Surrey Homes | SH107 | December 2023 | Christmas Supplement inside

The lifestyle magazine for Surrey - Inspirational Interiors, Fabulous Fashion, Delicious Dishes

The lifestyle magazine for Surrey - Inspirational Interiors, Fabulous Fashion, Delicious Dishes

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DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

107<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

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

Inspirational Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes



Come and visit our showroom:<br />

Bancroft Road, Reigate, <strong>Surrey</strong>, RH2 7RP<br />

01737240403<br />

www.rdokitchenstudio.co.uk<br />


Contents<br />

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

24<br />

84<br />

46<br />

12<br />

17<br />

21<br />

24<br />

45<br />

46<br />

59<br />


Dream homes on the market<br />


Upcoming events for your diary<br />


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

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


Explore interior designer<br />

Hannah Benton’s own<br />

renovation project in Deal<br />


Learn how to harness neutrals<br />


Interior Design Masters<br />

contestant Charlotte Fisher shows<br />

us around her <strong>Surrey</strong> home<br />


Experiment with paint and<br />

pattern like Charlotte<br />

81<br />

82<br />

84<br />

90<br />

95<br />

97<br />


TO LIFE<br />

Nail Nutcracker style for<br />

festive fashion flare<br />


Rebecca Cuffe edits elegant and<br />

decadent looks for <strong>Christmas</strong><br />


Charlotte Butterworth, aka<br />

@theneedy.greedy, shares<br />

her fuss-free festive recipes<br />



Josephine Fairley (reluctantly)<br />

gets into the party spirit with<br />

products for glowing skin<br />


Sarah Maxwell’s second<br />

instalment for a stronger core<br />


Charlotte Lau explores the<br />

health benefits of root vegetables<br />

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

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

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

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

98<br />

102<br />

107<br />

109<br />

111<br />

114<br />


Jo Arnell’s run-down of reliable plants<br />

for year-round gardening success<br />


Jen Stuart-Smith explains why<br />

in-season flowers and foliage are best<br />


Mike Piercy gives advice on<br />

supporting your child at school<br />


Joanna Pratt clarifies the legal<br />

rights of cohabiting couples<br />

WHAT’S ON?<br />

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


Jane Howard wraps up the farm<br />

chores for <strong>Christmas</strong><br />



18 pages of gifts,<br />

tableware, foodie<br />

treats, New Year inspo.<br />

and festive jumpers!<br />

After page 66.<br />

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

The Priceless <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

5<br />

istockphoto.com/ MaryliaDesign


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From the<br />

Editor<br />

If, like me, you’re not the kind of person to whom<br />

meticulous planning comes naturally – at least not at<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> time – having a guide like this month’s will<br />

help get your turkeys in a row. Rebecca Cuffe has edited<br />

down a wonderful selection of stocking fillers, last minute<br />

gifts, foodie treats and beautiful table settings to complete<br />

your festive spread. Read on after our second house feature.<br />

We popped across town to photograph Charlotte<br />

Butterworth’s crowd-pleasing party recipes a couple of<br />

weeks ago. After making short work of nearly an entire<br />

bowl of spicy party nuts, David Merewether got to work<br />

photographing Charlotte’s delicious <strong>Christmas</strong>sy dishes that<br />

I hope you’ll try out over the holidays – they really are tasty.<br />

Fashion this issue is all about The Nutcracker, with frothy<br />

tulle, romantic ballet-inspired accessories and a hint of tailored<br />

soldier chic – there’s extra points for spotting the mouse, too.<br />

The garden may be looking a little bleak, but there<br />

are colours galore in our gardening section, with yearround<br />

planting advice from Jo Arnell and seasonal<br />

tips from Blooming Green’s Jen Stuart-Smith.<br />

And finally, thank you to all those who<br />

came to enjoy our Midwinter Fair and<br />

to our magnificent stall holders! It was<br />

another fantastically festive event – see<br />

if you can spot yourself in our roundup<br />

just before our first house feature.<br />

Merry <strong>Christmas</strong> and I do hope<br />

you enjoy your Priceless magazine!<br />

Cranleigh<br />

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Range of Tiles, Bathrooms and Showers from<br />

Thomas Crapper Bathrooms, Heritage Bathrooms<br />

and Burlington Bathrooms.<br />

Suppliers of Contemporary Ranges including<br />

Laufen, Roca, Vitra and Roper Rhodes<br />

Priceless Team<br />

EditorLucy Fleming<br />

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

Sub Editor & Features Writer Emily Pavey<br />

Design & Production DirectorAnthony Boxall<br />

Sales ManagersLisa Gordon-Hughes<br />

Maria Hurley<br />

Senior Account ManagerSarah Norwood<br />

Senior Sales ExecutiveAndrew Boughton<br />

Account ExecutiveMarnie Newman<br />

Wealden Times Show Director Flo Simpson<br />

Events Manager Liz Miles<br />

Events Sales Director Jude Brown<br />

Financial ControllerStephen Hunt<br />

Accounts Sarah Davies<br />

Nicola O’Leary<br />

Social Media ManagerCharlotte Lau<br />

Managing DirectorVivien Cotterill-Lee<br />

Executive Chairman Julie Simpson<br />

7<br />

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19/10/2022 10:46

House<br />

Month<br />

of the<br />

£2,250,000<br />

Damien Pestell picks his favourite<br />

homes on the market<br />

Farnham<br />

The dream: A magnificent<br />

contemporary home designed<br />

and built to exacting standards<br />

by the renowned Nicolas<br />

Tye Architects. Built using<br />

modern materials and the latest<br />

technology that can be controlled<br />

via an app on your phone.<br />

Where: Between the villages<br />

of Crondall and Ewshot, just<br />

3 miles from Farnham.<br />

Setting: On a beautiful<br />

south facing plot in its<br />

own private grounds.<br />

Beds: 5 Baths: 4<br />

Special features: The open<br />

plan ground floor encompasses<br />

a sleek, modern kitchen /<br />

diner which is flooded with<br />

natural light during the day.<br />

Pleasing details: A studio within<br />

the grounds is currently used as<br />

a home office. Ideal for those<br />

who happen to be home-based.<br />

Outside: The glorious parkland<br />

style gardens of 1.7 acres are<br />

predominantly laid to lawn and<br />

surrounded by mature trees.<br />

A large raised terrace sits on<br />

the south side of the house.<br />

Time to town: From Farnham<br />

station to London Waterloo<br />

in around 40 minutes.<br />

Agent: Burns and Webber<br />

01252 713868 burnsandwebber.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com 12

Ewhurst<br />

£2,000,000<br />

The dream: A substantial Grade<br />

II listed Victorian home offering<br />

spacious and adaptable accommodation<br />

throughout. Designed by the renowned<br />

architect Phillip Webb, who inscribed<br />

his own name in the porch.<br />

Where: The rural village of Ewhurst,<br />

eight miles from Guildford and<br />

just two miles from Cranleigh.<br />

Setting: Off a quiet country lane.<br />

Beds: 6 Baths: 2<br />

Special features: The spectacular dining hall<br />

with landing above is jaw-droppingly beautiful<br />

and an incredible place to host guests.<br />

Pleasing details: Commissioned in 1883 by<br />

Mary Ewart, a close friend of the influential<br />

horticulturist Gertrude Jekyll and related<br />

to Prime Minister William Gladstone.<br />

Outside: The mature gardens and grounds<br />

of about 1.8 acres enjoy far-reaching views.<br />

Time to town: From Guildford<br />

station, 10 miles away, to London<br />

Waterloo in just half an hour.<br />

Agent: House Partnership 01483 266700<br />

housepartnership.co.uk<br />

Peaslake<br />

£1,750,000<br />

The dream: A modern, energy efficient<br />

home in the heart of the <strong>Surrey</strong> Hills Area<br />

of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Built in<br />

2021 with integrated solar panels, underfloor<br />

heating and speakers. Also benefiting from<br />

the remainder of a 10-year warranty.<br />

Where: The small village of Peaslake,<br />

about five miles from Guildford.<br />

Setting: Within walking distance<br />

of the village school and shop.<br />

Beds: 3 Baths: 3<br />

Special features: The incredible open<br />

plan kitchen / sitting / dining room<br />

opens out on two sides through a sliding<br />

glass wall to the patio beyond.<br />

Pleasing details: The classic parquet floor<br />

in the living room is a lovely feature.<br />

Outside: The gardens of about 0.32 acres<br />

include a lawned area and a spacious gravelled<br />

forecourt with electric car charging point.<br />

Time to town: From Dorking station, 7 miles<br />

away, to London Victoria in just under an hour.<br />

Agent: House Partnership 01483 266700<br />

housepartnership.co.uk<br />

13<br />


Discover a community<br />

with wellbeing in<br />

full bloom<br />

Stylish one and two bedroom apartments<br />

in the heart of vibrant West Byfleet, with<br />

sensational gardens, private, outdoor space,<br />

communal lounge, guest suite, hobby room<br />

studio and daytime concierge.<br />

Buy from £465,000<br />

Rent from £2,590 pm<br />

Exclusively for those enjoying life<br />

over sixty. Book your place now.<br />

Discover a new lease of life<br />

01932 483 138<br />




FELBRIDGE | RH19 2NT<br />

New Year, New Home<br />

This prestigious development by Antler <strong>Homes</strong> is built to an exceptional standard <strong>inside</strong> and<br />

out, offering an all-inclusive specification, high quality finish and careful attention to detail.<br />

Situated in beautiful <strong>Surrey</strong>, with village amenities, leisure facilities and East Grinstead Town<br />

Centre all within easy reach, as well as excellent transport links by road and rail.<br />

Underfloor heating to ground floor<br />

Minoli wall and floor tiles<br />

Turf to rear garden+<br />

Images: Flaticon.com<br />

All floor coverings included<br />

Bespoke shaker-style kitchens<br />

Integrated Siemens appliances<br />

Fitted wardrobes<br />

External tap to rear garden<br />

Landscaped front garden<br />

Indian sandstone paths & patio<br />

Allocated off-road parking<br />

Electric car charging point<br />

Prices from £315,000<br />

Show home open daily, 10am to 5pm. Call 01342 885377 to book your appointment.<br />

*up to £15,000<br />

+Layouts differ plot to plot

Cut Above<br />

Notebook<br />

Headline<br />

Copy phone / web<br />

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

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

When you head out for your<br />

seasonal seaside walk this winter<br />

make sure you stop by Hastings<br />

Contemporary to see the most<br />

comprehensive presentation<br />

of Turner Prize-listed Hurvin<br />

Anderson’s Barbershop series – from<br />

the first drawings made in 2006<br />

to his latest works. There are also<br />

sketches, drawings and studies to<br />

view, giving an extra insight into<br />

Anderson’s work, examining social<br />

history, memory and place. The<br />

exhibition is presented in association<br />

with The Hepworth Wakefield and<br />

Kistefos Museum, Norway. It will be<br />

open until 3rd March next year.<br />

hastingscontemporary.org<br />

Holly and Ivy<br />

istockphoto.com/ ValeryEgorov<br />

High Notes<br />

Get into the <strong>Christmas</strong> spirit by joining Air Ambulance Charity Kent <strong>Surrey</strong><br />

Sussex at one of their wonderful <strong>Christmas</strong> Carol Concerts – taking place<br />

this <strong>December</strong> – as they mark 10 years of flying at night. First up is<br />

Rochester Cathedral on 8th <strong>December</strong>, with Arundel Cathedral next on<br />

15th <strong>December</strong> and finally Guildford Cathedral on 18th <strong>December</strong>.<br />

Enjoy a festive evening of delicious mince pies, mulled wine and<br />

carol singing alongside a brilliant cathedral choir. The money raised<br />

by the concerts will make sure they can be there when someone<br />

needs them – day or night – throughout the <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

season and beyond. With your support, their hard-working<br />

crews can keep more families together this <strong>Christmas</strong>.<br />

To book tickets or for more information, you can visit<br />

aakss.org.uk/get-involved/events/our-events<br />

or email events@aakss.org.uk<br />

Make the mission to buy your<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> tree extra fun and fruitful,<br />

by heading to Loddington Farm in<br />

Linton, on 9th <strong>December</strong>. They will<br />

be hosting a <strong>Christmas</strong> Fair along<br />

with the lovely team at Blooming<br />

Green. Not only will you have the<br />

chance to pick out a super duper<br />

tree, there will be a hog roast,<br />

carols, crimbo cocktails, festive<br />

foliage, tasteful gifts like chocolates<br />

and fragrance, food stalls, plus<br />

delicious hot chocolate and waffles.<br />

A great way to support several local<br />

businesses at once and get in the<br />

mood for the holidays.<br />

loddingtonfarm.co.uk<br />

bloominggreenflowers.co.uk<br />


If you’re in need<br />

of something to look forward<br />

to and fancy getting creative, how<br />

about booking onto a writing retreat?<br />

Curious House in Ticehurst are hosting a<br />

light-hearted three-day course – Improvisation on<br />

Paper – led by award-winning writer Mandy Wheeler.<br />

Do you love to write but find it hard to get started or<br />

lack confidence, or maybe you just fancy having a go?<br />

If so, this is the course for you. No previous experience<br />

is needed, just an open mind. If you wish to stay at<br />

The Bell in Ticehurst you can call 01580 200300<br />

to book directly and state that you are attending<br />

the retreat. The cost of the course is £390<br />

and includes lunch and writing prompts<br />

(not accommodation). It will run<br />

from 22nd to 24th January.<br />

curioushouse.net<br />

Write Mind<br />


‘Plein air’ oil painter Karl Terry<br />

will be opening up his quirky<br />

studio, The Old Gaol Studio<br />

in Wittersham, on 8th-10th<br />

<strong>December</strong>. Karl can often be seen around<br />

his home town painting the changing landscape in<br />

all weathers. He’s a member of the Royal Society of Marine<br />

Artists, The Wapping Group of Artists and The Rye Society of<br />

Artists. Alongside Karl’s work will be creations by his ceramicist<br />

wife, Joanna, who has been inspired by her husband to incise<br />

clay with wild plants outside in the landscape. Their daughter<br />

India, who teaches yoga locally, will also be showcasing her<br />

own brand of yogic jewellery, based on the changing seasons.<br />

For more information please contact Joanna on 07534 216116.<br />

Oh Come, All<br />

Ye Faithful<br />

We’re so lucky to have so many wonderful<br />

carol services on offer in incredible<br />

locations this year and Glyndebourne’s<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> Concerts look absolutely<br />

magical. From favourite carols to orchestral<br />

showpieces, they will shine a spotlight on<br />

the talents of the Glyndebourne Chorus<br />

and the Glyndebourne Sinfonia and<br />

provide a heart-warming festive finale to the<br />

year. Performances take place at 3pm on the<br />

9th, 10th, 16th and 17th <strong>December</strong> with<br />

tickets from £10 to £58. The concert on<br />

the 16th will be a Chilled Performance with<br />

a casual approach to noise and movement<br />

in the audience – ideal for anyone who<br />

will feel more at ease knowing they can<br />

move about, those with small children or<br />

those who like to discuss what’s happening<br />

on stage during the concert. Tickets are<br />

limited, if you miss out do check their<br />

upcoming events for more opportunities to<br />

enjoy world-class music in this very special<br />

setting. glyndebourne.com<br />

istockphoto.com/ Snezhana Ryzhkova<br />

Hark the Herald<br />

Canterbury Cathedral promises to be a wonderfully<br />

atmospheric setting for the Canterbury Choral Society’s<br />

Family Carols on Monday 18th <strong>December</strong> at 7pm. Just<br />

one of an exciting array of Canterbury Festival events<br />

throughout the calendar – and this one is for all the<br />

family to enjoy. Join in with all the old favourites and<br />

listen to some traditional and less familiar carols along<br />

the way. Find out more and book your tickets at<br />

canterburyfestival.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com 18

More than Excellent<br />

An independent school for boys aged 2-13 years, with co-educational nursery.<br />

Set in 45 acres of beautiful countryside with school bus routes including to SW London.<br />

Book An Individual Tour<br />

To register your interest, please e-mail<br />

admissions@parkside-school.co.uk or call 01932 862749<br />

parkside-school.co.uk<br />

A quick costume<br />

change and winter<br />

is ready to dazzle.<br />

THE<br />


IN EARTH<br />


19<br />



More than 3000 products on display,<br />

plus <strong>Christmas</strong> gift ideas too.<br />

Showroom open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm<br />

and Saturdays 9am - 1pm<br />

Visit: Elstead House, Mill Lane, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2QJ<br />

T: 01420 590510 | W: www.distinctivelightinguk.com<br />

DL_<strong>Surrey</strong> <strong>Homes</strong> FP_Dec_22.indd 1 31/10/2022 10:49:39

