M A R C H 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
13 PAGES OF WEDDING
ORIGINAL MOD GIRL ON SIX
DECADES OF STYLE
A spring interiors refresh
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Welcome to J’AIME
With spring in the air it’s the start of wedding
season, and after Christmas, Valentine’s and
Leap Year proposals there are plenty of couples
just starting to plan their big days. Our wedding
special features a whole host of inspiration,
advice and ideas to help you on your way to the
wedding of your dreams. Our featured styled
shoot, courtesy of The Moat House at Acton
Trussell, is particularly gorgeous.
March also means Mother’s Day, and as well
as our gift guide we’ve got an extra special
competition courtesy of Allen Brown Jewellery
at Heart of the Country, where one lucky reader
will win a beautiful heart necklace for their mum
to cherish. If you think your mum deserves to
win this fantastic treat, then get entering!
Elsewhere, we chat to incredible award-winning
Sutton Coldfield fashion designer Gill Evans -
better known as the Original Mod Girl - about
her six decades in the fashion industry and being
Birmingham’s answer to Mary Quant, while
jewellery expert Heather Callaway takes a look
at some breath-taking pieces coming up for
auction at Richard Winterton Auctioneers this
month and chooses her personal favourites - and
what girl wouldn’t want the stunning 5-plus carat
diamond sparkling away on her finger?
Add in all of your usual favourites from our
expert columnists, who bring you the lowdown
on all things food and drink, interiors, health,
motoring and more each month, and we hope
you’ll agree it’s another packed issue we have for
you. So put your feet up and enjoy!
EDITOR: AMY NORBURY
ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY
07388 335 931
CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN, CLARE
BUCKLEY, LISA PIDDINGTON, THE GINTLEMAN,
PREET ANAND, RAUL ROMERO, JILL HARTLEY,
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 Fashion designer Gill Evans - We chat to the
original Mod Girl and Birmingham’s very own
Mary Quant about her six decades in fashion
10 Property - Property of the month
12 Interiors - Totally tropical
17 Interiors - Sutton Coldfield interior designer
Preet Anand answers your design dilemmas
18 Mother’s Day - Thoughtful tokens for Mum
20 Competition - Won a Mother’s Day treat courtesy
of Allen Brown Jewellery
22 Richard Winterton - Exciting jewellery lots
coming up for auction
24 Food and drink - Reviewing The Red Lion at
26 Food and drink - The Gintleman gets ready for
30 Weddings - An inspirational styled shoot from The
Moat House at Acton Trussell
34 Weddings - Dress shopping advice from Nero e
38 Weddings - Supplier news
39 Weddings - Dream destinations for your nuptials
from RB Collection
43 What’s On - The best events from around the
44 What’s On - Goings-on in Birmingham this
46 Fashion - True blue
48 Beauty - Beauty boosters from Harvey Nichols
49 Competition - Win a microblading or semi
permanent brow treatment from Cathy Brown
50 Health - Advice from Lichfield personal trainer
52 In the news - Watches of Sutton; and a masked
ball for charity
54 Motors - Martin Plowman checks out the Aston
F E AT U R E
SUTTON COLDFIELD FASHION DESIGNER AND ORIGINAL MOD GIRL GILL EVANS
CATLING CHATS TO AMY NORBURY ABOUT HER SIX DECADES AS A PIONEER OF STYLE
She was the Original Mod Girl; a pioneer of the
classic 60s style which became synonymous with
Mod culture all around the world. And now, after
more than six decades in the fashion industry, Sutton
Coldfield fashion designer Gill Evans Catling is
proving she’s as relevant as ever.
Last year, the vivacious 75-year-old was named
Birmingham Fashion Designer of the Year at the
Corporate LiveWire Prestige Awards - an honour
which cements her status as Birmingham’s very own
“It was a fantastic accolade, and lovely recognition
for all the years I’ve been doing this,” said Gill when
we caught up at her Little Aston home, which houses
the studio for her ModTogs and Gill Evan Designs
Fantastic as the accolade may be, it was one Gill very
nearly missed out on; she ignored initial emails telling
her she’d been nominated and inviting her to send in
a portfolio of her work for consideration.
“Every day I look through emails for the business,
and I saw that I’d been nominated for a corporate
award back in May last year,” she explains.
“But sometimes you just don’t know if these things
AN ICONIC SHOT OF GILL
FROM THE 1960S
are real, so I ignored it.”
The awards team tried contacting Gill again, and
then again, to no avail. And it was only when Gill
and her husband Stuart decided to investigate further
that they discovered it was genuine.
“They asked for details about the business, and
I put a portfolio together of all my work over 50
years. I sent it off to them and they said it was very
interesting and they would be putting me forward to
the panel of judges,” Gill says.
Happily, Gill’s efforts paid off and she was presented
with the award at a ceremony in October, with Stuart
by her side.
Stylish and polished, Gill is a walking beacon of Mod
style and a true icon of the fashion industry. With
her trademark black bob and classic 1960s dress, she
remains as much a masterclass of the Mod look now
as she was 60 years ago.
Mod fashion was creative and innovative, bold and
brash; an antithesis to the elegant and restrained
post-war fashion of the late 1940s and 50s, as
exemplified by Dior’s New Look. The 1960s ushered
in an attitude of ‘anything goes’ and the shifting
politics of the day were reflected in the outlandish
new fashions, with jaw-dropping hemlines and
colorful prints making a serious statement.
Mostly, the Mod look was iconically British; where
the UK led, the rest of the world followed.
And Gill was at the forefront of the revolution, one
of the original creators of the modernist style.
Fashion has been a huge part of Gill’s life for as long
as she can remember. Her mum was a designer and
dressmaker, while her father ran a sewing machine
shop in Birmingham, as had generations of the
family before him. A Singer sewing machine took
pride of place on Gill’s bedroom floor.
After winning a scholarship to art school in Moseley
in 1957 at the tender age of 13, Gill undertook a
three year course where she studied Dress Design
and Dressmaking, Pattern Cutting and the History
“In late 1958 I started to become very interested in
the Italian and French style of clothing, which was
very simplistic and very stylish,” she says. “I started
doing some designs, and by 1960 when I was leaving
art school I’d put together this look, which I called
the Continental look, and I put together a collection
of clothes which I designed and made up for myself.”
Long before Twiggy broke onto the scene, Gill had
already created the first mini dress in 1959. So short
that stockings were completely out of the question,
she also fashioned the first pair of tights by sewing
thick black stockings to matching black knickers, a
throwback to the doublet and hose of Elizabethan
times and a creation she dubbed “stockings-onknickers”.
“I started wearing my designs and people used to
think I was really odd, because I was wearing clothes
that nobody else was wearing. People used to stop
my mum in the street and ask if I was all right in the
GILL COLLECTING HER
DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
AWARD WITH HUSBAND
SOME OF GILL’S ORIGINAL
head,” laughs Gill.
“But I found it very exciting when people stared at
my outfits and passed remarks about them, even if
they weren’t complimentary. I wasn’t bothered as I’ve
always been very confident and believed my ideas
Shortly after leaving art school Gill met her first
husband, Del Evans, hanging around in the jazz
clubs and cafes of Birmingham, brought together by
their mutual obsession with style and music.
“Del was into that beatnik art student look, he was
very stylish,” says Gill. “He’d come up with designs
for suits and I’d sketch them out so he could have
them made-to-measure in tailor’s shops.
“For my own clothes, I’d always be cutting out things
and making them up on the Singer hand machine.
We became known as The Continentalists, before
the term ‘Mod’ was ever coined, because we were
interested in French and Italian styling.”
It wasn’t long before Gill built up a following for
her designs, first advertising with a card in the
local newsagents, before designing and selling to
“On a Saturday Del and I would set out with bags
of clothes and just go and sell them all,” says Gill. “I
had regular customers who owned these boutiques,
and they’d often say, well we sold out everything so
come back next week with some new designs.”
After teaching herself to crochet, Gill started a line
of crochet dresses which proved to be immensely
“I couldn’t keep up the pace, I was forever
crocheting!” laughs Gill. “The owner of one
boutique I made stuff for had been a croupier at a
casino in Edgbaston and she knew singers in groups,
so she used to get me orders from them.
“I developed the crochet business; I started with
berets, which I still do now, and I used to sell them
for a pound. I could sell loads of them, and back in
the early Sixties a pound was a lot of money!
“I came up with other ideas, like crochet halterneck
jumpsuits with bootcut legs, and when hotpants
became a thing I did them, and these little tops with
fringes that hung off the arms. I was forever coming
up with new designs and I just kept making and
selling to lots of shops.”
Suddenly, the designs which had seemed so
outlandish just a few short years previously had
become the defining styles of the decade.
Gill and Del married in 1966, and continued their
reign as pioneers of style throughout the Sixties and
beyond. As one of the foremost experts on Mod style,
Gill has featured in numerous books on the subject,
notably Sawdust Caesars by Tony Beesley, which
chronicles Mod subculture throughout the decades
and features an iconic shot of Gill in one of her
original designs on the back cover.
After diversifying her design skills over the years
into bridalwear and prom designs - Gill ran her own
bridal and promwear shop, Gill Evans Designs, in
Four Oaks for many years - about ten years ago,
she decided to set up her ModTogs label, bringing
back her original Mod designs and creating new
collections based around sketches from the Sixties.
“There’s still a huge market for original Sixties style,”
says Gill. “ModTogs’ core look is simply, classic
styling - the original Mod style.”
As immersed in Mod culture as ever, Gill is a firm
fixture at prestigious Mod events around the country
and beyond, and has a following which spans the
globe. After the death of her first husband - and
Mod inspiration - Del, Gill even found love again
through the Mod scene, meeting Stuart at a big Mod
weekender in Brighton in 2014.
A second-generation revivalist Mod, 55-year-old
Stuart was into the more underground aspects of
the scene so was unaware of Gill’s influence as the
Original Mod Girl - until he spotted her on a TV
programme about Mods.
Bumping into her at the Brighton weekender
he introduced himself, and the couple hit it off
immediately, with Stuart making the journey from
his hometown of Ipswich to visit Gill in the Midlands
before making the move permanently.
