from the EDITOR
A Culinary Journey through
“There is something so special
in the early leaves drifting
from the trees–as if we are all
to be allowed a chance to peel,
to refresh, to start again.”
– Ruth Ahmed
There is something so special about
this time of year - it has a grounding
effect which forces us to consider
the passage of time and the tangible
changes around us. As the hues
of the trees shape our landscape,
we settle down into the embrace
of those cooler, darker evenings
- a sense of quietude before the
inevitable Christmas rush begins.
We hope this edition makes a good
companion to a cosy evening or a
peaceful morning with a cuppa. We
couldn’t resist the opportunity to carb
load here with an interview with west
country expert baker (via France!)
Richard Bertinet - sorry not sorry to
have you reaching for that bread and
Editor Katie Thomson
Publisher Sally Thomson
Pre-press Manager Kate Norris
Contributors Peter Thomson, Sue Cooke, Matthew Biggs, Angela Cave,
Front cover courtesy of Richard Haughton/Raymond Gubbay Ltd
Key Account Manager Angela Maskell
e 01225 984 500
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advertisement to appear, or any damage or inconvenience caused by errors, omissions and
misprints. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission from the
publishers. The opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of the publishers.
This lovely chat falls alongside
some delicious recipes and some
inspiration for the home and
garden - this issue we are focusing
on getting the guest bedroom in ship
shape ahead of welcoming visitors
this Christmas - well, fingers and
toes crossed we will have them this
year - bet you never thought you’d
It wouldn’t be right to have an
edition without one of our most
popular pages - the competitions!
You can enter all the ones listed on
the page, plus some web-exclusives
at minervamagazines.co.uk - you
can also opt into being the first to
hear about new giveaways when
they are launched.
We are looking forward to seeing
you again in December, where we
will be unapologetically thrusting
you into the Christmas swing. Don’t
say I didn’t warn you! Until then,
take care and enjoy this issue.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3
A a two-night stay
for two people at
To enter any (or all!) of our competitions, head to
Find the competition and enter on that post,
using the appropriate keyword.
T&C’s apply and no cash alternatives available. Winners chosen at
random - entries made after closing date will not be accepted.
Whittlebury Park, a four-star countryside hotel in
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
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, non-exchangeable
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 01/11/2021 - Competition keyword ‘WHITTLEBURY’
WIN We are giving one
lucky reader the
The Ultimate chance to win
baby Starter the Ultimate
Pack! Starter Pack
from Kit & Kin,
brand co-founded by
Emma Bunton. Offering an
unbeatable bundle of ethical
baby essentials, the beautiful
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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
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Closes 01/11/2021 - Competition keyword ‘BABYWEAR’
practiced as an
architect for ten years
before deciding to
take up a career as an
artist and illustrator fulltime
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.
Competition keyword ‘ELIZA’
Ramekins & Wine offer
the wine takes
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 01/11/2021 - Competition
Leading flowers and
gifts delivery service,
Floward, is 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
Closes 01/11/2021 - Competition keyword ‘FLOWARD’
4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Dad’s Army Radio Show
13 October 16 October
The Improvised Musical
Ian Waite & Vincent Simone
29 October 31 October
The Amazing Bubble Man
Box Office: 01403 750220
North Street, Horsham RH12 1RG
AN AWESOME AUTUMN AT
THE CAPITOL HORSHAM!
There’s a packed programme of top
entertainment to choose from at The Capitol,
Horsham in the run up to Christmas...
Harpy, featuring Su Pollard
For those who love rock music, there’s
three great shows worth checking out:
The Illegal Eagles on Friday 1 October
celebrates the music of the legendary
West Coast Country Rock band and this
critically acclaimed show features the
very best from The Eagles classics. The
Best of Queen on Saturday 2 October
features a selection of the most loved
and iconic classics from Queen’s back
catalogue including an impressive 18
number one albums and singles. Think
Floyd: Through The Wall dubbed
the Definitive Pink Floyd Experience,
renowned for a stunning celebration of
the music of one of the world’s greatest
musical phenomenon present a superb
show backed by an impressive laser light
show on Thursday 7 October.
Harpy a one-woman tour-de-force
performance from national treasure Su
Pollard is a razor-sharp and bittersweet
drama about a hoarder on Wednesday 6
October. Theatre Weekly
2021 marks the 85 th anniversary of The
Capitol opening, back then as a cinema
called The Ritz and a new initiative is
to be launched to celebrate this special
year. Horsham Arts Club will provide
a regular line-up contemporary funk
and jazz music concerts that reflect the
best of the UK’s thriving music industry
in Horsham. The first of these nights
showcases “W3”, the resident funk
house band of Ronnie Scott’s world
famous jazz club on Friday 8 October.