Leeds Castle is truly a delight in<br />

the colder seasons and this year<br />

they have new luxury Lakeside<br />

Lodges with breathtaking views<br />

of the picturesque Great Water<br />

and the historic estate. Booking<br />

starts from <strong>December</strong> 8th and costs<br />

£325/night for bed and breakfast (for<br />

two adults). A must stay for glorious<br />

relaxation and exploration!<br />

leeds-castle.com<br />

Less than a year old, Hawthorn<br />

in Kew is already listed in the<br />

Michelin Guide. It’s located right<br />

by Kew Gardens, so you can enjoy<br />

their spectacular Festive Menu after<br />

a trip round <strong>Christmas</strong> at Kew<br />

for a really special day out. Festive<br />

Menu dinners are £75 for 3 courses.<br />

hawthornrestaurant.co.uk<br />

must<br />

The<br />

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

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

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

and generally get excited about!<br />

Grace de Monaco<br />

is the world’s first<br />

luxury-for-good<br />

Maison. Meaning that<br />

their flawless collection<br />

of home fragrances,<br />

perfumes and silk<br />

scarves, inspired by the incomparable<br />

Grace Kelly, can be purchased<br />

through Harrods and 100% of profits<br />

will be donated to the Princess Grace<br />

Foundation. This stunning orchidshaped<br />

Porcelain Fragrance Diffuser is<br />

£280 at harrods.com<br />

Tim Green<br />

The award-winning<br />

Olivanna Soothing Seed<br />

Oils Cleansing Balm is the<br />

perfect A/W skincare switch up.<br />

It gently melts away makeup and<br />

impurities whilst nourishing and<br />

strengthening the skin barrier, to<br />

protect from environmental damage.<br />

Its delicate blend of rosemary,<br />

bergamot, rose geranium and<br />

eucalyptus essential oils also helps to<br />

boost your mood while comforting<br />

your skin. £44 olivanna.com<br />

To customise your<br />

interior for the<br />

winter months,<br />

Pullman Editions<br />

have limited edition posters<br />

in their cool Art Deco style,<br />

featuring glamorous winter<br />

scenes. They make a great gift<br />

too, with designs to remind<br />

you of ski holiday destinations<br />

like Charmonix, Meribel<br />

and St. Moritz. There are<br />

over 100 striking original<br />

designs which are £420 each.<br />

pullmaneditions.com<br />

In support of our<br />

wonderful local<br />

businesses, Produced<br />

in Kent is encouraging<br />

us all to Strive to Buy<br />

Five locally produced presents<br />

or festive food and drink this<br />

year. From gifts, food and drink<br />

to local stays and experiences<br />

they have a handy <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Directory online with all the<br />

helpful ideas and links you’ll<br />

need to support local!<br />

producedinkent.co.uk<br />

It’s proposal season! If you’re looking for<br />

that perfect ring, Cousins in Canterbury<br />

will take good care of you. They offer<br />

special consultations and take into account<br />

not only the design of the ring, but also<br />

comfort and durability, for something that<br />

will glitter and be admired for many<br />

years to come. This classic diamond<br />

cluster ring, for example, beautifully<br />

balances a traditional style with an<br />

individual distinctive design and is<br />

£3,950. tbcousins.co.uk<br />

Already a hit in the US,<br />

this Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0<br />

is an ingenious ‘smokeless’<br />

fire pit that will make your next<br />

festive gathering! Solo Stove’s<br />

Signature 360° Airflow actually<br />

burns off smoke before it gets<br />

onto your hair and clothes for<br />

a smoke-free experience, the<br />

removal ash pan makes for easy<br />

cleaning, and it comes in lots<br />

of lovely colours! It’s also very<br />

versatile – perfect for anything<br />

from outdoor cooking (just add<br />

a grill top), to a light-weight<br />

portable amusement to take to<br />

a party. This Bonfire 2.0 with a<br />

stand is £274.99 eu.solostove.com<br />



Shopping<br />

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

& Sparkles at<br />

Wealden Times Midwinter Fair<br />

We returned to The Hop Farm with a festive bang this year, thrilled to be back in<br />

our lovely warm marquees surrounded by so many smiling faces. Taking into<br />

account feedback from previous years, we increased the size of our food and drink<br />

spaces, and made sure there was plenty of extra seating and caterers to allow our visitors<br />

even more time to catch up with friends and family between exploring the stands.<br />

Our fantastic exhibitors spent hours curating and displaying their wares on set-up day, and<br />

choosing the best stand was certainly tricky. After much debate, No. 3 – the incredibly stylish<br />

fashion, homeware and lifestyle boutique in Lenham – were presented with the award, and<br />

it was very well deserved, too! If you missed them, find out more at no3lenham.co.uk.<br />

Thank you to everyone who came to shop, those who were exhibiting, our harmonious school choirs,<br />

and to our wonderful sponsors, Neptune Tonbridge. We loved seeing a sea of sage green hessian shoppers<br />

snaking away from their beautiful stand by the ticket office as they were presented to visitors on arrival.<br />

We’re sure to be seeing them reused on future shopping trips around the Weald for years to come.<br />

And don’t forget, if you found a stand that you absolutely love, but can’t<br />

remember what it’s called, you can have a look through our digital Show<br />

Guide at wealdentimes.co.uk/advertise/read-our-magazines-online.php.<br />

istockphoto.com/ layritten<br />


The neutral backdrop Hannah<br />

has created is a harmonious foil,<br />

setting off the characterful pieces<br />

of furniture and artwork that the<br />

couple are starting to collect<br />

priceless-magazines.com 24

All isCalm<br />

Words: Jo Arnell Photographs: David Merewether<br />

Architect-trained interior designer Hannah Benton’s relocation from London to Deal has<br />

opened up lots of new opportunities for her and her young family, including the chance to<br />

combine expertise with her interior designer mum, Belinda, to rebrand Evernden Interiors<br />

as Studio Benton. Here she shows us around her own recently renovated Georgian terraced<br />

town house, just a couple of streets back from the town’s pretty pebbled seafront <br />

25<br />


• Automation and installation<br />

• Entry phones and access control<br />

• Hardwood, aluminium and metal<br />

gates made to order for automation<br />

and non-automation purposes<br />

• Supply-and-fit service for fully<br />

automated electric garage doors<br />

• Brick piers<br />

• Brick walls<br />

• Driveway alterations<br />



TEL: 01483 379954<br />

info@harriergates.co.uk<br />

www.harriergates.co.uk<br />

HarrierGatesWT247.indd<br />

PLOT<br />

1<br />

OR NOT?<br />

If you think your land or 31/10/2022 11:39<br />

property has development<br />

potential, then give us<br />

a call without obligation<br />

and in confidence.<br />

We are always on<br />

the lookout for<br />

land and property<br />

with development<br />

potential.<br />

Many of our<br />

clients retain our<br />

services and, in the<br />

majority of cases,<br />

pay our fees saving<br />

property owners<br />


Commercial buildings for residential<br />

conversion, former public houses, redundant<br />

buildings for redevelopment, buildings for<br />

conversion or replacement, houses for<br />

improvement, large sites on the edge of town,<br />

barn conversions, large gardens in residential<br />

areas and major regeneration projects.<br />

in the majority of<br />

significant costs.<br />

blic houses, redundant<br />

replacement, houses<br />

conversions, large<br />

jects.<br />

Contact Stephen Donnelly on<br />

07739 514350 or 01892 579937<br />

website: sjd-projects.com<br />

email: steve@sjd-projects.com<br />

For more information contact<br />

Stephen Donnelly on:<br />

07739 514350 / 01892 579937<br />

steve@sjd-projects.com<br />

For regular updates, visit us at<br />

twitter.com/projects<br />

sjd-projects.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


Above: In the cosy sitting room, Hannah opened up the original fireplace and sourced a reclaimed surround, installing a new wood burner<br />

Hannah Benton has been busy.<br />

Since deciding to leave her<br />

London life and relocate<br />

with her partner Jack to the pretty<br />

coastal town of Deal, she’s joined forces<br />

with her mother Belinda and formed<br />

interiors company Studio Benton, and<br />

renovated her new house. In the middle<br />

of this – and not long after Studio<br />

Benton was born – so was son Jasper.<br />

“I was in London working in an<br />

interior design company,” says Hannah,<br />

and, as for so many people around<br />

that time, Covid inspired a ‘what next’<br />

question. “There was always going<br />

to be a move to the country, but I<br />

guess this accelerated the process. Jack<br />

and I made the decision to relocate<br />

to Deal and that precipitated the<br />

business move. Geographically it made<br />

sense – it was hard to square with me<br />

being in London, so it was an obvious<br />

solution, and an ideal opportunity.”<br />

Studio Benton (which started off as<br />

Evernden Interiors in Cranbrook) have<br />

moved to Deal – to a beautiful period<br />

studio and showroom. The studio<br />

is just a short 20 minute walk away<br />

at the other end of the high street, a<br />

civilised step back for Hannah from the<br />

bustling pavements of West London.<br />

Hannah and Jack moved to their<br />

Georgian terraced town house between<br />

lockdowns starting work straight<br />

away. “The house hadn’t been lived<br />

in for a number of years. It was very<br />

dated, but luckily no structural work<br />

needed to be done. However, it needed<br />

completely new plumbing, heating<br />

and electrics. We had to totally strip<br />

it out and bring it up to date.”<br />

Layouts in old houses are not always<br />

ideal for modern living, but Hannah<br />

and Jack have managed to reorganise<br />

the ground floor and put a bathroom<br />

in upstairs. “Lots of Deal houses that<br />

are listed Georgian buildings have a<br />

single storey extension at the back,”<br />

she explains. “We also re-sized the<br />

opening between reception rooms,<br />

making it more spacious.”<br />

<br />

27<br />


This page: A reclaimed rectory table sits in the centre<br />

of the dining room. Hannah’s joiner curved the edges,<br />

sanded it back and used a seal of white Danish oil to<br />

give it a contemporary feel. Applying the advice she<br />

gives to clients to her own house, Hannah has bought<br />

and re-imagined vintage pieces throughout. “You have<br />

to have an environmental conscience in any business.<br />

It also means that you can achieve a unique look. It<br />

can be much more enjoyable and clients end up with<br />

something that’s really special or a vintage piece imbued<br />

with stories,” she says, adding: “It can be hard – and<br />

sometimes expensive to replicate that with new.”<br />

There are two large fireplaces in the ground floor<br />

rooms that needed some serious renovation. “In the<br />

sitting room there was a 1970s bulky gas number,”<br />

she says, “we opened up the original fireplace and<br />

sourced a reclaimed surround.” They decided against<br />

an open fire and, for practicality and ease, put in a<br />

wood burner. “The fireplace in the dining room has<br />

a bulkier surround – in an ideal world we would<br />

have changed that too, but instead we went for a<br />

period style insert. It’s all about creating a cohesive<br />

and cosy Georgian feeling within the backdrop.”<br />

Deciding on the look of the interior appears to<br />

have been fairly straightforward for architect-trained<br />

interior designer Hannah. Unsurprisingly she was<br />

craving a calm, streamlined effect. “We wanted<br />

the house to feel grounded,” she says. The neutral<br />

backdrop she has created is a harmonious foil, setting<br />

off the characterful pieces of furniture and artwork<br />

that the couple are starting to collect. “We’d been <br />

priceless-magazines.com 28



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The Natural Wines of <strong>Christmas</strong> case<br />

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All the wines are hugely expressive<br />

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For beer lovers, why not try the everpopular<br />

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This page: Hannah and Jack have used either Little Greene’s Portland Stone, or its close neighbour Portland Stone Light,<br />

throughout the house. The colour works perfectly to enable Hannah to create a serene canvas for living in<br />

in rented prior to this,” she explains.<br />

“We wanted the house to evolve with<br />

us and for it to be fairly neutral.”<br />

Choosing natural materials ensures<br />

a timeless feel – that can be used in<br />

either a traditional or contemporary<br />

space. The juxtaposition has been<br />

beautifully achieved here – period<br />

furniture mixes well with more<br />

contemporary pieces, colourful<br />

artworks sing out from the walls. “Jack<br />

and I have enjoyed starting to buy from<br />

local artists. There are lots of them in<br />

Deal and around the area. We’re just<br />

at the beginning of that journey.” <br />

31<br />


This page: Despite its narrow proportions, the kitchen has ample storage. The built-in cupboard unit is painted in Hopper by Little Greene<br />

The paint colour they chose,<br />

a favourite of Hannah’s, is Little<br />

Greene’s Portland Stone, a warm,<br />

grey neutral that seems to change<br />

in different lights, taking on hints<br />

of green, grey or brown depending<br />

on the time of day and the weather.<br />

It’s an ideal shade to use in a coastal<br />

property – and this house is only two<br />

streets away from the sea. They have<br />

used either Portland Stone, or its<br />

close neighbour Portland Stone Light,<br />

throughout the house. The colour<br />

works perfectly to enable Hannah to<br />

create a serene canvas for living in.<br />

A key part of the renovation process<br />

was choosing the right flooring – it<br />

needed to be hard-wearing, warm and<br />

reflect the original building’s charm<br />

and elegance. They have installed wide,<br />

reclaimed floorboards throughout<br />

most of the ground floor, which are in<br />

keeping with the age of the house and,<br />

once sanded and sealed, bring a natural<br />

warmth. They needed a practical<br />

flooring solution for the kitchen, and<br />

Hannah was keen to keep a pared<br />

back natural feel in this room too.<br />

“We decided to go with cork in the<br />

kitchen – and went light on sealant,<br />

as I loved the texture. We should have<br />

done a thicker layer of varnish, but<br />

it makes it much darker,” she adds,<br />

“but it’s easy to clean – like wood<br />

you can sand it, so periodically you<br />

can do this and get it back as good<br />

as new.” This is the great thing about<br />

using good quality natural materials<br />

– they are forgiving and restorable.<br />

The large Georgian sash windows<br />

are single glazed and painted the<br />

same colour as the walls, but in<br />

eggshell. “The windows are of such<br />

good proportions,” says Hannah,<br />

“and the front of the house faces east,<br />

while the back is to the west, so the<br />

light bounces around the house in<br />

the morning and the afternoon. <br />

priceless-magazines.com 32

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

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This page: The galley kitchen and bathroom are in the extended part of the house and reach down the garden. “We use the<br />

breakfast bar quite a lot,” says Hannah, “it’s a nice alternative to the dining room and it’s a fun, characterful space.”<br />

It’s really light and bright.” Hannah<br />

has used simple window treatments<br />

to enhance this airy brightness.<br />

A reclaimed rectory table sits in the<br />

centre of the dining room. “It had<br />

years and years of built up stains on<br />

it,” Hannah explains, “it’s beautifully<br />

solid, but a bit trad and heavy. Our<br />

joiner curved the edges, sanded it<br />

back and used a seal of white Danish<br />

oil, which gives it a contemporary<br />

feel – and being in the middle of the<br />

house we’re operating around it. It’s<br />

amazing that it became so light. Old<br />

oak quality is so much better – there’s<br />

a beautiful grain, but uncovering it<br />

can be an unpredictable process.” This<br />

is something that Hannah is more<br />

than aware of when helping clients<br />

to source furniture and architectural<br />

objects. “It’s nice to have a oneoff<br />

piece,” she says, “buying and<br />

re-imagining vintage pieces – reusing<br />

them again – is important. You have<br />

to have an environmental conscience<br />

in any business. It also means that,<br />

especially when working with tighter<br />

budgets, you can achieve a unique<br />

look. It can be much more enjoyable<br />

and clients end up with something<br />

that’s really special or a vintage piece<br />

imbued with stories,” she says, adding:<br />

“It can be hard – and sometimes<br />

expensive to replicate that with new.”<br />

Upstairs in the main bedroom – a<br />

pared back, serene room – the walls are<br />

Portland Stone Light and are a great<br />

background for the full length curtains,<br />

which are the focal point of the room,<br />

like a golden waterfall. There is an<br />

understated feel in here – it is calm,<br />

bright and uncluttered. At the front of<br />

the house, this restful room faces east,<br />

so the morning light, even if the sun<br />

isn’t shining, is aptly framed with gold.<br />

Somehow Hannah and Jack have<br />

managed to squeeze a shower room<br />

in between the two bedrooms, so <br />

35<br />


“You have to let loose somewhere,” laughs Hannah. “The downstairs loo is where<br />

you get your fix of brilliantly bright and slightly bonkers colour. You can take<br />

risks in smaller rooms. I wondered if I’d tire of it, but it was fun to do.”<br />

<br />

priceless-magazines.com 36

Your Dream, Our Vision<br />

Photo Credit: Louisa Grace Interiors<br />

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37<br />

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Urban&GreyWT243.indd 1 22/07/2022 14:07

Don’t miss our<br />

Good Living <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

In the January issue of <strong>Surrey</strong> <strong>Homes</strong> magazine<br />


