J U N E 2 0 2 1
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
FESTIVAL IS BACK
J O I N O U R
C A M PA I G N
MEET THE FOUR OAKS
P R E P
All our parents have one thing in common – they do not want their children to grow up too fast.
Childhood is the precious time when imagination knows no bounds.
Repton Prep is set in 55 acres of Derbyshire countryside. It is a magical place where children can
be children and yet learn at the same time. A den in the woods and an English lesson, a picnic in the
bluebells and a Science class – at Repton Prep, all of these experiences are learning opportunities.
Our co-ed community of 440 happy pupils welcomes full and flexi-boarders from age 7-13 and day
children from age 3-13.
“ WE WANT OUR
To arrange your personal virtual tour for you and your child please
call us on 01283 707112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to J’AIME
Pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and hugs - we’re so
excited about all the freedoms we’ve been able to start
enjoying again over the past month. Hopefully June will see
larger scale events and gatherings allowed once again. We
can’t wait to party!
We are delighted to continue our #LoveLocal campaign,
which highlights some of the amazing independents based
right across our patch.
The campaign will continue throughout 2021 to celebrate
local businesses as they reopen and life starts to return
to something a little more like normal. In this month’s
#LoveLocal coverage you can read about three more
independent businesses. Keep an eye out for more
#LoveLocal content next month.
You’ll see the address of our website across the bottom
of each page in the magazine and that’s because we’ve
given www.jaimemagazine.com a wonderful revamp.
You can visit the website to read everything you see in the
magazine plus much, much more. The website is updated
each day and includes positive, uplifting lifestyle articles
from right across the Midlands.
As well as being delivered to homes in selected postcodes
J’AIME is now available to pick up free of charge in major
supermarkets around the Midlands. You can also read a
digital, flick-through version of the magazine free of charge
Within the June magazine you can read interviews with one
of the performers appearing at this year’s Lichfield Festival
(yes, the festival is back!) and an artist based in Four Oaks
who paints, sculpts and creates intricate wooden boxes.
Add to that our usual mix of interiors, property, fashion,
beauty, travel, fitness and food and we hope we have
something for everyone.
We hope our upbeat, positive content will bring a little
added cheer to your life.
Please don’t forget to support your local independent
businesses. When you buy from a small business you’re
supporting your community and helping to keep people in
From everyone at J’AIME, may we wish you a happy,
positive, cheerful month.
EDITOR: AMY NORBURY
ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY
07388 335 931
CONTRIBUTORS: JENNY AMPHLETT, OLIVER
BROAD, DEBORAH MITCHELL, LIBBY JOHNSON
J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY
PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED BY KEP
Check us out online at:
Find us on
InsideJ’aime this month...
6 Feature - Meet the Four Oaks artist who
works across three different mediums
10 Feature - Lichfield Festival is back and we
chat to one of the stars
14 Property - Could this be the home of your
16 Property - Award success for estate agent
18 Interiors - Escape to the desert
24 Interiors - Bring the outside in
28 #LoveLocal - Support independent
30 Local area - Hidden gems to uncover
32 Education - Imagine if school felt like a
33 What’s On - Ideas for things to do this month
34 Travel - Rediscovering Gran Canaria
38 Fashion - Get ready for summer
40 Fashion - The lingerie shop that’s turned buying
underwear into an uplifting experience
42 Jewellery - Our guide to buying wedding rings
44 Beauty - Tackling men’s skincare
46 In the news - The region’s largest luxury
bathroom showroom has a new owner
A man for all mediums
THE CHANCES ARE YOU’LL HAVE SEEN HIS WORK BUT NOT REALISED
IT WAS CREATED RIGHT ON YOUR DOORSTEP IN FOUR OAKS. JENNY
AMPHLETT MEETS PROLIFIC ARTIST JOHN BATE
Most artists have their own signature style and
techniques be it portrait photography, landscape
painting or perhaps ceramics. John Bate, however, is
a master of many mediums.
A former interior designer, John paints, sculpts
and creates intricate wooden objet d’art - with his
creations adorming private homes, hotels, restaurants
and other businesses around the world.
His work is all created at home in Four Oaks, where
he works on commissions as well as his own flights of
“I did a degree in design and then did my national
service, as one did in those days,” says John. “Then
I started my career as a designer working with
graphics and products. I gravitated towards interior
John worked in Amsterdam then for a furniture
company back in the UK before taking a role with
Ind Coope Hotels in Burton-on-Trent. He then
became the staff interior designer for a Burton-based
construction company before co-founding an interior
Throughout all of those different interior
design roles John often found himself creating
artwork to suit the rooms he was working on.
Trained to meet exacting client briefs for room
design, he became adept at ensuring his own
art followed suit.
“Art has always been a by-product of design
for me,” says John. “In my very early days,
when I joined Ind Coope, I offered my artwork
services to the business. It was cheaper for the
company to get art from me rather than go
into the marketplace and buy it.
“Ever since then I’ve been making art for
myself, for colleagues and for commercial
clients. It’s never really stopped.”
When John retired from interior design
he wasn’t ready to retire from his art. “It’s
something that I really enjoy and I get a lot of
benefit from it.”
After starting out with painting John found
himself making abstract sculptures with
metal, wood and glass which then developed
into wooden box making.
The boxes in particular have become a
labour of love, with each taking several
months to complete.
“I enjoy doing it, it occupies me. Every
single box is different and serves a different
purpose. I have two children and they tend
to benefit from my box making.
“To me art isn’t just drawing pretty thatched
cottages by a babbling brook with snow on
it, although of course I can create that if
required. My scope ranges from full blown
abstracts to traditional work.
“A gallery once asked me why I have all these
different styles and said that an artist should
be known for the work they do. But my
response to that is that it reflects my design
background and different styles give me
The broad range of art reflects John’s broad range of
interior design projects.
“One minute I would be involved with a pub
company and then it would be hotels. In the later
years, when I was in private practice,
I worked on health and fitness centres,
restaurants, offices and corporate function
rooms. The whole gambit of interior design.”
One of the highlights of John’s career was
working on the 16th Century Lincoln’s Inn
in London, which houses one of the world’s
most prestigious professional bodies of judges
“I designed furniture, lighting, graphics and
had a bespoke fabric design created. It was
a package of joy. Then the next day I was
working on a brand new office with stainless
John’s clients have included Embassy Hotels,
Pinnacle Health and Fitness Clubs, Jaguar
Landrover, pub and restaurant groups,
numerous UK galleries and international art
publishers. He has also featured in a number
of solo and group exhibitions.
John takes his inspiration from many sources.
“I am particularly akin to texture, natural
patterns and intricacies such as the strata of
stones and rocks. I use various materials in
some of my work including paint, plaster,
metal and rock.
“I love the different textures and layers they
can create to give a 3D effect of high light
and shadow within the art composition.
“I also use metallic foils and geometric
construction graphics for semi and full
“For more traditional work I use softer paint
to stimulate atmospheric mist and the light
and dark colours of nature during all times
of the day and seasons.”
The chances are that J’AIME readers
will have seen John’s work but won’t
have realised it was created right on their
doorstep in Four Oaks.
They can rest assured that John has no
intention of stopping his work any time
“I don’t need the money but it’s very nice
when I sell something for money,” he says.
“Art isn’t my living, it’s my interest. Some
people love gardening, but it feels like a
chore for me. It’s all about art for me.
“Art has always played a special part in my life. To
me art is a statement of vision. I am passionate about
colour, light, shadow and texture, all to evoke that
statement into a vibrant intrigue of drama or peace
and tranquility, captivating a moment in time.
“The real buzz in creating is when a client tells me
how much they love the work I have just produced
for them, that buzz to me is worth a million bucks.”
John’s paintings and sculptures tend to range in
price from around £250 to £1,500. To find out
more about John’s work visit www.johnbate.com,
email email@example.com, visit johnbate.art.
gallery on Instagram or call 0121 308 1196 or
ISA Senior School of the Year
Weekly Boarding at Adcote School
Now offering weekly transport to YOUR local area!
We are an all-girls school based in the beautiful Shropshire countryside. Our awardwinning
CLEAR learning programme helps our girls to secure the core skills of
Confidence, Leadership, Engagement, Achievement, and Resilience so that they are
equipped to thrive in the 21st Century.
11th July - 28th August
Our camp takes our knowledge, skill and
experience, and offers your child the
opportunity to join us for a week of fastpaced
fun at the heart of the Shropshire
firstname.lastname@example.org | adcoteschool.org.uk | +44 (0) 1939 260202
The heart of it
LICHFIELD FESTIVAL IS BACK! JENNY AMPHLETT CAUGHT UP WITH ONE
OF THIS YEAR’S STAR PERFORMERS - THE IRREPRESSIBLE LIZA PULMAN
If you’re excited at the thought of finally enjoying
live music again post-lockdown then imagine how it
must feel for people like Liza Pulman, who have been
denied the opportunity of performing for more than
The singer and comedy performer, who brought her
hit West End show Liza Pulman Sings Streisand to
Lichfield Festival in 2018, had been due to perform
at last year’s cancelled event.
