Wealden Times | WT260 | January 2024 | Good Living Supplement inside

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

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


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JANUARY <strong>2024</strong><br />

260<br />

JANUARY <strong>2024</strong><br />

GOOD LIVING SUPPLEMENT <strong>inside</strong><br />

Inspirational Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes

jminteriorsuk.uk<br />

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

info@jminteriorsuk.uk 01580 291221


JMade Designing in Biddenden and handcrafting by a kitchens family business since 1994

Chilham Village Hall, Kent

Every mile a memory<br />



KITCHEN spirit<br />



50 LONDON ROAD, TN13 1AS<br />

01732 454282 | NOLTE-KITCHENS.CO.UK

Contents<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

26<br />

88<br />

44<br />

12<br />

19<br />

22<br />

26<br />

43<br />

44<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 />


Take a look <strong>inside</strong> an<br />

ambitious barn renovation<br />


Embrace warm woods<br />

for true rural living<br />


Explore Fair Oak Farm, a unique<br />

retreat in blissful seclusion<br />


Harness Fair Oak’s<br />

welcoming, lived-in feel<br />

79<br />

80<br />

84<br />

86<br />

88<br />

94<br />

WHAT’S HOT IN <strong>2024</strong><br />

Get holiday inspiration for<br />

the year ahead with help<br />

from Baldwins Travel<br />



Trip ideas for the<br />

intrepid traveller<br />


See out the rest of winter<br />

with cosy pastel layers<br />


Rebecca Cuffe’s pretty pastels<br />


Jo Arnell keeps it healthy<br />

with nourishing recipes<br />

to try out this <strong>January</strong><br />


Light up your garden with triedand-tested<br />

winter plant picks<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>2024</strong> Priceless Media Ltd. The views of the<br />

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

98<br />

103<br />

104<br />

106<br />



Sue Whigham tackles a<br />

pesky fungal beast<br />


Education consultant Mike Piercy’s<br />

tips to move into <strong>2024</strong> with positivity<br />

WHAT’S ON?<br />

From social events to<br />

courses, find out...<br />


Jane Howard learns something<br />

new about her chickens<br />



17 pages of<br />

health & beauty<br />

news, advice and<br />

information.<br />

After page 60.<br />

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

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From the<br />

Editor<br />

I<br />

hope that, by the time you read this, you have had the<br />

most wonderful Christmas with a bit of time to relax<br />

and reflect on all the goings-ons of 2023. I especially<br />

enjoyed this issue’s piece by education consultant and former<br />

Head of The New Beacon, Mike Piercy, where he stresses the<br />

importance of healthy self-reflection and learning from our<br />

past in order to move forward positively – wise words indeed.<br />

Speaking of fresh starts, turn to our special <strong>Good</strong><br />

<strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong>, where we explore all things health<br />

and wellbeing, from subtle cosmetic ‘tweakments’ to<br />

men’s health and some lesser-known effects of the<br />

menopause. There are the usual <strong>inside</strong>r makeup tips<br />

from beauty aficionado Josephine Fairley, too, alongside<br />

an exploration of the latest exercise trends for the New<br />

Year with Sarah Maxwell, whilst Charlotte Lau looks into<br />

the benefits of incorporating chia seeds into our diets.<br />

We all need something to really look forward to and,<br />

if travel’s your ultimate indulgence, you’ll be interested in<br />

our rundown of the most memorable trips, from exploring<br />

stunning sights to getting truly hands-on and adventurous.<br />

Before her recommendations for winterhardy<br />

plants in our gardening section, Jo<br />

Arnell takes a brief hiatus from the frosty<br />

outdoors to come up with super-nourishing<br />

dishes to combat Christmas overindulgence.<br />

Think plenty of greens, beans, veg and<br />

lean protein with a dash of chilli heat.<br />




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Priceless Team<br />

EditorLucy Fleming<br />

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

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Maria Hurley<br />

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Alfriston<br />

• Emmett &<br />

White Antiques<br />

& Interiors<br />

Ashford<br />

• Ashford<br />

Designer<br />

Outlet<br />

• Eastwell Manor<br />

• Hunters<br />

• Kingsfords<br />

Solicitors<br />

• Northwood<br />

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Farm<br />

• Sainsbury’s<br />

• Secret Garden,<br />

Kent<br />

• The Wife<br />

of Bath<br />

Aylesford<br />

• Tesco Extra<br />

Battle<br />

• British Design<br />

British Made<br />

• Jempson’s<br />

• Trinity of Battle<br />

Benenden<br />

• Village Shop<br />

Bexhill<br />

• Sivyers Antique<br />

Emporium<br />

• Wards<br />

Biddenden<br />

• The Bakehouse<br />

• Bloomsburys<br />

• Costcutter<br />

Boughton<br />

Monchelsea<br />

• The Cock Inn<br />

Broadstairs<br />

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Bromley<br />

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Burwash<br />

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Canterbury<br />

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Kitchens<br />

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William<br />

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Farm Shop<br />

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Charing<br />

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Chislehurst<br />

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Cranbrook<br />

• Hartley Coffee<br />

House<br />

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Farmshop<br />

• The Hive<br />

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Crowborough<br />

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Eastbourne<br />

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Eridge<br />

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Shop<br />

Faversham<br />

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Fine Foods<br />

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Flimwell<br />

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Smokery<br />

Folkestone<br />

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House Wealth<br />

Management<br />

Ltd<br />

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Feather<br />

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Butchers<br />

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Headcorn<br />

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Heathfield<br />

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• The Stores<br />

Horsham<br />

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Hurst Green<br />

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Hythe<br />

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Shop<br />

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Marden<br />

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Northiam<br />

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Property Group<br />

• Jempson’s Local<br />

• Will’s Bakery<br />

and Café<br />

Nutley<br />

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Orpington<br />

• Tesco Extra<br />

Peasmarsh<br />

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Pluckley<br />

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Farm Shop<br />

Robertsbridge<br />

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Rolvenden<br />

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Linklater<br />

Rushlake Green<br />

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Rye<br />

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Stubbs<br />

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House<br />

Sandhurst<br />

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Sandhurst<br />

Sedlescombe<br />

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Post Office<br />

and Stores<br />

Sellindge<br />

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Hearts<br />

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Sheffield Green<br />

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Boundaries<br />

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& Wine<br />

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House Gallery<br />

St. Leonards<br />

on-Sea<br />

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Shop<br />

Staplehurst<br />

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Farm Shop<br />

Stone Cross<br />

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Farm & Shop<br />

Tenterden<br />

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Agents<br />

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Beach Hotel<br />

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House Interiors<br />

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Superstore<br />

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Tenterden<br />

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Ticehurst<br />

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Tonbridge<br />

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Tunbridge Wells<br />

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Residential<br />

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Wadhurst<br />

• Jempson’s<br />

Westerham<br />

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Whitstable<br />

• Tea & <strong>Times</strong><br />

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• The Whiting<br />

Post<br />

Winchelsea<br />

• Winchelsea<br />

Farm Kitchen<br />

Wye<br />

• The Wife<br />

of Bath<br />

TRAIN<br />


• Ashford<br />

International<br />

• Hildenborough<br />

• Maidstone<br />

East<br />

• Orpington<br />

• Paddock Wood<br />

• Sevenoaks<br />

• Staplehurst<br />

• Tonbridge<br />

• Tunbridge<br />

Wells<br />

• Wadhurst<br />

• West Malling<br />

11<br />




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House<br />

Month<br />

of the<br />

£2,250,000<br />

Damien Pestell picks his favourite<br />

homes on the market<br />

Rushlake Green<br />

The dream: A substantial Grade<br />

II listed country home and former<br />

farm with expansive private<br />

grounds that extend to more than<br />

46 acres. The property includes<br />

numerous outbuildings and has<br />

breathtaking and far reaching views<br />

across the Sussex countryside.<br />

Where: The rural village of Rushlake<br />

Green, laid out around the village<br />

green, includes a vibrant community<br />

with a local pub and village shop. The<br />

nearby town of Heathfield provides<br />

more comprehensive facilities.<br />

Setting: Within its own<br />

private gardens adjoining<br />

extensive countryside.<br />

Beds: 6 Baths: 2<br />

Special features: The gorgeous<br />

formal dining room with high<br />

beamed ceilings, impressive inglenook<br />

fireplace and leaded light windows<br />

overlooks the side and rear gardens.<br />

Pleasing details: There are<br />

multiple, potentially lucrative<br />

business opportunities within<br />

the property boundaries which<br />

include the development of the<br />

outbuildings, creating a fishing<br />

business or even a glamping site.<br />

Outside: The substantial grounds<br />

feature grazing land, a small<br />

woodland and numerous farm<br />

buildings accessible via their<br />

own separate driveway. There<br />

are also equestrian facilities and<br />

an all weather tennis court.<br />

Time to town: From Stonegate<br />

station, a 15 minute drive away, to<br />

London Bridge in less than an hour.<br />

Agent: Neville & Neville<br />

01323 833630 nevilleandneville.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com 12

Hamstreet<br />

£1,095,000<br />

The dream: An enchanting Edwardian home<br />

dating from circa 1902 and with many of its<br />

original features such as high ceilings, wooden<br />

shutters and original French doors. The property<br />

is also graced with captivating west facing<br />

gardens backing onto the Kent marshes.<br />

Where: The pretty village of Hamstreet,<br />

known locally as the ‘gateway to the<br />

marshes’, offers some wonderful walking<br />

routes and is just 6 miles from Ashford.<br />

Setting: A very private central village spot.<br />

Beds: 5 Baths: 3<br />

Special features: The spacious and light flooded<br />

kitchen/breakfast room with vaulted ceiling and<br />

large window overlooks the beautiful gardens.<br />

Pleasing details: The main bedroom<br />

benefits from its own outside external<br />

access and could be used as an Airbnb.<br />

Outside: The mature gardens of just over an acre<br />

have a kitchen garden as well as a wild orchard.<br />

There is also a paddock accessed from the garden.<br />

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

just a short walk away, to London St<br />

Pancras in approximately 50 minutes.<br />

Agent: Rafferty & Pickard<br />

01732 905499 raffertyandpickard.co.uk<br />

Crowborough<br />

£585,000<br />

The dream: A delightful modern<br />

home set within the High Weald Area<br />

of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Built<br />

by award-winning builders Riverdale<br />

Developments it comes with solar<br />

panels and EV charging point.<br />

Where: On the outskirts of<br />

Crowborough town, which borders<br />

the beautiful Ashdown Forest.<br />

Setting: Nestled amongst lush green trees.<br />

Beds: 4 Baths: 2<br />

Special features: The light-filled<br />

kitchen is fitted with Bosch cookware<br />

as well as Zanussi integral appliances.<br />

Pleasing details: A handy Christmas gift<br />

of £5,000 comes with this new home.<br />

Outside: The good sized garden<br />

with patio has room for growing<br />

vegetables as well as entertaining.<br />

Time to town: From Crowborough<br />

station, just over a mile away, to<br />

London Victoria in just over an hour.<br />

Agent: Connells<br />

01892 883188 connells.co.uk<br />

* some CGI imagery<br />

13<br />


Sea. Sky. Shoreline.<br />

A collection of Townhouses,<br />

Penthouses, Duplexes and Apartments<br />

starting from £430,000.<br />


01303 760 940<br />

sales@folkestoneseafront.com<br />

shorelinefolkestone.co.uk<br />

Live by the beach and get to London<br />

St. Pancras in less than one hour by train.<br />

A stone's throw from 27 acres of coastal park<br />

and the bustling Old Town of Folkestone.<br />

There is secure parking for each home.<br />

Elegant open-plan living areas frame<br />

spectacular views.<br />

Every residence has its own balcony<br />

or terrace and garden.<br />


The Landings<br />

NOW OPEN<br />

Enjoy later living at The Landings<br />

Made up of 75 luxury one and two-bedroom apartments,<br />

The Landings is housing for the over-55s redesigned.<br />

Come and see us to find out more or<br />

call us on 01732 622 576<br />

Hazen Road, Kings Hill, Maidstone, Kent, ME19 4SU<br />

The-Landings.org.uk<br />

PLOT OR NOT?<br />

If you think your land or<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 />

d, in the majority of<br />

rs significant costs.<br />

r public houses, redundant<br />

n or replacement, houses<br />

rn conversions, large<br />

projects.<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 />

15<br />


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OrlestoneOakWT252.indd 1 04/04/2023 10:36

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Notebook<br />

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

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

Wine & Dine<br />

We’re excited to hear that Balfour Winery have opened a new restaurant,<br />

The Winemakers’ Kitchen, at their breathtakingly beautiful Hush<br />

Heath Estate (England’s only gold-medal winning vineyard, thanks to<br />

VisitEngland). The tempting menu is a collaboration between head<br />

winemaker, Fergus Elias and head chef, Dan Austin – expect delicious<br />

seasonal, local produce perfectly paired with their award-winning<br />

wines, proving ‘what grows together, goes together’. Drink in the<br />

incredible surroundings, huge skies and gently sloping vineyards<br />

surrounded by orchards and ancient woodland. There’s even a<br />

free shuttle bus running approximately every 20 minutes from<br />

Marden train station every weekend during the winery’s<br />

opening hours (10am-6pm). No need to pre-book the bus,<br />

just hop on board for a five minute ride to Hush Heath.<br />

The Winemakers’ Kitchen is open for lunch 12pm-<br />

3pm Wednesday to Saturday and 12pm-4pm<br />

on Sundays. From 13th <strong>January</strong> there will be<br />

Dinner Service from 7pm-10.30pm.<br />

balfourwinery.com/visit/winemakers-kitchen<br />

The Real<br />

Agatha Christie<br />

Following a sell-out tour in 2022,<br />

the Queen of History, Lucy Worsley,<br />

is heading back out to share the<br />

fascinating life of the Queen of Crime,<br />

Agatha Christie. You’ll find Lucy at G<br />

Live Theatre in Guildford on Monday<br />

11th March. Why did Agatha Christie<br />

spend her career pretending that she<br />

was ‘just’ an ordinary housewife,<br />

when she clearly wasn’t? Agatha went<br />

surfing in Hawaii, loved fast cars,<br />

and was intrigued by the new science<br />

of psychology, which helped her<br />

through devastating mental illness. So<br />

why – despite all the evidence to the<br />

contrary – did she present herself as<br />

a retiring Edwardian lady of leisure?<br />

Sharing her research based on the<br />

writer’s personal letters and papers,<br />

Lucy will uncover the real Agatha<br />

Christie – the story of a person who,<br />

despite the obstacles of class and<br />

gender, became an astonishingly<br />

successful working woman.<br />

glive.co.uk<br />

VIVA<br />

LA DIVA<br />

Dancing shoes at the<br />

ready! Here’s an opportunity to<br />

indulge in an evening of glitz and glamour<br />

with a three-course dinner, dancing and all<br />

your favourite diva hits performed by Debbie<br />

Perolls and special guests. ‘Night of the Divas’<br />

on 16th March at One Warwick Park Hotel<br />

will also raise much-needed funds for<br />

Hospices of Hope who provide end of<br />

life and palliative care across south and<br />

south east Europe (where 92% of people<br />

diagnosed with terminal illness are still<br />

without proper care). Tickets are £45 and<br />

include a complimentary prosecco plus<br />

a three course meal. Get a 5% discount<br />

if you book before 4th February.<br />

hospicesofhope.co.uk<br />


Top<br />

Spot<br />

Are you keen to enjoy the wellrecognised<br />

benefits of connecting<br />

with nature or just fancy blowing the<br />

cobwebs away? Take a look at Kent<br />

Wildlife Trust’s events this season.<br />

How about the Guided Walk:<br />

Winter Birds at Sevenoaks Wildlife<br />

Reserve (£8 on 2nd Feb) where<br />

one of the dedicated volunteers will<br />

help you spot all sorts. With the<br />

trees having shed their leaves, this<br />

is a good time to see the regular<br />

woodland species including goldcrest<br />

and treecreeper. There may well<br />

be flocks of overwintering siskin,<br />

and there are regular sightings of<br />

redwing, brambling and redpoll.<br />

On the lakes, the resident ducks<br />

are joined by shoveler, gadwall and<br />

wigeon, whilst there’s also the chance<br />

of seeing snipe and the elusive<br />

water rail. Take your binoculars and<br />

be sure to wear sturdy footwear.<br />

Afterwards head to the Visitor<br />

Centre to warm up with a hot drink.<br />

This is recommended for the over<br />

12s. And if birds aren’t your thing,<br />

how about bison?! Find out more at<br />

kentwildlifetrust.org.uk<br />

Happy New Gear<br />

If you’re looking for the challenge of a lifetime<br />

this may be just the ticket. St Wilfred’s<br />

Hospice in Eastbourne and St Michael’s<br />

Hospice in Hastings are encouraging people<br />

to sign up for a five day Hospices to Holland<br />

cycling challenge. It will take place between<br />

18th and 22nd September, so you’ve got<br />

time to pump up your tyres and oil your<br />

chain. Participants will be asked to raise<br />

sponsorship money for the cycle, which will<br />

pass along the south coast, across the Channel,<br />

and then through cycle-friendly cities and<br />

countryside in France, Belgium and Holland.<br />

hospicestoholland.co.uk<br />

Castle Competition Time<br />

The kids are back to school<br />

so it must be time to start thinking<br />

about February half term! Hever Castle will<br />

be holding Eco Week and have all sorts of fun<br />

activities planned. They are inviting children to<br />

create a sustainable sculpture with a historical theme.<br />

The winning entry will enjoy a free visit to the Castle<br />

and Gardens for their class! Completed models should<br />

be delivered to Hever between Monday 29th Jan and<br />

Wednesday 7th Feb; voting will take place from Saturday<br />

10th Feb and the winner will be announced on<br />

Tuesday 27th Feb. Please see their website for more<br />

details. Contact Harriet Waldron if your little<br />

one is interested in taking part by emailing<br />

learning@hevercastle.co.uk<br />

hevercastle.co.uk<br />

istockphoto.com/ m_pavlov and tigerstrawberry and Grishina Tatiana / Rostislav_ / Sedlacek / Sergio Delle Vedove<br />


