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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 www.anboise.com
Key Account Manager Laura Rodney
t 01225 984501
MINERVA PUBLICATIONS HQ
Unit 21c, 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.
This lovely chat falls alongside
some delicious recipes and some
inspiration for the home and
garden - this issue we are focusing
on getting the guest bedroom in ship
shape ahead of welcoming visitors
this Christmas - well, fingers and
toes crossed we will have them this
year - bet you never thought you’d
It wouldn’t be right to have an
edition without one of our most
popular pages - the competitions!
You can enter all the ones listed on
the page, plus some web-exclusives
at minervamagazines.co.uk - you
can also opt into being the first to
hear about new giveaways when
they are launched.
We are looking forward to seeing
you again in December, where we
will be unapologetically thrusting
you into the Christmas swing. Don’t
say I didn’t warn you! Until then,
take care and enjoy this issue.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3
A a two-night stay
for two people at
To enter any (or all!) of our competitions, head to
Find the competition and enter on that post,
using the appropriate keyword.
T&C’s apply and no cash alternatives available. Winners chosen at
random - entries made after closing date will not be accepted.
Whittlebury Park, a four-star countryside hotel in
Northamptonshire, is nestled in hundreds of acres of tranquil
ancient parkland, making it the perfect destination to get away
from it all. It’s surrounded by a host of local attractions, from
lakeside walks at Stowe Gardens to designer retail therapy
at Bicester Village and thrilling history at the Silverstone
Terms and conditions: The prize is for a winner plus one guest. Prize
winner and guest must be aged 18 and over. Only one winner will be
drawn. The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable, non-exchangeable
and there are no cash alternatives. Cannot be used in conjunction with
any other offer or promotion. The prize is available Friday – Sunday.
Valid until 31 December 2021 excluding Good Friday, Easter Monday,
Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and Bank Holiday Mondays. Full terms
and conditions available on website.
Closes 01/11/2021 - Competition keyword ‘WHITTLEBURY’
WIN We are giving one
lucky reader the
The Ultimate chance to win
baby Starter the Ultimate
Pack! Starter Pack
from Kit & Kin,
brand co-founded by
Emma Bunton. Offering an
unbeatable bundle of ethical
baby essentials, the beautiful
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’
4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 5
CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING FOR ALL LEVELS
OF EXPERIENCE at the spitfire shoot
Situated in the picturesque village of Stockbridge in Hampshire, The Spitfire
Shoot was established by the Harding family over 25 years ago. The original site,
steeped in history, used to be the location of a secret Spitfire facility during the war
and since moving sites has now been redeveloped to be one of the best clay pigeon
shooting schools in the country.
Whether you are a seasoned gun, an amateur with a
desire to have a go at clay pigeon shooting or looking for
something new and different for a corporate event there is
no better place to get started. Offering packages catered to
beginners through to experts; there is a session perfect for
you and The Spitfire Shoot also accommodates couples and
small groups through to much larger parties such as stag/
hen do’s and corporate events.
From when you call to enquire about packages that best suit
you and your groups needs to the session itself, Richard
“Whether you are a seasoned gun,
an amateur with a desire to have a
go at clay pigeon shooting or looking
for something new and different for
a corporate event there is no better
place to get started.”
and his expert fully trained team will ensure your day runs
smoothly with maximum fun. Your qualified instructor will be
there from start to finish, talking you through the important
safety aspects, whilst giving you tips and tricks to get you
breaking those clays!
The Spitfire Shoot supplies everything needed to make your
day perfect, so all you need to do is dress appropriately
ready to shoot some clay pigeons, and with taster sessions
starting from £55 per person The Spitfire Shoot represents
With incredible reviews on their Facebook page and
TripAdvisor, it’s clear to see why The Spitfire Shoot is the
perfect choice for a fun filled experience with loved ones,
friends, and colleagues.
To find out more about this amazing day out and to book a
session with one of The Spitfire Shoot’s dedicated expert
instructors, don’t hesitate to call or email today or subscribe
to their Facebook and Instagram pages to message directly
and stay up to date on their latest offers and events.
Game Shooting Lessons • Corporate and Private Parties • Practice
Personal Instruction • Group shoots • Corporate days
Stag/hen parties • Gun hire • Gift vouchers
Houghton Down Farm, Stockbridge, Hampshire SO20 6JR
Tel: 01264 810312 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.spitfireshoot.co.uk
4 Easy Party
Dress up, show up and be confident
this party season with help from
Stylist Sarah Sullivan...
Your diary is probably looking a little busier this year with some
festive events planned. It is always tempting to splurge on a new
outfit that gets worn once and then discarded to the back of the
wardrobe. Here are 4 easy party outfit ideas that you can use as
a basis to shop your wardrobe.
