J'AIME OCTOBER 2019

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Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

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

J’AIME

FOCUS ON MENTAL

HEALTH AS BEDLAM

COMES TO BIRMINGHAM

SPORTING

TRAVELS FOR

2020

AUTUMN

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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

highlights.

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

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

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:

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

Find us on

/JAIMEMAGAZINE

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@JAIMEMAGAZINE

SPONSORED BY

3


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

autumn

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

Halloween

52 Fashion - Retro hues for autumn

54 Beauty - Super cleansers from Harvey Nichols

Birmingham

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

SPONSORED BY

4


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

every week.

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

BEDLAM

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

biennially since.

“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

6


SAMPAD’S NO BOND SO

STRONG TAKES A LOOK

AT MOTHERHOOD

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,”

says Steve.

“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

BEDLAM co-producer.

“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

7


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

GEESE THEATRE

COMPANY ARE A NEW

BEDLAM PARTNER

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

mental health.”

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

fantastic performances.

“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

experienced.”

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

www.bedlamfestival.co.uk

8


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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

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The stylish reception hallway with stunning light oak wooden

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conveniently has a walk-through opening into the open plan

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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

facilities.

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

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F E AT U R E

Design master

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

morning.

“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

12


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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

BROUGHTON-FREW

“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

& Ball.

“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

14


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

deliver it.

“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

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON,

WHO WAS ONE OF THE

GUEST JUDGES

KYLE AT WORK

designer, he prefers to leave this to skilled

tradespeople.

“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

on site.”

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

you love.”

To find out more, visit

www.kylebroughtonfrew.co.uk

Interior Design Masters continues on

Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC Two.

15


I N T E R I O R S

Light and

shade

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

serene.

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.

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®

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: art@thecourtyardfineartlounge.co.uk

Gallery Opening Hours: Monday - by private appointment only. Tuesday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm. Sunday 11.00am - 4.00pm

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BETSY LARGE FAN WALLPAPER IN CHARCOAL

CREAM, £120, WOODCHIP AND MAGNOLIA.

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18


SUGARBOO I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU

WALLPAPER, £180, MINDTHEGAP.

WWW.MINDTHEG.COM

VASCA DA BAGNO FREESTANDING

BATH, £POA, VIADURINI COLLEZIONE.

WWW.VIADURINI.IT

ASCOT TWO SEAT SOFA, £749.99, MY FURNITURE.

WWW.MY-FURNITURE.CO.UK


I N T E R I O R S

Quality and choice at

Peppermill Interiors

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

authenticity.

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

aficionado.

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

showroom, customers

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

products.

Come and visit Peppermill

Interiors at Unit 6, Zone 2,

Burntwood Business Park,

Ring Road, Burntwood, WS7

3JQ (for satnav, please use

WS7 3JG).

For more information call

01543 375872 or visit www.

peppermillinteriors.com

20


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 | sales@peppermillinteriors.com

Peppermill Interiors is a trading name of Peppermill Antiques Ltd.


I N T E R I O R S

Space

to think

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.

OAK FURNITURELAND.

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STERLING GREY FIGURED EUCALYPTUS

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KARLSSON CHUNKY ALARM CLOCK,

RED CANDY. WWW.REDCANDY.CO.UK

£182

£65

BLOCKWORK CONCRETE DESK

ORGANISER, DECOVILLE.

WWW.DECOVILLE.CO.UK

HAUTEVILLE LOW CONCRETE ARMCHAIR,

DECOVILLE. WWW.DECOVILLE.CO.UK

£725

22


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£199

£695

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STUDY DESK, VONHAUS.

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TICKETY SHELVES, LOAF.

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CULT LIVING ASHER LEATHER INDUSTRIAL

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£23.45

£699.99

GOLD METAL MAGAZINE RACK,

MELODY MAISON.

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£180

£399

ELLIPSE NATURAL SOLID OAK DESK,

OAK FURNITURELAND.

WWW.OAKFURNITURELAND.CO.UK

KOBLE BODIE SMART DESK,

CUCKOOLAND.

