Wealden Times | WT258 | November 2023 | Christmas Gift Supplement inside

The lifestyle magazine for Kent & Sussex - Inspirational Interiors, Fabulous Fashion, Delicious Dishes

The lifestyle magazine for Kent & Sussex - Inspirational Interiors, Fabulous Fashion, Delicious Dishes


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NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

258<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

CHRISTMAS GIFT SUPPLEMENT <strong>inside</strong><br />

Inspirational Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes

jminteriorsuk.uk<br />

Please email or call to make a showroom appointment<br />

2<br />

info@jminteriorsuk.uk 01580 291221<br />

JMInteriorsWT254.indd All Pages


JMade Designing in Biddenden and handcrafting by a kitchens family business since 1994<br />

3<br />

09/06/<strong>2023</strong> 10:40:54


KITCHEN spirit<br />



50 LONDON ROAD, TN13 1AS<br />

01732 454282 | NOLTE-KITCHENS.CO.UK

Contents<br />

<strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

10<br />

17<br />

21<br />

26<br />

47<br />

48<br />

26<br />


Dream homes on the market<br />


Upcoming events for your diary<br />


Keep up-to-date with the latest<br />

must-see and must-have goodies<br />


A surprising oast house<br />

with a Mexican twist<br />


Learn how to effortlessly<br />

blend cultures and styles<br />


Explore photographer Mel Smith’s<br />

new studio and living space<br />

94<br />

96<br />

104<br />

109<br />

111<br />

96<br />


Rebecca Cuffe edits evening<br />

wear with bow embellishments<br />


Beautifully crafted recipes<br />

from The Union Rye’s<br />

Head Chef Maz Cogo<br />


Josephine Fairley explains<br />

why it’s time to expand<br />

your scent wardrobe<br />


Sarah Maxwell’s tips<br />

for a stronger core<br />


Charlotte Lau explores the<br />

health benefits of salmon<br />

116<br />

121<br />

123<br />

125<br />

130<br />

48<br />


Sue Whigham explores an<br />

inspirational project headed up by<br />

Syrian bee expert Dr. Ryad Alsous<br />


Get to know Cranbrook School’s<br />

new head, David Clark<br />


Explore the potential benefits<br />

of financial planning<br />

WHAT’S ON?<br />

From pantos to courses, find out...<br />


Jane Howard focuses in on<br />

the health of her flock<br />

65<br />

93<br />


Learn how to be inventive<br />

and thrifty like Mel<br />


Festive fashion picks<br />

112<br />


Jo Arnell shares her expertise to help<br />

your plants ride out harsh winters<br />

and baking summers in the garden<br />

Published by Priceless Media Ltd. Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street,<br />

Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF | Call 01580 714705 | Email info@priceless-group.com<br />

Visit priceless-group.com Copyright © <strong>2023</strong> Priceless Media Ltd. The views of the<br />

advertisers & contributors are not necessarily those of Priceless Media Ltd.<br />


GIFT<br />


24 pages of<br />

fabulous festive<br />

inspiration.<br />

From page 67.<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong>s<br />

5<br />

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54 | SEPTEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | SO Magazine SO Magazine | SEPTEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | 55<br />

44 High Street<br />

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54 | SEPTEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | SO Magazine SO Magazine | SEPTEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | 55<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


From the<br />

Editor<br />

As I write it’s mid-October and over 20 degrees,<br />

but <strong>Christmas</strong> is approaching at pace and this issue<br />

comes with its very own <strong>Gift</strong> Guide to help you get<br />

all your ducks in a row! Browse gifts from teeny to<br />

statement with our themed shopping pages that cater<br />

for everyone, from animal lovers to jewellery magpies,<br />

children to avid gardeners, alongside a rundown of<br />

gorgeous decorations and excellent advent calendars.<br />

Combine this with a day out at our Midwinter Fair<br />

(16-18th <strong>November</strong> at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood<br />

wealdentimes-fair.co.uk) and you’re onto a winner!<br />

Over the next few pages, two really unusual homes<br />

are ready to be explored at your leisure. Photographer<br />

David Merewether and I loved the unique differences<br />

in each – from the noteworthy conversion and<br />

decoration of our first home, an oast in Surrey, to<br />

the upcycling genius of photographer Mel Smith,<br />

where not a piece of old wood was left without a<br />

new purpose in his studio and living space.<br />

Cosy is key this month, and our choice of autumn<br />

recipes are sure to satisfy that craving for<br />

home-cooked comfort food for the chillier<br />

season and longer evenings. Plus, be<br />

sure to check out our event pages for<br />

some fun-filled family events to fill<br />

your diary with over the festive season.<br />

Enjoy your Priceless magazine<br />



Priceless Team<br />

EditorLucy Fleming<br />

<strong>Supplement</strong>s & Features EditorRebecca Cuffe<br />

Sub Editor & Features Writer Emily Pavey<br />

Design & Production DirectorAnthony Boxall<br />

Sales ManagersLisa Gordon-Hughes<br />

Maria Hurley<br />

Senior Account ManagerSarah Norwood<br />

Account ExecutiveMarnie Newman<br />

Sales & Marketing Executive Zoe Parrish<br />

<strong>Wealden</strong> <strong>Times</strong> Show Director Flo Simpson<br />

Events Manager Liz Miles<br />

Events Sales Director Jude Brown<br />

Financial ControllerStephen Hunt<br />

Accounts Sarah Davies<br />

Nicola O’Leary<br />

Social Media ManagerCharlotte Lau<br />

Managing DirectorVivien Cotterill-Lee<br />

Executive Chairman Julie Simpson<br />

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& Interiors<br />

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Boundaries<br />

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Stone Cross<br />

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Tenterden<br />

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Agents<br />

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Hotel<br />

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House Interiors<br />

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Ticehurst<br />

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Tonbridge<br />

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Tunbridge Wells<br />

• Fenwick<br />

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Residential<br />

• Notcutts<br />

• Rencraft<br />

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• Truffle<br />

Wadhurst<br />

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Westerham<br />

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International<br />

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• Staplehurst<br />

• Tonbridge<br />

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Wells<br />

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9<br />




Ashford &<br />

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01580 242925<br />

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Ashford&CranbrookRoofingWT248.indd 1 30/11/2022 17:50

House<br />

Month<br />

of the<br />

£2,500,000<br />

- £2,750,000<br />

Damien Pestell picks his favourite<br />

homes on the market<br />

Cowden<br />

The dream: A stunning<br />

architectural home as<br />

impressive outside as it<br />

is within. Awash with<br />

natural light and full of<br />

large welcoming spaces,<br />

the property is set against<br />

the picturesque backdrop<br />

of the Kent countryside.<br />

Where: The village of<br />

Cowden, just a stone’s throw<br />

from both the Surrey and<br />

West Sussex borders and<br />

close to the local towns<br />

of Edenbridge, Tunbridge<br />

Wells and East Grinstead.<br />

Setting: On the outskirts<br />

of the village.<br />

Beds: 4 Baths: 5<br />

Special features: The<br />

wonderful double-height<br />

atrium is the stand out<br />

feature of the house, stretching<br />

the height of the building<br />

through the first floor landing.<br />

Pleasing details: The<br />

fully-equipped gym, games<br />

room and state-of-the-art<br />

cinema cater to every facet<br />

of high-end modern living.<br />

Outside: The acre plot<br />

is a haven of tranquility<br />

and seclusion and comes<br />

with the option to acquire<br />

an additional 8 acres.<br />

Time to town: From<br />

Cowden station, just two<br />

miles away, to London<br />

Victoria in 56 minutes.<br />

Agent: Maison Partnership<br />

0333 242 3292<br />

maisonpartnership.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com 10

Laddingford<br />

£1,395,000<br />

The dream: This beautiful 5 bedroom<br />

detached house provides spacious and<br />

well presented accommodation that<br />

is perfect for the family buyer.<br />

Where: Laddingford is a delightful hamlet<br />

with an award-winning public house,<br />

located just over 1.5 miles from Yalding.<br />

Setting: In a secluded yet central village location.<br />

Beds: 5 Baths: 3<br />

Special features: Period features are tastefully<br />

woven throughout the property – from exposed<br />

beams to oak floors, there has been a real desire<br />

to preserve the heritage of the building.<br />

Pleasing details: The accommodation is spread<br />

across the three roundels and the adjoining rooms,<br />

meaning that each room has a very different feel.<br />

Outside: The large plot, spanning an impressive<br />

2.3 acres, comprises rolling lawns, mature trees,<br />

paddocks and well-maintained gardens alongside<br />

a swimming pool and extensive outbuildings,<br />

including a barn, garage, and stables.<br />

Time to town: Paddock Wood is just<br />

3.1 miles away with mainline services to<br />

London Charing Cross in under an hour.<br />

Agent: Maddisons Residential<br />

01892 514100 maddisonsresidential.co.uk<br />

Cranbrook<br />

£900,000<br />

The dream: A charming late Georgian<br />

townhouse with later Victorian<br />

additions, owned for several generations<br />

by the town’s millers, whose names<br />

are inscribed into the brickwork.<br />

Where: The sought-after town of<br />

Cranbrook, just a short drive from<br />

Tenterden and Tunbridge Wells.<br />

Setting: In the heart of the town,<br />

underneath the iconic Union Windmill.<br />

Beds: 4 Baths: 2<br />

Special features: The pretty dining room<br />

with original Georgian bullet fireplace,<br />

deep original cupboards and a study area,<br />

has direct access to the rear garden.<br />

Pleasing details: Brick steps lead<br />

down to a useful cellar, ideal for<br />

storage and lit by natural light.<br />

Outside: A pretty walled courtyard garden to<br />

the rear complements the private front garden<br />

which has off-road parking for two cars.<br />

Time to town: From Staplehurst station,<br />

a 10 minute drive away, to London<br />

Charing Cross in 50 minutes.<br />

Agent: Savills 01580 720161 savills.com<br />

11<br />



At Blake Gardens you could save thousands with<br />

Matthew’s Affordable Tailored Help Scheme, devised<br />

with incentives that can be tailored to best suit you.<br />

Options could include part exchange and contributions towards fees<br />

like stamp duty, mortgage repayments and many more. Using just<br />

one of these offers would save you thousands of pounds!<br />







PRICES START FROM: £350,000<br />

Contact us today to discuss which options are best for you.<br />

01795 515155<br />

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*This scheme is subject to conditions. Please ask the sales team for more information and eligibility<br />

requirements. Incentives can vary from site to site and plot to plot and can be withdrawn at any time.

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Time for a move?<br />

If moving home is one of your New Year’s resolutions,<br />

look no further than Batcheller Monkhouse. We sell and<br />

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Haywards Heath<br />

01444 453181<br />

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Pulborough<br />

01798 872081<br />

sales@batchellermonkhouse.com<br />

Tunbridge Wells<br />

01892 512020<br />


M<br />

Y<br />

Y<br />


Notebook<br />

Take note! We’ve rounded up the best<br />

of what to see and do near you<br />

istockphoto.com/ RomanOkopny / mfto / chaiwarin<br />

Light Fantastic<br />

Looking for brilliant ideas for festive outings this season? You won’t want<br />

to miss the spectacular <strong>Christmas</strong> Lights at picture-perfect Leeds Castle<br />

from 24th <strong>November</strong> until 31st December, brought to you by Sony<br />

Music and created by Culture Creative. Prepare to be wowed by<br />

new installations as well as some previously seen favourites as you<br />

wander through the magical trail. Appearing for the first time this<br />

year is Loomaland’s hypnotic Cygnus, whilst other mesmerising<br />

new features include 12 days of <strong>Christmas</strong> by North Devon<br />

artist Woody Fox and Heart Walk by Cristina Ottonello.<br />

Chandelier Walk, by Crescent Moon Events, is a series of<br />

beautifully designed chandeliers delicately suspended in the<br />

trees, whilst Squidsoup’s Feast of Light features immersive,<br />

glowing strings filled with all the colours of the rainbow.<br />

You can also catch a glimpse of Father <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

along the way and enjoy some festive snacks.<br />

It’s well worth booking early to secure<br />

your chosen date and time.<br />

christmaslightsatleedscastle.seetickets.com<br />

Winter<br />

Wonderland<br />

It’s time to wrap up warm, get outdoors<br />

and blow away the cobwebs with<br />

National Trust this month. If you’re<br />

keen to get the family out in the fresh<br />

air head to Claremont Landscape<br />

Gardens for The Snow Queen family<br />

trail between 25th <strong>November</strong> and 2nd<br />

January. Explore the magical installations<br />

reflecting scenes from the story with<br />

activities along the way (normal<br />

charges apply) nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/<br />

surrey/claremont-landscape-garden.<br />

Or how about the Winter Welly Wander<br />

at Winkworth from 16th December to<br />

3rd January. Pick up a trail sheet at the<br />

welcome kiosk and play a range of wellybased<br />

games for some rosy-cheeked fun.<br />

£2 per child plus normal admission.<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/surrey/<br />

winkworth-arboretum<br />

ALL THE<br />


Taywell Farmshop in<br />

Goudhurst will be holding<br />

The Spirit of <strong>Christmas</strong> on 24th<br />

<strong>November</strong> from noon until 7pm. Visit<br />

their local stockists and sample plenty of<br />

tasty produce. All sorts of delicious festive<br />

delights will be on offer and you’ll be<br />

able to get your <strong>Christmas</strong> sorted by<br />

ordering hampers, turkeys and all the<br />

trimmings. Bespoke and corporate<br />

hampers will be made to order by<br />

the Taywell Hamper Co. who also<br />

supply picnic hampers all year round.<br />

taywellfarm.co.uk<br />

17<br />


The wonderfully<br />

welcoming Ceramic Studio<br />

in Brenchley will be hosting a Makers<br />

Market on 3rd December from 10am until<br />

4pm. The market is a brilliant opportunity to<br />

support small, local business and makers, giving<br />

visitors the chance to meet the people that make the<br />

products. As well as the market stalls there will be<br />

live music from The Fireflies and a complimentary<br />

glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. Contact<br />

the studio if you’d like to have a stall.<br />

theceramicstudio.co.uk<br />

make it fun<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> Present<br />

Celebrate the best of Surrey’s artists and artisans<br />

and shop a huge range of interesting and one-off<br />

gifts. West Horsley Place (location of the genius<br />

BBC comedy Ghosts), will host the <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Fair from 24th to 26th <strong>November</strong>. You’ll find<br />

exhibits from Surrey Hills Enterprises, Surrey<br />

Guild of Craftsmen, Wey Ceramics, Guildford<br />

Art Society and many more. With stalls across<br />

the barn and the manor it’s a great chance to<br />

soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful historic<br />

house. Open from 10am until 4pm, tickets<br />

are £9. westhorsleyplace.org/Event/<br />

arts-crafts-artisan-christmas-fair<br />

‘Tis the season<br />

Head to Guildford Cathedral for shopping, food, music<br />

and art this Advent and <strong>Christmas</strong>. The Cathedral<br />

will be full of festive cheer throughout <strong>November</strong> and<br />

December, with music from Rick Wakeman and friends<br />

to John Rutter to the Snowman. Advent services start<br />

on Sunday 1 December with the Advent Carol Service<br />

at 6pm. A Virtual Advent Calendar will have a door a<br />

day opening to the cathedral’s wonderful choir singing,<br />

so do follow their social media. Find details of services<br />

and events on their website guildford-cathedral.org<br />

Festive Feels<br />

Merriments<br />

Gardens are hosting a<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> Craft Fair on 3rd December<br />

in their lovely Orangery. Head along to join<br />

talented local crafters, cooks and bakers and pick<br />

up some beautiful handmade <strong>Christmas</strong> gifts. From<br />

local honey, beeswax candles, essential oil candles and<br />

crocheted homewares to delicious homemade chutneys and<br />

jams, festive tray-bakes and fantastic cakes, all alongside<br />

handmade wreaths and seasonal planters. Staplehurst<br />

Community Choir will be performing carols and<br />

there will be mince pies and mulled wine on<br />

offer to keep you fuelled.<br />

merriments.co.uk<br />


From party nights to sensational shows, you’ll find plenty to keep you<br />

entertained this <strong>Christmas</strong> at G Live. The Season starts with a nostalgic sleigh<br />

ride through rock ’n’ roll with That’ll Be The Day <strong>Christmas</strong> Show followed<br />

by a <strong>Christmas</strong> classic as Guildford Choral perform Handel’s Messiah. Get the<br />

party started with Tropicana 80s and MASSAOKE <strong>Christmas</strong> or if a festive<br />

three course dinner and fizz is more your style, enjoy their <strong>Christmas</strong> dining<br />

events with live entertainment from the West End Jerseys and The Arg Band.<br />

Santa’s On His Sleigh is the brand-new magical family show<br />

written by Justin Fletcher, and Pop Princesses and Cirque<br />

Enchantment will have you spoilt for choice.<br />

What will you be seeing at G Live, this festive season? glive.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com 18

With no shortage of perfect selfie moments<br />

amid the larger-than-life fauna, <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

at Bedgebury makes for a fairytale outing.<br />

christmasatbedgebury.seetickets.com<br />

must<br />

The<br />

From must-sees to must-buys and<br />

must-dos, don’t miss this month’s<br />

round up of what to buy, see, do,<br />

and generally get excited about!<br />

Say goodbye to the disposable<br />

party hat and hello to this glorious<br />

reusable pop out crown, one of<br />

a set of four beautiful designs,<br />

from The Shop Floor Project. Go<br />

on, give your <strong>Christmas</strong> dinner a<br />

regal flair! theshopfloorproject.com<br />

If you’re festive shopping at Fenwick, Kingston,<br />

be sure to try their new Mediterranean-inspired<br />

tapas restaurant, Fuego. Their charcuterie and<br />

cheese boards, traditional tortillas and stonebaked<br />

Napoli-style sourdough pizza make for ultimate<br />

shopping fuel, especially when topped off with a trip to the<br />

fabulous Champagne and cocktail bar! fenwick.co.uk<br />

For perfect<br />

party season<br />

catering,<br />

those clever<br />

peeps at The<br />

Curious now deliver their<br />

exquisite canapés. Order<br />

online and they’ll be delivered in<br />

a gorgeous presentation box,<br />

ready to serve. All you<br />

have to do is open the fizz!<br />

thecuriousevents.co.uk<br />

We love a shop at our<br />

Midwinter Fair to discover<br />

some unusual gift ideas<br />

you won’t find elsewhere.<br />

With fab art like this<br />

piece, among other quirky<br />

home accessories, The<br />

ever-popular Artisan<br />

Designers are a must-see.<br />

The decoupage makers are<br />

from East Sussex and they<br />

even take commissions!<br />

theartisandesignersltd.co.uk<br />

Elevate your <strong>Christmas</strong> dinner<br />

with festive place settings<br />

by Catherine Jane Designs.<br />

Catherine hand draws her<br />

designs in her Kentish<br />

studio and then turns<br />

them into stunning<br />

homeware and<br />

accessories like these<br />

ribbon placemats<br />

which are £52.50 for a<br />

set of 4 and matching<br />

coasters £15 for 4.<br />

catherinejanedesigns.co.uk<br />

Is there anything more<br />

luxuriously pampering than<br />

a massage candle? We love<br />

Douvall’s Argan creation in<br />

this festive orange and frankincense<br />

scent. Blended with nourishing oils,<br />

including cocoa butter and Douvall’s<br />

100% first cold-pressed argan oil,<br />

it is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants<br />

and essential fatty acids to hydrate<br />

and rejuvenate your skin through<br />

the colder months. With the hustle<br />

and bustle of the festive season fast<br />

approaching, it’s a great way to<br />

de-stress and unwind. £45 douvalls.com<br />

Sofa shopping? This Salamanca sofa by Henrik<br />

Pedersen, is from BoConcept’s new 23/24<br />

collection and it makes lounging an art form! Its<br />

low ‘floating’ style creates a 70s boho feel, and the<br />

modular freestanding design adds a lovely sense<br />

of warmth. It’s seriously comfy with oversized<br />

proportions and super-soft deep foam seats. Plus,<br />

it’s very versatile, with moveable back cushions<br />

adding extra flexibility and options to customise<br />

it in different configurations, from 2-seaters (from<br />

£2,999), to large corner sofas (from £6,430) or the<br />

above option at £9,670. boconcept.com<br />

21<br />


Why I love<br />

<strong>Wealden</strong> <strong>Times</strong><br />

Midwinter Fair<br />

Loyal reader Alexandra tells us why she’s such a fan of the Fair<br />

It’s the perfect day out with my daughter and I can<br />

catch up with my mates too. Such a fun place to<br />

shop and we stay nice and warm as it’s all indoors.<br />

The best coffee<br />

First things first we’ll grab ourselves<br />

a delicious coffee from Fine Grind<br />

in the Ivy Café, next to the Purple<br />

Marquee. The Fair is a series of<br />

marquees in a circle, so if you start<br />

further in, you miss the crowds<br />

at the entrance. We’ll catch the<br />

shops in the<br />

first Green<br />

Marquee at<br />

the end of our<br />

circuit.<br />

Homeware & Art<br />

The <strong>Wealden</strong> <strong>Times</strong> Fairs always seems<br />

to unearth the most incredibly talented<br />

designers and makers. Their pottery,<br />

paintings, and objets d’art are one-offs,<br />

designed from the heart. I love The<br />

Artisan Designers and this year I’ll<br />

make sure I pick up a gift for me! Then<br />

I’ll head to Candle Wise for an Ibiza<br />

candle for my bestie.<br />

Presents for each other<br />

Edie and I always buy gifts for each other<br />

at the Fair, that way we both get what<br />

we want and it’s so nice doing it<br />

together. She’s got her eye on<br />

a new handbag from Sarah<br />

Haran and I’d really like one<br />

of Asunsti’s stunning shawls –<br />

both in the Purple Marquee.<br />

16 -18th <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong>, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6PY<br />