Fans of the smash-hit TV show Drop The Dead<br />

Donkey are in for a treat. The original cast<br />

and writers of the BAFTA and EMMY awardwinning<br />

comedy have reunited for a brandnew<br />

stage adaptation. Richmond Theatre is<br />

delighted to present Drop the Dead Donkey:<br />

The Reawakening! from 30th <strong>January</strong> until<br />

3rd February. Bursting with razor-sharp wit<br />

and classic British humour, this hot off the<br />

press production is one not to be missed.<br />

atgtickets.com/shows/drop-thedead-donkey/richmond-theatre/<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


The<br />

Canterbury<br />

Auction<br />

Galleries<br />

FINE ART<br />


SINCE 1911<br />

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marvellous news!<br />

Have you heard?<br />

Our new sale days for <strong>2024</strong><br />

are now Fridays and Saturdays<br />

9th & 10th February<br />

Consignment deadline 21st December 2023<br />

12th & 13th April<br />

Consignment deadline 8th March <strong>2024</strong><br />

7th & 8th June<br />

Consignment deadline 3rd May <strong>2024</strong><br />

2nd & 3rd August<br />

Consignment deadline 28th June <strong>2024</strong><br />

4th & 5th October<br />

Consignment deadline 30th August <strong>2024</strong><br />

SAVE<br />


29th & 30th November<br />

Consignment deadline 25th October <strong>2024</strong><br />

Call us to book a free valuation at home or<br />

at our Canterbury salerooms:<br />

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Telephone 01227 763337<br />

Email general@tcag.co.uk<br />

Visit thecanterburyauctiongalleries.com<br />

<strong>Wealden</strong> - TCAG <strong>2024</strong> dates 1/2pp.indd 1 11/12/2023 10:43<br />




Small co-educational class sizes with<br />

specialist teachers for PE, French,<br />

Music and Drama.<br />

Future<br />

Climatologist<br />

Future<br />

Engineer<br />

Your Future<br />

Success at 11+.<br />

Excellent facilities in a 75 acre site.<br />

Wraparound care from 7.30am-7.30pm,<br />

and free to 5.30pm.<br />

A wide range of after-school clubs at<br />

no extra charge.<br />

Early Years Funding for 15 hours until<br />

5 years.<br />

www.kent-college.co.uk<br />

ISI REPORT 2023 <br />



StartS Here<br />



21<br />


Finding a place to eat can be tricky in the<br />

month of healthy resolutions. Try The Fig<br />

in Rye for fresh and nutritious small sharing<br />

plates, featuring local produce and plenty of<br />

veggie and vegan options. thefigrye.com<br />

must<br />

The<br />

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

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

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

and generally get excited about!<br />

Trying dry <strong>January</strong>?<br />

If so, you may need<br />

something with a<br />

bit of sparkle to<br />

get you through.<br />

This Peony Blush bottle<br />

from The REAL Drinks<br />

Co has a light fruity<br />

and yoghurty taste and<br />

comes so well presented<br />

you could easily think<br />

you’d picked out a<br />

nice sparkling rosé by<br />

mistake. It’s actually<br />

naturally fermented<br />

sparkling tea – rich in<br />

antioxidants and only<br />

13 calories a glass!<br />

£59.70 for a case of 6<br />

realdrinks.co<br />

What better way to give your home<br />

a spruce for the new year than with<br />

beautiful English flowers? Embracing the<br />

natural delights of the UK’s diverse flora, LÖV<br />

Flowers deliver letterbox blooms handpicked for freshness.<br />

They can be ordered as a regular subscription (weekly,<br />

biweekly or monthly) or a one off treat. Each delivery<br />

comes with handy arranging guides in fully recyclable<br />

packaging and will add some natural beauty to any<br />

interior scheme. From £22 lovflowers.co.uk<br />

For those looking<br />

to cook more<br />

healthy meals<br />

at home, ProCook are<br />

launching a new Air Fryer<br />

Health Grill on <strong>January</strong> 8th.<br />

It costs £179 and really can<br />

air fry, grill, roast, bake, slow<br />

cook, steam and more,<br />

all in a healthier<br />

way and without<br />

heating a big<br />

oven! procook.co.uk<br />

Previously known as ‘Blue<br />

Monday’, <strong>January</strong> 15 has been<br />

dubbed ‘Brew Monday’ by<br />

Samaritans (samaritans.org). The idea<br />

is to make it a day to catch up and<br />

connect with someone over a cuppa<br />

– after all nothing relieves the blues<br />

better. Our tea of choice? This Baiji<br />

Relieve Raspberry Leaf Tea is blended<br />

to sooth anxiety, improve skin,<br />

boost your immune system and even<br />

combat menstrual cramps.<br />

£12.95 at baijilife.co.uk<br />

If your new year’s resolution was to get moving and exercise<br />

more, yoga is a great way to do it – giving you flexibility,<br />

muscle tone, improving cardio health and relaxing the mind all<br />

in one! We love these colourful yoga mats from London brand<br />

Ladina Yoga that are eco-friendly, and a tree is planted for each<br />

one sold! This one is £65 at ladinayoga.com<br />

A good portable speaker is a must for those<br />

looking to spend more time outside in<br />

<strong>2024</strong>. This Soundcore Motion 300 speaker<br />

is designed for outdoor enthusiasts. It has<br />

12+ hours battery life, a compact design,<br />

and high quality wireless sound – perfect<br />

for picnics, camping, holidays, BBQs and<br />

really whatever other adventures this year<br />

may bring! £89.99 at uk.soundcore.com<br />

Pantone’s colour of the year <strong>2024</strong> is Peach Fuzz so<br />

be prepared for this gentle warm tone to be a hot<br />

trend this year. Annah Kelly, Styling Expert for<br />

Bridgman says, “It’s not just a trend but a colour that can<br />

provide a sense of enduring luxury.” – As we can see in<br />

this gorgeous Edinburgh Modular Sofa Set 1, available for<br />

£5,059 at bridgman.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com 22

Wishing all our Clients<br />

A Very Merry Christmas<br />

& a Happy New Year<br />

Hammer Price £2,500 Hammer Price £1,100<br />

Antiques & Collector’s Items<br />

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Wednesday Wednesday 24th 27th <strong>January</strong> April 2022 <strong>2024</strong> at at 11am 11am<br />

With With live live in in room bidding and and online online via via<br />

easyliveauction.com/ibbettmosely<br />

Viewing Viewing of the of sale the strictly sale is by on appointment Monday 22nd on Monday <strong>January</strong> 25th<br />

and Tuesday 26th 23rd April, <strong>January</strong>, between between 10:30am-4.30pm<br />

10am-5pm<br />

For all enquires, please contact us by email or telephone:<br />

auctions@ibbettmosely.co.uk 01732 456731<br />

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or divorce...<br />

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Joined Up<br />

Thinking<br />

Not shy of a serious challenge, Emma<br />

and Terry Hazelwood undertook a<br />

complicated listed barn conversion,<br />

successfully blending old and new<br />

to create a stunning family home<br />

priceless-magazines.com 26

Words: Jo Arnell<br />

Photographs: David Merewether<br />

Styling: Emily Pavey<br />

27<br />


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Specialist divorce & family law solicitors<br />

If you are going through a separation or thinking about divorce,<br />

getting expert advice at the right time is crucial.<br />

At Thomas Mansfield Solicitors, we pride ourselves on our practical and compassionate approach.<br />

Our years of specialised experience, outstanding client feedback, and track record<br />

of achieving the best outcomes for our clients speak for themselves.<br />

Contact us to start a simple, important conversation about your future.<br />

Call us on 01892 337540<br />

familylaw@thomasmansfield.co.uk<br />

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Separation & Divorce • Finances • Children • Mediation • Cohabitation • Prenuptial Agreements • Wills & Inheritance Planning<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


Previous pages and above: The black steels make a feature<br />

of the building’s structure and also help to divide up the<br />

space, partitioning it into kitchen, dining and living areas<br />

House renovation, like many other adventures,<br />

is not for the faint-hearted, requiring not<br />

just practical skills but bravery, tenacity and<br />

money (but not always as much as you’d think). Most<br />

importantly you need vision and faith – think of all<br />

those Grand Designs shows where the journey inevitably<br />

falters – to carry you through the tough times. When<br />

Emma and her husband Terry went to view Doves<br />

Barn they saw an old timber barn and next to it a<br />

ramshackle corrugated pig shed. Planning permission<br />

had been granted for conversion, but it had been on<br />

the market for a while. Where others had faltered<br />

and walked away they stood firm and took a deep<br />

breath. “It was just an oak frame that housed a cold<br />

store,” explains Emma, “so the interior was completely<br />

invisible and it was impossible to see what the building<br />

was like. I think that put a lot of people off.’<br />

The vision to imagine – when faced with a giant<br />

apple store and a pig shed – what things could look<br />

like on completion, the stop off points along the way,<br />

and then the ability to hold onto that vision until<br />

it becomes a reality, is where faith comes in. When<br />

you are doing all this yourselves and living on site<br />

as a family, that faith has to extend to one another,<br />

especially when you are working together.<br />

<br />

29<br />


This page: Emma has curated a feature wall of shelving<br />

to fill what could have been a large expanse of blank<br />

wall whilst also neatly camouflaging the TV<br />

Emma and Terry are at an advantage because they have<br />

building experience, although arguably when you do it for<br />

yourselves it is just as tricky. Together they run Hazelwood<br />

Building & Restoration and have been working in the<br />

area for twenty years – “Doing it for everyone else, so it<br />

was a logical next step for us,” Emma says. “I’m originally<br />

from a marketing and advertising background, but we’d<br />

done a few renovating jobs, adding value, and I decided<br />

that I liked interiors. I did interiors for Terry’s clients –<br />

it’s also a perfect opportunity to showcase the work Terry<br />

can do. He studied furniture design, so he has a fine eye<br />

for detail and can bring a high-end style aesthetic.”<br />

They re-negotiated with the owners and altered the<br />

building plans so that more light would flood both<br />

interiors, before finally installing a mobile home, where<br />

the family ended up living for two and a half years.<br />

“We were in there during the first lockdown – with<br />

two children, a large dog and a lot of home schooling.<br />

Prices of materials rocketed and it was difficult to source<br />

some things for the build.” Despite the cramped living<br />

conditions and the hold ups, Emma appears to look back<br />

fondly on the period. “We put decking all around the<br />

caravan and we were there during two lovely summers,<br />

so it felt a bit like being on holiday at times.”<br />

<br />

priceless-magazines.com 30

“They just led the way for me. I<br />

didn’t have to worry about anything.”<br />

The number one family law team in Kent, putting<br />

your interests first and getting you the best possible<br />

outcome.<br />

Our experienced family solicitors can help you with:<br />

• Divorce<br />

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priceless-magazines.com<br />


This page: In contrast to the contemporary design of<br />

the new, modern living space, the original parts of the<br />

barn have all the charm of a period interior, with warm<br />

exposed beams and low ceilings in a cosy snug room (top)<br />

They demolished the pig house first, saving<br />

enough corrugated iron to make a covetable little<br />

shed from some remnants – and in the process a<br />

nod to the origins of the building. Standing in its<br />

place is now a large steel portal framed structure.<br />

It has a robust, agri-chic feel and looks modern<br />

and purposeful next to the listed vernacular barn,<br />

to which it is linked with a glass walkway. The big<br />

steel beams have been painted black and make a<br />

feature of its structure, like a modern version <br />

33<br />


“We were going<br />

to have wooden<br />

stairs,” Emma<br />

says, “but couldn’t<br />

get the wood<br />

during Covid.<br />

The only thing<br />

that was available<br />

was steel, so we<br />

spray painted it<br />

deep plum and it<br />

became a feature.”<br />

of the exposed beams of the barn.<br />

“The beams also help to divide up the<br />

space,” explains Emma, “partitioning<br />

it into kitchen, dining and living<br />

areas.” A suspended log burner, also<br />

black, hangs between the dining<br />

and living area and a linear LED<br />

pendant – made by Terry – hangs<br />

high above the Ercol dining table.<br />

Bold statements are vital in big<br />

spaces and, with a vaulted ceiling<br />

and a huge hooded window at one<br />

end, this is definitely on the large<br />

side, although the kitchen section<br />

has a lower ceiling due to the<br />

mezzanine. “It makes it feel cosier<br />

and more enclosed,” she says, but<br />

it is by no means a dark space,<br />

<br />

priceless-magazines.com 34


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

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

This page: A dramatically dark corridor connects to the light-filled<br />

atrium. This large, uncluttered space has been made to feel welcoming<br />

with warm and natural finishes, textures and houseplants<br />

despite the grey kitchen units.<br />

“We made the kitchen ourselves<br />

from birch plywood. It’s laminated<br />

with a high-tech material called<br />

Fenix. It’s brilliant stuff, resistant<br />

to finger marks, and scratches can<br />

just come out with a finger rub.”<br />

Beyond the kitchen there’s a stripy<br />

glimpse of the striking metal stair<br />

rails that lead up to the mezzanine.<br />

“We were going to have wooden<br />

stairs,” Emma says, “but couldn’t<br />

get the wood during Covid. The<br />

only thing that was available was<br />

steel, so we spray painted it deep<br />

plum and it became a feature.”<br />

The addition of the mezzanine<br />

meant that the family were able to<br />

live in this building while the barn<br />

was converted, sleeping upstairs on<br />

the new floor. “The other side of the<br />

house was boarded up, so we lived<br />

entirely in this side – and compared<br />

to the mobile home it felt enormous,”<br />

laughs Emma. “We moved into<br />

the modern barn extension in the<br />

summer of 2020 and built some<br />

sleeping pods within the mezzanine.<br />

It was self-contained, and with the<br />

bedrooms upstairs this was really all<br />

that we needed. We opened up the<br />

glass link at the beginning of the year<br />

and now have five bathrooms – a wet<br />

room, guest bathroom and three en<br />

suites.” All very much appreciated.<br />

Running from wall-to-wall<br />

through the building is a polished<br />

concrete floor. This helps to link<br />

the two separate buildings into<br />

one, spanning from the new<br />

barn to the old listed barn.<br />

Once the gigantic apple store<br />

was removed from the barn, the<br />

conversion was fairly straightforward.<br />

The planners allowed them to<br />

install big windows at either end<br />

because, “It could be argued that<br />

this would have been a wagon-way<br />

originally and so would have been<br />

left open,” says Emma. “We were<br />

allowed to put in one stud wall,<br />

but on the other side there aren’t<br />

any windows, so it actually helps to<br />

make it a mezzanine.” Being able to<br />

see the whole structure also makes a<br />

beautiful celebration of the building’s<br />

integrity and original purpose.<br />

Spacious and airy, this unenclosed<br />

area is used mainly for storage and<br />

features a long line of cupboards down<br />

one end. “It’s just an Ikea wardrobe<br />

– the Pax system,” says Emma, “but<br />

we took sections out of the doors and<br />

replaced them with rattan. Then Terry<br />

put a surround in to make it look<br />

more built-in. We always<br />

<br />


Top left and right: The main bedroom and en suite exist in isolated splendour on the first floor of the barn.<br />

The couple have been creative with their furniture, installing a run of Ikea wardrobes, removing sections and<br />

replacing them with rattan Above left and right: A guest bedroom and the main bedroom en suite<br />

try to use leftovers from jobs and<br />

like recycling/upcycling. The unit in<br />

the wet room was a G-plan chest of<br />

drawers, the floor on the walkway<br />

was made from oak offcuts. There<br />

wasn’t enough for a bedroom, but<br />

just enough to complete this area<br />

– it was too nice to throw away.”<br />

This approach is not only money<br />

– and planet – saving, but also serves<br />

to illustrate the couple’s ingenuity<br />

and skill, which in turn enables<br />

them to offer a unique service to<br />

their clients. “We offer a one stop<br />

shop – design and build,” says<br />

Emma. “Terry is a great problem<br />

solver and with interiors it’s all about<br />

the detail – and offering a good<br />

service. It’s about quality, attention<br />

to detail and workmanship.”<br />

Across the walkway, past a<br />

striking (and this sort of space<br />

needs something striking) Sputnik<br />

chandelier from Abigail Ahern, the<br />

main bedroom and en suite exist in<br />

isolated splendour on this floor. There<br />

are far reaching views from here,<br />

framed by beautifully understood<br />

window treatments by Sally Streeten.<br />

The children’s bedrooms are on<br />

the floor below, identical in size<br />

and shape, one either side of the<br />

central ‘wagon-way’. Emma points<br />

out the original ancient end wall of<br />

the barn in her daughter’s bedroom,<br />

built before the cat-slide roof was<br />

constructed. The timbers in the<br />

barn are remarkably well preserved<br />

and cleaned beautifully, left <br />

priceless-magazines.com 38

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untreated by wax, varnish or paint.<br />

