A REVITALISING TRIP
TO THE MALDIVES
TRAVEL | HOME & GARDEN | FOOD & DRINK | BEAUTY | INTERVIEWS
(OH YES IT IS)
FRIDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2021 –
SATURDAY 8 JANUARY 2022
BOX OFFICE 01432 340555
In partnership with
The Home Hit
List, page 28
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Ben on 01225 984 503.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3
to be won, from
furniture to food
Advice from the
The most important
jobs to tackle this
24 ADAM FROST
We catch up with the
28 HOME LIST
The big jobs to tick
off before the onset
32 GREAT BAKES
We interview baker
36 COMFORT FOOD
which are like a hug
in a bowl
41 AUTUMN SHOW
colour at Stourhead
4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
N O W O N L I N E
STERLING SILVER AND GOLD
VERMEIL JEWELLERY WITH
SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES -
FROM £10 | hauslife.co.uk
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
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
Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword ‘BABYWEAR’
Ramekins & Wine offer
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.
Closes 01/010/2021 -
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.
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 .
Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword ‘REINHARDT’
6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Park, a four-star
A a two-night stay
for two people at
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.
Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword
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. *
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 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.
Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword ‘AIR CONTROL’
and gifts A beautiful flower
delivery arrangement from
to offer 8
the chance to win
an arrangement from its new
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
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
One of two
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
Each cup is made of organic
bamboo with a stainlesssteel
lining and recyclable
The winner’s WAKEcup will be engraved
with a name or message of their choice.
Closes 01/10/2021 - Competition keyword
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
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
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
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
to give away!
Closes 01/10/2021 -
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
8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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.
Phone 01584 810085
The Forum, 18 Market Square,
Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.
Facebook - Georgina Franklin Jewellery.
Instagram - georginafranklinjewellery.
Tel: 01584 810085
18 Market Square | Tenbury Wells | Worcs | WR15 8EA
Official distributors of PRG Trailers,
Debon, Cheval Liberte and MOTIV
amongst many other popular brands.
Sales – Hire – Parts – Service
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
buildings and roads.
If we hadn’t created
there wouldn’t be
nearly so many
weeds. They are
simply trying to
heal our scars on
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
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
Your local holiday cottage
Your local holiday Your cottage local holiday
specialist Your local in holiday the New cottage Forest...
specialist in the New specialist Forest... in the Ne
specialist in the New Forest...
New Forest Cottages has over 150 holiday
over New Forest
150 Forest holiday
area. Cottages We are has over 15
cottages New Forest throughout Cottages the has New over Forest cottages 150 area. holiday
always looking for good quality properties throughout We
are the New For
always cottages looking throughout for good the New quality always Forest properties area. looking We to for meet are
the demand. If you are considering holiday letting good quality p
the always demand. looking If you for are good considering quality the properties demand. holiday If to
please contact our experienced property team
letting you meet
for are considerin
please the demand.
contact If you
experienced are considering please property holiday contact team letting our for experienced p
advice please and contact more our information. experienced advice property and more team information.
advice and more information.
01590 679655 01590 679655
10 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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
You know all of your artists; this must give you a
unique prospective on their work and inspiration…
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 email@example.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
Instagram @novafineartofficial • www.novafineart.com
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11
Now taking registrations
Fun is an essential ingredient in all our nurseries where the
care and education opportunities for each and every child
are as extraordinary as our colleagues who provide them.
FOR CHILDREN AGED 6 WEEKS TO 5 YEARS
OPEN 7.30AM TO 6.30PM
T: 0121 752 9750
Crescent Day Nursery and Preschool,
21-22 Calthorpe Road, B15 1RP
T: 0121 454 1170
Highfield Day Nursery and Preschool,
3-4 Highfield Road, B15 3ED
WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU
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
01874 615440 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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
‘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
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
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
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
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.
Image: Courtesy of Highfield and
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15
Preparing Sixth Formers for life
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
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
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
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
For further information please call
01273 836937 | www.hppc.co.uk
16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
The Family Law Partners office is in
central Horsham. We also advise clients in
Billingshurst, Cranleigh, Crawley, Godalming,
Guildford and surrounding areas.
A different approach to
Our Horsham team deliver exceptional client
care and promote the use of alternative
dispute resolution to help minimise both the
emotional and financial cost of separation.
We can help you with:
Divorce and Separation
Dissolution of Civil Partnerships
Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements
Mediation and Collaborative Law
For a confidential conversation and to learn
more about our fixed fee appointments
call our team on 01403 599215
or email email@example.com
KIND HEARTS FIERCE MINDS STRONG SPIRITS
Queen Anne’s is an independent day & boarding school for
girls aged 11 to 18
Saturday 11 September
Local transport network,
including Henley and Marlow
Full and flexi boarding
Thursday 30 September
London Paddington to
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
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
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19
The Times & Sunday Times
Good University Guide 2021
Graduate Outcomes 2020
Forge your future
with a degree that matters
Food Supply Chain
Food Innovation &
Land, Property &
Open Day - October 9th
We catch up with award-winning landscape garden designer
Adam Frost, plus the Home Hit List ahead of winter
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
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
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
This is to prepare the plant for a period of
dormancy over winter
8. CLEAN OUT GREENHOUSES AND
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
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
Adam Frost is an
television presenter and
Best known for his
successes at RHS Chelsea
Flower Show, he is
passionate about inspiring
adults and children
alike to create their
own gardens and watch
hedgerows spring to life.
Sally Thomson caught up
with him to discuss all
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT GEOFF
It was originally in North Devon Parks
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
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
THE SOLUTION WE HAVE
ALL BEEN LOOKING FOR
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
TEL: 01536 669630
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25
do some filming but I’m not building
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
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
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
I’ve been asked, and I’ve done bits and
pieces, but I don’t really like to just turn
up and judge other people’s work.
