*Help to Buy, selected plots only – equity loan for first time buyers only, terms and conditions apply. Contact a Sales Consultant for more details.
More information can be found at www.helptobuy.gov.uk. Prices and information correct at time of going to print. September 2021
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 Claire Harris
t 01225 984 494
MINERVA PUBLICATIONS HQ
Paxcroft Farm, Hilperton, Trowbridge
BA14 6JB t 01225 984 550
visit our website www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Disclaimer: The publishers shall not be held liable for any loss occasioned by failure of an
advertisement to appear, or any damage or inconvenience caused by errors, omissions and
misprints. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission from the
publishers. The opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of the publishers.
4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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.
ART UNEQUALLED MAKES ITS
LONG AWAITED RETURN TO THE
MALTING'S THIS NOVEMBER!
After the enforced break for 18 months,
Art Unequalled is excited to make its return to
The Malting’s in Ely with a special 10 year (+1!)
To celebrate 10 years of the
show there will be extra opening
hours on Friday evening with
live music to enjoy whilst you
are browsing the amazing Arts
and Crafts for sale and chatting
to the Artists who created them!
EVENTS TO SHOWCASE SUPERB ART AND CRAFT
A truly amazing group of makers have been selected to take part this
year, with returning regular exhibitors and also new exhibitors, a mix
sure to delight all that visit.
Visitors will find something to suit all tastes and budgets, whether they
are looking to start their Christmas shopping, treat themselves or find
a statement piece for their home.
It seems like a very long time since we have been able to welcome
visitors and we can’t wait to see everyone enjoying the event in
Art Unequalled at The Malting’s in Ely on 5th, 6th, 7th November
4.30-8pm Fri, 10.30am-5pm Sat & Sun
Adults: £2; Concessions: £1; Accompanied children under 15: Free
Sally Dunham, Organiser: 07850 286566
This winter be amazed by
Ickworth's Light Nights
19 November - 5 December
Fri - Sunday 4.30-9.30pm
Explore Ickworth’s Italianate Garden, as we capture the magic of our gothic
Stumpery with a sound and light based trail. The walk culminates with a beautiful
light display on the iconic Rotunda.
Make the most of your evening with festive bakes, mulled wine and late night
shopping– a great combination for the perfect night out.
Book your tickets online now.
© National Trust 20121. Registered charity, No. 205846. © National Trust Images
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 5
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
collection of products is
bursting with everything a
new parent needs, night and
day, including the brand’s Eco Nappies, Biodegradable Wipes
and Nappy Sacks. The standout set also contains the heroes from
Kit & Kin’s range of 100% organic cotton babywear, including the
adorable Bunny Hat and super soft Alphabet All-in-One, as well as
a luxuriously snuggly Knitted Blanket and Sleeping Bag, to ensure
everyone gets the best ZZZ’s, naturally!
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’
6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Event at a Suffolk Barn
Celebrates 30 Years
Snuggled in the heart of Rougham Estate just
outside Bury St Edmunds, historic Blackthorpe
Barn is home to a Christmas event that ignites the
Christmas spirit for thousands every year, and
this year they are celebrating 30th years.
The Christmas festival starts in late October at Blackthorpe Barn
with the opening of the Country Christmas shop. There are also craft
weekends and famous Rougham Estate Christmas Trees, which
have been pride of place outside 10 Downing Street in recent years.
The Country Christmas shop has everything needed to make your
Christmas extra special, from decorations, wreaths, aromatics and
wrap to wonderful gifts for all. With everything beautifully displayed
you cannot help but imagine how you could transform your home
with amazing decorations and put a glorious smile on the faces of
your friends and family through amazing gifts this Christmas.
Celebrating 30 years this year, the Christmas craft weekends are
always much anticipated. They showcase some of the country’s
most talented artists and craft-makers. There are woven and
knitwear designs and textiles, ceramics, glassware, metalware,
wood creations, natural beauty products, leather items, jewellery,
books, baskets and so much more. Many exhibitors change each
weekend so there are new crafts to be explored each visit.
The weekends start with a special unveiling of a 30th anniversary
sculpture on 6 November at 10am and continue each weekend until
For the icing on the cake this Christmas a famous Rougham Estate
Christmas Tree could be a perfect festive centrepiece. Renowned
for quality and longevity, each tree has been lovingly nurtured in
plantations close to Blackthorpe Barn. Available in many shapes
and sizes, freshly cut or pot grown.