Foodie gifts<br />

We then head into the Yellow Food<br />

Hall where I know we’ll find lots of<br />

treats there to go in the <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

hamper that Edie and her brother<br />

give to their Dad. Chalkstream<br />

Smoked Trout; some Mighty Spice<br />

curry sauces; Salcombe Dairy<br />

Chocolates; a box of cakes from<br />

Pip & Seed; and some Damson<br />

Vodka, (which he adds to fizz to<br />

make a <strong>Christmas</strong> Kir Royale)<br />

will all be going in the hamper.<br />

Tickets available on the<br />

door or to pre-book<br />

Fashion & Jewellery<br />

My daughter Edie wants some clothes<br />

for <strong>Christmas</strong>, and I need something<br />

new for the <strong>Christmas</strong> Party, so we’ll head<br />

for Rosella Style, Wardrobe No9 and<br />

Philippa London. My Mum wants me<br />

to buy Edie some jewellery from her,<br />

so we’ll also head to Mary Mary and<br />

Moody Tom in the Blue Marquee<br />

to find some beautiful earrings and<br />

maybe a super cute bracelet.<br />

Local school choirs<br />

My friend’s daughter is singing with<br />

her choir, so we’ll make sure we<br />

head to the Holly Café to listen to<br />

them and soak up the festive feels.<br />

Sponsored by<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong><br />

decorations<br />

We always get into the<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> spirit – the Pinkster Gin<br />

and Anno Vodka samples help! Full of<br />

cheer, we love finding new delights to<br />

decorate our tree, home and table.<br />

Delicious food<br />

It’s great to take a break at<br />

lunchtime in the Holly Café.<br />

This year we’ve got our eyes on<br />

the Lebanese street food from<br />

Emilio’s. I love a posh sausage,<br />

so we’ll make sure to visit<br />

Supreme Gourmet.<br />

Book your tickets at wealdentimes-fair.co.uk using discount code “MWF23”

Functional Pottery with a Twist<br />

Come see<br />

us on Stand<br />

P19<br />

Come Say<br />

Get <strong>Christmas</strong> all wrapped up with the<br />

help of some of the best boutiques and<br />

independent brands in the UK. You’ll find<br />

them exhibiting at our favourite <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

shopping extravaganza. Book your tickets<br />

online at wealdentimes-fair.co.uk<br />

@imperfections.by.plam<br />

www.imperfectionsbyplam.com<br />



Come see<br />

us on Stand<br />

R54<br />

VISIT US<br />

ON STAND<br />

P26<br />




If you have any questions or<br />

would like to commission me,<br />

please feel free to get in touch.<br />

www.katharinegrayceramics.com<br />

16 -18th <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong>, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6PY

E F F O RT L E S S LY<br />

T R A N S F O R M S F R O M S O FA<br />

TO B E D<br />

Home for <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Sit back, snuggle up and sink into the extraordinary comfort of Bridgman’s<br />

award-winning sofa beds. From the softness of each cushion to the finish of<br />

every fabric, you won't find furniture quite like it.<br />

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Transform your home in time for <strong>Christmas</strong> when you shop your perfect<br />

sofabed at Bridgman's beautiful Royal Tunbridge Wells Showroom before<br />

16 th December. Or head to bridgman.co.uk to indulge in luxurious living.<br />






A house<br />

well travelled<br />

Alec and Heidy’s very unusual oast<br />

house is a delightful cultural melting<br />

pot of styles from all over the world<br />

priceless-magazines.com 26

Photographs: David Merewether<br />

Words: Antonia Deeson<br />

27<br />


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priceless-magazines.com<br />


Previous pages & this page: The Oast Bar. Alec and Heidy<br />

lifted the flooring to reveal the stunning stone beneath. The<br />

artwork behind the pink velvet sofa was made by Alec and his<br />

sons using the colours of the renovation project, painted onto<br />

offcuts. A staircase above leads upwards into the oast tower<br />

towards the amazing 18ft crystal drop chandelier<br />

Human resources leader Alec and his Mexican<br />

wife Heidy didn’t set out to become interior<br />

designers. However, having now renovated<br />

three houses, it’s safe to say that their part time hobby<br />

has turned into a skill worthy of many professionals.<br />

The couple and their twin boys found their latest project<br />

in the heart of Surrey, during the summer of 2021. Built<br />

in 1832, the building – a 5000 sq ft former hop drying<br />

oast house – was attached to a ballroom originally built<br />

for the hop pickers and their families. “When we found<br />

the property we fell in love with the setting,” says Alec,<br />

“which is very close to Great Frensham Pond. The house<br />

itself was very quirky, the garden and exterior were both<br />

impactful but <strong>inside</strong> there was an awful lack of light,<br />

due to the nature of the oast towers which were, at the<br />

end of the day, made to dry hops and not for providing<br />

a light and airy residential living space!” says Alec.<br />

The year-long renovation project involved a complete<br />

refurbishment of the property, including a new heating<br />

system, new plumbing, new roof and insulation, painting<br />

the entire house, new flooring, new bathrooms as well as<br />

fitted elements like wardrobes. A big job if you are living<br />

off site, an even bigger headache when you are trying <br />

29<br />


“Hanging overhead is a huge gold pendant light, from<br />

Authentic Reclamation. It was so big that it could only<br />

be fitted during the build when we had the correct<br />

access available. Again, it was all about scale for us and<br />

finding fittings that would work with the space.”<br />

to live on site, with two children and a<br />

daily chain of builders and contractors.<br />

“Before we even got to the lovely stuff<br />

like sourcing art, furniture and textiles,<br />

the infrastructure had to come first.<br />

All the things you can’t see to make it<br />

more efficient, before all the things you<br />

can see!” says Alec. This also included<br />

a brand-new boiler system and a series<br />

of fully reconditioned radiators from<br />

The Old Radiator Company, some of<br />

which were so heavy that they had to<br />

be hoisted in using ropes and pullies.<br />

“It was a huge undertaking, but it now<br />

means every radiator in the house works<br />

effectively, especially within the largest<br />

rooms such as huge drawing room.”<br />

When Alec and his family moved in,<br />

the interior of the house was a mass of<br />

dark brown. It was oppressive and really<br />

constraining the light and airiness of the<br />

house, so, one of the first things they<br />

did was paint everything including all<br />

the beams. “Our painter was working<br />

full time on the rooms and beams for<br />

ten months. We researched the paint<br />

with the best colour pigmentation and<br />

then played with the colours, using<br />

one tone of white paint on the ceilings<br />

(Little Greene Loft White) and then <br />

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Berry&LambertsWT247.indd 1 15/11/2022 15:34

A T A S T E O F T H E E X O T I C<br />

W W W . G A R D E N P R O U D . C O . U K<br />

D E S I G N | C O N S T R U C T | M A I N T A I N<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


This page: Alec and Heidy zoned the drawing room, hanging two chairs from ManoMano off one of the beams to create<br />

a reading area with a library at one end, and a velvet chaise and sofa from Loaf at the other end to offer a soft space for<br />

seating and socialising. Two sets of triple height soaring arched windows pour light into the room and are mirrored in the<br />

geometric brick work of the new chimney breast and wood burning stove. The walls are in Pearl by Little Greene<br />

an off-white colour on the beams (Little Greene Portland<br />

Stone Pale), which allowed for the texture and space of the<br />

beams to sing.” It is very much this attention to detail that<br />

makes the interior of Alec and Heidy’s house so special<br />

and perhaps also reveals a level of care and love that only a<br />

homeowner might take on the renovation of their own house.<br />

However whilst it is undeniable that Alec was determined<br />

not to cut any corners when it came to the first and second fix<br />

of the refurbishment, ensuring that the day to day utilities all<br />

worked at optimum output (in hindsight, especially important<br />

due the current fuel crisis) it is the couple’s love of sourcing<br />

the decorative elements for their home that really makes this<br />

house stand out. Inspired both by Alec’s Scottish roots and<br />

Heidy’s Latin American heritage, the interior design of the<br />

house is truly an explosion of colour, texture and design and<br />

as Alec calls them, “objects of impact”. “We have spent a long<br />

time buying objects that interested us whilst travelling to see<br />

family in Mexico. This includes craftsmanship such as amate,<br />

which is a paper thin wood carving technique specialised<br />

in Mexico, as well as ornately carved and painted symbolic<br />

animal carvings called alebrijes. We have sourced textiles as<br />

well and what we really love is that Mexican craftsmanship<br />

knows no bounds in terms of their use of colour.”<br />

Alec continues, “Whilst we were in Scotland we acquired a<br />

huge wooden wall carving, which we call the Rose, but which<br />

is actually a lotus flower that originates from Southeast Asia. It<br />

came from a big house on the west coast of Scotland. We are<br />

lucky that due to the scale of the rooms in our house – both<br />

the former ballroom and the towers of the two oasts – we <br />

33<br />


This page: The dining room is painted in Little Greene Aquamarine.<br />

The ten-seater dining table from The Packhouse inspired the rest of<br />

the room and Anthropologie candlesticks offer pops of subtle colour<br />

are able to find and accommodate these amazing pieces of scale<br />

with some fantastic provenance from houses all over the UK.<br />

We found an 18ft glass chandelier from Authentic Reclamation<br />

in East Sussex which was reputedly from the London home of<br />

one of the UK’s most famous composers. We knew it would<br />

look amazing in one of our oasts, once we added in the skylight,<br />

but it weighed over half a tonne. It was also missing quite a few<br />

glass drops, which we got remade in acrylic in Guildford and<br />

as serendipity would have it, one of the UK’s best chandelier<br />

renovators lives really near us, so he rewired it. These are not<br />

easy things to just throw up, they needed precision handling by<br />

the contractors and it was an almost once-in-a-lifetime chance<br />

within the refurbishment process to install it. We were very<br />

lucky that we have a builder that we trust. We have worked<br />

with Russell Hyde of Russell Hyde Construction across all our<br />

homes and I don’t think we could have done it without him.”<br />

At the heart of the house is the amazing drawing room.<br />

For many non-professionals, a room of this size would<br />

be intimidating. For Alec and Heidy it was a wonderful<br />

opportunity to let their imaginations run riot. “We decided<br />

to zone the room so we hung two chairs from ManoMano off<br />

one of the beams to create a reading area with a library. We<br />

added a velvet chaise and sofa from Loaf to offer a soft space<br />

for seating and socialising as well as a brown leather love seat,<br />

which gave a different colour and texture. At the end of the<br />

room we hung a piece called ‘Aqua’ – one of a series of abstract<br />

artworks we have acquired by Robin Mullin inspired by images<br />

of the Hubble telescope. Hanging overhead is a huge gold<br />

pendant light, also from Authentic Reclamation, that we had<br />

to completely respray and re-paint to get it up to scratch. It was<br />

sold as medieval in style but I’m not sure there is much about<br />

it that was very medieval,” laughs Alec. “It was so big, like the<br />

crystal chandelier that we also bought from them, that it could<br />

only be fitted during the build when we had the correct access<br />

available. Again, it was all about scale for us and finding fittings<br />

that would work with the space. For the floor in this room we<br />

were lucky the wood was still here, so we just stripped it back<br />

to the original but to a more matt finish.” Two sets of triple<br />

height soaring arched windows pour light into the room and are<br />

mirrored in the geometric brick work of the new chimney <br />

priceless-magazines.com 34

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L<br />

ocal adviser, Sarah Ferrell, has<br />

written numerous articles and has<br />

shared many tips about Equity<br />

Release. This month she shares some<br />

case studies to demonstrate what Equity<br />

Release can look like for individuals.<br />

The names in these cases have<br />

been changed, however the<br />

scenarios are authentic.<br />

Mr and Mrs Roberts wanted to move nearer<br />

to their children. The prices were higher<br />

in the area they were moving to so they<br />

arranged a lifetime mortgage to “bridge<br />

the gap” between the property they were<br />

selling and the property they were buying.<br />

Mr Roberts is still working, so intends to make<br />

monthly payments of interest to prevent<br />

the debt from growing. If, when he retires,<br />

he longer wants to make a payment, he<br />

can “switch it off” and allow the interest<br />

to roll up within the lifetime mortgage.<br />

Janet needed to replace her windows<br />

and was also concerned about affording<br />

other home improvements, should they<br />

be needed. She released £10,000 (the<br />

minimum most lenders will consider) and<br />

also arranged a reserve of £40,000.<br />

Interest is charged on £10,000 from the<br />

SashWindowHeritageWT187.indd 1 15/08/2017 15:18<br />

outset. If she never needs additional<br />

funds, the reserve will remain untouched<br />

and no interest will be charged. If,<br />

however, she needs to release more<br />

money she will only be charged interest<br />

when she draws the money down.<br />

Reserve facilities are not guaranteed<br />

and are subject to market conditions.<br />

However, she is only paying interest<br />

on the money she needs NOW while<br />

also making provision for the future.<br />

Clive had an interest only mortgage<br />

of £10,000. He also wanted to help<br />

his son with a deposit for a property.<br />

Clive released £40,000, repaid his<br />

mortgage and gifted money to his son.<br />

While this will ultimately reduce the<br />

amount of inheritance his son receives, his<br />

son will benefit from the money now – at<br />

a time when he needs it. This increases his<br />

deposit and it also reduces the cost of his<br />

son’s mortgage as he can secure a lower<br />

rate of interest by having a larger deposit.<br />

“If somebody is considering raising<br />

money at retirement then I would strongly<br />

recommend a conversation to discuss<br />

the most suitable options,” says Sarah.<br />

Sarah is happy to visit your home and<br />

will offer flexible times to suit her clients.<br />

Equity Release can reduce the value of your estate and can affect your eligibility for means tested benefits.<br />

Ferrell Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registration number: 678768<br />


Call Sarah on<br />

01622 631372 or 07789 007447<br />

or e-mail her at<br />

sarah@ferrellfinancial.co.uk<br />

You may find answers to<br />

some of your questions at<br />

www.ferrellfinancial.co.uk<br />

35<br />


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This page: An Indian daybed from a Scottish<br />

antique dealer and an Indian mirror from The<br />

Packhouse work seamlessly with a large tapestry<br />

in the sitting room. Art pieces from Mexico<br />

again show how clever Alec and Heidy have<br />

been with mixing styles from all over the world<br />

breast and wood burning stove which<br />

Alec designed with a wonderful Art Deco<br />

paint finish reminiscent of the Empire<br />

State Building. Two John Lewis Deco<br />

style wall lights were colour matched to<br />

the wall paint, Pearl by Little Greene.<br />

Extra-long and fully lined bespoke<br />

heavy weight velvet curtains, with a light<br />

reflective fleck by Closs and Hamblin,<br />

were designed to add further insulation<br />

and warmth during the winter months.<br />

Down a small set of steps, linked<br />

to the main space by a thread of red<br />

brickwork, is the Oast Bar. A small snug<br />

area at the bottom of the oast tower, it<br />

sits underneath the sisal covered wooden<br />

staircase that wraps upwards overhead.<br />

“We had to get a specialist in to strip<br />

back the dark floor staining which had<br />

been applied on top of the stunning stone<br />

floor that we found beneath (which even<br />

revealed a fossilised bird in one of the<br />

stones) and also mirrors the wonderful<br />

stone fireplace surround,” says Alec.<br />

The beams in the space were completely<br />

repainted introducing yet more light.<br />

Further colour and texture were added<br />

by mixing a soft pink velvet chaise and<br />

two green armchairs, heirlooms from<br />

Alec’s family in Scotland, which are<br />

covered in leather from the tannery <br />

37<br />


Clockwise from top: The large open plan kitchen incorporates<br />

another more informal dining area; The downstairs cloakroom is<br />

creatively tiled in hexagonal florals; The entrance hall is painted<br />

in Little Greene Slaked Lime, Celestial Blue and Livid<br />

that Alec’s grandfather managed (the<br />

company in Bridge of Weir still supplies<br />

leather to Aston Martin for their cars<br />

today). The artwork was made by Alec<br />

and his sons utilising all the colours<br />

used in the renovation project, painted<br />

onto offcuts. A wonderful collaborative<br />

reminder of the project for all the family.<br />

Overhead a brass and blown glass light<br />

pendant adds some fun and colour to<br />

the space. Once again there is a nod<br />

to all the family’s cultural roots, with a<br />

Day of the Dead figure from Mexico<br />

keeping watch over the fireplace.<br />

The staircase above leads upwards<br />

into the oast tower towards another of<br />

the new skylights and the amazing <br />

priceless-magazines.com 38

Rye Showroom<br />

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HandmadeRugsTenterdenWT231.indd 1 09/07/2021 11:48<br />

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This page: The kitchen cupboards are painted in Little Greene Brighton Blue and the island in Little Greene Royal Navy. Abstract artwork<br />

by Robin Mullin graces the dining area wall<br />

18ft crystal drop chandelier. The entire<br />

effect is mesmerising, almost sci-fi in its<br />

effect – and so beloved by iconic architect<br />

Oscar Niemeyer – as the light ripples<br />

across the brick and plaster walls and<br />

the glass drops of the light fitting. “It’s a<br />

bit like being in the tip of a rocket,” says<br />

Alec. “Most people add side windows<br />

to their oast towers but we think adding<br />

a skylight at the tip encourages the<br />

maximum amount of light possible<br />

and makes quite a special effect.”<br />

At the bottom of the other oast tower<br />

sits the dining room, above which is a<br />

guest bedroom and on top of that is the<br />

playroom for the boys, now home to an<br />

ever-growing Lego set. In the ground<br />

floor dining room, the original flooring<br />

was kept and, like the drawing room,<br />

sanded down with a matt finish. Little<br />

Greene Aquamarine added to the walls.<br />

“We sourced a ten-seater dining table<br />

from The Packhouse which inspired<br />

the rest of the room,” says Alec. “The<br />

sideboard had been left by the previous<br />

owner and so I re-painted it to work<br />

with the dining table and then changed<br />

the handles. An antique settle sourced<br />

from an old pub in Scotland was also<br />

painted to work in the room. Velvet<br />

dining chairs in a range of muted colours<br />

complete the look, fun yet understated,<br />

whilst Anthropologie candlesticks offer<br />

yet more pops of subtle colour. The fire<br />

surround with Delft style blue and white<br />

tiles was left by the former owners, a<br />

further pop of blue can be seen in the<br />

standard lamp. The roman blinds have<br />

been kept simple, with fabric from Closs<br />

and Hamblin, as in the drawing room.<br />

The sitting room – another of the<br />

many reception rooms – offers yet <br />

41<br />


Above: The romantic white rattan bed<br />

was bought from Lock Stock and Barrel<br />

Left: A guest bedroom on the first floor<br />

of the oast tower makes the most of<br />

its unique and quirky circular space<br />

more comfortable seating and provides<br />

another canvas for Alex and Heidy’s<br />

artistic flair. New herringbone wooden<br />

flooring was added and on the walls<br />

the couple used Little Greene Salix. An<br />

Indian daybed from a Scottish antique<br />

dealer and an Indian mirror from The<br />

Packhouse work seamlessly with a large<br />

tapestry from Mexico. Port red Art<br />

Deco style upholstered pieces bought in<br />

2006 still sit well with pieces of brown<br />

furniture found in Inverness. Art pieces<br />

from Mexico again show how clever Alec<br />

and Heidy have been with mixing styles<br />

from all over the world – a true cultural<br />

melting pot. Off the sitting room is<br />

the entrance hall, painted in white and<br />

blues, almost Gustavian in its look. All<br />

the dark wood panelling was re-painted<br />

in Little Greene Slaked Lime, Celestial<br />

Blue and Livid. A large vase of flouncy<br />

florals jauntily greets guest along with<br />

a smart white painted hall bench.<br />

Off the entrance hall is the huge open<br />

plan family kitchen dining room. “We<br />

repainted the kitchen cupboards with<br />

Little Greene Brighton Blue and on the<br />

island Little Greene Royal Navy to give<br />

a contrast in the colours. We have kept<br />

and reused much of the furniture from<br />

our past houses in here. The handmade<br />

table, benches and dresser have lasted us<br />

almost two decades and are still very well<br />

loved.” One of the most striking aspects<br />

of the room is the geometric tiled splash<br />

back of the kitchen, worthy of the optic<br />

work of British artist Bridget Riley. Alec<br />

actually used a bathroom tile design here,<br />

which has proved hugely effective. “We<br />

looked at brass and getting a patina effect<br />

for the splashback, but we felt the 60s<br />

style worked really well with the black<br />

leathered granite worksurfaces.” The light<br />

above the dining table had originally<br />

been bought for the drawing room. “We<br />

had chosen this for that space, but then<br />

we when put it in the drawing room we<br />

instantly knew that, due to our issues<br />

with scale, it would never work, and so<br />

now the kitchen has a rather fantastic<br />

light fitting instead!” says Alec. More<br />

abstract artwork by Robin Mullin graces<br />

the dining area wall. The downstairs<br />

loo shows off yet more tiling dexterity<br />

with a hexagonal floral tile design from<br />

the Farnham Tile Boutique seeming<br />

to almost cascade down the wall.<br />

Upstairs are the bedrooms. The main<br />

bedroom is once again an essay in<br />

lightness – white walls and white ceiling<br />

and off-white beams reflect the pale<br />

wood floor below. A huge decorative and<br />

highly romantic white rattan bed by Lock<br />

Stock and Barrel is the hero of the room<br />

which overlooks the stunning garden <br />

priceless-magazines.com 42

Images: Tunbridge Wells showroom<br />

Visit our newly refurbished Tunbridge Wells showroom, 4 floors of beautiful kitchens and furniture<br />

81 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2UY - Tel: 01892 520730<br />

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priceless-magazines.com<br />

