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The Daily Telegraph Saturday - March 31, 2018

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***
I N S I D E TO DAY
OPEN ROAD
O
GARDENING SPECIAL
Good
Good, clean fun:
forgotten
the forg
en art
of wash
washing
washi
hingg the car
Wake up
your garden!
Essential outdoor jobs
j for Easter weekend
end
Saturday 31 March 2018 . telegraph.co.uk
page 26
AGONY
Y UNCLE
page 17
Graham
am Norton
is heree to solve
your problems
page 30
PEOPLE WATCHING
Shane Watson: why
I’m anxious about
the Big Wedding
Saturday
page 7
ANDREW CROWLEY FOR THE TELEGRAPH
The great British weekend starts here
It’s the Easter holidays – so
get the kids in the kitchen
Give your children a taste for cookery and they’ll soon be hungry for more. Chef Claire Thomson shows you how
I
am a chef and the kitchen
is the axis of our home. I
am happiest in an apron,
with the radio on, something to cook and people to
feed. Bring my children
into the mix and this is
where the fun really starts.
At 11, eight and five years old, Grace,
Ivy and Dorothy all have their own
aprons, slung on the kitchen door next
to an assortment of mine.
Each has very different capabilities
in the kitchen. Grace, the eldest, likes
to be left to her own devices. We have a
thin, narrow, terrace house: from two
floors up I can hear her industrious
clatter as she busies herself with pots
and pans downstairs in the kitchen.
There is always mess, but what she
makes, and the way she will call us into
the kitchen when she has finished,
makes my heart swell.
Ivy is keen on any kitchen tasks
involving gadgets. The pasta machine
is her favourite bit of kit. We have a
CONTINUES ON PAGES 2-3 & 5 J
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
2
COVER STORY
ANDREW CROWLEY FOR THE TELEGRAPH
J CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
tradition that if it’s your birthday you
get to choose what you get to eat on the
day. Ravioli made (with a little help) by
an eight-year-old is impressive. And
she knew it. Dot is the youngest and is
predictably fond of using cutters to
punch out biscuits shaped like pigs,
stars, bells, or the alphabet.
I want my three girls to grow up with
a fearless appreciation of food. When
they leave home, I want them all to be
able to cook with flair, creativity – and
with an eye for budget. Food and cooking are powerful tools for learning, encouraging a sense of “where in the
world would we like to eat today”. I
want the contents of our kitchen to
spark this worldly curiosity. For me, it’s
up there with learning your times tables and tying your own shoelaces.
With the Easter holidays upon us, I
have written these recipes for children
to cook, with the help of a grown-up if
needs be. Some are easy, while others
are perfect for letting any more capable
children loose in the kitchen with a bit
of culinary autonomy. I haven’t included much chocolate-orientated
baking, because if your children are
like mine, there will be more than
enough chocolate, egg shaped and delivered by a bunny, in the house as it is.
Claire Thomson is a chef and
food writer. She is also the family
food ambassador for the National
Trust. Her latest book The Art of the
Larder is out now with Quadrille.
Follow @5oclockapron on
Instagram and Twitter for daily
food and cookery updates.
Granola
My eldest daughter, Grace,
is chief granola maker in
our house. She will often
switch around spices, fruit
and nuts to get different
combinations. We’ve had
Christmas granola (mixed
peel and stem ginger), and
granola studded with
chopped up chocolate
buttons (though this is an
occasional treat). Cooking
the granola very slowly at a
low temperature makes the
mix crisp up and turn
golden without requiring
too much oil or processed
sugar. Leave the cooked
granola to cool completely
on the tray before
packaging it; this will also
help to form the fabled
clusters. We like to eat
ours with plain yogurt and
fresh fruit.
100g dried fruit; raisins, sultanas,
cherries, or larger dried fruit such
as peach, apricot, apple, mango or
dates, chopped (use one or a
combination, as you like)
METHOD
…
Preheat the oven to 140C/
Gas 1 and grease a large
baking sheet with a
tablespoon of oil.
…
Put the oats, nuts, seeds,
spices and a pinch of salt in
a large bowl and stir to
combine.
…
Put the honey, sugar and
the rest of the oil in a small
saucepan over a medium
heat and cook, stirring, for
two minutes or until the
sugar has dissolved.
…
Pour the hot syrup
over the oat mixture and
mix well until all the
ingredients are evenly
coated. Use your hands to
do this if you like.
…
Transfer the mix to the
baking sheet and spread it
out evenly.
…
Bake the granola in
the oven without stirring
for about 25-30 minutes
or until the mix is an
even golden brown and
crisp throughout.
…
Remove the granola from
the oven and top with the
dried fruit.
…
Set aside to cool
completely. Store in an
airtight jar or container.
MAKES ABOUT 500G
INGREDIENTS
4 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
250g rolled oats
50g whole nuts, roughly chopped
50g sunflower seeds
30g sesame seeds, poppy seeds or
desiccated coconut
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
50ml runny honey
3 tbsp light brown sugar
I want my
girls to be
able to
cook
with flair,
creativity
– and with
an eye for
budget
Churros with
melted (Easter
egg) chocolate
sauce
Doughnuts, Spanish
style. My three are over
the moon when we make
these together. You can
use ordinary chocolate
for the sauce (which is
particularly good if you
have a surplus from
Easter!). Lemon curd also
proved popular here.
MAKES ABOUT
16 CHURROS
TUCK IN
Ivy, Grace and Dot
enjoy homemade
churros and lemon
curd with their
friend, Esther
INGREDIENTS
250ml water
25g caster sugar
40g butter
125g plain flour
50ml double cream
50ml whole milk
100g dark or milk chocolate,
broken into pieces (use any
surplus Easter eggs)
Vegetable oil for frying
To serve
50g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
METHOD
…
In a large pan over a
high heat, bring the water
to the boil, add the sugar,
a pinch of salt and the
butter, and stir until the
butter is melted. Remove
from the heat, and stir in
the flour until the mixture
forms a sticky dough.
…
In a small pan over a
moderate heat, heat the
cream and milk, then add
the chocolate and stir to a
smooth chocolate sauce.
Remove from the heat and
keep somewhere warm.
…
Get a grown-up to help
from here: heat 5cm of oil
in a deep, high-sided
frying pan to 190C (test
with a teaspoonful of the
batter; when hot enough
it should bubble up and
float immediately).
…
Pipe or use wet hands
to roll and shape the
dough into tubes and drop
into the hot oil in batches
and fry until crisp and
golden (wet your hands
more if the dough sticks).
…
Use a slotted spoon to
turn the churros over in
the oil and fry on the
other side for about four
minutes. Remove from
the oil and drain on a plate
lined with kitchen paper.
…
Combine the 50g sugar
with the cinnamon, and
toss over the churros.
…
Serve warm, dipped in
the chocolate sauce.
BEST COOKERY COURSES FOR CHILDREN
SQUARE FOOD
FOUNDATION, BRISTOL
Founder Barny Haughton is
a peerless and awardwinning food educator.
If he can’t get your children
enthusiastic about food, no
one will.
squarefoodfoundation.
co.uk
THE BERTINET
KITCHEN COOKERY
SCHOOL, BATH
This prolific Bath-based
cookery school runs a wide
selection of classes, from
bread baking (Richard
Bertinet’s speciality) to
many guest chefs and food
writers running courses
throughout the year. I am
running a class here this
year on October 6.
thebertinetkitchen.com
FAT HEN, LAND’S END
Caroline Davey runs a
cookery school with a
difference. Based near
Land’s End in Cornwall,
Davey’s courses are as
much about getting
outside and foraging as
they are about cooking
great tasting food.
fathen.org
NEAL’S YARD DAIRY,
LONDON
Less of a cookery class and
more of a tasting workshop,
this fabulous London
cheese shop runs
informative and fun classes
for children, teaching and
tasting all things cheese.
nealsyarddairy.co.uk
BUG FARM FOODS,
ST DAVIDS
Again, not so much a
cookery school, more an
immersive food experience
designed to get children’s
heads around eating and
cooking with bugs.
Nutritious and good for the
planet, Andy Holcroft, a
chef, and Dr Sarah Beynon,
an entomologist, run a
variety of engaging and
bug filled workshops
throughout the year.
bugfarmfoods.com
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
HELPING
HAND
Claire and her
daughter, Dot,
make lemon
curd together
***
HOW TO MAKE
MARBLED EGGS
Leftover porridge
bread
1
Pierce both the top and bottom of a raw egg
with a needle or safety pin. Blow out the egg
into a bowl.
This loaf bakes with a
terrific crust and a chewy,
almost crumpet-like
texture to the crumb. I
don’t knead this bread; a
vigorous mixing is all it
needs. The children can
easily make this. My bet is
that you’ll find yourself
making extra porridge for
breakfast to make this
bread.
MAKES ONE LARGE LOAF
INGREDIENTS
500g strong white bread flour,
plus extra for dusting
200g leftover cooked porridge
(at room temperature)
300ml warm water
5g salt
1 x 7g sachet active dry yeast
Handful of oats
METHOD
…
Put the flour, porridge
and salt in a large bowl.
…
In a jug, mix the water
and yeast together, then
combine this with the flour
and porridge mix, mixing
well with a spoon until
combined. The dough
will be wet.
…
Cover the bowl with
cling film or a damp cloth
and put aside somewhere
warm until doubled in size,
about one-and-a-half to
two hours.
…
Lightly flour your work
surface and line a loaf tin
with baking parchment.
…
Remove the dough from
2
Fill a deep plastic container with water. Add
marbling paints (or nail varnish) to the
surface of the water and swirl with a fork.
3
Position the eggs on sticks and push each egg
through the surface of the water, submerging
it completely. Quickly pull the egg out and leave
to dry.
Spiced date butter
Pretzel sticks
Baking bread is a great
activity for children and
these pretzels are
especially fun to make.
You’ll need to help
children with the boiling
bit, as the hefty measure
of bicarbonate in the
water tends to make the
water bubble up quite a
bit. Boiling the dough
before baking it makes
these pretzels
wonderfully chewy to
eat. Soft, long pretzels; a
good thing.
MAKES 12
INGREDIENTS
350g strong white bread flour,
plus a little extra for kneading
50g brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
240g water (measuring water
is more accurate)
1 x 7g sachet active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
30g baking soda
1 egg, beaten
Poppy seeds to top
Lemon curd
This is the perfect
stirring job for a child
who wants to learn to use
the hob – it’s low and
slow cooking. You can
use oranges, clementines
or tangerines here, if
you’d rather.
MAKES ONE TO TWO JARS
INGREDIENTS
200ml juice from large
unwaxed lemons (about 4),
plus the zest, finely grated
250g sugar
100g cold unsalted butter,
cut into small cubes
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
COOK WITH ROSIE,
LONDON AND SOON TO
BE EDINBURGH
Rosie Trotter (pictured,
above left) will be running
METHOD
…
Put the lemon juice and
zest, the sugar and the
butter into a wide pan
over the lowest heat. Stir
from time to time until
the butter has melted.
…
Mix the eggs and egg
yolks lightly with a whisk
in a separate bowl.
…
Add the eggs to the pan,
continually whisking the
curd over a gentle heat
for about 12-15 minutes,
until it is thick enough to
coat the back of a spoon.
Make sure you scrape the
sides of the pan and never
stop stirring. Do not allow
it to boil.
…
Remove from the heat
and stir occasionally as it
cools a bit. Pour into
warm, sterilised jars and
seal. It will keep for about
three weeks in the
refrigerator. Once opened
use within one week.
…
You can pass the curd
through a sieve if you find
that it’s not perfectly
smooth, but if you’ve
stirred it well enough, you
shouldn’t need to.
her successful Cooking
with Kids classes from her
home in Battersea, London,
until June when both she
and her classes are moving
METHOD
…
Mix the flour, sugar, oil
and water with the yeast
to make a cohesive dough.
It should be slightly
sticky; if it seems dry,
knead in an additional
tablespoon or two of
water. Cover and rest for
10 minutes.
…
Add the salt and fold
the dough a couple more
times to combine, cover
and let the dough prove
for about 45 minutes to
an hour.
…
Turn the dough out on
to a lightly floured work
surface, fold it over a few
times to gently deflate it
and divide it into 12
pieces. Use a bit of flour to
roll each piece of dough
into a 12-15cm thick rope,
place on an oiled tray and
leave for 30 minutes to
prove covered in a clean,
dry tea towel.
…
Preheat the oven to
220C/Gas 7.
…
Meanwhile, bring a
large pan of water to a
boil. Carefully add the
baking soda to the boiling
water, it will bubble up.
…
Gently remove pretzels
from the baking tray and
drop into the boiling
water, three or four at a
time. Simmer about 30
seconds, turn and simmer
an additional 30 seconds.
…
Remove with a slotted
spoon and place on a
clean tea towel-lined tray
to dry, before returning
each back to the oiled
baking tray. Repeat with
remaining pretzels until
they have all been boiled.
…
Brush the pretzels
with the beaten egg wash
and sprinkle with poppy
seeds. Bake in the hot
oven until browned,
about 12-15 minutes. Best
served warm.
back home to Edinburgh.
cookwithrosie.co.uk
from age nine years and up.
atthekitchen.co.uk
AT THE KITCHEN,
MANCHESTER
THE COOK SCHOOL,
GLASGOW
Manchester-based and new
to the line-up, this smart,
new cookery school is run
by Angela Boggiano, a food
writer, cook and stylist, and
Craig Robertson, a food
photographer. Their
children’s culinary courses,
which cover home-made
pasta and pizza as well as
basic baking skills, run
Based in Kilmarnock, near
Glasgow, this specially built
children’s cookery school
runs a range of classes
aimed to help children
develop their palates and
discover what they love to
cook and eat. Suitable for
those from age two to 16
years old.
cookschool.org
My daughter Ivy is
especially fond of butter.
Sweetened with dried
fruit and given a hefty
dose of mixed spice, this
is her favourite toast
topping. As well as eating
it, she also quite likes
making this. I tend to
chop the dates and Ivy
chops the butter and
combines (hands
squelching gleefully) the
rest of the ingredients
before shaping and
chilling it in the fridge.
MAKES ABOUT 450G
INGREDIENTS
very finely (use figs if you prefer)
1 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
250g salted butter, at room
temperature (use unsalted if
you prefer)
200g pitted soft dates, chopped
METHOD
…
In a mixing bowl mash
the butter, dates and spice
together. Form into a
oblong butter pack shape,
wrap in parchment and
chill in the fridge for
at least 20 minutes
before serving.
the bowl, and scrape it on
to the floured surface.
Gather the dough and fold
it approximately four times
in on itself.
…
Turn the dough over
seam side down and, using
your hands, gently cup the
sides of the dough until
you have a loaf shape that
fits a 900g tin.
…
Carefully lift into the
lined tin and cover with a
cloth and allow to double
in size. The dough will
still be fairly wet, but
manageable, to work with.
…
Preheat your oven to
230C/Gas 8, or as hot
as possible.
…
Use a serrated knife,
sharp knife or a pair of
scissors to slash the loaf
with one, 1cm-deep stripe
along the loaf. The slash
allows the steam to escape
and for the dough to
expand. Scatter the top of
the loaf with the oats.
…
Place in the oven, and
reduce the temperature to
200C/Gas 6.
…
Bake for 35-40 until the
loaf is a golden brown with
a firm crust. It will sound
hollow when tapped
underneath if it’s ready.
…
Cool on a wire rack for at
least 15 minutes before
cutting and serving.
3
4
***
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
***
BEST COOKBOOKS
FOR CHILDREN
TO COOK FROM
Lahmacun (aka
Turkish pizza)
Not only do they bring
welcome respite from the
insatiable demand for
pizza, these punchy lamb
flatbreads are a cinch to
make. Cook as many as
will fit in your oven at one
time; they will be popular.
MAKES EIGHT
INGREDIENTS
For the dough
500g strong white bread flour,
plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried yeast
300ml water
Olive oil for oiling your hands
and surface for initial knead
ANDREW CROWLEY FOR THE TELEGRAPH
For the topping
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 small fresh tomato, diced
½ red pepper, deseeded and
finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
½-1 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
Pinch ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
200g lamb mince
To serve
2-3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 bunch parsley, leaves picked
and roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges
METHOD
…
To make the dough, put
the flour, salt and yeast in a
big mixing bowl and mix in
the water with a spoon.
…
Mix well to form a
cohesive dough, place a
damp cloth over the bowl
and leave for an hour or so
somewhere warm until
almost doubled in size.
…
In a blender, pulse all the
topping ingredients (apart
from the mince) together
to form a coarse paste. Put
in a bowl, add the mince
and mix well.
…
When the dough is
ready, preheat the oven to
maximum. Turn the dough
out on to a lightly floured
surface and knead it gently
with lightly oiled hands for
a minute. Cut the dough
into eight pieces.
…Put a pizza stone or
baking tray into the oven
to get hot.
…On a well-floured surface
roll each dough ball into a
long, thin oval shape,
getting the dough as thin
as possible without tearing.
…Carefully remove the
pizza stone or baking tray
from the oven and place on
a heatproof surface.
…Lay the dough on the
tray and spread an eighth
of the topping all over it,
leaving a 2cm border.
…Bake in the hot oven for
six to eight minutes, until
the dough is crisp and the
topping is cooked, repeat
with any remaining dough.
…Serve immediately,
adding some sliced
tomatoes, plenty of parsley
and a good squeeze of
lemon juice to each
lahmacun.
THE
WINNERS
ARE…
Those who find
any of the whole
pulpy sweet garlic
cloves. Mash the
soft garlic inside
back into your
rice, it’s delicious.
Baked rice with
chickpeas,
chorizo, rosemary
and orange
This thrifty supper will
have everyone digging in.
It’s an easy one-pot recipe
that older children might
like to tackle on their own.
If you want to make this
vegetarian, swap chorizo
for some mushrooms fried
with the peppers.
SERVES FOUR
INGREDIENTS
250g soft cooking chorizo, diced
(use diced bacon if you prefer;
leftover roast chicken or pork,
shredded, would also work)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced small
1 pepper (any colour), finely diced
5 cloves of garlic, skin on and
left whole
3 x 400g tins whole plum
tomatoes, drained of juice – or
use fresh, roughly chopped
½-1 tsp smoked paprika (to taste,
hot or sweet variety)
300g Spanish short paella grain
(alternatively, risotto rice will do)
600ml boiling water or hot
chicken stock
1 small bunch rosemary (about
4 small sprigs), leaves removed
and finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tin chickpeas, drained
and rinsed
1 small orange, thinly sliced
Chilli flakes, to serve
(optional)
METHOD
…
Heat oven to 180C/Gas 4.