George Agnew, Joint owner of Blackthorpe Barn and Rougham
Estate adds, “I am so pleased that we are getting back to a faceto-face
event again, it’s going to be fantastic. The 30th anniversary
sculpture unveiling to going to be special for me. There has been
a lot of changes, we always try to evolve things every year and
this year we have created more space for the crafts, to allow
everyone to feel comfortable, and we have extended the Courtyard
Café with more covered areas for all to enjoy. I look forward to
welcoming our visitors again and seeing the smiles on their faces,
it really does mean a lot to me.”
Blackthorpe Barn is just three miles east of Bury St Edmunds in
Suffolk, off the A14 at junction 45 (Sat Nav IP30 9HZ). For more
information and opening times for the various events see
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 7
Craft Food and Gifts
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
19th – 21st November
Christmas is coming! Start the season
with the traditional Sandringham Craft
Food and Gift Fair where you will love
the diverse array of over a hundred and
fifty craftsmen and artists bringing you a
choice of unique and special gifts for all
your loved ones...
Watch them at work with regular
demonstrations of glassblowing,
blacksmithing, chainsaw carving, woodturning
and traditional country crafts.
The fine food halls are large and delicious
and offer a ‘taste before you buy’
approach on most stalls, which will make
the decisions even more difficult. There
is hot coffee, chocolate, mulled wine or
cider to choose from when you need a
well-earned break. Get some Christmas
cooking ideas from our wonderful Living
Heritage chefs who will be demonstrating
their recipes in the Country Kitchen area.
There is plenty for the whole family to
see and do. Enjoy live music from the Bill
Bailey Band, Kevin O’Regan and Johnny
Flintons Music, keep the children happy
with children’s make and take, sand art
Put the dates in your diary now and buy
your tickets for the Sandringham Craft,
Food and Gifts Fair.
Christmas starts here!
All in all, a great family day out at the
Sandringham Estate, Kings Lynn PE35
6EN, 19th – 21st November, 2021
For more information, please visit
where you can buy tickets in advance.
Alternatively tickets will also be available
Living Heritage run a series of events
across the UK, with a number of Game
& Country Fairs, Craft Shows and three
very successful Food Festivals. Their aim
is to give families a great day out.
Sandringham Christmas Craft Food &
Near Kings Lynn
Norfolk PE35 6EN
Show open 10 – 5 daily
Adults £10, Over 65’s £9 and children £4
Enjoy your day!
8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
& GIFTS FAIR
20th & 21st 2021
10am - 5pm
Start the season with the tradtitional
Sandringham Craft, Food and Gift Fair
where you will love the diverse array
of Artists, Designers, Craftsmen, Food
& Drink and Gifts. All mixed together
with Working Craftsmen, Chefs,
Cookery Demonstrations, Jesters,
Good Food and Live Music in the Main
Event Catering Marquee.
Let’s all start planning for Christmas now!
SANDRINGHAM ESTATE, NEAR
KINGS LYNN, NORFOLK PE35 6EN
Adults £10.00 Over 65s £9.00 Children £4.00
www.livingheritagecraftshows.com | Tel 01283 820548
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,
10 | 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 | 11
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
12 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
online farm shop
SUPPORT UK FARMERS & BUSINESSES
with HAND PICKED ARTISAN PRODUCTS
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
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 13
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.
14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
GIVE A GIFT that means a little more
sustainable, wellness-based gift boxes - customisable and beautiful, from £10
available from hauslife.co.uk
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15
& 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.
16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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
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,
18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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
Emily Baker takes in ultimate luxury
in the inimitable Maldives
t’s difficult to write about the
Maldives without descending into
Icliches - it is every 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
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
other-worldly 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 - a gleaming small
army in white uniforms and glowing
smiles awaited, festooning us with flower
garlands and introducing each guest to
their own dedicated villa butler - they
are your go-to whilst on the resort, for
everything from booking restaurant
tables to helping you hitch a ride on one
of the golf buggies that transport guests
around the 52 acre resort.
There are a handful of different
accommodation options for guests -
either stays on those quintessential
oceanic villas, decked with their steps
straight into the water, or a series of
beach villas, either with direct access to
the beach or with oceanic views and their
own private infinity pools. Whilst some
of the fixtures and fittings are looking a
little tired in places, the sheer delight of
the location more than makes up for any
shortcomings inside, as does the wealth
of activities, both in the water and out,
available from your doorstep.
