F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9
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
Feel the love
A SPA AND AFTERNOON TEA
EXPERIENCE FOR TWO AT
MOOR HALL HOTEL
THE SUTTON COLDFIELD
THE NEXT GENERATION
serious spring style
with the sunniest hues
Welcome to J’AIME
Love is in the air here at J’AIME HQ
with Valentine’s Day just around the
corner, and we’ve got some great gift
ideas for the lucky man or lady in your
life, as well as the chance to win a spa
and afternoon tea experience for you and
your other half at Moor Hall Hotel and
Spa - the perfect way to celebrate the
most romantic day of the year.
Our fitness expert, personal trainer Raul
Romero, is also getting in on the act as
he explains why working out with your
significant other can provide a boost to
your keep-fit regime.
Elsewhere we chat to Phil Brown, an
Olympic medallist from Sutton Coldfield
who is using his experiences as an elite
athlete to help primary school children
realise their potential and set them on
the right path with a mentoring scheme,
while all-action columnist Jack Regan
returns with a rigorous examination of
the notion of bucket lists. Are they really
all they’re cracked up to be?
Congratulations are in order for our
latest winner; Abbie Lemin, of Fradley,
scooped the delectable Forage Christmas
hamper from our December issue.
With all of your usual favourites, from
delicious dining out to the most stylish
trends for your home and wardrobe,
we reckon there’s plenty to love about
J’AIME this month. We hope you do too!
EDITOR: AMY NORBURY
ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY
07388 335 931
CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN, JACK REGAN,
SAMUEL COOPER, LISA PIDDINGTON, JILL HARTLEY,
LIAM DILLON, RAUL ROMERO, SHAUN CRAVEN
J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY
PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED
BY KEP LIMITED, TAMWORTH.
Check us out online at:
Find us on
InsideJ’aime this month...
6 Champions Realm - Sutton Coldfield
Olympian Phil Brown on his mentoring
programme for children
12 Property - Property of the month
14 Property - Summer dreams in Sutton Coldfield
16 Interiors - Living Coral
20 Interiors - Cosy fireplaces
24 Valentine’s Day - Gifts she’ll love
28 Valentine’s Day - Treat him
30 Food & drink - Reviewing Larder Lichfield
32 Food & drink - Cocktail of the month from Le
34 Food and drink - A delectable dessert from The
Boat Inn, Lichfield
36 Food and drink - Indulgent chocolates for
38 Food and drink - Organic French wines from
40 Health and fitness - Lichfield personal trainer
Raul Romero looks at working out as a couple
42 Travel - Experience South Africa
46 Life on the edge - Jack Regan examines the
notion of the bucket list
50 What’s On - Our pick of events around our
area this month
52 What’s On - The hottest tickets around
54 Competition - Win a spa and afternoon tea
experience for two at Moor Hall
56 Fashion - Mellow yellow
58 Fashion - Be the best dressed guest with Nero
61 Beauty - Spring clean your beauty regime with
Harvey Nichols Birmingham
62 Beauty - Winter hair care tips from Francesco
64 In the news - Setting the standard in kitchen
65 Motors - J’AIME’s expert Martin Plowman
tests the Range Rover Sport SVR
BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED, HAND CRAFTED & HONESTLY PRICED
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With no high street showrooms to support, we are able to keep our
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AS AN OLYMPIC MEDALLIST, SUTTON COLDFIELD ATHLETE PHIL BROWN IS NO STRANGER TO SPORTING
SUCCESS. BUT NOW HE IS USING HIS EXPERIENCES BOTH ON AND OFF THE TRACK TO HELP MENTOR AND
INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE
He may not enjoy the same household-name
recognition as some of his team mates, but Phil
Brown can proudly count himself among a group
of the world’s most elite athletes. After all, he has
the Olympic medal to prove it - not to mention the
London street named in his honour.
In a sport where athletes are normally celebrated for
their individual endeavours and performances, Phil
holds his own as a Commonwealth Games 400m
bronze medalist and a UK 400m record holder. But
it was his team spirit as the dependable anchor leg
in the 4x400m relay team which saw Brummie Phil
make the biggest impact in his sport - most notably
securing a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los
After his career as an elite athlete came to an
end, Phil spent 25 years working for the Duke of
Edinburgh Awards, eventually as a director for the
central England region responsible for helping some
48,000 youngsters aged between 14 and 24.
And it is his experiences, both in sport and working
with youngsters, which are the driving force behind
Phil’s not-for-profit company, Champion’s Realm.
“Every Olympian will tell you that you lose more
races than you ever win, but that it’s resilience that
keeps you going,” explains 57-year-old Phil, who now
lives in Sutton Coldfield.
And it is resilience which is the key message behind
Champion’s Realm’s aim. Children today face a
barrage of difference challenges in growing up - and
from a much younger age. Living in the age of social
media dominance means the world is, quite literally
at their fingertips. But it can also open children up to
A survey by international anti-bullying movement
Ditch The Label discovered that cyber bullying is on
the increase, finding that 47% of young people who
took the survey had received nasty profile comments
and 62% had been sent nasty private messages via
While his work with the Duke of Edinburgh
Awards enabled Phil to positively impact the lives of
participants from high school age and upwards, he
believes that children today need the same sort of
opportunity - and positive role models - much earlier
on. Which is why his Champion’s Realm programme
focuses on youngsters at primary school.
“In essence, the work I’m doing with primary
CROSSING THE FINISH
schools is wrapped up with the values of the World
Olympians Association,” says Phil.
Those Olympian values of excellence, integrity,
respect, friendship, solidarity and inspiration are the
cornerstones of Phil’s work. Mainly funded by Phil’s
corporate public speaking, Champion’s Realm offers
mentoring programmes throughout primary schools,
working with children around the ages of eight and
nine to provide a platform to develop their potential
through sport, promoting good mental health and
“The work I do in primary schools can be on three
levels,” explains Phil. “It can be just an inspirational
assembly or an inspirational day; it could be working
with a school for a term to look at and promote
resilience, or it could be what I feel would make the
greatest difference, which is to give a day a week or a
fortnight to a school for a year, working with them to
make a lasting impression.”
As well as working in partnership with schools and
pupils, Phil’s mentoring programme also involves an
adult family member - be it a parent, older sibling,
grandparent, auntie or uncle - who can help children
within the home environment.
“My resilience programme hopefully gives young
people a positive outlook, and something which they
can take into later life,” Phil says.
“It’s a labour of love, so I don’t feel like I’m going
to work. They say if you find a job you love, you’ll
never work a day in your life.”
The great Pele said: “The more difficult the
victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” It’s a
sentiment with which Phil wholeheartedly agrees.
Despite his sporting successes, Phil is a passionate
believer that it is mistakes, in fact, which cultivate the
resilience needed to spur you on to greater things.
“At an early age I found I wasn’t as skilled as the
footballers, or as the cricketers or the swimmers,
but I was a good team player,” says Phil. “It wasn’t
until I was in Year 5 at primary school, around nine
years of age, that I began to attract the attention of
teachers who realised I wasn’t just an ok runner, I
was an exceptional runner.”
At the age of 14 Phil was put forward for the All-
Birmingham Championships, where he earned a
vest to represent the West Midlands at the English
Schools, a national athletics championships for
Up against the world 200m record-holder for his age
group in the English Schools final, Phil was beaten
by the narrowest of margins. But it was that race
which truly ignited his passion for athletics.
Earning his first England vest in 1978, the following
year saw Phil enter the English Schools for a final
time. Following a victorious race, he got talking to the
young athlete who had finished second to him while
waiting in the medals call-up area. Upon discovering
that the promising runner didn’t belong to a club
and had, in fact, only been running for a couple of
weeks, Phil advised him to find a coach and get a
club because he had the potential to be good - really
The athlete in question? Linford Christie.
Stepping up from the 100m and 200m to become a
quarter-miler, Phil’s aim for his first major games -
the 1982 European Championships in Athens - was
just to get through the rounds.
Having made it through the heats and the semi-final,
Phil found himself in the final up against the 1980
Olympic gold medallist, Viktor Markin, as well as
Hartmut Weber of West Germany and Andreas
Knebel of East Germany.
“I just ran my own race, and as we dipped at the
finish line I thought I’d got the bronze medal
position,” says Phil. “But Viktor Markin’s body had
obscured Knebel, and I just missed out.
“The worst position you can finish any race in
isn’t last; it’s fourth. To be just out of the medals is
crushing. But that was the inspiration to run even
better, and even harder. And I had something to
With a 4x400m relay final still to go, Phil wasn’t
going to make the same mistake twice. As the anchor
leg of a team comprised of David Jenkins, Garry
Cook and Todd Bennett, Phil knew a medal was
“As the race unfolded, coming off the final turn I was
in fourth place position; I knew what it was like to
finish fourth and I wasn’t going to have it,” says Phil.
“Coming off the final turn I dropped the pace, came
out into the second or third lane and then overtook.
To step round and go is unheard of; normally you
just keep running.”
Phil’s resilience in the face of a potential second
nearly-man finish paid off, and he brought the team
home in the silver medal position behind West
Germany, who set a Championship Record.
The following year the team were again in medal
contention at the inaugural World Athletics
PHIL BROWN AT HIS
PHIL SHOWS OFF HIS
OLYMPIC SILVER MEDAL
Championships in Helsinki. With David Jenkins
stepping down, two new athletes entered the team;
Ainsley Bennett and Kriss Akabusi. While Kriss had
run in the first two rounds to help secure the team’s
place, it was Ainsley Bennett who ran in the final.
The race was an eventful one, with third-leg clash
between the Soviet Union and the USA seeing
American athlete Willie Smith hit the deck and
Britain’s Todd Bennett hurdling over Smith to put
the team into the bronze medal position with just
Phil’s leg to go. Holding off the challenge of the
USA’s Edwin Moses, Phil brought Team GB home in
Before the final the team had agreed that, if they
were lucky enough to win a medal they wanted Kriss
to have one too, since his contribution in the earlier
heats had been instrumental in getting the team to
the final. The refusal of this request by championship
officials saw Phil and his team mates initially decline
their medal too, before being persuaded to take to
the rostrum by team management.
“On the plane coming home, our pilot made an
announcement congratulating the team on their
success at the first ever World Championships and
asking if there was a Kriss Akabusi on board,” says
“He then asked Kriss to go to the front of the plane
and presented him with his bronze medal. It was the
first ever World Championships, and we had set a
precedent to try to get medals for the members of
teams who ran in earlier rounds.
“There were no egos in the 4x400m; it’s the distance
which is the big challenge and it affects us all in the
same way, a quarter-mile at nearly 20 mph is the
real killer. So you put all the egos aside and you work
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It was this togetherness, sense of team spirit and
resilience which defined the 4x400m relay team
during Phil’s time in the sport. And none more so
than at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Again making it to the final, performance analysis
statistics put the Americans well ahead of the field,
but the remaining teams were so tightly packed that
Britain were looking at anything from a second to
Grit and determination saw Todd Bennett, Garry
Cook and Kriss Akabusi run their legs well, leaving
Phil with a fighting chance of bringing Team GB
“Todd, Garry and Kriss came into my line of sight as
I was coming down the home straight and that team
spirit kicked in; focusing on them enabled me to cross
the line and get the silver medal,” Phil remembers.
As well as his Olympic medal, Phil and some of his
Team GB team mates had streets named in their
honour. Phil Brown Place can be found in Lambeth,
“It’s a privilege and a legacy for myself, my family,
people I went to school with and my home city,” says
Phil’s time in track and field earned him a reputation
as a relay powerhouse, winning a medal at every
major games for a decade and running alongside
some of the most well-known names in British
athletics including Roger Black and Derek Redmond.
“At the end of my time in athletics, the challenge was
what to do next,” says Phil.
He was already working for Birmingham City
Council as a sports development officer when a
position came up within the Duke of Edinburgh
Award scheme for a development worker.