This page: Directly above the main bedroom<br />

on the third floor is another bedroom. Panelling<br />

on one wall negates the need for a headboard<br />

and, again, Hannah has included furniture<br />

with history for a warm and interesting feel<br />

that there’s a bathroom on the first floor.<br />

“It’s bijou,” says Hannah, “but feels more<br />

spacious due to the painted tongue-andgroove<br />

panelling. There’s room for an<br />

enclosed tiled shower, basin and loo.”<br />

Jasper’s room is on the other side of<br />

the bathroom, facing the rear, but equally<br />

calm and bright. The colour splash in<br />

here emanates from a strawberry coloured<br />

nursing chair in the corner, a colour picked<br />

up in the simple blind made from one of<br />

Hannah’s favourite fabric designers, Josef<br />

Frank, sourced from Svenskt Tenn in<br />

Sweden. “I like to use pops of colour in the<br />

calm. There’s an essence of that throughout<br />

the house, which gives more freedom.”<br />

Directly above the main bedroom on<br />

the third floor is another bedroom. <br />

39<br />


This page: The main bedroom is a pared back, serene room<br />

which faces east, making the most of the morning light<br />

This is a big room, so they have been able to carve out one wall<br />

for full-width built in wardrobes. Back downstairs, right at the<br />

far end of the house, there is a burst of sunshine – on a sunny<br />

day you would glimpse this through the windows – but today<br />

the strong yellow light emanates from the downstairs bathroom,<br />

a splash of gold that contrasts beautifully with the cool warmth<br />

everywhere else. “You have to let loose somewhere,” she laughs.<br />

“The downstairs loo is where you get your fix of brilliantly<br />

bright and slightly bonkers colour. You can take risks in smaller<br />

rooms. I wondered if I’d tire of it, but it was fun to do.”<br />

The kitchen and bathroom are in the extended part and reach<br />

down the garden. “They cut the plot in half at the back of the<br />

house, so its a galley kitchen,” she explains. “It was interesting<br />

with three of us in here cooking <strong>Christmas</strong> dinner, but you<br />

adapt to the space that you have – having rented in London, I’ve<br />

operated in much more confined spaces. We use the breakfast<br />

bar quite a lot – it’s a nice alternative to the dining room and it’s<br />

a fun, characterful space.” The kitchen’s ceiling is tongue-andgroove<br />

and the whole room is painted in Portland Stone Light.<br />

Outside there is a small courtyard garden. “I got quite inspired<br />

by our coastal location,” she says, “and used gravel and pots. It<br />

was light and bright as the stones bounce light around. But then<br />

suddenly I viewed it through different eyes,” she laughs, “It <br />

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SashWindowHeritageWT187.indd 1 15/08/2017 15:18

priceless-magazines.com 42

Previous page: Hannah and Jack have<br />

succeeded in squeezing a shower room<br />

into the space between the main bedroom<br />

and Jasper’s nursery This page: Studio<br />

Benton’s Interior & Architecture Design<br />

space is housed in an English Heritage<br />

building across the road from Deal Castle<br />

was too delicious-looking for Jasper.”<br />

The size of the garden and the<br />

separate kitchen have been the<br />

deciding factors in the family’s<br />

decision to move – to another<br />

property nearby. “Having a kitchen<br />

diner was a good motivator for the<br />

move,” she explains. “The new house<br />

is just down the road. We’re going<br />

to be living in rented for six months<br />

while we do the next house. It’s a<br />

terraced Victorian – beautifully light<br />

and bright – triple aspect as it’s end of<br />

terrace. I like Victorian proportions<br />

and big bay windows and they are very<br />

solid.” There will also be room for<br />

a studio for Jack (a music producer)<br />

and a slightly bigger garden.<br />

Has it been hard to move, now that<br />

this house is looking so beautiful?<br />

“In a way, yes,” says Hannah, “but<br />

the new owners are delighted, so it’s<br />

been a lovely end to the chapter –<br />

and a good start to the new one.”<br />

Ending the year as an exciting<br />

new project begins is a good place<br />

to leave Hannah and Jack – and I<br />

have a hopeful feeling that we’ll be<br />

able to take a peek at the results of<br />

their Victorian adventure within<br />

these pages before too long.<br />

Address Book:<br />

To find out more about Studio Benton<br />

visit studiobenton.co.uk and follow<br />

them on Instagram @studio.benton<br />

43<br />




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45<br />


A house,<br />

transformed<br />

Following her appearance on Season 4 of Interior Design Masters,<br />

Charlotte Fisher’s interior design confidence has rocketed. Here,<br />

she guides us round her own home, a complete renovation project<br />

that she’s tackled over the past five years with her husband, Sam<br />

Words: Antonia Deeson Photographs: David Merewether<br />

priceless-magazines.com 46

To have one creative string to your<br />

bow is all well and good. To<br />

have two is a major achievement.<br />

Mother of one, lawyer, dancer, singer<br />

and actor Charlotte Fisher can now add<br />

interior designer and TV personality to<br />

the ever-expanding list of her talents.<br />

For anyone who, like me, is an avid<br />

fan of Interior Design Masters, Charlotte<br />

will be instantly recognisable. Making<br />

it to episode three in this year’s series,<br />

it was her controversial placement<br />

of a bed in the luxury hotel project<br />

that was sadly to be her downfall.<br />

“I never really thought I would make<br />

it to the final show when I applied,” says<br />

Charlotte who is talking to me with a<br />

small bundle of joy sitting quietly on<br />

her lap (since filming wrapped earlier<br />

this year, she became mum to baby boy<br />

Elton). “I am a practising lawyer and<br />

I had no experience in interior design,<br />

apart from doing interiors for myself.<br />

I was doing our house in <strong>Surrey</strong> when<br />

I applied, and we had also converted<br />

a small bungalow in Cornwall, but I<br />

had no professional background and<br />

so finding myself there with so much<br />

talent around me, well it was a bit of<br />

a ‘pinch me’ moment!” she says.<br />

“With so many big characters like<br />

the fellow designers Tom Power, Jack<br />

Kinsey and winner Monika Charchula<br />

making their mark, the experience, whilst<br />

stressful and a complete whirlwind, was<br />

very positive and taught me more about<br />

interior design in a few months than I<br />

could have ever learnt in the real world.<br />

We had to source everything ourselves<br />

during the week, which was really hard<br />

when I was also working full time.<br />

We had to load a van and drive it to<br />

the location and I was pregnant at the<br />

time, so it was a pretty insane schedule.<br />

I really loved working alongside Tom<br />

especially, and to be honest I thought<br />

he would be the eventual winner.”<br />

So just how does a lawyer get to have<br />

so many creative threads in her life? “I<br />

have always been very creative,” says<br />

Charlotte. “I studied arts at school but at<br />

university I studied law, It’s always been a<br />

bit of a seesaw between the two parts of<br />

me, the artistic and the intellectual. After<br />

university I trained in musical theatre<br />

and did some acting in London but then<br />

as the recession hit, I returned to law and<br />

did the singing and dancing in my spare<br />

time. The design story began when <br />

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Previous pages & above: “My kitchen was inspired by the kitchen in the TV show, Dr Foster,” says Charlotte. The units are from Ikea and<br />

Charlotte and Sam added a quartz worktop to give it a feeling of luxury<br />

my husband Sam and I bought our first<br />

house together and I kind of fell into it.<br />

We did a small extension to that property<br />

and I took on the interiors. Luckily my<br />

husband is very practical with DIY but<br />

entirely colour blind, so he left me to<br />

do all the decorating, which was great!”<br />

Having cut their teeth on their first<br />

house, Charlotte and Sam decided to<br />

move to a bigger project. Five years<br />

ago they bought a dormer bungalow in<br />

Ashtead and converted it into a three<br />

floor house, completely renovating it<br />

from top to toe, adding an extension<br />

and most recently a two bed attic<br />

conversation. “We’re hoping to sell<br />

the house now as I just want to get<br />

stuck into a new design project,” says<br />

Charlotte. “The main part of the house<br />

was done before I did Interior Design<br />

Masters – the upper floor and nursery<br />

were done after the show and I feel<br />

like I had so much more confidence<br />

and I think you can see it in my choice<br />

of fabrics and colours. It’s all my style<br />

still, but with the new bedrooms, well<br />

they are a bit more adventurous in the<br />

design and more colourful, whereas the<br />

rest of the house is more neutral with<br />

pops of colour. I think I learnt to trust<br />

my instincts and those bedrooms are an<br />

homage to what I learnt in that process.”<br />

The entire house was gutted and the<br />

living space reconvened by Charlotte and<br />

Sam. To the back of the house is now<br />

a fantastic open plan family kitchen,<br />

dining and sitting area with large skylight<br />

and sliding doors which flood the space<br />

with natural light. “We spend most of<br />

our time in here, it’s a great room for<br />

family life,” says Charlotte, who also has<br />

two dogs as part of her growing family.<br />

The far wall of the kitchen features a<br />

bold exposed brick wall, created from<br />

slips. “I wanted a brick wall but when<br />

I realised the builders were using block<br />

and not brick for the extension, I had<br />

to work out a way to create the look I<br />

was after, so I ended up using brick slips.<br />

They were difficult to put on and as<br />

you can see, the grouting is cement, so<br />

it’s a bit trickier than normal tile grout<br />

as you can’t just wipe it off and make it<br />

pretty. But I wanted an industrial feel –<br />

something modern as we use this room a<br />

lot – so I think the effort was worth it.”<br />

“My kitchen was inspired by the<br />

kitchen in the TV show, Dr Foster,”<br />

says Charlotte. “The units are Ikea,<br />

I love Ikea for kitchens as they are so<br />

cost effective and always look great.<br />

We added a quartz worktop to give it<br />

a feeling of luxury. I wanted a contrast<br />

between the island and the rest of the<br />

units so we added a real wood top and<br />

black doors to give it some definition.<br />

The walls are done in a very pale grey<br />

and I use accessories on the shelves to<br />

add colour, in fact I made the shelves<br />

myself out of planks, which I then<br />

varnished. The three amber glass pendant<br />

lights are from Matalan, which is a<br />

bit of a go-to for me for lighting.”<br />

By the dining area is a sumptuous<br />

blue velvet sofa from Sofology, Charlotte<br />

took the colours from the rug from<br />

Nuloom to act as a source for the rest<br />

of the room. “The blue chairs I bought<br />

from Amazon and the two end feature<br />

chairs are the classic Ghost chair<br />

from John Lewis. It’s bright but not <br />

49<br />


Above: By the dining area is a sumptuous blue<br />

velvet sofa from Sofology. The blue dining chairs<br />

were bought from Amazon and the two end feature<br />

chairs are the classic Ghost chair from John Lewis<br />

Left: Charlotte wanted a contrast between the<br />

island and the rest of the units so added a real wood<br />

top and black doors to give it some definition<br />

overbearing and you can always change the accessories<br />

around if you get bored, but I left the background<br />

quite neutral.” Space saving sliding doors open from<br />

the dining area on to the garden and patio outside<br />

and Charlotte has opted for Crittal style glazing<br />

panels to underline the industrial look of the room<br />

that she had chosen. On the wall sits a vertical<br />

radiator from Soak which she has used all around<br />

the house. Above the wooden top dining table,<br />

a large light from Wayfair mirrors the industrial<br />

linearity of the doors. Ever practical, Charlotte has<br />

transformed the box covering the room’s pocket<br />

door with blackboard paint, an essential tool for<br />

any family on the move. A pair of doors covered<br />

in a complex geometric design, made by hand by<br />

Charlotte (with help from accountant Sam) leads<br />

from the family space into a study/playroom – a<br />

useful place for the growing mountain of toys!<br />

In the sitting room next door, Charlotte shows off<br />

her love for Art Deco. “I love Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra<br />

Blue and thought this was the perfect room for it.<br />

People always say you should paint a dark room in<br />

a pale or a white but I decided to embrace the <br />

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CheekyMonkeyWT249.indd 1 24/01/<strong>2023</strong> 17:06<br />




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51<br />


Charlotte has used a velvet fabric on the blind to blend into the room, but<br />

opted for a bold tropical pattern from Just Fabrics for the curtain to hide an<br />

old door. “I love the Art Deco drinks trolley from Audenza, it’s perfect for the<br />

look, but I’m not sure how long it will last with a small person around!”<br />

dark and I think the colour actually<br />

makes it much more chic.” The parquet<br />

flooring, which was put in by Sam, adds<br />

a light reflective surface under foot and<br />

the wallpaper feature wall, in Lotus,<br />

an Art Deco-style print also by Farrow<br />

& Ball, matches the paint colour.<br />

Charlotte created a gallery wall of art<br />

and then cleverly hid the TV in a frame<br />

so it disappears entirely. Beneath the wall<br />

she has added an Ikea cupboard which<br />

she hacked by painting and adding metal<br />

inlays and new handles. The coffee table<br />

is from Barker & Stonehouse, a brand<br />

which reminds Charlotte of home, as<br />

they are based in Middlesborough close<br />

to where she was born. The rug is from<br />

Habitat which was the colour source<br />

for the room, blending the pink and<br />

blue. Charlotte has added her magic<br />

touch to what she says was a quite basic<br />

sofa – with an array of bright cushions,<br />

giving pops of colour and texture.<br />

On the blind she’s used a velvet fabric<br />

priceless-magazines.com 52

This page: Charlotte has opted for Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue in the sitting room along with a feature wall, in Lotus, an Art Decostyle<br />

print also by Farrow & Ball, which matches the paint colour Page left: Charlotte created a gallery wall of art to hide the TV in a<br />

frame, so it disappears entirely. The Ikea cupboard below has been hacked by painting and adding metal inlays and new handles<br />

to blend into the room, but opted for a<br />

bold tropical pattern from Just Fabrics<br />

for the curtain (a skill she learnt in<br />

Interior Design Masters) to hide an old<br />

door. “I tried to get rid of the old cabinet<br />

but even the charity shop said no thanks,<br />

so I decided to paint it bright yellow<br />

and now it’s become one of the main<br />

features of the room and it works so well<br />

with the curtain fabric. I also love the<br />

Art Deco drinks trolley from Audenza,<br />

it’s perfect for the look, but I’m not sure<br />

how long it will last with a small person<br />

around! I found the fire surround on<br />

eBay for a tenner and I added that as<br />

it is. I love finding cost-effective things<br />

like that online, it’s such a buzz.”<br />

A shower room on the ground floor,<br />

a throwback to the former bungalow<br />

layout of the house, is a contemporary<br />

essay in monochrome, with two<br />

herringbone tiled dark grey walls<br />

juxtaposed with the Carrera marble<br />

effect ceramic floor and wall tiles.<br />

Black shower fittings and accessories<br />

are mirrored with the radiator from<br />

Soak and a lovely textured black and<br />

white Moroccan style countertop<br />

basin from Victorian Plumbing.<br />

On the former dormer floor are now<br />

three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The<br />

guest room features a bold geometric<br />

removable teal wallpaper and shows off<br />

the bold triptych print of the whale,<br />

which Charlotte found on Etsy. “It’s<br />

all about the teal in this room, and I<br />

added little pops of gold in the Bunny<br />

Lights from Iconic Lighting. The<br />

side tables I upcycled from Argos.”<br />

Charlotte has repeated the geometric<br />

pattern on the wall on the monochrome<br />

rug from Ikea. “The guest room was <br />

53<br />


The green room wallpaper<br />

is by Jack Kinsey for Rebel<br />

Walls. “It’s quite French to<br />

use wallpaper on a vaulted<br />

ceiling so this works really<br />

well, I very much wanted<br />

to use one of Jack’s papers. I<br />

kept a channel of green paint,<br />

which I colour matched to<br />

the wallpaper, by Valspar.”<br />

This page: The monochrome downstairs wet room features a beautiful basin from Victorian Plumbing<br />

done before I did the show and the<br />

nursery next door was done afterwards.<br />

I think you can see my confidence as a<br />

designer at work.” The stunning nursery<br />

wallpaper mural is from Munks & Me,<br />

a small brand. “I wanted the jungle<br />

theme,” says Charlotte, “as blue is too<br />

cliched and I felt the wallpaper really<br />

has the wow factor. The mustard yellow<br />

and sage green became the core colours<br />

and I took my inspiration from that. My<br />

mum gave me the crib, but even though<br />

it’s second hand and nothing special, I<br />

really think the quality of the wallpaper<br />

just elevates everything around it. The<br />

yellow rug is from IKEA. I took the tiger<br />

and giraffe motifs from the paper and<br />

they now also appear in the toys which<br />

priceless-magazines.com 54

Above: The guest room features a bold geometric removable<br />

teal wallpaper and a triptych print of a whale which Charlotte<br />

found on Etsy Right: The family bathroom, in Farrow &<br />

Ball Bancha, follows a tropical theme with wood effect tiles<br />

that run from the floor and up the wall behind the bath<br />

is quite fun. My baby just loves looking at it for hours.”<br />

For the main bedroom Charlotte opted for a very dark<br />

shade – Dulux Azura Blue – which she believes induces<br />

a good sleep. “I actually wish I had painted the ceiling in<br />

the blue as well, I think it would look even stronger,” she<br />

says. As in the other guest bedroom Charlotte has had<br />

fun playing with wall treatments and opted for a mural<br />

feature wall behind the bed which is by Woodchip and<br />

Magnolia. “I love murals on walls, it’s a great way to get a<br />

big piece of art into a room, and it also directed the other<br />

pops of colour that I have incorporated.” The sputnik<br />

light on the ceiling mirrors the gold wall lights which<br />

Charlotte sourced from B&Q and the two Argos bedside<br />

tables were again given the upcycling treatment by<br />

Charlotte who painted them and added the gold knobs.<br />

A folding door, which Charlotte prefers for en suites,<br />

leads into her bathroom. White and minty green tiles<br />

keep the look fresh and glamorous along with marble and<br />

gold features. A bedroom armchair in a fabric from Just<br />

Fabrics was re-upholstered by Charlotte, a skill which<br />

she learnt before she did the TV show. “I’m so pleased<br />

with the chair, it goes with the blue wall colour so well.”<br />

For window treatments Charlotte featured<br />

<br />

55<br />


velvet curtains from Wayfair for the<br />

French doors, which open to the<br />

Juliette balcony and a grey blind<br />

that mirrors a grey feature wall.<br />

The family bathroom is a tropical<br />

theme, with wood effect tiles that run<br />

from the floor and up the wall behind<br />

the bath, which Charlotte did herself.<br />

The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball<br />

Bancha green and a statement blind in a<br />

tropical print is from Blinds 2go. “The<br />

vintage bamboo mirror was my mum’s,”<br />

smiles Charlotte, “there’s also a matching<br />

stand. They’re both originals from the<br />

1970s so I decided they would look<br />

great in here and complete the look.”<br />

The latest addition to the house are<br />

the two top floor bedrooms, completed<br />

post Interior Design Masters. Both have<br />

attic roof lines with open rafters and<br />

so Charlotte has kept the silhouettes<br />

bold. The green room wallpaper is by<br />

Jack Kinsey for Rebel Walls. “It’s quite<br />

French to use wallpaper on a vaulted<br />

ceiling so this works really well and I<br />

very much wanted to use one of Jack’s<br />

papers. I kept a channel of green paint,<br />

which I colour matched to the wallpaper,<br />

by Valspar. The bamboo headboard is a<br />

John Lewis second hand find, which I<br />

am really pleased with, it looks fantastic<br />

and I then kept a similar feeling for the<br />

rattan in the lampshade. The vintage<br />

50s pink ottoman was my Nana’s, I have<br />

been keeping hold of it for years and<br />

usually it just doesn’t work, but I knew<br />

priceless-magazines.com 56

Above: Charlotte has created a cosy and inviting space in the nursery with a palette of mustards, sage greens and<br />

creams. The wallpaper mural is from Munks & Me, a small brand Left: The main bedroom en suite<br />