44<br />

ABMV-WT253.indd 1 17/05/<strong>2023</strong> 14:46:37

Top: The contemporary main bathroom<br />

features illuminated mirrors and plenty of<br />

rounded brass fixtures and fittings – a nod<br />

to the curves of the roundels Right: The<br />

unusual design of the oast house becomes<br />

more apparent from the garden to the rear<br />

below via original leaded windows. The<br />

wardrobes have been hidden away by<br />

the local joinery Magic Bean Designs to<br />

allow maximum space and airiness. A<br />

picture of The Flower Seller by Diego<br />

Rivera provides the main pop of colour<br />

in the room. A guest bedroom on the<br />

first floor of the oast tower makes the<br />

most of its unique and quirky circular<br />

space – the bed sits underneath the<br />

three leaded windows with simple<br />

roman blinds, whilst a large gilt framed<br />

mirror again throws as much light as<br />

possible back into the room. The main<br />

bathroom is an essay in contemporary<br />

bathroom design. A clean monochrome<br />

mosaic tile on the walls complements<br />

and shows off the round mirrors, round<br />

basins with rounded brass fittings and<br />

rounded door handles in homage to<br />

the round oast house. The illuminated<br />

mirrors add the most chic of flourishes.<br />

Alec and Heidy have created something<br />

very special. A house made not from<br />

the guide book to interior design, but<br />

very much from their hearts. They<br />

have produced a space for their family<br />

that truly reflects them and their<br />

unique heritage. Colour, texture and<br />

narrative are apparent throughout,<br />

paying homage to all their interests<br />

and experiences – everything has a<br />

story behind it, everything has been<br />

Address Book:<br />

Authentic Reclamation<br />

authentic-reclamation.co.uk<br />

Barefoot Stoves barefootstoves.co.uk<br />

Closs and Hamblin candh.co.uk<br />

Farnham Tile Boutique<br />

tileboutiquefarnham.co.uk<br />

Higher Ground<br />

higherground.co.uk<br />

Lock Stock and Barrel<br />

lockstockandbarrel-uk.com<br />

chosen for a reason. To create a home<br />

that is truly a story of their life and<br />

that of their family is something Alec<br />

and Heidy can be very proud of.<br />

Magic Bean Designs magicbeandesigns.com<br />

Nash Electrical Services<br />

nashelectrical.co.uk<br />

The Old Radiator Company<br />

theoldradiatorcompany.co.uk<br />

The Packhouse packhouse.com<br />

Russell E Hyde Construction Ltd<br />

rehydeconstruction.co.uk<br />

Wood Floors of Hampshire<br />

woodfloorsofhampshire.co.uk<br />

45<br />


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Bobbi Beck bobbibeck.com 3 Abstract 318 art print with oak frame from £69 Abstract House abstracthouse.com<br />

4 Gwen hanging egg chair £675 Sweetpea & Willow sweetpeaandwillow.com 5 Mongolian sheepskin cushion £45<br />

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7 MIDSUMMER FLORAL silk embroidered cushion £189 Mindthegap mindtheg.uk 8 Orange glass candlestick<br />

holder £11.75 Talking Tables talkingtables.co.uk 9 Berkeley Cottage Oak engineered wood flooring £150/m 2<br />

Woodpecker Flooring woodpeckerflooring.co.uk 10 Cone side tables £145 (set of 2) Where Saints Go wheresaintsgo.co.uk<br />

47<br />


View Finder<br />

priceless-magazines.com 48

Photographs: David Merewether<br />

Words: Jo Arnell<br />

Photographer Mel Smith has combined his<br />

work and home requirements to create the<br />

ultimate welcoming studio – a homely and<br />

stylish space to work from where his creative<br />

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49<br />


Bespoke Flooring<br />




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OrlestoneOakWT252.indd 1 04/04/<strong>2023</strong> 10:36

Previous pages & above: The kitchen space doubles up as a darkroom. A beaded chandelier from The Wall Lighting Company – thewalllightingcompany.co.uk<br />

– is one of the few new items in the building. The wood throughout has been treated with Liberon antique pine wax to give a mellow patina<br />

It is a rare thing to go on a property<br />

restoration journey without a<br />

route map, to let the building off<br />

the lead and head into the unknown.<br />

Architects, building consultants and<br />

surveyors provide a plan of action, an<br />

idea of what the end result will look like,<br />

help with building regulations and give<br />

professional advice. When Mel Smith,<br />

photographer – and now, intrepid<br />

renovator – found a potential studio<br />

space, he decided to take it on himself.<br />

We meet him here at the finished<br />

Smallhythe Studio to find out more.<br />

“I started this with no clue,” he says<br />

with an air of nonchalance. “A really<br />

good friend of mine, Jon, came to visit<br />

it with me and we built it together.” <br />

51<br />


This page: A backgammon scoreboard is tucked away behind a<br />

set of doors above the dining table. Mel and his team have been<br />

creative with every inch of this property, including putting the bin<br />

on a wooden base with castors to whizz around where needed<br />

Mel had been looking for a new photographic studio, and<br />

while not sure what form it would take, he was clear what<br />

it wouldn’t be. “I didn’t want a shop or industrial unit,” he<br />

says, “which didn’t actually leave many options – so many of<br />

the old buildings in the area have already been converted.”<br />

But in the serendipitous way of things, the property came<br />

up through a friend of a friend. “It needed everything<br />

doing to it, but I knew it was the perfect studio space.”<br />

The one storey building has had many uses in<br />

its time, once a school room and most recently an<br />

art gallery, as evidenced by what was left behind.<br />

“There was a little tea hatch and a loo, strip lights,<br />

a storage loft,” he says. “We ripped it all out.<br />

Everything. We had skips here for six weeks.”<br />

Mel, Jon and Jon’s son George – who “came in to help<br />

for a week and stayed for a year” – set to work. They<br />

pulled down the whole of the ceiling, leaving just the<br />

structural joists and then put down scaffolding boards.<br />

Mel could see from the outside that the pitch of the<br />

roof was high – something that was hard to visualise<br />

initially from <strong>inside</strong>. “I knew there was space, but didn’t<br />

think about it at all because the ceiling was there. I<br />

thought, if there was a possibility, a vaulted ceiling<br />

was a must, because it would give me more light.”<br />

The space turned out to be bigger than he imagined,<br />

so he decided to install a tiny second floor. “Once<br />

the ceiling was down I could see there was room for a<br />

mezzanine and planned to make just a little one – and<br />

then decided to do a bigger one and extend it. We<br />

started at the top – I never realised that was the best<br />

place to start,” he says, “but of course it makes sense.”<br />

Unfortunately the only way was down in more ways than<br />

one – he hit rock bottom when they reached the floor.<br />

Replacing it really was the low point of the build for Mel<br />

– “a black moment in the whole thing”. It was a gruelling,<br />

back-breaking task, involving lifting ancient Canadian <br />

priceless-magazines.com 52

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SmartRangeWT249.indd 1 09/01/<strong>2023</strong> 14:16

This page: The plan chest was originally meant to go into the kitchen,<br />

but it was too deep for the position, so George and Mel incorporated<br />

it into the staircase Right: A door in the downstairs loo conceals a<br />

private bathroom for when clients have left at the end of the day<br />

pine tongue-and-groove floorboards and much shovelling of<br />

concrete. “George and I had to angle grind all the grooves out<br />

and put them outside somewhere where they wouldn’t warp.<br />

We pulled something like 4,000 nails out in order to preserve<br />

the floor joists. Then used 60 tonnes of crushed concrete to<br />

fill the void and pumped in a 4” pad of concrete all through.<br />

We re-enforced it and then added in 8” of insulation, put<br />

in the underfloor heating then a self-levelling screed.”<br />

The floor has been sealed and the studio section painted<br />

white. Kilim rugs bring warmth and texture. “The screed<br />

is designed to have a floor put on top,” Mel explains, “but<br />

it feels soft to walk on and it’s not cold underfoot at all, in<br />

fact with the underfloor heating it stays lovely and warm. It’s<br />

like an eco-home – the windows are triple glazed, we have<br />

an air source heat pump and with the 8” of insulation, our<br />

energy usage is really low – it’s like a new build house.”<br />

Up on the mezzanine it’s cosy too – big enough for a bed,<br />

an office area and a large format digital printer, but the very<br />

best thing about it is the view through the Velux windows on<br />

the end wall, which look out across the beautiful <strong>Wealden</strong><br />

countryside. A low chair can be strategically placed in <br />

55<br />


The one storey building has<br />

had many uses in its time,<br />

once a school room and<br />

most recently an art gallery,<br />

as evidenced by what was<br />

left behind. “There was a<br />

little tea hatch and a loo,<br />

strip lights, a storage loft,”<br />

he says. “We ripped it all<br />

out. Everything. We had<br />

skips here for six weeks.”<br />

front of the window. “When we stay<br />

here I have my coffee just here,” he<br />

indicates, “and look out at the view.”<br />

There’s an impressive view of the<br />

interior from up here too. The structure<br />

of the roof, its supports, the staircase<br />

and the wooden clad RSJ beams that<br />

span across where the old ceiling used to<br />

be, have a simple architectural beauty.<br />

Mel’s work as a photographer has<br />

had to fit in around the build. “We<br />

made the studio and loo first, because<br />

people were asking for shoots. There<br />

were the two sofas and a trestle table set<br />

up to give people coffee etc., and just<br />

a ladder going up to the mezzanine,”<br />

Organising the layout and making<br />

a functioning studio and gallery was<br />

key – it had to work, but it was hard<br />

to imagine exactly how. “Originally<br />

there were two doors into the building<br />

which was bizarre – we knew we had<br />

to get rid of one of them,” he says.<br />

“So the wall came up on that side,<br />

but I still didn’t have enough gallery<br />

space, so some of the windows had<br />

to go too. It changed the way we<br />

shot – we extended the wall to the<br />

right and added in more wall space.”<br />

The cool white of this interior<br />

is warmed with the wood of the<br />

building’s structure, the staircase,<br />

wooden kitchen and table. The wood<br />

has been treated with Liberon antique<br />

pine wax and brings a rich, mellow<br />

patina, turning scaffolding boards<br />

and bits of a big old handmade bed<br />

into smooth and beautiful pieces of<br />

furniture – I am amazed at how far<br />

the wood from the bed has stretched<br />

and how imaginatively it’s been used.<br />

Soft leather sofas and huge hessian<br />

curtains – that divide the studio from<br />

the rest of the room – match the colour<br />

of the wood, but also add texture,<br />

“Texture is key,” says Mel. “I rely on<br />

shapes and forms. A visitor to our<br />

garden once told me that I was using<br />

interesting colour choices,” he smiles.<br />

“It’s because I’m colour blind. I work<br />

in black and white. The camera’s <br />

priceless-magazines.com 56

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57<br />

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VillageBathroomStudioWT254.indd 1 08/06/<strong>2023</strong> 12:21:19

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This page: Lush green houseplants are a prominent presence throughout, each perfectly matched to their<br />

surroundings – either displayed in a pleasingly weathered terracotta pot, or wrapped in hessian<br />

set up so that I look into a black and<br />

white world through the lens.”<br />

The kitchen doubles up as a darkroom<br />

– it’s a shared space. There is a framing<br />

and finishing workshop to the back of<br />

the kitchen and Mel has managed to<br />

balance the double aspect and has made<br />

the space attractive and functional – full<br />

of quirky detail. He points to the sink.<br />

“It was from the garden. The taps were<br />

made up – I got them from a salvage<br />

yard. We reground them to make <br />

59<br />


This page: Hidden away on the mezzanine, with cleverly thoughtout<br />

triangular wooden ‘screens’, the bedroom/computer editing space<br />

has beautiful countryside views through the skylights. Mel stores the<br />

bits needed for his shoots in wicker baskets hung from a beam<br />

them work. There are two sets of taps,<br />

but I like that. I like the texture of the<br />

copper piping – it came from a shop<br />

in Lyme Regis. Originally the units<br />

were going to be ply, but we used some<br />

shelving from a brick furnace in the end.<br />

We built the work surface for £150.”<br />

The ingenious little fixes and<br />

inventions are too many to mention,<br />

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and shutting the dishwasher because it<br />

wouldn’t quite fit its allocated space, a<br />

Monet poster cooker splash-back, the<br />

scaffold pole that supports a projector<br />

screen – for clients to view pictures and<br />

for movie nights – the ‘privacy wheat’<br />

in the bathroom (an artful sandwiching<br />

of grass between two pieces of glass),<br />

the endless uses that Mel’s old bed<br />

has been put to. Many of these have<br />

sprung from Mel’s ‘inspiration folder’<br />

– a folder on his phone where he keeps<br />

track of all the things he sees on his<br />

travels – but much comes organically.<br />

The evolution of the stairs up to the<br />

mezzanine is a case in point. “I was<br />

going to have a spiral staircase,” he<br />

explains, “then one that went straight<br />

down, but building regs wouldn’t allow<br />

it. The plan chest was originally meant<br />

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George and I decided to incorporate it<br />

into the staircase.” It fits so perfectly – as<br />

if that was the original idea all along.<br />

At the top of the stairs the joists<br />

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“The 45° angle looked ugly from<br />

downstairs, so we’ve infilled with <br />

priceless-magazines.com 60

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KarlTerryWT229.indd 1 07/05/2021 DeaconSandyWT252.indd 12:40<br />

1 03/04/<strong>2023</strong> 16:17<br />

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WoodworkWT238.indd 1 04/02/2022 12:15


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Clockwise from top left: Mel drilled<br />

through the tarmac and concrete<br />

beneath to install large planters at<br />

the front of the building, filled with<br />

wildflowers; The luxurious bug hotel;<br />

A framing room is tucked away<br />

outside, to the rear of the building<br />

planks and you step through.” This also<br />

separates the mezzanine platform from<br />

the stairs, but without closing it off. “We<br />

might add a gantry one day,” he smiles<br />

– “I’m inspired by things all the time.”<br />

Mel, a keen gardener, has been bold<br />

and inventive with the outside space<br />

too, using architectural plants in big<br />

containers. “It is tarmac underneath,”<br />

he explains, “so we drilled through it,<br />

went through the concrete below to<br />

give a bit more depth to the soil in<br />

the troughs. We used large planters<br />

made from sleepers either side of the<br />

path and filled with wildflowers.”<br />

There’s an impressive bug hotel<br />

offering what looks like luxury<br />

accommodation for discerning insects.<br />

There are framed objects on the outside<br />

walls containing ancient gardening tools<br />

and interesting coils of rope – Mel’s<br />

motto for displaying his collections<br />

being “if in doubt frame it”. It is a<br />

curated space, but again, a functional<br />

one that blends a charming parade of<br />

gardenalia and horticultural flair.<br />

The genius of this place has come<br />

from either re-purposing existing<br />

objects, or from the necessity of having<br />

to overcome an obstacle, imposed<br />

by planning, by the layout of the<br />

building and by the space implications.<br />

Above all, it has been the crack team<br />

of Mel, Jon and George, who have<br />

each brought their own very different<br />

strengths to this build – “Jon is a great<br />

builder, a perfectionist,” says Mel<br />

warmly. “Everything is finished to<br />

such a high standard. George will do<br />

anything – he’s so good with wood and<br />

works with me when I’m just thinking<br />

about what I want – like the loo roll<br />

holder or the lock on the loo door.”<br />

(These both made – naturally – from<br />

bits of that old bed). “George has an<br />

ingenuity – when you put us all in a<br />

team – I didn’t realise it at the time,<br />

but in retrospect it’s worked really<br />

well. Day by day it grew organically<br />

– we evolved the project together.”<br />

Visualising an end result is not<br />

easy. Re-purposing an old building<br />

from scratch is fraught with pitfalls<br />

and frustrations. Navigating the way<br />

without a clear set of plans can be head<br />

slappingly hard, but when the end<br />

result is as good – and as ingeniously<br />

effective as this – who needs a rulebook?<br />

Address Book:<br />

To find out about Mel Smith's<br />

black & white family photography,<br />

see melsmithphotography.co.uk.<br />

Mel will be at this year’s <strong>Wealden</strong><br />

<strong>Times</strong> Midwinter Fair, from 16-18<br />

<strong>November</strong> at The Hop Farm. Find<br />

out more at wealdentimes-fair.co.uk<br />

Jon Rodger Property Maintenance<br />

01233 770592 jonathan.rodger@icloud.com<br />

63<br />


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SouthernAdhesivesWT253.indd 1 04/05/<strong>2023</strong> 17:17:37

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WhiteheadMoncktonWT254.indd 1 26/05/<strong>2023</strong> 10:56:06

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Eaton&JonesWT214.indd 1 18/11/2019 17:23

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Contact us on 01580 713189 or info@charityfarmcoutrystore.co.uk!<br />

SuitsShoesSirWT248.indd 1 05/12/2022 10:56<br />


Visit Blue Velvet Shoes at 174 Kings Road, SW3 4UP or buy online www.bluevelvetshoes.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Faux mohair Polson beanie<br />

£30 Herschel Supply Company<br />

herschelsupplyco.co.uk<br />

MAI orangutan sweatshirt<br />

£32 Rural Craft Association<br />

ruralcraftsassociation.co.uk<br />

Golden rocket bag £75<br />

Accessorize accessorize.com<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s for ...<br />

Th er i War dr<br />

obe<br />

s<br />

Tartan scarf & glove gift set<br />

£54.95 Barbour barbour.com<br />

Love wool jumper £165 (100%<br />

of profits donated to Style for<br />

Stroke) Fund fundjumpers.com<br />

Borg mittens<br />

£19.50 M&S<br />

marksandspencer.com<br />

100% Merino funnel<br />

neck in soft grey &<br />

cobalt stripes £195<br />

Birdie London<br />

birdie.london<br />

Brushed Timothy<br />

Buffalo Check<br />

Shirt £65 Crew<br />

crewclothing.co.uk<br />

Knitluxe Studio Skye<br />

Merino lambswool<br />

wrist warmers £38<br />

Handmade in Britain<br />

handmadeinbritain.co.uk<br />

Swole Panda<br />

bamboo socks £10<br />

Jeremy Hobbs<br />

jeremyhobbs.co.uk<br />

Penshaw cable<br />

beanie £29.95<br />

Barbour barbour.com<br />

Reversible vegan tote in navy<br />

& red £189 The Morphbag<br />

by GSK themorphbag.london<br />

Esska Rasa dark<br />

gold boots £170<br />

Oliver Bonas<br />

oliverbonas.com<br />

White Stuff Evelyn velvet<br />

blazer £100 Charity Farm<br />

charityfarmcountrystore.co.uk<br />

Black suede belt with detachable<br />

buckle £125 Peachy Belts<br />

peachybelts.co.uk<br />

Silk tie £150<br />

Richard Anderson<br />

richardandersonltd.com<br />

Swole Panda recycled belt £35 County<br />

Clothes countyclothesmenswear.co.uk<br />

73<br />


Gabriel Holland Interior Design<br />

GH<br />

Coastal City Country Quiet interiors for all homes<br />

Kent, Sussex & London<br />

@gabrielhdesigns hello@gabrielholland.com www.gabrielholland.com 07855 837021<br />

19 - 21 Harbour St, Ramsgate<br />

CT11 8HA<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s<br />

Jewellery<br />

Art<br />

Exhibitions<br />

Classes<br />

<strong>Gift</strong> Vouchers<br />

www.turnerroweartcentre.com . info@turnerroweartcentre.com . 07307527848<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

74<br />

TurnerRoweArtCentre&GalleryWT253.indd 1 24/05/<strong>2023</strong> 10:31:42

<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Gold Champagne Trug £49.50<br />

M&S marksandspencer.com<br />

Sanderson crane &<br />

frog cushion £44<br />

Jones & Tomlin<br />

jonesandtomlin.co.uk<br />

Stargazing mug<br />

& ceramic<br />

pen £18.95<br />

Trouvaille Global<br />

trouvailleglobal.com<br />

Michaela Gall<br />

Sushi plate £255<br />

Shop Floor Project<br />

theshopfloorproject.com<br />

Black agate<br />

crystal wine bottle<br />

stopper £35<br />

Xander Kostroma<br />

xanderkostroma.uk<br />

An Apothecary of Art<br />

wellbeing book from<br />

Ravenous Butterflies<br />

£18.99 Batsford Books<br />

batsfordbooks.com<br />

Cin Cin<br />

embroidered<br />

wall art £69.50<br />

Oliver Bonas<br />

oliverbonas.com<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s for ...<br />

Ho mes<br />

Ho us eh ol<br />

ds<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> Wish<br />

candle from £19<br />

Arbrook Candles<br />

arbrookcandles.co.uk<br />

Use discount<br />

code ‘XMAS25’ for<br />

25% off <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Wish candles at<br />

arbrookcandles.co.uk<br />

&<br />

Daisy Flower<br />

cushion cover £45<br />

Jessica Russell Flint<br />

jessicarussellflint.co.uk<br />

Butterfly Tiffany<br />

lamp £96<br />

Elstead Lighting<br />

elsteadlighting.com<br />

Cocktail<br />

Collection<br />

ice bucket<br />

£25 ProCook<br />

procook.co.uk<br />

Seven Sisters B Watercolour on paper<br />

40x40cm £300 by Lucy Homer Jones<br />

lucyhomerjones.com<br />

Star design Champagne<br />

saucer £70 (set of 6)<br />

Osski osski.co.uk<br />

Fired Earth ceramic<br />

diffuser £30<br />

Jones & Tomlin<br />

jonesandtomlin.co.uk<br />

Twilight decanter £110<br />

Dartington Crystal<br />

dartington.co.uk<br />

Handmade ceramic<br />

geometric vase Sussex<br />

artist Gaynor Sadlo<br />

£125 Greenfinch<br />

greenfinchshop.co.uk<br />

Rotating snowflake tea light<br />

holder £8 National Trust<br />

shop.nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

Antique hand-painted bone<br />

trinket box from Rajasthan,<br />

India £495 Trading Boundaries<br />

tradingboundaries.com<br />

75<br />


West End House<br />

Art Gallery<br />

Homeware Candles <strong>Gift</strong>s & Accessories Jewellery<br />

Bath & Body Baby & Child Read Write Wrap <strong>Gift</strong> Vouchers<br />

Contemporary gallery in beautiful<br />

Smarden. A glorious mix of artworks<br />

at all prices from artists near and far<br />

www.westendhousegallery.co.uk<br />

Best Art Gallery in Kent Winner<br />

145 Bridge Street Wye TN25 5DP<br />

07739 885609<br />

ticketybooshop.com @ ticketybooshop<br />

Water Lane, Smarden, TN27 8QB, 01233 770261<br />

email: girls@westendhousegallery.co.uk<br />


W W W. L O N D O N R O A D F U R N I T U R E . C O . U K<br />



priceless-magazines.com<br />


<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Eiderglass stained<br />

glass mistletoe<br />

wreath £36<br />

Folksy folksy.com<br />

Sparkle winter<br />

spice vegan scented<br />

candle from £25<br />

SevenSeventeen<br />

seven-seventeen.co.uk<br />

Lupins In The Sun<br />

limited edition fine<br />

art print from £95<br />

Abbie Carnegy Art<br />

abbiecarnegyart.com<br />

That Little Map Shop illustrated<br />

Surrey Map £15 Etsy etsy.com<br />

Crack List card game £20<br />

Amazon amazon.co.uk<br />

One of a kind clock £60<br />

Desiré North desirenorth.com<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s for ...<br />

