J'AIME APRIL 2019

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

A P R I L 2 0 1 9

J’AIME

Y O U R L O C A L L U X U R Y L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E

WIN

A DESIGNER WELSH GOLD

NECKLACE WORTH

£200

REACHING FOR THE

STARS: LICHFIELD

CHEF LIAM DILLON

Fashion special:

spruce up your wardrobe for spring


Welcome to J’AIME

It’s a little late on the calendar this year, so

here at J’AIME HQ we feel like we’ve waited

long enough for a chocolate treat; and for

this month’s Easter celebration we’re looking

at the most luxurious eggs on the market.

We’ve rounded up a bountiful feast of milk,

white and dark delectables, and our eyes are

particularly drawn to the glorious Venchi

Italian chocolate egg from Indulgence at

Barton Marina - go on, you know you want

to!

While a little indulgence never hurt anyone,

in the interest of balance we’ve got Lichfield

personal trainer Raul Romero looking at a

super healthy superfood in the form of chia

seeds; his recipe for a positively virtuous chia

seed pudding might just help you offset some

of those naughty Easter calories.

Sticking with the foodie theme, we chat

to Lichfield wonder chef Liam Dillon,

whose impressive CV and culinary skills

have landed him plaudits galore at his first

restaurant venture, The Boat Inn in his

home city. With a nod from the bods at the

Michelin guide mere weeks after opening,

we wouldn’t be surprised if there were stars

in store for this homegrown talent.

If you’re feeling lucky, why not enter our

fantastic competition this month, where one

lucky reader will win a beautiful designer

Welsh gold necklace worth £200, courtesy

of Sutton Coldfield’s Atkinsons the Jeweller.

Elsewhere, we’ve got a spring refresh for

your wardrobe, showcasing two of the

season’s must-have trends, plus we look

ahead to one of the most stylish events

on the calendar; Ascot. Grab those purses

ladies, it’s time to get shopping!

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN, NICOLA

BRERETON, ALYCE WILLIAMS, RAUL ROMERO,

LISA PIDDINGTON, JILL HARTLEY, SIMON JOYCE,

ALI MOUNTJOY

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 Liam Dillon - The Lichfield chef who’s reaching

for the stars

12 Property - Property of the month

14 Property - A million-pound home

16 Interiors - Havana haven

20 Interiors - Fringe benefits

24 Shaherazad Umbreen - A Birmingham shoe

entrepreneur’s debut book launch

36 Easter - Cracking chocolate treats

30 Competition - Win a Welsh gold pendant worth

£200

32 Food & drink - Reviewing Gaucho Birmingham

34 Food & drink - Cocktail of the month from Le

Rêve, Lichfield

36 Food & drink - Easter wine pairings from

Indulgence

38 Health - Raul Romero checks out a healthy

superfood

40 Health - Therapeutic counsellor Alyce Williams

on the benefits of opening up and being heard

44 Travel - Dreaming of Vietnam

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

area this month

52 What’s On - The hottest tickets around

Birmingham

54 Fashion - Bohemian Rhapsody

56 Fashion - Power suiting

58 Fashion - Ascot style from Nero e Bianco

62 Beauty - New neutrals from Harvey Nichols

Birmingham

63 In the news - Back pain advice; a retirement

book launch; and a Lichfield hairdresser’s

charity role

65 Motors - A look ahead to the British GT

season with Martin Plowman

4


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WS14 9UY

01543 267324

ARTHURPRICEINLICHFIELD.CO.UK

Proud

supporters of

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Please be aware that the shop is located on

the first floor via a staircase. If access is an

issue we have a ground floor room available

where products can be brought down for

viewing by our dedicated customer

service team.


FEATURE

Reach for the stars

AFTER YEARS WORKING IN THE WORLD’S BEST KITCHENS, LICHFIELD CHEF LIAM DILLON IS LEADING

THE CHARGE OF HIS HOME CITY’S FOODIE REVOLUTION. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE

Copenhagen’s Noma. New York’s Eleven Madison

Park. Sydney’s Quay. Restaurants which have

regularly found themselves named among the very

best in the world. Restaurants which have each, at

one point in their illustrious history, been lauded as

the very best eatery on their respective continents.

And restaurants which have all earned a place on the

rather astonishing CV of Lichfield chef Liam Dillon.

With his undeniable talent in the kitchen, coming

from years of honing his culinary skills under

some of the best in the business, Liam could have

walked into a plum role in many of the world’s best

restaurants. But the fiercely ambitious 31-year-old

has set his sights on carving his own name into the

foodie history books.

Returning to his home city to open up his first

restaurant two years ago, Liam has been at the

forefront of something of a foodie revolution in

Lichfield.

His eatery, The Boat Inn, was recently named

Newcomer of the Year at the prestigious Estrella

Damm Top 50 Gastropubs awards. And don’t let the

term ‘gastropub’ fool you; the list includes lauded

venues such as Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred

The Hand and Flowers, The Sportman in Kent and

Abergavenny’s The Hardwick, widely regarded as

some of best restaurants in the country.

The accolade is just the latest in a slew of awards

bestowed on Liam and the team at The Boat Inn

during what has been a whirlwind first two years in

business.

As well as being named Best Independent Restaurant

at last year’s Taste of Staffordshire Awards, Liam

himself was crowned Best Chef at the Midlands

Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards, beating off

competition from Brummie favourites Aktar Islam

and Andy Waters, as well as two Michelin-starred Sat

Bains. The previous incumbent? Brad Carter, head

honcho at Michelin-starred Carter’s of Moseley.

“Newcomer of the Year was incredible really,” says

the chef when we sit down for a chat at the tail end

of a busy lunch service. “The acknowledgment of

what myself and the team are trying to achieve here

was phenomenal. The room was full of Michelin

6


stars so just to be a part of it was flattering.

“But these accolades, for me, help to secure bookings,

which is what makes this business successful.”

It should come as little surprise to anyone in the

know that The Boat Inn is attracting such attention.

After all, this is a restaurant which earned a visit

from a Michelin inspector “to see what the fuss was

about” just three-and-a-half weeks after opening.

“There were builders everywhere and it was carnage;

I’d been working so hard to get the place opened and

it was so stressful,” Liam recalls.

But the evidence of a work in progress didn’t deter

Michelin, and The Boat Inn impressed enough to

earn an immediate nod in their coveted guide.

While we chat, Liam keeps one eye on the huge open

kitchen, where his team are cooking up a storm for

the last of the lunchtime stragglers. His eye for detail,

even from a distance, is immaculate, and the fact that

the team are going above and beyond and exceeding

expectations across the board is very much evident.

“We’ve come a long way from where the business

was previously,” says Liam. “Every day we’re making

the menu better, every day we’re making the menu

stronger.

“But I don’t want to be recognised as just a special

occasion restaurant as such; yes we do a tasting

menu, yes we have expensive bottles of wine, yes

we offer some premium products. But we also have

a very good value lunch menu, a very good but

accessible wine list - it’s affordable for people who

want to pop in every week or every fortnight.

“It’s an affluent city, and it’s becoming more of a

trendy city; there’s been a lot of change, and there’s

been a surge in independents, which is great.”

There’s no air of pretension at The Boat; Liam and

his team are happy to let the food do the talking. And

from the bread which is freshly baked every day to

the divine chef ’s snacks which accompany the a la

carte offerings, they certainly have a lot to say.

“From the minute I opened the restaurant, I’ve

always been cooking for the people of Lichfield,”

says Liam.

“It’s all about what I feel people want to come and

eat. It’s not crazy, it’s just honest, and that’s what we

do. It’s food I believe in.”

The tasting menu, however, is where Liam gets to

showcase his culinary chops.

“I do play around with the tasting menu; that’s for

me, and for the guys in the kitchen, to keep them

interested and to push us all. Now, people are starting

to trust us and what we’re doing, and going for the

tasting menu more often, which gives us the chance

to experiment more and to bring in new produce.

“Whether it’s a braised bit of meat, or roasted fish

and chips, or the tasting menu, the one thing I’m

trying to achieve here is that whatever you have when

you come to The Boat, I want it to be something you

can’t do yourself at home.”

While it’s obvious that Liam is meant to be in a

kitchen, cooking wasn’t first on his list when it came

to career options.

“I hated school; I was a late developer and I wasn’t

very attentive, but my family always instilled the

importance of staying in education and getting

qualifications so I stayed on to do my A levels,” he

says.

But beyond education, Liam was

unsure about which career path

to take. Initial thoughts were

towards the RAF or marines but

his parents Cathi and Mike - who

have always been a huge support

for their son - were less keen on

the idea. So after a family meeting,

Liam decided to find another

avenue to pursue.

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking,

and I think you’ve either got the

passion for it or you haven’t,” he

says. “For me, making someone

else happy with what I can do is

the biggest attraction. You can

change someone’s emotions and

make them feel a certain way, just

by cooking for them.”

7


After attending an open day at Birmingham College

of Food, he fell in love with buzz of the kitchen

and the idea of being part of a team. He signed up

straight away.

Determined to cut his culinary teeth at the highest

level, Liam left college and headed to the capital

for a baptism of fire in one of the most prestigious

kitchens in the business, under acclaimed two

Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing at his

eponymous restaurant at The Berkeley.

With a formidable reputation, Wareing - now a judge

on MasterChef: the Professionals, who himself was

a protege of one Gordon Ramsey before a muchpublicised

falling-out between the two chefs - was a

hard taskmaster.

“It was a tough environment, but it made me realise

the level I needed to be at,” says Liam. “It was

exhausting work but I thrived on it, and if I hadn’t

gone there I don’t think I’d be where I am now.

You’ve got to be a certain sort of person to take the

pressure of that sort of kitchen and put it to the

back of your mind. I was doing 18 hours a day and

working myself into ground.”

After six months Liam found himself - undeservedly,

he feels - on the wrong end of Wareing’s hairdryer

treatment and decided enough was enough.

Determined to hone his trade among the very upper

echelons of the culinary world, Liam set his sights on

a new challenge.

With a passion for seafood and a love of Australia,

there was one restaurant which stood out among

the rest. Quay in Sydney, with great Australian chef

Peter Gilmore at the helm, was 26th in the world at

the time, so Liam applied for a six-month travel visa,

jumped on a plane and went after his dream job.

“Learning how they looked after fish and seafood

was incredible,” says Liam. “I worked

around a lot of the sections so over the six

months I saw a lot and did a lot. I knew I

wasn’t going to be there for a long time so I

crammed in as much as I could.

“I could have stayed longer but I’d have

had to move restaurants because of the

visa situation. They offered my a place at

one of their sister restaurants, but I went to

Australia for that job, and I was very lucky to

get it, so I thought if I couldn’t work at Quay

anymore then it was time to go home.”

Back home, Will Holland held a Michelin

star at La Becasse in Ludlow, and a place in

his kitchen was to be Liam’s next stepping

stone.

“He was young to be in the position he was

in, he was going to be in the kitchen every day and

that was attractive to me,” he says.

“In a lot of restaurants which have three or two stars,

it’s only the senior members of staff who touch fish

and who touch meat, but at one-star level you see a

lot more. Under Will I was breaking all the fish and

meat down, I was making all the sauces.

“Will took me under his wing and pushed me really

hard. He knew that I knew what it took, and that he

could lean on me. And he was one of the first people

I was working hard for, not only for myself but to

make him happy. And he repaid me by looking after

me.

“I left on really good grounds and we’re still friends

now, which is a really nice thing especially when you

take into account how hard kitchens can be.”

With an eye on working in the States, Liam headed

to New York for stints in the kitchen at Eleven

Madison Park - at the time eighth in the world - and

Restaurant Daniel, both three stars, and two-starred

8


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Gilt. He was offered a permanent role at Eleven

Madison Park, but difficulties in getting a working

visa meant his hopes were dashed.

Undeterred, Liam won an internship at the world’s

best restaurant, Copenhagen’s Noma, and was once

again on his travels.

“It was the best restaurant in the world and I wanted

to see what the fuss was about, what made it so

special,” Liam says.

“It was an amazing experience; the kitchen was

incredible, the way they dealt with the ingredients.

And it was such a tight knit team; you walked into a

kitchen which was just winning.

“The interns were just the dogsbodies, but we got

to work in different areas; one week I was in the

development kitchen, one week on staff dinners

- which was probably more nerve-wracking than

cooking for the customers.”

