D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9
Y O U R L O C A L L U X U R Y L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E
cutlery for your
up for grabs
TO SHINE YOUR WAY
THROUGH PARTY SEASON
Welcome to J’AIME
The festive season is well and truly upon us
here at J’AIME HQ, and we’ve got a whole
host of seasonal goodies lined up for you this
month. From Christmas decor for your home
to the best outfits for party season, as well as a
comprehensive gift guide packed with ideas for
your nearest and dearest, we’ve got Christmas all
We go behind the scenes at the Lichfield Garrick,
chatting with panto star and CBeebies favourite
Rebecca Keatley, as well as the Garrick’s
executive director Karen Foster as the theatre
prepares for a busy Christmas programme of
There are also some great prizes up for grabs;
three lucky readers will win a stylish cutlery
set from Arthur Price of England for their
Christmas table, while we’ve also got dinner for
four at the Pear Tree Creperie and a gorgeous
luxury leather holdall and matching wash bag
courtesy of Robertson Jessel and Co worth more
than £800 to give away, so make sure you get
your entries in!
And this month we were delighted to be
nominated for three awards - Magazine of the
Year, Team of the Year and Feature Writer of
the Year - at the prestigious Midlands Media
Awards, the flagship event run by Birmingham
Press Club celebrating the very best in print,
broadcast and online media across the region.
Although we weren’t quite lucky enough to
scoop any honours on the night, it was a fantastic
achievement just to be nominated alongside
some of the biggest names in Midlands media
and see the hard work we put into J’AIME each
month recognised. Huge congratulations to all
of the evening’s winners, and we hope to go one
better next year!
From all of us here at J’AIME, wishing all of
our readers and advertisers the very best for a
EDITOR: AMY NORBURY
ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY
07388 335 931
CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN,
ABI NORTHAGE, LISA PIDDINGTON, THE
GINTLEMAN, PREET ANAND, RAUL ROMERO,
J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY
PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED
BY KEP LIMITED, TAMWORTH.
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CO N T E N T S
InsideJ’aime this month...
6 Lichfield Garrick Christmas - We chat to
panto star, CBeebies’ Rebecca Keatley and the
Garrick’s Karen Foster about the festive season
12 Property - Property of the month
14 Interiors - Blue Christmas
18 Interiors - Traditional Christmas decor
22 Competition - Win one of three Arthur Price
cutlery sets worth more than £250 for your festive
23 Interiors - Sutton Coldfield interior designer
Preet Anand answers your Christmas design
24 Christmas - Gifts she’ll love
26 Christmas - Gifts for him
28 Christmas - Treats for kids
30 Christmas - Shop local
32 Competition - Win a luxury leather holdall and
washbag from Robertson Jessel & Co
34 Richard Winterton - Ones to watch at auction
36 Food and drink - Reviewing Bistro 1709, Lichfield
38 Competition - Win dinner for four at The Pear
40 Food and drink - Festive gin serves from The
42 Health - Tips for a happy, healthy Christmas
from Lichfield personal trainer Raul Romero
46 Travel - Family time in Sri Lanka
50 What’s On Christmas- Our pick of festive
events this month
52 Fashion - Your party wardrobe sorted
54 Beauty - Top Christmas beauty buys from
Harvey Nichols Birmingham
56 In the news - Luxury baby boutique opens in
57 Motors - Martin Plowman says its never too late
to get into racing
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Peppermill Interiors is a trading name of Peppermill Antiques Ltd.
F E AT U R E
She’s behind you!
WITH FESTIVE SEASON UPON US WE GO BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE LICHFIELD GARRICK AS
PREPARATIONS FOR A PACKED CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE GET UNDERWAY. AMY NORBURY CHATS TO
PANTO STAR AND CBEEBIES FAVOURITE REBECCA KEATLEY, AND GARRICK EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
KAREN FOSTER, TO FIND OUT MORE
CBEEBIES FAVOURITE REBECCA KEATLEY WILL BE
STARRING AS FAIRY GODMOTHER IN LICHFIELD
GARRICK’S FESTIVE PANTO CINDERELLA
For the youngest members of the panto audience
- and many of their parents - Rebecca Keatley will
be an instantly recognisable face. As one of the
main presenters on the BBC’s dedicated channel for
younger viewers, Rebecca entertains millions of kids
every day with her wacky skits and songs in CBeebies
And for the festive season, she will be putting
her comedic talents to good use on the Lichfield
Garrick stage where she will be starring as the Fairy
Godmother in this year’s showstopper, Cinderella.
As mum to an almost five-year-old, Rebecca is a firm
fixture in our house. Her show Let’s Play - where
she and double act partner Sid Sloane perform
as an array of different characters - never fails to
engross the youngest member of our family. And
when my son and his friends discovered I was going
to be chatting to their favourite diminutive Welsh
presenter, it instantly made me the coolest parent in
Rebecca will also be a familiar face to Midlands
panto audiences. Her stint in the cathedral city’s
flagship Christmas show this year will be her
second visit to Lichfield, following her turn as Fairy
Moonbeam in Sleeping Beauty three years ago.
And, she says, she’s delighted to be back.
“I can’t wait; it just signals Christmas to me and it’s
such a lovely experience,” Rebecca says.
“I’ve never done Cinderella before and I think it’s
probably the most magical panto of all so I’m really
looking forward to what surprises the Garrick team
have in store for us. We’ve not been told what kind of
magic there’s going to be but I hear it’s going to be
“I absolutely loved it in Lichfield, it’s such a pretty
city and the people were so welcoming, I really felt at
TO BE A FEAST OF
ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE
home there so I can’t wait to get back. And I know
a lot of people from the theatre from last time and
they’re such a great team.
“When I got the call, it was a no-brainer.”
Rebecca will once again be teaming up with
Lichfield favourite Sam Rabone, who has become
the comedic heart and soul of the Garrick pantos in
recent years, putting in star turn after star turn as the
wacky, outrageous panto dame. This year, however,
sees Sam taking on something a little different.
“He’s playing Buttons this year so he’s going to be
wearing trousers, which is a shock for all of us,”
“And this time he’d directing the panto too, which he
did last year but not when I was there, so that’s going
to be interested because we’re really good friends so
it’ll be funny to be directed by him.
“He lives for pantomime and he knows everything
about it so I feel like I’m in really safe hands with
him and he’ll put on a great show.
“The costumes are just incredible, especially the
Ugly Sisters, so the audience are in for a treat. And
it’s great playing the fairy because you really get to
sparkle up, which is great at Christmas time.”
With an impressive 65 shows taking place over
panto season, it can be a gruelling schedule for
any performer. But Rebecca has a plan to keep
herself performance fit.
“My fitness regime nowadays is walking; I like
to get outside, especially when we’re in the
theatre for long hours, I like to get the daylight
in and just go for strolls,” she says.
“I used to be a fitness instructor, believe it or
not, and I really wanted to be a sports person;
I loved running and I used to run all the time.
But now walking is more my thing; you get
the fitness but without putting the stress on the
“So you’ll probably see me walking
around Lichfield in between shows!”
And, says Rebecca, she gets most of her
performance energy from the audience.
“You just take each day as it comes;
there will be a time about halfway
through where you think, can we have
a week off yet! But everyone just comes
together, and the audience really keeps
you going too, as well as friends and
family who come to visit and watch the
show. Because you’re getting fed by the
audience, they’re really enjoying it and
giving the love back it makes everything
so much easier.”
By the time her visit to Lichfield rolls
around, Rebecca will already be well into panto
mode. When we chat she’s strolling around the pretty
streets of Edinburgh, taking a break from rehearsals
for the CBeebies panto, Hansel and Gretel, which
will be shown on TV over the festive season. And
this year, there’s an added challenge as Rebecca will
be sharing the stage with one of CBeebies’ brightest
new stars - Waffle the Wonder Dog.
“Waffle’s in the scenes that I’m in, so we’ve some a
bit of dog training,” laughs Rebecca, who will be
playing Granny Crimble. “Luckily I don’t have as
much responsibility as Phil Gallagher, who’s Mr
Maker, and Gem Hunt from Swashbuckle, they’ve
got a lot of work with Waffle.
“It’s absolutely amazing what this dog can do, it
really is, but it’s going to be a bit fly-by-the-seat-ofyour-pants
to see what’s going to happen on the day!
I can’t wait”
While panto is always a favourite part of the year
for Rebecca - Cinderella will be her seventh festive
show - the CBeebies day job is a dream come true,
transforming her from jobbing actress to megastar
REBECCA KEATLEY PREVIOUSLY
STARRED AS FAIRY MOONBEAM IN
SLEEPING BEAUTY AT THE GARRICK.
CREDIT PAMELA RAITH PHOTOGRAPHY
CHARLIE AND THE
CHRISTMAS CAT WILL
“I really did always want to be a children’s
presenter,” says Rebecca.
As a teenager she applied to be the new female
presenter of The Disney Club, and from the
thousands of auditionees she made it down to the
final three, eventually losing out to none other than
“I remember at the time thinking she was so cool and
confident, whereas I was much more of an awkward
teenager,” laughs Rebecca. “She was brilliant, and
she’s had such a wonderful career since so it was very
“I was just stumbling my way through, trying to find
out exactly what it was I wanted to do. I did theatre,
some TV and film, commercials and stuff like that,
but I loved to act; I just loved making people laugh
and I loved playing characters.”
So when CBeebies Let’s Play came up, it was a
dream opportunity for Rebecca.
“I couldn’t believe my luck, it was such an awesome
show,” she says. “And when I got the job it was like
winning the X Factor for me.”
With more than 100 characters to play, Rebecca
has to stretch her performance abilities to the max,
creating distinctive voices, accents and mannerisms
for a whole host of roles within the tight schedule
required for a kids’ TV show.
“It’s such a quick turnaround for everything we do
at CBeebies; there’s no time to work on an accent
or a character like you would with a film or bigger
production,” she says.
“I read the script and make notes beside each
character about their voice or their walk, then
film myself doing a funny walk or record a funny
voice. And when we come back to that script for
filming I have to just look back at my notes, listen
to the voice and think yes, that’s what I thought
of for that character.
“Because there are so many characters I want
to differentiate between them all, even the small
“It’s an absolute treat for me though, because I
love that sort of thing. But you don’t get time to
perfect anything, it’s more a case of slap this wig
on, slap this walk on and let’s just attempt this
South African accent and see what happens!”
And while panto may be top of her list, Rebecca
also has one eye on that other festive fixture -
Strictly Come Dancing. And when it comes to
her predictions for the winner, she’s keeping
it firmly in the kids TV family, throwing her
support behind CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual
- one of the hotly-tipped favourites to lift the
“We film next door to each other so I know Karim
really well. I’m following his journey and he’s just
brilliant,” she says. “I knew he would be though
because he’s a fantastic dancer, he’s really got those
Cinderella may be dominating the main stage for the
next six weeks, but the Garrick’s Christmas offerings
don’t stop there. The newly refurbished studio
theatre will be staging not one, but two, specially
commissioned shows which will bring that festive
CASEBOOK IS A NEWLY
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THE GARRICK STUDIO
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magic to a wider audience.
