J'AIME FEBRUARY 2020

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 0

J’AIME

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

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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

GET SHIRTY!

The style staple which

is set to become your

spring wardrobe hero

LOVE IS IN THE

AIR WITH VALENTINE’S

DAY GIFT IDEAS

Ditch the diet!

LICHFIELD TRAINER

RAUL ROMERO ON WHY

DIETS DON’T WORK

REFRESH YOUR

INTERIORS FOR

2020



Welcome to J’AIME

With the most romantic day of the year on

the horizon, it’s all hearts and flowers here at

J’AIME HQ. We’ve taken all of the hard work

out of choosing the perfect love token for your

significant other - our gift guide has plenty of

ideas which are sure to be a Cupid’s arrow to the

heart for that special someone in your life.

We were at Autosport International to grab a

chat with our resident motors expert Martin

Plowman and his snake-hipped team mate,

Strictly Come Dancing champion Kelvin

Fletcher, about the exciting new start for their

British GT 20920 season.

One has spent more than three decades

keeping professional dancers injury-free and

performance-ready, while the other is a high

performing martial artist and film stunt man, but

between them Phil Birch and Darryl Canham,

of Birmingham-based Dance Clinic, are helping

elite athletes and dancers, as well as people from

all walks of life, on the road to injury recovery.

We chatted to the duo about their revolutionary

fitness work.

And there’s good news if you’ve already fallen

off the New Year diet bandwagon as Lichfield

personal trainer Raul Romero says it’s time to

ditch the diet and explains why fad eating just

doesn’t work.

Elsewhere, there’s also a whole host of your

usual favourites, from food and drink news

to home revamp ideas, lustworthy travel

destinations and more! We hope there’s plenty

here to love this February.

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN,

REBECCA SWAIN, LISA PIDDINGTON, THE

GINTLEMAN, PREET ANAND, RAUL ROMERO,

LIAM DILLON

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


CONTENTS

InsideJ’aime this month...

6 Dance Clinic - The Birmingham specialists

keeping professional dancers, elite athletes and

more at the top of their game

10 Property - Property of the month

12 Interiors - Create cosy

16 Interiors - Go for bold in the kitchen

21 Interiors - Sutton Coldfield interior designer

Preet Anand answers your design dilemmas

22 Valentine’s Day - Treat the lady in your life

26 Valentine’s Day - Thoughtful tokens for him

28 Food and drink - Reviewing The Pear Tree

Creperie, Heart of the Country

30 Food and drink - The ultimate carrot cake recipe

from Liam Dillon

32 Food and drink - The Gintleman shares some

exciting gin news

33 Health - Lichfield personal trainer Raul Romero

says it’s time to ditch the diet

36 Travel - Amazing Abruzzo

40 What’s On - The best events from around the

area

44 What’s On - Goings-on in Birmingham this month

45 Beauty - Skin TLC from Harvey Nichols

Birmingham

46 Fashion - Get shirty

48 Health - A revolutionary new eye treatment at

Spire Little Aston

49 Motors - Martin Plowman and Kelvin Fletcher on

British GT’s new season

SPONSORED BY

4


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WS14 9UY

01543 267324

ARTHURPRICEINLICHFIELD.CO.UK

Proud

supporters of

BRITISH CRAFTSMANSHIP

Please be aware that the shop is located on

the first floor via a staircase. If access is an

issue we have a ground floor room available

where products can be brought down for

viewing by our dedicated customer

service team.


FEATURE

The show must go on

FROM HELPING PROFESSIONAL DANCERS TO GET STAGE-READY, TO TREATING PEOPLE

FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE WITH DEBILITATING INJURIES, BIRMINGHAM SPECIALISTS PHIL

BIRCH AND DARRYL CANHAM, FROM DANCE CLINIC, ARE USING THEIR HANDS-ON

EXPERTISE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE

Darcey Bussell. Sylvie Guillem. Rudolf Nureyev. All

world-famous dancers, and all clients who have, at

one time or another during their illustrious careers,

called on the healing hands of soft tissue injury

specialist Phil Birch.

Phil is the co-founder of Birmingham-based Dance

Clinic. Working alongside physical conditioning

coach Darryl Canham - himself an elite martial

artist and film stunt performer - they specialise in the

repair, management and rehabilitation of all manner

of injuries, with, as the name suggests, a particular

focus on dancers.

Professional and amateur dancers, like all athletes,

can push their bodies to the limits. The risk of injury

is high, as are often the stakes involved - especially

with professionals and competitive groups.

From ballet and ballroom to street and hip hop, via

West End professionals and Strictly Come Dancing

stars, Phil has spent more than 30 years working with

dancers from all disciplines and at all levels to ensure

they remain injury-free and performance-ready, night

after night.

But it’s not just dancers who can benefit from Phil

and Darryl’s expertise. The duo work with elite

athletes from a wide variety of sports - professional

footballers, martial artists, racket sports professionals,

horse riders, runners and more.

And their assistance isn’t limited to professionals

looking to get into their best performance shape. Phil

and Darryl have helped people from all walks of life

recover from road traffic accidents, falls and impacts

as well as accidental injuries from daily activities.

I, myself, have suffered with lifelong hip problems,

and a recent diagnosis of progressive osteoarthritis

has left me with the real possibility of needing a hip

replacement before I turn 40. I’ve always had an

active lifestyle and, while running is no longer an

option due to the massive stress it places on my joints,

I gym, swim, yoga and, yes, dance on a regular basis.

THE DANCE CLINIC TEAM

INCLUDES DARRYL CANHAM,

DANCER ZOE HORNBY-

WALSH AND PHIL BIRCH

So I was an ideal candidate for Phil and Darryl to

work their magic on.

A quick assessment by Phil’s expert eye found that,

while the obvious hip issues were there, they were

only the start of my problems. Weakness in my lower

back, feet and ankles was having a knock-on effect on

the rest of my joints - in fact, my entire right side was

woefully out of alignment.

Perfect body balance is incredibly important in

getting and remaining injury-free. The ‘Zero Line’

- the neutral line of posture - is lost when injuries

occur, and Dance Clinic has found that most people

are around 12-15 per cent away from their perfect

posture. Safe to say, my posture was many, many

degrees away from perfect.

Hopping onto the treatment table, Phil used a range

of massage techniques to manipulate my body

back towards its ideal alignment. The effects were

immediate. I was surprised to feel instantly more

stable, with my balance improving dramatically. I

found I could stand on one leg with relative ease,

and maintain the position with minimal wobble -

something which had certainly not been the case

pre-treatment.

6


Moving onto the second stage of the treatment, I

headed into the studio with Darryl, who put me

through my paces with a range of strengthening

exercises, as well as giving advice on exercises I could

continue with at home to build up my core strength.

The duo’s expertise comes from more than three

decades each in their respective fields.

With a background in massage and sports injuries,

in 1990 Phil was headhunted by Birmingham Royal

Ballet to work with their professional dancers.

“They were looking for someone to join the company

to work with the dancers on a day-to-day basis,” says

Phil.

“We eventually became the Jerwood Centre for

Prevention of Injuries, and I started to work more

preventatively with the dancers, managing and

maintaining them. The company worked nationally

and internationally and I went on the road with

them wherever they went. We did three-and-a-half

months a year touring. Every day was spent working

with the dancers, tuning them and making sure they

were performance fit and ready to go, dealing with

niggles.”

Phil worked with Birmingham Royal Ballet for 27

years before setting up Dance Clinic in 2017 with

longtime friend Darryl, an elite performance trainer

and coach specialising in physical conditioning and

performance improvement.

“I’ve been working with Darryl for 15 years as a

client,” says Phil. “He’s a martial artist by trade and,

as an athlete, he knew he needed treatments on a

regular basis.”

“I was coming up against injury after injury, they

were becoming quite consistent, so I went to see Phil

and he was brilliant,” adds Darryl. “He completely

changed my knowledge of what my own body was

doing, and so I became a client of his, and I still am

with my weekly treatment.

“So I believe in the process, and Phil trains with me

on a weekly basis so we’re both advocates of our own

system. We’ve both had our own injuries, and we’ve

ZOE HORNBY-WALSH

HELPS FELLOW

DANCERS GET INTO

PEAK PERFORMANCE

CONDITION

PHIL BIRCH SPECIALISES

IN SOFT TISSUE INJURY

TREATMENT

put each other back together, so it just made sense to

pool our resources.”

With Dance Clinic, Phil and Darryl aim to fill a

treatment gap for dancers at all levels - particularly

grassroots.

“We found that people aspiring to get to an elite level

in dance or sport didn’t have enough support from

a treatment point of view or a strength and training

point of view, so our aim is to reach out to those

areas, the academies, the training schools, those who

are aiming to get to a professional level,” says Phil.

“We also realised that there was often a lack of

understanding among young dancers about what

their underlying injuries are. We found that a lot of

parents are spending a lot of money putting their

children through training every week, so we decided

to set up a concentrated screening process where

we’d assess dancers from a technical point of view,

myself from a musculo-skeletal point of view and

Darryl from a strength and conditioning point of

view, and collate the information to put together as a

platform to tackle all of those underlying issues.

“Ultimately, if we feel there’s any more serious issues

we refer onto further specialists or back to their

GPs.”

Dance Clinic have recently become an official

partner to DanceXchange, part of the Birmingham

Hippodrome group, to run screenings and

programmes for their dancers.

“We screened one of their circus dancers who was

only 15, and straight away both me and Darryl

found there was something not quite right with her,”

says Phil.

7


“We spoke to her mum and asked to see her again so

they came up - they live in Oxford - and we screened

her told her we’d picked up a possible stress fracture,

and if not a stress fracture then definitely a stress

response, in her left leg. We advised her to take a

few weeks off and concentrate on some strength

exercises which she did, and felt a lot better, but as

she returned to activity level her mum emailed me

straight away to say she was getting the same pain

as before. I said that she needed to go for an x ray,

which she did, and when it came back it turned out

that she had a break.

“Straight away when we saw her we’d identified

there was a problem, but she’d been dancing on that

break for five months - that’s where her tolerance

for pain was, she’d just been pushing through it.

Our intervention was minimal, just a screening and

then we saw her for an hour or so to give advice.

Luckily, we picked up the problem and got her the

correct treatment - she’s having to take some time

off to recover, but continuing as she was would have

destroyed her dance career.”

While ballet is at the core of Dance Clinic, the team

have worked in many different dance disciplines, and

understand their individual stresses and strains.

“Irish dancing is more loaded towards feet and

ankles, ballet can be anything from knees to hips to

ankles and Latin ballroom can be the same with hips

and knees,” says Phil.

