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 Waitrose.com
Key Account Manager Angela Maskell
e 01225 984 500
Paxcroft Farm, Hilperton, Trowbridge,
Wiltshire BA14 6JB t 01225 308128
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
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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
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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,
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to offer 8 lucky readers
the chance to win an
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Established in 2017 by CEO
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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
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4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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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
6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Awarded Best Co-Ed School
South East England
Transport service available
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or contact Kate Spooner
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 7
Discover Beauty Within
Step into the CrownWood MediSpa
CrownWood MediSpa, in Bracknell,
is a well-established clinic offering
many life enhancing therapies to
choose from. Facial Rejuvenation
therapies include NeoStrata & Obaji
professional peels and deluxe facials
whilst stunning Facial Aesthetics
options (carried out by a medical
doctor) include wrinkle reduction, fillers
or an Aptos thread lift. Dermatology,
also with a medical doctor, spans
fungal infection removal, skin cancer
screening, hair loss diagnosis, eczema,
warts, skin growths and acne.
The clinic, opened in 2017, was also
one of the first salons in Berkshire to
offer Harmony ClearLift – the secret
treatment behind many an A-lister’s
glowing skin! With expert laser skin
treatments for acne, scarring, skin
tightening, rosacea, thread veins, sun
damage, age spots, hair removal and
even tattoo removal. CrownWood
MediSpa has launched a Special Offer
that runs from 1st October to 15th
December. Patients can benefit from
50% savings* on Harmony ClearLift
Treatment with 6 sessions for the price
One of their delighted ClearLift patients
provided this review:
“In the days after my first treatment,
I did notice that my skin appeared
clearer and tighter. After the third
treatment I started to notice more of
a difference – my crow’s feet appear
a little lighter, my acne scarring has
cleared up somewhat. By my sixth
treatment, my skin is noticeably
“To help people understand what may
be the most suitable therapies for their
skin needs, CrownWood MediSpa is
reaching out to the local community by
hosting a MediSpa Open Evening on 16th
November at 5.30pm – 8pm.”
improved. Friends even comment on
how good it looks – “it’s like you’ve
had the best night’s sleep, ever” says
To help people understand what may
be the most suitable therapies for their
skin needs, CrownWood MediSpa is
reaching out to the local community
by hosting a MediSpa Open Evening
on 16th November at 5.30pm – 8pm.
It’s a fabulous opportunity to see the
clinic, meet the team and chat through
the treatment options available. To
book an appointment, call Lisa our
Patient Care Co-ordinator, on
01344 300 417 or 07765 333 768.
Alternatively, patients can simply book
a free skin consultation by calling
Lisa. For more information, visit
crownwoodmedispa.co.uk or visit
their Social pages.
* T&Cs apply - excluding other
8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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*Terms and conditions apply
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
10 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
at Bearwood Lakes 2021
You are invited to join us with friends, family and colleagues
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Included in your evening will be prosecco on arrival,
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For more information or to make a booking,
please contact Mandy, our Events Manager on
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£46.50 per person
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Join-a-party nights available are
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Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th December
Friday 10th December
Thursday 16th, Friday 17th &
Saturday 18th December
Bearwood Lakes Golf Club
Bearwood Road, Sindlesham,
Nr. Wokingham, RG41 4SJ
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11
On his baking classes
for children: “It’s good
fun and nice to see
them smile when they
try something that they
haven’t done before. I
think it’s a shame that
so many schools don’t
use cooking and baking
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR
COOKERY SCHOOL - IT’S GOING
FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH BY
THE SOUNDS OF IT?
Well, the school has been going since
2005 and since then we have won a lot
of awards, we then sold the bakery and a
lot of things have happened in 15 years.
The school is so busy it’s a worldwide
attraction which means we bring a lot of
people to Bath. We won the South West
Tourism Award two years ago due to the
number of people that we attract to Bath.
We have a few guest chefs coming in as
well, but the core classes are with me
learning about bread making, as well as
what I write about in my books.
YOU HAVE SO MANY ACCOLADES
AND EVERYBODY ENJOYS WHAT YOU
HAVE BEEN DOING.
We pride ourselves on the services we
give our customers and also the way I
teach is quite unique - I’m very hands on.
Our school is quite small so it means that
I can spend time with everybody.
I SEE THAT YOU OFFER CLASSES FOR
CHILDREN, HOW DO YOU FIND THAT?
Teaching children was always very
important to us and we also work with a
lot of local schools in the area and teach
some classes plus talk to the children.