The couple tied the knot in 2015 - Gill, naturally,
wearing one of her own designs - and now Stuart
helps Gill with the ModTogs business, making his
own line of accessories, which he ships around the
As a proud alumnus of Moseley Art School - now
refurbished and reopened in 2018 as the Moseley
Community Hub following its closure in the 1970s
- Gill’s alumni board telling her story has pride
of place among those of other celebrated former
students, including Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter
Christine McVie, advertising guru Trevor Beattie
and artist and IKON Gallery founder David
And even after six decades in the industry, Gill has
no plans to retire.
“I just love it; the style, the events, the friendships - I
love it all,” she says. “I think I have survived in the
industry because what I do is a niche thing, and
people still love the look.
“I’m proud to be the Original Mod Girl, and part of
Mod culture history.”
For more information about Gill’s designs, find
ModTogs on Facebook and Instagram.
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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 PERIOD PROPERTY COMPLETE
WITH SWIMMING POOL IN ONE OF SUTTON COLDFIELD’S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER LOCATIONS
Wyndcroft, Four Oaks Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield: £1,950,000
On the market with Knight Frank: 0121
THE AGENT SAYS: Wyndcroft is a handsome 1930s
period property of just under 6,000 sq ft set in Four Oaks
with beautiful gardens and privacy set behind electronic
gates. The property has been lovingly refurbished and
extended by the current owners to give a fabulous flow to the
The entrance doorway is set in a lovely arched stone mullion
porch and opens to a bright reception hall. The eye is drawn
to the French doors, which provide views of the rear garden.
Stairs rise to the first floor galleried landing area, which
provides access to all six/seven bedrooms, and doorways
radiate off to the kitchen/sitting room and drawing room.
The kitchen/breakfast/sitting room is large with French
doors to the sitting room flooding the space with light and
providing wonderful views to the rear garden. The kitchen
is very well fitted with a range of wall and floor mounted
wooden finish cupboards including a large, floor to ceiling
larder style cupboard. There is a good range of integrated
appliances including a Rangemaster cooker with induction
hob. The work surfaces are pale quartz adding a splash of
The accommodation flows onwards to the hallway, which
provides access to the dining room, family room and cellar.
There is a step down to the formal dining room at the front
of the house and bifold doors providing plenty of light. The
large family room is light and bright with two sets of bi-fold
doors opening up to the rear gardens.
Completing the ground floor accommodation is the luxurious
drawing room. Left off the reception hallway this fabulous
space has the benefit of a large stone fireplace with in set log
burning stove, perfect for those cooler winter evenings. This
is a light room with its dual aspect and French doors to the
front sheltered loggia.
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I N T E R I O R S
AS we move into spring, we’re seeing a celebration of
nature creeping into interior style. And with storms raging
on the home front, perhaps it’s not surprising that the most
trending decor motifs are reminiscent of far-flung shores
and exotic getaways.
This season’s favourite iteration sees a more sophisticated
take on tropical favourites. From muted tropical hues to
stylish rattan furniture, this trend is an update from the
brighter tropical trends we have seen over the past few
years. Injecting calm energy and modern vibes, it’s an
ideal way to refresh your home for spring 2020.
Pastel greens and yellows, and pale peach and coral
tones take the place of the neon bright hues which have
formerly been the hallmarks of the tropical trend, while
bold prints are replaced by quieter watercolour styles.
Pineapples and palm trees are still strong design points,
albeit in a less gaudy way than previously seen, while
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Preet on interiors
I N T E R I O R S
SUTTON COLDFIELD INTERIOR DESIGNER PREET ANAND, OF MOOD INTERIORS,
TACKLES SOME NEW DESIGN DILEMMAS FOR SPRING
Spring into action! Hello people, the dark wintery
mornings and early evenings are coming to a close as
we openly welcome the clocks going forward and new
season trends blooming into our high streets.
The interior design industry is buzzing with fresh
ideas, one of which is the latest bathroom interior
trends for 2020. Yes, the somewhat underrated room
of the house, which often becomes our destination for
sanctuary. Whether, its calm or energising opting for
bold through colours, tiles or taps is the way forward.
Think terrazzo, black and brass, supersize mirrors or
blush tones. The bathroom is taking centre stage, and
isn’t looking likely to be subtle about it.
I don’t have anywhere to store my things,
and I find my space is so cluttered. How can I
make the most from my room?
Address your mess! Yes, that’s right clutter is looking
to make a comeback - luckily for you! Now there’s
method in the madness when it comes to displaying
your things, to avoid them looking unruly. Consider
open shelving, where you organise your books to
add colour to your space, or opt for low shelving to
add accessories to the top and inside. Ottomans with
storage units, which double up as an extra seat, or
even open shelving to act as a room divide between
two spaces, which happens to have your collection of
snow globes strategically placed. Don’t be shy with
storage solutions; just ensure what and how you’re
displaying is considered.
I love black, but my partner is scared I will
darken the room. He isn’t keen but I think it’s
classic. How can we work this out?
Compromise is a key to any relationship. Strongly
applied with interior decision making too; black
is a dominant colour, but done correctly can add
big impact and create a lasting impression. For
compromise, consider adding black accessories,
a large piece of furniture in black or even black
trimmings to soft furnishings. In order to have a black
and white scheme, it doesn’t mean the walls need to
be black. Balance the black with the secondary colour
and hopefully this will help create the scheme you’re
both looking for.
I am designing a bedroom for my three-yearold
and have seen a very busy wallpaper
which I love. It’s full of colourful animals but
what colour do I paint the other walls? Would
bright yellow be too much with a busy paper?
I feel rooms need only a few focal points in order
to make them still the focus of a space. It is a little
difficult without seeing the paper, but I think if the
paper is already packed with pattern and colour, you
may want to consider a more subtle wall colour in
order to ensure nothing is taking over the paper. Or
have you considered just wallpapering all the walls?
Send your questions on interiors to
firstname.lastname@example.org and you might
find Preet answering your dilemma in
next month’s issue.
SPONSORED BY MOOD INTERIORS
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G I F T G U I D E
Make time for Mum
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR WHERE WE CELEBRATE OUR MUMS AND WHAT THEY DO FOR US ALL
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For more details call 01543 481 948 or visit
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J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH ALLEN
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• 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.
Based in the Jewellery Quarter we buy and sell most prestigious watch brands including
Rolex, Breitling, Omega, TAG Heuer, Cartier, Panerai, IWC and look forward to meeting
you for a pre-arranged appointment to view the watch of your choice.
All of our watches are meticulously prepared by an experienced watchmaker and come
with either the manufacturer’s warranty, or our 12 months warranty. Additionally we offer
a 14 day money back guarantee on all online orders for your peace of mind.
WATCHES OF SUTTON LTD, BRANSTON COURT, BRANSTON STREET, BIRMINGHAM B18 6BA
ALL VISITS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
TEL: 0121 405 4055 - EMAIL: SALES@WATCHESOFSUTTON.CO.UK
F E AT U R E
JEWELLERY EXPERT HEATHER CALLAWAY TAKES A LOOK AT SOME OF THE EXEMPLARY
JEWELLERY ITEMS UP FOR SALE IN RICHARD WINTERTON AUCTIONEERS’ FINE ARTS
AND SPECIALIST SALE LATER THIS MONTH
Looking over the catalogued lots is rather
like trying to choose your most favourite
chocolate from the most delicious aweinspiring
Christmas selection box! Very
hard to choose from indeed. However,
if I had my choice and deep pockets I
would choose these three for my private
First up is an impressive large sapphire
and diamond centre piece necklet,
centring on a principle oval mixed cut blue
sapphire, double claw set, enclosed within
a double diamond border. This pendant is
accompanied by a gemstone report from
the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF).
The report states the whopping 18.04ct sapphire
THIS LADIES ROLEX
IS 18CT GOLD AND
BOASTS A MOTHER OF
PEARL DIAMOND DOT
THE CENTRE 4.46CT
A FURTHER 1.25CT OF
to be natural and ‘no indications of heating’ with a
colour ‘blue of medium strong saturation’.
Sapphires in this large size category are regarded
as rare; rarer still is the fact that this large sapphire
has had no intervention of heat treatment to induce
the mesmerising strong blue colour. Most people
are unaware that almost all sapphires are heated
at extremely high temperatures to ‘enhance’ their
colour and clarity. The beauty of this stone is entirely
natural; the only intervention has been to cut and
facet the stone to show its true splendour and beauty.
This, coupled with gemstone report from one of the
leading and most prestigious gemstone laboratories
in the world, certainly instils confidence.
The necklet has a estimated price of £30,000-
My second - a very close second - is a piece which
has adorned the hand of nearly all the female
employees here at Winterton’s! It is a stunning,
modern bespoke large diamond ring, centring on a
huge 4.46ct transitional round brilliant cut diamond,
enclosed within a micro-paved cushion diamond halo
This really is a ‘wow’ ring and sure to capture the
attention from admirers from a distance. Again, we
are proud to ensure buyers’ confidence as this ring
is accompanied by a diamond jewellery report from
AnchorCert gemstone laboratory. The report states
the centre natural diamond weight 4.46ct, colour
K, clarity SI1, as well as the smaller micro-paved
modern round brilliant cut diamonds totalling
1.25ct. That’s an astonishing total diamond weight
The ring has an estimated price of £20,000-
Thirdly, we have a quality original timepiece - a
stunning lady’s Rolex. The 18ct gold Rolex Oyster
Perpetual Pearlmaster, mother of pearl diamond dot
dial, and diamond bezel and signature Pearlmaster
bracelet exemplifies a delicate balance of elegance
and style. Model number 80318, serial number
A658334. Circa 1999. Together with the original
box, papers, red silk handkerchief and red leather
wallet, it is a beautiful watch in pristine condition.
The Rolex has an estimated price of £7,000-£9,000.