PHIL WITH FORMER
4X400M RELAY TEAM
MATES ROGER BLACK
AND KRISS AKABUSI
“It sounded ideal, working with young people,” says
Phil. “For me, the support I got from my teachers at
school wasn’t just about sport, it was about building
a rounded individual, and the DofE seemed to be
playing the same sort of tune.”
Phil was soon promoted to regional director for the
East Midlands region serving 17,000 young people
in 1996 and by 2010, he became director for central
England enriching the lives of 48,000 participants
with 1,000 young people attending Gold Award
ceremonies at St James’ Palace each year.
“Many of the young people were at a time in their
lives where they didn’t really know what they wanted
to do, and if only there was something - which is
the Duke of Edinburgh scheme - which could give
them a bit of structure and enable them to excel,
and give them a start by which they could guide their
careers,” says Phil.
“The young people were the inspiration for getting
up each day and working. And it wasn’t just the
most able in the local grammar schools, it was the
youngsters in the Young Offenders institutions, the
ones that most needed that guidance and a helping
Motivational speaking was an important part of
Phil’s DofE role, not only throughout schools but
at St James’ Palace in front of youngsters receiving
their Gold Awards, where he would work alongside
celebrity supporters including Joanna Lumley,
Alexander Armstrong, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and
And today he is a sought-after inspirational speaker,
regaling audiences with his motivational tales of
life on and off the track at everything from small
community to high profile corporate events.
Phil passionately believes in the power of sport
to bring people together
and change lives for the
better. Through Champion’s
Realm, he hopes to inspire,
educate and motivate the
next generation - making a
difference to children’s lives at a
time when they really need it.
For more information on
Champion’s Realm and
Phil Brown’s motivational
speaking, email phil.brown@
07517 099 241 or find Phil on
Twitter @philbrown4x400 and
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Property of the Month
WE TAKE A SNEAKY PEEK AT SOME OF THE HOTTEST PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET IN
THE AREA EACH MONTH. THIS MONTH’S SELECTION COMBINES GEORGIAN SPLENDOUR
WITH A PICTURESQUE VILLAGE LOCATION
The Mill House, Tamworth Road, Elford: £1,250,000
On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878
THE AGENT SAYS: A wonderful Georgian residence
located in the picturesque village of Elford, The Mill House
boasts five bedrooms and five reception rooms plus a detached
double garage with room above and grounds of approximately
four acres with various outbuildings, an outdoor heated pool,
beautiful, extensive lawned gardens with the River Tame
meandering along the rear boundary. The gardens with
sunny aspect offer uninterrupted views over the surrounding
countryside and breathtaking sunsets can be enjoyed from the
sunny garden terrace.
The spacious entrance hall leads to the kitchen/breakfast
room, dining room, drawing room, and the cellar. This warm,
welcoming reception hall also provides access to the first-floor
accommodation from the beautiful dark oak staircase with
decorative spindle balustrades and turned newel post.
One of the main features of this period property are its
tremendous grounds. To the rear of the main house is the sun
terrace and patio that can be accessed from the orangery style
garden/living room, sitting room, and the snug: a fabulous
area to entertain, enjoy al fresco dining or simply admire the
stunning view of the greenbelt beyond. The outdoor area also
features a heated swimming pool, the perfect addition to any
The large detached double garage and gravel driveway to
the front of the house provide plenty of space for parking.
An additional loft room with Velux windows can be found on
the first floor of the garage building and is a great space for a
potential home gym or office and benefits from recent planning
permission to convert to a two-storey annex.
W E L O V E :
THE SERIOUS KERB APPEAL -
THAT PILLARBOX RED DOOR IS
GORGEOUS! NOT TO MENTION
THE FABULOUS SWIMMING POOL!
CHARTED SURVEYORS AND ESTATE AGENTS
We’re celebrating our 5th year as Sutton Coldfield's Premier Estate Agent and to
mark the occasion, we have some exciting events coming up in 2019 including;
the official launch of our brand new website
featuring an Off-Market page
an auction experience
a celebration at our iconic High Street offices
a day at the races with our clients
a corporate ladies lunch
a golf day at Moor Hall
WHY CHOOSE US?
Our proactive approach, bespoke PR strategies and amazing
selection of homes achieve proven results for our clients!
OUR SUCCESS STORIES
Sold five of the West Midlands most
expensive homes during the last 5 years
Exceeded the highest house price in a
sale in Four Oaks Park and Little Aston
20% of our sales in 2018 came from
Our team are perfectly positioned to assist
with your prestigious property requirements
Call us today on 0121 362 7878
8 High Street, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1XA
| email@example.com | www.astonknowles.com |
WITH ITS OWN PRIVATE ENTRANCE ONTO SUTTON PARK, THIS IMPRESSIVE
FIVE-BEDROOM PROPERTY - WHICH HAS JUST COME ONTO THE MARKET WITH
ASTON KNOWLES - MAKES FOR A FANTASTIC FAMILY HOME
Summer House, Park View, Sutton Coldfield: £1,550,000
On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878
THE AGENT SAYS: Approached from Tudor Hill and set down
in an attractive corner position is The Summer House. A private
electric gate gives access to the block paved driveway which in turn
leads to the welcoming reception hall. The hallway has a beautiful oak
Amtico floor finish and provides access to the ground floor reception
rooms, an oak staircase leads to the first-floor accommodation.
The spacious drawing room features a stone-built fireplace with open
fire featuring a free standing log burner; perfect for cosy winter nights,
windows to the front enjoy an aspect over the garden and French
doors give access to the bright garden room to the rear. The newly
constructed garden room offers views over the entire rear garden with
its full height French doors and adjoining glass windows. A lantern
to the ceiling allows light to flood into the room which also enjoys
warming underfloor heating.
The flow of the property is perfect and lends itself perfectly
for entertaining while retaining privacy when required with
interconnecting doors that close when required. From the garden
room double doors provide access into the dining room which in turn
connects to the kitchen/family room. The dining room is a generous
size and provides a lovely view of the landscaped rear garden.
The first-floor gallery landing provides access to the extended first
floor accommodation including all bedrooms, a family bathroom, a
double door airing and linen closet as well as a further storage area
and a hatch to a large boarded loft area with a drop-down ladder.
The spacious attractive master bedroom suite has a fabulous floating
glazed balcony and windows that overlook the rear garden and Sutton
Park beyond. The spacious sleep sanctuary features a dressing area
with a full range of his and hers wardrobes as well as a re-fitted en
suite incorporating a Villeroy and Boch white suite with chrome
One of the main features of this wonderful home is the stone built
Summer House nestled amongst the mature trees in the rear garden.
Currently used as a design studio the Summer House has the
flexibility of a variety of potential uses and with its real open fireplace
and running water available its use can be enjoyed all year round.
W E L O V E :
THE BRIGHT, AIRY FEEL OF
伀 甀 爀 昀 甀 爀 渀 椀 琀 甀 爀 攀 椀 猀 椀 渀 猀 琀 漀 挀 欀 ☀
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唀 渀 椀 琀 㘀 Ⰰ 刀 椀 渀 最 刀 漀 愀 搀 Ⰰ 娀 漀 渀 攀 ㈀Ⰰ 䈀 甀 爀 渀 琀 眀 漀 漀 搀 䈀 甀 猀 椀 渀 攀 猀 猀 倀 愀 爀 欀 Ⰰ 䈀 甀 爀 渀 琀 眀 漀 漀 搀 Ⰰ 圀 匀 㜀 アパート 䨀 儀
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⨀ 匀 攀 氀 攀 挀 琀 攀 搀 椀 琀 攀 洀 猀 漀 渀 氀 礀 Ⰰ 猀 甀 戀 樀 攀 挀 琀 琀 漀 愀 瘀 愀 椀 氀 愀 戀 椀 氀 椀 琀 礀 愀 渀 搀 搀 攀 氀 椀 瘀 攀 爀 礀 氀 漀 挀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀 ⸀ 吀 ☀ 䌀 猀 愀 瀀 瀀 氀 礀 ⸀
倀 攀 瀀 瀀 攀 爀 洀 椀 氀 氀 䤀 渀 琀 攀 爀 椀 漀 爀 猀 椀 猀 愀 琀 爀 愀 搀 椀 渀 最 渀 愀 洀 攀 漀 昀 倀 攀 瀀 瀀 攀 爀 洀 椀 氀 氀 䄀 渀 琀 椀 焀 甀 攀 猀 䰀 琀 搀 ⸀
PANTONE’S Colour of the Year for 2019 has just been
announced as Living Coral. Described as “buoyant,
vibrant and effervescent”, the marine tone is predicted
to dominate the design industry over the next 12
months, and fits perfectly with the aquatic theme which
is already poised to be a huge interiors trend this year.
Following on from 2018’s regal and dramatic Ultra
Violet, Living Coral is a warm, peachy shade themed
around the tropical reefs, summer days and sunsets. In
a statement by Pantone, the colour is described as: “An
animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden
undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.
“Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral
embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide
comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting
Living Coral will add a dramatic pop of colour to
any room. Think decorative accessories and accents –
cosy blankets and lush upholsteries – or make a bold
move with a feature wall to help aid a comforting and
nurturing feeling in your living space.
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Tel: 01543 505539
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CORAL VINYL WALL MURAL,
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I N T E R I O R S
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WOODBURNER, AVAILABLE FROM
ABBEY FIRE CENTRE, ERDINGTON.
THERE’S nothing more satisfying in these cold winter
months than cosying up in front of a roaring fire;
the flicker of flames and the crackle of wood are the
perfect antidote to the dark, miserable evenings at this
time of year.
And it seems that our love of statement fireplaces
is heating up, according to social media platform
Pinterest - and the more modern and sleek, the better.
A bible for all things stylish, Pinterest is the go-to tool
for home renovators and interior design enthusiasts
worldwide, with some 250 million users turning to the
website for style inspiration.
The Pinterest 100: Top Trends for 2019 outlines
the new year trends that everyone will be pinning
and sharing - and with searches for contemporary
fireplaces up by a whopping 763 per cent, it seems that
we can’t get enough of creating cosy.
So if your living space hasn’t got a flamey focal point
then it’s time to put one on your interiors wishlist for
2019 - just add a squishy sofa or comfy fireside chair
for the ultimate winter evening haven.
GARDEN TRADING ASH
SHOVEL, HURN & HURN.
GARDEN TRADING SOLDEN
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FOUR, HURN & HURN.
ANTIQUED PEWTER COAL HOD,
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t he heart of t he home...
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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
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!
5 Stafford Road, Lichfield WS13 7BZ - Tel: 01543 263 383 • www.thefireplacelichfield.co.uk • Email: email@example.com
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm • Sat 10am - 4pm. Closed Sundays and bank holidays. FREE ON-SITE PARKING.
GET UP TO
STARTS JANUARY 2ND
yýzỳÿAỳỳyyŷyA○AŚI ÓẂŔÓÓN Ś¾ŤĲÞÞÉŔŚ¾ĆÓN
GREY RATTAN ARCH LOG HOLDER, THE
DISTRESSED GOLD METAL FIRE SCREEN,
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KINGSTON LEATHER ARMCHAIR, PEP-
PERMILL INTERIORS, BURNTWOOD
PEACOCK ART DECO GOLD FIRE SCREEN,
THE FRENCH BEDROOM CO.
GARDEN TRADING LARGE LOG HOLDER,
TWO PIECE FIRESIDE COMPANION
SET, THE FARTHING.
G PLAN WASHINGTON THREE SEATER SOFA, WAS
£1,574 WINTER SALE £1,099, COOKES FURNITURE.
DIK GEURTS KALLE STOVE,
FROM A SELECTION AVAILABLE AT
THE FIREPLACE LICHFIELD.
RECLAIMED OAK BEAMS FROM A HUGE
SELECTION AVAILABLE AT FOUR OAKS
RECLAMATION, DRAYTON BASSETT.
NEO 3C DEFRA APPROVED STOVE WITH
MULTI FUEL GRATE, AVAILABLE FROM THE
FIREPLACE & STOVE CO, HEART OF THE
COUNTRY SHOPPING VILLAGE, SWINFEN.
