Thursday, 30 April 2015

May's Competition

  WIN a £250 voucher to spend at McAllister Thomas Fine Art in Godalming  

McAllister Thomas Fine Art is a Surrey based independent art gallery. Formed in 2007, the gallery is situated in the market town of Godalming and has earned an enviable reputation for showcasing quality artworks by UK and International artists.
The gallery specializes in producing solo and group shows, exhibiting contemporary paintings and sculpture from exciting emerging and established artists with a sharp focus on original works. Landscapes by celebrated painter David Atkins, discovered by art critic Brian Sewell, hang alongside sensual portraits by Al Saralis and wonderful still life works by Scottish colourist Alison McWhirter.

The McAllister Thomas ethos is to provide high quality pieces of original art in informal surroundings focusing on first class customer service. The gallery has built long term relationships with clients, many of whom buy their very first original piece from the gallery and return through the years to expand their collections. The gallery safely ships to clients worldwide using an expert Heathrow based courier service. Recent destinations have included Monaco, New Zealand, Australia, Dubai, The United States and, closer to home, Switzerland and Germany.
The gallery consultancy service advises on works to suit an individual's tastes and spaces, art works can be viewed in the comfort of your home or office. McAllister Thomas has access to one of the finest picture hanging services in the UK which is essential when large works are to be hung in premier spaces. The gallery offers a zero percent payment scheme making a purchase that little bit easier and affordable by letting you spread the cost of your purchase over 10 months with an interest free loan.

For your chance to win a £250 voucher to spend at McAllister Thomas Fine Art in Godalming just answer this question:

In which market town is McAllister Thomas based?

Enter your answer with your contact details below or post to: The McAllister Thomas Competition, Wealden Times, 21 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF by 15 May 2015.

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*There is no cash alternative. All entrants' details will be passed on to McAllister Thomas and Wealden Times Events. Please let us know if you do not wish your details to be passed on.

Friday, 24 April 2015

WT's Take Five

  WT's Top Five Eat Green Recipes  

As part of the weekly countdown to the Midsummer Fair and Priceless People Wellbeing Festival this year, we're focusing on all things nutritious and delicious. So here are 5 of our favourite recipes so far and a cheeky ticket discount code for our lucky foodie readers, so you can come along for just £6.50!

1. WT's Helen recently purchased a Nutri Ninja and is having endless fun inventing new recipes for smoothies, soups, dips and dressings. Here's one of them...

The Blossom Blend...

What you'll need:

● spinach ● half an avocado ● 1 lime ● fresh ginger ● mint leaves ● 1 small pear ● cucumber ● chia seeds 

● Slice up the avocado, cucumber and pear into smaller pieces and place in the blender along with the spinach

● Using a tea spoon, scrape off the peel of the ginger root and cut into chunks

● Squeeze in the lime juice and pop in the mint leaves and finally add a tablespoon of chia seeds

● Add the desired amount of water and wizz away until smooth and creamy

2. Over the last few years ethnobotanist James Wong's scientific and labour saving approach to edible gardening has garnered critical acclaim, landing him his own BBC series Grow Your Own Drugs and publishing contracts for numerous books. WT is delighted to announce that James Will be appearing at Wealden Times Midsummer Fair this June where he will be talking about his brand new book Grow For Flavour, sharing tips and tricks to supercharge the flavour of homegrown harvests. Here is one of our favourites, also featured in the April issue...

Roasted Beetroot and Lentil Salad...

What you'll need:

● 1kg small 'Detroit Dark Red' and 'Burpees Golden' beetroots, peeled ● 1 red onion ● 1 tbsp honey ● 2 tbsp unfiltered olive oil ● 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar ● salt and pepper ● 250g precooked beluga lentils ● 1 handful of beet leaves ● juice and rind of 1 orange ● a few sprigs of mint and dill ● 100ml creme fraiche ● 

Cut the beetroot and onion into quarters. Arrange in a roasting tin and drizzle over the honey, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Do not toss them together as the red beets will stain the yellow ones. Season with salt and pepper. 

