{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1

feb20cover .qxp_Layout 1 03/02/2020 20:40 Page 1





Candy Crush Add a spring to your step, with a new spring wardrobe


Band Of Gold

The Hit TV Series comes to MK Theatre this Springtime

Add A Little Sparkle Rose Bubbles, perfect for drinking this Valentine’s

These soft and subtle shades create the perfect environment for relaxing in


We Find Out What It's Like To Sleep In One!

Spring Clean your Life with our handy tips



With our Valentine's Gift Guide

feb20cover .qxp_Layout 1 03/02/2020 20:40 Page 2

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 1

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 2

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 3

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 4

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 5

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 6




The days are starting to get longer and it’s that time of the year when we all start thinking about attempting a spring clean of our house - the spring equinox is definitely upon us. The gusto with which you attempted your New Year’s resolution might be starting to wear thin, so why not try spring cleaning your life as well as your home (page 21) and get the spring back in your step.


You must have been hibernating if it comes as a surprise to you that this month, 14th February, to be precise, is Valentine’s Day. If you’re all loved up we’re here to help you with the perfect gift (page 18) and if you’re not loved up there’s no rule saying you can’t treat yourself!

Keeping with the romance theme, why not check out a romantic getaway to Paris (page 56) - Inspired by Valentine’s Day, Mandarin Oriental, Paris is offering a romantic accommodation package in collaboration with Guerlain. Guests booking the ‘Be my Valentine by Guerlain’ offer will take home the new La Petite Robe Noire So Frenchy limited-edition fragrance created by the perfume and cosmetics house and enjoy other romantic treats during their stay in the ‘City of Love’

Before you give your heart away this Valentine’s day, it might be a good idea to have a healthy heart check, especially if you have any heart concerns or family history, which is exactly what I did when I paid a visit to Harley Street Consulting Clinic, page 20 tells you all about it! Until next month Lots of LOVE

Jane x

3 4 5

1. CHANEL Chance Fragrance Pens, £65 for 4, John Lewis 2. Cubic Zirconia Heart Hoop Earrings, £45, Beaverbrooks 3. Floral Gipsy Blouse, £35, River Island 4. Block Heel Sandal, £30, JD Williams 5. Hair Clips, £12.99, Zara

Don’t forget to join us on social media, we love getting to know you!




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


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.

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 7

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 8

Contents 52 Affinity


February 2020

12 17 26 29 34 39 42 47 54 58 60 64

Visualising Your Life Hot Picks Bardot Beauty Bohemian Chic Foodie News A Scottish Gin Tea Nice and Neutral Cool & Classic Pottering Around 75 Years of Liberation Band of Gold Your Stars


On The Cover Chi Chi

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 9

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 10

Visualising Problems and

How to Overcome Them

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 11

If you’ve been reading my articles you will know I tend toward positivity, managing our thoughts and looking on the bright side of life. I’m also a believer in the power of the subconscious and in visualisation and they are both things I have written about before. The subconscious is always trying to work things out for us and many of you will have experienced this in ‘overthinking’, when thoughts keep coming to your mind - often when you are trying to switch off or sleep, anxiety may play a part but essentially it is our subconscious searching for solutions for ways to work out what we have seen as a problem.

Visualisation is a powerful tool as it can give our subconscious a taste of what we want to experience. When visualising it is helpful to get in touch with the emotions we’d feel so it’s not just imagination, though that is part of it, visualisation is about painting a detailed picture in our mind of something we want to see happen in our life and painting it in glorious technicolour adding in the detail and importantly getting in touch with the emotions. The power behind it is in the belief that if we can envisage something, we can create it, make it happen. In fact, if we are visualising it, we can get into the feeling place of it already happening.

Visualisations helps us to feel empowered, we may not be in control of everything that happens but we are in control of a lot and it is a great way to focus our minds and stay in touch with our goals and purpose. It’s also a great way to stay motivated whatever we are working towards or trying to achieve, the chances are there will be some things we have to do that we aren’t so keen on or take more effort than we’d like. There may be things that make us a bit afraid – after all risk is often an element in achieving our goals, being prepared to put ourselves out there. Of course, if we don’t take risks, we may never fail but we may never reach our more ambitious goals either.

But importantly the brain doesn’t distinguish between real and imagined so it will start work to achieve it when you start visualising.

But recently I have come across the suggestion that we should not just focus on the good outcomes, the things we want to achieve but also on the things that might get in the way. Both sport men and women and personnel in the armed forces have used visualisation powerfully to help overcome problems. By imagining, in detail, the obstacles that may appear or the problems we may have to face, or the things that can go wrong that can put us in a good place to overcome them.

That is the important part we don’t just imagine the problem we imagine the solution or at least we identify the possible problem and let our subconscious identify the solutions. It may take a while but by posing the problem our subconscious is able to trawl the memories and knowledge we have about other similar situations we may have encountered and what the solutions to that might be. In essence it’s about imagining falling over or coming up against a wall but then imagining getting up again or finding a way over under or round the wall.

Think of it as contingency planning. When service men prepare for missions they will run through every possible scenario – all the things that might go right but also all the things that could go wrong. What if the intelligence wasn’t accurate, what a vehicle doesn’t start, or weather conditions change? They could all present problems but if these scenarios have been anticipated and solutions found then the impact may not be as negative. Visualising a problem allows your mind time to start being creative about solutions or alternatives. In some ways it does involve a degree of pessimism but it is a purposeful pessimism – it’s purpose being to prepare you so when something difficult happens you aren’t thrown or ready to give up and instead you can think ‘yes – I know what I can try now’.

Effective visualisation involves getting in touch with the emotions and the same is true when we envisage problems. One of the things that make emotions a challenge is if they are unexpected, they really can throw us. But if we have already anticipated the problem have some ideas about solutions or at least allowed both our conscious and subconscious mind time to be creative and allowed ourselves to imagine the emotions we may feel then the obstacle will probably be much easier to overcome. So, next time you find yourself with a few minutes spare use it wisely by allowing yourself to daydream, but with a purpose, envisaging the life you want or an aspect of the life you want and harnessing the power of your subconscious through visualisation to get it – it could be the most productive part of your day. For a regular dose of positivity follow us on Instagram – Sheila Mulvenney or visit our website www.attunededucation.com for articles, blogposts and events.

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 12

Body Hemp

Some Flower Girls

The Body Shop has launched two new products from their hemp range: Overnight Nourishing Rescue Mask (£18) and Hemp Shower Oil (£9), both available in-store and on-line. The mask provides rich hydration for softer, comforted, and quenched skin for up to 72hrs.. The shower oil lather will quench ultra-dry skin without stripping or drying. It helps protect skin’s natural moisture barrier, and skin hydration is significantly boosted after use.

Heathcote & Ivory have collaborated with NYC fashion illustrator Meredith Wing on its new range #SomeFlowerGirls. The range has been designed for the Instagram generation. Meredith's designs are aimed at women of all ages, celebrating friendship, laughter and fun. With an uplifting fragrance and modern packaging, the collection comprises bath and body products alongside quirky products such as wash bags, shower caps and more. The range is now available at heathcote-ivory.com, with prices ranging from £5 to £12.

