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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 Burns the Bread
Key Account Manager Ade Hill
t 01225 984 496
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Paxcroft Farm, Hilperton, Trowbridge
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visit our website www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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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
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day, including the brand’s Eco Nappies, Biodegradable Wipes
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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
What’s on in December
Alex Western-King Quartet
The Sensation Abba
Kanda Bongo Man
Book your tickets
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 5
6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
We talk to businesses
in and around Frome
who are passionate
about what they do...
Who is Goddess organising?
Goddess organising is a domestic
organising and decluttering service
based here in Frome. I provide sensitive,
non-judgemental, persuasive and neutral
encouragement to re-home or dispose
of items that simply aren’t loved, needed
or useful anymore. Because I have no
emotional connection to these items,
it enables me to provide motivational
assistance for the client. It enables them to
make the difficult decisions needed to clear
their homes and say goodbye to the clutter
that is suppressing their lives.
What type of services do you offer?
My services can range from clearing and
reorganising a cupboard under the stairs to
garages, sheds and whole houses full of a
lifetime of memories and general clutter.
I work closely with each client ensuring
nothing gets discarded without the clients
permission. Once the decluttering process
is complete, I can then be left to thoroughly
clean the room and find the most logical
‘forever homes’ for the items which are
loved, needed or useful. The client then has
a beautifully clean and tidy room to come
home to everyday.
Can you help with someone with
Although I do not have any training in
counselling or Psychotherapy, I do however
have a basic understanding of why some
people can struggle with hoarding difficulties
or have hoarding tendencies. I work closely
with all my clients and learn about their lives
and the struggles they confront everyday.
What do you like most about Frome?
Frome’s community spirit is something that
I feel is unique to our town. I love that my
family are part of the community shared
ownership scheme for Whatcombe fields
and we saved the sledging hills for all our
children for years to come. The community
fridge initiative is the inspirational thinking,
kindness and generosity one comes to
expect and aspire to from the Fromie
Find out more?
How would you describe Frome?
Frome ticked all the boxes as we arrived
in October 2006. The creative happening
that is Frome was very much in its incipient
phase at this time, but there was enough
happening and more importantly, there
were many like-minded citizens who made
us quickly appreciate that we had made
the right decision. To see Frome now is to
witness the coming into bloom of what was
then merely shoots of possibility. We are
so proud of what has been achieved here
creatively, politically and socially.
You’ve played many roles in your acting
career, but if you could pick one favourite,
what would that be?
I have loved them all in their own way,
though playing John Lennon was a very
powerful and lasting experience. There is
something particularly challenging about
playing a character from real life rather
than fiction. Especially one so well known.
You are aware that you have people’s own
relationship with him to satisfy as well as
offering new insight. It was life-changing.
Tell us more about the Actor Workshops
you run from the Merlin Theatre?
Developed through my company Drama
Direct Ltd, I designed them to offer everyone
who has ever been curious about the
professional actor’s process to come and
experience it for themselves under my
guidance. I offer themed drama classes that
are open to all levels of experience including
stage and screen acting classes, and I also
offer private one to one tutoring at various
venues around Frome like the Merlin and
Rise. Next one is a Stage Acting Day on 5th
September at the Merlin and then a Screen
Acting Class on 3rd October at the Merlin.
You made a short film here in Frome
called Perplexed Music?
I did indeed. I am very proud to say that it
won 33 international film awards at festivals
around the globe including some very
prestigious ones and I remember the shoot
extremely fondly. It’s available on Youtube
for free. Frome looks resplendent in it. It was
a magical experience.
If I’d like to find out more about the
courses you run, where and how can I
find out more?
Call 01373 471486 or email mark@
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 7
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,
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 9
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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
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
12 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Millfield at the
This year, 13 Millfield School alumni headed to Tokyo
to compete, which is the highest number of athletes they
have ever had at the games. Nine athletes competed for
Team GB, and four for Brunei, Kenya, Denmark and
James Guy had a shining performance in the pool, winning two
gold medals and a silver for Team GB. Millfield’s Director of
Swimming and former Olympian who also attended Millfield as a
student, Euan Dale, joined Team GB as a coach in Tokyo.
will add to the
It is Millfield’s extensive and diverse facilities, unique timetable
allowing for regular training along with the blend of specialist
coaches and centralised sports programme that sets the school
Dr Scott Drawer, Director of Sport at Millfield, said: ‘Sport is
synonymous with Millfield, and we are proud to place it on the
pedestal it deserves in developing young people. Our vision at
Millfield is to be the world leader for the development of children
through sport and looking at the vast list of previous Olympians
and success stories, we have been leading the way for some
time. Many of our students reflect on these formative years and
how it has impacted their future careers’.