ACR HEAT PRODUCTS WYCHWOOD 5KW
WOODBURNER, AVAILABLE FROM ABBEY
FIRE CENTRE, ERDINGTON.
DECOFLAME ELLIPSE BIOETHANOL CEILING
FIRE, £7,700, GO MODERN FURNITURE.
G I F T G U I D E
Spread the love
LOVE IS IN THE AIR! THAT’S RIGHT, THE DAY OF HEARTS AND ARROW-SWINGING CHERUBS IS
NEARLY UPON US. AND IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A THOUGHTFUL GIFT FOR THAT SPECIAL
LADY IN YOUR LIFE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY, THEN OUR GIFT GUIDE IS SURE TO FEATURE
SOMETHING SHE’LL LOVE. FROM QUIRKY TOKENS TO LAVISH STATEMENTS OF AFFECTION,
MAKE HER FEBRUARY 14 A MEMORABLE ONE
CREED LOVE IN WHITE EAU DE
PARFUM, HARVEY NICHOLS.
ELEMIS EMBRACE CANDLE,
SET OF TWO VONSHEF BRUSHED
GOLD CHAMPAGNE GLASSES,
CHÂTEAU LÉOUBE LOVE BY LÉOUBE
ROSÉ 2017, HARVEY NICHOLS.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY MATTE
REVOLUTION LIPS IN LOST CHERRY,
EDEN MILL LOVE GIN, HARVEY NICHOLS.
GIANVITO ROSSI PORTIFINO
105 PATENT LEATHER SANDALS,
ALICE + OLIVIA GLENNA RED
CADY DRESS, HARVEY NICHOLS.
GUCCI ACE HEART-EMBELLISHED
LEATHER TRAINERS, HARVEY NICHOLS.
SILVER AND 18CT YELLOW GOLD
BANGLE, £420, AND RING, ALLEN
MANUFACTURER OF LUXURY BESPOKE KITCHENS
A photograph of one of
our most recent installations
Visit our Birmingham showroom to see and feel the quality.
Call to discuss your kitchen project and book a FREE,
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4a, Little Aston Lane, Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B74 3UF
Tel: 0121 353 2525 • Fax: 0121 353 4314 • E-mail: email@example.com • Web: www.linterieur.co.uk
G I F T G U I D E
Make his day
SHOW THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU KNOW HIM BETTER THAN MOST THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
WITH A THOUGHTFUL TOKEN HE’S SURE TO LOVE. WHETHER HE’S ALL ABOUT STYLE, A TECH FIEND
OR A CONNOISSEUR OF THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE, OUR HANDY GUIDE HAS PLENTY TO POINT YOU
IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION SO YOU CAN MAKE SURE HE’S ALL SMILES COME FEBRUARY 14
HOTEL CHOCOLAT DARK
CHOCOLATE CHILLI PUDDLES,
LOVE SOCKS LOVE LINE COTTON-BLEND
SOCKS, HARVEY NICHOLS.
GUCCI SUPREME BEE BILLFOLD WALLET,
GENTS LEATHER BRACELETS, FROM
ALLEN BROWN JEWELLERY.
GEORG JENSEN MEN’S KOPPEL
CHRONOGRAPH WATCH, AMARA.
GIVENCHY STAR-PRINT T-SHIRT, HARVEY
KREAFUNK AHEAD HEADPHONES,
DANIEL WELLINGTON CLASSIC ST
MAWES WATCH, SELFRIDGES.
MONCLER LANOUX RED QUILTED
SHELL GILET, HARVEY NICHOLS.
MARKER’S MARK PRIVATE SELECT
BOURBON, HARVEY NICHOLS.
TEAPIGS EVERYDAY BREW TEA TIN,
LSA WHISKY CONNOISSEUR SET,
PAUL SMITH CASHMERE SCARF, HARVEY
MR PERFECT HAIR & BODY WASH,
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ROBERT GRAHAM FORTITUDE
COLOGNE, HARVEY NICHOLS.
HELLO HANDSOME MUG, SAINSBURY’S.
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CAMOUFLAGE-PRINT TRAINERS, HARVEY
SUPERDRY HERO LEATHER RACER
F O O D & D R I N K
Focus on flavour
WITH A PASSION FOR PRODUCE AND A TALENTED TEAM, LARDER IS MAKING
WAVES ON LICHFIELD’S DINING SCENE, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS
Every now and then, there comes along a restaurant
which truly gets you excited. One which has a pure
passion for food at its heart, a superbly talented
chef at the helm and a team who are dedicated to
providing each and every guest with a memorable
And at the end of last year, one such eatery opened
right here in Lichfield.
Larder is the first solo venture for Ryan Shilton, the
young and ambitious former head chef at Swinfen
Hall who cut his teeth under acclaimed chef Rob
Palmer in the now-Michelin starred kitchen of Peel’s
at Hampton Manor.
Ryan’s aim? To bring informal and accessible fine
dining to a city which, while spoilt for choice with
foodie options, can be a little lacking when you’re
after something truly out of the ordinary.
And, it seems, Lichfield’s fine dining aspirations are
in exceptionally good hands.
Located in the heart of the city on Bore Street, the
restaurant combines a stylish contemporary setting
with ingredient-led menus which really deliver a
big flavour punch. With a passion for produce and
an innate skill at combining bold flavours to create
perfectly balanced dishes, Ryan is certainly making
We’d heard plenty of impressive reports about
Larder since its opening, so when Ryan invited
J’AIME along to sample the latest menu, we couldn’t
The restaurant had just, that day, reopened following
a well-deserved post-Christmas break, but the team
were expertly back into the swing of things; service
was welcoming, friendly and slick, while the kitchen
team didn’t miss a beat, turning out dish after dish of
superbly executed delights.
Larder is set over three floors, with a ground-floor
bar area where guests can enjoy a relaxing predinner
drink before moving upstairs to the restaurant
itself. Go up again, and you’ll find the most soughtafter
table in the house: the kitchen table. Here,
diners are placed right in the middle of the action,
able to observe chef at work while making their way
through one of the two tasting menu options.
We perused the menus over drinks - Black Sheep for
him, and an all-British version of a classic Bramble
cocktail for me, made with Cotswolds Gin and
British cassis. A couple of bar snacks - an intensely
savoury yeasted crisp and a delectable
monkfish number - started proceedings
For dinner, guests are offered the choice
of a three-course choice menu at £40,
or a five or seven-course tasting menu at
£50 and £60 respectively. Now, being
the greedy guts I unashamedly am, I’d
normally go for the seven-course option
without hesitation. But there were a
couple of dishes on the more restrained
five-course menu which just sounded too
appealing to forgo. Decision made.
We also chose a bottle of bordeaux from
the extensive and well-rounded wine
list; a 2014 Espirit du Lussac, Lussac
St Emilion which, at £28, represented
decent value for money.
As we were shown to a cosy table à deux in the
restaurant, it wasn’t long before the first sample
arrived. And rather than the usual bread offering,
it was crumpets. But no ordinary crumpets. These
joyous morsels were wagyu crumpets, made with fat
from some of the world’s most pampered cows and
adorned with a healthy dollop of cultured butter.
Pure, unadulterated deliciousness.
The first course proper was a luscious Jerusalem
artichoke puree served with slightly sweet artichoke
crisps, and a rich cheddar mousse filled with pickled
artichoke and adorned with a smattering of earthy
thyme. Simple ingredients combined to great effect,
it was an impressive introduction to Ryan’s culinary
The next offering was the one which had really
caught my eye, and it delivered and then some. Billed
as ‘Wagyu, parsley, apple’, this was a heavenly slab
of rich, melt-in-the-mouth beef alongside a silky
parsley cream and slivers of sweet-sharp apple, with
delicate rings of lightly pickled onion and microherbs.
Beautifully balanced, intensely flavoured and
perfectly presented, it was a knockout dish.
The Cornish mackerel which followed had a lot to
live up to, but the wonderfully firm fish combined
with zingy passionfruit and smooth, slightly sweet
black garlic purees to great effect. Grains of puffed
rice added a nice textural contrast, and my dining
companion proclaimed it his dish of the evening.
Onto the main event - and the only dish present on
both the five and seven-course menus - it was the
turn of venison. Now, game might seem like a brave
choice to take the starring role on the menu, but
when a dish is executed so well, it can’t fail to hit the
spot. Served two ways - a rare, seared fillet alongside
slow-cooked pulled venison - it was a sublime piece
of cooking. Accompanying dice of squash and
plump raisins added a contrasting sweetness to the
rich, gamey flavour while a hint of chilli gave a
Now, the downside to choosing the five-course menu
over the seven was just one dessert instead of two,
so it was a welcome surprise to find an additional
palate-cleansing course of pineapple and buttermilk
sorbets with fresh mint granita.
The finale was, however, something of a revelation.
Fresh Yorkshire rhubarb alongside
rhubarb sorbet and smooth white
chocolate was a harmonious offering.
But it was the dill ice cream which
proved the star of the plate. The
distinctive herbiness worked incredibly
- who knew! - and shards of dark
chocolate and chocolate crumb
completed a pretty darn special pud.
Larder’s ethos is ‘all flavour: no pomp’
and that’s precisely what Ryan and
the team have delivered. An extremely
welcome addition to the city’s
flourishing restaurant scene, Larder
is sure to be a hit with any discerning
foodie looking for that little bit more.
F O O D & D R I N K
Cocktail of the month
SHAUN CRAVEN, FROM LICHFIELD’S LE RÊVE COCKTAIL BAR, CREATES
A SWEET TREAT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
25ml cherry brandy
12.5ml almond syrup
25ml lemon juice
Shaun says: “Shake all ingredients
and pour into a glass over ice. We
top ours off with our homemade
strawberry jam foam, made by
combining fresh strawberry syrup,
egg whites and lemon juice in a
cream whipper and garnish with
STAND UP COMEDIAN
VOICE OF THE HEART
THUR 14 FEB
THUR 28 FEB
ORIGINAL DRIFTERS MEMBER
ROY G HEMMINGS
SUN 17 FEB
We are also proud to announce that head chef & owner,
Liam Dillon, has been presented with the ‘Best Chef’ Award
at the Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards 2018.
We have also been awarded ‘Best Independent Restaurant’
in the Taste Of Staffordshire awards 2018.
Burns Night - 25 th January, Valentines Day - 14 th February
Mothering Sunday - Tasting Menu lunch - 31 st March
See the menu’s for all three events on our website
Call for details - 01543 361692
Open Wednesday - Sunday
Walsall Road, Lichfield WS14 0BU
POP UP MICHELIN STAR FINE DINING
IN A KITCHEN NEAR YOU!
Delivering exciting and new dining experiences to your doorstep through a series
of pop up kitchen events, where chefs from Michelin starred restaurants and highly
commended chefs showcase their food and talents.
CHEF PATRON | 1251 RESTAURANT
18 MARCH | THE WINE HOUSE | LICHFIELD
A 6 course tasting menu will be served by the
enigmatic James Cochran of 1251 Restaurant, London.
Former Chef at The Ledbury and starring in this years
BBC show Great British Menu, James brings both
Scottish and Jamaican influences to his cooking.
Lichfield you are in for a treat!
6 DELICIOUS COURSES | £85
F O O D & D R I N K
CHEF PATRON LIAM DILLON AND PASTRY CHEF ROGER LOMAS, FROM
LICHFIELD’S THE BOAT INN, SHARE A DELECTABLE DESSERT
After a hugely successful 2018 which saw The
Boat Inn named Best Independent Restaurant
at the Taste of Staffordshire Awards and chef
patron Liam Dillon walk away with the Best
Chef accolade at the Midlands Food, Drink and
Hospitality Awards, 2019 is set to reinforce the
restaurant’s place as one of the top eateries in the
Midlands. Bookings are being taken for special
Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day events, and
the new menu is packed with delicious dishes to
try - including this fabulously tropical dessert...
