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April 2017

APRIL 2017

Easter Eggstravaganza Eggs and interiors that'll have you hopping mad!


Spring into Style with this season's fashion trends

New York! New York! The Doubletree Hilton arrives in Manhattan


Happy Hormones Friend or Foe?

We all have them

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I’m loving... 2

3 4 Spring has officially sprung and with that comes longer evenings and sunshine (we hope), which also means we need to start putting our winter wardrobe away and start bringing in some more spring fashion – That’s where we come in - with a selection of some of our favourite trends for the new season turn to page 35. The nicer weather always makes us look at travel, but for some of us the fear of flying proves too much and it stops us booking holidays to some of the exotic places we would just love to visit. We talk to Christopher Paul Jones, a Harley Street therapist who specializes in helping people let go of their fears, anxieties and even their phobias (page 14), here he exclusively tells us “How to overcome your fear of flying”. Bedford Park Proms is back, bigger and better than before and this year it’s “Going to the`Movies” We have a fabulous competition for you to win your own exclusive table for 6 people at this year’s Proms, page 65 tells you all about it.


1. Ted Baker Pearl Cluster Necklace £79, jewellery4.co.uk 2. Happy Easter Eggs £10 John Lewis 3. Eleanor Espadrilles £59 Hobbs 4. Sophie Allport 'Hare' Door Stop £33 5.Kalamata Organic EVO Oil £40, kalamatapremiumoliveoil.com

This month is all about chocolate, this time it comes in the shape of eggs – Yes it’s Easter and we have searched high and low for some of the tastiest eggs around (page 52) what one’s your favourite? Only a month to go until our Charity Champagne Afternoon Tea and only a handful of tickets left, if you want to join us? Get in touch! Until Next Month Cover sophiecamerondavies.com

Hoppy Easter!

Jane x www.affinitymag.co.uk

Editor: Jane Fry jane@affinitymag.co.uk 01234 962106 - 07507 602401 Advertising: Jane Fry jane@affinitymag.co.uk 01234 962106 - 07507 602401 Graphic Design and Photography: David Zita dave@affinitymag.co.uk facebook.com/AffinityMag



All adverts are printed in good faith. Affinity cannot take responsibility for the content of adverts. Advertisements are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are accurate. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.Printed in the UK by Regal Litho 01908 270400.

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Fear of Flying A New You The Trend Track Time to Travel Coffee - Friend or Foe? April Showers Springtime Stripes Foodie News Spring Pie Recipe Easter Eggstravaganza Stylish Easter VIP for the Night Stylish Man Ely’s Hidden Gem




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Overcome Your Fear of Flying

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Christopher Paul Jones, aka The Breakthrough Expert, is a therapist based in Harley Street who specialises in helping people let go of their fears, anxieties and even their phobias; here he exclusively tells us “How to overcome your fear of flying”

that calm feeling.

Has a fear of flying stopped you taking the holiday of your dreams? Or has it prevented you from getting a promotion at work? Or is there a friend you’d love to visit overseas – but just can’t face the flight to get there?

Change the Feelings Locate the feelings in your body, how heavy or light are they? What colour? What happens if you put more focus on them? Do they have a direction? If so change the direction. Speed them up, change the colour to white or gold. Notice how that may change the level of fear.

Don’t worry – a flying phobia can be cured. Here are my top (quick and effective) tips to help you overcome a fear of flying:

Find the Cause of Your Fear Most phobias have a trigger point when the mind first linked danger to flying. Very often people are not aware of the triggers, but they are still affecting your beliefs and choices. These triggers are known as the 'stimulus response' as established by researcher Ivan Pavlov. The best place to start therefore is to explore its origins. What are some of the events from the past that made your mind link fear to flying?

Challenge your Beliefs It’s worth asking yourself what do I need to believe in order to feel afraid of flying? Then ask yourself how true is that belief? What do you choose to focus on when you have the fear? What do you focus on when you don’t have fear? Creating a New Stimulus Response (Anchoring) By creating a new trigger linked to positive feelings and emotions, and using this trigger whenever your phobia appears, you can dramatically reduce its impact.

Imagine a time when you felt completely calm and relaxed. Now imagine going back to that time and notice all the images, feelings and sounds that go with this event. When you have fully connected to this positive event, squeeze your fist to create a link between the emotion and the gesture, and as the emotion fades release your fist. Keep repeating this as many times as you like and then test it by squeezing your fist. Notice what you feel. If it’s strong enough, just the act of squeezing your fist will bring back

Change the Image of Flying Neurological imaging has shown that visual memory is just as active when you think about your phobia, as when you felt it for the first time. You can change the impact of your mental image by scrambling it. Make the image smaller, drain it of colour, run the event backwards, imagine the picture is a tiny dot or has Mickey Mouse ears. Notice what happens to the fear when you play with these images.

Change the Meaning of Flying When the fear of flying starts, what do you say to yourself? Notice the internal voice. Who does it sound like; how deep, how loud? Now change the tonality to a Mickey Mouse voice or super slow and boring. Add a comedy soundtrack or a circus tune. This will affect its impact. Change the Perspective of Flying Another tip is to imagine watching yourself on a plane ride. Imagine floating above the event and watching yourself on the flight. As you look down at yourself notice how you are acting. How are you breathing and moving? How do you feel in that moment? From your perch high above, free from the emotions, what could you learn that would help change the flight for the better? What could you teach yourself that would help you relax and make the journey more enjoyable? Get in Touch with Both Parts of the Brain One side of the brain deals with logic and the other side deals with emotion. If you access both at the same time whilst focusing on your fear you will find the emotions reduce.

Look straight ahead while thinking about your fear of flying, then allow your eyes to move slowly from left to right passing between the bridge of your nose. Keep repeating this left to right process and you’ll notice your phobia reduces in intensity. Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNkIrjkQgOk

Remember a phobia is not something you catch like a cold. It’s something you have to do, even if up until this point it has been unconscious. If you change your thoughts, feelings or images, you will feel different. If you change more than one thing, you should feel even better. Practise these tips and see how you get on. Happy flying!!


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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

No8 Lift & Luminate Day Cream £24.95, Boots Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment £33.50, merumava.com Realine Anti-ageing Beauty Patches £28 a box realinebeauty.com Valmont Prime 24 Hour Anti-Age Treatment £156 boutiquevalmont.com Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser £39 uk.lizearle.com KORRES Castanea Arcadia Anti Wrinkle & Firming Day Cream £39, korres.com CULT51 Day Cream ££40 - £100, cult51.com Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE Anti-ageing Moisture Cream £115, elizabetharden.co.uk

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Spring has Sprung

The new limited edition JO LOVES Spring Layered Candle has a scent, inspired by South of France, includes a top layer of neroli blossom (orange flower, lemon leaf, rose, geranium, amber and clove), a middle layer of lime cologne (lime, bergamot, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender and cardamom) and a base layer of petitgrain (neroli, bergamot, rosemary, coriander, orange flower and cedarwood). Available from www.joloves.com RRP £80

Fresh and Fun with Moschino

Moschino have launched its Pink Fresh Couture fragrance for women. Notes comprise pink grapefruit, cassis, lily of the valley, wild rose, pink jacinth, pomegranate, cedarwood, ambrox and musk. The bottle and packaging have been reinterpreted for a new feminine and fun look. The scent is also available as a shower gel and body lotion. Prices range from £29-£66.

Happy Anniversary Paul & Joe Beaute

To mark their 15th Anniversary Paul & Joe Beauté have launched a special Anniversary Makeup collection, priced at £55 and available from paul-joebeaute.com. Products comprise of Lipstick in Petite Princess (203), Face & Eye Colour (six shades), Face & Eye Colour Case and a printed pouch.