Two months into his three-month internship, an

opportunity came up to be part of a restaurant

opening in Chelsea. It was, Liam felt, too good a

chance to turn down, so it was back to the UK.

While being involved in the opening proved

invaluable experience, the restaurant itself lacked the

kitchen buzz Liam craved from his Marcus Wareing

days. So he soon found himself back in that heady

environment at Tom Sellers’ newly Michelin-starred

Restaurant Storey.

“No two days are the same, you’re chasing your tail

most of the day but when it gets to service that buzz

and energy is there,” he says.

Suitably impressing during his 18 months at

Restaurant Storey, Liam was asked by Tom Sellers to

help set up The Lickfold Inn in West Sussex. And it

was from Sussex to Staffordshire, where it was time

to turn the dream of running his own place into a

reality.

Back in the Midlands, Liam worked in a temp role

while looking for a site to set up on his own, investing

every spare penny in kitchen equipment which he

stored in his garage in preparation for finding his

perfect restaurant venture, initially looking at sites in

Birmingham before landing on a place in his home

city.

“I thought that to make a business I needed more

passing trade and more people,” says Liam. “But

then, when I looked at other chefs who have done

well, they’ve just created their own thing, they’re own

little honeypot almost. So that’s the journey we’re

now on, we’re creating something here in Lichfield.

“It all just made sense; growing up in Lichfield and

coming back to Lichfield. This is my baby now, I’m

trying to nurture the place for make it a solid, viable

business first of all, and then to get the accolades to

attract people to come here.

“We’re changing all the time and we’re perfecting

what we do; it’s a very special place.”

And with plenty of interest from Michelin already,

surely a star is next on Liam’s agenda?

“Anyone that says they’re not interested in the

Michelin Guide or a star is a liar,” he laughs. “The

impact it would have on a business, because of the

following they have, would be enormous.

“I’ve worked at a high standard for all of my career

so I’m just doing what I’ve always done here. I

remember talking to Jason Atherton when I went

to eat at his place years ago, and he

said if we work like a three star, it

doesn’t matter if we don’t have the

three stars because we’re still sticking

to that standard. And that’s what

I’m doing here. If we work to the

standard of a one star, then it doesn’t

matter if we have it or not, it’s

having that standard in place.

“But ultimately, it would be amazing.

Getting a star here, where I grew up,

would be insane.”

Insane? Quite the opposite, in fact.

Will Liam be the chef to bring

Michelin glory to Lichfield? Few in

the know would bet against it.

For more details and to

make a booking visit www.

theboatinnlichfield.com

10


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PROPERTY

Property of the Month

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

THE AREA EACH MONTH. THIS MONTH’S SELECTION IS A UNIQUE PROPERTY IN ONE

OF SUTTON COLDFIELD’S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER LOCATIONS

Mallory, Little Aston Park Road, Sutton Coldfield: £1,250,000

On the market with Amity Properties: 0121 448 8080

THE AGENT SAYS: Built in the early 1930s around

the same time the eponymous climber was making his

famed ascent of Mount Everest, Mallory is a home with

a rich heritage, with architectural links to the renowned

Birmingham Town Hall.

Encapsulating all that is quirky and unique about Art Deco

style, this Grade II listed building is so original that the

current owners have spoken with film companies about its

potential use on television. They have even been approached

about Mallory being used as the setting for music videos.

Fame and fortune are never far away from such an

esteemed postcode as this, as Little Aston is a much sought

after location for footballers and celebrities, with previous

venerated inhabitants including James Bond himself – Sir

Roger Moore, and ex-Aston Villa footballer Peter Schmeichel

– voted best goalkeeper of the 20th century.

If splendour, finesse and a dash of starry-eyed glamour

are what you are seeking, Mallory eagerly awaits your

acquaintance.

In summertime, step out into the 0.65 acres of green oasis

that is your wildlife garden. Sit back with a glass of something

refreshingly chilled as the youngsters frolic about safely on

the vast lawn. Pets will be in their element bounding about

in this safely secured outdoor arena. As the sun moves across

the garden, let the sounds of birdsong soothe your soul,

surrounded by the protective encirclement of the many

mature protected trees that call Mallory home. Smell the

heady scent of something sizzling on the barbeque as you

soak in the serenity of your own Eden.

W E L O V E :

THE STUNNING, UNIQUE

ARCHITECTURE AND THE

IMMACULATELY STYLISH INTERIORS

12


FREE no obligation design service with our kitchen specialists

16 -18 Britannia Way Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield WS14 9UY • 01543 263340

info@lichfieldkitchensandbedrooms.com • www.lichfieldkitchensandbedrooms.com

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


PROPERTY

Million pound home

WHAT DOES A COOL £1 MILLION BUDGET GET YOU IN THE MIDLANDS? OUR PICK

OF THE MILLION-POUND HOMES CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET IS THIS BEAUTIFULLY

STYLISH PERIOD PROPERTY NESTLED IN THE STAFFORDSHIRE COUNTRYSIDE

Bromley Lodge, Bromley Wood, Abbots Bromley: £1,000,000

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

THE AGENT SAYS: Bromley Lodge is a very handsome

Victorian property, set in 2.5 acres of beautiful gardens and

paddocks. It sits on the edge of the very pretty and sought

after village of Abbots Bromley overlooking the stunning

rolling countryside.

The house is beautifully presented and offers a wealth of

period features, yet has all the modern comforts one would

expect of a luxury country home. A beautiful hallway with

attractive tiling to floor leads onto the main drawing room

which is a beautifully proportioned room with windows to the

front, and side, which overlook the surrounding countryside.

The grand stone fireplace is a real showstopper and houses an

impressive real fire for those cosy nights in.

The kitchen has a range of wooden shaker style units with

granite worktops, twin butlers sinks and an Alpha range

cooker which serves the hot water and central heating system.

A lovely feature in the kitchen is a well, which has been made

into a focal point with backlighting and a glass cover.

Off the kitchen is a magnificent orangery which has a vaulted

oak framed ceiling. Currently used as a dining room, this

room has lovely views over the cottage garden.

The master has a feature fireplace and beautiful views over

neighbouring fields. The second bedroom also has a feature

fireplace and views to the front. There are two further double

bedrooms which share an ensuite and a stunning large spa

style master bathroom.

W E L O V E :

THE COSY COUNTRY FEEL

AND SPACIOUS GROUNDS

14


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Open: Mon to Fri 9.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 10am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm.

(Open Good Friday and Easter Monday, Closed Easter Sunday)


INTERIORS

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Havana

haven

CUBA’S capital, Havana, is celebrating its 500th year

anniversary in November this year which means Cuban

decor is making its way into our homes in a big way.

From large, leafy tropical plants to nostalgic nods, this

wonderful, bright and fun style is easy to replicate with a

few simple touches.

Cubans love vivid colours. Think bright colours faded

under the sun combined with pastels; ocean-inspired

blues and greens alongside terracotta oranges and

vibrant yellows. Use on large walls and contrast with

different coloured trim.

Cuban homes often feature textured layers of paint and

plaster and rustic furnishings. Use a lime wash paint

to give the walls a weathered look and, for furnishings,

introduce some texture with chunky wood pieces and

rustic metal.

From the iconic 1950s cars which still grace the streets

today, to the beautiful art deco buildings, Havana is a

haven for nostalgic influences. Use vintage adverts, car

photos and licence plates, or introduce a few art deco

antiques or replicas as key pieces to fill spaces and to add

interest and charm to a room.

£399

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BRASS FLAMINGO LEG TABLE LAMP,

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PALM LEAF PRINT CERAMIC BOWL, CULT

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ASTORIA ARMCHAIR IN CORAL

VELVET, ATKIN AND THYME.

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£8

16


Woodburning &

multifuel stoves

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.


HEATHER VELVET PALM PRINT CHAIR, CULT

FURNITURE. WWW.CULTFURNITURE.COM

IMAN BRASS LAMP, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.

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£67.50

JARDIN TROPICAL PENDANT

LIGHT, DECOVILLE.

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SWANAGE GREEN TABLE

LAMP, THE FARTHING.

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£99

£440

£165

£850

FILIP TABLE LAMP, DAR LIGHTING GROUP.

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£144

£52

£21.99

MIAMI RECLAIMED TV STAND,

SMITHERS OF STAMFORD.

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PALM FRONDS CERAMIC VASE,

OUT THERE INTERIORS.

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BARCRAFT METALLIC GOLD

PINEAPPLE GLASS DRINKS

DISPENSER, WAYFAIR.

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CALLIGARIS DINING TABLE AND CHAIRS,

£POA, COOKES FURNITURE.

WWW.CULTFURNITURE.COM

18


ELABORATE RATTAN PEACOCK CHAIR,

£490, OUT THERE INTERIORS.

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BANANA LEAVES WALLPAPER

BY MINDTHEGAP, £150, LIME LACE.

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BIRDS OF PARADISE WALLPAPER, £150,

DECOVILLE. WWW.DECOVILLE.CO.UK

ANNIE SLOAN WITH CHARLESTON CHALK

PAINT IN TILTON, £19.95/LITRE.

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I N T E R I O R S

FRINGE YELLOW VELVET LAMP, £120,

ABODE LIVING. WWW.ABODELIVING.CO.UK

Fringe

benefits

TASSELS and fringing were a prominent fashion

feature on the AW18 catwalks and this retro look is now

making its way into our homes in 2019. The look can be

introduced to your home on lights, mirrors, furniture,

cushions and other accessories, and is a great way to add

some fun and texture to sleek, minimalist spaces.

If you’re concerned about the naff factor and reminders

of your Granny’s house, then rest assured that this

time around the look is more chic boutique than old

fashioned 1970s.

Make a bold statement with fringed ceiling lights or even

a fringed chandelier. For a more subtle look, a fringed

lamp will add just the right amount of interest and

texture to a gloomy corner of a room.

Fringed furniture is definitely a more prominent retro

fringed look and will appeal to those who really want

to embrace the trend and turn heads. Many furniture

pieces can be ordered with a fringe added to the bottom

such as sofas, footstools and occasional chairs.

£740

HULA NATURAL FRINGE BASKET

SET OF TWO, THE FARTHING.

WWW.THEFARTHING.CO.UK

EMERALD GREEN FRINGE TABLE LIGHT,

THE FRENCH BEDROOM CO.

WWW.FRENCHBEDROOMCOMPANY.CO.UK

£185

DENTON WALL LIGHT, BESSELINK &

JONES. WWW.BESSELINK.COM

£195

20


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


£50

ISAAC FRINGED ARMCHAIR,

SWEETPEA & WILOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

BLUE VELVET CUSHION COVER

WITH FRINGING, AUDENZA.

WWW.AUDENZA.COM

TALLULAH CUSHION,

SWEETPEA & WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

£39.95

£599

£POA

OXFORD FRINGED OTTOMAN,

SWEETPEA & WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

SEVILLIANA SOFA, COVET HOUSE.

WWW.COVETHOUSE.EU

£252

ZUIVER MARVEL PERSIAN STYLE

RUG IN BLUSH PINK, £299,

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

22


BROADWICK SQUARE CUSHION, £135,

AND BROADWICK OBLONG CUSHION,

£110, SOHO HOUSE 76 DEAN STREET

COLLECTION. WWW.SOHOHOME.COM

BLOOMINGVILLE GOLD TABLE LAMP WITH WHITE

FRINGE LAMPSHADE, £105, HURN & HURN.

WWW.HURNANDHURN.COM

NAPPA TABLE LAMP, £130, OLIVER

BONAS. WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

ERO VELVET TASSEL FLOOR LAMP, £135,

AND FLORA ARMCHAIR, £395, OLIVER

BONAS. WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM


F E AT U R E

Challenging gender inequality

BIRMINGHAM ENTREPRENEUR SHAHERAZAD UMBREEN IS MAKING STRIDES IN THE GENDER

EQUALITY STRUGGLE WITH THE LAUNCH OF HER NEW BOOK ON WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

Shoe designer and entrepreneur Shaherazad

Umbreen has launched her debut book in time for

International Women’s Day last month, exploring the

gender gap and looking at how women can empower

themselves and each other.

Each Other: Why Women Must Empower Women

is designed to be read by women everywhere in

accessible, easily digestible chapters with a clear

toolkit of empowering actions included.

The book, which is available on Amazon and

shaherazad.com, features insights from feminists such

as Helen Pankhurst and Deborah Rodriguez, as well

as explorations of inequality quandaries such as the

gender pay gap, why girls suffer from hunger more

than boys, and even Iceland’s very strange penis

museum.