It’s good fun and nice to see them smile
when they try something that they haven’t
done before. I think it’s a shame that so
many schools don’t use cooking and
I SEE THAT YOU ALSO WORK WITH
Yes, Ping does classes for me. She
teaches Malaysian cooking plus stuff
from my book.
YOU HAVE PRODUCED 6 BOOKS SO
FAR. HAVE YOU GOT ANYMORE IN
THE PIPELINE OR DO YOU NOT HAVE
I’ve got a couple of ideas but it’s getting
the time to do it and I like to write a book
for the right purpose not just for the sake
of it so I need to get the time and wait
until things get back to normal.
DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL?
Until we get all our backlog of people
who couldn’t attend last year’s classes
hopefully then we will be back on an
even keel but not yet I’m afraid. We are
open and running and there are some
businesses that can’t do that so in a way
we are one of the lucky ones.
I HEAR THAT YOU WILL BE GETTING
INVOLVED WITH BBC MAESTRO.
Yes, it’s been amazing. We have just
finished editing. I absolutely loved it! It’s
a challenge to do live broadcasts, it’s
recipe lead and different from how I teach
in my classes, but it was well done. The
team were amazing.
YOU HAVE BEEN ON OTHER
COOKERY SHOWS SO DID YOU FIND
THAT THIS WAS A STEP UP?
Yes, I’ve been on Saturday Kitchen and
on James Martin’s show so it’s a different
buzz being filmed live and you have to be
mindful of what you do and say.
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WILL BE
It’s specifically about bread and things I
like to do at home. It goes from making
brioche, sourdough to bagels, all that
kind of stuff and things to give people
the confidence to bake at home and feel
that they learn something. It’s going to be
good. The production team was amazing,
and I can’t wait for it to launch.
YOU ARE FROM BRITTANY HAVE
YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO GO BACK
We went to France last year, Provence.
We have a house down there and
managed to visit just before lockdown.
*At the time of the interview there was
uncertainty regarding travel to the city
BBC Maestro with Richard Bertinet
is available now at bbcmaestro.com.
The course costs £80 for 23 episodes
including written class notes for
each one. An additional bonus festive
episode is expected to launch later in
the year exclusively to subscribers.
12 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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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
14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
potatoes with the butter and leaves from
the remaining thyme sprig. Season and
arrange in circles over the beef. Bake for
30 minutes until bubbling hot and the
potatoes are cooked through. Stand for
10 minutes before serving.
Scatter grated cheddar over the potatoes
halfway through baking to give the pie a
nice cheesy crust.
CHEWY BROWN SUGAR
Prep time: 15 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 - 14
200g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
300g Billington’s Dark Brown Soft Natural
Unrefined Cane Sugar
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp fine salt
1 large British Blacktail Free Range Egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Put the butter and sugar in a large
saucepan and set over a medium heat.
Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until
the butter has melted and the sugar has
dissolved. Set aside off the heat for 5
minutes to cool. Meanwhile, mix the flour,
baking powder, bicarbonate of soda,
cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
With a wooden spoon, beat the egg
and vanilla into the butter-sugar mix,
then beat in the dry ingredients until
completely combined. Transfer to a bowl,
cover with a plate and chill for at least 2
hours (up to 24 hours).
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4;
line 2 large baking trays with parchment.
Leave the cookie dough out of the fridge
for 15 minutes to warm up a little. Roll
into 12-14 balls (about 65-70g each)
and space out well on the baking trays
(the cookies spread quite a lot during
cooking, so bake in more than 2 batches
if needed). Bake for about 15 minutes,
turning the trays halfway if needed, until
deep golden and cracked on top. Cool
for 5 minutes on the trays, then transfer
to a wire rack to cool completely.
Ovens can vary in temperature, so after
about 12 minutes, keep an eye on your
cookies. Once they look set and golden
at the edges and start to crack on top,
CHERRY & ALMOND
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
425g can black cherries in light syrup
3 tsp Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Cane Icing
Sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 medium British Blacktail Free Range
250ml whole milk
½ tsp almond extract
8 slices sliced brioche loaf
2 tbsp unsalted butter
150g pot vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
Put a sieve over a small saucepan and
drain the cherries. Set the cherries aside
and simmer the juices for 5 minutes until
reduced. Add 1 tsp icing sugar and the
drained cherries to the saucepan and
simmer for another 5 minutes, until the
cherries are coated in a glossy syrup.
Meanwhile, set your largest frying pan
over a medium-highheat. In a large,
shallow dish, whisk the egg, milk,
almondextract and remaining 2 tsp
icing sugar. Add 4 brioche slices to the
mixture, soaking on each side for about
45 seconds until they’ve absorbed plenty
of the mixture but aren’t too soggy. Add
1 tbsp butter to the frying pan and, when
foaming, fry the brioche for 4 minutes
on each side until golden and puffed up.
