J U N E 2 0 1 9
Y O U R L O C A L L U X U R Y
L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E
Summer interior style,
plus win £500 bespoke
KT Tunstall comes to
A DESIGNER WATCH
FOR YOUR DAD THIS
CELEBRATE SOUTH ASIAN
CINEMA AT BIRMINGHAM
INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL
Welcome to J’AIME
June signals the start of summer proper, and
summer means festival season! Whether your
penchant is for food or film, arts or music,
there’s plenty of festival action around the
Midlands this season.
J’AIME are proud to be supporting this
year’s Birmingham Indian Film Festival, a
spectacular 11-day celebration of the best
in South Asian cinema. We chat to the team
behind the festival - executive director Cary
Rajinder Sawhney and festival programmer
Dharmesh Rajput, as well as acclaimed
film director Rima Das, who is bringing
her third feature film Bulbul Can Sing to
Birmingham. You will also have the chance
to join us on the red carpet for the opening
night, with a pair of tickets to this glittering
event up for grabs.
Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall is
one of the big names headlining this year’s
Lichfield Festival, and we catch up with
her ahead of her visit to the Midlands for a
show at Lichfield Cathedral, plus we chat to
Brummie Michelin-starred chef Brad Carter,
of Carter’s of Moseley, who will be taking
to the stage at this month’s BBC Good Food
Show Summer at the NEC.
Elsewhere, we’ve got the battle of the
columnists as our resident racing driver
Martin Plowman took on action man Jack
Regan for a track challenge with a difference
- check out both sides of the story to see who
With fashion, beauty and interior trends
galore, plus your favourite food and drink
experts and top travel destinations, we hope
this issue of J’AIME will get your summer
started in style!
EDITOR: AMY NORBURY
ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY
07388 335 931
CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN, JACK REGAN,
ALEX OLIVER, LISA PIDDINGTON, JILL HARTLEY,
HOLLY ROWLAND, ALI MOUNTJOY, THE GINTLEMAN,
ANGIE ANDERTON, PETER BACON
J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY
PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED
BY KEP LIMITED, TAMWORTH.
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Find us on
InsideJ’aime this month...
6 Birmingham Indian Film Festival - A look
at some of the talent behind the festival’s
12 Property - Property of the month
14 Interiors - Rebel Yellow
18 Interiors - Totally tropical
22 Competition - Win £500 towards bespoke
bedroom furniture from Bedroom Gallery
24 Richard Winterton - Investing in designer and
luxury goods at auction
28 Father’s Day - Our round-up of treats for Dad
32 Competition - Win a watch for your dad from Allen
34 What’s On - KT Tunstall at Lichfield Festival
36 Food & drink - Five minutes with Birmingham
Michelin-starred chef Brad Carter
37 Food & drink - Cocktail of the month from
Le Rêve, Lichfield
38 Food & drink - The Gintleman discusses
‘ginspired’ design workouts
40 Food & drink - Stylish wines from Indulgence
42 Travel - Exploring Georgia and Armenia
46 Fashion - Festival fun
48 Fashion - Monochrome magic with Nero
51 Beauty - Holiday prep with Harvey Nichols
52 Health - The power of acupuncture
54 Motors - Martin Plowman discovers a rally
experience in central Birmingham
56 Life on the edge - J’AIME columnist Jack Regan
takes on Martin Plowman in a track challenge
with a difference
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Celebrating Indian cinema
BIRMINGHAM INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS FROM JUNE 21 TO JULY 1 FOR ITS FIFTH YEAR, BRINGING
A SHOWCASE OF THE BEST SOUTH ASIAN CINEMA TO THE SECOND CITY. AMY NORBURY CHATTED TO
FESTIVAL DIRECTOR CARY RAJINDER SAWHNEY AND PROGRAMMER DHARMESH RAJPUT, AS WELL AS
ACCLAIMED FILM DIRECTOR RIMA DAS, AHEAD OF THE CELEBRATIONS
The world’s largest film industry,
India produces more films
watched by more people than
any other country.
And for 11 days this month the
Second City is set to become a
hub for the very best in Indian
cinema, showcasing a rich
assortment of entertaining and
films that have been winning
awards and making global
impact, as well as welcoming
some of the most acclaimed
stars and directors to the
Now in its fifth year, the
Birmingham Indian Film Festival is part of the UK
and Europe’s largest South Asian film festival, run
in conjunction with the Bagri Foundation London
Indian Film Festival which opens the day before on
June 20, as well as new festivals in Manchester and
Bradford. This year’s screenings will take place at
BRINGS HIS FILM THE FLIGHT
Cineworld Broad Street, as well as MAC Birmingham
in Cannon Hill Park, The Mockingbird Cinema in
the Custard Factory and, new for 2019, Centrala in
“The festival is always coming up with new surprises
each year,” says festival director Cary Rajinder
Sawhney. “Our greatest strength is the diversity of
films we screen in many different Indian and South
Asian languages; comedies and films with strong
issues, family and children’s films like the delightful
Chuskit, which adults can also enjoy.
“This year we open on June 21 with the world
premiere of Article 15 starring Bollywood star
Ayushmann Khurrana, a police whodunit which
should be a big hit like all the actor’s recent films.
“We bring to Birmingham another world premiere
highlight Ardass II with Punjabi superstar Gippy
Grewal. On top of this we have the premieres of
top films from some of the world’s greatest festivals
including Cannes and Toronto. We are bringing you
the cream of the crop for a few days only.”
A decade ago Cary decided it was time for a
celebration of Indian cinema in the UK, setting
up the London Indian Film Festival, which then
expanded into Birmingham five years later.
“I have been Festival Programme Adviser South
Asia for BFI London Film Festival for many years,”
he says. “It’s the biggest UK film festival but sadly
it can’t screen all the great films that arrive on its
desks. I set up the festival in order to showcase some
of these great new films that might otherwise not be
platformed in the UK at all. Luckily for us, 10 years
ago the Indian indie scene started to grow from a
trickle of quality films to a stream and now a river, so
we hit the tide at the right moment!”
Over the past five years, the Birmingham festival has
grown to become a major celebration in the city.
“We started back in 2015 just with seven films at two
cinemas, and we now show around 15 films in four
cinemas,” explains festival programmer Dharmesh
Rajput, a lecturer at Birmingham City University’s
School of Media.
“What’s been really great is the level of support
we’ve been getting within the city; Birmingham
City University are on board as a sponsor and we’ve
been getting great support from the Asian Business
Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re working with a range of cinemas and
growing our audience year-on-year; we’ve got Sunny
and Shay from Radio WM’s drivetime show as
our ambassadors, and this year Antonio Akeel, a
Wolverhampton-born actor who starred in one of our
films from last year, Eaten By Lions, has just joined us
as an ambassador for our fifth anniversary.
“Students from BCU are also getting involved in
a manner of guises, from promoting the festival to
coming to each screening and getting feedback from
the audience. We’re also making sure we’re using
their skills and helping them to develop so they will
be taking photographs, making videos and manning
social media for us too.”
What sets Birmingham Indian Film Festival apart is
the opportunity to meet and mingle with filmmakers
and stars at the screenings.
“The festival will see the Birmingham premiere of
the incredible must-see documentary My Home
India, about how India gave refuge to over 5,000
Polish starving children after world War II, and we
hope that the director Anjali Bhushan will be in town
to tell this proud story which is guaranteed to have
you in tears of joy,” says Cary.
“The multi award-winning director Rima Das returns
with another celebrated film Bulbul Can Sing and
we are proud that we brought her to the attention
of the UK first. We celebrate older masters this year
including the great Bengali director Buddhadeb
Dasgupta who, in spite of health challenges, has
kindly agreed to grace us with his presence for the
preview of his sumptuous magical realist movie The
Flight - think the Guillermo del Toro of India!
“And another most famous return is now the greatest
current indie filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who gives
a special don’t-miss Screen Talk at the festival.”
The festival has worked tirelessly to promote the
virtues of South Asian cinema to a wider audience,
bringing a diverse range of films to appeal to a
plethora of film-lovers.
“Our audiences have always been diverse I’m pleased
to say, and this has included Bengali, Pakistani,
Gujarati and other South Asian communities in
the city and West Midlands,” says Cary. “But it’s
also thanks to great support by venues like MAC
Birmingham at Cannon Hill, Mockingbird Cinema at
the Custard Factory and Cineworld Birmingham who
have brought us an increasingly non-Asian audience
of fans keen to see fresh and more realistic images of
India and South Asian in all its myriad perspectives.
“We have very actively been involved in breaking
the myth that Indian cinema is just commercial
Bollywood and now mainstream journalists and
audiences are aware that there is such a thing as
Indian independent cinema and these are films that
both entertain and make you think.”
Dharmesh adds: “When you think about Indian
cinema you think of Bollywood straight away; people
think it’s the all-singing, all-dancing escape-type
RIMA DAS’ FILM BULBUL
CAN SING IS SET TO BE A
“But the parallel cinema - which is the independent
side of Indian cinema, the offbeat films which are
more narrative-based and often with a social message
- marks 50 years this year, so it’s not all about the
“The festival helps to open audiences up to different
cinema from India, and make them realise there’s
more to it.”