Shaherazad, who won the prestigious Winston

Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship in 2018, said

she originally came up with the idea for the research

when she set up her empowering shoe business,

Shoes by Shaherazad, three years ago.

“My shoes are designed to carry women in comfort

from the boardroom to the bar and my book is

designed to give women clear calls to action to end

the gender inequality conundrum,” she explains.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship

funded Shaherazad’s travels across the UK,

Germany, Iceland and Kuwait to explore what

women can do to finally end inequality. Her book

asserts that men have been the privileged sex for far

too long and that it is time for women to do more to

empower each other.

“There is not a single country in the world where

women have full equality with men. It’s time that

women take control and make gender equality our

reality,” said Shaherazad. “In the book I explore a

world where belonging on any part of the gender

spectrum does not limit or enhance your life chances.

“Iceland is the number one country in the world for

gender equality but even there women are paid 14%

less than men. My book and the toolkit within it

calls for women to take action to end male privilege.

For example, increasing paternity leave sounds

counterintuitive to the struggle but will actually help

to enable gender equality. The book reveals what

would happen to population growth if men could

SHOE DESIGNER AND

AUTHOR SHAHERAZAD

UMBREEN

give birth; it challenges what men’s appetite for sex

would be if there was a chance that they would have

to bear the pain of pregnancy and childbirth.”

The content is designed to appeal to women who

believe in equality but don’t know where to start

in supporting change. It explores how to deal with

sexist language in meetings - such as when people

say, ‘tits up’ or ‘man up’ - how to deal with sexual

misdemeanours; how to enable women to gain senior

leadership positions and how to support the feminist

agenda by ensuring that male partners play their

fair share in the domestic sphere. It is her straight

talking pragmatism and clear actions that are seeing

Shaherazad get the thumbs up from readers.

One pre-launch reader said: “I experienced many

emotions whilst reading this book. It is incredibly

thought-provoking as I found myself recalling the

advice when I was going about my everyday life - I

had never seen women’s subjugation in this way

before. I’m done with being seen and treated as the

poorer sex.”

Whatever your thoughts are on feminism, this

entertaining and factual narrative is guaranteed to

make you think again.

More information on Shaherazad and her book

Each Other: Why Women Must Empower Women is

available online at www.shaherazad.com

24


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E A S T E R

Cracking Easter treats

WITH EASTER SUNDAY FALLING A LITTLE LATER THIS YEAR ON APRIL 21, MAKE SURE YOUR

CHOCOLATEY INDULGENCES ARE WORTH THE WAIT. WE’VE BEEN ON THE HUNT FOR 2019’S

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VEGAN SEASIDE STUDDED

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26


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£80

28


ESTABLISHED IN SUTTON COLDFIELD SINCE 1990

WELSH GOLD

WE HAVE RE-LOCATED TO THE GRACECHURCH SHOPPING CENTRE IN SUTTON COLDFIELD

SPECIALISTS IN NEW AND PRE-LOVED FINE DIAMOND JEWELLERY.

OFFERING A BESPOKE DESIGN SERVICE AND ON-SITE REPAIRS.

202 GRACECHURCH CENTRE, SUTTON COLDFIELD, B72 1PA

T: 0121 355 0620

W: WWW.ATKINSONSTHEJEWELLER.COM

E: INFO@ATKINSONSTHEJEWELLER.COM


FCO O OM D P E& T ID TRI OI NK

A jewellery treasure trove

A PRESTIGIOUS SUTTON COLDFIELD JEWELLERS HAS MOVED INTO A STUNNING NEW FLAGSHIP

SHOWROOM - AND TO CELEBRATE, ONE LUCKY J’AIME READER WILL WIN A BEAUTIFUL PENDANT

FROM THEIR NEW CLOGAU WELSH GOLD RANGE, WORTH £199

Atkinsons the Jeweller is a family business which

was established by husband and wife team, Paul and

Keeley Atkinson, on the Birmingham Road in Sutton

Coldfield in 1990.

Following several years gaining experience working

for other family jewellers, Paul decided it was time

to become a true independent. The Royal Town of

Sutton Coldfield was to be their destination after

identifying that this was an area lacking the products

and expertise that they had to offer.

Paul says: “We have recently moved to our beautiful

new showroom within the Gracechurch Shopping

Centre - here we have employed several new

members of staff, adding a wealth of additional

experience to our established sales team.”

This month, Atkinsons the Jeweller is launching

prestigious Welsh gold jewellery brand Clogau in

store.

Clogau is a second generation family business

based in Wales. For 30 years, the growing range of

jewellery has captured the hearts and imaginations

of jewellery lovers from far and wide. Every piece

they create contains rare Welsh gold - the gold of

royalty for more than 100 years.

Clogau jewellery is seen as an heirloom with both

a personal and cultural meaning and a permanent

tie to Wales - something valuable to pass down the

generations.

Paul adds: “We have beautiful collections of fine

diamond, gold, silver and gem-set jewellery.

“We are also locally renowned for being specialists

in pre-loved jewellery, featuring a collection which is

unrivalled locally, and we will buy old gold and many

types of unwanted jewellery items.”

Atkinsons the Jeweller also offers an in-house bespoke

jewellery design service, where they can create - or

recreate - a piece of jewellery to meet your unique

specifications.

Paul says: “We ensure that from inspiration to

completion, you are involved in every step. A model

is created to allow you, to view the piece in detail

before it is cast in the specified precious metal. Once

cast, hallmarked, set and polished, the piece will be

transformed. Throughout each step, we like to keep

you informed and photographs of the process will be

documented, which are available upon request.

“We can remodel jewellery into a brand new

design just for you, reusing stones to enable you to

hold on to the original sentiment. We also offer a

full aftercare service to ensure that your jewellery

continues to look its best.”

On-site after sales services include watch battery

fitting, ring sizing, a jewellery cleaning service and

products and valuations.

Atkinsons the Jeweller also have an additional

bullion business, which can be found online at www.

atkinsonsbullion.com.

Paul says: “Here at Atkinsons we have been dealing

in physical gold and silver for over 25 years and no

one can match our passion and expertise. We are

committed to providing a simple, discreet and secure

way to purchase the most competitively priced gold

and silver bullion bars and coins.”

For more details pop into the new Atkinsons the

Jeweller showroom at the Gracechurch Shopping

Centre in Sutton Coldfield, or visit the website

www.atkinsonsthejeweller.com

30


The competition

THE KENSINGTON LOVE STORY PENDANT, WORTH £199, IS PART

OF THE NEW CLOGAU WELSH GOLD RANGE WHICH COMES TO

ATKINSONS THIS MONTH.

THE LOVE BETWEEN QUEEN VICTORIA AND PRINCE ALBERT

REDEFINED IDEAS OF A ROYAL LOVE MATCH. THE DAY BEFORE THEIR

MARRIAGE, ALBERT PRESENTED VICTORIA WITH A SAPPHIRE BROOCH

SURROUNDED BY 12 DIAMONDS. THIS COLLECTION CELEBRATES THE

UNION OF VICTORIA AND HER PRINCE.

ONE LUCKY READER WILL WIN

THIS BEAUTIFUL KENSINGTON

LOVE STORY PENDANT

THIS KENSINGTON LOVE STORY PENDANT DISPLAYS ELEGANCE. THE

STERLING SILVER ‘V’ IS SET WITH 12 WHITE TOPAZ WHILE THE ROSE

GOLD ‘A’ FRAMES THE STUNNING LONDON BLUE TOPAZ.

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THIS BEAUTIFUL PIECE,

SIMPLY ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

Where is Atkinsons the Jeweller now based?

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

to competitions@jaimemagazine.com with Atkinsons the Jeweller competition as the

email subject. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, April 26, and our winner

will be notified by Wednesday, May 1. Terms and conditions apply.

Visit www.jaimemagazine.com for further details.

31


F O O D & D R I N K

High steaks dining

RED MEAT, RED WINE AND A GLAMOROUS LATIN AMERICAN VIBE ARE THE ORDER OF THE DAY

AT BIRMINGHAM’S ARGENTINIAN FAVOURITE GAUCHO, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS

For some, it’s the comforting allure of a perfectly

roast chicken on a Sunday; for many more it’s the

heady scent of smoky bacon, piled between two

beautifully soft slices of crusty white bread as the

straw which breaks the camel’s back.

My oldest friend, after all, was vegetarian for most of

our teenage years, until the aforementioned bacon

butty proved a temptation too far.

But, for me, it would be a beautifully rare fillet steak

which would be my downfall. I’d happily go meatfree

the majority of the time - and do make an effort

to to eat vegetarian throughout the week - but when

the weekend rolls around, a hearty slab of red meat

washed down with a glass of full-bodied red wine just

hits the spot.

And when it comes to steaks, Argentinian restaurant

chain Gaucho purport to be up there with the

best. So when J’AIME was invited over to their

Birmingham restaurant to sample the new spring

menu, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.

The chain has a slew of restaurants around the

capital, with the Birmingham restaurant being one

of four further Gaucho sites around the UK.

Opened in May 2017, the Colmore Row eatery

quickly became a dining destination in the buzzing

business district of the city, attracting discerning

diners in their droves with the promise of impeccable

Argentinian steaks, Latin American flavours, fine

wines and delectable cocktails.

The restaurant itself oozes glamour; from the

low-lit, mirrored entrance with its plush black

carpet, through to the sizeable dining space itself,

resplendent with sparkling chandeliers and plush

velvet seating.

We were shown to a spacious booth for what

promised to be a lunchtime treat. Armed with

menus, and sparkling water to slake our thirsts, we set

about making those all-important choices.

As a gluten-free diner, my friend’s options looked

fairly limited at first glance when it came to starters.

But our waitress was quick to point out that a

number of dishes could be adapted, recommending

both the beetroot tartare - minus its sourdough crisp

- at £8.50, and the burrata salad, £11.50.

My friend initially scoffed at the thought of salad

as an affront to his masculinity. But this was a salad

in name only. A hefty wedge of oozy burrata - a

creamier, more indulgent and flavoursome cousin of

mozzarella - was piled atop a smooth avocado puree

and sweetly juicy heirloom tomatoes, and adorned

32


with a pistachio dressing. It was,

he conceded, a rather excellent

choice.

My tuna ceviche, £13.50, was as

fresh as a daisy; wonderfully meaty

little chunks of marinated fish

packed into beautifully charred

palmito - or heart of palm -and

spilling out onto the plate, jewels

of pomegranate, sweetly sour

grapefruit and popping pearls of

sharply citrus yuzu made for a

dazzling combination.

The complementary bread with a

rather delicious chimichurri butter

was a treat too; the cheese bread

was divine, and a gluten-free option was served up

without hesitation.

So far, so impressive. And it didn’t stop there.

While there are a few delicious-sounding options

for those who prefer something other than a slab of

meat - as well as a couple of choices for non meateaters

- it was the steaks we’d come for, and so the

steaks we’d jolly well have.

Gaucho’s steaks all come from premium Black

Angus cows, bred in Argentina and reared in rather

luxurious free-range surroundings - these are, in fact,

some pretty pampered cows.

We were presented with the beef board, the day’s

selection laid out in all it’s meaty glory while our

waitress explained the different cuts on offer as well

as advice on how to have each one cooked to get the

very best flavour.

Leaner cuts like fillet and rump, naturally, needs very

little cooking and are best rare or less, while fattier

ribeye benefits from a little more time on the grill.

As well as the four main cuts of cuadril, chorizo,

ancho and lomo - or rump, sirloin, ribeye and

fillet - the day’s special was the colita de lomo, or a

spiral cut from the tail end of the fillet described as

superbly tender.

My friend ordered a rib-eye, £27, cooked medium

to make the most of that fat marbling, with a fried

egg topper - it is, he claimed, James Bond’s meal of

choice, and what’s good enough for 007 is, well, not

to be sniffed at.

I opted for the fillet, £30.50, cooked rare and no

more, while chips were the side of choice, taking

preference of the alternative kale and rocket salad

offered up with each steak. A glass of Argentinian

Malbec, from Gaucho’s own vineyard, no less,

proved to be a worthy complement.

There are no steak knives at Gaucho, and their

absence proved to be a very good sign. These were

steaks of the highest order; the meltingly tender fillet

with a beautifully chargrilled crust was everything I

hoped for, while the perfectly rendered fat marbling

gave the ribeye a wonderful depth of flavour.

