Rum & Raisin Christmas Cake

With the festive season upon us, try this delicious recipe for Rum & Raisin Christmas Cake.

We love the classic combination of dark rum and raisins with the addition of sweet glacé cherries in this delicious Christmas cake. Be sure to soak your fruit ahead of time to make it extra-juicy!

Ingredients

900g raisins

100g glacé cherries, halved

150ml dark rum

2 unwaxed oranges (zest and juice)

250g unsalted butter (softened)

250g light muscovado sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 medium eggs

200g plain flour

2 tsp mixed spice

Method

  1. 1-3 days before baking your cake, put the raisins, cherries, orange zest and juice, and rum into a lidded container, stir and seal.
  2. Preheat your oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment: use double thickness, ensuring the parchment comes an inch above the tin. Wrap the outside of the tin with another double layer of parchment and secure it in place with string.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together, add in the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one-by-one, adding a sprinkle of the flour each time to prevent the mixture from curdling.
  4. Stir in the remaining flour, mixed spice and soaked fruit including any leftover liquid from the container. Transfer the mixture to your prepared tin and ensure the surface is level. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to140C/120C fan/gas mark 1, place a double layer of baking parchment loosely on top of the cake to protect it and bake for a further 2-3 hours, checking it regularly after 2 hours by inserting a skewer, when it comes out clean the cake is done.
  6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, once fully-cooled store in an air-tight container or wrap in baking parchment and foil. ‘Feed’ your cake every week or so by poking holes with a skewer and drizzling with Rum.
  7. A couple of weeks before Christmas, Ice your cake – we like to use a layer of marzipan, topped with fondant icing. Enjoy!

Tips:

    • If you prefer not to use alcohol, this can be substituted for black tea.
    • Feel free to substitute the raisins and glacé cherries for any dried fruit you like.
    • If you can’t find unwaxed oranges, you can use waxed – to remove the wax, rinse your oranges under hot water and scrub with a vegetable brush or a brand-new scourer.
    • You can make this cake ahead of time and store it for up to 6 months in a cool dark place.

For further information about Santhem Residences please get in touch using the button below.

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    To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


    Celebrating International Men’s Day

    Kevin Shaw, Santhem Residences CEO, shares his thoughts and mental health tips

    On International Men’s Day, I feel it is more important than ever to acknowledge the importance of men’s mental health. All too often, as males, we are told to ‘toughen up, man up, don’t cry.’ This is a narrative that breeds reticence when it comes to men speaking out about how they feel. It can be uncomfortable for men to open up about their feelings and particularly to ask for help. Male bravado tends to get in the way.

    In life, and especially in the workplace, it is vital that we combat this outdated culture and encourage an open, sharing, supportive and non-judgemental environment. When you work as part of a team you’re only ever as strong as your teammates, so being aware of their feelings is crucial. We can’t all always be on our A-game, therefore helping others when they need it is essential.

    So, here are my personal top tips for looking after your mental health…

    1. Talk

    Obtaining professional support can be vital for some. Whilst walking into a counselling session is nerve wracking, the feeling of relief that it brings is incredibly liberating.

    2. Don’t be ashamed

    If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t be ashamed! It’s an illness not a weakness – ask for help, in the same way you’d seek help for any other concern.

    3. Listen to your body

    If your body is telling you there’s something wrong – pay attention!

    4. Accept that it’s ok, not to be ok

    Don’t believe everything you see on social media – plenty of people are hiding behind a façade.

    5. Take action

    Whether it’s talking to friends and family, seeking professional help, taking time out for walks in fresh air, turning to exercise – whatever helps you – find the time to do it.

    For anyone reading this who is looking for some support, there are many free online support services available, the NHS provides online tools through their Every Mind Matters campaign. I encourage you to take a short break, have a few minutes for yourself, and complete Your Mind Plan survey, it just takes a few minutes and could make a big difference to your daily wellbeing.

    For further information about Santhem Residences please get in touch using the button below.

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      To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


      16th November - Showcase Event

      Exclusive Showcase Event

      Join us for a fun, interactive day to experience life at Santhem Residences for yourself. Enjoy live music, delicious food & drink and find out more about the fantastic facilities and available services with updates from our specialist partners, and the village team, including:

      The Santhem village team – on hand to answer all your property ownership questions. Tours of the show suites will also be available throughout the day.

      The Senior Move Partnership – downsizing and decluttering specialists, who can offer advice and guidance on downsizing your possessions and moving home.

      Silverbridge Properties – Our dedicated part exchange partner who can talk through the benefits of the service and the options available to you.

      Santhem Care & Wellbeing Manager – information about the bespoke care & wellbeing packages and experiences available to you and how to make the most of them.