This brings me on to my other
assumption - one I think many travellers
make - that the Maldives is a destination
for loved-up couples to fly and flop in
luxury. And whilst there’s definitely scope
for that, I wasn’t overcome by a raft of
couples acting amorously by the pool,
but instead greeted by a huge breadth
of guest profiles - there were, of course,
couples, but also groups of friends on
a girly getaway and families - taking
advantage of the total safety of the
island to let little ones run around freely.
Though, unlike other family-friendly
resorts, the children are seen but not
heard - there’s space for everyone, so
adults can still find their escape. Kids
and adults alike can partake in aquatic
adventures, with guided reef 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
“If the term barefoot luxury is
banded about too much, it’s very
much found its true definition here”
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19
“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”
20 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
eally hit the right notes in the afternoon
Knowing as they do that tourism in these
areas have hugely adverse effects on the
local environment, Sun Siyam as a group
continually look for ways to reduce their
footprint. Being an archipelagic state, the
Maldives does rely on a significant array
of food imports, but the group has its
own farm island which grows a variety of
produce, limiting the carbon impact. Guests
to the resort can visit too, for a unique farm
to plate experience.
I suppose the other big question for everyone
tentatively dipping their toes back into
international travel, is, is it safe? The major
advantage of the Maldives is the sheer space
between the islands, meaning that they
can isolate cases as and when they occur.
How this landscape will change as more
vaccines are rolled out across the globe is
still unknown, but its clear that each resort
is doing their part. As it currently stands, to
change resorts you are still required to take
a PCR test - whilst some might consider
this an unnecessary expense, I think it’s a
sensible and safe practice to make sure you
can enjoy your stay fully.
Now, if there is a spa to be found in a resort,
you will generally find me ensconced inside
it. Within a humble-looking bungalow off
one of the jungle tracks, lies Iru Fushi’s - a
world-leading spa by French brand Thalgo -
don’t be fooled by initial appearances though
- knock on the heavy black-lacquered doors
and you’ll be whisked into an exotic oasis,
where pebble-lined paths snake through
bubbling koi ponds. Massages here are on
the expensive side, but hey, you’re in the
Maldives - lean in to the luxury and enjoy
your slice of paradise, it really is worth it.
I suppose the thing that really sets the tone
for any trip, and indeed the make or break,
are the staff within the resort, and Sun Siyam
really do have a spectacularly good team.
Throughout the stay, nothing was too much
trouble. Want a pinch-me 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 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.
Travelling admist COVID Restrictions means
you must be fully aware of conditions for
travel prior to your journey - you must follow
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 21
HORIZON WATER VILLA
the restrictions for both your destination country
and your transit country. Should you need to test
on return to the UK, we recommend Eurofins for
both the Test to Fly and Test to Release service
- they are reliable and competitively priced.
They have postal kits available from £44.90, and
special VIP concierge services for £150 where
a test will be couriered to you, collected and
tested on the same day to ensure quick results.
Find out more at www.eurofins.co.uk/pcr-testingkits
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 - rates not guaranteed so call
for details | www.southalltravel.co.uk
Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives - 5
7 nights from £3879 pp - Includes return
business class on Qatar Airways flights from
London, to Male Deluxe Beach Villa, B&B basis,
including domestic flight transfers. Includes
a booking discount - saving over £2540 per
couple. Prices are per person based on two
adults sharing valid for travel on selected
departure dates from October 21-December 21
- rates not guaranteed so call for details To book
call on 0208 843 4444
22 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 23
DON’T: WORRY IF YOU
DON’T HAVE LOADS OF
Ultimately you have to work with what
you’ve got - in the last 18 months,
many of us have seen our guest rooms
overhauled into home offices. If you’ve
ditched the bed don’t worry - how about
adding an attractive sofa bed that you
can actually use the rest of the time as a
break out area from your desk.
DO: PROVIDE BASIC
The more things you can put in the room
to make their stay easier, without having
to ask you for everything, the more
relaxed everyone will feel. A mirror is
important, as are fresh towels, tissues,
and perhaps even a hair dryer. A bedside
carafe and some glasses means they can
help themselves to water too.
DO: INVEST IN GOOD
As you might have never slept in this
space, you might not know how light
behaves or how effective the current
window treatments are for blocking out
light. For a really luxurious look, pair
blackout blinds or shutters with thick,
DON’T: SETTLE FOR A
The same goes for the mattress as the
window treatments - spend a night in the
room and see if the bed is up to scratch.