Blue cheese hollandaise and peppercorn sauces

ordered on the side were relegated to chip-dipping

only; the meat needed no additions.

After such a hearty feast, the dessert menu was given

just a cursory glance; even Gaucho’s signature dulce

de leche cheesecake, £9.50, which came with the

highest recommendation from our waitress, felt like a

step too far.

We required just the smallest of sweet treats to finish

off, so it was ice cream all round. Ever the awkward

diner, I opted for the affogato from the set lunch

menu rather than one of the a la carte desserts; the

usual vanilla of the Italian favourite eschewed here

in favour of a more Argentinian vibe with dulce de

leche. The potent shot of espresso, combined with

the rich caramel tones of the dulce de leche ice

cream and a smattering of shortbread crumble made

for the perfect post-meal pick-me-up.

Gaucho’s reputation for superlative steaks is wellearned;

surely, these are some of the tastiest cuts to

be found in the city. But, away from the steaks, the

restaurant offers the complete package for anyone

looking for a stylish dining destination; a welcoming

ambience and attentive staff who really know their

stuff which, when teamed with the great food on

offer, makes for a dynamite combination.

33


F O O D & D R I N K

Cocktail of the month

IF YOU PREFER YOUR EASTER TREATS WITH A LITTLE MORE OF A KICK, SIMON JOYCE FROM

LICHFIELD’S LE RÊVE COCKTAIL BAR, HAS RUSTLED UP THE PERFECT BOOZY INDULGENCE

Dream Soda

25ml Cacao Blanc

12.5ml Vanilla vodka

12.5ml Triple sec or Cointreau

2 squares white chocolate

Add all ingredients into your shaker and

top up with Ice and shake.

Double strain into a tall glass filled with

ice. Top with cream soda and garnish with

an orange wedge and white chocolate

shavings to finished this white chocolate

Easter treat!

34


The

Boat Inn

Michelin recommended

Exclusive Offer: 3 Course Meal for 2 For £39*

The 2 AA Rosette Oak Room Restaurant at Moor Hall offers the perfect

combination of modern British food and friendly attentive service.

Quote J’AIME MAGAZINE OFFER when you book to claim this offer.

Please note there are additional supplement for some dishes. This offer is valid

Monday to Friday until 31st May 2019 for reservations between 6.30pm and 7.15pm

and 8.30pm and 9pm. A supplement of £5 per person applies on Saturday.

Winners of ‘Best New Independent Restaurant in Staffordshire

and now

Newcomer of the Year - Estrella’s Top 50 Gastro Pubs in the UK.

We have re-designed our beer garden!

Come along to our Summer Garden Party launch

on Sunday May 5th

Now hosting regular chef events with liam and

his kitchen team cooking with renowned chefs

MON 20TH MAY - Rob Palmer from Michelin starred ‘Peels’

restaurant will be joining Liam for a collaboration evening.

See local press and our website for information

Book now for our

St George’s Day Lunch

Tuesday 23rd April

12.30pm for 1pm

Join us for a themed three course

lunch with live entertainment

from The Bluebird Belles.

£30 per person

Book now for our

Ascot Ladies Day Lunch

Thursday 20th June

From midday

A superb three course lunch

followed by an afternoon at the

races courtesy of big screens.

£72.50 per person

Call for details - 01543 361692 - Open Wednesday - Sunday

www.theboatinnlichfield.com

Walsall Road, Lichfield WS14 0BU

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

0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk weddings@moorhallhotel.co.uk

POP UP MICHELIN STAR

FINE DINING EVENTS IN LICHFIELD!

Delivering exciting and new dining experiences to your doorstep through a series

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DAN

SAUNDERS

HEAD CHEF,

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THE WALNUT TREE

ABERGAVENNY

29 APRIL 19

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SIMON

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20 MAY 19

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F O O D & D R I N K

Perfect pairings

ALI MOUNTJOY, MANAGER OF INDULGENCE WINE AND CHOCOLATE SHOP

AT BARTON MARINA, TAKES A LOOK AT SOME EXCITING WINES FOR EASTER

As we approach Easter and we start to think about extended family time, organising egg hunts and the like,

it is easy to dream up the all the tasty sweet and savoury things we’re likely to enjoy over the long weekend,

including a tradition in many a household - lamb. This month, we’re looking beyond the Sunday roast and

embracing some alternative lamb dishes and their perfect wine accompaniment.

CANTINA FINA KIKE 2017, SICILY

Cantina Fina is situated on the coastline in Sicily up in

the highlands of the island. Kike is made mainly from

Gewurztraminer, known locally as Traminer Aromatico,

which has only been planted on the island in recent years.

The grape really shines in a cool, high altitude climate

which is clear when considering that its homeland is in the

Alps mountain region.

Sardinians have named it aromatico with good reason.

The delicious Kike has an intensely perfumed nose with

notes of rose, Turkish delight, pineapple and lychee.

The palate is rich and opulent with a beautiful streak of

mineral freshness throughout rounded off with a spicy

finish. There is also some

Sauvignon Blanc in

the blend, emphasising

citrusy flavours.

Marlborough drinkers

are bound to enjoy this.

Think: Fruity lamb tagine

with raisins, apricots

and plenty of herbs and

spices

AGLIANICO DI BENEVENTANO 2016, CANTINA

TOMBACCO, CAMPANIA

Rich dishes require a bold style of wine and Aliagnico

fits the bill perfectly. The grape originates from the south

of Italy and dates back to Roman times. The grape has

earned the nickname, ‘Barolo of the South’ due to its

similarities in structure and complexity of Piedmont’s

Barolo.

This fine example has an enveloping nose of dark ripe

fruits and a hint of

leather and spice. The

palate is smooth and

silky with beautifully

balanced body and

tannin. Equal is

both softness and

persistence; this is

comfort foods’ dream.

Think: Shepherd’s pie

or Irish lamb stew and

dumplings

CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016, ROCCA DELLE

MACCIE, TUSCANY

Laurel and Hardy. Strawberries and cream. Some things

just belong together. Lamb and Sangiovese is another

long-standing classic pairing.

Chianti, arguably the most famous wine area to produce

Sangiovese, is located in Tuscany, a stunning region

steeped in wine-making history. With big contenders in the

region such as Brunello and Bolgheri, Chianti has had to

up its game and in the last few decades, it has dramatically

increased in quality.

For Chianti Classico, grapes are selected from the best

vineyards in the area which is said to be the birthplace

of Tuscan winemaking. The resulting wines offer

greater finesse, complexity and structure than the more

widespread Chianti. They also require a minimum of one

year’s aging before being released for sale.

This wine is laden with

aromas of cherry and pretty

violet with a light spiciness.

The palate offers stewed red

fruits, warm vanilla and a

savoury, persistent finish.

Think: Grilled lamb chops

with roasted Mediterranean

vegetables

PRENDO PINOT NOIR 2017, WILHELM WALCH,

ALTO ADIGE

In the world-class winemaking district of Alto Adige lies

the small medieval village of Traminer, where Wilhelm

Walch founded his wine cellars in 1869. This is Italy’s

northernmost grape growing region where thanks to the

high-altitude alpine terrain, wines are characterised by

freshness and purity of fruit. ‘Prendo’ is no exception.

This delicate Pinot is

refined and beautifully

balanced with lively

flavours of strawberry,

cherry and hints

of liquorice and

smokiness.

Think: Juicy and pink

rack of lamb with

rosemary roast potatoes

36


Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy

My offices are situated in the historic city of Lichfield and I have been providing personal

wealth management advice to my clients for more

than 25 years.

I specialise in the following key areas

and welcome your enquiry:

• Investment Planning

• InheritanceTax and Estate Planning

• Pre and Post-Retirement Planning

• Care Fees Planning and Funding for Care

Telephone: 01543 417342

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.

W I N E T A S T I N G E V E N T S

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.

Plus…

Irresistible Italian Chocolates

Italian Craft Beers

and more…

28th March - Chocolate and Wine

11th April - The Best of Tuscany

25th April - Cheese and Wine Pairing

9th May - The Best of Sicily

23rd May - Chocolate and Wine

13th June - Frizzante Wines of Italy

27th June - Cheese and Wine Pairing

11th July - The Wines of Southern Italy

25th July - Chocolate and Wine

8th August - The Wines of Northern Italy

22nd August - Frizzante Wines

12th September - Vegan Wines of Italy

26th September - Cheese and Wine Pairing

10th October - The Grand Tour of Italy

24th October - Cheese and Wine Pairing

7th November - The Grand Tour of Italy

21st November - Sardinia’s Unique Wines

5th December - What to Drink on Christmas Day

19th December - Chocolate and Wine

For further information please email

info@indulgenceshop.co.uk

Barton Marina Burton upon Trent DE13 8AS

01283 716 062 www.indulgenceshop.co.uk


H E A LT H

Superfoods for a super you

LICHFIELD PERSONAL TRAINER RAUL ROMERO TAKES A LOOK AT A TINY SEED

WHICH IS MAKING A BIT IMPACT ON HEALTHY EATERS - THE CHIA SEED

This month we are focusing on superfoods, and in

particular charming chia seeds. Over the last few

years, this petite yet powerful seed has become very

popular among healthy eaters. Though tiny, it is

packed full of healthy goodness and thankfully, very

readily available in our supermarkets.

So why incorporate chia seeds into your diet?

• Rich in fibre – fab for those of us with big

appetites as it makes us feel fuller for longer.

A 25g portion (about a 1/4 cup) of chia seeds

contains approximately 9g of fibre. The daily

recommended amount of fibre for an adult is

30g, so including a 25g portion of chia seeds into

our meals per day will help us immensely. Fibre is

important for a healthy digestive system and many

of us do not reach the daily recommended target.

• Rich in healthy fats – Omega-3 fatty acids are

known for their anti-inflammatory effects, as well

as enhancing brain and heart health. Chia seeds

contain omega-3 in the plant form: alpha linolenic

acid (ALA). It is much harder for humans to

convert ALA into the form preferred by the body:

DHA. Therefore the omega-3 content of chia

seeds, compared to animal sources such as oily fish,

is low. For those who do not eat fish, chia seeds are

a welcome addition to the diet, but it’s important

to recognise that conversion to DHA is minimal.

• High in protein – they are a useful source of

plant protein and provide a range of amino acids,

particularly for vegetarian and vegan diets.

• Great energy – The combination of fat, protein

and fibre means the seeds are digested relatively

slowly, providing a long, slow release of energy to

keep blood-sugar levels stable (helping us avoid the

ever easy option of reaching for the biscuit tin for a

pick-me-up snack!).

• Rich in minerals – such as calcium and

magnesium and trace elements such as manganese,

which help make enzymes.

• Helps keep bones healthy – Chia seeds are known

for their calcium content and other trace minerals

which play a huge role in maintaining healthy

bones. A 25g portion of chia contains 157mg of

calcium, which is a significant source of calcium,

and believe it or not, more than the amount in

100ml of milk!

So, ready to give them a go?

The great thing is there are hundreds

of ways to creatively incorporate chia

seeds into our diet. The easiest by far

is to simply add them to porridge or

smoothies.

A growing trend is one of my

favourites… the chia seed pudding!

The chia seed pudding is rapidly

becoming a staple fridge snack,

something tasty to grab and enjoy

which will also keep you full and sated

for longer.

38


BASIC CHIA SEED PUDDING RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

3 tbsp Chia seeds

1 cup coconut milk (or any other type of milk)

Optional:

Cacao powder 1-2 tbsp

Raspberries

METHOD:

In a jar, add the chia seeds and milk (add honey

or sweetener to taste if needed). Pop the lid on

and give it a good shake.

Allow the mixture to rest for five minutes, give it

another shake to ensure the mixture is smooth

and not lumpy. Place the lid on the jar and place

it in the fridge for a few hours, or for best results,

leave in the fridge overnight.

The consistency should be nice and thick, not

runny. Simply add more chia seeds for more

thickness then refrigerate again for another 30

minutes or so.

Serve with berries or any other toppings of

choice, and enjoy!

With all the different variations that can be added

to the chia pudding - for example chocolate,

banana, strawberry, cinamon, pecan, and peanut

butter to name a few - you are sure to find a chia

pudding to suit you. My current favourite is the

chocolate chia seed pudding.

