J'AIME DECEMBER 2018

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8

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

Festive fever:

your essential

Christmas guide

WIN

A HAMPER OF SEASONAL

GOODIES WORTH

£120

SHOOTING STARS:

THE SUTTON COLDFIELD

PHOTOGRAPHER WHO SWAPPED

CELEBRITIES FOR WEDDINGS


Audiology is at the heart

of everything we do

Call today to book a consultation

www.stevenhalehearing.co.uk | 0121 308 2550


Welcome to J’AIME

As December rolls around, we’re well and

truly into the festive spirit here at J’AIME

HQ. if you need any last-minute gift

inspiration, we’ve got an amazing array of

goodies for him, her and home so you’re

sure to find some ideas, plus we’ve got the

latest trends in festive decor, and the experts

at Arthur Price share the secrets of setting

the perfect Christmas table.

Party season is wrapped up with our expert

fashion and beauty advice, and we’ve got a

host of festive tipples which are sure to make

any occasion one to remember. Need some

entertainment ideas? Check out our guide

to the best of what’s on in the area over the

holiday season.

Elsewhere, we chat to inspirational Sutton

Coldfield photographer Lisa Carpenter

about why she swapped snapping celebs

in New York for shooting weddings in the

Midlands, plus RB Collection director Oliver

shares his top tips for creating a Northern

Lights-chasing holiday of a lifetime.

Christmas is a time of giving, and in keeping

with the spirit of the season we’ve got a

couple of cracking competitions lined up

for you this month; a hamper of delectable

Christmas goodies worth £120 courtesy

of Forage will ensure you and your guests

can enjoy some tasty treats, while a hair

makeover and lunch for two courtesy of The

Tier and The Bank Coffeehouse in Alrewas

means one lucky winner will start off the

new year in style!

From all of us here at J’AIME, wishing you

the merriest Christmas and a cracking festive

season.

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN, OLIVER

BROAD, LISA PIDDINGTON, PATRICK GAUNT,

JILL HARTLEY, JACK REGAN, STEVE SMALL

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 Lisa Carpenter Photography - The Sutton

Coldfield snapper who swapped celebrities for

weddings

12 Property - Property of the month

14 Property - A record-breaking sale

16 Interiors - The perfect Christmas table

20 Interiors - Festive sparkle

24 Christmas - Gifts for her

26 Christmas - Something for the boys

30 Christmas - Homeware to love

34 Food & drink - Reviewing The Green House,

Sutton Coldfield

36 Food & drink - Cocktail of the month from

Lichfield’s The Wine House

38 Competition - Win a festive foodie hamper from

Forage

40 Food and drink - Christmas gift ideas from Ital

Sardo

42 Food and drink - A stylish new dining concept

for Birmingham

44 Travel - Chasing the Northern Lights

48 Richard Winterton Antiques - Experts Heather

Callaway and Louise Ludlam-Snook talk all

things jewellery

52 Man on the edge - J’AIME’s columnist Jack

Regan gets to grips with stunt driving

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

area this month

60 What’s On - The hottest tickets around

Birmingham

62 Fashion - Jump to it for festive party style

64 Fashion - Maternity wear from Nero e Bianco

68 Competition - Win a pampering spa ritual at

The Spa at Moor Hall

69 Beauty - Festive fragrances from Harvey

Nichols Birmingham

70 Competition - WIn a hair makeover and

lunch for two at The Tier and The Bank

Coffeehouse, Alrewas

71 In the news - An audiology revolution; a festive

makeover for a Sutton Coldfield landmark;

and diamond delights at a new Birmingham

boutique

73 Motors - J’AIME’s expert Martin Plowman puts

the new Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4

through its paces

4


ENJOY MASSIVE SAVINGS

IN OUR PRE-CHRISTMAS

Loose

cutlery is

back

Sale starts 9am Saturday 1 st December

Offers

in store

only

Ends 5pm Saturday 22 nd December

Bead 32 Piece

Was £180.00 Now £59.00

Minions 2 Piece Set

Was £17.95 Now £5.95

Even

more in

store!

Willow 58 Piece Canteen

Was £299 Now £129

Set of 3 covered dishes

Was £35.00 Now £12.50

Christmas Mug

Was £7.95 Now £4.95

FREE PARKING

OPENING HOURS:

MONDAY TO SATURDAY

9AM - 5PM

EXTRA SALE OPENING DAY

SUNDAY 2 ND DECEMBER

10AM - 4PM

ARTHUR PRICE, BRITANNIA WAY,

LICHFIELD WS14 9UY

WWW.ARTHURPRICE.COM

01543 267324

Proud

supporters of

Please be aware that the shop

is located on the first floor via

a staircase. If access is an issue

we have a ground floor room

available where products can

be brought down for viewing

by our dedicated customer

service team.


FEATURE

Shooting stars

AFTER A DECADE IN NEW YORK SHOOTING PORTRAITS OF THE VERY RICH AND UBER FAMOUS, LISA

CARPENTER RETURNED HOME TO SUTTON COLDFIELD TO MAKE HAPPY COUPLES THE STAR OF THE

SHOW AS ONE OF THE UK’S TOP WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE

BIRMINGHAM’S CANALS

PROVIDE PHOTOGRAPHER A SETTING FOR

HELEN’S LISA CARPENTER NOVELS

High among the rooftops of New York city, Lisa

Carpenter perched, camera in hand. In front of her,

magician David Blaine balanced precariously on a

slender railing with nothing but air between him and

the frenetic streets below.

Snapping away as quickly as she could manage, Lisa

was torn between the desire to capture the perfect

shot and the deathly fear of seeing her subject slip

and plunge to his doom.

“I was absolutely terrified for him,” laughs Lisa when

we catch up over coffee and bacon butties in her

Sutton Coldfield local.

“We were up on his rooftop and he kept saying ‘have

you got it yet, have you got it yet’ and I was just

thinking ‘God, I hope so!’ Then he took us off for the

day, just driving around to capture a day in the life of

David Blaine.

“I loved shooting him; he’d just come off that

Eamonn Holmes interview where he refused to talk

and then showed the eye he’d drawn on his palm, so

I was a bit worried about it. But he was so lovely.”

Death-defying stunts aside, of course.

Today, life for Lisa is a far cry from the movie-set

glamour of Manhattan. After a decade working

as a photojournalist in the States, shooting A-list

superstars, musicians and politicians for magazines

and newspapers all over the world, Lisa now counts

herself among the most sought-after wedding

photographers in the country.

As the go-to girl for cool weddings around the

Midlands and beyond, Lisa spends her days

capturing those magic moments which make every

big day that little bit extraordinary.

“I would always get starstruck by famous people, and

I would have hated to have got to the point where I

didn’t, where it was just a run-of-the-mill thing,” says

6


Lisa. “And I get like that with weddings now. I still

get really nervous in the run-up to a wedding, and

I’m nervous because I want to do a really good job.

“And you don’t get a second chance with weddings;

it’s a hell of a lot of responsibility to photograph

someone’s wedding. But then I wake up on the day

and I’m a sea of calm, and I love being that calm

among all the mayhem.

“As a wedding photographer, you’re not just doing

photos; I’ve stuck false eyelashes back on, I’ve danced

with the flower girls, I’ve cleared the dance floor for

the first dance, picked up drunken grannies! You get

stuck in wherever you’re needed and become a part

of the day.”

A career in newspaper photography began at home

in Sutton Coldfield on the local papers, before Lisa

jetted off to the States for the adventure of a lifetime.

“It was a really interesting time,” she says with a

smile. “It was different people every week; normally

you get pigeonholed as a music photographer or a

political photographer but I was lucky enough to do

a bit of everything.

“I did photograph the politicians; I did Hillary

Clinton and Al Gore, and, of course Donald Trump.

I don’t even think of him as photographing the

President; when I photographed him he was the

guy on The Apprentice! It was only about a month

after he came into office that I thought ‘wow, I’ve

photographed the President’.”

While Lisa has taken shots of some of the most

beautiful people in the world, including Nicole

Kidman and Isabella Rossellini, as well as Javier

Bardem and Heath Ledger before his untimely

death - “Heath Ledger was such a lovely guy; it was

just after he’d had his daughter Matilda and he was

amazing,” - there is one

famous face which stands

head and shoulders above

the rest.

“It has to be Sharon Stone,”

she says. “I remember

photographing her at an

event and I think I managed

to take one photo and then

just looked at her! She

is stunning; she has this

amazing glow about her

and I’d love to photograph

her again properly.”

Rapper Ice T proved to be

a particularly interesting

shoot.

“I sat in his apartment and

his wife Coco was a sight to behold - she’s all boobs

and bum and you just couldn’t take your eyes off

her! - and throughout the interview she just sat there

casually scratching his back, because he needed his

back scratching,” laughs Lisa.

“He had these guys with him who were part of a

band he was putting together and whatever he said,

A HAIR-RAISING PHOTO

SHOOT WITH MAGICIAN

DAVID BLAINE

7


whether it was funny or not, they would laugh, and

they would say ‘yes’ to everything.

“And he was wearing this huge, blingy dollar-sign

jewellery and telling us that actually he’d got it from

Canal Street for about five dollars. But nobody’s

going to think Ice T is wearing knock-off jewellery!”

Capturing musical icons was all in a day’s work for

Lisa, who counts New York hotshots The Strokes,

cool kids The Bravery and CSS, and an up-andcoming

Franz Ferdinand, not to mention big names

like Jon Bon Jovi, among her subjects. But it was a

rock ‘n’ roll legend who really made a big impression

- none other than Guns ‘n’s Roses superstar Slash.

“He was one of my favourite music stars to do,

because he’s Slash,” says Lisa. “I was terrified to

meet him and thought he was going to be a scary,

intimidating character but my god, he was the nicest

guy I think I’ve ever photographed.

“It was such a relief to see that he was just a

normal guy who happens to be a really, really good

musician.”

Lisa photographed the Guns ‘n’ Roses star during a

show with his band Velvet Revolver in Atlantic City.

“The band were late going on stage and the crowd

were throwing bottles, I was at the side of the stage

waiting for them, standing next to the road manager

and hiding behind amps,” she says.

“Then midway through the concert Slash came over

and actually played his guitar for me to take photos;

I think I managed about four shots before just hiding

behind my camera going ‘oh my god, oh my god!’”

After a decade of bright lights and big city living

Lisa and husband Jason - a Glaswegian journalist

Lisa met during her first week in New York when

the couple were hired by a newspaper for a story on

“some bad guys” - decided it was time for a quieter

pace of life.

“We wanted to move away from New York to start

a family, the newspaper business was changing and,

although I was riding a bit of a

LISA SCOOPED A FEARLESS

AWARD FOR THIS INCREDIBLE

BRIDAL PARTY PHOTO

ROCK LEGEND SLASH

career high, I knew it wouldn’t

last,” Lisa explains.

At the time, Lisa was The

Guardian’s go-to girl on the East

Coast, work which she found

immensely satisfying and which

she continued after she landed

on these shores - until the lure of

wedding bells came a-calling.

“I dipped my toe in the wedding

world in New York, but not with

any serious desires to be a wedding

photographer. Then I got asked to

shoot a wedding and thought I’d

give it a go,” Lisa says.

“I remember standing at my first

wedding, with so much going on

all around me, and just deciding to

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shoot everything.”

It was this snap decision which helped to shape Lisa’s

signature documentary style, and her taste of the

rock ‘n’ roll, A-list lifestyle still plays an influence

in her work today. Lisa’s background means her

photography is slightly edgier than the norm, and

she loves all things quirky when it comes to weddings.

“New York seems like such a long time ago, but

when it’s part of your story it’s always there, and it

definitely influences my wedding work,” she explains.

“I tend to attract people who want something a little

bit different from the norm.”

But, says Lisa, the most important thing is having a

connection with each of the couples whose days she

gets to document.

“I do engagement shoots a lot of the time so I can

get to know my couples beforehand, which is as

much for me as it is for them,” she explains. “The

bride and groom are going to be spending one of

the most important days of their lives with me, so it’s

important that they’re comfortable with me.

“Maybe the one thing they all my couples have in

common is that they’re relaxed, no matter what

their style of wedding is; I tend to get couples who

want their day to be relaxed, a good party and a

good old knees-up with all their mates. Weddings are

such happy occasions and I just love seeing people

laughing and having a good time.

“I get a lot of people coming up to me at weddings

saying that I’m the smiliest photographer they’ve

ever met and that’s really nice.

“And I’ve had circles of friends who have passed

me around as their wedding photographer, which

is amazing. It’s so lovely when you connect with a

couple and build a relationship with them so they

recommend you to their

friends and then have

you to do their newborn

shoot when they start their

families.”

After five years of shooting

weddings full-time, Lisa

has earned an enviable

reputation. And she has the

awards to prove it.

“I don’t enter many awards

but the Fearless Awards

are a bit different,” she

explains.

Based in America, the

Fearless community brings

together the most creative

and exciting wedding photographers from around

the world. Every two months, a new collection of

around 150 Fearless Award-winning photographs is

chosen and, with around 10,000 submissions each

time, earning the Fearless accolade is no mean feat.

Lisa is the UK’s top female Fearless photographer,

with an impressive five Fearless Awards to her name.

“When I got my first one, I’d said at the start of that

year that my main ambition was to win a Fearless

Award. But I was slightly surprised that the first one I

won was for a picture of shoes, with no bride in it!”

As well as weddings, Lisa’s specialises in portrait

shoots capturing happy families and new parents

with their little bundles of joy. It makes a change

from portraits of Trump, Slash, Kidman et al. But

Lisa couldn’t be happier.

“When I was working for newspapers I never

thought I’d be photographing weddings,” she admits.

“But now, some of the best photographers I know

of any genre are wedding photographers. The work

that people produce is amazing.

“We get to be so creative now, it’s not just people

standing in a line. I love the documentary side of

things, and being able to record the day for my

couples.

“A 12-hour day is full of so many variables. There’s

never a wedding where something doesn’t go

wrong, whether it’s the ring not going on the finger,

screaming flower girls going the wrong way or doggy

ring bearers not doing as they’re told, but those are

some of my favourite parts. They definitely make for

some great photos.”

For more details of Lisa’s work, or to find out

how to book a wedding or portrait shoot, visit

www.lisacarpenterphotos.com

10


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PROPERTY

Property of the Month

WE TAKE A SNEAKY PEEK AT SOME OF THE HOTTEST PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET IN

THE AREA EACH MONTH. THIS MONTH’S PROPERTY IS AN HISTORIC MANOR HOUSE

WITH ITS OWN CHAPEL SET IN TEN BEAUTIFUL ACRES

Haselour Hall, Haselour Lane, Tamworth: £2,995,000

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878

THE AGENT SAYS: Haselour Hall, Manor and Chapel has

been described as perhaps the most charming half-timbered

house in the county. It is a beautiful five gabled, Elizabethan

residence with stunning original features including the oak

panelled reception hall and dining room, a fabulous Norman

oak front door, stained glass leaded windows and magnificent

oak fire surrounds depicting scenes from the battle of Hastings.

The property is set over four storeys with 11 main bedrooms.

The hall is beautifully grand, having been well maintained

by the current owners. The land that the hall now sits on is

thought to have provided accommodation to Henry Tudor the

night before the battle of Bosworth Field; the last significant

battle in the War of the Roses, and the chapel is thought to

date back to the twelfth or thirteenth century.