“We recently did some work with South Asian

dancers, which was very interesting. All the different

DARRYL PUTS J’AIME’S

AMY NORBURY THROUGH

HER PACES

disciplines of dance still have that underlying issue of

strength. So many dancers think dance is what makes

them fit but, in fact, you have to be fit and strong to

dance.”

And that’s where Phil and Darryl’s partnership,

focusing not only on injury treatment and

prevention, but also looking at overall strengthening

and conditioning, is a unique solution.

“I use my years of experience in working with

dancers to pick up underlying issues with our clients

then feed that information back to Darryl, who looks

at them from a weakness and strength point of view

and calculates what he needs to do, then puts them

through their paces,” explains Phil.

Darryl adds: “One of the fundamental issues is

having the strength to hold the mechanics in place.

Phil was finding that many of his clients would keep

coming back with the same issues because they

weren’t rehabilitating and repairing themselves,

while I was seeing clients coming in from the outset

with changes in their biomechanics which needed a

trained eye and some form of muscular adjustment

first.”

And the success stories - often truly life-changing -

are what motivates Phil and Darryl.

“We had a girl in her mid-20s who came to us with a

broken back; she’s a runner with an athletic lifestyle

and she was told by her GP that there was nothing

they could do and that she needed to stop all of her

activities and just take pain medication to manage

things,” says Phil.

“She was distraught, understandably, and her whole

body broke down. Then she came to us and I spent

nine months rebuilding her, with Darryl working

on her strength, and she’s now doing amazingly.

I haven’t seen her now since September, although

she still works out with Darryl because the injury is

something that’s going to be there for the rest of her

life so the stronger she gets, the easier it is to manage.

And she’s been able to get back to a level of activity;

obviously she has to approach things a bit differently

and train a bit differently, but it’s amazing to see how

much she’s progressed.”

Darryl adds: “We’ve had a lot of success, which

had been down to our clients making fundamental

changes while getting good advice and good

programmes which will pull them back from injury

or keep them from the verge of injury, but also give

them the chance to progress to the next level.

“It’s all about pushing people to be the very best they

can be.”

For more information on Phil and Darryl’s treatment

programmes, visit www.danceclinic.co.uk

8


0121 362 7878

astonknowles.com

Sophie Bullock

MRICS

NEW YEAR, NEW MARKET: WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE MARKET IN 2020

After a difficult 2018/19, provoked by the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, agents have breathed

a sigh of relief as we enter 2020 reinvigorated by the general election. From the forecasts and analysts’

predictions for the year ahead, I anticipate that the housing market may experience a year of halves. There

is little doubt that 2020 will start with more optimism: demand and transactions are set to almost certainly

rise in the first few months of the year, and will be spurred on further if there is a helpful stamp duty reform in

the government’s first budget earmarked for March 11th.

To take advantage of the positive start of the year, contact 0121 362 7878 for your free market appraisal

GUIDE PRICE £2,495,000

NEW

GUIDE PRICE £1,750,000

HARTOPP ROAD - Four Oaks Estate

An impressive five-bedroom family residence finished to an

exceptional specification in 0.66 acres and located on the

highly regarded Four Oaks Estate.

Reception hallway, drawing room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast/

family room, playroom, cinema, guest cloakroom, bootroom. Master

bedroom and guest bedroom each with dressing room and en-suite

bathroom, bedroom three with en-suite shower room. Bedroom four

with en-suite shower room, bedroom five, family bathroom. Double

garage, gated private driveway, mature rear garden. Approximate

floor area including garage 5,295 square feet.

EPC Rating D.

MOOR HALL DRIVE - Sutton Coldfield

A breathtaking six-bedroom home situated in one of Sutton

Coldfield’s premier locations.

Reception hallway, drawing room, study, kitchen/breakfast/family

room, utility room, cloaks cupboard, guest claokroom. Master

bedroom with en-suite bathroom, guest bedroom with en-suite

shower room, two further bedrooms, family bathroom. Bedroom five

with en-suite shower room and dressing room, bedroom six with

access to loft. Integral garage, gated driveway.

Approximate floor area 3,935 square feet.

EPC rating B.

GUIDE PRICE £1,100,000 NEW

GUIDE PRICE £800,000

PRICE

KNOWLES DRIVE - Four Oaks Estate

An attractive four-bedroom family home located on one of the

most sought-after roads in the West Midlands.

Reception hallway, drawing room, dining room, family room,

kitchen/breakfast room, utility with separate WC, guest cloakroom.

Master bedroom with en-suite shower room, three further bedrooms,

walk-in wardrobe, family bathroom. Integral double garage, blockpaved

driveway, mature front and rear gardens.

Approximate floor area 2,813 square feet. EPC rating E.

WYLDE GREEN ROAD - Sutton Coldfield

A wonderful modern five-bedroom family home close to local

amenities.

Reception hallway, kitchen/dining/family room, utility, drawing

room, playroom/dining room, guest cloakroom. Master bedroom

with en-suite bathroom, three double bedrooms, family bathroom.

Guest bedroom to second floor with en-suite bathroom and Juliet

balcony, study. Manicured front and extensive rear gardens, integral

garage, block-paved gated driveway.

Approximate floor area 2,249 square feet. EPC rating C.

ASTON KNOWLES 8 High Street, Sutton Coldfield B72 1XA 0121 362 7878 enquiries@astonknowles.com www.astonknowles.com

@astonknowles


PROPERTY

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 AN EXQUISITE SIX-BEDROOM HOME WITH

ITS OWN CINEMA IN ONE OF SUTTON COLDFIELD’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS LOCATIONS

Pinewood, Roman Road, Little Aston Park: £2,695,000

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878

THE AGENT SAYS: Pinewood offers exceptional family

living on one of the most well-regarded roads in the West

Midlands. Occupying a private position on a stunning plot

of approximately 0.5 acres on Little Aston Park, the sixbedroom,

two-storey family home has recently been fully

renovated to the highest of standards.

Beautifully finished, both inside and out, the property is

approached through wrought iron gates providing access into

a block paved driveway with ample parking for numerous

vehicles.

The open plan kitchen/breakfast/family room has been

finished to the highest standards and forms the heart of the

home. With its high-gloss white marble countertops and

complementary handmade wall and floor units, the kitchen is

timeless and has a beautiful contemporary vibe.

The owners have designed a dog parlour for their pooches,

with fully tiled grooming shower. However, the space could

easily be converted to a boot room if so desired.

A wonderful feature of the house is the secret mirrored door

from the kitchen leading into the recent extension at the side

of the house. A spacious cinema room offers a luxury home

theatre space with 110” screen and stunning high-resolution

equipment and surround sound. The cinema room is the

perfect place for big family movie nights, major sporting

events and the ultimate gaming experience.

The recently completed extension also houses the stairs to a

two-bedroom guest suite and shower room, which has a selfcontained

entrance from the front of the property.

The property features a beautiful landscaped and private

garden to the rear. A light stone patio terrace runs across the

rear of the house, and there is a raised decked area with hot

tub and granite bar.

To the side of the house an additional seating area set under

a pergola which has been formed to make the most of the

morning sun.

W E L O V E :

THE PLUSH CINEMA, AND THE

DOG PARLOUR!

10


BAYLISS

creating bathroom envy since 1929...

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

regarded as one of the finest in the Country!

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

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


INTERIORS

Keeping it

cosy

FIRST there was the Danish cosiness concept of ‘hygge’,

then the Swedish ‘lagom’, which is all about balance,

sustainability, and everything in moderation, meaning that

the Nordic influence on interiors has been huge in recent

years.

And while brash, maximalist trends reared their heads

throughout 2019, as we enter a new decade it seems that

the sense of calm, comfort and tranquility inspired by

Scandi influences are back with a vengeance.

With temperatures on the chilly side, the days short and

the nights dark, it’s the time of year when most of us feel

like hibernating. So our homes need to be as inviting and

comfy as possible.

Pared-back neutrals and muted, rather than paintbox

bright, colours are key to creating an enticing space, while

plenty of emphasis on soft furnishings and low lighting

help to give a warm feel to our rooms.

Mix textures and play with tactile qualities to add interest

to the scheme - the bonus being, all this cosiness will keep

you snug until spring.

LARGE PLAID CHUNKY WOOL KNIT THROW,

£445, LIME LACE. WWW.LIMELACE.CO.UK

£300

LEOPARD PRINT SUPER SOFT FAUX FUR

THROW, AUDENZA. WWW.AUDENZA.COM

£102

NORA CHUNKY KNIT HOT WATER

BOTTLE, WWW.MADE.COM

THE HERMIA WOVEN STOOL,

PERCH UPHOLSTERY.

WWW.PERCHUPHOLSTERY.COM

£35

12


Why wait to

see clearly?

At Spire Healthcare we

know that your vision is

precious. That’s why we give

you fast access to leading

eye specialists at Spire

Little Aston Hospital. From

cataracts to lens replacement

surgery, our one-off private

treatments are always with a

leading expert – every step of

the way.

Questions about cataracts or sight correction? Would

you like to find out about the causes and latest

treatments? Join us for a free information evening

hosted by Ophthalmic Surgeons Mr Calladine and

Mr Anandan.

26

Feb

Cataract & sight correction presentation, 6.30pm

Booking is essential, so contact us today.

Book your place today

Call 0121 514 7034

Email info@spirelittleaston.com


£95

£119

£100

MERINO CASHMERE THROW,

ABODE LIVING.

WWW.ABODELIVING.CO.UK

CHUNKY KNIT THROW. AVAILABLE FROM

MOOD INTERIORS, SUTTON COLDFIELD.

WWW.MOODINTERIORS.NET

TUFTED STOOL, OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

£120

DEE CREAM CHUNKY KNIT WOOL

THROW, HABITAT. WWW.HABITAT.CO.UK

£245

£39

SOFT MONGOLIAN LAMBSWOOL

PINK CUSHION, MINT & MAY.

WWW.MINTANDMAY.CO.UK

ZAHRA SHEEPSKIN BAA STOOL,

LIME LACE. WWW.LIMELACE.CO.UK

HUGO COPPER AND CONCRETE

TABLE LAMP, ABODE LIVING.

WWW.ABODELIVING.CO.UK

£50

AZTEC SISAL ALABASTER RUG BY CRUCIAL TRADING.

AVAILABLE FROM TATLOW CARPETS, LICHFIELD.

WWW.TATLOWCARPETS.CO.UK

14


ICON ARCTIC WOLF LUXURY FAUX FUR THROW, £74.99,

BAZAAR GROUP. WWW.BEANBAGBAZAAR.CO.UK

CHUNKY KNIT THROW, £150, COX & COX.

WWW.COXANDCOX.CO.UK

VITA EOS FEATHER LAMPSHADE, £215, CLOUDBERRY LIVING.