Millfieldians have competed at every Games since 1956, with 56
athletes representing nine different countries and a total of 16
medals won (5 gold, 4 silver, 7 bronze). The athletes competing
help our students
reach the highest
level include a
flexible daily timetable that offers training during a two-hour lunch
break, specialist coaches, the athletic development team and the
balance of sport with academics.
Old Millfieldian James Guy said, ‘I’ve been around Millfield for
a long time and all of the staff here at Millfield really did help
me massively and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today,
World Champion and Olympic medalist, Millfield is where my
The school are set to watch more alumni head to the 2024 games
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 13
Millfield Pre-Prep_MendipLiving_Aug211_153x110_Flynn.indd 1 06/08/2021 14:34
Heart of The Tribe presents ‘Cool
Cuts’, an exhibition featuring the
work of linocut artist Shelley Dyer-
Gibbins opening October 21st...
With a clear talent from a very young
age, Shelley knew she would be an
artist ever since she was a young girl.
She went on to study graphic design at
college and university. Her degree led
her to designing for many well-known
companies, including Usborne children’s
book publishers. Her experience as a
graphic designer is apparent throughout
her pieces, which are graphic and retrotoned,
using block linocut as well as overpainting, underpainting,
collage and gold/silver leaf. Her use of vibrant colour and
celebration of all things vintage is heavily inspired by PopArt, in
particular the great Andy Warhol.
Practising as a full-time artist from around 2017, Shelley has
been busy making a name for herself in the artworld. Winning
awards such as the National Open Art Print Prize 2017, Shelley’s
work has been displayed at Bankside London, Pallant House
Gallery and the Bargehouse in OXO Tower Wharf. She has had
the pleasure of exhibiting alongside some very famous names,
including Banksy, Peter Blake and Roy Litchenstein, all of whom
are a source of inspiration for Shelley.
Shelley stumbled across linocut as a medium when looking
through her late Father’s workshop. Also an artist and
experienced gilder, he had an array of different tools that Shelley
could experiment with. This is where her love of linocut was
born. Shelley has always been deeply inspired by her Father
who always encouraged Shelley to pursue a career in art. Using
at least one of her Dad’s tools in every piece she creates, this
process allows Shelley’s work to feel all the more personal.
The exhibition will run from October 21st to November 15th and
will not be one to miss. Shelley is fast becoming a household
name in the print world and Heart of The Tribe are honoured to be
able to exhibit a beautifully curated selection of Shelley’s works
both old and new.
For more information visit our website at:
THE WOOLVERTON GALLERY
1st September - 30th November
With over 28 artists exhibiting 100+ works of art, one of the
South West’s largest private galleries. Ray Jones, the owner/curator is
always on hand to give you a personal experience.
Woolverton, BATH BA2 7RH
email@example.com www.bathartsales.com 01373 463098
14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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
16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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.
18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
online farm shop
SUPPORT UK FARMERS & BUSINESSES
with HAND PICKED ARTISAN PRODUCTS
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Farrington's Farm Farrington Gurney, BS396UB
6-7 November 2021
Special discounted entry:
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19
& 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.
20 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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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
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 23
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
24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
HAPPINESS IS THE SMELL OF
FRESHLY BAKED BREAD!
Casey Stoddart from Buns the Bread tells us
more about our delicious cover this issue...
What type of bread rolls are the ones
featured on our cover?
The Bread featured on the cover of the
magazine is our Marmite Bread. It goes
superbly well toasted with plenty of butter or
you can turn it into one of my favourite snacks,
a toastie with a good helping of Cheddar and
Red Leicester Cheese. We don’t make this
one all the time, but we do put it back into
production every now and then for something a bit different,
you’ll have to keep a look out on our social media for when it’s
How long has Burns be baking bread across Somerset?
Burns the Bread has been in Glastonbury since 1983 when my
Grandad took over from the previous owners, Mr and Mrs Janes.
There has been a bakery on the same site in Glastonbury for over
200 years now so there’s quite a lot of history here and it’s the
main reason why we won’t be moving the bakery out of the High
How long have you been a Baker?
I’m actually not a baker by trade, my passion is in the retail part
of the business. My journey here started when I was 12, my
twin brother and I would come and help in the school holidays,
we would start on the dishwasher for a couple of hours each
morning then Max would move into the Pastry Room making
Pasties, Sausage Rolls and the like and I would move into the
sandwich room to help prep all the sandwich fillings for the
next day. Max went into the Bakery at 16 and completed his
apprenticeship shortly after.
