J'AIME FEBRUARY 2019

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

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

with Valentine’s

Day treats

WIN

A SPA AND AFTERNOON TEA

EXPERIENCE FOR TWO AT

MOOR HALL HOTEL

THE SUTTON COLDFIELD

OLYMPIAN MENTORING

THE NEXT GENERATION

Mellow yellow:

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

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

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:

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

Find us on

/JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

3


CONTENTS

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

Rêve, Lichfield

34 Food and drink - A delectable dessert from The

Boat Inn, Lichfield

36 Food and drink - Indulgent chocolates for

Valentine’s Day

38 Food and drink - Organic French wines from

Clos Ventas

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

Birmingham

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

e Bianco

61 Beauty - Spring clean your beauty regime with

Harvey Nichols Birmingham

62 Beauty - Winter hair care tips from Francesco

Streetly

64 In the news - Setting the standard in kitchen

design

65 Motors - J’AIME’s expert Martin Plowman

tests the Range Rover Sport SVR

4


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FEATURE

Champion spirit

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

Angeles.

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

worrying negativity.

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

smartphone apps.

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

6


CROSSING THE FINISH

LINE VICTORIOUS

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

enhancing education.

“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

under-19s.

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

good.

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 -

OLYMPIAN

PHIL BROWN

7


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

prove.”

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

within grasp.

“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

NAMESAKE STREET

IN LONDON

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

bronze.

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

Phil.

“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

8


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together.”

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

last-place finish.

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

home victorious.

“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,

London.

“It’s a privilege and a legacy for myself, my family,

people I went to school with and my home city,” says

Phil.

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

hand.”

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

Sharon Osbourne.

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@

championsrealmltd.co.uk, call

07517 099 241 or find Phil on

Twitter @philbrown4x400 and

Instagram @philbolympian

10


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PROPERTY

Property of the Month

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

THE AREA EACH MONTH. THIS MONTH’S 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

family home.

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!

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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

Off-Market opportunities

Our team are perfectly positioned to assist

with your prestigious property requirements

Call us today on 0121 362 7878

@astonknowles

8 High Street, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1XA

| enquiries@astonknowles.com | www.astonknowles.com |


PROPERTY

Summer dreams

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

fittings.

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

THE INTERIORS

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漀 渀 爀 攀 焀 甀 攀 猀 琀 ⸀⨀

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INTERIORS

Life’s

a peach

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

environment.”

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.

FARROW & BALL WISTERIA WALLPAPER, £115,

WWW.FARROW-BALL.COM

GOLDFISH TASK LAMP,

ANNABEL JAMES.

WWW.ANNABELJAMES.CO.UK

MERI MERI CORAL TASSEL BASKET,

BOBBY RABBIT. WWW.BOBBYRABBIT.CO.UK

£24.99

£59.95

£29

LAGOON CORAL EMBROIDERED CUSHION,

ARTHOUSE. WWW.ARTHOUSE.COM

16


Call 01543 505539

for a brochure

Our skilled craftsmen can create

any type of design, from ultra-modern

to classically traditional

As an alternative if you cannot part

with your existing suite, we offer

an exceptional re-upholstery

service that goes above and

beyond recovering your choice of

fabrics and leathers.

Tel: 01543 505539

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

May 2018

sales@ralvernupholstery.co.uk • www.ralvernupholstery.co.uk

Visit our website for a virtual tour of our showroom

57


£25

WILLOW & HALL FOXCOTE ARMCHAIR IN

SAFFRON, WWW.WILLOWANDHALL.CO.UK

£789

CORAL EAMES STYLE DINING ARMCHAIR,

DANETTI. WWW.DANETTI.COM

ZUVIER DESK CLOCK,

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

£55

£POA

LIGNE ROSET TOA ARMCHAIR IN CORAL,

WWW.LIGNE-ROSET.COM/UK

KLEVERING ROUND PLATE IN LOBSTER,

PRINTER + TAILOR.

WWW.PRINTERANDTAILOR.COM

UNITY CANE WALL MIRROR,

OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

£145

£27.50

£149

BRONTE BY MOON MERINO

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BLANKET IN CORAL, HURN & HURN.

WWW.HURNANDHURN.COM

PINA COLADA PINK MIX LARGE DRUM

LAMPSHADE, PENELOPE HOPE.

WWW.PENELOPEHOPE.COM

£56.95

STRESSLESS MAGIC CHAIR AND

STOOL, COOKES FURNITURE.

WWW.COOKESFURNITURE.CO.UK

LULU SMALL POUFFE IN RASPBERRY

AND CORAL, WWW.MADE.COM

£179

£1,399

£59

FILIX LINEN CUSHION, CLARISSA HULSE.

