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Beacon Magazine

Features


Food and Drink

  • Recipe: Breakfast For Dinner Pizza

    This surprising spin on the Italian classic is topped with eggs, courgette and spicy salami.

  • Recipe: Easy Four-Spice Chicken Curry

    This contemporary curry recipe is full of flavour but uses just staple kitchen cupboard ingredients. Adele Trathan recommends making it for family and friends as it's easy to prepare in advance which lets the flavour develop and makes it a stress-free favourite.

  • Recipe: Spiced Loukoumades

    Adele Trathan loves these delicious Greek treats. They are similar to doughnuts or churros, but a healthier option as they are baked rather than deep fried, then soaked in a warm spiced honey

  • Three Intriguing Cocktails To Stir Up A Storm

    The directors of an award-winning absinthe bar share their passion for magical cocktails in a new book. Sam Wylie-Harris takes a peek inside.

  • Recipe: Blueberry and Lime Loaf Cake

    A slice of this Blueberry and Lime Loaf with a cup of tea is the dream.

  • Fish Finger Wraps For Kids

    Adele Trathan’s fish finger wraps are an easy, weekend or summer holiday lunch for kids to make, using a few staple ingredients from the fridge and freezer, wrapped up for a nutritionally balanced and deliciously simple meal

  • Recipe: Berry Parfait

    'Parfait' means 'perfect' in French and this recipe by Adele Trathan is quick and easy, as well as eye-catching and delicious.

  • Herb Crusted Salmon Fillets

    Fresh salmon is available all-year round, it’s quick, easy and makes the perfect light, stress free mid-week meal. Accompany Adele Trathan’s recipe with asparagus and hollandaise sauce for a delicious lunch with friends

  • Recipe: Asparagus with Easy Hollandaise Sauce

    The perfect partners; offering a combination of texture and taste, an ideal companion to salmon or steak. Adele Trathan’s hollandaise sauce is easy to make because it uses oil, which means it can be reheated without spoiling, or served at room temperature.

  • Costa Launches Perfect Picnic Picks for Summer — Including New KitKat Muffin

    Costa Coffee, is introducing a selection of delicious sweet and savoury items to its existing menu. Available to purchase from Costa Coffee stores nationwide from Thursday 6th May, these new additions are the perfect choice for any picnic in the park.

  • Recipe: Sourdough Pretzels

    Got into baking sourdough bread during lockdown? Mix it up with this tasty pretzel recipe, from former Great British Bake Off finalist James Morton. Deliciously salty and perfectly chewy, these sourdough pretzels are sure to please.

  • Recipe: Sour Cherry Cheesecake

    A dreamy pudding for a little bank holiday weekend indulgence.

  • Recipe: Lemon and Five Spice Chicken for Spring Barbecues

    This mouth-watering barbecue recipe is perfect for spring in the garden!

  • Recipe: Easter Bread

    This sweet Easter Bread is a traditional recipe baked in Italy and Greece, which tastes similar to brioche.

  • Recipe: Cranberry and Orange Hot Cross Buns

    Arguably one of the best things about the Easter season is enjoying warm hot cross buns, slathered in butter. So we've brought you a tasty recipe for cranberry and orange flavoured buns to bake at home. After all, we've all become pretty good at baking from scratch over the past year!

  • RECIPE: Pine Nut Cornbread. PLUS Win a Cookbook

    Author of the new Plant Based Cookbook, Brad Roe, shares his delicious recipe for Pine Nut Cornbread with Sweet Potato Puree, Sundried Tomato Cream and Crispy Pak Choi.

  • RECIPE: Lunchbox Lasagnes

    Schools are now open, so we've brought you one of our favourite lunchbox recipes, enjoyed by kids and grown ups — simple Lunchbox Lasagnes!

  • RECIPE: Pork and Cranberry Sausage Rolls

    When it's cold and wet outside, we love to brighten a day stuck indoors with a few home comforts. How about these home-made Pork and Cranberry Sausage Rolls, served fresh from the oven.

  • American Pancakes with Bacon, Syrup and Fried Banana

    Traditional pancakes with lemon and sugar are always a winner, but what about something a little different this year? We love thick, fluffy pancakes with fried banana and bacon, drizzled in maple syrup. Sounds so wrong, but we think it's so right!

