Sussex Exclusive Magazine Issue 6 2023

In this edition, we are celebrating all things Christmas and New Year, Sussex wine and gin, and lots more. We have some great Sussex Christmas traditions (old and new) for you, a Brighton Christmas getaway, lots of Christmas gift ideas, and even more Christmas recipes, bakes, and treats.  Of course, it's not all about Christmas and we also have the perfect (8) antidotes to help beat the January blues. And not a diet in sight! For the travellers and wanderlusters amongst you, we have a fabulous three-day road trip that follows in the footsteps of the Medieval pilgrims, has amazing views, and takes in castles, vineyards, and historic towns. Alternatively, you might want to hop across the channel and discover the Pays de Calais or throw caution to the wind with a luxury cruise around Iceland! Sussex is a great foodie destination with some amazing Sussex producers and foodie experiences. So grab a fork and tuck into mouthwatering recipes and some great foodie experiences. And discover more of our Sussex vineyards and spirit producers as we explore the history of the  Sussex drink industry and taste a few favourites. You can always burn off any excesses with one of our warming winter walks. If that’s not enough, take our Sussex quiz, read our health advice and gardening tips, and check out our selection of things to do! And the really good news is that it's all completely free! 

In this edition, we are celebrating all things Christmas and New Year, Sussex wine and gin, and lots more. We have some great Sussex Christmas traditions (old and new) for you, a Brighton Christmas getaway, lots of Christmas gift ideas, and even more Christmas recipes, bakes, and treats.  Of course, it's not all about Christmas and we also have the perfect (8) antidotes to help beat the January blues. And not a diet in sight!

For the travellers and wanderlusters amongst you, we have a fabulous three-day road trip that follows in the footsteps of the Medieval pilgrims, has amazing views, and takes in castles, vineyards, and historic towns. Alternatively, you might want to hop across the channel and discover the Pays de Calais or throw caution to the wind with a luxury cruise around Iceland!

Sussex is a great foodie destination with some amazing Sussex producers and foodie experiences. So grab a fork and tuck into mouthwatering recipes and some great foodie experiences. And discover more of our Sussex vineyards and spirit producers as we explore the history of the  Sussex drink industry and taste a few favourites. You can always burn off any excesses with one of our warming winter walks.

If that’s not enough, take our Sussex quiz, read our health advice and gardening tips, and check out our selection of things to do!

And the really good news is that it's all completely free! 


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<strong>Issue</strong> 6 <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Ultimate<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Road Trip<br />

Think epic views, great<br />

wine & ancient castles<br />

A Luxurious<br />

Brighton Getaway<br />

With all the Christmas<br />

trimmings<br />

Fantastic Foodie<br />

Experiences<br />

From truffles and easy<br />

Christmas recipes to<br />

some of the best burgers<br />

in <strong>Sussex</strong>!<br />

Fabulous<br />

Christmas<br />

Gift Ideas<br />

The Best <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Christmas Traditions<br />

Celebrate the old and try<br />

the new!<br />

Enjoy Two of <strong>Sussex</strong>’s<br />

Finest Views<br />

With these warming<br />

winter walks<br />

92 pages of<br />

beautiful <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

The Perfect<br />

January Antidote<br />

Get January ready without<br />

a NY’s resolution in sight

A word<br />

from the editor<br />

Welcome to the latest edition of the <strong>Sussex</strong> <strong>Exclusive</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> and what a winter warmer I have for you!<br />

The next few months in <strong>Sussex</strong> are always evocative and filled<br />

with lots to do and great <strong>Sussex</strong> flavours, and in this edition,<br />

we have a bumper selection of foodie treats for you. Of course,<br />

we have our usual recipes and foodie experiences but I am also<br />

delighted to be able to share lots of sweet treats and easy bake<br />

recipes thanks to Becci Coombes from Hygge Style.<br />

We also have our usual In The Diary section with our carefully<br />

chosen selection of interesting things to do over the next few<br />

months and of course, we have some <strong>Sussex</strong> Christmas gift ideas.<br />

For those who love the great outdoors, do check out our choice of<br />

stunning winter walks, and our gardening section brought to you<br />

by Geoff Stonebanks.<br />

Order by 11th Dec<br />

for guaranteed<br />

Christmas delivery*<br />

*In-stock products only<br />

Editor<br />

Lucy Pitts<br />

lucyp@sussexexclusive.com<br />

Deputy Editor<br />

Janine Marsh<br />

Editorial Assistant and DDIP<br />

Aifric Peachey<br />

Design<br />

Philippa French<br />

Sales<br />

sales@sussexexclusive.com<br />

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a few traditions, so we<br />

take a look back at what we’ve got up to over the years here in<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> as well as some of the newer traditions that are now taking<br />

root here. And if you’re still on the lookout for a new tradition,<br />

how about a winter break in Brighton at the Grand Hotel?<br />

Calling all petrol heads - when did you last take a few days out to<br />

really explore <strong>Sussex</strong>? And how about the ultimate road trip from<br />

Chichester to Battle taking in stunning views, some great driving,<br />

lots of historic monuments and a few vineyards and breweries?<br />

Although we’re all about <strong>Sussex</strong>, we also have our usual travel<br />

section that has two fantastic holiday ideas whether you fancy<br />

luxury and glaciers, or French family fun and lots of fresh air.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> <strong>Exclusive</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

www.sussexexclusive.com<br />

You’ll find lots more in this edition including the perfect antidote<br />

to the January blues, health advice, Feng Shui advice, some weird<br />

and wonderful <strong>Sussex</strong> finds, and the stories of gin and wine in<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong>!<br />

As always, please find a comfy spot, and some great local wine or<br />

beer, and take a look. I hope you enjoy this edition as much as I have<br />

enjoyed putting it together. Please feel free to share with friends.<br />

Discover the Joy of<br />

Sleeping Comfortably<br />

The finest range of premium beds, mattresses<br />

and bedding in the South-East<br />

Visit our stores in Bosham, Guildford,<br />

Horsham & Worthing<br />

Shop our full range online:<br />

jonesandtomlin.co.uk<br />

Front Cover<br />

Royal Pavilions,<br />

Brighton<br />

And a very merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and<br />

yours! See you on the other side!<br />

Lucy<br />

Lucy Pitts<br />


Contents<br />

8<br />

16<br />

8 In the Diary<br />

Fill your diary with these wonderful <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

events from foraging for fungi to wassailing<br />

and ice skating<br />

12 A traditional Christmas<br />

A look back at <strong>Sussex</strong> traditions from<br />

yesteryear and a look forward to traditions of<br />

tomorrow and beyond<br />

16 The ultimate <strong>Sussex</strong> road trip<br />

Discover ancient castles and ruins, award<br />

winning wines, stunning views and rolling<br />

country roads on this three day road trip<br />

22 Winter walks<br />

Wrap up warm and head out into the<br />

country with one of these two pulse raising<br />

and inspiring winter walkabouts<br />

41<br />

64<br />

50<br />

41 Sweets, treats and bakes<br />

Grab a mixing bowl and get baking with our<br />

fantastic selection of Christmas bakes and<br />

puddings<br />

48 A recipe (or two) for success<br />

Two easy to make recipes for those family<br />

and friends get togethers when you don’t<br />

want to be tied to the kitchen<br />

50 Calling all foodies<br />

From truffle hunting to cheese and wine<br />

pairings, to chilli jam and grape vodka, have<br />

a look at our foodie corner<br />

58 The perfect January antidote<br />

Beat the January blues with our eight<br />

wonderfully indulgent ideas which will take<br />

you from art to afternoon tea<br />

60 In the garden<br />

26 Luxury getaway<br />

Treat yourself to a Grand getaway and a bit<br />

of indulgence in Brighton with a touch of<br />

luxury and lots of trimmings<br />

Create winter colour, prepare your garden<br />

for spring and look after the birds with Geoff<br />

Stonebank’s winter advice<br />

26<br />

28 Wrap it up<br />

Check out our carefully chosen Christmas<br />

gift ideas from <strong>Sussex</strong> wine, to arty prints<br />

and stylish fashion and homewares<br />

66<br />

64 Meet the Friends of the<br />

South Downs<br />

Meet the people who are safeguarding one of<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong>’s greatest assets and investing in the<br />

future of the South Downs<br />

32 The Loyal Address<br />

The unique and extraordinary Christ’s<br />

Hospital custom of the Loyal Address to the<br />

new monarch<br />

66 Weird and wonderful <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

From the Devil’s humps and jumps to holy<br />

springs and ancient trees, <strong>Sussex</strong> is a treasure<br />

trove of the unusual<br />

32<br />

37 The great gin and wine stories<br />

Learn about the extraordinary backstory of<br />

gin, the long <strong>Sussex</strong> wine story & why <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

is such a great county for drinks<br />

82<br />

82 Set sail to foreign climes<br />

Hop over the channel and discover the<br />

fantastic Pas de Calais region of France with<br />

its vast beaches, giant tortoises and dragons<br />

4 | sussexexclusive.com 5

Just click here<br />

to subscribe<br />

It’s free to download, read and share<br />

Contributors<br />

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/f2l9n2<br />


Private Client Tax Specialists<br />

With a focus on the future, we will help you today by looking to tomorrow<br />

Geoff Stonebanks<br />

Geoff’s garden, Driftwood, has<br />

appeared on BBC2’s Gardeners’<br />

World, and has won multiple<br />

awards. He writes monthly for<br />

several websites and gardening<br />

media and has a weekly gardening<br />

column in the Brighton Argus and<br />

is regularly heard on the radio.<br />

www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk.<br />

Janine Lowe<br />

Janine Lowe is an author and<br />

classically trained Feng Shui<br />

consultant, trained in Chinese<br />

astrology and in the arts of Bazi,<br />

Flying Stars, Auspicious Dates, Qi<br />

Men Dun Jia and I Ching. For the<br />

last 19 years she has worked with<br />

private and business clients to<br />

enhance their wealth, relationships,<br />

careers and everything in between.<br />

www.janinelowe.co.uk<br />

Stuart Ritchie<br />

Expert Tax Advisor helping clients<br />

manage their wealth, minimise<br />

tax bills, and solve tax disputes<br />

& financial problems. Stuart<br />

specialises in private client taxation<br />

and has considerable experience<br />

and expertise with an emphasis<br />

on agreeing complex taxation<br />

issues, both onshore and offshore,<br />

and helping clients achieve their<br />

financial objectives.<br />

www.ritchiephillips.co.uk<br />

Our people are passionate about making a difference<br />

Vanessa Jamieson<br />

Vanessa is an enthusiastic,<br />

amateur cook who likes to make<br />

sure no one ever leaves her table<br />

hungry! Working full time, Vanessa<br />

needs to squeeze in quick to<br />

prepare food, without losing any<br />

of the flavour. She also likes to<br />

experiment with different cuisines,<br />

which can take her to Morocco,<br />

Thailand, Japan and back to<br />

France, all in the space<br />

of one week!<br />

Becci Coombes<br />

Becci spent her childhood holidays<br />

on the family farm in Denmark, and<br />

grew up with a love for all things<br />

Scandinavian. Originally she trained<br />

as an archaeologist (Vikings, of<br />

course!), before travelling the<br />

world and becoming a successful<br />

glass artist. She now runs<br />

www.hyggestyle.co.uk, an online<br />

boutique in <strong>Sussex</strong> specialising in<br />

Danish and Scandinavian gifts. She<br />

is the author of three craft books<br />

focusing on upcycling.<br />

Holly Stone<br />

Holly runs a busy practice in<br />

Billingshurst and online. Specialising<br />

in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy,<br />

Eating Disorder Coaching and CBTi<br />

she is hoping to bring a team to<br />

Horsham’s Total Therapy Studio later<br />

this year to offer 1-2-1 and group<br />

support to those who are struggling<br />

with stress and associated issues.<br />

www.hollystonehypnotherapy.co.uk<br />

When you are looking for an accountant, you will want people with a passion for and<br />

understanding of what you need or what you do. Our unique combination of specialist skills<br />

and experience means that we will always bring fresh ideas and added value to the table.<br />

We are team players with a focus on helping you.<br />

The passion that we put into what we do, and the understanding that we have for our clients,<br />

means that our team will go far beyond simply solving problems. As well as their expertise<br />

and enthusiasm, all members of the team enjoy working in our specialisations, and are<br />

encouraged to share this with our clients.<br />

Ground Floor South Suite, Afon House, Worthing Road, Horsham, West <strong>Sussex</strong> RH12 1TL<br />

T: 020 3195 1300 E: mail@ritchiephillips.co.uk W : www.ritchiephillips.co.uk<br />

6 | sussexexclusive.com 7

In the<br />

Diary<br />

Grab your diary and fill it with our selection of some of the<br />

fabulous events taking place in <strong>Sussex</strong> over the next few months<br />

artwork, ceramics, textiles, jewellery<br />

and handmade wares. For more<br />

information visit: The Maker's Fair<br />

SteamLights at Bluebell Railway,<br />

Uckfield<br />

17 November to 30 December <strong>2023</strong><br />

Ice Skating at the Royal Pavilion,<br />

Brighton<br />

28 October <strong>2023</strong> to 7 January 2024<br />

As popular as ever, head to Brighton and<br />

take to the ice in front of the compelling<br />

and charismatic Brighton Pavilion. Prebooking<br />

recommended.<br />

The Maker's Fair, Brighton<br />

4 and 25 – 26 November and 2<br />

December <strong>2023</strong>. 11:00 - 17:00<br />

The Maker’s Fair is a contemporary<br />

artist and designer fair situated in<br />

Brighton, Hove and surrounding areas.<br />

It’s an ideal place to discover beautiful<br />

Foraging and Fungi, Lower<br />

Beeding, Horsham<br />

7 November <strong>2023</strong>. 11:00 - 12:30<br />

Leonardslee Gardens is home to<br />

a colourful and diverse array of<br />

fungi. Join a guided walk to show<br />

you a selection of wild fungi and<br />

discover facts about their life histories<br />

and why they are so important to<br />

the garden. £25 per person | £15<br />

Leonardslee members<br />

Stargazing at The Observatory<br />

Science Centre, Herstmonceux<br />

11 and 17 November and 2 and 9<br />

December <strong>2023</strong>. 18:30 - 23:00<br />

These events sell out quickly<br />

every year and are a chance to<br />

look through some of the largest<br />

telescopes in the country to view<br />

the night sky, the moon or the<br />

planets (if they are visible) or it may<br />

be deeper sky objects. There are<br />

experts on hand and the evening is<br />

free flowing around the centre, but<br />

booking is essential.<br />

Sparkle, glow and shimmer on a magical<br />

steam train covered by thousands of<br />

colourful lights. Feast your eyes on a<br />

magical and spectacular light show as<br />

you travel through the winter landscape!<br />

Booking essential.<br />

Glow Wild, Wakehurst,<br />

Haywards Heath<br />

24 November <strong>2023</strong> to 1 January 2024.<br />

16:30 - 22:00<br />

Discover the stunning grounds at<br />

Wakehurst after dark and lit up with this<br />

award-winning lantern packed event filled<br />

with festive magic. With a new route,<br />

brand new installations, and lots of other<br />

surprises, this is a great pre-Christmas<br />

outing. Booking is essential.<br />

Makers Fair<br />

Glow Wild<br />

8 | sussexexclusive.com 9

Page 10:<br />

Leonardslee<br />

Bubbles & Botanicals<br />

A Christmas Carol, Michelham<br />

Priory House & Gardens,<br />

Hailsham<br />

Page 11<br />

2 December <strong>2023</strong>. 14:30 and 17:00<br />

Burning the Clock<br />

Wassail and<br />

Weald & Downland<br />

TIMT Theatre presents Charles Dickens’<br />

A Christmas Carol. Witness Ebenezer<br />

Scrooge’s extraordinary journey to<br />

rediscover the true spirit of Christmas<br />

through mesmerising performances, live<br />

music, and a touch of holiday magic.<br />

Booking essential.<br />

immerse yourself in the captivating music<br />

while enjoying the stunning view.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> National Raceday,<br />

Plumpton<br />

7 January 2024. Gates Open – 10:30<br />

Tree Dressing, Weald &<br />

Downland Living Museum,<br />

Chichester<br />

Kick-start your New Year at the <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

National. With a seven race card, this<br />

fixture is guaranteed to generate a<br />

cracking atmosphere in the stands.<br />

3 December <strong>2023</strong><br />

Leonardslee Illuminated,<br />

Horsham<br />

24 – 26 November, 1 – 3, 7 – 10 and 12<br />

– 21 December <strong>2023</strong>. 16:15 – 22:00<br />

Follow the trail through the Grade I<br />

listed gardens and enjoy a festival of<br />

light, sound, and colour. When you’ve<br />

finished, browse the Christmas market or<br />

let the kids enjoy one of the funfair rides.<br />

Booking essential.<br />

Advent – A Christmas Experience<br />

& Market<br />

25 & 26 November <strong>2023</strong><br />

Visit Weald & Downland Living Museum<br />

in Chichester for Advent, a two-day event<br />

which includes an array of festive and<br />

family-friendly experiences exploring<br />

Christmas traditions from the past. There<br />

will also be a boutique Christmas market<br />

which will bring together stall holders,<br />

showcasing a range of products sourced<br />

from the local region, from arts and crafts<br />

to artisanal gifts. Find out more here -<br />

www.wealddown.co.uk/events<br />

Bubbles and Botanicals Fair,<br />

South Lodge, Horsham<br />

25 November <strong>2023</strong>. 13.00 – 18.00<br />

A stellar selection of <strong>Sussex</strong> sparkling wine<br />

and craft spirit producers come together<br />

at South Lodge offering you the chance to<br />

try, buy and learn more about our great<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> drink scene. For more information<br />

visit: Bubbles and Botanicals<br />

A Bodiam Castle Christmas,<br />

Robertsbridge<br />

25 November <strong>2023</strong> to 1 January 2024<br />

(closed 24 & 25 December) 10:00 –<br />

15:00<br />

Enjoy a magical Christmas at Bodiam<br />

Castle. With trees lining the courtyard,<br />

twinkling lights all around and<br />

atmospheric tower rooms, immerse<br />

yourself in the festive spirit. You’ll find<br />

Father Christmas’s sleigh in the courtyard,<br />

a naughty elf has left gifts lying around<br />

the castle and there is a Christmas Trail to<br />

help Father Christmas spot the presents<br />

(£2 + admission, includes a small prize).<br />

Visit the Weald & Downland Living<br />

Museum for a magical Tree Dressing<br />

event for all the family, celebrating the<br />

importance of trees in our lives. Join in a<br />

procession before placing your own jam<br />

jar lanterns around the Aspen trees to<br />

create a circle of light. Find out more here<br />

www.wealddown.co.uk/events<br />

Burning the Clocks, Brighton<br />

21 December <strong>2023</strong><br />

Burning the Clocks is a community<br />

event that involves thousands of lit, paper<br />

lanterns parading through the streets of<br />

Brighton before being burnt in a vast<br />

bonfire on the seafront accompanied by<br />

fireworks. It’s a lively celebration of the<br />

turning of the year but also a time for<br />

reflection and thought.<br />

Rockaway Beach Festival,<br />

Bognor Regis<br />

5 to 7 January 2024<br />

Head over to the beach for a vibrant<br />

atmosphere, eclectic artists, and a topnotch<br />

experience. Relax by the waves and<br />

Wassailing Day, Weald &<br />

Downland Living Museum,<br />

Chichester<br />

14 January 2024<br />

Visit the Weald & Downland Living<br />

Museum for their annual Wassailing Day<br />

to bless the Museum’s orchard. Join a<br />

procession, with music, songs and short<br />

performances, starting from the market<br />

square and leading to the orchard for the<br />

wassail, to ensure a good harvest. In the<br />

orchard an apple tree will be decorated<br />

as part of a traditional ceremony and the<br />

audience are invited to join in with the<br />

‘Wassail’ shout! Find out more here -<br />

www.wealddown.co.uk/events<br />

Stargazing Evening with Seven<br />

Sisters Astronomical Society,<br />

Beachy Head<br />

27 January 2024. 18:30- 21:30<br />

Wrap up warm and join Seven Sisters<br />

Astronomical Society for an awe-inspiring<br />

tour of the winter skies. Includes a<br />

warming supper and a talk from Royal<br />

Astronomical Society Fellow, Jane Green.<br />

Booking essential.<br />

10 | sussexexclusive.com<br />


A truly traditional<br />

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

<strong>Sussex</strong> has always been strong on<br />

tradition. And whilst many of the above<br />

traditions may have faded from my<br />

household, there are still plenty of <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

traditions, old and new, that create some<br />

of the magic and mystique of this time<br />

of year.<br />

We take a look at <strong>Sussex</strong> Christmas traditions both old and new<br />