Alternative comedy Christmas Carol Casebook:
Away in a Danger is a fantastical festive farce which
tells the tale of Choirmaster Barry, accused of a
murder he did not commit. With the police already
in hot pursuit will Barry prove his innocence, and
will the carol concert go ahead? With references
to local landmarks this cracking comedy features
murder, mayhem and more puns than you can wave
a conductor’s baton at!
And for the youngest audiences, Charlie and the
Christmas Cat is the purr-fect introduction to live
theatre. The story takes place on Christmas Eve, the
one night of the year where animals can talk. Join
Charlie and her loveable cat Ziggy on a magical
evening full of surprises with lots of interaction for
“It’s going to be a fun year,” says the Garrick’s
executive director Karen Foster. “The children’s
show is absolutely magical; it’s a really lovely story
and it’s also really interactive for the children in
the audience, they get to join in and talk to Charlie
and the cat and get involved in the show. It’s really
“It’s aimed at kids who perhaps aren’t brave enough
to go to panto, because we know panto is really
loud and there’s a lot of shouting and screaming, so
it’s for the age group just before that, who want to
experience their first live theatre performance. And
it’s beautiful to watch the children because they just
suspend belief and get into the story. The kids will
find it really magical, and I think the parents will be
really chuffed too.”
While the Garrick has previously commissioned its
own children’s Christmas shows, this is the first time
the theatre has created its own adults’ production.
And Christmas Carol Casebook has a real local
“It’s set in and around this area, so the audience will
recognise quite a lot of local references,” says Karen.
“It’s very funny and it’s very silly, which is just what
you need at Christmas.
“The thing that I really like is that show has a couple
of local writers in Craig Stephens and Jack Trow, so
we’re using local talent, and one of our actors, Lucy
Pearson, is also Lichfield-based, which is brilliant for
us because it’s giving people right here in this city the
chance to pursue their careers here on our stage.
“And James Steventon, who plays Barry, is from
Walsall, so two of the four actors in the show are
Midlands-based which is really great for us. And
they’re absolutely brilliant; it’s not that we’ve gone
local for local’s sake, we’ve gone local because they
were the best.”
Another first for the Garrick this year will be the
addition of a spectacular Santa’s Grotto, where the
man himself will take residence on selected dates in
the run-up to Christmas.
“We are a theatre so we will have to dress it like we
would the set of a show,” says Karen.
“We’re working on making it really theatrically
beautiful, so that it’s a real magical Christmas scene.
There are little things we can do here in the theatre
that perhaps you can’t get elsewhere!”
With festive films also showing over the season in the
studio too, it’s shaping up to be the most wonderful
time of the year in Lichfield.
“What we’re trying to do this year, with the three
shows as well as the Santa’s Grotto and a screening
of the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker, is to give something
to all the different people around here at Christmas
that’s exciting at quality, and we’re also bringing in
the quality talent from around the local area to put
those shows on,” says Karen.
“It really is going to be magical.”
Cinderella opens on the main stage at the Lichfield
Garrick on November 28 and runs until January
5. Christmas Carol Casebook: Away in a
Danger will be showing in the Garrick Studio
from December 5 to January 4, and Charlie and
the Christmas Cat runs from December 6 to
December 24. Tickets for all shows are available
now. For more details call the box office on 01543
412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com
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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 A SPACIOUS MANSION ON
PRESTIGIOUS LITTLE ASTON PARK WHICH OOZES GRANDEUR
Georgian House, Park Drive, Little Aston Park, Sutton Coldfield: offers over £2,000,000
On the market with Fine and Country: 0121 272 6900
THE AGENT SAYS: Georgian House is a stunning sevenbedroom
mansion with wonderful landscaped gardens and
superb living accommodation.
This beautifully presented property is located in the highly
desirable private estate, Little Aston Park. Entering the
renowned Little Aston park, you can feel the grandeur
immediately with impressive mature trees and grounds
surrounding unique substantial mansions, it really is a special
place to live.
Nestled away on Park Drive is Georgian House; through
pillared electric gates you are welcomed into the grounds of
this elegant home. Proceeding down the sweeping driveway
with manicured borders you have a substantial four door
garage with accommodation above and parking for several
cars with potential to increase the driveway if required.
There is a short walk down a pathway lined with box hedging
to the beautiful stone portico entrance of Georgian House.
Already providing almost 6,000 sqft of living space, this
amazing family home sits in a generous plot of approximately
The magnificent marble tiled reception hall gives easy access
to the well-proportioned ground floor living space; a good
sized family room looking out to the front of the property, the
drawing room, sitting room, kitchen/breakfast room which
is fitted with shaker style units, granite work surfaces and
quality built-in appliances, and the tastefully decorated dining
From the reception hall up a majestic carpeted oak staircase
is further spacious living space on the first floor which
holds four of the seven bedrooms. The central oak staircase
continues to the second floor where the quality and space of
this property can be felt further, providing three more double
bedrooms and a generous bathroom.
W E L O V E : THE SENSE OF GRANDEUR AND SPACE
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As an alternative if you cannot part with your existing suite, we
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email@example.com - www.ralvernupholstery.co.uk
Visit our website for a virtual tour of our showroom
I N T E R I O R S
THIS year, a range of blues have been in; whether it’s
moody navy, aquamarine or relaxed grey-blue, they all
work to create a calm atmosphere in the home.
These blue hues are reminiscent of the tranquil sky,
and by incorporating this intense tone into your 2019
Christmas colour palette, you’ll soon be drifting off into
your own Winter Wonderland.
For a contemporary take on festive decoration, cast aside
traditional Christmas pigments of deep red and green
in favour of a modern midnight hue. To warm things
up, add touches of rich gold for a glamorous Christmas
scheme reminiscent of stars twinkling in the night sky.
You can also bring depth to the look by combining
several blue hues; pops of bright aqua and teal work
particularly well against a background of deep ink or
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FROM Santa Claus and Rudolph to puddings and mince
pies, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without all of the
traditions that go alongside the festive celebrations.
And the same can be said of creating the perfect
Christmas decor scheme for your home. If the thought of
adorning your tree in baubles shaped like unicorns, palm
trees and pineapples leaves you feeling decidedly grinchlike
then never fear - traditional is always in.
Embrace a red, white and green colour palette and opt
for swathes of holly and seasonal foliage, tinsel garlands
and twinkly fairy lights to create a festive ambience
worthy of your favourite Christmas movie.
Now all that’s left to do is to hang your stockings from the
fireplace and wait for the big man to arrive!
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June receives an early
“It is amazing how just being able to brush your own hair can change your
whole outlook on life,” according to great grandmother June Shakespeare.
Eighty-four-year-old June had been gradually losing the use of her fingers over the past few years until it
reached the stage where she could hardly use her hands at all.
But, following surgery to reattach tendons that had become worn away by wrist arthritis June, who lives in
Great Barr, has been able to grab back the many day-to-day skills that most people take for granted.
“Opening doors, taking lids off jars, holding a cup or taking money from my purse – even brushing my hair, had
become almost impossible. You can’t imagine just how much that impacted on my daily life,” she explained.
As the condition continued to deteriorate June met with specialist hand and wrist surgeon Mr Gunaratnam
Shyamalan at Spire Hospital. He explained that not only could he help her get movement back to her hands but
he could also perform the surgery while she remained completely awake.
He said: “Years of arthritis in the bones of her wrist meant that the tendons to her fingers had been severed or
ruptured – it is not an uncommon condition in elderly patients.
“What I did was use sections of healthy tendons to repair the torn ones while carrying out repairs to the badly
damaged ones. I used a technique called WALANT (Wide Awake Local Anaesthesia No Tourniquet) which meant
June was able to stay awake throughout the entire operation."
“Not only does this seem to put patients at their ease, it also means they don’t have to recover from the effects
of a general anaesthetic which speeds up their actual recovery process.”
Now, following a series of physiotherapy treatments, June is delighted to have ‘excellent movement’ back in
She said: “The operation went very well and I was delighted
to be able to chat to people in the operating theatre as
Mr Shyamalan carried out his work. It really put me at ease
both before and during the actual surgery.
“It really is beyond my expectations to be able to do some
everyday things that most people take for granted and, as a
bit of a bonus, there is hardly a scar to show for the surgery
he carried out.”
June is delighted with the results of her wrist surgery.
Midland Hand Clinic lead by
Mr G Shyamalan FRCS NHS
consultant hand surgeon.
Little Aston Hall Drive
All patients welcome whether
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or you are self-paying.
Ask us about our self funding
prices for minor hand surgery.
Hand Clinic PA: Pam Dziubany
Call: 07815 460786
Cornfield Magazine | 15
CO M P E T I T I O N
Dine in style
THREE LUCKY READERS WILL WIN AN ARTHUR PRICE CUTLERY SET
WORTH MORE THAN £250, PERFECT FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS DINNER TABLE
J’AIME has teamed up with British, family-owned
cutlery firm Arthur Price to offer readers the chance
to win one of three amazing prizes, just in time for
Christmas… an Arthur Price 42 piece cutlery set
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Only using the finest materials and craftmanship
their cutlery is a byword for quality. Whether you
want everyday use or silver-plated pieces for those
special occasions you can’t get better than Arthur
Price, not just for the quality but for the guarantee.
The Warwick set featured in this competition has a
50 year guarantee!
The Warwick pattern is perfect for entertaining
both your friends or family at Christmas or anytime
of the year. Speaking of family, this pattern has a
wonderful ‘family’ story behind it. Warwick is one of
four patterns in the Arthur Price Signature collection
– created by the Simon and James Price, the fourth
and fifth generations of the family to be involved
with the company.
John Price, the third generation ‘Price’ – Simon’s
father and James’ grandfather - registered four names
and patterns over 50 years ago – Warwick, Henley,
Cascade and Camelot but never produced them.
Simon and James found the paperwork and decided
to produce the collection and as a ‘doffing of the hat’
to the founder of the company back at the start of
the twentieth century, the signature of Arthur Price
was placed on every single piece.
If you want to take a look at all the cutlery and gifts
Arthur Price has on offer visit www.arthurprice.
com or why not pop into the UK’s biggest cutlery
shop – the Arthur Price Factory Shop, Britannia
Way, Lichfield, WS14 9UY.
TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING ONE OF THREE WARWICK
CUTLERY SETS WORTH £255 EACH, PLEASE ANSWER THE
IN WHAT YEAR WAS ARTHUR PRICE FOUNDED?
Send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number, by email
to firstname.lastname@example.org with Arthur Price Competition as the email
subject. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, December 13, and our winners
will be notified by Wednesday, December 18 in order to collect their prizes in
time for Christmas. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.jaimemagazine.com for
Preet on interiors
I N T E R I O R S
SUTTON COLDFIELD INTERIOR DESIGNER PREET ANAND, OF MOOD INTERIORS,
TAKES A LOOK AT SPRUCING UP YOUR HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
The season of waking up before sunrise and
coming home guided by street lamps is truly
upon us. Temperatures begin to sink down
into single figures and the trees are steadily
shedding their autumnal glow. This calls for
one thing; everyone to spruce their interiors
and get ready to enjoy the indoors for a
festive and cosy winter ahead.