Ho mes<br />

Ho us eh ol<br />

ds<br />

&<br />

Carved glass pebble vase £155<br />

Rebel Roses rebelroses.co.uk<br />

Rainbow hand shaped<br />

boxed puzzle £35<br />

Jonathan Adler<br />

uk.jonathanadler.com<br />

Woodland in steel<br />

and wood by David<br />

Mayne £240 West<br />

End House Gallery<br />

westendhousegallery.co.uk<br />

Ellen Hayward Angel<br />

candle holder £200<br />

Shop Floor Project<br />

theshopfloorproject.com<br />

Ocean Spray short mug £34 Emily<br />

Doran Pottery emilydoranpottery.com<br />

Large hand-painted plate £55<br />

Gillshaw Pottery gillshawpottery.co.uk<br />

Home set with Awakening room spray<br />

and diffuser and a calming candle £55<br />

(worth £80) GAIA gaiaskincare.com<br />

Mesa tabletop<br />

fire pit £89.99<br />

Solo Stoves<br />

solostove.com<br />

Personalised house coaster £10<br />

Reimagined by Anna Stark<br />

reimaginedbyannastark.com<br />

Edelweiss Noel cushion £132 Jan<br />

Constantine janconstantine.com<br />

Angus table lamp<br />

with shade £300<br />

Elstead Lighting<br />

elsteadlighting.com<br />

Stacie star frame<br />

£27 Fable and Mirth<br />

fableandmirth.com<br />


Dominic Walmsley<br />


Beautiful bespoke<br />

jewellery<br />




01580 201259 jane@greenfinchshop.co.uk<br />

greenfinchshop.co.uk @greenfinchticehurst<br />

3 The Square • Riverhead<br />

01732 779 555 www.dominicwalmsley.com<br />

Greenfinch Quarter Page 90x130 final v03.indd 1 08/03/<strong>2023</strong> Wealdon 11:48<br />

<strong>Times</strong> Natural Ring April 23.indd 1 13/10/<strong>2023</strong> 16:11:36<br />


Biddenden Vineyards Festive Shop<br />

Here at Biddenden we have everything you need<br />

for the festive season.<br />

Our hampers are the perfect gift for family and<br />

friends. Choose from our range of wines, ciders<br />

and juices, add a vineyard tour voucher or<br />

products such as chutneys, honey, gins, beers<br />

and much more, all sourced from local and<br />

Kentish businesses. Add a gift message for the<br />

truly personal touch.<br />

Merry <strong>Christmas</strong> from the Biddenden Team<br />

Visit our website for more information on visiting<br />

www.biddendenvineyards.com<br />

Open daily from the 18th of <strong>November</strong> until 5pm on<br />

Saturday the 23rd December<br />

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm,<br />

Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 11am-4pm<br />

Biddenden Vineyards, Gribble Bridge Lane, Biddenden, Kent, TN27 8DF<br />

01580 291726 | info@biddendenvineyards.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

31 Le Rouge<br />

refillable lipstick in<br />

Rouge Premier £140<br />

Chanel chanel.com<br />

Diamond trefoil<br />

cluster pendant<br />

Cousins £5,995<br />

tbcousins.co.uk<br />

Portrait commission<br />

voucher from £2,000<br />

Royal Society of Portrait<br />

Painters therp.co.uk<br />

Rose gold Peekaboo<br />

earrings with two roundcut<br />

morganites and 18<br />

brilliant-cut diamonds<br />

£3,250 Bucherer Fine<br />

Jewellery bucherer.com<br />

Clase Azul Reposado<br />

tequila £215 Selfridges<br />

selfridges.com<br />

Meisterstück<br />

Neo briefcase<br />

£1,460 Montblanc<br />

montblanc.com<br />

Noel double<br />

wick candle £129<br />

Holland & Cooper<br />

hollandcooper.com<br />

Oaklee coat £980<br />

Temperley London<br />

temperleylondon.com<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s for ...<br />

A Lit tl e Lu xu<br />

ry<br />

Rose gold mandarin garnet<br />

and pink tourmaline serpent<br />

ring £4,000 Robert Bicknell<br />

robertbicknellfinejewellery.co.uk<br />

Utopia woman<br />

decanter £295<br />

Jonathan Adler<br />

uk.jonathanadler.com<br />

Gold Autumn ring with<br />

garnets, citrines, sapphires<br />

and diamonds £6,300<br />

Dominic Walmsley Jewellery<br />

dominicwalmsley.com<br />

Beoplay HX headphones<br />

£449 Bang & Olufsen<br />

bang-olufsen.com<br />

Starlight View Small<br />

Zip-Around Dark Cherry<br />

Grab Bag £199 Radley<br />

radley.co.uk<br />

Freelancer 2490<br />

watch £1,795<br />

Raymond Weil<br />

raymond-weil.co.uk<br />

Dream nightdress £135 Simone<br />

Perele uk.simone-perele.com<br />

Pro-Ject E1 Phono turntable<br />

£299 John Lewis johnlewis.com<br />



Indulge in gorgeous cakes, tasty treats<br />

made especially for you, your event or<br />

simply just becasuse...<br />

Step out of the box with carefully-curated events and feasts that ignite the senses<br />

and capture the magic of any occasion.<br />

Filled with life, colour, energy and years of experience, The Curious Events are here<br />

to take you beyond any expectations of what any celebration can be...<br />

Creativity & Flair<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> treat boxes £30<br />

The night before <strong>Christmas</strong> goodie bag £10<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> Eve grazing box £35<br />

Boxing Day brunch £19 per person<br />

Spaces limited<br />

07922 193031 | daisydoocupcakes@gmail.com<br />

facebook.com/daisydoocupcakes<br />

daisydoocupcakes<br />

Our team of chefs seek to design a menu that<br />

will have your guests’ tastebuds singing.<br />

Combining your tastes and preferences with our<br />

own unique style that’s catered to you, our feasts<br />

are always a stand-out attraction.<br />

Seasonality & Quality Produce<br />

It is our mission to take a sustainable approach<br />

to everything we do, including using fresh<br />

produce from our very own allotment, and<br />

working with small and independent suppliers.<br />

www.thecuriousevents.co.uk • feast@thecuriouseatery.co.uk • 01622 299359<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Revive green<br />

Le Creuset casserole tea £12.95 Baiji<br />

from £285 John Lewis baijilife.co.uk<br />

johnlewis.com<br />

Cranberry, Port & Orange<br />

sauce £7.05 Tracklements<br />

tracklements.co.uk<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong><br />

snow globe<br />

gin by Gravity<br />

Drinks £29<br />

Harvey Nichols<br />

harveynichols.com<br />

Wild Forest<br />

biscotti gift box<br />

£30 Biscottilicious<br />

biscottilicious.com<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s for ...<br />

F od<br />

ie s Ch<br />

ef<br />

s<br />

Basil hydro-herb kit made<br />

from a recycled wine bottle<br />

£25 hydro-herb.co.uk<br />

Barista coffee<br />

syrup £3.79<br />

Sweet Freedom<br />

sweetfreedom.co.uk<br />

&<br />

Bolivian Wild Truffle gift box £19.99<br />

MELT Chocolates meltchocolates.com<br />

Mince Pie, 43.5%<br />

Venezuelan Milk<br />

Chocolate bar £5.50<br />

Only Coco only-coco.co.uk<br />

Soups £14.99<br />

National Trust Books<br />

shop.nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

Winter Woodland yule log cake from<br />

£25 Lola’s Cupcakes lolascupcakes.co.uk<br />

Acorn mug £15 National<br />

Trust shop.nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

English sparkling<br />

wine London<br />

Brut 2018 £38<br />

DifferentKind<br />

thedifferentkind.com<br />

Silent Pool Black<br />

Juniper Gin<br />

£295 Silent Pool<br />

silentpooldistillers.com<br />

Ultimate Sushi Kit £34.99<br />

Kelly Loves kellyloves.com<br />

Box of 6 mince pie cookie<br />

cups £20.99 Blondies Kitchen<br />

blondieskitchen.co.uk<br />

<strong>Gift</strong> box with 2 jars of moonshine,<br />

2 shot glasses and a pouring lid<br />

£56.90 O’Donnell Moonshine<br />

odonnellmoonshine.co.uk<br />

81<br />


READER<br />

OFFER<br />

Use Code:<br />

WINTER15<br />

*Ts&Cs Apply<br />

Think you’ve got clothes moths? Care for your home with<br />

Total Wardrobe Care’s natural anti-moth products<br />

15%<br />

OFF<br />



*Ts&Cs Apply<br />

Visit totalwardrobecare.co.uk<br />

Use Code: WINTER15<br />

at checkout<br />

@totalwardrobecare<br />

Total Wardrobe Care<br />

@TotalWardrobe<br />

Total Wardrobe Care<br />

“Keep a natural oil diffuser<br />

in your wardrobe at all<br />

times - it smells good &<br />

wards off moths”<br />

“Ingenious new<br />

pheromone treatment<br />

to tackle moth<br />

infestations”<br />

Unit 4, Farringdon Industrial Centre,<br />

Hampshire, GU34 3DD<br />

info@totalwardrobecare.co.uk<br />

Tel: 01420 588 588

<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

London Grace nail<br />

polish £12 Ticketyboo<br />

ticketybooshop.com<br />

Candy cane<br />

reusable<br />

bubble bar £5<br />

Lush lush.com<br />

Smell the Roses soap<br />

£7 Elstree Soaps<br />

elstreesoaps.com<br />

Wildsmith Skin shower<br />

oil £40 wildsmithskin.com<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s to ...<br />

Bouncing Santa<br />

shower jelly<br />

£6.50 Lush<br />

lush.com<br />

Pa mpe<br />

r Sp oi<br />

l<br />

Aurelie crimson stripe silk shirt<br />

£190 and trouser 170 Sleepy<br />

Wilson sleepywilson.com<br />

Red French clay natural soap on a rope<br />

£7.50 The Vely Soapery thevelysoapery.com<br />

&<br />

Charlotte Tilbury<br />

Lip Blur £27<br />

John Lewis<br />

johnlewis.com<br />

Rescue Ritual Cleanse<br />

& Nourish gift<br />

set £56 Douvall’s<br />

douvalls.com<br />

Wave Pro skin<br />

spatula with<br />

SonicGlow<br />

Technology and<br />

EMS £119 PMD<br />

uk.pmdbeauty.com<br />

Midnight Reset<br />

sleeping balm<br />

£50 Kelsey<br />

kelseyskin.com<br />

Embroidered flowers linen<br />

makeup bag £35 Sarah Becvar<br />

Design sarahbecvardesign.com<br />

Wella <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

mini luxe oil bauble<br />

£12 Look Fantastic<br />

lookfantastic.com<br />

Wash bag £22.50 Sarah Louise Dix<br />

sarahlouisedix.co.uk<br />

Put on Something Ice<br />

nail laquer £14.90<br />

OPI opi.com<br />

C.O. Bigelow coconut<br />

body cleanser and<br />

body lotion duo<br />

set £29 Liberty<br />

libertylondon.com<br />

Chloe stripe PJ bottoms<br />

£129.50 Jessica Russel Flint<br />

jessicarussellflint.co.uk<br />

83<br />



gardEnEr<br />

Sussex Country Gardener has been an independent family-run<br />

garden centre in the heart of East Sussex for over 25 years. Our<br />

magnificent <strong>Christmas</strong> emporium holds all you need to create<br />

your perfect <strong>Christmas</strong> – from decorations set in beautiful,<br />

themed displays, lit artificial trees, and British grown <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

trees, to a delicious selection of festive foods, and gifts galore!<br />

Magical<br />

FOREST<br />

Bring a rustic forest look into your<br />

home with whimsical woodland<br />

decorations in earthy tones of<br />

green, brown, white and gold.<br />

Berry<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Transform your <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

tree with these opulent<br />

decorations in shades of blue,<br />

purple and gold.<br />

Jolly<br />


Bring some vibrancy and fun<br />

to your tree with our selection<br />

of mixed colour decorations in<br />

all different shapes and styles.<br />

Champagne<br />

Chic<br />

Create a truly elegant display<br />

with our selection of decorations<br />

in soft shades of pink, gold,<br />

green and wine red.<br />


British Grown,<br />

Real <strong>Christmas</strong> Trees<br />


Hole Park <strong>Christmas</strong> Tree farm in Cranbrook<br />

have a long history and many years of<br />

experience growing <strong>Christmas</strong> trees, going back<br />

over 60 Years. They are members of the British<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> tree growers association, and their<br />

ethos is to provide fresh homegrown trees to UK<br />

customers. All their trees are cut to order and<br />

delivered to us gradually to ensure they are of<br />

the best possible quality and freshness.<br />

Receive a £5 voucher to spend in<br />

store for all online pre-orders before<br />

the 26th <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

Join our FREE<br />

reward card club<br />

Receive a £5 voucher to spend in our café<br />

Seasonal discounts<br />

Points on purchases<br />

Free tea and cake for your birthday<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> late<br />

night opening<br />

Friday 24th <strong>November</strong><br />

5.30pm - 9.00pm<br />

See our website for details.<br />

20%<br />

OFF<br />

ON THE<br />

NIGHT<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s for all<br />

Toys for<br />

children of all<br />

ages, candles,<br />

clothes, toiletries,<br />

Stationery and<br />

Polish Pottery.<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong><br />

workshops<br />

A magical experience<br />

for all the family.<br />

Make all sorts from<br />

wreaths to reindeer<br />

sweet holders.<br />

See our website for details.<br />


01892 852828 l www.sussexcountrygardener.co.uk<br />

STARTS<br />

FROM<br />

5th<br />


<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Silver Tree of Life pendant<br />

£125 Dower & Hall<br />

dowerandhall.com<br />

National Trust Gardener’s<br />

Almanac 2024<br />

£9.99 National Trust<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

Grow It bonsai tree plant £16<br />

Moonpig moonpig.com<br />

Gardening apron £32.99<br />

Perkins & Morley<br />

perkinsandmorley.com<br />

Watering can pin<br />

badge £6 Storigraphic<br />

storigraphic.com<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s for ...<br />

Gre en<br />

-Fi nge<br />

rs<br />

Women’s Arctic Sport II Tall<br />

Boots £150 Muck Boot Company<br />

muckbootcompany.co.uk<br />

RHS Gardening<br />

caddy bag £69<br />

Genus genus.gs<br />

“Plant Dreams, Pull Weeds & Grow<br />

a Happy Life” mug £6 Vicky Yorke<br />

Designs vickyyorkedesigns.com<br />

Personalised leather<br />

effect gardening journal<br />

£26.95 Martha Brook<br />

marthabrook.com<br />

Bonsai plant<br />

seed kit £14<br />

Seed Pantry<br />

seedpantry.co.uk<br />

Small World 1<br />

terrarium £99<br />

Four Store London<br />

fourstore.co.uk<br />

V&A Sweet pea<br />

seed pack £2<br />

V&A vam.ac.uk<br />

Rolife Cathy’s flower house wooden kit<br />

£50 John Lewis johnlewis.com<br />

Bundle & Rust gardeners soap<br />

£4.75 Rural Crafts Association<br />

ruralcraftsassociation.co.uk<br />

Calathea Orbifolia<br />

with Windsor Sage<br />

planter £34 Leaf Envy<br />

leafenvy.co.uk<br />

Houseplant colour<br />

pressure mister £14.99<br />

Dobbies dobbies.com<br />

3in1 moisture meter<br />

£24 Leaf Envy<br />

leafenvy.co.uk<br />

Grow embroidery kit £22.95<br />

Hawthorn Handmade<br />

hawthornhandmade.com<br />

85<br />


An exciting & unique gift for a racing fan<br />

Own a share in a yearling<br />

for the 2024 season<br />

• Racehorse Ownership <strong>Gift</strong> pack from £500<br />

• Providing exclusive behind the scenes<br />

organised trips to the training yard/<br />

Owners badges when racing/Share of any<br />

prize money won/Regular updates<br />

from your Racing Manager<br />

• Choose from a small number<br />

of carefully selected yearlings<br />

who are exciting prospects for<br />

the 2024 horse racing season<br />

Established in 2006, racehorse-ownership has provided<br />

racing enthusiasts with plenty of winners and exciting<br />

days out throughout the UK and overseas.<br />

07887 500777 | www.racehorse-ownership.com<br />

Pamper Your Pets This <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Helios is a specialist homeopathic pharmacy<br />

based in the heart of Tunbridge Wells.<br />

Alongside our remedies we stock a wide range of organic<br />

and natural skin and hair care products, flower essences<br />

and vitamin and mineral supplements for all the family and<br />

a wide range of books, we like to look after your pets too.<br />

Why not treat your four legged friends to a Helios First<br />

Aid Kit for Pets which contains 24 homeopathic remedies<br />

covering a wide range of common complaints and first<br />

aid situations and our specially formulated SOeSsence<br />

flower essence for those emergency situations. There is<br />

a comprehensive booklet to help you choose the right<br />

remedy too. In addition our SOeSsence healing beeswax<br />

balm contains botanicals and essential oils to help heal<br />

sore paws and minor cuts and abrasions and our SLS<br />

free shampoo contains soothing plant based ingredients,<br />

particularly good for itchy and scurfy skin. Buy all three<br />

products and get 20% off.<br />

Our homeopaths and pharmacists are on hand to offer you<br />

a warm welcome and expert advice for all your health care<br />

needs.<br />

We look forward to seeing you soon.<br />

Helios Homeopathy Ltd, 97 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2QR<br />

Open Mon-Fri 9.00am - 5.30pm Sat 9.00am - 2.00pm<br />

01892 537254 www.helios.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

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<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Molly Black Cat pin<br />

badge £6 Storigraphic<br />

storigraphic.com<br />

“The Queen of Wands”<br />

talisman necklace<br />

£36 Fable England<br />

fableengland.com<br />

Personalised pet bowl £27<br />

Reimagined by Anna Stark<br />

reimaginedbyannastark.com<br />

Silver star dog poo bag<br />

pouch £15 Rockett St<br />

George rockettstgeorge.co.uk<br />

Paw ring £45 Lily Charmed<br />

lilycharmed.com<br />

<strong>Gift</strong>s for ...<br />

Furbo 360° dog camera<br />

with treat dispenser,<br />

colour night vision,<br />

and barking alert £139<br />

Furbo furbo.com<br />

An im al Lo<br />

ve<br />

rs<br />

Life’s-a-ball Limited edition screenprint by<br />

Sarah Targett 30x30cm £60 (unframed)<br />

The Wey Gallery theweygallery.com<br />

Sprout chew toy £4 M&S<br />

marksandspencer.com<br />

PetKit Smart<br />

Antibacterial Pet<br />

Bowl £32<br />

John Lewis<br />

johnlewis.com<br />

Pink sapphire gem<br />

collar charm £16<br />

Cheshire & Wain<br />

cheshireandwain.com<br />

Ceramic bird<br />

candle holder<br />

£62.50 Fable<br />

and Mirth<br />

fableandmirth.com<br />

‘I Spies Mince<br />

Pies’ plate £22.50<br />

Jimbobart<br />

jimbobart.com<br />

Pudding dog<br />

socks £7.50<br />

FatFace<br />

fatface.com<br />

Karate Cats and<br />

Kung Fu Dogs<br />

card game £11.99<br />

Ginger Fox<br />

gingerfox.co.uk<br />

Deeply Dishy luxury<br />

dog bed from £153<br />

Charley Chau<br />

charleychau.com<br />

Sausage dog tricks mug £15<br />

Jane Abbott janeabbott.com<br />

Radley & Friends slipper<br />

£50 Radley radley.co.uk<br />

Shelter Stevie sheep dog<br />

jumper £24 FatFace fatface.com<br />

87<br />


<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

The Hot One<br />

Price: £20-50<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: 24 pouches of your<br />

pick of hot drink<br />

From the edge of the Peak<br />

District, Yawn are sending out<br />

hot drink advents that will have<br />

you feeling warm and cosy all<br />

December. There’s options galore<br />

with hot cocoa in milk or dark,<br />

and with a cup, or marshmallows<br />

too, if you like. Tea can be loose leaf<br />

or bags, caffine-free or even bags for<br />

two. And coffee comes in options<br />

of beans or a grind to suit your<br />

coffee maker or even add a reusable<br />

advent. yawnbrew.com<br />

The Personalised One<br />

Price: £249<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: £450 worth of jewellery including pendants,<br />

necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets<br />

Abbott Lyon’s advent is available in gold or silver with<br />

personalisable details so you can unveil pieces with your<br />

initial and birthstone, as well as getting your name printed<br />

on the box itself. Nothing says luxury like a bespoke option<br />

and this one is a really lovely treat! abbottlyon.com<br />

Advent Calendars<br />

From classic chocs to jewellery, beauty treats, candles and tipples – we have a grown-up advent to suit<br />

every taste and have you joyfully counting down the days ‘til <strong>Christmas</strong>!<br />

