Deeley, co-founder of

Nova Fine Art about art in general – and their

exciting new gallery in Marlborough.

You have existing galleries in Royal Leamington Spa and

Marlow, so what brings you to Marlborough?

We adore the area and of course, the exciting new additions to

Marlborough high street - just like us fearlessly independent.

Art is such a personal thing; some people may be

nervous about how to choose a work of art to live with –

what advice would you give to a first-time buyer?

Don’t be told what to buy just because it’s in fashion… just

like when you buy fine fragrance, buy emotivity and from

the heart.

You know all of your artists; this must give you a

unique prospective on their work and inspiration…

Absolutely!

And finally, what are you most looking forward to in

your new venture?

Continuing to disrupt the art market, it’s time for the little

guys to have their time.

Find out more at novafineart.com

Nova Fine Art is fast becoming the latest gallery network to rival the

large corporations on the high street. We combine experience of

buying, selling and creating artwork so our approach is a holistic one

and we are committed to integrity, fairness & professionalism in all

our dealings with our clients, creators & colleagues alike.

Very much a family run and passion lead business, Marlborough is the

third addition to our bricks and mortar offering, along with our superb

website. Just as our name suggests, we are continually looking at ways

to keep our gallery walls fresh, cutting edge and exciting.

Join the team at any of our locations, Royal Leamington Spa, Marlow & Marlborough

to discover it for yourself or get in touch contact@novafinart.com

Please contact us for more information:

110 Warwick Street, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4QP • 01926 298 110

79 Hight Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1AB • 01628 563 801

137 High Street Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1HN • 01672 555810

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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11


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WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU


EDUCATION

Advice from the Girls’ School Association and the

Boarding Schools Association


Ludlow Lifestyle 165 x 240mm 07.21.qxp_Layout 1 13/07/2021 10:58 Page 1

“ Like a jigsaw, everyone

seems to fit in “

SIXTH FORM PUPIL

INDEPENDENT DAY & BOARDING EDUCATION

FOR BOYS & GIRLS AGED 7-18 YEARS

www.christcollegebrecon.com

01874 615440 | admissions@christcollegebrecon.com


An enriching life like no other

Which school should my child attend?

Choosing the right educational

environment for your child is one of

the most important decisions you’ll

ever have to make as a parent. But if

you’re looking for a boarding school

for your child, how do you choose

the right one? Robin Fletcher, CEO

of the Boarding Schools’ Association

(BSA), explains.

‘How do I choose the right boarding school

for my child?’ That’s a question we’re asked

more often than any other at BSA. And

when you consider the UK boarding market

is one of the largest in the world, with more

than 450 schools of all sizes and types, in

all sorts of different locations, there isn’t a

straightforward answer.

But having such a wide range of choice can

really work to your advantage. If you know

exactly what to look for in a prospective

boarding school, your child will enjoy a

first-class education and gain invaluable life

skills, boost their confidence, become more

independent, and have the best possible

preparation for adult life.

The first key piece of advice I would always

offer when choosing a school is that it must

be a joint decision between you and your

child: they have to be happy with the final

choice.

As I’ve mentioned, one thing there isn’t a

shortage of in the UK boarding sector is

choice. You need to think about the best

location for your child: will they be best

suited to a large school attended by several

hundred students, or a smaller school

with fewer pupils? Would a school in the

middle of a city be better for them, or would

they prefer somewhere more rural? Would

they be best suited to a single sex or coeducational

school? Also, will full boarding

be the best option for them? Schools can

offer full, weekly or flexi-boarding, so you’ll

need to decide which works best for you

and your child. And is an academic school

right for them, or one that focuses perhaps

more on sport, music or more vocational

subjects?

Once you’ve considered all those factors

and you’ve got a shortlist of schools you’re

interested in, I’d always strongly encourage

you to visit those schools in person. This

is the best way to tell if it’s right for your

child or not, as it will be clear very quickly

whether they are comfortable there.

Making that final choice of the right

boarding school for your child can be a

lengthy process, but taking the time to get

your decision absolutely right is crucial.

Boarding will not suit every child or family

- but for the right child, in the right school,

it can offer an enriching life experience like

no other.

For further information about the Boarding

Schools’ Association, or to search for a

boarding school, please visit www.boarding.

org.uk. In 2020, BSA also teamed up with

Bulldog Publishing to launch Schoolplaces.

org, a dedicated live information resource

for schools, parents and education agents.

For more information, please visit www.

schoolplaces.org.

Image: Courtesy of Highfield and

Brookham Schools

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15


Preparing Sixth Formers for life

beyond school

Hurst College explains to Worthing Lifestyle why it is important

to encourage Sixth Formers to step outside their comfort zones

from day one...

The Sixth Form at Hurst College is

focused on preparing students for the

next step after school. The last two years

of a student’s educational journey are key

to providing a plethora of opportunities

and experiences to complete their

passage of self-discovery. By the time

they complete their A-levels, students will

have developed a keen sense of self and

have made the right decision about their

true purpose in life.

The journey begins on day one as Sixth

Formers step outside their comfort zones

with off-site adventure training. They take

part with a whole host of challenging

activities where they swiftly need to form

working relationships to succeed as part

of a team. By the end of the day, they

have truly bonded as a year group.

The fun continues with a Lower Sixth

dinner and quiz, followed by the first

Mystery Bus Tour of the year. Students

take a risk by signing up for a trip to an

unknown location and are rewarded with

activities such as go-carting, curling and

glow-in-the-dark mini-golf.

The Lower Sixth year is a careful

balancing act, when students are

assisted and monitored by their tutors to

ensure they get it right. The priority for

each student is to complete their core

academic responsibilities to the best of

their ability and to make time for wider

intellectual enrichment as they engage

fully with all that is on offer beyond the

classroom.

When they enter the Upper Sixth,

students move into St John’s - the co-ed

hall of residence - to begin their transition

to post-school life as undergraduates.

The year kicks off with an Icebreaker

Disco and by the end of the night they

have settled into their new house and are

ready for the academic challenges that

lie ahead.

Hurst prides itself on a unique system

of Upper Sixth academic tutoring. Each

student is allocated a subject specialist

depending on their desired post-school

path. They have access to, and support

from, someone who knows the specific

subject demands and who can help

ensure UCAS applications are the best

they can be. This is also the one teacher

students will have most contact with - in

and outside normal lesson time. Upper

Sixth Formers often see their tutors

daily, to discuss subject-specific matter

for A-levels and are also encouraged to

deepen and widen their knowledge base

beyond the syllabus.

