Abingdon Living Nov - Dec 2021


At last the Christmas editions are here! With festive fun, gifts and interiors, plus inspiration for decorating the guest bedroom and an interview with the Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen. Plus, our competition pages return, with staycations, laundry upgrades and festive hampers!



Sports and

Leisure Club

A membership includes:

Exercise classes, spinning classes*, gym and squash

*Spinning classes are only included in a premium membership

Exceptional facilities • Superb offers • Free gym induction

Annual, flexible rolling and pay upfront contracts available.

We also warmly welcome pay-as-you-go customers.

Tel: 01235 849062


Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BQ

Activities are run by Abingdon School Enterprises Limited on behalf of Abingdon School. Company No. 04442429.


A Note

from the EDITOR



A Culinary Journey through

Northern Ireland bedroom perfection

It’s certainly the challenge of

publishing that you always have your

head in the wrong season - each year,

Christmas begins for us in July, which

is about the same time as I start to

ask my friends and family what they’d

like as a present or if they’re free for a

meal in December - each year I’m met

with the same furrowed brows and

a ‘my god, I haven’t started thinking

about that yet!’

Forward planning aside, it is a rather

lovely, smug feeling to know that I’m

mostly sorted for the festivities - my

only issue being losing said gifts

between July and December 25th. If

your industry doesn’t quite prepare

you in the same way though, we’ve

got a bevy of festive features to help

get you prepped.

Our competition

page returns


Alongside Christmas features,

we’ve got a lovely interview with

The Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda

Owen, plus some delicious recipes

from her new book.

If you’re receiving guests this year,

we’ve got some inspiration on

creating the perfect guest room

sanctuary. And if festive madness all

gets too much, you can always slip in

there yourself!

Yorkshire Shepherdess

Amanda Owen


Key Account Manager Marcus Hawke

e marcus.hawke@minervapublications.co.uk

d/l 01225 984505

twitter: @AbingdonLiving1

Editor Katie Thomson

e katie.thomson@minervapublications.co.uk


Recipes from

Amanda’s new book

Publisher Sally Thomson

Pre-Press Manager Kate Norris

Contributors Rebecca Rose, Peter Thomson, Sue Cooke, Matthew Biggs

Angela Cave and Pete Lawrence. Front cover courtesy of Rose & Grey roseandgrey.co.uk


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.

The news has been all doom and

gloom of late, but I think it’s important

that, toy shortage/turkey drama/fuel

crisis or not, this year’s Christmas is

looking so much brighter than 2020’s,

and there’s so much to be thankful

for. This quote from the legendary Bob

Hope really captured that for me:

“My idea of Christmas, whether

old-fashioned or modern, is very

simple: loving others. Come to

think of it, why do we have to

wait for Christmas to do that?”

We are looking forward to seeing

you again in January - we are doing

away with the New Year, New You

nonsense and instead focusing

on what 2022 can offer you. Until

then, take care, have a very Merry

Christmas and a peaceful New Year.


www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3


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.

Looking for the perfect gift this Christmas? Delight your friends

and family with a selection box of delicious treats. One lucky

reader will win a ‘Decadent Christmas in a Box’ containing the



A Laundry

Bundle from


worth over


6kg Free Range Whole Turkey | 4.5kg Unsmoked Ham | 1kg

Side of Smoked Salmon | 1kg Organic Cheddar | 1kg Cropwell

Bishop Stilton | Christmas Pudding | Harrow & Hope Brut

Reserve (750ml bottle) | Classic Cranberry Sauce | Granny’s

Apple Chutney | Artisan Coronation Sauce | British Goose

Fat | Luxury Bread Sauce | Traditional Roast Gravy | Sage &

Onion Stuffing | Pigs In Blankets | 200g Smoked Chicken 200g

Smoked Duck


Christmas in

a box! Worth



Closes 10/12/2021

Competition keyword ‘TURKEY’

For most of us, laundry is a bit of a chore, so to lighten the load,

we’re giving away a luxury laundry bundle from Brabantia worth

over £500.

The prize includes Brabantia’s new Bo Laundry Bin Hi, which

will blend effortlessly into your decor with its sleek finish and

has two 45L compartments for easy separating your whites

from your colours. When spring comes around again, you

can then hang your washing out on Brabantia’s Rotary Dryer

Lift-o-Matic Advance which can easily be adjusted to your

ideal height. For those grey days, Brabantia’s 23m Drying Rack

Tower is the perfect inside solution. Finally, prep your fresh

laundry for the wardrobe with a Brabantia Ironing Board. ThisXL

model is designed for easy ironing of any outfit!


Closes 15/01/2022 - Competition keyword ‘BRABANTIA’


2 prints

each worth


Eliza Southwood practiced

as an architect for ten years

before deciding to take

up a career as an artist

and illustrator full-time in

2010. 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.

Adagio, the European leader in aparthotels is giving one lucky

winner a two-night stay for two at one of their amazing UK

properties in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh or Liverpool.

Adagio is the perfect option for that much needed getaway this

year, providing all the services of a hotel with the freedom of an

apartment. The apartments comprise of a kitchen, bedroom and

living area with flat screen smart TV - great for lounging after a

busy day of activities.


A City

Break with




T&Cs available online. Closes

15/01/2022 - Competition keyword



Closes 15/01/2022

Competition keyword ‘ELIZA’

4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk













Omid Djalili: Mo 25 – We 27 Oct

Pete Stays Home: Sa 30 Oct

Bobby & Amy: Tu 02 – We 03 Nov

Making Tracks 2021 Tour: Fr 05 Nov

Gala Chistiakova: Sa 06 Nov

Pinocchio: We 15 Dec – Mo 03 Jan





South Parade


Oxford OX2 7JN

01865 319 450





FROM £10 | hauslife.co.uk

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 5

putting our pets first

We may feel as if we have had ‘information

overload’ when it comes to germ

prevention and protection, but sometimes

a product comes along that demands our

attention - enter Leucillin. This is a skin

health product for pets that is proving to

be a product which all of us may well be

putting in our first aid chests very soon.

