Bang & Olufsen introduces Beolab 50 and Beovision Eclipse in Piano Black

Experience the dynamic force and mesmerising appeal of perfectly crafted colour.

Bang & Olufsen today presents two enduring design icons, Beolab 50 and Beovision Eclipse, in a sophisticated Piano Black colourway.

True to the legacy of Bang & Olufsen, the Piano Black products exude luxury, infinite sophistication, innovation and a highly ambitious approach to the relationship between sound, image and design. The captivating, paramount colour signals empowerment, glamour and mystery, thus adding boldness and vogue to the classic Beolab 50 loudspeaker and Beovision Eclipse TV. Vibrant sound and aesthetics are combined to perfection, and never before have craftsmanship and colours been this gracefully entangled.

Beolab 50 lights up the black
With the launch of Beolab 50 Piano Black, Bang & Olufsen continues the success of the loudspeaker while adding a dynamic, balanced glossy surface and distinct details. At first glance, hundreds of tiny polished, aluminium dots on the front reminds one of a frozen waterfall or seems to be floating in the air giving Beolab 50 a deeper, almost layered visual expression, reflecting the light. The distance between the dots is chosen to give a notion of the magic going on behind the front, where the speaker drivers are laid out to create the best possible control of the sound. The efficient cooling plates are visually extended into the baffles, to create both a functional as well as an attractive surface treatment. Warm oak lamellas add to its slender, insisting appearance, giving it a contemporary, yet classic look.

Beovision Eclipse in a new, classic attire
The avant-garde, futuristic Beovision Eclipse is the best sounding TV on the market and features 4K HDR OLED screen technology. Complimenting the thin black screen is the new, elegantly crafted black front cover and sound centre, stressing that the TV is greater than the sum of its parts and designed to integrate exquisitely with your lifestyle. The Beovision Eclipse TV connects wirelessly with up to 8 speakers, so for ultimate surround sound experience, the high-end active loudspeaker Beolab 50 is a great match.

Debuting a new floor stand
To compliment the elegance of the new colourway, and in a play with gravity, designer Torsten Valeur has created a new Beovision Eclipse floor stand that takes up little footprint on the floor and which consists of an aluminium tube in either silver or brass-toned aluminium with a black painted floor plate and steel arm.

The iconic planet stand which can turn the screen almost 90 degrees with the touch of a button and the manual or motorised wall mounted solution are also available for the Piano Black Beovision Eclipse.

To find out more, please visit and follow the conversation at @bangolufsen on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube using #BeoPianoBlack


Elizabeth Hurley & Justin Theroux at FIA Formula E Championship


Elizabeth Hurley and Justin Theroux enjoy some grid action together as FIA Formula E Championship takes to the streets of Marrakesh

Justin Theroux and Elizabeth Hurley experienced the thrill of FIA Formula E Championship's BMW i8 car today ahead of the first race of 2019.

Following an intimate dinner ahead of the first FIA Formula E Championship race of 2019 at a luxury restaurant hidden away in the city of Marrakesh last night, the pair got up close and personal with the cars with Justin taking the wheel to put the i8 through its paces on the track, while Elizabeth was driven by FIA Formula E Championship Founder & CEO of Formula E, Alejandro Agag.

Last night, while Justin’s ex wife Jennifer Aniston may be moving on, the On The Basis of Sex and Bumblebee star was moving up, leaving his recent heart break for dust as he cosied up with English actress and model Elizabeth Hurley over an exclusive candlelit dinner hosted by FIA Formula E Championship Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag in the heart of Marrakesh’s vibrant medina.

The pair were also joined for dinner by Tamara Beckwith and fashion designer Patrick Cox.

Justin Theroux said: Formula E is something I have never experiences before. It is innovative, exciting, and most importantly responsible to our environment. I am so happy to be here.

Sustainability and zero emissions championship FIA Formula E is revving up for its first race of 2019 this afternoon, building on a sensational season of racing last year, which saw it visit 10 cities across five continents. Last year, races attracted top talent from Idris Elba and Orlando Bloom to Kylie Minogue – all passionate about its role in promoting a sustainable world and as the future of motor racing.

Season 5 will feature 13 races in 12 of the world's most exciting cities, including street races in Hong Kong, Paris and New York City as well as returning to China and Monaco.

FIA Formula E Championship is the world's only fully electric street racing series with a mission to advance electric vehicle technology and shape the cars of the future, for a world of zero emissions on the track, on city streets and for everyday drivers.

Find out more on where to watch at


Guildford Shakespeare Company stages – A PRACTICAL COURSE FOR THEATRE-LOVERS

2 & 3 March

Join Guildford’s award-winning professional theatre company for GSC Stages, a new programme of exciting evening courses for anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of theatre-making.

