Cambridge Edition December 2020 - Web



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EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459 Editorial assistant Frances McNaughton 01223 499469 Editorial director Roger Payne Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Sub editor Elisha Young Junior sub editor Jack Nason ADVERTISING Group ad manager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 Sales executive Lucy McNally 01223 492248 CONTRIBUTORS Charlotte Griffiths, Chelsea Fearnley, Regis Crepy, Alex Rushmer & Anna Taylor DESIGN & PRODUCTION Senior designer Lucy Woolcomb Ad production Man-Wai Wong Middleweight designer Emily Lancaster Designer Emma Di’Iuorio MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck

’m writing this from the depths of lockdown 2.0, so while I hope that by the time you read this we’ll be out, about and enjoying some Christmassy fun, I’d hate to commit to a prediction. Instead, I will say this: after the year we’ve had – in Cambridge and around the world – we all deserve a pleasant and peaceful time this Christmas, however the logistics of the restrictions pan out. For Alex, our resident food writer, that means looking out for the “working bulbs in the tangled mess of shattered tree lights that we call 2020”, throwing traditions out the window and doing something wild for his Christmas Day dinner. Can he sell you on meatballs instead of turkey? Find out on page 57. Also proposing an unconventional Christmas feast is chef Regis Crepy, owner of Amélie Flam-kuche. We asked him for his favourite recipes to cook during the festive season and he more than delivered the goods, sharing how-tos for lamb shoulder with apricot and pistachio stuffing, ginger and honey crème brulee (or should that be Cambridge burnt cream?) and more. Take a peek on page 49. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – one of the only positives to come out of the pandemic has been the great strides forward in food delivery services, and that’s about to level up even further in time for Christmas. FromMidsummer House’s eye-wateringly expensive multi-day feast to Steak & Honour’s ‘Sage Against the Machine’ burgers, via some brussel sprout ice cream, we’ve got the best festive food deliveries to be had in Cambridge over on page 58. Those with a penchant for plant-based eats, head to page 61, where Chelsea shares which vegan supermarket Christmas dinners belong on the naughty list and which will be gracing her table this December. Down on her gorgeous flower farm in Audley End, gardening columnist Anna plans to “embrace the stillness” this December and truly enjoy the build-up to Christmas; crafting, decorating, tending to her garden and generally “wafting” merrily about until the new year. See if you can be persuaded to do the same on page 82. If you need some inspiration for your Christmas shopping, head to our gift guides (from page 63), where we’ve got all kinds of great ideas for pressies from local independent shops. Charlotte, author of our monthly book club, is (of course!) recommending gifting literature to your favourite people – and life- changing literature at that. Check out her recommendations for the most giftable, life-affirming reads to press into the hands of the ones you love this Christmas – it’s on page 20. A read that I can personally recommend is Toymaker by Tom Karen, who I interviewed for this issue. Designer, inventor and real-life Geppetto, he’s the man responsible for the Raleigh Chopper and many other Christmas list must-haves. Read about his amazing life on page 26. We’ve also got a huge Christmas giveaway worth over £1450 (page 30), the best locally made Christmas spirits (and beers and wine) for your Christmas booze shopping (page 44), cosy outdoor dining experiences for winter (54) and plenty more besides.



CAMBRIDGE EDITIONMAGAZINE Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 499450, • All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of the publishers. • Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Cambridge Edition or Bright Publishing Ltd, which do not accept any liability for loss or damage. • Every effort has been made to ensure all information is correct. • Cambridge Edition is a free publication that is distributed in Cambridge and the surrounding area.

It might be quieter than usual, but there’s still much to celebrate this Christmas – even if it’s only that 2020 is finally at an end. See you on the other side! Nicola Foley EDITOR IN CHIEF

This month’s cover illustration was created by Lucy Woolcomb , senior designer at Bright Publishing


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58 ● CHRISTMAS, DELIVERED Delicious festive fare brought straight to your door 61 ● LIFE ON THE VEG The best and worst of vegan Christmas dinners 63 ● CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE Gifts for him, for her and for the kids – we’ve got inspiration aplenty 71 ● FESTIVE HOME EDITION Decorate your home beautifully for Christmas with our interiors top tips 81 ● STORE OF THE MONTH Furnace Plumbing & Heating Services Ltd will keep your home running smoothly this winter 82 ● GARDENS Anna shares her plans for the month, in the garden and beyond

8 ● STARTERS Christmas hits not to miss, plus our favourite social media pics for December 15 ● WHAT’S ON Your round-up of this month’s arts events 20 ● CHRISTMAS BOOK CLUB Cosy up with one of our Edition Book Club picks for December 24 ● CHRISTMAS CRAFTS Get creative this month with these fun and festive projects 26 ● TOY STORY We meet Tom Karen, toy designer, memoirist and Cambridge resident 30 ● CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY It’s our annual giveaway – and it’s bigger and better than ever!