All students recognise that membership

of Hurst’s Sixth Form is a privilege. They

are given multiple opportunities within the

school week to make a wider contribution

to the wellbeing of their community and

the wider world. Many work towards the

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, with

its emphasis on leadership, community

service and personal development.

Others take command roles in the largest

school Combined Cadet Force in the

southern counties or lead the school’s

own community service programme.

The Lower Sixth Young Enterprise

Programme provides an opportunity for

students to create and run their own

business from scratch. They can also

contribute to the school’s student-run

magazine or lead the many intellectual

clubs and societies. Charitable action

is highly valued, with the student body

raising around £30,000 a year for worthy

causes, and Sixth Formers are expected

to take the lead.

The Sixth Form is a time when

significant decisions are made, and

Hurst is unashamedly ambitious for all

its students. The priority is to ensure

the next step after school is perfectly

suited to each student’s aspirations and

aptitudes. Sixth Form tutors are trained

executive life coaches, investing time

and expertise to draw out an individual’s

values and motivations. Most students

choose to apply for a place at a leading

British university, but the college

also embraces the alternatives, from

professional sport and the performing

arts to entrepreneurship and aid work.

Pastoral care is second to none, with a

huge focus on wellbeing. Should they

need to speak to someone, students

have easy access to their housemaster/

mistress, school counsellors and

student guardians. Sixth Formers play

an important role in school leadership,

with a varied assembly programme

when they are encouraged to discuss

relevant topics. The aim is to ensure that

they leave Hurst as happy, well-rounded

young adults, ready for the challenges

and excitement of life beyond school.

The college operates a bus route to and

from Worthing to accommodate flexi/

weekly boarders and day students from

the area.

For further information please call

01273 836937 | www.hppc.co.uk

16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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Reading in 26 minutes

18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Girls’ schools today

Donna Stevens, chief executive of the Girls’ Schools Association, on the reality of girls’ schools today

Girls’ schools are very much alive and well

and a thriving part of the UK’s education

provision. But don’t just take my word for

it - take a look at the evidence and visit your

local girls’ school.

Around half a million secondary school

aged children are educated in single-sex

schools in England, a significant proportion

of all school aged children. What is perhaps

more interesting is that the majority are

in girls’ schools, meaning co-ed schools

typically have more boys than girls.

What this means in practice is that girls’

schools, and the benefits they bring,

attract significant numbers of girls and

their parents. I know from talking to head

teachers that parents who set aside any

lingering assumptions to visit their local

girls’ school are frequently bowled over by

the contemporary, lively and highly relevant

education that’s on offer.

Girls-only schools provide freedom from

gender stereotypes, where girls can grow

into themselves without feeling under

pressure to conform to gender-weighted

expectations. New research+ has shown

that girls in girls’ schools are also more

confident and emotionally in control - these

are environments which enable girls to grow

in confidence so that, when it’s time, they

are better placed to take on the demands of

the adult world.

Academically, data from the Department

for Education shows that pupils in girls’

schools perform better at both key stages

4 and 5, which equates to GCSE and A

Level in the English school system. In girls’

schools there is no such thing as a girls’

subject or a boys’ subject and girls are

free to follow their inclinations with little

of the pressure they might otherwise feel.

The results are evident, with girls’ school

students significantly more likely to study

STEM (science, technology, engineering &

maths) subjects – nearly three times more

likely for physics and further maths and

almost twice as likely for computer science.

On average, girls in girls’ schools also

achieve almost a grade higher at A Level

than girls who attend co-ed schools.

Girls’ school students are more likely to take

up sport, which isn’t surprising when you

consider that, with only girls in the gym and

on the sports field, their physical confidence

has space to grow. Every girl has every

opportunity to become a leader, a form

captain, a Head of House. They learn not

just how to shoulder responsibility, but also

how to take risks, inspire and lead others.

Our schools see the fruits of this all the

time. Students win awards and go on

to become confident, high achievers in

business, the arts, academia, and sport.

Among our alumnae our Economist editorin-chief

Zanny Minton-Beddoes, actress

and activist Emma Watson, Everyone’s

Invited activist Soma Sara, anthropologist

and TV presenter Professor Alice Roberts,

award-winning astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn

Bell Burnell, Olympic champions Alex

Danson MBE and Helen Glover MBE, and

Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Robinson

MBE.

The school you choose for your daughter

has to feel right. We are fortunate, in the UK,

to have an excellent choice of schools of all

shapes, sizes and locations. The fact that

girls’ schools continue to thrive in such a

diverse environment is an indication of their

great strength and expertise in giving girls a

highly relevant, 21st century education.

Main image: Withington Girls’ School

Bottom left: St James School

Below right: Norwich High School for

Girls

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19


Newport,

Shropshire,

TF10 8NB

Top 30

UK University

The Times & Sunday Times

Good University Guide 2021

Top 10

for student

satisfaction

NSS 2021

No.1

for Graduate

Employment

Graduate Outcomes 2020

Forge your future

with a degree that matters

Agricultural Sciences

Animal Sciences

Business Management

Environmental

Management

Food Supply Chain

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Food Innovation &

Technology

Mechanical Engineering

Land, Property &

Estate Management

Zoology

Open Day - October 9th

harper.ac.uk/open


HOME &

GARDEN

We catch up with award-winning landscape garden designer

Adam Frost, plus the Home Hit List ahead of winter


GARDEN JOBS

Here are some of the top jobs to be getting on with in the garden this month...

1. DIVIDE PERENNIALS

Dividing perennials regularly will ensure

healthy, vigorous plants that will continue

to perform year after year. It also offers the

opportunity to multiply your plants.

2. PICK AUTUMN RASPBERRIES

Raspberries are tasty and easy to grow.

If you grow both summer and autumnfruiting

varieties a few plants will reward

you with plenty of fruit from mid-summer

until mid-autumn. If you end up with a

glut, raspberries also freeze well, and

make wonderful jams, sauces and cooked

desserts.

3. HARVEST SEEDS

Growing plants from seed is an

opportunity to increase the number of

plants in your garden for free. Take a

paper bag and capture the seeds of hardy

annuals and perennials.

4. HARVEST MAIN CROP POTATOES

Provided the crop is healthy, leave main

crop plants until early to autumn to bulk up

(the tubers are prone to slug damage). For

storing, lift the potatoes when the tops die

back and the skin resists gentle pressure.

All potatoes should be gathered by mid-

October to avoid weather damage.

5. NET PONDS

Before leaf fall gets underway net your

pond and remove fallen leaves and debris

to avoid decomposing vegetation building

up in the pond.

