J'AIME AUGUST 2020

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

J’A

A U G U S T 2 0 2 0

E

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

Pretty and

practical:

SUMMER’S

FAVOURITE

WARDROBE

COMBO

Nostalgic

style:

embracing

‘granny chic’

THE WONDER OF

CHOCOLATE FROM

A NEW MIDLANDS

ARTISAN

Find

your next

‘staycation’


Probate and formal valuations

for inheritance tax purposes

Our reliable and sympathetic

team can assist all executors in the

administration of deceased estates

From jewellery and large collections

to cars, furniture and household

items, we handle everything

Comprehensive, bespoke

clearance service and

downsizing solutions

We handle clearance of an entire

estate from houses, bungalows and

flats to offices and all other buildings

We specialise in:

Antique and modern jewellery

Watches

Gemstones

Silverware

Coins, medals and militaria

Works of art

Whisky and wine

Vintage toys

Stamps and ephemera

Cameras and record collections

Scientific equipment

Antique and modern furniture

Record-breaking

international sales

More than 3,000 bidders from

all over the world joined our latest

online Fine Arts Sale

Online services available

Virtual estimates, online auctions

and contactless collections.

Valuations and viewing by

appointment only

Qualified

All members of our jewellery

department are certified

gemmologists and diamond graders

Established – Professional – Transparent

The Winterton family name has been synonymous

with auctioneering in Staffordshire since 1864

01543 251081

www.richardwinterton.co.uk

richardwinterton@richardwinterton.co.uk

The Lichfield

Auction Centre,

Wood End Lane,

Fradley Park

WS13 8NF

NAJ A4 ad_August_2020.indd 1 08/07/2020 15:56


Welcome to J’AIME

Who doesn’t love chocolate? As a little everyday

treat, a thoughtful gift or just something you

can’t live without, chocolate is the perfect pickme-up.

And, much like the recent boom in

craft coffee producers, specialty chocolate is

becoming increasingly sought-after. We chat to

artisan Midlands chocolate maker Luke Pearson,

founder of Wnder Chocolate based at the Thorpe

Constantine Estate near Tamworth, about the

trials, tribulations and rewards of crafting the

perfect specialty chocolate bar as Wnder Chocolate

launches this month.

And if you’ve perhaps done a little too much

bingeing on chocolate during lockdown, we

welcome back Lichfield personal trainer Raul

Romero, who has a plan to banish those bingo

wings with some simple exercises you can do at

home.

Elsewhere, if you’re after a dining out treat we take

a look at some local eateries who have signed up to

the Eat Out to Help Out scheme,offering discounts

during August, plus there’s all your usual interiors,

fashion, beauty and travel favourites.

Remember, with this online version you can click

directly through to the websites mentioned from

our pages and adverts - so why not take a look?

We’re delighted to be back into print for September

issue and delivering to homes in and around Sutton

Coldfield, Lichfield and the surrounding villages.

And if you don’t benefit from our home delivery,

we are expanding our reach as you will now be

able to pick up your free copy of J’AIME from a

selection of supermarkets around the area, so you’ll

never have to miss out on your favourite monthly

glossy magazine.

We are now taking advertising bookings for

September issue and beyond, so if you have a

business you’d like to shout about then please drop

us an email to advertising@jaimemagazine.com for

our media pack and full details.

In the meantime follow us on Facebook, Instagram

and Twitter for the latest updates. Stay safe!

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS: NATHAN COLLINS, AKTAR

ISLAM, RAUL ROMERO, DEBORAH MITCHELL,

DIETER JANSONS

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 Wnder Chocolate - A new artisan chocolate

maker launches in the Midlands

10 Property - Property of the month

12 Interiors - Embrace granny chic

16 Interiors - Mixed metallic messages

20 Food and drink - Time to eat out

24 Food and drink - A delectable dish from Aktar

Islam at Birmingham’s Opheem

26 Sutton Coldfield Town Hall - Youth theatre

appeals to boost food bank

28 Travel - The new ‘staycation’

32 Fashion - Rock the dress and trainers combo

34 Beauty - The truth about serums with Heaven

Skincare’s Deborah Mitchell

36 Health - Banish those bingo wings with

personal trainer Raul Romero

38 Health - Exploring emotional abuse with Dieter

Jansons

40 Business - Travel Counseller Charlotte Mitchell

41 Business - Ikew Designs’ James Wilson

SPONSORED BY

4


F E AT U R E

The age of Wnder

AN ARTISAN CHOCOLATE BRAND INSPIRED BY LICHFIELD HERO ERASMUS DARWIN AND THE

AGE OF WONDER LAUNCHES THIS MONTH. AMY NORBURY SPOKE TO WNDER CHOCOLATE

FOUNDER AND CHOCOLATE-MAKER LUKE PEARSON TO DISCOVER MORE

Hot air balloons, mammoth stories of botanical

discovery and a fusion of art and science were all

hallmarks of the Age of Wonder, the period of

enlightenment and invention during the late 18th

century which saw the birth of modern science.

And it is in homage to one of key figures of this

period - and one of Lichfield’s most famous sons -

that fellow Lichfeldian and artisan chocolate-maker

Luke Pearson has named his new chocolate brand,

Wnder Chocolate.

“We’ve lived in Lichfield for many years and

we’re really connected to the city, and when I was

developing the brand I was looking at some leading

figures from Lichfield who have done really cool

things,” says Luke.

“Erasmus Darwin was a physician by trade, but what

really put him on the map was poetry. He was a poet,

a writer, an artist at one point, and he did all these

amazing things which saw the arts and science come

together. He’s from a time which has now been called

the Age of Wonder, and it’s the first time you can see

this happening en masse.

“Erasmus Darwin was also one of the first people

to put to the British government an anti-slavery law,

which ties into everything we believe when it comes

to the ethics of our chocolate, and it just hit the nail

on the head for us.”

Much like the Age of Wonder introduced the world

to the wonders of modern science, Luke’s chocolate

is very much modern chocolate.

“We want to change how people perceive chocolate,”

explains Luke. “For us, labelling it as modern

chocolate is our way of saying it’s well-sourced, both

environmentally and ethically, and that there’s no

forced labour, slavery or child labour in the origins

of the beans we use. Sadly, it’s a widespread problem

in the chocolate industry and big companies have

been trying to tackle it for the past 20 years with little

success, although things are definitely changing.

“But we don’t want to be preachy or take any of

WNDER CHOCOLATE

FOUNDER LUKE PEARSON

the fun out of chocolate at all; it’s an everyday treat,

a little pick-me-up and a great way to escape for a

moment.”

Wnder Chocolate’s home is on the picturesque

Thorpe Constantine Estate, just outside Tamworth.

Adjoining the small factory room, where Luke works

his magic, is the Saddle Room, a beautiful space

where Luke plans to hold chocolate tastings and

workshops.

Food, and particularly chocolate, has long been a

passion for Luke.

“I’m a bit of a geek at heart,” laughs Luke. “I’ve

always loved food and drink, and as a kid I used to

try to skive days off school so I could stay at home

and watch cooking channels.”

After a stint at catering college, where Luke realised

that, while he loved that world, formal education

wasn’t for him, he started working at a restaurant in

Birmingham, first waiting tables before finding his

calling behind the bar.

“I was seeing so much creativity on the bar side of

things, as well as that instant customer reaction that

6


LUKE SOURCES THE COCOA

BEANS FOR HIS FIRST TWO

RELEASES FROM NICARAGUA

AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA

you get from that face-to-face moment,” explains

Luke. “I wasn’t that great at being locked away in a

kitchen, but being able to play with ingredients and

have that interaction with customers at the same time

was a real buzz. I was hooked.”

After quickly working his way up to become head

bartender, Luke spent a few years in Birmingham

working at various high-end cocktail bars and

Michelin-starred restaurants, being a part of the

team opening The Edgbaston Hotel, before the

bright lights of London came calling.

