J'AIME January 2018

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

J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

A NEW YEAR HAIR

MAKEOVER UP

FOR GRABS

Win!

THE NEW BREED OF ESTATE

AGENTS CHANGING THE WAY

YOU SELL YOUR HOME

A £500 INTERIORS

SHOPPING SPREE

Soul diva

Beverley Knight returns

to Birmingham


uy now

pay next

year

sale starts

boxing day

2 FLOORS OF STUNNING FURNITURE AT AMAZING PRICES

Many of our sofa ranges are available in a wide selection of leathers and fabrics and made to measure

• sofas • armchairs • recliners • table lamps • rugs • coffee tables • dining suites

• beds & bedroom furniture • wall units • mirrors • accessories • giftware department

INCORPORATING NATUZZI SHOWROOM

Suppliers of Stone International, Old Charm, Calligaris, Reflex,

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Over 29 years of excellence - 1989 - 2018

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WS11 0JE


Welcome to J’AIME

As we head into 2018, here at J’AIME we’re

thinking about new beginnings - what will

the New Year bring for you? If a new home

is on the agenda, then check out our feature

on Mr and Mrs Clarke, an estate agency

with a difference which is looking to bring

a breath of fresh air to the property market

around Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield. And

if you’re looking to sell your home enter our

fantastic competition - three lucky winners

will receive estate agency services for free,

courtesy of Mr and Mrs Clarke.

If you’re just looking to update your home,

rather than move, then we’ve got a great

competition for you too - one lucky reader

will win £500 to spend on furniture and

homeware at Blackbrook Interiors, near

Lichfield. Our round-up of the latest interior

design trends for 2018 will hopefully provide

some inspiration too.

But if you’re not quite ready to get out

of the Christmas spirit just yet then why

not get your festive fill at Birmingham

Hippodrome’s cracking panto, Cinderella.

We chat to Fairy Godmother herself, our

cover star soul diva Beverley Knight, who’s

getting back to her Midlands roots in her

first panto outing.

Elsewhere, we’ve got a great mix of foodie

treats, beauty and fashion - including a

sportswear round-up which might just entice

you back into the gym to work of those

festive excesses!

Congratulations are in order for our latest

competition winners; Gemma Griffey of

Barton-under-Needwood scooped the

prosecco afternoon tea at FSK, while Jill

Gowers of Fradley won our £150 Artifex

voucher. We hope you’ve enjoyed your

prizes!

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS:

MARTIN PLOWMAN, JULIETTE KEY, RYAN SHILTON,

ANDREW YOUNGSON, 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 Mr and Mrs Clarke - The new breed of estate

agents changing the way you sell your home

12 Property - Property of the month

14 Property - Million pound properties

16 Interiors - Solid style with concrete

20 Interiors - Natural beauty

24 Interiors - Trend predictions from Leather

by Design

25 Interiors - Go ultra with violet

28 Competition - Win £500 to spend at Blackbrook

Interiors

32 Beverley Knight - The soul diva returns to her

Midlands roots

38 Food and drink - Reviewing Five Rivers, Walsall

40 Food and drink - Cocktail of the month from

Le Rêve

42 Food and drink - A seasonal recipe from

Swinfen Hall’s Four Seasons restaurant

44 Travel - Living the Thai life

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

area this month

52 What’s On - The hottest tickets around

Birmingham

54 Fashion - The hottest boots for winter and

beyond

56 Fashion - Stylish activewear to kickstart your

New Year fitness regime

60 Competition - Win a New Year hair makeover

courtesy of Lewis Moore

62 Beauty - Beauty resolutions from Harvey

Nichols Birmingham

63 Health - The digital revolution for hearing

loss treatment

64 In the news - Furniture company with integrity

at the forefront

65 Motors - Tamworth racing driver Martin

Plowman test drives a British Touring Car

4


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NEW YEAR SALE 2-31 JANUARY 2018


FEATURE

A fresh approach to property

A NEW KIND OF ESTATE AGENCY, MR & MRS CLARKE ARE LOOKING TO SHAKE UP THE LOCAL PROPERTY

MARKET WITH THEIR UNIQUE SERVICE. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE - AND IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO

SELL YOUR HOME YOU COULD WIN THEIR ESTATE AGENCY SERVICE FOR FREE

It’s often quoted as the single most stressful life event,

more so than having a baby, planning a wedding

or even getting a divorce. But what is it about the

prospect of buying or selling a house which fills most

of us with dread and, more often than not, leaves us

tearing our hair out for months on end?

Well, of course, there’s the huge sums of money that

are at stake; a house is, understandably, the most

expensive purchase most of us will ever make. Then

there’s the threat of issues causing delays to a whole

chain of vendors and purchasers, not to mention the

horror of the whole thing falling through at the very

last minute.

But often the difficulty comes from a lack of

communication from the key players in the process;

notably solicitors who are notoriously difficult to

track down when you need them most and estate

agents who can’t seem to communicate.

It was this frustration with estate agents in particular

which was the catalyst for husband and wife team

Paul and Alex Clarke to take a look at how things

could be done, well, differently.

“We thought the property market and estate agency

needed a shake-up,” Paul says. “We were selling a

house in London and trying to buy in Brighton and

we were just amazed at how bad the service was.

Even with a high end agent in London the service

was naff, the photos were terrible, and when we were

trying to buy we had a couple of houses fall through,

the communication was awful and the estate agent

forgot to tell us some pretty important details about

the house we were looking at.”

Paul was running a marketing and events company

while Alex was a party planner working for the Royal

family, used to handling huge occasions with military

precision and top notch service, but the duo saw a

gap in the market for a new kind of estate agency.

“My marketing agency got bought out and we were

looking for a new venture and decided to launch

an estate agency where the marketing was spot on -

6


which is my background - and the service was first

class, which is my wife’s background,” explains Paul.

With their families based in the Midlands, three

years ago the couple ditched the idea of moving to

Brighton and, instead, headed north to launch Mr &

Mrs Clarke. With the marketing and service aspects

covered, they just needed a expert estate agent on

board to fill in the gaps of their industry knowledge.

“We viewed hundreds of houses with the purpose of

finding an estate agent who was really, really good,

which was incredibly tough,” says Paul.

But one stood out from the rest; Warwickshire agent

Borja De Maqua impressed so much that the couple

offered him the role of sales director.

“Between us we’ve got the skills in marketing, service

and the actual nitty gritty of estate agency which is

really important,” says Paul. “It’s not just about the

pretty pictures, there’s a real serious side too.”

Within six months the team grew to ten local

property experts who each knew their market like

the back of their hand, and now Mr & Mrs Clarke

offer their unique service across Warwickshire,

Worcestershire, the Cotswolds and even London.

They value homes and prepare each property for

sale, they lead viewings and open house events and

they work tirelessly to see a sale through and a letting

agreed. And most of all, they aim to take the stress

away.

“It shouldn’t be a stressful process if there’s someone

in the middle who’s picking up the phone and telling

you what’s happened, and what’s going to happen

AMANDA RICHARDS IS BRINGING THE MR

& MRS CLARKE SERVICE TO LICHFIELD AND

SUTTON COLDFIELD

next,” says Paul. “That’s what you really need as a

buyer or a seller, the communication. And so often

it’s not done.

“And sometimes things don’t go to plan, we

appreciate that, but if you handle it well from the

start and be open and honest and keep people in the

loop at all times it makes things easier for everyone

involved.

“Working with buyers and sellers has a real buzz

about it; you’re helping people to move on and to

find their dream homes, which is just lovely.”

And Mr & Mrs Clarke are now bringing their

boutique agency to Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield,

in the hands of the latest addition to their team,

Amanda Richards. Originally from Birmingham,

Amanda grew up in Lichfield so her knowledge of

the area is second to none - an important aspect of

the Mr & Mrs Clarke business.

“We’re very modern in our marketing approach but

we deliver it with very old fashioned service,” says

Amanda.

“The business has developed really well over in

Warwickshire and we’ve had property in London as

well, but I wanted to bring the service to this area.

“I really love this area, particularly Lichfield, there’s

so much to offer here. There’s a real community feel,

7


THE MR & MRS CLARKE ETHOS IS ABOUT

SELLING A LIFESTYLE, AS WELL AS A HOME

and we’ve found that a lot of people are coming back

to the area. There’s a real renaissance happening

in Lichfield right now, with a new generation of

fantastic independent shops, bars and restaurants

which are revitalising the area and I want to be a

part of that with Mr & Mrs Clarke. Lichfield’s got

a great social culture with something for everyone.

People are really entrepreneurial here and they really

support each other.”

Amanda feels that Mr & Mrs Clarke’s approach will

be a real boon to the property market, and provide

vendors and house-hunters with something more.

“It can be a stressful time, and it’s hard work, but

we’re trying to take the stress out of it and make

the process as enjoyable as possible, coming in and

styling people’s homes and showing off their hard

work in creating their homes. From the paper on

the wall to the decor choices, everyone has a story

behind their home and that’s what we want to get

across,” she explains.

“It’s about showing people beautiful homes, as well

as showing potential buyers what kind of lifestyle

that home and the area offers, and I think Lichfield

in particular has a lovely lifestyle to offer.

“We’re not just selling houses, it’s about the lifestyle

too; where can you get a nice pint of real ale, where

are the best restaurants, that sort of thing. And telling

people the stories about what makes a community

great - that’s what we bring to our marketing. Of

course you need to know about the commuter routes

and the schools, all the practical stuff, but it doesn’t

end there.

“Lichfield is a real destination, and on top of that it

has a real sense of history; when I’m writing the copy

for houses in this area I envisage bringing that history

to life. I’m a Brummie originally but we moved

to Lichfield when I was five so I remember being

indoctrinated with the history of the city at school. I

loved that and I want to bring that out for people.

“And then there’s the properties themselves; Sutton

Coldfield has such a lot of beautiful property,

particularly old Sutton with its Victorian and

Edwardian properties - they’re the properties of my

dreams - and Lichfield has great property, as well

as the surrounding villages with beautiful country

cottages, there’s just so much to offer.”

At the heart of Mr & Mrs Clarke’s ethos is the

presentation of properties, with each home on their

books showcased to its best potential.

“We do all of the styling ourselves because we’re

really passionate about interior design; over the years

all of our homes have been featured in national

magazines - mine was in 25 Beautiful Homes and

Paul’s is going into Country Living,” says Amanda,

who gets her love of property and home styling from

her interior designer mum.

8


STUNNING PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE HALLMARK

OF THE MR & MRS CLARKE SERVICE

“I’ve got a storeroom full of props for styling; I’m a

bit addicted to auctions so I’m always buying bits and

pieces to dress houses. I’m always looking for unique

pieces to freshen up properties.

“Sometimes houses don’t sell because they have

nothing in them and people can’t visualise what it

could be like. If you’re into interiors it’s easy, but

so many people aren’t and need to be shown what

can be done. So we’ll go in and dress

the house beautifully so buyers can

envisage what it really feels like to live

in this house. And if we need to we’ll

take in pieces of furniture to show that,

for example, a bedroom can fit a double

bed, or that there is space for a family

dining table.

“It’s a fresh approach, it’s not a gimmick

- it comes from the heart because that’s

what we love to do. And that’s all part of

our service, it’s not an extra.”

Huge importance is also placed on

stunning professional photography which

really captures what each home has to

offer - something that most estate agents

seem to neglect. It’s not unusual to

find homes marketed with poor quality

photos which are still dominated by the

clutter of the owners’ everyday lives.

“It’s the digital age,” explains Amanda.

“Years ago estate agents would have

professional photographers come in

to do their photography, but now they

just walk round themselves with a £100

camera and snap away, that’s it.

“And there are so few

photographs - how

many times have you

looked at property

details and thought,

where’s the third

bedroom?”

Like Paul and

Alex, Amanda has

experienced a lessthan-satisfactory

service from traditional

estate agents, which

is what makes her so

determined to make a

change in the market.