Passionfruit brulee, coconut, lime and mango
1 lemon juiced
160g passionfruit puree
2 lemon zest
9 whole eggs
250g double cream
400g caster sugar
20g egg white powder
120g pasteurised egg white
2 lime zest only
1kg coconut puree
200g glucose powder
6g super neutrose
200g soft butter
150g ground almonds
200g plain flour
Pinch of salt
Toasted coconut to taste (optional)
Mango and lime salsa:
2 ripe mangos
2 large limes
To make the brulee mix firstly whisk the eggs till all fluffy. Add the cream
and sugar and mix well, add all the other ingredients and mix. Allow to
mature in the fridge for minimum six hours. Strain through a fine sieve, skim
off the froth that raises to the top and pour into ready prepared moulds in a
preheated oven at 112 degrees until the mixture has a slight wobble. When
cooked, chill until needed.
For the meringue whisk all the ingredients together in a stand up mixer until
it forms stiff peaks. Spread the mix over baking parchment and bake in a
preheated oven at 80 degrees for four hours. Allow to cool then snap into
shards and place in a airtight container.
For the sorbet heat water and the tremoline in a pan, mix all dry ingredients
in a bowl then add to the water mix until dissolved. Bring to the boil and
pour over the puree, mix well then strain through a fine sieve and allow to
mature in the fridge for four hours minimum. Churn when ready and leave
in a airtight container in the freezer.
For the streusel, mix all ingredients quite hard together making sure all the
butter is incorporated. Spread mix onto a tray and bake in an oven preheated
to 160 degrees for 25 minutes, mixing and turning every five minutes. Allow
to cool then add toasted coconut to taste.
To assemble sprinkle the brulee with sugar and blow torch to make a caramel
top. Place in the centre of the plate/bowl with the salsa on one side and the
coconut streusel the other. Place a ball of sorbet on top of the brulee, then
decorate with shards of lime meringue.
Dig in and enjoy!
and gifts has been our
passion since 1902.
Huge savings on high street,
retail and online prices.
You won’t find this
Present in store.
Terms and Conditions Apply
AND GIFT STORE
MONDAY - FRIDAY 9:30AM - 4:30PM
SATURDAY - 10AM - 4PM
SUNDAY - CLOSED
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
F O O D & D R I N K
A sweet indulgence
TREAT YOUR VALENTINE TO A LUXURIOUS SWEET TREAT WITH THE FINEST ITALIAN
CHOCOLATES FROM VENCHI, AVAILABLE AT INDULGENCE BY NERO E BIANCO
The most romantic day of the year shall soon be
upon us, and whether you embrace Valentine’s
Day or not, wine and chocolate will forever make
delectable gifts for our loved ones at any time of the
Luxury chocolate brand, Venchi, is one of the
world’s finest and oldest artisan chocolatiers. Their
decadent and glitzy stores brimming with floor-toceiling
‘pick and mix’ troughs are well established
in various areas of London, but there are very few
places for the rest of the country to get their hands
on this divine chocolate.
Indulgence by Nero e Bianco are delighted to
bring the brand to their Italian wine and chocolate
boutique on the picturesque Barton Marina. The
team are even incorporating the range into their
wine tasting events. Ali Mountjoy, the store manager
of Indulgence, tells us a little bit more about what
makes Venchi so special.
“The entire collection is hand-crafted with cacao
originating from South America and Africa but
what really makes the brand unique is their range of
Gianduja, or praline to us Brits,” explains Ali.
“Venchi hails from Turin in North West Italy where
Piedmont hazelnuts are one of the key ingredients
and a symbol of fine Italian confectionery.”
Praline is commonly made with Turkish hazelnuts
but since Gianduja originates from Piedmont, Venchi
have stuck with tradition, and with very good reason.
“The Piedmontese nuts keep the chocolate from
tasting acidic and are much better quality than their
Turkish counterparts,” says Ali.
“They are carefully selected one by one, roasted and
then ground into the finest paste. Once combined
with the chocolate, the result is like no other praline
I have ever tasted. It is, of course, rich but in no way
cloying, nor too sweet, just silky smooth and so, so
It is not only the quality of the ingredients used
but also the minimal processing which creates such
exquisite chocolate that is all about purity of flavour
- with the added bonus that the entire range is
“The pick and mix concept has been immensely
popular in store,” says Ali. “We have treats ranging
from extra dark chocolate through to white, with
lots of nut, coffee, and fruit flavours as well as some
of Venchi’s ‘Dolce’ desserts range which includes
tiramisu. It’s a fantastic way of buying chocolate
since we all have a different favourite. Given the truly
unique flavour of Venchi, I’m pretty certain I can
say that there will never be that one flavour at the
bottom of the box that nobody wants!”
Indulgence will be stocking some extra special gifts
in time for February 14, which will be perfect to pick
up alongside a bottle of wine for your Valentine.
To discover more about the Indulgence range and
tasting events, visit www.indulgenceshop.co.uk.
Quality flooring at affordable prices
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THE QUIRKY B RANGE
BESPOKE RUGS MADE
TO COMPLEMENT OR
EXTENDED RUG SALE!
UP TO 70% OFF IN STORE
Plenty to choose from in many shapes and sizes.
Traditional, contemporary and many more.
Come while stocks last! Running until end of February…
Please see our website for further details www.tatlowcarpets.co.uk
Tel: 01543 264766
Open to the public. Mon-Fri: 9.00am - 5.00pm. Sat: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Unit 4, Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 9TZ
INTRODUCING A BEAUTIFUL MARRIAGE OF EFFICIENCY AND DESIGN FLAIR.
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F U E L T H E F I R E
Tel: 01543 480444 - thefireplaceandstove.co.uk
UNIT 23, HEART OF THE COUNTRY SHOPPING VILLAGE,
LONDON ROAD, SWINFEN, LICHFIELD WS14 9QR.
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OPEN: TUES - SUN 10AM - 5PM
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H E A LT H
A tasty tipple
ORGANIC WINE IS THE NAME OF THE GAME FOR
LICHFIELD WINE COMPANY CLOS VENTAS
As one of the greatest wine-producing countries in
the world, running a French vineyard seems like a
rather idyllic way of life.
For Lichfield couple and self-confessed Francophiles
Cathi and Mike Dillon, their French dream became
a reality with the set-up of their wine company Clos
Ventas. Translating as ‘windy parcel‘, a nod to their
wine’s terroir, Clos Ventas offers delicious, organic
wines cultivated according to biodynamic principles
in the Languedoc region of the south of France.
“We’re passionate about organic wines,” says
Cathi. “There are no chemicals and no extra yeasts
involved; all of the yeast is natural yeast which is on
the grapes themselves.
“With our organic wine, these bottle are just full of
wine - no added nasties. Virtually every single grape
which goes into every bottle has been manually
handled; it’s been grown, it’s been cleaned, the
vines have been hand-stripped of excess leaves and
the grapes are harvested by hand.
“It’s only when the grapes are harvested and taken
back to the winery that they go into a machine
which separates the skins from the juice and that’s
the first time they’re touched by any form of
machinery. It’s all very natural.”
Clos Ventas wines are produced from five hectares
of vines in Jonquieres, the heart of the Terrasses du
Larzac - an area continuously recognised as one of
the best terroirs in France.
CLOS VENTAS OFFERS ORGANIC WINES
FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
It is geologically varied, having a diverse selection
of soils, all within a relatively small area. Combine
all of this with the cooler air descending from
the Larzac plateau, which helps to slow ripening
and keep acidity levels higher, and you have the
potential to make tremendous balanced wines.
Clos Ventas has three wines on offer. Les Pointes
Rouge is an equal split of cinsault and grenache;
Les Pointes Blanc in mostly marsanne with a hint
of grenache blanc; and the Terrasses du Larzac is a
blend of grenache, mouverdre, syrah and cinsault.
Smooth and well-balanced, the wines are easydrinking
options for all occasions.
The first vintage was 2013, which was a sellout, as
was their 2014 offering. Initially selling their wine in
France, Clos Ventas’ wares were well-received, even
coming out on top of a blind taste-testing among all
the old local wine makers themselves.
“But more and more people were interested in our
wine here in the UK, so I decided to bring it back
home and focus on selling the wine here,” says
Moving their entire stock of remaining 2015 and
2016 vintages back home to Staffordshire, Cathi
and Mike are now determined to spread the word
about Clos Ventas and the benefits of organic wines
to the UK market.
Clos Ventas wines are sold in a variety of
independent wine shops, as well as available in
restaurants including Lichfield’s The Boat Inn,
which is run by Cathi and Mike’s son, Liam. Cathi
also specialises in at-home wine tastings - a perfect
way to try the wines with a group of friends in
the comfort of your own space. Whether you’re
a complete beginner or a wine enthusiast, the
emphasis is on having fun and learning a little more
about wine in the best possible way - by tasting.
At just £12 a bottle, the wines offer great value for
money for an organic product, crafted with care
and precision and without any chemicals.
Presentation boxes of three bottles are also
available - an ideal present for Valentine’s Day or
For more details or to book a wine tasting,
call Cathi on 07773 062449 or email
Special Events 2019
Proud to be
a family run
over 35 years
HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS
UB40 Tribute Evening
Friday 22nd February
3 course dinner & entertainment
Spring Party Night
Friday 15th March
3 course dinner & disco
Murder Mystery Evening
Friday 22nd March
3 course dinner & entertainment
Teddy Bear Afternoon Tea
Sunday 24th February
Make your own teddy bear
St Patrick’s Day Lunch
Sunday 17th March
3 course lunch and ceilidh band
Spice Girls Tribute
Friday 12th April
3 course dinner & entertainment
St George’s Day Lunch
Tuesday 23rd April
3 course lunch and entertainment
ABBA Tribute Evening
Friday 10th May
3 course dinner & entertainment
Visit our website to view all events and to book online
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
service and great
Suppliers of: Contura, Jotul, Gazco, Paragon, Scan, Town
& Country Fires, ACR Heat Products and many more
Installers and suppliers of gas fires, bespoke limestone
surrounds, and gas and woodburning stoves, since 1981.
1/7 High Street, Erdington B23 6RG Next to Highclare School
Telephone: 0121 384 5251 - www.abbeyfirecentre.co.uk
Open: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed Wednesdays), Sat: 10am - 4pm
H E A LT H
A workout for two
WITH VALENTINE’S DAY AROUND THE CORNER, LICHFIELD’S FAVOURITE PERSONAL TRAINER
RAUL ROMERO, TELLS US WHY COUPLES WHO SWEAT TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER!
COUPLES WHO SWEAT
TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER,
SAYS RAUL ROMERO
February has come around again and at this time
of year, it is tradition to celebrate Valentine’s Day
with our partners. We all make time in our busy
schedules to spend with our other halves on or
around February 14 - but, shouldn’t this be part of
our normal weekly routine?
Nowadays however, most of us have such busy lives
trying to juggle work, family life, chores and much
more, that it is easy to forget to put aside dedicated
time to spend with our partners.
So, why not kill two birds with one stone? By
working out together and spending quality time
with our other halves to help each other become
healthier and happier, as well as becoming closer and
Many studies have shown the power of this practice,
and a perfect example can be seen with some high
profile celebrity couples. Take David and Victoria
Beckham for example, who regularly enjoy indoor
cycling classes together. Their eldest child has also
become involved allowing them to spend family time
together working out.
Another good example has got to be Will Smith and
Jada Pinkett who are another couple that have been
in the habit of working out together for over 20 years
of marriage (proving it really works!) They have also
encouraged their children to work out with them and
used it as a means of spending quality family time
I am very lucky to be able to share my passion of
training with my own other half, as well as see it
among many of my clients who also train together.
It really is a brilliant way of spending quality time
together, and at the same time keeping fit. Many
clients who train together at the Ambition PT studio
often bring their children to also train with them,
making it a fab family affair!
So, what are the actual benefits of training together?
Why do couples who sweat together, stay together?
1. You always have someone to encourage you.
Especially on those cold winter nights when racing
home for a cup of tea and biscuits in front of the
fire seems so beckoning.
