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LOOK UP TO THE STARS

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New constellations based on modern day inspirational figures created in a bid to get more children across the UK looking up to the stars and interested in the universe



· In a campaign to get more young people interested in the universe, The Big Bang Fair has partnered with astronomers at University of Birmingham to create ‘Look Up To The Stars’: a new set of constellations representing icons from sport, entertainment, science and activism that children are inspired by today

· There are new star constellations based on JK Rowling, Usain Bolt, Malala Yousafzai, Sir David Attenborough and Mo Farah – among others

· The constellations were created after research revealed how classical creations based on the zodiac and ancient mythological figures are not inspiring today’s children to look up to the night sky

· Indeed, 72% of children have never looked up at the night sky to find a star constellation, and 29% wouldn’t be able to recognise a single classical constellation when shown them

Many of the 88 existing constellations officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union are based on the zodiac and figures from ancient Greek and Roman mythology, but a new study has found these aren’t necessarily proving successful in enticing children today to look up to the stars - with 29% admitting they wouldn’t actually be able to recognise a single classical constellation.

In a bid to get kids to take up more of an active interest in the cosmos, The Big Bang Fair has worked with University of Birmingham to create a brand-new set of constellations based on inspirational figures of the modern day that young people will want to look up to - in every sense of the term.

The new project, entitled ‘Look Up To Stars’, centres on eight new constellations for the modern day – each one representing famous men and women that are inspiring to children from the worlds of sport, entertainment, science and activism – with a view to encouraging more young people to take up an interest in the universe.

In a study commissioned by The Big Bang Fair to mark the launch of the project, 72% of the 7-19 year-olds that were polled said they have never looked up at the night sky to find a constellation, while 29% admitted they wouldn’t be able to recognise a single classical constellation by name if shown them.

So what are some of the new constellations that astronomy experts at University at Birmingham have created?

New creations from researchers include Harry Potter’s glasses to represent JK Rowling, a tennis racket for Serena Williams, a space-craft for Tim Peake, a blue whale for Sir David Attenborough and a book in honour of Malala Yousafzai.
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Sir Mo Farah meanwhile has been immortalised in the form of an ‘M’ shape constellation after his renowned ‘Mobot’ celebration, with Usain Bolt is also celebrated through a pattern of stars that resembles his own celebratory lightning-bolt stance.

The new constellations are the work of experts at the University of Birmingham’s Astronomy Society. The process of developing the new constellations involved a careful analysis of star maps for different regions of the sky by researchers.

Emma Willett, who led the University of Birmingham research team, commented: “It was an honour to work alongside The Big Bang Fair to develop a new set of constellations for the modern day to encourage children today to look up to the stars. We really hope these new creations will help people of all ages develop their interest in space and astronomy, working to inspire the next generation of astronomers to take an interest in the field.”

Beth Elgood, Director of Communications at EngineeringUK, who organise The Big Bang Fair, said: “Stargazing is a great way to spark young people's interest in the universe and inspire them to find out more. Inspiration is at the heart of The Big Bang Fair, where young visitors, their teachers and parents have the chance to get hands-on with engaging STEM activities, workshops and shows and discover where science and maths could take them in the future.”

About The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair
The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK. Taking place from 14-17 March 2018 at The NEC in Birmingham, The Big Bang Fair is an award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits and careers information from STEM professionals. Having grown from 6,500 visitors in its first year (2009) to over 70,000 in 2017, The Big Bang Fair is made possible through the collaborative efforts of over 200 organisations.

www.thebigbangfair.co.uk

School groups are invited to visit the first three days of The Big Bang Fair, which will also be open to the public on Saturday. Young people will leave enlightened about how science and engineering feature in everything they wear, eat and do. A number of apprentice, graduate and experienced engineers and scientists will be on hand to quiz, providing young people with the opportunity to discover how science and maths can lead to a great career. The Big Bang Fair also hosts the finals of the prestigious Big Bang Competition.

Christmas from HAIG CLUB

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Stylish Christmas Drinks

Haig Club Winter Spiced Espresso Martini
Dick Bradsell’s classic cocktail is given a decadent and delightful holiday twist

50ml Haig Club
50ml Crème de Cacao
50ml Espresso
1 x Cinnamon

Clubman & Cola Old Fashioned
A modern take on a classic whisky drink which enhances the caramel flavours of the cola and the vanilla flavours of Clubman

50 ml Haig Club Clubman
1 x Brown Sugar
25ml Cola
25ml Sweet Vermouth
1 twist of Cherry & Orange Peel

Clubman & Cola
The sweet, vanilla flavour of Clubman combines perfectly with the smooth caramel of cola to create a refreshing drink with a vibrant, smooth finish

50 ml Haig Club Clubman
250ml Cola
Slice of lime

Stylish Christmas Gifts from HAIG CLUB
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Up the style stakes this Christmas season with the gift of HAIG CLUB, the stunning Single Grain Scotch Whisky from the House of Haig, created in partnership with David Beckham. With its unique and striking square bottle design, HAIG CLUB brings a contemporary twist to Scotch and is a flawlessly stylish Christmas gift for both whisky lovers and newcomers to the Scotch scene.

Crafted using a unique process that combines grain whisky from three cask types, HAIG CLUB offers a fresh, clean flavour with sweet notes of butterscotch and toffee for a deliciously smooth taste. This versatile Scotch works wonderfully over ice, in long drinks, or cocktails – making for the perfect drinkable gift this festive season, whatever your loved one’s style.

HAIG CLUB CLUBMAN is the latest stylish addition to the House of Haig collection. With its vibrant and modern aesthetic, CLUBMAN inherits the same bold and progressive spirit as Haig Club, with the liquid encased in a distinctive elongated square bottle which creates a stand-out silhouette.

HAIG CLUB CLUBMAN has been matured exclusively in American Oak casks that have previously held bourbon, allowing the sweet, gentle Single Grain Scotch Whisky from Cameronbridge to interact with the vanilla, butterscotch and sweet toffee flavours found in the casks. The result is a wonderfully smooth and sweet Scotch which pairs beautifully with cola.

A charmingly chic miniature HAIG CLUB (5cl) is also available, making Haig Club the ultimate luxury stocking filler and party accessory this Christmas.

For more information visit: www.haigclub.com

The Many Faces of Christmas

Nikon releases new portrait photography series which shines a light on the people who make Christmas happen

An original, festive image series, released today by Nikon, sees German photographer Paloma Parrot travel across Europe to capture the people behind some of the most-loved Christmas traditions.

Showcasing the ability of the NIKKOR lenses, the portrait images focus onthe people who work behind the scenes to make Europe’s Christmas celebrations a reality. From one of Lapland’s reindeer handlers to a Christmas tree farmer in Denmark, as well as British stocking and card printers and a German toy maker, the exclusive photography series reveals the skill and artisan craftsmanship of the festive season.