…
Fry the chorizo pieces in
the olive oil for about three
to five minutes in a large
casserole pan until crisp
and beginning to exude fat.
…
Add the onion, pepper
and garlic and cook for
about 10 minutes until soft.
…
Add the tomato, paprika
and rice. Mix together until
everything is well-coated
and the rice is warmed
through. This takes about
two minutes.
…
Add the hot stock or
boiling water, bay leaves
and rosemary and give the
rice a good stir, checking
the seasoning. Add a bit
more salt or paprika if
necessary.
…
Add the drained
chickpeas and the orange
slices to the surface of the
rice and cover the pan with
a tight fitting lid.
…
Bake in the hot oven for
about 20 minutes until the
rice has taken on all the
liquid and the grains are
cooked through.
…
Rest for five minutes off
the heat and with the lid on
before serving,
encouraging people to add
chilli flakes if they like.
As a chef and
food writer, my
bookshelves are
laden with
cookbooks. I also
like to keep an
assortment of
my favourites on
the dresser in
the kitchen – this
is where the
most useful will
end up. When
one or other
makes its way
from the dresser
to the kitchen
table, I will often
find my children
indolently
flicking through
pages as they eat
their breakfast,
avoid their
homework or
wait for supper. I
have found that
if you spot a
child becoming
engaged with a
bright attractive
picture of food in
a cookbook,
conversation
will soon follow.
In this moment,
if you’re willing,
you’re pretty
much halfway
towards buying
the ingredients
and cooking
the dish with
your child.
I find the best
and most
non-combative
way to introduce
new ingredients
or dishes to
family mealtimes
is to cook
together. With
younger
children I have
tended to use
recipes that I
know by rote
and will get little
hands to help
where
appropriate.
Now Grace is
older and a more
competent cook,
I am pretty
thrilled that
she’s keen on
cooking from my
own cookbook
collection.
Two
cookbooks
aimed
specifically at
children spring
to mind. Cool
Kids Cook by the
champion of
children’s
cooking, Jenny
Chandler,
(Pavilion Books,
£14.99), is aimed
at children aged
seven to 14. I also
like The Silver
Spoon for
Children by
Amanda Grant
(Phaidon Press,
£12.95), which is
best for those
aged 10 and over.
You can’t go
far wrong
pointing older,
more kitchensavvy, children
in the direction
of the superstars:
Nigella, Jamie,
Nigel Slater,
Diana Henry,
Ottolenghi, Rick
Stein, Madhur
Jaffrey… simply
too many to
list here.
5
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
STYLE
PREPPY
PURSUITS
Leonardo
DiCaprio lives it
up in The Wolf
of Wall Street
Loved by clean-cut types THREE OF
and drainpiped rebels, THE BEST…
the sportswear favourite
atwalk,
is back on the catwalk,
writes Stephen
n Doig
g
T
aking to
o
the
tennis
n
court in
d,
starched,
formal whites
rting to
was starting
e tiresome for
become
the young René Lacoste. A longsleeved Oxford shirt wass the
he sport, but it
traditional uniform for the
didn’t exactly lend itself to sporting
prowess. Which is why, in 1933, he set
about adapting the shirt into a less
m – shortening
rigid, more dynamic form
ric technician
the sleeves, enlisting fabric
avy cotton for
André Gillier to swap heavy
é with a
a breathable cotton piqué
s. A new type
basket weave for airiness.
y adopted not
of shirt was born, swiftly
only by tennis stars but polo players
too, hence the moniker.
h
It was after a sojourn on the
continent that underwear maker Peter
Hill brought the polo shirt to British
shores, thanks to his father’s cotton
specialist company Sunspel. Since
then, it has been a politely peppy
staple; the boy next door to the white
T-shirt’s Rebel Without a Cause. It’s
innate neatness and hint of formality
– that pristine collar remains – make it
a key component in the East Coast,
collegiate look so ingrained in the
likes of Brooks Brothers and Ralph
Lauren. That set’s poster boy, J F K,
would wear one while sailing around
Martha’s Vineyard, looking every inch
the fresh, youthful president.
And while you don’t need these
pages to tell you that a polo shirt is a
timeless wardrobe classic as we
approach spring, it’s particularly
relevant at the moment; designers
from Gucci to Dior Homme have toyed
with the template of this rather
clean-cut fellow, adding rebellious
accents and splashy prints.
In any colour or pattern the polo is
inherently sporty, but has a certain
classicism and quaint charm too; with
a Harrington jacket and a side parting
you’ll look every inch the Fifties diner
dweller. Which isn’t to say the shirt
hasn’t flirted with insurgency; it
was adopted by the Mods in the
Seventies, worn with narrow denim
and Dr Martens. You might take a leaf
out of George Clooney’s sartorial book
and don one with a suit. Keep
the proportions slimline: baggy styles
look a touch “dad on holiday”.
COTTON POLO
£79 (lacoste.com)
PAL ZILERI COTTONSILK POLO
£210 (harrods.com)
AND WHAT TO WEAR THEM WITH
WOVEN
WOV
VEN BELT
£95 (st
(stuartslondon.com)
tuartslondon.com)
RIVIERA POLO
£85 (sunspel.com)
D U S T O F F YO U R …
POLO
S H I RT
GOLDEN
OLDEN GOOSE TRAINERS
£280,
80, net
net-a-porter.com
t-a-a
a porter.com
NN07 CHINOS
£120 (mrporter.com)
(mrporter.com
G9 JACKET
£575 (barac
(baracuta.com)
ta com)
TRACKING THE TREND
EARLY YEARS
The dashing
tennis champion
René Lacoste
created the polo
shirt in the
Thirties as a
sporty alternative
to formal
shirting, adding a
crocodile
emblem as a nod
to his on-court
nickname.
HOLLYWOOD COMES
CALLING
In the Sixties, style icon
status went hand in hand
with a certain
preppy
masculinity,
encapsulated
by the likes of
Steve
McQueen,
Paul Newman
and John F
Kennedy.
ON THE
CATWALK
Gucci’s Alessandro
Michele has
recreated the
classic style with
high-octane prints,
while Dolce &
Gabbana (right) has
riddled its versions
in princely
embellishments.
MARY CYBULSKI; EPA
6
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
7
***
ON DUTY
Meghan has
begun to dress
rather more
maturely since
her engagement
V E RY
BRITISH
P RO B L E M S
Is it just me...
SHANE WATSON
PEOPLE
WATCHING
If you’re expecting the Royal wedding
to be a massive Sloanefest with added
American gloss, prepare to be disappointed
REUTERS; BERETTA/SIMS/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK; GETTY IMAGES
A
m I the only one
experiencing the
onset of Royal
wedding anxiety?
In the run-up to the
marriage of His
Royal Highness
Prince Henry of
Wales and Ms Meghan Markle, are
we starting to feel a twinge of panic
that it might not quite shape up to be
the £32 million fantasy gala we’ve
been looking forward to?
Maybe it will. Maybe they are, at
this very moment, putting the
finishing touches to a Mahiki-meetsMoulin Rouge-meets-military-tattoo
spectacle. Maybe there will be
21-gun salutes, and Kylie in a cake,
and all the Spice Girls in Union flag
hot pants singing 2 Become 1, and
James Corden doing carpool karaoke
with Beyonce and Jay-Z, and Harry
and Meghan, two-up on a white
horse (her wearing something
sheerish and sparkly with a 40ft
train, him in Royal Marines
ceremonial dress) while Obama
slow-jams the story of their
courtship. We can only hope. But if
Sloaney riot with American gloss is
the general atmosphere you have in
mind, the omens are not good.
First of all, Meghan Markle has,
since they first went public at
Wimbledon (she wearing ripped
jeans and a “husband” shirt and
generally looking very cool, off-duty
actress/activist) started to dress like a
European First Lady of a certain age
(roughly 56). It is months since we’ve
seen her in aviators, or indeed any
clothes befitting a young American
woman with a perfect 10 body, and
access to any designer on the planet.
Needless to say, this does not augur
well for the wedding dress, and we
are starting to really fear for the
Is it OK to...
Point out that Lisa
Armstrong, estranged wife of
Ant McPartlin of Ant and
Dec, has gone way beyond the
usual requirements of the
post-split makeover. Usually
in these circs the injured
female party gets a haircut.
Often this consists of a
serious chop, which we all
know signals: “I’ve washed
that man right out of my hair,
and then cut it all off just to
be sure.” Sometimes it
involves a radical rethink,
like a crazy dye. Armstrong
went My Little
Pony pink the
moment the
news broke a
few months
back, which
evidently was
her way of
saying: “I am
escaping to my
happy place.”
And good luck
to her.
bridesmaids, who at this rate will be
in turtlenecks and boaters.
Then there is the matter of her
Circle of Trust and what her
immediate girl gang considers to be
fun times. Meghan has already been
on a hen weekend at Soho Farmhouse
(hooray) at which they were expected
to watch the Oscars live and have a
party (great idea!) but the rumour is
they opted for spa treatments and an
early night instead, and we can well
believe it. Most of us spent our hen
nights trying to persuade a taxi to
take us to Mull or forming a human
pyramid in a stranger’s garden. Do
these people know how to make the
most of the Wedding of the Year, is
all we’re saying? And what if the
Wedding of the Year turns out to be a
bit wellness-conscious and there isn’t
a vodka luge in sight?
Last but not least, Meghan herself
is expected to make a speech on the
day, which is right and proper. But
will this speech be any fun? Or will it
be a bit grassroots charities, and good
energy, and the power of working as a
team of two – all of which we are very
much in favour of – just less so at the
Reception of the Wedding of the
Year? Could she perhaps draft in
Tina Fey or Amy Poehler to ratchet
up the funnies? We’ve really got to
get our thinking caps on, but time is
running out.
Rob Temple on the small
anxieties of daily life
AT THE RAILWAY STATION
1
Saying, “Anywhere here’s fine,” then
sitting quietly in your seat as your taxi
driver cruises on for another mile beyond
the station.
2
The horror of trying to quickly input
booking reference RNZØ3Û0ŁOo0ä
into a busy ticket machine.
3
Going to St Pancras and accidentally
spending hundreds of pounds before
boarding your train.
4
Asking a guard if your ticket is valid for
peak times and finding that even they
don’t know.
5
Knowing no journey is too short for the
entire M&S snack section washed down
with four cans of gin and tonic.
6
Seeing someone holding a large
McDonald’s bag and knowing you’ll be
sitting next to them.
7
Standing perfectly still watching the
departure boards as everyone seems to
walk into you, and only you.
8
Making sure to whisper the platform
number to yourself, before dashing off
to the train.
9
Feeling compelled to very slowly
pace up and down while waiting on
the platform.
10
Being told your train has changed to
another platform as you sit on the
original train, and watch the new one pull
slowly away.
Rob Temple’s latest book, Very British
Problems Vol 3: Still Awkward, Still
Raining (Sphere, £12.99) is available from
books.telegraph.co.uk. Follow Rob on
Twitter: @SoVeryBritish
ILLUSTRATION: TOM MCGUINNESS FOR THE TELEGRAPH
Who read Bill Nighy’s
confession that for most of his
career he has hated acting
and thought, “Of course he
has, he’s an Englishman.” An
Englishman
likes to hate his
job, he thinks his
job is stupid, his
employers are
useless, and that
anyone who
employs him is
an idiot. Nighy
is doing what
Englishmen
always do,
when given the
opportunity – moaning,
because that’s how he feels
and because having a low
opinion of yourself and your
contribution is about as
British as it gets. If you want
to find a happy, fulfilled,
proud actor, try an
American.
8
***
A
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
***
Food & Drink
VICTORIA MOORE
Look east
ast
for the
next wine
ne
revolution
ion
Page 13
T H E H A R DY B OY / R E D C H I NA / W I N E S O F T H E W E E K
YOUTHFUL
FLAVOURS
José Pizarro at
his restaurant in
Bermondsey,
London
Olé José!
A taste of
Spain at
home
Salmorejo-style
tomato soup with
hard-boiled eggs,
olives and crispfried ham
The key to sensational
Spanish dishes is to use
good-quality ingredients
and never cut corners,
discovers Xanthe Clay
This is a thick and creamy
bread soup, which relies on
the juice from tomatoes. It
is usually served garnished
with serrano ham and
chopped hard-boiled eggs.
T
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 J
SERVES SIX TO EIGHT
INGREDIENTS
340g slightly stale country-style
bread, crusts removed (to give
225g crustless white bread)
1kg ripe and juicy vine-ripened
tomatoes, skinned
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch of sugar (only if your
tomatoes lack sweetness)
150ml good-quality olive oil, plus
1 tbsp, and extra to serve
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 large free-range eggs
6-8 thin slices serrano ham
50g green or black pitted olives,
quartered lengthways
EMMA LEE; RII SCHROER
wenty years ago,
Spanish food meant
stodgy paella with
pitchers of oversweetened sangria to
most of us. British
chefs Sam and Sam
Clark had just opened
Moro, a neighbourhood restaurant in
London, but you’d be hard-pressed to
name a Spaniard working in a professional kitchen.
That’s changed now, as smoked
paprika has become a store-cupboard
staple and we gobble up plates of
pricey, intensely flavoured jamón ibérico in chic tapas bars. Smart drinkers
are ditching prosecco in favour of
small-producer cava. In London, it’s
standing room only at José tapas in
Bermondsey Street; the Barrafina bars
have queues around the block. The
hottest opening of the year so far is Sabor, the bar and restaurant from Nieves
Barragán, the Basque-born ex-Barrafina chef who serves up whole roast
piglets and Galician milk puddings.
Much of the credit must go to José
Pizarro, chef owner of José, as well as
restaurants Pizarro and José Pizarro in
London. The Spanish chef came to the
capital 19 years ago, with just a few
pounds in his pocket. He came in
search of excitement, as “Spain at that
time was just Spanish food, no diversity,” he told me. “From the moment I
touched down, I say, I love this country, this diversity, the colours, the
smell, the tastes, the craziness. In Spain
we didn’t have that 20 years ago. It was
a very old-fashioned, divided country.”
In fact, Pizarro has held on to both
his pronounced Spanish accent and his
love of the food of his childhood, which
he has championed from the start. He
was brought up on his parents’ farm in
Extremadura, a region of Spain considered a backwater even by the people
who live there. There were dairy and
beef cattle and pigs, plus copious fresh
vegetables from the plot.
His mother and grandmother ruled
the kitchen, while little José looked on
longingly. “It was nothing fancy, the
food, just good. My mother would tell
me to go away, don’t come in the
kitchen. I was a boy, I was meant to be
helping my dad. I was more into being
naughty.” A favourite game involved
knocking on the doors in the village
and running away – a trick that once
had his mother removing her slipper
and flinging it at his retreating back.
In Britain, Pizarro worked for a series of Spanish restaurants, including
the now-closed Gaudi, and set up the
Spanish importer Brindisa’s restaurants. Persuading Britons to eat real
Spanish food was an uphill struggle at
METHOD
…
Break the bread into a
bowl and sprinkle with
250ml water. Leave to soak
for at least 30 minutes.
…
Quarter the tomatoes and
scoop out the seeds into a
sieve set over another bowl.
Roughly chop the flesh and
rub the juices from the
seeds through the sieve.
Discard the seeds.
…
Put the tomato flesh and
juices into a liquidiser with
the garlic and sugar, if
using, and blend until
smooth.
…
Squeeze as much water as
you can from the bread, add
to the liquidiser and blend
once more, then with the
motor still running, pour in
the oil, the vinegar and
one-and-a-half teaspoons of
salt. Leave to chill for at
least two hours.
…
Before serving the soup,
lower the eggs into a pan of
boiling water and cook for
nine minutes. Drain, cover
with cold water, and when
cold, peel off the shells and
chop into small pieces.
…
Heat the remaining
tablespoon of oil in a pan
over a medium heat. Add
two slices of ham and fry for
about 30 seconds on each
side until crisp and golden.
Lift on to kitchen paper to
drain. Repeat with the
remaining ham. Once cold,
crumble into small pieces.
…
To serve, spoon the soup
into bowls and garnish with
the egg, ham and olives.
Drizzle over a little more
olive oil and serve.
Chargrilled leg of
lamb with a fennel
and lentil salad
This is a wonderful recipe
to barbecue, but you can
get the same effect by
starting it off on a large
ridged griddle to give it a
good colour and smoky
flavour, then transfer to
the oven in a roasting dish
to finish it off.
SERVES SIX
INGREDIENTS
½ tsp coarsely crushed
black peppercorns
2 tbsp chopped herb fennel or
fennel fronds
For the fennel and lentil salad
1 large bulb fennel
300g green lentils, such
as pardina
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon and
2 tbsp lemon juice
150g black olives, pitted
METHOD
…
Mix the oil, rosemary,
garlic, lemon zest and juice,
and pepper together in a
dish with a pinch of salt.
Add the lamb, turn it over a
few times to coat well, then
cover and leave to marinate
2.5kg leg of lamb, butterflied
For the marinade
6 tbsp olive oil
Leaves from 1 large rosemary
sprig, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
Finely grated zest and juice of
1 small lemon
at room temperature for at
least an hour or in the
fridge overnight.
…
If you are barbecuing
your lamb, preheat the
barbecue to high.
Alternatively, preheat the
oven to 200C/Gas 6.
…
To make the salad, thinly
slice the fennel bulb, drop
the slices into a bowl of iced
water and leave in the
fridge to crisp up.
…
Put the lentils into a pan,
cover by 5cm with cold
water, bring to the boil and
simmer for about 25-30
minutes or until just
cooked, adding a teaspoon
of salt five minutes before
the end of cooking.
…
Meanwhile, whisk the oil,
lemon juice and zest, with
salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the lentils and place
in a bowl with the lemon
dressing. Leave to cool.
…
Season the lamb with salt
and place, skin-side down,
on the barbecue and cook
for 12-15 minutes on each
side, moving it around to
avoid any flare-ups.
Alternatively, preheat a
ridged griddle over a high
heat, reduce the heat and
griddle the lamb for five to
seven minutes on each side.
Then transfer to a roasting
tin and roast for 20-25
minutes. The meat is
cooked to medium when it
is 60C at its thickest part.
…
Lift it on to a board, wrap
loosely in foil and leave to
rest for five to 10 minutes.