I would find a place for it one day and<br />

for this room it just looks perfect. The<br />

lights are from Online Lighting and I<br />

made the cushions from a tropical fabric<br />

with flamingos from Just Fabrics which<br />

work great with the plain cushions and<br />

throw from Dusk. The bedside tables<br />

with mother of pearl inlay are from TK<br />

Maxx and I loved them as they look a<br />

bit like tree stumps which just works so<br />

well in here up in the rafters. I really feel<br />

this room shows off my confidence as<br />

a designer and I am very proud of it.”<br />

For the second attic room, Charlotte<br />

wanted to recreate the new plaster finish.<br />

“I wanted to do a plaster effect as I so<br />

loved the colour of the fresh plaster, but<br />

I tried to do a treatment on it to set it,<br />

but it went really streaky so I found this<br />

Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster colour<br />

and it’s just right. I made the headboard<br />

with a fabric, again from Just Fabrics,<br />

which I added to some padding and<br />

three pieces of MDF, it’s a new skill <br />

57<br />


Above: In the main bedroom Charlotte<br />

opted for a very dark shade – Dulux<br />

Azura Blue. The feature wall behind the<br />

bed is by Woodchip and Magnolia<br />

Left: A folding door leads into<br />

the main bedroom en suite<br />

that I learnt from the show and I am<br />

thrilled with it. The bed throw is from<br />

Christie at Dunelm and the cushions<br />

are from IKEA and Habitat. The feature<br />

lampshade is by Zara Home and really<br />

makes the statement in this room.<br />

Charlotte Fisher has proved that with<br />

experience comes confidence. She has<br />

taken her hobby and love for interiors<br />

and decorating and through her hard<br />

work and tenacity, turned it into a<br />

skill of which she can be very proud,<br />

marrying high street finds with online<br />

treasures. I am very sure that we will<br />

be hearing more from this one-woman<br />

dynamo, tap shoes in one hand and paint<br />

brush in the other. Bravo Charlotte!<br />

Address Book:<br />

To follow Charlotte’s interior<br />

design projects, see<br />

Instagram @thehousethatcharlottebuilt<br />

and charlotte-fisher.com<br />

Munks & Me munksandme.com<br />

Rebel Walls rebelwalls.com/uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com 58

Get the<br />

LOOK<br />

1 The Box black metal pendant with organic vintage bulb £180 Cotterell & Co cotterellandco.com 2 Dark green<br />

sketched flower and bird wallpaper mural £32/m 2 Bobbi Beck bobbibeck.com 3 Pink bar opal ball wall lamp<br />

£249 Lime Lace limelace.co.uk 4 St Lucia rattan four bed £2,650 Sweetpea & Willow sweetpeaandwillow.com<br />

5 Elton The Gorilla table lamp £120 Ella James ellajames.co.uk 6 Humbug stool £135 Sweetpea & Willow<br />

sweetpeaandwillow.com 7 Nomad Masai cushion cover £41.99 Walton & Co waltonshop.co.uk 8 Zara blush pink<br />

velvet ottoman storage cube £151 Danetti danetti.com 9 Helena clear chair £140 Sazy sazy.com<br />

59<br />




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you need to be your very own best you.

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

The Priceless <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

istockphoto.com/ MaryliaDesign<br />


Dominic Walmsley<br />

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




Luxury Furniture • Live Music & Events • Fully-Licensed Café-Bar<br />

Gifts & Accessories • The Official Roger Dean Gallery<br />

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Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, East Sussex, TN22 3RB<br />


Beautiful bespoke<br />

jewellery<br />

3 The Square • Riverhead<br />

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

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JeremyHobbsS53.indd 1 15/0<br />

Opening Hours<br />

Mon - Sat 09.30 - 17.30<br />

3 Oakdene Parade,<br />

Cobham, <strong>Surrey</strong> KT11 2LR.<br />

Telephone: 01932 865700<br />

info@jeremyhobbs.co.uk<br />

@jeremyhobbsmenswear<br />

www.jeremyhobbs.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Stocking<br />

Fillers<br />

Fill your stockings with these small but brilliant gifts to get <strong>Christmas</strong> started right<br />

Milk chocolate coins £4.49<br />

Selfridges selfridges.com<br />

Kazoo karaoke tin game<br />

£8.50 Talking Tables<br />

talkingtables.co.uk<br />

Rosso Vivo limited edition<br />

lipstick £40 Code8 codeeight.com<br />

Name necklace £79<br />

Abbott Lyon abbottlyon.com<br />

Liberty 4 NC Wireless Noise<br />

Cancelling Earbuds £79.99<br />

Soundcore uk.soundcore.com<br />

Five Golden<br />

Flings nail<br />

lacquer £14.90<br />

OPI opi.com<br />

Apple & Cinnamon<br />

Coconut Rapeseed Candle<br />

£12 Authentic House<br />

authentichouse.co.uk<br />

CBD lip balm with<br />

essential oils £10<br />

Healing Alternatives<br />

healingalternatives.co.uk<br />

Guardian Angel Gilt Drop<br />

Earrings £85 Dominic<br />

Walmsley dominicwalmsley.com<br />

Stainless steel hip flask £9.50<br />

John Lewis johnlewis.com<br />

Sylvanian Families Baby fairytale<br />

series collectable figure £3.49<br />

Smyths smythstoys.com<br />

Rocket bath bomb £3.99<br />

Mini U miniu.co.uk<br />

63<br />





49 High St, Cranbrook, TN17 3EE<br />

www.odyl.co.uk | 01580 714907<br />






Proud stockists of:<br />

Barbour, Barker, Geox, Jeep, Lacuzzo,<br />

Sergio Duletti, John White, R M Williams,<br />

Bugatti and Savelli, boots & shoes<br />


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The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Last Minute<br />

Gifts<br />

These crowd-pleasing gifts are quick, easy and great when you’re short on time!<br />

Knitted tassel throw £35<br />

M&S marksandspencer.com<br />

Sharp’s Toffee<br />

Liqueur £30 (70cl)<br />

Maidstone Distillery<br />

themaidstonedistillery.com<br />

The Spirit of London<br />

jigsaw £15.99 Batsford<br />

batsfordbooks.com<br />

Super Mario Blow Up! Shaky<br />

Tower £20 Hamleys hamleys.com<br />

Le Creuset volcanic<br />

stoneware mug £15<br />

Selfridges selfridges.com<br />

Brushed stripe scarf £25 National<br />

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

Polar Dewberry & Cardamom<br />

scented candle £98 Emma J Shipley<br />

emmajshipley.com<br />

DualSense wireless controller<br />

£64.99 John Lewis johnlewis.com<br />

Santa Jolly<br />

Ginger £7.95<br />

Biscuiteers<br />

biscuiteers.com<br />

So Chill USB Mini Fridge £39.99<br />

Smyths smythstoys.com<br />

The Traitors <strong>2023</strong> special<br />

edition card game £11.99<br />

Ginger Fox gingerfox.co.uk<br />

Singing Encanto Mirabel doll<br />

£14.99 Amazon amazon.co.uk<br />

65<br />


01306 877994<br />

www.thefigtreedorking.co.uk<br />

4-5, Old King's Head Court,<br />

Dorking, RH4 1AR<br />

TheFigTreeS51.indd 1 04/12/2018 11:14<br />

28 t h <strong>Christmas</strong> Exhibition<br />

‘Evening in October, Camber Sands’ Oil on Board 81 x 86cm<br />

Shirin Tabeshfar ‘Reminisence’ Oil on Canvas 70 x 70cm<br />

Two Floors of Original Contemporary Paintings & Sculpture by Established,<br />

Award-Winning & Emerging Artists of a standard rarely seen out of London.<br />

23 The Pantiles, (Lower Walk), TunbridgeWells, TN2 5TD Tel. 01892 525 525 www.fairfaxgallery.com Est 1995<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Cards &<br />

Wrappings<br />

Put the finishing touches to your gifts with fabulous cards and wrapping<br />

Wreath wrapping paper<br />

£3 Afternoon Crumbs<br />

afternooncrumbs.com<br />

Letter W wrapping paper and<br />

gift tag £1.65 Storigraphic<br />

storigraphic.com<br />

Iconic Edinburgh charity cards £3.99<br />

(pack of 10) Shelter shop.shelter.org.uk<br />

Mistletoe <strong>Christmas</strong> card £3<br />

Megan Threadgold Illustration<br />

meganthreadgold.com<br />

Fair trade green florals wrapping<br />

paper and gift tag £2.49 Sourced by<br />

Oxfam onlineshop.oxfam.org.uk<br />

Stags ribbon, £6.50<br />

Sophie Allport<br />

sophieallport.com<br />

Fully recyclable nutcracker cards designed<br />

in Kent £12 (pack of 6) Catherine Jane<br />

Designs catherinejanedesigns.co.uk<br />

Hand block printed Cherry<br />

Cake red wrapping paper £3<br />

Molly Mahon mollymahon.com<br />

Watercolour card £15 Imogen<br />

Partridge imogenpartridge.com<br />

Nutcracker wrapping<br />

paper £2.50/sheet<br />

Making Meadows<br />

makingmeadows.co.uk<br />

Model carrying gifts<br />

card, £6 (pack of 8)<br />

V&A vam.ac.uk<br />

Kettle’s Yard cards £14.50<br />

Cambridge Imprint<br />

cambridgeimprint.co.uk<br />

Partridge gift tags £3.95<br />

Nancy & Betty Studio<br />

nancyandbetty.com<br />

Avocado stripe<br />

wrapping paper £2.75<br />

Once Upon a Tuesday<br />

onceuponatuesday.co.uk<br />

Wired ribbon £12.50 and<br />

filigree tissue paper £7.50<br />

Cox & Cox coxandcox.co.uk<br />

Festive food wrapping<br />

paper £3.99 (pack of 4)<br />

Shelter shop.shelter.org.uk<br />

Slate grey vintage ribbon £4.96 (5m)<br />

Cambridge Imprint cambridgeimprint.co.uk<br />

BHF charity cards £4.99 (pack of 10) Cards<br />

for Good Causes cardsforcharity.co.uk<br />

67<br />




Luxury Merino Activewear for Him & Her<br />

Luxury Merino Activewear for Him & Her<br />




RRP £155.<br />


1/4 ZIP. RRP £150, FROM A SELECTION.<br />





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TN12 6PY.16-18 NOVEMBER<br />

RRP £155.<br />



1/4 ZIP. RRP £150, FROM A SELECTION.<br />





TN12 6PY.16-18 NOVEMBER<br />


The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Jumpers<br />

For Joy<br />

Keep the whole family warm and cosy in festive knits that aren’t just for <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Lucy Mecklenburgh boys<br />

jumper from £15 Very very.co.uk<br />

Serenity star jumper £75<br />

Monsoon monsoon.co.uk<br />

Block stripe<br />

jumper £32 M&S<br />

marksandspencer.com<br />

Lambswool crew neck<br />

£69 Community Clothing<br />

communityclothing.co.uk<br />

Fabienne Chapot<br />

Gabi pullover £149<br />

Odyl odyldesign.com<br />

Sugarhill Brighton Cece jumper<br />

£59 Experience the Difference<br />

experiencethedifference.co.uk<br />

Girls Harper knit jumper<br />

£44.95 Barbour barbour.com<br />

Rodney knitted<br />

dog jumper £38<br />

Palava palava.co<br />

Övik Path knit W<br />

£200 Fjällräven<br />

fjallraven.com<br />

69<br />


●<br />

●<br />

●<br />

●<br />

●<br />

●<br />

●<br />

Freshly baked baguettes<br />

A large selection of cheese, charcuterie & pastries<br />

Ready-made frozen cook meals<br />

Jams, chutneys & sauces<br />

Delicious made to order filled<br />

baguettes and sandwiches<br />

Large selection of cards, candles<br />

& <strong>Christmas</strong> food gifts<br />

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

We didn’t invent fire.<br />

We defeated smoke.<br />



solostove.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Eat, Drink &<br />

Be Merry<br />

Stock up on food, drinks and all the trimmings for a bountiful festive season<br />

Merry <strong>Christmas</strong> chocolate<br />

bar £10.99 Melt Chocolates<br />

meltchocolates.com<br />

Dolce & Gabbana pistachio panettone £66.30<br />

The Panettone Store thepanettonestore.co.uk<br />

Cold pressed rapeseed oil set £18 Kentish<br />

Oils & Condiments kentishcondiments.com<br />

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

£29.99 (box of 6)<br />

Cutter & Squidge<br />

cutterandsquidge.com<br />

Whole KellyBronze free range turkey<br />

£102.02 Kent Turkeys kentturkeys.co.uk<br />

Double chocolate orange<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> pudding £10<br />

National Trust<br />

shop.nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

Premium flavoured<br />

gin shot £29.95<br />

(70cl) Wattshot<br />

wattshot.com<br />

Brandy butter £5.99<br />

(210g) Selfridges<br />

selfridges.com<br />

Blanc de Blancs<br />

2018 sparkling wine<br />

£65 Gusbourne<br />

gusbourne.com<br />

Premium unfiltered<br />

extra virgin olive oil<br />

£39.50 The Governor<br />

thegovernorevoo.co.uk<br />

Unbelievably<br />

vegan large festive<br />

wreath £24.95<br />

Hotel Chocolat<br />

hotelchocolat.com<br />

Silent Pool Gin<br />

Magnum £99 Silent Pool<br />

silentpooldistillers.com<br />

Tough Nut moonshine<br />

£26.90 (700ml)<br />

O’Donnell Moonshine<br />

odonnellmoonshine.co.uk<br />

Festive Turkish delight<br />

selection £12.50<br />

Cartwright & Butler<br />

cartwrightandbutler.co.uk<br />

All butter toffee apple curd<br />

£4.50 English Heritage<br />

english-heritageshop.org.uk<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> Spice Chutney<br />

Gift Jar £7.05 Tracklements<br />

tracklements.co.uk<br />

© The Electric Eye Photography<br />

Side of cold smoked trout<br />

£30 (min 600g) ChalkStream<br />

chalkstreamfoods.co.uk<br />

Handmade<br />

mince pies<br />

£15 Biscuiteers<br />

biscuiteers.com<br />

71<br />









GREENHITHE, KENT. DA9 9ST. • TELEPHONE: 01322 381997<br />



143 HIGH STREET, GUILDFORD, GU1 3AD. • TELEPHONE: 01483 452689<br />



UNIT 45 , WINDSOR ROYAL STATION, SL4 1PJ. • TELEPHONE: 01753 852205<br />




• TELEPHONE: 0208 9440624<br />


The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

istockphoto.com/ DiViArt<br />

Kent Fill Wine your stockings School, The with Print these House small and but The brilliant King’s gifts Arms to get all share <strong>Christmas</strong> their Xmas morning dinner started tips<br />

The Wine<br />

“For a <strong>Christmas</strong> lunch with turkey<br />

or ham, Chardonnay is the food<br />

friendly white to go for. Look for cool<br />

climate influences and a subtle use of<br />

oak in the wine making. White Rioja<br />

and Chenin Blanc are good alternatives.<br />

My top red wine tip is Pinot Noir and<br />

softer Italian reds like Barbera and<br />

Valpolicella. Veggie and vegan dishes<br />

will also pair well with these wines.”<br />

– Jonny Gibson, Kent Wine School<br />

kentwineschool.com<br />

The Gravy<br />

Anything used to flavour turkey can<br />

flavour your gravy; roughly chop veg,<br />

herbs and turkey trimmings and chuck<br />

these into the tin before browning<br />

them off. Good quality stock will add<br />

extra flavour and I love the sweetsharp<br />

balance of Nightingale Cider.<br />

Reduce the gravy slowly, mashing the<br />

trimmings in as it cooks. Before serving,<br />

add some sprigs of fresh herbs and<br />

infuse for a few minutes. I also stir in<br />

crushed cobnuts (from Potash Farm<br />

in Kent) just before serving, for<br />

texture.” – Martin Elliot, Head Chef<br />

at The Print House in Tenterden<br />

theprinthousetenterden.com<br />

Recipes For<br />

Success<br />

The Starter<br />

“Make canapés instead of starters to save having to wash<br />

up knives and forks, and also to take the pressure off –<br />

people can have a chat and a nibble in the kitchen or<br />

living room, rather than wait expectantly at the table!”<br />

– Martin Elliot, Head Chef at The Print House<br />

Tenterden theprinthousetenterden.com<br />

The Turkey<br />

“To keep the turkey moist, make a sage<br />

butter with garlic, sage, lemon zest and salt,<br />

and smother under the skin, making sure it’s<br />

equally distributed. Then place sage and onion<br />

stuffing, an orange and a bunch of sage in the<br />

cavity. To keep the moisture consistent, we use<br />

a combo of steaming and roasting throughout,<br />

and for a nice crisp skin, we coat it in<br />

vegetable oil. Cook for 20 minutes per kilo<br />

in a roasting dish, remove from the oven and<br />

drain all the juices into your gravy. Then cover<br />

the bird with foil and kitchen cloths so it can<br />

rest whilst remaining hot.” – Steve Piddock<br />

Executive Chef at The King’s Arms in Elham<br />

thekingsarmselham.com<br />

The Sparkle<br />

“<strong>Christmas</strong> Day starts with presents<br />

and canapés around the tree.<br />

These light bites need something<br />

with acidity like Champagne or<br />

English sparkling wine.” – Jonny<br />

Gibson, Kent Wine School<br />

kentwineschool.com<br />

The Stuffing<br />

“Sauté finely chopped sage and diced<br />

shallots until soft and caramelised,<br />

and add fresh breadcrumbs. Combine<br />

this with a quality sausage meat (our<br />

preferred choice is Cumberland<br />

sausages) and roll the mix into a large<br />

sausage ballotine and then steam for<br />

20 to 30 minutes.” – Steve Piddock<br />

Executive Chef at The King’s Arms in<br />

Elham thekingsarmselham.com<br />

The Potatoes<br />

“Peel and cut the potatoes, steam for<br />

15-20 minutes, remove from the steamer,<br />

give the tray a good shake, and air dry<br />

until cool. Set the oven to 180°C and roast<br />

the potatoes in gastro trays with a good<br />

glug of vegetable oil for 20 to 30 minutes,<br />

tossing half way through, then drain the<br />

oil and roast for a further 10 minutes. To<br />

serve, toss the potatoes in a rosemary and<br />

garlic butter and season with a good<br />

pinch of Maldon salt.” – Steve<br />

Piddock, Executive Chef at The<br />

King’s Arms in Elham<br />

thekingsarmselham.com<br />

73<br />


Get ready for <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

RaggedRose<br />

sales@raggedrose.com | www.raggedrose.com<br />

See our <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Collection Of Homewares<br />