GSC Stages is split into short courses, with each one led by a different practitioner, within GSC’s professional rehearsal room. Over 12 years, GSC has worked with a variety of creatives and practitioners - including directors, actors, producers and designers – and for the first-time course members will be able to learn from their unique and practical masterclasses on theatre skills.

Each course can be joined separately, allowing members to gain a selection of professional insights and explore a variety of techniques through individual and group exercises. All ages and levels of experience are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

GSC Stages: Approaching Shakespeare with Director Richard Neale - 2 & 3 March
Over one weekend at GSC HQ, you will work with Richard Neale, director of GSC’s Robin Hood and acting teacher at GSA. Under Richard's expert guidance, you will unlock Shakespeare’s verse and prose, demystify the complex language and discover clues in the text. This acting masterclass uses rehearsal room techniques and physical exploration to take you on the journey from page to stage.

Topics over the weekend include: "Cuss like you mean it" Shakespeare’s Insults; "Rhythm and truth" Practical use of rhythm in verse; "It’s all on the page" Explore text to discover stage-direction and nuance; "Target Practice" Voice exercises to make the lines carry; Scene study and share.

Times: 10am - 5pm (Saturday and Sunday). Venue: Guildford Shakespeare Company, 14/15 Midleton Industrial Estate Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 8XW. Fee: £120.

More details on the course-leader: Richard trained as an actor at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His acting credits span theatre, film TV and radio. He is an Associate Board member of Actors from the London Stage and teaches full time at The Guildford School of Acting, where he sits on audition panels. He’s also a tutor and panellist for Open Door. He directed Robin Hood for GSC, as well as staged-readings of Pericles and Cymbeline.

To book a place call the office on 01483 301590 or visit the GSC website and fill in our online registration form. If you have any questions please email

GSC Stages. Approaching Shakespeare with Director Richard Neale


Pizarro copy

Popular London Chef José Pizarro has announced that he is taking over The Swan Inn Pub in Esher.

“Esher has made my dream come true,” exclaims José Pizarro as he announces he is turning the Swan Inn into a “Spanish Pub.”

“For years I have dreamed of opening a pub but this is the first time it has been the right building in the right place. I love Esher!”

“This is a special year for me. We call it 20:25 – 20 years since I came to England and 25 since I became a chef. To start the year in this spectacular fashion is my best possible New Year present. Forget No Way José, I’m a Yes Way José!”

José and his team have spent weeks walking around Esher talking to as many local residents and visitors as possible to learn about the area and the people who live there to really understand what will work.

“We found amazing enthusiasm for a Spanish restaurant to come into Esher. So we will essentially be bringing a mixture of the best of my London restaurants as a basis for the food we will serve here.”

The Swan Inn will bring José’s family cooking values to Esher while maintaining a British Pub feel. The menu will include José tapas favourites to share, such as his unforgettable croquetas, tortilla and 100% 5J Jamón Ibérico. The a la carte menu will feature classic pub favourites that have been given a José twist alongside signature regional Spanish dishes using locally sourced produce.

Keeing with pub traditions, there will be a wide selection of real ales, draught beers and of course Estrella Damm on offer. Wines will predominantly be of Spanish origin with a small selection of European and English favourites to compliment the wine list.

Pizarro explains that he has a “wonderful” team in his London restaurants and he will be devoting a lot of his time to the Swan Inn. “This is my dream and I am going to pursue it. We are already looking for local people to join the brigade we will put together for Esher. Of course we seek the highest quality but we also want fun on both sides of the bar – customers and staff.”

The pub will offer breakfast, tapas, and an a la carte menu that includes some of Pizarro’s well-loved dishes, as well as a private dining room for celebrations. Al fresco dining will be available in the warmer months complete with an outside kitchen and food cooked over open fires. If diners fancy staying over, there are 5 cosy rooms in the converted barn next door for overnight stays.

“I am very excited for this next chapter,” says José. “There is not much else that is better than sitting infront of a roaring fireplace with local friends enjoying a pint, and I can’t wait to have that at The Swan.”

For more information please visit >>> &

Richard Gardner Antiques

Whats new at Richard Gardner Antiques


Height of king: 3½ inches / 8.9 cm
Board size: 10½ x 10½ inches / 26.6 x 26.6 cm
Stock number: RW0590/0119
Price: £950

A late 18th century Washington pattern ivory chess set, one side in natural ivory, the other stained red, together with a early 19th century wooden chess board.

A rare opportunity to acquire a good sized Georgian ivory playing set. These sets are highly sought after for their simplicity and history and the fact they were the chosen playing sets of the serious players of the time. The knights are the forerunners of the fine carved horse head knights of the 19th century and the rooks are some of the first in ordinary play to feature such detail. These sets were made for playing and turned on foot treadle lathes. Each piece was turned separately so there will be slight variations. Very much in the family of the “Washington” sets of the period. Of historical importance are the knights which were the last of the pre Lund pieces that paid much more detail to the quality of the horse head. The early Calvert sets were known for this type of knight. Many of the early sets coming to the market are of course bone so a good opportunity to add one of the better quality ivory sets to the collection.

