The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future… Theodore Roosevelt


Battle, East Sussex – The Birthplace of Modern England!

2016 is a momentous year for Battle as it marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings on the 14 October. Battle has many events planned to celebrate this historic event, including Concorde 1066, which will take place in Battle on Friday 14 October, Battle Arts & Music Festival, which will take place throughout Battle, throughout October and the prestigious PURE Autumn Art Fair, which will take place between the 22 and 30 October at the beautiful and historic PowderMills Hotel, Powdermill Lane, Battle.

Concorde 1066 | 14 October 2016

Concorde 1066, is a programme of events designed to commemorate the bloody events which took place 950 years ago on 14 October 1066 and all those who fell in this great and decisive battle between two cultures, Saxon and Norman.

Commencing at 1.00pm on Friday 14 October, the town of Battle will welcome representatives from Caen, Falaise, Bayeux and Arromanches in Normandy and from St Valery- sur- Somme that is twinned with Battle. Between 2.00pm and 5.00pm various parades and activities will take place in the town. At 6.10pm the ceremony of Lowering of the Flags at Sunset will take place in the presence of the official saluting party and trumpeters on the Abbey Gatehouse will signal the end of the performance

For further details and timings:

Battle Festival | 1 October 2016

For details of the full festival calendar which includes music, visual arts, theatre & dance, literary, history & Heritage, Film, Demonstrations and workshops please visit the website:

Battle Heritage Trails

Battle Heritage trails project is a 950th anniversary community commemorative project, supported by Geotourist and managed on behalf of Battle Town Council by a dedicated team. Residents, local business and visitors are encouraged to share their experiences, photos and reminiscences of historic battle past and present with the team via the facebook page @battleheritagewalkingtours.

PURE Autumn Art Fair | 22 – 30 October 2016

The prestigious PURE Autumn Art Fair returns to the beautiful and historic PowderMills Hotel, Battle, East Sussex this October for it’s 7th edition. Delivered in conjunction with Battle Arts & Music Festival, this eagerly anticipated curated exhibition forms part of the Battle 1066 950th Anniversary celebrations.

The PowderMills is a stunning privately owned 18th Century listed Country House nestling in 150 acres of beautiful parklands, woods and large lakes, situated just outside the historic town of Battle, adjoining the famous Battlefield of 1066.


The PURE Autumn Art Fair is a selected art fair showcasing the brightest upcoming and more established talent. Curated by Lesley Samms, it features work by some fifty artists working across all fine art media including painting, drawing, printmaking, digital art, photography, sculpture, ceramics and glass.

Exhibitors include well-known local artists such as Kate Penoyre, Louisa Crispin and Mary Beaney; Simone Riley and Julian Sutherland-Beatson, both of whom have recently produced work in response to Glyndebourne Opera House; Celia Allen, ex-head of ceramics at St. Leonards, Mayfield and Jane Bridger, best know for her glazed and Raku-fired wheel thrown pottery and Antonella Cuisimano, who is an Italian-born artist based in Belgium, whose art practice is based on drawing, space and movement. Also exhibiting in this historic year will be Jacqueline Devereux PSGFA, selector and President of the Society of Graphic Fine Art (the drawing society) alongside several notable SGFA members including Vincent Matthews, Felicity Flutter, Melvyn Evans and Les Williams.

For this Battle 1066 950th Anniversary Edition PURE will be placing a key focus on the “historic, natural and the made by hand” with a range of talks, events and special exhibits.

“Art without awareness of nature is a rather impossible task (…). That’s why in all my actions I try to raise awareness of man’s creative possibilities, the only ones that can give him freedom. I try to connect him on the bottom towards the earth, nature and the beasts, which have an important place in my actions, and upwards, with the spirits. “

Joseph Beuys

Ali Rabjohns will be exhibiting her ‘Between The Worlds’ Nuno Felted Coat, which was made using silk georgette as a base, with Merino, Wensleydale and mixed Angelina fibres carded together and nuno felted to give textural effects. Fellow artist Sandra Ventris also helped with the construction design and tailoring of the coat.

Felt making is the most ancient form of textiles, predating weaving. Felted pieces in Europe have been discovered originating from the Bronze Age in 5AD. The most wonderful thing about felting is that the craft can meet you at whatever artistic level you are. Whether a beginner, or a crafts person, or a textiles artist – the development of different felting techniques ranging from Nuno felting to three-dimensional techniques has something to offer everybody.