We spoke to Georgina Bashforth (pictured

right) about the product and its exciting


First of all, in layman’s terms – what is


Leucillin is a clever antiseptic applied to

the skin topically to protect against harmful

germs. Leucillin is a revolutionary fresh new

take on what an antiseptic is and can be

capable of.

Leucillin mimics the body’s own immune

system, providing you a powerful solution

which delivers the ultimate shield in

topical skin protection against harmful

pathogens. Leucillin’s unique formulation

does not contain any alcohol, steroids or

antibiotics, it is the natural choice for safe

skin sanitising.

Our pets our so important to us, how

is Leucillin used and what specific

applications is it effective for?

Leucillin has a great reputation for safety

and efficacy, supported by pet healthcare,

veterinary and grooming industries,

this year. It has been awarded human

approvals and begun an exciting new

chapter in healthcare.

Furthermore it can be safely applied in

any topical application where the skin,

ears and eyes need care, whether broken,

red, sore, inflamed, cuts, stings, bites

or grazes, Leucillin’s powerful antiseptic

properties eradicate germs on contact

creating the perfect environment for rapid


For children, as well as our pets, it’s

“Ouch Free” formula is kind, it has been

developed to match the natural pH of skin

so no more wincing on that grazed knee.

It seems to be a very gentle solution

to a number of particularly stubborn

problems - can it be used long-term?

Leucillin achieves an unbeatable

99.99999% reduction in bacteria on

contact, but how does that compare with

the 99.99% which we think is good? Well;

it’s a massive 10’000 times better!

Fast effective pathogen reduction means

no resistance therefore long-term usage is

always effective and no harmful ingredients

means Leucillin is always safe!

And finally, how else can it be used and

what are your hopes for the product

going forward?

Our goal is to help alleviate the dependence

on antibiotics and pharmaceutical

intervention in the area of germ protection,

for a more natural, safe, non-invasive and

most importantly effective alternative.

During the pandemic Leucillin has been

proven effective against all coronaviruses

including SARS-CoV-2 topically and

has been used by animal care industries

including Police Dog Handler units for

reducing risk.

We have also recently teamed up with The

Humanimal Trust founded by Professor

Noel Fitzpatrick - aka The Supervet, we’re

excited to be supporting mental health and

raising money for ONE Medicine, so that

humans and animals can benefit equally

from all medical progress.

6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

Tough on all Pathogens


Yet skin pH Neutral, Gentle to Skin

Reasons to




for all


Proudly Supporting

because Leucillin is alcohol free! It’s

gentle HSE approved formula

matches our natural pH meaning kind

to skin and safe for all.

At home or away, Leucillin is a

effective essential for all skin

concerns, it is soothing and calming

to; Red, Sore, Itchy skin, Minor Cuts

and Grazes, Bites, Stings and Burns.

suitable for all ages and skin types including

highly sensitive, ears and eyes. Leucillin is

your germ protection, antiseptic care and

daily cleanser.

300x more effective than most sanitisers YET Leucillin

is passed by the Organic Soil Association, has recyclable packaging, is cruelty free and vegan


Available in stores and online

For promotional 500ml product offer please visit: www.leucillin.co.uk/promotions



For People AND our Pets, Leucillin is a

clever, reliable and affordable solution for

cleansing and sanitising skin safely including

your face! Leucillin removes germs without

drying skin, so however species diverse your

family unit is, Leucillin has you covered.



Spread kindness and happiness this

year - there is not one but two tea

bags in each box. You can share

your advent experience with

a special someone, gift it or

experiment with it.





A superb beauty advent calendar

featuring 24 full or deluxe-size

products from beauty brands

such as Foreo, Max Factor,

John Frieda, Elemis,

Neal’s Yard and L’Occitane

worth nearly £260.







Three delicious flavours of pork

scratching, paired with three

specially brewed beers - perfect

if you’re more on the

savoury side.





It’s back! The ultimate alcohol filled

calendar boasting 25 reds, whites,

rosé and bubbly...with a full-size

bottle for you to enjoy on Christmas

Day. Expect customer favourites

and best-selling wines from around

the world including exclusive and

limited-edition bottles.








Up your cooking game with a fabulous

new spice to try each day - spices,

herbs, salts and peppers in a mix of

sweet and savoury finishes.

Also available in milk, white and absolute black

100% dark chocolate



7 Christmas Crafts (including a juggling bear

bauble and snowman puppets), 4 Festive

Recipes, 5 STEAM Team Story Books, 8 Elf

Challenges and 1 adorable Merry Mischief

Elf plushie

8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

Get into the

festive spirit at

Waterperry Gardens


With Christmas shopping, festive events

and Waterperry grown Christmas trees...

The Gallery, Gift Barn and Christmas Shop are a shopper’s delight

with great gift ideas for all the family this Christmas, from handmade

ceramics and jewellery to Christmas decorations and linens, there is

something for everyone.

Don’t miss the Christmas Craft Markets, for a chance to buy local

handmade crafts and festive food treats – 20th & 21st Nov and 4th

& 5th Dec. Enjoy some pre-Christmas fun with the children with an

afternoon helping Rudolph ‘Find Santa’s Reindeer’, running from

the 20th Nov through to the 23rd Dec, family fun and Christmas

excitement! Come & meet REAL Reindeer on Saturday 20th and

Sunday 21st November between 11.30am and 2.30pm on both


The spectacular British grown Christmas trees will be on sale from the

beginning of December, along with fantastic Waterperry hand-finished

Christmas wreaths. Let the Teashop at Waterperry take the strain out

of cooking and pre-order festive treats like Christmas Cake, Mince

Pies and more, call 01844 338087 or email


Enjoy your Christmas shopping this year and visit a truly unique and

festive Waterperry Gardens – Your One Stop Christmas Shopping Trip!

barnes coaches

01793 821303 | www.barnescoaches.co.uk

NEW 2021-2022

UK & European

Coach Holiday Brochure

Out November 2021!