6. CONTINUE TO WATER YOUR POTS/

Pick autumn raspberries

this month

CONTAINERS AND NEW PLANTS.

Collect what you can rather than use

mains (tap) water. It's better for plants,

including houseplants, and it's free!

7. START TO REDUCE FREQUENCY OF

HOUSEPLANT WATERING

This is to prepare the plant for a period of

dormancy over winter

8. CLEAN OUT GREENHOUSES AND

COLDFRAMES

It may not be the most glamorous of tasks

but cleaning out greenhouses/coldframes

greatly improves the environment for

plants. By removing algae, moss and

grime it lets in more light and helps control

pests and diseases.

9. COVER LEAFY VEGETABLE CROPS

WITH BIRD-PROOF NETTING

As leafy veggies become larger, and

when other food sources are dwindling,

birds and particularly pigeons can quickly

decimate your crop.

10. PLANT SPRING FLOWERING

CROPS

Start harvesting main crop

potatoes this month

One of the gardening's best and easiest

jobs is planting bulbs ready for spring.

They are one of the easiest and most

rewarding garden plants to grow and give

the promise of colour to come next year.

Why not attempt a bulb lasagne? You

layer up spring-flowering bulbs to create a

display that will lasts for months.

22 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


IT’S A

SUSTAINABLE HOUSING

DEVELOPMENT IN

GLOUCESTERSHIRE REACHES

KEY MILESTONE

GARDENERS’

WORLD

Adam Frost is an

award-winning British

garden designer,

television presenter and

motivational speaker.

Best known for his

successes at RHS Chelsea

Flower Show, he is

passionate about inspiring

adults and children

alike to create their

own gardens and watch

hedgerows spring to life.

Sally Thomson caught up

with him to discuss all

things green...

WE WERE TALKING ABOUT GEOFF

HAMILTON?

It was originally in North Devon Parks

department that I did my apprenticeship

and then I went to work for Geoff when I

was 21 years old and spent an amazing

mind blowing, not that I think you realise

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

Geoff until he passed away in 96.

AN INSPIRATIONAL MAN I SHOULD

IMAGINE?

Yes, looking back I don’t think you

realised what he was talking about, peat

free gardening, Organic gardening, stop

ripping up limestone pavements and

destroying the countryside all the things

that were way before their time really. We

are now 30 years on and we’ve only just

decided to ban peat. I think in reality he

set my gardening moral compass.

HIS SON HAS GONE INTO THE SAME

LINE OF WORK ALSO?

He had 3 sons but Nick the middle son

was left the garden and nursery, so he’s

got Barnsdale 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

and 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

24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25


do some filming but I’m not building

anything now.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT BUILDING A

GARDEN FOR CHELSEA?

It can be 12 months to 2 years planning

but at one point I was doing them back to

back finishing one then moving straight

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

how I built my career.

“I think ultimately

gardens are about

4 things; people,

space, plants and

place.”

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.

Recently I 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

26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


the hunger from last year is still there

which is great. I just hope in a way that

stays. I think even the people that knew

gardening was good for you physically

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

realised how important it was to my life.

I FIND IT VERY THERAPEUTIC AND

GOOD FOR THE SOUL

It’s interesting that we are seeing

statistics people moving out of cities

and into the countryside and are wanting

bigger gardens it wasn’t that long-ago

people were downsizing and didn’t want

a big outdoor space and this time has

now changed that.

I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE AN

RHS AMBASSADOR? WHAT DOES

THAT ENTAIL?

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

now. Basically, I help them with stuff

looking at helping youngsters to engage

more through events and I did a lot

of work a while back with Homebase

creating apprenticeships so that’s how it

started. I also do a lot of community stuff

with RHS and I’m just about to start a

new project which I can’t say too much

about which will be good. I have travelled

all over to schools, events for them. I

was brought up just outside London and

wasn’t the best behaved, I’m dyslexic

and obviously I’ve done OK and I think

that’s why they wanted me to help.

YOU ARE AT THE NEC IN THE

SUMMER WHAT WILL THAT INVOLVE?

I normally go from stage to stage and

talk all things gardening and there’s

different themes on different stages from

talking about ‘Grow your Own’, ‘Unusual

Edibles’, ‘soil and compost’, so all sorts

really. What I love about that show is you

have the gardens and displays but it also

interlinks with food and because its at the

NEC if we do have poor weather people

can get inside. Because it’s such a large

venue everything will feel alright.

DO YOU DO ANY JUDGING IN YOUR

ROLE?

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

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

up and judge other people’s work.

SO, AT CHELSEA FOR EXAMPLE ARE

YOU THERE WHEN THE JUDGES

COME AROUND?

You have a 2 minute conversation the day

before to explain if anything has changed

or there have been any adjustments

to the design. They then arrive at your

garden anytime between 7:30am and

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

from your garden. Then you have another

24 hours until you find out the result.

WHEN DID YOU REALISE THAT

YOU HAD AN APTITUDE FOR

PRESENTING?

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

think it just happened. I was talking to a

Robert Hillier at Chelsea and he said can

you remember the conversation we had

in 2015 where you said the BBC want

me to do some presenting as they think

I’m half decent and he said are you sure

that’s what you want to do and you said

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

we are now.

“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.”

WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE OUR

READERS TO DO TO THEIR GARDENS

BEFORE AUTUMN?

Don’t disengage with the garden, I think

we get to September the kids go back to

school and people pack up their gardens.

I think our environment has changed so

much that you can’t month to month

garden anymore you have to react to the

month you are in. September, October

and even going into November we can

still have some cracking days and only

have our first frosts going into December

so I would say to anybody there is so

much glorious flower colour foliage

colour stem colour to be had and the light

is different so the atmosphere is different

you can still wrap up and enjoy it just

don’t disengage. Don’t chase perfection

just enjoy the moments.

Adam Frost, along with other gardening

celebrities, will be appearing at the NEC

in Birmingham from Thursday August 26

to Sunday August 29.

For ticket information, please visit

www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com


THE HOME

hit list

JOBS TO TACKLE THIS AUTUMN

SEASONAL

REFRESH

PROPERTY MOT

Home maintenance is a year-round

endeavour, but these are the top jobs

to get sorted before the worst of the

winter weather sets in:

CHECK ALL DOOR/WINDOW

SEALS FOR DRAUGHTS

Check that existing seals are still

intact and repair any cracks or holes

that have formed. For a quick and

easy solution, fit doors with draught

excluders to keep rooms warm and to

prevent energy wastage.

