J'AIME September 2017


Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

s e p t e m b e r 2 0 1 7


Y o u r l o c a l l u x u r y l i f e s t y l e m a g a z i n e


a cocktail






your next luxury




trends for

your home

Feel good heels from a

lichfield shoe designer

Welcome to J’AIME

Wow! What can we say? The first month of

J’AIME has certainly been a hectic one, and

we’ve been overwhelmed by the response

to the first issue from you, our wonderful

readers. As we’ve been out delivering the

magazine - yes, you may well have spotted

us pounding the streets near you with our

flashy trolleys in tow! - it has been lovely to

chat to so many people and to share our

story. The genuine interest in the magazine

has been fantastic, and we’ve received some

heartwarming comments over social media

and from people who have taken the time to

drop us an email with their thoughts. Thank

you to everyone who has been in touch, and

if you have any feedback then we’d love to

hear it.

The support from our advertisers has also

been fantastic; it is them, after all, who

enable us to bring the magazine to you each

month, so it’s great to know that what we’re

doing is working for them.

This month, as we head into autumn, we

take a look at some of the season’s most

stylish trends for your home, as well as the

hottest wardrobe updates for the coming

months. We’re delighted to welcome Harvey

Nichols Birmingham on board as our

resident beauty experts; check out their picks

for post-summer skin rescue.

Elsewhere we take a look at an awardwinning

local gin maker, and fashion with

a heart from a Lichfield shoe designer, plus

there’s the chance to win a fantastic cocktail

masterclass for eight people, worth £200.

We hope there’s plenty here to keep you


Editor: Amy Norbury


Advertising: Jan Ashley


07388 335 931

Design: design@jaimemagazine.com

Contributors: Martin Plowman,

James Pomlett, Oliver Broad, Jill

Hartley, Helen Gough

J’AIME is published by Ashbury

Publications Limited and printed

by KEP Limited, Tamworth.

Check us out online at:


Find us on





InsideJ’aime this month...

6 Fifth Spire - The award-winning gin -

created in a Lichfield spare bedroom

12 Property - Property of the month

14 Property - Three of the best brand new homes

18 Interiors - Make a statement with lighting

22 Interiors - Create calm with muted tones

24 Interiors - The marvel of marble

28 18 Hour Heels - We chat to shoe designer

Shaherazad Umbreen, whose stylish heels

are making a difference

34 Food and drink - Reviewing San Carlo,


36 Food and drink - An autumnal recipe from

Pom’s Kitchen

38 Food and drink - Cocktail of the month from

Le Rêve

40 Competition - Win a cocktail masterclass for

eight, worth £200

42 Food and drink - A food festival haven in


44 Travel - Looking at Croatia, land of a

thousand islands

48 What’s On - Our pick of events around our

area this month

52 What’s On - The hottest tickets around


56 Fashion - Check out autumn’s favourite print

58 Fashion - Revamp your workwear with

Nero e Bianco

61 Beauty - Post-summer skin rescue from

Harvey Nichols Birmingham

62 In the news - A top stylist returns; a charity

coffee morning; and creating beautiful


64 In the news - A vintage day of fun

65 Motors - Tamworth racing driver Martin

Plowman tastes success in Spa


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4a, Little Aston Lane, Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B74 3UF

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Gin it to win it

A gin-making duo are rivalling the best in the business with their

hand-crafted Lichfield dry. Amy Norbury discovers more

A small spare bedroom on a Lichfield housing

estate may not be the most obvious place to start a

gin empire. But with a view of all five of the spires

which pepper Lichfield’s skyline visible from the tiny

distillery, it’s a rather poetic place to create a spirit

which brands itself proudly as a ‘Lichfield dry’.

And it’s that very view which gives the gin its name;

Fifth Spire.

The brainchild of longtime friends Tom Lindsey and

Rory McKerrell, Fifth Spire has defied the odds and

proven that you don’t need to be an established big

brand to be a world beater.

With a mutual passion for quality spirits and a desire

to work for themselves doing something they loved,

30-year-old Tom and Rory, who’s 31, turned to gin

- quite literally - as a business option. And the more

they investigated, the more it seemed like an idea

which just might work. And so their micro distillery,

Greywood Distillery, was born, based in Tom’s spare


“The process for making gin is pretty basic; you get

your selection of botanicals, soak it in the spirit and

run it through the still, but it was getting the right

recipe which took us at least a year,” says Tom.

“The ratios, the different botanicals you use, their

origins, the maceration times, the alcohol strengths,

the speed you run the still at, the top temperature

you push it to all affect the product.

“We use traditional Portuguese copper stills, which

a lot of people who are making gin are using. One

of our stills runs most of the dry botanicals which

creates a London dry, while the second still is run a

lot quicker and has all the fresh fruit in it to add a

very distinctive citrus character to our dry gin.

“It’s something that not many of the big guys do

because it’s so hands-on; we have to buy all the fruit,

do all the peeling and then run it through the still

very quickly so it doesn’t overcook.

“Then we mix the two together to create out

product. That’s our thing - big, fresh citrus flavours,

and it makes ours that bit different.”

But it wasn’t always gin. In fact the duo’s first passion

was for another spirit entirely.

“Our interest has always been with whisky; we’ve

done a lot of camping trips up in Scotland which

have usually involved stop-offs at whisky distilleries

up there,” says Tom.

It was holidays to Spain which really sparked a

passion for this most English of spirits. Over on

the continent the craze for the elaborate gin tonic -


there’s no ‘and’ in the Spanish version, which sees

premium spirits garnished with herbs, spices and

flowers to amplify the botanicals in the gin - has

seen Spain become one of the top gin-consuming

countries in the world.

“There’s such a variety over there, and even things

which you probably wouldn’t classify as gin in this

country,” says Rory. “It made it such an interesting

area to start learning about, and to start tasting and


“We were trying to work out what we wanted to do

differently,” adds Tom. “A a lot of companies tend

to pick on a bizarre, very exotic botanical, like a

random flower only grown on top of a mountain

in Japan, which is great but it can be seen as a bit

gimmicky and pretentious. We just wanted to do

something really simple and good.

“We needed to nail the basics so we made a typical

London dry, and somewhere along the way we got

fascinated with the idea of creating a citrusy flavour

because we just like the nice, simple, strong citrusy

gins and we wanted to get that flavour as fresh as


“We realised that by splitting the recipe and running

the fruit and the dry botanicals separately it made it

much easier to work with because the two need to be

distilled differently; it became evident quite quickly

that this was the case.”

The main botanical bill includes juniper berries,

coriander seed, cassia bark, angelica root, orris root,

liquorice root, pink peppercorns, sweet almonds

and Seville orange peel, while the fresh citrus fruits

are lemons, limes and grapefruit - all peeled and

prepared on site by Tom and Rory. The result is

a luxuriously smooth spirit with a classic gin taste

riding on a big wave of fresh citrus.

“We wanted it to be clean and crisp, no-nonsense

and avoiding any unnecessary frills,” says Rory.

While the botanicals are sourced from all over the

world, the two other main components of the gin -

the water and the alcohol - are as local as can be.

“We source high quality alcohol from Langley

Distillery near Birmingham, which is the nearest

place you can get your base spirit, and the water we

use is from Elmhurst spring, which is pretty much in

the same postcode as us,” says Tom.

Without any experience in distilling - Tom’s an

engineer by trade while Rory worked for a wind farm

- the process of creating their recipe involved much

trial and error.

“Getting the right mix of botanicals involved a lot of

playing around; we started out looking at what other

people were doing and what they were mentioning,

doing a lot of digging around on the internet to

see what’s available and what’s typically used in the

industry,” says Tom.

“We just bought lots of different things and

tried them out; at one point we were soaking the

botanicals in the spirit and and putting them into

sealed boxes, seeing what they tasted like and smelled

like, then changing them around, changing the ratios

fairly systematically over a long period of time.

“If you made more than one change at a time it

was so difficult to see what was actually making the

The gin-making process is carried

out in Tom’s spare bedroom


Fifth Spire is distilled using traditional

Portuguese copper stills

difference, so we had to do everything individually.

And the different botanicals interact differently in

the still; when you change the ratios it affected what

came out at the end, so we had to be meticulous in

our approach and record everything.”

Hitting on the right alcohol percentage was another

challenge, made more difficult by the duo’s use of

fresh fruit.

“Because there are so many oils in the citrus fruit

we use it has to be above 46 per cent to stay stable

so that it doesn’t go cloudy when it gets cold,” Rory

explains. “We don’t want to filter that out, we want

all of that flavour to stay in there.”

Tom adds: “In the whisky industry it’s a common

problem because of all the oils from the wood, so you

often see non chill filtered on whisky bottled which

means it’s over 46 per cent. A lot of the cheaper

whiskies will be chill filtered which people argue

takes out flavour, and there’s not many people doing

it with gin because it will take out the flavour so you

have to up the strength to compensate.

“It’s got to stay crystal clear in the bottle, which is

why our gin is 47 per cent.”

When you see the very contemporary, minimal

design of the bottle - which was created by Tom’s

graphic designer brother James Sutton - you can

understand why the duo were so concerned with

keeping their gin completely clear; there’s no big

label or coloured glass to hide any imperfections in

the spirit.

Fifth Spire officially launched at a Lichfield gin

festival at The George Hotel back in November last

year, and the duo haven’t looked back.

“We had the home advantage because we were

the new local gin, but we outsold and out-served

everyone on the day,” says Tom. “The feedback was

great, and it’s been hugely supportive ever since.”

Tom and Rory’s gin has, indeed, hit the spot with

everyone from casual gin drinkers trying it for the

first time right up to world-renowned experts. In

April, just five months after launching, Fifth Spire

was awarded a gold medal at the San Francisco

World Spirits Competition, the most prestigious

competition of its kind across the globe; an

incredible feat for a spirit crafted in tiny batches in a

Lichfield bedroom.

“The competition is judged by a whole panel of

experts so we figured we must be doing something

right,” says Tom.

“I’d heard about the awards and seen the label on

various bottles of whisky, and gins we were sampling

during the research phase, so we decided to give it a

go. We didn’t expect anything from it.

“The amount of paperwork involved to get alcohol

in a glass bottle over to the States is crazy - it took so

much time that we actually missed the initial day of

judging so we thought that was it.

“But apparently a lot of people from different


Rory McKerrell and Tom Lindsey

in their distillery

countries had problems getting their products over

there so they set up a second day of judging a couple

of weeks later, and we were deemed worthy of a gold


At the moment, Fifth Spire is available to buy

online and in “a handful” of shops, as well as by the

measure in discerning pubs, bars, restaurants and

hotels across the area. However, it seems like they are

on the verge of a distribution breakthrough - retail

giant Selfridges will soon be stocking the gin in their

Birmingham store, which will play a sizeable role in

bringing Lichfield’s finest to the masses.

“That’s where we are at the minute, just trying to

make that leap to get us further afield,” says Tom.

“Hopefully off the back of Selfridges we’ll be able

to generate more sales and get more distribution

involved. Getting the bigger distribution companies

to take us on is the aim, and the gold medal will

certainly help in that respect as people know what

that means.