For anyone visiting, what would you recommend for lunch?
You can’t beat a Glastonbury Pasty! And we also now make a
Vegan version of the Glastonbury Pasty so more people can
enjoy our best seller. But if pasties aren’t your thing we have a
tasty range of Sandwiches made fresh every day.
What’s being planned for the festive season?
Our festive season will consist of tens of thousands of mince
pies! We’ll of course be making Christmas Cakes, Christmas
Puddings and our increasingly popular Stollen.
Where can I find a Burns the Bread shop?
We have 6 locations across Somerset located in Glastonbury,
Street, Wells, Castle Cary and Somerton.
Where can I find out about the bread making courses?
For more information on our courses visit our website at
www.burnsthebread.co.uk or you can pick a leaflet up from one
of our shops.
For 25 years Hope Farmhouse has been our much-loved
family home. After a busy summer getting memories
made, the house is ready for a quiet winter break.
Surrounded by fields and hills, and just a few minutes’
drive from the centre of the medieval marked town of
Frome, we invite you to bring the kids, bring the dog,
light the woodburner and soak up the cosy comfort of
We look forward to
welcoming you back to
our modern shop & cafe
to enjoy a warm welcome,
home cooked food, buy
local produce and goods.
You can find us on social media using
@homefarmfrome, online at
www.hopefarmfrome.com and email us at
Open Monday - Saturday
32a High Street, Rode, BA11 6PA
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25
savour the flavour at Wells food festival
Mendip Living catch up with Jon Abbott who tells us more about the
return of the fabulous Wells Food Festival on 10th October...
Tell us more about the food festival?
The Festival began in 2012 with a few local
artisan producers in the Market Place in
support of a lunch event in the Town Hall. We
wanted to showcase the region’s finest food
and drink and are proud that it has become a
key date in the calendar for our producers.
We are particularly excited for this year’s festival and to be back in
the heart of the city. Last year was obviously really difficult for all our
independent and artisan food businesses, and although we found a
way to support them by holding a virtual festival, there is nothing like
the real thing.
What has made the festival so popular over the last few years?
People are always amazed by the diversity of food and drink
produced in Somerset. The festival gives visitors the opportunity to
learn about Somerset’s produce from the producers themselves -
their enthusiasm and passion is contagious. Ultimately it’s a fun, free,
family-friendly, food-filled day. What’s not to love!
How did you get Charlie Bigham involved?
Charlie Bigham’s set up an out-of-London kitchen in Dulcote Quarry
near Wells about four years ago. As soon as Charlie knew there was a
local food festival, he wanted to get involved. He is passionate about
food and believes it should be talked about and celebrated. Last year
the company became our headline sponsor and are doing so again
this year. We are immensely appreciative of Charlie’s support.
food producers and Street Food stalls which will be set up in the
Market Place, along the Moat and into the Recreation Ground. Visitors
can expect to find everything from traditional Somerset cheddar and
cider through to Tibetan and Cantonese cuisine.
New for 2021 is A Celebration of English Wine, taking place in the
Recreation Ground. Hosted by Ben Franks, from Novel Wines in Bath,
Ben will be sharing his passion for English wine with three exclusive
wine tastings: The Many Faces of English Bacchus at 11am (£12);
Pairing English Wine with Food at 12.30pm (£15) and Why English
Sparkling Wine is World Class at 3pm (£12).
Can I sample different foods?
There is usually lots of food to sample. This is a chance for producers
to showcase their products.
Anything for Children this year?
This year we are delighted to welcome Simon Gray from Fun Kitchen
with his award-winning pop-up cookery school for children. Simon
wants to encourage an interest in ingredients and cooking at an early
age. He will be holding four free workshops providing children with an
opportunity to create their own Apple Scone Bread Twist.
Do I need to pre book a ticket?
The festival is free to enter. But we recommend booking a wine tasting
ticket in advance on our website. There are limited numbers for the
cookery workshops so we suggest that you head over to Fun Kitchen
first thing on the day to book a place.
What can I expect to see this year?
We have our fantastically diverse Artisan Market. We hope for 200
Where can I find more information?
Check out our website www.wellsfoodfestival.co.uk
>> SunDAY 10th OctOBER 10.30am - 4.30pm
26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Want to join in our success?
We are on the lookout for talented people to join the growing team
at our Production Kitchen located in Dulcote, near Wells, Somerset.