Arrange on plates while you prepare the
remaining slices in the same way, frying in
the remaining 1 tbsp butter.
Serve 2 slices of brioche per person. Top
with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and the
warm cherries and syrup (reheat briefly
if necessary). Scatter with the toasted
almonds and dust with a little icing sugar
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15
& PISTACHIO LOAF
150g good quality dark chocolate chips
75g roughly chopped pistachios
Zest of 2 oranges
50g mixed peel
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
125g unsalted butter straight from the
125g full fat milk
3 medium eggs
500g strong white bread flour (plus extra
15g fresh yeast
45g caster sugar
10g fine sea salt
FOR THE GLAZE
Pinch fine sea salt
Mix the chocolate chips, nuts zest
and mixed peel in a bowl and stir in
the Cointreau if you are using it. Place
the cold butter between 2 sheets of
greaseproof and bash it with a rolling pin
to soften it and break it up into smaller
pieces (without warming it up).
Put the milk and eggs into the bowl of a
food mixer and then add the flour. Break
up the yeast and add to one side of the
bowl. Add the sugar and salt on the other
side of the bowl.
Mix on a slow speed for 4 minutes.
Increase the speed to medium for another
2 minutes then add the butter piece by
piece until it is all incorporated. Continue
mixing on medium speed for 10-12
minutes until the dough comes away from
the sides of the bowl.
Stop the mixer. Add the chocolate and
pistachio mixture to the bowl and mix
for no longer than 30-40 seconds on
the slowest speed – you don’t want the
chocolate and nuts to become mushy.
Lightly flour your worksurface and turn
the dough out onto the work surface.
Form the dough into a ball and then place
into a lightly floured bowl. Cover and
rest for about 45 minutes until just under
double in size.
Lightly flour the surface again, turn out
the dough and divide into 10 equal pieces
of about 110g each. Form each piece
into a ball and then press gently into
cake or loaf tins until they are full. In the
picture I have used tiny tins that only take
one ball but if you use a larger one you
will have a finished loaf or two that will be
perfect to tear and share. Whether you
have one or two will depend on the size
of your tins. Cover and leave to prove
for about 1 hour until just under double
While the dough is proving, pre-heat the
oven to 190°C and beat the eggs and
pinch of salt for the glaze. Brush the top
of each loaf with the egg glaze and use a
pair of scissors to snip into the dough for
Place the tins on a baking tray and
put into the pre-heated oven. Turn the
temperature down to 180°C and bake for
15-20 minutes until golden.
16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
PREPARATION: 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.
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 heart.
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.
Mix all the dough ingredients together in
your mixing bowl. The resulting dough will
feel very stiff. Give the bowl with a baking
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 17
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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 | 21
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
22 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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,
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!
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24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Gardening for Autumn /
Winter interest with RHS
Wisley Garden Centre
It’s that wonderful time of year when leaves transform
into fiery hues of browns and reds, nights become cosier
and anticipation of the festive season begins.
This month there’s still time to add
seasonal colour and interest to your
garden as well as forward planning
for 2022. And with pick-up-and-grow
kits for beginners to unusual plants for
more experienced gardeners, now is the
perfect time to head down to RHS Wisley
Garden Centre for inspiration and advice.
Before heavy frosts, rain and winds begin
to make spending time in your garden
less appealing, there are a few key jobs
to still be done during this month:
• 2022 prep continues! Now is
the last chance to plant spring
flowering bulbs before temperatures
drop, and the soil become too cold
• Lift any tender perennials and
bring indoors to protect from any
potential frosts. For any that are
too tender or difficult to move,
fleecing is the ideal solution.
• Plant evergreen shrubs & trees
while the soil is still warm, giving
them time to settle into the ground
before harsher weather comes in.
This month in our garden centre bulb
planting and seasonal interest are key:
• Bloomin’ great bulbs need to be
planted asap so shop our wide
collection of bulbs while they’re still
• Azaleas and Rhododendrons are
starting to come in. These fabulous
hardy medium-large shrubs thrive
best in acidic soil. To give them
the best start, we recommend
using one of our RHS peat-free
ericaceous composts when
• Camellias have arrived! These
easy-to-grow hardy evergreen
shrubs are great for gardens and
containers. Their show of pinks,
whites and reds provide a hit of
colour when other plants have
finished flowering for the year.
• Hellebores are always stunning
and now is the beginning of their
season. 99% of our garden centre
Hellebore stock is from the UK, so
plant now in moist, free-draining
soil to enjoy their beautiful show
of nodding flowers through winter
and into spring. They’re also a
great source of food for pollinating
insects in early spring.