● Roast the beetroot in a preheated 200 ˚C / gas mark 6 oven for 45 minutes until tender

 Spoon the lentils onto a plate and arrange the beet leaves around them. Top with the roasted beetroot, drizzle with the orange juice and scatter over the herbs and orange rind

● Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and extra oil and vinegar. This salad is a match made in heaven with goats cheese or grilled mackerel. 

3. Yoga and nutrition teacher Julie Montagu is on a mission to prove that absolutely anyone can revolutionise their diet to take a giant leap towards long-lasting health. Known as the Flexi Floodie, Julie’s workable approach to incorporating nutrient-rich superfoods into manageable meals has led her to produce her first cookery book Superfoods which showcases nourishing dishes made with unrefined, wholesome ingredients to boost energy levels, lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar levels. Julie will be explaining how
to super-charge your lifestyle to eradicate the bad and introduce the good at this June’s Wealden Times Midsummer Fair’s Priceless People Wellbeing Festival on Friday 5 June.

Coconut and Almond Quinoa with Stewed Plums...

What you'll need:

● 170g quinoi ● 600ml coconut milk (or any plant based milk) ● 2tsp ground cinnamon ● 1tsp vanilla extract ● 4tbsp almond butter (or any other nut butter) ● 6 medium plums ● 100g coconut palm sugar ● 240ml water ● 1 cinnamon stick ● raw honey for drizzling ● desiccated coconut for sprinkling ● 

Combine the quinoa and coconut milk together in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract, cover and simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes

● Meanwhile, make the stewed plums. Cut the plums in half, remove the pits, them cut the plum halves into chunks. Combine the coconut palm sugar, 240ml water and cinnamon stick in a saucepan over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. Add the plums and continue to cook until the plums are tender. Once tender, use a fork to slightly mash. 

● Once the quinoa is cooked but still a bit runny, put it in 4 bowls and stir in 1 tablespoon of almond butter per bowl. Top with the stewed plums, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of desiccated coconut. 

4. Self confessed chocoholic, Davina McCall has documented how she has banished processed sugar from her life. Her 5 weeks to sugar free book offers tips and sumptuous recipe ideas that are easy and approachable, even with a busy household! Davina has become one of Britain's most recognisable faces and has now sold over 1.5 million copies of her chart topping workout DVDs and raised over 2.6 million for sport relief! Davina will also be appearing at the Midsummer Fair and Priceless People Wellbeing festival to talk about her sugar free journey and offer advice.

Bean Salad

What you'll need:

● 400g green beans ● 400g can of borlotti or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed ● 200g cherry tomatoes, halved ● 1 small red onion, diced ● half a cucumber, diced ● juice of half lemon ● 2 tbsp olive oil ● half tsp mustard ● half tsp honey ● handful of fresh basil leaves ● parmesan cheese shavings ● 

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the green beans and cook them for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh them under cold water

● Put the green beans, canned beans, tomatoes, red onion and cucumber in a bowl and mix them together. Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and honey in a small jug and pour this over the salad

● Scatter over some basil leaves and shavings of Parmesan cheese just before serving

5. WT reader St├ęphanie Castelain loves this salad because of the beautiful combination of green and yellow, two wonderful colours that nature can offer us. The crisp, roasted almonds mix well with the tenderness of the broccoli.  The calendula petals add the sunshine touch to the lovely flavour  of the brown basmati rice and fresh goat cheese. See more of her recipes on her blog

Popcorn Salad

What you'll need:

● 1 cup of brown basmati rice ● about 200g of broccoli (only the heads) ● 30g of chopped almonds ● 60g of fresh goat cheese  1 head of a calendula flower ● 1 lemon  olive oil ● coconut oil ● mustard ● salt ● pepper 

● Prepare the rice by cooking it following the given instructions on the package (typically you have to wash it first and then cook it for about 40 min).