For more tasty, nutritious recipes, visit

www.ambitionpt.co.uk

39


H E A LT H

Take time to talk

WITH MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK TAKING PLACE NEXT MONTH FROM MAY 13 TO 19, THERAPEUTIC

COUNSELLOR ALYCE WILLIAMS TAKES A LOOK AT THE BENEFITS OF OPENING UP AND BEING HEARD

I am a warm, compassionate and creative therapist.

My aim is to assist clients in the healing process and

help them to realise their full potential.

I do this by offering a non-judgemental empathetic

and accepting environment where clients can feel

heard, respected and supported throughout their

therapeutic process.

Together, we will work towards inner peace, healing,

recovery, growth and finding more meaning.

I am a Person Centred Counsellor, and if you

are wondering what that means, here is a quick

explanation. Person Centred Counselling was

devised by Carl Rogers in the 1950s, he formed a set

of beliefs about how we treat people experiencing

mental health complaints. His model moved away

from the traditional ‘patient being treated by an

expert’ to the client being treated like the expert.

The essence of PC counselling is actually very

simple; it honours empathy, acceptance, nonjudgement

and genuineness. The relationship

between client and counsellor is based around

equality and mutual respect, for me this is so

important particularly for clients who have never

experienced a positive relationship with someone

working in this arena. I am truly passionate about

this approach and believe there are many benefits to

be taken from it, some of which I am going to talk

about here.

So my first one is ‘Being Heard’; this sounds like

quite a simple thing but for many of us, we have

never really experienced being attentively listened to,

to be given the space to say exactly what we need to

without interruption, without fear of being judged

or rejected. This is powerful stuff; we all have a story

we need to share and in doing this we feel lighter,

validated, and perhaps a little less shame than we did

before.

Often in the outside world people rush to give advice

before we have even finished what we want to say,

often this advice is ‘good intentioned’ but not what

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we really need. We therapists do not offer a quick fix

of advice; in fact we run in the opposite direction

(and fast), what we really want to achieve is for the

client to be able to express themselves freely and

spontaneously without fear of reprisal. So that is

number one.

Number two. Therapy helps improve relationships.

Therapy is a place were we can experiment with

being ourselves, we can show up and be seen, we can

be accepted ‘warts and all’ a place we do not need

to hide. Good therapy, for me, pays close attention

to the developing relationship between client and

therapist and is freely spoken about without defence.

At the beginning of therapy the therapist takes the

lead in modelling a healthy boundaried relationship;

they will openly share feeling with the client, striving

at all times to be real and human. The hope, then,

is the client will feel safe enough to do the same

and eventually apply these principles to their wider

relationships. Learning the art of communication

helps us to get our needs met in a healthy way and

formulate deeper connections with others. I ask you,

who doesn’t want that?

Number three. Self awareness. A wise woman said

to me recently, ‘through awareness comes choice’. So

true; the more we know and understand ourselves,

the more we can make the right choices for us.

The more we know about how we behave and the

impact that has on us, the less self destructive we

become. For me, self awareness is one of the most

magical and transformative aspects of therapy, I

can not credit it enough. In fact, I would say that

learning about myself through my training and

my own therapy was enlightening, it freed me in so

many ways. Self awareness helped me the break

the patterns of old, made me realise what was truly

important to me. I found what I would stand up and

fight for and what I would happily let go. Knowing

yourself helps you to be genuine and therefore

trustworthy, this impacts how people respond to you

and feel when they are in your presence.

This is summed up perfectly by one of my many

favourite quotes by Dr Maya Angelou: ‘I’ve learnt

that people will forget what you said, people will

forget what you did, but people will never forget how

you made them feel’.

Alyce Williams is an MBACP-registered therapeutic

counsellor with clinics at 21 Alexandra Road,

Swadlincote, and 7 Market Square, Rugeley. For

more information or to book a session, visit

www.alycewilliamscounselling.co.uk, email

alyce.williams.counselling52@gmail.com

or call 07546 465652.

ALYCE WILLIAMS IS A

THERAPEUTIC COUNSELLOR

42


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T R AV E L

Dreaming of Vietnam

RB COLLECTION’S LUXURY TRAVEL CONSULTANT NICOLA BRERETON TOURS VIETNAM

TO EXPLORE THE DELIGHTS AND SIGHTS OF THIS VIBRANT AND FASCINATING COUNTRY

A WATER SELLER IN HALONG BAY

Vietnam has always captured my imagination for

so many different reasons. From its ancient history

through to the well known Vietnam War, something

about it was more intriguing than any of its Asian

neighbours.

When the opportunity arose for me to visit I jumped

at the chance, thinking I knew enough of the country

but not quite sure what to expect.

My whistle-stop week was to begin with a night in

Hanoi. As soon as we pulled away from the safety of

the airport the madness began and we weaved our

way through the crazy Vietnamese traffic by millions

of mopeds carrying everything from livestock to full

families including tiny babies. This was to be a small

taster of the crazy roads of Hanoi, but one we soon

became used to.

Our local guide Lee, aka Bruce Lee, took us on our

food tour and guided us through the bustling streets

and market places to try different types of local

cuisine whilst explaining to us the very simple way

of life through to local cooking traditions. This was a

fantastic way of introducing us to the city and getting

a real feel for the people and the culture as well as

giving us lots of tips to help avoid the mopeds!

The next morning we were up bright and early ready

for our drive to one of the new Natural Wonders of

the World, Halong Bay. Having seen many pictures

of the bay I was confident it was going to be a big

highlight so it was with great excitement we headed

out of the city and on to the much calmer roads.

We passed through beautiful towns and countryside,

watching locals farm the lands in their traditional

manner, many still using bulls to plough their fields to

grow rice.

After a short break en-route we arrived around

midday and embarked on our junk boat that was

to be home for the evening. This beautiful boat

in all its original glory was so cosy and with a

44


ig sundeck on top it had everything we could

wish for. As we cruised along slowly taking in the

breathtaking scenery from the sun deck it was so easy

to understand why Halong Bay has such an amazing

reputation, but no picture could ever do justice to

how stunning it really is. Later that evening we were

treated to some of the best Vietnamese food I have

ever tasted, all made on

board by the ship’s crew.

Halong Bay is known

for its stunning sunrises

and so it was with

great excitement we

all ventured up to

the sundeck to watch

the sun appear over

this majestic place,

and we were not to

be disappointed one

bit. I have had the

privilege of witnessing

some beautiful sunrises

around the world but

none of them came

close to this; as the sun

rose over the many rock

formations it truly felt

like a humbling experience.

STREET FOOD IS A MUST IN HANOI

After breakfast we disembarked and headed

back to Hanoi airport where we had a short

flight to Danang and then a 45 minute

drive to Hoi An. Having sold Hoi An for

many years I thought I had a good idea of

the area but what I was greeted with was

one of the most charming towns I have

ever encountered and I absolutely loved it.

With its old traditional rooftop buildings

bustling with local crafts this was a shopper’s

paradise and I was about to indulge. The

friendly shopkeepers allowed us to browse

without any pressure but still enjoying a

little bartering as we purchased so many

beautiful items. A number of the group even

had custom-made suits created by the many

tailors, the quality of which was outstanding.

After a leisurely morning we headed off for

a walking tour of this ancient city that has

been influenced over the years by a myriad

of traders from various cultures. Originally a

busy Cham Port, the town also has Chinese

influences scattered about, with pagodas and

assembly halls found down the streets.

Our tour guide regaled us with stories of

old as he pointed out the different buildings

and the history behind each one, before

delivering us to the stunning Japanese

Covered Bridge (Cau Nhat Ban). With so

many different influences for such a small town,

Hoi An really is a melting pot in such harmony.

This evening we dined along the river before some

more last-minute purchases and a cocktail or two in

this beautiful town that had quite literally stolen my

heart.

HALONG BAY IS ONE OF THE NEW

NATURAL WONDERS OF THE WORLD

45


The next morning we flew to Ho Chi

Minh – or as the locals still prefer to call it,

Saigon. My knowledge of Vietnam mainly

stemmed from snippets of the war and one

of the things I was most looking forward

to was our trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels. We

navigated our way through the city into

what was once the jungle; if the vast size

of this place was reminding me of my old

history lessons, the Cu Chi tunnels were

about to bring them to life. This area is

absolutely fascinating. On arrival we were

met with a museum packed with old US

weapons and what can only be described

as ‘crude’ weapons made out of whatever

was to hand that could cause maximum

damage to the enemy. Our tour deep into

the jungle was filled with mesmerising tales

of how the Viet Cong would set bloodcurdling

traps while the ingenious tunnels they dug

became more and more elaborate. We all came away

far more knowledgeable on the Vietnam War and

were all in agreement that this place is a ‘must do’ on

anyone’s itinerary.

Our drive back to Saigon was followed by an early

night as we prepared for our trip to the Mekong

Delta. After leaving our coach we boarded a

traditional wooden working boat and sailed along

the river passing local fishermen. Following a stop at

a coconut factory and sampling the local chocolates,

we made our way up a quiet stretch of the waterway

to the isolated area of Ben Tre province where we

NICOLA WAS WOWED BY

THE DELICIOUS CUISINE

THE FLOATING MARKET AT MEKONG

enjoyed a slightly faster but such an enjoyable ride

on the back of a tuk tuk. After sampling more

stunning local cuisine we were taken to our home for

the evening. Now it’s at this point I have to confess,

this was not something I was looking forward to. All

that we had been advised was that we were to spend

the evening in a local homestay and some not-sonice

visions filled my head – I was so wrong! Our

home for the evening was stunning and unbelievably

peaceful with the only sound coming from the

humming birds in the trees. Set around a main

building with rooms slightly open to the elements

this was to be a more luxurious style of camping and

with the owner showing us how to successfully climb

in to a hammock (not something I’d

attempted in the past), and presenting

us once again with the most beautifully

prepared food. It wasn’t long before

we were all heading off to bed for an

extremely restful sleep.

The next morning after breakfast we

were informed we would be travelling

back up the Mekong Delta on a rowing

boat. The news was not cause for too

much alarm - until I saw the little boats

we had to climb in to! Our rowers stood

laughing at the sheer panic of some of

the group i.e. me, as we climbed aboard

without trying to rock the boat – I

somehow managed to survive!

Our arrival back to Saigon had us

heading to the main thing I had been

looking forward to all week, our visit

to the war museum. Nothing quite

prepares you for this and it is not

something for the fainthearted but for

those that can, it is an absolute must.

46


From the moment you enter the grounds you are

confronted with massive tanks, helicopters and jeeps.

The main building is filled with pictures and accounts

of the untold stories of the war. I’m not afraid to say

I was moved to tears with some of the accounts but

as graphic and – at times – upsetting as it was, it also

gave us all a new-found knowledge of this war that

none of us had previously known. After a quick visit

to the palace and a photo opportunity at the famous

gates that Vietnam soldiers cracked down in their

tanks after Saigon was liberated, we headed back to

the hotel before one final dash to the local markets for

those last-minute souvenirs.

After a spectacular meal on our last evening in this

amazing city, we headed to the iconic Rex Hotels

rooftop bar to take in the dizzy city sights. Reflecting

on the trip, it was the friendly and welcoming people

who really made this adventure memorable. Vietnam

is without doubt a destination that deserves to be on

everyone’s bucket list. Having been on mine for many

years I’ll spend many more reliving the memories of

this truly amazing destination.

To plan and book your trip to Vietnam call Nicola

at RB Collection on 01543 258631 or email

vip@rbcollection.com.

Visit RB Collection’s luxury travel lounge, just over

one mile outside of Lichfield next door to the Co-op

with free parking outside.

Exclusive

J’AIME magazine

reader offer

FREE HANOI BY NIGHT

STREET FOOD TOUR!

BOOK YOUR TAILOR-MADE

HOLIDAY TO VIETNAM WITH US

BEFORE MAY 31, 2019 AND WE

WILL BOOK YOU ONTO THIS

WONDERFUL STREET FOOD TOUR

WITH OUR COMPLIMENTS!

NEW BOOKINGS ONLY, TERMS

AND CONDITIONS APPLY,

SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.

BUSTLING HANOI

47


LO CA L A R E A

What’s On Local

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

SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, WALSALL AND BEYOND

WHAT: RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO

WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK

WHEN: APRIL 2 TO 6

Best friends Rita and Sue get a

lift home from married Bob after

babysitting his kids. When he takes

the scenic route, offering them a

taste of adult adventure, the three

start a fling each of them think

they can control. Andrea Dunbar’s

semi-autobiographical play is a vivid

portrait of girls caught between a

brutal childhood and an unpromising

future in this bold production.

