Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em!

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Hilarious mishaps and DIY disasters are bringing the house down, quite literally, as Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em returns to Richmond Theatre starring Joe Pasquale!

Based on the 1970s classic TV comedy by Ray Allen and directed by the award-winning Guy Unsworth, Some Mothers Do Ave Em is the ultimate feel-good night out, washed down with lashings of nostalgia and Mother’s prune wine.

After receiving 21 five star reviews in 2018, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em is back on tour starring Joe Pasquale (New Faces, Im a Celebrity, Spamalot, The Producers) as the lovable accident-prone Frank Spencer.

Susie Blake (Coronation Street, The Victoria Wood Show, Blithe Spirit) stars as his disapproving Mother-in-Law and Sarah Earnshaw as his long-suffering wife Betty.

Betty has exciting news for Frank, but he’s preoccupied by possible newfound fame as a magician. With guests arriving for dinner and crossed wires all round, priceless misunderstandings are on the menu. Quite Frank-ly, it’s a hit!

Some Mothers Do Ave Em is at Richmond Theatre from Tue 31 May Sat 4 June.

Tickets available from atgtickets.com/Richmond

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A future proofed home

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As we get older, our housing needs change. The family house can suddenly seem too big and expensive to manage, the stairs that bit trickier, and the efforts we have to go to maintain it all leave us little time or energy to do the things we want to spend time doing.

Downsizing for a better quality of life makes sense but bungalows are scarce and command such premium prices you’re unlikely to free up enough money to enjoy that dream retirement. Then there’s stamp duty, fees, the likelihood you’ll have to spend more money on whatever you buy to make it suitable to grow old in – all this means many end-up staying put.

The specialist developer of contemporary retirement properties, Birchgrove, offers modern and spacious apartments in Kent and Surrey. Each apartment is individually designed to maximise space and light and has the Birchgrove trademark of high-quality finishes so that the apartments are distinctly elegant.

All apartments are specifically designed for people in later life, featuring waist height appliances in the fully fitted kitchens for easy access and en-suite showers. All doors and corridors are wheelchair accessible for freedom of movement.

Residents have access to exclusive onsite amenities such as a restaurant, bar, club room, a communal terrace, exercise studio, landscaped gardens and greenhouse. Regular events and activities programme also contribute to the friendly community lifestyle, and for added peace of mind there is a concierge and 24 hour staff presence.

One thing that will strike you when you visit a Birchgrove retirement community, is how friendly the team are. Because the apartments are not for sale, you’ll find that the Advisors are not trying to sell you anything, rather they are there to help you consider your options and act as a guide for you whilst you make your own choices about how and where you want to live.

If you find yourself needing a little extra assistance, our tailored care support is offered through our homecare specialist partners who can personalise a care package for your individual requirements.

In addition, all apartments are fitted with a digital telecare console to offer residents assistance at the touch of a button. Residents can use the console to contact the concierge desk, look up what they want for dinner, book appointments and connect with their family and friends: as well as a discreet 24/7 emergency call service that can call for immediate assistance if needed.

If you would like to find out more about living at a Birchgrove retirement community, contact the team who will happily talk through the options and tailor something that works to support your individual needs. Call 020 3929 5599 or visit www.birchgrove.life

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Valerian Court: A home from home

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Valerian Court is a brand-new purpose-built luxury care home set to open its doors to welcome new residents in summer 2022

Offering the very best in person-centred care, Valerian Court will be offering all-inclusive residential, nursing, dementia and respite care, providing support and companionship when needed around the clock.

The care of the residents is of paramount importance and the dedicated and caring team ensure privacy, dignity and respect whilst fostering independence, confidence and wellness of each of the residents.

This elegant home has been designed with the residents in mind with no attention to detail being missed. From luxury en-suite bedrooms that are beautifully decorated to a café and an array of dining rooms where you can enjoy quality home-cooked nutritious food lovingly prepared by the team of resident chefs.

There are lounges available on every floor of the home that provide a perfect haven for some R&R or why not pop into the library or one of the quiet rooms to catch up on the newspaper or to read your favourite book.

Moving into a care home really does not mean that you have to miss out on all of your favourite things and with a hairdresser on site you never need to miss an appointment. There’s a café to enjoy a cup of tea and slice of homemade cake and we provide a warm welcome for your family and friends to come in and join you and to be a part of the Valerian Court community.

If watching movies is your thing then relax with some popcorn in the cinema room or why not join in with the extensive activities programme that offers arts and crafts sessions, exercise classes, music and entertainment to name just a few of the activities.