This terrific trio are among a huge selection of
jewellery and watches in Richard Winterton’s Fine
Arts and Specialist Sale in March. The two-day event
at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane,
Fradley Park, WS13 8NF, is to be held on Tuesday
and Wednesday, March 24 and 25, with a 10am start
As well as fine jewellery and watches, the auction
features silver, works of art, wine, whisky, antique
DIAMOND RING HAS
AN ESTIMATED PRICE
paintings, modern pictures, decorative design,
porcelain, glass, cabinet toys, coins, medals and fine
Viewing is on Saturday, March 21, from 9.30am-
12noon, Monday, March 23 from 10am-4pm and on
the mornings of sale from 8.30am.
For more information telephone 01543 251081,
email email@example.com or visit
NECKLET FEATURES A
RARE LARGE SAPPHIRE
AT ITS HEART
F O O D & D R I N K
WITH QUALITY FOOD AND EXEMPLARY SERVICE, THE RED LION AT NEWBOROUGH HAS
ALL THE HALLMARKS OF A GREAT DINING PUB, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS
As discerning diners, we’re always
on the lookout for quality when it
comes to eating out; whether that
be at a Michelin starred eatery, a
gastro pub or even a street food
vendor. Quality is, after all, what
keeps people coming back for
Tucked away in the picturesque
east Staffordshire village
of Newborough, The Red
Lion is a great example of a
thriving country pub - and one
of the latest acquisitions for
the company behind Sutton
Coldfield’s prestigious Moor Hall
At the helm are general managers
Gail Williams and Ryan Wheeldon, who have moved
over from the Moor Hall to take on the rather
different challenge of running a country pub, while
head chef Andrew Murkin has joined the team from
well regarded Burton restaurant The Dial.
And it’s not only a new team on board; the pub itself
underwent a substantial refurbishment last year to
give a fresh new look, creating a stylish and relaxing
bar and restaurant.
J’AIME was invited over to The Red Lion to
experience the new-look pub - and menu - first hand.
And first impressions were certainly favourable.
We were greeted by general manager Gail, who
showed us to a cosy table for two in the main
restaurant area. Chunky wooden tables and open
fires give a nicely homely feel complemented by a
modern palette of cool greys, while swathes of fairy
lights adorn the ceilings - a very pretty touch indeed.
Our drinks were swift to arrive, alongside a carafe
of water for the table, and we set about perusing the
The menu is a relatively small affair, championing
fresh, local and seasonal produce, and all meat on
offer is Red Tractor assured from
Russell’s butchers of Shenstone.
Seafood dominates the specials
board - unsurprisingly, since
seafood is a particular passion for
head chef Andrew - while there
are also daily changing pie and
To kick things off, I was torn
between the two starter specials,
with the crayfish, salmon and dill
cocktail, £6, just edging ahead of
the scallops and pea puree, £7.
It was a winning take on a
classic, with the juicy crayfish in
a rich Marie Rose sauce nicely
complemented by thick ribbons
of smoked salmon, and a couple of hunks of soft,
crusty bread to ensure everything got mopped up.
My husband opted for the beetroot and goats’ cheese
arancini with red pepper coulis and basil pesto, £6.
It was a very pretty dish, however I can’t possibly
comment on the taste since I didn’t get a look in -
I’m assured that means it was a success.
For the main event I was tempted by the sea bass
special, served with lemon and caper butter, crushed
potato, kale, spinach and parsley, £14.50, and the
signature rotisserie style chicken with homemade
coleslaw, from £6 - until I spied a parade of burgers
making their way to a neighbouring table. And so
it was The Red Lion beef burger, £13.50, with the
bacon and stilton topper - there are also cheddar and
chorizo, or spiced halloumi options.
The burger was a true behemoth; a
gloriously meaty patty adorned with
thickly sliced bacon, a generous helping
of stilton and the obligatory salad, all
sandwiched between a soft brioche
bun and topped with a wedge of pickle
for good measure. The meat itself was
wonderfully flavoursome and deliciously
juicy which made it difficult for the
brioche to contain all the component
parts but no bother, not when it tasted
as good as it did. Not an elegant dish
by any stretch of the imagination, but
certainly a most satisfying one.
The accompanying chips were
generously portioned and beautifully
crisp with a nicely fluffy interior, while
a side order of corn on the cob, £3,
was a thinly veiled attempt to offset the
calorific damage by adding in one of
my five-a-day - and a rather futile one,
slathered in garlic butter as it was.
My husband’s 8oz fillet steak, £24,
was another thing of beauty;
perfectly cooked to the requested
rare, it was richly flavoured with
a wonderful hint of chargrill,
and so tender that the knife slid
through it like butter - the real
hallmark of a good steak. As
someone who’s eaten his fair
share of steak, both good and
bad, he’s not an easy man to
impress in such matters - but
impressed he was.
The accompanying stilton sauce,
£2, was perfect for dipping the
hand-cut chips, and the rest
of the rest of the trimmings
went down a treat too; tomato,
mushroom and a sizable pile of
enormous onion rings coated in a beautifully light
and crispy batter.
The Red Lion’s portions are certainly on the
generous side, so no one would blame you if you
didn’t have room for dessert; although that would
mean missing out on classics like jam roly poly,
chocolate fudge cake and banana split. While my
husband stuck to coffee, I found the mixed berry
pavlova with raspberry sorbet, £6, was the perfect
way to end the meal; light, refreshing and the perfect
balance of sweet and tart.
With a crowd-pleasing menu offering quality food,
plus a seriously warm welcome and exemplary
service, The Red Lion is everything a good village
pub should be.
F O O D & D R I N K
Spring in your step
THE GINTLEMAN, THE MIDLANDS’ LEADING RACONTEUR AT HOUSE PARTIES AND VENUES ACROSS
BIRMINGHAM, GETS IN THE MOOD FOR SPRING WITH SOME EXCITING GIN DEVELOPMENTS
CHERRY blossoms or Sakura ( 桜 ) to give them
their Japanese name are the symbolic blooming
barometer signifying spring. A mild spring will
see them bloom in early March and they are
traditionally seen as offering hope, beauty and new
life. The trees by the Birmingham’s Ikon gallery
are a wonder, or ‘Yozakura’, when viewed at night.
Don’t expect a cherry flavour though; why not go all
out to celebrate their arrival with a Ginology Cherry
Blossom Gin Copa glass, Kokomo Cherry Blossom
Gin liqueur and Thomas Henry Cherry Blossom
tonic with fresh blossoms as garnish.
Another seasonal tradition in a sparse fruit and
citrus pantry after blood oranges say their farewell is
rhubarb. Helping to redefine the flavoured gin and
coloured drinking landscape, most gin companies
will have a rhubarb expression; however, why not
think outside the box as to how to flavour-match it
with tonic or the crowd-pleasing ginger ale/beer
or Raspberry Crabbies. For those of you wanting
a quick tuck shop treat, mix with Advocaat for an
instant rhubarb and custard. Additional flavour
matches to try are honey, rosemary, pink pepper,
TANQUERAY TEN HAVE LAUNCHED
A NEW CITRUS EXPRESSION
EXCLUSIVE TO TRAVEL RETAIL
CELEBRATE CHERRY BLOSSOM
SEASON WITH THE PRETTY GIN
COPA GLASS FROM GINOLOGY
chilli, cinnamon, apple juice and goats’ cheese.
In terms of the G&T, Bombay Sapphire have finally
joined the train journey ‘gin in a tin’ ready-to-drink
The mothers and fathers of the modern
‘ginaissance’ Martin Millers and Hendricks,
along with Tanqueray TEN, have been busy
evolving. While Millers marginalised itself
in recent years with aged whiskey style oak
aged gin statements, all round Victorianainspired
oddballs Hendricks have continued
with their own unique marketing approach,
recently launching Lunar as its latest creative
If you’re lucky enough to be passing through
global travel retail for your spring break
(and I don’t mean Cancun!) at Heathrow,
Dubai or Madrid among others, pay close
attention to the Art Deco cocktail shaker
bottle ginspired signature green branding
of the aforementioned Tanqueray TEN,
as for the first time it has a brand new
expression the Citrus Heart Edition (45.3%
ABV). Currently available as a one-litre
bottle, it features the fresh, sweet and juicy
Become a member of Moor Hall Leisure Club & Spa and
you’ll enjoy the best in fitness and relaxation facilities
coupled with comprehensive support and guidance from
friendly, professional and well-trained staff.
NO JOINING FEES MEMBERSHIP STARTS AT £45 A MONTH
FRIENDLY CLUB FOR ALL AGES & FITNESS LEVELS
INDOOR POOL SAUNA, STEAM ROOM & SPA BATH
REFURBISHED GYM & VARIED FITNESS CLASSES
QUALIFIED STAFF PERSONAL TRAINERS
SPA TREATMENT DISCOUNTS
PLUS DISCOUNTS ON DINING AT MOOR HALL & MORE
Call to arrange a free no obligation show round.
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 334 2323 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
AHEAD OF HIS NEW RESTAURANT
OPENING IN LICHFIELD
ST JOHNS HOUSE, LICHFIELD
SATURDAY MARCH 28TH | £75
Book online saucesupperclub.co.uk
Fri 20th March
From 7pm onwards
Sat 21st March
From 12 – 5pm
Coppice Garden Centre
(Fig & Olive)
Coppice Lane, Middleton
0121 308 1563
taste of pink and white
grapefruit, balanced with
notes of juniper before
finishing with subtle hints
of woody rosemary. Expect
to see its wider distribution
in the summer, but as it’s
exclusive to travel retail at
the moment make a beeline
as this will shift quicker than
Whitley Neill gooseberry
from the shelf at Asda!
I do enjoy a good marketing
spin to assist in telling a
brand story and looking
through the craft56.co.uk
website for something
unrelated, I stumbled across
The Four Marys gin series
named after Mary Queen of Scots’ four ladies in
IN A CAN
waiting with Mary Fleming featuring on the label for
the Zesty Sherbet edition. Mary Fleming, AKA ‘the
lively one’, was renowned for her dazzling presence
and skills in entertaining the Court with music and
dance. With a botanical ingredients list showcasing
kaffir lime, yuzu, star anise and galangal, the PR
says it will ‘create a flavour sensation in your mouth!’