The organisers were therefore determined to bring
her back this year for a show based on her postponed
album, The Heart of It - which will now be released
Liza’s performance at Lichfield Cathedral on July 13
will be her first post-lockdown and the first time she
has publicly sung some of the material.
“It’s incredibly pioneering of the organisers to go
ahead with the festival. It’ll be one of the first to
get up and going again. I know that festival director
Damian Thantrey was particularly keen to not let it
go,” says Liza.
“I first came to Lichfield Festival about seven or eight
years ago as part of Fascinating Aida. Then I came
three years ago with Liza Pulman Sings Streisand
and had an amazing time again.”
Speaking from her home in Cornwall, Liza is
reluctant to complain about the difficulties of the
past year when being unable to perform and tour has
actually forced her to stay at home and enjoy such a
beautiful part of the country.
“It’s been very strange, such a weird mix,” she says.
“I usually spend all of my life on the road. A huge
part of me loves it and a huge part of me is always
grateful to be home.
“You should be careful what you wish for, because
I’ve certainly been able to spend time at home just
“I’ve made the most of being able to get things done
in the house and have been able to do some musical
housekeeping. I’ve been able to release an EP which
I probably wouldn’t have had the
time to do if I’d been touring.
“But I’ve missed performing
and singing. You realise it’s a bit
like having a limb cut off really.
Performing is a huge part of who
“It’s been very tough financially
and it has been very very difficult
for a huge number of my friends
who work in the arts and who
haven’t quite had the support that
Liza didn’t go down the online
show route during lockdown but
did put out a recording of Bye Bye
Blackbird with Joe Stilgoe.
“It’s very difficult to perform online,” she says. “One
thing that all the technology in the world struggles to
deal with is time delay. Singing, making music and
performing with other people isn’t really possible to
do unless you’re in a room together.
“So much of what we do in terms of how we create
things is done together. I don’t do this in a room on
“So much of what I do involves going into a room
with other people to create something. I tend to start
on my own at a piano and get a feel for how a song
is going to be but then I spend hours bashing things
around on a piano with other people.”
Lichfield Festival will be the first time Liza
and her ‘amazing band’ have been able to
perform together publicly in more than a
“It’s incredibly exciting,” she says. “I feel a
bit like I do about Christmas but I’m also
terrified because I haven’t done anything for
nearly 18 months.
“It’s that mix of being desperate to get back
together and perform but there’s also the
fear of whether I remember how to do it.
“You’re only really as good as the last thing
that you did. When you stop doing it you
almost can’t imagine ever being the person
getting up and walking out in front of an
The show is largely based on The Heart of
It, an album of timeless classics and ‘lost
gems’ that Liza and her band recorded at
Peter Gabriel’s studios in 2019. It will be
released later this year.
It features the music of Frank Sinatra,
Michel Le Grand, Randy Newman, Stevie
Wonder, Judy Collins and others.
“We went into this amazing studio for a
week but had done six months of work
before that pulling together arrangements.
I’m incredibly proud of the album, and of
course this will be my first time performing
The Staffordshire audience will get to hear half of
the tracks from the new album, with the full The
Heart of It show due to open in London in the
“This will be a select choice of tracks from the album
that I think will work best in the cathedral setting,”
says Liza. She reveals that Bye Bye Blackbird and
Unchained Melody will be amongst them.
“Unchained Melody is just my voice and the piano.
It’s like a tightrope walking version of it - it’s very
exposed. I think it will work well in the cathedral.”
The Lichfield performance will also feature songs
from her shows The Songs of Hollywood and Liza
Pulman Sings Streisand.
She’s currently working on a new arrangement of a
few Barbara Streisand songs that she’s particularly
loved performing in the past.
Known for weaving comedy between her music,
the audience can also expect warm and humorous
anecdotes in an evening designed to ‘break your
heart and make it sing’.
“We’ve all missed so much with our friends and
family and it’s been so hard not having that feeling of
connection,” Liza adds.
“I hadn’t realised how much I need to connect with
people and the way that I do that is by standing on a
stage and moving people with songs.
“I think the songs we’ve chosen to perform will
do that - it’s going to be a special moment for
Liza Pulman’s Lichfield Festival show is
on Tuesday, July 13 at Lichfield Cathedral.
Tickets are available from
www.lichfieldfestival.org or by calling
HELP IS AT HAND…
PUT YOUR HANDS IN OUR HANDS
With the post pandemic increase in
outpatient and surgical waiting times, many
people will be looking for solutions for both
diagnostic and pain control of their hand,
wrist and elbow conditions.
The Midland Hand Clinic offers self-pay
options with fast-track consultation, diagnosis
It is not necessary to have private health
insurance to get private medical care, and
more and more people are choosing to pay
for their private treatment and find costs are
often less than they had anticipated. There is
no need for a G.P. referral and you can usually
get an appointment within a few days.
Online consultations are available as well as
face to face appointments, if you would like
to be seen but would prefer not to attend a
The Midland Hand Clinic pride themselves
in the positive patient feedback received
about the quality of care, safety and patient
“Delighted with the results of my finger
operation. No visible scar. Excellent patient
care from start to finish. Thank you!”
So if you detect any numbness, tingling,
weakness, progressive pain or swelling, get
in touch today.
For more information visit
Midland Hand Clinic lead by Mr G Shyamalan FRCS
NHS consultant hand surgeon.
Hand Clinic PA: Pam Dziubany
Call: 07815 460786 - 01827 892952
Property of the Month
EACH MONTH WE SHOWCASE ONE OF THE MOST LUXURIOUS PROPERTIES CURRENTLY
ON THE MARKET IN THE MIDLANDS. THIS HOUSE IS OPPOSITE BEAUTIFUL SUTTON PARK.
Streetly Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield. £1,050,000.
On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878.
THE AGENT SAYS: This beautiful five-bedroom family
home is sure to make an incredible first impression. The
gravel driveway leading up to the porch entrance offers ample
An internal hallway with storage cupboard and access to the
guest cloakroom leads off from the reception hallway and into
the generously sized kitchen/breakfast/family room. This is a
stunning space, designed to be the heart of the home and an
excellent space for family living.
The kitchen has slate grey wall and floor cupboards and highgloss
black granite worktops. Built-in appliances include a
large gas-fired hob with double oven and extractor fan above.
An arch to the side leads to a side door and to the utility
where there is space for a washing machine and separate
There is ample space for a dining area overlooking the
wonderful rear garden, as well as a family area. The garage
can also be accessed from here.
Sliding and double doors lead out to the patio area and
garden beyond from the family/dining space. A study is set
off to the right side of the dining area.
The principal bedroom suite is on the first floor and features
an outlook onto the garden and space for a sitting area, as
well as a walk-in wardrobe with built-in wardrobes on both
sides and an en-suite bathroom, featuring a modern suite
with grey tiling.
The first floor has three further bedrooms, all with built-in
wardrobes, an airing cupboard, and a family bathroom with
white suite and separate walk-in shower.
The home has a second-floor split-level bedroom suite with
shower room and walk-in wardrobe. Steps lead up to a higher
level, ideal for a sitting area or study/workspace.
W E L O V E : T H E SP A C I O US B E DR O O M S U I T E S .
IF YOU THOUGHT
ONLY SOLD PREMIUM HOUSES...THINK AGAIN!
Introducing ASTON KNOWLES Premium Lettings & Property Management.
Are you looking for a quality agent, with excellent communication skills and management
experience who will care for your home like their own? At ASTON KNOWLES, we know that
a premium property like yours deserves a like-minded tenant like ours.
GET IN TOUCH WITH OUR TEAM | Book your Free Market Appraisal today!
0121 362 7878
National award for estate agent
SUTTON COLDFIELD-BASED CHOSEN HOME IS OFF TO A FLYING START AFTER
LAUNCHING ITS NEW STYLE OF ESTATE AGENTS DURING THE PANDEMIC
The family-run business is looking to revolutionise
the estate agency model, making it free to sell homes
– and was soon spotted by the British Property
Awards which crowned them 2021 gold winners for
Birmingham City Centre. Chosen Home has now
been shortlisted for a number of national awards
which will be announced later in the year.
Since launching in September 2020, Chosen
has successfully sold or listed more than 30 properties
with values ranging from £200,000 to £2.2M.