“When I bought my

last house I didn’t really

want it and I had to be

sold it,” she explains. “It’s a really dark property and

I wanted to be able to have a second viewing without

the owner there so I could go around and switch the

lights off, which I felt awkward about doing while she

was there. But when I turned up the owner was there

again and the estate agent just didn’t care; they were

so rude, and made you could see them rolling their

HOMES ARE PROFESSIONALLY

STYLED BY THE TEAM

9


eyes about me having a second viewing.

“I was spending a vast sum of money and I think I’ve

spent more time choosing a coat than I did looking at

that house - it was absolutely bonkers.”

Not content with just looking round the properties

they sell themselves, the Mr & Mrs Clarke team give

each vendor ‘homework’ so they can learn everything

there is to know about the home and be prepared to

answer any potential buyer’s questions.

“We go through everything people could possibly

ask and we want to be ready with the right answers,”

says Amanda. “That way, our vendors know their

house is going to be sold in the best possible way,

with confidence and integrity.”

With their unique approach Mr & Mrs Clarke have

an impressive success rate, even with properties

which have languished on the market with other

estate agents.

“We refresh properties and make them look their

best, with better photography, better write-up, and

that way we’re successful in getting the asking price

for our sellers,” says Amanda.

“Areas need fresh ideas and Mr & Mrs Clarke can

help bring that to the property market around here,

and help to put the area on the map that little bit

more.

“Estate agents have just had it too easy for too long

and we’re here to change that!”

Competition

MR & MRS CLARKE WILL SELL YOUR HOUSE FOR

FREE IN 2018! MR & MRS CLARKE ESTATE AGENCY

ARE OFFERING THREE PROPERTY SELLERS THE

OPPORTUNITY TO SELL THEIR PROPERTY FOR ZERO

FEE. THEY WILL PROVIDE AN EXPERT VALUATION,

FULL HOME STYLING, BEAUTIFUL INTERIOR

PHOTOGRAPHY, ADVERTISING ON RIGHTMOVE,

ZOOPLA AND MRANDMRSCLARKE.COM, THEIR

BOUTIQUE SERVICES INCLUDING AN OPEN HOUSE

EVENT, ALL VIEWINGS AND HANDLE THE SALE

THROUGH TO COMPLETION - FOR NO FEE.

TO ENTER ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SEND AN

EMAIL TO CONTACT@MRANDMRSCLARKE.COM

WITH YOUR NAME, FULL ADDRESS AND PHONE

NUMBER, WITH J’AIME COMPETITION AS THE

SUBJECT MATTER. THE PRIZE WINNERS WILL BE

CHOSEN NO LATER THAN JUNE 1, 2018, SO IF

YOU’RE PUTTING YOUR HOUSE ON THE MARKET

LATER IN THE YEAR YOU WILL STILL BE ELIGIBLE.

The competition is open to UK residents only, and

entrants must be the legal owners of the property they

wish to sell. The winner of the competition will enter into

a 35 week, sole selling rights agreement with Mr & Mrs

Clarke Ltd to advertise the property. If the agreement

is cancelled during the term the winner will be liable for

the marketing costs of advertising the property. Further

terms and conditions apply; visit www.mrandmrsclarke.

com and www.jaimemagazine.com for full details.

10


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PROPERTY

Property of the Month

THIS MONTH’S SELECTION IS A GLORIOUSLY STYLISH GRADE II

LISTED PROPERTY WHICH OOZES PERIOD CHARM

Curborough Grange, Curborough, Lichfield: £1,250,000

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

THE AGENT SAYS: Curborough Grange is a spectacular

period property, around 400 years old, offering the

tranquillity of country life yet close to an abundance of

facilities. This outstanding family home is located in the

hamlet of Curborough. Set amidst glorious open countryside,

the Grade ll listed property is presented in a private four acre

plot with beautiful gardens, paddocks and views of Lichfield

Cathedral just two miles away. Behind the grandeur of its

exterior and impressive driveway, you will find a comfortable

family home with outbuildings, a new stable block and two

paddocks.

The front lawns and formal rose gardens offer a delightful

pathway to the front of the property with original Minton

tiled entrance hall leading to cosy but elegant reception

rooms with an abundance of original features.

The first floor offers five double bedrooms and two

bathrooms. An additional staircase leads to the second floor

which currently provides a gym but could offer the purchaser

scope to create a further five bedrooms if required.

The four acre plot is divided into beautifully kept gardens

and two paddocks currently providing two-and-a-half acres

of grazing with modern double stable block. Double gates

open onto an impressive driveway leading to parking for a

number of vehicles with an additional parking for horsebox

screened from the main house.

THE PERIOD CHARM - AND THE

W E L O V E :

GLORIOUS


OUTSIDE SPACE

12


PROPERTY

Million pound properties

WHAT DOES A COOL £1 MILLION BUY YOU IN THE CITY, VERSUS THE COUNTRY? WE PICK TWO OF OUR

FAVOURITE PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET WHICH SNEAK IN JUST UNDER A SEVEN-FIGURE BUDGET

Manor Farm House, Kings Bromley Road, Alrewas: £975,000

On the market with Parker Hall: 01283 575000

In the

country

THE AGENT SAYS: An individual Grade II listed six

bedroom detached character farmhouse set within the

popular village of Alrewas, offering ample and versatile

accommodation, five double bedrooms and generous

outside space including formal walled gardens, garaging and

parking. Retaining many original features including a wealth

of exposed beams, brickwork and character doors, this

exceptional period home has been recently redecorated and

benefits from immaculately presented interiors presenting

versatile accommodation to suit a growing family.

THE PERIOD-MEETS-CONTEMPORARY

W E L O V E :

STYLE AND BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

35-38 St Paul’s Square, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham: £995,000

On the market with Knight Frank: 0121 396 0557

THE AGENT SAYS: This elegantly restored three

bedroom Georgian townhouse is south facing with the best

views across St Pauls Square, overlooking St Pauls Church

and the gardens below. Contemporary design blends with

Georgian style; each of the spacious rooms has been designed

and decorated to bring out the very best in the unique

characteristics, with detailed features such as oak herringbone

THE FANTASTIC LOCATION AND

W E L O V E :

LUXURIOUS RENOVATION

In the

city

flooring, wall panelling,

high ceilings, deep architraves and skirtings provides a

rich canvas to which you can add your own style. High

specification kitchen with Neff and Bosch appliances and

high-quality bathroom with roll top bath and spacious walk

in shower.

14


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INTERIORS

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style

ONE of the main focuses in recent interior design

trends has been raw materials, rather than just colours

or textures, and while concrete may not seem like the

most obvious choice, it’s quickly becoming one of the

most sought-after looks.

Concrete sinks, worktops and bathrooms have been all

the rage over the past 12 months but for 2018 the raw

material is infiltrating furniture, decorative accessories,

wallcoverings, tiles and more. Far from creating a cold,

hard atmosphere, concrete can actually help to bring

a warmer feel to your home, and using concrete gives

the perfect excuse to add soft furnishings with more

tactile textures.

Concrete works well in a minimalist interior scheme,

but it can work just as nicely when the stone accents

are complemented by creative design touches and

plenty of contrasting texture in accessories, from soft

wool to luxe metallics and show-stopping sparkle.

The juxtaposition of this humble material with a

heightened sense of design lends a fresh feel to the

industrial chic trend which has been a firm favourite in

recent years. Start small with a hanging shelf or candle

holder and work up to wow-worthy pieces like tables

and hanging pendants, which will add an instant touch

of tough glamour to living spaces.

£69

£9

£40

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LAMP, AMARA.

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CONCRETE GLASS

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LYON BETON PERSPECTIVE SIDE TABLE,

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LYON BETON CONCRETE HAUTEVILLE COUNTER

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HOXTON CONCRETE BASE TABLE

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TOSHI BEDSIDE TABLE, £199,

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MENU JWDA CONCRETE LAMP,

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we are launching in Lichfield & Sutton Coldfield.

So, if you fancy a cuppa and chat, call us on 0330 111 9766

or visit us at www.mrandmrsclarke.com


INTERIORS

Natural

beauty

ALWAYS a popular look, botanicals had a truly

tropical vibe for 2017, with palm tree motifs

reminiscent of a Miami beach bringing a fun, holiday

feel to interiors. This trend has had an update for

the season ahead, taking on a slightly more muted

approach for the winter months. Think lots of

greenery, but in deeper tones, with rich green ferns,

forest green velvet and botanical prints in deeper

shades set to take over interior styling.

The beauty of this look is you can take it as far as

you want; either go all out with the trend or just add

subtle touches to update your style. If you’re looking

for a quick makeover, try introducing botanical print

curtains and cushions to your lounge or bedroom,

and some plant-themed prints on the wall as well as a

few succulents and cacti too. A terrarium is a perfect

addition, and if you’re feeling creative you can even

try making your own.

If you really want to make an impact, consider

adding a botanical inspired feature wall. Try painting

your focal wall a deep green or introduce a printed

wallpaper. And, of course, don’t forget the greenery.

Foliage displays and plenty of plants will help you to

really nail the look.

ZUIVER TROPICAL PALM LEAF PRINT RUG,

£259, WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

£110

€42

£85

NOTRE MONDE SLATE DILL GLASS

TRAY, AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

WILD FLORA CUSHION,

MICHAEL MURPHY.

WWW.MICHAELMURPHY.IE

MIA SAROSI RAINFOREST

TABLEWARE, FROM £28,

HEAL’S. WWW.HEALS.COM

BLOOMINGVILLE PENDANT

LAMP WITH PLANT HOLDER,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

20


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 0PT

blackbrook_interiors Blackbrook Interiors @BlackbrookWS14


RIPPLES NICKEL LEAF SCULPTURE,

ALEXANDER AND PEARL.

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£195

£80

FAUX STAGHORN

POTTED PLANT,

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£144

£106

PRUSSIAN BLUE LEAF TOP COFFEE

TABLE, ALEXANDER AND PEARL.

WWW.ALEXANDERANDPEARL.CO.UK

£25

£112

CACTUS SELECTION IN CERAMIC POT,

MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

POLS POTTEN TWIGGY CANDLE

HOLDER, AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

FILIP TABLE LAMP, DAR LIGHTING.

WWW.DARLIGHTING.CO.UK

HUDSON CHAIR IN CRETE GREEN,

FROM £399, BOBBLE GRASS.

£35, AND LARGE CHEESE PLANT,

£49.50, MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

SET OF FOUR BOTANICAL

PRINTS, £308, AUDENZA.

WWW.AUDENZA.COM

J’AIME

LO VES


GILLIAN ARNOLD FRIARY

MEADOW PRINT, £45, ATHENA.

WWW.ATHENAART.COM

MIDNIGHT PLANT POT, £12.95,

AUDENZA. WWW.AUDENZA.COM

TETES D’ARTICHAUT BY FROG WALLPAPER,

£94, WOODCHIP AND MAGNOLIA.

WWW.WOODCHIPANDMAGNOLIA.CO.UK


INTERIORS

Be bold for 2018

As the New Year rolls around, thoughts of freshening

up your home abound. Whether that’s an entire

makeover, the addition of a major new piece of

furniture or simply choosing a few accent pieces to

complement your existing decor scheme the message

is clear - it’s time for a change.

For 2018, we’re seeing a definite shift in furniture

styles, according to Dave Chrisostomou, owner of

established furniture store Leather By Design.

“Here, we are trending towards modular furniture,

a versatile concept which enables small pieces to be

grouped to fit any shape, changing the character of

the space with the use of both fabric and leather,”

Dave explains.

2018 also sees the return to vibrant colour palettes,

encouraging us to be more daring in our choices.”

As Leather By Design enters close to its 30th year of

trading it is worth recognising how it has developed

in terms of keeping its pulse on the continued change

of the interiors marketplace - furniture has become

more of a fashion statement with colours and finishes

changing like the seasons.