Four centuries on, the hall still stands regally in its grounds,

with many sensitive additions and improvements, and now

providing a magnificent family home to the present owners.

The hall offers potential purchasers a range of possibilities in

terms of its uses, having extensive accommodation within the

hall itself, as well as a separate annexe, numerous stables and

outbuildings, and the private chapel within the grounds, and

now linked to the main hall.

The name Haselour is Saxon in origin and derives from

hazelnut due to the large number of trees grown on and

around the land.

W E L O V E :

THE HISTORIC SPLENDOUR OF THIS

TRULY REMARKABLE PROPERTY

12


PROPERTY

A record-breaking sale

AN IMPRESSIVE HOME IN ONE OF SUTTON COLDFIELD’S MOST DESIRABLE

LOCATIONS HAS MADE HISTORY FOR ESTATE AGENTS ASTON KNOWLES

A property on the highly regarded Four

Oaks Estate has recently been sold for

the record-breaking sum of £3,425,000.

This makes it the most expensive house

to have transacted in Sutton Coldfield

since 2010 and it is also the most

expensive house to have ever sold on the

beautiful Four Oaks Estate.

Four Oaks House, on Ladywood

Road, was only on the market for an

exceptionally short time before the

team at Aston Knowles, thanks to

their modern methods and marketing

experience, found a buyer. A sale was

agreed and contracts were exchanged

within the short span of only 14 days.

The stunning Arts and Crafts residence, which

takes up more than 8,000 square feet on a plot of

approximately two thirds of an acre, features six

bedrooms as well as an extensive leisure complex and

is finished to the highest of specifications.

The heart of the ground floor consists of an amazing

open plan kitchen/family/dining room, perfect for

entertaining guests as well as family living.

In the cold winter months residents can make use

of the underfloor heating throughout the property

as well as the fireplaces in the stunning drawing and

dining rooms.

The elegant master bedroom is fully equipped with

a luxurious en suite bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and

a dressing area. All of the remaining five bedrooms

boast modern en suite bathrooms, and three even

come with a dressing area of their own.

The lavish leisure complex, connected to the house

by a glass walkway, consists of a swimming pool of

considerable size, a spa pool, a private gymnasium,

and a changing room with shower and WC.

On top of that, a cinema room is located on the

ground floor, adding an extra bit of luxury.

A courtyard to the rear of the house makes for a

perfect summertime entertaining area with a brickbuilt

barbecue area set in the privacy of the treelined

Four Oaks Estate.

At Aston Knowles, results speak for themselves.

The agency is well-established in their iconic

High Street office in the Royal Town of Sutton

Coldfield and the experienced team with their

local market knowledge, good ethics, and

in-house marketing expertise stand out in the

prestigious Sutton Coldfield property market,

traditionally as well as digitally.

If you have a premium property that you are

interested in selling, or if you are perhaps

looking for your next home, Aston Knowles

offers a free consultation with office head and

director Sophie Bullock.

14


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terms and conditions, an upfront fee of £500 is required – all of which is refundable against the reservation fee and purchase price of your new Bovis Home. If you choose not to purchase a Bovis Home you may only be refunded £250 of the upfront fee of £500.

Smooth Move is available on selected plots only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. Photograph depicts a typical Bovis Home interior. Elevation may differ to that shown. Internal images may include optional upgrades at an

additional cost. Price & availability correct at time of going to print/broadcast. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.


INTERIORS

Eat, drink

and be merry

WHAT’S the one time you pull out all the stops

and cover your dining room table with the best of

everything? Christmas of course, when you have friends

and family around and eat, drink and be merry. But

what are the secrets to a successful Christmas dinner?

How can you wow? We asked the team at cutlery firm

Arthur Price for their hints and tips on creating the

perfect Christmas table.

Arthur Price CEO Simon Price said: “In the lead up

to Christmas we are often asked for our thoughts on

how to create the perfect Christmas table. I say enjoy

creating the wow factor but don’t forget it’s not about

the using the right knife or fork – it’s the three Fs: family,

friendship and fun. There is no better place than to

celebrate all of this than having everyone around a big

dinner table and seeing smiling faces, glasses raised and

loud laughter.

“With my wife Lesley we always pull out all the stops.

I love a pristine table. All shiny cutlery offering the

promise of food and fun. I’m a creature of habit; I

always prepare the table at home on Christmas Eve. I

polish the cutlery, the glassware. The children usually

arrive with their girlfriends and boyfriends in the middle

of my preparation as they stay the night. I then close the

dining room door leaving the place ready for Christmas

morning.”

SHINY CUTLERY IS KEY TO A

PRISTINE TABLE, SAYS SIMON PRICE

£60

£145

ICE BUCKET AND STRAINER, ARTHUR PRICE

OF LICHFIELD. WWW.ARTHURPRICE.COM

£7.99

DARK BLUE DINNERWARE

SET, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

GOLD RECTANGULAR TRAY,

HOMESENSE. WWW.HOMESENSE.COM

16


BROADWAY KITCHENS

MANUFACTURER OF LUXURY BESPOKE KITCHENS

Visit our Birmingham showroom to see and feel the quality.

Call to discuss your kitchen project and book a FREE,

no-obligation design consultation today!

SUTTON COLDFIELD 0121 353 4999

www.bespokekitchensbybroadway.com


So, grab some baubles, get your favourite food

in, dress your table with fun and laughter and

get festive feasting! Here are our five top tips

for the best Christmas tables...

1. Don’t leave it to the last minute

It’s best to dress the table the night before Christmas.

This gives you plenty of time to hunt down missing

cutlery and crockery, to check glasses are free of

watermarks, and means you won’t be thrown off if

your guests arrive early.

2. Give the table a theme

Having a definitive colour scheme or theme makes the

table look extra special and refined. Start with a simple

base – a plain table cloth or runner is best. Then work

with a handful of tones.

John Lewis are claiming a ‘rainbow of colours’ will be

the big trend this year. Or stick with the traditional

setting, opting for festive colours red and green and

complement with raw materials such as woodenhandled

cutlery or wicker placemats.

£7

GEOMETRIC GOLD CHARGER,

LAURA ASHLEY. WWW.LAURAASHLEY.COM

£50

12-PIECE CARRINGTON DINNER SET,

NEXT. WWW.NEXT.CO.UK

3. Get your place settings right

Firstly, work out how many courses you are serving.

Put the plate for the main course at the centre of the

setting. Then stack the starter plate and soup bowl on

top. Cutlery should be placed either side of the dishes,

arranged in the order in which it will be used – first

course on the outside working inward with knives and

spoons on the right and forks on the left.

Where your napkin sits will depend on how intricately

you plan to fold it. If it’s just a simple arrangement,

place it to the left, ideally on a side plate that you can

also use for bread. If you plan on some serious napkin

origami, pop your effort in the middle of the place

setting.

GOLD LINES WATER DECANTER,

HOMESENSE. WWW.HOMESENSE.COM

£8

£7.99

4. Create an eye-catching centrepiece

Every table needs a focal point and there’s so much

you could try - a glass bowl filled with candles

or baubles, a beautiful silver candelabra, a mini

Christmas tree or a festive floral display (just make sure

it’s not too tall to block anyone’s view when seated!).

HEXAGON TAPER CANDLE STICKS,

NEXT. WWW.NEXT.CO.UK

5. Make it personal

Make sure everyone is welcomed to the table with

a place setting, so there’s a seat reserved for granny

and you can add a personal touch. Place cards can

be tucked into a fancy folded napkin or resting on the

edge of a wine glass, and you could even add a present

or a few sprigs of rosemary to add to the theme and

the aroma.

SET OF FOUR STAR NAPKIN RINGS,

DEBENHAMS. WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£12

18


REACTIVE DINNER PLATE, £6, SIDE PLATE,

£5, BOWL, £5, GOLD CUTLERY 16-PIECE

SET, £35, NORDIC SMOKE WINE GLASS,

£7, AND NORDIC SMOKE FLUTE, £7, ALL

DEBENHAMS. WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

SELECTION OF CUTLERY INCLUDING

CAKE KNIFE, CAKE SERVER AND CHEESE

KNIFE, ARTHUR PRICE OF LICHFIELD.

WWW.ARTHURPRICE.COM

CLASSIC DUAL PURPOSE THREE-LIGHT

CANDELABRA, £235, ARTHUR PRICE OF

LICHFIELD. WWW.ARTHURPRICE.COM

TABLEWARE, CUTLERY AND GLASSES

FROM A SELECTION BY AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

LUSTRE EFFECT GIN GLASSES, £24 FOR

FOUR, WINE GLASSES, £20 FOR FOUR, AND

CHAMPAGNE SAUCERS, £24 FOR FOUR,

NEXT. WWW.NEXT.CO.UK

CREATE AN EYECATCHING CENTREPIECE,

SUCH AS THESE BAUBLES IN A GLASS CASE,

TO GIVE YOUR TABLE A WOW FACTOR


I N T E R I O R S

MULTI COLOURED POMPOM

GARLAND, £20, RAINBOW EGG

HANGER, £8, GLASS STRAWBERRY

HANGER, £5, JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

Kitsch

Christmas

CHRISTMAS is the one time of year where you get to

change up your decor, indulge and, most of all, have

fun with it as you trim your tree, hang your garlands

and generally go to town with festive touches. It’s all

about creating a feeling of warmth throughout your

home, as you prepare to welcome visitors aplenty for

fun and festivities over the Christmas season.

While traditional colour schemes of red and green,

or uber-glam black and gold or navy and copper

combinations remain popular with the discerning

festive decorator, we’re seeing a heavy dose of kitsch

creeping into Christmas. Those enduring summer

motifs - think all things cactus, flamingo, pineapple

and this year’s favourite, the llama - have all had

a seasonal makeover, influencing everything from

tree baubles to wreaths, advent calendars and more.

Colours, too, are bright and bold; think hot pink, lime

green and sunshine yellow for a festive season with

added pop.

Tinsel may have had its moment in the spotlight this

time last year, but for 2018 swathes of fluffy metallic

glitter have been replaced by multicoloured pom pom

garlands; use them to dress the tree, add a dash of

festive fun to the fireplace or drape around window

displays. Want to make it even more kitsch? Just add

fairy lights!

CHRISTMAS PUDDING BAUBLE,

BLACKBROOK INTERIORS.

WWW.BLACKBROOK-INTERIORS.CO.UK

GISELA GRAHAM FANTAIL

PEACOCK TREE DECORATIONS

SET OF TWO, £10, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

20

STANDING GOLD SNOWMAN AND

SANTA, COOKES FURNITURE.

WWW.COOKESFURNITURE.CO.UK

A BY AMARA FOAM BEADED

GLITTER BAUBLE SET OF 12, £36.

WWW.AMARA.COM


CHRISTMAS

OPENING HOURS:

CLOSING 21ST DECEMBER

RE-OPEN 2ND JANUARY

B E S P O K E S O F A M A N U F A C T U R E

& R E - U P H O L S T E R Y S P E C I A L I S T

Our team of highly skilled professional craftsmen, create and manufacture

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

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

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

design with our superior re-upholstery which is highly renowned for its finish and meticulous detail.

‘For a truly unique and individual lounge setting we welcome

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

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

Contact Simon Edwards or Chris Edwards on 01543 505539

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


BAUBLES SET, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS,COM

MACKENZIE-CHILDS

BIJOU STRIPE

STOCKING, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

WHITE KNITTED STOCKING

WITH POM POMS, HOMESENSE.

WWW.HOMESENSE.COM

£14.99

VONDELS PANTHER TREE

DECORATION, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£12

£107

£20

TEQUILA DONKEY MARIACHI

BAUBLE SET OF FOUR, HOMESENSE.

WWW.HOMESENSE.COM

£12

£15

£9.99

£6

FLAMINGO SNOWGLOBE, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

BRIGHT PARROT, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

GISELA GRAHAM TREE, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

JAN CONSTANTINE MARCHING

GUARDS STOCKING, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£8.99

KURT S. ADLER RETRO ROADSTER TREE

DECORATION, AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

£55

£19

CHRISTMAS CACTUS,

HOMESENSE. WWW.HOMESENSE.COM

MULTI SET OF FOUR POM POM BAUBLES,

£14, NEXT. WWW.NEXT.CO.UK

NOEL NEON WALL LIGHT, £59.99,

LIGHTS4FUN. WWW.LIGHTS4FUN.CO.UK


GLASS SILVER GOLD GLITTER OWL BAUBLE,

M&CO. WWW.MANDCO.COM

£10

MERRY CHRISTMAS GARLAND,

DEBENHAMS. WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£4

ANGEL SAUSAGE DOG BAUBLE,

FLYING TIGER. WWW.FLYINGTIGER.COM

RUBY POMEGRANATE BAUBLE,

JOHN LEWIS. WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

PINK HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS BAUBLE,

RIVER ISLAND. WWW.RIVERISLAND.COM

£2

£8

£6

£6

£18

RAINBOW INDENTED

BAUBLE, JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

TURTLE CHRISTMAS TREE BAUBLE,

FLYING TIGER. WWW.FLYINGTIGER.COM

HEAVENSENDS POM POM WREATH,

DEBENHAMS. WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

KURT S. ADLER ELVIS TREE

DECORATION, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£30

TURQUOISE PEACOCK

BAUBLE, RIVER ISLAND.

WWW.RIVERISLAND.COM

£30

JAN CONSTANTINE GLAM ROCK ZIGGY TREE

DECORATION, AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

£5

£2

GLASS PETROL IRIDESCENT

BAUBLE, £2, WILKO.

WWW.WILKO.COM

RAINBOW WREATH, £25, BANANA

HANGER, £6, HOT PINK HIBISCUS, £6,

STRAWBERRY HANGER, £5, PINEAPPLE

HANGER, £5, ALL JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM


G I F T G U I D E

A gift she’ll love

IS THERE A LADY IN YOUR LIFE WHO TRULY DESERVES SPOILING AT THIS MOST WONDERFUL TIME

OF YEAR? WHETHER SHE’S A FABULOUS FASHIONISTA, A BEAUTY ADDICT OR A MAGPIE FOR THAT

LITTLE SPARKLY SOMETHING, OUR PICK OF GIFTS ROUNDS UP SOME EXTRAVAGANT GESTURES AND

THOUGHTFUL TOKENS WHICH ARE SURE TO DELIGHT. WHAT GIRL WOULDN’T LOVE TO FIND THESE

UNDER THE TREE ON CHRISTMAS MORNING?

£140

GUCCI LADIES LEATHER STRAP

WATCH, SALLOWAYS LICHFIELD.

WWW.SALLOWAYS.CO.UK

£920

I AM ACE KEYRING,

OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

B BY TED BAKER WATER BOTTLE

AND EYE MASK, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£4.50

ACNE STUDIOS CANADA ROSE

WOOL SCARF, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£2,978

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN RING,

SALLOWAYS LICHFIELD.

WWW.SALLOWAYS.CO.UK

JIMMY CHOOS CASSIE

BACKPACK, FROM SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£25

£105

£895

£1,295

REISS SHEARLING JACKET, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

OLIVIA BURTON CELESTIAL DEMI

DIAL WATCH, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

KINRARA DISTILLERY HIBISCUS

ESTATE EDITION HIGHLAND DRY

GIN 500ML, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

24

£37.50

SILVER AND 18CT GOLD PLATED

BANGLE AND RING SET, £POA,

ALLEN BROWN JEWELLERY.

