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March 8 is International Women’s Day, and events will be held all over the world celebrating the achievements of women past, present and future. Over the years, the county of Essex has been well blessed with inspirational women. One such example is Helen Rollason, the BBC sports and news presenter who helped set up The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity before her death in 1999. Her legacy lives on in the work the organisation bearing her name continues to do today, helping to improve the day to day lives of people living with cancer.
At just 27, Lauren Gregg has returned to Café 1885 at Snape Maltings near Aldeburgh in Suffolk as the head chef. ‘I did work here before, under the previous head chef, then left to help a friend for a while with their business. I returned to run the kitchen, so I’ve worked here for almost two years now.’ Although the café has a modest 45 covers, footfall is constant with tourists, concert goers and shoppers. ‘We have a 15 minute deadline we adhere to, so all dishes need to be served within that 15 minute window.’ Lauren’s most popular dishes currently include Pinney’s smoked salmon or Welsh rarebit and a spring salad with an Oriental twist, the recipe for which se shares with us here.
Most people would agree that it’s been a tough few years, but 2014 is being hailed as the Year of Your Time, a much-needed opportunity to take advantage of better economic news and look after ourselves and our health.
Colchester’s Natalie Davies has enjoyed two eureka moments that have helped her rethink the way we use recycled material – and the idea just keeps growing
Zoe Brady tells us about an opening week she’d rather forget, the allure of the enchanting market town of Great Dunmow and how her next coffee shop will open on distant shores
Currently in rural New Zealand enjoying a semi-solitude break from travelling around the world, CBE and hostage survivor Terry Waite takes the time to talk to Holly Eells about his insider account, Terry Waite: Travels With A Primate
Witham’s River Walk has been a celebrated green retreat in the town for generations. Louise Flloyd discovers what it means to residents and why it is an ever-evolving resource
Southend business people are invited to a special event in the town on Wednesday, March 26. Discovering Business in Southend will be held at the University of Essex town centre campus and showcases the best companies in the Southend borough and surrounding areas, giving them the opportunity to promote their goods and services with the aim of supporting the local economy.
After a very successful first few months of trading at its beautiful countryside barn in Bishop’s Stortford, Sofas & Stuff will be opening the showroom on Friday, March 28 with a celebratory party from 6pm to 8pm. Managing partner, Chris Hardcastle, commented: ‘We are very much looking forward to the business growing in 2014 when we will see many new exciting products and fabrics become available. Supporting us on the evening will be Tom Halliday of Tom Halliday Photography, Elder Street Farm Shop and Delicatessen and the multiple award-winning Joseph Barnes Wines. We will be offering visitors a glass of wine and nibbles as well as the opportunity to have a fun souvenir photo of the evening, all while viewing our stylish range of sofas, chairs, tables and beds.’
Now one of the largest literary festivals in the UK, the Essex Book Festival celebrates its 16th year in 2014. From a wicked sense of humour through to a penchant for crime, the character of the festival brings together a highly entertaining mix of authors, including big name appearances from Joanna Trollope, Rageh Omaar, Terry Waite and Ann Widdecombe, among many others.
OUR farm shop cafes in Essex are taking on a life of their own it seems. Gone are the days of a pot of tea and a scone; now they are manned by talented chefs and more and more are giving the traditional restaurants a run for their money.
ANN WIDDECOMBE has never been afraid of controversy. As well as making her name as a British Conservative Party politician for more than 20 years and unforgettable star performer in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2010, Ann has also battled some challenges in her own life.
EMMA WICKS began at the Essex Rose in Dedham as an assistant manager in April 2012. When she left school with skills in maths and cooking a friend told her about the City & Guilds in Cookery at the Colchester Institute and she’s been involved in food ever since. ‘I’m mostly kitchen-based. We have a set menu, but all the tea rooms put on specials. We have 70 covers, however, on a bank holiday we can cater for up to 300.’ Open from 9am for breakfast, the Essex Rose offers lunches and afternoon teas too, including the traditional three-tiered high teas with all the trimmings. Here Emma shares her recipe for a deliciously satisfying supper for six.
This year will be a very special year for Saffron Walden. During 2014, this charming market town in the north of the county is set to commemorate 500 years since the awarding of the King’s charter granted by Henry VIII in 1514 to the Guild of Holy Trinity.
The highly adaptable red fox is found in a wide range of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere including, of course, the UK. With its gorgeous flame-red fur, thick, sumptuous brush and warm, fiery eyes, it is arguably Britain’s most beautiful mammal. Unfortunately, however, and in common with the beleaguered badger, it is also among our most persecuted. Long maligned as unconscionable rural villains, foxes have been demonised to such an extent that it’s difficult to separate myth from reality, or to even think of these creatures without also bringing to mind images of ruthless red-jacketed riders on horseback amid a terrible clamour of horn-blasts and baying hounds.
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what career would you have chosen instead?
MANY hotels in Essex promote the provenance of their locally-sourced ingredients, but The Roslin Beach Hotel in Thorpe Bay has taken things a step further by buying and running its own farm. Keith Singleton, project manager for the owners of the hotel, explains how the farm came into existence. The Roslin Hotel bought a 180-acre farm in Hampshire and the hotel, which overlooks the Thames estuary, at the same time. It’s not a large commercial farm, but it’s big enough for the hotel’s needs, so it was decided to put the land to use and start supplying the produce for the Roslin.’
BRUNCH is fast becoming a very en vogue way to spend quality time, enjoying a late morning meal instead of breakfast and then lunch. So this month I thought I’d find some of the very best brunches Essex has to offer to entice you out of your home on a blustery, winter’s morning.
Since the Queen granted Chelmsford city status – one of only a handful of honours bestowed in her Diamond Jubilee year of 2012 – there has been a renewed pride in the county town that is pretty much palpable. Indeed, this fillip coincided nicely with the opening of a brand new wing to Chelmsford Museum at Oaklands Park and its manager, Nick Wickenden, reports that since then visitors have been flooding to find out more about the heritage of their new city home.