Tickets include a free drink that you can
enjoy with free admission to the HAC
Aftershow where you can relax and enjoy
more intimate live music from London’s
top Jazz musicians in the comfort of The
Not for the feint hearted – Forensic
Pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd has
solved the mystery of many unexplained
deaths and worked on some of the
highest profile cases including the
Hungerford Massacre, the Princess
Diana inquiry and 9/11 brings his show
“Unnatural Causes” to Horsham on
Thursday 14 October.
Always a sell-out show at The Capitol,
you’ll need to book early for No Jacket
Required – The Phil Collins Tribute on
Saturday 23 October. An exceptional
12-piece band who incorporate all those
‘serious hits” into their show plus the best
from Phil Collins as a solo artist and with
Expect side splitting comedy, huge
vocals, mesmerising impressions of the
worlds biggest divas and buckets full of
energy in La Voix, The UK’s Funniest
Red Head on Thursday 28 October.
Andy Kirkpatrick: Mind Hour Head
on Sunday 14 November is a show
presented by Speakers from the Edge
which lets you share the journey of
Climber and Comedian Andy Kirkpatrick
on his journey from minus 50 degrees to
plus fifty, from battles with baboons and
bears to mundane things like climbing
walls and mountains.
ELO Again are back on Friday 5
November with their No. 1 tribute show
to give you a dramatic taste of what a
legendary ELO concert would have been
like back in their heyday.
Celebrating a fantastic 22 years touring,
Beyond The Barricade is the UK’s
longest running Musical Theatre Concert
Dr Richard Shepherd ‘Unnatural Causes’
Tour present a new show on Saturday
6 November featuring past principal
performers from Les Miserables and
delivers over two hours of the best of
Broadway and the West End, ending with
a stunning finale from Les Mis.
Keep an eye out in the next issue of
Sussex Living for details of this year’s
family pantomime Aladdin which opens
on Friday 3 December and runs until
New Year’s Eve. Presented by a brand
NEW production team including Zoë
Waterman as Director and Morgan
Brind providing the script, it’s going to be
a spectacular, action packed adventure
for the festive season.
Tickets for all shows can be booked
online at www.thecapitolhorsham.com
or calling The Capitol Box Office on
6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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
8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Outstanding GCSE Results for
Duke of Kent School Pupils
We at Duke of Kent School could not be prouder of our Year
11 cohort for their assiduousness and collective endeavour
in what has been an incredibly challenging year. The
outstanding GCSE results reflect their very best efforts, and
the support of our whole school community.
Our Year 11s achieved an overall GCSE pass rate of 99.7%,
with a commendable 85% of our pupils gaining a grade 7 or
above, or in old money, an A grade. Indeed, 67% gained a
grade 8 or above. The cohort average across all subjects was
a grade 7. This is a truly fantastic achievement, and reflects the
outstanding GCSE results our pupils achieve annually, enabling
each one of them entry to their first choice of school or college.
Without a doubt, the numbers reflect incredibly favourably
on our pupils, but as ever, it is the story behind the numbers
that will stay with us as a school. This was a year group
that experienced two lockdowns, extended remote learning,
great uncertainty and, ultimately, an extensive internal
examination series. No cohort in the history of our school has
been examined and assessed more thoroughly, and it is with
tremendous admiration of their spirit, and also professional
certainty that we recognise these achievements and everything
Overall GCSE pass rate of 99.7%
67% achieved a grade 8 or above
85% achieved a grade 7 or above
Cohort average level 7
55 Grade 9s achieved (16% of total)
GCSE Maths average grade = 8
GCSE English Language and Literature average grade = 8
GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics average grade = 8
Mr Damian Allen,
Academic Progress and Data Coordinator
Richard Bertinet is well-loved and well-known for being the
UK’s baking ‘godfather’. His books about baking and his breadmaking
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...
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
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
How many diets have you tried and
failed, feeling totally frustrated and
not knowing what to do next?
Help is at hand to lose your
weight once and for all!
No matter how hard you have tried in
the past, The Metabolic Weight Loss
Programme could just be the
answer to losing your weight
once and for all!
Rachel and her team have
helped over 8,000 clients,
of all ages, to reduce their
weight successfully with
the Metabolic Weight Loss
Programme. Many come to
her as a last resort and are
delighted to have achieved
and successfully maintained
the weight they want to be!