WWW.CLARISSAHULSE.COM

18


PUNCHED COFFEE TABLE, £525, ANTHOLOGYFIVE.

WWW.ANTHOLOGYFIVE.COM

CORAL VINYL WALL MURAL,

£261, PIXERS. WWW.PIXERS.UK


I N T E R I O R S

CONTURA 510G WHITE 5KW

WOODBURNER, AVAILABLE FROM

ABBEY FIRE CENTRE, ERDINGTON.

WWW.ABBEYFIRECENTRE.CO.UK

Feel the

heat

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

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A bible for all things stylish, Pinterest is the go-to tool

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The Pinterest 100: Top Trends for 2019 outlines

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and sharing - and with searches for contemporary

fireplaces up by a whopping 763 per cent, it seems that

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So if your living space hasn’t got a flamey focal point

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2019 - just add a squishy sofa or comfy fireside chair

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£60

GARDEN TRADING ASH

SHOVEL, HURN & HURN.

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£49.99

GARDEN TRADING SOLDEN

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ANTIQUED PEWTER COAL HOD,

THE FARTHING. WWW.THEFARTHING.CO.UK

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t he heart of t he home...

Visit our showroom to be amazed by the choice -

from traditional to modern

With such a wide range of fires, fireplaces and stoves

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

WE OF F ER

A C OMP LE T E

INST ALLA T ION

SERV ICE

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

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

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

NEW

YEARS

SALE

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GREY RATTAN ARCH LOG HOLDER, THE

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DISTRESSED GOLD METAL FIRE SCREEN,

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GARDEN TRADING LARGE LOG HOLDER,

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£29.99

TWO PIECE FIRESIDE COMPANION

SET, THE FARTHING.

WWW.THEFARTHING.CO.UK

G PLAN WASHINGTON THREE SEATER SOFA, WAS

£1,574 WINTER SALE £1,099, COOKES FURNITURE.

WWW.COOKESFURNITURE.CO.UK

22


DIK GEURTS KALLE STOVE,

FROM A SELECTION AVAILABLE AT

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RECLAIMED OAK BEAMS FROM A HUGE

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NEO 3C DEFRA APPROVED STOVE WITH

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ACR HEAT PRODUCTS WYCHWOOD 5KW

WOODBURNER, AVAILABLE FROM ABBEY

FIRE CENTRE, ERDINGTON.

WWW.ABBEYFIRECENTRE.CO.UK

DECOFLAME ELLIPSE BIOETHANOL CEILING

FIRE, £7,700, GO MODERN FURNITURE.

WWW.GOMODERN.CO.UK


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

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CREED LOVE IN WHITE EAU DE

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CHARLOTTE TILBURY MATTE

REVOLUTION LIPS IN LOST CHERRY,

SELFRIDGES. WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£360

EDEN MILL LOVE GIN, HARVEY NICHOLS.

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£450

GIANVITO ROSSI PORTIFINO

105 PATENT LEATHER SANDALS,

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ALICE + OLIVIA GLENNA RED

CADY DRESS, HARVEY NICHOLS.

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24

GUCCI ACE HEART-EMBELLISHED

LEATHER TRAINERS, HARVEY NICHOLS.

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SILVER AND 18CT YELLOW GOLD

BANGLE, £420, AND RING, ALLEN

BROWN JEWELLERY.

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BISCUITS, WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

SARA MILLER WATCH,

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NELSON’S VALENTINE’S BLEND GIN,

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£885

HEAVEN SKINCARE DREAM OIL

SERUM, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

GUCCI GG MARMONT RED LEATHER

BELT BAG, HARVEY NICHOLS.

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VIVIENNE WESTWOOD BALMORAL

SILVER-TONE HEART KEYRING, HARVEY

NICHOLS. WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£5.45

ROSE BLUSH FRAGRANCED ROOM

DIFFUSER BY PORTUS CALE,

THE FRENCH BEDROOM CO.

WWW.FRENCHBEDROOMCOMPANY.CO.UK

£60

COCO CHOCOLATIER GIN AND

TONIC DARK CHOCOLATE,

WWW.POSTBOXED.CO.UK

£40

£150

KENSINGTON PALACE ROSE

GOLD AND SILVER PENDANT,

HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES.

