Country Homes & Interiors Style

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Discover a world of festive country style and gorgeous shopping at Country Homes & Interiors Christmas, returning to Stonor Park between Thursday 22nd and Sunday 25th November after a sold-out show last year.

In collaboration with the magazine, this boutique event presents a handpicked collection of makers and country brands, with more than 100 stands brimming with beautiful home and lifestyle buys, plus unique Christmas gifts for family and friends.

The event is set in purpose-built, heated marquees on the front lawns of stunning Stonor Park House, Henley-on-Thames. Experts from Country Homes & Interiors will bring their December issue to life, recreating the Christmas cover on a beautifully styled stand. And visitors can enjoy delicious food and drink, or a glass of fizz, in the artisan food area.

Famous names including wallpaper and fabric maker Sanderson; Charnwood stoves; sofa and chair designer Collins & Hayes; Oak Furniture Land and designer Sophie Conran will be presenting free workshops, with news on the latest trends and tips on styling the perfect country Christmas.

Specially selected exhibitors include Indigo and Rose, selling nostalgic homewares, and New Forest Aromatics, creators of fine natural fragrances.

Visitors can upgrade their ticket to enjoy exclusive access to Stonor Park House, decorated for Christmas by the Stonor family. Visitors with a Stonor Park season ticket have free entry to the event, house and gardens.

For show details and tickets visit www.ichfevents.co.uk

Coast vs Country

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We chat to Scottish and Oxford-based television presenter of Coast vs Country

October has seen award-winning Oxford interior designer Kerr Drummond swap dreaming spires for scenic sand dunes as one of the co-hosts of Coast vs Country.

This Channel 4 show gives house-hunters the choice of a future in a rural idyll or seaside hotspot. In each episode, house hunters are shown three coastal properties and three countryside properties, as they decide whether their heart lies within the UK’s rolling hills and pretty villages, or in a stunning coastal location packed with seaside culture.

So, how did Kerr come to be involved in the programme? It turns out Coast vs Country is not his first television show. “It was the second television programme I had done,” he says. “I was approached in 2008 to do Kitchen SOS which was produced by a television company owned by Nadia Salwalha. They had sold the concept to UKTV’s Home channel, but one of the conditions was that one of the designers had to be up and coming and new to TV.

“I had just been nominated for Young Designer of the Year, so when they did a Google search they found me quite quickly. After three years in that show, I applied for Coast vs Country and it was either the instant rapport I got with the fellow presenter, Kirsty Duffy, or the fact that they were totally bored of interviewing people. Something must be going right, we are now on out third series!”

      

Are the presenters quite competitive… perhaps keeping score as comes across on screen? “Officially nope, but I think I ‘won’ series 1 and 2 against Kirsty. In series 3 the rural idyll is being looked after by Sara Damergi as Kirsty has had a break to have a baby. Fingers crossed I can keep my record up – not that I’m keeping score!”

What made Kerr choose Interior design as a career, considering he is now on television… “It wasn’t my first choice; I was going to go to drama school and my poor drama teacher and given me a lot of help filling in forms etc  – then I chickened out! I was flicking through a local paper looking at various jobs and somebody wanted a junior bathroom designer and I had the entry qualification – an ‘A’ at A-level art. I got on really well at the job and progressed to senior designer after four or five years before starting my own company.”

No doubt the properties on offer come from many centuries; is there a period in history Kerr would have loved to have been an interior designer, perhaps? “I guess being Scottish I would love to go back only a brief time to when Charles Rene Mackintosh was working in Glasgow. But, the other period that interests me is the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I when they went on travels all over the country staying with nobles who always tried to outdo the noble before. Though I guess the challenge for the designer was getting paid afterwards as a lot of the nobles overstretched their finances.”

For someone who extols the virtues of the coast, what is it that attracts Kerr to life in Oxford? “I moved down to Oxford with my parents when I was about three, but I really love the place and would not want to move. I live in the Osney area, and this summer could happily go swimming in the river or walk along the bank into the centre of Oxford. Then there are the travel links, I am only an hour by train from the centre of London, but nothing beats sitting outside a pub in Broad Street watching the setting sun glisten off the historic rooves of the colleges.”