Photograph by Ruthie Martin – model Holly Rabjohns.

For full details of talks, events and workshops please see the printed Battle festival guide and websites.

PURE Autumn Art Fair

PowderMills Hotel, Powdermill Lane, Battle TN33 0SP

Open everyday 11am to 6pm

Late night Friday, open until 8pm.

Published in Aspect County Magazine October 2016/Articulate


Good Seasons Start with Good Beginnings…

As the days draw in and our thoughts turn to Christmas, we talk to a few gallery owners about why they do what they do and what has inspired and motivated them.

Artichoke Gallery Ticehurst


On the eastern edge of Sussex, surrounded by beautiful countryside, Artichoke Gallery is in the heart of Ticehurst, a Wealden village with an eclectic selection of small creative businesses. In addition to featuring the work of artist/owners Vicki Atkinson, Liz Moys and Louisa Crispin, there are quarterly exhibitions of painting, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery from some of the leading artists and makers in the country.

Opening just over 2 years ago in October 2014, Artichoke drew on the experience of Sculptor Vicki Atkinson who ran a Gallery from her home for several years. “It was important to be able to continue to develop my own artist practice so when the old post office premises became available in Ticehurst I looked for a partnership to help in the day to day activities and we haven’t looked back. There is an enormous amount of work involved in selecting new artists every three months to provide an exciting and cohesive exhibition, but what I hadn’t expected was the benefits this would bring to my own work.”

Whilst the Gallery is keen to support local artists, they like to bring new ideas to the area and considerable time is spent sourcing from across the country by visiting Art Fairs and Craft Shows, talking to artists and makers, developing an understanding of their dreams and more particularly their humour. Artists and makers are very generous with their knowledge and these connections have developed into firm friendships. The ladies are continually amazed at how far their reputation has spread already with visitors making special trips from London and throughout the South East. “We are on a tourist route, which brings visitors from all over the world but we especially value the locals, who pop their heads around the door on a quiet rainy day just to make us smile. Our busy opening parties are a thank you for their continued support.”

The Gallery has a spacious, relaxed atmosphere to show off the contemporary delights on offer, ideal for sourcing that extra special present or simply a chance to share in the ladies’ rather quirky sense of humour. Check out the website for a taster but better still, pop in for a sensory treat.

The current exhibition “In The Landscape”, featuring work by over 60 artists and makers, continues until Christmas, with some fabulous gift ideas and plenty to make you smile.

Artichoke Gallery, Church Street, Ticehurst TN5 7AE

Tel: 01580 200905


Wing Gallery Wadhurst


WING Gallery located in the Wealden village of Wadhurst is a real hidden gem. Owned by well-known sculptor Gavin Roweth, the gallery took its maiden flight in November 2012. The first exhibition displayed a diverse range of paintings, sculpture and ceramics, created by talented local artists. Since then the gallery has gone from strength to strength, exhibiting many themed, solo and group shows, featuring national and international artists alongside the wealth of fine artists who live in the Weald. ‘I quickly discovered that it was important to provide a diverse range of art that regularly changed to encourage more customers. Busy times at the gallery can be quite a buzz, selling artists work and discussing possibilities with clients is always rewarding’. Quieter times provide Gavin with the opportunity to catch up on his own design work and plan for future shows. This year for example Gavin has added sectional dividing doors to the gallery to enable him to use some of its space as a separate studio and exhibition space.



Over the past four years WING has become part of the very fabric of the village, with the ever-changing feature window displays eagerly anticipated. Many of the gallery’s visitors comment that a few minutes inside can provide a brief pause in their chaotic lives. ‘This is an unforeseen result of opening a gallery, but hugely rewarding one.

I have found that being approachable is very important; a gallery should not be an awkward or unapproachable place for anyone to walk into. I think it is a great help that WING is an artist run business. Whether I’m working on a design drawing or a sculpture the process of what I’m doing seems to break down any awkwardness and very soon you are discussing the age of stone or the type of chisels I might use to create a piece. The gallery is also a great place for meeting existing clients; we can discuss a commission, have a coffee and at the same time I can introduce them to artists they may not have come across before’.

The current exhibition running 1st – 13th November is a solo show of artwork by ‘Emily Pennock’. This will be followed by the Christmas exhibition running 18th November – 24th December and featuring 25 local artists.