Now I’ve tried sherry, port, vermouth tonic, Stevia
as a sweetening agent and tonics with no quinine
- say what? Green Stem, however, have launched
three 250ml canned flavours online priced at £3 a
can – Rhubarb and Rose, Citrus, and Elderflower,
the added extra being that the drinks are made using
hemp oil and contain 10mg of broad-spectrum
CBD per can.
They also contain extracts of quassia, a bitter
wood the brand said
was known for its zesty
flavour, and cinchona
bark, which contained
a ‘higher’ level of
Green Stem said it was
“among the first” to
quinine instead of
chemical extraction. We
will wait to see if CBD
products will still be on
the shelves by the end of
To finish, I do love
giving you lovely J’AIME
readers exclusives. As we
move majestically into
gin festival season, I’ve
partnered with the lovely people at the arts centre
of St Mary’s Church Hub smack bang in Lichfield’s
Market Street to put on one of my infamous gin
speed-dating events. On Bank Holiday weekend,
Saturday May 23 from 6-10pm, a selection of
Midlands gin brands will be the aforementioned
dates and over the course of the evening with a
mix of banter, charm and baby G&Ts they will
aim to convince you that their gin is your perfect
match. Ideal for a group night out out, tickets are
limited to 130 and available direct from www.
thehubstmarys.co.uk. The £15 entrance
includes a ginspired cocktail on arrival, mini G&Ts
from participating brands plus a chance to win a
hamper of gin goodies or gin cruise vouchers, live
music, a stunning backdrop and the chance to hear
my compering skills. Gin it to win it!
Enjoy a 500ml carafe of house wine with
the lunch menu for an additional £10
Starters // 4
Fishcake, poached egg + butter sauce
Butternut squash soup
Cured salmon, creme fraiche + radish
Mains // 14
Pork belly, roasted carrot, Roscoff onion + wild garlic
Battered haddock, chips, pea puree + tartare sauce
BBQ turnip, broccoli + lentil
Sides // 4
Spiced carrots + chervil
Hand cut chips
Hispi cabbage + smoked almonds
Cauliflower + stilton
Dessert // 4
Sticky toffee pudding, salted caramel + brown butter ice cream
Yoghurt panna cotta + rhubarb
British cheese, chutney + crackers // 7
Filter coffee or tea included
Served Thursday - Saturday 12:00 - 14:30
Rosemary Lodge Care Home for elderly ladies and gentlemen offers a level
of care, community and comfort that is second to none. Situated a short way
from the bustling City Centre of Lichfield and set in landscaped gardens,
Rosemary Lodge is light, spacious and beautifully decorated, offering residents
just the right combination of activity and relaxation. Residents are encouraged
to retain their independence and individuality whilst being fully supported to
live a fulfilled and enjoyable life.
Call for details - 01543 361692 - Open Wednesday (evening) - Sunday
www.theboatinnlichfield.com - Walsall Road, Lichfield WS14 0BU
A family run concern that has been a highly regarded part of the community
for almost 30 years. Offering 24- hour care, fully trained staff work together
to communicate with residents to ensure that personal care needs are met in
a fully person-centred approach, thus building an important relationship of
trust and friendship.
Two qualified chefs offer a nutritionally balanced and varied menu, catering
for any dietary requirement, using fresh, locally sourced produce, served in
a spacious dining room that offers views out towards the Orangery and the
gardens and fountain.
The Orangery offers the perfect space for residents, family and friends to
meet up, chat enjoy coffee and snacks at any time of the year.
Second Sunday of the Month from
March to December 2020
All rooms are en-suite, and are designed to comfortably accommodate
individuals and couples. Full wi-fi throughout to allow residents to keep in
touch with family and friends through video link or FaceTime.
Regular activities and entertainment include movement to music, musical
theatre groups, pet therapy, pub lunches, and visits to local events are regularly
organised. However, privacy and peace and quiet is also ensured. There is also
an on-site hairdressing and beauty salon.
Rosemary Lodge also offers respite care, holiday stay and limited day care.
Rosemary Lodge Residential Home
191 Walsall Road, Lichfield. Staffs. WS13 8AQ.
In the first instance please contact Jane Evans - Registered Care Manager
or Shirley Kent - Administration Manager.
01543 415223 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CQC RATING GOOD
W E D D I N G S
Wed in style
IF YOU’RE NEWLY-ENGAGED AND LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION FOR
YOUR BIG DAY, OUR 13-PAGE WEDDING GUIDE IS PACKED WITH IDEAS
Day and Leap Year
proposals aplenty means
many couples are just
starting to plan their
special days, and if you’re
looking for some breathtaking
we’ve got a gorgeous
woodland shoot from The
Moat House at Acton
Trussell which oozes
Newly engaged couples
looking for a venue in the
West Midlands will be
interested to find out that
Moat House is launching
exclusive use weddings.
Exclusive wedding parties at The Moat House will
have the freedom of the whole property, with plenty
of space for as many as 200 evening guests as well
as the capacity to host quieter and more intimate
celebrations. With a limited number of dates
remaining for 2020, available dates in 2021 and 2022
are expected to fill fast.
Steeped in history, the Grade II listed manor house
dates back to the 1500s and has had a number of
extensions and additions over the centuries, including
The Orangery Restaurant which has held two
AA rosettes for 21 years. Couples will have the
opportunity to sit with the head chef to craft a
uniquely personal menu for their wedding breakfast.
When it comes to food and drink, the tastes of
modern brides and grooms looking for more
personalised and informal dining experiences have
been considered - so whether it’s a four course fine
dining meal or an interactive, carve-at-the-table roast
dinner couples want, they’ll be
well-catered for. Relaxed grazing
tables and feasting platters are
expected to be a popular choice for
less traditional couples.
Emily Lewis, Moat House director,
says: “Tradition is important
to us, but the needs of modern
couples are changing and we want
to reflect that. We believe every
couple is unique and every couple
deserves to feel extraordinary on
their wedding day. With exclusive
use we are offering the chance to
make The Moat House completely
yours for 24 hours.”
S E C R E T W O O D L A N D S H O OT
CO L L A B O R ATO R S
French Connection Photography @ianfranceweddings
The Moat House, Acton Trussell @moathouseweddings
The Moat House, Acton Trussell @moathouseweddings
Laura Loves @laura_loves___ / GemmaCherry
Myrtle, Fox & Maude @myrtlefoxandmaude / Gemma
Cherry Styling @gemmacherrystyling / The Contented
Rebecca Jayne’s Bridal @rebeccajaynesbridalwear
Hair by Hannah Wallbank / @hairbyhannahwallbank
Niamh Davies Beauty @niamhdavies_beauty
Kayleigh Ross @misskayleighross for RMG Models
Multi-Award Winning Company
Nothing But Wedding Cars are a multi-award winning
wedding car company based in Sutton Coldfield
covering the West Midlands. We have a fleet of
7 outstanding wedding cars, 4 iconic vintage VW’s,
2 modern luxury cars and new for 2020 a vintage
style Regent Landaulet (6 seater). We also offer a
unique package of extra’s at no additional cost.
Documentary style photographer
covering venues across the West and East Midlands
0 7 9 2 0 1 4 4 6 9 6
INFO@ ANNERLEYJOHNSONPHOTOGRAPHY. CO. UK
fi @ ANNERLEYJOHNSONPHOTOS
T: 07950 233240 - E: info@ nothingbutweddingcars.co.uk
W E D D I N G S F O R C O U P L E S W I T H S T Y L E
M A K E I T Y O U R S
To make The Moat exclusively yours for
your wedding, all you have to do is ask.
M O A T H O U S E W E D D I N G S . C O . U K
W E D D I N G S
Say ‘yes’ to the dress
JILL HARTLEY, FOUNDER OF LUXURY BRIDAL AND FASHION BOUTIQUE NERO E BIANCO, AT
BARTON MARINA, OFFERS SOME EXPERT ADVICE ON SHOPPING FOR YOUR DREAM WEDDING DRESS
Shopping for your wedding gown is a momentous and
special occasion that is to be treasured.
It is usually the first step for any bride-to-be in their
exciting wedding planning journey.
Here at Nero e Bianco Bridal we hope to give you
an experience to be remembered with joy, sometimes
tears, and with lasting happiness. We appreciate all
forms of wedding and civil ceremonies, and hope to
support your particular choice.
Our aim is to help you find the wedding gown
that makes you feel special, look stunning and be
everything you want it to be, whatever your age, size
and shape; you are one very special person and we are
honoured to be part of your journey.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions that can
give you a little bit of an insight into Nero e Bianco
Bridal before you pay us a visit…
“Should I make an appointment, or can I just
drop in if I’m passing by?”
We recommend you book an appointment with us so
that one of our Bridal Consultants
can ensure there is enough time allocated to cater
to your needs on a one-to-one basis. Booking an
appointment can be done via our website, by
telephoning the store or in person.
However, if you are just passing by do feel free to
pop into store; it may be possible, if we don’t have
a booking, to browse and possibly try on a wedding
“I have had a bad experience in previous
bridal shops I have been in. How can you help
We’re sorry you have had a bad experience elsewhere;
no bride-to-be should ever be made to feel like
w w w . n e r o e b i a n c o . u k
Nero e Bianco
Exclusive Fashion & Bridal
Burton upon Trent
anything less than the special person they are. We have
refreshments – including prosecco – on hand to help
you feel relaxed, as well as the knowledge that you
have the entire bridal boutique to yourself. We aim
to make all our brides feel as comfortable as possible;
we understand how important choosing your wedding
“What if I don’t like anything?”
Every bridal store is different with various styles and
price ranges, so it goes without saying that some things
may not suit your taste. You can take a look at our
bridal look book to get a sense of what we offer here at
Nero e Bianco Bridal. It is always interesting as some
brides-to-be have very fixed ideas of what they want
their gown to be like, then they try different styles on
and can completely change their mind. Therefore,
when trying on, being a little open minded is very
important to ensure the right style gown suits you.
“What shall I wear to the appointment?”
If you already have your bridal underwear, we suggest
you bring that along to the appointment. Nude or
white briefs are recommended, however don’t worry
too much about a bra, as you will most likely be taking
it on and off throughout the appointment. We have
robes to help modesty as you try on different gowns;
on the whole, staff are needed to help you in and
out of the gowns so if you are anxious about getting
undressed, just let us know and we will happily step
outside of the dressing room and pop back in to fasten
“I want to lose weight before my wedding day.