WWW.ALLENBROWNJEWELLERY.CO.UK


£6

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD GRACE

BRACELET, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£85

£42

UP TO NO GOOD SOCKS, OLIVER

BONAS. WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

£1,690

B BY TED BAKER KIMONO,

DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£18

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN THE

BUCKET IVORY LEATHER BAG,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

HIP FLASK, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£POA

JIMMY CHOO CASH METALLIC

NAPPA COARSE GLITTER

TRAINERS, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

LA MER THE SPA COLLECTION,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£265

NEOM SCENTED CANDLE

COLLECTION,

WWW.NEOMORGANICS.COM

£80

MANCHESTER GIN WILD

SPIRIT GIN, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£35

25


G I F T G U I D E

Time to treat him

IS THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE NOTORIOUSLY DIFFICULT TO BUY FOR? OR DOES HE JUST HAVE

EVERYTHING ALREADY? NEVER FEAR; WE’VE ROUNDED UP SOME TOP NOTCH TREATS, FROM

SAVVY TECH TO SARTORIAL STYLE, WHICH ARE BOUND TO PLEASE COME DECEMBER 25

LEXON MIAMI SOUND

BLUETOOTH SPEAKER,

AMARA, WWW.AMARA.COM

DENTS HENLEY LEATHER

TOUCHSCREEN GLOVES,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£75

£375

£70

CZECH & SPEAKE OXFORD AND

CAMBRIDGE SHAVE SET AND

STAND, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

JASPER SHEEPSKIN SLIPPERS,

FATFACE. WWW.FATFACE.COM

£46

£17

RAY-BAN GOLD TONE G-15

SUNGLASSES, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

CRAB MULTI TOOL, NOT ANOTHER BILL.

WWW.NOTANOTHERBILL.COM

£40

MEN’S SOCIETY WHISKY LOVER’S KIT,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

£127

£14.95

£1,160

STOJO BIGGIE CUP,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

LONGINES CONQUEST VHP GMT,

£1,160, SALLOWAYS LICHFIELD.

WWW.SALLOWAYS.CO.UK

26


LET’S SALSA CHILLI JALAPENO

HOT SAUCE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£200

£65

£5.95

EXCLUSIVE LAUNER WALLET, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

POLO RALPH LAUREN CHARCOAL WOOL

CHECK SCARF, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£95

AT CROSS TRACKING PEN,

SALLOWAYS LICHFIELD.

WWW.SALLOWAYS.CO.UK

£89

MENS SANDAL WOOD

HAND BALM, FATFACE.

WWW.FATFACE.COM

£82

£6.50

£129.99

TOM FORD EAU DE PARFUM SET

50ML, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

BRANDY WARMER AND GLASS,

ARTHUR PRICE OF LICHFIELD.

WWW.ARTHURPRICE.COM

DOWN RADAR MIX QUILT JACKET,

SUPERDRY. WWW.SUPERDRY.COM

£325

BRIC’S LIFE SMALL CLIPPER

HOLDALL, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

28


G I F T G U I D E

A gift for the home

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS, SO WHAT BETTER WAY TO SHOW YOU CARE THIS CHRISTMAS

THAN A THOUGHTFULLY CHOSEN TOKEN TO COMPLEMENT THEIR INTERIOR STYLE.

THESE HANDPICKED ACCESSORIES, FRAGRANCES AND HOMEWARE PIECES ARE THE PERFECT

MATCH FOR A STYLISH INTERIOR SCHEME AND WOULD MAKE SHOW-STOPPING PRESENTS;

THAT’S IF YOU CAN BARE TO GIVE THEM UP.

£4.50

£149

KEF MUO GOLD TONE BLUETOOTH

SPEAKER, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£305

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT TUMBLER,

MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

LITTLE SCAMP BY AAMINAH

SNOWDON, FRAMED, EDEN GALLERY,

CURBOROUGH, LICHFIELD.

WWW.EDENARTANDFRAMING.CO.UK

GOLD CAKE STAND WITH

GLASS LID, HOMESENSE.

WWW.HOMESENSE.COM

£70

£68

£24.99

WACACO NANOPRESSO

PORTABLE ESPRESSO

MACHINE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

SILVER COCKTAIL SHAKER,

ARTHUR PRICE OF LICHFIELD.

WWW.ARTHURPRICE.COM

KINSHIP MARBLE CHEESE BOARD

WITH KNIVES, OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

£89

£40

£375

WARREN BLACK COCKTAIL

SHAKER, DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE BY PAUL

HORTON, FROM BLUEBIRD FINE

ART, MERCIA MARINA.

WWW.BLUEBIRDFINEART.CO.UK

30


£25

£4

£185

JOHN LEWIS CHEESE KNIVES,

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

COFFEE KEEPS ME GOING MUG,

SAINSBURY’S HOME.

WWW.SAINSBURYSHOME.CO.UK

£35

LILLE VELVET COCKTAIL CHAIR IN

BORDEAUX, PEPPERMILL INTERIORS,

BURNTWOOD BUSINESS PARK.

WWW.PEPPERMILLINTERIORS.COM

MARBLE SHOT GLASSES.

DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£90

£140

£119

DESIGN HOUSE STOCKHOLM GREY

KNOT CUSHION, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

FORNASETTI DON GIOVANNI

ROSE PATCHOULI CANDLE,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

REINDEER SUEDE FOOTSTOOL,

BLACKBROOK INTERIORS.

WWW.BLACKBROOK-INTERIORS.CO.UK

CHAMBERY VELVET ARMCHAIR,

PEPPERMILL INTERIORS,

BURNTWOOD BUSINESS PARK.

WWW.PEPPERMILLINTERIORS.COM

£395 £69

POM POM THROW, MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

£28

HONEYCOMB CARAFE WITH

TUMBLER, OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

32


OUR NEW BROCHURE IS NOW AVAILABLE

P R E N T I C E

Quality Furniture

01827 287387

enquiry@prentice.co.uk

www.prentice.co.uk


F O O D & D R I N K

oozing with style

A SERIOUSLY STYLISH MAKEOVER HAS TRANSFORMED THE GREEN HOUSE IN SUTTON COLDFIELD

INTO ONE OF THE HOTTEST DINING AND DRINKING SPOTS IN TOWN, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERED

A firm favourite on the Sutton Coldfield dining scene

closed its doors at the end of October for a stylish

refurbishment.

The Green House, located on Lichfield Road, has

undergone a significant investment that has given the

popular eating and drinking spot a more modern,

stylish and contemporary feel.

General manager Alan said: “The Green House is a

hugely popular pub and provides a hub for the local

community so we’re really excited to be part of the

team as it begins its next chapter.

“We have made some stunning changes that have

allowed us to create a modern, open and stylish

look and feel to the pub - making it the ideal spot

for friends and family to get together. We have loved

unveiling the brand new pub to guests!”

The J’AIME team were among the first to experience

the new-look pub, invited along for dinner ahead of

the official reopening.

First impressions were that The Green House is an

interior design buff’s dream. From the swathes of

plush velvet to the luxuriously dark and cosy colour

scheme in the bar area - enhanced by a beautiful

fireplace which makes the ideal winter relaxation

spot - the elegant lighting to the statement wall which

is alive with flowers and foliage, the decor certainly

makes its mark. Insta-worthy? Most definitely.

We were greeted at the bar by a friendly bartender

who was busy shaking up an array of signature

cocktails and crafting the specialist range of gin and

tonic serves. As the drink du jour, gin is big business

everywhere, and The Green House’s selection is

certainly enough to impress any gin fan.

Drinks in hand, we made our way to the stylish

bar area for a spot of pre-dinner relaxation,

accompanied by a platter of nibbles which

showcased some of the menu’s highlights ahead of

the main event.

Morsels of the lobster and king prawn pot, sweet

chilli king prawn roll and

deep-fried brie were all

rather delightful, while the

chargrilled lamb koftas

were a particular hit among

the J’AIME team. Tiny

toasts topped with slivers

of smoked salmon or duck

liver pâté rounded off an

excellent selection.

The spacious dining room

oozes contemporary chic,

while the refurbishment has

34


also added a private dining area for a more intimate

experience.

We selected a cosy table at the heart of the action

and settled down to enjoy the best of what The

Green House has to offer.

To start, I opted for the scallops of the day (priced

daily), while my dining companions chose the salt

and Szechuan pepper squid with cooling aioli

(£6.95), the thyme-roasted portobello mushrooms in

Cropwell Bishop sauce with rustic toast (£6.95) and

those lamb koftas (£6.95) which had already proved

a hit.

The scallops were beautifully plump and tender, with

a nice hint of caramelisation on top, accompanied

by a sweet butternut squash puree and piled atop

a flavourful, meaty mound. The rest of the starters

proved equally delicious, with the meltingly tender

koftas complemented by a tangy goat’s curd and

sweet plum tomato, while the squid provided just the

right amount of spicy bite.

Onto the main event, and we opted for a selection of

dishes which gave a rounded flavour of The Green

House’s eclectic menu.

My roasted rack of lamb with aubergines, red

peppers potatoes dauphinoise and red wine jus

(£21.95) was a sizeable

platter indeed. The hefty

hunks of lamb were cooked

to a perfect pink while the

garlicky dauphinoise was

rich and indulgent. It may

not have looked as elegant

as some of the plates being

turned out of the kitchen,

but it was certainly a

satisfying dish.

The pork belly with seared

scallops and dauphinoise

(£18.95) was a slightly

more refined affair, offering

a good combination of

flavours and excellent,

crispy crackling, while

the fillet steak with twicecooked

chunky chips

(£24.95) was a delicious

example of a classic, if

ever-so-slightly over the

requested medium-rare.

The accompanying aleglazed

shallot tart topped

with Cropwell Bishop

custard was a real delight,

with beautiful pastry and

a punchy hit from the blue

cheese marrying with the

sweet shallots perfectly.

For a lighter option, the lobster and Devon crab

fishcakes with asparagus, pea and truffle oil veloute

and topped with crispy seaweed (£13.95) really hit

the spot.

The rather generous portion sizes meant dessert was

by no means a foregone conclusion - until we spied

the menu, that is. The Green House’s signature pud

is the impressive melting chocolate bomb (£7.95).

The delicate chocolate sphere is filled with sticky

toffee pudding and peanut butter cream, which is

revealed when the accompanying hot salted caramel

sauce is poured over, creating a dreamy, melty puddle

of sweet indulgence.

It certainly looks the part, and for anyone with a

particularly sweet tooth it’s a must-try.

The chocolate and raspberry pudding with Bourbon

vanilla ice cream (£6.95) went down a treat, as did

the ice cream and home-baked triple chocolate

cookie combo (£5.25).

The Green House has been transformed into a

seriously stylish place to drink and dine. With an

eclectic menu packed with something for everyone,

it really is a great place to indulge, relax, and spend

quality time with friends and family.

35


F O O D & D R I N K

Cocktail of the month

THE TEAM AT THE WINE HOUSE IN LICHFIELD SERVE UP A FABULOUSLY

FUN AND FESTIVE AFFAIR, PERFECT FOR ANY CHRISTMAS BASH

- 25ml Chambord

- 25ml Grey Goose vodka

- 50ml cranberry juice

- 50ml pomegranate juice

- A sprig of rosemary

- A vine of redcurrants

- Clear bauble (you can

purchase these from

most craft shops)

- Small straws

Cham-bauble

This easy-to-make

Christmas cocktail will get

any festive party started

with style; a wow factor

for your guests in your

own home.

Start off by shaking all the

liquid ingredients over

ice using a Boston shaker

until there is condensation

on the outside of the

shaker. Take the top off

the clear bauble and

pour the contents inside.

Decorate a martini glass

with redcurrants and a

sprig of rosemary and

place the bauble inside

the glass and enjoy!

This cocktail will also be

available inside our bar

throughout the Christmas

period.

36


THIS YEAR

OUR CHRISTMAS

MENU GOES

BOTTOMLESS

Monday to

Sunday lunch

(12 Noon till 5pm)

(Sunday 12 till 6pm)

Monday to

Thursday

evening

(5pm till 9:30pm)

£30 £40

Enjoy a two hour sitting with your party

with a three course menu

and unlimited Prosecco and festive cocktails.

THIS YEAR

OUR CHRISTMAS

MENU GOES

Bottomless

£30 Sunday Monday lunch

to Monday to

£40

(12 Noon till 5pm)

Thursday

evening

(Sunday 12 till 8pm) (5pm till 9:30pm)

Enjoy a two hour sitting with your party

with a three course menu

and unlimited Prosecco and festive cocktails.

Follow us

on Facebook

Terms and conditions apply.

Visit www.thewinehouselichfield.co.uk or

call 01543 419999 for further details.

Follow us

on Facebook

Terms and conditions apply.

Visit www.thetrooperwall.co.uk or

call 01543 480413 for further details.

COPPICE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EVENT

SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER , 2018 FROM 9AM-5.30PM

• OVER 20 SUPPLIERS WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE

• COME ALONG AND SAMPLE THEIR SEASONAL DELIGHTS

FROM ARTISAN BAKERY GOODS TO FREE RANGE MEATS

AND UNUSUAL CHEESES. LEARN ALL THE PERFECT

ACCOMPANIMENTS TO ALL YOUR FESTIVE DISHES.

• THERE WILL BE ADDITIONAL FOOD AND DRINK OPTIONS

AVAILABLE IN THE GLASS HOUSE SHOWCASING SOME OF

THE DELICIOUS PRODUCE AVAILABLE IN FORAGE FOOD

HALL AND THE FIG & OLIVE.

• COPPICE WILL HAVE WREATH MAKING & GIFT WRAPPING

DEMONSTRATIONS GOING ON THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

• THE FIG & OLIVE WILL BE OPEN AS USUAL -

PLEASE BOOK ON 0121 308 6102

COPPICE GARDEN CENTRE, COPPICE LANE, MIDDLETON, NR SUTTON COLDFIELD, B78 2BU

WWW.COPPICEGC.COM - 0121 308 7197 - INFO@COPPICEGC.COM


CO M P E T I T I O N

Get foraging

BASED AT COPPICE GARDEN CENTRE, FORAGE IS HOME TO SOME OF THE BEST QUALITY FOOD AND DRINK IN THE

MIDLANDS AND BEYOND - AND YOU COULD WIN A SPECIALLY SELECTED FORAGE CHRISTMAS HAMPER, WORTH £120

Forage brings a totally different food shopping

experience, helping customers to discover and explore

new, seasonal produce.

Nestled in the outskirts of Middleton, near Sutton

Coldfield, and as part of the expanding Coppice group,

the butchery, bakery and deli was created to deliver an

inspiring and quality range of unique food and drink,

catering for those who really care about where their food

comes from.

The Forage ethos is to find the very best fresh produce

from across Britain and house it under one roof, with

much of the delectable produce on offer being locally

sourced or even hand crafted in-house.

Forage opened in June 2018 and was born out of a

passion for great food and drink, and with the aim of

inspiring customers to taste and create their very own

delicious dishes at home.

One of the main goals for Forage was to source fantastic

suppliers with great produce, and they have teamed

up with companies small and large, near and far, all of

which share the same motivations and values. Forage are

passionate about promoting the world of wonderful food

and drink, which is economically sourced and created by

real people with a passion for their food and craft.

