J'AIME December 2017

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

J’AIME

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

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7

Win!

MICHELIN-STARRED DINING

COMES TO LICHFIELD

A LUXURY STAY

AT THE HISTORIC

ST JOHNS HOUSE

‘TIS THE SEASON:

YOUR GUIDE TO ALL

THINGS CHRISTMAS

Sparkle

and shine

for the festivities

with fashion and

beauty tips


Welcome to J’AIME

As December rolls around, here at J’AIME

we can’t quite believe how quickly this year

has flown by; after all, it doesn’t seem like

five minutes ago since it was the height of

summer and we were putting the finishing

touches to the very first issue. We’d like to

take this opportunity, as the year draws to

a close, to express our heartfelt thanks to

everyone who has helped us along the way,

from our advertisers and contributors to our

behind-the-scenes team of distributors and

suppliers and, of course, our readers - we

couldn’t do this without you. We hope you’ve

enjoyed all that J’AIME has to offer, and will

continue to offer in 2018 and beyond.

This issue we’ve been getting wholeheartedly

into the Christmas spirit and we’ve got the

festive season all wrapped up, from amazing

gifts for that special someone to the best

festive decor ideas for your home and the

hottest fashion and beauty trends to ensure

you hit the party season in style.

If you’re looking for a bit of entertainment

over the festive period then check out our

guide to what’s on around the Midlands,

including a round-up of that family favourite

- the panto. There are plenty of fantastic

options so you’re sure to find something to

tickle your fancy.

Congratulations are in order for our latest

competition winner; Jacqui Thompson,

of Streethay, scooped the £150 Boutique

Eleven voucher from our October issue.

This month one lucky reader will win an

overnight stay for two in the luxurious new

suite at St Johns House in Lichfield, so get

those entries in.

From all of us here at J’AIME, we’d like to

wish you the most wonderful festive season.

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS:

MARTIN PLOWMAN,JOE SMITH,NICOLA BRERETON,

JILL HARTLEY, LISA PIDDINGTON

J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY

PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED

BY KEP LIMITED, TAMWORTH.

Check us out online at:

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

Find us on

/JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

3


CONTENTS

InsideJ’aime this month...

6 Pear Tree Creperie - A slice of France right

here in Lichfield

10 Property - Property of the month

12 Interiors - Festive tableware

16 Interiors - Decor, festive style

20 Christmas - Gifts for the home

24 Christmas - Gifts for her

26 Christmas - Gifts for him

28 Food and drink - Reviewing Sauce Supper Club

30 Food and drink - Cocktail of the month from FSK

32 Food and drink - Reviewing The Boat Inn,

Lichfield

34 Competition - Win an overnight stay at the

luxurious St Johns House, Lichfield

40 Travel - Northern Lights and natural wonders

in Iceland

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

area this month

48 What’s On - The hottest tickets around

Birmingham

52 What’s On - We check out the best pantos

for the festive season

54 Fashion - Sparkle and shine for Christmas days

and nights

56 Fashion - Christmas accessory gifts with Nero

e Bianco

58 Christmas - Get on board with Christmas

jumpers

59 Beauty - Party girl perfection from Harvey

Nichols Birmingham

60 Christmas - Advent calendars for beauty

lovers and more

62 In the news - A new luxury travel agency for

Sutton Coldfield

63 In the news - Mailbox’s new homewares

destination

64 In the news - Hairdresser up for award; and a

revolutionary beauty treatment

65 Motors - Tamworth racing driver Martin

Plowman reflects on a successful year

4


oadway 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

Refreshingly Different

We close 22nd December

and reopen 3rd January

Evolution windows & doors

Visit our Stylish Showroom

11 Belwell Lane, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AA - Tel: 0800 996 1241

Visit our fantastic website www.jmiwindows.co.uk - enquiries@jmiwindows.co.uk

Windows | Doors | Bi-Fold Doors | Garage Doors | Conservatories | Orangeries | Secondary Glazing | Window Repairs


FEATURE

Gallic charm

A LITTLE CORNER OF FRANCE CAN BE FOUND RIGHT HERE IN THE MIDLANDS

AT THE PEAR TREE CREPERIE. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE

From the traditional red and white checked

tablecloths to the quirky decor, the staff dressed in

their Breton stripes to the authentic menu - crepes,

galettes and not much else - the Pear Tree Creperie

wouldn’t look out of place in any corner of Brittany.

But Francophiles can indulge their love of some of

the country’s favourite eats much closer to home.

Situated at the Heart of the Country Shopping

Village just outside Lichfield, the Creperie is a little

slice of pure Gallic charm beloved by customers

who flock to the restaurant for a traditional taste of

France.

And after celebrating 25 years in business last year,

the Creperie prides itself on consistency; after all, not

much has changed in the past quarter of a decade -

and customers love it.

Manager Lynette Morris, who has worked at the

Creperie for some 24 years say: “We’re based on

a traditional Breton creperie so we specialise in

traditional Breton crepes and galettes.

“The galettes are made with buckwheat flour, sea

salt and water, which gives them a slightly wholemeal

look, and they’re filled with our savoury fillings, while

the sweet crepes are like an English pancake and

come with a huge range of fillings.

“Most of our fillings are very traditional, they’re

exactly what you would find in a creperie in Brittany.

And our salads are traditional Breton salads; people

are sometimes a bit wary about it being just a bowl

of carrot, but when you get it and it’s nicely dressed

with our traditional vinaigrette, it makes sense.

“So many of our customers say that it’s lovely

that in all these years, we haven’t really changed.

Restaurants come and go, they change their menus

and the way they do things, whereas we give the

customers the same experience that they’ve always

loved.

“I think that’s what brings people here; we are a little

bit different, we do what we do very well. People

always say that coming here feels like they’re back on

6


their holidays in France. We’ve got customers who

have been coming here since we opened, and are still

coming here. We’ve got customers who brought their

children along in their high chairs, and now we’ve

done their 18th and 21st birthday parties, and they’re

now bringing their own children along.”

The Pear Tree Creperie was opened back in 1991

by French lady Maithe Headlam, who had been

working in England as a teacher for many years and

was looking for a new challenge outside of teaching.

She set the Creperie up with her daughter, and

Lynette joined the team 18 months in.

With a background in social care, Lynette

took a part-time job at the creperie while her

three daughters were infants. She was soon an

indispensable part of the team and when her

youngest started school, Lynette soon found herself

taking on the management role.

“Originally we were just downstairs,” explains

Lynette. “We then took over the upstairs; we were

only a small team and we all worked really hard to

grow the business.”

After some 15 years in charge, Maithe sold the

business to current owner Sheila Lewis, who has

stayed true to the original ethos of offering a

traditional French experience.

When she took over the Creperie, Sheila decided to

get completely hands-on with all aspects, learning the

ropes in the kitchen and working front of house, as

well as the day-to-day tasks involved in running the

business itself.

“I’d never ask any of my staff to do something I

wouldn’t do myself, so it was really important to me

to learn,” says Sheila. “I spent months in the kitchen

learning how to make everything, getting the batter

right and making the crepes properly.”

During the week, Sheila can be mostly found

working behind the scenes while Lynette runs the

restaurant. But at weekends Sheila pitches in with

restaurant shifts, also covering for staff holidays

whenever she needs to.

“Lynette has been my right hand,” says Sheila.

“She’s shown me everything about the business and

she does such a lot for me and the business, more

than she ever realises. We’ve kept the Creperie pretty

much the same; I never wanted to change things and

just wanted to be in the background.”

Lynette adds: “Working with Sheila has been

fantastic; she’s let me carry on running the Creperie

the way I’ve always done. It’s a big thing for someone

to not only invest in a business, but invest in a person.

Sheila didn’t know me at all at the time and to trust

me with her business has been a huge compliment.”

Over the past few years, the Creperie have

introduced a changing selection of specials, which

allows the team to get creative in the kitchen and

come up with new flavour combinations.

“Our specials have proved really popular and we

change them every couple of months; we get in the

kitchen and have a play around with ideas to see

what works and what doesn’t. But our main menu

will never change,” says Sheila.

“People do sometimes ask for chips, or ketchup or

mayonnaise, but we’ve never done those and we

never will. We make our own vinaigrette which goes

on our salads but that’s it.”

The Creperie’s homemade vinaigrette is renowned

in these parts, and they even sell bottles to customers

wanting to take it home.

“The vinaigrette is a traditional French recipe which

was a family recipe of the original owners,” explains

Lynette. “People love it; bottles of that vinaigrette go

A FLAMBE CREPE ADDS A TOUCH

OF DRAMA TO THE MEAL

7


all over the place, people come in and buy it as gifts

for friends, and we’ve even had people take bottles

of it back to France! It’s really popular; we’ve never

changed the recipe and it’s made in the same way.”

The restaurant oozes French rustic charm, from

the vintage French signs which adorn the walls to

the decorative knick-knacks perched high up on the

exposed beams - the building is a converted barn and

itself offers a sense of country chic.

And if things couldn’t get much more, well, French,

the Creperie often has an accordionist playing

traditional music while diners relax and enjoy the

cosy atmosphere; sitting there with the twinkly,

soothing notes washing over you, you can easily

imagine being in any quaint cafe across the pond.

“Over the years we’ve got to know a lot of our

customers really well,” says Lynette. “They like

to come into a restaurant where they get a warm

welcome, it’s acknowledged that they come here a lot

and they like to see familiar faces.

“We have a couple who come all the way from

Doncaster because it’s their favourite place.”

For the festive season, the Creperie offers a

Christmassy twist on their fillings, with turkey

and wild and cultivated mushrooms steeped in

chardonnay and topped with cranberry sauce, and

pork and herbs with calvados and apple sauce, as

well as a vegetarian ricotta, mixed peppers and

courgette ribbons with mixed nuts and chutney.

Sweet crepes include stewed apples and sultanas with

cinnamon and ice cream and a fruity mincemeat

with ice cream, chantilly cream and glazed cherries.

A new special is a Christmas pudding crepe with

LYNETTE MORRIS AND

SHEILA LEWIS OUTSIDE

THE CREPERIE

brandy custard, while the cherry flambé crepe - a

boozy concoction set alight - adds a bit of theatre to

proceedings.

“We’re always very busy at Christmas time,” says

Sheila. “We’ve got people travelling from one end of

the country visiting family and stopping off here; for

many of our customers coming here is a Christmas

tradition.”

Chef Wendy Jackson is at the helm in the kitchen.

In keeping with the authentic feel of the restaurant,

all of the crepes and galettes are made by hand

using the traditional Breton method and batter

made in-house. Produce is sourced locally, with fish

and seafood from Birmingham fish market, and the

exquisite chocolate sauce which adorns many of the

sweet crepes is also made in-house from scratch.

“There’s a real art to proper crepe-making,” says

Lynette. “When you watch our chefs they make it

look easy, but it’s not, it takes real skill.”

As well as the day-to-day customers who fill up the

restaurant, the Creperie has a function room to cater

for special occasions including wedding receptions

and christenings, and also regularly hosts a book

club and a local women’s business networking group.

Such is the true French feel of the creperie that

school groups often visit for an authentic French

experience.

“People have certain occasions where they always

come to us, be it mum’s birthday or Christmas Eve;

people build their family traditions around us and

I’m really proud of that,” says Lynette.

“We pride ourselves on old-fashioned values of

service, greeting customers at the door with a

warm welcome and a friendly smile, and when

you see people really enjoying their meal and their

experience, it’s wonderful.”

Find the Pear Tree Creperie at the Heart of the

Country Shopping Village, Swinfen, or visit the

website at www.peartreecreperie.co.uk for

more information.

8


Y O U R L O C A L

I N D E P E N D E N T

S H O P P I N G

D E S T I N A T I O N

Shop independent - shop local

WITH RESTAURANTS, CAFES AND INDEPENDENT SHOPS,

THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE THIS WINTER!

Allen Brown Jewellery

One of the largest collections of

contemporary fine jewellery in

the UK. Specialists in designing

and re-making, remodelling

and refurbishing for 30 years

01543 481948

allenbrownjewellery.co.uk

Hunnypot Cottage

Artisan Breads, Deli and Crafts.

Everything is made within 30

miles of the shop by the local

food producers and crafters

themselves, with many taking

commissions.

07815 445430

hunnypotcottagedesigns.co.uk

The Lichfield Tea Company

A family run independent tea

merchant. An extensive selection of

ethically sourced teas from around

the world. Also selling locally sourced

freshly roasted coffees and honey.

Give an unusual gift this Christmas.

07777 643793

thelichfieldteacompany.co.uk

Boutique Eleven

Seeking something different to

wear this Christmas? We stock

bespoke designs and sought after

brands which offer our customers

something different

01543 480971

boutiqueeleven.co.uk

twitter.com/boutiqueeleven

facebook.com/BoutiqueElevenLichfield

Paul Martyn Furniture

A vast array of beautiful home

accessories and unique

Christmas gifts

Open 7 days a week.

01543 481592

paulmartynfurniture.co.uk

La Belle Cuisine

A family run business for more

than 34 years, they have honed

& developed their skills in the

design, making and installing

of many modern and traditional

kitchens & bedrooms.

01543 481000

labellecuisine-kitchens.co.uk

Rosie’s House of Hounds

A bespoke dog store for both

dogs and dog lovers

CHRISTMAS

OPENING WEEKEND

1ST - 3RD DECEMBER

Lots of Christmas gifts available!

