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.
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.
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
Key Account Manager Marcus Hawke
d/l 01225 984505
Editor Katie Thomson
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
MINERVA PUBLICATIONS HQ
Unit 21c, Paxcroft Farm, Hilperton
Trowbridge BA14 6JB
t 01225 984 550
visit our website www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Disclaimer: The publishers shall not be held liable for any loss occasioned by failure of an
advertisement to appear, or any damage or inconvenience caused by errors, omissions and
misprints. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission from the
publishers. The opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of the publishers.
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
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
a box! Worth
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
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’
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.
T&Cs available online. Closes
15/01/2022 - Competition keyword
Competition keyword ‘ELIZA’
4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
N O W O N L I N E
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
Oxford OX2 7JN
01865 319 450
STERLING SILVER AND GOLD
VERMEIL JEWELLERY WITH
SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES -
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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
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
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
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
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
BACTERIAL, VIRAL & FUNGAL
Yet skin pH Neutral, Gentle to Skin
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
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
PROMO CODE: LEUCILLINTOTHERESCUE
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.
TEA ADVENT CALENDAR,
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.
PORK CRACKLING& BEER
Three delicious flavours of pork
scratching, paired with three
specially brewed beers - perfect
if you’re more on the
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
ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE
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
VERY MERRY CALENDAR, £45,
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
8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Get into the
festive spirit at
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!
01793 821303 | www.barnescoaches.co.uk
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
Cashmere Socks, £32,
Candle Discovery Set,
ESPA Jewels of Nature Collection, £195
(Worth £365), espaskincare.com
Soft Hot Water
the skin and
in Emerald, £179,
Merino Scarf, £90,
Mulo Slippers in Blue Corduroy,
BeGlow Tia All-In-One
Sonic Skincare System,
Eco Sports Cloak
Long Sleeve, £119.95,
The Micro Explorer
18 mile range,
Men 5 Step
Andrée Jardin Sneaker Care Kit,
Off White Sneakers,
10 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Kaloo Lapinoo Rabbit,
Babygrow Set, £45,
Artie Max, £110,
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond +
Shining Pearl (Nintendo Switch),
Nila Nepp Top,
£22 and Kieran
Joggers, £28, both
Luigi Starter Course
Currently priced at
in a host
WHEN THEY HAVE EVERYTHING
Le Creuset Evolution
Oval Deep Teal Casserole
Currently priced at £241,
Cuisinart Precision Stand Mixer,
Hand-Sliced Side of
Smoked Salmon, £54.95,
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.
COUNTRY MARKETS ANTIQUES
AND COLLECTABLES CENTRE
Looking for something different
for your home?
Why not pay us a visit at Chilton
Garden Centre for a Cornucopia
of gift ideas
Tuesday - Saturday 10.00am-4.30pm
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes
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
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
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.
3 COURSE SET MENU £22.99
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!
3 COURSE SET MENU £29.99
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.
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.
Abingdon OX14 3EH
3 COURSE SET MENU, PETIT FOURS
AND A GLASS OF PROSECCO £69.99
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.
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
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
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
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
Hedgerow Nutty Crumble
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes
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
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.
WE HAVE EXTENDED CHRISTMAS
JOIN US THIS JANUARY
ONLY £25 PER PERSON
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.
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.
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.
£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.
Oxfordshire, OX13 6AG
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
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
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
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 21
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
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.
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. 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
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!
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.
fence in our front
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REPAIRS FOR 25 YEARS!
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
GOOD FENCE GUIDE and
no-obligation quote – FREEPHONE
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
No painting or repairs
for 25 years
Maintenance free until
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
contact us today!
BLACK CAPITALS PLEASE
TELEPHONE NUMBER (To con
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.
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
24 | 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,
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,
Rustic Apricot Blossom
Wallpaper, £44 for 10m
Porthallow Footstool, from
Botticelli Demi Lune
Console Table, £495,
Country Living Linen
Pom Pom Cushion, £20,
Estella Headboard from £545,
Coordonne mural, £470,
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
Wooden Stag Head
Extra Large Zinc Lined Rattan Planter, £85
Open Log Carrier Basket, £38
Mixed Eucalyptus Berry Wreath, £85
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
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
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
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
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
TONIQ ON DEMAND
MORE THAN A WORKOUT
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,
BURN and CHILL.
Visit TONIQLIFE.COM to find out more
3D GOLF TUITION
TAKEN TO THE NEXT LEVEL!
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.
BOOK YOUR LESSON NOW!
Tel: 01235 550607
Drayton Park Golf Course, Steventon Road,
Drayton, Oxfordshire, OX14 4LA
Your hearing is as
Isn’t it time you
• 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: firstname.lastname@example.org | oxfordhearingcentre.co.uk
Oxford Hearing Centre, 5 Farmoor Court, Farmoor, Oxford OX2 9LU
Open Monday - Friday, 9am to 5.30pm FREE PARKING