The small but friendly team, headed up by Danny

Beardmore, is passionate and knowledgeable about all

products on offer in Forage, which adds to the whole

customer experience. The inspiring head butcher Chris

Baines and his team have a wealth of experience in

the trade sourcing their produce from only the best

local farmers, from Packington Free Range just down

the road to Tori and Ben’s Farm from Melbourne,

Derbyshire. The very best homemade bakes and pastries

YOU COULD WIN A DELICIOUS

FORAGE HAMPER OF GOODIES

are whipped up in-house by the talented team of chefs

and bakers.

Why not join pop along to the Christmas shopping

event at Forage on Saturday, December 1, 2018 from

9am until 5pm. Come along and sample seasonal

delights from artisan bakery goods to free range

meats and unusual cheeses. Learn all of the perfect

accompaniments to all festive dishes. Coppice Shop

will also have a range of suppliers and will have several

wreath-making and gift-wrapping demonstrations going

on throughout the day.

For more information visit the website at

www.coppicegc.com or check out everything on

offer at Coppice Lifestyle, Coppice Lane, Middleton,

near Sutton Coldfield, B78 2BU.

The competition

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH FORAGE AT COPPICE

GARDEN CENTRE TO OFFER LUCKY READERS

THE CHANCE TO WIN A SPECIALLY SELECTED

HAMPER OF FOOD AND DRINK GOODIES,

WORTH £120, READY FOR COLLECTION ON

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22. PUT TOGETHER BY THE

TEAM, IT WILL INCLUDE A SELECTION OF FRESH

CHEESES AND MEATS, CHEESE BISCUITS, FORAGE

CHOCOLATES, CHRISTMAS PUDDING, TWO

BOTTLES OF WINE AND A FESTIVE LIQUEUR.

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

WHEN DID FORAGE OPEN?

SEND YOUR ANSWER, ALONG WITH YOUR NAME,

ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER, BY EMAIL TO

COMPETITIONS@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM WITH FORAGE

HAMPER COMPETITION AS THE EMAIL SUBJECT. ENTRIES

MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5PM ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14,

AND OUR WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED BY WEDNESDAY,

DECEMBER 19. TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. VISIT

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

38


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MAIN COURSES

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SHORTCRUST BEEF & ALE PIE

8 PORTIONS - £40.00

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CHRISTMAS TAKEAWAY MENU

SHORTCRUST CHICKEN & MUSHROOM PIE

8 PORTIONS - £40.00

TRADITIONAL FISH PIE TOPPED WITH

CREAMY MASHED POTATO

8 PORTIONS - £40

BEEF LASAGNE

8 PORTIONS - £40.00

CHICKEN CASSEROLE

8 PORTIONS - £40.00

LAMB MOUSSAKA

8 PORTIONS - £40.00

WINTER VEGETABLE STRUDEL

8 PORTIONS - £40.00

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DESSERTS

TRADITIONAL WHISKY TRIFLE

12 PORTIONS - £25.00

LEMON TART

12 PORTIONS - £25.00

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CREAMY MASHED

POTATOES

6 PORTIONS - £10.00

SALADS

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QUANTITY

CLASSIC COLESLAW

□ 8 PORTIONS - £15.00

QUANTITY



ORZO PASTA, BASIL

PESTQ SUN BLUSHED


TOMATOES PARMESAN

8 PORTIONS - £15.00

6 PORTIONS - £10.00 CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD □

ROAST POTATOES

6 PORTIONS - £10.00

DAUPHINOISE POTATOES □

8 PORTIONS - £15.00

HONEY ROAST PARSNIPS

AND CARROTS □

PANZANELLA

6 PORTIONS - £10.00 8 PORTIONS - £15.00

COLSTON BASSET BLUE STILTON

WINTER FRUIT PAVLOVA

12 PORTIONS - £25.00

GORGONZOLA DOLCE

BLACK BOMBER

CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL TART □

12 PORTIONS - £25.00 CORNISH Y ARG

BERKSWELL

WENSLEYDALE CRANBERRIES

THANK YOU FOR YOUR

CONTINUING CUSTOM & SUPPORT.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

AND A HAPPY NEW

YEAR FROM EVERYONE

AT FORAGE





CAULIFLOWER CHEESE

6 PORTIONS - £10.00

FINGER FOOD


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HOME MADE PORK MINI SAUSAGE ROLLS

£1.25 - EACH

MINI GOATS CHEESE ONION TARTLETS

£2.25 - EACH

QUANTITY COURGETTE & HALLOUMI FRITTERS

£2.25 - EACH

9


MINI LEEK & MUSHROOM QUICHE

£2.75 - EACH

□ CHEESE COUNTER


0.5 KG (lLB) SERVES 8

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FORAGE AT COPPICE

Coppice Lane, Middleton, Nr Sutton Coldfield, Staffordshire,

B78 2BU T: 0121 308 7197 E: shop@forageatcoppice.com

WWWFORAGEATCOPPICE.CO.UK

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Woodburning &

multifuel stoves


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BUTCHERY - DELI - BAKERY

WE ARE NOW TAKING

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CHRISTMAS HAMPERS PERFECT GIFT IDEAS

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FORAGE, COPPICE LANE, MIDDLETON, STAFFORDSHIRE, B78 2BU

WWW.COPPICEGC.COM - 0121 308 7197 - SHOP@FORAGEATCOPPICE.COM

t he heart of t he home...

Visit our showroom to be amazed by the choice -

from traditional to modern

With such a wide range of fires, fireplaces and stoves

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

WE OF F ER

A C OMP LE T E

INST ALLA T ION

SERV ICE

Visit our showroom and be amazed by the choice! With such a wide range from traditional to modern, there’s sure to be a style to suit you!

CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS:

CLOSING 1PM ON 21/12 -

RE-OPEN 2ND JANUARY.

5 Stafford Road, Lichfield WS13 7BZ - Tel: 01543 263 383 • www.thefireplacelichfield.co.uk • Email: sales@thefireplacelichfield.co.uk

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm • Sat 10am - 4pm. Closed Sundays and bank holidays. FREE ON-SITE PARKING.


F O O D & D R I N K

Festive cheers

PATRICK GAUNT, OPERATIONS MANAGER FOR SPECIALIST WINE COMPANY

ITAL SARDO, SHARES SOME OF HIS CHRISTMAS GIFT RECOMMENDATIONS

This year, we thought we would make it easier for

our customers and have put together a gift box of

exclusive wines, ideal for the festive period. We have

packed wine in pairs, giving you the opportunity to

try a bottle yourself and also bring the second bottle

as a gift.

Our mixed case contains two bottles of sparkling,

two bottles of white and two bottles of red, all from

the island of Sardinia. We have chosen these as they

are diverse enough to be consumed on their own,

as well as pairing very well with many dishes served

over this winter period.

Our selected sparkling, Aragosta Spumante Brut,

is our best-selling sparkling wine. Many of our

customers love the idea of an exclusive Italian

sparkling that is different from a Prosecco. It is made

with the Vermentino grapes, providing more layers

of flavour, while still being crisp and refreshing.

Cheja is made up of the highest quality white grapes

on the vineyard estate of Cantina di Mogoro. This

white wine is slightly fruity, producing a fresh taste

which can be enjoyed on its own, or with a light fish

starter. Our customers are drawn to the label first,

and its intriguing look has not disappointed yet!

The red wine that we have ready for you is perfect

to take the chill of anything this winter. Cabirol is a

blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cagnulari. It is

warm, well-balanced with a great sense of mulled

fruits. This caters for many different types of red

wine drinkers. Customers who prefer lighter style

reds really appreciate the ripe red fruit flavours. On

the other hand, if you are in to the heavier wines, the

warming length and slight spice is sure to go down a

treat.

We are offering this case on our website for £80, and

for a little thank you from us, we would like to offer

a five per cent discount to our J’AIME readers. For

this, please enter JaimeChristmas in the discount

code box on checkout.

Our full range of wines are available to view on our

website at www.italsardo.com

As a small company, we believe in offering a

personal and professional service to all of customers.

Therefore, we welcome any requests and look

forward to hearing from you. You can contact us via

email wine@italsardo.com or call our office

01283 711588

ARAGOSTA

SPUMANTE

CHEJA

CABIROL

40


Join in the Festive Celebrations

Family Lunch

with Santa

Enjoy a family lunch, magic show

and visit from Santa!

Sun 2nd, Sun 9th, Sat 22nd,

& Mon 24th December

Christmas Carols

& Afternoon Tea

Enjoy a festive afternoon tea

and traditional carols with choir

Tue 24th Nov, Tue 4th, Tue 11th,

mon 17th & Tue 18th December

Join in the Festive Celebrations

Christmas Voices

An evening of light-hearted poetry,

music & drama for the festive season.

Sun 2nd, Mon 3rd & Tue 4th December

Christmas Carols

& Afternoon Tea

Enjoy a festive afternoon tea

and traditional carols with choir

Fri 7th & Fri 14th December

Starlight Christmas

Party Nights

Glass of Prosecco, 3 course dinner

& Disco until 12.30am

Limited dates available

Murder Mystery

Evenings

A 3 course dinner and see if you

can work out ‘whodunnit’!

Tue 11th, Mon 17th & Tue 18th December

Christmas

Party Nights

3 course dinner with crackers & novelties

& Disco until 12.30am

Limited dates available

Santa Sunday Lunch

A 3 course festive lunch, magic show

and visit from Santa with a

gift for all the children!

Sun 9th & Sun 23rd December

Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN

0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk

Bird Street, Lichfield WS13 6PR

01543 414822 www.thegeorgelichfield.co.uk

A Lichfield family firm ~ the Winterton name

has been synonymous with auctioneering

throughout Staffordshire since 1864

'A Sale In A Generation'

Free Valuations Every Tuesday 9.30am - 4pm

THE LICHFIELD AUCTION CENTRE WOOD END LANE FRADLEY PARK WS13 8NF

Tel: 01543 251081 Email: office@richardwinterton.co.uk www.richardwinterton.co.uk


F O O D & D R I N K

Stylish dining for 2019

MODERN CHINESE RESTAURANT TATTU REVEALS A UNIQUE DESIGN

CONCEPT FOR BIRMINGHAM AHEAD OF ITS JANUARY LAUNCH

Tattu has announced it will open the doors to its

third venue in Birmingham city centre in January

2019, as works progress at the new site on Barwick

Street.

The 150-cover, split-level restaurant will occupy

a charming space within the historic Grand

development. The restaurant will serve its renowned

Chinese-inspired cuisine, taking traditional

ingredients and classic flavours, combined with

new ideas and cooking techniques. The result is a

distinctive and contemporary take on the much-loved

style of food, with innovative dim sum and delicious

sharing plates that encourage an interactive dining

experience.

Diners can look forward to a selection of Tattu’s

signature dishes such as Beef Fillet and Caramel

Soy and the delicate Saffron Black Cod. New menu

additions, developed by executive chef Andrew

Lassetter and his team, include Chilli and Sesame

Roasted Scallops served with Chinese sausage,

crushed edamame and mint, as well as an Asian

Pear Crumble with green apple, almond and a pink

custard.

Tattu Birmingham will also offer a dedicated

lunchtime menu, Taste of Tattu, providing guests

with a premium express lunch of two or three

courses priced at £23 or £28. Taste of Tattu features

a selection of the restaurant’s best-selling small plates

combined with innovative dishes from the wok and

YIN

grill alongside its stunning desserts. The special

menu will run daily and delivers all the quality and

creativity of Tattu’s à la carte menu.

The brothers behind the brand, Adam and Drew

Jones, are incredibly excited about the regeneration

of The Grand development recognising its place

within the city’s rich history. Tattu Birmingham

is the first restaurant in the group that’s located

within a heritage space and this has played a key

role in creating a unique concept for the site. With a

strong focus on stunning interiors, the brothers are

embarking on what will be their most detailed and

bespoke fit out to date.

“Each Tattu restaurant has its own identity and style

that takes customers on a sensory journey as they

dine. We recognise the historic importance of The

Grand to the city and wanted to reflect that in our

concept,” explains Adam Jones, managing director.

He continues: “Being situated underneath the

stunning Grosvenor Suite we knew we would need to

carefully consider our restaurant layout and design.

With the grandeur of the space, the challenge was

to provide flow through the ground and basement

levels. We explored the Chinese philosophy of Yin

Yang and fell in love with the idea of two different

entities that blend together to create something

harmonious. Working with this concept we are

hoping to create a restaurant that complements the

outstanding features of the space, the results should

be beautiful and deliver a unique

customer experience that is

exclusive to Birmingham.”

The site will create a total of 80

jobs for the city with recruitment

now underway for all positions

including front of house, kitchen

and bar.

There will be a two-week soft

launch period with 50 per cent

off food for a limited number

of tables. For more information

on how to attend and official

opening dates, sign up at www.

tattu.co.uk/birmingham

and follow @TattuRestaurant

on Instagram for updates.

42


The

Boat Inn

Michelin recommended

Home made Christmas Hampers being prepared now...

a perfect Christmas present! pre orders only.

There is a limited supply so please reserve yours

now at info@theboatinnlichfield.com

Due to popular demand, we are holding another

6 Course Game Dinner £55. Wine flight of £35 optional.

Book your table at The Boat Inn. Tuesday 4th December

Cheese & Wine Evening. 3 wines from Clos Ventas plus a

selection of cheeses. Wednesday 12th December...7.30/8.00. £25 pp.

Christmas Vouchers available now

please see website for details.

Call for details - 01543 361692

Open Wednesday - Sunday

Open Tuesday - Sunday during December

and now taking Christmas bookings

www.theboatinnlichfield.com

Walsall Road, Lichfield WS14 0BU

Christmas at

Lichfield Garrick Pantomime

DICK WHITTINGTON

ELF & REINDEERS

CHRISTMAS CRACKER

5 DEC

TO

24 DEC

29 NOV

TO

5 JAN

I N G L E W O O D

R E S I D E N T I A L R E S T H O M E

FROM HOME TO HOME C ARE

Inglewood is a beautiful purpose-built home providing a high standard of residential care in a

pleasant atmosphere. Located in the Sutton Coldfield, our home is only a short distance from

local shops, a retail park and many other amenities.

Our highly trained and dedicated team is committed to providing the highest standards of care

in a comfortable ‘home from home’ environment.

T: 0121 352 1113 | 330 CHESTER RD | SUTTON COLDFIELD | WEST MIDLANDS | B 7 4 3 E D


T R AV E L

Catching the Northern Lights

RB COLLECTION DIRECTOR OLIVER SHARES HIS TOP TIPS FOR

PLANNING A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME NORTHERN LIGHTS TRIP

A HUSKY SLED RIDE

IN TROMSO

The Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as

the Northern Lights, are one of the Earth’s most

mesmerising phenomenons. With winter now upon

us we are giving you our suggestions to make the

most of this magical wonder and experience them

for yourself

Our top Northern Lights holidays

Ice Hotel, Sweden

We have operated the specialist website IceHotels.

co.uk for nearly ten years and know this amazing,

unique hotel inside out. We have some special

packages that include a wonderful Northern Lights

by snowmobile excursion, as well as a husky trip

where you learn to mush the sleigh yourselves.

We also upgrade our clients to the special Art

Suite. Prices start from around £1,200 per person

with flights, one night on ice, three nights’ warm

accommodation, transfers, breakfast daily and two

special excursions. You can visit all-year-round

now with the special Ice Hotel 365, but the main

winter season is from mid-December to March. Visit

IceHotels.co.uk for more details.

