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 O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9
FOCUS ON MENTAL
HEALTH AS BEDLAM
COMES TO BIRMINGHAM
style to love
FOR RACE ACE
The archetype of the modern watch has spanned generations
since 1945 with its enduring functions and aesthetics.
It doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.
oyster perpetual datejust 36
51 queens road, nuneaton, warwickshire cv11 5jx
watch featured subject to stock availability
Welcome to J’AIME
It’s celebration time here at J’AIME
following the final race in the British
GT season which has seen our very own
columnist and resident racing driver Martin
Plowman, alongside teammate and friend of
J’AIME Kelvin Fletcher (who you may have
spotted on the Strictly dance floor in recent
weeks!) crowned GT4 Pro-Am champions
after a fantastic year of racing. We went
behind the scenes at Donington as the
final race unfolded - huge congratulations
to Plowey and Kelvin, and here’s to more
racing success in 2020.
October marks World Mental Health
Day, and we take a look at Birmingham’s
BEDLAM Festival, which aims to raise
awareness of mental health and well-being
through the importance of the arts. With
a varied programme of performances and
events over 12 days, BEDLAM is set to
be an accessible, celebratory and thoughtprovoking
arts festival with something
for everyone, and festival director Steve
Ball gives us the lowdown on some of his
Elsewhere, we chat to Sutton Coldfield
interior designer Kyle Broughton-Frew - who
has been making a splash on BBC2’s Interior
Design Masters - about the pressures of
reality TV and what it takes to make it in the
interior design world, plus we look at some
of the hottest home trends for autumn.
With food and drink, fashion and beauty,
travel and entertainment galore, we hope
you enjoy all J’AIME has to offer this month.
EDITOR: AMY NORBURY
ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY
07388 335 931
CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN, GARY
PHELPS, NATHAN COLLINS, LISA PIDDINGTON,
THE GINTLEMAN, RAUL ROMERO, JACK REGAN
J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY
PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED
BY KEP LIMITED, TAMWORTH.
Check us out online at:
Find us on
CO N T E N T S
InsideJ’aime this month...
6 BEDLAM Festival - Birmingham’s celebration
of mental health and well-being through the arts
10 Property - Property of the month
12 Kyle Broughton-Frew - The Sutton Coldfield
star of BBC2’s Interior Design Masters
16 Interiors - Light and shade
22 Interiors - Stylish studies
28 Food and drink - Reviewing Swinfen Hall’s
gourmet dinner evening
30 Food & drink - Cocktail of the month
32 Food & drink - The Gintleman’s gin picks for
36 Life on the edge - Jack Regan tackles a foodie
challenge with a sting in its tail
40 Health - Lichfield personal trainer Raul Romero
44 Travel - Sporting destinations for 2020
48 What’s On - Spooktastic events for
52 Fashion - Retro hues for autumn
54 Beauty - Super cleansers from Harvey Nichols
56 In the news - Breast Friends fundraiser; and
interiors with a difference
57 Motors - Behind the scenes as Martin Plowman
and Kelvin Fletcher scoop the GT4 Pro-Am crown
F E AT U R E
Wellbeing through the arts
WITH WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY ON OCTOBER 10, BIRMINGHAM’S BEDLAM FESTIVAL
OFFERS A THOUGHT-PROVOKING PROGRAMME OF PERFORMANCES WHICH LOOK AT MENTAL
HEALTH AND WELLBEING THROUGH THE ARTS. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE
It is estimated that one
in four people in the
UK experience a mental
health problem each year,
and as many as one in
six people in England
suffer from a common
mental health issue such
as anxiety or depression
That adds up to a
staggering amount of the
population who are, or
have been, affected by
mental ill health. Chances
are that you, or someone
you know, have suffered -
or are suffering right now.
THE THING WILL HAVE
ITS WORLD PREMIERE AT
Yet mental ill health is still so often seen as a taboo
subject. Something to be ashamed of. Something we
just don’t talk about.
Birmingham’s BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health
Festival aims to change that perception.
Taking place throughout the city from October 1 to
12, BEDLAM will present more than 25 events in a
range of venues to raise awareness of mental health
and wellbeing through the importance of the arts.
Welcoming artists from across the UK to the Second
City, as well as plenty of home-grown talent,
BEDLAM will showcase an exciting and engaging
programme of theatre performances, dance,
movement workshops, art installations, wellbeing
walks, film screenings, family events, Q&A sessions
and a special BEDLAM Symposium.
Performances and exhibitions will take place at
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, as well as at
partner venue the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC),
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and various
community centres around the city. Performance
partners include Sampad South Asian arts and
heritage and, new for 2019, Geese Theatre
Company, who use theatre and drama-based
techniques within criminal justice and social welfare
settings, delivering projects that support the process
of positive change.
Opening the festival is London-born Koko Brown,
who brings her play White to MAC for the first time
blending music and spoken word. Further highlights
include No Bond So Strong, a new commission by
Sampad which is a life-affirming production about
motherhood and holding family together, while
Geese Theatre Company present Playing the Game,
featuring a cast of four who take audiences on a
journey through a century of maternal incarceration.
BEDLAM launched eight years ago as a partnership
between Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health
NHS Foundation Trust and the Birmingham
Repertory Theatre, following discussions between the
NHS Trust and the REP’s associate director Steve
Ball about the ways in which the arts can support
mental health and wellbeing. The festival has run
“This is something which, over the past four years
especially, has become much more prominent and
the profile of which has been very much raised in
SAMPAD’S NO BOND SO
STRONG TAKES A LOOK
the media and by the government, so in many ways
we’re more familiar with talking about mental health
and wellbeing. But there’s still a stigma attached,”
“What we’re trying to do by working in partnership
with the Mental Health Trust - and also MAC,
Sampad and, most recently for this festival, Geese
Theatre - is to provide a number of arts experiences,
be that theatre, dance or exhibitions, for people to
attend as audiences, but also workshops - most of
which are free - so that people can explore their own
mental health and wellbeing, talk to others about it,
understand it better and help to reduce the stigma
associated with mental ill health.
“It gives people permission to talk about something
that previous generations would have swept under
the carpet, about something that has previously been
stigmatised and seen as a bit embarrassing.
“But one in four of the population in any one year
will be affected by mental ill health, which is a
huge amount. And even if we’re not suffering from
chronic mental ill health, many of us will be affected
by things like loneliness, depression or anxiety at
different times during each month.
“What an arts festival like BEDLAM can do, is to
bring people together with a sense of community to
explore those very issues, to help understand them
better, to reflect on our own experiences, and to
share that with friends and family.”
In creating the BEDLAM programme, Steve works
closely with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health
NHS Foundation Trust to ensure the topics covered
are most relevant to the Midlands audiences.
“It’s important that people have the opportunity to
talk, discuss, debate and engage in dialogue about
positive mental health as well as the diverse range
of mental health issues,” says Lakhvir Rellon, head
of community engagement at Birmingham and
Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and
“By raising that awareness we hope to reduce the
stigma within communities that is associated with
mental ill health. Mental health issues are common,
and the demand for mental health services is
increasing. There is increased awareness about the
difficulties associated with mental ill health, and
there’s a strong focus on prevention and promoting a
positive sense of wellbeing. It’s important that people
understand the ways that they can look after their
mental health as well as their physical health.
“People who use our services, their families, their
carers, will often comment on the positive value
of connecting with the arts and participating in
creative activities, not only for their own wellbeing
and supporting their recovery from mental ill health,
but also for connecting with other people, trying
new things and having the opportunity to express
creatively things which they may find difficult to
express through just talking.”
The festival is scheduled to coincide with World
Mental Health Day on October 10 - the theme of
which, this year, is suicide prevention. And suicide
prevention is a topic which runs through a number
of different aspects of the programme.
The single biggest killer of men aged between 20
and 49 in the UK is suicide, and Olivier-nominated
Les Enfants Terribles investigate this rising epidemic
in their captivating theatre show The Thing, which is
having its world premiere at The REP on October 4
as part of BEDLAM.
WHITE BY KOKO BROWN
OPENS THE FESTIVAL
The company delve into the
crisis of identity, depression and
anxiety which exists within all
of us. They ask what it’s like to
try and survive in a world where
we’re constantly told to ‘man up’
and ‘make our mark’.
Rockbottom, a visceral,
provocative and uplifting solo
dance theatre work by dancer
Stuart Waters, is a moving, highly
physical and incredibly honest
self-portrait of a personal struggle
with depression and addiction,
about surviving ‘rock bottom’ and
the strength of the human spirit.
At The REP, Revolving Door
is a thought-provoking show in
which a coroner conducts an inquest into the suicide
of Martin – a nineteen year-old gay man. He calls
a GP, a psychiatrist, a mental health nurse and
Martin’s mother as witnesses and asks the question:
Why did this young man, with apparently everything
to live for, take his own life? But this is no ordinary
hearing… the coroner is Martin himself.
“It might sound heavy but it’s not necessarily,”
explains Steve. “A lot of the festival is also about
COMPANY ARE A NEW
inspiring happiness in people; wouldn’t it be amazing
if all of us - and the government in particular -
looked at every aspect of public and civic life and
asked ‘how can we make people happier?’
“And the result of making people happier is much
better mental health and wellbeing for all of us.
So there’s a lot of fun in the festival too, a lot of
very positive and inspiring events, finding out how
together we can celebrate wellbeing and positive
With such a varied programme, which events really
stand out for Steve?
“One thing I really think will be interesting is State
of Mind, which is a guided tour of Birmingham
Museum and Art Gallery focussing on different
artworks which relate to mental health and
wellbeing,” he says.
“And here in The Door at Birmingham REP we will
have Geese Theatre, who have been working with
the Staging Recovery Ensemble on a piece called
Switched On. The Staging Recovery Ensemble is
an ensemble of people from the West Midlands
community, and the piece explores their individual
and collective recovery journeys through theatre
and drama. This includes all kinds of recovery, from
substance misuse, mental health issues and trauma,
to experiences with criminal justice or homelessness.”
BEDLAM aims to show how the arts can be
effective in reducing stigma and encouraging honest
discussions around mental health – all with some
“The arts are about a number of things which
really relate to positive mental health,” says Steve.
“Storytelling is a big part, and those stories might be
narrative stories through drama in a theatre space or
they may be visual stories such as an artist working
on an exhibition. It’s about listening to other people’s
stories as audience members and telling our own
stories as participants.
“The arts can also provide a safe space for us to
explore the quite challenging and complex issues
of mental health. Because we’re often working in
a fictional context - we’re talking about fictional
characters and fictional situations, even though
they’re engaged in very real-life situations - that can
provide some protection and enable us to talk about
these issues without having to refer to our own selves
or our immediate family and friends.
“Many of the events in the programme have postshow
discussions where people can talk with the
cast or director about the experiences they’ve had,
they can talk with other audience members in the
bar afterwards, and hopefully they’ll go home and
talk to their family and friends about what they’ve
Tickets for BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health
Festival, which runs from Tuesday, October 1 to
Saturday, October 12, are available directly from
each event venue. Prices start from as little as £5.
There is also a number of free events.
For the full programme line up visit
Specialists in designing and making, remodelling and refurbishing
P R O P E RTY
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 AN EXTRAORDINARY FIVE-BEDROOM DETACHED
FAMILY HOUSE LOCATED IN AN EXTREMELY PRIVATE SETTING IN SUTTON COLDFIELD
Highgate, Sutton Coldfield: £1,750,000
On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878
THE AGENT SAYS: Nestled on a private plot on the exclusive
private road of Highgate is this attractive property, approached
via the block-paved gated driveway and featuring extensive living
accommodation over three floors and entertaining facilities, and
finished with a superb contemporary décor theme.