“My dream was very much to work in five-star

hotels; I’ve always loved that luxury element and

that ability to really create a moment,” says Luke. “I

wanted to work for the best, and be the best.”

After embracing the London lifestyle for a couple

of years, Luke began to pine for the Midlands.

And when the opportunity came up to become the

manager of The Edgbaston Hotel, he grabbed the

chance. But after a while, Luke began to question his

future in the industry as a whole.

“It’s a hard industry, and being in that line of work

eventually takes its toll on you,” he says. “You’re

working 70-hour weeks, and while you’re engaging

with a lot of people it’s actually quite isolating at

times. There were lots of elements that I loved about

the work, but there were lifestyle things I needed to

change.

“I also loved the creativity, but alcohol was very

much a key part, and often people were just looking

for the side-effects of drinking alcohol, rather than

the flavours and ingredients of the drink itself.”

It was then that Luke met Ben Branson, the founder

of non-alcoholic spirit company Seedlip.

“It captured my imagination that I could work in

this world, and have that creativity and innovation,

but without any alcohol. These drinks weren’t

about getting you drunk any more, it was about the

experience of flavour - much like a great plate of

food.”

After starting out as an ambassador for the brand

before moving into a research and development role,

Luke spent two years stretching his creative muscles

coming up with delicious cocktail ideas, as well as

gaining a valuable insight into how a young brand is

created and developed.

“Ben has always been a person who is passionate

about allowing young people to develop their skills

before going on to start their own businesses,” says

Luke.

“Running my own business is something I’ve always

wanted to do, and after two years it felt like the right

time to move away and start something of my own.

“The luxury elements and the creativity are

something I’m really passionate about, and I

wanted something to bring together these elements.

Originally I wanted to create a box of chocolates;

I’m a bit obsessed with boxes of chocolates, I think

there’s something so magical about them. And they

have a lot of synergy with cocktails, they’re seen as

a luxury, they have intense injections of flavour and

you can have a lot of fun with them.

“But looking at the raw materials, you’re only as

good as the chocolate you use - and to be honest

I wasn’t blown away by what was available. More

importantly, I started to understand the procedures

WNDER VINEYARD AND CAMPFIRE ARE THE

FIRST TWO CHOCOLATES LUKE IS LAUNCHING

7


and processes of making

chocolate from beans. And

I was instantly hooked.”

Luke started experimenting

with making chocolate at

home, with friends and

family as his willing taste

testers. And as his time at

Seedlip came to an end,

it seemed like a natural

progression to develop his

chocolate obsession into

something more.

Luke got the keys to the

Saddle Room in February,

and has spent the past

few months honing his

chocolate-making skill and

perfecting his recipes.

“Throughout this time I’ve been able to do lots

of recipe testing and development; I’m so used to

cocktails, and with them, if the balance of acidity or

sweetness isn’t quite right you can instantly change

it,” says Luke. “With chocolate you don’t have that

privilege. Essentially you have to spend another five

days to even get close to where you want it to be, and

if it needs another tweak it takes another five days.

“I get excited by the raw ingredients of chocolate,

but it can be an extremely laborious process. We

literally sort our cocoa beans by hand to get rid

of any bad ones and ensure we’re happy with the

quality!

“The hardest thing in terms of making chocolate

is sourcing; sourcing beans from the right

origins, which do the right things ethically and

environmentally, as well as hitting the flavour profiles

you’re looking for, and in the right quantities.

“Receiving the beans is a really exciting moment

for any chocolate-maker. There’s not much you can

do in terms of altering the flavours as such, we’re

definitely guided by the raw product, so sourcing the

right beans is the way to get the flavour profile we

want.”

For Wnder’s launch this month, Luke has

developed two distinctly different bars, both with

a characteristically light roast and sweetened with

a small amount of Brazillian cane sugar from

pioneering company Native. The high cacao content

of both bars enables the beans to do the talking,

while the bars have been aged for between five and

six weeks to round out all the flavours and prevent

any bitterness.

Vineyard is 76 percent cacao using beans from

THE SADDLE ROOM, WHERE

LUKE WILL BE HOLDING

TASTING WORKSHOPS

Nicaragua, and has notes of grape skin, citrus

blossom and fig, while Campfire, at 80 percent cacao,

is from Papua New Guinea and offers slightly richer

flavours with subtle elements of smoke and spice.

“We don’t want to be too pretentious with it; we

want people to take from it what they experience,

but what we’re trying to achieve is a moment and an

element of escape,” says Luke.

“Vineyard is designed to be very approachable,

whereas Campfire is a bit more akin to what I’m

used to doing in the cocktail world, challenging

people’s understanding of what certain things are.

We’ve been going camping every year for the past

ten years and, for me, there’s nothing better than

building a campfire and gazing at the stars. It’s a

memory I wanted to capture and when I tasted these

beans I was instantly transported to that moment.

“It’s not a quick turnaround, with five days of

making and then the aging process, but it’s hopefully

worth the while in terms of the flavour at the end of

it. We just try to be respectful of the origins of the

beans and where they come from. That’s where the

mastery is, on the plantations.

“And I think our chocolate can offer that needed

moment of escape, a little midweek pick-me-up

which takes you somewhere that’s not your couch on

a Wednesday evening. You can taste the landscape

and where the cocoa is grown, and be transported

around the world, all without having to get on a

plane.”

For more information and to preorder your bar of

Wnder Vineyard or Campfire chocolate, priced

£6.95 for 65g including delivery, visit

www.wnderchocolate.com and you can also find

Wnder on Instagram at

www.instagram.com/wnder_chocolate

8


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16 -18 Britannia Way Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield WS14 9UY • 01543 263340

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Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm

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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 STUNNING FIVE-BEDROOM DETACHED

FAMILY HOME IN ALDRIDGE WITH A SUPERB BASEMENT ENTERTAINMENT SUITE

1 Chester Wood, Aldridge: £1,050,000

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878

THE AGENT SAYS: Built by Friel Homes, the property has

been constructed to a high specification with a classic theme

and comprises the entrance porch, which is approached

through the mature front garden, lined with various shrubs.

The tiled reception hallway provides access to the drawing

room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, and a study,

as well as a guest cloakroom, basement and first-floor

accommodation.

The contemporary kitchen/breakfast room is perfect for

family living. With contrasting cream and walnut faced

wall and floor cupboards and complimentary floor tiles, the

kitchen has been finished to the highest standard. With space

for an additional informal dining area, this is the perfect area

for family dinners and elaborate weekend breakfasts.

The master bedroom features views of the rear garden

beyond and benefits from an en suite bathroom with Jackand-Jill

washbasin and a dressing area. A sliding wardrobe

discreetly leads to a home gym with a sauna.

The first floor also features a guest bedroom with en suite

shower room, two further double bedrooms, a family

bathroom, and an additional study/playroom

The superb basement leisure suite can be accessed from the

reception hallway and comprises a spacious entertainment/

games room with bespoke bar, perfect for hosting parties,

watching movies as a family or relaxing with friends. This

room can also be accessed independently via stairs at the side

of the house.

The property benefits from a beautifully landscaped rear

garden with various patio areas, ideal for summer barbecues

and enjoying the various shrubs, trees, and the pond beyond.

There is also a lawned area enclosed with private close board

fencing.

The fore garden is established with shrubs and trees and

enjoys the fabulous open greenbelt views in front of the

house; one of the main features of this property.

W E L O V E :

THAT BASEMENT ENTERTAINMENT

SUITE BRINGS THE WOW FACTOR

10


BRAND NEW

PORCELAIN

PAVING RANGE

IN-STORE NOW

1200MM X 600MM X 20MM

DUPLOCEM RANGE IN GRIS £48.99

PER M 2 | PLUS VAT

EUROPA WAY, LICHFIELD, WS14 9TZ

01543 440000 | TIPPERS.COM

WEEKDAYS

7.30AM - 5.00PM

SATURDAY

8.00AM - 4.00PM


I N T E R I O R S

Mixed

messages

WE’RE always in the mood for metallics; adding a touch

of glamour to any interior decor scheme, hues of copper,

gold, brass and nickel have long vied for supremacy in the

interior design world.

