Surrey Homes | SH112 | May 2024 | Love Your Home Supplement inside

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

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


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MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

112<br />

MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

LOVE YOUR HOME SUPPLEMENT <strong>inside</strong><br />

Inspirational Interiors • Fabulous Fashion • Delicious Dishes


NATURE<br />



3615_boconcept_absolutely-ad_02-24.indd 5-6

Explore our latest Scandinavian designs, drawing from our unique Danish roots, with a<br />

focus on organic forms and materials inspired by nature. We can help you make the most of<br />

your space with our free interior design service. You’ll receive a consultation in-store or at<br />

home. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call or visit us in-store.<br />


12/02/<strong>2024</strong> 15:39



Come and visit our showroom:<br />

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

01293 826620<br />

www.rdokitchenstudio.co.uk<br />


Contemporary, reliable<br />

and expertly crafted<br />

swimming pools<br />


Simplicity and expert finishings have been our unbeatable combination for<br />

over 40 years. Based in <strong>Surrey</strong>, we are a family run business that is committed<br />

to providing a premier service on both private and commercial projects.<br />

www.lagoonpoolsltd.co.uk 01932 569 569 info@lagoonpoolsltd.co.uk<br />

LagoonPools-FullPage-<strong>Surrey</strong><strong><strong>Home</strong>s</strong>-April.indd 1 12/04/2023 16:59<br />

LagoonPoolsWT252.indd 1 18/04/2023 10:50

Contents<br />

<strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

26<br />

84<br />

48<br />

12<br />

19<br />

23<br />

26<br />

43<br />

48<br />

61<br />


Dream homes on the market<br />


Upcoming events for your diary<br />


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

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


A beautiful country estate<br />

adapted for modern family living<br />


Make a grand statement with<br />

luxe fabrics and antique furniture<br />


A sixteenth century house revamp<br />


Let character features shine out<br />

with a neutral colour palette<br />

and one-of-a-kind finds<br />

81<br />

82<br />

84<br />

88<br />

90<br />

91<br />


Channel laid-back feminine<br />

with Patchouli Fair<br />


Rebecca Cuffe edits 70s<br />

inspired clothes and accessories<br />


Delicious seasonal dishes given<br />

The Print House treatment<br />


Josephine Fairley finds soothing<br />

products for demanding skin<br />


Sarah Maxwell explains how<br />

to achieve a killer derrière<br />


Charlotte Lau discusses the<br />

nutritional benefits of asparagus<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 />

93<br />

97<br />

101<br />

102<br />

106<br />


Jen Stuart-Smith tracks down<br />

some local plant heroes at RHS<br />

Chelsea Flower Show <strong>2024</strong><br />

MIX IT UP<br />

Jo Arnell celebrates natural hues<br />


Mike Piercy learns some<br />

lessons from language<br />


Fun-filled dates for your diary...<br />


Jane Howard’s latest from<br />

Coopers Farm<br />


HOME<br />


18 pages of<br />

trend-led<br />

room revamps.<br />

After page 62.<br />

<strong>Love</strong> <strong>Your</strong> <strong>Home</strong><br />


garden design, construction & maintenance

From the<br />

Editor<br />

Character abounds in this issue’s interior<br />

shoots – from a grand 10-bedroom country<br />

estate to a beam-filled sixteenth century<br />

house tucked away down a peaceful Kentish lane.<br />

If you’re wanting to revitalise your home, with<br />

plans to give it a bit of a freshen up, then turn to<br />

our <strong>Love</strong> <strong>Your</strong> <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong> for plenty of<br />

design ideas, trend-led visuals and expert tips.<br />

In our food section, bustling hotel and restaurant,<br />

The Print House, has developed this month’s<br />

recipes, with chef Martin Elliot adding his creative<br />

flair to scallops, pork belly and lemon meringue.<br />

Plus, nutritionist Charlotte Lau takes a look at<br />

the health benefits of new season asparagus.<br />

Josephine Fairley certainly piqued my interest with<br />

her product recommendations for sensitive skin in our<br />

beauty section. When it comes to skincare knowledge,<br />

she’s unbeatable, and I’m sure the brands she’s highlighted<br />

will soothe reactive complexions across the Weald.<br />

It’s all about vibrancy outside for Jo Arnell as she<br />

takes a step back from structure to analyse the truly<br />

joyful elements of the garden – colours!<br />

And Blooming Green’s Jen Stuart-<br />

Smith tracks down some local nurseries<br />

who’ll be making an appearance at this<br />

year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.<br />

Finally, fill your diary with our edit of<br />

some fantastic festivals taking place over the<br />

next few months across the South East.<br />




OPENS 11 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

Enjoy your Priceless Magazine<br />

Priceless Team<br />

EditorLucy Fleming<br />

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

Sub Editor & Features Writer Emily Pavey<br />

Design & Production DirectorAnthony Boxall<br />

Sales ManagersLisa Gordon-Hughes<br />

Maria Hurley<br />

Senior Account ManagerSarah Norwood<br />

Senior Account Manager Andrew Boughton<br />

Wealden Times Show Director Flo Simpson<br />

Events Manager Liz Miles<br />

Events Sales Director Jude Brown<br />

Financial ControllerStephen Hunt<br />

Accounts Sarah Davies<br />

Nicola O’Leary<br />

Social Media ManagerCharlotte Lau<br />

Managing DirectorVivien Cotterill-Lee<br />

Executive ChairmanJulie Simpson<br />

Contact the gallery for further details<br />


117 High Street<br />

Godalming<br />

<strong>Surrey</strong> GU7 1AQ<br />

01483 860591<br />

www.mcallisterthomasfineart.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

9<br />

2021-11-mcallister-thomas-beckie-reed.indd 1 12/04/<strong>2024</strong> 09:53

MANY<br />




Tel: 01420 590510<br />

www.distinctivelightinguk.com<br />


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

9am - 1pm: Saturday<br />

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

<strong>Surrey</strong> <strong><strong>Home</strong>s</strong> - FP- <strong>May</strong> Edition.indd 1 15/04/<strong>2024</strong> 10:35:32

istockphoto.com/ Maria Voronovich<br />

Find us here!<br />

Call 01580 714705 to find your nearest distributor of<br />

<strong>Surrey</strong> <strong><strong>Home</strong>s</strong> or to get free copies delivered for £30 a year.<br />

12,000 copies of <strong>Surrey</strong> <strong><strong>Home</strong>s</strong> are printed<br />

every month. We are available in<br />

the following outlets and are the<br />

only local magazine available at key<br />

commuter stations. If you have any<br />

questions about our distribution please<br />

contact Vivien Cotterill-Lee<br />

vivien.cotterill-lee@priceless-group.com<br />

Ashtead<br />

• Patrick Gardner<br />

Bagshott<br />

• Cubbitt Antiques<br />

• Howlands<br />

Estate Agents<br />

• Longacres Nursery<br />

Banstead<br />

• King of Cotton<br />

Betchworth<br />

• Buckland Deli<br />

• The Community<br />

Shop<br />

Bookham<br />

• Patrick Gardner<br />

Buckland<br />

• Buckland Nurseries<br />

Garden Centre<br />

Camberley<br />

• Romans<br />

Caterham<br />

• Shard Solutions<br />

Cheam<br />

• Cook<br />

Chelsham<br />

• Knights Garden<br />

Centre<br />

Chobham<br />

• Melita<br />

• Pasha<br />

Claygate<br />

• Trew Art<br />

Cobham<br />

• Cobham Furniture<br />

• Fego Café<br />

• Oh So Coco<br />

Cranleigh<br />

• Curchods Prime<br />

• Notcutts<br />

• Roger Coupe<br />

Dorking<br />

• Dorking Travel<br />

• Patrick Gardner<br />

• Princess Alice<br />

Hospice<br />

• Sainsbury’s<br />

Epsom<br />

• <strong>May</strong>field Lavender<br />

Nursery & Shop<br />

• Sainsbury’s<br />

Esher<br />

• Sandown Park<br />

Racecourse<br />

Farnham<br />

• Cook<br />

• ME Estate Agents<br />

• Sainsbury’s<br />

• Waterstones<br />

Felbridge<br />

• Doves Barn Nursery<br />

Godalming<br />

• Cook<br />

• Sainsbury’s<br />

• Sarah Louise Dix<br />

• Waterstones<br />

Godstone<br />

• Knights Garden<br />

Centre<br />

Guildford<br />

• BoConcept<br />

• Elm Nursery<br />

Farm Shop<br />

• High Clandon<br />

Estate Vineyard<br />

• Neptune<br />

Haslemere<br />

• Lythe Hill<br />

Hotel & Spa<br />

• Tesco Superstore<br />

Knaphill<br />

• Sainsbury’s<br />

Leatherhead<br />

• Patrick Gardner<br />

• Robert Leech<br />

& Partners<br />

Lingfield<br />

• Robert Leech<br />

Lyne<br />

• The Farm Shop Lyne<br />

Milford<br />

• Secretts<br />

Old Oxted<br />

• Fish Plaice & Grill<br />

Oxted<br />

• Cook<br />

• Jackson-Stops & Staff<br />

• Limpsfield Stores<br />

• Morrisons<br />

• Robert Leech<br />

Oxshott<br />

• The Bear<br />

Redhill<br />

• Priory Farm<br />

Reigate<br />

• Buckland Nurseries<br />

Garden Centre<br />

• County Clothes<br />

• Robert Leech<br />

• RDO Kitchens<br />

Ripley<br />

• Ripley Nurseries<br />

Farm Shop<br />

• The Talbot<br />

Surbiton<br />

• Sainsbury’s<br />

Walton on<br />

Thames<br />

• Waterstones<br />

• Sainsbury’s<br />

Warlingham<br />

• Botley Hill<br />

Farmhouse<br />

• Rayners Estate<br />

Agents<br />

West Byfleet<br />

• Roman Tiles<br />

Weybridge<br />

• Tesco Extra<br />

Woldingham<br />

• Fine & Country<br />

TRAIN<br />


• Dorking<br />

• East Grinstead<br />

• Epsom<br />

• Esher<br />

• Guildford<br />

• Haslemere<br />

• Kingston<br />

• Redhill<br />

• Richmond<br />

• Surbiton<br />

• Weybridge<br />

• Wimbledon<br />

• Woking<br />

11<br />





For high-value properties and contents, including<br />

valuables, fine art and collections, choose<br />

NFU Mutual Bespoke <strong>Home</strong> Insurance.<br />

To discuss your high-value<br />

home insurance, contact<br />

Max Flaherty, Bespoke<br />

Account Manager at<br />

NFU Mutual Cobham<br />

01932 865 667<br />

Cobham_agency@nfumutual.co.uk<br />

5 High Street, Cobham, KT11 3DH<br />

The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited<br />

(No. 111982). Registered in England. Registered Office:<br />

Tiddington Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire<br />

CV37 7BJ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority<br />

and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the<br />

Prudential Regulation Authority. A member of the Association<br />

of British Insurers.<br />


House<br />

Month<br />

of the<br />

£10,000,000<br />

Godalming<br />

We pick out some of our favourite<br />

homes on the market<br />

The dream: A chance to acquire<br />

a unique and important country<br />

estate just 35 miles from London.<br />

Where: Within the Green Belt,<br />

4 miles south of Godalming,<br />

and classified as an Area of<br />

Great Landscape Value, whilst<br />

the surrounding <strong>Surrey</strong> Hills<br />

is a designated AONB.<br />

Setting: Old Enton occupies<br />

an elevated and wonderfully<br />

tranquil location surrounded<br />

by an attractive variety of open<br />

and wooded countryside.<br />

Beds: 7 Baths: 5<br />

Special features: There are two<br />

separate, 2-bedroom cottages within<br />

the estate, whilst the period barn<br />

is a leisure or party space with<br />

further guest accommodation.<br />

Pleasing details: Dating from the<br />

18th century, Old Enton displays<br />

the classic Georgian characteristics<br />

and proportions with its red brick<br />

elevations, pedimented porch,<br />

and square paned sash windows.<br />

Outside: This 90-acre estate includes<br />

ancient woodland, two lakes, fenced<br />

paddocks, a swimming pool, tennis<br />

court and period outbuildings<br />

with garaging for 6 cars.<br />

Time to town: Close to Guildford<br />

(10 miles) with its wide range of<br />

shops, restaurants, and trains to<br />

London Waterloo in 36 mins.<br />

Gatwick and Heathrow airports<br />

are less than an hour away.<br />

Agents: Savills<br />

0207 4998644<br />

savills.co.uk<br />


Haslemere<br />

£1,875,000<br />

The dream: This grand Victorian coach<br />

house has been sympathetically extended<br />

and stylishly refurbished, with a beautifully<br />

mature garden and swimming pool.<br />

Where: A mile or so north-west of the<br />

picturesque town of Haslemere, with easy access<br />

to the A3 and Haslemere’s mainline station.<br />

Setting: This stunning, detached family home<br />

sits in ¾ acre of peace and tranquillity.<br />

Beds: 5 Baths: 4<br />

Special features: Modern bathrooms;<br />

wood burning stoves; parquet flooring;<br />

tastefully decorated throughout.<br />

Pleasing details: Full of character and<br />

charm, with many original features including<br />

fireplaces, coach house doors, round<br />

windows, beams and vaulted ceilings.<br />

Outside: Immaculate, well-tended,<br />

mature garden with swimming pool,<br />

treehouse and BBQ shed.<br />

Time to town: A few minutes from Haslemere<br />

and the mainline station, which connects<br />

to London Waterloo in 55 minutes.<br />

Agents: House Partnership 01483 266700<br />

housepartnership.co.uk<br />

Reigate<br />

£1,150,000<br />

The dream: A detached Grade II<br />

listed ‘chocolate box’ family home,<br />

in an idyllic rural setting.<br />

Where: 2 miles south of Reigate,<br />

7 miles north of Gatwick.<br />

Setting: Peaceful countryside setting<br />

but close to the popular, bustling town<br />

of Reigate with its fabulous selection of<br />

restaurants and independent retailers.<br />

Beds: 5 Baths: 3<br />

Special features: Magnificent roaring open<br />

fire in the timber beamed living room.<br />

Pleasing details: Generous master<br />

bedroom with inglenook fireplace.<br />

Outside: Spacious gravel drive to the<br />

front with delightful mature garden to<br />

the rear, that includes a pond, patio and<br />

an outbuilding converted into a gym.<br />

Time to town: Commuting from Reigate<br />

station takes around 40 minutes into London<br />

Bridge or Victoria, whilst Redhill (3 miles<br />

away) is 31 mins to London Bridge.<br />

Agents: Robert Leech 01737 246246<br />

robertleech.com<br />

13<br />


N E W 3 B E D R O O M<br />

S H O W H O M E N O W O P E N<br />

2, 3, 4 & 5 BEDROOM HOMES<br />

FROM £450,000 MOVE IN NOW<br />


01483 944 011 | sales@leighwoodfields.co.uk<br />

Leighwood Fields, Alfold Road, Cranleigh, <strong>Surrey</strong> GU6 8WQ<br />

Prices correct at time of going to press and subject to availability. Photography is indicative only.<br />

50201_Berkeley_LeighwoodFields_<strong>Surrey</strong><strong><strong>Home</strong>s</strong><strong>May</strong>Ad_AW.indd 1 28/03/<strong>2024</strong> 12:59

Birchgrove Leatherhead<br />

Christ Church<br />

Apartments<br />

Luxury assisted living retirement apartments<br />

Enjoy<br />

more.<br />

At Birchgrove, we invite you to<br />

embrace the beauty of later life –<br />

and enjoy more of what you love.<br />

Enjoy more time with loved ones<br />

and more freedom to live life<br />

as you please.<br />

Leading<br />

the way<br />

in retirement<br />

rental living<br />

Enjoy a home more thoughtfully designed to make living<br />

in later life easier, featuring waist-height appliances and<br />

step-free en suites. Be part of a vibrant social community<br />

with more to do in exceptional facilities like a Restaurant,<br />

Club Room, Wellness Suite and Bar. Experience the peace of<br />

mind a more secure new home with on-site 24hr concierge<br />

brings. And leave any property maintenance worries behind.<br />

Say goodbye to all that home ownership hassle<br />

and hello to an inclusive rental option.<br />

Ready to make yourself at home? 020 3929 5599<br />

www.birchgrove.life<br />

Locations in <strong>Surrey</strong>, Kent & London:<br />

Banstead | Chiswick | Ewell | Godalming | Hampton<br />

Leatherhead | Mill Hill | Sidcup | Woking


Retirement living<br />

in Leatherhead<br />

Birchgrove, the award-winning<br />

retirement living specialist<br />

is delighted to announce<br />

the arrival of its latest<br />

retirement community, giving those<br />

who live in and around Leatherhead,<br />

<strong>Surrey</strong>, an accommodation option<br />

specifically for people in later life.<br />

Christ Church Apartments, located on<br />

the site of the former Christ Church<br />

United Reformed Church, is undergoing<br />

a total transformation. When complete,<br />

the accommodation will offer 62<br />

spacious and modern apartments housed<br />

within three buildings surrounded by<br />

beautiful trees. With sustainability at its<br />

heart, the architecture is striking, with<br />

capped gables and a grand entrance<br />

façade, mirroring the site’s history<br />

and neighbourhood’s character.<br />

Christ Church Apartments will offer a<br />

choice of elegant, light-filled one- and<br />

two-bedroom self-contained apartments,<br />

future-designed to make living in later<br />

life easier and more enjoyable. We<br />

believe the kind of home you want to<br />

show off to your friends a little will be<br />

the kind of home you’ll love living in.<br />

Downsizing can offer a fresh start in later<br />

life – and the benefits may astound you.<br />

However, moving from a large family<br />

home to something easier to manage,<br />

triggers some powerful emotions and raises<br />

a good many questions. The practical side<br />

of our brain tells us the earlier we do it,<br />

the better we are – physically, socially,<br />

and financially. Yet, understandably, it’s<br />

not a task anyone undertakes lightly.<br />

Our extensive communal facilities<br />

include an onsite restaurant, club<br />

room, licensed bar, wellness suite and<br />

much more. There are also beautiful,<br />

landscaped gardens, perfect for relaxing<br />

with family and friends, and active spaces<br />

like the multi-use bowling green and<br />

gardens with raised planters for growing<br />

vegetables. It’s a welcoming place,<br />

open to all and designed to encourage<br />

community and continuity in the heart<br />

of this wonderful neighbourhood.<br />

Birchgrove retirement apartments<br />

are offered solely for rent on an<br />

assured tenancy basis. This provides<br />

security of tenure but without the<br />

hassle of home ownership.<br />

The UK is fast becoming a rental<br />

market – especially for retirees. Renting<br />

in retirement is becoming more and<br />

more popular because it offers all the<br />

benefits of independent living without<br />

any of the stress of owning a house.<br />

The rent offered by Birchgrove is<br />

inclusive and makes it easier to manage<br />

your finances. The inclusive rent covers<br />

all the large-ticket expenses like energy<br />

costs – electricity, heating and water –<br />

and many of the rising incidental costs<br />

that go along with owning your own<br />

home e.g. housekeeping, buildings<br />

insurance, security, broadband,<br />

window cleaning and many more.<br />

There are no lengthy contracts or<br />

confusing small print. Nor additional<br />

service charges or exit fees. You simply pay<br />

the inclusive rent and a one-off joining fee.<br />

To find out more about Christ Church<br />

Apartments you can get in touch with the<br />

team on 020 3929 5599 or visit<br />

www.birchgrove.life Or, if you<br />

prefer, they’d be just as happy to<br />

visit you at your own home.