Eyeliner on Flick

Haircare brand R+Co has announced the launch of three new additions to their line up. Making their debut at New York Fashion Week, these new products create strong hold, texture, shine and volume. Products comprise WALL STREET Strong Hold Gel (£22.95), TROPHY Shine + Texture Spray (£22.95), and SAIL Soft Wave Spray (£22.95).

Are you forever running late because your eyeliner just won’t flick out the way you want, or it’s uneven on both eyes? Then a few hours later it smudges! Now there’s no more excuses thanks to KISS ‘WING IT’ Eyeliner Set which comes with a stencil, smudge-proof, waterproof eyeliner and a slanted brush so that you get the perfect flick every time. Available from ASDA for £7.99, you’ll be certain to always ‘Wing-it’


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Keeping on the Trend Track Whether you are a marathon runner, avid hiker or just a Sunday dog walker, you may have been tempted by the fitness craze that has gripped the nation. The wearable fitness tracker. We all know the ones we mean, they track your goal to 10,000 steps a day and monitor your sleeping habits through the ease of an app. But if you are anything like me then you might not have been as impressed with their fashion forwardness as much as their functionality. So for all the ladies out there that care enough to wear one but not enough to let it ruin their outfit, we have put together a selection of fitness trackers that allow you to monitor your steps whilst still looking stylish.

Misfit Swarovski Set (£99.99, www.misfit.com) Yes, you heard us right. Swarovski have teamed up with Misfit to provide the sparkliest possible fitness tracker. Whether you are feeling a Swarovski embellished wrap around bracelet or a classic and sleek pendant you will certainly be the most fashion forward attendee in your gym class. The set comes with a circular gem that slots into either the bracelet or pendant and tracks your steps, distance, calories, and light and restful sleep. It even has a Smart button that enables you to control your connected household devices. Style *** Functionality ***

Jawbone UP3 (£69.99, www.jawbone.com) With a strapline of “Buy it for what it does. Wear it for how it looks.” this tracker is one of my favourites. The UP3 with a gold twist is not only an attractive tracker with gold accents that are bang on trend, but it also enables you to track your activity, sleep and heart rate throughout the day and any workouts. The UP3 also has a built-in Smart Coach that encourages you to make informed health choices and helps you celebrate along the way. And the magic happens when the tracker learns as it goes, the more you wear it, the more personalised your coach becomes. Style *** Functionality ****

Michael Kors Access (£89.99, Zalando) This trendy fitness tracker combines sport and style in a variety of colours and styles and it's watch battery means no need to charge. The functionality isn’t as high as some of the other trackers but for simply monitoring sleep and steps, it is perfect. However, don’t wear this one in the shower...it is not waterproof. Style **** Functionality **

Fitbit Flex Bangle (£69.99, www.fitbit.com) This beautiful bangle could easily be mistaken for a fashion statement rather than a sports accessory with its metal finish and colour options. However, the bangle is an accessory and doesn’t actually have the tracker included. In order to track your sporting activities you will need to purchase the Flex itself which will set you back another £69.99 Style***** Functionality *** Fitbit Alta (129.99, www.fitbit.com) Fitbit is well known to anyone looking for a fitness tracker, but unfortunately despite its interchangeable skins it is not best known for being a stand out fashion accessory. Queue the Fitbit Alta and its special black and gold edition. This Fitbit has all the functionality of a Fitbit but the sleek look of a bangle. Its gold edging adds for a sophisticated finish and Fitbit’s recent collaboration with Tory Burch will mean you have even more sassy interchangeable bands to look forward to. Style *** Functionality ***

Written by: Gemma Farmer, Neo PR

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Midlife Madness Lowering the Tone Within every family or group of friends, even work colleagues, there is usually one who can be relied upon to lower the tone. You know the one who ‘goes there’ just says what everyone else perhaps thought but decided wisely not to voice. The one who takes it too far - so people are left not being quite sure whether to fall about laughing or actually be a little offended.

getting locked in the loo. Seriously locked in! It needed 3 maintenance men to free her. Did she miss the flight I hear you ask? Well no, they held the flight and upgraded her!! Not sure I’ll try it as a tactic though. By this time, in the meeting remember, still waiting for person thinking about things on the loo before the meeting could really start, I could tell people were striving to come up with a story more unusual or disgusting or generally lower in some way - but short of going to the loo myself there was no way out!

I understand that and trust me I know who that person is in each of the groups I belong to - and no, it is not me. However, I must confess to my surprise when at the beginning of a meeting the other day one colleague announced she would think about a question someone else had posed ‘while she was on the toilet,’ then promptly left for the toilet. A couple of people joked about the new low - but my goodness they’d seen (actually heard) nothing at that point. Somehow the whole group (apart from me because at heart I am a bit of a prude) took it as permission to share their toilet horror stories.

So I suffered through several other toilet tales. Tales of leakages of all kinds, tales of strange people with even stranger habits, various body parts being caught in clothing, as I racked my brains for an escape route other than to a toilet! The final tale would have sent me screaming for the door, but just as it finished the ‘chair’ arrived back fresh from her ruminations in the water closet. But as I had to suffer it I think I should share it with you guys. It’s another tale of the perils of fading eyesight when one fairly young member of the group told of his mother and aunt, both with restricted vision who again ventured into the wrong toilets (male to be precise). Upon completing what they needed to they both washed their hands - only to be told by a gentleman that not only were they in wrong toilet but they had just both washed their hands in the men’s urinals!!!! Some things you just don’t need to hear!

It began with someone who was very senior - as in her position in the organisation, but also senior in years, (maybe not relevant but actually quite ample in size which might just lend greater accuracy to your visualisation of the event), telling us how she had gone to a new gym and after her swim she went into the changing room, without glasses because that’s what you do after a swim, and it wasn’t till she was showered and dressed that she put her glasses on and realised that all the other blurry (no glasses) naked bodies were actually male! Needless to say she made a quick embarrassed getaway from the changing room. But I am not sure I’ll ever be able to look at her in the same way again. Then someone else launched into a tale about their partner flying long haul and in the boarding gate area


So the moral of these tales I think is guard your eyesight, wear your glasses (if you need them) at all times, be very clear what male and female symbols look like, - or better yet don’t drink much as you get older, so you never have to venture to the clearly very dangerous places that we know as public toilets.

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Learning about

Happy Hormones

What are our Happy Hormones? Strictly speaking happy hormones aren’t all hormones. One of the chemicals you will have probably heard of as being responsible for happiness is seratonin, which is a mood boosting neuro-transmitter and dopamine, another neuro-transmitter which drives our brains rewards system.

Our state of happiness depends on a whole range of factors, some would say genetic predisposition plays a part as well as our current situation, but it’s probably fair to say that most of us want to be happy and if there were steps we could take to be happier we’d at least consider them. I acknowledge that of course there are some people who struggle with specific mental or physical illnesses which may have an impact on the biochemistry of the brain, but for the rest of us understanding our happy hormones and what we can do to boost these will almost certainly have a positive impact on our mood and sense of well-being.

Then there is Oestrogen and Progesterone, you’ll all have heard of those hormones and know that an imbalance of these can cause irritability. Specifically oestrogen is responsible in part for the formation of serotonin and it


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helps to keep our mood steady. Good levels of oestrogen protect us from irritability and anxiety. Progesterone too protects us from irritability and is also thought to have a role in helping us sleep well. Then there is something called oxytocin, which is both a hormone and a neuro-transmitter and seems to have an impact on our levels of satisfaction, this particular one seems to have more of an impact on women than men. In addition there are endorphins which can dull pain and increase our feelings of pleasure. But it is also worth knowing about cortisol - often called the stress hormone it is released in response to fear and stress and prolonged high levels of this can have numerous negative effects on the body, such as lowering the immune system, increasing weight gain, interfering with learning and memory and also increasing the risk of depression and mental health problems. But before you start feeling gloomy because your state of happiness is at the mercy of chemicals - let’s stop with the science and see what we can do to give ourselves the best possible chance of happiness.