DO: PROVIDE GOOD
Multi-level lighting is key for making a
space feel cosy - make sure there are
two bedside lamps and then another
light source in the space, such as a
standing lamp in the corner or a lamp on
a dressing table
DON’T: SKIMP ON THE
Good bed linen really is worth the money
- and it tends to wash better too. Provide
a good quality duvet and pillows, linens
and some additional blankets if your
guests feel the cold.
SOMEWHERE THEY CAN
We all know it’s a bit stressful trying to
live out of a suitcase - allowing for some
hanging space and a few drawers to
unpack into, can really help guests keep
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
standards, then that’s where they should
have stayed. Just aim to make sure
the space is clean, comfortable and
functional, then relax - there’s enough to
be worrying about in the festive season
without adding high expectations on top
If you’re looking for a total decorative
overhaul, check out our moodboards!
24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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ON ALL ORDERS PLACED
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Tel: 01223 853034 or 01480 877606 | www.everythingshutters.co.uk
CRANK UP THE HEAT
WOOD BURNING AND MULIT-FUEL
STOVES FROM ARADA
The ultimate home necessity for
cold and dreary winter nights,
Arada’s wood burning and multifuel
stoves bring warmth and
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each and every stove offers
superior all-round performance to
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With a vast array of contemporary
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customers can choose the perfect
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30 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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Chandelier in Rich
Auerelia Gold with Clear
Heritage Crystal, £906.12,
Design by Turner Pocock
Clemence Mirror, £174,
Rustic Apricot Blossom
Wallpaper, £44 for 10m
Porthallow Footstool, from
Botticelli Demi Lune
Console Table, £495,
Country Living Linen
Pom Pom Cushion, £20,
Estella Headboard from £545,
Coordonne mural, £470,
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 31
PHASE ANNOUNCED FOR
LUXURY LIVING AT THE
OLD TANNERY IN ELY
This is great news for homeowners awaiting
the arrival of stunning new designer
apartments in the heart of Cambridgeshire’s
historic cathedral city.
Award-winning Laragh Homes is about to begin the next exciting
stage of development at The Old Tannery. Perfectly positioned on
Fore Hill in Ely’s vibrant city centre, within striking distance of the
riverside and rail station, this beautiful collection of 25 one- and
two-bedroom loft-style apartments present high-specification
luxury living with private parking and some spectacular views
across one of the UK’s most famous cathedrals.
Already in great demand, with more than 70% of these amazing
apartments now reserved off plan, The Old Tannery features one
studio, seven one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom properties
designed by prestigious architects Haysom Ward Miller, in a wellconnected
Cambridgeshire location with excellent road and rail
links to Cambridge, London and beyond.
“Lifestyle balance is a key factor for our homebuyers right now,” said
Laragh Director Hannah Greenhow. “The abundance of amenities
that Ely has to offer, with restaurants, bars, cafes, riverside walks,
entertainment, independent shopping, and farmers markets –
combined with Cambridge just on the doorstep via a swift 15-minute
train journey – makes these stunning apartments highly sought after
by local people and first-time buyers who want stylish contemporary
homes with great travel access to suit their Cambridgeshire lifestyle.”
With further releases to be announced soon by Laragh, plus plans
for a show home opening this autumn and the first homeowners
looking to move in before Christmas, The Old Tannery is proving
to be an incredibly popular lifestyle choice for forward-thinking
Together with the combination of incentives, such as Help to Buy
and the new 95% mortgage scheme, it means that quality new
homes are being snapped up well ahead of completion dates,
and The Old Tannery is no exception. Many of these outstanding
apartments have already been sold, with high-level enquiries at
each building stage – so now is the perfect time to get in touch
and discover your new dream home at The Old Tannery in Ely. For
current availability contact Cheffins.
• Cheffins Ely - call 01353 654900 or visit www.cheffins.co.uk
• For details of Laragh Homes, visit laragh.co.uk
• To view The Old Tannery brochure, visit https://bit.ly/33cI0tK
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32 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 33
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
of Horticulture and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Over the
past twenty five years, he has visited lots of gardens throughout
Britain, from small suburban plots and inner city allotments to roof
gardens and large country estates and written a number of books
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,
very overgrown or you just don’t have any inspiration, it is time
to call in the experts - from a complete landscape makeover
to some planting ideas, there are local firms who will provide
the expertise to make sure that your garden works for you.
After all, when you bought the house and garden it was a major
investment, so it seems like a great idea to benefit from every
inch of that investment - and nature can join in too!