Facebook /rosieshouseofhounds

Heart Galleries

An independent art gallery working

with top publishers to select the

UK’s leading artists, displaying a

selection of their originals, limited

editions and sculpture within the

gallery. An even more extensive

range on our website.

01543 480994

heartgalleries.co.uk

Anthony John Salons

Award winning independent

hair salon whose primary focus

is every clients individuality. Set

within a beautiful, luxury, spacious

barn conversion. 20% off for all

new clients.

01543 481900

anthonyjohn-salons.co.uk

enquiries@anthonyjohn-salons.co.uk

The Fireplace & Stove Co

A family run business with

over 30 years of experience in

the industry. A wide range of

fireplaces and stoves to suit

every taste and budget. Good

selection of fireside accessories.

01543 480444

thefireplaceandstove.co.uk

Restaurant

Pear Tree Creperie

Enjoy delicious galettes and crepes in an authentic French

atmosphere. Open from Tues to Sunday from 10 -4.30 with evening

meals served Friday and Saturday from 7.15pm. Live music with

accordionist Barry Smith on Friday Dec 15th from 7.15pm.

01543 481807

peartreecreperie.co.uk

La Maison Bleue

Fabulously French accessories for

the home. Timeless French Country

style. See our range of Lampe

Berger to fragrance and purify the

air for a delightful gift idea. Visit

our showroom or buy online. Free

delivery on all orders over £100

01543 48414

lamaisonbleue.co.uk

The Barn

At The Barn we pride ourselves on our varied menu from

light breakfasts, lunches, Sunday lunches to tempting coffees

and cakes. Throughout December we are extending our opening

hours to include Monday’s. Our Christmas set menu, which includes

some seasonal favourites, begins on 4th Dec until 23rd Dec

(served Monday-Saturday). All menus are available on our website

Call us on 01543 480307 to book a table.

www.thebarnatswinfen.co.uk

Restaurant

Heart of the Country Shopping Village, Swinfen, Lichfield WS14 9QR

www.heartofthecountryvillage.com - 01543 481612

Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm. Closed Monday except Paul Martyn who is open 7 days a week.

Some businesses may be open on Mondays in December so please check before travelling.


PROPERTY

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 REMARKABLE SEVEN-BEDROOM HOME SET ON A

PRIVATE ROAD WHICH PERFECTLY MARRIES PERIOD FEATURES WITH A CONTEMPORARY TWIST

Claret Wood, Streetly Wood, Sutton Coldfield: offers over £2,000,000

On the market with Fine and Country Sutton Coldfield: 0121 272 6900

THE AGENT SAYS: This grand house boasts a cosy but elegant

interior. The opulent oak panelled entrance hall, with sweeping

staircase, leads to a large formal reception room and two further

reception rooms all with access to the beautiful rear gardens. The

stone fireplace with log burner conjures images of cosy winter

evenings in the panel ceilinged family room. A detached leisure

complex with vaulted bar and games room/cinema room or gym

and heated indoor pool with changing rooms and bathroom, has

enabled the current vendors to host some wonderful parties. A

perfect chill out space for children and teenagers or for you to enjoy

the wonderful luxury of an evening or morning swim in your own

pool with amazing landscaped views.

The heart of the home is the contemporary luxury kitchen with a

wonderful fusion of elegant painted storage units and granite. Smart

dressers flank the breakfast room which leads seamlessly into the

light and airy orangery/day room with bi-fold doors opening onto

the gardens and a gas log burner for chillier evenings.

There are seven double bedrooms over two floors. The master

suite enjoys a personal dressing room and large en-suite bathroom.

There is also a wonderful double bedroom with a personal balcony

to enjoy breakfast al fresco overlooking the gardens – what a perfect

guest room this would make!

We defy anybody to not be impressed by the location and beautiful

landscaped grounds of this wonderful family home. Luscious

lawns wrap around the terraces with summer houses hidden in the

grounds framed by a delightful woodland setting. This truly is a

place to escape and enjoy the luxury lifestyle that living in a property

like this affords.

W E L O V E : THE LEISURE FACILITIES -

PARTICULARLY THE SWIMMING POOL!

10


INTERIORS

dressed

to impress

QUARTZ DINNER PLATE, £15, AND

BOWL, £12; BROADWAY 24-PIECE

CUTLERY SET, £120; COPPER CANDLE

HOLDERS, £25, HURRICANE, £30, AND

DECORATIVE TREES, FROM £12,

ALL BY AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

CHRISTMAS is a time to be surrounded by loved ones

and feast with family and friends; to enjoy each other’s

company, and what better place than across the dinner

table on Christmas Day? Hosting and entertaining is

a huge part of the festive season, from Christmas Eve

drinks with friends to the big day’s showcase dinner

and the New Year’s Eve party - it’s all about creating a

welcoming atmosphere, oozing with style.

When it comes to putting together a Christmas table

to be proud of, gleaming metallic accents with a warm

glimmer will be taking over your home, all exuding

decadence and luxury for that extra special touch. This

will come as no surprise since hints of rose, copper

and gold have made their way into our everyday home

decor throughout 2017, so for Christmas metallics will

be bigger and better than ever. The opulent grandeur

is perfect for creating a sophisticated celebration and

making your festive table sparkle.

£390

SET OF FOUR STAG NAPKIN

WREATHS, MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

£28

£19.50

SET OF SIX METALLIC FLUTES AND

BUCKET, NEXT. WWW.NEXT.CO.UK

CUTIPOL 24-PIECE GOA CUTLERY SET,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

12


£35

£50

SET OF THREE FEATHER

CHEESE KNIVES, LAURA ASHLEY.

WWW.LAURAASHLEY.COM

JOANNA BUCHANAN STAR NAPKIN

RINGS, SET OF TWO, FROM AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

SET OF FOUR GOLD FOIL WINE

GLASSES, OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

£12.50

ORNATE BEADED PLACEMAT,

MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

£32

ROYAL PEAR; 24-PIECE

STAINLESS STEEL CUTLERY SET,

£239, ARTHUR PRICE.

WWW.ARTHURPRICE.COM


NOUVEAU DINNERWARE, FROM £6;

GLASSWARE, FROM £8; GOLD TREE

CRACKERS, £20 FOR SIX, ALL MARKS

AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

MANHATTAN MIRROR TRAY, £39.50,

AND SELECTION OF GLASSWARE,

FROM £8, ALL MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

GOLD METAL BANDED MEDIUM

LANTERN, £15, AND SMALL LANTERN,

£6; NOUVEAU DINNERWARE, FROM £6,

ALL MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

HOTEL COLLECTION CLAIRMONT

DINNERWARE, FROM £10, AND SET

OF FOUR CHAMPAGNE SAUCERS, £24,

HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK


SAVE UP TO 70%

IN THE ARTHUR PRICE

PRE-CHRISTMAS SALE

Plus a further

10% off

Present this advert

& join our new

Loyalty Scheme

in store.

EXTRA SALE

WEEKEND

OPENING ON

SUN 3 RD DEC

Proud

supporters of

2 ND -16 TH DECEMBER

Carving Set

& Board

Was £49.95

SALE £12.95

Wooden

Pepper Mill

Was £29.50

SALE £5.95

Pair of

Cheese Knives

Was £25.00

SALE £4.95

Dubarry Box set

58 piece

Was £280.00

SALE £99.00

Valentina Cake /

Pastry Forks

Was £37.50

SALE £7.50

Arthur Price Factory Shop

Britannia Way, Lichfield,

WS14 9UY

Opening hours:

Mon to Sat 9am - 5pm

Sun 3 rd Dec only

10am - 4pm

WHILE STOCKS LAST…

AT THE UK’S LARGEST CUTLERY,

TABLEWARE & GIFT STORE

01543 267324

factory.shop@arthurprice.com

www.arthurprice.com

A5192

A5127

Lichfield

City Centre

A51

Stafford

A5192 Cappers Lane

FREE

PARKING

A5127

A38 Derby

& North

Arthur

Price

Britannia Way

CO-OP

Ryknield Street

A38 Birmingham & South

Europa Way

REF: ARPCR2017-AD-J’AIME


I N T E R I O R S

Decor,

festive style!

AS soon as December 1 rolls around, for many of us

it’s time to turn our attentions to giving our homes a

festive makeover. From the wreath on the front door to

garlands around the mantelpiece - and not forgetting

the Christmas centrepiece that is the tree - it’s the time

of year to inject some serious warmth, welcoming

vibes and a sense of personality into our spaces.

Whether your decorating style is quirky and fun - yes,

the gold pineapples, flamingos and cactuses so beloved

throughout summer are back with a festive twist - full

of opulent glitz and glam or entirely more rustic and

traditional, there’s so much fun to be had in creating

the perfect Christmas scheme.

After years in the Christmas decor wilderness, tinsel is

back - well, according to buyers at John Lewis anyway.

But forget the retro stuff shoved out of sight in your

attic with the rest of those long-forgotten decorations;

this year’s tinsel is entirely more glamorous, looking

particularly fabulous in matte metallics.

Nothing screams Christmas more than some statement

lights. Whether you choose colourful, craft-inspired

designs made from materials like felt and wood, or

the more exquisite, delicate-to-touch string designs,

usually in copper, your lights should definitely take

centre stage this season. And when it comes to lights,

it’s definitely a case of more is more. As well as the

tree think window displays, fire surrounds and even

outdoors - if in doubt, add fairy lights!

POMPOM BAUBLE, £6, GOLD PETAL

BAUBLE, £8, RAINBOW BAUBLE, £8,

ELEPHANT BAUBLE, £8, MAHARAJA

BAUBLE, £10, ALL JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

MAGICAL VILLAGE

SNOWGLOBE, JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

£20 £75

£24

A BY AMARA GOLD LEAF GARLAND,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

A BY AMARA GLITTER LEAF GARLAND,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

16


BLACKBROOK INTERIORS

We are a family run business home to an impressive range of furniture,

interior furnishings, mirrors, accessories, antique and modern lighting and

Chandeliers. We have huge courtyards full of interesting bronze statuary,

fountains, stoneware and garden items.

www.blackbrook-interiors.co.uk

Open: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm. Sat: 9.30am - 5pm. Sun: 10am - 4pm

Tel: 01543 481010 - Email: info@blackbrook-interiors.co.uk

London Rd, Lichfield WS14 0PS

blackbrook_interiors Blackbrook Interiors @BlackbrookWS14


£12.50

£6

NOBLE GEMS FLAMINGO

DECORATION, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

POLAR BEAR DOME,

WHITE STUFF.

WWW.WHITESTUFF.COM

BRONZE ACORN TRIO,

JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

BEADED SNOWFLAKE,

MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

£15

GOLD GLITTER PALM

TREE, HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

£20

£8.50

£5

FLAMINGO SNOWGLOBE,

PAPERCHASE.

WWW.PAPERCHASE.CO.UK

WOODEN STAR ADVENT

CALENDAR, HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

LINEA FUR STOCKING,

HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

BLACK AND GOLD HEXAGON

BAUBLE, HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

£10

£8

£45

£30

RETRO GREEN CAR,

HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

7.5FT LES DEUX ALPES TREE, £140,

BAUBLES FROM £6, GOLD STARBURST

TREE TOPPER, £16, FEATHER DECORA-

TIONS, £12 EACH, AND BIBA LANTERN,

£95, ALL HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

JOANNA BUCHANAN PINK PEARL

BALL TREE DECORATION, £35,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM


A BY AMARA BLACK AND GOLD

VELVET EMBROIDERED STOCKING,

£55, AND JOANNA BUCHANAN

PURPLE DRAGONFLY AND GREEN

TASSEL STOCKINGS, £70 EACH,

FROM AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

A BY AMARA SILVER SEQUIN

CUSHION, £50, AND BAUBLES

FROM A SELECTION AT AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

J’AIME

LO VES

BRONZE FEATHER DROPLET, £5,

TARTAN BAUBLE, £6, WREATH, £5,

ACORN TRIO, £5, PHEASANT CLIP,

£6, AND MUSHROOM, £4,

ALL JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM


G I F T G U I D E

Home is where the heart is

IF INTERIOR STYLE IS HIGH ON THEIR LIST, THEN TREAT THEM TO SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT

FABULOUS FOR THEIR HOME THIS CHRISTMAS. FROM FANCY GLASSWARE AND FUN BARWARE TO

KITCHEN GADGETS, HOME SCENTS AND EVEN LITTLE WORKS OF ART, WE BRING YOU OUR PICK OF

THE BUNCH THAT THEY’RE SURE TO LOVE

TOM DIXON BREW CAFETIERE

GIFTSET, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£96

£300

JAN CONSTANTINE GREY

JUMPING DEER CUSHION, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£24

£26

MAX BENJAMIN ENCHANTED

PATHS DIFFUSER, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

PINEAPPLE COCKTAIL CUP,

OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

TOM DIXON LONDON GIFT SET,

EXCLUSIVE TO SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

JUNIPA MIKKI TEAPOT,

HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

JONATHAN ADLER GIN

ROCKET DECANTER, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£34

£120

£168

20


oadway 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

F I R E P L A C E S

30 YEARS

OF KEEPING YOU WARM

NO-ONE EVER REGRETTED

BUYING QUALITY

2-4 Little Aston Lane,

Sutton Coldfield, B74 3UF

Telephone: 0121 353 7205

45-47 Station Road,

Knowle, Solihull, B93 0HN

Telephone: 01564 773 002

www.flames-fireplaces.co.uk


£50

BIBA MARBLE BAR SET, HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

CANDLE HOLDER, OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

£45

£38

BELLA FREUD FAIRYTALE OF

NEW YORK CANDLE, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£89

£POA

LEATHER FOOTSTOOL,

BLACKBROOK INTERIORS.