Contact our team on

01793 821303 to pre-order

a free brochure and start

planning your next adventure!

(If you’re on our mailing list already, you

will be sent a new brochure automatically.)

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 9

Tabitha Ribbed

Cashmere Socks, £32,


Candle Discovery Set,

£18, floralstreet.com

ESPA Jewels of Nature Collection, £195

(Worth £365), espaskincare.com




make up

Star Sheepskin

Slippers, £39,



Skyrocket Artistry

Eyeshadow Palette,

£39, lookfantastic.co.uk

Alpaca Super

Soft Hot Water

Bottles, £45,



Great for

deeply cleansing

the skin and


stressed eyes

Cashmere Sweatshirt

in Emerald, £179,


Luxury Heavyweight

Merino Scarf, £90,


Mulo Slippers in Blue Corduroy,

£124, muloshoes.com

UBUNA Refresh

Water Hydration

Cream, £160,


BeGlow Tia All-In-One

Sonic Skincare System,

£199, johnlewis.com

Micro Merlin

Japanese Knife

Trio, £99,


Eco Sports Cloak

Long Sleeve, £119.95,


The Micro Explorer

Electric Scooter,

£349.95, reduced

from £449.95




for the

chef in

your life


18 mile range,

foldable and

ultra light

weight with

15mph top


Scrivner For

Men 5 Step

Skin Strategy

- £127,



Perfect if

they love


pursuits or


Andrée Jardin Sneaker Care Kit,

£33.50, souschef.co.uk

Off White Sneakers,

£175, muloshoes.com

10 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

Kaloo Lapinoo Rabbit,

£17.99, jojomamanbebe.co.uk


The gift

Unisex Mouse

Babygrow Set, £45,


Woodland Nesting

Creatures, £22,


Help children

learn to

code with

Blockly, Snap!,


Python and



Kittens, £15.99,


Artie Max, £110,


Pokemon Brilliant Diamond +

Shining Pearl (Nintendo Switch),

£89.99, amazon.co.uk

Nila Nepp Top,

£22 and Kieran


Joggers, £28, both



cotton and


colours and



GOTS Organic


Pyjamas, £26,




Electric Stove



Luigi Starter Course

Currently priced at




in a host

of fab



Le Creuset Evolution

Oval Deep Teal Casserole

Currently priced at £241,


Aranya Hmong

Cushion, £32,


Cuisinart Precision Stand Mixer,

£275, cuisinart.co.uk

Hand-Sliced Side of

Smoked Salmon, £54.95,


Truffle Guys

Experience Box,



Gusbourne Brut

Reserve 2017, £39,


www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11

Are All Property

Agents The Same?

When comparing letting agents you cannot rely on price

alone. On the surface it may appear that most agents are

the same, offering the same tenant-only or fully managed

services. However they are not always delivered to the

same standard and therefore a comparison based

on fees is not always a wise assessment.

Contact Finders Keepers for

experienced and expert service.

01235 535454




Looking for something different

for your home?

Why not pay us a visit at Chilton

Garden Centre for a Cornucopia

of gift ideas

Opening Hours:-

Monday 10.30am-4.30pm

Tuesday - Saturday 10.00am-4.30pm

Sundays 10.30am-4.00pm

Or phone 01235 835125 for further information

Coffee Shop and ample free parking.



Country Markets Antiques & Collectables

Chilton Garden Centre

Newbury Road Didcot Oxfordshire OX11 0QN


12 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

Amanda Owen

The yorkshire Shepherdess

Tells us about her life in the Dales

Known to millions as The Yorkshire

Shepherdess, Amanda Owen is the author

of five best-selling books about her life

on Ravenseat ,one of the most remote

farms in the country, where she lives with

her husband Clive and nine children. She

currently stars in Channel 5’s popular TV

show Our Yorkshire Farm and her latest

book is Celebrating the Seasons includes

stories, recipes and photos from the farm

and is out now.

I understand that you had had no

previous links to farming, may I ask

how you became so involved in this line

of work?

I grew up in Huddersfield and no one in

my family is from a farming background.

I loved the James Herriot books when I

was a child, and watched the TV series.

Because of James Herriot I loved the idea

of being a vet, probably like most other

children of that era, but was told at school

that I was not academic enough to make

the grades. One day in the school library

I picked up a book called Hill Shepherd.

It was a photographic documentary of

hill farming in Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Reading that book was an epiphany for

me, the pictures of the hill shepherds on

the moors with the sheep made me realise

it was where I wanted to be. It ticked the

box of wanting to work with animals in

the countryside and importantly it also

ticked the rebellion box as it was so the

opposite of my townie life up until then.

Years later after I had married my husband

Clive, we realised that there was actually a

photograph of him in Hill Shepherd! So it’s

a very important book to me.

How did you learn your crafts? One of

the many things I learnt from your book

was how important it is to get the grass

in - in good time.

I started out as a farm hand, and then

moved on to being a contract shepherd,

working on different farms all over the

country. But really, I learnt everything as I

went along.

Most of my crafts came through natural

progression, learning to ride a horse

by riding it, learning to clip a sheep by

clipping my first one, learning to work a

dog, by taking the dog out with me for the

first time.

You can only learn what to do by doing it,

you have to get practical on the ground

experience. Nothing comes close to

learning how to be a shepherd, other than

actually doing the work of a shepherd and

it’s not just about learning about sheep,

it’s about learning about the land.