CHECK YOUR BOILER

Have a boiler service and check the

system is running efficiently. Many

people put off replacing older boilers,

but you will save money in energy with

more efficient models. If you have one,

make sure your external condenser

pipe is well insulated.

CLEAR GUTTERS

Clear gutters and drainpipes of leaf

debris to reduce the chance of leaks.

Also be sure to check drains for

blockages - prevention is better than

fixing it on a cold night!

CHECK THE OUTSIDE

Look over all external masonry,

checking for cracks, gaps around

windows or issues with roof. Make

sure your front door closes snugly (and

make sure your property is secure

whilst you’re at it).

INSULATION

Insulate your pipes (burst pipes cause

huge damage). Make sure your loft

insulation is adequate and look into

cavity wall insulation, which can

save hundreds ££ on energy bills.

If you can, look into upgrading the

efficiency of your windows with triple

or secondary glazing.

Why is it that we save all the

property redecoration for when we

are getting ready to move? How

about giving your rooms some

TLC with a fresh lick of paint and

swapping in some new accessories

to update the palette.

Try switching out cooler grey tones

for warmer neutrals and introducing

more natural materials like linen,

leather and wood - this means you

can use your base furniture pieces,

and just give them a lift with new

decorative items.

DIY panelling is another huge

trend which is helping people give

rooms a completely new look for

less - why not try adding a wall to a

bedroom in a strong contrast colour

for maximum impact?

PRACTICAL

HOME-WORKING

It looks as though working from home,

or at least a hybrid, flexible model is

here to stay. With that in mind, many

of us are choosing to carve out proper

working spaces instead of balancing on

the end of the kitchen table.

Investing in a proper desk and chair

are fundamental - it’s well known that

sitting for long periods on chairs not

specifically designed for desk work can

cause long-lasting pain.

For desks, there are lots of options for

built-in models into wall space or even

stand up desks. If you don’t have the

space for a full office room, you can

still find inventive ways to incorporate a

desk into wardrobe areas or even into

cupboards, meaning the workspace

can be neatly tucked away at the end

of the day and the space can resume

its original purpose. Storage is another

essential element to stop work admin

spilling out into home life.

Finally, take some time to make your

work space look homely - it stops it

from feeling transitory. Hang some

prints, invest in some greenery or buy

some soft furnishings like cushions

or blankets to make it feel like an

extension of your home.

Boston Fern from £9.99, hortology.co.uk;

Hathai Cushion, £34, hauslife.co.uk

28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29


WHITEHALL

VINEYARD EST. 2017

The Wine

Water Meadows 2018

Nethercote Hill 2018/19

Pinot Noir 2018/19

Charlotte May Rose 2019

Madeline May Chardonnay 2019

Bacchus 2019

We have delicately handcrafted our

wine with the ambition to create

extraordinary and exquisite flavours

to enhance your dining experience or

simply to enjoy on their own.

We aspire to bring you a taste of

Wiltshire with every glass, squeezed

from the highest quality grapes grown

on our family farm, committing to

making the best possible wine in

any given year.

By choosing Whitehall, you choose to

support the British countryside.

We welcome you to delight in the

flavours of our wine and enjoy.

THE SELF FAMILY

PINOT NOIR

2019

A delicate medium bodied

red wine aged in French

Oak, to add hints of toast.

With a smooth and

long finish.

L A C O C K • W I L T S H I R E


F O O D

& DRINK

We speak to baking legend Richard Bertinet, plus grab a delicious recipe from

him, plus a look at the ultimate comfort food as the cooler weather arrives

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 31


HIS

BREAD

& BUTTER

SUSTAINABLE HOUSING

DEVELOPMENT IN

GLOUCESTERSHIRE REACHES

KEY MILESTONE

Richard Bertinet is well-loved

and well-known for being the

UK’s baking ‘godfather’.

His books about baking and his

bread-making courses alike

have delighted audiences for

many years.

Sally Thomson talks to Richard

to discuss books, baking and

BBC Maestro, where you can

catch him offering the ultimate

online bread-making course...

32 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


HOW ARE YOU ON THIS GLORIOUS

DAY?

Making croissants with this weather! It’s

a bit hot in the kitchen but it’s nice to be

open again so all is good.

YOU ARE DOING WONDERFULLY

WELL AT THE MOMENT APART

FROM THE FACT WE HAVE ALL

BEEN THROUGH THIS RATHER

INTERESTING YEAR THINGS SEEM TO

BE GOOD WITH YOU.

We opened in April and we have just tried

to push everything we could this year and

last year. It’s very busy.

SO, PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO COME TO

YOUR CLASS NOW?

Yes, we reopened in April.

SO, THESE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS

HAVEN’T CHANGED YOUR PLANS?

No, we are Covid compliant and can still

have the same number of people. In Bath

40% of the customers come from the

rest of the World so Japan, The States

and Australia. Obviously, they cannot

come to Bath at the moment so we have

a massive backlog of people wanting to

come when they can travel*.

I SEE THAT YOU OFFER CLASSES FOR

CHILDREN, HOW DO YOU FIND THAT?

Teaching children was always very

important to us and we also work with a

lot of local schools in the area and teach

some classes plus talk to the children.

It’s good fun and nice to see them smile

when they try something that they haven’t

done before. I think it’s a shame that so

many schools don’t use cooking and

baking anymore.

I SEE THAT YOU ALSO WORK WITH

PING COOMBES.

Yes, Ping does classes for me. She

teaches Malaysian cooking plus stuff

from my book.

YOU HAVE PRODUCED 6 BOOKS SO

FAR. HAVE YOU GOT ANYMORE IN

THE PIPELINE OR DO YOU NOT HAVE

ENOUGH TIME?

I’ve got a couple of ideas but it’s getting

the time to do it and I like to write a book

for the right purpose not just for the sake

of it so I need to get the time and wait

until things get back to normal.

YOU NEED TO BE CLONED SO THAT

THERE IS ANOTHER ONE OF YOU

AND YOU CAN KEEP UP!

That’s true but there is only one of me

I’m afraid.

WHEN YOU FIRST CAME INTO BATH

IN 2005 DID YOU EXPECT YOUR

CAREER TO TAKE OFF AS IT DID?

I knew the concept we had was good and

if it worked out, we would have success.

When I first moved to Bath a lot of local

businesses gave us 6 months to survive

but that made me more determined to

make it.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR

COOKERY SCHOOL - IT’S GOING

FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH BY

THE SOUNDS OF IT?

Well, the school has been going since

2005 and since then we have won a lot

of awards, we then sold the bakery and a

lot of things have happened in 15 years.