Tree Hotel, Sweden

Another unique hotel in Sweden is the Tree Hotel.

Each tree house room is completely different. Our

favourite is the UFO (like something out of the 80s

film Flight of the Navigator). The surroundings are

picturesque, and Britta’s Guest House is a 1950s

themed home where you take meals, and certainly

adds a unique, quirky element to your stay . Activities

include snowmobiling, ice fishing and more. Threenight

packages from £1,445 per person. The Tree

Hotel and Ice Hotel can be easily combined to make

a twin-centre holiday, with a lovely train journey

between the two hotels.

Land of the Northern Lights tour

Follow in Joanna Lumley’s footsteps on this special

44


independent tour. This

touring holiday using

local transport begins in

Trondheim, Norway’s

former ancient capital. You

then travel by rail across the

Arctic Circle to the pretty

little port of Bodø. Embark

on a short flight to the great

Vestfjord and the magical

Lofted Islands. Continue

on an overnight mini-cruise

to the Arctic capital itself,

Tromsø. Eight days costs

from £1,985 per person.

CATCH THE NORTHERN

LIGHTS FROM THE ICE

HOTEL

Iceland

One the best value for

money places to see the

Northern Lights is Iceland. A three-night break to

Reykjavik with flights and accommodation starts

from £695 per person. You can then pick and choose

various excursions to add on - our top tip would be

the Super Jeep Northern Lights trip.

Hurtigruten coastal cruises, Norway

Cruising along the Norwegian Coast is a great way

to see the beautiful fjords and of course the Northern

Lights. A popular option is a eight-day tour from the

south of the Norwegian coast to the north. It offers

great value for money with flight inclusive packages

starting from £995 per person. This even includes a

night staying at the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes too!

Abisko Sky Station, Sweden

Voted by National Geographic as the best place in

the world to see the lights, The Aurora Sky Station

at Abisko is a mountain top viewing lodge. Accessed

by a chairlift, we arrange for our clients to have a

traditional dinner earlier in the evening before the

rest of the visitors arrive. This intimate experience

adds something special to the night. You can stay

at the station until 1am to ensure you get a lot of

opportunities to see the lights. We often combine this

with a stay at the Ice Hotel which is in the same area.

Tromsø, Norway

At a latitude of nearly 70 degrees north, Tromsø is

the largest city in the Nordic countries north of the

Arctic Circle. Surrounded by the Lyngen Alps, vast

forests, blue fjords and an archipelago of hundreds

of islands, this lively university city has much to offer

the visitor whether summer or winter. The winter

months, with its moderate arctic climate of c. -4°C,

brings the natural phenomena of the Polar Nights

(November 21 and January 21) and Northern Lights

(September to April) as well as a host of activities to

suit all interests from dog-sledding, glacial walking,

snowmobile safaris and snow shoe excursions. Threenight

short breaks with flights and private transfers

cost from £530 per person.

WILDERNESS HOTEL,

NANGU, FINLAND

Polar Express to Swedish

Lapland

This truly wonderful holiday

begins in Stockholm, before

taking the overnight journey

by rail northwards into

Swedish Lapland. You’ll love

exploring Sweden’s capital

city which is beautifully

situated over 14 islands

connected together by 57

bridges. Your overnight train,

or ‘norrlandståget’ (northern

train), from Stockholm to

Luleå is a romantic way

45


of making your long

journey northwards to

TROMSO, NORWAY

Lapland. Your train leaves

Stockholm during the

early evening and arrives

into Luleå the following

morning. But don’t worry,

you don’t have to sleep in

your seat - we will reserved

a comfortable two-berth

sleeper compartment

especially for you with

shower and WC either

in the compartment

itself or available in the

corridor. Luleå is truly a

place of contrasts. You

will be surprised by the

international atmosphere

of the town which has a bustling centre with an

excellent selection of quality restaurants, bars and

cafes from which to sit and experience everyday

Arctic life. The city’s Ice Road offers further

opportunity to meet the locals as they ice skate, ski,

walk, promenade with prams or simply walk the

dog! The beautiful Luleå archipelago has a total of

1,300 islands and only 100 residents and is a unique

wilderness environment where the sea around the

island freezes up to a metre thick in winter and

enormous ice statues, created by the build-up of pack

ice, can be seen out in the furthermost parts of the

archipelago. This is a spectacular place to explore by

snowmobile and dog-sled, experiencing a true Arctic

wilderness during the day and returning to the city

for the evening to mix with the locals and share their

lifestyle. A Northern Lights hunt is included in your

SKÓGAFOSS, ICELAND

holiday as we know viewing these ethereal wonders

is likely to be on your wishlist. From £1,395 per

person.

Adults-only Finland luxury lodges

This newly transformed adults-only wilderness hotel

is just a total haven of peace and quiet and is tucked

in the most incredible lakeside location in the depths

of the wild. It is small scale and just oozes comfort

and charm with its high-end décor and stunning

log-built construction. With this as your base, we

can assure you that every free moment you have

can be savoured and enjoyed. The hotel’s proximity

to Lake Inari means that, by night, there is a vast

expanse of dark sky above you, ideal for Northern

Lights hunting. The lake and surrounding area

also offer a base for a myriad of activities during

your time here. Despite the short length of this trip,

we have included all the ‘must-dos’

when visiting northern Finland. You

will visit the village of Nellim for an

incredible day which combines reindeer

encounters and dog sledding, you’ll

explore the wilds on snowshoes and will

have the chance to try snowmobiling.

We have also included two Northern

Lights hunts. Three nights costs from

£1,495 per person including flights,

transfers, accommodation with full

board basis, dog sledding, visiting a

reindeer farm, snowshoeing, aurora

camp, snowmobiling lesson and aurora

snowshoeing, fully qualified guides

and instructors during activities, cold

weather clothing for the duration

of your stay and aurora alert until

approximately 1am!

46


WILDERNESS HOTEL,

NANGU, FINLAND

TOP NORTHERN LIGHTS TIPS

• Think ‘off-season’ - in far-north Scandinavia, the

lights start to come out to play as early as the

end of August with specific late summer/autumn

excursions offered. Some locals near the Ice Hotel

in Swedish Lapland say October is, in fact, one of

the best times to see them, as well as March when

it is quieter and cheaper to visit, even though

most expect it to be January and February.

THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

IN AUTUMN

• Join a photo tour - while modern phones and

cameras are great at capturing day to day life, the

illusive Northern Lights with their dancing pattern,

dark night conditions and cold temperatures can

make getting the perfect picture a challenge.

Many trips offer a taster photo tour, suitable for all

levels of experience.

• Maximise your opportunities - the lights can be

illusive at times, and weather conditions could

prevent sightings. Our advice is not to rely on just

one opportunity to see them. For example, on the

Super Jeep trip in Iceland, if you don’t see them

on your first excursion, you can go again the next

night for free. A longer trip, travelling around

Scandinavia may also be a good idea giving you

extra opportunities in different areas.

• Beyond the lights - there are so many fantastic

places to visit and activities to enjoy on these

kind of trips, we always manage our clients’

expectations by arranging other experiences to

create more and more memories, and then if the

worst happens and the lights don’t come out

to play for you, it was still be a fantastic trip all

round!

• Don’t cut corners - there are companies out there

offering very cheap short trips, or even just oneoff

flights. In our experience, these can be in large

groups and also give you limited opportunities

to see the lights. For such a once-in-a-lifetime

trip, do you really want to compromise and risk

wasting your money? Investing a little more can

take it from a mediocre experience to one which

will stay with you forever.

Exclusive J’AIME magazine reader offer

BOOK ANY OF THESE NORTHERN LIGHTS THEMED HOLIDAYS WITH RB COLLECTION

BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2018 AND RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY NORTHERN LIGHTS

COFFEE TABLE BOOK. MENTION J’AIME MAGAZINE WHEN YOU BOOK.

TO BOOK, CALL RB COLLECTION ON 01543 258631 OR EMAIL VIP@RBCOLLECTION.

COM. ONLY ON BOLEY PARK, OUTSIDE OF LICHFIELD, NICOLA HAS VISITED ICELAND

AND OLIVER HAS VISITED SWEDEN FOR FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE AND ADVICE

WHEN BOOKING.

47


F E AT U R E

Finding treasures

AMY NORBURY CHATS TO EXPERTS HEATHER CALLAWAY AND LOUISE LUDLAM-SNOOK ABOUT

BUYING JEWELLERY AT AUCTION AHEAD OF THIS MONTH’S EXCITING FINE AND DECORATIVE ARTS

SALE AT RICHARD WINTERTON AUCTIONEERS

As consultant jewellery valuers for Richard

Winterton Auctioneers, Heather Callaway and

Louise Ludlam-Snook often have enviable treasures

cross their path. And none more so than one

particularly sparkly piece which is set to go under the

hammer this month.

A stunning 4ct natural yellow diamond cluster ring,

with a tentative guide price of some £20,000 to

£30,000, will be the star lot at the forthcoming Fine

and Decorative Arts sale, which takes place at The

Lichfield Auction House on December 12.

“We couldn’t tell with our hand-held instruments

whether the colour was natural or induced, which

makes a huge difference to the price, so we took the

ring to the Gemmological Laboratory in Mayfair to

be properly assessed,” says Heather.

Happily, the diamond was certified as a natural

yellow stone, with the lab issuing a ‘natural fancy

intense yellow’ colour grade.

The beautiful natural yellow modern round brilliant

cut diamond is bordered by 16 smaller modern

round brilliant cut diamonds and flanked by two

tapered baguette diamonds to the shoulders, all set

into a hallmarked 18ct gold band. A breath-taking

lot, it is sure to attract plenty of attention from buyers

looking to bag such a statement jewellery piece.

With some 25 years in the jewellery trade under

her belt, Heather is a certified gemmologist and

diamond grader, as well as a Fellow of the Institute

of Registered Valuers. As chairman of the Education

Steering group for the National Association of

Jewellers, Heather is passionate about supporting

education within the jewellery industry.

As well as being consultant valuer at Richard

Winterton Auctioneers, Heather carries out valuation

work for the Assay Office in Birmingham, which

is responsible for hallmarking, and is the in-house

valuer for Garrards in Mayfair, London - better

known as the Crown jewellers.

Also a diamond grader and gemmologist, Louise

is the chairman of the Midlands branch of the

Gemmological Association. She previously ran

the vintage department at an auctioneers in

Birmingham, and has also worked in high-end

jewellery retail.

JEWELLERY EXPERTS

HEATHER CALLAWAY AND

LOUISE LUDLAM-SNOOK

“We’re just jewellery nerds really,’ laughs Heather.

“I actually got into the trade by accident; I had a

Saturday job in a jewellery shop and that’s where I

got the bug. I was very fortunate to be inspired by

having a really good employer and, by the age of 20,

I became one of the youngest registered valuers in

the UK.”

Auctions, say Heather and Louise, can throw up

jewellery bargains, with customers seeing a much

greater return for their money than buying retail.

In fact, the retail value can often be as much as four

times the price paid at auction.

“We love auctions; it’s really exciting because you

never know what’s going to come in,” says Heather.

“Much of the jewellery we come across here is from

house clearances so people don’t know what they’ve

got,” adds Louise. “And it’s always the things which

people don’t think are worth anything that are the

real treasures.

“Recently, we’ve had a Roman intaglio - which is a

hardstone cameo - set into a signet ring, and some

lovely Georgian pieces, posy rings which are really

nice, and we also get a lot of Victorian jewellery.

48


There’s a lot of that around but there are a lot of

collectors out there so it keeps its value; Americans

are particularly fond of Victorian jewellery.

“Mourning jewellery, which often has hair in it, is

a particular favourite and a lot of that was made in

Birmingham, in the Jewellery Quarter. We’re very

lucky here in the Midlands to have such a historic

centre for jewellery on our doorstep.”

The fast-paced auction world can bring its fair share

of surprises and, say Heather and Louise, it’s always

exciting to see which lots really strike a chord with

buyers.

“At auction, everyone has their own specific thing

that they go for,” says Heather. “Art deco and art

nouveau are always popular, then you’ve got your

brands - such as Tiffany, Piaget, Boucheron, Cartier

and Rolex - and those will always go well because of

the name.”

Natural, untreated amber, says Louise, is another

style which is finding a big market, driven by the

demands of overseas buyers.

“It’s gone crazy over the past five years or so,” she

says. “It’s come down slightly now but it was up to

around the same price as gold. It was the Asian and

Arab markets which drove up the price.

“A lot of people have natural amber pieces which

have been passed down through the family and they

don’t realise quite what they’re worth.”

Other precious materials which are seeing a price

increase due to foreign buyers include old jade -

which is reaching record prices - and antique coral.

“The foreign market has a huge influence on the

jewellery trade,” says Louise. “There’s a lot of wealth

out there which pushes the prices up. From our

point of view, it’s great that the auctions are open to

international buyers through the internet; it makes

things very exciting, and it’s great news for our sellers

too.”

While each and every piece which comes through the

doors is carefully assessed and catalogued, Heather

and Louise have their own particular favourites.

THERE ARE TREASURES APLENTY

TO BE FOUND AT AUCTION

THIS

STUNNING

4CT NATURAL

YELLOW

DIAMOND

RING IS SET

TO STAR AT

AUCTION

“I’m a jewellery magpie, I love so much,” says

Heather. “Belle Époque is one of my favourite

periods, and I love art deco, and Victorian serpent

snake jewellery too.”

Louise, on the other hand, is a huge fan of

Scandinavian jewellery.

“It’s more simplistic, really high quality silver, well

made and well-designed jewellery,” she says. “A

particular name is Georg Jensen and, while we don’t

get a lot of it here, when we do we know it will sell

well.”

One of the more difficult aspects of the job is

dashing people’s hopes when they bring in treasures

only to discover things are not what they seem.

“We have to assess all of the gems we come across,

to check they’re not simulants or synthetics,” says

Heather. “There are also a lot of treated stones out

there; you might have, for example, a big ruby and

the customer thinks it’s a natural ruby when in fact

it’s filled with glass and pretty much worthless.”

“Jewellery is a really personal thing, and people do

get really sentimental about it,” adds Louise.

“It’s a sensitive situation; we do deal with people

who are grieving the loss of someone close, and they

sometimes find the process of parting with items

difficult,” adds Heather.

“It’s quite overwhelming for people when they

inherit pieces and they have no idea what they

have. Jewellery tells a story too; often

people won’t know whether a piece

was grandma’s or passed down from

great-grandma and we can look at a

hallmark or style and help them to

decipher the story.

“Jewellery does talk to you.”

Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Fine

and Decorative Arts sale takes place

at The Lichfield Auction Centre,

Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, on

Wednesday, December 12. Free

jewellery valuations take place at The

Lichfield Auction Centre every Friday

from 9.30am to 4pm. For more details

visit www.richardwinterton.co.uk

49


F E AT U R E

Maxing out a mighty Mini

JACK REGAN, A CREATIVE AT TITAN. THE ADVERTISING AGENCY IN BIRMINGHAM,

TAKES IT TO THE MAX ON A STUNT DRIVING COURSE

I’ve got a little MINI Cooper S’s engine screaming

and caterwauling at over 7000 rpm. It feels like

a horrific end-of-the-world moment and there’s

enough smoke belching out of this wee car to terrify

Red Adair. A crowd of people are quaking and

cowering behind barriers in terror and then, just

out of a sense of mercilessness, I dump the clutch

and thrash it malevolently towards them at utterly

breakneck MPH.