A particular theme running through this year’s
festival is the work of female directors, whose voices
are becoming increasingly prominent in India’s
traditionally male-dominated film industry.
“It’s happening worldwide that, at last, women
filmmakers are getting funding and profile,” says
“It’s interesting to see just how fresh and strong
women filmmakers’ stories are and this is the reason
we are selecting them, not for some tokenistic gesture.
The work speaks for itself. Another new strand in
India in particular is LGBTQ+ themes which seem
to be all the rage this year after India legalised
LGBTQ+ relationships and, once again, there are so
many fresh stories about these communities coming
to the fore.”
After five successful years, the Birmingham Indian
Film Festival shows no signs of slowing down,
becoming a firm fixture on the city’s festival calendar.
“The future is bright and we continue to expand in
Birmingham and perhaps next year we will dip our
toes in other nearby Midlands towns,” says Cary.
FESTIVAL DIRECTOR CARY
“We are also expanding this year in Lancashire
and Yorkshire and Birmingham is a hub that can
connect very widely across the UK wherever Asian
“Of course, Indian filmmaking continues to grow so
there is no shortage of great films.”
Birmingham Indian Film Festival screenings
will be subtitled in English. Ticket details
for all films will be available at www.
birminghamindianfilmfestival.co.uk as they
go on release.
Five minutes with Rima Das
Acclaimed director Rima Das is bringing
her third feature film Bulbul Can Sing to
Birmingham Indian Film Festival, following
the success of her film Village Rockstars
which premiered in Birmingham last year.
Tell us about Bulbul Can Sing - where did the
idea for the film come from?
Bulbul Can Sing is a story of three teenagers, their
carefree friendship, experience of first love, loss
and finding oneself in the midst of it. I feel the raw
emotions of teenage are under-explored in Indian
cinema and I wanted to tell their story. During
teenage years, an individual experiences a lot of
physical and psychological changes. From having
all the freedom as a child, suddenly there are a lot
of restrictions imposed, particularly for girls. They
experience a dilemma where they want to do a lot of
things but there have to adhere to societal pressures.
Then there is a communication gap that exists
between these youngsters and adults. They feel adults
don’t understand them. Bulbul Can Sing is a voice of
Village Rockstars had its premiere in
Birmingham last year - what was that
The response Village Rockstars received at
Birmingham was overwhelming. It only went on to
reiterate my belief that a human story transcends
geographical and cultural barriers. Interacting
with the children at the festival was a very different
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experience in itself. Village Rockstars is not really
a children’s film, it doesn’t have a structured
story. I was surprised to see how the children from
Birmingham and London absorbed so much from
the film. I experienced something similar while
interacting with children in India as well.
How did it feel for Village Rockstars to be
put forward as India’s submission for the
Foreign Language Film Oscar?
Village Rockstars had been doing well in the festivals
circuit and also bagged the National Film Award.
I hoped and wished that it would be selected as
India’s official entry for the Oscars. When it actually
happened it was a mix of emotions, happiness, pride
and a sense of responsibility. I will always cherish this
How did you get into filmmaking? And what
kinds of stories do you like to tell though
I was trying to find work as an actor. During that
time I watched a lot of world movies and realised
I had so many stories to tell. I believed that I could
tell stories that our local and yet global, stories that
celebrate the extraordinary in the ordinary, stories
that have strong women. These are my kind of
You worked almost single-handedly on
Village Rockstars and Bulbul Can Sing - what
made you decide to work alone?
I worked with a small crew for my first feature Man
With The Binoculars. I didn’t quite enjoy the process.
I wanted to exercise full freedom is creating my
vision on celluloid. So I made a conscious decision
of doing it all myself. Of course, there were budget
constraints as well being an independent producer.
But these were secondary factors.
Was it difficult managing to do so much by
yourself or did you enjoy having so much
It was very challenging doing everything myself.
Shooting with nature threw another set of
challenges. I shot during rains, floods and used
natural light. My cousin, Mallika, assisted me in
the different departments. Although, it was tough, I
enjoyed every bit of the process. It was very organic.
I developed a deep connection with the characters
and the landscape. I was changing as a person. I was
discovering myself, I was rediscovering life. I felt very
How is it being a female director in such a
traditionally male-oriented film industry? Is
the industry changing to more embrace the
work of female directors?
Since I am an independent producer, my journey is
very different. When I do a project with a studio or
production house things might be different. But there
is no denying that the journey of a female director
is more challenging than her male counterparts. I
think it goes beyond the industry, you see it across
professions. Patriarchy is so deep-rooted in our
society that right from childhood most women don’t
really get enough freedom.
J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH BIRMINGHAM INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL TO OFFER READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN A PAIR OF
TICKETS TO THE RED CARPET OPENING NIGHT AT CINEWORLD ON BROAD STREET, BIRMINGHAM, ON FRIDAY, JUNE 21.
THE NIGHT WILL INCLUDE THE BIRMINGHAM PREMIERE OF ARTICLE 15, A FILM STARRING INDIA’S HOTTEST MALE STAR
AYUSHMANN KHURRANA (ANDHADHUN, BADHAI HO). FOLLOWING THE FILM THERE WILL BE A Q&A WITH DIRECTOR
ANUBHAV SINHA AND OTHERS.
In Article 15 Ayushmann Khurrana plays a police officer from a privileged urban, international background, whose very first
posting is to rural north India, where three teenage girls have gone missing. His honesty does not sit well with the existing,
deeply entrenched corrupt system where, in 2019, a 1,000-year-old practice where human beings are divided on the basis of caste
continues. Beginning as a riveting police procedural that is a True Detective-like deep-dive into the Indian bayou, Article 15 soon
elevates to a gutsy exposé of a deeply flawed structure. The film’s title is a reference to an article of the Indian constitution that
prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, race or sex.
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
WHO STARS IN ARTICLE 15?
Send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with
Birmingham Indian Film Festival Competition as the email subject. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, June 14, and our
winner will be notified by Wednesday, June 19. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.jaimemagazine.com for further details.
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WARDROBES FROM THEIR STYLISH SELECTION.
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
WHERE IS BEDROOM GALLERY BASED?
Send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone
number, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with
Bedroom Gallery competition as the email subject. Entries must be
received by 5pm on Friday, June 28, and our winner will be notified
by Wednesday, July 3. Terms and conditions apply. The voucher is
only valid towards purchases of fitted bedroom furniture or sliding
wardrobes, and is not valid on any other items in store. Visit www.
jaimemagazine.com for further details.
OUR NEW BROCHURE IS NOW AVAILABLE
P R E N T I C E
Look out for luxury
IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO INVEST IN A COVETED DESIGNER PIECE - OR ARE HOPING YOUR
COLLECTION OF LUXURY GOODS MIGHT BE WORTH A PRETTY PENNY - RICHARD WINTERTON
AUCTIONEERS’ NEW SPECIALISED SALE IS A GREAT PLACE TO START, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS
We’re used to hearing
about the history-making
sales of sprawling art
collections and priceless
Chinese ceramics - but
it seems that the world
of designer handbags
is becoming a lucrative
decadent designs drawing
record numbers at
auctions around the
The Handbags and
Accessories sale at
auction house Christie’s
last December broke
the European record for
a bag sold at auction.
A 2010 Hermès, matte
crocodile Birkin 35 with 18k white gold and diamond
hardware, went for an eye-watering £236,750,
exceeding the estimate by more than 60 per cent.
Rare bags are the ultimate anti-fast fashion buy
- long-lasting heirloom pieces with a pretty much
guaranteed resale value. And this emergence of
designer handbags as a genuine investment has seen
the rise of the female collector; women who know
what makes a handbag collectable, and are aware
of the value of these pieces on the primary and
Due to the rarity and difficulty many customers face
in purchasing an Hermès Birkin bag from the brand
directly, many consumers look to second-hand luxury
dealers and auction houses that offer authenticated
bags in excellent condition. ‘Waiting lists’ no longer
exist at Hermès stores, and it’s the limited availability
of the bags that is just one of the aspects of why
demand has risen so much in recent years.
In 2016 it was announced that an Hermès bag is
officially a better investment than the stock market -
LUXURY GOODS INCLUDING DESIGNER
HANDBAGS AND WATCHES WILL BE UP FOR
AUCTION AT A NEW SPECIALIST SALE BY
RICHARD WINTERTON AUCTIONEERS
the bags have seen a 500% rise in value over the last
Victoria Beckham, it is reported, has a collection of
Hermès Birkins in excess of 100 pieces - a shrewd
investment both in terms of style and financial
And now, you may be able to chance upon a coveted
designer gem at auction locally.
Lichfield-based Richard Winterton Auctioneers has
launched a new department dedicated exclusively to
designer goods and watches.
This luxury department will be holding its first
dedicated auction at St Mary’s in the Market Square,
Lichfield city centre, at 6pm on July 15 - and items
are now being sought for inclusion.