There was no doubt in my mind that this
first month of questions was going to
include some Christmas preparation tips,
as well as ideas on how to add layers to the
home, to keep everything nice and warm.
So, let’s see how I can help…
I get extremely stressed over
Christmas when it comes to dressing
the table. After all the work that goes
into the tree, the outdoor lights, the
turkey and the gifts, I must be honest; I get
lazy with the table, and I just wanted to know
some simple tips to help me make this task a
little easier on the day?
I must admit this sounds all too familiar. My
recommendation is to treat the table as I would a
room, so pick a theme, add layers and accessorise.
Following these three simple rules will help on
the day - oh and potentially setting the table on
Christmas Eve too! Choose your colours for the
table, like gold with blue for example. Ensure the
linens are ironed and consider adding a runner or
placemats in the same colour coordination to make
it a little different from your everyday look. Choose
some baubles, fairy lights or foliage to run along the
centre of the table for a festive finish.
Without spending too much money, how can I
get my house in season?
A little can go a long way; try adding candles - pillar
or tealight style - clustered around the house, either
in lanterns or just in holders. The word layering
comes to mind; chunky throws, textured cushions
are all readily available and can create the nook you
need on cold evenings. Adding seasonal foliage, like
English holly, thistle and fir to your vases can be
subtle and effective. Don’t forget the fairy lights too;
dim the mains to create a wonderful ambience for
How can I create a home which is for my
family, but also somewhere I can wind down
Whether it is children or spouses, living with others
takes… patience. There should always be an area
designated for ‘you’ time. Especially as the evenings
get colder, we spend more time indoors, consider
creating areas for your hobbies, such as a reading
station with a comfortable chair upholstered and
accessorised with thick, plush fabrics, a table for your
beverage of choice and plenty of light. Just sit back
and relax in your own little sanctuary.
Send your questions on interiors to info@
moodinteriors.net and you might find Preet
answering your design dilemma in next
SPONSORED BY MOOD INTERIORS
0121 809 7333 - WWW.MOODINTERIORS.NET
G I F T G U I D E
Gorgeous gifts galore
SLEIGH THE SPENDING STRESS THIS FESTIVE SEASON WITH OUR ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE FOR HER. GONE
ARE THE DAYS OF PANIC-BUYING AND CHRISTMAS EVE SHOPPING SPREES, SO STOP BEING ELF-ISH
AND GET PREPARED TO TREAT HER LIKE THE QUEEN SHE REALLY IS. WHETHER YOU’RE SHOPPING
FOR YOUR WIFE, GRANDMOTHER, OR COLLEAGUE, STOP YOUR SEARCHING - WE HAVE BUNDLES OF
GORGEOUS GIFTS THAT WILL MAKE HER SNOW HAPPY!
SET OF FOUR PINK COCKTAIL
TED BAKER BLACK OPAL WATER
BOTTLE, ANNABEL JAMES.
18CT ROSE GOLD HEMATITE AND
PEBBLE DROPPER EARRINGS
JOHNSONS JEWELLERS OF NUNEATON.
LUCKY STAR LEOPARD PRINT HI
TOP SNEAKERS, £75, CONVERSE
AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
ALPACA FUR HOT WATER
BOTTLE, ANNABEL JAMES.
B BY TED BAKER, SPLENDOUR
CAMI, £19.50, AND JERSEY
PANTS, £32, DEBENHAMS.
18CT WHITE GOLD DIAMOND AND
ORANGE SAPPHIRE RING, ALLEN BROWN
JEWELLERY AT HEART OF THE COUNTRY
SHOPPING VILLAGE, SWINFEN.
BELLA FREUD X GILLIAN WEARING SUFFRAGETTE
CITY TEACUP AND SAUCER, HARVEY NICHOLS.
LADIES TUDOR 1926 STEEL AND ROSE
28MM MODEL M91351 JOHNSONS
JEWELLERS OF NUNEATON.
SNOW GOOD JUMPER,
WILDFOX AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
LISEN RED FAUX FUR COAT, STAND
STUDIO AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
ROSSETTI FLORA SCENTED CANDLE,
FORNASETTI AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
ROSE AND SKULL PRINT SCARF,
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN AT
EMMA RED LEOPARD GLOVES,
THE CARELESS CLASSIC
SHETLAND STROUD HEATHER
BLANKET, BRONTE BY MOON.
TOUJOURS MEDIUM LEATHER CROSSBODY
BAG, KATE SPADE NEW YORK AT HARVEY
G I F T G U I D E
Make his Christmas
MAKE HIS CHRISTMAS LIT THIS YEAR! WE HAVE PILES OF PRESENT IDEAS THAT ARE PERFECT FOR
THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE. WHETHER YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR YOUR DAD, SON, OR HUSBAND,
LOOK NO FURTHER. FROM SANTA-MENTAL PURCHASES TO MERRY NOVELTY TOKENS, HAVE A
BROWSE THROUGH OUR BEST GIFTS TO GIVE TO ANY GUY THIS FESTIVE SEASON… YULE BE
SORRY IF YOU DON’T!
ASHFORD BLACK LEATHER AND
WOOL GLOVES, DENTS
AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
DIOR SAUVAGE EAU DE
PARFUM, HARVEY NICHOLS.
STAGS LEATHER WEEKENDER
BAG, ANNABEL JAMES.
CHOC ON CHOC.
ENGLISH PEWTER CO. HAMMERED
HIP FLASK WITH BROWN LEATHER
SLEEVE, FARRAR AND TANNER.
OCTYL SCARF, DUNE LONDON.
PLAYER AND RADIO,
PARKA, CANADA GOOSE AT
DAY OF THE DEAD SKULL
DECANTER, RED CANDY.
SILVER BLUE JOHN CUFFLINKS, ALLEN
BROWN JEWELLERY AT HEART OF THE
COUNTRY SHOPPING VILLAGE, SWINFEN.
ELECTRIC PYJAMA SET,
AUDIO CASSETTE DESK TIDY,
BEATS BY DR DRE STUDIO
3 WIRELESS HEADPHONES,
JACOB JENSEN WATCH, ALLEN BROWN
JEWELLERY AT HEART OF THE COUNTRY
SHOPPING VILLAGE, SWINFEN.
HAND REPAIR, FATFACE.
SUPERCOURT TAUPE LEATHER
SNEAKERS, ADIDAS ORIGINALS
AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
REUSABLE BAMBOO COFFEE
CUP, WEARTH LONDON.
G I F T G U I D E
IT’S THE MOST MAGICAL TIME OF YEAR FOR THE YOUNGEST MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY, AND WE
HAVE PLENTY OF PRESENT OPTIONS THAT WILL GIVE THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE A CHRISTMAS
THEY WON’T FIR-GET. IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A MORE LOW-TECH OPTION FOR THEIR SANTA
SACK, 2019 SEES JUNGLE ANIMALS, DINOSAURS, UNICORNS AND ALL THINGS SPACE REIGN
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BACKPACK, SOPHIE ALLPORT.
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PRESLEY THE PANDA NIGHT
LIGHT, REX LONDON.
MADPAX SPIKETUS REX
JETPACK BACKPACK IN WHITE,
MEDIUM SOFT TOUCH
UNICORN PULL-ALONG, JOHN
BANWOOD BALANCE BIKE IN CHROME,
SANDING & SEALING. FITTING & REPAIR SERVICE
BESPOKE COLOUR CHOICES
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LITTLE SUTTON LIMITED
0121 308 6962
visits to our showroom are by appointment only - email
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HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS
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 - 2pm
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.
CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS:
CLOSE ON THE 20TH DEC AND REOPEN ON THE 6TH JAN
abbeyfirecentre @abbeyfirecentre abbeyfirecentreltd
G I F T G U I D E
GIVE A BOOST TO SOME INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES WITH YOUR HARD-EARNED CHRISTMAS
SPENDS THIS YEAR. WE ROUND UP A SELECTION OF INTERESTING BEST BUYS FROM LOCAL
COMPANIES WHICH WILL HELP SPREAD SOME FESTIVE CHEER A LITTLE CLOSER TO HOME
FOR AUCTION WITH
OF LICHFIELD ON
DECEMBER 11, GUIDE
THE PATH HOME LIQUID ART,
£335, COOKES FURNITURE,
GOOSEMOOR LANE, ERDINGTON
SILENT NIGHT ART PRINT, £15, FROM
LICHFIELD DESIGNER CHRIS DAY.
MAISON BERGER ETINCELLE LAMPE
AVAILABLE IN GREY AND ROSE, £41,
LA MAISON BLEUE AT HEART OF THE
COUNTRY SHOPPING VILLAGE
9CT GOLD DIAMOND AND OPAL EARRINGS,£660,
FROM ALLEN BROWN JEWELLERY, HEART OF THE
COUNTRY SHOPPING VILLAGE
BUNNY GIRL - GUCCI SIGNED
LIMITED EDITION ON PAPER
BY THE MAD ARTIST, £275,
FROM THE COURTYARD FINE
ART LOUNGE, DAM STREET,
18CT ROSE GOLD CHOCOLATE AND WHITE
DIAMOND CLUSTER BAND, £2,725, JOHNSONS
JEWELLERS, QUEENS ROAD, NUNEATON
32 PIECE CONCERTO 8
PERSON BOX SET OF CUTLERY,
WAS £179, NOW JUST £49 IN
THE ARTHUR PRICE FACTORY
THE ICANDY PEACH DESIGNER
COLLECTION CERIUM, £1,300,
CARRYCOT AND BAG. AVAILABLE
FROM BABY TATE, BRITANNIA
ENTERPRISE PARK, LICHFIELD
ART FOR ALL at
Curborough Countryside Centre
2 FLOORS OF TASTEFUL GIFTWARE
LAMPS • THROWS • UNUSUAL CANDLES •
GREETINGS CARDS • LADIES WEAR • JEWELLERY
Visitors to Eden Gallery will find that we have probably
one of the most diverse ranges of art, both in style and
price, to be found in any high street gallery. Framed and
on display in the Gallery are many styles and genres,
from Original artwork to high quality Limited Editions
from many of the UK’s best-selling artists, most of which
are uniquely framed in our Gallery workshop. In addition,
we have a large range of smaller images, exclusively
framed – perfect for gifts. New to Eden Gallery is a range
of Limited Edition wildlife bronze sculptures, produced in
Birmingham by sculptor Linda Francis.
Bridge to Paradise by Duncan Palmar
(Framed Signed Ltd Edition Giclee on Canvas - Size 112cm x 51cm)
Price - £395
TEL: 01543 263883
TUDOR ROW (OFF BORE STREET) LICHFIELD WS13 6HH
PREVIOUSLY FROM MITCHELLS CENTRE, SUTTON COLDFIELD.