35 ● RADIO GAGA Local presenter Julian Clover shares what’s in store for a very unusual Christmas in radio 39 ● FOOD NEWS The latest from Cambridge’s thriving food scene 44 ● SEASONAL SPIRITS These top tipples from local drinks suppliers are perfect for celebrations or gifting to loved ones 49 ● CHRISTMAS RECIPES Some delicious winter warmers to get you in the festive mood 54 ● FESTIVE ALFRESCO Discover the city’s winter outdoor dining spots worth braving the cold for 57 ● CHEF’S TABLE Chef Alex Rushmer talks bucking traditions and having Christmas your way this year


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The beloved Mill Road Winter Fair may have been forced to cancel its physical event, but the team of organisers is taking the fun online with a day of digital celebrations. From 1 December, enjoy an online festival featuring many of the performers, artists and organisations that would have been there on the day. There will also be a number of community events from new charity Love Mill Road, including the Mill Road Lanterns project, which will see beautiful illuminations hung in shops on what would have been fair day, 5 December, and an illustrated trail that celebrates the personality and individuality of the neighbourhood. Find out more online at


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1 FITZBILLIES FESTIVITIES still treat you can still treat yourself and your loved ones (as long as there are six of you or fewer!) to a special Christmas afternoon tea. Priced at £19.50 per head, the afternoon tea features a seasonal selection of finger sandwiches, sultana scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam, and a selection of three mini cakes from the Fitzbillies bakery – including a mince pie, of course. You can also add a glass of prosecco or champagne for a proper celebration! Fitzbillies is also offering its classic You may not be able to go to the ball, or even the pantomime, but you can brunch menu, updated with a few winter warmers for the perfect treat as it gets colder. As it turns out, dishes such as eggs benedict and eggs florentine are even better with a glass of champagne, or one of Fitzbillies’ special Christmas cranberry mimosas. Bottoms up! 2 ELY CATHEDRAL VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS FAIR As the physical event is unable to take place this year, Ely Cathedral’s Christmas Gift & Food Fair is going virtual! The online version of the fair includes a full programme of events and activities, as well as a detailed exhibitor list with product images and links direct to their sites.

4 CAMBRIDGE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Seeing the city lit up in all its festive glory is a must for locals and tourists alike. Even if it’s not your first Christmas in Cambridge, there’s something about the illuminated old buildings, bedecked with twinkling Christmas lights, that really brings out the best in the city. It certainly makes for a magical winter walk of an evening, so get yourself a hot chocolate, wrap up warm and drink in the wonder of the sparkling city streets. 5 CHRISTMAS WREATH MAKING Or how about checking out one of the wreath-making workshops at Augusta Hope? With years of experience teaching floristry, Augusta Hope’s team will talk you through how to create a beautiful fresh wreath, using foliage, flowers and decorations galore. The fun and informative sessions come with all the materials you need, as well as Christmas nibbles and refreshments (including mulled wine!), so you’ll be sure to leave feeling festive. The workshops are laid out to adhere to social distancing measures, and the team are doing all they can to ensure everything is Covid-safe. The next workshop is on Saturday 10 December, and is available to book for £65 per person, with more information on the website.

Buy unique Christmas gifts and goodies and browse a selection of bespoke festive products, including home decor, clothes and accessories, handmade arts and crafts, and beautiful jewellery, plus entertainment and workshops. There are also plenty of tempting foodie treats on offer. The fair is a great way to support small independent businesses in the region, and is running until 20 December. To find out more, head over to the Ely Cathedral website. 3 CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE QUEST Looking for some festive fun for all the family? This year’s Christmas adventure quest at Audley End House and Gardens is a great way to get out and about in the fresh air during the Christmas week. Open from 26 December until 3 January, the family-friendly event allows you to explore the beautiful site at Audley End, just outside Saffron Walden, as you hunt for clues and discover fun facts and untold stories. You can also treat yourself to a hot chocolate or mulled wine to warm up as you walk! Entry to the event is included in Audley End’s admission prices, and tickets can be booked through the English Heritage website. Advance

booking is essential.


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IMAGE Make it a crafty Christmas with inspirational DIY projects on p24


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devastating effect on our high streets and our theatres – this project is an attempt to try and breathe life back into both these spaces by bringing them together.” Winter is often a time when families and friends come together to watch pantomimes and musicals, and the pair hope to awaken the magic and wonder that is so important at this time of year. “Even if it’s just for a few minutes looking through our windows,” they add. “We want to create a high street presence for the arts to reach an audience passing by on the street each day, and perhaps also connect people through their stories.” The quilt is being displayed at 40 St Andrew’s Street in Cambridge until 18 December. You can also contribute to and see the patches and stories behind the quilt online at

with charming puppets, sparkling scenery and beautiful lighting. People can watch safely from behind glass, standing two metres apart in squares marked on the floor. Many of The Quarantine Quilt’s patches reflect some of society’s most pressing issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement, social inequality and loneliness, with each patch shining a light on an individual story from this collective experience. During the first lockdown, many of us were stuck inside alone, with only our screens to provide comfort and connection. The Quarantine Quilt is a visual representation of those individual squares of light coming together, culminating in a physical and digital art hybrid that gives people a chance to share their personal lockdown stories. Co-artistic directors Andy Brock and Sophie Crawford explain: “The pandemic has had a