Wide legged trousers + statement top + heels + clutch
Wide legged trousers have been around a while and continue to
be a key shape so you may have invested in some. If not, this
formula will work with any smart trousers in your wardrobe just
add a jazzy top, heels, clutch and some statement earrings.
Pleather/leather skirt + camisole + velvet blazer + heels
If you don’t own a pleather/leather skirt this will work with a slip
skirt or a denim or pencil skirt. A normal blazer will also work in
place of a velvet one just add a camisole and heels and some
Jeans + sequin top + heels/fancy flats
You can never go wrong with a fancy top and jeans. Don’t forget
fancy flats can look just as elegant as heels.
Black dress + bold accessories
Most people own an LBD or a black jumpsuit or a black top and
skirt. Just add some bold accessories to be party ready. As well
as a bold colour such as red you could also choose animal print,
silver or gold accessories.
If you are keen to buy something new make sure you invest in a
key staple that will last you such as those described above i.e.
a velvet blazer, a leather/pleather skirt, a sequin top/statement
Finally, if you want a budget friendly way to dress up for party
season try a red lipstick. The Rouge Cherie shade by Lancôme
suits most skin tones.
Sarah Sullivan personal stylist, Winchester. Dress up, show
up, be confident.
ARE YOU IN NEED OF A
UNSURE OF HOW TO STYLE THE
CLOTHES YOU ALREADY HAVE?
OVERWHELMED BY A CLUTTERED
DO YOU NEED AN OUTFIT FOR A
As a qualified personal stylist,
I can help with all this and more!
Contact me at:
Part of our Year of Sound 2021
Weekends and School Holidays
25 September to 21 November
FOR ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT
Tel: 01264 736191
19 November -
Find out more at winchester-cathedral.org.uk/christmas
8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Join the eBike
Your local eBike specialist
• Free advice & fitting
• Test rides by appointment
• Servicing & repairs
Call 01264 316143 or visit countyebikes.co.uk
Wide range of eBikes in stock for immediate delivery or collection.
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
10 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Day, Flexi, Weekly
& Full Boarding
Book a visit to
fi nd out more
The RESULTS ARE IN!
We feature the GCSE results from two of the area’s most
KING EDWARD VI SCHOOL
THE GREGG SCHOOL
99.7% of students achieved 5 of more
Grade 4/C and above
81.5% of students achieving at least one
Grade 7 to 9
100% of students achieved Grade 4/C
and above in Maths and Further Maths
100% of students achieved Grade 4/C
and above in English Language
100% of students achieved Grade 4/C
and above in Physics, Biology and
100% of students achieved Grade 4/C
and above in Physics, Art, Drama, Computing,
Economics, English Literature,
Sports Science, History, Music, and
Religions & Philosophy
98% of students achieved 5 or more
Grade 4/C and above
80% of students achieving at least one
Grade 7 to 9
100% of students achieved Grade 4/C
and above in Maths and Further Maths
97% of students achieved Grade 4/C
and above in English Language
100% of students achieved Grade 4/C
and above in Physics, Biology and
100% of students achieved Grade
4/C and above in Physics, Art, Drama,
Computing, Food Preparation & Nutrition,
French, PE, History, Music, Photography
and Religions and Ethics
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11
The Gregg School
Independent day school for boys and girls aged 11-16yrs
2022 Year 7
Art & Sport
Apply by 7th
7th October - 5pm to 8pm
16th November - 9.30am to 12.30pm
Year 7 Entrance Assessment Day
Saturday 29th January 2022
If you would like to attend any of the above or
book a private tour of the school, please email
The Gregg School Tel 02380 472133
The Gregg Preparatory School Tel 02380 557352
23 children in our region
have an uncertain future
Sadly they didn’t get the start in life they deserved.
Could you adopt and change their lives forever?
For most people, being part of a family
is something they can rely on from birth.
Unfortunately, there are children across
Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and
Southampton, who are unable to live with
their birth parents, and who are instead cared
for by kind and compassionate foster carers.
Lilly is just three and loves playing with her
dolls. Siblings Oliver, aged five years and Theo
who is nearly three, enjoy going to the local
park, or like to play with their toy cars endlessly.
They are just some of the children waiting for
a permanent family life.