If you don’t have a garden, you can still grow plants. Indoor plants
add greatly to the feel of the home, you can give one to a child
so that they learn to care for it, you can have a herb filled window
box, you can grow stuff on a windowsill, there are so many ways
to get involved - and have fun!
34 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Keeping your dog safe, calm and happy
Seasonal fireworks celebrations
can be a stressful time for many of
our four-legged friends, with loud
noises and bright lights causing
fear, anxiety and unexpected
To help owners and dogs enjoy this
fireworks season more comfortably, The
Kennel Club has rounded up tips on
how to help dogs feel safe during the
celebrations this autumn.
Preparation is key
A major reason why fireworks scare dogs
is the loud and unexpected noise. You can
help prepare your dog by playing them
fireworks sounds in the weeks leading up
to fireworks night. This will help your dog
get used to the disturbing noise in the
safety of their home.
To help your dog feel secure and
comfortable, make sure they have a safe
den which they can retreat to if they feel
scared, and fill it up with their favourite
toys, blankets, an item of unwashed
clothing, and other items that make them
feel safe and calm.
Make sure that you walk and feed your
dog ahead of any evening displays. It
could be a while before it is safe to venture
outside again for a bathroom break and
they might not be able to eat later if they
are feeling very anxious.
To keep your dog safe, make sure you
shut all the doors and windows in your
home and draw the curtains. This can help
reduce some of the noise and block out
any scary flashes of light. Make sure that
your garden is escape proof and don’t
forget to block off any cat flaps.
Keep calm and cuddle up
To help your dog relax while fireworks
take place, try to behave as normally as
possible and remain calm and happy,
sending positive signals to your dog. You
can also try distracting your dog from the
fireworks noise by having the TV or radio
Reward their calm behaviour with treats
or playing, and don’t tell them off - it is
natural for dogs to be scared of loud
noises and unfamiliar sights. Dogs might
choose to hide under the bed or behind
furniture, so make sure you are aware of
their whereabouts. If your dog comes to
you for comfort make sure to give it to
them and never try to force your dog to
face their fears.
Lost and found
The confusion and stress that fireworks
can cause to dogs mean more tend to
sadly go missing during the fireworks
season. It’s important to be extra cautious
and ensure your dog doesn’t escape or
run away during fireworks displays by
following the steps above and shutting
all windows, doors and other potential
escape routes ahead of time.
Early October is a particularly good time
of the year to make sure that your dog’s
microchip details are up to date and that
they are wearing a collar and ID tag -
although this is important all year around.
Correct and up to date contact details
make it easier to locate and reunite lost
dogs with their owners.
More tips on how to keep your dog safe
and sound during the fireworks season are
available at The Kennel Club’s website.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 35
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36 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PET
Here Martin James gives some valuable advice
Though the UK has changed dramatically
in recent years, we still have national
obsessions that are quintessentially
British. A big chunk of the population
feel the pull of the open road, jumping
in a caravan or motorhome at every
opportunity. Others spend small fortunes
down at the garden centre or heading out
to hike in somewhere that’s green. But
above all else, as a nation we’re obsessed
with our pets.
Over lockdown, an astonishing 3.2 million
households purchased or adopted a pet
- and a huge and evolving industry has
grown up around them, from daycare to
specialist food providers. According to
the latest research that brings us up to 34
million pets in the UK, including 12 million
dogs, 12 million cats, 1 million rabbits and
This demand has led to spiralling prices
and a worry trend of pet theft - to such a
degree that the Government is considering
much tougher penalties for pet thieves.
And from the complaints I see, cost is
clearly a worry for many pet owners.
As people start to go back to the office,
there’s a huge demand for dog walkers
and pet daycare. Many people are starting
to report anxiety in their pets after the
months of unadulterated attention they’ve
experienced suddenly ending. Bet therapy
classes are apparently booming.
Which brings us to the most important
pet expenses you’ll encounter - pet
insurance and vet’s bills. Though many
more policies have come on to the market
in recent years, lots of people are put off
by high prices or confusing contracts.
Pet insurance varies considerably like all
insurance products but it makes sense to
buy the best one you can afford - but that
doesn’t always mean the most expensive.
The best policy you can buy is a ‘lifetime’
policy, which covers your pet for treatment
for life, though only for a set amount each
year. These are the priciest policies but
make the most sense for pet lovers. You
can also buy ‘maximum benefit’ policies
that will pay up to a set ‘cap’ for each
illness. Finally, there are ‘time limited’
policies which only cover your pet for a
set period (your standard 12 month policy)
and ‘accident only’ policies.