Dunbar’s ground-breaking play,

directed in 2017 by Out of Joint’s

artistic director Kate Wasserberg

and co-produced with Royal Court

Theatre and Octagon Theatre

Bolton, was seen by more than

30,000 people across the country.

The production makes a triumphant

return following overwhelming

public demand, touring the country,

including a stint at the Lichfield

Garrick this month. For more details

call the box office on 01543 412121

or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com

WHAT: VERDI’S REQUIEM

WHERE: LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL

WHEN: APRIL 13

Join Lichfield Cathedral Chorus,

under the direction of Cathy

Lamb, with soloists and the Darwin

Ensemble Chamber Orchestra as

they give their own interpretation of

this mighty work - and prepare to

be moved! Verdi’s wife Giuseppina

observed that: “A man like Verdi must

write like Verdi”, and so he did. Filled

with quite extraordinary drama and

emotional intensity, Verdi’s Messa da

Requiem was a resounding success

in Italy from its first performance

under the baton of the composer.

There are perhaps few choral works

which, as they explore the depths of

humankind’s reaction to grief, can

capture the imagination and stir up

the spirit in quite the same way as

Verdi’s Requiem. Tickets are priced

from £12. For more details visit

www.lichfield-cathedral.org

WHAT: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

WHERE: SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN HALL

WHEN: APRIL 19 TO 21

Follow us down the rabbit hole this

Easter as Joseph Purdy Productions

returns to the Town Hall with this

magical, musical adventure of Alice

in Wonderland!

Join Alice as she follows the White

Rabbit who is late for a very

important date and ventures into the

world of Wonderland. Meet the mad

hatter for an unforgettable tea party

as well as the Cheshire cat, Tweedle

Dee and Dum and help Alice ensure

its not ‘Off With her Head’ as she

finds herself in the company of The

Queen of Hearts.

With a star studded cast,

complete with glittering sets,

sparkling costumes and a

laugh-a-minute script, this

wonderful, wacky adventure is

the perfect Easter family treat.

For more details visit www.

townhallsuttoncoldfield.

co.uk

48


アパート

夀 䔀 䄀 刀 匀 伀 䘀

We’re extremely proud of the work we do. Our dedication to each client, their family and aspirations is evident

in their success. Click below to view our client stories.

Why choose us?

B E S P O K E F I N E

J E W E L L E R Y

䈀 䔀 匀 倀 伀 䬀 䔀 䘀 䤀 一 䔀 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀 ꀀ

伀 渀 攀 漀 昀 琀 栀 攀 氀 愀 爀 最 攀 猀 琀 挀 漀 氀 氀 攀 挀 琀 椀 漀 渀 猀 漀 昀

挀 漀 渀 琀 攀 洀 瀀 漀 爀 愀 爀 礀 ǻ 渀 攀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 椀 渀 琀 栀 攀 唀 䬀

Specialists in designing

and making, remodelling

and refurbishing

匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 猀 琀 猀 椀 渀 搀 攀 猀 椀 最 渀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 洀 愀 欀 椀 渀 最 Ⰰ

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“Henwood really have helped “Nick is a good listener, and “We didn’t get here by

us to live the life we want. I

that’s something you find

accident. We had help from

䄀 䰀 䰀 䔀 一 䈀 刀 伀 圀 一 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀

Henwood Court; a firm of

trust the whole team for their across the team at Henwood Henwood. We feel incredibly

Chartered Financial Planners

knowledge.”

“Henwood 䠀 攀 愀 爀 琀 漀 really 昀 吀 栀 攀 have 䌀 漀 甀 渀 helped 琀 爀 礀 匀 栀 漀 瀀 瀀 椀 渀 最 嘀 Court; “Nick 椀 氀 氀 愀 最 攀 is they a good listen.” listener, and based in Sutton lucky “We Coldfield. didn’t and fortunate.” get here by

us to live the life 匀 眀 we 椀 渀 昀 want.

Andrew & Diane Messenger 攀 渀 Ⰰ 䰀 椀 挀 I 栀 ǻ 攀 氀 搀 Ⰰ that’s something you find

accident. We had help from

Malcolm & Cynthia Pollard

Dominic & Jane Facci

trust the whole team for their across the team at Henwood Henwood. We feel incredibly

匀 琀 愀 昀 昀 漀 爀 搀 猀 栀 椀 爀 攀 圀 匀 㐀 㤀 儀 刀

knowledge.”

Court; they listen.”

lucky and fortunate.”

㔀 㐀 アパート 㐀 㠀 㤀 㐀 㠀

Andrew & Diane Messenger

Malcolm & Cynthia Pollard

Dominic & Jane Facci

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We’re extremely proud of the work we do. Our dedication to each client, their family and aspirations is evident

in their success. Click below to view our client stories.

The Henwood Court team

Our business is about expertise and personal service; to be successful, we need great people. And that’s exactly

Our purpose is to be Our focus is to improve our clients’ financial

what we have. Click each member of staff to view their profile.

our clients’ trusted

financial partner,

counsel and expert.

C r e a t i n g y o u r t o m o r r o w

The Henwood Court team

performance and well-being, giving them

the financial confidence, capability and

encouragement to live the life they want.

Our business is about expertise and personal service; to be successful, we need great people. And that’s exactly

what we have. Click each member of staff to view their profile.

Henwood Court; a firm of

Chartered Financial Planners

based in Sutton Coldfield.

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WHAT: WILLARD WIGAN THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

WHERE: SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN HALL

WHEN: APRIL 1 TO 26

Dr Willard Wigan MBE, the world’s leading microsculptor,

is to bring unbelievable new work to Sutton

Coldfield Town Hall this month in his first exhibition

in the Royal Town.

His pieces of art, some smaller than a full stop in a

newspaper, cannot be seen with the naked eye. They

are presented in the eye of a needle or on the head

of a pin and displayed under specially constructed

microscopes.

Willard Wigan Through The Looking Glass will run

from April 1 to 26 (not 7th) at the charity trust venue

and is a joint project between the Town Hall and

the Birmingham-based artist. The micro-sculptor,

who recently broke his own world record for the

world’s smallest sculpture - a baby set inside a human

hair - has just completed a new Alice in Wonderland

sculpture for his Sutton Coldfield visit.

Tickets, which can be purchased on the door, will

be £6 for adults and £4 concessions (under 16s,

students and over 65s). A pop up cafe will be available

featuring art from the Sutton Coldfield Society of

Artists, with activities available for school and youth

groups.

There will be a launch evening on Monday, April 1,

featuring a meet and greet with the artist, canapés and

welcome drink, plus tours of the Town Hall. Tickets

for this are £15.

An Evening with Willard Wigan, featuring a talk by

the artist, Q&A and entry to the exhibition will take

place on Thursday, April 11, with tickets priced at

£12.

Town Hall exhibition organiser Julie Rennison said:

“Willard has a huge affinity with Birmingham, having

held his first exhibition in the city that has become his

home, and having had such huge crowds at venues

such as the Library of Birmingham. Having visited

the Town Hall, he was immediately captivated by its

beauty and potential and was keen to work with us.

We’re excited to be bringing new visitors, not just

to the venue, but to Sutton Coldfield as an Easter

holidays destination. Our proximity to the train

station and the park, plus all the dining opportunities

between us and the cinema, means that Sutton can be

a perfect Easter day out for all ages.”

Willard, who has a permanent exhibition at The

Broadway Museum in the Cotswolds, will follow his

Sutton Coldfield show with a tour of the USA around

the Trinity Galleries chain.

For exhibition times and details, visit www.

townhallsuttoncoldfield.co.uk. School and large

group bookings should contact the box office on 0121

296 9543.

50


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LO CA L A R E A

What’s on Second City

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST

EVENTS TO COME TO BIRMINGHAM THIS MONTH

WHAT: LES MISÉRABLES

WHERE: BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

WHEN: APRIL 2 TO MAY 11

After nearly a decade since the

last sell-out UK tour, Cameron

Mackintosh’s acclaimed Broadway

production of Boublil and Schönberg’s

musical Les Misérables returns to

Birmingham Hippodrome in April

2019.

This brilliant new staging has taken

the world by storm and has been

hailed “Les Mis for the 21st Century”.

With scenery inspired by the paintings

of Victor Hugo, the magnificent score

of Les Misérables includes the songs “I

Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”,

“Bring Him Home”, “One Day

More“, “Master Of The House” and

many more. Seen by over 120 million

people worldwide in 45 countries and

in 22 languages, Les Misérables is

undisputedly one of the world’s most

popular musicals.

For more information visit

www.birminghamhippodrome.com

WHAT: ALFIE BOE

WHERE: SYMPHONY HALL

WHEN: APRIL 2 TO 3

One of the world's greatest classical

singers, Alfie Boe brings it back to the

UK, heading out on tour this month

following a landmark 2018 for the

tenor.

Last year, Alfie revealed his return to

the solo spotlight with the release of his

vibrant and instantly classic album As

Time Goes By. Released in November,

the record celebrates the golden era of

music from the 30s and 40s, a time that

is often overlooked - sandwiched as it

is between the roaring 20s and rock 'n'

roll.

Alfie is one of the best-loved vocalists

of his generation and a hugely

successful, multi-platinum selling artist.

He has triumphed on theatre stages

and in concert halls around the world

and has two recent UK number one

albums under his belt for albums in

Together, and Together Again, made

with his great friend Michael Ball. For

more details visit www.thsh.co.uk

WHAT: DISNEY ON ICE

WHERE: RESORTS WORLD ARENA

WHEN: APRIL 3 TO 7

Prepare for a magical medley of

classic and modern tales, including

Disney’s The Lion King, Frozen and,

for the first time in the UK, Disney

Pixar’s Finding Dory, when Disney

On Ice returns to Birmingham this

month.Discover the true meaning

of family with everyone’s favourite

forgetful fish, Dory, as she searches

the deep blue sea for her parents

with a little help from Marlin and

Nemo in Finding Dory. Feel the rush

of the stampede as Simba learns

to live by the motto of ‘Hakuna

Matata’ from the wise-cracking

meerkat Timon and his warthog

pal Pumbaa, and march alongside

the seven dwarfs, as they whistle

off to work to the catchy tune of

‘Heigh Ho’

Be dazzled by the hilarious

Genie, as he makes Aladdin’s

wishes come true with a

spectacular parade for

Prince Ali. Watch as the ice

transforms into the wintry

world of Frozen during

Elsa’s emotionally powerful

performance of ‘Let It

Go’. For more details visit www.

resortsworldarena.co.uk

52


WHAT: DEMETRI MARTIN

WHERE: NEW ALEXANDRA THEATRE

WHEN: APRIL 17

Award-winning American comedian

and star of The Daily Show with Jon

Stewart, Demetri Martin is heading

across the pond to the UK this

month as part of his brand new tour,

Wandering Mind - including a stop in

Birmingham.

A man of many talents, Demetri

Martin is a stand-up comedian, artist,

writer and director. He began doing

stand-up comedy in New York City

where he worked as a staff writer for

talk show Late Night with Conan

O’Brien. Demetri then became a

regular performer on The Daily Show

with Jon Stewart.

Demetri has released three stand-up

comedy albums and four hour-long

stand-up comedy specials, including

his latest special The Overthinker

which was released on Netflix earlier

this year. For more details visit www.

atgtickets.com/birmimgham

WHAT: JEKYLL AND HYDE

WHERE: BIRMINGHAM REP

WHEN: APRIL 18 TO 27

Harriet Jekyll's investigation into her

husband's mysterious death has taken her

into a dark and dangerous world. A gothic

world of science, taverns and misogyny

that no decent Victorian woman has

dared to enter before.

It's a world that she's desperate to

change but to do so, she must embrace

the creature she's changing into. As she

sets about her blood-thirsty mission, her

actions start to bleed into the present day.

Award-winning writer Evan Placey

(Girls Like That, Orange Polar Bear)

combines contemporary chills and gothic

horror in his re-imaging of Robert Louis

Stevenson's classic story directed by Tessa

Walker (The Lion, The Witch And The

Wardrobe and The Hundred And One

Dalmatians) and performed by The

Young REP. For more details visit

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

WHAT: BURN THE FLOOR

WHERE: NEW ALEXANDRA THEATRE

WHEN: APRIL 21

In the past two decades, Burn the

Floor has revolutionised ballroom style.