…
To finish the salad, drain
the sliced fennel and dry it
well. Stir this into the lentils
with the black olives, herb
fennel or fronds, and a little
more seasoning to taste.
Carve the lamb into slices
and serve with the salad.
9
10
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
Braised peas and
jamón with eggs
FOOD & DRINK
Roast chicken with
cava and apples
J CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9
EMMA LEE
first. Nouvelle cuisine was still in evidence, and the big plates of Hispanic
food, all about flavour rather than presentation, seemed bemusingly rustic to
some. “People didn’t know our flavours
and ingredients,” he explained. Now
every year Pizarro sells 500 whole
hams of jamón ibérico – costing around
£500 each – at his three London restaurants, at around £20 for a plateful.
“I would never have thought that
would happen when I arrived,” he said,
helping himself to a sliver of the ham
from the plate on the kitchen island.
But fewer than two decades on, he
not only has three restaurants, but four
bestselling cookery books on Spanish
food to his name. The second, Spanish
Flavours, has just been republished
and there is a fifth on the way, based on
the cooking of his beloved Extremadura and neighbouring Andalusia. No
wonder the Spanish government has
recognised him for his success promoting their food.
The key to great Spanish cooking,
Pizarro told me, is the ingredients.
“They have to be amazing or you can’t
do anything. Never cut corners. Eating
with your friends at home – it’s what it
is all about.” Like his mother’s slipper,
right on target.
Spanish Flavours by José Pizarro
(Kyle Books, £16.99) is out now,
available at books.telegraph.co.uk
THE SPANISH STORE CUPBOARD
The ingredients
José Pizarro
can’t do without
dressings.
PIMENTON
AKA SPANISH
SMOKED
PAPRIKA
SAFFRON
Essential to give
the proper
smokiness to
Spanish dishes.
La Chinata
pimenton, £2 for
70g, sainsburys.
co.uk
VERMOUTH
VINEGAR
There’s more to
Spanish vinegar
than sherry
vinegar. Try
gentle cava
vinegar (a
favourite with
chef Mitch
Tonks) and the
vermouth
version, a staple
of Pizarro’s salad
Vermouth vinegar
£8.65, lunya.co.uk
The best quality
saffron comes
from La Mancha
region.
La Molineta saffron,
£14.25 for 2g,
bascofinefoods.
com
RICE
Spanish dishes
taste best when
made with
Spanish rice.
Calasparra paella
rice, £5.25 for 1kg,
souschef.co.uk
JAMÓN
IBÉRICO
Nothing
compares to
the intense
savouriness of
jamón ibérico,
Iberian ham
This dish was very popular
when I was a student. It is
easy to make and filling –
perfect for your pocket.
These braised peas
(without the egg) would
make a lovely side dish,
maybe with a piece of
grilled chicken or fish. You
can bake this recipe in
small, individual dishes as
well – easy for a simple
supper for one after work.
from pata negra
pigs. The finest
is marked
“bellota”,
meaning the
pigs are fed with
nothing but
acorns foraged
in woodland for
at least the last
two months of
their life: 5J ham
is acorn fed for
three months.
Cinco Jotas (5J)
ham, prices vary,
cincojotas.co.uk
OLIVE OIL
José Pizarro is
launching his
own extra virgin
olive oil, made
with Morisca
olives.
Available from
Pizarro restaurants
and at josepizarro.
com in a few
weeks, £15 for
500ml.
In Spain, roast chicken is
not traditionally served
with a slightly thickened
gravy like in the UK, but
after living here for 10
years or more, I like to do
some things the British
way. However, I take a tip
from my mother and
combine chicken with
apples, which doesn’t seem
to be very British. Why
not? It’s delicious,
especially if you serve it
with some more cava!
SERVES TWO
INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp olive oil
100g finely chopped shallot
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
450g shelled peas, fresh or frozen
100ml homemade chicken stock
75g thinly sliced serrano ham,
finely shredded
2 extra-large, free-range eggs
METHOD
…
Heat the olive oil in a
medium frying pan. Add the
shallot and garlic, cover and
cook gently for five minutes
until soft but not browned.
…
Stir in the peas and
chicken stock, part-cover
and simmer for five minutes
until the peas are tender and
the liquid has reduced to
leave them just moist.
…
Stir in the serrano ham,
and season to taste with salt
and pepper.
…
Break the eggs on top of
the peas, season lightly and
cover the pan.
…
Leave to cook gently for
five minutes, or until the
eggs are set to your liking.
…
This is delicious eaten
with some crusty fresh
bread.
SERVES FOUR TO SIX
INGREDIENTS
1.5kg free-range chicken
4 fresh bay leaves
2 large thyme sprigs
Olive oil, for greasing the bird
2 medium onions, cut into
thin wedges
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bottle chilled cava
4 small dessert apples, such as Cox
25g butter, plus 1 tsp, softened
2 tsp caster sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
100ml chicken stock
1 tsp plain flour
METHOD
…
Preheat the oven to 200C/
Gas 6.
…
Season the cavity of the
chicken with salt and
pepper and then stuff with
the bay leaves and thyme.
Tie the legs together with
string, then rub all over
with olive oil and season
well with salt and pepper.
…
Place into the centre of a
large roasting tin and roast
for 30 minutes.
…
Remove the roasting tin
from the oven and scatter
the onions and garlic around
the chicken. Stir them into
the cooking juices, season
lightly, pour 50ml of cava
over the bird and return it to
the oven for 45 minutes,
basting it every 10 minutes
with another 50ml of cava.
…
While the chicken is
roasting, quarter, core and
peel the apples and cut
them into small wedges.
Melt 25g butter in a frying
pan, add the apples and fry
them for two minutes until
they begin to brown. Turn
the slices over, sprinkle over
the sugar and cinnamon
and continue to fry for a
further two minutes until
they are just tender and
nicely golden. Remove
from the heat.
…
When the chicken is
cooked and the juices run
clear, lift it on to a board,
wrap it in foil and leave it to
rest for 10 minutes. Scoop
the onions out of the
roasting juices, add them
to the apples and mix
well together.
…
Season lightly to taste and
keep warm over a low heat.
Tip the roasting tin so that
the remaining pan juices
pool at one end and skim off
the excess fat. Then place
the tin over a medium high
heat, add another 100ml of
the cava and the stock and
rub the base of the tin with a
wooden spoon to release all
the caramelised juices.
Strain into a small pan and
simmer for about 10
minutes until reduced and
well-flavoured.
…
Mix the soft butter with
the plain flour, whisk it into
the gravy and simmer gently
for two to three minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
…
Carve the chicken. Spoon
some onions and apples on
to each warmed plate and
put the chicken on top. Pour
over the gravy and serve.
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
***
Pan-fried sea
bream with a salad
of oranges, red
onion, capers and
black olives
The region of Valencia is
famous for its citrus groves
and particularly its
oranges. There they
regularly make a salad
using flaked salt cod,
oranges, onion and black
olives, but I like to serve it
with a cooked fillet of fish.
This salad is also lovely
made with blood oranges
when they are in season.
SERVES FOUR
INGREDIENTS
For the salad
4 small oranges
1 small red onion
4 tsp small capers, rinsed
and drained
16 black olives, pitted and halved
For the vinaigrette
1 tbsp freshly squeezed
orange juice
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley,
to garnish
For the fish
8 x 75g fillets sea bream
1 tbsp olive oil
METHOD
…
Cut a thin slice off the top
and bottom of each orange
Orange, almond
and pine nut
tartlets
These little tarts are so
moreish. The flavours
combine to create a
not-too-sweet pastry that
can be savoured any time of
the day. They are perfect
for a dinner party dessert
or warm from the oven for
a teatime treat.
65g icing sugar
125g chilled butter, cut into pieces
Finely grated zest of ½
large orange
1 large egg yolk
4 tsp orange juice
INGREDIENTS
For the filling
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 2
small oranges
2 large free-range eggs
40g self-raising flour
175g ground almonds
75g pine nuts, toasted
40g chopped mixed peel, plus
extra to decorate
4 tbsp shredless marmalade,
to glaze
For the pastry
225g plain flour, plus extra
for dusting
METHOD
…
For the pastry, sift the
MAKES EIGHT
INDIVIDUAL TARTLETS
OR ONE 23CM TART
flour and icing sugar into a
food processor with a pinch
of salt.
…
Add the butter and orange
zest and process briefly until
the mixture resembles fine
breadcrumbs.
…
Beat the egg yolk briefly
with the orange juice.
…
Tip the crumbed mixture
into a bowl, stir in the egg
yolk and orange mixture
and bring the dough
together into a ball.
…
Turn out on to a lightly
floured surface and knead
until smooth. Chill for 15
minutes, then remove from
the fridge and, if making
individual tartlets, cut into
eight pieces. Thinly roll out
the pastry and use to line
either eight 10cm, lightly
buttered tartlet cases with
sides 4cm deep or one 23cm,
loose-based tart tin with
sides 4cm deep. Refrigerate
for 20 minutes.
…
Put a baking sheet on the
middle shelf of the oven and
preheat it to 200C/Gas 6.
…
Line the pastry case(s)
with foil and a thin layer of
baking beans and bake for 15
minutes. Remove the foil
and beans and bake for a
further three minutes or
until the pastry is crisp and
golden brown. Remove and
set aside.
…
Reduce the oven
temperature to 170C/Gas 3.
…
For the filling, beat the
butter, sugar and orange
zest together in a bowl until
light and fluffy.
…
Gradually beat in the
eggs, adding the flour with
the final addition. Fold in
the almonds, pine nuts and
chopped peel. Spoon the
mixture into the case(s) and
smooth over the tops. Bake
in the oven for 25-30
minutes for the individual
tarts, 35-40 minutes for the
large tart, until golden, and
a skewer, inserted into the
centre, comes away clean.
…
Remove the tart(s) from
the oven and allow to cool.
…
Meanwhile, warm the
marmalade with two
teaspoons of water in a
small pan. Brush the tart(s)
generously with the
marmalade, scatter with the
remaining mixed peel and
serve warm or cold.
11
and slice away all the skin,
ensuring the white pith is
completely removed. Then
cut either side of each
segment of fruit, close to the
dividing membrane, down
into the centre of the fruit,
and place into a bowl.
…
Halve the onion and very
thinly slice it, on a
mandoline if possible, then
separate the slices. Add
them to the bowl of orange
segments with the capers
and black olives and mix
together gently.
…
For the vinaigrette, whisk
the orange juice, sherry
vinegar and olive oil
together in a small bowl and
add some seasoning to taste.
Stir in the chopped parsley.
…
Heat a large frying pan
over a medium heat. Rub
the bream fillets with oil and
season on both sides. Add
the fillets, skin-side down,
and cook for four to five
minutes until the skin is
crisp and golden. Carefully
turn the fillets over with a
palette knife and cook for a
further two minutes, then
remove from the heat and
leave to finish cooking in
the heat of the pan.
…
Gently stir four teaspoons
of the vinaigrette into the
salad and adjust the
seasoning to taste. Spoon
some of the salad on to each
plate and rest the fish fillets
on top. Drizzle a little more
of the vinaigrette over the
fish and serve garnished
with the parsley.
These
tartlets are
perfect for
a dinner
party
dessert or
warm from
the oven
for a
teatime
treat
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
FOOD & DRINK
Go the whole hog
with a rustic
Victorian feast
At least the peasants of
the 19th century had the
occasional blowout to
look forward to
STEPHEN
HARRIS
I
recently read a news item
which suggested that the
healthiest diet ever
recorded had been that of
a Victorian farm worker or
peasant. I have to admit I
was very pleased: I had
always thought,
somewhere deep in the back of my
mind, that this must be the case.
It might be due to an overexposure
to Victorian literature at a young age.
Try as Thomas Hardy might to ruin
everything with his fatalism, I still
wanted to work on Bathsheba’s farm.
Charles Dickens wrote about the harsh
world of the new urban working class.
But reading Hardy, I still felt the
country life might be a good one – my
rose-tinted, young-fogeyish specs
filtered out the suffering in Far from
the Madding Crowd, and saw only the
rural idyll.
The rhythm of life in the country is
important, as it gives hope in winter,
when all can seem grim and gloomy.
The celebration of summer at harvest
time is something to be shared with
the army of pickers and workers on
the harvest. In Britain we lost
something by being the first country
to industrialise and I think it was a
certain closeness to the land.
The 1851 British census was the first
record of any society where more
people lived in the cities than on the
land. As the peasant class dwindled, we
lost the deep roots of our food culture
– roots that survived longer, and to
some extent persist today, on the
European mainland.
This disconnect between city and
countryside is particularly stark when
you think about seasonality. The
different stages of the agricultural year
have a built-in logic: bleak winter
slowly turns to spring, when the
cultivation of the land for summer is a
process that brings hope, and the need
to preserve that abundance means that
the bleakness of winter can be offset
with careful planning. At least until
the weather intervenes.
Today’s recipe is exactly the kind of
thing that a Victorian country dweller
might have eaten as a bit of a
celebration. Obviously, they wouldn’t
have been able to eat a shoulder of
pork every weekend, but this recipe
will feed a lot of people with little fuss.
If the recipe had a name it would be
something like “pork boulangère”: it is
simply a shoulder of pork laid upon
well-seasoned potatoes and onions.
Ensuring that the cooking vessel has a
good depth means that the potatoes
and onions steam as they cook, the fat
is released by the pork, and its skin
develops a good crackle – meaning
that the dish needs little attention. It
could be brought to the boulangerie or
bakery and cooked in his oven along
with those of other villagers who had
no oven of their own.
I would just give one warning and
that would be the age and size of the
pig. Experience suggests that the skin
of a larger animal will not give good
crackling, so my advice is to press it. If
it feels hard, then remove the thin
outer layer of skin as it won’t give you
a good crackle – it’ll more likely break
your teeth. If the pig is younger, and
the outer layer of skin is soft when
pressed, then scoring and salting will
give you great crackling.
So if you’re feeling nostalgic, crack
open a Thomas Hardy – he is also now
not just a fine novelist but a great
beer – and wallow in misplaced
romanticism as you pile into this
rustic feast of a dish.
Stephen Harris is chef-patron of
The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent,
whose many awards include the
No. 1 slot in the latest Estrella Damm
Top 50 Gastropubs Awards
ANDREW TWORT & ANNIE HUDSON FOR THE TELEGRAPH
12
Roast shoulder of
pork with potatoes
and onions
Olive oil, for rubbing the pork
Sea salt
Apple sauce, mustard and savoy
cabbage, to serve
Any leftovers make great
sandwiches.
METHOD
…
Preheat the oven to
180C/Gas 4.
…
Slice the onions thinly
and scatter in the bottom of
a roasting tray with a
decent-sized depth (about
8cm), and of a size that
snugly fits the shoulder.
This allows the potatoes
and onions to steam while
the pork roasts and crisps.
…
Using a mandolin, cut
the potatoes into thin slices
and mix with the onions in
the roasting tin. Season
SERVES SIX TO EIGHT
INGREDIENTS
2 large onions
3 large baking potatoes
1 star anise
4kg shoulder of pork (I find that
if the skin is soft to a prodding
finger you will get good
crackling. If the skin is hard then
it is better to remove it as you will
only get tough skin, despite it
looking good)
these well and add the
star anise.
…
Score the skin of the
pork so that the knife
penetrates the outer layer.
Rub oil on to the pork and
then sprinkle with salt.
…
Lay the pork shoulder
on top of the onions
and potatoes.
…
Roast the pork for about
four hours until the skin
has turned to crackling.
…
Allow the meat to rest
in the roasting tin for at
least 30 minutes. This will
ensure the juices cool and
some will be absorbed by
the potatoes.
…
Next, move the pork
shoulder to a carving
board. It should be
possible to run the knife
along the bone of the
shoulder and carve
downwards to get good
slices of meat.
…
Serve the slices of meat
with the potato and onions,
which will have absorbed
the juices and fat from
the pork.
…
I like to serve this with
apple sauce, mustard and
savoy cabbage.
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
13
***
and burgundy, said: “I’ve tried a lot of
wine from different countries, and
after that I thought, ‘Australian wine is
very good’.”
There have been no end of myths
generated around China and its
potential for making – but more
especially consuming and buying –
wine. Most prevalent is the idea of
China as a two-headed dragon, that on
the one hand (or, rather, head) might
suck the world’s vineyards dry and
create a global wine shortage; on the
other, that might begin to produce its
own wine on a vast scale, the likes of
which the world has never seen.
f you’re still laughing at
At first the story of China and its
stories of Chinese wine
adventures in wine was all about fine
drinkers ordering Lafite,
wine, initially from Bordeaux, now
and then diluting it with
also Burgundy. Its impact on the fine
Coca-Cola, you’re out of
wine market has been well
date. Chinese taste has
documented: in the years preceding
become more
2011 Asian buyers sent the price of top
sophisticated, and more
bordeaux into orbit, before a crash
educated, and it’s happened very
from which prices are now recovering.
quickly. A more telling tale is the one
We also hear a lot about the Chinese
of businessman Wang Zhe from
penchant for buying minor Bordeaux
Guangzhou who recently pitched up
chateaux – about 160 are thought to be
at a Hunter Valley vineyard wearing a
in Chinese hands, though last year
red hoody and Prada loafers, and
Jane Anson, Bordeaux expert for
announced he liked the 10-year-old
Decanter, warned that up to 40 of
chardonnay he was drinking so much
those “could be back on the market”.
that he’d like to buy the entire vintage.
Now the Chinese thirst is
Wang Zhe, whose cellar is
diversifying. The story of Wang Zhe is
apparently already full of bordeaux
telling. China imported 746 million
litres of wine last
year, almost
double the
volume that went
CHATEAU MUSAR 2006, recommendations I made
CHA
into the country
BEKAA VALLEY,
BE
in my top wines under £10
in 2013, according
LE
(14%, Waitrose, list. Wow. If you want some
LEBANON
to Chinese
£1
£18.74 down from £24.99
you had better hurry. Also
customs
un
until 3 April)
e incredible
grab one of these
informatio This
information.
mags of mellow, barrelequiva
is equivalent
to
C
Chateau Musar is still
aged rioja, made by La
tha half of
more than
L
Lebanon’s most famous
th and
Rioja Alta. Smooth
wi
all the wine
re
red: a very unmodern
us bottle
round, a luxurious
produced in
bl
blend of cabernet
ends.
to share with friends.