The Food We Eat There is a growing body of evidence that shows that what we eat has a powerful impact on almost every aspect of our bodies functioning. I know that sometimes the advice can seem contradictory but actually there are only a couple of very simple guidelines to follow. Try to avoid processed food - basically it will be full of heaven knows what and introduce lots of negative toxins to the body. Eat fresh food whenever you can and include at the very least five portions (new research indicates seven or even ten portions a day may be better) of fruit and vegetables each day and try to include an array of colours - that way you can make sure you’ll be getting all the vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients, probiotics etc. that you need. Specifically carbohydrates boost serotonin but it’s best

to use high fibre sources which are more long lasting but it also explains why we crave sweet, starchy comfort food when we feel low. To boost progesterone and oestrogen levels include spinach, asparagus, eggs, salmon - oh and don’t forget dark chocolate - in your diet. Eating spicy foods can also help as they can trigger endorphin production. You can read more about mood boosting foods here: www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-eating/a25845/11mood-boosting-foods

Exercise It will come as no surprise that exercise is good for us. Exercise is one of the few things that can release serotonin and, unless we have driven ourselves into the ground, we nearly always feel better after we have exercised. For some simple exercises you can start today have a read of this article: www.personalgrowth.com/5-simple-exercises-youcan-start-today Enjoy a Good Laugh Actually enjoying a good laugh will also help with endorphin production - so if you are feeling down watch a comedy not a weepy, read a funny book or spend time with that friend who you always have a laugh with. Feel Good Activities Oxytocin production is increased when you are doing pleasurable things - so enjoy time with friends or family, indulge yourself in some way, perhaps with massage or even a spot of retail therapy. We all know we enjoy a hug and actually physical contact like that is good for us, so give you partner or family members a hug and enjoy the boost that will give to your happy hormones. Keep Stress in Check Learning how to manage our stress is important for each and every one of us, not least because it can keep our cortisol levels in check, so a long walk or a relaxing bath will help and try adding some aromatherapy - a scented candle or bath oil can help to stimulate endorphins, as can listening to music and singing which will also give a release of dopamine. There is also evidence to suggest that being outdoors in the sun is beneficial for boosting our mood - we might not get as many chances as we’d like but a bit of sun will definitely be a mood boost.

Get Something Done Anything that we achieve can give us a sense of satisfaction, especially when it is something we have worked towards. So completing a task, whether it’s a craft project you started months ago or a work related task you’ve been putting off, will definitely boost your mood. There are lots of things that we are not able to control in life but when it comes to being happy there is, in fact, a lot we can do to help ourselves and boost our happy hormones. For more information contact Attuned Education 01234 349067 07921193479 info@attunededucation.com www.attunededucation.com

Time to Travel

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We’ve got a great selection of travel sets that will have you looking fabulous, without taking up all the room in your suitcase.


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1. Grown Alchemist Travel Kit £58 John Lewis 2. REN Grab & Go Travel Kit £22, John Lewis 3. Moroccanoil Travel Kit £44, feelunique.com 4. This Works in Transit Short Haul £34.50 thisworks.com 5. NUXE The Essentials Travel Kit £10.80, John Lewis 6. Fair Squared Ethical Care Set £8.95, fair-squared.com 7. Liz Earle Try Me Kit £24.75 lizearle.com 8. Aromatherapy Associates Essential Travel Oils £37 John Lewis 9. Verso Travel Kit £42, cultbeauty.co.uk 10. Caudalie Travel Set £12.50 feelunique.com

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24Hr Skin Solutions Kit £24, thisworks.com

Kellogg's Vintage Lip Balms in Tin £7.99, jeremyshomestore.co.uk


Ted Baker Revenna Double Rivoli Crystal Cuff £39, jewellery4.co.uk

Links of London Vermeil Easter Egg Charm £70, linksoflondon.com

Silver Lace Dress £275, sophiecamerondavies.com

Furla Butterfly Print Bag £265, furla.com.

This month’s must have gifts and accessories

Frederique Constant Smartwatch £960, watchshop.com

Cashmere Scarf & Ostrich Feather Fringe £185 curatedliving.co.uk

Tresor Paris BonBon Crystal Flower Ring £99, tresorparis.co.uk

Betty's Trio Of Filled Chocolate Eggs £10.50, .bettys.co.uk

Hebe Trainer £95, boden.co.uk

Marysia Broadway Scalloped Bikini £252, almasanta.com

Emma Bridgewater Hen & Toast Plate £17.95, John Lewis

His & Hers Bike Mugs £5 each, John Lewis

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Veda Therapeutics Carolyn wood Herbal Medicine - Ayuverda Naturopathy - Therapeutic Massage - Ear Acupuncture

Herbalist (Dip Herb) Naturopath (Dip ND) MAMH, MANP, ITEC

As a herbalist and naturopath I can help you with

• Immunity • Skin Conditions • Digestive Complaints • Hormonal imbalances • Heart health & Circulation • Energy & Wellbeing • Insomnia • Depression • Other chronic health conditions • Acute coughs & colds

07944 886502 carolyn612@btinternet.com www.vedatherapeutics.co.uk

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Friend or Foe?

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I was recently asked if tea had less of a negative effect on our arteries than coffee and was soon after asked by a colleague if they should drink more coffee to improve their health! With the ever changing headlines about coffee, you’d be forgiven for not knowing if you should down 10 espressos a day or stick to herbal tea. So here I’m going to talk about what you need to know – is coffee your friend or foe?

COFFEE’S NEGATIVES There have been many reports over the years about the possible negative effects coffee can have on our health, from an increased risk of heart disease to greater osteoporosis risk. But what does the science say? Blood pressure Studies have shown that after ingesting coffee or more specifically, caffeine, our blood pressure is slightly increased due to our blood vessels constricting (and raised blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease). But don’t necessarily take that at face value. The effects on blood pressure are only very small, and it was shown to reduce back down to a normal level soon after. So actually these effects are unlikely to result in any serious heart issues.

Cholesterol Likewise, it’s been questioned as to whether coffee raises levels of bad cholesterol in our blood. Some research has found that certain types of coffee could have this negative effect – more specifically unfiltered coffee in things like cafetieres. Whereas filtered coffee and soluble granulated has not been found to have the same effect. This is because unfiltered coffee lets through compounds called terpenes which have the negative effect on cholesterol. Osteoporosis It’s been reported that coffee consumption could increase the risk of osteoporosis through increasing calcium excretion. Systematic reviews looking into this area of research have concluded that drinking coffee could lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis in women. However, further research suggests that providing an adequate intake of calcium is met and coffee is not consumed in excess, then the risks are significantly reduced. So plenty of milk and yogurt, and only 4-5 cups a day and you should be fine.

COFFEE’S POSITIVES On the flipside there have been many reports of potential health benefits from drinking coffee – such as reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and reduced progression of liver disease. So what’s the story – are these true or just wishful thinking?

Diabetes A large scale study by Harvard School of Public Health looked at the level of coffee consumption and diabetes risk for over 128,000 men and women. The results indicated that those who drank more coffee had a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whereas those who drank 1 or more fewer cups of coffee per day had an increased risk. These results are highly interesting, but up to now a specific mechanism of action has not been fully identified. There are theories, such as coffee decreasing glucose levels in our blood. But this has not been proven. But for now, these results on coffee and diabetes are looking promising! Liver disease Numerous studies have shown that coffee consumption may not only reduce the risk of developing liver diseases such as cirrhosis, but could also slow the progression of disease in people with liver disease. It’s believed that certain compounds in coffee have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which can help to reduce disease effects.