  • Bake Your Own Fortune Cookies to Celebrate the Chinese New Year

    February 12th marks the beginning of the Chinese year of the Ox! Why not celebrate with your family at home, by making and baking your own Fortune Cookies. After all, we could all do with a little luck in 2021!


John Hannam Meets

  • When John Hannam Met Cathy Tyson

    Back in 1986 I went to see Mona Lisa, one of the big new movies of the year. The two big stars, Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine, certainly lived up to their reputations and I was also completely blown away by the big screen debut of Liverpool stage actor Cathy Tyson.

  • John Hannam Meets Annette Badland

    Back in 1981 when Bergerac first came to BBC TV, it was no surprise when John Nettles received sack loads of fan mail. I, like millions of other men, rather fell for the more rubenesque charms of the Bureau receptionist Charlotte, played by the gorgeous Annette Badland.

  • When John Hannam Met Jane McDonald

    There are days in your life that you will never forget. One of mine was September 26th, 2006, when I met up again with Jane McDonald. Her welcoming hug and comforting words were just what I needed

  • John Hannam meets Bill Wyman

    Fifty one years after I first saw Bill Wyman appearing at a Rolling Stones concert at Ryde Pavilion, I finally managed to meet him.

  • When John Hannam Did the Corrie Tour

    Back in 2001 I took an exciting 21 hour day trip to Weatherfield. I was expecting to undertake a couple of interviews with two of Coronation Street’s lesser known characters. Thankfully, it didn’t go to plan. Once the two interviews were completed and the press office girls had left, I was told to sit tight for a few minutes and see who might come in. Over the next hour, six of the most famous faces in Britain came in and were all eager to chat.

  • A Day to Remember with Sheridan Smith

    Saturday June 30th, 2012, was rather special in my 47 year career as a showbiz writer and broadcaster. I still call it my Sheridan Smith day.

  • A Day to Remember with Barbara Windsor

    Back in 1988, John Hannam interviewed Barbara Windsor – and this was long before Albert Square.

  • John Hannam meets Shaun Williamson

    When Shaun Williamson was filling shelves in a Maidstone supermarket his ambition was to be like Richard Burton. Eventually, via Pontins in Wootton, 1986, he became Barry Evans, who for eight years was one of EastEnders’ most popular characters.

  • John Hannam meets Joe McFadden

    Life has been wonderfully unpredictable for Scottish actor Joe McFadden. Before winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, he’d been a rock star in Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll, cast as maverick cop, Joe Mason in Heartbeat and surgeon Raf di Lucca in Holby City.

  • Gwen Taylor: An interview with Beacon's John Hannam

    Gwen Taylor is one of those actors known for a wide variety of names — Amy Pearce from Duty Free, Barbara Liversidge in Barbara, Heartbeat’s Peggy Armstrong, Rita Simcock from A Bit Of A Do or even murderer, Anne Foster, from Coronation Street.

  • David Calder tells John Hannam why he loves the Isle of Wight

    Over the years, top actors like Celia Imrie, Benedict Cumberbatch, Penelope Keith and Geoffrey Hughes have all fallen in love with the Island. The latest to join them is David Calder, whose credits include The World Is Not Enough, The Hatton Garden Job and The Lady In The Van.

  • Tessa Peake-Jones: An interview with John Hannam

    During the final ten days before the lockdown, I’d been lucky enough to have pre-arranged five interviews. It was in Guildford on a very wet and miserable March day. Would she be like Raquel in Only Fools And Horses or Mrs Maguire in Grantchester?

  • Celia Imrie: An Interview with John Hannam

    John caught up with the star of stage and screen, who talks of recent film projects and fond memories of when the Island was her home.

  • Fred Dinenage: An Interview with John Hannam

    Famous radio DJ Annie Nightingale has helped numerous popstars enhance their careers by playing their music.

  • Dame Judi Dench meets John Hannam

    On July 7th, completely out of the blue, I received an unexpected email from a guy called Neil Chandler, the venue and artistic director of the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, which was re-opening following a £42 million redevelopment.

  • Call the Midwife's Helen George meets John Hannam

    Helen George has millions of fans as Trixie Franklin in hit television series, Call The Midwife. She's just been seen in the show's Christmas Special and is all set to appear later this year in the ninth series.

  • Sir Ian McKellen: An Interview with John Hannam

    There are some years you just never want to end. In my case, it was 2019. I became the grandfather of twin boys, was privileged to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party and had interviewed Dame Judi Dench live on stage, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of London. That honour led me directly to my last major interview of the year — Sir Ian McKellen.