Commenting on her series, Paloma Parrott said: ‘As a portrait photographer I’m looking for equipment that delivers phenomenally accurate subject recognition and superior performance, with the freedom and ability to convey my subject’s story from just one camera body and lens. Both of the lenses I used on this shoot offered the flexibility to capture intimate portraits, while placing these people at the heart of their working environments to visualise their roles in the making of Christmas.’

Paloma Parrot shot the images using Nikon’s new flagship DX-format DSLR, the D7500, and the following NIKKOR lenses:

AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR: This high-performance, compact, all-round DX zoom lens easily covers wide-angle to telephoto zoom ranges, making it suitable for most shooting situations – from intimate portraits to travel photography. Nikon’s impressive Vibration Reduction keeps images sharp, while the lens’ lightweight body balances well on the camera

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G This prime 50mm wide-aperture lens has a large maximum aperture of f/1.4 which is ideal for low-light shooting or when a shallow depth of field is required. It also features Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for fast, quiet autofocus

Photographers who are inspired by the ‘Faces of Christmas’ series, and want to experiment and develop their portrait photography can take advantage of a cashback promotion on the NIKKOR lenses feature in the campaign.

Please see below for more information about the ‘faces’ of Christmas featured in the campaign, which includes details of their involvement in delivering the festive traditions.

About Paloma Parrott
Paloma Parrot is a German photographer based in Dortmund. She has been sharing her perspective behind the lens for over 20 years. She is known for her minimal, graphic style and obeys the mantra that ‘’less is always more’’.
www.instagram.com/palomaparrot
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Introducing the ‘Faces’ of Christmas
Cake Baker -  Mike Wallace - UK
Mike Wallace, 70
Cake maker, Meg Rivers Bakery, Shipston-on-Stour (UK)


British cake maker Mike Wallace has been the head baker at Meg Rivers Artisan Bakery for 14 years, where a key part of his role is baking a range of festive treats.

Mike typically starts preparing for Christmas in September. The Christmas cakes, puddings, wreath cake, mince pies and loaf cake are baked in small batches in the morning and finished and decorated by hand in the afternoon, ready for delivery the following day. For Mike, Christmas is about spreading joy to others and he particularly enjoys seeing his customers return every year for his award-winning iced Christmas cake recipe.
Card maker - Jade Downer - UK
Jade Downer, 25
Card maker, Tidy Print, Brighton (UK)


Brighton-based card maker Jade Downer co-founded Tidy Print, her screen printing studio and shop, with her partner Daniel Tomlinson just last year. Since opening, Jade has not only produced her own cards but offered Christmas card workshops to teach people the basics of screen printing.

During Jade’s workshops customers learn how to design their own Christmas cards. Using stencils, colour mixing and printing, they are given the opportunity to create personalised festive messages for their loved ones.
Rocking Horse maker - Julie Tuner - UK
Julie Tuner, 55
Rocking horse maker, The Rocking Horse Shop, York (UK)


Yorkshire’s Julie has been working at The Rocking Horse Shop since 1999. In those 18 years she has become a master in her craft making bespoke saddles and bridles for not only old and new rocking horses, but also for hobbyists who set out to make their own with the help of the plans supplied by the shop.

Orders for Christmas presents are taken as early as March, from families wanting a timeless, classic gift. Often old horses are brought in for restoration from people who want to recreate the delight of their beloved childhood possession and give their children the same enjoyment. Julie remarks that it’s a privilege to be able to be part of such a special gift and has also noticed a trend towards the gifting of presents that can be passed down through the generations – many people ask them to put special keepsakes and photos into the body of the horse as a time capsule.
Stocking maker - Tom Count - UK (1)
Tom Count, 18
Stocking maker, Santa Sacks, Lincolnshire (UK)


Tom Count works as a production assistant at Santa Sacks, where he spends his time printing and personalising vintage hessian sacks and stockings in time for Christmas. He ensures that every individual sack or stocking features the name of its eventual owner by printing the letters onto the products using a heat press. The finishing touches are added before they are carefully packaged up and wrapped in a bow before Tom ensures they are delivered on time for Christmas.

Tom sees his work as an opportunity to help others spread magic over the Christmas season with thoughtful, personalised gifts. He enjoys feeling part of a Christmas tradition that sees families buy a sack for their baby’s first Christmas, which they use year after year.
Christmas tree farmer - Anders Larsen - Denmark
Anders Larsen, Age 50
Christmas tree farmer, Faedres Gave, Copenhagen (Denmark)


Danish Christmas tree farmer Anders Larsen grew up on a small island 150km from Copenhagen, called Lolland. During the week Anders and his wife practise law in Copenhagen, but at the weekend they work on their Christmas tree farm and plantation. Anders and his wife purchased the Christmas tree farm two years ago and now run it as a family business.

Anders and his wife work all year to take care of the Christmas trees before they start preparing them for sale from November. They often call on their children and parents to help later in the year when the farm gets busy, and Anders sees the farm as an opportunity to bring his, and other families, together. It’s a Danish tradition for families to choose and cut down their Christmas tree as part of their festive preparation. He looks forward to seeing them cycle to the farm, spend the afternoon selecting their tree to then ride home on their bikes with their children and the Christmas tree strapped to the bike.
Reindeer handler - Upi Virkkula - Finland (1)
Upi Virkkula, 51
Reindeer handler, Salla Reindeer Park, Salla (Finland)


Upi Virkkula has worked as a reindeer handler in Salla, Finland, for almost two decades. He takes care of the reindeer all year – from planning safaris to arranging feeding trips and even visits to witness the majestic northern lights.

Upi describes Salla Reindeer Park as a unique escape for people to experience a different side of Christmas, and seizes the opportunity to introduce people to the beautiful Lappish nature. A highlight of his Christmas season is the park’s annual reindeer race – a traditional and popular sport in Lapland where visitors are encouraged to compete to secure the fastest time.
Toy Maker - Daniel Aust - Germany (1)
Daniel Aust, 43
Toy maker, Grimm’s Toys, Hochdorf (Germany)


German toy maker Daniel Aust has headed up the Grimm’s Toy workshop for the last 11 years. He combines creativity and craftmanship to produce handmade, natural and long lasting wooden toys and ensures the smooth running of the workspace, from overseeing his staff to taking responsibility for the technical and mechanical devices.

For Daniel, toy making is a way of bringing joy to a child at Christmas, as their play is such an important part of childhood. He enjoys hearing the wonderful stories from customers after they’ve bought a classic pull along or stacking toy as well as watching their child play with them for the first time.