Hydration Contrary to popular belief coffee does help to hydrate us. Even though caffeine is a diuretic the amounts in coffee are not high enough to have a significant enough effect to cancel out the water in the drink. So you can count coffee as part of your 8 glasses of fluid a day goal – result! VERDICT? = FRIEND Currently much of the research has concluded that coffee is safe to drink in moderate amounts, and in fact could have some positive effects on health for some people. As with anything in nutrition, watch this space, as our knowledge is ever changing! But for now, if you enjoy your early morning, midmorning and mid-afternoon caffeine hit, then you can continue to do so. www.nutracheck.co.uk

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April Showers

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You’ll be covered for any sudden downpour when wearing one of these stylish Macs

Grey Mac £75 Topshop

Side Button Trench £265 Karen Millen

Tabitha Mac £139 Phase Eight

Long Tall Sally Saskia Trench £199 Hobbs Yumi Trench Coat £120 House of Fraser

Preen Mac £90 Debenhams

Mac £54.99 Bon Prix

Mustard Trench Mac £75 River Island Metallic Mac £85 Topshop

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Trouser Trend

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These trousers are perfect for seeing you through from day to night, dress up with heels and down with flats

Trousers £24.99 TK Maxx

Floral Print Trousers £30 Very Tie Waist Satin Trousers £28 Very


Leaf Print Trousers £26 M&Co

Trousers £190 House of Fraser

Trousers £22 Dorothy Perkins

Star by Julien Macdonald £35 Debenhams

Trousers £22 M&Co

Trousers £75 Phase Eight Blue Trousers £22 M&Co

Springtime Stripes

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This spring, stripes are everywhere from classic blouses to stylish trousers, everyone needs at least one piece in their wardrobe

Sparkle Vest Top £39 House of Fraser Blazer La Redoute

Top £39 Debenhams

Jumper £29 La Redoute

T-Shirt £19 La Redoute Dress £32 Very Red Herring Dress Debenhams

New Look Striped Jumper £28 Next

Kurt Geiger Saffiano Bag £199

Dress £30 Very

Sateen Trousers £28 Very

Stripe Dress £75 Very

Stripe Top £25 Very

Dress £25 La Redoute

Pretty in Pastel

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This season make sure your wardrobe is good enough to eat with ice cream shades of pink, blue, mint and yellow.

Choker Jumper £25 Very

Dress New Look

Ruffle Sleeve Dress £68 Very

Frill Cardigan £18 M&Co

Faux Fur Trainers £75 Dune, London

Bag £145 Folli Follie Bon Prix Frill Clutch Bag £28 Very

Necklace £28 Etsy

Cross Strap Heels £25.99 New Look Silk Blouse £69 Phase Eight

Halter Dress £55 Wallis

Top £19.99 Bon Prix

Lady Plume Weekend Bag £89 lipault.co.uk

Shorts £49.99 TK Maxx

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Floral Feet

“It’s not just your clothes that are in full bloom this season, even your footwear is full of Floral prints “

Gingham Slider New Look

Ankle Strap Shoes £22.99 New Look

Flats £85 Dune

Flower Platforms £59 Miss Selfridge

Lotus Meadow Trainers £45 House of Fraser

Flower Print Sandals £45 La Redoute Sandals £110 Ted Baker

Guru Loafers £75 Dune

Heels £35 Faith

Slingback Shoes £25 Marks & Spencer

Mules £48 Wallis

Nine by Savannah Miller Pumps Debenhams

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Relax at

The Riverside

Last month saw us eating out at The Millhouse Hotel & Riverside Restaurant in the rural Bedfordshire village of Sharnbrook. A hotel that was built around the original Mill owners’ house and still boasts many of its original features, including the remains of the steam corn-mill and the flag stone flooring in the reception area.

Our meal began with a platter of smoked salmon and prawns, this plate was beautifully presented, the fish was fresh and flavoursome as was the BBQ chicken wings that just fell of the bone, and were full of authentic BBQ flavours. Moroccan rack of lamb served with fruit and herb cous cous and balsamic roasted grapes followed, again this dish was a pleasure on the eye, the meat literally melted in the mouth and the combination of the fruity cous cous and balsamic grapes balanced each other with texture and taste perfectly.

After being warmly welcomed by Karl, the knowledgeable, relaxed proprietor, we settled in the cozy bar area for pre dinner drinks, which we enjoyed whilst making our choices from the carefully thought out, seasonally creative menu that uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Once ready we were shown into the bright spacious modern conservatory, where we indulged in some delicious warm homemade bread and olives.


Grilled fillet of sea bass with prawn and leek risotto was delightful with an amazing combination of flavours and textures, perfectly balanced and again presented beautifully, only added to the overall feel of the evening.

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We finished our meal feeling rather full (well I did, hubby always has a little extra room), but when I saw the word ‘Waffle’ on the dessert menu I couldn’t resist, so out came my Belgian waffle with maple syrup and homemade vanilla pod ice cream that although full of calories was a truly indulgent treat (it just means another visit to the gym to compensate). Hubby’s choice was the sticky toffee pudding that was in his words “the perfect end to a delicious meal!” Dessert was rounded off with tea and coffee served in the lounge area. It’s also worth mentioning that The Millhouse is also the perfect backdrop for a small or large function, whether it’s a dinner party, conference meeting or Wedding. Where you can have the choice of the conservatories, restaurant or large fully heated, permanent marquee. Our whole dining experience was a delight, service is just as good as the food, and with a varied wine list to suit everyone’s palette this is definitely a restaurant you need to visit. The Millhouse Hotel & Riverside Restaurant Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Beds 01234 781678 millhouse-riverside.co.uk

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Roast Mejadra Onions


“Onions are stuffed with gently spiced lentils and rice and a tangle of additional caramelised onions, then roasted until soft and sweet”

6 large white onions, peeled 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed 1 tbsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed 100g white basmati rice 100g brown lentils 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric 1 tsp ground allspice 1 tsp cinnamon 400ml vegetable stock 50g flaked almonds, lightly toasted, plus extra to garnish 1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 pinch of caster sugar Rocket salad , to serve (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Top and tail the onions. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil over a medium heat, add the onions and simmer for about 25 minutes, until tender and easily pierced by the point of a knife. Drain the onions and allow to cool slightly. Cut them in half and, using a teaspoon, scoop out and reserve the flesh, leaving three layers intact to form your shells. Carefully slice the reserved onion flesh as finely as possible. Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the sliced onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Turn up the heat and cook for another 25 minutes, until the onion is deeply golden and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and season well. Wipe the onion pan clean with kitchen towel and add the crushed cumin and coriander seeds. Toast over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant. Add the remaining olive oil along with the rice, lentils, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir to coat the rice with oil, then add the stock, bring up to the boil, cover tightly and simmer over a very low heat for 25–30 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the lid, cover with a tea towel, pop the lid back on and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir through the fried onions, toasted almonds and most of the chopped parsley. Season and spoon the mixture into the soft onion shells, filling them generously, then sandwich two sides together and place in an oiled baking dish, spooning any extra filling around the edges. Sprinkle over the red wine vinegar and sugar, cover the dish tightly with tinfoil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes. Scatter with the remaining flaked almonds. Serve the stuffed onions warm, with a rocket salad on the side. Recipe by Alice Hart, www.jamieoliver.com

