March 4 2015 Latest news:

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EXG MAR 15 RURAL FUND

Country living at its best

As you enjoy one of our rural villages, perhaps during a drive around the county, it might be easy to assume that these country idylls are perfect places to live, but there is a lot of hard work required to make these communities thrive in the way they do. Anne Fitzgerald explains

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EXG MAR 15 BOOK FESTIVAL

Essex limbers up for a literary party

March sees the county welcome another host of literary big hitters from the book world arrive in Essex for the Essex Book Festival. Ros Green, the festival director, shares some of the highlights

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EXG MAR 15 ERO

Essex history: Edward John Eyre

Land surveyor, Edward John Eyre, captured the changing scenes of our county through a variety of elaborate maps of Essex towns and estates. Here

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EXG MAR 15 ENERGY

Cosy up in the country

Keeping your home warm can be hard work if you live in one of the county’s more rural locations, but new technologies can make a big difference, explains Tim Masters

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EXG MAR 15 recipe Thatchers

Roasted rack of lamb with fresh minted mashed potato, purple sprouting broccoli and rich redcurrant jus

Justine Cater has been head chef at The Thatchers Arms in Mount Bures for the past 18 months and prides herself on the quality home-cooked dishes she serves along with her team. ‘We have the capacity for 200 diners as we also have a separate function room which holds 100 guests,’ explains Justine. And if you are looking for a nice treat for Mother’s Day, try a special afternoon cream tea with a glass of prosecco on the Saturday before Mothering Sunday. Here Justine shares her lamb recipe from her recently-launched spring menu…

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EXG MAR 15 GEORGE UNWIN

Ploughing a new furrow

It’s not just arable crops that are growing at Baythorne Hall these days. The next generation of an established Essex farming family are growing some exciting new attractions for visitors to their farm, reports Nicky Adams

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EXG MAR 15 DEDHAM HSH

High Street Heroes In...Dedham

Nestled along the River Stour in the heart of Constable Country, the village of Dedham is a quintessentially English location. Jennifer Savin discovers how its local traders all add to Dedham’s charms

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John Ray

John Ray, 1627-1705

Recognised internationally for his inspirational work, John Ray is known as the father of English natural history. With the help of the Essex Record Office archives, Essex Life shares an insight into his remarkable life and career

Words by Hannah Salisbury and Allyson Lewis

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EXG MAR 15 FIVE THINGS

5 Favourite Essex Things with Charlotte Nial

Charlotte Nial is the owner and director of Cranwell House Skin Clinic & Medispa in Ingatestone. Here she shares with Essex Life five of her favourite things about the county

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EXG MAR 15 recipe Star

Venison bourguignon with parsley mash

Chef Patrick Livic was brought up just 25 miles from the centre of Paris, in Meaux. 12 years ago he brought his culinary skills to the UK to learn English and just six months ago he moved to The Star Restaurant as head chef and now lives in Thaxted. ‘It’s a nice place to live,’ says Patrick. ‘It’s been tough starting a new restaurant, but fun too. Not all our dishes are French and I’d like to think we offer more Continental cuisine as there are also some English classics on the menu too.’

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EXG MAR 15 Brentwood

Brewed in Brentwood

A pint of beer is very much an English institution, but one Essex town has a particularly strong affinity with the nation’s favourite alcoholic drink. Petra Hornsby explores Brentwood’s special relationship with beer

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Havergate Hare

Let’s hear it for hares

Andrew Fallan shares his expertise in Essex wildlife with us, revealing top locations to find special species as well as unsusual animals you can discover in your own back garden

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Boat wreckage on Wallasea Island by Andy Hay rspbimages

Work nears completion at Wallasea Island

This summer will see the culmination of many years of planning and hard work with the launch of Allfleets Marsh on Wallasea Island. Liela Balin reveals what the RSPB has been up to there

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We Love Stoves

Top Trends for March

Spring is just round the corner, so it is a perfect time to be out with the old and in with the new when it comes to stylish home interiors. Sarah Hammill meets three local experts with helpful advice that will make your home blossom

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The Hive Gallery

Hive of activity

Throughout March, Chelmsford Museum is hosting one of this year’s most exciting art collections. Co-curator Karen Jones tells Caroline Foster about the exhibition and its artists

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John Ray

The life and times of John Ray, 1627-1705

Recognised internationally for his inspirational work, John Ray is known as the father of English natural history. With the help of the Essex Record Office archives, Essex Life shares an insight into his remarkable life and career

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Take a stroll around Stock

Take a stroll around Stock

Enjoy this well-walked trail around the popular village of Stock, perfect for a winter walk

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Maison Talbooth

Win a spa break at Maison Talbooth

Essex Life has joined forces with the Milsom Hotels and Restaurants Group to offer Essex Life readers the chance to win an overnight spa break for two at Maison Talbooth

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Snowdrops at Hedingham Castle

White gold

After the cold winter months, the site of snowdrops blooming in February means that spring is not far away. Philippa Pearson looks at their history and shares the best places in Essex to see them

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Red fox

Painting the town red

Andrew fallan shares his expertise in essex wildlife with us, revealing top locations to find some special species as well as the unusual animals you can discover in your own back garden

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