Today, there are all types of wonderful families
from different backgrounds and circumstances
who support one or more children to feel
included, safe and loved forever. Some families
have single parents, while others are couples
who are heterosexual, same sex or gender
fluid. Ethnicity, religion, or culture, these
differences don’t matter – what matters is that
a child is loved and supported to feel safe and
child thrive in a forever home. Kirsty adopted
an older child, and says it’s the best thing she’s
I’m so pleased about adoption
I actually encourage other
friends... you need to go and
do that. Do it. For me it’s
Mike and Natalie both felt very strongly that
they could offer a family life to a brother and
sister who might otherwise stay in the care
system for a long time. “Young siblings have a
strong bond together but need to be wrapped
in the cushion of being loved and cherished by
one or more parent. We knew that separating
siblings from one another can have long term
effects on children.”
Adopt South is seeking more mums and dads
who can give children a shared life together.
School teacher Kirsty knew about the high
numbers of black children who were waiting
in foster care and felt that with a bit of learning
and support she could be a mum and help a
Families who adopt two children or more,
or adopt a child with additional needs, may
also get additional financial support through
*Children with Placement Orders as of 5th July 2021
If you’ve been thinking about adoption
and the children waiting, contact us today
0300 3000 011 • adoptsouth.org.uk
The Regional Adoption Agency for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton Local Authorities
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.
14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Its been a strange and trying year for all of us, but many of you have found comfort in a new furbaby for
the family. Dog and Cat ownership this year has grown, and we recognise it is a minefield knowing what
to feed, how to train and what to buy for your new arrival. Grovely Pets has created a hub of specialists
who can help you through the learning and enjoyment of your new family member.
As specialists in Pet Nutrition and Healthcare, all of our team are trained Nutritional Specialists and can
offer advice with getting the right start for a long and healthy life, to addressing quite serious health
issues such as allergies and sensitivities to foods and treats.
Our ethos is a natural approach to Pet Health and Wellbeing, stocking the largest range of healthy foods
for all dogs and cats, whether that be raw, wet or high quality dry food for dogs and cats to overcome
common health conditions which are caused by poor diet.
We also work with like minded businesses such as Trainers, Groomers and Doggy Care Services, so you
can be assured that you are getting the right qualified advice and services.
All of our accessories, where possible, are made in the UK and we love working with small family owned
businesses who love creating beautiful things.
Check out our Facebook page Grovely Pets Winchester, or all products can be seen on our full
e-commerce website www.grovelypetsupplies.co.uk where we also offer a Click and Collect service.
Free local deliveries to the area are offered on a Thursday.
88a Olivers Battery Road South, Winchester SO22 4EZ
Tel: 01962 877544 / 03300 948738 (Opt 3)
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
Ferment + 20-30 mins
RESTING: 1 hour
PROVING: 45-60 mins
BAKING: 10-12 mins
FREEZING: Freeze well fully baked.
Defrost at room temperature.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 12)
400g fermented white dough
500g strong white flour
10g fresh yeast
15g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
1 egg mixed with a pinch of salt (and, if
you like, a few drops of coffee essence
for colour) 1 hour before you need it, to
make an egg wash
A little vegetable oil
A Little Rock salt for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 250°C. Lightly oil 1 or
2 baking trays.
Mix all the dough ingredients together in
your mixing bowl. The resulting dough
will feel very stiff. Give the bowl with a
baking cloth and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Very lightly flour your work surface. Divide
the dough into 12 x 100g pieces.
Roll each piece with your fingers until it
is around 20cm long. Form into a heart
shape by brining the 2 ends to the centre,
crossing the right end over the left,
bringing it back underneath, then laying
the ends either side of the point of the
Lay the pretzels on a greased baking tray
and glaze with egg wash. Leave to prove,
uncovered, for 45-60 mins.
Glaze again with egg wash and sprinkle
immediately with rock salt, pressing
it down into the dough a little. Put the
pretzels into the oven and turn down the
heat to 230°C. Bake for 10-12 mins until
they are dark golden brown, at which
point they will be chewy. If you prefer
them a little crisper, give them another
couple of mins. Cool on a wire rack.
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
At FESTIVITIES your service!
And that’s just what you need at
this busy festive season.
After months of being apart and
Life is just so busy and sorting out that wonderful feast can be
missing a challenge. So, Christmas, now the big blue turkey Easter book is out, and why not
come in and start off your order with the main event – Turkey.
many Remember you special can come birthdays, and change it any time now until the is end the of
November, so its never too early start. We’ve everything you
time could imagine to get and more! together and make up
for it all!
Many people are becoming concerned about the welfare of their
food – well, with Evans you’ll be sure of happy healthy animals
A lot has
counter – not forgetting your special groceries. We are here to
plan & provide everything you need this Christmas.