The Jewellery One<br />

The Pampering One<br />

Price: £195<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: 25 fabulous and festive Lush<br />

products including bath bombs, soaps, lotions,<br />

scrubs, and shower gels.<br />

The Lush Advent Calendar is big, beautiful<br />

and filled with all you need to spend your<br />

festive season sweet-scented and feeling<br />

pampered to the fullest. A lot of the products<br />

included are exclusive to this box and there is<br />

a joyful <strong>Christmas</strong> theme running throughout<br />

with penguins, snowflakes and santas all<br />

getting involved. Is it a luxury? Yes. Is it very<br />

lush? Yes it is! lush.com<br />

The Pet’s One<br />

Price: £12.50 for cats, £14 for dogs<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: 24 natural treats in 2 or 3 flavours<br />

Lily’s Kitchen’s proper pet food advents let fourlegged<br />

friends enjoy counting down the days<br />

with you. These treats will be the highlight of<br />

your pet’s day with their natural ingredients,<br />

using real meat, steamed veggies, and nutritious<br />

herbs and no nasties whatsoever. lilyskitchen.co.uk<br />

Price: £220<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: 12 really pretty pieces of<br />

jewellery worth over £400 total<br />

Sussex brand, Posh Totty’s advent is a<br />

top pick for jewellery magpies. It is one<br />

of the brand’s many products that raises<br />

money for Women International with<br />

every sale – helping women who have<br />

survived war. These lovely handmade<br />

advents are in limited edition of 50 so<br />

don’t dilly dally! poshtottydesigns.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


The Chocolate One<br />

Price: £27.50 (or two for £50) What’s <strong>inside</strong>: 25 delicious handcrafted chocolates<br />

Chococo’s award-winning plastic-free calendars are always sure to please. This year, they<br />

have a few exciting new flavours including Bottoms Up! Champagne Gem, We Three Fruits<br />

and Panela Panache Truffle. This is a chocolate advent that feels indulgent and grown-up<br />

and at a very reasonable price, while also being sustainable, UK-made, AND they even<br />

have a plant-based option for the same price! This one checks all our boxes. chococo.co.uk<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

The Anything One<br />

Price: £115<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: Whatever you want!<br />

Kent-based Nancy & Betty Studio’s<br />

personalised embroidered fabric option<br />

is perfect for those wanting to do their<br />

own thing and make an eco-friendly<br />

choice. The pockets have plenty of<br />

room so you can fill with whatever you<br />

want, or get a pair for you and a loved<br />

one so you can fill them for each other<br />

for an extra suprise element!<br />

nancyandbetty.com<br />

The Whisky One<br />

The Candle One<br />

Price: £60<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: 24 luxury tealights in 21<br />

scents, in festive gold aluminium cups<br />

Great House Farm Stores’ first ever<br />

advent is filled with tealights that are<br />

hand-poured on their Welsh farm.<br />

Candle lovers will adore opening up<br />

this sustainable box each day to find<br />

a new scent to try out over a 5 hour<br />

burn time. This one is homely and<br />

gentle, a real breath of fresh (or rather<br />

beautifully scented) air for a soothing<br />

advent experience.<br />

greathousefarmstores.co.uk<br />

Price: £179.95<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: 24 50ml drams of Scotch whisky<br />

The Whisky Tour of Scotland Advent Calendar<br />

by Gravity Drinks takes you on a journey<br />

across Scotland. This beautiful handmade<br />

wooden cabinet also comes with two spirit<br />

nosing glasses so you can share a tipple each<br />

night of December. masterofmalt.com<br />

The Nice List One<br />

Price: £14.99<br />

What’s <strong>inside</strong>: 25 scrummy chocolates in 10 flavours including<br />

hazelnut, popping sugar, caramel, pretzel and sea salt<br />

Tony’s Chocolonely Countdown Calendar supports the fight<br />

for a fairer chocolate industry. With a fact about the industry<br />

for every day, it educates us while also giving us a seriously<br />

tasty choc, demonstrating just what the industry could<br />

and should be doing. All this with a great taste, fair price<br />

tag, and it’s free from palm oil and plastic packaging.<br />

Definitely one for the nice list! tonyschocolonely.com<br />

89<br />


<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Pink & gold glitter<br />

bauble £6.50<br />

Trading Boundaries<br />

tradingboundaries.com<br />

Honeycomb<br />

bauble decorations<br />

£45 (set of 6)<br />

OKA oka.com<br />

Toy tox tree<br />

decoration<br />

£16 Nancy &<br />

Betty Studio<br />

nancyandbetty.com<br />

Harbour stripe<br />

radish bow £45<br />

Tori Murphy<br />

torimurphy.com<br />

Twisted tapered<br />

LED candles<br />

£20 (pair) OKA<br />

oka.com<br />

A Royal Celebration<br />

Take inspiration from Victoria & Albert’s traditional <strong>Christmas</strong>es with ribbons and<br />

candles, luxury plastic-free materials like silk velvet, glass and paper, and handmade<br />

details – add a touch of gold and jewel tones, and a dusting of Dickensian snow to finish<br />

Huxley, the<br />

Dachshund in<br />

recycled metal £15.99<br />

Adams & Mack<br />

adamsandmack.com<br />

Glass BonBon jar set of 2 £32.90<br />

Solavia Glassware solavia.co.uk<br />

Green velvet<br />

bow £3.50<br />

John Lewis<br />

johnlewis.com<br />

Footed antique<br />

brass wine<br />

cooler, £225<br />

Cox & Cox<br />

coxandcox.co.uk<br />

Terracotta dove<br />

decoration, £3.99<br />

Sourced by Oxfam<br />

onlineshop.oxfam.org.uk<br />

Pewter mistletoe<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> decoration<br />

£28 Dower & Hall<br />

dowerandhall.com<br />

Lyon Champagne glass<br />

with diamond cut detail<br />

£7.50 The Wisteria Tree<br />

thewisteriatree.co.uk<br />

Gold LED star light/<br />

tree topper £40<br />

Rockett St George<br />

rockettstgeorge.co.uk<br />

Openable<br />

bauble £9.95<br />

Annabel James<br />

annabeljames.co.uk<br />

First <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

carousel wooden<br />

decoration £25<br />

No Ordinary <strong>Gift</strong><br />

noordinarygift.co.uk<br />

Plum recycled glass<br />

bauble (hand-blown<br />

by Muslims in<br />

Hebron, and handpainted<br />

by Christians<br />

in Bethlehem) £18<br />

Bethlehem Baubles<br />

bethlehembaubles.com<br />

Enchanted bow<br />

charm from £10<br />

Velvet Linen<br />

velvetlinen.co.uk<br />

Kaso lantern aged<br />

antique brass<br />

small £70 Nkuku<br />

nkuku.com<br />

Dimali antique brass<br />

candle holder with handle<br />

£18 Nkuku nkuku.com<br />

Remote control<br />

candle tree lights<br />

£50 (set of 10)<br />

Cox & Cox<br />

coxandcox.co.uk<br />

Damson Berry<br />

and Gold Leaf<br />

Wreath £35<br />

John Lewis<br />

johnlewis.com<br />

Brass bells £40 (pair)<br />

Layered Lounge<br />

layeredlounge.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com 90

Family business since 1996<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong>s<br />

Vintage Furniture<br />

Textiles & More ...<br />

Enjoy a Glass of Wine in<br />

our Cafe-Bar too!<br />

Discover the Magic of <strong>Christmas</strong>!<br />

Stunning Vintage World Furniture • <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong>s, Textiles & Decorations<br />

Candles & Homeware • Fully Licensed Café-Bar • Live Music & Events<br />

Roger Dean Gallery • Weddings & Receptions • <strong>Christmas</strong> & Staff Parties<br />

Front Desk: 01825 790 200 | E: showroom@tradingboundaries.com | www.tradingboundaries.com<br />

Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, East Sussex, TN22 3RB | On the A275 just 10 minutes from Haywards Heath & Lindfield!<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

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91<br />

TradingBoundariesWT246.indd 1 19/10/2022 15:56




3PM-8PM<br />




49 High St, Cranbrook, TN17 3EE<br />

www.odyl.co.uk | 01580 714907<br />






Proud stockists of:<br />

Barbour, Barker, Geox, Jeep, Lacuzzo,<br />

Sergio Duletti, John White, R M Williams,<br />

Bugatti and Savelli, boots & shoes<br />


priceless-magazines.com<br />


Tied with a bow<br />

A blush pink cubic zirconia is encircled with a hand painted<br />

emerald green enamel bow in this beautifully festive ring<br />

Photograph: David Merewether<br />

Styling: Lucy Fleming<br />

Amelia Bow Ring in emerald,<br />

blush pink & gold, £99,<br />

Amelia Scott amelia-scott.com

Jacquard gold foil<br />

star kimono £89<br />

Scamp & Dude<br />

scampanddude.com<br />

Looking good<br />

slouchy boots<br />

£60 Joe Browns<br />

joebrowns.co.uk<br />

Love knot pendant £95<br />

Dominic Walmsley<br />

dominicwalmsley.com<br />

Black silk bow<br />

headband £39<br />

Phase Eight<br />

phase-eight.com<br />

istockphoto.com/ Lana-Light<br />

Bow necklace £60<br />

Scream Pretty<br />

screampretty.com<br />

Alohas fossil cream leather<br />

ballet flats £120 Oliver<br />

Bonas oliverbonas.com<br />

Marlow halter<br />

dress in black £695<br />

Temperley London<br />

temperleylondon.com<br />

All Wrapped Up!<br />

PU wrap belted<br />

midi skirt £35<br />

Very very.co.uk<br />

Stripe blouse<br />

£31 John Lewis<br />

johnlewis.com<br />

Your presence is the ultimate present, so take style inspo from<br />

luxurious gift wrapping by gathering, draping, tying and generally<br />

swathing yourself in wintry glamour. Just add a bow or two to top it<br />

off and you’ll be all set for the festive season!<br />

Lisa The Label Bow<br />

Belle sweater £245<br />

Wolf & Badger<br />

wolfandbadger.com<br />

Matilda antique Victorian<br />

true lover’s knot ring £1,680<br />

The Vintage Ring Company<br />

thevintageringco.com<br />

Beaded star hair<br />

bow £20 Accessorize<br />

accessorize.com<br />

Rope knot ring<br />

£42 SEOL + GOLD<br />

seolgold.com<br />

Gold sailors knot<br />

earrings £2,123.87<br />

(per earring)<br />

Cervin Blanc<br />

cervinblanc.com<br />

Elegant bootie<br />

£150 Steve Madden<br />

stevemadden.co.uk<br />

Juniper velvet<br />

jumpsuit<br />

£95 FatFace<br />

fatface.com<br />

Autograph leather trench coat £350<br />

M&S marksandspencer.com<br />

Peri paisley devore dress £120<br />

Monsoon monsoon.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

Bow detail bag<br />

£55 Monsoon<br />

monsoon.co.uk<br />

Happiest gold<br />

slingbacks £85<br />

Dune London<br />


ICONA<br />



01252 621035<br />


Cosy awaits...

Originally from Brazil, chef Maz Cogo has recently moved<br />

from London to the South coast to join The Union Rye<br />

as its new Head Chef, having held head chef and senior<br />

kitchen positions at Brat, Legare and Padella. She brings<br />

with her a passion for seasonal vegetables and produce,<br />

whole animal butchery skills, live fire cooking and a<br />

love of hospitality. We visited her and The Union team<br />

in their beautiful 15th century building in the heart of<br />

Rye to shoot three gorgeously autumnal recipes that are<br />

simple enough to recreate at home and truly delicious<br />

Recipes: Maz Cogo Photographs: David Merewether<br />

Homemade ricotta with<br />

slow roasted pumpkin,<br />

sherry, walnut & sage<br />

Serves 6 Prep time: 20<br />

mins, plus resting time<br />

This is a gorgeous recipe which is<br />

simple to make but suitably indulgent<br />

for an autumnal lunch or dinner party.<br />

I like using Red Kuri squash with its<br />

dry and rich flesh which roasts beautiful<br />

and pairs perfectly with the creamy<br />

ricotta. I source Kuri squash from<br />

Tablehurst Farm, near Forest Row in<br />

East Sussex. For the dressing, use the<br />

best vinegar and extra virgin olive oil<br />

you can, such as a sherry or muscatel<br />

vinegar, or perhaps a sweet apple<br />

vinegar from your local farm shop.<br />

For the ricotta:<br />

• 1L whole milk<br />

• 300ml double cream<br />

• 55ml lemon juice<br />

• 55ml white wine vinegar<br />

• 2 sprigs of fresh oregano<br />

Measure out the lemon juice and<br />

vinegar into a bowl and set aside,<br />

while you heat the milk, cream, and<br />

oregano in a saucepan over a medium<br />

heat, stirring to avoid burning. Once<br />

at the boil, take off the heat and add<br />

the lemon juice and vinegar mixture<br />

and stir well. Leave to cool until room<br />

temperature and then strain and season.<br />

Keep refrigerated until needed.<br />

Note: When straining, be careful not<br />

to strain it too much. Collect the whey<br />

in a bowl in case you need to loosen<br />

the ricotta so it’s rich and creamy.<br />

For the pumpkin:<br />

• 600-700g of pumpkin or squash<br />

such as Red Kuri, Delicata,<br />

Crown Prince or Butternut<br />

Heat the oven to 200°C and line<br />

a large baking tray with baking<br />

parchment. There is no need to peel<br />

the squash, simply halve, deseed, cut<br />

into wedges and arrange onto the<br />

tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season<br />

well with salt, a crack of freshly black<br />

pepper, and a bunch of sage. Roast<br />

for 35-45 mins or until very tender.<br />

For the dressing:<br />

• 1 clove of garlic<br />

• 50ml sherry vinegar<br />

• 200ml olive oil<br />

• 30g dark brown sugar<br />

• 200ml rapeseed oil<br />

Crush the garlic in a large bowl<br />

and whisk in the other ingredients.<br />

The flavour will greatly improve if<br />

you leave to infuse overnight in the<br />

fridge and sieve before serving.<br />

To serve:<br />

• toasted and crushed walnuts<br />

• fried sage leaves<br />

Arrange the roasted pumpkin on a<br />

large platter, or individual plates, and<br />

spoon on dollops of the ricotta. Sprinkle<br />

with a handful of toasted and crushed<br />

walnuts, fried sage leaves and generously<br />

drizzle over the sherry vinegar dressing.<br />

Any left-over dressing will be happy<br />

in the fridge for up to ten days. <br />

97<br />




Opening Hours: Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)<br />

Tues- Sat 11.30-3pm (food 12-2.15pm)<br />

6pm-11pm (food 6pm-9pm)<br />

Sun 12pm-5pm (food 12pm-3pm)<br />


Come celebrate the festive season with us. With open log<br />

fires and twinkling lights amongst the oak beams, there is<br />

nothing quite like <strong>Christmas</strong> at the Pepperbox Inn.<br />


Sweet potato, parsnip & ginger soup, crispy shallots<br />

Potted salmon, pickled cucumber, toast<br />

Smoked ham croquettes, spiced apple relish<br />

Baked brie with walnuts, cranberries & honey, toast<br />


Traditional roast turkey, sausage meat & bacon stuffing, duck fat roast potatoes & gravy<br />

Pan fried pheasant breast, Drambuie, mushroom & chervil cream sauce, potato terrine<br />

Slow cooked beef feather blade, red wine sauce, colcannon mash, parsnip crisps<br />

Pan fried seabass fillet, crab ravioli, dill butter sauce<br />

Chestnut mushroom & cavolo nero risotto, toasted hazelnuts<br />


<strong>Christmas</strong> pudding & brandy sauce<br />

Spiced rum glazed pineapple, lime syrup, coconut ice cream<br />

Chocolate & caramel biscuit truffle torte, baileys ice cream<br />

Blood orange & amaretti trifle<br />

Cheeseboard, biscuits, plum chutney (£2 supplement)<br />

01622 842558<br />

www.thepepperboxinn.co.uk<br />



2 Course (mid week only) £25.00<br />

3 Course £33.50<br />


1st to 23rd December, excludes Sundays<br />

A non-refundable deposit of £10 per head is required to secure all bookings.<br />

A discretional 10% service charge is added to parties of 8 or more<br />

Bookings should be provisionally made via telephone and confirmed<br />

with a deposit (within 7 days) & completed order form<br />



priceless-magazines.com<br />


Rolled pork belly, crushed<br />

potatoes, soft herbs,<br />

mustard & capers<br />

Serves 6 Prep and cooking: Approx. 2 hours.<br />

Pork belly is one of my favourite things<br />

to cook and eat, I am obsessed with the<br />

gorgeous meat, the flavourful layers of fat,<br />

and the constant challenge in making the<br />

skin crackle! It’s an endless and generous<br />

process. What a forgiving piece of meat!<br />

And the great thing is that we produce<br />

one of the best, if not the best, breed<br />

of pig on our doorstep. Basically, my<br />

career is a love letter to British pork.<br />

Ask your butcher to remove bones and<br />

score skin for you – a very important step.<br />

For the pork:<br />

• 2.5kg pork belly, deboned and scored<br />

• 1 bunch of thyme, leaves picked<br />

• 1 tbsp good quality fine sea salt<br />

• ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper<br />

• vegetable, or other neutral oil<br />

• butcher’s string<br />

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C fan<br />

assisted, or 230°C if not. Combine<br />

the thyme with the salt and black<br />

pepper. Massage the seasoning in<br />

well to the flesh side of the meat.<br />

2. Roll the belly as tight as possible, skin<br />

side out and secure with butcher’s string<br />

at 1-inch intervals. Pat dry and season<br />

the skin with good quality fine sea salt,<br />

rubbing into the score marks on the skin<br />

and a tiny amount of vegetable neutral oil.<br />

3. Put the rolled belly onto a wired<br />

tray and place <strong>inside</strong> a large, heavy<br />

based roasting tray, ideally with deep<br />

sides and handles for easy movement.<br />

Pour in cup of water to the bottom<br />

of the tray, without wetting the meat.<br />

Roast in the centre of the hot oven<br />

for 40-45 minutes until the skin<br />

is crackling and crispy all over.<br />

4. Carefully remove the pork. If you have<br />

a meat probe, the internal temperature<br />

should be no more than 63°C and the<br />

pork should be juicy, tender, and full<br />

of flavour. Rest the meat, uncovered,<br />

for a least 20 minutes before carving.<br />

For the potatoes:<br />

• 1.2 kg pink fir potatoes or<br />

other waxy potatoes<br />

• ½ bulb of garlic<br />

• 3 large sprigs of rosemary<br />

• extra virgin olive oil<br />

• 1 tsp sea salt<br />

Turn the oven down to 200°C while<br />

the pork is resting and boil the potatoes<br />

in well salted water until tender. Drain<br />

and tip into a large roasting try and<br />

add the rest of the ingredients and<br />

mix well. Gently crush the potatoes<br />

to break the skin, more surface area<br />

means extra crispy potatoes. Roast<br />

for 20 minutes until crispy.<br />

For the herb, mustard, and caper sauce:<br />

• ½ tbsp capers<br />

• ½ tbsp Dijon mustard<br />

• 2 cloves of garlic grated<br />

• 1 bunch parsley<br />

• 1 bunch mint<br />

• ½ bunch fresh oregano<br />

• ½ bunch of tarragon<br />

• 1 tsp red wine vinegar<br />

• 300ml extra virgin olive oil<br />

• 300ml extra virgin rapeseed oil<br />

• ½ tsp sea salt<br />

Combine all the ingredients in a food<br />

processor, adding the oils slowly.<br />

Taste and adjust seasoning with<br />

vinegar and salt. This herby green<br />

sauce tastes best when prepared the<br />

day before as the flavours relax.<br />

To serve:<br />

Carve a thick slice of pork belly per<br />

person and plate with the crispy<br />

potatoes, herb and mustard sauce<br />

and wilted greens of your choice.<br />


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Bay & vanilla panna cotta,<br />

roasted quince & crumble<br />

Serves 6 30 minutes prep, plus<br />

overnight setting time in the fridge<br />

• 300ml whole milk<br />

• 400ml double cream<br />

• 100g caster sugar<br />

• 3 small bay leaves<br />

• ¼ vanilla pod scraped<br />

• 3 gelatine sheets<br />

1. Soak the gelatine in a small<br />

bowl of cold water and set aside.<br />

2. In a small to medium sized pan,<br />

combine the milk, cream, sugar,<br />

bay, and vanilla. Gently warm but<br />

don’t let it boil. Pour in the sugar,<br />

stir to dissolve, and take off the heat,<br />

immediately covering with cling<br />

film. Leave to rest in a warm place<br />

for at least 20 minutes allowing the<br />

aromatics to infuse with the cream.<br />

3. After the resting time, remove<br />

the cling film, squeeze the gelatine<br />

leaves to remove water, and add it to<br />

the warm cream mixture, whisking<br />

in well to dissolve it completely.<br />

4. Sieve the infused cream into<br />

a measuring jug, then pour into<br />

moulds or short tumbler glasses<br />

and put in the fridge overnight,<br />

or for at least eight hours.<br />

For the quince:<br />

Serves 6 Prep & cooking time: 75<br />

minutes prep and cooking time<br />

• 3 British quinces, peeled,<br />

cored and cut in half<br />

• 100g caster sugar<br />

• 100ml hot water<br />

• 1 small piece star anise<br />

• 1 small piece cinnamon stick<br />

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the quince<br />

halves in a baking dish, cut side up. Top<br />

each quince half with 2 tablespoons<br />

of sugar. Pour in the hot water around<br />

the quince and add the cinnamon<br />

and anise to the tray. Bake until the<br />

quince is golden and soft, about 1<br />

hour. Remove the baking dish and let<br />

stand for 15 minutes, before serving.<br />

For the crumble:<br />

Prep & cooking time: 20-25 mins<br />

• 50g rolled oats<br />

• 50g diced unsalted butter<br />

• 50g light brown sugar<br />

• 50g plain flour<br />

• small pinch mixed spice<br />

• small pinch salt<br />

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line<br />

a shallow roasting tray with baking<br />

paper. Combine all the ingredients<br />

in a food processor, or mix by hand,<br />

until the mixture resembles a sandy<br />

texture. Shake out on to the lined<br />

tray and cook for 15 to 20 minutes,<br />

turning from time to time, until golden<br />

brown. Leave to cool before serving<br />

which results in a crunchier crumble.<br />

To serve:<br />

Serve the panna cottas with slices of<br />

quince and some of the golden roasting<br />

liquor and a handful of crumble on top.<br />

The Union’s team takes pride in hand making as much<br />

of their menu as possible in house, crafting ricotta, black<br />

pudding, crackers and ice creams by sourcing the very best<br />

ingredients they can from the East Sussex and Kentish<br />

larders. To find out more about their unpretentious, simple<br />

and restrained plates of food, and to book a table, visit<br />

theunionrye.co.uk or call 01797 229289.<br />


’Tis the Season to indulge and<br />

make merry, and we have got<br />

the perfect place for you!<br />

Join us at The King’s Arms in Elham, cosy up by<br />

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As you gather with loved ones or colleagues,<br />