HAVE A CRACKING DAY AT KEMPTON PARK RACECOURSE THIS CHRISTMAS

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This Christmas, Great British Racing encourages you to get out of the house and over to Kempton Park Racecourse for an unmissable Boxing Day with your family

From 16December to 2 January, there are over 60 fantastic race fixtures taking place all across the country at which under 18s go free*, meaning it’s the ideal time to get the whole family along to your local course.

Across the Christmas period, Boxing Day is one of the most thrilling race days in the calendar, with eight fixtures taking place including The 32Red Winter Festival at Kempton Park in Sunbury-on-Thames. What better way to burn off that turkey than a family day out at your local racecourse.

While down at the course, there’s plenty for kids to see and do, from visiting the pre-parade ring and winner’s enclosure, getting a jockey’s autograph, to watching a race next to a jump.

The gates will open at 10.00am on Boxing Day, with the first race scheduled for 12.45pm and the last at 3.40pm. It’s an absolute treat for top quality racing with no less than three Grade 1 races and plenty of festive fun for the whole family.

Head to www.under18sracefree.com to find your local fixture, watch Sara Cox’s Race Guide and find more fun racing activities for the kids this Boxing Day. *Check individual racecourse websites for more details

26 December Boxing Day Race Locations: Sedgefield Racecourse Wetherby Racecourse Market Rasen Racecourse Wolverhampton Racecourse Huntingdon Racecourse Wincanton Racecourse Fontwell Park Racecourse Kempton Park Racecourse
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Do celebrities have a moral obligation to come clean about plastic surgery?

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With the media being saturated with celebrities looking preened to perfection, we are often left wondering if they've had any extra help in the looks department.

Some celebrities who have come clean and confessed to using surgery or aesthetic methods to enhance their looks have come under fire for their decision not to be happy with who they are and appreciate the looks they were born with.

In this week's blog we hear from Chrissie Teigen, Ariel Winter and Sharon Osbourne who have all admitted to having cosmetic surgery, and their reasons for doing so. We also answer some questions that are commonly asked such as:

Why do people have cosmetic surgery?
Who should you tell when deciding on having cosmetic surgery?
Should you hide your surgery from your work?

Read the full article here >>> LINK

You can call us on 01892 257 357 to speak to our friendly reception staff or send us an email directly at hello@bellavou.co.uk and we'll be happy to reply.

A VERY BERRY CHRISTMAS

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SILENT POOL DISTILLERS LAUNCHES TWO NEW SEASONAL SPIRITS

Silent Pool Distillers has extended its offering for Christmas with the introduction of two new seasonal spirits: the Albury Sloe Gin and Damson Gin. Both have been neatly handcrafted in the Surrey Hills distillery, ready to bring a touch of berry warmth to your festivities and offer the perfect gin-lovers’ gift this Christmas.

Just launched, the Albury Sloe Gin (£30 per 50cl) puts a modern twist on the traditional sloe recipe, with a slightly higher strength and the addition of a secret spice. Using less sugar than most other brands, the Sloe Gin expresses a delicious balance between the sweetness and classic tart finish from the fruit. Expect an initial hit of rich berry, followed by subtle notes of juniper and almond, ending on a pleasantly warm finish.

Sip your Sloe Gin from a hip flask on a long winter’s walk, enjoy it neat or poured over ice with an optional squeeze of lemon. Or better still, why not add a splash to your Christmas champagne?

Offering an equally tempting after-dinner tipple, the Damson Gin (£30 per 50cl) brings together sumptuous notes of ripe berry and plum, with hints of almond, juniper and a finishing note of vanilla. Crafted using damsons sourced from Kent, this flavorsome British classic is not to be missed from your festive drinks selection. Mix yours with lemon juice and soda for a classy Christmas Collins!

The new spirits join a whole host of handcrafted products on offer from Silent Pool Distillers this season; from innovative liquid garnishes to boozy Christmas crackers, scented candles, gin-infused salmon and its signature, award-winning Silent Pool Gin.

The Sloe Gin, Damson Gin and all other products crafted by Silent Pool Distillers are available to buy now at the distillery, or online at www.silentpooldistillers.com.

Refectorio restaurant at Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine

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The exclusive hotel located in a restored 12th-century abbey surrounded by vineyards in Spain’s Duero wine-growing region – and Chef Marc Segarra have been recognised for their culinary excellence with one Michelin Star.

Refectorio received its first Michelin Star in 2014, achieved just two years after the hotel opened. Thanks to the extraordinary vision of Chef Segarra and his skilled culinary team, the restaurant maintained its one Michelin Star rating in 2015, 2016 and now again in 2017.

Refectorio restaurant at Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine – the exclusive hotel located in a restored 12th-century abbey surrounded by vineyards in Spain’s Duero wine-growing region – and Chef Marc Segarra have been recognised for their culinary excellence with one Michelin Star.

Refectorio received its first Michelin Star in 2014, achieved just two years after the hotel opened. Thanks to the extraordinary vision of Chef Segarra and his skilled culinary team, the restaurant maintained its one Michelin Star rating in 2015, 2016 and now again in 2017.

"We are extremely proud to be consistently recognised by Michelin as being among the best restaurants in Spain and the world,” said Enrique Valero, Managing Director of Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine. “It is the passion, effort and enthusiasm of the Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine team that brought us the prestigious One Michelin Star ranking. Day after day, we strive to exceed the expectations of our guests and make their stay unforgettable."

The gastronomic focus of Refectorio has been based, from the beginning, on innovative contemporary cuisine prepared with the highest-quality, locally sourced ingredients – ensuring that the hotel contributes to the development of the sustainable local economy. The region boasts a great culinary richness with a wide array of fine food products. Refectoria offers two tasting menus for dinner, which vary throughout the year based on the available seasonal products.

"From the first day, I was challenged to do something extraordinary in the kitchen in keeping with the 900-year-old heritage of our world-class hotel,” said Chef Segarra. “Through maximum commitment and a focus on creativity and detail, our goal was to surprise guests with each bite of each dish, which would be paired with the exquisite wines of our own winery. It was the perfect recipe to bring our guests an unprecedented culinary experience.”

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MUCA

22 November 2017 - 4 March 2018 Munich, Germany

We are off to a great start with this article in the BILD newspaper

MUCA believes that art has the potential to change the perception on the world. This philosophy runs through our project, where we try to change the world's perception on and celebrate indigenous cultures through Jimmy's photography, films and storytelling. This is an unique opportunity to see Jimmy's work exhibited in a museum setting. See here >>> LINK

For more information about planned, current and past exhibtions visit >>> www.jimmynelson.com

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Alice in Winterland @ Rose Theatre Kingston

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ALICE IN WINTERLAND Q&A WITH SUSANNAH VAN DEN BERG ‘QUEEN OF HEARTS’


What made you keen to join the cast of Alice in Winterland?
I’ve seen a few Christmas productions at The Rose, as well as being involved in several community scratch choirs. I have always been impressed with the production values and the commitment and energy of the youth theatre. I was also excited about tackling a brand new script and original score, being involved in creating something new and fresh.

