Tuesday, 30 June 2015

July Competition

WIN! a weekend big cat family encounter at the wildlife heritage foundation in smarden

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) Big Cat Sanctuary is home to over 50 big cats. This registered charity is recognised as the biggest, most successful breeding centre in Europe for
the endangered big cats of the world, working to ensure they are protected from extinction.
The Foundation provides a safe, secure and stress free environment for their animals which is proven in the success of their breeding programmes. 

Their ultimate objective is to see Big Cats safely reintroduced into the wild in their natural habitat, with the help of breeding, education and protection programmes all raising awareness worldwide of the importance of preservation of our natural world. 

The WHF Big Cat Sanctuary is located in Smarden. The site occupies 38 acres of Kent countryside, with enclosures specially designed to suit the types of cats housed within them. The WHF is not open to the public, but supports the site’s running costs by way of Big Cat Experiences, including Big Cat Encounter, Ranger for the Day, Photographic Day, Big Cat Adoptions, Gift Vouchers and an African Lodge Experience. 

The Big Cat Sanctuary will be hosting open days on 16, 17, 18 & 19 July 2015. You can book now to see their big cat collection of over 50 big cats including the White Lion pride! The open days will include Big Cat Health Checks and Enrichment, Falconry Displays, face painting, stalls, BBQ & ice-cream, bouncy castle, crafts and fun for all the family. Entry costs £10 per person, and under 5s are free. You can book online at www.whf.org.uk.

For your chance to WIN a Weekend Big Cat Family Encounter (this includes a tour lasting approximately 2 to 2.5 hours for the winner plus up to 4 guests in which they will get the opportunity to get up close and personal with WHF’s amazing big cats as well as learning about the breeding and conservation work they carry out) just answer this question:

 ‘In which village is WHF located?’ 

Enter your answer with your contact details* in the online form at www.wealdentimes.co.uk/competition, post to: The WHF Competition, Wealden Times, 21 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF by 17 July 2015 or enter here on the blog!

 There is no cash alternative and the prize must be taken before the end of 2015. *All entrants’ details will be passed on to WHF and Wealden Times Events. Please let us know if you do not wish your details to be passed on.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Simple Summer Fare

WT picks out a few of their favourite recipes for summer time! 


No one want's to be slaving over a hot hob in the summer. So here are a few recipes we love to give you some inspiration for the parties, picnics and BBQs to come...


Feta, Watermelon and avocado salad

Watermelon is amazing in a salad, bringing a gorgeously sweet crunchiness. Combine that with salty feta and ripe avocado and you have a feast that's as lovely to eat as it is to look at.

What you'll need...
  • 500g watermelon
  •  salad leaves (lamb's lettuce, rocket or baby leaves)
  • 2 avocados, peeled, stoned and cut into small chunks
  • small bunch of radishes, halved
  • 100g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 150g feta, cut into small cubes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • a few sprigs of mint
  • salt and black pepper

What to do...

Cut the watermelon into chunks, removing the peel and seeds. Do this over a bowl to catch the juice and set the juice aside.

Put the salad leaves in a bowl or on a serving platter and add the watermelon, avocados, radishes and feta.

Whisk together any watermelon juice with the lime juice and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Drizzle this dressing over the salad and garnish with a few sprigs of mint.

Davina's 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free is published by Orion Books at £16.99. www.orionbooks.co.uk
Photographs: Andrew Hayes-Watkins Recipes:

Thai spiced courgette fritters with sweet chilli dip

These small, spicy morsels have a tangy kick and make delicious finger food for a summer garden party.

What you'll need...
  • 2 medium courgettes 
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped 
  • 2 beaten eggs 
  • 2 heaped tbsp plain flour 
  • 1-2 tsp green Thai curry paste 
  • 1 stick lemon grass, finely sliced (or use juice and zest of ½ a lime) 
  • 1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (or soy sauce) 
  • ready made sweet chilli dipping sauce to serve  

What to do...

Grate the courgettes and squeeze out some of the liquid (place in a colander or sieve and press a saucer down on top) this will help the fritters stay crispy.

