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www.affinitymag.co.uk AFFINITY LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
The Best Brunch
An Overnight Stay at the beautiful Bower House
at Quaglino's in Mayfair
An Arabian Adventure
at Sharq Village & Spa in Qatar
Eggs that'll satisfy your chocolate craving this Easter ISSUE 94
Spring Clean your way to fitness
When should we wait and when is it okay to demand things?
This Seasons Fashion Edit
The brightest fashion pieces you need to add to your wardrobe
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2 3 YAY! Finally the sun is shining - I’m definitely more of a spring and summer kind of girl, I love the springtime, days are longer, nights are lighter, we start to spend more time outdoors and we just seem to feel more upbeat - The winter clothes are packed away and we start thinking about updating our wardrobe, this season’s trends are so feminine and delicate you’ll truly be spoilt for choice – We particularly love the fact that jumpsuits are still a big trend, they are perfect for any occasion, a definite must have for this season, we’ve picked some of our favourites (page 26).
Love chocolate? Then you’ll love our chocolate Easter egg round-up (page 42) and no, you don’t have to share! Now’s the time we start thinking about spring cleaning not only our homes but also our bodies – The sunshine means parts of our bodies that have been shut away all winter are coming out of hibernation and they’re looking just a little bit wobbly! We’ve researched and found the perfection solution – did you know you can burn calories just by cleaning? Who would have thought giving the house a spring clean could help shed weight and tone up? But it can and we show you how, turn to page 14. This month we’re giving a lucky reader the chance to WIN an overnight stay for two people at the beautiful Bower House in the historic market town of Shipston on Stour, turn to page 60 to find out how to enter.
1. Fossil Stripe Strap Watch, £109, www.fossil.com 2. Botanical Monkey Lamp, £34.99, Homesense 3. Embroidered Double Drop Earrings, £26, Oliver Bonas 4. Turquoise Chair, £129.99, Homesense 5.. Fringed Sliders, £80, Dune London
It’s not long until our Affinity Champagne Afternoon Tea at the stunning Woodland Manor Hotel, have you got your tickets? Turn to page 48 to find out more Until Next Month
Cover New Look
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Beauty Updates Just For You Hot Picks Cool Blue Love Linen Best Brunch in Town Ben’s Buns Spring Wines Emerald Luxe Middle Eastern Adventure Fry’s Footie Corner The House on Cold Hill Weekend Starts Here
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Decléor’s new Bath & Shower Gel range, encompasses essential oils to provide a sensorial experience. The 97% natural formula is suitable for sensitive skin due to the pH neutral base, leaving skin feeling soothed, cleansed and comforted. The range is available in three scents; Neroli, Lavender and Rose. The Bath and Shower Gel range is now available to buy for £18 each online from decleor.com and at salons and spas nationwide.
British Skincare brand, Elemis have partnered with British Airways and Temperley London to bring luxury skin and body care collections to the airline’s First customers. The airline has commissioned Elemis to provide contents for the amenity kits for its First cabin. The luxury travel bags feature Elemis best sellers alongside new product launches such as; Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen, a range of bespoke skincare. The amenity kits bags feature hand-painted prints designed exclusively for the airline by British fashion brand Temperley London, a brand synonymous with Elemis' British heritage and brand ethos.
Resurrect Your Winter Skin
A long winter can mean a season-long buildup of dead skin cells making skin appear dull and uneven, adding years to your appearance! For fresher, younger looking skin your cleanser has to do more than simply wash your face, TIME BOMB TAKE-OFF TIME CLEANSE & BUFF (£16.50/125ml) contains tiny professional dermatological grade crystals to gently slough and lift away those dead skin cells that cling to the surface to reveal the fresh, glowing skin beneath. Follow with TIME BOMB POWERBALL INTENSIVE MOISTURISER (£36/40ml) will instantly resurrect dehydrated, depleted complexions by flooding the skin with a weightless, yet intense infusion of moisture. Available from www.timebomb.com
W7 Cosmetics have a heavenly new range of Overnight Lip Masks to re-hydrate & refresh your lips – and they genuinely work! Containing Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil, your lips are guaranteed to have a great night’s sleep. Choose from four delicious flavours and use both day and night for THE most moisturised pout. The W7 Cosmetics Overnight Lip Masks are available from £4.95 at www.w7cosmetics.co.uk.
GLOSSYBOX is releasing its first Easter Egg shaped beauty box on 9 April. It will be filled with products from brands such as Benefit Cosmetics Pixi, Illamasqua, St Tropez and Living Proof. The egg is worth over £80, but will be retailing in the UK and Ireland for £30 for non-subscribers and £25 for current subscribers, and will be available to buy from glossybox.co.uk.
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There's so many fake tans on the market, whether you're looking for the best gradual tanner, an instant fake tan that won't go streaky, or, a long-lasting self tan that promises zero patchiness - these are some of our tried and tested favourites.
6 8 3 5 2
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Sienna X High Intensity Express Tan, £24.95, www.feelunique.com St.Tropez Self Tan Express Bronze Mousse, £33, Superdrug Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse, £7.99, Superdrug St Moriz Gradual Tan Mousse, £6.99, Superdrug Bali Body Self Tanning Mousse, £25.95, www.uk.balibodyco.com Norvell Venetian 4 Faces Face Tanning Spray, £9.99, www.norveltanning.co.uk St Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Lotion, £14.50, www.lookfantastic.com St Moriz Professional Clear Tanning Mousse, £6.99, Superdrug
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Spring clean and burn calories
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pring cleaning could burn hundreds of calories and save hours in the gym according to fitness experts. Online health and fitness site Vivotion.com has researched just how many calories can be burned by doing regular household chores. They looked at tasks like vacuuming, washing the dishes and ironing, as well as more strenuous jobs like scrubbing the bath and cleaning the windows. The findings also look at which chores are the best for working out certain areas of your body. Scrubbing the bath is best for toning arms and shoulder muscles whereas ironing can strengthen your abs. Who would have thought giving the house a spring clean could help shed weight and tone up? Here’s the full list of how many calories are burned doing the housework:
Scrubbing the bath - Removing soap scum from your tub with a bit of added elbow grease for 15 minutes can burn up to 50 calories, which is the same as 250 jumping jacks. This chore is great for toning arms and shoulder muscles. Laundry - Factoring in loading and unloading the washing machine, hanging up the clothes and putting them away, doing the laundry can burn around 70 calories in an hour, which many will be pleased to hear is the same as doing 70 sit ups.
Cleaning windows - If your windows have seen better days, spend an hour giving them a good clean and burn 136 calories while you’re at it. That’s the same as jogging for 15 minutes. Washing up - Scrubbing away at the dishes can burn an impressive 180 calories over a
week if you spend 15 minutes doing it every day. This equates to swimming for just under 30 minutes. Hoovering - Giving your carpets a good clean can burn 90 calories in half an hour, which is the same as 15 minutes of kickboxing. Depending on size of your house, vacuuming can get you nearer to the daily recommendation 10,000 steps Dusting - Something as easy as doing the dusting can burn 25 calories in 15 minutes, the same as two minutes of planking.
Ironing - If you spend three hours over a week getting the creases out of your clothes you can burn 264 calories, the same as a Zumba class. Standing still for long periods of time burns calories and works your core muscles too. Make sure to press down evenly and switch arms so both get an even work out. Making beds - Changing the linen of a family of four’s beds can burn 52 calories in 30 minutes, the same as a mile walk.
Mopping and sweeping - Cleaning the floors for 30 minutes can burn 96 calories, which is equivalent to 15 minutes on the treadmill.
Mowing - Cutting the grass with a regular push mower can burn 150 calories per hour, or if you prefer you can do 10 minutes of HIIT. Gardening - 30 minutes of pottering in the garden can burn around 200 calories, which is same as cycling steadily for 4 miles. Digging works your shoulder and abdominals so it’s great for an all-round work out. Time to cancel that gym membership and spring clean that house instead!
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Just for You
Bespoke Back Massage
very now and then we all need a little escapism from juggling everyday life, whether it’s family, work pressures, or burning the candle at both ends, sometimes you just have to say enough is enough and take some time just for you! Which is exactly what I did, after a busy month of working round the clock, I decided to book myself in for a Bespoke Back Massage from the amazing Jo, owner of Holistic Healing by Jo. Jo is passionate about reiki and massage and through compassion and listening she will tailor treatments so that you get just the right one for you.
Jo works from a beautiful and relaxing therapy suite in Ampthill as well as a room at her home in Bedford. Walking in to Jo’s treatment room (we went to Ampthill) instantly you feel transported into a calm and peaceful ambience that has you relaxing before you’re even on the massage table. Before she begins, Jo discusses how I’m feeling, what I want to feel after the treatment, if I have any worries etc all of which help her plan the best aromatherapy oils, holistic approach and massage that is best suited to my needs.