The stylish reception hallway with stunning light oak wooden
flooring provides access to the main reception areas and features
the carpeted staircase to the first-floor accommodation.
The fabulous drawing room is located at the rear of the home,
with bi-folding doors offering access onto the rear patio and
views over the well-manicured rear garden. The spacious room
conveniently has a walk-through opening into the open plan
The open plan kitchen features a beautiful bespoke hand-crafted
kitchen and light oak wooden floor throughout and forms a
stunning combination of living accommodation and entertaining
The dining area is the perfect space for receiving guests at dinner
parties. Natural light floods the space from the skylight above
and bi-folding doors provide access into the rear garden. The
family area is the perfect area for relaxing.
Also located on the ground floor is the leisure suite. The
impressive entertainment room features bi-folding doors that
lead out to the rear garden and a bespoke corner bar area. At the
other end of the suite is the high-spec cinema room.
A staircase from the leisure suite leads down to the lower ground
floor of the property which features an impressive and sizeable
gym with air conditioning.
Highgate Lodge provides ample space for parking on the
extensive block-paved and gated driveway, and the spacious rear
garden is an ideal place to relax and entertain in the warmer
W E L O V E : THE FABULOUS ENTERTAINMENT SUITE
creating bathroom envy since 1929...
Visit our extensive prestigious bathroom and tile showroom....
regarded as one of the finest in the Country!
Bayliss Limited, 23 Gate Lane, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield B73 5TR
T: 0121 362 1800 www.baylisslimited.co.uk
F E AT U R E
FRESH FROM A STINT IN THE SPOTLIGHT AS ONE OF THE STANDOUT CONTESTANTS ON BBC2’S
INTERIOR DESIGN MASTERS, SUTTON COLDFIELD DESIGNER KYLE BROUGHTON-FREW CHATS
TO GARY PHELPS ABOUT LIVING A LIFE MORE STYLISH
THE INTERIOR DESIGN
MASTERS CAST, WITH
KYLE SECOND RIGHT
Interior designer Kyle Broughton-Frew is in demand.
More and more homes across the Midlands bear the
stylish hallmark of the Little Aston-based designer’s
creative process – cultured interiors which are both
functional and highly personal.
But even if your own home hasn’t benefited from
Kyle’s design skills you may have already welcomed
him into your living room – via his appearances
on BBC2’s popular reality show Interior Design
Masters. Following in the tradition of hits like the
Great British Bake-off, the programme set a handful
of up-and-coming designers weekly challenges,
from fitting out shops in Nottingham to re-inventing
student digs in Leicester.
And while 30-year-old Kyle wasn’t crowned the
winner, he turned enough heads as one of the more
accomplished contestants with his keen eye for detail,
a level-headed approach to project management and
simple, impeccable taste. It has helped establish him
as a designer worth watching.
“It was a fantastic experience,” Kyle said. “I would
recommend it to anyone.
“It was a frantic and chaotic few months - we were
often on set for 12 hours per day. We would finish
filming about 7pm on Thursday wherever we were
in the country and then jump on a train straight
to London, to film the judging scenes on Friday
“Then we had to change our clothes to immediately
film the briefing for the next episode’s challenge - and
in between all that, you would have to design your
project for the following week. It was mind boggling
to try and get that all done!”
Host Fearne Cotton and head judge Michelle
Ogundehin were joined by the likes of Mary Portas,
Jade Jagger and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who ran
a critical eye over the designers’ efforts each week.
However, while tensions were often high, Kyle said
the team behind the show worked hard to protect the
contestants from the overexposure often associated
B E S P O K E S O F A M A N U F A C T U R E
& R E - U P H O L S T E RY S P E C I A L I S T
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.
Unit 19, Martindale, Hawks Green,Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 7XN
firstname.lastname@example.org - www.ralvernupholstery.co.uk
Visit our website for a virtual tour of our showroom
with the worst excesses of reality TV.
“The producers took a very responsible approach to
everyone’s wellbeing,” he said. “It was tense at times
but it was a friendly experience”.
Kyle’s success on Interior Design Masters was all
the more impressive as it was his first taste of life
as a designer. He applied to go on the show while
still studying architecture at BCU - Birmingham
City University - and, after a long selection process,
started filming the day after he handed in his final
assignment as a student. It was the end of a long
journey that saw him drift through different roles
before returning to a fascination with design that had
been with him since childhood.
Born in South Africa, Kyle was brought up a
Jehovah’s Witness. After the family moved to the
UK in 1998 they moved around a lot – living among
the Christian group’s communities in Leeds, Bolton,
Blackpool, Manchester, Derby, and Cheltenham
before coming to the West Midlands.
Jobs as an estate agent, DJ and training in quantity
surveying followed, but it was only when he met Karl
– now his husband, who he lives with in Little Aston
– that Kyle realised that he had lost touch with the
creative spark that truly made him happy.
“I remember when I was around 11 years old, the
family moved house and I ended up picking all the
stuff to furnish it,” he said. “Obviously it was very
naïve design, because I was only 11, but I absolutely
adored it, and would stay up all night painting
rooms. I was good at it, but it would take me ages to
do. I think design was always in the background.
INTERIOR DESIGNER KYLE
“When I met Karl he saw how unhappy I was with
my job at the time, and persuaded me to talk to
Tracy Bartley, an Executive Coach. We sat down
with her and tried to figure out what to do. It was
then that we realised that I had completely lost touch
with my creative side. It had completely gone.
“That was in April. By August I had quit my job
and enrolled at Walsall College to do a foundation
in design. It was an intense one-year course, that
covered everything from fine art to graphic
design. I loved it. I didn’t look back from
there – I went to BCU, applied for the TV
show, and started working as an interior
designer. I have made a lot of mistakes
along the way and spent a lot of money
but I have learned so much. It has made
me the designer I am today.”
His moment in the TV spotlight has
helped Kyle launch his career as a
freelance designer, working with individual
clients and major brands like high-end
wallpaper and paint manufacturers Farrow
“In terms of my design aesthetic, there are
two different sides to it,” Kyle said. “I’d say
I am influenced by Californian modernist
with a bit of Art Deco Hollywood glamour
too. In fact, Art Deco is really coming
through now in design, you can see it in
the more stylish restaurants. People see it
in places like that and want it in their homes.
“But I’m not at the stage yet where my aesthetic is
that important – it’s my job to listen to the client.
“Being a good designer is being able to advise the
client and understand what they want and then
“You need to be versatile too, and able to add your
own twist so you’re not just a shopper for them. You
interpret what they want, elevate the idea and maybe
even challenge them a little bit, but always deliver
something that works for them.
“The functional side of it is the most important
thing, as most people can design something beautiful,
but if it’s not functional, what’s the point? Your
designs have to work as a space that people live in.
“That is the real benefit of going with a designer.
You end up getting exactly what you want, and not
changing your mind two or three times, or thinking I
wish I had done it this way, or that way.
“You are paying someone to ensure you get it right
the first time and not having to change it once it’s
done. Someone who gets good quality, well-made
furniture that will last a lot longer, for instance.
On TV, Kyle often impressed with his ‘handy’
practical skills, designing and then building elaborate
shelving units or panelling the walls of a sizeable
living room on his own. But as a professional
KYLE WITH DESIGNER
WHO WAS ONE OF THE
KYLE AT WORK
designer, he prefers to leave this to skilled
“The key to good design is I never build anything,”
he laughed. “Although I built things on the show, for
clients I would never make anything myself. I prefer
to use skilled people who can build things to the
highest quality. There is a benefit to being ‘handy’
though, as I’m very aware of how things are put
together, and it does help me in design to know how
things are going to be done when tradesmen
come on site.
“Builders don’t want to be designing with you
on site, they are getting paid to build, so you
need to be able to say this is what I want built,
this is how I want it built, this is how I want
it to work, and be able to deal with issues and
problems that may come up. That ability to
put things together makes it more streamlined
So, what should people look for when looking
for an interior designer?
“Designers can bamboozle you with smoke
and mirrors,” Kyle said. “Take your time,
don’t expect it to be cheap, don’t go with
the first designer you meet and don’t try to
negotiate the design fee.
“If you can build a real rapport with your
designer, they will understand what it is that
you really want and create something that
To find out more, visit
Interior Design Masters continues on
Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC Two.
I N T E R I O R S
MIXING delicate beige with a burst of black is
something you are going to see everywhere this season as
a softer take on classic monochrome comes to the fore.
Cream is making a case for becoming the new grey, and
cosy colours really add sophistication and warmth to
your home. Soft neutrals like beige and taupe are the
perfect backdrop; light-toned sofas, curtains and walls
utilise natural light and leave you feeling tranquil and
Revamp your home into a stylish and snug nest by
adding a hint of darkness to the contrast with the soft
warmth. Black adornments are great at breaking up
buttery tones and creating a classy and contemporary
vibe, and adding in some ebony metals or wood freshens
up your space with tons of texture.
MANHATTAN METALLIC EMPIRE EMERALD
WALLPAPER, £190, MINDTHEGAP.
VELVET & BAMBOO PENDANT
CEILING LAMP, ROSE & GREY.
ANTIQUED BLACK INDOOR OUTDOOR
SKELETON CLOCK, THE FARTHING.
PETRA GEOMETRIC EMBROIDERED
CUSHION, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.
ROUND FERNANDA EMBROIDERED
CUSHION, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.
PLEASE JOIN US FOR A MARK CURRYER FOCUS EVENT • SATURDAY 12TH OCT - SUNDAY 20TH OCT
WE WILL BE EXHIBITING MARK’S STUNNING COLLECTIONS OF SIGNED
LIMITED EDITION’S. WE ARE ALSO PRIVILEGED TO BE UNVEILING HIS
LATEST ORIGINAL ARTWORK FRESH FROM HIS STUDIO.
Born in Eastbourne, Sussex in 1967, Mark developed a keen interest in art at
an early age. This youthful passion led to regional success as his work won a
number of competitions for his drawings as the young Curryer expanded his
abilities in pursuit of his own style.
Mark went on to hone these skills studying three- dimensional design at
Eastbourne Art College in the mid-eighties.
Having forged a career in computerised finance for many years, the draw
towards art was ever present and Mark’s success as a previously independent
artist has now resulted in a professional return to his first love of painting.
The artist’s use of acrylics has led to a distinctively bold style. Inspired by
the way that light plays in reflections. His work is created with little or o use
of brushes but instead a multitude of items including rollers and scrapers to
achieve the textures and effects in his work that has achieved notable accolade.
We also have a diverse portfolio of artists to include local artists and also award
winning internationally acclaimed artists to include, Darren Baker, Paul Oz,
Kealey Farmer, Caroline Shotton, Edward Waite, Mark Spain, and JJ Adams to
name a few.
We look forward to welcoming you into the Gallery soon.
The Courtyard Fine Art Lounge, 2a Dam Street, Lichfield, WS13 6AA
Tel: 01543 416572 - www.thecourtyardfineartlounge.co.uk - email: email@example.com
Gallery Opening Hours: Monday - by private appointment only. Tuesday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm. Sunday 11.00am - 4.00pm
Visit our Stylish Showroom
11 Belwell Lane, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AA - Tel: 0800 996 1241
Visit our fantastic website www.jmiwindows.co.uk - firstname.lastname@example.org
Windows | Doors | Bi-Fold Doors | Garage Doors | Conservatories | Orangeries | Secondary Glazing | Window Repairs
THE MOSAIC CHEST, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.