KAOS Landscape AD AW <strong>2024</strong> _KAOS OS A4 Ad 2022 03/04/<strong>2024</strong> 10:49 Page 1<br />

Kingston OpenStudios<br />

11-12,18-19 & 25-26 <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> Open 11am-5pm<br />

Visit artists,makers and designers in their studios across Kingston andTeddington<br />

@kaoskingston<br />

www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk<br />

<strong>Surrey</strong> Sculpture Society<br />




OVER 80<br />

sculptures<br />

displayed<br />

around the<br />


LAKE<br />

8 TH JUNE - 14 TH JULY (10am - 5pm)<br />

Discover inspirational art<br />

by renowned & emerging sculptors<br />

All sculptures will be for sale. Entry prices & further information:<br />

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/claremont<br />

www.surreysculpture.org.uk<br />

@surreysculpturesociety<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


Notebook<br />

Focal Point<br />

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

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

Castle<br />

crescendo!<br />

Leeds Castle Concert always makes for a fabulous event and<br />

this year it returns on Saturday 13th July with a packed<br />

programme of live music, Spitfire flypasts and fireworks within<br />

the magical and historic grounds of Leeds Castle.<br />

The world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will once<br />

again take to the stage, this year with a distinct nod<br />

to ABBA mania as the concert references the 50th<br />

anniversary of the iconic group’s Eurovision win.<br />

This year’s showstopping lineup will also include West<br />

End star of ‘Tina The Musical’ Elesha Paul Moses<br />

plus Lara Martins from ‘Phantom of the Opera’.<br />

What’s more there’s a reader offer, so make sure<br />

you use the code WEALD when booking<br />

your ticket for a 10% discount. Early bird<br />

discounts are also available, book online<br />

today at leedscastleconcert.co.uk<br />

Craft In Focus presents the<br />

Contemporary Craft Fair at the lovely<br />

Hever Castle from 16th to 19th <strong>May</strong><br />

featuring 140 exhibitors showcasing<br />

a diverse range of contemporary<br />

craft and art. Held amidst Hever<br />

Castle’s beautiful gardens you can<br />

enjoy live music, food and drink<br />

alongside the event. Craft In Focus<br />

selects from the finest makers from<br />

around the UK, offering a unique<br />

opportunity to appreciate and<br />

purchase original, high-quality crafts.<br />

Live demonstrations and familyfriendly<br />

attractions are sure to<br />

enrich the experience. Discounted<br />

tickets are available until 10th<br />

<strong>May</strong> with code CRAFT24.<br />

craftinfocus.com<br />

UP YOUR<br />

STREET<br />

Kingston Open Studios will<br />

see artists exhibiting work in their<br />

homes and studios on 11/12th, 18/19th<br />

and 25/26th <strong>May</strong>, from 11am to 5pm<br />

each day. This is a perfect opportunity<br />

to meet local artists, see their work and<br />

discover the techniques, passions and<br />

inspirations behind the scenes. Some<br />

exhibitors will be giving workshops<br />

or demonstrating their techniques. A<br />

highlight this year is the inaugural<br />

Kingston Young Artists competition.<br />

Shortlisted artists’ work will be<br />

exhibited at FUSEBOX during<br />

Kingston Open Studios. For details of<br />

the trail map, check out the catalogue<br />

at kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk


Tucked away down a side street behind ancient walls, Tonbridge Castle could<br />

easily be missed. But venture just a few steps from Tonbridge High Street<br />

and you’ll instantly be transported into a medieval world. Immerse yourself<br />

in the sights and sounds of history and explore the gatehouse, great hall and<br />

basement. And don’t miss the panoramic views from the top! The castle is<br />

open daily for tours and with its central location you can extend your outing<br />

with a stroll around the town and enjoy the local shops, pubs, restaurants<br />

and parks, all in a riverside setting. This is also a bumper year for events.<br />

Don’t miss the return of the popular Food and Drink Festival on Saturday<br />

25th and Sunday 26th <strong>May</strong> (see What’s On Festivals Special at the back of<br />

the magazine) and Artisan Market on Sunday 26th <strong>May</strong>. tonbridgecastle.org<br />

New Leaf<br />

McAllister Thomas Fine Art in<br />

Godalming are thrilled to be<br />

staging Beckie Reed’s second solo<br />

exhibition Forest Floor to Canopy<br />

featuring 15 new paintings<br />

beautifully expressing her love<br />

of woodland and treescapes. The<br />

Private View will be from 11am<br />

on Saturday 11th <strong>May</strong>. To register,<br />

call 01483 860591 or email<br />

info@mcallisterthomasfineart.co.uk.<br />

Find out more at<br />

mcallisterthomasfineart.co.uk<br />

Millennium Market<br />

There has been a market in Faversham for<br />

over 1,000 years and the town is celebrating<br />

this astonishing fact by holding a one-off<br />

Millennium Market on Sunday 26th <strong>May</strong> from<br />

10am until 4pm. Expect entertainment from<br />

across the eras including hands-on activities,<br />

dressing up; live music; birds of prey; local food<br />

and drink; historical displays and, of course, a<br />

fabulous Faversham market. favershammarket.org<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

DON’T PANIC!<br />

The nation’s favourite<br />

sitcom returns to the EM Forster<br />

Theatre in Tonbridge in the highly<br />

acclaimed stage production, Dad’s Army<br />

Radio Show. Two actors, two microphones,<br />

over twenty-five characters and lots of sound<br />

effects! Three episodes of Perry and Croft’s classic<br />

BBC comedy – adapted for radio for the very first<br />

time – are hilariously and lovingly enacted on<br />

stage by two master performers. Complete with<br />

vintage music and all your favourite characters<br />

and catchphrases, you will be transported<br />

right back to Walmington. Book tickets<br />

for Thursday 6th June at 01732<br />

304241 or emftheatre.com<br />

istockphoto.com/ Oksana Nazarova / Evgeniia Siiankovskaia / Mikhail Seleznev



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.McLarenBaxter@yahoo.co.uk or 07990 573287 with questions and for reservations. www.loucasteou.com<br />

ART FAIR<br />

17-19 MAY <strong>2024</strong><br />

Fri 4pm-8.30pm, Sat & Sun 10am-5pm<br />

landmarkartscentre.org<br />

Ferry Road, Teddington, TW11 9NN 020 8977 7558<br />

Admission: £5, Concessions £4, U16s & LAC Friends FREE<br />

landmarkartfairs landmarkspringandautumnartfairs landmarkarts<br />

Image: Marcia Hughes Registered Charity No: 1047080<br />

21<br />



Discover the value<br />

of luxury with Posh Pawn<br />

Embrace the spirit of renewal this<br />

Spring with Posh Pawn, your<br />

trusted destination for luxury<br />

assets. As the season comes into<br />

bloom, Posh Pawn Guildford invites you<br />

to explore a treasure trove of preloved<br />

luxury goods, or unlock the value of your<br />

assets with a short-term loan this Spring.<br />

As part of the esteemed Prestige<br />

Pawnbrokers family serving <strong>Surrey</strong>, London<br />

and the home counties, and made increasingly<br />

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This legacy of excellence is reflected in every<br />

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Posh Pawn are proud to offer a flexible<br />

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Having a Spring clean and looking to<br />

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Whether you have a designer handbag,<br />

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wine, or any other high-end item, Posh<br />

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offering clients instant access to cash.<br />



A treasure trove of preloved luxury goods<br />

can be found across each of the Posh<br />

Pawn stores and online, from pastelhued<br />

designer bags, timeless accessories<br />

in your favourite Spring colour palette<br />

and unique investment pieces – how<br />

could you say no? At Posh Pawn you’ll<br />

find luxury brands including Chanel,<br />

Rolex and Cartier at a fraction of their<br />

original retail prices! Each item undergoes<br />

rigorous authentication and quality checks,<br />

ensuring that you get genuine luxury<br />

without compromise – unable to visit in<br />

store? No problem! You can shop online<br />

at www.shopprestige.com. Whether you’re<br />

looking for an investment piece to add to<br />

your collection or statement accessory to<br />

elevate your style, Posh Pawn has it all.<br />

So why not take a trip to Posh Pawn<br />

today! 8 UK locations including:<br />

GUILDFORD - 01483 964019<br />

164-166 High Street, Guildford GU1 3HW<br />

guildford@prestigepawnbrokers.co.uk<br />

WEYBRIDGE - 01932 859880<br />

109 Queens Rd, Weybridge KT13 9UJ<br />

weybridge@prestigepawnbrokers.co.uk<br />

www.prestigepawnbrokers.co.uk<br />


istockphoto.com/ Jessica Zaccaria<br />

PO.P’s new collection is a must for kids’<br />

summer outdoor explorations! There are<br />

lots of practical pieces, like zip-off waterrepellant<br />

trousers, educational tees and<br />

this vest with lots of pockets for storing<br />

natural finds. £35 at polarnopyret.co.uk<br />

must<br />

The<br />

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

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

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

and generally get excited about!<br />

Kit Kemp’s latest collection for<br />

Annie Selke is as bright and<br />

pattern-packed as ever. Inspired<br />

by the New Forest, it’s just the<br />

colour-kick we’re needing to wake<br />

up our homes for summer. kitkemp.com<br />

For spring bank holiday, Bluewater shopping<br />

centre is holding a Scrumptious Food Festival<br />

from <strong>May</strong> 25-27. Expect celebrity chefs including<br />

Rosemary Shrager, street food from the likes of<br />

Whitstable Oyster Trading Company, and plenty<br />

of artisan foods to taste and shop. bluewater.co.uk<br />

As the sun begins<br />

to put its hat on,<br />

we’re heading into<br />

Sun Awareness Week and<br />

getting stocked up on sun<br />

protection. Green People’s<br />

line of organic SPF products<br />

is a great go-to for any<br />

skin type. They’ve got<br />

facial cream, age defying<br />

moisturiser, sun creams<br />

for sports, for kids, for tan<br />

boosting – basically whatever<br />

you’re after, they will likely<br />

have a solution. This is their<br />

scent-free facial sun cream<br />

which we love for how gentle<br />

it is on sensitive skin. £27.50<br />

at greenpeople.co.uk<br />

<strong>May</strong> is national walking month, and what<br />

better motivation to get on your feet and<br />

out walking than wine? Fizz on Foot’s<br />

wine tasting tours of East Sussex take you<br />

on wonderful country walks and then<br />

also guide you round one of Sussex’s various lovely<br />

vineyards. They include perks such as wine tastings,<br />

pub lunches, wildlife watching, meeting wine makers<br />

and local village tours. All in all a jolly day out that<br />

will get you moving. Win win! fizzonfoot.com<br />

As we wander about during walking month we need<br />

the right footwear. And (perfect timing!) ballet shoes<br />

remain a must-have for your summer ‘24 wardrobe.<br />

We’ve got our eyes on this ‘Carla’ pair from Blue Velvet<br />

in a beige leather. £159.99 bluevelvetshoes.com<br />

Throughout <strong>May</strong> and June,<br />

Belgravia Gallery in Cranleigh,<br />

<strong>Surrey</strong>, will be opening their<br />

showhouse for appointments. It’s a<br />

chance to view unique and diverse<br />

art in a relaxed home environment to<br />

help you envisage how it may look<br />

in situ. Expect new works by Charlie<br />

Mackesy, John Illsley (Dire Straits),<br />

Jan Coutts, Dion Salvador Lloyd<br />

and other emerging and established<br />

names. <strong>Home</strong> visits can also be<br />

arranged. belgraviagallery.com<br />

23<br />

<strong>May</strong> 16 to 18 is<br />

Doughnut Week! So<br />

take the excuse to<br />

tuck into something<br />

sweet. We’re loving<br />

Crosstown’s handcrafted<br />

fresh creations which<br />

come in all sorts of fun<br />

flavours, including vegan<br />

options. They deliver anywhere<br />

in the UK and you can choose<br />

your own box of 6 from £26.28.<br />

crosstown.co.uk<br />


<strong>Surrey</strong>’s Premier Builder<br />

Upfold Construction has been established since 2009<br />

and is a domestic builder providing services throughout<br />

<strong>Surrey</strong>, Sussex & Hampshire.<br />

Located in Cranleigh we are perfectly placed to offer a<br />

total building service to those clients seeking a local,<br />

professional and reliable builder. We carry out all aspects<br />

of building from extensions, renovations to a complete<br />

home refurbishment allowing us to provide a package of<br />

design, planning, building & finishing.<br />

We are members of The Chartered Institute of Building<br />

which guarantees our committment to quality of product,<br />

services and integrity of conduct.<br />

For more information, please contact us on: 01483 600335<br />

Email: info@upfoldconstruction.co.uk or www.upfoldconstruction.co.uk

Custodians of History<br />

Words: Damien Pestell<br />

Photographs: David Merewether<br />

Inspired by her family home’s centuries of history, and her lifelong interest in property,<br />

Claire Whisker has drawn on the skills she has learned during the ups and downs of her<br />

seven-year-long house renovation to create a successful new business venture<br />

From a young age I’ve always lived<br />

in older houses. The home I grew<br />

up in was an old farmhouse which<br />

had been around for the best part of<br />

500 years. It had a bit of a life of its own<br />

and would creak and groan with the<br />

seasons. We also had black and white<br />

photos of the previous owners who ran<br />

it as a farm and worked the land. When<br />

I grew up and bought my own home,<br />

it was always the older ones that caught<br />

my eye and captured my imagination.<br />

So it was lovely to meet Claire Whisker,<br />

a barrister turned entrepreneur who<br />

shares my fondness for older homes<br />

and the stories they have to tell.<br />

During our time together Claire<br />

spoke of her lifelong journey with<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


property, the incredible family home<br />

she’s lovingly restored and an exciting<br />

new business venture which supports<br />

homebuyers. Sitting down with Claire<br />

I detect a slight accent as we begin to<br />

talk, which I discretely try to pinpoint<br />

before she tells me, “I’m from Northern<br />

Ireland but I grew up in Australia.”<br />

Claire who now lives in a small village<br />

just outside of Faversham with her<br />

husband Jonny and two girls was born<br />

in Northern Ireland, but her family <br />

This page: The rich<br />

red dining room is<br />

the perfect place to host<br />

Christmas gatherings and is still<br />

complete with its original butler bell<br />

secreted away under the table<br />

27<br />


C<br />

C<br />

C<br />

M<br />

M<br />

M<br />

Y<br />

Y<br />

Y<br />

CM<br />

CM<br />

CM<br />

MY<br />

MY<br />

MY<br />

CY<br />

CY<br />

CY<br />

CMY<br />

CMY<br />

CMY<br />

K<br />

K<br />

K<br />

Dates <strong>2024</strong><br />

26 <strong>May</strong> . 27 Oct . 24 Nov<br />

Up to 120 stands<br />

Open (9:30am Trade) 10:30 - 4:00pm. Entry tickets available on the door.<br />

23 Tally Road, Limpsfield,<br />

Oxted, RH8 0TG<br />

T: 01883 771295<br />

Aga Refurbishments and<br />

Eco Conversions<br />

Here at Smartrange, we pride ourselves on<br />

preserving the Aga cooker, restoring and refurbishing<br />

them into the now and beyond. Offering a truly<br />

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full Aga refurbishments, updating the colour to<br />

converting your Aga from gas, oil and electric..<br />

For those that are looking for a more energy<br />

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yet still want to continue the tradition of owning an<br />

Aga, converting to electric is the option for you.<br />

Call us today to discuss your Aga upgrade.<br />

Servicing | Repairs | Refurbishments | Conversions | Removals<br />

@smartrange_aga @smartrangeaga www.smartrange.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


This page: Claire and Jonny have been careful<br />

to find the right balance between traditional<br />

and contemporary furnishings throughout the<br />

house. In the kitchen, one of the oldest rooms<br />

in the house, Claire and Jonny have deliberately<br />

kept the fridges under counter to maintain the old<br />

fashioned look. A beamed nook area has become<br />

their girls’ living room, complete with a woodburner<br />

relocated when she was young, a move<br />

instigated by her father, who is a bit of<br />

an inspiration for Claire. “My parents are<br />

amazing, they moved us so that we could<br />

have a better life and also enjoy more<br />

sailing in the sun,” she says. And it was<br />

Perth on the west coast of Australia where<br />

Claire’s interest in property first began,<br />

“My dad started a number of property<br />

companies there and my sister and I<br />

would tag along at the weekend for his<br />

site visits. I think from those early days I<br />

have property running through my veins.”<br />

Growing up, Claire went on to study<br />

law at university before packing her<br />

bags for the UK and the bright lights of<br />

London. Once there, she quickly settled<br />

into her new life. Initially working in <br />

29<br />


Above: Over the course of their seven year renovation,<br />

Claire and Jonny were careful to preserve as many of the<br />

original features of the house as possible, as is evident here<br />

in the entrance hall Left: The downstairs cloakroom<br />

law before switching to the dynamic world of startups. “I<br />

was a barrister for a number of years but I joined a startup in<br />

the early 2000s which got me more interested in the business<br />

side of things.” Working for the startup was a great move for<br />

Claire and it became a stepping stone for starting a business<br />

of her own in 2011. “It was a short let business called Veeve.<br />

We thought people would rent their home out for a bit of<br />

extra money.” The business grew rapidly and opened offices<br />

in Paris as well as Los Angeles. But in 2018, Claire decided it<br />

was time to step down and she sold her stake in the company<br />

to start a new chapter and a family with husband Jonny.<br />

A few years prior, during the market peak of 2014,<br />

Claire and Jonny had started looking for a place together in<br />

London. But the market was tough for buyers and forced<br />

them to take a different approach. “Prices in the London<br />

property market were so high at the time and the market was<br />

really competitive. We were gazumped twice in the space of<br />

a couple of months, so decided to see what we could find<br />

an hour further out,” she remembers. Their widened search<br />

soon opened their eyes to a different way of life. “We never<br />

actually planned on leaving London. But we just fell in love!”<br />

The home they fell for was a 10 bedroom former country<br />

estate in a small village in Kent. They quickly had an offer<br />

accepted and were days away from completion when they<br />

got a call. “We were about to complete when we received <br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />





Make your home a masterpiece of elegance and comfort to truly<br />

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50<br />

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Specialists in the supply & installation of contemporary bespoke aluminium glazing systems. Our showroom & offices are based in<br />

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This page: A portrait-lined corridor off the panelled entrance hall leads through to the dining<br />

and drawing rooms, with a staircase that winds up to the family bedrooms<br />

a message saying the deal was off. We were<br />

so upset.” However, not wanting to walk<br />

away, Claire made a final attempt to secure<br />

the house. “I wrote a letter offering a<br />

higher price and, hey presto, we were back<br />

on! I still don’t know what happened.”<br />

The sale went through and, although<br />

joyful at getting their new home, they felt<br />

let down by the process. “It was incredibly<br />

stressful. We couldn’t speak to anyone and<br />

we didn’t know what was happening.”<br />

During lockdown Claire and Jonny<br />

found out about buying agents and<br />

realised that they could help make the<br />

system fairer. “If you are selling your<br />

home, you have an estate agent on your<br />

side to help you achieve the highest price<br />

and get the deal over the line, but <br />

33<br />


Top & above left: Claire and Jonny decided to keep the bead-laden chandelier in the formal drawing room that was inherited from<br />