What is Alice in Winterland about?
The setting of the original books has been changed to during the First World War. Using elements and characters from the two books it’s essentially a coming of age story for Alice. Through her adventures in Wonderland she gains the strength and courage to deal with the trauma and responsibilities of reality.

Tell us a bit about your character. What are you most enjoying about playing The Queen of Hearts?
The Queen of Hearts is a delicious megalomaniac, rather like a modern day dictator. I’m finding her such fun to play because she has no limits. I have the ability to be as silly or outrageous as I like because my court allows me to get away with anything. Like anyone in great power, the chance of being overthrown is always present so I’ve chosen to rule by fear.

What particular challenges does this role present to you as an actor?
Vocally it’s a big role - lots of shouting “Off With Their Heads” - so sustaining that will be a big task. Delivering a pretty spectacular battle scene whilst wearing a massive dress is also going to be challenging!

Alice in Winterland, is based on Lewis Carroll’s timeless books, Alice Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Why do you think these characters have such an enduring appeal?
They’re magnifications of human nature - all elements we recognise in ourselves taken to huge proportions. They’re all things we could become.

The production sees a professional cast and a youth company perform together. What has it been like working alongside Rose Youth Company?
Really fantastic. They have such great energy and focus that could shame some other professional companies! Working with two separate casts is a joy as a performer as you get different performances to play off, meaning no show will be the same. The company really works as a true ensemble, they are generous to each other and there are no small parts. Slotting into a company like this is incredibly exciting.

Why do you think people should come and see Alice in Winterland?
The story is incredible and the families who come to see it will go on a real journey with Alice. There’s puppets, magic, monsters, a new script with an electrifying original score, some terrible jokes, beautiful costumes & scenery and snow... there’s definitely snow. Entertaining yet life affirming.

Alice In Winterland will be at Rose Theatre Kingston from Thu 7 Dec – Sun 7 Jan. Tickets cost from £15 and are available online, rosetheatrekingston.org, by phone, 020 8174 0090, or from the Box Office


Bookham charity wins lottery funding

BOOKHAM CHARITY WINS £97k HERITAGE LOTTERY FUNDING TO OPEN UP “ROYAL” COLLECTION OF NEEDLEWORK TO THE PUBLIC

The Grange charity for people with learning disabilities in Bookham has won funding worth £97,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a heritage room telling the story of its beginnings as ‘The School of Stitchery and Lace’ founded in 1938.

The project will preserve the charity’s historic collection of needlework, which has royal connections, and create a new interactive learning and heritage space open to all visitors.

The collection includes embroidered items and there are numerous letters between The School and the royal household - from Queen Elizabeth’s nurse ordering a copy of a dress to hand-drawn designs for Queen Mary’s nightgowns.

People with disabilities at The Grange will be involved in the set up and running of the project which will build stronger links between the charity and the local community and will become part of the Bookham Heritage Trail.

Gill Caldwell, from The Grange said: “We are delighted to have won this Heritage Lottery funding and very grateful to lottery players. It will allow us to preserve our historic needlework collection for future generations and couldn’t come at a better time as we celebrate our 80th anniversary in 2018. We would love to hear from anyone with memories of The School of Stitchery and Lace and hope people will contact us.

“The grant will enable us to digitise photographs and letters and make flip books that visitors can handle and read at their leisure. There will be headsets for listing to oral histories as well as interactive games. Once set up, the Heritage room will host learning events and community activities. We particularly want to welcome school groups.”

“When The School - now The Grange - opened in our Victorian mansion in Bookham in 1938, its founder, Miss Julia Sweet, became a pioneer in training women with disabilities in skills that would give them an income and independence. We carry on that tradition today.”

The Grange is the only adult care provider in Surrey able to offer accommodation, care and a wide range of skills training all on one site. With a focus on teaching practical and creative arts including needlework, people can develop life and work skills in the charity’s shops, cafes and mini businesses as well as take part in sessions in horticulture, catering, communications, IT, woodwork and creative arts.

Below: Zena, a tenant of The Grange, with a nightdress case made for Queen Mary
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The Grange works with people with disabilities, helping them to lead independent and fulfilling lives by offering residential care and supported living. For more information about its work, please visit our website at: www.grangecentre.org.uk

Sweet Tooth Tours

London Tours

Trained pastry chef Lynne Staartjes introduces her company, Sweet Tooth Tours Limited. The company launched in July 2017

Tourists and Londoners alike are able to discover London’s best independent bakeries, gelaterias, cheesemongers, chocolate shops and more on the tours. Each tour has up to 6 guests, lasts approximately 2 ½ hours and includes tasting portions at several stops. Guests are accompanied around Belgravia on foot to discover its edible hidden gems. In addition to learning about the desserts tasted, the shops and their owners, the tour also incorporates the history and stories of the local area. There are exclusive opportunities to peek into the onsite kitchens and chat with many of the shop owners.

Guests can choose the signature Belgravia tour, a gluten-free version or the “Sugar and Spice” tour which also incorporates savory stops. A Soho version of the tour will be launching soon. For the ultimate tour of London’s sweet spots, Sweet Tooth Tours has partnered with Rolls-Royce to offer an exclusive version of the tour by chauffer driven Rolls-Royce. The tours are perfect gifts and can also be arranged for children’s birthday parties, baby showers, or hen dos. Additionally, courses such as bread or scone making and cake decorating can be added to enhance the experience. Bespoke tours can be tailored to visit sweet spots around London or as far afield as Amsterdam, Paris or New York. Sweet Tooth Tours has been featured in Town & Country, The Observer and British Airways High Life amongst other publications.

Prices start at £48 per person please visit www.sweettoothtours.com for more information.

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Half A World Passed Me By

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A solo show by artist David Walker

Lawrence Alkin Gallery: 17 November – 9 December 2017
Press and Private View: Thursday 16 November 6-8pm

In November, Berlin-based street artist David Walker will unveil a brand new body of work at London’s Lawrence Alkin Gallery.

Featuring several ‘firsts’ for the artist predominately known for his large-scale female portraits, Half A World Passed Me By includes works of both female and male sitters.

The show sees the introduction of brushes, acrylics and new techniques for Walker, whose previous works were made exclusively freehand with spray paint. On his new approach, Walker commented: “Although the spray paint medium is still present in this new body of work, I feel using new approaches and materials has allowed me a fresh dexterity and an opportunity to mature as a painter.”