Four replacement pieces (all contemporary to the set: red knight, red bishop, white knight and white bishop). There is slight loss to the castellation of the rooks but this is normal for these sets and top collectors tend to keep these rare sets in an “as found” condition.


Height open: 1½ inches / 3.7 cm
Width open: 17 inches / 43.1 cm
Depth open: 15 inches / 38 cm
Stock number: RW0567/0119
Price: £2500

An English gilt-tooled red leather folding games board, in the form of an antiquarian book, the title stamped “Hist. of Russia”, the exterior for chess with red and black squares, the interior for backgammon with elaborate gilt-tooled decoration, with the points coloured in blue and white, the ends and front are marbled paper (with some losses), complete with the two original leather dice shakers. Overall in very good condition.


Height open: 2 inches / 5.1 cm
Width open: 16¾ inches / 42.5 cm
Depth open: 13¼ inches / 33.6 cm
Stock number: RW0548/0119
Price: £1200

An early 19th century rosewood folding chess and backgammon board box, with the chessboard squares in ivory and ebony, with either end of the board with spaces to keep captured pieces, the box opens to reveal an interior with a backgammon board with the points and decoration in ivory and kingwood, the panels decorated with miniature chess boards, on one of the ivory chess squares it has the initials and date EMS 1827 and as this would tie in with the date of the box, these are probably the initials of the original owner. There are some cracks and curling of the chess squares, but nothing to stop you enjoying playing a game with it.

Four replacement pieces (all contemporary to the set: red knight, red bishop, white knight and white bishop). There is slight loss to the castellation of the rooks but this is normal for these sets and top collectors tend to keep these rare sets in an “as found” condition

Richard Gardner Antiques, 4, Queen Street, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 7BL - For more information visit >>>

New for 2019

About Pen and Sword Books

The origin of Pen and Sword Books is closely linked with its sister company, the Barnsley Chronicle; one of the UK's oldest provincial newspapers – established in 1858 – and one of the few weeklies still in private ownership. The first books published by the company were in response to public demand following of a series of articles published in the newspaper:- Dark Peak Aircraft Wrecks told the story of crash sites in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park, and a further weekly feature on the history of two Kitchener battalions, known as the Barnsley Pals, aroused a thirst for more information. Over the years these books have been reprinted a number of times and have collectively sold around 20,000 copies.

Following on from the success of Dark Peak Wrecks and Barnsley Pals books, a number of local history paperbacks were produced along with a series of battlefield guide books. Battleground Europe proved immediately successful and as more and more titles were produced the company made the decision to launch a book publishing arm of the group. The company acquired the Leo Cooper military history imprint and "Pen and Sword" was born. Leo Cooper, the husband of the famous novelist Jilly, had established a strong reputation for publishing military history titles and had some famous books in his list. With the Leo Cooper imprint and its backlist, Pen and Sword became established as one of the UK's leading military history publishers. Over recent years Pen and Sword has continued to grow and has added new imprints to its core area of military history, as well as publishing the majority of its catalogue digitally in eBook format. Pen and Sword specialises in all areas of military history, naval and maritime, aviation, local history, genealogy, social history, transport, discovery and exploration, archaeology, nostalgia and true crime. In 2017, a new lifestyle imprint named White Owl was launched, which publishes books on areas such as health and diet, hobbies and sport, gardening and wildlife and space.

With over 350 books published every year, Pen and Sword has established itself as a specialist book publisher.

The Trafalgar Chronicle PR

The Trafalgar Chronicle: Dedicated to Naval History in the Nelson Era:
New Series 3 by Liphook author Peter Hore, is sumptuously illustrated with some seldom-seen pictures, and will appeal to naval and social historians whether they are academics, antiquarians or amateurs or simply the reader curious to learn about an important but often overlooked aspect of naval history.

Firmly established as providing the only annual naval overview of its type, Seaforth World Naval Review 2019 edited by Hindhead’s Conrad Waters, is essential reading for anyone – whether enthusiast or professional – interested in contemporary maritime affairs.

Deadlines on the Front Line: Travels with a Veteran War Correspondent by Guildford’s much-published author and sought-after media commentator Paul Moorcraft, is a delightful and invigorating read which offers an intelligent insight into the turbulent world of the late 20th and early 21st centuries from a veteran war correspondent.

Struggle and Suffrage in Leatherhead: Women's Lives and the Fight for Equality has been brought to us by Walton-on-the-Hill’s Lorraine Spindler, who is the curator of Leatherhead Museum and author of Leatherhead in the Great War. She currently lectures at the Guildford Institute, runs regular battlefield tours to Ypres and the Somme, weekly classes in local history and genealogy, and is currently researching those involved with the theatrical arts in the Leatherhead district.