If you’re on a budget, an accident only
policy is worth considering. As the name
suggests, the policies will only cover you
for genuine accidents not illnesses. But
if money is tight, they can really help out
if your pet is injured. Take time to read
the policy though so understand what is
being defined as an accident – and get the
insurer to explain anything that isn’t clear.
Pet theft cover is a new type of insurance
and usually you have to purchase it
A lot of the people I speak to don’t want
to think about their pet getting ill, so
leaving aside some basic injections and
treatments, many people avoid speaking
to a vet until something bad happens. I’d
really encourage anyone with a pet to get
to know their vet. The security of knowing
that the surgery is there, its opening hours
and where to go if you need emergency
treatment is priceless – though I hope you
never need to use it.
Speak to your vet before signing up to
see if their fees are likely to be covered.
There’s quite a lot of variation with vet’s
fees - and if yours is pricey, check with
the insurer how much they’d be willing to
And finally, if you need to make a claim,
speak to the insurer and tell them
about the costs asap. Some vets may
recommend ‘experimental’ treatments
that aren’t recognised and might not
be covered. I’ve seen dogs sent for
hydrotherapy treatments that turned out to
be frolicking in a paddling pool in a shed –
for hundreds of pounds. So make sure you
look into what every treatment involves
and how it helps the underlying medical
Martin is head of Media at Resolver
Resolver can help you sort out complaints
including pets, vets and every pet service
you can imagine. Check out www.resolver.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 37
Mobility aids can make a huge difference to someone who is older or living
with a disability, by giving them the opportunity to remain independent both
at home and out and about
If you’re living with limited mobility there
are a number of mobility aids available
which can make it easier for you get
around - whether you’re inside or outside.
From help getting to and from your car,
to effective mobility equipment which can
aid you climbing the stairs, investing your
time in investigating your care and mobility
aid options can assist you in making daily
activities simpler and more enjoyable.
As we age, our balance can often
become compromised, leading to slips,
trips and falls. While inconvenient and
painful at any age, a fall for someone
of advancing years can have dramatic
consequences – ageing bones are more
liable to breaks than younger ones, and
take considerably longer to mend, rarely
restoring complete function.
A walking stick is a simple and effective
method of providing extra support for
anyone who experiences problems with
balance or walking. Easily available, they
come in a range of sizes and designs,
making it easy to find one that suits your
loved one’s circumstances.
4-wheeled rollators are a great option if
you need more support when walking.
They come in a variety of different styles,
including one with seats so you can rest
when you need to or bags so you can
carry your shopping without having to
struggle with carrying extra bags.
38 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
If your loved one’s doctor thinks that a
wheelchair would be appropriate, they
will be offered an appointment with their
nearest NHS Wheelchair Service centre.
In these instances, the wheelchair will
be completely free of charge and will be
maintained by the NHS.
If your loved one would prefer to organise
their own wheelchair, they will be offered
a voucher to set against some, or all, of
Where the NHS does not consider a
wheelchair to be necessary, it is still
possible to source one through a range
of providers, with some models folding
down for ease of transportation.
Mobility scooters are a reliable way to
help you get around if you find walking
distances difficult and need extra
support. When choosing a scooter, bear
• How often you need to use it
• what you need it for (roads or
• Whether it needs to go in a car
• Where you’ll store your scooter and
how you will charge it
• How much it costs to maintain and
• Whether you’ll be able to steer it
(some have special levers to steer
them if you have arthritis in your
With more elderly people choosing to
remain in their own homes, rather than
moving into residential care, elderly care
at home is becoming a popular option.
High quality live-in care agencies will
closely match a carer with your loved one
to ensure their needs are met fully.
Where stairs are an issue, a stairlift can
offer real benefits, allowing your loved
one to move about their own home in
complete safety. Stairlifts come in a
variety of styles and designs and can be
fitted to most stairways, even where they
have many twists and turns.
HOME MOBILITY AIDS
There are a variety of products available
to help your mobility around the home.
These include, but are not limited to:
• Grab rails/handrails, to help prevent
falls around the home
• Grab rails for the bed or a chair to
help you to stand
• Raised toilet seats or commode
chairs, toilets with button flushes
• Walk in baths or showers with a
• Easy to turn taps in the kitchen and
• A kettle with a holder to make it
easier to pour, alongside easy to
• Gadgets to help pull shoes and
• A contact care button to help in the
event of a fall
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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.
40 | 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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What happens to
a personal injury
settlement if you get
By Daniel Sims, Solicitor,
Family Law Department...