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“From a cult British scent<br />

start-up, this takes beeswax,<br />

iris, sandalwood and vetiver<br />

and – via some extraordinary<br />

alchemy – creates something<br />

that has everyone I know<br />

who’s tried it compulsively<br />

sniffing their own skin.”<br />

Jo describing Olfactive O’s Skin

Scents for the<br />

Season<br />

Josephine Fairley handpicks the finest winter fragrances that’ll have you returning for spritz after spritz<br />

Images: Skin image courtesy of Olfacttive O, all others: istockphoto.com/ Seng kui Lim / banusevim/ Wirestock / Suchat longthara<br />

There’s only one thing that has me looking forward to<br />

winter. It is the prospect of switching over my scent<br />

wardrobe to fragrances that I love, but which feel<br />

heavy as a faux fur coat on a summer’s day, almost physically<br />

making me hot and sweaty. For me, some fragrances are floaty<br />

frocks – my summer choices. Others are velvet, cashmere and<br />

– yes – opaque tights. And it’s at the exact getting-out-theopaque-tights<br />

moment in the calendar that I change over my<br />

perfumes, too. A real olfactory highlight, for me, in the year.<br />

You, of course, may be one of those people with a<br />

‘signature’ scent that you’ve worn for forever, and be sitting<br />

there muttering: ‘That’s irrelevant to me.’ But actually, I’d<br />

like to persuade you otherwise, because there’s a very good<br />

reason, at least occasionally, to switch up what you wear.<br />

Because I’ll bet you also say, at least sometimes: ‘Trouble<br />

is, I can’t smell it on myself any more.’ And that’s precisely<br />

because you do have a signature scent, and your nose –<br />

or rather, your brain – treats it like wallpaper. In other<br />

words, it just becomes a background smell, and you miss<br />

out on enjoying something you love, except perhaps for<br />

a minute or two when first applying. Imagine how bored<br />

your sense of taste would become if you ate the same food,<br />

morning, noon and night. Now think about how that<br />

translates to smell – and maybe at least experiment with<br />

some of the scents I’m about to go into raptures over.<br />

Autumn <strong>2023</strong> is actually a very good moment for<br />

fragrance. During the pandemic, fragrance launches got<br />

backed up like planes circling round Heathrow. When<br />

we were all liberated, there was much uncertainty in<br />

the marketplace, and a lot of the fragrances launched<br />

were ‘flankers’, existing perfumes which had been given<br />

a bit of a twist. But this season, the floodgates have<br />

opened, creativity abounds – and we perfumistas are<br />

happy people indeed. So, here’s what I’m loving…<br />

Guerlain Tobacco Honey, from £90 for 50ml eau de<br />

parfum. There’s a strong tobacco trend wafting through<br />

perfumery right now. It’s all a bit decadent, considering how<br />

long the smoking ban’s been in place – but in truth, tobacco<br />

as a perfumery note is quite different to standing in a fug<br />

at the King’s Head (for anyone who remembers how much<br />

they used to have to splash out on dry cleaning, back in the<br />

day). It tends to be grassy, woody, complex, yet warm and<br />

seductive, which is why perfumers are having so much fun<br />

with it. This Guerlain latest really does give the sense of honey<br />

drizzled with honey, its sweet seductiveness further enhanced<br />

by vanilla, tonka and sesame, all enveloped in a cigar-like<br />

smokiness; indeed, it begs for you to dress up in your very<br />

finest and take it out to a fancy bar, as far as I’m concerned.<br />

La Montaña Divine Sunset, from £22 for 10ml eau de<br />

parfum. Used up all your annual leave allocation? From a<br />

Sussex-based brand (well, in truth, founder Cassandra Hall<br />

is based between Brighton and a Spanish mounta<strong>inside</strong>),<br />

Divine Sunset is a real holding-on-to-summer scent which<br />

invites you to bask in the warmth of orange blossom and<br />

musks. This is the scent equivalent of finding a protected spot<br />

on a sunny, blustery winter’s day and turning your face <br />

105<br />


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DrChristineWT204.indd DrChristineWT248.indd 1 02/12/2022 22/01/2019 10:21 12:31

to the sun for warmth – an invitation<br />

to travel, without ever leaving home.<br />

AKRO Bake, £80 for 50ml eau de<br />

parfum. Vanilla is probably the No.1<br />

most popular ingredient in perfumery<br />

this autumn, a strong revival of the<br />

‘gourmand’ (or ‘good-enough-to-eat’<br />

family of fragrances). Some are supersweet<br />

(not my bag), but others are<br />

delicious, without being in any way<br />

sickly. I was lucky enough to attend<br />

the launch of this, over a tasting menu<br />

at The Berkeley’s patisserie (over<br />

which Parisian pastry darling Cedric<br />

Grolet presides), where the assembled<br />

company of perfume writers agreed:<br />

on paper, we shouldn’t like this, but<br />

we all fell, hook, line and sinker,<br />

spritzing and re-spritzing (I still am).<br />

It’s light, it’s fluffy – a lighter-than-air<br />

cake, in scented form, dusted with<br />

icing sugar and utterly moreish.<br />

Tom Ford Café Rose, from £106<br />

for 50ml eau de parfum. Not to be<br />

confused with the intensely rich Café<br />

Rose which was previously in Tom<br />

Ford’s collection, this has far less<br />

of an espresso jolt, and much more<br />

rosiness. It’s a completely beautiful<br />

rose, sheer and wearable, but with<br />

the coffee note adding intrigue (and<br />

more than a little addiction).<br />

Escentric Molecules H01, £180<br />

for 100ml eau de parfum. Escentric<br />

Molecules became famous when word<br />

got out that their fragrance acted like<br />

a pheromone, attracting the opposite<br />

sex. Strictly, it doesn’t – but plenty of<br />

people find it very, very smoochy – and<br />

this being mistletoe season, it might<br />

be worth experimenting to see just<br />

how magnetic the Escentric Molecules<br />

collection is. H01 is the latest addition<br />

to the line-up, a Harrods exclusive<br />

which promises to be ‘an olfactory<br />

oasis among the uncertainty of the<br />

modern world’ (and we probably<br />

all need that). It’s leathery, woody,<br />

musky, and really quite addictive<br />

– but I also find it grounding and<br />

calming, something I badly need as<br />

the <strong>Christmas</strong> crescendo builds.<br />

The above have all joined my own<br />

fragrance wardrobe for autumn/winter,<br />

but then, it’s my job, and I’m lucky<br />

enough to have them gifted to me,<br />

in many (but not all) cases.<br />

However, there are a couple<br />

of other ‘old friends’ in scent<br />

form that I’m thrilled to be<br />

rediscovering, as the seasons<br />

change – and I would<br />

encourage you to make a<br />

perfume pilgrimage to<br />

sniff some of them<br />

out, too. At the<br />

very least, rather as<br />

you might with wine,<br />

you’ll learn what you<br />

do and don’t like. But<br />

here are three other scents<br />

that to me, are winter-perfect…<br />

Floral Street Black Lotus, £68 for<br />

50ml eau de parfum. Floral Street’s<br />

very reasonably priced fragrances have<br />

just landed in a bunch of M&S stores,<br />

which makes them easier to check<br />

out. This is the scent equivalent of a<br />

black leather jacket slung over a floral<br />

frock and worn with a cashmere shawl,<br />

lashings of rosa Centifolia contrasted<br />

with red pepper and leathery saffron.<br />

Olfactive O Skin, £110 for 30ml<br />

extrait de parfum. You want<br />

nuzzleable, addictive, truly the ‘skin<br />

scent’, as promised by the name of<br />

this fragrance? From a cult British<br />

scent start-up, this takes beeswax,<br />

iris, sandalwood and vetiver and<br />

– via some extraordinary alchemy –<br />

creates something that has everyone<br />

I know who’s tried it compulsively<br />

sniffing their own skin. Quite simply,<br />

sublime – and fascinatingly, it works<br />

as a brilliant ‘primer’ for any other<br />

fragrance you might apply on top.<br />

Zara Fleur de Patchouli, £25.99 for<br />

100ml eau de parfum. Personally, I love<br />

a waft of patchouli, whose woody notes<br />

seems so perfectly suited to winter: a<br />

crisp swish of autumn leaves, a touch<br />

of fireside smoulder. Haven’t checked<br />

out Zara’s fragrances yet? You’re missing<br />

out. Super-affordable, they are created<br />

by some of the leading fragrance talents<br />

in the world (Jo Malone CBE was the<br />

perfume ‘designer’ for this one), but<br />

what I would say is: if you fall head over<br />

heels for something, stockpile it – they<br />

don’t tend to stick around on the shelf.<br />

Now, still determined<br />

to stick to your signature<br />

scent..? It’s a free country,<br />

but to me, it’s the scent<br />

equivalent of always<br />

going on holiday to<br />

the exact same place,<br />

eating toast for every<br />

meal, or painting<br />

every room in your<br />

house in a single<br />

colour. So, I say: do<br />

your senses a favour, and<br />

spritz around, this winter.<br />

See beautybible.com for more of<br />

Jo’s tried and tested beauty reviews.


My life came to a standstill with agonising back<br />

pain… but now I’m back to health after IDD Therapy<br />

After her<br />

IDD Therapy<br />

programme,<br />

Jane can now<br />

enjoy family<br />

life again.<br />

Property Investor, Jane Kent, had<br />

never had a back problem before,<br />

but recently her life was suddenly<br />

put on hold by debilitating pain<br />

and immobility.<br />

Jane explains: “Over recent years we’ve moved<br />

house a lot; lifting furniture and boxes had<br />

become a way of life. Then last September I<br />

started an RHS course and began to enjoy<br />

gardening; no doubt this switched my back<br />

on to ‘high alert’. Then my husband became<br />

ill, so I slept in our spare room for weeks. I<br />

remember having to sit on the edge of the bed<br />

each morning waiting for my back to ‘realign’<br />

before I got up.”<br />

Things took a turn for the worse when<br />

Jane did some heavy-duty DIY: “The final<br />

straw came when my gigantic new bookcase<br />

arrived; after a two-hour installation, my back<br />

suddenly felt ‘different’. At first, bending felt<br />

awkward; certain muscles in my lower back felt<br />

permanently clenched.”<br />

Jane tried to manage the pain herself but soon<br />

had to seek help: “I had some physiotherapy<br />

and acupuncture, without much success.<br />

Eventually, my GP arranged an MRI scan.<br />

In the weeks before the scan, things went<br />

downhill quickly: a shooting sciatic pain<br />

radiated down my left leg and I felt a burning<br />

ache around my abdomen.”<br />

Jane’s pain was completely debilitating and<br />

soon her life was ruled by it. “I’ve never<br />

experienced anything like it; the pain was<br />

relentless. I could only walk slowly, sitting was<br />

unbearable and normal daily activities were<br />

almost impossible; my lack of mobility had a<br />

huge impact on me. I was prescribed strong<br />

painkillers, but these only worked for 3-4 hours<br />

– I was quickly up to my daily limit, despite my<br />

reluctance to take them.”<br />

Jane had her MRI scan in February; the news<br />

was not good: “My surgeon said that because<br />

two prolapsed discs were pressing on the<br />

spinal nerve, surgery was the only answer. He<br />

suggested a spinal injection in the meantime.<br />

I left feeling bleak. I hadn’t even contemplated<br />

a major operation, and I was uneasy at the<br />

prospect.”<br />

James Pickering’s team is changing the lives of<br />

slipped disc and sciatica sufferers with IDD Therapy<br />

After some research, Jane’s husband found IDD<br />

Therapy, a targeted disc treatment for persistent<br />

back pain, neck pain and sciatica. The<br />

non-invasive therapy uses gentle pulling forces<br />

to draw apart spinal segments where discs are<br />

bulging or damaged, removing pressure and<br />

irritation from trapped nerves.<br />

Jane saw that IDD Therapy was being offered<br />

at <strong>Wealden</strong> Osteopaths and Spine Centre at<br />

Flimwell Park. The expert team, led by James<br />

Pickering, uses the programme to help patients<br />

who find themselves on a merry-go-round of<br />

painkillers, physiotherapy and GP visits.<br />

“James reassured me that IDD Therapy would<br />

not just relieve my symptoms, but actually<br />

target the prolapsed discs. As my life had<br />

ground to a halt by this time, I focused on<br />

attending frequent and regular sessions over<br />

several weeks.”<br />

“I was astonished to feel<br />

the results immediately:<br />

the sciatic pain stopped<br />

almost instantly.”<br />

The IDD programme was a success and<br />

things turned around quickly for Jane: “I was<br />

astonished to feel the results immediately: the<br />

sciatic pain stopped almost instantly. The gentle<br />

treatment sessions were so relaxing, I began to<br />

look forward to them. Soon I had my mobility<br />

and independence back – it felt wonderful.<br />

I’ve now taken up Pilates and I’ve completed<br />

my Day Skipper Course with the Torbay<br />

Sea School – something I could never have<br />

imagined when my pain was at its worst. I can’t<br />

recommend IDD Therapy and James’s team<br />

highly enough.”<br />

Don’t let back pain, neck pain or sciatica put<br />

your life on hold. For a FREE 15 minute<br />

phone consultation with one of our experts,<br />

call 01580 212833 or email us at<br />


Wellbeing<br />

Posture<br />

Perfect<br />

Sarah Maxwell straightens out the facts<br />

to help you stand – and sit – tall<br />

istockphoto.com/halfpoint<br />

In our fast-paced lives, the way<br />

we hold ourselves is frequently<br />

overlooked. We often neglect<br />

the importance of maintaining good<br />

posture and the impact it has on our<br />

health and wellbeing. Posture plays a<br />

vital role in our overall health, affecting<br />

not only our physical wellbeing but<br />

also our mental and emotional state.<br />

Poor posture can lead to myriad<br />

issues, including chronic pain, muscle<br />

imbalances, reduced flexibility,<br />

decreased lung capacity and even<br />

digestive problems. It can also<br />

contribute to feelings of fatigue,<br />

stress, and low self-confidence.<br />

In the next few paragraphs – the first<br />

of a two-part exploration – I’m going<br />

to explain how to do some simple but<br />

very effective exercises, some of which<br />

you can get on with whilst seated.<br />

If you spend a lot of time at a desk and<br />

hunched over your keyboard, you put<br />

yourself at risk of neck and back pain.<br />

And even if you have an ergonomic<br />

chair and a back support, you might<br />

find the effects more significant than<br />

you’d expect. Below are some simple<br />

but effective ways you can correct<br />

your posture and make a difference to<br />

your overall health and wellbeing.<br />

I recommend doing these tension<br />

release movements as often as you<br />

can if you’re seated for an extended<br />

period of time. I have a blue sticky<br />

dot on my desk as a reminder (along<br />

with numerous other coloured dots<br />

on my phone, laptop, bathroom<br />

mirror... In fact, my house looks like<br />

a Damien Hirst print currently!)<br />

You can do these exercises sitting<br />

or standing, although it’s always a<br />

good idea to get out of your chair<br />

at regular intervals if possible.<br />

Shoulder raises<br />

Lift your shoulders up towards your<br />

ears (breathe in through your nose as<br />

you lift), then release your shoulders<br />

down (breathing out through your<br />

nose as you relax your shoulders<br />

back down). Repeat 10 times.<br />

Shoulder rolls<br />

Lift your shoulders up towards<br />

your ears, then roll them back and<br />

down in a circular motion one way<br />

and then the other. Make sure your<br />

breathing is steady and relaxed<br />

throughout. Repeat 10 times.<br />

Shoulder blade squeeze<br />

This is a great exercise to strengthen<br />

the muscles between your shoulder<br />

blades which will improve your upper<br />

back posture. Inhale through your nose<br />

as you squeeze your shoulder blades<br />

together, feeling your chest open up.<br />

Exhale and release. Repeat 10 times.<br />

Stand in an open doorway (you can<br />

also do this in a chair). Raise each<br />

arm up to the side, perpendicular to<br />

your body, bent at a 90 degree angle<br />

at your elbow with palms forward.<br />

Rest your palms on either side of the<br />

door frame – if it feels uncomfortable,<br />

try lowering your elbows down<br />

slightly. Slowly step forward with<br />

one foot. Feel the stretch in your<br />

shoulders and chest. Stand as upright<br />

as you can and try to avoid leaning<br />

forward. Hold for 15 -30 seconds.<br />

In next issue’s part two I’m going to<br />

delve deeper into posture and show<br />

you more ways to strengthen, stretch<br />

and help you alleviate tension, for<br />

a much improved quality of life.<br />

Sarah Maxwell is a multiple awardwinning<br />

Fitness and Lifestyle coach<br />

and mum of two who juggles a lot<br />

of balls. Find out more about Sarah<br />

and her work at sarahmaxwell.com<br />

Sarah shares her Fitness and Lifestyle tips<br />

on Instagram @sarahmaxwelllifestyle<br />

109<br />



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Nourish to Flourish<br />

Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau<br />

explores the benefits of incorporating<br />

another healthy ingredient into our<br />

diets. This month it’s salmon<br />

istockphoto.com, miwa_in_oz , Magone, chokja, Elena Tsvetkova, Drazen Zigic, Agustin Vai<br />