The bold tones of copper, gold and brass add a warming,

luxurious feel to your space, while also pairing perfectly

with the trend for darker shades in bathrooms and kitchens

to create a welcome contrast. On the other hand, the

cooler nickel and pewter hues bring a more modern

aesthetic with their minimalist vibe, as well as been the

original cornerstones of industrial chic.

But for 2020, there’s no need to pick a favourite. This year,

when it comes to metallics, more is most definitely more -

and the more tones, the better.

Warmer toned metals pair perfectly with their cooler

counterparts as their different undertones create an

authentic and unique interior. When you mix warm hues

with cool, it creates a luxurious yet minimalistic look.

From chair legs and artwork, to large furniture pieces,

wall coverings and decorative pots and planters, it’s time

to make metallics rule supreme in every corner of your

home.

CUPID COPPER TABLE IN LARGE, £79,

CUCKOOLAND. WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

£119

£79

£49

BUDE 16 MIXED METALLIC PIECE

CUTLERY SET, WWW.MADE.COM

£59.99

INTERNOITALIANO TURI WALL CLOCK,

WWW.NEST.CO.UK

£399

MASTERCLASS 5-PIECE BRASS-

COLOURED STAINLESS STEEL

KNIFE SET, KITCHEN CRAFT.

WWW.KITCHENCRAFT.CO.UK

ORION COFFEE TABLE, ATKIN AND THYME.

WWW.ATKINANDTHYME.CO.UK

12

DEXTER CEILING PENDANT IN

BURNISHED COPPER, ATKIN AND THYME.

WWW.ATKINANDTHYME.CO.UK


£99

£579

£35

ZIGGY CABINET, SWOON EDITIONS.

WWW.SWOONEDITIONS.COM

GOLD PLANT POT TUB ON

STAND, OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

£85

£275

HUTTON TRIPOD FLOOR LAMP

IN COPPER, CULT FURNITURE.

WWW.CULTFURNITURE.COM

LA FORMA PHIL METAL SIDE TABLE

IN COPPER, CUCKOOLAND.

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

COPPER ROUND TABLE WITH

BRASS LEGS, BOMBAY DUCK.

WWW.BOMBAYDUCK.COM

£449

FAROE CONTEMPORARY TV STAND IN BLACK,

BRASS, NICKEL AND COPPER, SWOON EDITIONS.

WWW.SWOONEDITIONS.COM

GASTON WALL LIGHT IN BRASS AND

PEWTER, £85, LOAF. WWW.LOAF.COM


PASCALI BRASS BEDSIDE DRAWERS,

£269, ATKIN AND THYME.

WWW.ATKINANDTHYME.CO.UK

GARDEN TRADING ROUND WALL

PLANTER IN ANTIQUE PEWTER, £8.

WWW.GARDENTRADING.CO.UK

JONATHAN ADLER ALPHAVILLE COCKTAIL TABLE IN

BRASS, £1,995, SWEETPEA AND WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

BROOKLYN KING SIZE BED, £579.99.

OAK FURNITURELAND.

WWW.OAKFURNITURELAND.CO.UK

14


OPEN

FOR NEW

RESIDENTS

WE

REMAIN

COVID

FREE

FURNITURE • GIFTS • ACCESSORIES

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.

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.

Inspirationally French

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

La Maison Bleue, Heart of the Country Village, WS14 9QR

Tel: 01543 481414 - Email: info@lamaisonbleue.co.uk

www.lamaisonbleue.co.uk


I N T E R I O R S

JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS LINEN CUSHION IN PLASTER, £30;

AMARYLLIS FLORAL CUSHION, £40, AURA BORDER CUSHION,

£40, MADE TO MEASURE MIRREN ROMAN BLIND IN BLUSH,

FROM £35, CROFT COLLECTION HERRINGBONE MADE TO

MEASURE CURTAIN AND FURNISHING FABRIC IN AUBURN,

FROM £35, ALL JOHN LEWIS. WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

Just like

granny’s

IN these uncertain times, it can often help to take comfort

in the familiar. And nowhere is this more true than when it

comes to interior design; after all, we all sometimes crave

the cosy warmth of nostalgia. Enter grandmillenial style.

Grandmillennial style embraces design trends considered

to be a bit “stuffy” or “outdated” - think Laura Ashley

prints, ruffles, fringing and embroidery. And there’s

nothing ironic here; this trend for the antiquated is less

twee and more timeless.

Also known as ‘granny chic’, the grandmillenial trend

has become increasingly popular in the interior world.

Harking back to the days of your granny’s living room,

granny chic encompasses that nostalgic feeling of days

gone by, allowing you to recapture some of that past

familiarity in your own living space.

And if you don’t feel like going full-on with the florals and

chintz, try adding a touch of granny chic to your current

decor; combining old with new makes for a unique and

characterful interior space.

£553

TWO-ARM DENTON WALL LIGHT, £553,

AND EMPIRE SHADE, BESSELINK AND

JONES. WWW.BESSELINK.COM

£2,355

EICHHOLTZ FRINGE CHANDELIER,

SWEETPEA AND WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

£150

£38

VELVET CUSHION WITH BLACK BAND, ABODE

LIVING. WWW.ABODELIVING.CO.UK

A BY AMARA FRINGED MIRROR.

WWW.AMARA.COM

16


£165

£229

£49.50

PRAIRIE FLORAL BED RUNNER IN SAGE,

THE FRENCH BEDROOM CO.

WWW.FRENCHBEDROOMCOMPANY.CO.UK

£620

DUTCHBONE GLAVO SIDE

TABLE, CUCKOOLAND.

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

DUSTY PINK VELVET CUSHION WITH

SOFT WHITE FRINGE, MINK INTERIORS.

WWW.MINKINTERIORS.COM

ISAAC FRINGED ARMCHAIR,

SWEETPEA AND WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

£2,135

RICHMOND SNUGGLER, DARLINGS OF CHELSEA.

WWW.DARLINGSOFCHELSEA.CO.UK

CHINESE FLORAL WALLPAPER IN PINK,

£120/ROLL, FLORENCE BROADHURST.

WWW.FLORENCEBROADHURST.CO.UK

ANNIE SLOAN LIVING ROOM CHALK

PAINT IN SVENSKA BLUE, FROM

£21.95, SHOWN HERE WITH FLORAL

DECOUPAGE. WWW.ANNIESLOAN.COM


LUXE KIMONO GREEN WALLPAPER MURAL BY TASHI

TSERING, FROM £34/M2, WWW.WALLSAUCE.COM

ZINOLA 3 SEATER SOFA IN CASTELLO BLUSH,

£999, SOFOLOGY. WWW.SOFOLOGY.CO.UK

18


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F O O D & D R I N K

Time to eat out

WITH THE GOVERNMENT’S ‘EAT OUT TO HELP OUT’ SCHEME COMING INTO

EFFECT FOR THIS MONTH, WE TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE PARTICIPATING

TASTY DINING-IN OPTIONS AROUND THE AREA

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic

and subsequent lockdown restrictions have had a

devastating effect on the hospitality industry. Forced

closures saw many canny restaurant owners turn

their hand to delivery and collection services to keep

business ticking over - and to keep us in an array of

tasty dining options to be enjoyed from the comfort of

our own homes.

But since lockdown easing measures last month have

allowed eateries to reopen - albeit with stringent

Covid-19 protection measures in place - it seems our

appetite for eating out has returned with a vengeance.

And from August 3 to 31, diners will be able to

benefit from the government’s new Eat Out to Help

Out scheme, which sees a 50% discount on food

or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in, up to a

maximum of £10 discount per diner, every Monday,

Tuesday and Wednesday this month at participating

establishments. Those establishments will then be able

to claim a reimbursement from the government for the

discount they’ve given.

Here we take a look at just some of the local,

independent eateries which have signed up for the

scheme. Why not pay some of these a visit and help to

get the hospitality industry back on its feet.