      While you’re here you can also participate in our cocktail & mocktail tasting and enjoy live jazz music played by the very talented Chris Kennedy. A day not to be missed!

      BOOK NOW

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      Book an event


        To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


        What if you could buy peace of mind?

        When it comes to retirement there are some things you can’t put a price tag on: good health, laughter, memories, a sense of independence. It’s these things that help us cherish the later years of our life. So say yes to peace of mind!

        When you buy a luxury retirement apartment at Santhem Residences in Essex, you’re buying into independent luxury living for the over-65s. You will own a home that comes with five-star services and facilities – and peace of mind comes as standard. This is what sets us apart from other retirement communities. If it’s a busy social calendar you seek, there’s no shortage of activities to fill it. Head to our state-of-the-art cinema to catch the latest films or catch up with friends over a meal at our stylish Fable restaurant, courtesy of our superb chefs. You could also enjoy one of our many events, from engaging guest speakers to creative workshops, community clubs, day trips to the coast and more. If it’s tranquillity you’re looking for, you’ll also have the space to indulge in quieter passions such as sewing, painting and gardening, or enjoy some ‘me time’ in our luxury wellness suite.

        Peace of mind also comes in the form of a high-specification property that has been built around you and your future needs. Whether you opt for a one or two-bedroom apartment at Santhem Residences Shenfield, you’re investing in a premium property that sits in beautiful surroundings within secure grounds. With exceptionally fitted interiors, underfloor heating and a Villeroy & Boch bathroom, you’ll feel at home from day one. With such a wealth of options it’s reassuring to know there’s always an extra pair of hands to help should you need them. From housekeeping to daily personal care, you can book any of our services as often as you’d like through our dedicated 24/7 concierge team. It’s these personal, human touches that we believe set Santhem Residences apart – everything we do is designed to provide not just accommodation but a better quality of life for all our homeowners. Whatever peace of mind looks like to you, you’re sure to find it when you own a stunning apartment in our luxury retirement village.

        Are you ready to say yes to living at Santhem Residences Shenfield? Email enquiries@santhemresidences.co.uk to find out more or call 01277 561693 to book a tour of the show apartments. You can even enjoy a glass of bubbly while you’re here. We look forward to hearing from you.

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        Read More

        What if you could buy peace of mind?

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        Get in touch


          To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


          Places to dine in Shenfield

          In Shenfield, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out. Whatever your taste, you’ll find somewhere locally to enjoy a delicious meal.  

          Vault, 91 Hutton Road

          The name of this restaurant nods to the previous inhabitants of the building, NatWest Bank, which sat on the site for over 40 years previously. This chic independent restaurant offers British dishes with a twist such as a Wagyu beef burger with smoked applewood cheddar, braised venison and green peppercorn ragu or a roasted pumpkin risotto for vegetarians.

          vaultshenfield.com

          The Lot, 75 Hutton Road

          Open all day serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, this family-run restaurant uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create a variety of Mediterranean-style dishes including homemade cod and prawn fishcakes, a traditional-style carbonara, a variety of tapas and daily-changing specials.

          lotbarandrestaurant.co.uk

          Sienna’s, 236 Hutton Road

          With dishes such as gin and treacle cured salmon, and pan-roasted lamb with Moroccan spiced aubergine, cauliflower pureé and garlic pesto on the menu there is plenty to tantalise your taste buds at Sienna’s. Keep an eye out for their themed brunches, wine tastings and evenings with live music.

          siennas-restaurant.co.uk

          The Fable, 2 Rayleigh Close

          Opening early next year at Santhem Residences, The Fable will be offering a menu of classic dishes with a modern twist, always prepared with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients where possible.

          santhemresidences.co.uk

          Mondello, 99 Hutton Road

          Mondello is a traditional Italian restaurant offering home-cooked Sicilian food. Named after a small borough of the city of Palermo they offer a family atmosphere with comforting dishes such as spaghetti Modello with chicken, broccoli, pancetta in a garlic and cream dolcelatte sauce, pollo parmigiana, tiramisu and a great range of cocktails.

          Mondellorestaurant.co.uk

          Hollands Wine Bar, 234 Hutton Road

          Great for a glass of wine and some nibbles of an evening, you’ll find snacks such flatbreads and hummus, whitebait, and halloumi fries here. If you’d like something more substantial, breakfast and lunch are available with options such as eggs benedict, meze plates, and a variety of burgers.

          hollandswinebar.co.uk

          The Hutton Junction, 15 Rayleigh Road

          If you are looking for a decent meal and a pint, this is the spot for you. They serve traditional pub grub such as steak and ale pie, sausage and mash, and Fish and chips, and also offer stone-baked pizzas. There is a newly-renovated beer garden including outside heaters.

          thehuttonjunction.com

          If you would like to find out more about retirement living with Santhem Residences get in touch.