Combining jaw-dropping choreography

and ground-breaking moves, Burn the

Floor brings their famous, infectious

and rebellious energy to the stage every

single night in the UK, starring Strictly

Come Dancing favourite Kevin Clifton,

and the new Italian heartthrob, Graziano

Di Prima. Johannes Radebe - currently

a professional dancer on Strictly Come

Dancing, he has also been a professional

dancer on Dancing with the Stars South

Africa, and has performed on previous

Burn the Floor world tours. From

seriously romantic Waltz, to a futuristic

Foxtrot, the passion of the Tango and

Paso Doble cut right through. You will

revel in the emotional power of the Cha

Cha, the Samba and Jive, and be left

breathless by the smoking, irresistible

Rumba.

With Kevin headlining this electrifying

production, along with lights, costumes

and eclectic live music, it will have you

leaping out of the seat to join in. Don’t

miss your chance to experience the pure

dance joy of Burn the Floor. For more

details visit www.atgtickets.com/

birmingham

WHAT: RUFUS WAINWRIGHT

WHERE: SYMPHONY HALL

WHEN: APRIL 22

Grammy-nominated singer,

songwriter, and composer Rufus

Wainwright will play four highly

anticipated UK dates this month -

including one in Birmingham - to

commemorate the 20-year anniversary

of his eponymous debut album which

first burst him onto the music scene.

Immediately beloved and critically

acclaimed, both Rufus and the record

were widely hailed as a breakthrough.

It influenced many artists that came

after him and set the path for his

illustrious career ever since.

Rufus will hit the road with his band

and perform material from both

1998’s Rufus Wainwright and his 2001

follow-up Poses. For more details visit

www.thsh.co.uk

53


FA S H I O N

Bohemian rhapsody

FORGET GREY DAYS AND CHANNEL A SULTRY SUN-KISSED VIBE

WITH SS19’S TAKE ON BOHEMIAN STYLE, SAYS AMY NORBURY

WITH the unpredictable British weather doing its, well,

predictably unpredictable thing - T-shirt weather one

week, snow the next, anyone? - we think it’s never too

early to look ahead to sunshine holidays and escapes to

more exotic climes.

Thankfully, one of the biggest fashion tropes to emerge

from the 2019 spring summer catwalks is perfect for

doing just that.

Championed in the main by Chloé head honcho

Natacha Ramsay-Levi, ‘Hippy Modernism’ took

bohemian style to luxe levels, inspired by gap-year

travels, far-flung markets and island raves - although

the overriding feel was more five-star resort than

backpackers’ beach shack.

Now, if you cast your mind back to the mid-Noughties,

boho was the overriding fashion trend which

encapsulated the era, embodied by actress Sienna Miller

in her low-slung peasant skirts and coin belts.

Rather than a rehash of Ms Miller’s favoured style,

boho in 2019 owes more to the original purveyors of

bohemian chic; the floaty, effortless insouciance of

Talitha Getty or Stevie Nicks.

Featuring tassel earrings, floral silk dresses and semiprecious

stones sparkling from the tailoring, Chloé

created a high-end bohemian paradise.

Seen elsewhere on the catwalk at Ports, Marni, Loewe,

Chanel, Philip Lim and more, the free-spirited trend

is a globe-trotter’s dream; long, languid and sensual,

saturated in warm desert and sunset hues, or clashing

carpet and tile prints.

Key pieces to look out for include floaty tiered dresses

and skirts - full length, natch - as well as super bright

prints ranging from full-on tropical to pretty paisley, and

tassels on everything.

If you're jetting away imminently, then go full steam

ahead right now. However, for those of us who won't

be seeing sun for months, start introducing the trend

through print dresses and craft accessories like macramé

or bamboo bags. Bear in mind, though, that crafty does

not necessarily mean DIY. A polished wooden clutch

or a perfectly-formed leather sandal brings a slick, chic

edge to bohemia.

YELLOW TIE-DYE MAXI

DRESS, £65, WALLIS

54


£12.50

£45 £80

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ROUND WOODEN

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EARRINGS, MARKS AND

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WOVEN FLATS, MARKS

AND SPENCER

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MARKS AND SPENCER

ZEEBA SCARF PRINT

KIMONO, MONSOON

NINE BY SAVANNAH MILLER

WOVEN POM POM BAG,

DEBENHAMS

£45

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MW BY MATTHEW

WILLIAMSON MAXI DRESS,

DEBENHAMS

ROMEO DOUBLE LAYER

STATMENT RAFFIA FAN

EARRINGS, OLIVER BONAS

MW BY MATTHEW

WILLIAMSON

JUMPSUIT, £89,

DEBENHAMS

MW BY MATTHEW

WILLIAMSON

SEQUIN JACKET, £99,

DEBENHAMS


FA S H I O N

Suits you

POWER DRESSING TAKES PRECEDENCE AS THE POWER SUIT IS SET TO BE OUR

WARDROBE STYLE STAPLE OF CHOICE FOR SPRING, SAYS AMY NORBURY

IT’S the decade that keeps on giving in terms of retro

fashion revivals, and now the Eighties is making waves

at the forefront of style once again, thanks to the

resurgence of the power suit.

While the Alexis Colby-esque super shoulder pads

are perhaps best left in the past, the message of

empowerment which accompanied the rise of the power

suit is one which is still very much a hot topic. Finding

traction last year when a Hollywood awards season

dominated by #timesup and #metoo saw the power

suit become the statement style of choice for many an

A-lister on the red carpet, our love affair with stylish

tailoring shows no signs of slowing down.

Be they sharp or slouchy, checks or block colours, welltailored

trousers teamed with coordinating jackets are

a perennial style staple. From boardroom to bar and

beyond, the power suit is set to become your multitasking

spring wardrobe heroine for 2019.

The SS19 catwalks were awash with co-ords galore;

from Victoria Beckham to Alexachung and Fendi, there

was a version or two of the power suit in almost every

collection. Between pastels and camel tones, tailored and

oversized, the suit comes in all shapes and sizes.

For maximum impact, designers didn’t shy away from

colour, with suits in a starburst of fruity shades sashaying

down the runways. At the recently revived Escada, twopieces

came in saturated shades of mimosa, while citrus

hues proliferated at Balenciaga, Roksanda, Peter Pilotto

and Boss.

Seamlessly blending our nine-to-five and off-duty

wardrobes, the power suit has shifted from its role as the

most corporate of formal uniforms, to a legitimate style

choice for myriad occasions.

Team with a crisp shirt or blouse for office dressing

with aplomb, but when the work day is done, slip into a

lace cami and killer heels - as perfectly styled by Anna

Kendrick at last year’s Grammys - and you’re ready to

hit the town.

Looking for a casual cool take on the trend? Pair your

power suit with a slouchy slogan tee, then slip into your

favourite pair of trainers for a modern take on smartcasual.

JACKET, £69, AND TROUSERS £39,

STAR BY JULIEN MACDONALD AT

DEBENHAMS

56


£450

£59

£48

JACE LONGLINE BLAZER,

ALICE + OLIVIA AT HARVEY

NICHOLS

RUCHED BLAZER, LIPSY

YELLOW DOUBLE-BREASTED

BLAZER, MISS SELFRIDGE

£45

£565

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STELLA MCCARTNEY WIDE-

LEGGED TROUSERS,

HARVEY NICHOLS

CURVE TEAL WOOL

BLAZER, EUDON CHOI

AT HARVEY NICHOLS

RED WIDE LEG TROUSERS,

NEXT

£28

LILAC TAILORED

BUTTON SHORTS,

MISS SELFRIDGE

KAREN MILLEN

BLAZER, £270, KAREN

MILLEN TROUSERS,

£175, AND

WAREHOUSE STRIPED

T-SHIRT, £27, ALL

FROM LITTLEWOODS

JACKET,

£79, T-SHIRT,

£8.50, AND

TROUSERS,

£39.50, ALL

MARKS AND

SPENCER

ANTHEA JACKET,

£189, AND ANTHEA

TROUSERS, £110,

HOBBS

57


W E D D I N G S

Racing ahead

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

BOUTIQUE AT BARTON MARINA, LOOKS AHEAD TO ONE OF SUMMER’S MOST STYLISH EVENTS - ASCOT

With horse racing season fast approaching, including Ascot taking place from June 18 to 22, we wanted to show

you our favourite looks for the year with a difference – each one of these outfits are extremely versatile, and

you can wear them to all of your special events this summer. Whether you’re a mother of the bride or groom,

attending the races or attending another formal event, Nero e Bianco will have the perfect outfit for you.

With Ascot now permitting trouser suits, this

elegant three-piece would be our first choice.

Paired with a fascinator to complete the look,

the pale blush colour of the longline jacket and

trousers complement the floral peplum style

buttoned blouse perfectly and it’s an extremely

classy look for such a highly esteemed event.

However, this look is also perfect for mother of

the brides or grooms, and especially those that

don’t feel confident enough to wear a dress or

simply prefer trousers. The flared sleeves and

V-shaped neckline add the finishing touches to

an already impressive look.

Meeting the new standards for The Royal

Enclosure, we have this gorgeous wide-legged

jumpsuit with a large floral feature on the waist.

It’s extremely figure flattering for all shapes

and sizes, and it’s unique to the usual types of

dresses worn to Ascot especially as jumpsuits

have only just met regulation standards. The

straps also match the dress code even though

it’s a sleeveless jumpsuit, which is perfect for

the heat usually expected in this prime-time

summer period.

Another great thing about this jumpsuit is its

versatility, this a great look for wedding guests

and can be worn to many other occasions, so

when you’re thinking to yourself ‘is it worth

buying as I’ll only wear it once?’, you can say

‘yes!’, it’s totally worth it.

58


neroebianco.co.uk

Nero e Bianco Exclusive Fashion & Bridal

Barton Marina Burton upon Trent DE13 8AS

01283 346704


An outfit for all enclosures, but also the perfect

mother of the bride or groom outfit. This

dress includes all the features we love; a ruffled

neckline, a beautiful pink colour and long line

jacket with flared sleeves. It’s so easily elegant

and when it’s time for the wedding reception,

the jacket can come off and the dancing can

commence in a dress that you can feel both

confident and beautiful wearing.

Making the most out of the most relaxed

dress code at Ascot, we would definitely opt

for something a little more vibrant and fun,

but something that still oozes sophistication.

With this in mind, we have chosen this cobalt

fishtail dress paired with heels and a matching

fascinator. The style of this dress is a little more

casual than what we have seen previously which

makes it ideal to wear for other events from

weddings to parties and summer balls, too.

Ascot 2019 ladies’ dress code

The Royal Enclosure:

Dress and skirts must sit just above the knee or longer.

Dresses and tops must have straps of one inch-plus,

and any strapless, off-the-shoulder, bardot, halter neck

or spaghetti straps are not permitted. Jackets and

pashminas are welcome, but only as long as the tops and

dresses underneath still comply with the regulations and

midriffs must be covered. A new regulation introduced is

that jumpsuits are welcome so long as they fall below the

knee and still comply with the regulations.

Hats should be worn; however a headpiece which has

a solid base of four inches or more in diameter can be

worn as an alternative to a hat, but fascinators are not

permitted.

The Village and Queen Anne Enclosures:

A hat, headpiece or fascinator must be worn at all times.

Again, strapless dresses and tops are not permitted; this

includes off-the-shoulder, bardot and one shoulder styles.

Trouser suits must be full-length, and jumpsuits must fall

below the knee with midriffs always covered. Shorts are

not permitted.

You can take a look at customer pictures and testimonials on our website, and you can use our

online booking system to book a try-on appointment if you’re a mother of the bride or groom

at neroebiancobridal.co.uk. We are based at Barton Marina, near Burton on Trent.

60


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Enjoy full access to the leisure facilities for half a day,

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chocolate fudge cake and a glass of bubbly!

All for £65!

Available until 30th April 2019. See our website for full details.

Mother’s Day Voucher

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B E AU T Y

Beauty edit: new neutrals

FROM CARAMEL AND BEIGE TO OFF-WHITE AND BLUSH, NEUTRALS WERE ONE OF THE BIGGEST TRENDS ON THE

SS19 CATWALKS, SHOWCASED BY THE LIKES OF BURBERRY, BALMAIN AND TOM FORD. LISA PIDDINGTON, FROM

HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM, REVEALS THE MUST-HAVE MUTED MAKEUP FOR THE MOST FASHIONABLE FACE

If you don’t have the time to do the whole makeup

thing use Heaven Skincare Caramel Silk Skin

Tinted Moisturiser, £37, for a natural, radiant

glow. It’s the first all-day BB cream to contain

hyaluronic acid and bee venom ABEETOXIN®

to moisturise to your skin, tackle break-outs and

reduce fine lines.