Let’s Get Glowing

Meet the NEW powerful partners from Elemis to keep your skin smooth, hydrated and in peak performance. Cleanse with benefits using the antioxidant-rich Superfood CICA Calm Cleansing Foam (£25/180ml), a nourishing formula to lift away makeup, dirt and grime, leaving skin with a freshlooking complexion. Drench your skin with the vitaminpacked Superfood CICA Calm Hydration Juice (£40/50ml), a unique gel textured moisturiser that delivers instant cooling hydration with 95% of users agreeing it felt cooling upon contact.

BEAUTY UPDATES Date Night Essentials

Kevyn Aucoin’s celebration of individuality and his beauty-belongs-toeveryone philosophy is what made him one of the most acclaimed and influential make-up artists of our time, h i s collection of cosmetics and tools include Eyelash Curler (£17), Matte Lip Colour in Everlasting (£27) and The Curling Mascara (£23) ensuring you’re ready and waiting to be whisked off your feet this Valentine’s Day.

Holiday Beauty

Laura Mercier has unveiled a range of limited edition holiday palettes. The range includes holiday gilded artistry palette (£40.00), fine art eyeshadow palette (£40.00), holiday full canvas cheek and eye palette (£90.00), cheek canvas soft palette (£45.00) and cheek canvas delicate palette (£45.00). Available online now.


feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 13

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 14

Midlife Madness I may have mentioned before how delighted I am to have reached an age – possibly beyond mid-life and teetering on the brink of seniority in the age department - but given that life expectancy is increasing I’m at the upper middle end of the midlife spectrum where I am entitled to certain things because of my seniority and upper middle midlifeness.

emotionally demanding things like literally seeing people die so I did feel a bit affronted when asked my age if I was trying to get into a night club, though it happened far less than it does now and the notion of carrying ID to prove age really wasn’t a thing! Unless you were my friend Julia who was only about 4 foot 3 so she carried it till she was nearly 30! She didn’t grow taller she developed a few wrinkles.

I remember as a teenager being affronted if I was asked my age when buying alcohol and I must say in those days it didn’t happen a lot – I lived in a small village so I was never silly enough to attempt to buy anything contraband – one shop was run by Mrs Mullarky (you wouldn’t mess with her) and the other was run by Mr Hopwood who was a friend of my dad, so it would have been an extreme act of selfsabotage to attempt to buy anything there. So, my own purchasing of anything that could remotely be called adult didn’t begin till I moved away from home at 18, probably looking like 16 but feeling I wanted to be treated like a 25-year-old. To be fair I was training as a nurse and doing all sorts of very responsible things, like caring for the sick, and

Then you progress to the upper end of the mid-life scale and suddenly I want to be asked for my ID honestly I do!

I may have been denied my pension for several more years but I can get a discount on my rail fares and given that I am still working, (me resentful? No I love my work but I do think if you ‘buy’ into a system- as in pay every month for decades of working that you’ll get a pension at 60 - moving the goalposts when you are late fifties is, frankly, on the despicable end of the unfair spectrum) this is a real bonus.

There seems to be a lot of mid- life years when age doesn’t seem to feature much – you clearly look old enough to purchase pretty much whatever you like and if as a parent someone suggests you look like your children’s big sister, well you know it is a cheesy chat up line and you should run headlong in the opposite direction, however flattering it might feel at the time!


I enjoy my ‘senior’ railcard and I can’t afford not to enjoy the substantial discounts BUT I do not want people to assume I am old enough to have one! I want them to be surprised and ask for proof that I am indeed that age. If they could then muster a bit of surprise and tell me I don’t look a day over 50 that would be even better. In this evidence obsessed society please don’t make assumptions when it comes to age or I am left with that awful feeling that I am not only getting older, I am looking older! Surely that can’t be right!

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 15

Cow Print Ankle Boots, £72, Topshop

Dartington Crystal Large Cushion Vase, £45, www.dartington.co.uk


Elizabeth Scarlet Flamingo Eye-Mask, £25, Amara

Esrrings, £18, John Lewis

EverSwiss Women's Watch, £210. www.watchshop.com

Floris Reed Diffuser, £70, Amara

This month’s must have gifts and accessories

Green Glass Pot on Stand, £32.95, Audenza

I Love Harris Gin, £45, www.harrisdistillery.com

Heart Shorts Pyjama Set, £35, John Lewis

Pandora Birthstone Ring, £40, www.uk.pandora.net

Red Aline Mac, £99, John Lewis

Angela Langford Bloom & Glow Face Oil, £20.50, www.angelalangford.com

Lilac Bag, POA, River Island

Embroidered Dress, £120, Debenhams

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 16

Be Mine

We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to, with our round up of gorgeous gifts for your Valentine

Salted Caramel Heart Truffles, £7.50, www.roh.org.uk

'Under the Star's Bra, £180, Briefs, £80, www.gildapearl.co.uk.

Raymond Weil Parsifal Ladies Watch, £1,395, www.raymond-weil.co.uk

Victoria Cator Candle, £55, www.victoriacator.com

Silver & Rose Gold Bracelet, £45, Beaverbrooks

Les Georgettes Les Essentielles Cache Coeur Bracelet, £99, www.lesgeorgettes.com

Knightsbridge Floral Pyjamas, £85, www.fableandeve.co.uk

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:32 Page 17

Box 25 Valentine's Hearts, £35, www.eu.marcolini.com

Silver Rose Gold Heart Earrings, £39, Beaverbrooks

Serenata Flowers 'Bella' Bouquet, £39.99, www.serenataflowers.com

Poppy Bag, £135, www.cambridgesatchel.com

Flower by KenzoPoppy Bouquet, £47, Nationwide

Hotel Chocolat Heart Chocolates, £40, www.hotelchocolat.com

Mirabeau Rose Gin, £35, Waitrose & Partners

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 18

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 19

A Healthy Heart efore you give your heart away this Valentine’s day, it might be a good idea to have a healthy heart check, especially if you have any heart concerns or family history.


There is heart disease in my family, my dad had his first heart attack in his thirties so when I was offered a review of my heart from Dr Bokhari at Harley Street Consulting Clinic in the village of Great Denham, Bedfordshire (he also has clinics in Harley Street, London and Dubai) I eagerly accepted. The clinics philosophy is to try for early detection, early intervention and prevention, where heart health is at the forefront of their care, with the majority of appointments available within 24hours. The ethos of The Harley Street Consulting Clinic is to make sure, that not only are you treated in a warm caring environment but that you are made to relax as soon as you enter the clinic. Walking into reception, you are greeted with calm music (think zen spa) and offered a hot drink whilst you wait in an atmosphere of tranquillity and calm.

After a few minutes you are taken into the treatment room where Dr Bokhari introduces himself and continues to make you feel at ease as he explains the procedures that are going to take place. He then asks you a series of questions relating to your lifestyle, history and any concerns you may have. Once all the background checks have been done, it’s time to head over to the couch, put a gown on and begin the tests (little tip: wear separates, so you only have to remove your top half) – all the tests are carried out whilst you are sitting up, apart from the last one.

Deep breaths in and out as your heart is listened to, oxygen levels measured, and blood pressure taken, whilst these tests are being carried out you are made to feel at ease the whole time with everything being explained every step of the way.

All the data is uploaded in front of you onto an iPad and duplicated on a large TV screen on the wall next to you, you are constantly able to see what is happening, nothing is hidden and everything is explained as you go along.

