J'AIME MAY 2020

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

M AY 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

The

Lockdown

Special

Celebrating

local heroes:

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

WIN FINE DINING AT HOME

WITH SAUCE SUPPER CLUB

AND TOM SHEPHERD

Perfect

patios:

SPRUCE UP YOUR

GARDEN FOR SUMMER


DINE AT HOME WITH

TOM SHEPHERD

As lockdown continues and restaurants look set to close for some

time we have teamed up with Tom Shepherd to bring you a

restaurant experience in your own home.

We will deliver a luxurious box containing 3 courses prepped,

ready for you to flash fry, stir and bake to create your own plates

of delicious food by following the clear instructions provided

for a serious lockdown treat.

Deliveries take place every Friday and Tom will change his menu weekly using

seasonal, local produce. If you have an anniversary, a postponed wedding day,

birthday celebration or just fancy a weekend treat this is perfect for you!

Stay safe and fine dine at home!

ORDER ONLINE www.saucesupperclub.co.uk or call 01543 415855

*FREE DELIVERY TO LICHFIELD & SURROUNDING AREA - £5 DELIVERY CHARGE TO WIDER AREA

DINE AT HOME WITH

TOM SHEPHERD

EXAMPLE MENU

BREAD

Milk bread with marmite butter

STARTER

Ham Hock, parsley and grain mustard terrine,

Piccalilli purée, sweet and sour cucumber,

treacle bread

MAIN

Slow cooked blade of beef, bourguignon sauce

dauphinois potatoes, carrots cooked in beef fat,

wild garlic pesto

DESSERT

Baked pink lady apple, ginger sponge soaked in

Calvados, salted caramel sauce, vanilla creme

patisserie, pecan crunch

TREAT

Chocolate fudge


Welcome to J’AIME

As the coronavirus crisis continues to affect daily

life for us all, we bring you J’AIME’s ‘lockdown

special’ - an issue packed with inspirational

stories and ideas to enjoy during these most

strange of times.

One of the most striking positives to come out

of the pandemic has definitely been the sense

of community togetherness, and we’ve been

hearing so many stories of ordinary people

doing extraordinary things to help and support

others - a handful of which are highlighted on

our pages.

We also chat to the Birmingham REP’s new

artistic director, Oliver Award-winning writer,

director and actor Sean Foley, about the affect

the pandemic has had on the theatre industry

and how they are working through the crisis,

while personal trainer Raul Romero takes a

look at virtual workouts where you can workout

together, at home.

If you’re missing dining out and craving a bit of

lockdown luxury - and after all, who isn’t?! - then

we’ve got the perfect competition for you. We’ve

teamed up with local fine dining specialists Sauce

Supper Club and top chef Tom Shepherd to

bring you an ‘at home’ fine dining experience for

two worth £75, as well as a bottle of handpicked

Worth Brothers wine to complete the ultimate

lockdown foodie experience.

And if you’re not lucky enough to scoop this

fantastic prize, then you can console yourself

with an indulgent pud courtesy of MasterChef:

The Professionals winner Laurence Henry,

which you can whip up at home.

Remember, with this online version you can click

directly through to all websites mentioned from

our pages and adverts - while many physical

shops and showrooms are currently closed, you

can still browse our advertisers’ wares online, so

why not take a look?

We hope to be back printing and delivering

J’AIME soon, but in the meantime follow us on

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest

updates. Stay home, and stay safe!

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS: JASPREET SHERGILL, JAIDE

EMMA SMITH, ROBBIE SINCLAIR, DEBORAH

MITCHELL, RAUL ROMERO, LAURENCE HENRY,

ALAN DOVEY

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY BECKY TRANTER

WWW.BECKYTRANTER.COM

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 Local heroes - Some inspirational tales of ordinary

people doing extraordinary things to help others

through the coronavirus crisis

10 Property - Property of the month

12 Interiors - Outdoor living

16 Sean Foley - Birmingham REP’s artistic director on

how theatre will survive the crisis

18 Rainbows of hope - Colouring sheets from

Lichfield graphic designer Chris Day

19 Competition - Wine a luxurious ‘at home’ fine

dining experience from Sauce Supper Club and

Tom Shepherd

20 Food and drink - An indulgent pud from

MasterChef’s Laurence Henry

22 Health - Fitness advice from Lichfield personal

trainer Raul Romero

24 Education - Former headteacher Phil Sharrock

examines why we shouldn’t be in a rush to get

back to school

26 What’s On - Lichfield concert moves online

27 Travel - A Spanish desert and the world’s most

Instagrammable hotel

30 Fashion - Fashionably fit

32 Beauty - Salon skincare at home with Heaven

Skincare’s Deborah Mitchell

34 Health - Zoom consultations from Spire Little

Aston

35 Health - Looking after your mental health with

Alan Dovey

SPONSORED BY

4


During the current Covid-19 crisis I can offer tele-therapy

through Skype or Zoom or telephone conversations.


F E AT U R E

Come together

AS THE GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC CONTINUES TO DAILY AFFECT LIFE AS WE KNOW IT,

OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES ARE SHOWING AMAZING SPIRIT AND A SENSE OF TOGETHERNESS

TO GET THROUGH THE CRISIS. AMY NORBURY, JASPREET SHERGILL AND JAIDE EMMA SMITH

TAKE A LOOK AT THE INSPIRING STORIES OF JUST SOME OF OUR LOCAL HEROES

These are truly unique times. The global

health pandemic has left no life untouched,

creating a new daily life where millions of

us remain at home to curb the spread of this

devastating disease, while key workers are out

in force to ensure our health service can cope

with the evolving crisis, our food, medicine

and essential supplies are affected as little as

possible and our streets are kept safe.

But in these darkest of days, there have been

amazing beacons of hope. Every Thursday

at 8pm neighbourhoods around the country

come together to clap for the NHS and key

worker heroes who have been at the forefront

of the crisis, spending two minutes together

- at a safe social distance - to show our

appreciation for those who are making huge

sacrifices to keep the country going.

Captain Tom Moore, who has now just celebrated

his 100th birthday, became a national treasure and a

symbol of that fierce community spirit after raising

more than £30 million for NHS Charities Together

CROCHET EAR SAVERS

HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED TO

HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL

CENTRES AROUND THE AREA

THIS AMAZING PORTAIT OF

CAPTAIN TOM MOORE BY

RUGELEY ARTIST POLLY ORTON

HAS RAISED NEARLY £1,000

by walking 100 laps of his garden to celebrate his

own century milestone.

And up and down the country there are stories of

ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help

their communities, their vulnerable and their hero

key workers.

Here are the stories of just some of our own local

heroes.

Laura Sutton, from Lichfield, has gathered together

a group of volunteers to help elderly and vulnerable

people in and around the cathedral city.

Laura says: “At the very beginning of this crisis,

I knew there would be lots of elderly people in

Lichfield stuck inside for a long time due to being

high risk. So I had a few thousand leaflets printed

and got a handful of friends and local business pals

together and we distributed them around the areas

we lived and focussed on any areas where there were

lots of elderly. We especially looked for areas where it

was unlikely they would have younger neighbours to

look out for them.

“We have grown week-on-week and we now have

6


more than 20 volunteers supporting

more than 100 people in Lichfield who

are high risk, shielding or self isolating.

We do a weekly shop for them and

collect prescriptions as well as many

other random requests! We support them

however we can. We also just call them

for a chat, and at Easter gave them cards

made by local children, I made cupcakes

and the Lichfield Round Table donated

Easter Eggs for them.

“We will continue to support any one that

needs a little help as long as it is needed. It

has been so lovely to help these vulnerable

people and bring a little joy and happiness

to them, it really does make it worthwhile,

and they are so, so grateful. I could not do

it without my amazing team of volunteers

though!”

Laura, who runs celebration cake business

The Cake Spa, has also been busy making

cakes and sweet treats for local key workers, with

ingredients funded through donations from her

clients and social media followers.

“Donations meant we have been able to send cakes

and marshmallows to Burton Queens Hospital,

Walsall Manor Hospital, St Giles Hospice, local

supermarkets, pharmacies and doctors surgeries,”

Laura adds.