With balconies and a rooftop garden you can enjoy the summer whilst doing some gardening or why not sit back and watch the comings and goings of the Didcot community.

Providing a warm and inviting environment for the residents and their families is what the home prides itself on. Come and discover the lifestyle that Valerian Court has to offer by visiting our Marketing Suite which opens on 18th May.

Find out more at Valerian Court Care Home and email

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Poignant performance from St George’s School

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Community concert raises £3,000 for DEC Ukraine Appeal

A community concert, organised by local preparatory school St George’s School Windsor Castle and hosted by Windsor Parish Church, raised over £3,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Appeal.

Beginning with a champagne and canapé reception, more than 100 parents and members of the local community took their sets for the event on April 28th and enjoyed a stirring rendition of Fauré’s Requiem.

Led by the school’s director of music, James Wilkinson, the 40-minute piece of work was performed by the St George’s School Chamber Choir, accompanied by an ensemble of professional musicians. Four of the senior choristers of St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle, all Year 8 students at the school, joined the stage for the spine-tingling Pie Jesu.

“It was an exceptional and highly poignant performance, perfect for the occasion,” commented William Goldsmith, head of St George’s School Windsor Castle. “As a school with the values of kindness, honesty and courage, we felt rightly compelled to use some of the breadth of talent that exists across the school to support the plight of the people of Ukraine in a positive and meaningful way.”

The money raised, through advance ticket sales and donations on the night, will be given to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to help provide food, water, shelter, healthcare and protection for families fleeing conflict in the country.

“We are extremely grateful for all of the generous donations from those who attended, the musicians and performers for donating their time and the support from the school’s parent body and wider community to enable the event to go ahead,” added Goldsmith.

Windsor Parish Church, Brill Media, Run Print Run and Luxe Flowers were among those to support the event.

Further information about St George’s School Windsor Castle can be found at www.stgwindsor.org, or by attending the school’s upcoming open event on Saturday 21 May. Interested families are invited to register for the event via the website or by calling 01753 865553

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Journey into the Magical Forest

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LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort is opening its newest attraction this Saturday, 30th April – step inside and explore

Take an enchanting new walk-through The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort’s newest attraction as The Magical Forest opens this weekend.

The immersive experience which marks a new realm in the story of its multi-million pound land, LEGO® MYTHICA: World of Mythical Creatures, is set to capture children’s hearts and imaginations when it opens this weekend.

Model Maker Will Saunders (28) puts the finishing touches to some of the mythical LEGO creatures that populate The Magical Forest, the new immersive walkthrough experience launching at the LEGOLAND ® Windsor Resort this Saturday. Will laid the final bricks to a snappy plant model and the vibrant baby Lava Dragon. All the LEGO ® Models were built using over 80,000 LEGO bricks

The finishing touches have been applied and the swirling vortex of dazzling lights offers a glimpse into how guests will start their adventure in this parallel universe, where LEGO creatures come to life using awesome Augmented Reality (AR) with surprises in store around every corner.

Fan-favourite, Bits & Bobs and the friendly baby Alicorn, will surprise guests as at the enchanted waterfall before they head deep in the heart of The Magical Forest. Guests can also expect to unearth secret LEGO habitats hidden beneath the undergrowth and foliage, but just beware for the giant Venus Fly Trap which can be a little snappy – especially when they first meet intrepid young explorers.

The adventure hots up as first look imagery reveals how the habitat shifts from an enchanted forest to a landscape of lava where guests will come eye to eye with a group of Crystal Claw Crabs and a super-sized LEGO dragon egg, before braving the grand finale by entering the magnificent Lava Dragon’s cave, who is stirring inside.

Activated exclusively via the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort app, families will set off on an intrepid adventure where an AR overlay takes users on a journey narrated by Bobs as he’s magically brought to life and transforms from LEGO to his real-life form in The Realm. Bobs guides guests along The Magical Forest pathway as you meet other creatures from the realm, including; Crystal Claw Crabs, Baby Lava Dragons, Venus Fly Trap and the incredible Lava Dragon herself.

Families will get to help Bobs find his missing wing, breathe fire like a Baby Lava Dragon, and play with the Crystal Claw Crabs; before witnessing and getting to capture a photo of the amazing mother Lava Dragon in full flight. With each creature, you discover you’ll also add a special virtual card to your digital collection with facts and stats about them.