Add starry-eyed sparkle with

Stila’s All Fired Up Glitter

& Glow Liquid Eye Shadow

Set, £29. This trio of longwearing

, limited shadows

delivers the perfect mix of pearl

and glitter. The long-lasting

shades include Sunset Fire,

Follow The Sun and Burnished

Sienna.

The Hourglass Graphik Eyeshadow Palette,

£53, offers saturated colour in blendable matte,

satin and metallic shades that create endless

looks. Formulated with a high concentration of

pure pigment powder, the velvety-smooth texture

allows for flawless blending and application.

For the perfect matte pout, Fenty Beauty’s Lip

Paint in Unbutton, £19, boasts a 12-hour

hold for lips that look luscious all day long. The

weightless formula means it doesn’t feel dry; it also

won’t feather and stays smooth.

NARS Illuminator in

Copacabana, £23,

features light-reflecting

liquids that enhance

the complexion for a

shimmering look. The

translucent, weightless

cream makes skin look

glowing and refreshed.

Available in four different

colours, it’s suitable for all

skin types.

Marc Jacobs Beauty

Dew Drops Coconut Gel

Highlighter, £33, can be

applied to the skin directly

or added into foundation

and primer for a flattering,

golden-peach glow. It’s also

formulated with provitamin

B5, to help hydrate and

nourish skin.

SKINCARE AND MAKEUP PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE BEAUTY

HALL AT HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM OR ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM.

62


I N T H E N E W S

Financial planner launches retirement book

A Sutton Coldfield financial

planner is aiming to help people

to plan for the emotional and

financial impacts of retirement

with the launch of his new book.

Retireability - The Smart

Executive’s Guide to Thriving

in Retirement was written by

Henwood Court managing

director Nicholas Platt, spurred

on by his experience with

guiding hundreds of executives

into retirement, as well as his

own father’s lack of retirement.

Nick has helped hundreds

of clients navigate their

way through to a successful

retirement and has witnessed the

highs and the lows this massive

life change can have.

Having worked in the finance industry his whole career,

Nick founded Henwood Court, a chartered financial

planning business based in Sutton Coldfield, in 2005.

The book is for senior executives, business owners

and directors alike, and delves into how to prepare

for retirement so they can live a meaningful, rich and

fulfilling life.

Nick has a healthy fascination with the psychology that

surrounds this period of our lives, and is passionate

about helping others to maximise hard-earned wealth

by living a life they want to live.

The formal launch took place at the beautiful

NICHOLAS PLATT, OF

HENWOOD COURT, HAS

RECENTLY LAUNCHED HIS

BOOK RETIREABILITY

RETIREABILITY IS

AVAILABLE TO

PURCHASE FROM

AMAZON

Hampton Manor, where invited guests enjoyed a high

tea, champagne toast and a personalised book from

Henwood Court.

“It was a real pleasure to have everyone who has helped

me make the book a reality in one room to thank them

all for their support – I am truly grateful to everyone,”

said Nicholas.

Alan Vurlan, a client of Henwood Court, added: “It

was a great day enjoyed by all, the book will prove

invaluable for any executive approaching retirement.”

As part of the launch, Henwood Court announced

that for every book sold they will be donating £1 to

their charity of the year, which is the Sutton Coldfield

YMCA.

Anita Ellis, marketing

manager for YMCA,

said: “We are thrilled

that Henwood Court

have chosen us for

their charity this

year; YMCA Sutton

Coldfield is really

trying to change

the perceptions of

what we offer so a

partnership with such

a progressive company

really helps! Thanks to

Nick and his team.”

The book is

available to

purchase on

Amazon.

63


I N T H E N E W S

Specialist says ‘you don’t have to live with back pain’

Back and neck pain can affect up to 90 per cent of the

population at some point in their lives and is one of the

most common cause for GP appointments. It’s also the

most common cause for absence from work in those

aged under 45.

Consultant orthopaedic spinal surgeon Mr Amit Bhalla,

from Spire Little Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield,

says: “I see patients of all ages - unfortunately no one is

immune to developing back pain. The most common

risk factors are age - over 40s tend to be the most

common group - a physical job and family history of

back conditions,” says Mr Bhalla.

In most cases, the pain isn’t caused by anything serious

and will resolve itself in time. Treatment can be as

simple as a course of anti inflammatory medication

combined with gentle exercises. “Maintaining an active

lifestyle is really

important when

managing back

and neck pain. If

your pain has not

settled within six

weeks then I would

insist on further

investigation.”

The following symptoms do require investigation:

Back pain lasting more than six weeks

Back pain in patients with previous history of cancer

Bowel/bladder dysfunction

Fever/unexplained weight loss

Muscle weakness/footdrop

Not all back conditions require surgery and Mr Bhalla

offers a variety of treatments to suit the patient.

“Non invasive treatments are always my first port

of call,” he says. “Physiotherapy and manipulation

therapy combined with medication is often a good

starting point. Other treatments I offer include spinal

injections and the final option is surgery such as spinal

decompression, discectomy and fusion.”

For routine surgery, patients can expect to go home

within 24 hours and a normal return to activities within

six to 12 weeks.

“My goal is to recondition the back; it’s the most

rewarding part of my job to see my patients return to

the hobbies and lifestyle they love - pain free.”

Mr Bhalla is offering complimentary appointments for

anyone suffering from back and neck pain on April 30

from 6-7.30pm. To book your appointment call 0121

580 7119.

Charity mission for Lichfield hairdresser

A Lichfield hairdresser has been chosen by global hair

care brand Schwarzkopf Professional to join their 2019

charity initiative, Shaping Futures, supported by the

Fritz Henkel Stiftung.

Troy Boyd, who works for Anthony John Salons in

Lichfield, will join seven other UK hairdressers as

they travel to the Philippines this month as part of the

Shaping Futures team, headed by UK Shaping Futures’

Ambassador, Janet Maitland.

The group will spend a total of six weeks teaching

young people the essentials of hairdressing; from cutting

and colouring through to styling. Following the six-week

course, the students will be offered further training

or employment opportunities with local salon group,

David’s Salons.

Troy said: “To have the opportunity to inspire and

create passion for such an amazing industry, amongst

young adults is amazing. And if I can just change

one life in a positive way through Shaping Futures,

then I hope to create a positive ripple effect for future

generations.”

Shaping Futures has been running since 2009, and

this year marks its 10th anniversary. In that time UK

volunteers have helped more than 300 young people

learn the skills of hairdressing. This is the second time

the UK team has visited the Philippines, following many

successful years partnering with SOS Children’s Villages

in India. Every young person who takes part in Shaping

Futures has experienced trauma and poverty; but thanks

to this initiative they are given the skills to build a new,

safe life for themselves.

Kay Brady, National PPS Manager UK and IRE for

Schwarzkopf Professional, said “It’s because of the

passion, dedication and spirit

of people like Troy that we are

able to run Shaping Futures,

and offer young people a

chance of a new life.”

Each volunteer has been asked

to fundraise around £1,500

for the SOS Children’s

Villages charity and the

additional money needed to

cover their expenses.

TROY

BOYD

64


M OTO R S

Life in the fast lane

BRITISH GT IS BACK - AND J’AIME’S MOTORING EXPERT AND RESIDENT RACING DRIVER MARTIN

PLOWMAN WILL BE BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL COMPETING FOR GLORY. HERE, WE TAKE A LOOK

AHEAD TO AN EXCITING SEASON FOR MARTIN, AND MOTORSPORT FANS IN GENERAL

BRITISH GT IS BACK

“Winter is coming” to Westeros this April, but

luckily for motorsport fans, the long winter of the

motorsport off-season is officially over.

The British GT Championship will burst into life

over Easter weekend (April 20-22) at Oulton Park in

Cheshire with a record 38 of the world’s fastest and

most expensive GT cars. Some 11 of the world’s top

manufacturers will be represented, with the likes of

Mclaren, Aston Martin and Lambourghini fighting it

out for top-honours.

British GT is one of the world's most prestigious

national championships, with a heavy dose of

drivers, teams and circuits from the Midlands giving

it a very local feel. Below are a few key reasons on

why you should follow British GT this year, if you are

not already an avid fan.

Fan-friendly

The British GT paddock is one of the most

welcoming motorsports paddocks in professional

sport. The cost of a general admission ticket is just

£20 and kids go free. A general admission ticket also

gives you full access to get up close and personal with

the cars and drivers.

World class drivers

While the stars of British GT are unquestionably

the exotic cars, the talent-level of drivers has been

growing exponentially over the last five years. The

field boasts multiple Le Mans winners, WEC World

Champions and even a few with Formula 1 and

Indycar experience to boot!

Local races

This season's schedule sees British GT make two

trips to Donington Park circuit. Silverstone, the

championship's blue-ribboned event is relatively close

too, making it three rounds out of nine less than an

hour’s drive away for most J'AIME readers.

Local heroes

There are loads of local heroes to cheer for. The

Midlands is definitely not short of fast racing

drivers, but two local drivers are early championship

favourites in their respective classes.

Adam Christodoulou is a Mercedes-AMG factory

driver who hails from Lichfield. He is back for a

full campaign in the GT3 Pro-Am class alongside

amateur driver Richard Neary. Adam is a star driver

65


in GT3 but missed most of last year due to injury

and date clashes with other racing commitments. He

will be determined to make amends in 2019.

Le Mans Winner, former Indycar driver and J’AIME

columnist Martin Plowman is Tamworth born and

bred. He will be returning for his third full season

in the British GT Championship and his second

alongside team-mate, Kelvin Fletcher, in the GT4

Pro-Am championship. If Martin’s team-mate

sounds familiar, that’s because you may recognise

him from his time acting in Emmerdale playing the

universally-loved Andy Sugden! Martin and Kelvin

have made the switch from Nissan to Aston Martin

this year after signing a one-year deal with Imagine

Cruising Beechdean Motorsport-AMR. It’s a switch

that they hope will see them go one place better than

2018 where they narrowly missed out on the Pro-Am

championship.

What do all of the different classes mean?

Two different classes of cars race in British GT and

all race on the track at the same time in what is

known as multi-class endurance racing, with races

ranging from one to three hours in length.

The GT3 class is the loudest and fastest class, with

heavily modified GT cars producing 650bhp and

ginormous rear wings that provide a boatload of

downforce which turn them into scarily fast and very

expensive lumps of carbon fibre. The average GT3

car will set you back a cool half a million pounds!

The GT4 class is the younger brother of the GT3

class but by no means inferior. GT4 rules stipulate

that cars must maintain mostly original bodywork of

its road-going brethren and use the same powertrain

too. With two separate races going on at once, the

races are often frantic with GT3 cars lapping the

slower GT4 cars.

Within each category

there are also two

separate drivers

championships;

Pro-Am and Silver

Cup. The Pro-Am

championship consists

of professional drivers

paired up with fast

amateur drivers who

typically fund the team.

Don't let the 'amateur'

tag fool you though.

Most of the 'Am'

drivers are successful

business owners who

race for fun, but many

are more than a match

for the Stig.

KELVIN FLETCHER AND

MARTIN PLOWMAN

HAVE SIGNED A NEW

DEAL WITH IMAGINE

CRUISING BEECHDEAN

MOTORSPORT-AMR

The Silver Cup is reserved for young up-and-coming

drivers with aspirations of turning professional. To

keep the racing fair and exciting, Silver Cup teams

have to serve longer pitstops than the Pro-Am teams

to counteract the slower speeds of the amateur

drivers. During pitstops, teams swap drivers, with the

pros finishing the race leading to a grandstand finish!

If you've never been to a British GT race before,

make sure to go and make an effort to see what you

have been missing. You won't be disappointed.

BRITISH GT 2019 SEASON

ROUND 1 & 2 OULTON PARK,

APRIL 20-22

ROUND 3 & 4 SNETTERTON,

MAY 18-19

ROUND 5 SILVERSTONE,

JUNE 8-9

ROUND 6 DONINGTON PARK,

JUNE 22-23

ROUND 7 SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS,

BELGIUM, JULY 20-21

ROUND 8 BRANDS HATCH,

AUGUST 3-4

ROUND 9 DONINGTON PARK,

SEPTEMBER 14-15

66

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