● Wash carefully the broccoli and steam them for a couple of minutes (10-15 min).

● Heat a pan on a medium heat and add a teaspoon of coconut oil. When the oil is melted add the almonds and roast them until golden brown. Set aside. 

● When the rice is cooked, drain it, rinse it. Once cooled, put it in a dish and add the broccoli. 

● Add in to the dish the fresh goat cheese that you have either diced or crumbled. (I served it aside as my son doesn’t like it) Top the mix with the roasted almonds and dress with the calendula petals.

● Next, prepare the seasoning by mixing 5 table spoons of lemon juice, 8 table spoons of olive oil, one teaspoon of mustard, salt and pepper. Add the seasoning to the salad.

"You will have a wonderful dish with green from Nature and some sunshine rays. Ideal to lift up your mind and spirit."

See below for an exclusive foodie discount code!

Priceless People Wellbeing Festival: Thursday 4th June, Friday 5th June and
Saturday 6th June at Hole Park, Rolvenden, Kent TN17_4JB 9am–4.30pm
Tickets: Advance booking: £7.50* On the gate: £8.50 Exclusive 3- Day Pass: £17
Online Tickets: Ticket hotline: 01580_713915**
For further information contact Georgina Toynbee and Helen Barton on 01580_714705

*Advance booking price available until 31/05/2015 **Tickets purchased via phone will incur a 50p admin fee

Exclusive Foodie Discount Code - fbloggers15
(ends 30/04/15)

Friday, 17 April 2015

April's Great Outdoors

  The April Garden  

As it's National Gardening Week this week, we thought we'd let you in on a few top tips for your gardens in April...

Control weeds and aerate the soil by cultivating between the rows of plants and remember that April is a great time to select and plant fruit trees and berry plants as they tend to do best when planted in full sun. 

There is always plenty to do in the vegetable garden! Start planning perennial vegetables like asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish etc. but don't be late to transplant large trees or shrubs.

The months of March, April and May are ideal for pruning evergreens. Pop round the garden to remove any spent flowers, dead leaves or branches, or any yellowing leaves. When they have finished blooming, you should deadhead your spring flowering bulbs, but don't cut off the green foliage yet! These green leaves continue to grow for a few weeks, and provide the bulb with food for flowering next year.

Make your pond wildlife friendly by adding some native plants around the edge and keep the birds fed, but only with smaller pieces as they'll be feeding their fledglings too. Hedgehogs will be coming out of hibernation as well, so some extra food for them will be needed as they would have used up their fat stores over the winter. Put in some butterfly attracting plants such as buddleia, honesty or even nettles.

Rotate your house plants so that each side receives it's share of light, for even growth and a balanced shape. Rinse the dust from the leaves with the kitchen sprayer. Clean leaves allow the plant to breathe and pinch back the tips of foliage plants to stimulate new growth and make your plant fuller and bushier.

Want more gardening tips? Then get involved with the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair and Priceless People Wellbeing Festival, where we will be joined with gardening experts such as James Wong and The Benton Brothers! Get your tickets here...

Friday, 3 April 2015

Wealden Wellbeing

  The Pursuit of Happiness  

Is it possible to ever be truly content with ourselves and lead the carefree life we've always dreamed of? WT chats happiness and wellbeing with three of the speakers at this June's Wealden Times Midsummer Fair Priceless People Wellbeing Festival...

Joe Hoare

Joe is a laughter and wellness coach. He helps people access their zest for life so they experience life to their full potential. He works with various organisations, teams and individuals, to energise, inspire and connect. Joe also runs courses to teach people how to use these skills themselves, both personally and professionally, to become more optimistic, mindful and resilient. Visit

 What is laughing yoga?

The basis of laughter yoga is that laughter is highly beneficial for us physically, emotionally and psychologically. Laughter yoga and my own brand nls: natural laughter skills promote laughter exercises as a practice, in the same way yoga and ante-natal breathing techniques are practices. It can be done both in groups and individually, indoors and outdoors. It is a powerful and effective way of generating mood-enhancing hormones without adverse side effects. 