When is the best time to try on dresses?”
This will depend on the amount of weight you wish
to lose. If you’re planning on dropping more than
two dress sizes, we suggest that you wait until you are
closer to your goal before visiting us as dresses can look
completely different on varying body shapes.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate
to drop us an email or give us a call!
MOTHER OF THE BRIDE OR GROOM
It may surprise you but choosing the outfit for mother
of the bride-to-be and mother of the groom-to-be can
be quite stressful. Thinking about the colour scheme,
venue, style of wedding, what the bride-to-be will like,
can be a worry, and no one wants to upstage the brideto-be
or have a problem with respective mothers.
We are here to help. Again, you can make an
appointment via the website, in person or by phone
or you can just pop in. You will have a dedicated
specialist consultant one to one who will welcome you
with refreshments and take time to understand all your
wishes and concerns before helping you to find the
outfit that will give you confidence, feel special and
look amazing to stand beside your daughter or son.
Our bridal boutique is on the first floor of Nero e
Bianco Fashion at Barton Marina, Barton under
Needwood. For more information and to browse
further go to www.neroebiancobridal.co.uk
Moor Hall Hotel is the perfect venue for your civil ceremony,
outdoor wedding and wedding reception for up to 180 guests.
Our beautiful country house hotel is full of character
and our sweeping lawns, sunken garden and newly refurbished
banqueting suite make a great backdrop for your photos.
The George offers a delightful setting for civil ceremonies &
wedding receptions for up to 110 guests, in the heart of the Lichfield.
Our charming 18th century coaching inn and the nearby picturesque
backdrops of Minster Pool and Beacon Park set the perfect scene.
Includes welcome drink, 4 course wedding breakfast with coffee,
glass of house wine per person and glass of sparkling wine for the toasts,
evening finger buffet, room hire, overnight stay for the couple and
much more! Available on selected dates in 2021.
Includes welcome drink, 3 course wedding breakfast with coffee,
glass of house wine per person and glass of sparkling wine for the toasts,
evening finger buffet, room hire, overnight stay for the couple and
much more! Available on selected dates in 2020.
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
Bird Street, Lichfield WS13 6PR
T: 01543 414822 W: www.thegeorgelichfield.co.uk
Ask about our NEW
of Sutton Coldfield
Mother of the
FROM CONDICI, MICHAELA LOUISA, GLITZ & GODSKE
396 Birmingham Road, Wylde Green,
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B72 1YJ
0121 373 4834 - www.millardefashions.co.uk
W E D D I N G S
National wedding win for Midlands car company
Following their win at the West Midlands finals of
The Wedding industry Awards 2020 (TWIA2020),
Sutton Coldfield-based Nothing but Wedding Cars
received the ultimate accolade by winning The Best
Wedding Transport Supplier 2020 at the national
finals of The Wedding Industry Awards in January
at the Cafe de Paris in London. This is the first time
since the awards began that the transport category
has been won by a company from the West Midlands
- recognition indeed.
The TWIA are the only regional and national
awards in the wedding industry that are voted for
solely by the people that matter - the clients - and
so are extremely useful for anyone organising
a wedding, to help them make better informed
decisions when looking for and selecting their
Nothing but Wedding Cars attribute their success to
their friendly, customer-focused approach, their fleet
of exceptional wedding vehicles and their unique
package of extras, provided at no additional cost.
Owners Julie and John Beresford said: “We are
delighted to be recognised with such a prestigious
award, our aim is to consistently provide our couples
with an outstanding and totally unique experience.”
The other big news from Nothing but Wedding Cars
is that they have just added a new wedding car to
their fleet, a 1920s vintage style Regent Landaulet
which can carry up to six passengers and is partially
convertible, making it the perfect wedding car.
For more details visit
Luxury wedding stationery made for you
Sutton Coldfield wedding photographer Annerley
Johnson has added another string to her bow -
luxury, bespoke wedding stationery designed and
made to order.
As a photographer, Annerley specialises in a natural,
documentary style and offers a range of packages to
suit all sizes and types of wedding. Under her ‘Made
of Honour’ brand, Annerley also provides a graphic
design and print service creating bespoke wedding
stationery and marketing materials for businesses
involved in the wedding and events sectors.
Annerley says: “Before becoming a photographer
and graphic designer, I spent 14 years as a
marketing manager and director in the leisure and
events industries. After a successful career I went
back to university and attained an MA in Visual
“Through Made of Honour I offer a tailor-made
service for your special occasion. I design and create
bespoke stationery for clients across the UK from my
studio in Sutton Coldfield.
“Preparing to get married is a very special time
in anyone’s life and it is to be enjoyed as much as
possible. Sending out your stationery in a methodical
and planned manner will help your wedding
planning run smoothly.”
For more details visit
T R AV E L
A new era for celebrations
IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START WORKING ON YOUR ‘BUCKET LIST’ SAYS CLARE
BUCKLEY, LUXURY TRAVEL CONSULTANT AT RB COLLECTION IN LICHFIELD - AND
A WEDDING CELEBRATION GIVES YOU THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY
THE GREEK ISLAND OF SANTORINI IS
A POPULAR WEDDING DESTINATION
From indulgent, luxury escapes to unique cultural
experiences - special occasions abroad are a great
opportunity to start working on your bucket list
whatever the age!
The modern traveller is seeking much more than
kicking back on a sun lounger, even if just for a
moment. We’ve noticed a trend for recognising the
importance of travel which can enrich one’s life and
also benefit the communities we travel to. This isn’t a
fad either, it is a new way of travelling and one which
we are very much in tune with.
The more traditional honeymoon where we fly off
to tropical island paradise is today often combined
with a city break on the way for shopping or culture,
or maybe a unique experience. A good example is
combining Muscat in Oman with Mauritius. Enjoy
the bustling souks and bazaars in Muscat, with
handicrafts, unique creations and great mountain
scenery with the picture-perfect Indian Ocean island
of Mauritius. Don’t be fooled by Mauritius though;
it is much more than just a beach destination, with
great national parks bursting with wildlife, large flat
areas which are good for cycling plus lots of waterbased
sports to keep you busy. It is definitely one of
our top tips for a beach holiday where one of the
party may worry about getting restless.
Celebrating with the family
Maybe you are a family and need to combine the
celebration with a trip together. A young family
recently asked for suggestions to marry abroad. They
wanted their children to have a ‘real’ life experience
that would pull them away from their iPads and keep
them stimulated, whilst allowing Mum and Dad to
have some romance too as they had decided to renew
their vows. We arranged a family-friendly safari
experience in a malaria free camp in South Africa.
The children were super excited about the prospect
of seeing the animals in the wild, and we arranged
a special candlelit dinner for two after the ceremony,
while the little ones did activities with the animal
Keeping everyone happy
It is very common for couples to have varying ideas
of the ‘dream trip’; whether this would be the
MALDIVES WITH THE
UAE FOR A DREAM
TWIN CENTRE TRIP
destination to actually marry abroad, the honeymoon
or another celebration. This is where combining two
or more places is the perfect solution. One of you
may love the idea of relaxing on the beach, but the
other may worry about getting bored. A popular
combination is the UAE and the Maldives. Within
the UAE you could choose Dubai if you like glitz
and glamour, or Abu Dhabi if you want somewhere
a little more laid back and with more culture. Both
are easily combined with the Maldives which, for
many, would be a number one romantic getaway
Closer to home and keeping the romantic paradise
factor high, we could send you to Mykonos and
Santorini in Greece. The islands are close to each
other, and Mykonos is a great start with more
nightlife and atmosphere, contrasting nicely with
Santorini which is much quieter and scenic. They
offer great food, luxury small hotels and the freedom
to explore at your own pace if you feel a little restless.
In Mykonos you can hire your own quad bike, while
Santorini offers stunning sunsets which we can
arrange by private boat hire in the evening.
unique to offer you, and for our clients we
want to push them outside of their comfort
zone a little. It sounds cheesy but this is
usually where the magic happens. It can be
wonderfully satisfying to know you have tried
something new and gained from it.
A big investment, choose wisely
For many, a celebration trip will be a once
in a lifetime opportunity. With so many
channels of information available to us
it can be confusing. Review websites, TV
shows, magazines and newspapers and the
endless dream destinations photos on social
media mean it can be tricky to know exactly
what is right for you. While we are confident
we get to know our clients in a unique way
to make the right suggestions, we appreciate
you will also do your own research too.
Quite often we find couples have a focus
on one place or the of honeymoon and I
would suggest keeping an open mind. Are
you getting married at the right time of year for
where you are convinced you want to honeymoon,
for example? There are so many factors that can
influence where you go and so many places to choose
from, it would be wise to take expert advice and
ensure you are spending your money wisely, even if
it does mean not going to where you initially dreamt
of. After all, you want to have the best experience
- which may be something you had not originally
SICILY HAS PLENTY TO
KEEP YOUR WEDDING
This idea of authentic travel is not just restricted to
young couples. We find the modern traveller of any
age is more interested in an authentic experience.
Milestone anniversaries and birthdays are a
wonderful opportunity to either escape the family
or bring everyone together for shared memories. We
like to think our clients are all young at heart and
approach each enquiry as an opportunity to all learn
something new. For us, we want to find something
Travel caters well for all sorts of celebrations,
from the traditional wedding to civil partnerships,
blessings, anniversaries and so on. Removing the
necessity for the legal element can be a sensible idea
as it then opens up many more options too.
TOP WEDDING DESTINATIONS
Do be careful when choosing a wedding package
abroad. You want it to feel special, of course, and the
thought of sharing your special day with others is not
a notion many couples realise may actually happen
when they plan to get married abroad. In Mauritius,
we work with specially selected hotels where you will
be the only couple getting married on that day; there
will be no conveyor belt weddings at these hotels!
Our MD’s brother chose Mauritius for his special
day and so we have first-hand experience!