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Spring Pie

“A simple throw it all in pie, that anyone can make and everyone will love” Method Ingredients Olive oil 1 x 270 g packet of filo pastry 200g baby spinach 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon 6 large free-range eggs 200ml milk 1 tsp mustard powder ½ a bunch of fresh chives 1 lemon 3 medium leeks

Preheat oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Lightly grease a 20cm x 30cm baking dish with oil and cover with a layer of pastry, letting the edges overhang slightly. Brush with a little oil then add another layer of pastry, repeating until you have used it all (there should be 3 or 4 layers). Boil the kettle, then place the spinach in a colander and pour over the hot water to wilt it (you may have to do this in 2 batches). Push the spinach down with the back of a spoon then when it’s cool enough to handle squeeze out any excess water. Place the spinach on a board and roughly chop, then place in a large bowl and set aside. Put the grill on high and grill the bacon till crisp, then set aside to cool. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Whisk in the milk and mustard powder, snip in the chives then grate in the lemon zest. Crumble the cooled bacon into the spinach and then trim, slice and add the sliced leeks. Mix well and scatter into the filo pastry case. Pour over the egg mixture and carefully place the dish on the bottom of the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until just set. Leave to cool for 20 minutes before slicing. Delicious served with a crisp green salad. www.jamieoliver.com

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Speckled Malted Coconut Cake Ingredients

“This cake is almost too pretty to eat!�

Baking spray, for pan 3 cups. cake flour, spooned and leveled 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 cup malted milk powder 1 tsp Kosher salt 1 cup canola oil 1 cup half cream at room temperature 1 cup sugar 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tsp pure coconut extract 1 large egg plus 2 large egg whites, at room temperature 1/8 tsp brown gel food colouring

For the Coconut Buttercream: 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup coconut cream 6 cups caster sugar 1 tsp pure vanilla extract Pinch of Kosher salt Blue gel food coloring


Preheat oven to 350F/Gas 4. Lightly grease three 8-inch cake pans and line bottoms with baking paper. Whisk together flour, baking powder, malt powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk together oil, half cream, sugar, vanilla, coconut extract, and whole egg in a separate bowl until smooth. Fold in flour mixture just until incorporated. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold egg whites into mixture just until combined. Divide among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then move onto racks to cool completely. Place one layer on a cake plate and spread the top with 1 cup Coconut Buttercream. (Beat butter and coconut cream together until soft and smooth. Gradually beat in sugar, add vanilla extract and a pinch of kosher salt until combined. Add blue food colouring, one drop at a time, to desired colour). Repeat two more times. Cover sides with remaining Coconut Buttercream. Stir together food coloring and 2 drops water in a bowl. Dip the tip of a wide, stiff paintbrush into the mixture. Holding the brush 6 to 8 inches from the cake, gently fling the mixture onto iced cake. Repeat for desired effect. Decorate with eggs. www.countryliving.com

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Easter Sunday

16th April Food served 12-9 Main Courses from just £10.95 Free Easter egg hunt for all the children

Pudding Night

21st April Main course and all you can eat desserts £16



These fresh and delicious wines will leave a smile on your lips as you welcome the warmer weather this springtime

Jean-Luc Colombo Collines de Laure Blanc 2015 This fusion of Rolle, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat produces a fresh and rounded wine with hints of fennel, white peach and pear. Serve with grilled white meats for a star pairing £13.85 Harrods

Gourmet Burger Night

5th May Starter platter, make your own burger & American style milkshake £20 per person

Pudding Night

19th May Main course and all you can eat desserts £16

Afternoon tea

Served Daily 2-5 booking is essential Full afternoon tea including bottomless tea and filter coffee only £11.95

01234 781678

info@millhouse-riverside.co.uk www.millhouse-riverside.co.uk millhouse_hotel Millhouse Hotel and Riverside Restaurant Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Bedford MK44 1NP

Errazuriz Estate Series Pinot Grigio 2015 Intense, whistle-clean nose that marries the classic pear and applelike fragrances with elegant hints of floral and citrus fruit. It pairs perfectly with fish, grilled white meats and salads. £10.30, Amazon

Villa Private Bin Gewurztraminer 2016 This wine displays all the classic varietal aromas of rose petal, lychee and spice which lead through to the palate delivering similar flavours along with a richness, seamless texture and balance. Pair this aromatic Gewurtztraminer with spicy and oriental flavours. £11.30 Waitrose

Easter Eggstravaganza

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Satisfy your chocolate craving this Easter with one of these delicious treats

Booja Booja Easter Egg £24.99 Ocado Dark Chocolate Egg and Truffles £14.99 Butlers

Chocolate Foil Animals £3.99 Dobbies

Charbonnel et Walker Champagne Truffle Egg £12.50 John Lewis John Lewis

Cocoabean Company Egg £12 John Lewis

Butterfly Studded Milk Chocolate Egg £10.95 chococo.co.uk

Rocky Road to Caramel £27 Hotel Chocolat

Honeycombe Milk Chocolate Egg £10.9 chococo.co.uk

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Egg-Cellent Job Jar £10, The Great Gift Company Doris the Duck £7.95 chococo.co.uk

Easter Pen Pals £10 Hotel Chocolat

Champagne Egglets £8.50 Hotel Chocolat

Happy Easter Hamper £35 Hotel Chocolat

Luxury Milk Chocolate Egg & Sea Salt Caramel Pods £16.95 chococo.co.ukjpg Godiva Mini Easter Eggs £20 Selfridges

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Style your home for the weekend with some of our Easter inspired interiors

Paper Easter Egg Lights £12.00 TCH.net Happy Easter Sign £6, Sainsbury's Homejpg

Rabbit Decorations £4, (pack 6) Sainsbury's Home

Felt Bunny Decoration £5 TCH.net

Pussy Willow Milk Churn £15, Sainsbury's Home

Easter Candle Holder £7.99 TK MAxx

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Easter Egg Hunt Paperchase

Sitting Hare £75, Cox & Cox

Rabbit Clock £25 Newgate Clocks Easter Egg & Flowers Wreath - £30.00 TCH.net

Gold & White Easter Animal Decorations £8.00 (pack 3) TCH.net

Pussy Willow Nest £8 Sainsbury's Home

Hanging Egg Decorations £4.99 TK Maxx Easter Tea Towels £6.99 TK MAxx

Wicker Rabbot £12 Sainsbury's Home

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Cosy with Cushions Give your home the eggstra special touch this Easter by scattering a few of these cushions around

Easter Bunny Cushion - £25.00 TCH.net Hare Cushion £19 M&Co

Cushion £13.90, Vallila

Easter Cushion £8, Sainsbury's Home

Rabbit and Cabbage Cushion £44.95 Annabel James

Hare Cushion £38.95 Annabel James

Harriet Hare Cushion £55 John Lewis

Rows of Eggs Cushions £29.99 welovecushions.co.uk

Hare Cushion £26 Sophie Allport

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VIP for the Night

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he sun is shining and spring is officially here, which means it’s time to start thinking about long summer evenings enjoying a little al fresco dining and entertaining, so be sure to book your tickets to this year’s Bedford Park Proms that has the theme of “Going To The Movies” and you’ll be able to do all this with family and friends. It takes place on Sunday 6th August, and begins at 4.30pm, which means you can get into the ‘lazy Sunday’ vibe. And are you in for a treat, not only will there be of course all your favourite classics but also some exquisite renditions of popular film soundtracks, which will appeal to the whole family – along with a few surprises thrown in! The concert will feature Australian Tenor Daniel Koek, who played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables in the West End as well as rising classical star, Soprano Joanna Forest. The London Gala Orchestra and the Bedford Choral Society return, with an evening that accumulates in a spectacular laser and firework display. Why not make a real night of it and go VIP in ‘The Park

Lounge’ – The ultimate VIP experience for guests who want to enjoy Bedford Park Proms in style. Having only a limited number of spaces you will need to be quick if you don’t want to miss out on this ultimate experience which includes: Concert Ticket to Bedford Park Proms ‘Fast Track’ entry into Bedford Park Meet and greet the concert soloists Access into ‘The Park Lounge’ hospitality marquee and garden A glass of chilled Prosecco on arrival (soft drinks for children) Summer hog roast and gourmet salad bar Prime viewing position Furniture inside, and outside Access to The Park Lounge bar Souvenir VIP event lanyard Signed programme per couple Luxury toilet facilities

So if you want to enjoy this great British tradition with that extra bit of pomp and circumstance then these are the tickets for you – There are some early bird tickets (until 30th April) priced at £95 per adult, and £25 per child. Don’t miss out on this early bird discount be sure to book yours today!

