J'AIME JANUARY 2020

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 0

J’AIME

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

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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

FAUX SURE:

the cosiest wardrobe

updates for winter

Dream

travel

destinations

for 2020

January

blues:

INSPIRATIONAL

STAFFORDSHIRE CHEF

MATT DAVIES ON HIS NEW

FUNDRAISING MISSION

REVAMP YOUR HOME

WITH PANTONE’S

COLOUR OF THE YEAR



Welcome to J’AIME

This month marks not only the start of a new

year, but a new decade and all of the promise

a fresh start brings. 2019 proved an exciting

year for J’AIME, culminating in three fantastic

nominations at the Midlands Media Awards to

show for the dedication and hard work we put

into the magazine each month, and we hope

2020 will see us continue to cement our place as

the Midlands’ favourite glossy lifestyle magazine.

A heartfelt thanks to all of our contributors,

advertisers and readers for your ongoing support

- it really does mean so much.

A new year always brings with it resolutions to

change or improve our lives - what’s top of your

list this year? If it’s health and fitness goals then

our favourite personal trainer Raul Romero

offers some advice, plus we’ve got some ideas if

you want to do a little more to help the planet,

while Lichfield travel experts RB Collection

share some dream destinations if you’re hoping

for a little more adventure in 2020.

Elsewhere, we chat to inspirational Staffordshire

chef Matt Davies, who is on a fundraising

mission following a life-changing accident.

We’ve got all of your usual favourites too; from

fashion and beauty trends to winter interiors

updates plus food and drink news galore, we

hope there’s plenty here to stave off the January

blues.

Congratulations are in order for some of our

latest winners; Amy Beaumont from Fradley,

Steve Walker from Sutton Coldfield and

Suzanne Wem from Shenstone all scooped

tickets to the BBC Good Food Show Winter at

the NEC. We hope you had a fantastic time!

To all of our readers and advertisers, wishing

you a very happy new year and all the best for

2020.

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN,

NATHAN COLLINS, LISA PIDDINGTON,

THE GINTLEMAN, PREET ANAND,

RAUL ROMERO, JACK REGAN

J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY

PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED

BY KEP LIMITED, TAMWORTH.

Check us out online at:

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

Find us on

/JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

SPONSORED BY

3


CO N T E N T S

InsideJ’aime this month...

6 Chef Matt Davies - We chat to inspirational

Staffordshire chef Matt Davies about his

fundraising mission following a life-changing

accident

10 Property - Property of the month

12 Interiors - Go zero waste

16 Interiors - Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020

21 Interiors - Sutton Coldfield interior designer

Preet Anand answers your new season design

dilemmas

22 Food and drink - Reviewing The Green Man,

Middleton

24 Food and drink - Dry January inspiration

26 Food and drink - The Gintleman takes a look at

2020 gin trends

28 Health - Health and fitness advice from Lichfield

personal trainer Raul Romero

32 Food and drink - Veganuary recipe inspiration

34 Travel - 2020 destination hotspots

38 Life on the edge - Jack Regan tackles some

colossal beasts in Thailand

42 People - Lichfield Festival fundraiser for St Giles

Hospice

43 People - Charitable grants from We Love Lichfield

44 Fashion - Cosy up in winter’s plushest

numbers

46 Beauty - A beautiful New Year from Harvey

Nichols Birmingham

47 Health - A weight loss wonder at Spire Little

Aston

48 In the news - Young interior designer launches

business

49 Motors - Martin Plowman looks at the new

Aston Martin AMB001 motorcycle

SPONSORED BY

4


0121 308 2550


F E AT U R E

Inspired into action

FOLLOWING A LIFE-CHANGING ACCIDENT, INSPIRATIONAL STAFFORDSHIRE CHEF

MATT DAVIES HAS TURNED HIS ATTENTION TO HELPING OTHERS. HE CHATS TO

AMY NORBURY ABOUT HIS NEW ‘NORMAL’ AND HIS FUNDRAISING MISSION

MATT DAVIES, SECOND LEFT,

WITH CHEFS AT THE BOAT

INN CHARITY DINNER

In a matter of seconds, two years ago Matt Davies’

life was forever altered.

The talented chef is a well-known name on the

culinary scene in the Midlands. As then-chairman

- and now vice-president - of the British Culinary

Federation, Matt has worked tirelessly to promote

the industry. And as a founder of the Stone Food

Festival and instrumental in the prestigious Taste of

Staffordshire Good Food Awards, the 51-year-old has

long been an ambassador for food in Staffordshire

- mentor, competition judge and champion of local

foodie talent are all unofficial titles on his rather

impressive CV.

And on that fateful day in October 2017, it was just

another day in the kitchen, doing the job he had

loved for more than 30 years. Until a severe electric

shock left him fighting for his life and, ultimately, left

Matt without the use of his left arm.

“I was electrocuted, and the electric current went

through my hand and straight up my arm, burning

everything inside my arm,” says Matt.

Matt was rushed to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth

Hospital where he underwent a number of surgeries

over four weeks in an attempt to save and reconstruct

his damaged arm.

His injuries were likened to those suffered by soldiers

from bomb blasts, and while in hospital he was cared

for by Colonel Major Mark Foster, who specialises

in reconstructive and plastic surgery on hands and

arms.

“When I came out of hospital it was then I realised

the full effect of what had happened,” says Matt. “I

thought I’d recover and get back to normal, but it

wasn’t until I came out of hospital that I realised the

severity of the injury.”

The shock had caused extreme nerve damage which

has affected feeling and movement in Matt’s left

arm and hand to the point where it is completely

immobilised.

“I’m left-handed, and a full lefty, so it’s been

completely life-changing,” he explains. “To lose

the use of your dominant arm presents lots of

challenges; it is a disability which affects your whole

life.

“I’ve had to relearn to write, relearn to drive -

buttons, zips, socks are a nightmare, I haven’t worn

6


socks in two years!

“People have asked me why I don’t get back in the

kitchen, but if I can’t do things myself, if I can’t

physically hold a knife, mentor other chefs and show

them what I’m good at, it’s hard to go back into the

kitchen and not be able to do what I know I can do.

“Even my right hand still feels massively alien, it

doesn’t feel right and I don’t think it ever will.”

Cooking has been far more than a career for Matt;

it’s been a way of life.

Matt started his career as a stagiaire in 1984 at the

Savoy in London and can lay claim to being the first

ever apprentice of Andreas Antona, the godfather

of Midlands cooking and head of Michelin-starred

Simpsons, working under him for some eight years at

the start of his illustrious career.

Before the accident, Matt was responsible for an

80-strong brigade spread across six Michelin-listed

and multi-AA Rosette fine dining sites across the

Midlands, managing a huge 1,000 daily covers.

“I’m Michelin star-trained, an ambassador for

Staffordshire, named Best Restaurant in the county

nine times, received Michelin awards and AA

Rosette awards,” says Matt.

“I was at the top of my game, and my success had

come through a lot of bloody hard work. I sacrificed

an awful lot to be successful, time with my wife and

my family life, but in this industry that’s what you

have to do. I’m a firm believer that you get out what

you put into it.

“And that was all taken away.

SOME OF THE STUNNING DISHES

WHICH DELIGHTED DINERS AT

MATT’S CHARITY DINNERS

STAFFORDSHIRE CHEF

MATT DAVIES

“It really affected me mentally. I’d never experienced

depression before - obviously we all have bad days

but I’d just dust myself down and crack on - but after

the accident I was suffering from chronic depression

and PTSD, and the symptoms of PTSD are still

ongoing today, with the nightmares, the sweats and

the anxiety.

“With the injury itself I’d also developed something

called complex regional pain syndrome type two,

which is a chronic pain condition which affects the

nerve endings in your body.”

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a

debilitating, painful condition limbs associated

with sensory, motor, autonomic, skin and bone

abnormalities, which often arises after an injury

to a limb. Classed as the most painful chronic

condition known, it reaches the highest level on the

McGill Pain Scale, higher even than childbirth or

amputation of a finger without anesthesia.

Following his return home from hospital,

Matt didn’t leave the house for four

months. And at his lowest ebb, he tried

to take his own life. It was only his wife

Tina’s sixth-sense intervention which

saved him.

“It had gotten to the point where I felt my

whole world had turned upside down and

stopped and I couldn’t cope,” says Matt.

“I gave up.

“I literally owe my life to my wife Tina

and my family. It’s been difficult for her

to see me at my lowest, and she and my

children, Lee, Katie and Millie, have very

much been a part of my recovery.”

Now, two years down the line Matt is

concentrating on rebuilding his life and

forging a different career path within the

food industry.

“I wanted to get back into the industry,

but I needed a purpose away from the

7


kitchen,” says Matt. “And I found that purpose was

in helping others.”

During his recovery process, Matt hit upon the idea

of a fundraising dinner after talking to friends Luke

Tipping and former mentor Andreas Antona, from

Simpsons.

The prestigious event, held at University College

Birmingham in June, saw some of the country’s top

chefs come together to create a stunning fundraising

feast.

Guests were treated to six courses from Tom

Brown of Cornerstone, ‘Yummy Brummie’ Glynn

Purnell, Luke Tipping, Jonathan Howe of Lumiere

Restaurant, Aktar Islam from Birmingham’s newest

Michelin-starred eatery Opheem, and Adam Bennett

from The Cross at Kenilworth, all assisted by

Andreas Antona.

“We raised an amazing £7,000 that night, which

was split between the plastics department at Queen

Elizabeth Hospital, Hospitality Action which is

a charity which supports chefs and people in the

hospitality industry, mental health charity Mind, and

the occupational therapy department at Stafford

Hospital, which helped me regroup and relearn skills

such as getting me driving again,” says Matt.

Matt followed up the event with a second fundraising

dinner in October, held at The Boat Inn in Lichfield

alongside current Midlands Best Chef Liam Dillon.

Selling out in just four days, the dinner raised a

further £2,332 for Matt’s chosen charities.

“There’s a new ‘normal’ for me,” says Matt. “From

being someone who gave up, who thought life was

over, it’s taken a lot of strength to get here. And that’s

why I’m trying to give something back now.