Next is an ECG, this measures the electrical activity of the heart while you are at rest. It can help identify problems with the heart such as coronary artery disease, an enlarged heart or disturbances in the electrical control of the heart (arrhythmia). The test literally takes a couple of minutes and is again carried out as you remain in a sitting position, sensors are attached with sticky pads to the chest and the electrical signals send them back to the ECG machine, simple yet so effective. The final test is an echocardiogram (a scan that is similar to an ultrasound) which is used to look at the heart and nearby blood vessels.

This is the only time I have to lie down on the couch, starting off lying on my left side before swapping onto my back – Again, you are able to constantly watch what is going on, on the large TV screen, Dr Bokhari explains each step, as the small probe is used to send out high-frequency sound waves that create echoes when they bounce off different parts of the body. This takes approx. ten minutes and then it’s time to sit up, get dressed and go through the results with Dr Bokhari. I was lucky and all my tests point to me having a healthy heart, if however, something had been found that needed further investigation, Dr Bokhari would go through this with you and what the next step would need to be. All the tests were painless and easy, a small price to pay for peace of mind.

The Harley Street Clinic offers an affordable “Harley Street” standard of care to Bedfordshire residents, investigations for cardiac problems in adults are carried out inhouse at the clinic.

As well as heart monitoring the clinic also specialises in many other health related matters and have recently added ‘Genetic Screening’ to their long list making it even more of a one stop shop for all your health needs. For further information or to book an appointment, visit www.harleystreetconsultingclinics.com

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 20

Spring Clean your Life The days are starting to get longer and it’s that time of the year when we all start thinking about attempting a spring clean of our house- the spring equinox is definitely upon us. The gusto of which you attempted your New Year’s resolution with might be starting to wear thin, so why not try spring cleaning your life at this time of the year to give you that spring back in your step. Below are a few pointers, which will lead you in the right direction to a new, fresher outlook on life.

1. De-cluttering Getting rid of physical clutter this spring is essentially killing two birds with one stone- it combines actually spring cleaning your house with a fresher, less cluttered brain. Start by tidying up your bedroom; seems simple enough right? If you are one of those people that swear by their ‘organised chaos’, there is actually psychological evidence to suggest otherwise. [1]A study conducted found that people with clean houses are healthier than people with messy houses- with those with cleaner houses also being more active. 2. Sprucing up your diet By sprucing up your diet this spring you could end up feeling more energised and more ready to seize the day. If you don’t know where to start, the humble oat is a great option! Oats are somewhat of a super food and will definitely help you feel energized if you are prone to feeling a little sluggish. Nairn’s have a wide variety of delicious oat based products so why not try their Rough Oatcakes? Extremely versatile, packed full of fibre and very low in calories, this is the perfect base for any topping of your choosing.

3. Technology detox Getting rid of all technology is definitely too much of a big ask, so why not try spring cleaning the technology you use everyday? By deleting certain apps or pictures that cause you stress and anxiety, it will help you gain a much clearer, stress free outlook on life. If this sounds too daunting to you, tell yourself you will try it for a week and then see how you feel at the end of that week- you might surprise yourself!

4. Go Natural Going natural doesn’t just refer to the type of food we are putting into our bodies; what we put on the outside is just as important. Take time this equinox to have a look through your beauty products, and try to pick out the natural products. Leading Nutritionist Marilyn Glenville says: ‘Your skin is the most absorbent organ of the body, so be careful what you rub on it. It is estimated that a women can end up putting over five hundred different chemicals on her skin each day! Reduce your ‘toxic load’ either by reducing the amount of toiletries you use or by buying natural or organic products. Make sure you do your research before choosing your skincare. You may be surprised to know that some products that claim to be natural are actually not always as pure as they seem.’

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 21


feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 22

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 23



Dorothy Perkins

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 24

Bardot Beauty A bardot neckline is one which reveals the shoulders and collar bones, whether it’s a dress or top the style exudes style and elegance

Bardot Jumper, £38, Lipsy

Bardot Floral Dress, £39.99, Bon Prix Check Bardot Dress,£40, Roman

Floral Print Bardot Dress, £59, Sosandar

George at Asda

Zip Detail Bardot Dress, £79, Sosandar

Pink Bardot Top, £19.99, Bon Prix

Leopard Print Bardot Top, £39, Sosandar

Cable Knit Bardot Top, £35, Lipsy

Lime Bardot Top, £22, Roman

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 25

Candy Crush Get your wardrobe ready for spring with candy colours, they’ll certainly add a spring to your step

Baby Blue Knitted Jumper, £30, Dorothy Perkins Lace Trim Top, £30, Miss Selfridge

Mint Green Skirt, POA, F&F

Betty & Co

Silk Dress, £299, Hobbs

V Neck Jumper, £25 Miss Selfridge,

Nike Lilac Trainer, £44.99, Deichmann

Love Slogan T-Shirt, £12.99, M&Co Baby Blue Blazer, £29, Miss Selfridge

FitBit, £89.99, Very

Yellow Bag, £22, Dorothy Perkins

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 26

finishing touch Thomas Sabo Dragonfly Ring, £259, Selfridges

Finish off your look with a ring or two, they look stylish and elegant and don’t need to cost a fortune

Gold Tone Stone Ring, £49.99, TK Maxx

Multi Coloured Ring, £99, John Lewis Spiral Stones Ring, £32, Oliver Bonas

Organic Stone Ring, £36, Oliver Bonas

Turquoise Stone Ring, £12, Accessorize

Gold Tone Stone Ring, £49.99, TK Maxx

Topaz and Diamond Ring, £275, John Lewis

Jon Richard Ring, £20, Debenhams

Vermeil Nugget Ring, £250, Monica Vinader

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 27

Bohemian Chic Channel your inner bohemian with a tiered maxi skirt, perfect for your spring wardrobe update

Pink Tiered Lace Skirt Daisy Print Tiered Skirt, £36.75, John Lewis

Tiered Skirt, £34.99, Bon Prix

Free People Ditsy Tiered Skirt, £89, Ghost

Raspberry Snakeskin Tiered Skirt, £42, Glamorous

Tiered Floral Skirt, £65, Oliver Bonas

Tiered Spot Skirt, £17.99, New Look

Tiered Ruffle Skirt, £25, Very

Tiered Floral Skirt, £32, Cotton Traders

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 28

Barely there

Nude is a colour that compliments any outfit, for a sleek and stylish look be sure to accessorize with a nude handbag

Nude Croc effect bag, £13, Primark

Nude Faux Fur Bag, £40, Oasis

Croc Effect Cross Body Bag, £15.99, New Look

Nude Chain Bag, £32, River Island

Quilted Tote Bag, £22.99, New Look

Nude Saddle Bag, £25, Very

Nude Bag, £75, Dune London

Nude Circle Bag, £13.99, New Look

Nude Chain Bag, £45, JD Williams


feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 29

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 30

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 31

food & drink


feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 32

The Next Generation Travel Mug

Ember, the design-led temperature control brand, have launched the Ember Travel Mug. Using patented temperature-control technology, Ember maintains coffee or tea at the user's preferred drinking temperature (between 50°C – 62.5°C). Ember’s second generation utilises the latest advancements in battery technology, allowing people to enjoy their hot beverage for up to 3 hours with Ember Travel Mug². Paired with the new redesigned charging coaster, Ember will stay charged for all day use. The Ember Travel Mug is available on www.ember.com for £179.95.