The bespoke massage aims to provide sixty minutes of deep relaxation, and to ease away muscle tension especially in the neck, back and shoulders. Combining techniques from Swedish and Aromatherapy, Jo uses warm oil (she chose body repair for me) to create flow within the body, and later adds hot stones and the gentle technique that allows them to gently slide all over your body. This was pure heaven, I was lost in a bubble of blissful relaxation, with my whole body feeling light and energized
– it was as if I didn’t have a care in the world. This luxury massage is fuelled with Reiki energy, therefore enhancing deeper relaxation and promoting an overall state of balance mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally, which is exactly how I felt, the tension was literally melting from my body with each touch. I didn’t think I could get anymore relaxed, but the treatment is finished with a mini Indian head massage and facial, using acupressure techniques that help to restore karma in the body. It uses a combination of massage and pressure points to focus on the energy centres known as your chakras, and as each point was gently stimulated, it was as if she had pulled a plug and I could literally feel all the negative energy slowly releasing from my body.
After a few more relaxing moments this amazing treatment came to an end, I could have laid there all day it was such a serene way to get my body back to being balanced and my mind clear and focused. It’s no wonder this treatment is popular not only with females but also male clients as it is intense and gentle, chaotic and balanced and leaves you with a feeling of peace and tranquillity.
So, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself to the most memorable and transformative massage of your life – I know this is now in my diary for at least once a month! Bespoke Back Massage £40 for 60 minutes 07716 331255 www.holistichealingbyjo.co.uk
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BEAUTY SECRETS Owner of Dollyblue Beauty and Advanced Aesthetics, Fiona Quinn spends her time and money researching what’s new, what’s hot, what works and what doesn’t work in the Beauty industry. Keep reading for tips and celebrity secrets to get glowing and reveal your beauty within.
Spring has finally sprung and the return of the sunshine means one thing - it’s time to get ruthless with the rubber gloves and spring clean with rigour, there is no denying dust when the sun shines through, highlighting the areas I missed when dusting (or thought I would get away with)! but did you know that even our skincare routine needs a good spring cleaning session too. With just a few simple changes you can keep your skin glowing throughout spring, so let’s scrub away the cold and give your skincare routine a good old fashioned spring clean.
Firstly, stop sleeping with your make up on! There are those times after a very long day when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and think (aargh) you’ve simply worn off your makeup, but the truth is it’s still there and your skin needs a proper cleanse. We all love that freshly washed feeling when it comes to our clothes. The same is true when it comes to our skin. Even though you don’t see it, the dirt is there and a proper cleanse is something your skin will thank you for. Exfoliate! Your skin cells regenerate every 28 days, but when they aren’t removed, they don’t offer the same reflective properties as healthy hydrated skin. Try: Lotus Scrub by AlumierMD, as well as exfoliating, it contains moisturising and calming lotus seed powder to help you get that healthy glow.
Now this may seem like a no brainier, but consider this a necessary reminder to swap out those heavy facial moisturisers for lighter alternatives. Rich products that contain oils and emollients are great for winter but can cause breakouts as the temperature rises.
With warmer, longer days comes a touch more sun exposure so it’s important to wear SPF for the brighter days ahead. As the temperatures increase it’s a good idea to let your pores breathe. Maybe opt out of the heavy makeup and foundation and go for a tinted version of the broad spectrum sunscreen to give you the added boost of pigment you want in addition to the safe sun action. Try: Sheer Hydration Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 also by AlumierMD and perfect for all skin types.
Have a wonderful April and don’t forget, be good to your skin, you’ll wear it every day for the rest of your life. www.dollyblue.co.uk
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Whittlebury Park ecently rebranded following the merger of Whittlebury Hall and Whittlebury Park and now operating under the master brand of Whittlebury Park, the Northamptonshire-based Hotel & Spa is inviting guests to return this spring and experience the difference following significant investment in their facilities in 2018.
New and returning visitors to Whittlebury can relax in their Spa, enjoy great food, play a round of golf or simply take some time out with an overnight stay, knowing that everything needed for a great Easter weekend getaway is in one place.
Dining at Whittlebury can be formal for special occasions and informal for when you want to have a relaxed afternoon with friends or family. Whittlebury’s fine dining restaurant, Murrays, is an award-winning hidden gem in within the hotel which takes diners on a journey that never fails to impress. With a dedicated serving team and an everchanging seasonal menu focusing on local produce within a modern British menu theme, the intimate atmosphere and innovative dishes really will leave a lasting impression.
The Easter holidays are a great excuse for a family get-together and a traditional Sunday roast. Whittlebury is hosting a special Easter Sunday Carvery which includes starters, a selection of roast meats, vegetables and lots of other freshly prepared accompaniments from £24.50* per adult, £12.95* per child, and children under 3 go free. After enjoying the carvery, lounge around for the rest of the afternoon in the hotel and try Whittlebury’s seasonal Afternoon Tea, from £24.50* per person. On the menu is a selection of hand crafted unique sweet and savoury treats including a manchego and red onion tart, strawberry and white chocolate mousse and of course, warm scones and clotted cream all served to your table in the Bar or lounge. Whittlebury has been hosting weddings for over 25 years and their award-winning wedding team have a huge amount of experience working with couples to fulfil their wishes. Whittlebury’s wedding venues can be dry hired or the team can assist with recommending suppliers to create a theme or colour scheme that is exactly tailored to a particular vision. The team are hosting a free Wedding Open Evening on Thursday 25th April from 6pm until 9pm at Whittlebury where you can meet the Wedding Coordinators as well as suppliers who will be showcasing the latest inspiring trends and ideas. Whittlebury is celebrating a recent win at Britain’s Asian Wedding Awards where they won Venue of the Year in the South and overall Venue of the Year for 2019.
Perhaps a group getaway to relax and enjoy each other’s company is just what you need? Whittlebury’s Spa has got ample space for groups of friends to escape with their Heat and Ice Experiences, including a Hydrotherapy pool, Ice cave, Sanarium and traditional Sauna. Whittlebury’s new Spring Revive Day from £79* per person includes use of the Heat and Ice Experiences, a two-course buffet lunch and their seasonal Blossoming Body Treatment. This aromatherapy-based experience includes a skin conditioning body wrap with hand selected pure essential oils as well as a shoulder, scalp and foot
massage to leave you feeling relaxed with a radiant glow. Don’t forget to treat your feet after the long winter, indulge with a luxurious Jessica GELeration pedicure, from £45* to really put a spring in your step!
Visit www.whittlebury.com for more Easter inspiration *Terms & Conditions apply, see the website for more information
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any would agree that we live in a society that is becoming ever more instant. We want what we want and often we want it now, we have fast foods and superfast broadband and ever-increasing internet speeds because we want access to things NOW. Even our TV watching has changed as we stream things or overdose on box sets. Gone are the days when we have to wait a week to catch an episode of our favourite show, in fact I know people (possibly myself) where we want to wait till we have a whole series or at least several episodes recorded until we start watching, so we can have it all exactly when we want it. I notice that even with movies some are available on TV with certain providers as soon as they are released at the cinema. It’s the same with things like photographs, can you remember handing in a ‘reel’ of film and waiting a week to actually see the photographs? Whereas now, instantly, we not only see them but can spread them all over social media!
But are all these instant fixes doing us any good? Or have we simply robbed ourselves of the pleasure that waiting, and anticipation can bring? They say that good things come to those who wait and sometimes we equate time with quality, often being prepared to pay a lot more for something that has been handmade or individually designed, the assumption being that the additional time and effort has increased the value. When it comes to money, we see a similar pattern with the ‘buy now pay later mentality’ which frankly would make many from my parents’ generation turn in their graves. When should we wait and when is it okay to demand things now? I suppose the answer is in the reasons why we are unprepared to wait, and in part that comes down to a mixture of societal change and our own personality.
The danger with not waiting for anything, with a growing attitude that instant gratification is okay, is that we run the risk of loosing that valuable quality of patience. Yes, it can be frustrating to wait for things, but we all know that sometimes the results are better when we do wait. There is a pleasure in anticipation – can you remember waiting for a birthday treat when you were small or waiting excitedly for a day to come around when something special was going to happen. There is a pleasure in that, and some would argue it even increases the pleasure when we get the treat or whatever simply, because we have had to wait.
Being put in positions where we must wait is actually an opportunity to develop our sense of patience, which is defined as ‘the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering, without becoming annoyed or anxious’. Why on earth should we put up with waiting, it can be guaranteed to annoy at certain times but that is where we need to make a bit of distinction between things we can or can’t control. Think about the extent to which we can adapt emotionally to situations where we are not in control, leaning to wait can help us and maybe free us form anxiety at times too.