Add the other ingredients, but save half the coriander as a garnish. Combine thoroughly. 

Form the mixture into patty shapes and sauté in a little oil until crisp and golden. 

Serve with sweet chilli dip.

Photographs: David Merewether Recipes:

 Summer Tomato and Horseradish Salad

For this salad it's great to try and get a whole mixture of different tomatoes, at room temperature, nice and ripe. Let them sunbathe on the window ledge if need be! Try and get hold of fresh horseradish – give your greengrocer a challenge to get some in.

What you'll need...

What to do...
Cut the bigger tomatoes into slices about 1cm/½ inch thick. You can halve the cherry tomatoes or leave them whole. Then sprinkle them all with a good dusting of sea salt. Put them in a colander and leave them for 30 minutes. What's going to happen here is that the salt will draw the excess moisture out of the tomatoes, intensifying their flavour. Don't worry about the salad being too salty, as a lot of the salt drips away. 

Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and dress with enough extra virgin olive oil to loosen (approximately 6 tablespoons), and 1–2 tablespoons of vinegar, but do add these to your own taste. Toss around and check for seasoning – you may or may not need salt but will certainly need pepper. Add the garlic. Now start to add the horseradish. Stir in a couple of teaspoons to begin with, toss around and taste. If you like it a bit hotter, add a bit more horseradish. All I do now is get some finely sliced flat-leaf parsley (stalks and leaves) and mix this into the tomatoes. Toss everything together and serve as a wonderful salad, making sure you mop up all the juices with some nice squashy bread. 

This salad is fantastic with roast beef, goat's cheese or jacket potatoes. And to be honest, even if you put these tomatoes in a roasting tray and roasted them with some sausages scattered around them it would be nice.

Recipe: Jamie Oliver www.jamieoliver.com

Baked Beetroot with Horseradish Creme Fraiche and Spring Onions

Juliet Bidwell provides the inspiration to spice up our side dishes and present a delicious meal with a tantalising twist...

What you'll need...

  • 3 medium raw beetroots, washed (One could substitute cooked beetroot for this dish, which also reheats well.)
  • 3tbsp crème fraîche
  • 3tsp horseradish
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 2tbsp chopped chives
  • salt and pepper

What to do...

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
Wrap each beetroot in foil, place in a roasting tin and bake for 90 minutes, or until cooked.Leave to cool, then peel and slice the beetroot. 

Mix the crème fraîche and horseradish together, stir in the spring onion and chives and season.Spoon over the beetroot and pop into a hot oven for 10 minutes in order to heat through.

Photographs: David Merewether

Friday, 19 June 2015

June's Interior Inspiration

  Champion Bathing  

We love a good bathroom here at WT. They're a place to relax, unwind, or prepare for the day ahead, and we have come across some real beauties in our time. Here are a few of our top picks...

Monochrome Home...

This stunning bath is set in the corner of a master bedroom, in a double aspect alcove, overlooking the garden. Subtle intimacy has been created by a delicate muslin curtain covering one wall. Read the full feature here...

Always in Style...

This bathroom sports a great black steel-riveted bateau bath, found on eBay and black and white mosaic tile flooring from Tile Design in St Leonards. The delicate driftwood table by the bath came from French Connection Home.  Read the full feature here...

All in Place...

The design philosophy in this house as far as bathrooms are concerned, is to go for a high quality centrepiece. All the baths, showers and taps are form C.P. Hart. The accessories and furnishings are bargain buys. The shower tiles are form Walls & Floors and the graphite marble floor tiles are from eBay.

The Christmas House...

Moving away from the contemporary, there is a totally different feel in this house. With a reinforced floor to support it, this original bath tub has a lead lining and is gently illuminated by candle light, tucked away in amongst the wood paneling around the room. 

An Elegant Escape...

We love this pair of Moorish mirrors hanging above the sinks. This bathroom also feature a beautiful deep bath and glass walled wet room shower. The French doors lead into a pretty patio area with stunning views of the gardens.