Dessert Lovers Dream

A brand new flavour straight out of the bakeshop, Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake is the perfect blend of light, fluffy red velvet cupcakes folded into mouth-watering Baileys Original Irish cream, just perfect for Valentine’s day. Delicious on its own over ice or as an extra-cosy Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake hot chocolate - this is the ultimate Baileys for dessert-lovers Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake is available from major supermarkets for a RRP £16.


Apres Ski in Marylebone

Caldesi in Marylebone (www.caldesi.com) the flagship restaurant of TV chef Giancarlo Caldesi is offering a special 'Apres Ski' menu until the end of February. Giving people who are in need of some wholesome, Italian Alpine food a chance to enjoy dishes synonymous with having spent a long day on the piste. The restaurant has had a makeover to resemble a ski lodge and the menu includes some truly authentic, winter warming dishes including a traditional fondu made with Fontina and Taleggio cheese and just right for sharing. The whole menu is packed with the sort of dishes that provide central heating on cold winter days using ingredients sourced from the mountainous regions of Italy.

Say Cheese


Award-winning Clothbound Cheddar producer, Quicke’s (www.quickes.co.uk) have launched the Quicke’s Cheese Box, a brand new retail concept combining an online store with a contemporary cheese counter & tasting room at Home Farm in Devon. Replacing the Quicke’s Farm Shop, the Cheese Box will provide a platform for artisan cheese from across the South West and beyond, alongside a carefully curated selection of cheeseboard accompaniments.

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 33

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 34

PARSNIP, BROCCOLI AND GOAT’S CHEESE BAKE “Caramelised roast veg are topped with ready-to-eat lentils and creamy goat's cheese for a hassle-free dinner”

Ingredients 500g parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks 350g broccoli, cut into little florets 2 red onions, cut into 8 wedges each 1 tbsp olive oil 5 thyme sprigs, leaves picked 2 tbsp clear honey 250g pouch cooked puy lentils 75g soft goat’s cheese ½ x 70g bag rocket 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to gas 6, elec 200°C, fan 180°C. Put the parsnips, broccoli and onions in a large shallow roasting tray. Toss with the olive oil and thyme, season, then roast for 20 minutes. Drizzle with the honey, then toss again. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes, adding the lentils to the tin for the final 10 minutes. Dot over the goat's cheese. Top with rocket, drizzle with the vinegar and serve immediately. Recipe from, www.tesco.com

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 35


“This Asian-inspired spicy pork traybake is perfect for a quick one-pan meal put everything in one large roasting tin and let the oven do the work”

Method Ingredients

2 red chillies, 1 finely chopped and 1 sliced 3 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp hoisin sauce 2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges 1.5cm piece ginger, grated 4 pork chops 250g basmati rice, rinsed 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and finely chopped 250g pack pak choi, roughly chopped 800ml chicken stock 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Mix the finely chopped chilli, soy, hoisin, lime juice and ginger together in a non-metallic bowl. Add the pork chops and turn to coat. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hrs. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C.

Mix the rice, leeks, lemongrass, pak choi and stock in a deep roasting tin. Top with the pork and all the marinade, then bake for 30 minutess until the pork is cooked through and the rice is tender. Garnish with the roughly chopped coriander and sliced chilli. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over. Recipe from, www.tesco.com

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 36

RED VELVET BROWNIES “Surprise your other half and loved ones with this Valentine's Day dessert”


For the brownies 200g dark chocolate 135g milk chocolate 185g slightly salted butter, diced 275g soft light brown sugar 3 eggs 2 tsp red food colouring (amount will depend on the brand you use) 85g plain flour 40g cocoa powder For the frosting 150g soft cheese 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 50g icing sugar 50g butter, softened


Heat an oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and line a square brownie tray or baking tin with non-stick parchment.

Roughly chop the dark and milk chocolate and set aside 150g for the topping. Put the rest in a small pan with the butter and sugar then heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate is melted, remove to a mixing bowl and cool slightly. Clean out the pan and use it to melt the rest of the chocolate then set aside. Stir the eggs, one by one, into the melted chocolate in the mixing bowl then add the red food colouring until the mixture is a deep red colour. Sieve over the flour and cocoa powder, fold to combine and pour into the prepared tin. Pour the melted chocolate from the pan onto the surface of the brownie in four evenly spaced lines and use a toothpick to create a ripple effect.

Bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutess, adding a few minutes more if you prefer firmer brownies. Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack. Beat the soft cheese, vanilla, icing sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Once the brownies are cool, trim off the edges and cut into nine even squares. Spread with the icing using a palette knife, keep chilled once iced.

Tip: To make these extra special, use a heart cutter to stamp out hearts from pink or red royal icing and stick one in the middle of each iced brownie. Recipe from, www.tesco.com

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:33 Page 37

A Scottish Gin Tea wo of my favourite pastimes, Afternoon Tea and Hendricks Gin, so when the two are paired together for a speciality afternoon tea it seemed only right that I should go along and experience it for myself.


The setting was perfect, The Grand Tea Lounge at the luxury fivestar Trump Turnberry set in an 800-acre estate on the Ayrshire coast. Reminiscent of a bygone age offering spectacular coastal views towards the Isle of Arran. Sitting at our window table, surrounded by opulent interiors it was like a scene from an Agatha Christie classic, the atmosphere was relaxed and there was a gently buzz as other diners spent time with their family and friends.

The Hendrick’s Gin Afternoon Tea, is a real treat. There’s no selection of tea here, you choose from a Tea Presse of either ‘Hendrick’s, English Breakfast Tea, Elderflower, Apple & Lemon or ‘Hendrick’s, English Breakfast Tea, Mint and Cucumber – a difficult decision so we chose both. Served in a Hendrick’s Gin teapot with a Hendrick’s gin teacup and saucer, that I so wanted to take home – both the presse’s were refreshingly easy to drink (I had to remind myself there was alcohol in them) but if I had to choose a favourite it would have to be the one with mint and cucumber. Next came the three-tiered stand containing a mouth-watering array of goodies, chicken and ham bun, smoked salmon and cream cheese open sandwich, prawn cocktail brioche, pastrami, cheese and green pickles on French stick, red sweet onion and goats cheese mini tart and egg mayonnaise wrap all a mouthwatering treat of different tastes and textures.

A sweet selection that would satisfy anyone followed, especially the fresh, soft delicious carrot cake (my favourite) and strawberry tartlets that just melted in the mouth. Before devouring all the cakes, a mental note had me making sure to save space for the scones, (no afternoon tea is complete without them) still warm, the homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream was an absolute treat, even if I felt my clothes were going to burst, and if you have got a little room left the savoury or sweet delights are topped up until you can’t eat anymore! Although it was a winter’s day, the sun was trying to peek out from behind the clouds creating a magical ambience to the whole experience, and did I mention the bagpipes? – Well a Scottish experience wouldn’t be complete without a Scotsman in a kilt entertaining us with his bagpipes would it?

