Dr. Hoque answers your local queries


Dear Dr Hoque,

As we approach the Christmas season I really don’t know what to get my husband. We have been married for many years and he is a man who has everything. At this time of year he is extremely busy, so a present that would help him relax would be great.

As this is his busiest time of year he insists that he doesn’t have a lot of time for male pampering and that he needs his beard now more than ever. His beard is a little point of contention between the two of us when we share a kiss under the mistletoe as it tickles me. Is there anything you can suggest as a present to help him relax and give his beard a better look?


Mrs Claus,

1 The North Pole


Dear Mrs Claus,

I also used not to have much time for pampering, until my wife purchased me a membership to Porters 350 Club, a quirky independent men’s grooming establishment where I get my moustache trimmed and my pompadour sculpted every week. It has become my favourite appointment and my sanctuary. Every man holds some aspiration to a level of gentlemanly swagger. I understand this is a very busy time for Mr Claus to indulge, but fortunately the membership can be used throughout the year: www.portersbarbers.co.uk


Dear Doctor,

Pre-Christmas I am always busy in preparation of the festive season. I am happy decorating and buying presents for my friends and family, looking forward eagerly to parties and office antics, food and drinks. Every year post-Christmas I have a guilty feeling that drags into the New Year. Please help me avoid this feeling this year.


Sam Cotton


Dear Sam,

You are not alone. Christmas has become a month of high expectations. We are very focused on tangible gifts, looking good for parties, drinking and eating excessively and also spending beyond our limit. If we can, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and spend a moment reflecting on the joys and pressures of the month of December.

It is nourishing to our soul when we pause and when we give things out of kindness. There is no greater kindness than to remember people who are less fortunate than you. St Anselm’s Church and the Black Prince Pub are collecting toys for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which forms part of St Thomas’s. Drop off unwrapped toys to the Black Prince to be put under their tree.

The satisfaction and the warm feeling you will get for your kind deeds will counterbalance your guilt and help you welcome in 2018 with a positive outlook. Find out more at www.blackprincepub.co.uk


Dear Doctor,

I have recently moved to Kennington because of its diversity, history and character. I wish to be involved with a charitable cause that is interesting and different  I am hoping this will also be an opportunity to meet like-minded people in the community. I have made some enquiries but have not yet found anything that particularly interests me. Have you got any suggestions?


Charlie Grey


Dear Charlie,

First of all: welcome to Kennington!

It is wonderful that you wish to help – it’s people like you that make the Kennington community great. I think I have just the project for you. There is a local group, The Kennington–Bethlehem Link, who are always delighted to find new and enthusiastic members. They are working to create a long-lasting friendship between Kennington and Bethlehem through education, faith, music, art and sport. Upcoming events include an art event on Saturday 9 December 11.45am, organised by local artist Mark Dickens at St Anselm’s Church. ChiIdren (or energetic adults) are welcome to come and kick footballs against a wall… footballs that will mark the wall to create a piece of art. The whole event will be be ‘kicked off’ by Kate Hoey MP. There is also a screening of a film The Stones Cry Out, at the cinema museum on Monday 11 December.


Leave a Reply