WWW.CLOUDBERRYLIVING.CO.UK


INTERIORS

DITA INDUSTRIAL WOODEN BAR CHAIR

WITH BACK REST, £99, CULT FURNITURE.

WWW.CULTFURNITURE.COM

Go for

bold

WE’RE well into the new year proper, and if you’re

itching to update the heart of your home, we’ve got style

ideas galore in store. The days of minimalist all-white

kitchens are well and truly over, and for 2020 it’s time to

embrace a bold look throughout.

Coloured cabinetry has become increasingly popular in

recent years, and for 2020 we’re going green with envy

over deep forest and bright emerald shades. Dramatic and

luxurious, these dark green hues give a real rich feel to

your kitchen decor - balance with white marble worktops

and soft metallic hardware for a seriously opulent look.

If green feels a step too far then 2019’s colour of choice,

navy blue, shows no signs of slowing down. A perennially

sophisticated shade, navy brings a beautiful depth and

warmth to your room.

If you can’t make up your mind on kitchen colours then

never fear; two-tone cabinetry is a trend which is set to

soar in 2020. Combine dark units with brighter shades for

an on-trend update which will give your kitchen a fresh

new feel.

Bold tiling choices and glamorous fittings in brass, black

or copper shades complete the look for a 2020 update

with the wow factor.

£225

COOKE & LEWIS BILBROUGH

BRUSHED NICKEL EFFECT

TAP, B&Q. WWW.DIY.COM

£147

£390

COURBE CURVED SPOUT SINK MIXER IN

COPPER, FRONTLINE BATHROOMS.

WWW.FRONTLINEBATHROOMS.CO.UK

£108

DAX THREE LIGHT BAR PENDANT, DAR

LIGHTING. WWW.DARLIGHTING.CO.UK

AURELIA 15 LIGHT BAR PENDANT, DAR

LIGHTING. WWW.DARLIGHTING.CO.UK

16


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

Website: www.jeanlamb.co.uk

Email: jean.lamb@sjpp.co.uk

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.

www.trumankitchens.co.uk

SALE

NOW

ON

FREE DESIGN CONSULTATION IN OUR ‘APPOINTMENT ONLY’ SHOWROOM

0121 351 5169 - info@trumankitchens.co.uk

10a, Maybrook Business Park, Maybrook Road, Minworth, Sutton Coldfield B76 1AL


CUCINA COLORE FUTURA KITCH-

EN IN CONCRETE AND TOBACCO

OAK, MEREWAY KITCHENS.

WWW.MEREWAY.CO.UK

MAGNET DUNHAM KITCHEN IN

FOREST WALK. WWW.MAGNET.CO.UK

STONEY STATUARIO MARBLE-

EFFECT TILES, £30 PER M2, TILE

GIANT. WWW.TILEGIANT.CO.UK

FARROW & BALL PAINTED

KITCHEN, AVAILABLE FROM

TRUMAN KITCHENS, MINWORTH,

SUTTON COLDFIELD.

WWW.TRUMANKITCHENS.CO.UK

ORIGINAL STYLE LA BELLE COUPE

DE FRUITS TILES, £18.45 EACH,

AND GREEN WOODBINE FIELD

TILES, £89.95 PER M2.

WWW.ORIGINALSTYLE.COM

18


UP TO

50%

OFF

KITCHENS

MILANO

KITCHENS

BY

EUROPA WAY, LICHFIELD, WS14 9TZ

01543 440020 | TIPPERS.COM


INDUSTRIAL STYLE ISLAND END, WREN

KITCHENS. WWW.WRENKITCHENS.COM

ORIGINAL STYLE SALISBURY VICTORIAN FLOOR TILES,

£254 PER M2. WWW.ORIGINALSTYLE.COM

CEMENTUM BLACK AND WHITE PATTERN

MIX TILES, £36.09 PER M2, TILE GIANT.

WWW.TILEGIANT.CO.UK

CROWN IMPERIAL ROCOCO KITCHEN,

AVAILABLE FROM IKON KITCHENS,

BOLDMERE, SUTTON COLDFIELD.

WWW.IKONKITCHENS.NET

20


Preet on interiors

I N T E R I O R S

SUTTON COLDFIELD INTERIOR DESIGNER PREET ANAND, OF

MOOD INTERIORS, ANSWERS SOME INTERIOR DESIGN DILEMMAS

We are already a month down into 2020, isn’t it crazy

how time flies when you’re having fun? The start of

the year in the design industry sees us embracing

new trend predictions and new colours, a shout out

to Classic Blue as our PANTONE colour of the year

2020. It is such a pleasure to take in all the exciting

new materials, designs and styles and look forward

to spring/summer 2020 with a fresh new palette

for ideas. Sustainability and consciousness for the

environment are no doubt the pinnacle of all aspects

of modern living, so there’s no wonder why we see

innovations and better use of materials as we move

into the new year.

I want to change the look of my kitchen. I

would usually change the wall colour but I am

considering painting the units instead, but

I am just worried it will be too much of an

extreme change to the current cream colour I

have, and I will not like it?

A painted kitchen is so versatile, and changing the

colour of the units gives a completely different

look versus changing the wall colour. Don’t fear

change, change is good. Perhaps take it a slight

shade different, with a hint of perhaps green, blue

or something subtle. This will add a different depth

without being too drastic. Eventually, your confidence

may grow and the next time we hear from you,

you may have matte black kitchen units! Trust your

instincts. A little tonal change can give you the boost

and uplift you need in your space. Remember, it is

only paint, it can be changed again. Go for it!

I am trying to do more for the environment,

but how does that work with Interiors?

As with anything you buy or use, look for the source

of the product. Is it responsibly produced? Locally

made? It is always wise, not only environmentally

but economically to buy things that last. We see so

much out there that is ‘more affordable’ but that

doesn’t always mean it is built to last, so make sure

you research and test furniture out before committing

to it. The less we keep throwing out, and the more we

reuse or upcycle items around our home the better it

is overall.

My room doesn’t get much natural light, can

I still paint it dark?

Hey, it’s your house and you can do what you want

to. This would be my first response. Then my design

hat goes back on to simply advise you, that although

artificial lights can be added to help brighten the

space, if you’re looking not to close the room in

then perhaps consider lighter tones on the walls and

darkening the space with accessories instead? But,

if its deep wall paint tones you want, use matte wall

paint to help reflect the light evenly. Look to choosing

some reflective surfaces in the furniture, paint the

skirting and ceilings a light colour, and accessorise in

neutrals just so you’re not over dominating the space

with darkness.

Send your questions on interiors to

info@moodinteriors.net and you might

find Preet answering your dilemma in

next month’s issue.

SPONSORED BY MOOD INTERIORS

0121 809 7333 - WWW.MOODINTERIORS.NET

INFO@MOODINTERIORS.NET

21


G I F T G U I D E

Love struck!

IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO MAKE HER HEART MELT, WE HAVE A SELECTION OF SERIOUSLY ROMANTIC

AND LUXURIOUS VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS AND ACCESSORIES TO GIVE YOU SOME INSPIRATION.

WHETHER THE LADY IN YOUR LIFE IS A STYLE QUEEN, BEAUTY ADDICT OR CHOCOLATE LOVER,

THIS GUIDE WILL LEAVE YOU EQUIPPED FOR A FEBRUARY 14 TO REMEMBER

£15

£95

£115

LOVE POTIONS, HOTEL CHOCOLAT.

WWW.HOTELCHOCOLAT.COM

CHANEL CHANCE EAU TENDRE

EDT 100ML, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

EBERJEY COLETTE LACE-TRIMMED JERSEY

ROBE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£74

STERLING SILVER FILIGREE HEART PENDANT,

£74, AND 18CT WHITE GOLD DIAMOND, PINK

AND PURPLE SAPPHIRE STACKING RINGS, £3,025,

FROM ALLEN BROWN JEWELLERY, HEART OF THE

COUNTRY SHOPPING VILLAGE.

WWW.ALLENBROWNJEWELLERY.CO.UK

£3,025

CHARLOTTE TILBURY MATTE

REVOLUTION LIPSTICK IN MAGIC

RED, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£129

£39.95

£25

BEXLEY CROSSBODY BAG, HOBBS.

WWW.HOBBS.COM

FLAMINGO SILK TRAVEL BAG AND EYE

MASK SET, £39.95, ANNABEL JAMES.

WWW.ANNABELJAMES.CO.UK

22


アパート

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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

Specialists in designing and making, remodelling and refurbishing

䄀 䰀 䰀 䔀 一 䈀 刀 伀 圀 一 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀

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匀 眀 椀 渀 昀 攀 渀 Ⰰ 䰀 椀 挀 栀 ǻ 攀 氀 搀 Ⰰ

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㔀 㐀 アパート 㐀 㠀 㤀 㐀 㠀

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昀 椀 琀


£189

£52

£250

GOSSARD SUPERBOOST BRALETTE SET,

FIGLEAVES. WWW.FIGLEAVES.COM

SIMONE PERELE PENSEE RED SILK

BLEND CHEMISE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

LEIA DRESS, HOBBS.

WWW.HOBBS.COM

£15

CRYSTAL LAB ROSE QUARTZ

DRINKS BOTTLE, JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

ARIA DOUBLE HEART DROP HUGGIE

EARRINGS, OLIVER BONAS.

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM

£75

£10

SET OF TWO CHAMPAGNE

FLUTES, JOHN LEWIS.

WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

CHILLY’S EMMA BRIDGEWATER PINK

HEARTS DRINKS BOTTLE, JOHN

LEWIS. WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM

£25

£21

CORAL PINK FLAMINGO SCARF, NATURAL

HISTORY MUSEUM. WWW.NHMSHOP.CO.UK

£50

£49

£62

T & BEAUTE BY LA DUREE LE JARDIN DE MARIE-

ANTOINETTE SCENTED CANDLE, HARVEY

NICHOLS. WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

MERMAID PINK GIN,

HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

MOET & CHANDON LIMITED EDITION

GOLD FAIRY IMPERIAL ROSE

CHAMPAGNE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

24


baby tate

luxury baby showroom in lichfield

luxury baby now showroom open ! in lichfield

luxury baby showroom in lichfield

now open !

now open !

baby-tate.co.uk

baby-tate.co.uk

visits to our showroom are by appointment only - email

visits hello@baby-tate.co.uk to our showroom are for by a appointment personal consultation only - email

visits hello@baby-tate.co.uk to our showroom are by for appointment a personal consultation

only - email

hello@baby-tate.co.uk unit 1, europa way, britannia enterprise for a personal park, lichfield, consultation

staffs, ws14 9tz

unit 1, europa way, britannia enterprise park, lichfield, staffs, ws14 9tz

unit 1, europa way, britannia enterprise park, lichfield, staffs, ws14 9tz

Photo credit www.beckytranter.com

EXOSE GRANT

MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONAL

FINALIST 2019

ST JOHNS HOUSE, LICHFIELD

THURSDAY FEB 20TH | £75

Book online saucesupperclub.co.uk

Proud to be a family run business for over 35 years

HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS

“Fantastic

service and

great products.