Hendrick’s Afternoon Tea is priced at £44 per person, for more details or to book, visit www.trumphotels.com/turnberry


feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 38

“Bubbles, perfect for drinking with a loved one this Valentine’s, make it Rose, put it on ice and enjoy”

Every Week

Sunday lunch

Only £11.95 for a main course sunday roast.

Light Bites Lunch

Over 30 Dishes between £4 and £10, Served Monday to Saturday 12-5 pm

Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Delicously sweet, featuring flavours of fresh berries, juicy cherries, red apples, and other subtler notes such as orange. Pairing perfectly with mild cheese like halloumi, as well as fruity sorbets and cheesecake £7.99, www.barefootwine.co.uk

Two for Tuesday

Buy one get one Free on all Main Courses served 12-9

Thirsty Thursday

Half price drinks every Thursday 4pm-6.30 pm with free nibbles

Fish & Chips

Every Friday 12 - 9pm Beer Battered Fish & Chips

01234 781 678

info@millhouse-riverside.co.uk www.millhouse-riverside.co.uk millhouse_hotel

Millhouse Hotel and Riverside Restaurant Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Bedford MK44 1NP

Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosė A delicate salmon colour with an abundance of fine bubbles. Chardonnay brings freshness and finesse, whilst the Pinots add the classic red fruits for which England is so acclaimed. A raspberry and redcurrant nose carries through to a fresh fruit-driven palate. £35, www.ridgeview.co.uk

Freixenet Italian Rose Presented in a striking cutglass bottle, Freixenet Italian Rosé blends superior quality with stunning beauty. A delicate blend of Glera and Pinot Noir grapes, carefully selected from the finest Italian vineyards. Light and effervescent, with notes of red berries and underlying hints of white flowers and apples. £12, Tesco

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 39



feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 40

Textured Cushion, £12, Dunelm

Marble & Wood Photo Frame, £12.99, TK Maxx

Put It In Neutral

Bamboo Lantern, £20, Dunelm

Soft and subtle shades of oatmeal, taupe and biscuit create the perfect environment for relaxing in

Bronx Draws, £65, Next

Mongolian Fur Cushion, £35, JD Williams Home Laundry Basket, £135, Artisanti

Spring Leaf Art, £90, Very

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 41

Reclaimed Wood Sideboard, £505, Modish Living

Seagrass Storage Basket, £65, Cult Furniturejpg

Side Table, £139, Very

Fringed Cushion, £80, Sweetpea & Willow

Rug, £120, Next

Toulon Console Table, £232.99, Wayfair

Set Two Bee Napkins, £55, Amara


feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 42

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 43

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 44

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 45

Cool & Casual Add a stylish finish and update your casual look with a bomber jacket

Velvet Bomber Jacket, £89, John Lewis

Khaki Bomber Jacket, £128, AllSaints

Burton Menswear

Mock Suede Bomber Jacket, £40, Jacamo

Navy Bomber Jacket, £89, John Lewis

Grey Bomber Jacket, £29.99, TK Maxx

Navy Bomber Jacket, £79.99, TK Maxx

Green Bomber Jacket, £165, Jigsaw

Textured Bomber Jacket, £95, Reis


Navy Jacket, £149, Barbour

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 46

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 47

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 48

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 49



feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 50

New Overwater Villas at

Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives from their own private wooden sundeck. 24-hour butler service ensures guests’ needs are always met – from making restaurant reservations, to arranging snorkelling excursions and booking spa treatments.

Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives has unveiled 40 brandnew overwater villas (completed 19 December 2019), further cementing its position as a leading five-star Maldivian resort, offering the discerning traveller the ultimate in luxury accommodation.

Located on the north west lagoon of Kanifushi island, the overwater villas are set across two wooden walkways, interconnecting in the middle. The result is a stylish cross-over formation and provides the perfect place for guests to stroll along and enjoy the waves and beach nearby.

There are two overwater villa options available to guests; 12 facing the main island for the best sunrise views, and 28 sunset view villas with private pool. Positioned over a stunning turquoise lagoon, the new overwater villas offer both an elegant retreat and a unique experience. Guests can spot marine wildlife including reef sharks passing by from the privacy of their villa decks, and enjoy uninterrupted views of the ocean.

A brand-new overwater restaurant, “Pier Six,” has also been built on the new overwater peninsula, offering guests a range of cuisines, including an array of seafood and Japanese Teppanyaki grill options. “Pier Six” has been designed in the shape of a native Manta Ray, and features high ceilings and blue marble walls, with indoor and outdoor seating to accommodate up to 60 guests.

The interior design of the new villas has been carefully selected to complement the island surroundings, with accents of blue and tropical colours, along with Maldivian style soft furnishings and intricate wall art. The large bathroom is a spacious haven and glass-panes built into the floor allow guests to gaze upon the ocean below without leaving their villa. Villas are equipped with all mod-cons and direct access to the water means guests can take a dip into the lagoon


Venkata Giri, Chief Operating Officer at Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, says: “Perfect for those after a unique villa experience and the chance to be close to the ocean, we have developed the new overwater villas at Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives specifically to offer guests a wider choice of accommodation options.

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 51

“We are committed to growing and developing the resort to reflect the needs and desires of our customers and we’re confident the overwater villas will give guests an experience they will never forget.” Located in the Lhaviyani Atoll, five-star Atmosphere Kanifushi is 2km long and surrounded by a turquoise lagoon, reached by a 30-minute seaplane transfer from Malé International Airport. Atmosphere Kanifushi is truly a paradisiacal island, featuring lush green palm trees, flourishing tropical vegetation and white sandy beaches. The resort is home to a natural coral reef that surrounds the island, ready for exploration.

Guests at Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives are already part of the generous premium All-Inclusive Platinum Plus™ Plan, that provides an all-encompassing, hassle free holiday – food & beverages, dining experiences, activities, excursions, and exclusive services and amenities in some of the largest entrylevel beach villas in the Maldives. For more information or to book, visit www.atmosphere-kanifushi.com


feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 52


Pottering Around The Potting Shed here’s many places that I dream of visiting, but I have to admit a Potting Shed isn’t one of them, so when we were invited to visit The Eastbury, a luxury Georgian country house hotel and spa in the glorious countryside of Dorset and spend the night in one of their newly added luxury ‘Victorian Garden Potting Shed Suites’, I have to say I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to see what was in store.


Set within the hotel’s beautiful walled garden, these unique Potting Sheds are aptly named after herbs, and are as ecofriendly as possible, with roofs made from moss and sedum and surrounded by plants and flowers. Whilst externally resembling a traditional Victorian Garden Potting Shed, internally is a completely different story. Walk through the door into a luxurious rustic haven. White walls create the perfect backdrop for the earthy tones that accesorise the room. The large chocolate brown headboard takes centre stage against a feature brick wall, ultramodern touches include a chunky wooden mirror that turns into a TV (I want one), underfloor heating and bi-fold doors that open on to your own private terrace, complete with a firepit and chairs, an outdoor haven to bask in the sunshine in summer and cosy around the fire in winter.

Not only does the hotel have these newly opened Potting Shed Suites they also have a new spa, hidden in a wooded area inside the walled garden, it looks like a secret hobbit hideaway, just perfect for a little indulgence.