Sole Street’s previous owner. It’s complemented by voluminous gold curtains which add a regal glow to this beautifully proportioned<br />

room Above right: Over the other side of the house lies a smaller, snug sitting room which is bathed in afternoon light<br />

there is no one to represent the interests<br />

of the buyer. If we’d had an agent with a<br />

direct line to the other agent we would<br />

have saved so much time and money.”<br />

Claire and Jonny’s situation was also<br />

compounded by post contract issues<br />

which, if they’d known about, may<br />

have stopped the purchase. “It was an<br />

absolute minefield. We’d taken on a<br />

period property, with all of the issues<br />

this typically comes with, including old<br />

wiring, a septic tank, a roof greatly in need<br />

of repair, as well as a large parcel of land<br />

(the property sits in almost 30 acres) and<br />

a sitting tenant. We probably shouldn’t<br />

have bought it, but we just didn’t know<br />

what we were letting ourselves in for.”<br />

With time they worked through the<br />

issues and formed a great relationship<br />

with the existing tenant, who lives with<br />

her family in a characterful flat above<br />

one of the stable blocks, and continues<br />

to run a successful livery there.<br />

In 2023, the couple used their<br />

experience to create First in the Door,<br />

a property advisory platform aimed at<br />

helping other buyers, ensuring they don’t<br />

have the same negative experience as<br />

they did. Claire explains, “We connect<br />

homebuyers with buying agents who<br />

represent and assist them through the<br />

whole buying process, from providing<br />

access to private and off-market sales, to<br />

negotiating purchase terms, liaising with<br />

all third parties and helping manage the<br />

entire process through to completion. <br />

priceless-magazines.com 34


Artists top: Paul Vanstone, Olivia Ferrier, Walter Bailey, Neil Wilkin<br />


Mature trees, dramatic planting and ßowing waterways support, frame<br />

and enhance an ever-changing exhibition of contemporary art available<br />

to purchase - displayed throughout a unique and beautiful landscape.<br />

Art & nature in perfect harmony<br />

Open for pre-booked tickets until 27th October <strong>2024</strong><br />

www.hannahpescharsculpture.com<br />

T: 01306 627269 Ockley | <strong>Surrey</strong><br />


£8 *<br />

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using discount code<br />

CRAFT24<br />

Purchase direct<br />

from 140 of the UK’s<br />

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craftmakers and artists<br />

Live Music • Demonstrations<br />

16-19 <strong>May</strong><br />

Hever<br />

Castle<br />

& Gardens<br />

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Putting the WOW<br />

back into Craft Fairs<br />

See website for full details on discount / admission costs<br />

Craft Fair entry included in normal Garden admission charges<br />

RHS Members free (weekdays only)<br />

*Admission £12 using offer codeuntil Friday 10th <strong>May</strong>,<br />

valid on dates of craft fair only<br />

9.30am – 5.30pm Daily<br />

(Garden open until 6pm daily)<br />

CIF_Hever_Spring24_130x90.indd 1 08/04/<strong>2024</strong> 10:15<br />









Admission: £2.00pp (Cash only on the gate)<br />

Children under 16yrs Free<br />

Free Parking<br />

Opens 9:30am-2:00pm<br />

Outside Stalls Only<br />

For all bookings & general enquiries please contact:<br />

01932 230 946 enquiries@sunburyantiques.com<br />

www.sunburyantiques.com<br />

35<br />


We have agents across the country including Kent, Sussex,<br />

London and the Cotswolds.”<br />

Back to the house and when tackling the renovation their<br />

focus was on how to best do it justice. Claire remembers,<br />

“The previous owner had converted it into four flats, so we<br />

spent time bringing it back into a single home and generally<br />

updating it.” Another challenge was bringing the different<br />

ages of the home together. “It’s got origins in the 1500s but<br />

with Georgian and Victorian extensions. So it’s a real mix.”<br />

Claire and Jonny renovated the house in stages across a seven<br />

year period, patiently modernising whilst bringing it back into<br />

a single home. “We’ve tried to keep it all connected to create<br />

some flow, so have opted for similar paint colours throughout.<br />

Our decorator Paul Evans has been amazing – he comes to stay<br />

with us for 2-4 weeks at a time and gets a lot done.” It was also<br />

important for them to respect the rich history of the house. <br />

Clockwise from above left: A piece by artist Sabina Pieper<br />

hangs on the ascent up to the landing in the section of the<br />

house that contains the guest bedrooms; a lovely slipper bath<br />

awaits guest use; cosy bedrooms with soft carpets offer a<br />

warm welcome in this lower-ceilinged part of the house<br />

37<br />


Top & right: One of the couple’s daughter’s<br />

rooms has views out over the garden through<br />

generous bay windows. Claire found the<br />

beautiful oval mirror, that looks like it was<br />

made to measure above the fireplace, in<br />

Ralph’s at The Mall Antiques in Faversham<br />

Below: A cosy seating area in one of the guest<br />

bedrooms in the other side of the house<br />

“We’ve kept it in the country house style<br />

and tried to remain true to its origins.”<br />

The result is a wonderful family<br />

home equipped for modern life but<br />

full of character. And while it still has<br />

its quirks the family has fully embraced<br />

them into their way of life. “We’re a<br />

family of four, so we don’t need all<br />

this space but we really love hosting<br />

people. So the house contracts and<br />

expands depending on who’s staying.”<br />

Walking around there are signs of<br />

the history of the home everywhere<br />

you look, but it’s the most recent<br />

incarnation as a country estate that<br />

really stands out. It’s a time Claire has<br />

been able to learn much about thanks to<br />

extraordinary connections that she made<br />

through some of the previous owners.<br />

“I got to know two of the people who<br />

used to live here quite well. Arthur was<br />

the son of the owners of the house and<br />

Ivy was the housekeeper. She lived in<br />

the cottage next door and was there for<br />

70 years.” A handful of times Claire had<br />

Ivy and Arthur round to the house for<br />

afternoon tea, where they shared their <br />

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This page: The main bedroom and en suite.<br />

In the capacious bathroom the bath is raised<br />

on a platform below a twinkling chandelier.<br />

The wall colours are Sulking Room Pink<br />

and Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball<br />

unique perspectives. “I asked Arthur<br />

about the different rooms in the house<br />

but he said Ivy would know better<br />

than him because he didn’t go into the<br />

servants’ areas like the kitchen.” And<br />

for Ivy it was a shock just being a guest<br />

alongside Arthur. Claire explained, “We<br />

were sitting in the drawing room and<br />

Ivy couldn’t believe she was there as a<br />

guest with Arthur and his daughter Cary.<br />

She had waited on his family her whole<br />

life and those barriers were still there.”<br />

Arthur and Ivy both died around<br />

the same time a few years ago but<br />

Claire’s lasting feeling is one of privilege.<br />

“I was just so lucky to spend that<br />

time with them both,” she says.<br />

Back in the present day and in the<br />

dining room Claire demonstrates the<br />

foot operated butler bell which still<br />

works today. Positioned under the<br />

dining table it shows just how much life<br />

has changed. The system is a source of<br />

much amusement for Claire’s two girls<br />

who enjoy playing in here. She jokes,<br />

“There’s a butler bell in all the rooms<br />

but sadly the butler never comes.” The<br />

room is also a great place to host guests.<br />

“It’s perfect for Christmas dinners as you<br />

can fit 16-17 people around the table.”<br />

Entering the kitchen – which was<br />

completely renovated by Burnhill<br />

Kitchens – you can see further evidence<br />

of the house as it would have been, with<br />

the servants’ area still boxed out behind a<br />

curtain. This being one of the oldest (and<br />

coldest) rooms in the house, Claire and<br />

Jonny have tried to honour it by bringing<br />

in more light through glazed doors and<br />

have deliberately kept the fridges under<br />

counter to maintain the old fashioned<br />

look. “Naos Floors did a brilliant job of<br />

warming up this north-facing room with<br />

underfloor heating and big flagstone<br />

tiles,” she explains. In the corner of the<br />

room a beamed nook area has become the<br />

girls’ living room. “It was a big cupboard<br />

before which we opened out and fitted<br />

with a woodburner. They love it,”<br />

Accessed via the kitchen is also the <br />

41<br />


Top: The Victorian greenhouse has been restored and now provides the perfect summer dining space Image © Kim at Kent Life Photography kentlifephotography.co.uk<br />

original cellar and perhaps the world’s<br />

most precarious pantry. Positioned as<br />

it is around the open stairwell. On the<br />

way down the stairs Claire points out<br />

a note on the wall. Written by her dad<br />

it reads, ‘Cleaning schedule: 1st clean<br />

1587, 2nd clean 2018’. “He’s so funny,”<br />

Claire smiles. Down the steps and a maze<br />

of dimly lit rooms stretches out under<br />

the house which are spooky enough<br />

before Claire tells me that supposedly<br />

prisoners of war were held down here<br />

during the Napoleonic wars...<br />

Moving swiftly back upstairs we head<br />

outside the house where there was plenty<br />

more for Jonny and Claire to do.<br />

“In lockdown we did a lot of work in<br />

the garden. It was incredibly overgrown.<br />

We cleared a couple of acres of laurel<br />

and brambles and thinned out trees<br />

to let the light in.” The clearing work<br />

included the discovery and restoration<br />

of an old Victorian greenhouse. “We<br />

found someone to refurbish it and it<br />

all still works and the windows open.<br />

We use it as a sort of outdoor dining<br />

space. It has a vine growing through it<br />

that’s about 130 years old and it still<br />

produces the most fabulous grapes. Our<br />

gardener is going to make wine this<br />

summer and give us a couple of bottles.”<br />

Near the house there is also a concreted<br />

area that was once a pool. “There was<br />

a swimming pool put in, but when<br />

World War II broke out they turned<br />

it into a bunker. Arthur remembers<br />

hiding down there as a teenager with his<br />

nanny and watching the Spitfires raging<br />

overhead.” Past the girls’ treehouse and<br />

there’s another piece of history on the<br />

lawns. “There was a grass tennis court<br />

here where Virginia Wade used to play<br />

because she was friendly with the family.”<br />

It was a joy to meet Claire and discover<br />

more about her life and journey with<br />

property. In Jonny and Claire, the house<br />

has found the perfect owners. A couple<br />

who have not only lovingly brought<br />

the house back to life, but also the ideal<br />

custodians for the wealth of stories that<br />

it holds. The real value of a home, after<br />

all, lies not within the physical bricks and<br />

mortar but the people who reside within<br />

it. Anyway, aren’t we all just custodians<br />

of the homes we live in, adding our own<br />

stories to the rich timeline of their lives?<br />

Address Book:<br />

To explore area and buying guides<br />

and find out how Claire and her<br />

team can connect you with the<br />

right buying agent through<br />

First in the Door, see firstinthedoor.com<br />

Burnhill Kitchens burnhillkitchens.co.uk<br />

Lindsay Woolley of Fabrics in<br />

Canterbury fabricsincanterburyltd.com<br />

Ralph Lane at The Mall Antiques,<br />

47b The Mall, Faversham ME13 8LP.<br />

Naos Floors naosfloors.com<br />

Nicol Warnock Curtains<br />

07521 294986<br />

Paul Evans (decorator) 07506 646942<br />

priceless-magazines.com 42

Get the<br />

LOOK<br />

1 Proper Good Paint Graces Green eggshell £65/2.5l CaPietra capietra.com 2 Framed round wall art – Kingfisher<br />

Bee Eater Black and Pink Flamingo £150 each Where Saints Go wheresaintsgo.co.uk 3 Beth Webb Sumter candle<br />

chandelier £2,317 Arteriors arteriorshome.com 4 Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Sabrina Pieper £1,400 The Wey<br />

Gallery theweygallery.com 5 Burley solid shutters POA Thomas Sanderson thomas-sanderson.co.uk 6 Twilight decanter<br />

£110 Dartington Crystal dartington.co.uk 7 Fenghuang table lamp jade £395 OKA oka.com 8 Kingham cherry demi<br />

lune side table £399 The Cotswold Company cotswoldco.com 9 John Sankey Bloomsburry Grand sofa POA Cobham<br />

Furniture cobhamfurniture.co.uk 10 Raw cotton herringbone warehouse floor £82.95/m 2 Ted Todd tedtodd.co.uk<br />

47 43<br />


Wealden Times<br />

Midsummer<br />

Fa i r<br />

Book your<br />

tickets today<br />

wealdentimesfair.co.uk<br />

wealdentimes-fair.co.uk<br />

Why I love<br />

Wealden Times<br />

Midsummer Fair<br />

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

For me the Midsummer Fair feels like a garden party but with shops!<br />

And not just the same old shops – these are independent retailers,<br />

who have put their heart and soul into designing, making, and<br />

sourcing unique products that you won’t find anywhere else.<br />

Set in the beautiful grounds of Hole Park, as soon as I see the<br />

marquees festooned in bunting, I get excited about what I might<br />

soon discover. But above all, it’s a day out that I really look<br />

forward to – precious time with my daughter and often as not, a<br />

chance to catch up with some of my best friends too. This year we will definitely<br />

make time to wander around the glorious gardens of Hole Park itself, it is after all<br />

included in the ticket price, so we really should.<br />

The best coffee<br />

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

a delicious coffee at the Coffee<br />

Stop sponsored by Evelyn Partners<br />

and then turn either left to the<br />

Blue Marquee or right to the Red<br />

Marquee. Sometimes, if we’ve had a<br />

lazy start, we skip past the crowds at<br />

the beginning and get our coffee from<br />

one of the street food vendors at the<br />

bottom and then start our shopping<br />

in Yellow or Green. We’ll catch the<br />

other marquees later in our circuit!<br />

Foodie gifts &<br />

treats<br />

We always enjoy<br />

the Artisanal Food<br />

Avenue. It’s where I<br />

stock up on curry sauces,<br />

coffee beans, and condiments. I’m also a<br />

sucker for a sample, especially the gins,<br />

the rums, and the damson liquors! But<br />

what’s really nice is buying food with<br />

provenance, straight from the people<br />

who’ve made it. I always think that it<br />

tastes better when you do.<br />

6-8th June <strong>2024</strong>, Hole Park, Rolvenden, Kent, TN17 4JB

Lunch in the sunshine<br />

We pause our shopping for a moment,<br />

grab a table or a hay bale in the catering<br />

area and sit and enjoy a fresh salad,<br />

maybe some Indonesian curry, and<br />

almost certainly a glass of Pimm’s. The<br />

Midsummer Fair stewards in pink are<br />

always busy running around clearing tables<br />

or finding chairs for those who need one,<br />

so we always find a nice spot.<br />

Local school choirs<br />

My friend’s daughter is singing<br />

with her school choir, so we’ll<br />

pop back a bit later to listen to<br />

them. We might have cake too.<br />

Quote<br />

EARLY24 *<br />

for £1 off each ticket<br />

Garden ware & plants<br />

I usually leave the Midsummer Fair<br />

inspired to live a little more alfresco.<br />

They have everything from<br />

shepherd’s huts to squirrel’s nuts.<br />

Bird feeders, flowers, and<br />

funky deck chairs too. Those<br />

magnificent ancient olive<br />

trees are back – they were<br />

a real hit last year – plus<br />

the latest outdoor furniture<br />

and so much more.<br />

Summer fashion<br />

With our holidays ahead of us,<br />

this is the best time to update my<br />

summer wardrobe – there’s always<br />

something I find that I know I’m<br />

going to love wearing when we’re<br />

away. It’s also so nice shopping<br />

with mates, mums, and daughters<br />

– we always seem to egg each other<br />

on to get this top or that dress. I<br />

love it.<br />

Book your timed ticket now at wealdentimes-fair.co.uk

Quote<br />

EARLY24 *<br />

for £1 off each ticket<br />

220+<br />

hand-picked<br />

independent<br />

retailers<br />

We’ve hand-picked lots of fabulous new<br />

designers, creators, and makers for this year’s fair<br />

– here are just a few to whet your appetite.<br />

<strong><strong>Home</strong>s</strong> & Interiors<br />

Mae <strong>Home</strong>ware<br />

Mae <strong>Home</strong>ware &<br />

Fowle Hall Flowers<br />

are a mother daughter<br />

duo, selling luxury faux<br />

flower creations and<br />

lovely homeware.<br />

Sofas & Stuff<br />

Sofas & Stuff create bespoke<br />

sofas, chairs and beds, offering<br />

customers a high level of<br />

choice and individual creativity,<br />

all handmade to order.<br />

Forsham Oak<br />

Shepherd’s Hut<br />

Whether you’re glamping<br />

in the garden or need<br />

an extra room for<br />

friends or family, speak<br />

to Forsham Oak about<br />

the joys and benefits<br />

of a Shepherd’s Hut.<br />

The Spongeware<br />

Company<br />

Samantha Lindsay’s<br />

exquisite, and highly<br />

collectable Spongeware<br />

placemats and coasters<br />

will enhance an elegant<br />

dining room or a rustic<br />

country kitchen.<br />

Book your<br />

tickets today<br />

wealdentimesfair.co.uk<br />

Kate Please<br />

Kate Please’s range of gifts, tableware, and prints are all<br />

inspired by the countryside. Whilst the Chilcottuk.com<br />

range for home or hound, draws inspiration from their<br />

farm, set high in the beautiful Brecon Beacons.<br />

Vintage<br />

Upholstery<br />

Rebecca Wright at<br />

Vintage Upholstery<br />

brings old furniture back<br />

to life, with a flourish.<br />

Her newly upholstered<br />

chairs, reborn in vintage<br />

fabrics, will inspire you<br />

to update some of your<br />

favourite pieces from<br />

home. Give her a project<br />

– she’s really rather good!<br />

Sponsored by

Fashion<br />

We love how By Kala x (pictured below) use<br />

vibrant African prints across both clothing and<br />

home furnishings ranges. And how<br />

Edit-One Dresses incorporate artisan<br />

techniques of smocking, embroidery, and cutwork<br />

into their stunningly beautiful dresses.<br />

Whilst La Gazelle’s unique range of clothes<br />

includes colourful vintage Berber fabrics, with<br />

a focus on recycled and distinctive materials.<br />

We’re delighted<br />

to introduce our<br />

Coffee Stop and<br />

Deck Chair Zone<br />

Sponsor<br />

Astarte Collective Ibiza<br />

The Astarte Collective Ibiza,<br />

bring their Balearic bohemian<br />

fashion, homeware, and gifts to<br />

the Fair for the first time and<br />

we can’t wait to see them.<br />

Bey Tree<br />

We adore Bey Tree’s dresses and tops, made<br />

from upcycled silk saris. Check out their Good<br />

Lookers sunglasses on their stand too.<br />

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help you manage your<br />

combined wealth and tax<br />

needs or run your business?<br />

As one of the UK's top tier<br />

wealth management and<br />

accountancy firms, we’re<br />

uniquely placed to give you<br />

the help and advice you<br />

need, all under one roof.<br />

Come and meet us at the<br />

Fair on our stand at the Coffee<br />

Stop to say hello and discuss<br />

your needs.<br />

Frangipani<br />

And if you’re looking for the perfect<br />

holiday shirt for him, make a beeline<br />

for Frangipani.<br />

Wealth and tax advice<br />

for life. Accountancy<br />

services for business.<br />

Wealden Times<br />

Midsummer<br />

Fa i r<br />

wealdentimes-fair.co.uk<br />

Join us on 6th-8th JUNE <strong>2024</strong><br />

9.00am - 5.00pm<br />

at Hole Park, Rolvenden TN17 4JB<br />

Find out more about these and all other exhibitors at wealdentimes-fair.co.uk<br />

*Discount available on adult tickets only, offer valid until midnight 24.05.24. Not valid with any other offer.