The school is so busy it’s a worldwide

attraction which means we bring a lot of

people to Bath. We won the South West

Tourism Award two years ago due to the

number of people that we attract to Bath.

We have a few guest chefs coming in as

well, but the core classes are with me

learning about bread making, as well as

what I write about in my books.

YOU HAVE SO MANY ACCOLADES

AND EVERYBODY ENJOYS WHAT YOU

HAVE BEEN DOING.

We pride ourselves on the services we

give our customers and also the way I

teach is quite unique - I’m very hands on.

Our school is quite small so it means that

I can spend time with everybody.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 33


On his baking classes

for children: “It’s good

fun and nice to see

them smile when they

try something that they

haven’t done before. I

think it’s a shame that

so many schools don’t

use cooking and baking

anymore.”

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL?

Until we get all our backlog of people

who couldn’t attend last year’s classes

hopefully then we will be back on an

even keel but not yet I’m afraid. We are

open and running and there are some

businesses that can’t do that so in a way

we are one of the lucky ones.

I HEAR THAT YOU WILL BE GETTING

INVOLVED WITH BBC MAESTRO.

Yes, it’s been amazing. We have just

finished editing. I absolutely loved it! It’s

a challenge to do live broadcasts, it’s

recipe lead and different from how I teach

in my classes, but it was well done. The

team were amazing.

YOU HAVE BEEN ON OTHER

COOKERY SHOWS SO DID YOU FIND

THAT THIS WAS A STEP UP?

Yes, I’ve been on Saturday Kitchen and

on James Martin’s show so it’s a different

buzz being filmed live and you have to be

mindful of what you do and say.

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WILL BE

SPECIALISING IN?

It’s specifically about bread and things I

like to do at home. It goes from making

brioche, sourdough to bagels, all that

kind of stuff and things to give people

the confidence to bake at home and feel

that they learn something. It’s going to be

good. The production team was amazing,

and I can’t wait for it to launch.

YOU ARE FROM BRITTANY HAVE

YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO GO BACK

RECENTLY?

We went to France last year, Provence.

We have a house down there and

managed to visit just before lockdown.

*At the time of the interview there was

uncertainty regarding travel to the city

of Bath.

BBC Maestro with Richard Bertinet

is available now at bbcmaestro.com.

The course costs £80 for 23 episodes

including written class notes for

each one. An additional bonus festive

episode is expected to launch later in

the year exclusively to subscribers.

thebertinetkitchen.com

34 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


CHOCOLATE, ORANGE

& PISTACHIO LOAF

INGREDIENTS

150g good quality dark chocolate chips

75g roughly chopped pistachios

Zest of 2 oranges

50g mixed peel

1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)

125g unsalted butter straight from the

fridge

125g full fat milk

3 medium eggs

500g strong white bread flour (plus extra

for dusting)

15g fresh yeast

45g caster sugar

10g fine sea salt

FOR THE GLAZE

2 eggs

Pinch fine sea salt

METHOD

Mix the chocolate chips, nuts zest

and mixed peel in a bowl and stir in

the Cointreau if you are using it. Place

the cold butter between 2 sheets of

greaseproof and bash it with a rolling pin

to soften it and break it up into smaller

pieces (without warming it up).

Put the milk and eggs into the bowl of a

food mixer and then add the flour. Break

up the yeast and add to one side of the

bowl. Add the sugar and salt on the other

side of the bowl.

Mix on a slow speed for 4 minutes.

Increase the speed to medium for another

2 minutes then add the butter piece by

piece until it is all incorporated. Continue

mixing on medium speed for 10-12

minutes until the dough comes away from

the sides of the bowl.

Stop the mixer. Add the chocolate and

pistachio mixture to the bowl and mix

for no longer than 30-40 seconds on

the slowest speed – you don’t want the

chocolate and nuts to become mushy.

Lightly flour your worksurface and turn

the dough out onto the work surface.

Form the dough into a ball and then place

into a lightly floured bowl. Cover and

rest for about 45 minutes until just under

double in size.

Lightly flour the surface again, turn out

the dough and divide into 10 equal pieces

of about 110g each. Form each piece

into a ball and then press gently into

cake or loaf tins until they are full. In the

picture I have used tiny tins that only take

one ball but if you use a larger one you

will have a finished loaf or two that will be

perfect to tear and share. Whether you

have one or two will depend on the size

of your tins. Cover and leave to prove

for about 1 hour until just under double

in size.

While the dough is proving, pre-heat the

oven to 190°C and beat the eggs and

pinch of salt for the glaze. Brush the top

of each loaf with the egg glaze and use a

pair of scissors to snip into the dough for

decoration.

Place the tins on a baking tray and

put into the pre-heated oven. Turn the

temperature down to 180°C and bake for

15-20 minutes until golden.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 35


COMFORT

When the darker nights set in, you

just want some go-to comfort food

recipes - and here, Waitrose has

delivered! Find more recipes at

www.waitrose.com

Calling

COTTAGE PIE WITH

SWEET POTATO

Prep time: 20 minutes plus standing

Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil

500g British beef mince

1 onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 Oxo Beef stock cube

1 tbsp tomato purée

1½ tbsp plain flour

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 thyme sprigs

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

1 tbsp unsalted butter

METHOD

Heat ½ tbsp oil in a large sauté pan or

casserole dish over a high heat. Add

the beef and fry, breaking it up, for 4-5

minutes, until browned. Remove from the

pan, add the remaining 1⁄2 tbsp oil, lower

the heat to medium and fry the onion,

celery and carrot with a pinch of salt for

10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile,

dissolve the beef stock cube in 500ml

just-boiled water.

Return the beef to the pan, add the

tomato purée and cook for 1 minute, then

stir in the flour and fry for 1 minute more.

Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and

2 thyme sprigs and simmer for 25-30

minutes, until the beef is coated in a thick

gravy. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes

as thinly as you can and put in a bowl.

Cover with just-boiled water from the

kettle; set aside for 10 minutes. Drain and

use kitchen paper to pat dry thoroughly,

then lay out on more kitchen paper to

finish drying.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.

Melt the butter. Tip the beef and gravy

into a medium ovenproof dish. Toss the

potatoes with the butter and leaves from

the remaining thyme sprig. Season and

arrange in circles over the beef. Bake for

30 minutes until bubbling hot and the

potatoes are cooked through. Stand for

10 minutes before serving.

COOK’S TIP

Scatter grated cheddar over the potatoes

halfway through baking to give the pie a

nice cheesy crust.