2. You can more realistically achieve your diet goals.
It is of course easier cooking delicious, healthy
food for two rather than just for one. You are also
less likely to ‘fall off the diet wagon’ so to speak if
you have someone else to share the healthy diet
3. ‘Cheat days’ are twice as fun!
4. Your sex life will, of course, benefit - no further
explanation needed here!
5. Healthy competition between you to complete
a certain number of reps for example, will help
you both push each other to work out harder and
achieve new fitness records.
6. Enjoying and appreciating rest days together and
using them as a means of spending time together
doing other things you enjoy.
7. There are far fewer arguments as you’re releasing
any frustrations in a healthy manner.
8. The magic of massage! Massaging each others
aches and pains becomes an enjoyable way of
winding down for the day.
9. Getting into a good habit of planning your weekly
workouts is a great way of becoming really good at
planning other aspects of family life too.
10. You’re both happier and more energetic, which
is by far the most important point as it will affect
your outlook on every other aspect of your lives.
...and last but not least, for those of you singletons
enjoying life, keep working out. You never know, you
may just bump into the girl or guy of your dreams at
For information about group sessions, or Personal
Training Duo sessions, get in touch with Raul at
TOGETHER CAN BENEFIT
YOUR SEX LIFE
T R AV E L
Into the wild
HISTORIC BATTLEFIELDS, MOUTHWATERING FOOD AND MOUNTAINOUS WALKS JUST ABOUT SCRATCH THE SURFACE
OF THE DIVERSE KWAZULU NATAL REGION OF SOUTH AFRICA. SAMUEL COOPER, FROM LICHFIELD’S RB COLLECTION,
EXPERIENCED A SLICE OF THE CONTINENT WHICH OFFERS SO MUCH MORE THAN A SAFARI HOLIDAY
It all started on a bright and sunny Saturday
afternoon at Heathrow Airport onboard British
Airways’ new direct service to Durban. I travelled
in Club World which made the overnight flight
much more comfortable with a seat that converted
into a flat bed, along with a great selection of food,
drink and entertainment. I landed on time and my
driver swiftly transferred me to The Oyster Box
in Umhlanga in just 20 minutes, ideal after a long
flight. This was a wonderful way to start my first
South African adventure with a two-night relaxing
stay. This elegant, five-star boutique hotel offers
breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and the
iconic lighthouse, and the service was first class.
After a two-night relaxing stay at the Oyster Box, it
was time to start my self-drive itinerary. I recommend
an SUV/4X4, not because the roads are challenging,
but it means you’re higher up with good views. I
drove up to Fordoun Hotel and Spa via the N3
which took just under two hours. As I approached
the property, all I could see were the bright green
colours of the rolling hills, contrasting beautifully
with the bright orange soil. No billboards, just
unspoilt views. It was a real breath of fresh air to get
away completely from today’s fast-paced, commercial
world. The sun was shining, and the sky was bright
Fordoun is situated between Pietermaritzburg in
the South East and the Drakensberg mountain
range (a World Heritage Site) in the north west. It’s
a great rural meeting point which has an array of
bespoke shops. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a
real foodie, so when I saw a place called Chocolate
Heaven, I couldn’t resist. The white chocolate was
like nothing I had ever tasted before. This part of
South Africa lends itself very well to a self-drive
After spending some quality time at Fordoun and
enjoying their excellent hospitality, it was
time to move up a gear and really get to know
the area. I headed north west to Montusi,
located in the mountains with a view of the
amphitheatre escarpment which is regarded
as one of the most impressive cliff faces on
earth. I’d definitely recommend you pack
your walking boots to enjoy this area to its
full potential. The natural beauty of this area
blew me away; the bright green rolling hills
merging in the distance against a vibrant blue
sky, I was embracing high definition in real
life with no filters required!
This afternoon I went on my first ever horse
ride for an hour-and-a-half. This gentle ride
took me down to the lake and I enjoyed a
picnic including a cheese board and a bottle
of Savanna cider, just in time to watch the
sunset. As the sun was setting over the hill,
you could hear the birds whistling away; this
was something that dreams are made of, and
I was pinching myself, I was awake.
The following day, I met my guide Shadrack
who was born and bred in the local area.
What a funny character he was; so passionate
about his country and his people. Wealth in
his culture is not measured by financial gain,
but how many children you have, and he
was wealthy. He told me I could buy a wife
for 11 cows! We hiked for an hour to view cave art
and talked over coffee and cake about our lives and
how we were chalk and cheese, yet got on very well
indeed. It was a unique opportunity to learn about
each other’s cultures and was a very memorable
I departed Montusi with a heavy heart, but it was
time to drive to my first ever safari at Nambiti Hills.
Located directly east in an area called Ladysmith
in the Uthukela District, it was a drive of around
two hours. I met Jason, a young guide with a lot of
knowledge of the private reserve and wildlife. He
took me to the main lodge where I was met by hosts,
Betty and Magdela who made me feel right at home
for the next two nights.
On my first ever game drive later that afternoon, my
eyes were peeled, and the excitement was building,
wondering what I would see first. Just as we edged
over a hill, we came across a group of giraffes. Such
elegant animals strolling along so calmly and natural;
it was a great sight. We then drove to a picturesque
spot for sundowners, and to take in the peaceful
Jason then got a call on the radio about a potential
kill nearby. I was very unsure of how I would feel
about this, as I’m a real animal lover but in that very
moment, knowing I was about to witness something
completely natural, I relaxed a little. En route, we
came across white rhino which are just huge tough
animals, very impressive.
We arrived to an open plain and paused. I could see
a group of buffalo being circled by three cheetah,
mother and two older cubs, following her lead. It was
quite remarkable to see how they were positioning
and keeping good eye contact. They were getting
closer, but as with all buffalo, they are quite stupid
and kept running in circles trying to confuse the
cheetahs. The sun was setting, and it was getting
quite dark and we sadly had to leave. I don’t think
the kill happened that night, but I never saw another
cheetah during my stay. That evening we had a
lovely dinner around a campfire and experienced a
traditional dance by the locals, a great way to end the
On the following morning game drive Jason made us
breakfast, pancakes in the bush. The morning drive
didn’t disappoint; we came across impalas, elephants,
various birds and even more rhino. I was getting
quite a keen eye for spotting wildlife, I was rather
Saying goodbye to Nambiti was hard, because for
those two nights, I had really forgotten about home.
All the stresses that come with everyday life had
disappeared and the experiences I’d had so far been
truly life changing. When you are viewing nature at
its best, in a natural environment, seeing how the
animals live side by side, it gives you perspective
to what is really important. Being in a setting with
no pollution and no other tourists breathing down
your neck, it makes those moments extra special.
Although I’ve been very lucky to see wildlife in Costa
Rica, Thailand and Sri Lanka, seeing the wildlife
here was like raising the bar, the vast number of
different animals, along with the experiences of
trying to find them as well as the quality guides on
offer and hospitality, it all just made this place very
A steady two-hour drive took me to Fugitives Drift,
which is known for Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift
battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. I was
welcomed by the Rattray family and taken to Rorkes
Drift by Richard Rattray, son of the late David
Rattray who was a historian of the Anglo-Zulu war.
He took me around the museum which showed
glimpses of a battle that took place, timelines,
pictures and maps started to paint a picture of a
battle. He took me around the hospital which was
in the heart of the battle. As we
walked on the very ground that on
January 22, 1879 at 4.30pm, the
Zulus charged at the British, it was
and very emotional to hear of the
After an emotional tour, Richard
took me back to the lodge. I sat
down with a few other guests at the
hotel around an open fire where I
took a moment to reflect on what
we had just experienced. The
following morning, Richard took me
for a walk to Fugitive Drift. He once
again brought to life how the battle
started and at various points, he
explained accounts of the survivors
and I paid my respects to the graves.
This is a fascinating place to visit
and a must do during your stay in this region.
It was time to say goodbye to Richard and his
family and I had a choice. Either a four-hour drive
back to Durban, or a 45-minute helicopter ride.
Of course, I chose the helicopter and sat with my
trusting pilot in the co-pilot seat, we went high into
the sky and saw South Africa from a bird’s eye view
- absolutely incredible! I was back where my South
African adventure had started, at The Oyster Box.
I had lunch on the terrace, overlooking the beach in
Umhlanga, drinking a cold refreshing Savanna cider.
Looking out to sea, I could see the waves crashing
against the rocks, and I could feel the warm breeze. I
didn’t want to leave.
I can honestly say, I love South Africa. If it’s not on
your bucket list, then it needs to be, and I suggest at
the very top.
SOUTH AFRICA FACT BOX
HOW TO GET THERE:
Direct flights from London to Johannesburg,
Cape Town and Durban
Around 11 hours
WHEN TO VISIT:
South Africa is great in our winter months
when the days are warm and dry. For better
game viewing, consider the dry season when
there is less foliage.
BEST AREA FOR SAFARIS:
There’s a wide selection to choose from for
ranging budgets. Our favourite would be Sabi
Sands on the edge of the Kruger National
Park, for its luxury lodges and leopard
YOU CAN’T MISS:
Cape Town. As well as being one of the best
safari holiday spots in the world, South Africa
is also home to one of the most beautiful
cities, Cape Town. With Table Mountain,
the beautiful beach at Camps Bay, the V&A
Waterfront and an eclectic mix of restaurants
and nightlife to enjoy, it is a great place to
start your South African adventure.
FOR A SECOND TIME VISIT:
New flights to Durban open up this part of
South Africa which is often overlooked. With
interesting historic sites, beautiful scenery and
a new selection of game lodges and camps, it
is worth exploring as Sam did.
Exclusive J’AIME magazine reader offer
THE FIRST TWO CLIENTS TO BOOK A HOLIDAY TO SOUTH AFRICA WHEN
MENTIONING J’AIME MAGAZINE BEFORE THE END OF APRIL 2019, FOR TRAVEL IN
2019 OR 2020, WILL RECEIVE A CASE OF RB’S FAVOURITE SOUTH AFRICAN WINE.
FOR EXAMPLE HOLIDAYS VISIT RBCOLLECTION.COM/AFRICA OR CALL RB
COLLECTION’S SOUTH AFRICA SPECIALISTS SAMUEL, NATHAN OR OLIVER ON
F E AT U R E
Kick the bucket list
JACK REGAN, A CREATIVE AT TITAN. THE ADVERTISING AGENCY IN BIRMINGHAM,
PUTS THE NOTION OF A BUCKET LIST TO THE TEST WITH THE ARMCHAIR CHALLENGE
I almost died five time at the
end of 2017. Stone dead.
Game Over. Pushing up the
daisies and all that.
The Grim Reaper himself had
crept up upon me, sinister,
silent, secretly readying to
snatch the life out of me, but
each time I somehow swerved
the bony swine’s scythe and
shuffled a little further along
this mortal coil.
One near-miss was during
the warm up to a bar brawl,
for goodness sake, which
was properly terrifying.
Another time was halfway up
a mountain. Last time, god
help us, was during a 13-mile
commando assault course! Funny the places The
Reaper shines his remorseless glower upon you, isn’t
The doctors eventually figured out what the hell was
wrong, the danger I’d been in, ambulanced me to
surgery at breakneck speed, let the sawbones have
their wicked way with me and then sent me home to
fight another day - scalpeled, but not scythed.
Told me that if I wanted to live a while longer I’d
best stay off the hard stuff, avoid anything illegal/
imported/both, puff nothing, stick to the ten
commandments, love thy neighbour, do not pass
GO, do not collect £200 and never, ever, ever eat the
Oh and finally and, at all costs, avoid dickheads,
they said - quite emphatically, if truth be told. Too
stressful. I shook my head sadly, told them that that
was beyond impossible, alas, as I work in advertising,
y’see. Which has been worrying the hell outta me
Anyways, this bizarre affront to my previously allaction
sensibilities prompted me, perhaps perversely,
to start writing this action column for J’AIME
though, upon contemplation, I haven’t as yet actually
figured out why I felt it would be a good idea to
partake in all of these daft stunts.