Eden Gallery, The Hexagon Centre, Curborough
Countryside Centre, Watery Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8ES
Telephone: 01543 268393 - www.edenartandframing.co.uk
Opening hours: Tues - Fri 10am - 4pm. Sat 10am - 4.30pm. Sun 10am - 4pm
Visit our Stylish Showroom
11 Belwell Lane, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AA - Tel: 0800 996 1241
Visit our fantastic website www.jmiwindows.co.uk - firstname.lastname@example.org
Windows | Doors | Bi-Fold Doors | Garage Doors | Conservatories | Orangeries | Secondary Glazing | Window Repairs
CO M P E T I T I O N
A perfect partnership
J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH LUXURY LEATHER GOODS COMPANY ROBERTSON
JESSEL & CO. TO OFFER READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN A STUNNING LEATHER
HOLDALL AND MATCHING WASHBAG WORTH MORE THAN £800
English leather craft is
centuries old and is cherished
the world over, with Robertson
Jessel & Co. being a name
synonymous with the finest
leather artisanship. Even with
the advancement of modern
technology our leather goods
are still handmade in the timehonoured
The history of the namesakes
originates from two highly
skilled leather craftsmen,
Hamish Robertson and Adir
Cohen Jessel who, after WWII
were working for a luxury
leather goods manufacturer
in the Whitechapel area of
London making motor and
dress cases, hunting bags and
Having formed a very strong friendship and after
many years’ hard work mastering their craft, they
agreed to open their own workshop in London. They
soon achieved a well-earned reputation for making
the very finest travel cases, attaché cases, briefcases,
travel goods and small leather goods, such was their
reputation for making the finest quality goods that
they were also commissioned to make bespoke goods
for customers worldwide.
Only the finest raw materials were ever used; these
two revered craftsmen would only ever accept the
best quality leather, the same was also said for the
hardware they used, only the best would do and
there would never be a compromise on quality.
The same can be said today. The company’s team of
experts source only the very finest leathers
and hardware, visiting suppliers throughout
the world but choosing only to work with the
very best. Robertson Jessel & Co use 21st
Century technology to showcase its products
to you, but be assured that each piece is still
individually handmade in the same timehonoured
traditional way it has always been.
The times we live in have certainly changed
but the quality and the way in which the
products are made remains the same as it
has always been.
Each piece is created by their British design
team and handmade by highly skilled
craftsmen and women who are located in
the renowned artisan leather manufacturing
epicentre of the world, Ubrique in southern
Spain. Robertson Jessel &
Co. chose Ubrique for their
handcrafting as the area is
synonymous with exceptional
workmanship and they are
in very good company; Louis
Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes,
Chanel, Chloe, Loewe and
Carolina Herrera are all
reported to use the artisans
here to make their handbags,
wallets and belts.
Their distinctive products are
still made in small quantities
traditional methods making
each piece unique.
This uniqueness leads many
customers to question the
slight white coating - known
as blooming - which can be
present when they select their
items. This is, in fact, the items’ natural wax which
has surfaced. As with all high-quality real leather
products, once you begin to use your item, this
wax penetrates deeper into the leather creating a
stunning organic sheen. Natural body warmth and
daily use produces a greater aged lustre adding to the
uniqueness of each beautiful piece. This is known as
the patina which is, in essence, the hallmark of the
finest quality raw materials.
Robertson Jessel and Co. offer a stunning collection
of gentleman’s wallets, notecases briefcases and
luggage all handmade in various styles and sizes,
traditionally crafted using only the very finest
vegetable tanned leathers, from the finest calf skin
right through to the truly exotic American alligator
all obtained from sustainable sources.
They have been commissioned to produce items for
private yachts and motor sport companies through to
bespoke cigar cases and poker chip companion sets
for affluent individuals, but their heart lies with the
premise of being able to offer customers affordable
luxury on the most beautiful and desirable leather
goods, with every piece being made to stand the
test of time allowing it to be used for generations to
ROBERTSON JESSEL & CO. ARE DELIGHTED TO OFFER READERS OF J’AIME MAGAZINE
THE CHANCE TO WIN A LUXURY LEATHER HOLDALL AND MATCHING WASH BAG JUST
BY ANSWERING THIS SIMPLE QUESTION:
WHAT IS THE NAME USED TO REFER TO THE WHITE
COATING SOMETIMES FOUND ON LEATHER GOODS?
ANSWERS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ONLINE AT WWW.ROBERTSONJESSEL.COM/WIN - TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY.
WE ARE ALSO DELIGHTED TO OFFER ALL READERS A 50% DISCOUNT ON ALL PRODUCTS
FROM NOW UNTIL JANUARY 31ST 2020 BY VISITING THE WEBSITE WWW.ROBERSTONJESSEL.COM
AND USING CODE RJ50 AT THE CHECKOUT*.
TERMS & CONDITIONS: ALL ENTRIES MUST BE MADE BY DECEMBER 31, 2019, THE WINNER WILL BE DRAWN AT RANDOM ON JANUARY 6, 2020. BY
ENTERING THE COMPETITION YOU ARE CONSENTING FOR YOUR DETAILS TO BE RETAINED BY ROBERTSON JESSEL & CO. FOR MARKETING PURPOSES
WHICH YOU CAN OPT OUT OF AFTER THE MAILING OF OUR INITIAL NEWSLETTER. WE WILL NEVER PASS YOUR DETAILS ONTO ANY THIRD PARTY.
*SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. DISCOUNT CODE DOES NOT APPLY TO GOODS WHICH ARE ALREADY ON SALE/DISCOUNTED.
F E AT U R E
BEN WINTERTON, WATCH EXPERT AT RICHARD WINTERTON AUCTIONEERS IN
LICHFIELD, SAYS THAT STYLISH WRISTWEAR MIGHT JUST BE A TIMELY INVESTMENT
WATCH EXPERT BEN WINTERTON
Try as we might but it’s an impossibility to put the
brakes on the passage of time – so we may as well
mark it in as stylish a way as possible.
Technology has constantly revolutionised our
wristwear yet the pull of an original, mechanical
wristwatch – which was itself a technological
revolution and remains a wonder of precision
engineering – is as strong now as ever it was.
A remarkable wristwatch is a potently practical status
symbol and very likely a sound investment to boot.
Small wonder, considering that watches – especially
Swiss watches – are synonymous with some of the
biggest luxury brands in the world.
In the past 15 years, the industry has gone
stratospheric and a number of names have become
nigh on impossible to obtain, resulting in long delays
and inflated prices for the most sought-after watches
in the world.
For example, waiting lists on specific new models
can stretch to a decade – creating a large desire for
vintage, pre-loved luxury timepieces.
Recent sales here at The Lichfield Auction Centre
have included a 1960s Rolex GMT-Master on an
original jubilee bracelet fetching £12,000, an 18ct
Cartier from 1975 which sold for £7,400 to a buyer
in Italy, a 1970s Tudor Submariner making £4,600
and a 1968 Omega Speedmaster fetching £9,000.
As a watch enthusiast with the auction world in
my blood, people often ask me what my ultimate
timepiece would be.
There are so many to choose from but after wracking
my brains I would say it’s a toss-up between the
11610LV 50th anniversary Rolex Submariner with
a black dial and green bezel or a Patek Philippe
The Rolex is a version of arguably the brand’s most
famous model but the 11610LV is a rare and distinct
twist on such a ubiquitous watch.
If Rolex remains the most famous watch brand in
the world, then Patek Philippe is one which makes
serious collectors raise an eyebrow.
The Nautilus stands out due to its prestige – it has
been known to double its price after sale due to its
But any product issued by either of these brands now
is likely to be a sound investment, although I’d always
recommend first and foremost buying something
because you like it.
THIS 18CT CARTIER
FROM 1975 SOLD FOR
There are of course other esteemed brands up there
in the higher echelons of world watches – Omega,
Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Audemars Piguet, Hublot,
Breitling, TAG Heuer and Cartier.
Others such as Van Cleef & Arpels and Jacob & Co.
are pushing boundaries to create some of the most
astonishing watches you will ever see.
To me, the world of timepieces is an endlessly
fascinating subject and I’m always happy to have
a look at any watches and advise members of the
public free of charge.
Just pop in and see me at The Lichfield Auction
Centre on Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, on
Tuesdays from 9.30am-4pm, on Mondays at The
Hub at St Mary’s in Lichfield city centre between
9.30am-12.30pm, email ben@richardwinterton.
co.uk or give me a call on 01543 251081.
We also offer free valuations of watches and jewellery
in Sutton Coldfield most Mondays at The Trinity
Centre, Church Hill, Mill Street – upcoming dates
are November 25, December 9 and December 16, all
between 2pm and 3.30pm.
For more inspiration, check out the variety of
watches we have coming up for auction this
December, with brands such as Rolex, Omega and
Breitling. Perfect for a present for a loved one or for
yourself! Visit www.richardwinterton.co.uk for
ROLEX FACTS – AT THE CUTTING
EDGE FROM SCIENCE TO STYLE
Swiss watch giant Rolex was originally founded as
Wilsdorf and Davis by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred
Davis in London in 1905.
Wilsdorf wanted his watches to bear a name that
was short, easy to say, remember in any language,
and which looked good. After combining the
letters of the alphabet ‘in every possible way’ he
eventually came up with Rolex.
The company registered Rolex as the brand name
of its watches in 1908 and moved to Geneva in
In 1955, Rolex developed the GMT-Master to
meet the specific needs of airline pilots. It was
capable of keeping track of time in two zones
simultaneously and the iconic two-tone bezel
which marked daytime from nighttime hours. The
GMT-Master became the official watch of several
airlines, among them the famous Pan American
World Airways aka Pan Am.
Hans Wilsdorf created the Rolex Air-King line to
honour Battle of Britain RAF pilots. The first model
was released in 1958.
In the 1950s, Rolex carried out rigorous testing of
the experimental Deep Sea Special watch, created
to withstand the most extreme conditions. On
January 23, 1960, strapped to the outside of the
bathyscaphe Trieste, the watch descended 10,916
metres to Challenger Deep at the bottom of the
Mariana Trench. Both bathyscaphe and watch
were in full working order when they resurfaced.
On March 26 2012, film-maker and explorer James
Cameron made a record-breaking solo dive – the
first to such depths for 52 years. Like the Trieste
before it, Cameron’s submersible was carrying an
experimental Rolex attached to the exterior.
The most expensive wristwatch ever sold
at auction was actor Paul Newman’s Rolex
Cosmograph Daytona, which went under the
hammer in 2017 for $17,752,500. The watch had
been given to Newman by his wife in 1968 and
the actor wore it every day for 15 years.