Alsop & Walker<br />

World-award winning artists in cheesemaking<br />

RaggedRoseWT163.indd 1 13/08/2015 12:37<br />

RaggedRose_GiftwareReview1305.indd 1 09/05/2013 12:20<br />

You can find our fine handcrafted artisan cheeses at Borough Market, London and also in many local<br />

farmshops and delis. Alternatively look on our online store to browse and purchase from our selection.<br />

www.alsopandwalker.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Setting the<br />

Table<br />

Quirky and colourful dining and serveware make for a jolly festive feast!<br />

Winter wildflowers<br />

linen table cloth £125<br />

By Hope byhope.co.uk<br />

Canal House plates £55 (set of<br />

4) Bøde Living bode-living.com<br />

Feathered bird clips £22 (set of<br />

3) Cox & Cox coxandcox.co.uk<br />

Mermaid bud vase<br />

£32 Hannah B Pottery<br />

hannahbpottery.com<br />

Cotton tree napkins £27.50 (set of 4)<br />

Lottie Murphy lottie-murphy.com<br />

Red scallop napkin<br />

£8 Molly Mahon<br />

mollymahon.com<br />

Jaipur stripe block<br />

print napkin £24<br />

Rooh roohlondon.co.uk<br />

Je t’aime mug £39<br />

Richard Brendon<br />

richardbrendon.com<br />

Woodland green dinner candles<br />

£9.99 (pack of 6) St. Eval st-eval.com<br />

Rose quartz glass<br />

LED tree £25<br />

Truffle Tablescapes<br />

truffletablescapes.co.uk<br />

Brass leaf napkin<br />

rings £35 (set of 4)<br />

Nkuku nkuku.com<br />

Ceramic napkin rings<br />

£30 Layered Lounge<br />

layeredlounge.com<br />

Mouse side plate £22.50<br />

Jimbobart jimbobart.com<br />

Chelsea glass bowls £22 (set of<br />

2) Portmeirion portmeirion.co.uk<br />

Lou Rota Twelve Days of<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> dessert plate £20<br />

Anthropologie anthropologie.com<br />

Tall drippy candle &<br />

holder set £30 LORDS<br />

lordsfragrancehouse.com<br />

Gold and ivory bowl set<br />

£65 Aaron Kearney Design<br />

aaronkearneydesign.com<br />

Polar luxury crackers £65<br />

(set of 6) Emma J Shipley<br />

emmajshipley.com<br />

Helen’s Stars linen tablecloth<br />

£195 Liberty libertylondon.com<br />

Bobble tumbler £16 each Turnbull<br />

& Hooch turnbullandhooch.co.uk<br />

Copa gin glass £12 Silent Pool<br />

silentpooldistillers.com<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> family fun<br />

game £7 Talking Tables<br />

talkingtables.co.uk<br />

Shell cotton napkins<br />

£28 (set of 4) Eloise<br />

Home eloisehome.com<br />

Diggins ceramic pudding<br />

bowls £28 Loaf loaf.com<br />

Oval Casserole £309 Le<br />

Creuset lecreuset.com<br />

75<br />


8-9 Sun Street, Canterbury, CT1 2HX | www.tbcousins.co.uk | 01227 765 882

The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

The Night<br />

before<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> Fill your Eve stockings is where with the these magic small really but starts, brilliant so gifts get to set get with <strong>Christmas</strong> all things morning cosy and started festive!<br />

Throw Throw Burrito £24.99<br />

Smyths smythstoys.com<br />

Mesa tabletop<br />

fire pit £89.99<br />

Solo Stoves<br />

solostove.com<br />

Gold stars stocking holder £18 Rockett<br />

St George rockettstgeorge.co.uk<br />

Personalised letter from Father<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> £16 Marvellous Magical<br />

Mail marvellousmagicalmail.co.uk<br />

Harbour Mist herringbone wool<br />

blanket £149 Atlantic Blankets<br />

atlanticblankets.com<br />

Patiq Chestnut leather slippers £65<br />

MAKU maku.uk<br />

Calm waters short<br />

mug £34 Emily<br />

Doran Pottery<br />

emilydoranpottery.com<br />

Milk chocolate hot chocolate<br />

£12.99 Melt Chocolates<br />

meltchocolates.com<br />

Electric heater £1,195<br />

Everhot everhotessentials.co.uk<br />

Ianthe Blossom silk<br />

satin eye mask £55<br />

Liberty London<br />

libertylondon.com<br />

Winter Thyme<br />

tin candle<br />

St Eval £13.85<br />

st-eval.com<br />

Gold Mini<br />

Wishbone Bracelet<br />

£69 Lily & Roo<br />

lilyandroo.com<br />

Stillness pillow mist<br />

£29 Wildsmith Skin<br />

wildsmithskin.com<br />

The Nice Slice<br />

£16.95<br />

Hotel Chocolat<br />

hotelchocolat.com<br />

Leopard Print kids PJ set £24<br />

Rooh roohlondon.co.uk<br />

Medium <strong>Christmas</strong> cake<br />

(in a tin 575g) £19.99<br />

Selfridges selfridges.com<br />

Wooden Santa sign<br />

£14 Talking Tables<br />

talkingtables.co.uk<br />

Iced <strong>Christmas</strong> Loaf Cake<br />

£14 Cartwright & Butler<br />

cartwrightandbutler.co.uk<br />

Spot the Intro Music<br />

Board Game £25<br />

Amazon amazon.co.uk<br />

Kids’ linen teepee play tent<br />

£99.95 The Little Green Sheep<br />

thelittlegreensheep.co.uk<br />

Ladies textured faux<br />

fur mule slippers<br />

£24 Totes totes.co.uk<br />


The Priceless <strong>Christmas</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

New Year’s<br />

Eve<br />

See in the New Year with a large glassful of glamour! We’ll see you in 2024!<br />

Disco Ball pendant £18<br />

Tatty Devine tattydevine.com<br />

Embroidered cocktail<br />

napkins £12 (set of 4)<br />

John Lewis johnlewis.com<br />

Gold tinsel fringe garland £19.50<br />

Rockett St George rockettstgeorge.co.uk<br />

Carpe Diem Sparkler stud<br />

earrings £145 Fei Liu<br />

feiliufinejewellery.com<br />

Light nude lipstick £20<br />

Chelsie Lane chelsielane.com<br />

Beosound A5 portable<br />

speaker £1,299 Bang &<br />

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Silver sparkly<br />

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Phase Eight<br />

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pair £40 Dartington<br />

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Pink glass cocktail shaker<br />

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in gold mirror finish £139<br />

eto etowine.com<br />

Iconoclast eyeshadow palette<br />

£47 Code8 codeeight.com<br />

Premium flavoured gin shot £29.95<br />

(70cl) Wattshot wattshot.com<br />

Moet & Chandon ‘let’s celebrate’<br />

imperial brut Champagne £46.99<br />

Amazon amazon.co.uk<br />

C1 Moonphase<br />

watch £1,995<br />

Christopher Ward<br />

christopherward.com<br />

Submission Beauty<br />

Inc glitter £21<br />

(6g) Selfridges<br />

selfridges.com<br />

Juno hoop earrings £450<br />

with citrine pendants<br />

£390 KATA Jewellery<br />

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 40<br />

instant camera £99.99<br />

John Lewis johnlewis.com<br />

Metallic bow block heel<br />

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Bachmanns’ luxury <strong>Christmas</strong> range, including our award-winning<br />

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Trees, Stollen, mince pies and <strong>Christmas</strong> cakes, at Thames Ditton<br />

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cakes and party reception pastries are also available to order.<br />

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24 th <strong>December</strong> - 28 th <strong>December</strong> CLOSED<br />

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Sparkle this party<br />

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children’s tulle tutu £30 Sida Says<br />

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sparkling star huggie earrings £35,<br />

single ear cuff £30, (on mouse’s tail)<br />

both Scream Pretty screampretty.com

La Musa The Curve pants £851<br />

Wolf & Badger wolfandbadger.com<br />

Drive Me Crazy vintage<br />

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Joe Browns joebrowns.co.uk<br />

Year of the Rat necklace<br />

£160 Fei Liu Fine Jewellery<br />

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Amina Muaddi Rosie<br />

crystal-embellished slingback<br />

courts £450 Selfridges<br />

selfridges.com<br />

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ring stack £1,695 Dower &<br />

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necklace £60<br />

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earrings £6 accessorize £79 South of the River<br />

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rose £175 Phase Eight<br />

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Silver Fairy stud earrings £25<br />

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Annabelle terracotta<br />

puffy headband<br />

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Frolic of Fairy earrings<br />

£35 Tatty Devine<br />

Enamel dormouse<br />

brooch £21 Fable<br />

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No Comparison suede boots<br />

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01252 621035<br />


Party<br />

Perfect<br />

Over the next few pages, Charlotte Butterworth – aka theneedy.greedy<br />

– creates simple to prepare crowd-pleasing dishes for <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

gatherings, drawing on her experience as a cookery teacher,<br />

recipe creator and party caterer. Well versed in fuss-free recipes<br />

for entertaining, Charlotte creates fabulous food for everything<br />

from intimate dinners and family celebrations to drinks parties<br />

and corporate events. She also runs cookery workshops in her<br />

lovely home (which you may have spotted in October’s issue) to<br />

help people rediscover their culinary mojo. You can find more of<br />

Charlotte’s recipes on Instagram and Facebook @theneedy.greedy<br />

Photographs: David Merewether<br />

Lamb tagine<br />

Serves 4-6 Prep time: 15 mins Cooking time: 2-3 hours<br />

This is the perfect recipe for entertaining, batch cooking or freezing<br />

ahead for <strong>Christmas</strong>. It’s best made a day or two before, or you<br />

can cook low and slow in the morning. This is lovely served with<br />

my giant cous cous and roast squash salad (see next page).<br />

• 750g lamb, cut into cubes<br />

• 2 red onions, sliced<br />

• 2 large garlic cloves, crushed<br />

• 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tbsp dried cinnamon)<br />

• 2 tsp each of ground ginger, ground cumin, sweet paprika<br />

• 1 tin of chopped tomatoes<br />

• few strands of saffron, soaked in a tbsp warm water<br />

• half a bunch fresh coriander (15g approx), stems roughly chopped<br />

• 75g each of dried dates and dried apricots, roughly chopped<br />

• 1 tin of chickpeas, drained<br />

• toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds to decorate (optional)<br />

1. Heat some olive oil in a large casserole pan and gently fry the onions<br />

until soft. Add the spices and cook for a further couple of minutes.<br />

2. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb. Add the onions,<br />

alongside the tomatoes, saffron in water and coriander stalks. Bring to a<br />

simmer and cook gently for 2-3 hours. You may need to add more water if on<br />

a hob, or in the oven, but be cautious with the liquid if using a slow cooker.<br />

3. Add the chickpeas and dried fruit 30 mins before the<br />

cooking has finished. Taste and season more if needed.<br />

To serve: sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds, pomegranate seeds and scatter<br />

over the coriander leaves. You could perhaps drizzle over some yoghurt, too.<br />

<br />

85<br />


Giant cous cous with<br />

roasted winter vegetables<br />

& pomegranate<br />

molasses dressing<br />

Serves 6 as a side Prep time: 15 mins<br />

Cooking time: 25 mins<br />

This goes so well with the tagine or<br />

stands alone as a delicious salad. You<br />

can make all the elements the day<br />

before and refrigerate. Then mix up<br />

on the day (you will need to break the<br />

couscous up a little) and warm through.<br />

This salad is delicious served warm or at<br />

room temperature but not fridge cold.<br />

• olive oil<br />

• 1 tsp each of cumin seeds,<br />

nigella seeds and fennel seeds<br />

• 150g giant couscous<br />

• 300ml water<br />

• 1 small squash cut into slices<br />

or buy pre-cut slices<br />

• 2 large sweet potatoes, cut<br />

into circles/half moons<br />

• 50g feta cubes<br />

• fresh mint, coriander – or whatever<br />

leafy herbs you have – finely chopped<br />

For the dressing:<br />

30ml lemon juice (approx. one lemon)<br />

20ml pomegranate molasses<br />

30ml extra virgin olive oil<br />

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Drizzle<br />

some olive oil on two baking trays<br />

and brush with a pastry brush. Add<br />

the squash slices on one tray and<br />

sweet potatoes on the other. Brush<br />

with olive oil, season with sea salt<br />

and bake for 25 mins until soft<br />

and starting to crisp at the side.<br />

2. Warm some olive oil in a saucepan,<br />

gently heat the zest and seeds for a<br />

minute, until the nigella seeds pop.<br />

Add the couscous and a tsp of salt. Stir<br />

to coat all the grains of couscous, then<br />

cook gently as per pack instructions.<br />

3. Make the dressing by whisking<br />

the lemon juice, pomegranate<br />

molasses and olive oil together.<br />

4. When the cous cous is cooled,<br />

mix in a serving bowl with the<br />

herbs and half of the dressing.<br />

5. Serve with pomegranate seeds and<br />

flaked almonds to decorate. Put the<br />

other half of the dressing in a jug<br />

for people to help themselves. <br />

priceless-magazines.com 86

Smoked<br />

Mackerel Pâté<br />

Here is an irresistible,<br />

light canapé recipe – a<br />

lovely starter or gorgeous<br />

for a buffet! This is a<br />

tasty pâté or dip to enjoy<br />

that takes 5 mins to<br />

whip up and is packed<br />

full of delicious flavours,<br />

and that all important<br />

Omega 3. Horseradish,<br />

lemon and that beautiful<br />

smoked fish blend<br />

together to form a taste<br />

sensation. Using Greek<br />

yoghurt makes it creamy<br />

without being heavy.<br />

• 1 pack of smoked<br />

mackerel (approx 3 fillets)<br />

• 100g Greek yoghurt<br />

(you could use<br />

crème fraîche)<br />

• 60g cream cheese<br />

• zest and juice of<br />

half a lemon<br />

• 3 tbsps creamed<br />

horseradish<br />

• dill (optional)<br />

1. Remove the skin<br />

from the mackerel<br />

and check for bones<br />

2. Put in the food<br />

processor with all the<br />

remaining ingredients<br />

(except the lemon zest),<br />

add black pepper and<br />

whizz to a smooth paste.<br />

To taste: You may want<br />

to add more lemon,<br />

yoghurt or cream<br />

cheese, depending on<br />

your personal taste.<br />

To serve: Decorate with<br />

the lemon zest and dill.<br />

Serve on crackers or<br />

simply enjoy as a pâté<br />

with toast. Here, I’ve used<br />

hexagonal crackers from<br />

Waitrose, part of a biscuits<br />

for cheese selection box.




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Spicy smokey sticky party nuts<br />

Prep time: 5 mins<br />

Cooking time: 15 mins (plus cooling)<br />

These nuts are show stopping and<br />

addictive. Perfect to go with drinks<br />

or a lovely homemade <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

present. Or pop them in a salad.<br />

These are a party staple for me but,<br />

be warned, they will disappear fast!<br />

This makes a huge portion, so do<br />

halve etc. the ingredients to suit.<br />

• 300g nuts of your choice (I use<br />

macadamias, pecans, blanched<br />

skinless hazelnuts and raw cashews)<br />

• 50g maple syrup<br />

• 25g brown sugar<br />

• 20ml of groundnut oil or<br />

another flavourless oil<br />

• 1tsp of hot smoked paprika (I used<br />

½ to 1tsp of chili flakes – optional<br />

if you want to go hot)<br />

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a<br />

baking sheet with non stick parchment.<br />

2. Mix all the ingredients, except the nuts, in a<br />

large bowl to form a sticky syrup. Add in the nuts<br />

and coat well with all the sticky spicy sauce.<br />

3. Pour onto the lined baking sheet<br />

and pop into the oven for 15 mins.<br />

Ideally give them a stir every 5 mins to<br />

make sure they are cooking evenly.<br />

4. Remove from oven and allow to<br />

cool. The nuts keep up to a week in a<br />

sealed container, so good to make in<br />

advance (if you can resist eating them).