The light-filled atrium is<br />

enormous, uncluttered, but made<br />

to feel welcoming, with warm<br />

and natural finishes, textures and<br />

giant houseplants. A focal point<br />

chair leads your eye to the view<br />

beyond the huge picture window.<br />

“It’s just from Made.com,” says<br />

Emma, “but Steve Hanson in<br />

Ulcombe is a fantastic upholsterer<br />

– he re-upholstered the chair and<br />

repositioned the buttons, so now it<br />

looks like a bespoke object rather<br />

than a mass produced one.”<br />

Walking back across the divide<br />

we pass an effective piece of design<br />

that makes the best of the potentially<br />

difficult strip between the barn and<br />

extension. Stones unearthed from the<br />

site and yuccas in pots sit on a bed of<br />

pebbles, transforming what could have<br />

been a bleak space into a view-framing<br />

slice down through the gap, looking<br />

out to one of several zoned seating<br />

areas and the landscape beyond.<br />

Glimpses of the countryside come in<br />

at every window, but the view through<br />

the window at the end of the extension<br />

is the main draw. “In winter it’s all<br />

Top left: The timbers in the barn are<br />

remarkably well preserved and cleaned<br />

beautifully, left untreated by wax, varnish<br />

or paint Top right & above left: Attention<br />

to detail in the contemporary bathrooms<br />

Above right: The main bedroom<br />

priceless-magazines.com 40

Top left: The striking form of the extension is<br />

evident from outside, where wooden cladding<br />

runs from floor to ceiling on the structure,<br />

creating a semi-sheltered area of patio<br />

Top right and above: Emma and Terry have<br />

opted for earthy and natural tones throughout<br />

the barn to complement the worn, warm wood<br />

black out there,” Emma says. “It<br />

took a while to get used to it, but<br />

it’s cosy once the log burner is lit.”<br />

The colours and textures down<br />

this end are earthy and natural,<br />

designed to complement the soft<br />

tones of the scenery around them.<br />

Opposite the comfortable – and<br />

cleverly re-covered – Ikea sofa,<br />

is a well curated feature wall of<br />

shelving that Emma has used to<br />

help zone the space and to fill<br />

what could have been a large<br />

expanse of blank wall. “The TV<br />

on the wall by itself could look<br />

exposed and rather odd, potentially<br />

even an eyesore, so we created<br />

the shelving unit around it to<br />

soften it, housing all the gadgetry<br />

in the cupboards beneath.”<br />

Each of the living spaces in<br />

here exists in its own zone, but<br />

Emma has worked hard to create<br />

an overall theme, uniting the two<br />

buildings into one spacious home.<br />

There’s an uncluttered Danish<br />

mid-century feel throughout,<br />

but the mood is relaxed – Emma<br />

was determined to create a<br />

sense of space and calm.<br />

Together she and Terry have<br />

done more than that. Marrying two<br />

entirely different buildings into one<br />

– and from such monumentally<br />

different eras (1680 versus<br />

2020) – could have resulted in a<br />

complete miss-match. But in the<br />

skilled hands of Terry and Emma,<br />

they have become one dwelling,<br />

linked by the simplicity of their<br />

design, the honesty of the building<br />

materials and shared structural<br />

elements – the staircases, concrete<br />

floor, use of bare wood and metal.<br />

All these have combined to create<br />

not just a showcase for Hazelwood<br />

Building & Restoration, but, more<br />

importantly, a shining example of<br />

how one family has worked hard to<br />

make themselves a beautiful home.<br />

Address Book:<br />

To find out more about<br />

Hazelwood Building & Restoration,<br />

and to discuss a project, see<br />

hazelwoodbuilding.co.uk<br />

The Bathroom Cellar<br />

01580 713883 thebathroom.co.uk<br />

Dyke & Dean<br />

01424 429202 dykeanddean.com<br />

Sally Streeten Interiors<br />

(curtains) 07957 136985<br />

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(upholsterer in Ulcombe)<br />

01622 844122<br />

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A Place in<br />

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priceless-magazines.com 44<br />

Words: Damien Pestell<br />

Photographs: David Merewether<br />

A true labour of love, Ian and Penny Ledger have tirelessly<br />

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share a slice of their beautiful, rural seclusion with groups<br />

who hire their multi-award winning retreat venue

These page: The farmhouse’s open<br />

plan kitchen/diner has a classic<br />

Aga, butler sink, flagstone floors<br />

and a large communal dining table.<br />

“People tend to gravitate to the<br />

farmhouse and the kitchen especially.”<br />

Below: A corner of the snug<br />

Tucked away in the High Weald countryside<br />

amongst a warren of lanes between Heathfield<br />

and Mayfield is a place so well hidden that a<br />

lot of locals don’t even know it’s there. As one of my<br />

colleagues put it upon his arrival, “I have absolutely<br />

no idea where I am!” And it is a bit like that. Because<br />

hidden away in this part of olde Sussex, where time<br />

moves at a different rate, is an international retreat<br />

centre disguised as an old English farmhouse.<br />

Fair Oak Farm was bought by Ian and Penny Ledger<br />

as their family home in 2005 and has slowly undergone<br />

a quiet revolution, transforming it into a destination that<br />

businesses, groups and individuals travel to from across<br />

the world. And what started out as a small holiday let<br />

‘on the side’, has organically grown into something way<br />

beyond their expectations. As Ian puts it, “It was never<br />

the plan! To begin with we were just letting out the old<br />

barns. But we’ve just kept adding to it over the years.”<br />

The development of the site has been spearheaded<br />

by Ian, whose experience as a project manager in<br />

construction has been vital. More used to multi-million<br />

pound projects in London, the farm development was a<br />

welcome change. He says, “I loved it. It was like going<br />

back to where I started.” The farm has ridden the rise of<br />

the wellness industry over the last decade with seemingly<br />

no end in sight. As Ian tells me, “It’s just not levelling off.”<br />

Five years ago the success of the farm enabled Ian to leave<br />

his full time job in London and concentrate on managing<br />

it full time. His undivided attention has meant he’s <br />

45<br />


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This page: The remainder of the farmhouse’s ground floor consists of two snug living areas with<br />

antique paintings, leather sofas and fireplaces – it’s the oldest part of the house<br />

been able to finish what he started,<br />

with the development work reaching its<br />

conclusion this year with the opening of<br />

their final building, a new treehouse. His<br />

work completed I asked him if perhaps he<br />

might get a manager in and take more of<br />

a back seat. But he was having none of it,<br />

“It’s important to keep it personal for us.”<br />

Ian now manages the site, making sure<br />

everything is perfect for guests’ arrivals.<br />

The transformation of the farm can be<br />

seen in the buildings scattered throughout<br />

the 12 acres that make up the site, each<br />

is of a different era. The grade II listed<br />

barns where it all began seemed like<br />

a good place to start. The holiday let<br />

business was already in place when Ian<br />

and Penny moved in with their young<br />

family, but they never treated it as a side<br />

line, “Right from the beginning we’ve<br />

always treated it like a high end hotel, <br />

47<br />


This page: Originally a simple two-up, twodown,<br />

the farmhouse has been extended over<br />

the years to create a five bedroom home<br />

not a B&B.” The first thing on their list was to<br />

raise the standard of the accommodation which Ian<br />

oversaw himself. He explains, “We re-built the barns<br />

from the <strong>inside</strong> out.” Lifting the entire timber frame<br />

onto car jacks to create more solid footings and then<br />

adding the plasterboard first. This hands-on approach<br />

has been instrumental in creating the farm the way<br />

it is. Ian continues, “Most of the farm is hand built.<br />

Which means you get exactly what you want. It may<br />

take more time, but it feels more normal to me.”<br />

Abutting the courtyard outside is another<br />

traditional barn, but on a much larger scale than<br />

the others. As I walk <strong>inside</strong> I’m gobsmacked to find<br />

a cavernous space which reminds me of a Medieval<br />

banqueting hall. A grand part-glazed area with a<br />

vaulted ceiling and high dark-wood panelled walls.<br />

When we arrive it’s set up as a dining hall, but it’s<br />

a multi-functional room that can be turned into a<br />

meeting space or a yoga studio with relative ease. The<br />

custom made tables are an example of the many small<br />

tweaks that have been made across the farm to make<br />

life easier for guests. Ian says, “I got fed up moving<br />

the old tables around, these have removable tops so<br />

they’re easy to shift.” Towards the rear of the hall<br />

there is another example of the constant evolution <br />

priceless-magazines.com 48

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Above left and below right: The calm grey<br />

main bedroom features high ceilings and<br />

has proven to be very popular with guests<br />

Above right: Tucked away right at<br />

the top of the house, the loft room is<br />

accessed via a step ladder and feels like<br />

you’re climbing into a tree house<br />

taking place here, this time it’s a bedroom<br />

which is being changed into a study. “I<br />

had feedback from guests that they would<br />

like a separate area to work in, rather than<br />

in their bedrooms. So we’re changing it.”<br />

Removing bedrooms might seem<br />

like a strange thing to do in the<br />

accommodation business but it’s a<br />

conscious decision by Ian and Penny,<br />

which Ian explains, “We’ve actually<br />

halved the number of people through<br />

the doors in the last decade, but doubled<br />

the occupancy.” In other words they have<br />

more bookings for fewer people. Ian<br />

continues, “We believe we are working<br />

in harmony with what the land needs<br />

and we think that fewer people are<br />

more sustainable for the farm.” Smaller<br />

groups also just so happens to suit most<br />

people who come on a retreat, who are<br />

looking for space. And so, despite the<br />

capacity to have over forty guests, they<br />

have limited it to just thirty-two. “We<br />

incentivise lower occupancy,” he says.<br />

“We could have a lot more people but it’s<br />

a personal decision, not a business one.”<br />

Outside the converted barn we traverse<br />

an attractive tiered garden before entering<br />

a pretty courtyard belonging to the oast<br />

house. Originally used for drying hops<br />

it’s now another different place to stay.<br />

Having never been in an oast house<br />

before, I was keen to see what it was<br />

like <strong>inside</strong>. Downstairs is a really cool<br />

reading room with bookshelves covering<br />

all three-hundred and sixty degrees of wall<br />

space. And it’s been converted (with some<br />

minor alterations) into a lovely bedroom.<br />

Commenting on the contrast between<br />

the different accommodation options,<br />

Ian says, “I’m always surprised which<br />

space people choose. Everyone has their<br />

favourite and it’s never what you expect.”<br />

Upstairs, a striking circular wet room is<br />

the perfect place to wash away any stress<br />

with a roll top bath and walk in shower.<br />

Next door the 16th century farmhouse<br />

has a sign on the front door warning<br />

you to ‘Mind your head’ and it’s not<br />

wrong. Once <strong>inside</strong> you immediately<br />

notice the property has retained the<br />

feel of a family home. “It hasn’t really<br />

changed much since we lived here.”<br />

Coming into the open plan kitchen/ <br />

51<br />


This page: The newest tree house has just<br />

been completed and features a spacious<br />

bedroom area with a curved kitchen neatly<br />

concealed behind a tongue and groove wall<br />

diner it ticks all the boxes with a classic<br />

Aga, butler sink and flagstone floors.<br />

And like any good kitchen it’s a focal<br />

point. As Ian says, “People tend to<br />

gravitate to the farmhouse and the<br />

kitchen especially.” The large communal<br />

dining table is often used for group<br />

meals which can fit ten people around,<br />

but Ian tells me, “It often ends up<br />

squeezing in a lot more.” The remainder<br />

of the ground floor consists of two snug<br />

living areas with antique paintings,<br />

leather sofas and fireplaces which is full<br />

of character and also the oldest part of<br />

the house. Originally a simple two-up,<br />

two-down it’s been extended over the<br />

years to create a five bedroom home.<br />

Upstairs, the main bedroom with high<br />

ceilings feels like the largest room in the<br />

house and is popular with guests. Ian<br />

tells me, “A lot of people like this room.”<br />

Heading back into the older part of the<br />

house I suddenly feel a bit wobbly as the<br />

floors and ceilings undulate above and<br />

below me. Warped over the centuries I<br />

take a moment before continuing for<br />

one more surprise. The loft room is<br />

accessed via a step ladder and feels like<br />

you’re climbing into a tree house. Once<br />

up the ceilings come down another<br />

notch and a tiny doorway which links<br />

two extra bedrooms makes me feel <br />

priceless-magazines.com 52

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DeaconSandyWT252.indd 3 03/04/2023 16:17 54

Top, left and right: Besides the farmhouse and tree houses, accommodation includes a complex of beautifully converted barns, shepherds<br />

huts, an oast house and outbuildings Above, right and left: Dining tables in the central barn have bespoke interchangeable square and round<br />

tops, to make coordinating group dining hassle free<br />

like I’ve stumbled into Wonderland.<br />

Outside we move away from the<br />

original farm buildings and out to the<br />

various outbuildings which include three<br />

eco-tree houses, two shepherds huts and<br />

a hay barn. All of which are huddled next<br />

to a couple of extra acres reserved for the<br />

grazing of rare-breed sheep and alpacas,<br />

or as Ian calls them ‘posh pets’. Beyond<br />

these wildflower meadows help support<br />

the local environment, a subject close<br />

to Ian and Penny’s hearts. He tells me,<br />

“We focus on what we believe is truly<br />

sustainable tourism. To us that means<br />

really working respectfully with the local<br />

environment as well as integrating our<br />

services with the local economy, so that<br />

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55<br />


Above left: A converted cow shed and stable<br />

cottage can be found to either side of the<br />

barn Above: A wooden sculpture carved by<br />

a previous visitor stands proud in the garden<br />

Left: A large patio can be accessed from the<br />

farmhouse Below, left and right: One of<br />

the shepherds huts and a trio of alpacas<br />

ways as possible.” Integrating the business<br />

with the local area has helped the farm<br />

to provide a wide range of services to<br />

guests and in turn help support the<br />

local economy, providing everything<br />

from therapists to private chefs.<br />

This drive to be part of the solution<br />

is really what makes Ian tick and sets<br />

Fair Oak Farm apart from the many<br />

other similar offerings out there. And<br />

it’s evident in the newest of the three<br />

eco-tree houses, which has recently<br />

opened for guests. Ian explains, “The<br />

tree house structure is built from a <br />

priceless-magazines.com 56


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injection of funds at a time when it is needed.<br />

Cost of living<br />

Regardless of age, most people are “feeling<br />

the pinch” and this is more acutely felt<br />

by those on fixed incomes. Equity can be<br />

released with a drawdown facility so that<br />

funds can be drawn as and when needed<br />

to supplement income or to cover increasing<br />

outgoings. The beauty of a drawdown is that<br />

interest is only charged as funds are released.<br />

House Move<br />

It is still little known that Equity Release can<br />

be used to PURCHASE a property – it is not<br />

only available against a property you already<br />

own. In re-locating or up-sizing additional<br />

borrowing may be needed and Equity<br />

Release can be used to bridge this gap.<br />

Divorce<br />

Sadly, the statistics of divorce at age 65+<br />

have increased and finance can often be an<br />

issue. Equity Release can be used to enable<br />

one party to “buy out” the other, or, Equity<br />

Release can be used to help both parties<br />

with onward purchases. If the marital home is<br />

sold and the proceeds divided, neither party<br />

may wish to downsize and Equity Release<br />

may help in buying a more suitable property.<br />

Repay an Interest Only Mortgage<br />

There are increasing numbers of people with<br />

Interest Only mortgages nearing the end of<br />

their term and without the funds to repay the<br />

capital. Equity Release can be used to repay<br />

a mortgage. As many of today’s plans allow<br />

interest payments to be made, they can<br />

“behave” like an Interest Only mortgage with<br />

a regular payment being made each month.<br />

Whatever your reason for considering<br />

Equity Release, Sarah maintains that<br />

advice and careful consideration are<br />

needed. She is happy to visit your home,<br />

chat by phone or via video conference<br />

to provide a free consultation and she<br />

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


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

Call Sarah on<br />

01622 631372 or 07789 007447<br />

or e-mail her at<br />

sarah@ferrellfinancial.co.uk<br />

You may find answers to<br />

some of your questions at<br />

www.ferrellfinancial.co.uk<br />

57<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

SarahFerrellWT251.indd 1 14/03/2023 10:52

This page: A library wall wraps around the ground floor roundel bedroom in the oast house,<br />

whilst a spacious contemporary bathroom fits into the space above<br />

single tree, felled locally and milled by<br />

us to get the sizes we need.” The tree<br />

house construction was all done by a<br />

single local carpenter who was assisted by<br />

Ian. It’s the same design as the previous<br />

two, bar a few minor adjustments, the<br />

addition of a second bedroom and higher<br />

stilts. The tree houses themselves are all<br />

built along an ancient tree line which<br />

has been present for over 600 years<br />

and can be seen on several maps <strong>inside</strong>.<br />

Ian says, “We hope that by putting<br />

these tree houses here [in the treeline]<br />

it will help preserve it for the future.”<br />

In recognition of their commitment in<br />

working with their natural environment<br />

Fair Oak Farm received an award from<br />

National Geographic for ‘Unique Lodges<br />

of the World’. To Ian and Penny it<br />

was more important than all the other<br />

accolades, “It meant more to us because<br />

they got what we’re doing here.”<br />

Climbing up the steps to the viewing<br />

platform outside the higher stilts offer<br />

some great views across the fields,<br />

hedgerows and copses that make up this<br />

area. Inside, the accommodation is five<br />

star. The balcony opens into the main<br />

bedroom which enjoys the same fabulous<br />

views and, behind the giant bed, a curved<br />

partition separates the galley kitchen<br />

and en suite, while turning à droite<br />

reveals another bedroom set in a circular<br />

annexe and accessed via a set of stairs.<br />

Heading back outside, Ian pauses before<br />

we leave, adjusting the towels on the bed<br />

after spotting that one is the incorrect<br />

shade of green. “I’ve told housekeeping<br />

about this.” He’s a details man.<br />

Address Book:<br />

For more information about<br />

hosting a retreat at Fair Oak<br />

Farm, see fairoakfarm.co.uk.<br />

priceless-magazines.com 58

Get the<br />

LOOK<br />

1 Peacock on branch antique book print with white frame £95 Fab Funky fabfunky.co.uk 2 Roosters Blue No. 82<br />

£44.95/2.5l Victory Colours victorycolours.co.uk 3 The Nymph by Sandro Botticelli framed art £936 Mindthegap<br />

mindtheg.uk 4 Island Breeze medium open dresser £1,794 The Painted Furniture Company paintedfurnitureco.co.uk<br />

5 Traditional wooden rocking horse, Mars V £300 The Rocking Horse Toy Shop therockinghorsetoyshop.co.uk 6 Jake<br />

task floor lamp £202.80 Där lighting darlighting.co.uk 7 Never Give Up wall sticker £19.99 Wallboss wallboss.co.uk<br />