Italy oozes romance and there are some beautiful
historic buildings to add class and sophistication to
your special day. One of these is a five star hotel we
know well in Sicily. The walls are full of history and
stories. Sicily is also a good all-round destination to
ensure wedding guests are happy too. Great scenery
and coastlines, opportunities for outdoor activities
such as hiking, cycling and golf, plenty to keep
families interested plus enough for those who want
to explore on a self-drive itinerary. Your celebration
can bring everyone together for a few days and
then allow them to venture off on their own Sicilian
A SOUTH AFRICAN
SAFARI MAKES FOR THE
CELEBRATION TRIP OF A
There’s a lot of choice in Cyprus and it is a firm
favourite wedding destination for the British. The
island is well known as a sunshine hotspot and
suitable for couples and families, with plenty of
regional flights from around the UK too. There’s
also a good variety of hotels for all budgets to ensure
everyone feels comfortable flying out for your special
day. You could even go wine tasting or visit the olive
groves in the countryside for a group day out away
from the resorts.
This is a great choice for those who want a wow
factor wedding with plenty of things to do. One
of our favourite combinations would be to visit
Vancouver, a great small city and also nearby
Victoria for a more historic experience. From
Vancouver you could catch a cruise to Alaska, or
enjoy the Rocky Mountaineer train for amazing
scenery and interesting stops along the way. If you
ski, venture to Whistler for some of the best runs in
North America. One of our favourite hotels is on
the west coast of Canada and offers unique storm
watching opportunities and is the perfect spot for a
wedding if you are seeking an exciting spot.
5. African Safari
Combine Cape Town with the Winelands and
Garden Route and then end with a safari in the
Eastern Cape, or in the Kruger National Park. South
Africa is bursting with opportunities but is also great
value for money too. My colleagues have visited
and can personally vouch for the high standards of
accommodation and experiences on offer.
EXCLUSIVE FREE WEDDING
PACKAGE FOR J’AIME READERS
WORTH UP TO £680!
Choose from one of our eight favourite hotels on
Mauritius and book your wedding before the end
of April 2020 with a minimum of 10 guests. This
wonderful package includes the following:
Exclusively one wedding per day
All legal costs, fees and documentation for getting
Civil status charges and transfers of/from the office
Dedicated wedding co-ordinator
Choice of wedding location with decorations
Separate room for the groom before ceremony
Mention J’AIME magazine when you enquire.
Subject to availability, terms and conditions. Ask to
speak to Clare at RB Collection on 01543 258631.
Benefits of celebrating abroad
• It can be more cost effective
• Offers a more unique experience
• More control over friends and family who attend
• Not as traditional as marrying at home
• Wedding and honeymoon rolled into one
• Less stressful
TIPS FOR MARRYING ABROAD
Paperwork: We have good experience of what is
involved to advise you accordingly. However, it can
also sometimes be quite tricky to legally marry in
your dream destination. If you have your heart set
on a specific place but it transpires to be tricky, we
advise you consider a blessing as a great alternative
and then undertake the legalities quietly when you
Book in advance: For peace of mind book
early. It can also take time for the paperwork to be
beaches, temples and natural spots. The island is also
well known for its private pool villas which are great
As I am sure you will agree having read this article,
the options are endless. The key is working out what
is right for you; when, where, how, who with, how
much, what will we do, what paperwork is required.
There are so many factors to take into account and
we look forward to guiding you through the process
and creating the perfect memories!
Contact RB Collection on 01543 258631 or visit
their luxury travel lounge just 1.5 miles outside of
Lichfield on Boley Park (free parking). Ask to speak
to Clare if you would like to marry abroad, RB’s
resident wedding specialist.
MAKES A SERIOUSLY
Consider your guests’ needs: Is the destination
easily accessible for them and cost effective? If your
guests are happy, then you will enjoy the experience
Trust the wedding planner: You will have to
accept a lot of the planning is undertaken by the
wedding planner as they are abroad. So be prepared
to relinquish this control – a blessing in disguise
really as it will mean less stress for you!
Other great celebration combinations
Italy: Venice and the mountains; the romance of
Venice combined with serenity in the Italian Lakes.
Croatia: Hvar with its vibrant nightlife combined
with exploring the Croatian coast.
Sweden: The world-famous ICEHOTEL can also
be combined easily with the unique Tree Hotel and
now the amazing Arctic Bath! You could even throw
in Stockholm for another top to explore the city on
New York and Bermuda: Enjoy the buzz of
the Big Apple followed by the laid-back lifestyle on
Bermuda, with its charming communities and luxury
hotels - a good choice for summer trips.
Singapore and Bali: Start with one of the best
cities in the world with its interesting biospheres,
modern life and great food scene, followed by Bali’s
What’s On Local
LO CA L A R E A
YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF WHAT’S ON IN AND AROUND
SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, WALSALL AND BEYOND
WHAT: SUNDAY ARTISAN MARKET
WHERE: BUZZARDS VALLEY, DRAYTON BASSETT
WHEN: MARCH 8
One of the most exciting regular events at Buzzards Valley has been the Artisan
Market on the second Sunday of every month, which returns for 2020 this month.
The market celebrates small local businesses, and features an array of stallholders
selling everything crafts, cheese, preserves and organic produce, to beautiful
affordable giftware. Pop along and you can pick up something unique that will mean
so much more to friends and family than generic high-street products - and know in
the process that you are supporting local businesses. There will also be live music to
entertain the crowds.
The market runs from 10am until 2pm on the second Sunday of the month for the
rest of the year, with free entry and plenty of free parking on site. The Loft Bistro
will also be open for refreshments and Sundays roasts - booking required. For more
details visit www.buzzards-valley.co.uk or find the Buzzards Valley Artisan
Market on Facebook.
WHAT: THE CAT AND THE CANARY
WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK
WHEN: MARCH 9 TO 14
Building on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre
Company, The Classic Thriller Theatre Company presents their fifth production, with
an adaptation of the famous stage thriller The Cat and The Canary which comes to
Lichfield’s Garrick this month.
This much anticipated production is set 20 years after the death of Mr. West, on a night
where his descendants gather at a remote mansion to learn who will inherit his vast
wealth and the hidden family jewels. When the heir is revealed, the heritage hunters
turn into prey and a chain of macabre events is set in motion.
The Cat and The Canary features a spectacular star studded cast headed up by movie
icon Britt Ekland, Mark Jordon (Heartbeat, Emmerdale), Tracy Shaw (Coronation
Street), Marti Webb (Evita, Tell Me on a Sunday), Gary Webster (Minder), Ben Nealon
(Soldier Soldier), Nikki Patel (Coronation Street) and Eric Carte (Bouquet of Barbed
Wire). For more details call the box office on 01543 412121 or visit
WHAT: PAUL JAMES
WHERE: HEART GALLERIES AT COPPICE GARDEN CENTRE
WHEN: MARCH 20 AND 21
Heart Galleries, who have been situated at the Heart of the Country, Swinfen, near
Lichfield, for the last 20 years, are now celebrating their first year of trading with
their second gallery based at Coppice Garden Centre, on the site of the Fig and
Olive, at Middleton near Sutton Coldfield.
Heart are delighted that Paul James, well known for his unique paintings of wildlife
within urban settings, will be joining them on the evening of Friday, March 20 from
7pm onwards and on Saturday, March 21, between 12 noon and 5pm. Everyone
is welcome to come along to meet Paul, learn more about him and his work while
enjoying a glass of bubbly.
Heart showcase a diverse range of stunning artwork by Doug Hyde, John Horsewell,
Roz Bell, Stephen Hanson, Sherree Valentine Daines, Tom Butler and Hayley
Goodhead to name but a few. For more details call 0121 308 1563 or visit
LO CA L A R E A
What’s on Second City
A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST
EVENTS TO COME TO BIRMINGHAM THIS MONTH
WHAT: THE BOOK OF MORMON
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
WHEN: MARCH 4 TO 28
The Book of Mormon is the outrageous musical comedy from the creators of South
Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Bobby Lopez, co-writer of Avenue Q and
Frozen, which follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent
on a mission to a place that’s about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get.
Now with sold out productions in London, on Broadway, North America and
Australia, The Book of Mormon has become a global sensation and comes to
Birmingham Hippodrome this month.
Since making its world premiere in March 2011 at New York’s Eugene O’Neill
Theatre, where it won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Book
of Mormon has been performed on three continents and won more than 30
international awards. The musical has smashed long-standing box office records in
New York, London, Melbourne, Sydney and cities across the U.S. For more details
WHAT: EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE
WHERE: ALEXANDRA THEATRE
WHEN: MARCH 16 TO 21
Jamie New is 16 and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in.
Jamie is terrified about the future. Jamie is going to be a sensation.
Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie
overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the
The smash-hit musical features West End star Layton Williams and EastEnders’
much-loved Shane Richie as Hugo/Loco Chanelle, both reprising their roles
from the critically acclaimed West End production. With an original score of
catchy pop tunes by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells
and writer Tom MacRae (Doctor Who), this brand-new musical will have
everybody talking about Jamie for years to come.
Sixteen: the edge of possibility. Time to make your dreams come true. For more
details visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham
WHAT: TABLE MANNERS WITH JESSIE WARE
WHERE: BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL
WHEN: MARCH 28
The award winning, smash hit podcast Table Manners will be embarking on a debut
live UK tour in March 2020, kicking off the tour in Birmingham on March 28.
Currently in the midst of its eighth series, Table Manners sees critically acclaimed
singer-songwriter Jessie Ware and her chef extraordinaire mum Lennie chat with a
guest from the worlds of music, culture and politics from the singer’s dinner table
over a three-course meal.
Oversharing guaranteed, Table Manners has seen a whole host of extraordinary
guests’ pop round for a natter and a bite to eat from Sam Smith, Sadiq Khan, Tom
Kerridge, Kiefer Sutherland, Nigella Lawson, Mark Ronson and Ed Sheeran.