Oily fish is often promoted as a positive food<br />

choice due to its multitude of health benefits,<br />

but what exactly are they? Salmon is a great<br />

source of protein and typically provides 15-20g of protein<br />

per 100g. It is known as a complete protein which<br />

means that it contains all nine essential amino acids<br />

in sufficient quantities, it is also packed with omega-<br />

3 fatty acids; the important good fats. These help to<br />

maintain healthy cholesterol levels and protect blood<br />

vessels from inflammatory damage. Omega-3s are also<br />

vital for the health of the brain and the nervous system,<br />

strengthening our immune systems and cellular growth<br />

and regulating our hormones. Ultimately we need to<br />

be looking at increasing our omega-3 fats and reducing<br />

saturated and trans fats; aim for up to two portions of<br />

oily fish every week and enjoy a variety of nuts and seeds<br />

in small quantities to help achieve these goals. Salmon<br />

also contains many key nutrients including selenium,<br />

phosphorus, and B vitamins. Its unique, delicate flavour<br />

and less ‘fishy’ taste can make it more appealing than many<br />

other varieties of fatty fish, such as sardines and mackerel,<br />

which often make it a popular choice with children too.<br />

Charlotte runs Plume Nutrition, where she offers support and advice<br />

for weight management, controlling cravings, sleeplessness, stress<br />

and increasing energy levels. Find out more at plumenutrition.com<br />

Salmon & vegetable parcels<br />

This tasty recipe is packed with healthy omega-3s<br />

Serves 2<br />

• 2 salmon fillets<br />

• 1 lemon – zest and<br />

juice half and thinly<br />

slice other half<br />

• 1 red pepper, sliced<br />

• 1 green pepper, sliced<br />

• 1 white onion, sliced<br />

• 6 cherry tomatoes, halved<br />

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C<br />

and cut rectangles of baking<br />

paper for each salmon fillet,<br />

big enough to fold over<br />

and make into a parcel.<br />

2. Place 2 slices of lemon<br />

at the centre of each paper<br />

and rest the salmon on top.<br />

Add the peppers, onions,<br />

tomatoes and asparagus<br />

around the salmon and<br />

top with the garlic, capers,<br />

• 10-12 asparagus stalks<br />

• 1 clove of garlic,<br />

finely chopped<br />

• 2 tsp capers, chopped<br />

• 1 sprig of rosemary<br />

• 2 sprigs of thyme<br />

• 2 tbsp olive oil<br />

• salt and black pepper<br />

lemon zest and juice,<br />

rosemary, thyme and a<br />

pinch of salt and pepper.<br />

Drizzle over the olive oil.<br />

3. Fold the paper up and<br />

twist the ends to make an<br />

enclosed parcel. Place on<br />

a baking tray and roast for<br />

approximately 18 minutes<br />

until the fish is cooked<br />

through. Enjoy with sweet<br />

potatoes or brown rice.<br />

111<br />


Trouble<br />

Ahead<br />

Jo Arnell comes up with some practical solutions to help protect<br />

your plants during challenging periods of weather<br />

It’s been a tough year. Where the<br />

plants are concerned, it’s been a<br />

monumentally difficult one. The<br />

weather has been, putting it kindly,<br />

challenging. This time last year it was<br />

raining, and it didn’t stop raining until<br />

the beginning of December – when<br />

it froze. Many of our tender shrubs<br />

– things like hebes and pittosporums<br />

– died. The weather didn’t really start<br />

warming up until late spring and then<br />

suddenly it went very hot and dry.<br />

Long periods of extreme weather –<br />

which is more the norm now – make<br />

growing conditions difficult for all<br />

the plants. Some will cope better than<br />

others – the weeds for example, have<br />

barely noticed and are still romping<br />

away – but many of our cultivated,<br />

carefully nurtured plants are suffering.<br />

We need to find ways to help the<br />

garden in tricky times, ways to keep our<br />

plants alive, or, if we do end up losing<br />

them, an understanding of why they<br />

have died. The reason that our native<br />

and wild plants seem on the whole<br />

to manage much better than most is<br />

because they are ideally suited to their<br />

environment and able to withstand<br />

some of the effects of climate change<br />

– in the short term. Those from other<br />

places and the cultivated versions of<br />

them, where the soil and atmospheric<br />

conditions are very different, are only<br />

just at home here, so prolonged changes<br />

in the weather can be the final straw.<br />

Soil matters<br />

Your soil is going to go a long way<br />

to keep your plants healthy – or not,<br />

depending on several factors. It’s<br />

worth doing a soil test to find out<br />

the pH. Most soils are neutral, but<br />

if you have acidic soil you’ll be able<br />

to grow plants like camellias and<br />

azaleas. If it is alkaline, then lilac,<br />

lavender and vegetables like cabbage<br />

and Brussels sprouts will do well.<br />

The structure of the soil is important<br />

too. If yours is heavy clay, it may<br />

be waterlogged in winter and hard<br />

as concrete in summer. Sandy soils<br />

on the other hand are free draining<br />

– which means that they are very<br />

dry in summer and tend to be low<br />

in nutrients. Improve heavy clay by<br />

adding organic matter – manure or<br />

compost. Improve sandy soil by adding<br />

the same thing – organic matter will<br />

break up a clay soil and make it more<br />

free draining, and will help a sandy soil<br />

to hold onto moisture and nutrients.<br />

Good drainage is important,<br />

especially through long periods of<br />

wet, cold weather. Many plants more<br />

suited to Mediterranean conditions<br />

suffer in a wet winter because the<br />

area around their roots is saturated.<br />

This is often worse than the cold.<br />

priceless-magazines.com 112

Garden<br />

Many of the<br />

Mediterranean species<br />

– lavender, rosemary<br />

etc – can withstand the<br />

cold, but not prolonged<br />

periods of wet weather.<br />

This is why they are hard<br />

to grow in clay soil. Clay<br />

holds onto water and is<br />

very slow to dry out and<br />

warm up in the spring.<br />

istockphoto.com/ Nature, food, landscape, travel / Wirestock / scholes1<br />

Read my leaves<br />

You can tell a lot about a plant<br />

from its leaves. The size, texture and<br />

colour of the leaf will indicate the<br />

sort of conditions it has adapted<br />

to. Big floppy leaves with a large<br />

surface area – think jungle and pond<br />

side plants – are trying to get rid of<br />

excess water, whereas those with thin,<br />

needle-like leaves are trying to hold<br />

onto water. In fact, in the case of<br />

desert plants, the leaves have become<br />

spikes. Tough, leathery leaves, or<br />

a waxy coating will prevent water<br />

loss. Hairy or woolly leaves are also<br />

adaptations to arid conditions.<br />

Dark leaves absorb more light<br />

than pale, so the deep green leaves<br />

of a holly, or a camellia are ideally<br />

suited to shade. Pale, silvery or<br />

grey leaves, on the other hand,<br />

reflect light well, so won’t be<br />

overwhelmed in harsh sunlight.<br />

The root of it<br />

The rhizosphere is the area directly<br />

around the roots of the plant, a root<br />

‘microbiome’ made up of bacteria,<br />

fungi and other micro-organisms,<br />

spores, seeds and larval stages of tiny<br />

insects. It is the interaction of the biota<br />

within the rhizosphere – a bit like in<br />

our gut microbiome – that determines<br />

plant health. Plants form symbiotic<br />

relationships with soil bacteria and<br />

fungi that enable them to access<br />

nutrients, survive attack by pests and<br />

withstand periods of difficult weather.<br />

Drought<br />

Long periods with no rain are a disaster<br />

for plants that need moisture. We can<br />

help them by mulching at the end of<br />

the winter while the soil (in theory)<br />

is still damp. Mulching will help the<br />

soil hold onto moisture, suppress<br />

competitive weeds and improve the<br />

structure – feeding the soil ecosystem<br />

and encouraging the microbes that<br />

will come to the aid of plants.<br />

If there isn’t a hosepipe ban then<br />

water, but water carefully. Well<br />

established plants should be able to<br />

cope without regular watering, but<br />

anything planted in the last two years –<br />

especially woody plants –will need some<br />

help. Water plants deeply, rather than<br />

sprinkling them every night. It is better<br />

to water once a week, but to make<br />

sure the water gets to the roots. Light<br />

watering will evaporate before the plant<br />

can use it, or encourage the roots of the<br />

plant to stay near the surface of the soil.<br />

Watering at night is probably best, but<br />

remember that slugs and snails come<br />

out at night and will really enjoy the<br />

cool damp conditions. Watering very<br />

early in the morning is the alternative<br />

– in the middle of the day most of<br />

your hard work will evaporate. <br />

113<br />


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CheekyMonkeyWT249.indd 1 24/01/<strong>2023</strong> CityEscapesWT250.indd 17:06<br />

1 07/02/<strong>2023</strong> 16:52<br />

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priceless-magazines.com<br />

114<br />

WCLandcraftWT252.indd 1 31/03/<strong>2023</strong> 10:53

Garden<br />

Pots are very prone to drying out,<br />

especially little ones, so try to plant up<br />

groups of plants in larger containers, or<br />

position small pots near to one another<br />

Most soils are neutral,<br />

but if you have acidic<br />

soil you’ll be able to grow<br />

plants like camellias<br />

Pots are very prone to drying out,<br />

especially little ones, so try to plant up<br />

groups of plants in larger containers, or<br />

position small pots near to one another.<br />

Place a saucer underneath to act as a<br />

reservoir – but remember to remove this<br />

in the autumn to stop the plants’ roots<br />

wallowing in water through the winter.<br />

It pays to install water butts – rain<br />

water is better for plants and will make<br />

all the difference, especially if there is<br />

a hosepipe ban. In that situation using<br />

grey water – from the bath or your<br />

washing up bowl – will be fine too.<br />

Storms and high winds<br />

Wind can be hugely destructive, pulling<br />

down power lines, fences and uprooting<br />

trees. Protecting plants in these extreme<br />

conditions is nigh on impossible, but<br />

there are precautions that can be taken<br />

to provide some shelter. Semi-permeable<br />

barriers, for instance, are better than<br />

solid ones, as these will slow down the<br />

wind, whereas a solid fence or wall<br />

will cause the wind to go up and over,<br />

causing it to whip down the other side,<br />

or channel along and cause havoc.<br />

A very fierce wind will just blow the<br />

fence down. Hedges work well to help<br />

prevent wind damage, because the wind<br />

filters through this living windbreak.<br />

Choose a good, robust hedge if<br />

it is to act as a shelter belt – laurel,<br />

elaeagnus, hawthorn and hornbeam are<br />

good in exposed situations. Remember<br />

to leave a gap between the hedge and<br />

the flowerbed to enable access for<br />

pruning and to keep the roots of the<br />

hedge away from the plants, as they<br />

will also be competing for moisture.<br />

Winter weather<br />

Our winters are generally mild, but<br />

every few years Arctic blasts and<br />

Beasts from the East come swooping<br />

in, bringing snow and hard frosts,<br />

killing the tender plants that normally<br />

just about make it through an<br />

average winter. Last year hebes and<br />

pittosporums were badly affected.<br />

Larger leaved salvias like amistad<br />

were killed too, although some of<br />

these did a good job of playing dead<br />

until May, then suddenly springing<br />

back to life – possibly once they<br />

were already on the compost heap.<br />

Plants native to the northern<br />

hemisphere tend to lose their leaves<br />

in the winter and go into a state of<br />

dormancy. Getting plants through<br />

extreme cold, when they have no<br />

adaptations to it, is a challenge.<br />

Fleece may help to keep off air frosts,<br />

mulching with organic matter – like<br />

laying a warm duvet over the ground<br />

– will provide some protection for<br />

dahlia tubers and other tender roots.<br />

If you have a greenhouse that can be<br />

kept frost-free, or even a porch or<br />

cool utility room, you’ll be able to<br />

overwinter those in pots, or cuttings<br />

of plants grown in the garden.<br />

Many of the Mediterranean species –<br />

lavender, rosemary etc – can withstand<br />

the cold, but not prolonged periods<br />

of wet weather. This is why they are<br />

hard to grow in clay soil. Clay holds<br />

onto water and is very slow to dry out<br />

and warm up in the spring. Plants<br />

like lavender need free-draining, or<br />

shallow, chalky soil, so may well be<br />

better grown in a container – one<br />

lifted onto feet, or up on bricks to<br />

stop it from sitting in a puddle.<br />

Good preparation is the key. It may<br />

well be mild this year, but who knows.<br />

One thing is sure – winter is coming.<br />

Join Jo in her garden in Woodchurch,<br />

Kent, for gardening classes and<br />

workshops. Find out more and<br />

book at hornbrookmanor.co.uk.<br />

115<br />


Garden<br />

Heart<br />

of the<br />

Hive<br />

Sue Whigham finds out about The Buzz Project, an inspirational<br />

initiative set up by Syrian bee expert Dr. Ryad Alsous<br />

One of the last things that Dr.<br />

Ryad Alsous did before he<br />

left his flat in Damascus was<br />

to open one of his windows a fraction.<br />

As the civil war raged, his block of<br />

flats had been bombed twice during<br />

what were daily attacks in the eastern<br />

part of the city. Realising that there<br />

would be no-one to feed the doves<br />

who had shared his balcony for years,<br />

he decided that they should be able to<br />

use his flat as he had no further use for<br />

it. Five years later he asked his cousin<br />

to visit the flat and take a picture for<br />

him. He found it was full of life as the<br />

doves had moved in and had happily<br />

colonised the place. Dr. Alsous felt<br />

it gave him validation to have left to<br />

start a new life in a safe country.<br />

Despite receiving death threats, Dr.<br />

Alsous was the last of his immediate<br />

family to leave Syria and in 2013<br />

he found himself in Huddersfield<br />

where he had relatives who had<br />

settled there over the past forty years.<br />

He found it somewhere where the<br />

community both helped him to<br />

settle in and to rebuild his life.<br />

He is a world renowned expert on<br />

bees and his experience both lecturing<br />

at Damascus University and being Head<br />

of Beekeeping – when he was in charge<br />

of 500 hives – stood him in good<br />

stead when he arrived in the UK. He<br />

began volunteering at the Huddersfield<br />

Beekeeping Association and through<br />

them a lady offered him both a hive<br />

and a colony of British Black Bees. He<br />

then wrote a proposal for The Buzz<br />

Project and met with the then Mayor<br />

of Huddersfield. It was through this<br />

meeting that he was offered a piece<br />

istockphoto.com/ Chisnikov<br />

priceless-magazines.com 116

British Black Bee images<br />

courtesy of Helen Gentle<br />

istockphoto.com/ Chisnikov<br />

of land to keep hives on by the local<br />

Canal and River Trust – who then<br />

refused to accept any rent from him.<br />

And so The Buzz Project was launched.<br />

The idea of the project was, and<br />

is, to offer fellow refugees and job<br />

seekers the chance to integrate, develop<br />

language skills, and to regain their self<br />

esteem and confidence whilst learning<br />

a trade. Many of the volunteers are<br />

now self employed and have their own<br />

hives from which they produce honey,<br />

essential oils, candles and organic<br />

cosmetics. The project also has open<br />

days when the volunteers educate<br />

schoolchildren about bees and how vital<br />

they are in the general scheme of things.<br />

I was reading a report produced by<br />

Friends of the Earth which tells us<br />

that it would cost UK farmers £1.8<br />

billion a year to pollinate crops without<br />

them (if indeed that were remotely<br />

feasible). So no bees equals no plants,<br />

no animals and subsequently, no food.<br />

Dr. Alsous was one of the inspirations<br />

for the bestselling novel by Christy<br />

Lefteri, The Beekeeper of Aleppo. As<br />

the daughter of refugees herself, she<br />

had spent several months in Athens<br />

volunteering with Syrian refugees<br />

where the seeds of her novel began<br />

to form. Having discovered an article<br />

written by Dr. Alsous, she contacted<br />

him through Facebook and he invited<br />

her up to Huddersfield to see how The<br />

Buzz Project worked and to “introduce<br />

her to the world of beekeeping”. She<br />

trusted him enough to meet his bees<br />

without wearing protective clothing,<br />

as he so obviously had such an affinity<br />

with them and she remembers the<br />

experience as “like being in a <br />

117<br />


Ilex Nellie R Stevens Ligustrum japonicum (pleached) Magnolia grandiflora<br />

Ct PvC<br />

t SC tS<br />

Photinia Red Robin<br />

Privacy in gardens can be created using<br />

trees to hide or screen out an undesirable<br />

view. Trees grown for this purpose often<br />

have a clear stem up to fence panel height<br />

around 1.8-2m with a full bushy canopy<br />

above, forming a good screen above the<br />

fence line. This type of screening is<br />

particularly useful if the garden is<br />

overlooked by neighbouring properties<br />

or to retain lower-level exposure to an<br />

attractive wall or area.<br />

Semi-mature trees can be planted to<br />

achieve effective screening from the offset<br />

with evergreens being preferred for this<br />

purpose as they screen throughout the year.<br />

However, a planting scheme that includes<br />

deciduous trees can provide rich contrast<br />

and seasonal interest.<br />

Screening trees<br />

Practicality Brown can supply a range of<br />

top quality trees for screening, which are<br />

particularly useful for creating privacy.<br />

This is our selection of the best screening<br />

trees, and all are in stock at our nursery in<br />

Iver, Bucks:<br />

• Eriobotrya japonica<br />

• Ilex aquifolium Nellie R Stevens<br />

• Ilex castaneifolia<br />

• Ligustrum japonicum<br />

• Magnolia grandiflora<br />

• Osmanthus aquifolium<br />

• Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’<br />

• Pinus nigra<br />

• Prunus laurocerasus ‘Novita’<br />

• Viburnum lucidum<br />

Pleached trees<br />

We also have a range of pleached trees<br />

which can be used in the same way;<br />

pleached trees can be effective for formal<br />

screening and where space is limited.<br />

These are our best trees that are in stock:<br />

• Ilex aquifolium Nellie R Stevens<br />

• Ligustrum japonicum<br />

• Magnolia grandiflora<br />

• Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’<br />

• Prunus laurocerasus ‘Novita’<br />

tree & edge ursery<br />

As well as the screening trees, Practicality<br />

Brown grows a range of premium quality<br />

Practical Instant Hedge at the nursery in<br />

Iver. You are welcome to visit to view both<br />

trees and hedges.<br />

www.pracbrown.co.uk<br />

Conac us for deails<br />

email rees@pracbrown.co.uk<br />

or call 01753 652022 for more informaion

Garden<br />

Dr. Alsous has been carrying out research comparing<br />

the British Black Bee with four other strains,<br />

including Syrian bees, and has found that our native<br />

bees came out top in their production of honey.<br />

dangerous but beautiful bubble”.<br />

The Dark European Bee, or British<br />

Black Bee, Apis mellifera mellifera, was<br />

the original native bee in the UK and<br />

by the 1920s was virtually extinct.<br />

Dr. Alsous is very much involved in<br />

promoting these bees over imported<br />

bees (usually from Italy). He is joined<br />

in this by Sir Tim Smit, inspirational<br />

co-founder of both The Eden Project<br />

and The Lost Gardens of Heligan,<br />

who suggests that we need a network<br />

of apiarists to champion these bees. As<br />

he says, “we super love these bees”.<br />

At the Eden Project they are working<br />

with B4 to set up a conservation and<br />

research project to champion the British<br />

Black Bee and to recognise the need<br />

to create reserves and help the bees<br />

develop ‘strongholds’ throughout the<br />

country. Sir Tim has been instrumental<br />

in both promoting the British Black<br />

Bee and setting up a fourth reserve. He<br />

confirms that there is a lot of interest<br />

amongst members of the public to both<br />

gardens and that Cornwall is one of the<br />

counties where these bees are thriving.<br />

It seems that most beekeepers<br />

(approximately 80%) keep the less<br />

hardy European bees which have<br />

a shorter life span but do have the<br />

advantage of producing large broods.<br />

However, it seems that the European<br />

strains ‘stay in and sulk’ at the first sign<br />

of bad weather. Both men champion<br />

the British Black Bee for a variety of<br />

reasons, which include the fact that<br />

they are hardy and can cope with the<br />

vagaries of British weather and – as they<br />

are hairy – are less prone to any form<br />

of mite. They also groom each other<br />

which helps in keeping disease away. Dr.<br />

Alsous has been carrying out research<br />

comparing the British Black Bee with<br />

four other strains, including Syrian bees,<br />

and has found that our native bees came<br />

out top in their production of honey.<br />

Finally, the HS2 project has been,<br />

and still is very controversial since<br />

its inception and has of course<br />

constantly been in the media. But for<br />

some, hopefully, good news. I read<br />

that HS2 has, it seems, partnered<br />

with the Great British Bee Project to<br />

plant up millions of native trees and<br />

shrubs along the ‘green corridor’ of<br />

the Phase One rail line of HS2 which<br />

will encourage the Black British Bee<br />

to once again flourish. They are to be<br />

monitored over the next few years too.<br />

I know that Dr. Alsous mentions<br />

limes and hawthorn as favourites of<br />

the British Black Bee. Perhaps any of<br />

us who has room for a new tree this<br />

winter might bear this in mind and<br />

perhaps plant one or other – or both.<br />

Sue Whigham can be contacted on<br />

07810 457948 for gardening advice.<br />

119<br />


Meet theHead<br />

We’ve been finding out what makes the new<br />

Head of Cranbrook School, David Clark, tick<br />

With his passion for travel, languages<br />

and an internationalist outlook, David<br />

Clark enjoys the dynamism of Cranbrook<br />

School’s thriving and diverse community<br />

Tell us about your own experience of education.<br />

I was born and brought up overseas and<br />

was therefore packed off to boarding<br />

school in the mid-1970s, which was<br />

an ‘interesting’ experience. My teachers<br />

identified some academic talent and I was<br />

therefore put into the fast stream which<br />

came as something of a surprise. Alas, like<br />

many of my contemporaries, I came up<br />

with a thousand reasons why I couldn’t<br />

focus on my studies and, instead, found<br />

time to pursue my many sporting passions.<br />

Needless to say, I got rather a shock when<br />

my O Level results were revealed, but that<br />

period of underperformance gave me the<br />

kick I needed and I achieved much better<br />

at A Level and beyond. From school,<br />

I went to study for a history degree at<br />

Exeter and played rugby and hockey for<br />

the university. My PGCE was taken at<br />

Cambridge and I returned four years<br />

later to complete my Master’s degree in<br />

Education Management where my research<br />

on boys’ underachievement was published.<br />

What drew you towards Cranbrook?<br />

I was drawn by its fine reputation, many<br />

achievements and broad grammar intake<br />

as well as by its wonderful location and<br />

tradition of education for character.<br />

Cranbrook’s dedicated staff and engaging<br />

students alongside a commitment to pastoral<br />

care, its enviable co-curricular provision<br />

and its special boarding dimension were<br />

also especially attractive. The School’s<br />

mission, motto and values and its aim<br />

to blend the traditions of the state and<br />

independent sectors successfully were<br />

equally compelling and its ethos was<br />

one that I wholeheartedly supported.<br />

What is your vision for Cranbrook?<br />

We have a collective vision to ensure that<br />

Cranbrook becomes celebrated nationally as<br />

the best state boarding school in the country<br />

– where students are inspired academically,<br />

where they embrace many new opportunities<br />

beyond the curriculum and where they<br />

develop impressive soft skills that will serve<br />

them well throughout their adult lives.<br />

What are your thoughts on the<br />

holistic development of students?<br />

Holistic education seeks to engage all aspects<br />

of the learner and this is fundamental to<br />

developing educational breadth in our<br />

students. In order to prepare Cranbrookians<br />

for their futures, we need to ensure that<br />

they have strong academic foundations<br />

but we must also widen their horizons<br />

beyond the classroom. Much valuable<br />

learning can be done in our societies, on<br />

school trips, on the sports pitch and in<br />

the orchestra or choir. Equally, we must<br />

remember to embrace lessons from those<br />

around us in the boarding house, in the<br />

common rooms or in the local community.<br />

What are the biggest challenges<br />

that face schools today?<br />

The phrase ‘we live in interesting times’<br />

should be re-worded to say that we live in<br />

interesting and highly complex times and I<br />

can’t remember a period when schools faced<br />

more challenges. Teachers are presented<br />

121<br />

with bigger bureaucratic burdens than<br />

ever and students are still struggling with<br />

the aftermath of Covid. Added to that,<br />

schools are caught up in the so-called<br />

culture wars and need to navigate their way<br />

through a range of emotive topics with<br />

care and sensitivity. Additionally, the world<br />

of education needs to better understand<br />

the new learning frontier provided by<br />

breakthroughs in AI and we need to<br />

embrace this particular challenge as the<br />

development of artificial intelligence is likely<br />

to dominate our lives in the coming years.<br />

What advice would you give to the students<br />

of Cranbrook to excel academically, develop<br />

as individuals, and prepare for their future?<br />

My best advice to Cranbrookians is to<br />

embody the school values of kindness,<br />

integrity, aspiration, curiosity and<br />

individualism. If students embed these<br />

guiding principles, I am confident that<br />

they can better prepare for their complex<br />

and uncertain futures and are more likely<br />

to make meaningful and significant<br />

contributions to the world around them.<br />

What is your favourite book?<br />

I go through phases with books but I am<br />

currently enjoying anything by William<br />

Boyd. Any Human Heart is a good example<br />

of his style which I enjoy as he often deals<br />

with broad historical themes and develops<br />

fascinating characters. Equally, I love<br />

discovering new children’s books for my<br />

young boys and books by Oliver Jeffers<br />

are particular favourites… and great fun.<br />

You can find out more about Cranbrook<br />

School at cranbrookschool.co.uk<br />


Let us help you<br />

face the future<br />

with confidence...<br />

When it comes to financial advice, it’s<br />

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Look to the<br />

Finance<br />

Future<br />

Lee Wood APFS, Chartered Financial Planner<br />

at Financial Advice & Services Ltd,<br />

explains the potential benefits of financial planning<br />

istockphoto.com/ JWand_Prapan<br />

When asked about their<br />

goals and objectives for<br />

the future, many would<br />

place financial security high on their<br />

list of priorities. Achieving this goal,<br />

however, takes forward thinking and<br />

planning and whilst it is possible<br />

to create a plan yourself, using an<br />

Independent Financial Adviser can<br />

provide expert advice and reassurance,<br />

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have considered, and save time too.<br />