POM’S KITCHEN

AND DELI

20


With the promise that your holiday plans are in the safest

possible hands.

Remember how easy taking a holiday used to be? When someone

else took care of everything?

As your local Four Oaks Travel Counsellor, I believe everybody

deserves their own expert to deliver such a personal service.

Coming top twice in the customer MoneySavingExpert poll, I care

about your individual needs, wants & aspirations. So if you’re

looking for a holiday to remember, that is stress free , with full

financial protection, and a personal service you won’t find

anywhere else - I’m here to help!

CHARLOTTE MITCHELL

Travel Counsellor

0121 314 6650 or 07860944207

charlotte.mitchell@travelcounsellors.com

www.travelcounsellors.com/charlotte.mitchell

www.facebook.com/charlottemitchelltc

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CASUAL EATS:

Bean Green Kitchen: 297 Lichfield Road, Sutton

Coldfield - A deli sandwich and salad bar in the

heart of Mere Green, serving classic cafe favourites

with some healthy twists and tasty alternatives. From

the fresh fruit, vegetables and locally sourced freerange

meats to their specially selected coffee and the

community ethos, Bean Green Kitchen is a true feelgood

eatery.

Windowbox Cafe: 418 Birmingham Road, Sutton

Coldfield - A local high street cafe, serving simple,

freshly made, wholesome food and a variety of teas

and coffees. Offering an array of tasty options for

breakfast, brunch and lunch - their pancake stacks are

a firm favourite.

Cigno: Ammnet House, 3 Lichfield Road, Burntwood

- This family-run cafe is a real gem in Burntwood.

The perfect place to meet friends and family in relaxed

surroundings, where you can grab a locally roasted,

hand-crafted coffee and delicious breakfast or lunch.

It’s a popular spot though, so booking is advised.

The Hub at St Mary’s: The Guild of St Mary’s

Centre, Market Square, Lichfield - Who wouldn’t

want to while away an hour in this stunning building,

sipping on a perfectly barista-brewed coffee? The Hub

coffee shop is a social enterprise, meaning the profits

from everything you buy goes back into subsidising

outreach activities for the whole community. You don’t

just drink good, you feel good too. Closed on Mondays.

The Bureau: 34-36 Market Street, Lichfield - A

new addition to Lichfield’s dining scene, The Bureau

offers delicious food from morning to night, as well as

their own blend coffee. Evenings during August will

see a grill night on Monday, Eastern night on Tuesday

and Bureau Bites on Wednesdays - and although not

included in the scheme, their cocktail range is certainly

impressive.

Pom’s Kitchen and Deli: 20-22 Bird Street,

Lichfield - Pom’s Kitchen has long been a firm

favourite with Lichfield diners. Offering a plethora

of tasty breakfast, brunch and lunch options, their

daytime menu is a real feast, focusing on fresh produce

and local suppliers, while the deli shop sells a range

of local and award winning products from fresh

vegetables, meats, eggs, jams, chutneys, beer and more.

Pear Tree Creperie: Heart of the Country

Shopping Village, Swinfen - Situated at The Heart of

the Country shopping village, The Pear Tree Crêperie

is an authentic French crêperie with bags of character

and a relaxed, informal atmosphere. The crepes

and galettes are always a hit, with sweet and savoury

variations to tickle all taste buds. Booking is essential.

DINING TREATS:

The Bracebridge Restaurant: Sutton Park

- Enjoying the most beautiful setting overlooking

Bracebridge Pool at the heart of Sutton Park, The

Bracebridge is the perfect place for a tranquil bite to

eat. While the restaurant itself remains closed, the

Terrace and the Kiosk are open, serving a delicious

menu of first class food from breakfast til early evening.

Moor Hall Hotel: Moor Hall Drive, Sutton

Coldfield - A Sutton Coldfield stalwart, Moor Hall

Hotel offers a warm welcome, whether you’re staying

the night or just popping in for a bite to eat. The

reduced menu is small but perfectly formed, with main

dishes, light bites and scrummy desserts all on offer.

Choose to dine in the socially distanced restaurant,

lounge bar or outside on the terrace. Booking is

essential for non hotel guests.

The Fig and Olive: Coppice Garden Centre,

Coppice Lane, Middleton - Situated at the Coppice

Garden Centre in Middleton, The Fig and Olive offers

a great spot for dining from breakfast until dinner.

Treat yourself to a dry-aged steak from their own

butcher, or try a freshly made pizza, sharing board or

more.

Sorriso: 28 Bird Street, Lichfield - Authentic

Italian fayre is the name of the game at this Lichfield

favourite. Freshly made pasta, tasty risottos, pizzas,

steaks, seafood… it’s a veritable feast for the taste buds.

Sorriso is closed on Mondays but diners will be able

to take advantage of the scheme on Tuesdays and

Wednesdays, from the a la carte menu only.

MOOR HALL HOTEL IS

A SUTTON COLDFIELD

STALWART

22


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F O O D & D R I N K

Indian cuisine redefined

ACCLAIMED CHEF AKTAR ISLAM, HEAD OF BIRMINGHAM’S NEWEST MICHELIN STARRED

RESTAURANT OPHEEM, SHARES A DELECTABLE DISH SHOWCASING CRAB THREE WAYS

Birmingham born and bred, Aktar Islam started out in the

restaurant industry aged just 16 at his father’s restaurant. His

mission from a young age has been to showcase the flavours of

the Indian subcontinent in dishes fit for kings and emperors,

and his hard work received the ultimate accolade last year when

Opheem was named as the newest Brummie star in the 2020

Michelin Guide.

Aktar says: “The kitchen was the only place that I experienced

ultimate freedom. With my knives, pans, meat, fish, vegetables,

herbs, spices and creativity, I felt free from constraints. The more

I learned, the more I realised there was to discover, and the more

I cooked, the more barriers I broke, both personal and culinary.

And that’s where you’ll find me. No duty. All pleasure.

“When you come to Opheem, you get an insight into the inner

workings of my mind. We’re striving to push the boundaries with

Indian flavours, but with cooking techniques from all over the

world, some traditional, and some very modern. At Opheem,

I’ll be using the same paints as I’ve always done, to create a very

different picture, on a very, very different canvas.”

Soft shell crab | Dressed crab | Crab cake

For the soft shell crab:

8 soft shell crabs, cleaned

3 tbsp yoghurt

1tbsp garlic and ginger paste

1/2 tsp ajwain seeds, lightly

toasted and coarsely crushed

3/4 tsp black salt

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

Juice of 1/2 lemon

50ml sparkling water

handful of finely chopped

coriander

100g gram flour

100g corn flour

salt for seasoning

Chaat masala for dusting

For the dressed crab and

crab mayo:

1 large cock crab

1 egg yolk

1 big pinch salt

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp white-wine or cider vinegar,

or lemon juice

250ml crab oil (see ingredients below)

25ml extra-virgin olive, walnut or

rapeseed oil

For the crab oil:

1 kg crab shell

1 onion, brunoise

1 carrot, brunoise

1 celery, brunoise

2 bay leaf

4 lemon thyme

1tsp tomato puree

1ltr veg oil

For the crab cake:

450g white crab meat

400g brown crab meat

400g potatoes boiled and mashed

75ml coconut oil

1 1/2 tbsp of black mustard seeds

20 curry leaves, coarsely chopped

2 onion, finely chopped

3 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric

3 tsp garlic, finely minced

3 tsp ginger, finely chopped

3 tsp green chillies, finely chopped

2 tsp chaat masala

Potato flour if needed

24


METHOD

Wash the soft shell crabs and dry on some kitchen

towel. Make a smooth batter with the rest of the

ingredients and adjust the seasoning. Dip the crabs in

the batter and deep fry in corn oil at 160ᵒc for 5-6

minutes. Remove from oil and dust lightly with chaat

masala.