“Mental health awareness has suddenly gone boom,

especially with men and the message that ‘It’s ok not

MATT, CENTRE, WITH THE STAR-

STUDDED LINE-UP OF CHEFS

FOR HIS FIRST CHARITY DINNER

AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE

BIRMINGHAM

to be ok’. Straight away after that episode I started

therapy, and I’m still in therapy and see a counsellor

now. It’s so, so important to talk about things and to

get help.

“And I can sit here now and talk about it because I

feel that it’s important to talk - talking really can save

lives.

“For me, especially, in the cheffing industry mental

health is something which needs support. It’s a

competitive world and chefs work hard, long days

and they’re in a disciplined environment producing

the best food they can. And with that comes huge

pressure - chefs are working machines.

“I think the industry as a whole is working hard to

change, helping with time off and rest time - a lot

of restaurants now do four-day weeks, with four on

and three off - and Hospitality Action is an amazing

charity which can help chefs who are suffering in any

way. Last year, just under £1 million was donated to

chefs and people in the industry to help them, and

everything we do for that charity goes straight back

into the industry.”

The burns and plastics department at Queen

Elizabeth Hospital is another cause close to Matt’s

heart.

“They’ve literally rebuilt my life,” says Matt. “And for

that I can’t thank them enough. Through fundraising

events I’ve now raised nearly £6,000 for the hospital

in three months and I want to continue.”

Matt’s quest, as he puts it, has given him a new

outlook on life, and on the accident which changed

him forever. While his rehabilitation - and with it

invasive surgeries - continues, Matt is looking to push

forward in 2020.

“It was a complete and utter freak accident,” says

Matt. “And I’m still not 100 per cent. I’m still on

this journey of recovery; I

don’t know where it’s going

to take me and how having

this disability will continue to

affect my life, but every day

is a challenge and every day I

try to do something to help.

“I’ve got a lot of support

and friends in the industry,

a lot of amazing chefs who

want to help, including Jean-

Christophe Novelli, who’s a

good friend of mine, and my

old mentor Andreas Antona,

so watch this space because

we’ve got some cracking

events coming up.”

8


New Year New Lines

New - Available Mid January

Scan me to visit our website!

Shop online or visit our showroom in Staffordshire

Unit 6, Ring Road, Zone 2, Burntwood Business Park, Burntwood, WS7 3JQ

www.peppermillinteriors.com | 01543 375872 | sales@peppermillinteriors.com

Peppermill Interiors is a trading name of Peppermill Antiques Ltd.


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 HOME IN THE HEART

OF SOUGHT-AFTER MIDDLETON WITH EXCEPTIONAL EQUESTRIAN FACILITIES

Fiddlers Green, Church Lane, Middleton: £1,500,000

On the market with Howkins and Harrison: 01827 718021

THE AGENT SAYS: An exquisite country property with

first class equestrian facilities set in approximately 5.74 acres

The house has been beautifully presented and fitted out to a

very high standard, providing a large family-friendly ground

floor living area with four spacious bedrooms to the first floor.

The detached office also provides the perfect opportunity for

someone looking to set up an office at home. It is beautifully

designed with timber flooring and exposed timber beams,

providing a light and airy place to work overlooking the

equestrian facilities.

Fiddlers Green is situated in the heart of the village of

Middleton. The location is convenient for road, rail and air

links, being within easy reach of the M42 and M6 Toll as well

as the A38 and A5.

The property is approached by a long driveway behind

electronically operated gates. The house has parking to the

front and access to the triple garage. The majority of the

land is to the rear of the property, with the house overlooking

formal gardens and patio areas, and then gently sloping down

to the office, equestrian facilities and paddocks.

There is a drive at the side of the main house allowing access

and parking for lorries and trailers. The stables, on a concrete

base are enclosed with post and rail fencing. Below this is

the additional store, ideal for a feed room and rug store,

and the pathway then leads down to the horse walker and

into the floodlit arena. The paddocks are located to the side

of the stables and ménage and to the south, with the land

gently sweeping down to Langley Brook. The paddocks are

all enclosed with post and rail fencing and have automatic

watering troughs.

W E L O V E :

THE STYLISH OFFICE AND

EQUESTRIAN FACILITIES

10


BAYLISS

creating bathroom envy since 1929...

Visit our extensive prestigious bathroom and tile showroom....

regarded as one of the finest in the Country!

Bayliss Limited, 23 Gate Lane, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield B73 5TR

T: 0121 362 1800 www.baylisslimited.co.uk


I N T E R I O R S

Zero waste

living

EVERYONE is striving to live a plastic-free life; from

biodegradable bags to metal straws - the world is getting

into the green scene. Our unhealthy lifestyle habits are

becoming more eco-friendly, and our homes should be too.

Cutting down on plastics and bringing zero-waste

furniture into your home doesn’t mean you have to

compromise on style; your friends will be green with envy

when they see how lush and luxurious your decor is.

Seek out pre-loved items, upcycled alternatives, and

natural materials to make your space super sustainable.

Whether you opt for organic cotton towels, wooden tables,

or incense oil burners, any of these swaps will make your

footprint on the earth a little more green. From furniture

pieces to accessories, there are endless ways to reduce the

amount of waste you produce.

Being eco-friendly isn’t just about conserving energy and

controlling global warming, but now it’s about being

conscious consumers. With this idea, less is more - so

declutter your room and reuse, donate or recycle what

your don’t need.

XAVIER OAK DINING TABLE, £1,790, WEARTH

LONDON. WWW.WEARTHLONDON.COM

£105

OLA ORGANIC COTTON WRAP,

OF CABBAGES AND KINGS.

WWW.OFCABBAGESANDKINGS.CO.UK

£11

BLOOMINGVILLE JUTE FAITH

STOOL, CUCKOOLAND.

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

NATURAL ELEMENTS VEGETABLE

JUTE SACK, KITCHENCRAFT.

WWW.NATURALCOLLECTION.COM

£11.49

12


B E S P O K E S O F A M A N U F A C T U R E

& R E - U P H O L S T E RY S P E C I A L I S T

CALL 01543 505539 FOR A BROCHURE

Our skilled craftsmen can create any type of design,

from ultra-modern to classically traditional.

As an alternative if you cannot part with your existing suite, we

offer an exceptional re-upholstery service that goes above and

beyond recovering your choice of fabrics and leathers.

Unit 19, Martindale, Hawks Green,Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 7XN

sales@ralvernupholstery.co.uk - www.ralvernupholstery.co.uk

Visit our website for a virtual tour of our showroom


£9

£32

PURE WATER UPCYCLED

BASKET, LOLA & MAWU.

WWW.LOLAANDMAWU.COM

£30

TUAREG CANDLE HOLDERS,

LOLA & MAWU.

WWW.LOLAANDMAWU.COM

ZERO WASTE CUTLERY SET,

WEARTH LONDON.

WWW.WEARTHLONDON.COM

£12.50

UASHMAMA DARK GREY PAPER BAG,

URBAN COO. WWW.URBANCOO.CO.UK

£229

£1,340

TRIBU VIS A VIS ROCKING CHAIR,

GO MODERN FURNITURE.

WWW.GOMODERN.CO.UK

N02 RECYCLED DINING CHAIR BY

FRITZ HANSEN, CHAPLINS FURNITURE.

WWW.CHAPLINS.CO.UK

CHAMONIX RECLAIMED PLATFORM BED, £1,095,

WEARTH LONDON. WWW.WEARTHLONDON.COM

14


COTTON CLEANING WIPES, £14, WEARTH LONDON.

WWW.WEARTHLONDON.COM

PALE GREY LINEN BLANKET, £55, WEARTH LONDON.

WWW.WEARTHLONDON.COM

COCONUT WOOD REUSABLE CUTLERY SET, £28.50,

WEARTH LONDON. WWW.WEARTHLONDON.COM

WAKECUP MUG AND WAKE WALLET, £30, WEARTH LONDON.

WWW.WEARTHLONDON.COM


I N T E R I O R S

HAMPTON CHESTERFIELD SOFA,

£699.99, FURNITURE CHOICE.

WWW.FURNITURECHOICE.CO.UK

January

blues

THERE’S an air of familiarity and comfort among

interior trends for 2020 as the colour gurus at Pantone

have announced their Colour of the Year as Pantone

19-4052 Classic Blue. According to Pantone, this colour

represents a dependable and stable foundation to move

forward to a new era. It brings calmness, confidence and

connection.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is

this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed

by Pantone 19-405 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable

blue hue we can always rely on,” said Leatrice Eiseman,

Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Think traditional, soothing and strong. Classic Blue is a

colour which is easy to embrace and which works in a

multitude of styles and settings. This versatility means it

is going to be a popular choice. Use it alone for a rich,

cosy scheme or pair with a contrasting hue such as saffron

yellow, soft pink and even rich forest green for a more

vibrant feel.

£85

$135

£120

BLUE STONEWARE NARROW

VASE, BEAUMONDE.

WWW.BEAUMONDE.CO.UK

TRIPOD TABLE LAMP AND

NAVY BLUE SHADE, HABITAT.

WWW.HABITAT.CO.UK

KARLSSON MR BLUE STEEL RIM WALL

CLOCK, THE DESIGN GIFT SHOP.

WWW.THEDESIGNGIFTSHOP.COM

LONDON BLUE FAUX LEATHER BAR STOOL,

PEPPERMILL INTERIORS, BURNTWOOD

BUSINESS PARK.

WWW.PEPPERMILLINTERIORS.COM

£24

£100

16

VELVET THROW, SOAK&SLEEP.

WWW.SOAKANDSLEEP.COM


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£345

£12.95

VERONA POUFFE, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

£349

ROUND BLUE PLANTER ON

STAND, MELODY MAISON.

WWW.MELODYMAISON.CO.UK

ORLEANS VELVET DINING

CHAIR, PEPPERMILL INTERIORS,

BURNTWOOD BUSINESS PARK.

WWW.PEPPERMILLINTERIORS.COM

£170

£50

£200

NASHVILLE ROYAL BLUE VELVET

ARMCHAIR, CULT FURNITURE.

WWW.CULTFURNITURE.COM

HOGAN BLUE WOVEN MEDIUM

STORAGE BASKET, HABITAT.