The new-style estate agency is the brainchild of
Nicki Ash, a former Knight Frank property expert,
who has lived and worked in Sutton Coldfield for
Nicki explained: “We wanted to change the way
people buy and sell properties for good, whilst
making the whole process far more enjoyable along
“Our extensive market research program revealed
that sellers were no longer happy to pay estate agents
to sell their home. If they had a desirable property
then they felt the purchaser should pay. We had to
agree and decided to create this revolutionary new
model. When you are selling your house the savings
could run into many thousands of pounds.
“Chosen’s approach really is refreshingly different
– from our customer service to our all-inclusive
package of photography, 3D tours and professionally
produced videos, our clients know that our expertise
in marketing houses will ensure that they get the very
price for their most valuable assets.”
The team, who are all experienced estate agents, also
work very hard to get Chosen homes noticed.
Nicki added: “Properties are presented in their
very best light across all national property websites
including Prime Location, Zoopla, On The Market
and Rightmove. We also have a social media team to
ensure the widest possible audience gets to view our
“We have been delighted with the positive responses
we have received since launching the business in
September 2020. The 5 star Trustpilot reviews just
keep on coming and customers are thrilled to be
achieving the best sales price, without any hidden
“Moving house can be a confusing time but all the
team at Chosen love helping customers achieve the
very best outcome.”
For more information contact Chosen Home
on 08000 886 996, email team@chosenhome.
com or visit www.chosenhome.com/selling
We will sell your home for free.
No catches. No strings.
It pays to choose Chosen.
For a free valuation and to
find out why we are rated
as excellent on Trustpilot,
please call 08000 886 996
or visit chosenhome.com
WE all need to feel like we can escape reality right now,
and if we still can’t enjoy a far-flung getaway in person,
we can certainly bring a far-flung vibe into our homes.
If you’re after something a little more inviting that the
ever-popular minimalist Scandi chic aesthetic, the textural
extravagance of what is termed ‘Desert Boho’ might just
tick all the boxes.
Channelling California desert chic, its tranquil colours and
soft materials will bring us a sense of calmness and allow
us to dream of a place far away. From neutral, earthy hues
to soft browns, greens and pinks, this trend is ideal for
incorporating into your interior space all year round.
The easiest way to embrace this trend is by adding texture.
Rattan and cane are the obvious materials to opt for, but
a palm leaf lamp or Berber rug will easily add an element
of desert boho to your home. Add interest to your bed or
sofa with softly textured cushions, try out a statement wall
hanging, and pay attention to the little details such as the
rim of a mirror or the legs of a table.
BLOOMINGVILLE BOHO EYE MIRROR, £90, SWEETPEA
AND WILLOW. WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM
FERM LIVING SAND DESERT
OUTDOOR CUSHION, ROSE & GREY.
KING OF THE LIZARDS FOUR CANDLE CENTREPIECE,
NATURAL POTTERY VASE, MARQUIS &
NATURAL BLACK WOVEN DESERT CHAIR,
NATURAL RATTAN TASSEL STOOL,
WELCOME TO BAYLISS, THE
LARGEST INDEPENDENT LUXURY
BATHROOM SPECIALIST IN THE
REGION. OUR UNRIVALLED
ONE STOP PROJECT MANAGED
SERVICE, FROM DESIGN THROUGH
TO INSTALLATION, IS FOCUSSED
ON TURNING YOUR DREAM
BATHROOM INTO REALITY.
WHATEVER YOUR REQUIREMENTS,
WE CAN PROVIDE YOUR BATHROOM
SOLUTION. WE WELCOME YOU TO VISIT
OUR NEW WEBSITE OR SHOWROOM TO
EXPLORE THE BAYLISS EXPERIENCE AND
ALL THE OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO YOU
We offer a complete ‘One Stop’ process to turn your bathroom dreams into reality, which includes:
• A bespoke 2,500 sq ft showroom with over 20 bathroom displays located in Sutton Coldfield
• A specialist design team to create designs to match your every need
• Expert knowledge of our partner brands giving you access to superb products and tiles.
• In-house installation teams working to the highest possible standards
• Management of all aspects of the Project, providing you with a single point of contact, every step of the way
• For those customers who require a Supply Only service, access to all leading brands at competitive cost.
BAYLISS LIMITED, 23 GATE LANE, BOLDMERE, SUTTON COLDFIELD B73 5TR
0121 362 1800 - WWW.BAYLISSLIMITED.CO.UK
DESERT SAGE ETCHED CANDLE,
ELLA JAMES. WWW.ELLAJAMES.CO.UK
PEACH HAMMOCK, CIELSHOP.
BY BOO UNBELEAFABLE
FLOOR LAMP, CUCKOOLAND.
DULUX HERITAGE PAINT IN ROPE
LADDER, AVAILABLE FROM
CALLIOPE POM POM POUFFE,
SWEETPEA & WILLOW.
EICHHOLTZ DESERT STAR TABLE
LAMP, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.
CIRCLE WOVEN JUTE RUG, KINFOLK
BUDDY BARREL CACTUS IN GARDEN
POT, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.
FAUX SAGURAO CACTUS, THE FIND STORE.
PATINA DESERT’ MURAL BY SPACEFROG
DESIGNS, FROM £35/M2 FROM
In Style THIS Summer
Barcelona Garden Furniture
Valencia Garden Furniture
2, 4 & 6
The Home of Unique Furniture
Visit our Burntwood Furniture Showroom (WS7 3JG)
Shop online at www.peppermillinteriors.com
01543 375 872 | @peppermillinteriors
Designed, supplied and installed in Lichfield and throughout
the UK, our pods are available in a variety of sizes and finishes.
A bespoke service is also offered. See our website for details.
DUPLOCEM RANGE IN PERLA
CALIBRATED TO 20MM
1200MM X 600MM £58.32
PER M 2 INC VAT
EUROPA WAY, LICHFIELD, WS14 9TZ
01543 440000 TIPPERS.COM
7:30AM - 5:00PM
8:00AM - 2:00PM
DESERT VIEW METAL PRINT BY SPACEFROG DESIGNS,
FROM £69, AVAILABLE AT WWW.WALLSAUCE.COM
FAUX CACTUS PLANTS, £49 SMALL AND £109 LARGE,
BASKETS FROM £19, FROM PUJI. WWW.PUJI.COM
YELLOW DESERT READY-MADE TERRARIUM, £75, UK
TERRARIUMS BY LUSAN. WWW.UKTERRARIUMS.CO.UK
BOHO DESERT MOUNTAIN PRINT, £23,
GREEN LILI. WWW.GREENLILI.COM
SCANDI BOHO CANDLE PLANTER TRIO, £27,
Care UK leads the way in safety, with enhanced
infection control measures and purpose-built visiting
suites. We are championing the Covid-19 vaccination
programme to protect those living, visiting and working
in our care homes.
With over 35 years’ experience, our highly trained
teams are experts in delivering award winning care.
If you’re considering care for yourself or a loved one,
discover flexibility and assurance – ask about the
Care UK 28 day guarantee*.
Please contact us to discuss booking a one-toone
video chat or viewing on 01213 140531 or
Experts in award winning care.
Trusted by over 6,500 families.
out of 10 on
Mercia Grange care home
Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield B74 4EH
*Seven days’ written notice required.
Proud to be a family run business for over 35 years
new range of
- all British
HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS
Suppliers of: Contura, Clock, Jotul, Gazco, Scan, Town & Country Fires, ACR Heat Products and many more
Installers and suppliers of gas fires, bespoke limestone surrounds, and gas and woodburning stoves, since 1981.
1/7 High Street, Erdington B23 6RG Next to Highclare School
Telephone: 0121 384 5251 - www.abbeyfirecentre.co.uk
Open: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed Wednesdays), Sat: 10am - 2pm
abbeyfirecentre @abbeyfirecentre abbeyfirecentreltd
For your safety and to observe social distancing we are asking that you
telephone or email to arrange a personal viewing of our showroom.
WITH the increasingly unpredictable nature of the British
climate - blazing sunshine in the morning, icy hailstones in
the afternoon sound familiar? - a summer spent enjoying
our great outdoors may not be as straightforward as it
When rain threatens to stop play for our summer garden
soirees, it’s time for conservatories and garden rooms to
come into their own, allowing us to enjoy the beauty of
our outside spaces without braving the elements.
Filling your space with natural materials will enhance that
outdoor vibe, so look for rattan, wicker, cane and wood
when it comes to furniture.
Add warmth through cosy textiles; a lush rug, soft blankets
and plush throw cushions will help to create that inviting
ambience, even when it’s miserable outside.
For that truly outdoor feel, foliage is a must; make a
statement with dramatic potted grasses and trees, or go for
shelves filled with trailing greenery.