“I am also now selling baking essentials around

Lichfield so people can continue to have fun baking

at home!”

Over in Sutton Coldfield, Reverend Daniel Ramble,

vicar of St. James Hill in Mere Green, is also helping

to bring the community together to serve vulnerable

families during the health pandemic. St James

Church Centre has been opened to members of the

community and local chefs to prepare and deliver

free hot meals and free food parcels for those who

need it most.

ST JAMES HILL IN MERE

GREEN HAVE ALSO BEEN

DONATING HOT MEALS TO

FAMILIES IN NEED

VOLUNTEERS AT ST JAMES

HILL IN MERE GREEN

Reverend Ramble said: “Many of these volunteers

are ordinary people but doing extraordinary things in

these challenging times. I am so humbled by people’s

generosity and their selfless acts of kindness.”

As well as more than 180 volunteers and a waiting

list of 322 people ready to offer help, there are

also two professional chefs from The Cornerstone

Kitchen in Sutton Coldfield, who are cooking 40 free

hot meals daily for those in the need. The fresh meals

are transported in thermostat boxes and delivered to

homes within 30 minutes.

The church is working with 11 local schools around

the area where the most vulnerable families are

offered the vital support needed.

“For us it’s not about religion, it’s about generosity,

it’s about grace, it’s about hope,” said Reverend

Ramble.

But it does not end here. Volunteers have helped with

more than 200 shopping lists and prescriptions for

those in isolation and high-risk groups.

Reverend Ramble added: “We

have also had more than 2,000

befriending conversations for those

who are isolated and on their own

to hear a friendly voice every day.”

More than £2,500 has been raised

to help support this project. If you

would like to donate, visit www.

justgiving.com/crowdfunding/

hopeforsutton

Rugeley artist Polly Orton, of

Origin Bespoke, has showcased her

talents by creating an incredible

7


portrait of inspirational Captain Tom

Moore, which she is raffling off to donate

to Tom’s fundraising campaign. She

aims to raise £1,000 with the project.

Polly says: “For many of us Tom

symbolises hope, courage and possibility.

When I saw his campaign I wanted to

donate but being a single mother and a

self-employed artist I knew my donation

would be a drop in the ocean. Every little

helps of course but I wanted to give

more than I was able to afford.

“So I decided to draw a portrait in

the hopes I could sell it for £50 and

that could be my donation. However

as soon as I posted it online the response has been

phenomenal and quickly someone suggested I

should raffle the drawing to give more people the

opportunity of donating and to hopefully raise more

money for Tom so that is what I did.

“I set up my own Just Giving page so I can keep

track of donations and I am counting every £1

donated as an entry to win the portrait. So far I have

raised more than £900 and there is still lots of time

to enter. The winner will be announced via a live

stream on VE Day, Friday May 8, at 8pm. So far the

post has been seen more than 40,000 times and has

been sent all over the world. To donate visit www.

justgiving.com/crowdfunding/pollysportrait

“Tom reminded me that we can all do something.

This portrait is my contribution and has reignited a

passion for portraits. I have since set up another page

to showcase my charcoal works @pollyorton_art on

Instagram and who knows where this journey will

lead.”

Freelance fashion designer Rebekah Brennan, from

LAURA SUTTON HAS ALSO

BEEN DONATING SWEET

TREATS TO KEY WORKERS.

PHOTO BY DANI SALMON

PHOTOGRAPHY

KIRAN RAI IS HOPING TO

SPREAD POSITIVITY BY

SENDING HAND-WRITTEN

CARDS AND LETTERS TO

PEOPLE IN ISOLATION

Sutton Coldfield, has recently moved back home

from New York where she had plans to return to

working as a full time fashion designer - plans which

have been put on hold due to the pandemic.

Since coming back Rebekah has had a lot of free

time on her hands and decided to use it productively.

She was introduced to schemes such as For the Love

of Scrubs, and Loft 25 – NHS PPE Campaign by

friends to make up scrubs, overalls, NHS headbands

and scrub bags.

Rebekah has not been doing this alone; her mum

Christine Babbington has also been doing her bit.

Christine has been an interior and soft furnishings

seamstress all of her life, so together they make quite

the team.

All of these amazing necessities for our front line

staff have been provided free of charge but donations

of fabric have been provided as well as Rebekah

and Christine buying their own. The scrubs have

been given to staff at Walsall Manor, scrub bags to

Good Hope, and the overalls will be distributed to

clinics and hospitals across Birmingham. So far the

duo have made some 30 scrub sets with

more in progress, 25 scrub bags, and

20 hearts, with headbands and masks

currently in the making.

“Although the world seems a different

place outside, being able to do positive

things and having a focus to help is

rewarding in more ways than one,” says

Christine.

Rebekah adds: “Take one day at a time,

and remember the little things can

help!”

NHS administration assistant Louise

Tomlinson, from Castle Bromwich,

volunteers for a leading first aid charity

and has raised £300 through a donation

8


page on Facebook. But she wanted to do more to

help support the wider NHS team.

Louise, who enjoys crocheting as a hobby, was

introduced to the concept of the ‘ear saver/mask

adjuster’ by her daughter and decided to put her

skills to use by creating them. These handy devices

are designed to fit around the back of the head and

take the strain of the elastic on PPE masks from

behind the ears.

To date Louise has given out 200 of these helping

hands, free of charge, to staff in a variety of

establishments such as Heartlands ICU, Good Hope,

private care homes, doctors’ surgeries, UHCW and

Solihull council.

Louise has a message for everyone staying safe at

home during the crisis. She says: “We are isolating

now, so all of our loved ones can be present when we

can get together.”

After seeing a nurse on Facebook describing how

dry and chapped her lips were from wearing masks

at work, Sammi Eadon decided to help. The payroll

administrator, from Great Barr, had noticed people

were raising money for hand creams for nurses and

doctors but not lip balms, so she set up a Go Fund

Me page on both Facebook and Instagram telling

people what she wanted to do and how they could

help.

After raising £245 through her initiative, Sammi

bought 30 tubs of Carmex, 50 Vaseline and 16 FM

lip balms, which were taken to Good Hope hospital

where they were distributed between wards including

A&E and the intensive care unit.

Kind-hearted taxi driver Martin Keay, from Great

Barr, has been

offering his services

free of charge to

carers and hospital

staff needing to get

to work safely or

needing to visit the

supermarket after

long, tiring shifts, as

well as helping people

in the community

by dropping off

medication to those

who are high risk

and are following

government advice to

isolate.

Martin has also been

shopping for elderly

neighbours who aren’t able to go out. He has been

on call at all hours, be it early in the morning or late

at night, to help out where he can - and this is all in

between his normal job as a taxi driver.

Martin says: “During these times we all need to stay

safe and look out for the people around us.”

For many of us in isolation, not being able to see,

touch or feel close to our loved ones can be really

difficult. Experiencing these strange times can often

leave us with feelings of sadness, loneliness and

trying to keep positive isn’t always the easiest.

Kiran Rai, founder of The Search for Happiness, is

on a mission to spread positivity, love and happiness

in this time of need. Her idea stemmed from her

blog TSFH, which she started following a breakup,

during this time she experienced times of

feeling alone which sparked a thought to set-up a

COVID-19 project to help those that are particularly

vulnerable and don’t have family around them.

“The idea of the project is people can reach out to

me and I will send them a letter filled with positive

messages to help us through these difficult times,”

says Kiran, from the West Midlands.

The cards can also be sent to a friend or family

member as a surprise. The message is handwritten

to add a personal touch and can also be sent as

attachments as an email.

“It’s a helping hand, I’m putting my hand out to

help others so they know that someone is there… this

could make a huge difference to someone’s life.”

This project is for everyone so if you would like to

receive or send a card, get in touch with Kiran at

www.tsfh.co.uk or kiran_rai672@gmail.com.