​SPICY STIR-FRIED

PORK & AUBERGINE

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

3 tbsp sunflower oil

2 aubergines, cut into 2cm pieces

4 salad onions

36 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


2 cloves garlic

Small piece fresh root ginger

2 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Gochujang

Chilli Paste

1 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

1 tsp maple syrup

500g pack lean minced pork

½ x 25g pack Thai basil, leaves shredded

Steamed rice, to serve

METHOD

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large wok or frying

pan over a medium-high heat. Add the

aubergines and fry for 20-25 minutes,

stirring occasionally, until softened and

golden all over. Meanwhile, finely slice the

salad onions, separating the whites and

greens, crush the garlic and finely grate

the ginger. In a bowl, mix the gochujang,

soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine and maple

syrup with 1 tbsp water.

Tip the aubergine onto a plate and return

the pan to a high heat with the remaining

1 tbsp oil. Add the salad onion whites,

garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute

until fragrant. Add the pork and fry for

3-4 minutes until there is no pink meat

remaining and any excess liquid has

bubbled off from the pan.

Add the sauce and aubergine to the pan

and fry for 2-3 minutes until everything

is coated in the sauce. Take off the heat

and toss in the Thai basil leaves. Serve

on rice, with the salad onion greens

sprinkled over.

COOK’S TIP

This recipe would work well with minced

turkey instead of the minced pork. Turkey

mince is also lower in fat than pork

mince.

CHICKEN SHAWARMA

FLATBREADS WITH

YOGURT

Prep time: 20 minutes + marinating

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

8 British chicken thigh fillets

3 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Shawarma

Paste

½ red onion, finely sliced

2 lemons, juice of 1, 1 cut into wedges

1½ tsp Cooks’ Ingredients Sumac

½ large cucumber

250g Yeo Valley Organic Greek Style

Natural Yogurt

1 small clove garlic, finely grated

15 mint leaves, finely shredded, plus extra

to garnish

4 Waitrose & Partners Hand-Stretched

Flatbreads

50g pomegranate seeds

1-2 handfuls wild rocket

METHOD

Slash each chicken thigh a few times,

concentrating on the thicker parts of the

fillet. Season, then rub all over with the

shawarma paste. Cover and chill for 20

minutes (up to 2 hours). Meanwhile, mix

the onion, lemon juice and sumac with a

good pinch of salt. Set aside until ready

to serve.

To make the sauce, coarsely grate the

cucumber and put in a sieve. Toss with a

pinch of salt and leave over a bowl for 10

minutes to drain, then gently press with a

wooden spoon to extract as much liquid

as possible. Tip into a bowl and stir in the

yogurt, garlic and mint.

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Cook

the chicken for 5-8 minutes on each side

(depending on the fillets’ size) until the

juices run clear and there is no pink meat,

then set aside for 2 minutes. Clean the

pan then use it to griddle the flatbreads

for 30 seconds on each side. Arrange

them on plates and top with the chicken,

pickled onion, pomegranate, rocket and

the cucumber and yogurt sauce, finishing

with the extra mint leaves and lemon

wedges for squeezing over.

COOK’S TIP

This recipe also works well with lamb or

pork steaks instead of chicken (adjust

cooking times accordingly).

CHEWY BROWN SUGAR

COOKIES

Prep time: 15 minutes plus chilling

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: 12 - 14

INGREDIENTS

200g unsalted butter, roughly chopped

300g Billington’s Dark Brown Soft Natural

Unrefined Cane Sugar

300g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp fine salt

1 large British Blacktail Free Range Egg

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

METHOD

Put the butter and sugar in a large

saucepan and set over a medium heat.

Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until

the butter has melted and the sugar has

dissolved. Set aside off the heat for 5

minutes to cool. Meanwhile, mix the flour,

baking powder, bicarbonate of soda,

cinnamon and salt in a bowl.

With a wooden spoon, beat the egg

and vanilla into the butter-sugar mix,

then beat in the dry ingredients until

completely combined. Transfer to a bowl,

cover with a plate and chill for at least 2

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 37


hours (up to 24 hours).

Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4; line

2 large baking trays with parchment. Leave

the cookie dough out of the fridge for 15

minutes to warm up a little. Roll into 12-14

balls (about 65-70g each) and space out

well on the baking trays (the cookies spread

quite a lot during cooking, so bake in more

than 2 batches if needed). Bake for about 15

minutes, turning the trays halfway if needed,

until deep golden and cracked on top. Cool

for 5 minutes on the trays, then transfer to a

wire rack to cool completely.

COOK’S TIP

Ovens can vary in temperature, so after

about 12 minutes, keep an eye on your

cookies. Once they look set and golden at

the edges and start to crack on top, they’re

ready.

CHERRY & ALMOND

BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

425g can black cherries in light syrup

3 tsp Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Cane Icing Sugar,

plus extra for dusting

1 medium British Blacktail Free Range Egg

250ml whole milk

½ tsp almond extract

8 slices sliced brioche loaf

2 tbsp unsalted butter

150g pot vanilla yogurt

1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

METHOD

Put a sieve over a small saucepan and

drain the cherries. Set the cherries aside

and simmer the juices for 5 minutes until

reduced. Add 1 tsp icing sugar and the

drained cherries to the saucepan and

simmer for another 5 minutes, until the

cherries are coated in a glossy syrup.

Meanwhile, set your largest frying pan over

a medium-highheat. In a large, shallow dish,

whisk the egg, milk, almondextract and

remaining 2 tsp icing sugar. Add 4 brioche

slices to the mixture, soaking on each side

for about 45 seconds until they’ve absorbed

plenty of the mixture but aren’t too soggy.

Add 1 tbsp butter to the frying pan and,

when foaming, fry the brioche for 4 minutes

on each side until golden and puffed up.

Arrange on plates while you prepare the

remaining slices in the same way, frying in

the remaining 1 tbsp butter.

Serve 2 slices of brioche per person. Top

with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and the

warm cherries and syrup (reheat briefly if

necessary). Scatter with the toasted almonds

and dust with a little icing sugar to serve.

38 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


TRAVEL

A walk in one of the country’s most glorious landscaped gardens

and an escape into the turquoise waters of the Maldives

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 39


homewoodbath.co.uk

@homewoodbath

thebirdbath.co.uk

@thebirdbath_


AUTUMN'S

finest

Awesome Autumn colour at Stourhead in Wiltshire

A young boy in the garden among the red maple leaves

© National Trust Images Arnhel de Serra

Autumn is Stourhead’s crowning glory as

foliage in the landscape garden becomes

ablaze with deep golds, ambers and rich

reds. There are many hundreds of species

of trees and shrubs at Stourhead, and

it can take up to six weeks for the cosy

autumn colours to flood the trees around

the garden. No two visits are the same

throughout this unpredictable time of year.