Last Post over the River Kwai: The 2nd East Surreys in the Far East 1938–1945 is the carefully researched account of the experiences of the officers and men of 2nd Battalion The East Surreys during the Second World War.

A History of Trees features unusual and little-known facts about trees that will surprise even the most knowledgeable reader including; Bizarrely, there are two ancient yews known as the Crowhurst Yew, both in villages of this name: one in East Sussex and one in neighbouring Surrey. Coincidentally, each yew grows in a graveyard attached to a St George’s Church, and both are probably over 1,500 years old. The hollow of the Crowhurst Yew in Surrey was enlarged in the early nineteenth century and once allowed twelve people to sit inside for tea – a door was fitted, which can still be seen, although it is now wedged shut.

A History of Trees PR

To see more books by the publisher please visit >>>

Postcard Teas

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New Teas 2019

We're starting off the new year by adding the second tea to what will be our 'Family' range - teas made without pesticides by small farmers, which can be bought in bulk at prices that compete with the supermarkets.

Family Breakfast
We have blended our regular Family Tea from the Sahyadri farmers group in Kerala with a new tea from the Hanundugoda Small Farms group that our friend Herman Gunaratne has helped set up near his estate in Galle. The Family Breakfast is a strong, rich breakfast tea that we have blended specifically to go with milk, and priced at a point where it can be a part of your daily routine. We will be adding more teas to the Family range periodically later this year. See here

Winter High Mountain & Osmanthus Long Jing
While 2019's teas wont be in until April, the new year is also a chance to try the previous year's autumn and winter teas. We have received two so far: the new winter harvest of our High Mountain Oolong made on Chi Lai Shan in November, along with Master Luo's Osmanthus Long Jing, a tea he only blends in autumn when his osmanthus tree starts to flower. See here >>> &

Brooklands Museum New Years Day


New Year Records at Brooklands Museum

The UK’s largest New Year’s Day gathering of classic vehicles which is held at Brooklands Museum on January 1st every year broke its previous record with just over 7,900 people attending throughout the day.

The historic site in Weybridge which is the Birthplace of British Motorsport and Aviation welcomed in excess of 1,500 classic cars, vans, motorcycles and commercials from all over the country – a figure which has also never been reached at this or any other event staged at the Museum before. Every inch of the 32-acre site was filled with a staggering variety of cherished vehicles including rare and early examples of Bentley, Riley, Austin and MG as well as sports and supercars. Over in the Aircraft Park, vehicles nestled amongst the Museum’s collection of Vickers-built aircraft, under Concorde and on the sloped Members’ Banking and Finishing Straight sections of the original 1907 Race Track.

Other highlights included owners who’d brought along hot rods, rally cars and the more unusual makes like Allard, Panhard and Jensen. Visitors came from as far as the West Country, Kent, Worcestershire and Sheffield. Extra catering outlets were set up around the site as well as a winter barbeque to cope with the extra demand and live music filled the air throughout the day adding to the classic atmosphere.

Alongside the rows of classics, visitors explored all the Museum exhibition areas including the Award-winning* Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed. This vast, unique exhibition space tells the story of aviation design, testing and manufacture over an 80 year period at Brooklands through interactive displays, assembly lines and workshops. Beyond this on a connecting walkway from a mezzanine level is the Flight Shed which houses some of the Museum’s live aircraft, and leads out to the north end of the Finishing Straight.

Mr. Lord, a visitor who came from Ashington in a 1953 Morris summed up the day by saying, “Tremendous show, something for everyone at a wonderful venue".

The event kicks off a milestone year in aviation history that commemorates two aircraft inextricably linked with Brooklands with both having been built or partly built and developed at the site: 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first flight of Concorde and the centenary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight which was achieved with a Vickers Vimy bi-plane. Plans are coming together for an exhibition called The First and the Fastest along with fly-ins, a gala dinner, special guests and of course, showcasing these two aircraft which form just part of the aviation collection at the Museum.

These, along with many opportunities to participate in events, volunteering and learning are all detailed on the main Museum website at:


Duos come and duos go...

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And some nurture and fine tune their art and watch it grow into something totally original, captivating and award-winning.

Bonded by an unseen alchemy, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have entwined their professional and personal relationship into an enviable class act of imaginative songwriting and musicianship.

The Dartmoor-based husband and wife have twice won the coveted Best Duo title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (2016 and 2013), consistently delivering assured, distinctive performances whether live or recorded. Over two decades of performance they have never been trapped in a groove – always bold and innovative, mixing traditional song arrangements with (increasingly) their self-penned material which reels from the bitter to the sweet, the wry to the sad, the political to the passive. across folk, rock, country and blues genres.

