In The Country & Town August 2022


The Property & Lifestyle Magazine COUNTRY & TOWN | 1


Within This Issue...

Creating the inspiration to move

Is Buyer Demand Slowing?

12. STEVE BACKSHALL AND HELEN GLOVER Getting their 3 children outdoors

40. KIM WILDE The 80s weren’t just about shoulder pads

By this point in the year we had expected the market to even out and possibly slow a little, given the cost of living crisis and interest rates heading upwards. A slowdown was anticipated, but in the height of Summer 2022 the market remains as hot as the weather with no slowdown in buyer demand whatsoever.

The reality on the shop floor is that housing supply is scarce and likely to continue to remain so for a long time, whilst the demand to move for the benefit of more open spaces and home working opportunities is not going away any time soon. We experience many situations of multiple buyers bidding on the same property, with the inevitable outcome of a higher price for the vendor and the return of gazumping with all the rancour that practice brings with it. The market most impacted by this market resilience is the £1.5m. to £6m. sector. Good for the vendors of such properties and of course challenging for the buyer.

more sold than for sale

Covid Still Impacting The House Market

The long shadow of Covid continues to impact on the house market, in a positive way with buyers increasingly looking for the ability to work from home with a home office and fast broadband speed, together with a large garden space. However, the negative aspect of the Covid experience is a massive slowdown in the time it is taking to get a house sale through to exchange of contracts and completion. Estate agents, solicitors, lenders and of course the actual buyers and sellers, are all being impacted by individuals getting Covid and then having to take time out to recover.

10. KATE HUMBLE Short on space - growing home produce



A Summer To Remember

McCarthy Holden were delighted to be joint major sponsors with BMW of Lowdefest 2022 which was held in Hazeley Bottom just outside Hartley Wintney. The charitable aim of the music festival is to help advance the education of young people in the subject of music and the preservation of health among young people. McCarthy Holden promotional videos were shown on large scale screens covering the various agency aspects from equestrian & country homes to land and new homes. We look forward to proving market insights in the next issue of this magazine, as well as showcasing exquisite homes and engaging editorial content. John Holden - Chairman McCarthy Holden

46. The Railway Children Return A charming trip down memory lane

Published by Kilbricken Publishing and John Joe Photography Limited,Telephone: 07470 707275, email, web Publishing 2022 - All rights reserved. Reproduction is forbidden except by express permission of the publishers.The content of this magazine is believed to be correct but its accuracy is not guaranteed and it does not form part of any offer or contract. John Joe Limited cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors.

26. ENDANGERED PINE MARTENS Could be reintroduced to south-west England

Property summary content on following pages | 3

A collection of exquisite properties











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A fine Grade II listed country residence set in the rural surrounds of Hackwood Park, in the midst of active farmland. Approached by a long, winding tarmac driveway through farmland the residence begins with a circular gravel driveway. Off the driveway there is a large combined double garage with attached stables (two boxes) and plant room.There is another twin loose box and store room building adjacent.To the rear there is a large area of lawn surrounded by woodland - ideal for children to play in or walking a dog. Paddocks are also available by separate negotiation.The house itself offers 6/7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 5 reception rooms and a wealth of character features. . EPC E - Tenancy 12 months - To be let unfurnished - ADDITIONAL CHARGES WILL APPLY (CONTACT AGENT) Telephone 01256 704851

Roundtown, Hampshire Guide: £10,000p.c.m.

• Beautiful Rural Setting • 6/7 Bedrooms • 5 Bathrooms •

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A fine family home on a grand scale in a highly desirable location in Finchampstead, Berkshire, set in grounds of around 3 acres with a mix of formal landscaped gardens and fields or paddocks. Built by the current owners just over 10 years ago to their own exacting standards, the quality of build and attention to detail are just two of the many defining factors of this excellent property..There are a total of six bedrooms and six bathrooms over three floors, five reception rooms including the stunning kitchen, plus a study. Outside there is a double garage with car port and a former stable block that could be re-purposed subject to planning. Features include a stunning hand crafted staircase, underfloor heating on the ground and first floors and a 2-bedroom apartment suite layout to the second floor. EPC B (87) Telephone 01252 842100

Finchampstead, Berkshire / Hampshire Borders Guide: £3,500,000

• Grounds of around 3 acres • Exquisite Interior • Circa 5,390 sq. ft. •

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Short on space? Kate Humble recommends growing these things at home

By Prudence Wade, PA

You might think you need a vast backyard and a green thumb to grow your own veg and herbs at home, but Kate Humble couldn’t disagree more.