Based in Cannock, Leather by Design stocks a

stunning collection of furniture from the world’s

leading and most sought after brands including

Calligaris, Aleal, Hartman, Leather Editions and

more, as well as being home to a showroom featuring

Italian-made furniture and home accessories from

renowned brand Natuzzi.

24


INTERIORS

Violet

haze

WE predicted purple’s popularity only a couple of

short months ago here at J’AIME, and it seems we

were bang on the money as the colour trend gurus at

Pantone have just announced that the mystical Ultra

Violet is their Colour of the Year for 2018. Described

as ‘a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple

shade’, Ultra Violet ‘communicates originality,

ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward

the future’.

The announcement of Pantone’s Colour of the Year

sparks a flurry of activity, with fashion designers and

interiors companies quick to take their cues from the

new ‘it’ hue. We’re still seeing the influence of 2017’s

Greenery, and Ultra Violet is set to make an equally

impressive impact.

This celestial shade, which comes in at the cooler end

of the spectrum with its underlying blue tones, brings to

mind swirling galaxies and a sense of the spiritual. The

bold Ultra Violet works well on large items like sofas,

upholstered beds, or as a striking feature wall, and

pairs beautifully with a lighter pastel purple hue. But if

you’d prefer to take on a true contrasting look, mix with

sunny yellow or pillar box red for extra opulence.

MONOCHROME PURPLE CONSOLE,

£POA, BOCA DO LOBO.

WWW.BOCADOLOBO.COM

£39.95

£25.95

POLKA TIERED CAKE STAND,

ANNABEL JAMES.

WWW.ANNABELJAMES.CO.UK

POLKA COFFEE CUPS, SET

OF FOUR, ANNABEL JAMES.

WWW.ANNABELJAMES.CO.UK

£85

HARE CLOCK, ANNABEL JAMES.

WWW.ANNABELJAMES.CO.UK

CLUB NEON ‘HELLO’ WALL LIGHT,

ALEXANDER AND PEARL.

WWW.ALEXANDERANDPEARL.CO.UK

£72.95

25


£450

MEDINILLA MAGNIFICA

SMALL LAMP, NORDIC KIND.

WWW.NORDICKIND.COM

£400

BAOBAB COLLECTION DISCO

TINA SCENTED 35CM CANDLE,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

£526

PETITE FRITURE FRANCIS MIRROR,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

£175

£20

£49.90

SET OF SIX PURPLE CRYSTAL

HIGHBALL GLASSES, GURASU.

WWW.GURASU.CO.UK

NORMANN COPENHAGEN GEO

THERMOS FLASK, BLACK BY DESIGN.

WWW.BLACK-BY-DESIGN.CO.UK

ABSTRACT PRINT CUSHION,

LOUISE MEAD.

WWW.LOUISEMEAD.CO.UK

LOCKLEY POUFFE, £1,670,

SWEETPEA AND WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

MESMERISE WATERCOLOUR

CUSHION, £95, PENELOPE HOPE.

WWW.PENELOPEHOPE.COM


£35

£40

SHIELD SIDE TABLE, BOCA DO LOBO.

WWW.BOCADOLOBO.COM

£POA

NEWGATE THE PANTRY WALL CLOCK,

BLACK BY DESIGN.

WWW.BLACK-BY-DESIGN.CO.UK

LUND LONDON GALLERIA

DOUBLE PHOTO FRAME, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£POA

ASSOCIATES OXFORD CUSHION,

RUME. WWW.RUME.CO.UK

£95

MATLOCK SOFA IN DESIGNERS GUILD

VARESE MAUVE VELVET, SOFAS &

STUFF. WWW.SOFASANDSTUFF.COM

WINCHESTER METROPOLITAN FIELD

TILE IN HEATH, £84.95, ORIGINAL

STYLE. WWW.ORIGINALSTYLE.COM

DULWICH GRAND SOFA, £1,970,

DARLINGS OF CHELSEA.

WWW.DARLINGSOFCHELSEA.CO.UK


COMPETITION

A treasure trove for the home

A ONE-STOP DESTINATION FOR ALL YOUR HOMEWARE NEEDS, BLACKBROOK INTERIORS IS AT

THE FOREFRONT OF STYLISH INTERIOR DESIGN - AND YOU COULD WIN £500 TO SPEND IN STORE

When you step inside the doors at Blackbrook

Interiors, you’re welcomed into an Aladdin’s Cave of

beautiful, stylish, often quirky and unique pieces for

your home. The extensive showrooms roll on and on,

and as you explore each room there’s more and more

to be discovered. The walls are adorned with funky

artworks, there’s a room packed with ornate mirrors

while beautifully crafted solid wood dining tables take

centre stage.

Benches crafted from gym equipment and covered in

supple leather make for a striking design statement,

while cowhide makes an appearance on an extensive

range of stools, chairs and pouffes to great effect.

A collection of on-trend mid-century modern furniture

encapsulates one of the main furniture design stories

of the moment. The shapes are sleek, the materials

are pared down to create a retro modern classic look.

Look up, and the lighting ranges from sophisticated

chandeliers to enormous statement pieces which are

guaranteed to give your space the wow factor, while

a Vespa turned into a glass-topped table packs a real

design punch.

With so much on offer, they truly live up to their billing

as ‘Staffordshire’s best-kept secret’.

A treasure trove of everything for your home and

garden, from furniture and lighting to decorative

accessories, quirky design touches and pieces which

will really make a statement, Blackbrook Interiors is a

home design lover’s dream.

The business is run by husband and wife team Mike

and Sue Rowan, who bring more than four decades of

experience in the antiques and homewares industry to

Blackbrook.

Mike says: “We’ve been here since 2010; my

background has always been antiques and we have a

wholesale company in Burton-on-Trent, and when this

28


uilding became available we decided to go into retail

to showcase the products we supply to the trade and

also have manufactured exclusively for ourselves. It’s

just grown and evolved from there.

“We started the business in 1973 and our son Ben now

runs the wholesale side from our site in Burton-on-

Trent, with Sue and myself running the retail side.

“Retail is completely different to anything I’ve ever

known before, and it was a

brave move especially in the

financial climate which was

prevalent at the time, but it’s

worked.”

Blackbrook Interiors is a true

destination for everything

for the home. Situated just

outside Lichfield off the

busy A38, the extensive

showrooms are set in

beautiful 18th century

buildings which were built

by Benjamin Wyatt, father

of James Wyatt who was

architect to King George

III. James was born at what

is now Blackbrook Interiors

in 1746 and is buried in

Westminster Abbey.

“The buildings are all listed and make a wonderful

setting for what we’re doing here,” says Mike.

With a background in antiques - still evident in some

of Blackbrook Interiors’ offerings - it has been a

gradual move into the more interior design-led feel

which is now prevalent in the shop.

“We lived in America for five years and we had a

store over there, and that’s when we got more into the

interior design side of things,” says Mike.

Moving to the south of France also provided Mike and

Sue with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the

chic home designs which characterise the region - and

to bring those influences home when they opened

Blackbrook Interiors.

“We picked up quite a number of ideas from living

in France; French chic is hugely influential in interior

design and something which never goes out of style.

And there’s always parts of that style you can use when

you’re designing something else.”

Over the years, Mike and Sue have built up a loyal

following of customers who are drawn by their friendly

service and extensive range.

“We’ve built up a large client base and we get a lot of

repeat clients; I didn’t realise how loyal people would

become, but they do. It’s nice to be able to furnish

a whole home, or just to supply accent pieces,” says

Mike.

“There’s an awful lot more in our range that we’re able

to source and offer, so even if it’s not on display here

we can find it for you.”

Staying at the forefront of interior design trends has

earned Blackbrook Interiors a reputation as a go-to for

those in the know.

“We travel all over the world buying, which is

something we’ve always done, and we’re always trying

to source new products, think about what trends are


coming up and try to keep the business competitive,”

explains Mike.

“In April we’re launching a range of dining furniture

which encompasses concrete. There are quite a lot

of people doing concrete topped console tables and

dining tables, but we’ve gone for something a bit

different, using concrete accents like concrete facings

on sideboards and concrete accessories like mirrors

and lamps rather than concrete tops. We sourced the

range from India and it’s unique to us in the country.”

The couple, along with their son Ben, spend a lot of

time during the year travelling to far-flung destinations

in search of unique, stylish pieces and to work on

designs for Blackbrook Interiors’ own in-house ranges.

“We go to India four times a year on buying trips,

and then we work with factories to produce our own

designs,” he says.

Far Eastern destinations including Thailand, China

and Indonesia are the mainstays, as well as reimporting

products from the USA and buying from South Africa.

They also manufacture bespoke pieces here in the UK.

When it comes to designing Blackbrook’s very own

range of furniture pieces, Mike is hands-on throughout

the process. Taking influence from the greatest

designers over the centuries, Mike puts his own twist

on classics, as well as creating unique pieces which tap

into current design trends.

“We like to offer our customers something a bit

different, something unique, and with such an

extensive range here we like to think there’s something

for everyone.”

For more information visit

www.blackbrook-interiors.co.uk.

Competition

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH BLACKBROOK INTERIORS TO OFFER READERS THE

CHANCE TO WIN A £500 VOUCHER TO SPEND IN STORE. OUR LUCKY WINNER

WILL BE ABLE TO GIVE THEIR HOME A STYLISH MAKEOVER, CHOOSING FROM

THE EXTENSIVE RANGE OF BEAUTIFUL DESIGNS ON OFFER.

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THIS FABULOUS PRIZE, SIMPLY ANSWER THE

FOLLOWING QUESTION:

THE NEW RANGE TO BE LAUNCHED AT BLACKBROOK INTERIORS IN APRIL

ENCOMPASSES WHICH MATERIAL?

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

competitions@jaimemagazine.com with Blackbrook Interiors competition as the email subject.

Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, January 26, and our winner will be notified by

Wednesday, January 31. The voucher is valid until April 30, 2018 on full price items only. No cash

alternative is available. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.jaimemagazine.com for further details.

30


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

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‘For a truly unique and individual lounge setting we welcome

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

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

Contact Simon Edwards or Chris Edwards on 01543 505539

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


F E AT U R E

Soul star gets her fairy wings

SOUL SUPERSTAR-TURNED MUSICAL THEATRE LEADING LADY BEVERLEY KNIGHT IS RETURNING

TO HER MIDLANDS ROOTS FOR HER FIRST STINT ON THE PANTO STAGE AT THE BIRMINGHAM

HIPPODROME. SHE CHATS TO AMY NORBURY AHEAD OF THE SHOW ABOUT TURNING FAIRY

GODMOTHER AND COMING HOME FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON

BEVERLEY KNIGHT

IS STARRING AS THE

FAIRY GODMOTHER IN

CINDERELLA AT THE

HIPPODROME

The Wolverhampton twang may have softened

ever so slightly over the years but Beverley Knight’s

Midlands roots are still evident in her voice, even

after more than two decades of international

stardom and mixing with the music industry’s elite.

Until she starts singing, that is. Then, well, the vocals

are pure soul powerhouse.

The soul diva - although in person she’s charming,

down-to-earth and about as far away from divalike

as you can get - has spent the past 20-odd years

thrilling audiences with her sublime voice, seling

more than a million albums and singing with the likes

of Stevie Wonder, Prince and Chaka Khan - she was

even flown over to Prince’s Oscars party to perform

in front of Hollywood’s elite. Not bad for a girl from

Wolverhampton.

And not content with being a superstar singer and

songwriter, Beverley has, in recent years, embarked

on something of a second career in musical theatre,

taking on several iconic roles in the West End.

So while she’s completely at home on the stage,

the latest addition to Beverley’s immense CV is

something of an unknown quantity. Until the end

of January, Beverley is starring as Fairy Godmother

in Birmingham Hippodrome’s panto spectacular

Cinderella, alongside pop star Suzanne Shaw in the

title role, soap actor and Strictly Come Dancing

finalist Danny Mac as Prince Charming and

Birmingham panto favourite Matt Slack as Buttons.