A programme that’s easy to
follow and gets results!
The Metabolic Weight Loss Programme is designed to
increase your metabolic rate and help you make the
necessary changes in your eating habits. Once you have
got to the size or weight you want to want to be, then
we make sure you know how to maintain it!
There is nothing faddish about the programme - no
pills, diet shakes or meal replacements. No counting
calorie, carbs or anything else! Any part of the
programme can be tailored for individual needs.
With an average
weight loss of 7-14lb
a month for clients
and hundreds of hand
and reviews, Rachel’s
results speak for
Rachel Ricketts, Weight Loss Consultant
Feeling and looking better
As the weight falls off, time after time clients remark
how much better they feel about themselves and
how their energy levels have increased.
Typical health improvements include
blood pressure, cholesterol and
blood sugar levels returning to
Clients often comment on
just how impressed their
doctors are with their health
improvements. ‘My doctor is
very happy - I’ve been able to
come off blood pressure and
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lost 2 ½ stone despite being on
Time and again, clients say that they couldn’t have
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Call now for a free consultation
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
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.
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.
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.
12 | 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 | 13
When the darker nights set in, you
just want some go-to comfort food
recipes - and here, Waitrose has
delivered! Find more recipes at
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).
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
14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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.
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
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,
CHERRY & ALMOND
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
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
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15
FROM VINE TO WINE
Be part of the journey from vine
to wine this Autumn at Bolney
Wine Estate, in the heart of rural
From tranquil walks round the vines during harvest to relaxing on
our viewing terrace with a glass of bubbles, there is something
for everyone here at Bolney. As the leaves begin to fall, our
Autumn menu launches to bring bespoke seasonal dishes from
our chefs using fresh and local ingredients, perfectly paired with
our award-winning wines.
© copyright Chris Orange (chrisorange.com)
Whilst we might be known best for the grapes we grow, the
foraging opportunities available on our doorstep give us
the chance to be truly creative with our menu and offer you
something extra special. Why not book in to our Eighteen Acre
Café to experience a taste of Bolney this season? If you’re new to
Bolney, our wine flights are the ideal opportunity to discover your
Once your visit to our Estate is over, the Bolney experience
doesn’t have to stop there. Our Vineyard Shop offers our full
range of still and sparkling wines, Bolney Estate Gin, Cider and
Rosso Vermouth, as well as a variety of foodie treats from local
producers and beyond.
With the colder weather drawing in, there’s nothing better than
cosying up with a glass of our Winemaker’s Edition or Lychgate
Red, or showcasing the best of Sussex wines with friends at a
dinner party. With our click and collect service, you can order
your favourite Bolney wines and food online and pop into the
vineyard to collect them to enjoy
at home. If you are looking for the
perfect gift, our full range is also
available for you to browse online
to deliver direct to your door.
Christmas is set to be truly
sparkling this year at Bolney Wine
Estate, why not bring friends
and family together for a festive
lunch and glass of award-winning wine to make this Christmas
one to remember. We are excited to announce the return of
our Corporate Christmas Parties this year, the perfect place to
celebrate Christmas in style with colleagues, with magical views
of our Eighteen Acre vineyard.
Experience Sussex’s best kept secret this season, visit
bolneywineestate.com to discover more.
GIVE A GIFT
that means a little more
Don’t miss our next edition which
includes our exclusive interview with
Amanda Owen. Amanda will also
share her wonderful recipes with us....
plus tales of her life in Yorkshire
gift boxes - customisable and
beautiful, from £10
available from hauslife.co.uk
16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
SUSSEX’S BEST KEPT SECRET
Experience a sparkling Autumn at Bolney Wine Estate,
one of England’s oldest and most beautiful vineyards.
Located just outside of Horsham, Bolney produce some
of the finest still and sparkling English wines, paired
perfectly with delicious seasonal dishes at
our Eighteen Acre Café & Terrace.
EIGHTEEN ACRE CAFÉ | VINEYARD SHOP & CELLAR DOOR | GIFTS & HAMPERS
BOLNEYWINEESTATE.COM | 01444 881 575
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The same goes for the mattress as the
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DO: PROVIDE GOOD
Multi-level lighting is key for making a
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DON’T: SKIMP ON THE
Good bed linen really is worth the money
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SOMEWHERE THEY CAN
We all know it’s a bit stressful trying to
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on top of things whilst they’re with you.
DO: MAKE IT SMELL
Kit the room out with either fresh flowers,
a reed diffuser, or room sprays.