What are the benefits of laughing yoga?

The benefits are enormous. It’s a cardiovascular and pulmonary workout, ie good for your heart & lungs. It’s a natural de-stressor, it’s physically relaxing and it boosts the immune system. It aids with type 2 diabetes and even eczema. It helps people connect, communicate better, and improves morale. It can train us to become more optimistic, mindful and resilient people. 

 Does laughter make you happy?

Laughter practices can help us become happier. The 19th century American psychologist William James observed ‘We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.’ It is definitely true that laughter practices can help us become happier. The documentary ‘The Best Medicine’, on vimeo on laughter practices shows how these practices help someone cope with their tumour. Visit

Sadhguru, The Isha Foundation

The Isha foundation is an international non profit organisation, run by over 2 million volunteers worldwide, headquartered at the Isha Yoga Centre in Southern India. Alongside the various courses they run, designed to increase physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, they implement large scale human service programs, offering medical care and community rehabilitation for rural villages in India, and massive public reforestation projects. Isha was founded by Sadhguru, a yogi and contemporary, prominent spiritual leader.

             Isha offers its participants the opportunity to achieve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Is wellbeing essential to happiness?

      Different people have different ideas of wellbeing, but everyone is seeking wellbeing. So wellbeing or when we really feel well in our lives is when you are very happy. Even if you are medically ill, today if you are very happy, still there is an experience of wellbeing within you. So when you say I am in pursuit of wellbeing, in one way you are in pursuit of happiness.

      Yoga is at the heart of your philosophy, how can it improve wellbeing?

      As there is a science and technology for external wellbeing, there is also one for inner wellbeing. Yoga is an inner technology. When I say yoga, don’t think in terms of impossible physical postures. This is a deeper understanding of your own body, mind and energy, and about creating an inner situation where you are naturally joyful and peaceful. If you just make your life energies function in a certain way, you are peaceful and joyful by your own nature.

      Are your principles and teachings consistent with finding happiness in the modern world?

      Unfortunately, people have created a situation where their happiness depends on external factors that are never going to be completely in your control. True fulfilment and wellbeing won’t happen by fixing this. As there is way of engineering the outside the way we want it, there is also a whole inner engineering technology. Through this, peace, joyfulness and an inner balance are attained so that life is not a pursuit of happiness but an expression of joyfulness.


Suzy Greaves

Alongside her role as Editor of Psychologies, Suzy is a writer, journalist, author and business owner, She was previously Health Editor for OK! Magazine and New Woman and also worked as a freelance health journalist for monthly glossies. In 2007 she became a life coach, founding The Big Leap Coaching Co.

Why are you so passionate about happiness?

When I was a teenager, I lost my parents to cancer so I learned there is a lot about life that you can't control. But you can control the way you react to it. That decision is the difference between a happy life and a miserable one. I believe that -with support - we can find a way back to happiness and don't have to be defined by our past. There is always a way out of the darkness.

What is a Happiness Club?

We've joined forces with charity Action for Happiness and we are encouraging our readers to create a ‘happiness club’ once a month in their own homes where you can tune in to what lights you up and discuss how you can put happiness – ours and other people’s – at the heart of your life philosophy. It’s about working together and being the change we want to see in the world.

How do I get involved?

Invite people you like or you’d like to know better, arrange a date and time suitable for all of you and arrive having read the article in Psychologies (It should take around 90 minutes to host a session but allow more if you want to chat afterwards.) The host reads out the ‘Happiness Club’ Psychologies article to the group and then you discuss the five questions set by Action for Happiness and commit to one ‘action’  a day, week or month. Take it in turns to host and register your happiness club at

We're very excited here at WT to announce that Joe, Suzy and members from the Isha Foundation will be appearing and speaking for us at the Priceless People Wellbeing Festival in June. So hold on tight for more information and get your tickets from our website now for a discounted price!