Of course, its not
just the meat, we’ve
SHORTAGES - IS IT TRUE?
cheese, deli, pies, and
Well yes, it is! We’re always honest with our
things are going to be tight this year. The best
answer? Dive into
Evans and grab an order form or chat to a member of staff so
you can beat the crowds. We’ll get it all ordered
relax knowing its in hand.
wet fish shop for miles
around – and you really
can’t get better, as it
comes with excellent
service from Simeon
who can fillet your fish
and dress your crabs
or even lobster - these
must be ordered in
So shop local and enjoy a coffee in town at the same time,
there’s a good selection of café’s and restaurants so you’re
bound to find what you want. Add to that the independent
shops and you’ll have Christmas sorted in no time – along with
an enjoyable day out. Why battle with the busy towns and traffic
when TURKEY you VISIT can enjoy a shopping trip locally.
Yup, its already happened, Nigel & Eunice have been and
So checked come on in and the Turkeys see us and to make we will sure help they you are create happy a masterly birds – just
feast we for like friends them and Copas family. have done it again!
From all the team at Evans
VISIT US IN STORE
8 West Street, Alresford SO24 9AT
Phone: General - 01962732477
Fish - 01962732890
Maybe you’re concerned about packaging? We’re doing our
best to introduce more paper and less plastic, and don’t forget,
you can bring in your own container to be filled and that cuts out
any packaging at all!
Nigel & Eunice, Tony, Doug, William,
Simeon, Miranda, Sara & Sam
CE Evans and sons is a wellknown
and respected family
Butcher situated in the town of
Alresford in Hampshire. We offer
an extensive range, including meat & poultry,
delicatessen, veg & kitchen produce, and a
lovely display of wet fish.
IN OUR FISH SHOP, DELI, KITCHEN AND VEGETABLE
DEPARTMENTS YOU WILL FIND...
• The FinesT BriTish MeaT • Fresh, LocaLLy-Bred PouLTry
• a Wide range oF Fresh Fish • sausages, haMs, gaMMon
& condiMenTs • a deLi FiLLed WiTh cheeses, chuTney, Pies,
sauces and More
Visit us for a great selection of meats and tasty treats for the Christmas
period or come and discuss your requirements with our friendly team!
TrusTEd produCE aT TEmpTing priCEs!
8 West Street, Alresford, SO24 9AT
Tel: 01962 732477
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
22 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
potatoes with the butter and leaves from
the remaining thyme sprig. Season and
arrange in circles over the beef. Bake for
30 minutes until bubbling hot and the
potatoes are cooked through. Stand for
10 minutes before serving.
Scatter grated cheddar over the potatoes
halfway through baking to give the pie a
nice cheesy crust.
CHEWY BROWN SUGAR
Prep time: 15 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 - 14
200g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
300g Billington’s Dark Brown Soft Natural
Unrefined Cane Sugar
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp fine salt
1 large British Blacktail Free Range Egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Put the butter and sugar in a large
saucepan and set over a medium heat.
Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until
the butter has melted and the sugar has
dissolved. Set aside off the heat for 5
minutes to cool. Meanwhile, mix the flour,
baking powder, bicarbonate of soda,
cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
With a wooden spoon, beat the egg
and vanilla into the butter-sugar mix,
then beat in the dry ingredients until
completely combined. Transfer to a bowl,
cover with a plate and chill for at least 2
hours (up to 24 hours).
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4;
line 2 large baking trays with parchment.
Leave the cookie dough out of the fridge
for 15 minutes to warm up a little. Roll
into 12-14 balls (about 65-70g each)
and space out well on the baking trays
(the cookies spread quite a lot during
cooking, so bake in more than 2 batches
if needed). Bake for about 15 minutes,
turning the trays halfway if needed, until
deep golden and cracked on top. Cool
for 5 minutes on the trays, then transfer
to a wire rack to cool completely.
Ovens can vary in temperature, so after
about 12 minutes, keep an eye on your
cookies. Once they look set and golden
at the edges and start to crack on top,
CHERRY & ALMOND
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
425g can black cherries in light syrup
3 tsp Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Cane Icing
Sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 medium British Blacktail Free Range
250ml whole milk
½ tsp almond extract
8 slices sliced brioche loaf
2 tbsp unsalted butter
150g pot vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
Put a sieve over a small saucepan and
drain the cherries. Set the cherries aside
and simmer the juices for 5 minutes until
reduced. Add 1 tsp icing sugar and the
drained cherries to the saucepan and
simmer for another 5 minutes, until the
cherries are coated in a glossy syrup.