WWW.HABITAT.CO.UK

DUTCH BLAUW PENDANT LAMP

SHADE, MINDTHEGAP.

WWW.MINDTHEG.COM

CLAUDIO SOFA IN REGENCY

BLUE, £1,120, LIVING IT UP.

WWW.LIVINGITUP.CO.UK

18


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kitchens

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BLUE BRICK EFFECT WALLPAPER, £75,

WOODCHIP AND MAGNOLIA.

WWW.WOODCHIPANDMAGNOLIA.CO.UK

THE VERSAILLES SACRÉ BLEU VELVET UPHOLSTERED

BED, £2.495, THE FRENCH BEDROOM CO.

WWW.FRENCHBEDROOMCOMPANY.CO.UK

KAYDIAN HEXHAM ELEPHANT BED,

£349.99, FURNITURE CHOICE.

WWW.FURNITURECHOICE.CO.UK

IMPERIAL GLASS BOTTLE VASE, £39.95,

AUDENZA. WWW.AUDENZA.COM

20


Preet on interiors

I N T E R I O R S

SUTTON COLDFIELD INTERIOR DESIGNER PREET ANAND, OF MOOD

INTERIORS, CHECKS OUT SOME FRESH INTERIOR IDEAS FOR 2020

It’s a new year! I have always wondered at which

point is it socially acceptable to stop wishing those

you meet a “Happy New Year?” I will assume it is the

end of the month, so for now wishing all our lovely

readers a prosperous and wonderful year ahead.

I am sure everyone is very much looking forward to

tidying away the decor of Christmas which has been

almost taking over our spaces for the past month or

so, and moving into the final months of winter with

some fresh new outlooks and ideas for 2020.

Now, I know many of my clients will be sad to know

that 2020 trend predictions see Grey on Grey making

an off-stage exit, in preparation for more warmer

tones and richer colour palettes. Of course, trends

are forever changing and if you really can’t afford or

simply don’t have the energy or time for an everchanging

design trend each year or so, stick to either

what you love or what is classic.

Q: I have an old dark wood table which I

had from marriage more than 25 years ago,

and as it is both sentimental and such good

quality, I don’t want to remove it, but my

room just doesn’t work with it?

A: This is a classic example of sentimental furniture

and modern living and, if I am honest, it can add a

lot of charm to a space. The mixing of old and new

can bring in an eclectic style or a nostalgic livedin

look to your space. It is all about balance, and

ensuring the piece of furniture you have is balanced

with other elements to contrast and compliment.

For example, adding some more pieces in the same

period or style as your table, and spreading them out

in a room which has been updated in a more modern

style will allow a subtle flow and tie everything in

together.

Q: The skirting and doors in my house are

white, and have always been white. Is it okay

to paint them a different colour?

A: Painting the woodwork in your home the same

colour as the walls can give it a contemporary twist,

with fewer colours breaking up the colours it can

create a lovely streamlined look and help highlight

other features of the room better. Another thought

is to paint the woodwork a different colour entirely

from the wall, to create some drama. I would be

mindful of all other textures and surfaces in the room

which will be adjacent to the woodwork, to ensure the

colours all complement each other well.

Q: I have my artificial Christmas tree which I

need to throw away, how can I make use of it?

A: My first point of call would be to either reuse

or donate; artificial trees unfortunately cannot be

recycled due to them usually being made of mixed

materials. However, I am sure you have considered

these options already so perhaps get creative, chop

up the tree and make a door wreath or small potted

planters for next year’s festivities! Hanging smaller

versions of the tree as decoration inside or even

outside the house, will save you money on other decor

and help the environment too!

Send your questions on interiors to

info@moodinteriors.net for your chance

to see your dilemma answered in next

month’s issue.

SPONSORED BY MOOD INTERIORS

0121 809 7333 - WWW.MOODINTERIORS.NET

INFO@MOODINTERIORS.NET


F O O D & D R I N K

Countryside charm

VILLAGE TRADITION MEETS CONTEMPORARY STYLE THANKS TO AN IMPRESSIVE

MAKEOVER AT THE GREEN MAN IN MIDDLETON, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERED

The cornerstone of any British village

is the village pub. A place to meet,

eat, drink and discuss, the village pub

rightfully claims its place in the good old

fashioned British book of tradition.

And more and more, these quaint

village pubs are marking themselves

out as dining destinations in their own

right. The much-loved Green Man in

Middleton, just outside Sutton Coldfield,

has long attracted visitors from near and

far, but significant recent investment has

given the pub an incredible new lease of

life which is sure to see punters flocking.

The pub has also introduced a brandnew

menu; a carefully curated collection

of dishes that deliver a refreshing country dining

experience, featuring delicious flavours, inspired by

the seasons and the best the countryside has to offer.

The J’AIME team were among the first to sample the

new-look Green Man at a preview event ahead of

the official reopening last month.

The pub has undergone a top to tail transformation,

taking inspiration from some of the UK’s most

stylish country dining and drinking hotspots. The

sophisticated decor combines deep browns, dark

greens and golds inspired by nature, while brass and

velvet finishes add a luxurious touch, creating an

authentic and cosy feel. Expertly curated furniture,

eye-catching artwork and feature finishing touches

ensure the pub gives off a seriously stylish vibe.

Expect to see images of the statement lighting, quirky

details and - dare I say it? - beautiful bathrooms

coming to an Instagram near you soon.

A new bookable private dining space has also been

added, creating a cosy area for birthday celebrations,

meetings and private functions.

We were greeted by the friendly management team

and offered a selection of menus to peruse while we

sipped on ice-cold G&Ts from the impressive gin

selection, teamed with a whole host of choose-yourown

garnishes.

If you’re attempting Veganuary this month then

never fear; there’s a fairly substantial dedicated vegan

menu to explore which features an array of tempting

dishes including a plant-based burger with coconut

tzatziki and tomato tapenade, £13.95; a falafel,

roasted butternut squash and avocado nourish bowl

packed with veggie goodness, £10.50; and a spiced

coconut curry with miso sesame aubergine and sticky

jasmine rice, £12.25.

And the introduction of vegan vanilla ice cream

means there are plenty of tasty pud options too.

But there were no diet restrictions here, so into the

main menu we ploughed.

To start, I opted for the seared wild Atlantic scallops

with lobster and crab bonbons and a pea and truffle

veloute, £11.75. It was a generous portion, with the

sizable scallops simply seasoned and well cooked

22


to make the most of their sweet succulence. The

perfectly crisp bonbons were a delight, although

heavier on the crab than the lobster. The bed of pea

veloute - again, not much of a hint of truffle - was

well flavoured and a nice accompaniment if a little

inelegant in presentation, rather flooding the plate.

My friend chose the tempura squid, £6.95, with

preserved lemon aioli and furikake - a Japanese

seasoning, for the uninitiated - and was suitably

impressed; the light and crisp batter coated tender

squid pieces, while the slight sharpness from the

lemon aioli added a lovely tang to balance things out.

Moving onto the main event we were spoilt for

choice, with everything from 30-day dry-aged steaks

and sticky glazed pork belly to healthy salads and

gastropub takes on fast food favourites.

I was, however, immediately drawn to the day boat

fish options on the specials menu. At The Green

Man, fresh fish is a serious business. Supporting the

British fishing industry, the pub sources seasonal

species from around the British coastline, landed by

British boats into British ports. This means freshness

is guaranteed and quality is always high.

Fish caught that morning makes it onto the menu

that day, with the chefs working to create dishes

around the catch. Provenance is also key, with the

menu detailing where the fish was caught, and who

by - a rather nice touch.

Both daily catch options - oven roasted skate wing

with brown shrimps, garlic samphire and mash,

or roasted fillet of monkfish with kapia pepper,

heirloom tomatoes, fondant potato and wild garlic

pesto - sounded right up my street, with the monkfish

just nudging ahead.

It was a simply cooked and supremely tasty piece

of fish, with sweetness coming from the roasted

peppers and tomatoes, and a lovely buttery fondant

potato adding much-needed substance to the dish.

The flavoursome wild garlic pesto was a beautiful

complement, while a side order

of samphire and baby spinach,

£3.50, as recommended by our

waiter, added a welcome savory

note.

If my fish dish represented the

more delicate, refined offerings

of the menu, my friend’s

buttermilk chicken, Somerset

brie and bacon pie, £15.75,

was the ultimate in classic

comfort food. The individual

pie was beautifully presented

in miniature Desperate Dan

style, with a tiny chicken leg

replacing the cow horns in

Dan’s legendary feast. The

golden crust gave way to reveal a packed filling of

mouthwatering chicken, brie and bacon - a hearty

morsel indeed, and the perfect winter warmer for

these most chilly of months.

Accompanied by creamy mashed potato and the

earthy flavours of wilted cavolo nero and pan-fried

oyster mushrooms, as well as a rich jus, it was a

worthy feast.

Despite the generous portions, puddings were just

too tempting to turn down. And it was a case of ‘go

big or go home’, as just about every diner we could

see had chosen the impressive-looking Icon sharing

dessert birdcage. So not to be defeated in the face of

sweet treats, we joined them.

The birdcage promises three tiers of decadent

dessert: the intriguingly titled 99 Problems and

Cheesecake is One, as well as blackcurrant mousse

with mango coulis, and a home-baked brownie,

with French almond macaron and pecan praline ice

cream.

Unfortunately due to opening night supplier issues,

the blackcurrant mousse was unavailable, and the

only ice cream was vanilla meaning half of the

birdcage was missing. An alternative was offered

but, as we were both pushing capacity as it was, we

decided just to try the elements which were available.

The brownie was rich and decadent, and the

cheesecake, although perfectly tasty, was a riff on one

of my all-time favourite desserts, the legendary ‘Oh

Bollocks’, created by Brummie chef Alex Claridge at

The Wilderness. Presented as a dropped ice-cream,

with an upside-down cone atop a pile of cheesecake

filling, it could never hope to live up to Claridge’s

culinary masterpiece.

The Green Man has been transformed into a

seriously swish venue, combining countryside charm

with an eclectic menu sure to please any diner

looking for good food in stylish surroundings.

At the heart of the village, tradition is in good hands.