LICHFIELD VOLUNTEER

CO-ORDINATOR LAURA

SUTTON. PHOTO BY DANI

SALMON PHOTOGRAPHY


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 BREATHTAKING SIX-BEDROOM FAMILY

HOME SITUATED IN ONE OF SUTTON COLDFIELD’S PREMIER LOCATIONS WITH VIEWS

ONTO MOOR HALL GOLF CLUB

Greenside, 12B Moor Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield: £1,750,000

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878

THE AGENT SAYS: This beautiful property lies off the

sought-after Moor Hall Drive approached from a private

gated driveway. The attractive Tudor-style and red-brick

façade makes a wonderful first impression. The arched open

fronted porch leads to the spacious and impressive reception

hallway which opens up into the kitchen, drawing room, and

study. From here a guest cloakroom can also be accessed. The

reception hallway is wonderfully contemporary yet classic,

with its porcelain tiled floor and walls, together with the

attractive oak front door and staircase leading to the firstfloor

accommodation. The entire ground floor benefits from

underfloor heating.

The open plan kitchen/family/dining area forms the heart of

the home and is perfect for modern family living. It is a bright

space, with bi-folding doors opening out onto the stunning

manicured rear garden and bathing the space in natural light.

The kitchen, with oak floor and wall units features a stunning

Rangemaster gas-fired hob with extractor hood above,

integrated fridge, two dishwashers, and a wine fridge, as well

as a complimentary island with cream faced units providing

for additional storage and workspace.

The sizable master bedroom with rear aspect boasts two

walk-in wardrobes and an en-suite bathroom luxurious fitted

with a white suite featuring double shower cubicle, bath and

walls fully tiled in ceramics.

The property lies at the head of a private gated driveway

flanked on both sides with mature plants and shrubs. The

integral garage and spacious driveway provide ample space

for parking.

There is a spacious rear garden, mainly laid to lawn bordered

for privacy with conifers and a large paved patio area

immediately outside the house which lends itself for al fresco

summer dining and relaxing. The garden has views to the

rear over the 16th hole at Moor Hall Golf Club.

W E L O V E :

THE SPACIOUS FEEL AND GENEROUSLY

PROPORTIONED GROUNDS

10


I N T E R I O R S

Outdoor

living

WITH coronavirus lockdown restrictions firmly in place,

our own personal outdoor spaces have never been more

important. We’ve already had an early taste of the

beautiful sunshine and clement weather which, hopefully,

lies ahead during the summer months - which has inspired

many of us to start readying our gardens for a slice of

outdoor living.

Rather than distinct spaces all of their own, our gardens

are becoming more and more an extension of our

homes. Furniture is comfortable and oh-so-stylish as well

as practical, while the addition of weather-proof soft

furnishings helps to define lounging areas.

Outdoor kitchens have seen a surge in popularity as

our love of cooking and dining al fresco continues to

grow, while picnic benches are being replaced by chunky

wooden tables which wouldn’t look out of place inside.

And rather than cold flagstones or concrete patio slabs,

stylish porcelain tiles can help to create that indoor/

outdoor vibe we crave.

Add in some substantial planters filled with greenery, as

well as a liberal smattering of ambient lighting and you’ll

have a garden space you won’t want to leave - even after

the sun goes down!

CAMLEY TABLE SET, £550, GARDEN TRADING.

WWW.GARDENTRADING.CO.UK

£39

£120

£2,995

INDOOR OUTDOOR PALM LEAF POUFFE,

ELLA JAMES. WWW.ELLAJAMES.CO.UK

HEATSAIL DOME FREESTANDING ELECTRIC

PATIO HEATER FLOOR LAMP, CUCKOOLAND.

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

£14.99

CHARCOAL GREY HEXAGON

GEOMETRIC PRINT OUTDOOR

CUSHION, BAZAAR GROUP.

WWW.BEANBAGBAZAAR.CO.UK

SEVILLE OUTDOOR TABLE WITH

PLANTER, ELLA JAMES.

WWW.ELLAJAMES.CO.UK

DOT OUTDOOR LIGHT, LIGNE ROSET.

WWW.LIGNE-ROSET.COM/UK

£POA

12


£32.99

£349.99

£159.99

DALAT GARDEN ARMCHAIR,

WWW.MADE.COM

SPIRAL OUTDOOR CEMENT

WATER FEATURE, LIME LACE.

WWW.LIMELACE.CO.UK

OUTDOOR KEW FIRE PIT

IN BLACK IRON, IVYLINE.

WWWIVYLINEGB.CO.UK

£499

£399

STRIPED HANGING GARDEN CHAIR,

VONHAUS. WWW.VONHAUS.COM

TOTEM OVAL GREY GARDEN

TABLE AND ICE BUCKET, DANETTI.

WWW.DANETTI.COM

£149

£749

TOPA GARDEN SET OF TWO DINING

CHAIRS, WWW.MADE.COM

VERANO GREY THREE SEATER

GARDEN SOFA BENCH, DANETTI.

WWW.DANETTI.COM

PARMESA ANGLIA PORCELAIN PAVING, £39.85 PER M/2,

AVAILABLE FROM TIPPERS. WWW.TIPPERS.COM


PLANTERS FROM A SELECTION AT GARDEN TRADING.

WWW.GARDENTRADING.CO.UK

PALERMO CORNER BENCH AND COFFEE TABLE SET,

£1,199, DANETTI. WWW.DANETTI.COM

LENE BJERRE DALIA FLOWER POT, £95, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

PALM OUTDOOR KITCHEN BAR SET, £1,825,

DANETTI. WWW.DANETTI.COM

FAB HAB SYDNEY OUTDOOR RUG IN GOLD AND CREAM,

£49.95, CUCKOOLAND. WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

14


OnTheBreadLine

Sebastian Clough, a former student of University College,

Birmingham, and the French Pastry School in Chicago, has

now perfected his baking skills, to produce the highest quality

breads, cakes and pastries, whilst also exploring different

flavours using high quality ingredients. Using fresh local

produce, his customers most loved products include;-

Green Olive and White Truffle Sourdough Focaccia

Dark Chocolate and Chilli Sourdough

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Fudge Brownies

Cruffins

Mini Chocolate Orange

Cherry Bakewell

Lemon Drizzle Cakes

DURING CORONAVIRUS OUR OPENING HOURS

ARE WEDNESDAY - SUNDAY 9am - 2pm

We serve on a first come first served basis, and observe

social distancing of 2 metres as marked by tape

STRICTLY ONE PERSON PER HOUSEHOLD

Hillcrest Farm, Worcester Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 5QS

Tel: 07506 780066 Email: onthebreadline95@gmail.com

onthebreadline

onthebreadline


F E AT U R E

Only the interval

WITH THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS WREAKING HAVOC ON THE THEATRE INDUSTRY, AMY

NORBURY CAUGHT UP WITH BIRMINGHAM REPERTORY THEATRE’S NEW ARTISTIC

DIRECTOR, OLIVIER AWARD-WINNING WRITER, DIRECTOR AND ACTOR SEAN FOLEY, TO

DISCOVER JUST HOW THE SHOW WILL GO ON

As one of theatreland’s most sought-after comedy

writers and directors, Sean Foley’s appointment

as The REP’s new artistic director has been a

huge coup for the Midlands. He has already been

nominated for a Tony Award and has two Olivier

Awards under his belt - including for the Kenneth

Branagh-directed Morecambe and Wise tribute The

Play What I Wrote, which Sean co-wrote and starred

in.

He has directed five Olivier-nominated productions,

including the recent West End stage production of

Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow starring David Mitchell.

Sean was enticed away from the West End to begin

work at the REP at the start of the year, following his

appointment last summer.

Describing himself as “half Irish, half Brummie”,

having grown up in the Second City’s suburbs,

Sean has been hugely excited to return to working

in Birmingham, bringing with him a powerful

creative vision for the Birmingham REP. Until,

that is, the coronavirus crisis hit hard, changing

the entertainment industry - among many others -

completely, overnight.

But as the curtain came down prematurely on Sean’s

impressive first season of eclectic entertainment, his

ambition to put the REP on the map firmly remains.

This is, after all, only the interval...

You’re a recent addition to The REP family -

what attracted you to take up the post?