Meanwhile, set your largest frying pan
over a medium-highheat. In a large,
shallow dish, whisk the egg, milk,
almondextract and remaining 2 tsp
icing sugar. Add 4 brioche slices to the
mixture, soaking on each side for about
45 seconds until they’ve absorbed plenty
of the mixture but aren’t too soggy. Add
1 tbsp butter to the frying pan and, when
foaming, fry the brioche for 4 minutes
on each side until golden and puffed up.
Arrange on plates while you prepare the
remaining slices in the same way, frying in
the remaining 1 tbsp butter.
Serve 2 slices of brioche per person. Top
with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and the
warm cherries and syrup (reheat briefly
if necessary). Scatter with the toasted
almonds and dust with a little icing sugar
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 23
DELICIOUS GOODIES TO START
STOCKING UP THE PANTRY
Montezuma’s are the go-to for quality chocolate -
ideal for cooking with or gifting during the festive
With 3 grape varieties -
and Pinot Noir - Wyches
Vineyard are able to produce
fine still Red, White and
Rose Wines and a fabulous
English Sparkling Wine.
Born in 2011 to share and highlight
a variety of unique wines from
vineyards around the world, Wine
Utopia exists to help you curate a
wine rack that’s abundant for your
every mood or occasion. Highlights
for the festive season include the
pale, crystalline Charles Heidsieck
Blanc de Blancs and a wonderful
Graham’s Blend No.5 White Port.
Get your meat order in early
with Beechcroft Farm Shop
- they offer premium beef,
pork, chicken and lamb -
plus the farm shop stocks
a host of tasty treats, like
ChalkStream trout! Perfect for
Beechcroft Farm Shop
& Tea Barn
Beechcroft Farm Shop & Tea Barn is located
on a traditional working farm situated on
the edge of Winchester, with stunning views
across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Visit us for delicious range of locally produced
food including free range sustainably
produced meat from our own farm and our
trusted artisan suppliers. Enjoy the scenery
with coffee and cake from our tea barn.
We have plenty of outdoor seating as well as
our newly refurbished conservatory.
Winchester’s Local Farm Shop.
We are proud to be:
• Award-winning: Hampshire Life Farm
Shop of the Year 2018, CPRE Rural
• Friendly: Personalised service from our
expert butchery team
• Sustainable: Buying direct from the
farm minimises food miles, provides
full traceability and supports the local
Beechcroft, Sarum Road,
Winchester, Hampshire SO22 5QS
01962 868214 / 07710 168388
24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
W I N E U T O P I A
knowledgeable original independent
Free delivery in Hampshire*
Visit our website for our latest finds & advice
Join the WU Club for special offers, discounts,
wine knowledge, tastings & more
Great wines from around the world
Local beers, wines & spirits
Free local delivery on 12 bottles or more*
UNIT B1, THE FOUNDRY
LONDON RD, KINGS WORTHY
SO23 7QG 01962 883 145
UNIT 1, THE VINE
HIGH ST, STOCKBRIDGE
SO20 6HF 01264 252080
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
V I N E Y A R D
Quality English Wine from
the chalky slopes of The South
Downs in Upper Swanmore
Please contact us by email, phone, or by completing
the online form on our website.
We will deliver for free within a 20-mile radius
of Swanmore, Hampshire.
5% discount available on orders of 12 bottles or more.
Award winning Bacchus
and Pinot Noir in the
Wine GB Awards 2021.
email@example.com Tel 07885 822289 wychesvineyard.co.uk
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25
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!
26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
BLINDS AWNINGS SHUTTERS
We offer an expert measuring, manufacturing and installation service with a
FULL 5 YEAR GUARANTEE
Our other services include awning
and canopy restoration,
and blind servicing and repair.
Tel: 01962 736 836 or 07711 007 079
Call us for a
WARES AND GIFTS
USE CODE LIVE15
FOR 15% OFF
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 27
Bromley Chest, £399,
Black Branches Print, from £6.99,
Jute Effect Daylight Roller
Blind, from £22, John Lewis
Bedroom by Pure Salt Interiors
Off-White Linen Bed Set.
Limestone Wood Paint, £18
NUS422, from £82,
Furn Contra Olive Cushion,
London Bench, from £499,
Mala Pile Rug,
Reims, Iron/Metal Four Poster Bed Frame, from
Black Bud Vase, £29,
Achieve this look by
neutral textures, and
touches of black and a
few strong accent colours
28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Century 1 Light
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 | 29
Size 3, £1319,
B O H O
Dulux Paint in ‘Paper Chain’
Natural Ceramic Table Lamp,
Design by Studio McGee
Fingal 3 Seat
Navy Seigaiha Wave Cushions £32 and Kayla Woven Cushion £31, hauslife.
co.uk, Weeping Palm Tree Velvet Cushion Cover, £32.95, audenza.com
Malibu Print, from £6.99, www.juniqe.co.uk
Tulana Double Bed,
30 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
We all know the importance of reusing
and recycling, and this ethos extends to
our furniture. We’ve all been knee-deep
in a flat pack assembly project, when in
reality, we could be looking at updating
furniture we already have, with a few
If you’ve ever felt daunted by a project
like this, don’t! It’s one of the simplest
DIYs and you can feel happy in the
knowledge that you’ve saved something
from landfill and created a beautiful piece
for your home. Here’s how to get started.