“I’ve never done panto before and it’s not something

I ever thought I’d be doing - I’ve always gone

to panto but never imagined I’d be in one so it’s

32


something very different for me,” says Beverley.

“Everyone’s said just to be prepared for what’s flung

at you. So in a way I don’t know what to expect

and I don’t know what’s going to be coming in my

direction. But it’ll be a good laugh, that I do know.

“Panto is so much fun; the last show I went to was

Jack and the Beanstalk at the Lyric in Hammersmith

about four years ago, and it was just so lovely. Often

it’s the first experience of theatre for kids so it’s so

nice to see then having a fantastic time.”

With just an intense two-week rehearsal period

before the show, the pressure’s on, but consummate

professional Beverley is taking it all in her stride.

“I know Suzanne Shaw and I met the other cast

members when we did the launch at the Villa - never

thought I’d be at the Villa,” laughs Beverley, a proud

Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter.

“The claret and blue aren’t for me, I’m more of a

black and gold girl myself!

“I just thought they were really great fun; Matt

Slack seems like a right laugh and I’m really looking

forward to just hanging out with them.”

Birmingham was the perfect place for Beverley’s

first foray into panto; living in London and touring

all over the world means that time at home in the

Midlands is a precious commodity.

“It’s my first panto, I’ve never done it before and

I wanted to be with my family over the Christmas

period so what better way than to be able to do that

than by doing panto?” she says.

“It just all made sense. It means I get to be home for

Christmas; I don’t get to be home much so you just

grab the opportunity when it comes, I’m so chuffed.”

And Birmingham’s epic production isn’t exactly

BEVERLEY KNIGHT

AS GRIZABELLA IN

CATS. PHOTO BY

MATT CROCKETT

BEVERLEY AS FELICIA

FARRELL IN MEMPHIS.

PHOTO BY MATT CROCKETT

your run-of-the-mill pantomime - the budget stands

at a cool £5 million, the sets are magnificent, the

costumes lavish and production values world class, so

Beverley’s started right at the top of the panto heap.

The songstress has recently finished a UK tour

to showcase her critically-acclaimed 2016 album,

Soulsville. The I Love Soulsville tour was originally

planned to take place over summer 2017, but a

diagnosis of uterine fibroids in May resulted in

surgery to remove them as well as a hysterectomy

that meant Beverley had to reluctantly move all dates

to October. After a lengthy recovery, she was back to

what she does best.

“I’ve been up and down the country with the tour so

it’ll be nice to be settled in one place for a while, and

what a home to come back to,” she says. “

This will be the first time in four years I’ve had

Christmas in my neck of the woods as opposed to

being in London, or trying to get home and back

because I’m on stage, so this is going to be lovely for

me.”

Music is in Beverley’s blood; as a child she would

sing at her local church where her mother would

33


often lead the congregation in song, and the songs

of soul legends such as Sam Cooke and Aretha

Franklin were the soundtrack to her childhood.

She performed in amateur theatre productions at

school and with Wolverhampton Youth Theatre until

she left to embark on her singing career. So it’s no

surprise that she would one day return to the theatre

stage.

Beverley’s interest was first piqued when the script

for Memphis: the Musical landed in her lap and it

seemed like fate was leading her down a new career

route.

“It was Sir Lenny Henry and his partner Lisa Makin

who were involved in the early days of Memphis,

and Lisa got in touch because she thought I’d be

great as the lead role of Felicia, so that’s what got

me thinking about going back to theatre in the first

place,” she says.

“It was way ahead of the show’s actual production

- they didn’t even have a theatre sorted. But then I

saw that The Bodyguard was on in London and they

were doing a complete cast change, which is unusual,

and I thought that I know those songs and I’ve had

lots of years of theatre experience in am-dram so

something just triggered and I thought it would be

nice to go back.”

Despite having no professional musical theatre

experience at all, Beverley suitably impressed and

West End impresario Michael Harrison cast her in

the lead role of Rachel Marron, following in the

footsteps of Whitney Houston’s iconic film turn.

“It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” says

Beverley. “I’m not going to lie, it was pretty nervewracking,

and there were all these critics there ready

to say how crap I was so I had a lot to show the

theatre community, to prove that I could do it.

“The dress run was more nerve-wracking than the

actual first show because that makes the whole thing

feel real. After that, I was like put the audience in

now, I’m ready.”

Beverley - and the musical theatre community

at large - needn’t have worried. Her stellar

performances in The Bodyguard led to a nomination

for Best Takeover of a Role at the Whatsonstage

Awards, and when Memphis the Musical finally hit

the stage in the West End in October 2014 Beverley

stunned in the lead role of Felicia Farrell, earning

an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a

Musical in the process.

A bona fide theatre star was born. Further West End

roles came calling; in 2015 Beverley took on the role

of Grizabella in the revival of Cats at the London

THE CINDERELLA

CAST AT THE PANTO

LAUNCH AT ASTON

VILLA

34


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Palladium, and when The Bodyguard

returned to London for a limited six-month

run it was Beverley who again took on the

starring role.

But while Beverley is clearly excelling in her

new theatre fame, singing is where she truly

comes into her own.

“I love the camaraderie of being with

everyone in a theatre show, having a crew

around me, which is a lot of fun, but I’m

absolutely a musician, a singer, a songwriter

and arranger, that’s what I am at my

core so it’s extremely natural and just so

comfortable for me,” she says.

“Being in theatre is a lot of work; you’re

sharing the stage with a lot of people which

is beautiful, but you’re doing shows six days

a week and sometimes twice in a day, which

is tough.

“When I’m on stage doing my own thing

I’m just feeling it; in the theatre production

I’m always thinking about what’s next,

what I need to be doing. It’s wonderful

though; it’s really good to do things which

challenge you.”

As if 2017 hadn’t been hectic enough for

the Wolverhampton lass, in November

she teamed up with British singer Cassidy

Janson and American actress Amber Riley

to form a musical theatre supergroup,

known collectively as the Leading Ladies.

Their debut album, Songs from the Stage,

features covers songs from Cats, Beautiful

and Rent among others.

“We’ll see how that goes; maybe we’ll get

to tour the album, which will be fantastic if

we do,” Beverley says.

“But after that, who knows? I’ve given up

guessing, I can’t predict what I’m doing

anymore; a show could come along, a play

could come along and I’ve got to write

another album, that’s for sure!

“But I’m sure whatever I end up doing, it’ll

be a great experience!”

Beverley Knight is starring as Fairy

Godmother in Cinderella at the

Birmingham Hippodrome until Sunday,

January 28. For more information and to

book tickets call the box office on

0844 338 5000 or visit

www.birminghamhippodrome.com.

36


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F O O D & D R I N K

Fine dining with spice

FOR A DEFINITIVE TASTE OF THE EAST, IT’S TIME TO HEAD TO WALSALL’S

FIVE RIVERS, WHERE FINE DINING COMES ALIVE WITH ADDED SPICE

If you’re a fan of Indian food then surely you’ve paid a

visit to Walsall’s Five Rivers by now. No? Then, let me

tell you, you’re in for a treat.

This ultra-stylish eatery - which opened in 2012

- has injected some much-needed glamour and

sophistication into Walsall’s dining scene with its fine

dining approach to Indian cuisine. A curry house this

certainly isn’t.

From the second you walk in, you realise that Five

Rivers is something a bit out of the ordinary, a bit

special. The waiting staff and bartenders are stylishly

clad in crisp white shirts, the tables are adorned with

crisp white linen and there’s a gleam from the polished

cutlery and sparkling glassware.

The library bar is an impressive sight, stocked with

premium spirits and Champagnes with a set of ladders

needed to access the highest reaches. This emphasis on

the finest drinks shows in Five Rivers’ mouth-watering

cocktail menu, which encompasses some innovative

in-house creations and twists on the classics.

Rather than relax in the lounge area, we opted to

watch skilled bartender Aaron craft our cocktails,

expertly measuring, pouring, muddling and shaking.

My husband ordered his all-time favourite cocktail,

the Billionaire Boys Club (£9.50) which is Five Rivers’

take on a Old Fashioned using Woodford

Reserve bourbon, Jerry Thomas bitters,

orange and homemade cola syrup - he’s

ordered it the past couple of times we’ve

dined at Five Rivers and it was the thing

he was most looking forward to. Aaron’s

version, finished with a maraschino cherry

and twist of orange zest, certainly lived up

to its billing.

My Scorched Lady (£9.50), a gin-based

concoction mixed with mandarin liqueur,

scorched orange and lemon juice with

the addition of egg white to create a

luxuriously smooth foam and an absinthe

rinse to add a hint of anise, was equally

pleasing, and we were also brought an

appetiser of spiced okra fries, which were a

lovely accompaniment to the drinks.

While the menu is much more compact

than you might find at your usual Indian

restaurant - here the focus is on quality, not quantity

- there’s still an array of mouth-watering dishes to

choose from. So we were lucky that, to give us a true

feel for Five Rivers’ style, head chef Rashpal Sunner

had devised a tasting menu (£49 per head) featuring

some of the restaurant’s signature dishes.

We were shown to our cosy table by our waiter Ayas,

who provided

exceptional,

knowledgeable

service all evening.

Rather than

the ubiquitous

poppadoms and

chutneys, we dived

straight into our

first course of papri

chaat, a fine dining

take on a popular

Indian street food

dish. Beautifully

presented, this

mouth watering

mixture of crisp

38


flour crackers with diced potatoes, chickpeas, red

onions and sev - those little chickpea noodles most

commonly found in Bombay mix - topped with sweet

yoghurt, tamarind sauce and jewels of pomegranate

was an delicious explosion of flavours and textures.

The crunch of the crackers and bite of the potatoes

and chickpeas was perfectly balanced by the smooth

yoghurt, while the tangy tamarind tempered the

richness nicely.

It was a triumphant start, which set the standard

for things to come. The next two starter dishes were

real highlights of the meal; I loved the lobster, with

its succulently sweet meat deep fried and bound in a

tangy sauce packed with crunchy vegetables, while

the beautifully cooked chicken breast pieces - one a

traditional tikka and one with a fresh mint twist - were

a favourite of my husband.

After a refreshing palate-cleanser of lemon sorbet

it was onto the main event. For this, we were served

up a selection of dishes and accompaniments to try.

The karahi gosht - melt-in-the-mouth lamb braised

in a spicy masala of garlic, ginger, onions, tomatoes,

green chillies and fresh green coriander - was rich

and flavourful, packing a nicely spicy punch, while

the chooza makhani - morsels of roasted chicken

simmered in a smooth smoked tomato, yoghurt and

cashew nut sauce - was perfect for those who like their

Indian food on the milder side.

While I’m a committed meat eater, one of my

favourite things about Indian food is the abundance of

glorious vegetarian fayre. The daal bukhara - a lentil

and kidney bean delicacy - was beautifully spiced,

and perfect for scooping up with the soft garlic and

coriander naan bread, again a delight. But it was the

restaurant’s award-winning saag Punjabi which really

hit the high notes. This dish was crowned number one

in the Hello Curry Awards hosted by Birmingham

Airport, and was created using a secret recipe from

Rashpal’s ancestral kitchen. The fresh, creamy spinach

was a real triumph.

A portion of matar pilau rice, packed with fresh

garden peas, complemented the main course dishes

nicely.

Now dessert isn’t something we’d usually manage at an

Indian restaurant, so it was lovely to sample some of

Five Rivers’ homemade offerings. Presented on a slate

and chrome cake stand, the puds were picture perfect,

and tasted even better.

The strawberry cheesecake was a heavenly morsel,

and the ice cream served in a chocolate case was

luxuriously smooth. The rose scented honey-infused

gulab jamun was a little heavy and overly sweet after

such a substantial meal, however the coconut kheer

was just sublime. This thick and creamy rice pudding

infused with shavings of fresh coconut was a real

indulgence, comfort food at its best.