Several things - the incredible unrivalled pioneering

history of The REP within the UK theatre industry,

the fact that it has three auditoria - meaning you can

stage very different types and sizes of shows - and the

fact that Birmingham seems to be on the verge of a

major civic and cultural renaissance, all combined

to create a wonderful opportunity. The REP was the

first ever purpose built Repertory Theatre in the UK,

and was the template for both the RSC and The

National Theatre. I believe that The REP can and

should have that kind of influence again, and look

forward to realising the huge potential of this theatre

in a great international city.

SEAN FOLEY, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

OF THE BIRMINGHAM REP.

CREDIT KRIS ASKEY

It’s an exceptionally strange time to work

in theatre, and must be even more so being

relatively new to this particular role. How

have your first few months been?

After being appointed last summer, I had a number

of freelance shows still to direct before landing

properly in the job… the last of these was Upstart

Crow in the West End, which I opened in mid-

February, and by mid-March not only was that shut,

but all our theatres at The REP were too. In a word

- chaotic!

How deeply has the Covid-19 crisis affected

the entertainment industry, and the theatre

in particular?

Like others in our industry, I am humbled by the

amazing work of the NHS, key workers of all types,

and everyone supporting the civic response to this

crisis. What we are going through obviously pales

into insignificance compared to the efforts currently

16


eing made elsewhere, but there’s no doubt that

Covid-19 poses an existential threat to our industry

- we are shut down now and will no doubt be one

of the last industries allowed to re-open. Our job is

to entertain, and people will need that wonderful

experience of collective live entertainment on the

other side of this… we need to make sure we’re in

good enough shape to provide that.

How is The REP dealing with the current

situation?

We have furloughed as many staff as possible

and are maintaining a much smaller skeleton

staff focussed on what we can still provide for the

community - anything from digital youth theatre,

to online masterclasses, to engaging with the many

marginalised adult groups we work with.

Your wardrobe department have been

helping to sew gowns for the NHS - how did

the theatre get involved with this?

We have some truly inspiring individuals who work

at The REP. When we furloughed staff - meaning

they couldn’t work for us during this period - we

realised that we had a lot of skills within the staff

team that could be applicable in other situations. We

encouraged people to volunteer their skills in new

settings - and the Wardrobe Department came up

with this themselves.

Are there any other ways you’ve been helping

the local community or theatre professionals

during the crisis?

We have many other staff volunteering their services.

We have launched an online service called REP

RELOADED that focuses on continued digital

engagement with youth and adult groups that we

work with already. We are also starting to think

about how we can provide shows to people in these

socially distanced times… perhaps by touring work

around Birmingham, and working more closely with

community groups and local actors to make fun and

impromptu shows in public spaces - look out for

THE REP - UP YOUR STREET!

As they say, ‘the show must go one’ - how is

The REP preparing for the future and the

reopening of theatreland?

We want to be the place where people think of when

they want a Great Night Out. We think The REP

can be nationally known as the place for artistically

ambitious popular theatre. We are aiming to have

some great, national and international talent at The

REP, and while we are dark now, we are working

hard to come back with a bang. There’s going to be

a lot of fantastic shows here that are Playful, Popular

and Pioneering!

You have big ambitions for the theatre -

what’s next in the pipeline for the REP?

We’re in conversation with the BBC regarding

an exciting new creative project which we’ll be

announcing later in the year. We’re going to be doing

our first digital theatre broadcast. We’re working with

Talawa, the UK’s primary black led touring theatre

company, to create a season of amazing new work.

We’re working right now with great Birmingham

talent to produce new exciting shows.

Are there any shows in particular that you’re

looking forward to bringing to Birmingham?

Yes! The show I’m directing this autumn -

Something Rotten. It’s a 10-time Tony-nominated

spectacular that is one of the funniest shows I’ve

ever seen, and it’s my first show at The REP and

it will be a UK premiere. A musical comedy for

people who don’t like musicals! And people who

do! A Shakespearean comedy for people who hate

Shakespeare! And people who love him…! Check

out the songs online, including the classic I Hate

Shakespeare.

For more details of The REP’s forthcoming

productions, visit the website

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk

THE REP

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

ROSS JUKES

17


LO CA L A R E A

Rainbows

of hope

LICHFIELD GRAPHIC DESIGNER CHRIS DAY HAS CREATED A SERIES OF INSPIRATIONAL

COLOURING SHEETS WHICH ARE FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND COLOUR IN AT HOME, FEATURING

BOTH LOCAL AND WORLD LANDMARKS - SUCH AS THIS ONE FEATURING LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL.

GET YOURS AT WWW.CHRISDAYDESIGN.CO.UK/HOPE AND GET COLOURING IN NOW, THEN

SHARE YOUR CREATIONS ON INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK USING THE HASHTAG AT THE

BOTTOM OF EACH DESIGN

18


CO M P E T I T I O N

A taste of lockdown luxury

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH SAUCE SUPPER CLUB AND CHEF TOM SHEPHERD TO

OFFER LUCKY READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN A LUXURIOUS HOME FINE DINING BOX

FOR TWO, WORTH £75, WITH A WINE PAIRING FROM WORTH BROTHERS

PHOTOS BY BECKY TRANTER. WWW.BECKYTRANTER.COM

As lockdown continues and restaurants look set to close

for some time Sauce Supper Club have joined forces

with acclaimed chef Tom Shepherd to bring you an

innovative restaurant experience in your own home.

The brains behind Lichfield’s premier fine dining pop

up events, Sauce Supper Club are now delivering their

trademark foodie experiences directly to you. They

will deliver a luxurious box containing three sublime

courses, all prepped and ready for you to flash fry, stir,

bake to create your own plates of delicious food by

following the clear instructions provided for a serious

lockdown treat.

Freshly baked bread and a final treat complete the

indulgent experience.

After two years at one Michelin Star Adams

Restaurant in Birmingham as head chef, Tom is ready

to start his next chapter and is preparing to open his

own restaurant in the centre of Lichfield, and now you

can be the first to try his new menu in your own home.

Tom will change his menu weekly using seasonal,

local produce. If you have an anniversary, a missed

wedding, birthday celebration or just fancy a weekend

treat, this is the perfect way to indulge.

Dishes including Creedy Carver corn-fed chicken

terrine, slow roasted lamb fab with potato boulanger,

and baked choux buns with hot orange sauce kicked

off the launch menu - so keep your eyes peeled to

discover what delights Tom will be serving up next.

Stay safe… fine dine at home!

The box includes free delivery to Lichfield and the

surrounding area, with a £5 delivery charge to the

wider area. To check availability for your postcode

email beth@saucesupperclub.co.uk and to order

visit www.saucesupperclub.co.uk

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A SAUCE

SUPPER CLUB AND TOM SHEPHERD FINE

DINING BOX FOR TWO, WORTH £75, AS

WELL AS A PERFECTLY PAIRED WINE FROM

WORTH BROTHERS, SIMPLY ANSWER THE

FOLLOWING QUESTION

AT WHICH BIRMINGHAM

RESTAURANT WAS TOM SHEPHERD

PREVIOUSLY HEAD CHEF?

Send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone

number, by email to competitions@jaimemagazine.com with Sauce

Supper Club competition as the email subject. Entries must be

received by 5pm on Friday, May 15. Terms and conditions apply.

Visit www.jaimemagazine.com for further details

THE COMPETITION

19


F O O D & D R I N K

Masterchef magic

FORMER MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONAL WINNER LAURENCE HENRY

SHARES A LUXURIOUS LOCKDOWN PUD RECIPE FOR YOU TO TRY AT HOME

MasterChef favourite Laurence Henry has teamed up with local fine dining specialists Sauce Supper Club to bring

his MasterChef Home Comforts meals directly to you at home. If you are self isolating or just don’t fancy visiting the

supermarkets but fancy some great food, then these options are perfect. Laurence’s menu includes favourites such as

lasagna, chilli con carne and apple and rhubarb crumble, as well as more indulgent pulled lamb with salsa verde and

tomato salad, and white chocolate and passionfruit cheesecake. All meals come as individual portions, ready to oven

cook, and are priced at just £6 for mains and £5.50 for desserts.