ANNIE SLOAN CHALK PAINT IN FLORENCE, PROVENCE AND
AMSTERDAM GREEN, £21.95/LITRE. WWW.ANNIESLOAN.COM
DRIFTWOOD COFFEE TABLE,
NEEDWOOD LIVING OF ALREWAS
FABULOUS FAUX GOLD FERN BUSH,
GOLDEN CONCRETE FACE PLANTER,
FAUX FERN IN POT, NEEDWOOD
LIVING OF ALREWAS AND TUTBURY.
CHARLESTED FRANKLIN TEAK LOUNGE
ALDER OUTDOOR FURNITURE SET OF SIX. PRE-ORDER NOW
FROM PEPPERMILL INTERIORS, BURNTWOOD BUSINESS PARK.
FAUX ONION GRASS, NEEDWOOD LIVING
OF ALREWAS AND TUTBURY.
SEAGRASS PLANT BASKETS SET OF FIVE,
NISI LIVING. WWW.NISILIVING.CO.UK
SEAGRASS COFFEE TABLE, NEEDWOOD
LIVING OF ALREWAS AND TUTBURY.
BY BOO NATURAL BAMBOO PLANT
STAND, LARGE, CUCKOOLAND.
ANTIQUE PETAL PLANTERS SET OF TWO,
£76.95, AUDENZA. WWW.AUDENZA.COM
MUNDO ROCKING CHAIR, £209,
RAMINO COCKTAIL BAR TABLE, £199,
BLACK RATTAN CONTEMPORARY SOFA, £595,
ELLA JAMES. WWW.ELLAJAMES.CO.UK
GARDEN TRADING HAMPSTEAD BENCH,
L U X U R Y & S P E C I A L I S T T R A V E L
R E A D Y W H E N Y O U A R E
Based in the heart of Staffordshire in the picturesque
villages of Alrewas & Tutbury, our shops are packed
with ideas and inspiration for your home. Incorporating
Jo Raybould Interior Design within, for those who
require the services of a professional designer.
136 Main Street
Alrewas, DE13 7ED
01283 711 272
7A High Street,
Tutbury, DE13 9LP
01283 813 322
Visit our Stylish Showroom
11 Belwell Lane, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AA - Tel: 0800 996 1241
Visit our fantastic website www.jmiwindows.co.uk - email@example.com
Windows | Doors | Bi-Fold Doors | Garage Doors | Conservatories | Secondary Glazing | Window Repairs
THROUGHOUT 2021 WE ARE CELEBRATING SOME OF THE
BRILLIANT INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES ACROSS OUR PATCH
They’re Scandi-inspired and available right across the UK, but
Podhouse’s garden rooms are made right here in Lichfield.
Podhouse was founded by Phil and Harry because of their
passion for building and carpentry. With a collective 30 years in
the industry, they took a hard look at the market and decided that
poor quality, overcomplicated and expensive garden rooms were
a problem for their customers.
They have come up with a stylish range of garden pods available
in an array of different sizes.
To find out more visit www.podhouse.co.uk or email
JMI has been a family-run, independent business since 1979,
originally started by John Masefield and subsequently carried
forward by his son and daughter, Kevin and Sharon Masefield.
The 3,000sqft showroom in the heart of Mere Green says it
all. Stylish, innovative and modern, filled with a wealth of
fantastic products. So whether you’re looking for heritage timber
alternative windows, sleek modern designs or a stunning new
front door, it’s all there. The team stays on trend by keeping a
keen eye on the ever changing, exciting industry, striving to offer
the very best in choice and quality.
JMI installs in Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Tamworth and within
a 25 mile radius of the Mere Green showroom.
JMI, 11 Belwell Lane, Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AA,
0800 996 1241, jmiwindows.co.uk
MEYNELL INGRAM ARMS
A national newspaper recently named The Meynell Ingram Arms as
one of the best pubs with a beer garden and outdoor seating in the
whole of the UK, and it’s not difficult to see why.
With its delightful garden rooms set in well-maintained gardens you
feel transported to a different, calmer place as you dine. It’s like being
on holiday, but without the flight and the price tag.
A new menu has launched including the likes of secret garden sharing
platters, roasted chump of English lamb and Meynell Mess for dessert.
The Meynell Ingram Arms, Abbots Bromley Road, Hoar Cross, DE13
8RB, 01283 575988, www.meynellingram.co.uk
Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy
My offices are situated in the historic city of Lichfield and I have been providing personal
wealth management advice to my clients for more
than 25 years.
I specialise in the following key areas
and welcome your enquiry:
• Investment Planning
• InheritanceTax and Estate Planning
• Pre and Post-Retirement Planning
• Care Fees Planning and Funding for Care
Telephone: 01543 417342
Office: 6A Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LH
Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management Plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority)
for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products.
Nothing can beat personal
advice when you’re looking
to put the last few months
behind you and make plans to
look forward, whether that’s a
last-minute getaway or you’re
planning ahead to next year.
beyond the horizon
Let’s create something to look forward to
You will always have the
support of a real person, be it
face-to-face, by video, phone
or email - whenever you need
Charlotte Mitchell - Travel Counsellor
0121 314 6650 or 07860 944207
T R AV E L
TUCKED AWAY IN THE PICTURESQUE COUNTRYSIDE JUST OUTSIDE THE PRETTY
VILLAGE OF YOXALL, WOODMILL FARM IS HOME TO A SELECTION OF INDEPENDENT
BUSINESSES OFFERING AN ARRAY OF TASTY TREATS
If you’re looking for an alternative to the
supermarkets to satisfy your weekly shopping
needs, or are after something a bit more special
for a delicious foodie treat, a hidden gem in the
Staffordshire countryside could be the answer.
Woodmill Farm, just outside Yoxall, is home to
a variety of top quality independent businesses
supplying everything from your meat and veg staples
to baked goodies galore - and a tipple or two to boot.
Paul Shum opened his butchers and deli at Woodmill
Farm nearly three years ago. The shop has since
expanded into the neighbouring premises to keep up
with demand from hungry punters seeking out the
best local produce around.
The well-stocked meat counter features a beautiful
selection of high quality, locally sourced cuts. In
fact, the beef couldn’t get more local, coming
directly from Woodmill Farm itself, while free-range
Packington pork is also on the menu. A specially
selected family pack, priced at just £20, gives
customers the chance to sample a variety of meats
and poultry - perfect for meal-planning for the week.
The meat also makes it into Paul’s famous
homemade pies, with hundreds of delicious pies
winging their way from Paul’s kitchen each week.
Paul is passionate about supporting other local
independent producers, regularly seeking out small
suppliers to feature in the deli, where you can pick
up an array of cheeses and charcuterie, olives and
salads, sauces and dressings - and much, much more.
Add in the fresh fruit and veg, free range eggs and
other shopping essentials, and that’s the weekly shop
sorted - locally.
Over at The Green Door Bakery and Patisserie,
which opened at the farm last year, customers
patiently queue for their chance to explore the treats
which await inside.
From freshly baked breads and pastries to indulgent
sweet treats and the prettiest and most delicate
continental-style patisserie, The Green Door has it
It was owner Trish McCann’s aim to offer the widest
possible choice, much like the bakeries over in
continental Europe and in her homeland of Ireland,
and The Green Door certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Shelves are loaded with sourdoughs and bloomers,
crumpets and croissants, counters piled high with
delicious traybakes and pretty tarts, macarons and
muffins. But you’ll need to be quick; supplies run
low as the day progresses, with happy customers
snapping up goodies galore.
In a nod to her heritage, Trish always has a selection
of Irish specialities, from farls to soda breads, and
pancakes which are made daily to her beloved mum
Local walkers heading into the surrounding
countryside often stop off at The Green Door to pick
up some goodies, alongside a freshly brewed coffee,
tea or hot chocolate.
A truly family-run business, Trish is joined in the
shop by her two daughters Lauren and Holly, while
her son also helps out on the weekends.
Once you’ve picked up your produce and baked
treats, it’s time to head to Scrummy’s at the Barn for
drinks. Owner Jane Scrimshaw and the team pride
themselves on sourcing excellent locally produced
spirits, ciders and craft beers.
Scrummy’s have also partnered with local wine
merchant Vin X, based in Barton-under-Needwood,
to supply quality local and organic wines which you
definitely won’t find in the supermarkets.
The friendly and knowledgeable team is on hand to
help you choose the perfect bottle for any occasion.
Experience informal outside dining with
fantastic views at Moor Hall Hotel & Spa
in Sutton Coldfield this Spring!
Our Terrace is open for outside dining
every day from 8am to late
WOODMILL FARMS BARNS, YOXALL STAFFORDSHIRE DE13 8NA
NEW GRAZE & LAZE BOXES* FOR PICNICS
COFFEE REPUBLIC HOT DRINKS
FULL DRINKS MENU
BRUNCH | SANDWICHES | SALADS
PIZZAS | MAIN MEALS
OUR ETHOS IS ABOUT SUPPORTING AND PROMOTING OUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT
PRODUCERS THAT ARE UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL BUSINESSES …..