What our attitude and ability to be patient often depends on is how ‘in control’ of the situation we feel. As humans we often like a degree of control, it can help us to feel safe, although often what we think of as being in control is a bit of an illusion. We make plans, obviously because we think/hope we will wake up the next day. That is how we live life and when we are forced into situations of waiting it is because something or someone else is in control, waiting to hear back about test results, job interviews, a phone call or text from someone or even the rain to stop can be frustrating. But instead of being irritated think of it as an opportunity to practice being in the here and now – something that has been shown to help our mental wellbeing and a bit of an antidote to the worry and anxiety that can cause problems for a lot of people. That doesn’t mean we should accept whatever happens, it is okay to demand reasonable service and generally if we want something it is best to go out and seek it or make it happen, but at the same time we will be buffeted by things that are beyond our control, we should learn to go with it rather than becoming anxious and just enjoy the here and now rather than fretting about the future.
I know, it’s all a bit confusing, sometimes we should seek change and sometimes we should accept what is happening but let’s be honest no one ever said life was simple, but then again maybe it can be! So, if you want to unpack this a bit more you might be interested in my book Make it Magnificent available to buy now from Amazon or from www.attunededucation.co.uk And you can join the newly created make it Magnificent Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/makeitmagnificent
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Midlife Madness Growing up I remember we had a nosey neighbour. I think every estate and neighbourhood did. The stereotype was usually of a female (unfair I know) probably middle aged and generally, I suppose, the sort of person whose own life didn’t come across as very interesting. Let’s be honest if you are a secret assassin, a femme fatale with a string of clandestine lovers or even your average career/creative or family female then there doesn’t seem a lot of time for snooping. The one who wore this particular crown in my childhood was a female, grown up children had left home and husband was either at work or in the pub (or so folk said- but do we ever really know). So the assumption all of us kids made was that she had nothing better to do than clean under beds, ensure house was cobweb free and spy on the rest of us. Of course, we may have been very wrong maybe she was an assassin, or a spy and was always checking what was going on to be ‘ahead of the game’. To complete the stereotype, she did have net curtains, mind you pretty much everyone did and if they weren’t a brilliant white you would be regarded as a woman who was a slacker. I know that men could clean net curtains, but it didn’t happen in my youth in my neck of the woods. So, the brilliant white net curtains would twitch.
She was responsible for several of my ‘groundings’ as a teenager (kissing Micky Simpson, first cigarette and a fight with Rita Rawlins). You see she had a great vantage point from her house where she could see the small green at the corner of the street.
It wasn’t just kids she spotted up to no good, the general comings and goings or many shortcomings and goings would be reported by her and literally go around the estate like wildfire – the way the chap from No10 parked his car – inconsiderate at best. The fact that her from No 15 never put her bins away after they’d been emptied,
and that the Malone kids hadn’t visited their mum since they moved down south and, of course, the strange car that was seen repeatedly outside No 23 when her hubby was on nights. Then there was the time the police had shown up at No 14 and searched the car for explosives!! That was our house!! The context was my dad was an explosive engineer for the coal board, regularly carrying TNT (stabilised and properly packaged, I am sure) but he was also an Irish Catholic and it was the time of much IRA activity, so I guess some scrutiny was unavoidable. There was also the rumour that Dorothy had disappeared after she had been seen to be putting on a lot of weight, nudge nudge, wink wink, but it was the sixties and well, life was different then.
But I have discovered that while the persona may have changed, the nosey neighbour is alive and well and now benefits from social media! So in our local Facebook groups, along with the requests for recommendations of tradesfolk, places to go or odd items for sale and helpful info about road closures, changes to bin day or whatever else, there is also a smattering of ‘did anyone hear that shouting/loud/bang/’ and even the public ‘thanks for drilling at 8am on a Sunday morning’. There continues to be gripes about parking and concerned questions about parcels left outside, gates left open etc. which of course can be very helpful. But I have this slight worry, I grew up with one acknowledged net twitching nosey neighbourMrs Snetterton from No 30, and blimey she caused me enough grief, but in Facebook groups it seems everyone is at it – they socially ‘police’ the parking, the state of gardens or general repair of property, the groups of youngsters and goodness know what else. I am sure they will all see themselves as concerned public spirited individuals but I’m not so sure. The nets might not twitch but nosey neighbours are alive and well on social media – in multiples!
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Barry M Island Hopper Eyeshadow Palette, £6.99, Superdrug
Jellycat Blossom Bunny, £10.99, Dobbies
AFFINITY HOT PICKS
Emma Bridgewater Mug, £19.95, www.emmabridgewater.co.uk
FORTINA Fuchsia Bracelet, £69, www.tedbaker.com
RHS Daisy Garland Hand Creams, £9, www.heathcote-ivory.com
Dixie Wedge Shoes, £74, www.ravel.co.uk
This month’s must have gifts and accessories
Emma Bridgewater Rise & Shine Oblong plate, £39.95, www.emmabridgewater.co.uk
Yellow Bag, £70, Dune London
Slogan Jumper, £25, Bonmarche
Easter Chick Biscuit, £9, Biscuiteers
Neptune Rum, £37.95, www.neptunerum.com
Pink Tray, £5, Dunelm
Palm Leaf Shirt Dress, £29, M&Co
Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds, £49, www.jomalone.co.uk
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Jump to It Jumpsuits, this season is full of them, casual and chic, sophisticated and elegant, dress up, dress down, they’re just so versatile
Yellow Wrap Jumpsuit, £45, Miss Selfridge
Jumpsuit, POA, Next
Khaki Jumpsuit, £18, Matalan
Leaf Print Jumpsuit, £39.99, Bon Prix
Khaki Jumpsuit, £30, Dorothy Perkins
Tiger Jumpsuit, £45, Joe Browns Spot Jumpsuit, £58, Next
Leopard Drawstring Jumpsuit, £85, Hush Print Jumpsuit, £65, Monsoon
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Cool Blue This season sees light blue becoming one of the coolest shades to be seen in.
Quilted Jacket, £55, M&Co
Tassel Earrings, £10, Accessorize
Blue Trench, £49.50, Marks & Spencer
Midi Dress, £60, Monsoon
Block Heel, £19.50, Marks & Spencer
Slogan T-Shirt, £9.99, New Look
Ribbed Top, £24, River Island
Round Woven Bag, £19.99, New Look
Button Skirt, £45, Monsoon
Oversized Hoodie, £25, Miss Selfridge
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Modern Midi This versatile and flattering skirt comes in all styles, dress it up or down and wear for all occasions
Blue & White Skirt, Next
Rainbow Skirt, £38, M&Co
Floral Skirt, £22.99, New Look
Camo Satin Skirt, £22.99, New Look
Leopard Print Skirt, £22.99, New Look
Pink Ditsy Skirt, £19.99, New Look
Leopard Print Skirt, £28, Miss Selfridge
Skirt, £24, Next
Superdry Denim Skirt, £55, Littlewoods
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Love Linen Fill your wardrobe with light pieces of linen, they look stylish and feel fabulous, think of it as wearable air-con
Stripe Blouse, £24.99, Bon Prix
Button Down Dress, £32, Dorothy Perkins
Button Linen Skirt, £19.99, New Look
Stripe Shorts, £24. , Next
Tapered Trousers, £28, Bonmarche
Stripe Skirt, £28, M&Co
White Trousers, £20, Bonmarche
Shirt Dress, £39, JD Williams
Wide Leg Trousers, £45, Very
Linen Jumpsuit, £38, Bonmarche
Stripe Maxi Dress, £50, Very
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food & drink
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Skinny Swaps For BBQ Season
If you love a good barbie but your diet doesn't, then make room on the grill for Sutton Hoo Chicken's yummy and healthy Chicken Sausages and Chicken Burgers. Lower in fat and fuller in flavour. Available in Original and Lemon & Chilli flavours, the burgers are made from higher welfare chicken farmed in Suffolk Sutton. The low-fat sausages are available in two tasty flavours, a Cumberland seasoning of mixed herbs and spice and smoked paprika & chilli, a spicy sausage bursting with flavour, the sausages are also gluten-free with high meat content and natural casings. Sutton Hoo Chicken's Chicken Burgers (RRP £2.40) and Chicken Sausages (RRP £4.00) are available from selected The Co-Op stores, farm shops and delis.
Named the ‘official drink of brunch’, the Mimosa has led the cultural movement and what not better way to enjoy this cocktail than over brunch this Easter time. Bright orange in colour and bursting with a fruity citrus taste, Aldi’s Sparkling Mimosa offers the perfect pre-mixed tipple to enjoy with family and friends and priced at £2.99 it certainly won’t break the bank. Serve in a sparkling wine glass garnished with a juicy slice of fresh orange and let the celebrations commence!