23


F O O D & D R I N K

Cocktail of the month

IF YOU’RE ATTEMPTING DRY JANUARY THIS MONTH - OR IF YOU JUST WANT TO CURB YOUR ALCOHOL

INTAKE AFTER ALL THAT FESTIVE FIZZ - THE EXPERTS AT NON-ALCOHOLIC SPIRIT PIONEERS SEEDLIP

HAVE A DELICIOUSLY REFRESHING BOOZE-FREE SIP TO KICKSTART YOUR MONTH IN STYLE

In the Field

50ml Seedlip Garden 108

15ml Apple and Plum cordial

30ml Sparkling water

Combine all ingredients and serve in a chilled cocktail glass, garnished with a pea pod. Enjoy!

The fresh and floral Seedlip Garden 108 captures the essence of the English countryside, with

sophisticated top notes of hand-picked pea and hay and a complex herbal base of spearmint,

rosemary and thyme. Seedlip Garden 108 is priced £26 for a 70cl bottle, available from

stockists nationwide and at www.seedlipdrinks.com

24


Christmas Party Menu

3-5 Lombard Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6DP – Tel: 01543 257 98

Burns Night Celebration Dinner on Saturday 25th January

Enjoy a 4 course dinner | £35 pp

Murder Mystery Evening on Friday 7th February

3 course dinner and entertainment| £37 pp

Afternoon Tea with Disney Classics on Sunday 9th & 16th Feb

With our live choir singing songs from your favourite Disney classics.

Adults: £22 | Children £15

Afternoon Tea with Bert & Mary on Sunday 15th March

With our live choir singing songs from Mary Poppins

Adults: £22 | Children £15

Only Fools & Fawlty Towers on Friday 20th March

3 course dinner and entertainment £38 pp

Lunch – 3 Courses £10

Join us in the new year

STARTERS

Red Lentil, Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup with Crusty Bread & English Butter v G

Chicken Liver & Sherry Pate served RRP with £24. Orange WITH THIS and VOUCHER Cranberry £15* Compote &

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A new brand

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Beetroot, Stilton and Walnut Gallette v

Mixed Mushroom, Chestnut & Tarragon Casserole with Gnocchi Dumplings v G

Smoked Mackerel, Horseradish & Dill Mousse served with Oatcake Biscuits

and Pea Shoots

Fresh, Chef prepared menus.

TWO COURSE LUNCH SERVED MONDAY-SATURDAY

12PM-2PM FROM £8

New PRE THEATRE MENU/EARLY DOORS MENU

TUES - SAT 5.45PM - 6.45PM

3 COURSES FOR £10

WHERE WE HAVE SELECTED A

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01543 257986 - NEW WEBSITE LIVE WWW.WINE-DINE.CO.UK

MAIN COURSES

01543 481807

Pork & Chorizo Meatballs Served on Penne Pasta in a Rich Tomato,

Galettes

+ CRêPES

Pepper & Spinach Sauce topped with Mozzarella & Cheddar

Roast Turkey Breast, Roast Potatoes, Root Vegetables, Cranberry & Stuffing Vol-auwith

a rich Gravy £1 supplement

Beef Bourguignon Served on Horseradish Mash with Glazed Carrot

Home-made French cuisine

in a family-run restaurant

Roast Beetroot, Squash & Kale Savoury Crepe topped with Shropshire Blue Cheese

Unique wine list, French/

Belgian beers and cocktails

with skin-on fries or Green Salad

Cod Fishcakes on a Rich Red pepper, Spinach & Tomato Ragout

JANUARY SPECIAL 20% OFF FOOD (WEEKDAYS) Quote: J’AIME

DESSERTS

www.peartreecreperie.co.uk

Follow us

Heart Of The Country Warm Village, Christmas SWINFEN, pudding Lichfield with Brandy WS14 Sauce 9QR

Vanilla Cheesecake topped with Mulled Winter Berries served with Rum Anglai


F O O D & D R I N K

Just the tonic for 2020

THE GINTLEMAN, THE MIDLANDS’ LEADING RACONTEUR AT HOUSE PARTIES AND VENUES ACROSS

BIRMINGHAM, GAZES INTO HIS CRYSTAL BALL TO PREDICT THE NEXT BIG GIN TRENDS FOR 2020

LIKE every growth industry the landscape

of gin is constantly evolving, with new

trends bringing fresh impetus to the

category emerging from apparently

nowhere every year.

Last year gazing into my crystal ball I

predicted the growth of canned tonics

and flavours to match gin’s diversity and

the ready-to-drink options (that’s the

train journey pre-made G&T in a can or

Boutique-y Gin styled craft cocktail for

the uninitiated!). Other trends included

the continued rise of pink gin (not a

flavour but a colour experience), gin

brands bringing out matching multiple

flavours to expand their portfolios, nonalcoholic

gins and new emerging ginproducing

countries including India.

Based on its current growth, the value of the gin

category in 2020 will finally move above vodka as

the country’s leading spirits category by value, a

recent report from Hendrick’s owner William Grant

& Sons has forecast.

I think this year we may see more seasonal and

EXPERIENTIAL GIN EVENTS, LIKE THE

GINTLEMAN’S GIN CRUISES, WILL

CONTINUE TO RISE IN POPULARITY

limited edition expressions like the seasonal

Christmas versions focusing on classic or more

unusual flavour combinations to make the guest

experience exciting but saleable, with smaller

production runs to gauge mass consumer interest

and certain brand flavours being quietly retired.

I do expect gooseberry variations after 2019’s success

of Slingsby showcasing this

under-appreciated flavour.

I also see hybrid flavour

combinations moving from

the go-to rhubarb and ginger

to possibly lychee, yuzu, pear,

cherry blossom, pluots or

matcha taking influence from

the summer Tokyo Olympics,

complete with a signature

serve of gin with tonic water

lengthened with flavoured

soda - the Gin & Sonic. See

kokorogin.com as an example.

A general flavour duality that

could match food as well as

tonic with enhanced garnish

expectations at your local

watering hole.

I expect gin producers to start

26


THE LONDON

ESSENCE FRESH

SERVE DISPENSE

SYSTEM

dipping their toes into white rums and visa versa,

with banana, pineapple and other tropical tasting

rums looking to entice the flavoured gin drinker, as

well as traditional rum-producing areas like South

America going the other way. Venezuelan Canaïma,

which I’m showcasing during Ginuary for example,

uses rainforest botanical ingredients that sound more

akin to an exotic Harry Potter spell: copuazu, merey

fruit, uve de Palma and açai berries (I feel a google

search coming on!).

Although I see an increase in canned tonic flavours

from the big brands, could a contemporary version

of the lamented tonic on the gun be making a

comeback? Judging by London Essence’s trials of

their draft tonic system serving five flavours of tonic

water - including the brand’s classic

Indian variant, rhubarb, elderflower,

grapefruit and cucumber - it could

be, with proposed nationwide

roll-out planned from February.

The attractive font is a fresh serve

dispense system infusing the brand’s

distilled botanicals into chilled tonic

water at the point of service. As

featured in a November article by

The Spirit Business, the system is

said to ensure freshness and flavour,

while reducing packaging by 96 per

cent, reducing fridge space lines and

allowing more flavour mixability

options.

I think there will be a general

increase in gin tourism in where gin

is not only created, but the brand’s

story gives localised provenance

as much as the ingredients. So like

real ale, creative use of locality

and production mean people like

The Warwickshire Gin Company

SOUTH AMERICAN CANAIMA

SMALL BATCH GIN

are setting up a bricks and

mortar unit in Leamington

Spa to include a visitor centre,

distilling experience, branded

merchandise, plus gift set

shopping as a destination onestop

immersive brand experience.

More discerning gin collecting

ginthusiasts are beginning to

look at alternative ways of

appreciating the spirit as a standalone

sipper, enjoyed - dare I say

it? - neat or in cocktail form. A

next generation gin subscription

service that’s sent in letterbox

form, NIO (which stands for

Needs Ice Only) is an early

example which sends perfectly mixed cocktails ready

to enjoy. Find out more at www.niococktails.co.uk

Finally one that’s close to my heart is ‘experiential’

gin tasting - not just home entertaining or

festivals, but a specific gin themed experience

in creative settings. My gin picnic will continue

to run throughout this year on the Birmingham

canal network - go to www.designmynight.com/

birmingham and search gin picnic - as well as on

steam trains and in retail format, with cinema and

unusual brand collaborations to bring you creative

and fun lifestyle ways to enjoy your favourite tipple.

It should make for an interesting start to the modern

roaring twenty20s era!

27


H E A LT H

A healthy new year

THIS NEW YEAR, LICHFIELD’S FAVOURITE PERSONAL TRAINER RAÚL ROMERO TALKS

VEGANUARY… AND A FEW OTHER SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVES

So all the hype and excitement of Christmas is over,

most of us have probably eaten to our heart’s content

and the ever more popular Veganuary is upon us.

Yes, it is exactly as it sounds - where many of us

choose to ‘go vegan’ for a month. However if you are

not quite ready to smash Veganuary, there are many

other simple, practical, yet challenging alternatives to

help us get fit and really feel fabulous.

1: Go VEGGIE!

This one may not be for all, but for those who have

toyed around with the idea of trying Veganuary but

can’t quite fathom cutting out all eggs and dairy,

going veggie and giving your body a break from meat

for a month may be just what you need to cleanse

your system and reset after the Christmas feasts.

2: Dry January

This is a popular one among my clients who have

usually enjoyed a few too many tipples over the

festive season, to give them a break and detox our

MEAL PREP IS KEY TO HEALTHY

EATING, SAYS RAUL

systems. A far healthier (yet maybe not as enjoyable!)

alternative would be to focus on increasing water

intake instead of popping open a bottle, and I

promise you, you really will feel much better for it in

the long run!

3: Go SUGAR-FREE!

In a world with an ever increasing number of sugary

treats - and especially after the typical Christmas

sweet treat over-indulgence - this is a great one to try

to really cleanse our bodies of sugar so we are not

only healthier, but to also break the sugar addiction

and to control our appetites.

Remember, going sugar free not only means cutting

out the chocolates, biscuits and cakes, but also being

aware of controlling the intake of natural sugars

found in fruits.