These include designer handbags, purses, as well as
scarves, shoes and ladies’ accessories such as gloves,
hats, umbrellas, pens, belts, small leather goods,
sunglasses and perfume.
Gentlemen’s accessories including designer gents’
bags, wallets, cufflinks, shoes, money clips, ties, belts,
pens, lighters, sunglasses, luggage and briefcases are
Proud to be
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over 35 years
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Telephone: 0121 384 5251 - www.abbeyfirecentre.co.uk
Open: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed Wednesdays), Sat: 10am - 4pm
Famous names to watch out for include the muchdesired
Hermès, as well as Rolex, Cartier, Chloe,
Valentino, Fendi, Alexander McQueen, Baccarat,
D&G, Mulberry, Tom Ford, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs,
Bulgari, Annoushka, Mont Blanc, YSL, Dunhill,
Patek Philippe, Jaeger-Le-Coultre, Max Mara,
Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Emporio Armani, Chanel,
Bulgari, Burberry, Prada, Dior, Vivienne Westwood,
Links of London, Breitling, Georg Jensen, TAG
Heuer, Omega, Tudor, Rado and Pandora.
Watch specialist Ben Winterton said: “This is another
exciting development for us as a Lichfield family
firm – it’s a new specialist sale in a new location and
we are looking for some of the biggest names and
designers in the world of fashion and watches.
“As usual the auction will also be online and we are
expecting to attract international attention.”
While most kids were playing football in the park
during the school holidays, Ben was earning his
stripes working at Richard Winterton Auctioneers.
Between travelling the world and learning the trade
at a local jeweller, the prospect of joining what he
grew up to love was an opportunity too good to turn
Ben, 25, who lives in Lichfield, said: “I’ve been
gaining knowledge of watches and jewellery over a
number of years so it’s a perfect time to follow in the
family’s footsteps and spearhead this new department
in luxury watches and designer gear.
“For many years Richard Winterton Auctioneers
has had brands such as Chanel, Mulberry and Louis
Vuitton passing through as well as some of the
biggest watch names in the world such as Rolex and
“The pre-loved industry has grown in leaps and
bounds and it’s now time to dedicate a specialist
department here for this market.
“It’s an exciting development to bring a high-end
auction to the centre of Lichfield - it is going to be an
occasion to remember.”
Gemmologist Heather Callaway said: “This is a
wonderful opportunity to recycle pre-loved designer
and luxury items and convert the proceeds into your
latest designer crush.”
Vintage jewellery expert Louise Ludlam-Snook
added: “Items ideally need to be in good condition
and it’s worth having a good look for original
receipts, boxes and packaging too as this all adds to
the interest and achieving top prices at auction.”
As well as free weekly valuations, including watches
and jewellery, from 9.30am-4pm every Tuesday at
The Lichfield Auction Centre at Wood End Lane,
Fradley Park, Richard Winterton Auctioneers offers
free specialised valuations of jewellery and watches
from 10am-4pm every Monday (except bank
holidays) upstairs at St Mary’s in the Market Square,
Lichfield city centre.
Valuations will also take place in Tamworth and
Sutton Coldfield on Monday, June 24.
Experts will be at The Castle Hotel, Ladybank,
between 11am-12.30pm and at The Trinity Centre,
Church Hill, Mill Street, Sutton Coldfield between
2pm-3.30pm on the same day.
For more details visit
THIS RARE HERMES BIRKIN FETCHED A STAGGERING
£236,750 AT AUCTION IN DECEMBER
at our Head Office in Fradley
Every Tuesday 9.30am - 4pm
We’re ready to help you find that hidden
gem, be it jewellery, watches, silver,
bronzes, glass, ceramics, antiques,
a work of art, stamps, an old toy,
heirlooms and collectables…...
THE LICHFIELD AUCTION CENTRE
WOOD END LANE, FRADLEY PARK, WS13 8NF
Medals & Militaria
Come and meet our team
NEW MONDAY VALUATIONS
Just for jewellery and
watches at St Mary’s
in the heart of Lichfield
Wines & Spirits
Coins & Banknotes
More than just your local auction house
The Winterton name has been synonymous
with auctioneering throughout
Staffordshire since 1864.
INSURANCE VALUATIONS | PROBATE SERVICES
NO OBLIGATION HOME VISITS | HOUSE CLEARANCES
FIND US UPSTAIRS
St Mary’s in the Market Square
Lichfield City Centre, WS13 6LG
Mondays 10am-4pm (except bank holidays)
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F E AT U R E
All eyes on KT
KT TUNSTALL WILL BE OPENING NEXT MONTH’S LICHFIELD FESTIVAL WITH A CONCERT IN
LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL ON FRIDAY, JULY 5. PETER BACON CAUGHT UP WITH THE SCOTTISH
SINGER-SONGWRITER FOR A CHAT AHEAD OF HER VISIT TO THE MIDLANDS
Ever since her debut album Eye To The Telescope
landed back in 2004, going on to sell more than five
million copies, KT Tunstall has been at the forefront
of the UK’s singer-songwriter talent.
The creation of three further critically acclaimed
albums, Drastic Fantastic, Tiger Suit and Invisible
Empire/Crescent Moon in 2007, 2010 and 2013
respectively, kept the platinum sales rolling and
cemented the Scottish songstress’ reputation as a
major recording talent, as well as a mesmerising live
Most of us first heard KT Tunstall back in 2004
singing Black Horse and the Cherry Tree on BBC
Two’s Later With Jools Holland, performing as a
one-person band armed with her guitar, tambourine
and a loop pedal. Presumably there had been a lot
of hard graft that had led to that strikingly poised
“Yes, it’s true. I looked a lot younger on Jools than
I actually was! I was just about to turn 30. I’d spent
10 years of hard graft to get to the point of making
my first record after signing publishing and record
deals,” she explains.
“I’d put in the thousands of hours of practice and
live performing, so when the golden ticket came up
for me, I was able to really use it.”
The effects of that mainstream TV exposure must
have been dramatic.
“Things moved extremely quickly,” says KT. “ We
rushed the album out after the crazy reaction to the
live performance, and Black Horse... was followed by
Suddenly I See, and then the lid just blew off. I loved
it and found it uncomfortable at the same time. But
what I loved the most was being able to travel the
world with my guitar.”
Having toured the world many times over, she has
become a festival favourite, from Glastonbury to
Belladrum. She outsold every other female artist in
the UK in 2005, won the 2006 Brit Award for Best
British Female Solo Artist, won the Ivor Novello Best
KT TUNSTALL IS OPENING
THIS YEAR’S LICHFIELD
FESTIVAL NEXT MONTH
Song award for her self-penned hit Suddenly I See,
and a Q award for Track of the Year.
I wondered which she preferred – performing up on
stage or working in the recording studio?
“I used to answer that very easily; stage. Recording
just felt like a vehicle to get more gigs,” says KT.
“I have absolutely changed how I feel about that
now, I love both equally and thank god don’t have
to choose between them! The studio for me now
is a playground of experimentation and endless
potential, I love it.”
She has performed in so many different places
around the world and in so many different settings.
What were the most memorable?
“60ft up in a one-woman air balloon inside The
Eden Project in Cornwall… Giants Stadium in
New York to 65,000 people for Live Earth... Japan
is always a thrill. I busked at the top of the Empire
State Building last year, that was great!”
Other accolades have included a Grammy
nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
and having her tunes chosen for a host of movies and
TV shows - Suddenly I See was used in the iconic
opening scene of the Meryl Streep-starring The
Devil Wears Prada.
The year 2016 hailed the arrival of the first of a
trilogy of albums, the critically acclaimed UK top
10 album KIN. The trilogy evokes, separately and in
sequence, spirit, body and mind. The second album,
WAX, appeared in autumn 2018.
So how easy did she find songwriting? Had it become
easier or more difficult? At the Lichfield Festival the
evening after her concert is a tribute to Ivor Novello.
What was it like winning a Novello Award?
“I am extremely grateful that song-writing has
always come very easily to me,” says KT. “I wouldn’t
try to pretend that I completely understand how it
happens, but I’m more aware now of what helps me
create: solitude, interesting travel, and journaling are
three big ones.
“Winning the Ivor Novello award was really
special. It is a songwriting award ceremony that is
not televised and therefore feels very authentically
focused on the work we all produce.”
In Lichfield KT will be playing in a medieval
cathedral. Had she done many of those before?
“I grew up with a medieval cathedral down the road
in St Andrews, so I’m hoping I’ll feel very at home!
The crew and I have a game where we talk in ‘Castle
Speak’, and I feel this may reach some sort of peak
the day we play Lichfield!”
The last few years have seen something of a creative
rebirth for Tunstall, including relocating to the west
coast of the USA.
Asked if California now feels like home, and whether
she misses St Andrews, KT says: “I really am a
nomad at heart. I don’t feel the need to have roots so
deep anywhere that I’ll stay forever. There are many
places I would like to live. I love living in California,
it is an amazing part of the world with extremely
beautiful nature and many interesting people. I am in
Scotland quite regularly which I enjoy, but I miss the
LA sunshine when I’m away!”