Two<br />

become<br />

one<br />

Words: Jo Arnell<br />

Photographs: David Merewether<br />

When Emma Spencer moved into her<br />

sixteenth century home, its unusual<br />

layout was a dead giveaway that it had<br />

originally been two separate cottages.<br />

With a complete interior remodel,<br />

Emma has respectfully updated this<br />

characterful building, adjusting its<br />

layout to bring in an abundance of<br />

light and create a new sense of space<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


49<br />


Previous pages & this page: Right in the centre of the<br />

house, the spacious dining area has been painted white with<br />

exposed oak beams, a large dining table, original brick floor<br />

and a huge inglenook fireplace, complete with disco ball<br />

Listed properties, protected and preserved – as they<br />

should be – by planning laws, can make updating<br />

complicated and time consuming, building<br />

consent has to be applied for and changes can be hard<br />

to make. Remarkably Emma Spencer’s sixteenth century<br />

house in Iden Green is not listed, which has meant that<br />

she’s been able to remodel the interior and make much<br />

better use of the spaces, respectfully bringing it up to<br />

date, without compromising the building’s integrity.<br />

Keen to make a practical home for her family, Emma<br />

set to work redesigning the layout, removing walls and<br />

improving the interior flow. A daunting prospect you<br />

might think, but Emma relished the project. It helps that<br />

she has her own interiors business, Emma Spencer Design,<br />

and that she had a clear vision of what was needed.<br />

“It was someone’s second home when I bought it and<br />

had a really quirky layout,” explains Emma. “It was two<br />

cottages at one point, but that was a long time ago.<br />

So there were still two staircases, which compromised<br />

the rooms upstairs. The kitchen was originally three<br />

rooms with just a narrow corridor out to the garden.”<br />

She started by opening up the whole of the interior, to<br />

let in much needed light and create an airier feel.<br />

“I use a great builder, and as I do this for a living,<br />

it wasn’t hard to reimagine the spaces.” Emma<br />

positions herself between an architect and a builder<br />

– an area that would benefit from a title – perhaps<br />

a structural interior designer, because she does<br />

more than a room layout and decorating job.<br />

“Interior design is not just about putting a colour on<br />

a wall. My job is the step before that – and it’s good<br />

priceless-magazines.com 50

to get involved at an early stage, so that decisions can<br />

be made with the end result in mind.” Frustratingly<br />

this is often not the case, as clients tend to see the<br />

two processes as separate, rather than as a part of the<br />

whole. “Architects will be focusing on a different side<br />

of the project, and might not be prioritising the aspects<br />

that become key once you are living in the space.”<br />

Emma had firm ideas about the style of her own<br />

interior too and was quick to move on from the house’s<br />

existing country aesthetic. “I wanted to strip it from the<br />

farmhouse look,” she says. “The kitchen was old wooden<br />

units that were nice, but dated. I wanted it lighter and<br />

brighter, so the chintzy curtains all came down.”<br />

A key factor in keeping things calm and uncluttered is<br />

the very useful utility room tucked behind the kitchen that<br />

“had to be tanked because we’re on a slope.” The slope of<br />

the land means that the kitchen is much lower than the rest<br />

of the house, but is an important area and needed careful<br />

thought. “We put in a new staircase down to the kitchen<br />

and approached the room in two sections,” Emma explains.<br />

“The base units went in first. The worktop is Corian and<br />

it’s nice in here at night too, as it’s lit under the cabinets. I<br />

like things to feel streamlined. You can add in colour with<br />

accessories – details like plug sockets are really important.<br />

You can install a more reasonably priced kitchen, but<br />

include more expensive taps and sink and accessories.”<br />

The kitchen now has a sleek, pared-back Scandi feel,<br />

but nevertheless it has a warm atmosphere and the<br />

resin floor has underfloor heating. The slope has<br />

<br />

This page: Steps from the dining room lead through a snug<br />

and into a guest suite and office area. Emma sourced the<br />

leather and wood chair from Duck & Dog in Cranbrook<br />

51<br />


This page: A cosy single guest bedroom<br />

doubles up as a work space. The orange<br />

table lamp is by Artemide<br />

meant that the house is effectively<br />

on two levels, making the layout<br />

interesting and characterful and<br />

effectively creating two separate<br />

living spaces. “It’s south facing and<br />

there’s a lovely pool just outside,<br />

so it’s a nice entertaining space.”<br />

We head up to the spacious dining<br />

area situated in the middle of the<br />

house. Painted white with exposed oak<br />

beams, the large dining table, original<br />

brick floor and a huge inglenook<br />

fireplace make this room feel warm<br />

and bright. “The floor’s very practical,<br />

I really like it,” she says, “and would<br />

definitely put it into another house.”<br />

These features have immense character<br />

and help to make this central section<br />

into the heart of the house. “We<br />

have lovely candlelit dinner parties<br />

in here,” says Emma “and we’re right<br />

next to a pub, too. The footpath next<br />

to the house leads to the communal<br />

orchard and to the woods. You can<br />

walk up to Benenden through there.”<br />

The other rooms and the stairs<br />

to the top floor lead off from here.<br />

Through one door there’s a very useful<br />

office and downstairs cloakroom,<br />

and at the other end, another door<br />

opens into the sitting room. There are<br />

elevated views out across the orchard<br />

from in here, because it is effectively<br />

on the first floor. There’s a double<br />

aspect and the walls were originally<br />

painted white, so it was very bright.<br />

Although Emma is keen on light and<br />

airy spaces, she felt that a sitting room<br />

needed to have a more cosy atmosphere<br />

and painted it dark grey/green.<br />

“The kitchen is sunny and light and<br />

contrasts well with the sitting room.<br />

I love this dark colour now too – it’s<br />

Squid Ink by Paint & Paper Library.<br />

We installed the fireplace and put in<br />

the shelves to make it cosy. I changed<br />

the lighting in here too – it’s all side<br />

lights because of the ceilings.” As with<br />

many vernacular houses, the ceilings<br />

are low, but this is a bonus if you’re<br />

creating a snug, tucked away feel. <br />

priceless-magazines.com 52


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WrayCommonS64A.indd 1 28/01/2020 12:25

This page: The sitting room is painted in Squid Ink by Paint & Paper<br />

Library. Emma installed a woodburner and a wall of shelving to make it<br />

cosy and changed the lighting to side lights because of the ceiling height<br />

We head upstairs past a quirky chandelier, which on closer<br />

inspection turns out to be made entirely from magnifying<br />

glasses, and into the main bedroom. Emma explains how the<br />

layout has changed up here, from an awkward arrangement<br />

of rooms, accessed via the two original staircases, to an open<br />

and airy combination of useful spaces. “You had to walk<br />

through the main bedroom to get to a second bedroom.<br />

When we took out the staircase we changed the layout of<br />

the upstairs so that the children had separate entrances<br />

<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


SUSSEX<br />


TRUST<br />

AWARDS<br />





This page, clockwise from bottom left: The magnifying<br />

terracotta tones add a warmth to the white walls of the<br />

rest of the house. The sleek, pared-back look comes courtesy<br />

to their bedrooms and the main bedroom now has<br />

a spacious en suite – and a walk in dressing room.”<br />

The en suite is a good size with plenty of space for a<br />

free-standing slipper bath, which, together with the<br />

dressing room, adds a touch of opulence.<br />

“I embrace the old, but like to make it more<br />

contemporary too – to keep a building’s heart and<br />

character, embrace the features that were here, but<br />

freshen it up.” The overall design in here is simple and<br />

stylish, the pared-back colour scheme accessorised with<br />

hints of peachy pink fuzz (apparently the Pantone colour<br />

of <strong>2024</strong>) in the luxurious linen and finishing details.<br />

Maximising useful space is a key part of any<br />

redesign, as is streamlining any added storage.<br />

Emma had planned to make an en suite for son<br />

Joe’s room, but – and we can guess what most boys<br />

might prefer – instead it’s a den and gaming room.<br />

“While we were doing it I had cupboards<br />

built into the wall,” Emma explains. “You need<br />

to have wardrobes, but they can be bulky – it’s<br />

much better when they can be fitted.”<br />

Incorporating storage, reorganising the flow of the<br />

priceless-magazines.com 56

glass chandelier is an old design by Habitat; the durable brick flooring is very forgiving and, alongside the bare wood beams, its deep<br />

dining room; steps lead down from the hallway into the kitchen; the slope of the land means that the kitchen is much lower than the<br />

of Corian worktops and gloss white cabinetry. Lighting under the cabinets means that it’s a great evening entertaining space, too<br />

rooms to suit family life needs to<br />

be thought about at the beginning<br />

of the process, as retrofitting can<br />

end up being either impossible, or<br />

expensive. Emma is an expert at<br />

visualising the structural changes that<br />

can transform a home. She emphasises<br />

that, wherever possible, she likes to be<br />

involved at the start of a project, so<br />

that costly mistakes can be avoided.<br />

“I knew at the very beginning what<br />

I wanted to do here and then I knew<br />

what I could add to it – a piecemeal<br />

approach is not the way, you can end<br />

up undoing things, or living with<br />

compromise or errors. I like to be<br />

involved at the start, collaborating<br />

with the architects on the masterplan.<br />

If you start by having a clear idea of<br />

the whole thing then, whether it gets<br />

built in stages or not, everything is<br />

thought about. A scheme ideally needs<br />

to start from the right point so that it’s<br />

cohesive and it’s all one,” she pauses.<br />

“Flow. Everything should look fully<br />

planned, not separate. It’s about the<br />

materials, the things you can see, the<br />

details – don’t skimp on the details.”<br />

Emma explains that the detailing<br />

of windows, doors, external and<br />

internal structural features should be<br />

integral to the project, not separate<br />

to the masterplan. “The architect<br />

may not be involved with much<br />

of the detail or know where to<br />

look for the best taps, what mood<br />

the colours make, how to use and<br />

maximise the space. That’s my job.<br />

“It’s also important to set up good<br />

communications with everyone<br />

involved in the build. Meetings with<br />

trades have to happen. You need to<br />

know where to put things, need to<br />

think about where the bins are going<br />

to go, the washing, the paraphernalia<br />

of living has to be managed. You<br />

need storage for garden furniture,<br />

for the barbecue. It’s about lifestyle<br />

design – and then storage to keep<br />

the house tidy. I use all the space<br />

I can – the study, utility, dressing<br />

room and all the smaller areas.”<br />

Back downstairs, past the<br />

magnificent magnifying chandelier,<br />

we head outside to the studio,<br />

an architect designed building,<br />

which turned out to be a useful<br />

place for the family to live in.<br />

“We did the studio first so that we<br />

had somewhere to live while we were<br />

doing some of the structural work in<br />

the house,” she says. This building has<br />

proved to be a useful investment too,<br />

rented out for a while on Airbnb. It<br />

has now become Emma’s light-filled<br />

office and studio. Inside the decor <br />

57<br />


“I like things to feel<br />

streamlined. You can add in<br />

colour with accessories – details<br />

like plug sockets are really<br />

important. You can install a<br />

more reasonably priced kitchen,<br />

but include more expensive<br />

taps and sink and accessories.”<br />

is mainly white, but colourful mood boards and<br />

samples of paint and fabric are spread on walls and<br />

the table; evidence of Emma’s busy design practice.<br />

There is even a comfortable sunny deck outside at<br />

the back, overlooking the garden and the adjacent<br />

communal orchard – “It’s a lovely place to sit<br />

and the sun sets over there,” she gestures towards<br />

the trees to her right. The atmosphere out here is<br />

relaxed, almost Mediterranean when you look across<br />

to the pool, but the neighbouring oast house, apple<br />

orchard and the fresh green of the landscape beyond<br />

makes it charmingly and unmistakably English.<br />

It takes a clear vision, determination and a<br />

sense of place to transform a heritage property. <br />

Left: A very useful utility room is accessed<br />

to the rear of the kitchen<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


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

geo wall hung wc<br />

original original<br />

geo basin<br />

high quality, timeless design, authentic elements<br />

axis<br />

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59<br />


This page:<br />

The main<br />

bedroom now<br />

has a spacious<br />

en suite and<br />

a walk-in<br />

dressing room.<br />

“I embrace the<br />

old, but like to<br />

make it more<br />

contemporary<br />

too – to keep a<br />

building’s heart<br />

and character,<br />

embrace the<br />

features that<br />

were here, but<br />

freshen it up.”<br />

Emma has managed to protect the<br />

character of this house, and respected<br />

its integrity, while making the spaces<br />

fit our modern way of life. She has<br />

skilfully applied her knowledge of<br />

design – and design for living and<br />

brought a harmonious combination<br />

of style and functionality into this<br />

beautifully updated home. As this<br />

project comes to a close I, for one,<br />

will be looking forward to seeing what<br />

Emma seeks out for her next challenge.<br />

Address Book:<br />

To speak to Emma about a home or<br />

garden design project, visit the ESD<br />

website at emmaspencer.design or find her<br />

on Instagram @emmaspencer.design<br />

priceless-magazines.com 60

Get the<br />

LOOK<br />

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61<br />


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Eliot Siegel has created exquisite, luxury greeting cards using<br />

his fine art photography. Eliot is a well-published author,<br />

fashion magazine and portrait photographer and founder of<br />

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Eliot has been a fine art imagemaker for more than 30 years,<br />

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created six brand-new collections of striking greeting cards,<br />

printed on sublime 300gsm Mohawk paper by the foremost<br />

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Passionate about fabric & creating unique furniture<br />

n Find these little treasures at etsy.com/uk/shop/TheBritishArtGallery<br />

sarahlouisedix.co.uk or call 07768 | enquiries@sarahlouisedix.co.uk 816749 and speak to Eliot directly | 01483 801108<br />

SarahLouiseDixWT254.indd 1 07/06/2023 15:36:21<br />

REAL ALE<br />

If you are looking for festive cheer,<br />

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specialising in craft beers, natural<br />

wines and spirits from small producers<br />

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The Natural Wines of Christmas case<br />

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wines showcasing amazing flavours,<br />

made with perfectly ripe grapes and<br />

meticulous attention to detail.<br />

All the wines are hugely expressive<br />

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fantastic value when bought together<br />

as a mixed case.<br />

Or if you prefer white burgundy, fizz<br />

or full-bodied reds, the Six Wines<br />

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Both cases come with tasting notes<br />

and free UK delivery.<br />

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

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64<br />

48 December essentialsurrey.co.uk

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5 Glentress glass topped drum stool £549 The Footstool Workshop thefootstoolworkshop.co.uk 6 Ikat Stripe fabric in Red & Pale pink<br />

£144/m Eloise <strong>Home</strong> eloisehome.com 7 Orange & Red Peppers ceramic wall art £85 Deborah Wren Ceramics deborahwrenceramics.co.uk<br />

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65<br />


The Priceless <strong>Love</strong> your <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

1<br />

2<br />

4<br />

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Tone on Tone<br />

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trinket box £8 Monsoon monsoon.co.uk 7 Sass & Belle swallow wall decorations £13 (set of 3) National Trust shop.nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

8 Eden urn vase in Yellow £350 Jonathan Adler uk.jonathanadler.com 9 Mittens claypaint £57.50/2.5l Earthborn earthbornpaints.co.uk<br />

10 Kentwell 3 seater sofa in Romo Linara Primrose £4,267 Sofas & Stuff sofasandstuff.com 11 Squiggle border £34/5m Fiona Howard<br />

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Enter the magical world of Pippa Burnard in our solo exhibition ‘Stories unbound’<br />

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67<br />


Cobham-Furniture.indd 1 12/01/<strong>2024</strong> 22:50

1<br />

2<br />

The Priceless <strong>Love</strong> your <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

3<br />

4<br />

Tone on Tone<br />

Don’t forget texture and light – if you’re keeping a tonal<br />

palette then play with the senses to add drama<br />

5<br />

Sugary<br />

BROWN<br />

6<br />

For a tonal look that is sumptuous and cosy,<br />

layer warm chocolates, caramels, coffees and<br />

cinnamons with a swirl of cream at the<br />

lighter end of the palette<br />

7<br />

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1 Modena chair £1,059 BoConcept boconcept.com 2 Tea for two eco gift set £53.55 LIGA loveliga.com 3 Conker No 11 paint £44.95<br />

Victory Colours victorycolours.co.uk 4 Hoxton 7kw wood burning stove from £3,122.80 Arada aradastoves.com 5 Rustica side plate £15<br />

Where Saints Go wheresaintsgo.co.uk 6 Flow state abstract canvas art £150 Green Lili greenlili.com 7 Morse cushion cover £95 OKA<br />

oka.com 8 HAMPTON wallpaper £149 Mindthegap mindtheg.com 9 Taru one arm settee from £5,673 Ligne Roset ligne-roset.com<br />

10 Pimlico squares cushion £61.99 Jonathan Adler uk.jonathanadler.com 11 Brown sugar circular tray £170 The Trove thetrove.co.uk<br />

12 Round bread basket £28.50 Coastal Villa <strong>Home</strong>ware coastalvillahomeware.com 13 LED Pillar Candle in Caramel from £14 Lenleys<br />

lenleys.co.uk 14 Dried sea holly bunch £36 (6 stems) Click Style clickstyle.co.uk 15 Berg sofa with pom-poms £2,230 Huutt huutt.com<br />

69<br />


The Priceless <strong>Love</strong> your <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

A spathroom sauna<br />

This beautiful bathroom complete with an in-built steam cabin, was designed<br />

around the dream of bringing the sauna home. Ripples Tunbridge Wells’ client<br />

for this project also wanted to be able to look out of the window whilst using<br />

their home spa, so the layout was carefully considered. They opted for chrome<br />

brassware (to complement the cool tones used on the tiles and vanity unit) and<br />

a slate-effect tile in a porcelain finish was chosen for a low-maintenance easierto-clean<br />

alternative to real slate – ideal for a busy room used by the whole family.<br />

The end result is a truly spa-like bathroom that offers proper pampering luxury.<br />

ripplesbathrooms.com<br />

LOUD<br />

Luxuries<br />

The spa at home is a dream we have all dreamed<br />

in recent times, and while we love a quiet luxury<br />

moment, we also quite enjoy showstopping fantasy<br />

features that give Barbie-dream-house-spa vibes<br />

A hydrotherapy indoor pool and spa<br />

This indoor pool and spa was created by Tanby<br />

Pools in <strong>Surrey</strong> for a modern mansion. It is deck<br />

level on two sides, and features a large wall of<br />

marble with three slot flumes for hydrotherapy, to<br />

soothe the soul with relaxing sounds. A spa was<br />

added to the design for further hydrotherapy and<br />

wellness, with gentle lighting in both the spa and<br />

the pool hall adding to the relaxing ambience. An<br />

Oase slatted cover helps economical running costs<br />

and also looks very slick indeed as it disappears<br />

behind the entry steps into the floor pit below.<br />

You’ll also notice that the positioning of the<br />

spa allows for views of both the pool and the<br />

landscaped gardens which can be seen through<br />

large glass walls. tanbypools.co.uk<br />

An outdoor hot tub<br />

A luxurious Hikki Bohemen outdoor wood-fired hot tub bath is perfect<br />

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moment that is also super down-to-earth. These are available for a reduced<br />

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All about curves<br />

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3825_boconcept_surrey-homes_advertorial_04-24.indd 2 17/04/<strong>2024</strong> 10:27

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The Priceless <strong>Love</strong> your <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

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stool in ticking stripe field £1,440 The Roost theroost.com 10 Marco side chair in Woven Ribbon by Kit Kemp £845 Gabriella James<br />

Chairmakers gabriellajames.co.uk 11 Blue stripe candle holder £15 Joe Browns joebrowns.co.uk 12 Liberatzin tourmaline velvet cushion<br />

£80 The Curious Department thecuriousdepartment.com 13 I Can Boogie cushion £25 Dunelm dunelm.com 14 Classic bolster cushion<br />