There’s an outdoor hot tub, couple’s hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, mini gym area and two treatment rooms. This small intimate spa can be booked for you to have exclusive use with a partner or small group of friends, the icing on the cake for a romantic getaway. Whilst at the spa I enjoyed an indulgent aromatherapy massage, which is designed to assist the body to balance, heal, and experience peace, calm and harmony, it certainly achieved all this and more, leaving me floating back to my potting shed, where I curled up in a blanket and continued to enjoy the peace and tranquillity as I sat cocooned in the warmth from the outside firepit.

It took all my effort to drag myself away from my tranquil corner and get ready for dinner, taking place in the hotel’s award winning 2 rosette Seasons Restaurant.

Every table in the restaurant is placed so guests have a perfect view of the country cottage like garden, we certainly weren’t disappointed, atmospheric lighting and soft music created an intimate, relaxing ambience to enjoy a delightful culinary journey. We opted for the tasting menu with the accompanying wine flight and certainly weren’t disappointed

An amuse bouche of creamy leek soup accompanied with artisan breads and tomato butter, was perfect for teasing our taste buds for the rest of the menu. The venison tartare was complimented with a quail yolk, hints of juniper and blackberry and black pudding toast, a mouth-watering array of textures and tastes, paired perfectly with a South African Chenin Blanc Whipped goats’ cheese, served with a chilled beetroot soup, orange, hazelnuts, golden beetroot and baby chard was a rainbow of colours, the crunchiness of the nuts added great texture and the sweet dessert wine that accompanied was delightful, it has to be my favourite dish. Devon crab, cucumber, wasabi, brown crab tuile, green apple, grapefruit and dill was next, served with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the crab was so fresh and the flavours combined were divine.

Roasted lamb with Tandoori spice, cauliflower, cucumber yoghurt and black dal was cooked perfectly, the lamb literally melted in the mouth and the slight kick of spices from the cauliflower was tapered down instantly with the creamy cucumber yogurt.

Pinenut milk served with lemon sorbet and limoncello was ideal for refreshing the palette ready for the final dish of Valrhona chocolate cremeux, served with passion fruit ice

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 53

cream that gives a burst of citrusy flavours to the rich chocolate, served with my all-time favourite dessert wine Elysium, the perfect end to a journey of culinary excellence.

Back in our Potting Shed, the temptation to throw back the bifold doors, light the fire pit, snuggle under a blanket and watch the stars whilst sipping sloe gin (a decanter along with a bottle of wine are part of your welcome) proved too great and we lazed under the stars enjoying the tranquil, serene space until the early hours of the morning.

Next morning it was back to Seasons restaurant for breakfast, an array of fresh local ingredients certainly fuelled our bodies for the day ahead and before we had to sadly check out we made sure we went back to nature and enjoyed a coffee in one of the glass garden pods, surrounded by the lush greenery it was the idyllic way to ends what had been an idyllic stay, the only negative, we couldn’t stay longer. BOOK IT

A potting shed suite starts from £325, per night on a B&B basis based on two people sharing.

A Double Room in the main hotel starts from £195 per night on a B&B basis based on two sharing. To book or for more information, visit www.theeastburyhotel.co.uk

*Prices may vary from those shown.

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 54

“Be My Valentine by Guerlain”



Mandarin Oriental, Paris The Be my Valentine by Guerlain package is priced from EUR 1,175 per night and includes:

nspired by Valentine’s Day, Mandarin Oriental, Paris is offering a romantic accommodation package in collaboration with Guerlain. Guests booking the February 2020 Be my Valentine by Guerlain offer will take home the new La Petite Robe Noire So Frenchy limited-edition fragrance created by the perfume and cosmetics house and enjoy other romantic treats during their stay in the ‘City of Love’.

• Luxurious accommodation • Daily breakfast for two, in-room or at Camélia restaurant

• A 50 ml bottle of the new La Petite Robe Noire So Frenchy eau de parfum and a Rouge G lipstick to take home

• A personalised bottle engraving and fragrance consultation at Guerlain’s Vendôme boutique on 356 rue Saint-Honoré

On arrival, Be my Valentine by Guerlain package guests will be welcomed to their room with rose petal arrangements and other romantic treats, including sweet-tasting delights and pink champagne, and receive their bottle of La Petite Robe Noire So Frenchy. A take on timeless French chic, this eau de parfum combines sultry rose with dark notes of black cherry, patchouli and black tea. The new Rouge G lipstick in a matte soft pink, decorated with cherry blossom on both the stick and case, will be presented to guests too. Also included in the package is a perfume consultation at Guerlain’s Vendôme boutique, a few steps away from the hotel, where guests will be warmly welcomed and have their perfume bottle engraved with their names or a message. Back at the hotel, guests can indulge in pure relaxation at The Spa, with EUR 100 credit per day.

• Complimentary bottle of Louis Roederer Pink Champagne and sweet-tasting treats delivered to guests’ room upon arrival • Romantic room set up, including rose petal arrangements • A credit of EUR 100 per stay for The Spa

The package is available between 1 to 29 February 2020, subject to availability. Rates are based on two people sharing.


For enquiries or bookings, please visit www.mandarinoriental.com

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 55

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:34 Page 56

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Liberation Day at

Hotel Santa Caterina exclusive access to, via two private elevators carved into the rock of the coast, the private beach club where they can soak up the Mediterranean sun and swim in the heated pool filled with sea water. For those wishing to take the scenic route, a spectacularly beautiful path takes guests through citrus groves and lush gardens to the sea-level facilities which also include a solarium, fitness centre, café / bar and outdoor restaurant.

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Liberation Day in Italy, a national holiday that commemorates the end of Nazi occupation during World War II. As one of the most celebrated public holidays of the country, 25th April will see scores of revellers in Italy honouring the fallen by holding parades, concerts and food festivals against the echoing sounds of ‘Bella Ciao.’

During a visit to the iconic Amalfi Coast, travellers can explore the region’s fascinating history further by visiting the magnificent medieval Roman Catholic cathedral, Duomo di Sant'Andrea, get lost in the beautiful Villa Cimbrone Gardens and if you’re feeling particularly active, embark on the Path of Gods which not only treats hikers to the most stunning views of the UNESCO listed coast but also gives an insight into an ancient world that once was. Closer to sea level and perched on the edge of the Amalfi Coast, the exquisite 19th century family-owned Hotel Santa Caterina looks over the bay of Naples and is immersed in the delicate scents of the orange and lemon groves. Re-opening on 27th March 2020, the hotel is one of the only hotels in the area that offers direct private sea access. It also offers its guests panoramic views of the iconic sweeping azure-blue Amalfi Coast as well as

In 1880, Giuseppe Gambardella built the original building. Crescenzo Gambardella, his son, renovated the property in 1904, creating the first six guest rooms. Two generations of Gambardella have continued to expand and renovate the hotel - up to the current 66 rooms and suites. Today, the daughters of Crescenzo, Giusi and Ninni Gambardella, assisted by their respective sons Crescenzo Gargano, Alessandro and Beatrice Camera, manage the daily activities of the hotel and personally take care of everything that can make their guests' stay pleasant and comfortable. Rooms at Hotel Santa Caterina start at €400 + VAT tax 10% per room, per night. 56

For more information or to book, visit www.hotelsantacaterina.it/en

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:35 Page 57

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:35 Page 58

Band of Gold Kay Mellor’s band of Gold comes to Milton Keynes Theatre next month, Simon Button catches up with Kay and the cast to talk murder, prostitution and her inspiration. 60

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:35 Page 59

The fight paid off. The show wasn’t just a gripping crime drama, it was a phenomenon - with more than 15 million viewers tuning in each week, fans holding Band Of Gold parties where they’d catch the latest episode over wine and pizza and bookies taking bets on the identity of Gina’s killer before the big reveal at the end of the first series.