Austral (As it
Australia.
sa
sauvignon, syrah and
happe
happens,
AUSTRALIAN
ci
cinsault, with a farmyard
Austra
Australian
SHIRAZ 2017,
w
ul of
whiff and a noseful
i
wine is
A
AUSTR
4%,
AUSTRALIA (14%,
fu
furniture polish. This is
exper
experiencing
M&S, £
£5.50)
ch it
a good chance to catch
Chin
a Chinese
at
on offer, and it’s great
boom thanks
boom,
So juicy
juic is this very
y if
with lamb, especially
to a fr
free-trade
easystralian
easy-going Australian
spices are involved.
agreem
agreement
red that
t
I’m
signed at the
MAGNUM OF THE
tem
all it
tempted to call
end of 2015
SOCIETY’S
beau
eets
beaujolais meets
st
that steadily
JA
EXHIBITION RIOJA
shir
shiraz. All
im
cut import
2010, SPAIN (13.5%,
mul
mulberries,
tariffs, which will
The Wine Society, £30)
0)
blac
blackcurrants and red
be scrapped
plum
plums, it’s smooth and
completely in
es
I’ve just seen the sales
brig
bright and very
2019. According
figures for TWS
goo
good value.
to figures from
China isn’t just an
importer of prestige reds
– it’s set to become a
producer on a vast scale
VICTORIA
MOORE
I
WINES OF THE WEEK
W
Wine Australia, last year wine exports
to mainland China rose by 54 per cent
in volume, to 153 million litres.) The
lion’s share of what China imported
was red – Chinese wine drinkers still
prefer its prestige – but among whites,
chardonnay and riesling are popular.
The effect is noticeable: buyers from
British supermarkets tell me they are
beginning to find it harder to source
cheaper Australian wine because so
much of it is being shipped to China.
For some new wine producers
elsewhere in the world, such as those
making English sparkling wine, the
Asian market is key to the business
plan. But China has vineyards, too.
Accurate statistics are hard to come by
but Lenz Moser, an Austrian who
makes wine there, refers me to Alibaba
Buyers tell
me it is
harder to
find cheap
Australian
wine
because so
much is
shipped
to China
Big Data which I suspect is still best
treated as a best guess, rather
than gospel. According to this,
China produced 1.137 billion litres of
wine in 2016.
I recently tried some of them at an
event put on by the International
Wine and Spirit Competition. The
tasting consisted of bottles that had
been entered into the competition and
were considered good enough to win a
medal. I can’t pretend I will be putting
any on my drinking list, but what
struck me was the clear sense of
progress. The whites had a credible
freshness and tasted of the grapes they
were made of (this is not always the
case with emerging region wines).
The reds weren’t quite on track, but
they were closer than I had
antic
anticipated,
and some
had a pleasing
Bord
Bordelais
herbal
quali Many of the
quality.
wine were from
wines
Xinji
Xinjiang,
in the
nor
north-west
where,
acc
according
to The
Oxf
Oxford
Companion to
Wi
Wine,
21.5 per cent of
Ch
China’s
vineyards are
pla
planted.
A number
cam from Ningxia, an
came
autonomous region about 750
B
miles from Beijing.
“In so far as
peop think of Ningxia
Chinese people
pl
at all, it is as a place
of deprivation
backwardness according to
and backwardness,”
Jiayang Fan, writing in The New
Yorker.
Ningxia accounts for a smaller
China vineyards but it
percentage of China’s
kn
is becoming well known
outside
China and offers an illustration of how
we might expect to see Chinese wine
yea In Ningxia,
grow in coming years.
they have set about making wine with
diligent persistence and ambition.
g
There has been government
win route similar to
investment in a wine
the ones you find in France.
Alibab Big Data,
According to Alibaba
Ningxia has 100 act
active wineries, with
a further 80 under construction and
50 that have applie
applied for a warrant.
The vineyard area covers
acre
79,000 acres and
is set to
by
double by 2020.
To put this
into conte
context, Marlborough,
in New Zealand,
Ze
has
59,000 ac
59,000 acres.
Eu
The European
luxury
goods con
conglomerate LVMH
h
invested here,
establishing
Chandon China
Chi in 2013. The
sparkling wine outpost
outp
makes fizz
from locally grown g
grapes, to be
drunk on the local market and claims
to have produced the first Chinese
sparkling wine “to international
standards”.
It’s also in Ningxia that Moser
works, based at Chateau ChangyuMoser, a winery that looks like a
cartoon French chateau, complete
with moat, a string of fountains, and
that most modern of accoutrements, a
54,000 sq ft tasting room.
The extraordinary chateau cost
€70 million (£61.35 million), and was
constructed in an impressive two
years flat. It’s as potent a symbol as any
of the potential force of China’s
relatively new entry into the modern
wine world. Now we watch to see
where it goes.
ILLUSTRATION: ZOË BARKER FOR THE TELEGRAPH
The riddle of the two-headed thirsty dragon
14
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
DAYS OUT
DAY T R I P P E R
This Scottish market town thrives on
its links to Burns – but that’s just
how its people like it, says Tom Ough
ALAMY; IAN RUTHERFORD FOR THE TELEGRAPH
T
here are more than a
few British towns that
are best viewed in
total darkness.
Dumfries is one of
them, but before its
residents fill my
pockets with red
sandstone and hurl me into the river
Nith, let me explain – by way of a trip
to its famous camera obscura.
It’s lunchtime on a grey Wednesday
in Dumfries, and I’m standing in the
small, round, creaky-floored room at
the top of a decommissioned windmill.
It’s pitch black: I can see precisely
nothing. Then
the museum
attendant (for the
windmill is part of
the Dumfries
Museum) pulls a
rope, an aperture
opens above us,
and Dumfries
appears on the
drum-like tabletop
in the middle of
the room.
There’s the red
of the sandstone,
the green of the
grass, the silver of
the cars that are
snaking across the
New Bridge. Birds
swoop across the fulminating weir. It’s
a projection (entering via a small
shutter, light is reflected downwards
by a mirror and, passing through a
convex lens, casts an image on to the
table), but the detail is exquisite and
the movement of the people, water
and birds has a fluidity that I’ve never
seen on a television screen. “We try
very hard not to look into people’s
houses,” says the attendant hastily.
The camera obscura was built in
1836, a time when Scotland was
rosy-cheeked with Enlightenment
endeavour. It was funded by local
astronomy enthusiasts, and is the
oldest continuously operated one
in Scotland. This makes it Dumfries’
second-biggest claim to fame – with
a tip of the hat to its being named
Scotland’s happiest town last October
– the first being its association with
Robert Burns.
There is so much Burns here,
indeed, that lying in a darkened room
seems the only appropriate response.
Scotland’s national poet lived here
from 1788 until his premature death in
1796, pen-pushing at an excise house
by day and constructing lyrical Scots
nationhood by night. He was doing
L E T ’ S V I S I T…
DUMFRIES
Dumfries
THE MUSEUM
There’s lots of local
history besides Burns,
including Roman
occupation. Find out
more at the excellent
Dumfries Museum –
where you can also find
the camera obscura.
THE WALK
Dumfries was a finalist
for the Britain’s Best
Walking Neighbourhood
award this year, and
while the town as a
whole isn’t particularly
pretty, its historic
riverside area is a good
place for a stroll. Try the
Burns Trail – more
details in the Robert
much more by night, in fact, drinking
in pubs that survive to this day and
fathering several of his 12 children
here. Many of Dumfries’ 50,000-odd
inhabitants must be direct
descendants, which might help
explain the town’s devotion to him.
As we changed the direction of the
shutter with gentle pulls of a rope, a
wider spread of Dumfries fell upon the
tabletop, including the Burns
Mausoleum, where even in a
churchyard – kirkyard, I mean – full of
preposterously ornate red sandstone
tombs, Burns’ is the finest. The remains
of Burns, along with those of his wife
Jean Armour, lie beneath a gravestone
that is visible through a glass pane and
a wrought iron gate.
When goggling at the grave earlier, I
trod in the footsteps of one John Keats,
who wrote a poem about his visit to the
tomb. Keats, too, understood the
discomfort of visiting a windy
graveyard on a wet day in March,
writing in the poem that “The shortliv’d, paly summer is but won/ From
winter’s ague for one hour’s gleam.”
Fortunately, it’s very easy to pay
Burns the respect of visiting his
favourite pubs. After leaving the
camera obscura, I followed in his
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
TAKE THE
HIGH ROAD
Devorgilla
Bridge is one
of Scotland’s
oldest
***
THE POET
NAT I O N O F
SHOPKEEPERS
The Robert Burns Centre
and the Robert Burns
House are good places to
learn about Rabbie’s life
and work.
Celebrating Britain’s unique retailers
SIMONE PICKERING
MISS PICKERING, STAMFORD
I
went to school here in
Stamford; that’s how I
knew about the building.
It was built in 1463 and
over the years has been just
about everything. In living
memory, it was a cobbler’s. An
elderly gentleman sometimes
comes in; he worked here
when he was 11, running the
shoes back to clients. Then it
was a fishing tackle shop, then
a jeweller’s, a mobile phone
shop – and for 10 years it’s
been my florist’s.
Valentine, my whippet, is
the second shop dog; he’s only
three. He’s incredibly popular
– I don’t really know what all
the sensation is about. He sits
in the window as that’s his
favourite place, so we’re
known as the shop with the
dog in the window. We have a
running joke as to how many
people are coming to see the
dog and how many to buy
flowers. I think overall it’s the
flowers, but a huge number
come for Valentine.
I think Mother’s Day is my
favourite occasion. We get
little ones with their pocket
money coming in for a bunch
for their mums, which I adore.
I suggest flowers such as
ranunculus and hellebores;
they’re all so beautifully
scented and coloured.
Living in a small town, I
have plenty of regulars.
There’s a gentleman who
orders flowers for his mother
to be delivered, and I’ve never
met him, even though I’ve
been talking to him for 12
years. My regulars aren’t
necessarily people who come
in every week or every year.
THE FOOD
footsteps by going to the Globe Inn, a
cosy, wood-panelled pub whose stone
walls made me invisible to the camera
obscura’s wandering eye.
Doonhamers (the people of
Dumfries) are such a friendly,
unflappable crew that I doubt they
mind the idea of appearing on the
camera obscura tabletop. Perhaps, in
idle moments, they wonder how they
look from up there.
Fortunately, Burns is good for
unwitting surveillance as well as the
beauty of Scottish life and language:
“O, wad some Power the giftie gie us/
To see ourselves as others see us!”.
THE
MAUSOLEUM
It’s in St Michael’s
Kirkyard, which is up the
hill from the river and
would be worth a trip
even if Burns had never
been buried here.
ANDREW FOX FOR THE TELEGRAPH
THE PUB
For Rabbie-tinged
history, visit the High
Street’s Globe Inn. For a
modern local favourite,
visit the Cavens Arms.
You’ll need a booking,
but try Home, the
restaurant above the
Coach and Horses inn
that overlooks the river.
Its menu is mostly
British and French fare,
and the food is easily the
best in town.
Sometimes you never meet
these people and yet you
become so familiar with them.
I love interacting with my
customers face to face, and
that’s why I started
photographing them for my
Instagram account. I was
getting so bored of endless
pictures of flowers – when
floristry is your job, that’s all
you see. I wanted to bring the
shop alive so that people
would understand that it’s not
just about the flowers. It’s
much more about people.
I’ve always got a camera set
up in the shop. Some people
will actively try to get
Florist floor: Simone Pickering
themselves in a picture; some
you’ll have to ask. Generally
it’s the more eccentric ones
who want to do it. We’re now
turning the pictures into a
book. I love being able to give
little insights into an
interesting corner of Middle
England. Some of the time fact
is stranger than fiction.
Someone once said floristry
is about people and flowers
are just a pretty accomplice.
We deal with people at such
joyful times and such sad
times, sometimes in the space
of a day, so you have to have
an understanding of human
nature to do it well.
Interview by Pip Sloan
Doggy in the window: Valentine
7 St Paul’s St, Stamford,
Lincolnshire PE9 2BE;
misspickeringflowers.
squarespace.com
Instagram: @misspickering
15
16
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
FAMILY LIFE
THREE’S
COMPANY
Princess
Charlotte, right,
can discover a
happy medium
Is being the middle child
really as bad as they say?
ALAMY STOCK PHOTO; JULIAN SIMMONDS
With a third child on the way for the Cambridges, it’s a hot parenting topic.
Catalina Stogdon investigates the pros and cons of fitting in at the centre
C
hristian Hood showed
all the classic signs
of “middle child syndrome”. Squeezed between an older sister
and younger brother,
he suffered from low
self-esteem and constantly sought attention, which translated into being disruptive at school
and getting into fights with his older
brother. It drove his parents up the wall
– and straight to parenting school.
“I used to feel guilty that I was an
awful parent and that my children were
doomed,” says his mother, Melissa
Hood, a former solicitor. But a parenting course they took when Christian
was seven changed everything. “It
transformed our family life,” she says.
“My husband and I learnt how to look
at the children differently and realised
they weren’t just doing things to wind
us up.” Christian was dyslexic and his
behaviour meant him being heaped in
“negative” attention. “We learned to
turn it into positive attention – and the
bad behaviour dropped away.”
Christian, now 28, is a successful
graphic designer, with a baby daughter
of his own. Hood was so inspired by the
classes she attended for her middle son
that she retrained as a parenting coach
(theparentpractice.com) and has been
helping families regain equilibrium for
the past 18 years.
The concept of “middle child syndrome” – where middle children feel
they miss out on parental attention
and are overlooked in favour of their
siblings – has become a hot topic in the
parenting world of late, due partly to
the imminent arrival of the Duke and
Duchess of Cambridge’s third child –
and the position in which it will place
Princess Charlotte.
Type the words “middle child syndrome” into online parenting platforms
and all manner of hysterical threads
rear their ugly heads. On Netmums,
with its seven million monthly users,
some parents blame the scenario for all
of their middle-born’s ills, while others
admit they have considered not having
a third child for fear of destroying their
family balance. “Our generation is
much more conscious of birth order,
mainly from our own personal experience,” says Annie O’Leary, editor in
chief of Netmums and a mother of two.
“Mothers who are
middle
children
themselves
often
feel that they were
ignored as children
and make an effort
not to pass that
treatment on to their
own offspring.”
But parents need
not despair, says
Linda Blair, the Telegraph
columnist,
who has researched
the effects of birth
order for 25 years,
after becoming intrigued by the patterns displayed by
her three children.
Along with the
way our parents
raise us, and genetics, Blair considers
birth order to be the
most important factor in shaping our
personality. However, she does not
believe that being a
middle child should
be treated as though
it were a type of disorder. “There are
problems and advantages to every
birth position,” she says. “Parents
should play on the positives and help
children cope with the negatives.”
Statistics suggest a middle child is
the one who is least likely to seek
psychological help in their life, Blair, a
clinical psychologist, observes. “They
are usually well adjusted because they
have to contend with people under and
above them. A middle child is a negotiator; they make good team players.”
Hood, a middle child in a family of
five siblings, never felt disadvantaged
growing up. “The first child occupies a
space where they have the full attention of their parents, but they also suffer all their parents’ lack of expertise.
By the time the second and third come
along, parents are more relaxed.”
Bundy Mumford, 38, a mother of two
who lives in south-east London, considers herself fortunate to have been in
the middle position growing up. “I
never felt ignored or overlooked. I
didn’t have to do everything first, like
being the first at school, so it was less
scary for me. And my friendships with
my siblings was very close as there
wasn’t a big age gap between us. My
older sister always bangs on about how
her position was the worst.”
Not every grouping of children is the
same, of course. The closer the age
range, the more likely that children
will compete for parental attention and
the greater their rivalry. The same sex
heightens this even more; I see it with
‘I never felt
ignored…
my older
sister
always
bangs on
about
how her
position
was the
worst’
my three sons (there are
two years between each).
My middle child will
sometimes scream to have
his voice heard, or adopt a
“punch first, ask questions
later” strategy (he’s three,
so let’s hope it’s a phase).
However, Dr Catherine
Salmon, associate professor of psychology at the
University of Redlands,
California, who started
researching birth order
24 years ago, argues that
being the middle child is
actually the best spot in
the family pecking order.
In her book, The Secret
Power of Middle Children
(Penguin), Dr Salmon contends that middle-borns, although
overlooked when younger, often go on
to be agents of change in business,
politics, and science – more so than
firstborns or the youngest. “Middles
are self-aware and flexible, they tend to
deal well with others – in the workplace and at home. History shows them
to be trailblazers.”
So what of the royal soon-to-be trio?
“If the Duchess of Cambridge has another boy, Charlotte will be in a unique
position and therefore won’t be the
classic middle child,” says Salmon. “If
it’s another girl, there may be significant rivalry; suddenly she’s not the
only princess any more – literally.”
But is it time for parents to stop feeling guilty that the child at the centre is
missing out? “The only guilt you may
feel is that you are going to be a little
more tired, because you now have two
hands for three children,” says Blair.
“Parents shouldn’t worry about not
giving the kids the same amount of
attention every day,” adds Dr Salmon.
“It’s an impossible task. Better to have a
natural relationship with your children, and not overthink, which leads
to neurotic parenting. That doesn’t
help anyone.”
PARENTING MIDDLE CHILDREN
…
Foster
different
interests in all of
your children
and don’t get
hung up on
treating
everyone
identically. It
helps the
younger ones
work out where
they fit in.
…
In a busy
family, schedule
one-to-one time
with each
child. Use
staggered
bedtimes to give
each child
individual
attention.
…
If a child
complains of not
getting enough
attention,
empathise
with them rather
than justifying
your position.
It will make
them feel
appreciated.
…
Don’t compare
your children –
it can make
them feel
inferior. Saying:
“Why can’t you
be more
responsible like
your older
sister?” is
never helpful.
BRAIN GAMES
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
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Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
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17
***
E X P E RT
T TIPS
Gardening
Helen Yemm,,
Stephen
Lacey
n Lace
ey
and Jackk
Wallington
gton
Pages 21 & 24
J O B S T O D O N OW / R E P T O N F O R B E G I N N E R S / N EW FAC E S AT C H E L S E A
SOW ANNUALS
JONATHAN MOSELEY
FLORIST, BROADCASTER
AND WRITER
Start sowing seeds of cut
flowers to get some quick
colour back into the border.
I’d personally recommend
cornflowers (shown far
right) – I adore the dark red
‘Black Ball’, it is so beautiful!