THIS 1960S ROLEX GMT-MASTER
SOLD FOR £12,000
F O O D & D R I N K
Price it like it’s 1999
THERE MAY BE A STYLISH NEW LOOK - AND NEW NAME - FOR STALWART LICHFIELD RESTAURANT
BISTRO 1709, BUT THE ETHOS OF QUALITY AND VALUE IS AS STRONG AS EVER, SAYS AMY NORBURY
It was some 20 years ago that restaurateur John
Ashmore first opened an eatery in this quaint
building on Lichfield’s Lombard Street. Then
falling under his ‘Pastiche’ brand, it was the second
restaurant in the group of which would eventually
expand to nine, offering freshly prepared and chefcooked
food at rather bargain prices. I remember
eating at both the Stafford and Lichfield Pastiche
bistros many times, where you could grab a set lunch
for a fiver and a three-course dinner from about £10
- excellent value for money even 20 years ago.
Fast-forward to 2008 and John - who sold the
Pastiche group in 2005 - alongside business partner
and former Pastiche executive chef Mark Medley,
bought the Lichfield site back and reopened the
restaurant as 1709 the Brasserie, the name paying
homage to one of Lichfield’s most famous sons - fun
fact, 1709 was the birth year of dictionary creator Dr
2019 has seen yet another milestone in the story,
with a refurbishment of the restaurant inside and a
new brand blazoned across the outside. The name
now may be Bistro 1709, but the concept of quality
cooking at value prices remains the same.
J’AIME were invited over to sample the new-look
restaurant for ourselves, and when we arrived early
on a Saturday evening, Bistro 1709 was already
rather packed with diners.
First impressions of the restaurant itself were
certainly favourable; the quaint, cosy atmosphere
remains but the decor has had a much-needed
freshen up, with the walls painted in crisp white
and stylish grey. Tables are mix and match, with
stripped wooden tops simply adorned with flowers,
candles and gleaming cutlery and glassware, very
reminiscent of the rustic French bistro style which is
the inspiration behind 1709.
We were shown to our table; however, a rather noisy
large party seated next to us impacted on the cosy
atmosphere somewhat and we were swiftly moved to
a quieter nook.
Although inflation has seen the menu price
understandably increase in the 20 years since
Pastiche first opened, with dinner now at two courses
from £15 and puds from just £3, you’re still looking
at a full three-course meal for less than the price of a
main dish in many eateries.
And if you think the dinner menu is good value,
then the new pre-theatre early doors menu is an
absolute steal. Served Tuesdays through Saturdays
from 5.45pm to 6.45pm, it offers three courses
from a pared-back version of the main menu for
the princely sum of just £10. Yes, that’s right; to
celebrate his 20 years in Lombard Street, John has
priced it likes its 1999.
There are also some great value wines on the wellrounded
wine list, and we settled on a bottle of
French malbec for £20.
To start I was tempted by the halloumi, butternut
squash, kale and beetroot salad, but instead opted for
a classic; chicken liver pâté with garlic and thyme,
served with brown toast and apple compote, which
is one of the dishes you can find on the bargainous
early doors menu. Simply presented and rustic in
style, it was a fine pâté - smooth and flavoursome,
with a lovely sweet-sharpness from the compote to
cut through the richness.
My husband attempted to entice me into the boxbaked
camembert to share, but settled on the
caramelised onion, goats’ cheese and spinach puff
pastry tartlet. Now caramelised onion and goats’
cheese is always a winning combination and he was
more than happy with his choice, the pastry crisp, the
Onto the main event, and I only had eyes for the
confit duck leg; I love duck and, as it’s something
I rarely cook at home, I always gravitate to it on
any menu when eating out. Served with sauteed
potatoes, braised red cabbage and a blackberry and
red wine jus, it was just about as autumnal a dish as
you can get. The duck had been perfectly roasted, fat
rendered down to create a wonderfully crisp skin and
beautifully succulent meat. With a sweet tang from
the jus and a festive hint from the five spice in the
cabbage, it was a thorough delight.
My husband’s sirloin steak from local butchers
Bradshaw’s was a hefty piece of meat, cooked nicely
rare to give a lovely charred flavour. Accompanied
by a sizeable pile of crispy skin-on fries and French
beans, as well as a pink peppercorn sauce which
brought a subtle heat to proceedings, it was a most
satisfying dinner. And the £4 supplement was, he
reasoned, a small price to pay for a good steak.
We’d also gone for side orders of seasonal greens and
more of that glorious braised red cabbage at £2 a
pop, which were rather fine accompaniments too.
Now the portion sizes had been ample enough that
we were both content two courses down, but with
desserts at just £3 it was hard to say no.
My 1709 crepes with boozy red cherries and vanilla
ice cream most definitely hit the spot; a signature
dish, these also feature on the £10 early doors menu.
My husband hit the pudding jackpot with his warm
sticky toffee pudding with oodles of rich toffee
sauce and rum raisin ice cream. The pud itself
was surprisingly light, the toffee sauce luscious and
creamy - it was real comfort food heaven.
Classy classic fayre is what Bistro 1709 is all about,
and with three courses, sides and a bottle of wine
for two coming in at the £60 mark it’s a treat of an
evening which won’t bust the budget. Dine early
doors and your bill will probably be less than at your
average chain pub - and with freshly prepared food
in a different league to pub grub.
On a balance of quality and value, surely Bistro 1709
is hard to beat.
CO M P E T I T I O N
BEAT THE WINTER BLUES WITH AN EVENING OF GALLIC GASTRONOMY AT THE
PEAR TREE CREPERIE - YOU COULD WIN A MEAL FOR FOUR WITH WINE
The Pear Tree Creperie at the Heart of the Country
Shopping Village, located just outside Lichfield, has
been the flagship restaurant at the village for more
than 30 years.
Inspired by the original owner’s French roots, the
Creperie brings a taste of France to Staffordshire
offering savoury galettes and sweet crepes. The
restaurant is bustling and lively, and is the perfect
place for families to dine out.
Toby and Ben Stubbs have been eating at the
Creperie since they were only 10 years old, and in
January of this year purchased the restaurant. In the
last few months they have taken the French family
dining experience to a new level, adding a specials
menu that offers galettes and crepes filled with locally
sourced seasonal vegetables, and authentic French
cheeses, and boasts traditional recipes from Bretagne
To ensure customers enjoy the best quality food
flour is organic, eggs are free range, ham, bacon and
sausages are free range from local producers, and
this year’s Christmas turkeys will be free range. Toby
and Ben are conscious that they want to reduce the
restaurant’s carbon footprint as much as possible and
do so by sourcing local produce, buying fresh fruit
and vegetables that are not packaged in plastic and
recycling as much waste as possible.
For more details call 01543 481807 or visit
J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH THE PEAR TREE CREPERIE AT THE
HEART OF THE COUNTRY SHOPPING VILLAGE IN SWINFEN TO
OFFER READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN AN EVENING MEAL FOR
FOUR INCLUDING A BOTTLE OF HOUSE WINE. OUR WINNER AND
THEIR THREE GUESTS WILL BE ABLE TO SAMPLE CLASSIC FRENCH
DISHES FROM SWEET CREPES AND SAVORY GALETTES, TO
FRENCH ONION SOUP AND RACLETTE.
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY ANSWER
THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
WHO ARE THE NEW OWNERS OF THE PEAR TREE CREPERIE?
Send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number, by email
to email@example.com with Pear Tree Creperie Competition as
the email subject. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, December 27, and
our winners will be notified by Thursday, January 2. The prize must be booked in
advance and taken before March 31, 2020. Bookings subject to availability. Not
valid for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.
jaimemagazine.com for further details.
FURNITURE • GIFTS • ACCESSORIES
La Maison Bleue, Heart of the Country Village, WS14 9QR
Tel: 01543 481414 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open 10.00 - 5.00 Tues to Sun
Christmas Party Men
Fresh, Chef prepared menus.
New PRE THEATRE MENU/EARLY DOORS MENU
3-5 Lombard Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6D
TUES - SAT 5.45PM - 6.45PM
CHRISTMAS PARTY BOOKINGS NOW BEING TAKEN
Lunch THREE COURSE – LUNCH 3 £10 Courses THREE COURSE DINNER £18 £10
A new brand
but the same owners!
Celebrating 20 YEARS TRADING FROM
THIS HISTORIC BUILDING THIS MONTH.
TWO COURSE LUNCH SERVED MONDAY-SATURDAY
12PM-2PM FROM £8
3 COURSES FOR £10
3-5 Lombard Street, Lichfield. WS13 6DP
01543 257986 - New website live www.wine-dine.co.uk
Red Lentil, Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup with Crusty Bre
Chicken Liver & Sherry Pate served with Orange and
Festive savoury and sweet specials
Full English galettes, coffees,
pastries every day from 10.00am
Toasted Brown Bread
Beetroot, Stilton and Walnut Galle
Mixed Mushroom, Chestnut & Tarragon Casserole with G
BOOK NOW FOR YOUR
Smoked Christmas Mackerel, party
Fridays Horseradish and Saturdays in December & Dill Mousse served
and Pea Shoots
01543 481807 www.peartreecreperie.co.uk
Heart Of The Country Village, SWINFEN, Lichfield WS14 9QR
F O O D & D R I N K
THE GINTLEMAN, THE MIDLANDS’ LEADING RACONTEUR AT HOUSE PARTIES AND VENUES
ACROSS BIRMINGHAM, RECOMMENDS SOME FESTIVE TIPPLES - LET THE CHRISTMAS FUN BE-GIN!
‘TIS the season! Without trying to sound like the
announcer from the Great British Menu - ‘an
herbaceous brussel sprout gin bauble topped with
a garlic and parmesan crisp tonic reduction served
with a side of lardon grease crostini’ all sounds very
Heston! - the tipping point of the gin industry is still
in the creative balance. Btw, at least one of those
So how to impress the festive non-gluhwein
drinking gin fan in your life without rushing
to the online supermarket to grab the seasonal
‘thisgintasteslikeChristmas’ complete with pun laden
tag line… mull it over!
Like a winter wonderland wedding, here a selection
of festive combinations that incorporate something
old, new, borrowed and blue.
The Old Curiosity Distillery on the outskirts of
Edinburgh is bringing back its Secret Garden range
Christmas gin in partnership with 2018 Great British
Bake Off finalist Ruby Bhogal, who’s come up with a
bespoke gin spiced shortbread recipe.
Distilled with ginger, cinnamon and cardamom it
provides a festive, spicy flavour. The drink is infused
with mallow petals to provide a distinctive festive
colour which transforms into a vibrant pink when
mixed with tonic water; the perfect showstopper for
any Christmas party. Garnish with a slice of dried
seasonal blood orange wafer and cinnamon stick and
ubiquitous Fever-Tree clementine and cinnamon
tonic - that should hit the spot! It’s £14.95 for 20cl.
Candy cane folklore originated in Cologne in the
late 1600s. Legend says a choirmaster created white
sugar sticks for the children at church to represent
the shepherds crook and letter J for baby Jesus in the
Nativity story. Eventually they’d find their way to
bearded Victorian hipsters who first hung them on
their Christmas trees in 1882. The peppermint and
red and white stripes would be added in the 1900s.