WWW.BLACKBROOK-INTERIORS.CO.UK

UNDER THE MOON BY PAUL SMITH,

AVAILABLE FROM EDEN GALLERY,

CURBOROUGH.

WWW.EDEN-GALLERY.COM

£549

KITCHENAID ARTISAN STAND

MIXER, HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

CORNISH HARBOR BY ARTIST IVAN TAYLOR.

ONE OF A SELECTION OF THE ARTIST’S ORIGINAL

PAINTINGS, PRICED £300 TO £550, CURRENTLY

AT DRIFFOLD GALLERY, SUTTON COLDFIELD.

WWW.DRIFFOLDGALLERY.COM

22


Eden Gallery

fine art & framing

ART FOR ALL

Welcome to Eden Gallery. We are an independent local business

with a wealth of experience gained over 30 years in art and

framing. We pride ourselves on our knowledge, skill and

attention to detail in all aspects of fine art and bespoke framing.

ARTISTS

We are proud to feature some of the UK’s best selling artists.

They include Sam Toft, JJ Adams, Kealey Farmer, Debbie

Boon, Aaminah Snowdon, Rozanne Bell, Allan Morgan, Dale

Bowen, Nick Potter and many more

tatlowcarpets

& flooring

Quality flooring at affordable prices

Abingdon, Adam’s, Associated Weavers, Axminster, Brintons, Brockways,

Cormar, Crucial Trading, Penthouse, Ulsters, Karndean & Project Floors

Free estimates ✔ Free advice ✔ Free quotations ✔

Furniture moved ✔ Our own regular fitters ✔

Dappled Light (Ltd Edition Canvas on Board) - Debbie Boon

FRAMING SERVICES

Backed by our many years of experience in fine art and

framing, we provide a comprehensive bespoke framing

service, advising on the appropriate framing solution for

your requirements. Why not give us a call today?

FINE ART GALLERY

Are you looking to buy fine art originals? Look no

further, as we stock originals from many best selling

artists. You will also find many framed limited editions

on display in our gallery.

The new range of Liberty carpets by

Alternative Flooring now in stock

www.alternativeflooring.com

Please see our website for further details www.tatlowcarpets.co.uk

Tel: 01543 264766

Open to the public. Mon-Fri: 9.00am - 5.00pm. Sat: 10.00am - 4.00pm

Unit 4, Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 9TZ

Purple Pathway (Original Acrylic) – Allan Morgan

Eden Gallery, The Hexagon Centre, Curborough

Countryside Centre, Watery Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8ES

Telephone: 01543 268393

www.edenartandframing.co.uk

Opening hours:

Tues - Sat: 10.00am - 5.00pm. Sun: 10.00am - 4.00pm


G I F T G U I D E

Spoil her rotten

SO WHAT WOULD THE LADY IN YOUR LIFE LOVE TO FIND UNDERNEATH THE TREE ON CHRISTMAS

MORNING? WE’VE PICKED OUT SOME FABULOUS CHOICES, FROM EXTRAVAGANT GESTURES TO

LITTLE STOCKING FILLERS, WHICH ARE SURE TO PUT A SMILE ON HER FACE

£115

£1,990

M&S COLLECTION SOCKS,

MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN HEROINE 35

LEATHER TOTE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£15

£39

EVIE GLOVES, HOBBS.

WWW.HOBBS.COM

ORLA KIELY POPPY MESH

STRAP WATCH, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

MADISON COSMETICS

BAG, HOBBS.

WWW.HOBBS.COM

£96

£22

£125

HARVEY NICHOLS THE

SWEET LIFE HAMPER,

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

ELEMIS WELLBEING DUO,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

24


£59.99

£55

£42.50

FUJIFILM INSTAX MINI 9

INSTANT CAMERA, JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

£140

NEOM WELLBEING

GIFT SET, JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

THE KOOPLES VELVET

SCARF, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

UNICORN TEARS GIN LIQUEUR,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

CHARLOTTE SIMONE POPSICLE

FUR SCARF, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£8.95

MONICA VINADER BRACELET,

EXCLUSIVE TO SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£300

LAKRIDS PASSION

CHOCOLATE COATED

LIQUORICE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£125

£82

£9.95

TOM FORD VELVET ORCHID

EAU DE PARFUM GIFT SET,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS

MUG, WHITE STUFF.

WWW.WHITESTUFF.COM

25


G I F T G U I D E

Gifts for the guys

IS HE A TECH NUT, ALWAYS COVETING THE LATEST GADGETS, OR DOES HE SEE HIMSELF AS A

SERIOUSLY STYLISH GENT, WITH AN EYE FOR THE TRENDS AND A BATHROOM CABINET BETTER

STOCKED THAN YOURS? PERHAPS HE FANCIES HIMSELF AS TOM CRUISE IN COCKTAIL, OR MAYBE

HE JUST NEEDS TIME TO RELAX AND UNWIND. WHATEVER HIS STYLE, OUR GIFT GUIDE IS SURE

TO HIT THE SPOT FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMETHING

£8.95

LAKRIDS PASSION

CHOCOLATE COATED

LIQUORICE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

FROM

£410

£75

ROYAL SELANGOR

HEXAGON HIP FLASK,

AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£79

ISSEY MIYAKE WATCHES,

ALLEN BROWN JEWELLERY.

WWW.ALLENBROWNJEWELLERY.CO.UK

MONROE KIT BAG,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£349.99

ROLLING STONE X MASTER

& DYNAMIC HEADPHONES,

EXCLUSIVE TO SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£55

RJR JOHN ROCHA PLAID

DRESSING GOWN, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

RUARK AUDIO MR1 MK2

BLUETOOTH SPEAKER, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

NATIVE UNION MARBLE

IPHONE DOCK, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£330

£110

26


£450

£985

GIVENCHY STAR INTARSIA

JUMPER, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

CZECH & SPEAKE MANICURE

SET, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£40

£45

£25

BARBOUR TARTAN THERMAL

FLASK, HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

THE CRAZY SINGH CRAZY

GIN, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM £290

HOWICK FAUX FUR LINED

TRAPPER HAT, HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

CITY CUFFLINKS LONDON

CUFFLINKS, EXCLUSIVE TO

SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£45

NOT ANOTHER BILL SAY IT

WITH GIN SET, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

ESSENZE BY ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA

EDP 75ML, HOUSE OF FRASER.

WWW.HOUSEOFFRASER.CO.UK

£105

27


F O O D & D R I N K

Seeing stars

MICHELIN-STARRED CHEFS ARE NO STRANGER TO LICHFIELD, THANKS TO SAUCE SUPPER CLUB’S

INNOVATIVE FINE DINING CONCEPT. AMY NORBURY WENT ALONG TO DISCOVER MORE

When it comes to great eats, Lichfield is certainly

not short of a good restaurant or two. Fantastic

independents with the mantra of fresh, local and

seasonal vye with cuisine from all around the world,

and the bustling nature of Bird Street at the weekend

shows that there’s no shortage of diners looking for

something to whet their appetites. But sometimes you

just want something, well, more. Something truly out

of the ordinary, something which take your tastebuds to

dizzying new heights.

You may think that Lichfield is just not the place for

such exceptional fayre. But the city’s truly fine dining

credentials have received a huge boost, thanks to the

one Lichfield couple’s passion for all things foodie.

Sauce Supper Club is the brainchild of Beth and Jon

Toovey. The duo already run a business supplying

bespoke fine food ingredients to Michelin-starred and

fine dining establishments across the country, work

which brings them face to face with the best chefs and

the most exceptional food in the industry. So, wanting to

bring this experience home with them to the Midlands,

Beth and Jon set on the idea of a supper club, a way to

bring together discerning diners without the need to

travel too far from home.

To date, chefs including Birmingham Michelin star

winners Luke Tipping of Simpsons, Brad

Carter of Carters of Moseley, Rob Palmer

of Peel’s at Hampton Manor and Richard

Turner of Turners at 69 have all catered

Sauce Supper Club events at venues

including St John’s House and The Wine

House in Lichfield’s historic city centre,

as well as Moor Hall Hotel in Sutton

Coldfield and The Lace Market Hotel in

Nottingham.

A showcase event, billed as ‘the ultimate

Michelin experience’, brought together six

- count them, six - Michelin starred chefs

for a six-course extravaganza at Alrewas

Hayes, with none other than Tom Kerridge

leading the charge.

We were lucky enough to be invited along

to experience the Sauce Supper Club for ourselves

when Matt Cheal, an Andreas Antona protege and

former head chef at Simpsons who now runs his

eponymous fine dining restaurant in Henley-in-Arden,

brought his creative, seasonal cuisine to The Wine

House on a chilly, Autumnal Monday evening.

Like previous events, the evening was a sell-out, with

many diners returning for their second or more Sauce

Supper Club

night. Arriving

at The Wine

House - itself a

sophisticated,

contemporary

restaurant set in

a glorious listed

building in the

heart of Lichfield

- we were greeted

by Beth herself

and invited to

relax with an

aperitif in the bar.

The Sauce

Supper Club

28


format creates a sense of conviviality - like-minded

foodies brought together by their love of exceptional

cuisine to enjoy the very best there is to offer. As such,

large tables are shared; our party of four was joined by

another couple, a pair of Supper Club stalwarts who

had been to almost every event and didn’t hesitate to

regale us newbies with tales of previous dining delights.

We’d already ordered drinks at the bar, but each Sauce

Supper Club event offers a specially selected list of the

most exquisite wines if you really want to make the

most of the occasion.

To start the evening we were presented with a selection

of chef’s snacks; delicious morsels which included,

among other things, a shot of pumpkin and passion

fruit soup, as well as freshly baked bread with the most

heavenly bacon butter. There’s always a danger of

filling up on bread, especially when five further courses

loom in front of you, but this was just too good to resist.

It was perhaps, then, a good job that the first course

was a wonderfully light affair; a green tomato, artichoke

and Windrush goats’ cheese tart, dressed with balsamic

and borage which was introduced with a flourish by

our informative waiter. Now this was almost too pretty

to eat, with its vibrant purple flower crowning the most

delicate tart. The crisp pastry yielded to reveal a lighterthan-air

whipped goats’ cheese, with the slightly sweet,

acidic tang from the tomato and artichoke cutting

through the rich creaminess of the cheese beautifully.

Presented in dramatic black flying saucer-esque bowl,

the next dish had a more comforting air about it. A

duck egg yolk, which had been breadcrumbed and

deep-fried sat proudly atop a potato espuma - sort of a

cross between a foam and a mash - in which was hidden

delicious morsels of smoked haddock and avruga

caviar. As you dug into the egg, the rich orange yolk

oozed invitingly over the potato, occasionally revealing

the salty treasure of haddock and avruga to create a

tantalising mouthful.

Moving onto the main event, we were treated to a

real autumnal celebration with Barbary duck breast

accompanied by a duck ‘bon-bon’, toasted pearl barley

and fermented blackberries. The duck was served

perfectly pink, a beautifully tender, melt-in-the-mouth

affair, while the crisp bon-bon showed an altogether

richer side to the meat. The pearl barley was a bit of a

revelation, a humble ingredient elevated to something

much more majestic in the context of a superb dish.

With both wine and conversation flowing and more

diners joining the fray as tables began to fill up around

the restaurant, the sense of occasion really began to

set in. And that’s what Sauce Supper Club is about;

elevating dining out to something worth talking about.

We had just a few moments to digest before the arrival

of the cheese course - a posh take on cheese on toast,

with vintage Lincolnshire Poacher on a soft brioche

with pickled walnuts adding a dash of sharpness.

The final course was the one my sweet-toothed dining

companions we waiting for; a caramelised pecan and

milk chocolate tart with salted goats’ milk ice cream.

Again it was beautifully presented, scattered with a

shimmer of glitter which added a playful touch. The

tart was a chocoholic’s dream, although not so rich that

we couldn’t polish it off, while the ice cream wasn’t too

sweet and added a nice sense of balance.

Sauce Supper Club is somewhat of a game-changer

for the local foodie scene, and only looks to go from

strength to strength with the calibre of exciting,

innovative chefs being brought to town. So if you want

Michelin-starred food right here in Lichfield, it’s time to

join the club.

29


F O O D & D R I N K

Cocktail of the month

JOE SMITH, BARMAN AT FSK MERE GREEN, REVEALS THE SECRET BEHIND THE RESTAURANT AND

PROSECCO BAR’S SIGNATURE FRUITY COCKTAIL AND REVEALS THAT THE ACCOMPANYING PROSECCO

SHOT SHOULD ACTUALLY BE SIPPED ALONGSIDE THE COCKTAIL AND NOT DOWNED SEPARATELY

Porn Star

Martini

35ml vanilla vodka

25ml Passoa passion fruit liqueur

25ml passion fruit purée

25ml vanilla sugar syrup

35ml passion fruit sugar syrup

10ml pineapple juice

5ml lemon purée

Half of fresh passion fruit to garnish

Shot glass of prosecco

First fill a martini glass with crushed ice to chill and place to

one side. Next put all the ingredients except the vodka and

prosecco in a shaker and stir, adding the passion fruit puree

and pineapple juice last

Pour in the vodka and stir. Add the ice from the martini glass

and shake.