£75 Colours Of Arley coloursofarley.com 15 Card candle shade £12 Nicholas Engert Interiors nicholasengert.co.uk 16 Aldeburgh 4 seater<br />

sofa in Cloth 22 Bayadere Seal £6,757 Sofas & Stuff sofasandstuff.com 17 Wide stripe runner £22 Walton & Co waltonshop.co.uk<br />

73<br />


The Priceless <strong>Love</strong> your <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Magic castle<br />

reflection<br />

poster £13.77<br />

Poster Store<br />

posterstore.co.uk<br />

Orion 4 light black<br />

spherical chandelier<br />

£149 Cotterell & Co<br />

cotterellandco.com<br />

Osmond bookshelf £6,095<br />

Arteriors arteriorshome.com<br />

Mango wood<br />

chess & draughts<br />

£85 Nkuku<br />

nkuku.com<br />

W6016 Library spot bar 2Light £1,025<br />

Besselink & Jones besselink.com<br />

Owl wool blanket £120<br />

JJTextile jjtextile.co.uk<br />

Constable cuddler<br />

from £2,269 Lenleys<br />

lenleys.co.uk<br />

Rabbit bookend<br />

£39 (set of 2)<br />

Marquis & Dawe<br />

marquisanddawe.co.uk<br />

Walnut Pick Me<br />

Up table £142<br />

Black By Design<br />

black-by-design.co.uk<br />

Wooden floral<br />

book rest £44.10<br />

Aksa <strong>Home</strong> Decor<br />

aksahomedecor.com<br />

Get the<br />

Library<br />

Look<br />

From cosy nooks with a soft space<br />

to sit to full-on ladder-required<br />

libraries, bookishness is IN<br />

Como wall system bookcase £1,401.65<br />

BoConcept boconcept.com<br />

Giraffe table lamp £174<br />

Lenleys lenleys.co.uk<br />

The Library ceramic<br />

scented candle £58<br />

Chase and Wonder<br />

chaseandwonder.com<br />

Mango wood bookstand £18<br />

Habitat habitat.co.uk<br />

Framed vintage book<br />

cover art print £49<br />

Beach House Art<br />

beachhouseart.co.uk<br />

Step stool by Majid<br />

Furniture £350<br />

Handmade in Britain<br />

handmadeinbritain.co.uk<br />

Living George<br />

monkey floor<br />

lamp with shade<br />

£64 ScS scs.co.uk<br />

Hémicycle Conversation<br />

seat £5,350 Ligne Roset<br />

ligne-roset.com<br />

Phileas<br />

cordless lamp<br />

with 16cm<br />

Empire shade<br />

in emerald silk<br />

£122 Pooky<br />

pooky.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


A curated selection<br />

of antique &<br />

vintage pieces<br />

•Championing<br />

sustainability<br />

•As seen in<br />

Sheerluxe, <strong><strong>Home</strong>s</strong><br />

& Antiques,<br />

The Times<br />

•<strong>Surrey</strong> Showroom<br />




@rocktheheirloom<br />

07811 281851<br />

rocktheheirloom.co.uk<br />

75<br />


SMOUK Interiors<br />


Come to see us in our exciting new venue<br />

& creative interiors hub<br />

3 West End, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 0BQ<br />

Sourcing authentic Moroccan rugs & homewares for<br />

30 years & featuring collaborations with fellow<br />

designers & makers.<br />

North Africa meets the South West<br />

Bespoke Creative Interiors<br />

Davies Creative Design Studio<br />

nerissa@daviescreative.co.uk<br />

+447899 846259 - ndaviesinteriors.com<br />

@smouk_interiors www.smoukinteriors.co.uk 01373 470172<br />

EST. 1997<br />



Our newly redesigned Luxaflex showroom, showcases<br />

the latest innovations in custom made blinds including<br />

automation, sustainability and smart home integration.<br />

Sitting seamlessly alongside our bespoke luxury curtain<br />

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collection of designer fabrics and trimmings.<br />

With over 25 years experience in window styling we<br />

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project overseen by our team of experts.<br />


Opening Hours:<br />

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priceless-magazines.com<br />


The Priceless <strong>Love</strong> your <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Rare Indian<br />

antique tiled<br />

Damachaya<br />

£1,395<br />

Arch antique<br />

Indian temple<br />

doors £1,250<br />

Blue glass-blown<br />

sphere lamp<br />

from £99<br />

Designer Dreams<br />

Tracy’s Dining Room<br />

Tracy Thomson, director at Trading Boundaries envisions a kitchen/ dining<br />

room filled with international flavour in a delectibly rich colour palette<br />

I love cooking and my favourite room is the kitchen with a very comfortable<br />

eating area where guests can relax and chat to me while I’m preparing supper. As<br />

the buyer for Trading Boundaries since 1996 I’ve been sourcing wonderful furniture<br />

from Europe and South East Asia, but mainly India which has become my ‘home<br />

from home’ from which I draw a lot of inspiration. I love an eclectic look that<br />

brings in colour, texture and design without being cluttered. One of our key skills<br />

is finding the right accent piece for clients’ homes, so I love this remit! I like to use<br />

architectural pieces as art, so a fabulous pair of Indian doors on one wall would set<br />

the scene and the colour tone. The focal point has to be the table, and I’ve chosen a<br />

live edge, solid oak dining table hand made in Italy with a tactile finish and simple<br />

design that allows the beauty of the grain to really shine through.<br />

Occasional chairs are a must, and a great way to bring in some rich colour. For<br />

storage I love pieces that are full of carving, and that use the character that takes me<br />

back to Rajasthan, and a beautiful old tiled Damachaya cabinet is perfect. Hand<br />

blown glass adds texture, so this features in my choice of lighting. Finishing<br />

touches always include vibrant tableware, cushions and candles with fragrances<br />

that evoke balmy Indian evenings. Before you know it, you’ve got a cosy and<br />

relaxing room that guests don’t really want to leave.<br />

All items shown from Trading Boundaries tradingboundaries.com<br />

Leather and<br />

acacia wood<br />

dining chair<br />

£375<br />

Antique<br />

carved<br />

elephant<br />

£165<br />

Desi patterned<br />

blue velvet chair<br />

£645<br />

Embroidered stonewash<br />

cushions from £23.50<br />

Solid Oak Master Table<br />

(various sizes and finishes<br />

available) From £2,095<br />

Organic Desi<br />

Rose candle<br />

£18.50<br />

Vibrant ceramic<br />

dish from £35<br />


The Priceless <strong>Love</strong> your <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Indigo natural dyed keepsake<br />

photo frame £32.20<br />

Casa by JJ casabyjj.com<br />

Ballina pendant light in<br />

brass and bevelled glass<br />

£260 Pooky pooky.com<br />

Designer Dreams<br />

Melanie’s Living Room<br />

Kibibi candle<br />

stick £40 Nkuku<br />

nkuku.com<br />

Adeline 4 door<br />

display cabinet £799<br />

Furniture Outlet<br />

furnitureoutletstores.co.uk<br />

Avisa coral sculpture<br />

£69 Sweetpea & Willow<br />

sweetpeaandwillow.com<br />

Melanie Tomlinson, director & lead designer of Berkshire interior design and<br />

interior architecture studio, Melanie Tomlinson Design, shares her dreams of a<br />

multifunctional living space that balances creativity and functionality.<br />

For my dream living room, I would opt for a cohesive palette with subtle pops of<br />

colour, layering textures with plush rugs, tactile upholstery and rich fabrics for<br />

interest and a sense of luxury. I think creating ‘conversation areas’ with cosy seating<br />

arrangements is a great way to encourage interaction and optimise functionality<br />

in a living room. I would select pieces with clean lines and sculptural forms,<br />

combining modern elegance with timeless sophistication. I always embrace the<br />

principle of balance, so I would arrange these furniture pieces in a symmetrical<br />

layout to promote visual proportion.<br />

For lighting, I’d enhance the space with a blend of ambient, task and accent<br />

lighting, highlighting architectural features and functionality. If there’s potential<br />

for natural light, I’d incorporate that too, to enhance openness and connect the<br />

room with the outdoors. Accessories must be chosen thoughtfully. We should all<br />

add our own personal touches and curated items to our homes, to reflect our<br />

unique styles and personalities. But this is once again all about balance. Declutter<br />

with purpose, ensuring every object serves a function or adds aesthetic value, and<br />

incorporate storage solutions that seamlessly blend into the design, for lasting<br />

uncluttered calm. I love to strike a harmonious balance between minimalism and<br />

opulence, displaying cherished mementoes and artwork as focal points.<br />

To find out how MT Design can transform your space, as they have for the homes<br />

in the surrounding images, email studio@melanietomlinsondesign.com or call<br />

07909 795669 melanietomlinsondesign.com<br />

Orla snuggler sofa from<br />

£1,615 Huutt huutt.com<br />

Laura Ashley Tate<br />

table lamp with<br />

shade £75 (twin<br />

pack) där lighting<br />

darlighting.co.uk<br />

Navy Provence Rug from £55<br />

Weaver Green weavergreen.com<br />

Westbury 3 seater sofa<br />

in Light Beige £2,699<br />

Bridgman bridgman.co.uk<br />


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Embrace the beautiful free spirit that you are<br />

with our unique ethical & bohemian products.<br />

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






Spring / Summer <strong>2024</strong> ranges<br />

now available in store<br />


priceless-magazines.com<br />


Fashion<br />

favourites<br />

Patchouli Fair’s Dresses<br />

For summer styling with bountiful boho flavour, we adore Patchouli Fair’s dress shop. Dressed up or down,<br />

they are comfy and flattering with the kind of features we love to see in a dress – we’re talking elasticated<br />

busts and bodices to flatter all shapes and sizes, fun sleeves, soft colourful fabrics, hand block-printing, even<br />

POCKETS! Add one of these to your wardrobe for a go-to dress that will have you feeling confident again<br />

and again for all your summer plans. This one is the Azalea dress in magenta and is just £59. You can find<br />

yours at our Wealden Times Midsummer Fair at stand number O06 or online at patchoulifair.co.uk<br />


Lion graphic tee £30<br />

Oliver Bonas oliverbonas.com<br />

Ivory floral maxi skirt<br />

£45 Lipsy next.co.uk/lipsy<br />

Lunella moon & star<br />

drop earrings £155<br />

Koukla London<br />

koukla-london.com<br />

Mini link<br />

sun anklet<br />

£175 ChloBo<br />

chlobo.co.uk<br />

Aquarius zodiac<br />

coin pendant £21<br />

Betty & Biddy<br />

bettyandbiddy.com<br />

Round sunglasses £29.50 Oliver<br />

Bonas oliverbonas.com<br />

Luna tan leather<br />

sandles £139.99<br />

Blue Velvet<br />

bluevelvetshoes.com<br />

Blue Print Quilted<br />

Waistcoat £38 Lipsy<br />

next.co.uk/lipsy<br />

Set sail<br />

earrings £10<br />

Hooples<br />

hooples.co.uk<br />

Back to<br />

Boho<br />

With a swoosh of seventies style, flowing fabrics,<br />

joyful prints and natural textures, boho is<br />

dancing back into our wardrobes<br />

Sun huggie hoops<br />

£25 Estella Bartlett<br />

estellabartlett.com<br />

Silver daisy goldwork<br />

patch £80 Hand & Lock<br />

handembroideryshop.com<br />

istockphoto.com/ gpointstudio<br />

Moroccan decorative heart<br />

babouche slippers £48<br />

Bohemia bohemiadesign.co.uk<br />

Judies denim clogs £85 Dune<br />

London dunelondon.com<br />

Lapis gemstone drop hoops £39<br />

Estella Bartlett estellabartlett.com<br />

“be happy” enamel<br />

pin badge £7.50<br />

enamelhappy<br />

enamelhappy.co.uk<br />

Blue forget-me-not<br />

floral ring £28<br />

Fable England<br />

fableengland.com<br />

Crown chakra<br />

bracelet £70<br />

Warrior Addict<br />

warrioraddict.com<br />

Gold woven bead hoop<br />

earrings £20 A Short Story<br />

ashortstory.co.uk<br />

Free Fallin’ suede<br />

bag £65 Joe Browns<br />

joebrowns.co.uk<br />

Melissa<br />

bamboo bag<br />

£239.99<br />

Blue Velvet<br />

bluevelvetshoes.com<br />

Katy Freeway suede western boots<br />

£65 Joe Browns joebrowns.co.uk<br />

Ivy foil<br />

maxi dress<br />

£98 Fatface<br />

fatface.com<br />

Dena dress in Fruit<br />

Punch £395 Pink<br />

House Mustique<br />

pinkhousemustique.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


JeremyHobbsS53.indd 1<br />

Opening Hours<br />

Mon - Sat 09.30 - 17.30<br />

3 Oakdene Parade,<br />

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Telephone: 01932 865700<br />

info@jeremyhobbs.co.uk<br />

@jeremyhobbsmenswear<br />

www.jeremyhobbs.co.uk<br />


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

83<br />



Print<br />

Feed<br />

Martin Elliot, Head Chef at The Print House in Tenterden, guides<br />

us through the creation of three seasonally inspired dishes that<br />

make the most of local produce from across the South East<br />

Photographs: David Merewether<br />

Pork belly with apple<br />

purée, Tenderstem broccoli<br />

& dauphinoise potatoes<br />

Serves 6-8 Prep time: 15 minutes<br />

Cooking time: 2 hours<br />

• 2kg pork belly (bones removed, skin on)<br />

• 4 Bramley apples<br />

• 1 pack Tenderstem<br />

• 8 King Edward or Maris<br />

Piper potatoes, peeled<br />

• salt & pepper<br />

• caster sugar<br />

• 1 bottle cider<br />

• 1 tbsp fresh thyme<br />

• 200ml double cream<br />

1. Place the pork belly in a roasting tray<br />

and cover with the cider, season with salt<br />

and pepper and cover with tin foil.<br />

Roast in the oven for 2 hours at 150°C.<br />

2. For the dauphinoise potatoes,<br />

thinly slice the peeled potatoes, place<br />

in a mixing bowl and season with salt<br />

and pepper, add the thyme and mix<br />

well. Pour over the double cream.<br />

3. Line a roasting tray with baking paper and<br />

pour the potato mix in. Level it out and cover<br />

with more baking paper and then tin foil.<br />

Roast for about 1 hour at 180°C. To check<br />

that the potatoes are cooked place a knife in<br />

the middle and, if soft, they are done. Remove<br />

the foil and brown off the top for 10 mins.<br />

4. For the apple purée, peel the apple and<br />

chop into chunks and place in a saucepan<br />

with a little sugar and a bit of water. Cook<br />

until soft and then blend until smooth.<br />

5. Cook the Tenderstem to your<br />

taste in boiling salted water.<br />

To serve: Place the apple purée in a line down<br />

the plate and add the dauphinoise to one side.<br />

Put the Tenderstem in front and place the pork<br />

belly on top and serve. You can make some<br />

crackling out of the cooked pork belly skin. <br />

85<br />


Pan fried king scallops<br />

with minted pea purée<br />

& crispy Parma ham<br />

Serves 2 Prep time: 15 minutes<br />

Cooking time: around 15 minutes<br />

• 6 king scallops –<br />

leave the roe on<br />

• 30g frozen peas<br />

• 5g fresh mint<br />

• salt & pepper<br />

• 4 slices Parma ham<br />

• pea shoots<br />

1. Lay the Parma ham on a baking<br />

tray and place another tray on top.<br />

Put in the oven to become crispy<br />

for about 10 minutes at 180°C.<br />

2. For the pea puree, place the<br />

frozen peas in a pan of boiling<br />

water for 2 minutes and then<br />

drain. Put the peas in food blender<br />

with the mint and season with salt<br />

and pepper to taste. Purée until<br />

smooth – you may need to add a<br />

little water to help this happen.<br />

To Serve: Heat a pan on the hob<br />

until it is just smoking. Add the<br />

3 scallops and season with salt<br />

and pepper and leave to cook<br />

for 3 minutes, and then turn<br />

over and leave for 3 minutes on<br />

the other side. Remove from<br />

the pan and put to one side.<br />

Place the pea purée down the<br />

centre of the serving plate and<br />

arrange the scallops on top of the<br />

purée, then add the Parma ham<br />

crisps in between the scallops,<br />

dress with pea shoots and serve.

