Category Archives: News from our advertisers

MILES CELEBRATES 130 YEARS

It’s always best to leave enough time for the tea to infuse in the hot water as it allows for the depth of flavour and strength to develop. A quick dip just doesn’t give the same taste. At Miles this principle applies to the business and day-to-day life, which reflects in the longevity of the company. 2018 sees 130 years of tea and coffee heritage with the Miles family.

2017 saw continual sales growth, showing that taking time to create only the best products does pay off. One of the main areas of growth was with the award-winning West Country Original loose-leaf tea, with its tea blend recipe being a closely guarded secret for years.

John Halls, Operations Director, said: “It’s a real achievement to see growth in such uncertain times. We pride ourselves in protecting our West Somerset workforce and continually upgrading our rural production sites. We have invested in new machinery which will see new products being launched this year and look forward to sharing more about this soon. We are pleased to announce that, for the fifth year running, Miles have been independently ranked among the top four UK tea brands. This year our coffee has been ranked as the second most popular UK coffee brand for farm shops and delis to stock in Best Brands 2017/18 edition which is out this month.”

PHOTO: John Halls, Operations Director with Best Brands Magazines, a pack of Miles award winning West Country blend tea in the tea aisle at the Miles factory

 

 

TWO CONCERTS COMING UP AT HALSWAY

There are two great gigs coming up at Halsway Manor in the next fortnight…

Catch Faustus www.faustusband.com, the pioneering, “bloke folk” triumvirate  of Benji Kirkpatrick, Paul Sartin & Saul Rose as they return to Halsway for a live gig on Thursday 15 February at 8pm.

Previously nominated for the Best Group Award in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and Artist In Residence at Halsway Manor Centre for Folk Arts across 2016 supported by funding from Arts Council England, Faustus brings to the stage three of the leading lights of their generation: Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel, War Horse), Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone representing the best in the current vibrant English folk scene.

Faustus released their acclaimed third album ‘Death and Other Animals’ in October 2016, tackling head-on subjects from the Dance of Death to the plight of the common man, sand-swallowed ships to mythical black dogs. The album has huge local resonance as it was researched, rehearsed and recorded at Halsway Manor on the Quantock Hills, during Faustus’ time as Artists in Residence. “Beastly good” said Folking.com, “Modern day folk Buccaneers… so blindingly dazzling you’ll need to don a pair of RayBans before listening” said LouderThanWar.com.

Faustus are leading a course ‘From Page to Performance’halswaymanor.org.uk/event/faustus-from-page-to-performance/ at Halsway in the run-up to the gig, and the evening will open with performances by participants, before the mighty band take to the stage!

Or you might like to try Piva! They will be performing at Halsway on Tuesday 20 February at 8pm…

Early music at its most entertaining, Piva have rightly gained a reputation for their lively performances and entertaining shows. Taking late-sixteenth-century dance and ballad tunes, Piva brings the music of the renaissance to life on authentic instruments – bagpipes, hurdy-gurdies, recorders, viol, curtals, rauschpfeifen, crumhorns, shawms and violins.
“Sheer good fun!” – Early Music Today

Founded in 2002, Piva have firmly established themselves as one of this country’s leading early music ensembles. Playing throughout the UK and Europe, they have gained a reputation for their lively performances and entertaining shows. The members of Piva have wide and diverse musical backgrounds in playing renaissance, jazz, classical, baroque, folk and roots music. They bring all of these diverse musical influences together and fuse them with their knowledge of renaissance music and instruments. The result is early music with attitude!

For both concerts, tickets are priced £10, with a concessionary price of £4 for children and full-time students of any age. Call 01984 618274 (option 1), email office@halswaymanor.org.uk or buy securely online www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

BRITISH POLAR EXPLORER FELICITY ASTON MBE VISITS KING’S COLLEGE

British polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE paid a visit to King’s College recently as part of an educational lecture series.

Felicity rose to fame in 2012 when she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1,744km, which took 59 days to complete and gave her a place in the book of Guinness World Records.

The former climate scientist gave an account of her journey and the challenges she faced, and spoke to pupils about living and working in the British Antarctic Survey on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Felicity also unveiled a new painting in the school’s Geography Department, kindly donated by Mrs Bridget Baker, the wife of the late Mr Baker, a former Head of Geography at King’s College.

The painting commemorates the arrival of the legendary Transglobe expedition in January 1980, during the first circumnavigation of the earth on its polar axis.