“It’s nice that companies like Selfridges are taking us

seriously, knowing exactly the scale we’re operating

on - it’s great.”

And that scale is definitely on the small side, with

each batch hand-crafted by the duo.

“We can do a single batch from start to finish in a

week, which is about 160 bottles,” says Tom.

“We’re in talks with a bottling plant at the moment

so they can take sterilising and filling off our hands,

which would leave us with more time to distill and

enable us to do a couple of batches a week easily.”

“We’ll always maintain the distilling and the drinks

designing in-house,” adds Rory. “But at the moment

we look after the entire process

which can get quite tricky to juggle.

When we’ve got an extra table set

up in the distillery room and we’re

busy washing and sterilising as well

as distilling things can get a bit


With their core product perfected,

the duo are not content to rest

on their laurels, and are always

experimenting with ideas which just

might be the next big thing in the

world of premium spirits.

“We’re trialling other things and

have got recipes and tests on the

go,” says Rory. “There’s one that

Selfridges particularly like the sound

of and which we may do as an

initial exclusive release with them in

the run-up to Christmas - so watch

this space.”

One of the new products which has already made

it to the production stage is a bold coffee liqueur

created in collaboration with Shenstone artisan

coffee roasters Shining Stone, which launched at

Lichfield Food Festival over the August bank holiday


With gin and tonic being enduringly popular the

world over, there’s much debate around what goes to


make the very best beverage. After all, the

gin itself is only the beginning.

“Tonic is the majority of the drink so you

need to make sure you use a good one,”

says Rory.

“The main thing to look out for with tonic

is that it has all natural ingredients; it’s

sweetened naturally and it has natural

quinine. You don’t want to spend a fairly

large amount of money on a bottle of

gin which someone’s spent a lot of time

making, then ruin it with something fake.”

So which tonic would the duo recommend

to partner with their gin to create the perfect serve?

“There are loads of great tonics out there, but very

few that you can just go to the shop and get easily,”

says Tom. “We’re huge fans of Franklin and Sons,

which used to be quite hard to get hold of but now

it’s stocked in Sainsburys; it has more fizz than some

of the competitors which really lifts the gin and it

doesn’t taste quite as sweet which is definitely a good


“We’ve also drank plenty of our gin with Fever Tree,

which is available in pretty much every supermarket

and works really well too.”

Incidentally, Franklin and Sons is made with

Staffordshire spring water meaning that, when paired

with Fifth Spire, you have a truly local G and T.

Fresh citrus fruit gives Fifth

Spire its unique flavour

And what about the all-important garnish?

“We used dried Seville orange peel where we can,

but we know it’s not that easy to get and it’s very

seasonal, so otherwise a piece of pink grapefruit

works very nicely,” says Rory.

“The fresh citrus in the gin itself is actually

grapefruit, lemon and lime in that order. It definitely

doesn’t need any extra lemon or lime; both of those

can be very overpowering in a gin and tonic if you

leave them in too long, whereas grapefruit is a lot

more subtle in that respect.

“And as much ice as you can fit in the glass, for sure;

the more ice you get in there, the slower it melts.”

With a premium look and feel, and a taste which is

steadily winning over gin aficionados in their droves,

Fifth Spire is flying the flag for Lichfield, and for

local producers in general.

“We spent a long time

deliberating over names. We

wanted a name which harks

back to Lichfield and has a

connection, but which isn’t too

specific and you don’t need

to know about Lichfield to

understand it,” says Rory.

“Fifth Spire gives it a really local

feel, and locals know what it

means, while further afield it just

sounds nice! From the top of the

house you can see all of the five

spires across town.

“And we always wanted to have

Lichfield written on the bottle, so

we call ourselves a Lichfield dry

gin rather than a London dry.”

For more information visit

www.fifthspire.com or find

Fifth Spire on Facebook and



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Property of the Month

We take a sneaky peek at some of the hottest properties on the market in the area

each month. This month’s selection is a stunning period home with outstanding

leisure facilities and set in picturesque grounds.

Leomansley Manor, Walsall Road, Lichfield: £2,495,000

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878

The agent says: Leomansley Manor is a substantial

country house providing luxurious accommodation and leisure

facilities within delightful private grounds benefiting from open

countryside views and waterside scenes.

The property was restored some 10 years ago from the remains

of the original Leomansley Manor. The original property

comprised of a mill house and three very small cottages. The

careful creation of the modern day Leomansley Manor used the

original mill house as the main inspiration, creating a mirror-like

extension off the existing building providing the much desirable

double fronted design. The house won Federation of Master

Builders. Category 4: Best large renovation 2007.

The property has been re-designed, renovated and furnished to

a superb standard creating spacious and flexible accommodation

ideal for family living. The interior boasts high quality fittings,

luxurious furnishing and state of the art technology throughout.

The superb ground floor accommodation enjoys under floor

heating throughout together with surround sound from ceiling

flush speakers.

The grounds to the front and rear have recently been expensively

landscaped which includes the wildlife pools with various seating

and view points.

W e l o v e :

The amazing indoor pool and the stunning

grounds - including children’s play area

and tennis court!


Sale Now On

Buy the BEST of British Manufacturing

Cannock Showrooms Units 4, 5 & 6 Exchange Business Estate, A5 Watling Street,

Bridgtown, Cannock WS11 0BW. (Access to rear car park via Cross Street).

Telephone: 01543 505 696 Website: www.sofagallery.co.uk

Open: Mon to Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 10am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm.


Three of the best... brand new homes

We round up some of the best properties on the market in the area

each month. This month we choose three of the very best new build

homes, just ready for you to put your own stamp on.

Luttrell Road, Four Oaks Estate, Sutton Coldfield: £3,200,000

On the market with Quantrills: 0121 396 0744

The agent says: A spectacular recently completed arts and

crafts style family residence which occupies a mature secluded

setting with south westerly rear gardens. The internal finish

incorporates a high specification with an extensive use of natural

materials and extensive technological features. The extensive

accommodation arranged over three floors offers elegant family

accommodation radiating from a ground central hall with full

height staircase and will include guest cloaks, four first floor

bedroom suites, a master bedroom with lounge and dressing

room, two further second floor bedroom suites with dressing

rooms, drawing room, snug/study, dining room, kitchen/

breakfast room and family room. A utility, garage for five cars,

home cinema/entertainment room, seventh bedroom/office

and loft room/potential eighth bedroom, bring the total space to

approximately 8,000 sq.ft.

W e l o v e :

We love: The immense sense of space,

and the seriously sleek kitchen.


The Penthouse, St Paul’s Chambers, Birmingham: £1,750,000

On the market with Knight Frank: 0121 396 0557

The agent says: This breathtaking three-bedroom

duplex apartment demonstrates impeccable attention to detail,

combined with an incredibly high specification across several

impressive features that are unique to this property. With more

than 3,400 square feet of living space the penthouse is the

crowning glory of Chord Development’s impressive St Paul’s


It features three good-sized bathrooms, including a master suite

complete with its own steam room.

With three outdoor terraces totalling 500 square feet to enjoy

views across the idyllic St Paul’s Square, the penthouse is a

central Birmingham living space unlike any other. There is

plenty of practical and cleverly designed living space, including a

kitchen-diner and very useful utility room. This super-cool home

will be the perfect temperature all year round, thanks to an air

source heat pump for hot water and a summer cooling system,

both of which keep energy consumption and costs to a minimum

while offering complete comfort in every season.

W e l o v e :

The amazing terraces offering

stunning views over the city.

The Knightsbridge, St Peter’s Walk, King Street, Yoxall: £625,000

On the market with Connells: 01543 737034

The agent says: The Knightsbridge is a stunning five

bedroom detached family home complete with a double garage,

open plan kitchen/family room with French doors to the garden,

separate dining room with French doors to garden, living room

with walk-in bay and en suites to both bedrooms one and two.

St. Peters Walk is a small development of 35 new homes in

the delightful and picturesque village of Yoxall. This new

development offers excellent access to local amenities including

local schools, leisure facilities, pubs and restaurants and nearby

hospitals. This is a particularly attractive site due to its location

near to the National Forest, Lichfield and Stafford as well as

offering excellent transport links via the nearby A38, A50, M6

Toll and M42.

W e l o v e :

The stylish family home feel and the

picturesque location.


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Specialists in curtains and soft furnishings

- Re-upholstery service available -

Stockists of fabrics by Harlequin, Romo & Scion.

Wallcoverings by Caselio & Harlequin.

Telephone: 0121 308 8998 - langancarpetsandinteriors.co.uk

1 Cremorne Walk, Lichfield Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B75 5AL

Telephone: 0121 308 3895

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Let there

be light

FROM the tiniest tealight to the most ostentatious

chandelier, lighting can make a huge difference to your


Statement lighting is a great way to add impact to

your interior decor scheme and you can have great

fun hunting down the perfect style to create the right

vibe for each room. Looking for overblown elegance?

Go for an extravagant chandelier in crystal, and soft

metallic hues such as gold, copper and bronze. After

a more industrial vibe? Exposed vintage-style Edison

bulbs, brushed steel and black work perfectly. Pendants

with striking shades make for a quick style change,

while horizontal fittings which cover more ceiling

space create impact without dominating the space.

See your main light feature as a work of art - a real

focal point for the room - and add ambient lighting

from alternative sources such as lamps and candles to

create a cosy feel as the nights draw in.

Showshell globe hanging lamp,

£695, Out There Interiors.


Symbol six light pendant,

dar Lighting Group.


Academy five light pendant,

dar Lighting Group.




Cotton string lights,





Gubi brass pendant, Rume.



Gold Starburst

chandelier, Persora.




Atticus five light pendant,

dar Lighting Group.



lo ves

Tom Raffield Urchin light,

£245, Rume.


Tower pendant, £126,

dar Lighting Group.


Newton suspension lamp,

£POA, Boca do Lobo.


Goldie table lamp,

£135, Lime and Lace.


Black Hurricane metal

floor lamp, £295,



t he heart of t he home...

Visit our showroom to be amazed by the choice -

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With such a wide range of fires, fireplaces and stoves

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Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm • Sat 10am - 4pm.

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Loft Pure wall clock,

Marks and Spencer.


GONE are the days of bold statement pieces that

overstimulate the senses, or gelato toned pastels that

are sickly sweet; latest trend predictions are that this

autumn it’s about soft neutrals and muted colours for

a gentle, sophisticated palette.

We’re talking pale greys, blush pink, dusty pale

greens and blues, light camel, smokey peach - all

either working harmoniously together or introduce

just a hint among neutrals. Pair these tones with

blonde timber, luxurious fabrics like linen, velvet and

leather and lots of natural, heavily textured elements

to create a fully soothing environment in which to

relax in style.



Oslo vase, Marks and Spencer.


Grey suede leather strap side table,

around £89, H and G Designs.


Terry taupe velvet tassel

cushion, Ragged Rose.



Erin tub chair,

Sweetpea and Willow.




Muuto Ambit dusty green

pendant light, Rume.