Thanks Kieran”

Sam McD,

Whitaker

Heath

Suppliers of: Contura, Jotul, Gazco, Paragon, 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


G I F T G U I D E

Treat him

WITH VALENTINE’S DAY JUST AROUND THE CORNER, WE’VE GOT PLENTY OF INSPIRATION IF YOU

WANT TO TREAT THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE. A THOUGHTFULLY CHOSEN TOKEN IS SURE TO PUT A

SMILE ON HIS FACE COME FEBRUARY 14 AND REMIND HIM JUST HOW MUCH HE MEANS TO YOU

£115

£280

£30

GOLD BÉTON CUFFLINKS,

OF CABBAGES AND KINGS.

WWW.OFCABBAGESANDKINGS.CO.UK

£140

ETON RED CABLE KNIT WOOL

SCARF, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

AVI-8 FLYBOY CENTENARY STAINLESS

STEEL WATCH, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£25

BLACK HONEYCOMB AND BEE

INSULATED TUMBLER, OHELO.

WWW.OHELOBOTTLE.COM

£15

A DASHING GENTLEMAN’S WASHBAG,

CHASE AND WONDER.

WWW.CHASEANDWONDER.COM

SWAG AND TASSEL PERSONALISED

LEATHER KEYRING, ETSY. WWW.ETSY.COM

BARTI DDU PEMBROKSHIRE

SPICED RUM, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

£8.50

£5.95

ORANGE MACARONS, HOTEL CHOCOLAT.

WWW.HOTELCHOCOLAT.COM

£36

DELIZIE DI CALABRIA LOVES BOMB

HOT SAUCE, HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

26


Spring Party Night on Friday 13th March

3 course dinner and disco. £37 pp

Mother’s Day Weekend on Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd March

Book now for Afternoon Tea, Sunday Lunch or overnight stay

Jersey Boys Tribute Evening on Friday 27th March

3 course dinner, entertainment and disco. £47 pp

Dirty Dancing Tribute Evening on Friday 10th April

3 course dinner and entertainment. £47 pp

Easter Sunday Lunch with Magic Show on Sunday 12th April

3 course lunch, magic show & Easter Bunny. £30 per adult, £21 per child

St George’s Day Lunch on Thursday 23rd April

3 course lunch and entertainment from The Bluebird Belles. £32 pp

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

0121 308 3751 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk

Woodburning &

multifuel stoves

THUR 13 -

SAT 15 FEB

www.lichheldgarrick.com box ooce 01543 412121

t he heart of t he home...

Visit our showroom to be amazed by the choice -

from traditional to modern

With such a wide range of fires, fireplaces and stoves

there is sure to be a style to suit you & your home

WE OF F ER

A C OMP LE T E

INST ALLA T ION

SERV ICE

Visit our showroom and be amazed by the choice! With such a wide range from traditional to modern, there’s sure to be a style to suit you!

5 Stafford Road, Lichfield WS13 7BZ - Tel: 01543 263 383 • www.thefireplacelichfield.co.uk • Email: sales@thefireplacelichfield.co.uk

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


F O O D & D R I N K

Crêpe expectations

THERE’S GALLIC CHARM APLENTY AT THE PEAR TREE CRÊPERIE, WHERE AUTHENTIC FRENCH

SPECIALITIES CREATE COMFORT FOOD WITH ADDED OOH LA LA, SAYS AMY NORBURY

Now, here’s a little admission. I am an unashamed

fan of the humble pancake. In all its myriad forms,

the simple combination of eggs, flour and milk

has the ability to transform into something rather

wondrous. From thick, fluffy American-style topped

with crispy bacon and a liberal pouring of maple

syrup, to our own Shrove Tuesday lemon-and-sugar

staple, the opportunities for creating something truly

tasty from something so basic are endless.

And, for me, the king of the pancakes is the

French crêpe. Larger yet thinner than its English

counterpart, the crêpe is soft and delicate, with a

light crisp touch around the edges, a maddeningly

delicious and versatile sweet or savory option for

breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert… basically

the ultimate anytime food.

Much like our own Pancake Day - which happily falls

at the end of this month - the French celebrate their

national treasures with La Chandeleur, or Crêpe

Day, on February 2.

I spent many a happy holiday in France as a child,

and grabbing a crêpe from a local street vendor

at the end of the evening was always a treat, mine

usually topped with sweet fresh strawberries and

always covered in lashings of Nutella (Nutella is

something of a national obsession for the French!).

So having an authentic French creperie right on our

doorstep is somewhat fortuitous for a self-confessed

Francophile such as myself.

The Pear Tree Crêperie, at the Heart of the Country

Shopping Village near Lichfield, has been delighting

diners with Gallic gastronomy since 1991. Inspired

by the original owner’s French roots, the Crêperie

has been bringing a taste of France to the Midlands

for nearly three decades with a simple menu of sweet

crêpes and savory galettes.

Last year marked a new era for the Crêperie

following a change in ownership. New bosses Toby

and Ben Stubbs, whose family owns the Heart of

the Country site, have been regular visitors since

they were little boys and couldn’t resist buying the

restaurant when it became available.

While many of the familiar favourites remain the

same - the crêpes and galettes, not to mention head

chef Wendy and front-of-house stalwart Lynette -

there have been a number of subtle new additions,

with the aim of taking the French dining experience

to the next level.

28


I’ve been a regular visitor for several years -

particularly since my little boy loves a pancake as

much as I do! - so when J’AIME were invited to try

some of the Crêperie’s new dishes, we got down to

business tout de suite.

With its red-and-white checked tablecloths and

French trinkets adorning the walls, the Crêperie is

undeniably charming. After a warm welcome from

Lynette, we were shown to a bright table in the

window and ordered a couple of cafés to sup on

while we perused the menu - so far, so French.

Recent specials menu dishes have included baked

camembert, fondue and pommes frites - of which the

truffle and gruyere-topped variety sound particularly

enticing. However, we were informed that it was

main menu offerings only that particular lunchtime.

Happily, the main menu offers plenty to tickle the

tastebuds - including some new light bite offerings we

were tempted to try.

While traditional Savoie tarteflette, a delectable

concoction of new potatoes, reblochon cheese, freerange

bacon lardons and onions baked until golden

brown, £9.95, sounded perfect for a light lunch in

itself, both my guest and I wanted to sample the

classic galettes for mains. So to start it was a pear

and roquefort tart, £4.95, for her and raclette melted

over Bore St Bakery sourdough toast, £4.95, for me.

The raclette, rather like a posher French version

of cheese on toast, was every bit as indulgent and

unctuous as I’d hoped. It was simply heaven for a

cheese lover like me, and I wolfed down the ample

portion in record time. Très bien indeed.

My guest was equally impressed with the delicate

tart; punchy blue cheese and sweet, crisp pear is

always a winning combination and the Crêperie’s

take was no exception.

Now the galettes and crepes on the menu have

enough variety of fillings to satisfy any diner, from

traditional French fayre such as ratatouille, fusion

feasts with chicken tikka or stroganoff, to brunchworthy

bacon, egg and cheese offerings.

Those with dietary requirements will be pleased to

note that the galettes - used for all of the savoury

dishes, but also available in lieu of the usual

crêpes for sweet fillings if required - are made with

buckwheat flour and naturally gluten-free, while

there are also vegan and dairy-free options.

Sticking to tradition I opted for La Complete, piled

high with free-range ham and egg, a liberal mound

of cheese with the additional twist of a tomato coulis,

£8.95, while my guest enjoyed a breakfast-style

bacon and cheese, £6.95, with the bacon just crispy

and a dollop of tomato coulis for good measure.

The crêpes were generously proportioned and

packed to the gills with tasty fillings - really, what

more could you want? Well, in fact while you’re at it

you should probably grab a mixed salad, £4.50 for

two to share, slathered in the Crêperie’s signature

homemade vinaigrette dressing. And if those truffle

frites had been on the menu I’m sure gluttony

would’ve won out and we’d have indulged a little

further.

Now it may seem like overkill to follow a savoury

pancake with a sweet one for dessert, but you really

can’t go to a crêperie and not have a crêpe now,

can you? And the apple crêpe topped with maple

syrup, walnuts and ice cream, £8.50, was well worth

the relative damage to my new year healthy eating

attempts. Mon Dieu!

Far less of a glutton than I am, my guest opted for

a scoop of delicious maple and pecan ice cream,

£2.10, which was more than enough to satisfy her

sweet tooth requirements.

The Pear Tree Crêperie has long been a firm

favourite with local diners, and for good reason. After

all, what’s not to love about a place where every day

is Pancake Day?

29


F O O D & D R I N K

A piece of cake!

LIAM DILLON, AWARD-WINNING CHEF PATRON OF THE BOAT INN, LICHFIELD,

SHARES HIS RECIPE FOR THE ULTIMATE CARROT CAKE

Following an instant sell-out date with MasterChef: The Professionals winner Stu Deeley, the next chef to take on Liam

Dillon for his ‘Versus’ series will be Tom Lowe on March 2. Tom has worked in a number of top restaurants in the

country including Petrus and L’Enclume, as well as achieving 2AA Rosettes at the Belmont Hotel at just aged 19.

Keep an eye on the website www.theboatinnlichfield as more Versus supperclubs are revealed monthly.

Liam Dillon’s carrot cake

Liam’s carrot cake has been a firm favourite on The Boat Inn’s menu,

and here he reveals how you can recreate the dish at home..

For the cake:

4 eggs

250g caster sugar

80g dark muscovado sugar

230g rapeseed oil

360g grated carrot

10g cinnamon

350g self raising flour

8g bicarbonate of soda

8g baking powder

5g salt

For the butter icing:

150g Icing sugar

250g cream cheese

250g soft butter

Whip the eggs with both sugars until doubled in

size, slowly add the oil. Add all the dry ingredients

together in a bowl then incorporate the egg mixture.

Bake in the oven at 165 °C until a knife comes out

clean, approximately 30-40 mins.

For the icing, cream all ingredients together and

then apply the butter icing to the top of the cake.

At The Boat, Liam serves the carrot cake with

crystallised nuts and rum raisin ice cream, garnished

with a brandy snap.

30


The

Boat Inn

Situated in the beautiful, rural village of Newborough in east

Staffordshire, The Red Lion is a popular village pub where

you’ll find great food and a warm welcome.