A good first step in building a<br />

financial plan is to first establish the<br />

most important areas to focus on, as at<br />

different stages of our lives, our priorities<br />

will change. For example, a young family<br />

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Engaging with an Independent Adviser<br />

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areas that need to be tackled first.<br />

Financial planning is a personal<br />

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possible to create a financial planning<br />

template that best suits every possible<br />

situation. Engaging with an experienced<br />

and independent financial planner<br />

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opportunities that may not immediately<br />

be apparent. These can range from ways<br />

to reduce your tax liability, to reviewing<br />

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Taking a holistic view can also identify<br />

gaps in a financial plan, such as the<br />

need to arrange additional life cover,<br />

to establishing a plan to fund school<br />

fees or university costs in the future.<br />

None of us know what the future<br />

holds and even the best laid plans<br />

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circumstances. This is why reviewing<br />

your finances on a regular basis is so<br />

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how existing plans and arrangements<br />

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financial planning review at least once a<br />

year can also be the ideal time to look at<br />

annual planning opportunities, such as<br />

using available tax allowances or making<br />

the most of pension contributions. It can<br />

also make sure that your finances are not<br />

affected by any changes in legislation that<br />

have occurred since the previous review.<br />

Investment is a long-term process<br />

and markets will go through bouts of<br />

volatility from time to time. Behavioural<br />

finance studies show that investors can<br />

make rash decisions to sell investments<br />

when market conditions are difficult,<br />

which may not be the correct course<br />

of action to take. It is at this point that<br />

the true value of financial planning<br />

advice can be found. Speaking to an<br />

Adviser can provide reassurance and<br />

a calm voice through market turmoil,<br />

helping you focus on the longer<br />

term and taking an impartial view<br />

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Using a Financial Adviser to create<br />

a financial plan, and undertake regular<br />

reviews, can provide many benefits, from<br />

reducing the amount of tax you pay to<br />

providing guidance and reassurance.<br />

Studies have also shown that it can<br />

boost returns over the long term. It is,<br />

however, important to choose the right<br />

Adviser. Independent firms can provide<br />

advice and recommend solutions from<br />

across the whole of the marketplace,<br />

whereas a Restricted Adviser may only<br />

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options. Also consider using a Chartered<br />

firm, as this brings further comfort<br />

that the Advisers are highly qualified,<br />

and the business will aim to deliver the<br />

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For more information on the services<br />

available at Financial Advice & Services<br />

Ltd, see financial-advice.co.uk<br />

The content of this article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice. It is for general information only and should not be relied upon when<br />

making any financial planning decisions. You should always obtain professional independent advice based on your circumstances. Financial Advice & Services<br />

Limited, Independent Financial Advisers, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.. Text © Financial Advice & Services Ltd <strong>2023</strong><br />

123<br />


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CHRISTMAS ARTISAN FAIR - Sunday 25th <strong>November</strong><br />

Join us and our wonderful array of Artisans, Vintage and Creative Small Businesses for this year's <strong>Christmas</strong> shopping event.<br />

Shop locally and sustainably finding unique and special items for your home, for gifts, for the <strong>Christmas</strong> table and for you.<br />

Wander around this historic home for a festive day out with friends.<br />

10AM - 4PM<br />

GATE PRICE ON THE DAY - ADULT: £9.50 CHILD: £6.00<br />


More information and tickets visit www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk/whats-on/<br />



A Writer's <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

at Bateman's<br />

© National Trust 2020. Registered Charity no. 205846.<br />

Photography © National Trust Images/Elizabeth Vessey<br />

Visit this winter for a traditional<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong>, with decorations inspired<br />

by the writings of Rudyard Kipling.<br />

18 Nov-1 Jan (except 24 & 25 Dec).<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />






DIX<br />

What’s On<br />

this Season<br />


Sat 11 Nov 7pm<br />

Nizels Golf Club,<br />

Tonbridge, TN11 8NU<br />



You are invited to a spectacular<br />

dinner from the highly popular<br />

Around the World Dinner series,<br />

organised by the Hospices of<br />

Hope Team. Grab your sunglasses<br />

and a suitcase as this world<br />

travel dinner promises a fabulous<br />

evening of great food, dancing,<br />

musical acts and more! ‘Boarding<br />

passes’ are £45 per person and<br />

include a drinks reception in the<br />

‘departure lounge’; a sumptuous<br />

three-course dinner with coffee;<br />

plus on-board entertainment!<br />

Hospices of Hope are dedicated<br />

to supporting the development<br />

of palliative and end-of-life care<br />

in south eastern Europe. Help<br />

to raise much-needed funds and<br />

enjoy a great night out too.Book<br />

ASAP to secure your places.<br />

Tickets: £45<br />

hospicesofhope.co.uk<br />


Sat 18 Nov 10.30am-3.30pm<br />

Sarah Louise Dix, 57 St John’s<br />

Street, Farncombe, Near<br />

Godalming, Surrey GU7 3EH<br />



Enrol on this workshop to<br />

learn from Sarah herself. This<br />

introduction to upholstery for<br />

beginners is taught in classes<br />

of no more than 10 students.<br />

You’ll need to bring your own<br />

fabric (remnants are available<br />

to buy). All tools and other<br />

materials are provided. You will<br />

learn to upholster a beech frame<br />

footstool. Booking is essential.<br />

Tickets: £150<br />

sarahlouisedix.co.uk<br />


Sat 4 Nov 10am-3.30pm<br />

Penshurst Village Hall,<br />

Penshurst. TN11 8BP<br />



Showcasing a festive mix of<br />

125<br />

vintage homewares, French<br />

finds, antiques and decorative<br />

interior pieces, clothing, jewellery,<br />

furniture and gifts, all with a<br />

little <strong>Christmas</strong> sparkle! Browse,<br />

admire and shop all things vintage<br />

from a wealth of fabulous traders<br />

from throughout Kent and<br />

Sussex. This one is unique and<br />

sustainable <strong>Christmas</strong> shopping<br />

at its best, with an added<br />

chance to support local small<br />

businesses while you’re at it.<br />

Entry: £2.50 on door<br />

instagram.com/thewealdenbazaar<br />

Thurs 16 – Sat 18 Nov<br />

The Hop Farm, Paddock<br />

Wood, Kent TN12 6PY<br />



Who is the fairest of them all? Do<br />

we really need to ask? Welcome<br />

to Festive Shopping at its finest.<br />

Our heated, interlinked marquees<br />

are full of celebratory spirit. You’ll<br />

find all your favourite exhibitors<br />

plus a wide selection of exciting<br />

new stands from independent<br />

businesses who’ll be selling<br />

gorgeous fashion, imaginative<br />

gifts, sustainable homeware and<br />

clothing, art and crafts, home<br />

and gardenware, beauty, and<br />

everything you need to create<br />

the perfect <strong>Christmas</strong>. Head to<br />

the Holly or Ivy Café for a wellearned<br />

tasty lunch or snack. We<br />

look forward to welcoming you.<br />

Tickets and info at<br />

wealdentimes-fair.co.uk<br />

Thurs 16 – Sun 19 Nov<br />

Loseley Park, Guildford,<br />

Surrey GU3 1HS<br />



Step into a stylish, creative world<br />

and enjoy <strong>Christmas</strong> shopping<br />

at its best. Staged next to<br />

Loseley House, over 65 makers<br />

present their unique products in<br />

comfortable, festively decorated<br />

pavilions surrounding the Tithe<br />

Barn. Solve the <strong>Christmas</strong> list<br />

and treat yourselves to exciting<br />

artwork, fabulous fashions,<br />

dazzling jewellery, and elegant<br />

candles and homewares. Enjoy a<br />

selection of artisan cheeses, gins,<br />

chocolates and scrumptious rum<br />

to add to your festive table. Free,<br />

easy parking and refreshments<br />

from the Loseley House team<br />

ensure a super day of shopping,<br />

browsing and enjoying friends<br />

company. Pre pay online or<br />

buy tickets on the door.<br />

ruralcraftsassociation.co.uk<br />

Wed 22 & Thu 23 Nov<br />

Farnham Maltings<br />



Deck the halls with <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

cheer. Find the perfect gift for<br />

everyone on your list at Farnham<br />

Maltings’ annual <strong>Christmas</strong> Fair.<br />

With over 140 stallholders to<br />

visit, the fair is bursting at the<br />

seams with unique items not<br />

found on the high street. Browse<br />

and buy from makers across <br />


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Lights, sparkle, celebration<br />

At Scotney Castle this <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

© National Trust <strong>2023</strong>. Registered Charity no. 205846.<br />

Photography © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra<br />

Celebrate the season with twinkling<br />

trees, the mansion house decorated<br />

for a 1960s' <strong>Christmas</strong>, late nights<br />

and lights, outdoor family trail,<br />

perfect presents, and <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

lunches for festive feasting.<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


a wide range from textiles and<br />

jewellery to ceramics, accessories,<br />

stocking fillers, decorations,<br />

seasonal food, and more. Plus,<br />

enjoy late night shopping until<br />

9pm with two-for-one prosecco<br />

on Wednesday evening.<br />

Tickets: £3 adults, under 18s go free<br />

farnhammaltings.com<br />

Sat 9 & Sun 10 Dec<br />

Faversham Market Place,<br />

Faversham ME13 7AG<br />



Shop for <strong>Christmas</strong> and get into<br />

the festive spirit in beautiful<br />

Faversham. Browse stalls from<br />

across Faversham’s Charter<br />

Market, Best of Faversham<br />

Artisan Market and Faversham<br />

Antiques Market. And don’t<br />

forget to meet the donkeys!<br />

While you’re at it you can also<br />

stop by Faversham’s lovely<br />

independent shops and cafes.<br />

favershammarket.org<br />

MUSIC<br />

Sat 4 – Sun 26 Nov<br />

Venues acrross Wimbledon<br />



What an incredible opportunity.<br />

This in one of the ‘most<br />

distinguished festivals in the<br />

UK’ where world-class music<br />

comes to Wimbledon. Highlights<br />

include The Juilliard Quartet,<br />

the most important quartet in<br />

istockphoto.com/ RolfSt & michelangeloop & ViewApart<br />

US history; Rachel Podger &<br />

Brexon Baroque with Bach’s<br />

finest concertos; the Wigmore<br />

Ensemble; Sofya Gulyak, Leeds<br />

Piano competition winner;<br />

Philharmonia Orchestra;<br />

Academy Choir and many<br />

more besides. The musical<br />

superstars are heading to<br />

Wimbledon, don’t miss them.<br />

Tickets and info available at<br />

wimbledonmusicfestival.co.uk<br />


Sat 2 – Sun 7 Dec<br />

Yvonne Arnaud<br />

Theatre, Millbrook,<br />

Guildford GU1 3UX<br />


This year’s stellar line up<br />

includes EastEnders and<br />

Detectorists favourite Lucy<br />

Benjamin as the Wicked<br />

Stepmother, Radio’s Peter<br />

Gordon in a hilarious Ugly<br />

Stepsister duo alongside<br />

Guildford Shakepeare<br />

Company’s co-founder Matt<br />

Pinches, and CBeebies star<br />

James Merry for his third<br />

Guildford panto. It promises<br />

to be full of slapstick and<br />

slosh, music and magic. BSL<br />

interpreted performances<br />

on 7 Dec at 10.30am and<br />

13 Dec at 7pm. Relaxed<br />

performance on 16 Dec at<br />

10.30am. Dementia friendly<br />

performance on 5 Jan at 1pm.<br />

yvonne-arnaud.co.uk <br />

merriments gardens<br />


Merriments’ beautiful 4-acre RHS Partner Garden<br />

remains open throughout the Winter months.<br />

Alongside our Plant Area, Shop & Restaurant, some<br />

of our other Winter activities are shown below!<br />

Pick up some beautiful handmade <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Gift</strong>s at<br />

our Craft Fair on Sunday 3rd December 10am-1pm<br />

3 Day Course 'Herbs to Boost your Immune System'<br />

Wednesdays 1st, 8th & 15th <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> : 10am-3pm<br />

Learn about the principles underlying herbalism, how to<br />

grow, harvest & store medicinal herbs and create home<br />

remedies used to treat a variety of Winter ailments.<br />

Taught by medicinal herbalist, Julia Behrens, writer of<br />

‘Lost in Lyme’ & co-author of Neal’s Yard Remedies<br />



ARNAUD<br />

Merriments Gardens | Hawkhurst Road<br />

Hurst Green | East Sussex | TN19 7RA | 01580-860666<br />

info@merriments.co.uk | www.merriments.co.uk<br />

127<br />


D<br />

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car parking lifts<br />

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we can cater for your requirements. Please call us<br />

today on 01227 731 195<br />

55<br />

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Fri 8 – Sun 31 Dec<br />

The Harlequin Theatre &<br />

Cinema, Warwick Quadrant,<br />

Redhill, Surrey RH1 1NN<br />


Set in the French village of<br />

Populaire Sur la Mare, a host of<br />

creative roles, colourful scenery<br />

and a fast-paced story bring this<br />

pantomime tale right up to date<br />

with plenty of shenanigans, more<br />

than a trifle of tomfoolery and<br />

an amuse-bouche of comedy<br />

capers. Beauty and the Beast<br />

champions one of today’s most<br />

relevant pantomime stories;<br />

will Belle see beyond the Beast’s<br />

imposing façade and discover love<br />

is more than skin deep? Relaxed<br />

performance on 17 Dec at 10.30.<br />

BSL interpreted performance<br />

on 14 Dec at 5.30pm.<br />

Tickets: from £13<br />

harlequintheatre.co.uk<br />

Thurs 14 Dec – Mon 1 Jan<br />

Malthouse Theatre, Malthouse<br />

Road, St Stephen’s Road,<br />

Canterbury CT2 7JA<br />


Brought to you by the same team<br />

as last year’s record-breaking<br />

production, Snow White promises<br />

to be even more magical, with<br />

a dazzling West End cast,<br />

glittering sets and costumes,<br />

and side-splitting comedy for<br />

the whole family to enjoy, with<br />

tickets starting from just £12.<br />

Don’t delay, book today! There<br />

will be a relaxed performance<br />

istockphoto.com/ RolfSt & michelangeloop & ViewApart<br />




on 17 December at 11am.<br />

Tickets: from £12<br />

malthousetheatre.co.uk<br />

Thurs 14 – Sun 31 Dec<br />

Sinden Theatre, Ashford<br />

Road, Tenterden TN30 6LT<br />


Packed with all of the<br />

traditional pantomime<br />

ingredients that audiences<br />

expect from a Tenterden<br />

Pantomime, Cinderella features<br />

laugh out loud comedy,<br />

stunning scenery, beautiful<br />

costumes and plenty of boos<br />

and hisses. Join Cinders as<br />

she goes from rags to riches,<br />

outwits her very wicked sisters<br />

and meets her dashing Prince<br />

Charming. The clock is ticking,<br />

so book your tickets now to<br />

get the best seats in the house!<br />

sindentheatre.cok<br />

Listings are correct at time of going to press<br />

but may be subject to change. Readers<br />

are advised to check with venues before<br />

making arrangements. We can list your<br />

event in the next issue of <strong>Wealden</strong> <strong>Times</strong><br />

for only £75+VAT. Please supply up to<br />

100 words that should include date, time,<br />

venue, contact for enquiries and any entry<br />

price to whatson@priceless-group.com<br />

or send with payment (cheques payable<br />

to Priceless Media Ltd.) to What’s On,<br />

Priceless Media, Kettle Chambers, 21<br />

Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17<br />

3HF. Priceless Media reserves the right to<br />

edit text to fit space allocated. Deadline<br />

for the next issue is 6th <strong>November</strong>.<br />

Faversham <strong>Christmas</strong> Markets Weekend<br />

9-10th December <strong>2023</strong><br />

9-10th December <strong>2023</strong><br />

Faversham Market Place<br />

Faversham Market Place<br />

Shop for <strong>Christmas</strong> in beautiful Faversham<br />

Shop for <strong>Christmas</strong> in beautiful Faversham<br />

B r o w s e s t a l l s f r o m a c r o s s F a v e r s h a m ' s C h a r t e r<br />

B r o w s e s t a l l s f r o m a c r o s s F a v e r s h a m ' s C h a r t e r<br />

M a r k e t , B e s t o f F a v e r s h a m A r t i s a n M a r k e t a n d<br />

M a r k e t , B e s t o f F a v e r s h a m A r t i s a n M a r k e t a n d<br />

F a v e r s h a m A n t i q u e s M a r k e t .<br />

F a v e r s a m A n t i q u e s M a r k e t .<br />

M e e t t h e d o n k e y s .<br />

M e e t t h e d o n k e y s .<br />

E n j o y F a v e r s h a m ' s i n d e p e n d e n t s h o p s a n d<br />

E n j o y F a v e r s h a m ' s i n d e p e n d e n t s h o p s a n d<br />

c a f é s .<br />

c a f é s .<br />

f a v e r s h a m m a r k e t . o r g<br />

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AllWoodsSandingServicesWT2171/8.indd 1 21/02/2020 12:55<br />

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PromoteYourBusinessWT.indd 1 23/03/2021 15:56

Jane Howard explains how<br />

Coopers Farm prepares the flock<br />

for the start of the ‘sheep year’<br />

<strong>November</strong> means tupping time at<br />

Coopers Farm, when the rams and<br />

the ewes get together and the whole ‘sheep<br />

year’ starts over again. But before that happens<br />

there has been lots of pre-match planning to make<br />

sure everyone is match fit and ready for action.<br />

The ewes operate on a five, four, three system. Five<br />

months pregnant, four months milking and three months<br />

off. So the lambs born in April <strong>2023</strong> were weaned in July<br />

to give their mums a bit of ‘me time’ and they have since<br />

been cosseted with good grass and plenty of supplements<br />

to prepare them for the demands of the year ahead.<br />

Unlike cows, pigs and indeed humans<br />

that cycle regularly all year, ewes are<br />

clever, and only come into season after<br />

the autumn (September 23rd) equinox<br />

when the night time hours exceed the<br />

daytime hours. Nature’s way of ensuring<br />

lambs arrive in the spring when the<br />

weather is better and the grass begins<br />

to grow. So traditionally, rams are<br />

always put with the ewes on Bonfire<br />

Night with the lambs arriving some five<br />

months later around April Fools Day.<br />

But first we need to go through all<br />

the ewes to check they are fit enough to<br />

have another successful lambing season.<br />

It takes a lot to produce – hopefully – a<br />

pair of healthy lambs and then provide<br />

them with enough milk to grow into two big strong<br />

lambs. So each one gets a thorough MOT – starting with<br />

their teeth. Like all of us, sheep’s teeth degrade as the<br />

years pass, and without a dentist to fit crowns, bridges<br />

and implants a sound pair of home grown gnashers is<br />

essential. So anyone with wobbly or missing ones is out.<br />

Next we check their teats to make sure they haven’t had<br />

mastitis, which makes them hard and lumpy, and to make<br />

sure they are not too low slung – another problem for<br />

Ewes are clever, and only<br />

come into season after<br />

the autumn equinox<br />

when the night time<br />

hours exceed the daytime<br />

hours. Natures way of<br />

ensuring lambs arrive<br />

in the spring when the<br />

weather is better and<br />

the grass begins to grow<br />

the older ewe. Lambs expect to find the teats high up so<br />

low down doesn’t work – sorry missus you’re out with the<br />

toothless ones. And then there’s the doom laden black tag...<br />

When we lamb in April, we expect the ewe to produce –<br />

without too much trouble – healthy lambs that she milks<br />

and mothers through the summer. If<br />

they don’t measure up – like the one<br />

last year that sat on and suffocated one<br />

of her lambs and the following day<br />

despatched the other in a similar fashion<br />

– then they get a black tag. Bad news.<br />

Once we’ve thinned out the ewes<br />

we make the numbers back up by<br />

introducing the tegs, the name given<br />

to female sheep once they are a year<br />

old but have yet to lamb and are now<br />

destined to be first time mums.<br />

And then, of course, there’s the<br />

other half of the equation, the boys!<br />

The ewe cycles every 18 days and<br />

young rams can manage to get round<br />

about 35 ewes at a time so we have<br />

two. All the action will be done and dusted well before<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> and we’ll look forward to welcoming Malcolm<br />

the scan man in January to let us know how it has gone.<br />

But before I sign off, and a prelude to next month<br />

when it will be you know what, don’t forget to pick<br />

your holly now. Right now the branches are laden<br />

with berries, so gather them and leave in a bucket of<br />

water in cold place, because if you leave it till next<br />

month the blackbirds will have beaten you to it!<br />

Find out more about daily life at Coopers Farm by visiting coopersfarmstonegate.co.uk<br />


Supporting communities<br />

in Kent since 1781.<br />

With offices across Kent and London,<br />

we provide specialist legal services for<br />

individuals and businesses in the Southeast.<br />

+ Contracts & Transactions<br />

+ Conveyancing<br />

+ Employment<br />

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+ Tax & Estate Planning<br />

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To find out how we can help,<br />

call us on 01622 698000<br />

or email enquiries@wmlaw.uk<br />

whitehead-monckton.co.uk<br />

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Registered office 5 Eclipse Park, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3EN. Authorised<br />

and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under no. 608279.<br />

131<br />

WhiteheadMoncktonWT246.indd 1 20/10/2022 14:03

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