“Even if you’ve just got a windowsill, there are lots of things you can grow,” says the nature presenter and cookbook author excitedly.“[There is] great pleasure to be had in providing some of the things you eat yourself.” Humble, best known for presenting shows like Countryfile and Springwatch, lives in a farm in Wales. She grows her own produce and raises livestock, but she still says:“My home growing is about actually growing things I can’t easily buy, whether it’s because I want a particular variety, or because it’s not something that’s easily available. “So rather than thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to be self-sufficient’ – I would say this to anybody, whether they’ve got a garden or not:You can buy perfectly good carrots at your local farm shop, or in the supermarket. But if you want purple carrots, for example, and you might – they are delicious – grow those.” But there are still some other obvious benefits to growing some of your own produce.“It’s lovely,” enthuses Humble.“If you’ve grown it yourself, the flavours are going to be extraordinary – it hasn’t been chilled, it hasn’t been stored for ages. It’s as fresh as fresh can be.” If you’re short on space, Humble says you can still get in on the action.These are her suggestions for what to grow at home… Herbs and leafy greens - “You can buy them in supermarkets and they’re hugely expensive – but actually, they’re really, really easy to grow,” she says.“Any sort of salad or leafy herb – I’m thinking of things like coriander, flat-leaf parsley, dill – those sorts of herbs work really well. Chervil is really difficult to find in the shops, but really easy to grow.” She recommends reusing old plastic boxes (the kind tomatoes or fruit come in). “Keep that plastic box, put some earth in it, tamp it down a little bit, put your seeds on the top of that tiny bit of earth – not much,” advises Humble. “Sprinkle a bit of water on top, put it on your windowsill and you will grow your microherbs.They’ll grow so fast, you’ll get them in like 10 days – and they’ll keep coming back.” Humble says kale, spinach and other leafy greens are also easy to plant at home.“Having fresh greens at this time of year – or at any time of year – is wonderful.” There’s an added benefit, too, because salad and herbs tend to come in plastic bags – “environmentally not great”, says Humble. Chillies - “I love growing chillies, I have them everywhere,” she says.“I would definitely [try growing them] if you’re a bit of a chilli fiend. Again, there’s not a lot of point in growing things you can easily buy, or are relatively cheap to buy” – so she recommends trying it out “if there’s a specific variety of chilli you really like”.

Carrots - If you do want to grow your own carrots (orange or otherwise) they are definitely achievable if you’re tight on space, according to Humble.“If you’ve got a balcony, you can grow carrots in a bucket,” she says.

Foraging - This one isn’t technically growing your own produce, but Humble is a big proponent of foraging to get fresh ingredients.A friend taught her there are a lot of things you can eat that are found everywhere – “You don’t have to be a massive plant expert,” she says.“And you don’t have to go further than your garden.” She recommends ground elder – “which every gardener hates, because they think of it as the most invasive and nightmare weed” – but it was actually introduced by the Romans as a vegetable, she says. Humble calls it “wonderful – it’s like spinach, you can put it in stews”.

Humble’s other foraging picks include honeysuckle (put it into ice cream) and tulip leaves (“they taste like peas”).

There’s something “really, really satisfying” about foraging, she says.

Home Cooked: Recipes From The Farm by Kate Humble is published by Gaia, priced £25. Photography by Andrew Montgomery.Available now.

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Adventurer Steve Backshall and Olympic rower Helen Glover on why they love getting their 3 children outdoors By Lisa Salmon, PA Y ou don’t get much more of an outdoor-type than the adventurer Steve Backshall – although his wife, Olympic rower Helen Glover, isn’t far behind. But even the strongest outdoors advocates can get stuck for ideas on how to entertain children there, which is why their new book,Wildlings, was born. “I love being outdoors, and I vividly remember racking my brain thinking of ideas for what we could do with the kids one day, and I started to jot down little ideas on my phone,” says mother-of-three Glover.“This grew and grew and grew, and I thought if I was finding motivation hard and having trouble getting ideas, then there must be lots of other people out there in the same boat, and Steve and I got talking and we thought these ideas could be useful for other families. It’s something that’s really close to our hearts and important to us, especially having children and seeing how they revel in the outdoors, and we can give that back to other families.”

that and how to make it work, and that’s why we’re here.There’s absolutely no doubt about it, we get our best, happiest, easiest to deal with kids when they’ve been outside all day long and they’re naturally tired, windblown, exhausted and covered in mud with great big grins on their faces.You take them inside, they start to glaze over and they fall asleep. Perfect – job done!” The pair acknowledge that the hardest part of outdoor activities is getting kids out there in the first place. “Getting started and making it happen is the hardest bit, but once you’re out there it’s actually really easy, particularly with youngsters,” promises Backshall. “Hopefully this book will be empowering for those parents who don’t want to go outside themselves,” says Glover.“It’s the same as with a workout – if you get a little bit of knowledge and vision – essentially a helping hand that can make you feel empowered and confident to go into that situation – then you’re more likely to do it.” But it’s not always easy to do things outside, even for the Backshall-