KT Tunstall is appearing in Lichfield Cathedral
on the opening night of the Lichfield Festival,
Friday July 5 2019. More information and ticket
booking for all Lichfield Festival events is at
F O O D & D R I N K
Five minutes with Brad Carter
THE BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW SUMMER RETURNS TO THE NEC THIS MONTH FOR FOUR DAYS OF
FOOD FILLED FUN. ALONG WITH HUNDREDS OF EXHIBITORS, SOME OF THE UK’S MOST RECOGNISABLE
FACES WILL BE COOKING LIVE ON STAGE, INCLUDING SEVEN BIRMINGHAM-BASED CHEFS. WE CHAT TO
BRAD CARTER, OF MICHELIN-STARRED CARTER’S OF MOSELEY, AHEAD OF HIS RETURN TO THE SHOW
The BBC Good Food Show is back in
Birmingham – tell us what you’ll be up to
and why you’re a regular at the show?
I always look forward to the BBC Good Food Show,
it brings foodies from all across the country to
Birmingham, and it’s the perfect place to show off
some of Carter’s signature dishes in front of a live
audience. I like to keep my shows seasonal, so guests
this year can see me cooking pork over charcoal –
perfect for the summer.
Your unique take on fine-dining is inspiring a
new generation of chefs. What would you say
to a chef just starting their career?
It’s incredible to hear that I inspire people, especially
as I have a huge focus on British ingredients and
cuisine, so I’m glad others see that and want to do
For a young chef, the best advice I can give is what
served me so well – keep your head down and show
determination to your role. It’ll take a lot of your
time and effort, but it doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s easy
for the new generation to get carried away and want
to be a sous chef before they’ve put the time in, but
the base skills need to be there, and from there each
chef can take their own route.
The awards and stars and rosettes shouldn’t be the
goal – the customer is always the first priority, and
that will never change. If you have a busy restaurant
packed with happy customers, everything else will
When you’re not in the kitchen, where in the
city do you like to eat?
When I’m not at the restaurant, I love heading into
China Town. There’s so much choice, so just wander
around and see what you fancy on the day – and the
majority will be under £10! If I want roast meats, I
always go to Look In – the skills the chefs have there
is as good as any restaurant in the city. And when it
comes to Dim Sum, Ken Ho is my personal favourite
– if you’re eating there on a Sunday or Monday, you
might just see me in there too!
BBC Good Food Show Summer takes place
at NEC Birmingham from June 13 to 16. For
more information and to book tickets visit
And what inspires you?
We’re quite an individual restaurant, as we don’t
import anything, so our menu takes inspiration
from everything and everywhere in the UK, from
fisherman to foragers. It’s important to me that all
our ingredients have a story, and hearing the tales
from our suppliers inspires me to pair certain things
together, based on where they’ve come from.
My friends are also inspirational people, and quite a
few of them will also be cooking at the BBC Good
Food Show. Together, as a Birmingham movement,
we’re showing people there’s more on offer here than
F O O D F& O OD D R I& N KD R I N K
Cocktail of the month
HOLLY ROWLAND, FROM LE RÊVE COCKTAIL BAR IN LICHFIELD, SERVES
UP A FRESH AND FRUITY CONCOCTION, IDEAL FOR HAZY SUMMER DAYS
25ml Strawberry vodka
12.5ml Raspberry vodka
50ml Apple juice
12.5ml Strawberry purée
12.5ml Lemon juice
12.5ml Vanilla syrup
Add all ingredients to
your Boston shaker. Fill
with cubed ice and shake
vigorously. Then strain
your cocktail into your
glass and enjoy this light,
fruity refreshing summer
tipple. Garnish with a
half a fresh strawberry
and slice of apple or
F O O D & D R I N K
THE GINTLEMAN, THE MIDLANDS’ LEADING RACONTEUR AT HOUSE PARTIES AND VENUES THROUGHOUT
BIRMINGHAM, TAKES A LOOK AT THE RISE OF ‘GINSPIRED’ PACKAGING FOR OUR FAVOURITE TIPPLE
With a dedicated World Gin day on June 8 -
originally founded by local gin fan Neil Houston -
the march of gin’s ‘on trend’ persona shows no signs
of slowing down. There is now a mind-boggling
array of flavours available, moving from traditional
juniper botanicals to diverse tastes; swirling candy
floss or smoked salmon gin anyone?
Elevating a gin brand to enhance the liquid’s
profile and getting the all-important bar presence
or the wow factor in a consumer’s drinks cabinet
are becoming pivotal. That’s why more and more
brands are embracing eye-catching gin bottle shapes,
materials or typographic labelling.
It’s nothing new; the early 90s saw the iconic
Bombay Sapphire blue design, while The Botanist’s
embossed glass bottle features Latin botanical
descriptions and an inadvertent naughty word search
surprise on the front right of the bottle. 2016’s
iconic Isle of Harris wave design came from creative
team Stranger and Stranger and, more recently, Le
Tribute, with its matching tonic brand, offers style
Here I’ve showcased two recent 2019 releases that
have featured on my narrowboat tasting cruises I run
on Birmingham’s waterway network.
Mermaid Gin’s stunning sculpted bottle is the
result of a year-long redesign project by Isle of
Wight Distillery owners Xavier Baker and Conrad
The bottle perfectly captures the essence of the
island by representing the brilliant colours of the sea
and the striking mermaid scale shape, with the bottle
created exclusively from sustainable, recyclable
and environmentally-friendly 100 per cent plasticfree
materials. The distillery is also piloting a refill
scheme enabling island customers to have bottles
refilled on site.
The gin itself is created using ten ethically sourced
botanicals including rock samphire - the marmite of
sea veg, a salty, parsley taste foraged from the island
cliffs - Boadicea hops from Ventnor Botanic Garden
and locally grown elderflower.
Chapel Down in Kent, England’s largest winemaker,
has released the third product in its premium spirits
range after their Chardonnay Vodka and Bacchus
(English Sauvignon Blanc grape) gin.
Pinot Noir Gin, a world first, has been produced by
distilling the grape skins leftover from the pressing
process for their sparkling wine, blended with
English wheat spirit. Producing an aromatic red
berry, rosehip and rose bud taste to mimic the Noir’s
flavour characteristics, it’s a grown up nod to the
‘pink gin’ category. The custom-made 70cl glass
bottle links back to the two production processes;
distilling and winemaking with the bottom half of
the bottle reflecting a cut-glass crystal decanter and
the frosted top half of the bottle denoting the classic
wine bottle shape.
Both available at Loki Wine in central Birmingham.
Summer Special Events
Summer Special Events
Night with Disco
Friday 2nd August
Enjoy a delicious three course
meal and disco until 12am
Friday 23rd August
Enjoy a delicious three course
meal and entertainment
Charity Moth Ball
Friday 11th October
Dust off your wedding dress
and help us raise money for
YMCA Sutton Coldfield.
Friday 9th August
Enjoy a delicious three course
meal and entertainment
Only Fools &
Friday 13th September
Great food and comedy action
served up Only Fools style
Night with Disco
Friday 1st November
Enjoy a delicious three course
meal and disco until 12am
With the Legends
Sunday 30th June
Songs from your favourite
musical legends including Elvis,
Frank Sinatra, Elton John to
name a few with our live choir
At The Movies
Sunday 22nd September
Songs from your favourite
movies including The Greatest
Showman, Dirty Dancing and
Rocky with our live choir
Wednesday 31st July
A delicious three course lunch
with entertainment from our
Friday 1st November
Sit down to a delicious
Afternoon Tea with murder,
mystery and intrigue!
Visit our website to view all events and to book online
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
Visit our website to view all events and to book online
Bird Street, Lichfield, WS13 6PR
01543 414822 www.thegeorgelichfield.co.uk
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
Visit our showroom and be amazed by the choice! With such a wide range from traditional to modern, there’s sure to be a style to suit you!
5 Stafford Road, Lichfield WS13 7BZ - Tel: 01543 263 383 • www.thefireplacelichfield.co.uk • Email: email@example.com
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm • Sat 10am - 4pm. Closed Sundays and bank holidays. FREE ON-SITE PARKING.
F O O D & D R I N K
Labelled with love
ALI MOUNTJOY, MANAGER OF INDULGENCE WINE & CHOCOLATE SHOP AT BARTON
MARINA SHOWCASES SOME BEAUTIFULLY LABELLED WINES WHICH TASTE EVERY BIT AS
GOOD AS THEIR DESIGN SUGGESTS
‘Never judge a book by it’s cover.’ At least that’s what we are told, but when it comes to wine, we can’t help
but be drawn to a funky label. This month we’re sharing some exciting wines sure to make any wine lover
want to pick up a bottle that will sit pride of place on the dinner table.
ARAGOSTA VERMENTINO DI SARDEGNA,
CANTINA SANTA MARIA LA PALMA
Near the seaside wine-hub of Alghero in North West
Sardinia, Cantina Santa Maria La Palma have been
well-established winemakers for the past 50 years. This
Vermentino was recently awarded a place in the top 20
of Wine Spectator’s annual 100 Top Values, an award
distinguishing the world’s highest-quality wines available
at budget-friendly prices. The wine bursts with flavours
of stone fruit, lemon peel and is reminiscent of pink
grapefruit sorbet. The refreshing acidity and mineral note
throughout make this delicate and juicy wine ideal for fish
and shellfish dishes, salads or simply on its own.