With the grass it starts with the sheep.

You’ve got to have your sheep in good

order - we grow hardy stock through the

winter, so it’s absolutely vital that you grow

your crop well, so they have food to eat

throughout the winter.

You enjoy sheep shearing - were you

nervous when you cut your first fleece?

Of course, but you know, you have to be

nervous in order to be any good at what

you’re doing. If you’re lambing sheep you

are dealing with nature first hand, but

there is no room for you to have time to

be nervous as you have to get on with the

job. It’s you alone in that moment and it’s

not optional to be nervous. That pressure

makes you work fast.

The first time I clipped, I would clip the

sheep while the professional shearers

were having their dinner, and they

would encourage me or discourage me

depending on what I was doing, and then

the more you do it you get faster. You

keep practicing and eventually you will

get there.

How do you spread yourself between

9 children - it must quite a noisy

household at times?

It is a noisy household. But we’re very

privileged to live where we do which

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 13

Join us as we talk with Amanda -

who loves life in the Yorkshire Dales

14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

means that there’s plenty of room for

everybody to get some space outside. I

enjoy the busyness and noise of family

life in the house. But I can get away from

it by walking out my front door. Plenty

of people can’t as they leave their front

door and if they live in a city, it’s still loud

and busy when they get out. We’re lucky

here to have the wide open spaces and

the kids spend a lot of time outdoors.

We’re working farm and that means that

everyone mucks in - no matter what

the age, it could be collecting hen’s

eggs, feeding the horses, or helping find

uniforms for everyone, also cooking. Real

dough is just as good as playdough and

the kids love learning to cook. The only

time when we all come together is tea time

at the farm, when we all come together to

eat, it’s my favourite time of day, when I

get to hear what everyone’s been up to on

the farm and school.

Your children must have a wonderful

time and appear to have no fears with

any of the animals. Do they each have a

special one?

I suppose they do. Quite a lot of the girls

loves the horses. Violet loves the cows,

she was excited recently that our pet cow,

Ciara has now come in from the fields.

Violet hand reared Ciara from a calf, so

she thinks she belongs inside the house

and doesn’t like the other cows. Miles is

very taken with the hens and his flock of

30 sheep. Through the winter and up to

lambing time Miles looks after his flock of

sheep after school. Sidney has his own

dog, Nell a sheep dog and she runs for

him, so that’s quite a big thing for a young

lad to be able to work his own sheep dog.

It’s a level up from being a pet. The terriers

are wonderful they are real characters,

they are source of frustration as they

will have fights with each other, or they

wander off from the farm to the local pub

quite a few miles away! The terriers, are

Chalky and Sprout, sadly we lost Pippin at

the beginning of lock down. Tony the pony

(pictured above right) is loved by Annas,

Clemmie and Nancy, they look after him,

feed him, brush him and ride him. They

also love the bigger horses Josie and

Princess. Princess is very good with the

kids and often two of them ride her around

the fields. They also like to take the horses

down to the river and give them a bath

and wash and comb their tails.

Will any of them follow in your


Yeah, I think so, at the moment Miles and

Sidney are very keen on farming and Edith

is a good shepherdess. That said I never

place any expectation on any of them

to follow me into being a farmer and a

shepherd. You don’t know where life will

take you. I’m not sitting here going: “I want

you to be a shepherd”, because life goes

through stages, and what you want to do

changes, so I’d rather they make their own

choices, they can do whatever they want

to do. It’s a difficult thing to ask a child

what they want to do with the rest of their

life. They’ll figure it out as they go along.

What is your favourite season and why?

Summer. But really I mean June. June is

my favourite month, because all the sheep

have had lambs and been turned back

out onto the moor and it’s before hay time

and clipping, so there’s a lull and a pause

in the farm work, and at the same time

everything comes to life - the flowers, the

birds on the moor. In June, the Curlews

are back, as are the Lapwings, Golden

Plover, Black Grouse. All you can hear

is birds, wherever you’re walking. There

are woodcock and snipe too - they are

all ground nesting birds up here on the

moor, so you get to see their nests as

well - and it’s just beautiful. The flowers

you see in June are marsh marigolds,

globe flowers, all the hay meadow

flowers, rare orchids - it’s really pretty.

What made you decide to write this

book? It is a delightful read and the

recipes are a treat….

Celebrating the Seasons, came about

because I wanted to answer some of the

most frequently ask questions, how do

you cater for such a big family? Tell us

about the practicalities? What do you

cook? It was really difficult selecting

recipes for the book. I wanted to include

forgiving recipes. Recipes that it was

totally fine to get distracted in the middle

of and would still turn out good. Recipes

that were achievable with the most

basic of ingredients, simple feel good

food, that was nutritionally good too. My

absolute favourite is the Tagine recipe,

it’s a people pleaser, for me its so easy

and the smell always brings everyone

to the kitchen - which is helpful! Every

time I cook it it’s different, sometimes

chick peas, sometimes wild rice, some

times couscous - it always comes out

slightly different each time. In addition

to the recipes, people have told me they

loved my photos and images of the farm

that I post on twitter and would always

suggest I do a photograph book. If you

go back to basics it was a photography

book - Hill Shepherd - that inspired me

to become a shepherd. So it’s nice to

go full circle. I know how inspiring a

photography book can be - how it can

really steer you and how a picture can

tell a thousand words. I really hope that

when people buy the book, that they

look at the pictures over and over again

and still find something new in them, as I

have with Hill Shepherd.

What would you like to tell our readers

about your life?