The couple, who are parents to Logan, aged four, and twins Kit and Bo, two-and-a-half, drew on many of their celebrity friends, including Sir Chris Hoy, Judy Murray, Michaela Strachan, Caroline Lucas, Sir Brian May,Wayne Bridge and Tim Peake, to contribute ideas to the book, which includes activities like creating a home aquarium, woodland gymnastics, building a hedgehog home, bush bashing, and spider web frame art.“A lot of the ideas in the book are from our childhood,” explains Glover, 36, a two-time Olympic champion and triple world champion rower.“Our children are quite young for some of the ideas at the moment, so there are things we look forward to doing with them, and some we do with them now.” Clearly enjoying sharing all their fun ideas with other families, Backshall, 49, enthuses:“My favourite is something we’re doing for the third year running with our kids – we’ve set up a pond life aquarium.We’ve got a fish tank and we’ve been out pond dipping every day and finding tadpoles, pond skaters, water stick insects, little fish, dragonfly larvae, and we put it all together in a tank which is sat in the middle of our living room.” And the explorer, who presents the BBC’s Deadly 60, says of the aquarium:“It changes day by day and it’s absolutely riveting to look at – you can just stare at it for so long! It’s a non-stop project that keeps them interested all the time. There are things you might never have seen before – alien-looking creatures that are actually comparatively common in the bottom of a British pond. It’s just such a fantastic project to keep going for as long or as short a time as you want.” Glover’s favourite activity takes the family a little further afield, but is an obvious winner for an Olympic rower. “I grew up in Cornwall and I loved writing about the beach Olympics – that was really fun and close to my heart,” she says. But parents are busy, so why shouldn’t they just hand kids an iPad and leave them to it, instead of getting involved with action-packed outdoor adventures? “It’s really well-documented how much people, and particularly young people, get from the outdoors, and how much they can lose from a disconnect with it,” stresses Backshall.“We’re becoming more and more aware that things like oxygen and vitamin D, and the constant flood of hormones you have when you’re outside and active are benefits you can bring for your physical health and your emotional wellbeing, and they’re absolutely countless.

Glover family.“As people who love the outdoors, we don’t want anyone to think we find it easy – it’s hard sometimes,” admits Glover.“But I do hope this book bridges the gap and makes it a bit easier.” Backshall adds:“The workout analogy is a really good one – anyone who’s ever done any kind of physical exercise will know that if you’re sat inside and it’s hammering down with rain outside, going for a run or a bike ride is really, really tough, and every ounce of your being is telling you not to do it. But the second you’re underway with it, you feel like a billion dollars, and afterwards it’s the best feeling on earth. It’s the same feeling with getting your kids outside.” Of course, there’s much more to parenting than just getting your kids outdoors – so what do the all-action duo think of being a mum and dad? “They’re a handful, but we really love it,” says Glover.“Honestly, I’ve felt lucky every single day.” And Backshall declares:“I think it’s world-changing – it’s changed everything about my perspective on what life is all about. I’ve spent a lot of my life crawling around trying to find a purpose for what I’m doing here, and suddenly I became a dad and thought,‘There it is, right there!’ Wildlings by Steve Backshall and Helen Glover is published by Two Roads, priced £20.Available now.

“You can see the change in kids the second they get outside and are doing something fun and active and different, and something that challenges them in a variety of ways. But not everybody has an endless supply of ideas on how to do

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Riseley, Hampshire Offers in excess of: £1,600,000 )

A fine country property with equestrian facilities set in rural grounds of circa 6 acres including formal gardens, paddocks, lake, stables and sand school.The main residence has accommodation principally on the ground floor with the main bedroom suite and a galleried living area on the first floor. Detached double garage with stairs leading up to a large studio providing options for home working. Stables and paddocks. EPC B (87) - Telephone 01252 842100

• Text • Text • Text • Grounds of around 6 acres • Superb Kitchen / Diner • Stables and Paddocks •

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Fleet (Blue Triangle), Hampshire (SOLD s.t.c. GOING TO PRESS) Guide: £2,250,000 The scale of this property is truly outstanding and a particular highlight is the stunning kitchen / breakfast room.There is an excellent ground and first floor annexe/guest suite, featuring a games room and gym shower room and upstairs a bedroom and further en-suite shower room. Upstairs there are five double bedrooms, two with en-suite and a family bathroom which is Jack and Jill to bedroom three.To the front there is an in/ out gravel driveway and a double garage. To the rear the garden is laid to lawn and surrounded by trees offering privacy and seclusion. EPC D (67) - Telephone 01252 620640

Shinfield, Hampshire Guide: £975,000

An executive detached family home finished to a very high standard, offering stylish accommodation throughout., featuring a most impressive refitted kitchen. 5 bedrooms with the master bedroom benefitting from range of built- in wardrobes and en-suite shower room. Bedroom 2 also boasts an en-suite shower room and there is also a stylish family bathroom. Attractive landscaped rear garden with patio areas creating an ideal space for entertaining, area of decking, fish pond with water feature and circular area of artificial lawn. EPC (to be confirmed) - Telephone 01252 842100

• Stunning Kitchen / Breakfast Room • 5 Bedrooms • Wonderful Garden •

• 5,800 sq. ft. of elegant living space • Tree Fringed Grounds • Annexe •

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Timber Stables, Mobile & Fixed Field Shelters and American Barns - designed to withstand the rigours of equine life and trusted by generations of horse owners.


01233 611123

Garages, Carriage House, Carports and Workshops - designed to sit perfectly in rural and contemporary settings. Available as a kit or fully installed.


01233 229898

Fleet (Blue Triangle), Hampshire Guide: £1,675,000

An extremely attractive five bedroom detached family home in grounds approaching a third of an acre, is situated in the prestigious Blue Triangle area of Fleet. A particular feature of the property is the generous and well appointed kitchen/breakfast room with adjoining orangery which is triple aspect with a large sky lantern which floods the whole room with natural light. Electric access gates with driveway parking for several vehicles as well as a double garage. EPC C (70) - Telephone 01252 620640

Garden Rooms, Summer Houses, Pavilions and Gazebos - timber garden retreats, for outdoor dining, quiet contemplation and family enjoyment.