Share the joy this Easter with these adorable Bonne Maman craft jars filled with delicious, home made French delicacies – in mini form. Try enchanting 'Mini Easter Macarons' – crispy on top yet chewy and fruity inside with all the delicate flavours and colours of Spring; 'Fig and Pistachio Palmiers' - heart-shaped, sweet, flaky pastries often called Coeur de France and 'Sweet Orange Calissons' – the iconic almond paste sweet of Aix-en-Provence, topped with icing. Presented in Easter themed Bonne Maman jars for delightful, homemade gifts for friends and family or as delicious, fun servings when entertaining over the Easter weekend.
Have a Nice Time
Newly formed startup Nice (www.nice-drinks.co.uk) are out to disrupt the wine industry with the launch of their Pale Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc in a can (RRP £3, Sainsbury’s). Serving up high quality, still wine, Nice is wine that delivers on both taste and brand, with a can people are proud to be seen with. The 250ml slimline cans are 100% recyclable and are perfect to drink on the train, move, beach, picnic or at a festival. Helping wine-drinkers have a Nice time whatever the occasion, their maxim is “we’re here for the wins, the woes, and the why the hell nots”
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The Best Brunch in Town ucked away in the backstreets of Mayfair is Quaglino’s, known for its decadence, opulence and fun atmosphere, having first opened in 1929, it oozes style and sophistication and is known to have played host to numerous stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Amanda Holden, Helena Christensen and although the invitation may not have reached The Queen, it certainly has Prince Harry.
Quaglino’s have added to its dining options with its Saturday Q Brunch, it’s not just about the food, it also concentrates on entertaining you in what can only be described as one of the most glamorous settings in London. Featuring live music, optional bottomless prosecco and a delicious menu of contemporary brasserie style dishes and brunch favourites, Quaglino’s Q Brunch is an elegant and entertaining addition to the London Brunch scene, add to that various themed brunches and you have the best brunch in town.
We wanted to find out what all the fuss was about, so one Saturday ‘brunchtime’ we found ourselves walking, through a non-descript door, descend down some stairs and WOW, we found ourselves in an elegant, mezzanine bar area surrounded by plush seats, Art Deco touches, opulent accessories, and a marble topped bar that overlooked the just as glamorous restaurant with its central gold bar area and a buzzing atmosphere, we’d chosen to visit on one of
their themed brunches ‘Great Gatsby’ and the glamorous 1920’s had certainly arrived at Quaglino’s.
A sweeping staircase (you really do feel like a movie star as you descend them), has you walking down into the restaurant with the bar at its centre and a stage at the far end for the live performances, one of which we were going to enjoy ourselves. Beautiful feathers and flloral arrangements adorn the room, dramatic and sumptuous interiors, quirky artworks and perfectly positioned lighting makes for a very atmospheric dining experience. Once seated our lovely waiter began pouring prosecco into our glasses and continued pouring every time our glasses were half empty (oooh I do love a bottomless bubble brunch!) The menu looked just as divine as the venue and we proceeded to enjoy starters of Quinoa, broccoli, orange and pomegranate salad, a zesty dish that had an array of delicious textures and tastes and the Quaglino’s cocktail, fresh seafood that included lobster, wild Atlantic prawns and Devon crab served over ice with an avocado, mango and cucumber salsa, it was delightful.
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We followed this with Roast Fillet of Loch Duarte Salmon, and it had to be done, the Quaglino’s Brunch Burger – both were full of flavour, fresh and nearly too much to finish, but we managed it – just! The burning question though was did we now have room for dessert? A question we mulled over whilst sipping yet another glass of prosecco (I feel an afternoon nap coming on here). As part of the brunch experience there’s live entertainment, so as we sat back eating and drinking we were entertained by the ‘Speakeasy’ band, who performed some great tunes from the 1920’s making us feel like we were back in the era enjoying a drink in one of the many prohibition bars of the day. Suitably rested, dessert was an option that we were going to squeeze in, and we’re glad we did – White chocolate & lemon brulee with a date and Earl Grey puree along with Panna Cotta served with plums and a hazelnut ice cream – both dishes were the perfect end to a fabulous food experience, not too heavy on the tummy, but full of flavour on the palette.
If you’re looking for the best brunch, served in fabulous surroundings with a little booze and entertainment thrown in then you really do need to pay a visit to Quaglino’s for their Q brunch, we’ll definitely be making a repeat appearance.
A Saturday Q Brunch starts from £30 for 2 courses and £35 for 3 courses, free flowing prosecco is available for £23 per person when eating two courses or more. For more information or to book visit, www.quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk
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Skinny Duck Steak, Baked Sweet Potato & Pea Hummus “A quick, healthy mid-week meal that is low in fat, high in protein and delicious”
2 Gressingham duck breasts 2 sweet potatoes 1 red onion 2 handfuls watercress 1 pomegranate
For the pea hummus: 300g frozen petit pois peas 10g fresh parsley (stalks and leaves) 1 small clove of garlic Juice of a small lemon 2 tbsp (30ml) extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp smoked paprika ¼ tsp sea salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make the baked sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Pierce the sweet potatoes 3-4 times with a sharp knife and wrap in tin foil. Put them in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until fully cooked. To make the pea hummus, boil a kettle, put the frozen peas in a bowl, and pour over the boiling water. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes to defrost the peas then drain. Put the peas, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, smoked paprika and sea salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Season with freshly ground black pepper and more sea salt if required. To make the duck steak, remove the skin from two duck breasts. Take a sheet of cling film and place a duck breast in the middle. Fold the other end of the cling film over so that the duck breast is sitting in the middle of two sheets of cling film. Using a rolling pin, bash the duck breast until it is 1” thick. Repeat with the second duck breast. Heat a griddle pan on a medium/high heat (alternatively use a frying pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil in it). Cook the duck steaks for 3 minutes on each side. To assemble the dish, put a duck steak and a baked sweet potato on a plate. Top the sweet potato with the pea hummus, scatter over the watercress leaves, sliced red onion and pomegranate seeds.
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Whittlebury Park’s Head Pastry Chef Ben Clark has a passion is for all things patisserie, he is always looking to innovate with his latest creations and here he has created a Hot Cross Bun recipe for you to try this Easter
Ingredients: Dough Mixture: 157ml warm milk 7.5g caster sugar 15g fresh yeast 32g plain flour
Bun Mixture: 282g plain flour 45g butter 45g sugar 1 medium egg Zest of 1 orange Zest of 1 lemon 35g mixed peel 100g currants Mixed spice to taste Pinch of salt
Cross Batter: 63g plain flour 15g oil 70ml water
Mix the dough ingredients all together and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
Mix the flour, butter and sugar then add egg and spice. Add the dough mixture which has proved for 30 minutes. Knead the dried fruit, currants, zest, mixed peel and salt through the dough and make smooth. Prove until doubled in size. Once proved, cut in to 50g balls - you can prove them close together or separated. Pipe the cross batter onto the raw dough in to a cross shape. Cook at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 13-15 minutes. Ben’s Top Tips Try swapping the fruit for chocolate chips or chocolate spread for a deliciously rich and indulgent alternative.
Whittlebury, Towcester NN12 8QH www.whittlebury.com
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Watercress, Sweet Yoghurt & Coconut Mousse Dome Method
For the raspberry centre: 40g raspberry puree 10g sugar For the dome: 200g watercress 475g sweet yoghurt 45ml milk 7 gelatine leaves 120g sugar 465g whipping cream Vanilla essence 150g coconut puree For the salsa: 1 passion fruit ½ mango ½ papaya 1 kiwi ¼ pineapple
For the garnish: 50g dark chocolate Watercress oil 200g watercress 100ml olive oil
Boil the raspberry purée with the sugar. Using a small dome shaped mould, fill halfway and freeze. Keeping 10g aside for the garnish. Mix the yogurt with the sugar and vanilla essence. Soak the gelatine in cold water. Pour the milk into a pan and heat up. Boil the milk and coconut purée. Dissolve the gelatine into the milk and slowly pour into the yogurt mixture. Whip the cream by hand until it forms soft peaks and fold into the yogurt.
Pour into a dome mould halfway and insert the raspberry frozen half dome inside, fill with more yogurt mixture and freeze. Remove from the mould once frozen so that you have a smooth finish. Defrost before serving. Melt some chocolate and spread onto acetate sheets, cut out triangles and use it as a decoration on the dome. For the tropical fruit salsa – half and scoop out the seeds from the passion fruit. Peel and dice the mango, papaya, pineapple, kiwi and mix with the passion fruit. Recipe: Chris Wheeler, Stoke Park
TAKEAWAY FISH AND CHIPS Fridays from 12pm to 9pm
TWO FOR TUESDAYS
Buy one main course and get the other one free
Main course and all you can eat desserts only - £16
SUNDAY LUNCH – KIDS EAT FREE
These Tesco Finest wines are an ideal match to crack open this Easter time
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Tesco Finest Argentinian Malbec Rosé This delicious rosé has been created through the careful blending of Torrontes, Chardonnay and Malbec. It is a crisp and dry, yet soft style of rosé with aromas and flavours of white peach, red berry and hints of lychee. A delicious wine to serve with spring salad or vegetable tart. £7.50, Tesco
Join us for Sunday lunch. Only £11.95 for a main course sunday roast.