I want people to know that Celebrating

the Seasons is a book about going your

own way. It’s not a blueprint for how you

should live your life, it simply says this

is what we do as a family this is how we

do it, feel free to follow the recipes, or

do them your own way. I want people

to not let themselves to be stereotyped,

to know that all things are achievable if

you really want to do it. So many people

said you won’t have time to write a book,

you won’t achieve that. But I believe you

can do anything you just have to start

doing it. If you want to write a book,

start writing. I got an E in GCSE English,

and this is my fifth book. Anything is



the Seasons with The Yorkshire

Shepherdess by Amanda Owen by Pan

Macmillan, £20.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15

Dinner is served

Tasty recipes from Amanda Owen

Wild Mushroom Soup with

Wood Sorrel & Hazelnut Pesto

Prep time 10 minutes

Cooking time 35 minutes

Serves 4

2 tbsp Yorkshire rapeseed oil, plus extra for


1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, crushed or grated

450g wild mushrooms, such as yellow

chanterelle, roughly chopped

50ml Madeira or sweet sherry

850ml hot vegetable stock

3 sprigs fresh thyme

200ml double cream

1 tsp mushroom powder

Salt and black pepper


25g chopped toasted hazelnuts

1 small bunch wood sorrel

2 tbsp olive oil

10g Parmesan


Handful of wild mushrooms

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add

the onion and garlic and fry gently for 5

minutes, until softened but not coloured.

Next, add the mushrooms and fry on a

16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

medium heat for 8 minutes, until they are


Pour the Madeira over the mushrooms and

cook on a high heat for about a minute until

the alcohol evaporates.

Lower the heat and pour in the hot stock,

then add the sprigs of thyme. Bring to the

boil then cover and simmer gently for 20


Remove the pan from the heat, blitz with

a hand blender or in a liquidizer until the

soup is smooth. Return the soup to a clean

pan, stir in the cream and sprinkle over the

mushroom powder, then season the soup

and gently reheat over a low heat.

Meanwhile, place the pesto ingredients into

a small food processor and blitz for a few

seconds until combined. Add extra oil if the

pesto is a little thick and season to taste.

For the mushroom garnish, drizzle some

oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the

remaining mushrooms for a couple of

minutes until golden.

To serve, ladle the soup into warm bowls,

scatter over the whole fried mushrooms,

and top with a spoonful of pesto.


Try serving with homemade spelt bread.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine with

Jewelled Couscous

Prep time 15 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes

Serves 4


2 tbsp olive oil

600g lamb shoulder, diced

1 large onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tbsp hot smoked paprika

40g tomato purée

400g can cherry tomatoes

1 cinnamon stick

50g dried apricots, chopped

2 large pieces orange peel

285ml lamb stock

1 small bunch coriander, chopped

Jewelled couscous

200g couscous

200ml hot vegetable stock

1 red onion, chopped

100g pomegranate seeds

1 small bunch mint, leaves roughly chopped

1 small bunch coriander, chopped

3 spring onions

20g almonds, toasted

Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large

heatproof casserole dish, then add the

lamb and sear and brown on all sides for

about 5 minutes. Remove the lamb from

the casserole dish with a slotted spoon and

set aside.

Return the casserole dish to the heat and

add the remaining oil. When hot, add the

onion and fry gently for approximately 8

minutes until golden. Add the garlic and fry

for a further minute.

Sprinkle over the ground spices and stir

in the tomato purée then fry for a further

minute. Return the meat and any juices

to the pan with the remaining Tagine

ingredients (except the fresh coriander),

bring to the boil then cover with a lid and

transfer to the middle shelf of the oven.

Cook for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile, while the Tagine cooks, put the

couscous into a bowl and pour over the

hot vegetable stock. Cover the bowl tightly

with cling film and set aside for 10 minutes

until the couscous has absorbed the liquid.

Season the couscous, then stir through

the remaining ingredients, saving a few

almonds and herbs to garnish.

To serve the Tagine, remove the cinnamon

stick and check seasoning, then sprinkle

over the chopped coriander. Serve in warm

bowls with the jewelled couscous.


This recipe can also be cooked slowly in a

Tagine over a barbecue.

Festive Fayre


2 courses also available for £20.99

Available to pre book from the 9th November

until the 24th December or walk-in from

the 22nd November.

Any day can be made extra festive in the run up

to Christmas when you join us for our festive

menu. Start the festive season with cracker jokes

and crackling fires, and a 3-course set menu of

delicious starters, indulgent mains and posh puds,

plus pre-order your festive drinks package to make

your festive table complete!

Boxing Day


Available on 26th December

Whether it’s a second Christmas Day with

the other half of the family or you’re

planning the perfect end to a festive country

walk, our Boxing Day set menu will help

you relax and keep spending

precious time together.

​Carols by


Saturday 18th December 6pm

Our favourite event of the

year, all proceeds will be

donated to The British heart

foundation. Join us for an

evening of carols by the

wonderful Didcot Divas

supported this year by The

Abbey Brass Band.

Adults £8 Children £5

including mince pies, hot

chocolate or mulled wine.

Christmas Day


Barley Mow


Abingdon OX14 3EH

01865 407847




Available exclusively on the 25th December

It’s the most wonderful day of the year and our specially designed menu

will let you all sit down and relax together (without you having to put in

any of the hard work in the kitchen). Begin with a toast with a

complimentary glass of Prosecco, then eat and be merry, rounding

your meal off with our selection of petit fours.


with Santa

Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th,

Saturday 11th and Sunday

12th 9.30am - 11.30am

Why not treat the little ones

to breakfast this Christmas,

with our resident elves and

a visit from Santa where he

will give your child a gift.

£10 per child including

breakfast, a drink and a

gift. Adults dine from our

regular brunch menu.

Advanced booking only.

And time for pudding...