After last year’s launch Eden Mill, based in St
Andrews in Scotland, bring back Candy Cane
Christmas Gin (40%, 70cl for £26 from edenmill.
com) using the peppermint flavour with bilberry
and hibiscus for colour. I feel this, together with
the vanilla and cocoa aromas of Xolato or X Gin
(£37.49 from mastersofmalt.com) a chocolate
aphrodisiac gin using Colombian cocoa beans,
Piedmonte hazelnuts, Avola almonds, vanilla pods
and wild chillies - could create the ultimate ‘best
festive luxurious boozy hot chocolate’ argument.
Combine with this year’s adult version of the
Thunderbirds’ Tracy Island - Hotel Chocolat’s The
Velvetiser Copper Edition, an in-home hot chocolate
system engineered by Dualit - if being a chocolate
barista is next year’s vocation. With a choice of
gingerbread, maple and pecan, peppermint and
salted caramel and clementine, I quite like their
tag line - ‘no powder, no syrup, just chocolate’. I
guarantee you won’t leave the house until 2020.
Birmingham’s Town Hall, aside from now having
a sleek tram system gliding past, also lays claim to
the first public reading of A Christmas Carol by Mr.
Christmas aka Charles Dickens in 1853, ten years
after its publication. Which gives us a tenuous link to
Tarquin’s limited seasonal edition Figgy Pudding gin
(40% £34.95 from mastersofmalt.com).
Using their flagship Cornish dry gin as the base,
dried fig, fresh clementine zest, festive spice and
brandy soaked cherry wood chips are added to craft
a gin packed with nostalgic festive warmth - think
fig rolls next to a roaring log fire. Serve with either
Double Dutch’s cranberry tonic or, if you’re feeling
adventurous, opt for a Figero, a negroni twist using
equal parts Tarquin’s Figgy Pudding gin, Lustau
Vermut and Aperol with a clementine twist.
Warner’s Christmas Cake gin 2019 vintage is
inspired by their mum’s traditional homemade
Christmas cake. Silky dark chocolate and winter
spices are distilled before being cask-aged and
blended with pure cherry juice - 40% at £40 if it’s
not already sold out. Borrowed verbatim from their
website, the tasting notes sound like a festive M&S
Nose – Syrupy raisins, dipped in melted chocolate
and sprinkled with icing sugar, with notes of toasted
almond and cinnamon spice, followed by a hint of
nutmeg and sweet orange.
Taste – Maraschino cherry and notes of dark
chocolate unfold, with hints of macadamia nut and
Finish – Liquorice, spiced orange and clove give way
to bright juniper before softening to old fashioned,
For a perfect G&T, here’s a swerve ball; Christmas
Cake Gin with Coca Cola’s new signature mixers
- the smokey or woody - garnished with a slice of
fresh orange studded with cloves.
My one-man mission is to get people to discover
Pedrino’s (by Sam Showering, formerly of Fever-
Tree) Ruby Port and Tonic Spritz, 5.5% and £1.95
at Ocado. Inspired by Portuguese fortified wine and
tonic water, it’s citrusy, with notes of red berries,
plum and bitter lemon - pass me a piece of Colston
Bassett stilton from Anderson and Hill and a glass of
Chase’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape oak-aged sloe gin and
mulberry for a scene Henry VIII would be proud of!
And finally, a word for my sponsor - a personal
thank you to Amy for allowing these continued
musings. My final gin tip for this year, where possible
- like my favourite toast - enjoy your libations in
good company and remember, never above you,
never below you, always beside you. Until next year.
H E A LT H
Fit festive feasting
HO HO HO! YES, THE FESTIVE SEASON IS UPON US ONCE AGAIN. THIS MONTH, LICHFIELD’S
FAVOURITE PERSONAL TRAINER RAÚL ROMERO SHARES HIS 14 TOPS TIPS TO HELP MAINTAIN
YOUR WEIGHT THIS CHRISTMAS, YET STILL ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT!
A 5,000 calorie intake on Christmas Day? I can’t
recall whether I dreamt it, or read somewhere
that this is the average calorie intake per person in
the UK on Christmas Day. Yes, I agree, it really is
I am all for enjoying the festive season and the
holidays to the fullest and making the most of the
special seasonal culinary offerings that are available
this time of year, yet at the same time, why can’t this
go hand-in-hand with a semblance of balance? Well,
the great news is, it can!
As the magic and joy of the festive season is
bestowed upon us, there are so many treats and
temptations on offer, from the plethora of ‘Christmas
dos’, the huge range of seasonal supermarket fancies,
and the delicious selection boxes, to the never-ending
office chocolate tubs and biscuits. With such a hectic
month of Christmas parties, meals, shopping sprees
and preparations, it’s only natural that in order to fit
in all of this festive fun, something else in the usual
already busy weekly schedule, has to give. Yes, you
guessed it, this is quite often fitness, be it exercise
classes, fitness sessions or personal training sessions.
So, how can we strike that semblance of balance that
our bodies are yearning for, yet at the same time, still
enjoy the magic and joy of everything this time of
Here are my top 14 practical, realistic and achievable
tips to help you have a blast this season, yet still not
lose sight of your health and fitness and maintain
your shape/weight, or even, dare I say it, lose some
pounds (why not?!).
1. Be selective. You may receive invites galore of
Christmas parties and meals from lots of different
groups of friends, colleagues and family. I’d even
go as far as saying… be selfish! Why not attend
only those that you really fancy? Don’t feel obliged
to attend every meal or party if it isn’t your heart’s
2. Balance you daily eating. This is as simple
as balancing a big overindulged meal during the
BE SELECTIVE WITH
TREATS, SAYS RAUL
day, with a much lighter, healthier next meal with
reduced calories. The most important thing here is to
listen to your body.
3. Keep your fitness commitments. Don’t
break great routines you have worked so hard to
build of daily or weekly fitness sessions, just because
of Christmas. Prioritising is key here; if time really is
scarce, instead of cancelling your work out sessions,
keep them shorter yet intense (HIIT-style workouts
are great for this).
4. WALK MORE! Christmas shopping is a great
excuse to increase your steps and rack them up on
your tracker. Maybe catch the train or walk around
the retail parks instead of driving.
5. Sign up for a running race. Having a
R E C L A M A T I O N
YOUR RECLAIMED BUILDING & LANDSCAPING MATERIAL SUPPLIERS
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Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm • Saturday 9.30am - 1.30pm
35 Holding, Shirral Drive, Nr Drayton Bassett B78 3EQ
t he heart of t he home...
Visit our showroom to be amazed by the choice -
from traditional to modern
With such a wide range of fires, fireplaces and stoves
there is sure to be a style to suit you & your home
WE OF F ER
A C OMP LE T E
INST ALLA T ION
Visit our showroom and be amazed by the choice! With such a wide range from traditional to modern, there’s sure to be a style to suit you!
CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS:
CLOSING 4.30PM FRIDAY 20TH DEC
RE-OPEN 10AM SATURDAY 4TH JANUARY
5 Stafford Road, Lichfield WS13 7BZ - Tel: 01543 263 383 • www.thefireplacelichfield.co.uk • Email: email@example.com
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm • Sat 10am - 4pm. Closed Sundays and bank holidays. FREE ON-SITE PARKING.
goal always helps keep us focused.
Although typically December isn’t
the most popular month for races,
there are some local ones around and
a lot of them also accept children, so
why not make it a fun fitness family
affair? We recommend the Lichfield
Santa Dash and the Rudolph Run
in Tamworth, both on December 8,
2019 - the kids are sure to love them,
just from their names!
6. Christmas morning run.
Starting the day with a calorie deficit
will definitely help with weight
management, and will also give you a
great start to the day.
7. Be selective (again!). Select
the treats! Don’t limit yourself, but at
the same time, don’t eat compulsively - that box of
chocolates really isn’t going to run away, it will still
be there tomorrow! Select and eat the food you love.
Portion control is key here.
8. Eat slowly and chew your food properly.
This will make you feel full a lot quicker, hence
making it less likely for your to over-eat.
9. If you drink alcohol, do that slowly too.
Ensure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated
throughout the day.
THE AVERAGE PERSON
CONSUMES AROUND 5,000
CALORIES ON CHRISTMAS DAY
PERSONAL TRAINER RAUL
ROMERO GETS INTO THE
10. Go for an evening walk. Don’t underestimate
the power of an evening walk and how it can help
you with digestion after the big Christmas feast. Not
to mention it’ll also help burn some of those excess
calories. This is where having a dog could help you
get out and walk for just that little bit longer.
11. Sprouts, sprouts and more sprouts. They
are a superfood! A very healthy vegetable packed full
of vitamins and minerals. Why not add it to your
weekly shopping list for the rest of the year too? (this
is one I experience first hand with a one-year-old
with a sprout obsession!).
12. Plan! Plan out and write down your fitness and
exercise routine for the New Year IN ADVANCE
so you can hit the ground running with it straight
away without wasting any time. The longer you leave
it, the longer it will take to build up a great fitness
13. Try intermittent fasting. There are different
ways to do it, 5:2, 18:6, or two meals per day. There
is plenty of information on how to do it. Fasting,
although tough to begin with, will help you to burn
all the excess fat, and definitely gets less challenging
the more you do it.
14. Sleep. Sleep. And sleep some more. Rest your
body and ensure you get enough sleep. This will help
you feel fresher and more focused ready to fight for
Raúl and everyone at the Ambition Personal
Training team wish all of our lovely J’AIME
readers a happy, healthy, festive holiday. For more
information or tips on how to stay healthy and not
‘fall off the wagon’ so to speak, please get in touch
with Raúl at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you’re planning a dinner for two or a large party with friends,
family or work colleagues this Christmas, you’re sure to enjoy our good
food coupled with friendly service at Moor Hall Hotel & Spa.
Located in Lichfield city centre, The George Hotel offers the
perfect combination of good food, friendly service and relaxing
atmosphere to really soak up the spirit of the festive season.
Enjoy a festive three course lunch or dinner in the elegant
surroundings of our 2AA Rosette restaurant.
Lunch: Thursday to Saturday: £23.50, includes a glass of prosecco.
Sunday Lunch: £28, children under 12: £17.50
Dinner: Monday to Friday: £31.50, Saturday: £35.50
The ultimate pre-Christmas treat!
Our Festive Afternoon Tea includes a wonderful selection of
sweet and savoury treats for you to enjoy in our cosy Lounge bar.
£17 per person
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
Bird Street, Lichfield, WS13 6PR
01543 414822 www.thegeorgelichfield.co.uk
Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy
My offices are situated in the historic city of Lichfield and I have been providing personal
wealth management advice to my clients for more
than 25 years.
I specialise in the following key areas
and welcome your enquiry:
• Investment Planning
• InheritanceTax and Estate Planning
• Pre and Post-Retirement Planning
• Care Fees Planning and Funding for Care
Telephone: 01543 417342
Office: 6A Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LH
Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management Plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority)
for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products.