In the 1970s, in our house, Christmas<br />

started in the early autumn when<br />

the Christmas pudding was made.<br />

Not for that year, I would add,<br />

but for the following Christmas.<br />

I’d watch my mother chopping dried<br />

fruit, mixing it all in a bowl and adding<br />

tiny silver coins (which we’d all hope to<br />

find when we ate it), before eventually,<br />

it was tied in a muslin cloth and put<br />

on top of the cupboard. For well over a<br />

year. Occasionally coming down for the<br />

addition of some brandy before being<br />

carefully re-wrapped and replaced. I can<br />

still remember the distinctive smell of<br />

dried fruit, candied peel, nutmeg and<br />

other spices and the sense of Christmas<br />

ceremony. Unlike the TV Christmas<br />

ads of today, it was the first sign that<br />

Christmas was coming.<br />

As the year then slowly rolled into<br />

December, we made our own sweets: teeth<br />

breaking treacle toffee, coconut ice with<br />

real Cochineal (which I genuinely believed<br />

was made from dead bugs – well it is, kind<br />

of) and quince jelly (which nobody liked).<br />

Then we dug out my grandmother’s old,<br />

well-worn stockings. No pillowcases of<br />

presents for us back then.<br />

On Christmas Eve we made our way<br />

to Horsham’s St Mary’s church for the<br />

evening service where we lit candles.<br />

The idea then was to take them all the<br />

way home with us (in the back of my<br />

mother’s Morris Thousand Traveller)<br />

without the candles blowing out.<br />

No seatbelts. And as we didn’t live in<br />

Horsham, it was quite a long (and<br />

perilous) journey home.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Wassailing<br />

If it’s<br />

traditional<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> music<br />

you’re after,<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> has<br />

its own carol<br />

(The "<strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Carol") the<br />

words of<br />

which were<br />

first recorded<br />

in the 17th<br />

century and<br />

the melody<br />

of which was<br />

recorded<br />

in the 19th<br />

century after<br />

being heard at<br />

Monk's Gate,<br />

near Horsham.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Mummers<br />

Dance, folk songs and Mummers’ plays<br />

would have been a massive part of<br />

our <strong>Sussex</strong> Christmases of yesteryear.<br />

Mummers’ plays are folk plays performed<br />

by troupes of amateur actors, known<br />

as Mummers. In <strong>Sussex</strong>, however,<br />

they are often known as Tipteers’ or<br />

Tipteerers’ plays and the troupes would<br />

travel from village to village putting on a<br />

Christmas play in the village pub.<br />

Many of the traditional <strong>Sussex</strong> songs<br />

they performed would not have changed<br />

significantly for centuries, some even<br />

dating back to the Saxon era. The songs<br />

were often performed with extraordinary<br />

vocal variety and the lyrics would reflect<br />

the life of the countryside and humour of<br />

its people.<br />

The good news is, if you love this as a<br />

tradition, and prefer it perhaps to the<br />

modern version (a pantomime), you’ll<br />

still find lots of troupes of Mummers<br />

performing across <strong>Sussex</strong> today.<br />

The <strong>Sussex</strong> Carol<br />

If it’s traditional <strong>Sussex</strong> music you’re after,<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> has its own carol (The “<strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Carol”) the words of which were first<br />

recorded in the 17th century and the<br />

melody of which was recorded in the<br />

19th century after being heard at Monk’s<br />

Gate, near Horsham.<br />

It’s by no means the only <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Christmas carol and in 1928, <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

County <strong>Magazine</strong> published a version by<br />

a K H MacDermott which includes the<br />

words, “The Angels came to a south land<br />

fair, To a cottage in the Weald”. Other<br />

regional carols include The Ditchling<br />

Carol, The Burwash Carol for Christmas<br />

Day and the Falmer Carol.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> mince pies<br />

According to a 1974 source (Tony<br />

Wales, ‘The Good Things of Christmas<br />

Times Past’), our <strong>Sussex</strong> mince pies<br />

used to be oval in shape to represent the<br />

manger in the Christmas story. And if<br />

you’re thinking of snacking on a mince<br />

pie early, <strong>Sussex</strong> tradition states they<br />

should only be eaten during the 12 days<br />

of Christmas.<br />

Going a Goodening<br />

The Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle,<br />

established in the 12th century, originally<br />

fell on December 21st, also the day<br />

of the winter solstice (although in the<br />

Catholic calendar, St. Thomas Day has<br />

since been moved). In <strong>Sussex</strong>, the 21st<br />

December became a day when no one<br />

could say no to a caller who came to your<br />

door and asked for a gift. It was known<br />

as Going a Goodening and it was usually<br />

the woman of the family who visited the<br />

big, wealthier houses. People would call<br />

out “Please remember the Gooders” and<br />

12 | sussexexclusive.com 13

shops would leave out spoiled items for<br />

the poor. Apparently, Sir Timothy Shelley<br />

of Field Place near Horsham used to give<br />

away large quantities of beef!<br />

Christmas Day seas swim<br />

Christmas sea swims aren’t unique to<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong>, but we are home to the country’s<br />

oldest continuously running swimming<br />

club at Brighton, founded in 1860. And<br />

the Christmas Day swim has been held<br />

almost every year since then! Lots of people<br />

dress up for the occasion which presents<br />

quite a spectacle on Christmas morn.<br />

Boxing Day meets<br />

Whilst fox hunting with horses may be<br />

considered a sport best forgotten, back<br />

in the day, the Boxing Day meet was a<br />

major event when crowds turned out in<br />

towns like Horsham and Lewes to see<br />

the huntsmen in their smart jackets on<br />

their well-groomed horses. Much more<br />

of a controversial sight these days, meets<br />

are still held across the county on Boxing<br />

Day but you might be more likely to find<br />

yourself at a meeting of old vehicles and<br />

steam engines like the one at Slinfold<br />

near Horsham.<br />

Burning the Clocks<br />

A much newer Christmas tradition<br />

is the Brighton based Burning the<br />

Clocks, a winter solstice festival that<br />

first took place in 1994 as a response to<br />

Christmas commercialisation. Lanterns<br />

are paraded through the streets with a<br />

carnival style atmosphere with music and<br />

costumes until they reach the beach where<br />

there is a lantern bonfire and fireworks.<br />

The costumes often include a clockface<br />

to represent the passing of time and the<br />

lanterns are made of paper and willow.<br />

Thousands of spectators now turn out<br />

to watch.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Wassailing<br />

Wassailing is not just a <strong>Sussex</strong> tradition<br />

although it’s most practiced in counties<br />

where fruit trees are common (like <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

and Kent). It has its origins in Pagan<br />

culture which abounded in our part of<br />

the world before Christianity. Wassail was<br />

a type of toast that means “Good health”<br />

to which other revellers would reply “Be<br />

well” or “Drink hael” (drink well). The<br />

drink involved was warm, mulled ale,<br />

wine or cider.<br />

Wassailing normally takes place on the<br />

Twelfth Night (5th of January) or the<br />

17th of January, the correct date before<br />

the introduction of the Gregorian<br />

calendar. The aim is to bless the fruit trees<br />

and ward off any bad spirits to ensure a<br />

bountiful harvest in the year ahead.<br />

Even a few years ago, you’d have been<br />

hard pushed to find a wassailer, but it<br />

seems to be enjoying a resurgence and<br />

you’ll find various wassailing events<br />

popping up across <strong>Sussex</strong> in January.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> illuminations<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Wassailing<br />

Steam up<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> illuminations<br />

A much newer <strong>Sussex</strong> tradition in recent<br />

years has been the illuminated events<br />

that light up venues like Wakehurst,<br />

Leonardslee, and the Cowdray Estate at<br />

Midhurst. These beautiful venues sparkle<br />

after dark with thousands of creative<br />

and magical illuminations as visitors<br />

brave the cold winter night to follow an<br />

evocative trail.<br />

SteamLights<br />

Fast becoming a tradition in many<br />

households, SteamLights is one of the<br />

Bluebell Railway Christmas tours. The<br />

train is lit up for those on board, and<br />

the 90 minute journey involves festivethemed<br />

scenes among the trees and<br />

clearings and a colourful light show<br />

orchestrated in time with music.<br />

But the real tradition for those who<br />

aren’t on the train, is to see if they can<br />

catch a glimpse of the illuminated train<br />

rushing through the countryside. There<br />

are a couple of spots along the route that<br />

if you know where and when, you just<br />

might just see it.<br />

The wonderful thing about traditions is<br />

that they are ever evolving. Traditions<br />

may become lost or forgotten, but in a<br />

county as culturally rich as our <strong>Sussex</strong>,<br />

there are always ways to create a few<br />

more. Merry Christmas.<br />

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Designed as a three-day trip, starting in<br />

Chichester with stays at Bramber and<br />

Lewes and ending in Battle. The full<br />

itinerary is available here:<br />

www.sussexexclusive.com<br />

Distances<br />

All distances and prices are approximate and subject<br />

to variations depending on your chosen route and<br />

detours.<br />

Bailiffscourt<br />

The Ultimate <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Road Trip<br />

Chichester to Battle<br />

Put the pedal to the metal and follow in the wheel tracks of pilgrims past.<br />

For those that love driving, sweeping and<br />

stunning views and great <strong>Sussex</strong> landmarks<br />

Revving up at the start line<br />

Chichester<br />

Your starting point is the historic cathedral city of<br />

Chichester. Arrive the day before your departure<br />

and visit art galleries, catch a play at the Chichester<br />

Festival Theatre, explore Roman ruins and admire the<br />

12th century cathedral.<br />

For more ideas visit: Things to do in Chichester<br />

Places to stay in Chichester<br />

Harbour Hotel Chichester: a central boutique hotel<br />

with spa and in-house restaurant in a restored Grade-<br />

II listed Georgian property. Rooms from £121 per<br />

night. Street parking.<br />

The Millstream Hotel: in nearby Bosham, the<br />

Millstream has a 2 rosette Sea School Restaurant and<br />

Marwick’s Brasserie. Rooms from £122 per night.<br />

Private parking.<br />

Day 1. Chichester to Bramber<br />

Chichester to Bramber 40 km.<br />

You have a choice of travelling via the A259 along<br />

the coast or via the A27 with deviations.<br />

Your route – the A259<br />

Pick up the A259 which starts as a straight, tree lined<br />

road with impressive autumn colours. Look out to<br />

your left for views across to the South Downs where<br />

you can make out the distinctive white domes of<br />

Goodwood racecourse.<br />

Climping<br />

Stop for a beach walk at Climping or a coffee at<br />

Bailiffscourt (and say hello to the peacock). From<br />

here, you can choose to carry on the A259, but our<br />

recommendation is to turn inland along Ford Road<br />

towards Arundel. There are three notable Medieval<br />

churches along this road. Alternatively, coincide your<br />

road trip with market day at the old Ford Airfield<br />

(you can’t miss the giant plane outside) on Thursdays,<br />

Saturdays and Sundays.<br />

Lunch at Arundel<br />

Arundel is home to a magnificent Medieval castle<br />

and an impressive late 19th century cathedral in<br />

French Gothic style. It’s a beautiful place for a lunch<br />

stop with a river, quirky boutiques, antique shops<br />

and a museum.<br />

Places for lunch<br />

The Parsons Table in Tarrant Street gets a mention<br />

in the Michelin Guide. Alternatively head out of<br />

town to Burpham where The George comes highly<br />

recommended, and if you walk around the back of<br />

the church there are more great views of the Downs.<br />

For more ideas: Things to do in Arundel<br />

16 | sussexexclusive.com Chichester<br />


Steyning<br />

Slindon folly<br />

Day 2. Bramber to Lewes<br />

Bramber to Lewes 30 km.<br />

In Bramber, a short walk and climb takes you to the<br />

ruins of a Medieval castle and its church with views of<br />

the South Downs. And a little further into the village<br />

is the incredible St Mary’s, an enchanting historic<br />

pilgrim inn dated to about 1450.<br />

Arundel<br />

A27 to Arundel<br />

An alternative route to Arundel is along the A27. On<br />

a clear run, it’s another lovely, tree lined road with<br />

lots of straight stretches. If walking is your thing, pull<br />

over at Slindon and walk to the famous folly.<br />

Arundel to Bramber<br />

From Arundel, once fully replete, get back on the<br />

A27 and head east. At Clapham, take the A280<br />

signed to Horsham and Findon. This takes you via<br />

Long Furlough, a gorgeous stretch of road. Then take<br />

the A24 north and stop at Chalk, part of the Wiston<br />

Estate. Stock up with some great quality wines and<br />

then onwards ho, to Bramber via the A283.<br />

Places to stay in Bramber<br />

The Toll House Hotel: this has dog friendly rooms<br />

if you’ve brought your hound, and rooms start from<br />

£84. It has its own restaurant and parking.<br />

The Castle Inn: is a family run hotel with rooms<br />

starting from £50. They also have their own<br />

restaurant.<br />

Other places nearby worthy of a visit are:<br />

• Tiny Grade I listed Saxon church of St Botolph's<br />

which has fragments of Medieval wall paintings.<br />

• Incredible Gothic Revival Lancing Chapel. Open<br />

to the public by arrangement, it’s the largest<br />

school chapel in the world.<br />

The A283 and the A27<br />

From Bramber, the A283 takes you to the Shoreham<br />

bypass and the A27. Whizz along this and enjoy its<br />

undulations and views. Just past Brighton, Stanmer<br />

Park Nature Reserve has a restaurant and café for<br />

a lunch stop, as well as a shop with lots of lovely<br />

local produce and a walled garden. There is also a<br />

quirky flea market and as One Garden is managed by<br />

Plumpton College which has a specialist wine division,<br />

it’s another chance to stock up on local wine.<br />

Long Furlough<br />

St.Marys Bramber<br />

Lancing<br />

Back on the A27, it’s a straight and then curvaceous<br />

road before you turn off into Lewes.<br />

Places to Stay in Lewes<br />

Trevor House: is a Georgian property offering B&B<br />

accommodation in the High Street (with private offstreet<br />

parking). Rooms start from £95 per night.<br />

The Jolly Sportsman: a short drive from Lewes at<br />

East Chiltington. It’s dog friendly and has free parking<br />

and a pub restaurant. Rooms start from £145.<br />

Places to eat in Lewes<br />

There are plenty of places to eat in Lewes and their<br />

speciality is good pub grub so head to The Pelham<br />

Arms or The Rights of Man Pub.<br />

Day 3. Lewes to Battle<br />

Lewes to Battle 45 km.<br />

Lewes is home to a fantastic Norman castle and<br />

priory, a 16th century timber-framed house that<br />

belonged to Anne of Cleves, a great flea market, the<br />

famous Harvey’s Brewery (where you can do a tour)<br />

and an incredible 15th century bookshop.<br />

Other places nearby worthy of a visit are:<br />

Lewes<br />

• Glyndebourne - one of the most celebrated opera<br />

houses in the world.<br />

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Beachy Head<br />

Birling Gap<br />

the National Trust café. You won’t want to turn<br />

your wheels away from this road with its undulating<br />

curves and fabulous sea views but eventually you<br />

must head back north to the A259 and then the<br />

A2770 to eventually rejoin the A27 at Polegate.<br />

The final stretch<br />

Alfriston<br />

• Charleston House - modernist home and studio<br />

of the painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant,<br />

now a museum.<br />

For more ideas: Things to do in Lewes<br />

Cuckmere Haven<br />

Once past Polegate and Eastbourne, there’s a nice<br />

straight stretch of road to Pevensey. You can then<br />

follow the A259 towards Hooe if you wish but<br />

a nicer road cuts across the Pevensey Levels to<br />

Herstmonceux Castle and the Observatory. The<br />

Levels have their own unique atmosphere and feel<br />

wild and untamed even in summer.<br />

Finally, you’re heading to Battle via the A271,<br />

perhaps with one last stop at the Ashburnham Place<br />

tearoom in the orangery and a quick stop to look<br />

back at the incredible views behind you!<br />

Your route<br />

From Lewes, take the A27 east. Here you get a real<br />

sense of the approaching Ouse Valley to your right,<br />

and of the South Downs to your left. Turn right at<br />

Drusilla’s Zoo towards Alfriston.<br />

Alfriston is hopelessly pretty with its Smugglers Inn,<br />

old buildings and village square. The Star Inn dates<br />

back to the 14th century and used to accommodate<br />

monks on a pilgrimage from Battle to Chichester, so<br />

it feels right that as you’re retracing their steps if you<br />

stop here for lunch.<br />

From Alfriston, carry on south and detour to<br />

Rathfinny vineyard off to your right to stock up with<br />

more <strong>Sussex</strong> wine. Once you’re back on the road, you<br />

enjoy glorious views of the sea and Cuckmere Haven<br />

below before you finally rejoin the A259.<br />

Herstmonceux<br />

Battle<br />

Last stop Battle<br />

Battle is of course home to Battle Abbey and the<br />

battlefield of 1066. There’s plenty to see and do in<br />

Battle, with a museum, market and nearby vineyard<br />

at Mountfield. And from Battle, well the decision<br />

is yours … do you carry on driving to Rye, or do<br />

you turn around and pilgrimage your way back to<br />

Chichester again!<br />

For more ideas: Things to do in Battle<br />

Places to stay in Battle<br />

Powdermills Country House Hotel: is about a<br />

mile from Battle centre and is a Grade II listed<br />

18th-century country house hotel with pet-friendly<br />

accommodation. Rooms start from £128.<br />

Follow this iconic stretch of road east past Exceat.<br />

At East Dean, you turn right to follow the coastal<br />

road via Birling Gap and on to Beachy Head. Each<br />

one of these places is worth a stop for a leg stretch<br />

and you can get coffee and cake at Birling Gap in<br />

Claverton Country House Hotel: combines<br />

Edwardian character with modern design. It has<br />

free onsite parking and is set in secluded landscaped<br />

gardens 3 miles from Battle Abbey. Rooms start<br />

from £90.<br />

20 | sussexexclusive.com 21

Whether you’re looking for wildlife, panoramic views across <strong>Sussex</strong>, or just a<br />

hearty walk to get your heart racing, these two walks are perfect for a crisp<br />