Made up of patches sewn by more than 200 people across East Anglia and beyond, The Quarantine Quilt is a collaborative project organised by Cambridge-based Glimmer Theatre that brings together and describes individual pandemic experiences. This winter, several high street shops are hosting the quilt, and passers-by are invited to add their own patch on paper or fabric (and online) to add their own experiences. Entirely inspired by the striking red and white quilt created during lockdown, the community- led art and theatre installation is appearing in vacant high street shops in Cambridge, March and Littleport, exploring exciting new ways of communicating stories visually. Windows cut into the quilt reveal a magical story shop where the beholder witnesses short theatre pieces, each bringing the stories of the patches to life


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Showing exclusively at the ADC Theatre, London-based dance company Ballet Central is launching an original film of festive favourite ballet The Nutcracker , told through the 12 days of Christmas. Available across nine screenings on 17, 18 and 19 December, the film joins protagonist Clara as she traverses the magical Kingdom of Sweets, meeting the colourful characters from the Nutcracker tale – all performed to the famous Tchaikovsky score. A popular pre-Christmas activity for the whole family (the live performances of The Nutcracker have sold out every year for the past three years), the new film allows audiences to capture the Christmas magic that the Nutcracker is known for while adhering to social distancing measures, which would have otherwise prevented live performances of dance. Ballet Central’s artistic director Christopher Marney explains: “Following the success of the Centrally Connected digital programme that enabled Central’s dance students worldwide to continue their dance training while our studios in London were closed, we have created a special original Nutcracker performance in film for Christmas this year. This allows audiences to see the artistry, skill, drama and colour of the timeless Nutcracker in secure surroundings and ensures our dancers continue to perform.” It is a sentiment that executive director Mark Osterfield shares. “In these challenging times, it is heartening to know that Christopher Marney and Ballet Central can share some exciting dance and Christmas cheer with our audiences, maintaining traditions with typical innovation and verve!” he says. “Dancers live to perform,” continues Christopher, “so, while we won’t experience the thrill of a live audience in Cambridge, we know that the story of The Nutcracker can be shared while also keeping audiences and dancers safe.” To allow for social distancing in the theatre, tickets are limited, and are available to purchase for £7, either from the ADC Theatre box office (01223 300085) or on the website.


In keeping with the increased virtual action brought about by lockdown, The FitzwilliamMuseum has launched its own podcast. In My Mind’s Eye explores the museum’s most poignant pieces, referenced by five creatives presenting their responses to artworks. The Fitzwilliam invited Ali Smith, Halima Cassell, Issam Kourbaj, Jackie Kay and Matt Smith to talk about how works of art continue to exist in our memories and imaginations, even when we can no longer visit them directly. The recordings with the artists and writers include their recollections of works of art from the museum, memories and stories from the Scottish Highlands to Pakistan, from soap production in Aleppo, to how a 19th-century drawing is now seen in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement. All five episodes are now available to download from Apple, Spotify or from the Fitz’s beta website.


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NEW ART INSTALLATION Created by communities in Ramsey and Wisbech, a new art installation launched by digital artist Michelle Brace brings together locally sourced film clips, including footage of trees, water and light, to mark the changing of the seasons. As part of The Library Presents autumn season, and in collaboration with local not-for-profit arts organisation Collusion, the installation, Let the Leaves Change , is set to continuously evolve as a composition, featuring a layer composed of leaves that has been designed, captured and contributed to by members of the local community. The projected artworks are due to appear in the windows of Ramsey Library and Wisbech town centre throughout December.

CUSTARD COMEDY SHOW This December, Custard Comedy is returning to Storey’s Field in Eddington with two performances of a brand-new show on Saturday 12 December. Top of the bill for the night is Nathan Caton, who has been wowing audiences at comedy clubs up and down the UK since starting his career in comedy aged 19. His charming blend of personal and political comedy has proved popular with audiences, earning him numerous TV and radio gigs, including appearances on Live At The Apollo , Russell Howard’s Good News and Mock The Week . The show also features Alistair Barrie, who is one of the top headliners on the international comedy circuit, as well as a regular at London’s world-famous Comedy Store. He is also joined by stand-up comedy veteran Jane Hill, who has been performing all around the country since 2005, even reaching the final of English Comedian of the Year in 2009. Seasoned comic Rob Coleman, who has made what he laughingly calls a career out of being grumpy, is hosting the event. Tickets are £10, with performances at 5pm and 7.45pm – you can get yours online at