Enjoy a starter and main course plus a choice of G&T,

a glass of wine or beer for just £29 for two*!

Valid 12-2pm Monday to Friday; 7.30pm to 9.30pm Monday to Thursday and

5.30pm to 7pm Friday and Saturday until 31st March 2020.

*Starters to the value of £6.50 and mains to the value of £16, drink to the value of

£5.80. Quote J’AIME OFFER when you dine.

Duffield Lane, Newborough, Burton on Trent, DE13 8SH

01283 576182 www.redlionnewborough.co.uk

LUNCH MENU including tea or coffee

Served Thursday - Saturday 12.00 - 2.20

500ml carafe of House wine // 10

Starters // 4

Pigs cheek, squash, chilli + sumac

Pasta, truffle, artichoke + mushroom

Cured salmon, kohlrabi, radish + créme fraiche

Mains // 14

Venison pie, tenderstem broccoli + carrots

Skate, turnip, potato + sea herb sauce

BBQ aubergine, courgette, lentils + coriander

Sides // 4

Spiced carrots + chervil - Hand cut chips -

Sprouts, almonds + pancetta - Cauliflower + stilton

Desserts // 4

Carrot cake, crystalised nuts + spiced fruit ice cream

Custard tart, ruhbarb + yoghurt sorbet

British cheese, churney + crackers // 7

Now taking reservations for Valentines Day

and Mothering Sunday (22nd March).

Call for details - 01543 361692

Open Wednesday (evening) - Sunday

www.theboatinnlichfield.com

Walsall Road, Lichfield WS14 0BU

J’adore!

Valentine’s Day

Friday 14 February (open until 10pm)

Romantic 4 Course Meal

Mother’s Day

Sunday 22 March

4 Sittings: 10am | 12pm | 2pm | 4pm

Evening Openings

First and Third Saturdays

in February and March

BOOK NOW TO RESERVE

YOUR TABLE

Follow us

www.peartreecreperie.co.uk 01543 481807

Heart Of The Country Village, SWINFEN, Lichfield WS14 9QR


F O O D & D R I N K

G loves T

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

ACROSS BIRMINGHAM, TAKES A LOOK AT SOME EXCITING GIN NEWS FOR 2020

WITH the new look £20 note being

aptly launched into circulation on

20.02.20 and ladies contemplating

leap year proposals, I’m sure there’ll

be enough rose, glitter or suitable pink

gin gimmicks - Cheshire Grins’ Pink

Prosecco Gin for example - to spark the

interest of the national press.

I’m, however, going to steer away

from the obvious in this month’s

shortened musings, aside from drawing

your attention to a ginspired event

on the 14th at The Malt Cross in

Nottingham where Victorian historian

and comedienne Mildred Freeman will

introduce you to The Language of Love

- five gins, themed around the Victorian

language of flowers and the subtle art of

communicating with fans. By the end of

the evening you will be ready to flirt, 19th century

style! Tickets are £30 per person.

After last month’s article I was contacted by Ash,

the owner of Sunbear Distillery based locally in

Staffordshire where, unbeknownst to moi, they’ve

been secretly working on two new flavours to

introduce to the gin category. I’ve managed to get

hold of the first samples to test out on my Loki

Ginuary tastings this week, as we go to press.

Inspired by Asia, with both having subtle noses and

nuanced flavour, they seem purpose-built to have

mixed versatility and are perfectly positioned for

Olympic/Japanese themed creations.

So for a J’AIME exclusive, let me introduce

Mangosteen Gin at 37.5%. The self proclaimed

queen of fruits and this year’s new superfruit trend

apparently, due to its antioxidant properties, they

look unusual (think a garlic clove stuffed inside a

passion fruit) yet have a sweet, sour, fragrant and

delicate flavour reminiscent of lychee, banana or

peach.

The other flavour is the UK’s first Lychee Gin - not

liqueur. Both are perfect with prosecco, sonic (gin,

splash of tonic lengthened with flavoured soda) or

P&O’S NEW CRUISE SHIP IONA WILL

HAVE AN ON-BOARD DISTILLERY

even coconut water (if you want that six of your fivea-day

health drink feel!) lychee juice plus a choice

of mango, pineapple, kiwi plus elderflower varieties,

12 below Pear and Cardamon or Merchant Heart

tonics, with a mint and citrus garnish or your fresh

seasonal lychee (May to September). For pre-orders

contact www.sunbeardistillery.co.uk or Ash direct on

07511 886076 for stocking - say hello from me!

Finally, anyone who’s the entertainments officer

and is planning the social and getaway breaks this

year and likes or fancies a cruise, keep an eye out

for P&O’s new ship Iona joining their fleet this

year. The reason being, they’ve collaborated with

award-winning Devon distillers Salcombe Gin

(random fact, one of the owners Gus grew up in

Moseley!) to do a maiden production bottling to

celebrate. Nothing new about that you say, everyone

does limited releases. However, this will take place

in Iona’s custom-made still, innovated by Craft

Distilling Business. Yes, you read it correctly; their

gin will be distilled, bottled and labelled on board

ship - this is the first still to exist at sea. There are

also plans to bring out future limited editions for the

ship’s passengers, inspired by the places they visit.

I feel it only apt to sign off with Gin-Ahoy.

32


H E A LT H

Ditch the diet!

THIS MONTH, LICHFIELD’S FAVOURITE PERSONAL TRAINER RAÚL ROMERO

ENLIGHTENS US WITH THE REAL TRUTH BEHIND DIETS AND WHY, NO MATTER

HOW MUCH WE WANT THEM TO, THEY REALLY DON’T WORK

So, the New Year has come and gone, and in a flash,

those all important New Year resolutions to lose

some pounds and get fit seem to be a distant memory

away. Sure, we all start the year with the best

intentions, and convince ourselves that this really will

be our year, so how does it all ‘go to pot’ so to speak

so soon after the New Year?

Well, to put it simply… diets. They just don’t work.

Not in the long term any way.

Therefore my message to all of my wonderful clients

who propose new diets is: stop wasting your time and

money!

Now, you don’t need to be a personal trainer to

know someone who is always trying the latest, newest

diet in order to shift those extra pounds to achieve

GRAPEFRUIT IS ONE OF

HEALTHIEST, LOW SUGAR

FRUIT OPTIONS

the body of their dreams. And yes, while there are

diets that work in the short term, not many people

successfully keep the weight off and change their

body shape forever after following a diet.

While it’s great to live in hope, realistically we need

to adopt a new approach to shift those extra pounds

and remain fit forever.

I have a plethora of people who come to me with

the purpose of getting in shape for their next holiday

in six, eight or (if I am lucky!) 12 weeks time! I

prepare focused, intense training programmes for

them and usually recommend a low carb/low calorie

diet. In most cases, any popular diet that adopts low

carbs/low calories works and they lose weight and

feel great.

But what about after the holidays? Yep, you’ve

guessed it, 95% regain the lost weight and the cycle

repeats, from one holiday to another - otherwise

known as the yo-yo effect. Of course, for some,

this ‘yo-yo’ dieting is what makes them happy and

they have no desire or willpower to make long term

changes.

However, it would be remiss of me not to highlight

the dangers and side effects that ‘yo-yo’ dieting can

have on our bodies, such as food disorders.

If you can relate to any of this, are ready to ditch

the short term ‘fad’ diets and would like to make

permanent positive changes, here are some simple,

effective guidelines to help you make a real lifestyle

change to become fitter forever and achieve your

body goals all year round:

Focus on long term goals

Diets are not sustainable. Most of them are

restrictive, meaning you are probably missing

essential nutrients that your body needs to function.

Also, a healthy immune system is dependent upon

these nutrients, such as protein and essential fatty

acids, vitamins A, C, E, folate and B6, and minerals

such as selenium, zinc and iron. Opportunistic

infections develop when your immune system is

33


suppressed, and a poor diet will make you susceptible

to getting sick more often. Eating a varied diet full of

dark-colored fruits and vegetables, nuts and fish will

provide your first line of defence. Make a sustainable

plan that suits you, and one you can stick to forever.

EAT! Simply eat what your body needs and

boost your metabolism

Starvation is not good! Some people confuse fasting

with starvation. There are different intermittent

fasting methods which can help in the mission of

burning stored fat. However, it is very important to

get all the nutrients your metabolism needs in the

eating window you have (time you’re allowed to eat).

This point requires a full article within itself, so for

more information, please feel free to contact me.

We have to be aware, here, that starvation can

cause our metabolism to slow down. It becomes

more efficient and learns how to function with less

calories, so the extra calories are stored in the form

of fat, which of course we don’t want! In fact, we are

aiming for the opposite.

Metabolism is, simply put, the process by which our

body converts food into energy. The body takes the

calories from what we eat and drink and uses oxygen

to release the energy we need to function. So how do

we increase our metabolism?

Muscle cells require more energy than fat cells, so

people with more muscle than fat tend to have a

faster metabolism. Including strength training in

your weekly plan would boost your metabolism.

Eating plenty of protein at every meal - not just postworkout

- is essential because the amino acids are

used for building lean muscle mass.

MEAL PREP CAN HELP

YOU STAY ON TRACK

DON’T STOP AT FIVE A DAY -

FILL UP ON GREENS

The more active you are, the more calories you

burn. Some people who are said to have a fast

metabolism are probably just more active than

others. Furthermore, it has been proven that after

high intensity training, the afterburn effect continues

for a few hours in your body, making you burn more

calories than in your normal state.

Having a good sleep can have a positive effect on

our metabolism too, not to mention

it also reduces our levels of stress

hormones.

Treats

It can feel like many diets kill all the

pleasure of eating, and when the

diet regime is finished, people feel

free again to ‘go bananas’ eating

anything and everything! Find

a way of eating healthy, maybe

discovering new spices and flavours

to add to your food to enjoy it that

little bit more. Of course, treats

have their place, limiting them

totally will only make us want them

even more so that certainly isn’t the

answer.

34


A great idea is to adopt the 80/20 rule when it comes

to eating.

The breakdown is simple: 80 percent of the time we

focus on eating healthy, clean, nutritious food, and 20

percent of the time we have the freedom to indulge

as we please. Don’t be too concerned about the

maths, it’s simple: if we eat three square meals a day,

three of those meals every week are the 20 percent

cheat meals. This is probably a lot more sustainable

than any diet, and won’t hinder our social lives too

much either.

Veggies and fruit… to Infinity and beyond!

We all know that vegetables are super healthy for us,

so why stop at five a day? Make vegetables your best

friend! Especially green vegetables, which are low

in calories and filled with good stuff as well as fibre

which help fill us up and curb those cravings. A great

tip is to add fresh veggies or fruit into every meal.

Also, in terms of fruit, the healthier choices (in order

to limit the sugar intake) are those low in fructose -

grapefruit and berries are two of my favourites.