This is a great moment to be alive.

The MINI smashes over ruts and grooves and

shatters puddles into the air, sending up apocalyptic

rooster tails of rain and debris, the car careening

towards the crowd’s doom, me wearing a magnificent

snarl and all hell is breaking loose, Lucifer is at the

gates and my life flashes before my very eyes.

Vivid, irresistible flashes of action scenes spark and

disappear in nanoseconds - Jack Regan’s Sweeney

Jag ploughing along the pavement, Bodie and

Doyle’s TR7 thrashed to within an inch of its life,

Starsky and Hutch smash through alleyway boxes,

Popeye Doyle flooring the big American motor, Fast,

Furious, Kowalski, Cannonball running, Keanu in

Speed, it is all zipping past in a breathless, blinding

blink of an eye.

And here’s me living the dream.

I am almost on top of the crowd now and I can see

the whites of their eyes, the desperate pleas for me

to hit the anchors and stop all this hateful nonsense

and I am sweating uncontrollably and have this

incredible, monstrous sensation of power to myself

for the few short seconds this experience has lasted.

Which is probably not a good sensation for a man

to go exploring in the deepest darkest depths of his

soul.

Not at this particular moment in time, anyway.

Then, through the dense, near impenetrable fog

of my flashbacks and manic acceleration, I feel the

instructor hit my left arm and, as prescribed, I yank

ferociously on the little MINI’s handbrake, haul the

steering wheel hard to starboard and feel the car

lurch and screech and spin around backwards, utterly

discombobulating me.

My head is bouncing around uncontrollably but

50


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I cling to the wheel, my other hand stretching the

handbrake to snapping point and I curse like a sailor

on shore leave, outside the only bar in the port, just

as they are closing for the night.

I catch a tiny glimpse of the crowd, their eyes

bulging even further out of their heads as the car

whizzes past them now, only a couple of feet away,

sideways for ten feet and then BANG! We come

to a complete, astonishing, full stop, all anchors on

H.A.L.T. between two parked cars.

We are unscathed, the crowd groans with relief, a

few clap, I breathe hard, kids whimper, the car stalls

and my instructor chuckles quietly to me and says, “I

think you took that a bit too far, mate.”

Which, okay, yes, okay, is fair, I guess. I did hammer

it, but I got a full 10 outta 10 for my first ever

handbrake parking stunt and I am just sat here, my

mind swimming in a huge, overwhelming mix of

emotions ranging from triumph to shame to horror

at the enormity of what just happened.

I’m on a stunt driving course and I expected it

all to just be a bit of fun on a Sunday afternoon,

rather than like being strapped and shackled to the

psychoanalyst’s couch for a few manic moments.

But here I am, nonetheless.

Power wielded. Power spent.

I climb out of the MINI and listen to it hiss and

steam demonically from every orifice and I’m

immediately struck by how very liberating a thing

it is to be able to properly thrash a car. Ninety-nine

per cent of us wouldn’t dream of doing something

as depraved as this to our own car - often such a

cherished and respected object in our lives.

So to be able to get into someone else’s car (in this

case the stunt course organiser’s) and hammer

the absolute turbo nutter bastard out of it, to the

point of clapped out exhaustion, is all a bit weird.

Whisper this now... it’s a wee bit like a friend giving

you permission to slip between the sheets with their

spouse and give them a jolly good rogering. No

strings. No harm. No foul. No lawyer’s letter.

It’s instinctually just deeply, deeply wrong... and, of

course, simultaneously quite the most delicious thing

imaginable.

I take my helmet off and am ashamed to admit I am

smirking. Some of the crowd boo me. Like I’m some

kind of a pantomime baddie. I don’t care. I strut

past them, my head held high and on to the next

ridiculously fast challenge at this stunt driving course

at Wolverhampton Airport (I know, who knew?!).

The event is run by StuntDriveUk.com and lets you

give their cars a variety of different “rogerings” and

they are a proper bunch of imaginative rascals these

fellas, as illustrated by the drive they just made me

take and the monster they just unleashed from deep

within me.

So what happened after all

this satanic thought and

unbridled release of angst,

aggression, adultery, abuse

and undiluted machismo?!

What did all that get me? A

stern rebuke from the highest

authorities? A visit from the

constabulary? A late night

knuckledragger’s knock on

my front door? No, of course

not. I got a certificate, of

course. A certificate. Has my

name on it and everything.

Have had it hanging on my

mum’s wall since last Friday.

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LO CA L A R E A

Lichfield’s festive fun

LICHFIELD’S BEACON PARK IS SET TO BE TRANSFORMED INTO A FESTIVE PARADISE AS

WINTER WONDERLAND COMES TO THE CITY FROM DECEMBER 14 TO JANUARY 4

Grab your skates, wrap up warm and get ready for

a whole heap of festive fun this month as Lichfield’s

Beacon Park welcomes the first Lichfield Winter

Wonderland, a three-week extravaganza of events and

party nights for the whole family to enjoy.

Lichfield Winter Wonderland is the brainchild of

Stefan Siekierski and Nicola Clark, who run Cathedral

Crepes in the city and are the driving force behind

the popular Café International and Lichfield Comedy

Festival, which saw people flocking in their droves to

Beacon Park over the summer.

The star of the Winter Wonderland show will be

the 300 sqm artificial ice rink, which boasts enough

space for 100 skaters and will be open every day until

9.30pm. Fair rides, live music and DJs will keep visitors

entertained while they take in everything the Christmas

market has to offer.

This month, the Café International concept gets a

festive twist as street food traders bring everything from

beer and bratwurst to mulled wine and stollen to the

park every day - with the exception of Christmas Day

itself. Craft stalls will also sell handmade festive goodies

galore.

There will be plenty of indoor seating in three spacious

heated marquees, including the VIP marquee with

bar, dance floor and starlit roof, which will host various

events throughout the duration of Winter Wonderland.

A takeover by Lichfield Comedy Festival, will see an

eclectic line-up of acts including Jon Wagstaffe, Mickey

Sharma, Ingrid Dahle, Paul Revill, The Kagools,

Andrew Bird and Howard Read take to the stage on

December 17 and 18.

There will also be a Ladies’ Night with bottomless

prosecco, casino nights, a cocktail club night and

German-themed beer and bratwurst nights, as well

as family discos where the who family can party the

evening away. All event nights include skating time on

the ice rink, and there will be street food aplenty to

ensure guests can really make the most of their night

out.

During the day, the festivities continue with a

Christmas cinema showing some of the best festive

family films including Elf, Arthur Christmas, Frozen

and The polar Express. Guests are invited to dress up

as characters from the films, and there

will also be a visit from Santa himself at

the end of the film.

Lichfield Winter Wonderland opens

to the public at 5pm on December 14,

and will be open daily from 11am from

December 15 to January 4, with the

exception of Christmas Day.

For more details or to book a Winter

Wonderland event, visit www.

lichfieldwinterwonderland.co.uk

or find Lichfield Winter Wonderland on

Facebook.

54


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LO CA L A R E A

What’s On Local

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST

EVENTS TO COME TO BIRMINGHAM THIS MONTH

WHAT: DICK WHITTINGTON

WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK

WHEN: NOVEMBER 29 TO JANUARY 5

The Lichfield Garrick has revealed

a star-studded cast for its hugely

popular Christmas pantomime, Dick

Whittington. As well as returning

Garrick favourites Sam Rabone as

Dolly the Cook and Ben Thornton

as Silly Billy, Katrina Bryan

(CBeebies’ Nina and the Neurons)

will play the magical Fairy Bowbells

in this year’s festive extravaganza.

They are joined by seasoned

professionals Ashley Emerson as

Dick Whittington, Ieuan Rhys

as Alderman Fitzwarren, Joanne

Heywood as the baddie Queen Rat,

Becca Lane as Alice Fitzwarren, and

Lucy Parry as Tommy the Cat. They

will be supported by The Garrick’s

juvenile company which gives

local young people the chance to

perform in an all-singing, all-dancing

professional production.

Dick Whittington is the third

Pantomime at the Lichfield Garrick

to be co-produced with Evolution

Pantomimes following on from last

year’s critically acclaimed Aladdin.

For more details call the box office

on 01543 412121 or visit

www.lichfieldgarrick.com

WHAT: CRIMES OF THE CHRISTMAS

PUDDING

WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK STUDIO

WHEN: DECEMBER 5 TO JANUARY 5,

VARIOUS DATES

The award-winning New Old Friends,

the company behind the sell-out shows

Crimes Against Christmas, Crimes

on the Christmas Express and Crimes

Under The Sun, return to the Lichfield

Garrick with a brand new Crimes

Christmas comedy and an all new cast.

Lady detective Artemis Arinae finds

herself in the midst of a steamy seasonal

crime caper set in high society. Lord

and Lady Lorde’s traditional family

Christmas looks set to be overwhelmed

by lust, greed and a very paranoid

butler. Can she place the Prince’s

priceless possession and puzzling

paramour before anyone gets stabbed

in the back? A fast paced, gag-filled,

daft romp of a show, with 13 characters

played by a cast of

just four. What could possibly go wrong?

For more details call the box office

on 01543 412121 or visit

www.lichfieldgarrick.com

WHAT: ELF AND REINDEER’S

CHRISTMAS CRACKER

WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK STUDIO

WHEN: DECEMBER 6 TO 24

A naughty elf has lost his job for

being very silly at the North Pole and

a hardworking reindeer is sad she

didn't make Santa's sleigh-pulling

team. Join them on their fun filled

journey to see if both the elf and the

reindeer can fulfil their Christmas

wishes this winter-time.

Meet two charming magical

characters and share their story of

friendship and determination as

they try to become Santa's very best

little helpers in this delightful new

seasonal story of generosity, kindness

and perseverance. This original

production, full of imaginative

magical storytelling, comedy and

festive cheer is especially designed

to engage and inspire the young

audience members and is a cracking

great experience for all the family.

For more details call the box office

on 01543 412121 or visit

www.lichfieldgarrick.com

56


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WHAT: SLEEPING BEAUTY

WHERE: WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND

WHEN: DECEMBER 8 TO JANUARY 13

Don’t get caught snoozing this festive

season as pantomime returns to

the Grand in a spectacular, mustsee

production of Sleeping Beauty,

starring the lovely Debbie McGee

direct from the Strictly Come

Dancing ballroom, and Richard

Cadell and Sooty. Panto favourites

Doreen Tipton and Ian Adams, both

back by popular demand, return for

a third consecutive season.

By pricking her finger on an

enchanted spinning wheel a beautiful

Princess is placed under a curse and

forced to sleep for 100 years. Can the

Princess’ friends help save her? Who

will outwit the evil Carabosse and

foil her wicked plans? Will Doreen

cope with having a job for once?

With magic, music, comedy and

special effects, make Sleeping

Beauty the pantomime of your

dreams and book your tickets now.

For more details call the box office

on 01902 429212 or visit

www.grandtheatre.co.uk

WHAT: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - THE PANTO

WHERE: SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN HALL

WHEN: DECEMBER 11 TO 31

In the Frenchest part of French France,

a humongously handsome Prince falls

in love with the beautiful daughter of

the merchant, Monsieur Bertrand.

The evil enchantress, Sybil, hates all

that is beautiful and so she turns the

Prince into a hideous, hairy Beast!!

Beauty is captured by the Beast and all

looks like it’s going to be grossly grim

and gruesomely ghastly – but there is

something about the Beast that isn’t

all bad… Will they fall in love and

break Sybil’s wicked spell? Will Dame

Dominique Derriere and her son

‘Potty’ Pascal help save the day? Will it

be the greatest love story ever told, or

will it all end very unhappily?

Featuring a cast of incredibly talented

actors, singers and musicians,

Beauty and the Beast brings a great,

professional pantomime to Sutton

Coldfield. For more details visit www.

townhallsuttoncoldfield.co.uk

WHAT: CATHEDRAL ILLUMINATED

WHERE: LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL

WHEN: DECEMBER 17 TO 22, EXCEPT

DECEMBER 19

The multi-award winning Cathedral

Illuminated is back at Lichfield for

the festive season. Each year the

team at Luxmuralis create a bespoke

stunning set of illuminations all

around the Cathedral, both outside

and inside.

In keeping with the Cathedral’s

year long theme of ‘Imagine Peace’,

this Christmas Luxmuralis presents

‘Peace on Earth’. 2017 was a sell out

so be sure to book your tickets early

to avoid disappointment.

Advance tickets are priced £6 for

adults, £4 for children with under

threes going free. Family tickets for

two adults and two children are £15.

For more details visit

www.lichfield-cathedral.org

WHAT: THE SNOWMAN

WHERE: LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL

WHEN: DECEMBER 19

Treat the family to a music box of

delights as they witness the magic of

The Snowman film on a big screen

with the original score brought to life

by a live orchestra of some of the

UK's finest musicians.

Brought to Lichfield Cathedral

by Carrot Productions, visitors

will experience the magic of The

Snowman in a whole new way this

Christmas.

The concert will open with a

toe-tapping Christmas Medley

followed by a fun introduction to the

orchestra. All the instruments are

presented in a fun and approachable

way, offering the young audience

members the valuable experience

of seeing – and hearing – the

instruments individually.

The showing also features a world

exclusive; an animated film of

David Litchfield's award-winning

book The Bear and The Piano, with

the unmistakable voice of Joanna

Lumley. For more details visit

www.carrotproductions.com

58


Millarde Fashions

of Sutton Coldfield

SALE STARTS SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER

REDUCTIONS IN ALL DEPARTMENTS

396 Birmingham Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B72 1YJ

0121 373 4834 - www.millardefashions.co.uk - enquiries@millardefashions.co.uk

THE TEAM AT J’AIME WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL

OF OUR ADVERTISERS, READERS AND SUPPLIERS

FOR ALL OF THEIR SUPPORT IN 2018 - WISHING

YOU ALL THE BEST FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON.

Happy Christmas!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE IN THE JANUARY

ISSUE CONTACT JAN ASHLEY ON 07388 335931 OR

EMAIL ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

J’AIME

/jaimemagazine

@jaimemagazine

www.jaimemagazine.com


LO CA L A R E A

What’s on Second City

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST

EVENTS TO COME TO BIRMINGHAM THIS MONTH

WHAT: THE WIZARD OF OZ

WHERE: BIRMINGHAM REP

WHEN: NOVEMBER 24 TO

JANUARY 13

See Oz like you've never seen it

before this festive season at the REP.

When farm girl Dorothy Gale runs

away from the evil Miss Gulch, she

finds herself lost in a strange and

wonderful new world. With her

faithful dog Toto at her side, she sets

off on an adventure to find her way

back home.

Along the way she meets some

peculiar but loveable characters

who are also in search of something

special – a Scarecrow needing a

brain, a Tin Man looking for a

heart and a Lion lacking in courage.

Together they follow the yellow brick

road to the Emerald City in search

of answers from the mysterious and

all-powerful Wizard of Oz.