8 Yale chair in Galveston Bark £1,565 Cobham Furniture cobhamfurniture.co.uk 9 Peacock cushion from £32 Ink &<br />

Drop inkanddrop.com 10 Islington accent chair £479 Sofology sofology.co.uk<br />

59<br />





01252 621035<br />


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

sponsored by<br />



Ignorance isn’t bliss<br />

Encouraging men to be proactive about their health<br />

In 2021, a study conducted by<br />

Bupa revealed some stark truths<br />

about men’s attitudes to health.<br />

A quarter said they put off having<br />

a health issue checked, and 58%<br />

admitted ignoring the issue in the<br />

hope that it would simply go away.<br />

These stats are perhaps unsurprising<br />

to the many of us struggling to<br />

encourage the males in our life -<br />

whether that be a partner, father,<br />

son, brother or friend - to take<br />

their health more seriously. There<br />

is clearly still some way to go in<br />

influencing these attitudes, but<br />

encouraging the men in your life<br />

to book a GP appointment and<br />

attend reviews for their blood<br />

pressure, cholesterol, prostate<br />

examinations and colorectal cancer<br />

screenings is a positive step.<br />

Persuading men to be proactive<br />

about their health can also help<br />

prevent and spot the early signs<br />

of a range of conditions such as:<br />

Joint pain affecting<br />

the hip and knee<br />

If a friend or loved one is<br />

experiencing pain when<br />

performing everyday activities<br />

or you notice decreases in their<br />

range of motion, urge them to<br />

see their GP. They may need to<br />

seek treatment for osteoarthritis,<br />

a condition affecting one in three<br />

people over 45 in England. The<br />

National Institute for Health<br />

and Care Excellence advise that<br />

exercise and weight loss be the first<br />

line of treatment for joint pain.<br />

Alex Chipperfield, Consultant<br />

Orthopaedic Surgeon at Benenden<br />

Hospital, says: “I hear on a<br />

regular basis that people have<br />

been advised to rest painful<br />

joints as exercise can make<br />

things worse. This is a common<br />

misconception, and I spend a lot<br />

of time convincing people of the<br />

huge benefits that regular exercise<br />

can provide to arthritic joints.”<br />

Strong muscles and supple<br />

ligaments around a failing<br />

joint can help support it and<br />

alleviate some symptoms. Lowimpact<br />

exercises such as cycling,<br />

swimming and walking, as<br />

well as flexibility exercises such<br />

as yoga, can help maintain<br />

strength and mobility.<br />

priceless-magazines.com 62

The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong> sponsored by<br />

Alex Chipperfield<br />

Urological conditions<br />

Sadly, due to its association with<br />

the genitals and urinating, there’s<br />

a stigma attached to urology<br />

that prevents people being<br />

open about their condition.<br />

Mary Barker, Continence Care<br />

Nurse at Benenden Hospital,<br />

says: “No-one really wants to talk<br />

about their bladder problems,<br />

but we have found that men are<br />

more reluctant than women to<br />

come forward, although it has got<br />

better over the years. It’s certainly<br />

not as taboo as it used to be.”<br />

Urge a loved one to seek help if<br />

they experience bladder issues<br />

that affect their daily routine<br />

or symptoms of an enlarged<br />

prostate such as weak flow. Initially, they<br />

should see their GP, who can then refer<br />

them to a consultant if necessary.<br />

Seeking treatment<br />

If you’re looking for advice on any of the<br />

above health issues that are affecting a friend<br />

or loved one, Benenden Hospital can support<br />

you every step of the way. Its dedicated team<br />

of experts can diagnose and treat a range of<br />

male health conditions including prostate<br />

enlargement, joint pain, urinary incontinence<br />

and testicular lumps and bumps, with<br />

private GP appointments available.<br />

For more information, call<br />

Benenden Hospital’s<br />

Private Patient Team<br />

on 01580 362 850 or visit<br />

www.benendenhospital.org.uk<br />


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

istockphoto.com/ Damir Khabirov<br />

Chic<br />

Tweaks<br />

Leading and award-winning aesthetic surgeon, Dr Rohit<br />

Seth, tells us about the latest trends and advances in<br />

tweakments and aesthetic procedures<br />

Tweakments are non-surgical<br />

treatments that offer quicker<br />

recovery and fewer risks than<br />

surgical procedures. Of course, we’ve<br />

all heard of lip fillers and botox, but it<br />

turns out there are lots more options<br />

out there! To learn more about them,<br />

we asked Harley Street Clinic Surrey’s<br />

Medical Director, Dr Rohit Seth, to share<br />

the benefit of his 25 years’ experience.<br />

Are attitudes to cosmetic<br />

treatments changing?<br />

Perceptions are certainly evolving. We’re<br />

currently experiencing a shift toward<br />

preventive measures for youthful ageing, and<br />

are focusing more on a holistic, regenerative<br />

beauty approach. This integrates cosmetic<br />

treatments into overall wellness strategies<br />

and therefore supports mental and emotional<br />

health more effectively. Looking to the<br />

future, there is also a growing interest in<br />

bioidentical hormone treatments which<br />

are used to address age-related hormonal<br />

imbalances. More attention is being paid<br />

to the gut microbiome’s impact on skin<br />

health and we’re seeing a new influence on<br />

cosmetic choices from biohacking principles.<br />


Botox – to reduce dynamic wrinkles<br />

with natural, youthful results.<br />

Dermal Fillers – to address volume<br />

loss and contour the face.<br />

Liposuction Assisted BodyTite – a body<br />

reshaping procedure to correct gynecomastia (the<br />

development of excess breast tissue in men). It uses<br />

an advanced technology called Radio Frequency<br />

Assisted LipoTightening (RFAL) to liquefy fat cells<br />

and tighten the skin safely, gently, and efficiently.<br />

PRP Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy and<br />

hair transplant procedures – for hair loss,<br />

effective in restoring hair in areas affected by<br />

male pattern baldness, but outcomes vary, and<br />

it’s essential to have realistic expectations.<br />

Are men seeking out tweakments more?<br />

With changing societal norms and a growing<br />

emphasis on self-care for all genders, there<br />

is an increasing trend in men’s interest in<br />

cosmetic procedures. Men’s cosmetic concerns<br />

can be diverse, ranging from facial aesthetics<br />

to body contouring and hair restoration,<br />

and all these can be aided by a tweakment.<br />


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

How should we choose an<br />

appropriate treatment?<br />

A thorough consultation with an experienced,<br />

qualified, licensed medical professional is<br />

crucial. They will discuss your concerns,<br />

expectations, and go through your medical,<br />

surgical and social history. This will help to<br />

determine which treatment(s) will be best<br />

suited for what you are trying to achieve.<br />

Practitioners should be able to present<br />

images of their results and discuss the risks<br />

and benefits of the treatments. Make sure<br />

your practitioner is a licensed medical<br />

professional who has the experience in<br />

the specific treatment you are seeking.<br />



Muscle relaxing injections (Botox)<br />

– to diminish lines by temporarily<br />

reducing muscle activity.<br />

Growth factors (Platelet Rich Plasma aka<br />

PRP) – for conditions encompassing sports<br />

injuries, skin rejuvenation and hair loss.<br />

Dermal fillers (cross-linked hyaluronic<br />

acid) – for volumising and contouring.<br />

Profhilo® (an internal hydration<br />

of the skin) – for an overall plumped<br />

and rejuvenated appearance.<br />

How should we choose a clinic?<br />

Approach cosmetic treatments with<br />

thorough research, realistic expectations,<br />

and a commitment to safety. Consulting<br />

with experienced medical professionals<br />

who specialise in the specific treatments<br />

of interest ensures personalised advice and<br />

optimal outcomes. Ensure the clinic adheres<br />

to hygiene and safety standards, providing a<br />

clean and professional environment. Always<br />

consult with a qualified medical professional<br />

for personalised advice based on your unique<br />

circumstances. A thorough consultation is<br />

paramount to achieve the result you desire.<br />



Morpheus8 (a combination of advanced<br />

micro needling and radiofrequency) – a<br />

game-changer which penetrates deep<br />

into the dermis to stimulate collagen and<br />

elastin production, tightening, lifting and<br />

resurfacing the skin to reverse the signs<br />

of ageing and improve skin quality.<br />

FaceTite + NeckTite (procedures using the<br />

same radio-frequency technology as Morpheus8<br />

but thermally targets deeper subcutaneous<br />

tissue of the skin) – more advanced but<br />

minimally invasive for an instant lift,<br />

tightening saggy skin on the forehead, around<br />

the eyes, cheeks, mouth, jowls, and neck.<br />

BodyTite – for fat reduction, removing<br />

stubborn fat, tightening the skin,<br />

and all over body contouring.<br />

To schedule a consultation, contact Harley Street Clinic Surrey on<br />

01737 930 400, email enquires@harleystreetclinicsurrey.com or visit<br />

hsharleystreetclinic.com<br />

65<br />


sponsors The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

All Eyes on Menopause<br />

Did you know that menopause and perimenopause can have an effect on eye health?<br />

We talk to the experts at Wilson Wilson & Hancock to find out more<br />

How do perimenopause and<br />

menopause affect our eyes?<br />

Perimenopause and menopause<br />

are long and gradual processes<br />

that occur over several years,<br />

bringing about natural changes<br />

in hormone levels, particularly<br />

oestrogen. Oestrogen plays a<br />

role in maintaining the eye’s<br />

tear film so its decline during<br />

menopause can contribute to<br />

dryness and irritation.<br />

Are the effects permanent?<br />

Fortunately, the vision changes<br />

associated with perimenopause<br />

and menopause are often<br />

manageable. As Optometrists,<br />

we can provide advice<br />

and supply a range of tear<br />

supplements or advise on<br />

other treatments and lifestyle<br />

changes that will help manage<br />

symptoms.<br />

Does anything need to be<br />

monitored?<br />

Regular eye examinations are<br />

crucial during perimenopause<br />

and menopause to monitor<br />

changes in vision and address<br />

any emerging issues promptly,<br />

as hormonal changes can<br />

influence the structure and<br />

function of the eyes.<br />

When should I get help or advice?<br />

If you notice significant changes<br />

in your vision, such as persistent<br />

dryness, blurred vision, or<br />

difficulty seeing clearly. There<br />

are also other effects on the eye<br />

so visiting us for an in-depth<br />

eye examination will help us<br />

check your eye health. Having<br />

regular eye examinations helps<br />

to detect eye conditions early<br />

and to help treat and prevent<br />

any symptoms you may have.<br />

Symptoms of dry eyes<br />

• burning<br />

• itchiness<br />

• a gritty sensation<br />

• excessive tearing<br />

• light sensitivity<br />

• blurred vision<br />

• difficulty focusing<br />

Treatments<br />

• artificial tears<br />

• staying hydrated<br />

• a diet rich in antioxidants<br />

• omega 3 supplements such<br />

as cod liver oil and fish oils<br />

• Reducing prolonged<br />

screen time<br />

Other optical issues associated io<br />

menopause and perimenopause<br />

• fluctuations in vision<br />

• increased sensitivity to light<br />

• increased risk of developing<br />

conditions like glaucoma<br />

istockphoto.com/ PeopleImages<br />

To find out more about the effects menopause and perimenopause can have on eye health and book an<br />

appointment with the friendly experts and Wilson Wilson & Hancock, visit wilsonwilsonandhancock.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


SitSmartWT253.indd 1 09/05/2023 13:29:41<br />

Nutrition&<br />

Health Coach<br />

I'm Nicola, a BANT Registered<br />

Nutritionist, Functional<br />

Medicine certified Health<br />

Coach and Pharmacist<br />

How much better would you feel if you<br />

could at least make a start on getting<br />

some of your symptoms under control?<br />

No matter what stage of menopause<br />

you are in or when you experience it,<br />

let nutritional support help you get<br />

your life back on track, both for now<br />

and for your long-term health.<br />

www.nicolavinall.com . nicola@nicolavinall.com . insta: nicolavinall.earlymenopause<br />

67<br />


sponsors The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

5<br />

places to find the<br />

New You<br />

Whether you stay local or travel further afield, revitalise your<br />

mind, body and soul to meet <strong>2024</strong> feeling your absolute best<br />

Find wellbeing in Cornwall<br />

Scarlet Hotel is an adults-only escape that’s all about natural<br />

living to feed the soul. In the restaurant you’ll discover local<br />

sustainable, slow-grown ingredients in surprising seasonal dishes.<br />

Each room is designed to be warmed by the sun and features an<br />

outside space so you can feel the fresh air and listen to the crashing<br />

waves. All guests also get to use a barrel cedar wood sauna, steam room,<br />

two pools (a bromine one indoors and a natural one outdoors), meditation space, and<br />

enjoy wellbeing classes including Yoga, Tai Chi, and Ayurvedic advice. For a real feelgood<br />

refresh, you could also visit the holistic spa and find yourself bathing in a<br />

clifftop hot tub overlooking the Cornish sea, taking some chill time hanging<br />

in a cocoon pod, having a full body scrub to cleanse and nourish the skin, or,<br />

for couples, slathering each other in mud! Book online at scarlethotel.co.uk<br />

Find easy movement in Kent<br />

If you’d like to start this year out of pain and with increased<br />

flexibility, a massage may be just the thing you need, and<br />

we have one that’s offering £5 off! Priceless’ Emily Pavey has<br />

scouted out Massage Angel’s lovely treatment room in Marden near<br />

Tonbridge. Having realised that being able to turn her head from side to<br />

side, (or just look around without yelping) would be a great way to start<br />

<strong>2024</strong>, she headed off to the highly recommended Massage Angel AKA<br />

Denise Macey. Emily says, “I was genuinely amazed at the difference it<br />

made, the pain relief and long lasting results have been impressive. Denise is<br />

highly knowledgeable, professional, friendly and great at putting you at your ease.”<br />

Massage reduces stress hormones and muscle tension, while improving circulation,<br />

flexibility, skin tone and soft tissue injuries. For a £5 discount off your first treatment<br />

use offer code FIRSTTREAT when booking online. themassageangel.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

68<br />

istockphoto.com/ Ridofranz

The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong> sponsored by<br />

Find fitness in the south of France<br />

For a boost to your health and fitness, Chateau Lou Casteou is an all-inclusive retreat in the<br />

south of France that offers luxury transformative experiences. There’s Let’s Salsa (April 18–21<br />

or Oct 10–13), a whirlwind of dance for those looking to live their Strictly Come Dancing<br />

dreams with award-winning dance professionals teaching styles including<br />

Salsa, Reggaeton, Merengue, and ChaCha. Raquet fans meanwhile, will<br />

love the five-day tennis and padel retreat (April 10–14 inc. day at<br />

Monte-Carlo ATP & May 8-12), which will hone court skills<br />

and have you trying tournament play. Or improve your<br />

strength and kickstart a healthy lifestyle at Body Tonic<br />

(June 5–9 & Sept 25–29) – a five day event for all<br />

ages and fitness levels. It includes circuits, yoga, TRX,<br />

resistance sessions, boxercise, swim club, tennis, padel,<br />

coastal and mountain treks, Afro fit, beach HIIT and<br />

Latin dance sessions. All retreats offer healthy, gourmet meals<br />

prepared by executive chefs, as well as fine wines, Champagne and<br />

cocktails. To book call +44 (0)7990 573 287 or visit loucasteou.com.<br />

Find peace in Dorset<br />

Sometimes all you need to feel at your best is a good peaceful rest somewhere<br />

warm and stress-free, where you can feel truly taken care of. For this,<br />

we have Holiday Outbuildings in Dorset. This place is just ultimate<br />

cosiness. Set on a family farm, each outbuilding has a charming luxe<br />

rustic aesthetic that will make you feel entirely at home, albeit without<br />

all the stress of actually being at home! You can eat at The Cart Shed<br />

dining barn where Mark Kick (former chef at The Ivy West Street)<br />

serves up seasonal deliciousness. Or if you’d prefer, order room service<br />

featuring local produce in classic comfort food dishes. You can<br />

even ‘text for a tipple’ (exactly what you think – send a text and<br />

get drinks sent over to wherever you may be on the farm!) As for<br />

entertainment, there’s a barn cinema you can rent out, a Yoga instructor<br />

you can book to come to your room for ‘fireside yoga’, and plenty to<br />

explore in the surrounding area including Bridport Market, the<br />

Jurassic Coast’s glorious beaches, and lots of brilliant country<br />

walks. Now go put your feet up! holidayoutbuildings.com<br />

Find romance in Greece<br />

A romantic holiday is a great way to cool down after the kid-centric chaos<br />

of the festive season! Rekindle your relationship to feel loved, supported<br />

and appreciated just the way you are, so you can feel like a new you,<br />

without having to change a thing! For your amorous destination, we<br />

have The Ixian Grand & All Suites Hotel, an all-inclusive adultsonly<br />

five star haven that lounges on a stunning private beachfront<br />

on the west coast of Rhodes island. Picture waking up in your<br />

own swim-up room overlooking the soothing waters of the<br />

Aegean sea, able to jump right into your private pool;<br />

sipping wine over a candle-lit dinner for two at one of<br />

many internationally themed eateries; treating yourself<br />

to a Turkish bath at the Aegeo Spa; or exploring the<br />

temples, markets and ruins of the nearby ancient cities<br />

of Rhodes. Book before the end of March and you can get<br />

a 30% discount from March 23rd to November 9th for two<br />

adults – making the price from €166 per night. theixiangrand.gr<br />

69<br />


sponsors The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

<strong>January</strong>’s<br />

Beauty<br />

Bargains<br />

Josephine Fairley finds super-effective, tried-and-tested<br />

products that don’t come with a hefty price tag<br />

This isn’t the time of year for<br />

a splurge. In fact, if you’re<br />

anything like me, between<br />

the Christmas credit card reckoning<br />

and the <strong>January</strong> tax deadline, you<br />

will be feeling anything but flush.<br />

(Er, that’s an understatement.) But<br />

here’s the thing: nobody needs to<br />

live on beauty’s equivalent of gruel<br />

any more. In fact, I’m increasingly<br />

convinced that high street stores<br />

and beauty emporia offer products<br />

that rival (and even outperform)<br />

the pricier stuff, on many fronts.<br />

Over the past months, I’ve been<br />

making it my mission to seek out<br />

the best ‘beauty steals’ available. And<br />

could there be a better month to<br />

share my Top Ten affordable finds<br />

than this – the gloomiest, brokest<br />

month in the calendar? Here goes…<br />

MY MOOD Nail Polishes, £5 for<br />

singles, £8 for duos. This range<br />

launched in 2023, from the nail<br />

wizards at Nails.INC – which tells you<br />

all that you need to know about the<br />

quality. The polishes last astonishingly<br />

well, are ridiculously affordable,<br />

and the shade range is impressive:<br />

everything from a nail enhancing sheer,<br />

slightly pink-toned polish by the name<br />

of So Beaming that is a brilliant dupe<br />

for Dior’s Nail Glow (at one fifth<br />

of the price), through to a passable<br />

imitation of CHANEL Rouge Noir, in<br />

the form of a shade called Fly – and<br />

literally everything in between, from<br />

nudes to scarlets, shimmers to glosses.<br />

Revolution Beauty x Sali Hughes.<br />

Sali is one of the UK’s leading beauty<br />

influencers and despite being in this<br />

business myself for 30 years, I learn<br />

new stuff from watching her Instagram<br />

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The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong> sponsored by<br />