winter morning.<br />

Duncton<br />

Warming<br />

Winter Walks<br />

Make the most of frosty mornings and catch<br />

some of the best views in <strong>Sussex</strong>, with these<br />

two stunning walks<br />

Gorgeous Winter Walk at<br />

Duncton Hill, West <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

This walk is perfect for a frosty winter<br />

day and if you’re lucky, you might<br />

catch layers of mist drifting across<br />

the landscape. It combines wide open<br />

spaces, lots of wildlife, stunning views<br />

and wooded tree-lined paths. So, grab<br />

your hat and scarf, pack a flask of coffee<br />

and take the A285 south of Petworth to<br />

Duncton Hill. There’s a small car park<br />

and viewfinder halfway up the hill. Park<br />

here. What3words: butchers.glad.swift.<br />

Distance: 7.5 km. Elevation: 171 m.<br />

Difficulty: Medium. Ordnance Survey<br />

Explorer 121.<br />

While in the car park, it’s well worth<br />

taking a moment or two to enjoy the<br />

view and there’s a dial that points out<br />

the main landmarks such as Blackdown,<br />

Seaford College, Leith Hill, St Michael’s<br />

and Petworth. It’s a good spot for a quick<br />

coffee from the flask before you head off.<br />

Duncton Hill to the South<br />

Downs Way<br />

From the car park, you have a choice<br />

of routes. You can walk a short distance<br />

along and up the road until at the<br />

entrance to the chalk pit, you pick up<br />

the West <strong>Sussex</strong> Literary Trail and turn<br />

right on to it. Alternatively, there is a<br />

footpath up hill through the woods<br />

from the car park, which avoids the road<br />

and takes you around the side of the<br />

chalk pit. This was our preference, and<br />

you follow the path through the woods<br />

with tempting views of the valley below<br />

through the trees.<br />

If you’re lucky, you’ll also see wild deer<br />

and we saw a herd of about 20. The<br />

sharp drop to your right as you walk is<br />

Woolavington Down and that is Seaford<br />

College below you and Blackdown in the<br />

distance (when not shrouded in mist).<br />

Follow the path until it breaks free of the<br />

woods and then takes you across fields<br />

until it meets the South Downs Way. The<br />

route is easy to follow.<br />

Cross Dyke into Eastdean<br />

Wood<br />

You should have met the South Downs<br />

Way at Cross Dyke (and Tegleaze Farm)<br />

about 2.25 km into your walk and you<br />

go straight across rather than join the<br />

South Downs Way. The footpath you<br />

want is a Restricted Byway which is<br />

OK for walkers but not bikes. Follow<br />

this path in a straight line. First, you<br />

pass fields but then you enter the most<br />

magnificent beech wood. This is Eastdean<br />

Wood, owned by the Goodwood<br />

Estate and managed by the Forestry<br />

Commission. It’s so well-maintained and<br />

full of wildlife.<br />

We met no one as we walked this magical<br />

woodland apart from more deer. After<br />

about 1.75 km, you reach a crossroads<br />

and you turn left as you start to double<br />

back towards the South Downs Way.<br />

You are still in Eastdean Wood but you<br />

will know the exact moment you leave<br />

the Forestry Commission section as the<br />

nature of the woods changes. Just carry<br />

on in a straight line in and out of the<br />

woods. Heath Hanger is to your right<br />

but you can’t really see it.<br />

Stickingspit Bottom<br />

You arrive back at the South Downs Way<br />

with incredible views ahead. This walk is<br />

worth it if just for this. The West <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Literary Trail is ahead and will take you<br />

back to the car park. Alternatively, you<br />

can see the woodland route you took<br />

earlier to the car park and rejoin that.<br />

Herds of<br />

deer, views<br />

of Petworth<br />

and woodland<br />

paths make<br />

this winter<br />

walk a must<br />

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Mount Caburn<br />

Stunning views<br />

of the River<br />

Ouse and<br />

beyond and<br />

Iron Age forts<br />

make this walk<br />

a winner<br />

Heart Pumping Climb to Mount<br />

Caburn, East <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

This walk is all about the wildness of<br />

the South Downs. At certain points, it<br />

feels like the place that time forgot but<br />

it’s postcard picturesque and food for<br />

the soul! Even if it feels like you’re going<br />

horizontally heavenward, it will get your<br />

heart pumping and warm you up even on<br />

the coldest of days!<br />

Distance: 8.5 km. Elevation: 293 m.<br />

Difficulty: Medium to hard. Ordnance<br />

Survey Explorer 11.<br />

From the A27 heading east, take the first<br />

proper left turn to Glynde (at the time<br />

of writing there was no sign to Glynde<br />

here). As you enter the village, go over the<br />

bridge and there is a car park immediately<br />

to your left. What3words: bandstand.<br />

notes.headrest.<br />

Glynde to Mount Caburn<br />

From the car park, turn left and after a<br />

short distance turn left again. Just after<br />

the village shop, you’ll see a footpath<br />

leading up to Mount Caburn. It’s 1.8 km<br />

from the car park to the summit but I<br />

think I’ll rename this hill “heart attack<br />

hill” because it feels like it goes vertically<br />

up. Eventually, and as you round the<br />

crest of the hill, you clearly see Mount<br />

Caburn to your left. Although the<br />

footpath goes straight on, you really<br />

can’t miss out on the summit so take a<br />

short deviation to conquer it.<br />

Mount Caburn<br />

Mount Caburn is a 146-metre hill<br />

and the highest part of an outlier of<br />

the South Downs, separated from the<br />

main range. This is also a National<br />

Nature Reserve so a haven for wildlife<br />

and home to the remains of an Iron<br />

Age hill fort where there are over 140<br />

burial pits. Even on a grey and cloudy<br />

morning, it has the most magnificent<br />

views all around, including of the River<br />

Cuckmere and Glynde, and if you<br />

achieve nothing else apart from walking<br />

to the top, and then going home, well,<br />

it’s been time well spent! There’s a bench<br />

at the top from which to admire the<br />

view, but in winter, it’s jolly chilly!<br />

Mount Caburn to Oxteddle<br />

Bottom<br />

Return to the path you deviated from.<br />

This path runs all the way from Glynde<br />

to Lewes. That means (if you ignore the<br />

deviation you have just taken) you just<br />

follow the original path up and over the<br />

brow of the hill and straight down the<br />

other side. You’ll know you have arrived<br />

at Oxteddle Bottom because you’ll<br />

see a dew pond and you’re also into<br />

the Southerham Farm Nature Reserve<br />

here. But be warned, it’s not brilliantly<br />

signed here.<br />

Bible Bottom<br />

About 1.8 km from the brow of<br />

the hill at Mount Caburn and past<br />

Oxteddle you come to a path that<br />

almost doubles back up to the main<br />

footpath that runs along the edge of<br />

Lewes Golf Club. If you want to carry<br />

on for a longer walk, you can, and you<br />

just stick to the path which takes you<br />

due north (and right) up to the Lewes<br />

Tunnel and then right again back onto<br />

the Golf Club footpath.<br />

If you don’t want this longer point,<br />

just double back. You’ll know when<br />

you get to the main path. You’re<br />

walking along above Bible Bottom,<br />

home to the Bible Enclosure which is<br />

a Medieval livestock enclosure. It’s also<br />

a Scheduled Monument but you can<br />

apparently only see it in certain light.<br />

It’s called the Bible Enclosure because<br />

it looks like a bible (apparently)<br />

although it used to be called the<br />

Devil’s Book.<br />

Bible Bottom back to Caburn<br />

Carry on past Saxon Cross (site of a<br />

Medieval settlement site on the eastern<br />

side of Saxon Down and another<br />

Scheduled Monument) and the wind<br />

turbine and from there you can see<br />

Mount Caburn clearly in the distance<br />

and you just have to follow the path<br />

back to it. Back at Mount Caburn, just<br />

follow the path downhill to Glynde.<br />

There’s a rather gorgeous tearoom next<br />

to the shop, well worth a stop. Or head<br />

into Lewes.<br />

24 | sussexexclusive.com 25

A Festive<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Getaway<br />

Head to the <strong>Sussex</strong> coast for a Brighton break which combines luxury,<br />

history, the unusual and a big helping of fun<br />

A stay at the iconic Grand<br />

Brighton<br />

Set on Brighton seafront, The Grand<br />

Brighton was officially opened on 21 July<br />

1864 to great fanfare and celebrated as<br />

the original ‘Palace By The Sea’. The now<br />

famous building was revered as a feat of<br />

Victorian architectural brilliance.<br />

Today, it still boasts an impressive<br />

facade, ornate interiors and famously<br />

outstanding service. With seven floors set<br />

around the original dramatic sweeping<br />

staircase, along with the Cyan Brighton<br />

restaurant, the Victoria Bar and Lounge<br />

and the Victoria Terrace, the Grand adds<br />

a touch of luxe to a Brighton getaway.<br />

Advance hotel room rates start from £139<br />

for a double room in December.<br />

Festive treats<br />

Inspired by the upcoming December<br />

cinema release of Wonka, treat yourself to<br />

a Festive Afternoon Tea experience at The<br />

Grand with chocolate infused creations<br />

and sweet treats alongside festive savoury<br />

favourites. All served on the sea-facing<br />

terrace with homemade chocolate<br />

marshmallows with popping candy, a<br />

chocolate, praline and orange choux,<br />

and festive mini sherry trifle. The menu<br />

also features a speciality mini “Grand”<br />

marbled chocolate bar, providing you<br />

with the chance to discover a golden<br />

ticket and win a bottle of Champagne.<br />

The Festive Afternoon Tea is priced at £38<br />

per person, and reservations are now open<br />

with early booking advised.<br />

glass of Champagne, followed by a fivecourse<br />

tasting menu. The night continues<br />

with dancing and live music from the<br />

UK’s leading event band RadioAction.<br />

And start New Year’s Day in style with a<br />

Grand breakfast, before heading home.<br />

The New Year’s Eve Getaway Package is<br />

tailored for adults aged 18 and over and<br />

starts from £600 for two staying in a classic<br />

double or twin room.<br />

Discovering Brighton<br />

Brighton is a shopper’s paradise during<br />

the festive season; from the Lanes and<br />

the bohemian North Laine district to<br />

Churchill Square Shopping Centre, the<br />

Brighton Christmas Market and the<br />

Artists Open House events.<br />

And don’t forget to head to the Royal<br />

Pavilion where they celebrate Christmas<br />

in style with lavishly decorated trees and<br />

large helpings of Royal Christmases past.<br />

Here you’ll find Christmas concerts,<br />

Father Christmas and even a three-course<br />

dinner in the magnificent setting of the<br />

Banqueting Room. And of course, there<br />

is ice skating outside!<br />

For more details visit: Brighton & Hove<br />

Museums<br />

For details of what’s on at the theatre visit:<br />

Brighton Theatre<br />

For more information about local walks<br />

visit: The South Downs<br />

Travel to<br />

Brighton<br />

You can reach<br />

Brighton by<br />

road via the<br />

A27 or A23.<br />

Parking at the<br />

Park & Ride<br />

car park at<br />

the Withdean<br />

Sports<br />

Complex is<br />

recommended<br />

as parking<br />

in central<br />

Brighton is<br />

expensive.<br />

Catch the<br />

number 27 bus<br />

from Tongdean<br />

Lane.<br />

Alternatively<br />

travel by train<br />

from London or<br />

Gatwick.<br />

Brighton is an eclectic seaside city which buzzes with life at Christmas. Catch<br />

a show or performance at Brighton’s Theatre Royal (think Eddie Izzard,<br />

Rhod Gilbert and Fairytale of New York), take part in the Burning of the<br />

Clocks lantern procession and festival, or dive into the sea on Christmas<br />

morning. Brighton is a city that really caters for all tastes and when the<br />

overindulgence of the festive period takes its toll, head up onto the South Downs for a<br />

calorie burning walk.<br />

Celebrate New Year<br />

As the year draws to a close, bid adieu<br />

to <strong>2023</strong> in style with a celebratory<br />

New Year’s Eve party package at The<br />

Grand. Check-in and soak up the festive<br />

atmosphere at the hotel, then head to the<br />

Empress Suite later in the evening for a<br />

Finally, don’t forget to explore the pier<br />

and then head along to the Brighton<br />

i360 to celebrate the winter solstice<br />

sunrise 138 metres above the city or see<br />

in New Year with a glass of bubbles and<br />

dancing up in the sky.<br />

For details of what’s on at the i360 visit:<br />

Brighton i360<br />

26 | sussexexclusive.com 27

Christmas<br />

Gifts<br />

Seasalt Gift Box<br />

Includes a fresh and reviving<br />

handmade candle, a 300g amber glass<br />

jar of Seasalt & Juniper Bath Salts, and<br />

a Seasalt & Sugar Body Scrub. Hand<br />

packed into a natural kraft box with<br />

shredded paper packing.<br />

For details or to buy, visit<br />

Resident Artisan<br />

Price £35<br />

Keep it local this Christmas<br />

and support your county<br />

with our <strong>Sussex</strong> Christmas<br />

gift ideas<br />

The Ridgeview Cocktail Gift Set<br />

A cocktail enthusiast’s dream: Ridgeview’s Cavendish NV<br />

meets Brighton Gin’s botanical richness, all in one set.<br />

Get ready for delightful DIY mixology with easy-to-follow<br />

recipe cards for two mouthwatering cocktails, adorned<br />

with freeze-dried fruit.<br />

For details or to buy, visit Ridgeview Wine Estates<br />

Price £70<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Coasters<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Coaster Collection combines<br />

views of the iconic Shoreham<br />

Airport, Worthing & Brighton Piers,<br />

and Brighton Vista. Printed on<br />

4.8mm board, with cork backing and<br />

varnished edges. Each set is bound in a<br />

Design by Julie Ingham belly-band, so<br />

looks perfect as a gift.<br />

For details or to buy, visit<br />

Resident Artisan<br />

Price £20.00<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Landmarks 2024 Calendar<br />

With 12 different illustrations of<br />

some of <strong>Sussex</strong>’s most iconic and<br />

architecturally significant buildings.<br />

It is the ideal Christmas gift for the<br />

architecture fan in your life or for<br />

yourself.<br />

For details or to buy, visit<br />

Resident Artisan<br />

Price £15.00<br />

Jangala, Brighton Print<br />

‘Jangala’ celebrates a fusion of the Indian jungle and the architecture of the Royal Pavilion and<br />

gardens. The Fine Art limited edition Giclee prints are printed with archival inks and printed on<br />

museum quality paper. The print comes in two sizes.<br />

For details or to buy, visit Resident Artisan<br />

Price £140 - £175 dependent on size<br />

28 | sussexexclusive.com 29

Hand-stamped “I love you”<br />

vintage silver spoon<br />

For details or to buy,<br />

visit Hygge Style<br />

Price £9.95<br />

Blue Crystal Eye Pendant Necklace<br />

in Gold<br />

For details or to buy, visit<br />

La Vida Boutique<br />

Price £22<br />

Nordic Nights Hygge Gift Box<br />

A wonderful gift box, packed full of<br />

lovely little festive gifts and all lovingly<br />

wrapped in tissue. Presented in a handy<br />

silver card box, the set contains a handmade<br />

red enamel Hygge snowflake<br />

mug, a 2l festive knitted hot water<br />

bottle with reindeer and snowflake<br />

design and a 9cl NORSKA “Vinter”<br />

candle, fragranced with cinnamon,<br />

clove and orange essentials oil.<br />

For details or to buy, visit<br />

Hygge Style<br />

Price £24.95<br />

Stork Print Canvas Tote Bag<br />

For details or to buy, visit<br />

La Vida Boutique<br />

Price £22<br />

Wreath Making For All Occasions<br />

Packed with lots of projects and<br />

craft ideas from Easter to Christmas,<br />

it makes the perfect gift for the<br />

craft lover! In this book, author and<br />

crafter Becci Coombes will show you<br />

how to form simple wreaths out of<br />

foraged elements, with an emphasis<br />

on recycling and using sustainable<br />

materials.<br />

For details or to buy, visit Hygge Style<br />

Price £14.95<br />

Date, Love, Marry, Avoid: Find Your Soulmate<br />

Finding your soulmate in a largely online world can be<br />

tricky enough as it is, and this book aims to help you find<br />

a compatible partner without having to kiss too many<br />

frogs. Janine helps people find their way every day with<br />

relationships, life, health, and wealth through Chinese<br />

Horoscopes and Feng Shui. Love, Date, Marry, Avoid is a<br />

funny, practical, irreverent, and accessible guide to Chinese<br />

astrology, geared to help you learn what makes your<br />

personal sign tick and which animal signs are your most<br />

– and least – compatible.<br />

For details or to buy, visit Amazon<br />

Price £15.55<br />

30 | sussexexclusive.com 31

The Loyal Address<br />

To Queen Elizabeth II and King<br />

Charles III<br />

Christ’s Hospital Student Delivers Loyal Address<br />

to His Majesty King Charles III<br />

Christ's Hospital is extraordinary<br />

in many ways. But perhaps<br />

none more so than with<br />

their tradition of the Loyal<br />

Address, whereby the most<br />

senior student addresses a new monarch.<br />

From Queen Mary and Queen<br />

Elizabeth I<br />

In 1553, when Christ’s Hospital student<br />

Edmund Campion was just 13 and the<br />

school was barely a year old, Edmund was<br />

chosen to present an address at Aldgate<br />

to the future Queen Mary as she was<br />

escorted by the Lord Mayor into the City<br />

of London on her way to the Tower of<br />

London for her coronation.<br />

Queen Mary was not a fan of the school<br />

and ignored the boy, but the idea of the<br />

Loyal Address had been formed.<br />

In the centuries since, there has been a Loyal<br />

Address by a student of Christ’s Hospital<br />

to almost every new monarch. More often<br />

written down rather than spoken, the address<br />

is given during the first official royal visit<br />

to, or through, the City of London, where a<br />

monarch asks the Lord Mayor for permission<br />

to enter the City.<br />

Sometimes the address has been given the day<br />

before a coronation such as with Elizabeth I,<br />

who received her greeting in January 1559,<br />

or after, as was the case with James I whose<br />

visit to the City was postponed due to the<br />

plague. And our last King Charles, Charles<br />

II, accepted an address at the churchyard<br />

of St Paul’s Cathedral on the eve of his<br />

coronation at Westminster Abbey.<br />

It’s been 70 years since Queen Elizabeth<br />

II received the Loyal Address on 9th<br />

June 1953 delivered by Senior Grecian<br />

Barrie Johnston in a written scroll on the<br />

steps of St Paul’s Cathedral a week after<br />

Queen Elizabeth II had been crowned.<br />

But on 18 October <strong>2023</strong>, at Mansion<br />

House, this fantastic tradition saw His<br />

Majesty King Charles III receive the<br />

Loyal Address from Senior Grecian<br />

and head student of Christ’s Hospital,<br />

Zaphaneth Puplampu.<br />

King Charles and Queen Camilla were<br />

attending a dinner in their honour at<br />

Mansion House, held by the City of<br />

London. Zaphaneth Puplampu had the<br />

privilege of delivering the Loyal Address<br />

to the Royal party by way of a speech,<br />

before approaching the King’s table to<br />

present him with the written version.<br />

Zaphaneth said of the experience: ‘I<br />

am incredibly honoured to have had<br />

the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity<br />

of addressing the King at Mansion<br />

House. The whole event was surreal; I<br />

was surrounded by great people in an<br />

amazing setting, and I’m very grateful to<br />

have done it on behalf of the students of<br />

Christ’s Hospital!’<br />

Christ’s Hospital was established in 1552<br />

by King Edward VI and is the UK’s<br />

leading charitable school and largest<br />

bursary charity. It actively seeks students<br />

of potential, who often come from<br />

varied and complex backgrounds and<br />

provides free or substantially reduced<br />

cost places to ensure that children have<br />

access to first-class education no matter<br />

their background<br />

www.christs-hospital.org.uk<br />

Charles II,<br />

accepted an<br />

address at the<br />

churchyard<br />

of St Paul’s<br />

Cathedral on<br />

the eve of his<br />

coronation at<br />

Westminster<br />

Abbey.<br />

32 | sussexexclusive.com 33

The Chequers at Rowhook<br />

Come in from the cold and enjoy the very best English cuisine<br />

with a French twist and a warm welcome<br />

Opening Hours<br />

Wed - Sat: 11:30am - 4pm /<br />

6pm - 11pm<br />

Sun: 12pm - 5pm<br />

Christmas Opening Hours<br />

Christmas Eve 12pm - 3:30 /<br />

6pm - 10:30pm<br />

Christmas Day Closed<br />

Boxing Day 12pm - 5pm<br />

Food Service<br />

Wed - Sat: 12pm - 2:30pm /<br />

6:30pm - 8:30pm<br />

Sun: 12pm - 3:30pm<br />

Food Service Christmas<br />

Opening Hours<br />

Christmas Eve 12pm - 2:30pm /<br />

6:30pm - 8:30pm<br />

Christmas Day Closed<br />

Boxing Day 12pm - 3:30pm<br />

The Chequers Inn at Rowhook does winter<br />

really well.<br />

Think flagstone floors, roaring fires and hearty, wholesome<br />

winter flavours. At The Chequers we love winter and<br />

combining warming classic English dishes with a French twist<br />

with award winning wines and local beers.<br />

The best ingredients and a Christmas<br />

fayre menu<br />

We use the best of local and seasonal ingredients and<br />

that includes some of our own homegrown produce or<br />

foraged foods.<br />

Our three course Christmas menu includes a classic roast<br />

turkey with chestnut and orange stuffing, chipolatas and<br />

bacon, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Or choose from<br />

grilled Barnsley chop with rosemary and garlic pomme puree,<br />

tartelette of leeks and <strong>Sussex</strong> brie with sauté new potatoes<br />

or pan fried crispy salmon fillet with spinach, and curried<br />

Scottish mussel velouté and galette potato.<br />

Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy cream always<br />

goes down well but let us tempt you with mocha mousse with<br />

honeycomb, chocolate crumb and berries or vanilla panacotta<br />

with honey roasted purple fig and ginger sable biscuit.<br />

Every dish is freshly-prepared in our country kitchen and we<br />

offer a fine dining menu as well as lighter dishes served in<br />

our bar area. We also offer a selection of our fantastic wines<br />

sourced from all over the globe, from vineyards in <strong>Sussex</strong> to<br />

