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December 4 2013 Latest news:
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Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker is a festive family favourite and one of the most popular dance productions ever presented in the UK. This Christmas, The Royal Ballet presents a production full of magical scenes, Christmas sparkle and captivating dance at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Holly Eells speaks to three local experts to get some insider advice for your seasonal interiors
DEAN Hallam and his wife Lorraine took over running The Maldon Delicatessen in October 2012, beginning a new direction for both of them in their personal and business lives. ‘We had been sitting outside this very deli enjoying a coffee together in the sunshine when we said, “Wouldn’t it be lovely to run somewhere like this?”’ Previously Dean had been head of IT for a London hospital. ‘I just got sick of commuting and working for the NHS,’ he explains.
Which is your favourite Essex village?
While Essex was a bustling centre during the golden age of steam, in one sense the Epping Ongar Railway (EOR) is all rather new. After the resumption of services to the public on May 25, 2012, the EOR was named Railway of the Year at the National Railway Heritage Awards last December as well as scooping the Volunteers’ Award for the work undertaken to restore the Grade II listed station at Ongar and the HRA award for large groups.
It is panto season across the county with a wide selection of our theatres and drama groups bringing us the best of Christmas cheer live on stage. Here are just some of the highlights to look out for
IT’S always exciting to hear of an establishment which has undergone a transformation and opened under new ownership. The Shepherd, formerly the Shepherd and Dog, was built in 1928 but had only been open again for six weeks in its new guise. Owned this time by Esther and Richard Brunning, previously from the Mistley Quay Café, the Shepherd has plenty of parking round the back in a sizable car park.
Craig Revel Horwood is known to millions as the outspoken judge on Strictly Come Dancing, but this Christmas he comes to Southend as the Wicked Queen
Intricately carved woodwork, hand-made Christmas cards and delicate, bejewelled gifts are all things which you might expect to find at a traditional Christmas market in Germany. Yet this year the Guild of Essex Craftsmen will be descending upon one of the county’s oldest buildings to bring traditional festive craftsmanship to the East of England.
How one man’s vision transformed two old sheds and a greenhouse into a thriving boutique garden centre with eclectic cafe in Sandon
This year’s festive shopping extravaganza evening at Blake House Craft Centre is due to take place on Monday, December 2 from 6pm - 10pm.
It can’t be very often that you get to have a quick peak inside someone’s home and look up to spy an Oscar on the mantelpiece – even if you are an estate agent – and it is certainly an experience which ranks among the most memorable in David Emberson’s career. But David, the director of Mullucks Wells in Saffron Walden, remembers exactly that happening to him 13 years ago when he went to 7a High Street in Saffron Walden to talk to Jack Cardiff about selling his Grade II listed townhouse.
Well before the BBC’s Great British Bake Off, our county was famous for its culinary traditions and customs. Feasting, frumenty and folklore go hand-in-hand at Christmas-time and Essex is renowned for interesting brewing and a gastronomic history often linked to literature.
As the nights draw in and the Christmas lights begin to sparkle, it’s very easy to imagine the Christmas our Victorian forebears would have celebrated while on a visit to Saffron Walden in the festive season. This Essex market town has changed little over the centuries and its historic atmosphere makes it the perfect setting for traditional festivities, hunting for stocking filers and some seasonal eating and drinking.
For an iconic building £55 seems a good price, and that was all it cost the people of Maldon to purchase the most important building in their town’s history. Granted, this was a princely sum in 1576 when the influential D’Arcy family, who had settled in Maldon after the Norman Conquest, sold off the imposing brick-built tower that had formed part of their estate.
Jahdre Hayward, head chef at Haywards Restaurant in Epping, was born in Bermuda and he’s lived and worked all over the world. Speaking of Essex he says: ‘My wife was brought up around here and I’ve been here for around 11 years, so I feel it is also my home now.’ Before opening Haywards, the couple travelled to Australia to work at the Sydney Opera House before returning to work in London. Now they’ve combined their skills to run their own restaurant. Here Jahdre shares his recipe for a rich winter warmer
Marek Dabulis says it was food which brought him to the The Roslin Beach Hotel in Southend from Poland. ‘I like to cook and so it’s nice to do it here in England as my job.’ Marek arrived seven years ago and he still loves to be in the kitchen. He has dreams one day of achieving a Michelin star, but in the mean time he’s happy as long as his diners are too. Here Marek shares his recipe for a fish dish with a difference.
Angela Jackson has been at the Alma Arms in Navestock for 27 years – her first job was watering the plants on the patio at the age of 12, while her mum worked there too. Now she’s Head Chef and Manager overseeing 20 members of staff. ‘We were probably the first gastro pub in the Brentwood area and have been offering a full, home-cooked menu since 1970. Our biggest seller has always been our steak pie of which we serve on average around 350 a week.’ Here Angela shares her recipe for another popular Alma Arms dish.