5th April Live Jazz saxophone music from celebrated Don Chandler and 4 course meal only £25 per person
21st April Choice of 4 Sunday Roast options and Full A La carte menu. Children eat two courses completely free & Free Easter egg hunt for the children
01234 781 678
email@example.com www.millhouse-riverside.co.uk millhouse_hotel
Millhouse Hotel and Riverside Restaurant Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Bedford MK44 1NP
Tesco Finest Monteforte Pinot Grigio This dry, yet rich white wine is elegant and aromatic, with notes of fresh pear, citrus and stone fruit. The ideal accompaniment to a poached side of salmon served with a creamy dill sauce. £8.50, Tesco
Tesco Finest Viña del Cura Rioja Reserva From the award-winning Baron de Ley winery, this exclusive Rioja has an intensely concentrated flavour, with notes of raspberry and layers of oak and spice. A celebrated match for roast lamb, an excellent partner for the Easter Sunday centerpiece. £8.50, Tesco
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Easter Eggstravaganza Satisfy your chocolate craving this Easter with one of these delicious treats
Limited Edition Egg, £150, Harrods
White Chocolate Raspberry Egg, £12, Thorntons
Bettys Centenary Easter Egg, £30, www.bettys.co.uk
Hand Decorated White Chocolate Egg, £40, Fortnum & Mason
Baileys Coffee Egg, £12, Debenhams Hotel Chocolat The Happy Easter Hamper, £40, Hotel Chocolat
Bettys Milk Chocolate Spring Flowers Egg, £27.50, www.bettys.co.uk
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Prestat Pink Popping Prosecco Easter Egg, £17.50, www.prestat.co.uk
Booja Booja Fine de Champagne, Hazelnut Crunch Egg, £24.99 each, Ocado
Easter Basket, £39, Cuckooland
Birdcage & Egg, £14.99, Aldi
Hotel Chocolat You Crack Me Up Easter Egg, £27, Hotel Chocolat
Charbonnel Et Walker Milk & Dark Collection, £38, Harrods
Godiva Spring POP Mini Eggs, £20, www.godivachocolates.co.uk
Rocky Road Easter Egg, £14, National Trust
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Emerald Luxe The rich luxurious look of emerald green, adds opulence and style to your interiors
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12 13 15
14 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
Lamp, £115, Oliver Bonas Green Geometric Velvet Cushion, £34.95, Audenza Side Table, £149, www.cuckooland.com Leaf Vase, POA, Amara Velvet Chair, £99.99, Homesense Hexagon Marble Wall Clock, £50, Cult Living Pattern Rug, £199, www.cuckooland.com Coffee Table, £736, www.nest.co.uk Glass Vase, £80, Sweetpea & Willow Lamp, £19.99, Homesense Globe Vase, £89, Amara Velvet Cushion, £14.99, Homesense Footstool, £69, Cult Living Side Table, POA, Amara Accent Chair, £299, Harvey Norman
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Stylish Easter Style your home this Easter with some of our favourite decorations
9 8 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Three Egg Decorations £15, The Contemporary Home Glass Eggs, £2.50, John Lewis Wool Brown Bunny, £9, The Contemporary Home Dobbies Wooden Bunny Decorations, £2, Gisela Graham Rabbit Decoration, £13.50, Gisela Graham Hattie Rabbit, £12.50, White Stuff Twig Bunny, £6.99, Homesense Opaque Glass Egg £3 each, Gisela Graham
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A Middle Eastern Adventure It’s not a destination that’s top of most people’s bucket list, yet it has one of the best airports in the world, Hamad International Airport (DOH) and it welcomes more than 30 million travellers every year – Qatar!
The beauty of this luxurious small Middle Eastern country, is the contrasts, whether it’s the bustling souks and expansive skyscrapers or the dusty deserts and fascinating heritage sights, there’s something for everyone, and with the country preparing to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 (the first country in the Middle East to do so), Qatar is certainly pulling out all the stops to attract visitors from all over the world.
Unlike Dubai, Qatar seems to have a more laid-back approach to life, and although they are rumoured to be one of the richest countries in the world, they seem less showy than their neighbours in Dubai. Becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination, and perfect as a week-long getaway or an overnight stopover, Qatar is ideal for visitors looking for a little rest and relaxation with a taste of Middle Eastern culture and cuisine thrown in. We were lucky enough to have won a three-night trip to Qatar, courtesy of Qatar Tourism and were staying at the Sharq Village & Spa, set along Qatar’s golden coastline, a tranquil, traditionally inspired resort, hidden within the heart of Doha.
The lobby is impressive with marble floors, exquisite flower displays, sumptuous sofas and giant chandeliers that ooze opulence and style, a beautiful space that shares the richness of the Middle East at every turn.
Outside is Arabian architecture at its best, an open space dominated by an imposing swimming pool with its surroundings designed to resemble a traditional Arabian village with courtyards, pools, fountains and gardens along with breath taking views of the Doha skyline, mesmerising at night as it lights up the sky as far as the eye can see.
Walking to our room, we have to walk by the turquoise waters of the pool, all lit up with atmospheric lighting glistening on the palms that are slowly swaying in the evening breeze, teasing us to the delights this luxurious hotel has to offer.
Our room a King Suite, was aptly named, it certainly was fit for a King. Entered via a classical Arabic courtyard this vast suite (all 104 sq. metres) just oozes sumptuous opulence, dark wooden antique furniture, marble floors, heavy studded wooden doors and a balcony with seating overlooking the private beach. The contrast of the crisp white linen sheets swathed over the dark wooden four poster bed complemented each other perfectly. The spacious bathroom, complete with Asprey toiletries had you walking up marble tiled steps into a sumptuous bath, and another balcony off the bedroom proved the perfect place to sip coffee in the morning whilst watching the sunrise over the horizon, and with all modern amenities including a separate kitchen area with Espresso coffee machine, tea and coffee facilities, not one but two plasma screen TV’s and of course high speed WiFi this hotel is a definite haven for travellers seeking luxury and sophistication.
It would have been so easy to spend our days lazing poolside or splashing in the sea (and believe me we did do this) but Doha is such a fascinating city with culture in abundance, we just had to explore.
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History & Culture The Museum of Islamic Art is a must-visit. This internationally renowned treasure house contains some 14 centuries of the finest art and artefacts from across the Islamic world and is designed by the celebrated architect IM Pei (at 91 years of age, he had to be coaxed out of retirement to undertake the task, traveling throughout the Muslim world on a six-month quest to learn about Muslim architecture and history). Housed over five floors, this cool and contemporary building has you walking through history dating back to the 7th century. With galleries housing collections of some of the most beautiful artefacts including metal work, ceramics, jewellery, wood work, textiles and glass. It is one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artefacts, with items originating in Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India, and Central Asia.
Shopping Luxe If you feel the need to for a little high-end shopping, or if like me you can only dream about how the other half lives, (a coffee is £10, in the Armani coffee shop) then the Pearl-Qatar is the place to be (aptly named as it’s built in the shape of an oyster). A man-made island designed and engineered to be an everlasting icon in Qatar, it is the jewel in the crown with luxury boutiques (think Cartier, Versace, Rolls Royce and Ferrari) a breathtakingly beautiful marina, with sleek yachts bobbing about in front of the many waterfront restaurants, known as the ‘Arabian Riviera’, the perfect place to sit, chill and work out how much credit you’ve got left on your card! Local Life Having seen the extravagant shops in the Pearl, it’s time for something with a more authentic feel - Souq Waqif; The original traditional market, which has stood on the same spot since the
1940’s. This labyrinth bazaar, whose name translates to "standing market," is the Qatari capital's oldest souq and a major tourist destination on its own. It has been extensively renovated but look closely and you’ll see parts of the original walls and some elaborately decorated doors still remain intact. The narrow alleyways, are full of small shops and stalls showcasing their wares including textiles, trinkets and jewellery. It’s like a maze full of aromatic smells that hang in the air, intoxicating your senses, whether it’s incense, rich spices or fragrant oils. The colours are vibrant, the barter is fun, and the ice cream guy has you crying with laughter at his antics!