France, Italy and the New World. In the bar, there's also a<br />

diverse range of local ales.<br />

Walkers always welcome<br />

The Chequers is right on the edge of Roman Woods near<br />

Rudgwick and just a short distance south of the <strong>Sussex</strong> Border<br />

Path, so it’s a perfect place for winter walkers. We welcome<br />

dogs and have treats on the bar and water available.<br />

The Chequers is in the AA, Michelin and Master Chefs of<br />

Great Britain guides. We have two restaurants, plenty of<br />

seating and free parking.<br />

Call now to book or to find out more:<br />

The Chequers Inn<br />

Rowhook Road, Horsham RH12 3PY<br />

thechequersrowhook.com<br />

01403 790480<br />

34 | sussexexclusive.com 35

DRINK<br />

The Great <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Gin & Wine Stories<br />

We explore the stories of two local products that have hit <strong>Sussex</strong> by storm<br />

A mother’s ruin, a county’s pleasure and gin’s bizarre backstory<br />

at South Lodge<br />

Bubbles & Botanicals is a <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

sparkling wine and craft gin event,<br />

being held at stunning South Lodge on<br />

the 25th November <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> is now on the world stage with<br />

its award-winning wines and gins, and<br />

this is a rare chance to meet a number<br />

of local producers.<br />

• Try and taste superb local sparkling<br />

wine and gins.<br />

• Learn more about the vineyards and<br />

distilleries.<br />

• Speak to the growers, winemakers<br />

and distillers who each have their<br />

own unique story to tell.<br />

With more than 15 stalls representing<br />

some of the best sparkling wine<br />

producers and gin makers from <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

and the surrounding areas, there will<br />

be samples and event-only deals for<br />

ticketholders.<br />

Bubbles & Botanicals is the perfect<br />

opportunity to get together with<br />

friends, stock up on Christmas<br />

supplies, enjoy some great local wines<br />

and learn more about the <strong>Sussex</strong> wine<br />

and gin industries.<br />

There are limited special VIP tickets<br />

available for £20. Standard Early bird<br />

tickets are on sale now for just £12.50.<br />

• Buy wines straight from the<br />

producers for the festive period<br />

and beyond.<br />

A celebration of <strong>Sussex</strong> Sparkling Wine & Gin<br />

Saturday Afternoon - 25th November <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

1 pm to 5.30 pm<br />

South Lodge, Brighton Road, Horsham RH13 6PS<br />

Book your ticket today<br />

www.bubblesandbotanicals.net<br />

Bubbles & Botanicals<br />

There’s a slight disagreement<br />

as to when the first gins were<br />

produced. Some say it was as<br />

long ago as the 6th century<br />

and made by monks and<br />

alchemists for medicinal purposes. But<br />

certainly by the 16th and 17th century,<br />

the Dutch were producing ‘Genever’<br />

(Dutch for ‘juniper’) or Genevre as it was<br />

also called. And it was beginning to make<br />

its way to our shores as English soldiers<br />

saw the Dutch drinking it to give them<br />

courage before a battle - and who doesn’t<br />

want a dose of Dutch courage.<br />

The Gin Craze<br />

William II became king in 1689 although<br />

he was actually Dutch. There followed a<br />

trade war with France, which involved<br />

heavily taxing wine, brandy and Cognac.<br />

William also introduced The Corn Laws,<br />

which resulted in big tax breaks for grain<br />

and as a result, for grain-based spirit<br />

distillation.<br />

And then things went a little crazy.<br />

With no regulation of gin production,<br />

there was a complete free for all. People<br />

36 | sussexexclusive.com 37

DRINK<br />

DRINK<br />

That all changed in 2008 when two<br />

gin producers successfully challenged<br />

the law that banned any still that had<br />

a capacity of less than 1,800 litres. As<br />

a result, the path was cleared for small<br />

batch production and this one of the<br />

reasons we have seen such a massive<br />

resurgence of gin producers over the<br />

last 15 years.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> gin<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> has a great history of smugglers<br />

and wreckers (those that salvaged<br />

the contents of ships wrecked off the<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> coast) and although we think of<br />

smuggling whisky and brandy, it would<br />

have also certainly included Genevre.<br />

So <strong>Sussex</strong> folk would have acquired a<br />

taste for gin long ago.<br />

Today, we have dozens if not hundreds of<br />

small batch and high quality gin producers<br />

that use different methods, a host of local<br />

botanicals and ingredients, and a good dose<br />

of local folklore in the production of our<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> gins.<br />

There are a number of reasons that make<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> a great place to produce gin. The<br />

landscape and in particular the South<br />

Downs and Weald the produce a wealth<br />

of local ingredients and are home to<br />

freshwater springs. Our <strong>Sussex</strong> wine<br />

industry that has led to entrepreneurial<br />

spirit producers making use of the leftover<br />

grape material as the base for their spirit<br />

instead of grain spirit. And the creativity<br />

of <strong>Sussex</strong> folk, who have learnt how to<br />

take a simple spirit and turn it into the<br />

kaleidoscope of different flavours and<br />

strengths that we enjoy today.<br />

went mad for gin, not least because it<br />

was cheaper than beer. It is estimated<br />

that of the 15,000 (alcoholic) drinking<br />

establishments in London, at one point,<br />

over half were gin shops. But a major<br />

problem was that gin producers could<br />

use pretty much anything they wanted in<br />

their gin production including turpentine,<br />

sulphuric acid, and even sawdust.<br />

All sorts of madness and debauchery<br />

followed, and reports include tales of<br />

mothers murdering children and men<br />

being driven crazy. The mood of the day is<br />

perhaps best or worst encapsulated in the<br />

etching by William Hogarth called Gin<br />

Lane (1750/51). It depicts a gin-soaked<br />

mother dropping her baby over the side of<br />

a staircase, a skeletal man with an empty<br />

glass and a long gin shopping list, a man<br />

carrying an impaled baby and a woman<br />

feeding her baby gin!<br />

retail licensing. The cost of a license<br />

was huge and at the time, only two<br />

were issued in seven years. The laws also<br />

introduced a ban on any still that had a<br />

capacity of less than 1,800 litres, to limit<br />

the small-scale producers. The gin craze<br />

came to an almost immediate halt. Gin<br />

prices and quality started to improve.<br />

The evolution of gin<br />

Gin distillation has continued to evolve<br />

since. The invention of the column<br />

still led to the creation of the “London<br />

dry” gin. Meanwhile British troops in<br />

the colonies started to try and mask the<br />

bitter flavour of quinine used for treating<br />

Malaria and the invention of an Indian<br />

tonic water (the quinine was dissolved<br />

in the carbonated water) led to Gin and<br />

Tonic.<br />

Bubbles & Botanicals<br />

The history of English wine and its <strong>Sussex</strong> rebirth<br />

Wine came to Britain<br />

with the Romans<br />

(although it may<br />

have been here<br />

before) so it’s<br />

suitably fitting that these days the Roman<br />

ruins at Bignor in West <strong>Sussex</strong> look<br />

out over vineyards. That said, although<br />

Romans definitely drank wine, it’s not<br />

clear to what extent they grew the grapes<br />

and made it here. We have to rely on the<br />

Normans and their many monasteries for<br />

that and in the Domesday Book, there<br />

were 46 vineyards listed in the south of<br />

England. By the time of Henry VIII, this<br />

number had increased to about 140, so<br />

wine production is certainly not new here.<br />

Regulation and control<br />

In order to bring an end to the ginmadness,<br />

the Gin Acts were introduced<br />

(The Gin Act 1736 and The Gin Act<br />

1751). These brought in distillation and<br />

The resurgence of the small<br />

producer<br />

Despite the passing of several hundred<br />

years, some of the laws restricting gin<br />

production had never been repealed.<br />

Page 39<br />

Tinwood-pickers<br />

What caused wine making in England to<br />

decline isn’t entirely clear but is thought in<br />

the main part to be due to a change in the<br />

temperatures and weather which for several<br />

centuries got colder. The dissolution of the<br />

monasteries (where much wine production<br />

took place) may also have played its part.<br />

38 | sussexexclusive.com<br />


DRINK<br />

FOOD<br />

Wine production rumbled on on a pretty<br />

small scale right up to the period between<br />

WWI and WWII when it more or less<br />

died out.<br />

The great wine revival<br />

In 1952, 4,000 vines were planted at<br />

Hambledon in Hampshire. Others<br />

followed, like Biddenden Vineyard in<br />

Kent who first planted in 1969 and<br />

Denbies near Dorking in Surrey that first<br />

planted vines in 1986. In <strong>Sussex</strong>, our<br />

new wine heritage first took roots at the<br />

Bolney Wine Estate (1972) and Breaky<br />

Bottom (1974). Other pioneers gradually<br />

tested the terroir with Nyetimber where<br />

they first planted vines in 1988 and<br />

Ridgeview who planted in 1995.<br />

From those small beginnings, we now<br />

have the best part of 140 vineyards in<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong>, many of which are nationally<br />

and internationally award winning.<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> wine also now has Protected<br />

Designation of Origin (PDO) similar to<br />

the appellation awarded in France. PDO<br />

status is a mark of quality and provenance<br />

and PDO <strong>Sussex</strong> wine must pass strict<br />

tests and analysis including (for sparkling<br />

wine) being aged in the bottle for a<br />

minimum of 15 months.<br />

ago, <strong>Sussex</strong> and France would have formed<br />

one continuous ridge of land right the way<br />

across to Champagne.<br />

This terroir includes the chalky North and<br />

South Downs running more or less parallel<br />

and the Weald with its mixture of clay and<br />

sandstone. But climate change (particularly<br />

over the last 10 years) has also played<br />

its part too with the county enjoying<br />

increasingly dry, warm summers and cool<br />

winters, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly.<br />

The maritime influence in <strong>Sussex</strong> helps<br />

ensure the grapes develop high levels<br />

of natural acidity which is particularly<br />

important for sparkling wines. And our<br />

many south-facing slopes are ideal for grape<br />

varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir<br />

and Pinot Meunier – or the sparkling wine<br />

magic three as they are sometimes known.<br />

According to Wine GB South East,<br />

as of 2020, the three most popular<br />

varieties of grape in our region were<br />

indeed Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot<br />

Meunier primarily used for sparkling wine<br />

production and accounting for 75% of<br />

vines planted. But there are now also an<br />

increasing number of still wines being<br />

produced in <strong>Sussex</strong> including some rosés<br />

and reds. Other grape varieties grown here<br />

include Dornfelder, Bacchus, Riesling,<br />

Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.<br />

Left: Tinwood<br />

Right: Rathfinny-vines<br />

Puddings, easy<br />

Christmas bakes and<br />

sweet treats<br />

The why of <strong>Sussex</strong> wine<br />

Why is <strong>Sussex</strong> wine such a success?<br />

Well, <strong>Sussex</strong> has the same terroir as the<br />

Champagne region of France. Terroir<br />

is the environment in which wine is<br />

produced, including the soil, topography,<br />

and climate. Indeed, thousands of years<br />

If you’d like to know more about our<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> gin and wine producers, join us<br />

at Bubbles and Botanicals on the 25th<br />

November at South Lodge near Horsham<br />

for an afternoon of meeting the producers<br />

and trying before you buy.<br />

www.bubblesandbotanicals.net<br />

We’ve teamed up with the super talented <strong>Sussex</strong> based Becci Coombes from<br />

Hygge Style who specialises in all things Danish and Scandinavian to bring<br />

you this bumper selection of sweet treats for Christmas.<br />

40 | sussexexclusive.com 41

FOOD<br />

FOOD<br />

Granny’s Windfall Pudding<br />

My mum is famous for her<br />

meringue. And not in a good<br />

way (sorry, Mummy). I say this<br />

with all the love in my heart, but<br />

she has a reputation for making<br />

meringues like chamois leather. My grandmother,<br />

on the other hand, had the absolute knack for it;<br />

crisp and chewy on the outside, yet with an airy and<br />

fluffy interior.<br />

This is her recipe for what we still like to call Granny<br />

Pudding, a dessert that is so quick and easy to knock<br />

up on a rainy weekday evening, and that is equally<br />

delicious eaten warm from the oven, or in 2 am<br />

darkness straight from the fridge (like last night; my<br />

sincere apologies to everyone who was expecting<br />

there to be leftovers this morning).<br />

As with many family recipes, the quantities given<br />

here are mere guidelines, please tweak them to your<br />

own satisfaction. When I say I used a kilo of apples<br />

for this pudding, it was actually eight reasonably<br />

sized dessert windfalls. I would think if you are using<br />

whopping great Bramleys, it would be about six. In<br />

the same vein, I always prefer more spice than most;<br />

as my son said to me, “you think literally everything<br />

tastes better with cinnamon in it, Mum.” And just<br />

for once, I am right.<br />

Ingredients (serves 4)<br />

1 kilo apples<br />

200 g caster sugar, plus 2 or more tablespoons to<br />

sweeten the apples<br />

4 eggs, separated, at room temperature<br />

1 tsp cornflour<br />

½ tsp mixed spice<br />

Method:<br />

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel, core and<br />

roughly chop the apples, and place in a saucepan<br />

with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan to<br />

a depth of about a centimetre. Bring to the boil and<br />

reduce the heat, then simmer until the apples have<br />

broken down into a pleasingly rough puree.<br />

Remove from the heat and add sugar and mixed<br />

spice to taste; I prefer the stewed apples to be quite<br />

tart, as there will be such a hit of sweetness from the<br />

meringue.<br />

Place the egg whites in a large bowl or kitchen mixer,<br />

and whip until they form stiff glossy peaks. Now<br />

whisking gently, add 100 g of the sugar, a spoonful<br />

at a time, before sprinkling over the cornflour and<br />

mixing again. Continue to add the rest of the sugar,<br />

once again adding each spoonful slowly.<br />

Add the four egg yolks to the apple mix and stir to<br />

combine, before tipping into a large oven proof dish.<br />

Gently add the meringue on top and spread to cover,<br />

using the back of a fork to make satisfying ruffles on<br />

top. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is crisp<br />

and golden; I would check it after 10 minutes, as<br />

with such a high sugar content it can catch and burn<br />

quite easily.<br />

Sticky Toffee &<br />

Date Pudding<br />

For the pudding (serves 12)<br />

225 g chopped pitted dates<br />

200 g soft dark brown sugar<br />

175 g self-raising flour<br />

85 g butter<br />

3 eggs<br />

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda<br />

1 tsp fresh grated ginger<br />

For the caramel sauce<br />

100 g soft dark brown sugar<br />

100 g butter<br />

200 ml thick double cream<br />

Method:<br />

Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 23cm square<br />

tin with greaseproof paper.<br />

Bring the dates to the boil with 200 ml of water then<br />

take the pan off the heat.<br />

Leave the pan to stand for five minutes then give<br />

the fruit a quick squash with a potato masher or the<br />

back of a spoon.<br />

Add the bicarbonate of soda and ginger and<br />

mix well.<br />

While the dates are soaking, cream the butter and<br />

sugar together before beating in the eggs, adding<br />

the flour spoonful by spoonful until thoroughly<br />

combined. Add the date mixture (and a spoonful of<br />

mixed spice if you like) and stir once more until the<br />

batter is smooth.<br />

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake in the<br />

centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes until a skewer<br />

poked in comes out clean; cover the sponge with tin<br />

foil for the last couple of minutes if you find the top<br />

is browning too quickly.<br />

To make the sauce, add the butter, sugar and cream<br />

to a large pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar<br />

has dissolved. When you can no longer feel the sugar<br />

granules with your spoon, turn the heat up a fraction<br />

and gently simmer for three minutes until the sauce<br />

thickens slightly.<br />

Brush a little sauce over the top and sides of the<br />

pudding to make a sticky glaze, then cut into slices.<br />

Serve with an extra helping of sauce poured over<br />

each slice, along with a good dollop of cream,<br />

custard or ice cream.<br />

42 | sussexexclusive.com 43

FOOD<br />

FOOD<br />


Stollen tray bake<br />

Cinnamon Streusel Cake<br />

With lashings of cinnamon and<br />

lots of good cheer, nothing says<br />

Christmas more than a large helping<br />

of Streusel or Stollen<br />

Ihave to say, I think this is probably the<br />

easiest and best cake I have ever made (I<br />

am still trying to overcome the emotional<br />

horror of my experimental courgette cake).<br />

Crunchy and buttery on the top, with<br />

warm spices making you want to curl up with<br />

tea and a blanket, this cake has all the joy of a<br />

home-made cinnamon roll, with none of that<br />

kneading and proving malarkey. Best of all, it<br />

can be on the table within forty five minutes of<br />

that first initial urge to bake a little something,<br />

and is the perfect treat for coffee with friends.<br />

Delicious served warm, it will also keep well in<br />

a tin if you manage to fight everyone off it long<br />

enough. It is also particularly good when eaten<br />

secretly standing in the kitchen at 4 am.<br />

Ingredients<br />

For the cake<br />

400 g self-raising flour<br />

200 g demerara<br />

250 ml oil<br />

250 ml milk<br />

2 eggs<br />

For the crunchy topping/filling<br />

150 g demerara<br />

50 g butter<br />

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon<br />

Method:<br />

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees and grease and line<br />

a 9 x 13 inch brownie tin.<br />

Melt the butter on the stove and set aside, then mix<br />

together the cinnamon and sugar for the crunchy<br />

topping in a small bowl.<br />

Tip all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and stir<br />

into a smooth, thick batter. Spoon half of the batter<br />

into the cake tin, and scatter on half the sugar/<br />

cinnamon topping mix.<br />

Spread over the rest of the batter. The second dollop<br />

of mixture might not look like there will be enough<br />

to cover the first but blob it out fairly evenly and<br />

coax it to the corners with the back of a clean<br />

teaspoon and it will get there eventually!<br />

Liberally spread the rest of the sugar and cinnamon<br />

over the surface and pour over the melted butter,<br />

tipping the tin to ensure even coverage.<br />

Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes<br />

until a skewer poked in comes out cleanly. Allow to<br />

cool slightly before serving.<br />

Iswim all year round in the sea, no matter<br />

the weather. While the physical and<br />

mental health benefits of immersion<br />

in icy cold water are well documented,<br />

I have no doubt that it's actually the<br />

post-swim hot drink and a large chunk of this<br />

cake that contribute to my wellbeing, as we<br />

sit wrapped up, hunched in a frigid wind on a<br />

grey and icy beach.<br />

Stollen is a dense and chewy bread studded<br />

with chunks of marzipan and dried fruit;<br />

popular in Germany during advent, it is<br />

delicious served for breakfast or afternoon tea.<br />

Finding the time to knead and prove the dough<br />

can be tricky in the hectic run-up to the festive<br />

season though, so this is my tray bake version<br />

which can be thrown together with store<br />

cupboard ingredients in no time at all; perfect<br />

for last minute coffee guests, a winter picnic or<br />

a dip in the sea.<br />

Ingredients<br />

300 g self raising flour<br />

150 g white sugar<br />

150 g brown sugar<br />

200 g marzipan<br />

150 g dried fruit, such as raisins or sultanas<br />

250 ml milk<br />

175 ml sunflower oil<br />

3 eggs<br />

2 tbsp dark rum (optional)<br />

2 tsp ground mixed spice<br />

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon<br />

Zest from one orange<br />

25 g flaked almonds<br />

Icing sugar, to serve<br />

Method:<br />

Chop the marzipan into tiny cubes. This task is made<br />

much easier if you chill the block in the fridge first;<br />

aim for pieces slightly smaller than a centimetre in<br />

width. Spread them on a plate and pop them in the<br />

freezer for 15 minutes to chill as this will stop them<br />

melting too much when being baked.<br />

Line a 30 x 20 cm tin with baking parchment and<br />

preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.<br />

Remove the marzipan from the freezer and place in a<br />

bowl with the dried fruit. Sprinkle over a tablespoon<br />

of the flour and mix thoroughly to combine; this<br />

dusting seals any moisture or oil and helps to prevent<br />

the fruit/marzipan slipping through the cake mix and<br />

ending up on the bottom (sometimes).<br />

Place the rest of the flour, orange zest, sugars and<br />

spices in a large bowl, then add the milk, oil, rum and<br />

eggs and beat for a minute or two until well-mixed.<br />

Lastly, tip in the fruit and marzipan and give the<br />

batter one final stir to combine.<br />

Scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and sprinkle<br />

over the flaked almonds.<br />

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the surface is springy<br />