• Text • Text • Text • Beautifully Presented • Superb Kitchen/Diner • Circa 2,800 sq. ft.•


01233 229898

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Fleet (Blue Triangle), Hampshire (SOLD s.t.c. GOING TO PRESS) Guide: £1,750,000 An impressive family home that has been modernised and extended while sympathetically maintaining the character of this 90-year-old home, built originally by the renowned builder Pool and Son.The property occupies a mature plot measuring approx. 0.6 of an acre.. EPC C (71) - Telephone 01252 620640


• Text • Text • Text • Wonderful Grounds • Superb Kitchen / Diner • Around 3,700 sq.ft. •

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Fleet (Blue Triangle), Hampshire Guide: offers in excess of £1,400,000

This impressive family home is situated in the Blue Triangle area of Fleet and is offered to the market in excellent decorative order throughout.The property sits on a substantial plot measuring approximately 0.3 of an acre and has accommodation in excess of 3,000 sq.ft. which is arranged over two floors.. EPC C (69) - Telephone 01252 620640

• Text • Text • Text • Wonderful Grounds • Superb Kitchen / Diner • Around 3,000 sq.ft. •

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Fleet, Hampshire Guide: £1,850,000

A highly individual property on a grand scale, in grounds of around 1.4 acres.The property is currently divided into two separate areas of habitation with the potential of being combined into one extensive family home, subject to any planning requirements. .There is a former stable block which is now a high specification office suite

generating an income from a tenant. EPC A (92) - Telephone 01252 620640

• Almost 1.4 Acres • Around 5,800 sq. ft. • Detached Office Suite •

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Endangered pine martens could be reintroduced to south-west England By Tess de la Mare, PA C ritically endangered pine martens could be reintroduced to the south-west of England following a 150-year absence.A coalition of conservation organisations including the National Trust, the Devon Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust hope the nocturnal mammals could be released as early as autumn 2024.

They are working with both the Exmoor and Dartmoor national park authorities to identify two suitable sites for a release programme.

The Two Moors Pine Marten Project is now in discussions with residents, farmers, landowners and other land users to assess the impact of the plans on the environment and surrounding businesses.

Pine martens used to be among Britain’s most common mammals, but were pushed to the brink of extinction in England due to loss of habitat and persecution.

In Victorian times they were shot for sport, trapped for their fur and persecuted by gamekeepers, and they disappeared from the South West in the 1880s.

By the beginning of the 20th century, Britain’s remaining pine martens were limited to the north-west Scottish highlands, and small pockets of territory in the uplands of northern England and Wales.

Pine martens are omnivores, feeding on whatever is available at the time of year including voles, rabbits, fungi, berries and small birds – helping to keep the woodland ecosystem in balance. Recent research has also found that they may boost efforts to save the native red squirrel by hunting their more abundant grey rivals. Ed Parr Ferris, conservation manager with the Devon Wildlife Trust, said:“As communities rightly seek to plant more woodlands to address carbon and climate, it is vital we also bring back the wildlife and wild processes that make those woodlands alive and functioning properly. “This can bring challenges and sometimes requires changes to how we live alongside nature, and so we want to work with all those affected over the next 18 months to understand how to do that sustainably – for pine martens, other wildlife and people.” Recently, a report by the Environment Agency set out the near catastrophic pressures faced by UK wildlife in the face of habitat loss and global warming. Britain is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, with 41% of native fauna and flora species decreasing in abundance since 1970, with 15% facing extinction.

But a study published last year found that the south-west of England was ripe for a reintroduction programme, despite not having the same large blocks of forest as Scotland and Wales.

It found that the region’s low density of major roads coupled with a network of woodlands and wooded valleys, often connected by river catchment areas, would provide enough habitat for pine martens to thrive.

Sarah Bryan, chief executive of Exmoor National Park Authority, said:“We’re pleased to be looking at the possibility of making these charismatic creatures part of Exmoor’s rich natural heritage once again.

“The next step will be to talk with local people and those with direct experience of pine martens to determine if reintroduction is right for Exmoor and, if so, how we can work together to design a successful reintroduction programme.” | 27

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First Drive: Lamborghini Huracan STO

By Jack Evans, PA Motoring Reporter


L amborghini isn’t known for its shy and retiring nature. The brand’s created some of the most outlandish and awe-inspiring supercars around over the years, destined to be poster stars for car enthusiasts around the world – and the Huracan STO aims to be next in that star-studded line-up, bringing both huge thrills and looks that will turn heads wherever it goes. But dynamically, can this latest Huracan edition stand up to the test? And how does it fare with the UK’s roads?


The Huracan STO – which stands for Super Trofeo Omologata, or homologation – is essentially designed to be a road-going version of Lamborghini’s Huracan Super Trofeo Evo race car. Acting as the most hardcore car in the firm’s Huracan line-up, the STO is lighter than the standard car – mainly thanks to the removal of its all-wheel-drive system – while a wide track, stiffer bushings and more downforce ensure that this is a far more serious beast.The cabin has been stripped out too, though thankfully some creature comforts, such as air-conditioning and Apple CarPlay, remain.