Last year Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman presented ‘Personae’, their landmark fifth studio album. It is an eclectic emotional see-saw of a journey, melding ten tracks of traditional ballads and their own self-penned versatile material. Once again Roberts & Lakeman have created an album by turns curious, thought-provoking, moving and magical – a complete cornucopia astutely delivered by one of the most intriguing, uninhibited and popular duos on the British folk scene. Most definitely not 'personae non gratae'.

They are playing: Saturday 30 March, Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre, Manor Rd. Walton ON Thames, KT12 2PF.

Book on-line here >>> and visit for more information about the duo.

Appassionata Ltd

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In Love with Le Marche

When you fall in love with Italy, you fall hard, and you fall fast. This intoxicating land can take your breath away and fill your soul with overwhelming joy, all in a solitary second. Sharon Kilby meets British-born interior designer Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs and her husband Michael who have set up a property business in Le Marche.

Often, an Italian romance starts gently, yet very swiftly becomes an everlasting, passionate affair that envelops the mind, body and soul. This is when you experience the heartfelt desire to enjoy more and more of the dolce vita and the draw becomes simply irresistible. It’s no surprise that so many people make Italy their part-time home, or at least spend many of their regular holidays here. One couple who fell head-over-heels in love with Italy not only made it their home, but also launched a thriving property business sharing their experience and expertise with other families worldwide.

British-born interior designer Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, husband Michael and their family had originally been keen to set down some roots in the city of Florence or in the heart of the wine-growing region of Chianti. After several visits it was clear that while Tuscany was and still is picture-postcard beautiful, it is also extremely popular and very busy in the summer tourist season. After a few extended visits to Italy, Dawn decided to explore a little further afield and following a tip-off from a friend headed east, to the lesser known region of Le Marche…

Authentic Italy
First impressions were dramatic and, in an instant, Dawn knew this was the place she needed to be. An unspoilt, authentic hideaway, resting gently between the Sibillini Mountains and the Adriatic coast, Le Marche offers a tranquil yet vibrant setting, rich in culture and history, with some of the best wines and cuisine in Italy.

“We loved Italy and initially started our search in Tuscany. A beautiful region, but for us it had lost some of the ‘Italianness’ we were looking for. We were looking for authenticity. Within ten minutes of arriving in Le Marche I turned to Michael and said, ‘This is place.’ It has everything we were looking for – sea, mountains, rolling hills, medieval towns, vineyards and olive groves. It was not overrun with tourists and the locals were very friendly. For us, this was the real thing.

“I knew when we found our first restoration property that I wanted others to enjoy what we were experiencing first hand, but in a professional and hassle-free way. Appassionata evolved instinctively from our love and passion for Italy; we fell in love with the language, the people, art, history, food and wine. Le Marche has it all, and we wanted to find a way to share this piece of paradise with others.” With a shared vision of creating the perfect Italian lifestyle vacation, Dawn and Michael decided to pool their shared knowledge of entrepreneurial business, property development and interior design and create something magical, reflecting their life experiences and incorporating their strong family values. Appassionata was born out of a desire to offer a turnkey, affordable solution to international homeowners.

“We are delighted to offer something unique – a boutique family-owned fractional ownership business”

Investing in Le Marche
Dawn’s background in property development and design combined with Michael’s savvy business acumen allowed them the opportunity to invest more than just euros into their Le Marche property portfolio. With the help of a team of local experts each house has been lovingly restored from a state of dereliction. Dawn’s project management expertise means that each property has been renovated to the very highest standard, where function and form work in perfect harmony.

Original architectural features have been preserved where possible and local materials sourced for the construction process. The finishing touches are truly personal and Dawn enlists the input of local suppliers wherever possible. “Collaborating with artisans and local craftspeople is one of the great joys of working as an interior designer in Le Marche. Over the years I have met so many talented people. For example, the wall lights we use are handmade by Alfio. I choose the design, size and colour and his grandmother makes the shades. Each piece is unique.”

Since launching Appassionata in 2007 the business has gone from strength to strength and Dawn and Michael have successfully bought, sensitively restored and fractionally sold four historic properties in Le Marche. Appassionata currently has over 50 global owners and just one remaining opportunity for purchase available in their recent project Il Riposo. To further enhance Appassionata’s Le Marche property portfolio, Dawn and Michael have just started the restoration of beautiful Liberty Villa which will be available for fractional ownership in September 2019.

For more information on the latest fractional ownership opportunities and Appassionata’s Italian lifestyle brand go to or contact Dawn directly

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Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Joanna Read_Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre_Chief Executive and Theatre Director CREDIT Darren Pepe

New year welcomes new Director

The new year hails an exciting new chapter as Joanna Read commences her leadership role as Chief Executive and Theatre Director of Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Monday, January 7. Joanna tells us about the opportunities that her new position presents…

Having enjoyed huge success as Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse, followed by a tenure of outstanding accomplishments as Principal of The London Academy of Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), there are many reasons why the prospect of leading the Guildford Theatre posed an exciting opportunity for Joanna.
“I’m a theatre director by profession – I had the most fantastic time running Salisbury Playhouse – and I believe very strongly in regional theatre. I feel Guildford deserves a brilliant theatre and one of the real attractions about coming here was knowing there is an appetite for theatre in this town and in the county.