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CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION RECEIVES GRANT AND ANNOUNCES SHOWS As part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, Cambridge Junction has been awarded £398,459 to go towards tackling the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring the venue has a sustainable future. “After months of holding our breath and nerve, today’s announcement of Culture Recovery funding for Cambridge Junction comes as a huge relief,” says Cambridge Junction’s artistic director, Matt Burman. “We’re very grateful to the DCMS and Arts Council England for these vital resources and this vote of confidence in our ability to reshape and recover over the coming months.” The venue has also announced three socially distanced live shows in December. These include a night of spoken word entertainment from renowned artists Inja and Hollie McNish (pictured right) on 10 December, a comedy triple bill featuring rising stars of the stand-up scene on 12 December, and Weird Séance, a raucous participatory performance with live music on the 16th. The auditorium has been adapted to ensure the safety of audiences, artists and staff, with socially distanced seating, table service and enhanced cleaning.

An exciting new addition to the arts scene for the city, champion of independent pop-ups, Raft Mkt, was due to open last month. Instead, it has launched a virtual store to accommodate lockdown restrictions. Customers are invited to browse online events, go on a tour around the store and view the available products via Zoom, meaning you can get the scoop on some of the city’s best independent businesses from the safety and comfort of your own home. Find out more about Raft Mkt’s offering over on the website. RAFT MKT GOES VIRTUAL

On Sunday 20 December, the Grand Arcade is set to be transformed into a winter wonderland. The centre’s walkways are welcoming a flurry of dazzling ice sculptures, bringing a magical festive touch to your day out. Make sure to catch them before they melt! ICE SCULPTURE EXHIBITION


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he end of a year presents a great opportunity to thrust your favourite books on all of your favourite people, even if they


This is a brilliant gift for anyone who’s had therapy or who you suspect might benefit hugely from the process. The book takes readers behind the scenes of therapist Lori’s personal and professional challenges, and follows her as she deftly works through the crises of others while also juggling her own emotions. Funny, wise and deeply insightful, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a rare treat of a book that is both incredibly entertaining (Lori started her professional career as a TV writer and it shows) and manages to leave you much more aware of your own self, good and bad bits alike.

don’t know they need them yet! Whether you’re prescribing life-changing literature or simply soothing with stories, don’t miss this chance to get amazing books into the hands of those you love. Here’s a small selection of recent favourites for you to browse and consider, plus we’ve got some brand-new releases to get on your radar – whether you’re gifting a loved-one or looking for your own next read!

RIGHT Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone reveals the observations of a therapist on her personal and professional life


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“It’s possibly the most thought- provoking non-fiction book I’ve ever read”

UNTAMED BY GLENNON DOYLE I’m fairly sure this will be the umpteenth time you’ve had this extraordinary book recommended to you. I wondered about whether to include it here, but I was swayed by the possibility that some readers might not yet have added it to their pile, or might be sniffily avoiding it because of its current ubiquitousness. Please therefore, take this paragraph as me pressing a copy into your hands, looking you in the eyes and encouraging you to read it immediately, because there’s a high chance it changes the way you see the world. But don’t take my word for it: here’s a friend from my own book group, reporting on their thoughts: “I loved it so much, it’s possibly the most thought- provoking non-fiction book I’ve ever read. It was ridiculously wide-ranging. It made me think so deeply about my marriage, religion, body image, race, raising a daughter, raising a son and so many other things. I don’t think I’d have believed someone if they said a book could be so broad, but seemingly go so deeply into each issue.” The book is written by author Glennon Doyle and is a whirlwind of a manifesto for change, punctuated with her own tale of redemption and rediscovery. If you’re furiously nodding in agreement having already read her work, then buy a copy for a friend who needs to read it (you definitely have one), and post it through their letterbox on your next walk. And remember – you can do hard things.

enjoyable to follow (her Paris cookies – which became a lockdown hit – and Saturday afternoon charred leek lasagne are two personal favourites). There are also exquisite and cheerful illustrations by artist Elisa Cunningham, but it is Ella’s heart-breaking personal story of love and loss, woven into each dish, that clutches at your hand so tightly. Nigella Lawson called Midnight Chicken a “manual for living and a declaration of hope”, and that is why I’d recommend it for these darker days. Food is restorative, biologically and psychologically, and a book that fills you with love and hope, as well as giving you ideas for dinner, is precisely what the doctor ordered during this time. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN EASY JOB BY KIKUKO TSUMURA A perfect read for anyone who’s ever had a job they hated (which is everyone, right?), this book by award-winning author Kikuko Tsumura, translated from the original Japanese, follows the protagonist on her quest for a job that “was practically without substance, a job that sat on the borderline between being a job and not”. She works through a series of low-level positions, all of which sound simple at first, but that seem to ‘scope creep’ in curious and unexpected ways, while also presenting observations about the modern nature of work and our attitudes to responsibility. One character, Mrs Fujiko, tells her: “You should rest! It doesn’t do to be thinking about work all hours of the day, you know.” Reacting to this, the protagonist describes that her soul “had seized up and grown stiff”. She reports: “I felt a sudden urge to kick the coffee table away and hurl my teacup at the wall.” Hilarious, recognisable and addictive, gift this story to someone who might be on the edge of burning out, or read it yourself if the unending nature of our new-style daily grind is proving a little too much.