CREAM SEED PODS ABSTRACT SCULPTURE,
DIXON TRIPOD FLOOR LAMP, CULT
CULT LIVING ARMANDO WOVEN GARDEN
LOUNGE CHAIR, CULT FURNITURE.
ROBERTO CAVALLI HOME SIORAF
ARMCHAIR, EXCLUSIVELY AT KINGS OF
BETSY LARGE FAN WALLPAPER IN CHARCOAL
CREAM, £120, WOODCHIP AND MAGNOLIA.
SUGARBOO I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU
WALLPAPER, £180, MINDTHEGAP.
VASCA DA BAGNO FREESTANDING
BATH, £POA, VIADURINI COLLEZIONE.
ASCOT TWO SEAT SOFA, £749.99, MY FURNITURE.
I N T E R I O R S
Quality and choice at
PEPPERMILL INTERIORS ARE A FAMILY RUN BUSINESS WITH MORE THAN 20
YEARS’ EXPERIENCE IN RETAILING, RESTORING AND UPCYCLING FURNITURE
With a keen eye on the latest interior trends and
always searching for exciting new furniture pieces to
add to their collection, Peppermill Interiors stock an
ever-evolving and extensive range of new and vintage
furniture. Quality pieces are available in vintage,
industrial and contemporary styles to suit every
individual taste, making Peppermill Interiors the
go-to interiors store for both homes and commercial
businesses such as bars and restaurants.
From comfortable leather upholstered sofas to
oak wood tables with natural wood marks, and
even outdoor furniture, Peppermill’s range offers
top quality with equal amounts of charm and
Contemporary restaurant chairs are a speciality, with
a huge range to choose from, while exclusive one-off
vintage pieces which are snapped up almost instantly.
Peppermill Interiors also offer a bespoke furniture
option, for those who may have a tricky space they
need to fill.
Peppermill originally specialised in antiques,
sourcing original, unique items and selling them onto
collectors. However, in recent years the brand has
refocused its attention to interiors and, as a result,
expanded their business, introducing a bigger team
and moving into a larger showroom in Burntwood,
where visitors can browse even more of the quirky
furniture on offer.
Set over two floors and packed full of intrinsic
furniture arranged beautifully for you to browse
the latest pieces with ease, Peppermill’s impressive
showroom is an Aladdin’s Cave for the furniture
The dedicated and friendly customer service team
will cater to each individual customer and fulfil your
needs and requirements.
Large quantities of Peppermill Interiors’
reproduction items like bar stools, poseur tables
and more are stored in the warehouse, ready to
be dispatched, meaning a shorter lead time for
customers. This is particularly great for those with
commercial businesses who are looking for mass
items to be delivered quickly and efficiently.
As such, Peppermill have won over many high-profile
clients including Starbucks, Marriott Hotels, Nando’s
and Harrods as well as independent bars, pubs,
coffee shops and restaurants.
Peppermill Interiors also has some pieces of furniture
that are manufactured
entirely in the UK.
As well as the dedicated
can browse furniture on
Peppermill’s website and sign
up to the newsletter, where
you can keep up to date with
the latest news, offers and
Come and visit Peppermill
Interiors at Unit 6, Zone 2,
Burntwood Business Park,
Ring Road, Burntwood, WS7
3JQ (for satnav, please use
For more information call
01543 375872 or visit www.
Available in hundreds of colours and several sizes!
Scan me to visit our website!
Shop online or visit our showroom in Staffordshire
Unit 6, Ring Road, Zone 2, Burntwood Business Park, Burntwood, WS7 3JQ
www.peppermillinteriors.com | 01543 375872 | email@example.com
Peppermill Interiors is a trading name of Peppermill Antiques Ltd.
I N T E R I O R S
WHETHER it’s a smart space to study for the student
in the house, or a dedicated office for the work-fromhome,
there’s never been more demand for a place for
productive peace and quiet.
If you have the luxury of designating a whole room as
a home office or study, the options are vast. Think light,
bright and airy with artfully adorned walls to help with
those much-needed flashes of inspiration. A cosy rug will
add a touch of warmth - something often missing in your
9-5 office space - while potted plants and greenery are
also conducive to creative thinking.
An ergonomically designed desk and comfy chair are
must-haves, as well as plentiful storage options within easy
reach for those all-important files and books.
If your study space needs to take up a corner of a room
then you need to get more creative with your layout. A
compact, wall-mounted desk can give you enough room
without taking up too much valuable space, while shelves
can also double as work zones.
With home office and study spaces made super stylish and
inviting, you won’t mind putting those extra hours in.
BROOKLYN NATURAL SOLID OAK
AND METAL DESK, £579.99.
STERLING GREY FIGURED EUCALYPTUS
MINI BIN, IWOODESIGN.
KARLSSON CHUNKY ALARM CLOCK,
RED CANDY. WWW.REDCANDY.CO.UK
BLOCKWORK CONCRETE DESK
HAUTEVILLE LOW CONCRETE ARMCHAIR,
REPLACE YOUR TILES & GROUT
WITH GLASS SPLASHBACKS
Ideal for kitchens & bathrooms
Give your home some l ve
Coloured Glass Splashbacks • Glass Window Cills • Reflective & Hygienic • Glass
Counter Tops • Toughened Mirror Splashbacks • Glass Balustrading • Custom Shower
Screens & Doors • 1000’S Of Colours & Finishes • Templating & Fitting Service
For more interior ideas & FREE QUOTE call Louise 01922 411077
www.lovelaneinteriors.co.uk • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
STUDY DESK, VONHAUS.
TICKETY SHELVES, LOAF.
CULT LIVING ASHER LEATHER INDUSTRIAL
OFFICE CHAIR, CULT FURNITURE.
GOLD METAL MAGAZINE RACK,
ELLIPSE NATURAL SOLID OAK DESK,
KOBLE BODIE SMART DESK,
ABELLA TABLE LAMP, SWEET-
PEA & WILLOW. WWW.SWEET-
MILTON DINING TABLE (USED AS A DESK)
£149.99, FURNITURE CHOICE.
R E C L A M A T I O N
YOUR RECLAIMED BUILDING & LANDSCAPING MATERIAL SUPPLIERS
SANDING & SEALING. FITTING & REPAIR SERVICE
BESPOKE COLOUR CHOICES
French Polishing Service
WE SELL RECLAIMED BRICKS, BEAMS & NATURAL STONE SLABS
Bricks • Roof Tiles • Quarry Tiles • Natural Stone Walling & Paving • Rockery
• Granite Sets • Cobbles • Stone Troughs • Oak Beams • Cast Iron Radiators
• Lamp Posts • Fire Places • Doors • Chimney Pots • PLUS MUCH MUCH MORE!
Telephone: 0121 308 0554
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm • Saturday 9.30am - 1.30pm
35 Holding, Shirral Drive, Nr Drayton Bassett B78 3EQ
LITTLE SUTTON LIMITED
0121 308 6962
Proud to be a family run business for over 35 years
HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS
Suppliers of: Contura, Jotul, Gazco, Paragon, Scan, Town
& Country Fires, ACR Heat Products and many more
Installers and suppliers of gas fires, bespoke limestone
surrounds, and gas and woodburning stoves, since 1981.
1/7 High Street, Erdington B23 6RG Next to Highclare School
Telephone: 0121 384 5251 - www.abbeyfirecentre.co.uk
Open: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed Wednesdays), Sat: 10am - 4pm
abbeyfirecentre @abbeyfirecentre abbeyfirecentreltd
KOBLE SILAS SMART DESK, £275, CUCKOOLAND.
DUCK EGG CHEVRON CHIC STRIPED
ROLLER BLINDS, £24.25, ENGLISH BLINDS.
CULT LIVING RIBBED OFFICE CHAIR WITH
SHORT BACK, £199, CULT FURNITURE.
CHATEAU ANTHRACITE WALLPAPER, £150,
Specialists In Wooden Flooring
WOODEN FLOOR RESTORATION • SAND & SEALING SERVICE
FOR ALL WOODEN FLOORS • STOCKISTS OF ALL FLOOR
CLEANING PRODUCTS INCLUDING WOOD CLEANING
SPECIALISTS IN ALL TYPES OF FLOORING
- CARPET RANGES FROM ALL LEADING
MANUFACTURERS INCLUDING BEST SELLING
CORMAR CARPETS, ULSTER & BRINTONS
SPECIALISTS IN CURTAINS AND SOFT FURNISHINGS
- RE-UPHOLSTERY SERVICE AVAILABLE -
STOCKISTS OF FABRICS BY HARLEQUIN, ROMO & SCION.
WALLCOVERINGS BY CASELIO & HARLEQUIN.
Langan Carpets & Interiors
Telephone: 0121 308 8998 - langancarpetsandinteriors.co.uk
1 Cremorne Walk, Lichfield Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B75 5AL
Telephone: 0121 308 3895
1 Cremorne Walk, Lichfield Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B75 5AL
F O O D & D R I N K
For the love of lamb
SWINFEN HALL’S GOURMET DINNER SEASON IS BACK WITH A BANG, WITH A
MENU DEDICATED TO LUSCIOUS LAMB. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE
With a walled garden packed with a glorious
array of fresh, seasonal fruit and veg, plus
freely roaming sheep and a deer park to boot,
Swinfen Hall’s onsite larder must be a dream
come true for any chef worth his salt. After
all, having some of the finest produce in the
Midlands right there on your doorstep is the
ultimate in local, seasonal inspiration, ready to
be plundered and transformed into stunning
dishes to grace the hotel’s Four Seasons
restaurant’s fine dining menus.
And it was Swinfen’s home-reared Manx
Loaghtan lamb which was the headline act for
the season’s first gourmet dinner.
Swinfen’s flock of rare-breed sheep graze
in peaceful hay meadows and are fed no
additives or chemicals. The meat from Manx
Loaghtan sheep is highly prized for its well-rounded
flavoured, and is darker in colour than meat from
While the Manx Loaghtan has made it onto the
menu previously, this is the first time that Swinfen’s
kitchen team have dedicated an entire menu to all
And while the lamb was undisputedly the star of
the show, head chef Bruce Cheyne - who joined
the Swinfen team earlier this year - also made the
menu a real celebration of Swinfen’s 100-acre
COD COOKED IN MANX
PRESSE OF MANX
larder, harvesting an abundance of fruit, vegetables
and herbs from the walled garden ensuring the
restaurant’s ‘gate to plate’ ethos really does apply.
South African-born Bruce has extensive experience
in kitchens across South Africa, America and the
UK. An ambitious and creative chef, he has trained
with the likes of Tom Aikens, Lee Westcott and The
Wilderness’ Alex Claridge and has headed up the
pastry department in Michelin and multi-rosette
restaurants as well as working in developmental
Swinfen Hall is his first head chef role, and the
talented chef has already made his
mark with exciting seasonal menus
inspired by his bountiful surroundings.
The evening began with a champagne
reception on the terrace, enabling us
to catch the last vestiges of the early
autumn sunshine. As the Tattinger
flowed, trays of delectable canapes
were brought round to get the taste
buds tingling in preparation for what
promised to be a delectable dinner
ahead. Puffed chicken crisps melted
in the mouth, while tiny beetroot and
goats’ cheese macarons were delicate
little flavour bombs which exploded on
While celebrating all things lamb was
top of the agenda, the dinner also
gave Swinfen’s front-of-house head Stuart
Kennedy the chance to showcase some of
the hotel’s finest wines, with a perfectly
paired accompaniment to each of the six
courses on offer.