There is something for everyone with roles across all production
departments and a range of shift patterns, including:
• 4 shifts on 4 shifts off (days)
• 4 shifts on 4 shifts off (nights)
• Mondays to Thursday (mornings)
• Monday to Friday (afternoons)
• Friday to Sunday
As a Bigham’s team member you will receive a starting salary of
£10.35 per hour, increasing to £10.65 per hour after 3 months
training as well as lots of great benefits.
28 days annual leave
meals to take home
To find out more or apply to join our team visit
www.bighams.com/all-jobs or email your CV
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28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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!
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 31
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co.uk, Weeping Palm Tree Velvet Cushion Cover, £32.95, audenza.com
Malibu Print, from £6.99, www.juniqe.co.uk
Tulana Double Bed,
32 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Get Winter Ready
Annie Sloan Annie Chalk Sloan Chalk Paint Paint Stockist and beautiful home home accessories accessories
Chimney and ductwork cleaning company.
Servicing domestic and commercial, wood, biomass, oil,
solid fuel, pizza ovens, coffee roasters, kitchen extract
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34 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
LOOKING FOR QUALITY
Mendip Living met Philippa Edwards
from Loft Boarding South West, a familyrun
company based, just outside Frome
to discover the benefits of having your loft
boarded this winter!
Who is Loft Boarding South West?
Loft Boarding South West is a trading name of Foundations
Up Construction Ltd which is a local family building company
employing 24 people. We are approved installers for LoftZone
raised loft boarding system; when LoftZone asked us to be their
Authorised Installer in this area they set up our website calling us
Loft Boarding South West and then name has stuck ever since!
Loftzone StoreFloor is in our mind the best solution to raise your
loft boarding ensuring you have the recommended 270 mm of
insulation plus an air-gap to avoid condensation while still having
a storage floor in your loft. Installing this system won’t invalidate
your NHBC (or similar) warranty, which all new build properties
have, unlike some other loft boarding solutions.
What types of loft boarding is there?
Typically loft boarding will be made up of OSB or chipboard,
which can be fitted as tongue and groove panels (which is what
we use). Oriented strand board (OSB) is a type of engineered
wood. Some carpenters might use sheets of MDF, chipboard
or OSB. DIYers might use any offcuts, floorboards or scaffold
planks they can lay their hands on. One loft we emptied recently
had old tea chests laid across the rafters to provide a ‘floor’.
The advantage of using a system like LoftZone StoreFloor is
that you can ensure that you have the recommended 270mm
of insulation and avoid issues with condensation, which will not
be possible if boarding is fixed to the joists. Fixing boards to the
joists invalidates the warranty in new builds because squashing
the insulation contravenes the building regulations, and will also
affect the thermal performance of the building and so your EPC
(Energy Performance Certificate) when you come to sell or rent
What are the benefits of Loft Boarding?
It makes it much easier to maintain any pipes, boiler, tank
or wiring that are in the roof, if you have some boarding. We
have lost count of the number of people who have booked loft
boarding having put their foot through the ceiling first! (Yes, we
can repair the hole.) Obviously the main benefit people think of,
is to have space to store little-used items such as Christmas
decorations, suitcases, the box from your electrical goods which
manufacturers recommend you keep, and maybe old children’s
toys that you want to pass down to the grandchildren. Adding
loft boarding also gives you an opportunity to review the amount
of insulation you have in your loft, this is one area where more is
more. You definitely get your money back on adding insulating
products to your home.
Need more storage space?
Make use of your loft and create more space in your home
Loft Ladders Raised Loft Storage
Loft Lighting Insulation
Loft storage solutions for period and new build homes
that don’t void your warranty
01373 813 438
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 35
Enhance the value & beauty of
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Whether your home is a country cottage, a Victorian semi, a modern townhouse or a converted barn, we have a
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Our beautiful Clifton showroom provides the perfect, friendly environment to see and experience the fantastic
products on display and to talk to us about your home.
Showroom address: Timber Windows of Clifton, 29 The Mall, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4JG
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0117 973 9700 www.timberwindowsclifton.com
Mendip Living - 165mm (w) x 240mm (h) +3mm bleed.indd 1 05/03/2020 12:25
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
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!
The Authentic Christmas Tree Experience
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Located between Frome and Shepton Mallet at Dean on the A361
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Last Entry for Choose and Cut: 3.30pm
£2.00 OFF with this voucher
Members of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 37
ON YOUR SIDE, AT YOUR SIDE FOR:
• Land & Rural Estates
• Mergers & Acquisitions
• Lasting Powers of Attorney
• Residential Property
• Farm Succession Planning
• Commercial Contracts
• Wills & Inheritance
• Commercial Property
• Employment & HR
• Later Life Support
• Tax & Trust Advice
• Business Start Up
• Dispute Resolution
• Dispute Resolution
• Financial Planning
• Probate & Estate Planning
Our experts are here to help – get in touch today.
mogersdrewett.com | 01749 342323 | email@example.com
ON YOUR SIDE...