Five Rivers’ head chef Rashpal Sunner has an

excellent pedigree - he’s scooped a plethora

of industry awards and catered for VIPs

including Bill Clinton and Tony Blair - and

his innovative food is well worth the journey

alone. But add in the exceptional service,

stylish setting and outstanding cocktail menu,

and you’ve got a serious contender. Prices

are a little higher than at your standard curry

house - and a discretionary ten percent service

charge is automatically added to the bill - but

the old adage rings true; you get what you pay

for.

Walsall home to fine dining? At Five Rivers, it

certainly is.

39


F O O D & D R I N K

Cocktail of the month

JULIETTE KEY, FROM LE RÊVE COCKTAIL BAR IN LICHFIELD, SERVES UP A HEALTH

CONSCIOUS COCKTAIL PERFECT FOR ANYONE ON A POST-CHRISTMAS HEALTH KICK

Aloe Aloe

12.5ml honey

50ml Absolut Berry vodka

50ml coconut water

12.5ml fresh lime

25ml aloe vera Juice

5 mint leaves

1 mint sprig

Muddle mint and honey in to your

shaker, then add the rest of the

ingredients and top up with ice. Shake

vigorously, then double strain into your

glass over crushed ice, add mint sprig

to garnish.

40


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Obviously we are renowned for our steaks cooked

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know we also have an amazing array of seafood to

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How about sampling our monkfish starter or

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Our FSK philosophy is all about farm to table and

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Don’t forget too our live music on Friday and

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F O O D & D R I N K

Tantalise your tastebuds

RYAN SHILTON, HEAD CHEF AT SWINFEN HALL’S AWARD-WINNING FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT,

SHARES A MOUTH-WATERING DISH FROM THEIR CURRENT MENU FOR YOU TO TRY

Recently named Independent Restaurant of the Year

at the Taste of Staffordshire Awards 2017, Swinfen

Hall’s Four Seasons restaurant is one of the jewels in the

region’s fine dining crown.

Head chef Ryan Shilton was born and raised in

Staffordshire and is determined that Swinfen’s Four

Seasons should be the flagship restaurant for the county

and a mainstay in raising Staffordshire’s culinary

profile. Although only 24 years old, Ryan - who has

held the top job at Swinfen since March 2016 - quickly

established a very accomplished and loyal brigade and

together they have built up an enthusiastic following

in the restaurant. Ryan’s precocious talent has been

recognised by the AA, awarding him three rosettes in

September.

Red mullet with cauliflower,

fennel and baked orange

Ingredients: serves four

2 fillets of red mullet

1 cauliflower

1 bulb fennel

6 oranges

handful of capers

300ml milk

150g butter

100g sugar

4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

10ml vegetable oil

For the baked orange, peel five oranges with a

knife and segment the oranges. Put these in a

pan with the sugar and two tablespoons of white

wine vinegar, cover with foil and bake at 180

degrees for 20 minutes.

Prep the cauliflower into florets, and roast four

medium-sized florets in 50g butter until soft and

golden brown. Put the cauliflower trimmings

into a pan with the milk and cooked until soft

then drain the milk, add 100g butter and blitz

until smooth.

Make a dressing out of the zest and juice of

the remaining orange, 10ml vegetable oil and 2

tablespoons of white wine vinegar.

Thinly slice the fennel and pour the orange

dressing over.

Cook the red mullet in a non-stick frying pan on

a medium heat for two minutes skin side down,

take the pan off the heat and flip the fish over to

gently finish for 30 seconds.

Serve the red mullet with the roasted cauliflower,

cauliflower puree, fennel and baked orange, and

garnish with capers.

42


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32

Telephone: 0121 308 3895

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


T R AV E L

Memoirs of a teenage farang

AS HE MAKES PLANS TO RETURN TO THAILAND YEARS AFTER LIVING THERE AS

A TEENAGER, ANDREW YOUNGSON GETS IN A NOSTALGIC FRAME OF MIND

THE STUNNING BANYAN TREE

RESORT, PHUKET

The motorbike buzzed along the dark side streets

barely slowing for speed bumps and stray dogs. With

hands planted on the bar behind my back, I clung to

the slim bike in a state of hazy exhilaration.

My parents had made me promise never to take

one of these dangerous two wheeled taxis. That was

part of it. But it was more than betraying their trust

which made my teenage heart skip.

It was 3am in Bangkok, and the sting of the sun was

gone but the air was still thick and clammy. Only the

air whipping past the goateed rider and me kept me

from perspiring. The smells that had once been so

alien and overpowering – the sharp garlic tang of the

street vendors’ dishes, the juicy bursts of jasmine, the

cloying wafts from the drains – were suddenly part of

me.

This city, with its 10 million residents who bustled

from A to B to Z at all hours of the day, its logjammed

traffic systems, its East-meets-West jumble

of philosophy and commerce, were in my blood. And

it felt wonderful.

When I think back on my few years living in

Thailand, this is the first memory which comes back

to me. Odd when I think of it. From the ages of

16 to 18, I completed my final years of high school

in the heart of Bangkok in an international school

where I made lifelong friends with fellow teens from

across the planet. I lived the privileged life of a

‘farang’ (Thai for foreigner), an expat with pocket

money that allowed me to live like a prince - well, a

prince of shopping malls, cinemas, eateries and neon

lit nightclubs.

On school trips and family holidays I was able to

explore Thailand, from the verdant hills and snaking

waterways of the north, to the powder white sands

of the southern islands. Five star hotels, orchid-lined

resorts, the finest of eastern dining – all were laid out

for me to sample. Me. A skinny, pale, short kid from

north-east Scotland.

Such luxury. But it’s that night on the back of a rusty

motorcycle which immediately springs to mind when

I reflect on my Thailand chapter more than 15 years

ago. The night that the Land of Smiles entered my

heart.

44


A BUSTLING

BANGKOK STREET

My nostalgia is coming back in palpable waves at the

moment because I’m planning my return as I write.

Next October, my family and I will take the 11-anda-half-hour

flight to Bangkok to reacquaint ourselves

with the place we once called ‘home’.

But what can we expect from the trip? Where do

we want to go on this pilgrimage? What will have

changed in the years we’ve been away? The islands,

the city, the north; all three are top of our list. And as

we look into each area to plan our trip, as we delve

into researching accommodation and experiences,

I am drawn back into my memories of my youth in

Thailand…

The islands

For the briefest of moments, the Filipina singer

glanced in my direction. I had already been

spellbound by her soft vocalisations for some time,

but when our eyes connected momentarily across the

dining room, I felt so special.

Stylish, serene and propped up against a stool

next to a grand piano. She was like the physical

manifestation of the very best parts of my long

weekend retreat to Phuket. The island’s beautiful

beaches, crystal clear waters and exotic

wildlife given human form. And on this, our

last night before flying home, I was already

getting wistful.

Not that it had been the easiest of trips. The

beauty of the five star resort my parents

and I were treated to – my stepdad Ian had

won a two-night stay in a private villa in

the Banyan Tree resort – was juxtaposed

with my poor mother’s terrible bout of

bronchitis.

Ian and I felt guilty as heck luxuriating in

our private pool, going for trips to see the

stunningly mountainous geography, and

haggling for trinkets in the Patong beach

markets without her. But thankfully by the

last full day and night on the island off the

Southwestern coast of the mainland, all

three of us were able to step out into the

sun together and bask in the delights of the

Banyan Tree.

I don’t remember much more about the

trip. But the serenity of the resort sticks

in my mind. I remember walking for a

long stretch of the shoreline, the waters

quietly lapping at my feet, the sun beating

down upon me, the wind gently keeping

my forehead cool. It sounds like a cliché,

but when I turned around, mine were the

only footprints to be seen. Perhaps we

were off season. Maybe we had just hit a

quiet weekend. But for that walk along the

beach, Phuket was mine alone.

John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane is jumbled

up with my memories of the island. The Filipina

performer had been softly singing it as we left the

restaurant on our final night. I caught her eye and

instinctively raised a hand to wave. The corners of

her mouth raised slightly. She waved back. I felt like

a billion baht.

The north

“Field trips aren’t like this at home,” I mused

inwardly as our wooden raft glided ever closer to

the epicentre of the Golden Triangle. Back home,

I had taken bus trips to Edinburgh Zoo and eaten

sandwich spread-filled packed lunches in York. I

loved those trips, but this was different.

Here I was paddling along the mighty Mekong River

with a small handful of my geography classmates,

seeing the convergence point of Thailand, Myanmar

and Laos with our own eyes. Looking past the pofaced

armed guards on the banks, I was amazed by

the significance of this landmark, and the majesty of

the wide river.

BUDDHISTS IN BANGKOK


ANDREW ON A CLASS

FIELD TRIP TO CHIANG RAI

In fact, the river was our main reason for being in

Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand.

Our module in geography class that term was on the

morphology of waterways and its impact on tourism.

So why wouldn’t we hop on a minibus and take a

13-hour trip from Bangkok to see these processes in

real life?

I remember the knot in my stomach the night

before we went on our trip. I was a fairly immature

17-year-old at the time, and the prospect of a trek far

from home into the wilds of the country made me

anxious. But as with all new experiences where the

bonds of friendship tighten, anxiety soon gave way to

the thrill of sharing an adventure.

Over the coming days, my classmates and I walked

with elephants in the jungle, slept in a beautiful cabin

in the woods, ate delicious Lanna dishes (the cuisine

native to northern Thailand), and glided along the

Mekong on wooden rafts.

I couldn’t tell you much about the geography lessons

I learned on the field trip. How fast the river flowed,

the genus of the trees, the geology of the dramatic

mountains. No idea. But I remember the beauty

of the scenery, the amazing meals, the smiles and

camaraderie. More than enough to whet my appetite

for more.

Chaweewan had a point – I

did want to blend in with the

crowd. To be a real Thai boy.

Life in Bangkok was a mixed

bag. The luxury of the expat

lifestyle jarred with the

exhausting humidity, milelong

traffic jams, and polluted

air (back in the late 1990s,

Bangkok was one of the most

polluted cities in the world). For

an Aberdonian boy who was

used to space and fresh cold air,

it took a long time to adjust.

But when I was over the culture

shock, something infectious

about the city gripped me:

the joy of melting into the

streaming crowds in the bustling streets; leaving

an air-conditioned showing at the local cinema

multiplex, and out into the warm embrace of the

night air; ascending to the roof terrace of our

10-storey apartment block, and bathing in the orange

haze and incandescent glitter of the night-time

skyline.

Again, I hold my hands up and own my privilege.

Thailand is a country where a tourist’s money can

go a long way. But for an expatriate whose stepfather

worked in the oil industry during the boom of

the late ‘90s, the doors opened that much wider.

Bangkok is famous for its backpacking district where

a little cash goes far, but like the five-star resorts of

the country’s islands, the city boasts just as many

luxurious getaways within its busy walls.

Often housed within the sky-scraping towers of

major hotel brands – your Dusit Thanis, Anantaras

THE GOLDEN TEMPLE,

BANGKOK

The city

“Why have you dyed your hair black?”

As I slumped my shoulder bag full of school

books down on the desk, my Thai teacher Khun

Chaweewan berated me, shock written across her

face.

“Here you are, in an international school with people

from all over the world. And you just want to look

Thai,” she laughed incredulously.

Maybe I was just a teenager who had discovered

hair dye, piercings and tattoos. But maybe Khun

46


and Mandarin Orientals – some of the city’s top

dining and relaxation experiences can be found.

My mind immediately flashes back to sipping on a

cocktail in Vertigo, the appropriately-named 61stfloor

bar of the Banyan Tree on Sathorn Road. I also

think of eating the most wonderful Sunday brunch at

Trader Vics, with its live music, and stunning views

across the mighty Chao Phraya river. And this is

to say nothing of experiencing the opulence of the

Grand Palace, the floating markets, and Wat Pho

with its golden reclining Bhudda.