Stuart had matched the menu to an
excellent flight of wines, including a
wonderful local Bacchus from the Sixteen
Ridges vineyard in Worcestershire to
complement the starter and the 2014
Mitchell Peppertree Vineyard Shiraz from
Clare Valley paired with the main course.
The hotel’s stately wood-panelled ballroom
had been beautifully set to give a real sense
of occasion to the dinner, with crisp white
tablecloths, gleaming silver cutlery and a
vast array of glassware ready for each of the
wines to follow, while talented saxophonist
Sam Craig provided a mellow musical
backdrop for the evening.
After a brief introduction to the first three
courses and wines from Stuart, it was time
for proceedings to get underway.
Up first was a delicate amuse bouche packed
with big flavours; tangy goats’ curd and
lovage emulsion were complemented by a
gloriously sweet heritage tomato, while a
sprinkling of puffed pearl barley added a
nice textural crunch.
The first outing for the Manx Loaghtan was in a
delicious belly presse; the slow-cooked lamb belly
with its rich fattiness was beautifully balanced by a
hint of sweetness from leeks three ways - Lyonnaisestyle,
crispy and as a leek ash - while a smoked potato
espuma was silky and lush.
Stuart’s choice of the Bacchus was spot on as a wine
match, offering plenty of elegant freshness to cut
through the richness of the dish.
Bruce had cleverly worked the lamb into the fish
course by using rendered lamb fat to confit a
beautiful piece of cod. Meaty maitake mushrooms
- also cooked in the fat, caviar cream sauce and a
black garlic puree - artfully used to decorate the
plate with Jackson Pollack-style splashes - made for a
standout dish which was as tantalising to look at as it
was to devour.
If the cod was the highlight of the dinner, the
Manx Loaghtan carpaccio which followed was a
very close second. Carpaccio really gives the meat
nowhere to hide, and this dish really highlighted its
wonderful flavour. Delicately adorned with a sweet
onion emulsion, pickled shimeji mushrooms, shallot
dressing and micro herbs, it was the real celebration
of lamb you’d hope for from such a dinner.
A lamb roast dinner is a thing of beauty when done
properly, and the main course of Manx hogget leg
with traditional trimmings was just that. The leg
had been boned, rolled and slow-roasted; a humble
carrot cooked in lamb fat had been elevated to a
taste sensation; roast potatoes were fluffy yet crisp
and a deeply flavoured lamb sauce tied the elements
Although less delicate and refined than the preceding
courses, it was an immensely satisfying dish, packed
with richness and big, bold flavour.
Thankfully, Bruce didn’t attempt to shoehorn lamb
into the dessert in any way, and the deconstructed
meadowsweet cheesecake encased in delicate feuille
de brick pastry and served with raspberry gel, fresh
raspberries and a shortbread ice cream was a joyous
end to the meal.
A delectably syrupy and rather unusual pear ice wine
from Herefordshire craft cider makers Once Upon A
Tree was a lovely alternative to a traditional dessert
wine, offering concentrated fresh pear flavours
balanced with hints of elderflower and spice.
Swinfen Hall’s gourmet dinner season continues with
former protege and now head chef of Michelinstarred
Adam’s Restaurant, Tom Shepherd, who will
be delighting diners with a six-course tasting menu
on October 20, while the annual game supper on
November 22 will feature a menu brimming with a
bounty of local game, rich red wines and live music.
If it’s fine food and great wines you’re after, then
make these dates for your diary.
F O O D & D R I N K
Cocktail of the month
THIS MONTH, THE EXPERTS AT JAISALMER INDIAN CRAFT GIN HAVE CREATED
A WARMLY SPICED COCKTAIL PERFECT FOR THESE AUTUMNAL MONTHS
50ml Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
15ml lime juice
10ml cinnamon syrup
50ml cloudy apple juice
Apple to garnish
Triple-distilled and handcrafted in
the foothills of the Himalayas at
one of India’s oldest distilleries,
Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
encapsulates the rich heritage of
the Indian City of Jaisalmer, with a
recipe that combines the ancient
knowledge of herbs and spices,
vibrant juniper berries and handpicked
botanicals from all four
corners of India.
Add cubed ice to a rocks glass and
pour over 50ml Jaisalmer Indian
Craft Gin. Add 15ml lime juice,
10ml cinnamon syrup and 50ml
cloudy apple juice. Garnish with an
apple fan of three slices and grated
nutmeg (optional) – perfect!
Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin is
priced £34.95 for a 70cl bottle.
ABV: 43% available from
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR AT
A SPARKLING VINTAGE AFTERNOON TEA
featuring Simon Partridge of Elegant Vocals - Sunday 1st December 3.15pm
A fabulous afternoon of vintage melodies from the 30’s and 40’s accompanied by a sumptuous Christmas afternoon tea.
A variety of savoury sandwiches, freshly-baked buttermilk scones with cream and preserves and cakes and desserts all served
with a chilled glass of Prosecco alongside tea or a cafetiere of coffee. Tickets £29.50.
CHRISTMAS FLOWER ARRANGING with Secret Garden Florists - Wednesday 4th December
Morning coffee will be served from 11.30 am followed by an hour of inspirational ideas for flower arrangements and Christmas
décor. Tickets are priced at £35 and include a fabulous festive 2-course lunch with a glass of wine, coffee and mince pies served
in the restaurant at 1pm. After lunch there will be the opportunity to buy a selection of Christmas gifts and arrangements.
CANdLELIT CAROL CONCERT
with Cantorum the Lichfield Cathedral School Chamber Choir - Monday 9th December 7.15pm
A heart-warming start to the festive season with the Lichfield Cathedral School Chamber Choir directed by Laura Borenstein.
Tickets £12.50 to include coffee and mince-pies in the interval. All proceeds to Saxons Hill Academy in Lichfield.
A special festive menu is available before and after the concert priced at £29.50 for two courses or £38 for three courses.
Afternoon tea pre-concert is priced at £25.00 - pre-booking essential.
BLACK TIE CASINO PARTY
Friday 6th December
A glamorous night of fine food, good company,
posh frocks and high rollers.
•A glass of Prosecco on arrival
•Superb 3-course dinner
•Coffee and mince pies
•Roulette and blackjack tables
•DJ and dancing
•50% accommodation discount
£68 per person
THE NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL
Dust off your DJ and bring out the bling for an evening of unashamed luxury. This year’s party begins at 6.30 pm with
Champagne and snacks before the Piper leads the way to dinner. We are happy to take large tables in the ballroom
(where the decibel count is more than average) but expect a more civilised atmosphere in the restaurant. After a fabulous
5-course dinner, the band strikes up supported by our resident DJ. Diners in the restaurant are welcome to join the dancing
but can retreat to a more refined setting as and when.
Tickets priced at £135 include the Champagne reception, 5 - course dinner, coffee and petit fours, cheeseboard and Port.
TAITTINGER SUNDAY LUNCH
Sunday 15th December Our very relaxed Champagne lunch party encompasses Christmas carols, a stylish 3-course lunch,
coffee and petit fours, half a bottle of fine Taittinger Champagne and live music from pianist Christopher Langdown.
An indulgent pre-Christmas get-together for family and friends in beautiful surroundings priced at £65.00 per person.
SWINFEN NR. LICHFIELD, STAFFORDSHIRE WS14 9RE
TELEPHONE: (01543) 481494 www.swinfenhallhotel.co.uk
F O O D & D R I N K
THE GINTLEMAN, THE MIDLANDS’ LEADING GIN RACONTEUR AT HOUSE PARTIES AND
VENUES ACROSS BIRMINGHAM, TAKES A LOOK AT SOME AUTUMNAL GINSPIRED OPTIONS
PISTON FORET NOIRE
BLOODY SHIRAZ GIN
It’s time to pack away your spring/summer
collection of pink gin and elderflower tonics with red
fruit garnishes as we embark on the yellow, red and
brown hues of the final quarter of 2019.
Today gin is a relentless 365-day marketing
behemoth. Forget your Harvest Festival and All
Hallows’ Eve perceptions of dark spirits sipped in
wingback chairs with crackling fires and ghostly
tales; this time of year hedgerow berries, apples,
pears, quinces, figs, sloes, damsons, rosehips,
chestnuts, walnuts and pumpkins (pre spiced latte)
make their collective autumnal bow, providing the
ginspiration for gin to exhibit its richer, warmer and
Sloes have notoriously taken the spotlight this time
of year with many a homemade sloe gin starting its
three-month marinade (top tip: use a good quality
juniper-forward gin and add sugar at the end of the
maturing process, to taste).
However, I feel a very plummy English fruit with
Roman parentage - the Damson, etymologically
derived from Damascus - having fallen out of favour,
should see a revival akin to Ben Stokes’ bat at Lords
Damsons are to plums what port is to red wine;
richer, darker and stronger. The fruit has a rich
association with the Midlands, having been grown
commercially especially in Ludlow for centuries. The
at Moor Hall Hotel & Spa
Festive Lunch & Dinner
Enjoy a delicious three course meal in the elegant surroundings of
our 2 AA Rosette Oak Room restaurant. From £23.50 per person.
Or choose a carvery lunch or dinner in our Country Kitchen.
From £16.50 per person.
Festive Afternoon Tea
The ultimate pre-Christmas treat! Available between 1pm and 6pm
from 29th November. £22.95 per person.
Family Lunch with Santa
Includes 3 course meal, magic show and visit from Santa. 1st, 8th,
15th & 21st December. £29 per adult, £20 per child under 12.
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
Visit our website for more events, menus and to book
Liam Dillon, chef owner of The Boat Inn was
recently awarded “Best Chef” in the Midlands.
Modern British Food with an open kitchen.
Newly refurbished with a view into the kitchen.
Tables suitable for large parties
with set menus to choose from.
Book your christmas party at the boat
Open Wednesday to Sunday during December
and 23rd December - Christmas Eve and
PARTY BOOKINGS WELCOMED
£25 FOR 3 COURSES FOR PARTIES OVER 6 PEOPLE
(PRE ORDERS REQUIRED)
at The George Hotel
Festive Carvery Lunch
A traditional 3 course carvery lunch. From £16 per person.
Festive Dinner in Darwin’s Restaurant
Enjoy a delicious 3 course meal. £25 per person.
Festive Afternoon Tea
The ultimate pre-Christmas treat! Available from 2nd December.
£17 per person. Add a glass of mulled wine for £4.50
Family Sunday Lunch with Santa
Includes 3 course meal, magic show and visit from Santa.
8th & 22nd December. £21 per adult, £14 per child under 12.
£25 for 3 courses
• Spiced squash soup & goats cheese ravioli
• Smoked pig cheek, artichoke & chilli
• Potted Mackerel, smoked almonds & quince
• Beetroot tart, cheese and watercress.
• Turkey, rolled leg, stuffing and mashed potato
• Venison haunch, terrine, pickled mushroom & Cauliflower
• Pappardelle, onion and mushroom
• Carrot cake, butter icing and Christmas pudding ice cream
• Chocolate parfait, milk & cherry sorbet
• Poached pear, white chocolate sorbet & shortbread.
• British cheese selection.