Strain all the liquid from the strainer carefully into the martini

glass and then garnish with the passion fruit.

Serve with the shot glass of prosecco on the side.

30


Christmas Parties...

Book your Christmas Party with Mere Green’s

smartest venue and enjoy sumptuous food,

fantastic ambience and live acoustic music twice a

week.

Whether you are employees from a local business

or a group of friends looking to celebrate the

festive season with a night out we can cater for

you.

Choose between dinner in our stylish restaurant

which caters for up to 46 covers or enquire about

exclusive use of our prosecco and cocktail bar

which can house up to 120.

Or why not enjoy both with a juicy steak from our

a’ la carte menu and then party the night away

whilst enjoying prosecco, selected beers and our

signature handmade cocktails in the bar.

If you prefer to celebrate during the day why not try

our afternoon tea featuring fine finger sandwiches,

cakes, scones and macaroons all made fresh daily

by our skilled pastry chef.

And look out for our pre-fixed lunch menu coming

soon offering traditional favourites with:

One course £9.95

Two courses £11.95

Three courses £13.95

For bookings please call 0121 323 2565

1-5 BELWELL LN, MERE GREEN, SUTTON COLDFIELD B74 4AB • 0121 323 2565

OPEN: MON-SAT: 12PM-12AM • SUN: 12PM-8PM

FSKMereGreen

@FSKMereGreen


F O O D & D R I N K

Created with care and f lair

WITH INNOVATIVE FOOD AND A STYLISH SETTING, THE BOAT INN IN LICHFIELD IS TURNING INTO A SERIOUS

CONTENDER WHEN IT COMES TO FINE DINING IN THE MIDLANDS, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS

LIAM DILLON

There’s something rather exciting going on in the

Lichfield dining scene at the moment. Discerning

diners are demanding that little bit more from their

eating out experiences and restaurants are slowly but

surely stepping up to the plate.

The Boat Inn, on the outskirts of Lichfield is one such

restaurant. After a change of ownership earlier this

year, there have been changes afoot. And all for be

positive.

Chef patron is local boy Liam Dillon, who has

returned to his home city after a decade working at

top restaurants around the world. Liam’s pedigree is

impeccable; he cut his teeth under Marcus Wareing

at The Berkeley in London before posts at Quay

in Sydney, Eleven Madison Park in New York and

L’Epuisette in Marseille. A stint at Copenhagen’s

famous two Michelin-starred Noma, which is

a three-time winner of Best Restaurant in the

World is another highlight on the chef ’s CV,

while closer to home Liam counts La Becasse

in Ludlow and Tom Sellers’ Michelin starred

restaurant Story on London’s Southbank. After

helping to open Tom’s second venture, The

Lickfold Inn in West Sussex, as sous chef, Liam

decided it was time to strike out on his own.

So expectations were high for something

truly special from a chef who clearly knows

his stuff. And - spoiler alert! - we were certainly not

disappointed.

We were invited to sample The Boat’s exciting menu

just a day after major refurbishments were completed.

And what a transformation it’s been. The somewhat

dated decor has been replaced by it’s been. The

somewhat dated decor has been replaced with stylish

and comfortable furniture in modern palette of greys

and quirky touches like the deer antler chandeliers; old

carpets have made way for wooden floorboards and

the kitchen itself - visible from the dining room - has

had its own makeover.

We were greeted by Corin, who runs the front of

house operation, and shown to the new bar area,

which is furnished with comfy wingback chairs and

a Chesterfield sofa, perfect for relaxing with a pre or

post-meal drink.

The well-rounded menu makes the most of seasonal

produce, using the very best of what’s available from

local suppliers; we perused the options while enjoying a

drink in the bar before being shown to our table in the

main dining area.

To whet our appetites for things to come, we were

presented with a complimentary chef ’s snack - the

enticingly named ‘Pig’s head with burnt apple’. This

mouthwatering morsel of braised meat in a crispy

coating is a nod to Liam’s nana, who taught the young

chef to make the most of his ingredients and not to

waste anything. Served in on a pig’s skull to emphasise

the point, it was a delicious, unexpected treat.

Fresh bread served with salty chicken butter was also a

thing to savour.

32

FRONT ROOM


Our starters, then had quite a precedent to live up

to. And boy did they. Fresh Dorset crab with charred

leeks, brown crab emulsion and heritage tomatoes was

a beautifully light and delicately flavoured dish, the

sweet white crab meat had been treated with care to

create a dish which made the most of its star billing.

My dining companion’s roasted and poached

beetroots, goats’ cheese, raspberry and garden herb

salad was, she proclaimed, simply stunning. The goats’

cheese was smooth and airy, balancing nicely with the

earthiness of the beetroot and leaves.

For the main event I was tempted by the slow cooked

pork belly and crackling with braised cheek, onion,

roasted apple and mash, as well as the Cornish brill

with pumpkin, samphire, puy lentils and a shellfish

sauce. But it was the locally shot game options which

really caught my eye. In the end I plumped for the

Sussex wild duck, served with fig, black cabbage,

celeriac remoulade, game chips and bread sauce.

And what a feast it was. Now wild duck - for the

uninitiated - is quite unlike its farmed counterpart,

with a much more intense flavour. It’s a lot less fatty

too, so is best served on the rare side, as this was, to

make the most of that gamey punch. The meat is

deeply rich and full of flavour so you need something

quite sharp or fruity as a natural match to really

DINING ROOM cut through that richness. Here, the figs and a

scattering of blackberries worked perfectly to

lend a sweet balance to the powerful meatiness

of the duck, while the celeriac remoulade

and black cabbage were lovely seasonal

accompaniments.

My dining companion was equally impressed

with her fillet of sea bass, served with

cauliflower stem, mussel, sea herbs and a white

wine and seafood sauce. It smelled divine from

across the table and she assured me that it was

a triumph, with gloriously crispy skin adorning

fish which had been cooked to perfection.

The dishes themselves are perfectly

proportioned, meaning we both had just enough

room to indulge in a sweet treat to end the meal.

As a good custard tart is one of my personal

favourites, I had to go for the The Boat’s

version, with apple sorbet and ginger sponge. And

what a little slice of heaven it proved to be. Rich,

luxuriously creamy and peppered with nutmeg in a

fine pastry case, it was a real delight. The other half

of the pud - the ginger sponge - was lovely and light,

with a nice warmth from the spicy ginger, while the

delicious apple sorbet added a sweetly sharp contrast

which balanced the dish just right.

My dining companion’s almond sponge with pear

chutney and almond ice cream hit all the right notes

too; every last morsel of both desserts was polished off.

We were finishing off with coffee when the main

man himself popped out of the kitchen for a chat

before getting ready for what was set to be a very busy

evening service. It’s always nice to put a face to the

name - and Liam Dillon is a name you’re sure to be

hearing a lot of.

Liam’s aim at The Boat is to create a go-to venue for

fine dining in the Midlands, something of a foodie

destination. And he’s already well on the way to

achieving his goal. The Boat is a place which takes

eating out to the next level, with exceptional food

accompanied by exemplary service.

Lichfield’s very own first Michelin star? Watch this space.

33


CO M P E T I T I O N

A stylish place to stay

BOUTIQUE LICHFIELD BED AND BREAKFAST ST JOHNS HOUSE OFFERS A STYLISH STAY IN

THE HEART OF THE CITY. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE - AND YOU COULD WIN AN

OVERNIGHT STAY IN THE BRAND NEW NEW SUITE

From the welcoming aromas emanating from the

kitchen which greets guests as they make their way

downstairs each morning to the cosy robes and

slippers, luxurious bath products and even homemade

cookies, there’s something rather out of the ordinary

about a stay at St Johns House.

Nestled in the heart of Lichfield’s historic centre,

St Johns House is a beautiful 17th century Regency

house which has been lovingly restored to former glory

by local couple Dan and Elly Ralley over the past

five years to create a stylish and welcoming bed and

breakfast.

The latest phase of the transformation was completed

this summer with the opening of three new bedrooms

in the house - including the stunning and spacious St

Johns Suite.

Dan says: “When we bought the house, the one issue

was that we, as a family, would have to live on the

third floor of the main house. It was always the plan

to establish the business and then apply for planning

permission for accommodation at the bottom of the

garden for ourselves, which was granted and then work

started in July last year.”

With their new home in the grounds of St Johns House

completed, attention turned to Dan and Elly’s former

family living area in the main house, and work started

on renovating the third floor into guest bedrooms in

May.

“We wanted to continue the style of blending the

old and the new, and with the one room we had the

opportunity to create a more substantial suite with a

large changing area and bathroom,” says Dan.

The newly-created St Johns suite, located on the third

floor, is the very best room in the house. The wonderful

space is separated into two; the spacious bedroom

with a 7ft bed which looks out onto the gardens is

complimented by a bathroom and changing area that

is the same size as the bedroom.

The decor is a stylish mix of antique finds and

contemporary touches, including marble dressing

tables and oversized mirrors as well as a vintage copper

bath and large walk-in shower. The changing area

also has a sitting area where you can enjoy a glass of

champagne and relax. It is the perfect suite for bridesto-be

to prepare for their big day, as well as a romantic

retreat for any special occasion.

“The rooms have been very well received, particularly

the suite,” says Dan. “Elly and I designed them all

ourselves with the assistance of local tradesmen

including RS Design and Build, Liam’s Electrical

and Aqua Services, all based in Lichfield and Bartonunder-Needwood.”

The St Johns suite is one of 12 individually designed

rooms at St Johns House; eight are located in the

main house and a further four in the stables across the

courtyard from the main house.

34


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The Pavilion Room hosts private parties and functions

year-round, and St Johns House is also a popular

venue for wedding receptions, with brides and grooms

enjoying exclusive use of the whole venue for their

special day.

St Johns House has also built up a fantastic reputation

for the outside catering service that they offer both in

the corporate world and domestically from 10 to 200

guests, their most recent event being an extravagant

tipi wedding for 150 guests in the heart of Cannock

Chase. The complete service is available in your home,

office or chosen venue, inclusive of all equipment and

staff requirements.

Both Dan and Elly have a long pedigree in the

hospitality business; Dan started off as a grill chef in

the old Crown Pub in Four Oaks before deciding his

heart lay in front-of-house operations, while Elly is also

a self-trained chef.

“I realised from a young age that I wanted to be in the

hospitality industry,” explains Dan. “I did a degree

in hospitality at Nottingham Trent University, then

started my journey working in restaurants around the

world, mainly in Australia.”

At the age of 22 and with the help of his family, Dan

opened up a fine dining restaurant and small hotel

in Nottingham, which he ran for around six years,

gaining a Michelin star after three years under his

ownership - a career highlight.

After meeting Elly, who had been running a kitchen

at a Conholt Park shooting estate in Hungerford

alongside working as a as a private chef around the

world, the couple we looking for a venture to take on

together. Their first project was a successful brasserie

in central London, which was sold when Elly fell

pregnant with their first child and the couple decided

to return to the Midlands.

Dan also ran the popular Mint restaurant in Little

Aston and worked as a consultant for the Hilton

Group, before Elly suggested the couple look at

opening a bed and breakfast which offered something

a little different.

For Dan and Elly, finding St Johns House was fate.

“We were travelling to London and I picked up a local

paper and saw St Johns House in the property pages,”

explains Dan. “We went to see it the next day and fell

in love with it, and the rest is history.

“Hospitality, whether a Michelin-starred restaurant or

a B and B like us, needs to be a way of life; it requires

your heart and soul. Our customers love the fact that

St Johns House is Elly, myself and our two children

Oscar and Dulcie; we are a refreshing alternative to a

world dominated by chain restaurants and hotels.

“The main crux of our team have been with us from

the start, which speaks volumes. Guests love that

personal touch and we look forward to continuing our

journey at St Johns House.”

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

36


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Competition

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH ST JOHNS HOUSE TO OFFER READERS THE

CHANCE TO WIN AN OVERNIGHT STAY IN THE LUXURIOUS ST JOHNS SUITE.

OUR LUCKY WINNER AND A GUEST WILL BE TREATED TO A NIGHT IN THIS TRULY

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TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING, SIMPLY ANSWER THE FOLLOWING

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WHO RUNS ST JOHNS HOUSE?

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

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

January 3. Prize is valid for six months from date of notification, Sunday to Thursday only, excluding

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38


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T R AV E L

The land of fire and ice

NICOLA BRERETON, OF RB COLLECTION IN LICHFIELD, DISCOVERS A WORLD

OF WONDER ON AN ACTION-PACKED WHISTLESTOP TOUR OF ICELAND

THE STUNNING

GODAFOSS WATERFALL

Iceland; having sold it for many years my

preconceived idea was purely a Reykjavik city break,

with a trip to the Blue Lagoon and an opportunity

to see the Northern Lights. I imagined it to be quite

barren with not much to do or see; how wrong could

I be?

As soon as our plane descended into Keflavik airport

the view that unfolded was simply stunning. Our

first taste of this amazing island had begun and it

certainly was not about to disappoint. Leaving the

airport we were met with the most beautiful houses

dotted along the vast coastal line, all individually built

in striking colours that complement the surrounding

areas. Immediately we were captivated by the stories

of the first Viking settlers and how they sent a prayer

up to their god to guide them to a new land, threw

a log into the sea and followed it along the coastline.

