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FREE AFFINITY LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

New Season Stock Now In Store

www.affinitymag.co.uk February 2018

Lingerie Luxe

Jewellers of Distinction 2 Church Arcade Bedford TEL: 01234 354026

FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE 81

MILLMAN

How to WOW this Valentine's

Valentines Gift Guide

She'll love you forever

Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary

we show you how

Chocolate Cheese and Chaplin in Lausanne

WIN!

An overnight stay in the Cotswolds at Tewkesbury Park


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I’m Welcome... loving... 2

1

3

4 We tend to neglect our body a bit at this time of year, not just health and fitness wise but also beauty wise – just because it’s covered up with chunky knits and woollen tights doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pamper it a little, especially keeping it hydrated and soft, so we’ve rounded up our favourite body creams that’ll have you feeling ‘body beautiful’ in no time, (page 20).

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Talking of love, let’s not neglect the obligatory Valentine’s Day this month and if it’s gifts you’re after, turn to page 28 and leave the magazine in clear view of your husband, partner, crush and hope they get the hint. Keeping with the romance theme, why not check out a romantic break at the five-star Atzaro Hotel and Spa in Ibiza (page 66), slightly different but definitely one to add to the bucket list. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his food, which is why our recipes (page 42) are bound to get him wanting more (food that is!)

1. Bag, £29.50, Marks & Spencer 2. Silver & Gold Tassel Earrings, POA, Accessorize 3. Laduree Macarons Bag Charm, £29.99, www.amara.com 4. Lovebug Ankle Boot, £375, Russell & Bromley 5. Saint Tropez Chair, £187, www.calligaris.co.uk

Are you one of the thousand sof people who go to bed and can’t sleep, did you know 90% of the time it is your bedtime routine and actual bedroom that stop you from catching up on ZZZZZ’s, page 26 helps you turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary so you can get a better night’s sleep and wake up refreshed. The UK has so many gorgeous places to visit, none more so than the Cotswolds, and we are offering one lucky reader the chance to win an overnight stay for two in a suite at the country retreat Tewkesbury Park, turn to page 22 to see how to enter. Until next month Cover Little Mistress

Lots of Love

Jane x

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

www.affinitymag.co.uk

facebook.com/AffinityMag

@affinitymagz

linkedin.com/pub/jane-zita-fry

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.


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CONTENTS 32 14 18 25 28 32 37 41 45 48 55 60 64 68 72

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Beauty Updates Know your Triggers Hot Picks Be Mine Blue is Black In Bloom Foodie News Champagne Love Affair Modern Eclecticism 59 Check Mate Chocolate and Cheese Escape to the Country Relax and Recharge Your Stars

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60

16

56

28


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What does your kitchen mean to you?

Telephone: 01234 843000

Telephone: 01480 398017/8


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See it, Say it, and Sort it Learning to


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If you have travelled by train recently you will have seen the exhortation ‘See it. Say it. Sorted.’ Of course this refers to anything unusual, left luggage, people acting strangely or any of a number of other things. But actually it’s not a bad way to think about our own lives. As humans we all have a tendency to drift through days, weeks, months and even years. We all lead busy lives but it’s easy to be so busy with the mundane everyday things that we never really get to thinking about the bigger picture. I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacation with more care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that’s because escape is easier than change. JIm Rohn

Yet I know that there are a lot of people who live lives that are not fulfilling, essentially they are not very happy and often people around them may wonder why on earth they don’t change. But for most people change is a bit scary. However talented we might be we can’t see into the future and for a lot of people a life that is predictable, even if not fulfilling, gives them a certain security. If that is the case that is your choice, but please be aware that the truth is that however ‘fixed’ you may see you life, if you are not happy there will always be some areas you can change. But the first step is simply to see it.

See It It can be an uncomfortable feeling to gradually realise and ‘see’ that your life, or more likely one aspect of it, is not making you happy. Sometimes we actually need a bit of space to see it. Some relaxation, or time away, might mean you come back and suddenly you notice things you didn’t before. Or it may be some sort of anniversary that brings you up short. Someone I got chatting to recently said they’d been in their current employment for fourteen years - they laughed and explained that they’d only intended to stay for a year or two then try to get a promotion, but in her words ‘life happened’. The thing is life will continue to happen and while sometimes unexpected things happen, either good or bad, for many people life just keeps ‘happening’ and they suddenly realise that a lot of time has passed and they haven’t done what they thought they would do. Now if you are brilliantly happy then that is fair enough, but if you are not then the only way it is going to change is with you doing something and step one is to see it. Notice the feeling and recognise the aspects of your life that you are not happy about. Say It While seeing it, and becoming aware that you are