Half A World Passed Me By also includes figurative works, studies and sketches, and Walker will introduce a series of text-based paintings featuring his own writing.

Collaborating with Berlin based multidisciplinary artist Yuli Gates on a number of pieces within the show, David has also used Yuli as a model for some paintings. Together Walker and Gates have created works that juxtapose form and flora, fusing painting with hand embroidery techniques.

There will also be separate collaborations with German graffiti artists turned contemporary painters, Base 23 and Mina.

The show title ‘Half A World Passed Me By’ contains various personal references, in keeping with this new body of work. WaIker explains: “I have been completely blind in my right eye since birth. It’s not common knowledge as I didn’t want it to be used it as a USP for my work. I also turned 40 last year, coinciding with one of the most difficult periods in my life for many reasons. In the aftermath I feel far more fearless as a person and artist and far more comfortable to invite people further into my world.

“Nowadays I’m more interested in making my work more intimate, I endeavour to create things that are an extension of my life and experience, the people around me and my reality.”

Half A World Passed Me By is made up of around 25 works, featuring male and female portraits, figurate paintings, form and flora and poetic texts. The pieces range from 25cm x 25cm up to 160cm x 220cm and have been created using a mix of spray paint, acrylic, ink and embroidery. The show is split over two levels at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, the top floor focusing on portrait and figurative work and the downstairs showcasing new text based work, portrait studies and collaborations.

Walker’s last London show was in November 2014 at the Hoxton Arches in conjunction with Lawrence Alkin Gallery and was a sell-out show. Since then, Walker has been busy painting large-scale murals on streets in France, Denmark, Belgium and New York. He also recently created pieces for the Street Art Museum in Amsterdam and the just-opened Urban Nation Museum for urban contemporary art in Berlin.

Born in London, Walker is now based in Berlin and has a studio in a former primary school in Kreuzberg, one of the few buildings in the area to survive the war. Walker comments on his now-home: “Berlin is full of life and inspiration, there is enough here to feed you forever.”

Half A World Passed Me By will be on display from Friday 17 November – Saturday 9 December at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, 42 New Compton Street London WC2H 8DA www.lawrencealkingallery.com @lagalleryart
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Silent pool lights the way

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A romantic trail of candles along the path round the Silent Pool has traditionally lit the way to the artisan distillery in Albury for its popular evening events.

Now Silent Pool Distillery has created its own luxury range of botanical-infused candles echoing the essence of its spirits in a new collaboration with an artisan candle maker and Feather Edge, supplier of handcrafted and designed tableware and home accessories.

Feather Edge founder Amber Craven approached Silent Pool director Ian McCulloch about the possibility of creating the Gin Botanicals Collection to complement her original Earl Grey Tea candles. They chose three fragrances- Kaffir Lime, Bergamot Orange and Christmas Spirit, blends inspired by the romantic botanicals that give Silent Pool Gin its distinctive and exceptional character.

The candles are hand poured for Feather Edge by artisan candlemaker Bird Box in England using only natural, sustainable ingredients without any petrochemicals or mineral wax and possess the added therapeutic qualities of pure essential oils.

Amber Craven explains ‘As committed artisan distillers, Silent Pool actively encourage collaborations with like-minded local companies and their intricate, multi-layered gin lends itself perfectly to the world of luxury home fragrance.’

Ian McCulloch, Founding Partner of award winning Silent Pool Distillers comments, ‘It was important for us to use sustainable soy wax and pure essential oils that capture the bright aromatics, delicate florals, rich citrus and ethereal high notes of Silent Pool Gin. The result is three delicious fragrances everyone will love.’

The candles are available to buy from Silent Pool’s new on-site retail shop in Albury, from the Feather Edge Collection at Charter Walk Kitchen Living, Charter Walk, Haslemere and online at featheredge.com.

Abbott Lyon teams up with Dogs Trust

QWJib3R0IERvZ3MgVHJ1c3QgTW9udGFnZS5wbmc=This Christmas, leading British watch and accessories brand Abbott Lyon (www.abbottlyon.com) will be teaming up with Dogs Trust on a special project which will see 10% of sales of selected products donated to the UK’s largest dog welfare charity.

Abbott Lyon now place a paw print icon on specifically chosen Abbott Lyon products across the site including both watches and jewellery. Hero products included are as follows:

• T-Bar Bangle Silver (£29)
• Cuff Bangle Gold (£29)
• Ball Bangle Silver / Rose (£49)
• Gold Chain Kensington 40 (Gold / White) (£99)
• Mist Grey Suede Kensington 40 (Rose Gold) (£69)
• Silver Chain Minimale 38 (Silver / White) (£89)
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Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity with a network of 21 Rehoming Centres across the UK and Ireland. Caring for 15,000 dogs of all shapes, sizes, ages and breeds, and will never put a health dog to sleep. To find out more or to find your local rehoming centre visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.

The Abbott Lyon x Dogs Trust edit is available at www.abbottlyon.com, with 10% of the sale price of each product sold donated to Dogs Trust (Registered Charity Numbers 227523 & SC037843).

Mane Chance Charity Gala

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'Platinum selling music icon Ronan Keating leads a star-studded line-up - for one sensational night only - of songs, laughter and variety, at the Phoenix Theatre on 19 November at 7:30pm, for the Mane Chance West End Charity Gala Spectacular.

Ronan is joined by triple-reality TV singing sensation Joe McElderry, pop star Amelia Lily, ventriloquist America’s Got Talent winner Paul Zerdin, chart-topping singer-songwriter Sandi Thom and superstar soprano Margaret Keys. With Jake Quickenden, Marti Webb, Patti Boulaye, Beau Dermott, Joe McGann, Virginia McKenna, Jenny Seagrove and a host of other favourites from the world of music, theatre, TV and entertainment. Supported by a live on-stage band. With all profits to Mane Chance charity.
Tickets are available from www.atgticekts.com/phoenix '

Save Black Rhinos on Black Friday

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At ‘The ART OF OPPORTUNITY Affordable Art Sale’ on Friday 24th November 2017

To coincide with ‘Black Friday’, a shopping tradition which started in the USA the day after Thanksgiving, and is so-called after the custom of businesses recording their losses in red ink but their gains in black, The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is holding an ‘Art of Opportunity: Affordable Art Sale’ both on-line and in their newly re-furbished gallery below their offices at Saba House, 7 Kings Road, Shalford, nr Guildford, Surrey.