T R AV E L
Family time in Sri Lanka
ABI NORTHAGE TRAVELS TO THE INDIAN OCEAN ISLAND WITH HER
TWO TEENAGERS TO SAMPLE WHAT SRI LANKA HAS TO OFFER
I had very, very high hopes ahead of my trip to Sri
Lanka, having had so many colleagues recommend
it to me. What made the trip even more special was
that I would be sharing it with my husband and three
youngest children, aged 11, 13 and 15, who have
been fortunate enough to travel a fair bit, but really
had very little experience of Asia. We were all going
into it with fresh eyes, and a lot of excitement.
From the off, Sri Lanka seemed just as wonderful
as my colleagues had promised. We were met at the
airport by Saman, our friendly, sunny and eversmiling
guide, who scooped us up into the car (and
the welcome A/C) and onto the hotel. Out of the
window, we marvelled at the bustling towns – a riot
of people, animals and tropical flora and fauna.
My children were particularly stunned by a family
of five travelling on a single moped, whilst
navigating the somewhat unorthodox
highway codes and dodging the roaming
cows and dogs!
We arrived at an oasis of calm and
tranquility, as if someone had pressed pause
on all that had been going on around us.
The Notary’s House is true hidden gem, and
just an hour from the airport - as a family,
we try to keep drive times as short as possible
as my youngest suffers with travel sickness,
which our travel agents RB Collection made
a priority when planning my trip. Already we
could feel the stress of our day-to-day lives
Thrilled as I was to be here, I had
seen the pictures and knew that the
Notary’s House would be lovely. The
real surprise was just how warm and
generous the people we met were.
Amil, the manager of the hotel, took
us himself to a local temple for an
evening Poya festival, and we were
quite taken aback by the welcome.
People shared their floral offerings
with us and encouraged us to take
part in candle lighting. At no point did
we feel we were intruding. Quite the
opposite; we were made to feel a part
of what was going on.
Our next stop was The Mudhouse in Anamaduwa,
somewhere I was beyond excited to be visiting. As
with Notary’s, I had an idea of what The Mudhouse
would look like – traditional mud huts with thatched
roofs, set over 100 acres of rural land. But I had no
idea what it would really feel like to be there.
I’m struggling to find the right way to convey how
The Mulhouse makes you feel. There is no electricity
and no Wi-Fi, so you are really switched off and
back to nature, but it’s much more than that too. It’s
the nature trails, with a multitude of birdlife; it’s the
acres of organic farmland, which are used to create
the most delicious food. It’s the ethos of sustainability
and respect for the community. It’s the fact that when
PREPARING A SRI
we climbed to a nearby temple, our guide surprised
us with a kite – a gift for the children – which they
flew from the top over the magnificent views.
On our final day here, as I stood at the rustic
afternoon tea pagoda looking out over the lake, an
eagle circling above and a stillness in the air, I felt
that The Mudhouse not only feeds your mind and
body, its feeds your soul, with all that it is and all that
it achieves for everyone that visits it and works there.
In short, I LOVED it – can you tell?!
Then came my first negative surprise of the trip.
Of course, you know in theory that Sri Lanka is a
tropical country, and that monsoon-level rains can
happen at any time – but you don’t really expect it
to happen on your holiday! As it bucketed down on
our journey to Kandy, I couldn’t help but feel a little
bit disappointed. But little did I know that some of
my favourite moments of the trip were yet to come –
despite the rain, and sometimes because of it!
I have long been a fan of The Jungle Book (the
original, of course), and on arrival at Ellerton, our
fabulous hotel in Kandy, I felt like I had stepped
right into it: glorious exotic plants and lush green
landscapes – which, surprisingly, against the
backdrop of the tropical rain, were all the
more beautiful. So, on our first day, the boys
and I challenged ourselves to a bit of an
adventure climb, known for its views. We
couldn’t help but laugh at the weather – and
the image of our lovely guide walking down
the hill, with his multi coloured golfing
umbrella, that had blown inside out too
many times to stay up, wrapped around
his head, will cause us to fondly chuckle
for many a year (I only wish I had taken a
photo)! But all was not lost, that evening
our British stoicism was reward by our
lovely hosts at Ellerton, when after dinner
a movie under the stars had been set up for
us, playing none other than… The Jungle
Another example was our visit to a local
tea plantation. The tea-pickers showed
us their daily duties, some in bare feet,
telling us that they were going to get wet
anyway! We were the only tourists there,
we really felt privileged to be able to get
a glimpse into their world, which was
enhanced by an unscheduled stop at the
tea pickers’ houses on the way home. It
was an eye-opening experience.
The following day, it was time to move
on to our final stop, some well-deserved
R&R at the beach! As some of us can’t
sit still for too long, we decided to take
a local train down to Galle for the day.
We thoroughly enjoyed weaving our way
through Galle Fort, browsing in the shops, grabbing
a bite to eat and enjoying some rather delicious ice
cream. However, it was the train journeys that I
enjoyed the most. It was hot and overcrowded but
packed with all walks of life, and we felt immersed in
the local community – and all for the price of £1.75
for a family of five. What’s not to love?!
So, did Sri Lanka live up to my expectations? I think
you can guess my answer: absolutely! Before going,
I understood that the country had amazing things
to offer “on paper” – wildlife, scenery, beaches and
more – but experiencing these things in person felt
even more magical than I could have imagined. Even
when the weather meant that days didn’t go quite as
planned, we were still able to make memories that
will last a lifetime.
To plan and book your holiday to Sri
Lanka, contact RB Collection’s Sri Lanka
specialist Samuel Cooper on 01543 258631,
or email email@example.com. Visit RB
Collection, just 1.5 miles outside of Lichfield
next door to the Co-Op with free parking
CRICKET ON THE BEACH IN
MENTION J’AIME WHEN YOU BOOK
YOUR HOLIDAY TO SRI LANKA WITH
RB COLLECTION BEFORE DECEMBER
31, 2019, TO TRAVEL ANYTIME AND
RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY ‘RURAL
FARM VISIT’ FOR TWO PEOPLE. YOU’LL
RECEIVE AN INSIGHT INTO LOCAL RURAL
LIFE AND GENUINE INTERACTION WITH
THE PEOPLE AND FAMILIES LIVING AND
WORKING ON THE FARM. A HANDS-
ON EXPERIENCE, YOU’LL ALSO ENJOY
AN AMAZING FEAST ALL COOKED
BY THE FARMING FAMILY FROM THE
FARM PRODUCE, YOU MAY EVEN GET
THE OPPORTUNITY TO DRIVE A TUK
TUK! APPLICABLE TO NEW TAILOR-
MADE BOOKINGS ONLY MADE BEFORE
DECEMBER 31, 2019, WHEN MENTIONING
GMT + 5 HOURS
SRI LANKAN RUPEE
10.5 HRS DIRECT (FLIGHTS ALSO FROM
REGIONAL AIRPORTS VIA EUROPEAN
CITIES OR THE UAE).
BEST TIME TO VISIT?
WEST AND SOUTH COASTS AND HILL
COUNTRY FROM DECEMBER TO MARCH,
EAST COAST FROM APRIL/MAY TO
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INDIA, MALDIVES, UNITED ARAB
FLORA AND FAUNA
THE TEAM AT J’AIME WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL
OF OUR ADVERTISERS, READERS AND SUPPLIERS
FOR ALL OF THEIR SUPPORT IN 2019 - WISHING
YOU ALL THE BEST FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE IN THE JANUARY
ISSUE CONTACT JAN ASHLEY ON 07388 335931 OR
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.
Includes a 25 minute warming lava shell massage,
a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows,
and 4 hours in our Spa with full use of the facilities.
£47 PER PERSON
Available Monday to Friday until 31st December 2019.
£10 supplement for weekends. Limited places only.
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 334 2323 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
LO CA L A R E A
What’s On Christmas
YOUR GUIDE TO SOME OF THE BEST FESTIVE ENTERTAINMENT AROUND
SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, BIRMINGHAM AND BEYOND THIS MONTH
WHAT: BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET - THE NUTCRACKER
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
WHEN: UNTIL DECEMBER 14
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s evergreen production of The Nutcracker
has been part of the city’s Christmas tradition since 1990 and returns to
Birmingham Hippodrome for Christmas 2019.
Join young Clara as she is swept away into an enchanting winter
wonderland of dancing snowflakes and a Sugar Plum Fairy. Her magical
Christmas tree and her handsome prince with his army of toy soldiers
are an unforgettable delight. In this most festive ballet, gigantic sets, lavish
costumes, 60 dancers and a full orchestra combine to make the perfect
Christmas treat for the entire family.
This world-famous production by Sir Peter Wright, with exquisite designs
by John Macfarlane, is acclaimed as one of the best. For more details visit
WHAT: THE OVERTONES CHRISTMAS PARTY
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL
WHEN: DECEMBER 3
Multi-platinum-selling vocal harmony group The Overtones return to
Birmingham this month as part of their annual Christmas UK tour - the first
since Welsh singer and songwriter Jay James joined the band earlier this year.
Jay’s arrival heralds the start of an exciting new era for the group, which has
had five top 10 albums and nine sold-out UK tours.
The Overtones will be performing classic songs from yesteryear and favourites
from their albums, alongside plenty of surprises. Over the last 10 years The
Overtones have learnt a thing or two about throwing a Christmas party, and
the audience can expect to let their hair down, get their spirits up and dance
their hearts out. For more details visit www.thsh.co.uk
WHAT: HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
WHERE: THE ALEXANDRA, BIRMINGHAM
WHEN: DECEMBER 3 TO 7
The Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for
in this heart-warming and hilarious musical, based on Dr. Seuss’ hugely
popular best-selling books made famous by the film adaptions. Join in the
Christmas spirit with the show critics have called ‘A genius of a show! A
total delight for both kids and adults’.
Magnificent sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss create the whimsical
world of Whoville, while Max the Dog narrates the story of the scheming
Grinch whose heart is ‘two sizes too small,’ as he decides to steal Christmas
away from the Whos, an endlessly joyful bunch bursting with holiday cheer.
Starring Ed Baker-Duly as the Grinch and X Factor’s Matt Terry as
Young Max, the show features the songs You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
and Welcome Christmas. For more details visit www.atgtickets.com/
WHERE: SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN HALL
WHEN: DECEMBER 10 TO 31
If you could have three wishes what would they be? To ride a magic
carpet to a faraway desert? To befriend a dazzling Chinese Dragon?
To fall in love with the most beautiful person in the world? All of these
wonderful things are within Aladdin’s reach… but life is never that easy.
A whole host of colourful characters join our hero in his story as he
struggles to see that good is rewarded and that bad is punished. There’s
the wicked imposter Abanazar who poses as Aladdin’s long-lost uncle.
There’s the beautiful Princess Jasmine and her bullying mother the
Empress Double Chinn… and in her laundry, poor old Widow Twankey
and Wishee Washee must wash a mountain of smalls for the Royal
The Production Exchange returns to Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Hall
with a magnificent cast of professional actor-musicians who ask you to
spend two hours in the company of some of the greatest characters in
the world of pantomime, fighting the good fight in some of the most
For more details call the box office on 0121 296 9543 or visit
WHAT: THE CATHEDRAL ILLUMINATED - IN THE BEGINNING
WHERE: LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL
WHEN: DECEMBER 16 TO 21
The award-winning spectacular light and sound show named the ‘Best
Event in Staffordshire’ for three years running is back for Christmas.