and a skewer comes out clean when poked in.<br />

Allow to cool then liberally dust with icing sugar<br />

before cutting into slices and serving.<br />

44 | sussexexclusive.com<br />


FOOD<br />

FOOD<br />


Romkugler<br />

Quick Choco-Mocha Fudge<br />

Ingredients<br />

397 g tin condensed milk<br />

400 g dark chocolate<br />

150 g roughly chopped walnuts<br />

25 g salted butter<br />

3 tsp espresso coffee powder<br />

TIP. If you find the mixture seizes and<br />

becomes thick and grainy, add a tablespoon<br />

of milk and beat gently; you should find the<br />

chocolate will become glossy and smooth<br />

once again.<br />

Method:<br />

Pour the condensed milk into a large ceramic bowl<br />

(which will fit above a pan of simmering water)<br />

and sprinkle over the espresso powder. Leave for a<br />

few minutes allowing the coffee to dissolve while<br />

you line a 20 cm square baking tin with baking<br />

parchment.<br />

Fill the pan a quarter full of water and bring to a<br />

simmer. Break the chocolate into the condensed<br />

milk, tip in the butter and set the bowl over the pan<br />

on a gentle heat, stirring regularly until the mixture<br />

melts becomes smooth.<br />

Remove from the heat, stir in the walnuts and pour<br />

into the prepared tin, easing it towards the edges.<br />

Set in the fridge to chill and set for two hours before<br />

slicing and serving. The fudge will keep for a good<br />

two weeks in the fridge (although ours has never<br />

made it past the 48 hour mark so far!).<br />

These delicious little Danish treats<br />

are perfect to make with children,<br />

as they can take over the task of<br />

rolling the balls while you enjoy<br />

a cup of tea and supervise from<br />

a comfy chair. I love them made with spiced<br />

rum, but if you prefer to make them without<br />

alcohol either vanilla or rum essence will both<br />

work nicely (add a couple of tablespoons of<br />

orange juice to make up the amount of liquid).<br />

A kitchen mixer or food processor will make<br />

life much easier as well, although they can be<br />

made (fairly laboriously) by just mashing up<br />

everything with a fork.<br />

Ingredients (makes 30-40)<br />

500 g left over cake or Danish pastry (cheap<br />

supermarket madeira makes an excellent alternative)<br />

100 g marzipan<br />

3 tbsp raspberry jam<br />

3 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting<br />

150 g chocolate vermicelli<br />

Method:<br />

Grate the marzipan (this is made more effortless if you<br />

put it in the fridge for half an hour first).<br />

Place the marzipan, cake, jam and cocoa powder<br />

either into a food processor or a stand mixer with the<br />

beater attachment.<br />

Mix/whizz until the mixture becomes a smooth paste;<br />

to start with, you will think “oh, that’s never going to<br />

work,” then all of a sudden the ingredients will change<br />

from a crumby mess to a glorious chocolate squidge.<br />

Now is the ideal moment to scoop out a sample and<br />

invite family members to air their opinion regarding<br />

the blend of flavours, and add more cocoa or<br />

marzipan accordingly.<br />

Once everyone is happy, pop the mix in the fridge for<br />

half an hour to let it firm up a little.<br />

Form into balls (about 15g or the size of a small<br />

walnut) then roll them in vermicelli or sieved cocoa<br />

for a darker, more adult palate.<br />

Place in petit-four cases and serve. The romkugler will<br />

last about a week in an airtight tin, but can be made<br />

ahead of time and stored in the freezer for a month if<br />

you have used fresh cake/pastry.<br />

46 | sussexexclusive.com 47

FOOD<br />

FOOD<br />

Duck<br />

Breast<br />

with Brussel<br />

Sprouts &<br />

Cranberry<br />

Rice<br />

Baked Camembert<br />

with Rosemary<br />

& Jamish ®<br />

Vanessa Jamieson cooks up a festive feast.<br />

As the clocks change, my thoughts are already planning ahead for<br />

Christmas … actually my planning for Christmas started way back in the<br />

summer if I’m honest!<br />

So I thought I would conjure up a nice supper, with all the flavours of Christmas. As usual, this can feed a<br />

crowd with minimal effort and time. Perfect for the week in between Christmas and New Year or maybe for<br />

an easy Christmas Eve supper.<br />

Fresh from Pollyanna’s Kitchen, and made with her brand new<br />

scrumptious and robust, smokey chilli jam, once you have made this, it<br />

will be your go-to for years to come!<br />

Serves 2<br />

Ingredients<br />

1 Camembert (room temperature)<br />

5 short sprigs of rosemary<br />

1 (heaped) tablespoon of Jamish®<br />

Method:<br />

Preheat the oven to 180ºC<br />

Place the Camembert in a small (round)<br />

baker. Add the Jamish® and stud with<br />

the sprigs of rosemary<br />

Cover with a lid or foil, then bake for 20<br />

minutes. Serve immediately with toasted<br />

sourdough.<br />

Enjoy!<br />

Serves 6<br />

Ingredients<br />

6 duck breasts<br />

1.2 L veg stock<br />

600 g Brussel<br />

sprouts<br />

200 g dried<br />

cranberries<br />

Olive oil<br />

25 g butter<br />

800 g Basmati rice<br />

2 tbsp honey<br />

1 tbsp soy sauce<br />

4 tsp five-spice<br />

Method:<br />

Heat the oven to 180 degrees fan.<br />

Finely slice the Brussel sprouts (or cut into quarters if you don’t have the patience!)<br />

Heat the olive oil in the pan and add the Brussel sprouts. Fry over a medium heat until<br />

golden and caramalising, add the butter and then set aside.<br />

Add the rice to a large, rectangular serving dish, add the veg stock, cover with foil and<br />

put in the oven for 20 mins or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.<br />

Score the duck skin and place in the pan, skin side down to render the fat, until<br />

golden, then turn over and brown on the other side. Combine the honey, soy and fivespice<br />

and brush this over the duck then put in the oven for 8-12 mins depending on<br />

how you like it cooked. For medium, the inside temperature should be 61c.<br />

Remove the duck and allow to rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes.<br />

Combine the rice with the Brussel sprouts and add the dried cranberries, season well<br />

with salt and pepper.<br />

Slice the duck and serve on top of the rice.<br />

48 | sussexexclusive.com 49

<strong>Sussex</strong> Foodie<br />

Experiences<br />

Ridgeview <strong>Sussex</strong> Cheese &<br />

Wine Tasting<br />

Featuring some of the finest sparkling<br />

wines from their signature and limitedrelease<br />

portfolio, paired with a selection of<br />

award-winning local cheeses.<br />

Spend an evening sampling your way<br />

through four Ridgeview award winning<br />

English Sparkling wines, paired with four<br />

carefully selected local cheeses.<br />

1 hour / £25 per person<br />

The<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Foodie<br />

As always, for <strong>Sussex</strong> food and drink lovers, we bring<br />

you six <strong>Sussex</strong> foodie hotspots and highlights from<br />

across the county!<br />

Truffle Hunting<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> truffle and mushroom hunter and<br />

aficionado Melissa Waddingham offers<br />

a range of food and foraging experiences<br />

throughout the winter including cooking<br />

with truffles, training your dog to truffle<br />

hunt, truffle hunting and mushroom<br />

hunts.<br />

Dates and prices vary, and booking is<br />

essential and you can find out more here:<br />

The Truffle Hunter<br />

50 | sussexexclusive.com 51

Interesting <strong>Sussex</strong> Produce<br />

Pollyanna’s Kitchen Jamish®<br />

Pollyanna makes her unique range of oils and condiments in West <strong>Sussex</strong> and her first<br />

product was Chillish® which she describes as the ultimate chilli oil. She’s been adding<br />

to her range year on year, and <strong>2023</strong> saw the launch of Jamish®, a scrumptious and<br />

robust, smokey chilli jam.<br />

Full to the brim with smokey chillies, red pepper and sweet caramelised sugar, Jamish®<br />

adds to its hearty depth of flavour with garlic, ginger and spices to create a sweet<br />

sticky jam with a kick. Use it as a spread, a marinade or glaze, but Pollyanna’s top<br />

suggestions are:<br />

• Spread over some fresh sourdough<br />

and add French brie and warm<br />

smoked bacon<br />

• Spoon onto a warm goat’s cheese and<br />

walnut salad<br />

• Spread over your bread roll before<br />

adding your burger and cheese<br />

• Brush over belly pork or beef brisket<br />

before slow cooking<br />

• Glaze tiger prawns, Halloumi or Tofu<br />

• Stir into mashed potato<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Bites<br />

Tamarisk Restaurant, Felpham, West <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Part of the Beachcroft Hotel, the Tamarisk is just feet away from the seafront so perfect<br />

for a warming lunch after a blustery winter walk on the King Charles III English<br />

Coastal Path.<br />

They promise you the freshest, highest quality sustainable produce from the British<br />

Isles. Chef, Damian Czerny, will serve you the delights of Bocconcini, melon, and<br />

Cointreau salad, local trout and horseradish paté, fried seabass with tarragon lobster<br />

bisque crab beignet and asparagus or vegetable Wellington with roasted pepper, tomato,<br />

garlic and almond sauce. Well worth a visit! Check the menu first as it is seasonal and<br />

likely to change.<br />

Spirit of the Downs Grape Vodka<br />

This Special Edition <strong>Sussex</strong> Grape Vodka has developed its<br />

unique flavour and body from a year resting on Pinot Noir<br />

grapes from Sugrue South Down’s Mount Harry vineyard near<br />

Lewes, East <strong>Sussex</strong>. This sipping vodka has grass and pepper<br />

on the nose with a lovely essence of Madagascan Vanilla on<br />

the palate and a long finish. It’s the perfect accompaniment for<br />

outdoor autumn and winter events or for walkers to lift the<br />

spirits on a hike.<br />

Patty Guy, The Courtyard,<br />

White Rock, Hastings<br />

Kenny Tutt is a British cook and winner of<br />

the MasterChef 2018 UK TV show and Patty<br />

Guy is his baby. Kenny formerly had two<br />

restaurants in Worthing but his focus has<br />

moved to burgers. He told <strong>Sussex</strong> <strong>Exclusive</strong>,<br />

“I’ve always loved street food. Burgers do need<br />

to be good burgers with great quality meat,<br />

but I think it’s the fact that you get the full<br />

spectrum of flavours. You get the fatty meat<br />

and the acidity of the pickle, then you get that<br />

saltiness from the cheese … it’s a one-stop<br />

comfort food and flavour experience. All handheld.<br />

At the Patty Guy, we try and keep it<br />

simple and affordable and everything is made<br />

fresh on the day.”<br />

Patty Guy is a fulfilment of Kenny’s lifelong love<br />

affair with burgers and his desire to recreate the<br />

feeling of having the perfect bite in your hand.<br />

52 | sussexexclusive.com 53

Shaun Pentecost from Holmewood Interiors explains<br />

how to create the perfect bedroom retreat<br />

Abedroom is your private<br />

space. A place to unwind.<br />

A place to escape the hectic<br />

waves of modern life and<br />

importantly, a place to rest.<br />

The design and feel of your bedroom is<br />

therefore very personal to you, with the<br />

materials used and storage needs very<br />

specific for every individual. So, with the<br />

many, many possibilities for tailoring<br />

your space, just for you, some may<br />

surprise you…<br />

versatility of the designs and the many<br />

add-on features now available, can make<br />

it so much more than somewhere just to<br />

hide your clothes!<br />

Create Your Space,<br />

Your Style<br />

Your Bedroom<br />

54 | sussexexclusive.com<br />

Combine peace, comfort and<br />

interest<br />

One of the key bedroom design features<br />

that has come to the fore in <strong>2023</strong> is the<br />

use of textured design and materials. By<br />

layering a mix of finishes, you can add<br />

additional depth and interest to a room<br />

regardless of its size. Natural materials,<br />

organic and outwardly unprocessed<br />

finishes easily portray a peaceful comfort<br />

and balance; whilst the use of materials<br />

such as metal laminated boards are used<br />

to create a sleeker, minimalistic and more<br />

modern feel.<br />

However, textured finishes must not<br />

overpower your room. Instead, a<br />

variety of coverings for walls, doors and<br />

furnishings should work well as accent<br />

features that simply complement and<br />

enhance the room’s themes and style.<br />

Using timber with its different tones,<br />

natural imperfections and rich grains<br />

can also offer additional interest which<br />

combines with a tactile addition too.<br />

Fitted wardrobes<br />

The main design feature for a welcoming<br />

and organised bedroom space is a fitted<br />

wardrobe. Obvious in many ways, but the<br />

So are fitted wardrobes really<br />

worth it?<br />

I have to say yes! The biggest advantage of<br />

a customised fitted wardrobe is that it can<br />

be fully styled to fit your every need.<br />

Built to fit the exact dimensions of the<br />

space you have available, no area regardless<br />

of shape or size is wasted, maximising your<br />

storage space to the full. Start with the<br />

size, shape and main features; combine<br />

this with the materials used, finishes and<br />

colour, add storage features, hanging rails,<br />

shoe racks, drawers – maybe a TV point –<br />

and customise it to your specification.<br />

As an added bonus, the investment you<br />

make in a fitted wardrobe can increase<br />

the value of your home. A custom-built<br />

wardrobe is a very desirable feature for<br />

potential buyers.<br />

But how versatile can a fitted<br />

wardrobe really be?<br />

To be honest, some fitted wardrobe<br />

features you expect as standard. But<br />


The heights,<br />

number of<br />

rods and space<br />

between them,<br />

can all be fitted<br />

to your specific<br />

needs. Top<br />

rails can be<br />

made to pull<br />

down, which<br />

maximises<br />

hanging space<br />

and keeps them<br />

easily in reach.<br />

adding some clever additions and styling<br />

can make a significant difference. For<br />

example, does your wardrobe have<br />

lighting installed and is the design<br />

colour coordinated? Or if home space<br />

is limited, a built-in ironing board can<br />

solve the problem of storing a bulky item,<br />

with the benefit of having it accessible,<br />

conveniently close and ready to use too…<br />

Let’s start with the first thing<br />

you see<br />

The doors. These can be hinged, opening<br />

outwards, or sliding to offer a modern<br />

sleek look that takes up less space.<br />

Different looks can then be stylishly<br />

created just by changing the materials<br />

used or adding relief surrounds. Mirrored<br />

doors can make a room feel larger,<br />

provide a useful full-length mirror and<br />

can also be a good option if there is<br />

no space for a separate dressing area.<br />

Glass doors, although not for everyone,<br />

then offer a very different look and feel,<br />

allowing you to display or peruse your<br />

favourite accessories whilst keeping your<br />

clothing organised and easily visible.<br />

And for those with more space, elegant<br />

doors can also provide a screen for builtin<br />

closets where seating, vanity units and<br />

custom storage options can be included to<br />

meet your every need.<br />

Getting organised<br />

A good, well designed hanging space is<br />

key and a fully fitted wardrobe means<br />

you have choice! The heights, number<br />

of rods and space between them, can<br />

all be fitted to your specific needs. Top<br />

rails can be made to pull down, which<br />

maximises hanging space and keeps them<br />

easily in reach. And what about a pullout<br />

valet rod? Would it make mornings<br />

easier if you could lay out your outfit the<br />

day before? Or perhaps a favourite outfit<br />

could be kept on display behind a glass<br />

wardrobe door?<br />

The storage options in a wardrobe are<br />

used in two ways; to openly display<br />

for viewing and easy selection, or to<br />

hide items from sight. Hidden storage<br />

options include pull out drawers or<br />

cupboards, and shelving units that<br />

can be fitted with some great drawer<br />

organisers to help to keep things tidy.<br />

In comparison, the inclusion of shoe<br />

shelves, pull out show racks and cubbies<br />

offer easy viewing, quick organising and<br />

fast selection options.<br />

Customisable shelving, especially if it is<br />

adjustable, is another essential part of<br />

fitted wardrobe design. With shelving<br />

materials ranging from metal, wood or<br />

stylish laminates, they can be created<br />

to blend in, or to form a feature piece<br />

addition to the room décor.<br />

Unique and just for you<br />

The options are boundless. Have you<br />

considered built in lighting? Including<br />

recessed lighting, LED strips, or even<br />

motion activated lights instantly changes<br />

the overall look and feel. Or add a<br />

selection of customised accessories such as<br />

jewellery organisers, belt and tie racks to<br />

make your space feel even more personal.<br />

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg<br />

when it comes to bedroom design!<br />

If you would like any further information<br />

on how you can make your<br />

bedroom a room to be proud of,<br />

please visit our website<br />

www.holmewoodinteriors.co.uk,<br />

call us on 01403 254090 or email<br />

info@holmewoodinteriors.co.uk<br />

56 | sussexexclusive.com 57

The January<br />

Antidote<br />

Never mind the twelve days of Christmas,<br />

here are the eight New Year antidotes<br />

No, I’m not about to tell you to sign up to Couch 2 5K. And I am not<br />

going to tell you to give up the booze, go on a diet or get active. Not at<br />

all. January is a long and often grim month, and we need all the help<br />

we can get to survive it rather than make it even harder. So here are<br />

our <strong>Sussex</strong> <strong>Exclusive</strong> eight antidotes to help beat the January blues.<br />

1. There are just under 140 vineyards<br />

in <strong>Sussex</strong> so, why not try a different<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> wine every day? Drink<br />

responsibly of course, so share it<br />

with friends. Make it a good mix of<br />

the larger vineyards and the smaller<br />

producers, just to be fair. If you don’t<br />

like wine (what?), then your challenge<br />

(if you choose to accept) is to try 31<br />

different <strong>Sussex</strong> gins or beers?<br />

2. It would be madness to suggest you<br />

spend January eating in 31 different<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> restaurants, but what about<br />

one a week? Here’s some ideas:<br />

Heritage in Slaugham, The Chequers<br />

Inn at Rowhook and Into the Blue in<br />

Shoreham in West <strong>Sussex</strong>. Then head<br />

east to Forest Brasserie at Ashdown<br />

Park, The Star at Alfriston, etch. in<br />

Hove, or Birchwood in Flimwell, all<br />

in East <strong>Sussex</strong>.<br />

3. Book yourself into one of our top<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> hotels. What about The Grand<br />

in Eastbourne, or The Grand in<br />

Brighton? South Lodge near Horsham<br />

or Amberley Castle, Amberley in<br />

West <strong>Sussex</strong>? And Alexander House<br />

& Utopia Spa, East Grinstead, is near<br />

the border of West and East <strong>Sussex</strong> if<br />

you can’t decide which half to visit.<br />

4. What about booking a track day at<br />

Goodwood for a bit of high-octane<br />

thrill!<br />

5. Afternoon tea always works. Maybe<br />

not every day but how about<br />

afternoon tea every Saturday at a<br />

different <strong>Sussex</strong> venue: try Tottington<br />

Manor, near Henfield, Pallant House<br />

in Chichester, The Spread Eagle<br />

in Midhurst, or Buxted Park, near<br />

Uckfield.<br />

6. Art exhibitions always feel a vaguely<br />

indulgent way to spend an afternoon.<br />

Visit the Towner in Eastbourne<br />

where they have Art Store Tours<br />

and Curator talks in January, or try<br />

Pallant House Gallery in Chichester<br />

or Hasting Contemporary where they<br />

have ongoing exhibitions that should<br />

see you through until spring. And<br />

Petworth is always a good choice for<br />

art galleries and a touch of shopping!<br />

7. Get into golf. <strong>Sussex</strong> is blessed with<br />

some really high-quality golf courses<br />

set in some of the very best of our<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> countryside. We have two links<br />

courses, namely Littlehampton in West<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> and Rye in East <strong>Sussex</strong> (which<br />

has two courses, the Old and Jubilee,<br />

both described as traditional links).<br />

With over 60 golf clubs in the<br />

county in total that include big<br />

names like East <strong>Sussex</strong> National Golf<br />

and Country Club, West <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Golf Club and the Royal Ashdown<br />