BY ELLA RISBRIDGER There are recipe books, there are

biographies and there are philosophy books – but it’s rare that you encounter all three in one. This beautiful book is about to come out in paperback, but either iteration would make a superb seasonal gift for a food lover. Ella’s recipes are technically first-rate, clearly written and

IMAGES Glennon Doyle’s Untamed launches the reader on an inspiring journey to complete inner peace, disregarding other people’s expectations. Midnight Chicken by Ella Risbridger offers similar reflection through ‘biographical’ food recipes and Kikuko Tsumura delves into Japanese work culture in There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job


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With contributions from authors including Candice Carty-Williams, Ebele Okobi and Freddie Harrel, this sharp, witty, insightful and essential book of essays is required reading over the end-of-year break. An American now based in London, Kenya started writing Girl while on maternity leave with her second son, and finished it during lockdown earlier this year. She’s a truly gifted writer who’s worked at Jane , Elle , and is currently fashion director at Grazia . The essays adeptly and neatly draw allusions between global topics and personal experiences – as the best essays do – segueing between London taxi rides and Trump’s inauguration, from the enslaved Sally Hemings to #Megxit, and the importance of community whether online or IRL – reminding us that even amid the chaos and despair, there is love, hope, perseverance and opportunities for growth. As the second essay, Notes on Woke puts it: “Wake up – and then stay that way.”


This is the third book in Robinette Kowal’s stellar Lady Astronaut series, which has won the Hugo and Nebula Awards. The premise follows the mid-20th century space race after a meteor strike in the 1950s that wipes out the eastern seaboard of the US (including Washington DC and the entire government administration), causing extreme and ultimately devastating climate change on our home planet. The ensuing crises force the entire human race to accelerate its plans to colonise the moon. This third novel follows the same timeline as the previous book (which tracked Elma York, the original Lady Astronaut, as she takes part in a voyage to Mars), but it tells the tale from the perspective of Nicole Wargin. She is one of the pioneer settlers who is keeping the moon colonisation program focused, while riots and

pandemics threaten to derail humanity’s best opportunity for survival. In space, she is a leader, but on Earth, Nicole is a ‘decorative bauble’. She smiles alongside her husband Kenneth in his role as the governor of Kansas, while he considers a run for President. A growing ‘Earth First’ resistance is building in numbers, opposing humanity’s relocation, and fifty-something Nicole is increasingly being sidelined in favour of younger, male colleagues. A perfect diversion from the current problems on our planet, this book can be read as a stand-alone work, but delightfully comes with two extra novels to enjoy if you’d like to start from the beginning of the series.

IMAGES Despite the pandemic’s prevalence, many societal issues have come to the fore this year. Kenya Hunt’s Girl and Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Relentless Moon explore examples of these in fictive and factual representations

“Even amid the chaos and despair, there is love, hope, perseverance and opportunity for growth”


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in the warming oven section of an Aga or equivalent oven (no more than 120°C). 3. Turn occasionally and remove when dried. This will take around three hours. 4. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. 5. When you’re ready to create your garland, poke holes into your oranges and thread on to twine (it’s a good idea to wrap the end with tape to prevent it unravelling).

WHAT YOU NEED • Orange slices • Milton Sterilising Fluid • Twine

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE 1. Pre-soak your orange slices in a dilute solution, such as Milton, to prevent future mould. 2. Lay flat on a tray with a wire rack and place



4. Roll out until 5mm thick and stamp out shapes using a 9cm star cutter. 5. Use a smaller star shape or bottle top to cut a hole in the centre. 6. Transfer to four baking trays, lined with baking paper and add a sweet to the centre hole of each biscuit. 7. Make a small hanging hole with a skewer. 8. Cook in the centre of your pre-heated oven or Aga baking oven for 10-12 minutes until the biscuits are a pale golden colour. 9. Leave to go cold on the trays then carefully lift off. Thread loops of ribbon through the holes in each biscuit and store in an airtight tin ready to hang from your Christmas tree. They will keep for three to four days.

WHAT YOU NEED • 300g self-raising flour • 55g cornflour • 175g butter, diced and at room temperature • 175g caster sugar • 2 large egg whites • 32 small, clear or coloured boiled sweets • Coloured ribbon STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE 1. Pre-heat oven to 190°C/gas mark 4. 2. Sieve the flours into a mixing bowl, then rub in the butter. 3. Stir in the sugar and enough of the egg white to form a fairly soft dough. Knead lightly until smooth.