An absolute treat with fresh seafood and lighter pasta
CHEJA ISOLA DEI NURAGHI, CANTINA DI
Cantina di Mogoro has been an established winery on
Sardinia for almost 70 years. The word ‘Cheja’ is local
dialect meaning church. The naming of this Vermentino
blend is a nod to the ruins of ancient churches that
remain in old vineyards around the island, signifying the
importance that vine growing has held on the island for
centuries. Cheja has a delicate and fragrant nose of white
flowers and peach with ripe stone fruit and pear flavours on
the palate. Again, a really refreshing summery wine, perfect
alongside fish and shellfish, risotto and vegetarian dishes.
BENEVENTANO FALANGHINA MACCHIALUPA,
The grape Falanghina, is fast gaining a reputation for those
looking for something Italian beyond the usual suspects of
Gavi and Pinot Grigio.
Deeply aromatic, crisp and refreshing, it is also a fantastic
alternative for Sauvignon Blanc lovers.
This bright gold example from Macchialupa has us
smitten; offering an intensely rich bouquet, it has fruity
aromas of peach and pineapple along with hints of white
flowers and honey. The full and ripe palate is warming
with a little spice on the finish. Fantastic when paired with
grilled chicken, lightly spiced dishes and seafood.
IL VINO DAL TRALCETTO’, MONTEPULCIANO
D’ABRUZZO, CANTINE ZACCAGNINI, ABRUZZO
Zaccagnini produce a stellar portfolio of wines that
regularly receive international praise, and this is one of
our favourites. ‘Tralcetto’ (grape vine) is wrapped around
the neck of each and every bottle by hand - an indication
of the attention to detail that goes into making this wine.
Made from 100% Montepulciano grapes and is aged
in barrel for six months, softening the wine’s tannins.
The resulting wine is a silky and seductive red with deep
damson fruit on the nose leading to soft black cherry and
ripe blackberry flavours through the palate, all rounded off
with supple tannins. The ideal accompaniment to cheese
and charcuterie, filled pasta dishes, spaghetti Bolognese.
All wines available in store from Indulgence Wine & Chocolate Shop on Barton Marina,
which also offers a ‘click and collect’ service online. Visit www.indulgenceshop.co.uk.
Liam has won numerous awards including the most recent award in 2019 of
‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the Estrella Top 50 Gastropub Awards.
He has been awarded‘Best Chef’ at the Midlands Food, Drink &
Hospitality Awards, beating the likes of Sat Bains, Aktar Islam, and Andy
Waters to name a few, as well as picking up ‘Best Independent Restaurant’
by the Taste of Staffordshire Awards in 2018.
Formerly of Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and Restaurant Story Liam
has worked in some of the UK’s most prestigious kitchens.
This year he and his team are offering a number of new offers at The Boat!
· NEW BEER GARDEN & MENU · CHEF COLLABORATIONS
EVERY MONTH · AFTERNOON TEAS ON REQUEST
· NETWORKING LUNCHES FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH
FATHER’S DAY - 16th JUNE
Now taking bookings for Father’s Day
See our website for forthcoming events
Call for details - 01543 361692 - Open Wednesday - Sunday
www.theboatinnlichfield.com · Walsall Road, Lichfield WS14 0BU
W I N E , C H O C O L A T E , C O F F E E A N D G E L A T O
Indulgence Coffee Shop
with Real Italian Coffee, Cakes & Pastries.
Barton Marina Burton upon Trent DE13 8AS 01283 716 062 www.indulgenceshop.co.uk
T R AV E L
Exploring Georgia and Armenia
ALEX OLIVER, RB COLLECTION’S CENTRAL ASIA CONTACT REPORTS ON HIS FIRST TOUR OF THE
REGION WHICH HAS SPURRED MANY VISITS SINCE AND INSPIRED A SPECIAL TOUR THIS AUTUMN
For every would-be traveller, I think it would be fair
to say that we all have a list of destinations that we
have always yearned to visit. Not a bucket list per se,
but countries we have become almost obsessed with,
and with the start of every year, whisper to ourselves
‘perhaps next year’.
For me, I the countries of the Caucasus - especially
Armenia and Georgia - were always in that list of
must-visit lands. I am not even sure that I can explain
why, yet there has always been a draw for me to
these rugged countries. A group of people that have
existed on the geopolitical stage for thousands of
years, yet in their recent reincarnation through the
collapse of the Soviet Empire, these are fresh and
young sovereign states. Surrounded by some hostile
neighbours and their often authoritarian leaders,
these fledgling democracies are striving to establish
themselves on the world stage once again. Part of
this development is a desire to bring in tourism and
to revel in the culture and history that both countries
offer in abundance.
I suppose for myself coming from a background
in classical education, my main draw for visiting
this corner of the globe was the amount of history
involved. Lands fabled in stories of Jason and the
Argonauts, they lay on the cusp of the expansive
empires of Alexander the Great and later on, the
Romans; coins from these periods being on display
in Mestia and Tbilisi museums. Some of the oldest
Christian lands in the world, Georgia and Armenia sit
on a crossroad of Christian and Muslim cultures and
because of this, these highland countries have a long
and bloody history of conflict. They boast dramatic
alpine landscapes which hide equally dramatic stories,
from ancient times all the way through to the last
days of the USSR.
I have the enjoyable role of
selecting some of the new
and exciting destinations that
our groups will be visiting in
the months and years ahead.
Georgia and Armenia were
one of first itineraries that
I put forward and we had a
small and adventurous group
of ten eager guests which
was enough to get this tour
off the ground.
Landing in Yerevan late on
a brisk Saturday evening,
I think the first impression
that struck many of the
group was the lack of
vehicles on the road, even
right in the middle of a
Francophonic summit. This
initial impression was further
developed upon the next morning, when strolling
through the streets of downtown Yerevan we noticed
a lack of traffic and also of pollution. This is a capital
city with grandiose architecture, a soviet grid system
and a quiet provincial atmosphere. Yerevan boasted a
very unique character.
After sampling the delights of the Yerevan Vernissage
(open-air market), literally a few steps from our hotel
entrance, we were then whisked through the streets
to the Yerevan countryside to visit two very special
highlights in one day.
Firstly we were brought to the steps of the Greco-
Roman temple of Garni, the best-known structure
and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. This temple
famed to have been built by Tiridates I after his
visit to Rome in AD66. I presume that the styles he
witnessed impressed him deeply, as the temple did
for me. This compact collection of ionic columns
could either be considered ‘Armenian-Hellenic’ or
perhaps a foreign structure on Armenian soil. Either
way, it is a striking contrast to the land by which it is
surrounded. This Roman temple cradled by the arid
rolling hills and shrouded in a fog of smoke from
local fires, really did convey an atmosphere.
Thinking that the day could not contain any more
breathtaking experiences, we were then driven a
short distance to the temple of Geghard. This place
was incredible! A medieval monastery half hewn out
of the bare rock, begging to be explored. Darkened
chambers with shafts of light and hidden springs
trickling away in the gloom, Geghard really did
invoke my inner Indiana Jones, and this was just the
From Yerevan we traversed across almost sweltering
desert landscape, to a barren plateau on the Georgian
border (spying eagles and hawks as we went) and
ended up at the roof of Europe, under the shadow of
Mt. Ushba in the chilly mountain region of Svaneti.
All of this encompassed within 48 hours and just shy
En-route to the town of Mestia in Svaneti, we were
treated to another absolute highlight and a location
that I will not forget anytime soon; the 12th
century cave settlement of Vardzia. Constructed
by the national hero of Georgia, Queen Tamar,
this warren of seemingly unfathomable cave
settlements, corridors, steps and alleyways, lets
your imagination run wild. Originally intended
as an impregnable fortress to keep the Mongols
at bay, this now UNESCO wonder later became
a monastery and still has an active (if small)
community of monks. Again, what a treat this
visit proved to be for our guests.
As hinted at earlier however, this distraction was
en-route to the peak of excitement for our time
in Armenia and Georgia. The land of Svaneti
and the main town of Mestia boast a character
unique in all of Georgia. The Svan people are
fiercely proud of their traditions and customs. Their
landscape is dotted with hundreds of fortress-like
tower houses, from a time when family feuds were so
brutal, that these kinds of defences were a common
At the roof of Europe, at the some the highest points
of the Caucasus Mountains, with the turbulent lands
of Chechnya and Dagestan over the horizon, our
group was treated to a wonderful feast and serenaded
by a world-famous polyphonic Svaneti choir. This
was both a surreal and fantastic experience.
From here we continued on through Georgia and
eventually into vibrant Tbilisi. Once again, there
were many more interesting and unique sights and
sites as we meandered through the region; however I
feel that I will run out of paper if I try to list them all!