In a bold yet faithful reimagining,

directed by Liam Steel, this

spectacular production features

your favourite songs and characters

from the classic film with an added

sprinkle of REP magic. For more

details visit www.birminghamrep.co.uk

WHAT: BENIDORM

WHERE: NEW ALEXANDRA THEATRE

WHEN: DECEMBER 3 TO 29

ITV’s award-winning comedy celebrates

more than a decade of all-inclusive

hilarity, having followed the ensemble

cast of holiday makers and staff for ten

series since it first broadcast in 2007.

Creator Derren Litten has now written

an all new set of Alicante escapades for

the much-loved cast members as they

swap sangria for the stage - after a quick

spruce up at the Blow ‘n’ Go!

Starring Jake Canuso (Mateo), Janine

Duvitski (Jacqueline), Adam Gillen

(Liam), Sherrie Hewson (Joyce Temple-

Savage), Shelley Longworth (Sam),

Tony Maudsley (Kenneth) and featuring

Neptune’s very own Asa Elliott, and

- hold on to your sombreros amigos

- Derren Litten as Derek, appearing

exclusively in Birmingham as a special

festive treat!

Book now for a dose of Benidorm

sunshine and see your favourite stars

from the Solana live on stage for the

very first time. For more details visit

www.atgtickets.com/birmingham

WHAT: JOOLS HOLLAND AND HIS

RHYTHM AND BLUES ORCHESTRA

WHERE: SYMPHONY HALL

WHEN: DECEMBER 5 AND 6

Musical master of ceremonies Jools

Holland and his acclaimed Rhythm

and Blues Orchestra return to

Birmingham this month with special

guest Marc Almond.

In his 36-year career, Marc has sold

over 30 million records worldwide

with his list of hit songs including

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, Touch

and, of course, Tainted Love. Marc

has also collaborated with the likes

of Gene Pitney, Tony Visconti and

Burt Bacharach, and previously

toured with Jools in 2014.

Also performing with Jools will be

the supremely talented vocalists

Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall

as well as original Squeeze member

Gilson Lavis on drums with the

Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. With

a tremendous collection of Jools

compositions and boogie-woogie

classics to choose from, Jools’ annual

visit is set to be an unforgettable

night out. For more details visit

www.thsh.co.uk

60


WHAT: LEA MICHELE AND DARREN

CRISS

WHERE: ARENA BIRMINGHAM

WHEN: DECEMBER 7

Following the demand of fans and

rave reviews, actors and musicians

Lea Michele and Darren Criss will

continue their wildly successful LM/

DC Tour with a date in Birmingham

this month.

Lea Michele last hit the road in

the spring of 2017 for a string of

sold out shows on her ‘Intimate

Evening With’ North America tour,

performing songs from her albums

Louder and Places. Darren Criss

most recently released a five-track

indie EP entitled Homework, his

first solo project in more than seven

years. It debuted at #1 on Billboard’s

Heatseekers Chart while SiriusXM

described it as a ‘Nice hybrid of

early Elton John and Ben Folds’.

A dazzling evening of laughs, chills,

and spellbindingly good music, Lea

Michele and Darren Criss in concert

are a musical celebration to believe

in. For more details visit

www.arenabham.co.uk

WHAT: CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR

WHERE: SYMPHONY HALL

WHEN: DECEMBER 15

Christmas Spectacular is a cracker

of a show with music, dance, lights,

spectacle and a snow-filled finale. This

year’s special guest Kimberley Walsh

will be joined by the nation’s favourite

ballroom dancing couple Anton du

Beke and Erin Boag, as well as guest

singers Kerry Ellis and Tim Howar.

Symphony Hall will spring to life

with high kicks, festive fun and special

effects plus all the trimmings in the

company of a full show band, West

End vocalists and the all-star Jingle

Belle Dancers. Join in with toe-tapping

tunes from the London Concert

Orchestra conducted by John Rigby

and sing along to seasonal songs

including Merry Christmas Everyone,

Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bell Rock

plus many more. It’s the ultimate,

unmissable Christmas party. For more

information visit www.thsh.co.uk

WHAT: PETER PAN

WHERE: BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

WHEN: DECEMBER 19 TO JANUARY 27

This Christmas, set sail to Neverland

with the swashbuckling Pantomime

adventure, Peter Pan which files into

the Hippodrome later this month.

The all-star line-up is led by singing

sensation Jimmy Osmond, comedyactress

and TV star Meera Syal,

Hippodrome favourite Matt Slack,

Union J’s Jaymi Hensley, Britain’s

Got Talent semi-finalist Sascha

Williams and amazing acrobatictroupe

The Timbuktu Tumblers

With amazing flying effects, barrels

of laughter, magic and fairy dust,

be sure to join Peter and the Lost

Boys as they set sail in the ultimate

pirate Pantomime adventure. Hook

your seats now! For more details visit

www.birminghamhippodrome.com

WHAT: ELF - A CHRISTMAS

SPECTACULAR

WHERE: RESORTS WORLD ARENA

(FORMERLY GENTING ARENA)

WHEN: DECEMBER 20 TO 24

ELF, the hit West End and Broadway

musical based on the Hollywood

blockbuster movie, is to be supersized

into a Christmas spectacular in

Birmingham this December.

Starring pop legend David Essex as

Buddy the Elf ’s father; Love Actually

star and singer Martine McCutcheon

as Buddy’s girlfriend, Jovie; plus,

comedy actor Tam Ryan as Buddy,

this will be a festive treat like no

other.

Featuring a book written by Bob

Martin and Thomas Meehan (Annie,

The Producers and Hairspray), this

new Christmas spectacular will also

include an original score of great

new songs. Added to this, there are

some special effects lined up that

will take your family’s breath away,

including a giant sleigh that flies

across the arena, an indoor snow

blizzard and lots of skating. This will

all be teamed with giant screens and

a humongous stage so you can catch

all of the action.

61


FA S H I O N

Jump to it

DITCH THE PRETTY PARTY DRESS AND OPT FOR SERIOUS GLAM IN ONE OF THE SEASON’S HOTTEST

JUMPSUITS, SAYS AMY NORBURY. IT’S YOUR TICKET TO WOW THIS FESTIVE PARTY SEASON

AS December rolls around, the race is on to

pin down the perfect Christmas party outfit.

Glittering crystals, whimsical feathers and disco

metallics comprise the key ingredients of the late

shift this party season; after all, it’s the time of

year to sparkle and shine. Whichever look you

choose, more is most certainly more.

For a more glamorous, grown-up take on party

dressing, this season swap your trusty little

black dress - or sparkly festive equivalent - for a

jumpsuit.

While the jumpsuit has been a fashion favourite

for numerous seasons now, the latest offerings

incorporate some of AW18’s hottest trend to

create a masterclass in uber-chic style for every

festive party occasion.

Make like a disco glitterball and inject some

Seventies flair with a wide-legged, sequin number

- perfect for wowing on the dancefloor, or tap into

the futuristic trend with head-to-toe silver lamé,

as seen on the Balmain catwalk at Paris Fashion

Week.

Velvet is another fabric having a festive fashion

moment, perfect for adding a more subtle glam

feel when the occasion calls for something

less extra than all-over sequins and crystal

embellishments.

Meanwhile, those seeking to make a scenestealing

entrance should plump for head-to-toe

white as the eye-catching palette of the moment

– who wouldn't want to semaphore chic serenity

amidst the festive chaos in ice white?

Killer accessories are key to making the most of

your party look. To balance out your silhouette,

a pair of vertiginous heels is a must, particularly

if you’re opting for a more billowing rather

than form-fitting jumpsuit. Add some dramatic

chandelier earrings and a sparkly clutch just big

enough to hold your lippy and phone, and voila!

Party perfection.

Your RSVP is no longer in doubt – say yes

to everything while wearing one of the best

Christmas party pieces of 2018.

LIPSY BANDEAU SEQUIN

WAIST JUMPSUIT, £68,

NEXT

62


BELLE EARRINGS, HOBBS

£75

£12

GOLD STATEMENT

EARRINGS, OASIS

£19

SILVER SEQUIN JUMPSUIT,

DOROTHY PERKINS

£70

MIXED METAL

EARRINGS, NEXT

STAR BY JULIEN MACDONALD

JUMPSUIT, DEBENHAMS

BEAUTY BAG,

DUNE LONDON

£40

£12

SAINT LAURENT MANSOUR

FEATHER-TRIMMED LEATHER

SANDALS, HARVEY NICHOLS

£855

MIGNIGHTE SANDALS,

DUNE LONDON

BURGUNDY TASSEL

EARRINGS, NEXT

£45

£75

£10

SILVER SEQUIN SLEEVED

JUMPSUIT, NEXT

£250

AIDAN TUXEDO SEQUIN

JUMPSUIT, HARVEY NICHOLS

MW BY MATTHEW WILLIAMSON

FEATHER CAPE, DEBENHAMS

£39

£69

FAITH GLITTER COURTS,

DEBENHAMS

63


FA S H I O N

Blooming marvellous

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

BRIDAL BOUTIQUE AT BARTON MARINA, TAKES A LOOK AT SUPER STYLISH MATERNITY WEAR

We have some very exciting news this month; Nero e

Bianco are expanding (excuse the pun) into maternity

wear.

We are opening a maternity and childrenswear shop

at Barton Marina, just two doors down from our

ladieswear shop.

With the passion I have for empowering women

through clothing, whatever shape or size, it feels

right to incorporate maternity wear into our brand.

Pregnancy can be an amazing time but also it can

be difficult for many reasons. As an ex-midwife

and health visitor, I understand the complexities of

pregnancy and parenthood so in line with Nero e

Bianco’s philosophy the natural step for us is to help

women feel amazing throughout their pregnancy.

Offering the outstanding quality of Italian fabric,

manufacturing and design, we have brought together

a range that is effortlessly chic and totally exclusive.

An added bonus is that many of the pieces are

structured so they can be worn after baby is born too.

So here is a sneaky preview, a few things to give you a

taste of our maternity range...

Just for fun, these cute jumpers

will make the big gender reveal

announcement for you!

Simple yet effective, this A-line dress

with the very feminine cuff detail is

so versatile throughout pregnancy.

Beautiful velvet, easy to wear with a detail at the

shoulder to balance your silhouette. A perfect dress

for festive season and beyond.

64


Nero e Bianco

Exclusive Fashion & Bridal

Bar ton Marina

Bur ton upon Trent

DE13 8AS

01283 346704

Nero e Bianco

Maternity & Childrenswear

Bar ton Marina

(Opening December)

www.neroebianco.co.uk

Indulgence

by Nero e Bianco

Bar ton Marina

(Opening December)

www.indulgenceshop.co.uk

Our new wine tasting store opens

December 2018 featuring an

Enomatic wine dispensing machine

allowing customers to sample a range

of elegant Italian wines.

Plus…

Irresistible Italian Chocolates

Italian Craft Beers

and more…

N E R O e B I A N C O

M A T E R N I T Y & C H I L D R E N S W E A R

(Opening December)

M A T E R N I T Y & C H I L D R E N S W E A R


Chic, stylish and comfortable. this is most definitely

a ‘dress up, dress down’ type of dress. Wear with heels

(if your ankles aren’t too swollen) for an occasion

and wear with thick tights and chunky boots for the

everyday look. Amazing!

A chunky knit with the detail semi puff sleeves.

Again, this creates balance to the silhouette.

Worn here with jeans and a chunky heel – great

for lunch with friends. Alternatively pop on a

pair of flats and a warm coat ready for a brisk

Sunday afternoon walk!

Classy and sophisticated, this dress will take you

through pregnancy and afterwards also. Super for

work wear and, as seen here, dressed for an occasion.

We look forward to looking after all you lovely ladies in

creating an amazing maternity look just for you.

66


The hair destination for

fabulous, wearable looks

THE SALON EXPERIENCE

Set in a haven of luxury and relaxation

we have the perfect environment to

achieve the style you really want.

Our award winning team of stylists will give you their

undivided attention - our priority is to make every

client look and feel fantastic.

Call or visit to experience it for yourself,

we would love to take care of you.

T: 01543 481900 www.anthonyjohn-salons.co.uk

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


CO M P E T I T I O N

Pampering bliss

MOOR HALL SPA IS EXCITED TO OFFER A NEW RANGE OF LUXURIOUS THALGO BODY RITUALS -

AND ONE LUCKY READER WILL BE ABLE TO TRY THE PAMPERING EXPERIENCE FOR THEMSELVES

Surrounded by beautiful parkland yet only minutes

from Sutton Coldfield, The Spa at Moor Hall is

the perfect place to relax and forget the stresses of

modern living for an hour or two. Whether you're

looking to enjoy some pampering, some ‘me-time’

or to catch up with friends on a spa day or a break,

you'll love the traditional country house atmosphere

combined with friendly staff and the best of facilities.

There are four treatment rooms, including a double

where you and a friend or partner can enjoy a

treatment at the same time, subject to availability,

and the experienced therapists offer an unrivalled

range of wonderful Thalgo facial and body

treatments suitable for all, plus Indian head massage

and reflexology.

The new range of Thalgo body rituals offers more

than just a treatment; they provide a luxurious

journey for the ultimate in relaxation. J’AIME has

teamed up with The Spa at Moor Hall to offer one

lucky reader a seriously pampering spa experience

with the new Polynesian Spa Ritual.

This 90-minute exotic spa ritual, inspired by the

islands of Polynesia, begins with a Manihi Lagooninspired

azure foot bath to protect and hydrate the

skin. A vanilla-scented body scrub, blended with pure

Bora Bora white sand, sea salt, coconut shell and

algo-monoi, gently exfoliates, before the Mahana

massage loosens muscles and nourishes the skin with

a rhythmic massage with warm sand pouches. An

application of golden oil leaves a sunkissed glow and

a delicate scent of flowers and monoi.

For more details visit www.moorhallhotel.co.uk/

spa or call the spa on 0121 334 2323 to book a

treatment.

The competition

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH MOOR HALL HOTEL AND SPA TO OFFER READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN AN

INDULGENT THALGO POLYNESIAN SPA RITUAL, WORTH £95. OUR LUCKY WINNER WILL EXPERIENCE THE

90-MINUTE LUXURIOUS RELAXATION TREATMENT IN THE COMFORT OF MOOR HALL’S RELAXING SPA.

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

HOW MANY TREATMENT ROOMS DOES THE SPA AT MOOR HALL HAVE?

SEND YOUR ANSWER, ALONG WITH YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER, BY EMAIL TO COMPETITIONS@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM WITH MOOR

HALL SPA COMPETITION AS THE EMAIL SUBJECT. ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5PM ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, AND OUR WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED BY

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2. TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. VISIT WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

68


B E AU T Y

Festive fragrances

IF IN DOUBT, PERFUMES WILL SOLVE THOSE LAST-MINUTE PRESENT PANICS. WHETHER YOU’RE PLANNING

TO SURPRISE WITH A SIGNATURE GIFT SET OR DELIGHT WITH A BOTTLE OF SOMETHING NEW, YOU CAN’T

GO WRONG WITH ONE OF THESE FASHION-FORWARD FRAGRANCES. LISA PIDDINGTON, FROM HARVEY

NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM, SELECTS THE SCENT SHE’D LOVE TO SEE UNDER THE TREE THIS CHRISTMAS

For Her Eau De Toilette by

Narciso Rodriguez, £55

(50ml) is a sensual and delicate

fragrance. Three notes enhance

the heart of musk – floral, amber

and woody notes. The stylish

black bottle makes it perfect for

the elegant woman in your life.