– together with a mixture
of pink, blue and white
love-in-a-mist (nigella);
these should be in flower by
early June. Plant Cosmos
bipinnatus ‘Purity’ to
arrive a little later.
Create an Easter table
arrangement by lining a
basket or old terracotta pot
with plastic and putting a
loosely scrunched ball of
chicken wire into it. Fill it
with foliage such as golden
choisya, variegated
euonymus, pieris and stems
of forsythia, together with
narcissi, grape hyacinths
and Anemone blanda.
Alternatively, use twisted
stems of willow or hazel to
make an Easter tree.
Arrange them in a heavy
vase and hang eggs from
the branches. Around the
base add ranunculus or, for
a real statement, you could
use pots of Fritillaria
imperialis.
If it’s cold, there is no
shame in going to the
florists for plant material –
anything to bring colour to
our lives! ( jonathanmoseley.com).
SPRING
TO ACTION
Warmer soil
gives you the
chance to sow
seeds outside
CHECK SOIL
TEMPERATURE
JEKKA MCVICAR
HERB EXPERT
My tip for checking
whether the soil is warm
enough to sow seeds
outside is if you can sit on
it without knickers.
If you garden on an
allotment this may be
embarrassing, however,
in which case use the
back of your hand or
elbow, as if testing the
temperature of a baby’s
bathwater.
Jekka’s Herbetum
is open April 6 and 7
( jekkasherbfarm.com).
MARK DIACONO
GARDENER, COOK
It’s not strictly necessary,
but I always chit potatoes
– partly because I always
It’s the weekend
we’ve all been
waiting for
A couple of mild days (fingers crossed) is all it takes
to get your plot summer-ready. Naomi Slade
quizzed the experts for ideas to get you started
MULCH
BORDERS
STEPHEN CRISP
HEAD GARDENER
AT WINFIELD HOUSE
Mulching is an important
job for this weekend. Use
home-made compost or
other organic material to
lock in the moisture and
set the garden up for the
year. It is also time to
deadhead hydrangeas
and cut back half-hardy
sub-shrubs such as
caryopteris and
BUILD RAISED BEDS, SOW TOMATOES
MICHELLE CHAPMAN
GARDEN BLOGGER
AND ALLOTMENTEER
Easter is a great weekend
to start projects, as you
have enough time to get
them done.
I am a big fan of raised
beds – you can make them
yourself using scaffolding
boards from a DIY shop or
those from woodblocx.co.
uk are extremely
effective. Raised beds
keep early sowings out of
the wet and you can sow
salads and carrots now, no
matter how small a space
you have – just put a bit of
horticultural fleece or a
cloche over the top if the
weather goes cold again.
On my allotment you see
lots of people putting up
pea and bean netting,
ahead of planting out. I
also shred my spring
prunings and use them to
mulch the pathways, as it
will save time later.
It is not too late to plant
out raspberries, as long as
they are pot-grown and
not bare-root, and you can
certainly still sow
tomatoes indoors.
I will be trying ‘Losetto’,
from Mr Fothergills this
year, as it is said to have
some blight resistance and
you can plant it out as late
as July and still get a crop
– a good one for those
playing catch-up (veg
plotting.blogspot.co.uk).
santolina. Annuals fill
gaps and are long
flowering and colourful,
so sow cleome and
nicotiana. Take time to
think about what you
expect from your garden
and evaluate what needs
to be done, while you
still have time.
Other than that, eat
lots of chocolate eggs!
have and partly because it
is a way of quietly stating
that it’s time to get on with
it. All potatoes do well
when planted at this time
of year, but ‘Pink Fir
Apple’, ‘International
Kidney’ (aka ‘Jersey Royal’)
and ‘Vitelotte’ are on my
list every year for their
flavour. I place each potato
eyes up in an egg box in
good light to develop
shoots ahead of planting.
When the shoots reach
2cm or so, into the soil
they go (otterfarm.com).
GETTY; GAP; HEATHCLIFF O’MALLEY; ANDY BOAG; JASON INGRAM
CHIT POTATOES
18
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
GARDENING
GET DAHLIAS
STARTED
A HELPING
HAND
Ditching new
pots at the tills
means using
less plastic
MIRANDA JANATKA
KEW TROPICAL
NURSERY
SUE BEESLEY
BLUEBELL COTTAGE
GARDENS & NURSERY
Gardening has a green and
wholesome image, but a
total dependence on plastic
is its less eco-friendly
secret. Short-lived black
plastic is everywhere,
precisely because it
doesn’t break down when
exposed to the heat and
damp of a plant nursery –
unlike biodegradable
alternatives.
At my nursery we’ve
been thinking hard about
how to reduce our plastic
usage without putting off
customers through higher
prices or inconvenience.
We’re moving towards
labels that stick on to the
pot rather than into it –
they’re still plastic but use
much less. This year we’ll
also trial biodegradable
labels to see how long they
last. We only use sturdy
reusable carry trays which
last 10 years or so.
And we’re offering
customers the option to
de-pot their plants at the
checkout, leaving pots
behind for reuse. We’ve
recently launched a
completely plastic-free
mail order option, using
waxed paper and
gummed paper tape. It
takes about twice as long
to pack, but we’re taking
that on the chin in the
spirit of playing our part.
There is plenty that
gardeners at home can do.
For example, there are
now several kinds of
biodegradable pots
available, made out of coir,
rice husks, cardboard and
peat (visit greengardener.
co.uk, twowests.co.uk and
seedpantry.co.uk).
Another approach is to
try to avoid using any new
plastic – the idea is reuse
and repurpose. Rather
than buy plastic pots, plug
and seed trays, visit a local
nursery and ask if they
have surpluses. If you do
have to buy new ones,
choose better quality rigid
pots and try to avoid black
as it’s the hardest colour
plastic to recycle.
Used plastic containers
and tins will make good
plant pots as long as they
are well cleaned and have
holes punched in the
bottom.
Store all plastic items,
including polythene
covers and bubble wrap,
out of sunlight. They’ll last
much longer as UV
degrades them and they
become brittle and tear.
Meanwhile, hessian
makes an excellent
protection against frost –
better than horticultural
fleece, which is made of
spun polypropylene –
although it is not
translucent.
Finally, talk to your local
garden centre and make it
known you are looking for
plastic alternatives. It’s
vital that gardeners speak
up so that the message
gets into the supply chain
(bluebellcottage.co.uk).
STAKE, CUT BACK AND POT ON
PHILIPPA BURROUGH
OWNER/GARDENER AT
ULTING WICK, ESSEX
Walk around, look at the
borders and make notes. It
is an ideal time to work out
what to do with gaps; you
can still start bulbs such as
gladioli and lilies, and
plant out hardy annuals
that were sown in autumn
or early in the season.
Stake herbaceous
perennials now, before the
foliage grows too lush and
tall. Push delphinium
supports into the ground
and use hazel cuttings,
woven to add interest,
before the plants they are
to support start flowering.
Any late-season grasses,
such as pennisetums,
should be cut down now as
the new foliage should be
visible and the worst of the
frost has passed. Last
year’s foliage will be pretty
scruffy by now.
In the greenhouse,
check for plants that need
potting on before they can
be planted out after the
last frosts. Annuals need
room to develop good a
root structure to ensure
maximum impact.
Finally, do some edging
in the borders. A session
with a half-moon tool to
correct any wobbles,
followed by an edge, will
instantly smarten
everything up (ultingwick
garden.co.uk).
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY IN APRIL
Find inspiration and new plants in a month of spring shows
APRIL 1-2
SHROPSHIRE
Plant Hunters’ Fair to raise
funds for the beautiful
12-acre Dorothy Clive
Garden. Top-class
nurseries wll offer a
tremendous variety of
plants. Entry to garden
and fair £4. 10am-5pm;
Dorothy Clive Garden,
Willoughbridge, Market
Drayton, TF9 4EU
(01270 811443; plant
hunters fairs.co.uk).
APRIL 5-JULY 12
GLOUCESTERSHIRE
It’s the centenary of the
birth of Rosemary Verey,
“queen bee of English
country house gardening”,
and to kick off the
celebrations Barnsley
House hosts a “meet the
gardeners” tour and lunch
on April 5. The Grade II
listed building turned
boutique hotel was once
the Verey home, where she
created the world-famous
gardens that live on to this
day. The tour and lunch
costs £37 per head and
starts at 11.30am
(barnsleyhouse.com).
APRIL 7-8
CORNWALL
Cornwall Garden Society’s
Spring Flower Show takes
place in the glorious
grounds of Boconnoc
Estate. Expect magnolia
and daffodil displays,
inspiring show gardens
from the Eden Project and
the Lost Gardens of
Heligan, and more than
120 stands by talented
nurseries. Tickets £10
for adults, under-16s go
free (cornwallgarden
society.org.uk).
APRIL 13-15
BERKSHIRE
The inaugural Ascot Spring
Garden Show at Ascot
racecourse, with specialist
nurseries offering plants
for sale, stylish garden
accessories and six show
gardens by Chelseawinning and emerging
designers. The Savill
Garden and Windsor Great
Park are nearby to make
this a great day out for
gardeners. Ascot
Racecourse, High St, Ascot
SL5 7JX (ascot.co.uk).
APRIL 13-15
CARDIFF
The RHS Flower Show in
the grounds of stunning
Cardiff Castle will this year
embrace Visit Wales’ “Year
of the Sea” with themed
gardens and features to
inspire. Youngsters’
activities all weekend;
experts on hand to advise
gardeners of all abilities
(rhs.org.uk/cardiff).
APRIL 14-28
SURREY
Dunsborough Park Tulip
Festival (below) takes place
over four days in the
“Rediscovering
Magnolias”; plus an array
of award-winning
specialist nurseries with
gorgeous plants for sale.
Tickets £8 adults, £3
children (greatcomp
garden.co.uk).
APRIL 18-JULY 22
LONDON SE1
The exhibition Cedric
Morris: Artist Plantsman
celebrates British artist
Cedric Morris (1889-1982),
who founded the East
Anglian School of Painting
and Drawing at Benton
End, Suffolk. Morris
achieved national stature
both as a plantsman (he is
still renowned as a
breeder of irises) and a
painter. Garden Museum,
Lambeth Palace Rd SE1
7LB (020 7401 8865;
gardenmuseum.org.uk).
APRIL 20-MAY 3
KENT
spectacular grounds. Teas
provided by various
charities on April 14, 19, 21
and 28 for visitors to enjoy
as they take in the beautiful
tulip meadow display
(dunsboroughpark.com).
Historic Hole Park kicks
off its 2018 season with the
Bluebell Festival (below),
when visitors can also see
the latest additions to the
impressive gardens. Light
lunches, delicious
homemade cakes and local
produce are all sold at the
coach house, produced
APRIL 15
KENT
Spring Fling, plant fair
and lecture at Great
Comp Garden. Spring tree
specialist Kevin Hughes
will be giving a talk on
APRIL 21
SOMERSET
Annual West of England
Auricula and Primula
Show held by the National
Auricula and Primula
Society, with judging at
noon. Show opens to
public 2-4pm, tickets £2.
Saltford Hall, Saltford,
near Bath BS31 3BY
(01530 810522; aricula
andprimula.org.uk).
APRIL 22
CHESHIRE
from the fruit trees and
apiary at the estate. For
the full list of events,
visit holepark.com.
Arley Hall Spring Plant
Fair is a chance to browse
the stalls of specialist
nurseries selling plants
and shrubs. Plants grown
in Arley’s award-winning
gardens also on sale.
Tickets £1.50, redeemable
against entry to the
stunning gardens. The
Gardener’s Kitchen café is
open for meals or tea and
cake. Parking free, dogs
welcome on a lead.
10am-4pm, Arley Hall,
Northwich CW9 6NA
(01565 777353; arleyhall
andgardens.com).
APRIL 20-22
EAST SUSSEX
APRIL 26-29
NORTH YORKSHIRE
APRIL 14
WEST MIDLANDS
The Plant Hunters’ Fair at
Sandwell Valley Park is a
new event within the
660-acre Sandwell Valley
Country Park. Specialist
nurseries will bring
shrubs, trees, perennials,
rare species and heritage
varieties; enthusiasts are
on hand to give advice.
10am-4pm; Salters Lane,
West Bromwich B71 4BG
(01270 811443; planthunters
fairs.co.uk).
place all day, such as a
demonstration from the
Huxley Birds of Prey and
wonderful music from The
Jazz Trio. Tickets £7
adults, £3 for children.
Firle Place, Firle, Lewes,
Sussex BN8 6LP (the
gardenshowonline.com/
gardenshow_firle/).
The Spring Garden Show
returns to Firle Place for
its 11th year, bringing a
wealth of gardening
experts and specialist
growers, garden-related
goods, arts and crafts and
delicious local food.
Activities will be taking
Harrogate Spring Flower
Show, a celebration of the
best in horticulture with
spectacular show gardens,
Secret Sheds, plants, floral
art and food. Great
Yorkshire Showground,
Harrogate HG2 8NZ
(flowershow.org.uk).
STUART KIRK
CUT DOWN ON PLASTICS
Get dahlias going inside
the greenhouse for a
great display in summer.
When buying tubers,
check they are solid and
firm like good potatoes.
If you overwintered your
own, cut off any parts
that are rotting or
damaged. Plant each in a
3-5 litre pot and bury all
the connecting tubers,
with the growing point
up, just under the soil
surface. Water sparingly
until new shoots appear,
after which increase
watering. Keep cool but
frost-free and resist
feeding until planted out.
The same treatment
works well with gloriosa
lilies, such as Gloriosa
superba ‘Rothschildiana’
and even with ginger
from the supermarket.
Dahlias started early
and grown slowly make
the strongest, most
floriferous plants, and
will be less likely to need
staking (@miranda_j).
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
***
DIVIDE YOUR
FAVOURITES
TOM STUART-SMITH
GARDEN DESIGNER
This is the cusp of the
year, the point where the
garden switches from
hibernation mode to full
throttle. And it is the one
weekend that I never go
away! It is also the last
moment – at least in the
south – when you can
plant herbaceous plants
without having to water.
Divide your favourite
plants and spread them
out – it is so wonderful
when you split one plant
and get 10. If you have
one favourite, Paeonia
emodi, for example, you
can have four if you
divide it and distribute it
around the garden.
And it is a great time to
reduce the thugs that are
taking over; take this
opportunity to get rid of
some and restore the
balance. It is so easy to
have a garden which is
too much of a collection
of plants, rather than a
symphonic creation.
GARDEN SHOP
THREE PANDA-FACED WILD GINGERS
Chosen by plant hunter Lark Hanham
JOIN A COMMUNITY PROJECT
Find your nearest
Incredible Edible site
(incredibleediblenetwork.
org.uk) and join one of
their projects. If there is
nothing nearby, get in
GIVE THE LAWN SOME TLC
DAVID HEDGESGOWER, LAWN EXPERT
The weather in the run-up
to Easter this year has
been different, to say the
least. If temperatures do
creep up and we’re not
covered in snow, then the
lawn can be lightly
mowed this weekend.
As the weather
continues to improve,
some light work around
feeding, aeration and
scarification to control
thatch won’t go amiss.
But if it stays cold and
wet, there is no harm in
waiting a bit longer (david
hedges-gower.com).
GAP PHOTOS; ALAMY; GETTY IMAGES; RII SCHROER; ANDY BOAG; CHRISTOPHER JONES; MARIANNE MAJERUS
SARAH VENN OF
INCREDIBLE EDIBLE
touch and we’ll help you
to set up your own – it is a
great way to bring people
together, have fun and
grow free food. If you plan
to spend Easter in your
own garden, look for local
nurseries. They are often
open when chain nurseries
are shut and you might
pick up a gem (independent
plantnurseriesguide.uk).
Rarely offered in
the UK, the plants
nicknamed
panda-faced wild
ginger are an
unusual group of
hardy perennials,
botanically
known as
Asarum. The
genus is native to
East Asia and can
be seen among
trees and ferns on
woodland floors
where they
slowly spread
each year.
Asarums
belong to the
Aristolochiaceae
family, which
consists of about
70 species. Most
are admired for
their highly
ornamental,
glossy cyclamenlike leaves and
their bizarre
flowers, which
can be described
as velvety with
vivid black-andwhite marks,
hence the
nickname.
Asarums are
often seen on top
designers’ plant
lists for ground
cover. Over time,
they form neat
clumps of
low-growing,
robust leaves that
thrive in shade in
fertile, humusrich soil. The key
to success is to
apply lashings of
leafmould around
their crowns to
stop their shallow
rhizomatous
roots drying out.
They’re deer and
rabbit-resistant,
and also hardy to
-4F (-20C).
TAKASAGOSAISHIN
This attractive Taiwanese
asarum is admired for its
highly ornamental, glossy,
evergreen leaves and its
shimmering grey, weblike
pattern. Its habit is low and
compact, and over time its
symmetrical, heart-shaped
leaves form an attractive,
dense, evergreen ground
cover. The burgundy and
white-mottled three-lobed
flowers appear from March
until May. Height 6in (15cm).
‘GIANT’
This extra-large asarum with
almost rubbery, cyclamenmarbled foliage has giant
black flowers with
contrasting white eyes. Grow
this sought-after perennial in
a pot where you can enjoy its
handsome form as it flowers
through April and May. The
leaves look polished and the
flowers are close to the
ground above the
rhizomatous roots. Height
and spread 10in (25cm).
‘LING LING’
‘Ling Ling’ is a super specimen
for a mixed perennial
container. The forest-green
leaves are more matt than the
other two, but its white
blotches make it an appealing
cultivar. One of the easiest
asarums to grow, it works best
with specimens with dissimilar
leaves for a bold contrast.
Small brown-and-white
felt-textured flowers can be
seen through May and June.
Height and spread 6in (15cm).
HOW TO BUY
Buy the mix of three (one of each) for £12, the mix of nine (three of each) for £25 (save £11) or buy the mix of 15 (five of each) for only £37.50
(save £22.50). Plus P&P at £4.95. Supplied as young plants in 14 days. Order at gardenshop.telegraph.co.uk/asaru or call 0333 772 0325. Your
contract for the supply of goods is with Hayloft Plants Ltd. Offers subject to availability. Offer closing date is April 31 2018.