Suffice to say that this tour was a great success and
we have continued to arrange more tours with our
partners in Georgia who recently organised all of the
ground arrangements for Joanna Lumley on her Silk
Road Adventure, including special access to see some
off-limits 10th and 12th century frescos, an honour
that our groups also enjoy. These partners of ours,
in addition have just finished filming with Jeremy
Clarkson and his crew on The Grand Tour series. So
it is fair to say that our groups are in safe hands.
I cherish the time I spent in these intriguing and
hospitable countries and my heart already yearns to
return in the future.
J’AIME reader offer
MENTION J’AIME WHEN YOU BOOK
YOUR HOLIDAY TO GEORGIA WITH RB
COLLECTION BEFORE JUNE 30, 2019 FOR
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Georgia and Armenia
• EXPLORE THE QUIRKY CENTRE OF OLD TOWN
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• VIEW BREATHTAKING MOUNTAIN BACKDROPS
INCLUDING MT. USHBA IN GEORGIA AND
MT. ARARAT IN ARMENIA
• RETURN FLIGHTS FROM THE UK
• ACCOMMODATION WITH DAILY BREAKFAST
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FULL DETAILS: RBCOLLECTION.COM/GEORGIA,
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N E R O e B I A N C O
M A T E R N I T Y & C H I L D R E N S W E A R
and more ….
Bar ton Marina
Burton upon Trent
01283 716 524
Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy
My offices are situated in the historic city of Lichfield and I have been providing personal
wealth management advice to my clients for more
than 25 years.
I specialise in the following key areas
and welcome your enquiry:
• Investment Planning
• InheritanceTax and Estate Planning
• Pre and Post-Retirement Planning
• Care Fees Planning and Funding for Care
Telephone: 01543 417342
Office: 6A Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LH
Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management Plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority)
for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products.
FA S H I O N
Festival of fashion
WHETHER YOU’RE GLAMPING AT GLASTONBURY OR BRONZING ON THE BEACH AT
BENICASSIM, ACHIEVE BOTH FIELD AND FASHION-PACK APPROVED STYLE WITH OUR
FESTIVAL ESSENTIALS, SAYS AMY NORBURY
FESTIVAL season is once again upon us, that time of year
when music and fashion collide and when fields up and down
the land become catwalks for festival-going fashionistas to
strut their stylish stuff.
From crystal-encrusted shades to boho maxi dresses, be festival
season’s headline act with our retinue of field-ready outfits.
What do festival-going fashionistas and farmers have in
common? The answer is wellington boots - more specifically,
Hunters. Founded in Scotland and steeped in heritage, the
home-grown brand is still going strong since its opening in
1856. Today its famous rubber shoes are near-synonymous
with the rainy British weather, making them the ultimate
festival wellies to brave notoriously muddy grounds.
Although cut-off denim and Hunters are the backbone of
many a festival-friendly outfit, the Glastonbury look is about
so much more. This is the festival where British charm,
eccentricity and creativity shine; where anything goes;
where you can nonchalantly walk around sporting a feather
headdress or a metallic space-inspired jumpsuit and no one
will bat a starry, glittery eyelid.
A sequin tee is the perfect foil for your denim, adding a splash
of glam and a touch of drama to your festival attire, while a
printed kaftan is perfect for throwing over your outfit when the
evening chills set in.
If your idea of Glasto glam owes more to the hippy-inspired
days of Woodstock, then a dreamy printed dress should be
on your must-pack list. Fabulous florals are a perennial style
staple, but this summer opt for prints with a bit more pizazz.
Any and all animal prints should be right at the top of the
list - after all, they are the new neutral - while polka dots and
stripes are also having a fashion moment. For extra on-trend
points, just combine them all!
Weatherproofing your festival wardrobe is essential in the
unpredictable British climate, so make sure you pack a good
waterproof. But call time on dowdy anoraks; this year’s chicest
festival raincoats embrace Bacofoil metallics and pastel-hued
Having risen from the ashes of touristy connotations, belt
bags continue to hold court as the festival bag du jour. Newly
evolved from ‘80s-era fanny packs and hardy nylons, the
modern belt bag comes in a flurry of iterations from buttersoft
leathers and logo-laden canvas. If you need a bit more
room for your festival essentials, then swap the belt bag for a
BEACH COLLECTION MAXI DRESS
FROM A SELECTION AT MONSOON
ONE TEASPOON LEGEND
SEQUIN EMBELLISHED TOP,
RAINS YELLOW RUBBERISED
RAINCOAT, HARVEY NICHOLS
SEQUIN TASSEL EARRINGS,
ORIGINAL TALL GLOSS
SLATE BOOTS, HUNTER
GUCCI GG MARMONT
RED LEATHER BELT BAG,
DIOR CLUB3 AVIATOR
DRESS, £69, STUDIO
BY PREEN AT
FA S H I O N
A mono fashion fix
JILL HARTLEY, CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF NERO E BIANCO EXCLUSIVE FASHION
AND BRIDAL BOUTIQUE AT BARTON MARINA, SAYS STYLISH CHOICES FOR THIS SUMMER
SHOULD BE BLACK AND WHITE
Female empowerment is important to us here at Nero e Bianco, which is why our ladies’ clothes are designed
with that in mind; all of these upcoming looks will make you feel empowered, confident and strong while
Two colours vastly underrated during summer months are white and black; although black is seen as a no-go
colour during hotter weather, a little black here and there forms the foundation for all of your go-to looks this
The first look we’re obsessing over is this two-piece;
although it looks like a jumpsuit, this is actually a top
and trouser set. The paperbag style pinstripe trousers
can be paired with heels or chunky white trainers to
take them from daytime casual trousers to workwear or
evening looks with heels.
The top is a simple cami complete with a scooped
neckline to add a little something to the look. It’s perfect
paired with these trousers but would also look amazing
with jeans for a more casual vibe.
A pleated skirt is something we all need in our wardrobe
as it’s the ultimate staple piece. Again, it’s versatile in how
it can be worn as it can look fantastic for both casual and
evening events. Here paired with a cold shoulder top and
heels, the flowing pleated skirt is the centre of the look and
draws attention to curves which in turn flatters your figure.
This skirt is also available in pink.
Nero e Bianco
Occasionwear & Ladieswear
Burton upon Trent
01283 346 704
One of the biggest trends you may have seen in 2019 is the chain
print pattern; featuring tigers here too, the pattern adds a unique
feature to a basic blouse.
Paired here with plain black trousers, this makes a stylish workwear
look. The chain print makes you stand out from other formal looks
while looking and feeling super chic and sophisticated.
A basic tee can go a
long way, and when
you’re rushing around
in the morning getting
ready throwing on
this tee will take all
of the stress out of
your morning routine.
Paired here with white
ripped jeans and heels,
this tee could also be
paired with coloured
jeans to add an extra
pop to the outfit and
trainers for a super
casual look meaning
you can look sleek
even while running the
Finally, adding colour to our black and white looks is
this beautiful belted jacket. Available in both ecru and
caramel, this jacket will take you all the way through
summer into autumn as its lightweight and practical style
can pair with any outfit.
View a wider range of our summer collection at neroebianco.uk or visit us in
store at Barton Marina, Barton under Needwood, Burton on Trent, DE13 8AS.
B E AU T Y
Holiday beauty prep
WITH THE HOLIDAY SEASON FAST APPROACHING IT’S NOT JUST YOUR PACKING THAT NEEDS YOUR
ATTENTION; IT’S TIME TO LOCK YOURSELF AWAY IN THE BATHROOM TO PREEN AND PAMPER READY FOR
THE BIG GET-AWAY. LISA PIDDINGTON FROM HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM REVEALS HER PRE-TRIP
ESSENTIALS TO HAVE YOU BEACH-READY FROM TOP TO TOE
Packed full of nourishing
ingredients, Coco and Eve’s
Like A Virgin Nourishing
Coconut & Fig Hair Masque,
£34.50, strengthens, repairs,
tames and treats. Raw virgin
coconut prevents breakage and
split ends while argan oil tackles
split ends to make your hair more
manageable. There’s also added
essence of fig and shea butter to
moisturise and detangle.
Elemis Treat Your Feet
Foot Cream, £22, is rich in
conditioning shea butter and
jojoba oil to hydrate rough
skin. The intensely moisturising
formulation is infused with a
blend of aromatic patchouli,
eucalyptus and lemon oils to
help soothe and comfort.
Prep with SOS Oil, £55,
from Heaven Skincare – it’s
designed to balance oil levels,
hydrate and feed the skin while
its vitamin content can help to
repair acne, scars and damaged
skin. It is also proven to shrink
warts, spots, blackheads and even
stretch marks due to its antiviral
properties, and can even be used
on dry hair and nails to soften
Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream,
£44, has quickly gained cult status on social
media. With nutrient-rich, ethically-sourced natural
ingredients from the Amazon, this cheeky skincare
must-have leaves skin super soft, deliciously scented
and ready for Rio. It’s not just for your derrière –
you can use it on your tummy, arms and legs, in fact
anywhere you need glowing skin.
Water, £39, is a
developed with 3%
DHA for golden,
natural looking skin.