DON’T: BE A
If your guests were hoping for hotel
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have stayed. Just aim to make sure
the space is clean, comfortable and
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without adding high expectations on top
If you’re looking for a total decorative
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18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 21
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25
Notes from the garden
Matt Biggs gives us some ideas for next year
Matthew Biggs, is a radio personality in the UK, best known for
his appearances on the long running BBC Radio 4 programme
Gardeners’ Question Time. He has been a professional
gardener for over 25 years, since studying at Pershore College
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including RHS Lessons from Great Gardeners: Forty Gardening
Icons and What They Teach Us, Matthew Biggs’s Complete book
of Vegetables and Gardening at Eden: And how to do it at home.
Matt’s tips for the
Summer saw some
extremes of weather - hail,
thunder, and torrential rain
interspersed with bouts of
very hot weather - and, just
occasionally, the weather
we would expect during the summer too!
Whatever the reason the way we use our gardens needs to reflect
how we want to use it - if we want wildlife, then there are big and
small changes we can make, from not concreting over the front
garden for parking to putting up an insect hotel, big and small
changes add up and make a difference so let’s get going on
those - an early New Year’s resolution maybe?
If you have a space that is challenging, oddly shaped, sloping,
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After all, when you bought the house and garden it was a major
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box, you can grow stuff on a windowsill, there are so many ways
to get involved - and have fun!
26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 27
LEND US A..
Ade Hill catches up
with ‘The People’s
Watson, where he
back out on stage
post pandemic, as
well as something we
can all relate to...
the great lockdown
Images by Richard Haughton/Raymond Gubbay Ltd
It sure has been a tough year for
everyone, especially for the performing
arts and theatres. How did you
personally find lockdown?
In some respects when it first kicked in
I don’t think anybody in the industry, or
the country for that matter, anticipated
just how long the lockdown would last.
So when we initially thought it was just
going to be a few weeks I thought ‘Well
this could be a good opportunity for me
to rest my voice, rest the infrastructure’.
I also wanted to settle down – I had
been constantly touring for about ten or
eleven years without much of a break.
So it was kind of going to be just a long
lay-off but it didn’t quite work out like
that! I remember when it started to unfold
it was evident that the lockdown was
going to be much longer than we were
anticipating and it was then that my wife
presented me with this great big long list
of jobs that I’d been promising to do for
the last eleven years, culminating with the
tidying of the proverbial garden shed. It’s
only a simple 8x6 garden shed, but once
I’d opened the door to it I realised that it
probably had a similar capacity to that
of Dr Who’s Tardis! There was so much
junk in there, I wasn’t able to actually
get through the door. So the first point
was to clear the doorway by emptying
the immediate contents onto the garden
lawn. The first thing I noticed was that
there were about five or six kites in there
that remained unopened. But the most
interesting thing I found was at the back
of the shed lurking were three bikes that I
didn’t even know I owned!
That’s quite a find! Now I hear that
in your lockdown sort-out you found
boxes of old stage gear, including a
suit that you wore to meet the Queen?
Yes, and this was all in my shed! It was
all piled up in these plastic containers.
I pulled a lot of it out thinking ‘I thought
this had gone years ago?!’. This beautiful
silk white suit that I had worn when I
received my first Brit Award. All manner
of stuff was in there. It was like Aladdin’s
cave. It’s funny because a lot of the stuff
doesn’t fit anymore, as it is twenty years
on. It is designer stuff, there’s Dolce &
Gabbana and Armani and all that. So we
bagged it all up and took it to the local
homeless facility. It was funny because
the guy rang me up a few days later
and said “Russell we’re so grateful for
the clothes, we shouldn’t laugh but all
the guys here are now walking around
in Dolce & Gabbana and Armani, it’s
That’s really brilliant! It is great to
We’ve attempted to do a lot for homeless
people over the years. I’ve recently been
involved with a big project with The
Big Issue, to try to raise for homeless
people who at the moment are suffering
more than ever. With people not leaving
home because of the pandemic it’s been
incredibly difficult for a lot of homeless
people. I am a huge advocate for
supporting the homeless.
Tell us more about your 20th
Anniversary tour. How does it feel to
finally be able to go back to what you
Well it was the tour that was meant to
happen at the beginning of 2020. Then
it was moved to the middle of 2020.
Then it was moved to the end of 2020.
Now it has ended up in Autumn 2021.
It’s difficult to know what to put on the
tour poster. ‘The tour that nearly was,
then wasn’t. But then nearly was again,
but wasn’t. But might be, but wasn’t.