1. CHOOSE YOUR PAINT. In this
project, Annie Sloan’s Athenian
Black Chalk Paint was used. The
beauty of paints like this is they
don’t require much prep - no need
to sand, just give your piece a good
clean with sugar soap. If you opt
for a different paint, just check the
instructions on the label - some
might require a priming coat.
2. REMOVE OLD HARDWARE/
KNOBS. Unscrew existing knobs -
you can either paint or spray paint
these or replace with new ones.
We chose these incredible Rococo
Drawer Handles from Dowsing &
Reynolds in a raw brass finish. Their
concave shape and fabulous
texture made this piece feel
modern again. If your knew
handles have different fixings
to the old ones, you may need
to use wood filler to patch the hole,
allow to dry and then sand before
3. BEGIN TO PAINT. Remove the
drawers and paint each section,
making sure to coat the edges of
drawers as these will be seen. This
piece only needed one coat as the
paint was so thick.
4. FINISH. We finished by buffing
clear Annie Sloan wax into the dry
piece for extra longevity. Wax gives
a dull lustre, but you might prefer a
5. FIX NEW HARDWARE. Once dry,
attach your knobs or pulls.
The beauty of projects like this are that
you can repaint as soon as you need to
give your space a refresh, or add new
hardware to suit the room.
You can give a room a
whole new look, without an
Allen Key in sight!
A T H E N I A N
HANDLES ARE SO
AND REALLY ELEVATE
THE PIECE. THEY WOULD
BE A STYLISH ADDITION
TO KITCHEN OR
• If you don’t have furniture like this already, you can always look out
for pieces in charity shops, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.
• Adding new hardware to existing furniture creates an amazing
instant update - you can use filler for old holes if your new knobs
or pulls are a different shape to the previous ones.
• If you have drawers which are stubborn to open, try rubbing the
tracking and the underside of the drawer with the edge of a tea
light - this should help to reduce the friction.
32 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
WOOD BURNING STOVES
The importance of wood as an efficient, renewable and low carbon energy source
Wood burners vs Open fires: the stats:- There are few things in life
more comforting and mesmerising than the long, lazy flames and
crackling sound of a freshly lit wood fire, however, there is some
confusion surrounding the impact of wood burning stoves on the
environment and the efficiency and sustainability of firewood as a
With air quality an ever growing issue, especially in urban areas, it
is vital that government, stove manufacturers, dealerships and fuel
suppliers alike, work together to educate Brits that by following
best practice and making the right choices when it comes to wood
burners and fuel, stove owners can ensure that they are getting the
best possible performance from their appliance whilst also playing
their part in protecting the environment.
Contrary to popular opinion, when used and maintained correctly,
the right appliance can provide an efficient, cost effective and
sustainable domestic heating solution. Likewise, firewood is a highly
efficient and low-carbon energy source.
Why is wood a good fuel option?
Unlike coal or natural gas, wood is a low-carbon fuel. This means
that burning wood results in a relatively small net release of carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere, which is then re-absorbed when new
trees grow. This effectively balances out the combustion of bio-energy.
When changing from smokeless or mineral fuels to burning wood,
this contributes to a reduction in carbon emissions.
Unlike fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil and natural gas, wood is
a renewable energy source. A renewable resource is defined as a
natural resource which can be replenished to replace the portion
depleted by usage.
Wood is renewable in that a tree cut for fuel will naturally be replaced
by a younger tree that grows or is planted in its place. However,
it is also important to consider the concept of sustainable forest
management; both locally and worldwide…
Most firewood is produced from thinning the forest to provide
space, nutrition and light for thicker, more established trees to
prosper. Localised coppicing helps to ensure ‘low fuel miles’ as
wood is transported to areas nearby, within a 30 to 100 mile radius,
rather than sourced from forests abroad.
How efficient is wood burning?
Using firewood contributes to fuel independence as it can nearly
always be sourced locally, within a 30-100-mile radius, which means
it extremely efficient in fuel miles terms and those purchasing
firewood are also supporting the local economy.
In the case of rural properties that do not necessarily want to heat all
spaces at all times, local space heating using firewood is the most
efficient heating solution.