Forest Golf Club, we also have lots<br />

of lesser-known courses that have<br />

great facilities for golfers old, young,<br />

experienced or novice.<br />

8. Enrol on a course! There are some<br />

great opportunities for learning across<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong>. West Dean near Chichester<br />

offer a host of creative courses which<br />

include interior design, silversmithing,<br />

painting, floristry, photography and<br />

more. Hop on over to Plumpton<br />

College near Brighton and enrol on a<br />

blacksmithing, a dog grooming or a<br />

wine course.<br />

And if cooking is your thing, we<br />

have baking masterclasses at The<br />

Artisan Bakehouse near Steyning, A<br />

G Hendy & Co offer seafood cookery<br />

workshops by the sea in Hastings Old<br />

Town or learn the art of foraging and<br />

sustainable cooking with the Positively<br />

Delicious Team near Chichester.<br />

Happy January! I hope it feels<br />

more doable already!<br />

58 | sussexexclusive.com 59


In the Garden<br />

Preparing your Garden for Winter,<br />

Christmas & the New Year Beyond<br />


Top: Allium Schubertii<br />

while flowering and great when dried<br />

too. Schubertii is a bulbous perennial<br />

producing bright-green, strap-shaped<br />

leaves in spring, which die back before<br />

the flowers appear. These consist of 50<br />

or more star-shaped, pinky-purple florets<br />

on stems of differing lengths producing<br />

a starburst effect up to 30 cm across. So<br />

maybe this month is a good time to plant<br />

some in your garden for great results in<br />

2024 and beyond!<br />

than the packet advises. If, like me, you<br />

want a full display, there’s nothing worse<br />

than a few sparse stems. Just make sure<br />

the bulbs are not touching, leaving a<br />

centimetre or two between them. Tulips<br />

don’t like to sit around in soggy soil, so<br />

do make sure there is good drainage at the<br />

bottom of the pot. Remember to cover<br />

them with at least twice their depth of soil<br />

or compost! The effort put in now will<br />

pay dividends next year!<br />

November is here, the<br />

clocks have gone back,<br />

leaves are falling and it<br />

will inevitably get colder<br />

and wetter. As autumn<br />

turns to winter, the main jobs in the<br />

garden are mostly about protecting plants<br />

and structures from the usual wilder<br />

weather, ideally moving plants into the<br />

greenhouse, or into a sheltered spot, but<br />

if you can't, it is worth wrapping them.<br />

Remember, winter can be a tough time<br />

for birds too, in terms of water and food,<br />

so keep supplies well topped up.<br />

If you love a blast of colour with tulips<br />

in the spring, then now is the time<br />

to plant your bulbs in containers and<br />

borders to guarantee that amazing display.<br />

November is also the month many of us<br />

celebrate Bonfire Night at group events<br />

or maybe let off a few special fireworks in<br />

the garden.<br />

Fireworks in the garden<br />

In addition to firing off some fireworks<br />

in the garden, there are quite a few plants<br />

that are very reminiscent of fireworks.<br />

One in particular, Allium Schubertii,<br />

is the firework allium par excellence,<br />

with vast wonderful dark pink, spiky<br />

flowers. It is very eccentric and showy<br />

Another firework inspired planting might<br />

be Pennisetum setaceum 'Fireworks'<br />

(rueppllii) which makes a lively addition<br />

to bedding displays and patio containers.<br />

The fluffy seed heads can be also cut to<br />

make elegant dried flowers. The colourful<br />

foliage of this fountain grass emerges with<br />

bold stripes of red, pink and green, before<br />

maturing to a rich shade of burgundy.<br />

From mid-summer to autumn, the showy<br />

purple flower spikes rise above the arching<br />

foliage in a spectacular architectural<br />

“bonfire” display.<br />

Tulips<br />

If you have not got around to planting<br />

your tulip bulbs, it’s not too late to get<br />

it done. November is the perfect month.<br />

Don’t be afraid to cram more in the pot<br />

You can get such a wide variety of<br />

different tulip blooms, like stunning<br />

parrot tulips. Why, you might ask do they<br />

have that name? There is one school of<br />

thought that believes it's because of their<br />

feathered petals. Another believes it may<br />

be for the shape of the bloom, which<br />

looks like a parrot's beak, whatever the<br />

reason they are beautiful flowers to add to<br />

your garden.<br />

Feeding the birds this winter!<br />

Whilst many of us probably buy bird food<br />

to put out in the garden, if you have some<br />

extra time on your hands and need to<br />

occupy fed up children in the run up to<br />

the festive season, why not have a go and<br />

make your own special Christmas tree for<br />

any feathered friends around your plot?<br />

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• Dried fruit and nut garland<br />

Get yourself a large needle and thread<br />

with some garden twine or string.<br />

Purchase some nuts, I find the best to use<br />

are peanuts in shells (monkey nuts) as you<br />

can pass the needle through the shell with<br />

some ease. Check your food cupboard<br />

for dried fruit and you’re away! Thread<br />

the twine with a nut then a piece of dried<br />

fruit and keep going until you have an<br />

edible garland for the birds to hang on the<br />

tree. Make sure children are supervised if<br />

using needles.<br />

• Citrus fruit decorations<br />

Get a few oranges and lemons and create<br />

small hanging baskets in which to place<br />

bird food. Cut the fruit in half, remove<br />

the flesh, leaving the peel. String the<br />

halves up with twine or wire, fill with<br />

bird food and hang on the tree, refill as<br />

needed. You can also use whole oranges,<br />

studded with cloves. Create different<br />

designs with the cloves on the orange<br />

spheres. Use narrow ribbon, secured with<br />

the cloves to hang on the tree too.<br />

• Pine cone treats<br />

See if you can find any pine cones while<br />

out walking and bring them home.<br />

You can push pieces of bird fat food in<br />

between the sections of the cone. Once<br />

complete use some wire, twisted around<br />

the top of the cone and suspend from the<br />

branches on your Christmas tree.<br />

Your creative tree will be a focal point for<br />

your feathered visitors and you and your<br />

family can enjoy watching them feed too.<br />

Possible frosts<br />

The weather has started to turn a good<br />

deal colder at nights now, so I hope<br />

Top: working to put<br />

succulents away for<br />

winter<br />

Bottom: Parrot tulip at<br />

Driftwood<br />

you have taken steps to protect your<br />

tender plants. If you are leaving any frost<br />

tender plants in the ground, it’s a good<br />

idea to spread a thick mulch around<br />

the base to protect the crown from cold<br />

temperatures. That way, even if the top<br />

growth is killed off, the roots have a<br />

better chance of survival and may resprout<br />

fresh growth. If you have alpines<br />

or sempervivum clumps out in the garden<br />

try to ensure that they are not getting<br />

swamped by a topping of soggy leaves<br />

from trees above. Remove them before<br />

they smother the crowns of these delicate<br />

plants and cause them to rot.<br />

I have a vast collection of succulents and<br />

have been working hard to get them<br />

under cover and in the warm for the<br />

winter months. It gets hard every year to<br />

squeeze them all in.<br />

Autumnal container<br />

Why not think about creating a colourful<br />

pot to help brighten those winter days<br />

when you look out into the garden or<br />

onto your patio or balcony? There are<br />

many different plants you can use to<br />

create a wonderfully seasonal hardy<br />

container. All your local garden centres<br />

should have a good range of lovely plants<br />

to choose from. There are many different<br />

containers you can choose from too but<br />

try and ensure it is roomy. Pick a mixture<br />

of evergreen shrubs, conifers, hardy<br />

ferns, bedding or even some hardy herbs<br />

too. Be sure to create good drainage by<br />

adding crocks or gravel to the base of the<br />

container and make sure the container<br />

has holes in the base too. Fill the pot two<br />

thirds full of compost and begin to pack<br />

your plants in. Try and arrange them<br />

with the taller ones at the back or middle.<br />

Make sure you back-fill any gaps between<br />

your plants with compost to make<br />

for tight dense planting and no roots<br />

showing. Don’t forget to water and maybe<br />

raise from the ground, good drainage<br />

usually means less chance of frost damage.<br />

Driftwood By Sea<br />

I’ve had a busy summer in my garden<br />

with over 500 visitors paying to see it<br />

privately, allowing me to raise almost<br />

£6000 for charity, mainly for Macmillan<br />

Cancer Support but also, just over £800<br />

for the National Garden Scheme. The<br />

garden will open again from 1st June to<br />

31st July next year. I mentioned in the<br />

summer issue that the garden would be<br />

filmed for television and broadcast this<br />

autumn. I can confirm that it was filmed<br />

in August, but will now be held over and<br />

broadcast in 2024.<br />

The last few weeks have all been about<br />

putting the garden to bed for the winter.<br />

That said there are areas of the plot that<br />

still look quite spectacular for this time<br />

of the year, like the patio adjacent to the<br />

shed which is my view from the kitchen.<br />

Read more of Geoff’s garden at<br />

www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk<br />

Top left: food garlands<br />

for the outdoor tree<br />

Top right:succulent<br />

planter transferred<br />

to south facing porch<br />

window<br />

Right bottom:<br />

succulents in<br />

the safety of the<br />

greenhouse<br />

62 | sussexexclusive.com 63

The Friends<br />

of the South Downs<br />

the National Park Authority and Youth<br />

Hostels Association. We’re aiming at<br />

children’s groups who are less likely to<br />

visit the Downs. The plan is to teach<br />

them about the landscape and history,<br />

and most of all encourage them to<br />

appreciate and value the Downs.<br />

£1,000 has gone to finance prizes at<br />

Brighton University for academic work<br />

relevant to the South Downs.<br />

Empowering Communities<br />

Through Education<br />

Nestled along the southern coast of England, the South Downs National Park<br />

spans 1,600 square kilometres, encompassing rolling hills, ancient woodlands,<br />

and picturesque villages. At its core is the Friends of the South Downs, a society<br />

committed to safeguarding this natural treasure for generations to come.<br />

Bench at<br />

Saddlescombe<br />

A Legacy of Conservation<br />

After witnessing the construction<br />

of Peacehaven on the chalk cliffs to<br />

the west of the Ouse, our founder<br />

members feared what would happen<br />

to the rest of the eastern Downs in<br />

that time without effective planning<br />

controls. To counter that threat they<br />

joined together in 1923 to form ‘a<br />

society for the preservation of the<br />

Downs’, which soon became the<br />

Society of <strong>Sussex</strong> Downsmen. We later<br />

changed the name to the South Downs<br />

Society and are now known as the<br />

Friends of the South Downs.<br />

To celebrate the Centenary of the Friends<br />

of the South Downs, Richard Reed<br />

has written the definitive history of the<br />

Society beginning in 1923 with two<br />

friends walking on the Chalk Downs<br />

up to the approach to the Centenary<br />

in <strong>2023</strong>. Richard joined the Society of<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong> Downsmen in 1947, when the<br />

Society was less than 25 years old and is<br />

still a member today!<br />

Transformative Projects in <strong>2023</strong><br />

In <strong>2023</strong>, the Society has taken on several<br />

ambitious projects, demonstrating their<br />

steadfast commitment to the region’s<br />

vitality. We agreed a major programme of<br />

spending totalling more than £100,000 in<br />

our Centenary year, to benefit the Downs<br />

in both the short and long term. The<br />

Friends can spend this money because we<br />

are fortunate to have recently received two<br />

substantial legacies.<br />

There is a £16,000 scheme to help people<br />

enjoy the Downs by providing wooden<br />

benches, and converting stiles to gates to<br />

improve access.<br />

£60,000 went to the National Park<br />

Authority for the refurbishment of the<br />

iconic 18th century pump barn building<br />

at the Seven Sisters country park, which<br />

will be used to showcase the Downs for<br />

visitors and provide space for activities.<br />

£5,000 was provided as a contribution to<br />

the cost of staging a play based on Hilaire<br />

Belloc’s famous book The Four Men<br />

about a walk across the Downs.<br />

£20,000 was provided for projects to<br />

encourage children to learn about and<br />

appreciate the South Downs. We’re<br />

running the projects with bodies like<br />

Young Explorers of<br />

the South Downs at<br />

Cuckmere in <strong>2023</strong><br />

Sarsen Plaque<br />

Yew Trees at Kingley<br />

Vale Autumn Colour<br />

(M Heywood Stroll)<br />

© Phil Robinson<br />

By inspiring<br />

a sense of<br />

stewardship,<br />

we ensure that<br />

the legacy<br />

of the South<br />

Downs lives on<br />

in the hearts<br />

and minds of<br />

all who visit.<br />

While conservation efforts are at the<br />

forefront of our mission, the Society’s<br />

commitment extends to educating<br />

and engaging with local communities,<br />

schools, and visitors. Through a range of<br />

educational programs, guided walks, and<br />

talks, we foster a deeper understanding<br />

of the park’s significance. By inspiring a<br />

sense of stewardship, we ensure that the<br />

legacy of the South Downs lives on in the<br />

hearts and minds of all who visit.<br />

A Call to Action<br />

As the Friends of the South Downs<br />

celebrate a century of unwavering<br />

commitment, we extend an invitation to<br />

all who hold the region dear to join us in<br />

our mission. By becoming a member, you<br />

not only support ongoing conservation<br />

efforts but also gain access to a<br />

community of like-minded individuals.<br />

Visiting our website offers an overview of<br />

our ongoing projects. Consider becoming<br />

a part of this legacy. Together, we can<br />

ensure that the South Downs continues<br />

to inspire for generations to come.<br />

To learn more about the projects by the<br />

Friends of the South Downs and become<br />

a part of their legacy, visit the website at<br />

www.friendsofthesouthdowns.org.uk.<br />

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Weird & Wonderful<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong><br />

We explore some of the wonderful things<br />

about <strong>Sussex</strong> that are all too easy to miss!<br />

Queen Elizabeth I oak tree<br />

One of the great joys<br />

of exploring <strong>Sussex</strong> is<br />

discovering those weird<br />

and wonderful things that<br />

hint at the county’s rich<br />

and fascinating past. From folklore to<br />

dendrophilia (the love of trees, in case you’re<br />

wondering), here are some of our finds!<br />

Well, that’s weird. Miracle cures<br />

and the Devil!<br />

If you’re looking for a miracle, head over<br />

to Holywell (to the west of Eastbourne)<br />

where, if you scramble along the beach<br />

a little, you’ll find the Holywell or Holy<br />

Well spring. It is a natural water spring<br />

and a place of pilgrimage for many as<br />

the waters are believed to give those who<br />

drink from it long lives and good health.<br />

If you’re in the west of the county, make<br />

your way to Lodsworth near Petworth<br />

and bathe your eyes in the spring near St<br />

Peter’s church – a place of pilgrimage in<br />

the Middle Ages for people with eye<br />

problems.<br />

The Devil in <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

We have a few references in <strong>Sussex</strong> to<br />

the Devil – such as Devil’s Dyke but<br />

what about the Devil’s Humps and the<br />

Devil’s Jumps! The Devil’s Jumps are<br />

just to the side of the South Downs<br />

Way not far from Treyford. They are<br />

in fact a group of five large burial bell<br />

barrows and the best-preserved Bronze<br />

Age barrow group in <strong>Sussex</strong>. Legend has<br />

it the devil was jumping from barrow to<br />

barrow and making such a noise that he<br />

disturbed Thor resting nearby who threw<br />

a boulder at him, and the devil took off,<br />

never to return. They are also aligned<br />

with the position of the setting sun on<br />

Midsummer’s day.<br />

Meanwhile, not far away from the<br />

Jumps, the Devil’s Humps at Stoughton<br />

are four Bronze Age barrows situated<br />

Top: Lodsworth<br />

spring<br />

Bottom: Holywell<br />

Legend has<br />

it the devil<br />

was jumping<br />

from barrow<br />

to barrow and<br />

making such a<br />

noise that he<br />

disturbed Thor<br />

resting nearby<br />

who threw a<br />

boulder at him,<br />

and the devil<br />

took off, never<br />

to return.<br />

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confused with the yew tree in Crowhurst<br />

in Surrey. The <strong>Sussex</strong> Crowhurst yew is<br />

thought to be at least 1,300 years old.<br />

And let’s not forget the Sullington yew<br />

tree near Storrington which is thought to<br />

be 1,200 years old.<br />

A golden tree<br />

Preston Park in Brighton was home to<br />

the two oldest elm trees possibly in the<br />

world that were planted in 1613. Sadly,<br />

one had to be cut down due to Dutch<br />

Elm Disease, but it has now been turned<br />

into a gilded memorial.<br />

Devil’s Dyke but what about the<br />

Devil’s Humps and the<br />

Devil’s Jumps!<br />

Sullington yew tree<br />

above Kingley Vale. The Devil’s Humps<br />

are considered the most impressive round<br />

barrows surviving on the South Downs.<br />

Folklore tells us that great Viking leaders<br />

killed in a battle with the Saxons are<br />

buried in the Devil’s Humps … and that<br />

they and their men (who fell in the vale)<br />

haunt the forest!<br />

Wonderful <strong>Sussex</strong> dendrophilia<br />

We have some wonderful trees in <strong>Sussex</strong>.<br />

Let’s start with the oldest oak in the<br />

county which is the Queen Elizabeth<br />

1 oak on the Cowdray Estate near<br />

Midhurst. It’s thought to be 1,000 years<br />

old and was old when Queen Elizabeth I<br />

sat underneath it on a hunting trip.<br />

Oldest yew<br />

Yew trees are difficult to age but we have<br />

our share of oldies in <strong>Sussex</strong>. Kingley Vale<br />

near Chichester is known for its ancient<br />

yew groves and in particular for the Great<br />

Yew thought to be at least 1,000 years old<br />

(and some estimate it may be even older).<br />

One legend has it the grove was planted as<br />

a memorial in respect of that great Viking<br />

/ Saxon battle.<br />

The other side of the county is the<br />

Crowhurst Yew Tree, near Battle. Not to be<br />

68 | sussexexclusive.com 69

Our <strong>Sussex</strong> Winter Quiz<br />

Test your knowledge with our Christmas quiz & <strong>Sussex</strong> teaser<br />

1 In ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’<br />

what does Jack trade for magic<br />

beans?<br />

2 A swede is a cross between<br />

which two vegetables?<br />

6 In which decade was the first<br />

televised Queen’s Christmas speech?<br />

7 In which direction should you stir<br />

mincemeat for good luck; clockwise<br />

or anti-clockwise?<br />

Inheritance Tax,<br />

Agricultural<br />

Property Relief<br />

and Vineyards<br />

3 On what day is Twelfth Night?<br />

4 In which pantomime does the<br />

character of Buttons feature?<br />

5 Which family has a pet dog<br />

called ‘Santa’s Little Helper’?<br />

8 From which carol do these lines “Let<br />

steeple bells be swungen …” come?<br />

9 What do red berries represent at<br />

Christmas?<br />

10 Which foreign country gives a<br />

Christmas tree every year to adorn<br />

Trafalgar Square?<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Dialect question<br />