Head of Geography, Andrew Edwards, said: “Felicity was an inspiration to both pupils and staff alike, and we hope to welcome her back again in the near future.”

 

 

BE A BARISTA WITH MILES TEA & COFFEE

Miles Tea & Coffee are offering a new ‘Barista Experience’ at their factory in Somerset.

The first class will take place on Thursday 22 February as part of the Exmoor Food Festival. Miles’ barista expert has a wealth of experience from working in Italy for many years and he is a member of the Speciality Coffee Association Europe (SCAE).

The class will last three hours, during which attendees will learn to distinguish the subtle differences between coffee beans, master the perfect cup of coffee and see some creative latte art.

Previous knowledge of coffee is not a requirement, but a passion for coffee is a must!

Places are limited; to book, email info@djmiles.co.uk. The first course has an introductory price of £33 per person. Location will either be at the Miles Tea & Coffee Minehead or Porlock site, start time to be 9.30am.

Can’t make it? Why not join the company’s monthly roastery tours on the last Thursday of the month, pre-book only, check online for more details or email info@djmiles.co.uk.

PHOTO: Latte Art made with Miles Coffee.

GRANDPARENTS’ DAY AT KING’S HALL SCHOOL

King’s Hall School’s Pre-Prep children welcomed their grandparents and ‘grand-friends’ to school last week for their Grandparents’ Afternoon.

This biennial event offers grandparents the chance to see all the amazing things that their grandchildren are experiencing at the school. The children took huge pride in sharing some of their learning with their relatives, as well as leading them on a tour of the Pre-Prep. A highlight was exploring in the Little Woods and toasting marshmallows on the fire.

As well as playing games, reading stories and enjoying a delicious afternoon tea, the children treated their special guests to an assembly that included some heartfelt readings and a beautiful themed song!

It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the unique relationship that exists between grandparent and grandchild, and the children thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of ‘granny’ and/or ‘grandpa’ coming to school!

One of the grandparents said: “What a wonderful afternoon. We loved Grandparents’ Day and were so impressed with our grandchildren showing us every detail of their work and play. We didn’t want to leave the Forest School (a big thank you for the marshmallow). The staff were all so generous with their time, talking to us and the children. Their singing was fabulous, such happy children and such enthusiasm.  A huge thank you for such a wonderful experience.”

 

JOHN KIRKPATRICK CAROLLING & CRUMPETS CONCERT AT HALSWAY

One of the folk scene’s greatest performers, John Kirkpatrick, will be paying a visit to Halsway Manor shortly, to perform his seasonal show ‘Carolling and Crumpets’. He will be appearing on Thursday 7 December at 7.30pm, presenting a heart-warming, toe-tapping evening looking at the timeless rituals and folklore of midwinter England.

Mysterious and magical songs of wassailing, wren-hunting, stirring the fire and incessant feasting come dressed up in a glittering finery of sparkling tunes and cracking choruses. Add a smattering of hilarious original songs and a sprinkling of carols both familiar and unfamiliar, all stirred up with John’s usual panache and supported by his scintillating skill on squeezeboxes, and you have the recipe for a rattling good sing, guaranteed to keep the spirits cheery and the cold at bay.

“Kirkpatrick’s buoyant presence and lust for this music sounds more rampant than ever.”
Colin Irwin, fRoots Magazine

One of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, John Kirkpatrick is a master of the free reed instrument, playing melodeon, button accordion and anglo concertina, as well as having an enviable reputation as a fine singer and interpreter of English folk music. John has performed solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands; he has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique, and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.

The concert takes place on Thursday 7 December.  Bar opens at 7pm, performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 / £4 for full-time students. For more information visit www.halswaymanor.org.uk or contact Halsway Manor: 01984 618274 ext 1 / office@halswaymanor.org.uk.

TRANSATLANTIC CELEBRATIONS FOR DUNSTER BEACH HUT

Salad Days is one of around 250 beach huts at Dunster Beach, but this one is special.

To begin with, it has a Visit England 5-star rating, making it the only beach hut in the UK to receive such an accolade, and now it has won two awards at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards: Silver for ‘Self Catering Business of the Year’ and Gold for ‘Dog Friendly Business of the Year’.

Designed and rebuilt from the ground up, the 80-year-old beach hut is the pride of Susan Juggins and Brett Bates. They took on a run-down beach hut that had been used by holiday makers since the end of the war and had housed coastal defence workers before that. They wanted to give it a new lease of life as a luxury beach hut with all the comforts of modern-day living. Salad Days offers boutique-style accommodation in a beach hut environment and it is dog friendly to boot.