“The Yvonne Arnaud is held in very high esteem in the profession and there is a fantastic opportunity here to work as a team to bring a little bit of fresh life to the place. I’m chomping at the bit to get going, I really am.”

Joanna is familiar with the venue, both on a personal level as a Surrey resident and professionally, having worked closely with the Theatre during her years running one of the country’s leading producing regional theatres, Salisbury Playhouse.
“I brought work, such as Jamaica Inn and Playing for Time, here on tour when I was at Salisbury, and we co-produced with the Yvonne Arnaud, so my own work has already been on the stage. In that way, it does feel a bit like coming home.

“I came and saw This House at the Yvonne Arnaud last summer when I was thinking about applying for the role and I walked into the Theatre and remembered the fantastic auditorium and that brilliant stage, and I felt the most comfortable I’ve been in a long time; it just felt right.”

Joanna brings a wealth of experience to the role, but which elements of her extensive career does she think will serve her the best?
“The programming from Salisbury will be invaluable, as will my contacts from my time at LAMDA. I used to be Head of Education at Birmingham Rep so I know how important it is to have a Youth Theatre. I think I’ll draw on everything and I’m sure, I hope, I’ll learn new things too. It will be a challenge, as well as an opportunity.”

Keen to hit the ground running, does Joanna already have plans and ideas for what she hopes to explore and develop during her leadership of the Yvonne Arnaud?
“I’m keen to develop making our own work. I think it’s terrific that we make our own pantomime and I think we’re going to do a few of our own co-productions, generated by us as the makers and the producer of the work.

“The Yvonne Arnaud is known amongst actors and within the industry as a great place to open a tour. Actors love it because we’re so close to London, they receive a friendly welcome from the Theatre team and they enjoy our audiences, so we need to capitalise on that.

“I’m interested in building up some of our straight drama and comedy drama audiences, because I think that’s got legs for touring. I also want to make sure we’re offering more interesting and diverse productions here. And I’m excited to work with the Youth Theatre too.”

What does Joanna envisage to be one of the biggest challenges that her new venture will present?
“This is the first time I’ve worked in a venue that hasn’t had Arts Council funding, so the commercial ask here is much tougher. It’s invaluable that this Theatre has its support from Guildford Borough Council, and to come into this role knowing that the Council recognises how vital theatre is to the local economy and how much we can give back to the community is tremendous. It’s great that they appreciate our value and our worth. It strikes me as a really smart piece of thinking.”

To see the productions on at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in the coming months please visit >>>

Firefly Collection

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About Firefly Collection

Luxury travel specialist Firefly Collection, which offers over 600 ski chalets and villas across 74 destinations, has selected five of the finest winter addresses offering the ultimate in wellness. For the French Alps, this means entire spa floors, expert therapists on call to ease aching muscles, splendid swimming pools and steaming hot tubs, and serene settings to inspire mindfulness.


Chalet Marco Polo, Val d’Isere - sleeps 10-14, from 22,800 Euros per week
Set in the heart of Val d’Isere, Chalet Marco Polo retains its privacy due to being set back from the road and at 1,000 square metres, there’s plenty of opportunity to find head space - either with or away from family and friends. The super-stylish main living area commands enviable views of La Face piste and watching the action on the slopes is hypnotic. An entire floor is dedicated to wellness with an indoor jet stream pool - finished in gold leaf - a Jacuzzi and hammam. The massage room - which enjoys a dedicated therapist on stand-by - sits next to an automatic hydro massage area. For those of a romantic bent who simply cannot tear themselves away from their beloved, the chalet gymnasium offers two of every piece of equipment, so a couple can work out together.

La Bergerie, Courchevel 1850 - sleeps 14, from 125,000 Euros per week
Costing £20 million to construct and finesse, La Bergerie is understandably extravagant yet maintains a discreet presence just five-minutes from the heart of Courchevel 1850, neighbouring the Bellecote piste. Guests in the seven suites - each of which boasts a freestanding bathtub and rainfall shower - enjoy the expertise of a dedicated deep tissue massage therapist and a deluxe chalet spa, Technogym-equipped gymnasium and 20-metre swimming pool. The numerous staff, including chauffeur and butler, ensure that guests’ needs are anticipated round the clock and worry is a world away.

Firefly Collection founder Tim Latimer said: “As these five super-chic chalets show, a winter sports escape can be the ideal way to kick off the New Year’s resolutions of sobriety and self-care .Lavish and luxurious, they also provide opportunities for keeping - or getting - slope-fit, maintaining exercise programmes, rejuvenating mind and body with specialist therapies, and relaxing indoor or al fresco dips.”