The ‘Art of Opportunity Affordable Art Sale’ which will run on towards Christmas, will not only give supporters the chance to buy a selection of stunning prints at reduced prices from the charity’s on-line catalogue, but in addition a selection of eclectic art donated by artists and trustees from their own private art collections. In addition to more well-known wildlife artists there are items from esteemed painters William Russell Flint to Terence Cuneo. Proceeds from the sale will go to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, enabling funding of not only black rhino but a host of other species conservation projects across Africa and Asia which they fund in order protect some of the world’s most endangered animals.

Karen Botha, CEO DSWF said “This really is a wonderful opportunity to buy a wide variety of art to suit varied styles and tastes – not only for yourself but as early Christmas gifts for your friends and family.”

All proceeds after costs from the sale of each original piece will go directly to support the work of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation funding vital conservation initiatives across Africa and Asia.
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Breast Augmentation Tips from our Surgeons and Patients

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Are you considering Breast Augmentation surgery?

At Bella Vou we want to share with you the best advice from our Plastic Surgeons, staff and patients who have had the procedure with our clinic. We take you on a complete journey, from advice on what to ask your surgeon, how you can get the best outcome from your surgery to tips from previous patients about how to have a comfortable recovery. Read the full article here >>> bellavou.co.uk
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The history of the Facelift procedure

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It may surprise you to know that the Facelift procedure has been around for over 100 years and with pioneering techniques evolving over the years, the facelift has seen many medical advancements in the search for eternal youth.

We discuss the history of the Facelift and the surgeons who first pioneered it including Bella Vou’s Concept™ Facelift procedure pioneered by Head Surgeon Amir Nakhdjevani.

The historical pioneers of the Facelift Procedure
The desire to recapture a youthful appearance led to the first reported attempt of a Facelift procedure that took place in 1901 which was performed by Eugen Hollander in Berlin. A female Polish aristocrat requested that she would like for him to tighten the skin around her cheeks and corners of her mouth. After much deliberation he attempted the procedure to excise an elliptical piece of skin around the ears, but Hollander only excised skin at the front of the ear and closed the hole; he didn’t lift the area. Read the full article here >>> bellavou.co.uk

The Surrey Hills Wood Fair 2017

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The Surrey Hills Wood Fair, now in its 8th year takes place at the Birtley Estate in Bramley on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October from 10am – 5pm.

Each year the fair gets bigger and better yet retains the traditional charm of a rural day out in the Surrey Hills for all the family.

This year you’ll discover a range of interesting stalls to browse and buy from as well as great local produce and a variety of refreshment stands including a beer tent! The Surrey and Sussex Coppice workers will be demonstrating their skills and there will be opportunities to buy a whole host of wood products.
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There’s a big focus on families with lots for children from craft making and animal attractions to theatre shows and workshops courtesy of the Man in the Moon Theatre Tent. The Wood Fair is also FREE for children under 12, making this a family day out not to be missed!

Come and discover:
• Coppice Crafts & Wood Products
• Trade Stands
• Local Produce
• Horse & Wagon Rides
• Demonstrations, including Horse Logging
• Bug Hunts
• Wide Range of Catering & Beer Tent
• Live Music provided by the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM)
• Children’s Activities (including Tree Climbing and Zip wires!)
• Animal Attractions

Entertainment remains high on the agenda this year and once again we will be working with the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford to showcase local musicians. To entertain the whole family, why not take a ride on the ever popular horse and wagon rides or marvel at the spectacular chainsaw demonstrations on site?

For more information please visit: www.surreyhills.org

Prices:
Adult (early pre-booked online) - £7.50
Adult (on the gate) - £10
Member of the Surrey Hills Society (with valid card) - £5
Children (under 12) – FREE

Exhibition opening

MIX: Summer Group Show

Lawrence Alkin Gallery: 28th July – 2nd Sept 2017
Private View and Press Preview: Thurs 27th July 2017
Opening on 28 July is the annual MIX Summer Group Show at Lawrence Alkin Gallery in Soho, London.

The MIX Summer Group Show will consist new and exclusive original works, and a select number of sought-after limited edition prints from more than 20 modern and contemporary artists. As well as those on the gallery roster, the show will feature a handful of carefully selected artists who are exhibiting in the UK for the first time.
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Harland Miller 'I Am The One I've Been Waiting For'
Gallery Director Sam Rhodes commented on what people can expect from the show: “Our annual summer group show is always an interesting exhibition, showcasing many talented contemporary artists, each with their own signature style and differing medium and practices. We’ve curated a mix of established and emerging artists, spanning collage, silkscreen prints, neon, oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings, pencil drawings and mixed media. The main thing they all have in common is clearly defined originality. It’s a real treat to have such a concentrated pool of talent in one show.”
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Static 'In Bloom - Dare'
Each original artwork being exhibited in the show is brand new and hasn’t been shown before. This includes three fashion industry-inspired pieces by New York street artist XORS who’s exhibiting in the UK for the first time, a neon piece ‘I Love You’ by Zoe Grace and the very last original in a series by Nick Smith.
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Zoe Grace 'I Love You'
Exhibiting artists include Damien Hirst, Banksy, Harland Miller, Stik, Dave White, Zoe Grace, Lucy Sparrow, Florian Eyman, Dean Fox, Static, Ryan Callanan, Renee Snelman (XORS), Euan Roberts, Miss Bugs, Bridgette Riley, Patrick Caulfield, Will Blanchard, Chris Levine, Nick Smith, Holly Frean, Abi Whitlock, Tom French, Jeff Gillette and Teresa Duck.

MIX: Summer Group Show runs from Friday 29 July to Saturday 2 September at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, 42 New Compton Street London WC2H 8DA www.lawrencealkingallery.com @lagalleryart

Rebecca Evans from St John’s School, Leatherhead, discusses the new 1-9 grading system for GCSE

This year sees the first step in the phased introduction of the new GCSE grading system. This is the first major change to GCSE grading since the introduction of the A* grade in 1994.

The new GCSEs will be graded 9–1, rather than A*–G. Grade 9 is the highest grade, set above the current A*. The intention of the new system is to provide more differentiation, particularly among higher achieving pupils.

Which subjects are affected and when?
The new reformed GCSEs in English language, English literature and mathematics were first taught in September 2015 and the first results using the new grading system will be published this August.

The second phase started in September 2016 with more subjects moving across to the new specifications including science (including separate sciences), languages, history, geography, art and design, physical education, computer science, food preparation and nutrition, design and technology, religious studies, music and drama. These subjects will be examined under the new system in summer 2018

The majority of other subjects will follow in the third tranche of changes and these will first be taught in September 2017 and examined in summer 2019. This also includes several IGCSE qualifications.

The phased introduction of the grading system means that your child might have a mixture of lettered and numbered grades if they are taking GCSEs in 2017 and 2018.