The bottom line is that the answer may
not be quite what you expect and, sadly,
changes in family circumstances quite
often follow on from someone suffering a
Most people are aware that spouses
have financial claims against the other’s
income, property, savings and pensions
and, if no agreement can be reached
as part of Divorce negotiations, a Court
may have to make an Order, which could
include selling the property and dividing
up the savings and pension funds.
It would be natural to assume that if
one spouse has received personal injury
damages or compensation after being
injured at work or in a traffic collision, that
money would be ‘ringfenced’ for them
to keep. This is not always the case,
particularly if it is not easy to identify
how much of the compensation remains.
For example, it can be particularly
complicated if it has been ‘invested’ in
the family home and is not simply sitting
in a bank account.
Some proportion of the personal injury
settlement may be compensation for
loss of income or pension benefit. As
the uninjured spouse might have a claim
on the income or pension in ‘normal’
circumstances, so they may have a claim
for a share of the compensation which
has been paid to replace this.
If the family assets are very limited, and
there are children to look after, the Court
may have to ‘dip in’ to the compensation
if ringfencing it would mean the uninjured
spouse could not pay for housing.
However, if there’s a proportion of
the settlement which represents
compensation for pain and suffering, this
may be kept by the injured spouse.
The Court will also need to think about
the injured spouse’s future earning
capacity – if they are not able to carry
on working full-time until retirement age,
they may need to keep the compensation
to pay rent or mortgage, whilst the
uninjured spouse may be able to work to
Negotiating a financial settlement on
divorce can be complicated, with the
Court having to consider factors such
as family dynamics – including child
rearing responsibilities – and different
types of assets. If compensation has
been received before marriage, it may
be prudent to consider entering into a
Pre-Nuptial Agreement, which might look
to ‘ringfence’ the money, and protect it,
just in case the marriage breaks down in
Fraser Dawbarns have friendly and
experienced lawyers who can offer advice
on divorce and financial settlement in
King’s Lynn, Wisbech, Downham Market,
March and Ely.
Contact us today at any of our offices
if we could help you –
This article aims to supply general information,
but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every
effort is made to ensure that the law referred to
is correct at the date of publication and to avoid
any statement which may mislead. However,
no duty of care is assumed to any person and
no liability is accepted for any omission or
inaccuracy. Always seek advice specific to your
own circumstances. Fraser Dawbarns LLP are
always happy to provide such advice.
42 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
ENJOY LUXURY LIVING FOR
THE OVER 60S IN CAMBOURNE.
Uplands Place, the latest Retirement Living development from
McCarthy Stone in Cambourne, is giving local retirees the chance
to live their retirement years to the full, with its new range of
beautifully-finished, low maintenance, spacious apartments,
and a choice of social and leisure activities right on the doorstep.
Exclusively for the over 60s, Uplands Place has been designed so that
you can live independently and choose your own pace of life, while
knowing there’s always someone to share a coffee or a glass of wine with,
whether in the stylish homeowners’ lounge and bar or in the stunning
sky lounge, which offers picturesque panoramic views of the local area.
Uplands Place features a hotel-style lobby and guest suite for when
family or friends come to stay, and benefits from a House Manager,
as well as a 24-hour emergency call system and camera entry system
to provide added peace-of-mind. Prices start from £239,950.
To find out more about becoming part of this new thriving community
or to book an appointment to visit the stunning Show Suite, please call
0800 201 4157 or visit www.mccarthystone.co.uk.
Uplands Place Newmarket & Ely Living 153x110 (23.8).indd 1 23/08/2021 09:57
44 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
NOW IS THE TIME TO MOVE TO
UPLANDS PLACE, CAMBOURNE.
One and two bed apartments available in a
beautiful development designed to let you
live your way.
• Exclusively for the over 60s
• 1 and 2 bed apartments
• Buy from £239,950 #
• Rent from £1,440 # pcm
Monkfield Lane/High Street, Great Cambourne,
Cambridgeshire, CB23 6AH
To book your viewing, call 0800 201 4157
or search McCarthy Stone Uplands Place.
Ts&Cs apply. # Subject to availability. Imagery is representative and facilities vary by location.