Not just a marketplace, Souq Waqif is also home to a wide range of hotels, cafes and traditional-style restaurants, offering a variety of local and regional foods, but if you only eat in one it has to be Parisa Souq Waqif (a Persian restaurant). From the moment you enter through the mirrored corridor you are transported to another world. Mesmerised by opulent interiors that combine hand-painted Persian artwork of myths and legends, intricate mosaics, ornate chandeliers and a beautiful fountain taking centre stage, this really is a stunning setting to enjoy traditional cuisine. The slow cooked chicken and lamb kebabs were beautifully marinated, tender, juicy, and went perfectly with the assortment of different rices that included saffron and dill, the fluffiest rice I have ever tasted, a truly authentic Persian dining experience.
Adrenalin Junkie Time to visit the hauntingly beautiful Khor Al Adaid (also known as the Inland Sea) an area surrounded by large golden sand dunes and one of the few places in the world where the ocean encroaches deep into the heart of a desert, a UNESCO-listed refuge for wildlife and the natural border to Saudi Arabia. It was here, the adrenalin junkie in me made an appearance, we were going sand dune bashing Dune bashing means driving at increasing and decreasing speeds over sand dunes. As the surface of the sand keeps shifting, it takes a special skill and a special type of car to navigate the terrain (luckily we had an experienced dune basher!) The trip is bumpy, thrilling and at times a little scary, with lots of yelps, screams and closing of eyes – but oh so worth it when you see the views (your guide stops the vehicle on numerous occasions so you can get out, catch your breath and inhale the beautiful landscapes and scenery around).
After catching our breath, the adventure continues with a stop in the middle of the desert at a Bedouinstyle camp, with the sea as its backdrop, it’s the perfect location for us to feast on a BBQ of Middle
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Eastern meats and salads. Dip our toes in the warm sea water and enjoy a more serene mode of transport along the beach – a camel!
A Feast of Food There are some fabulous restaurants in Doha, serving international and Middle Eastern cuisines and it’s safe to say you never go hungry! Portion control is not an issue and just a little tip – don’t fill up on the pitta breads and dips as there’s at least another two courses to come!
Al Mourjan – Waterfront dining at its best, whether you sit in or outside. Be sure to order a ‘Lemon Mint’ drink – suitably refreshing and a local favourite – once drunk, you’re hooked! Arabic cuisine is based on mezze plates which means you can choose quite a few plates between you – The must-haves though are the traditional homemade humus accompanied by warm pita bread, zaatar (sesame seeds) and Labneh (soft cheese made from yogurt), zesty fattoush (a tasty bread salad), halloumi cheese and falafel.
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Ard Canaan – situated within the walls of Katara Cultural Village the restaurant is an authentic representation of the traditional Holy Land. The restaurant holds many stories between its walls, the huge limestone reception desk embodies the rock found in the Holy City of Jerusalem, the ceiling reflects the tiny detailed decoration mirrored from Al Aqsa Mosque. The flooring patterns and materials are exactly like those from Nabuls, Yafa, Hebron, Jerusalem, Amman, Salt and Damascus and the bathrooms contain more gold than a jeweller! The eggplant with walnuts and pomegranate and the chicken Fattah were utterly delicious, the flavours divine and the stuffed falafel a big hit – I’m in love with Palestinian cuisine! Whether it’s luxury, cuisine, culture, shopping or simply relaxing, Qatar offers a truly unforgettable Arabian experience, that’ll have you wondering why you’ve never visited before.
For more information and to book a stay at Sharq Village & Spa, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/qatar/sharq-village Qatar Airways run regular flights from London Gatwick and London Heathrow for more information, visit www.qatarairways.com
For tours and activities visit Qatar International Adventures at qia-qatar.com.
For more information on Qatar, visit Qatar Tourism Authority at visitqatar.qa
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For Adults Only The Syntopia Hotel on Crete A new era of all-inclusive luxury has begun in Crete, and it's named the Syntopia by Orion hotel.
Modern, fresh and full of gypset swagger, the boutique hotel is opening next month, (1st May) for its first season. And here are a few reasons to book it before someone else does.
Glamorous Island Living Set minutes east of Rethymnon, a skip away from a sandy beach, the Syntopia is designed with a free spirit philosophy. Boho-types will fall head over heels with the hippie-esque union of wood and wicker throughout the property.
It gets even better inside, where 119 guestrooms facing the sea, pool or inland become your private retreat for relaxing moments. And the experience is topped off by
fully furnished patios, sleek ensuite bathrooms and attentive staff that tends to your every need.
Unforgettable Summer Moments Your stay at the Syntopia is meant to be as pleasurable as it is memorable. By the time you peel away from your comfy room, a handpicked selection of events ensure that youâ€™re never bored. Kick off the weekly entertainment with live international music, live trumpets, saxophones and a pool party. Periodical events are on the schedule too, counting wine and raki making/tasting, cheesemaking and cooking lessons, all of which can be enjoyed solo or in groups. Want to stay fit during your holiday? Don't sweat it. Hit the beach for watersports, diving
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and sailing. Drop in for weekly sports like cross training, body pump, tai chi and team running. Of course, you can just as easily unwind at the spa, complete with a hot tub, sauna and zen relaxation zone.
When the sun goes down, grab a front row seat at the open cinema and watch your favourite movies under the stars. The Syntopia will be showing all kinds of films this summer - classic cinema, thrillers, comedies, horror and more - so grab some snacks and enjoy the show. Delicious Tastes from Around the World Whether you’re in the mood for a light bite or hearty meal, you can find something to treat your taste buds. For starters, it's all you can eat from 7.30am to 11pm, with alcoholic drinks served from 10.30am to 11pm. The main restaurant offers a buffet, and if you're craving something new or nostalgic, hop over to the canteen for sizzling street food like Mexican tacos or Southern-style fried chicken, a great way to enjoy a social meal while trying iconic dishes from across the globe.
Thirsty? The lobby bar has got you covered with cocktails, wine, coffee and tea. Another option is Beach Bar Roulis, a laidback hangout with fabulous views, sun beds with umbrellas and hammocks so you can recline with a cold brew in hand.
Rethymnon at your Door Whether you’re into culture, cuisine, nature or art, Rethymno city is loaded with amazing sights to explore, and it’s right on the Syntopia’s doorstep. Wander through the old town's cobbled alleys. Take a trip to the 16th-century Fortezza Venetian fortress. Pop into a traditional taverna for a quick break, and then visit the Venetian harbour and Egyptian lighthouse. Learn more about it here: www.thesyntopiahotel.gr
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An Overnight Stay for Two at
The Beautiful Bower House
itting at the centre of the historic market town of Shipston on Stour, The Bower House, originally built in 1731, has been painstakingly and lovingly restored and now houses a stylish and welcoming restaurant and bar and five beautiful en-suite bedrooms
The restaurant is unashamedly stylish and definitely the jewel in the crown for The Bower House, offering an all-day dining haven to locals and visitors. The 75-seat restaurant with rooms opened in spring 2017 in the heart of Shipston, which lies in the North Cotswolds just 10 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon and is currently The Sunday Times’ “best place to live in the Midlands”. Owner Andrew Knight decided to launch The Bower House having spotted a gap in the market, “I thought it a nonsense that it’s only London and cities who want restaurants – we all want a beautiful, welcoming room to sit in and to be served good food with warmth and understated attention”. Sukhjinder Aujla, who has previously worked at Nobu, The Savoy and The Metropolitan in London, is in charge of the kitchen.
The panelled walls of the entrance and bar area are a vibrant kingfisher blue, while the main dining area walls are a rich claret red, interspersed with brickwork and Cotswold stone. An eclectic mix of prints and paintings cover the walls, while the mis-matched furniture includes nicely aged bentwood chairs, French moustache carvers, vintage bridge chairs and leather banquettes, paired with elm, marble and coppertopped tables. The floor is a mix of historic flagstones, wood and chequered tiles. An enormous original fireplace with wood burning stove stands in one of the rooms.
Upstairs, on the first and second floors, there are five luxurious bedrooms, which have been individually designed and decorated, with a mix of antique, vintage and contemporary
furniture set against unique heritage colour palettes, though common threads can be found throughout.
All have custom-made beds with Hypnos mattresses, to ensure a supremely comfortable night’s sleep, and each has an elegant vintage silver salver laden with local craft alcohol and beautifully cut glasses, in which to mix a pre-dinner aperitif or a night cap. Fabrics and wallpapers come from carefully chosen British manufacturers, such as Timorous Beasties, House of Hackney and Barneby Gates. Walls are hung with thoughtfully curated original artworks, both modern and antique, and historical prints.
The Bower House is set in a Georgian property and is in easy reach of Chipping Norton and Stratford-upon-Avon. A host of nearby sights include the Compton Verney Art Gallery, The Neolithic and Bronze Age Rollright Stones and the Cotswold Distillery, such is the central location of this beautiful property. Breakfast is served to residents in the restaurant, between the hours of 9am and 11:30am, which means you can enjoy a leisurely morning without rushing to breakfast for fear it’s closing.