19
20
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
GARDENING
REPTON
IN VIEW
Simon Lea won
first prize in the
IGPOTY Repton
competition for
his picture of
Warley Woods
in Smethwick,
West Midlands,
left; Bridget
Davey’s shot of
The Rockery at
Woburn Abbey,
right, was highly
commended
A guided
walk with
Mr Repton
Humphry Repton’s work
is just as important and
inspiring today as it was
two centuries ago, says
Tim Richardson
IGPOTY; ALAMY
1
WHY REPTON NOW?
This year marks the bicentenary of
Humphry Repton’s death in 1818. The
Gardens Trust is co-ordinating a
programme of exhibitions, talks, walks
and conferences called Repton200
(visit thegardenstrust.org).
Over a 30-year career, Repton
designed more than 400 gardens
including Longleat (Wiltshire), Woburn
Abbey (Bedfordshire) and Russell
Square (London). His signature style
comprised rolling parkland and
decorous clumps of trees, with the
addition of flower gardens,
conservatories, formal
terraces and shrubberies
near the house. Such
ornamental elements had
been missing in the gardens
of Capability Brown. Repton
believed that this allowed for
a gentler transition from
house to garden, arguing
that a clear separation
between the agricultural
landscape and the house was
a necessity. Repton
suggested that more formal
garden areas created a kind
of “buffer zone” between a
house and its garden or park.
This became a key tenet of
Regency garden style.
2
REPTON THE
ENTREPRENEUR
Repton only decided to move into
landscape design when he was 36,
following several false starts in other
businesses. He successfully established
The red book was
probably the most
original ‘selling
tool’ ever devised
himself as both a theorist and as a
practical landscape designer,
marketing himself as the “heir” to
Brown and distributing business cards
that advertised his services as a
“landscape gardener” (he was the first
to “brand” himself in this way).
Unlike Brown, who never wrote
any books and was notoriously
reticent about explaining the ideas
behind his work, Repton published
several important books which
remained influential long after his
death – notably in the United States,
where these publications provided
a key to the “landscape style” for the
many designers who could not come
to England to see “the picturesque”
at first hand.
Repton’s writings betray a
confidence which could be
interpreted as arrogance or
bumptiousness, especially by those
clients who were implicitly criticised
in print for failing to realise or
maintain his design ideas as he had
envisaged.
RED
3 THE
BOOKS
Probably Repton’s greatest innovation
was not a landscape feature, but a way
of selling his ideas to potential clients.
He devised a way of presenting his
plans using unique “before and after”
watercolour images, beautifully bound
in red leather (hence the term Red
Book). A single or double-page would
depict a “before” scene of a particular
part of the estate. However, on closer
inspection the reader would find that
the watercolour incorporated a flap of
paper that could be pulled back to
reveal the designer’s proposed
changes painted beneath – whether
that be the addition of a picturesque
lake and bridge, the serpentining of an
entrance drive or the inclusion of a
clump of trees for dramatic effect.
The Red Book was probably the
most original “selling tool” ever
devised by a landscape designer. Many
English houses still have a Red Book
on the shelves of the library – whether
Far-seeing: theodolite at Woburn Abbey
the family ultimately employed
Repton to carry out the work or not.
VERSUS
4 REPTON
CAPABILITY BROWN
Landscape consultant and historian
John Phibbs is best placed to make a
judgment on the relative merits of the
two designers. He published a pair of
books about Brown in 2016 (his
tercentenary year) and is currently
working on two books about Repton,
which will appear in 2020 and 2021.
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
***
IN HIGH
PLACES
the defects of every situation.
Secondly, it should give the
appearance of extent and freedom by
carefully disguising or hiding the
boundary. Thirdly, it must studiously
conceal every interference of art.
However expensive by which the
natural scenery is improved; making
the whole appear the production of
nature only; and fourthly, all objects
of mere convenience or comfort, if
incapable of being made ornamental,
or of becoming proper parts of the
general scenery, must be removed
or concealed.”
Observations on the Theory and
Practice of Landscape Gardening (1803)
‘E’,
6 NOPLEASE
It is the most
common mistake
made in gardening
history: writing
“Humphrey”
instead of
Humphry. It’s
one quick way
of ascertaining
whether a
self-described
“garden historian”
knows what they are talking about.
The Gardens Trust even considered
making promotional badges reading,
“It’s Humphry – without an E”.
Humphry was a common spelling
in the 18th and 19th centuries: the
chemist Humphry Davy, for example.
7 REPTON AND AUSTEN
“Brown’s landscapes can be
described as rational,” he explains.
“They were all about forms and
shapes. Repton’s landscape style was
endeavouring to elicit an emotional
response, especially as his career went
on. By the time you get to Endsleigh
[in Devon], you have the Dingle, which
is really a garden of sound – with all
the cascades around you, it’s like a
sound organ. It’s a very atmospheric
place. The same is true of Repton’s use
of ‘the burst’: whenever he could, he
arranged it so that the way you first
saw the house was immediately after
coming through an area of dark
woodland. This was designed to build
up an emotional response. Brown
never did anything like that.”
The novelist was well aware of the
activities of the celebrated landscape
gardener, not least because he had
been commissioned to produce a Red
Book for Stoneleigh Abbey, in
Warwickshire, the seat of her mother’s
family. The plans were never executed.
In chapter six of Mansfield Park,
Jane Austen treats of the Repton style
in customarily ironic vein. Mr
Rushworth tells of the effects of an
“improver” on a neighbouring estate
MASTERS OF
LANDSCAPE
8
DIFFERING VIEWS
Busts of Brown, above and
Repton, below, for the garden
Moving plants mid-flower may go against the grain for
some, but it’s a risk worth taking, says Stephen Lacey
T
BEST REPTON
GARDENS TO VISIT
While some of the detail of Repton’s
designs – the flower gardens near the
house, the shrubberies – have perhaps
inevitably been lost in most cases, we
can still appreciate the broader sweeps
of his vision: the tree plantings, the
siting of lakes, the dramatic routing of
entrance drives and the sudden vistas.
Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, is perhaps
the most intact Repton landscape open
to the public. Sheringham Hall,
Norfolk, is a memorable maritime
garden. Endsleigh, Devon, is now a
secluded and exclusive hotel. Port Eliot,
Cornwall, hosts a well-heeled music
and literary festival.
EVENTS
9 REPTON
IN 2018
Alan Titchmarsh is a great
admirer of Repton and has
a bust of the designer in his
own garden. Anyone who
wants to emulate him
might like to consider a
new Repton bust which
has been produced by
Haddonstone, £399. A bust
of Capability Brown is also
available for the same price
(haddonstone.com).
ON
5 REPTON
HIS OWN STYLE
“The perfection of landscape
gardening consists in the four
following requisites. First, it must
display the natural beauties and hide
P E R S O NA L
G ROW T H
and how his own estate at Sotherton
suffers by comparison: “It wants
improvement, ma’am, beyond
anything. I never saw a place that
wanted so much improvement in my
life; and it is so forlorn that I do not
know what can be done with it.”
“Your best friend upon such an
occasion,” said Miss Bertram calmly,
“would be Mr Repton, I imagine.”
Outdoor theatre: a winding drive at Uppark House was a Repton signature
… Humphry Repton: Art & Nature
for the Duke of Bedford at Woburn
Abbey (until Oct 28) is an exhibition
documenting Repton’s work for the
Russell family (who also commissioned
his work at Endsleigh). The Woburn
Red Book (1804) was the most
elaborate he ever produced and will be
on display for the first time.
(woburnabbey.co.uk).
… Repton Revived, an exhibition of
Red Books, designs and watercolours
by Humphry Repton, is at the Garden
Museum, London from Oct 17-Feb 3,
2019. The exhibition brings together
the greatest number of Red Books for
more than 30 years.
… Rethinking Repton is an exhibition
at the RHS Lindley Library in London,
May 3-June 22, a collaboration with
third year students on Writtle
University College’s Landscape
Architecture and Garden Design
course, that looks afresh at his
gardening principles.
… Repton Rides, led by Tatton Park’s
head gardener, Simon Tetlow, is a
unique opportunity to see Repton’s
design of 1792 by guided cycle ride at
Tatton Park, Cheshire on April 18.
… The Celebrating Repton Family
Picnic, with Northamptonshire
Gardens Trust at Wicksteed Park,
Northamptonshire, is on June 30.
… Winners of the 2018 International
Garden Photographer of the Year
Repton Competition will be on show
at Sheringham, Norfolk, from Sept 2 to
Oct 29 (igpoty.com).
CHRISTOPHER JONES
The Duchess of
Bedford and
garden manager
Martin Towsey
with Repton’s
Red Book for
Woburn Abbey,
below left;
rhododendrons
at Sheringham
Park, Norfolk,
below right
he tolerance of plants
is remarkable, not
just to yo-yoing
temperatures but
to the rude incursions of
gardeners. Flowering on a
balmy morning, with the
pleasurable tickle of a visiting
bee on their pollen-coated
anthers, suddenly they get a
fork speared through their
roots and they are catapulted
skywards.
I have just been moving
hellebores. Many growers do
not consider this the optimal
time for this job (which is early
autumn), but it suits me.
Moving plants around when
they are in flower saves you
having to rely on a dodgy
memory: you see exactly
where you want them and how
they will look. So, if I think I
th it, I do.
can get away with
I am moving the
m
hellebores from
h
under the beech
trees where
shade and
drought
have started
to affect their
performance.
e
Vine weevils are
e, I
also active there,
have been slow to
realise; for a couple of years,
hostas and ferns have been
weakening, too. Now is the
perfect time for a counterattack with nematodes, and I
have just sent off for some.
Meanwhile, a second wave
of box blight has hit me, this
time on the fat globes and
5ft-high cones that structure
the beds around a small
circular lawn. Early last
autumn I came back from a
week away to find grey
patches, and within days it
was spreading wildly. The
worst-affected topiaries I
extracted immediately; the
remaining bushes I will
monitor but fear they will also
be gone by the year’s end.
It is a lightly shaded area,
and as substitutes I thought I
would try the looser evergreen
shapes of Osmanthus delavayi
– smaller and slower growing
than O. x burkwoodii, but with
similar tiny leaves and white
flowers – and Tasmannia
(formerly Drimys) lanceolata,
which has attractive red stems
and creamy flowers (it can be
clobbered in a freakishly cold
winter, so fingers crossed).
But some gaps I will leave
open, and it is here I am
installing the hellebores. After
moving and/or dividing they
invariably take a year’s
sabbatical, but then bloom
again robustly – especially
with the TLC of chicken
manure pellets and
mushroom compost now, and
a couple of liquid feeds in
early September. With them
are clumps of snowdrops and
crocuses that I have been
splitting for the past month or
two. I have also started to add
spring bulbs.
In a stuffed
stuff garden like
min
mine, it is hopeless
w
wandering around
with bulbs in the
autumn, trying to
rremember where
th
there are spaces.
Ev
Every spade inserted
int
into the soil
pro
produces a ghastly
cru
crunch from a bulb
alre
already present. So I
plant all my bulbs in small
pots, and as they come into
flower in the spring, I gently
decant them. For big bulbs
that like to grow deep, you
can plunge the pots a few
inches below ground for the
winter, lined up in the veg
patch, say; or you can just
plant the bulbs a bit deeper
when you turn them out of
their pots, as I do.
A few dozen pots of Scilla
siberica are already planted,
united into rivulets of rich
blue. They are echoing the
pools of bicoloured blue grape
hyacinth, Muscari latifolium,
that has naturalised the other
side of the path. And now I am
putting in daffodils – the large
ivory-coloured ‘Mount Hood’.
I thought I would also try
the damson allium, A.
atropurpureum. Its cousins,
‘Purple Sensation’ and A.
cristophii do well here in light
shade – I wonder if it will, too…
21
22
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
GARDENING
KATE SAVILL
Green fingers
with a gold touch
Artisan garden design, Chelsea 2018,
above; Radio 2 Chelsea 2017, right
A new generation of garden designers is making waves – so look
out for some fresh faces at Chelsea this year. By Annie Gatti
MICHAEL McGARR
The cactus-filled Future Spaces garden
won a gold medal at Tatton Park 2017
I
t’s an exciting time to be a
young garden designer.
The market is buoyant:
there are plenty of home
owners who want stylish
outdoor rooms to complement their revamped interiors and are prepared to
pay decent money for them. But the
attractions of this career – creativity,
working with plants, running your
own business, building relationships
with clients – also mean that there is
plenty of competition. So how can
aspiring young designers make their
mark? And where do they want to take
garden design?
The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park is
a good place to start as it hosts the
Young Designer of the Year competition, which has kick-started the careers
of Hugo Bugg, Tony Woods, Sam Ovens and Tamara Bridge, all of whom
now run their own studios.
Last year the award was won by Lithuanian Ula Maria Bujauskaite, 25, who
HOW TO
GET ON
WILL WILLIAMS
trained in landscape architecture in
Birmingham. Her winning garden
(shown far right) was a confident marriage of a contemporary office structure with naturalistic planting set in a
sandy, gravelly landscape. Like many
other young talents, she looks to natural landscapes, rather than to the work
of established designers, for inspiration – her Tatton garden echoed elements of the Baltic coastline of her
childhood holidays.
Bujauskaite, who explored the role
of gardens and landscape in palliative
care for her master’s degree, is one of a
growing band of young designers who
wants to make gardens that have an
added dimension. “I think it’s really important that designers help people connect with nature,” she says. “I like to
make spaces that become part of
people’s lives.”
A commitment to making sustainable gardens is also a driver for young
designers. Whether it’s natural and
long-lasting materials, water manage-
The Summer in Sussex garden won
silver at Hampton Court in 2016
ment, biodiversity or native planting,
they research, they experiment, and
it’s a noticeable shift away from the
“design for design’s sake” approach.
As veteran designer Jo Thompson
observes: “When I was training, in my
mid-30s, the word sustainability was
mentioned a few times but at that time,
things were imposed on the landscape.
Now designers are much more aware
of touching the ground lightly, of planting that doesn’t look over-designed.”
Another winner at Tatton was Michael McGarr, 32, whose Future Spaces
design (top left) challenged visitors to
think about the gardens we need to
make to withstand extreme weather.
His split-level rain garden, described
by designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin as
“the best show garden I’ve seen in
years in this country”, combined exotics, including mature cacti and yuccas,
with more familiar species such as alder and birch, all chosen for their ability to cope with extreme conditions.
Bespoke sculptural rusted steel struc-
… Get some professional
training (check out the
Society of Garden
Designers, sgd.org.uk,
for advice on how to
choose a course) and
continue to build your
skills after graduating.
… Spend time working
for an experienced
designer, learning how to
run a design studio and
win projects.
… Get first-hand
experience with a
landscaper of how to
build a garden.
… Hone your CAD skills.
… Boost your planting
design knowledge by
taking a planting design
course or working in a
specialist nursery.
… Use social media,
especially Instagram,
Pinterest and specialist
apps like Houzz to get
your name out there.
… Network locally.
tures provided alternative greenhouses. McGarr, who runs a studio in
Wigan, thinks that food is key to connecting people, especially the younger
generation, with the outdoors.
“It’s up to garden and product designers to take the kitchen garden of
yesteryear and recreate it in smaller
gardens,” he says. “We are experimenting with aquaponics and hydroponics,
and growing edibles on green walls.”
Tom Massey, 31, who won the Society
of Garden Designers’ Student Design of
the Year in 2015, shares a love of ornamental and native grasses with many of
his generation, who have moved away
from the clipped shapes of classic design to more naturalistic plantings. For
Massey’s gold medal Sanctuary Garden
for Perennial at Hampton Court 2017 he
wove calamagrostis and molinia grasses
through bands of colour-themed
perennials, creating a relaxed rhythm
through the spiral design. It’s that
combination of contemporary elements
with naturalistic planting that appeals
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
***
TONY WOODS
says Wilson. “Instead, young people
are often choosing a shared route to an
end result.”
For newly qualified designers, working with a fellow designer or landscaper is a way of combining skills to
make something bigger and more exciting. Bristol-based Kate Savill, 29,
learned the workings of a busy studio
with Adam Frost. Last summer she collaborated on a design for BBC Radio 2
Ebb & Flow garden, Chelsea 2018,
at Chelsea with Tamara Bridge, whom
above; John Lewis roof garden, right
she met when she
was a finalist of
the 2015 RHS
Young Designer
his age, also left school at 16. He got
competition. They
landscaping experience and, having
are planning more
saved half the fees (his parents paid the
joint projects in
remainder), then became the London
the future.
College of Garden Design’s youngest
Savill believes
diploma student. Assured and ambitious, he attributes the take-off of his
working in Frost’s
business to the exposure he got from
studio was an
his first Hampton Court Show garden
essential top-up
in 2016, an urban garden inspired by
after her horticultural training and
walks along the South Downs (pictured
she still does visubottom left). “The shows are
als for him, part
great publicity in terms of
time. Annie Guilthe public but they also get
foyle, head of deyour name out to the trade,”
sign at KLC for 18
he says.
years, recommends this approach.
Tutor Andrew Wilson,
“I always encourage my students to
who spotted Williams’ drive
work in a practice for as long as they
at interview, sees a confidence in the younger genercan,” she says. “There is so much to
ation that was not so evident
learn in this profession that it makes
when he was starting up.
sense to spend time in a large studio
“My generation said, ‘Well I
before branching out.”
might finally be good enough
But ambitious young designers are
to get to Chelsea’ but this
impatient to make their own gardens.
generation says, ‘Why can’t I
Massey, who is making a show garden
get there now?’”
for the Lemon Tree Trust at Chelsea
A website, says Wilson, is
2018, eased himself into running his
Winner of the Tatton Park Young
no longer enough to get your
own practice by working for a studio
Designer of the Year award, 2017
name known, and work rolltwo days a week. “That’s the ideal,” he
ing in. Creating show garsays. “I was lucky, some designers
dens,
doing
pop-ups,
don’t allow you to work on
to sponsors and commercial clients.
festivals and community events such as
your own stuff.’