Central to the Huracan STO is its 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 engine. At 631bhp, its output is mightily impressive, while its accompanying torque figure of 565Nm isn’t to be sniffed at. Flat-out, you’ll get from zero to 60mph in just under three seconds before hitting a top speed of 193mph. Serious, it definitely is. Power goes to the rear wheels alone via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic too. Thankfully, Lamborghini has also seriously upgraded the braking system, equipping Brembo’s CCM-R set which takes learnings from F1 and brings them to the road.Though it can be easy to be swept up by the V10 engine barking away behind you, the brakes are one of the stars of the show with the Huracan STO..

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lively in the styling department courtesy of lime green exterior paint with contrast red highlights. But then, it could be argued that this is what you want from a Lamborghini? They aren’t cars designed to be shy and retiring, but to be examples of out-there design and styling.To our eyes, the STO looks spot-on and nails the usual Lamborghini brief..


Slot yourself into the STO’s deep bucket seats and you’re faced with a variety of buttons all located on the steering wheel. A lack of stalks means aspects such as the full-beam and wipers are all accessed via toggle switches on the wheel itself – and that, initially, is what you get used to. But all of this quickly slips into the background once you start to gather a bit of pace with the STO. It’s an all-encompassing, immersive experience.The steering is surprisingly light – much lighter than with many of the STO’s rivals, in fact – but it does mean that the whole car feels agile and sharp. The body control is exceptional, with next to no sideways motion when heading through corners.As mentioned, the brakes are a real highlight; they’re superbly progressive and easy to manage but deal out a huge amount of stopping power as and when you need it.The engine sounds relatively muted at lower revs, but increase that throttle pedal travel and theV10 soars into life with an addictive howl.There’s also next to no rear visibility, with the engine cover and huge rear wing meaning you’ve got to rely on the mirrors instead.


As mentioned, Lamborghini has stripped out a huge amount of weight from the Huracan’s cabin in its STO transformation, but that doesn’t mean it lacks that ‘special’ feeling – quite the opposite.There are vast swathes of Alcantara used throughout, while the fighter plane-style toggle switches and huge red starter button do mirror the drama of the exterior design. The bucket seats have a decent amount of adjustability to them, while the driving position, in general, is excellent. It’s also best that you pack light if you’re travelling in the STO; there’s barely any extra space in the cabin, while the front clamshell – which is opened via a special key – opens to reveal only enough room for a single helmet..



Though the STO is based around out-and-out performance, there are a number of features included to help keep those drives between circuits a little more pleasant. There’s a large central screen, for example, which houses navigation and

Well, you can’t say that the STO is boring to look at.With its huge rear wing, roof-mounted air duct and variety of decals and designs, this is one Huracan that goes above and beyond when it comes to visual excitement. Our car was particularly | 31

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media functions.Though it does look good it’s dizzyingly complicated and menu-heavy, with even aspects such as changing the fan speed made into a far more time-consuming process than you’d ordinarily think.

‘Our’ STO’s final price came to a whopping £331,212 after options.That green paint – called Verde Scandal – was one of the most expensive additions at £10,600, while cruise control (£700) and sport seats (£5,000) quickly ramped up the price further.We would, however, highly advise the fitment of the lifting system.Though expensive at £3,000, the added peace of mind it brings when driving over speed humps is well worth the extra outlay.


It’s common for car manufacturers to roll out the ‘race car for the road’ saying whenever they release a new lightweight model – and not all live up to this claim. However, the STO genuinely feels like the real deal, bringing that track-focused ability that you’d expect from something that has been unashamedly honed to go as quickly around a circuit as possible. But it’s still a hugely rewarding road car. Uncompromising, yes, but rewarding.Though it’s easy to judge this car as simply a huge-wing head-turner, the STO is far more than just that.This is a Lamborghini which backs up its look with as dynamic and involving driving experience as you’re likely to get. FACTS AT A GLANCE

Ewshot, Hampshire Guide: £1,375,000

Model: Lamborghini Huracan STO - Price: £249,412

A substantial property, which sits on a plot approaching one third of an acre, has been extended and modernised over time and now benefits from generous and flexible accommodation.There is a magnificent 42ft. long living/dining/ garden room which is triple aspect. Upstairs are the additional five bedrooms and family bathroom. . EPC E (52) - Telephone 01252 620640

Model as tested: Huracan STO - Price as tested: £331,212

Engine: 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 - Power: 631bhp

Torque: 565Nm - 0-60mph: 2.8 seconds

Top speed: 193mph

• Almost One Third Of An Acre • Around 3,400 sq. ft. • Wonderful Garden •

Economy: 20.3mpg - Emissions: 331g/km

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A bit of all-white 11 ways to weave white decor into your home

By Sam Wylie-Harris, PA


It’s a timeless summer staple, which can brighten up the blandest of spaces – no wonder our love affair with white furnishings shows no sign of waning.

“The perfect simplicity of white is not to be underestimated, its versatility can warm a cold space, brighten a dull one, or turn a lifeless interior into an enticing personal home,” says Chrissie Rucker OBE, founder of The White Company.