Uplands Place Newmarket & Ely Living FP 165x240 (23.8).indd 1 23/08/2021 09:54
Motoring Journalist Sue Cooke test drives the all-new smart
and rugged Subaru Outback
My work colleague is a back seat driver
and enjoys telling me how to drive. He
will irritatingly point out that the car in
front has moved forward. This week,
while driving alone in the new Subaru
Outback I was shocked to see a message
flash onto the screen and a piercing note
inform me that the vehicle ahead had
It is called Eyesight Driver Assist
technology and is a standard feature with
11 new or improved safety functions for
2022. It would only take a moment’s
glance away from the road ahead to
be in an accident. But the technology
on this sixth generation crossover
ensures drivers have a second pair of
eyes without a back seat driver. The
technology offers the highest possible
front crash prevent rating and has been
found to reduce rear end crashes with
injuries by up to 85%.
Since its launch in 1995 the Outback has
combined the station wagon crossover,
passenger car and SUV which became
the forerunner of a new car segment.
As the flagship model for Subaru this
popular everyday companion is the safest
Outback ever built says Subaru, offering
comfort, practicality, capability and it’s so
good to drive.
The exterior makes the Outback one of
the more attractive crossovers on the
road and is tougher and more rugged
looking. When I was driving at night the
LED headlights equipped with high beam
assist really lit up the road ahead but with
an adaptive driving beam which reduces
The quality interior has a choice of three
trim levels, Limited, Field and Touring
and the quiet cabin has more space. The
windshield has moved forward and the
front door windows have moved out. The
total length has also extended and the
wider boot opening creates a cavernous
flat load area to accommodate up to 522
litres of cargo. I enjoyed the benefits of
the first hands free power tailgate on a
Subaru. With hands full I waved an elbow
near the badge which automatically
raised the tailgate. Marvellous. And
there are no items rolling around in the
boot as there are more hooks and net
pockets so objects can be easily secured.
I found it much easier to hoist myself
into the driver’s seat as the side sill steps
have been widened and now have a nonslip
For tough off roading situations, the
Outback has a newly evolved X-Mode
technology with Hill Descent Control
for reliability on steep, wet, or slippery
terrain. Switch between snow/dirt mode
to negotiate snow, dirt, or gravel, or
snow/mud mode for soft conditions
where lesser vehicles get stuck.
The Outback is powered by a 2.5 litre
Boxer petrol engine which has instant
and fast acceleration.
Facts at a Glance
Model: Subaru Outback Limited edition
Price: £33,995 otr
Engine: 2.5 litre petrol Boxer engine
Performance: 0-62mph in 10.2
seconds and on to a top speed of
CO2 emissions: 193g/km
46 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
OF STYLE & SAFETY.
THE NEXT GENERATION
With AWD off-road capability, proven reliability and
advanced safety features, the all-new Subaru Outback
is the next generation of adventure.
Vehicle shown is an Outback 2.5i Touring Lineartronic, OTR price of £40,045.
Model shown price includes optional special paint finish at £550.
158 Shelford Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. CB2 9NE
Tel: 01223 873666
Search Cambridge Subaru
Award-winning features. Fitted as standard.
• 2.5i Boxer Engine Lineartronic
• Permanent Symmetrical All-
• EyeSight Safety Package
• Driver Monitoring System
• X-MODE with Hill Descent Control
• Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
• 213mm Ground Clearance
• 11.6" Tablet-like Infotainment
• Heated Front and Rear Seats
• Dual-Zone Automatic Air Con
• Adaptive Driving Beam
• LED Headlights
SUBARU OUTBACK fuel economy and CO2 results (WLTP): Combined 33.0mpg, CO2 emissions 193g/km.
MPG figures are official EU test figures for comparative purposes & may not reflect real driving results. Fuel consumption achieved in real life conditions
& CO2 produced depends on a number of factors including accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles & vehicle load.
† Outback is covered by a 3 Year/60,000 miles (whichever is sooner) Manufacturer’s Warranty (bumper to bumper, excluding clutch driven plate).
A WORLD OF CHOICE AT REEDS
UNBEATABLE PRICES FROM A FAMILY BUSINESS YOU CAN TRUST!
SOFAS | CHAIRS | FURNITURE | BEDS | MATTRESSES | FLOORING | CURTAINS | BLINDS
Opening Times: Mon – Sat 9am to 5pm in Downham and Ely | Sunday 10am to 4pm in Ely only
The café in our Downham Market store is open in line with government guidelines
reedshomestore.co.uk | find us on facebook
REEDS Furniture, Flooring, Bed Centre & Homestore, Bridge Street, Downham Market PE38 9DS T: 01366 382213
REEDS Furniture, Flooring & Bed Centre, Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely CB6 3NX T: 01353 669754