You’ll find<br />

the answers<br />

on page 90.<br />

Adam poses a vocabulary quiz from<br />

our local <strong>Sussex</strong> dialect. Can you<br />

guess the correct definition from the<br />

following three options for the word<br />

‘culver’?<br />

A) a scarecrow<br />

B) a pigeon or dove<br />

C) the leather strap to bind a hawk's<br />

wing<br />

Do you know these <strong>Sussex</strong> Sayings?<br />

‘An apple pie without the cheese is<br />

like the kiss without the squeeze’<br />

‘If you rock the cradle empty then you<br />

shall have babies plenty’<br />

70 | sussexexclusive.com<br />


In an interesting development, HM<br />

Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”)<br />

have extended Agricultural<br />

Property Relief (“APR”) for<br />

Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) to include<br />

vineyards and wineries. Given the<br />

success of the English wine industry, it<br />

is welcome that the tax code has caught<br />

up with the real world.<br />

no longer the centre of operations for the<br />

winery. The next generation may need to<br />

occupy the house if they are continuing<br />

the family winery business with the older<br />

generation moving to a different and<br />

perhaps smaller property on the vineyard<br />

or elsewhere.<br />

What are the APR dangers?<br />

...when a wine<br />

making business<br />

transitions from<br />

one generation<br />

to the next,<br />

there is a risk<br />

the house<br />

may, in fact,<br />

have become<br />

a retirement<br />

home and<br />

is no longer<br />

the centre of<br />

operations for<br />

the winery.<br />

But first, what is APR?<br />

In summary, APR is the tax relief given<br />

for IHT purposes on land occupied for<br />

the purposes of agriculture, together<br />

with related buildings and houses used<br />

in conjunction with that land. There are<br />

time ownership requirements: two years<br />

for owner occupiers and seven years for<br />

tenanted farmland.<br />

There is then the rate of tax relief:<br />

100% if the land is in-hand or let on<br />

a Farm Business Tenancy or if vacant<br />

possession can be obtained within two<br />

years, and 50% in most other cases.<br />

The tax legislation does not define<br />

“agriculture” but it is normally taken<br />

to include horticulture, fruit growing,<br />

rearing of livestock or fish, together<br />

with any woodlands ancillary to the<br />

farming operation.<br />

What has changed?<br />

The guidance from HM Revenue<br />

and Customs has been updated to<br />

confirm horticulture, or in their words<br />

“cultivation to produce food for human<br />

and animal consumption” now includes<br />

the clarification “’food’ in this context<br />

would include, for example, grapes<br />

grown to produce wine and apples grown<br />

to produce cider”.<br />

This is, of course, welcome given the<br />

increasing acreage made over to wine<br />

production in South East England.<br />

With <strong>Sussex</strong> being the perfect location<br />

to produce outstanding wine, it is no<br />

wonder there are nearly 150 vineyards<br />

in <strong>Sussex</strong> including a number of<br />

well-known names such as Ridgeview,<br />

Rathfinny, Bolney, Wiston, Tinwood<br />

and Nyetimber.<br />

So what does that all mean?<br />

Whilst each of these businesses will<br />

benefit from this clarification when<br />

assets are gifted in lifetime, on the<br />

passing of an individual or when put<br />

into trust, more significantly this tax<br />

relief contributes to the continuity<br />

of the business as it passes from<br />

one generation to the next and the<br />

livelihoods of those involved.<br />

Does APR include farm<br />

buildings?<br />

Farm buildings used as part of the<br />

winery will qualify for APR. However<br />

derelict farm buildings do not qualify<br />

for APR as they are not being occupied<br />

for the purposes of agriculture. This<br />

may be particularly relevant if a farm<br />

is transitioning from traditional<br />

horticultural use to being a winery and<br />

not all the farm buildings are used in<br />

the wine making business.<br />

And what about the owner’s<br />

house?<br />

The test for whether the owner’s house is<br />

of “character appropriate to the property”<br />

requires consideration of four factors:<br />

• Is the house appropriate by reference<br />

to its size, content and layout with the<br />

winery buildings and the size of the<br />

vineyard?<br />

• Is the house proportionate in size<br />

and nature to the requirements of the<br />

winery?<br />

• Would the educated rural layman<br />

regard the house as the core of the<br />

winery or just a large country house<br />

with land purchased for lifestyle<br />

reasons?<br />

• How long has the house been<br />

associated with the land and is there a<br />

history of horticulture?<br />

The winery owner’s house should<br />

therefore qualify for APR if of a character<br />

appropriate to the vineyard, provided<br />

it is where the wine making business is<br />

controlled from.<br />

Also, when a wine making business<br />

transitions from one generation to the<br />

next, there is a risk the house may, in fact,<br />

have become a retirement home and is<br />

There are some. The most obvious in a<br />

wine making business is APR will not be<br />

available if there is a binding contract for<br />

sale of the property in the partnership<br />

or shareholders agreement, but this can<br />

usually be avoided by having in place buy<br />

and sell option agreements.<br />

What if the farmland and<br />

buildings have development<br />

value?<br />

APR is only given for the agricultural<br />

value of the property as opposed to<br />

the open market value of the property.<br />

Sometimes these amounts are the<br />

same but sometimes HMRC insist on<br />

agricultural value being 60-70% of open<br />

market value even though there is no such<br />

standard discount. Each case will need to<br />

be considered on its merits.<br />

If, however, the land has hope or<br />

development value, particularly if the<br />

vineyard is next to a built up area or<br />

could be the next strategic site in a local<br />

authority approved plan, the excess value<br />

over the agricultural value will not attract<br />

APR. The position may however be saved<br />

by Business Property Relief, another form<br />

of tax relief for Inheritance Tax relief<br />

purposes, if the land is used in the owner’s<br />

own trading business.<br />

Conclusion<br />

Wineries can be very Inheritance Tax<br />

efficient as well as providing a meaningful<br />

and joyous lifestyle.<br />

Stuart Ritchie<br />

is a chartered<br />

accountant and<br />

chartered tax<br />

adviser with over<br />

30 years’ experience.<br />

He is a tax partner<br />

with Ritchie Philips<br />

LLP based in<br />

Horsham and can<br />

be contacted on<br />

020 3195 1300<br />

or stuart.ritchie@<br />

ritchiephillips.<br />

co.uk<br />

He has direct<br />

experience of<br />

securing CGT<br />

exemption for<br />

gardens sold for<br />

development,<br />

multiple buildings<br />

qualifying as a<br />

single dwelling<br />

for CGT purposes<br />

so that sale of<br />

subservient<br />

buildings are CGT<br />

exempt, and the<br />

sale of properties in<br />

excess of 10 acres all<br />

qualifying for CGT<br />

exemption.<br />


Ho, Ho, Ho and a very<br />

Feng Shui Christmas<br />

Feng Shui<br />

Consultant<br />

Janine Lowe<br />

shares her<br />

tips on<br />

creating<br />

positive vibes<br />

for the festive<br />

season<br />

Yes, it’s on its way and the holiday<br />

season will be upon us before you<br />

know it.<br />

So, I thought I would set the scene with<br />

some positive intentions. Now I know<br />

for some of you it isn’t the happiest time<br />

for many reasons, but how about acting<br />

on some of my Feng Shui tips to bring in<br />

healthy, wealthy, and happy times.<br />

For those that love Christmas read on,<br />

there is plenty for you to do too, to<br />

ensure you have a fun filled packed time.<br />

First tip: declutter the North of your<br />

house for manifesting / positive<br />

intentions. Declutter the South of<br />

your home for wealth and declutter<br />

the Southwest of your home for love<br />

and happiness. You can start this right<br />

now and don’t wait until a week before<br />

Christmas otherwise you won’t have time<br />

to get it done.<br />

This is how to do it. Get three boxes and<br />

write on them, one keep box, one charity<br />

box and one dumping box. Then just<br />

spend about 15 minutes on decluttering<br />

and play your favourite type of music. If<br />

you can do it with a friend even better,<br />

you might find yourself enjoying it so<br />

much that you spend a couple of hours<br />

which then change your life.<br />

If you can find a bauble with a feather in<br />

it or just a white feather, put it on your<br />

tree in remembrance of people who have<br />

passed away and who we would really<br />

love to be sharing this time with.<br />

I am often asked on which date should<br />

I put my tree up? For the early birds 2 nd<br />

December, but Saturday 9 th December<br />

for you inbetweeners and for the late<br />

bloomers, I suggest 21 st December to bring<br />

the positive energy for your holiday season.<br />

This is the year of the Water Rabbit<br />

changing to the Wood Dragon on February<br />

10 th , 2024. So, this Christmas the colours<br />

are pinks, reds, silvers, blues and greens<br />

which gives you plenty of choice to<br />

decorate your house and your tree.<br />

When deciding where to place your<br />

tree, either in the South or North of<br />

your home, but definitely avoid placing<br />

it in the West otherwise the party won’t<br />

get started.<br />

The heart of your house will be your<br />

holiday table, so create a glowing table<br />

with candles but not too near Aunty<br />

Mabel’s paper hat. Make sure there<br />

is enough space for people to feel<br />

comfortable and able to chat to each<br />

other. A Feng Shui tip is to place oranges<br />

in the middle of the table they bring<br />

good fortune to the festivities.<br />

If you are sending cards the best date to<br />

put them in the post box is Wednesday<br />

13 th December, if you are sending e-cards<br />

then do it on Saturday 16 th December.<br />

If you have plants at the entrance to your<br />

house and if you follow my Feng Shui<br />

tips you should have one either side.<br />

Place pink ribbons around the pot or<br />

around the branches/stems to bring the<br />

love into your home and enhance the<br />

positive energy as it enters through the<br />

front door.<br />

As an avid animal lover, I give my cats<br />

and dogs treats as well, well I give them<br />

treats all year round but especially at<br />

Christmas. My dog Rhia has a habit of<br />

leaving her toys outside and the foxes<br />

then enjoy tearing them apart. She had<br />

a favourite reindeer from last year’s<br />

festivities, but it disappeared. So, this<br />

year I will be buying her a replacement,<br />

but ensuring it stays inside!<br />

When thinking of gifts for others, look<br />

for natural gifts that they can use all<br />

year round. Alternatively for your single<br />

friends, my book Date, Love, Marry,<br />

Avoid.<br />

Wishing you all everything that makes<br />

you happy.<br />

Until next time<br />

Janine<br />

74 | sussexexclusive.com 75

HEALTH<br />

HEALTH<br />

• Heavy metal toxicity and other<br />

environmental toxins<br />

• Chronic stress<br />

• Sleep issues<br />

• Sedentary lifestyle<br />

<strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Health:<br />

What is<br />

Alzheimer’s<br />

Disease?<br />

Alzheimer’s disease, the most<br />

common form of dementia,<br />

is a progressive disorder<br />

characterized by:<br />

• widespread loss of neurons (nerve cells)<br />

• beta-amyloid deposits in the cerebral<br />

blood vessels<br />

• development of plaques and<br />

• abnormal accumulations of a protein<br />

called tau within the neuron, known as<br />

neurofibrillary tangles<br />

These changes occur in the association<br />

area of the cerebral cortex, the middle<br />

and temporal lobes and an area called<br />

the hippocampus. They are accompanied<br />

by decreased concentrations of the<br />

chemical messenger (neurotransmitter)<br />

acetylcholine. The build-up of plaque and<br />

tau tangles might be the body’s protective<br />

response to chronic inflammation,<br />

although the research behind this idea is<br />

still developing.<br />

Signs & symptoms<br />

• Trouble remembering things; at first,<br />

only short-term memory may be<br />

affected<br />

• Eventually, long-term memory is also<br />

impaired<br />

• Mood or personality changes<br />

• Trouble completing ordinary tasks<br />

• Difficulty expressing thoughts and<br />

disorientation<br />

• Unusual behaviour<br />

Risk factors include:<br />

• Advanced age<br />

• Genetic predisposition and family<br />

member history<br />

• Chronic diseases associated with<br />

vascular injury<br />

• Inflammatory-inducing diet<br />

• Hormone imbalances<br />

• Head injury<br />

• Dysbiotic gut microbiome<br />

• Gum disease<br />

Dietary modification<br />

It remains controversial as to whether<br />

aluminium deposits in the brain can<br />

cause Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminium has<br />

been seen in amyloid plaques but there<br />

remains no solid evidence of a causal link.<br />

Nonetheless, it seems prudent for healthy<br />

people to take steps to minimize exposure to<br />

this unnecessary and potentially toxic metal.<br />

It is unlikely, however, that avoidance of<br />

aluminium exposure after the diagnosis of<br />

Alzheimer’s disease could significantly affect<br />

the course of the disease.<br />

One of the greatest risk factors for<br />

Alzheimer’s disease is obesity. People with<br />

a high BMI and the tendency to store fat<br />

around their waistline are 3.5 times more<br />

likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s<br />

disease. One of the biggest culprits for<br />

this link may be the consumption of sugar<br />

which ultimately predisposes the body to<br />

a state of chronic inflammation.<br />

A diet high in healthy fats, whole grains,<br />

fish, lean proteins, nuts, fruits and<br />

vegetables has been shown to combat<br />

obesity, diabetes, and improve cognitive<br />

function. Berries, leafy greens like spinach<br />

and kale, as well as cruciferous vegetables<br />

like broccoli and brussels sprouts are an<br />

excellent source of antioxidants.<br />

Lifestyle modification<br />

Keeping active outside of one’s work,<br />

both physically and mentally, during<br />

midlife may help prevent Alzheimer’s<br />

disease. People with higher levels of nonoccupational<br />

activities, such as playing a<br />

musical instrument, gardening, physical<br />

exercise, or even playing board games, are<br />

less likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in<br />

life, according to repeated studies.<br />

Exposure to sunlight in the morning<br />

and a healthy, regular sleep pattern<br />

may protect against the development of<br />

Alzheimer’s, and slow its progress once<br />

established.<br />

Nutritional supplement treatment<br />

options<br />

Acetyl-L-carnitine – clinical trials have<br />

found that supplementing with acetyl-<br />

L-carnitine delays the progression of<br />

Alzheimer’s disease, improves memory,<br />

and enhances overall performance in<br />

some people with Alzheimer’s disease.<br />

Antioxidants – antioxidant supplements<br />

(vitamin C or vitamin E) have been<br />

linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.<br />

Research also shows that higher blood<br />

levels of vitamin E correlate with better<br />

brain functioning in middle-aged and<br />

older adults.<br />

Vitamin B1 is involved in nerve<br />

transmission in the parts of the brain<br />

that deteriorate in Alzheimer’s disease.<br />

76 | sussexexclusive.com 77

HEALTH<br />

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Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a<br />

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such as the ability to remember names<br />

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Zinc – zinc deficiency has been<br />

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NADH has been found to improve<br />

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B12/Folate – It is thought that a<br />

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Botanical treatment options<br />

Ginkgo – An extract made from the<br />

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approved treatment for early-stage<br />

Alzheimer’s disease in Europe. While not<br />

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slow progression in the early stages of<br />

the disease. GBE may need to be taken<br />

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noticeable.<br />

Lemon balm – double-blind trials have<br />

shown that supplementation with an<br />

extract of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)<br />

significantly improve cognitive function<br />

and significantly reduce agitation,<br />

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Alzheimer’s disease.<br />

Sage – Sage appears to influence<br />

acetylcholine in the brain and may result<br />

in a significant improvement in cognitive<br />

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Article contributed by Dr Tracy S Gates,<br />

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78 | sussexexclusive.com 79

HEALTH<br />

HEALTH<br />

The Joy of Christmas<br />

Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapist, Holly Stone, shares advice on how to<br />