Visit www.channel4.com/programmes/coast-vs-country

Will Greenwood: nice try

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With the autumn rugby internationals on the horizon, we chat to rugby legend and father Will Greenwood.

Q. What would you do to help injury in the senior game?
“There is no perfect world – the key is to get children to enter adult rugby having had a good technical grounding in the contact area and tackle point and make sure they have had a safe and enjoyable journey along the way – that’s what’s most important.”

Q. You’re a great ambassador for children’s rugby – do schools do enough?
“Schools are constrained by budget, safety and numbers of qualified coaches. Mentoring schemes, access to club and academy coaches are improving and I hope it continues. I try to do my bit coaching at my local club [Maidenhead] and with my holiday coaching business Legend Holidays & Events.”

Q. With Twickenham ticket prices so high, would it be a good idea to play internationals elsewhere in the UK?
“I like having a ‘Fortress’ at Twickenham – not always a fortress – but it looks and feels like one to me! However I feel the occasional game could shift north – which it is next year… to St James’s Park with a world cup warm-up game which is exciting.”

Q. What would you say is the best moment of your playing career?
“That’s a tricky one, but probably Durham University 1991-92 – playing some great rugby with people who are my best friends to this day.”

Q. What do you think is the best position to play in to captain an international side?
“I don’t think there is a best necessarily – history would suggest the forwards – but great people come in all shapes and sizes. Rugby is a great sport that caters for all those shapes and sizes; a legendary captain could play in any position.”

Q. Is there another Martin Johnson playing now who can fill the role of captain?
“There will never be another Martin Johnson – unique and awesome! They’re big boots to fill if someone is up to the task.”

Q. Why are the All Blacks so good?!
“I think their success comes down to a few key factors; culture, geography, genetics and Importance of the game as a national sport.”

Q. How do you relax?
“I love a good Sudoku puzzle, whenever I get time!”

Q. What’s your favourite book?
“I’ve read some brilliant books, but my favourite would have to be Flashman Papers by George Macdonald Fraser.”

Q. Music?
“Easy: Oasis or Take That.”

Q. What are your ambitions for the next year on?
“My biggest ambition right now is to be a good Dad, it always comes before everything else.”

A print success story

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Round & About Magazine expands in to its ninth county as the family business continues to fly the flag for print publishing

In October this year we launched the latest edition of Round & About Magazine, for all the residents of Hungerford, Marlborough and Pewsey. As per all our other magazines it‘s Royal Mail delivered to all the homes within the RG17, SN8 and SN9 postcodes, giving local and national businesses complete penetration within the area.

The region is a good match for our target audience, complementing our current geographical reach and it will offer existing and new clients another great region to target.

To cope with the demands of ever more editions and content creation we are very pleased to have Karen Neville join us. Karen, who leaves her current role of production editor at Bath Chronicle, has worked in newspaper publishing, including for the Oxfordshire Guardian group, for many years, and thus has a sound knowledge of the areas we already reach. She will bring a great amount of experience and a valuable skillset from an international business.

Working with Liz Nicholls, our talented editor, Karen will help Round & About deliver ever more localised content, writing articles on issues that matter to our readers and help the machine run smoothly!

Our expansion over the last few years brought us to Howbery Park in 2015, enabling us to have the space to grow and offer employees an enjoyable environment to work in.

To help us reach our growth plans in 2019 we are expanding our advertising sales team. The right person doesn’t necessarily come from a sales background but someone that is a “people person”, has strong customer service skills and can offer sound solutions to potential advertisers, matching their needs with our offering.

If you feel you have the skill set to manage some existing accounts and develop new ones we would like to hear from you. Please email the sales director Luke Maitland on lmaitland@roundandabout.co.uk

Find out more about our story

Winter aches & pains?

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Pharmacist Kevin Leivers from The Naked Pharmacy explains how to find effective natural relief for joint and muscle inflammation this winter

As the temperature drops both athletes and elderly people alike notice their muscles and joints ache more and are slower to recover from injury.