videos ALL THE TIME. The first of<br />

Sali’s brilliant skincare basics ‘dropped’<br />

in April last year, but a couple of addon<br />

products launched in the second<br />

wave particularly impressed me. First<br />

up, Better in 5 Exfoliating Mask,<br />

£15 for 50ml, which blitzes dead<br />

skin cells with a multi-acid blend<br />

of lactic, glycolic, glucolactone and<br />

moisturising glycerine (and despite<br />

having sensitive skin, I have no issues<br />

with this at all). I also really like<br />

Ringlight Creamy Illuminating<br />

Eye Balm, £10 for 15ml, which has<br />

brightening pigments to disguise<br />

dark shadows, is lightly moisturising<br />

(think: hyaluronic acid, glycerine,<br />

shea butter), but doesn’t make your<br />

eye make-up slide off your face.<br />

True Skincare Organic Rehydrating<br />

Rosehip & Rosemary Facial Oil,<br />

£15.50 for 30ml. Last year, I worked<br />

my way through a facial oil that<br />

costs £185 for 30ml. It shall remain<br />

nameless, because I think it’s verging<br />

on criminal to spend that much on<br />

a facial oil (mine was gifted from<br />

a PR) – and really, truly no need.<br />

True Skincare is a brand every beauty<br />

bargain-hunter should sleuth out; this<br />

certified organic range began with<br />

a range of facial oils including this<br />

marvellous blend for dry skins, but<br />

has recently added some truly lovely<br />

skin creams. A skincare name that<br />

deserves to be much better known.<br />

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Pro Stylist<br />

Mascara, £10.99. As far as I’m<br />

concerned, this was my ‘Mascara of<br />

the Year’ last year, coming in at just<br />

over a tenner. The gently curved wand<br />

can be wiggled easily from root to tip<br />

to deliver the inky black formula,<br />

<br />

71<br />



My sciatica<br />

was so bad, it<br />

was a struggle<br />

just to put<br />

my socks and<br />

shoes on…<br />

Phil Parsons from Staplehurst<br />

was struck with back pain and<br />

sciatica at the age of 38. But this<br />

wasn’t surprising, given the stress<br />

his body had suffered during his<br />

very physical career.<br />

Phil’s job as a freelance lighting technician<br />

meant he was lifting heavy equipment and<br />

stretching his body to its limit on a daily basis.<br />

He often worked long and unsociable hours;<br />

taking care of his back wasn’t always a priority.<br />

However, when the shooting<br />

sciatic pain in his leg began to impact<br />

on his daily activities, Phil knew he needed<br />

to take his health seriously. He explains:<br />

“To begin with, the sciatic pain would<br />

come and go, and it was manageable with<br />

painkillers. But soon it became constant and<br />

started to affect the way I moved. It felt like I<br />

had a tight wire between my lower back and foot,<br />

stopping me from bending and stretching.”<br />

Soon, Phil found it increasingly<br />

difficult to go about his usual daily activities:<br />

James Pickering’s team is changing the lives of<br />

slipped disc and sciatica sufferers with IDD Therapy<br />

Phil’s strenuous job took a toll on his back, but IDD Therapy allowed him to continue working<br />

“The pain began to impact on simple<br />

things which I’d taken for granted, like<br />

drying myself after a shower and putting<br />

my socks and shoes on. Travelling to jobs<br />

became more and more difficult too; getting<br />

in and out of a car was a real struggle.<br />

Worst of all, was the effect it had on<br />

my family life: relationships at home were<br />

strained. I was unable to keep up the pace<br />

with my two young children, and my poor<br />

wife had to put up with my moods; I felt low<br />

and exhausted by the constant pain and the<br />

last thing I wanted was to be around people.”<br />

“As the programme progressed, the<br />

changes were huge. I’ve been free<br />

of sciatica for over a year now.”<br />

Phil sought advice from his GP;<br />

surgery was discussed, but with the risks<br />

and waiting times, Phil knew this would<br />

be his very last option. In the meantime,<br />

he’d tried sports massage to ease the pain,<br />

but this only gave him temporary relief.<br />

Phil’s pain came to a head in Summer<br />

2019. When a friend mentioned that they had<br />

been treated successfully with IDD Therapy<br />

- a specialist disc treatment - at <strong>Wealden</strong><br />

Osteopaths, Phil was keen to investigate. A<br />

consultation with Clinical Director James<br />

Pickering confirmed that IDD Therapy was the<br />

best option. James says: “I referred Phil for an<br />

MRI scan and it confirmed my thoughts that he<br />

was suffering a disc bulge which was irritating<br />

his sciatic nerve – IDD Therapy is our firstchoice<br />

treatment for this type of disc-related<br />

condition; it uses gentle pulling forces to relieve<br />

pressure on the discs and surrounding nerves.”<br />

Phil was hesitant initially:<br />

“To be honest, I was a bit cynical about IDD<br />

at first, but the pain was so bad I was willing<br />

to try anything. James told me I needed to<br />

commit to a series of treatments, but he assured<br />

me that the result would be a significant<br />

improvement in my pain and mobility. I<br />

was also relieved to hear that I’d be able to<br />

continue working during my treatment.”<br />

Phil found the treatment relaxing and he<br />

was encouraged by the results after each session:<br />

“Initially, I noticed small improvements<br />

in my pain and mobility after each session. As<br />

the programme progressed, the changes were<br />

huge. I was still suffering from a little bit of<br />

sciatic pain - something I felt I might have to<br />

live with - but James assured me<br />

that my body would continue to<br />

heal after treatment, now that IDD<br />

had given it a kick start. He was<br />

right: two weeks later, I woke up<br />

with no sciatic pain whatsoever.<br />

I’ve been free of sciatica for over a year now.<br />

If I get the occasional tightness in<br />

my back from working particularly strenuous<br />

days at work, I can stretch my back out<br />

using the exercises James has shown me.<br />

I’m still astonished at the difference IDD<br />

Therapy has made to my health and quality of<br />

life. My children have got their active Dad back;<br />

we now enjoy bike rides, camping and plenty of<br />

outdoor activities as a family. Great news during<br />

the first lockdown, when I was their teacher:<br />

unsurprisingly, PE was their favourite subject!”<br />

Don’t let back pain, neck pain or sciatica<br />

put your life on hold. For a FREE 15<br />

minute phone consultation with one of<br />

our experts, call 01580 212833 or email<br />


The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong> sponsored by<br />

istockphoto.com/ Azure-Dragon / kasto80<br />

which is properly smudge-proof. The<br />

2000 Calorie Brow Sculpt, £9.99<br />

also impresses, instantly gripping,<br />

grooming, taming and shading<br />

brows in a choice of four waterproof<br />

shades. 10/10, both of them.<br />

Westlab Bath Salts, £9.99 for 1 kilo.<br />

There are some very posh bath salts<br />

out there – £60 for an (albeit sexy)<br />

jar, anyone…? And then there are<br />

Westlab’s aromatherapy salts, which<br />

are rich in magnesium to balance<br />

body and mind, soothe muscle aches<br />

and generally make you feel very<br />

good, not just because of the undera-tenner<br />

price. I like the Balance<br />

Bath Salts, with their jasmine, clary<br />

sage and orange scent, but they<br />

have several options to be explored<br />

at Westlab.co.uk. Just decant into<br />

your own ‘sexy’ jar, if you fancy!<br />

L’Oréal True Match Super-Blendable<br />

Foundation, £9.99 for 30ml. I always<br />

used to advise that foundation was<br />

one area where it was worth paying<br />

more – but this definitively proves<br />

otherwise. Serum foundations are<br />

very skin-friendly, especially on drier<br />

complexions (there’s a generous<br />

dollop of hyaluronic acid in this<br />

one), and as the name suggests, this<br />

is ‘super-blendable’. It also has a<br />

built-in SPF30, and the shade range<br />

has literally every skintone covered.<br />

Heathcote & Ivory Hand Creams,<br />

around £6-8 for a trio of 30ml<br />

creams. If you don’t already know<br />

them, Heathcote & Ivory is the most<br />

wonderful British beauty brand,<br />

super-stylishly packaged and at<br />

perfect, pocket-friendly prices. The<br />

gift collections never fail to please a<br />

recipient, but the product I personally<br />

never leave home without is one of the<br />

hand creams. Formulations are subtly<br />

different but results are the same:<br />

velvety-soft hands, achieved instantly<br />

(without having to flap your hands<br />

around), and prettily fragrant, with it.<br />

I find myself spoiled for choice when<br />

it comes to deciding on which little<br />

handbag-friendly trio to treat myself<br />

to next, but I’m particularly fond of<br />

the beautiful, witty collaborations with<br />

French illustrator Nathalie Lété – and<br />

it’s worth noting that H&I also create<br />

the Cath Kidston cosmetics, which are<br />

always gorgeous to look at, too. Many<br />

a happy hour can be spent on the<br />

heathcote-ivory.com website, without<br />

even beginning to break the bank.<br />

The Body Shop Camomile<br />

Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, £6<br />

for 20ml or £12 for 90ml. The clue<br />

really is in the name: ‘Sumptuous’.<br />

Because this really is, while being<br />

tough on make-up – long-lasting<br />

make-up, foundation, general gunk<br />

and even mascara, if you smooth it<br />

gently into the eye zone. N.B. This<br />

has reminded me to go out and<br />

buy another tin – it’s honestly as<br />

good as anything else I’ve used<br />

for cleansing, this year. If not better.<br />

Faith in Nature Hair Mask, £7<br />

for 300ml. At just seven quid for<br />

a whacking tub, you can afford to<br />

slather this on generously – and there<br />

isn’t a reader out there whose winterchallenged<br />

hair wouldn’t benefit<br />

from that kind of deep treatment.<br />

There are several mask options<br />

available, with lovely and naturalsmelling<br />

scents (as you’d expect from<br />

a 99% naturally derived range),<br />

including Shea & Argan, Coconut<br />

& Shea, Dragon Fruit and Rose &<br />

Chamomile (my own favourite).<br />

My last tip for beauty bargainhunters,<br />

meanwhile, is to check out<br />

the cosmetics area of TK Maxx (or go<br />

online for a mooch). I never thought<br />

I’d say this, but they’ve upped their<br />

game dramatically on the skincare,<br />

bodycare and even home fragrance<br />

fronts, and you may well find favourite<br />

brands – or even much-mourned<br />

discontinued products – on the<br />

shelves. The only caveat being that<br />

you have to buy it when you see it,<br />

because it won’t be around for long;<br />

when I was researching this, they<br />

had beauty offerings from REN,<br />

Dr. PawPaw, This Works, Tisserand,<br />

Moroccanoil and so many more<br />

familiar brands. Plus, in their stores,<br />

TK Maxx perennially have a fabulous<br />

offering of prettily packaged soaps<br />

– the sort of <strong>January</strong> mood-lifter<br />

that we could all do with, frankly.<br />

As the saying goes, ‘Why pay more…?’<br />

Visit beautybible.com for more of Jo’s<br />

product reviews and beauty tips.<br />

Soaps,<br />

from a<br />

selection,<br />

TK Maxx<br />

73<br />


Winter Alert from Helios<br />

At Helios we’re busy preparing homeopathic<br />

remedies to relieve symptoms associated<br />

with winter complaints such as coughs,<br />

colds, fl u, sore throats and more.<br />

Our team of fully qualifi ed homeopaths and<br />

pharmacists are on hand to offer you a warm<br />

welcome and friendly, expert advice on<br />

how to support you and your family’s health<br />

naturally. We have remedies and products<br />

for your pets too.<br />

Alongside our remedies we stock a wide<br />

range of vitamin and mineral supplements,<br />

fl ower essences, herbal remedies and books<br />

and for the real feel good factor, organic and<br />

natural skin and hair care.<br />

We only use companies with the same ethos<br />

of supplying products of the highest quality<br />

and integrity from ethical sources.<br />

Helios Homeopathy Ltd, 97 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2QR<br />

Open Mon-Fri 9.00am - 5.30pm Sat 9.00am - 2.00pm<br />

01892 537254 www.helios.co.uk<br />

HeliosPharmacyWT236.indd 1 29/11/2021 15:47<br />



Set in the beautiful French Cote d’Azur countryside, minutes from the sea. These Luxurious Retreats provides the perfect balance of gourmet<br />

meals, pampered luxury, energetic fitness classes, Latin dance sessions and outdoor activities including coastal treks, tennis, boxercise,<br />

aqua-gym, circuit training, yoga, sea kayaking and beach workouts, to help guests improve their fitness level or kick start a regime.<br />

Retreats include 5 days of luxury accommodation in the chateau in en‐suite bedrooms with sea or mountain views.<br />

Delicious, nutritious gourmet meals served with elegant 3 course dinners. Enjoy a quality open bar, excellent provencal wines, evening parties and entertainment.<br />

Please contact Morag@Loucasteou.com with questions and for reservations. www.loucasteou.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

74<br />

MMBaxterWT248.indd 1 02/12/2022 16:55

The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong> sponsored by<br />

TO TRY<br />

OR NOT<br />

TO TRY<br />

Sarah Maxwell gives her<br />

opinions of the fitness<br />

trends for <strong>2024</strong><br />

istockphoto.com/dima_sidelnikov<br />

Welcome to <strong>2024</strong>, where<br />

the future of health,<br />

fitness and wellbeing<br />

is filled with inventive technology,<br />

sustainability and a much greater<br />

emphasis on our mental health. So, if<br />

your health, wellbeing and fitness is<br />

on your priority list for this <strong>January</strong>,<br />

let’s hit the ground running and look<br />

at some exciting new trends you can<br />

look forward to this coming year.<br />

All change at the gym<br />

Fitness providers across the board<br />

are waking up to the importance<br />

of including holistic health* into<br />

their programs and recognising the<br />

undeniable connection between<br />

physical and mental health.<br />

Fitness centres are increasingly<br />

providing mindfulness and meditation<br />

classes alongside the traditional<br />

weight training and HIIT classes.<br />

*Science is now backing up many holistic<br />

practices that were often disregarded.<br />

Wearable tech<br />

(Smart watches, clothing and even smart<br />

jewellery to monitor your health)<br />

Love or hate them, they’re here to<br />

stay! Pros include goal setting, activity<br />

tracking, accountability, progress<br />

recording and syncing with other<br />

devices and apps to have all of your<br />

data in one place. Cons include<br />

the battery life, which can let you<br />

down at the wrong moment, security<br />

issues and the potential to develop<br />

anxiety and obsessive monitoring.<br />

Sustainable fashion<br />

More fitness and leisure brands are<br />

offering eco-friendly workout gear made<br />

from organic cotton – grown without<br />

fertilisers or synthetic pesticides – or<br />

recycled polyester! Due to my long-time<br />

love affair with second hand/vintage<br />

clothing, this certainly ticks my eco box.<br />

Take a look at wearetala.com<br />

and sosactivewear.com.<br />

Hybrid training<br />

Prior to the pandemic, many people<br />

were reluctant to exercise online (many<br />

instructors too). Now the emphasis is<br />

on a mix of in-person and online fitness,<br />

with rapid advances in technology and<br />

availability making it more accessible than<br />

ever. By combining in-person and online<br />

coaching, now you can look after your<br />

health, fitness and wellbeing wherever<br />

you are in the world and take your pick<br />

from a huge pool of experts worldwide.<br />

Virtual training (VR)<br />

The rise of virtual reality workouts,<br />

gamification and immersive training is<br />

rapidly gaining popularity. Workouts<br />

and wellbeing sessions in a virtual<br />

world has enormous potential.<br />

Headsets are currently cumbersome<br />

(no doubt these will change to be tiny<br />

devices in the future) and tracking of<br />

limbs is still not brilliant, however.<br />

I have to admit, I love VR (I’m<br />

charging mine as I write this). Virtual<br />

Reality fitness and wellbeing is still in<br />

its infancy but progressing rapidly. It<br />

can be isolating but it’s advancing so<br />

quickly, the hope is that more multiplayer<br />

activities will be developed so<br />

social interaction evolves. We all need to<br />

connect with others, and understandably<br />

VR won’t be everyone’s cup of tea,<br />

but for many it will be a lifeline to<br />

keep active and engaged. If you get<br />

the chance give it a go – it’s magic!<br />

Inclusive fitness<br />

Inclusivity has finally now become an<br />

important topic in the world of fitness.<br />

Gone are the days when you plucked<br />

up the courage to walk into a gym for<br />

the first time, signed up to a group class<br />

and felt intimidated – where exercise<br />

was reserved for a select few who could<br />

afford it or were physically able to keep<br />

up with others. Adaptive fitness programs<br />

– for example, provision for the elderly<br />

and specialised support for people with<br />

disabilities – is starting to become the<br />

norm rather than the exception.<br />

The barriers have now been broken<br />

down, enabling everyone to participate in<br />

and benefit from a welcoming, supportive<br />

fitness community that embraces all.<br />

This year, why not start experimenting<br />

and finding what makes you feel good,<br />

recalling that famous advert, ‘Because<br />

you’re worth it!’ Happy New Year!<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 />