“A white scheme is brilliant for bringing a sense lightness and serenity to a space.”

When decorating with white, Rucker’s advice is to pile on the texture and to use natural elements, which connect us back to nature.

“A super-soft rug underfoot, or a diaphanous drape at a window can truly transform a room,” she says. “Add in weathered wood, slubby linen or marbled slate to add interest.” For walls, opt for warm whites rather than cold, bluey-white tones. “Ivory, alabaster, chalk and many other soft whites are on the market. I love its almost spa-like quality, which in our hectic world is lovely to come home to,” Rucker adds. Wil Law, home stylist at John Lewis & Partners, says: “Decorating with soothing pale shades is incredibly versatile and can work brilliantly in busy, contemporary homes.

“Pair neutral tones with natural materials such as rattan and jute, for a relaxed and easy interiors scheme.”

Bramshill, Hampshire Guide: offers in excess of £1,600,000

A charming character home on the rural fringes of Eversley, Hampshire. Set in a plot of approximately three quarters of an acre, the property has a beautifully landscaped rear garden backing on to woodland and a private country estate beyond. Believed to be over 300 years old and extended by the current owners, there are now four reception rooms on the ground floor including a large sitting room and family kitchen/dining room.The property benefits from a charming detached annexe with a history of rental income. EPC E (54) - Telephone 01252 842100

• Grounds c. ¾ Of An Acre • Kitchen / Breakfast Room • Detached Home Office •

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Law says whites can also be used to accent a room. For example, neutral soft furnishings work well against darker shades on furniture and rugs.

Here’s how to proffer the power of white in your room right now…

1. Newicon Pedal Bin 30 Litre – White, £79 (other items from a selection), Brabantia. An all-white kitchen is chic and welcoming, especially when your waste bin’s a winner in the style stakes too. Team with other all- white kitchenware. 2. John Lewis Leckford Stoneware: Side Plate, £5; Salad Plate, £6, and Cereal Bowl, £6, John Lewis. With its rustic feel, this white stoneware range is ideal for relaxed entertaining and simple tablescapes. 3. Milton White 120cm Dining Table, £149.99 (was £179.99), Furniture Choice.When you want to create a harmonious haven for working from home, nothing beats a contemporary white table – especially if teamed with fresh green foliage and rattan decos for a dose of wellbeing.

4. Peg & BoardThe Memo Board – Portrait,White, £80, you need to free up some desk space, this contemporary memo board can

be tailored to your exact organisational needs, with metal shelving and pegs to post key items.

5. Honeycomb Wine Bottle Rack – White, from £27 (was £39), A Place For Everything.These modular wine racks can hold up to 10 bottles – and make perfect building blocks for enthusiasts who want to create a whole wonder wall of wine, as shown here.Alternatively, simply sit individual racks on countertops or cabinets. 6. John Lewis Snuggle Accent Swivel Chair – Gold Base, Cream Boucle, £599, John Lewis. If a boucle cocktail chair – that doubles up as a snug swivel – is on your wish list, this one ticks all the boxes.We love its contemporary-cool design and gold base.

7. Cream Ceramic Donut Table Lamp, £25, Ring-shaped ceramic lamp bases are having a moment, and with its textured wooden effect shade, this one is bang on the money.

8. Evesham Table – Natural (centre), £395; Norton Stool (left), £120; Southwold Table Lamp, £195, and Elston Rug, from £525 (sofa from a selection), The White Company. A mix of whites, off-whites and natural materials – think knitted throws, a textured rug, sturdy seagrass and soft lighting – makes for an instantly summery, cosy, laid-back vibe.

9. DBKD LongVase – Medium Mole, £45, MADE. com. Scandi-inspired and a lovely focal point with its organic curved shape, this would look great with dried grasses or feather grasses for texture and movement. 10. Artificial Rose Tree, from £29.99 (3ft), Christow. Fast-track to a rose tree in perpetual bloom… These beautiful cream roses with a natural looking twisted vine will add wow factor to a dull corner, or positioned in front of a fireplace. 11. Lick White 03 Matt, from £42 for 2.5L, Lick. With the promise of a flawless finish in two coats, Tash Bradley, Lick’s director of interior design, describesWhite 03 as a warm, calming white with a lovely softness. “White emanates the feeling of purity and clarity, and it’s an emotionally safe colour as it helps clear your mind,” Bradley notes.

Fleet, Hampshire Guide: £1,295,000

This attractive double fronted property sits on a plot approaching one fifth of an acre. The impressive accommodation features, entrance hallway with central staircase, sitting room, dining room and living room. The heart of the home is the stunning rear aspect open plan kitchen which enjoys views over the garden. Telephone 01252 620640

• Exquisite Kitchen / Family Room • One Fifth Of An Acre • Landscaped Grounds •

Chrissie Rucker OBE, founder of The White Company.