Toros chair, Content by

Conran at Darlings of Chelsea.




Lazy Linen bedlinen

bundle in dusty pink, Loaf.



Loft throw, Marks and Spencer.



Grey pressed bamboo lacquer

salad servers, ALSO Home.



lo ves

Darlings of Chelsea Olivia sofa, £1,118.23





Once relegated to the design dustbin for being too

flashy, marble is back in a big way. And we don’t just

mean in bathrooms and kitchens, where this most

luxurious of stones is transforming worktops, sinks,

baths and more; the marble influence can now be

seen all over the home, and its march as a design

favourite shows no signs of slowing down.

Paired with metallics - in particular brass and gold

hues - marble creates an elegant sense of luxury for

furniture and accessories. And we’re not just talking

pure white; blacks, greens and browns are particularly

on trend for a bolder approach.

As well as using the material itself, look out for marble

prints on everything from textiles to wallpaper and

tableware; an easy way to incorporate a touch of

the look into your current interior decor scheme.


lo ves


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Feel good heels

Lichfield shoe designer Shaherazad Umbreen has the answer to every girl’s shoe

dilemma; gorgeous heels which are actually comfortable to wear. And her business is

helping women worldwide on a much more in-depth level. Amy Norbury discovers more

It’s a problem faced by women the world over; the

eternal struggle between your favourite pair of heels

- you know, the ones which elongate your legs with

their super slender and precariously high heel and

make you feel like a million dollars despite the fact

that you can barely walk ten paces in them - and

the ones you can actually wear for more than a few

minutes without feeling the pinch of squished toes

and the burn of sore soles, but you just don’t love?

A stylish heel which feels as good as it looks is the

holy grail of shoes, coveted by every footwear-loving


The answer? Well, it’s all down to flamingos. It

was these most elegant of birds, seen perching

precariously on spindle-like legs with ease, which

provided the inspiration for Lichfield businesswoman

Shaherazad Umbreen’s revolutionary heels, which

guarantee 18 hours of pain-free wear - enough

to take you from the boardroom to the bar while

looking seriously stylish in the process.

“Flamingos are able to stand for hours on end, often

balanced on one leg, with grace and elegance,” says


“I discovered that this is to do with balance and body

weight distribution; flamingos are unique in how they

stand, and I was inspired to capture their secret in a

pair of shoes. It’s all about the maths, but no-one has

applied that to shoes before.

“I’ve always loved shoes, and I’ve been guilty of

buying so many pairs which I don’t wear. So I

thought, what if you could buy less, but buy better?

And if you’re going to buy less, how can one pair of

shoes have a different style for different times of the


And so, Shoes by Shaherazad was born. Skilfully

hand-crafted using the finest leather right here in

Britain and then “sealed with a machine kiss”, as

Shaherazad puts it, to ensure durability, these shoes


offer a real taste of luxury while achieving that allimportant


With no experience in design, 40-year-old

Shaherazad enrolled at the London College of

Fashion, studying every weekend for months while

working full time as head of marketing at the Coop

headquarters in Lichfield - all of which involved

travelling cross-country on a weekly basis.

“I actually hand-crafted the first few pairs myself,

to make sure I understood the process,” says


“The very first one was a flat, which I made so I

could learn how to mould the leather; I was so proud

of it I was running around the Co-op office showing


“Then the first pair of heels I made broke - you

couldn’t have stood on those! It takes practice, time

and understanding to get it right. I went to look

round the factory to see how it’s done; shoes aren’t

hand-crafted very often any more, they’re made by

robots, but because of the price point and the luxury

element, and because I didn’t want to waste the

beautiful leather, mine are hand-crafted.

“In the factory I was taught what I needed to do, and

they used my design and my mathematics to come

up with the eventual shoe and the eventual concept.”

And so, after much research and development, the

18 Hour Heel was born. A classic Mary Jane-style

court shoe available in black, red and blush pink, it

offers the perfect dynamic for comfort in terms of

heel height and shape.

And it doesn’t stop there. Once customers have

chosen their base shoe, they can add a range of

gorgeous ‘shoellery’ - clip-on accessories which

change the look of their heels in an instant, perfect

for jazzing up your workday shoes ready for an

evening on the tiles.

The embellishments are created by Barry Abbotts,

a specialist metal worker in Birmingham’s Jewellery

Quarter, who brings Shaherazad’s innovative

creations to life.

“The shoellery clips are a really exciting addition to

the 18 hour heels,” says Shaherazad, who lives in

Birmingham. “They are a completely new concept

and mean you can wear your heels in the day and

then add a new design created here in Birmingham

to make them look like a different pair of heels for

the evening.”

Shoes by Shaherazad launched online in April last

year to critical acclaim from fashionistas and shoe

lovers looking for a comfy heel. Shaherazad has

swiftly built up a celebrity following too; British

model and television presenter Alexa Chung,

Coronation Street actress Jane Danson and

acclaimed make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury have all

been spotted in their 18 Hour Heels.

“We’ve had a lot of customers coming back for

more too,” says Shaherazad. “Around 60 per cent of


Shoe designer

Shaherazad Umbreen

women who have bought a pair have then gone onto

buy a second pair in a different colour. And people

then buy extra shoellery, which is fantastic.”

But there’s so much more to Shoes by Shaherazad

than just fashion; the business was set up with the

empowerment of women firmly at the forefront. And

not just by providing a pain-free heel.

Shaherazad says: “I wanted to bring together my

passion for women’s rights, my

love of shoes and my experience in

business. The essence of it is very

much to empower women; women

who can afford to spend £200 or

£250 on a pair of shoes can then

empower other women who can’t

afford to do that.

“Women have been held back

throughout history; yes we’ve

moved forwards but in the grand

scheme of things it’s not been

that long that women have had

the vote, and in a lot of countries

across the world women still can’t

go to school. I wanted to find a

way to change that.”

Every pair of shoes sold supports a

woman or girl living in poverty. Shoes

by Shaherazad has partnered with

Global Giving, which is based in

London, to source worthy causes to

get directly involved with, rather than

just donating to charity.

“At the moment we’ve got five projects

which we support,” says Shaherazad.

“One project in Kenya is a sewing

room and a computer room so

teenage girls, often who are pregnant

and have been kicked out of their

homes, can learn how to sew and can

learn basic business skills. The money

we gave funded the sewing machines

and the school, and the girls go on to

set up their own businesses which they

can get a grant for.”

Other projects include an

entrepreneur project in Kenya, which

helps girls who have received some

education to develop that into a

career; a primary education project in

Pakistan which funds costs associated

with getting girls from poverty-stricken

families to school, such as food and

transport; and an entrepreneur project

in Palestine which helps girls to learn business skills

and computer skills.

Shaherazad’s latest involvement in Peru is a

particularly poignant project.

“In Peru, a huge amount of the female population

end up in domestic labour from the age of four years

old,” says Shaherazad. “A family will have a young

Shaherazad’s latest charitable

project is a skills school in Peru



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girl doing all the chores and all they

get in return is a roof over their

heads; a lot of them get beaten and

abused, but because they grow up

in that environment they don’t have

the skills to challenge the situation

or change their lives. We fund a

skills Sunday school where girls can

learn life skills to enable them to

break out of that cycle.

“I gave 100 per cent of the profits

last year and helped 700 women

through our projects,” adds

Shaherazad. “Ultimately, my aim

is to give 10 per cent of the profits

and invest everything else back

into the business to ensure it is

sustainable and we can keep helping more women.

“Eventually we want to work in every country where

women and girls live in poverty or need educational

support, including this one.”

Shaherazad refers to herself as a “philoshoepher”,

someone who believes in good deeds and good shoes,

which perfectly sums up her business.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved and how many

women we’ve helped already,” says Shaherazad. “We

see the photos and know the names of all the girls

we’ve worked with and get letters and emails, which

Beautiful shoellery adds

an extra dimension to

the shoes

makes it all feel more real than just donating money

to charity.

“These shoes are made to bring happiness to the

women who wear them; and it’s these women who

will then go on and bring happiness to other women

in the world.”

For more information visit

www.shoesbyshaherazad.com or find

18 Hour Heels and Shoes by Shaherazad on

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.




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Introducing Bottomless Party Night with live music

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Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Brunch

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F O O D & D R I N K

Go Italian in style

After 25 years in business, Birmingham’s San Carlo restaurant is still leading the

way when it comes to authentic Italian fayre. Amy Norbury discovers more

When it comes to Italian food here in the Midlands, one

Birmingham restaurant has paved the way and set the

bar for dining in true Italian style. San Carlo has earned

its reputation over the years by pioneering exceptional

ingredients, with fresh, seasonal delights flown in

from the best produce markets across Italy to ensure

authenticity of flavour.

As the original Birmingham restaurant - which has

spawned sites nationwide and even internationally over

the years - celebrates its 25th anniversary, J’AIME was

invited along to discover exactly what it is which keeps

diners coming back for more.

The restaurant enjoys a prime spot in the heart of the

city centre, and on the Friday evening of our visit the

atmosphere was buzzing as diners packed in to enjoy

what is billed as the best Italian cuisine for miles around.

We were shown to a quiet table for two downstairs,

near to the kitchen and with a little more breathing

space than many of the tables, which are packed tightly

together in true convivial Italian style.

Aperitifs were duly ordered - a classic peach Bellini,

£8.90, for me and a Birra Moretti, £3.30, for my

husband - to sip while we perused the menus. It was

definitely a wise move to get the drinks ordered swiftly

as the menus - that’s plural - are some of

the heftiest tomes I’ve ever encountered in a

restaurant. The whistlestop tour of the best

in Italian regional cuisine takes in antipasti,

grill specialities such as the tomahawk steak

and a broad range of mouth-watering meat,

pizza and pasta recipes. And that’s before

you get onto the separate daily specials menu

which includes a further 15 starters, chef’s

recommendations and a wide selection

of seafood dishes including fresh lobster. I

have to confess that I didn’t even look at the

extra blackboard specials, for fear of menu


If you can’t find a dozen dishes to tickle the

tastebuds here then you never will - and that’s

the problem. There were so many delicioussounding

options that narrowing it down to just the one

was a task in itself.

But we persevered and, after much deliberation over the

merits of each individual dish, decisions were made.

To start, I had toyed with both the lobster ravioli

and the fegatini di pollo - chicken livers sauteed with

chestnuts and marsala - but plumped for the gnocchi


al tartufo, at £8.50, from the specials menu. This was

gnocchi unlike any I’d tasted before; coated in a crispy

crumb, rather like a gnocchi croquette, and lounging in

a decadent pool of parmesan fondue adorned with a

generous scattering of black truffle, this was indulgently

rich and packed a huge truffle punch. A great start, and

every single morsel was polished off.

My husband’s melanzane al forno, £7.70, was another

triumph. He’s not normally a huge fan of aubergine but

fell in love with this particular dish when he sampled it

at another Italian eatery. And he was delighted that San

Carlo’s version lived up to expectations; with a topping

heavy on the parmesan and a flavourful tomato sauce,

this baked aubergine dish really showcased simple

ingredients to their very best.