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WHAT YOU NEED • Wire ring • Binding wire • A bag of moss (you can buy this online or at your local florist) • Pine cones • To decorate your wreath, you’ll need to get foraging! Gather branches, berries, dried teasels and other seasonal goodies from public footpaths and commons – just make sure you snip deep into the shrubs and trees, only take a branch or two and leave plenty for wildlife. The best combinations come from having a couple of different contrasting textures, but complementary tones of foliage. On this one, some fir tree, eucalyptus, cotoneaster and rosemary were used, which also provides a lovely scent. You can also add ribbons, bells and other ornaments at the end. STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE 1. Lay moss on your wreath ring. Bind the wire in one place and twist the end on to itself, to give a secure place to begin. Then every few inches, wrap wire around the moss and ring until you have gone all the way around and the moss is held firmly. The moss gives a sparkly base and moisture reservoir for the foliage to remain bright and prevent drying out. 2. Take small bundles of foliage, about 10-12cm long, and lay the first on top of the moss ring and wrap the wire up and over it. Pull fairly tightly so the bundle remains in place when you lift the wreath. 3. Gather another bundle, laying it on top of the first so that the bunch covers the ends of the bundle beneath. Continue laying bundles in this GARDEN-GATHERED WREATH THIS YEAR, MAKE YOUR OWN GARDEN-GATHERED WREATH TO ADORN YOUR FRONT DOOR FOR SOME SEASONAL FESTIVE THERAPY WITH ANNA FROM ANNA’S FLOWER FARM

way, laying a few stems, wrapping with wire up and over, and continue to lay all around in the same direction so that the last stems are nestled in under the first. Wreaths end up resembling a catherine wheel, with the foliage all spinning in the same direction. 4. Finally, twist pieces of wire around the base of some pine cones and pull tight, then tie the wire around the wreath ring, twisting around the back of the wreath to secure cones in a bundle around the piece. 5. To keep the piece looking fresh, spray it with water periodically as it will be dry on your door. You can also lay your wreath on the grass outside to hydrate it in the dew overnight. 6. Finish with ribbon and bells for a flourish!

You can buy a Ring, Wire and Moss Kit from Anna’s Flower Farm to add your own foliage to, or buy a full Festive Therapy Wreath Kit and make along with Anna online this December. Find out more at


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n a Victorian terraced house on a sleepy Cambridge cul- de-sac lives Tom Karen OBE, one of the most remarkable inventors and designers that Britain has ever seen. The imagination behind

childhood-defining toys such as the Raleigh Chopper and Marble Run, he’s now in his nineties, but his playful spirit show no signs of diminishing with age. He’s lived in this home since officially retiring some 20 years ago, surrounded by a menagerie of papier-mache birds, cardboard tigers, model cars, hand-drawn maps, postcards and other mementos and toys collected throughout a life full of creativity. “It’s a clutter of art and craft pieces and includes work by people I admire, who have talent and love what they are doing,” Tom says fondly of his rather chaotic living environment. “I will never tire of caressing them.” As well as some of the 1970s most famous toys, Tom was also the brains behind the Scimitar GTE, a trailblazing car with enduring cult appeal, and the Bond Bug – a two-seat, three-wheeled automobile adored by many and currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. Stints of his career were spent with Ford and Hotpoint, but his most productive years were as head of Ogle Design, a pioneering design consultancy that he oversaw for almost four decades. From caravans to crash test dummies, his output was varied and prolific – so much so that the BBC described him as the ‘man that designed the 70s’ in coverage of an exhibition that featured his work at the Jewish Museum in London. This event turned out to be seminal for Tom, as it piqued the interest of Bonnier, a book publisher that gave him an opportunity to chronicle his extraordinary life. The result, Toymaker , was released last month, offering readers a charming, deeply personal glimpse into the world of a creative genius whose natural aptitude for design starkly contrasts his lifelong struggles with human relationships. It tells a story of fantastical imagination and dogged hard work; of being in the present while looking to the future, and of how the things that we accumulate can come to tell

IMAGES After many years of designing, inventing, crafting and collecting, Tom’s home is filled with colourful curios

the story of who we are. Whether focusing on much-loved toys or technical drawing apparatus, chapters take their inspiration from treasured items in Tom’s life, offering a reconstruction of his past “through the prism of physical souvenirs”. FROM WAR TO WONDER And what a remarkable life it’s been. Raised in Moravia (then Czechoslovakia) in the 1920s, his early years were spent in luxury. The family lived in a palatial villa with landscaped gardens, a swimming pool and a large staff – paid for by their thriving business making bricks and cement. But for all the trappings of wealth, it was not a happy family environment. His parents’ marriage was cold, and the siblings had no friends with which to enjoy typical childhood activities. It was during this period that Tom’s interest in design was sparked: “I could recognise 12 different makes of car at the age of two!” he says. “My nanny once won a bet over this. I loved their shape, and their sculptural quality. I don’t think I’d finished enjoying my childhood and my toys when we left our house in March 1939 because the German army came...”