not fully satisfied is undoubtedly the first step, of itself it won’t actually make anything very different. If I noticed on a train someone acting suspiciously and said nothing, then if there was a malicious intent my seeing it wouldn’t change the course of what would happen. But saying it might. So step two is all about you voicing what you have seen. Obviously in the transport scenario you need to tell the right person, someone who can take action and has the authority to do something about it. But when it comes to your own life you can guess who that person is! Yep, that would be you. But a helpful step can be to acknowledge what you see to someone else. There is a power in voicing our thoughts, taking the time to voice aloud and say to someone what you might have previously noticed but only thought, can have a powerful effect. In some ways it makes it much more real and often will put you in a position where you are able to take the next step and do something about it. Perhaps to start to make those changes to ensure that you are living the life you want in the way you want.

Sorted It might be just one word but of course getting to the ‘sorted’ stage can be a tough journey. Having noticed things aren’t how you want them and voiced that to someone then, of course, you have a choice. You can do nothing and continue as before. It is your life and you can live it as you want, but remember you only get one go at life and while it is easy to blame others or situations for your unhappiness, actually being happy is your responsibility. Even acknowledging that some aspects of life can be hard to change, there is usually a lot that you can change. But it’s a challenge as many people find change daunting and sometimes forego the chance of happiness to maintain the status quo. Yes, the future can be uncertain but that is what makes us alive. It’s better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret. Jackie Joyner-Kersee

So, like the passenger on a train, if everything is looking good and you are feeling happy with things then do nothing, but if you start to notice that life isn’t what you want then see it, say it and be prepared to get it sorted. It might take courage to face a change but letting life drift by and realising you have been putting up with things you aren’t happy with for years will often lead to regret. Like any type of change it can be less daunting with support, so feel free to contact us at : www.attunedsuccess.co.uk info@attunedsuccess.co.uk or call 07921193479 for support or coaching with any aspect of life that is not making you happy.


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Brush Up

Mineral make-up brand Jane Iredale have launched a crueltyfree synthetic make-up brush collection. The entire collection is made using luxuriously soft, synthetic brush hairs to deliver the best payoff and coverage. Launching gradually from January 2018 starting with the Blending/Contour Brush (£34) and Contour Brush (£36). All brushes are available from at janeiredale.co.uk.

Double Duty Peeper Perfector

Iconic Parisian skincare brand Gatineau is expanding its Perfection Ultime™ collection with the launch of Miracle Eye Contour Cream. Designed to create a ‘no-filter-needed’ airbrush effect whilst hydrating the delicate periorbital skin, Perfection Ultime™ Miracle Eye Contour Cream is a lightweight treatment that instantly adjusts to your skin tone, lightly concealing dark circles and imperfections. Perfect for reducing puffiness, targeting fine lines, addressing dark circles and concealing imperfections, Perfection Ultime™ Miracle Eye Contour Cream transforms tired looking eyes whilst retexturizing the skin and boosting radiance. Available from www.gatineau.co.uk for a RRP £27.

Daily Tonic

REN Skincare have launched their Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic (£25, www.renskincare.com). This effective, skin-resurfacing toner will exfoliate and brighten your complexion, whilst being gentle enough to use daily. By stimulating the skin to naturally exfoliate, lactic acid and willow bark extract work together to smooth, tone and help reduce the pore size, while azelaic acid precursor will brighten and help to even out skin tone for the perfect glow.

Natural Radiance

NARS Cosmetics introduces Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, (£35) its first 16-hour fade-resistant foundation with full-powered radiance. Its unstoppable, medium-to-full buildable coverage stays vibrant and fresh, as if just applied. The staying power is enhanced by a patent pending technology that delivers a uniquely weightless texture with superior bendability for an imperceptible effect that looks like skin. Formulated to improve skin hour by hour with skin optimizing complex - a blend of raspberry, apple, and watermelon extracts that helps support skin elastic fibers to smooth and improve skin texture - while specialized pigments recognize and fuse with your skin for your closest match yet. Available in 33 skin-matching shades, ranging from deep espresso to the fairest tones. Stay strong. Stay natural. Stay radiant.