cope with those Christmas feeling of stress and overwhelm.<br />

There is a direct<br />

correlation<br />

between the<br />

amount that<br />

you have in<br />

your bucket<br />

and the feelings<br />

of control (or<br />

loss of control)<br />

that you feel in<br />

your life.<br />

Are you looking forward to Christmas or<br />

dreading it?<br />

In preparation for this article I thought<br />

that I would ask my associates and<br />

friends what Christmas is to them. I<br />

think you may find something below that<br />

you too can relate to:<br />

“Love, love, love it.”<br />

“A time when all the family and friends<br />

are off at the same time.”<br />

“So stressful and commercialised. I’m<br />

hoping to make it less about stuff and<br />

more about coming together this year.”<br />

“Love Christmas but detest New Year and<br />

all its expectations. It’s a lot of pressure if<br />

you are hosting or have family issues.”<br />

“I love it and loathe it. I love the fun<br />

aspect of Christmas Jumpers, decorating<br />

the tree but loath the greed and pressure<br />

to buy stuff.”<br />

“Love it but this year has been traumatic.<br />

Lost both my parents and had a stroke.<br />

I will really have to make a effort to<br />

remind me of the joys this time brings.”<br />

“I used to love it but it’s a chore now<br />

as it’s all about keeping our families<br />

happy. For me it is about stress, duty<br />

and pleasing others. Love feeling festive<br />

– carols, decorating, the food and drink<br />

and all the twinkly lights and enjoy the<br />

day just not the tension and pressure that<br />

comes with it.”<br />

“I used to love it because it was the one<br />

day of the year that we had family round<br />

and it felt cosy and secure. Growing up<br />

without a Dad that was important. But<br />

my husband hates X-Mas day – doesn’t<br />

like the excess, and these days it feels<br />

conflicting and stressful.”<br />

“I was born on Christmas Day and love<br />

it in the most ridiculous way.”<br />

“I have a husband who loathes Christmas<br />

and everything to do with it so it can get<br />

a wee bit challenging.”<br />

Can you relate in any way? There appears<br />

a general trend that many experience<br />

stress and the pressures of expectation<br />

at Christmas. Not to mention the<br />

overeating and feelings of overwhelm.<br />

I use the metaphor of a stress or busy<br />

bucket with my clients as a way of<br />

offering understanding of why we feel the<br />

way that we do and more importantly<br />

what we can do if we are facing a<br />

problem. In the build up to Christmas<br />

it is very easy to find your bucket filling;<br />

Any negative thought or experience that<br />

you have loads the system. There is a<br />

direct correlation between the amount<br />

that you have in your bucket and the<br />

feelings of control (or loss of control)<br />

that you feel in your life.<br />

As the bucket fills the part of your brain<br />

responsible for your survival starts to<br />

activate; it’s entirely negative in its outlook<br />

and dictates default behaviours of anxiety,<br />

anger and depression and a reliance on<br />

foods and substances that bring temporary<br />

relief and pleasure. As the activity in your<br />

survival centre increases your intellectual<br />

control and ability to makes good<br />

decisions diminishes and the behaviours<br />

that you find yourself doing continue to<br />

load the bucket.<br />

You become stuck in the cycle of negative<br />

thinking and the behaviours that offer<br />

temporary relief. The more that you<br />

have in your bucket the more you will<br />

be encouraged to do the same and you<br />

will often find that your sleep becomes<br />

impacted too.<br />

So what can we do about it?<br />

We need to get you to empty your<br />

bucket. You will know when this is<br />

happening as you will start to sleep better<br />

and find yourself making better choices<br />

and having more energy.<br />

Focus on the positive aspects in your life<br />

to break the spiral of negative control.<br />

The small things like making your bed or<br />

getting dressed today to the bigger things<br />

like getting out in the fresh air for a walk.<br />

Christmas can be a great time to boost<br />

our feel-good chemicals too and when<br />

you do you will start to feel better.<br />

Have a hug – releases oxytocin which has<br />

anti stress and anxiety effects.<br />

Positive action, positive interaction and<br />

a positive thought – is rewarded with<br />

Serotonin which in turn helps you to<br />

enjoy social interaction, regulates mood<br />

and helps your feelings of happiness.<br />

Get out for a brisk walk – will encourage<br />

the release of endorphins which promote<br />

your feelings of wellbeing and drives<br />

social behaviours.<br />

Listen to your favourite music – boosts<br />

your dopamine levels which create a<br />

feeling of pleasure and reward.<br />

There are many ways in which you can<br />

help to restore your balance and feelings<br />

of wellbeing this Christmas but it all<br />

starts with you being kind to yourself<br />

and doing what feels right for you.<br />

Sometimes that may mean that you<br />

STOP and do absolutely nothing and<br />

allow yourself to rest. If you feel good<br />

then you will have all the resources that<br />

you need to give to others, so prioritising<br />

yourself is the selfless thing to do.<br />

Holly Stone is<br />

an experienced<br />

Solution<br />

Focused Clinical<br />

Hypnotherapist,<br />

Supervisor and<br />

Senior Lecturer<br />

for CPHT<br />

Surrey with a<br />

special interest<br />

in supporting<br />

those with<br />

Eating Disorders<br />

and poor<br />

relationships with<br />

food. You can<br />

find out more<br />

about her here:<br />

Holly Stone<br />

Hypnotherapy<br />

80 | sussexexclusive.com 81

TRAVEL<br />

TRAVEL<br />

Family-friendly France<br />

– on your doorstep!<br />

Explore a world of French possibilities, just a stone’s throw away<br />

A<br />

short trip across the English<br />

Channel brings you to<br />

the department of Pasde-Calais.<br />

For centuries,<br />

this area has been a<br />

passing point for Brits keen to head to<br />

the south for a spot of sunshine, great<br />

wine and gastronomy. Janine Marsh, an<br />

ex-Londoner who now lives in Pas-de-<br />

Calais says – don’t pass through, stop and<br />

discover the charms of this little-known<br />

part of France.<br />

Almost 200 years ago Charles Dickens,<br />

who lived near Calais in Boulogne-sur-<br />

Mer, wrote of the Pas-de-Calais “if it were<br />

but 300 miles further off – how the English<br />

would rave about it.”<br />

Well, this northern department may not<br />

have as much sunshine of the south, but<br />

it does have less rain than Normandy and<br />

Brittany, and - just a short hop across<br />

the Channel, it has everything you want<br />

from a day trip, weekend or affordable<br />

holiday in France with the family.<br />

There be dragons here<br />

In the port city of Calais, along the<br />

revamped seafront esplanade, a dragon<br />

roams. The fire-breathing, eye-lit batting,<br />

72-tonne dragon roams around the<br />

historic sites of Calais several times a day<br />

and lives in a glass lair on the beach. You<br />

can take a 45-minute ride on the dragon’s<br />

back (kids under 3 go free).<br />

www.compagniedudragon.com/en<br />

Beaches and countryside<br />

All along the Opal Coast you’ll find<br />

traditional little seaside villages where<br />

the kids can dash up and down the sand<br />

dunes, pootle about in the rock pools and<br />

fly kites on the boundless breezy beaches.<br />

The perfect outing for waterproof<br />

children and patient parents.<br />

At the seaside resort of Berck-sur-Mer,<br />

head down to the water’s edge on the<br />

south side of the beach on the Baie<br />

d’Authie, to see a huge colony of more<br />

than 100 wild seals splashing about in<br />

the water, lazing about on the sandbanks,<br />

and calling out to each other.<br />

Wander or cycle along the coastal paths<br />

of the Opal coast. Or head inland to<br />

discover a glorious countryside which is<br />

criss-crossed by a network of trails. There<br />

are thousands of miles of maintained<br />

and sign posted routes in the area. Pop<br />

into any local tourist office for details<br />

and maps and look for the Vélo © sign<br />

which flags up bike-friendly restaurants,<br />

accommodation, charging points, rental<br />

and repair shops. Visit the Maison du<br />

Site des Deux-Caps where you can<br />

hire bikes and discover the history and<br />

heritage of the area, the culture, and<br />

traditions. You can leave your luggage in<br />

lockers here, pick up maps for the area<br />

and saddle up for a 118 km loop of the<br />

route of the Velomaritime which runs<br />

along the coast all the way from Dunkirk<br />

to Roscoff.<br />

Discover the ancient history of the<br />

marshes, first dug out by monks in the<br />

7th century and still a thriving market<br />

garden of Saint Omer at the Maison<br />

du Marais interpretive centre. Explore<br />

the countryside on foot or by boat to<br />

discover a horticultural wonderland and<br />

a wealth of waterfowl and other wild<br />

creatures.<br />

Climb Napoleon’ Column in Wimille on<br />

the outskirts of Boulogne-sur-Mer. Here,<br />

in 1804 the great general and Emperor<br />

of France mustered his forces and had<br />

2000 ships built, in sight of England.<br />

Though the planned invasion never took<br />

place, Napoleon began the tradition of<br />

the giving out Legion d’Honneur medals<br />

here, and the moment is marked by<br />

this immense column. Climb 296 steps<br />

for eye-popping views over the English<br />

Channel. (Free for 18 years and under).<br />

82 | sussexexclusive.com 83

TRAVEL<br />

TRAVEL<br />

Theme Parks<br />

Bagatelle or Baggy Land as it is<br />

sometimes rather whimsically called, is<br />

big, bold and brilliant. There are loads of<br />

rides, around 40 in all, and I would say<br />

it’s impossible to go on them all in a day<br />

but if you try hard, you might just be<br />

able to do it since queuing here is almost<br />

non-existent. I went on a school holiday<br />

mid-week. Having endured Disney Paris<br />

in the school holidays I was assuming<br />

I’d be in for long waits to get on rides<br />

(and not looking forward to it, keeping<br />

kids happy in slow lines is not easy),<br />

but there was none of that going on. I<br />

checked with my friends who take their<br />

kids there too and they say the same<br />

– it’s never that packed that you have<br />

to queue for ages, though some of the<br />

more popular rides, like the Famous<br />

Jack, might require a tiny wait. (Kids<br />

under 4 go free) Times and details:<br />

parcbagatelle.com/en<br />

Dennlys Park is ideal for younger<br />

children with more than 30 rides.<br />

Most of them are quite gentle, several<br />

involve water (take a change of clothes<br />

if your kids like running about in water<br />

jets!). There are no pop your money<br />

in amusement arcade style machines,<br />

apart from a water pistol range, all the<br />

rides are included in the price which<br />

means no whining children who want<br />

money to waste. (Free parking, kids less<br />

than 1m tall go free). Times and details:<br />

dennlysparc.com<br />

Rainy day fun<br />

NAUSICAA -The National Sea Centre<br />

of France is home to one of the world’s<br />

largest aquariums the size of 4 Olympic<br />

pools. 36,000 animals including sea<br />

lions and penguins, which live in an area<br />

designed by Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of<br />

Jacques). There are giant tortoises, sharks<br />

and an incredible array of fish. Take in<br />

a show, watch as sea lions swim under<br />

your feet in a glass tunnel. You can even<br />

experience what it’s like to be on board<br />

a boat in a gale in one of the exhibitions<br />

here. The perfect day out for the whole<br />

family. (Kids under 3 go free). Times and<br />

details: Nausicaa.fr/en<br />

At the Tour de la Horloge Museum in<br />

Guines near Calais, discover the history<br />

of the area from the Vikings to the Field<br />

of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 when King<br />

Henry VIII visited and jousted with the<br />

King of France! Kids can dress up like<br />

a Viking or a knight, play games and<br />

board a Viking ship! (Kids under 4 go<br />

free, family ticket €20) Times and details:<br />

www.tour-horloge-guines.com<br />

www.magazine.thegoodlifefrance.com<br />

Azincourt 1415 Museum takes you<br />

further back in time and tells the<br />

tumultuous tale of one of history’s most<br />

famous battles: Agincourt. Brush up on<br />

the history of this monumental moment<br />

in time, where the battle was over in just<br />

hours, making the British victors and<br />

King Henry V a legend for the rest<br />

of time. (Children under 5 go free,<br />

family ticket €25). Times and details:<br />

azincourt1415.com<br />

Eat out<br />

You’ll find a huge range of restaurants<br />

in Pas-de-Calais from Michelin-starred<br />

to friteries where you can buy chips and<br />

sausages in a baguette, perfect food to sit<br />

on the beach and watch the views. They<br />

have a sweet tooth here in this part of<br />

France where sugar beet is a main crop,<br />

which is why you’ll find in Pas-de-Calais<br />

some of the very best patisseries in all<br />

of France. And there are markets galore,<br />

perfect for pulling together a picnic.<br />

Something for the grown ups<br />

Stock up on wines at Calais Vins where<br />

you can pick up excellent wines at low<br />

cost. And British passport holders can<br />

make additional 15% savings on wines,<br />

Champagne, spirits and beer with the<br />

easy-to-use tax reclaim service provided by<br />

Calais Vins in-store. Details:<br />

wine-calais.co.uk<br />

Find out more fabulous things to do in<br />

Pas-de-Calais at: visitpasdecalais.com<br />

Janine Marsh is the author of four<br />

books about France and editor of The<br />

Good Life France <strong>Magazine</strong> and website.<br />

84 | sussexexclusive.com 85

TRAVEL<br />

TRAVEL<br />

Discover Ice Caves, Whales,<br />

Hidden Lagoons and Thermal Springs<br />

with a Luxury Icelandic Cruise<br />

Kevin Pilley sets sail on<br />

MS Seaventure to explore<br />

Arctic waters, ports and<br />

fjords and taste test the<br />

local Icelandic cuisine<br />

Top left:<br />

Seaventure<br />

©. Erwin Neu<br />

Top right:<br />

Siglufjörður, aurora<br />

borealis<br />

Forget the volcanos, glaciers<br />

the size of Costa Rica, the<br />

ice caves, Fulmar colonies,<br />

black beaches, seals, geysers,<br />

turf-roofed ed house, the<br />

hydroclastic and pyroclastic deposits,<br />

discrete cirques, pseudo-craters, the early<br />

Quantary period terrain and all those<br />

the water-magma interfaces.<br />

And the literary culture.<br />

The main reason most people visit the<br />

world’s third largest snow cap is to<br />

combat crepey-ness.<br />

Hardly anyone misses the bubbling<br />

mineral-rich thermal spring baths. Sitting<br />

up to your neck in milk blue warm<br />

water masked by sulphur steam visibly<br />

diminishes the signs of ageing.<br />

As well as the “a la Kirk Douglas” in The<br />

Vikings yoke “Lopi” pattern sweater,<br />

the puffin beanie and stone bramble<br />

jam, most come back from Iceland with<br />

souvenirs in the form of volcano ash<br />

exfoliators, transdermal Arctic superberry<br />

pads and glacial ice melt face mists to<br />

keep the forehead furrows from turning<br />

into fissures.<br />

But nothing prepares for you for the<br />

beauty of Iceland.<br />

86 | sussexexclusive.com 87


TRAVEL<br />

A cruise around Iceland<br />

The Viking explorer Garðar Svavarsson<br />

is credited with being the first person to<br />

circumnavigate Iceland by boat. In 870.<br />

Nowadays, from June to August, a sevendeck,<br />

113m, 160 passenger, two-suite<br />

MS Seaventure (which was built in 1990<br />

in Japan) cruises around Europe’s most<br />

sparsely populated country. It is a very<br />

well-organized, luxury field trip. And very<br />

sinful. A full-board expedition with far<br />

too much cake.<br />

And after sailing around Iceland on a<br />

cruise ship, you’ll be left with a happy<br />

glow.<br />

Your Icelandic itinerary<br />

Leaving and disembarking Reykjavik<br />

harbour beside the city’s Harpa concert<br />

hall, Iceland Pro Cruises 10-day,<br />

1280 nautical mile (1380 land mile)<br />

“Circumnavigation of Iceland” cruise<br />

sails clockwise, taking in the ports and<br />

fishing villages of Stykissholmur on<br />

the Snaefellssnes peninsula, Isafjordur,<br />

Siglufordur, north coast Husavik (the<br />

whaling capital), Seydisfjordur and<br />

Djupivogur on the east coast and the<br />

Vesmannjaer islands off south-east<br />

Iceland. Buses are waiting for you all the<br />

way round Iceland.<br />

The cruise introduces you to glacier<br />

tongues and fingers, whales, dolphins,<br />

seals, a glacial lagoon, guano-splattered<br />

cliffs, countless waterfalls, petrified trolls<br />

and other impressive lava formations,<br />

basalt outcrops and columns.<br />

You’ll also discover Arctic chard hotel<br />

lunches, the islands of Flatey and<br />

Grimsey, various seismic hotspots, the<br />

34-40 degrees Myvatyn nature baths in<br />

north Iceland (a 288-mile drive from<br />

the capital) and Vok’s floating bio-active<br />

thermal spring pools and freshwater fields<br />

of Alaskan lupines and dwarf birch.<br />

If that’s not enough look out for the<br />

Bjarnarhofn shark museum with<br />

“hakarl” fermented Greenland shark<br />

tasting included (think cheese), the fjord<br />

containing Iceland’s Loch Ness monster<br />

(The Lagerflyot Wyrm) and the country’s<br />

only arboretum. It’s quite a trip.<br />

The singing sailor<br />

Not many, if any cruise ships, can boast<br />

a resident professional opera singer and<br />

a pianist who studied under the Vatican’s<br />

chief organist. But our tour guide and onboard<br />

lecturer, Arndís Halla Ásgeirsdóttir,<br />

studied at the Söngskólinn (Reykjavik<br />

Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts). She<br />

has recorded six albums and performed in<br />

Prague, Monte Carlo, South Korea and<br />

Venice. As well as performing regularly<br />

on-board, accompanied by keyboards<br />

maestro Ingimar Palsson.<br />

And (sea conditions permitting) she’s also<br />

performed in a Zodiac inflatable dinghy<br />

in the acoustic caves of the Westmann<br />

islands where she gives a recital of<br />

“Amazing Grace”.<br />

Your captain, crew and serving<br />

suggestions<br />

The captain is Croatian (the charming Ivo<br />

Botica), the crew Filipino and Balinese<br />

and the menus include Lambaframpartur<br />

Icelandic slow braised lamb shoulder,<br />

Steiktur lambalæri-Icelandic Braised<br />

Lamb shank, pan-seared duck, guinea<br />

breast, “Humarsupa” lobster soup, panseared<br />

fresh Icelandic ling and a sinful<br />

array of highly calorific and dangerously<br />

moreish desserts.<br />

Desserts include Icelandic-style date cake,<br />

Skyr (curdled milk and strained yoghurt)<br />

cake and chilled yoghurt-peach cream pie,<br />

poached pineapple coupe and too much<br />

vanilla ice cream.<br />

Wine on board is $33-37, a G&T $10<br />

Thermals<br />

Snaefeksnes Peninsula<br />

Siglufjörður<br />

Dynjandi Waterfall<br />

and cocktails $8. Also laid-on are chef<br />

Rufino’s afternoon tea gateaux.<br />

The coastline slides by.<br />

Excursions<br />

You have to watch your weight on the<br />

SeaVenture. The Icelandic horse-trekking<br />

trip (never call them ponies) has a<br />

maximum weight limit of sixteen stone.<br />

The shore excursions (two Zodiac<br />

landings and the rest from pier side)<br />

are brilliantly organized by cruise<br />

expedition leader Hermann Helgussn<br />

who wakes you every morning over<br />

the Tannoy with “Good morning,<br />

dear ladies and gentleman, welcome to<br />

another beautiful day.”<br />

Along with his team of experts,<br />

Hermann gives multi-lingual lectures<br />

in the Expedition Lounge auditorium<br />

on everything from knitting, geology,<br />

ornithology and political history. He<br />

even shows you his own dramatic<br />

drone film footage of the 2021<br />

Fagradalsfjall eruption.<br />

Highlights<br />

Among many highlights (including the<br />

Cyprus-registered ship slowly pirouetting<br />

mid-fjord surrounded by whales), was<br />

the Crossing The Polar Circle party for<br />

which you get a certificate to remind you<br />

of Latitude 66 58’N, Longtitude 16 28’W<br />

and the amount of “brennivin” (Icelandic<br />

caraway-infused aquavit) you consumed<br />

and the knees-up you had.<br />

You learn a lot cruising around Iceland.<br />

You learn that a herring reaches sexual<br />

maturity at the age of three. That<br />

reindeers are relative ruminants-comelately,<br />

arriving in 1771. That there are<br />

10,000 waterfalls there. That there have<br />

been eight major eruptions since 1980.<br />

And that the pastry chefs don’t stint on<br />

the sugar and whipped cream.<br />

And that there is far more to Iceland than<br />

blue eyes, puffins and roll mops.<br />

There is nothing polarizing about Iceland.<br />

Everyone loved it.<br />

Booking your trip<br />

In 2024, they will be offering a “Hot<br />

Springs and Eternal Ice” combined<br />

Iceland Circumnavigation and Natural<br />

Wonders of Greenland.<br />

Circumnavigation of Iceland cruises<br />

begin at $4,415 (£3,372) per person,<br />

exc. Flights. Greenland cruises start<br />

at $9,970.<br />

www.icelandicprocruises.com<br />


(www.icelandair.com) flies daily<br />

to Keflavik which is a 45-minute<br />

shuttle to the harbour.<br />

88 | sussexexclusive.com 89

The<br />

1 A cow<br />

Our Christmas Quiz<br />

2 A cabbage and a turnip<br />

3 January 5th<br />

4 Cinderella<br />

5 The Simpsons<br />

6 1950s (1957)<br />

7 Clockwise<br />

8 Ding Dong Merrily on High<br />

9 The drops of Christ's blood<br />

10 Norway<br />

Do you know these <strong>Sussex</strong><br />

Sayings?<br />

‘A Chichester lobster, a<br />

Selsey cockle, An Arundel<br />

mullet, a Pulborough eel,<br />

an Amberley trout, a Rye<br />

herring and a Bourne<br />

wheatear, are the best of<br />

their kind’<br />

‘First the foot and then<br />

the head, that’s the way to<br />

make a bed’<br />

‘Keep out of four houses:<br />

the inn, the workhouse, the<br />

infirmary and the prison’<br />

Adam Jacot de Boinod was a<br />

researcher for the first BBC series<br />

QI, compered by Stephen Fry,<br />

and is an author of three books<br />

including ‘The Meaning of Tingo’<br />

90 | sussexexclusive.com<br />

Answers<br />


Answer B) a pigeon or dove<br />

Last Word<br />

East Bourne 1825<br />

The last word in this edition goes to this extract from the December<br />

edition of The <strong>Sussex</strong> Country <strong>Magazine</strong> 1926<br />

Written in 1926, this description of Eastbourne is now nearly 200 years old.<br />

“East Bourne is a fashionable sea-bathing place situated in a valley almost<br />

surrounded by hills which command a very extensive prospect of the wilds<br />

of <strong>Sussex</strong>. This place consists of four parts; two of which, near the sea, at the eastern<br />

and western extremities of the parish are denominated Sea Houses, and Meades: the<br />

others are, South Bourne and East Bourne, about a mile and a half from the sea.<br />

The bathing here is remarkably good, and it also has the advantage of a chalybeate<br />

spring, the water of which is recommended in the same cases as the Bristol waters.<br />

A small theatre, subscription ballroom, and library, may be reckoned among the<br />

amusements of East Bourne which is fashionably attended in the summer season. The<br />

church is a handsome edifice.<br />

In the months of July and August, large flights of birds, called Wheaters, are caught<br />

here by the shepherds and are considered a great delicacy. At Langney Point, about a<br />

mile and a half eastward of the village, are two forts: about a mile behind them, on an<br />

eminence, is a battery and from this place eastwards the coast is defended by Martello<br />

towers. To the west of East Bourne is Beachy Head, the most stupendous cliff on this<br />

coast being 564 feet perpendicular height in which are a number of caverns.”<br />

The road to Tunbridge Wells via Wadhurst is “a beautiful summer ride but to Burwash<br />

Wheel from Ashburnham is bad for carriages to the public house and there is a private<br />

road through Mr Fuller’s grounds from Rose Hill, to avoid the lane. The other route to<br />

Tunbridge Wells via Mayfield is “a beautiful summer road and in winter is impassable.”<br />

At the time this was written, as East Bourne had 2,607 inhabitants and 514 houses<br />

with an average of about five people per house. The population for <strong>Sussex</strong> in 1821 was<br />

233,0189 people with 38,131 houses.<br />

In the 2021 census, the population of Eastbourne was 101,700 and the combined<br />

populations of West and East <strong>Sussex</strong> was 1,428,500. But Beachy Head does still have<br />

the “most stupendous cliff”!<br />


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