Find Firefly Collection at

Flip and Fly into 2019!

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Beachfront Family Villa with 74ft Jungle Water Slide on South Coast of Sri Lanka

Ranked Number One by Lonely Planet as THE country to visit this 2019, Sri Lanka has it all; miles of white sandy beaches and the turquoise Indian Ocean, ancient hidden temples, dazzling festivals, traditional tea plantations, a Unesco historic fort, a wealth of local culture and an abundance of wildlife. Meda Gedara villa nestled on the South Coast is also THE number one luxurious family villa to stay in whilst visiting this beautiful country.

Hidden within a unique paradise setting, Meda Gedara, a beautiful colonial beachfront villa in Dikwella delivers the ultimate in tropical luxury; a blend of Robinson Crusoe adventure meets Nicole Fahri elegant style. The spectacular seven-bedroom villa features impressive split levelled swimming pools and a heart racing 74ft jungle water slide, a yoga shala and unrivalled facilities.

It combes incredible natural beauty with sophisticated five star services. It can sleep up to 18 guests (10 adults and 8 children). Boasting its own private chef who lovingly prepares mouthwatering menus, attentive yet discreet staff, an al fresco Jacuzzi, a cinema room for the ultimate movie night and a kids TV room with viewing window for attentive parents.

Palatial yet elegantly informal, the architecture and interior fuse British luxury with intricate local craftsmanship. Each original piece of furniture or artwork has been handmade by local artisans or sourced by the English owner in Antique Auction Houses across the UK.

Guests enter the villa via traditional antique temple doors into an impressive hallway, flanked to the left by a majestic curved teak staircase and opening onto a traditional hand finished tiled floor. The spacious living room boasts several relaxed seating areas, and is styled with authentic furniture pieces.

Seven bedrooms (with an eighth available by converting the cinema). The layout has been carefully designed with families in mind. The ocean facing master suite with an en suite has an adjoining twin room that can sleep two children or blocked off and used as a separate bedroom. Two further master bedrooms with super king size four poster beds canopied with light linen fabric create restful havens of calm. Each with en suite and all three master bedrooms open out to a generous teak balcony where guests can relax on charming outdoor seating and take in the breath taking panoramic Ocean views. A fourth jungle facing twin bedded room with en suite has its own romantic Juliette balcony. An impressive triple tiered bunk bed room sleeps six with an en suite. A romantic garden suite with super king size bed, set within the lush tropical gardens offers the villa’s best ocean view.

At Meda Gedara, families will love the ample space for dining and relaxing whilst the beach offers a coastal and marine wonderland for adventurous children. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean are perfect for thrilling body surfing or an energising dip. The villa with its easy going vibe offers tailored activities for children from cooking classes, beach sand castle competitions, hermit crab racing, the thrill seekers water flume, cricket on the lawn, beach volley ball and tons of family games. Parents can while away the time relaxing on luxurious sun beds, enjoying yoga sessions in the private shala, sampling traditional Sri Lankan tea in the Umpires hut in the garden, snoozing blissfully on the colourful hammock set between palm trees or indulging in a pampering massage in the yoga shala with just the ocean waves as beachside tempo.

Sri Lanka has become the country to discover in 2019. With fabulous tuk tuk rides, markets to temples, amazing safaris to watch wildlife enjoying their natural habitat at one of the Island’s lush nature reserves. Grab a board and go surfing or simply sit back and indulge in the phenomenal flavours of the region’s delicacies.

Meda Gedara is an unparalleled hideaway for adventurous and sophisticated family holidays, glamorous group get togethers, yoga retreats, refined social gatherings, tropical island jamborees or to celebrate a special occasion; it’s for those who want to experience the magic of Meda Gedara and create unforgettable memories.

Meda Gedara, Dikwella on the South Coast. Local surf mecca Hiriketiya has relaxed beachside bars and Galle Fort is an hour away. The villa is three hours drive from Colombo International Airport. There is 24-hour security and free Wi-Fi throughout.

When to go: The best time to visit the South Coast is from December to April and July to September. Sri Lanka's position close to the Equator means that temperatures remain fairly constant year-round. For further info and high res images contact or +44 (0)7785 776591 or visit >>>

Dorking and Guildford - Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

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10 years of the UK & Ireland Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour!

The events feature a brand-new collection of adrenaline-packed films, with the world’s top adventurers tackling extreme expeditions in the most stunning corners of the planet. Audiences will witness life-changing journeys, incredible wildernesses and spectacular cinematography – all via the big screen!