There are a number of great natural remedies for these problems at The Naked Pharmacy. Two stand-out herbal products that can be applied regularly to aching muscles and joints are Arnica Massage Balm and Copper Ointment. Both are effective for reducing rheumatic pain in addition to improving circulation.

We also recommend supplementing your diet with high-strength tumeric capsules. This is a proven, natural and low-risk solution for a number of conditions including arthritis and sporting injuries. The therapeutic benefits of turmeric are produced by a class of compounds in turmeric called curcuminoids.

For the turmeric to be effective it must contain the correct strength; a minimum of 360mg curcuminoids in each capsule. Secondly, it needs to be formulated to enable the curcuminoid active compounds to be absorbed well in the gut.

On its own, only a small amount of the curcuminoids in turmeric are absorbed into the blood. Adding piperine (black pepper) resolves this issue. When piperine is mixed with turmeric, the total curcuminoid absorption increases significantly.

A turmeric extract that contains the highest strength of curcuminoids will be the most effective compared with extracts containing only curcumin.

For more advice visit The Naked Pharmacy or to speak to a pharmacist  call 01483 685630.

Thick & thin: hair loss tips

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Jamie Stevens, hairdresser to the stars including Hugh Grant and Olly Murs, talks frankly about the sensitive topic of balding – and how to combat it

Thinning hair is a subject that’s close to my heart. Researching it has helped me understand the reasons for hair loss, how to slow it and, most vitally, how to help conceal it without a hair transplant.

I’ve seen the effect hair loss has on confidence – our survey of 2,000 men revealed many would rather have a small penis, be cheated on or have their internet history made public than lose their hair. A fifth think thinning hair makes them less attractive and a quarter are worried it makes them look older.

Hair loss causes real anxiety. As someone who has thinning hair myself, I hope getting men talking will stop them suffering in silence. There are lots of options. Clever cuts can make hair look thicker, and hair fibres and disguise spray cover a balding spot well. Hair plugs are a more expensive but long-term option for men who really don’t want to be bald. There does come a point when shaving is best but some men go too early – Prince William, for example, probably didn’t need the buzz cut as soon as he did.

Tackle thinning hair early and you can hang on to hair for longer. Grooming staples are the foundation for any good haircare regime; anti hair-loss shampoo and conditioner plus a treatment spray help reduce the rate of hair loss by prolonging the growth phase.

About 70% of men will be affected by some sort of male pattern baldness, from completely losing the hair, to receding or thinning in areas. Genetics affect different areas of the hair. The top area will thin and fall out, but the gene that affects below the recession and occipital bone (what we call the “Friar Tuck” area) means this doesn’t thin or fall out in tandem with the top. The simple top tip for cutting thinning hair is the back and sides should be shorter and thinner than the top. Also try colouring: darker hair looks thicker, and colour swells the hair shaft to enhance thickness. Volumising products also offer short-term improvement. Disguise colour spray will instantly make hair look thicker; hair fibres matched to your hair colour are another instant solution to make the hair look thicker.

Find a style to suit fine hair; for example, adjust a parting to avoid bald patches. Longer hair weighs more and may leave more scalp exposed. Never rub wet hair with a towel: thin hair is fragile and can break, so pat dry. A silk pillowcase causes less damage.

Practice makes perfect – if I asked you to spray a car it’d take more than one go! Look online for how-to videos and avoid wet gels or waxes. Pastes and clays are best as they are more matte.

Click here to check out Jamie’s products.

Cosy cravings

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In the heart of winter sometimes we crave informal, uncomplicated, wholesome food. These recipes from Katie Kingsley will provide comfort and nourishment through the festive period.