On reflection, I wonder if it might be some kind
of defiant bucket listing notion I have going on?
Taunting The Reaper, somehow.
But I don’t know. Scaring the bejesus outta yourself
by throwing yourself off a building or strapping
yourself to the wings of a ramshackle old plane
are, on balance, definitely not the funnest of leisure
time pursuits. Thrilling they may arguably be but
they seem like a bizarre length to go to be genuinely
regarded as life-affirming.
And it’s got me thinking.
I mean, people talk about their bucket lists like it
elevates the end of their lives. Like it stirs the soul
and rouses the spirit and makes the last ticks and
tocks of their time on Earth a thousand times sexier,
more compelling and so on. But I’m not so sure, dear
reader, I am not so sure.
I’ve done a few things over the years that are
worthy of mention but I’m not sure that any of
them are anywhere near as undilutedly splendid
and abundantly joyous as an afternoon spent on an
overstuffed armchair with a roaring fire, copious
cups of tea/Irn Bru/hard liquor while tearing into
a gripping adventure novel/ fascinating book/the
And I’ve genuinely sat here the last half hour
contemplating how well an afternoon spent this
way actually compares to some of my real life
OUR NEW BROCHURE IS NOW AVAILABLE
P R E N T I C E
There’s been a bunch of them over the years, to be
fair, but I’ve decided to give some consideration to a
random dozen notables, just to see if they stand up to
what I shall now christen The Armchair Challenge.
Here’s how it went:
1. I was there at 9/11 in New York. The bodies. The
horror. The grief.
2. I swam with the man-eater sharks long before
most anybody else dared.
Verdict: Armchair and a novel beats both of
these, hands down. Are you serious?
3. I once thrashed a Harley motorbike to 110
mph through the Mojave Desert with a heavily
firewatered, hallucinating Native American Injun
riding pillion and howling at the moon - he’d just
given me a 115 million year old velociraptor shit
in direct exchange for this ride and a six pack of
Verdict: Armchair and a novel wins. The
guy’s wriggling in the saddle nearly killed us
deader than the dinosaur dung fossil!
4. I hung out of a plane with no parachute, waiting
for the pilot to put out his cigarette before strapping
on my chute. Then I jumped. Only then!
Verdict: God help us! Armchair!
Was an accident, for crying out loud!
Verdict: Armchair with The Naked and The
12. I started an argument between Darth Vader and
Chewbacca. It was over The Incredible Hulk.
Verdict: Real life. Come on!
So, that’s a fairly resounding victory for The
Armchair, with only the use of genuine superheroes
giving real life experiences even a reasonable show
on the scoreboard.
Which again makes me question what the hell it is
that compels us to imperil ourselves so readily with
Do they make us happier? Are they really life
enhancing and uplifting? Or do we just kid ourselves
that we are walking in the footsteps of our heroes
and make use of our experiences for bragging rights
down the pub/at the golf club/in the works canteen?
I genuinely don’t know, but am determined to keep
exploring my own compulsions to get to the bottom
of it all and would be delighted to hear from any
J’AIME readers and how they have fared in their
own Armchair Challenge.
Answers on a postcard please to the usual address.
5. I almost ruined my marriage in getting my first
novel published. Published, that is, to possibly the
quietest fanfare in literary history.
Verdict: Armchair! Armchair!
6. But then I sold the movie rights to a Hollywood
Verdict: Real life. Fair enough, okay, that’s a
wee bit sexy.
7. I drank with two James Bonds. One heavily. And a
Batman. Who ended up in rehab.
8. I had a meal with Weinstein. Yes, that one.
Verdict: Real life on both. Are you kidding?
9. Had a wee argument with Thatcher. No big deal.
10. I won a triathlon. A daft, local one before I got
too fat. Hmmmm.. got too fatter.
Verdict: Armchair! Actually, Armchair plus a
packet of Marlboro Lights as a bonus ! And,
ah what the hell, a Mars Bar too!
11. Norman Mailer swung a haymaker at me after
I kicked his walking stick by accident. The muppet.
夀 䔀 䄀 刀 匀 伀 䘀
䈀 䔀 匀 倀 伀 䬀 䔀 䘀 䤀 一 䔀 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀 ꀀ
伀 渀 攀 漀 昀 琀 栀 攀 氀 愀 爀 最 攀 猀 琀 挀 漀 氀 氀 攀 挀 琀 椀 漀 渀 猀 漀 昀
挀 漀 渀 琀 攀 洀 瀀 漀 爀 愀 爀 礀 ǻ 渀 攀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 椀 渀 琀 栀 攀 唀 䬀
匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 猀 琀 猀 椀 渀 搀 攀 猀 椀 最 渀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 洀 愀 欀 椀 渀 最 Ⰰ
爀 攀 洀 漀 搀 攀 氀 氀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 爀 攀 昀 甀 爀 戀 椀 猀 栀 椀 渀 最 昀 漀 爀 アパート 礀 攀 愀 爀 猀
䄀 䰀 䰀 䔀 一 䈀 刀 伀 圀 一 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀
䠀 攀 愀 爀 琀 漀 昀 吀 栀 攀 䌀 漀 甀 渀 琀 爀 礀 匀 栀 漀 瀀 瀀 椀 渀 最 嘀 椀 氀 氀 愀 最 攀
匀 眀 椀 渀 昀 攀 渀 Ⰰ 䰀 椀 挀 栀 ǻ 攀 氀 搀 Ⰰ
匀 琀 愀 昀 昀 漀 爀 搀 猀 栀 椀 爀 攀 圀 匀 㐀 㤀 儀 刀
㔀 㐀 アパート 㐀 㠀 㤀 㐀 㠀
眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 愀 氀 氀 攀 渀 戀 爀 漀 眀 渀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀
昀 椀 琀
Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy
My offices are situated in the historic city of Lichfield and I have been providing personal
wealth management advice to my clients for more
than 25 years.
I specialise in the following key areas
and welcome your enquiry:
• Investment Planning
• InheritanceTax and Estate Planning
• Pre and Post-Retirement Planning
• Care Fees Planning and Funding for Care
Telephone: 01543 417342
Office: 6A Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LH
Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management Plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority)
for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products.
LO CA L A R E A
What’s On Local
YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF WHAT’S ON IN AND AROUND
SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, WALSALL AND BEYOND
WHAT: LICHFIELD ARTS PRESENTS
THE JONI MITCHELL STORY
WHERE: LICHFIELD GUILDHALL
WHEN: FEBRUARY 3
From her beginnings as a songwriter
on the Laurel Canyon scene of the
1970s, Joni Mitchell is now seen as
one of the leading singer-songwriters
of her time. Hits such as Both Sides
Now, Big Yellow Taxi, The River,
Coyote and Woodstock have been
sung and covered by too many other
artists to mention.
Both Sides Now are a band of
talented musicians, who do the work
of Joni Mitchell full justice, both
sonically, and artistically. If you are a
big fan of Joni Mitchell, or just want
to hear some fine musicians playing
one of the more familiar song books
of recent times, buy your tickets
soon - you won’t know what you’ve
got till it’s gone. Tickets are priced at
£14, £12.60 for friends of Lichfield
Arts and £7 for under 16s. For more
details call 01543 262223 or visit
WHAT: MURDER MYSTERY EVENING
WHERE:THE GEORGE HOTEL,
WHEN: FEBRUARY 8
The George Hotel’s popular Murder
Mystery evenings allow you to put
your investigative skills to the test and
enjoy an evening of murder, mystery
and intrigue, courtesy of Murder
Mystery Productions. The story of
‘Invitation Only’ will unfold during
dinner and it will be up to you to
work out “whodunnit” by questioning
the characters and examining the
clues. The evenings are great fun, but,
be warned, they sell out frighteningly
fast.A group of unconnected guests
arrive for a weekend of socialising
but little do they know that there is
a killer amongst them. Tickets are
priced at £34 per person, or you can
make a night of it with The George’s
great value package including two
Murder Mystery Evening tickets plus
an overnight stay in a double room
with full English breakfast for £135
To book call 01543 414822 or visit
WHAT: BALLETBOYZ - THEM/US
WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK
WHEN: FEBRUARY 28
Applauded across the globe for their
stunning live performances, films
and TV appearances, BalletBoyz
are back with two new works, both
set to original scores by world-class
In a first for the company, Them
is created by the BalletBoyz
dancers themselves, while the
Tony and Olivier Award-winning
Wheeldon brings us the achingly
beautiful Us, inspired by his critically
acclaimed duet featured in the
Company’s memorable production,
Set to contrasting scores by cult
singer-songwriter Keaton Henson
and emerging composer Charlotte
Harding, this innovative double
bill asks where we see ourselves in
relation to the “other”, and explores
the fine balance between them and
us. For more details call the box
office on 01543 412121 or visit
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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: BLUE ORANGE
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM REP
WHEN: FEBRUARY 1 TO 16
Christopher is sectioned and admitted
to a psychiatric hospital. As his doctor
and senior consultant debate the
cause of his psychosis, he makes the
startling revelation that he's the son
of Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. The
two specialists are divided in their
diagnosis and fiercely defend their
opposing positions. Their power
struggle escalates into an exchange
over racism, ideology, prejudice and
egotism. With each new revelation, all
three find their layers are peeled back
to reveal increasingly uncomfortable
truths within themselves.
From Joe Penhall (Mindhunter, The
Last King Of Scotland and The
Road), this Olivier Award-winning
play is a darkly funny dissection of
institutional racism and mental health
in modern Britain. The cast features
Thomas Coombes as Bruce, Richard
Lintern as Robert and Ivan Oyik,
who makes his professional stage
debut as Christopher. For more details
WHAT: SING-A-LONG-A THE GREATEST
WHERE: NEW ALEXANDRA THEATRE
WHEN: FEBRUARY 3
Singalonga Productions, producers
of Singalonga Sound of Music and
Singalonga Grease brings you their
newest show, the smash hit film musical
that everyone can’t stop singing - The
Cheer on Hugh Jackman, lust after Zac
Efron and hiss Rebecca Ferguson (…
or maybe not) as you experience The
Greatest Showman in the greatest way
possible - with lyrics on the screen so
you can join in as loud as you want.
The evening’s live host will teach you
a unique set of dance moves that will
truly make you Come Alive. As they
show you how to use the interactive
prop bags, you also get to practice your
cheers, your boos and even a few wolf
whistles. Then you can sit back and
relax and sing and dance along to the
lyrics on screen. You, the audience, will
Rewrite The Stars!
It couldn’t be easier or more fun! The
first rule of Sing-a-Long-a is THERE
ARE NO RULES! Fancy dress is
strongly encouraged and full audience
participation is essential. For more
details visit www.atgtickets.com/
WHAT: MATTHEW BOURNE’S SWAN
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
WHEN: FEBRUARY 5 TO 16
Retaining the iconic elements of the
original production loved by millions
around the world, Matthew Bourne
and award-winning designers Lez
Brotherston (set and costumes) and
Paule Constable (lighting) will create
an exciting reimagining of the classic
Thrilling, audacious, witty and
emotive, this Swan Lake is perhaps
still best known for replacing the
female corps-de-ballet with a
menacing male ensemble, which
shattered conventions, turned
tradition upside down and took the
dance world by storm.
Collecting more than 30
international accolades including
an Olivier Award in the UK
and three Tonys on Broadway,
Matthew Bourne’s powerful
interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s
masterpiece is a passionate and
contemporary Swan Lake for our
times. For more details visit www.
WHAT: DANIELLE DE NIESE VALENTINE’S NIGHT SPECIAL
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE’S BRADSHAW HALL
WHEN: FEBRUARY 14
Opera soprano Danielle de Niese is
more than just the most magnetic
presence in modern classical music,
or the woman described by the New
York Times magazine as “opera’s
coolest soprano.” She’s also the
performer who’s shredding the
classical rulebook with her unique
combination of artistic credibility
and exotic 21st-century allure.