Just two logs per hour are required to keep a wood burner going,
whilst eight logs are needed to burn for an hour in an open fire.
Similarly, a wood burning stove is 60 percent more efficient at
heating the home as heat transfer is convected into the room rather
than being lost up the chimney in the case of conventional open
It is advisable to replace an open fireplace with a closed wood
For more information, visit www.contura.eu.
• Supplying wood burning stoves since 1979
• Over 70 stoves on display
•Chimney Lining & New Chimneys
• Wood burning, Multi-fuel,
Gas & Electric Stoves
• HETAS Approved
Open Monday - Friday 8am-5pm
Saturday 8.30am - 1pm
Station Approach, Four Marks,
Alton, Hants. GU34 5HN
www.focusstoves.co.uk 01420 561010
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 33
sit back and relax with
Buy To Let Hunter
We caught up with one of our new clients, Neil Dickins,
to show him around his new property...
Within three weeks of the house purchase
we did all external work identified by the
survey as needing attention and internal
beautification to bring it up to spec before
the first guests arrived.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I fell in love with theatre whilst at
McMaster Uni in Canada, and was told I
must go to London. I duly came to study
Shakespeare but became ensnared in
the thorns of an English rose (the red of
Lancashire version) and never left.
What do you do?
I founded Intellectual Capital Resources
(IC Resources) 22 years ago to focus on
‘deep tech’ recruitment (all the tech that’s
in your phone, or a satellite, or an electric
car….ie everything except IT). The
company is now 70 people with offices
in Reading, London, Munich, China and
What were you hoping to achieve when
making an investment with BTLH?
I make very high risk, seed stage
investments in tech companies, and
wanted an investment to balance my
portfolio. Like all assets, property
values fluctuate but the likely downside
compared to stocks (or early stage
companies!!) is lower.
Why did you choose BTLH?
For me the most critical word in seeking
success is ‘niche’. I loved the niche,
under-represented ‘mid-term let’ idea
as outlined by Adrian. My due diligence
consisted of meeting his business
partners Alex and Lucy, who also
impressed me greatly and convinced me
that the company was solid and would
deliver on its promises. The great thing
about the space that BTLH has carved
out for itself is that it needs a particular
kind of focus and attention, which I
don’t think potential competitors will
understand even if they try to emulate
BTLH. The other reason, of course, is that
the ROI makes sense.
What has your experience been
working with BTLH?
Excellent from the outset. I’m 100%
confident that the outstanding service
levels will continue. We’ve also rented
the house out for an excellent mediumterm
rental even before it has been listed,
which I’m sure is a positive portent of
things to come.
Any advice to someone else who might
find themselves in your situation?
Call me to invest in some crazy risky early
stage tech companies. Eschew sensible
investments like BTLH!
So… if you find yourself looking for an
investment all piquant with crazy risk and
excitement, contact Neil Dickins direct
to hand over your hard-earned cash for
him to invest in some dodgy early stage
tech companies – and if you feel more
like Neil, then get in touch with BTLH and
see if we can find you a little gem like his
so you can make a sensible investment.
Neil’s parting words to us were: “I might
start thinking about my next project with
you guys…” You heard it here first!
Can BTLH help you find the perfect
property? Get in touch and have
a chat: 020 7550 9396 or
For more information check out
Quadrant Road, Richmond,
London, TW9 1DH
34 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Do you want
10% returns from
No jargon here. No Egos.
No high-pressure sales tactics.
Just simple & honest advice.
Find out how to get a double digit return
on property in a town near London.
Give us a call:
020 7550 9396
Send an email:
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.
36 | 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
TURN A PHONE INTO A LIFELINE WITH
THE PRESS OF A BUTTON
Extra Care facilities are for people
over 55 who meet the criteria
assessed by Hampshire County
Council Adult Social Care. Residents
can benefit from self-contained
apartments as well as on-site 24/7
care should they need it. Applicants
must live in the Winchester City
Council district or have family living
here, need help with personal care
and be in housing that is no longer
suitable for their needs.
24 hours a day, 365
days a year service
Friendly operators with
access to named contacts
and emergency services
Less than 50p a day
For more details contact Winchester Lifeline
Lifeline@winchester.gov.uk l Tel: 01962 855 335
For more information contact
firstname.lastname@example.org l Tel: 01962 855 335
Help at hand with the press
of a button 24 hours a day
50% off an installation
with code ‘NEWFOREST’
Always at the end
of the phone for you
Helping to keep you
independent at home
A helping hand
when you need it most
so you’re never alone
023 8028 5523
email@example.com • newforest.gov.uk/appletreecareline
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
Luxury Living at Mayflower Court
We’re continuing to welcome new residents at Mayflower Court this
Autumn. Our care home is designed with both luxury and lifestyle in
mind, with attention paid to every detail of our sumptuous environment...