Delivery is twice-weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, available for Lichfield and the surrounding area. For more details visit

www.saucesupperclub.co.uk

Millionaires chocolate delice

For the base:

100g white chocolate

25g butter

65g praline paste (or hazelnut spread)

90g crushed biscuits

For the chocolate delice:

200g chocolate

90g sugar

3 egg yolk

50g milk

350g cream

Pinch sea salt

For the caramel sauce:

120g butter

120g brown sugar

120g double cream

1 tsp sea salt

For the biscuit base, melt the white chocolate, butter

and praline paste together. Crush biscuits to a fine

crumb and fold into the chocolate mix, then roll out

between baking parchment around 3mm thick.

For the delice, whisk the egg yolks until they double

in volume and are light and fluffy. Put the sugar

in a saucepan and cover with a little water, heat

until it reaches 118C. Carefully pour over the egg

yolks, whisking at the same time - use a stand mixer

or enlist some help for this part! Gently heat the

cream to around 80C and pour over the chocolate.

Mix until all the chocolate has melted and is lovely

and smooth. Carefully fold in the egg yolk mixture

and mix until smooth. Cut the base out with a

ring cutter (or build the desserts in small bowls if

you don’t have), pour in the chocolate mixture to

just below the top of the ring (or to your desired

quantity), and refrigerate for an hour or so until set.

For the caramel sauce, gently heat the sugar in a dry

pan, then once melted whisk in your butter, followed

by the cream. The mixture will seize and go hard

but don’t worry, it will all melt down to form a

smooth caramel sauce. Sieve to remove any small

bits of sugar and cool in the fridge.

To serve, carefully release the chocolate delice from

the ring mould. Spoon over the caramel sauce and

roughly chop some of the leftover base to garnish

the top of the delice.

20


SAUCESUPPLIES

additional items:

free range eggs

fresh milk

TEACAKES

Delivering fresh, quality fruit & veg boxes to your

door in Lichfield and the surrounding area

We’ll bring you fresh produce to feed your whole family direct from the regions best

suppliers. Our fruit and veg boxes also include delicious freshly baked bread. We will

make arrangements to leave your box in a safe place on your agreed day.

Order online at www.saucesupperclub.co.uk, call 01543 415855

or email hello@saucesupperclub.co.uk for more info.

LARGE FRUIT & VEG BOX | £24.95

MEDIUM FRUIT & VEG BOX | £16.00

SMALL FRUIT & VEG BOX | £10.00

Each box will contain a selection of fresh, good

quality produce such as bananas, apples, oranges,

seedless grapes, cauliflower, carrots, red & white

onions, broccoli, parsnips, courgettes, potatoes,

cabbage and a freshly baked loaf of bread.

JUST SALAD | £12.50

JUST FRUIT | £15.00

DELIVERY | TUESDAY &

THURSDAY

www.saucesupperclub.co.uk

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CH 2020

an exact colour match anD only serves as a general colour reference

LO-RESOLUTION. THE FINAL VERSIONS USED FOR PRINT WILL BE HI-RESOLUTION.

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DATE ....................................................................


H E A LT H

Stay home, stay safe, keep fit!

LICHFIELD’S FAVOURITE PERSONAL TRAINER RAUL ROMERO TAKES A LOOK

AT HOW WE CAN STAY FIT AND WORK OUT - TOGETHER - AT HOME

Hola everyone!

Naturally, in these unprecedented times when we are

probably spending more time than usual at home, a

hot topic burning through lots of people’s minds is…

HOW DO WE KEEP FIT FROM HOME?!

For many of us, although we may be homebound, it

is a mega busy time for us, trying to juggle working

from home with ‘homeschooling’, entertaining the

kids, sorting out family meals/snacks and trying to

keep on top of the house work. For our wonderful

key workers, they are doing all of this, as well as their

phenomenal jobs in helping our society get through

this pandemic. Others may have unexpectedly found

themselves less busy than usual and actually have a

bit more free time on their hands.

Whatever your situation, it seems easier than ever

to stay at home and spiral into a snacking frenzy,

relaxing in front of the telly and bingeing on

whatever treats we can get our hands on!

Of course, doing this everyday, along with having

to stay at home so probably being less active than

usual, it is inevitable that we will slowly but surely

start piling on the pounds. From this, other negative

physical and mental issues can also transpire.

So, it is no surprise to you then, when I say it is more

important than EVER to make a conscious effort to

remain active and healthy as much as possible.

This does not have to be taxing or expensive. In

fact nowadays, with our wonderful ever-evolving

technology, there are so many ways for us to keep fit

from home without any specialist equipment needed.

The role of personal trainers and fitness experts has

become even more important in order to help and

guide us in keeping fit from home safely.

One of the nation’s favourite lockdown P.E teachers

Joe Wicks has been leading live workout sessions

every morning to help keep the nation fit. This

incredible initiative is a perfect example of how

EVERY ONE of us can keep fit from home without

any specialist equipment, just a willingness to maybe

try something new out of our comfort zone and

learn as we go along.

ONLINE WORKOUTS ARE A

GREAT WAY TO KEEP FIT DURING

LOCKDOWN

On a more local and personal level, I have to say

I am exceptionally proud of many Lichfield locals

who have been participating in the free online fitness

sessions that Ambition PT have been leading online

through Zoom and Instagram since the lockdown

began. The attitude and commitment to staying fit,

not only from regular Ambition PT clients, but also

new members from all across the world who have

22


never trained with us before has been unbelievable.

The feedback from the community has been

phenomenal with many commenting on how great

they feel working out from home yet still within a

community and really feeling part of a team.

We are extremely thankful and humbled by all of the

support we have received and will continue to put on

free online workout sessions until we are back at the

studio at least. For anyone who has not yet given it

a go, it’s as simple as visiting www.ambitionpt.co.uk

and booking a free session. If you fancy giving it a

go, we look forward to seeing you there!

For those who aren’t quite ready to make that step

but would like some further information and ideas

on how to keep fit and healthy from home, we have

created a YouTube Channel dedicated to sharing

health and fitness tips, including workouts from

home with minimal equipment. You can find it on

YouTube by searching ‘HOLA HEALTHY LIFE’,

again, we look forward to seeing you there!

For any other information, please do not hesitate to

contact us at raul@ambitionpt.co.uk

Stay Safe and Keep Fit.

PERSONAL TRAINER

RAUL ROMERO

RAUL HAS BEEN RUNNING A SERIES

OF VIRTUAL WORKOUTS THROUGH

ZOOM AND INSTAGRAM

23


E D U CAT I O N

Time for change

AS MILLIONS OF PARENTS STRUGGLE TO GET TO GRIPS WITH THE REALITIES OF HOME-EDUCATING

OUR CHILDREN DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, FORMER MIDLANDS HEADTEACHER AND

EDUCATION CAMPAIGNER PHIL SHARROCK SAYS IT’S TIME FOR A MORE RELAXED APPROACH - AND

EXAMINES WHY WE SHOULDN’T BE IN ANY RUSH TO RETURN TO SCHOOLING AS WE KNOW IT

How exciting for us all, schools will

be returning soon! Or is it?! The

neverending, seemingly daily rhetoric

from political parties on all sides that

schools need to open to get our economy

back on track is in full swing.

May I make a small point?

First, I don’t care about the economy.

I think it was Harold Wilson who said:

“Nobody can get the economy right,

there are only degrees of getting it

wrong.” Well it’s gone wrong now hasn’t

it? And I respectfully suggest it will be Mr

and Mrs Joe Public that will have to bail

it out yet again.

Secondly, what about the health and wellbeing of

our children?

Thirdly, will you ignore the teachers and people on

the ground who you will expect to do thy bidding?

Finally, SCHOOLS HAVE NEVER BEEN

CLOSED. Teachers and support staff work every

day to supervise the key workers’ and vulnerable

children, they check on the vulnerable children NOT

in school, they sort out some form of structured

learning (which I will return to in due course),

they are feeding families who are now in dire

circumstances.

The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin

Williamson, has said in the last week that there are

five non negotiables before schools return: “First

we must protect the NHS’s ability to cope, and be

sure that it can continue to provide critical care and

specialist treatment right across the whole of the

United Kingdom.