More tasty recipes from Amanda Owen

Rhubarb & Custard Crumble Cake

Prep time 15 minutes

Cooking time 40 minutes

Serves 4-6


250g Yorkshire rhubarb, cut into 2cm


50g caster sugar


50g plain flour

25g butter, cut into cubes

40g chopped mixed nuts

25g demerara sugar


170g butter, softened, plus extra for


85g caster sugar

85g soft brown sugar

3 medium eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

170g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

30g custard powder

Icing sugar to dust

Custard to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas

Grease and line a 21cm round spring-form

cake tin.

Put the rhubarb into a saucepan and

sprinkle over the caster sugar. Heat very

gently until the sugar dissolves into a syrup.

Simmer for 6–8 minutes until the rhubarb

just begins to soften. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile make the crumble. Place the

flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the

butter with your fingertips until it resembles

breadcrumbs, then stir in the chopped nuts

and sugar.

Next make the cake. Beat the butter, caster

sugar and soft brown sugar in a bowl using

an electric mixer for 2–3 minutes, until light

and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract

with 2 tablespoons of the flour, beat for

a minute until combined, then fold in the

remaining flour, baking powder and custard


Drain any excess juices from the rhubarb

and discard the syrup, then gently fold the

18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

cooled rhubarb through the cake mixture.

Transfer the cake batter to the prepared tin

and gently smooth the top with a spatula.

Sprinkle the crumble over the cake and

press down lightly with the back of a spoon,

then bake on the middle shelf of the oven

for 40 minutes, until the cake is golden, firm

to touch, and when a skewer is inserted it

comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the

cake tin, then transfer to a plate.

Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving

warm with custard.


Also delicious served with ice cream or

single cream.

Hedgerow Nutty Crumble

Prep time 10 minutes

Cooking time 40 minutes

Serves 4

Fruit filling

40g butter

40g golden caster sugar

2 Braeburn apples, peeled and sliced

200g Bramley apples, peeled and sliced

300g foraged berries or any mixed berries,

such as blackberries and wild raspberries

Crumble topping

125g plain flour

85g unsalted butter, diced

85g demerara sugar

50g rolled oats

30g chopped toasted hazelnuts

Custard or ice cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.

For the fruit filling, melt the butter in a

pan, add the sugar and apples and gently

simmer for 5 minutes. Add the berries and

simmer for 2 minutes, then transfer to a

23cm round oven-proof dish.

Meanwhile prepare the crumble topping.

Put the flour into a mixing bowl and rub

in the butter with your fingertips, until the

mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir

in the sugar, oats and hazelnuts.

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the

fruit, then place the dish on the middle

shelf of the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes,

until the crumb is golden and fruit


Allow to cool slightly before serving with

custard or ice cream.


Try using other seasonal fruits such as

damsons or gooseberries.






Party nights include:

- Christmas buffet

- DJ and disco

- Christmas decorations

- Complimentary night stay

for 2 with breakfast for the booker

(Only applicable on bookings of 20 guests or more

and subject to availability)

A whole lot of information

in one little square.

To reserve your place

or for further information,

call us on 01235 425 570 or email



Hilton Garden Inn Abingdon Oxford,

Marcham Road, Abingdon-on-Thames,

Oxfordshire, OX14 1TZ

Terms and conditions apply.

Scan Me

Order your Turkeys

& Christmas Meat

The Old Farm Shop

We are a family-run business,

producing good quality fruit &

vegetables, excellent free-range eggs

and great meat.

Veggie Boxes

We deliver to your door free of

charge on a Friday within a

15 mile radius.

It contains all seasonal fruit and veg

from cabbage, cauliflower, leeks,

broccoli, salad, fruit (apples, plums,

rhubarb & soft fruit) and you get

your basics each time - potatoes,

onions, carrots and 6 free range eggs.

Great Value!

£15 Family Box

or a £10 Couple/Single Box

Extras can always be added to your

delivery including meat, cheese,

bread, quiches and jams. Give us a

call to find out more.

Harwell, Abingdon,

Oxfordshire, OX13 6AG


01235 831247



Opening times

Lunch: Tues – Sat 12 – 2.30pm

Dinner: Mon – Sat 6.30 – 10.30pm

Closed on Sunday

We are now taking

Christmas party bookings!

Call Salvatore on

01235 – 530900

13 Ock Street, Abingdon,

Oxfordshire OX14 5AL


www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19

Waitrose & Partners No.1 Dry Aged Sirloin of Beef Roasting Joint

Rubbed with French wet salt, sea salt and three types of pepper, and served bone-in for a more intense flavour.



Gifts for gardeners and the garden too!

Matt Biggs, the gardening expert, gives us some excellent ideas on Christmas presents for your

green-fingered friends...

It is that time of the year again, only this year hopefully we can be

with our loved ones and celebrate Christmas as we want to.

Whilst the past 18 months have been difficult and challenging for

so many of us, one good result is the interest in gardening that

spending so much time at home has created.

Bee-keeping is a great hobby -

and there is no better way to help

nature than to help our bees -

check out local bee keeping clubs

and societies - and do buy local

honey too!

New gardeners, born again gardeners, there are many ideas to

bring a Christmas morning smile - so here are a few, and not only

good for gardeners but good for the garden too.

Horticulture courses - from the RHS courses to local college

courses and even garden club activities, there are many ways to

learn from those in the know - and gardeners are great sharers.

The gift of a course, a membership or a good book is a great way

to encourage budding gardeners and assist those who want to

fulfil a gardening wish.

Older people who can no longer garden may be able to do a little

more in their gardens if the beds are raised so that they can sit and

garden or do so from a wheelchair . If housebound, planting a small

but beautiful tree or shrub so that it can be seen from the house is a

great idea, and a bird feeding station will offer hours of entertainment

and be great for the birds too!

From locally made hand creams and soaps to really good tools,

books, vouchers for the local garden centre and bird tables there

is plenty to keep a gardener happy - and give nature a bit of a

hand too!

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 21








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.



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.