Fast fixes for<br />

un-party-ish faces<br />

Josephine Fairley explains how to ease yourself into the festive party spirit<br />

with her pick of super nourishing, skin energising products<br />

I<br />

have a funny relationship with <strong>Christmas</strong> parties<br />

(well, parties generally, actually). My enjoyment of<br />

them is in inverse proportion to how much I’ve been<br />

dreading getting dressed up and going to that ‘do’. Most<br />

often, when I’m not feeling the vibe, that’s when I’ll have<br />

the best and most memorable time. But it’s always felt a<br />

bit ironic that right at the time of year when we’ve got<br />

most to do – lists as long as our arms, deadlines to meet<br />

before the office closes, etc. – we are also expected to look<br />

fabulous (and feel likewise), and party like it’s 1999.<br />

With all that there is on our spinning plates, I think<br />

it’s quite common to look in the mirror and go: ‘My face<br />

really doesn’t look ready to party.’ Well, the good news<br />

is that this bit’s fixable, fast, with products and tricks<br />

that transform skin and your ‘glow’ factor – and with it,<br />

give your confidence a much-needed pre-party boost).<br />

So, here’s what I recommend…<br />

Massage your face<br />

This gets blood and lymph circulation going and is the<br />

fastest way turn up the radiance factor of dull, ‘blah’<br />

skin. Cleanse, then add a drop or two of facial oil<br />

and using deep, outward strokes across the forehead,<br />

work your fingertips along the frown-lines. Move the<br />

fingertips downwards to just under the cheekbones<br />

and repeat, then downwards another inch, and finally,<br />

outwards along the jaw. Using tapping motions with<br />

your middle finger, rapidly tap the orbital bones around<br />

the eyes, at brow level and just above the cheekbones<br />

– again, in an outwards direction. (It’s wonderfully<br />

relaxing and soothing, too, this particular action.)<br />

You can also use a facial massage device to revive and<br />

de-puff. First the bad news: the gadget I swear by – the<br />

Opatra Lumiquartz – appears to be discontinued, though<br />

you can still find examples occasionally on eBay and Vinted.

istockphoto.com/Svetlana_nsk / Andrii Dariienko / seyfettinozel

(Note, the Lumiquartz was ouchouch-ouch<br />

pricy, when new, but tested<br />

by me for a Beauty Bible trial.) The good<br />

news: there’s a fairly similar version available in the<br />

form of LUX SKIN Rose Quartz Sonic Face Wand,<br />

£44 – doesn’t have the LED lights, or warm the<br />

skin, but it massages with 6,000 sonic vibrations<br />

a minute, to dispel fluid and relax the face.<br />

If puffy eyes are a problem, try a trick that I<br />

learned from Linda Evangelista herself, who turned<br />

up at a shoot I was on and ran ice cubes over<br />

her under-eye bags (yup, even supermodels get<br />

these). If that feels a bit brutal or you’re prone to<br />

broken veins, wrap the ice cubs in muslin first.<br />

Blitz dead skin cells<br />

The other reason skin looks dull, besides needing<br />

a circulation rev-up, is usually a build-up of gunk<br />

and dead cells. The fast track to more vibrant skin<br />

is to ‘Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!’ (to misquote<br />

the Daleks). I often reach for one of several<br />

wonderful masks that I’ve found to perform a<br />

brilliant exfoliating trick. One is a new love in<br />

the form of Sali Hughes Better in 5, £15 for<br />

50ml, a gel mask which uses a light acid action to<br />

dissolve the dead top layer of skin, revealing fresh<br />

cells beneath (N.B. I have sensitive skin and get<br />

on fine with this). An ‘old love’ is This Works<br />

Morning Expert Vitamin C Power Mask, £39 for<br />

55ml – just ignore the ‘morning’ bit of the name;<br />

I’m guessing you’ll be using this in the evening, it<br />

works just fine then, too, massaged into skin for<br />

just one minute to work its exfoliating magic, or<br />

left in place for up to 10 minutes. I find that Liz<br />

Earle Brightening Clay Mask, £24 for 75ml,<br />

also has a fabulous illuminating action in just a<br />

couple of minutes, drawing out impurities with<br />

clay (yet not setting uncomfortably hard). I like<br />

to remove all of these with a soft, fluffy flannel<br />

generously dunked in warm-to-hot water.<br />

Give skin a good drink<br />

As an alternative to an exfoliating mask, slap on<br />

a sheet mask. I flipping love these for topping up<br />

dry skin’s moisture levels in no time; the fabric<br />

seems to press and trap moisture in the skin, and<br />

while it’s a short-term fix, it’ll get you through a<br />

party with a healthily plumped-up complexion.<br />

There are a gazillion sheet masks out there, and I’m<br />

not THAT keen on the fact they’re single-use (do<br />

make sure your chosen mask is biodegradable), but<br />

in an S.O.S. nothing works quite so well. Check<br />

out BEAUTYPRO Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating<br />

Sheet Mask, £5.95, Garnier Moisture Bomb<br />

Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet, £3.49, or<br />

Dr. PawPaw Your Gorgeous Skin Hydrating<br />

Sheet Mask, £4.99. (There are plenty of very<br />

expensive sheet masks out there, but I honestly<br />

don’t think you need to splurge on these.)<br />

Reach for a<br />

beauty legend<br />

Two particular products in<br />

the beauty world have become<br />

classics on the strength of their<br />

quick fix powers, and I know hordes of<br />

women who swear by them: Clarins Beauty<br />

Flash Balm, £36 for 50ml (now 96% natural, by<br />

the way), and Guerlain Midnight Secret, £28 for<br />

15ml. They both have an instant skin-energising,<br />

moisturising effect that I can attest to, and are great<br />

underneath whatever make-up you choose to slap<br />

over the top – the skincare equivalent of having<br />

plasters in your First Aid kit (if you get my drift).<br />

Put on your party face<br />

Your skin will be prepped, glowier, more radiant<br />

and – I promise – ready to boogie (or ready to<br />

stand in the corner nursing a soft drink, if that’s<br />

more your bag). I’m not going to tell you the<br />

‘right’ make-up to wear – although I always find a<br />

red lipstick empowering (and I think I might just<br />

write a whole column about them, at some point).<br />

Go glitter, go nude, go whatever makes you feel<br />

good. But then, I heartily recommend that you set<br />

your make-up with a spritz of my new ‘fave find’.<br />

I admit to having been an utter cynic about setting<br />

sprays, until I tried By Terry Hyaluronic Glow<br />

Setting Mist, £35 for 100ml, and this is going<br />

to be in my life forever. Yes, it makes make-up<br />

stay put for longer. DO NOT ASK ME HOW.<br />

(Not that I even care.) But it’s the finish delivered<br />

by this fine mist that really pushes my buttons:<br />

twice in the first day after I’d used it for the first<br />

time, people said: ‘Your skin looks amazing.’<br />

Not wet. Not even dewy, but… lit from within,<br />

somehow. It’s just the ticket for a ‘candlelit glow’,<br />

whatever you’ll be lit by at your destination.<br />

Last but not least, spritz on your most<br />

empowering scent. Literally, whatever makes<br />

you feel a little stronger, or walk a little<br />

taller, which is one of perfume’s superpowers.<br />

Then get out there and party. And – who<br />

knows? – you might even enjoy yourself!<br />

Visit beautybible.com for more of Jo’s<br />

product reviews and beauty tips.

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94<br />

WrayCommonS64A.indd 1 28/01/2020 12:25

Wellbeing<br />

Posture<br />

Perfect II<br />

In the second part of her<br />

exploration of posture, Sarah<br />

Maxwell shares gentle exercises to<br />

improve and protect back health<br />

istockphoto.com/nortonrsx<br />

With <strong>Christmas</strong> heading<br />

towards us faster than Santa’s<br />

sleigh, my follow up to<br />

last month’s posture tips might be just<br />

the thing to get you through this busy<br />

season and enable you to have a jolly<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> – less stressed and pain free!<br />

Take a deep breath<br />

One often overlooked aspect of<br />

posture is our breathing. Many of us<br />

unknowingly engage in shallow chest<br />

breathing, contributing to additional<br />

stress and tension in our upper body.<br />

This can often result in poor posture,<br />

muscular strain and discomfort.<br />

Belly breathing, (also known as<br />

diaphragmatic breathing) is a quick<br />

and easy way we can help to alleviate<br />

these symptoms and, in addition<br />

to improving our overall posture, it<br />

will help to keep you grounded and<br />

release built up stress and tension.<br />

When we breathe deeply into our<br />

belly, our diaphragm and the muscles<br />

between our ribs work together to<br />

expand our chest and fill our lungs<br />

with air. This action not only helps<br />

stretch our spine, making it stronger,<br />

but also reduces the pressure on our<br />

back. Belly breathing is also a great<br />

way to reduce stress and tension, most<br />

especially vital at this time of year when<br />

you need more than 24 hours in a day!<br />

How to do it<br />

To begin practising belly breathing,<br />

find a comfortable position whether<br />

standing, sitting – or even lying<br />

down for a much-deserved break.<br />

• Place one hand on your chest<br />

and the other on your stomach.<br />

Take a slow, deep breath in through<br />

your nose, imagining your belly as<br />

a balloon being filled with air.<br />

• Then, exhale for the same count,<br />

allowing your belly button to gently<br />

lower towards your spine. Focus on<br />

relaxing your shoulders and releasing<br />

any tension you may be holding.<br />

• Start with five breaths and<br />

gradually increase the duration as<br />

you become more comfortable.<br />

Give yourself a clap<br />

One simple yet effective exercise to<br />

increase shoulder mobility is the arm clap.<br />

• Start by mobilising your shoulders,<br />

circle forward and back 10x in each<br />

direction. Extend your arms forward, and<br />

clap them together in front of your body.<br />

• Repeat this motion 10x, gradually<br />

aiming to clap higher and higher<br />

behind you as you warm up.<br />

• This exercise not only enhances<br />

shoulder flexibility resulting in better<br />

posture, it will also strengthen your<br />

shoulders so you can hit January upright,<br />

less frazzled and ready to take on 2024.<br />

And relax<br />

Don’t forget to take time out for yourself<br />

to recharge. My favourite way to relax<br />

is in an Epsom salts bath. Although<br />

research is limited on the benefits,<br />

they have been used for centuries for<br />

relaxation and muscle soreness relief.<br />

I fill the bath up to my neck with not<br />

too hot water and enjoy for 20 minutes<br />

twice a week. Even if the science is<br />

lacking, the time with the bathroom<br />

door locked is a welcome relief in itself!<br />

And finally<br />

My special <strong>Christmas</strong> gift to you this<br />

year is to recommend you let others do<br />

the vacuuming over the holiday season.<br />

Keeping your spine rigidly over-extended<br />

while vacuuming can potentially be<br />

damaging and turn you into a grinch.<br />

The last thing you need is your back<br />

muscles tightened up like a bunch of<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> lights. So this year, why not<br />

share the joy of the vacuum and have a<br />

happy, pain free and jolly <strong>Christmas</strong>!<br />

Sarah Maxwell is a multi-award<br />

winning Lifestyle Wellbeing and<br />

Fitness coach. You can find her at<br />

sarahmaxwell.com. Get in touch via<br />

email at sarahmaxwell@mail.com<br />

and on social @sarahmaxlife<br />

95<br />


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istockphoto.com, miwa_in_oz , Magone, chokja, Elena Tsvetkova, Drazen Zigic, Agustin Vai / Olha_Afanasieva<br />