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26


T H E F I N E S T K I T C H E N S & B E D R O O M S S I N C E 1 9 5 5

Accredited 5 Star

Master Partner

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

Tel: 0121 353 2525 Fax: 0121 353 4314 E-mail: enquiries@linterieur.co.uk Web: www.linterieur.co.uk

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

Tel: 0121 353 2525 • Fax: 0121 353 4314 • E-mail: enquiries@linterieur.co.uk • 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

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IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION SO YOU CAN MAKE SURE HE’S ALL SMILES COME FEBRUARY 14

£10

£6 £255

HOTEL CHOCOLAT DARK

CHOCOLATE CHILLI PUDDLES,

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LOVE SOCKS LOVE LINE COTTON-BLEND

SOCKS, HARVEY NICHOLS.

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GUCCI SUPREME BEE BILLFOLD WALLET,

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£895

GENTS LEATHER BRACELETS, FROM

ALLEN BROWN JEWELLERY.

WWW.ALLENBROWNJEWELLERY.CO.UK

£310

£31

GEORG JENSEN MEN’S KOPPEL

CHRONOGRAPH WATCH, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£89

GIVENCHY STAR-PRINT T-SHIRT, HARVEY

NICHOLS. WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

KREAFUNK AHEAD HEADPHONES,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

£159

DANIEL WELLINGTON CLASSIC ST

MAWES WATCH, SELFRIDGES.

WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

28


£7.95

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MONCLER LANOUX RED QUILTED

SHELL GILET, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

MARKER’S MARK PRIVATE SELECT

BOURBON, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£7

TEAPIGS EVERYDAY BREW TEA TIN,

WWW.TEAPIGS.CO.UK

£135

LSA WHISKY CONNOISSEUR SET,

SELFRIDGES. WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM

£370

PAUL SMITH CASHMERE SCARF, HARVEY

NICHOLS. WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

MR PERFECT HAIR & BODY WASH,

WHITE STUFF. WWW.WHITESTUFF.COM

£4.50

ROBERT GRAHAM FORTITUDE

COLOGNE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£199

HELLO HANDSOME MUG, SAINSBURY’S.

WWW.SAINSBURYS.CO.UK

£260

£520

VALENTINO GARAVANI RUNNER

CAMOUFLAGE-PRINT TRAINERS, HARVEY

NICHOLS. WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

SUPERDRY HERO LEATHER RACER

JACKET, WWW.SUPERDRY.COM

29


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

experience.

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

his mark.

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

refuse.

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

30


savoury yeasted crisp and a delectable

monkfish number - started proceedings

off nicely.

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

ethos.

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

welcome warmth.

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.

31


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

Ingredients

25ml Amaretto

25ml cherry brandy

12.5ml almond syrup

25ml lemon juice

Sweet Valentine

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

fresh strawberries.”

32


COMING SOON

STAND UP COMEDIAN

The

Boat Inn

THE CARPENTERS

VOICE OF THE HEART

THUR 14 FEB

BALLETBOYZ

THEM/US

THUR 28 FEB

ORIGINAL DRIFTERS MEMBER

ROY G HEMMINGS

SUN 17 FEB

Michelin recommended

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

www.theboatinnlichfield.com

Call for details - 01543 361692

Open Wednesday - Sunday

www.theboatinnlichfield.com

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.

JAMES COCHRAN

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

@saucesupperclub

@saucesupperclub

www.saucesupperclub.co.uk


F O O D & D R I N K

Tropical tastes

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

Passionfruit brulee:

1 lemon juiced

160g passionfruit puree

2 lemon zest

9 whole eggs

250g double cream

400g caster sugar

Lime meringue:

20g egg white powder

80g sugar

120g pasteurised egg white

2 lime zest only

Coconut sorbet:

1kg coconut puree

160g sugar

800g water

200g glucose powder

60g tremoline

6g super neutrose

Coconut streusel:

200g soft butter

200g demerara

150g ground almonds

200g plain flour

Pinch of salt

Toasted coconut to taste (optional)

Mango and lime salsa:

2 ripe mangos

2 large limes

Method:

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!

34


Creating beautiful

cutlery, silverware

and gifts has been our

passion since 1902.

Huge savings on high street,

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OPENING HOURS:

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SATURDAY - 10AM - 4PM

SUNDAY - CLOSED

ARTHUR PRICE,

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LICHFIELD

WS14 9UY

01543 267324

ARTHURPRICEINLICHFIELD.CO.UK

Proud

supporters of

BRITISH CRAFTSMANSHIP

Please be aware that the shop is located on

the first floor via a staircase. If access is an

issue we have a ground floor room available

where products can be brought down for

viewing by our dedicated customer

service team.


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

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year.

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

satisfying!”

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

gluten-free.

“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.

36


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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

Cathi.