High Street, Wadhurst TN5 6AA.

Tel: 01892 783665


West End House Gallery Smarden



West End House is a contemporary gallery showing a wide range of original artworks, including paintings, prints, ceramics, jewellery, glass and textiles by regional and national artists. Open Thursday to Monday, 10am to 5pm, their aim is to make the gallery space a friendly and stimulating environment with inspiring work, at all prices.

When you first enter the gallery you will see among the many exhibits a dog biscuit bowl. No, it’s not a piece of modern art, but an indication that the gallery, nestling alongside a beautiful church and a pub, is very much a part of the village community.

If you spend a bit of time in the gallery you will see a flow of visitors (some with dogs.) One of them summed it up perfectly saying “the gallery makes all the difference to the village. It’s friendly, lively and very much part of our community.”

The two ladies who run West End House, Patricia Hawkins and Karen Papworth, make an effort to ensure that no-one feels intimidated about entering the gallery and when it comes to selling artworks their policy is never to give anyone the hard sell. They make sure the work they show is varied, with prices ranging from £5 up to several thousand.

Their venture came about when Patricia, who exhibited her glassworks in the gallery was told by the women running it that they intended giving it up and did she know anyone who might like to take it on. She mentioned this to fellow artist Karen, who had already started looking into running a gallery. They talked it over and decided to take the risk together and raided their savings accounts in order to take the business over from the founder of the gallery, Joel Arnstein.

They took over in February 2011 and say they have never regretted the decision. After a good first year the business has continued to flourish, although they admit you will never make a fortune running a gallery. They say it’s not about the money, it’s about the inspiration they get from the work, the excitement of selling work for so many artists and the pleasure they get when someone finds the perfect piece for their home. “We believe we’ve found and created something quite special and it’s a lot of fun to do. There has never been a day when we didn’t want to come to work.”

One look at the visitors book sums up their philosophy with comments such as “very pleasant ambience, great artwork, cheerful folk”, “we have just completed a gallery trail and we can highly recommend this fantastic gallery”, “excellent, inspiring, I could go broke”; and one visitor from Shropshire wrote “an excellent break in our journey. We only came in for a look around and found it too tempting.”

West End House Gallery, Water Lane, Smarden, Kent, TN27 8QB

Tel : 01233 770261

Email :

Published in Aspect County Magazine – November 2016/Articulate

Art is not always about pretty things. It’s about who we are, what happened to us and how our lives are affected… Elizabeth Broun

– Capitalism Works for Me! by Steve Lambert –

With the on going conflict in the Middle East, seismic impact of the recent Brexit vote here in the UK and the bitter and divisive discourse surrounding the recent presidential elections, which ultimately led to billionaire business man Donald Trump being elected 45th President of the United States, we are currently living through a period of intense political and economic turmoil. We thought therefore, for this mid-winter edition, we would make an attempt at grappling with the thorny subject of art and politics.

All art is political in that it engages society in some way, either influencing it or influenced by it. But some artists and artworks speak more directly to concerns relating to human rights, corruption, class and the distribution of wealth and/or power – not every artist is moved by beauty and love! Others do not start out with the preconceived notion of making a political statement but cause a stir none-the-less, due to their chosen genre, medium, location or timing.

If this all sounds confusing, that’s because it is. But that reflects the culturally dynamic times we live in! So where to start…? Banksy’s Dismaland, Damien Hirst’s ‘Natural History’ series depicting animals (various) in formaldehyde or Ai Weiwei’s sublime porcelain Sunflower Seeds…

One work that particularly stands out for me at this moment in time is ” Capitalism Works for Me!,” by Steve Lambert.


Created in 2011, the title of the work, Capitalism Works for Me!, isn’t cryptic at first glance. In fact it seems quite direct. The piece is constructed of a huge LED sign blaring the words of its title flanked by scoreboards that register “True” or “False” responses from audience members. The power of the artwork however does not lie in the physical piece itself but in the audience responses. It is a conversation starter: The audience are asked to describe “what capitalism means for them”. This can prove highly provocative; “it’s a bit like walking up to a complete stranger and asking them “Can I talk to you about Jesus?” The word “capitalism” is a red flag. And for good reason—pretty soon either some dude is talking your ear off about “The System” or aggressively confronting you about taxes.”