75<br />


KENT<br />


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RH23-<strong>Wealden</strong>-<strong>Times</strong>-Half-Page-Ad-Final.indd 1 30/11/2023 16:44:10<br />

76<br />


The Priceless <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Living</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong> sponsored by<br />

Nourish to Flourish<br />

istockphoto.com, miwa_in_oz , Magone, chokja, Elena Tsvetkova, Drazen Zigic, Agustin Vai<br />

Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau<br />

explores the benefits of incorporating<br />

another healthy ingredient into our<br />

diets. This month it’s chia seeds<br />

Chia seeds are highly nutritious tiny black seeds from<br />

the Salvia hispanica plant that make an incredibly<br />

versatile ingredient which can be added to thicken<br />

sauces, as an egg replacement or even used to make a<br />

sugar-free jam! They are packed with fibre, protein, omega-<br />

3 fatty acids and various micronutrients plus powerful<br />

antioxidants, which provide several health benefits.<br />

Antioxidants help to fight free radicals in the body<br />

which cause oxidative stress and cell damage, so eating<br />

foods rich in antioxidants may help to reduce your risk of<br />

developing many health issues associated with free radicals,<br />

including heart disease, cognitive decline and certain types<br />

of cancer. They also contain Quercetin, an antioxidant<br />

that can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.<br />

A handful of chia seeds (25g) supplies almost 9g<br />

of fibre which makes a healthy contribution towards<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 />

the daily recommended amount of 30g. Adequate<br />

fibre in your diet is important for digestive health,<br />

maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and blood sugar<br />

regulation. But be sure to build up your intake slowly<br />

because, due to their high fibre content, eating too<br />

many chia seeds may cause constipation, diarrhoea or<br />

bloating – so increase them slowly into your diet.<br />

Energising and fibre-rich breakfast<br />

smoothie with chia seeds<br />

This nourishing smoothie is packed with a hit of spicy<br />

ginger, vitamin-rich berries and creamy almond milk and<br />

butter – a perfect way to enjoy your chia seeds Serves 1<br />

• 1 thumb-sized piece<br />

of ginger, peeled<br />

and chopped<br />

• 100g mixed frozen berries<br />

Simply place all the ingredients into a<br />

blender and blitz until smooth!<br />

• 1 small banana<br />

• 150ml almond milk<br />

• 1 tbsp almond butter<br />

• 1 tbsp chia seeds<br />

77<br />


Around the World with<br />

Baldwins Travel’s BIGGEST EVER<br />

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Pop into your local Baldwins Travel branch for more details<br />

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What’s<br />

HOT in <strong>2024</strong>?<br />

Struggling for inspiration for your next holiday? Here is your<br />

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The Caribbean<br />

Stunning beaches, vibrant cultures, and that sun. The Caribbean has a special kind of<br />

warmth that must be felt in person. Visit Bathsheba or Carlisle Bay in Barbados to<br />

find yourself in a paradise of pristine white sand and lukewarm water where you can<br />

equally recline under a coconut tree with a good book, or take to the sea with amazing<br />

spots for surfing and scuba diving. Meanwhile, Jamaica is full of life, resonating<br />

with the offbeat rhythms of reggae, its liberating and fun-loving culture is best felt at<br />

the major music festivals held throughout the year. To experience the real nightlife of<br />

Jamaica, where spicy jerk chicken sizzles on the grill and smooth rum flows freely, check<br />

out bars such as Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records in Kingston or Elevate Night Club &<br />

Lounge in Montego Bay. The love for the Caribbean islands really does start as soon as<br />

you arrive and stays with you long after that golden tan fades.<br />

Sydney Opera House<br />

istockphoto.com/ Ralf Liebhold / Ondrej Bucek<br />

Italy<br />

Bourbon beach in Negril, Jamaica<br />

Overflowing with history, culture, art, and natural<br />

beauty, you can’t go wrong with a holiday in Italy.<br />

For a city break, Rome and Florence, will each<br />

allow you to delve deeper into Italian history and<br />

culture. In Rome be sure to explore the expansive<br />

Roman Forum (worth noting it’s free on the<br />

first Sunday of every month), and find Pinsitaly<br />

Trevi – a little gem hidden in plain sight, right<br />

in the centre of it all by the Trevi Fountain –<br />

where you can have your Eat Pray Love moment<br />

over an authentic pizza that is simply deliziosa.<br />

In Florence, grab a gelato and an Aperol spritz<br />

outside the stunning cathedral, Duomo di<br />

Firenze (or even climb its 463 stairs if you’ve got<br />

the energy) see Michaelangelo’s iconic David,<br />

and round off the trip with an epic steak dinner<br />

at Trattoria Zà Zà. In Bologna, the birthplace<br />

of Bolognese sauce, you can wander the buzzing<br />

medieval streets of the Centro Storico, lined with<br />

foodie finds galore. And in Tuscany find some<br />

of the world’s very best vineyards and wineries<br />

and just sip and relax! The real problem with<br />

a holiday to Italy is that will leave you wanting<br />

to explore different regions year after year.<br />


When landing in Australia, start your trip in Sydney, where<br />

you can visit one of the world’s most recognisable buildings,<br />

The Sydney Opera House, then take a stroll along the<br />

Sydney Harbour Bridge and admire the breathtaking<br />

views of the whole city. For thrill-seekers looking for their<br />

adrenaline rush, New Zealand is the hub for adventure sports;<br />

take the plunge bungee jumping at The Nevis Bungy and<br />

Swing, the third highest bungee jump in the world, with the<br />

platform 134m above the Nevis Canyon floor.<br />

The Florence cityscape<br />

79<br />

Throughout <strong>January</strong> and February, Baldwins will be holding<br />

Meet The Expert days, having special offers and even giving<br />

away nine £500 holiday vouchers and luxury hampers!<br />

Visit baldwinstravel.co.uk/Around-the-World before the end of<br />

February to complete a simple form and enter the prize draw<br />

and find more holiday inspiration for <strong>2024</strong> and beyond.<br />


Take me to...<br />


We’re kicking off our new travel feature with a collection of travel ideas to<br />

get you trying something new with explorative and adventurous trips<br />

o<br />

A journey to the heart of nature<br />

The Sekonyer River<br />

Borneo is a wild experience that will introduce you to<br />

nature and the animal kingdom in ways you’ve never<br />

experienced before. Famously the natural habitat of the<br />

magnificent orangutans, Borneo is also home to pygmy<br />

elephants, the world’s largest cave system and the oldest<br />

rainforest. In short, Borneo is a land of wonders; a<br />

place where nature and culture coexist in harmony. To<br />

feel safe and supported on your adventure, luxury travel<br />

consultancy, My Paradise Found, can create a beautiful,<br />

exciting, and adventurous itinerary tailored to you. Go<br />

for a river cruise, climb the iconic Mount Kinabalu,<br />

explore the largest cave system in the world, or relax<br />

at some of the most luxurious and eco-friendly resorts<br />

and lodges. Whatever you’re looking to experience in<br />

Borneo, My Paradise Found can take care of flights,<br />

transfers, and accommodation, along with tours, guides,<br />

and activities. They are also always on hand to help and<br />

assist before, during, and after your trip so you can feel<br />

confident, comfortable, and cared for every step of the<br />

way on your wild adventure!<br />

myparadisefound.co.uk<br />

Proboscis monkey clan<br />

Go for a river cruise, climb the iconic<br />

Mount Kinabalu, explore the largest<br />

cave system in the world<br />

Mount Kinabalu at Sabah, Borneo<br />

priceless-magazines.com 80

Marmaris, Turkey<br />

discover Marmaris on the Turkish Riviera<br />

and the surrounding Turquoise Coast<br />

Chart your own odyssey<br />

istockphoto.com/ Andrii Medvediuk / den-belitsky / G-o-o-d-M-a-n / macbrianmun / Javier Marcos / Joesboy<br />

There really isn’t any greater adventure than<br />

having the freedom to sail away and follow your<br />

own bliss. This option is a rentable catamaran<br />

that can serve as a safe and luxurious home hub<br />

as you embark on whatever journey you choose.<br />

It’s the perfect way to discover Marmaris in the<br />

Turkish Riviera and the surrounding Turquoise<br />

Coast. Unwind in the secluded bays of Ciftlik,<br />

Bozzukale, or Sogut, explore the buzzing<br />

boutique shops and restaurants of Selimiye<br />

and Bozburun, or travel further to the Datca<br />

Peninsula and over towards Bodrum. You can<br />

even sail further afield to discover the Greek<br />

islands – Rhodes, Kos, Symi, and other small<br />

gems in between are all reachable aboard Ayda 1.<br />

The catamaran is a comfortable and beautifully<br />

maintained 2012 Orana 44 that will give you<br />

complete comfort and performance at sea, with<br />

all the bells and whistles including solar panels,<br />

a swim platform, speakers, a grill, and even a<br />

Nespresso machine. It has 4 double cabins all with<br />

a private wc/shower, so can accommodate up to<br />

8 passengers when cruising (plus your captain to<br />

guide you in your adventures included in the fee).<br />

+90 555 503 3130 | +90 555 503 3131<br />

lucysarah73@hotmail.com<br />

instagram @ayda1marmaris<br />

Ruins on Santorini<br />

The Ayda 1<br />

81<br />


Bridge Ponte Pietra in Verona<br />

sit and watch the<br />

tranquil flow of<br />

the Muncio River<br />

as the world<br />

passes by<br />

An operatic Cultural exploration<br />

For those looking to explore something new and unique culturally, how about seeing<br />

the opera in Verona’s grand amphitheatre? Departing on the 24th of July <strong>2024</strong> and<br />

returning on the 29th, Airdale Tours is offering a trip to Verona for the magical Arena<br />

di Verona Festival. Alice Priestley, Marketing Executive at Airedale Tours says, “I can<br />

verify that this trip is a fabulous one, I joined last year and had the most amazing<br />

time!” The trip includes two operas, Carmen and La Boheme, and Alice confirms that<br />

this cultural experience “was a true spectacle to behold, simply spectacular with worldfamous<br />

sopranos, setting, and orchestra”. With multiple walking tours there will also<br />

be plenty of time to take in the romantic Verona, where Shakespeare set Romeo and<br />

Juliet, nearby Mantua where you’ll explore the Ducal Palace, and the incredibly pretty<br />

Borghetto, where you can sit and watch the tranquil flow of the River Mincio as the<br />

world passes by. As if that just isn’t enough cultural enrichment, this trip also includes<br />

excursions to sparkling wine tasting in Franciacorta and Lake Iseo.<br />

01924 276135 | info@airedaletours.co.uk | airedaletours.co.uk<br />

The Verona Arena<br />

AYDA 1<br />


Ayda 1 is a very spacious and comfortable family run Fountain Pajot<br />

Orana 44 Catamaran, comprising of 4 double cabins, each with their own<br />

en-suite bathroom. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning should<br />

you need it, or take your pillow and sleep under the stars if you wish!<br />

Sail away with us to the quietest of bays, and swim in the<br />

crystal clear turquoise waters, where you can enjoy snorkelling,<br />

swimming, paddle boarding or just relax and take it easy.<br />

Rest assured you will certainly enjoy an unforgettable holiday!<br />

Contact us on WhatsApp: +90 555 503 3130 / +90 555 503 3131<br />

Email us at: lucysarah73@hotmail.com<br />

Check us out on Instagram: @ayda1marmaris<br />

www.myparadisefound.co.uk<br />

01233 221150 @myparadisefound @my_paradise_found<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


istockphoto.com/ Credit:Yasonya / saiko3p<br />

Blue porcelain Italian<br />

travel mug £16 Spode<br />

spode.co.uk<br />

keep<br />

yourself<br />

hydrated<br />

and<br />

energised<br />

Get set for an Italian adventure with travel essentials and little luxuries<br />

always stay<br />

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Back Bay<br />

responsibly<br />

sourced leather<br />

jewellery roll<br />

$108 Ivy Cove<br />

ivycove.com<br />

Pack your bags!<br />

SPF 50 Sun<br />

Defence Drops<br />

£78 Olivanna<br />

olivanna.com<br />

Oliver Bonas Angular<br />

Faux Tortoiseshell<br />

Sunglasess £28<br />

oliverbonas.com<br />

pick a bag<br />

thats ’ secure<br />

& easy to<br />

carry<br />

Irina crossbody<br />

bag in orange<br />

saffiano leather<br />

£365 Anya Sushko<br />

anyasushko.com<br />

Signature personalised<br />

suitcase in Cloud<br />

£125 Koko Blossom<br />

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For more information call<br />

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83<br />


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headband (on jumper) £20, Rachel Jackson<br />

pearl necklace £165, earrings £138.75<br />

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Our big <strong>January</strong> sale is now on, start the<br />

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Spring Fling<br />

Dreaming of a change of season?<br />

Layer calming pastels and taupes for<br />

a cosy start to the New Year<br />

Photograph: David Merewether<br />

85<br />


Purple heart charm<br />

enamel hoops<br />

£36 Seol + Gold<br />

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Amelie peach cats eye sunglasses £30<br />

Scamp and Dude scampanddude.com<br />

Beach hut pendant necklace<br />

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Idylle jumper<br />

in blush £45<br />

Rosella Style<br />

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Brittany 100% merino<br />

wool cardigan £140<br />

Aspiga aspiga.com<br />

Knit bobble hat<br />

£14 Monsoon<br />

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Saffiano leather<br />

Irina crossbody bag<br />

£365 Anya Sushko<br />

anyasushko.com<br />

Raya scarf £35 Fat<br />

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Pink baguette<br />

charm hoops £45<br />

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$178 Ivy Cove<br />

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Peach fuzz, lovely lilac, cool blue, buttery yellow and millennial<br />

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£300 Liberty<br />

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Carrington cardigan<br />

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Reiss Louise lemon<br />

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Beachcombing<br />

earrings £30<br />

Tatty Devine<br />

tattydevine.com<br />

Project Two GRFX watch<br />

£60 Adidas adidas.co.uk<br />

L.K.Bennett Elodie overcoat<br />

£440 John Lewis johnlewis.com<br />

Pink beret £13<br />

River Island<br />

riverisland.com<br />

Summer Love agate cuff £65 YAA<br />

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Noah peach tropical<br />

safari sweatshirt £58<br />

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87<br />



Starting<br />

Afresh<br />

It might be cheesy to talk about healthy recipes in <strong>January</strong>, but<br />

there’s probably a good reason for it: in the dark midwinter<br />

days we need the boost that raw and simply prepared foods<br />

can give us. These healthy dishes are flavoursome, packed<br />

with mood lifting antioxidants – and barely any cheese.<br />

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

Griddled Harissa Chicken<br />

Serves 4 Prep time: 5-30 mins<br />

Cooking time: 20-30 mins<br />

This is literally chicken coated in harissa seasoning and simply griddled.<br />

To make the harissa paste, see the ingredients below, or buy ready made.<br />

• 4 chicken breasts<br />

• 2 small roasted peppers (from a jar)<br />

• 4 garlic cloves, crushed<br />

• 4-5 small red chillies, finely chopped<br />

• 2 tsp cumin seeds<br />

• 2 tsp coriander<br />

• 1 tsp caraway<br />

• 1 tsp fennel<br />

• 1 tbsp tomato paste<br />

• juice of 1 lemon<br />

• 1 tbsp olive oil<br />

Place all the harissa ingredients in a blender and blitz to a paste.<br />

Spread over chicken and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Heat<br />