Though the schedule of the season

is ever-changing, towards the end of

summer the North American maples

have begun to turn a scarlet red, while

the Japanese acers, hornbeam and

chestnuts also get their vivid display

underway. A little later in autumn the

tulip trees take on a yellow hue, while the

oak and beech enact the season finale

with bright oranges late in October. In

the garden, autumn crocuses provide a

comforting contrast with their mauve and

lilac shades.

Throughout the autumn, Stourhead will

be offering free guided walks around

the world-famous landscape gardens.

Taking place twice daily on most days

throughout the week, visitors can enjoy

a walk and talk with a knowledgeable

volunteer, including an insight into the

historical background of Stourhead, as

well as the artistry of the landscape and

stunning architecture. There’s no need to

book in advance - upon arrival, visitors

can ask at reception for more details on

the fascinating guided walks.

Beyond the tranquil lake and ornate

temples, there are 2,500 acres of

countryside to explore on the Stourhead

estate. This includes an Iron Age hill fort

and many acres of ancient woodland.

The magnificent woodland surrounding

Stourhead is full of autumn colour, with

a canopy of ochre and copper hues

overhead, and a carpet of crunchy

leaves underfoot. Visitors can explore

Bonham wood on a short, circular walk

which ventures behind the Temple of

Apollo in the garden through picturesque

woodland, returning along the disused

airfield that formed part of RAF Zeals

during the Second World War.

Walkers can also amble to Whitesheet

Hill to take in the panoramic views over

the estate and surrounding countryside,

under the golden veil of low autumn sun.

Encompassing an area of considerable

archaeological interest, the walk includes

a Neolithic enclosure dating from around

3000 BC, a circular earthwork, Bronze

Age barrows and an Iron Age hill fort to

the south.

An impression of wildness surrounds

the Stourhead estate in autumn and

abundant autumn fruits include rosehips

and crab apples. Autumn also marks the

arrival of many overseas birds seeking

warmer climes for their winter stay. At

Stourhead, this includes large flocks of

golden plover on the open farmland,

along with lapwings.

• nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead

GENERAL INFO

Near Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6QD

The outdoor spaces, house, shop and

restaurant are open daily. You no longer

need to book your visit in advance.

• Wheelchair accessible gravel paths with

marked routes, steep in places

• Pushchairs and baby carriers are

welcome in all areas of the garden. There

some steep hills on the garden route

• Dogs on short leads are welcome all

year round

• For full accessibility and access

information see the website.

Directions

If cycling - Wiltshire Cycle Way www.

sustrans.org.uk

If driving - You arrive at Stourhead via the

main road network, following brown signs

off A303 or the B3092 from Frome. The

main carpark postcode is BA12 6QD.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 41


INTO THE

blue

Emily Baker takes in ultimate luxury

in the inimitable Maldives

42 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


t’s difficult to write about the Maldives

without descending into cliches - it is

Ievery bit as beautiful as you imagined, the

ocean suites with their glass floor hatches

are equal parts luxurious and mesmerising,

and of course the combination of sand, sea

and all-inclusivity really are a winner - so, I’ll

try and limit myself to only using the word

crystalline a handful of times, but what can I

tell you that you don’t already know?

I think I could start with the journey - though

travelling is my bread and butter, long haul

can test even the most excited of voyagers.

There are a few different routes to the

mainland of Male, with BA offering direct

flights. For those looking to fly in the lap of

luxury (and if you’re heading to the Maldives,

who isn’t) then Qatar is the best choice -

with a short layover in the ultra-plush Doha

airport, it’s enough to make the journey an

event, rather than a task.

Whilst I was prepared for the drama of the

seaplane arrival, there is something otherworldly

about seeing this string of atolls

from the air for the first time. The inky-blue

sea stretches out like a vast blanket,

punctuated by bursts of green, framed by

the turquoise necklace of each island’s reef.

Even whilst feeling weary from the long

flight, I pressed myself to the window like a

child, completely mesmerised by the views

below along the 40 minute hop. If you’re

looking for that international-traveller ‘I’ve

made it’ feeling, then arriving by seaplane

has to tick all the boxes.

The welcome on arrival at the spectacular

Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Resort was the first

taste of the group’s trademark hospitality

ARRIVAL BY SEAPLANE

- a gleaming small army in white uniforms

and glowing smiles awaited, festooning us

with flower garlands and introducing each

guest to their own dedicated villa butler -

they are your go-to whilst on the resort, for

everything from booking restaurant tables

to helping you hitch a ride on one of the golf

buggies that transport guests around the 52

acre resort.

There are a handful of different

accommodation options for guests - either

stays on those quintessential oceanic villas,

decked with their steps straight into the

water, or a series of beach villas, either with

direct access to the beach or with oceanic

views and their own private infinity pools.

Whilst some of the fixtures and fittings are

looking a little tired in places, the sheer

delight of the location more than makes up

for any shortcomings inside, as does the

wealth of activities, both in the water and

out, available from your doorstep.

This brings me on to my other assumption

- one I think many travellers make - that

the Maldives is a destination for loved-up

couples to fly and flop in luxury. And whilst

there’s definitely scope for that, I wasn’t

overcome by a raft of couples acting

amorously by the pool, but instead greeted

by a huge breadth of guest profiles - there

were, of course, couples, but also groups

of friends on a girly getaway and families -

taking advantage of the total safety of the

island to let little ones run around freely.

Though, unlike other family-friendly resorts,

the children are seen but not heard - there’s

space for everyone, so adults can still find

their escape. Kids and adults alike can

partake in aquatic adventures, with guided

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 43


“If the term barefoot luxury is

banded about too much, it’s very

much found its true definition here”

HORIZON WATER VILLA

44 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


eef swimming, paragliding, and options to

learn to dive in the resorts PADI and DDI

Diamond certified diving school.

If the term barefoot luxury is banded about

too much, it’s very much found its true

definition here - this is a place of relaxation,

aided by that extra oomph that only an

all-inclusive stay can offer. In all there are

15 venues for drinking and dining - offering

a mixture of worldwide cuisines. Where the

food really shines is in the bevy of freshly

grilled reef fish and Maldivian curries - there

are fine dining options available, but it was

the Bamboo restaurant with its tables in the

sand and menus of fresh salads and Pan-

Asian cuisine which really hit the right notes

in the afternoon heat.