The lavish lifestyle the family had been enjoying in Moravia came to an abrupt end when the Nazis crossed the border and invaded Czechoslovakia. As Jews, they knew they would be targeted and fled to Prague, with Tom allowed to bring just one of his toys on that life-changing journey. He chose a set of Waterline ships, which inspire an early chapter of the book. Still much missed, they were swapped for food when the ache of hunger became too much as the family fled across Europe. Another chapter is inspired by a flying pig in his kitchen, reminding him that ‘wild ideas are what makes life worth living’. This transports us to the moment of his arrival in England: the summer of 1942. His obsession with the shapes, designs and workings of things – particularly flying machines – led him to study aeronautical engineering at Loughborough University, which in turn found him work as a technical illustrator for the Air Registration Board. His heart wasn’t in it, but it taught him the principles of industrial design and rigorous attention to detail that would go onto shape his highly successful career in design. Another chapter is dedicated to

“I could recognise 12 different makes of car at the age of two”


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“More fashion accessory than bicycle”

his French curves – templates commonly used by designers to create smooth curves – which remind him of his days as a designer at Ford, where he spent time honing his craft. Some of the objects are more obviously tied to his career, such as the shiny red Chopper bicycle. A defining product of the 1970s – “more fashion accessory than bicycle” as one commentator observed at the time – it might just be the most iconic bike ever made. “The American Schwinn company developed a children’s bike with the feel of a butch machine. It was a great success and Raleigh wanted a share of the market,” says Tom on the origins of the Chopper. “We were asked to come up with a design that would appeal to the same market, but this product had to have a new, distinct flavour. The big wheel at the back, as with a Formula 1 car or dragster, symbolised where the power came from. There were also the straight tubes, the car-like gear shift, the make-believe saddle spring and disc brake, and all of these things came together to form what became the irresistible Chopper.”

ABOVE Tom Karen was on the team who were tasked with designing the now iconic Chopper bicycle

handmade birds, as well as being part of a government project to get designers into schools. “I’ve run workshops for children in schools and galleries like Kettle’s Yard and the Sainsbury Centre. I love working with children, sharing their enthusiasm and creativity.” He adds: “Another new activity started with the arrival of my grandchildren; meeting their demands and getting useful feedback!” As industrious as ever, Tom continues to innovate – most recently devising games made from cheap household items, inspired by lockdown. As for the toy market today, he’s less than impressed. “Certain toys and games will go on forever and are likely to be kept from one generation to the next. But that doesn’t make money and explains why there are such a lot of plastic toys. Some have a novelty factor, but they’re soon discarded and replaced by another offering,” he observes. “I also don’t think toymakers always understand their target audience. I tried to point out to Airfix and Matchbox that they were neglecting the market for girls – without success!” Still spending much of his time in his workshop, tinkering and creating, the ideas continue to come, some of them far more ambitious in scale than paper birds (super- green cars and energy-efficient aircraft are mentioned), and Tom, it seems, couldn’t be happier. “Time in the workshop keeps me sane,” he says. “Making things always has. I set myself a practical task, settle down to doing it, and all my other cares disappear...” Toymaker by Tom Karen is out now via Bonnier Books, priced at £20.

A NEW BEGINNING When the Ogle years drew to an end, along with Tom’s marriage, he made a fresh start and moved to Cambridge. “I no longer wished to live in a village, and Cambridge was lively with restaurants, cinemas, theatre and an active art scene,” he says. “I found a lovely Victorian house with a workshop at the end of my garden and began a whole new chapter. I became an artist and enjoyed some of the happiest times of my life.” An active member of the local art community, he’s involved in Cambridge Open Studios, where he shows off his


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DR BRONNER ORGANIC BODY CARE BUNDLE WORTH £27 Celebrate a Fairtrade festive season with a bundle of Dr Bronner’s bestselling products. The winner will receive a refreshing Peppermint Hand Hygiene Spray to help get rid of germs and provide on-the-go hygiene, a block of bar soap, hydrating lip balm and the famous multitasking Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, which can be used for an array of household tasks including cleaning the body, surfaces, laundry and much more.

Cambridge Edition

VENDULA WALLET WORTH £35 Bene’t Street’s gorgeous gift emporium Podarok is giving away one of its fabulously funky Vendula wallets! The Epicerie de Vendula wallet features hand-finished appliqués and is embossed in festive greens and gold.


SCUDAMORE’S SHARED PUNT TOUR WORTH £70 Enjoy some messing about on the river with Scudamore’s, which has thrown in a shared tour for our lucky winner. A perfect chance to discover more about our world-famous city, this experience takes in some of Cambridge’s finest buildings, including King’s College Chapel, the Bridge of Sighs and the Wren Library. Your tour guide will bring the views to life with fascinating snippets and stories, leaving you to recline and enjoy a picnic – heaven!