The artistic collaboration Luxmuralis returns to transform Lichfield
Cathedral inside and outside using stunning sound and light projections.
‘The Beginning’ will complete the journey of Space, Light and Time
following this year’s theme, and is a stunning and spectacular experience
for all the family to enjoy - the perfect beginning to Christmas.
This year the show also features ‘In the Image and Likeness: A
Constellation of Images’ artwork by Peter Walker working with
thousands of school children in the area. For more details visit
WHAT: SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
WHEN: DECEMBER 21 TO FEBRUARY 2
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, don’t miss the fairest panto of them
all! Following last year’s high-flying adventure Peter Pan, this year’s
unmissable pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, comes to
Birmingham Hippodrome for Christmas 2019.
With Birds of a Feather’s Lesley Joseph as The Wicked Queen,
Hippodrome panto favourite Matt Slack as Muddles, X Factor winner
Joe McElderry as The Spirit of The Mirror, Coronation Street’s Faye
Brookes as Snow White, joined by Britain’s Got Talent finalists Flawless,
Midlands YouTube phenomenon Doreen Tipton, the return of panto
dame Andrew Ryan and break-out star of the recent London Palladium
revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jac Yarrow
as The Prince, there really is no end to the talent in this year’s panto
Snow White is brought to life with beautiful costumes and stunning
set designs, so book early or you won’t be able to look yourself in the
mirror! For more details visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com
FA S H I O N
IT’S GLITTER AND SEQUINS AND FEATHERS OH MY, AS YOUR PARTY
WARDROBE GOES OTT FOR CHRISTMAS, SAYS AMY NORBURY
WITH festive frolics just around the corner, the race
is on to secure the best Christmas party dresses. And
there’s great news for anyone who’s just too ‘extra’
for a classic LBD - glittering crystals, whimsical
feathers and disco metallics are all key ingredients of
the late shift look this party season.
That’s right, your festive party wardrobe is all about
the drama so move over wallflowers, it’s time for the
drama queens to shine.
The key word here is ‘embellishments’ - whether you
opt for a dress, jumpsuit or co-ord combo, it’s those
added extras which will really make your outfit pop.
You can’t get much more dramatic than head-to-toe
sequins, so it’s no wonder this sparkly style staple is
leading the fashion pack for festive party fun. From
sexy long-sleeved minis to full-on glamour gowns,
anything goes - as long as it’s glitzy. For added
seasonal style points, look out for rainbow stripes
and ombre effects as an alternative to block colour
Another over-the-top fashion hit is feathers; from
trims on dresses or skirts, to feather accessories or
full-on statement styling, be part of the fashionable
flock for party season.
Feathers have been a runway staple throughout 2019
and come into their own for Christmas to give a flirty
and fun update to your wardrobe. A cute marabou
shrug makes a stylish party cover-up, while a feathery
bag is an easy way to work the trend.
And if you can’t tear yourself away from a trusty
little black number, then remember the Plain Jane
look just isn’t going to cut it this season. Look out for
added crystals, glitter or feather trims - preferably all
Whichever look you choose, more is more this
season. Your RSVP is no longer in doubt – say yes
to everything, and do it dressed in one of the best
Christmas party dresses of 2019.
SILVER SEQUIN BELTED DRESS, £48,
V BY VERY SEQUIN CAMI,
SEQUIN VELVET MINI DRESS,
GUISEPPE DI MORABITO AT
VIP FEATHER HEM
SEQUIN DRESS, LIPSY
ROSANTICA AT HARVEY
COURTS, DUNE LONDON
CRYSTAL PAISLEY VELVET
MINI DRESS, BY DUNDAS AT
BOOTS, DUNE LONDON
KNOT TWIST SEQUIN BLACK
GOLD DRESS, F&F
MIDI DRESS, £69.50,
GLITTER CAPE DRESS,
B E AU T Y
Have yourself a
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YOU WILL FIND ESPA TREASURES FOR THE SKIN,
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AND EMBRACE YOUR MOST LOVED FORMULAS,
ONE LITTLE PRECIOUS MOMENT AT A TIME.
ENVIRON SKIN ESSENTIA®
I N T H E N E W S
Luxury baby showroom
opens in Lichfield
ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS IN PREGNANCY IS WHEN THE TIME ARRIVES TO GO PUSHCHAIR
SHOPPING - AND IT IS THAT MILESTONE WHICH WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND BABY TATE, A
LUXURIOUS BABY SHOWROOM WHICH IS NOW OPEN IN LICHFIELD.
Baby Tate was set up by mum-of-one Caroline Eley
and specialises in high-end pushchairs and luxury
nursery furniture from prestigious brands including
iCandy, Uppababy, Babyzen and Mee-go.
Caroline says: “The idea for Baby Tate was born
to ensure this important purchase is as exciting as
it should be. We have created a lovely online store
to showcase our selection of stylish prams and
pushchairs and have handpicked some luxe bundles
to make shopping for your own little bundle as easy
“You can also visit our beautiful showroom in
Lichfield to road-test any of our products. Shopping
for your little one is a wonderfully exciting time and
our aim is to ensure you feel that with every click of
this website and every visit to our store.
“We are so excited to bring an independent baby and
BABY TATE STOCKS
LUXURY BABY SHOWROOM
BABY TATE IS NOW OPEN IN
nursery showroom to Lichfield and offer parents a
dedicated personal service. Visits to our showroom
are by appointment only in order to ensure we offer
every customer our full attention. An appointment
at Baby Tate will include a demonstration and test
drive of any of our pushchairs along with the chance
to view fabric swatches of all the colours available to
Struggling to understand what’s included in a travel
system? Don’t know what adapters are needed with
your pushchair? Don’t panic; as mum to a one-yearold
son, Caroline has first-hand knowledge which
can prove priceless when it comes to making those
Caroline says: “We’ve been through it and know how
confusing all the items can be! With this in mind, we
have created easy bundles for each of our brands
which puts together everything you need in one easy
“We also offer Baby Tate Bundles, which are a
collection of baby and nursery essentials to help
you purchase exactly what’s needed for milk time,
changing and bath time!”
For more details visit www.baby-tate.co.uk
or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Book an
appointment to pop into the luxurious showroom
at Unit 1, Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park,
Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 9TZ.
M OTO R S
Life in the fast lane
AS 2019 DRAWS TO A CLOSE, J’AIME’S RESIDENT RACING DRIVER AND MOTORS
EXPERT MARTIN PLOWMAN SAYS IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START RACING...
MARTIN HAS SET UP HIS OWN
TEAM FOR GRASSROOTS
RACERS IN THE BRSCC MAZDA
MX5 SUPERCUP SERIES.
PHOTO BY JON ELSEY
I’ve got some exciting news to share! I have started
up my very own racing team for grass-roots racers
beginning in 2020. I will be running cars for
customers in the BRSCC Mazda MX5 SuperCup
No, I have not hung my helmet up just yet. I’m
still fully committed to racing at the top level in the
British GT, with my ‘happy-feet’ team mate Kelvin
Fletcher ( you may have noticed that he has hips that
could snap a car in half if you’ve been watching the
After spending a lot of time researching grass-roots
motorsport and looking for the right starting point,
I landed on the BRSCC SuperCup Championship;
a one-make spec racing championship for Mazda
MX5 cars. I picked this series for several reasons.
The first point being that it is great value for money;
second-hand MX5 racing cars start at around only
The second reason is that the cost and maintenance
to run these cars is very low. If you were you buy
a car and carry out all of the work yourself, you
could potentially run a full season of racing for less
than £12,000. That is still a good chunk of money I
know, but for that you get to race 24 times over eight
weekends at iconic tracks like Silverstone, Brands
Hatch and Donington Park in an ultra-competitive
championship where big money can’t buy you a
With all of the cars being virtually identical, the
difference is you - the driver.
Lastly, the main reason for picking the BRSCC
SuperCup series is that it is a very friendly
and inclusive paddock. They don’t care
if you are a complete beginner or have
been racing for 20-plus years. They are
grateful to have you in the championship
and are always willing to jump in and lend
a helping hand if you run into problems
with your car. It’s the opposite of cutthroat
racing that you find at the higher
levels of the sport. The most important
thing is about having fun and being part
of a community.
If you’re still reading this, it may mean
you have a motorsport itch that needs
scratching, which leads me on to my last
It’s never too late to start a racing career
Of course, the boat may have sailed with your
chances of making it onto the Formula 1 grid and
racing Lewis Hamilton, but that’s not to say you can’t
fulfil your dream of going racing.
Maybe you never had the funds to start racing when
you were younger? Maybe family commitments in
your 20s or 30s kept you from pursuing your dream?
Now that you find yourself in your 40s, 50s or even
60s, you may think it’s too late to start racing? Think
Motorsport can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to
YOU COULD FIND YOURSELF ON THE
TRACK IN THE NEAR FUTURE. PHOTO BY
be. There are dozens of championships in the UK
that are geared towards low-budget amateurs who
put the emphasis on fun, affordable racing.
The MX5 Championship is a great championship
to get involved with, but there are plenty more out
there. A great resource to find information is the
Motorsportuk.org website. There you can find out
about everything from how to obtain your first racing
licence to tips on finding the right championship for
you. Alternatively, drop me an email to Martin@
MartinPlowman.racing and I will be happy to point
you in the right direction and get you on the track!
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO GET INTO
RACING, SAYS MARTIN PLOWMAN
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
Come and meet our team
Medals & Militaria
at The Trinity Centre
Church Hill, Mill Street, B72 1TF
Meet Richard and his team on these
Mondays between 2.00pm - 3.30pm
11th November 25th November
9th December 16th December
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
Jewellery and watch
valuations every Monday
in the heart of Lichfield
St Mary’s in the Market Square
Lichfield City Centre, WS13 6LG
Mondays 9.30am-12.30pm (except bank holidays)
Cozy up this
Cookes’ Living Collection
Where everything sits well
7 0 Y E A R S
O F Q U A L I T Y
C R A F T S M A N S H I P ,
E X P E R T A D V I C E ,
E X C E P T I O N A L
S E R V I C E
C O O K E S
F O R Q U A L I T Y
& S T Y L E
S L E E P
S P E C I A L I S T
T E A M
I N - S T O R E
T H E
L A R G E S T
S E L E C T I O N
O F B E D S I N
T H E U K
S I T .
E A T .
L A U G H .
B Y C O O K E S
T A B L E T E C H
T E A M
I N - S T O R E
With such a fabulous selection in front of you, you may
feel spoilt for choice when you visit Cookes.
Don’t worry though. Our expert Comfort Consultants
will help you find your perfect sofa, exactly how you
want it, this Christmas.
C O M F O R T
C O N S U L T A N T S
T A B L E T I M E
28 Goosemoor Lane, Erdington, Birmingham I N - S T OB23 R E 5PN | 0121 250 5050 | cookesfurniture.co.uk
T O S H A R E T H E
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