Join "The most sought-after singer
on the planet” (BBC) for a unique
Valentine’s themed special, perfect
for a romantic night out in the
beautiful surroundings of The
For more details visit www.bcu.
ac.uk/concerts or call the box
office on 0121 331 5909.
WHAT: THE X FACTOR LIVE TOUR
WHERE: RESORTS WORLD ARENA
WHEN: FEBRUARY 17
The X Factor Live Tour is returning for
2019, with X Factor Digital Presenter,
Becca Dudley returning as host.
Dalton Harris was crowned The X
Factor champion 2018, and you will
see Dalton, plus Scarlett Lee, Anthony
Russell, Danny Tetley, Acadia and
Aaliyah, Brendan Murray, Shan Ako
and Bella Penfold live here in Brum
performing classic songs and viewers’
favourites from the TV series.
The tour has been one of the most
successful annual arena tours in the UK
for the past 15 years, so don’t miss the
opportunity to catch this year’s stars live
in Birmingham. For more details visit
WHAT: CIRQUE BERSERK!
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM REP
WHEN: FEBRUARY 19 TO 24
Enjoy some thrilling half-term family
fun when Cirque Berserk! comes to
Birmingham Rep this month.
Direct from the West End, Britain's
biggest theatre circus spectacular is
back by popular demand, featuring
all your favourite Cirque Berserk!
acts plus some thrilling new ones!
Combining contemporary cirque
style artistry with adrenaline fuelled
stunt action, this astoundingly
talented international troupe
includes over thirty jugglers,
acrobats, aerialists, dancers,
drummers and daredevil stuntmen
showcasing the finest in traditional
circus thrills and skills. Featuring the
world's most hair raising circus act –
the legendary motorcycle 'Globe of
For more details visit www.
WHAT: PROFESSOR BRIAN COX LIVE
WHERE: ARENA BIRMINGHAM
WHEN: FEBRUARY 23
Having set two Guinness World
Record titles with his previous sell-out
live UK and Ireland tour, Professor
Brian Cox, OBE is heading back out
on the road with a brand new show
Taking audiences to the edge of our
current understanding about the
origin and evolution of our Solar
System and the Universe, Professor
Brian Cox Live 2019 offers a
fascinating insight into the workings
of nature at the most fundamental
level. Whether an avid science reader
or a total novice, Professor Cox makes
challenging ideas accessible to all,
exploring the vast, possibly infinite
universe and our place within it from
earth to the edges of the cosmos.
Brian will be joined by co-host of The
Infinite Monkey Cage and awardwinning
comedian Robin Ince to
oversee an audience Q&A, giving fans
the chance to ask any question they
have. For more details visit
CO M P E T I T I O N
A RELAXING SPA BREAK IS THE PERFECT WAY TO SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’ THIS VALENTINE’S DAY - AND YOU
COULD WIN A SPA AND AFTERNOON TEA EXPERIENCE FOR TWO AT MOOR HALL HOTEL AND SPA
Treat your loved one to
the gift of relaxation this
Valentine’s Day with a
pampering spa break.
J’AIME has teamed up
with Moor Hall Hotel
and Spa to offer readers
the chance to win a
spa and afternoon tea
experience for two.
Start your day with
complimentary tea or
coffee and biscuits on
arrival before enjoying
the extensive leisure
facilities including gym,
indoor pool, spa bath,
sauna and steam room,
plus the spa relaxation
room. Choose from a
relaxing Thalgo back,
neck and shoulder massage or a customised Thalgo
Discovery facial. Then end your experience with
Moor Hall’s Celebration Afternoon Tea, served with
a glass of prosecco. Afternoon tea includes a pot
of tea or a cafetière of freshly ground coffee, finger
sandwiches and a delicious assortment of homemade
cakes and fancies.
Choose to arrive at 9.30am and have full use of the
leisure facilities until 2pm, when your afternoon
tea will be served in our cosy lounge bar or on the
terrace. Or, arrive at 1pm and enjoy an afternoon in
the spa and sit down for afternoon tea at 5.30pm.
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
There are four treatment rooms, including a double
where you and a friend or partner can enjoy a
treatment at the same time, and the experienced
therapists offer an unrivalled range of wonderful
Thalgo facial and body treatments, suitable for
men and women, plus Indian Head Massage
For more details visit www.moorhallhotel.co.uk/spa
J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH MOOR HALL
HOTEL AND SPA TO OFFER READERS THE
CHANCE TO WIN A SPA AND AFTERNOON TEA
EXPERIENCE FOR TWO, WORTH £120. OUR
LUCKY WINNER AND THEIR LOVED ONE WILL
ENJOY FULL USE OF THE LEISURE FACILITIES
AND A RELAXING TREATMENT BEFORE A
DELICIOUS AFTERNOON TEA WITH PROSECCO.
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY ANSWER
THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
THE SPA AT MOOR HALL OFFERS TREATMENTS
BY WHICH RENOWNED SPA BRAND?
SEND YOUR ANSWER, ALONG WITH YOUR NAME, ADDRESS
AND TELEPHONE NUMBER, BY EMAIL TO COMPETITIONS@
JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM WITH MOOR HALL VALENTINES
COMPETITION AS THE EMAIL SUBJECT. ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED
BY 5PM ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, AND OUR WINNER WILL BE
NOTIFIED BY WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13. TERMS AND CONDITIONS
APPLY. VISIT WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
Spa Days at Moor Hall
The Spa at Moor Hall is the perfect place to escape,
unwind and enjoy a day of pure relaxation at its best.
Our Spa Days all include tea or coffee and toast on arrival, use of the
facilities including gym, indoor pool, spa bath, sauna and steam room,
access to fitness classes, exclusive access to our Spa Relaxation room,
lunch, refreshments and use of a robe for the day.
Valentine’s Spa Day
Includes a Thalgo Heart of the Ocean
Facial (worth £63) and a
Swedish Full Body Massage (worth £75)
ALL FOR £195 FOR TWO
Available to redeem until 31st May 2019
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 334 2323 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
Visit Spa our Day website Gift Vouchers for a full are range available of Spa on Gift our Vouchers website
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R E C L A M A T I O N
YOUR RECLAIMED BUILDING & LANDSCAPING MATERIAL SUPPLIERS
JUST £22 A YEAR TO COVER POSTAGE COSTS.
CONTACT JAN ASHLEY ON 07388 335931
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WE SELL RECLAIMED BRICKS, BEAMS & NATURAL STONE SLABS
Bricks • Roof Tiles • Quarry Tiles • Natural Stone Walling & Paving • Rockery
• Granite Sets • Cobbles • Stone Troughs • Oak Beams • Cast Iron Radiators
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Telephone: 0121 308 0554
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm • Saturday 9.30am - 1.30pm
35 Holding, Shirral Drive, Nr Drayton Bassett B78 3EQ
FA S H I O N
IT’S THE PERFECT ANTIDOTE TO THESE GREY WINTER DAYS WHICH SEEM TO STRETCH OUT
ENDLESSLY BEFORE US, IDEAL FOR INJECTING A SLICE OF SUNSHINE INTO EVERYDAY LIFE.
AMY NORBURY TAKES A LOOK AT THE FASHION WORLD'S OBSESSION WITH ALL THINGS YELLOW
USUALLY, to deem something in fashion a ‘trend’, three
or four designers need to hop on the bandwagon. But
every so often, it feels like everyone is on the same page
about a certain thing - and anyone following the spring
2019 runways could easily spot what that thing is for this
Saturated hues of this sunniest of shades were seen
all over the catwalks; from power suiting at Boss and
Escada, to floaty numbers at Self-Portrait and Oscar de
la Renta, you couldn’t escape the feel-good appeal of
Amal Clooney was ahead of the game with her stunning
vivid marigold Stella McCartney dress at Prince Harry
and Meghan Markle’s wedding last May. In fact, ever
since La La Land and Emma Stone’s un for get table canary
dress, yel low’s fash ion stock has been on the rise. So
much so that the colour gurus at Pantone have decreed a
marigold shade called Aspen Gold as the yellow for the
While yellow might not appear to be the easiest colour
to wear, it can be a seriously stylish and flattering choice.
Team cosy knits with denim staples for off-duty chic, or
add a bright blazer over a simple cami top and skinnies
for an update on your date-night classic.
And while the zingy hue might be perfect for injecting
a splash of colour into your casual attire, don’t overlook
the power of yellow when it comes to workwear. Suiting,
in particular, has seen a tutti fruity makeover for SS19,
with sharply tailored trousers and form-fitting pencil
skirts in bright canary shades teaming perfectly with
crisp white shirts to add an instant energising effect to
your nine-to-five wardrobe.
If you’re more wallflower than sunflower, top-to-toe
marigold might feel like a step too far. But add a few
joyous accessories into your repertoire - some killer heels
there, a structured statement bag there - to give your
outfit an immediate lift.
For SS19, it’s all about that sunshine state of mind.
YELLOW TRENCH COAT, £59,
AND CHECKED DRESS, £45,
BOTH PRINCIPLES AT DEBENHAMS
CHLOÉ NILE SMALL
CROSS BODY BAG,
RIBBON TIE SANDALS,
TYBALT RUBBER COAT
SPLICED CIRCLE DROP EAR-
RINGS, OLIVER BONAS
STAR BY JULIEN
MAUREEN SATIN MULES,
YELLOW SPOTTY DRESS,
FROM A SELECTION AT
YELLOW BLAZER AND
A SELECTION AT
FA S H I O N
Best dressed guest
JILL HARTLEY, CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF NERO E BIANCO EXCLUSIVE FASHION
AND BRIDAL BOUTIQUE AT BARTON MARINA, TAKES A LOOK AT WEDDING DAY STYLE
FOR MUMS OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM
2019 is here and it’s officially time to get back on track with those all-important wedding plans. Here at Nero
e Bianco, we believe that the mother of the bride or groom outfit can be the hardest of them all to decide on.
With so many factors to take into consideration when buying your outfit, we wanted to guide you through
some our favourite looks for the year and why we think they’re so fabulous!
One of our favourite looks for the year has to be this remarkable blue two piece where modern meets
elegance. This dress and jacket provides the soft sophistication look for any mother of the bride/groom.
Remove the jacket to reveal a super chic criss-cross back detail, a decidedly different look making it cooler
and more comfortable for you to dance the night away during the evening celebrations without having to
compromise on style.
Nero e Bianco
Exclusive Fashion & Bridal
Bar ton Marina
Bur ton upon Trent
Nero e Bianco
Maternity & Childrenswear
Bar ton Marina
01283 716 524
by Nero e Bianco
Bar ton Marina
01283 716 062
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
Our new wine tasting store is now
open and features an Enomatic
wine dispensing machine allowing
customers to sample a range of
elegant Italian wines.
M A T E R N I T Y & C H I L D R E N S W E A R
b y N E R O e B I A N C O
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
Irresistible Italian Chocolates
Italian Craft Beers
This simple dress with a cheeky fluted hemline is
complemented by an extra special long jacket with
sheer sleeves and floral embroidery. This outfit is
a true favourite of ours – it’s the perfect look for a
spring or summer wedding and, importantly, this
style complements most figures. This blush pink
colour palette is very popular for 2019 wedding
wear both at home and abroad.
This gorgeous dress and jacket combination is
true elegance and is figure flattering.
The dress itself is a simple shape with a lace
and beaded overlay, an exquisite and stunning
dress alone. The longline jacket works perfectly
with this dress to create a totally classy and
Lastly, we have this dipped hem grey and white dress with cropped jacket. The dip hem was a firm favourite
for mothers of the brides and grooms in 2018, and that trend is a firm favourite continuing into 2019. We
love how the jacket crops at the waist of the dress; the dip hemline is super stunning, and you can see how
easily it can transition you from day to evening once the jacket is removed. This is a style that many of our
ladies don’t initially choose, but once they try on it’s a complete winner and they are amazed at how they look
and how fabulous they feel!