We happily sipped on our wine, a rather delightful

bottle of montepulciano, £27.20, which was smooth

and soft with lovely berry notes, while we waited for our

main courses to arrive. However, as the wine started

to run out and with no food in sight, we had to ask a

waiter to enquire as to the whereabouts of our meal.

Service had been haphazard throughout the evening,

ranging from friendly and attentive

to a little brusque and quite slow as

the evening progressed.

So it had been a rather long wait,

but once again the food didn’t

disappoint. My halibut with lobster

sauce, £19,50, was cooked to

perfection; the fish firm and meaty

and the accompanying sauce -

served in its own miniature copper

saucepan, no less - was delicately

infused with lovely lobster goodness

and complemented the halibut

beautifully. Side dishes of sauteed

potatoes with bacon, onion and rosemary, £3.20, as

well as zucchine fritte - deep-fried courgettes, £3.80,

which were presented in a sizeable mound - were well

executed and worthy accompaniments.

My husband had been tempted by the various steak

options, including the decadent fillet steak and lobster

version of surf ‘n’ turf, but the lure of a hearty pasta

dish won the day. His tagliolini con granchio - thin

ribbons of egg pasta with hand-picked Cornish crab,

sweet Sicilian cherry tomatoes, saffron and a touch of

cream, £14.95 - was satisfying comfort food at its finest,

with the sweetness of the crab and tomatoes balancing

the richness of the cream nicely.

It had been a rather long evening and, with time not on

our side, we nearly didn’t order dessert. But only nearly.

Luckily the final event was much swifter in arriving

than our main course and we were soon tucking into

our puds; a perfectly wobbly panna cotta, £4.90, with a

sharply sweet fruits of the forest sauce for my husband,

and a huge portion of caramel ice cream topped with

crushed nuts and caramel sauce, £5.30, for me.

The quality of food, above all, it what San Carlo has

built its reputation on, and what sets it apart. And

whether you’re after lobster and Champagne or

pasta and wine, there’s something for every diner. If

you’re looking for a true taste of Italy, you won’t be



F O O D & D R I N K

Classic cuisine

As autumn rolls around, James Pomlett, owner of Pom’s Kitchen in Lichfield,

shares a seasonal comfort food classic which is sure to become a firm favourite

Local, seasonal produce is king at Pom’s Kitchen; local

suppliers are championed and ingredients are freerange

and top quality.

As a family-run restaurant, the team at Pom’s are

passionate about amazing hospitality and the best

quality food. James says: “We have a modern and

relaxed approach to dining - our guests experience great

hospitality in a stylish and contemporary environment.

“We are proud to have redeveloped 20-22 Bird Street

and brought its unique character back to life with a

modern twist.

“We believe it is important to sell free-range ingredients

and proudly source our eggs from local free-range

farms. Our local suppliers, such as Russell’s butchers,

supply us with the best quality produce.”


Beef bourguignon with mash

potato and parsnip crisps

Ingredients - serves four

4 feather steaks

20g silverskin onions

20g field mushrooms, diced to same size as silverskin


20g pancetta, cut into lardons

100ml red wine

1 litre water

250g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled

100g butter

30g parsnip, peeled to the core

Oil, for frying

50g gravy thickener

In a pan, seal the feather steaks on each side. Remove

from the pan and seal the lardons.

Remove from the heat and add the steaks back to the

pan then add the onions, mushrooms, and red wine.

Add the water to the pan, cover with tin foil and cook

in the oven for four hours on 120C.

Place potatoes into the pan and cover with water, cook

until soft and ready for mashing. Mash the potatoes

with the butter and season to your desired flavour

Make the crisps by frying the thinly peeled parsnips

until golden brown and crispy.

Remove and drain the oil from the crisps.

Once steaks are cooked, remove from the pan and

place the pan on the stove to boil. Once boiling,

thicken the sauce with your desired thickening agent.

Place mash in a bowl, add the steak and sauce, top

with parsnip crisps and serve.


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F O O D & D R I N K

Dreaming of cocktails

Lichfield bar Le Rêve has earned a reputation for serving the finest cocktails in

town, and here owner Shaun Craven serves up our very own mouth-watering

cocktail of the month for you to try at home

Situated in the heart of Lichfield’s restaurant district

on Bird Street, Le Rêve is a haven for those looking

for an exclusive bar offering the finest drinks in the

city. Serving only the best cocktails created by the

talented team of in-house mixologists using the

freshest ingredients, alongside a selection of craft

beers and fine wines, Le Rêve offers the theatre and

standards of a big city bar coupled with exemplary

service, all in a seriously stylish setting.

The busy bar has a buzzing atmosphere, enhanced

by showcasing amazing home-grown acoustic

talent alongside a handpicked team of passionate

DJs. Expect musicality and vocals from across the

spectrum with music from past and present to give

you the best night possible.

Le Rêve is the brainchild of Shaun Craven. Since

getting his first job in a pub at the tender age of 17,

it had been Shaun’s dream to open his own exclusive

bar. So it only seemed fitting that his venture, when

it finally became a reality, should be called Le Rêve -

which is French for ‘the dream’.

Le Reve cocktail


Shaun had spent years searching for the perfect spot

to open his bar, and when the Bird Street premises

became available he thought it would be ideal,

enabling him to offer all the flair and theatre of a

major city bar right here in Lichfield, without the

need to travel into Birmingham or beyond.

With help from his parents, who remortgaged their

home in order to raise capital to put towards the bar,

as well as a grant awarded by The Prince’s Trust,

Shaun’s dream was realised when Le Rêve opened in


Shaun says: “I was only 24 years old and a one-man

band; I did every job under the sun to make it work.

Now it has gone from strength to strength and grown

into a constantly busy bar, with a great team behind

it all contributing to its success.”

Customer service is key to Le Rêve’s success; the

team - led by manager Juliette Key who is Shaun’s

right-hand woman and has played a huge role in

helping to build the bar into the established, exclusive

venue it is today - pride themselves on going the

extra mile to offer the very best service and

experience for every customer. Attention to

detail is paramount, and from the spirits to

the fresh ingredients and even the glassware,

each cocktail is carefully crafted to create a

drinking experience which is second to none.

The cocktails are all original and thought

up in-house, and all bar staff go through

Le Rêve’s rigorous training to ensure they

are knowledgeable about the drinks they

serve. The managers are all involved in a

profit-share scheme and the bartenders earn

commission of what they take, which gives the

team a real ethos of togetherness.

With a successful four years under his belt,

Shaun is looking to expand his Le Rêve

empire with the opening of a second bar

by the end of the year, and hopes that the

growing brand will have four sites by the end

of 2018.



3 fresh raspberries

25ml rose syrup

12.5ml fresh lemon juice

12.5ml lychee liqueur


1 rose petal

Muddle the fresh raspberries in your boston tin and add

a generous amount of ice. Then add 25ml rose syrup,

12.5ml fresh lemon juice and 12.5ml lychee liqueur.

Shake, then fine strain into your chilled glass and top up

with Prosecco and finally add your rose petal garnish.


Master the art of cocktails

J’AIME has teamed up with exclusive Lichfield bar Le Rêve to offer readers the

chance to win a fantastic cocktail masterclass for eight people, worth £200

Have you ever fancied yourself shaking up a storm like

Tom Cruise in Cocktail? Well, now’s your chance to

learn the tricks of the trade from the team of talented

mixologists at Lichfield’s Le Rêve bar.

Our lucky winner and seven friends will be treated

to a cocktail masterclass, where the expert mixologist

will guide you through the dazzling world of cocktails,

teaching you all the tricks of the trade so you can create

your own mouth-watering drinks at home, like a pro.

This unique experience lasts for around an hour and

is a perfect for any occasion, whether it be a hen party,

networking event, a team-building event or just a day

with friends. It’s fun, interactive and a great way to get

the party started.

With bubbly on arrival, you’ll then discover all the

secrets to Le Rêve’s expertly handcrafted cocktails,

learning how to mix, muddle and mash your way

through a selection of three cocktails - and, of course,

get to taste the results of your handiwork. You will then

be shown to a private table where you can enjoy the rest

of the evening in style.

For more information visit www.lereve-bar.com.


For your chance to win this fantastic cocktail masterclass for

yourself and seven friends, simply answer the following question:

What does Le Rêve mean?

• The dream • The bar • The cocktail

Send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number, by email to

competitions@jaimemagazine.com with Le Rêve cocktail competition as the email subject. Entries

must be received by 5pm on Friday, September 29, and our winner will be notified by Wednesday,

October 4. No cash alternative is available. Due to the nature of the prize the competition is open

to over 18s only and identification will be required if any member of the winning group appears to

be under 18. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.jaimemagazine.com for further details.



PHONE: 01543 253 663 - WWW.LEREVE-BAR.COM


Serving fresh fruit cocktails with passion and flare




F O O D & D R I N K

Culinary delights

The third annual Tamworth Gusto Food and Drink Festival brings some of the

region’s best food and drink, as well as entertainment galore, to Tamworth

Castle Pleasure Grounds on September 9 and 10

If you’re looking for a little something to whet

your appetite this month, then venture over to

Tamworth Castle, where the Pleasure Grounds will

be transformed into a haven for foodies when the

Tamworth Gusto Food and Drink Festival comes to


There will be a wide range of food, drink and artisan

stalls with live entertainment and demonstrations.

Packed with stands from local and regional producers

it promises to be a great day out for all the family.

With culinary delights such as a juicy hog roast, beef

burgers and artisan pizza on offer, there is sure to be

plenty to satisfy your hunger.

Local producers will be selling hams, sausages, organic

meat, handmade cheese, creamy ice cream, fudge,

exotic mushrooms, vegetables, jams, pickles, pates,

herbs, handmade crisps and much, much more. If

that isn’t enough, you can quench your thirst with

locally brewed beer from the beer tent, local English

wines, all followed by a smooth espresso, cappuccino

or simply a cup of select tea with an artisan cookie or

a slice of cake.

As well as enjoying the great local and regional

produce, you can relax to some live music and enjoy

the comprehensive entertainment programme. For

younger children there will be activities including face

painting, bouncy castle and rides, meaning there’s

plenty for the whole family to love.

Top local chef Simon Smith will be making an

appearance with some scrumptious food demos from

his demonstration kitchen, with one every two hours

from 11am till 3pm both days. If you want to learn

some of the tricks of the trade, then his demos are a


Gates open at 10.30am until 5pm both

days. Entry costs £2, with Kids under

12 going free. For more details visit



• The best in care and assessed in 2017 as Good In All Categories by the CQC •

• Restaurant quality dining with professional kitchens led by our award-wining chef, Martin McKee •

• All-inclusive and excellent value for money for the quality care and services provided •

• Sector-leading Well-being Programme to support mind, body and soul •

• Monthly Coffee Mornings on the first Wednesday of every month •


Call 01922 262692

or Search ‘Hawthorns Aldridge’

See our lovely home life at facebook.com/TheHawthornsAldridge

The Hawthorns Aldridge | Erdington Road | Aldridge | West Midlands | WS9 8UH


Land of a thousand islands

Travel expert Kirsty Taylor, from RB Collection, heads to Cavtat in Croatia

for a multi-generation summer break, and discovers the natural beauty of

one of Europe’s fastest growing holiday hotspots

Kolocep, Croatia

As travel trends go, I think it’s fair to say that Croatia

is currently right up there as one of the places to

visit. Its popularity has soared over the last few years,

with the local tourism press reporting an increase

of ten per cent in visitor numbers for the first half

of 2017. It was an easy decision, therefore, that this

would be the destination I would visit on my annual

family holiday.