Whenever I hear of friends and acquaintances

talking of their holidays to Thailand, Bangkok rarely

features in their highlights. I get it. The beaches,

forests and clear blue waters are hard to compete

with. But for me, the neon thrum of the nation’s

capital is where my thoughts always come to rest.

The return

So many memories, so much expectation. When I

return to Thailand in October it’s going to be nighimpossible

to avoid comparing the country to my

rose-tinted recollections. They key will be to find new

experiences.

Sure, when I’m in Bangkok I’ll visit the old haunts,

and reminisce with my family. But that can only be

part of the journey. Why fly for half a day when I

can make the trip in my memories right now?

And so, this is why I open my arms out to the

RB Collection team. Whether it’s returning to a

honeymoon location, reliving the adventures of a

gap year, or returning to the site of one’s youth,

they’re used to handling the weight of people’s travel

expectations. They know how to find new angles and

fresh experiences.

I’ll let them sit in the driver’s seat. I’ll just cling on

and let the humid night air take me back.

Andrew is currently planning his return visit to Thailand with

RB Collection of Boley Park, Lichfield. You can do by calling

them on 01543 258631. Appointments recommended.

J’aime reader offer

MENTION J’AIME WHEN BOOKING YOUR

THAILAND HOLIDAY BEFORE JANUARY 31,

2018 AND RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY

THAI COOKBOOK. APPLICABLE TO NEW

BOOKINGS ONLY.

AYUTTHAYA KINGDOM,

THAILAND

47


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:

Aladdin

WHERE:

Lichfield

Garrick

WHEN:

Until

January 6

Don’t miss your last chance to catch the Garrick’s

riotous festive feast with the last few performances of

Aladdin! Already showing to be just as successful as the

previous sell-out show Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin has

been hitting the high notes for family fun. CBeebies

Cat Sandion stars in the role of Jasmine, while Sam

Rabone and Ben Thornton are bringing the laughs

to Lichfield as Dame Widow Twankey and Wishee

Washee with stellar performances. 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 call 01543

412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com

WHAT: Lichfield

Arts presents Stevie

Nimmo

WHERE: Lichfield

Guildhall

WHEN: January 14

The critically acclaimed blues musician Stevie Nimmo

and his band will make their Lichfield Guildhall

debut this month. Stevie Nimmo has been successfully

recording and touring for the last two decades.

Born and raised in Glasgow, there was always music

around as Stevie grew up. Stevie never had any guitar

or singing lessons but throughout the family there were

plenty of people who sang or played some kind of

instrument to learn from. Early success came with his

brother Alan in the Nimmo brothers, one of the leading

bands on the British blues circuit. In January 2010 Stevie

recorded his first solo album The Wynds of Life at The

Zone recording Studios outside Austin, Texas with an

A-list of Austin’s finest musicians, and Stevie’s second

album Sky Won’t Fall was released in March 2016 and

has gone on to garner reviews including ‘Blues album

of the Year’. For more details call 01543 262223 or visit

www.lichfieldarts.org.uk.

WHAT:

The Magic of Motown

WHERE:

Lichfield Garrick

WHEN:

January 19

Music fans are invited to the

biggest party of the year as the

unstoppable Magic of Motown

show steams into town! Seen

by over a million people, it’s no

surprise that the show is one of

the biggest success stories in British theatre history, even

performing for Her Majesty the Queen, as special guests

at the Royal Variety Performance.

Prepare yourself for 40 back-to-back classic Motown

hits, glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves

and outstanding musicianship in this explosive concert

experience. Celebrate the sound of a generation as the

timeless music of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie

Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four

Tops, Martha Reeves, Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson

and more, are sensationally recreated for you by an

exceptionally talented cast and band. To book tickets

call 01543 412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

48


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


WHAT:

Burns Night

celebrations

WHERE:

Moor Hall Hotel

and Spa

WHEN:

January 20 and 27

Join the team at Moor Hall on Saturday, January 20 or

Saturday, January 27 asthey prepare to celebrate the

birthday of Scotland’s best loved bard.

The evenings include all that is best from the north of

the border; a traditional piper to escort the haggis, a

delicious four course dinner with a Scottish flavour and

dancing to an authentic ceilidh band. Tickets are priced

at £39.50 per person, including a four course dinner and

entertainment or £145 for two people to include the full

Burns Night celebration dinner and entertainment and

an overnight stay with full English breakfast. Dress to

impress in lounge suit or why not get into the spirit of the

celebration by wearing a traditional kilt? To book tickets

call Moor Hall on 0121 334 2313 or visit

www.moorhallhotel.co.uk.

WHAT:

Birmingham

Philharmonic

Orchestra

WHERE:

Sutton Coldfield

Town Hall

WHEN:

January 21

Birmingham Philharmonic’s last concert at Sutton

Coldfield Town Hall formed part of the ‘Save the Town

Hall Campaign’. Three years on then and, whisper it

quietly, the Town Hall is back, looking firmly on the path

to salvation. So it is under far happier circumstances that

Birmingham Philharmonic are welcomed back to Sutton

Coldfield for their 2018 concert, An Invitation to the

Dance.

Under the expert eye of conductor, Richard Laing, this

will without doubt be a night of musical marvels. The

performance will open with Weber’s ‘Invitation to the

Dance’ before moving onto pieces by Prokofiev and

Tchaikovsky to Kodaly and Strauss – among esteemed

others. For more details and to book tickets call 0121 296

9543 or visit www.townhallsuttoncoldfield.co.uk.

WHAT: An Evening with

Pam Ayres

WHERE: Lichfield Garrick

WHEN: January 27

Pam Ayres has been making

the nation laugh for more than

40 years. A writer, broadcaster,

and entertainer, she is the

author of several best-selling poetry collections, including

The Works, With These Hands, Surgically Enhanced

and You Made Me Late Again! Funny and warm,

her charming understated manner belies a rare comic

precision. Her hair-trigger timing, her eye for the absurd

details of everyday life, and unforgettable turn of phrase,

combine to make her a true national treasure.

Pam is a regular face on television, and recent radio

broadcasts include Just A Minute, Loose Ends, and five

of her own series of Ayres On The Air for Radio 4. Aged

69, Pam is still one of the most popular female comedians

performing in UK theatres, and the Lichfield show this

month looks set to be a sell-out. To book tickets call 01543

412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

WHAT: Live Life on Broadway

WHERE: Lichfield Cathedral

WHEN: January 27

There will be a fabulous evening of entertainment in

the beautiful setting of Lichfield Cathedral when local

adult and youth choirs and musicians join together to

celebrate and raise funds for the Live Life Give Life

charity through the music of Broadway. All proceeds

of the evening will go to the Live Life Give Life charity,

who raise awareness of organ donation.

The music on the night will be brought to you by four

choirs, all performing a range of songs from famous

Broadway musicals; the Lichfield-based Kaleidoscope

female voice choir, Stagecoach Lichfield, Lichfield

Cathedral Youth and Young Voices choir and

Birmingham-based Half Circle Singers.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s plus

a small booking fee, and refreshments will be available

to buy including prosecco and soft drinks. For more

details and to book tickets call 01543 306100 or visit

www.livelifeonbroadway.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.

50


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WE’RE LOOKING FOR RELIABLE PEOPLE TO DISTRIBUTE J’AIME

TO HIGHER VALUE HOMES IN LICHFIELD. IF YOU CAN COMMIT

TO WORKING AT THE END OF EACH MONTH THEN WE’D LOVE

TO HEAR FROM YOU.

FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT

JAN ASHLEY ON 07388 335931

J’AIME

/jaimemagazine

@jaimemagazine

www.jaimemagazine.com


LO CA L A R E A

What’s

Competition

on Second City

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST

EVENTS TO COME TO BIRMINGHAM THIS MONTH

WHAT:

Stickman

WHERE:

Birmingham

Town Hall

WHEN:

Until

January 12

Scamp Theatre’s delightful adaptation of Julia

Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s hugely popular

children’s book Stick Man returns for the festive period.

Touching, funny and utterly original, this awardwinning

production features a trio of top actors and

is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky

moves.

The performance on Sunday, January 7 at 3pm is a

Relaxed Performance; Relaxed Performances are open

to everyone but are specifically designed for people with

an autistic spectrum condition, a learning disability or

sensory and communication disorder. To book tickets

call 0121 780 3333 or visit www.thsh.co.uk.

WHAT:

The Hundred

and One

Dalmatians

WHERE:

Birmingham

REP

WHEN: Until January 13

You know the book and film, now experience the magical

story of The Hundred and One Dalmatians live on stage.

Pongo and Missis enjoy an idyllic life with their humans,

Mr and Mrs Dearly. Then one day, the house is filled with

the patter of tiny paws when Missis gives birth to a litter

of adorable puppies. But just as the Dearlys get used to

their new housemates, the puppies mysteriously vanish.

Pongo and Missis set out on an adventure to find the

missing puppies, and their quest leads them to the vicious

Cruella de Vil. She hates dogs but loves fur coats and has

set her sights on a certain black and white spotty pattern...

Dodie Smith’s delightful tale is the perfect family treat

and has been brilliantly transformed for the stage by

Debbie Isitt, the writer and director of the hugely popular

Nativity! films. For more details call 0121 236 4455 or visit

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk.

WHAT:

The Sound of Music

WHERE:

New Alexandra Theatre

WHEN:

January 16 to 20

One of the greatest musicals of all time returns to the

stage in this magnificent five star production to enchant

the young and the young at heart. The Sound of

Music tells the true story of the world famous singing

family, from their romantic beginnings and search for

happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom at the

start of WWll.

Lucy O’Byrne returns to the iconic role of Maria

in which she was hailed by critics as ‘Quite possibly

the best Maria since Julie Andrews herself’. Joining

as the dashing Captain Von Trapp is TV and stage

favourite Neil McDermott, best known as heartthrob

Ryan Malloy in EastEnders. To book tickets call

0844 871 3011 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/

birmingham.

52


WHAT:

Strictly Come

Dancing: Live

WHERE:

Arena

Birmingham

WHEN:

January 19 to 21

TV judge Darcey Bussell, comedian Susan Calman

and double Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock

will be waltzing into Birmingham this month for five

supersized spectacular Strictly Come Dancing Live

shows. The 2018 live shows will mark the first time

that Darcey has appeared as a judge on the tour and

she will join fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood and

Bruno Tonioli.

The show will also see the welcome return of reigning

Strictly Champion Ore Oduba as host, and more

celebrities and professional dancers from the hugely

popular 15th series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC

One will be donning their dancing shoes as they take

to the floor for the highly anticipated tour. To book

tickets call 0844 3388222 or visit

www.arenabham.co.uk.

WHAT: Chris Rock -

Total Blackout

WHERE: Arena

Birmingham

WHEN: January 25

Grammy and Emmy

Award-winning

comedian, actor,

director, writer and

producer Chris Rock brings his Total Blackout tour to

Birmingham this month as part of his first UK tour in

ten years.

Since coming to prominence as a cast member of

Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s, Chris Rock has

starred in films including the Madagascar franchise

and Grown Ups and its sequel, hosted the Oscars,

produced critically acclaimed television shows and

appeared on Broadway, as well as earning a reputation

as one of the greatest ever stand-up comics. Lauded

by peers and critics alike, Chris Rock is one of our

generation’s strongest comedic voices and has created

many pivotal pop culture moments. With a career

spanning more than three decades, Chris Rock is a

true icon. To book tickets call 0844 3388222 or visit

www.arenabham.co.uk.

WHAT:

Ed Byrne -

Spoiler Alert

WHERE:

Birmingham

Town Hall

WHEN:

January 27

Most recently seen on Dara and Ed’s Road To

Mandalay and various episodes of Mock The Week,

Irish comedian Ed Byrne has become a household

name from his multiple BBC TV appearances. TV

career aside, his live work has built up legions of fans.