Nourish to Flourish<br />

Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau<br />

explores the benefits of incorporating<br />

another healthy ingredient into our<br />

diets. This month it’s root veg<br />

Root vegetables are starchy vegetables including sweet<br />

potatoes, parsnips, carrot, beetroot and turnips.<br />

Low cost and readily available throughout the<br />

winter, they are delicious roasted, cooked in stews, mashed<br />

or served warm in salads. Root vegetables are not only low<br />

in fat, cholesterol and calories but are packed with fibre,<br />

which is crucial in supporting our digestive health.<br />

Dietary fibre takes on many times its own weight in<br />

water and swells in the digestive system. This stretches the<br />

gut wall and causes receptors to stimulate the rhythmical<br />

contraction process that moves the contents of the gut<br />

along through the various stages of the digestive system.<br />

Foods bright in orange pigment, like carrots and<br />

sweet potatoes, contain high levels of beta carotene.<br />

This is a fat-soluble antioxidant which supports<br />

skin health, offering protection from free radical<br />

damage. Inside the body, beta carotene is turned<br />

into vitamin A which, in addition to helping your<br />

eye health, supports a healthy immune system.<br />

Charlotte runs Plume Nutrition, where she offers support and advice<br />

for weight management, controlling cravings, sleeplessness, stress<br />

and increasing energy levels. Find out more at plumenutrition.com<br />

Fibre rich roast root vegetables<br />

with lentils and tahini dressing<br />

• 1 packet of precooked<br />

puy lentils<br />

• 1 courgette, sliced<br />

• 1 red onion, cut<br />

into large chunks<br />

• 1 red pepper, sliced<br />

• 1 carrot, sliced<br />

• 1 aubergine, sliced<br />

into moons<br />

1. Preheat the oven to<br />

200°C/180°C fan. Chop<br />

and place all the vegetables<br />

on a large baking tray and<br />

drizzle with olive oil. Roast<br />

for 30 minutes, until golden.<br />

2. Heat half the lentils<br />

according to the instructions<br />

(usually 2 minutes in the<br />

microwave) and gently<br />

mix into the vegetables.<br />

3. Stir through a<br />

Serves 2<br />

• 1 sweet potato,<br />

peeled and sliced<br />

• a handful of rocket<br />

For the tahini dressing:<br />

• 2 tbsp olive oil<br />

• 2 tbsp tahini<br />

• 1 tsp lemon juice<br />

• 1 tsp maple syrup<br />

• 1 tsp cold water<br />

handful of rocket.<br />

4. For the dressing, mix<br />

the olive oil, tahini, lemon<br />

juice, maple syrup and<br />

cold water in a jam jar or<br />

small jug and whisk until<br />

combined. If the dressing<br />

is too thick, gradually add<br />

more cold water to thin.<br />

5. Share the lentils and roast<br />

vegetables between two plates<br />

and drizzle with the dressing.<br />


Stalwart<br />

Friends<br />

Jo Arnell edits down<br />

a selection of her<br />

favourite reliable plants<br />

to see you through<br />

the whole season<br />

‘<br />

That can’t be your favourite plant,<br />

surely?’ People are too polite<br />

to say this to me out loud, but<br />

they may well be thinking it when I<br />

point to a quiet evergreen in my border.<br />

The truth is that I have many favourites<br />

– I love salvias, adore pittosporums,<br />

daphnes, tulips, hebes, hydrangeas –<br />

but, frustratingly, I can’t always rely on<br />

them. The changing climate, with long<br />

periods of dry, wet or freezing weather,<br />

is making it challenging for every plant<br />

(and gardener). This is exactly the<br />

time when we need good doers that<br />

won’t let us down, that we can trust<br />

to carry us through the seasons while<br />

our fair-weather flowers come and<br />

(mainly) go. Who wants a fussy princess<br />

when we’re despairing or in a crisis?<br />

What we need are stalwart friends.<br />

Trusted trees and shrubs<br />

Long periods of drought in the growing<br />

season are making the establishment<br />

of trees harder. It takes two years<br />

for a newly planted tree or large<br />

shrub to settle into its new home.<br />

This means watering deeply at least<br />

once a week, more if it’s hot and<br />

dry, mulching and keeping the area<br />

around the roots free from competition<br />

and regularly checking for signs of<br />

stress. Ornamental attributes are<br />

important when choosing what to<br />

plant, but increasingly, resistance to<br />

pests and diseases and the ability to<br />

withstand difficult conditions is key.<br />

Amelanchier has to be the best<br />

one to choose for a small garden.<br />

It has three seasons of interest, is<br />

good for wildlife, and grows in most<br />

conditions, though the best autumn<br />

colour comes if it’s in a sunny spot.<br />

Crataegus (Hawthorn) is another.<br />

There are lots of varieties around, not<br />

just the native hedgerow one. Most<br />

have good autumn foliage and berries.<br />

Gingko biloba is an ancient<br />

tree with attractive leaves and<br />

good autumn colour. It’s also<br />

mainly pest and disease free.<br />

Weeping pear (Pyrus salicifolia) has<br />

lovely silvery foliage, small blossoms<br />

and inedible fruit. Low maintenance,<br />

it has good drought resistance and is<br />

susceptible to few pests and diseases.<br />

Shrubs are suffering the effects of<br />

our erratic weather patterns too, and<br />

as they form the backbone of our<br />

gardens, it pays to have some that<br />

are reliable and uncomplaining. We<br />

tend to take some of these workaday<br />

plants for granted, but like our oldest<br />

and best friends they hang on in there<br />

with us, through thick and thin.<br />

Architectural Cotoneaster horizontalis<br />

has blossom that hums with bees<br />

in spring, then red berries and<br />

matching autumn leaves.<br />

Spiraea ‘Goldflame’ has beautiful<br />

spring foliage – shades of orange<br />

tinged with lime green, which turn<br />

a deep maroon-red in autumn. It<br />

priceless-magazines.com 98

Garden<br />

istockphoto.com/ Nature, food, landscape, travel / Wirestock / scholes1<br />

Hawthorn<br />

comes in many<br />

varieties, most<br />

offering good autumn<br />

foliage and berries, as<br />

well as lovely blossom<br />

in spring<br />

should consult a stylist about its<br />

Germolene coloured flowers though.<br />

Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ doesn’t<br />

have the bright winter stems of<br />

some varieties, but it has pretty<br />

leaves – soft sage with cream edges<br />

that turn butter yellow in autumn.<br />

Roses<br />

I am a latecomer to roses, but have<br />

really started to appreciate them in<br />

the last few years, because they are<br />

performing really well under the<br />

pressure of droughts and floods. They<br />

seem to put up with most soils and the<br />

modern cultivars are far more disease<br />

resistant. I particularly love robust<br />

species like Rosa rugosa, which makes<br />

a wonderful three season hedge with<br />

flowers, hips and autumn colour, or<br />

the fabulous purple-tinged foliage of<br />

Rosa glauca. Species roses will only<br />

flower once, so you don’t dead-head<br />

them, but the hips are as good as<br />

the flowers and great for wildlife.<br />

Evergreens forever<br />

Our native trees and shrubs are mainly<br />

deciduous, dropping their leaves in<br />

autumn and going into a period of<br />

dormancy over the winter. Surprisingly<br />

there are only five native evergreens<br />

in the UK – Scot’s pine, Juniper, Yew,<br />

Holly and Ivy. All the rest have been<br />

introduced – box was brought in by<br />

the Romans and many of the others<br />

that we take for granted in our gardens<br />

these days have been escorted here by<br />

intrepid Victorian plant hunters.<br />

A plant from a warm place will keep<br />

its leaves on, it knows nothing about<br />

how hard our winters can be, so it’s<br />

not really surprising that some of them<br />

freeze to death. Free-draining soil and a<br />

sheltered micro-climate will help them<br />

to get through, as it is often cold wind,<br />

combined with waterlogged or frozen<br />

soil that does for them. The great thing<br />

about an evergreen – or ever-yellow,<br />

-red or even -purple – is that they<br />

provide year round interest and there<br />

are some that, like those who take ice<br />

baths, seem not to mind the cold.<br />

Abelia grandiflora has long lasting<br />

pink autumn flowers/bracts.<br />

Elaeagnus is a workaday shrub,<br />

but has gorgeous (almost invisible)<br />

scented flowers in autumn.<br />

Euonymus – the deciduous ones,<br />

related to our native spindle, have lovely<br />

autumn foliage, others are evergreen,<br />

and are very unfussy and easy to grow.<br />

Viburnum davidii is a<br />

handsome evergreen with large,<br />

glossy dark brown leaves.<br />

Osmanthus is a small leaved (a<br />

little like box leaves) evergreen<br />

with scented flowers in spring.<br />

Trachelospermum jasminoides is a<br />

wonderful, well behaved evergreen<br />

climber that will be at its best in a<br />

west or south facing situation.<br />

Perennially yours<br />

The name ‘perennial’ does suggest that<br />

the plant will be with you for more than<br />

a season and most hardy herbaceous<br />

perennials, although they disappear in<br />

the winter, will cheerfully – sometimes<br />

over-enthusiastically – re-emerge each<br />

year to do their thing. The key word<br />

here is ‘hardy’, some of my favourites –<br />

penstemons and salvias – teeter on the<br />

edge of hardiness, coming through mild<br />

winters with no problem, but felled in<br />

a harsh one. Those in free-draining,<br />

sheltered situations fare the best.<br />

It’s a comfort to know that there<br />

are lots of really hardy perennials,<br />

but that also means we should be<br />

choosing the best of them to bolster<br />

our borders. Look for those that<br />

flower endlessly, have good foliage<br />

too, or an elegant overall shape – so<br />

often the leaves of perennials are<br />

scruffy, or collapse in bad weather.<br />

There are too many good ones to<br />

mention here, but three loyal border<br />

companions – for me at least, I do know<br />

that some people either can’t grow, or<br />

have too much Verbena bonariensis.<br />

I like it because it flowers for such<br />

a long time and is great for wildlife.<br />

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ will also flower<br />

from June until the frosts – if it sprawls<br />

about too much, just chop it back and<br />

it will amend its ways – a bit. Sedum<br />

(now called Hylotelephium) spectabile is<br />

such a good doer that most of us take<br />

it for granted. Despite its succulent<br />

type leaves, it grows in a surprising<br />

range of conditions, looks good in<br />

bud, flowers late and is a bee magnet.<br />

We can include some grasses here<br />

too – Calamagrostis ‘Karl Forester’ is<br />

a non-spreading, tall, upright grass,<br />

Mollinia ‘Transparent’ spreads a little,<br />

but not invasively. Both make winter<br />

statements – Calamagrostis stands<br />

like a golden pillar and the Mollinia<br />

gently explodes in a bronzy fountain.<br />

Annuals, biennials &<br />

hardy self-seeders<br />

Use short-lived plants for masses of<br />

flowers all summer – fill gaps in the<br />

borders, plant them in pots, or grow in<br />

among edibles in the veg patch to bring<br />

in pollinators and pest controllers.<br />

They often self-seed, and the selfsown<br />

plants will be stronger than<br />

the ones we deliberately plant.<br />

Cosmos are not frost hardy, but planted<br />

out once the danger of frost is past,<br />

they will flower their socks off until the<br />

weather cools in the autumn. Collect<br />

seed then to sow again next year.<br />

Antirrhinums will give any perennial<br />

‘spire’ a run for its money and are<br />

almost perennial, surviving mild winters<br />

and self-sowing if they are happy.<br />

Try a tall variety called ‘Rocket <br />

99<br />



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Antirrhinums<br />

will give any<br />

perennial ‘spire’ a run for<br />

its money and are almost<br />

perennial, surviving mild<br />

winters and self-sowing<br />

if they are happy<br />

Garden<br />

Trachelospermum<br />

jasminoides is a<br />

wonderful, well behaved<br />

evergreen climber that will<br />

be at its best in a west or<br />

south facing situation<br />

Abelia<br />

grandiflora<br />

has long lasting<br />

pink autumn<br />

flowers/bracts<br />

istockphoto.com/seven75<br />

White’ with a contrasting sultry deep<br />

maroon called ‘Indian Prince’.<br />

Poppies need to be sown directly,<br />

either in autumn or spring, as<br />

they don’t like being transplanted.<br />

Leave the pretty seed-heads for an<br />

added attraction, but keep in mind<br />

they can be prolific self-seeders.<br />

Foxgloves are great for shadier areas<br />

and will also self-sow, although<br />

the pretty pale salmon-coloured<br />

cultivars are almost sterile.<br />

Honesty is a biennial that has<br />

pretty purple or white flowers in<br />

mid spring, followed by beautiful<br />

flat full moons of papery white.<br />

Reliable bulbs<br />

I think I like bulbs because they<br />

are such good value, unfurling into<br />

loveliness and then disappearing to<br />

make way for other plants. Some are<br />

more reliable than others, it’s true –<br />

never trust a tulip to return a favour<br />

(unless it’s that annoying big red one<br />

called ‘Appledorn’). Some have giant<br />

floppy leaves that will swamp and<br />

smother delicate plants that are trying to<br />

emerge from beneath them and others,<br />

like the grape hyacinth (muscari), will<br />

multiply to nuisance proportions.<br />

Alliums will come back year<br />

after year and will often selfsow,<br />

although the dark ‘Purple<br />

Sensation’ gradually fades in colour<br />

as it loses sight of its parentage.<br />

Narcissi naturalise well and unless<br />

they are the dainty little ones, this is<br />

the best place for them, as the giant<br />

leaves of some of the bigger varieties<br />

will flop over the borders (tying them<br />

in knots does not improve things).<br />

Camassias are also good at<br />

naturalising and will reliably appear<br />

and increase year after year.<br />

I know that you will be familiar with<br />

nearly all of the plants I’ve mentioned<br />

this month, but in this time of<br />

unpredictable weather events – drought,<br />

flood, storms and arctic blasts (a plague<br />

of frogs would be more welcome – at<br />

least they’d eat the slugs) it’s good to<br />

know that we still have some stalwart<br />

and reliable old friends out there.<br />

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course in Woodchurch, Kent. Starting<br />

in April. Find out more and book at<br />

hornbrookmanor.co.uk or 07923 969634<br />

Camassias<br />

are also good<br />

at naturalising and<br />

will reliably appear<br />

and increase year<br />

after year.<br />

Foxgloves<br />

are great for<br />

shadier areas<br />

and will also<br />

self-sow<br />


Garden<br />

’Tis the<br />

Season<br />

Jen Stuart-Smith – co-founder of Blooming Green – gets real about truly seasonal flowers<br />

“<br />

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” people<br />

sometimes say, as an excuse to have<br />

a daytime tipple… The expression<br />

always pops into my mind when I<br />

see a bouquet of flowers labelled as<br />

‘seasonal’ when it’s clearly anything<br />

but. The flowers may be flowering in<br />

Mexico, or Ecuador or Kenya – but<br />

they’re not seasonal British flowers if<br />

they’re not currently flowering here.<br />

An appreciation of seasonal vegetables<br />

seems to have returned in recent years<br />

– and more people understand the<br />

importance of using what’s available,<br />

and growing or being harvested, right<br />

now. Veg boxes are probably the most<br />

obvious example of this. And any<br />

fancy restaurant or gastro pub worth<br />

its salt knows the value of promoting<br />

seasonal produce on their menus.<br />

It’s seen as a badge of honour.<br />

So, perhaps this is why so many florists<br />

and ‘mailbox’ flower companies are<br />

keen to promote the seasonality of<br />

their bouquets? That’s great news if<br />

it’s true – but not so great if it’s not.<br />

So, next time you’re drawn to a box<br />

or bunch of ‘seasonal’ flowers, take a<br />

closer look – and consider your options.<br />

There really are amazing, and genuine,<br />

seasonal flowers and foliage available all<br />

year round, if you know where to look.<br />

Starting with winter<br />

At this time of year, turn your attention<br />

to lush, winter foliage combined with<br />

berries and hips. You have to get a bit<br />

creative but it’s amazing what you can<br />

create with a selection of foraged or<br />

garden ingredients, combined with<br />

flowers such as amaryllis or paperwhite<br />

narcissi. One of my favourite American<br />

florist-growers, Erin Benzakien – known<br />

as ‘Floret’ – creates large, dynamic<br />

white arrangements using amaryllis,<br />

cavolo nero leaves, snowberry, nerine,<br />

fir branches and Russian sage. Top<br />

with a little ‘Old Man’s Beard’ for<br />

some really wintery magic – or honesty<br />

seed pods for a natural shine.<br />

priceless-magazines.com 102

Hellebores are also a wonderful winter<br />

cut flower, either placed in a vase or cut<br />

at the base of the flower and placed, en<br />

masse and face-up, in a dish of water. Or,<br />

if you just want to bring the outdoors<br />

in, use pot plants or dried flowers.<br />

The latter have seen a renaissance in<br />

recent years and are no longer the fusty,<br />

dusty thing we associate with the 70s<br />

and our granny’s downstairs loo!<br />

Spring is when hope – and<br />

classic cut flowers – return<br />

Spring flowers often punch above their<br />

weight – offering intense scent as well as<br />

delicate beauty. There are few more lovely<br />

– and affordable – flowery gifts than a<br />

mini bunch of muscari (grape hyacinth)<br />

wrapped in brown paper and tied with<br />

raffia or string. The same goes for Lily-ofthe-Valley.<br />

For some reason spring flowers<br />

often work well as a single variety bunch<br />

– think rich, almost-clashing anemones<br />

in dark blue, scarlet and white, or an<br />

abundant bunch of tulips. Tulips were so<br />

prized in previous centuries that there is<br />

even such a thing as a ‘tulip vase’ which<br />

displays the blooms in a loose, spread-out<br />

array, so that no flower is hidden by the<br />

others. And how could we not mention<br />

ranunculus?! Mini peony-like flowers in<br />

ever more exotic colours and patterns – but<br />

especially lovely in pink and orange hues.<br />

If you want to pair your spring flowers<br />

with some foliage – make the most of the<br />

fresh lime greens that are typical of this<br />

time of year – euonymus, pittosporum<br />

and euphorbia (just watch out for the<br />

white sap – which can be an irritant). <br />

Above left: Dahlias provide<br />

months of colour; Above<br />

right: Rain or shine, flowers<br />

bring joy to pickers at<br />

Blooming Green; Below:<br />

A wheelbarrow bursts with<br />

late summer picks; Dogs are<br />

often keen to get involved<br />

with gardening, this time<br />

with positive results<br />

: istockphoto.com/IWOZON<br />

103<br />


“At Blooming<br />

Green our PYO<br />

season starts<br />

in late June –<br />

so we see for<br />

ourselves which<br />

flower beds our<br />

customers make<br />

a beeline for!”<br />

Above: Flowers staying fresh in a sink, with thanks to @catlanephoto<br />

Late spring and early summer<br />

bring endless variety<br />

It’s difficult to know where to start<br />

once summer arrives… but there are<br />

a few flowers that people are willing<br />

to fight over. At Blooming Green our<br />

PYO season starts in late June, so we<br />

see for ourselves which flower beds<br />

our customers make a beeline for! First<br />

up, in late spring and early summer,<br />

are peonies – an eternal favourite and<br />

really popular with brides. We grow<br />

a few ourselves – saved mostly for<br />

wedding customers – but are always<br />

happy to recommend the specialist<br />

peony growers Little Buds Peony<br />

Farm near Thurnham on the North<br />

Downs. They have around 6,000 peony<br />

plants and sell the blooms in May and<br />

June each year. Another classic are<br />

delphiniums, which seem to bring out<br />

the sharp elbows in some of our pickers.<br />

Then there are roses, antirrhinum<br />

(snapdragons), astrantia, cornflower,<br />

cosmos and irises – to name but a few.<br />

We’re in the garden of England after<br />

all, so why have flowers from abroad<br />

when you’ve got this sort of choice?<br />

The season of mellow fruitfulness<br />

– and even more flowers<br />

Late summer and autumn are a personal<br />

favourite when it comes to seasonal<br />

flowers. Not only is there an abundance<br />

of flowers such as dahlias, sunflower,<br />

zinnias, cosmos and chrysanths… but<br />

there are seed heads, pods and grasses<br />

too. Colours tend to be warm and rich<br />

and for some reason the flowers have<br />

greater staying power in the vase too<br />

(except for dahlias, whose vase life is<br />

more short and sweet). Gradually we<br />

seem to be embracing the Americans’<br />

love of autumn – and we don’t just<br />

mean Halloween – with an appreciation<br />

of hydrangeas and chrysanthemums,<br />

autumn wreaths, autumnal foliage<br />

and ornamental pumpkins and<br />

gourds. It’s Harvest Festival time<br />

too – so there’s a sense of celebration<br />

for all that nature has to offer.<br />

priceless-magazines.com 104

Garden<br />

Above: A beautiful wreath of dried flowers to enjoy throughout the year<br />

So that brings us back round to the<br />

lead up to <strong>Christmas</strong>, and to short,<br />

dark days when we all need a little<br />

something to cheer up our homes. If<br />

you’d like some inspiration, the Garden<br />

Museum in Lambeth, South London<br />

is hosting its first ever Winter Flowers<br />

Week exhibition on 7-11 <strong>December</strong>,<br />

which aims to showcase the beauty of<br />

British seasonal foliage and flowers,<br />

available in the depths of winter.<br />

Blooming Green will be hosting a<br />

foliage talk and demo there on Friday<br />

<strong>December</strong> 8th. Exhibitors will be<br />

Sarah Diligent of Floribunda Rose as<br />

well as Shane Connolly & Co, Carly<br />

Rogers Flowers, Hazel Gardiner Design<br />

and Tattie Rose Studio. Or, to find a<br />

local, seasonal flower grower near to<br />

you, visit flowersfromthefarm.co.uk.<br />

Jen and her cousin, Bek (pictured<br />

right), run Blooming Green.<br />

Find out more about their work<br />

at bloominggreenflowers.co.uk<br />

105<br />


Helping to shape<br />

a better world<br />

For 100 years<br />

Full | Weekly | Day<br />


Education<br />

Communication is Key<br />

Mike Piercy, educational consultant and former Head of The New Beacon,<br />

shares advice on how parents can support their children at school<br />

istockphoto.com/ Feodora Chiosea<br />

Trust is such a fragile thing. It<br />

can take an age to build; but a<br />

moment to break. Our children<br />

are the most precious things. Our<br />

primeval instinct is to protect them<br />

from harm – to do the best for them,<br />

at home, in school and in life.<br />

In supporting our children at<br />

school the starting point is choosing<br />

the school itself – if given that<br />

blessing. Having made your choice<br />

and successfully gained a place, trust<br />

your judgment and trust the school.<br />

When choosing a Secondary or<br />

Senior school the Head is of course<br />

the key figure but, in terms of your<br />

interaction as a parent, the interface<br />

is far more likely to be the Head of<br />

Year, Section or House. This is the<br />

person you must instinctively trust and,<br />

ideally (though not essentially) like.<br />

In the Primary or Prep sector the<br />

person in whom you must place your<br />

trust is the Head. Preps and Primaries<br />

are generally smaller than Secondaries.<br />

The Head is more likely to have<br />

daily influence on your child and on<br />

‘the feel’ of the school. In choosing<br />

any school, Primary or Secondary,<br />

the most important, determining<br />

factor is that instinctive feel: do I<br />

believe my child will be nurtured;<br />

socially, emotionally, academically<br />

and in the breadth of education?<br />

We all recall certain teachers who<br />

had significant influences on us –<br />

for better or for worse. This will<br />

also be the case for your children<br />

and, equally, for you as a parent.<br />

Don’t expect to see eye-to-eye<br />

with every teacher you encounter.<br />

Don’t expect to agree with every<br />

aspect of school policy. Don’t<br />

expect a bumpless road.<br />

Communication is key. How does<br />

the school communicate with you:<br />

collectively, to parents; individually,<br />

to you? Diligently read any regular<br />

newsletters – or weekly bulletin if<br />

there is one. Most independent schools<br />

are run on a tight budget (which<br />

may come as something of a surprise<br />

considering fees). School offices are<br />

busy. ‘Phone calls or emails asking for<br />

information which has already been<br />

communicated via bulletin or email<br />

are wasteful and time-consuming.<br />

Play your part: know what is going<br />

on; respond as requested within<br />

deadlines. At an individual level,<br />

if there is a homework planner, or<br />

similar, check it regularly – use it<br />

as a communication tool with the<br />

teacher or tutor. Attend parent and<br />

information meetings. Be informed.<br />

The Pareto Principle applies: the<br />

80:20 rule. At least 80% of matters and<br />

contact will be humdrum routine. It is<br />

the 20% where caution is needed: when<br />

things go wrong, you have a concern<br />

or, indeed, if you just need something<br />

clarified. The child coming home<br />

upset having been called a ‘disgusting<br />

elephant’; upon enquiry it is revealed<br />

the teacher said, ‘Disruptive element’.<br />

In disputing or trying to clarify an<br />

‘incident’ be open to compromise.<br />

Don’t be afraid to question.<br />

Do be prepared to listen. Dr. John<br />

Rae, former Head of Westminster,<br />

put it well when talking to new<br />

parents: ‘If you believe only half of<br />

the stories which come from school<br />

to home, we in return will only<br />

believe half of the stories which<br />

come to school from home.’<br />

We all went to school and for<br />

some it must follow we are all<br />

education experts. While it should<br />

be glaringly obvious, the triangulated<br />

relationship of school, pupil and<br />

parent makes for a successful, happier<br />

educational experience for everyone.<br />

Teachers, however, are the experts<br />

and you do have that common,<br />

shared interest: your children.<br />

It serves no-one to inflate a child’s<br />

potential or ability; for praise to be<br />

gratuitous. It can be difficult to hear<br />

your child is not meeting sometimes<br />

ambitious parental expectations – or<br />

is not working to capacity, slaving<br />

over a hot exercise book or laptop.<br />

Consider for a moment the teacher’s<br />

motivation and it certainly won’t be<br />

to upset or inflame the loving parent.<br />

In fact, very often, teachers will be<br />

profoundly nervous of telling a parent<br />

what might be received as bad news.<br />

Schools will sometimes get things<br />

wrong (hopefully not too often). So<br />

do we; so do our children. While<br />

a bond of trust remains; while<br />

communication is open and twoway,<br />

you will be doing a fine job<br />

supporting your children’s school, their<br />

education, their opportunities for life.<br />

107<br />


Don’t miss our next<br />

Education <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Find it in the<br />