But probably could be but we just don’t
know’ tour. December 2019 was my last
concert in front of an audience, and so
this Friday (20th July) was my first show
for the best part of eighteen months. It
was an outdoor festival in Hale Barns
and it was just wonderful to get back on
stage with all my musician friends and
deliver a show to an audience that, you
could just tell, were long overdue some
live entertainment. It was such a great,
28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
On his 20th
I’m very proud of
the fact that I’ve
been able to remain
in the industry for
such a long period of
time, and it really is,
from my perspective,
I can imagine. Just to get out and
see you and also see friends again.
Because we’ve all had to give up a lot
of our life! What can we expect from
It’s a collection of material from the last
twenty-one years of my recordings. It’s
the repertoire that I think the fan base
would expect first and foremost and
then similarly a few surprises in there. I
think it’s all the material and repertoire
that underpins the last twenty-one years
of my recording career. I’m very proud
of the fact that I’ve been able to remain
in the industry for such a long period of
time, and it really is, from my perspective,
something to celebrate.
Does it feel like it’s been twenty-one
years since you recorded your first
You know what, when I think about
all the things that have happened to
me over twenty-one years it feels like
two lifetimes! But when I actually look
back in retrospect to, say for instance,
when I first went into the studio with my
producer Nick Patrick in 1999, it literally
feels like the blink of an eye. It feels
like it was last week! It’s such a strange
feeling, but life is like that isn’t it? I think
all those moments that we feel underpin
who we are, the successes in our lives,
the failures, the difficult times, they’re the
moments that we single out and they are
they key elements in our lives. They are
part of a big jigsaw, and when you look
back on them it doesn’t feel like they
were that long ago but when you think
about all the water that’s gone under the
bridge in between it feels like I’ve done so
much, and I’ve been incredibly fortunate
in my career as well.
It’s like looking at old pictures of
yourself back in the 80s. Did I really
have a mullet? I did.
I know what you mean. I look at pictures
from that period, particularly with
reference to my teenage years and even
though, stylistically, some of the stuff I
was wearing was odd, I just look back on
it and think ‘Oh my god, that was such an
uncomplicated period of my life’. It just
seemed like it was sunshine every day
of the Summer, and snow in the Winter
and everything just seemed so massively
So you’ve been busy with a new
No, there’s no new album this year. I’ve
decided to take a year off from recording.
But last year at the beginning of 2020
I went into the studio to make to 20th
anniversary recording which was released
last Christmas. So they’ll be nothing this
year. I just sort of feel like I want to let
the dust settle on 2021 and then maybe
next year, if everything is fully operational
again and we have some sort of
semblance of normality, then maybe we
can look at another four quarter release
During your career you have played
at some amazing venues around the
world. Does it still make the hairs on
the back of your neck stand up when
you walk on stage?
That can happen for different reasons.
It’s not necessarily with regards to the
location I’m performing in. But it can
happen if I get a moment in a song where
there’s maybe a memory of a certain
moment or somebody that maybe I’ve
lost in my life and a memory comes
in. But with regards to being in venues
where I would most definitely look out
and think: “My God how did I end up
here? This is awe-inspiring.” I mean the
Vatican is one of those moments that I
can single out. It was just tremendous,
not least of all because the Pope was
there as well.
No pressure there then!
You know what? I’ve never really felt
pressure. It’s funny, it’s something that
was born into me and it’s not something
I ever really think about. I just go on there
and I do what I do. It doesn’t matter
whether I’m singing to ten people or ten
thousand people. I go on and I do what I
do, and I do it with the same enthusiasm
and technique as I would do it anywhere.
I remember doing the opening ceremony
for the Commonwealth Games, and there
was one of the yellow bibbed stewards
stood at the side of the stage. I was
waiting to go on and he said to me: “You
alright there Russell mate?” I said: “Yeah
I’m good thank you.” He said: “You’re
not nervous are you?” I said: “No, I’m
fine.” He says: “There’s a lot of people
out there, about forty-thousand people in
the stadium I’ve heard.” I said: “Really?
Great!” He continued, saying: “All the
athletes from all the nations, all with their
banners. They’re all out there.” I said:
“Lovely.” He then says: “Her majesty
the Queen is out there, yeah she’s out
there too. And I’ve heard there’s about a
billion people watching live on TV.” I said:
“Right, please be quiet now because you
are making me nervous!.”