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WIN! WIN! WIN! We have a fabulous prize for you to win! You can have your very own table for 6 people at this year’s Bedford Park Proms. All you have to do is bring yourself and 5 friends along to Bedford Park and LPH concerts will do the rest – You will have your very own table and chairs in a prime position set up for six people with white linen, a programme each, a hamper each, a ticket each and a few little extras! This is a fantastic prize (if only we could enter ourselves!) To be in with a chance of winning just tell us “What theme are the Bedford Park Proms taking this year? and send your answer to: info@affinitymag.co.uk - Closing date is 30th May – GOOD LUCK! For all ticket bookings please visit www.bedfordparkconcerts.co.uk and remember early bird ticket prices end on 30th April - So be quick!

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Gimme, Gimme, Gimme a F-Abba-Lous Night We’re soooo excited! The world’s sunniest and most exhilarating smash-hit musical Mamma Mia is coming to Milton Keynes this May and we can’t wait to join this ultimate feel-good party! Since its 1999 debut over 60 million people have seen the show which has grossed over $2 billion worldwide. Set on a Greek island paradise, a story of love, friendship and identity is cleverly told through the timeless songs of ABBA, including such hits as ‘Super Trouper’, ‘Lay all Your Love on Me’, ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Knowing me Knowing You’, Take a Chance on Me’, ‘The Winner Takes it All’ and so many more. Sophie’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they’ll never forget. This irresistibly funny show has been thrilling audiences all around the world and now the party will continue, so there’s never been a better time to see this unforgettable musical. Whatever age you are, you can’t help but have the time of your life at MAMMA MIA! Tues 2nd – Sat 20th May Milton Keynes Theatre 0844 8717652 www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

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Bentley Introduces The Ultimate Luxury SUV

The Bentayga Mulliner


entley’s in-house personal commissioning division, Mulliner, has applied its exquisite craftsmanship to the multi-award-winning Bentayga, creating a new flagship model and setting new standards in automotive luxury. New interior and exterior features – including optional Duo Tone paintwork, unique 22” wheels, Mulliner Bottle Cooler and a new veneer concept – complement the Bentayga’s sculptural, modern design. Featuring Bentley’s class-leading 6.0-litre, W12 engine, the Bentayga Mulliner combines efficiency and refinement with ultraluxurious levels of power and torque. With 608 PS (600 bhp) and 900 Nm (663 lb. ft.) delivering a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds (0100 km/h in 4.1 seconds) and a top speed of 187 mph (301 km/h), the Bentayga is the world’s fastest SUV. Produced in very limited numbers due to the highly complex, handcrafted nature of the Bentayga Mulliner’s luxurious interior features, this new flagship model will be available to order in Spring 2017. The Bentayga Mulliner is the most exquisitely appointed luxury

SUV ever created, and will appeal to owners searching for the pinnacle of go-anywhere motoring, with the finest performance and comfort. This new model introduces striking optional Duo Tone paintwork for the first time on Bentayga. The elegant finish is achieved by choosing the perfect proportional balance point for the split, the resulting effect making the cabin and bonnet appear as though floating. The split also serves to enhance the Bentayga’s trademark super-formed muscularity and accentuates its powerful presence.

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The new Mulliner 22” Paragon seven-spoke wheels with floating wheel centres, unique exterior badge, and the addition as standard of body-coloured lower bodywork and bright chromed lower bumper grilles, complete the exterior enhancements. Inside, Mulliner has combined traditional and modern coachbuilding design. A new Mulliner designed interior colour split – with the front and rear seats finished in different hide colours and offered in seven suggested colour ways – complements the optional Duo Tone exterior paintwork. The hand-stitched hides are finished with unique Mulliner embroidery and contrast stitching. Bespoke features by Mulliner include a new Mulliner Bottle Cooler in the rear of the cabin, featuring an illuminated chilling cabinet and bespoke Cumbria Crystal flutes, all seamlessly integrated into the generously proportioned, rear centre console.

Ombré Burr Walnut Veneer is exclusively introduced to the Bentayga Mulliner model. This showcases a unique wood transition from Black through to Burr Walnut as the veneer wraps around the interior and a special veneered panel replaces the standard central console fascia. Mood lighting, comprising six different ‘moods’, together with illuminated Mulliner tread plates and Bentley LED Welcome Lamps, create a luxurious night-time ambience. Bentayga Mulliner also offers owners the chance to create their own bespoke ambience, with ‘My Mood’, which allows occupants to choose from 15 different colours, while also adjusting the brightness in doors, armrests and footwells. The Unique Mulliner is the ultimate luxury statement from Bentley Motors, the most sought after luxury car brand in the world.

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Fry’s Footie Corner

Football management is precarious – it was precarious when I was a manager 20 years ago and it is even more so now. I think there was a statistic banded about that over 25% of managers in the EFL have lost their jobs in the last 100 days and there has been talk about Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal because of fan pressure.

Of course with every club fighting to stay in the league, there are others fighting to get into it and I really hope that Lincoln City can achieve promotion. They have had a wonderful campaign, with the icing on the cake being the incredible FA Cup run which saw them progress into the last 16, only to be beaten by Arsenal at the Emirates.

What Arsene has achieved at that club is incredible and for fans to want him out beggars belief but that is the modern world that we live in. While there is pressure at the top of the game, there is survival of the fittest at the foot of the EFL and it saddens me to see the problems that are being suffered by Leyton Orient supporters.

The Cowley brothers have done a brilliant job with the Imps and I really hope they achieve dream number one of promotion, not least as we have a couple of players onloan at the club in Harry Anderson and Lee Angol who scored a hat-trick on his debut – the first Imps player to do that in around 40 years.

Off the pitch, there are financial worries with winding up orders and court appearances and on it, the lack of experience both in the dugout and on the pitch has seen them crash to the foot of League Two and at the time of writing, they are in serious danger of relegation to the National League.

There are a lot of big clubs at that level that are struggling to get back into the Football League – it is a hard league to escape – just look at Luton Town – backed by a huge support, it took them four or five years to return to the EFL.

I remember when they beat us (Peterborough United) in the play-offs not so long ago and now they are struggling to stay afloat. It is a timely reminder that some clubs do not know how lucky they are and we are fortunate to have Darragh MacAnthony (owner of the Posh) with the money he has pumped in over the ten years he has been at the helm.

April and May is a nervous time for football clubs – whoever you support, I hope you get the success that you crave!