The log was then carried around the coast, finally

coming ashore in a bay with what appeared to be

smoke. They called this new town Reykjavik, Nordic

for ‘bay of smoke’. The smoke they could see was, in

fact, the steam rising from the hot springs.

After an hour’s drive we arrived in the beautiful

city of Reykjavik. The main area is made up of

white-washed and colour-washed wooden buildings

full of character. Although the drive in gives the

impression of a sprawling city, the main part of

Reykjavik itself feels quite peaceful. Most visitors

and locals alike can be found along the many cafés

and bars of Laugavegur, passing the time listening

to buskers, while drinking an Icelandic coffee and

people watching. From here the main shopping

area can be found, although not many European

recognisable shops are here however this is slowly

but surely changing, giving Reykjavik a whole new

cosmopolitan vibe.

Our home for three nights was the beautiful

landmark Hotel Borg. Dignified and imposing, Hotel

Borg overlooks the beautiful square of Austurvöllur,

in the heart of Reykjavík, across from Althingi, the

Icelandic parliament, and the cathedral and just a

five-minute walk from the harbour front. Our first

night in Reykjavik was to be an exciting one. After a

quick freshen up we were to set off on the hunt for

40


the Northern Lights. Our transport for the evening

was an amazing minibus, modified with huge wheels;

we soon understood the benefit of the wheels!

Having left behind the bright lights of Reykjavik,

we headed out into the north of the city into the

hills, with nothing more than the moon and stars to

guide us. Before long we were driving along an open

field with nothing around us but open skies and a

beautiful salmon river, lit only by the clearest moon

and stars I have ever seen. As our guide Simms told

us about the legends of this natural phenomenon as

well as showing us all how to adapt our cameras to

get the best possible pictures, we waited in earnest

to see this night time extravaganza unfold. We were

told how the lights were tracked in years gone by and

how technology has now made this much simpler –

god bless smartphones! To keep us warm in the cool

air we were offered some internal heating – Icelandic

vodka to you and me – or the simpler alternative of

lovely, warming hot chocolate.

With no luck in our current location, we soon

had word the Northern Lights had been spotted

further up the mountains so off we raced – with hot

chocolate still in hand. Other guides were giving us

updates over the radio, the excitement was building

and before long we came to a stop on a deserted

road. As we piled out once more with cameras at

the ready we found ourselves once again in the most

stunning surroundings. The area was so beautiful I

don’t think any of us cared too much now about the

lights, we were so engrossed in the drama of chasing

them and the amazing places we found ourselves

in, the sheer excitement of it all kept us thoroughly

entertained. After a number of hours of chasing,

tiredness finally took over and it was a very sleepy

group that eventually returned back to our hotel.

Bright and early the following morning we set off

THE STUNNING NORTHERN

LIGHTS DANCE ACROSS

THE NIGHT SKY

on the Golden Circle

tour of Iceland and

were again greeted by

the fantastic sight of

our three Superjeeps.

These Land Rover

Discoverys are shipped

over to Iceland and

modified locally with

not just the massive

wheels but also all the

latest technology and

comfort you could

hope for, costing

nearly as much as the

original cars. Having

been gently eased into

the capabilities of

the jeeps we headed

up into the hills overlooking Reykjavik to witness

the amazing panoramic view of this beautiful city

and its coastal line. Our ‘easing in gently’ period

was well and truly over as we set off back down the

mountain in full-on off-roading mode. We screamed,

we laughed, we had the best fun – little did we know

this was a test to see if we could cope with what was

to come.

It was time for a little detour from the itinerary

and we set off through the most stunning land I

have ever seen. We passed so many amazing spots

from mountain tops with stunning views, beautiful

waterfalls and lakes so clear the reflections appeared

as mirrors, all the while being entertained by our

fantastic driver Jakob. His pride of the island and

his extensive knowledge of its history, as well as

his wicked sense of humour, kept us entertained

throughout. Our first main stop was the stunning

Gullfoss waterfall, considered by many to be

the queen of Icelandic waterfalls as it stumbles

dramatically into a deep gorge.

Having enjoyed an Icelandic lamb soup (think more

along the lines of a traditional stew but very tasty) we


set off towards the Langjökull glacier but not before

some more adrenaline filled off-roading - my fear

of water was soon forgotten as we raced through

rivers and back up steep river banks. The drive up to

the glacier is like something out of a sci-fi movie as

the land gets more and more lunar-like. I knew the

glacier would be amazing but I was in for a shock;

it was absolutely awesome, the complete highlight

of the day. More off-roading down to the glacier

– hence the test earlier that morning – and before

long, having let down the air of the huge tyres we

were driving on the glacier. The true magnitude of

this is hard to explain, around were deep crevasses

that Jakob explained were caused by small

eruptions of the volcano that lay beneath,

as far as the eye could see was an ocean of

ice. We took our first tentative steps onto the

ice, again accompanied by the now familiar

sounds of the day – our squeals of delight –

in what can only be described as ‘Bambi on

ice’. Having gained our ice legs and wearing

enough layers to attack the Antarctic there

was only one thing for it; an ice cold beer.

We headed back into the jeeps, and while

still taking in this truly magical place we

headed off once more towards the Geysir Hot

Springs in Selfoss. As we approached them

I couldn’t help but think they reminded me

of the Hobbit movies with small pillars of

smoke rising from the hills. As we got near

the smell of sulphur began to linger, but

it wasn’t too off-putting. The geysers were

a sight to behold. There were lots of little

‘baby’ geysers dotted around the landscape

with a few larger geysers mixed up that go off

periodically, along

with the eerie blue

algae. The daddy of

the group, however,

has to be Strokkur

who spouts with

great frequency. As

we stood around

waiting, camera in

hand the tension

builds and builds, all

eyes staring at the

geysir waiting for it

to erupt. Seconds

tick by as we

stare avidly at the

bubbling water and

feel the heat from

the steam rising,

then out of nowhere

he explodes high up

into the air, hot spring water gushing up at force then

showering the surrounding area. Stand too near and

you may get a little wet – but it’s all part of the fun.

A quick respite and we are back in our Superjeeps

and heading off towards Thingvellir National Park

where the Icelandic parliament was founded more

than 1,000 years ago. Once again Jakob explained

how the earth is ever so slowly pulling apart along

the North America and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Although it is not viable from land level, experienced

snorkellers can swim to the Silfra fissure which is part

of the Mid-Atlantic ridge and experience swimming

THE FAMOUS

STROKKUR GEYSER

42


etween the two continents. For us, however, it was

dry land, stunning scenery, fascinating history and

a steaming cup of hot chocolate as we took it all in;

although I’m not too sure I believe in the giant trolls

that roam the land.

The drive back to Reykjavik was a very subdued

affair with three exhausted but happy passengers.

The following day we were all raring to go on

another day full of adventures as we headed to the

south of the island. Our Superjeep drivers were

there to meet us and after a quick stop at a few

tourist sights we once again headed off the main

road and found ourselves in what is known locally as

the land of a thousand waters. Once again we were

having the best off-roading through rivers and up

embankments – these guys know what they are doing

and make sure every second is as exhilarating as the

last. After a beautiful and

scenic drive we arrived at

the Hotel Ranga. Set back

from the main road and

on the banks of a beautiful

salmon river, it has the feel

of an isolated hotel with

the most amazing views of

the Northern Lights

After a beautiful lunch we

set off once again for the

stunning Skogafoss and

waterfalls. After a short

climb, we found ourselves

on a footpath that leads

behind this amazing

waterfall – a photo

opportunity if ever

there was one. Having

taken in the beauty of

the panoramic view

we set off once more,

passing more and more

volcanoes and stunning

waterfalls until we

arrived at a sight that

truly was to behold; a

black sand beach. With

the blue-grey water of

the Atlantic crashing on

the shoreline and the

giant volcanoes behind

us, the stark contrast

of the black sand was

a truly incredible sight.

Once again our intrepid

drivers decided a little

more off-roading was

the order of the day

and proceeded to charge around the deserted ocean

edge in an exhilarating and thrilling experience that

again had us all squealing in delight.

After a long and thrilling day we set off back to

Reykjavik, passing through beautiful little villages and

vast open spaces with amazing mountain backdrops.

On our return to Reykjavik we took the opportunity

to wander around the city once more and take in

the incredible Hallgrímskirkja church, situated in

the centre of the city, it is one of the best-known

landmarks and is visible throughout Reykjavik. We

made our way back whilst doing a little window

shopping along Laugavegur before heading out to

dinner at the fabulous Grillmarket, where I was even

tempted to try the local delicacy of minke whale

(tastes just like beef). The food and atmosphere was

SKOLAFERDALAG ENERGY

POOL IS ANOTHER OF

ICELAND’S GEOTHERMAL

WONDERS


so amazing we were offered the chance to go back

out to look for the Northern Lights once more, but

we all agreed we had such an amazing time we really

did not feel like we were missing out, so instead we

enjoyed more of Iceland’s amazing wine.

Our last morning in Iceland gave us one final

opportunity for last minute shopping before we set

off for the Blue Lagoon. Just 15 minutes’ drive from

the airport, it’s very easy to do en-route and is fully

equipped with luggage storage facilities, plenty of

showers and hair dryers in abundance. Although

it was cold outside we soon stepped into the warm

soothing waters that are rich in minerals like silica

and sulphur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is

reputed to help with skin conditions. For us, though,

it was all about the relaxation. Obligatory face

mask applied from the face mask bar, we set about

enjoying our last few hours in this wonderful country.

Our full-on itinerary from our arrival had not left

much time to relax but we were certainly making up

for it now and after a number of very relaxed and

chilled hours we showered and changed ready for

our journey home.

As we all reflected on the amazing experiences we

had shared we were all in agreement of one thing;

Iceland has so much more to offer than just the

Northern Lights and we cannot wait to return and

explore more of this wonderful country.

Travel facts

FLIGHTS: Just under three hours from Birmingham,

London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow

and Belfast.

ACCOMMODATION: Range of smaller boutique and

quirky properties as well as some chains in the city.

WHEN TO GO: Iceland is a year-round destination.

The best time to travel depends largely on what you

want to see or do. Generally speaking, visitors drawn

by the prospect of seeing the Northern Lights should

travel September to March. March is also a good time

to experience winter activities but without the harsh

conditions. If long days appeal then visit between late

May and the end of July when you can experience the

almost perpetual light of the midnight sun. May and

September are great times to visit, especially for flydrives.

If you want to explore the uninhabited interior of

Iceland, you should plan your visit for July and August

as most of the highland 4WD tracks are only open

during this period.

WHAT NOT TO MISS: Although famous for the

Northern Lights, the Golden Circle and South Island

tours are not to be missed, along with the Blue Lagoon

to finish your visit.

EXAMPLE PACKAGE: Three nights with flights from

Manchester, private transfers, accommodation with

breakfast, Northern Lights hunt and entry to Blue

Lagoon from £899 per person. Based on two people

sharing, conditions apply. Add on Golden Circle

Superjeep tour for an extra £220pp or the South Island

tour for £230pp.

Reader offer

BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY TO ICELAND WITH

RB COLLECTION BEFORE DECEMBER 31

AND RECEIVE YOUR SECOND PASS TO

THE BLUE LAGOON FOR FREE. TERMS

AND CONDITIONS: APPLICABLE TO NEW

BOOKINGS RECEIVED BEFORE 31/12/2017

WHEN MENTIONING ‘J’AIME MAGAZINE’.

OFFER MAY BE WITHDRAWN AT ANYTIME

WITHOUT NOTICE.

44


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LO CA L A R E A

What’s On Local

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF WHAT’S ON IN AND AROUND

SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, WALSALL AND BEYOND

WHAT:

Christmas

Experience

WHERE:

Blithbury

Reindeer Lodge,

Rugeley

WHEN:

November 18 to

December 23

Christmas at Blithbury is a truly at magical experience

for the whole family. The award-winning Christmas

Experience is like no other; from the moment you

arrive the festive spirit is in the air.

For Christmas the lodge is transformed into a winter

wonderland filled with twinkling lights, Christmas

trees, Santa and his little helpers and - of course -

reindeer, and sleigh rides. Children can feed and fuss

the reindeer, have story-time with the Head Elf, attend

Elf School and embark on a personal visit to meet

Santa and choose a gift to take home from his toy

workshop. For more details visit

www.blithburyreindeerlodge.co.uk

WHAT:

Sutton Coldfield

Community Choir

Christmas carol

concert

WHERE:

Middleton Hall

WHEN: December 5

Sutton Coldfield Community Choir will be returning

to Middleton Hall for an evening of festive music and

fun following their successful performance last year.

A very talented group, the choir was founded in 2002

when Tim Chamberlin, then the arts college director

at Bishop Walsh School offered a new local group of

singers rehearsal facilities at the school with the aim of

promoting excellence in music across the community

while raising money for charity through occasional

concerts. Now in its 15th year, the choir’s aims continue

under the musical direction of Krzys Weber and musical

accompanist Anthony Beckett.

Tickets cost £10 and include tea, coffee and a mince pie

in the interval. To book call 01827 283095 or visit

www.middleton-hall.co.uk

WHAT:

Crimes on the Christmas Express

WHERE:

Lichfield Garrick

WHEN:

December 8 to January 6

After the sell-out success of last year’s Crimes Against

Christmas the Lichfield Garrick has once again teamed up with

award-winning theatre company New Old Friends to create an

alternative Christmas comedy for adults.