For the dressed crab, steam the large cock crab and

pick the white meat. Make the crab oil by breaking the

shells into pieces. Sauté the carrot, onion and celery

until soft in a saucepan. Add shells, tomato puree and

cook for a further 5-8 minutes. Pour in the remaining

oil, add the bay leaves and thyme. Reduce to low and

allow to cook for at least three hours. Cool, and strain

through chinois.

To finish, bind the crab with crab mayo, fine brunoise

of chilli, shallot and chopped coriander, finish with salt

and lemon. Place a quenelle on the plate and dress with

julienne apple.

For the crab cakes, heat the coconut oil, add the

mustard seeds, curry leaves and chopped onion and

sauté until the onion turns translucent. Add the

chopped garlic, ginger and green chilli to the pan

and sauté briefly, then add the red chilli powder and

turmeric. Add crab meat and cook till dry.

Season with chaat and salt to taste. Once cool, add to

the potato, make patties. Deep fry - if they don’t hold

add some potato flour to the mix.

Aktar serves his crab three ways with green mango

chutney and tomato chutney.

AKTAR ISLAM HAS

WON A MICHELIN

STAR AT OPHEEM

25


F O O D & D R I N K

Food for thought

SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN HALL’S FOOD BANK PROJECT HAS RECEIVED A BOOST

FROM SUTTON COLDFIELD MUSICAL YOUTH THEATRE’S FUNDRAISING APPEAL

Sutton Coldfield Musical Youth Theatre has

launched an appeal to help Sutton Coldfield Town

Hall’s food bank donation point, which has been

running at the venue since the start of lockdown.

The town hall, in King Edward’s Square, switched

from hosting entertainment to helping those who

have been struggling to put food on the table once

shows were closed in March.

The entrance hall of the heritage building is being

used to collect donations from locals on a Monday

and Friday. New features of the project include free

coffee or tea for donors, a ‘support local businesses’

idea and charity stalls on a Friday.

While unable to rehearse, SCMYT decided to help

the town hall in its efforts with a campaign to raise

as much money as possible for the food bank. Food

bank leaders have indicated that local centres could

be under more pressure in the coming weeks and

months, as more families are hit by the economic

impact of the virus. The town hall has been a major

support to the award-winning youth theatre since it

started almost two years ago, and it is the venue for

both SCMYT’s performances and rehearsals. Now

SCMYT wants to do something to support those

that support it. They have launched a JustGiving

page to raise money for food and toiletries for local

foodbanks.

Sarah Clarke, SCMYT chairman, said: “What

the town hall has done to help people in Sutton

Coldfield through the current pandemic is fantastic

and demonstrates how much it truly cares about the

local community. The town hall and its patrons have

always been so supportive of our youth theatre and

we cannot thank them all enough. Knowing what the

town hall was doing during lockdown, and following

a suggestion from one of our youth theatre parents,

we decided to launch a fundraising campaign to give

something back to the community by giving the food

banks a boost.”

The youth theatre appeal has already raised more

than £100 and the group thanks people for their

generosity so far. It plans to shop for the food banks

once it has raised £300 and hopes that the money

will enable them to buy essentials for Sutton families

who really need assistance.

Town Hall managing director Julie Rennison added:

“This gesture is typical of this group, who create

such magnificent work on stage. To put their energy

into helping others at a time they are not performing

is a really positive thing to do. We’d ask anyone who

can help to donate to the page.”

Anyone who would like to donate to SCMYT’s

appeal to help Sutton Coldfield Town Hall’s food

bank can do so through JustGiving at

www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/scmyt-townhall

For those wanting to donate long-life food or

toiletries in person, the entrance hall is open on a

Monday and Friday, 10am to 2pm. Donations are

collected by two centres in Erdington and two in

Sutton Coldfield. Fresh produce, including allotment

produce, is used by a further Foodbank canteen in

Four Oaks. For further information, a short film

about the project can be found on the Town Hall’s

Facebook page

www.facebook.com/suttontownhall

SCMYT’S BEN HAYFIELD AND

ANNEKA HORNE FUNDRAISE

FOR FOODBANKS

26


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T R AV E L

Staycations with a difference

NATHAN COLLINS, JOINT MD AT LICHFIELD LUXURY TRAVEL EXPERTS RB COLLECTION,

TAKES A LOOK AT SOME UNIQUE AND MEMORABLE STAYCATION IDEAS

A BIRD-WATCHER’S PARADISE

IN THE ISLES OF SCILLY

While many know us for luxury and specialist

holidays to exciting far flung destinations, we have

always enjoyed recommending unique and special

trips to our clients closer to home too. Here, we have

pulled together some of our top tips for a special

‘Staycation’ which can help create unique, long

lasting memories for all involved.

From an Aston Martin 007 Experience to luxury

tree houses, Harry Potter inspired train rides and

UK small island escapes, we have some great

suggestions and will be here to help take care of the

arrangements for you.

Let’s start with a wonderful trip that captures the

style and glamour of the timeless Bond films. This

break lets you enjoy the thrills of driving a stylish

Aston Martin through stunning Scottish scenery and

around key locations associated with the films. You’ll

pass by Faslane Naval Base, featured in The Spy

Who Loved Me, and the loch by Crinan, the scene

of a boat chase through the Bosphorus in From

Russia with Love.

What screams Bond more than staying on a private

island? Here you’ll learn how to make the ultimate

Martini! This very special short break includes an

exclusive speedboat trip past Duart Castle, family

seat of the real-life inspiration of 007. And who

could resist powering through Glencoe, setting for

the dramatic finale of Skyfall?

Pick up your Aston Martin in Edinburgh and head

off on a route which will take you past some of the

most famous 007 Scottish sights. For two nights you

will stay on your own private island on the west coast

of Scotland, near to Oban. Cross the rickety bridge

from the west coast mainland to this idyllic five-star

28


THE ISLES OF SCILLY OFFER A

TIMELESS, MAGICAL BREAK

hideaway and you enter a different world – a world

of luxury, seclusion and a little eccentricity! You’ll

find intriguing contrasts and pleasant surprises at

every turn. Choose to stay in a characterful room

in the castle-style baronial mansion or splash out

– literally – on a spa suite, complete with private

conservatory, patio, large lounge and outdoor

Jacuzzi.

Get really into the spirit of the

Bond lifestyle with a pre-dinner

Vesper Martini – very definitely

shaken, not stirred. It’ll whet

your appetite perfectly for the

delights which await in the

acclaimed Michelin-starred

restaurant. The young head

chef designs a daily-changing

menu to reflect the best

available seasonal produce,

with fish and seafood from

surrounding waters and meat

and game from local estates.

Leisure facilities at the Stables

Spa are a testament to

streamlined modernity with a

ENJOY A LUXURY GROUP

GETAWAY AT FARLEIGH WALLOP

17-metre indoor heated swimming pool

and full range of ESPA treatments. The

rooftop terrace, overlooking the water, is a

tranquil spot for leisurely lunches. There’s

even a challenging nine-hole golf course,

with superb views from its greens and

fairways, plus a croquet lawn where you

can try your hand at the most refined –

and competitive – of British past-times.

Be whisked by speed boat around Lismore

island and past Duart Castle on Mull,

traditional home of the MacLeans. The

castle fell into ruins but was restored

early in the 20th century and is once

again the seat of the clan chief. The

exploits of soldier and diplomat Fitzroy

Hew MacLean, who parachuted into

Yugoslavia to assist the resistance in

WW2, are said to have been the origins

of Ian Fleming’s James Bond and 007.

Your return journey saves the best for last,

with a spectacular drive through Glencoe,

setting for the dramatic finale of Skyfall.

What more could any Bond fan ask for!

Continuing in Scotland and still with a

movie theme, how about a trip on board

the now infamous Jacobite Train made

famous from the Harry Potter films?

Breath-taking scenery and fantastic

journeys by mainline and steam railways,

this tour takes in the very best of northern

Scotland from your base in Inverness - the gateway

to your Highland adventure. This five-day tour also

takes in a journey on the Kylie line, the Strathspey

Steam Railway plus visits Eilean Donan Castle and

the Culloden Battlefield and visitors centre.