Barry Fry 68

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Spring Casual 4 Keep things casual with a bomber jacket, ideal for spring weather, day-to-night dressing and casual weekend wear





6 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Burgundy Bomber £50, Debenhams Khaki Bomber Jacket £95 House of Fraser Grey Bomber Jacket £55 Debenhams Navy Bomber £19.99 New Look Bomber Jacket River Island Black Bomber Jacket River Island Tan Bomber Jacket River Island Bomber Jacket £60 Next


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History and Charm Combine at

Poets House

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Ely, famed for it’s Cathedral and considered the second smallest city in England, (which makes it easy for visitors to explore), has another attraction to add to the reason’s to visit, boutique hotel ‘Poets House’. Re-launched last November under new owners and originally three Grade II listed townhouses it is now a luxury stylish hotel with 21 bedrooms including eight master suites, in the most enviable location, opposite Cathedral Close, the path that leads direct to the Cathedral. Driving through the walled archway into the neat courtyard, you are met by a sleek modern glass single storey building, with more glass leading into the reception area, showing already that this hotel is combining traditional and modern perfectly, none of this large conveyor belt type reception area but a small intimate one, with deep slate coloured walls, black and white square floor tiles, and a check-in that was simple and quick – I was certainly impressed. Check in complete, we headed across the courtyard to our suite. Opening the door my eyes were drawn to the corner of the room, to the luxurious copper freestanding roll-top bath (I was already dreaming of soaking in it, bubbles not only in the bath but also in a glass!) A real focal point amongst the contrasting deep grey’s, plush carpets, silver accessories, and crisp white bed linen, this room was the perfect place to indulge in a little bit of luxury. An hour or two later after luxuriating in the copper bath, I was a little closer to looking like a lobster but at least I was also a little closer to knowing what it felt like to be a movie star! Now it was time to head over to The ‘Study’ Lounge Bar, a relaxing space with sofas that you sink into, a sleek bar the whole length of the back brick wall with shelves stocked full of bottles, gilded gold mirrors with poetry written on them, all come together to create a space that was just calling out for us to enjoy a cocktail or two. Cocktails finished we headed into the ‘Dining Room’ dark hues, silver accessories, stunning black and crystal chandeliers and grey velour dining chairs made the dining room into an elegant area to enjoy food from a menu that offers both traditional and modern British dishes. We started our dining experience with seared partridge – this came with a potato croquet and beetroot, a dish that was delightful in both presentation and taste – The crab ballotine, with confit artichokes, saffron dressing and

pork scratching was just as tasty, with an amalgamation of tastes and textures that were a delight to the palette. Mains were cod supreme with crushed cauliflower and pickled cockles and pork tenderloin smoked belly, with sauerkraut and Savoy cabbage, served with seasonal vegetables. Both dishes were creatively presented and a culinary delight. The creative flair continued with the desserts – Caramalised Banana with a mango sorbet, rice pudding and poppy seed cake, and Poached rhubarb with caramel sponge and fennel sorbet both a heavenly sweet treat at the end of a delicious meal, taken alongside impeccable service with an atmosphere to match. Coffee was taken back in the Study Bar, before we retired to our suite for a sleep so sound, that I would have liked to have enjoyed it for a little longer, but hubby had other ideas and was tempted by more food – this time ‘Breakfast!’ Needless to say, this was just as tasty and indulgent as everything else at Poets House, with a selection of mouth-watering options including fresh pastries, continental meats, poached eggs, smoked salmon and of course a traditional ‘English Breakfast’. Ely may be small, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do, whether it’s visiting the Cathedral (quite a few Hollywood Stars have filmed movies in here, the latest being Marion Cotillard and Jeremy irons for Assassins Creed), Oliver Cromwell’s House, a boat trip along the River Great Ouse or wandering around the cobbled streets and shops, Poets House will provide you with the perfect base to do all this from. Time to leave came around far too quickly for us – We had been spoilt by a team that certainly knew the importance of great service, in a building full of original charm and stunningly innovative interiors - I just wanted it to continue for just a little bit longer. BOOK IT!

A Spring Break, which includes afternoon tea, overnight accommodation, and full English breakfast starts from £130 per person. Per night in April, May or June. A Summer Break which includes a boat trip on the River Cam, 3 course dinner, overnight accommodation and full English breakfast starts from £130 per person, per night in July, August or September. www.poetshouse.co.uk

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Made in Manhattan DoubleTree by Hilton Opens in Times Square

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Last month saw DoubleTree by Hilton open a brand new hotel, right in the heart of bustling Manhattan. This newly-built high-rise hotel is just steps from the Broadway theater district, The Jacob Javits Convention Center, dozens of shops and restaurants, the Empire State Building and many other New York attractions. The 37-story property features 612 modern rooms, each with Theater District-inspired artwork and many offering stunning views of the city or the Hudson River. This amazing Times Square location, welcomes guests with a signature, warm DoubleTree cookie and awardwinning service throughout their stay. Breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline are on the menu at Lovage Rooftop & Indoor Lounge, which offers unique cocktails, light fare and nightly live music until 2 a.m. Delectable dining –for breakfast, lunch and dinner –is available at Magnolia Restaurant, an American Bistro with menu items curated by Executive Chef Brian Pancir, a longtime chef for the New York Yankees and New York Giants. A rarity for a Manhattan hotel, is the outdoor seating on the patio in front of and behind the hotel. Each guestroom features DoubleTree Sweet Dreams® Sleep Experience beds, a work desk with WiFi access and an adjustable desk chair, coffeemaker and a large window that opens. Guests may also order room service; or pick up snacks, sandwiches, salads, beer and wine in the convenient onsite 24-hour Made Market Pantry. Business meetings and events accommodating up to 75 guests may be held in the hotel’s 1,000 square feet of meeting and banquet facilities. A state-of-the-art sound system and A/V equipment are also available, as is a fullyequipped 24-hour business center. The hotel also provides a full complement of services and DoubleTree by Hilton brand amenities, including an assortment of gourmet in-room tea and coffee offerings by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, and a refreshing array of the Crabtree & Evelyn natural skin and body care line. This beautiful new hotel blends the finest, modern features with the caring service and thoughtful touches that will make a stay in New York unforgettable. BOOK IT To view room rates and special offers visit:


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The Country Escape to

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Set deep in the heart of rural Northamptonshire is Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa, the epitome of the luxurious country house hotel. Set within 2,000 acres of stunning countryside, this elegant Grade I-listed property is the perfect hideaway for anyone wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which is exactly what we planned to do. As you drive past the open countryside on the drive up to Fawsley Hall, you can already feel yourself transporting into another world, one of a slower pace of life where rest and relaxation are paramount. Fawsley is steeped in history with Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and other monarchs all enjoying fine hospitality here, so much so, that as you walk through the entrance into the magnificent Great Tudor Hall you half expect to see The Queen taking tea here. This is a room that will have you practically speechless, with its high ceilings, feature stone fireplace, wood paneling and stylish furniture, that all come together to create a sense of grandeur fit for any occasion. Luxuriating on the plush sofas, sipping afternoon tea you feel like a character from a Jane Austen novel. Situated in the Victoria Wing of the main house was our room The Elizabeth Hampden. A beautiful room full of character, a huge four-poster bed draped with soft gold’s and grays, antique style light wooden furniture, and breathtaking views over the intricately landscaped gardens and tranquil lake. Stand and look out the window for a minute or two and it is easy to transport yourself back to a bygone era of days gone by. A stroll around the grounds and the rest of the house and it is evident, that although Fawsley is no longer frequented by aristocrats, it still feels like it is, with its character and charm around every corner. Dinner is served in the 2AA Rosette Cedar Restaurant, that occupies most of the ground floor of the south wing (the earliest part of the house). Reminiscent of the inside of a medieval castle with gothic arched windows, stone fireplaces, slate floor, brick walls and beamed ceilings all blend together to create an amazing place to enjoy both the ambience and cuisine of somewhere steeped in so much history. Although large there is an intimate feel in the restaurant that just adds even more to a fine dining experience you just won’t want to end.