First launched on Kickstarter, Lambert has toured Capitalism Works for Me! to over 20 cities in Europe and North America since 2011, including a spot in Times Square, NYC in 2013. It debuted in London in 2015 and its most recent outing has been in Texas, USA.

To can watch a selection of people’s responses:

To read more about this project:

Another stand out political work of our time has to be the Royal Moscow Cathedral Performance by Pussy Riot. The Russian feminist protest group formed in 2011, made headlines around the world in 2012 after their 40 second performance in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral explicitly exposed their derision towards the relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime and the Russian Orthodox Church. The group’s actions were stopped by church security officials and on March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich was arrested on March 16. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and each was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, however, on October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on probation and her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women were upheld.

Ðîññèÿ. Ìîñêâà. 21 ôåâðàëÿ. Ó÷àñòíèöû ôåìèíèñòñêîé ïàíê-ãðóïïû Pussy Riot âî âðåìÿ íåëåãàëüíîãî âûñòóïëåíèÿ â Õðàìå Õðèñòà Ñïàñèòåëÿ. Ôîòî ÈÒÀÐ-ÒÀÑÑ/ Ìèòÿ Àëåøêîâñêèé

The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism especially from the West and human rights groups including Amnesty International, which designated the women as prisoners of conscience, subsequently adopted the case. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013. In February 2014, a statement was made anonymously on behalf of some Pussy Riot members stating that both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were no longer members. However, both were among the group that performed as Pussy Riot during the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Tolokonnikova played the role of Chaika in their 2016 protest song/video “Prison is a weapon”.

Dismaland “Bemusement Park!” – Weston-super-Mare by Banksy


Dismaland was a temporary art project, organised by street artist Banksy in the seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. Prepared in secret, the disused lido ‘Tropicana’ was turned into “a theme park not suitable for children!” Dismaland opened during the weekend of 21 August 2015 and closed permanently on 27 September 2015, 36 days later.

Dismaland bore all the hallmarks of a Banksy, from its themes of apocalypse, anti-consumerism, and pointed social critiques on celebrity culture, immigration, and law enforcement to the secrecy surrounding its installation, opening and subsequent abrupt closure.


The exhibit had a mixed reception from critics. Jonathan Jones of the Guardian found it depressing: “brings together a lot of bad art by the seaside.” Where as Dan Brooks in The New York Times was critical of the easy sarcasm. The public however loved it, with many prepared to queue for hours each day for one of the 500 daily walk-in tickets. It also brought in 150,000 visitors from around the world, boosting the local economy of Weston-super-Mare by some £20m.

To view the trailer for this project:

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991 by Damien Hirst


‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ has become embedded in popular culture as one of the most iconic images of contemporary art. Conceived by Hirst in 1989 whilst at studying at Goldsmiths, the ‘Natural History’ series work consists of a thirteen-foot tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde, weighing a total of 23 tons. The shark is contained within a steel and glass vitrine three times longer than high and divided into three cubes.

According to the artist, the title was, “just a statement that I had used to describe the idea of death to myself”. Thought of prior to the sculpture, it was taken from Hirst’s student thesis on Hyper reality and the work of Robert Longo and Umberto Eco. Hirst recalls liking the title’s poetic clumsiness because of the way it expressed, “something that wasn’t there, or was there”.

Subsequent ‘Natural History’ works have included; Mother and Child (Divided), depicting a cow and calf bisected and preserved in four tanks of formaldehyde and Philip (The Twelve Disciples), a bulls head in formaldehyde. Mother and Child (Divided) is a key early work, first exhibited as part of the ‘Aperto 93’ Venice Biennale exhibition. It subsequently formed the focal piece for the 1995 Turner Prize won by Hirst.

Damien Hirst will return to Venice in 2017 with his latest project, which has been 10 years in the making. It will be exhibited across both Pinault collection Venice museums; Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi, highlighting the longstanding relationship shared by the artist and the Pinault Collection.

To read more about Damien Hirst:

 Sunflower Seeds by Ai Weiwei


Exhibited in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern 2010-2011, Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds installation was made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique. However realistic they may have seemed, the life-sized sunflower seed husks were in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain.

Each seed had been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they were the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds formed a seemingly infinite landscape.

Sunflower Seeds invited us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today, posing challenging questions such as: What does it mean to be an individual in today’s society? Are we insignificant or powerless unless we act together? What do our increasing desires, materialism and number mean for society, the environment and the future…? Questions which have proved a recurring theme through out his work; reflecting Ai Weiwei’s own lived experience as a child refugee, family in exile and political detainment.