4: The 30 day PLANK challenge

Although this may sound like a killer to some, it

really is a case of practice makes perfect. Bounding

out of bed in the morning

into a plank may hurt like

hell on Day 1, but by Day

30, without a doubt you

will feel stronger, boast a

harder core and be able

to hold your planks for

longer. The fab thing is,

EVERYONE can plank

without needing any extra

equipment or any kind of

gym membership.

So, for the challenge; on

Day 1 simply start with a

20 second plank. Repeat

a few times if you can.

Then add five seconds to

your plank every day and

by the end of 30 days, hey

presto, you’ll be planking

for almost three minutes!

28


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5: Sunday food prep

This is one that I personally

undertake religiously on a weekly

basis and the impact has been

HUGE. My reason for this revolves

around trying to fit in a healthy early

evening meal for the new addition to

our family when the time between

nursery pick up and bath and bedtime

is so tight. Without a doubt, preparing

healthy balanced meals packed full of

vegetables and lots of ‘good stuff’ so

they are ready to bung in the oven or

chuck in the pan saves a lot of time,

and definitely helps us to eat healthier

as a family. Not to mention the

money saved on the weekly food bill

- shopping with a list made from meal planning is so

much more economical than shopping on a hungry

belly listless!

6: Firmer bottom in 30 days

Sounds great right? And definitely one that many of

my clients desire…

TRY THE 30 DAY PLANK

CHALLENGE

There are just three simple exercises for this

challenge: squats, lunges and half bridges. We start

Day 1 with 10 repetitions of each (10 lunges for each

leg) Then after the first week, you can increase each

exercise by 10 reps, and maybe add 10 more on week

three, and another 10 for week four.

Consistency is the key here and you’ll be amazed at

your new peachy backside!

UP YOUR WATER INTAKE WITH

THE 30 DAY WATER DETOX

7: 30 day water detox

This is one that I have tried several

times in the past and, from first hand

experience, I can say without a doubt

works wonders, not only for our health,

but also aesthetically for glowy skin,

shiny hair and healthy nails. Although

this sounds easy, preparation is the key

here. Either stocking up on two-litre

bottles to get through as a minimum

every day, or timing the water intake

so knowing how much we should have

drunk before morning break, lunch and

dinner time. If not, even with the best

intentions in the world, in our daily

hectic lives, it is oh-so-easy to forget to

pick up the water bottle.

For those not quite ready to give

Veganuary a go, why not try one or

more of the above. I’d love to hear how

it goes on Instagram or Facebook - tag

me @ambitionpersonaltraining

FELIZ AÑO NUEVO all, and for any

health and fitness questions or enquiries,

please feel free to get in touch with me at

raul@ambitionpt.co.uk

30


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RE-OPEN 10AM SATURDAY 4TH JANUARY

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


F O O D & D R I N K

Vegan feasts

FOR THOSE WHO ARE BRAVING IT OUT AND RISING UP TO THE VEGANUARY CHALLENGE (AND

EVEN THOSE WHO AREN’T), GOOD LUCK AND HERE ARE TWO DELICIOUS TRIED AND TESTED

RECIPES TO ADD TO YOUR BANK OF YUMMY SPECIALTIES

RAUL’S BROCCOLI AND CHICKPEA

MOROCCAN STYLE COUSCOUS

This Moroccan style vegan dish is one of my favorite

Sunday recipes. It’s a great healthy, wholesome

alternative to a typical Sunday roast. I usually cook

extra portions to last during the week, thus killing two

birds with one stone in terms of food prep!

For me, the key is loading it jam packed full of lots of

different veggies to make it super healthy; broccoli,

peppers, onions and mushrooms are some of my

favourites. The chickpeas are rich in protein and the

couscous is a great source of energy. Adding an array of

spices really brings out the rich taste of each ingredient;

my favourites are chilli flakes, turmeric and cinnamon

sticks.

Ingredients:

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

1 broccoli

1 pepper

100g mushrooms

25g olives

1 tin chickpeas

Half a bunch of fresh parsley

200g couscous

Chilli flakes, black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric

RAUL’S SIMPLE MEDITERRANEAN

AVO TOAST WITH TOMATOES &

BASIL

As some of you know, I love avocados! They are one of

my all time favourite foods. This recipe is very simple,

quick and easy and the best thing is you can get it ready

in less than five minutes (perfect for those of us on the

go!). It also serves as a breakfast, lunch or healthy snack

idea.

Ingredients:

Half a ripe avocado

1 slice of toasted sourdough bread

Juice of half a lemon

50g cherry tomatoes

Basil leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt, black pepper and chilli flakes

Preparation: 5 minutes

Slice half an avocado and put it on the toasted bread.

Squeeze the lemon over it and sprinkle the salt, pepper

and chilli flakes. Top it with the cherry tomatoes halves

and the basil leaves and drizzle some olive oil on top.

Enjoy!

Preparation: 30 minutes approx

Chop the onion and broccoli into small florets. Heat

a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium

heat, add the onion and the broccoli and cook for 15

minutes with a lid on.

While broccoli is cooking, chop the peppers and

mushrooms and cook them in another pan. Add parsley

and garlic (finely chopped) after five minutes.

When the peppers and mushrooms are golden, pour all

the ingredients into the same saucepan as the broccoli.

Add the spices: half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, a quarter

teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of turmeric,

and a touch of salt and pepper.

Remove the stones from the olives, drain the chickpeas,

and add both to the mix. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Place the couscous into a bowl, pour 250ml of boiling

water into it and cover with a lid for 5-10 minutes. Serve

the couscous in a plate, and add the vegetable medley

on top. Enjoy!

32


Burns Night Celebration Dinner on Friday 24th January

Enjoy a 4 course dinner and ceilidh band | £41.50 pp

Motown Tribute Evening on Friday 7th February

3 course dinner, entertainment & disco | £47 pp

Afternoon Tea with Bert & Mary on Wednesday 19th February

With our live choir singing songs from Mary Poppins

Adults: £24 | Children £16

Pride & Prejudice Murder Mystery on Friday 21st February

3 course dinner and entertainment £41 pp

Spring Party Night on Friday 13th March

3 course dinner and disco. £37 pp

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

0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk

Proud to be a family run business for over 35 years

HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS

“Fantastic

service and

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Thanks Kieran”

Sam McD,

Whitaker

Heath

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

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Installers and suppliers of gas fires, bespoke limestone

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CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR OPEN HOURS

CLOSE ON THE 20TH DEC AND REOPEN ON THE 6TH JAN

abbeyfirecentre @abbeyfirecentre abbeyfirecentreltd


T R AV E L

2020: A Travel Odyssey

JOINT MD NATHAN COLLINS FROM RB COLLECTION, BASED IN

LICHFIELD, REPORTS ON THE TOP TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES IN 2020

JAPAN IS ATTRACTING

TOURIST ATTENTION AS

HOST TO TWO MAJOR

SPORTING EVENTS

With a range of new flights from Birmingham, a host

of significant worldwide events and new destinations

opening up, 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year

in the world of travel.

For your next summer trip, one of our favourite

Greek islands and the perfect spot for romantic

sunset viewing is Santorini, which will see a new

direct service from Birmingham in May. In contrast

to some of the larger Greek islands, Santorini retains

its unspoilt, traditional charm and is recognised as

one of the more exclusive and luxurious summer

holiday islands. Hotels tend to be smaller, boutique

properties and many offer private pools for the

ultimate romantic getaway.

My top tip would be sunset viewing in Oia in the

north of the island, which is where I stayed myself. It

is in high demand, though, so early booking is highly

recommended. There are also some interesting

archeological sites to visit such as Akrotiri, a Minoan

settlement preserved under volcanic ash. Santorini

can also be twinned with nearby Mykonos, or the

lesser known Cyclades islands of Naxos and Paros as

well as the capital city of Athens. Visit rbcollection.

com/santorini

Other new services to Greece from Birmingham

include another one of our favourite islands of

Skíathos, and Preveza for the smaller Ionian island

of Lefkas.

If you prefer short breaks, we will also welcome a

new service from Birmingham to the Portuguese

capital Lisbon on a Monday and Friday from April.

Portugal has seen somewhat of a revival in recent

34


A NEW FLIGHT WILL LINK

BIRMINGHAM TO LISBON

FROM APRIL

years, especially away from the popular southern

coastal resorts on the Algarve. The unspoilt region of

Alentejo with its beautiful scenery, historic towns and

traditional culinary experiences is easily accessible

by road from Lisbon, as my fellow MD Oliver found

out when he visited himself. Further up the coast is

the beautiful city of Porto which is the gateway to

the Douro Valley. This area of natural beauty is well

known for its river cruises (which do book up very

early as there are only limited departures). It is also

a good option for a self-drive itinerary to get away

from the main tourist spots

and see a more authentic

Portugal. If you are seeking

a relaxing spa retreat, we

know a stunning, converted

mansion in the Douro

Valley, which is now home

to a five star hotel and spa

which is just the tonic.

Ask us for details and visit

rbcollection.com/portugal

The Tyrolean capital of

Innsbruck has an additional

service from Birmingham

this summer too. Innsbruck

is the fifth largest city in

Austria and is surrounded

by stunning high mountains

and dazzling lakes,

making it attractive to

the increasing number

SANTORINI IS A POPULAR

CHOICE FOR AN AUTHENTIC

GREEK GETAWAY

of holidaymakers who

are enticed by wellness,

adventure and sports.

With miles of mountain

ranges and alpine

meadows on the doorstep,

adventurers, hikers and

cyclists are spoiled for

choice, and that’s not

mentioning the unique

mountain trams that

offer up some of the most

staggering views around.

Our final top 2020 tip

from Birmingham is

Vienna, which has proven

very popular with our

discerning clients over the

past year. It is a compact

city with an abundance

of historic sites to explore.

It has a certain quality

in the air, and I would

definitely recommend it

for a summer weekend away. Visit rbcollection.com/

austria

Further afield, Japan is attracting a lot of attention

which started when they hosted the Rugby World

Cup recently. 2020 will no doubt be even more

popular with Tokyo hosting the Olympic Games

in the summer. The country has so much to offer

beyond Tokyo, with many opting to also visit the

cultural and historic city of Kyoto and nearby

Osaka, which now has a direct flight from London.