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

ABELLA TABLE LAMP, SWEET-

PEA & WILLOW. WWW.SWEET-

PEAANDWILLOW.CO.UK

MILTON DINING TABLE (USED AS A DESK)

£149.99, FURNITURE CHOICE.

WWW.FURNITURECHOICE.CO.UK

24


R E C L A M A T I O N

YOUR RECLAIMED BUILDING & LANDSCAPING MATERIAL SUPPLIERS

Wooden Flooring

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AFTER

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INFO@LITTLESUTTONLTD.COM

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Proud to be a family run business for over 35 years

HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS

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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

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KOBLE SILAS SMART DESK, £275, CUCKOOLAND.

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

DUCK EGG CHEVRON CHIC STRIPED

ROLLER BLINDS, £24.25, ENGLISH BLINDS.

WWW.ENGLISHBLINDS.CO.UK

CULT LIVING RIBBED OFFICE CHAIR WITH

SHORT BACK, £199, CULT FURNITURE.

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CHATEAU ANTHRACITE WALLPAPER, £150,

DECOVILLE. WWW.DECOVILLE.CO.UK

26


Mason Flooring

Specialists In Wooden Flooring

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

Telephone: 0121 308 3895

www.langancarpetsandinteriors.co.uk

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

commercial breeds.

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

things lamb.

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

LOAGHTAN FAT

PRESSE OF MANX

LOAGHTAN BELLY

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

kitchens.

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

the palate.

While celebrating all things lamb was

top of the agenda, the dinner also

28


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

MEADOWSWEET CHEESCAKE

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

together perfectly.

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.

29


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.

Golden

Fort

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

thewhiskyexchange.com

30


CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR AT

SWINFEN HALL

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

31


F O O D & D R I N K

Autumnal flavours

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

FOUR PILLARS

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

darker sides.

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

and Headingley.

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

32


The

Boat Inn

Festive Dining

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

Michelin recommended

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

Christmas Day.

PARTY BOOKINGS WELCOMED

£25 FOR 3 COURSES FOR PARTIES OVER 6 PEOPLE

(PRE ORDERS REQUIRED)

Festive Dining

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

Starters

• Spiced squash soup & goats cheese ravioli

• Smoked pig cheek, artichoke & chilli

• Potted Mackerel, smoked almonds & quince

• Beetroot tart, cheese and watercress.

Mains

• Turkey, rolled leg, stuffing and mashed potato

• Venison haunch, terrine, pickled mushroom & Cauliflower

• Pappardelle, onion and mushroom

Desserts

• Carrot cake, butter icing and Christmas pudding ice cream

• Chocolate parfait, milk & cherry sorbet

• Poached pear, white chocolate sorbet & shortbread.

• British cheese selection.

sample

party

menu

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


HUSSINGTREE’S

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

varieties.

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

cardamom.

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

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F E AT U R E

Frightful feasts

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

36


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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

DEEP BREATH...

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

long chalk.

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

order!

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

38


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

single time.

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

it too!

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

family.

Which is when the entire

extraordinary list of

culinary abnormalities,

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

and delight.

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

DISASTERS

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.

Lamb’n’Eggs

A lifelong favourite of my mother. Nothing more need

be said.

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.

Damson jelly

I ask you, What kinda twisted mind come up with

something so nasty? The Hooded Claw? Dick

Dastardly?

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.”

Rumbledythump

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.

39


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

the country.

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

hooked!”

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

40


HEALTH |

07815 460786

01827 892952

Focus on Fingers

Dupuytren’s Disease

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

European descent.

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

Sutton Coldfield

B74 3UP

Hand Clinic PA: Pam Dziubany

Email: pdziubany@hotmail.com

Call: 07815 460786 - 01827 892952

www.midlandhandclinic.com


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 raul@ambitionpt.co.uk

RAUL CELEBRATES

WITH MARCUS IN

THE STUDIO

MARCUS ON

THE PODIUM

42


HEALTH

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

development.

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

others.

WHERE DOES THE CONSULTATION TAKE

PLACE?

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

and 10pm.