griddle pan and cook the coated chicken for 5-10 minutes on<br />

each side, until chicken is cooked through. Serve either hot<br />

with mixed seasonal vegetables, or cooled with salad.<br />

<br />

89<br />


Jewelled Salad<br />

Serves 4 Prep time:<br />

15 minutes<br />

Orange and<br />

pomegranate are in<br />

season, naturally<br />

packed with nutritious<br />

flavours – sweet and<br />

sour combine in this<br />

mint infused salad.<br />

It goes well with the<br />

harissa chicken.<br />

• 1 bag mixed salad<br />

leaves, washed<br />

• 2 oranges, peeled<br />

and sliced<br />

• seeds from a<br />

pomegranate<br />

• 100g feta cheese,<br />

crumbled<br />

• 100g walnut pieces<br />

For the dressing:<br />

• juice of 1 lime<br />

• 1 tbsp honey<br />

• 2 tbsp olive oil<br />

• 1 small handful<br />

of mint leaves,<br />

finely chopped<br />

Combine salad leaves,<br />

sliced oranges and<br />

pomegranate seeds<br />

in a serving bowl,<br />

add dressing and toss<br />

together gently. Sprinkle<br />

with crumbled feta<br />

and walnuts to serve.<br />

priceless-magazines.com 90

Carrot and Ginger Soup<br />

Serves 4 Prep time: 5-10mins<br />

Cooking time: 20 mins<br />

This is a zingy carrot soup that can<br />

be made really quickly and from a<br />

few simple ingredients. Carrots are<br />

naturally high in carotene and ginger<br />

is soothing, anti-inflammatory and<br />

will even help you fight a cold.<br />

• 1 onion, chopped<br />

• 300g carrots, roughly chopped<br />

• 4cm chunk fresh ginger<br />

root, peeled and chopped<br />

• 900ml vegetable stock (I used<br />

bouillon vegetable stock powder)<br />

• 100ml white wine<br />

• 100g chopped coriander<br />

to garnish (optional)<br />

• salt and pepper, to taste<br />

Sauté the onion gently in butter (or<br />

oil) for 5 minutes until soft. Transfer<br />

to a large saucepan, add all the rest<br />

of the ingredients bar the coriander<br />

and seasoning, bring to the boil and<br />

simmer gently for 20 minutes. Blitz<br />

with a stick blender until smooth,<br />

season, garnish and serve – either on<br />

its own if you’re being ultra healthy,<br />

or with warm crusty bread. <br />


priceless-magazines.com 92

New Year Salad – Two ways<br />

The hardest part of this recipe is the<br />

slicing of the ingredients – think of<br />

it as part of your exercise regime, or<br />

use a mandoline (not to be confused<br />

with the musical instrument). I’ve<br />

used the ingredients in two ways, in<br />

case you can’t find the rice wraps,<br />

or (like me) find them a bit fiddly.<br />

If making the wraps, use the Asian<br />

inspired dressing as a dipping sauce.<br />

Lettuce Bowl<br />

Serves 4 Prep time: 30 minutes<br />

• 4 large lettuce leaves – Iceberg is<br />

best as the leaves are ‘bowl’ shaped<br />

• 2 more lettuce leaves, shredded<br />

• 1 red pepper<br />

• ¼ of a red cabbage<br />

• 4 spring onions<br />

• half a cucumber<br />

• 1 carrot<br />

• 2 tbsp pickled (sushi) ginger<br />

• 100g edamame (soya) beans<br />

• 160g hot smoked trout (or salmon)<br />

For the dressing/dipping sauce:<br />

• 2 tbsp (30ml) soy sauce<br />

• 1 tbsp (15ml) rice wine vinegar<br />

• 3 tbsp (45ml) mirin<br />

• 2 tbsp sesame oil<br />

• 1 small red chilli, finely chopped<br />

• 1 tsp grated ginger<br />

• 1 clove garlic, crushed/grated<br />

Slice off the bottom of the lettuce and<br />

carefully unwrap it – discard the outer<br />

couple of leaves and the central ‘core’,<br />

so that you are left with four ‘that are<br />

bowl’ shaped. Any leftover bits can be<br />

shredded to add to the salad. Thinly<br />

slice pepper, spring onion, cucumber<br />

and carrot length-wise and toss together<br />

with the edamame, pickled ginger,<br />

cooked smoked fish and dressing.<br />

Spoon into lettuce bowls and serve.<br />

Rice Paper Wrap<br />

(left)<br />

Ingredients are as above, but omit the<br />

lettuce and use 8 rice paper wraps<br />

I soaked each wrap individually for<br />

a minute to soften, as they tend to<br />

stick together and/or dry out if not<br />

kept on the damp side. Lay each wrap<br />

out flat, place the salad ingredients<br />

along the centre, fold in the ends<br />

and roll up the wrap. Serve with<br />

a small bowl of dipping sauce.<br />


Winter Sparkle<br />

Jo Arnell highlights the seasonal gems primed to light up your garden<br />

Not much is actively growing<br />

out in the garden – it is the<br />

dormant season and our<br />

plants are gently ticking over, preparing<br />

themselves for the year ahead, or if<br />

they are more tender, desperately<br />

trying to survive the cold of a British<br />

winter. We can help the less hardy with<br />

mulch and fleece – and sometimes<br />

this is enough, depending on how far<br />

below zero the temperature goes…<br />

Frost may spell trouble for some, but<br />

it can look very pretty – a glittery<br />

dusting of white enhancing structures<br />

and evergreen shapes. If your garden is<br />

looking far from magical right now, it<br />

might be time to add (when the soil is<br />

more receptive) some plants that will<br />

manage the winter weather and stay<br />

looking good through the bleak weeks.<br />

Evergreens<br />

It is hard to beat the quiet<br />

handsomeness of a well-shaped<br />

evergreen. Some are just made that way,<br />

growing neat and well-formed without<br />

any interference, others (a bit like<br />

some of us) can be made to be pretty<br />

with a little tweaking and pruning.<br />

Taken to extremes, pruning evergreens<br />

turns into an art form and plants<br />

become living sculptures. Small<br />

leaved shrubs like yew, pittosporum,<br />

euonymus, famously box (but off the<br />

menu in some gardens for now due to<br />

the ravaging effects of the box moth<br />

caterpillar) can be clipped into low<br />

hedges, balls, spirals and pyramids. In<br />

fact yew can be trained into any shape<br />

you like, but it takes patience, practise<br />

and a bit of vision to create them.<br />

We might aim for a perfect peacock,<br />

but end up with a squiffy squirrel.<br />

Hardy evergreen shrubs will provide<br />

structure and colour all year, as a foil<br />

or backdrop to the summer plants, but<br />

coming into the foreground in winter.<br />

Frost may kill the more tender plants,<br />

priceless-magazines.com 94

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’<br />

Helleborus orientalis<br />

Viburnum tinus<br />

Sarcoccoca confusa<br />

istockphoto.com/ Mykhailo Povoroznyk / Tom Meaker / MichelR45 / Wirestock /<br />

DragonTiger / tamara_kulikova<br />

but it positively enhances the look<br />

of many evergreens; Viburnum tinus<br />

and its shorter, bigger leaved relation<br />

Viburnum davidii, have dark green<br />

glossy leaves; Osmanthus has leaves a<br />

little like box, but is faster growing and<br />

has the added bonus of scented spring<br />

blossom; stalwart Elaeagnus is tough<br />

as old boots and puts up with hard<br />

frost – and hard pruning. All of these<br />

will look good through the winter.<br />

Winter Sun<br />

So it’s not actual sun, but a burst of<br />

cheery yellow from a plant in the<br />

depths of winter is sometimes as close<br />

as we get. Mahonia is a favourite<br />

for this – a striking evergreen with<br />

aggressive looking serrated foliage<br />

and spectacular, highly scented yellow<br />

flowers – like spiky bursts of sunshine.<br />

Acacia dealbata (mimosa) is bigger,<br />

more of a tree, and needs a sheltered<br />

site, but it is a lovely thing to grow<br />

if you can, and will shine out like<br />

a beacon in late winter, covered in<br />

fluffy chick yellow, scented blossom.<br />

There is a smallish early narcissi<br />

that naturalises well and can also<br />

be grown in pots and borders, as it<br />

doesn’t have the enormous leaves of<br />

some daffodils that flop about for<br />

weeks once the flowers are over. It is<br />

called ‘February Gold’, but can often<br />

be seen earlier than that, its cheery<br />

heads nodding in the chilly breeze.<br />

Winter Fragrance<br />

Winter flowering plants rely on scent<br />

to attract pollinators. The few tough<br />

little insects that eke it out through<br />

the winter are drawn in by the scent of<br />

the flowers, rather than the colour, so<br />

the plants often have tiny, insignificant<br />

flowers. In fact you may not notice<br />

them at all, until you get within a few<br />

metres and are hit by their fragrance<br />

– and even then it can be hard to<br />

<br />

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WCLandcraftWT252.indd 1 31/03/2023 10:53

Anemone blanda<br />

know where the scent is coming from.<br />

Sarcococca confusa (Christmas box) is<br />

a small, low growing evergreen, often<br />

overlooked, but it pumps out an almost<br />

overwhelming perfume. Two larger<br />

shrubs that are straggly nothings in<br />

summer, but hard to be without at this<br />

time of the year, are the wintersweet<br />

– Chimonanthes praecox and Lonicera<br />

‘Winter Beauty’, a winter flowering<br />

honeysuckle. Plant them where they<br />

can fade into the background once<br />

the flowers are over, but near enough<br />

for you to catch the fragrance.<br />

Many of these late winter and early<br />

spring performers are suitable for<br />

growing in containers too, in fact<br />

something like a camellia may even<br />

prefer it, as these need acid soil.<br />

The great thing about a plant in a<br />

pot is that it can be moved away<br />

from centre stage once it’s done its<br />

thing – if you can move it, that is.<br />

Magic Wands<br />

The young stems of dogwoods (Cornus)<br />

will provide brilliant winter colour,<br />

especially if you are able to plant several<br />

together. Dogwoods will grow in most<br />

soil conditions, and they actually quite<br />

like damp or heavy soils. They don’t<br />

mind shady conditions, but their stem<br />

colour shows up best in full sun. They<br />

will send out suckers, so plant them<br />

where they have room to spread. The<br />

stems also look good cut and poked into<br />

winter containers, bringing height and<br />

structure – they may even take root.<br />

For the best stem colour, Dogwoods<br />

should be cut back hard in spring to<br />

encourage the growth of new young<br />

stems which have the strongest colour.<br />

Some will cope with hard pruning<br />

better than others – generally the more<br />

vigorous the growth, the harder you can<br />

cut back. After pruning, mulch around<br />

the roots with compost or other wellrotted<br />

organic material, but not right up<br />

to the stems, as this could cause them to<br />

rot. Mulching will feed and condition<br />

the soil – and also help retain moisture.<br />

Dogwoods won’t get too tall, because<br />

they are regularly pruned to the base.<br />

Some of the best for stem colour are:<br />

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’, which has bright<br />

red new growth, while the aptly named<br />

C. sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ has young<br />

stems that literally look as if they’re<br />

on fire – in shades of yellow/orange<br />

tinged with red. Cornus stolonifera<br />

‘Flaviramea’ has yellow-green stems;<br />

Cornus alba ‘Kesselringii’ has young<br />

growth of a deep purple colour.<br />

Willows can (literally) run about in<br />

the garden, so should be carefully<br />

positioned, as they can be invasive and<br />

hard to remove. They are fast growing<br />

and some have brightly coloured<br />

stems to rival the dogwoods. Salix<br />

‘Britzensis’ is one of the best for stem<br />

colour, but will need regular pruning.<br />

Just like Cornus, willows are best<br />

grown near water or in boggy places.<br />

Jewelled Carpets<br />

Bare stems and branches are<br />

companionably set off with contrasting<br />

carpets of snowdrops – the earliest of the<br />

bulbs to flower. These tough little plants<br />

will push up through snow (hence the<br />

name) and frozen ground and naturalise<br />

quickly in places where not much else<br />

dares to grow – in the shade and among<br />

the roots of trees. Slightly later, but<br />

still early, Cyclamen coum, Anemone<br />

blanda, and bulbs like winter aconite<br />

and crocus will emerge. These little<br />

treasures are best seen in massed throngs<br />

beneath the trees, where they make<br />

the most of the light before the dense<br />

canopy of leaves closes in on them.<br />

Hellebores are good and hardy, often<br />

flowering where not much else will<br />

and are a great asset in the garden<br />

at this time of the year. Helleborus<br />

niger (the Christmas rose) flowers in<br />

winter, these are usually white, but<br />

Helleborus orientalis cultivars flower<br />

later, most often in pink shades from<br />

pale to the darkest burgundy.<br />

Low growing evergreens look good<br />

next to bare stems, even low growing<br />

dwarf conifers, or hardy ferns such<br />

as Polystichums will work well and<br />

bring all year foliage interest.<br />

Structure is vital in the garden, perhaps<br />

even more so in winter when we<br />

can’t distract ourselves with flowers<br />

and foliage. We need architecture,<br />

focal points and framework plants.<br />

Right now evergreens, or those with<br />

elegant skeletons, striking bark, or<br />

uplifting fragrance – plants that<br />

might be overlooked during the rest<br />

of the year, shine out beautifully.<br />

Jo’s gardening courses starting<br />

in spring are now booking<br />

07923 969634 hornbrookmanor.co.uk<br />

97<br />


Honey Fungus<br />

the Bogeyman<br />

Sue Whigham shares<br />

experience and advice<br />

on how to deal with<br />

honey fungus<br />

We’ve always had a part of<br />

the garden where I’d try out<br />

interesting shrubs only to<br />

find that they turned up their toes after a<br />

couple of years. Most disappointing was<br />

the Azara microphylla that never put on<br />

any fresh growth and got scrawnier and<br />

scrawnier. Actually, I think that it would<br />

have been a slightly disappointing shrub<br />

if it had survived as its relative, Azara<br />

serrata is much more exuberant and<br />

deliciously scented. Little did I know.<br />

There’s a lovely specimen at Great Dixter<br />

with its bright, bright yellow flowers<br />

just at the right height to immerse<br />

yourself in their fragrance as you pass.<br />

So then we planted pittisporums,<br />

early flowering viburnums and all<br />

manner of other things. They’ve gone<br />

now and the only plants that are doing<br />

well are a medlar (great for showy<br />

autumn colour) and a healthy bay tree.<br />

Never mind, there is still a good show<br />

of oriental irises which we inherited.<br />

Honey fungus tends not to touch<br />

perennials, luckily. And we’ve now got<br />

the perfect spot for a giant trampoline<br />

firmly secured to a trellis to save it from<br />

becoming airborne any time soon.<br />

So what is the problem? Well,<br />

everything came to a head after the dry<br />

summer of 2021 when several mature,<br />

multi stemmed hornbeams started losing<br />

their leaves early, as well as suffering<br />

branch dieback. Then this year the<br />

leaves seemed to be smaller and generally<br />

sickly. A big patch of honey fungus<br />

mushrooms several feet away from<br />

one of the stricken trees confirmed the<br />

worst. The trees had most probably been<br />

harbouring honey fungus for years and<br />

the drought and the fungus combined<br />

priceless-magazines.com 98

Garden<br />

ZenTari followed by TOPBUXUS<br />

Health-Mix sorted out the caterpillars<br />

this year and stopped them in their<br />

tracks. Wise though to use pheromone<br />

traps to catch the male moths in the<br />

spring and to nip any infestation<br />

in the bud. The added bonus of<br />

the traps is that they are specific to<br />

male box tree moths and will not<br />

attract or kill other moth species.<br />

There are a number of honey<br />

fungus species native to the UK of<br />

which Armillaria gallica and Armeria<br />

mellea are the two usually found. Of<br />

course honey fungus is in most of our<br />

precious woodlands but doesn’t always<br />

cause too many problems in this sort<br />

of setting. The reason being that other<br />

fungi present compete with the honey<br />

fungus and restricts its progress. In a<br />

cultivated garden setting we are not<br />

so lucky as the honey fungus has less<br />

competition from other fungus and<br />

can run unabated through susceptible<br />

trees and shrubs. There is no ‘cure’<br />

for it, either natural or chemical, but<br />

there are steps you can take to stop or<br />

weaken any possibility of further havoc.<br />

I think that once mature trees are<br />

affected, there is a problem in that<br />

as it is spread from root to root, so<br />

it’s difficult to recognise before it is<br />

too late. Red or purple rhizomorphs<br />

maturing into what look a bit like<br />

black bootlaces are to be found in<br />

the root system of the tree and white<br />

mycelium can be found under the<br />

bark. Apparently the rhizomorphs can<br />

extend 30 metres from an infected<br />

plant, which is a worrying thought!<br />

There is a suggestion that you can<br />

sink a plastic barrier into the soil to<br />

a depth of eighteen inches with an<br />

inch or two above the soil if you think<br />

that you might have a chance to catch<br />

the fungus in time. Again, tricky if<br />

the trees that are affected are mature<br />

and thus their roots really extensive.<br />

I think that at that stage, you might<br />

have to live with it after removing as <br />

istockphoto.com/Terrence Pickles (Exeter Trees) / Alastair James / Jenny On The Moon<br />

to reduce the trees to shadows of their<br />

former selves. So three have now been<br />

felled. I’m trying to convince myself<br />

that, rather like after the 1987 storm,<br />

there’ll now be opportunities to make<br />

a few changes in the garden. Luckily,<br />

not all garden shrubs and trees will<br />

succumb to the fungus. There are<br />

some that don’t seem to be affected.<br />

One of these is box (Buxus) and thank<br />

goodness for that. Box has its own<br />

problems with both box blight and<br />

box tree moth caterpillars though.<br />

Repeated applications of TOPBUXUS<br />

Above: Azara Serrata is exuberant and deliciously scented<br />

99<br />



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Garden<br />

“I’m trying to<br />

convince myself<br />

that, rather<br />

like after the<br />

1987 storm,<br />

there’ll now be<br />

opportunities<br />

to make a few<br />

changes in the<br />

garden”<br />

much of the affected plant as possible.<br />

It is only later in the fungus’s progress<br />

that you will spot the clumps of large<br />

honey coloured mushrooms appearing<br />

in late summer. These are, of course,<br />

the final giveaway. They vary in size and<br />

shape and are very recognisable because<br />

of their size and by each mushroom<br />

having a white ring of tissue known<br />

as the annulus just under the cap.<br />

Smaller trees and shrubs can be<br />

protected to some extent by thoroughly<br />

mulching and fertilising as well as<br />

watering regularly in dry summers. The<br />

other thing is to remember to add a<br />

good sprinkle of beneficial mycorrhizal<br />

fungi, naturally present in the soil,<br />

around the roots of new plantings<br />

(Rootgrow is easily available). Trees and<br />

shrubs planted a little too deeply with<br />

soil or compost piled up around their<br />

base are more likely to be damaged as<br />

the fungus can spread through their root<br />

collar. The advice too is to leave the<br />

ground fallow for up to a year before<br />

replanting after you have removed as<br />

much damaged material as you can.<br />

Check whether any new plant<br />

you intend to introduce is capable<br />

of withstanding the fungus if you<br />

definitely know that you have it. The<br />

RHS, amongst others, publish a very<br />

comprehensive list of plants that are<br />

not affected. It would seem sensible<br />

to stick to those. The only one on<br />

the list that I would take issue with is<br />

the flowering quince. Ours seems to<br />

be about to succumb having battled<br />

through several seasons of poor growth<br />

and now a peeling bark – but you never<br />

know, it may be something else. And<br />

I’m sure that it might have preferred a<br />

less exposed spot. Another note to self.<br />

Sue Whigham can be contacted<br />

on 07810 457948 for gardening<br />

advice and help in the sourcing and<br />

supply of interesting garden plants.<br />

101<br />


Don’t miss our next<br />

Education <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Find it in the<br />