35


DUBAI IS PREPARING TO HOST

THE WORLD EXPO IN 2020

Our top tip would be to jump on the train just 20

minutes from Osaka to Nara for an even more

authentic Japanese experience. Hiroshima has also

become more popular with those seeking to learn

more about the country’s difficult past.

Japan’s ski resorts have been tipped as some of the

best in the world and excellent powder. There are

certainly many options available to you in Japan

and luckily, we have been so can help piece together

the perfect trip for you. For details visit rbcollection.

com/japan

Dubai has been gearing up as the host of Expo

2020 for a number of years and we are now seeing

coverage of the many different pavilions hosted

by countries around the world on their social

media channels. The event has the slogan ‘Global

Celebrations’, giving us all the chance to experience,

learn and develop our knowledge about the host

nations via entertaining and interactive exhibits. It

will certainly be one of the most impressive World

Expos and we are looking

forward to attending

ourselves. No doubt,

environmental issues will

be at the forefront of the

event as we all look at the

world of the future. Visit

rbcollection.com/dubai

Oman celebrates the

50th anniversary of

the current Sultan in

November. We recently

toured Oman, inspecting

VIENNA IS PERFECT FOR A

WEEKEND BREAK

new hotels in

the capital city

of Muscat and

onwards to

the mountains

which are just a

90-minute drive

from the city

and provided a

stunning backdrop

for the drive and

relaxation in the

canyon valleys.

We also explored

Salalah on the

southern coast,

which is home

to pristine white

sandy beaches

and luxury resorts

with their own

private villa

accommodations.

There are also some really interesting, ancient

UNESCO sites to explore. Oman is certainly a

very different experience to Dubai and Abu Dhabi,

for example, with much more of an emphasis on

culture and authenticity yet still providing quality

accommodation and excellent, friendly service. Visit

rbcollection.com/oman

Saudi Arabia has appeared on our radar for 2020

following the introduction of a tourist visa system

and the relaxation of local laws and requirements

for visitors. The country is seeing a number of

changes in a relatively short period of time with a

newly appointed cultural minister hosting major

sporting and cultural events across the Kingdom. It

is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and

a wide range of cities from old to new waiting to be

discovered. As one of the few remaining countries

around the world that’s been cut off from tourists

without prior arrangement, it is certainly attracting a

36


lot of attention. Visit rbcollection.com/saudi

Asia sees a new direct flight from Manchester to

Shanghai from March, avoiding having to travel

down to London. China is one of our most popular

destinations to join an escorted group. We prefer

smaller groups of between 16 and 25, some cheap

tours have you in larger groups of around 50 which

we try and avoid as it is less of a personal experience.

Visit rbcollection.com/china

Across the Atlantic, the Deep South (Nashville,

Memphis and New Orleans) saw a resurgence

in popularity in 2019 and we expect this to only

increase in 2020. My colleague Alan visited himself

in September, the highlight of which was Graceland.

It is a great area for a self-drive holiday or if you

prefer to join one of the pre-arranged group tours.

You can even travel along the Mississippi onboard a

steamboat.

Also in the USA, we will welcome a new direct flight

to Charleston in South Carolina. Famous for its

cobbled streets, antebellum houses in pastel colours

and promenades, there is a lot of civil war history to

soak in over the water at Fort Sumter.

And finally, environmental issues such as sustainable

tourism and carbon footprints have become major

topics of discussion in the travel industry of late. At

RB, we have offset the carbon footprint for all of

our staff travels in 2019 and will continue to do this

into 2020. We also offer this on several the holidays

we arrange and are working on a new scheme to

offer this over every single holiday booked with us

going forward. There are a number of challenges to

this and we want to make sure we work with ethical

and reputable organisations so that the money

contributed is used effectively. Many communities

rely heavily on tourism to fund their livelihoods and

so we are also working on training for our team so we

can pass on this relevant information to our clients

when booking with us.

We are also reviewing all of our processes to reduce

the environmental impact, from our administration

procedures, business partners and even down to

our office supplies and soap in the kitchen. We

understand and accept we have a responsibility to

monitor and control our environmental impact and

look forward to exploring this more. For details go to

rbcollection.com/environment

To plan and book your next holiday, contact

RB Collection on 01543 258631 or email vip@

rbcollection.com. Please do mention this issue of

J’AIME when you next book with us and we will

make an additional donation to our charity of the

year.

SAUDI ARABIA IS SET

TO BECOME A TRAVEL

HOTSPOT IN 2020

37


F E AT U R E

Elephant man

JACK REGAN, A CREATIVE AT TITAN. THE ADVERTISING AGENCY IN BIRMINGHAM,

GETS DOWN AND DIRTY WITH SOME COLOSSAL BEASTS IN THAILAND

JACK REGAN FACED A

CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH

AN ELEPHANT

Define appalling, you say? Let me describe the

Then he grabs two more. Geoff Capes himself woulda

outlandish ultimate in the flesh crawlingly repugnant. been chuffed at the distances he is shot-putting these

I’m buck naked but for my Speedos, up to my J’AIME chest HAS TEAMED things. UP WITH THE PEAR TREE CREPERIE AT THE

in murky pond water and a junior elephant standing HEART OF THE He COUNTRY gets about SHOPPING a dozen VILLAGE launched IN SWINFEN over the hedge TO and

OFFER READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN AN EVENING MEAL FOR

beside me has just dropped a nonchalantly humongous, clears away the largest volume of the elephant’s debris

FOUR INCLUDING A BOTTLE OF HOUSE WINE. OUR WINNER AND

make-your-eyes-red turd into the water I’m standing THEIR THREE in. GUESTS before he WILL makes BE ABLE any TO more SAMPLE eye contact CLASSIC with FRENCH me. Bless

Ssssplat!

DISHES FROM SWEET him, he CREPES knows AND the score SAVORY here. GALETTES, Knows my TO horror.

FRENCH ONION SOUP AND RACLETTE.

It’s so big and indomitable that it’s heating the water Fair to say I’m not all that chuffed about this. And I

around me. The turd, I mean, not the elephant. I mean don’t mind letting it show. A bit of retching. Bit of

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY ANSWER

I say turd, in reality it’s an apparently never ending internal ralphing. Not having the greatest of times here,

THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

series of splatatatatatting turds plopping out of him, it must be said.

just inches above my head in rapid succession, WHO each ARE one THE This NEW wee OWNERS elephant OF handler, THE PEAR a Thai TREE dude, CREPERIE? smiles and

exquisitely spherical, about the size of a bowling ball chuckles to me a little bit, encouraging me, I guess,

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

and bobbing up and down in the ever murkier to water competitions@jaimemagazine.com all to view this process with Pear as Tree somewhat Creperie of Competition a cheery as event.

the email subject. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, December 27, and

around me.

Y’know, a happy-go-lucky moment in this crazy life? A

our winners will be notified by Thursday, January 2. The prize must be booked in

The elephant handler immediately grabs a turd advance in each and taken joy before among March the 31, 2020. elephant Bookings crap, subject kinda to availability. situation! Not

valid for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.

hand and ferociously launches each one over a hedge I respond by being a little sick in my mouth.

into what I presume is an adjacent property - pity the

poor neighbour doing a bit of sunbathing in there.

jaimemagazine.com for further details.

Seeing this, the elephant looks at me a bit indignant

now. A bit, “The hell is wrong with you, sour puss?!

38


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Can a fellow mammal not take a colossal dump without

being judged by a pale naked white man?!”

I just smise at him sarcastically, wondering if that

calibre of nuance will be discernible to a creature that

treats its wash times like a dirty protest.

The elephant responds by cheerfully brushing his big

trunk along my torso then sucks up about a gallon of

water and trumpet blasts it right into my face. I feel

cheap. Used. His trunk has the texture of really coarse

sandpaper with big tufts of hair sticking out of it.

There is something of the 1970s Rodox about it.

Welcome to Thailand and my lamentable entry into the

‘dad of the year’ contest.

We’re here on holidays. My wife and daughter and I all

enjoying the vacation of a lifetime together - adventures

galore, japes, wheezes and capers at every turn amid the

scalding heat and shiny, happy Thai people.

The crystal clear arrangement is that I will carry out

any and every adventure, jape or wheeze suggested

by my daughter, however outlandish, “because you

promised, Daddy!”

ELEPHANT BATHING WASN’T

QUITE THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME

EXPERIENCE IT WAS CRACKED

UP TO BE

And I shall do so with a smile on my face. For this, it

seems, is what it takes to be father of the year. We’ve

already been through the hellacious bush tucker trial

stuff in Bangkok but my daughter (Supergirl, age nine)

wants to crank up the once-in-a-lifetime stuff with this

opportunity to bathe baby elephants in this elephant

sanctuary that’s positioned here, somewhere between

the back of beyond and the set of Platoon.

(Jesus, I just had a thought about the kinds of depraved

wickedness old Charlie Sheen might get up to if he was

naked but for his Speedos in this murky swamp with the

soaking wet elephant - boggles the mind!)

But there’s no riding the animals or locals here (sorry,

Charles) as this is a sanctuary to ensure they have a

better life, so we only get the pleasure of walking with

and bathing with these animals - strictly no riding or

teabagging with the elephants or whatever other fun

frolics that non-family tourists come to Thailand for.

Anyway, here we are in the mush giving this beast a

scrub with mud from the bottom of the wee pond. I

know, I know, I realise now that it’s not mud, thanks for

your interjection, dear reader.

My wife and Supergirl are in raptures

with all this though, believing this

creature is the most wondrously beautiful

thing and lovingly scrubbing the “mud”

from the bottom of the swamp into his

crevassed flesh while he shrieks and

trumpets with joy.

To be fair to the elephant, it’s not as if it

asked me to jump in beside him and give

him a bath. It’s not as if it started its day

off lusting after this scene or anything

remotely like it. But here we are, bathing,

dumping and bobbing together.

And in my bid to be a brilliant dad I

realise I have to be seen to be enjoying

myself and making a bit of an effort

here. So I do. I am. Look at me smile,

look at me smise.