Roti with curry sauce

(makes eight)

These are a fitting evening snack for when lunch has been particularly late or large. Prepare the roti the night before. In a large bowl mix 400g plain flour with 2tsp fine salt and add 200ml lukewarm water, gradually, to form a dough. Knead until elastic, smooth and shiny then wrap in cling film and rest for 30 minutes. Divide into eight balls, roll in a generous amount of vegetable oil, place on an oiled plate then cover and chill overnight. Oil your work surface and take a ball in the palm of your hand then flatten it and use a rolling pin to get the dough as thin as possible. Roll it up as you would a crepe then roll into a snail shape bringing the end back and tucking into the middle before rolling out again into a disc about the size of a large frying pan. Heat your frying pan over a medium heat, and fry until golden bubbles form, brushing both sides with a little oil as you fry, then fold before serving. To make the curry sauce add a tin of coconut milk, 3tbsp smooth peanut butter, 2tbsp soft packed brown sugar, 2tbsp red curry paste, 2tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy), 1tbsp soy, 2tsp tamarind paste, three minced garlic cloves and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until thick. Leftover curry sauce is great made into katsu chicken.

Parsnip pancakes with sour cream and caramelised onion

(makes eight – ten)

A delicious snack exploiting this sweet winter root. Halve three white onions and slice into half moons then fry in 2tbsp oil until starting to brown. Add a knob of butter, 1tsp soft brown sugar, 1tsp fennel seeds and a sprinkle of salt and continue to sauté until they are caramelised. Parboil six parsnips for 2-3 minutes then drain, running them under cool water and dry off as much as possible before grating them (a food processor makes light work of this). Add a leek finely chopped (white part only), one large lightly beaten egg, 3tbsp plain flour and season generously before mixing together using a spatula. Heat 2tbsp of oil with a knob of butter in a large frying pan and form balls with your hands of the parsnip mixture then use the spatula to press down once in the pan and flatten to about 1.5cm thick. Cook each side until crisp and golden. Serve with a dollop of sour cream with fresh chopped chives mixed through and caramelised onion.

Chunky chicken minestrone

(serves four – six)

Just the thing to nurse winter ailments and so simple to put together. Quarter a whole chicken leaving the skin on or use legs if you are cooking for fewer people. Season the chicken with salt, heat oil in a sauté pan then brown on both sides before transferring to a plate. Pour 200ml white vermouth into the hot pan to deglaze then transfer to a casserole or heavy saucepan, with the chicken and two tins of rinsed butterbeans. Add 500ml good quality chicken stock and a few tbsp chopped rosemary then partially cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add a few handfuls of minestrone which cooks in the broth, season to taste and serve the chicken as whole pieces or remove and shred before returning to the pan. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Sussex Pond Pudding

(serves four – six)

Just the thing to nurse winter ailments and so simple to put together. Quarter a whole chicken leaving the skin on or use legs if you are cooking for fewer people. Season the chicken with salt, heat oil in a sauté pan then brown on both sides before transferring to a plate. Pour 200ml white vermouth into the hot pan to deglaze then transfer to a casserole or heavy saucepan, with the chicken and two tins of rinsed butterbeans. Add 500ml good quality chicken stock and a few tbsp chopped rosemary then partially cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add a few handfuls of minestrone which cooks in the broth, season to taste and serve the chicken as whole pieces or remove and shred before returning to the pan. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Creature comforts

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More than half of Brits own a pet and there are so many benefits to having an animal in the family! Here are some titbits to ensure that your pet is at his or her happiest…

1. Taking time to decide which pet you get is vital. Responsible pet ownership is a big commitment. Consider your budget, space and lifestyle when deciding on a pet, not whichever animal is cutest. Rescue centres (such as Dogs Trust Surrey) not only have a huge variety of pets needing “forever homes” but offer advice on helping your pet settle in and their happy life beyond. 

2. “Dogs are descended from wolves which are very social animals.” Bruce’s Doggy Day Care puts doggie wellbeing first, offering full-and half-day boarding, a puppy nursery, grooming and a Tiny Town for little dogs to mingle. www.brucesdoggydaycare.co.uk

3. Breeding animals on the basis of appearance can wreak havoc on their health. The charity PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is trying to combat irresponsible breeding, especially in light of recent “teacup” breeds, popularised on social media.   Visit www.peta.org  to find out more

4. Here some some fun facts  about pets for you! Did you know, for example, cats have no facility for tasting sugar? Henry III of France used to have a basket of small dogs hanging around his neck. The bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissible in an American court. Queen Victoria won six prizes at Crufts in 1891 for her Pomeranian dogs, whereas Winston Churchill, Raymond Chandler and Samuel Johnson were all cat lovers.