To celebrate the launch of The Magical Forest there are also two exclusive AR Pop Badges featuring the Crystal Claw Crabs and baby Lava Dragons to collect.

LEGO MYTHICA: World of Mythical Creatures also features the UK’s first ever flying theatre ride, Flight of The Sky Lion, which takes guests on a mind-blowing 4D film adventure on board a flying gondola where they soar, swoop and dive with guardian Maximus on an amazing adventure through the epic world.

The land which is full of epic adventures waiting to be discovered also includes the Fire and Ice Freefall drop tower ride and the exhilarating water ride, Hydra’s Challenge.

To book visit www.legoland.co.uk

Win! Brushworks set & Soinvogue voucher

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Win! An Ascot beauty business is offering readers the chance to win a Brushworks exclusive make-up brush set & £50 Soinvogue voucher

Bringing you the latest beauty tools, Brushworks is an award-winning cruelty free and vegan brand with a strong online following.

The brand is loved by make-up artists and includes everything from skincare to make-up brushes. Brushworks promises to take the stress out of your beauty regime!

A customer favourite, the exclusive make-up brush set comes with a pretty pink cosmetic bag. It features luxuriously soft, cruelty-free brushes, perfect for applying liquid, cream and powder formulas; these brushes are the ultimate staples for achieving a beautiful make-up look.

Soinvogue relaunched in 2021, and is owned by Invogue Limited, a UK-based beauty company with a sole focus on delivering excellent beauty products.

Invogue offers customers the latest products both online and in-store through trusted retail partners. Working closely with manufacturers, international distributors, high street and online retailers.

We have a Brushworks exclusive make-up brush set and £50 voucher to spend at soinvogue.com to give away

To enter, fill in the form below before 12pm on Friday 27th May

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Win! Stansted Park Garden Show tickets

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Win! Five family tickets to the Garden Show at Stansted Park, 10th-12th June, up for grabs.

The Garden Show is back and set to bloom! It’s the28th Garden Show at Stansted Park and is the perfect event to find all you need to make your garden grow and refresh your home.

A great opportunity to explore what’s on the doorstep; source new talent, designers and artisans. Browse affordable and handpicked companies showcasing the latest specialist plants, garden and home accessories, art, design, sculpture, fashion, gifts and then treat your taste buds to tempting foods and wines.

It’s also a good opportunity to learn about gardening – pick up top tips from horticultural experts to solve those frustrating problems. As ever the specialist plantsmen will bring their knowledge and an abundance of beautiful plants. It’s a great chance to get your garden into shape and with the show’s environmentalist, Jules and Lance.

Plus they will provide the solution to any pruning confusion and hold a daily Walk & Talk on The Hidden Life of Trees. The show’s chosen charity is CancerWise, aspiring to be an enabling, compassionate community for people with cancer and those who care for them.

We have five family tickets (which includes 2 adults and 4 children per ticket) to give away.

Find out more about the Garden Show and book tickets.

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Win! A pair of Stowaway tickets

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Main image – credit: Alastair Brookes

Win! A pair of weekend tickets to Stowaway Festival near Buckingham, starring Orbital, The Staves, Roni Size & Errol Alkan

Stowaway Festival will take place 19th to 21st August and rock Stowe in north Bucks with a great line-up including The Staves, Elder Island, Orbital and Quantic (DJ Set).

A secret world to discover with music, comedy and performing arts across multiple stages, Stowaway is set in picturesque  countryside with ancient woodland and lakes, with hidden parties, banquets in the woods, wild swimming and canoeing, wellness & relaxation, kids’ activities, and artisan food & drink, including beer from the on-site Blackpit Brewery.

The comedy stage will star Russell Kane and Suzi Ruffell as well as many more. And the music line-up also includes Nightmares On Wax (DJ Set), Norman Jay MBE, Erol Alkan, Roni Size, Luke Una and Ishmael Ensemble plus many, many more.

“We originally created The Festival of Beer as a way for our friends, and friends of friends, to get together and have a great time in our beautiful woodlands, and as a way of promoting the Blackpit beer we brew here on the farm,” says festival founder Duncan Wheeler. “We’ve learned so much over the past five years and the festival has grown and grown. We’re so excited to relaunch as Stowaway and can’t wait to welcome new friends to this very special place.” 

Our lucky winner can enjoy Stowaway Festival with a plus one;

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Win! A pair of PennFest tickets

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Win! A pair of tickets to PennFest in Buckinghamshire, 22nd & 23rd July, starring Rudimental, Clean Bandit & Andy C

Buckinghamshire’s biggest music festival PennFest has a stellar line-up ready to dazzle you for 2022.