Affinity Luxury Lifestyle readers have the chance to win an overnight stay at the beautiful Bower House:
*One night’s stay at The Bower House to include a threecourse dinner and breakfast the next morning for two people. *Subject to availability
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How to Enter
For the chance to win this overnight stay, just tell us:
What is the name of the market town The Bower House is in? A. Lewes B. Shipston on Stour C. Ludlow
Please email you answer to firstname.lastname@example.org Competition closes on 30th April 2019 â€“ GOOD LUCK! www.bower.house
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Fryâ€™s Footie Corner I
t is getting to the business end of the season and there is still all to play for in the Premier League with Liverpool and Manchester City fighting it out to the death. That is how it should be. Far more exciting that way!
I wanted to mention the work that Brendan Rodgers has done in his short spell in charge of Leicester City. After a successful spell in charge of Liverpool, Brendan won everything that could be won north of the border with Celtic and deserves his opportunity back in the Premier League with the Foxes.
I actually think when you look at the squad that Leicester has, it is a club that has enormous potential. They have talented young players in James Maddison, Ben Chilwell and Demari Gray and they have the experience of Jamie Vardy, Wes Morgan and Kasper Schmeichal. That is a really good blend to work with moving forward. I am sure the owners will invest during the summer transfer window because there is a good opportunity for that football club to really challenge for the top six with Brendan at the helm. Another club in the top flight that has great potential is Wolverhampton Wanderers who arguably have played some of the best football this term.
Their manager has bought well, the team play exciting attractive football and their fans have really bought into what they have tried to achieve. I will be watching on with interest to see how they finish the campaign but those teams will be the ones to watch during the close season and moving into next year.
Away from the Premier League, the Sky Bet League One relegation battle has involved over 10 teams and will go right down to the wire. It has been hugely competitive at our level this season, aside from the top five who, with the biggest budgets, have pulled away somewhat. It was great to see over 80,000 supporters at Wembley Stadium for the Checkatrade Trophy final between Sunderland and Portsmouth in March. That just goes to show the support for those two clubs. That was a record attendance for the competition and both have a great chance of getting promoted back to the Championship. Both clubs have huge pedigree and shouldnâ€™t really be at our level. Enjoy the month!
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Full of Ferraris he London Concours, presented by Montres Breguet, will be hosting a special celebration of Ferrari, as the famed Italian manufacturer becomes one of the event’s ‘Great Marques’. A class solely dedicated to the greatest Ferraris ever built will gather ten Prancing Horse icons from the past 70 years.
Starting with the 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter, and culminating in the Ferrari LaFerrari, the London Concours will chart seven decades of automotive evolution through the lens of perhaps the world’s most famous car manufacturer.
performance technology during their era. The F40 makes use of a twin-turbocharged V8 and lightweight aluminium, carbon fibre and Kevlar construction, while the LaFerrari is powered by a 6.3-litre V12 and electric motor hybrid for a total of 963PS. The full list of Ferraris currently confirmed to attend is:
The 166 Inter on display is one of only 38, and is the ninth road going Ferrari ever built. Developed alongside the 166MM racing car, the Inter is powered by a 2.0-litre V12 engine, producing around 115bhp, but features a wheelbase stretched by 300mm to make space for a small set of rear seats.
Ferrari 166 Inter Ferrari 275 GTB Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Ferrari 365 GTC Ferrari GTO Ferrari Testarossa Ferrari 512 BB Ferrari F40 Ferrari 599 GTO Ferrari LaFerrari
Only three Ferrari models have ever been designated ‘GTO’, and London Concours will be displaying another of them, in the form of the Ferrari GTO, or 288 GTO. Only 272 examples were built, characterised by a use of exotic lightweight materials, including fibreglass, Kevlar and carbon fibre, adjustable suspension and an aggressive aerodynamic bodykit.
Andrew Evans, London Concours Director, said: “Which brand deserves the title of ‘Great Marque’ more than Ferrari? Leaving aside its seven decades of top-level motorsport victories, Ferrari has a stable of road car legends stretching right back to the 1940s. To be so consistently excellent, to have created a brand with such global dominance and to show no signs of slowing down – Ferrari is the very definition of automotive greatness, and we’re delighted to be showcasing some of its best work at the London Concours.”
The front-engined, V12-powered layout of the Inter became a Ferrari hallmark, utilised by iconic models like the Ferrari 275 GTB, Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’, Ferrari 365 GTC/4 and Ferrari 599 GTO, all of which will be on display at the London Concours. The 599 GTO was the last Ferrari to wear the famed Gran Turismo Omologato badge, designating a car that was 100kg lighter than the standard 599 GTB, more powerful and meticulously honed for track use.
Representing Ferrari’s range of flagship supercars at the London Concours are the Ferrari F40 and Ferrari LaFerrari. Each is the perfect representation of the very latest
In total, nearly 100 automotive greats of all eras will be on display on the idyllic lawns of the Honourable Artillery Company HQ when the London Concours rolls into the City from 5-6 June. Curated across seven distinct classes, including ‘The Icons’ and ‘The Innovators’, London Concours is the ultimate automotive summer garden party.
The London Concours 2019 takes place from 5-6 June 2019. Tickets are available to buy now from www.londonconcours.co.uk/tickets
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he thrilling work of multi-million selling author Peter James returns to Milton Keynes this April with the world premiere production of the spine-chilling stage play The House on Cold Hill – Adapted from his best-selling 2015 novel and based on the author’s own real-life experience in a haunted house, the play will star the previously announced, BAFTA nominated actor and winner of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing 2017, Joe McFadden (The Crow Road, Heartbeat, Holby City) as ‘Ollie Harcourt’ and joining him, as his wife ‘Caro Harcourt’, will be award winning actress Rita Simons, (who played the iconic Roxy Mitchell in Eastenders), as well as award winning actors, Charlie Clements (‘Bradley’ in EastEnders) as ‘Chris’, and Persephone Swales-Dawson (villainess ‘Nico Blake’ in Hollyoaks) as ‘Jade’, making her professional stage debut.
Newcomer at the TV Now awards, a nomination for Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards and Best Newcomer at the Inside Soap Awards. Rita has also appeared as Hannah in Mile High, Julie in Dream Team and recently toured the UK and Ireland as Paulette Bonafonte in hit musical Legally Blonde. In Spring 2012, Rita was the subject of a major documentary film Rita Simons: My Daughter, Deafness and Me made by Leopard Films for primetime BBC1. Rita actively supports the charity RNID. Most recently Rita rave reviews for her performance as ‘Lisa Prescott’ in the film The Krays: Dead Man Walking, an untold chapter from the notorious legend of the Kray Twins.
The House on Cold Hill is a modern-day ghostly thriller that will send shivers down your spine and make you think twice about returning home to a dark, empty house after the show!
BAFTA nominated actor Joe McFadden is perhaps best known for playing series regular ‘Raf di Lucca in BBC1’s Holby City from 2014 – 2017, and as ‘P C Joe Mason’ in Heartbeat from 2010 - 2014. Other acclaimed TV roles include Sex, Chips and Rock n Roll, The Crow Road (for which he received a BAFTA nomination), Cranford and Take The High Road. His extensive theatrical credits include working with John Tiffany and the National Theatre of Scotland on The Missing, touring the UK with Alan Ayckbourn’s Haunting Julia, Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Rent at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End and Rainbow Kiss at
In Peter's ghostly mystery, the Harcourt family - Ollie, Caro and daughter Jade – move into the house of the dreams that has been empty for the last forty years. However, their dream home quickly turns into the stuff of nightmares, as they begin to sense that they aren’t the only residents at Cold Hill…
Rita Simons is best known for playing ‘Roxy Mitchell’ in BBC's Eastenders, and is one of Britain’s best loved TV actresses. She won Most Popular Newcomer at the National Television Awards and other awards and nominations include Best Newcomer at the Digital Spy Soap Awards, Best Onscreen Partnership for her character partnership with Ronnie Mitchell played by Samantha Womack, Best
Rita Simons said, “I am really thrilled to be starring in the House on Cold Hill along side such great actors as Joe, Charlie, Persephone and the rest the cast. I could not put it down when I first read the script – it’s a brilliant and modern day supernatural thriller that had me totally gripped and occasionally jumping out of my seat! I can’t wait to see audiences hopefully have the same reaction to it, in theatres around the UK.”
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the Royal Court. Last year he partnered with Katya Jones in BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing and captured the nations hearts, eventually winning the series to become the 2017 Strictly Champion.