These are just a few of the styles that Nero e Bianco has to offer this wedding season. To see more of what we have
and to book an appointment to try on, see our website www.neroebiancobridal.co.uk. Alternatively, just pop in
and see us at Barton Marina and we’ll be more than happy to help you find a style that suits you.
B E AU T Y
Beauty spring clean
FORGET GIVING THE HOUSE A GOOD GOING OVER AND INSTEAD PAY SOME ATTENTION TO YOU.
LISA PIDDINGTON, FROM HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM, REVEALS HER FAVOURITE LUXURY
MUST-HAVES TO DEEP CLEAN YOUR SKIN
As the days finally get longer and the temperatures rise, it’s
time to shed those winter layers and bare some flesh. But
while you may soon be full of the joys of spring, your skin
could still be showing signs of the winter blues. A couple of
months wrapped up toasty warm with the heating on full
blast does little to nourish the complexion, leaving your face
feeling dry and looking dull.
Kick start the new season with some TLC – forget clearing
out the cupboards and turn your attention to giving your
skin a spring clean instead. Hard-working exfoliators are
designed to wash away dead skin cells while cleansers clear
out your pores to leave you with a radiant glow.
Use Heaven Skincare
Hydro Cleansing Milk,
£10, to hydrate skin and
remove daily pollutants.
Perfect for washing off the
stresses of the day, organic
jojoba helps to balance and
condition, while rosemary
and lavender aids relaxation.
Formulated with exquisite oils and waxes,
Elemis' super-cleansing Pro-
Collagen Cleansing Balm, £43,
dissolves make-up leaving skin luxuriously
cleansed, deeply nourished and glowing.
Sarah Chapman’s Overnight
Exfoliating Booster, £59, is a
night-time detox for dull, uneven
skin. Formulated with a potent
cocktail of non-abrasive ingredients,
it gently exfoliates while you sleep,
decreasing the appearance of pores,
blemishes and uneven texture.
Sunday Riley Martian
Water-Gel Toner, £48, is
formulated to target oily and
acne-prone skin concerns.
It contains bentonite clay to
reduce the appearance of
pore size, and marshmallow
and green tea to soothe and
cool the signs of redness and
sensitivity. Skin is mattified
and prepped to keep
foundation set all day.
a soft foam to
and impurities for
a healthy complexion.
The high performance
formula rinses easily and
leaves skin feeling clean,
soft and refreshed.
ALL PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE FROM BEAUTY HALL AT
HARVEY NICHOLS, THE MAILBOX AND ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM.
B E AU T Y
Treat those tresses
THE EXPERTS FROM FRANCESCO GROUP, STREETLY
SHARE THEIR WINTER HAIR CARE TIPS
Francesco Group, Streetly offers a stylish retreat in
the suburbs of Sutton Coldfield. The salon itself
is spacious and oozes style; with oversized, ornate
mirrors, crystal light fittings and a super-comfy
Chesterfield for you to sit back and relax on.
The salon team is led by husband and wife duo, Paul
and Saranne Corbett, who provide a welcoming and
friendly atmosphere for all their clients. So, whether
you fancy a bold, creative new look or an update to
your classic style, the experienced team will be with
you every step of the way.
We asked Paul Corbett, Francesco Group Streetly’s
salon director, how we can keep our hair happy and
healthy during the winter months.
“The colder weather in the winter months can play
havoc with our hair and going from cold weather
into a warm environment can be very damaging, as it
removes moisture from the hair and can leave it dry
and frizzy. With all this in mind, it’s important that
throughout the season we take extra care of our hair
and keep it hydrated,” explains Paul.
“Just like our skin, our hair needs moisture. To keep
hair moisturised during the winter months and stop
it from going dry, frizzy, weak and lacking shine; I
would recommend using moisturising hair masks a
couple of times a week to replenish the hair and give
it the moisture that it needs.
“Alongside your hair masks, use a good moisturising
shampoo and on days where you aren’t using
your mask, use a moisturising conditioner. I’d also
recommend using an oil or serum prior to blowdrying
hair that will work like a barrier, protecting
it from the cold weather and heat damage from
central heating, as well as keeping breakages at bay
and banishing dry, frizzy ends. Hair
masks and oils are also great for the scalp
during the colder months, stopping it
becoming itchy and flaky.
“As well as keeping hair hydrated with
masks and oils, it’s important to get
regular trims to keep hair looking and
feeling its best. Trims will get rid of any
dry ends and will almost reset the hair,
giving it a ‘fresh start’ and making it
“During the winter months we tend to
stray away from the effortless, beachy
waves from the summer months and
start to use heated styling tools more,
which can cause further damage and
loss of moisture to the hair. Try to avoid
using heated styling tools where possible;
however, if you do need to use them, it’s
important to always use a heat protection
spray to avoid further damage being
done to your hair.”
If you are wondering where to book
your next salon appointment, look no
further than Francesco Group Streetly.
They have a talented team of experts
on hand to cater to every hair need, in
a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
Contact them on 0121 353 3888 to
book your free consultation.
I N T H E N E W S
Midlands kitchen designer John Fisher
has joined the team at Cirencester-based
Benchwood Kitchens, who specialise in
offering the best value in luxury, bespoke
kitchens which are traditionally handcrafted
for timeless elegance to clients
around the UK.
John’s design pedigree is second to none.
Originally from Wigan, after leaving
school in the mid 70s, John joined the
design team at Rank Audio Visual a part
of the then iconic Rank Organization.
Primarily, this division of the operation
was responsible for the design and
manufacture of fixed and retractable
seating for cinemas, theatres and
sporting stadiums throughout the UK.
John says: “I worked on many projects
including The Odeon Leicester Square, Fairfield Halls
Croydon, Old Trafford Football Stadium and even the
Royal Box at Wimbledon Centre Court.
“Developing my lifelong hobby of collecting vinyl
records, during the early 80s I ran my own successful
record retailing business in the north west of England;
however by the early 90s and with record industry in
obvious decline, I re-entered the world of design.”
Joining Manchester-based Neville Johnson Kitchens in
1991 as a sales designer, John began learning the art
of kitchen design.
“Over the next eight years I successfully applied
for various positions within the company including
contracts design manager and also national retail sales
manager,” he says.
“In 1999 at the request of the owner and former
CEO at Neville Johnson, I helped to establish the
contracts division at Wiltshire-based manufacturer
Manor Cabinets Ltd.
“By 2001, with my family home based in
Staffordshire, I decided to take up an opportunity
to work as a independent design consultant. At this
point I worked very closely with the high end bespoke
furniture manufacturer Watts and Wright Ltd,
where I designed, sold and project managed many
assignments for clients in the UK, USA, Russia, and
During this time, several of John’s designs were
photographed and featured in specialist home interest
publications, and a kitchen designed by John for
celebrity chef Kevin Woodford at his home in the Isle
of Man was featured on the TV program Through
Since the closure of Watts and Wright in 2004, John
has been employed as a design and sales consultant for
a long-established kitchen retailer in Sutton Coldfield,
before making the move to Benchwood.
“Around seven years ago I was asked for my
professional advise and general knowledge of the
kitchen industry, by Rob Woodward, who was at this
time, in the process of forming Benchwood Kitchens,”
“Recently I have agreed to take up the opportunity to
work with Rob, by taking over the responsibility for
sales, marketing and design. This will now allow Rob
more time to concentrate on manufacturing side of
Benchwood design, construct and install stunning
timber framed kitchens. Starting with sawn planks,
they use traditional techniques to craft every door,
frame and drawer, which are then matched with
premium components. The result is a kitchen that
is beautiful, unique, practical and enduring. Every
component is handmade in Benchwood’s modern
workshop by skilled craftsmen who are proud of what
For more information and to view some of
Benchwood’s work, visit the website at www.
benchwood.co.uk or make the trip to the Cirencester
factory showroom to watch Benchwood’s team of
craftsmen in action.
M OTO R S
Life in the fast lane
J’AIME’S MOTORING EXPERT AND RESIDENT RACING DRIVER MARTIN PLOWMAN
GETS TO GRIPS WITH THE NEW RANGE ROVER SPORT SVR
Last month I was offered a chance to drive a 2019
Range Rover Sport SVR, and naturally, it was
tough to turn down! I’ve always had a soft spot for
Range Rovers. They strike me as a more understated
gangster kind of car without being overtly flashy. The
type of car that says “I’m in charge” without drawing
too much unwanted attention.
The Range Rover Sport model is a nice upgrade over
the more leisurely models that attract tweed-wearing
flat cap folk with their trusty labrador in the back,
but I was eager to see what updates the SVR model
had in store.
As a quick reminder to the uninitiated, SVR is to
Range Rover what AMG is to Mercedes. They are
the special operations branch that has the enviable
task of taking an already great car and taking it up to
another level (or two).
Visually, the first thing that strikes me when I look at
the SVR is that it seems leaner, with more aggressive
styling and strong muscle definition, like it's been
hitting the weight room in the gym for the past six
You can tell the interior has had the SVR treatment
too; racing themed lightweight performance seats
with a sporty two-tone design and carbon-fibre
panels everywhere. It has a 10-inch High Definition
display and a control panel that is almost entirely
touch screen. A futuristic HUD display is located
in the windscreen displaying current speed and the
speed limit for the road you are on, so you never have
to take your eyes off of the road; there really is no
excuse for getting a speeding fine, I'm afraid.
There are seven powertrain options to choose from,
ranging from an environmentally friendly hybrid
plug-in, all the way to the opposite end of the
spectrum with a five-litre V8 Supercharged petrol
version. Luckily as a petrolhead, I got to drive the
While we all love the idea of being green and saving
the planet, a five-litre V8 engine sounded like a lot
more fun to me! For sure the fuel economy of the
petrol V8 may not be winning any awards anytime
soon, but let's be honest, if you're interested in
buying this version, you may be willing to make a
compromise by spending more time at the fuel pump
in order to gain the extra performance.
If saving the planet from extinction is your thing, but
you still want a relatively fast car than the D
diesel V8 may be a better option for you with its
respectable 30mpg estimate.
Driving around at low speed through the Tesco
parking, the throttle response is very smooth. There
is no lag in acceleration or jerkiness that you get
from some supercars that only know how to travel at
200mph (*cough* Lamborghini).
It gives you the feeling of an oversized grandtourer
ready to tackle a five-hour car trip in
complete comfort, but the fun really begins when
you press down harder on the accelerator, and
the Superchargers start to kick in! With 700nm of
torque and 575bhp, it has enough power to propel its
2.3tonne body to a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds. It's
ridiculously fast for a car of this size!
Its ride is as smooth as expected, but as is customary
with the Range Rover collection, the SVR comes
with state-of-the-art electronically controlled air
suspension that adapts to various road conditions as
you drive around. You can pre-select a programmed
suspension setting, but leave it in automatic and it
will match the best setting to give the most comfort
and performance as needed.
The suspension is definitely stiffer than the regular
sport, and the steering is a lot more responsive.
There's nothing I hate more than a lazy feeling car,
but despite its size the SVR is very nimble and makes
you forget that you are driving a big, heavy car.
The SVR comes with an encyclopedia-filling list of
features and driver aids to make driving as stressfree
as possible, such as park assist and emergency
braking. Of course, a car loaded with so much
technology naturally comes with a cost. The Range
Rover Sport SVR will set you back a cool £100,000
before extras. While it may be slightly out of my
price bracket, at 'only' £100k I think it is a bargain
for what you get for that money.
In summary: The SVR is the motoring equivalent
of 'that' guy that your girlfriend told you not to
worry about… faster, stronger, better looking and, all
around, a lot more fun.
Velocity is a new breed of track day company offering the chance to race real racing cars on the UK’s finest
circuits, tutored by Le Mans Winner Martin Plowman and BTCC and Emmerdale Star Kelvin Fletcher.
There’s no better way to engage with clients or reward loyal teams. Choose from one of our great packages
or let us build you a bespoke day.
GET IN TOUCH TODAY AND LET US BUILD
THE PERFECT EXPERIENCE
www.velocitytrackdays.co.uk 0115 888 3288 email@example.com