5. Rabbits make great pets but are not an easy option!A rabbit can live for eight years plus, up to four years longer if spayed or neutered,” says Sue Beckram of Pets Homes & Gardens in Cranleigh.“They need to socialise daily and can become listless and difficult to handle if neglected and need regular grooming.” 

6. All dogs need regular exercise. Without daily walks, dogs get depressed, fat, poorly or bored, as curious canines love to sniff about socially. How much exercise your dog needs depends on its breed, age, fitness level and personality. Contact Kaz’s K9s and Equines on 07881 915815.   

7. Should you insure your pet? The average pet insurance claim is £750, but claims can run into thousands if your pet develops an ongoing condition. If you’re unsure whether insurance is worthwhile, consider how you would deal with an unexpected bill. The easiest way to bag the best deal is to buy a lifetime policy when your pet is young. There might also be discounts for spaying/ neutering and microchipping your cat.

8. Birds can live to a ripe age. Larger species such as macaws and cockatoos can live for  35 up to 50 years. Tarbu, an African grey, lived to 55 and today’s oldest parrot is 82-year-old Cookie who lives at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

9. Raw and grain-free food can make a massive difference to your pet’s health and behaviour. Most experts agree grain-free and raw dog foods are the best choice as they are the closest equivalent to the natural diet their ancestors (wolves and wild cats) would have eaten.

10. Don’t think of fish as low-maintenance. A thriving aquarium needs consistent attention. Overfeeding is the biggest problem with fish because uneaten food pollutes your tank and inhibits filtration. All pets need dedicated care.

11. Take care of your pet’s teeth & gums! Just as with humans, a good oral care routine is a vital part of your pet’s health and wellbeing. The experienced team at Lynton Veterinary Group advise: “This can be aided by regular brushing, a good diet and, if necessary, scale & polish to prevent further issues. A neglected mouth can cause pets a lot of pain and discomfort and may lead to other serious health problems.” 

Follow this link to find out how to enter out pets competition!

Joanna Lumley: me time

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Actress, activist and mum Joanna Lumley, 72, talks tigers, tickets and taking life in her stride as she embarks upon her solo UK tour It’s All About Me.

Q. Tickets for your 31-date UK tour sold out amazingly quickly; how does that feel?
“It’s utterly thrilling that on the first day the show was selling out across the country. At first, I thought I was scared about this tour. When it was announced, my first concern was that I’d have to pay people to come. I thought: ‘we’ll have to close the dress circle and pay people to sit in the stalls.’ But now I’m so excited. The great thing about performing live is the audience.”

Q. You have homes in London and the Thames Valley; what kind of reaction do you get out and about?
“I travel on the Tube, and people are constantly talking to me as if I’m their friend. They’ll say ‘what we really liked about India was this…’ People love the travel shows and often come up and tell me they love that I don’t talk down to the people I meet. I don’t find food revolting or customs silly just because they’re from other countries. Chatting is pretty much what I do – I’m forever doing this at charity dos.”

Q. You’re a national treasure, thanks to your work on the Gurkha Justice Campaign and all the TV and film work; what’s the key to cramming so much in?
“When I look back on all the things I’ve done, it’s a gasp-making list! You realise if you say ‘yes’ to jobs, you do jobs. If you’re picky, you do more great work, but needs must when the devil drives! The ability to send yourself up helps you survive. If you don’t have that, you can get gloomy.”

Q. You beat 800 other actresses to the role of kickboxing Purdey in The Avengers; was that your big break, would you say?
“There had been no Avengers series for ten years – our version just caught people’s imagination. Maybe it was time for that kind of adventure story again. But it was also ludicrous! In one episode, a rat ate some nuclear waste and became the size of  a double-decker bus.”

Q. Did you know Ab Fab, would be such a huge success to this day?
“I didn’t know Jennifer [Saunders} at the time, but when her script was sent to me, it was the funniest thing I’d ever read. I had no doubts about it.”