Why change the system?
The new GCSE grading scheme is part of a new curriculum which was introduced in England's schools in 2014 by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary at that time. He wanted pupils to study a wider and more demanding syllabus.

He called for a more traditional format, with less coursework than before and a greater weight on final examinations taken after two years of study.

How will it work?
The table shows how the old and new grades equate.

The lower end of the new grade 4 will be equivalent to the lower end of grade C. Approximately the same proportion of students will get a grade 4 or above who currently get a grade C or above.

The lower end of the new grade 7 will be equivalent to the lower end of grade A. Approximately the same proportion of students will get a grade 7 and above as currently get a grade A and above in any particular subject.

Although there are fewer numerical grades for the lower ability students, there are more for the higher ability allowing for greater differentiation at the mid to high ability range. Close to 20% of students across all subjects who achieve a grade 7 or above will be awarded the grade 9.
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There are two areas which parents and employers should give careful consideration to. Firstly, the old and new grades are not exactly equivalent. A grade 9 will be more difficult to achieve than an A* in the current system. However, this ensures that the top possible grade truly represents the most able students.

Secondly, five C grades has traditionally been the benchmark to many opportunities. The C grade is now split between levels 4 and 5. This is to align the UK with the average PISA performance in countries such as Finland, Canada, the Netherlands and Switzerland which are often taken as a benchmark of academic excellence.

However, universities are now setting different "pass" grade equivalents. University College London says a C is now a grade 5, while already, Manchester and Liverpool have set the benchmark at grade 4.

Education Secretary Justine Greening says that for school performance tables, the government will publish "standard passes" (grade 4 and above) but also the "strong passes" (at grade 5 and above). It is yet to become clear how universities will view the new grading system.

Ofqual's view
• Broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C and above
• Broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 7 and above as currently achieve an A and above
• The aim is that, across all subjects, around 20% of those achieving grade 7 and above will be awarded grade 9, although the percentage will vary between subjects.
• The bottom of grade 1 will be aligned with the bottom of grade G
• Grade 5 will be positioned in the top third of the marks for a current Grade C and bottom third of the marks for a current Grade B.

Chief regulator Sally Collier says students who get a nine will have "performed exceptionally".

Making sure the system runs smoothly
Parents may worry that children taking GCSEs this year and next will be guinea pigs for the new grading system.

Ofqual has taken these concerns seriously and says that these students will not be disadvantaged. In 2016, in English and in maths, about 70% of 16-year-old students achieved a grade C or above and it expects a similar percentage to achieve a 4 and above in this summer's exams.

The full effect of the changes will not be known until 2020 but we can be certain that the new curriculum and grading system are designed to make sure all our students are fully stretched and to raise standards across the board.

For more information, see New GCSE 9 to 1 grades coming soon www.gov.uk/government/news

Website: www.stjohnsleatherhead.co.uk

EMERGING SINGER-SONGWRITER GRACE MONROE RELEASES DEBUT SINGLE PAPER HEART

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24-year-old emerging singer-songwriter Grace Monroe is delighted to announce the release of her debut single Paper Heart ahead of her first studio album The Truth About Love, due for release this autumn

Written by Sussex born Grace, alongside producers OJ (OFER SHABI) and Yaniv Fridel at Soho Sonic Studios, Paper Heart is Grace’s first foray into the industry. The track reflects her ‘all consuming’ experience of love and is melodically influenced by her passion for original material with old school jazz and soul undertones.

With lyrical maturity beyond her years, the young but talented artist takes her inspiration from great musicians past and present, including Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Bruno Mars, Paloma Faith and Corinne Bailey Rae to name but a few, all of whom have all shaped her sound today.



Grace said: “Paper Heart reflects drowning in someone else's needs of you and just losing your whole being. But not being able to let that person go. My first true experience of love.” The album The Truth About Love focuses on the personal trials and tribulations Grace has been through, expressing her loves, the losses in life, the people she surrounds herself with and her upbringing. “I write songs about my best friend, my partner and anyone else who has had an effect on me - almost a love letter to them with advice and admiration,” added Grace.

Paper Heart is available for download from all major platforms including iTunes, Spotify and Deezer. Plans for a UK tour are currently underway.

Website: www.gracemonroemusic.com

Turn up the heat for the Summer’s hottest festival, awardwinning Chilli Fiesta

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Three-day family-friendly festival with camping

11, 12 & 13 August 2017 - 10am – 9pm Fri, 10am-10pm Sat, 10am-7pm Sun
West Dean Gardens, Near Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0RX

West Dean Gardens award-winning Chilli Fiesta returns with a creative flair for its 22nd Year (11, 12, &13 August). The UK’s biggest chilli festival attracts 25,000 visitors who come to enjoy the three-day programme full of food, live music and entertainment. The family-friendly festival takes place in the spectacular grounds of West Dean Estate, in the heart of the South Downs National Park, home to West
Dean College, acclaimed for arts and conservation, and glorious West Dean Gardens. With a sizzling selection of live performances, 140 market stalls, cookery demos by top chefs, garden tours, visitors can expect to party and dance to live Latin music, watch cookery and gardening demonstrations, and dine on delicious chilli foods.

Live Latino music and dance performances throughout the weekend start at 10am on all three days and finish at 9pm on Friday, 10.30pm on Saturday and 9pm on Sunday. Some notable performances for 2017 will include: Andalus; the leading Gipsy Kings tribute band, Kongo Dia Ntoltila, the rumba, afro-jazz band, all girl Rock ‘n’ Roll band; The Daisy Chains as well as The Fontana’s – the Afro Brazilian live band. Big Noise Band, the community Samba Band will be returning by popular demand, as will the steel pan, acoustic guitar and percussion trio - Steel Strum.
West Dean Chilli Fiesta celebrating 20 years in 2015 (9)
Festival-goers will be dazzled by the legendary Latino Strictly Come Dancing professional, Oti Mabuse, as she takes centre stage on Sunday 13th August at 13:15, 14.45 and 16.30. Salsa dancers Debbi and Francisco will be turning up the heat with interactive dance workshops and reigning UK Latin American Dance Champions Ryan and Ksenia will be returning this year to perform throughout the weekend. Visitors can pick up new culinary skills in the Cookery Theatre as they experience live food demonstrations by a host of incredible top chefs and food influencers. Recognisable faces such as Dragons Den’s most renowned entrepreneur Levi Roots, the most recent MasterChef winner Saliha Mahmood- Ahmed and previous Professional MasterChef champion Steven Edwards will be among those offering top tips and demonstrating their culinary skills.