          GET IN TOUCH

          Get in touch


            To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


            Glasses full of champagne

            20th - 22nd October, Discovery Days

            20th - 22nd October

            We’d love for you and your family to join us for a glass of bubbly. We’ll take you on a private guided tour of our show apartments and grounds so you can get a taste for life at Santhem.

            To book now, call 01277 508999 or use the book now button below.

            We can’t wait to show you around!

            BOOK NOW

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            20th – 22nd October, Discovery Days

            We’d love for you and your family to join us for a glass of bubbly. We’ll take you on a private guided tour of our show apartments and grounds so you can get a taste for life at Santhem.

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            Book an event


              To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


              Autumn leaves

              What’s on in Essex this Autumn

              The temperature is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, but there is still plenty to get you out and about in Essex this Autumn. Whether it’s fun pursuits with your grandchildren or hitting the dancefloor of an evening you’re sure to find something on the calendar to suit your taste.

              Food & markets

              Christmas gift & food fair – 27 & 28 November, Chelmsford City Racecourse

              This fair is one of the best in the county. Shoppers can enjoy a variety of different stalls from homemade crafts, food stalls, Christmas gifts, toys and more. You can also enjoy a mulled wine or two along the way. Book your tickets here.

              Essex vegan festival –  27 November, Colchester Charter Hall

              Including 60+ vegan stalls, this event is £4 or £15 for a VIP ticket which includes fast-track entry and a goody bag with vegan products, samples and discounts. Find out more and book here.

               

              Entertainment

              Glow 2021– 10 November – 18 December, Hyde Hall

              Take a journey through a twilight trail of Christmas lights around RHS Garden Hyde Hall. You can warm yourself up on route with a delicious treat from the food and drink stalls. This enchanting experience is perfect for a family evening out. Find out more and book here.

              Omid Djalili – 27 November, Cliffs Pavillion Theatre, Southend-on-Sea

              From Hollywood films to appearing on our screens every day on quiz show Winning Combination the talented multi-award-winning comedian, Omid Djalili is back on stage bringing us laughs a minute in his latest show The Good Times Tour. Tickets are available here.

              Russel Watson – 28 November, Cliffs Pavillion Theatre, Southend-on-Sea

              Celebrating 20 years since his debut album THE VOICE was released, Russel Watson brings a selection of his most-loved songs to the stage. Accompanied by a choir and orchestra and featuring Caruso, O Sole Mio, Il Gladiatore, Nessun Dorma, You Are So Beautiful, Someone to Remember Me and Faith of the Heart you’re certainly in for a treat. Book tickets here.

              Microphone

              Something different

              Tim Peake, My Journey to Space –  12 November, Cliffs Pavillion Theatre, Southend-on-Sea

              Join world-famous European Space Agency astronaut Sir Tim Peake for the evening as he shares insights about his life as an astronaut and being the first British man to visit the International Space Station to conduct a spacewalk. He’ll share breath-taking photographs and never-before-seen footage, it’s a night not to be missed – but if do miss it, worry not, he’ll be back at the theatre again on 1 March 2022. Find tickets here.

              November concert – 13 November, Brentwood Cathedral

              Attend this evening concert to enjoy Gjeilo – Sunrise Mass, Fauré – Cantique de Jean Racine and Fauré – Requiem in the surroundings of the beautiful Brentwood Cathedral, presented by The Hutton and Shenfield Choral Society. For booking information see here.

              If you would like to find out more about retirement living with Santhem Residences get in touch.

              GET IN TOUCH
              Sky full of stars

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              VIEW ALL NEWS & EVENTS

              Get in touch


                To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


                How to live well in later life

                The office of national statistics has predicted that by 2040, one in five people in the UK will be over 65, that’s a lot of us, which makes it even more important we look after ourselves to ensure we can make the most of our twilight years, or as the younger generation might say #LivingOurBestLives.

                 

                The University of Cambridge’s PHG Foundation says that‘ Healthy ageing is about creating the environments and opportunities that enable people to be and do what they value throughout their life into later years’ ‘we need to explore the potential to gain new skills or be exposed to fresh opportunities.’ – we couldn’t agree more. For the first time, often after many years of working and raising a family, retirement brings the gift of time and there are so many opportunities that should be seized. 

                Although eating well, getting exercise, sleep and keeping your physical health in check is important, you should prioritise your mental health too. Keeping yourself happy will inevitably keep you feeling more energised, besides, age is just a mindset – studies have even proven this – A 2009 study suggests that optimism is specifically related to a longer life.