February <strong>2024</strong> issue<br />

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


Education<br />

Don’t Look Back<br />

in Anger<br />

Left: The<br />

Arch of Janus in the<br />

Forum Boarium marked<br />

an important meeting place<br />

Below: An ancient coin<br />

showing two-headed Roman<br />

god Janus, 225-214 BC<br />

Mike Piercy, education consultant and former Head of The New Beacon, explains the importance<br />

of healthy self-reflection and learning from our past in order to move forward positively<br />

istockphoto.com/ scaliger / Sergey Strelkov<br />

‘<br />

You’ve never been to Rome? Really?’<br />

New year’s resolution: book long weekend in<br />

Rome. The food, the wine, the culture, the art,<br />

the architecture. History is abundant in Rome – it is<br />

everywhere. The base of a two-thousand-year-old pillar<br />

pokes up cheekily, stubbornly through the pavement as<br />

you pass by an unpretentious enoteca. Then there are<br />

the ‘jani’, the grand archways and elaborate doorways,<br />

sometimes standing in solitary, splendid isolation. Why?<br />

Not because they are all that is left standing of some<br />

ancient relic; because they were built that way, symbolically,<br />

steeped in superstition. Passage through the gateway<br />

would hopefully bring luck and good fortune, particularly<br />

for an army leaving Rome to wage war and conquer.<br />

The jani are watched over by Janus, the god of beginnings,<br />

endings, transition – of doorways. He is generally pictured<br />

having two faces, looking both forward and back. After him is<br />

named this month, <strong>January</strong>, the start of the new calendar year.<br />

It may be the case we don’t want to look back too closely<br />

at 2023: conflict, division, the economy, the cost of living,<br />

potholes and VAR. We can however look forward to <strong>2024</strong><br />

with hope – for there is always hope. I am cursed with<br />

optimism. On 21st December, the winter solstice, the<br />

days began to get longer; the pendulum reached its zenith.<br />

By 18th <strong>January</strong> there will be another hour’s daylight.<br />

Pupils, students, have two new years: September at school;<br />

and <strong>January</strong>, along with everyone else. Both are new starts<br />

providing fresh opportunities. September brings different<br />

teachers, classes, schools and challenges – ambitions for<br />

the year. <strong>January</strong>, after the long autumn term, brings<br />

the chance to stop; to review and reflect. If I had set<br />

myself targets, aspirations, how far along the road am I to<br />

achieving them? Is there the need for course correction?<br />

This an expression derived from spacecraft which may have<br />

marginally diverged from their trajectory, the error growing<br />

over distance, space and time. Not pausing, checking<br />

to course correct, only exacerbates that divergence.<br />

Children do not naturally reflect. They will often beat<br />

themselves up following a disappointment without reflecting<br />

on the causes. Note the use of ‘disappointment’ over ‘failure’:<br />

the former can be qualified; the latter simply destructive.<br />

Getting young people to pause, separate the emotion<br />

from the data and reflect, is a skill best learnt young.<br />

A thirteen-year-old’s conversation with self (in an ideal world).<br />

‘I worked and revised really hard…’ Pause. ‘Did<br />

I really? Truly? Why didn’t I prepare properly? Next<br />

time I will…’ and so emerges an action plan.<br />

‘I should have won the competition – I’m much better<br />

at maths…’ Just a moment. ‘Let’s think about this. The<br />

winner is better at tables, is gold standard maths challenge<br />

(though I am better at algebra). On balance…’<br />

‘It’s not fair. We were the better side…’ Think. Analyse.<br />

‘Actually, the other side did play better – they were<br />

more committed, fitter and tackled. We need to train<br />

harder.’ And so a little bit of self-honesty creeps in. As<br />

it is said, the easiest person to deceive is yourself.<br />

So, we teach, we encourage and we practise with<br />

young people the art of honest, constructive reflection.<br />

Janus looks back at 2023 with one eyebrow minimally,<br />

discernibly, wryly raised at the folly of humankind. We,<br />

too, should look back, but with caution, balance and<br />

perspective: the past is for informing, not inhabiting.<br />

Returning to the new year’s resolutions (most of<br />

which are conveniently forgotten within weeks) let us<br />

look forward to <strong>2024</strong>, making it a better year, learning<br />

from 2023. And book that long weekend in Rome.<br />

103<br />








What’s On<br />

this Season<br />


Every weekend until 31 Mar<br />

Hampton Court Palace,<br />

Hampton Court Way, Molesey,<br />

East Molesey KT8 9AU<br />




Join the palace history cooks to<br />

find out what life was like working<br />

in the royal kitchens in the 16th<br />

century. Originally staffed by 200<br />

people, these kitchens fed over<br />

450 people twice a day. Find out<br />

all about the recipes and methods<br />

used to please the tastes of the<br />

royal court. You can even have a<br />

go at working the tournebroche,<br />

turning the meat in front of the<br />

roaring fires. Tudor Cookery and<br />

Roasting is included in palace<br />

admission; please check opening<br />

times for the day of your visit.<br />

Entry: Included in palace<br />

admission price<br />

hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace<br />

Sat 10 Feb – Sun 18 Feb<br />

Hever Castle and Gardens,<br />

Hever Road, Hever,<br />

Edenbridge TN8 7NG<br />


Alongside the children’s eco<br />

sculpture competition (see<br />

Notebook page 20) visitors to<br />

Hever during half term Eco Week<br />

can also take part in a fun eco craft<br />

activity as well as wander around<br />

the grounds to find out more<br />

about what Hever Castle, rated<br />

silver for green tourism, does to<br />

be environmentally friendly. Yuki<br />

Solle, the founder of lifestyle blog<br />

cultivate the life will be sharing<br />

tips on how to reduce food waste<br />

and eat well on a budget. Plus,<br />

she will be running some handy<br />

and informative free workshops<br />

(included in admission price)<br />

on how to turn an old t-shirt<br />

into a bag (feel free to bring one<br />

along) or how to make beeswax<br />

candles (10th February), how to<br />

make a conker laundry pouch<br />

or a bird feeder (15th February),<br />

make a dishcloth from old tights,<br />

socks or leggings or a stick photo<br />

frame (16th February), an egg<br />

carton herb planter or a coffee<br />

body scrub (17th February).<br />

hevercastle.co.uk<br />


Mondays 11am-1pm &<br />

Tuesdays 10am-12pm<br />

The Amelia Scott, Mount<br />

Pleasant Road, Royal Tunbridge<br />

Wells, Kent TN1 1AW<br />


Friendly volunteers are ready<br />

to help you improve your IT<br />

skills. Whether you or someone<br />

you know is taking the first<br />

steps online, computer-savvy<br />

but encountering hiccups, or<br />

just wishing to access handy<br />

resources like Which?, Ancestry,<br />

Find my Past and the British<br />

Newspaper Archive. Learn to<br />

master the library apps and<br />

the volunteers can also guide<br />

you through the photocopying<br />

and printing facilities.<br />

Entry: free<br />

theamelia.co.uk<br />

Every other Sunday from 14 Jan<br />

11am-12.30pm<br />

The Amelia Scott, Mount<br />

Pleasant Road, Royal<br />

Tunbridge Wells TN1 1AW<br />


This fortnightly gardening and<br />

craft group is for anyone looking<br />

to connect with others and<br />

make a positive impact on the<br />

environment. The sessions alternate<br />

between gardening activities based<br />

in The Amelia’s courtyard and<br />

green-themed craft activities. If<br />

you’re green-fingered and enjoy<br />

crafting or just happy to learn,<br />

share and grow, this will be a lovely<br />

way to spend a Sunday morning.<br />

Entry: free<br />

theamelia.co.uk<br />

Thur 18 Jan 6.30-8.30pm<br />

Happy & Glorious, 47a Burgate,<br />

Canterbury CT1 2HW<br />


Does your Instagram profile need<br />

a refresh? Are you struggling to<br />

find your creativity? Or are you<br />

brand new to Instagram and not<br />

sure where to start? Bring the joy<br />

back to your social media with this<br />

lovely workshop with Laura from<br />

AnySomething Photography, as<br />

she takes you through the basics<br />

of Instagram. Includes materials,<br />

tea, coffee and nibbles, and some<br />

exclusive Happy & Glorious<br />

discount vouchers in the price!<br />

Entry: £32<br />

happyglorious.co.uk<br />

FAIRS<br />

Sunday 28 Jan 9am-3pm<br />

Highbury Hall, Tenterden<br />


This local fair will have lots of<br />

stalls selling unique and interesting<br />

retro, vintage and antique items.<br />

There will also be small furniture<br />

and gold and silver jewellery. While<br />

you’re there, you can also stop<br />

by the Café which will be open<br />

and serving bacon rolls, all-day<br />

breakfast, cakes and lunches from<br />

12 noon. Dogs always welcome.<br />

Entry: Free (with free parking) <br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />



Fri 16 – Sun 25 Feb<br />

Venues throughout Faversham<br />


FESTIVAL <strong>2024</strong><br />

A week-long programme that<br />

is eclectic, thought-provoking<br />

and jam-packed with events! It<br />

offers an exciting mix of wellknown<br />

authors, leading thinkers,<br />

up-and-coming writers and local<br />

talent, plus writing competitions<br />

for all ages, workshops,<br />

spoken word, slam poetry,<br />

children’s and family events.<br />

favershamliteraryfestival.org<br />


Fri 26 Jan 10am-1pm<br />

Brooklands Museum, Brooklands<br />

Drive, Weybridge KT13 0SL<br />



Discover what it was like to fly<br />

on Concorde, with a glass of<br />

Champagne in your hand. The<br />

experience begins with your ‘preflight’<br />

briefing in The Members’<br />

Bar in the original Edwardian<br />

Clubhouse, with tea and coffee<br />

served in your ‘Departure<br />

Lounge’. Then it’s time to board<br />

Concorde and take your seat<br />

on a real Concorde seat, ready<br />

to take your virtual flight and<br />

discover the incredible history<br />

and legacy of this supersonic<br />

aircraft. Before you disembark,<br />

you’ll have the opportunity to<br />

visit the Flight Deck too. See the<br />

world’s only working Concorde<br />

Simulator and watch as she takes<br />

off from London Heathrow, flies<br />

a low-level pass over Brooklands,<br />

and lands back at Heathrow.<br />

Entry: £65<br />

brooklandsmuseum.com<br />


Daily at 1pm (also<br />

11.30am Weds – Sun)<br />

Kenward Place, Kenward Road,<br />

Yalding, Maidstone ME18 6AH<br />



Meet Kenward’s herd of eight<br />

lovely (and occasionally rather<br />

cheeky) alpacas. You can book an<br />

Alpaca Experience throughout<br />

the week to spend a magical hour<br />

learning about these amazing<br />

creatures, getting to know their<br />

distinct personalities, and then<br />

taking them for a walk through the<br />

Kenward woodland. Rest assured<br />

the alpacas will be looking forward<br />

to it just as much as you – you’ll<br />

see them waiting by the gate when<br />

you arrive. Do make the most of<br />

the lovely tearooms on your visit<br />

too. Suitable for children over 10<br />

years. Not suitable for those with<br />

mobility issues. Private Meet &<br />

Greet sessions are also available<br />

for those with additional needs.<br />

Entry: from £25<br />

kenwardplace.co.uk<br />

Sun 14 Jan 10.30am-4pm<br />

Weald & Downland <strong>Living</strong><br />

Museum, Town Lane, Singleton,<br />

West Sussex PO18 0EU<br />


Bless the <strong>Wealden</strong> and Downland<br />

<strong>Living</strong> Museum’s apple orchard at<br />

their traditional winter Wassailing<br />

– all in the name of encouraging<br />

a good harvest. Join a procession<br />

with music, song and performances<br />

from the House from Sole Street<br />

to the orchard at 11.15am, 1pm<br />

or 2.45pm. In the orchard, a<br />

tree will be decorated and you<br />

can join in the ‘Wassail’ shout<br />

(bring along something to make<br />

plenty of noise – a tin to bang or<br />

something to rattle or whistle).<br />

The musicians will let you know<br />

when to make a noise! Wear warm<br />

clothes, good walking shoes and<br />

all children must be accompanied.<br />

wealddown.co.uk<br />

Sat 3 Feb – Sun 3 Mar<br />

Kew Gardens, Richmond<br />

TW9 3AE<br />


Drawing inspiration from<br />

the unique flora and fauna<br />

of Madagascar, <strong>2024</strong>’s orchid<br />

extravaganza at Kew will reflect<br />

the island’s lush rainforests,<br />

tropical dry forests and over<br />

3,000 miles of coastline. One of<br />

the most iconic symbols of the<br />

island, the Lovers Baobab, will<br />

be recreated in a breathtaking<br />

display on the waterlily pond,<br />

and floral sculptures will conjure<br />

some of Madagascar’s most iconic<br />

wildlife, including ring-tailed<br />

lemurs, radiated tortoises and the<br />

enigmatic aye-aye, the world’s<br />

largest nocturnal primate. Orchids<br />

After Hours will also return on<br />

select evenings during the festival.<br />

kew.org<br />


Sat 20 Jan 10am-1pm<br />

Hever Castle and Gardens,<br />

Hever Road, Hever,<br />

Edenbridge TN8 7NG<br />



A grounding, reviving 3-hour<br />

forest bathing workshop that<br />

finishes with herbal and wild<br />

teas, snacks and a closing<br />

reflection and gratitude circle.<br />

Entry: £35<br />

hevercastle.co.uk<br />

Listings are correct at time of going to press<br />

but may be subject to change. Readers are<br />

advised to check with venues before making<br />

arrangements. We can list your event in<br />

the next issue of <strong>Wealden</strong> <strong>Times</strong> for only<br />

£75+VAT. Please supply up to 200 words<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 8th <strong>January</strong>.<br />

istockphoto.com/ RolfSt & michelangeloop & ViewApart / ErithJohn<br />


105<br />


Jane Howard contemplates<br />

her farm resolutions for <strong>2024</strong><br />

Apart from the personal eat<br />

more veg / stick to 14 units<br />

/ brush teeth standing on one<br />

leg routines, there are of course many<br />

resolutions that would improve life around<br />

the farm in <strong>2024</strong>. So here’s the wish list….<br />

The chickens… every year, in the spring<br />

when the weather warms a little, at least one of the<br />

hens will go broody, sit tight on a clutch of eggs and<br />

raise a new family. This could be prevented by making her<br />

unbroody, but I always come under pressure from the kids<br />

(now in their late twenties!) to have Easter chicks, because<br />

“we always have”, so we always do! Mother hen will duly sit<br />

on around 12 eggs – fertile because we have Phil – resulting<br />

after losses and breakages in about eight live chicks. It<br />

would be all right if most of them were hens, lots of people<br />

want a hen or two, but every year, yes every<br />

year, there are always more cockerels than<br />

pullets (the name for young females) and<br />

we get left with a gang of unruly male<br />

teenagers which I then have to “deal with”.<br />

This year I will resolve to stand firm.<br />

While on the subject of chickens, there<br />

has been a very strange development in<br />

the hen department. One of our hens<br />

has become a cockerel! She has grown a<br />

magnificent comb, and impressive wattles<br />

– the fleshy flaps of bright red skin that<br />

hang from a rooster’s neck – and started<br />

strutting round the farmyard. Upon<br />

further investigation and reading it appears<br />

that although hens are born with two<br />

ovaries, only one functions. The left one is<br />

responsible for egg production and the right one is always<br />

dormant. If however the left one gets damaged it will shrink<br />

and then the right one will take over and occasionally take<br />

the form of a testicle, so the hen then becomes a cockerel<br />

and may start to crow. <strong>Good</strong>ness. Phil won’t be happy!<br />

The cows… Once we start calving in February I must<br />

be more vigilant. With most cows you can usually tell by<br />

the state of their udder when the birth is imminent. A<br />

Lots of people want<br />

a hen or two, but<br />

every year, yes every<br />

year, there are always<br />

more cockerels than<br />

pullets (the name<br />

for young females)<br />

and we get left with<br />

a gang of unruly<br />

male teenagers<br />

week or so before they calve their udder will begin to swell<br />

known as ‘bagging up’ and then when it’s really close, a<br />

few hours before, the actual teats fill so they look like an<br />

inflated Marigold rubber glove. With cows this makes it<br />

quite easy to tell, but with heifers (first-time mums) who<br />

often don’t let their milk down till the<br />

calf is born it’s all less noticeable – and<br />

it’s usually the heifers that have the<br />

complications. So while I always make<br />

a visit to the barn before I go to bed, if<br />

a heifer is due then I must, must, must,<br />

take another look in the middle of the<br />

night– not always easy when it’s cold, wet<br />

and windy outside and bed is so warm<br />

and cosy. But this year I definitely will.<br />

Other… The ‘other’ list is infinitely<br />

long, but could include successional<br />

sowing in the veg patch so things like<br />

lettuce, radishes and rocket don’t all<br />

come at once and a major project to<br />

make every gate on the farm open<br />

smoothly and close with a satisfying<br />

clunk without the usual pushing, shoving, lifting and<br />

then securing with baler twine that gets annoyingly<br />

knotted. And don’t get me started on the water troughs!<br />

That’s quite a few improvements but if past form is<br />

anything to go by, by the end of next year not much<br />

will have been ticked off, I won’t remember what was<br />

on the list anyway and can happily make another<br />

(very similar list) for 2025! Happy New Year!<br />

Find out more about daily life at Coopers Farm by visiting coopersfarmstonegate.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com 106

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WhiteheadMoncktonWT246.indd 1 20/10/2022 14:03

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