Hilarious and hugely lovable, Table Manners has hit more than 10 million listens
since launching in 2017 and continues to top the iTunes podcast chart series after
series. Don’t miss the chance to catch Jessie and Lennie live in Birmingham. Get
ready for special guests, lots of food and great fun - oversharing guaranteed! For
more details visit www.thsh.co.uk
WEDS 4 - THU 5 MAR
by Richard Cameron
Directed by Kate Wasserberg
TUES 24 - SAT 28 MAR
SEMI PERMANENT MAKE-UP
HIGH DEFINITION BROWS (HD)
TUES 7 - SAT 11 APR
CALL 0121 308 3265 TEXT 07967 156782
BRAZILIAN FINE DINING
ON YOUR DOORSTEP!
STRAWBERRY CABIN, HINTS
THURSDAY MARCH 10TH | £55
Book online saucesupperclub.co.uk
FA S H I O N
A PERENNIAL STYLE FAVOURITE, DENIM IS SMARTENING
UP ITS ACT FOR SS20, SAYS AMY NORBURY
DENIM never really goes out of style, does it? From
70s flares and 90s baggy grunge, to the decadeslong
reign of the skinny jean, there’s always been
a time and a place for denim in our hearts and our
And it’s easy to see why. Timeless, ageless, genderless;
denim really is the everyman of the fabric world.
And in a world where sustainability and longevity are
finally taking precedence over fast fashion fads, surely
the classic nature of denim stands it in good stead?
Indeed, the spring-summer catwalks were awash with
true blue; the message being, if it ain’t broke, don’t
So how were designers styling their denim for 2020?
The main thread saw the fabric workhorse
smartening up its act - super-refined denim making
everyday style a cinch? Yes, please.
We saw a move away from distressed, ripped styles
in favour of more enduring, classic cuts. The spring
collections delivered a bumper crop of blue jeans,
from summer-ready Bermuda shorts at Chanel to
’70s kick flares at Celine.
And where the styling was definitely more tailored,
the colours on show retained that smart-casual,
classic feel. Deep-dyed indigo reigned supreme across
the board, replacing the worn 80s look of acid wash
- think darker hues which will lovingly fade over time
while retaining their appeal.
While every wardrobe should contain a hero pair
of jeans or three, the denim dominance doesn’t
stop there. Tailored shirt dresses are fast becoming
a wardrobe staple, perfect for smartening up in the
office, or dressing down with simple sandals as we
head into summer. Denim pencil skirts, too, offer
a less casual option ideal for office days and postwork
drinks alike, while all-in-one jumpsuits are the
epitome of easy style.
Denim jackets are the outerwear backbone of any
spring and summer wardrobe, the perfect throwover
for when the weather requires a little more coverage
than T-shirt sleeves. There are smart styles aplenty to
look out for, from denim blazers to on-trend kimono
jackets; however, a vintage Levi’s trucker jacket will
always hit the mark - if you can get your hands on
DENIM POPPER FRONT RUFFLE HEM
DRESS, £69, SOSANDER
V BY VERY DENIM BELTED MIDI SKIRT,
V BY VERY PAPERBAG WAIST
INDIGO DENIM POPPER
HARLOW SLIM LEG JEANS,
CITIZENS OF HUMANITY AT
DARK DENIM WASH
LE MONDE BERYL DENIM
BOILERSUIT, £45, AND
SHOES, £39, MISS SELFRIGE
BELLE STRAIGHT JEANS, £89,
HANNAH BLOUSE, £110, AND
KATYA SUEDE JACKET, £349,
B E AU T Y
FROM LASH BUILDERS TO SCALP SAVIOURS, IT’S TIME TO UP YOUR BEAUTY GAME WITH THE
PRODUCTS THAT PRIME AND PERFECT. LISA PIDDINGTON INTRODUCES THE HARD-WORKING
HEROES FROM HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM
THE SKIN FOOD: Elemis’ new
antioxidant-rich Superfood Kefir-
Tea Mist, £26, feeds your complexion
with aloe vera, coconut water and natural
prebiotics. It not only tones, soothes and
primes, but also locks make-up in place
and revitalises the skin throughout the day.
Looking for soft, shiny
and strong locks?
Hair Care Mask,
£71, uses shea,
macadamia, camellia and
hazelnut oils to rebuild
and intensely nourish the hair fibre.
Its fresh fragrance is designed to
complement the effectiveness of the
THE MULTI-TASKER: With its
added benefits of organic neroli and
vitamin C, Heaven’s Orange Flower
Cell Renewal Hydrogel, £37, is
designed to restore balance and maintain
the oil levels in the skin. It’s ideal as an
effective anti-aging solution and makes
the perfect base for your foundation.
Velvet Epic Lash
Primer, £25, maximises the
benefits of your favourite mascara
for a fuller, more dramatic look.
The soft-beige colour makes it easy
to apply evenly from root-to tip
while the conditioning base leaves
lashes feel luxuriously soft and
RESCUE: Try ESPA’s
Pink Hair and Scalp
Mud, £34, for an
treatment mask that
deeply conditions and
C-rich watercress and red clay soothe the scalp,
while apricot kernel oil conditions to help promote
stronger, manageable hair.
THE MAKEUP PRIMER: The oilfree
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant
Retouch Primer, £24, smoothes away
the look of pores, visibly evens tone
and texture, and instantly absorbs shine
without feeling dry or chalky. That means
smoother foundation application and
longer makeup wear. Win win.
Plumping Primer, £16,
keeps your pout looking and
feeling full and fabulous.
Ultra-fine spherical powders
and mineral pigments ensure
lipstick stays true throughout
wear, while an anti-ageing
complex plumps for a more
ALL PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE
FROM THE BEAUTY HALL AT HARVEY NICHOLS
BIRMINGHAM, THE MAILBOX, AND ONLINE AT
Take a brow
CO M P E T I T I O N
J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH ONE OF THE MIDLANDS’ LEADING SEMI-PERMANENT MAKEUP
ARTIST AND BROW SPECIALISTS CATHY BROWN TO OFFER READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN A
MICROBLADING OR SEMI-PERMANENT BROW TREATMENT WORTH UP TO £395
Imagine waking up every morning without having
to spend time to pencil in your eyebrows, perfecting
your eye liner, lip liner or covering a scar before you
go out and start the day.
When applied correctly, semi-permanent makeup is
designed to subtly enhance your natural features and
put back what Mother Nature has forgotten or taken
away over the years. Eyebrows can be brought back
to shape and sparse areas of growth filled in, with
individual strokes to imitate hairs.
Based at the Mitchell’s Centre in Sutton Coldfield,
Cathy Brown has a wealth of experience in helping
clients to restore their appearance and improve their
confidence with the help of semi-permanent makeup
Cathy offers a wide range of enhancements, from
hairstroke or powder ombre effect brows to lip
blushes and eyeliner, all of which give the added
confidence of knowing your makeup or brows will
stay in place all day long. Before any treatment starts,
Cathy will first draw on and agree the colour to
ensure the perfect result for each client.
Cathy is also an expert in medical tattoo treatments
such as areola reconstruction, scar camouflage and
colours to blend with
the surrounding area.
Cathy says: “Many
people think of
tattooing as being
harsh and stark,
but with the latest
digital technology ,
fine nanoblades and
a perfect pigment
range, my work is credited as being soft, natural and
timeless rather than being an on trend fashion look.
“Having been an elite trainer for many years
for Nouveau Contour, I’m delighted to be an
ambassador for the Italian brand Biotek, as well as
a master semi-permanent makeup trainer for the
BIrmingham academy Your Beautique training,
where I love helping students embarking on their
For more information and to see examples of Cathy’s
work, find Cathy Brown SPMU on Facebook or on
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A MICROBLADING
TREATMENT OR SEMI-PERMANENT BROW
TREATMENT, SIMPLY ANSWER THE FOLLOWING
WHICH ITALIAN BRAND IS CATHY AN
Send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number, by
email to email@example.com with Cathy Brown competition as
the email subject. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, March, 27 and our
winner will be notified by Wednesday, April 1.
Terms and conditions apply. The prize must be taken by August 1, 2020,
no alternative treatment offered and the prize is non transferable, and not
redeemable for cash or other prize. The treatment is only available at Cathy
Brown at Mitchell’s Centre, Sutton Coldfield. A patch test is required prior
to treatment. The winner should have no previous microblading or brow
tattooing carried out elsewhere, must be aged over 18 and with no medical
contraindications. Visit www.jaimemagazine.com for further details.
H E A LT H
Banish the ‘mum tum’
SPORTING A ‘MUMMY TUMMY’? GOT WHAT LOOKS LIKE A ‘HANGING POUCH’? THIS
MONTH, LICHFIELD’S SMILIEST PERSONAL TRAINER RAÚL ROMERO TALKS POSTPARTUM
FITNESS AND HOW SPECIFIC EXERCISES CAN HELP YOU LOSE THE ‘MUM TUM’
WITH TIME PRECIOUS,
EXERCISES CAN HAVE A
LONGLASTING EFFECT ON
This month, I would like to address a topic that
affects the majority of women after giving birth in
many different ways (and that I am also living first
hand at home after my wife gave birth a year ago!)
which is; the ‘mum tum’.
Yes, it is a symbol of the incredible strength and
courage that women show when giving birth and I
strongly believe that women should be immensely
proud of the changes to their bodies after bringing
a life into the world. Yet I have had countless female
clients who disfavour (to put it lightly!) the ‘mum
tum’ and would like to forever banish it from their
To all these women, I’d like to say that contrary to
popular belief, the ‘mum tum’ is not only a cosmetic
issue, but is an actual real life medical condition
called ‘diastasis recti’ or ‘divarication’. Hopefully
in understanding how and why it appears, we can
be better informed in how to exercise it to help the
affected women feel great about their bodies.
During pregnancy, it is common for the two muscles
that run down the middle of your stomach - the
abdominals - to separate and stretch sideways,
therefore the connective tissue running down the
midline of the torso, called the linea alba, can
become overstretched and weak. This weakness is
what compromises the back and core, otherwise
known as ‘diastasis recti’. It is also linked to
pelvic floor health, can cause digestion issues and
contributes to urinary and stress incontinence.
This separation between the stomach muscles
should usually go back to ‘normal’ by eight weeks
postpartum; however for more than 30% of women,
this is usually longer. This is why abdominal exercises
are not recommended for the first few weeks after
giving birth, or better yet, until your postpartum GP
check to ensure everything is as it should be.