Our final stop in Scotland continues our railway

29


THE ULTRA LUXURIOUS BELMOND

ROYAL SCOTSMAN

theme onboard the ultra-luxurious Royal Scotsman

train. Embark on a Grand Highland Fling; riding

Belmond Royal Scotsman is one of those pinchme

moments. Ranking amongst the world’s most

luxurious trains, the mahogany-clad cars marry

Edwardian elegance with the comforts of a country

house. Ten intricately designed carriages, including

the sublime Bamford Spa, form a palace on wheels.

Over in Ireland you can also taste luxury onboard

the Grand Hibernian, one of Belmond’s

more recent additions to their collection of

famous trains which also features the Venice-

Simplon Orient-Express.

Crisscross acres of patchwork fields and

craggy coasts, stopping in some of Ireland’s

most storied cities. Belmond Grand

Hibernian gets right to the green and gallant

heart of the Emerald Isle. The elegant

sleeper carriages are inspired by Dublin’s

Georgian architecture. The Observation Car

offers all the warmth of a classic saloon, with

live musicians and animated storytelling.

The UK is home to stunning islands

including Jersey, Guernsey, Isles of Scilly,

Sark, Herm and Alderney. Islands are special

places, with a totally distinct feel, sparkle,

and local community charm that sets them

apart from anything you will find in a

mainland destination holiday resort.

When you travel to any one of these islands,

you get the feeling that you have arrived

somewhere truly unique, and in the Isles of

Scilly is there a better way to arrive than by

helicopter? With flights from many regional

airports throughout the UK as well as many

ferry crossings, accessing these hidden gems

is becoming easier.

The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago around

30 miles off the south-western

tip of England. Though

numbering more than 50

islands in total, only five are

inhabited. The total population

of St Mary’s, Tresco, Bryher,

St Martin’s and St Agnes is

just over 2,000, contributing

to that special ‘step-back-intime’

feeling and providing

a taste of the timeless magic

of childhood holidays. Amid

wonderful scenery, younger

children can explore rock pools

and endless sandy beaches,

while the older ones – and the

adults – can hike nature trails,

hire bikes, or ride horses along

the shore.

The Isles of Scilly are a bird-watcher’s paradise,

with approximately 435 species of birds, including

cormorants, gannets, oystercatchers, manx

shearwaters and puffins to name but a few. On Scilly,

everything revolves around the sea, so why not take

the opportunity to spot some Atlantic grey seals?

Eating out in the Isles of Scilly is often just that: an

alfresco delight. What could be better than enjoying

THE JACOBITE TRAIN WAS MADE

FAMOUS IN THE HARRY POTTER

FILMS

30


fresh fish and chips on

the beach, gazing out at

waters the same colour as

those in the Caribbean, or

a delicious freshly-caught

lobster salad in one of the

local restaurants.

If you are looking for a

unique place to spend a

night or two for a special

occasion how about

wonderful luxury tree

houses in Hampshire? They

vary in size, from studios to

a completely private escape

sleeping 12! Consider it

the most secluded abode to

nestle in the tranquil New

Forest; the private treehouse

CHANNEL JAMES BOND WITH AN

ASTON MARTIN EXPERIENCE IN

SCOTLAND

is a place where you can gather those closest to

you and immerse yourself in the trees together for

the most extraordinary experience. Equipped with

a wood burner in the heart of the living space,

beautiful rich tones of green and grey echo the

environment beyond the balconies. The owners have

carefully considered the interior design to create a

real sense of luxury that still has an essence of earthy

tranquillity to compliment the idyllic surroundings.

If you need a private estate to hire for a group or

family occasion, then Farleigh Wallop in Hampshire

is a great find. An hour from London, Farleigh

Wallop is perfect for private events, house parties,

corporate gatherings and exclusive use holidays. It

sits at the heart of a 4,000-acre Hampshire estate,

down a tree-lined avenue. Set back from the road,

it is a classic English home whose interior has

been recently redesigned and fitted with modern

amenities. A luxurious retreat, it is completely

private. The house has eight reception rooms, all

adaptable in format. The dining room is ideal for

grand dining or a reception for 40. Eleven bedrooms

and nine bathrooms provide beautifully appointed

accommodation. A bespoke marquee area, adjacent

to the house, caters for larger parties.

As you can see, there is plenty to discover closer to

home and we look forward to helping create those

special travel memories.

Call RB Collection on 01543 258631 or email

vip@rbcollection.com to book your next unique

or luxury staycation.

THIS HAMPSHIRE TREE

HOUSE PROVIDES A UNIQUE

DESITNATION FOR A SPECIAL

OCCASION

J’AIME

READER OFFER

Book any of these mentioned

holidays or hotels before the end of

September 2020 for any date in the

future and receive a complimentary

bottle of British sparkling wine from

Hattingley Estate, winner of this year’s

International Wine Challenge. Simply

mention J’AIME magazine when you

first enquiry to qualify, applicable to

new bookings only.

31


FA S H I O N

Pretty practical

IT’S FAST BECOMING THE STREET STYLE STAPLE OF SUMMER - THE DRESS

AND TRAINERS COMBO IS THE ONE TO ROCK FOR EFFORTLESSLY LAID-BACK

DRESSING, SAYS AMY NORBURY

LOCKDOWN has had an effect on every part of our lives - and

our wardrobes are no exception. With loungewear overtaking

tailoring as the work attire du jour, and our ‘going out’ outfits

eschewed in favour of home comfies, we’ve had a serious rethink

about how we approach daily dressing.

And thanks to lockdown, the words ‘heel’, ‘stiletto’, and ‘wedge’

have been noticeably absent from the fashion lexicon for the past

few months. Because who would opt to wear sky-high stompers

when flats have become more than acceptable all-day wear?

This summer’s ‘effortless chic’ award goes to a daily uniform

which embraces comfort all the way, while still looking perfectly

put-together. That’s right, the trusty dress and trainers combo is

the top choice for those whose only opportunity to show off their

breezy summer garb has been on the supermarket dash. Now,

with picnics in the park the height of social activity, adding our

sportiest trainers to our floatiest dress is a foolproof approach to

dressing for a park outing.

Having perfected the art of the ‘sunny mini-dress worn with

trainers’, Hollywood starlet - and self-confessed sneaker

obsessive - Emily Ratajkowski is a poster girl for the look. The

supermodel has long had her Nike Cortez, Air Force 1s and

Keds on pretty much permanent rotation.

So how to work the combo? Thankfully, it’s one which doesn’t

require much forethought - simply throw on your favourite

summer dress, add your comfiest trainers and you’re good to go.

The classic Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are a footwear

go-to for myriad occasions and outfits - this timeless canvas

shoe comes in enough colour variations to match pretty much

anything in your wardrobe. Opt for crisp, clean white - or

even white leather for a smarter look - to pair seamlessly with

patterned and floral dresses, or try one of the cool prints to add

a fun touch to a plain sundress.

Elsewhere on the trainer front, Adidas Originals’ go-to Stan

Smiths, or the aforementioned Nike Air Force 1s so beloved by

Emily Ratajkowski, are a worthy investment for optimum dresspairing.

Every wardrobe needs a good shirtdress or three, and while they

can be dressed up effortlessly with heels, they look just as stylish

teamed with a sporty pair of trainers for a touch of everyday

elegance.

Whatever your style, the dress and trainers combo is one that

can be worked with very little effort - and we’re hoping this

comfortable approach to dressing sticks around long after

lockdown ends.

DRESS, £30, TRAINERS, £32, BAG,

£22, AND SUNGLASSES, £10, ALL

MISS SELFRIDGE.

WWW.MISSSELFRIDGE.COM

32


£55

CHUCK 70 MINT CANVAS

HI TOPS, CONVERSE.

WWW.CONVERSE.COM/UK

£35

£70

£70

WHITE AND DUSKY PINK STAN

SMITHS, ADIDAS ORIGINALS.