SO, AT CHELSEA FOR EXAMPLE ARE
YOU THERE WHEN THE JUDGES
You have a 2 minute conversation the day
before to explain if anything has changed
or there have been any adjustments
to the design. They then arrive at your
garden anytime between 7:30am 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
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
chase perfection just
enjoy the moments.”
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE OUR
READERS TO DO TO THEIR GARDENS
Don’t disengage with the garden, I think
we get to September the kids go back to
school and people pack up their gardens.
I think our environment has changed so
much that you 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
JOBS TO TACKLE THIS AUTUMN
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 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).
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
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?
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
WARES AND GIFTS
USE CODE LIVE15
FOR 15% OFF
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29
VINEYARD EST. 2017
Water Meadows 2018
Nethercote Hill 2018/19
Pinot Noir 2018/19
Charlotte May Rose 2019
Madeline May Chardonnay 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
A delicate medium bodied
red wine aged in French
Oak, to add hints of toast.
With a smooth and
L A C O C K • W I L T S H I R E
F O O D
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
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
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
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
I SEE THAT YOU ALSO WORK WITH
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
34 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
& PISTACHIO LOAF
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
125g full fat milk
3 medium eggs
500g strong white bread flour (plus extra
15g fresh yeast
45g caster sugar
10g fine sea salt
FOR THE GLAZE
Pinch fine sea salt
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
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
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
When the darker nights set in, you
just want some go-to comfort food
recipes - and here, Waitrose has
delivered! Find more recipes at
COTTAGE PIE WITH
Prep time: 20 minutes plus standing
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
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
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
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
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.
Scatter grated cheddar over the potatoes
halfway through baking to give the pie a
nice cheesy crust.
PORK & AUBERGINE
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
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
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
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
This recipe would work well with minced
turkey instead of the minced pork. Turkey
mince is also lower in fat than pork
Prep time: 20 minutes + marinating
Cooking time: 20 minutes
8 British chicken thigh fillets
3 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Shawarma
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
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
15 mint leaves, finely shredded, plus extra
4 Waitrose & Partners Hand-Stretched
50g pomegranate seeds
1-2 handfuls wild rocket
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 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.
This recipe also works well with lamb or
pork steaks instead of chicken (adjust
cooking times accordingly).
CHEWY BROWN SUGAR
Prep time: 15 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 - 14
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
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.
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
CHERRY & ALMOND
BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
• For full accessibility and access
information see the website.
If cycling - Wiltshire Cycle Way www.
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
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
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
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.
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
To book call us on 0208 843 4444
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.minervamagazines.co.uk | 47
TONIQ On Demand
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
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
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
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
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
Katie Thomson shares tips
for getting your financial
ducks in a row for a happy
Retirement planning is a multi-faceted
process which evolves over time - to
have a comfortable and secure future,
you have to have the means to fund
it. Fewer people have access to the
guaranteed income that comes with a
final salary pension, and with longer to
wait until eligibility for the state pension,
it’s pertinent to start planning as early as
possible for the retirement you want. The
better prepared you are now, the better
your retirement will be.
There are many strands to retirement
planning, and much of it depends on
your stage of life. It’s important to seek
advice from a registered financial planner
who can help you make the most of your
There are some handy way points to help
you get a grasp on where you are and
what you will need - here’s a checklist of
things to consider:
Understand what your retirement
income is likely to be:
You will be adding to your pension fund
during your working life, but it’s important
you get a handle on your various pension
pots to forecast the actual figure you will
have access to.
Check your state pension:
The rising state pension age can have a
real knock-on effect to your retirement
planning - a state pension forecast will
help you to gauge how much you’re on
course to get from the government.
Get an understanding of your
Having an idea of your expenditure will
help you plan longer-term. Your living
costs are likely to be a lot lower than
in other phases of life - you might be
mortgage-free and you don’t have the
same costs for commuting, recreation or
childcare for example.
You may wish to improve your home
or go on some amazing trips, so it’s
important you know you have the
financial reserves to do this.
When should you start drawing a
You don’t have to stop working to draw
down your pension - as long as you
are over the age of 55 - but be aware,
the sooner you start dipping into it, the
sooner the pot will deplete.
How much will retirement cost?
This is the golden question, and really
depends on the level of comfort or luxury
you are looking for in your autumn years.
A recent Which? study found that the
average retired household (those living
alone or as couples) spent an around
£2,170 per month - this is covering all
the basic areas of expenditure and some
luxuries like European holidays. Those
looking for a more luxurious lifestyle
including longer-haul trips and new cars
every five years would need to allow
for approximately £3,400 per month, or
£41,000 per year.
Once you have a framework for the
amount you’ll need, and what you are
on track for saving, you also need to
consider how you will access your
pension pots - these might be state
pension, a final salary pension and a
money purchase/defined contribution
With your defined contribution pot,
such as the one you might get in the
government employee scheme, you can
draw the entire pension pot in one go,
but this will mean it’s entirely down to
you to make the money last and you’ll
invariably pay a substantial tax bill. Most
people with these pensions will opt for
income drawdown or an annuity, or a
combination of both when it comes
taking money out of their pension.
With careful planning and accurate
forecasting, your retirement can be
something to really look forward to, but
it is essential to make an assessment of
your position as early as possible and
use the advice of experts to make your
money work harder for you.
50 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
KEEP THE EVENING GOING THIS AUTUMN WITH
OUR LUXURY RANGE OF FIRE PIT SETS
Stay warm and enjoy the company of friends & family
Chatsworth Fire Pit Set
Was £4,053 | Now £3,199
SHOP ONLINE AT WHITEHALLGARDENCENTRE.CO.UK