Crimes on the Christmas Express is inspired by Agatha

Christie, 39 Steps and Jason Bourne and takes the audience on

a hilarious and thrilling train journey through the snow-capped

mountains of the East. On board are jewel thieves, circus

performers, lovelorn porters, sleazy Americans and countless

other characters all brought to life by a cast of just four. A great

night out with friends away from the kids, or a perfect end of

year treat with the office. For more details visit

www.lichfieldgarrick.com

46


WHAT:

Lichfield Christmas

Food Festival

WHERE:

Lichfield city centre

WHEN:

December 9

and 10

There will be festive goodies galore as Lichfield’s

Christmas Food Festival takes over the city centre for a

weekend of tasty treats and festive spirit - or spirits! More

than 165 stalls will be packed with all manner of delicious

offerings, from freshly baked bread, cakes and sweet

treats to cocktails and coffee, and local restaurants will be

offering up samples of some of their favourite dishes. As

well as enjoy the mouthwatering fayre on offer, visitors

can also shop for Christmas gifts for the foodies in their

lives.

Organised by Cocker Hoop Creative and supported by

Lichfield BID, Lichfield’s food festivals are becoming

a huge attraction for locals and visitors alike, with tens

of thousands of people flocking to the summer foodie

extravaganza over the August Bank Holiday weekend. For

more details visit www.lichfieldfoodfestival.com

WHAT:

Children’s

Victorian

Christmas

Santa trails

WHERE:

Tamworth

Castle

WHEN:

December 9 to 10

and 16 to 19

As you hunt through the Castle on your Santa trail you

will meet the Victorian household readying themselves for

the annual visit of a very special guest. Visitors will join

in with a series of activities by helping the cook to make

Christmas pudding, the mistress to decorate the Castle

and the stablehand to find the reindeers’ carrots, before

entering Santa’s grotto to receive a surprise gift.

Pre-booking is essential, and admission is priced at £7

per child aged three and over and £4 per child aged up

to two. The first two adults accompanying per child will

be charged at £4.50 each, and any other adults thereafter

will be charged at £6 each. For more details visit

www.tamworthcastle.co.uk

WHAT: Carols by Candlelight

WHERE: National Memorial Arboretum

WHEN: December 16

Take in the beautiful winter surroundings of the National

Memorial Arboretum for the annual Christmas carol

concert. Suitable for all ages, this traditional carol service

will fill you with festive spirit. The concert will be held in

Heroes’ Square among illuminated trees and hundreds

of candles, and visitors will enjoy a variety of sing-along

festive music. Carol books, candles and refreshments are

available to purchase. The highlight of the Arboretum’s

festive calendar, music will be provided by the Burton

Salvation Army Band and, as it gets very busy, early arrival

is recommended. Entry to the event is free, although

donations are appreciated. For more details call 01283

245100 or visit www.thenma.org.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:

The Snowman

and The

Nutcracker

Suite

WHERE:

Lichfield

Cathedral

WHEN:

December 21

Treat the whole

family to a

music box of

delights this Christmas as they witness the magic of

iconic film The Snowman on a big screen brought to

life by some of the UK’s finest musicians.

A highlight of the film for many is the evocative

Walking in the Air which will be sung by a young

soloist in perfect synchronicity with the film on the big

screen, ensuring there is not a dry eye in the house.

The programme also includes Tom Scott’s highly

acclaimed and enchanting animated film to

accompany Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite - surely the

most Christmassy and popular of all seasonal music -

as well as other Christmas crackers including a festive

guide to the orchestra and a wonderful opportunity for

the whole family to create lasting family memories. For

more details visit www.lichfield-cathedral.org

47


LO CA L A R E A

What’s on Second City

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST EVENTS

TAKING PLACE ACROSS BIRMINGHAM THIS MONTH

WHAT: Frankfurt

Christmas Market

WHERE: Birmingham

City Centre

WHEN: November 16

to December 24

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is a firm

fixture in the city’s annual calendar and, together with

the neighbouring Christmas Craft Market, a massive

favourite with both residents and visitors to the city

from across the UK and Europe. Birmingham comes

alive every winter with the arrival of the Market, a

clear sign that Christmas is just around the corner. With

over 120 stalls there is something for everyone. The

largest authentic German Christmas market outside of

Germany or Austria Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas

Market offers a large range of traditional goods and

gifts and a selection of tempting food and drink.

Pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds will

tempt your tastebuds, all of which can be washed down

with gluhwein, weissbeer (wheat beer), or tasty hot

chocolate. For more information visit

www.germanchristmasmarketbirmingham.com

WHAT:

The Nutcracker

WHERE:

Birmingham Hippodrome

WHEN:

November 24 to

December 13

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s

evergreen production of The

Nutcracker has been part of

the city’s Christmas tradition for more than 26 years and

returns to Birmingham Hippodrome this festive season.

Join young Clara as she is swept away into an enchanting

winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes and a Sugar Plum

Fairy. Her magical Christmas tree and her handsome prince

with his army of toy soldiers are an unforgettable delight.

In this most festive ballet, gigantic sets, lavish costumes, 60

dancers and a full orchestra combine to make the perfect

Christmas treat for the entire family.

This world-famous production by Sir Peter Wright, with

exquisite designs by John Macfarlane, is acclaimed as one

of the best. For more details visit

www.birminghamhippodrome.com

WHAT:

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe

WHERE:

Genting Arena, Birmingham

WHEN:

December 5

Following the stunning success of their Platinum

selling album Together and 29 sold out shows across

the UK in 2016, musical theatre star Michael Ball and

acclaimed tenor Alfie Boe are returning with a new

joint tour, which comes to Birmingham this month.

Having first met 10 years ago, performing together

in Kismet at the London Coliseum, the stars became

lifelong friends. That same year, Michael Ball made

history as the first musical theatre star to be given a solo

concert at the Royal Albert Hall’s BBC Proms, and

asked Alfie Boe to join him to perform at the classical

music festival.

This instant personal connection and professional

mutual admiration makes for the perfect pairing. For

more details visit www.gentingarena.co.uk

48


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DINING EVENTS

30TH OCT 2017 | MATT CHEAL

20TH NOV 2017 | TOM KERRIDGE AND FRIENDS

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Brad Carter 1 Michelin star

Carters of Moseley venues Luke including Tipping Quay 1 Restaurant Michelin star (Sydney),

the Michelin Good Food Guide 2017. He has

Brad Carters Carter of Moseley 1 Michelin star

Richard Turner 1 Michelin star

Eleven Simpsons Madison Park of Edgbaston

(New York), Lepuisette

recently completed a major refurbishment to

Carters of Moseley

Turners at 69, Harborne

Adam Bennett 1 Michelin (Marseilles), star and two Michelin star, three time

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sophisticated

URBAN SALONS

Lewis Moore

S A L O N S

Midlands Hairdresser

of the Year

WINNER 2010

For more than 30 years, the

British Hairdressing Awards

have been the most coveted

and sought after titles in the

hairdressing industry resulting

in global recognition.

Both regional and category

specific awards are given to

salons and hairdressers across

the UK who show incredible

skill, vision and talent through a

collection of images.

One of these finalists is the

area’s very own Lewis Moore

from Lewis Moore Salons in

Coldfield. This is no small feat

with the 2017 awards

attracting hundreds of entries.

Lewis Moore Salons

Sutton Coldfield

5 Coleshill Street

Sutton Coldfield

Birmingham B72 1SD

Phone: 0121 354 7907

Lewis Moore Salons

Streetly

41 Boundary Road

Hundred Acre Estate

Streetly

West Midlands B74 2JR

Phone: 0121 353 2875

www.lewismooresalons.co.uk


WHAT: Liam

Gallagher

WHERE: Arena

Birmingham

WHEN:

December 12

After playing sets full

of emerging classics

and old favourites at

this summer’s Reading

and Leeds Festivals,

Liam Gallagher is now

embarking on the first arena tour of his solo career.

Representing his first tour following the October release

of his debut solo album, As You Were, the tour comes as

the former Oasis and Beady Eye frontman is back at the

height of his powers. His return has been nothing short

of spectacular, from emotive scenes in Manchester to

huge sing-a-longs at Glastonbury, while three new tracks

– Wall of Glass, Chinatown and For What It’s Worth –

are already establishing themselves as towering anthems,

delivered with Liam’s once-in-a-lifetime vocal. For more

details visit www.arenabham.co.uk

WHAT: Pentecost

WHERE: The Patrick

Centre, Birmingham

Hippodrome

WHEN: December 13 to 16

A medieval art discovery in a

dusty church with the potential

to change history is at the

centre of David Edgar’s 1994

work Pentecost. The prolific and highly-successful British

playwright will return to his hometown of Birmingham to

oversee the premiere of a newly-revised version of the play

by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Theatre Company,

formerly the Birmingham School of Acting. This politicallytopical

drama, set in Eastern Europe, sees armed and

desperate migrants storm the church holding hostage the

art historians who have come to study the fresco. A Serbian

director and several Eastern European actors are among its

diverse cast. Edgar, who was born in Birmingham into the

fourth generation of a theatrical family, has long associations

with the REP and RSC. The cast also includes two members

who have recently been awarded prestigious Laurence

Olivier Bursaries. For further information and details of how

to book, visit www.bcu.ac.uk/events

WHAT:

The Birmingham

Canoldir Christmas

Spectacular

WHERE:

Birmingham

Town Hall

WHEN: December 14

The Birmingham Canoldir Male Choir invite you to join in

the Christmas festivities with them as they host their annual

Christmas concert at Town Hall Birmingham. Based in the

heart of the city and conducted by James Llewelyn Jones,

this award winning male choir, which last year celebrated

its 50th anniversary, will be joined by Gemini Brass, the

outstanding soprano, Denise Leigh, who together with the

St Alphege Song Squad guarantee a fantastic feast of music

and song.

Performing nationally and internationally to raise money

for charities, the choir presents a Christmas Spectacular

which showcases a festive mix of traditional Christmas

music, songs and carols and for all the family to enjoy as a

start to your Christmas celebrations. For more details visit

www.thsh.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:

Jersey Boys

WHERE:

New Alexandra

Theatre

WHEN:

December 16 to

January 6

The internationally

acclaimed stage

sensation, Jersey

Boys is working its

way back round the

UK, stopping off in

Birmingham this

month. This smash

hit musical has won 57 major awards worldwide,

including the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Jersey Boys tells the true life story of four boys from the

wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs,

invented their own unique sound, and sold 100 million

records worldwide.

Featuring hit after legendary hit including Beggin’,

December 1963 (Oh What A Night), Can’t Take My

Eyes Off You, Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby, Big Girls

Don’t Cry and many more, Jersey Boys is a story full of

heart, humour and sheer musical razzmatazz you simply

will never forget. For more details visit

www.atgtickets.co.uk/birmingham

50


The Pear

Tree

c r ê p e r i e

Good Morning

t he heart of t he home...

Visit our showroom to be amazed by the choice -

from traditional to modern

With such a wide range of fires, fireplaces and stoves

there is sure to be a style to suit you & your home

10-11.30am daily

With FREE Tea or Coffee

Christmas

Fresh Berries & Fromage

Frais, Salmon & Cream

Cheese or for larger appetites

we have Smokey Bacon,

Cheese & Mushrooms.

From £5.90

WE OF F ER

A C OMP LE T E

INST ALLA T ION

SERV ICE

Photos taken at The Creperie

* Turkey steeped in chardonnay

* Pulled pork with sage & onion stuffing

* Cherry filling with ice cream and a brandy flambé

* Stewed apples sultanas ice cream and cinnamon

Book your Christmas party

at The Creperie

Friday & Saturday evenings from 7.15pm

Set menus available

V isit our showr oom and be amazed by t he choice!

Wit h such a wide range fr om traditional t o

modern, t here’s sure t o be a style t o suit you!

Live music with accordionist Barry Smith

Friday 15th December at 7.15pm

Call to book on 01543 481807

or email: enquiries@peartreecreperie.co.uk

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

peartreecreperie.co.uk

5 Stafford Road, Lichfield WS13 7BZ

Tel: 01543 263 383 • www.thefireplacelichfield.co.uk

Email: sales@thefireplacelichfield.co.uk

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

Closed Sundays and bank holidays. FREE ON-SITE PARKING.

CLOSED FROM 4:30PM ON THURSDAY 21ST DECEMBER

UNTIL 9:30AM ON TUESDAY 2ND JANUARY.


C H R I S T M A S

Oh no, he isn’t! Oh yes, he is!

PANTO IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE FESTIVE SEASON FOR MANY FAMILIES,

SO CHECK OUT OUR ROUND-UP OF THE BEST OFFERINGS AROUND THE MIDLANDS

WHAT: Aladdin

WHERE: Lichfield Garrick

WHEN: November 30 to January 6

After the success of Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin promises to

be the most fun-filled family pantomime ever seen at the

Garrick. CBeebies Cat Sandion will be playing the role of

Jasmine, while Sam Rabone and Ben Thornton return to

Lichfield’s panto as Dame Widow Twankey and Wishee

Washee after their stellar performances had audiences in

stitches in last year’s sell out show, Sleeping Beauty.

Aladdin promises to be spectacular, top-quality

entertainment with the emphasis on strong casting, high

production values and a genuinely funny script. For more

details visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

WHAT: Cinderella

WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome

WHEN: December 19 to January 28

Birmingham audiences shall go to the ball in the

most magical pantomime of them all, Cinderella.