OFFERING AN UNUSAL, PERSONAL & EXCITING EXPERIENCE…
HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR SMALL LOCAL HAND CRAFTED SUPPLIERS
* Please pre-book
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
Visit our website for menus and to pre-book your table
A real treat... right on your doorstep!
butchers and delicatessen
also ice cream & hot drinks
come to see us for a warm welcome
at woodmill farm, yoxall, de13 8pg
head out of yoxall and look out for the signs!
open tuesday to saturday every week
E D U CAT I O N
Imagine if school felt like a sleepover
EDUCATION DILEMMA? FLEXI-BOARDING COULD BE THE ANSWER
Parents who want their children to stay children
for longer will no doubt see the benefits of a school
offering wide-open spaces, climbing trees and
communing with nature in lesson time as well as
during playtime. With space at a premium in many
urban and suburban schools, a daily car ride into the
beautiful countryside that our region has to offer may
be an attractive prospect but may mean travelling
further afield than you initially thought practical.
The modern face of boarding means that settling
on that ideal balance could be within reach. Flexible
boarding options provide children with access to
everything a vibrant school community has to offer
coupled with the flexibility to have quality family
So, what does ‘flexi boarding’ mean?
Flexi boarding places the child and their family in
the driving seat, so they can choose when they spend
nights at school.
For many children embarking on boarding for the
first time, it enables them to book individual nights
(comparable to a sleepover) to enjoy all the benefits
of a vibrant boarding community, such as additional
extra-curricular activities and spending more time
with their friends! It is also designed to fit in with
parents’ work commitments or indeed the many
other pressures of everyday life.
What does the modern face of boarding look
Headmaster of Repton Prep, Rob Relton,
emphasises the importance of creating a caring,
warm environment where children feel happy and at
ease in the company of their friends.
He explains: “Repton Prep’s houseparents and their
families live with the boarders in each house, creating
a strong sense of family. The closeness of the
boarding community and the enormous emphasis
placed on caring for the emotional, physical and
mental wellbeing of each of our boarders ensures
every child thrives.”
Repton Prep has a reputation for valuing the
innocence of childhood, so that pupils feel confident
and supported throughout their school journey.
Preferential class sizes – meaning children are placed
in a class size suited to their pace and capabilities –
nurture their strengths and qualities in order to help
them develop in other areas and allow them to reach
their full potential.
Mr Relton adds: “The Repton Prep community is
a supportive, purposeful and unbounded group of
young people – so much so that pupils often enrol
for day schooling and quickly swap to boarding so
that they can make the most of all the incredible
opportunities on offer.”
That comes as no surprise when you discover that
the school is nestled in 55 acres of countryside, with
its own den-building wood, lake for watersports,
astroturf pitches, swimming pool, sports hall,
tennis courts, theatre, not to mention dogs that are
delighted to enjoy regular walks with gaggles of
To find out more about Repton Prep contact
registrar Ellie Jones on 01283 707112 or visit
What’s on Local
W H AT ’ S O N
AS RESTRICTIONS CONTINUE TO EASE, HERE ARE SOME OF
THE THINGS YOU CAN GET OUT AND ENJOY THIS MONTH
WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK THEATRE
WHEN: JUNE 12 AND 26
Cult hit event Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote comes to
Lichfield this month with an interactive screening of the
classic Murder, She Wrote episode Broadway Malady. Jessica
Fletcher heads to New York City but soon gets caught up in
a murder mystery only she (or the audience) can solve!
Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote is a unique and hilarious
night featuring games, prizes and audience participation, with special
permission from NBC Universal Television.
The show was rated one of 2019’s 50 great nights out in London and it has
played to sell-out audiences across the UK and Australia.
WHAT: PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION
WHERE: CHAMBERLAIN SQUARE, BIRMINGHAM
WHEN: FROM JUNE 25
The Mission Critical outdoor exhibition will feature portraits of people
whose lives were saved by the Midlands Air Ambulance, which celebrates its
30th anniversary this year,
Renowned fashion and lifestyle photographer Nik Hartley, who has worked
with British Vogue and Vanity Fair France, captures each patient in this free
The photos can also be seen at Cars in the Park in Lichfield on July 3 and
4 with other locations around the Midlands set to be announced for the
WHAT: BOOK EXHIBITION
WHERE: LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL
WHEN: THROUGHOUT JUNE
Fantastic Books and Where to find them is a new exhibition of books that
you can visit at Lichfield Cathedral every day this month and through
until July 19.
Lichfield Cathedral’s Library has an extraordinarily broad and varied
collection of books gifted to the cathedral, including a significant
bequest by the Duchess of Somerset in 1673.
The books in this collection, amongst other things, remind us of the
discourse around science and faith. How we have lived and worked
together for centuries, and how debate, discovery and conflict have changed
the way societies have thought about and described the world around them.
In this exhibition you will discover ancient but living texts that have been
influential in how we explore the world around us.
T R AV E L
The other side of Gran Canaria
OLIVER BROAD, OF RB COLLECTION, TOOK A SELF-DRIVE HOLIDAY AROUND GRAN
CANARIA THIS SPRING AND FELL IN LOVE WITH THE ISLAND ALL OVER AGAIN
PHOTOS BY OLIVER BROAD
My first visit to Gran Canaria was in 2004 for a
simple week on the beach, the most common reason
visitors flock to the island. Perfectly positioned off
the north west coast of Africa, the Canary Islands
offer year-round warm weather yet much more than
beaches and luxury resorts. I returned to discover
what else is on offer, needless to say I was pleasantly
Our journey began at Las Palmas airport which is
just a 30 minute drive from the popular resorts of
Playa Del Ingles and Maspalomas and around 20
minutes from the capital city Las Palmas, our first
stop for two nights.
As we landed first thing in the morning we wanted to
make the most of our time before checking into the
city. We headed inland from the airport and quickly
climbed to some impressive heights.
Gran Canaria is the third biggest Canary Island
after Tenerife and Fuerteventura yet the second most
visited. It is very easy to escape the busier resorts and
be surrounded by nothing but deserted and picturepostcard
scenery, traditional villages and interesting
history. This is one of the reasons I love driving
holidays and exploring Mediterranean islands, it’s so
easy and quick to experience a variety of scenery and
vistas plus it’s relaxing to explore at your own pace.
We drove through Telde and then to La Higuera, Los
Veroles and turned right towards the Jardin Botanico
Viera y Clavijo. This detour inland worked out great
as it wasn’t difficult to discover pretty spots to enjoy
along the way.
With stomachs rumbling we stopped at Restaurant
Jardin Canario, a great lunch stop next to the
Botanical Gardens where we enjoyed sumptuous
Mediterranean salads, traditional Papas Arrugadas
(Canarian wrinkly potatoes) and the perfect local
desserts made on site. All of this and we had only
landed three and a half hours ago!
After a look around the gardens it was time to
continue to Las Palmas.
Gran Canaria was known by its aboriginal
inhabitants, the North African Canarii, as Tamaran
(land of the brave). They reportedly arrived on the
island as early as 500BC. Spain conquered the island
in 1483 but more famously Christopher Columbus
spent time on the island prior to his first trip to the
Americas in 1492.
Las Palmas is the largest city on all the Canary
Islands and spreads out along 9km of coastline with
the historic district of Vegueta my top tip for the
focus of any first-time visitor.
Our base for a couple of nights was the grand
dame of the city, the Hotel Santa Catalina, Royal
Hideaway. This five star, opulent property oozes
history and old-time glamour and is around 20
minutes by foot into Vegueta, and a short drive of
the north of the city where the main beaches and
commercial areas are.
The hotel dates back to 1890 and has been
beautifully restored to offer modern amenities such
as a stunning rooftop infinity pool and everything
you expect from a five star hotel. It has certainly not
lost its charm with a very glamorous lounge room
with sparkling chandeliers and classic, turn of the
century decor. I wasn’t expecting this at all, it is a real
hidden gem. You can imagine what it would be like
all those years ago, filled with explorers, traders and
celebrities on their journey to the Americas.
Blending a resort feel with a city location is always a
challenge for a hotel and the Santa Catalina does a
great job. It has a very distinct and grand design with
Moorish elements such as wooden balconies.
The grounds of the hotel, park, flower-lined
driveway and waving palm trees are a far cry from
the pretty desolate area that surrounds the airport. In
such a short space of time we had taken in so much.
A couple of nights is enough in Las Palmas and the
main attraction is wandering around Vegueta. Enjoy
an escorted walking tour and discover the interesting
maritime history or simply wonder yourself. The
walk from the hotel will take you through colourful
streets showcasing the vibrant past of the city. Side
streets are lined with pastel buildings that boast bold
accents of colour, all decorated with mosaics and
floral motifs as if they’re fighting for attention.