The two-day family-friendly festival held near the picturesque village of Penn Street will be headlined by Clean Bandit on Friday, 22nd July, and Rudimental on Saturday, 23rd July. The multi-genre line-up  has something for every music lover, including Jake Bugg, Ministry of Sound Classical, The Coral, The Selecter, The Pigeon Detectives and the legendary Sugarhill Gang.

Saturday’s line-up includes Feeder, Arrested Development, The Hoosiers, and rap icon Grandmaster Flash. For the dance-heads, PennFest will have sets from Mickey Finn, Heartless Crew, King of The Rollers, Oxide & Neutrino, Andy C, Graham Gold, Brandon Block and MC Shabba-D.

Since launching in 2011, PennFest has grown from humble beginnings as a village festival attracting 2,000 people into a hugely respected fixture on the UK festival circuit, attracting internationally renowned artists and a daily capacity crowd of 10,000 year after year. Despite the difficulties of hosting a festival last summer, PennFest 2021 went ahead and the festival belatedly celebrated its 10th birthday.

Organisers Nick Billinghurst & Matt Smith tell us: “We’re so excited to announce the 2022 line-up for the 11th edition of PennFest. After everything we’ve all been through, we think this year’s festival will be the best atmosphere yet – and who better to party with than Clean Bandit and Rudimental?!”

Camping will be available on site from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th July, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Chilterns. There are free hot showers in the camping area, as well as glamping and pre-pitched tents. pennfest.co.uk

Clean Bandit
Rudimental
Jake Bugg

Our lucky winner can enjoy PennFest with a plus one;

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May recipes: Green queens

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We’re celebrating the green goodness with two brunch recipes to herald Alresford Watercress Festival

Kedgeree with Watercress

Ingredients:

• 100ml Whole Milk
• 2 smoked haddock fillets
• ½ tbsp olive oil
• ½ Onion, chopped
• Small piece ginger, grated
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• ½ tsp turmeric
• ½ tsp curry powder
• 100g basmati rice
• 2 eggs
• 80 watercress, chopped finely

Prep: 10 minutes | Cooking:  30 minutes | Serves: Two people

The origins of ‘Brunch’ are unclear. Some food historians think the meal has its roots in England’s hunt breakfasts – lavish multi-course meals that featured such treats as chicken livers, eggs, meats, bacon, fresh fruit, and sweets.

Others believe Sunday brunch derives from Victorian times when staff were given the Sabbath off and they left their lords and masters with enough food to graze on throughout the day while, yet others look to 1930s New York and the abundance of dining spots for the origins of classic brunch dishes from eggs Benedict to bagels and lox.

So, indulge that weekend feeling! Chow down on this fantastic brunch recipe at your leisure and revel in easy, comforting food.

Method

Heat the milk and around 50ml of water in a large pan on a low heat. Add the fish, skin-side down, and poach for around 5 mins. Remove carefully and flake it – set aside and reserve the liquid for later.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion before adding garlic, ginger, turmeric and curry powder. When the onion is soft, add the rice and let it soak up the flavours in the pan.

Make the reserved poaching liquid up to around 150-200ml with water before adding it to the pan. Simmer for around 10 minutes.

Boil the eggs for around 6 minutes – this should give you a gooey yolk (boil for longer if you prefer.)

Once the rice is cooked, stir through the haddock and watercress. Quarter the cooked eggs and place on top to serve.

Mushroom & Watercress French Toast

Ingredients:

• 2 Slices thick crusty bread
• 1 egg
• 100g mushrooms, halved
• 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
• 80g Watercress, chopped
• 50g grated Swiss cheese
• Butter

Prep: 10 minutes | Making: 10 minutes | Serves: One person

This is another fabulous tasty quick brunch recipe, perfect for a lazy Sunday morning or indeed a snack whenever you fancy.

Method

In a bowl, beat the egg and add a little salt & pepper. Dip the bread in, covering both sides.

Heat some butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the eggy bread for a couple of minutes, flip it and sprinkle the grated cheese on the side that is cooked so it melts.

Meanwhile, heat a knob butter in a pan over a medium heat (add garlic if using), cook the mushrooms. Add the watercress as the mushrooms start to brown and cook for no longer than a minute, so that the watercress has just wilted.

Serve the mushrooms and watercress on top of the cooked bread with lots of black pepper.

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