News of the awards was not just celebrated by co-owner Susan who collected the award at Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton, but also 3,500 miles away in Toronto Canada.

 

Brett had previously arranged a trip to visit his son Brett jar, who lives there with his fiancée Aisha, before the finalist’s announcement was made in October. He spent the day eagerly awaiting news via Twitter from Susan and the organisers at Visit Somerset. “You can hardly believe the excitement when the news came through,” said Brett. “Toronto certainly knew Somerset had arrived in the city.”

Susan, who attended the awards event with her sister Anne, said, “We felt so honoured just to be there, amongst the best that Somerset has to offer and to come away with two awards is just amazing. We love this area and our little beach hut to bits. It just goes to show even though we may be small we can still play with the big boys and win’”

The story of their success may not stop there; Salad Days will soon find out if they are to represent Somerset at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February next year.

The awards are run annually by Visit England with the judging carried out locally by industry experts, followed by area and national finals. To be a finalist in any category, each entrant has to be at the top of their game, offering world-class service within the highly competitive tourism industry. The South West has won more awards than any other area of the UK. Somerset had the highest ever number of awards entrants this year.

For further details see: dunsterbeachhut.com/  twitter.com/DunsterBeachHut

Or read the extract from an article which appeared in our autumn issue here:

ROSEMOOR ALIGHT WITH WINTER MAGIC

RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon is always a treat and is beautiful throughout the year. This year, following all the wonderful feedback from their first illuminations in 2016, visitors can once again enjoy the garden lit up on a greatly extended trail. Innovative, hi-tech, dynamic colour-changing illuminations provide a magical festive trail around the trees, shrubs and winter sculptures.

This year, the trail is roughly four to five times the length of last year’s, with additional dates, too, running from 17 November 2017 through to 6 January 2018. It takes in the Formal Gardens and extends into the Stream Field where visitors can buy warming hot drinks and snacks at the Shepherd’s Rest – a brand-new, al-fresco catering facility. The trail then follows back down the Long Borders and incorporates displays in the Hot Garden and all around the Winter Garden, too.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday the gardens will be open until 8.30pm to maximise the effects of the lighting into the evening hours, and on those days garden entry will be discounted after 3pm. The award-winning Garden Kitchen Restaurant will be once again be serving ‘Simple Family Suppers’ from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, and booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment. The Rosemoor Shop & Plant Centre will also remain open for late-night shopping on these nights and will be a magical place to go for all those Christmas decorations, gift and plant ideas, including for the first time, potted and freshly cut Christmas Trees.

A wonderful festive atmosphere will be created on some of the evenings with Christmas Food, Craft and Antique Fairs; and, on two weekends in December, the very popular Entertainingly Different will be performing ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ in their own inimitable style with songs, stories, poems and dancing. Tickets to these are free but limited and online booking is strongly recommended.

The final day of the illuminations, Saturday 6 January, Rosemoor’s Garden Room events building will be the location for a special Quantum Theatre production of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Information and details on limited ticket prices, together with a booking link are available on line at rhs.org.uk/rosemoor.

During the same period, Rosemoor will hold its extremely popular annual Winter Sculpture Exhibition, where each year over 33,000 visitors enjoy the eclectic mix of exhibits set against the backdrop of the garden. Some of these will be lit up by the illuminations, too, to make them extra special. Most of the sculptures in the exhibition are for sale.

To make the most of a winter visit to Rosemoor there is a wonderful winter walk and trail taking in much of the surprising amounts of colour, scent, texture and structure including dogwoods, ornamental grasses and some of our national collection of hollies, as well as the sculptures set amongst the shrubs.

For more information on events at RHS Garden Rosemoor visit www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor Normal garden admission applies (free for RHS members). Garden open every day (except Christmas Day) 10am – 5pm.

November’s Winter Events at Rosemoor:
4 – 12 November
‘A year in the life of Rosemoor’ Art Exhibition
Theresa Shaw and Jill Griffin have their art on display in Rosemoor’s Lecture / Exhibition HallDaily 10am – 5pm, normal garden admission – free for RHS members

17 November 2017 to 6 January 2018
See how our garden glows Winter Illuminations
Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 4pm – 8.30pm Normal garden admission discounted entry after 3pm.