“Second, we need to see daily death rates from

coronavirus coming down. Third, we need to have

reliable data that shows the rate of infection is

decreasing to manageable levels.

“Four, we need to be confident that testing capacity

and PPE is being managed, with supply able to meet

PARENTS SHOULDN’T FEEL

PRESSURED TO BE TEACHERS

DURING THIS TIME

not just today’s demand, but future demand.

“And fifth, and perhaps most crucially, we need to be

confident that any changes we do make will not risk a

second peak of infections.”

I really hope they follow this advice. But I suspect

the weight of pressure will be told, and you can

all celebrate soon and get your children back into

school.

But what is that school going to look like? Education

correspondent Anya Kamanetz suggests in her piece

for NPR that schools will look different when (and if)

they reopen:

• Stepped up health and hygiene methods

• Class sizes of 12 or fewer

• Staggered schedules

• Younger kids first

• New term times

• Different attendance policies

• No assemblies, sports, games or parent teacher

conferences

• Remote learning continues

• Social, emotional and practical help for kids

So you see, don’t celebrate just yet. This is not

going away, not in the short term. In general I’m in

agreement with what Anya is saying but I need to

ask… have you ever tried to keep 12 five-year-old

24


children two metres apart all day? Have you ever

tried to get any children at all to stay two metres

apart all day? What about the staff who are now

suddenly exposed to extra risk - will they get the PPE

they need?

This, if history is anything to go by, will be chaotic.

And I fear the blame for it will be laid squarely at

the feet of the head teachers and teachers who are

already on their knees from years of political bashing.

Parents are not fully qualified teachers. It took me

four years to qualify. And I have been learning for

another 24 years how to improve my trade. Do not

try to be me!

Be Mum, Dad, carer… nothing more. Give, love,

support, security, make your children feel important

and valued, do those activities that you never get the

chance to do when the world is running at 200mph.

Problem-solve, build dens, plant, cook, paint, draw,

build and demolish… do the things that are real and

important for life.

Schools teach facts; if you think “prepositional

phrases and subordinate clause recognition in texts”

is important then you are daft - oh, and wrong.

But that is what the government would have you

believe. Your children do not need to catch up,

they are not behind, they are coping and doing

wonderfully well in these very strange times with

your love and help.

I was contacted by a parent a few days ago who

said the school had set her daughter six hours of

work a day. And that it was being checked they were

doing it. Her daughter was in tears. Real humanity,

compassion and understanding showing through

from a school so fearful for its future because of

‘standards’. I fear it is not the

only one; in fact I know it’s

not the only one.

Which brings me to the

question we ALL need to

ask: “What is the point of

Education?” Prince EA did

a nice little video on this

very topic on YouTube.

If it’s not to prepare our

children to enter the world

of ‘adulthood’ then what is

it for? Since the early 1900s

schools have been exam

factories, designed to churn

out conforming people who

can read and write and do

as they are told. Look at

the current celebration of zero tolerance behaviour

policies and school. We all walk in silence don’t we?

It’s a 19th century system, with 20th century

teaching methods in 21st century buildings. It is

NOT going to work. Parents, we need to challenge

this archaic system. I’d recommend watching Sir Ken

Robinson’s wonderful TED talk on “Do schools kill

creativity?”.

We need to Change Education. It is no longer fit for

purpose. ‘Learn a fact, revise it, pass a test, forget it’

has had its day.

A fabulous campaign called Change Education 2020

is trying to do just that. It has seven aims:

• High stakes accountability in its current form must

stop (Ofsted is not fit for purpose)

• End testing, particularly at primary school

• A realistic and hugely reduced National

Curriculum (currently 201 pages long for primary

and 105 for secondary)

• One union. Not the plethora we have now, so a

consistent and coherent voice can be heard.

• A 10-year funding plan for education, like our

NHS.

• Scrap the league tables

• Make education apolitical

Come and join us all, and there are many of

us, on Facebook: Change Education 2020,

Instagram @changeeducation2020 and Twitter @

CEducation2020

There is also a www.change.org petition; search

for Change Education 2020.

Do what’s right for your children. Challenge the

school system. Please don’t just accept it. For your

children’s sake.

THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IS

RIPE FOR AN OVERHAUL, SAYS

FORMER HEADTEACHER PHIL

SHARROCK

25


W H AT ’ S O N

Online show for folk duo

WITH THEIR LICHFIELD CONCERT ON MAY 22 UNABLE TO GO AHEAD DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

RESTRICTIONS, LICHFIELD-AMERICAN FOLK DUO A DIFFERENT THREAD ARE TURNING TO

SOCIAL MEDIA TO BRING THEIR LIVE SHOW DIRECTLY TO FANS AT HOME INSTEAD

Transatlantic folk group, A Different Thread, were

due to perform a special record release show for

their new EP, Some Distant Shore, in Lichfield at

The Hub at St Mary’s this month.

A collaboration between Robert Jackson from

Lichfield, and Alicia Best from Durham, North

Carolina, A Different Thread pulls from their

respective roots, having developed a sound that

embraces elements of country, ‘70s folk revival, and

piedmont blues as well as traditional English, Celtic,

and Appalachian folk. Their blend of intimate,

raw vocals with atmospheric instrumentation is

reminiscent of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings,

while offering hooks in the style of folk rockers like

The Cranberries or The Lumineers.

Both traveling songwriters in their own right, they

first met busking in Galway, Ireland, back in 2016

and have been on the road together ever since.

Traveling is very much a theme; from the lyrics,

right down to Alicia’s homemade suitcase drum kit.

The duo officially formed after winning Shrewsbury

Folk Festival’s open-mic competition in 2017, then

went on to land interviews and live sessions on both

the BBC and NPR radio. The debut album, On A

Whim, released in September 2018, was described

as “a strong independent new sound” by Folk

Radio UK and a single from the album, Potter’s

Field, reached the semi-finals in the International

Songwriting Competition in 2019.

In light of the current global pandemic,the duo are

taking a break from their usual nomadic lifestyle.

Instead, they will be releasing their new folk EP,

while finishing up the songs for their next full album

of original material, until they can return to touring

and life on the road.

Their planned Lichfield concert will now instead be

broadcast via Facebook Live at 7.30pm on Friday,

May 22.

Fans can now watch the concert by visiting their

page at www.facebook.com/adifferentthread

with no account or sign-up required, and more

information can be found on their website at

www.adifferentthread.com

ALICIA BEST AND ROBERT

JACKSON FORM FOLK DUO A

DIFFERENT THREAD

26


T R AV E L

The desert next door

THE DESERT-LIKE LANDSCAPE

OF THE BARDENAS REALES

NATURAL PARK

Robbie Sinclair and husband Oliver, from Lichfield

travel experts RB Collection, finished their week of

driving around Southern France and Spain with a

scenic trip taking them from the culturally rich and

foodie haven of the Basque Country, to an area of

stark contrast; one of Spain’s most scenic deserts

where they stayed in one of the country’s most

unique - and Instagrammable - hotels

After a few glorious days driving over The Pyrenees

and through the Basque Country I had become used

to seeing jaw dropping lush landscapes at every turn.

Babbling brooks, waterfalls and endless skylines of

green stretched out before us as we sat in our 4×4

watching in amazement while trees whizzed past

our windows. The roads were strangely quiet and

this beautiful backdrop felt like it was just for us as

we cruised around hairpin turns and over serene

mountains. It was magical.

The road journey from Biarritz to the Bardenas

Reales Natural Park should be about a two-and-ahalf

hour drive. However we took a little longer so

we could take lots of scenic photos along the way.

The extra time we spent was worth it and we made

sure we had plenty of pastries and coffee which we

had bought in a quaint little bakery. It was just us

two, a podcast, tasty treats and stunning views.

Our sat-nav instructed us to turn onto a small dirt

track and it was time for our next adventure. As we

entered the Aire De Bardenas hotel compound, I felt

like I was headed to a space station outpost. We were

full of excitement and intrigue as we pulled into the

parking area of the semi-permanent structure. The

single story hotel is boarded with repurposed wooden

pallets that blend in with the landscape surrounding

it and after the glamour of Biarritz it was really nice

to add on a quirkier element to our trip.