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, decorative

drapery. Shutters give a lovely secure feel

to a space and really finish the room.



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.



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



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.




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.



Kit the room out with either fresh flowers,

a reed diffuser, or room sprays. Pillow

spray to help deep sleep is also a lovely

touch to make the space feel homely - we

love Olverum’s new Restful Pillow Sleep

Mist, £25, olverum.com



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

of that.

If you’re looking for a total decorative

overhaul, check out our moodboards!


22 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

Want more time to enjoy your garde

this Summer? Fit COLOURFENCE.

Brown Cream Blue Green

Despite many coats of

However, every cloud has a

Forget fence worries for good.

preservative, the

fence in our front

ColourFence. It looks great,

Choose 25 years maintenance free metal fencing*. Choose Unique ColourFence GUARANTEE

Virtually, maintenance FREE for 25 years*

No warp, crack, shrink, rot or peel

Withstands gusts up to 130mph




Time is precious. So is your personal outdoor space.

That’s why more and more people are turning to

ColourFence. For not only is ColourFence beautiful

to look at. But it requires virtually no effort to keep

its good looks year after year after year. In fact,

ColourFence is guaranteed for 25 years. Guaranteed

not to warp, crack, shrink, rot or peel. For 25 years,

you’ll be free from the drudgery and expense of

laborious fence maintenance, painting and repairs.

Free to enjoy the pleasure of your garden and a

fence that’s always easy on the eye. There is a

good choice of design and colour options to create

the setting that you desire. ColourFence will even

withstand windgusts of up to 130mph. Making it,

probably, the world’s best maintenance-free fence.

Competitive pricing, easy payment plans and free

no-obligation quotes are all part of the service.

To see the full ColourFence range, including

ColourSheds, and receive your free copy of the

Good Fence Guide, freephone us today. It makes

sense to choose ColourFence.

structure of the wooden

garden rotted, and a

recent storm sent it off

down the road, thankfully

missing the neighbour’s car.

Why choose anything else?

† Hose down several times a year – terms & conditions apply.

*Participating locations only, see website for details.

A choice of styles and colours



To receive your FREE


no-obligation quote – FREEPHONE

Professional installation

Established in the UK for 15 years

For a free, no-obligation quote, find out more via:

0800 644 4113


01865 703 316 | colourfenceoxford.co.uk

*T&C’s apply – see website for details

Guaranteed † not to warp,

crack, shrink, rot or peel

Professionally installed to

withstand wind gusts of up

to 130mph

No painting or repairs

for 25 years

Maintenance free until

2046 †

No treatment costs

4 mix and match colours

and a choice of styles and


silver lining, and we couldn’t

be more pleased with our new

and we are looking forward to

years of summers with no fence

paint or algae treatments.

Mr & Mrs P. Glamorgan






To see the full


range, including


contact us today!


All installations

conducted in

accordance with

Govt. guidelines


send me











www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 23

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.

£170.99, www.truelinen.co.uk

Limestone Wood Paint, £18

750ml, thorndown.co.uk

Dar Lighting

NUS422, from £82,


Furn Contra Olive Cushion,

£25, www.persora.com

London Bench, from £499,


Mala Pile Rug,

200x290cm, £299,


Reims, Iron/Metal Four Poster Bed Frame, from

£649, www.obc-uk.net

Black Bud Vase, £29,


Achieve this look by

layering different

neutral textures, and

adding structural

touches of black and a

few strong accent colours

Juna Striped

Cushion, £34,


24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

Pembridge Pendant

Size 3, £1319,




Dulux Paint in ‘Paper Chain’

Natural Ceramic Table Lamp,


Kilby Bedside

Table, £229,


Design by Studio McGee

Fingal 3 Seat

Sofa, £1210,


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,

£599, made.com

Elowen Throw,

£75, hauslife.co.uk

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25

Century 1 Light

Chandelier in Rich

Auerelia Gold with Clear

Heritage Crystal, £906.12,


Design by Turner Pocock

Clemence Mirror, £174,


So’Home Lamp,

£139, laredoute.co.uk

Rustic Apricot Blossom

Wallpaper, £44 for 10m

roll, litfad.com



Porthallow Footstool, from

£746, sofasandstuff.com

Botticelli Demi Lune

Console Table, £495,


Country Living Linen

Pom Pom Cushion, £20,


Estella Headboard from £545,


400cm Core-Edo

Coordonne mural, £470,


26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

Wooden Ice Lolly Plate, £18.99,




Decorations, from left to right:

Glass Glitter Bauble, £7, hauslife.co.uk; Ice Cream Four Decroation Set,

£15.50, coxandcox.co.uk; Felt Dalmation, £9, sophieallport.co.uk; Glass

Toucan, £6 and Glass Bunny Tail Grass Filled Bauble £7, hauslife.co.uk

Lights and LED Candles

from lights4fun.co.uk

Wooden Stag Head

Bunting, £5.99,


Extra Large Zinc Lined Rattan Planter, £85

Open Log Carrier Basket, £38

Mixed Eucalyptus Berry Wreath, £85

All marquisanddawe.co.uk

Sausage Dog Placecard, £3.99 for six, gingerray.co.uk;

Christmas Dogs Nibbles Bowl, £13, sophieallport.com

28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk

The Parsley Box Garden

Alan Williams discusses the ideas behind

his Chelsea garden

First-time Chelsea designer, Alan Williams,

(pictured right) presented his Parsley Box

Garden at the recent flower show.

The garden is designed as a place to

entertain friends in, to dine and relax, as well

as providing food for thought on the Parsley

Box mission to challenge the stereotype of


Alan, 38, who splits his time between

Burlingham in Worcestershire and Windsor,

Surrey, said: “This whole experience

still feels like a ‘pinch me’ moment. I

can’t quite believe that I can now count

myself amongst the few people that can

call themselves Chelsea Flower Show


“Even though the first time we spoke about

this garden was just over five months ago,

it’s been something that I’ve been dreaming

of since I got bitten by the show garden bug

back in 2014.