Q. What do you want to give people on this UK tour?
“I want audiences to feel happy and go home feeling that life is great, getting old is great and you can still have a go at anything!”

For all the dates of Joanna’s tour and tickets, visit www.joannalumleylive.com

Eyes on the tiger

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Liz Nicholls chats to Simon Clinton, founder of Save Wild Tigers, about the plight of this critically endangered big cat and events this month supported by our brightest stars…

As if stepping up to dance, two 11-month-old tiger cubs begin play-fighting in India’s Ranthambhore National Park. This stunning photo (above), taken by Andy Rouse in 2015, captures the poetic, almost impossible beauty of these creatures. However, the sad truth is fewer than 3,800 tigers exist in the wild today as poaching and habitat loss push them to the brink of extinction.

“It’s about more than just tigers, as much as I love them,” Simon Clinton tells me. “I’m quoting David Attenborough because he said it best: it’s a moral           question about whether we humans have the right to exterminate a species, leave a world that’s more impoverished than the one we inherited, simply because of our own carelessness and greed as a species.”

Simon has done more than just wax lyrical about the plight of wild tigers, whose numbers have fallen by 97%. He grew up in Malaysia, which is home to the oldest rainforest in the world, and first encountered tigers as a child in the early 1970s.

Ten years ago, Simon was working in marketing and advertising, producing TV ads for brands such as The Happy Egg Co. Having always been passionate about conservation, he was asked to help market and launch Europe’s first ever tiger art exhibition, at London’s Asia House. “Only then did the irony hit me that this stunning tiger-inspired art exhibition, with some of the pieces dating back thousands of years, could soon be the only way in which we see tigers,” he says. “Art and pictures… could this really be the legacy we leave our future generations if we do not act quickly? What chance have we got of saving the countless other species that will inevitably follow in the tiger’s tracks towards extinction; the elephants, the rhinos, the lions? The list goes on. If we can’t win this battle, the consequences are too unbearable to imagine.”

Indeed, he has acted quickly from that point. Save Wild Tigers, which is a non-profit organisation, has forged links with NGO partners, the Environmental Investigation Agency and Born Free Foundation to help combat the murky and dangerous £20bn illegal wildlife trade in products such as tiger bone, wine and fur, as well as raising funds and awareness about the importance of sustainable palm oil whose production also threatens the future of the orangutan and rhinos. Simon has also won the hearts of stars including Jaime Winstone (pictured above with a Swarovski tiger as featured in Vogue) who is an ambassador of Save Wild Tigers along with shoe designer Jimmy Choo. Other star supporters of the cause include Stephen Fry and also Joanna Lumley and Brian May who took part in the world’s largest tiger event, Tiger Tracks, at St Pancras International in 2013.

“Globally, the symbolism and imagery of the tiger has long been used for marketing and resulting commercial gain across numerous brands such as petrol, fashion, beer, the list is endless,” adds Simon. “Now it is time to bring the power of marketing and creativity to inspire all to help save this magnificent species from extinction. The tiger is more than just the charismatic animal we see on TV. It is a keystone species that represents the very heart and soul of the jungle.”

Until Sunday, 14th October, you can head to the Royal Albert Hall for Eye On The Tiger, the world’s largest wild tiger photography exhibition. International photographers from the USA, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Australia, Russia, Japan, Germany and India, including Steve Winter, Theo Allofs, Thorsten Milse,  Toshiji Fukuda, Nick Garbutt, Anish Andheria, Robin Hamilton and Roger Hooper have all generously donated their time and photographic rights to exhibit these beautiful photos.

They are on display in the Amphi Corridor, and can be viewed when attending a performance or on free open days on Friday, 5th, Sunday 7th, Friday 12th and Saturday 13th October, 10am-4pm.

Then, on Saturday, 27th October, Danesfield House Hotel near Marlow will host a star-studded black-tie champagne reception and dinner created by executive head chef Billy Reid and Masterchef winner Ping Coombes (tickets, £170 per person, are selling out very soon).

Head to www.savewildtigers.org to find out more