After staying at a number of unusual places

including Petit St Vincent - a private island in the

Caribbean - and The Ice Hotel and Tree Hotel

in Sweden, we have grown a penchant for unique

hotels. Aire de Bardenas was the perfect choice for

our next out-of-the-box stay.

Sat in a wheat field, Aire de Bardenas looks out

onto the town of Tudela and behind it sits the most

incredible desert view. The unique part of this hotel

isn’t its incredible setting, nor is it the homegrown

vegetables or its friendly staff, although these are

all high up on the list. The thing that makes Aire

de Bardenas so amazing is their bubble tent rooms

that allow you to sleep under the stars and be at one

with nature. The aluminium and reinforced plastic

structure boasts an inflatable dome that houses a

transparent bedroom and covered private bathroom,

all cleverly situated to avoid prying eyes. We had

a more “traditional” room so after taking a look

around the space we collected our keys and turned


THIS UNIQUE SPANISH HOTEL

IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST

INSTAGRAMMABLE

onto the strange sci-fi like corridor to find our room,

we entered number nine; the last room on the left.

The simple room seemed very Scandinavian.

Simplicity and functionality is teamed with quiet

design details at Aire De Bardenas and I instantly feel

a sense of calm. At the end of the bed there is a large

window with a lazy day bed and on the other side

of the window sits the wow factor moment. A large

metal bathtub resides in a stark yard that reminds

me again of a moon base only seen in sci-fi movies.

Despite the unusual design, the unique landscape

seems utterly romantic and feels like a perfect option

for honeymooners or those wanting to reconnect

with each other.

When booking a hotel my top priority is always a

bathtub so I was pleased to see that the reception

area stocked LUSH products to satisfy the instagramhungry

hashtaggers that frequented the hotel. I,

of course, was no exception so I dashed out to buy

a new one. Although the

thought of a hot bubble

bath and a glass of wine

seemed very tempting we

couldn’t stop and relax just

yet, there was one more

thing on the list we needed

to see, so we grabbed our

map and some water and

jumped back into the 4×4

to hit the road.

This time we headed

towards Bardenas Reales

Natural Park which was

just 5km from our hotel.

I had heard great things

about this place but couldn’t

quite believe my eyes as

we entered the desert. It

took me a minute to realise

that I was actually in

Spain and not in mini

Monument Valley.

As we drove onto

the small rough road

towards the natural

park, Google tells me

that it was declared a

Biosphere Reserve by

UNESCO and never

fails to surprise its

visitors… I can see why!

Boasting a whopping

42,500 hectares of

photographable desertlike

landscape it feels

more like a film set from

Star Wars rather than a natural park in Spain!

The soils are made up of sandstone, chalk and clay

and thanks to years of wind and water damage

the landscape has eroded away to create the most

fantastical natural hills, craters and gorges. They say

that seeing is believing and you do REALLY need

to see this place to believe it. As we drove through

the park we noticed a military firing range and some

buildings that felt very top secret. After around two

hours of exploration and around 200 photographs

we called it a day and headed back. We cruised past

the many cyclists in the park and ventured out.

Back in the quietude of our hotel and with a large

glass of red wine I watched the bath bomb fizz

around the huge tub creating swirls of orange. I

closed my eyes and thought about our adventure.

This trip had felt like four holidays in one, lush

mountains and plush spa days juxtaposed with dry

deserts and off road driving. It was perfect!

THE DRIVE OVER THE PYRENNES

AND THROUGH BASQUE COUNTRY

OFFERED JAW-DROPPING SCENERY

28


BARCELONA

AND DESERT

TWIN-CENTRE

BREAK

· Return flights to Barcelona

· Pre-booked seats and checked in

luggage

· Arrival private transfer from airport into

the city

· One night 4* hotel in Barcelona with

breakfast

· City centre car hire collection, three days

hire

· Two nights Aires De Bardenas Bubble

with breakfast

· Advice and hints on enjoying the desert

drive

· Self-drive back to airport for car drop off

· From £949 per person, subject to

availability, terms and conditions.

For more details and to enquire about

booking, email vip@rbcollection.com, call

01543 261550 or visit www.rbcollection.com

THE AMAZING BUBBLE ROOMS

HAVE A SCI-FI QUALITY

29


FA S H I O N

Fashionably fit

AS GETTING SOME EXERCISE BECOMING INCREASINGLY PART OF OUR

DAILY ROUTINES, AMY NORBURY TAKES A LOOK AT SOME OF THE TOP

ACTIVEWEAR PICKS, SO YOU CAN KEEP WORKING OUT IN STYLE

HANDS up if you’ve been religiously tuning into

personal trainer Joe Wicks’ daily PE sessions on

YouTube? Or if your hour-long ‘Boris Walks’ have

become an integral part of your routine?

As lockdown continues, it seems that getting our daily

exercise is becoming more and more of a priority

for everyone, whether that’s working out at home or

getting out in the fresh air for a quiet solo walk, jog or

cycle.

This - for many of us - newfound love of working out

means one thing: our wardrobes could do with an

injection of stylish new sportswear. After all, if you’re

kitted out correctly, it not only puts you in the best

frame of mind to put your all into exercising, but good

sportswear is tailored specifically for the best possible

performance.

And forget the dull grey jogging bottoms of yesteryear;

today you can make a real fashion statement while

you’re pounding the pavements or working up a sweat

in front of the TV.

When it comes to effective exercising, comfort is key.

There’s nothing worse than feeling restricted in your

workout by unsuitable clothing. Opt for leggings and

vests which fit closely to the body for maximum range

of movement and look out for functional materials

which draw sweat away from your body to keep you

dry and comfortable throughout your training session.

A solid sports bra is a must too, whatever your size.

The right footwear is also a must; it’s always best to

get fitted for sports trainers by a professional, but since

that’s not an option right now, do your research so you

can understand exactly what type of shoe you need.

With our wardrobes at the moment eschewing office

attire and fancy going-out threads in favour of a more

casual, comfortable approach, your new, seriously

stylish sportswear is sure to become an instant day-today

wardrobe favourite.

SOLASTA SPORTS BRA TOP, £30, TALA.

WWW.WEARETALA.COM

30


£140

£63 £170

£45

FLO PINK STRIPED LEGGING,

VAARA AT HARVEY NICHOLS

ANATOMIC HOODIE,

TRIBE SPORTS AT

HARVEY NICHOLS

TECHLOOM BLISS STRETCH

KNIT SNEAKERS, ALTHLETIC

PROPULSION LAB

UNDER ARMOUR COLD GEAR

GRAPHIC LEGGINGS, FIGLEAVES.

WWW.FIGLEAVES.COM

£80

£45

UNDER ARMOUR COLD

GEAR CREW TOP, FIGLEAVES.

WWW.FIGLEAVES.COM

£30

SWEEPER CAMOFLAGE

BRA TOP, KORAL

ACTIVEWEAR AT

HARVEY NICHOLS

UNDER ARMOUR SPORTS BRA,

FIGLEAVES. WWW.FIGLEAVES.COM

£85

ADIDAS ORIGINALS FALCON

SNEAKERS, HARVEY NICHOLS

GILET, £25; JACKET, £29.50;

SPORTS BRA, £15; GO TRAIN

LEGGINGS, £29.50; AND

TRAINING SHOES, £45, ALL

FROM THE GOOD MOVE

COLLECTION AT MARKS

AND SPENCER

PATTERNED

LEGGINGS, £28,

FROM THE EMMA

WILLIS COLLECTION

AT NEXT

31


B E AU T Y

Skincare as easy as 1 2 3

CELEBRITY FACIALIST AND HEAVEN SKINCARE FOUNDER DEBORAH MITCHELL

OFFERS TIPS ON HOW TO REPLICATE A SIMPLE BUT SALON-WORTHY THREE-STEP

BEAUTY ROUTINE IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME

Whatever your skin type – be it oily, sensitive or spot-prone – a twice-daily skincare regime is essential to

ensure your face is at its healthiest. Throughout the day, your skin comes into contact with all manner of dirt,

pollutants and environmental factors; not looking after it properly morning and night and you’ll soon find

you’re suffering from constant break-outs, blocked pores, grease and early ageing signs. However, you don’t

need all manner of high-tech beauty devices, this simple three-step routine will ensure your complexion gets

the lockdown love it deserves.