  • Marti Pellow: An Interview with John Hannam

    Back on Sunday, February 17th 1991, I had the thrill of having the Beverley Sisters live on IW Radio's John Hannam Meets. At the end of their slot, I asked them to choose a record by their favourite current singer. In total harmony, they all said Marti Pellow and predicted a long and successful career for him. At that time he was the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet. How right they were.


Home and Gardens

  • Shady Ladies: How to Care for Hydrangea

    Often dismissed as frumpy and boring, some fabulous new varieties have been added to the hydrangea family. Flo Whitaker urges you to take a second look at these long-lived plants that offer much - and ask for little in return.

  • How Can You Maximise Value When Making Home Improvements?

    During the COVID-19 pandemic many people have begun spending more time at home than ever before. This has led to many deciding to make home improvements for the first time with home remodelling searches more than doubling in the last year.

  • Gardening: The Last Wild Orchid of the Year

    Towards the end of August, on the lawns of the Isle of Wight an inconspicuous species of wild orchid, the last British orchid of the season, appears for just a few weeks, heralding the end of the summer.

  • Ferntastic: Why You Should Consider Ferns For Your Garden

    Dinosaurs ate them, and the Victorians obsessed about them; ferns are astonishing survivors from the prehistoric world and still have the power to enchant us, writes Flo Whitaker.

  • Property Planning for Retirement

    Property, equity and retirement can be a complex topic, so we asked Peter d’Aguilar to shed a little light on some of the options currently available

  • What the Average UK House Price Could Get You on the Island (and Beyond)

    In the UK right now the average house price is estimated at just over £245,000 (as of February 2021). But that figure obviously varies from region to region. So if you're a first-time buyer or looking to move to pastures new, which areas should you be looking at to get the best value for your money?

  • Now's the Perfect Time to Plant Raspberries

    Nothing says ‘summer’ more than home-picked fruit. Raspberries are easy to grow — and now’s the perfect time to plant them, writes Flo Whitaker.

  • Plant Your Own Windowsill Garlic

    It’s all go on the veg patch this month. Sow hardy winter greens and plant garlic for a tasty crop later in the year.

  • Hanging Out With Holly

    There’s a lot more to holly than spiky green leaves and a few red berries. Peter Erridge explains all things historical and prickly.

  • Making Your Home Naturally Cosy

    January doesn’t have to be gloomy after the Christmas decorations come down, it can be the ideal time to revamp the home as Adele Trathan explains.

  • Spindles, Skewers and Toothpicks: The Euonymus genus

    The euonymus genus contains over 150 varieties in the form of shrubs and trees, so there should be one type available to brighten every garden throughout the year.

  • Wonderful Workspaces: Setting up a Home Office

    In today’s climate, home offices have never been more desirable. We've got this advice for designing your own stylish workspace

  • Blaze Away! A Look at Fiery Acers

    Versatile and long-lived, no plants give better fiery autumnal colours than acers.

  • GARDENING: Winter Greens

    It’s all go on the veg patch this month. Sow hardy winter greens and plant onions for a tasty crop next year.

  • Dressing Up: Create the perfect window display for your home

    The right window dressing can transform the look and feel of a room without the need for a complete interior revamp. Take inspiration from the latest trends to redesign your window space,

  • Queen of the Blues: Agapanthus in Late Summer

    Coming in every shade from darkest inky purple to purest white, no summer garden is complete without the extraordinary blooms of Agapanthus.

  • The Dirt on Hedges

    Hedging is an important feature in many domestic and agricultural settings, designating boundary, providing habitat for wildlife and privacy for humans, and actually being a thing of beauty. Peter Erridge tells us more

  • Bring the Outdoors In

    Add plenty of extra space to your home, with the addition of a light-filled garden room, conservatory or orangerie.

  • Caring for Houseplants

    Were you gifted a houseplant at Christmas? Wondering what to do with it now? Hippeastrum (amaryllis) are extraordinary plants. Their huge bulbs can develop flowering spikes 60cms tall within six weeks. They are often sold as a kit, complete with flowerpot and compost.

  • Your Guide to Maximising Your Sale

    Steaming coffee and the aroma of freshly baked bread does not guarantee a sale, considering that the majority of buyers will view several properties, every little bit counts to help your's fall top of the shortlist.


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