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Residential & Commercial

WHY ADVERTISE IN THIS MAGAZINE? Simple, Affordable .....pricing In The Country & Town is a unique magazine that showcases some of the most exquisite homes as well as editorial content including celebrity chefs, motoring features, great interior design, gardening and of course market insight and property news. With a circulation of around 8,500 (combined print and by email newsletter) In The Country and Town offers a unique opportunity to advertise to AB demographic homes in the Surrey/Hampshire/Berkshire borders, typically property worth £1.0m. to £6.0m., plus the magazine is available online at


CURIOUS. INSPIRED. HAPPY. With our more informal setting, our teachers and students really get to know one another; literally on a first-name basis. Knowing their teachers are firmly beside them, we ask our students to be brave with their learning, to step up and take advantage of all the opportunities available to them here. To be proactive and passionate in all that they do. Get in touch at to find out more.


Timber Stables, Mobile & Fixed Field Shelters and American Barns - designed to withstand the rigours of equine life and trusted by generations of horse owners.

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GREAT ADVERTISING FOR YOUR BUSINESS 2022 Advertising rates - from £210 BE SEEN IN ALL THE BEST PLACES,THOUSANDS OF HOUSEHOLDS AND ONLINE INCLUDING EMAIL CAMPAIGN NEWSLETTER DIGITAL MARKETING Advertising in In The Country and Town is a great cost effective way to reach affluent home owners and buyers on the move, many of whom make significant decisions on home and lifestyle improvements at or around the time of a move.

Odiham, Hampshire Guide: £1,100,000

Distributed to around 8,500 AB by email and post Typically homes worth £1.0m. to £6.0m. Also available online and within social media Long life, coffee table magazine Pass-on readership Recognisable brand in Hampshire/Berkshire/Surrey Unrivalled value compared to similar magazines Readers typically have a strong interest in property

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In a prime High Street position in Odiham village, this is a rare opportunity to purchase a wonderful Grade II listed commercial and residential investment opportunity.The freehold is made up of three units, 99-101 High Street and offers two commercial units and a three bedroom residential apartment. VIEWING STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Telephone 01256 704851

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To book your advertisement or ask for further details email: or telephone 07470 707275 | 39

38 |

Kim Wilde: The 80s weren’t just about shoulder pads and sharp haircuts

By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor PA

The 1980s are having a resurgence. From the disco-inspired world domination of Dua Lipa to the galloping rock drums of The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights and beyond. Is it just the cyclical nature of things? As someone who was there at the start, Kim Wilde is well placed to answer the question. “The 80s were an incredibly diverse time but it wasn’t just all shoulder pads and sharp haircuts,” she says with a warm laugh. “It was a really exuberant chaos of style.You would have ska, new wave, synth-pop or a bit of prog – some Genesis and good old rock and roll like Queen and U2. It was incredibly eclectic.” “The advent of synthesisers – the Fairlights, the Synclaviers, the Junos and all of those incredible new sounds.They were inspiring a whole bunch of new writers and producers, and one of those happened to be, thank God, my brother Ricky Wilde.” We talk asWilde prepares to go on tour in September after her dates were postponed due to Covid. She has spent the last two years prepping a greatest hits collection and indulging her love of gardening (she has won awards and written books on the subject). “I was so lucky to have a gorgeous garden – or a garden that became gorgeous rather, through my hours and hours of work every day. I just went into the garden. But it was a great time for my community where I live.We all connected in a WhatsApp group which has become a great support to us all since Covid and during Covid. It was a great time for communities of people to get together and rally around and support each other, and so there were lots of really positive things for me that came out of lockdown.” Wilde is part of British musical royalty – her father, 83-year-old Marty, was among the first to embrace rock and roll and scored a string of hits in the 50s and 60s with songs such as Teenager In Love. She released a score of decade- defining hits during the 80s, including Kids In America, and toured with the likes of David Bowie and Michael Jackson. Her 14th album, 2018’s Here Come The Aliens, was well-received by critics and peaked at number 21 in the charts, marking a late career resurgence. Now, at 61, her bond with her family appears even stronger and she continues to write with her brother. Could she ever conceive of not working alongside him? “We’re cut from the same cloth.We’re two peas in a pod. I’ve written lots of songs without him and recorded them, and there are many songs out there without his co-writing presence. In fact, I’ve just written a song today on my piano.

classical greats. When she shot to fame in 1981 with the release of Kids In America, Wilde became an instant household name, her blow-dried blonde mullet copied by young girls across the UK. It was the next year, when her follow-up hit Cambodia took off, that she met fellow 80s legend Boy George.The Culture Club frontman became a close friend and they are now touring together. She remembers singing Cambodia on Top Of The Pops and looking down to see the colourful figure dancing at the front of the audience. “In typical Boy George style, he had managed to talk him and all his mates into the studio to be part of the audience. They were this beautiful crowd of people dancing in front of me and I remember he stood out, of course – this beautiful form in front of me. I vividly remember thinking,‘That person needs to be on stage, I don’t know what I’m doing here, that’s the person that needs to be on this stage’.” The pair stayed close friends and have performed together a number of times over the years, including during a tribute to New Romantic pioneer Steve Strange, frontman of the band Visage, following his death aged 55 in 2015. During lockdown, they connected over Zoom and Wilde asked him to add vocals to a new song, Shine On, written with her brother. They recorded virtually but were eventually able to meet up and record a suitably flamboyant music video.Wilde also remembers a close encounter with David Bowie while supporting the late music legend on his 1990 Sound + Vision Tour.“He was a very normal guy in an extraordinary situation,” she reflects.“He would say ‘hi’ and would pop in and would wish you luck with the show in a very down to earth way. “But one of the sweet memories I have is when I left the tour, we had done quite a few shows together, and I decided to take him a Marty Wilde T-shirt, which I thought would be fun. I wanted to see if I could make him smile. I thought, ‘If I don’t do anything in this lifetime, if I bring a smile to David Bowie’s face I can die happy’.” When she entered his dressing room he was shirtless and having his make-up done. “I said ‘Oh, I’ve got a present for you’ and he picked it up and went, ‘Dad!’. It was so funny, so sweet. He was an absolutely charming, wonderful man, and a huge influence on me and my brother and all our family.” As our conversation ends,Wilde reflects on the cyclical nature of things.“Bowie would have been a young, very young man, watching my dad and Cliff Richard and Billy Fury – all the pioneers of pop as it eventually turned out.”