Plan, plan, plan!

This is key to healthy eating, and I recommend

doing quality preparation during the weekend. Note

down all the meals you are planning to have in the

upcoming week (Monday-Friday). From this, you can

create your shopping list and go to the supermarket

armed and ready to buy only what is on the list,

which will not only save you time and money, but

also keep you away from unhealthy random buys.

If your meals are already planned in advance, there

is less likelihood of swapping them for unhealthy

choices during the week.

Sugar is the enemy!

Reduce your sugar intake! Any excess sweet foods

and drinks can lead to weight gain, blood sugar

problems and an increased risk of heart disease,

among other dangerous health effects. Therefore,

added sugar should be kept to a minimum wherever

possible, which is of course much easier to do when

you follow a healthy eating plan based on whole

foods. Again, it is important to note that some fruits

have a large quantity of sugar in them in the form of

fructose, so also keep an eye on that.

Meal planning in advance as mentioned earlier is

so important to help keep us on track in terms of

controlling the sugar intake.

Buena suerte (Good luck!) to all of you who are

ready to make a lifestyle change forever and really

take control of your diet and exercise. For any further

information or tips and support, please feel free to

contact Raúl at raul@ambitionpt.co.uk

DITCHING THE SUGAR

IS KEY, SAYS RAUL

35


T R AV E L

Amazing Abruzzo

REBECCA SWAIN, LUXURY TRAVEL CONSULTANT AT LICHFIELD’S

RB COLLECTION, REKINDLES A LOVE AFFAIR WITH ITALY’S ABRUZZO

I’ve written about many of my travels however, to

me, Italy is simply the number one location in the

world. Especially one region in particular... Abruzzo.

From it’s beautiful east facing beaches to the Abruzzi

mountains, it is not hard to see why I am so in love

with this region.

So firstly, a bit of background. From June 2017 to

February 2018 I lived in Abruzzo as an au pair. I

was 19 years old and at the time I had promised my

parents I was getting a ‘proper’ job. Agreed, being

an au pair wasn’t exactly what they had in mind but

being the free spirit, I was, I had already booked the

flight.

For those who have never heard of Abruzzo, this

is the region next to the Lazio, where you will

find Rome. It is renowned among Italians for its

exceptional food and wine such as arrosticini from

the mountains and raw fish delicacies on the coast

and, recently I took my 11-year-old brother, older

sister, brother-in-law, nephew, parents and boyfriend

back to show them the area. Italy, being a fantastic

GELATO IS AN

ITALIAN STAPLE

THE CHARMING VILLAGE OF

SANTO STEFANO DI SESSANIO

destination for a multi-generational holiday, did not

disappoint.

Having already experienced much of Italy, from

the lakes in the north to a honeymoon spent on the

Amalfi coast, my family were simply blown away.

Although direct flights are available from London

to Abruzzo, I decided to start our family holiday in

Rome, my most favourite city in the entire world.

This was my seventh visit to Rome but my family’s

first. To me, you can’t beat the city of Rome. The

Colosseum, Trastevere, even carbonara; everything

that makes Rome what it is fascinates and excites

me, and I happily took on the role of tour guide for

my family. My mom loved the ancient stories inside

the Colesseo, my sister hit the shops and my happy

six-month-old nephew found a new love for gelato. It

was a great couple of days.

From Rome, we hired a car and headed east for

our first stop, Tivoli, the original summer retreat

for ancient Romans and home to two UNESCO

heritage sites. Tivoli, only 35 minutes from Rome by

car, is an excellent add-on to any Rome city break, if

36


you have the time, to take you out of the

hustle and bustle and it is so, so beautiful!

It was also a nice stop to complement

our route to Abruzzo. When you visit the

hilltop town of Tivoli, Villa Adriana and

Villa D’Este are must sees. My family and

I visited the latter.

As I am sure you’re aware, in historic

Rome, the wealthiest of the population

were those in the Papal society, so it came

as no surprise to me that Villa D’Este was

created as a luxury retreat by Cardinal

Ippolito D’Este, nephew of the Borgia

Pope. Since then it has worked as a retreat

for the rich, inspiration for the imaginative

and now as an insight into how truly

advance the Romans were for their time.

The enormous villa is stunning, offering

panoramic views over Lazio, renaissance

gardens, beautiful fountains and fancy

interiors. You find the entrance to the villa

tucked down a small typically Italian side

street, it is well worth a visit. After a quick

gelato break, we drove on to Abruzzo.

For the best experience in Abruzzo, a car

is most definitely needed as the road trips

are fantastic. Our two-hour drive took us

through the Abruzzi mountains to Pescara,

Abruzzo’s largest city and home to one of the largest

marinas on the Adriatic. Pescara’s location allows

you to be skiing in the mountains then within half an

hour relaxing on the beach. I believe this makes this

Italian city one of my best kept secrets. With 16km

of beaches, excellent restaurants and buzz of true

Italian lifestyle, it is truly fantastic and my father, for

one, loved being away from the crowds.

THE MAGNIFICENT

VILLA D’ESTE

On our first full day in Abruzzo, my ‘host’ parents,

Silvia and Maurizio, guided us up into the mountains

to their friend’s vineyard. It was stunning and, other

than the workers, we were the only guests there,

not another tourist in sight. We walked through the

long rows of vines, occasionally picking a grape to

munch on, while the owner talked us through his

sustainability efforts and his family’s history in the

trade. We then followed him to the nearest town

where we were guided

through how he made

his family wine. After

our beautiful wine tour,

we all walked down the

picturesque cobbled street

of this small town, with

our new Italian friends to

find our local lunch spot.

A table was placed out on

the street, our pasta was

made freshly in front of us

and we were all extremely

content.

Over the next couple of

days we explored more

of Abruzzo’s Gran Sasso

mountain. We went

kayaking on the River

37


Trino, climbed up to Rocca Calascio and stopped in

beautiful villages such as Santo Stefano Di Sessanio

to try some local delicacies. One of the highlights

from these days was when we drove deeper into the

mountains for our lunch stop and the views were just

incredible. It is not hard to see why Abruzzo was the

setting for many Spaghetti Westerns. The mountains

became more dramatic, there were wild horses

roaming, it was a driver’s paradise. We turned up, at

what can only be described as a small barn, in the

middle of nowhere. Inside there was a butcher’s shop

with meat and cheese options. After our selections

were made, we headed outside to the barbeques and

cooked the famed arrosticini and it was delicious!

With our final day we went shopping around Pescara

and spent time relaxing on the beach before our

family holiday sadly came to an end. With jumped

on a direct flight back to London after the most

incredible week in Italy. With our mix of the city

break, adventure and beach time, this is honestly my

most favourite holiday I have ever had to date.

If you have any questions about Abruzzo, please do

let me know and I will be happy to help. It is truly a

secret gem in Italy which is perfect for those who are

maybe on their second or third trip to the country.

J’AIME READER OFFER

Mention J’AIME magazine when you enquire

and we will include VIP Lounge access at

Birmingham with security fast track to get your

holiday off to a VIP start! Book Abruzzo before

the end of March 2020 to qualify, new bookings

only. Call RB Collection to book on 01543

258631 or email vip@rbcollection.com

THE COLESSEUM IS A

MUST-SEE IN ROME

ABRUZZO HOLIDAY

EXAMPLES

There are a number of different options when

visiting this part of Italy. We can tailor make

your visit or choose from the escorted walking

holiday...

ONE WEEK ESCORTED WALKING HOLIDAY

Explore the oldest Italian Nature Reserve with

the hope of spotting bear and other wildlife

Take in the splendid views over Lake Barrea and

Mount Petroso

Stay out on the trail after sunset tracking

wolves with a local expert

Visit the traditional and ancient town of Scanno

and walk the Path of the Heart

Wander the magnificent Pescasseroli woods

where trees take on a fairy tale form

Enjoy breathtaking views from the Meta Peak

and hopefully get a snap of the rare Golden

Eagle

INCLUSIONS

Return flights to Rome

Airport transfers

Half board en suite accommodation

English speaking local walking guide

All local transport costs.

Packed lunches

From £1,549 per person

ROME AND ABRUZZO TWIN-CENTRE

Return flights to Rome from Birmingham with

checked in luggage

Private arrival transfers

Three nights accommodation in Rome

RB’s Rome attraction and restaurant

Car hire to drive from Rome to enjoy Abruzzo

Four nights at Sextantio Albergo Diffuso

From £955 per person

HOTEL DETAILS:

Of unique charm and character, Sextantio

Albergo Diffuso in Santo Stefano di Sessanio

is a faithfully restored village, now offering

29 elegant rooms where the history and

authenticity of the original mediaeval village

have been preserved. Enjoy traditional artisan

activities such as weaving, bread-making,

cooking, soap-making. Perfect for cycling and

walking in the Abruzzo countryside, the hotel

is within driving distance of the larger town of

l’Aquila, many other picturesque villages, and

just over an hour from the coast.

38


tatlowcarpets

& flooring

Quality flooring at affordable prices

Abingdon, Adam’s, Associated Weavers, Axminster, Brintons, Brockways,

Cormar, Crucial Trading, Penthouse, Ulsters, Karndean & Project Floors

Free advice ✔ Free quotations ✔

Furniture moved ✔ Our own regular fitters ✔

Become a member of Moor Hall Leisure Club & Spa and

you’ll enjoy the best in fitness and relaxation facilities

coupled with comprehensive support and guidance from

friendly, professional and well-trained staff.

NO JOINING FEES MEMBERSHIP STARTS AT £45 A MONTH

FRIENDLY CLUB FOR ALL AGES & FITNESS LEVELS

INDOOR POOL SAUNA, STEAM ROOM & SPA BATH

REFURBISHED GYM & VARIED FITNESS CLASSES

QUALIFIED STAFF PERSONAL TRAINERS

SPA TREATMENT DISCOUNTS

PLUS DISCOUNTS ON DINING AT MOOR HALL & MORE

Call to arrange a free no obligation show round.

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

0121 334 2323 www.moorhallhotel.co.uk

FEBRUARY

SALE!

10% OFF ALL

RANGES OF

ALTERNATIVE

FLOORING

SUPPLIERS OF NATURAL AND

WOOL MATERIALS INCLUDING

SISAL, COIR AND FLAT WEAVE.

Finance facilities now available

@Tatlowcarpetsltd

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Please see our website for further details

www.tatlowcarpets.co.uk

Tel: 01543 264766

Open to the public. Mon-Fri: 9.00am - 5.00pm. Sat: 10.00am - 4.00pm

Unit 4, Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 9TZ


LO CA L A R E A

What’s On Local

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF WHAT’S ON IN AND AROUND

SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, WALSALL AND BEYOND

WHAT: JANE EYRE

WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK

WHEN: FEBRUARY 13 TO 15

As part of a world premiere tour Blackeyed Theatre’s thrilling new adaptation of

Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre arrives in Lichfield for just four performances

this month.