From this information, it is crystal clear that
postpartum health and fitness is immensely
important, not only to help women feel great about
themselves aesthetically in losing the ‘mum tum’,
but also health wise; to ensure you are the fittest,
healthiest mama you can be.
Specific postpartum exercises:
Once okayed by your GP, regular pelvic floor and
deep stomach exercises can help to reduce the size
of the separation between the stomach muscles and
in turn, reduce any digestion or urinary and stress
Pelvic floor exercises:
No doubt your midwife will have told you to ensure
you are doing pelvic floor exercises and you may
or may not have been doing them. They are an
absolute must. There is no way around them;
pelvic floor muscle exercises strengthen the muscles
around your bladder, vagina and bottom. They are
essential in improving postpartum health (including
stopping incontinence and reducing the chance of
prolapse), not to mention can contribute massively in
The following exercises are recommended by the
NHS. You can do them lying down, sitting or
standing. With practice, they can be done anywhere
and at any time:
Squeeze and draw in your bottom as if you’re
Squeeze around your vagina and bladder (urethra)
as if you’re stopping the flow of urine or squeezing
Long squeezes – hold for as long as you can, but no
longer than 10 seconds, then relax.
Short squeezes – quickly squeeze the muscles and
then let them go immediately. Do this until your
muscles get tired.
Aim to build up to 10 repetitions of each exercise, at
least three times a day.
It’s important to keep breathing normally while you
do these exercises. Make sure you don’t pull in your
stomach when you squeeze.
Sitting on the toilet can be a good reminder to do
your exercises. Just make sure you do them after
Postpartum health and fitness is such a massive point
of discussion that I look forward to touching on in
future editions. Once motherhood hits, suddenly
time becomes ever precious so doing short, quick, yet
effective exercises such as these pelvic floor exercises
can have such a big, long lasting effect in improving
your postpartum health.
For any questions on postpartum health and fitness,
or health and fitness in general, please don’t hesitate
to get in touch with Raúl at raul@ambitionpt.
co.uk, or find us on Facebook/Instagram
DURING PREGNANCY THE
ABDOMINAL MUSCLES CAN
SEPARATE AND STRETCH -
LEADING TO THE ‘MUM TUM’
I N T H E N E W S
Always on time
IF YOU’RE A WATCH ENTHUSIAST ON THE LOOKOUT FOR YOUR NEXT PIECE OF WRIST CANDY, OR HAVE
A PRESTIGIOUS TIMEPIECE YOU’RE LOOKING TO SELL, WATCHES OF SUTTON ARE ON HAND TO HELP
A long time lover of luxury timepieces, Sutton
Coldfield businessman Jas Kalsi set up Watches of
Sutton back in 2016, specialising in buying, selling
and restoring pre-owned high-end watches from
prestigious brands such as Rolex, Breitling, TAG
Heuer, Omega and Cartier.
After launching the business on eBay, where he
was already an established and experienced private
seller with 100 percent positive feedback, Jas opened
a showroom in Birmingham’s world renowned
With viewings by appointment only, clients have the
opportunity to browse Watches of Sutton’s collection
of luxury timepieces, as well as discuss all things
watches with the experts. With nearly 20 years of
experience in the retail sector, the team has a genuine
understanding of what a great customer experience
Jas said: “At Watches of Sutton we pride ourselves
on delivering unrivalled customer service at all times.
The watches we retail are designed to give to you
many years of enjoyment and satisfaction and we
seek to develop equally long-lasting relationships
with our clients. Right from your initial enquiry
to our aftercare department, your satisfaction and
reassurance is of prime importance to us.
“As watch enthusiasts, we share your passion for
exclusive timepieces and all of our pre-owned
WATCHES OF SUTTON
SPECIALISE IN BUYING,
SELLING AND REFURBISHING
watches are meticulously prepared by an experienced
watchmaker who specialises in these timepieces.
All new watches will come with the manufacturer’s
warranty, while all pre-owned watches come with a
minimum of 12 months’ warranty. In addition we
offer a 14 day money back guarantee on all online
orders for your complete peace of mind.
“A pre-owned watch will make a great choice and
investment for the new owner. We take great care
during our preparation processes so you can rest
assured your new timepiece will be delivered to
you in the best possible condition. A meticulously
refurbished watch can look nearly new. Once it’s on
your wrist and looking great, does it matter if you’re
the second owner?”
If you’re looking to sell a luxury watch of your own,
Watches of Sutton offer competitive prices on all
makes and models, either through direct purchase or
on a commission sale basis.
They also offer watch servicing and refurbishment,
undertaking all types of repair work, ensuring that
your watch is returned to the best possible condition.
With a plethora of positive online reviews and an
impressive five star rating on Trust Pilot, clients can
rest assured of the best possible service.
For more details or to book an appointment, call
0121 405 4055 or visit
I N T H E N E W S
Masked ball to raise charity funds
A BRAVE VOLUNTEER IS ORGANISING A MASQUERADE BALL TO GIVE BACK TO THE
CHARITY WHICH SUPPORTED HER THROUGH HER OWN BRAIN TUMOR DIAGNOSIS.
A brave volunteer is organising a masquerade ball to
give back to the charity which supported her through
her own brain tumor diagnosis.
Anna Moorcroft was just 30 when she discovered she
had a brain tumour, and turned to the charity Brain
Tumour Support to help her on the road to recovery.
Anna says: “I found out I had a brain tumour on my
30th birthday; not the gift I wanted or was expecting.
It was a huge shock and turned into the biggest
challenge I have ever faced when, three years later, it
turned into Grade 3 cancer.
“On my journey, and with my ongoing treatment,
I have had to overcome numerous hurdles and my
focus now is to now raise awareness of this increasing
“Brain Tumour Support has helped me on my
road to recovery and their motto ‘Together WE
are Stronger’ really sums up how they help those
affected. Their messages of support, advice, meetings
and Facebook posts all make us feel that we are not
alone dealing with this.”
To raise money for the wonderful charity which
is so close to her heart, Anna is organising at the
Mayflower Masquerade, a black-tie masquerade
ball which will take place at the Premier Suite in
Cannock on May 16, and is looking for support from
local businesses to help with her fundraising efforts.
Anna says: “My goal is to arrange a fabulous night
out, while also raising funds for Brain Tumour
Support to continue their life-changing work helping
those dealing with brain tumours.”
Brain Tumour Support is uniquely dedicated to
providing support for anyone affected by any type of
brain tumour, at any point from diagnosis and for as
long as support is needed.
The origins of the charity lie in one family’s own
devastating experience of a brain tumour diagnosis.
A tough journey but one which resulted in a
pioneering support service which has developed
over the course of 15 years through the hard
work of its team and the dedication of supporters
and fundraisers. The charity now also works in
partnership with Macmillan which has enabled the
support services to further expand.
Anna adds: “There are a couple of ways in which
businesses can get involved. £200 would sponsor an
advert that will be used on all event publicity, both
printed and online, and in addition their artwork
would appear on screens on the night of the event.
“I will also be holding an auction and raffle, so I
am looking for exciting prizes to support this. Any
contributions would be hugely appreciated and
advertised on the screens on the night of the event.”
For more details of how to get involved
in the Mayflower Masquerade event
contact Anna on 07398 217310 or email
ANNA MOORCROFT IS
ORGANISING A CHARITY BALL
IN AID OF BRAIN TUMOUR
SUPPORT, THE CHARITY
WHICH HELP HER THROUGH
HER OWN DIAGNOSIS
M OTO R S
Life in the fast lane
J’AIME MOTORING EXPERT AND RESIDENT RACING DRIVER MARTIN PLOWMAN
CASTS AN EXPERT EYE OVER THE NEW ASTON MARTIN DBX SUV
The Aston Martin DBX is finally here! The DBX is
Aston’s answer to the booming luxury SUV market.
They are late to the game, with even the likes of
Lamborghini beating them to market, but as they say,
it’s ‘better late than never!”
Some supercar purists might turn their nose up at
the latest luxury sports car brand to venture into the
petrol-chugging family wagon market. But for Aston
Martin fans, it will please them to see it stays true
to its styling, even if it does just look like an obese
Vantage. The rear curves are undeniably sexy like its
Vantage counterpart, and the front of the car has all
of the hallmarks of an Aston Martin.
It is common knowledge that Aston Martin has been
in financial difficulties lately, thanks in no part to
the ambitious Valkyrie Hypercar project going over
budget, but there is genuine hope that their DBX
SUV will literally and figuratively drag them out of
So was it worth the wait? As far as performance
parameters go, it certainly ticks all of the right boxes;
with its 542bhp V8 Engine backed up with 700Nm
of torque, it will go toe-to-toe with SVR’s finest
Land Rover and Jaguar S-type. However, for its price
(starting from £150,000), you would hope to expect
something a little ‘extra’ for a car costing £50,000
more than a Range Rover SVR.
While the DBX may not blow the doors off its
competition in outright performance, it makes up
for it with the kind of luxury one would expect
of an Aston Martin. Engineers spent more than
six months refining the driver’s seating position to
ensure the most visibility and comfort. It is also kidtested,
and school-run approved with input from an
all-female advisory board to local school children
who were invited to the design studio to take part
in the analysis. The result is a car with class-leading
legroom, and that is ergonomically easy for people of
all shapes and sizes to get in and out of it.
The DBX is not just a flashy vanity SUV, either. It
is the first Aston Martin to include all-around air
suspension and active ride-control that allows the
car to adjust its ride-height by a massive 95mm,
thus being able to negotiate the rockiest of off-road
terrains or the lowest car parks that NCP has to offer.
The DBX is a champagne-sipping SUV, with a sports
car soul that has its sleeves rolled up to tackle every
THE ASTON MARTIN DBX SUV
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
meet our team
Medals & Militaria
at The Trinity Centre
Church Hill, Mill Street, B72 1TF
Meet Richard and his team fortnightly
on Mondays 2pm – 3.30pm
See our website for dates
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)
J'Aime Ad 190x280_Feb 2020.indd 1 31/01/2020 15:00