Our second stop was Paradores de Cruz de Tejeda in
the centre of the island, high in the mountains. We
were really looking forward to this retreat to not only
see some scenery but also reconnect, have some time
out and breathe after a very stressful year.
We first took a slight detour to Mirador de Las
Coloradas, pretty much the most northerly part of
the island. From here you pull up and take some
beautiful photographs of the Atlantic, or if you like
walking (or surfing) park up by beach (Playa del
Confital) and experience dramatic waves and rugged
The journey from here to our next stop was only
about an hour non-stop, but of course with so many
colourful flowers and charming spots we took our
time to take it all in. The fields were lush and green.
We spotted Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Blood Trumpet,
Bird of Paradise and Flame Vine as we left the buzz
of the city behind and entered deep into Canarian
Working cattle farms blended with quaint villages,
holiday homes and rolling hills to create a really
enjoyable drive. Locals were polite to help us pass
and welcomed us into shops and cafes. Time seemed
to have stood still for many and our worries of the
pandemic floated quickly away as the fresh air and
tranquil surrounding eased us into a sense of calm.
Paradores de Turismo de Espana was established in
1928 to protect the historical and cultural heritage of
Spain, help promote local economies and care for the
environment. There are 96 of these state-run hotels
across Spain and her islands and each has its own
character. They are well known for their gastronomy
and unique experiences and are generally great value
Paradores de Cruz de Tejeda is no exception.
Located high in the mountains of Gran Canaria it is
a well-known base for hikers, cyclists and now social
media fanatics as they crave that ultimate photo
opportunity. The hotel is famous for its jaw-dropping
mountain views and each room has one. You can
enjoy the vista from your private balcony, from the
restaurant and even the spa with its infinity pool.
Even if you are not a big hiker you can still
experience a short walk from the back of the hotel
and in just a few minutes you are surrounded by
nothing but scenery, wildlife, more flowers and
the sound of rustling trees in the fresh mountain
air. Kaleidoscopes of butterflies danced around us
almost acting as little tour guides on our morning
We stayed for two nights and also took a short drive
down to the very beautiful village of Tajeda. This
traditional Canarian village is well worth a visit and
in the afternoons is popular for an ice cream and a
stroll with locals and visitors. In this area the popular
peaks of Pico de las Nievas (Snow Peak), Roque
Nublo (Cloud Peak) and Roque Bentayga create a
Next time you visit Spain (or in Portugal look for the
equivalent Pousadas) I highly recommend looking up
a Paradore. Even if you stay for just a night, they will
no doubt enhance your stay and you will be helping
inject much needed funds back into the heritage of
After a few days of mountain air it was time for our
longest drive to the more popular side of the island
for a few days by the beach. The journey is only
around 48km and can be completed in around an
hour and 20 minutes, but we took nearly all day as
there is so much to see.
I would pack a lunch and enjoy a stop at one of the
many picnic stops, hiking trails or photo vantage
points along the way such as Llanos De La Lez. The
scenery turns into pine-filled forests, a total contrast
to the northeast colour floral vistas. For hikers, I
would recommend Aparcamiento de la Degollada de
La Goleta. From here you can walk up to El Fraile
for wonderful views of Roque Nublo from the other
side of the mountain compared to earlier in Tajeda.
The roads can be quite windy but are wide, quiet
and easy to drive. I recommend an automatic SUV
or 4x4 so you can focus more on the views and have
The scenery becomes more dramatic as you descend
towards the coast. We stopped for a short walk
around San Bartolome de Tirajana where we also
filled up with fuel and snacks. This is also where you
can start the famous hiking route of El Camino de
Santiago to Gádar.
We skipped the hike and instead continued our
journey; the beach was calling! Along the way there
are plenty more photo stops including Degollada de
la Yegua which was probably the most impressive.
You can stop here for sweeping views over the
canyon and nature reserve.
The island is well known for its Aloe Vera plants and
a stop at the Finca Canaries Aloe Vera Fataga is a
good idea to buy some home-grown products.
Just 30 minutes later we were on the coast and
checking into the Seaside Palm Beach Hotel in
the resort of Meloneras for a relaxing end to our
driving adventure. This is a firm five star favourite
of our clients and I can see why with superb service,
delicious food and spacious balconies with sea views.
A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Playa del
Ingles, Meloneras is home to a handful of luxury
resorts and hotels. I visited the top hotel on the
island, and in my opinion the best in all the
Canaries, the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia. An
oasis of calm and sophistication, this small villagelike
boutique hotel offers nothing but the best
for discerning clients looking for a smaller, more
The area is perfect for those who like a stroll (it’s
completely flat) with a long seafront with up-market
restaurants and boutiques very close by. The white
sandy beach is huge and will keep keen walkers
occupied for hours. For us however it was time to sit
back, relax and enjoy some important time together.
We looked back over our photos from the past few
days and had to remind ourselves where we were.
The romance of 17 years ago came flooding, after all
this was where we first came on holidays together. It
felt reassuringly familiar, yet everywhere we had seen
on our drive was completely new. The emotional
connection to exploring, reconnecting, reminiscing
and sharing was back because we were once again,
and finally, travelling together.
The island will always have a special place in our
hearts and now, in these post-pandemic times, we
feel so privileged to have explored even more and
enhanced its appeal as a special, memorable place
for us both and I’m sure we will return.
To plan a holiday to Gran Canaria contact Oliver or
Nathan on 01543 258631 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to mention
J’AIME when you call.
We are delighted to announce that Darwin’s at The George in
Lichfield has reopened, Monday to Saturday evenings from 6pm!
We have all the Covid-19 procedures in place to
ensure your visit is safe and comfortable.
Our new head chef Charlotte has created a delicious spring
menu packed with seasonal and locally sourced produce.
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.
Available Monday to Thursday evenings
and until 7pm on Fridays & Saturdays
2 courses: £18.50 | 3 courses: £21.50
Bird Street, Lichfield, WS13 6PR
01543 414822 www.thegeorgelichfield.co.uk
Visit our website for menus and to book your table
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.
We are a trusted, local family, dedicated to providing
a truly personal service for those who need us
Burials, Horse-drawn Funerals, Bespoke
Funeral and pre-payment Funeral Plans available
All-inclusive Funeral Packages for
Cremation with no hidden costs
Including Crematorium, Doctor and
Simple - £2,300
Traditional - £2,650
(includes family car, service sheets and floral tribute)
16 - 20 North Street, Cannock, WS11 0BA
01543 529813 (Anytime)
Visit our web and Facebook sites to see our reviews
www.omalleyfunerals.co.uk • www.facebook.com/omalleyfunerals
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: email@example.com
CQC RATING GOOD
FA S H I O N
SPARK JOY WITH BEAUTIFUL BRIGHTS AND BLOOMING PRINTS AS WE
HEAD INTO A SUMMER OF POST-LOCKDOWN LIFE, SAYS AMY NORBURY
IT’S been a long time coming, but we’re finally heading for
a summer of going ‘out-out’, with the prospect of staycays
and even vacays on the horizon. So after the best part of a
year of living in loungewear, it’s time for our wardrobes to
receive a much-needed update.
The SS21 catwalk collections have been, understandably, a
bit of a strange mix. After all, designers were operating in
uncharted conditions, facing huge logistical challenges to
put together collections which were presented to the world
mostly via live streams and limited audiences, rather than
the pomp and celebration which usually makes up the series
of worldwide fashion weeks.
And perhaps more pressingly, with the pandemic-hit world
at the start of 2021 still a mishmash of unknowns, it was
more a case of exactly what will people be dressing for?
One of the overriding elements of many collections was
the emphasis on how clothes can make you feel. Getting all
dressed up can be a serious mood-booster and, with that
in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that there were so many
fabulously flamboyant key pieces on show. To borrow a
sentiment from interiors guru Marie Kondo, this season is
all about fashion which spark joy.
Feel-good prints were at the heart of many collections, and
after the dominance of rainbow stripes, as we head into
summer it’s all about beautiful blooms. Tried, tested and
trending right now, flamboyant florals will help to put the
fabulous back into your wardrobe.
The bolder, the brighter, and the more impactful seems to
be the only way forward. There’s no room for wallflowers
here; instead, designers have been showcasing floral motifs
in egg yolk yellows, on neon tulip dresses, and on galaworthy
ball gowns in shades of pink so eye-searingly hot
you’ll need shades to look straight at them.
Think oversized florals with this print and brighter than
bright colours. Wear bold blooms with simple neutral pieces
to let them shine or amp up the drama with a daring mix
and match ensemble.