                So how can we look after our wellbeing in retirement? Here are some ideas:

                Mindfulness

                Meditation and mindfulness have been buzz-words for a while now, but what does it all mean? It’s about taking time to reconnect with yourself, listening to how your mind and body are feeling without distraction. This might simply be taking a minute out of your day to close your eyes, focus on your breathing and take stock of the here and now, or, you could combine it with meditation too. You’ll find plenty of guides on YouTube to get you started. Various studies have found mindfulness to help reduce stress, improve cognition, improve sleep and even boost your immune function.

                Two hands holding a yellow flower

                Get outside

                For healthy bones our bodies need vitamin D, the NHS says that between April and September we can get all the vitamin D we need by spending some time outside each day. Also, walking is massively underrated; it’s free, it keeps your heart healthy and is good for your mental health. There’s a lot to be said for getting out into the fresh air.

                Senior couple walking

                Learn a new skill

                Try something new, now you’re retired you will have the time to do the things you always wanted to try. Play piano, learn a language, take up skiing, or go back to university – you’re never too old to upskill. Learning in itself can be a rewarding experience, it increases the dopamine levels in your brain, dopamine is known as the ‘feel-good’ hormone, aside from affecting immediate mood and behavior, dopamine also produces positive changes in the brain that are persistent, sometimes lasting a lifetime.

                Woman playing the piano

                Meet new people

                Humans are social creatures, it’s in our DNA, and it’s never too late to make new friends. Isolation and loneliness can have a profound negative effect on your mental wellbeing. Consider widening your social circle, finding those with a shared interest is a good place to start. Look at local groups; book clubs are fantastic, or perhaps join an organisation that invests in the local community such as your local WI, or why not go to the local pub and strike up a conversation with the person next to you? If you’re more reserved there are also a plethora of groups online, search for groups on Facebook and you’ll find something to suit you whatever your passion – cute dogs, knitting patterns, molecular gastronomy, they’ve got it all!

                Senior couple sitting on a bench looking at the sky

                Travel

                Go somewhere you’ve never been before. In a study at the University of Surrey they found that those who have booked a holiday are happier with their life as a whole, now if that’s not a reason to get in touch with your local travel agent right now, we don’t know what is. You’ll also get the benefits of being outside, meeting new people and learning new things, all previously mentioned above. 

                 

                Whatever you would like to explore, at Santhem Residences, we have a wellness coach on hand who can offer complimentary consultations on anything from nutrition and exercise to mindfulness and companionship, they can even help organise social activities or events. Working alongside the concierge, the coach is a community-based role helping those who wish to make the most of village life.

                 

                Most important of all, focus on what you can do, not what you can’t! Retirement often brings you more free time, financial freedom and most importantly the opportunity to #liveyourbestlife.  And as we say here at Santhem Residences, we are #LivingForLaterLife… Now let’s get to it, have a great day!

                If you would like to find out more about retirement living with Santhem Residences, give us a call or email us at enquiries@santhemresidences.co.uk and we can arrange for you to visit our information suite and show apartments.

                GET IN TOUCH
                Views from the window of an airplane

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                When it comes to retirement there are some things you can’t put a price tag on: good health, laughter, memories, a sense of independence. It’s these things that help us cherish the later years of our life. So say yes to peace of mind!

                Read More

                VIEW ALL NEWS & EVENTS

                Get in touch


                  To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.


                  5th & 6th October - Exclusive apartment preview

                  5th & 6th October

                  Would you like to be one of the first to see two brand new apartments? Join us at our exclusive preview event before the official village opening later this year.

                  If a luxury finish and space is what you are looking for then these new homes could be perfect for you. Both are spacious throughout and feature two bedrooms & two bathrooms, as well as benefiting from lovely outlooks across the grounds.

                  This is the first opportunity to see these properties at the village while the site is still under construction, so don’t miss your opportunity to reserve your first choice dream home.

                  While you’re here at the village you can make the most of your day and enjoy a delicious complimentary afternoon tea and a glass of bubbly in the lounge. Our friendly team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

                  To book now, call 01277 508999 or email enquiries@santhemresidences.co.uk

                  We can’t wait to show you around!

                  BOOK NOW

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                  Read More

                  Glasses full of champagne

                  20th – 22nd October, Discovery Days

                  We’d love for you and your family to join us for a glass of bubbly. We’ll take you on a private guided tour of our show apartments and grounds so you can get a taste for life at Santhem.

                  Read More

                  5th & 6th October – Exclusive apartment preview

                  Would you like to be one of the first to see two brand new apartments? Join us at our exclusive preview event before the official village opening later this year.

                  Read More

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                  Book an event


                    To find out more information about how we use your data and your data rights you can view the full version of our Privacy Statement here. By submitting this form you agree to our Terms and Conditions.