A gothic masterpiece of tempestuous passions and dark secrets, Jane Eyre tells the

thrilling story of an orphan girl and her journey from a childhood of loneliness and

cruelty to a life at Thornfield Hall and an unlikely relationship with the mysterious

Mr Rochester. Falling in love, she gradually uncovers a hidden past to the gloomy,

forbidding Thornfield Hall, a terrible secret that forces her to make a heart-wrenching

choice.

Captivating, brooding and intensely powerful, Jane Eyre is a moving and unforgettable

portrayal of one woman’s quest for equality and freedom, and lives as one of the great

triumphs of storytelling. For more details visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com

WHAT: FEBRUARY HALF TERM FAMILY ACTIVITIES

WHERE: NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM, ALREWAS

WHEN: FEBRUARY 15 TO 23

Make a date to visit the Arboretum this February Half Term, where younger visitors

can explore the world around them in the Arboretum’s natural setting.

Gather the family for an indoor cinema experience at the Woodland Adventurers

Pop-Up Cinema, joining Paddington Bear and the Brown family on a quest to find the

stolen picture book, or Stick Man on his adventure back to the family tree.

There will also be a magical Stick Man trail, where little adventurers can take a walk

around the Arboretum grounds to discover more about Stick Man’s quest, while the

new Animal Trail is an opportunity for younger visitors to explore the site, searching

for some of the different animals hidden in our memorials. Entry is free, although

pre-booking and extra charges apply to some activities. For more details visit

www.thenma.org.uk or call 01283 245 100.

WHAT: SUTTON COLDFIELD BOOKFEST

WHERE: SUTTON COLDFIELD LIBRARY AND TOWN HALL

WHEN: FEBRUARY 29

Sutton Coldfield BookFest is back for 2020, and it’s a fantastic chance for children

to meet their favourite authors, discover astonishing books and experience hands-on

storytelling.

Meet legendary author-illustrator team Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt, the

creators of Tracy Beaker who have produced more than 50 books together, selling

40 million worldwide. They’ll be talking about their characters and Nick will be

drawing live on stage, and there will be a chance to meet them afterwards.

Create your own funny stories at a lively interactive workshop with Walsall author

Serena Patel. Serena’s hilarious new novel Anisha the Accidental Detective has just

been published - and she’s going to share her writing tips so you can all create a

completely new story together!

Events for 0-12 year olds all take place on one fabulous day at Sutton Coldfield

Library and Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, with a fun, free Where’s Wally book trail

taking place between the two venues. There will be a book shop and opportunities

to have books signed by their authors. Tickets start at just £3.50, for more details

call 0121 780 3333 or visit www.suttoncoldfieldbookfest.com

40


Now at KB Hair Design

Emma would like to welcome clients old and

new to KB Hair Design at The Mitchell Centre

FEBRUARY OFFER:

25% off all services

Mention J’AIME when booking

To book your appointment call Emma on

07791 311098 or contact: KB Hair Design,

22 Mitchell Centre, Weeford Road, Sutton Coldfield,

B75 6NA. Tel: 0121 323 2122

Wigs and hair extensions are a massive part of

today’s fashions, whether it’s for health issues,

hair loss or thinning of hair. Emma has a private

room for free consultations to give advice and

see how she can help.

For more details visit www.emmajsteven.co.uk

or find Emma on Facebook: Emma J Steven

Refreshingly Different

A new door for the new decade

Visit our Stylish Showroom

11 Belwell Lane, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AA - Tel: 0800 996 1241

Visit our fantastic website www.jmiwindows.co.uk - enquiries@jmiwindows.co.uk

Windows | Doors | Bi-Fold Doors | Garage Doors | Conservatories | Orangeries | Secondary Glazing | Window Repairs


Presenting the newly

refurbished, Grade II listed,

Tamworth Assembly Rooms

Theatre – lovingly preserved

and modernised for future

generations to enjoy.

Your historic Tamworth Assembly Rooms

theatre is back and it’s better than ever!

We’re super excited to welcome audiences back to

Tamworth Assembly Rooms after a massive £5million

refurbishment project to secure the 130-year-old

venue for generations to come.

Restoring this much-loved community theatre has

been a long and ambitious project as we wanted to

both enhance and preserve the historic features that

make it such an iconic venue and ensure it lives up

to the expectations of modern audiences.

Tamworth Assembly Rooms was first proposed as a

lasting monument in celebration of the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria. It

was officially opened on October 8th, 1889 and therefore celebrated its

milestone 130th birthday last October. To celebrate we have 130 fabulous

prizes to give away! Follow our Facebook page and join our mailing list at

www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk to be in with a chance of winning.

The refurbishment now ensures we can continue to deliver high quality

entertainment to the people of Tamworth for the next 130 years. The ambitious

project to bring the historic Tamworth Assembly Rooms into the 21st century

includes extensions to the side and rear to add a new multi-use space, extra

toilet facilities and an extended backstage area. There’s also a new bar and

café area, and we will be open in the day, as well as on show nights, so you

can come and see us for a cup of tea or a Starbucks coffee, a slice of cake –

and a look around.

We’re launching your new look, more modern theatre with a great opening

season, which kicks off in impressive style this January with Tamworth’s muchloved

Pantomime Company’s production of Aladdin and a spectacular

production of The Wizard of Oz, performed by one of the UK’s most beloved

touring ballet companies.

The season includes some exciting new shows including stars of the West End,

well known TV comedian Dom Joly, John Challis (aka Boycie), The Fureys, The

Christians, a 25-character Dad’s Army show performed by two actors, Britain’s

Got Talent finalists, the UK’s premier wartime act, the D-Day Darlings, Sooty,

Sarah and Duck and Mr Men and Little Miss.

Book your tickets online at: www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk

Box Office: 01827 709618 www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk

Corporation Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire. B79 7DN


What’s On

The Westenders

Saturday 15 February

La Voix

Friday 6 March

The Sooty Magic

Show Friday 21 February

Dad's Army

Radio Show

Thursday 5 March

Dark Side of the Wall

Saturday 14 March

Dom Joly’s Holiday

Snaps Sunday 15 March

Sarah and Duck

Tuesday 24 March

Mr Men & Little Miss

Stage Show Tuesday 14 April

The Fureys

Monday 4 May

Only Fools & Boycie

Sunday 10 May

The Christians

Saturday 27 June

Box Office: 01827 709618 www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk

Corporation Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire. B79 7DN


LO CA L A R E A

What’s on Second City

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST

EVENTS TO COME TO BIRMINGHAM THIS MONTH

WHAT: KAY MELLOR’S BAND OF GOLD

WHERE: THE ALEXANDRA

WHEN: FEBRUARY 10 TO 15

Following the huge, sell-out success of Fat Friends The Musical, Kay Mellor returns

to The Alexandra with a star studded world premiere stage production of her multiaward

winning TV series Band of Gold.

Band of Gold was the ground-breaking crime drama that captivated over 15 million

viewers each week when it aired on ITV. This murderous thriller revolves around

a group of women – Carol, Rose, Anita and Gina – as they battle to survive whilst

working in a notorious red-light district.

With a superb star cast of award winning actors including Gaynor Faye

(Emmerdale, Playing the Field, Calendar Girls), Laurie Brett (EastEnders, Waterloo

Road, Les Miserables), Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks, Heartbeat), Shayne Ward

(Coronation Street, Rock of Ages, X Factor winner) and Sacha Parkinson (Mr.

Selfridge, The Mill), don’t miss your chance to be one of the first to see the world

premiere production of Kay Mellor’s incredible, thrilling new play. For more details

visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham

WHAT: MATTHEW BOURNE’S THE RED SHOES

WHERE: BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

WHEN: FEBRUARY 11 TO 15

A sell-out before its world première tour opened in 2016, Matthew Bourne’s triumphant

adaptation of the legendary film returns to Birmingham Hippodrome, having won two

Olivier Awards and dazzled audiences and critics across the UK and the USA.

The Red Shoes is a tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the

greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a

battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.

Based on the classic Powell and Pressburger film and the Hans Christian Andersen

fairytale, and set to the achingly romantic music of golden-age Hollywood composer

Bernard Herrmann, The Red Shoes is orchestrated by Terry Davies, with cinematic

designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Paule Constable and sound by Paul Groothuis.

For more details visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com

WHAT: STEREOPHONICS

WHERE: ARENA BIRMINGHAM

WHEN: FEBRUARY 29

After more than two decades at the forefront of the British music industry,

Stereophonics are a band woven into the fabric of popular music. With latest

album Kind, released at the end of 2019, Kelly Jones continues to cement his place

amongst the great British songwriters with an ability to sketch and capture truth and

beauty from everyday observations as well as delving into his own life experiences.

Fans will be able to catch the Welsh wonders back where they belong on the big

stage for their 2020 arena tour, which comes to Birmingham at the end of February.

Having achieved six number one albums, 10 top 10 albums, 23 Platinum Sales

Awards, 8.5 million albums sold in the UK alone, five BRIT nominations and a

BRIT Award win, and still headlining arenas and festivals to legions of dedicated

fans, Stereophonics stand as undeniable giants of the current music scene. For more

details visit www.arenabham.co.uk

44


B E AU T Y

Love your skin

VALENTINE’S DAY MAY BE ALL THINGS ROMANTIC BUT BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT

FOR THAT CANDLELIT DINNER SHOW YOUR SKIN SOME MUCH-NEEDED TLC.

LISA PIDDINGTON, FROM HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM, REVEALS THE

MUST-HAVE PRODUCTS TO HAVE YOU DATE-NIGHT READY

Start with a good cleanse;

Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood

Cleansing Water, £33, is a

gentle, hydrating micellar water

with hyaluronic acid and vitamin

B3 to gently cleanse and soothe

the skin. It removes makeup and

impurities and leaves skin look

brighter.

Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Rose

Facial Oil, £67, is infused

with a trio of rose extracts and

hydrating Padina Pavonica

to smooth the look of fine

lines and leave the skin with a

luminous glow. Nourishing oils

of sweet almond, jojoba and

coconut provide a lightweight

base that is easily absorbed to

help seal in moisture.

Hard-working exfoliators are

designed to wash away dead cells

so use Heaven Skincare’s

Bee Polish, £37, to help

extract toxins without harming

the outer layer of the skin.

This non-abrasive, anti-ageing

exfoliator contains the patented

ABEETOXIN® formula to

alleviate fine lines and wrinkles

and lighten pigmentation; it will

also boost skin’s immunity.