Soul-diva Beverley Knight will make her pantomime

debut in this year’s Hippodrome spectacular,

alongside Strictly Come Dancing finalist Danny

Mac, Birmingham panto-favourite Matt Slack, pop

and television star Suzanne Shaw, comedy duo The

Grumbleweeds, and the most faaaaabulous Ugly Sisters in show business, Ceri Dupree and Phil Randall.

Cinderella will feature all of the ingredients of the perfect Hippodrome pantomime: a fabulous cast and orchestra, laughout-loud

comedy, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to

enjoy. For more details visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com

52

WHAT: Peter Pan - Christmas in Neverland

WHERE: Arena Birmingham

WHEN: December 20 to 24

This festive season, be transported to a world of spectacle and

comedy with Peter Pan as you join him in this stunning new arena

spectacular! Starring Bradley Walsh as Mr Smee, Martin Kemp as

Captain Hook, and Matt Knight as Peter Pan, J.M Barrie’s original

story and characters are brought to life by a cast of more than 100

performers, including a thrilling team of BMX riders, stuntmen,

trapeze artists and even a 7m-long animatronic crocodile!

Performed across three stages, you’ll never be far from the action

with a giant 60-foot-wide LED screen, computer graphic imagery

and even a life-size Jolly Roger sailing through the Arena in front

of a 10,000-gallon water wall. For more details visit

www.arenabham.co.uk


Here’s your opportunity

to discover how

the latest technology

is transforming

hearing loss

Contact Steven Hale Hearing today

for your personal consultation with

our experienced audiologists.

Call 0121 308 2550 to book

www.stevenhalehearing.co.uk

THE TEAM AT J’AIME WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL

OF OUR ADVERTISERS, READERS AND SUPPLIERS

FOR ALL OF THEIR SUPPORT IN 2017 - WISHING

YOU ALL THE BEST FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON.

Happy Christmas!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE IN THE JANUARY

ISSUE CONTACT JAN ASHLEY ON 07388 335931

J’AIME

/jaimemagazine

@jaimemagazine

www.jaimemagazine.com


FA S H I O N

Time to shine

SHIMMER AND SHINE YOUR WAY THROUGH THE FESTIVE SEASON AS SEQUINS,

GLITTER AND EMBELLISHMENTS GALORE TAKE CENTRE STAGE - WHATEVER THE

OCCASION, SAYS AMY NORBURY

It’s the time of year when your wardrobe takes on

an altogether more festive feel; and this year it’s not

Christmas without a heavy dose of added sparkle.

From the most extravagant of evening dresses to

super cool glitzy T shirts, you can’t go wrong with a

bit of bling.

For those festive parties, it’s all about ramped up

eveningwear; here we’re talking sequins, glitter,

crystal - and all at the same time, if you want.

The obvious party piece is the glitzy dress; not an

outfit for the shy and retiring wallflower types, a little

sequin number will have you shimmering in style

from restaurant to bar to dance floor all season long.

For something a little more subtle - but only slightly!

- skip the full-on sequins and instead work the festive

beads into your look with one statement-making

piece. A swishy sequin midi skirt will add a suitable

level of glam when paired with a simple cami top,

while glitzy trousers, either flamboyant palazzo or

sophisticated slim-fitted, are the perfect solution for

when you don’t want to flash your pins.

And this season, it’s not just about the Christmas

party; instead, think about working your glitz and

glam into your everyday wardrobe for that added

slice of festive flair. While a full-on sequin T shirt

might seem extravagant at any other time of the year,

it’s an essential wardrobe update for the Christmas

countdown.

A sequin trophy jacket will become your go-to

layering hero, there to add a splash of glamour to

whatever you’re wearing. For nights out, throw over

your favourite LBD for an instant style update, or

team with a blouse and skinny jeans for impromptu

Christmas drinks.

If the thought of a sequin overdose leaves you in a

festive panic, then simply add a pair of decorative,

crystal-laden shoes to put a joyful spring in your step.

These fit-for-a-princess heels dotted runways aplenty

and were worn with equally decadent clothes. In

real life? They’re a perfect pick-me-up for any casual

outfit.

For something a little more wintery - and a whole lot

more disco-worthy - opt for a pair of sparkly boots.

Taking inspiration from those Saint Laurent boots

which dominated fashion press and Instagram feeds

after their debut at the AW17 Paris Fashion Week,

the high streets have made their mark with sequin,

crystal and glitter covered versions. And while they

might not have quite the show-stealing effect of the

Saint Laurent originals - which are covered in 3,000

Swarovski crystals and will set you back almost £7,000

if you can get your hands on a pair - sparkly boots will

certainly add a festive twist to your wardrobe. The

only question is ankle, knee-high or more?

SEQUIN JACKET, £55,

COTTON EDITS AT

COTTON TRADERS.

54


SEQUIN TOP,

TWIST & TANGO AT

HOUSE OF FRASER.

£109

£169

£139

MIA DRESS, HOBBS.

£45

TASSEL WRISTLET

CLUTCH, ISSA AT

HOUSE OF FRASER.

CIARA MAXI DRESS,

MONSOON.

£249

SEQUIN CAMI TOP,

RIVER ISLAND.

J’AIME

LO VES

JULIETTA BOOTS,

HOBBS.

£36

SEQUIN SLOUCH

BOOTS, NEXT.

£620

£55

SOPHIA WEBSTER

WINGED SANDALS,

HARVEY NICHOLS

BIRMINGHAM.

£525

PINKO SEQUINNED

DRESS,

HARVEY NICHOLS

BIRMINGHAM.

EMBROIDERED CAPE,

£58, AND EMBROIDERED

MESH MIDI DRESS,

£180, OASIS.


FA S H I O N

The gift of style

JILL HARTLEY, CO-OWNER AND DIRECTOR OF NERO E BIANCO EXCLUSIVE FASHION AND BRIDAL

BOUTIQUE AT BARTON MARINA, TAKES A LOOK AT FESTIVE FASHION FUN WITH ACCESSORIES

Needing some help with those Christmas stocking

fillers, or want to point someone in the right direction

for a present under your Christmas tree? Let us help

with our on-trend ideas at Nero e Bianco.

The next few weeks will be crazy and it’s not always

easy to find the right gift so let’s look at what’s new

and different for this year...

Jewels to shine

It’s all about fun jewellery with a twist; we have

amazing award-winning fashion necklaces, they are

so light and easy to wear, very on-trend.

Made with everyday materials including rubber and

stainless steel, the creative flare is outstanding.

These necklaces are standalone pieces that can make

the simple little black dress into something really

different and unique.

For a more subtle but different statement look,

here we have our beaded collection of necklaces,

bracelets, rings and earrings. This range is simply

stunning, and with the Italian style who could ask for

more?

New to Nero e Bianco is Christina Jewellery.

Christina Hembo is a Danish designer who has

created a family business and developed bracelets,

rings, earring and charms using sterling silver and

genuine gemstones that makes this jewellery a step

above similar type jewellery. A very special present

for someone special this Christmas.

Fall in love with shoes and hand bags

A girl can never have too many shoes and handbags.

And Italian leather bags... what a nice surprise to be

found under the Christmas tree this year. We’ve got

a range of sizes and styles and, of course, the top

2017/18 colour trend - as predicted by us - red!

When it comes to shoes and boots, we’ve got styles to

complement any outfit with the fabulous suedes and

velvets that is so in vogue for this winter.

Whatever your preference, enjoy shopping for gifts,

and for you! Happy Christmas to all!

56


www.neroebianco.co.uk

Nero e Bianco

Exclusive Fashion & Bridal

Barton Marina

Burton upon Trent

DE13 8AS

01283 346704


C H R I S T M A S

Get knitted!

THE CHRISTMAS JUMPER HAS FAST BECOME ANOTHER TRADITION OF THE FESTIVE

SEASON, AND WITH SAVE THE CHILDREN’S OFFICIAL CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY

COMING UP ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, HOW WILL YOU WEAR YOURS?

FROM novelty knits to seriously stylish sweaters,

it seems that your festive wardrobe isn’t complete

without a Christmas jumper or two. But with so

many to choose from, what style are you going

to opt for?

For those among us whose festive season

begins in November, and is punctuated by

the continuous blast of ‘Do They Know It’s

Christmas?’ and ‘All I Want For Christmas is

You’ plus endless rounds of mince pies, the

Christmas jumper has to be, well, full-on festive.

Santa, reindeer, elves, snowmen; brightly

coloured and in-your-face is the only way to go.

But Christmas jumpers are no longer just about

the kitsch factor; there are some super stylish

options too. For a subtle take on the trend, look

out for simple star and snowflake designs on

cosy cashmere in pastel and muted tones; it says

‘Christmas jumper’ but in more of a whisper

than a shout.

Slogans have been a trend throughout AW17

and come into their own in Christmas jumper

season; from the standard ‘Jingle Bells’ and

‘Ho, ho ho’ to far more pithy - and even risque

- retorts, wear your Christmas heart on your

sleeve… well, almost.

Whatever your style, choose wisely and your

‘Christmas’ jumper will be a wardrobe staple all

winter long.

£29.50

£32 £40

M&S COLLECTION

SPARKLE JUMPER,

MARKS AND SPENCER.

‘ALL THE JINGLE LADIES’

JUMPER, DEBENHAMS.

SEQUIN FLAMINGO

JUMPER, RIVER ISLAND.

£40 £42 £55

STAR SEQUIN JUMPER,

RIVER ISLAND.

SEQUIN SNOWFLAKE

JUMPER, OASIS.

ROMEE REINDEER JUMPER,

MONSOON.

58


B E AU T Y

Party girl perfection

PLANNING TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE AT YOUR CHRISTMAS PARTY THIS YEAR? LISA PIDDINGTON,

FROM HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM, OFFERS ADVICE ON HOW TO BE THE BELLE OF EVERY BALL

THE festive season is nearly upon us and there’s

no better time to pile on the glam. From the

perfect pout to smoky eyes, knock ‘em dead at

the office party with one simple rule… when it

comes to your make-up, more really is more.

For gorgeous lips, red remains a Christmas

favourite as it adds a splash of glamour in an

instant. Opt for a shade that suits your skin

tone; if you have dark skin go for a deeper

colour, those with medium tones should plump

for a golden sheen, and if you’re on the pale

and interesting side, pinky reds are the most

flattering.

For fans of colour, the season sees an injection

of the bold and the beautiful, with bright jeweltoned

eye shades teamed with inky liners for high

impact. Don’t be afraid to play around with dark

colours – think 1920s starlet with heavy lashes

and dark lids. For a modern twist, try a dash of

jade or a high pearl shimmer eye shadows to

make a real statement.

Sisley Phyto-Lip

matte lipstick, £31.

NARS dualintensity

eye shadow,

£21.

Hourglass

ultra slim

high intensity

lipstick, £18.

Yves Saint

Laurent false

lash effect

mascara,

£25.50

Estée Lauder X Victoria

Beckham eye palette, £60.

Stila Magnificent

Metals glitter &

glow liquid eye

shadow, £23.

Lancôme

Grandiôse

eye liner,

£23.

Estée Lauder Pure Colour

matte lipstick, £26.

ALL PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE GROUND FLOOR BEAUTY HALL

AT HARVEY NICHOLS, THE MAILBOX AND ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM.

59


C H R I S T M A S

It’s the final

countdown…

THE ADVENT CALENDAR IS NO LONGER JUST A TREAT FOR LITTLE ONES; AMY NORBURY

ROUNDS UP SOME OF THE BEST AND MOST LUXURIOUS GROWN-UP ADVENT CALENDARS

AROUND. LET THE COUNTDOWN COMMENCE!

WHAT better way to mark the final run-up and

get yourself well and truly ensconced in the magic

of Christmas than with an indulgent little treat to

start your day? Advent calendars have come a long

way from the mainstream choccie-filled numbers we

enjoyed as children; now us grown-ups can get in on

the fun too with calendars filled with everything from

beauty treats to booze, beautiful candles and stylish

stationery.

Beauty treats are perhaps the biggest calendar trend,

with luxury brands lining up to get in on the action.

A different nail polish for each day? Sorted. Skincare

treats? Done. Some of the major department stores

have even come up with calendars which offer a pickand-mix

selection from across their beauty offerings,

meaning your cosmetics bag will be stocked up for the

festive season and beyond.

Elsewhere, foodies have got plenty to enjoy, from

calendars filled with samples of their favourite booze

- maybe not one to open in the mornings! - to mince

pies, cheese and even pork scratchings!

And if you’re going down the traditional chocolate

route, make it a morsel to savour with luxurious

truffles from a quality chocolatier.

Twenty-four days of treats start here...

£149

JOHN LEWIS EXCLUSIVE

BEAUTY ADVENT CALENDAR.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

£63

£60

CLARINS MEN 12-DAY

ADVENT CALENDAR.

WWW.CLARINS.CO.UK

OPI NAIL POLISH ADVENT

CALENDAR, FROM JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

60


£16.50

£155

DRINKS BY THE DRAM

BOURBON WHISKEY ADVENT

CALENDAR, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

DECADENCE COFFEE

ADVENT CALENDAR,

DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£95

DIPTYQUE LUXURY

CANDLE ADVENT

CALENDAR, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£300

KIKKI.K STATIONERY LOVER

ADVENT CALENDAR,

EXCLUSIVE TO SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£40

MORRIS & CO BEAUTY ADVENT

CALENDAR, DAISY PARK.