We are ideally located with ample parking
and great transport links to Southampton,
Eastleigh and the surrounding villages.
Mayflower Court has the benefit of
extensive landscaped gardens with
uplifting views, which enable our
residents to enjoy gentle exercise,
catching up with friends and family* or
simply watching the world go by.
Our aim is for our residents to enjoy a
real sense of community by offering a
wide range of activities and encouraging
independence and choice. Our beautiful
home is designed to support this and
offers areas of interest, such as a
hobby and crafts room and a number
of lounges. Mayflower Court has a hair
and beauty salon, where residents can
enjoy being pampered. For our residents
who celebrate birthdays, we’ve helped
make their day special as they wish. It’s
wonderful to see them enjoy their cake,
gifts and a buffet tea or Afternoon Tea.
At Mayflower Court, our team are
specially selected for their skills and,
of course, their passion for care and
a natural desire to help. Our friendly
carers spend their time getting to know
our residents, ensuring that our care is
tailored to their interests, preferences
and lifestyles. From the moment a new
resident steps into our home, they can be
assured of personally tailored care.
Colleagues at our Mayflower Court
work tirelessly to keep those living with
us engaged and happy. In addition to
welcoming visitors into our care homes*,
our residents have access to up-to-date
technology, enabling regular Skype
or Zoom calls with family and friends.
Jean, a resident at Mayflower Court
commented, “The care staff bring me
an iPad already set up with a video call
from my daughter. They then leave me in
my own privacy while I take the call. All
I have to do is talk to her and once I am
done, I press my call bell and the carer
returns to end the call for me.”
Our home-cooked food is always
enjoyed, and our catering team work
hard to ensure that they provide a lovely
dining experience at each mealtime.
We take great pride in the range of
high quality, seasonally focused and
nutritionally balanced meals that we
serve to residents on a daily basis. We
appreciate that mealtimes are a sociable
and pleasurable part of each day.
Our team are here to answer any
questions that you may have regarding
our residential and dementia care. More
information is available on our website at
You can arrange an in person or virtual
show round, simply by contacting us on
023 8098 4476. You can follow us on
Twitter at @Mayflower_Court.
Mayflower Court care home is located at
62-70 Westwood Road, Southampton,
Hampshire, SO17 1DP.
*This may vary in line with government guidance.
40 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
We understand Victoria enjoys a
competitive game of scrabble
At Mayower Court care home, we support our residents with tailored
and individual activities so Victoria will have a worthy challenger!
Mayower Court Care home
Contact us: 023 8098 4476
62-70 Westwood Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO17 1DP
Telephone: 023 8076 4389
Fax: 023 8091 4413
South Coast Urology (SCU)
are a team of seven consultant
urological surgeons providing
a comprehensive service in all
aspects of urology...
Each consultant holds a teaching hospital appointment at
University Hospital Southampton and has the extensive
expertise in a specific area of urology.
You may choose to see any of our experts for a consultation
and diagnosis, our philosophy is that through subspecialisation
and team-working we are able to guarantee
that should they require an operation, it will be performed
by a high volume surgeon – something that has been shown
time and again to improve outcomes for patients.
Our services include:
• 2 week wait (e.g. raised PSA,
abnormal DRE, haematuria,
testis and renal masses).
• Prostate cancer diagnostics
using multi parametric MRI,
specialist and targeting
biopsy techniques (template,
fusion, smart), robotic surgery,
• Benign prostate disorders
such as benign enlargement,
Treatment options include
TURP, HoLEP (laser surgery),
Urolift, PAE (Prostate Artery
• Urinary tract stone disease
with shockwave lithotripsy,
ureteroscopy, laser lithotripsy,
and chemical pathology
support to prevent further
• Bladder conditions such
as over-active bladder
(OAB), infections, stones,
incontinence, supported by
a high quality urodynamics
• Men’s health conditions
including erectile dysfunctions
• Complex robotic,
laparoscopic and open cancer
options for those with bladder,
renal, testis and neighbouring
South Coast Urology work
closely with a wider network
of specialists including
radiologists, oncologists, nurses
and chemical pathologists.
Appointments are available 5
days a week at 3 leading private
hospitals in Southampton,
Bournemouth and Chandler’s
Our efficient administration
team will be happy to help
direct your patient to the most
appropriate consultant for their
condition at a time that suits.
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 | 43
“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”
44 | 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 | 45
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
46 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
023 8079 9216