Kay would go on to become one of the UK’s most successful and revered dramatists, penning the likes of Playing The Field, The Syndicate and Girlfriends for television and turning her muchloved show Fat Friends (which aired from 2000-2005) into a hugely successful 2017 stage musical, which she also directed. Band Of Gold remains a firm favourite amongst Mellor fans. She smiles about people in the street still yelling ‘What’s happened to Carol?’ in reference to Cathy Tyson’s feisty prostitute who takes Gina (Ruth Gemmell) under her wing. “And I get in taxis and the driver goes ‘I love that Band Of Gold, why don’t you write some more of it?’”

Twenty-two years on from the series finale, Kay has done just that - opting for a stage version of the classic story with a brand-new cast rather than trying to bring back original stars Tyson, Geraldine James, Barbara Dickson and Samantha Morton for a sequel.

Bringing Band Of Gold to the stage for the first time, writer-director Kay Mellor promises fans are in for a treat. “They’ll get all the joy and the suspense they had from the television version,” says the creator of one of the most-watched shows in British TV history, “but it’s live theatre so it has that excitement to it because it’s unfolding right in front of their very eyes.”

Having loved adapting Fat Friends for the stage, she adds: “There’s nothing like sitting in an auditorium listening to your play and hearing people laughing and applauding. It’s absolutely magical. It’s like a drug.”

Revising the plot of the first series but adding a few twists to keep it fresh and surprising, the play’s writer and director adds: “It’s funny and it’s sad and audiences are going to be told a big story not over six weeks but two hours with a beginning, middle and an end.”

After reworking Band Of Gold as a play, she workshopped it twice and made big changes, but the anonymous feedback from the second workshop was that everyone would pay to see it and everyone would recommend it to a friend. “That’s when I thought ‘OK, let’s take this to the next stage’. And I decided to set it in its original time period because actually nothing much has changed since then. If anything, things have become harder with austerity and Universal Credit.

Set, like the TV show, in the early 90s, the stage version is bringing back the iconic characters and moments that made Band Of Gold such a sensation when it premiered on ITV. But the killer of young mother turned sex worker Gina won’t be the same, with Mellor teasing: “I think people will be more satisfied than they were with the TV revelation.”

People just can’t get to the end of the week. There are more sex workers than there were 20 years ago people selling their bodies to basically feed their kids or make ends meet. It’s more relevant to today than ever before.” We’ve assembled this brilliant new cast of great actors and some well-known faces and it allows me to re-invent Band of Gold for both it’s long term fans and those coming to it for the first time.

The Leeds-born writer was originally inspired to write the hard-hitting drama when, on the way to a party, she and her husband drove through Lumb Lane in Bradford - a notorious hangout for sex workers and a young woman approached their car. “It was like someone had hit me in the solar plexus,” Kay recalls, “because she was so young – 14 or 15 - and my daughters weren’t much older than that.”

Gaynor Faye, who recently left Emmerdale to be able to star in the play, takes over from Geraldine James as Rose for the stage version and agrees the Band Of Gold revival couldn’t be more timely. “It’s more than two decades on and I think we’re in a worse position than we were then,” she feels. “There’s as much poverty if not more poverty now. People are really struggling, and more people are visiting food banks.”

Haunted by the encounter, Kay left the party early to track down the girl but was told by another sex worker that the teenager had ‘pimp problems’. Mellor sighs. “I never saw her again, but I started thinking ‘What is it that drives a woman onto the Lane to sell her body?’” It took eight years for her to get what would become Band Of Gold on screen “fighting everybody and literally begging people to read the script, because I was an unknown writer, writing about sex workers in the North of England and who’s gonna put that on television?”


Rose is like the mother hen, ruling the Lane where the younger girls work, with the actress noting: “She’s very territorial and nobody is stepping on her patch, but she’s a good friend and the kind of person everyone would want to have their back because she’s tough.”

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:35 Page 60

documentaries about sex workers. “And it’s interesting to see how even though they have to be tough they’re also very vulnerable and they’re just everyday girls in extraordinary circumstances,” notes the actress whose credits include Doctors and Snatch. “They’re so resilient. Carol constantly talks about not wanting to be controlled, to be independent and her own woman. She’s so scared of being abandoned.”

Laurie Brett plays Anita, “a working-class survivor who’ll do whatever it takes to get through life”. She rents out a room to the girls for a cut of their earnings. “She’s very multi-layered and a really interesting person,” says the actress best known for EastEnders and Waterloo Road.

A fan of the TV show when it premiered, Brett says: “It was extremely gritty and it still is, plus it was an honest portrayal of women who weren’t victims. Yes, they were victims of circumstance but not in terms of their everyday lives.”

She sees Carol as a character on an emotional rollercoaster, not to mention an iconic one. “So, there’s a pressure there, but you have to make the role your own. I appreciate being given this opportunity to do something so powerful and to play a character who is so strong and feisty.”

Coronation Street and dinnerladies star Andrew Dunn is Ian, a counsellor and client with all sorts of flaws. “He has this front as a pillar of the community but in the background there’s a lot of other stuff going on. That’s really interesting to play.”

Sacha Parkinson is equally thrilled to be playing Gina, who is driven to prostitution after splitting from her abusive husband Steve. Sacha was only three when Band Of Gold started and hasn’t watched it so as to bring a fresh take. “Plus, that kind of mirrors Gina’s own experience of going into a world she doesn’t know anything about,” says the former Corrie star whose CV also includes The Mill and Mr Selfridge.

The role marks a reunion for Dunn and Mellor, who starred as husband and wife in the play A Passionate Woman at the Hull Truck

Hailing from Manchester, she calls Kay Mellor “a real voice for the North”, adding: “Getting to work with her is an amazing opportunity and Band Of Gold has been her baby for years so to be a part of her exploring it again is really special.”

Hollyoaks regular and Dancing On Ice finalist Kieron Richardson is making his professional stage debut as bad-boy Steve who becomes a prime suspect in Gina’s murder. And Richardson has a strong connection to Band Of Gold, revealing that his father Thomas was an on-set security guard for the TV show. As a youngster Kieran would go along to the set and hang out in Carol’s house and ride around in the blue police van. “And watching them all work is one of the reasons I got into acting in the first place so it’s kind of come full circle,” he beams.

Band of Gold is at Milton Keynes Theatre from Monday 9 to Saturday 14 March - Tickets are available from www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

Theatre in 2010. “Kay was fantastic to work with so I’m really looking forward to working with her again,” says Andrew. He knows all about devoted fans, smiling: “It’s been 21 years since dinnerladies first started and people still love it. It’s the same with Band Of Gold. It was one of the first dramas with so many female characters at its centre and the story is still relevant. Prostitution may have diversified but it’s still happening.”