Bird Street, Lichfield, WS13 6PR
01543 414822 www.thegeorgelichfield.co.uk
Visit our website for more events, menus and to book
Call for details • 01543 361692
Open Wednesday - Sunday
Open Wednesday - Sunday during December and now taking Christmas bookings
www.theboatinnlichfield.com • Walsall Road, Lichfield WS14 0BU
BUMBLEBERRY GIN BLENDS
THREE DARK BERRIES
locals are fiercely loyal to the Shropshire prune, a
small example of the damson. Barely larger than a
grape, it produces spicy, rich, sweet-tart all in one
flavour. Maybe try your hand at creating local DIY
gin flavours by making both.
Talking of regional, a gin company that recently
caught my eye is Hussingtree. Established
last year, this small family business
produces a Spiced Plum Dry Gin using
Worcestershires Vale of Evesham plums,
and keeping with their local produce ethos
their Bumbleberry gin uses three traditional
British berries, the blackberry, bilberry
(variety of blue and abundant in the Lickey
Hills incidentally) and sloeberry.
Bumbleberry is a term referring to a
mixture of berries - usually three darkfleshed
berries used in pie fillings and
preserves in North America. With a
wonderful array of berries growing across
Worcestershire, Bumbleberry offers a taste
expression of the countryside.
Their Asparagus and Juneberry gins will
have to wait patiently for next year, but the
first two fit perfectly with a thin slice of
fresh fig or apple and Pedrino’s Ruby Port
and Pedro Ximenez Sherry alcoholic tonic
Speaking of tonics, TwelveBelow is a new naturally
low sugar tonic using organic agave for sweetness.
It From Hughenden Valley in the Chilterns, South
Buckinghamshire, it contains 12 calories and 2.5g
of sugar per half bottle and the range includes
a perfect autumnal-sounding pear with aromatic
Others of note to keep your eye out for...
With previous gin brand and bartending pedigree,
Nick Wadeson is one third of the team behind
Three Wrens Gin based in Cheshire, which
launched in August. Their tasty sounding Autumnal
Apple Crumble gin features toasted oats, dehydrated
Cheshire apples, nutmeg, cinnamon and demerara
sugar, while retaining the key juniper backbone.
Priced at £38 direct, I feel this is made for Scottish
tonic brand Walter Gregor’s Apple and Cinnamon
tonic water flavour, Lixir’s Blood Orange and
Cinnamon, or the vanilla notes in Fevertree
Aromatic. It wouldn’t surprise me however if
someone adds it to that ‘back of the drinks cabinet’
staple Advocaat for a boost to a classic Snowball!
Forêt Noire Gin, inspired by the Black Forest (no
gateau added!) uses Worcester-based Piston Gin’s
signature blend with rich dark fruit undertones of
cherry, blackcurrant, myrtle, blackberry, raspberry
and strawberry, and is priced at £43 direct.
Cotswolds-based gin subscription service Gin in a
Tin is the brainchild of Martin Agius, founder of
the renowned Gin Pantry. Their no.12 expression,
Pumpkin, Orange Peel and Nutmeg, would work
wonderfully with seasonal Fevertree Clementine and
Cinnamon tonic with sage leaf garnish. Gin Gin!
THREE WRENS GIN’S APPLE
and gifts has been our
passion since 1902.
Huge savings on high street,
retail and online prices.
You won’t find this
Present in store.
Terms and Conditions Apply
AND GIFT STORE
MONDAY - FRIDAY 9:30AM - 4:30PM
SATURDAY - 10AM - 4PM
SUNDAY - CLOSED
Please be aware that the shop is located on
the first floor via a staircase. If access is an
issue we have a ground floor room available
where products can be brought down for
viewing by our dedicated customer
F E AT U R E
JACK REGAN, A CREATIVE AT TITAN. THE ADVERTISING AGENCY IN BIRMINGHAM,
TACKLES A FOODIE CHALLENGE WITH A SERIOUS STING IN THE TAIL
JACK REGAN TACKLES A SNACK
WITH A STING IN ITS TAIL
Okay, so I’m in Thailand here. The chaotic,
kaleidoscopic, mean streets of Bangkok, to be precise
and I’m just about to sink my fangs into a scorpion. No
kidding, look at the daft picture. As if I’d lie to you.
Vicious looking little swine, isn’t he?
Given half a chance he wouldn’t think twice about
lancing you with that nasty long stinger tail of his either,
ensuring you have a very, very bad day indeed.
And it’s presumably been that way for most of the 430
million years that scorpions have been scuttling about
this Earth, proving themselves to be venomous, vicious
little swines to many species, long, long before humanity
ever showed up to righteously crunch them under heel
and smear them deep into the pavement.
Now, hang on a sec though, steady on and calm the jets.
Just in case we get any weepy, fretful, hand wringing
calls from concerned citizens at the RSPCA, I feel
obliged to state that neither your humanitarian and
eternally compassionate columnist, nor any of the staff
at J’AIME magazine will be responsible for this fierce
creature’s death. No way, no how, there’s no chance of
that, rest assured.
It was, in fact, a wee Thai lady who cheerfully chucked
the nasty little spider into a crackling, bubbling cauldron
of boiling oil, just a minute or two before we appeared
here at her street vending stall.
So, any issues, please get in touch with her. Editorial
staff happy to supply direction and description specifics.
Now I’m staring at this beast and, y’know, I don’t
imagine it died nobly or with any sense of decorum or
ceremony. Probably scared the bejesus out of the wee
fella when they lobbed him into the boiling oil. Mind
you, I bet he’s seen his own expression of abject terror
before, but on the faces of some poor, unsuspecting
humans he’d crept up on, just for a laugh. For a chuckle.
Imagine sitting on the toilet when one of these horrors
descends suddenly upon you?!
Anyways he doesn’t seem to be chuckling too terribly
much now, bless him.
I have to devour this fella now PLUS a selection of
other miniature b-movie monstrosities ranging from
glasshoppas to locusts to mealworms to silkworms,
yum-yum and I have a wee crowd around me now too
- plump German tourists, Chinese gamblers and the
Get There and Back
for just £2.50 return after 6:30pm
Bring your night to life with an Evening Return.
Buy your tickets online, in-app, or in person at the station.
Select routes only, please visit wmr.uk/eveningreturn
THE KALEDOSCOPIC STREETS OF
BANGKOK WERE THE SETTING
FOR JACK’S LATEST ENDEAVOUR
like, all sadistically egging me on in the tradition of I’m
A Celebrity, Clive James’ Endurance and that mental
Russian roulette scene in The Deer Hunter!
I’ve had a couple of steadying pints to overcome the
epic sense of revulsion I’ve been feeling since my wife
and daughter strong armed me into this repugnance
and I’ll admit it’s helping me, so, right, right, BIG
Aaaand in he goes!
Pincers enter first and I’m immediately chewing and
chomping like a desert island cannibal, trying to get it
over with as soon as.
The poor wee spider’s body crunches and shatters and
the pincers get stuck between my teeth, the dryness of
its remains stuck on my tongue and I am a tiny little bit
sick in my mouth which, mercifully, helps me swallow
most of it down though I do have to spit out that
wriggly venomous tail, I’m afraid - we all have limits.
It tastes bitter, as it has every right to, given it’s recent
demise. I mean who wouldn’t be?
This is not a fun experience, despite
the shrieks of delighted disgust from
my family and the assortment of
corpulent and degenerate onlookers.
But I soldier on. The worm next and
then the grasshopper. I chew and gnaw
ferociously and then I gag FFS! Am I
gonna spew properly now?! The crowd
holds its breath!
I.... no, no I hold it together and
stomach every nasty molecule of
those little critters. My nine-yearold
daughter is laughing hysterically
and the baying mob backslap and
congratulate me before shuffling off to
THAI STREET FOOD
PRESENTED A CHALLENGE
FOR JACK REGAN
sample Bangkok’s other delights,
nonchalantly abandoning me to
my bitter aftertaste.
It is not pleasant, no. I am
sucking and fingernailing tiny
limbs, tentacles and insect claws
out from between my teeth for
the next three hours but is it
the worst I’ve ever had? The
most foul and repugnant and
pigglywiggly vomitous taste I’ve
ever been forced to endure?
Frankly no. No, not by a bloody
First of all, I hail from Glasgow.
No, not your contemporary
delicious foodie heaven
gorgeousness and gorgeosity
combined Glasgow of today.
I’m talking about Glasgow
from the last century. And the
century before that. Gorbals era
Glasgow. So no, not by a long chalk, dear reader.
And my geography isn’t the half of it either.
Y’see I come from a long line of dreadful, OMGyou’ve-got-to-be-freakin-joking
repugnantly bad cooks.
The women specifically. My mother and all her sisters
were properly atrocious in the kitchen and, I believe,
making a point by being so wretchedly bad.
Their point being, The Kitchen Is Not Where We
Belong. Which is commendable in the extreme, from
a feminist, moral and sociological POV. But, from
gastronomic and nutritional POV it was bang out of
Funny thing was, I didn’t realise how bad it had all been
until I went away to university aged 18 and lived in the
halls of residence there for a year.
Halls of residence grub, especially way back then,
was mass cooked institutional food like you’d have in
a hospital, a prison or y’know gulags and such like. It
was not good. Part of the sentence, if you will. Lots of
gray, mystery meat, semolina and interpretations and
approximations of real meals.
Other folk (posher kids) would turn their noses up in
unison at this stuff but I have to admit, to me this stuff
was actually pretty good. “More brussel sprouts and
cabbage, young man?” the dinner ladies would ask.
“Don’t mind if I do, kind lady,” said me, almost every
And so I spent a happy, contented year there and all
was right with the world.
Until, alas, I had to venture home and felt a creeping
sense of doom about my return. Because the penny was
beginning to drop about the abject quality of what my
stomach must have been enduring all those years before.
First night back in Glasgow I go out drinking with pals
and awake with a hangover. My auntie around the
corner phones. Do I want to come over for breakfast?
Eggs and what not. Minutes later I’m round there
watching her make sausage and eggs.
She wallops four eggs into the frying pan to fry and two
minutes later she puts in four sausages.
Now I’m obviously still a bit drunk from the night
before but still, alarm bells are going off in my head.
What’s she thinking? Will she keep the eggs cooking for
the full 20 minutes it’s gonna take to fry the sausages?
Or will she only do the sausages for a couple of
minutes? Is she attempting to assassinate me? Is this a
cry for help? Bad enough that this is Scotia’s staple diet,
never mind strategically undercooking and overcooking
I realised that, for the last 20 years, every family meal
cooked by one of these lassies would build up a charged
atmosphere among those sat around the table, not of
anticipation and mouthwatering excitement - but of
actual dread. A shared sense of woe. Of impending
doom never acknowledged but always present. An
affliction that affected an entire generation of my
Which is when the entire
extraordinary list of
disasters and protest
meals began to fulminate
in my head. And it’s a
list I’ve continued to add
to over the last 25 years
with equal parts horror
This is the list. Please
read it and marvel
at the human body’s
remarkable ability to
not just digest just about
anything crammed into
it, but to then be able to
THIS MOST FAMOUS OF SCOTTISH
DELICACIES, THE DEEP-FRIED
MARS BAR, DIDN’T EVEN MAKE
JACK REGAN’S LIST OF CULINARY
recover sufficiently to tell the tale.
The “home-made pizza” was a regularly served
catastrophe Chez Regan
Regardless of the oft changed ingredients this dish
consistently had the exact same circumference, weight
and flavour of a plastic frisbee.