Lemon meringue<br />

gâteau<br />

Serves 6-8 Prep time: 15 minutes<br />

Freezing time: at least 4 hours<br />

• ¼ pint double cream<br />

• 400g carton Greek yoghurt<br />

• 170g icing sugar, sifted<br />

• finely grated rind of 3 lemons<br />

• 115g ready-made meringue<br />

nests, crushed<br />

• 6 tbsp lemon curd<br />

1. Pour the cream into a large<br />

bowl and add the yoghurt, icing<br />

sugar and lemon rid. Whisk<br />

until mixture forms soft peaks.<br />

2. Fold in the crushed meringue<br />

and the lemon curd and stir<br />

through the mixture just<br />

enough to marble it through.<br />

3. Spoon the mixture into a<br />

prepared tin (see chef’s tip below)<br />

and cover. Put in the freezer to<br />

set for at least 4 hours, or for<br />

best results leave overnight.<br />

To serve: Remove from the freezer<br />

and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes<br />

before cutting. Return any left<br />

over to the freezer immediately<br />

making sure it is well covered.<br />

Serve with raspberry<br />

coulis on the side.<br />

Chef’s tip: I use paper loaf tin<br />

liners in a loaf tin or you could<br />

use non-stick baking paper<br />

and, of course, you could do a<br />

circular one in a cake tin but<br />

make sure it is a spring clip type.<br />

This amount will be sufficient<br />

for a 7inch tin or 2 loaf tins.<br />

Find out more about booking<br />

a meal or stay at The Print<br />

House, and keep up to date<br />

with their full programme of<br />

weekly and seasonal events at<br />


Why so<br />

sensitive?<br />

Josephine Fairley explores<br />

reactive skin and how<br />

our product-packed<br />

skincare regimes could<br />

be part of the problem<br />

istockphoto.com/ anneleven<br />

Once upon a time, I wrote a whole<br />

book about sensitive skin. 200<br />

odd pages. But in truth (maybe<br />

don’t tell the publishers), the skin wisdom<br />

in that book can be distilled into the<br />

amount of space that this magazine gives<br />

over to me each month. So, here goes.<br />

Now, I know of what I write, because since<br />

childhood I’ve had touchy skin – exacerbated<br />

in adult years by having to try myriad products<br />

for a living. Red, inflamed, itchy, sore, flaky –<br />

you name it. But over the years, I’ve learned<br />

to deal with it and rarely have<br />

a flare-up on my face, now.<br />

The reality is that our<br />

beauty regimes have, in many<br />

cases, become too harsh and<br />

complicated for our complexions, which<br />

haven’t evolved to be assaulted by acids,<br />

peels, scrubs, microdermabrasion, etc.<br />

They’ve rebelled (understandably), and the<br />

result is reactive skin. As many as 40% of<br />

women who apply to become testers for our<br />

Beauty Bible Awards, when we run them,<br />

self-identified as having sensitive skin.<br />

So it’s no wonder, really, that ‘barrier<br />

function’ is such a buzzword, in the beauty<br />

media. As skin wizard Dr. Barbara Sturhnam<br />

observes, “The strategy to treat sensitive<br />

skin should be based around protection of<br />

your barriers, while hydrating and calming<br />


Beauty<br />

the skin.” We need to take care of all<br />

the layers of our skin – which keep out<br />

irritants and keep moisture in – rather<br />

than constantly strip them away in a<br />

constant and often multi-pronged quest<br />

for brightness, ‘glow’ and radiance.<br />

But before my product suggestions<br />

(and I’ll come on to some favourites for<br />

sensitive skin), first I’d like to share some<br />

of the lifestyle shifts that can help skin to<br />

‘chill’ out – whether you have occasional<br />

flare-ups and reactions to products, or<br />

even more entrenched skin conditions<br />

such as psoriasis, eczema and acne...<br />

Never use very hot water on<br />

sensitive skin. Use cool or tepid<br />

for washing face and hands and<br />

warm for showering/bathing.<br />

Don’t chop and change products.<br />

There’s a fad for ‘self-prescribing’ what<br />

your skin needs on a daily basis – this<br />

or that ‘wonder serum’ – but skin craves<br />

consistency. Buy gentle products; use<br />

them up. Let your skin relax into a<br />

proper regime, rather than never knowing<br />

what you’re going to throw at it next.<br />

Stress can cause a ‘perfect storm’ with<br />

skin. This is definitely something I’ve<br />

identified (through my own symptom<br />

tracking, see below); I’ll be fine with a<br />

product, and then, bang! Something<br />

sends me off-kilter emotionally, and I’ll<br />

have a reaction to a product I’ve been<br />

fine with, up till that point. Staying<br />

mentally balanced – perhaps through<br />

yoga, or an app like Calm.com (my<br />

go-to each morning) not only makes me<br />

emotionally less reactive and volatile,<br />

but does the same for my skin, too. (I<br />

know we live in a weird and troublesome<br />

world, and suffer all sorts of individual<br />

pressures, but this is useful wisdom for life<br />

management, not just skin challenges.)<br />

Stick to a routine and keep it simple.<br />

Sounds boring? Not as boring as flaky,<br />

touchy skin, I reckon. Introduce products<br />

one at a time, if you are buying things<br />

you’ve never used before, and see how skin<br />

responds. And fun as it is to ‘play’ with<br />

skincare, less is more when it comes to<br />

soothing skin. A great cleanser (a balm,<br />

a milk, an oil – but not a wash or foam,<br />

which contain drying detergents). Serum,<br />

if you use it, but make sure it doesn’t<br />

have retinoids or any acids. A good sunprotective<br />

day moisturiser, certainly at<br />

this time of year. Eye gel or lightweight<br />

eye cream. At night, after cleansing,<br />

facial oil and/or cream. Yup. That’s it.<br />

Rebuild your barrier function. Avoid<br />

scrubs, exfoliating toners, fruit acid/AHAbased<br />

products, alcohol-based products,<br />

strong perfumes and soaps. Ditch anything<br />

that makes you tingle, immediately. If you<br />

want to use a mask, much as we all like<br />

the idea of ‘brightening’ skin, products<br />

which trumpet their ‘glow-getting’ action<br />

generally feature ingredients that strip<br />

off the top layers of skin, which yours<br />

needs for protection. Instead, layer on<br />

moisturising, barrier-building ingredients,<br />

squalene and squalane, hyaluoronic<br />

acid, omega essential fatty acids,<br />

ceramides, wheatgerm and glycerine.<br />

The reality is that our<br />

beauty regimes have, in<br />

many cases, become too<br />

harsh and complicated<br />

for our complexions,<br />

which haven’t evolved<br />

to be assaulted by<br />

acids, peels, scrubs,<br />

microdermabrasion, etc<br />

Avoid exposure to passive smoke. It<br />

will inflame skin, just as it irritates the<br />

rest of your body. I’m not just talking<br />

cigarettes, but open fires as well.<br />

Switch to household products which<br />

avoid harsh chemicals. This may help<br />

alleviate allergies, too; towels and face<br />

cloths touch our faces, and in some cases,<br />

that can be enough to cause a reaction,<br />

so look for ‘non-biological’ formulas.<br />

My Beauty Bible colleague Sarah’s<br />

decades-long eczema disappeared when<br />

she started using Ecover and Bio-D.<br />

Keep a symptom/lifestyle diary. It can<br />

be hard to figure out what’s working<br />

(though I’ve a hunch all of these tips will<br />

help). So, take brief notes of what you<br />

do, in lifestyle terms (and that includes<br />

food), to deal with your sensitive skin each<br />

day – and see if you can spot patterns.<br />

There are certain ranges and products<br />

which I point people in the direction<br />

of, meanwhile, who are experiencing<br />

short- or long-term sensitivity. A brilliant<br />

choice is the Simple range, which is<br />

fragrance-free and hypoallergenic and<br />

covers every product category imaginable<br />

and is as gentle on the wallet as it is on<br />

the face. Two favourite new finds in the<br />

range, one for drier skins and one for the<br />

less dehydrated, are Simple Repairing<br />

Rich Cream and Simple Restorative<br />

Cream, £9.99 each for 50ml, both<br />

specifically designed for barrier repair.<br />

Good old Clarins offer a specific range<br />

for sensitive skin; I particularly like the<br />

redness-reducing Clarins Calm-Essentiel<br />

Soothing Emulsion, £42 for 50ml,<br />

and Clarins Calm-Essentiel Soothing<br />

Repairing Balm, £34 for 30ml, a nongreasy<br />

but very nourishing balm that<br />

can be used on any areas of sensitive,<br />

irritated skin on face and body; it’s also<br />

great around the nose when you’ve<br />

had a cold, and constant blowing has<br />

caused flaking and painful dryness.<br />

Another just-launched barrier-boosting<br />

product that I’m enjoying is the brightlypackaged<br />

(and again, pocket-friendly)<br />

BYOMA Barrier+ Treatment, £16.99 for<br />

50ml – rich and buttery but not heavy,<br />

with a ‘barrier lipid complex’, avocado<br />

oil and squalene for lasting hydration.<br />

French pharmacy brands which are<br />

most worth checking out by anyone with<br />

a reactive complexion include Avène<br />

(who’ve notched up multiple winners in<br />

our Beauty Bible Awards, over the years)<br />

– their Tolerance Control Soothing<br />

Skin Recovery Cream, £21 for 40ml, is a<br />

classic. La Roche-Posay offer a wide range<br />

for sensitive skins under the Toleriane<br />

banner, including Toleriane Rosaliac AR<br />

SPF30, £26 for 30ml, albeit a mouthful,<br />

is one of the best daily SPFs for touchy<br />

skin. (I like Avène’s lightweight sunscreen<br />

option, too, Antirougeurs Day Soothing<br />

Emulsion SPF30, £20.50 for 30ml.)<br />

And at the other end of the spectrum?<br />

If you want to go properly posh, there’s<br />

the beautifully packaged (of course)<br />

CHANEL La Solution 10 de Chanel,<br />

£67 for 30ml, with soothing white tea,<br />

among other calming inclusions, on their<br />

unusually short – just 10 ingredient – list.<br />

In other words? Gently does it.<br />

Visit beautybible.com for more of Jo’s<br />

product reviews and beauty tips.<br />

89<br />


Health<br />

Perfectly peachy<br />

Sarah Maxwell shares her expert tips for a perky posterior<br />

istockphoto.com/Orest Lyzhechka<br />

In the 1980s, small bottoms were all<br />

the rage, as seen in photos and videos<br />

of women wearing shiny thong<br />

leotards. The song, ‘Total Eclipse of<br />

the Heart’ gave rise to many variations,<br />

‘Total Eclipse of the Ar*e’ being belted<br />

out by my colleagues whenever I stood<br />

up. Such fond memories of those days.<br />

Then came Kim Kardashian and a full<br />

trunk became de rigueur. The popularity<br />

of Brazilian bum lifts, implants and<br />

padded knickers has exploded.<br />

Focusing on achieving a toned<br />

and sculpted posterior goes beyond<br />

appearance alone, however. It offers<br />

numerous benefits that contribute<br />

to your overall health, strength,<br />

performance and everyday movement.<br />

Here are a few reasons why giving special<br />

attention to your derriere is important...<br />

1. Improved Posture. A firm bottom<br />

helps to stabilise your pelvis and<br />

align your spine, promoting better<br />

posture. Weak glutes (the muscles in<br />

your bottom) can lead to imbalances<br />

in the lower body, causing issues<br />

such as knee pain, hip discomfort<br />

and lower back strain. Toning your<br />

bottom can alleviate back pain<br />

and reduce the risk of injury.<br />

2. Better Performance. A welldeveloped<br />

bottom provides a solid<br />

foundation for various physical<br />

activities, such as running, jumping and<br />

lifting. It improves your power, agility<br />

and overall athletic performance.<br />

3. Increased Strength and Stability.<br />

Strong glutes contribute to overall<br />

lower body strength. They assist in<br />

squats, lunges and deadlifts, enabling<br />

you to lift weights and build muscle.<br />

4. Improved Daily Function.<br />

Strong glutes are crucial in everyday<br />

activities like walking, climbing<br />

stairs and bending over.<br />

A strengthening routine:<br />

Glute Bridges. Lie on your back<br />

with your knees bent and feet flat<br />

on the floor. Lift your hips off the<br />

ground, squeezing your glutes at the<br />

top. Hold in this position for about<br />

one second and then lower back<br />

down without resting completely.<br />

Clams – 20-30 each leg. Begin by<br />

laying on your side on an exercise mat<br />

while keeping your body straight and<br />

resting your head on one arm while the<br />

other goes on your hip. Next, bend both<br />

knees to a 90-degree angle with your<br />

feet aligned with your body. Lift one of<br />

your knees while keeping your feet glued<br />

together until your knee is perpendicular<br />

to the floor, then bring it slowly back<br />

down. Repeat about ten times, then<br />

work on the other side. When you start<br />

doing clams, you may find that you can’t<br />

feel it on your bottom. This is often<br />

because bottoms are notoriously lazy<br />

and recruit other muscle friends to take<br />

over. Concentrate on where you should<br />

be feeling it, and you will find that with<br />

consistent practice, you will start to feel<br />

it after a few repetitions. Placing your<br />

hand on the side you are working on<br />

can help you focus and progress quickly.<br />

Forward Leaning Lunge – 12-20. You<br />

can engage your glutes more effectively<br />

by leaning slightly forward with your<br />

upper body weight over your mid-thigh.<br />

Take a deep breath in and breathe out as<br />

you take a big step forward with one leg<br />

and lower your body until the knee of<br />

your back leg almost touches the floor.<br />

At the same time, allow your torso<br />

to tilt forward 15 to 20 degrees.<br />

Breathe out as you push yourself back up<br />

and step back into the starting position.<br />

Repeat with your opposite leg.<br />

Step Ups – 12-20 each leg. Find<br />

yourself a 12-inch platform<br />

(approximately) – this can be an<br />

aerobic step with risers added,<br />

a step up box at the gym, or<br />

even a tall stair or stepping<br />

up 2 lower steps at home.<br />

Step up onto the box<br />

with the right leg,<br />

bringing the left up to<br />

meet it. Step off the box<br />

with the right leg, the<br />

left foot following it (this<br />

counts as 1 repetition).<br />

Kneeling Leg Raise<br />

– 20-30 each leg.<br />

With a mat underneath, get onto<br />

your hands and knees. Tuck your left<br />

knee to your chest and straighten it<br />

behind you. With your knee straight,<br />

lift your leg toward the ceiling as high<br />

as possible, then bring it back into<br />

your chest. Perform three sets of 10,<br />

and then switch to the right leg.<br />

Do a good warm up before<br />

starting this routine. When you’ve<br />

completed it, do some long stretches,<br />

holding for 20-30 seconds.<br />

Try this routine three times per week<br />

for 6-8 weeks to see a difference (have<br />

at least 24 hours between<br />

each session and build<br />

up the amount<br />

of repetitions<br />

gradually).<br />

Doing this<br />

routine regularly,<br />

and with good<br />

form, can help<br />

you develop a<br />

strong, firm<br />

and shapely<br />

bottom,<br />

creating<br />

that<br />

perfect<br />

peach.<br />

Sarah<br />

Maxwell is a multiaward<br />

winning Lifestyle<br />

Wellbeing and Fitness coach. You<br />

can find her at sarahmaxwell.com.<br />

Get in touch via email at<br />

sarahmaxwell@mail.com<br />

and on social<br />

@sarahmaxlife<br />

priceless-magazines.com 90

istockphoto.com, miwa_in_oz , Magone, chokja, Elena Tsvetkova, Drazen Zigic, Agustin Vai / PippiLongstocking / ValentynVolkov<br />

Nourish to Flourish<br />

Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau<br />

explores the benefits of incorporating<br />

another healthy ingredient into our<br />

diets. This month it’s asparagus<br />

British asparagus season kicks off at the end of<br />

April and you’ll find it in farm shops and local<br />

supermarkets in abundance… the season usually<br />

only lasts around 8 weeks, so be sure to make the most<br />

of it! My children love to go asparagus picking every<br />

year, there is something so satisfying about hearing<br />

the snap when you pick one and walking up and<br />

down the dusty rows to choose the perfect size.<br />

Asparagus comes in a variety of colours – green, purple<br />

and white – and is one of the first crops of spring. It<br />

is a versatile ingredient and can be used in salads, stirfries,<br />

pastas or – my personal favourite – simply steamed<br />

and dipped in boiled eggs with a pinch of salt.<br />

This seasonal favourite is low in calories but is nutrient<br />

dense. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, folate,<br />

copper, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin<br />

C, and vitamin E. As well as being a good source of<br />

dietary fibre, it is also rich in manganese, phosphorus,<br />

vitamin B3, potassium, choline, vitamin A, zinc,<br />

iron, protein, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid.<br />

Just like other green vegetables, it’s high in<br />

antioxidants, such as glutathione, as well as various<br />

flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants prevent the<br />

accumulation of harmful free radicals and may reduce<br />

your risk of chronic disease, so enjoy asparagus while<br />

you can, alongside other fruits and vegetables.<br />

Seasonal roast asparagus<br />

Serves 2<br />

• 2 bunches of British asparagus<br />

• 1 clove of garlic<br />

• salt and pepper<br />

• juice of half a lemon<br />

• drizzle of olive oil<br />

• Parmesan cheese<br />

1. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and drizzle<br />

with olive oil, toss with salt, pepper and crushed garlic.<br />

2. Roast in a hot oven at 220°C (430°F) for 7-10<br />

minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears.<br />

3. Squeeze over the lemon juice while hot, as it absorbs<br />

some of the flavour, then just give it a quick toss.<br />

4. Pile onto a serving plate and grate<br />

the Parmesan over the top!<br />

This is utterly delicious served<br />

with spring roast chicken<br />

or pan-fried salmon.<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 />

91<br />


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C<br />

of<br />

ream<br />

crop<br />

the<br />

Garden<br />

Jen Stuart-Smith highlights the celebrated South<br />

East nurseries who’ll be appearing at this month’s<br />

RHS Chelsea Flower Show <strong>2024</strong>, from 21-25 <strong>May</strong><br />