For more details visit www.hardwick-medical.com

43


T R AV E L

Sporting chances

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.

SOUTH AFRICA

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,

44


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

to explore.

VIETNAM

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

SRI LANKA

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 clients.

INDIA

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

45


COMBINE CRICKET FEVER

WITH CULTURAL MUST-SEES

IN INDIA

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

a reality.

JAPAN

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

F1 CALENDAR

USA

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.

AUSTRALIA

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

46


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

basketball.

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 vip@rbcollection.com. Visit us only on Boley

Park, Lichfield with free parking. Ask to speak to Sam

or Nathan, our sports events specialists.

AUSTRALIA’S FAMOUS

TWELVE APOSTLES

47


LO CA L A R E A

What’s On

YOUR GUIDE TO THE SPOOKIEST GOINGS-ON AROUND SUTTON

COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, BIRMINGHAM AND BEYOND THIS MONTH

WHAT: SCREAMFEST

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

www.screamfest.co.uk

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

a difference.

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

enough!

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.

48


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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

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• Care Fees Planning and Funding for Care

Telephone: 01543 417342

Website: www.jeanlamb.co.uk

Email: jean.lamb@sjpp.co.uk

Office: 6A Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LH

Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management Plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority)

for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products.


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

each day.

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

DAME

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

image: Freepik.com

50


The

Power of

Pumpkin

Brightens unwanted

pigment and clears

congested pores while

exfoliating the top layer

of dead skin, leaving

skin smoother and

brighter.

Woodburning &

multifuel stoves

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

SERV ICE

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

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

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


FA S H I O N

Vintage vibe

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 season.

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

dominant.

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

dress.

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

ankle boots.

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

for AW19.

JASMINE SWEATER, £79, PIPER

SKIRT, £159, AND WOODLEY BAG,

£159, ALL HOBBS

52


£199

£835

BETHANY COAT,

HOBBS

RUST PLEATED SILK DRESS,

BODICE AT HARVEY NICHOLS

LORI TRENCH,

HOBBS

£369

£1,300

LEATHER BIKER JACKET, ACNE

STUDIOS AT HARVEY NICHOLS

CROSS OVER STRAP HEELS,

DOROTHY PERKINS

£275

£300

RUST VELVET VENETIAN

SLIPPER, LE MONDE BERYL

AT HARVEY NICHOLS

REGAN DRESS,

£159, LARA

ROLL NECK,

£79, BEATRICE

JACKET, £279,

POLLY SCARF,

£45, AMY BELT,

£59, IMOGEN

OVER-THE-KNEE

BOOTS, £329,

AND WOODLEY

BAG, £159, ALL

HOBBS

BOXY T-SHIRT, FROM A

SELECTION, UTILITY POCKET

TROUSERS, £32,AND LEOPARD

LEATHER BLOCK SANDALS, £40,

NEXT

53


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

barrier.

Maintain your

skin biome

with Mother

Dirt’s gentle Foaming

Cleanser, £15, by removing

your makeup without taking

away the good bacteria. It’s

preservative-free, unfragranced,

sensitive-skin friendly and uses

just eight plant-based ingredients

for a great complexion without

any harsh

chemicals.

The

Ordinary’s

Squalane

Cleanser, £5.50, is

formulated to target makeup

removal while leaving the

skin feeling smooth and

moisturised. Because it’s noncomedogenic

and soap-free,

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

skin.

PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE BEAUTY HALL AT

HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM OR ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

54


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

Millarde Fashions

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 - enquiries@millardefashions.co.uk


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.

com/fundraising/allenbrown

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

service.

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

www.lovelaneinteriors.co.uk

56


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

CHAMPIONS KELVIN

FLETCHER AND MARTIN

PLOWMAN

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

class champions.

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

57


their championship, resulting in

a double victory for the Aston

Martin brand within the GT4

category.

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

we needed.

“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 DONINGTON

58


Free Valuations

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

01543 251081

www.richardwinterton.co.uk

office@richardwinterton.co.uk

Medals & Militaria

Technology

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


FREE TILES

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!

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