A lifelong favourite of my mother. Nothing more need
Spaghetti Bolognese (deep fried)
My granny came under some pressure in the 80s to “get
with it” so she did.
On her first attempt she boiled the spaghetti first before
deep frying it “to give it a bit of pizazz!” then adding
the bolognese.* The pasta achieved a rigidity not
witnessed since the demise of Mr John Holmes.
I ask you, What kinda twisted mind come up with
something so nasty? The Hooded Claw? Dick
Cheeseburger in melon slices
Yes, that’s right, no bun but the meat, ketchup, mayo
and tomato were nestled indignantly between two slices
of melon! Taking inelegance to stratospheric new levels
though justified by my aunt’s timeless comment, “It’s
part of a new fitness campaign we’re working on.”
Made using leftovers from ALL OF THE ABOVE!
Baked together and then, when consumed, guaranteed
to have such spectacularly combustible gastric effects
that scientists at NASA are now exploring its use for
their next rocket launch.
* I genuinely and wholeheartedly believe this can now
be considered food fusion in its infancy. And it predates
even the deep fried Mars Bar. Whisper it, but it is said
that this dish is where Ferran Adriå took much of the
inspiration for his greater achievements.
H E A LT H
Training pays off for Marcus
THIS MONTH RAÚL ROMERO, FROM AMBITION PERSONAL TRAINING IN LICHFIELD, IS SUPER
PROUD OF ONE OF HIS YOUNGEST AND MOST DEDICATED CLIENTS MARCUS, AS HE TAKES THE
PODIUM IN THE EUROPEAN KARTING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Lichfield’s Marcus Luzio, who turned 12 this year,
has finished third overall in the European Karting
Championships that saw him race across the
continent throughout the year against competitors of
up to 15 years of age.
Marcus, from King Edward VI School in Lichfield,
developed a passion for Formula 1 at an early age
and started karting when he was only nine years old
at Midland Karting on Fradley Park. It wasn’t long
before he obtained a licence from the Motorsports
Association and began racing at tracks up and down
This year, Marcus decided to move up from the
Cadet classes for younger children and race faster
karts. These new Junior classes for children aged
up to 15 certainly aren’t for the faint hearted, with
speeds reaching 80mph. The talented 12-year-old
however hasn’t been put off at all, but instead is
thriving off the challenge.
“When I first put my foot on the throttle, the
acceleration took my breath away and I thought
I was going to fly off the track at the first corner.
Luckily the kart just stuck to the tarmac and I was
At such high speeds, the force that the body endures
increases dramatically and it is because of this
3g g-force that Marcus has been enduring in his
racing that he has been working hard with Raúl at
Ambition Personal Training, based at Upper St John
Street in the centre of Lichfield.
Marcus added: “I train at the gym on most days after
school. It’s really important that I strengthen my core
and improve my endurance for the racing. Raúl has
been fantastic with creating a training program for
me that focuses on these areas of my fitness.”
The recent success in Europe means he has secured
his ticket to race in the World Karting Finals in Le
Mans this month where he will be competing against
more than 500 of the best drivers in the world to
take the title of World Champion. These karting
Focus on Fingers
Put your hands in our hands
Do you have bent fingers? Are you constantly poking your eye with
your finger or struggling to get your fingers into gloves or pockets?
If you answered yes, then you may have Dupuytren’s disease.
Dupuytren’s disease is a benign disease of the hand and digit causing
your finger to bend down towards the palm. It mainly affects the ring and
little fingers and you can have it in one or both hands. Symptoms usually
appear over a period of time and eventually your finger may get stuck in
the bent position.
The origins of the disease date back to the Vikings (the
disease is also commonly known as Vikings disease) and
it was first identified by a Military surgeon and French
anatomist, Barron Guillaume Dupuytren. It has a strong
genetic predisposition to those of Scandinavian or Northern
There are minimally invasive treatments for Dupuytren’s
which have a proven record of rapid rehabilitation and return
to work, with high patient satisfaction.
The Midland Hand Clinic, lead by Mr G
Shyamalan, Consultant Hand Surgeon,
has been gaining popularity as a locally
based, easily accessible service. We pride
ourselves on our friendly and professional
service and we work closely with all our
patients before, during and after treatment
to provide expert advice on protecting and
caring for all aspects of hands.
Midland Hand Clinic lead by
Mr G Shyamalan FRCS NHS
consultant hand surgeon.
All patients welcome whether
you have private medical insurance
or you are self-paying.
Ask us about our self funding
prices for minor hand surgery.
Little Aston Hall Drive
Hand Clinic PA: Pam Dziubany
Call: 07815 460786 - 01827 892952
championships have proven to be one of the best
motorsport training nurseries in the world. Successful
alumni include Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton
and Jenson Button. It is also where 2019’s new F1
drivers Llando Norris, George Russell and Alex
Albon honed their racecraft.
Marcus puts his success down to the work that he has
put into his training this past year.
“During one of the racing weekends in Italy
this year, I was on the track for two hours in the
sweltering 48 degree heat. Raúl’s training had
prepared me for that intense environment and
enabled me to remain focussed while others suffered
in those conditions.”
As the racing season comes to a close, Marcus will
continue to spend his evenings at Ambition Personal
Training to ensure he is ready to race next year.
Raúl is extremely proud of the overall progress that
Marcus has made since he started training at the
Ambition PT studio, and he believes that Marcus’
amazing achievements until now are a true testament
to his hard work and steely determination. Well
Done Marcus and ‘Buena Suerte’ for Le Mans!
Any messages of support and well wishes can be sent
straight to Marcus via Instagram @luzioracing
For more information about the different training
sessions available at Ambition PT, please get in touch
with Raúl on email@example.com
WITH MARCUS IN
Meet the GP
DR ATIF GHAFFAR, OF HARDWICK MEDICAL IN SUTTON COLDFIELD,
EXPLAINS THE BENEFITS OF USING A PRIVATE GP SERVICE
WHAT IS A PRIVATE GP SERVICE?
You have a choice to consult with a GP privately
without having to use NHS services. The consultation
is between yourself and the doctor and remains
completely confidential however, you may find it
helpful to share any clinical information with your
NHS practice. You do not have to leave your NHS
practice at all and in fact, many private GPs routinely
work in the NHS.
For any urgent medical problems, please contact 111
or 999 if it is a medical emergency.
WHY DO PATIENTS SEE PRIVATE GPS?
There are many reasons why clients wish to see a
doctor privately. While the NHS still provides an
outstanding service and is unique worldwide, it is
forever under immense pressure, especially in terms
of its resources and funding. As a result, there a
more private providers of medical services for clients
who wish to access GP services at their convenience,
whether this be online, over the phone or face-to-face.
There is also an increasing number of treatments and
investigations that are no longer funded by the NHS
which are only available privately. Some people do not
have routine access to NHS GP services (for example
overseas visitors) yet they may require routine medical
assistance if they fall ill.
WHO IS DR GHAFFAR?
I am an experienced NHS GP in the West Midlands
since 2002 and I have been appointed as the Clinical
Lead in Birmingham for GPDQ. This is a national
network of dedicated NHS GPs who spend part
of their time working privately. I set up Hardwick
Medical as a subsidiary service to GPDQ to provide a
service for my local community.
I believe in taking a completely holistic approach,
appraising all aspects of physical, mental and spiritual
well-being as part of our commitment to providing the
best primary health care service for the 21st century.
My main expertise is in managing and optimising long
term conditions such as chronic pain, hypertension,
heart disease, diabetes, asthma and COPD as
well as advising clients about nutrition and weight
management. As a father of four combined with my
valuable clinical experience, I am well acquainted
in the various aspects of children’s health and
I have also developed a keen interest in dealing with
mental health issues such as anxiety and depression as
well as supporting carers and families in looking after
their loved ones with dementia.
As part of a multidisciplinary team, I work closely
with many hospital consultants and other healthcare
professionals in various fields including audiometry,
acupuncture, optometry, psychotherapy, life coaching,
personal training and medical aesthetics among
WHERE DOES THE CONSULTATION TAKE
The majority of my clients prefer face-to-face
consultations at home or their workplace; however
I also conduct many telephone consultations. I visit
patients within a three-mile radius of B74 including
Four Oaks, Little Aston. Streetly and Aldridge. To
book a consultation just call 0121 364 3740.
I also see patients privately at Sutton Medical
Consulting. You can arrange an appointment by
contacting their reception on 0121 308 7774.
If you’re not local but would like a consultation, don’t
worry - you can contact the national organisation
through which I work on 020 3805 1781.
WHEN CAN I BOOK A CONSULTATION?
I am available for consultations on most days and
weekends, including bank holidays, between 10am
For more details visit www.hardwick-medical.com
T R AV E L
NATHAN COLLINS OF RB COLLECTION LOOKS AHEAD TO 2020’S MAJOR
SPORTING EVENTS AND THE TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES THESE BRING
While sports events may not be everyone’s cup of
tea, they are a good excuse to visit a country that you
may not ordinarily decide to travel to which can keep
all members of your traveling party happy.
All eyes are on one of my personal favourite
destinations this winter as South Africa hosts cricket
fans to see England in action. This also provides
the chance to experience a safari, drive along the
stunning Garden Route and the Winelands, and soak
up the vibrant food and culture scenes in Cape Town
and Johannesburg. Despite the pound weakening, the
South African Rand has stayed at a high rate which
means it is still a great value for money destination
too, with luxury hotels, top restaurants and other
travelling costs such as fuel and groceries staying very
low. South Africa is also only two hours ahead of
the UK so with carefully selected flight times and a
sensible itinerary you can avoid jet lag too.
Rebecca, Oliver, Alan, Sam and myself have
all visited different areas with different travel
experiences. It was Sam’s first visit and he made
use of the new direct flight to Durban to explore
the Battlefields and the KwaZulu-Natal region.
When Oliver returned in March, he drove from
Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, a popular route, but
went in search of some ‘off-the-beaten-track’ spots.
I focussed more on the safari options and have also
ventured into Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and
Zambia which can easily be combined with South
Africa. Each offers a very different safari experience,
A TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA
FOR THE CRICKET COULD BE
COMBINED WITH A SAFARI
from large lodges to luxury tented options.
We find many clients return many times to South
Africa and it is easy to see why with such high levels
of service and standards of hospitality. For those in
the travelling party not interested in cricket, South
Africa is a good option with so much to see and do.