Ed remains the observational stand up to see and his

live work is not to be missed!

During his 20 years in comedy, Ed has enjoyed huge

critical and popular success in the UK and Ireland.

He has performed hit tours, sold out many runs at the

Edinburgh Fringe, had a successful two-week run in

the West End and appeared on radio, television, the

stage and the big screen. To book tickets call 0121 780

3333 or 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:

Anton

and Erin

WHERE:

Birmingham

Symphony

Hall

WHEN:

January 27

Join the nation’s favourite ballroom couple as they

return with an exciting new show for 2018. Anton

du Beke and Erin Boag’s annual visit is one of the

highlights of the Symphony Hall calendar.

The duo’s breath-taking show features dazzling new

choreography, sparkling costumes and a sensational

show band performing timeless music such as

Somewhere in Time, Cry Me a River, Mr Bojangles,

New York, New York and much more. Anton and

Erin will be joined by six world class ensemble dancers

and the full 25-piece London Concert Orchestra,

conducted by Richard Balcombe and with vocals from

Lance Ellington. To book tickets call 0121 780 3333

or visit www.thsh.co.uk.

53


FA S H I O N

Best foot forward

IT’S NOT WINTER WITHOUT THE PROMISE OF A NEW PAIR OF BOOTS - OR THREE! - ON THE

HORIZON. AMY NORBURY ROUNDS UP SOME OF THIS SEASON’S STYLE WINNERS

THIS season’s boots are made for walking, wearing

and wowing, with classic styling, bold colours and

head-turners all vying for attention across the catwalks

and high streets.

Boots are the ubiquitous footwear choice for winter,

but this season they’re not just a blank canvas to

complement your winter wardrobe; they’re here to

take make style waves in their own right.

This season’s penchant for showy boots is mostly

thanks to those jaw-dropping Swarovski crystalencrusted

slouchy Saint Laurent beauties which

immediately made it to the top of every fashion

editor’s wish list after their debut at the AW17 Paris

Fashion Week. And while the nearly £7,000 price tag

might be a step too far for most of us mere mortals,

their influence has been far-reaching, with elements of

the already iconic design seen all over the high street

this winter.

While blinged up boots are great for making

a statement, if you’re looking for a more solid

investment then focus on the Saint Laurent boots’

deliciously slouchy silhouette and the funky yet

practical Eighties-style cone heel, both of which can

be found on boots galore this season. The slouch lends

a casual air, perfect for throwing on with an oversized

jumper dress or over leggings or super-skinny jeans for

easy peasy daytime styling, and the cone heel gives just

that little hint of glam as opposed to a flat boot, while

still being comfortable enough for all-day wear.

Classic styles are back at the forefront, albeit with a

slight twist. You really can’t go wrong with a blockheeled

knee-high pair, but instead of the usual black

or tan leather, opt for a rich burgundy or ditch leather

altogether in favour of soft suede or velvet. The same

applies to ankle boots; while the shape is a total classic,

look out for hot red, funky prints and the season’s boot

colour du jour - white. Forget the issue of practicality,

white boots were spotted all over the AW17 catwalks

and show no signs of going away any time soon.

If you’re sticking to safe, solid colours then

embellishments including buckles, shearling and

cowgirl-style stitching all add a little something extra.

If you invested well last year and are only in need of

one new boot style this season, make it the pointed,

thin-heeled sock boot. These second-skin, easy-topull-on

boot and sock hybrid are light as air on the

foot and give the ultra-flattering illusion of super slim

ankles due to their stretchy hugging effect. With ankle,

knee high and even thigh-high versions, they’ll keep

you toasty warm all winter long.

TABITHA LEATHER

KNEE HIGH BOOTS,

£160, JONES

BOOTMAKER.

54


£145

£30

ABANDON COWGIRL

BOOTS, OFFICE.

£95

REENIE SLOUCH

BOOTS, DUNE.

SILVER GLITTER

SOCK BOOTS,

DOROTHY PERKINS.

£115

£170

OSHA RED SUEDE

BOOTS, DUNE.

ARRIVED WHITE

BOOTS, OFFICE.

£135

£84

£69

VEGAS GREY SUEDE

SLOUCH KNEE HIGHS,

DUNE.

PERRU TAN ANKLE

BOOTS, DUNE.

J BY JASPER CONRAN

SOCK BOOTS,

DEBENHAMS.

£89

£130

J’AIME

LO VES

ARUBA LEOPARD PRINT

ANKLE BOOTS, OFFICE.

£140

KONE OVER-THE-KNEE

BOOTS, OFFICE.

ROCKERR TAN LINED

BOOTS, DUNE.

RUBY OVER-THE-

KNEE BOOTS,

£180, JONES

BOOTMAKER.


FA S H I O N

Get active!

NEED A BOOST TO KICKSTART YOUR NEW YEAR FITNESS REGIME? AMY NORBURY

ROUNDS UP SOME OF THE MOST STYLISH SPORTSWEAR OPTIONS WHICH MAY JUST

CONVINCE YOU THAT IT’S TIME TO HIT THE GYM

56

LET’S face it, for the next few months our mornings

are going to be cold, dark and dreary. Therefore, the

last thing we want to do is haul ourselves out of bed

an hour earlier in order to go to the gym, right?

Well, tracking down some fashion forward, functional

threads may just help to convince you otherwise.

Investing in some hot new gym wear is a sure-fire

way to up your motivation levels and fill you with

the enthusiastic energy you need to kickstart your

training regime.

Forget the dull grey jogging bottoms of yesteryear,

today you can make a real fashion statement while

you’re pounding the pavements or pumping iron.

In recent years sportswear has taken on a seriously

stylish tone - and no more so than at Puma, where

they welcomed none other than pop superstar and

style icon Rihanna as creative director. Her Fenty x

Puma range has seen sportswear cross over into high

fashion, becoming a hit all over the catwalks and

seeing designers such as Alexander Wang follow in

the ‘althleisure’ trend which incorporates sportswear

into everyday dressing.

While the Rihanna influence has created a stunning

collection, if not all that practical for participating

in actual sports, Puma’s latest collaboration with

American singer and actress Selena Gomez has been

designed with performance in mind. The Phenom

collection, which hit the shops just last month,

combines a gorgeous aesthetic with technology which

keeps comfort, support and manoeuvrability at the

forefront.

So what do you need to look out for when you’re

shopping for your new gym wardrobe?

When it comes to trainers, fit and functionality are

everything. Poorly fitted trainers can do more harm

than good, so it’s important to get fitted properly

to ensure your kicks of choice are suitable for the

activity you’re doing, be it high-impact sports,

running or gentler sessions in the gym.

For effective exercising, comfort is key. There’s

nothing worse than feeling restricted in your workout

by unsuitable clothing. Opt for leggings and vests

which fit closely to the body for maximum range

of movement and look out for functional materials

which draw sweat away from your body to keep

you dry and comfortable throughout your training

session. A solid sports bra is a must too, whatever

your size.

And if you’re going to be road running in the dark

then neon colours are a funky, fashionable and also

safety-conscious choice since brights make you more

easily spotted.

Tick the boxes for comfort and style and you’ll be

ready to hit the ground running - and probably want

to stay in your gymwear all day long.

TECHNICAL VELVET

SPORTS BRA, £65,

LEGGINGS, £98,

AND TOP, £120,

EVERY SECOND

COUNTS


www.neroebianco.co.uk

Nero e Bianco

Exclusive Fashion & Bridal

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Burton upon Trent

DE13 8AS

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£55

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£45

ACTIVE TRAINING

EXPLOSIVE MESH TOP,

PUMA

EVERYDAY TRAIN

ELEMENT TIGHTS,

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ULTRABOOST RUN-

NING SHOES, £149.95,

ADIDAS

£149.95

TECHNICAL VELVET

TOP, EVERY SECOND

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VEST, HOUSE OF

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58


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Heart of the Country Shopping Village

Unit 11 Swinfen, Lichfield WS14 9QR

T: 01543 480971 - www.boutiqueeleven.co.uk

twitter.com/boutiqueeleven

facebook.com/BoutiqueElevenLichfield

sophisticated

URBAN SALONS

Lewis Moore

S A L O N S

HALF PRICE

COLOUR

T H R O U G H O U T

JANUARY 2018

WITH EVERY FULL PRICE CUT AND FINISH*

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

Midlands Hairdresser

of the Year

WINNER 2010

FINALIST 2014

*Terms and conditions apply. A skin allergy test will be required 48 hours prior to any colour service.


CO M P E T I T I O N

A New Year style makeover

AS A FINALIST FOR THE MIDLANDS HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR AT THE RECENT BRITISH HAIRDRESSING

AWARDS, SUTTON COLDFIELD’S LEWIS MOORE IS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS - AND YOU COULD

WIN A NEW YEAR HAIR MAKEOVER AT ONE OF HIS SALONS, WORTH £150

The British Hairdressing Awards are the hair industry

Oscars, the gold standard for stylists all over the

country, and 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.

It is not the first time that Lewis has been in the

running for the prestigious title - in 2010 Lewis entered

and won Midlands Hairdresser of the Year, and was

also a finalist in 2014.

Being a previous winner, Lewis’s collection for the

latest awards entry, titled Futurism, sought to push

boundaries and make a real statement. Inspired by

the Italian social and artistic movement of Futurism,

Lewis used the architecture and design aspects of the

movement for his inspiration to create a collection of

stunning looks using strong graphic and defined outline

shapes with overlapping and contrasting textures.

With more than 30 years of experience in the industry,

Lewis Moore is one of the Midlands’ brightest

hairdressing stars. Starting out working in a small

salon in his hometown of Cannock, Lewis moved to

a national company for three years before spending

more than 20 years working for the renowned

Francesco Group.

Lewis started as a stylist and worked his way up

to multiple franchisee with four salons in Streetly,

Aldridge, Tamworth and Buxton. In 2012 Lewis left

Francesco’s to set up Lewis Moore Salons in Sutton

Coldfield.

Lewis’s vision is to create a small group of salons

with a boutique feel, personal but very professional,

offering an ethos of ‘affordable luxury’. As well as

his two successful salons in Sutton Coldfield and

Streetly, which opened in late 2015, Lewis endeavours

to open future salons throughout the Birmingham,

Staffordshire and West Midlands areas and is

continually looking to train and employ willing staff to

join his unique team.

Lewis is also a member of the Joico European design

team, travelling extensively throughout Europe

educating and inspiring through seminars and shows

for the Joico brand as well as being involved and

creatively leading his teams at salons in the Midlands.

He is one of eight of in the Joico design team that

represent the brand throughout the UK and Europe

teaching, attending brand shoots as well as shows.

For more details visit www.lewismooresalons.

co.uk or to book an appointment call the

Sutton Coldfield salon on 0121 354 7907 or the

Streetly salon on 0121 353 2875.

60


Competition

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP

WITH LEWIS MOORE TO

OFFER READERS THE

CHANCE TO WIN £150 TO

SPEND ON HAIRDRESSING

SERVICES AT HIS SALONS

IN SUTTON COLDFIELD

AND STREETLY. OUR LUCKY

WINNER WILL BE TREATED

TO A NEW YEAR HAIR

MAKEOVER, COURTESY OF

LEWIS AND HIS TALENTED

TEAM.

TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE

OF WINNING THIS

FANTASTIC PRIZE, SIMPLY

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING

QUESTION:

WHICH ITALIAN SOCIAL

AND ARTISTIC MOVEMENT

INSPIRED LEWIS

MOORE’S LATEST BRITISH

HAIRDRESSING AWARDS

COLLECTION?