Ai Weiwei’s latest work is currently showing simultaneously across four gallery spaces in New York: “Roots and Branches” can be viewed at Mary Boone and Lisson Gallery; “The Laundromat” displaying clothing left behind after the forced evacuation of the Idomeni refugee camp, on the border of Greece and Macedonia is on show at the Deitch Projects in SoHo.

To read more about Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seed project and see images:

Closer to home a contemporary artist with a strong political message running throughout her art practice is Russian-born Svetlana K-Lie. From photography to sculpture she juxtaposes memories of her childhood growing up in the former Soviet Union in stark contrast to contemporary western culture. Significant works include The Last Supper, Sleeping Beauty and Pigs.


Born in Moscow, Svetlana was originally set on a path to become an Olympic gymnast, however, everything changed for her at the age of 10 when a rubber landed on her head! This chance encounter led her to discover an artist’s studio, which so enchanted her it changed the direction of her life forever. Svetlana now lives in Brighton, but, spends much of her time travelling the globe in pursuit of her art.

Talking about her personal motivation, Svetlana says “I do not consider this life the only one. Naturally, there is always a beginning and an end to everything but in the global sense of the word it is an ‘eternal’ process; the experience of reincarnations, of universal births and deaths.”

Svetlana was shortlisted for the prestigious Threadneedle prize in 2011 and in 2012 undertook an art residency at La Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France.


To read more on Svetlana K-Lie please visit her website:

Top 5 Exhibitions to visit in London in December

Royal Academy, Piccadilly

Abstract Impressionism until 2 January 2017

Tate Modern, Turbine Hall, Bankside

Hyundi Commission: Philippe Parreno: Anywhen until 2 April 2017

The National Portrait Gallery, St. Martins Place

Picasso Portraits until 5 February 2017

Halcyon Gallery, New Bond Street

Bob Dylan 5 Nov – 11 Dec 2016

Rebecca Hossack, Conway Street

Alasdair Wallace: Ache the Good Ache 1 – 23 December 2016

Published in Aspect County Magazine – December 2016/Articulate

Five significant exhibitions to visit in 2017

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Alphonse Mucha – In Quest of Beauty


8 October 2016 – 19 February 2017

This exhibition explores the work and legacy of Czech painter and decorative artist Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939), through his stylish and beautiful theatrical and advertising posters. The exhibition examines how ‘le style Mucha’ evolved and became synonymous with the international Art Nouveau style. It also examines the often-hidden, skilled draughtsmanship behind Mucha’s internationally recognisable designs, and explores how his artistic philosophy influenced his later career.

National Gallery, London

Australia’s Impressionists


7 December 2016 – 26 March 2017

Showcasing four innovative Australian Impressionist artists, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, and John Russell, this exhibition explores Impressionism in an Australian context – closely related to yet entirely distinct from its European counterparts.

The Royal Academy of Arts, London

America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s


25 February – 4 June 2017

The art of 1930s America tells the story of a nation in flux. Artists responded to rapid social change and economic anxiety with some of the 20th century’s most powerful art – brought together now for this once-in-a-generation show.

These 45 truly iconic works paint an electrifying portrait of this transformative period. These are works which are rarely seen together, by artists ranging from Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper to Thomas Hart Benton, Philip Guston and more. Perhaps the most celebrated work of them all, Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic (1930), has never left North American shores before.

The British Museum, London

The American Dream: Pop to the Present


9 March – 18 June 2017

The past six decades have been among the most dynamic and turbulent in US history, from JFK’s assassination, Apollo 11 and Vietnam to the AIDS crisis, racism and gender politics, culminating in the recent election of Donald Trump as 45th President.

This exhibition presents the Museum’s outstanding collection of modern and contemporary American prints for the first time. These will be shown with important works from museums and private collections around the world.

The exhibition will include works by the most celebrated American artists. From Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu. Taking inspiration from the world around them – billboard advertising, global politics, Hollywood and household objects – these American artists created highly original prints to rival their paintings and sculptures.

The V&A, London

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion


27 May 2017 – 18 Feb 2018

Born in the Basque region of Spain, Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895 – 1972) was apprenticed to a tailor from the age of 12. In 1914 he opened the House of Balenciaga in San Sebastian, where most of his clients were aristocrats. After the Spanish monarchy was deposed in the 1930s, Balenciaga moved to Paris. Here he became known for dramatic black coats and dresses, which recalled Spanish fashions of the Elizabethan age.