Our table was in a hidden alcove, which proved the perfect start to our dining experience. We began with seared scallops with slow cooked pork belly, apple puree and pickled cauliflower and pan-fried mackerel with cauliflower textures both were delicious dishes full of creativity and flair. Lamb rump with dauphinoise potato, crispy kale with a tomato and olive jus – and loin of venison followed, again both dishes were faultless. The cuisine continued to impress with a vanilla crème brulee topped with a chocolate and raspberry crunch and a melt in the mouth almond shortbread biscuit. Our whole dining experience from start to finish was perfection. Dinner finished we retired to the bar for a nightcap before heading back to our impressive room for a restful nights sleep. Breakfast the next morning again saw us in the Cedar restaurant, with food that was just as delicious as the previous night. After breakfast we thought it only right to pamper ourselves just a little more with a treatment at the ultramodern spa. Walking through the doors we were greeted by warm and friendly staff, who gave us a quick show round of the facilities that include an indoor pool, outside hydrotherapy pool, steam and sauna rooms and a relaxing lounge area, before being taken to one of the six treatment rooms where I had opted for an Elemis Hot Mineral Body Boost Treatment. My therapist worked wonders massaging heated oils into my whole body stimulating every cell and helping me feel relaxed and energised and wanting the treatment to never end. But end it did as did our stay at Fawsley Hall. This country house hotel is the perfect place to escape to, full of character and charm. A beautiful hotel in an idyllic countryside setting. BOOK IT!

Prices start from £128 per room per night including breakfast in a Classic Room. Prices start from £277 per room per night including breakfast in a Feature Room. www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/fawsleyhall

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STARS Manish Kumar Arora (K.P. Astrologer, Numerologist, Tarot Card Reader & Vastu Consultant) reveals what’s in store for you this month

Aries (21 March – 19 April) Your work can be in the spotlight and you get attention for the good things you’ve done. This month puts further emphasis on your interactions and you may feel most like yourself when you’re communicating. You may identify more with the words you write and speak than usual. You feel romantic, in the mood for love and have an easier time committing yourself to someone. Favourable Dates: April 1, 4, 10, 13, 19, 22 Favourable Colours: White & Red


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Taurus (20 April – 20 May) You may come across as more hard-working, grounded, and distant. You take your time when making decisions and coming up with new ideas. You can take in new information through your senses, and remember the way everything looks, tastes, sounds, smells, and feels physically. If you’re the artistic type, you can be more inspired and create something new. You can embrace your inner child and let yourself loose. Favourable Dates: April 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Blue

the moment, so be careful of impulse buying when you’re feeling down. Favourable Dates: April 5, 8, 14, 17, 23, 26 Favourable Colours: White & Green

Scorpio (23 October – 21 November) You should be feeling good about life in general. People will respond to you with happiness, love and goodwill, more than usual in this month. You get along better with people in a group settings, and feel comfortable in a crowd. If in a relationship, you enjoy being with your partner and want to spend more time with them. If single, you can meet several new people who catch your eye. Favourable Dates: April 2, 9, 11, 18, 20, 27 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue

Gemini (21 May – 20 June) You may come across as more energetic, adventurous, and wandering. You’ll be more interested in learning something new with a super-piqued curiosity. You’re attracted to ideas that seem kooky and unreal, and are more innovative and inventive with the ideas you come up with. You embrace yourself as a unique individual and are less likely to follow the crowd. Favourable Dates: April 3, 8, 12, 16, 21, 26 Favourable Colours: Yellow & White

Sagittarius ( 22 November -21 December) Your communications may be geared towards your finances. You could talk to someone about how to handle your finances, getting input and advice on the best ways to handle them, or go over your budget. You could have difficulties with a secret, subconscious issue, or with something you need to let go of. You’re also more concerned with fairness, justice, and equality and get riled up when you don’t see that. Favorable Dates : April 1, 2, 10, 11, 19, 20 Favorable Colors : Red & Purple

Cancer (21 June – 22 July) You may not be up for much hard work, a little lazy and indulgent, but if you can force yourself to work, you can get more done with less effort. You may be a little scattered mentally though and have a hard time focusing on anything for a long period of time. You may come across as more seductive, secretive, and moody. If in a relationship, you can be more passionate with your partner. Favourable Dates: April 2, 9, 11, 18, 20, 27 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue

Capricorn ( 22 December – 19 January) A project you’ve been working on to help your career along or further your life path could come to a close now. You could finally reach a goal that you’ve been working on for a long time. You could also try to get recognition for what you’ve accomplished, or find yourself put in the spotlight for it. You’re more romantic and charismatic, and you want your love to transcend. Favorable Dates : April 1, 4, 10, 13, 19, 22 Favorable Colors : Red & Purple

Leo (23 July – 22 August) You’re more enthusiastic about the ideas you come up with and may jump at the chance to pursue one of them. The people around you appreciate you and your efforts, and notice the quality of what you do, even if you don't get a paycheck. If you're looking for love, this is a very positive time to get out and meet people, something new could start that is very promising in terms of love. Favourable Dates: April 3, 6, 12, 15, 21, 24 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Grey

Aquarius ( 20 January – 18 February) You can be more possessive. You want to experience life through your body and your senses are heightened. You can be more passionate and sensual in love and if you’re in a relationship, you want to let your passionate side out. If single, you can attract people to you with your sensuality and are attracted to people who seem secure, practical and earthy. Favorable Dates : April 2, 4, 11, 13, 20, 22 Favorable Colors : Orange & Green

Virgo (23 August – 22 September) Money is looking to be much more available for you and you can expect success fairly quickly. There will even be an ability to share your wealth with those less fortunate than you. If you are looking for love to be successful in your relationships, action and intention on your part is necessary. Be willing to talk and really listen, to your beloved and to prospective partners. Favourable Dates: April 1, 3, 10, 12, 19, 21 Favourable Colours: White & Purple

Pisces ( 19 February – 20 March) You want to spend more time around other people for the mental stimulation, and you can learn something new on your own or take a class. You may come across as more curious, intellectual and scattered. You could feel you have the most energy and vitality at home or with family members. You may be more in tune with your emotions as well. Favorable Dates : April 3, 5, 12, 14, 21, 23 Favorable Colors : White & Green

Libra (23 September – 22 October) You want to focus on the lighter aspects of life, and you don’t want to force yourself to work hard and focus when all you want to do is have some fun. You may need to review the way you’re budgeting money and where you need to cut back. Spending may be tied to your mood at 81

manishastroconsultant manish@manishastrologer.com

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A quiet night in...

My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn't really hers. But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren't they? Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie's hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business. Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams - or try to get her job back? Does Demeter - the woman who has everything - actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems. And what's wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

Going in Style Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin team up for this heist movie with a difference! OAPs Willie (Morgan Freeman), Al (Alan Arkin) and Joe (Michael Caine) are all living unremarkable lives, when one day they decide to spice things up a bit – by robbing a bank! Though none of them have ever done anything criminal in their lives before, all three pull off the heist, but no sooner do they make off with the loot than their age begins to catch up with them‌ Release Date: 7th April

Sully On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the "Miracle on the Hudson" when Captain Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed "Sully", glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career. Release Date: 17th April 82

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Affinity Magazine April 2017  

Affinity is a premium quality luxury lifestyle monthly magazine. Targeting men and women who aspire to a luxury way of life.

Affinity Magazine April 2017  

Affinity is a premium quality luxury lifestyle monthly magazine. Targeting men and women who aspire to a luxury way of life.