Who would you say are you musical
Believe it or not, my biggest musical
influence as a child would have been
my Gran! Whenever I would go round
my Gran’s house, she was a massive
classical music fan. I’ve been listening
to everything from Chopin, Schubert,
Schumann…all those greats. Mario Lanza
was a constant fixture in the house so I
was very familiar with a lot of those big
classical artists from an early age. So
she was a big influence. But in regards
to artists, Luciano Pavarotti was a big
favourite of mine. But as a kid it was all
about Paul Weller and The Jam and The
Beatles to a degree. I mean The Beatles
were slightly before my time, but still I
had my old semi-acoustic guitar and I
used to bash out tunes with my old pals,
sit up in our bedrooms or whoever’s
garage we could use and jam away to the
old Beatles bumper book of 101 songs.
Great memories, they were probably my
How can we find out more information
on the tour?
You can find all the information you need
on the website including the dates that
we are doing. It’s russellwatson.com,
so you’ll find all my new dates on there,
plus you are able to book through it too
so that’s great.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29
after a diagnosis of dementia
What are the next steps?
A diagnosis of dementia can be a big shock
- for the person with the condition, and their
family. It can be difficult to know what to
do, what decisions need to be made, who
to tell, what support is available and what
There can either be a lot of information
given to you at the time of diagnosis, or not
very much at all. Either way, whatever is
said to you at the time of diagnosis can be
forgotten in this emotional and challenging
Dementia UK provides specialist dementia
support for families through the Admiral
Nurse service. Admiral Nurses give families
the compassionate one-to-one support,
expert guidance and practical solutions
they need to face dementia with more
The families they work with want a simple
checklist of what to ask, what to do and
who to approach - so the important next
steps are clearly outlined in one place,
with links to more detailed information to
consider later, when it’s needed.
The Dementia UK next steps checklist:-
This checklist has been written by dementia
specialist Admiral Nurses, to help in the
early days after you or your family member
has received a diagnosis of dementia.
For each item on the checklist, there is a
further link to additional information, as
and when you need it. If you don’t have
access to the internet, you can contact the
Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline for more
information and support
Ask whether there will be a follow up
appointment after the diagnosis.
30 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
If yes, who will you see? How often? Who
makes this appointment?
Who will be your main point of contact?
Who will be responsible for coordinating
subsequent care and support?
Please record these details and your notes
in the Dementia UK Practical guide to
get the best out of GP and other health
Arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney for:-
Health and welfare.
Property and financial affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a
legal document, nominating a person to
make decisions on behalf of a person with
dementia, if and when the time comes
that they no longer have the capacity to
make these decisions themselves. It is
very important to fill in and register an LPA
for both health and welfare, and property
and financial affairs, while the person with
dementia still has the capacity to do so.
Discuss plans and wishes for the future
with your family, including:-
Your wishes regarding your future care.
Your wishes regarding your future medical
Your hopes about your involvement with
An Advance Care Plan is a document that
outlines a person’s future wishes for their
care and medical treatment.
Apply for a Carers’ Assessment
Anyone with caring responsibilities for a
person with dementia is entitled to a Carers’
Assessment, to be carried out by their
Local Authority. The Assessment will look
at the impact that caring for a person with
dementia is having, and will then identify
the type and level of support that is needed.
This could include some care for the person
with dementia, some training or some help
coming in to the home. You will need to
request the Assessment from your Local
Apply for all of the relevant financial
support you are entitled to:-
People with dementia and their family
carers are entitled to various benefits,
tax discounts or financial support. It is
important to make sure you are receiving all
of the financial help you are entitled to.
Organise your home so it helps you live
safely and independently
There are lots of simple, practical steps
that can be taken to help a person with
dementia to be safe and comfortable in
Inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing
Agency (DVLA) and your vehicle
insurance company your diagnosis
People with a diagnosis of dementia do not
automatically have to give up their driving
licence – but you do need to take certain
steps to make sure you are insured and
abiding by the law.
Inform your employer about the
If you are diagnosed with dementia and still
working, it is very important that you tell
your employer, so that steps can be taken
to support you in your job, if possible.
Similarly, if you are caring for someone with
dementia, telling your employer about your
changing responsibilities will help you plan
together, so that you can continue working
and caring as effectively as possible.
For more information call 0800 888 6678 or
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Our highly trained care home teams are specialists in
residential, nursing, dementia and respite care, so
whatever your needs and personal preferences,
we’re here to help you and your family at every step
of the journey.
If you’re considering care for yourself or a loved one,
call 01403 886905 or email
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