WWW.ADIDAS.CO.UK

£39

£220

PRINTED OFF-THE-SHOULDER DRESS,

RIVER ISLAND. WWW.RIVERISLAND.COM

TIE DYE KNITTED DRESS, RED

HERRING AT DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

£85

BRODERIE BARDOT DRESS, RED

HERRING AT DEBENHAMS.

WWW.DEBENHAMS.COM

INES TAUPE SEERSUCKER DRESS, BIRD

AND KNOLL AT HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£70

ELECKTRO TRAINERS, DUNE LONDON.

WWW.DUNELONDON.COM

CHUCK 70 MARBLE PRINT CANVAS SNEAKERS,

CONVERSE. WWW.CONVERSE.COM/UK

KHOST CLOTHING YELLOW BELTED SHIRT

DRESS, £49, M&CO. WWW.MANDCO.COM

DRESS, £39, AND TRAINERS, £25, MISS

SELFRIDGE. WWW.MISSSELFRIDGE.COM

33


B E AU T Y

What’s the fuss about serums?

SO YOU KNOW YOUR MOISTURISERS FROM YOUR TONERS BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT

SERUMS ARE FOR? AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW THEY CAN BENEFIT YOUR COMPLEXION?

ROYAL FACIALIST AND FOUNDER OF HEAVEN SKINCARE DEBORAH MITCHELL EXPLAINS

PUT simply, a serum is a product that you apply to

your face and neck straight after cleansing and before

you moisturise. Perfect for tackling fine lines and

dehydration, they deliver a potent shot of ingredients

directly into your skin. In fact, while cleansers and

moisturisers usually contain between five and ten per

cent of active ingredients, serums can boast up to 70

per cent. And unlike traditional face creams they have

smaller molecules so can penetrate the epidermis.

That might make you think you should replace your

regular moisturiser and use a serum on its own, but

this isn’t the case. A daily moisturiser is still essential

as it is richer and may have the added benefit of SPF.

Instead, using one in tandem with a serum – and

trust me, you only need a few drops – means your

skin is getting a much better level of care.

If you have multiple concerns – say fine lines and

wrinkles or dry skin – you can layer your serums for

multiple benefits in one application. To determine

what order to use them start with the one that targets

your main concern first and then layer the others

order of priority, allowing 30 seconds in between for

the ingredients to soak in. You can even add a few

drops to your foundation for an added beauty boost.

Heaven’s LIA Oil Serum works to reduce redness

and rosacea, and rejuvenate dull skin. The addition

of organic rose and neroli repair helps prevent

broken capillaries and reduce scarring.

Perfect for people with eczema or sensitive skin, the

microbes in my Clarifying Oil Serum kill bacteria

and condition skin to bring it back to equilibrium.

My SOS Oil Serum is designed to balance oil levels,

hydrate and feed the skin while its vitamin content

can help to repair acne, scars and damaged skin. It

can even be used on dry hair and nails to soften and

repair.

Use my Dream Oil Serum in tandem with your

overnight cream to balance oil levels, hydrate and

feed the skin; its combination of organic jasmine

promotes relaxation and induces sleep.

All products featured are available from

www.heavenskincare.co.uk

34


Millarde Fashions

of Sutton Coldfield

CLOSING DOWN SALE

EVERYTHING MUST GO

396 Birmingham Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B72 1YJ

0121 373 4834 - www.millardefashions.co.uk - enquiries@millardefashions.co.uk


H E A LT H

Bye bye bingo wings!

THIS MONTH, LICHFIELD’S SPANISH PERSONAL TRAINER RAÚL ROMERO

TALKS BINGO WINGS, AND HOW TO BLAST THEM FOR GOOD!

Bingo wings; the bane of many of my clients’ lives.

Over the years I have had this question posed to me

more times than I can remember, on the whole by

female clients...how to get rid of bingo wings and

achieve strong, toned arms for good?

Despite there being no magic quick fix, the great

thing is that with only a few small daily changes,

effort and consistency, it is very much possible to

achieve from the comfort of your own home without

any specialist equipment. In fact, the only thing

needed for the below workout to blast those bingo

wings is an ordinary household object: a chair!

Here I will share with you some simple yet extremely

effective exercises that can be done from the comfort

of your own home in only five minutes everyday with

simply a chair. The key is consistency and planning

in those all-important five minutes in your daily life

in order to achieve and really notice results. It is

possible for EVERYONE!

Do the following exercises for only five minutes

everyday to get results:

1. Triceps press-ups

Kneel on the floor and place your hands a narrow

width apart, palms down, in front of you. Keep your

bottom tucked in and your body straight. Then,

slowly drop your body down to the floor bending

only your elbows and maintaining a straight posture.

If you can, do two sets of 10-15 repetitions to begin

with, then you can slowly build it up as you get

stronger.

2. Triceps dips using a chair

Place the chair against the wall or something firm

for safety. Then sit down on the floor directly in front

of the chair with the chair behind you. Place your

palms on the chair, still facing forward and lift your

bottom up from the floor, straightening your arms.

Your body weight should be exerted into your arms,

specifically your tricep muscles as they hold your

weight as your bottom is lifted off the floor. Then

slowly bend your arms and drop your bottom back

down to the floor, then push up again to repeat. If

you can, do two sets of 10 repetitions to begin with,

then again you can slowly build it up as you get

stronger.

To see the correct technique of how to complete

these two exercises, you can view a specific video on

it that I have recorded and uploaded onto Youtube

- just search my Youtube channel Hola Healthy

Life, or contact me and I will be happy to talk you

through it.

TRICEP DIPS

TRICEP PRESS UPS

36


As well as these two simple exercises, other daily

activities that can help get rid of excess fat, not only

in the arms, but all over are:

1. Getting a good night’s sleep: When we lack

sleep, our bodies go through changes that can lead

to weight gain. Sleep deprivation can cause changes

to hormones that regulate hunger and appetite.

We have a hormone leptin that suppresses appetite

and encourages the body to expend energy. Sleep

deprivation reduces leptin. The hormone ghrelin,

on the other hand, triggers feelings of hunger - and

ghrelin increases when we are short on sleep.

2. Healthy eating: As obvious as this sounds,

eating plenty of fibre in the form of vegetables

and fruits (avoiding sugary fruits), avoiding ultra

processed foods with high amounts of trans fats,

cutting back on unnecessary carbs and sugars, and

not drinking too much alcohol, can all help blast

excess fat.

3. Controlling stress levels: Again another

obvious one that doesn’t always affect everyone.

If,however, your stress levels do tend to increase, it

is important to find strategies and activities to help

you control and reduce them (for example yoga or

meditation).

4. Include cardio or hiit workouts into your

weekly routine: This will undoubtedly help blast

the excess fat as it will enable your body to expend

more calories.

Good luck to all of you who manage to give the

above exercises a go. I would love to hear how you

get on! For any questions or more information on

blasting those bingo wings, please contact me via

social media or email raul@ambitionpt.co.uk

INCORPORATING CARDIO

OR HIIT SESSIONS INTO

YOUR WEEKLY WORKOUTS

WILL HELP TO BLAST FAT

37


H E A LT H

Spotting the signs of emotional abuse

WITH INCIDENCES OF DOMESTIC ABUSE ON THE INCREASE DURING LOCKDOWN, DIETER

JANSONS, MSC PSYCHOLOGY, FROM WORKING MINDS, TACKLES THE OFTEN-HIDDEN

SUBJECT OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE; WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR AND WHERE YOU CAN GET HELP

“You wouldn’t have that if it weren’t for me.”

Constant criticism? Never good enough? Walking on

eggshells? It’s often phrases like this above, where an

emotional, abusive partner would utter derogatory

comments to wear down a person’s self-esteem.

Whether the contents are subtle and insidious or

overt and manipulative; emotional abuse is one of

the challenging forms of abuse to recognise and can

severely impact your mental health.

In general, mental abuse is often used as a way

to maintain power and control over someone;

invisible to others, a victim may begin to doubt their

perceptions and sense of self. Research indicates

that the consequences of an emotional abusive

relationship is just as severe, and damaging, as a

physical abusive one.