My top tip would be to end with the safari; it is such
a unique and memorable experience and a really
special way to end a holiday.
a few other ‘away-from-the-crowd’ moments and
head further into Rajasthan, for example. If time
permits, combine with the backwaters of Kerala, or
venture up towards Nepal. Oliver and Nicola have
both visited and had contrasting experiences. If you
are worried about culture shock, Oliver suggests
entering the country via Mumbai which is one of the
more westernised cities, but equally important with
Elephant Island to visit and a lot of key historic sites
2020 brings an exciting development in the Formula
1 Grand Prix calendar with the addition of the
Vietnam street race, taking place just outside Hanoi
in the north of the country. Nicola and Oliver both
visited Vietnam last year on separate trips, exploring
different areas and types of holiday. The street circuit
race is due to take place in April and our tip would
be to combine the event with a visit to Halong Bay,
just over two hours outside of the city. You could
then also fly down to Hoi An to explore the cultural
heart of Vietnam, and then down to Ho Chi Minh
City (Saigon) to see how the country contrasts
from north to south with Chinese and Western
influences. In the south there are also the interesting
Cu Chi Tunnels to explore. Oliver carried on his
trip into neighbouring Cambodia which is a short
flight away, or a longer yet scenic drive. Cambodia
contrasts Vietnam very well indeed, despite their
close proximity to each other. A much less developed
country, Cambodia’s highlight is Angkor Wat,
FOOD IS ALSO A HUGE DRAW
FOR TRAVELLERS IN INDIA
Sticking with the cricket theme, Sri Lanka is another
destination bursting with opportunities to explore
away from the field. There are beaches to relax,
temples to tour, tea plantations to experience and
delicious food to taste. The matches take place
in March which is a lovely time to visit too with
temperatures in the high 20s. Sam has visited Sri
Lanka and has since arranged some great trips for
Our third and final cricket stop is India. The country
is, of course, obsessed with the sport and so it would
no doubt be a very exciting place to experience
a match. There are the obvious places to include
on your itinerary such as Agra for the Taj Mahal,
Delhi and Jaipur. We would also suggest including
COMBINE CRICKET FEVER
WITH CULTURAL MUST-SEES
however as Oliver discovered, there are many
unknown temples and sites to explore away from the
crowded areas. One of his highlights was watching
sunset rise on Tonle Sap Lake with not a single other
tourist in sight. Our local contacts and specialist
knowledge can make these special moments become
Japan hosts not one, but two of the world’s biggest
sporting events in the next 12 months; the Rugby
World Cup followed by the Olympics. Both events
will no doubt shine a bright light on what is already a
popular and fascinating destination. We have already
received an increased interest in Japan, especially as
we have team members who have visited themselves.
A new direct flight from London to Osaka this year
also made it more convenient to explore Japan. For
a first time visitor, we would
recommend flying into Tokyo,
travelling up to Osaka by
bullet train to explore nearby
Kyoto, the cultural capital of
the country, and also lesser
known Nara, before heading
back to Osaka to fly home.
You can also include a side
trip to Hiroshima to see the
museum and memorial.
Travel around Japan can be
expensive so escorted tours are
a great way to keep control of
spending, as are some of the
rail passes which we can also
advise on and book as part of
your trip with us.
MELBOURNE IS HOME TO
BOTH THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN
AND THE AUSSIE LEG OF THE
The annual Super Bowl
(Miami, February), US Open
tennis (New York, August/
September) and Ryder Cup
(Wisconsin, September) all offer
the opportunity to extend your
stay beyond the sports events.
We have been sourcing special
hospitality packages and special
VIP experiences beyond the
usual spectator tickets to make
them extra special too.
In Miami, we would definitely
recommend extending your
stay to relax on South Beach.
Wander among the art deco
beachfront buildings and soak
in the vibrant atmosphere the
city has become famous for. If
time permits, we can arrange car hire to drive along
the Florida Keys for a more relaxed pace of life and
the opportunity to escape city life. Visit Bahia State
Park off mile marker 37, which spans more than 500
acres of lush land. There is a beautiful bridge plus
offshore island in this state park which is an ideal
beach destination. There is great snorkeling plus the
opportunity to rent a kayak and explore the coastline
on your own. You can also take a boat tour out to the
Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.
Few would travel all the way down under just to
watch the Australian Open which takes place in
January and February, so why not incorporate the
excitement of the live matches in Melbourne into
longer itineraries. In the same city is the Australian
FORMULA 1 COMES TO
VIETNAM IN 2020
Formula 1 Grand Prix, which takes place in March.
The city is a great entry point into Australia and
contrasts very well with Sydney. We suggest hiring a
car and exploring the stunning coast with the famous
Twelve Apostles. Our top tip would be to spend a
little more time in the city before you venture off
than you think you need; it has a very famous food
scene which my fellow MD Oliver found out when
he visited recently. We can
assist with choosing the right
restaurants and, of course,
essential table reservations.
As you can see, there are lots
of opportunities to combine
a major sports event with
a longer holiday or tour of
your chosen destination.
Other events around the
world booking include boxing,
WWE, ice hockey and
RB Collestion’s award-winning
team of travel specialists can
piece together the perfect trip, or source an escorted
tour to add to your travel plans.
For examples of the sports tours we offer visit www.
sportseventstravel.co.uk. Call us on 01543 258631 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us only on Boley
Park, Lichfield with free parking. Ask to speak to Sam
or Nathan, our sports events specialists.
LO CA L A R E A
YOUR GUIDE TO THE SPOOKIEST GOINGS-ON AROUND SUTTON
COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, BIRMINGHAM AND BEYOND THIS MONTH
WHERE: NATIONAL FOREST ADVENTURE FARM
WHEN: SELECTED DATES FROM OCTOBER 10 TO NOVEMBER 2
The scariest night out in the Midlands returns to the National Forest Adventure
Farm for 2019 with bigger scares than ever before.
Not for the faint-hearted, ScreamFest is the ultimate Halloween event, with five
freakishly frightening scares to explore, plus a whole host of entertainment for the
scaredy cats out there. There’s spectacular live entertainment running all night
including extreme performers, fairground rides, live DJ and street theatre. Recover
from the scares with a wide choice of food and drink, including a licensed bar.
New for 2019 is Hillbilly Joe’s Zombee Zoo. There’s zombie Basketball Game,
complete with cheerleaders, a Zombie Wedding and a Zombie Santa in his grotto.
There’s even a café and gift shop!
The new scare is based on the weird and wonderful American road trip ‘tourist’
attractions. Why visit attractions like the world’s first museum dedicated to hammers
or see the World Biggest Ball of String, when Hillbilly Joe has real live zombies…
Tickets are available online only and must be booked in advance. For details visit
WHAT: THE EXORCIST
WHERE: NEW ALEXANDRA THEATRE, BIRMINGHAM
WHEN: OCTOBER 15 TO 19
Inspired by true events, the two-time Oscar-winning movie of this story has thrilled
generations the world over since its release in 1973. Now it’s your turn to experience
The Exorcist live, featuring the voice of Ian Mckellen as the Demon in this spinetingling
new stage production direct from London’s West End.
When desperate mother Chris is unable to get any answers from a succession of
doctors about her young daughter’s strange symptoms, she reluctantly turns to a
local priest for help. But before Father Damien can tackle what’s before him, he must
overcome his own shaken beliefs, as this fight is for more than just one girl’s soul.
For more details visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham
WHAT: GRUESOME AND GHOSTLY TOURS
WHERE: LICHFIELD CITY CENTRE
WHEN: OCTOBER 11, 22, 28, 30 AND 31
Discover ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night on a guided tour with
Hear about the many ghosts that are said to haunt Lichfield and be terrified by
gruesome tales of the city’s past.
Led by Green Badge guides, the tours take in the Guildhall prison cells, the history
of the Market Square burnings, the ghosts sighted at Dam Street, The Close and
more city locations. As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, this is the
perfect time to discover the dark and mysterious side of Lichfield - if you’re brave
Tickets are priced at £8.50 per person, including refreshments after the tour at
a local pub. For more details visit www.visitlichfield.co.uk or call the Tourist
Information team on 01543 308924.
Quality flooring at affordable prices
Abingdon, Adam’s, Associated Weavers, Axminster, Brintons, Brockways,
Cormar, Crucial Trading, Penthouse, Ulsters, Karndean & Project Floors
Free advice ✔ Free quotations ✔
Furniture moved ✔ Our own regular fitters ✔
THIS PRODUCT IS BRILLIANT ANYWHERE IN
THE HOME AND PROVIDES A BRILLIANT FINISH.
2 0 T H N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 9
B A R T O N M A R I N A
Brand: Alternative Flooring
Range: Sisal Super Panama
ON ALTERNATIVE FLOORING
(ACROSS ALL RANGES)
SALE ENDS: 31 ST OCTOBER
Please see our website for further details www.tatlowcarpets.co.uk
Finance facilities available
Tel: 01543 264766
Open to the public. Mon-Fri: 9.00am - 5.00pm. Sat: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Unit 4, Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 9TZ
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.
WHAT: GHOSTLY GOINGS ON
WHERE: TAMWORTH CASTLE
WHEN: OCTOBER 26 TO 31
Tamworth Castle will provide the perfect backdrop for creepy and bone-chilling
entertainment this Halloween with family-friendly spooky activities on offer for
people of all ages.
The week of ghostly goings on will take place between Saturday, October 26 and
Thursday, October 31, with daytime activities for children from 10.30am until 3pm
The ever popular Haunted Castle event invites families to encounter a series of
creepy characters, as well as take part in a range of activities as they tour the castle.
They will meet cackling hags along the way, while Master Slaughter will attempt to
steal some of their body parts! Only the bravest will leave without being scared.
The Halloween events will culminate in a late night ghost hunt on Thursday,
October 31. Visitors will be able to tour the castle and conduct candlelit vigils in
rooms which, according to town legends, are haunted by an array of ghostly figures.
Only a handful of tickets remain for this event, which must be booked in advance.
For more details and prices visit www.tamworthcastle.co.uk or call Tamworth
Information Centre on 01827 709618.
WHAT: PUMPKIN CARVING AND HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR BABY DISCO
WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK
WHEN: OCTOBER 30 AND 31
The Garrick is getting into the Halloween spirit with a duo of family-friendly spooky
activities this October half term.
First up is Pumpkin Carving with Dastardly Dan on October 30 at 2.30pm. After
having so much fun last year, Dastardly Dan is back to teach the nation how to carve
a pumpkin with this workshop that’s messy fun for all the family. Carve a spooky
face, maybe a scary scene, your imagination’s the limit! Take your hard work home
and enjoy your lantern in time for Halloween! Tickets are priced at £8.50 per child,
with one free adult per child ticket, and all materials are included.
And on Halloween itself, October 31, the Garrick invites parents, babies and
young children aged one to three to have fun in a safe, welcoming and enjoyable
environment at their Halloween Spooktacular baby disco, With a friendly Halloween
theme, you can dance along to all your favourite tunes and have the chance to
socialise with other parents too in this Spooktacular disco. Tickets are £7.50 per
child including one free adult per ticket.
For more details visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com
WHAT: HALLOWEEN SILENT MOVIE SPECIAL - THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL
WHEN: OCTOBER 31
There’s nothing quite like the sound of the historic Town Hall organ to send shivers
down your spine at Halloween.
Nigel Ogden’s chilling organ-playing sets the scene for a special Halloween screening
of 1923 classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In 15th century Paris, the brother
of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile,
a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.
With an iconic performance from Lon Chaney in the titular role, this is a screen
spectacular as only Hollywood of the 1920s could make them.
Join in the fun if you dare…
For more details and to book tickets visit www.thsh.co.uk
pigment and clears
congested pores while
exfoliating the top layer
of dead skin, leaving
skin smoother and
Pumpkin Enzyme Facials available at Mode Laser Skin Clinic, Essington Clinic,
132 Birmingham Road, Lichfield, WS14 9BW • 01543 256844 • www.mode-clinic.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.
FA S H I O N
THERE’S A SEVENTIES VIBE RUNNING THROUGH THIS SEASON’S COLOUR PALETTE -
AND WE’RE HEAD OVER HEELS FOR RUST, SAYS AMY NORBURY
IT’S not just vintage fabrics such as shearling and
corduroy which have taken over the catwalks this
season; the autumnal colour palette for 2019 has a
decidedly retro feel to it too.