“But I just love working with him.We don’t really have to say very much in the studio, we’re so totally in tune. His passion for music is so intense.”

Growing up in the Wilde household must have been a unique experience, I suggest. “I had lots of friends whose family environments were nothing like that, or whose parents were much older,” she reflects.“Their dads were going to bed when my dad was jumping in a car and going off to do a gig. “I was very aware that we lived in a unique way compared to my mates and their families. But I was overjoyed by it because I love pop music and I have since I was a child.” Wilde was born in November 1960 and recalls the following decade as “an astonishing explosion of fantastic melodies and great sounds” – all experienced through her father’s record player or during long journeys up to Liverpool to see the grandparents.

“My dad appropriated it in the way that people appropriate religion – and that’s what it became,” she laughs.“But instead, our God was Elvis Presley, of course.”

– KimWilde embarks on her Greatest HitsTour in September, starting on Saturday 10 at Sage Gateshead and ending on Tuesday 27 at the London Palladium

Wilde’s musical education took in the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles’ White Album and Joni Mitchell as well as Tchaikovsky and other | 41

40 |

The Blue Triangle - More Green Than Blue

The Blue Triangle area of Fleet is in fact very green, being rich in mature trees, hedges and shrubs which flank the established wide roadways and walks in this much sought after area of Fleet in Hampshire.

Fleet is appealing to families with its combination of great commuter links, Ofsted ‘outstanding’ schools, vast countryside on the doorstep and a mix of property that means Fleet has something for everyone. The town centre offers a wide selection of recognisable brands and independent shops, supermarkets, cafés and restaurants while surrounding developments and villages all have their own sense of community. Many house buyers are attracted by the prospect of an established character property within walking distance of the mainline station and the prospect of a not too daunting commute into London (just 45 minutes or so into Waterloo), so buyer demand is very high for properties within the Blue Triangle area. The London and South Western railway line was opened in 1840 and resulted in Fleet becoming a popular destination for city dwellers. The area continued to grow when land around the general Blue Triangle area was sold for development in 1882. After the First World War, army officers and gentlemen retired from high ranking civil posts and found Fleet an ideal place to settle their families. In addition local people were finding employment in London, to which they commuted. Substantial houses were built along roads such as Reading Road North, Elvetham Road, Gough Road, Fitzroy Road, and Herbert Road. The houses were large to accommodate domestic servants as well as the families, and probably a gardener also. Renowned developers of the time saw the immense opportunity for building fine homes in the Blue Triangle area, in particular Pool & Sons who were established in 1851 and built many substantial and important houses in this area. “Pool & Sons properties in the Blue Triangle attract the most buyer demand, which is not surprising given the architectural merits and character of a Pool & Son property, not to mention the vast building scale and grounds which are frequently half to one acre in size”, comments Richard Ebsworth Sales Director of McCarthy Holden.

Country Homes & Local Fleet Experience Work Together

Richard Ebsworth (Sales Director) and Luke Parkes (Country & Fine Homes) teamwork for Blue Triangle

With a 20 year track record as a leading Estate Agent in Fleet, Richard has his finger on the pulse of buyer demand for properties in the Blue Triangle. “A typical buyer profile will be a family looking to buy in the £1.5m. to £2.5m. sector, where a high specification interior, character exterior and private grounds will be vital requirements”, comments Richard.

Unadopted roads are another feature of properties located within the Blue Triangle, so home owners can really feel that they are off the beaten track yet within walking distance of the town centre.

When McCarthy Holden market Blue Triangle properties, the local Fleet branch team up with Luke Parkes who is in charge of country properties, a department that has an abundance of buyers who will consider the rural outskirts of Fleet as well as properties with private ground nearer to town. Luke will also bring his expertise in marketing into play when creating the best material for gaining maximum marketing impact, including the use of high end video to showcase special properties. The use of drones has increasingly featured in the marketing of high end homes and drone aerial photography and videography is undertaken by C.A.A. approved drone pilots. If you own a property in the Blue Triangle, then your can rest assured that buyer demand is at an all time high in an area considered hot real estate turf. So, if you would like some experience insight into valuation levels Richard Ebsworth is the person to talk to (01252 620640).

Drone Use For Property Marketing

Blue Triangle properties benefit from extensive grounds and wide tree lined roads

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