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

Mother’s Day.

For more details or to book a wine tasting,

call Cathi on 07773 062449 or email

cathi@closventaswines.co.uk

38


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Spring Party Night

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Murder Mystery Evening

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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

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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

strengthening relationships.

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

together.

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?

40


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

with.

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.

AMBITION PERSONAL

TRAINING FOUNDER

RAUL ROMERO

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

the gym!

For information about group sessions, or Personal

Training Duo sessions, get in touch with Raul at

raul@ambitionpt.co.uk.

WORKING OUT

TOGETHER CAN BENEFIT

YOUR SEX LIFE

41


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

blue.

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

holiday.

After spending some quality time at Fordoun and

42


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

MONTUSI MOUNTAIN

LODGE, NORTHERN

DRAKENSBERG

indeed. It was a unique opportunity to learn about

each other’s cultures and was a very memorable

experience.

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

surroundings.

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.

43


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

day.

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

proud!

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

UMHLANGA

special indeed.

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

heart-wrenching, palm-sweating

and very emotional to hear of the

stories.

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

44


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.

A SUNDOWNER

AFTER SAFARI

SOUTH AFRICA FACT BOX

HOW TO GET THERE:

Direct flights from London to Johannesburg,

Cape Town and Durban

FLIGHT TIME:

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

sightings.

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

01543 258631.

45


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

it?

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

yellow snow.

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

ever since.

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

Kama Sutra.

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

“adventures”.

46


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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

Budweiser. Not-a-word-of-a-lie.

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

Dead.

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

bucket lists.

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

producer.

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.

Verdict: Armchair.

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.

48


アパート

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

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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

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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

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Telephone: 01543 417342

Website: www.jeanlamb.co.uk

Email: jean.lamb@sjpp.co.uk

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

www.lichfieldarts.org.uk

WHAT: MURDER MYSTERY EVENING

WHERE:THE GEORGE HOTEL,

LICHFIELD

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

per couple.

To book call 01543 414822 or visit

www.thegeorgelichfield.co.uk.

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

composers.

In a first for the company, Them

is created by the BalletBoyz

dancers themselves, while the

Tony and Olivier Award-winning

choreographer Christopher

Wheeldon brings us the achingly

beautiful Us, inspired by his critically

acclaimed duet featured in the

Company’s memorable production,

Fourteen Days.

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

www.lichfieldgarrick.com

50


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


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

visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

WHAT: SING-A-LONG-A THE GREATEST

SHOWMAN

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

Greatest Showman!

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/

birmingham

WHAT: MATTHEW BOURNE’S SWAN

LAKE

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

production.

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.

birminghamhippodrome.com

52


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

Bradshaw Hall.

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

www.resortsworldarena.co.uk

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

Death'.

For more details visit www.

birmingham-rep.co.uk

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

for 2019.

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

www.arenabham.co.uk

53


CO M P E T I T I O N

Love pampering

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

modern living.

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

and Reflexology.

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

The competition

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.

54


9.3

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

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CONTACT JAN ASHLEY ON 07388 335931

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www.ebay.co.uk/str/Reclaimplus

www.facebook.com/fouroaksrec


FA S H I O N

Sunshine state

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

season.

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

yellow.

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

season.

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

56


£1,190

£69

£45

CHLOÉ NILE SMALL

CROSS BODY BAG,

HARVEY NICHOLS

RIBBON TIE SANDALS,

WALLIS

TYBALT RUBBER COAT

SPLICED CIRCLE DROP EAR-

RINGS, OLIVER BONAS

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STAR BY JULIEN

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DEBENHAMS

£70

£475

MALONE SOULIERS

MAUREEN SATIN MULES,

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DUNE LONDON

YELLOW SPOTTY DRESS,

FROM A SELECTION AT

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YELLOW BLAZER AND

TROUSERS, FROM

A SELECTION AT

DOROTHY PERKINS


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.

58


Nero e Bianco

Exclusive Fashion & Bridal

Bar ton Marina

Bur ton upon Trent

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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

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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

sophisticated look.

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.

60


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

Mattifying Melting

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.

Estée Lauder’s

conditioning

Advanced Night

Micro Cleansing

Foam, £26,

transforms into

a soft foam to

remove makeup

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.

61


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

62


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

healthier.

“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.

63


I N T H E N E W S

Creating bespoke

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

even Iceland.”

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

The Keyhole.

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,”

says John.

“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

the operation.”

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

they create.

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.

64


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

months.

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.

65


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

latter.

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.

66


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or let us build you a bespoke day.

GET IN TOUCH TODAY AND LET US BUILD

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