AT YOUR SIDE
Mogers Drewett is a leading South West
law firm that takes pride in building longterm
client relationships. Our experts are
pleased to answer your questions…
Associate Chartered Legal Executive
I DON’T HAVE A WILL. WHAT WOULD
HAPPEN TO MY ASSETS WITHOUT
ONE WHEN I DIE? Cara Burr
Under the Intestacy Rules, if you are
married/in a civil partnership without
children your spouse will inherit
everything. If you have children,
your spouse will inherit all personal
possessions and assets up to £270,000.
The remainder is then divided into two
halves; half for your spouse, and half
divided equally between your children.
If you are unmarried without children the
Intestacy Rules dictate which of your
family members inherit. Making a Will
is the only way for you to decide who
inherits your Estate.
ARE YOU EVER TOO YOUNG TO HAVE
A WILL? Kat King
The short answer is no. Anyone over 18
can and should make a Will to ensure
their wishes are met when they die. The
Will should be reviewed as time goes by
and updated to reflect any changes in
For example, you should consider making
or updating your Will when you buy a
property or if you receive an inheritance.
It is also vital to make a Will if you cohabit
(see question 3), have children, or if you
get married or divorced.
I LIVE WITH MY PARTNER, WE’RE NOT
MARRIED. WILL THEY INHERIT WHEN
I DIE? Cara Burr
Without a Will, your Partner won’t inherit
your Estate, apart from any jointly owned
assets such as a property or bank
account. Your Estate would be divided
equally between your children (if any),
or by other family members, under the
Intestacy Rules. This could put your
Partner in the difficult position of having
to bring a claim against your estate under
the Inheritance (Provision for Family &
Dependants) Act 1975 because they
have not been provided for, which can be
costly, stressful and time-consuming.
I AM THINKING OF GETTING
DIVORCED BUT DON’T KNOW WHERE
TO START? Victoria Cobham
The actual divorce process (which is a
legal mechanism to end a marriage) is
only one of the necessary considerations.
It is important to also consider how
to deal with the finances and, if you
have children, agreeing their care
There are lots of resources available
online but, beware of misinformation.
Everyone’s circumstances are different,
and it is vital to equip yourself with
correct information. A family lawyer
will be able to guide you and provide
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A
SOLICITOR TO RESOLVE AN ISSUE?
WHERE DO I START? John Grace
Many clients delay making contact
because they are uncertain if speaking to
a solicitor will help or are worried about
the cost of an initial conversion. Our
advice is that these matters can often
escalate and cause a lot more worry and
cost if left. Most solicitors are experts in
their field and there will be one who can
give you detailed and full advice about
whatever your issue is. If a solicitor can’t
help then they will confirm this to you
and if they can they have a professional
duty to make sure that you are aware of
the costs involved in them advising you
before they take any steps. Solicitors,
unlike unqualified individuals offering
legal advice, are required to maintain
professional indemnity insurance
cover, giving you comfort should things
go wrong. Websites such as Review
Solicitors, Chambers and Legal 500 are
great places to start to research which
solicitor is the right one for you and
details of all your local solicitors can be
found at on the Law Society website:
Mogers Drewett Wells
01749 342 323
Got a legal question you want to
ask the team?
Send us an email at
we will pass it on to the team at
Mogers Drewett to answer.
Chartered Legal Executive
Compliance & Risk Manager
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 39
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 41
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.
42 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Companions at Peace
Companions at Peace is an independent family
run business offering a very personal, caring pet
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We provide the very best in respect, care and dignity,
giving you total peace of mind, knowing we will look
after your companion from the moment you entrust
them to us, through to the time they are returned to you.
Collection Service • Farewell Room
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As a pet owner,
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pet with us at
We only carry
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Contact us on: 07900 654 440 • Find us on Facebook • www.companionsatpeace.co.uk
A Great Centre for Antiques and Collectables
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Tel: 01460 77121
Find us on Facebook: Antiques Bazaar
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 43
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.
44 | 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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46 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
The Fireplace Fitters Shop
Suppliers & Installers
The Fireplace Fitters Shop is a family-run business, with over 25 years of experience in the
fireplace industry. We offer a wide range of products online and from our showroom located
in Frome, Somerset. We specialise in the supply and installation of heating products for
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