istockphoto.com/BethAmber<br />

There can be few garden shows<br />

that cause as much excitement<br />

as the RHS Chelsea Flower<br />

Show. Founded in 1913 and known<br />

as the Great Spring Show, since then<br />

the event has given rise to a gardening<br />

technique – the ‘Chelsea chop’ – a<br />

week-long floral extravaganza known<br />

as ‘Chelsea in Bloom’ and has become<br />

the place for celebrities to mingle with<br />

gardening greats, the Royal family – and<br />

those of us who are lucky enough to<br />

attend. If you haven’t been, it’s definitely<br />

worth going, even only the once. That<br />

said, if you can’t face the crowds or<br />

the cost of a ticket, it really does make<br />

brilliant TV viewing. At least from your<br />

sofa you don’t have to stand on tiptoe<br />

or elbow your way through the crowds<br />

to see the incredible show gardens.<br />

Of course, the show gardens are the<br />

biggest draw but the Chelsea Flower<br />

Show also offers fantastic shopping<br />

opportunities, access to specialist<br />

growers and plant breeders, as well as<br />

fancy food stalls and Champagne bars.<br />

When it comes to people-watching,<br />

it doesn’t get much better... If you’re<br />

lucky, you may catch one of your<br />

favourite TV presenters, talking to<br />

camera – just don’t be tempted to<br />

photo-bomb! As well as celebrities and<br />

gardening royalty, you may also spot some<br />

familiar local faces, as our fair counties of<br />

Kent, Sussex and <strong>Surrey</strong> contribute a huge<br />

amount of talent to the show each year.<br />

So, who is going to be there this year?<br />

Kent<br />

If you’re on the lookout for plants, there<br />

are several Kent nurseries at Chelsea<br />

this year. Former gold-medal winners<br />

Brookfield Plants will be displaying<br />

their impressive collection of hostas and<br />

hemerocallis while Swallowfields Nursery<br />

offer a gorgeous selection of ‘cottagegarden’<br />

plants including a wide range<br />

of salvia and species pelargoniums.<br />

The No Name Nursery, brainchild<br />

of Steve Edney and Louise Dowle,<br />

is unlikely to disappoint... with its<br />

sustainable approach, impressive<br />

reputation and connection to the famous<br />

Salutation Gardens in Sandwich.<br />

Following on in the environmentally<br />

friendly vein, those of you looking to<br />

re-wild your grassy areas should pop<br />

in and see Kent Wildflower Seeds<br />

in the Great Pavilion. As the name<br />

would suggest, the company – set up<br />

by the Denne family – specialises in<br />

wildflower and native seed mixes.<br />

C<br />

East Sussex<br />

Big kids – or those who simply want<br />

a bit of peace and quiet indoors –<br />

might want to check out Blue Forest<br />

treehouses. The company, based in<br />

Wadhurst, design and build bespoke,<br />

luxury treehouses with sustainability<br />

at the heart of their designs. From<br />

castles to garden accommodation<br />

– anything is possible, a chance to<br />

let your imagination run wild.<br />

Also from Wadhurst are the<br />

wonderfully exotic Plantbase, owned<br />

by Graham Blunt. A bit elusive online,<br />

this nursery is worth tracking down<br />

for its alpines, Australasian, South<br />

African and South American plants,<br />

amongst many exciting others.<br />

After traipsing round the show,<br />

you may well need to take the<br />

weight off with a stop at the Daybed<br />

Company. Just don’t get too comfy!<br />

This small family company, based in<br />

Pett, between Hastings and Rye, is a<br />

relatively new kid on the block – but<br />

if the beds are as comfortable as they<br />

are stylish, they could be on to a<br />

winner. Designed to work <strong>inside</strong> or<br />

out, the turned Iroko wood<br />

will turn silvery over time, if<br />

you opt for the latter.<br />

<br />

93<br />


<strong>Surrey</strong><br />

Garden designers from <strong>Surrey</strong>, involved<br />

in this year’s show, include Helen<br />

Olney, from Godalming, who has<br />

designed the Burma Skincare Initiative<br />

Spirit of Partnership Garden. The<br />

‘Sanctuary Garden’ design tells the story<br />

of a global dermatological partnership<br />

which supports Burmese healthcare<br />

workers treating adults and children<br />

with skin conditions. All of the plants<br />

in this garden are found in Myanmar<br />

Burma Skincare Initiative<br />

but will grow happily here in the UK.<br />

Matthew Childs, from Reigate,<br />

is returning to Chelsea 10 years<br />

after his debut and has designed<br />

this year’s Terrence Higgins Trust<br />

Bridge to 2030 Garden – to mark<br />

the progress of the Trust, from the<br />

fear and misinformation of the 1980s<br />

through to today, and its mission<br />

to end new HIV cases by 2030.<br />

Those on the hunt for specialist<br />

growers are in for a treat at the<br />

Ottershaw Cacti stand – just don’t<br />

stand too close – or head on over to the<br />

luscious leaves of Sienna Hostas who<br />

can be found in the Great Pavillion.<br />

West Sussex<br />

Based on a farm in Steyning, the Caley<br />

Brothers – who are in fact sisters,<br />

Jodie and Lorraine – have created a<br />

fascinating business focusing on edible<br />

and medicinal mushrooms. As well as<br />

farming and selling their crop they also<br />

sell kits so that you can grow your own<br />

mushrooms at home, from Lion’s Mane<br />

to oyster mushrooms of every colour.<br />

They also run workshops, so if you want<br />

to learn more about this wonderful,<br />

edible crop, these are the people.<br />

Also at the show is The Little<br />

Botanical, specialising in house<br />

plants and accessories with a strong<br />

sustainable ethos; British-grown, quality<br />

plants in peat-free soil. Their mission,<br />

apparently, is to inspire people to<br />

make plants a part of their everyday<br />

lives, and what better place to be!<br />

Miles Japanese Maples, from<br />

Pulborough, will be in the Grand<br />

Pavilion, tempting those of us who love<br />

• Automation and installation<br />

• Entry phones and access control<br />

• Hardwood, aluminium and metal<br />

gates made to order for automation<br />

and non-automation purposes<br />

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

automated electric garage doors<br />

• Brick piers<br />

• Brick walls<br />

• Driveway alterations<br />



TEL: 01483 379954<br />

info@harriergates.co.uk<br />

www.harriergates.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


autumn colours, to plan ahead – or simply<br />

channel our love of Japanese-style gardens.<br />

Chelsea in Bloom<br />

As if the show doesn’t offer enough of<br />

a mind-blowing experience, it’s worth<br />

exploring the streets of Chelsea before<br />

or after the show, to enjoy Chelsea<br />

in Bloom – a local floral festival and<br />

competition, planned to coincide<br />

with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.<br />

Just a short walk away is the<br />

Fulham Road showroom of Catchpole<br />

& Rye, the Pluckley-based luxury<br />

bathroom company who, for the first<br />

time, will be filling their windows<br />

with seasonal Kentish flowers.<br />

So, if this hasn’t whet your appetite,<br />

it’s hard to know what will! Whether<br />

you decide to visit, or to enjoy the<br />

event from the comfort of your living<br />

room, RHS Chelsea Flower Show <strong>2024</strong><br />

is unlikely to disappoint. In fact, I’d<br />

bet my bottom dollar that in the days<br />

after the show, we’ll see a dramatic<br />

increase in wheelbarrow repairs,<br />

sharpening of tools and trips to the<br />

garden centre! It’s the Chelsea effect.<br />

Find out more...<br />

Brookfield Plants<br />

brookfieldplants.co.uk<br />

Swallowfields Nursery<br />

swallowfieldsnursery.com<br />

The No Name Nursery<br />

thenonamenursery.co.uk<br />

Kent Wildflower Seeds<br />

kentwildflowerseeds.co.uk<br />

Blue Forest blueforest.com<br />

The Daybed Company<br />

thedaybedcompany.co.uk<br />

Helen Olney helenolney.com<br />

Ottershaw Cacti<br />

Burma Skincare Initiative<br />

burmaskincare.org<br />

Matthew Childs Design<br />

matthewchildsdesign.co.uk<br />

Terrence Higgins Trust tht.org.uk<br />

Ottershaw Cacti ottershawcacti.com<br />

Sienna Hostas siennahosta.co.uk<br />

Caley Brothers caleybrothers.co.uk<br />

The Little Botanical<br />

thelittlebotanical.com<br />

Miles Japanese Maples<br />

milesjapanesemaples.co.uk<br />


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Garden<br />

I<br />

spend a lot of my time adding<br />

structure to gardens – trees, shrubs,<br />

evergreens and architectural foliage<br />

plants. We need these to give our borders<br />

cohesion and good overall shape, to act<br />

as backdrops and frames for the seasonal<br />

plants as they come and go. Structure<br />

is sensible and important, but without<br />

colour there’s not much joy – it can seem<br />

like an empty stage waiting for the action.<br />

It could be a floaty, soothing blend of<br />

harmonious pastels or a riotous clash of<br />

the most vibrant and cheerful hues – taste<br />

is personal and often idiosyncratic, but<br />

whatever side of the colour wheel you<br />

roll on, adding a splash (or a flood) of<br />

colour will instantly bring a garden to life.<br />

Some effects of colour –<br />

and colour schemes<br />

Pale colours recede and make things seem<br />

larger or further away. Strong colours are<br />

dominant and rush towards us. You can<br />

use this to create illusions with space or<br />

to play with perspective – make an area<br />

seem bigger by using paler plants in the<br />

background and brights and darks closer<br />

in. Dense, dark colours are sombre, but<br />

can provide an anchor point, and make<br />

excellent backdrops for other plants.<br />

Pale colours will lift a shady area (as will<br />

glossy foliage – it is reflective). Fiery reds<br />

and oranges create excitement, whereas<br />

pastel colours are calming. The quality of<br />

light changes during the day too – whites,<br />

pale creams, mauves and blues shine out<br />

at dawn and dusk and are ‘washed out’<br />

in strong light, whereas bright colours<br />

look best in full sun and fade into the<br />

background as the sun goes down.<br />

It’s easy to forget that green is a colour<br />

too. In the garden it becomes a calming<br />

neutral background, because there’s<br />

so much of it around, but its effects<br />

are felt nevertheless. Green falls in the<br />

middle of the spectrum and is restful<br />

to look at – it is the colour of nature<br />

and immediately makes us more relaxed<br />

(this is why so many hospital walls<br />

are painted in soft greens and blues).<br />

Whether it’s the darkest shade of holly<br />

through acid lime, chartreuse, glaucous,<br />

almost blue to pale and silvery, green<br />

remains a tranquil foil, harmonising<br />

with other shades of green and providing<br />

a buffer between patches of colour.<br />

Harmonies are created by using<br />

similar colours – pale pastel shades<br />

of mauve, blue and pink blend well<br />

Dahlia ‘Nicholas’<br />

Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’<br />

Ranunculous grown in a pot<br />

together and look lovely in semi-shade<br />

or the dappled light under trees. Cottage<br />

garden perennials like Nepeta (catmint),<br />

Geranium ‘Johnsons Blue’, or the<br />

longer flowering, but less interesting to<br />

pollinators, G. ‘Rozanne’ look romantic<br />

under roses. Sunny borders may need<br />

to be brighter to stand up to harsh<br />

sunlight. Geranium ‘Ann Folkhard’ has<br />

magenta flowers with a dark central ‘eye’,<br />

Geum like the sun (but also damp soil)<br />

and are available in cheerful shades of<br />

orange and yellow – my favourite (at<br />

the moment`) is G. ‘Totally Tangerine’,<br />

which seems to manage and even clump<br />

up unusually well in free draining<br />

conditions. For a splash of vibrant red<br />

you can’t do much better than tall and<br />

architectural Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, which<br />

enlivens both exotic and cottage schemes.<br />

Fabulous Foliage<br />

The range of flower colours available<br />

to us is mind-blowing, but flowers are<br />

fleeting and can’t be used to carry a<br />

scheme through every month of the year.<br />

Foliage can offer nearly as much variety<br />

in terms of colour – and for a much<br />

longer period. Leafy plants can have the<br />

added advantage of good shape and form<br />

too. Foliage can still be a part of colour<br />

schemes – picking up the colours and<br />

Mix it<br />

up<br />

Jo Arnell<br />

celebrates the joys<br />

of myriad colours<br />

in the garden<br />

Pink cosmos<br />

enhancing their effect, or even to carry<br />

the scheme once the flowers have finished.<br />

A leaf can often have as much colour as<br />

a flower, and is far longer lasting. Large<br />

leaves and architectural foliage will also<br />

bring structure and unity to the border.<br />

Cotinus coggygria (the ‘smoke’ bush – so<br />

called because its flowery plumes look<br />

puffs of smoke) is a large shrub grown<br />

mainly for its leaves. The best known<br />

varieties are ‘Royal Purple’ which has<br />

deep plum coloured foliage, or ‘Grace’<br />

whose leaves are more translucent<br />

and ethereal. Plant Cotinus in a sunny<br />

position at the back, or as a specimen<br />

– the sunshine will make the vibrant<br />

red of the autumn colour stronger.<br />

Berberis is smaller leaved and spiny,<br />

with orange flowers in spring, but<br />

offers similar deep red/bronze and<br />

the deciduous varieties will be fiery in<br />

autumn. It’s a big group – a Berberis<br />

could be a huge back of the border<br />

monster, a diminutive dwarf like B.<br />

‘Nana’, or even columnar – B. ‘Helmond<br />

Pillar, ‘Orange’ or ‘Golden Rocket’.<br />

Try the exotic looking Melianthus<br />

major, with glaucous, serrated leaves<br />

(it will be cut down by the frosts as it<br />

is slightly tender, but perks up again<br />

in the spring). Euphorbia ‘Wulfenii’<br />

also has glaucous blue/green leaves, <br />

97<br />


ut these are evergreen and it has<br />

the added advantage of handsome<br />

lime coloured bracts in spring.<br />

A useful, if diminutive, group of plants<br />

that seem to grow in any situation,<br />

including tricky dry shade, are the<br />

Heucheras. There is a striking, almost<br />

black variety called ‘Obsidian’, several<br />

cultivars come in opulent maroon shades,<br />

but there are lighter colours too, and for<br />

a splash of orange, try H. ‘Marmalade.’<br />

An Annual Blast<br />

You can’t beat annuals for a long and<br />

colourful season. Their short, but actionpacked<br />

lives are focused on flowering.<br />

Annuals only have one short year in<br />

which to complete their life-cycle. If you<br />

can thwart them in their life’s purpose<br />

by continually dead heading, they will<br />

keep trucking along, flowering until the<br />

frosts. Floriferous and reliable annuals<br />

include Cosmos – usually in shades of<br />

white and pink, but some orange and<br />

yellow varieties too, – Antirrhinums<br />

that bring a rainbow of spires, and<br />

Tithonias and Zinnias that sing out,<br />

acid bright in the sunshine. For the<br />

shadier parts of the garden, use scented<br />

and muted tones of Nicotiana, or low<br />

growing Impatiens (busy lizzies)<br />

Colourful Containers<br />

Annuals and tender bedding plants in<br />

pots will bring instant colour and impact<br />

to key areas – terraces and paving are<br />

the immediate thought, but you can<br />

even put pots into gaps in the borders,<br />

or places where the interest is flagging.<br />

The great thing about bedding plants<br />

is that they flower for a long period.<br />

Remember to look after them – water<br />

containers daily in warm weather and<br />

if you planted them up in late spring<br />

for a summer long show, the multipurpose<br />

compost only has enough<br />

food in it for 6 weeks, so after that<br />

they will need a weekly feed of liquid<br />

seaweed, or a high potash fertiliser.<br />

Pelargonium are a good old stalwart,<br />

but there’s a multitude of container plants<br />

on sale right now at the garden centres –<br />

choose your colour scheme, but also think<br />

about shape. Depending on the size of<br />

the container (and in summer try to use<br />

larger containers as they won’t dry out as<br />

quickly), you will need a tall central plant<br />

– an Antirrhinum majus, a tall tobacco<br />

plant or spire of some kind will work well,<br />

Mauve foxgloves<br />

Pastel tulips<br />

Alchemilla and Geranium<br />

‘Johnsons Blue’<br />

then mid height and with a contrasting<br />

flower shape – large flowered like a<br />

Petunia or Zinnia and then something<br />

to spill over the edges – Nemesia, Diascia<br />

or Lobelia, even ivy. The phrase used in<br />

container gardening circles (I’m guessing<br />

there are such things) is ‘thriller, filler,<br />

spiller’ to remind us of the types of<br />

plants that make good shapes in a pot.<br />

Seasonal Colour<br />

The quality of light changes through the<br />

year – furthest away and weaker in the<br />

winter, blazingly close in the summer.<br />

The seasonal light of the sun will affect<br />

the colour palette of plants too. Pale<br />

winter light favours silhouettes and husky<br />

shapes. Most of the late winter and early<br />

spring flowers are white, yellow or cream<br />

to signal more strongly to pollinators in<br />

low light. Spring is all new and green,<br />

interspersed with fresh blues, yellows<br />

and froths of pink. As the light gets<br />

stronger and the sun rises higher in the<br />

sky, the colours strengthen – to attract<br />

in sun-loving butterflies and bees.<br />

Our cottage garden favourites –<br />

geraniums, lupins, delphiniums and geum<br />

will have finished flowering by July and<br />

can also have quite straggly foliage by that<br />

time too. Keep the June blooms coming<br />

by being ruthless – cut them all back<br />

A raised bed in late summer<br />

– right down to the ground as soon as<br />

they’ve finished flowering and by the end<br />

of August they will be back with a repeat<br />

show of flowers and tidy new leaves.<br />

During late summer and early autumn<br />

the palette changes again as the light<br />

softens and sinks lower in the sky.<br />

Bring in Heleniums and Rudbeckias in<br />

russet, gold and mellow orange, the<br />

deep blue of Echinops and brighter hue<br />

of Ceratostigmas, Salvias in a myriad of<br />

colours and the dusky pinks and mauves<br />

of Asters. The flowers of Sedum spectabile<br />

are a magnet for butterflies and bees and<br />

are a great addition to the front of the<br />

border, providing long lasting colour right<br />

through the autumn too, as the nectarpacked<br />

flowers fade into attractive seed<br />

heads in shades of russet and bronze.<br />

Every season brings in a range of<br />

different colour choices – I once gave each<br />

month a colour (but we know that way<br />

madness lies). In the end it will always<br />

be down to personal preference – the<br />

important thing is to enjoy the colours<br />

of your garden, calm harmony or riotous<br />

assembly – it’s entirely up to you.<br />

Join Jo for a gardening class at her<br />

garden in Woodchurch. Call 07923<br />

969634 or see hornbrookmanor.co.uk.<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


BEFORE<br />

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AFTER<br />

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Thursday 16th <strong>May</strong><br />

Open Morning<br />

Scan to book a visit<br />

Private Tours Available<br />

Independent Coeducational Day School | Aged 2 -13<br />

Horsham, Sussex<br />

admissions@pennthorpe.com<br />

01403 822391<br />

www.pennthorpe.com<br />

Don’t miss our next<br />

Education <strong>Supplement</strong><br />

Find it in the<br />

June <strong>2024</strong> issue<br />

of <strong>Surrey</strong> <strong><strong>Home</strong>s</strong><br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />


Education<br />

Speaking<br />

Sense<br />

Mike Piercy, education consultant and former Head<br />

of The New Beacon, turns language pupil<br />

istockphoto.com/ Vladislav Zolotov<br />

A<br />

favourite word: smellfungus. A favourite<br />

book: The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary<br />

(two weighty tomes). A favourite pursuit:<br />

looking up a word, getting distracted by other,<br />

hitherto unknown words and fascinated by them.<br />

That’s how I found smellfungus – I love language.<br />

Last year I tried to learn Italian – tried being the operative<br />

word. My Venetian tutor, Pietro, arrived for my first lesson<br />

(late), immediately spouting a burble of words exceeding the<br />

Italian speed limit. As per protocol he taught in the target<br />

language. His willing student was often clearly baffled, trying<br />

to ignore Pietro’s barely concealed, impatient, sometimes<br />

exasperated expression. In the third lesson he gave me a<br />

printed handout, though it quickly became apparent he<br />

had not looked at it prior to the lesson. The fourth lesson,<br />

my bewilderment growing, I spoke in English asking<br />

him to explain the grammar and we began to make some<br />

progress. Having taught for many years and witnessed many<br />

others’ teaching, this was a lesson in how not to do it.<br />

The experience did, however, give me a far more empathic<br />

understanding of how challenging it can be for pupils to learn<br />

another language (and, for some, our own language). As a nation<br />

we are perhaps a little lazy in learning other languages as we<br />

expect English to be understood across the nations and globe.<br />

That aside, the process of learning a language is an important<br />

one for students. A modern language is compulsory for schools<br />

at Key Stage 3 (11-14) but not at KS4, with overall numbers<br />

taking a modern language GCSE declining over recent years.<br />

French is traditionally the predominant modern language<br />

taught in schools. Globally, Spanish is more widely spoken<br />

and some schools have in recent years introduced Mandarin.<br />

Latin and Greek, the classics, are now somewhat fringe<br />

yet they have enormous value in lending understanding to<br />

modern language. A reader of this magazine recently wrote<br />

to me about a project which sees Esperanto spreading<br />

across schools in Africa. Music, referenced last month,<br />

has a language of its own and in recent years coding has<br />

grown like wildfire becoming another modern language.<br />

Students outgrow their uniforms. The school curriculum has<br />

outgrown the day with important additions: personal, social,<br />

health education, design technology and computer science to<br />

name but three. There are only so many hours in a school day,<br />

however, and something has to be squeezed. The humanities<br />

sometimes pay the price, as do languages – some might<br />

question the need when software packages do the translation<br />

for you; yet that isn’t the point. Learning another language is<br />

an important academic discipline. Sentence construction, the<br />

acquisition of grammar, can only improve the correct use of<br />

our own language, never mind the wider, cultural benefits.<br />

Aged ten I had an inspirational French teacher. He would<br />

drag us from a dusty, dull classroom to the sports field<br />

where he taught us The Marseillaise. He told the history<br />

of the anthem which enthused us to bellow all the louder<br />

– we lived the music and words, learning the translation<br />

and grammar along the way. Then I think of the pitiful<br />

Pietro. It was humbling for the teacher to become pupil,<br />

struggling over grammar and vocabulary – I felt for him in<br />

that respect. He did, however, give a fine lesson in how not<br />

to teach, ill-prepared, impatient, lacking in vim and vigour.<br />

I salute those who teach languages in our schools,<br />

adopting strategies and multimedia to enhance learning –<br />

so much easier today – and encourage our young people<br />

to persist with language learning. How do we differ<br />

from other species? Imagination, reasoning, emotion<br />

and the nuance of language – now there’s a debate!<br />

Smellfungus: a grumbler, a fault-finder.<br />

Contact Mike with your education-related<br />

queries at mikepiercy@hotmail.com<br />

101<br />



AT HEVER<br />




& DRINK<br />

What’s On<br />

Festivals<br />

Special<br />

MAY<br />

Tues 7 – Sat 18 <strong>May</strong><br />

Various locations<br />




A real treat for classical music<br />

lovers and all in the stunning<br />

<strong>Surrey</strong> countryside! This fabulous<br />

festival promises magnificent<br />

performances by inspirational<br />

world-class musicians. Dame<br />

Sarah Connolly will sing a very<br />

special programme of Bach and<br />

Handel arias with leading early<br />

music ensemble, the English<br />

Concert (Sat 18 <strong>May</strong>) at Holy<br />

Trinity Guildford; the gorgeous<br />

Mendelssohn Octet will perform<br />

with leading chamber players (Sat<br />

11 <strong>May</strong>) at RHS Wisley; Sharon<br />

Kam and the award-winning<br />

Sitkovetsky Trio will play the<br />

Mozart Clarinet Quintet (Thurs<br />

9 <strong>May</strong>) plus a spectacular concert<br />

for two pianos including Festival<br />

Artistic Director Wu Qian and<br />

featuring the winning entry<br />

in the <strong>2024</strong> Young Composer<br />

competition (Thurs 16 <strong>May</strong>).<br />

shimf.co.uk<br />

Sun 19 <strong>May</strong> 11am-4pm<br />

St Mary Magdalene Church,<br />

Ruckinge TN26 2NU<br />



This little country church will be<br />

alive with flowers from garden<br />

and hedgerow, celebrating the<br />

joy that music brings to all our<br />

lives. Children from the school<br />

and local Scouts and Guides will<br />

take part, together with the art<br />

group from Canterbury Oast<br />

Trust, a local charity that supports<br />

adults with learning disabilities.<br />

All ages, all experiences, and<br />

all adding their wonderful<br />

flowery touch. Refreshments<br />

will be available all day.<br />

Entry: Free Contact:<br />

Margaret 07748 006249<br />

Sat 25 <strong>May</strong> – Mon 2 Sep<br />

Hever Castle, Hever Road,<br />

Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG<br />




In a splendid celebration of their<br />

new home, complete with an<br />

exceptional roof that’s perfect for<br />

stargazing, The Festival Theatre at<br />

Hever Castle have programmed an<br />

array of star-studded events this<br />

year including loads of returning<br />

festival favourites, and many<br />

new artists and events dotted<br />

amongst the programme. The<br />

opening week boasts a diverse<br />

mix, from jazz and opera to<br />

musical performances, family fun<br />

and comedy. The Ronnie Scott’s<br />

Club are featuring highly with<br />

three different Ronnie’s groups<br />

including The Jazz Dynamos<br />

re-imagining songs from the 70s<br />

& 80s. Nestled in the enchanting,<br />

award-winning gardens of Hever<br />

Castle, festival spots (including<br />

The Loggia, Main Lawn and<br />

Two Sisters’ Theatre) promise<br />

many magical moments.<br />

Contact: 07379 488 477<br />

(M-F 10am-2pm)<br />

heverfestival.co.uk<br />

Sat 25 – Sun 26 <strong>May</strong><br />

Tonbridge Castle, Castle<br />

St, Tonbridge TN9 1BG<br />



Fire up your taste buds at this<br />

year’s fabulous Tonbridge Food<br />

& Drink Festival in the town’s<br />

beautiful castle grounds close to<br />

the banks of the picturesque River<br />

Medway. Try, taste and buy from<br />

more than 60 stallholders selling a<br />

delicious range of food and drink<br />

produced in and around Kent and<br />

from across the globe. Discover<br />

tasty cheeses, breads, cakes, sweet<br />

treats such as fudge and chocolate<br />

brownies, locally roasted coffee,<br />

and other food-related stalls.<br />

In its eighth year, these foodie<br />

spectaculars are organised by the<br />

team behind the award-winning<br />

Tonbridge Farmers Market so<br />

you know you’re in for a treat.<br />

facebook.com/Tonbridge<br />

FoodandDrinkFestival<br />

JUNE<br />

31st <strong>May</strong> & 1 June<br />

Merrist Wood College,<br />

Holly Lane, Worplesdon,<br />

Guildford GU3 3PE<br />


ShyneFest has become a regular<br />

feature on the <strong>Surrey</strong> music<br />

scene and this year there will be<br />

a great array of fun activities for<br />

the whole family to get involved<br />

with, including varied food and<br />

drink outlets and festival stalls.<br />

If you fancy joining in the fun<br />

across the entire two-day festival,<br />

camping and glamping on site<br />

is available along with fixed<br />

bathroom facilities in nearby<br />

blocks, breakfast catering and<br />

free parking. It’s the perfect<br />

way to spend the end of the<br />

istockphoto.com/ Jan Zabrodsky & RolfSt & Biletskiy_Evgeniy<br />


istockphoto.com/ Elena Emchuk & Nattakorn Maneerat & grahedphotography & happy8790 & Mila Bond<br />

half term break and have fun<br />

with a like-minded, fun seeking<br />

community of festival go-ers<br />

whilst enjoying all that the<br />

event has to offer, including<br />

some great live music such as<br />

headline act, Dodgy, who will be<br />

playing on the Saturday night.<br />

shynefest.uk<br />

Sat 22 June – Sun 7 July<br />

Various locations<br />

across Sevenoaks<br />



The festival kicks off with<br />

entertainment for all the family<br />

at the Festival Fair with a mix<br />

of music stages, children’s<br />

entertainment, walkabout and<br />

street theatre throughout the<br />

day in Bligh’s Meadow and The<br />

Shambles, as well as puppet<br />

shows in Stag Theatre’s Footlights<br />

Bar. On the following Saturday<br />

29 June, Colourscape may be<br />

enjoyed on the Vine Gardens,<br />

where a children’s event, Painting<br />

for Fun, will also be held. The<br />

Festival continues until Sunday<br />

7 July with the Finale Concert<br />

in Pamoja Hall, featuring Snake<br />

Davis and his ‘Classic Sax Solos’.<br />

The other sixty events include<br />

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado<br />

at Stag Theatre; an open air<br />

production of Shakespeare’s As<br />

You Like It at White Rock Inn;<br />

Liz Grand and her one-woman<br />

drama Where Is Mrs Christie?<br />

about the disappearance of Agatha<br />

Christie in 1926, in Sevenoaks<br />

School’s Sackville Theatre; The<br />

LP Swing Orchestra with Joe<br />

Stilgoe at Stag Theatre; and<br />

A3A Americana for the Third<br />

Age in the Footlights Bar.<br />

sevenoaksfestival.org.uk<br />

Sat 29 & Sun 30 June launch<br />

then throughout July<br />

Various locations<br />

around Ashford<br />



The festival will launch with<br />

ASHFOOD! – a two-day<br />

celebration of local food and drink<br />

businesses at Elwick Place. Other<br />

activities include the return of<br />

Wine Garden of England with<br />

Boys Hall and Kent Vineyards at<br />

Revelation, and Curious Brewery<br />

hosting a two-day beer festival.<br />

There really is something for<br />

everyone this year from The Great<br />

Ashford Sandwich Competition<br />

and teddy bears picnic, to<br />

pizza making, wine tasting and<br />

some fabulous competitions.<br />

loveashford.com<br />


Fri 26 July, Weds 31<br />

July & Thurs 8 Aug<br />

Sandown Park, Portsmouth<br />

Road, Esher, <strong>Surrey</strong><br />

KT10 9AJ UK<br />



Get ready for an incredible<br />

season of live music at Sandown<br />

Park Racecourse this summer!<br />

A day at the races promises to<br />

be more exhilarating than ever<br />

before, combining a nail-biting<br />

evening of racing followed by full<br />

headline performances from the<br />

UK’s biggest music artists. The<br />

line-up this year includes Pete<br />

Tong’s Ibiza Classics returning<br />

with a brand-new set for <strong>2024</strong> on<br />

Friday 26th July; music legends<br />

Madness on Wednesday 31st July;<br />

and the beloved pop band McFly<br />

on Thursday 8th August. To top<br />

it off, Sandown Park Racecourse<br />

features award-winning restaurants<br />

that cater for all tastes, from fine<br />

dining through to delicious bistro<br />

food. Tickets are on sale now with<br />

prices and hospitality packages<br />

available to suit all budgets.<br />

thejockeyclublive.co.uk<br />

Thurs 15 – Sun 18 August<br />

Hole Park, TN17 4JA<br />



If you love the outdoors and fancy<br />

learning more about knot tying,<br />

willow weaving, pewter casting<br />

and traditional arrow making,<br />

then this is the festival for you.<br />

It’s a unique event encompassing<br />

crafts and bushcraft skills for all<br />

the family, trade stands, food,<br />

drink and entertainment. There<br />

will be workshops, demonstrations<br />

and activities including wood<br />

carving, basketry, canoeing and<br />

axe throwing. There will also<br />

be many bushcraft activities<br />

specifically tailored for children.<br />

So get the kids outdoors in the<br />

fresh air and have some fun<br />

while you’re at it! Day tickets<br />

are available on the gate from<br />

16th August and weekend tickets<br />

in advance on the website.<br />

wildernessgathering.co.uk<br />

Sat 28 Sept – Sun 6 Oct<br />

Turner Contemporary,<br />

Margate CT9 1HG<br />



This gem of a festival gets bigger<br />

and better every year and promises<br />

creative writing workshops, talks<br />

and walks and a host of big<br />

name authors – all in marvellous<br />

Margate. Don’t miss out. Sign up<br />

online to get your ticket news.<br />

margatebookie.com<br />

Sun 23 Oct<br />

Brooklands Museum,<br />

Brooklands Drive, Weybridge,<br />

<strong>Surrey</strong> KT13 0SL<br />



Jump on board for a fun day of<br />

heritage bus trips, rarely seen early<br />

vehicles, live music, collectors’<br />

market and children’s attractions<br />

at the ever-popular Brooklands.<br />

Alongside a huge collection of<br />

buses you’ll see taxis, military and<br />

emergency vehicles plus all the<br />

usual displays including aircraft.<br />

londonbusmuseum.com<br />







103<br />


<strong>Surrey</strong> Hills International<br />

Music Festival - <strong>2024</strong><br />

IN AID OF<br />

/<br />

7 <strong>May</strong> Guided Walk and Lunchtime Talk<br />

West Horsley Place SOLD OUT<br />

9 <strong>May</strong> Sitkovetsky Trio with Sharon Kam and Friends<br />

The Menuhin Hall, Stoke d’Abernon<br />

11 <strong>May</strong> An enchanted evening - Chamber<br />

Music at Wisley<br />

RHS Hilltop at RHS Garden Wisley<br />

13 <strong>May</strong> Guided Walk & Lunchtime<br />

Young Artists’ Concert<br />

St Michael’s Church, Betchworth<br />

16 <strong>May</strong> Piano Extravaganza: a spectacular<br />

evening of music for two pianos<br />

The Menuhin Hall, Stoke d’Abernon<br />

18 <strong>May</strong> Dame Sarah Connolly with The<br />

English Concert and Harry Bicket<br />

Holy Trinity Church, Guildford<br />

Tickets now on sale at<br />

tickets.shimf.co.uk<br />

Registered Charity No. 1171264<br />

/<br />

,<br />



FRIDAY<br />


’<br />
















1<br />

6<br />

1 4<br />

15TH-18TH august <strong>2024</strong><br />


Bushcraft ◆ Primitive Skills ◆ Blacksmithing<br />

Basket Weaving ◆ Ancient Crafts ◆ Tracking<br />

Bone Carving ◆ Woodcraft ◆ Leatherwork<br />

Archery ◆ Axe Throwing ◆ Bow Making<br />

Canoeing ◆ Music ◆ Family Activities<br />

book NOW: wildernessgathering.co.uk<br />

priceless-magazines.com<br />

3161-Hever-in-Bloom-Campaign-90x130mm-AW.indd 1 08/04/<strong>2024</strong> 16:17<br />






OF HOPE<br />

istockphoto.com/ jacoblund & Furtseff & evgenyatamanenko & lolostock<br />

What’s On<br />

this Season<br />

FAIRS<br />

Thur 6, Fri 7 & Sat 8<br />

June 9am-5pm<br />

Hole Park, Benenden Road,<br />

Rolvenden, Kent TN17 4JB<br />



Come and join us to welcome<br />

the joyful summer season. You’ll<br />

find all your favourite exhibitors<br />

plus a wide selection of exciting<br />

new stands who’ll be selling<br />

gorgeous fashion, sustainable<br />

products, art and crafts, home<br />

and gardenware, beauty and so<br />

much more (we haven’t even<br />

started on the food and drink!).<br />

<strong>Your</strong> ticket also includes access<br />

to the wonderful Hole Park<br />

Gardens, which is always stunning<br />

at this time of year. We look<br />

forward to welcoming you.<br />

wealdentimes-fair.co.uk<br />


Thur 16 <strong>May</strong> 1.30-4pm<br />

Reuthes, The Lost Gardens of<br />

Sevenoaks, Sevenoaks Road,<br />

Seal Chart TN15 0HB<br />




Founder of Hospices of Hope,<br />

Graham Perolls, invites you<br />

to accompany him on one of<br />

a series of exclusive tours and<br />

talks in three unique gardens in<br />

West Kent. Join Graham and<br />

Reuthe’s owner, Claire Price, in<br />

exploring the magical 11-acre<br />

rare species woodland that hosts<br />

one of the country’s best selection<br />

of specialist rhododendrons,<br />

azaleas, camellias and conifers.<br />

Finish your adventure with<br />

refreshments! Proceeds will<br />

benefit Hospices of Hope’s vital<br />

work supporting hospice care<br />

in South and East Europe.<br />

Tickets: £25<br />

hospicesofhope.co.uk<br />

Sat 6th July 10am-4pm<br />

Reading Street, Broadstairs,<br />

Kent CT10 3AZ<br />



This is Reading Street’s fifth open<br />

garden event. Gardens range from<br />

a small cottage garden to an award<br />

winning wildlife one, a Dragon<br />

garden with surprises for the little<br />

ones plus Taddy’s Allotments. All<br />

gardens are within 5 to 10 minutes<br />

walk from St Andrew’s Church.<br />

There will be plant and produce<br />

sales, as well as refreshments<br />

and lunches available in the<br />

Community Hall and a fabulous<br />

cake stall. Tickets are available<br />

from various points in the village.<br />

Entry: £5 (accompanied<br />

children free)<br />

Contact: offstand@btinternet.com<br />

Sun 30 June<br />

Fletching, East Sussex TN22 3SP<br />


The Garden Trail guarantees<br />

fun for all, including children’s<br />

activities, a raffle and a popular<br />

plant and seed sale. Some of the<br />

gardens have featured in national<br />

publications so it promises to be<br />

a visual treat. The Garden Café<br />

will be situated on the Village Rec,<br />

serving delicious light lunches,<br />

refreshments and homemade cakes<br />

throughout the day, all set in an<br />

idyllic location. Tickets should be<br />

purchased on the day from the<br />

school playground (contactless<br />

card machine available). Included<br />

in your entry fee is a brochure<br />

which includes a map to help<br />

you navigate your way from<br />

exquisite garden to garden.<br />

Entry: £10 (children free)<br />

MUSIC<br />

Thur 16 <strong>May</strong> 7pm<br />

(doors open 6.30pm)<br />

Ashburnham Place,<br />

Battle, TN33 9NF<br />



We’re so thrilled to hear about<br />

this year’s final. Eight immensely<br />

talented singers and their pianists<br />

will compete for prizes worth<br />

over £5000, to be awarded at<br />

the end of the evening. This<br />

is a wonderful opportunity to<br />

hear these exciting young artists<br />

perform settings of some of our<br />

greatest poetry by composers<br />

from the British Isles and Ireland.<br />

The Judges include Dame<br />

Felicity Lott and – for one prize<br />

– the audience! Tickets include<br />

a programme and an interval<br />

drink and are available online<br />

and from Rother Books on Battle<br />

High Street. On the door tickets<br />

are cash only please. This is an<br />

accessible event with free parking.<br />

Entry: £25<br />

ashburnhamenglishsongawards.<br />

co.uk / eventbrite.co.uk<br />

Listings are correct at time of going<br />

to press but may be subject to change.<br />

Readers are advised to check with venues<br />

before making arrangements. We can list<br />

your event in the next issue of Wealden<br />

Times for only £75+VAT. Please supply<br />

up to 200 words that should include date,<br />

time, venue, contact for enquiries and any<br />

entry price to whatson@priceless-group.<br />

com or send with payment (cheques<br />

payable to Priceless Media Ltd.) to What’s<br />

On, Priceless Media, Kettle Chambers,<br />

21 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent<br />

TN17 3HF. Priceless Media reserves the<br />

right to edit text to fit space allocated.<br />

Deadline for the next issue is 7th <strong>May</strong>.<br />

105<br />


Jane Howard explains how<br />

agricultural shows came<br />

to be and just how much<br />

preparation is needed<br />

in order to compete<br />

The Heathfield Show at the end<br />

of <strong>May</strong> will be the first outing for<br />

the Coopers Farm team, in a busy<br />

summer that ends up with the Edenbridge and<br />

Oxted show on August bank holiday. It’s the time<br />

of year when jams and preserves get competitive,<br />

beer tents are buzzing, ferrets race furiously and farmers<br />

show and parade some of the country’s finest livestock.<br />

Agricultural shows are part of our rural heritage and<br />

date back to the 18th century when they played an<br />

important educational role. At that time, as a result of<br />

the Industrial Revolution, the population of Britain<br />

boomed and farming had to change swiftly to keep the<br />

nation fed. A network of county agricultural societies<br />

promoted new scientific methods of stock breeding and<br />

crop management, but not enough farmers took any<br />

notice. So the idea of the agricultural<br />

show was born, where all the advances<br />

would be displayed and explained,<br />

the superiority of the new methods<br />

demonstrated and – to encourage good<br />

practice – prizes would be awarded for<br />

the best stock and produce. The shows<br />

were high-minded and serious. If people<br />

wanted fun, they could go to the circus.<br />

These days for the many visitors<br />

who flock to the shows each year they<br />

are absolutely about having fun, but<br />

it’s also a great chance to get up close<br />

to all our farm animals and learn more about them.<br />

Showing cattle is a bit like competing at Crufts.<br />

In the first instance there are the individual breed<br />

classes with categories for young and mature bulls,<br />

and cows and heifers (females that haven’t yet had a<br />

calf) resulting in a male and female champion for each<br />

breed. These breed champions then compete with<br />

each other to get the supreme champion of the show,<br />

but to get there – indeed even to turn up – means<br />

a great deal of hard work, started months before.<br />

Around Christmas I start picking out the potential<br />

Showing cattle is a<br />

bit like competing at<br />

Crufts... to get there<br />

– indeed even to turn<br />

up – means a great<br />

deal of hard work,<br />

started months before<br />

contenders for the Coopers team. What am I looking<br />

for? The easiest explanation is a topline (backbone)<br />

that is parallel to the bottom line (belly) and plenty<br />

of width. Think about a box of After Eights with<br />

a leg in each corner and you won’t be far out.<br />

By about March the training begins, but your average<br />

cow sees no reason to put on a halter and be walked<br />

round on the end of a rope, why would they? It always<br />

helps if there are cattle in the team who<br />

have been round the circuit the year<br />

before to lend a relaxed 'been there,<br />

done that' vibe to proceedings. Even<br />

so, first steps are always unpredictable.<br />

Having tied them up to get used to<br />

the halter you then have to untie them<br />

and encourage forward movement.<br />

At this point one of two things can<br />

happen. Some set off round the yard<br />

rodeo style, bucking and bronking with<br />

yours truly holding on to the end of<br />

the rope, trying to calm things down.<br />

These are the easy ones as they soon settle down.<br />

Far trickier are those that take the “nah, no thank<br />

you” approach and refuse to budge. Much harder to<br />

do anything about half a ton of uncooperative beef!<br />

But somehow we always seem to get them there,<br />

though it must be said, like children there are<br />

always the little angels that rise to the occasion<br />

and behave impeccably... and those that don’t.<br />

So here’s hoping this year's lot will oblige<br />

and it will be a sunny, easy, enjoyable show<br />

season. <strong>Love</strong> to meet some of you there.<br />

priceless-magazines.com 106

THAMES<br />


Call us on<br />

020 8398 9252<br />




Thames Design and Build provides architectural design<br />

and/or construction services to clients across <strong>Surrey</strong>,<br />

with over 80% of our projects being <strong>Surrey</strong> based.<br />

We offer:<br />

• A free consultation to discuss your ideas and<br />

advise you on the possibilities and permissions<br />

• A fixed quote for all stages of architectural work<br />

• A fixed quote for your build – we are equally happy to<br />

provide a build quote in respect of your existing designs<br />

We have a large portfolio of clients within <strong>Surrey</strong>,<br />

so whatever your plans are, we should be able to<br />

show you a comparable completed project.<br />

Please email us at info@thamesdesignandbuild.com<br />

or visit the website www.thamesdesignandbuild.com<br />

Ditton Garages, Southville Road, Thames Ditton, KT7 0UL

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