WWW.DAISYPARK.CO.UK

£50

SELFRIDGES SELECTION

CHOCOLATE SOCIETY ADVENT

CALENDAR, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£68

THE GRAND ADVENT

CALENDAR, HOTEL CHOCOLAT.

WWW.HOTELCHOCOLAT.COM

61


I N T H E N E W S

Las Vegas and beyond for new luxury travel agency

A Sutton Coldfield-based luxury travel agency held a

glitzy Las Vegas themed official launch party in Mere

Green recently.

Guests were entertained by Elvis Presley, his Vegas

showgirls and live music at Pure Destinations, on

Belwell Lane, before enjoying an after-party of freeflowing

prosecco and canapés at the neighbouring

FSK restaurant and bar.

More than 100 people attended a glittering launch

party including customers, the press, local dignitaries

and members of the Wolverhampton Wanderers

football team who live locally.

On the slick evening event, a range of luxury holidays

given away and it provided Pure Destinations staff

with the chance to introduce the brand to attendees

and a comfortable environment to discuss their next

big holiday adventure.

Providing a relaxing and stress-free setting to arrange

your yearly family holiday or a once-in-a-lifetime

getaway, it is hoped the luxury Kuoni Partner store

can breathe some life back into the travel scene in

Sutton Coldfield .

Staff say their concierge service and the fact the

company is ABTA bonded and offers ATOL

protection guarantees secure bookings for

holidaymakers buying package holidays in the current

travel climate where consumer security is of the

utmost importance.

Travelling far and wide, travel experts Simone,

Natasha and Donna from the store have indepth

knowledge of the world, from favourite

destinations loved by Brits to off-the-beaten-track

recommendations for the adventurous. Holiday

packages range from honeymoons, family holidays

and cruises to escorted tours, adventure holidays and

beyond.

Mere Green store manager Simone Adams admitted

it had been a turbulent year for travellers but said the

company are able to offer safe and secure trips all

over the world to some of the finest resorts and most

stunning far flung destinations.

She said: “This has certainly been a challenging

year for the travel industry following a summer of

hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires.

“Then we have political unrest in Spain and the

collapse of Monarch Airlines - all of which have

worried holidaymakers.

“These are definitely testing times for holidaymakers

but we want to reassure them that our staff are fully

aware of what is happening around the world and

can give them the best possible advice and if anything

were to happen you have the peace of mind of our

concierge team on hand before, during and after

your trip to make sure your holiday is as stress-free as

possible.” she said.

Director of Pure Destinations, Lakh Hayer, spoke

about the history of the brand: “My family have been

in the travel industry for 30 years as an independent

and we know how to allay people’s fears by putting

them at ease and helping them choose the right

destination.

“We also offer bespoke and tailor-made holidays and

fully escorted tours when required so that areas such

as Asia, South Africa or South America become much

more accessible.

“The new store in Sutton is a great addition to the

overall portfolio of travel companies in Edgbaston,

Five Ways and West Bromwich. The store was

completely designed by our in-house team to provide

an inspiring place to arrange an awe-inspiring break.”

He added that there is now a big demand for

holidaymakers looking to be wowed by unusual

destinations and experiences rather than the

traditional fly and flop holidays.

62


I N T H E N E W S

A new luxury homeware destination

Interior design fans can rejoice as the Mailbox

has launched its stunning new luxury interiors

department, Homewares at Mailbox, making

it the premier destination for luxury home and

interior style in the Midlands.

The launch marks the first showrooms in the

Midlands for both Heal’s and MADE.COM,

the flagship brands of the new 20,000 sqft

homewares section, which is located on the

first level of the Mailbox. They are joined by a

collection of other homewares, furnishings and

accessories retailers including Danish brand

BoConcept and Italian smart design experts,

Calligaris, famous for giving design lovers the

opportunity to create bespoke pieces of stylish,

practical furniture since 1923.

The Design Quarter features a design-led, curated

collection of contemporary furniture including

Content by Conran and SITS, the innovative

upholstered hand-made furniture brand, together with

Wesley Barrell. Based in Oxfordshire, Wesley Barrell

has been handcrafting bespoke upholstery, sofas and

armchairs since 1895.

The new Homewares at the Mailbox offering

complements existing names including Kitchen

Gallery SieMatic, Castle Fine Art and Fine &

Country. Lighting specialist iLite is also set to open

and will feature brands such as Swarovski, Foscarini,

Masiero, Diesel, Flos and Schonbek.

Guests at the official launch event enjoyed

champagne, canapés and live music while discovering

QASA ALOM, LAP-FAI LEE

AND GRACE HENDON AT THE

KITCHEN GALLERY EVENT

each of the luxury brands and their stunning designs.

Kitchen Gallery welcomed its new neighbours to level

one of the Mailbox with a special VIP event of its

own held on the launch evening. VIP guests watched

‘foodist’ Lap-Fai Lee as he created culinary delights

in Kitchen Gallery’s Live SieMatic Kitchen Display

using fine Gaggenau appliances.

As well as furniture, Heal’s is known for its lighting,

decorative accessories and kitchenware and its careful

edit of some of the world’s most iconic furniture and

lifestyle brands, including Case and Tom Dixon.

MADE.COM was set up in 2010 in reaction to

the standard ways of thinking, living and buying.

Thoughtfully designed, timeless and versatile,

MADE’s collections are designed to outlive trends and

evolve with the consumer’s changing style. MADE.

COM designs for how people live today,

bringing high-end lifestyle design to everyone at

a fair price.

Commenting on the launch, Simon Samuels,

Partner at Brockton Capital, joint owners of

the Mailbox with Milligan, said: “We know

that our customers are interested in high end

contemporary furniture and accessories, and

Homewares at the Mailbox will be a must-visit

destination for both aspirational and accessible

brands. We’re delighted to be welcoming

two real interiors heavyweights in Heal’s and

MADE.COM, alongside a host of other brands,

as we launch this new offering.”

63


I N T H E N E W S

Sutton C oldfield hairdresser is one of the Mid lands’ brightest stars

A Sutton Coldfield hairdresser is celebrating after

being named as a finalist in the prestigious HJ’s British

Hairdressing Awards.

Lewis Moore, from Lewis Moore Salons, is in the

running for the coveted Midlands Hairdresser of the

Year title. This is no small feat with the 2017 awards

attracting hundreds of entries which take the form of

photographic collections. The 75 first-round judges

drawn from industry experts, hairdressing icons

from across the globe as well as session stylists to the

stars and creative leaders, viewed the UK’s biggest

photographic award exhibition display to shortlist the

finalists.

The Midlands Hairdresser of the Year category seeks

to recognise the most inspiring stylists in the region,

catapulting the finalists into the upper echelons of the

nation’s very best hairdressing talent. A win can well

and truly

put a stylist

on the map,

securing their

place not just

as a creative

visionary, but

also as a local

authority.

The winner

of Midlands Hairdresser of the Year – as well as eight

other regional categories, five specialist categories and

British Hairdresser of the Year will be announced

in a glittering show at the Grosvenor House Hotel,

London.

Now in its fourth decade, the awards hosted by

Hairdressers Journal International and supported

since its inception by sole sponsor Schwarzkopf

Professional, continue to go from strength-to-strength

in its quest to celebrate the most diverse and creative

of talents in hairdressing.

The British Hairdressing Awards have launched the

careers of a host of household names: from TIGI

founder Anthony Mascolo to TONI&GUY creative

director Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck, as well as TV

favourites Lisa Shepherd and Andrew Barton.

A revolutionary hair treatment in Lichfield

64

Hair loss and thinning hair can be an extremely

sensitive topic, but one Lichfield salon may have the

answer.

Joells Haircare and Salon, on Bird Street, is the only

salon in the area to offer a combination hair loss

treatment programme using the Invisi laser system.

Treatment is carried out in a private area of the salon

to ensure discretion, and trained staff are on hand to

guide clients through the process.

Dave Nolan, owner of Joells, says: “Hair loss and

thinning hair can cause real concerns and we

understand this. Laser restoration treatment for clients

showing early signs of loss - typically during the first

one to six years - can be very effective to stimulate hair

regrowth and thickening. Without trying to blind you

with science, the clinical laser uses pulsed wave LLLT

to safely stimulate hair follicles just a few millimetres

below the scalp. Blood flow

to the follicle is increased

delivering more nutrients and

stabilising hair loss.

“If you are worried about hair

loss, or have thinning hair

call us today for a completely

private consultation. Results

vary from person to person

but most clients, typically 85-

90 per cent, will experience

positive hair restoration;

improvement in the quality

of previously vellus strands,

general hair thickening and

often new growth from the

dormant cells.”


Life in the fast lane

M OTO R S

THIS MONTH J’AIME’S MOTORING CORRESPONDENT AND RESIDENT RACING DRIVER MARTIN PLOWMAN

HAS BEEN REFLECTING ON A POSITIVE FIRST FULL SEASON IN THE BRITISH GT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH

RICHARD TAFFINDER AND RJN MOTORSPORT IN THE NUMBER 53 NISSAN 370Z GT4

I’d done two races with Richard Taffinder in the

British GT Championship before I was handed the

role as technical director for Richard’s racing team,

UltraTek Racing. I had always enjoyed my time with

Richard and admired his grit and determination as

well as his goal to race in Le Mans. Since winning Le

Mans in 2013, I have been focusing on getting back

and winning it for the second time.

I was tasked by Richard to help realise his goal; the

first step for me and UltraTek Racing team principal

Ben Snowdon was to find the right team. Richard

had been racing in a pair of Lotus Elises however,

one thing my 22-year career has taught me is that

without the right team and their ability to balance

reliability with speed, completing a race is difficult,

let alone winning.

My first call was to the global head of Nissan

Motorsport; I have a great relationship with the

guys at Nissan and their UK-based team RJN had a

phenomenal relationship, which is where our journey

began last October.

Looking back, the season delivered its fair share

of highs and lows for the 53 car, from myself and

Richard earning a class victory at Spa

Francorchamps to being forced to retire

at Donington following liquid on the

track as both drivers had shown blistering

pace in the early sessions.

I think it is fair to say that I had more

than my fair share of headlines this

season, from the first race at Oulton

Park, where I managed to lead with a

commanding five second gap. By focusing

and keeping a level head, along with the

great work done by the team to give me

a reliable car. I achieved multiple fastest

lap times and was able to show the pace

of the Nissan and give our sponsors

some much-deserved TV time including

unlapping myself at Brands Hatch,

passing the GT4 leaders to get back on

the lead lap following a technical issue.

Perhaps the most significant victory of the year

is the amount of progress that Richard Taffinder

has made. Richard has come on leaps and bounds,

and we have built a strong personal and racing

relationship. Richard responds really well to my

highly analytical approach to motorsport. As I always

say, when analytics are combined with a positive

driver attitude and a strong team, it’s incredible the

progress that can be made.

Both myself and Richard have worked extremely

MARTIN AND THE

ULTRATEK TEAM

65


hard throughout the year in our preparations. We

have a strict physical regime, plus we have employed

the services of a human performance coach to fine

tune our hydration and pre-race preparation, but

perhaps the biggest step was taken by going back to

basics.

I started my career and learnt much of my racecraft

from my time in karts, and this is where I focused

our driver development techniques with Richard. He

started his racing career later in life than I did and

missed the all-important karting lessons. It is a great

foundation on how to carry speed and basic handling

principles, and Richard has found a tremendous

amount of pace.

Richard Taffinder says: “Karting has helped me no

end this season. It has assisted in my development

physically and mentally. There was something really

motivating about the honesty of going back to where

it all started for Martin, and it helped me break down

a few challenges I had been having in the car.”

The 2017 season also saw us move the UltraTek

Racing team from Lotus to Nissan with services

provided by RJN. I have always had a great

relationship with Nissan from his previous sportscar

seasons, and we found everything we were looking

for in a team in RJN. They are a world-class outfit,

they have bags of skill and a hugely talented team,

plus they have an incredible amount of integrity

and a genuine passion for success. RJN engineered

the two-car team faultlessly throughout the season,

and their accommodating can-do attitude made the

season not only fruitful but also hugely rewarding,

We have not yet put pen to

paper for the 2018 season,

but Ben and I have a clear

strategic view of what we

will do next as we head on

our way towards Le Mans.

I’m proud of the progress

Richard has made; he has

made a significant mental

breakthrough this season.

His performance on the

Donington weekend was

especially encouraging, his

first four laps of the race,

typically not his strongest

part was phenomenal. It

is just a shame that he got

caught up in the fluid of the

McLaren which prematurely

ended his race. It has shown

me what he is capable of

and we entered the offseason with our heads held

high.

One thing we are sure about is the team we will

run with for 2018. We were thrilled with the team’s

performance this year, they are a great bunch of

guys, and we have wanted for nothing. I’d especially

like to mention Bob Neville, I have a huge amount of

respect and admiration for his ability and experience,

plus he is without a doubt one of the most genuine

and sincere guys you could wish to work with, we

can’t wait for 2018.

In summary, it’s been one heck of a year, we have

taken many steps forward, and I can’t wait to

continue our journey in 2018.

66


TRACK DAYS

REDEFINED

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.

GET IN TOUCH TODAY AND LET US BUILD

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