Finally transform your bath

time into a decadent treat with Laura Mercier’s

Ambre Vanillè Honey Bath, £37. The natural

ingredients help firm, lift and tone, while vitamins A

and E moisturise and condition. The delicious scent

fragrances relax the senses while skin is left feeling

clean, fresh and supple from top to toe.

The new C+ Collagen

Brighten & Firm Vitamin

C Serum from Dr Dennis

Gross, £79, combines vitamin

C with a unique complex that

charges the skin’s battery to keep

it fit and toned. Its innovative

ingredients maximize vitamin

C for accelerated repair and

protection to brighten and help

build collagen.

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

BIRMINGHAM, THE MAILBOX, AND ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM.

45


FA S H I O N

Get shirty

YOUR FAVOURITE BUTTON-DOWN COLLARED SHIRT IS SET TO BE

YOUR WARDROBE HERO FOR SPRING, SAYS AMY NORBURY

HOW can I wear thee? Let me count the ways…

One of the most versatile, hard-working wardrobe

items known to man is finally having its rightful

moment in the fashion spotlight. That’s right,

the humble button-down is here to be the star of

springtime dressing across the board.

As many designers are embracing the ethos of

sustainability, there’s been an overarching return

to simplicity on the catwalks. We’re not talking

about a complete blackout on all things fanciful and

decorative, rather what we have seen is a return to

classic wardrobe staples, as the message of “buy less;

buy better” gets reiterated across the board.

If your wardrobe is already resplendent with shirts

for all occasions, it’s time to rejoice; we’re seeing

expertly pressed button-down numbers paired with

everything from glamorous floor-sweeping skirts

at Dior to boxy leather trousers at Lacoste, styled

smartly under pinafore dresses à la Bella Hadid at

Versace and layered with a polo neck and column

skirt for minimalist transitional dressing at The Row.

And for an all-in-one option, shirt dresses in mini,

midi or maxi lengths are the perfect grab-and-go

wardrobe solution for any occasion.

Of course, a classic white or blue-striped cotton

or silk shirt is the ultimate casual-to-smart failsafe,

equally at home teamed with jeans and flats for

daytime chic, smart tailoring for the office or a sexy

skirt for when night falls so if you’re missing this

wardrobe staple then invest well now and wear in

myriad ways forever.

But if you’re after something a little more spiced-up

then there’s plenty to get excited about. Check out

seriously statement prints, ruffles and lace detailing,

pussy bows and waist ties for gorgeously interesting

takes on a classic.

VARANA PLEATED

COTTON SHIRT DRESS,

£595, HARVEY NICHOLS

46


£790

£39 £177

MONTE CARLO SHIRT IN SMALL

GREEN LEOPARD, DANCING LEOPARD.

WWW.DANCINGLEOPARD.CO.UK

BURBERRY ANGEL PRINT SILK

CHIFFON PUSSY BOW SHIRT,

HARVEY NICHOLS

CHINTI AND PARKER LEMON PRINT

SHIRT, NOW HARVEY NICHOLS

£49

£290 £35

VICTORIA, VICTORIA

BECKHAM BLUE STRIPED

COTTON SHIRT DRESS,

HARVEY NICHOLS

HADIBA MIDI SHIRT

DRESS IN BLACK DOTTY,

DANCING LEOPARD

NAVY DOGTOOTH

HIGH-LOW SHIRT, WALLIS

WHITE SHIRT, £28,

AND JEANS, £30,

WALLIS

WHITE DIAMANTE

EMBELLISHED DENIM SHIRT,

£38, GREY ACID WASH BROOKE

JEANS, £40, AND PINK SINGLE

BREASTED COAT, NOW £55,

RIVER ISLAND

47


H E A LT H

Spectacular results as lens operation

does away with need for glasses

YOU ARE TIRED OF CONTINUALLY WEARING GLASSES BUT YOU DON’T FANCY CONTACT LENSES AND ARE

TOO OLD FOR LASER SURGERY. WELL DON’T GIVE UP HOPE. THERE IS A TREATMENT AVAILABLE AT SPIRE

LITTLE ASTON HOSPITAL’S EYE CENTRE THAT OFFERS SPECTACULAR RESULTS WITHOUT THE SPECTACLES.

Clear lens exchange replaces your natural lens and

replaces it with a clear artificial intraocular lens

(IOL) in a ten minute operation that will usually see

you back at home in less than a half a day.

Mr Daniel Calladine, Consultant Ophthalmic

Surgeon at Spire Eye Centre, explained: “This

procedure offers a huge leap forward – we can now

correct distance, intermediate and reading vision

with just one lens which usually lasts a lifetime.”

As we get older we often find ourselves in need of

various types of glasses for reading, driving distance

etc; or we choose to use contact lenses which, after

time, can become uncomfortable due to increased

use or ‘dry eye’ problems.

Even with traditional laser surgery it is not possible

to fix both long and short-sighted conditions at the

same time which means the clear lens exchange

offers a major improvement in eye treatment.

Mr Calladine said: “The procedure is very similar

to that used when carrying out cataract operations.

The natural lens is replaced by the corrective IOL. A

tiny keyhole micro incision on the cornea allows an

ultrasound probe to break up the natural lens.

“The fragments are then removed and a new lens is

inserted into the capsule of the old lens, which then

holds it in place without the need for stitches. The

majority of patients can see clearly just one day later

and often return to work within a few days.”

A patient at Spire Hospital Little Aston, said she

looked into clear lens exchange when her distance

eyesight began to weaken and she was also needing

glasses for reading and close-up work.

“I had relied on a combination of glasses and

contact lenses for nearly forty years to correct my

short sightedness but when my reading vision started

to deteriorate I felt I had to look at other options.

“The clear lens exchange corrected both my near

and far vision and I can drive, play sports and readall

without glasses or contact lenses. I’m absolutely

delighted,” she said.

Daniel Calladine is hosting a free information

evening on cataracts and clear lens exchange surgery

at Spire Little Aston Hospital on February 26 at

6.30pm.

To book your complimentary place call 0121 514

7034 or email info@spirelittleaston.com

CLEAR LENS EXCHANGE IS A

REVOLUTIONARY NEW TREATMENT

AT SPIRE LITTLE ASTON

48


M OTO R S

Life in the fast lane

J’AIME CAUGHT UP WITH OUR RESIDENT MOTORS EXPERT AND PROFESSIONAL

RACING DRIVER MARTIN PLOWMAN, ALONGSIDE TEAM-MATE AND STRICTLY

CHAMPION KELVIN FLETCHER TO CHAT ABOUT THEIR EXCITING NEWS FOR 2020

MARTIN PLOWMAN AND KELVIN

FLETCHER TAKE TO THE STAGE

AT AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL

Fresh from his Strictly Come Dancing success,

friend of J’AIME and reigning British GT4 Pro/

Am champion Kelvin Fletcher, alongside J’AIME’s

own motors expert Martin Plowman, made waves in

the racing community last week when he announced

he will graduate to the British GT Championship’s

premier class with JRM Racing and Bentley

Motorsport this season.

Former Emmerdale actor Fletcher, who became

a household name after winning Strictly Come

Dancing in December, made the announcement

live on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen before heading to

the Autosport International Show in Birmingham

to talk about the upcoming season. It was there we

managed to catch up with the popular duo to talk

about their exciting new deal.

The pair first contested British GT4 together in 2017

before winning the Pro/Am title with Beechdean

AMR last season in an Aston Martin GT4. 2020

will be the first time either driver has raced GT3

machinery, although Plowman’s CV includes an FIA

World Endurance Championship title, Le Mans 24

Hours class win and several IndyCar appearances.

They join a JRM squad embarking on its second

full British GT campaign with Bentley’s gen-two

Continental GT3, which won on debut at Oulton

Park last season. The team previously won an FIA

GT1 World Championship title with Nissan before

overseeing the manufacturer’s GT3 programme.

49


Championship winners in GT racing is

something we’re really going to benefit

from – their engineering expertise and

how they use data to approach their car,

season and races is unparalleled so I’m

looking forward to using that to develop

my driving as we go into [British GT’s]

senior class. To be able to couple that

with the best-sounding and best-looking

car on the grid in the Bentley Continental

GT3 is a win for us – Bentley have proven

themselves not only to be a leader in

luxury cars but also in motorsport too with

this incredible race car.

JM: Kelvin, congratulations on signing your new

deal with JRM-Bentley. This is a big step up for you

with a new car and in a much faster category now.

How important was it to keep the continuity with

your team-mate, Martin.

KF: Announcing my partnership with Martin won’t

be a surprise to anyone – he’s one of the quickest

drivers out there, a class act behind the wheel and a

great friend. After three years of racing with him and

developing that relationship, I wouldn’t be racing

with anyone else.

JM: So why Bentley? How did that deal come about?

MP: Joining JRM was an easy decision for us – we

share the same ambitions for the season and the

future too; their strategy and determination mirrored

ours. Being able to race their Bentley is a dream

come true for me; my favourite car of all time is

the 1920s Bentley Blower. I’ve been an admirer of

Bentley’s rich heritage and influence in automotive,

as well as motorsport, for as long as I can remember,

so I’m very proud to be playing a small part in their

racing history. The deal came together in no

small part thanks to our partners at Imagine

Cruising.

JM: Martin, how excited are you to be

returning to British GT alongside Kelvin this year?

MP: Kelvin is great to share a car with; he’s innately

fast and a hugely talented driver. We have built a

formidable partnership as drivers and as friends – it’s

a rare chemistry that gives us a significant advantage.

It’s exactly what you need for consistent performance

and constant improvement – it secured us a GT4

championship title last season so we’ll be using that

to our advantage in GT3 as well.

JM: So on a final note, what on your aspirations for

the year?

MP: To win! We know it’s going to be a challenge

– British GT is an extremely competitive

championship and there will be a full grid so plenty

of traffic to navigate, but we’re ready to take it on

thanks to Imagine Cruising who have supported

our step up to this next level. We’re humbled by the

belief they have in us, they’ve become part of the

family and we’re grateful to be sharing the season

with them. I can’t wait to get the season started!

KF: Imagine Cruising are onboard with us

again this year – their ethos is all about offering

something different in their five-star cruises to

create an unforgettable experience that people

really feel and that’s exactly what we want to

give everyone that engages with us through the

British GT Championship and our race team.

Joining up with them is the perfect partnership

JM: You’ll be working with a new team this

year, how confident are you that you will get up

to speed (no pun intended!)?

KF: JRM’s stature within motorsport as World

STRICTLY CHAMPION KELVIN FLETCHER HAS

ONCE AGAIN TEAMED UP WITH MARTIN

PLOWMAN FOR THE NEW BRITISH GT SEASON

50


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