Surprise her with this Estée

Lauder Fragrance

Treasure Set, £38,

containing four

favourite scents.

This limited-edition

collection includes

mini eau de parfum

purse sprays in an

exclusive gift box

– there’s a 4.7ml

Beautiful, 4ml Pleasures,

4ml Modern Muse and

4ml Modern Muse Le Rouge.

The latest

fragrance to

be added to

Jimmy Choo’s

portfolio,

Illicit Eau de

Parfum, £57

(60ml) is a

modern floral

scent that’s

punchy, provocative and

feminine with its blend of

addictive notes including

ginger, rose, jasmine, and

sandalwood. The ideal s

cent for the party season.

Sisley’s Eau de Campagne

is a perfect harmony of citrus

and grassy notes with a chypre

base mixed with a fresh and

stimulating bouquet. This gift

set, £90, is presented in

a stylish spotted box and

includes a 100ml Eau

de Toilette and a 250ml

shower gel.

Blended by master perfumer Alberto Morillas, Gucci

Bloom captures the rich scent of a thriving garden

filled with an abundance of flowers, including

tuberose and jasmine. This Gucci Bloom Acqua

di Fiori Gift Set, £62, contains a 50ml Eau de

Toilette and a 7.4ml rollerball.

Elie Saab’s Nuit Noor Eau De Parfum,

£112 (90ml) is a scent of contrasts. This radiant,

oriental fragrance is bursting with sophisticated

florals – with rose at its heart – while lingering

patchouli and incense lie at the base.

FRAGRANCES FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE BEAUTY HALL AT

HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM OR ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM.

69


CO M P E T I T I O N

A cut above

NEW TO ALREWAS, THE TIER IS HOPING TO BRING CUTTING EDGE HAIR DESIGN AND EXCELLENT

CUSTOMER SERVICE TO THE MIDLANDS - AND YOU COULD WIN A HAIR MAKEOVER WORTH £150

A high quality, vibrant and creative hair salon, The

Tier aims to provide beautiful and contemporary

hair, styled with care and attention to detail.

Passionate about customer service, the team believe

that is important to establish a strong relationship

with the client and offer them the whole ‘salon

experience’.

The Tier Hairdressing is one of Nottingham's

premier hair salons, offering up-to-date technical

expertise and creative hair design, specialising in

colouring and cutting using L'Oreal Professionnel

products. The new venture in Alrewas combines that

creative experience with a beautiful rural location.

Tracey Taylor started the Nottingham salon in

2002 as creative director and wedding specialist.

Tracey began her career in a local Nottingham

salon in 1983. She went on to work for many

leading salons and with Mary Dunn alongside the

British Hairdressing Team. During this time Tracey

also trained as an image consultant and became a

professional makeup artist.

She has twice been a finalist at the L’Oreal Colour

Trophy, as well as a finalist for British Hairdressing

Awards for the Eastern region and has been involved

with a number of shows and seminars over the years.

The Tier’s next event is the Reiss fashion show,

which the team regularly participates in.

Looking to next year, Tracey hopes to enter the

British Hairdressing Awards and is looking for

talented stylists to join the team at Alrewas.

As well as ladies styling, The Tier offers expert

barbering from Simon Shelton. Simon has 19 years

of professional barbering experience and since

relocating to The Tier Alrewas, Simon’s artistic and

creative flair has gained him a loyal client base, as

well as a reputation for exceptional barbering.

The Tier is situated above The Bank Coffeehouse,

a specialty coffee house which offers the very best

brews alongside delicious home-cooked food and

delectable cakes, using the freshest local produce.

Opened in May, owner Jane Reilly has created a true

community feel in the stylish coffee shop, housed in

what was once Midland Bank, a hub of the Alrewas

community.

Why not combine a pampering visit to The Tier

with a bite to eat and a specialty coffee at The Bank

Coffeehouse?

For more information pop into The Tier and The

Bank Coffeehouse at 57 Main Street, Alrewas,

or find The Tier Alrewas and The Bank Coffeehouse

on Facebook.

The competition

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH THE TIER ALREWAS TO OFFER READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN A HAIR MAKEOVER

WORTH UP TO £150, AS WELL AS LUNCH FOR TWO, INCLUDING MAIN COURSE, DRINK AND CAKE, AT THE BANK

COFFEEHOUSE IN THE SAME PREMISES.

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

WHERE IS THE TIER AND THE BANK COFFEEHOUSE SITUATED?

SEND YOUR ANSWER, ALONG WITH YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER, BY EMAIL TO COMPETITIONS@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM WITH THE

TIER HAIR COMPETITION AS THE EMAIL SUBJECT. ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5PM ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, AND OUR WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED BY

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2. TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. VISIT WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

70


I N T H E N E W S

A revolution in hearing

A SUTTON COLDFIELD AUDIOLOGIST IS LEADING THE WAY

WITH A REVOLUTIONARY NEW HEARING AID SOLUTION.

Steven Hale Hearing are now offering the

new Marvel hearing aids innovated by the

industry-leading manufacturer, Sonova.

Experience great hearing performance,

multi-functionality, direct connectivity, and

so much more from these marvellous hearing

aids. It’s not just a great hearing aid. It’s a

multifunctional marvel.

It’s an age in which we all need the technology

that makes our lives easier to work effortlessly,

automatically and seamlessly. Turn on your

smartphone, computer, television and other

devices and they should work flawlessly with

minimum effort.

So shouldn’t the same apply to hearing aids?

The fact, with the new Marvel, it does. The new, allin-one

hearing solution from Phonak improves your

hearing in everyday life and even the noisiest sound

environments. Packed with technology and features

that adapt to your life, look no further than Phonak

AudéoTM Marvel hearing aids to deliver incredible

hearing performance, direct connectivity to all your

gadgets, rechargeability, and even remote support for

your hearing aids.

Based on a sophisticated operating system called

AutoSense OSTM 3.0, Audéo Marvel hearing aids

adapt to any listening environment you’re in. Plus,

the same system provides top rated sound quality

while watching TV, streaming music or podcasts –

the possibilities are endless.

AUDIOLOGIST STEVEN HALE AT WORK

As a Made-For-All solution, Audéo Marvel hearing

aids can connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices, such

as an iPhone or Android-based smartphone or tablet,

allowing hands-free calls through both ears.

The hearing aids can also be fine-tuned remotely

using a smartphone app. With the myPhonak app,

you are provided the freedom to contact your

hearing professional without having to visit their

office. Spend more time enjoying life and less time in

appointments.

With all these highly advanced features, delivering

exceptional speech understanding and high quality

sound, even in the most challenging sound situations,

is at the core of the Audéo Marvel hearing aids.

You can forget the hassle of needing an additional

receiver to hear over distance and noise thanks to

RogerTM technology. By analysing

sounds in real-time, automatically and

seamlessly, the Audéo Marvel creates

an exceptional listening experience. In

addition, with industry leading lithiumion

rechargeable technology, it also

means enjoying your hearing all day

long.

Whether you have mild or severe

hearing loss, Phonak Audéo Marvel

hearing aids are packed with everything

you need for better hearing. For

more information, call Steven Hale

Hearing on 0121 308 2550 to

arrange a consultation, or visit

www.stevenhalehearing.co.uk

71


I N T H E N E W S

A festive landmark

Sutton Coldfield's most famous new landmark looks

marvellous wearing his first ever Christmas outfit this

month.

Trunky McTrunkface, as he's now known, is the

world's biggest 3D printed animal, standing all of four

metres tall. He permanently resides as an amazing

public work of street sculpture, smashing through

the walls at his creators’ premises in Forge Lane,

Minworth, out onto the road for passers by to gaze at

in awe.

The record-breaking, utterly lifelike beast is an exact

replica of an African elephant in the wild and is the

brainchild of specialist printing company, Andesign,

who invested heavily in the world's most advanced

3D printer and wanted to show exactly what could be

achieved with it.

The sculpture is created by taking a digital scan and

then printing layer after layer of a special resin, which

hardens to allow it to withstand almost any pressure.

Trunky now braves all weathers and welcomes daily

visits from people of all ages from all over the West

Midlands and even manages to do his bit for real

elephants in the wild while doing so.

For every new piece of 3D design work Andesign

receives, the company makes a donation to the David

Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, one of the world's

greatest defenders of elephants in the wild.

"We worried that Trunky might get a little cold over

Christmas, so I knitted his woolly festive hat for him

myself," said Andesign's George Christou.

Diamond delights

Diamond jewellery brand VASHI brings its unique

luxury concept to Birmingham with the opening of its

new store in Selfridges at the Bullring.

Midlands customers now have the opportunity to

experience its innovative offering in customisable

diamond jewellery, in time for the busy festive season.

VASHI presents an alternative to traditional boutiques,

offering clients a truly personal yet relaxed and easily

accessible experience. Assisted by craftsmen, known

as Alchemists, customers create their own piece

of jewellery in-store, from initial design through

to diamond and stone selection and setting. The

process allows customers to explore not only craft and

innovation but also to create a truly unique and deeply

meaningful piece. Driven by the notion of ‘I made this

for you’, the VASHI experience is designed to be as

individual as the wearer.

The VASHI store at the Bullring occupies 700 sq ft

on the fourth floor of Selfridges Birmingham, situated

among some of the world’s leading luxury brands.

Clients of VASHI at Birmingham can expect a full

immersion in the creation process of a customised or

bespoke piece of diamond jewellery. The jewellery is

transparently showcased, encouraging customers to

engage with the product. Alchemists are positioned

centrally at the Diamond Bar where the customisation

process is brought to life.

Sam Watts, general manager, Selfridges Birmingham

said: "At Selfridges, we always try to add an element

of surprise to elevate the shopping experience. Each

new brand that joins our luxury lineup must be unique

in its offering and VASHI is sure to add that extra

bit of sparkle to Selfridges Birmingham. Whether

you are buying a Christmas gift for a loved one or an

engagement ring for the one, I can assure you that

VASHI diamonds will be more than just a girl's best

friend."

72


M OTO R S

Life in the fast lane

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

PUTS THE NEW ASTON MARTIN RACING VANTAGE GT4 TO THE TEST

The racing season may be well

and truly be over, but focus

has already shifted to 2019

and work typically begins the

second the chequered flag

drops at the end of the year.

Last week I got a call from

Aston Martin to ask if I was

available to sample their latest

offering; the new Aston Martin

Racing Vantage GT4. The

answer was, of course, yes!

I arrived early on a cold, damp

and dreary November morning

at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

There was a touch of frost in

the air that chilled you right

to the bones, but very quickly

I warmed up with the sound

of the new car. Before even laying eyes on it, I could

hear that it meant business. The distinctive Aston

Martin growl was aggressive, intimidating and louder

than ever. I couldn't wait to get behind the wheel...

The Vantage GT4 retains most of the gorgeous

styling elements and curves of the road car version,

while cleverly adding in trick aerodynamic pieces to

boost downforce without upsetting the car’s aesthetic.

It looks the part, sounds mean as hell, but how did it

drive?

I set off for two five-lap sessions and straight out of

the box the car gave me the confidence to push. The

thing that hit me straight away was just how much

more mechanical grip I had then with other GT4

cars. The chassis was very stiff and not a lot of body

roll that you would expect from a big heavy GT car.

In essence, this felt more like a true racing car.

Fast, very nimble, great at changing direction. The

traction out of the corner was incredible! The track

conditions were not the best with damp patches still

on the circuit, but no matter how hard I pushed I

struggled to get the rear to slide, and even if I did

overstep the mark, it was very, very easy to catch and

manage the slide in a controlled drift; no dramas

at all. My first impressions were that this will be a

PUTTING THE ASTON

MARTIN THROUGH ITS

PACES ON THE TRACK

car to be reckoned with. In the right hands, this has

championship winner written all over it.

An awful lot of development has already gone

into this car. Reliability has been a big focus for

improvement for Aston Martin. Long gone are

the standard road car electronics, replaced by

bespoke motorsport engine wiring looms and Bosch

Motorsport ABS and traction control systems.

The new Vantage retains the old tried and tested

ZF paddle-shift gearbox of the old shape Vantage,

but with the new electronics the gear shifts are

noticeably smoother and a lot more efficient which

is crucial, especially when downshifting as you need

smooth gear changes to keep a car stable entering a

corner. This particular car has already undergone

36 vigorous hours of testing at the hands of Aston

Martin's factory drivers and, so far, has come through

unscathed with only a few minor teething problems,

which is to be expected with a brand new car.

The Vantage GT4 racing car uses the same AMG

4.0 twin turbo engine that can be found in the

standard road car but is actually detuned from

its regular 520bhp to about 470bhp. Why would

a racing car detune an engine you may ask? The

answer is pretty simple; all GT4 and GT3 racing cars

undergo BoP testing (Balance of Performance). This

73


BoP testing performed by the

SRO, the world governing body

of GT racing, is to ensure that

cars from all manufacturers can

compete on a level playing field

by either adding extra ballast or

adding a restrictor to the engines

air intake to reduce power.

By self-restricting their own

engine performance to a

BHP number in-line with the

majority of the competition,

they hope to avoid heavy weight

penalties that will hurt the car’s

cornering speed. The Balance

of Performance formula is a

dark art that requires delicate

navigating through the politics

of GT racing and is quite the

balancing act to get right (no pun intended!).

I feel that Aston Martin's approach is onto a winner;

build a fast car that is very balanced between top

speed and cornering ability so that any attempt

to equalise it by the championship won't heavily

penalise it compared to its opposition if they were to

just rely on one strength.

GT4 racing has seen an explosion in popularity

in recent years. It's the global entry-level class into

GT racing and where many amateurs and up-andcoming

young drivers start their racing journey.

The new Vantage is the latest car to hit the GT4

marketplace, with hopes of taking on McLaren,

BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes in championships all

around the world. With that in mind, Aston Martin

has engineered a car that is both very forgiving for

an amateur, yet rewards bravery when driven hard

MARTIN GETS READY

TO TEST THE NEW

ASTON MARTIN RACING

VANTAGE GT4

by a professional driver. The driveability of the car

is arguably more critical than outright performance

especially in endurance racing, as driver-errors can

be very costly deep into a three-hour race or in

the middle of the night at Le Mans, so the more

comfortable a car is to drive on its limit, the more

consistent a driver can be and not make mistakes.

Of course, as with anything in racing, the faster you

want to go the more money you have to spend, so

don't expect it to be cheap. The Vantage starts from

a cool £175,000 in its baseline racing spec, but if

you want to add on all of the bells and whistles like

the quick refuel rig and rear view cameras needed

to cope with the demands of fast pit stops and

close quarter racing the price creeps up to around

£215,000. While that sounds like a big chunk of

money (which of course it is), I cannot stress enough

how much of a great deal that is for what you are

getting. Win the lottery or sell your

house and buy this car. You can

thank me later!

Conclusion:

The AMR Vantage GT4 is the result

of what happens when you leave an

already very, very fast Vantage road

car in the hands of the guys and girls

at Prodrive. Prodrive, for the nonmotorsport

reader, are juggernauts of

the motorsport world, currently the

brains behind Aston Martin’s Factory

race team; they have helped deliver

countless World Championships

for manufacturers like BMW and

Subaru in BTCC, F1, WRC and the

World Endurance Championship. In

a nutshell, these guys know how to

build fast cars. And the Vantage GT4

is just that. Fast.

74


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