Dan Doherty will be taking the weekend off from London’s renowned Duck and Waffle, where he is the Chef Director, to join in with the Chilli festivities to talk about his latest book ‘Toast Hash Roast Mash’, as well as offering advice to budding chefs and food enthusiasts. Country pub and the Earl of March (in Lavant), along with Henry Herbert from The Fabulous Baker Brothers and West Dean’s Head Chef Dan Frowen, will be revealing their culinary secrets and answering questions during their demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre. Giles Thomson, formally Executive Head Chef at the Ritz London and now owner and Head Chef of The Earl of March will be compering the Cookery Theatre throughout the weekend. Rosie Birkett, chef, food stylist and journalist will also be in the Cookery Theatre and will be putting on interactive workshops in the Workshop Tent as will Kate Morris, who specializes in cookery skills for children. Kate is a co-devisor of CBeebies’ ‘I Can Cook’. Using ingredients from all over the world, these chefs will be sharing their knowledge in an easy and relatable manner, ensuring visitors take away new skills to recreate at home.

Learn the true art of growing chillies with West Dean Gardens’ very own Gardens Supervisor and chilli expert Sarah Wain. Sarah along with her husband, Gardens Manager Jim Buckland, have managed the award-wining gardens for the last 26 years. In their Victorian glasshouses 150 chilli varieties will be on display. In the Garden Theatre Sarah will be joined by another chilli expert from the Chilli Alchemist, who make unique chilli products to compliment all types of taste buds. They will be revealing information about how and why our bodies react to the fiery fruits. Edible Ornaments, the team behind The Cherwood Chilli Ranch, will also be taking to the Gardening Theatre stage along with Sea Spring Seeds, who will be teaching the audience how to pick the perfect pepper. Mark Diacono, award-winning food writer, grower and photographer will be talking about life on Otter Farm and Emily Rae will be giving her top gardening tips. Rachel Seigfried will be in the Gardening Theatre on Sunday at 13:45 and she will be advising the best flowers to grow for intense colour in late summer.

Also new for 2017 is the Hidden Cinema with three screenings a day, including an art film and a children’s screening. Brand new workshops will offer dance, drumming, food and children’s cookery. There will be a selection of bars and restaurants onsite and a wide range of chilli-related food stalls, as well as foods to cater to all tastes, from champagne and seafood to Mediterranean delights. With over 140 stalls, visitors can expect a great variety of quirky gifts available to purchase, from hot and spicy foods of the world to chilli plants, seeds and gifts. All shopping stalls close at 6pm but there will be a range of food and drinks available into the evening as the entertainment continues.
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Camping for the weekend
Weekend family-friendly camping offers full top of the range campsite facilities (including showers, flushable toilets and running water). Camping tickets must be purchased online prior to arrival as pitches are limited. The campsite on the rolling West Dean Estate is split into three zones and is picked on the day of arrival: Jalapeno (most popular general camping area, close to the event arena and enhancing the festival atmosphere); Pimento (quiet camping area away from the main arena ideal for a good night's sleep); and Bell (family friendly and close to the toilets and showers). A limited number of pitches are available so early booking is essential.

Book online at: www.chillifiesta.co.uk

ACM announces The Keith Lowde Scholarship after another successful Lowde Fest

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In partnership with The Lowde Music Trust, the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) is proud to announce The Keith Lowde 2017 Scholarship, set up in the name and memory of Keith Lowde, the founder of ACM’s Music Business School.

Worth up to £27,000, the scholarship will fully fund a student’s journey through one of ACM’s Music Business or Technical Services programmes at ACM Guildford or ACM London, paying for their entire tuition fees for their duration of study, lasting up to 3 years.

Keith Lowde was a leading figure in the UK music industry and his sudden death in a tragic accident resulted in a collective desire by his family, friends, and colleagues to create a lasting legacy in his name. Keith’s passion had always been to help and enable other people to achieve and succeed. He cared deeply about the creative and performing arts, and was instrumental in helping people protect their intellectual property rights, and realise their potential.

Saturday 8th July saw the return of The Lowde Music Trust’s annual fundraising music festival, Lowde Fest, and ACM was thrilled to be involved, with alumni and tutors performing and running the backstage area.

ACM’s Keith Lowde Scholarship offers a life-changing experience for the recipient, enabling them to graduate with a degree qualification, completely free of tuition-fee related debt.

Alongside The Keith Lowde Scholarship, ACM offers a series of other prestigious awards to its prospective students including The Skunk Anansie Scholarship (for Performance), The Freddie Mercury Scholarship (for Artistry) and The BASCA Scholarship (for Songwriting), making their unique brand of music industry education more accessible than ever before. For more information on how to apply for one of these scholarships go to their website here: www.acm.ac.uk

Limited spaces are available for September 2017 study and applications for The Keith Lowde Scholarship are now being accepted.

SILENT POOL GIN WOWS ITS TWINS AT THE FREIBURG ‘SISTER CITIES’ MARKET

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Silent Pool Distillery flew the flag for Guildford’s dynamic entrepreneurial spirit at an international market in Germany last weekend.

The two year-old company was invited by Freiburg, Guildford’s twin town, to come to its biennial ‘Sister Cities’ Market, where representatives from its other nine ‘twins’ - Besançon, Innsbruck, Padua, Madison USA, Matsuyama, Lviv, Granada, Isfahan and Suwon, also had stands promoting their local specialities.


Guildford is one of Freiburg’s longest running twin towns. They linked nearly 40 years ago and it was through the 2016 Mayor of Guildford, Gordon Jackson, that Silent Pool Gin found its way onto the stall in the historic market square. He had taken a bottle of Silent Pool Gin as a gift for his opposite number on an earlier visit to Freiburg and it proved a popular choice!

The Guildford Twinning Committee volunteers served tea and cakes and Silent Pool Distillery director Ian McCulloch and chief bottler Joe Van den Berg presided over a Silent Pool stall laden with their full range of spirits. They even took the trouble to get all their branding and information translated into German for the occasion!

“The weather was lovely, everyone was very friendly and they really liked Silent Pool Gin,” said Ian. “Freiburg is a beautiful city and it was a great opportunity to go there and represent the best of Guildford.”

The Silent Pool Distillers is a new artisan distillery nestled under the North Downs in Albury, Surrey. It specializes in entirely hand-crafted spirits using a range of botanicals – fruits, flowers, spices, herbs – to capture the essence of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the bounty of English orchards, gardens and hedgerows. Silent Pool Gin is now exported across Europe and soon to the US, as well as available nationally and at local farmer’s markets. 

The still is powered by a wood fired boiler using logs from the Duke of Northumberland’s Albury Estate and water comes from the spring-fed Silent Pool. The pool itself, just below the distillery’s converted farm buildings, is the subject of wonderful romantic medieval legend. Visit silentpooldistillers.com