“When I was asked to design this garden

one of the things in the brief was to create

a space that was more than somewhere to

just entertain in. It needed to be a place that

would inspire, a place where fresh ideas

are sown that challenge the stereotype of

ageing - another theme that I wove through

the design as part of my brief.

“Ageism is one of the most accepted

prejudices and, one that has been brought

to my attention through my sponsor. Parsley

Box challenge the ageing stereotype and

they wanted a garden that would do the

same. I chose to reference this subtly

through the design and materials but also

by creating a garden that was accessible for

all generations.”

Alan has created a fresh and contemporary

garden providing inspiration on how to cook

and socialise within a relatively small area.

With this premise of self-sustainability at

the heart of the garden, the borders will

be brimming with edibles to forage and

ferment as well as home-grown vegetables

to bring flavour to dishes while minimising

food waste.

Fragrant herbs, edible flowers and

perennials will also feature in the borders,

adding texture and dimension to the

garden. Various trees provide height and

scale, Arbutus unedo, Malus ‘Evereste’,

espalier fruit trees and Cornus kousa.

A custom made outdoor kitchen area with

a green wall and storage sits at the edge of

the garden.

Planting will spill from tiered planters

constructed in aged brass. These planters

enable the garden to be accessible to

all generations whilst adding a sense of

abundance in nature and serving as a

boundary to the space.

The materials used in the garden have

been carefully selected to subtly bring the

conversation around ageing to the fore.

The brass planters are specifically aged to

allude to maturing with grace and beauty,

contemporary slick concrete structures

reference the stability of firm foundations

and reclaimed wood hints at the fluidity of

changes in identity throughout life.

Parsley Box was founded in 2017 by

Gordon and Adrienne MacAulay following

the couple’s discovery of limited options for

delivery of ready meals for Gordon’s mother.

The company provides a growing range of

quick, simple and nutritious ambient ready

meals which require no refrigeration and

have a shelf life of up to six months.


www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29

TONIQ On Demand


We caught up with personal trainer Arron Collins-Thomas to find out about his new

online fitness offering, expanded from his very successful gym TONIQ...

Your gym, with its fully-rounded approach to health and

lifestyle, has made national news for its incredible client

results – what will the app offer?

At TONIQ we recognise that good health is more than just

regular workouts, it encompasses taking care of every aspect

of your body. We have created a solution where everything from

nutrition, mindfulness, amazing workouts, yoga and more is

available with guidance from fantastic trainers and experts in

one place.

Not only this, but as part of TOD you have access to your own

coach, ensuring that you have someone you can speak to, to

keep you on track and accountable as well as supporting you


We have had some incredible results over the past few years at

TONIQ and we want to be able to bring those results to more

people. With the app we aim to give anyone, anywhere in the

world, a taste of the TONIQ-life.

As a TONIQ On Demand member you get to join the incredible

community online, have access to our on demand workouts as

well as live workouts, Q&As and educational talks. We have an

incredible coaching team with a huge array of skills to bring to

you including yoga, qigong, nutrition and mindfulness.

The main workouts are written based on what we are up to at

TONIQ in any given training block and a new phase of workouts

launches every 6 weeks on the app as well as regular bonus

content to keep the training varied and inspiring.

Can you get a good experience with online coaching?

Are you accountable and is it personalised?

With TOD you have a designated TONIQ coach who you speak

to on a one to one basis. When you first sign up with us you

will have a call to help you set up your accountability sheets,

help you curate your workout schedule and set you on the

right nutrition plan for you. Then every month you get another

call with your coach to help keep you on track and answer any

questions you may have. Accountability is key if you really want

to get results and that is one of the reasons why TONIQ has

been so successful.

Are the classes accessible no matter your fitness level?

Some of us are self-conscious about going to the gym or

nervous in COVID times.

No matter what your levels of fitness we can help you. Our

expert coach will advise what level to start at for you and

how hard to push yourself in the first consultation you have

with them. It will be based around your fitness and any health

concerns, so you can feel secure in the fact that you won’t be

over training or causing yourself any harm by taking part in our


For people who aren’t ready for the gym again yet or who are

self conscious TONIQ On Demand is the perfect choice. You get

personal trainer support and expert written workouts, all from

the comfort of your own home.

You also get to join a great online community who share their

experiences and help support each other to get the results they




Join our community from anywhere, at anytime with

TONIQ on Demand, our app gives you access to:

Personalised plans developed with expert coaches.

Nutrition plans based on your needs and goals.

Monthly 121 check in calls with an expert coach.

Extensive library of classes including SWEAT, STRONGER,


Visit TONIQLIFE.COM to find out more



Gears is a full swing club and body

tracking system used by PGA pros,

club fitters, and club manufacturers to

measure and analyse every nuance of a

swing, in full 3D, from address to followthrough.


Tel: 01235 550607

Drayton Park Golf Course, Steventon Road,

Drayton, Oxfordshire, OX14 4LA

Your hearing is as

important as

your vision...

Isn’t it time you

got your

ears checked?



• Ear wax advice and removal

• Full audiological assessment

• In the ear monitors

• Repair & servicing

• High specification hearing instruments

• Personalised Hearing Healthcare

• Custom made noise reducing ear plugs

• Bluetooth connectivity/transmitting systems

contact directly to smart phones and TV.

TO FIND OUT MORE CALL: 01865 861861

Email: info@oxfordhearingcentre.co.uk | oxfordhearingcentre.co.uk

Oxford Hearing Centre, 5 Farmoor Court, Farmoor, Oxford OX2 9LU

Open Monday - Friday, 9am to 5.30pm FREE PARKING

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