ORANGE FLORAL MAXI DRESS, £99,
MONICA FLORAL WRAP JUMPSUIT,
FEELING GROOVY FLORAL
CHIFFON MAXI DRESS, FREE
PEOPLE AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
POPPY FLORAL COTTON MAXI
DRESS, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
MARGOT FLORAL PALAZZO
TROUSERS, TRAFFIC PEOPLE
AT HARVEY NICHOLS.
MARKS AND SPENCER.
PRINTED COTTON MINI DRESS, TORY BURCH AT
HARVEY NICHOLS. WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM
GREEN FLORAL UTILITY PLAYSUIT, £40,
RIVER ISLAND. WWW.RIVERISLAND.COM
PINK FLORAL BARDOT DRESS, FROM
A SELECTION AT RIVER ISLAND.
FA S H I O N
An uplifting experience
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE STAFFORDSHIRE LINGERIE BUSINESSES WHERE
BUYING UNDERWEAR HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO A PAMPERING EXPERIENCE?
JENNY AMPHLETT MET OWNER JUSTINE OLDFIELD TO FIND OUT MORE
Buying underwear is more than just shopping when
you visit SoS Lingerie - it’s an uplifting experience in
every sense of the word.
Based in the beautiful surroundings of The Deer
Park at Hoar Cross, the newest underwear retailer
in the Midlands is a world apart from picking up
a multipack of possibly ill-fitting bras during the
Owner Justine Oldfield has set out to offer ladies a
luxurious, pampering experience where they can be
expertly measured and fitted in privacy.
They can try on bras with back sizes 26 to 48, cup
sizes A to K and priced from £25 to £150 until they
find something that’s perfect for them.
Brands include Simone Perele, Empreinte and
Katherine Hamilton among many others.
“My business has been built on offering an
experience for ladies,” says Justine, who has many
years of experience in the corporate world and in
“I originally set up a clothing business in a studio at
my home. I live in a beautiful cottage so when ladies
came to see me they loved it.
“I know that underwear shopping can be an
intimidating and not very engaging experience, so it’s
important to me to offer something different to that.”
When Justine adapted the business to offer lingerie
due to customer demand she decided to move to
new premises but was worried that she wouldn’t find
somewhere that offered the same experience for her
customers - then she found The Deer Park.
“It’s such a beautiful setting, down country lanes, and
customers can relax over coffee or food and do some
shopping in the other independent businesses while
“It offers a wonderful experience and is a lovely place
to work and visit. It means I can continue to offer a
Justine says it is important to her to offer a broad
range of lingerie, from luxurious high-end items to
more affordable pieces.
“I’ve been in a place where I’ve had to live on a
limited income and I know what a nice experience it
can be to just buy one thing for yourself, how it can
really affect you and give you a lift.
“At the other end of the spectrum I’ve travelled the
world with high net worth individuals and been
exposed to the kind of life that they lead.
“I’ve built my business to incorporate my own life
experiences so that I can offer customers a personal
experience in a relaxing environment that is also
accessible to all ladies.”
Justine says it can be an eye opener for women
when they try on high end lingerie for the first time
- that they perhaps hadn’t realised how much it can
enhance their figure and how good it can make them
“I often have ladies who say they don’t spend more
than £30 on a bra but then when they try the full
range on they can feel the difference. It’s all about
what works for the individual and some people
find the perfect underwear comes in at under their
SoS Lingerie is open three days a week for retail
sales, with private fittings available on other days by
SoS Lingerie, The Deer Park, Maker Lane, Hoar
Cross, DE13 8QR, 07814 518 170,
Wear my Freedom
e Deer Park
07814 518 170
Exclusive and stunning lingerie and swimwear
アパート 夀 䔀 䄀 刀 匀 伀 䘀
䈀 䔀 匀 倀 伀 䬀 䔀 䘀 䤀 一 䔀 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀 ꀀ
Specialists in transforming
伀 older 渀 攀 漀 昀 琀 栀 pieces 攀 氀 愀 爀 最 攀 猀 琀 of 挀 漀 氀 jewellery
氀 攀 挀 琀 椀 漀 渀 猀 漀 昀
into brand new designs in
our on-site workshop
挀 漀 渀 琀 攀 洀 瀀 漀 爀 愀 爀 礀 ǻ 渀 攀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 椀 渀 琀 栀 攀 唀 䬀
匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 猀 琀 猀 椀 渀 搀 攀 猀 椀 最 渀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 洀 愀 欀 椀 渀 最 Ⰰ
爀 攀 洀 漀 搀 攀 氀 氀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 爀 攀 昀 甀 爀 戀 椀 猀 栀 椀 渀 最 昀 漀 爀 アパート 礀 攀 愀 爀 猀
ALLEN 䄀 䰀 䰀 䔀 一 䈀 BROWN 刀 伀 圀 一 䨀 JEWELLERY
䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀
䠀 Heart 攀 愀 爀 琀 漀 of 昀 吀 The 栀 攀 䌀 Country 漀 甀 渀 琀 爀 礀 匀 Shopping 栀 漀 瀀 瀀 椀 渀 最 Village 嘀 椀 氀 氀 愀 最 攀
匀 Swinfen, 眀 椀 渀 昀 攀 渀 Ⰰ Lichfield, 䰀 椀 挀 栀 ǻ 攀 氀 搀 Ⰰ
匀 Staffordshire 琀 愀 昀 昀 漀 爀 搀 猀 栀 椀 爀 攀 WS14 圀 匀 㐀 9QR 㤀 儀 刀
01543 㔀 㐀 アパート 㐀 481948 㠀 㤀 㐀 㠀
眀 眀 ⸀ 愀 氀 氀 攀 渀 戀 爀 漀 眀 渀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀
昀 椀 琀
W E D D I N G S
With this ring
LIBBY JOHNSON, DIRECTOR OF JOHNSONS JEWELLERS,
EXPLAINS HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT WEDDING RING
Choosing the perfect wedding ring has to be one of
the most crucial tasks ahead of getting married. After
all, these small, delicate momentos of precious metal
hold extreme sentiment for the rest of our lives. They
are a symbol of eternal love and fidelity.
Choosing the right design can sometimes be
overwhelming, as there are numerous designs out
there. This is why, at Johnsons Jewellers, we have
created a helpful guide to give you and your loved
one the insight into the world of wedding rings.
The tradition of wearing wedding rings exchanged
between spouses dates back to the Ancient Egyptians.
Although the rings were not made from precious
metals like today, they were delicately created from
more organic materials such as hemp.
Craftsmanship has adapted rapidly over the decades
however beliefs have remained the same.
Many people ask why a wedding band is worn on
the left hand and on the fourth finger. The ideology
is this particular finger on the left hand has a ‘vein
of love’, which directly leads to the heart. It is not
uncommon however in Eastern European countries
such as Russia and Poland that wedding bands are
worn on the right hand. In the Netherlands rings
are worn on both hands, historically to represent
the religion of its wearer; Catholics (left hand) or
Protestants (right hand).
Today wedding rings are usually made from precious
metals such as gold, platinum and more recently
palladium, a sister metal to platinum. Industrial
metals such as titanium or cobalt are also accessible
for clients looking for an even harder wearing
material. The perpetuity of these noble metals
symbolises the permanence of a marriage.
TRADITIONAL PLAIN WEDDING BAND:
For many years people have opted for the simplicity
of a plain wedding band. Traditionally the wedding
band is slightly wider than the engagement ring itself.
Choosing the correct width is important not only for
maximum comfort for the wearer but also to suit the
size of a person’s hand. The objective of a wedding
ring is to compliment the engagement ring - not to
Traditional court: The traditional court is no
doubt the most traditional of the wedding ring
profiles. It is rounded on the inside and the outside
to give a curved appearance. This type of ring
compliments a wide variety of engagement rings and
is also available in all precious metals.
Flat Profile: This profile of wedding ring is flat on
all surfaces. It can give the appearance and feel of a
more modern, heavier-set ring. This profile is more
attractive to gentlemen. Once again, it is available in
all precious metals.
Flat court: This is a fusion between the flat profile
and the traditional court. It has a curved inner edge
but maintains the look of a flat profile. This style sits
beautifully next to most engagement rings and is also
favoured by gents.
D Shape: This traditional profile has proved
popular with ladies and gents. The profile has a
distinctive domed outer edge. It is available in all
PATTERNED WEDDING BANDS:
Patterned wedding bands are for those who are after
a classic ring but with a twist. From Celtic designs
to dazzling diamond-cut, there is a pattern for each
person’s taste. Some careers do not allow stone-set
jewellery, so a patterned wedding band could be an
TWO OR THREE COLOUR WEDDING
Multi-coloured wedding bands are definitely rising in
popularity. This design of band is an excellent idea
for those who love to mix and match different colours
of gold. For many, this design goes perfectly with
two-tone watches they may also have. Some partners
may wish to have different coloured wedding bands
but still wish to match; by choosing a two or three
colour ring you can have the best of both. We have
the technology to allow customers to create their
own bi-colour ring. Simply choose the base metal
you wish from various precious metals and then pick
a sleeve metal to compliment. This type of wedding
band is also available in different finishes and
DIAMOND-SET WEDDING BANDS:
For those who love a little sparkle, having a diamondset
band can be the right choice. A useful tip for
ladies having a diamond wedding band is to try and
match the same setting from the engagement ring.