Knowing as they do that tourism in these

areas have hugely adverse effects on the

local environment, Sun Siyam as a group

continually look for ways to reduce their

footprint. Being an archipelagic state, the

Maldives does rely on a significant array

of food imports, but the group has its

own farm island which grows a variety of

produce, limiting the carbon impact. Guests

to the resort can visit too, for a unique farm

to plate experience.

I suppose the other big question for

everyone tentatively dipping their toes

back into international travel, is, is it safe?

The major advantage of the Maldives is

the sheer space between the islands,

meaning that they can isolate cases as and

when they occur. How this landscape will

change as more vaccines are rolled out

across the globe is still unknown, but its

clear that each resort is doing their part. As

it currently stands, to change resorts you

are still required to take a PCR test - whilst

some might consider this an unnecessary

expense, I think it’s a sensible and safe

practice to make sure you can enjoy your

stay fully.

Now, if there is a spa to be found in a

resort, you will generally find me ensconced

inside it. Within a humble-looking

bungalow off one of the jungle tracks,

lies Iru Fushi’s - a world-leading spa by

French brand Thalgo - don’t be fooled

by initial appearances though - knock

on the heavy black-lacquered doors and

you’ll be whisked into an exotic oasis,

where pebble-lined paths snake through

bubbling koi ponds. Massages here are on

the expensive side, but hey, you’re in the

Maldives - lean in to the luxury and enjoy

your slice of paradise, it really is worth it.

I suppose the thing that really sets the

tone for any trip, and indeed the make or

break, are the staff within the resort, and

Sun Siyam really do have a spectacularly

good team. Throughout the stay, nothing

was too much trouble. Want a pinchme

romantic dinner on your own stretch

of beach, surrounded by the twinkle of

candles? You’ve got it. In our little quintet

of ladies holidaying together, we mentioned

we would like to have a meditation session

on the beach - what we got was a heart


There’s not much I can say that you

might not already know, but that

shouldn’t be a reason to stop you

getting into the Maldivian groove

and discovering it for yourself”

GLASS BOTTOM KAYAKING

46 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


FOOD AT THE ISLANDER’S GRILL

shape hand-dug into the sand, punctuated with tea lights and

frangipani flowers, with yoga mats rolled out and a selection

of oils from the spa to aid relaxation. This beautiful scene was

all the work of our dedicated butlers and could not have been

more special. This attention to detail extends everywhere -

even my own very British sensibilities about having a butler

were eased, as the service they offered was completely

unobtrusive and very intuitive.

There’s not much I can say that you might not already

know, but that shouldn’t be a reason to stop you getting

into the Maldivian groove and discovering it for yourself -

flawless hospitality, great food, a wealth of activities and the

unrelenting joy of the location, I think Sun Siyam could make

even the most cynical resort-snob fall under its spell.

www.sunsiyam.com

HOW TO BOOK

Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives - 5

7 nights from £1779 pp

Includes return economy flights on Qatar Airways from

London to Male, seven nights in a Deluxe Beach Villa, on a

B&B basis, including domestic flight transfers.

Saving over £1140 per couple! Prices are per person based

on two adults sharing valid for travel on selected departure

dates from October 21-December 21, must book by 30th

Sep’21

To book call us on 0208 843 4444

www.southalltravel.co.uk

Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives - 5

7 nights from £3879 pp

Includes return business class on Qatar Airways flights from

London, to Male Deluxe Beach Villa, B&B basis, including

domestic flight transfers.

Includes a booking discount - saving over £2540 per

couple. Prices are per person based on two adults sharing

valid for travel on selected departure dates from October

21-December 21, must book by 30th Sep’21

To book call us on 0208 843 4444

www.southalltravel.co.uk

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 47


TONIQ On Demand

ADVERTISING FEATURE

We caught up with personal trainer Arron Collins-Thomas to find out about his new

online fitness offering, expanded from his very successful gym TONIQ...

Your gym, with its fully-rounded approach to health and

lifestyle, has made national news for its incredible client

results – what will the app offer?

At TONIQ we recognise that good health is more than just

regular workouts, it encompasses taking care of every aspect

of your body. We have created a solution where everything from

nutrition, mindfulness, amazing workouts, yoga and more is

available with guidance from fantastic trainers and experts in

one place.

Not only this, but as part of TOD you have access to your own

coach, ensuring that you have someone you can speak to, to

keep you on track and accountable as well as supporting you

throughout.

We have had some incredible results over the past few years at

TONIQ and we want to be able to bring those results to more

people. With the app we aim to give anyone, anywhere in the

world, a taste of the TONIQ-life.

As a TONIQ On Demand member you get to join the incredible

community online, have access to our on demand workouts as

well as live workouts, Q&As and educational talks. We have an

incredible coaching team with a huge array of skills to bring to

you including yoga, qigong, nutrition and mindfulness.

The main workouts are written based on what we are up to at

TONIQ in any given training block and a new phase of workouts

launches every 6 weeks on the app as well as regular bonus

content to keep the training varied and inspiring.

Can you get a good experience with online coaching?

Are you accountable and is it personalised?

With TOD you have a designated TONIQ coach who you speak

to on a one to one basis. When you first sign up with us you

will have a call to help you set up your accountability sheets,

help you curate your workout schedule and set you on the

right nutrition plan for you. Then every month you get another

call with your coach to help keep you on track and answer any

questions you may have. Accountability is key if you really want

to get results and that is one of the reasons why TONIQ has

been so successful.

Are the classes accessible no matter your fitness level?

Some of us are self-conscious about going to the gym or

nervous in COVID times.

No matter what your levels of fitness we can help you. Our

expert coach will advise what level to start at for you and

how hard to push yourself in the first consultation you have

with them. It will be based around your fitness and any health

concerns, so you can feel secure in the fact that you won’t be

over training or causing yourself any harm by taking part in our

programs.

For people who aren’t ready for the gym again yet or who are

self conscious TONIQ On Demand is the perfect choice. You get

personal trainer support and expert written workouts, all from

the comfort of your own home.

You also get to join a great online community who share their

experiences and help support each other to get the results they

desire.

TONIQ ON DEMAND

MORE THAN A WORKOUT

Join our community from anywhere, at anytime with

TONIQ on Demand, our app gives you access to:

Personalised plans developed with expert coaches.

Nutrition plans based on your needs and goals.

Monthly 121 check in calls with an expert coach.

Extensive library of classes including SWEAT, STRONGER,

BURN and CHILL.

Visit TONIQLIFE.COM to find out more

48 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


RETIREMENT

PLANNING:

A GUIDE

Katie Thomson shares tips

for 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.

50 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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