I’m scooping up this mud/turd from the

bottom and scouring it into old Bumbo

here and he’s showing his appreciation by

trumpeting another gallon of murk into

my face.

Supergirl shrieks with laughter at this

and I smise. I smise and smise and smise.

And I scrub and I scrub and I scrub and

I know the true meaning of repugnance

and what it is to try to be the father of

the year.

And the very, very, very worst thing is

that I think the elephant understands

all of this. He really does. But continues

anyway. Which might be the very

definition of appalling.

40


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P E O P L E

Star visit is pure gold

POP STAR TONY HADLEY WOWED FANS ON A VISIT TO ST GILES HOSPICE

FOLLOWING A FUNDRAISING CONCERT IN LICHFIELD

TONY HADLEY LIVE AT LICHFIELD

CATHEDRAL. ARTWORK BY PETER

WALKER - SCULPTOR. PHOTO BY PETER

BLANCHFLOWER

Pop star and former Spandau Ballet frontman Tony

Hadley created a glow at St Giles Hospice when he

visited the Whittington site to hand over a £4,000

donation from the proceeds of his Lichfield Festival

charity concert at Lichfield Cathedral.

Tony said: “St Giles Hospice is an amazing place - I

didn’t know what to expect but I was bowled over.

It’s an incredible and beautiful building and the

staff have been so fantastic - their friendliness shines

through.

“St Giles is a really happy place with a beautiful

atmosphere and it’s been a real privilege to come

along and meet everybody. I’m full of admiration for

the work that they do.”

Backed by his six-piece band, Tony delighted fans

with a selection of his classic hits, songs from his new

album and a sprinkling of festive favourites, at Tony

Hadley Live last month. The concert was presented

by Lichfield Festival and Lichfield Cathedral,

sponsored by City Jewellers of Lichfield, in aid of

Lichfield Festival and St Giles Hospice.

Tony, who is a patron of Lichfield Festival, visited the

hospice with Festival chair Helen Wiser and

Festival director Damian Thantrey the following day

to hand over the cheque, and they were given a

tour of the facilities by St Giles Group Chief

Executive Emma Hodges.

Emma said: “Tony made such a difference at St Giles

during his visit. He was so generous with his time,

chatting by the bedside of three patients, who are big

fans.

“He struggled to leave our Day Hospice having been

given a huge hug by one of our ladies and chatting to

everyone there. He was clearly moved meeting a lady

who following the death of her husband and support

for her children from our Phoenix service had set up

a family support group.

“We’d like to thank Tony and everyone at Lichfield

Festival for their support and generosity which will

help to fund the £10m St Giles spends each year

caring for local people and their families.”

Helen Wiser, chair of Lichfield Festival, said: “Tony

is a fantastic Festival patron and we’re hugely

grateful for his support. Not only were we treated to

a fabulously entertaining and memorable evening

in the cathedral but his generosity through this

fundraising concert is a major boost for 2020.

“He really has become part of the whole Festival

community and it’s always a pleasure to see him in

the audience at summer Festival events.”

The 2020 Lichfield Festival will take place from July

9 to 19. See www.lichfieldfestival.org for details. For

more information about St Giles Hospice and the

care it provides, visit www.stgileshospice.com

42


LO CA L A R E A

Full of Christmas Cheer

CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY FOR GOOD CAUSES ACROSS THE DISTRICT AFTER WE LOVE LICHFIELD

DONATED THOUSANDS OF POUNDS IN GRANTS AT ITS SPECIAL FESTIVE PRESENTATION

We Love Lichfield, which supports voluntary groups

making a difference in our communities, invited

recipients, civic leaders, businesses and other guests

to a special event in Lichfield’s George Hotel, where

13 voluntary groups received grants in front of a

packed room of supporters.

The Lichfield Friary School Choir Shout it Out got

the audience into the festive spirit with some rousing

carol singing to kick off proceedings.

We Love Lichfield patron Simon Price started the

presentation by thanking the fund’s advisors. He

said: “I stand up here and talk to you about the

fund but there are lots of other people who work in

their own time to make We Love Lichfield work for

our community. Please applaud the team of Terry

Turner, John Heeler, Carrie Jahn, Susan Bamford,

Tim Matthews, Chris Spruce, Adrian Viles, Tim

Munton and Robert Yardley. Specific thanks go

Mark Santy of the George Hotel for hosting, Julian

Fisher for organising this event and I also welcome

new advisors including Keith Eagland, Joanna

Churton and Kath Jukes.”

The We Love Lichfield Fund has given away grants

now on average every 10 days since it started,

and Simon Price invited all the organisations

who were there to receive grants to talk about

themselves and their contribution to the district.

Organisations receiving grants included: City of

Lichfield Friends, King George V Memorial Scouts

and Guides, Kendall and Wall Charitable Trust,

Friends 2 Friends, The Lichfield Trishaw Project,

GRANT RECIPIENTS AND

SUPPORTERS OF WE LOVE

LICHFIELD

RICHARD WINTERTON WITH WE LOVE

LICHFIELD PATRON SIMON PRICE

Diocesan Digest Sound Magazine of Lichfield

Cathedral, Clifton Campville Village Hall, Midlands

Soccer Academy, Lichfield and District Talking

News, Lichfield Re:Cycle, Cogs Prepares 4 Life,

Curborough Community Association and Lichfield

Society of Arts.

The finale of the presentation was a surprise

appearance by actor Su Pollard to present a brandnew

award – The We Love Lichfield Business

Community Champion. Created to celebrate

businesses who support the fund through donations

and publicity, the inaugural award went to Richard

Winterton of Richard Winterton Auctioneers, who

have so far raised more than £5,000.

Richard said: “The We Love Lichfield Christmas

giveaway is always an inspiring event which

highlights such a diverse range of stories from groups

across our district. I feel passionately

about the fund and its continuous work

to help and support so many wonderful

local charities and volunteers. It is

already a pleasure and a privilege to

be involved so to be named We Love

Lichfield fundraising champion 2019 is

the absolute icing on the cake – as well

as a huge surprise!”

We Love Lichfield is a local fund that

provides small grants to a wide range

of projects based in Lichfield District.

For more details and to make a

donation to the fund, please visit

www.welovelichfield.com

43


FA S H I O N

Oh faux sure!

IT’S TIME TO COSY UP IN THIS SEASON’S PLUSHEST NUMBERS AS FAUX FUR TAKES OVER

AS THE TOUCHY-FEELY FABRIC OF CHOICE FOR WINTER, SAYS AMY NORBURY

AS the mercury continues its steady decline into the

frosty depths of winter proper, our wardrobes need to

be properly equipped with a fashion arsenal suitable

for dealing with chillier climes.

While snuggly knits and layer upon layer is always

going to be the basis of seasonal dressing, where do

you turn when you need to up the glam factor? Well,

where better than that ultimate in luxury fabrics:

fur. And for 2020, that of course means it’s got to be

faux.

Faux fur is more than just a trend – its prominence

on the runways is symptomatic of the fashion world’s

growing environmental and ethical awareness.

What’s more, the shows at autumn/winter 2019-

2020 proved its versatility, with kitschy glam the

order of the day at Moschino, compared to a more

natural, arty look at Stella McCartney.

We’ve already seen the impact of faux fur on

outerwear trend for winter, where luxurious teddy

coats perfectly embody the overriding mantra of ‘go

big or go home’. While trusty parkas and padded

puffas are undeniably great options for winter

outerwear, if you want to feel like a million dollars

nothing beats a plush faux fur number.

From full-on drama and the ultimate in wrappedup

chic, a longline number is top of the list, while

shorter faux fur jackets and capes are perfect for

bringing a sophisticated vibe to casual cool when

styled with your favourite denim and trainers for offduty

glamour.

These coats are so cosy you may even find yourself

draped in one while sat on the sofa waiting for the

heating to kick in!

And it doesn’t stop there; faux fur is being used to

add a dash of sartorial je ne sais quois to just about

everything in your winter wardrobe. Fur trim on

gloves? Check. Furry pom poms on hats and scarves?

Check. Fur-lined boots? Check! It’s a veritable feast

of fluffy fashion out there.

When it comes to colour paintbox brights are having

a fashion moment, so if you really want to stand out

from the crowd then invest in pillarbox red or azure

blue hues. But if you’re looking for something classic

which will last for seasons to come, a more muted

and neutral palette offers longevity of investment -

after all, sometimes it’s better to let the faux fur do

the talking.

BROWN SHORT FAUX FUR JACKET, £50,

DOROTHY PERKINS

44


£60

BROWN SUEDETTE FAUX FUR

TRIM MITTENS, RIVER ISLAND

£15

£79

GLACIER BAY STRAP BOOTS,

JOE BROWN’S

PURPLE MINK FAUX FUR COAT,

WALLIS

£90

ELSIE FAUX FUR LINED

TRAINERS, DUNE LONDON

£59

£35

STAR BY JULIEN MACDONALD

SHORT FAUX FUR COAT,

DEBENHAMS

£59

CAMILLA GLOVES IN

LEOPARD, HOBBS

LOVELLA POM POM SCARF,

REGATTA

GREEN FAUX FUR

COAT £95, AND

SPLICED RED FUR

SCARF, £42,

OLIVER BONAS

NAVY MONGOLIAN

BOMBER JACKET, £45,

DOROTHY PERKINS

45


B E AU T Y

A beautiful start to 2020

AFTER A NEVER-ENDING ROUND OF OVER-INDULGENCE AND ONE TOO MANY GLASSES

OF BUBBLY IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT THE STRESSES AND STRAINS OF THE FESTIVE PERIOD

START TO SHOW ON OUR SKIN. RECAPTURE YOUR RADIANCE THIS JANUARY WITH THESE

RESOLUTIONS FROM THE BEAUTY TEAM AT HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM

I WILL REMOVE MY MAKEUP

EVERY DAY...

Beauty’s golden rule – take

everything off at the end of every

day. Don’t be tempted to go to

bed with leftover makeup still on,

thinking you can remove it in the

morning; those clogged pores

create the ideal environment for

an overnight breakout.