WORTH £150 One of the oldest and best-loved folk festivals in the world, Cambridge Folk Fest brings a galaxy of musical stars to Cherry Hinton Hall each summer. Our lucky giveaway winner will be able to join the fun for free with a pair of day tickets to Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday at the 2021 event, which is due to take place 29 July to 1 August. The line-up is yet to be announced, but you can expect the usual eclectic blend of traditional folk artists, cutting-edge newcomers, country, blues, roots and more at this charming event. FOLK FESTIVAL TICKETS


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The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie is a showstopper of a dinner venue, and our lucky winner will be getting a feast for two on the house! You’ll be treated to a bottle of wine, along with three courses of delicious Ivy fare. Dishes include shepherd’s pie, classic chicken milanese, and lobster linguine, and come dessert you can indulge in tiramisu, a melting chocolate bombe or a plate of chocolate truffles with a liquid salted caramel centre. Full and contented, you’ll finish your feast with teas and coffees before heading out to Trinity Street’s cobbles. Sounds perfect to us!


Everyone loves a game with the family at Christmas, and our lucky winner will be spoiled for choice with this awesome bundle fromWinning Moves. There’s something for all ages, from the Animals Top Trumps Quiz to the all-new Pass the Pugs. Launching this month, you’ll be one of the first to get your hands on this revamped version of a family favourite game as part of an £80 games bundle!

BOTLEY 2 . 0 THE CODING ROBOT WORTH £85 Botley 2.0 The Coding Robot from Learning Resources is the award- winning coding robot toy that introduces early STEM and coding skills to children as young as five. There’s no need for a screen – children use the remote programmer to program a sequence of up to 150 steps, activate and watch Botley 2.0 go! Botley 2.0’s eyes light up and children can change the colour and program Botley 2.0 to put on a light show. This fun coding robot toy teaches early- step coding, logic and problem-solving skills in children aged five to ten

LOVE CAMBRIDGE GIFT CARD WORTH £100 The Love Cambridge gift card is a preloaded Mastercard that works in the same way as a shopping centre gift card, except it’s valid at over 200 Cambridge businesses! A huge variety of places participate in the scheme, from shops to restaurants, bars and attractions.

MAVALA TWIST AND SHINE COLLECTION WORTH £33 Bringing some much-needed sparkle to this year, Mavala’s Twist and Shine collection will give your nails a fabulous festive manicure. The range consists of six shades, which each offer a dazzling look, from bright coppers to frosty whites to a soft, glistening pink – it’s got all you need for the perfect talons for accessorising your best Christmas sequins.

through hands-on play.


Stocking everything from artisan booze to eco toiletries, plus amazing foodie treats, the Country Kitchen in Haslingfield represents everything that’s great about local, indie shopping. The team are offering a hand-picked wicker hamper filled with gifts of the winner’s choosing, up to a value of £25.


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A GIGGLING SQUID FEAST WORTH £75 Our winner will also enjoy a Thai feast for two at Wheeler Street’s gorgeous Giggling Squid, which opened this autumn. The menu offers classics (chicken satay, pad thai, crispy squid) and house specials, such as the royal fishing boat curry and the irresistible Thai melting beef, not to mention a delightful range of cocktails. Our winner will be treated to two courses plus a bottle of wine.


Eco-friendly, quick to chill and great for quality, canned wines are the future – and local company Copper Crew is leading the way! Our lucky winner will receive a 24 pack of Copper Crew’s finest, featuring a juicy, crisp and icy pink rosé, a refreshing chenin blanc and a deep and velvety merlot. We’ll drink to that!


M&J Abbs, the family-owned heating, Rayburn installation and servicing company based in St Ives, has put together a prize pack for our winner that includes luxury Crisp & Dene tea towels and a set of matching chef pads, as well as a calendar featuring the work of Oliver Hellowell, a talented landscape and wildlife photographer.



With slots for all those cards, a large fold for your notes and a separate zippy compartment for all those pennies, you can fit your whole life (almost) in this beauty. Timeless in style, it’s from online home and lifestyle business African Skies, which focuses solely on African-made products.

Bliss in a box! This super generous, deliciously indulgent Sanctuary Spa collection will provide all you need a rejuvenating pampering session this festive season. The bundle includes gorgeously scented foaming bath soak, scrubs, body and hand creams, a body puff for buffing your skin to perfection and more besides!


Julie Deane started The Cambridge Satchel Company with her mother, Freda (who’s in her 80s and still working with the brand!), in 2008 with a budget of just £600. She spotted a gap in the market for traditional, well-made bags, which have gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon. The latest addition is The Little One: a small leather satchel available in a variety of colours. This bag, as well as the classic satchels and batchels, can be found online at and in the company’s flagship Cambridge store.


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