The hi-tech formula
works to hydrate while
delivering a sun-kissed
glow for a bronzed
finish. The lightweight
formula is transparent
when applied and
absorbs quickly for a
streak-free finish that
does not transfer onto
clothes or sheets.
PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE BEAUTY HALL AT
HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM OR ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM
F E AT U R E
Getting to the point
ANGIE ANDERTON, FROM VERVE ACUPUNCTURE IN SUTTON COLDFIELD, DISCUSSES THE
BENEFITS OF THIS ANCIENT CHINESE TREATMENT FOR A MULTITUDE OF LIFE’S AILS
So, you’ve heard of acupuncture?
But what is it, what does it help with and will it hurt?
To start with, no it doesn’t hurt; an acupuncture
needle is thinner than a human hair, it’s nothing like
having an injection, having blood taken and doesn’t
scratch. I have had many people who have come to
me with a needle phobia and have left wondering
why on earth they were worried, feeling relaxed and
having often had an acu nap!
So how does it work? Our bodies are truly amazing
when you think about it. They’re like something out
of a gross horror movie; an arm gets sliced with a
knife and the skin weirdly grows back all by itself, you
have approximately five million of these crazy stringy
things growing out of your head and body that keep
us warm, and you can snap a bone clean in half and
it will fuse itself back together! Weird! Therefore, the
simple notion that our body has the ability to repair
itself shouldn’t be so surprising; it can and does, but
sometimes it just needs a little help. That’s where
acupuncture comes in.
Acupuncture is an ancient medicine practised and
modified over thousands of years. The most popular
form of acupuncture is Chinese acupuncture, which
is a part of traditional Chinese medicine, a holistic
way of approaching our health both physically and
During acupuncture fine needles are inserted into
specific points which, over thousands of years of
research, have been shown to have different effects
on different functions of the body and is able to
encourage the body to repair itself. These years of
research have given us specific functions of points
on the body; for example, acupuncture point kidney
3 helps to strengthen the kidneys and aid in fertility
and point st36 is said to give you an extra three miles
of running in your legs.
Sometimes the fine needles are solely inserted to
nudge the body into action; the tiny micro traumas
that the needles create will ensure the body knows
there is something to repair in the region and will
send what is required to repair it.
In facial acupuncture this will include collagen and
elastin which help to rejuvenate and revive skin,
reducing the signs of aging and giving you that all
important glow. For musculoskeletal injuries this will
repair and aid recovery for a multitude of ailments.
In these circumstances a multi-therapy, including
cupping for example, will
ensure blood flow is optimised
and recovery times enhanced.
One of the main study areas
for acupuncture effectiveness is
for pain relief; the acupuncture
needles trigger signals to the
brain which in turn releases
opiates and reduces pain
and inflammation. Pain can
be in many forms including
but not limited to migraines,
fibromyalgia and back pain.
For mental emotional
treatments the ability to balance
hormones is key. We live in
an age of worry so if you’re
constantly stressed or suffer
from anxiety, you may want to give acupuncture
a go. Your nervous system is divided between the
sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous
system. Our sympathetic nervous system is known for
‘fight or flight’; when the sympathetic nervous system
is on, our blood pressure goes up, as does the body’s
stress hormone, cortisol. Acupuncture can encourage
the body to let the parasympathetic nervous system
take over — allowing the heart rate to slow down,
and blood pressure and cortisol levels to drop.
The balance of hormones is also crucial in the
treatment of fertility patients. I have a huge personal
attachment to treating women going through a
fertility journey as I have been on my own journey
and my daughter was born through IVF, during
which acupuncture for me was invaluable. So when
I say I know what you’re going through, I actually
do. Acupuncture can assist in regulating periods,
reducing pain, ensuring that blood flow is optimal
to aid in fertility treatment and reducing stress
hormones, allowing you to relax in what can be an
extremely overwhelming time.
So this is a brief explanation of what acupuncture
is and the ways in which it helps. Always remember
that dry needling, which is the type of acupuncture a
physio might administer, can be learnt as a weekend
course, where as traditional Chinese acupuncture
takes years to study and gain official qualifications, so
they are not the same.
Acupuncture is also often seen as a last resort when
everything else has failed, so understand that while
any good practitioner will never give you more
sessions than are necessary, it will often be a course
of treatment that is required. We aim to treat the
cause and not just the symptoms.
In a nutshell, there is no simple introduction or short
list of what acupuncture can do as it can treat so
many things, more than 300 in fact. From arthritis,
back and neck pain to sports injury and recovery,
anxiety to fertility treatment, if you are looking for a
drug-free alternative to treatment, then acupuncture
could be for you.
For more information or to book an
appointment with Angie call 07861 246793,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
M OTO R S
Life in the fast lane
J’AIME’S MOTORING EXPERT AND RESIDENT RACING DRIVER MARTIN PLOWMAN
DISCOVERS WHITE-KNUCKLE RALLY ACTION IN THE CENTRE OF BIRMINGHAM
I’m not sure about you, but I was one of those kids
growing up who loved cars so much that I would
dream about owning my own car company someday
and would spend hours drawing the perfect ‘range’
of vehicles for sale. They mostly entailed powerful
engines, big wheels (sometimes eight!) and very
sporty rear spoilers; who knew I would get into
racing, right? For most of us, reality sinks in when
we grow up and those dreams of being a famous car
designer fall by the wayside.
Not everyone lets go of those dreams! Meet Steven
Adams, founder and CEO of Walker-Adams. For
the past 15 years, he has been laying the foundations
and growing his business from the ground up without
the help of any large backers or angel investors.
Steven’s story is one of a true British entrepreneur.
With nothing more than a dream, a brain full of
engineering skill from his many years spent in the
automotive industry and £50,000 in savings and a
shed, at 29 years old Steven threw caution to the
wind and made the bold move to start his own car
Walker-Adams designs and manufactures custombuilt
road-legal high-performance all-terrain cars. It’s
safe to say that they will never be accused of being
‘another bland car-maker’, with their aim being “to
put the fun back into driving”.
Instead of rushing a product to market that would
fail, Steven’s business model was based upon steady
but sustainable growth. His first model, the Walker-
Adams Rebel, was geared towards the corporate
entertainment world as a way to generate muchneeded
income and develop a foundation to his
business. After investing more than £95,000 of
his own money to establish the track he now has a
thriving experiential marketing arm to his business
where he hosts corporate events, stag dos and
birthday parties where guests can drive his creations
in anger around his purpose-built track.
The track serves a purpose to help fund the R&D
side of his business, while also serving as a handson
marketing tool for prospective buyers. I’ll be the
first to admit that I had not heard of Walker-Adams
as I was not in the market for an off-road vehicle.
And the chances of me going to a local dealer to
get a test-drive were slim, but by offering driving
experiences that just happen to be in one of his cars I
was now exposed first hand to the brand and what it
had to offer.
I caught up with Steven at the Walker-Adams test
track in Birmingham Wheels Adventure Park (a
stone’s throw away from the Bullring), to get my
hands on his latest creation; the Revolution 4x2. The
Revolution 4x2 is a beast of a car. It is essentially
a road-legal, MSA-approved racing car that is
eligible for a host of off-road championships. With
attention-grabbing styling, it backs up its looks with
a perfectly engineered chassis to handle the rugged
terrain and with very little weight to carry it has a
very high power-to-weight ratio of 466BHP/tonne.
To give that some perspective its power-to-weight is
equivalent to that of a Lamborghini Aventador SV!
To give me a taste of what the Revolution 4x2
is capable of, Steven took me out onto the track
in what can only be described as ten minutes of
adrenaline-fuelled, white-knuckle 4x4 rally action.
When I was younger I had a passenger ride in a
World Rally Championship car with Petter Solberg
and this experience ranks right up there with that!
The handling of the car over the bumps and the way
he was able to slide the rear of the car out to get the
rotation before flooring the throttle, sending your
eyeballs back in their sockets was very impressive. It
had so much grip it made very little work of the mud
and rock-filled track.
Next up it was my turn. Now, granted I had a
lot of pressure to perform considering my racing
background; not only would it be my very first
experience of racing on dirt, but I was also going up
against my upstart marketing-guru friend Jack Regan
who mistakenly thinks he’s Ayrton Senna incarnate.
Sadly he’s not, and thankfully I didn’t embarrass
myself too much after some expert tuition from
Steven, but I will let Jack tell that story in full in the
Even if you never buy an ATV, I implore you to
head down to Steven’s track for one of his driving
experiences. I promise you will thank me later.
Q&A With Steven Adams
What is your background in the automotive
I’m a chartered engineer by trade. My background
was in designing, developing and testing steering
suspension systems. I have worked all over the world
for companies such as DAEWOO, Daimler-Chrysler,
Bentley, and Jaguar-Landrover. The experience
I gained working for them helped me to gain an
understanding of the whole car, which enabled me to
develop my own car.
How old were you when you decided to start
I was 29 when I started Walker-Adams as a company
back in 2001 doing engineering consultancy work
and then opened the track in 2004.