Send your answer, along with your

name, address and telephone

number, by email to

competitions@jaimemagazine.com

with Lewis Moore competition as

the email subject. Entries must

be received by 5pm on Friday,

January 26, and our winner will be

notified by Wednesday, January

31. The winner should be aware

that a skin allergy test will be

required 48 hours before any

colour service. No cash alternative

is available. Terms and conditions

apply. Visit www.jaimemagazine.

com for further details.

61


B E AU T Y

Beauty resolutions

THE BLEAK MIDWINTER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO GIVE YOUR SKIN SOME MUCH NEEDED TLC. AFTER A

TIRELESS ROUND OF OVER INDULGENCE, LATE NIGHT PARTYING AND ONE TOO MANY GLASSES OF

CHAMPAGNE, IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT THE STRESSES AND STRAINS OF THE FESTIVE PERIOD START TO SHOW.

TO HELP RECAPTURE YOUR RADIANCE LISA PIDDINGTON FROM HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM REVEALS

THE BEST RESOLUTIONS FOR A BEAUTIFUL START TO 2018

1: REMOVE YOUR

MAKEUP: Beauty’s

golden rule – take

everything off at the end

of every day! Go to bed

with left over makeup still

on your face and those

clogged pores create the

ideal environment for a

breakout.

Sisley Eau Efficace

makeup remover, £77.

2: EXFOLIATE: Get

deep down and dirty with a

powerhouse cleansing scrub.

Exfoliating not only removes

dead cells but also allows new

ones to appear, leaving you with

skin that’s as soft as a baby’s

proverbial.

Rodial super acids x-treme

after party scrub, £45.

3: MOISTURISE:

Ploughing hydration

back into your skin is

essential, especially at

this time of the year.

As well as making sure

you drink copious

amounts of water, look

for products that offer

plenty of fluid as well.

Previse hydrofoam

hyaluronic

moisturiser, £46.

4: FIGHT THE

WRINKLES: As the cold

weather dries out our skin,

it’s easy to spot wrinkles

and fine lines... ones that

no amount of makeup can

hide. Opt for an innovative

anti-ageing formula that

reduces the appearance of

wrinkles while smoothing

and plumping skin.

Estée Lauder

Perfectionist [CP+R]

wrinkle lifting serum,

£59.

5: SHOW YOUR HAIR SOME

LOVE: Your crowning glory may

well be looking a little lacklustre as

you kick start the new year – signs

that your skin isn’t the only victim of

the cold weather. Look for products

that will boost your locks, rejuvenate

brittle and damaged hair, and leave

you with a silky smooth finish.

Aveda Damage Remedy daily

hair repair, £24.50.

6: SHOW YOUR HANDS

SOME LOVE: Hiding your hands

away in gloves for the last couple

of months is no excuse to let your

beauty regime slip. Ensure your

nails and hands are treated daily to

prevent dryness.

Elemis sweet orchid hand &

nail cream, £20

ALL PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE GROUND FLOOR BEAUTY HALL

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

62


H E A LT H

Help for hearing

INDEPENDENT AUDIOLOGIST STEVEN HALE, OF STEVEN HALE HEARING IN SUTTON COLDFIELD,

TAKES A LOOK AT HOW TECHNOLOGY IS TRANSFORMING THE TREATMENT OF HEARING LOSS

What’s new in the world of hearing aids?

“The advent of digital hearing aids many years ago

changed the hearing aid industry. Hearing aids are

no longer ‘simple amplifiers’, they have become tiny

computers which control what you do or don’t hear.”

Has new technology changed the way you test

your patients’ hearing?

“Because not everyone’s ears are the same, we can

no longer rely on just doing a simple hearing test.

New technology is available which allows us to

complete a full range of hearing assessments so we

can recommend the most effective hearing aid. These

tests include:

Pure Tone Audiometry hearing test – which is a

behavioral test to measure hearing sensitivity. Pure

tone threshold (PTTs) indicate the softest sound

audible to an individual at least 50% of the time.

These are plotted on an audiogram, which is a graph

displaying intensity as a function of frequency.

Audiology Speech Testing - which determines the

degree and type of hearing loss and discomfort or

tolerance to speech stimuli and information on word

recognition abilities.

LiSN-S PGA speech-in-noise testing &

tympanometry – the new benchmark in speech-innoise

test, this unique

diagnostic tool allows

us to measure how

well you understand

speech when in a

noisy environment.

It is an excellent tool

for assisting us in the

recommendation of

suitable hearing aids.”

Is new technology

affecting hearing aid

fitting too?

“Yes - as recommended

by the British Academy

of Audiology (BAA)

and the British Society of Audiology (BSA) we

perform ‘Real-ear measurements’ (REMs) when fitting

our hearing aids using the latest hearing aid fitting

equipment.

“Our ears are almost as individual as our fingerprints,

the shape and size of your ear and ear canal will be

different to anyone else’s. Hearing aids’ performance

varies in different ears. So the only way you know that

your hearing aids are set to your Bespoke Prescription

is when your hearing aid prescription has been

verified and the only way of doing this is with REMs.

“REMs are used to measure the sound level of a

hearing aid inside your individual ear. By doing so,

the sound level of a hearing aid can be compared and

then carefully fine-tuned to your prescribed sound

level.”

Do all hearing aid audiologists perform REMs?

“Unfortunately not, although it’s a recommendation

by the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) and the

British Society of Audiology it isn’t a requirement.

Not all audiology practices have access to the state-ofthe-art

equipment needed to perform this test, whilst

others are under time restrictions.

At Steven Hale Hearing we don’t just fit the finest

hearing aids from the best hearing aid manufacturers,

we strive to ensure you are getting a bespoke hearing

assessment, bespoke hearing aids, bespoke hearing

aid verification, at fitting and review as needed, and a

bespoke follow-up service.”

63


I N T H E N E W S

Bringing Integrity to the bespoke furniture market

A STAFFORDSHIRE COMPANY IS LOOKING TO MAKE ITS MARK BY OFFERING QUALITY

PRODUCTS AND EXCELLENT SERVICE IN THE BESPOKE FURNITURE MARKET.

Integrity Bedrooms offer a bespoke fitted bedroom

and home office furniture service. Run by husband

and wife team Neil and Lisa Rowe, Integrity bring

more than 25 years of experience in the industry to

the Midlands.

Neil said: “We can offer you the finest products

the market has to offer, at prices to suit all budgets.

We offer our customers a wide range of styles and

finishes, and we deliver our own visions which balance

beautiful bespoke design and incredible functionality

all in one.”

Whether it’s small and practical or spacious and

indulgent, your bedroom is your inner sanctuary.

From bespoke fitted wardrobes to luxurious built-in

bedroom furniture with adjoining dressing rooms,

Integrity can design your bedroom any way you want

it.

“We spend a third of our lives in bed, so let us make

your bedroom one you’ve only dreamt of,” adds Neil.

“From shelving and drawers to shoe racks and

hanging bars, we offer a huge range of flexible

wardrobe interior options that will help you to

maximise your bedroom storage space. Whether you

need to house your extensive shoe collection, or simply

like to have everything in its right and proper place, all

of your interior solutions are developed to integrate

perfectly with all of our fitted furniture.”

And it’s not just fitted bedrooms; Integrity also offer

made-to-measure sliding door wardrobes and fitted

home office furniture.

“Our creative design consultants and precise fitters

have transformed houses across the Midlands, helping

families to discover the homes of their dreams,” says

Neil.

“At Integrity Bedrooms anything is possible. We

approach all of our projects with one aim in mind:

perfection. Our dedicated team handle every aspect

of the project, simplifying the process to give you the

best possible experience.”

Integrity bring their first-class service directly to

customers; simply choose a day and time to suit and

one of the friendly and highly experienced designers

will meet you in the comfort of your own home and

help you to choose the fitted bedroom furniture and

accessories to suit your style and budget.

Neil adds: “We would love to hear from you, whether

it is a general enquiry or a specific query regarding

our products.”

For more information call Integrity

Bathrooms on 01543 278 777 or visit the

website at www.integritybedrooms.com.

64


Life in the fast lane

M OTO R S

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

MARTIN PLOWMAN HAS BEEN TURNING HIS HAND TO FRONT WHEEL DRIVE

It is difficult to believe that in such a comprehensive

22-year racing career including the Indy 500 and

Le Mans, I have never driven a front wheel drive

car. However, I jumped right in at the deep end and

tested the highest calibre and most demanding front

wheel drive car in the business, a works Vauxhall

British Touring Car.

Fortunately for me, the test was at my home circuit

of Donington Park and with Power Maxed Racing

who I had worked alongside before when I coached

Kelvin Fletcher back in 2016.

It was a great day and a fantastic opportunity to test

myself as I spent the morning in the Vauxhall Astra

British Touring Car before switching at lunchtime

to complete an evaluation session with the more

familiar rear wheel drive Radical Sportscar. I have

worked with the guys at Radical for a while now and

especially enjoy evaluating and feeding back on their

fantastic line up of cars.

I was especially eager for the chance to compare the

differences between the front and rear wheel drive.

It was a shame that the test happened in cold, damp

conditions. I built up my pace lap by lap and quickly

found my stride in the British Touring Car, learning

the nuances of front wheel drive. I was also able to

benchmark myself and my performance alongside

established BTCC race winner Sam Tordoff. Sam

was also testing the car that day, and it was great to

hear his thoughts on the Vauxhall Astra, primarily

as he has raced in both the British Touring Car

Championship and the British GT Championship.

To summarise four hours in the car, I’m surprised

by how easy I found the transition from a rear

wheel drive GT car to a front wheel drive touring

65


car; I expected it to be a more significant challenge.

Essentially the fundamentals of racing and driving

fast are the same which left me fewer nuances to

master.

It is important to me to give big thanks to Martin

Broadhurst and the team at Power Maxed Racing

for helping me adapt; after my first session I felt at

home in the PMR Vauxhall Astra. They are a highly

professional bunch, and Martin has been around

for many years in the British Rally Championship,

and British Touring Car Championship has worked

with some of the motoring industry’s most significant

names.

The main difference in the two cars and how they

handle is the amount of rotation needed into the

corner; I had to rotate the touring car more and

square the corner off, and then be more patient on

the power to prevent understeer. This means heading

deeper into the corner and using the transferal of

weight to bring the back round, in a controlled

method of oversteer. My rear wheel drive GT car

needs the straightest line as possible to allow me to

get the power down and push the car through the

bend.

What I really noticed is how the British Touring

Car can take kerbs, it’s like they don’t exist. I had

a fantastic time hitting the kerbs at speeds you just

couldn’t achieve in a GT car, not without breaking

the suspension and sending yourself into the wall. It

was quite liberating to point the car at the kerb and

wait for the kerb to launch the car dramatically in

the air, really spectacular stuff and why the crowds

love British Touring Cars soo much.

It is important that I keep developing as a driver and

whenever you are given a chance to try something

new, you have to seize the opportunity

with both hands, and that is what my

British Touring Car test was about.

Plus, now I am back in the UK, and as

the Touring Cars represent the largest

national championship in the UK,

naturally I had many offers last year to

race in the championship.

As much fun as British Touring Cars

is, my heart and commitment are with

the British GT Championship, and

UltraTek Racing, my long-term contract

with am driver Richard Taffinder is

very important to me and the two

championships clash on two race dates

which means competing in both is

impossible.

I am committed to the work we are doing

with Richard; he is making significant progress as

he continues his winter testing programme as we

progress our route to Le Mans. We have been out in

the gokart during the horrible winter months which

is teaching Richard lots of detail about handling

a car in the wet and developing his real racing

techniques.

I can’t say too much about the plans for 2018 just

yet as we are due to make announcements in early

2018. However, I am prepared to say that we made

fantastic progress with our technical partners RJN.

It is clear to see why they are the factory choice for

Nissan in the UK. They engineered the Nissan 370Z

GT4 cars beautifully and we are proud to call them

our team of choice for 2018. Watch this space as we

are set to formally unveil our team plans before the

Autosport Show 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

THE PERFECT EXPERIENCE

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

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