This retrospective exhibition will be the first exhibition dedicated to the famed Spanish designer in the UK, marking the 100th anniversary of the opening of his first fashion house and 80 years since he opened the doors of his famous Paris salon. Featuring around 100 garments and 20 hats crafted by the couturier and his followers – alongside sketches, photographs, film and fabric samples – it will examine in detail the craftsmanship and techniques that earned Balenciaga the reputation as one of the most pioneering designers of the 20th century and look at how his work impacted the future of fashion design.

Published in Aspect County Magazine – January 2017/Articulate

Keep Calm and Pamper Yourself!

Everyone needs a little pampering from time to time, particularly in the cold winter months following Christmas, when the festivities are but a distant memory and early mornings are starting to take their toll on ones health and sense of well-being. This January edition looks at some of the luxurious spa retreats favoured by the City set!

ESPA Life at Corinthia, London


Set in a space of iconic beauty, ESPA Life at Corinthia takes the Spa concept to the next level. A pioneering new concept, ESPA Life offers a fully integrated approach to wellbeing, bringing together a team of the world’s top experts to offer an unrivalled choice of spa, complementary alternative therapies, fitness, beauty treatments and Daniel Galvin Hair Salon.

Spread over four floors, the spa features 17 treatment rooms, a private spa suite, nail studio, indoor swimming pool, vitality pool, amphitheatre sauna, ice fountain, marble heated loungers and private sleep pods. The spa café complements the overall offering by serving light, nutritious refreshments.


The Dorchester Spa, Park Lane, London







“Nothing very bad could ever happen in The Dorchester Spa. So acutely drilled are the staff and so invisible are the processes that keep the oasis running like a well-oiled machine, that you can literally relax to the point of regression. Every need will be taken care of (even those you never thought you had, like the absolute requirement for some biscotti biscuits after a massage), and obliging therapists with mollifying tones will hold your hand every step of the way, from showing you where to hang your robe to rustling up a hairband because you were too disorganised to bring one.” Timeout Magazine

Sequoia at the Grove, Hertfordshire





Sequoia at the Grove is a luxury spa located just 20 minutes from the centre of the capital. The trendy spa hotel has romantic rooms in its luxury 18th century Mansion House and the more contemporary West Wing all with endless views of its beautiful grounds. Inside and out there’s eclectic, and somewhat eccentric, art to absorb and hidden gems to explore, not least the sizeable sandy beach and outdoor heated pool in the Walled Garden. The Sequoia Spa itself is home to a jumbo indoor swimming pool plus self-massaging ‘Vitality Pool’, heat experiences and wet rooms.

Calcot Spa, Calcot Manor Hotel, The Cotswolds







Calcot Manor is a traditional Cotswolds hotel located in a fourteenth-century farmhouse. “A relaxing countryside retreat, with squashy sofas and roaring fires creating an atmosphere of cosiness.” The Telegraph

Calcot Spa is situated in the grounds of Calcot Manor Hotel. The beautifully designed spa is flooded with natural light and the neutral artwork and furnishings reflect the surrounding countryside. Dip into the outdoor hydrotherapy pool, swim lengths in the 16-metre indoor pool or just relax in the thermal experience area. There are also plenty of fitness options, whether you want to spend a couple of hours in the gym, or walk around the countryside trail track.


Lucknam Park Spa, Wiltshire 






Lucknam Park is the hotel that has it all: award-winning spa and wellness centre, Michelin-starred restaurant, 500-acre estate and even stables, which are home to 35 glossy-flanked horses. The grounds are peaceful and private, including tennis courts, croquet lawn, football pitch and a cookery school.





The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath








Originally built in the 1800s, The Gainsborough Bath Spa occupies two Grade II Listed buildings with distinguished Georgian and Victorian façades in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Named after the artist, Sir Thomas Gainsborough, the luxury hotel designed by New York based Champalimaud Design is centred around Spa Village Bath and, uniquely in the UK, has the exclusive privilege of having access to the natural thermal, mineral-rich waters.

The Gainsborough Health Club & Spa combine a luxurious day spa with excellent health and fitness facilities.



Published in Aspect County Magazine – January Edition