Having briefly visited Dubrovnik and Cavtat some

17 years ago on - believe it or not! - a day trip from

Manchester, and being wowed by their beauty, I

concluded that it would be good to return many

years later to see how (or if) the area had changed.

On my initial visit Cavtat, which is located in the

south of Croatia, had particularly appealed to me.

Not only because of its breath taking natural beauty,

but because of its laid back atmosphere and close

proximity to Dubrovnik. Based on my previous first

impressions, it was decided by myself, my daughter

and my parents that Cavtat would be our holiday

destination of choice.

Originally a Greek settlement founded in the

4th century BC named Epidaurum, the Romans

took over Cavtat in 225 BC and renamed the

area Epidaurus. There are many reminders of

Roman rule, including the remains of city walls,

amphitheatres, and tombs. Due to its history, Cavtat

is home to several museums and galleries, with the

most popular being the house of one of Croatia’s

most famous painters, Vlaho Bukovac.

Located just ten minutes from Dubrovnik airport,

we were swiftly transferred to our chosen hotel, and

settled into our rooms. Set in an elevated position

surrounded by stunning woodland, the property

is perfectly positioned to enjoy some of the most

wonderful views I have ever seen – the sunsets

here are truly magical. Even Dubrovnik, which

is 18 kilometres from Cavtat, can be seen across

the sparkling sea in the distance, as well as the

Hotel Croatia_Cavtat

view from breakfast


Kayaks in Dubrovnik,


neighbouring resorts along the coastline.

The resort of Cavtat was just how I had remembered

it all of those years ago. In fact, I think it was even

better than I had remembered! The pretty little

town, which is the most southern of Croatia’s

tourist resorts, is set around a chic harbour lined

with numerous restaurants and small shops, and is

probably one of the most pristine, well-kept holiday

resorts you could visit for your summer holiday.

Popular as a port of call for boating holidays,

watching the luxury yachts sailing in and out of the

harbour only added to the ambience of this truly

beautiful town.

For anyone who enjoys a leisurely walk, there

are a choice of peninsula pathways to take

in Cavtat, all surrounded by stunning pine

and cypress trees offering fantastic sea views.

While enjoying a walk one afternoon, we

stumbled upon many hidden little beaches

and bathing areas which were just begging

to be enjoyed! The beaches are pebbly, and

the waters are the clearest I have ever seen –

even in May it was a delight to swim in the

crystal clear Adriatic Sea.

A great way to explore the surrounding

areas is to take a day trip by boat. Seeing the

picturesque coastline from the sea is a sight

not to be missed. I spent the most wonderful

day aboard a wooden galleon boat on a visit

to the beautiful Elafiti islands. Situated northwest of

Dubrovnik, there are six islands in the archipelago,

with the most popular ones being Sipan, Lopud and

Kolocep. In years gone by, the islands are thought

to have been inhabited by deer, which is where the

name Elafiti originates from (elafos is the Greek word

for deer).

A unique feature of two of the islands (Lopud and

Kolocep) is that they are completely car-free, making

for a truly away-from-it-all peaceful holiday, escaping

the hustle and bustle of daily life. My personal

favourite island was Lopud, which is home to one of

the best beaches in the Dubrovnik region. Rare for

Croatia, the beach has beautiful white sand and is

backed by lush green hills, making it a firm favourite

with day trippers throughout the summer months.

I however, found my haven in the town’s park. A

family park founded by the Venetian baron Augusto

Mayneri, the winding pathways and hidden ruins are

simply stunning, and the various types of trees offer

welcome shade from the summer sun. I could have

quite happily whiled away an afternoon here with

a good book and a cold drink. Our day trip aboard

the galleon gave us a glimpse of the Elafiti islands,

accompanied by traditional Croatian music and a

simple lunch consisting of fresh fish and salad.

However, it’s so easy to tour the islands in a more

tailor-made way, as my colleague Nathan did on

his recent visit with his wife and son. Nathan based

his holiday in the pretty village of Orasac, which

is located 11 kilometres north of Dubrovnik, but

has a much slower pace of life. A Leading Hotels

of the World property, Sun Gardens offers elegant

accommodation with an enviable sea front location,

and boasts a wide range of facilities. From here,

Nathan hired a private boat with a crew member,

and enjoyed a tour of the Elafiti islands, specifically

tailored to his requirements. Just imagine kicking

Cavtat Sunset

back while someone takes the helm and guides you

along some of Europe’s most stunning coastline,

stopping here and there for a dip in the glistening

blue water with the sun shining down – pure bliss!

This is also something we can arrange for your own

holiday to make your stay in Croatia extra special, so

please ask us for more information.

The must-see destination on a visit to this truly

stunning part of the world has to be the impressive


Dubrovnik old town

harbour, Croatia

walled city of Dubrovnik. I caught my first glimpse

of the breath-taking red rooftops from above in the

aeroplane while descending to the airport – I arrange

for my clients to sit on the left hand side of the

aircraft on their outward journey to Dubrovnik, and

the right hand side on their return; all part of the RB

‘VIP’ experience.

The famous city walls of Dubrovnik are 1,940 metres

long and include five forts, as well as 16 towers and

bastions. Originally constructed in the 13th century,

I felt an overwhelming sense of stepping back in time

inside the impressive city walls.

The best way to get a true feel for the city, and from

a different perspective, is to walk the walls – the

views are without doubt some of the best I have

seen anywhere in the world; totally and utterly

jaw dropping and something you can easily do at

a relaxed pace. For any avid photographers, the

opportunities here are endless with constantly

changing views from all angles. There are even cafes,

shops and ice cream parlours dotted along the wall

– the latter being particularly welcomed in the hot

Croatian sunshine!

Another popular area within Dubrovnik’s city walls is

Stradun Placa, the main thoroughfare, which is lined

with restaurants and bars. There are some amazing

restaurants in the city, with seafood being particularly

good. My colleague Nathan ate at some fantastic

restaurants while here, and he will happily advise

you of the best restaurants to suit your taste; another

service we like to offer our clients. We also have

our own concierge service – R.Bespoke – to make

restaurant reservations for you to ensure you are able

to dine at your first choices. Some establishments in

Croatia have waiting lists over a month long , so it’s

important for us to book you in ahead of time!

Twin centre holidays are the perfect way to see as

much of an area as possible in one trip, and Croatia

is a fantastic choice to be twinned

with numerous other destinations.

We can tailor make your holiday

to suit you, whether you would

like to see two or more areas

of Croatia, or combine it with

another country. My colleague

Nicola did just this on her own

holiday earlier in the year. She

decided to visit both Montenegro

and Croatia at the beginning

of April – a great time to avoid

the crowds and hotter weather,

making it perfect for sightseeing.

Montenegro is a small country

of much beauty, with more than

100 unspoilt beaches, rugged

mountains and beautiful lakes.

As well as being filled with an abundance of history,

and having its own walled towns, Montenegro is a

great choice of destination for an active holiday too.

Hiking, mountain biking and whitewater rafting are

all extremely popular, and nature lovers are also

catered for with an abundance of flora and fauna

and wildlife, including bear and an array of bird


Nicola chose to spend her time in Montenegro at

the UNESCO listed town of Kotor which boasts a

spectacular bay with Venetian architecture. Located

a two-hour car journey from Dubrovnik, Kotor

makes the perfect two-centre destination of choice.

The five-star property she stayed in is located on a

chic marina attracting visitors from around the world

to enjoy the cosmopolitan lifestyle and local cuisine;

something you wouldn’t normally expect from this

part of the world.

Rooftops of

Dubrovnik old

town, Croatia


Travel facts

Flights: Seasonal departures from regional airports

including Birmingham and East Midlands to Dubrovnik,

around 3 hours flying time.

Currency: Croatian Kuna

Time Zone: GMT + 1

Best time to go: The Summer season is from May to

October with July & August the busiest and hottest. Kirsty

travelled in May and experienced very pleasant weather

with fewer crowds. Oliver visited in February when the

temperatures were cooler; perfect for a short break and


Kirsty’s Dad, daughter

and Kirsty - City Walls

of Dubrovnik

You are not only limited to Montenegro however

- Croatia can also be combined with Italy. This is

particularly convenient if you are staying in the north

of the country, as Venice is so close. Concluding your

Croatian holiday in Venice even means you could

travel back to the UK in the most luxurious of styles

aboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express.

Not all holidays to Croatia have to be land-based.

Coastal cruises are becoming increasingly popular,

and are a much more casual affair than most ocean

cruises. As the Croatian coastline and islands are so

truly spectacular, admiring such wonderful views

from the sea (which is also amazing with the most

crystal clear blue water) gives a totally different

aspect to your holiday. Calling in at various hidden

coves, historical towns, and unspoilt areas only

discovered by boat gives a sense of discovering the

true Croatia. Most cruises are aboard small vessels

with around 18 cabins, and include breakfast and

lunch, giving you the chance to explore a different

daily port of call for dinner at a restaurant of your

choice. You can book onto them individually or

charter the entire vessel; perfect for larger groups or

multi-generational families seeking something unique

and special.

I think it’s safe to say that Croatia is a firm favourite

with all of the team here at RB Collection, with myself,

Nathan, Oliver, Nicola and Alan all having visited

different areas of this breathtakingly beautiful country.

If you are in need of a last-minute autumn break or

want to plan ahead for next summer, we look forward

to creating your special Croatia travel memories.

Accommodation options: A good variety of hotels

including boutique luxury hotels to larger family-orientated

resorts. Small yachts and traditional sailing boats also offer

an alternative way of seeing the country by sailing along

the coast.

Example packages: Seven nights at the Hotel Croatia,

Cavtat, where Kirsty stayed from £999 per person, or the

Sun Gardens near Dubrovnik where Nathan stayed from

£1,159 per person. Prices include security fast-track and

VIP Lounge access at Birmingham airport, return flights

with extra legroom seats, private return airport transfers,

accommodation with breakfast (half board at Hotel

Croatia) and local representative service.

Visit www.rbcollection.com/croatia for details of these

special packages.

Reader offer

Mention this article when you

book your holiday to Croatia with

RB Collection before September 30,

2017, and receive complimentary VIP

Lounge access at your departure

airport, conditions apply – see


for details.


What’s On Local

Your guide to the best of what’s on in and around

Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Walsall and beyond



Mr Tom


Sutton Arts



August 31 to September 9

Set during the dangerous build up to the Second

World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows young

William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English

countryside and forges a remarkable and heart-warming

friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley. All

is perfect until William is suddenly summoned by his

mother back to London.

Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize,

commended for the Carnegie Medal, a worldwide

literary favourite and BAFTA-winning TV film starring

John Thaw, Goodnight Mister Tom is a magical and

uplifting tale that continues to inspire audiences and

bring generations together. For more details visit



Lichfield Proms

in the Park


Beacon Park


September 2

The Lichfield Proms is Lichfield District Council’s

free annual outdoor concert that takes place in the

beautiful surroundings of Beacon Park. Now in its

19 year, Lichfield Proms brings thousands of people

together from across the region to enjoy an evening of

music, picnicking and a firework finale. Expect all the

proms anthems, from Land of Hope and Glory to Rule

Britannia. The night is free entry, although donations

are very welcome. There’s also the chance to reserve

prime seating at tables in front of the stage. So, grab

your picnic blankets, Union flags and end the summer

in style at Beacon Park. For more details visit



Murder on the Terrace


Walsall Arboretum


September 3

The scene is set: a respectable garden party

to celebrate Lord Cava’s retirement and the

handing over of his sparkling wine empire

to his nephew, Charles. It is no secret that

Charles intends to shut down the business

and convert Lord Cava’s Manor into a

conference centre. Unsurprisingly, Charles is

later found dead, poisoned, clutching Hercule – Lord Cava’s beloved pet parrot. The garden party is

thrown into disarray and the sardonic Inspector Back arrives to investigate - can you solve the mystery?

Bring your picnic, your chair and come armed with your sleuthing skills to see if you can figure out

‘whodunit’! Tickets can be booked in person at the Arboretum visitors centre or at






FROM 6.30PM TO 8.30PM

To celebrate a recent landmark birthday, Danielle and her husband Denis enjoyed an inspirational

trip to Bali, Bangkok and Burma. Her new collection has been profoundly influenced by the

culture, heritage and above all, the spirit of these three remarkable places.


RSVP Barton Marina, Barton-under-Needwood, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, DE13 8AS

01283 712 900 info@gallerythree.co.uk www.gallerythree.co.uk

What: Gordon Giltrap

Where: St James Church,

Mere Green

When: September 16

A charity evening with guitar

legend Gordon Giltrap in

beautiful St James Church, with

all proceeds going to St James

Scout Group and Teenage

Cancer Trust.

Over the past 40 years, Gordon Giltrap has graced

the music business with his dedication to his craft and

his affection for his audience. As one of the UK’s most

respected guitarists, he has consistently proved the adage

that respect cannot be bought. It must be earned.

Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple and Blackmore’s

Night says: “Anyone who asks me knows that I think

Gordon Giltrap is one of the best acoustic guitar players

in the world. His concerts and playing are breathtaking.

He’s also very witty, and I love the fact that he has not

cut his hair!” For more details and to buy tickets, which

are priced at £10, contact St James’ Church or Artifex

Gallery at Mitchell Centre on 0121 323 3776.


Paul Zerdin -

All Mouth


Lichfield Garrick


September 20

America’s Got Talent 2015 winner ventriloquist Paul

Zerdin returns home to the UK fresh from headlining

the world-famous Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, with a

sparkling new show featuring his all-star cast of (in)famous

puppets. Join Paul, Sam, Albert and Baby plus two crazy

brand new characters for an evening of laugh-out-loud

stand-up comedy and ventriloquism.

With more than 22 million hits on You Tube, Paul is a

regular on The Royal Variety Show and has been seen on

BBC1’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show and, last

Christmas, at The London Palladium. For more details

visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

What: Eco Festival


Streetly Methodist Church

When: September 23

Join in with a day of family

fun and learning to love our

environment, especially our

country’s trees, at Streetly

Methodist Church’s Eco Festival.

Venture outside for woodland craft activities, survival

skills training and rides on a miniature railway, as well as

presentations by the RSPB, National Trust and Sutton

Beekeepers. Indoors there will be art and music and flower

displays, and the church’s scout group will be serving

barbecued food all afternoon. All are welcome; entrance

for children is free, with voluntary donation for adults.

Visitors can also take part in a photography competition on

the theme of Trees. More details can be found at

www.streetlymethodistchurch.org.uk and on the

Streetly Methodist Church Facebook page.

What: Lichfield Heritage Weekend

Where: Lichfield city centre

When: September 23 and 24

Heritage Weekend takes place every year on Samuel

Johnson’s Birthday to celebrate Lichfield’s rich and

varied history. Heritage attractions throw their

doors open for free, together with some historical

buildings that aren’t usually open to the public.

This year, the celebrations are centred around 300

years of David Garrick, actor, theatre manager and

playwright. Highlights include Dr Samuel Johnson’s

308th birthday celebrations at The Samuel Johnson

Birthplace Museum, a Georgian garden party at

Erasmus Darwin House, and Intimate Theatre’s look

at the life of David Garrick at The George Hotel.

For more details visit www.visitlichfield.co.uk.

Get involved: Have you got a local

event you’d like to promote? Then we’d

love to hear from you. From charity nights

to local theatre productions and more,

send details to editor@jaimemagazine.

com and you could see your event on

these pages.


What our advertisers said...

As a local, family business it’s really important for us to work with suitable publications who understand our

target market. J’aime have worked hard to target the most relevant areas to deliver to and we are excited to

work with this new local magazine.

Oliver Broad of Robert Broad Travel at lichfield.

We as a company advertise a lot with a number of different magazines, but our response from J’aime has been

the largest return we have ever seen from one advert. Since the magazine has been distributed, our phone

hasn’t stop ringing, and our showroom is always full of people. This is so fresh. Thank you Jan and Amy.

simon edwards - Ralvern Upholstery.

I was given a copy of J’AIME to read and instantly it got my attention. I was

very impressed with the content of the magazine, the layout and the style

and how it looked. After reading it I knew my business would sit perfectly

in this magazine and hit the type of customers I’m trying to attract.

shaun Craven - le Reve Cocktail Bar. lichfield.

The new magazine looks great and its most definitely a good fit for Pom’s.

James - Poms Kitchen, lichfield

Love J’aime. Good quality, well written and a fantastic response

to the competition I ran. I received response from all the areas that

this magazine goes to. Happily recommend advertising in it to

other companies. allen Brown - allen Brown Jewellery -

heart of the Country, swinfen.

if you want to promote your business

in J’aime then contact Jan ashley

Tel: 07388 335931 - email: advertising@jaimemagazine.com





worTh up To


Fabulous fooD


Y o u r l o c a l l u x u r Y l i f e s t Y l e m a g a z i n e

anD Drink delights


anD beauTy


The STreeTly

Teacher crowneD

Mr Birmingham

broadway Kitchens

A fAmily business of three generAtions

We design, manufacture and install bespoke traditional and modern kitchens to suit you and your lifestyle.

CALL to arrange a design consultation - VISIT our showroom - VIEW our kitchens online

0121 353 4999 - www.kitchensbybroadway.co.uk - 54-56 Thornhill Road, Streetly, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3EN


What’s on Second City

A look at some of the biggest and best events

taking place across Birmingham this month


Moseley Folk Festival


Moseley Park


September 1 to 3

Moseley Folk Festival returns to the leafy suburb of

Moseley for the 11th year, bringing a stellar line-up

of folk favourites to the city. Set in the idyllic setting

of Moseley Private Park, the festival has become

a stalwart of the Birmingham summer calendar

with festival goers travelling from all over the world

to catch some of the world’s biggest artists in this

beautifully intimate setting. Showcasing unsigned

acts right next to well established international artists

makes for a really exciting bill, and some of the

biggest artists to grace the stage this year include

Laura Marling, Amy MacDonald, The Magic

Numbers, Kate Rusby and Seth Lakeman. For more

details visit www.moseleyfolk.co.uk.


Jane Eyre


Birmingham REP


September 4 to 16

Following a critically acclaimed season at the

National Theatre, Jane Eyre visits The REP this

month. This innovative re-imagining of Charlotte

Brontë’s masterpiece is a collaboration between the

National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic, and is directed

by Sally Cookson.

The classic story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring

as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers

one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment on her

own terms. Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s

obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the

discovery of bitter betrayal, before taking the ultimate

decision to follow her heart. For more details visit



Tango Moderno

Where: New Alexandra Theatre


September 19 to 23

Tango is the rhythm of the city, the heat of the streets

and the pulse of life. Tango Moderno is the irresistible

hot new stage spectacular from tango superstars

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace. Dance partners

for more than two decades, world champions, Strictly

favourites and West End stage stars Vincent and Flavia

fuse together ballroom, latin, and Argentine tango to

give you a performance that smoulders with desire.

With classic steps, they create a tango for today.

Vincent and Flavia return with their new production

following the incredible successes of Midnight Tango,

Dance Til Dawn and The Last Tango, promising you

a classic yet fresh and modern show. For more details

visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham.


H e a r t o f t H e C o u n t r y S H o p p i n g V i l l a g e

tHe Barn

The Barn at Swinfen is an independent cafe/bistro.

We serve a wide range of locally sourced food

in a relaxed, rural setting. Join us for breakfast,

lunch, coffee and cake or Afternoon Tea. We serve

breakfast until noon and lunch from 12-4pm.

Enjoy a delicious 2 or 3 course Traditional Sunday

lunch (booking advised). Treat yourself to a glass

of wine from our carefully selected wine list.

Call us on 01543 480307 to make a reservation.

Open Tues - Sunday 10am - 5pm

pear tree Creperie

Our galettes are gluten free containing only

buckwheat flour which is ideal for celiacs. We

have a new specials board which will run through

September for example barbecue meat feast with

cheese and also pulled beef with chilli sauce and

cheese plus the summer fruit specials.

On Friday 29th September we have live music

with accordionist Barry Smith at 7.15pm. It’s

FREE entry but booking is essential. We are also

hosting a Macmillan coffee morning on the 29th

September with home made sponge cakes made

by one of our customers.

Tel: 01543 481807


paul Martyn furniture

Paul Martyn Furniture are celebrating their 30th

Anniversary with a fantastic promotion on all

dining and kitchen tables.

Choose from their range of solid timbers, from

rustic or new hand waxed pine to oak in a wide

selection of colours and finishes.

Traditional, artisan and contemporary styles are

available in a selection of sizes.

Their made to measure service is what makes

them stand out from other companies, and most

tables can be ordered in any size.

Open on Mondays.



01543 481592

la Belle CuiSine

La Belle Cuisine - is a family run

business established for over 30

years, specialising in designing,

making and installing modern,

traditional and contemporary

kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Working in partnership with clients

to create a truly bespoke and

exclusive interior project.

Tel 01543 481000 or visit





Heart gallerieS

We are committed to offering only

the highest quality Limited Edition

prints, sculptures and original

artwork by today’s leading artists.

We offer a wide choice of styles

to suit every taste and regularly

introduce new artists and artwork to

our collection.

Tel: 01543 480994

Email: art@heartgalleries.co.uk


Boutique eleVen

We are proud to be an independent

business stocking sought after

brands like The Masai Clothing Co,

Sandwich, Mama B & much more.