So, when John Lewis was canvassing Chelsea Fringe, and using social media
One of the hardest things
ideas for its Oxford Street store’s roof- are the ways forward. Instagram is the
to learn on a design course,
top, it was a pop-up garden full of eco essential platform for aspiring designhe says, is the software. As a
elements such as green walls and roofs, ers – it’s visual and, says Bujauskaite
result, those who have masrecycled materials and repurposed con- who already has close to 2,000 followtered it are snapped up by
tainers, that its designer, Tony Woods, ers, it allows you to express your perestablished designers, many
then 29, felt would draw in a younger sonality – with Twitter and Pinterest
of whom still prefer to hand
audience. Three years on, the expanded useful seconds.
draw. Massey, who tutors in
garden is framed with native hedging,
CAD (computer-aided deThis generation of designers are also
planters are filled with pollen and nec- much more likely to collaborate. “The
sign), is excited by its potentar-rich shrubs and flowers, and there old idea of, ‘I’m the prime designer and
tial. “The technology we
are even strips of wildflower meadow I know what I want’ has been shed,”
have now, such as augoutside the boundary hedge.
mented reality or SketchUp
Woods left school at 16 and took a
3D models of gardens, can
practical route to becoming a designer,
show clients how their garwhich included working for a nursery
den will look at 4pm on a Dewith a catalogue of 15,000 plants and
cember afternoon. That’s
learning to abseil. It’s finally paid off –
only going to improve.”
his design and build company, which
There’s no doubt that beemploys 14 people, last summer coming tech-savvy is a key skill,
pleted London’s first pontoon floating
but what marks out these
pocket park at Paddington Basin.
successful designers is their
Will Williams, who at 22 is already
passion for plants and drive
Design for Chelsea 2018, above; gold
running his own studio and winning
to make gardens that bring
medal winner at Hampton Court, left
commissions against designers twice
people closer to nature.
CHELSEA
U P DAT E
From invasive species to a recycled garden, here’s a roundup of what to look for at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018
NEW FROM HARDY’S
TOM MASSEY
JMA PHOTOGRAPHY; CAROLYN HUGHES; JASON INGRAM; MMGI/MARIANNE MAJERUS; TIM HOWELL; BRITT WILLOUGHBY DYER
ULA MARIA
BUJAUSKAITE
A slew of exciting new plants
arrive at Chelsea every year –
and Hardy’s Cottage Plants
will bring some of the best, as
they have done for the past
30 years. One of their latest
introductions is Polemonium
yezoense ‘Kaleidoscope’
(above). The foliage emerges
cream flushed, deep pink and
red, and matures to bronze
green with creamy yellow
variegation, maintaining a
pink flush. Its purple-blue
flowers reach 24in (60cm) tall
and it makes a good compact
plant for the front of a sunny
or partially shaded border, or
in a container.
Ranelagh Gardens. Louise
Gardiner was commissioned
by Pukka Herbs to produce a
layered appliqué-embroidered
garment that, fittingly in the
centenary year of votes for
some women, aims to capture
all that is feminine, powerful
and potent about womankind,
and encourage creativity, by
highlighting our important
connection with the soil
through the magic of herbs
and plants. The “Cape of
Empowerment” was
influenced by her experience
of teaching her skills to
women across the world.
WELL-BEING IN PLANTS
The theme of wellness and the
mood and health-boosting
properties of plants has been a
persistent one at Chelsea for a
few years – it’s the message
the RHS has chosen for its
INVASIVES ON SHOW
Also in the Great Pavilion,
with Japanese knotweed the
new bogey plant for home
owners with an eye on their
insurance premiums, the
Property Care Association
promises a garden of invasive
plants, “The Enemy Within”,
to raise awareness of the
problem of garden escapees.
own plot on Main Avenue by
designer Matt Keightley.
In the Great Pavilion,
Indoor Garden Design has
announced a collaboration
with Ikea for an open-plan
home office installation that
showcases the healing power
of plants (above). Expect
trendy house plants and
creative display ideas.
THE WESTON GARDEN
Expect to see buddleia and
montbretia (above), sharing
the naughty step with
Japanese knotweed.
HERBAL ART
The Artisan Studios are a new
niche at Chelsea, clustered in
Multiple gold medallist
designer Tom Stuart-Smith
makes a low-key but no doubt
electrifying return to Chelsea
with a garden in the Great
Pavilion to celebrate the 60th
anniversary of arts charity the
Garfield Weston Foundation.
He promises that everything
to the smallest item is
recycled and, unusually, the
public will have full access.
23
24
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
T WO H O U R S
ON THE
VEG PLOT
HELEN YEMM
THORNY
PROBLEMS
PRICKLY
BUSINESS
Give shrub roses
a hard prune to
remove any
diseased shoots
Add colour to meals with edible flower
power, says Jack Wallington
STAY SAFE WITH BAMBOO
I want to grow some bamboo plants for
screening purposes in my small town
garden, but I don’t want to get it wrong.
Would it be safer to grow them in pots?
SUE BERRY – VIA EMAIL
Yes, to be on the safest of safe sides,
you could consider growing your
screening plants in large containers
(heavy wooden tubs suits them well),
in which they would be happy for
several years. The containers will
give the plants additional height, so
you could perhaps go for one of the
smaller, most delicate-leafed fargesia
tribe (F. nitida is upright while F.
murielae is weepy).
Taller, slightly more bulky
bamboos that provide good screens
are found in the genus Phyllostachys.
These can also be grown in
containers, but because they form
looser clumps they will only be happy
in containers for five years or so.
Neither of these is invasive,
however, so if you plant them in the
ground and annually “groom” them
(removing about one third of the
oldest stems every year or so once
they are well established) they stay
where they are put. Phyllostachys
nigra has stems that turn jet-black
with age. Equally fetching is goldenstemmed P. aurea. Both of these
look particularly good if their lower
side-shoots are cleanly removed to
show off their true colours.
BADGER BOTHER
The lawn in my north-facing garden has
been dug up by badgers that have evaded
all my attempts to block their entry. Is
there any way to deter them?
SUE WILKINSON – VIA EMAIL
I wish I could offer an easy solution to
this problem, but there simply does
LETTER OF THE WEEK
RESCUE FOR ROSES
For Andrea and Chris
Brown, here are some
guidelines for rescuing
sickly and timidly pruned
modern shrub roses.
Start by giving the roses
a severe prune to remove
the woodiest, most
diseased and unproductive
old shoots from as close to
the ground as possible.
Strong loppers or a
pruning saw, used with
considerable resolve, may
be necessary for this.
If there remain any
younger, green shoots,
completely remove any
that are drinkingstraw thin, and, using
secateurs, cut the rest back
to within a few inches of
the base, to a point just
above a leaf scar (which
may be hard to find) that
faces the outward side of
what will be a renewed
bush once it recovers
(think of a candelabrashape, if it helps).
Hard pruning will
have removed a lot of
diseased material, but you
will do well to spray
preventively throughout
TIP OF THE WEEK
Untidy but
still-green
penstemon stems
still standing from
last year have been
protecting tiny
shoots at the base
of their semiwoody framework
that will grow and
flower in July. Now
is the time to cut
back that old
growth – and also
any remaining
stems of big
sedums and
deciduous grasses.
the coming season, with a
systemic fungicide (such as
Fungus Fighter Plus), once
the new shoots start to
appear from the leaf scars,
and hopefully also from
just above the graft (the
knobbly joint twixt stem
and root) in due course.
Then drench the soil
with Uncle Tom’s Rose
Tonic, from garden centres
or naturalgardensolutions.
com. (Get past the slightly
folksy name: this stuff,
used either as a soil drench
or spray, really boosts rose
health/strength and is
not seem to be one. So, I’m clutching
at straws on your behalf, somewhat:
The fact that your stripy visitors are
only destroying the lawn suggests
that they are after worms, chafer
grubs or leatherjackets, which they
apparently adore. You could try using
a biological control for grubs and
leatherjackets at appropriate times of
the year (see greengardener.co.uk).
However, if your north-facing lawn
is shady and damp, it is most probably
worms they are after. A spray-on-tograss product (CastClear) that sends
worms elsewhere is unlikely to help
– worms are hardly likely to just pop
conveniently back over the boundary
into Badgerland. Then there is the
slightly indelicate suggestion (often
put forward) of dousing your
boundary in human urine. I fear none
of these rather desperate measures is
recommended by leading
UK rose breeders).
Follow this with a good
dollop of organic matter
(rotted manure or
compost) around the base
of each rose, taking care
not to bury the graft. Keep
an eye on new buds,
rubbing off with finger
and thumb any “doubles”,
or those that will create
branches shooting off in
the “wrong” direction (it’s
that candelabra thing
again) and thus avoiding
pruning dilemmas in
the future.
likely to put off a determined brock
family. (Readers, any real success
stories would be welcome.)
A more reliable deterrent would
cost more money, of course, involving
the installation of a 30in (70cm)-high
mains or battery-powered electric
mesh fence, which delivers a shock
just powerful enough to deter but not
cause real harm. You could talk to the
people at electricfencing.co.uk.
SEND YOUR QUESTIONS
Write: Gardening, The Daily Telegraph,
111 Buckingham Palace Road,
London SW1W 0DT
Tweet: @TeleGardening
Email: helen.yemm@telegraph.co.uk
For more tips and advice from Helen Yemm,
visit telegraph.co.uk/authors/helen-yemm
Helen Yemm can answer questions only
through this column.
ALAMY
GAP PHOTOS
This week: how to rescue ailing shrub
roses, buy the right bamboo for a small
garden, and how to banish badgers
Tasty mouthfuls: striking courgette flowers
As a distinctly mediocre cook, I always look
for ways to improve my rather average
meals. Recently I was served a starter
garnished with viola flowers – passers-by
could hear the light bulb switch on in my
head. Violas are for sale in nurseries now,
so plant them in pots for months of colour
and use a few to decorate an Easter meal.
Edible flowers aren’t a shallow exercise
in looks – they have depth of flavour and
texture. I grow nasturtium ‘Alaska Series’
on my allotment, adding the flowers and
variegated leaves to salads for a peppery
taste. Calendula (pot marigold) petals are
similar, in different shades of orange, I
grow ‘Sherbert Fizz’. Discard the bitter
centre and sprinkle the petals on salads.
Sow seeds of these annuals outside this
week and they’ll self-sow for years to come
(thompson-morgan.com).
In summer, the chunky petals of daylilies
or courgettes create a mouthwatering
talking point. Borage, rosemary and chive
flowers all make great additions to salads,
sandwiches and sauces and are a mild
alternative to the leaves.
Moving on to dessert, flowers to sprinkle
on cake, ice cream and yogurt include
dianthus, monarda, roses and Lonicera
japonica, the honeysuckle species. All are
perennials, buy and plant them now
(burncoose.co.uk, crocus.co.uk). For a
parma violet flavour try Pelargonium
‘Attar of Roses’ (fibrex.co.uk). Adventurous
gardeners can eat the fleshy petals of
pineapple guava, a small tree, for a
delicious fruity flavour. Those of smaller
pineapple sage are similar.
Not all flowers are edible, so only nibble
those recommended by trusted sources and
even then, do a taste test. I once ate the
flowers of a Begonia rex, which began
sweet but left a rather strange aftertaste.
Jack blogs at jackwallington.com; Twitter
@jackwallington; Instagram; @jackjjw
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
S
FEATURES
THE
DA D
B E AT
Harry de Quetteville’s tales from
the fatherhood front line
PLAYING IT
STRAIGHT
T
he desire to be a
performer has been
with me since I was a
little boy. I lived in a
fantasy world and I
loved using my
imagination. I
was fascinated by
trains and so in my little
garden in Grantham,
Lincolnshire, where I
grew up, I would have a
make-believe train where
I acted out all the parts:
the driver, the guard
signalling with his flag,
and the train moving off. I
also used to perform little
plays in the nursery, much
to my parents’
bewilderment. They
thought I was a bit odd,
because they were such
down-to-earth people, as
did my siblings, who used
to say, “he’s not like one of
us, is he?”
I remember the first
time I was taken to see the
travelling circus when it
came to Grantham. If those circus
people had said, “would you like to
run away with us?” I think I would
have gone. That was when I first
thought I wanted to be an actor; not a
star or a celebrity, just someone who
performed. Even now I’ve achieved
that dream and I am well known, I
don’t think of myself as a star. I’m just
so happy that at my advanced age
people still want me to perform.
In September 1939 I was on the cusp
of a wave; I was nearly 16, I’d just got
my colours for cricket and rugby and
boxing at St Paul’s School in London
and I’d been offered the lead in the
school play and I was very excited. But
then war came. My parents took me
away from school and sent me to a
ghastly place in north London for the
rest of the school year until I passed
my school leavers’ certificate. My
Parsons (r) with
his family as a
child, above
left; receiving
his OBE in 2004
with his wife,
Ann, below
ANDREW CROWLEY; BBC; IAN JONES
What would your
younger self make
of your life today?
I F I C O U L D S E E M E N OW
NICHOLAS
PA R S O N S
clocks and
mechanical
things – but the
desire to act
didn’t go away. I
would slip off
9 4 , br o a d ca s t e r a n d a c t o r
after a day’s
work or at
weekends to do
impersonations
parents asked me what I wanted to do, for the Scottish Command’s troop
and I replied that I would be an actor.
entertainment, or local radio
They thoughtt that was ridiculous.
broadcasts and amateur productions.
ncle got me a position
Instead my uncle
appr
At the end of my apprenticeship,
I
alled Drysdale’s, which
with a firm called
paren “I did that
told my parents,
made pumps for ships on the
for you, now I’m going to be
Clyde. It was unbelievable; I
an actor.” Th
They were
didn’t know what they were
horrified.
talking aboutt to begin with.
f
The next few
years, in the
d, because of
But I survived,
late Forties and early
stinct: you have
my acting instinct:
r
Fifties, repping
for a
pport with
to create a rapport
theatre in Bromley,
ce and get
your audience
Kent, were hard. I
them on yourr side. I
would be performing
ne of the
remember one
diffe
a different
play in the
g to me and
chaps coming
aftern
afternoon
and
re OK,
saying: “You’re
evenin for six days a
evening
Nick, you’re OK. You
w one day off
week, with
gh.”
make us laugh.”
where I learnt all my
I did enjoy the
lines for the next
ip – I still
apprenticeship
B it was where
week. But
g with
like tinkering
m craft. And
I learnt my
If the forecasters are right, you will be up
to your knees in snow as you read this.
Happy Easter!
I am livid. Were it not for the fact that my
reptilian constitution means I effectively
shut down in the cold, I would be
delivering an animated protest at the very
highest level. And will no one think of the
garden! For the third time in as many
months, our tiny shrublings – fatally
deceived by a burst of spring-like warmth
– will be walloped by frost. Farewell,
salvias. Nice to know you, geraniums.
Mother Nature, eh? La donna è mobile.
The monsters are as bemused as the
blooms. One day we trot off to the park as
though preparing to join Shackleton’s
expedition, swaddled in oilskins and
strapping a hot water bottle to each hand.
The next they tug frantically at zips and
buttons to strip to their T-shirts in the
sudden sun. All children’s clothing ought
to come with rip-cords, frankly.
Sure, I am a temperature freak, scarfwrapped in June. Absolutely, I admit it’s
Forget geo-thermal power,
let's hook up our underfives to the national grid
after lots of sitting in impresarios’
offices, pleading to have an audition, I
gradually started getting jobs.
Some of the jobs I’ve had over the
years have been significant, like The
Arthur Haynes Show, which actually
started very badly before going on to be
the top comedy show on independent
television. That was the turning point
of my professional life. Because of that
success I became known nationally. I
became the quizmaster for Sale of the
Century, which was very successful for
14 years. But after it finished, people
had pigeonholed me as a quiz show
host and it took a while for my acting
career to progress again.
I’m still doing Just a Minute, which
started in 1967. At first I didn’t want
the job of chairman, I wanted to be on
the panel. But I stepped in as a favour.
I must have done something right
because I’m still doing it. I also have a
one-man show that I go around the
country with.
What makes me want to perform at
my advanced years is the same desire I
had when I was a little boy: I like being
in front of an audience. If they’re having
fun and laughing, then I’m happy.
Interview by Jessica Salter
odd that the ring finger on my right hand
only thaws out between mid-July and late
August. But isn’t it weirder just how much
heat all toddlers seem to chuck out? Our
tiny humans have to triple their height in a
mere 15 years, yet they’ve always got
energy to burn. Forget geo-thermal power,
let’s hook up the nation’s under-fives to the
national grid, I say, we’d be toasty.
After that age, though, the universalities
of infancy end. It’s happening now, with
Mole. Quite suddenly he has stretched out,
angular, long and thin, his profile sharp
and grown-up where Cosmic still has
round baby-traces in face and limb.
Last weekend, their legs, slight and
sturdy, blurred through the kitchen doors
into the garden as though a secret chamber
to the house had been rediscovered.
“Is spring the first season, Daddy?” asked
Mole, always keen to pin life down.
“I think so, Moley.”
“And then summer?”
“Oh yes. Then summer.”
“Can we get the paddling pool out?”
Cosmic chipped in, a little premature.
Beloved and I pootled about, noting the
tiny green shoots indicating the garden’s
survivors. The boys happily turned their
own circuits. It’s always easier out here.
Aren’t we all ready to pack winter away?
***
25
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
OPEN ROAD
SHINING
EXAMPLE
Car grooming
expert Karl
Heath’s hard
work pays off
Spring into
action with a
bucket and
sponge
Jeremy Taylor meets the car-washer who
advises royalty to find out how to clean his
classic Land Rover – without damaging it
JOHN LAWRENCE FOR THE TELEGRAPH
26
I
t used to be the weekend
ritual – as much a part of
the routine as mowing the
lawn and a Sunday roast.
Now washing the car has
virtually disappeared off
our driveways – consigned
to the metal dustbin of
nostalgia along with Raleigh Chopper
bikes and glass milk bottles.
Back in the Seventies and Eighties,
applying a bucket of soapy water and a
sponge to the family saloon in all
weathers was regarded as a sign of
manliness. Today a third of men and
three-quarters of women surveyed
admit they have never cleaned a car in
their life. Washing
the car used to be
a chore to some
and a labour of
love for others.
Whether it was
the inexplicable
joy of polishing a
chrome bumper,
or the time-consuming struggle
to extract dirt
from an intricate
alloy wheel, Sunday morning with
a hosepipe was a
way of life.
Nowadays, we
take the easy
route – often paying for our motors to be pampered at
pop-up car washes. Hundreds of them
have sprung up at redundant petrol
stations, or in the far corner of supermarket car parks. Sunday shopping,
lifestyle activities and more football on
television mean we have less time to
love our cars.
Karl Heath cut his teeth washing
cars as a young boy, practising on his
grandfather’s Ford Prefect. Since then
he’s become something of a jet-setting
jet-washer expert, flying around the
world as Autoglym’s international
technical services manager.
He’s cleaned cars and trained people
to do the same for the King of Thailand,
the late Queen Mother and a host of
celebrities. Among his most satisfying
jobs were polishing Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang and giving Lady Penelope’s FAB 1
Thunderbirds’ Rolls-Royce a buffing.