What was the deciding factor that made
you take a leap of faith to start Walker-
After returning from working in the US, I needed
a limited company for my consultancy work. The
transition from consultant to full-blown manufacturer
happened while I was working at Jaguar between
2001 to 2004. It got to the stage that I could no
longer hold down a full-time job and build my own
business, so I had to take a leap of faith and quit the
Has it always been your dream to start a car
I have always loved cars, and I decided early on to
go for my degree in engineering and went on to work
in the automotive industry. I got to the point where
I was doing more paperwork than engineering; the
further I moved up the ladder. There came a time
that I felt I had the expertise to build my own car
from start to finish, which sparked my desire to start
a car company. I have always been into off-road
driving and working on the Dodge Ram in America
pushed me more in that direction.
What have been some of your biggest
challenges so far?
The biggest problem in the early days was money. I
always knew low-volume manufacturing was a risky
business, even with wealthy-backers. This is why I set
up the track first. I got it to a stage where it became
profitable and then used some of the profits to help
develop the vehicles. The combination of the track
(off road karting/rally school), part sales and vehicle
sales all work together and means I do not need any
backers. Now my problem is time as there are not
enough hours in the day!
F E AT U R E
IN THE BATTLE OF THE COLUMNISTS JACK REGAN, A CREATIVE AT TITAN. THE ADVERTISING
AGENCY IN BIRMINGHAM, GOES HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH J’AIME’S MOTORING EXPERT
MARTIN PLOWMAN FOR A TRACK CHALLENGE WITH A DIFFERENCE
J’AIME’S COLUMNISTS JACK
REGAN AND MARIN PLOWMAN
WENT HEAD TO HEAD ON A
DRIVING EXPERIENCE WITH A
Right, okay, so the ever so subtle challenge was laid
down by this mag’s editor over a bunch of drinks - a
gallon or two of Dutch courage with a few shots of
bravado for chasers, truth be told.
“Do you reckon you could give Martin Plowman a
run for his money?” I was asked.
“At chess?” I queried. “Or on a space hopper? He’s
only a wee lad so I’d thrash him on a spacey.”
“No, no,” she chuckled as she topped up my pint, “I
mean in a car. Like in a race car, y’know?”
Martin Plowman is a world class race car driver. He
has been a world champion and a Le Mans winner.
He essentially races for Aston Martin now, so we’ll
refer to him henceforth as Aston Martin Plowman.
Hmmmm, I hmmmed, necking about an ice cold
gallon of Peroni by way of an answer. And then
I hmmmed a wee bit more and the editor took it
upon herself to pour some more beer and so on, ad
I cast my mind back to the last race I had won. To
my glory days. I basked briefly in the memory of
the eureka moment at my school sports day (aged
nine) when me and my mate, Biggy, realised that if
we used a super strrrrretchy snake belt (remember
them?) for the three-legged race we could continue to
be as spectacularly uncoordinated as we were, yet still
thrash all comers, utterly unchallenged.
Hell, we were so blisteringly fast with that snake
belt we coulda embarrassed Shergar round a track.
And stewards enquiry be damned. And the janitor,
John ‘The Jannie’ McLatchie be damned too for
his vicious, utterly ridiculous Sepp Blatter calibre
attempts to have us disqualified. What a swine! What
a toerag! We were only nine, McLatchie! NINE! And
don’t think we didn’t know that that wee snivelling
Davie McTaggart was your nephew. Him sitting
there after being vanquished in our race, weeping
like Desdemona cos he hadn’t thought up a genuine
genius ploy like our snake belt?! I have zero sympathy
for you and your family of embittered losers, I’m
And while we’re at it, McLatchie, it’s little wonder
that wee Desdemona ended up halfway to being
a junkie with the horrendously bad influence your
soap-dodging, illiterate and godless, regularlynabbed-for-shopliftin’
clan set for him! And your
compulsion to protest to the deputy headmistress
about an innovation as worthy and properly
celebrational as our snake belt should have served as
warning to you that Desdemona’s future would be a
very, very bleak one indeed. I’ll say again, McLatchie
Anyways, it was a legendary three-legged victory for
us and we were so astonishingly fast that day that
they probably still talk about our win at that wee
school, even all these years later, the same way folk
still talk about Cantona at Old Trafford. Matter
of fact I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a call one
day to say they’re putting up a statue in the school
playground depicting our magnificent victory. Either
that or one of they veddy veddy posh blue heritage
plaques will go up in the lads’ bogs mere moments
after we die. Mere moments, mark my words.
Though McLatchie would doubtless be dismantling
it hours after the Lord Mayor had unveiled it.
Probably melting down the metal to pay for his
nephew’s drug addiction.
But I sat there with the editrix trying to decide
if I could pull off the same magnificent level of
racemanship on Aston Martin Plowman with his Le
Mans victory and all that nonsense.
“Would he be wearing his Le Mans medal while we
race?” I asked the ed, while taking another long,
contemplative pull on my pint of Peroni.
Cos if he did and I won I felt it was only right and
fair that I should then be declared the rightful owner
of said medal. The editor nodded in the of-course-
Jack-yes fashion while pouring me another frothy
Peroni and proceeded to explain what the race would
It seems there’s an English eccentric in Birmingham
who designs, builds and races what appear to be
very, very rapid moon buggies. Though he only races
them on Earth. And is very particular about that, it
Would I be up for racing Mr Plowman round a
spectacularly muddy dirt track in one of said moon
So I did the decent thing. I had one more Peroni,
agreed to do it, then promptly collapsed and fell fast
asleep on the floor of the pub.
But then, come race day, I turned up bright eyed,
bushy whatsitted, sober and ready while Aston
Martin Plowman got lost and I had to go and find
him. Which I felt was a great start for me and a bit
of an embarrassment for him, though I’m too big
and better a man to gloat about something like that
in a magazine column. God no.
The fella, Steve Adams, wheels out two of these
incredible little pocket rocket racers and proceeds
to take the road legal one around the streets of
Brum, at breakneck cornering speeds, leaving every
other driver and
we whooshed away
into the horizon.
These cars can
be tuned to over
300BHP and have
I would be using
to humiliate him
when he tried to set
a better lap time
than me around the
Didn’t seem too
troubled, I have to
say, but he was probably still just a touch mortified
and ashamed about getting himself lost earlier.
Steve explained that groups of up to 20 people
hire his track and his buggies to race around. It is
muddier than The Somme and makes for some for
some hilarious entertainment with pile ups clumsy
enough to make Wacky Races look elegant by
We would be going round the track individually this
day though, so as to see who could set the best lap
time and thereby cement his eternal status as the
fastest man at J’AIME.
As a gentleman I allowed Aston Martin to go first.
And he took his time for the first few laps but was
soon thrashing it around the track, mud and gravel
rooster tailing spectacularly all over the place as he
hung the little car’s tail out and mashed pedal to
metal in the ruthless fashion only a race car driver
He set a blistering pace but then came into the pits
early because he had to dash off to his sewing circle
or embroidery class or some such nonsense. And so
And then your correspondent from Titan stepped
into the arena and I admit I had the highest
expectations that the snake belt glory days would
soon return and I would have a new swagger in my
I had watched and learned from Steve Adams’
faultless tuition, had watched Aston Martin do his
bit and I had amped up the adrenalin in myself to
such unprecedented levels I might have easily been
mistaken for Caster Semenya.
Pumped, psyched, focused I had the eye of the
tiger as I strapped myself into the bucket race seats,
ready to tear hell-for-leather around that track,
leaving Aston Martin’s time trailing in my wake and
eating my dust and I set off with the tyres of the car
seeming like they were on fire, Steve Adams beside
me chuckling nervously as I threw his perfectly
weighted vehicle around the track.
On my fifth round of the track I reckon I had
mastered the art of going sideways very, very
fast and I hammered the loud pedal in my bid to
utterly thrash Aston Martin. I was heel and toeing,
balancing the car on a knife’s edge and, I sincerely
believe on the verge of true greatness and glory.
Right up until I stuffed the wee car painfully and
unceremoniously into a frickin’ hedge! Which
seemed to appear out of nowhere, if I’m honest and
I’m not going to suggest this could have been dirty
tricks on Aston’s part, but, y’know, I’m just saying.
That was that though. The end of the race. The end
of the event.
But anyway, I’ll be magnanimous in defeat and all
that and congratulate Mr Le Mans, well done etc etc,
(gritted teeth) and, of course, I’ll buy you a Peroni
And no doubt you’ll be happy now too, McLatchie,
won’t you?! You and that wee weepin’, bed wettin’
Desdemona! After all these years, you’ll be getting
hiiiiigh tonight in celebration!
But just mark my words, dear readers - crash or no
crash, I have lived to fight another day and this is by
no means the end of the matter. I’m just not one for
letting a grudge lie. You have been warned.
What the best dressed
wearing this year.
Ripples Birmingham c/o Cookes Furniture, 28 Goosemoor Lane,
Erdington, Birmingham B23 5PN Tel: 0121 2505056
Ripples Solihull, 1693-1695 High Street, Knowle,
Solihull B93 0LN Tel: 01564 730223