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is celebrating its 10th year of touring the UK and Ireland, bringing over 100 adrenaline-packed shows to almost 60 venues from January - May 2019. The Tour features two different collections of brand-new films from the world’s most intrepid film-makers, starring pioneers and explorers tackling extraordinary expeditions in the wildest corners of the planet. “We’re thrilled to have reached 10 years of bringing the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour to the UK and Ireland – and what better way to celebrate than with the latest dose of cutting-edge adventure films from the world’s most prestigious mountain festival!” says Tour Director Nell Teasdale. “We guarantee that the anniversary atmosphere at the shows will be buzzing – and that audiences will go home inspired to have an adventure of their own as well,” she adds. Films in the World Tour are selected from hundreds entered into the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which takes place for every November in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. The UK & Ireland Tour starts in Edinburgh on Saturday 19 January and finishes in Guildford on Friday 24 May. As well as thrilling films, each event features a free prize draw for exciting outdoorsy goodies from the Tour Partners.

Dates and venues in Dorking and Guildford are:
Dorking Halls - 6 April and 23 May
G Live, Guildford - 11 April and 24 May
There will be a different film programme at each showing – full details on website here >>>

World Travel Awards

Aerial view of Manor House, Leeu Estates

Leeu Estates named South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel by World Travel Awards for second year running

For the second year running, World Travel Awards has named Leeu Estates, the Leeu Collection’s flagship property located in Franschhoek, as South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel. The award was announced at the glamorous black-tie Gala Ceremony that celebrated all the African winners in Durban, South Africa.

Given the country’s reputation as a wine holiday destination, Leeu Estates had to fight off strong competition to take South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel 2018 award. The World Travel Awards, which this year celebrate their 25th anniversary of honouring excellence in the international hospitality industry, are voted for by travel and tourism professionals, as well as business and leisure travellers worldwide.

Leeu Estates, which opened in June 2016, is a luxury boutique property situated in the Cape Winelands. Located between the mountain and river with spectacular panoramic views, this exceptional property sits on just under 100 hectares of vineyards, landscaped gardens and fynbos (indigenous vegetation) providing the ideal setting for unrivalled escapes where guests can see and enjoy the true experiences of a working wine farm.

Set amid the vineyards is Leeu Spa, a wellness sanctuary that offers authentic massages and holistic treatments and Indaba – The Meeting Place a state of the art multipurpose event and meeting venue.

The Wine Studio, a truly immersive wine experience run by the Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines team, whose knowledgeable tasting room staff guide guests through the finer nuances of their handcrafted wines is also located on the estate. Additionally, during the harvesting season, guests of Leeu Estates can sign up to help pick the grapes from the vines that surround the property.

Leeu Estates reflects the pillars of the Leeu Collection brand: superlative service with attention to the smallest detail; an award-winning wine portfolio, distinctive architecture and sophisticated design; inspiring art collections and manicured and detailed landscaping that reflects respect for the environment.

It all started as a personal journey for Leeu Collection’s founder Analjit (BAS) Singh, an international investor of Indian origin. Captivated by the Western Cape’s exceptional beauty and vibrant energy during a trip to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he decided to buy a family home in the Franschhoek valley. The idea of a family home, however, soon transformed into what it is today – four historic farms joined to create a world-class hospitality and winemaking destination.

Said BAS “Our thanks to World Travel Awards for this honour, which pays testament to the dedication of the entire team at Leeu Estates. They have worked extremely hard to turn the property into a world-class hotel in the two years since it opened and this award celebrates their achievements, proving that all our effort has been worthwhile”.

Davos Collection

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The latest in outdoor design for Summer 2019 from Indian Ocean

The Davos Luxury Outdoor Sofa Collection is inspired by the symbolic ancient Flower of Life petals, geometrically arranged to give symmetry and flow. The rounded form of the elegant design gives a sociable, comfortable and welcoming feel.

Available from Indian Ocean London SW12, London NW11, Harrods &

Join The Great Brick Safari at RHS Garden Wisley

The Great Brick Safari at RHS Garden Wisley ©Bright Bricks (m)

Escape the winter blues and come on a journey inside the Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley to search for more than 40 LEGO® brick sculptures on The Great Brick Safari, from 26 January to 3 March 2019.

The life-size LEGO® brick creations can be found nestled amongst the lush foliage in both the temperate and tropical zones of the cathedral-like Glasshouse. Sculptures include animals such as an elephant, lions, meerkats, turtles and a gorilla. Beautiful LEGO® brick plants created especially for RHS Garden Wisley include a Venus Fly Trap, Golden Barrel Cactus, Bird of Paradise and Water Lilies.

As each magnificent sculpture is discovered, visitors can learn all about the animal and plants, such as the natural habitats they are found in and conservation efforts taking place around the world.

During half term (16 - 24 February 2019), head to the Glasshouse Gallery for a LEGO® brick making workshop, where visitors can purchase their chosen mini animal to take home. As a fun souvenir, visitors can have their photo taken sitting in the LEGO® brick Jeep.

The Glasshouse is open from 10am-4:30pm daily during the event. Normal garden entry applies; events and activities are suitable for all the family. For further information, visit
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