At the moment we have all of our

Autumn deliveries arriving with

some gorgeous prints and colours

for the coming season ahead.

01543 480971




allen BroWn

Allen has been making bespoke

jewellery for 30 years and has

one of the largest collections of

contemporary fine jewellery. He also

specialises in designing, making,

remodelling and refurbishing.

Call 01543 481948 or visit


Closed on Mondays.

Heart of the Country Shopping Village, Swinfen, lichfield WS14 9qr

www.heartofthecountryvillage.com - 01543 481612

open tuesday - Sunday & Bank Holiday Mondays. 10am - 5pm.

Closed Monday (except paul Martyn)


John Legend


Barclaycard Arena


September 20

Acclaimed, multi-platinum selling, Oscar, Golden

Globe, and 10-times Grammy Award-winning singersongwriter

John Legend will return to the UK to

embark on his biggest tour yet this month including

a date at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena.

John’s latest album Darkness and Light was released to

critical acclaim in December 2016, following on from

2013’s Love in the Future, which spawned worldwide

smash hit All Of Me. Since the release of Darkness

and Light, John Legend has co-executive produced and

starred in the box office smash La La Land, which has

gone on to win seven Golden Globe Awards and six

Academy Awards, and performed the title track to the

recent remake of Beauty and the Beast with Ariana

Grande. For more details visit






Birmingham city

centre various



22 to 24

Birmingham Weekender returns in 2017 with three

great days out for all the family. This free weekend

festival sees Birmingham city-centre filled with

performances from world-class musicians, dancers

and artists. This is the chance to see Birmingham’s

major arts organisations alongside shining lights

from the city’s independent scene, plus invited

international artists. By day, the streets are alive with

free performances, music, street theatre and plenty of

opportunities for all the family to join in. As the sun

sets, the atmosphere changes with an after dark fire-lit

procession, drumming spectacular, late-night dance

party and light show. For more details visit



La La Land

in Concert






September 24

Winner of six Academy Awards including Best Original

Score, Best Original Song and Best Director, La La

Land is being described as the film of its generation,

capturing the hearts of everyone while breaking records

around the world. Now La La Land will be brought

to audiences like never before, the ultimate immersive

experience via a huge screen accompanied by a 60-piece


Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, La La

Land tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring

actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz

musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a

city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set

in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about

everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your

dreams. For more details visit www.thsh.co.uk.


Rob Brydon - I

Am Standing Up



Symphony Hall


September 28 and November 5

Acclaimed Welsh comedian Rob Brydon is hitting

the road for his first stand-up tour since his sell-out

national tour and West End run of 2009, taking to the

stage in Birmingham at Symphony Hall this month.

Rob Brydon is perhaps best known for the television

shows Gavin and Stacey, Would I Lie To You? and

The Trip, as well as Marion and Geoff, Human

Remains, Little Britain, The Rob Brydon Show, Best

of Men, Gangster Granny and Q.I. His film work

includes The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Cinderellaand

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Earlier this

year in London’s West End he starred opposite Sir

Kenneth Branagh in The Painkiller. His other theatre

credits include Future Conditional at The Old Vic

and A Chorus of Disapproval at The Harold Pinter

Theatre. Due to phenomenal demand, a second

Birmingham date has been added on Sunday,

November 5. For more details visit www.thsh.co.uk.


at The Hart Spa

Emma would like to welcome clients

old and new to The Hart Spa

SEptEmbEr offErS:

• Free products with every cut and blowdry

• 30% off all colours and cuts

Mention J’AImE when booking

to book your appointment call Emma on

077791 311098 or contact: the Hart Spa,

Coppice Garden Centre, Coppice Lane, near Sutton

Coldfield B78 2BU. tel: 0121 308 6052

Emma can also be found at Andrea Beers

Salon, Mill Street, Kidderminster, DY11 6XG,

tel: 01562 754545.

book now to secure your appointment.


Check mate

This season it’s all about discovering your checks appeal as tartan

prints and heritage fabrics take over the catwalks, says Amy Norbury

Maybe it’s the association with the chilly

Highlands, or maybe it’s the spark of return-toschool

nostalgia, but there’s something inherently

autumnal about checks and tartan.

A perennial favourite as we head into the cooler

months, this season checks tap into some of

the hottest trends around, as well as being a

style statement all by themselves. And there’s a

veritable feast of colours, textures and styles, from

classic plaids to couture minimal grids, meaning

the heritage reference is well and truly refreshed.

The lesson here is that, this autumn, there’s a

tartan out there for every clan.

One of the greatest thing about checks is that

they’re such a versatile wardrobe addition,

depending on how they’re styled. Classic

houndstooth and dogtooth prints scream country

glamour, while checked jackets with cinched

waists and matching pencil skirts imbue the fabric

with ladylike elegance. Add a ruffled blouse for a

playful touch, and make sure the heels are slender

and suitably high without being skyscraper-ish.

Power dressing was huge across the AW17

catwalks, with trouser suits making the move

from serious workwear to day-to-night staple.

And here, autumn’s print of choice once again

reign supreme, with double-breasted jackets and

wide-legged trousers in monochrome and grey

heritage checks seen everywhere from Max Mara

to Victoria Beckham.

But it’s not all smart sophistication - styled down

with jeans and one of this season’s slogan T-shirts

or jumpers (yes, slogans are back in a big way), a

checked coat takes on an oh-so-cool edge, while

a flirty checked mini skirt makes the perfect

partner to a chunky knit and knee boots in tan or

burgundy leather - an outfit which will keep you

cosy and stylish well into winter.


coat, £99, M&S

Collection jumper,

£75, Per Una skirt,

£45, bag, £39.50,

and shoes £35, all

Marks and Spencer.


Pause check

metallic mini skirt,

Oliver Bonas.


Nebit cape,




lo ves




shirt dress,


Flippy skirt,


Pippa oneshoulder


River Island


Large hobo bag,

Biba at House of



Red Herring jacket,

£75, tee, £12, jeans,

£22, bag, £29, and

boots, £55, all

from Debenhams.


Back to school - back to work!

Jill Hartley, Co-owner and director of Nero e Bianco exclusive fashion boutique at Barton

Marina, takes a look at some stylish options to freshen up your workwear wardrobe

September suddenly arrives and is all go getting

children back to school, back into a routine of

work, family and/or whatever commitments you

have… so we think it’s time for a refresh in the

wardrobe to help.

The beginning of autumn is always an exciting

time in the world of fashion; making the seamless

transition from the vibrant trends of summer and

looking ahead to the key styles which will keep us

looking great right through until winter is over and

the freshness of spring hits.

With London Fashion week this month all eyes will

be on the great designers, looking for the next look

and how we can take a little bit of that into our

everyday lives.

So while we wait, let’s look at stepping out of the

usual autumn options of blacks and those ever

faithful trousers and shirts; many of us want to

break out and go for something different, the

problem is what?

Here’s a taste of some of my suggestions for that

little bit of something different without needing a

completely new wardrobe.

St ylish c o-ords

This little two-piece will brighten any work

day; the cotton blend material has elastin

which gives comfort while staying in shape,

the zip detail gives a modern edge while the

colour is a winner this season. This outfit

works as separates too; team up the top with

wide leg palazzo trousers for a great soft

feminine look and pop a white shirt with the

skirt for a traditional look with a twist.

Purple zip top and

matching zip skirt

available from nero

e bianco



Nero e Bianco

Exclusive Fashion & Bridal

Barton Marina

Burton upon Trent

DE13 8AS

01283 346704

Dress t o

imp ress


transi t ional

Wow! This is the coolest look

for transition into autumn - the

colour is exciting and new,

the fine knit of the top is so

easy to wear and teamed with

a superb cut trouser makes

this very classy and chic.

Accessorising with the lime

green is perfect, creating the

edge that we all love.

This simple yet effective dress

(cuff separate) is perfect for

everyday work wear, lunch

meetings or dinner dates. The

grey with the aubergine hue

is such a fresh colour that

works with all skin tones, and

the style is worn effortlessly

complementing most figures.

The neckline is one to look

out for; this style flatters all

age groups and is going to be

around for longer than this




Post-summer rescue

Once the tan fades it’s time to call in the hardest working beauty products

to restore, refresh and rejuvenate. We asked HELEN GOUGH, from Harvey

Nichols Birmingham, to share her favourite skincare saviours

Your summer holiday may well have left you

feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, but chances are

that gorgeous summer glow hides a multitude

of sins. Too much sun, sea and soaring

temperatures can have quite a drying effect on

our skin. So once the colour starts to fade, it’s

time to pull out beauty’s big guns to face up to

those post-holiday issues.

The multi-tasking


Cleansing Oil from

Skin Laundry, £26,

removes stubborn dirt

and impurities leaving

your skin clean, healthy

and hydrated. Tea tree

oil helps fight breakouts

and blemishes.

ESPA’s Skin Rescue Balm, £28,

soothes, protects and strengthens dry or

sensitive skin. Blackcurrant seed, vine

extract and essential oils replenish while

sea fennel restores and protects.

Refreshingly lush

and lightweight,

Estée Lauder

NightWear Plus


Detox Crème,

£48, helps detox

your skin; purifying

and refinishing, and

visibly reducing


Give your skin a deep down

cleanse with Rodial Super

Acids X-treme After Party

Scrub, £45. Purifying clay

beads buff away dead skin and

unclog pores while glycolic and

salicylic acids work to deeply


The powerful La Mer

Brilliance Brightening

Mask, £200, brightens and

softens skin to reveal a more

luminous look. Tone is more

even, texture smoother and

pores are minimised.

A holistic toner and serum in one, Orveda’s

The Healing Sap, £125, improves hydration

for up to eight hours, illuminates, smoothes and

brightens, while re-balancing skin tones.

All products are available from the Beauty

department at Harvey Nichols Birmingham

or online at harveynichols.com

Exfoliate and soothe skin as you

sleep with Pixi Overnight

Glow Serum, £26. It’s

formulated with 10% glycolic

acid and arginine to reduce the

appearance of fine lines and

fade sun spots.



Leading hairdresser joins hideaway spa

A top hairdresser has joined forces with a boutique spa to bring her services

back to Sutton Coldfield after a brief absence.

Multi award-winning stylist and colour expert Emma Steven can now be

found in the salon at The Hart Spa, a luxuriously bijou spa in the grounds of

the Coppice Garden Centre in Middleton.

Emma previously ran her eponymous salon in Walmley for ten years and was

a protege of renowned colour specialist Lisa Shepherd. As a rising star in

the prestigious Lisa Shepherd team, Emma was named both Newcomer of

the Year and Midlands Hairdresser of the Year at the hair industry Oscars,

the British Hairdressing Awards. She made her mark in Sutton Coldfield as

director of the Lisa Shepherd salon before striking out on her own.

As an expert colourist, Emma has a fantastic eye for creating beautiful and

exciting colours which really complement her clients’ skin tones and styles. She is also a whizz at colour corrections,

using her skills to put right any colour mishaps clients may have as a result of previous dye disasters.