18 November 2016 to 18 February 2017
Winter Sculpture Exhibition
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the garden in winter with its amazing textures and surprising colour and scent, Rosemoor’s Winter Sculpture Exhibition is now an established part of the events programme. The exhibition continues through into 2018 with an exciting and eclectic mix of exhibits from a diverse collection of sculptors, and using a wide variety of media including from steel and glass to cement and pottery. Visitors can pick up a trail and see how many sculptures they can discover through the garden. Most of the pieces exhibited are for sale. Free, guided sculpture walks leave the Visitor Centre at 11.30am most Wednesday mornings.
Daily 10am – 5pm, normal garden admission – free for RHS members

24 – 26 November
Christmas Craft Fair
The Garden Room will be full of the South West’s best craftspeople, making it the ideal place to snap up an early Christmas present or two.
Friday & Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm in the Garden Room. Normal garden admission – free for RHS members

 25 & 26 November
Garden Wildlife in The Spotlight
Devon Wildlife Trust will be in the Plant Centre offering advice 1pm – 4.30pm

ODYSSEAN TOPOGRAPHIES AT HESTERCOMBE

Four artists reconsider landscape through sound, sculpture, food, film and digital animation

This winter, Hestercombe Gallery in Somerset hosts a group exhibition in which four artists reconsider the physical world through sound, sculpture, food, film and digital animation, exploring how technology has changed our relationship to landscape.

The exhibition emerged as the result of a longstanding collaboration between artists Natasha Rosling, Alexander Stevenson, Alistair Grant and Simon Lee Dicker – who instigated and took part in a series of artist residencies across the Orkney Isles.

Travelling, researching and responding across the archipelago, the artists spent time in a remote bothy, a lighthouse, a beachside golf course and a burial chamber. Working individually, they each developed distinctive connections with the islands’ human stories and extraordinary geography.

 

Odyssean: Topographies is not a conclusion to the project, but an opening, in which the artists reflect on their experiences, experiment with ideas and processes, generate new lines of enquiry and share questions common to their practices.

Large-scale sculpture, installation, animation, film, sound, workshops and events will be presented across the house and gardens of Hestercombe. The exhibition will also respond to its surroundings: a landscape at once historic and contemporary, highly managed and equally wild.

The exhibition programme includes a seminar in late January, on artistic research and new approaches to landscape. The event will include performance, food and collective discussions around mapping invisible and imagined spaces, and the idea of remoteness, both physical and emotional.

Odyssean: Topographies is open daily 11am – 4pm, from 18 November 2017 until 25 February 2018. The preview for the exhibition will take place on Friday 17 November.

The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England and Gane Trust.

Exhibition and event listings
Exhibition Preview
17 November 2017, 6–8pm
Free, all welcome

Exhibition
Odyssean: Topographies
18 November – 25 February, open daily, 11am-4pm
Free to members or £10.45 for an adult ticket (concessions available). Ticket includes entry to the House and Gardens.

PHOTO: Rackwick Bothy.

 

 

PILGRIMS’ WAY – STAND AT DELIVER AT HALSWAY MANOR

Pilgrims’ Way present a new album and show packed full of highwaymen, robbers, and brigands, their stories told through traditional English folk song and 1980s disco.

Avoided at all costs, scorned and mocked, these villainous figures have fascinated and alarmed the good people of England for years. Now they’re making an album about highwaymen.

Pilgrims’ Way are often accused of stealing a living, so for this, their third studio album, it made sense to draw from the rich seam of the highwayman ballad. From the derring-do of Robin Hood bashing the bishop, via Dick Turpin’s doomed attempt to obtain legal aid under a Tory government, to ‘The Box on her Head’, the dramatic and unforgettable tale of a young lady with a box on her head, the album covers centuries of inflated stories, glorified violence, sexual innuendo, and the common man breaking all the rules in a desperate bid to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

Incorporating over 40 instruments, a dozen songs, and a riotous feel-good energy throughout, this is a magnificent tour-de-force by a band at the absolute peak of their overdraft.

Expect energy, choruses, and gold-brocaded Hussars’ jackets galore! The powerhouse five-piece arrangements will send you home dancing, and with an overwhelming desire to hold up and rob some stagecoaches.

Halsway Manor in Somerset provides a permanent home for the enjoyment, study and development of folk music, dance and culture in England and draws on traditions from across Europe and beyond. Unique in the UK it hosts over 340 days of residential and outreach activity every year covering all facets of the folk arts from instrumental music, song and dance to traditional storytelling, crafts and instrument making.

Tickets are priced £10 / £4 for full-time students. Phone 01984 618274 or buy online: www.halswaymanor.org.uk.