February 2024 issue<br />

of <strong>Surrey</strong> <strong>Homes</strong><br />


Legal<br />

Know where<br />

you stand<br />

Joanna Pratt, Head of Family at Thomson Snell & Passmore<br />

clarifies the legal rights of cohabiting unmarried couples<br />

istockphoto.com/ PIKSEL<br />

What legal rights do unmarried<br />

partners who live together have?<br />

Cohabiting couples make up the fastest growing family<br />

type, with nearly one in every four families in the UK<br />

living together without being married. Contrary to popular<br />

opinion, there is no such thing as a ‘common law’ spouse<br />

and the law doesn’t recognise cohabiting couples in the same<br />

way as those who are married or in a civil partnership.<br />

Resolution, which is a community of family professionals<br />

who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in<br />

a constructive way, is holding a ‘Cohabitation Awareness<br />

Week’ from 27 November to 1 <strong>December</strong> <strong>2023</strong>. This is<br />

an important area of family law, which is often not fully<br />

understood and there has been increasing pressure on<br />

parliament to enhance the rights unmarried couples have.<br />

What rights do cohabiting couples currently have?<br />

Many clients who come to us for advice believe they<br />

are protected as a ‘common law spouse’, if they live<br />

together for several years, sometimes for decades. It<br />

can come as a shock to them to discover that there<br />

is no such status and, therefore, no protection or<br />

automatic right to make financial claims against<br />

their former partner when the relationship ends.<br />

When a marriage or civil partnership breaks down, a<br />

spouse can apply for financial orders under the Matrimonial<br />

Causes Act 1973, including spousal maintenance, an interest<br />

in properties which are in the other spouse’s sole name, a<br />

lump sum or a share of the other spouse’s pension – even if<br />

they made no financial contribution during the marriage.<br />

Cohabitees on the other hand, are not similarly protected.<br />

Further, unmarried couples have no automatic right to a<br />

share of their partner’s property in the event of their death,<br />

no automatic right to inherit their estate, no automatic<br />

right to various tax advantages and in many cases, no<br />

automatic right to receive the deceased partner’s pension.<br />

What can couples who do not wish to get<br />

married do to protect themselves?<br />

One of the most important things to consider is how<br />

you will own property, particularly if the title is to be<br />

registered in one party’s name but the intention is that it is<br />

jointly owned. This will need to be recorded elsewhere, for<br />

example in a declaration of trust, so that everyone is clear<br />

as to where they stand and what the contributions are.<br />

It may be wise to consider drawing up a cohabitation<br />

agreement. This is a legal document between a couple who<br />

are living together but not married or in a civil partnership.<br />

It will typically set out the arrangements for the finances,<br />

property and, sometimes, children whilst the couple are<br />

living together, and what the agreed arrangements will be if<br />

they were to separate. The agreement can deal with a wide<br />

range of matters, including property ownership, financial<br />

contributions during the relationship and, in some cases,<br />

arrangements for the children and future maintenance.<br />

Cohabitation agreements are a legally binding<br />

contract between the couple, and will usually be<br />

upheld by the court provided they are drafted and<br />

executed properly, which is why it is essential to take<br />

legal advice before an agreement is prepared.<br />

If you have any questions about this topic, you can get<br />

in touch with Thomson Snell & Passmore’s expert family<br />

lawyers by emailing info@ts-p.co.uk or visit ts-p.co.uk<br />

109<br />


Social icon<br />

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Brand Guidelines.<br />

A Writer's <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

at Bateman's<br />

© National Trust 2020. Registered Charity no. 205846.<br />

Photography © National Trust Images/Elizabeth Vessey<br />

Visit this winter for a traditional<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong>, with decorations inspired<br />

by the writings of Rudyard Kipling.<br />

18 Nov-1 Jan (except 24 & 25 Dec).<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans<br />



LAST FAIR FOR <strong>2023</strong>:<br />


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£5PP BETWEEN 6:30AM-8:00AM<br />

FREE FROM 8:00AM-2:00PM<br />



STALLS<br />


"You could furnish your whole house<br />

in just one visit !"<br />

For all bookings & general enquiries please contact<br />

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www.sunburyantiques.com<br />

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What’s On<br />

this Season<br />


Sat 9 Dec 10am-4pm<br />

Loddington Farm, Loddington<br />

Lane, Linton, Maidstone,<br />

Kent ME17 4AG<br />




Loddington Farm are teaming<br />

up with Blooming Green to host<br />

a fabulous <strong>Christmas</strong> Fair. You’ll<br />

find all sorts of stalls plus this is<br />

a great opportunity to buy your<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> tree at the farm shop.<br />

There will be a hog roast, Crimbo<br />

cocktails and tons of festive fun.<br />

Blooming Green will be offering<br />

dried flowers, festive foliage,<br />

tasteful gifts and, just in case you<br />

need anything more to tempt<br />

you... waffles and hot chocolate.<br />

Find out more at the website.<br />

loddingtonfarm.co.uk<br />

Thurs 14 Dec 5pm<br />

Sat 16 Dec 2pm & 5pm<br />

Sun 17 Dec 2pm & 5pm<br />

Mon 18 Dec 2pm & 5pm<br />

Wintershall, Gate Street,<br />

Bramley, Guildford GU5 0LR<br />



A novel way to experience<br />

the <strong>Christmas</strong> story awaits at<br />

Wintershall... What better way<br />

to get into the festive mood than<br />

walking with Mary, Joseph and<br />

their donkey on the winding<br />

road to Bethlehem. Register for<br />

the census, accompanied on<br />

your journey by other travellers,<br />

Roman soldiers and shepherds.<br />

This Nativity promises to bring<br />

the magic of <strong>Christmas</strong> alive for<br />

you and your family. Performances<br />

are 90 minutes long and there is<br />

free parking. Book early to secure<br />

your preferred date and time.<br />

Visitors are encouraged to wrap<br />

up warm and to wear suitable<br />

footwear for a country walk.<br />

Entry: £14-£30 (family<br />

tickets available)<br />

wintershall.org.uk<br />


Fri 8 to Sun 10 Dec<br />

10.30am-4.30pm<br />

The Old Gaol Studios,<br />

111<br />

Wittersham TN30 7ED<br />




Karl Terry is a ‘plein air’ artist,<br />

and a member of the Royal<br />

Society of Marine Artists and<br />

the Rye Society of Artists. He’s<br />

known for going out in all<br />

weathers around the local area,<br />

busy creating new artwork.<br />

Karl will be opening his quirky<br />

studio, The Old Gaol in<br />

Wittersham for one weekend<br />

to show a selection of his works<br />

alongside those of his ceramicist<br />

wife, Joanna, who has been inspired<br />

by the great outdoors using<br />

wild plants in her work. Their<br />

daughter India, who teaches yoga<br />

will also be showcasing her own<br />

brand of yogic jewellery, which<br />

draws on the changing seasons.<br />

Please contact Joanna on 07534<br />

216116 for information.<br />

MOTORS<br />

Sun 17 Dec<br />

Goudhurst 5pm<br />

Cranbrook 5.30pm<br />

Staplehurst 6pm<br />

Marden 6.30pm<br />


Raising money for Air Ambulance<br />

Charity Kent <strong>Surrey</strong> Sussex, Weald<br />

of Kent Young Farmers Club will<br />

be parading a convoy of 40+ lit up<br />

tractors through several Wealden<br />

villages for a proper bit of rural<br />

festive fun. They’ll be driving<br />

slowly through the streets, so<br />

find a safe spot on a pavement or<br />

driveway or peep through your<br />

window if you’re lucky enough<br />

to live along the route. The West<br />

End Tavern in Marden will be<br />

open for drinks and the Star and<br />

Eagle in Goudhurst also promises<br />

Morris Dancing. Donate at<br />

justgiving.com (details on website)<br />

or drop some monies into one<br />

of the buckets along the route.<br />

wealdofkentyfc.wordpress.com<br />

PANTOS<br />

Sat 2 Dec – Sun 7 Jan<br />

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre,<br />

Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX<br />



Head to the Yvonne Arnaud<br />

Theatre in Guildford this<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> for the godmother<br />

of all pantos, Cinderella!<br />

This year’s stellar line up includes<br />

EastEnders and Detectorists<br />

favourite Lucy Benjamin as the<br />

Wicked Stepmother, Radio’s<br />

Peter Gordon in a hilarious<br />

Ugly Stepsister duo alongside<br />

Guildford Shakepeare Company<br />

co-founder Matt Pinches, and<br />

CBeebies star James Merry for<br />

his third Guildford panto.<br />

It promises to be full of slapstick<br />

and slosh, music and magic. Don’t<br />

wait to book – the clock is ticking!<br />

Entry: see website<br />

yvonne-arnaud.co.uk<br />


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For more details check out our<br />

Brand Guidelines.<br />

REIMAGINED FOR <strong>2023</strong><br />

As twilight falls,<br />

the magic begins<br />

24 NOV – 31 DEC<br />

Tickets from £18<br />

christmaslightsatleedscastle.co.uk<br />

Lights, sparkle, celebration<br />

© National Trust <strong>2023</strong>. Registered Charity no. 205846.<br />

Photography © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra<br />

At Scotney Castle this <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Start your seasonal celebrations with a swing in our 1960s<br />

decorated mansion house.<br />

Enjoy late nights and lights, 'Carrot & Co' outdoor family trail,<br />

'Write a letter to Santa' station, plus perfect presents, festive<br />

feasting, and lots of gorgeous twinkling trees.<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


Fri 8 Dec 7.30pm<br />

favourite dame Michael J<br />

Sat 9 Dec 2pm & 7.30pm Batchelor. Carrie Hope Fletcher’s<br />

Sun 10 Dec 2pm<br />

impressive West End credits include<br />

Crowborough Community Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty<br />

Centre, Pine Grove,<br />

Bang Bang, and Mary Poppins.<br />

Crowborough TN6 1FE CBeebies favourite Andy Day<br />

THE CROWBOROUGH is sure to delight the thousands<br />

PLAYERS PRESENT THE of families who are fans of his<br />

THREE MUSKETEERS BAFTA-nominated series,<br />

Since 2012 The Crowborough Andy’s Wild Adventures as<br />

Players have performed a well as Andy’s Dinosaur<br />

community pantomime, and this Adventures among many<br />

year they return to present their others. Sleeping Beauty promises<br />

very own interpretation of the to be the pantomime of your<br />

heart-warming swashbuckling dreams, so don’t snooze,<br />

tale, ‘The Three Musketeers’. book your tickets today!<br />

Head to the community centre Entry: see website<br />

to join the family fun, packed hawth.co.uk<br />

with laughs, songs and the<br />

magic of panto. Buy tickets Listings are correct at time of going to press<br />

and find out more info<br />

but may be subject to change. Readers are<br />

online or call 01892 300567. The advised to check with venues before making<br />

Players look forward to seeing you. arrangements. We can list your event in<br />

Entry: £13.50 / £12<br />

the next issue of <strong>Surrey</strong> <strong>Homes</strong> for only<br />

crowboroughpanto.com<br />

£75+VAT. Please supply up to 200 words<br />

Fri 8 – Sun 31 Dec<br />

The Hawth, Hawth Ave,<br />

Crawley RH10 6YZ<br />



Don’t miss this year’s spectacular,<br />

fun-filled pantomime Sleeping<br />

Beauty at The Hawth in Crawley<br />

starring West End superstar<br />

Carrie Hope Fletcher, CBeebies<br />

favourite Andy Day, West End<br />

star Scott Paige and Crawley’s<br />

that should include date, time, venue,<br />

contact for enquiries and any entry price to<br />

whatson@priceless-group.com or send with<br />

payment (cheques payable to Priceless Media<br />

Ltd.) to What’s On, Priceless Media, Kettle<br />

Chambers, 21 Stone Street, Cranbrook,<br />

Kent TN17 3HF. Priceless Media reserves<br />

the right to edit text to fit space allocated.<br />

Deadline for the next issue is 4th <strong>December</strong>.<br />

Neighbours<br />


By Popular Demand<br />



CBeebies Presenter<br />

JOANNA<br />


8 - 31 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

BOX OFFICE 01737 276500<br />

harlequintheatre.co.uk<br />

Children’s TV Legend & MasterChef<br />


Redhill Favourite<br />


Director ANDREW LYNFORD | Choreographer ALEX WOLF | Musical Director ASHLEY HARVEY<br />

P<br />

O<br />

P<br />

U P<br />




15 - 24 DECEMBER<br />

BOX OFFICE 01737 276500<br />


An enchanting adventure for 3-8<br />

year olds<br />

Located at:<br />

113<br />


Jane Howard gets Coopers<br />

Farm, and its bovine residents,<br />

all set for <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

So another farming year draws to<br />

a close. Clocks have gone back,<br />

storm after storm has already whipped<br />

through and it hasn’t stopped raining for<br />

days. But as <strong>December</strong> arrives I’m ever hopeful<br />

that some crisp and even days are on the way.<br />

All that wet weather means it’s time to bring<br />

the cattle in. They would happily outwinter, but<br />

weighing in at about 750kg a cow, and George<br />

the bull a whopping 1,000kg, they would soon<br />

turn the fields into a sea of mud resulting in no<br />

grass next spring. So in they must come.<br />

First off, it’s the calves. Born in February and March,<br />

they are plainly big enough to leave<br />

mum but there is always a big fuss<br />

and quite a racket. Equally you’d think<br />

the mums who are expecting new<br />

calves in February would relish a few<br />

months of ‘me’ time, but no, they too<br />

are equally vocal for a few days, and<br />

so Stonegate rings with a cacophony<br />

of bellows. Sorry, neighbours.<br />

All the calves are in one shed, apart<br />

from four males who have been selected<br />

as potential bulls. They have a lot of<br />

growing to do before they are ready<br />

to ‘go to work’ in spring 2025, so<br />

they get extra rations and of course<br />

need to be kept apart from the female heifer calves. The<br />

main herd will follow them into the barns a week or<br />

so later, leaving the great outdoors behind until April<br />

next year, when hopefully it should be dry enough to<br />

turn them back out. Seeing them out of the mud and<br />

up to their knees in clean straw is a lovely sight.<br />

George the bull is still with his girls and can stay until<br />

they start calving in February – cows are pregnant for<br />

nine months. To have all the calves born in a block, they<br />

need to go to the bull three months after calving and it<br />

The pagans considered<br />

holly to be male and ivy<br />

to be female. Whichever<br />

was brought into<br />

the home first would<br />

determine whether the<br />

wife or the husband<br />

would rule the home<br />

for the following year<br />

usually takes them that long to recover from the birth<br />

and get back into ovulation. However, it’s not unheard of<br />

for cows to come back into season as quickly as a week<br />

after giving birth and the last thing we want is George<br />

being around to take advantage. So from February he has<br />

to move in with the young bulls, in the boys-only shed.<br />

Once all the cattle are in and sorted<br />

– the sheep are much lighter so can<br />

stay out as they don’t ruin the fields<br />

– it’s time to think about decorating<br />

the house. In November many of the<br />

holly trees are laden with berries, but<br />

as we creep ever nearer to the big day<br />

the blackbirds and fieldfares have a<br />

feast and strip them bare. So if any<br />

of you took the advice metered out<br />

in last month’s column to cut the<br />

branches in November and store them<br />

somewhere cool, like me you will be<br />

feeling rather pleased with yourself to<br />

have holly laden with bright red berries.<br />

Now it’s <strong>December</strong> I’ll be bringing them <strong>inside</strong> with<br />

lots of long strands of ivy, which I’ve been looking out<br />

for these past few months. The idea being quantity above<br />

quality to create general <strong>Christmas</strong> verdant loveliness.<br />

Incidentally, the pagans considered holly to be male and<br />

ivy to be female. Whichever was brought into the home<br />

first would determine whether the wife or the husband<br />

would rule for the following year so those buckets of precut<br />

holly can stay firmly in the shed while the woodland<br />

ivy is duly draped! Happy <strong>Christmas</strong>, everyone.<br />

Find out more about daily life at Coopers Farm by visiting coopersfarmstonegate.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com 114

SUSSEX<br />


TRUST<br />

AWARDS<br />





G&J Advert <strong>Surrey</strong><strong>Homes</strong> ad 061023.indd 1 06/10/<strong>2023</strong> 13:30

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