Fellow Coronation Street star and X Factor winner Shayne Ward is relishing the role of DCI Newall, the detective tasked with finding Gina’s killer who was played by David Schofield on TV. Schofield was in his 40s at the time whereas Ward is in his mid-30s so his take on Newall is as a younger man keen to make his mark rather than as a seasoned professional. “He wants to be taken seriously,” Shayne says, “and although he’s a nice guy he’s also now in charge of the investigation so he wants to assert his authority.”

After three years on Corrie, Ward is excited about going out on his first-ever tour in a play. “I’m looking forward to how much I can learn from working with so many great actors and with Kay, of course. I used to watch The Syndicate on TV and think ‘I’d love to be in something like that’, never thinking I’d get to meet Kay let alone work with her. It’s a massive privilege.” To research the role of Carol, Emma Osman has delved into


feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:35 Page 61

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:35 Page 62

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

Aquarius (20 January – 18 February) You want to accomplish as much as you can, and the more success you have, the more confident you feel, but you shouldn’t tie your confidence to your success so much. You can come across as more fair, graceful, and vacillating. You feel most like yourself when you’re with a loved one or partner. You’d rather be with someone else than alone or in a crowd. When you have someone by your side, you feel free to be your true self. Favourable Dates: February 1, 3, 10, 12, 21, 28 Favourable Colours: Blue & Grey 64

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:35 Page 63

Pisces (19 February – 20 March) You feel most like yourself when you’re focused on your work and getting the tasks done that need to be done. You can get through everything efficiently, productively, as quickly as possible, and to the best of your abilities. If single, you can meet someone who is from another country or background. If you’re in a relationship, you can be more playful with your partner and try to make things more adventurous. Favourable Dates: February 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favourable Colours: Purple & Yellow

budget. This can be a good time to acquire something of value. You like nurturing and encouraging others and can be more supportive of your loved ones. Favourable Dates: February 3, 6, 12, 15, 21, 24 Favourable Colours: Purple & White

Virgo (23 August – 22 September) You’re more willing to embrace new opportunities and try something new in your life. You might seem too serious, controlling, and emotional. You can also have problems with taxes, loans, debts, inheritances, or joint finances. Romance will be in mind and soul for you most of this month. You can also focus on your health and make lifestyle changes to improve your health for the better. Favourable Dates: February 2, 9, 11, 18, 20, 27 Favourable Colours: Purple & Yellow

Aries (21 March – 19 April) You can become more dedicated to your work and take on more projects than usual. You want to keep busy, and you feel you’re capable of doing a lot. You want to be with people who are of the same mind as you, and who share the same causes and beliefs. You can focus more on your dreams and feel good about your future. You may come across as more regal, stubborn, and friendlier. Favourable Dates: February 1, 5, 10, 14, 19, 23 Favourable Colours: Red & White

Libra (23 September – 22 October) You can achieve career success and accomplish long-term goals if you’ve been working hard and making smart choices. You can be presented with an opportunity to do something with a partner, see a loved one presented with a new opportunity, or are presented an opportunity through a loved one. You feel most like yourself when you’re around your friends, in groups, and with people of the same mind as yourself. Favourable Dates: February 4, 5, 13, 14, 22, 23 Favourable Colours: Red & Green

Taurus (20 April – 20 May) You feel most like yourself when you’re mentally stimulated, engaging with other people intellectually, and sharing your thoughts and ideas with others. You’re more focused on your mind, and you want to connect with other people mentally. You’re also more willing to be unusual or innovative and embrace what makes you an individual. You come across as more charitable, and intellectual. You can be more romantic and playful with your partner. Favourable Dates: February 7, 9, 16, 18, 25, 27 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Green

Scorpio (23 October – 21 November) You shine a light on your future and your dreams, and you can make some progress with your future dreams. You’re attracted to the unusual and to people who are their true selves. You can focus on a transformation that you want to make in your life and try to change some part of yourself or your life for the better. You may come across as more intense, passionate, and obsessive. Favourable Dates: February 4, 5, 14, 22, 24, 28 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue

Gemini (21 May – 20 June) You can begin a new creative project, take up a new hobby, or let out your inner child. You can enjoy dedicating yourself to your goals and achieving success. The more success you achieve, the better you feel. If single, you could meet someone through your career or through theirs or get involved with a boss or mentor. If attached, you can be more traditional with your love tokens, but also less affectionate. Favourable Dates: February 4, 8, 13, 17, 22, 26 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Blue

Sagittarius (22 November - 21 December) You enjoy dedicating yourself to your career, and you want to accomplish your goals. You can get closer to where you want to be and get further along your life path. If in a relationship, you can bring more romance in. If single, you can attract more people who catch your eye. You find pleasure in indulging in your senses, and can treat yourself to rich foods, fine wine, great music and art. Favourable Dates: February 4, 5, 14, 22, 24,28 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue

Cancer (21 June – 22 July) You are having some big plans for the future and are devoted completely to them. People in sports, media and performing arts will be benefited. You might try to bring more balance into your career though. If in a relationship, you can be more romantic and spend more time with your partner. If single, you can attract more people of interest to you. You can indulge more and require more balance in your life to enjoy yourself. Favourable Dates: February 5, 8, 14, 17, 23, 26 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Green

Leo (23 July – 22 August). You can be driven to have more financial security. You may take on a second job, do a side gig for extra money, or try turning a hobby into a job. You can look at your finances and see where you need to cut back and how to fix your

Capricorn (22 December – 19 January) You can be presented with a new career opportunity or get promoted, achieve a goal or set a new one for yourself, or make a good impression on someone. You feel ambitious and focussed on what you can get done and succeed with. Spending time at home, in the place that you feel most comfortable, allows you to open up in ways you won’t when you feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar places. Favourable Dates: February 1,4, 10, 13, 19, 22 Favourable Colours: Red & Green


manishastroconsultant manish@manishastrologer.com

feb20.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 03/02/2020 21:35 Page 64

Weekend Starts Here.... Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson You never forget the one that got away. But what if ‘what could have been’ is yet to come? Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape. But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; after all, she’d been the one to run. Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past. For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her skin-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind. And so begins a new mix tape. Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything… Because what if ‘what could have been’ is yet to come?

Fantasy Island (Film) In Blumhouse's new spin on Fantasy Island, the enigmatic Mr. Roarke makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxurious but remote tropical resort. But when the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests have to solve the island's mystery in order to escape with their lives. Release Date: 14th February

The Good Liar Roy Courtnay is a run of the mill con man in search of a new swindle. While online, he comes in contact with Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren). The widow gives him a place to stay and begins to share everything in her life with him. The con suddenly changes as Roy finds himself developing feelings for the woman he plans to rob. As he come to terms with the problem, he also finds that the balance between his past and future is far less clearer than he thought it was. Release Date: 4th February 66

feb20cover .qxp_Layout 1 03/02/2020 20:40 Page 2

feb20cover .qxp_Layout 1 03/02/2020 20:40 Page 1





Candy Crush Add a spring to your step, with a new spring wardrobe


Band Of Gold

The Hit TV Series comes to MK Theatre this Springtime

Add A Little Sparkle Rose Bubbles, perfect for drinking this Valentine’s

These soft and subtle shades create the perfect environment for relaxing in


We Find Out What It's Like To Sleep In One!

Spring Clean your Life with our handy tips



With our Valentine's Gift Guide

Profile for jane fry

Affinity Luxury Lifestyle Magazine February 2020