Yellow shades - particularly mustard - as well as every
iteration of camel, tan, beige and brown add up to
a smorgasbord of rather Seventies hues, but it’s the
deep red-orangey rust shades which are our pick for
The must-have update from perennial autumn
favourites burnt orange and deep burgundy, rust is
having a fashion moment - and it’s easy to see why.
A perfect partner to every neutral under the sun,
this eminently wearable shade suits just about every
skin tone, adding just enough colour to make an
outfit ‘pop’ without ever feeling too overwhelming or
Evoking a nostalgic mood, rust was first spotted
on the AW18 runways, with a series of prominent
designers infusing their collections with the vintage
shade, from subtle prints to head-to-toe tonal
dressing. And it’s cropped up once again all over
this year’s catwalks; our favourites being Lanvin’s
gorgeous satin blazer (teamed with a plethora of
checked layers for a seriously heritage country vibe)
and with OTT ruffles on Roksanda’s statement tiered
The best bit about this trend? Anything goes, from
all-over tonal looks to a statement rust shoe or bag.
For an easy in, opt for workhorse separates; a floaty
blouse or a neat sweater can be dressed down with
denim or paired with a pencil skirt or tailored
trousers for prim and proper office chic, while
oversized knits and boxy T-shirts in the rich, earthy
hue offer a trendy twist on casual cool.
Be it animal motif or florals, rust is also combining
with prints for the season ahead. Leopard midi skirts
are given a new lease of life with terracotta tones,
complemented to perfection with cream knits and
Make a style statement by embracing rust from head
to toe, or for extra impact eschew safe tan and camel
in favour of rust for outerwear; a shearling-lined rust
leather biker jacket is top of our wardrobe wishlist
JASMINE SWEATER, £79, PIPER
SKIRT, £159, AND WOODLEY BAG,
£159, ALL HOBBS
RUST PLEATED SILK DRESS,
BODICE AT HARVEY NICHOLS
LEATHER BIKER JACKET, ACNE
STUDIOS AT HARVEY NICHOLS
CROSS OVER STRAP HEELS,
RUST VELVET VENETIAN
SLIPPER, LE MONDE BERYL
AT HARVEY NICHOLS
£45, AMY BELT,
BAG, £159, ALL
BOXY T-SHIRT, FROM A
SELECTION, UTILITY POCKET
TROUSERS, £32,AND LEOPARD
LEATHER BLOCK SANDALS, £40,
B E AU T Y
Clean up your skincare act
GIVE YOUR SKIN A HEALTHY BOOST AND UP YOUR DAILY CLEANSING GAME. BECAUSE YOUR FACE
IS CONSTANTLY EXPOSED TO POLLUTANTS AND BACTERIA, CLEANING IT MORNING AND NIGHT
ENSURES YOU’RE NOT ONLY REMOVING GRIME AND IMPURITIES, BUT ALSO CLEARING OUT PORES
AND ADDING HYDRATION. LISA PIDDINGTON REVEALS HER FAVOURITE WASH-TIME ESSENTIALS
FROM HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM
Huxley’s Be Clean, Be Moist
Gel, £22, is a pH-balanced
foaming cleanser that gently and
effectively removes excess oil,
make-up, environmental grime and
pollutants to promote healthy, clear,
blemish-free skin. Infused with
hydrating, organic prickly pear seed
oil, the antioxidant-rich fine lather
won’t irritate or dry out the skin.
Pixi’s brightening Vitamin-C
Juice Cleanser, £18, is formulated
with orange flower water and
contains stabilized vitamin C for a
potent antioxidant effect. Ferulic acid
assists in regeneration while balancing
probiotics help to strengthen skin’s
Dirt’s gentle Foaming
Cleanser, £15, by removing
your makeup without taking
away the good bacteria. It’s
sensitive-skin friendly and uses
just eight plant-based ingredients
for a great complexion without
Cleanser, £5.50, is
formulated to target makeup
removal while leaving the
skin feeling smooth and
moisturised. Because it’s noncomedogenic
it’s designed to be gentle
enough for daily use without
over-drying the skin, making it
suitable for all skin types.
In just one pump, Dior’s
Hydra Life Lotion To
Foam Fresh Cleanser, £29,
transforms into a rich foam
cleanser. It’s highly concentrated
in natural white tea leaf extract
to effectively remove makeup
while it deeply cleanses, purifies
and refreshes the skin.
Heaven Skincare Cleanse &
Foam, £27, is a non-abrasive
exfoliator and cleanser that
improves elasticity levels and
balances oil, reducing T-zone
shine. Because it contains organic
mandarin it can help ease skin
complaints making it ideal for
those with even super sensitive
PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE BEAUTY HALL AT
HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM OR ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM
Spa Days at Moor Hall
The Spa at Moor Hall is the perfect place to escape,
unwind and enjoy a day of pure relaxation at its best.
Our Spa Days all include tea or coffee and toast on arrival, use of
the facilities including gym, indoor pool, spa bath, sauna and steam
room, access to fitness classes, exclusive access to our Spa
Relaxation room, lunch, refreshments and use of a robe for the day.
I ndian Summer Spa Experience
Includes a 25 minute mango body exfoliation or
Indian head massage, mango smoothie, 4 hours in our
Spa with full use of the facilities.
£42 PER PERSON
Available until 31st October. £10 supplement for weekends.
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 334 2323 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
Visit our our website for for vouchers, a full range descriptions of Spa Gift and Vouchers to book
of Sutton Coldfield
Whatever the occasion
ROBELL · EMRECO · SALOOS · CASAMIA · GODSKE · PINNS · GLITZ · PLUS MANY MORE
396 Birmingham Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B72 1YJ
0121 373 4834 - www.millardefashions.co.uk - firstname.lastname@example.org
I N T H E N E W S
Jewellery fundraiser for Breast Friends
During October for Breast Cancer Awareness month,
Allen Brown Jewellery based at the Heart of the Country
Shopping Village in Swinfen, near Lichfield, will be
supporting Breast Friends Sutton Coldfield.
Allen says: “We are asking for donations via our JustGiving
page or while in our gallery for Breast Friends of a
minimum amount of £5 to be entered into the draw to
win our beautiful Radiant Ribbon pendant. This is an
18ct white gold diamond and pink sapphire pendant to the
value of , which has been made in our onsite workshop
here at Allen Brown Jewellery.
“We are hoping that the donations will raise lots of money
for a very worthwhile cause and we are pleased to be able
to support a local charity which makes such a difference.”
Breast Friends is a support group based at Good
Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. It is run by unpaid
volunteers who have all been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Their aim is to help local women with breast cancer
through a difficult time by offering friendship, support,
ALLEN BROWN HAS DESIGNED
THIS STUNNING PENDANT TO
RAISE FUNDS FOR BREAST
FRIENDS SUTTON COLDFIELD
emotional and practical help from the time of initial
diagnosis, throughout treatment and beyond.
For more details of how to enter please visit Allen Brown
Jewellery’s Just Giving fundraising page at www.justgiving.
An interior transformation
If you’re looking to make a stylish statement in your
kitchen or bathroom, a Midlands interiors specialist
may have the answer.
Love Lane Interiors specialise in glass splashbacks,
window cills, glass balustrading, bespoke shower
screens and doors.
Established in 2010 and based in the middle of the
Staffordshire and West Midlands borders, they aim
to keep overheads down and prices competitive. You
can view displays of their glass in selected kitchen
and bathroom showrooms in the area.
Offering a stylish alternative to tiles and grout,
whether you have a full kitchen wrap or just a
single hob splashback, the glass will dramatically
change your room giving your old kitchen a new
contemporary lift or your new kitchen the classy wow
factor it deserves.
In bathrooms the glass can replace tiles in the shower
area, giving you a stunning reflective transformation
with a hygienic surface and no grout to attract debris
for you to clean. Adding glass window cills to any
room will help reflect the light into the space while
giving you a shiny, sleek surface. They also provide
solutions for shower enclosures and wet rooms by
giving you that made-to-measure glass you need to fit
your unique space.
Love Lane Interiors are a family-run business with a
professional, friendly team who offer a service to suit
the customer, whether that be supply only or taking
advantage of their complete templating and fitting
Louise, the owner, offers a free quote and colour
consultation where she will measure where you
would like your glass and leave you with a no
obligation quote. With a wealth of experience,
Louise can also offer advice on design and colour
choice, showing you glass samples in your home.
For more details call 01922 411077 or visit
M OTO R S
Life in the fast lane
J’AIME GOES BEHIND THE SCENES AS OUR RESIDENT RACING DRIVER COLUMNIST MARTIN PLOWMAN
AND FRIEND OF J’AIME, TV STAR KELVIN FLETCHER, ARE CROWNED BRITISH GT PRO-AM CHAMPIONS
BRITISH GT4 PRO AM
FLETCHER AND MARTIN
In the final round of the 2019 British GT
Championship at Donington, ‘Pro’ racer Martin
Plowman and his ‘Am’ teammate Kelvin Fletcher,
of Strictly Come Dancing fame, took home the
Championship silverware. The pair had a strong
race in their Aston Martin GT4, leading the Pro-Am
class throughout the session. The win in class was
accompanied by fourth position overall in the GT4
category and the pair were crowned popular 2019
Driving the first 60-minute stint, Kelvin started with
the race under the safety car. However, he quickly
found his pace and enjoyed some great opening laps.
Although leading the Pro-Am field from the outset,
he gained position with some overtakes on other
GT4 cars but was careful to hand the car over to
teammate Martin, in the best possible health.
Martin spent the majority of his stint in close
contention with other Pro-Am Championship
hopefuls, with the number 77 Balfe Motorsport
McLaren 570S GT4 being piloted by Broadhurst
behind him, closely followed by the number 20 of
O’Brien; the duo’s nearest rival. Further into his
stint, Martin overtook several GT4S class cars, and
was close on the heels of the Canning/Hand TF
Sport Aston Martin GT4. Although having the pace
to continue to climb up the field, Martin was aware
that Canning and Hand needed the position to win
their championship, resulting in
a double victory for the Aston
Martin brand within the GT4
Speaking after the race,
Martin said: “We came into the
weekend with both everything
to lose and everything to gain,
so today’s approach was about
getting the job done correctly
and making sure we went past
the 70 per cent race distance
mark in order to score the points
“I am, of course, delighted
with the Championship win
and, now it’s over, am looking
forward to tonight’s celebrations.
Driving with Kelvin this season
with the Beechdean AMR team
has been fantastic and today’s
TAKING TOP HONOURS
ON THE PODIUM
result is testament to that. I’d like to thank all of our
sponsors for their wonderful support and we look
forward to working together again next season.”
Kelvin added: “It was such a relief to hand the car
over first in class; for the last six laps my tyres were
rapidly dying on me and all I wanted to do was bring
it home. Like Martin, I was completely focused on
a clean and safe race to secure the Championship
so was perhaps more conservative than I have been
at other races this season. But it paid off because we
won! I couldn’t be happier and what a wonderful
journey it’s been! Sincere thanks to everyone who has
made it happen, particularly Imagine Cruising for
their unfailing support at all the races and with all
the fans. Until 2020…!”
LEADING THE PACK
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 9.30am-12.30pm (except bank holidays)
J'Aime Ad 190x280_July 2019.indd 1 10/07/2019 16:19
with your Ripples bathroom
Step into your dream bathroom this October.
Let us help design your ensuite, cloakroom or master bathroom and we’ll throw
in the tiles for free!
RIPPLES BIRMINGHAM AT 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
For terms and conditions please visit ripplesbathrooms.com/bathroom-sale