PIXI’S DUAL PHASE

HYDRATING MILKY MAKEUP

REMOVER, £24 EFFECTIVELY

REMOVES WATERPROOF AND

LONGWEARING MAKEUP – IT’S

EVEN GENTLE ENOUGH FOR

THE SENSITIVE EYE AREA.

I WILL ADD A SERUM TO MY

SKINCARE REGIME...

Perfect for tackling fine lines and

dehydration, serums deliver a

potent shot of active ingredients

directly into your skin which

penetrate the epidermis to get

to work. You can even add a

few drops to your moisturiser or

foundation to calm winter skin.

HEAVEN SKINCARE’S

CLARIFYING OIL SERUM,

£55, IS DESIGNED TO HELP

HYDRATE WHILE MICROBES

IN THE OIL KILL BACTERIA

AND CONDITION YOUR

COMPLEXION TO BRING IT

BACK TO EQUILIBRIUM.

I WILL INDULGE IN A WEEKLY

MASK...

While your everyday cleansers and

moisturisers keep the surface of your

skin in good condition, blemishbusting

masks are designed to

penetrate deeper, helping draw out

impurities, remove the build-up of

dead cells and increase hydration.

LA MER’S THE BRILLIANCE

BRIGHTENING MASK, £210, IS A

GENTLE, YET POWERFUL TWO-

STEP TREATMENT TO INSTANTLY

BRIGHTEN AND SOFTEN SKIN,

MINIMISE PORES AND EVEN OUT

TONE.

I WILL FOCUS ON THOSE SIGNS

OF AGEING...

As the cold weather dries out our

skin, it’s easy to spot wrinkles and

fine lines; the ones that no amount

of makeup can hide. Opt for an

innovative anti-ageing formula that

reduces the appearance of wrinkles

while smoothing and plumping

skin.

SISLEY SISLEŸA RADIANCE ANTI-

AGING CONCENTRATE, £335,

IS PACKED WITH INNOVATIVE

VITAMINS AND ESSENTIAL OILS

TO RESTORE RADIANCE WHILE

REDUCING THE APPEARANCE OF

DARK SPOTS.

I WILL TAKE CARE OF MY EYES...

The delicate skin around your eyes can be the first to show

signs of ageing so keeping them hydrated – especially during

the colder months – is essential. Make sure you opt for a cream

designed specifically to tackle this area.

VALMONT’S RICH AND CREAMY V-LINE LIFTING EYE

CREAM, £171, SMOOTHES OUT WRINKLES AND LIFTS THE

EYE CONTOUR WHILE REDUCING THE APPEARANCE OF

PUFFINESS.

ALL PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE BEAUTY HALL AT HARVEY NICHOLS

BIRMINGHAM, THE MAILBOX, AND ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

46


Weight loss wonder

H E A LT H

A REVOLUTIONARY WEIGHT LOSS CAMPAIGN WHICH STARTS WITH A ‘BALLOON

PILL’ AND A GLASS OF WATER IS NOW AVAILABLE TO PATIENTS IN THE MIDLANDS

A slimming ‘balloon pill’ that can be taken with a

glass of water has been introduced to Spire Little

Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.

The Elipse ‘balloon pill’, developed by Allurion,

works by filling the stomach and making the patient

feel full, enabling them to cut back on the amount

they eat. Patients could lose between 10-15 kgs

over just 16 weeks.

But unlike other weight loss treatments available -

such as the gastric band, sleeve or bypass - there

is no need for surgery, general anaesthetic or an

overnight stay in hospital. In fact, a 30 minute

appointment is all that is required before the patient

can leave the hospital and begin their weight

loss journey.

A small capsule that contains the balloon is attached

to a thin tube and swallowed. Once it reaches

the stomach an X-ray is taken to check it is in the

correct position before the balloon is released and

filled with up to 550ml of saline.

Designed to deflate after four months before passing

naturally through the body the Elipse balloon is

aimed at people with a BMI of 27 or above in order

to help them ‘kick-start’ their dieting regime.

Patients will be provided with a tailored support

package, including nutritional coaching at Little

Aston by both a weight loss consultant and specialist

dietician, and will receive a bluetooth scale

and app to track their progress.

Consultant General Surgeon Mr Amir Khan

explained: “It isn’t a ‘miracle pill’; it still needs the

patient to eat less and choose their foods more wisely

but it is a great aid to those who are serious about

weight loss.

“In just a 30 minute appointment, patients can be

ready to lose weight by using the feeling of

fullness provided by the balloon to help them change

their eating habits.” said Mr Khan.

Spire Little Aston Hospital is offering free mini

consultations on weight loss treatments on

Thursday, January 30, from 4.30-7pm. To book your

free place, call 0121 514 7034 or visit

www.spirelittleaston.com

THE REVOLUTIONARY ELIPSE BALLOON

PILL, AVAILABLE AT SPIRE LITTLE ASTON,

CAN HELP KICKSTART YOUR WEIGHT

LOSS REGIME

47


I N T H E N E W S

Designs on interior style

A YOUNG STAFFORDSHIRE INTERIOR DESIGNER IS HOPING TO MAKE HER MARK

ON THE DESIGN WORLD FOLLOWING THE LAUNCH OF HER OWN BUSINESS

Amy Jukes is the creative force behind Amy

Leigh Interior, an interior design service based in

Staffordshire and offering professional design services

nationwide.

Amy says: “I always knew I wanted a creative career.

I have a natural flair for design and have always loved

drawing and designing from a young age.”

After leaving school Amy studied interior design

before going on to work for other designers, gaining

experience in the industry for both residential and

commercial design.

“I decided to set out for a new venture at the age

of 22, an have d set up on my own in this tough

industry.”

​Amy Leigh Interiors offers all aspects of interior

design including concept design and mood boards,

space planning and sourcing and supplying

everything from furniture and wallcoverings to soft

furnishings and accessories.

Amy adds: “I thought what better time to set up

on my own than while I’m young and have no

commitments, so I can throw all my time and energy

into making it work.

“At Amy Leigh Interiors our aim is to exceed your

expectations by offering a service that is tailor

made for you. We work closely with our clients and

suppliers to ensure your personal design brief is

fulfilled. We take the stress out of your project so

you can fully appreciate the transformation of your

space.”

AMY JUKES IS THE CREATIVE

FORCE BEHIND AMY LEIGH

INTERIORS

For more details call Amy on 07960 860621,

visit www.amyleighinteriors.co.uk or email

amyleighinteriors@gmail.com

48


M OTO R S

Life in the fast lane

THIS MONTH J’AIME’S RESIDENT RACING DRIVER AND MOTORS EXPERT MARTIN

PLOWMAN TAKES A LOOK AT AN EXCITING NEW VENTURE FOR ASTON MARTIN

THE AMB 001 BY ASTON MARTIN

AND BROUGH SUPERIOR

This is not an April Fool’s Joke… Aston Martin is

building a motorbike!

At the Milan Auto Show in November, Aston Martin

Lagonda announced their shock decision to build

their very first motorcycle. In collaboration with

legendary bike manufacturer Brough Superior, the

bike will be aptly called the AMB 001.

I confess, I am not much of a bike fanatic. I

appreciate the looks of a good superbike, but I was

blown away by the AMB 001. It’s not so much a

motorbike, it’s a freaking work of art! It belongs in a

museum, not to be ridden by wealthy mid-life crisis

suffering guys.

Brough Superior may not be widely known as a

company, but their legacy goes all the way back

to 1919 with their founder George Brough, who

was a pioneer of his generation. Brough Superior

bikes were made famous by real-life hero writer,

spy, adventurer and British officer, Thomas Edward

Lawrence, known as Lawrence of Arabia. The

film of the same name became one of the greatest

ever films in Hollywood history, which helped to

immortalise the Brough Superior brand.

As a collaboration, it does not get any more luxurious

or sexier than this. This bike is the equivalent of a

love child between Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

49


The AMB 001 is dripping with modern supercar

technology and expensive superalloy materials that

offer incredible strength and ridiculously low weight.

Taking their inspiration from the new series of

mid-engined Aston Martin cars, the Aston Martin

Design team worked on clear principles of form and

function, where design and engineering had to work

together, resulting in a motorcycle that is a highperformance

work of art.

The AMB 001 boasts a turbo-charged output of 134

kW (180 hp) at just 180 kilos dry weight. This turbo

configuration brings an incredible engine response

with huge torque in a wide range of engine rpm.

“This is what we believe a cutting-edge motorcycle

should be and we are very proud to see the Aston

Martin wings on a motorcycle for the first time,” said

Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief

Creative Officer, Marek Reichman.

“In addition to applying the skills we have developed

for cars such as the groundbreaking Aston Martin

Valkyrie, we have also been able to bring our special

expertise in the traditional craft techniques to this

project. The finished product is a truly beautiful

motorcycle; a design and engineering work of art.”

With only 100 of these bikes going into production

and at a cost of around £100,000, it’s safe to say that

I will not be one of the lucky owners. I prefer my

Mondeo anyway…

EACH OF THE 100 BIKES IS

INDIVIDUALLY NUMBERED

50


Free Valuations

at our Head Office in Fradley

Every Tuesday 9.30am - 4pm

We’re ready to help you find that hidden

gem, be it jewellery, watches, silver,

bronzes, glass, ceramics, antiques,

a work of art, stamps, an old toy,

heirlooms and collectables…...

THE LICHFIELD AUCTION CENTRE

WOOD END LANE, FRADLEY PARK, WS13 8NF

01543 251081

www.richardwinterton.co.uk

office@richardwinterton.co.uk

Come and meet our team

Medals & Militaria

Technology

FREE VALUATIONS

Sutton Coldfield

at The Trinity Centre

Church Hill, Mill Street, B72 1TF

Meet Richard and his team every

Monday between 2.00pm - 3.30pm

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

The Hub at St Mary’s

Market Square, Lichfield City Centre, WS13 6LG

Mondays 9.30am-12.30pm (except bank holidays)


Our Winter Sale offers great savings across

the entire range – create something fabulous.

Ripples Birmingham at Cookes Furniture, 28 Goosemoor Lane,

Erdington, Birmingham B23 5PN Tel: 0121 2505056

Ripples Solihull, 1693-1695 High Street, Knowle, Solihull B93 0LN Tel: 01564 730223

ripplesbathrooms.com

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