• Japanese Maples are wonderful
for larger spaces to bring autumn/
winter colour to your garden. Our
Wisley Garden Centre also has a
fabulous selection of Acers from UK
Starting to feel festive?
For kids the countdown began about 5
months ago, but are you starting to think
about Christmas yet? Well, if you’re
looking to find the perfect gift now or
planning your festive indoor decoration
colour scheme then visit our Christmas
shop, open now, for inspiration over
the festive season. You’ll find gifts
galore and decorations to suit all tastes
in our garden centre. Next month our
fabulous selection of trees, wreaths and
festive houseplants will be arriving too,
so although it may feel a bit early yet,
planning where to put your tree now will
make deciding which tree is best for you
that bit easier when December comes
RHS Wisley Garden Centre,
Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB
Tel: 01483 224234
For more info visit rhs.org.uk/gardens/
Sun 11-5pm (browsing from 10.30)
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25
Emily Baker takes in ultimate luxury
in the inimitable Maldives
26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
ARRIVAL BY SEAPLANE
t’s difficult to write about the Maldives
without descending into cliches - it is
Ievery bit as beautiful as you imagined, the
ocean suites with their glass floor hatches
are equal parts luxurious and mesmerising,
and of course the combination of sand, sea
and all-inclusivity really are a winner - so, I’ll
try and limit myself to only using the word
crystalline a handful of times, but what can I
tell you that you don’t already know?
I think I could start with the journey - though
travelling is my bread and butter, long haul
can test even the most excited of voyagers.
There are a few different routes to the
mainland of Male, with BA offering direct
flights. For those looking to fly in the lap of
luxury (and if you’re heading to the Maldives,
who isn’t) then Qatar is the best choice -
with a short layover in the ultra-plush Doha
airport, it’s enough to make the journey an
event, rather than a task.
Whilst I was prepared for the drama of the
seaplane arrival, there is something otherworldly
about seeing this string of atolls
from the air for the first time. The inky-blue
sea stretches out like a vast blanket,
punctuated by bursts of green, framed by
the turquoise necklace of each island’s reef.
Even whilst feeling weary from the long
flight, I pressed myself to the window like a
child, completely mesmerised by the views
below along the 40 minute hop. If you’re
looking for that international-traveller ‘I’ve
made it’ feeling, then arriving by seaplane
has to tick all the boxes.
The welcome on arrival at the spectacular
Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Resort was the first
taste of the group’s trademark hospitality
- a gleaming small army in white uniforms
and glowing smiles awaited, festooning us
with flower garlands and introducing each
guest to their own dedicated villa butler -
they are your go-to whilst on the resort, for
everything from booking restaurant tables
to helping you hitch a ride on one of the golf
buggies that transport guests around the 52
There are a handful of different
accommodation options for guests - either
stays on those quintessential oceanic villas,
decked with their steps straight into the
water, or a series of beach villas, either with
direct access to the beach or with oceanic
views and their own private infinity pools.
Whilst some of the fixtures and fittings are
looking a little tired in places, the sheer
delight of the location more than makes up
for any shortcomings inside, as does the
wealth of activities, both in the water and
out, available from your doorstep.
This brings me on to my other assumption
- one I think many travellers make - that
the Maldives is a destination for loved-up
couples to fly and flop in luxury. And whilst
there’s definitely scope for that, I wasn’t
overcome by a raft of couples acting
amorously by the pool, but instead greeted
by a huge breadth of guest profiles - there
were, of course, couples, but also groups
of friends on a girly getaway and families -
taking advantage of the total safety of the
island to let little ones run around freely.
Though, unlike other family-friendly resorts,
the children are seen but not heard - there’s
space for everyone, so adults can still find
their escape. Kids and adults alike can
partake in aquatic adventures, with guided
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
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 27
“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”
28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
HORIZON WATER VILLA
only an all-inclusive stay can offer. In
all there are 15 venues for drinking and
dining - offering a mixture of worldwide
cuisines. Where the food really shines is
in the bevy of freshly grilled reef fish and
Maldivian curries - there are fine dining
options available, but it was the Bamboo
restaurant with its tables in the sand and
menus of fresh salads and Pan-Asian
cuisine which really hit the right notes in
the afternoon heat.
Knowing as they do that tourism in these
areas have hugely adverse effects on the
local environment, Sun Siyam as a group
continually look for ways to reduce their
footprint. Being an archipelagic state,
the Maldives does rely on a significant
array of food imports, but the group has
its own farm island which grows a variety
of produce, limiting the carbon impact.