Autoglym also has a Royal Warrant
to the Queen and the Prince of Wales –
Heath cleaned the Aston Martin DB6
convertible that the Duke and Duchess
of Cambridge drove out of Buckingham Palace after their wedding in 2011.
His team also teaches Royal Household
chauffeurs how to wash their cars.
His latest challenge isn’t quite up to
that level but will still demand all the
bottles of potions and lotions he keeps
in his immaculate van. My 1972 Land
Rover Series 3 lives on a farm in the
Cotswolds and has to cope with wet
dogs and children on a regular basis.
Heath’s first stop is inside my garage,
where he surveys a random collection
of cleaning products with dismay.
Many are well past their sell-by date –
some of the polishes have separated
like rancid milk. He even uses an alkaline tester to see if my usual shampoo
JET SET
Heath applies a
foam mix to the
paintwork and
leaves it on for 10
minutes to lift the
top layer of dirt.
Above, he vacuums
dirt from around
the engine bay
TOP TIPS FROM A
CAR-WASHING
EXPERT
…
Soften
dried-on bird
droppings with
a damp cloth
first to avoid
scratching the
paintwork.
…
An automotive
air blower will
dry a car in
minutes but can
costs hundreds
of pounds. A dog
hairdryer does
the same job
and is cheaper.
…
Always use
clean clothes
when polishing
your car and
machinewash them
afterwards.
…
Resist the
temptation to
polish a car in
bright sunlight
– products cure
more quickly
when heated
and are much
harder to
remove.
…
Use cotton
buds to clean
inside
dashboard air
vents and other
inaccessible
places.
could actually be
damaging
the
Land
Rover’s
paintwork.
I escape with a
ticking-off before
Heath attaches his
jet washer and
goes to work. He
says: “The days of
a bucket of water,
plus a splash of
washing-up liquid
that might actually strip the polish off paintwork,
have long gone.
Nowadays people
who clean their
cars
properly
want a system – one that involves
proper equipment and chemical
proven solutions.”
He begins by spraying the car with a
foam gun mix, left on the paintwork for
10 minutes to lift the top layer of dirt
from the surface. “It’s important not to
wipe at this stage as the abrasive dirt is
still on the bodywork,” he says.
Heath uses a jet wash to remove the
foam, which has created a Land Rovershaped snowdrift on the driveway. The
car is washed again by hand, removing
more stubborn dirt, before it is hosed
down, dried and a resin polish applied
to restore gloss to the dull surface.
“This is the bit I like the most, the
polish puts the shine back. That wonderful finish is finally sealed by applying a high-definition wax. You then
have the pleasure of standing back and
seeing your face in the paintwork. It
should last for months.”
That all sounds a little labour-intensive to me – we’ve been on the driveway for three hours – isn’t there a faster
way to put the sparkle back into your
bodywork? Heath confides a twobucket system is perfectly acceptable.
“Always use one bucket for the soapy
mix and the other just for water. After
you have dipped a sponge in the soapy
water and used it on the car, rinse it out
in the second bucket every time. It
stops the sponge becoming ingrained
with particles of dirt that can scratch
the paint.”
Heath says that despite spending his
working days polishing vehicles, he is
never tempted to visit a car wash at
the weekend. “There is a satisfaction in
doing the job properly – although I’ve
yet to persuade my son to pick up a
sponge and clean my car.”
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
***
MATERIAL WORLD
BLOWN THEIR
CHANCE
‘The days of
a bucket of
water and a
splash of
washing-up
liquid that
might
actually
strip the
polish off
paintwork
have long
gone’
HONEST JOHN
EXPERT
ADVICE
The dealer you can trust is on hand
to answer your questions on car
problems and consumer issues
DARK FOREBODINGS?
TREADING
CAREFULLY
Karl Heath hoses
down the Land
Rover’s wheels,
and, below left,
brushes dirt from
the number plate
‘BETTER TO REVIVE THAN
RESTORE’: KEEPING YOUR
CLASSIC CAR CLEAN
Is it really worth
keeping your
classic clean?
Henry Allaway
runs Universal
Classic Cars
Storage in
Hampshire
– custodian to
400 exceptional
vehicles worth
tens of millions
of pounds.
The firm’s
dehumidified
warehouse is
home to
everything from
E-type Jaguars
to modern
hypercars, with
a 60,000 sq ft
building that has
entire rooms
dedicated to
Porsche, plus
Italian and
British marques.
He says: “I
always say that it
is better to
revive than
restore – I’ve
saved customers
thousands of
pounds on
respray work
just by showing
them what is
possible with the
right cleaning
products and
techniques.
“Even the
dullest paint
can be brought
back to life. A
good detailing
job in our studio
can take up to
three days but
we’ve worked
for three weeks
on preparing
individual cars
for concours
d’élégance
d
events around
the world.”
ys
Allaway says
rs
that customers
ft
have been left
n
stunned when
en
they have seen
their revived
rst
cars for the first
ing
time. “Detailing
m in
is an art form
itself. It’s not
b
the sort of job
e
you do on the
driveway, butt
any cleaning
routine will
u
only save you
money and
effort in the
long run.”
I was forced to accelerate hard to avoid
a car wandering into my lane and my
2007 Mercedes E320 CDI belched a big
plume of smoke when I did this. It has
covered 85,000 miles but it has been
regularly maintained and is running
well. I don’t think any smoke can be a
good sign, but should I be concerned? IL
That is not surprising. It might
simply have been blowing off soot
that had collected in the rear silencer,
especially if you don’t do many long
journeys. On the flipside, it might be
due to worn injectors, failing valve
stem oil seals or, more likely, failing
turbo bearing oil seals.
HART OF THE MATTER
My Triumph Stag was registered in July
1977. When does it become eligible for
historic vehicle tax exemption? SS
It should be exempt from Vehicle
Excise Duty tomorrow (April 1).
Im
might buy a 2015 BMW 220i Active
To
o
Tourer
Sport auto with 12,000 miles,
on owner and full main dealer
one
history,
for £19,750. It has £7,475
his
worth
wort of extras but will the fact it
has clo
cloth seats affect its future
resale va
value, given that BMW is
a premium brand? JG
The supplying dealer
of my daughter’s Audi
A1 said there would
be a charge of £52 to
replace a blown rear
light bulb – a new bulb
was £3.60, and I would
d
have to book the car in for
o do
the job. Not being able to
it myself because of
ent
arthritis, an independent
bodyshop did the job in 10
minutes and refused to
or the
th
he
accept payment, even for
n
bulb. Once her service plan
ve the
has expired, we will give
main dealer a wide berth. Is
this a good idea? GR
Not in an Active Tourer,
which is more of a mini-MPV.
And quite a lot of people
actually
actua prefer cloth seats. Take
those extras with a pinch of salt.
Some
Som BMWs and Audis require at
least
lea £10,000 to be spent to bring
t
them
up to standard Kia levels...
CURRENT RANGE
Nothing like this surprises
me. There are some very
greedy and short-sighted
dealer groups.
use of its reliabilit
l
of keeping it because
reliability
w mileage. Is there
and the relatively low
ncerned about
anything I need to be concerned
in the near future? DF
RETURN TO VENDOR
ions-compliant,
It won’t be EU6 emissions-compliant,
alised for
so you face being penalised
ntres from late
entering some city centres
next year. It would be a good idea
o drive it de
ecent
regularly to
decent
o
distances off 50 miles or
ep the DPF
more to keep
ng. It’s also
regenerating.
n it on
good to run
superdiesell rather
ary
than ordinary
diesel.
We bought a used, 2015
Honda CR-V with 37,000
miles and took it to a local
garage to have it checked.
They reported an oil leak
but could not identify
exactly where it was from
without further investigation. Should I
return it to the dealer for a refund? GR
Yes, you are correct. It’s good that
your local garage merely inspected it
and did not carry out any work
without asking you.
ABOMINABLE SALESMEN
Why are some Skoda Yetis advertised as
estates and others as hatchbacks? JT
Databank predictive text. Some
databanks call them “hatchbacks”,
others “estates”. As soon as the
advertiser writes in “Skoda Yeti”, the
rest of the details are automatically
filled in. It causes all sorts of rubbish,
such as calling a Tiptronic torque
converter auto a “semi-automatic”.
DEPARTMENT S
I might buy a 2017 Audi A4 Avant TFSI
S-line 190bhp automatic, with 11,000
miles, for £26,000. Am I right in
thinking you’ve had reservations in the
pastt about the DSG
G gearbox? TB
h
This will have
the DL382
longitudin
longitudinal
seven-spe
seven-speed
wet clutch
S-tronic
trransmission. There
T
transmission.
be
een a bit of trou
has been
trouble
t
with it in the past in the
notthing like that on
Q5, but nothing
transverse DQ200 unit.
the transverse
TAKING
T
TA
AKING GOOD KIA
I own a 2012 Kia
Ki
Sportage 1.7 CR
S
CRDI,
which has 43,000
w
43,0
miles. I only do 6,000
m
6
miles a year. It is still
m
un
nder warranty for
f 18
under
mo
onths. I am thin
months.
thinking
SHORT
ANSWER
Is The
Highway
Code
regularly
updated to
recognise
technical
nts to
improvements
vehicles thatt
ping
shorten stopping
distances? I am due to
urse to educate
attend a course
iving in a
me about driving
20mph zonee and I’d be
advice IB
grateful for advice.
ave a
The old Highway Code gave
0mph of 12
stopping distance from 20mph
es “thinking
metres, which is six metres
e brakes
distance” and six with the
applied. As long as the driver is alert,
a modern car should be able to stop
in less – but if you’re attending a
speed awareness course, don’t argue.
Just sit there and listen. There’s really
no excuse for speeding.
CLEAN BRAKE?
My 2015 Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.2
diesel is Euro 5 emissions-compliant.
With regard to NOx emissions and the
car’s resale value, are there likely to be
kits available to upgrade cars such as
mine to Euro 6 pollution standards? CD
I’m afraid not. It would not make any
difference to the car’s original
emissions certification and adding a
selective catalytic reduction (SCR)
system would in any case cost a lot
more than £2,000.
I understand electric cars and their
limitations, but thought a hybrid ran on
electricity provided by the battery and,
when necessary, its petrol engine cut in
to assist. I thought that, when running
in petrol mode, the cha
charge in the battery
was maintained. If tha
that is so, what is
the point of a plug-in hy
hybrid? JW
EV capability, basical
basically. A fully
d plug-in h
charged
hybrid gives you
e
ran of 20-30
an electric
range
m
Afte
miles.
After starting a plain
y get very little
hybrid, you
immedi
immediate
electric
range. Once
On into the
range.
journ
ney, as you say,
journey,
h will
wil regenerate
both
batt
b
the battery.
STICK
STI
ICK OR TWIST?
My in-laws
iin-la have had
Da
acia Sandero
a Dacia
Stepw
way diesel from
Stepway
new. They only do
7,00
00 miles
m
7,000
a year
an
nd are
ar concerned
and
abou diesel
a
about
part
p
particulate filters
and other
a
eemi
emissions
equi
equipment
faili
failing. Should
they keep it or go
for a n
new, petrolengined model? DC
It really depends
dep
on the
deal they can get. The obvious
Stepway to go for is the 90 TCe
petrol. But diesel values have
dropped sharply, so if the cost
to switch is massive it would be best
to stick with the existing diesel.
FRIGID RESPONSE
I must disagree with you about stopping
the wipers in the upright position to
prevent the blades being damaged by
icing. Surely they are best left in the
parked position and the screen de-iced
prior to using the wipers? WJ
If you go to any properly cold country
you will see every car parked with
wipers upright and away from the
screen – the locals know best.
WRITE TO HONEST JOHN
We cannot accept postal queries. For
consumer and used car advice, or car faults,
email: honestadvice@telegraph.co.uk
27
28
***
GAMES
It’s a Brain Games
week – with great
puzzles to try
including Dango,
Keijo, Gogen, Loop
and classic Logic.
You’ll find the Brain
Games four-page
pull-out, with the
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Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph Saturday 31 March 2018
***
29
GAMES
30
Saturday 31 March 2018 The Daily Telegraph
***
Dear Graham
How can we deal with our
polite but unrepentantly
noisy neighbours?
Do you have any advice on how to deal
with noisy neighbours? Next door to
our terrace house lives a middle-aged
professional couple, outwardly
conventional. In summer they have
late dinners outdoors, with all the
windows open and clamouring and
clattering until three in the morning,
even on weekdays; this time of year is
better but there are still people round
most weekends, with what my
children tell me is “dad music” audible
until late, and various noises-off.
We can’t pretend this is quite a case
for the Environmental Health Agency,
and we don’t begrudge them their
social life. We just want to be able to
sleep, and we feel they should know
better – they’re considerate and
friendly neighbours in other respects.
Indeed, they were hugely apologetic
when we raised the subject of the
previous night’s bacchanal with them
as light-heartedly as we could, in
October. They just didn’t do anything
about it.
R & G, LONDON NW7
GRAHAM
NORTON
AGONY UNCLE
The author, comedian and presenter
advises readers. Send your problems
to graham@telegraph.co.uk
Dear Graham
My elderly father is
threatening to boycott
my brother’s wedding
My only brother is getting married for
the first time in August, although he
has three grown-up sons with a
former long-term partner.
My reason for writing is that our
80-year-old father has told me that he
intends to tell my brother that he has a
fictitious holiday abroad booked,
coinciding with the date of the
wedding in order to avoid attending.
My father is in good health for his
age, travels abroad, drives himself
locally and also lives near to the
wedding venue. Their relationship is
rather distant: my father
disapproves of what he sees as my
brother’s “alternative” lifestyle. But
he has met the fiancée and has not
got anything against her. It just
seems he and his wife cannot be
bothered to put themselves out to
attend this family event.
Should I tell my brother this
information or keep it to myself ? I
have tried to coerce my father to
attend the pending nuptials without
any success.
I am in a dilemma – please help.
TOM, VIA EMAIL
MISTERNED.COM
Dear Tom
Tell your brother? Really? Because
that would be helpful in what way
exactly? Your brother has the only
information he needs in order to
plan his special day. Your father isn’t
coming. The end. You might wish
the world was a different, happier
place where families all loved one
another. But don’t let one old man’s
Dear R & G
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Dear Graham
My sister is
hanging on to a
legacy that’s not
rightfully hers
Three years ago my two
sisters, J and G, and I
received an inheritance
when my parents passed
away, a modest sum of
£3,000 each. G lived out of
the UK and had no UK
bank, so J offered to pay it
into her account. I was the
executor so I duly paid both
sisters’ shares to J,
expecting that she would
get the cash out for G next
time she was in the country.
For whatever reason,
that didn’t happen: G didn’t
ask for it. Now, though, she
is back living in the UK. She
has asked J for the cash, but
J has been evasive: avoiding
a reply, then saying she
doesn’t know, then
changing the subject. This
has happened a few times.
There is no financial
reason why repayment
cannot happen: J and her
husband are well off. G
doesn’t want to force the
issue as she says her health
would not stand the stress.
But this will surely harm,
if not destroy, their
relationship, as G has
confided to me that she is
quite upset, and I can’t
imagine she will just be
able to forget it.
I have to add that J has a
history of failed family
relationships: she has had
no contact with her
grown-up son for years,
and has never even met his
children. She has also cut
off all ties with me since
our parents’ funeral,
despite my trying to contact
her on many occasions, and
now seemingly she doesn’t
disapproval ruin what should be a
day filled with celebration.
As family dramas go, this one isn’t
even that bad. Your father hasn’t
disinherited anyone or cursed
their union from his seat in the
congregation. Rest assured you have
care about her relationship
with her sister. Should we try
to resolve this in some way?
A, BERKS
Dear A
I’m not a policeman or a
lawyer, but to my
untrained eye it looks very
likely that J has stolen
£3,000 from G.
Unless you have some
written proof of your
intentions when you paid
the money into J’s account,
it may be hard to bring a
case against her, but just
ignoring it really doesn’t
seem like an option.
I understand that your
sister doesn’t like stress,
but if she enters the fray
happy to accept defeat
then I can’t see that it will
be any more stressful than
seething with fury about
someone taking a large
amount of money that is
done everything you can to help. You
have cajoled and encouraged the old
man to be less curmudgeonly but to
no avail.
Go to the wedding and raise a glass
to the happy couple, because sharing
their joy will enhance your own. By
rightfully hers. Clearly, J
isn’t averse to falling out
with people, but she must
care about something.
Would she be embarrassed
if her husband found out
what she was doing? Are
they as rich as they would
like everyone to think? If
people knew they
“couldn’t afford” to pay
back a minor debt to your
sister, it might motivate
them to take out the keys
to the bank vault.
It is sad that your sister
cares so little about her
family, but don’t feel
guilty. She created this
situation and it sounds as if
it is just part of a selfdestructive pattern. G may
never see this money
again, and I hope she is not
in dire need of it, but J
should be made aware that
she has chosen money over
a relationship with her
siblings. Her loss.
resenting their love, or disapproving
of it, all your dad will gain is an
afternoon at home drinking tea and
watching Football Focus.
Comparing your brother with your
father, I would say it is definitely your
dad who is the one missing out.
WRITE TO US
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Sartre may have thought that hell was
other people, but presumably he
never encountered people with
poorly positioned speakers and a
dodgy taste in music. I pity you. This
is a problem as old as time, and as far
as I’m aware there is no real solution.
You have already tried the “friendly
word” approach and you might
consider using that technique a few
more times to see if the message gets
through. If you have been turning a
deaf ear to this problem for many
years they may not have taken your
single complaint very seriously.
If this approach doesn’t work – it
won’t – then it is time to harness
technology. I’m told there are
marvellous new forms of insulation
and even contraptions that promise
to cancel out the noise.
Ultimately the problem is one of
compatibility. Neighbours tend to get
along when they are mirror images of
each other: two nice couples with
young children may have the
occasional disagreement, but there is
bound to be a greater understanding.
The couple living next door to you
may be less than considerate because
they lived through your children
when they were babies howling
through the night, or your own
party-giving phase?
Whatever happens now, this will
never stop being a problem –
because you will be listening out for
it. A sound that a year ago wouldn’t
have bothered you, will now keep
you awake, grinding your teeth
with indignation.
I know it seems drastic, but if I was
you, I would seriously consider
selling up. At least your new
neighbours might play better music!
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