1: Start with a thorough cleanse to remove the build-up of daily dirt and makeup.

Soak your face with warm water, making sure it’s not too hot as this can actually

dehydrate your skin and damage sensitive areas, before applying a small amount of

cleanser. Gently massage in a circular motion, avoiding the eye area, for between

30-60 seconds so it can work its magic. Rinse thoroughly and pat, not rub, your face

dry with a clean, soft towel.

Heaven Hydro Cleansing Milk, £37.90 (120ml)

Heaven Cleanse & Foam, £37 (145ml)

2: I often get asked ‘why do we need to tone our skin’ and the answer is

simple... it helps maintain a healthy and clear complexion. Toners are designed

to restore your natural pH balance while removing leftover impurities,

unclogging your pores and reducing breakouts. Opt for a toner that is suitable

for your skin type for maximum hydration and use after your cleanser and

before moisturising.

Heaven Bee Polish, £37 (30ml)

Heaven Orange Flower Cell Renewal Hydrogel, £27 (120ml)

3: Finish off with a small amount of moisturiser (remember a

little goes a long way) and gently massage with your fingertips,

not forgetting to cover the all-important neck area; you don’t

want the skin on your face looking healthier than the skin on

your neck. Choose a product that is designed for your skin,

for example a gentle formula for sensitivity issues or a thicker

cream for more mature skin, and opt for a specific one for your

more delicate eye area.

Heaven Divine Cream, £64 (50ml)

Age Defiance Cream, £73 (50ml)

PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT HEAVENSKINCARE.COM

32


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.

Based in the heart of Staffordshire in the picturesque village

of Alrewas, our shop is packed with ideas and inspiration for

your home. Incorporating Jo Raybould Interior Design within,

for those who require the services of a professional designer.

needwoodliving.co.uk

136 Main Street Alrewas, DE13 7ED

01283 711 272

info@needwoodliving.co.uk

Online Valuations & Estimates

Due to COVID-19 we are

temporarily closed to the public

Messages and emails are picked up daily.

For advice please contact:

richardwinterton@richardwinterton.co.uk

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.

Richard Winterton

Auctioneers offer a

range of professional

services tailored to

your specific needs.

Get in touch, we’re

here to help.

See our website for

full details.

The Lichfield Auction Centre

Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, WS13 8NF

House Clearances

Downsizing

Jewellery

Valuations &

Probate Services

Free Valuations &

Insurance Service

SUPPORTING

LOCAL MEDIA

01543 251081 | www.richardwinterton.co.uk

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: roselodgehome@aol.com

www.rosemarylodgecarehome.co.uk

CQC RATING GOOD


H E A LT H

Zoom in for online consultations

WE MAY WELL BE GOING THROUGH LOCKDOWN - BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE CAN

IGNORE THE DANGERS TO OUR SKIN CAUSED BY TOO MUCH EXPOSURE TO THE SUN.

SPIRE LITTLE ASTON HOSPITAL ARE HERE TO HELP

As summer approaches, four

consultant dermatologists at Spire

Little Aston Hospital are offering

online consultations on Zoom so

that patients with worrying skin

symptoms can be given advice

during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As both UK Sun and Skin

Awareness weeks run in May,

Doctors Jon Goulding, Clare Defty,

James Halpern and Haytham

Al-Rawi have made themselves

available for virtual consultations

for people worried about skin

problems.

Government figures show that skin

cancer is the most common form

of cancer in the UK and rates continue to rise with

at least 100,000 new cases diagnosed each year

resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths.

Dr Goulding explained: “We are absolutely still

open to see patients. Having the capability of Zoom

consultations means that, if necessary, patients can

actually show us the moles or skin tags they are

worried about. We often then supplement this with

review of separate high-quality patient photographs.

“The 30-minute virtual consultations allow us to

hear about patients’ skin concerns and decide what

action, if any, is needed. If we think an immediate

face-to-face consultation is necessary then we can

arrange that. The important thing at the moment is

to make an early assessment of any problems, which

these on-line consultations are making possible.”

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. It

can appear as a new mole or an existing mole that

changes in size, shape or colour - left untreated it

can spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma can appear on any area of the body –

even where the skin is not normally exposed to the

sun.

Look at your skin and examine your moles regularly

(1-3 monthly), since the sooner a skin cancer is

detected and treated – the better your chances of

cure.

Skin cancers seldom cause symptoms – however if

a mole starts to itch, become painful, bleeds, gets

crusty or inflamed consult your doctor.

Remember the ABCDE rule, which is a common

screening tool, used to compare the appearance of

normal moles versus a possible melanoma:

ASYMMETRY: when one half of the mole doesn’t

match the other.

BORDER: when the borders are irregular, ragged

or blurred.

COLOUR: when the colour changes or varies

throughout and/or there appears to be no uniform

pigmentation.

DIAMETER: when the diameter is greater than

6mm (but could be smaller).

EVOLVING: changes in the mole over time: weeks,

months or years.

Not all melanomas fit into these rules, so if in doubt

see your doctor. If a mole changes in size, shape or

colour, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

To book a 30-minute virtual Zoom consultation with

a dermatologist call Spire Little Aston Hospital on

0121 580 7119.

34


ALAN DOVEY AND MICHAEL SWIFT, OF WORKING MINDS, OFFER SOME TIPS

FOR MANAGING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

H E A LT H

On the front line of mental health

Mental health; those two words that have become

increasingly referenced over the previous decade are

now expected to have a more detrimental effect on

our well-being than ever before. Experts have seen

increases of health anxiety, panic, stress and low

mood, however there are several ways of maintaining

your mental well-being during this time.

The brain is primed for two things basically, which

is threat and loss. However, in these unprecedented

times the accuracy of these basic functions become

less accurate and, in fact, irrational at times.

It is important to identify whether you are

overestimating the danger that is present and

underestimating your ability to protect yourself from

these dangers. In times of perceived ‘crisis’ we are

hardwired to be concerned and anxious; however

our worry is not always justified. By rationalising

our thoughts, we can successfully reassert our

control over anxiety. It is hard to do this when we

are isolated, so try to keep making connections with

those in your social group and stay connected to

those you are close to.

Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking

after yourself and others in your household. You

could use this time to develop an exercise routine and

try new healthier eating habits. We know that it’s not

always the easiest, but reducing fast acting sugars,

fatty foods and increasing exercise is not only great

for heart health but also for your mental health. Why

not try planning your exercise and dietary changes

with the family to connect more with others!

The media - and particularly social media - is one of

the increasing ways that we source information on

world events. The problem, however, is how do we

know we are receiving information we can trust? We

recommend using a couple of credible resources such

as the World Health Organisation or the Centre for

Disease Control. Outside of this, limit watching the

news to 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes

in the evening. Think about it - if you had a big sign

saying ‘DANGER’ in front of you 24/7 do you think

you would feel more in danger?

Time and time again researchers have shown that

sleep is essential to not only our levels of energy but

our mental health. Try to maintain a similar sleep

routine as before lockdown and remember ‘LITE’:

L - Keep light levels as low as possible; I - Reduce

intensity of thoughts through deep breathing; T -

Keep the temperature of the room cool; E - Do not

use electronic devices before trying to sleep.

Most importantly, this is a time that helps show the

good in us all. We have seen families reconnected,

friends overcoming distance to stay in contact, the

charitable giving to heroes and the roars of applause

for our national health service.

Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic

may mean that mental health may

never be the same again and maybe

it shouldn’t. We hope that this

opportunity will lead to a greater

emphasis on maintaining mental

health and ultimately providing new

and improved help to those who not

only need but deserve support.

Finally, my one piece of advice that

overrides it all is to laugh when you

want to laugh and to cry when you

want to cry.

That’s called being normal.


Thank you

TO ALL THE NHS AND KEY

WORKERS SUPPORTING THE

COUNTRY AT THIS TIME

J’aime

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