How to spot emotional abuse

When examining your own relationship, remember

that emotional abuse is often subtle. As a result, it

can be very hard to detect. If you are having trouble

identifying whether or not your relationship is

abusive, stop and think about how the interactions

with your partner, friend or family member make

you feel.

If you feel aggrieved, frustrated, confused,

misunderstood, depressed, anxious or worthless at

any time, chances are high that your relationship

is emotionally abusive; even if your partner only

does a handful of these things, you are still in an

unhealthy relationship.

Some examples may include:

• Being dissatisfied no matter how hard you try or

how much you give

• ​Accusing you of being “too sensitive,” “too

emotional,” or “crazy-psycho”

• Refusing to acknowledge or accept your opinions

or ideas as valid

• Accusing you that your perceptions are wrong

38


“you’re blowing this out of proportion,” or “you

exaggerate”

• Accusing you of being selfish, needy, or

materialistic if you express your wants or needs

(the expectation is that you should not have any

wants or needs)

• ​Constant remarks at your clothes, your hair, your

work, and more

• Manipulating and controlling you by making you

feel guilty

• Exaggerating your flaws or pointing them out

in order to deflect attention or to avoid taking

responsibility for their poor choices or mistakes

• Denying that an event took place or lying about it

• Treating you like you are inferior

• Blaming you for their mistakes and shortcomings

Do not fall into the trap of telling yourself “it’s

not that bad” or “could be worse” to minimise

their behaviour. Remember, everyone deserves to be

treated with kindness and respect.

Seeking help and recovery

It is important for a person who is currently

experiencing, or who has ever experienced,

emotional abuse to know that the abuse is never

their fault. In some cases, a partner may even be

using emotional abuse to prevent the person from

leaving or seeking help. The first step in dealing with

an emotionally abusive relationship is to recognise

that it is happening; make yourself a priority,

establish boundaries, stop blaming yourself, realise

you can’t change them, avoid engaging, build a

support network, and work on an exit plan.

According to gov.uk: “the household isolation

instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply

if you need to leave your home to escape domestic

abuse.”

If you need to talk to someone for free and

confidential advice you can call…

National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247

www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse

survivors – 0808 801 0327

The Mix, free information and support for under

25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800

999 5428

Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123

Alternatively, you can text the police on 61016 for all

non-emergency incidents. In an emergency, always

dial 999.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE IS

OFTEN SUBTLE, SO CAN BE

DIFFICULT TO DETECT

39


B U S I N E S S

Well travelled

AS THE LOCAL TRAVEL COUNSELLOR FOR FOUR OAKS, INDEPENDENT TRAVEL

AGENT CHARLOTTE MITCHELL SPECIALISES IN TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAYS

Charlotte says: “I started my travel journey studying

travel and tourism at Worcester College aged 17,

and worked part-time at a local independent Travel

Agency, Atlas Travel, until I finished my studies.

“In 2006, when my husband finished university,

we moved to Bristol, where I joined Thomas Cook

as a sales consultant, becoming a customer service

manager and staying for over four years. Many of

the holidays I worked on here were packaged by

Thomas Cook and were the days of when clients

would come into the shop armed with brochures and

we would go through the options the customer had

marked, one-by-one.

“I needed a new challenge and an opportunity

became available for me to work as a business

development manager for an independent travel

agency, Travel Solutions. Working on business travel

is very different to leisure travel and I missed the

excitement created when clients came in with their

ideas for holidays. So, in 2011, I moved within the

same company to Oxford to become manager of the

Summertown branch. Here I organised our amazing

wedding in Cyprus at the fabulous Aphrodite Hills,

Paphos and our multi-centre honeymoon to Hawaii.

“The types of holidays I started to create changed.

Customers wanted to go off and explore; they didn’t

just want to sit by a pool for two weeks but wanted

to really engage and visit as many destinations as

possible. Having the same passion, tailor-made

holidays became my thing – road trips are the best!

“For many years I had a dream of starting my own

travel business, but the timing was never right, or

the thought of doing it was too huge. But in 2016

we moved to Four Oaks and the following year I

took the leap and started my own franchise business

with Travel Counsellors. With a 24/7 duty office

across seven countries, access to thousands of

trusted suppliers and full financial protection, Travel

Counsellors ensure every holiday is created with care

and protection. All you need to worry about is the

happy holiday memories.

“Starting my own business has seen many challenges,

both personal and professional; from creating new

relationships with clients and business peers, but also

reaching so far out of my comfort zone by public

speaking and networking. The help and support of

local businesses has been incredible as the majority

of my business is via personal recommendations.

2020 has been the biggest shock to the travel

industry that I have ever experienced. However, I

am extremely confident that we will bounce back – it

may take some time to find the new ‘normal’, but we

will get there! And when that time comes, I will be

ready for the new challenges ahead. No matter what,

I will always go above and beyond to deliver a service

that exceeds expectations. Take comfort in knowing

that you are booking with someone you can trust,

and who will be with you every step of the way.”

For more details, visit Charlotte’s website at

www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/charlotte.mitchell

or find Charlotte on Facebook at

www.facebook.com/CharlotteMitchellTC

CHARLOTTE IN SINGAPORE

40


B U S I N E S S

Intelligent creativity

GRAPHIC DESIGNER JAMES WILSON, FOUNDER OF IKEW DESIGN LAUNCHES HIS NEW

DESIGN STUDIO IN MERE GREEN, OFFERING A COMPLETE DESIGN AND SIGNAGE SERVICE

James says: “I created Ikew Design four years ago, as

a self-employed graphic designer and have worked

from home until now, so I’m excited to announce the

imminent launch of my new studio in Mere Green,

offering a vast array of promotional and marketing

tools to all businesses large and small, and a place for

inspiration, ideas and solutions to promote businesses

to their next level.

“As a sole trader, I offer my design skills from

drawing to brand and logo creation and stationery;

and my professional experience of signs and

graphics, from exhibitions, promotional graphics,

banners to shop, office and building signage. I have

many suppliers who I collaborate with providing

the perfect solutions to businesses design needs and

requirements.

“My appreciation of design came from my art

teacher in primary school, who told me to keep

growing and learning, and that to do what you love

is one of the most important things in life. For me to

remember that, shows how important I felt it was,

and I have kept in the forefront of my life, especially

as I wasn’t allowed to do art and design at secondary

school, due to lack of interest. Nevertheless, I

continued to get qualifications in design technology

at school and graphic design at college.

“I then went on to summer work experience at a sign

and graphics company, which I loved, where they

employed me, continuing through and gaining much

knowledge with several sign and print businesses,

exhibition design and business signage companies.

I then trained in advertising and marketing and

became marketing manager for a children’s book

company in Birmingham, where I also perfected

my skills on all major design software packages.

Following redundancy from this position, I felt a

good time to be my own boss, and four years later, I

haven’t looked back.

“This recent pandemic forced me to look at what

was right going forward in this ever changing world,

as I’m sure many reading this have, and made me

refocus on what my unique skills are that I can

offer to my customers to help and enjoy watching

them grow. To many of my customers, I’m their

on-call graphic designer, their ideas factory (soon to

physically visit) and go-to sign and graphics company

for any visual communications and promotions,

whether print or online.

“I look forward to welcoming you to my studio

very soon, to share ideas and designs for you to be

inspired and hopefully take the next step in your

business development. Here’s to exciting times

together, looking good, getting noticed and being

better and brighter than ever. Let’s re-open…. the

next chapter. Ikew - designing your intelligence.

Graphic design with flare - signs and graphics with a

bit more style.”

ikew (IQ) ‘Creativity is Intelligence having

fun’ – Albert Einstein

For more details visit Ikew Design’s website at

www.ikew-design.co.uk or email

james@ikew-design.co.uk

SOME OF JAMES’

RECENT SIGN WORK

41


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Be inspired by our range of homes at Roman Heights

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42

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