Popular diamond-setting styles include:
Channel set: This style is available in most precious
metals. The channel set is a modern, clean look.
Most ladies have this as half diamond coverage
across the band. Channel set is usually available with
round, brilliant-cut diamonds, princess cut or even
the fancy mixed stone variety. This is a very secure
setting where the diamonds are flush within the metal
setting, resulting in peace of mind for daily wear.
Vintage milgrain/grain set: This style works
with antique or vintage-inspired engagement rings. It
also looks fantastic with a classic solitaire ring of any
cut. This band is available in various precious metals
and diamond sizes.
Micro claw set: This is a very similar design
style to the traditional claw set, the micro pave set
wedding bands refer to very uniform sized diamonds
set with smaller, deeper-set claws. This is a slimmer
and more feminine design of ring. It is available
in most precious metals and different diamond
OPTIONAL PERSONAL TOUCHES:
Add the finishing touch to your wedding rings
with personal engraving. Most customers opt for a
wedding date engraved on the inside of the rings
(width dependant). It’s a super handy reminder tool
for your partner.
When you purchase wedding rings from us we offer
a complimentary engagement ring clean and polish
before your special day.
For more information about creating
your own bespoke wedding ring visit:
B E AU T Y
Tackling men’s skincare needs
MEN ARE NOW GIVING WOMEN A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY WHEN IT COMES TO LOOKING
AFTER THEIR SKIN, BUT IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHERE TO START THEN ALL THOSE LOTIONS
AND POTIONS CAN BE A LITTLE CONFUSING. ROYAL FACIALIST AND HEAVEN SKINCARE
FOUNDER DEBORAH MITCHELL SHARES HER TOP GROOMING TIPS.
Time was when looking after your appearance was
very much the women’s domain. While guys went for
a rough and ready approach to their daily regimen,
it was the fairer sex who spent hours in front of the
mirror. But things have certainly changed…from
beard oils and anti-ageing essentials to high tech
facials and fat busting treatments, men’s grooming is
now a multi-billion-pound industry.
When I was creating my men’s skincare collection it
was important for me to take into account different
needs and lifestyles – I wanted to offer an edited
collection of essentials that combined timeless style
with clear functionality.
FIND OUT YOUR SKIN TYPE:
Do you have dry, oily skin? Or maybe
it is a little on the sensitive side? By
working out what type of complexion
you have you can pick the right
products to ensure it looks its best.
Because most men have combination
skin, choose lightweight, easily
absorbed products that can add
hydration to areas most in need. My
Cooling & Soothing Hydrogel
(£19) provides much needed relief
from post-shave irritations; you can
also keep it in your gym bag to use as a
great post-work out boost for your skin.
ADD PRODUCTS TO YOUR
SHAVING RITUAL: You may well
understand how to shave correctly
but aftercare is important to keep
skin in tip top condition. My SOS
Shave Oil (£46) helps protect and
repair damage, improving texture and
adding nourishment; simply add a few
drops to your shaving cream for added
nourishment or use after to provide
relief and repair. You can also leave it on
overnight for a more intensive skin treat.
your skin ages, its
requirements change –
it may be less hydrated
and fine lines and
discolouration start to
appear. My best-selling
nutrients and feeds the
skin whilst relieving
stress, leaving you with a more youthful and tighter
complexion. You can use this moisturiser in the
morning after your cleansing routine and before bed
as an effective night cream.
YOUR EYE AREA:
The skin around
your eyes can be one
of the first to show
signs of ageing so it
is important to use
products that are
for this delicate area.
Try Heaven’s O2
Eye Cream (£37)
to help tackle fine lines and wrinkles and promote
healthier looking skin. Its non-greasy solution is great
for perking puffy tired and dull eyes too, and you
only need a tiny amount dotted along the orbital
You can shop the complete Heaven’s grooming range
online at heavenskincare.com.
We make it happen
01543 466 660
01543 263 456
0121 550 0010
0121 716 3716
Curtains | Blinds | Wallpaper
Refresh your home with
soft furnishings from our family
owned and run business
3 year guarantee
Expert fitting service
Best of Lichfield «««««
Top brands across all price ranges
NOW Lichfield OPEN
Interior 1st Floor Choice,
Sure First Store Floor
Sure WS13 Storage 6UY
Sale starts Jan 4th
25% off Selected ranges
By appointment only. FREE parking. Please book in
online: www.interiorchoice.net or call 01543 406162
I N T H E N E W S
In expert hands
THE LARGEST INDEPENDENT LUXURY BATHROOM SHOWROOM IN THE REGION
HAS A NEW OWNER - WHO HAS AN ENCYCLOPAEDIC KNOWLEDGE OF
BATHROOMS AFTER STARTING HIS CAREER AS AN APPRENTICE PLUMBER
Bayliss Bathrooms, in Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield
was set up in 1929 and has gone on to become the
largest independent showroom of luxury bathrooms
in the region.
The business has had just three owners in all that
time with the latest very proud owner being Anthony
Biswas - a former apprentice plumber who founded
his own bathroom installation company.
Anthony’s installation company, Desire Bathroom
Interiors, had worked for Bayliss for several years so
when the opportunity arose to purchase Bayliss he
knew what he had to do.
He said: “Notwithstanding the continued success of
the Desire Bathroom Interiors brand, I identified
that there was still a preference for some customers
to see, touch and feel the products, tiles and
associated equipment before they invested heavily in
“Bayliss was a successful bathroom products
supply business, but it did not provide an inhouse
installation service. It had been clear to
me for several years that many a large investment
in expensive bathroom products can be very
detrimentally impacted by poor installation, and with
my strong technical and installation background I felt
I was able to provide the missing, and critical, piece
of the jigsaw.”
Anthony now trades under two very complementary
brands, Desire Bathroom Interiors and Bayliss.
These brands provide access to a wide range of
products and services which can be accessed online
or via the showroom.
Anthony said: “My vision, and my passion, is to
turn customers’ dream bathrooms into reality, and
to continue to develop the business into the leading
designer, supplier and installer of luxury bathrooms
in the West Midlands.
“I believe we are fairly unique in being able to
provide an all embracing project managed design,
supply and installation service. Our services extend
to include bathrooms, cloakrooms, ensuites, and
wetrooms, as well as providing all the associated
services such as plasterwork, joinery, electrics,
flooring, decoration and building work.
“We provide this all as a ‘one stop’ service, removing
from the customer the stress of sourcing the various
trades and coordinating the project, enabling them
to relax and watch their dream turn into reality. We
always strive to exceed customer expectations, so
please feel free to contact us to see how we can help
Customer service and quality workmanship are both
key to Anthony’s success.
He added: “I find that customers are very much
attracted to our technical knowledge and experience,
rather than a glossy sales pitch. In addition, many
customers like to visit us not just to see designs and
the products, but also to discuss and receive strong
technical guidance on the installation process, taking
confidence from our experience in all these areas
combined into our project managed service.”
Bayliss, 23 Gate Lane, Boldmere, Sutton
Coldfield, B73 5TR, 0121 362 1800,
Desire Bathroom Interiors, 0121 362 1809,
HOUSE CLEARANCE EXPERTS
We don’t cherry-pick! Our team
handles the entire clearance
Discover that hidden gem with your local auctioneer
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
clearance service and
We handle clearance of an entire
estate from houses, bungalows and
flats to offices and all
We specialise in:
Antique and modern jewellery
Coins, medals and militaria
Works of art
Whisky and wine
Stamps and ephemera
Cameras and record collections
Antique and modern furniture
Modern toys and Pokémon
All members of our jewellery
department are certified
More than 3,800 bidders from
all over the world joined our
online auctions last month
Online services available
Virtual estimates, online auctions
and contactless collections.
‘Click and collect’ service
for consignments strictly by
NEW - STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
FREE Thursday Valuations
For Jewellery, Watches & Silver with gemmologist
& diamond grader Heather Callaway. 9.30am - 4pm
FREE General Valuations
With our team on Thursdays from 9.30am - 4pm
Call 01543 251081
Established – Professional – Transparent
The Winterton family name has been synonymous
with auctioneering in Staffordshire since 1864
The Lichfield Auction Centre
Wood End Lane
J'Aime Ad 190x280 - Feb and ideas 2021.indd 1 12/05/2021 16:10