Wedding hair is another of Emma’s passions, and she has gained a reputation for her innovative, creative and

elegant wedding hair styling for brides and bridal parties around the Midlands and beyond. She loves nothing more

than transforming a bride for her big day, whether in-salon or at the bride’s home or wedding venue. Emma says:

“I’m delighted to be back in the area and am looking forward to seeing clients old and new at The Hart Spa.”

C offee for a cause

Have your morning cuppa and splurge on a slice of cake too, and all in

the knowledge that you’re contributing to a fantastic cause at the Pear Tree

Creperie’s Macmillan Coffee Morning this month.

Taking place on September 29 at the popular eatery at the Heart of the

Country Shopping Village, Swinfen, customers will be able to enjoy their

favourite brew alongside a hearty piece of homemade sponge cake, with

cakes donated by one of the Creperie’s regular diners.

The event is being held as part of Macmillan’s annual World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, where people all over the UK

host their own coffee mornings and donations on the day are made to Macmillan. Last year alone the events raised

£27.5 million, which all goes towards helping people battling cancer.

Offering that bit extra

A leading bathroom specialist is hoping to help customers boost their

|bathrooms with a special offer.

Luxury bathroom studio Bathart, based at the Mitchells Centre in Sutton

Coldfield, is offering a free designer Hugo heated towel rail with every full

bathroom installation booked in August and September.

With a range of sizes and colours available, there is sure to be something to

complement your new bathroom perfectly.

Bathart have earned a reputation for designing and creating bespoke, beautiful

spaces tailored to each customer’s individual needs. The showroom showcases

the most exclusive bathrooms and tiles, with ranges and designs to suit any

budget. For more details call 0121 439 4884 or visit www.bathart.co.uk.


We are




We are recruiting people to

distribute J’AIME to higher

value homes in Sutton

Coldfield, Lichfield and


If you are reliable and can

commit to working at the

end of each month then

we’d love to hear from you.

For more details

please call Jan Ashley

on 07388 335931.


The Pear


c r ê p e r i e

Good Morning

Summer Fruit Crêpes

Enjoy outside in the


Choose from 5 summer fruits:

Enjoy the rest of summer with

our summer special Crêpes.

Perfect for families outside

with a refreshing cool drink.

10-11.30am daily

With FREE Tea or Coffee

Sunny Noon

Fresh Berries & Fromage

Frais, Salmon & Cream

Cheese or for larger appetites

we have Smokey Bacon,

Cheese & Mushrooms.

From £5.90

Relaxed Evening

Mushroom Stroganoff with extra salad

See our specials board

or enjoy our full menu

including 3 course

evening set meals:

Set meal sample: French Onion

Soup & Bread. Followed by a

savoury Chicken Tikka Galette

with a salad. Followed by a

Lemon & Sugar Crêpe.

£12.95 per person.

Call to book on 01543 481807

or email: enquiries@peartreecreperie.co.uk

Live music with accordionist Barry Smith on Friday

29th September 7.15pm. FREE entry - Booking essential

We are hosting a Macmillan coffee morning on the

29th September with home made sponge cakes made

by one of our customers.

Find us just off the A38 at the Heart of the Country

Shopping Village, Swinfen, Lichfield WS14 9QR

Daytime opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10am-4.30pm

Evening opening hours: Friday & Saturday: 7.15pm-11pm



Strictly vintage at the Hawthorns Aldridge

An amazing day for Aldridge

was held at The Hawthorns

Care and Retirement home, next

to Aldridge Croft, on Sunday,

July 30 when more than 200

visitors and neighbours from

the village and surrounding

community came along to join

with the residents, staff and their

respective family and friends to

enjoy live music, dancing, fizz

and food at The Hawthorn’s

Strictly Vintage Day.

This was all set against the

backdrop of a fabulous display

of classic cars from Sunningdale

Classics from Little Aston in the

gardens of The Hawthorns, along with the live music

and dancing on the stunning third floor roof gardens

of the home, with its lovely views over the Croft and

the village.

The Hawthorns’ award-winning chef Martin McKee

and his team served up delicious canapes which the

guests all enjoyed with plenty of prosecco and other

refreshments. Live swing music was provided by the

Kal’s Kats band, and a Lindy Hop dance session was

led by Sing Xpress, all of which can be seen on the

home’s Facebook page.

Sunningdale Classics displayed some of their current

stock of beautifully presented and restored classic cars,

including such favourites as a Morris Minor, Fiat 500,

a Mini cabriolet and a brace of MGs, as well as some

more exotic cars such as a Jaguar, a Packard and an

AC Royal.

David Wellman of Sunningdale said: “It was a

pleasure to display the cars at this lovely home, and

in particular to speak with some of the residents who

had worked in the Midlands car industry in the past.

In fact, a few were interested to visit our showrooms

and to have their pictures taken with their favourite

cars, evoking great memories for them.”

The event also managed to raise more than £1,000

for the charity Walsall Age UK.

Strictly Vintage is just one of the many events

regularly held at The Hawthorns Aldridge as part

of its comprehensive well-being programme to keep

residents active and supported in mind,

body and soul. The dedicated well-being

co-ordinator arranges a wide variety of

stimulating and interesting social events and

activities, including cultural and sporting

pursuits, both within the home itself as

well as on days out in the home’s private

minibus. Residents’ families and friends are

also made welcome and encouraged to join


For more information on The

Hawthorns Aldridge search

‘Hawthorns Aldridge’ online or

on Facebook, or call 01922 451882.


Life in the fast lane


We catch up with our resident racing driver Martin Plowman after what has

been a busy month for the Tamworth-based Le Mans winner, collecting more

racing silverware, taking a trip down memory lane and filming with TV stars

Team UltraTek in action

The month started with the biggest race on the

British GT calendar; all 30 prestige British GT cars

crossed the channel to the legendary Belgian circuit,

Spa Francorchamps. Martin and his team mate,

Birmingham-based businessman Richard Taffinder,

were fired up and ready for a strong race weekend in

their Nissan 370Z GT4 car.

The weekend was split into two one-hour races, With

the usual practice sessions which went well for the

drivers. They were not as fortunate when it came

to qualifying however when traffic came into play

compromising their starting positions for Saturday’s


Amateur driver, Taffinder made a great start to the

day by getting off the line well, avoiding any on-track

incidents and capitalising on his opportunities to gain

three places by the end of the first lap, illustrating

just how much progress he has made under Martin’s

tuition. Minutes later saw the first safety car of the

day after a competitor hit the barrier which bunched

the field behind while the car was moved and racing

could resume. The green flag was barely back behind

the wall when contact between a

Porsche and a Ginetta brought

the safety car back out curtailing

Taffinder’s stint, preventing him

from making any further progress

but enabling him to hand the

#53 Nissan over in a strong

position for Martin to work with.

The green flag was waved just

as the pit lane window opened

and Taffinder darted into the pits

to change places with PMartin.

Thanks to a sterling pit stop by

the team, the #53 Nissan made

up another three crucial positions

in the pits and gave platinum

graded Martin an excellent

platform from which to work.

Spurred on by the smell of

success, the young Le Mans

winner quickly made his mark, marching up the

field, gaining position after position. Showing his

usual artistic style of driving, Martin was fast and

clean, and his perseverance paid off as he crossed

the line P5 in the GT4 category. More importantly,

car #53 was the highest placed pro/am car for race

one meaning the pair could make their first trip up

the podium steps at the iconic Spa Francorchamps


A winning weekend for

Plowman and Taffinder


the development his client needed

Martin and Kelvin Fletcher and was also suitably sore having

talk race tactics

forgotten just how unforgiving

sitting on a hard plastic seat with a

plastic rib protector is as opposed

to the padded race seat he is now

used to.

Following a few days downtime,

we caught up with Martin again a

little closer to home at Donington

Park Race Circuit. Martin and

his friend and former Emmerdale

actor Kelvin Fletcher are partowners

in a GT4 track car that

is used for corporate track days

with their track company, Velocity

Track Days. It is also hired out

to the film industry, and the pair

were on a movie shoot for one

of Kelvin’s clothing sponsors, 11

Martin has put in a tremendous amount of work to


help coach Richard Taffinder towards his goal of The premise of the film was Kelvin taking Geordie

racing at Le Mans and for the pair to get their first Shore star Gaz Beadle and internet celebrity Dapper

ever trophy is a significant milestone on the journey Laughs for fast passenger laps. Both have social

and one that will not be forgotten in a hurry. media following in the millions, so it’s not surprising

Almost before Martin’s suit had dried from the that the location was kept under wraps. With

previous day’s champagne-spraying on the podium, exclusive hire of the circuit, Martin worked with

Martin was on a plane to Italy to coach another of Kelvin to define the best run strategy for the car, the

his clients, a high-end International businessman pair agreed on how best to maximise the use of the

who has asked us to respect his right to remain car for the camera and as goes with all film shoots,


consumed copious amounts of coffee as the cameras

Martin has been working with this accomplished set and reset. The filming and the car ran faultlessly,

driver since the start of the year, and the latest part and the final film can be found on Martin’s twitter

of their racing programme involved taking a trip feed.

back to where Martin began his racing career, the July was also a monumental month for Martin as he

world of Karting. Martin had many happy and buried his grandmother Sheila. Sheila played a big

fruitful years in karts and was crowned CIK/FIA part in Martin’s childhood and was regularly present

Formula A Asia Pacific Champion in 2004. Martin at his races, often supporting from the refinement of

and his client travelled back to his roots visiting his hospitality. She is missed greatly by Martin and the

friends and former team at ChiesaCorse just south of whole family.


Martin developed many of his racing skills

in karting; the unforgiving nature of karts

means that it helps hone a drivers talent and

skill which made it such a reliable training

tool for Martin’s client. Martin raced in the

same team as other racing greats including

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg and a

chance to go back to his roots and meet the

same faces that helped start his successful

career was not only nostalgic but useful.

After two days’ karting, Martin had achieved


Martin was victorious at the

prestigious Spa Francorchamps circuit



Velocity is a new breed of track day company offering the chance to race real racing cars on the UK’s finest

circuits, tutored by Le Mans Winner Martin Plowman and BTCC and Emmerdale Star Kelvin Fletcher.

There’s no better way to engage with clients or reward loyal teams. Choose from one of our great packages

or let us build you a bespoke day.



www.velocitytrackdays.co.uk 0115 888 3288 info@velocitytrackdays.co.uk

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from design, for a living space that is truly unique. Coupled with our huge selection

of fabrics we have the ability to create almost any type of bespoke design.

Using traditional skills, we can also strip down your old suite or sofa and re-create

the original design with our superior re-upholstery which is highly renowned for

its finish and meticulous detail.

‘For a truly unique and individual lounge setting we welcome

you to our factory showroom to see what we can create for you.’

Unit 19, Martindale, Hawks Green, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 7XN

Contact Simon Edwards or Chris Edwards on 01543 505539

Email: sales@ralvernupholstery.co.uk - www.ralvernupholstery.co.uk

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