Joe McFadden said, “It’s a real honour to be entrusted with the character of Ollie and the words of skilled wordsmith, Peter James. He’s created a story that is both chilling and an interesting portrayal of modern family life and will definitely make you think twice about buying that sprawling dream pad in the country!” Charlie Clements starred in EastEnders from 2006 – 2010, winning several awards for his performance as ‘Bradley Manning’. Since leaving the soap, stage and screen credits include the UK tour of The Haunting, Faith at the Courtyard Theatre, and roles in Casualty and The Bill. Persephone Swales-Dawson played serial killer ‘Nico Blake’ in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks from 2014-16, and returned in 2018. She won Best Bad Girl at the Inside Soap Awards in 2016. The House on Cold Hill marks her professional stage debut.
The House on Cold Hill becomes the fourth play in his box office smash hit and critically acclaimed stage franchise following the huge sell-out success of Not Dead Enough, The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple on stage. Nearly half a million fans have now seen his work on stage in 30 cities across the UK and Ireland, with stars including Claire Goose, Shane Richie, Jessie Wallace, Tina Hobley, Les Dennis, Jamie Lomas, Laura Whitmore, Robert Daws, and Dawn Steele.
The House on Cold Hill will reunite Peter James with two time Olivier-nominated theatre producer Joshua Andrews, the Olivier award winning director Ian Talbot and awardwinning writer Shaun McKenna. Also joining the company are Padraig Lynch as ‘Fortinbras’, Tricia Deighton as ‘Annie’ and understudy Zoe Hickson, with further casting to be confirmed.
The House on Cold Hill is appearing at Milton Keynes Theatre from Monday 15th – Saturday 20th April 2019, tickets are available from www.atgtickets.com
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STARS Manish Kumar Arora (K.P. Astrologer, Numerologist, Tarot Card Reader & Vastu Consultant) reveals whatâ€™s in store for you this month
Aries (21 March â€“ 19 April) Your higher mind is expanding, and you might be considering furthering your education or simply broadening your knowledge in a more informal manner. You will have a happy time on the personal front. You will win hearts of all your loved ones by showing them love and affection. This month should help you make watertight plans for your mind, body and spirit in a way which serves all of them, at the same time. Favourable Dates: April 3, 5, 12, 14, 21, 23 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue
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Taurus (20 April – 20 May) On the career side you will be full of life and this will reflect in work. More security in your job is likely. You are more willing than usual to work diligently for money, and your natural talents are likely to be utilized more in the work you do, and appreciated by others. This month is the time for gaining social strength and your faith and your belief system. Reduce the emotional temperature when making health decisions. Favourable Dates: April 4, 5, 13, 14, 22, 23 Favourable Colours: Red & Black
Gemini (21 May – 20 June) This is a period of growth as well as some form of blossoming or fruition. Ambitions to study, teach, travel, write, move or export your ideas will take off largely thanks to your friend, or an intriguing team effort. Love and other social activities help to enhance a healthy self-image and suggest the ability to enliven romance in an existing partnership, or the strengthening of ties with a romantic partner. Favourable Dates: April 6, 7, 15, 16, 24, 25 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Purple
Cancer (21 June – 22 July) You are more inspired this month, and your personality fairly bubbles with bursts of enthusiasm.You are making breaks from elements from your past that have limited your freedom or that have kept you from expressing your individuality. This is a time when you are more willing to take personal risks.Your ability to do the right thing instinctually will get you everywhere now. You are drawn to people who are freespirited at this point in your life. Favourable Dates: April 5, 8, 14, 17, 23, 26 Favourable Colours: Red & Green Leo (23 July – 22 August) You have a greater desire to get away, expand your horizons, and broaden your life experiences. Your ideals are higher than usual, teaching may be part of the picture, and your cultural and spiritual awareness increases. You recognize exactly where you have been overdoing your expectations, and you find new ways to nurture faith, hope, and vision.You will have a good money inflow and you will spend lavishly for your comfort. Favourable Dates: April 5, 9, 14, 18, 23, 27 Favourable Colours: Grey & Green
Virgo (23 August – 22 September) You will have special charisma and magnetism this month. A healthy perspective on your life helps to keep everyday stresses from getting to you too much. You have a strong interest in broadening your mental experiences, possibly through higher education, travel, exposure to different cultures, or exploring different philosophies of life. Stirring in you is the desire to make radical changes to the manner in which you go after you want in life. Favourable Dates: April 3, 7, 12, 16, 21, 25 Favourable Colours: Grey & Blue
Libra (23 September – 22 October) This month striking a balance between your attention to your career and to your family life is necessary. Taking steps to improve your family and home life as well as your career and public life will be in order. Partners are no longer simply for amusement or mirrors of your ego. You are bound to reach a broader audience if you do, and the feedback will feed the flames of your own inspiration. Favourable Dates: April 4, 8, 13, 17, 22, 26
Favourable Colours: White & Red
Scorpio (23 October – 21 November) Work done behind the scenes may be revealed or incorporated into your career or public life this month. Some of you may find that your career is moving towards a more service-oriented direction. You have a strong ability to see each person for who they are as unique individuals, and this helps endear you to others. Passion and intensity in affairs of the heart or with your hobbies can run rampant and enthusiasm overflows. Favourable Dates: April 3, 9, 12, 18, 21, 27 Favourable Colours: Blue & Red Sagittarius (22 November - 21 December) This month has the potential for being a relaxed, fortunate, and hopeful time for you. You are greeting life with a fresh, can-do attitude. It’s an excellent period for travel, higher education, communications, and higher learning. Fundamental changes in your domestic situation and career orientation are likely.You may come into the limelight in a positive fashion. Authority figures, elders or influential people in your life tend to support and respect you during this cycle. Favourable Dates: April 3, 4, 12, 13, 21, 22 Favourable Colours: Yellow & White
Capricorn (22 December – 19 January) This period in your life is a time for learning about your personal limits as well as your inner strength. Carry these lessons as you move beyond this phase, because how you handle your life now will make all the difference.Working hard at self-improvement ultimately leads to replacing your old spirit with a regenerated one. You will be one step closer to knowing where you are headed, and you will have re-built faith in yourself. Favourable Dates: April 4, 7, 13, 16, 22, 25 Favourable Colours: Red & White Aquarius (20 January – 18 February) You have a strong interest in broadening your mental experiences, possibly through higher education, travel, exposure to different cultures, or exploring different philosophies of life. Decisions made will satisfy your head, as well as your heart. If involved in a casual love relationship, a pressure emerges concerning the need for evaluating your commitments.Thequantity in the relationship department will tend to be replaced with quality, and this process involves time, soul-searching, frustration, and eventual fulfilment. Favourable Dates: April 2, 5, 11, 14, 20, 23 Favourable Colours: Red & Purple Pisces (19 February – 20 March Your ability to move forward on a direct path without as much doubt is increased. You are more able to inspire confidence in others as a result. You are likely to make changes in your life that break you out of your usual routines. Acquaintances, siblings, or casual friends and communications may be catalysts for this new selfexpression.The learning of new skills, the pursuit of new ventures and the alteration of daily routines in work and health will contribute. Favourable Dates: April 4, 9, 13, 18, 22, 27 Favourable Colours: Blue & Red
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Weekend Starts Here.... If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman
Audrey's family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected. As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?
The year is 2000 and Joan Stanley is living in contented retirement in suburbia at the turn of the millennium. Her tranquil life is suddenly disrupted when she's arrested by MI5 and accused of providing intelligence to Communist Russia. Cut to 1938 where Joan is a Cambridge physics student who falls for young communist Leo Galich and through him, begins to see the world in a new light. Working at a top-secret nuclear research facility during WWII, Joan comes to the realisation that the world is on the brink of destruction. Confronted with an impossible question â€“ what price would you pay for peace? Joan must choose between betraying her country and loved ones or saving them.
Release Date: 19th April Mission of Honor
Set in war-torn Great Britain, this captivating tale details the harrowing journey a group of valiant pilots endured while working on the Hurricane Squadron 303. Living in a perpetual state of fear and uncertainty, these Polish pilots are thrust into the perils of war. Though most of them served in the air battles during Germany's invasion of Poland, nothing curtails the panic that accompanies untamed chaos. As their spirited efforts persist, hope hangs in the balance.
Release Date: 30th April
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www.affinitymag.co.uk AFFINITY LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
The Best Brunch
An Overnight Stay at the beautiful Bower House
at Quaglino's in Mayfair
An Arabian Adventure
at Sharq Village & Spa in Qatar
Eggs that'll satisfy your chocolate craving this Easter ISSUE 94
Spring Clean your way to fitness
When should we wait and when is it okay to demand things?
This Seasons Fashion Edit
The brightest fashion pieces you need to add to your wardrobe
Affinity is a premium quality luxury lifestyle monthly magazine. Targeting men and women who aspire to a luxury way of life.
Published on Apr 2, 2019
Affinity is a premium quality luxury lifestyle monthly magazine. Targeting men and women who aspire to a luxury way of life.