Guests to the resort can visit too, for a
unique farm to plate experience.
I suppose the other big question for
everyone tentatively dipping their toes
back into international travel, is, is it safe?
The major advantage of the Maldives is
the sheer space between the islands,
meaning that they can isolate cases as
and when they occur. How this landscape
will change as more vaccines are rolled
out across the globe is still unknown, but
its clear that each resort is doing their
part. As it currently stands, to change
resorts you are still required to take a
PCR test - whilst some might consider
this an unnecessary expense, I think it’s a
sensible and safe practice to make sure
you can enjoy your stay fully.
Now, if there is a spa to be found in
a resort, you will generally find me
ensconced inside it. Within a humblelooking
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 resortsnob
fall under its spell.
HOW TO BOOK
Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives - 5
7 nights from £1779 pp - Includes return
economy flights on Qatar Airways from
London to Male, seven nights in a Deluxe
Beach Villa, on a B&B basis, including
domestic flight transfers.
Saving over £1140 per couple! Prices are
per person based on two adults sharing
valid for travel on selected departure
dates from October 21-December 21 -
rates not guaranteed so call for details |
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
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29
after a diagnosis of dementia
What are the next steps?
A diagnosis of dementia can be a big shock
- for the person with the condition, and their
family. It can be difficult to know what to
do, what decisions need to be made, who
to tell, what support is available and what
There can either be a lot of information
given to you at the time of diagnosis, or not
very much at all. Either way, whatever is
said to you at the time of diagnosis can be
forgotten in this emotional and challenging
Dementia UK provides specialist dementia
support for families through the Admiral
Nurse service. Admiral Nurses give families
the compassionate one-to-one support,
expert guidance and practical solutions
they need to face dementia with more
The families they work with want a simple
checklist of what to ask, what to do and
who to approach - so the important next
steps are clearly outlined in one place,
with links to more detailed information to
consider later, when it’s needed.
The Dementia UK next steps checklist:-
This checklist has been written by dementia
specialist Admiral Nurses, to help in the
early days after you or your family member
has received a diagnosis of dementia.
For each item on the checklist, there is a
further link to additional information, as
and when you need it. If you don’t have
access to the internet, you can contact the
Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline for more
information and support
Ask whether there will be a follow up
appointment after the diagnosis.
30 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
If yes, who will you see? How often? Who
makes this appointment?
Who will be your main point of contact?
Who will be responsible for coordinating
subsequent care and support?
Please record these details and your notes
in the Dementia UK Practical guide to
get the best out of GP and other health
Arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney for:-
Health and welfare.
Property and financial affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a
legal document, nominating a person to
make decisions on behalf of a person with
dementia, if and when the time comes
that they no longer have the capacity to
make these decisions themselves. It is
very important to fill in and register an LPA
for both health and welfare, and property
and financial affairs, while the person with
dementia still has the capacity to do so.
Discuss plans and wishes for the future
with your family, including:-
Your wishes regarding your future care.
Your wishes regarding your future medical
Your hopes about your involvement with
An Advance Care Plan is a document that
outlines a person’s future wishes for their
care and medical treatment.
Apply for a Carers’ Assessment
Anyone with caring responsibilities for a
person with dementia is entitled to a Carers’
Assessment, to be carried out by their
Local Authority. The Assessment will look
at the impact that caring for a person with
dementia is having, and will then identify
the type and level of support that is needed.
This could include some care for the person
with dementia, some training or some help
coming in to the home. You will need to
request the Assessment from your Local
Apply for all of the relevant financial
support you are entitled to:-
People with dementia and their family
carers are entitled to various benefits,
tax discounts or financial support. It is
important to make sure you are receiving all
of the financial help you are entitled to.
Organise your home so it helps you live
safely and independently
There are lots of simple, practical steps
that can be taken to help a person with
dementia to be safe and comfortable in
Inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing
Agency (DVLA) and your vehicle
insurance company your diagnosis
People with a diagnosis of dementia do not
automatically have to give up their driving
licence – but you do need to take certain
steps to make sure you are insured and
abiding by the law.
Inform your employer about the
If you are diagnosed with dementia and still
working, it is very important that you tell
your employer, so that steps can be taken
to support you in your job, if possible.
Similarly, if you are caring for someone with
dementia, telling your employer about your
changing responsibilities will help you plan
together, so that you can continue working
and caring as effectively as possible.
For more information call 0800 888 6678 or
Trusted to care
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we’re here to help you and your family at every step
of the journey.
If you’re considering care for yourself or a loved one,
call 01344 981587 or email
Bickerton House care home