BEAUTY UPDATES

Lunar New Year

MAC Cosmetics has launched its Lunar New Year collection, Comprising Lipstick (£17.50) in Peachy New Year (soft peach with gold pearl), Pure Happiness (sheer light pink), Prosperity (bright pinky coral), Good Health (muted peachy nude), and To Luck! (soft dusty rose); Luck and Fortune Eye Shadow Palette (£26) in Sweet Vapours (light peachy nude), Spirit of the Season (soft sand), Georgia Peach (cool peachy beige), Precious Occasion (light peach with gold and pink pearl), Couplets (soft peachy beige), Special Charm (soft dusty light pink), Luck and Fortune (midtone warm pink), Lucky 8 (dusty rose), and Auspicious (warm deep brown with satin finish); Powder Blush Duo (£25.50) in Love Token (soft warm pink) and Long Life & Happiness (light pale peach). All available from Selfridges.


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Mask It

Willow Organic Beauty Hydrating Super Mask, £8.24, Amazon

Winter plays havoc with your skin, and whilst we'd all love to visit the spa for a regular face mask treatment, in reality it’s just not possible. But that doesn’t stop you applying your own at home, here’s our favourites.

Katherine Daniels Deep Cleansing Mask, £27.40, www.katherinedanielscosmetics.com

Murad Age-Diffusing Firming Mask, £68, John Lewis

ESPA Essential Cleansing Mask, £32, www.espaskincare.com

Novexpert The Repulp Mask, £29.95, www.thegroomingclinic.com

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Mask, £49.50, House of Fraser Lush Oatifix Face Mask, £7.25, Lush

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask, £17.50, www.lizearle.com

Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Double Action Mask, £60, House of Fraser


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Time to Make Peace with your

trigger foods Do you have a stressful relationship with certain foods? Are you afraid that if you eat one of these ‘trigger foods’ you’ll lose all control and be unable to stop? Fear of food is a big issue for many people – especially when trying to lose weight. Nutritionist Emma Brown at calorie tracker Nutracheck shares her thoughts and advice: “If you ever feel you’ve lost control and eaten an uncomfortable amount, you’re not alone. Most people would say that a ‘trigger food’ is something they have real trouble eating a reasonable portion of. Usually, it’s something like chocolate, biscuits, cakes, crisps or other salty snacks. “As a result we start seeing foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – which gives them more emotional power over us. What is ‘bad’ and forbidden is instantly more attractive! So we get into a cycle of resistance and indulgence that repeats. It’s a battle you can’t win unless you learn to make peace with your food demons. “Emotions and circumstances play a large part in what we eat. There are lots of triggers that can set us off on the road to excess eating: being home alone, feeling bored, being stressed or upset – they’re all classic triggers to make us want to reach for something comforting. “A starting point is to retrain our brain about how we view food. We need to lose the labels ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to break the emotional association we have with certain foods, for example, by seeing it as a ‘reward’. You’re in charge – not the food – and it might seem hard but it’s possible, over time, to learn how to include these ‘trigger’ foods in your daily diet, and stay in control of how much of them you eat.” Emma’s 3 steps to peace:

Acknowledge your own ‘triggers’: We all have different triggers that set us off, so if we’re aware of them, we can pre-empt the negative affects. Change your scenery by taking a short walk, or ringing someone for a chat when you’re upset might be enough of a behaviour change to distract you from a food blowout.

Don’t have ‘forbidden foods’: Like the Garden of Eden, it leads to cravings and temptation. By including your ‘taboo’ foods as part of your daily diet, you’re immediately taking back control. Plan your meals to include a treat, don’t ban anything. Make sure you always keep some healthy snacks to hand too: carrot, cucumber and celery sticks are all really low in calories – perfect for mindless eating.

Keep a food diary: If you are trying to lose weight, keeping a food diary maintains a positive approach to food. Nothing is excluded - you can eat what you like – just ensure you stay within your daily calorie allowance. A good tip is to treat calories like money – you spend your cash wisely, so apply the same rule to how you spend your daily calorie allowance. Choose food carefully and you can make your allowance go a long way. And if you fancy a treat, just ensure you have enough calories in the bank to pay for it. Said Emma: “We need to get away from the idea that some foods are ‘bad’ – it’s more down to how much we are eating of it, and how often. You can break the cycle of binge eating when you change the way you think. Every time you prove to yourself that you can eat your trigger food without overeating, you’ll gain more confidence.”


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Body Beautiful

Liz Earle Superskin Body Cream, £35, www.lizearle.com

Just because it’s winter and your body’s buried under layers of clothes, it still needs plenty of TLC , here’s some of our favourite creams to keep your skin silky smooth.

Champneys Summer Dream Butter Souffle, £10, Boots

Katherine Daniels Firming Hydrating Cream, £27.50, www.katherinedanielscosmetics.com

Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Butter, £20.50, www.lookfantastic.com.jpeg

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Body Creme, £50, www.jomalone.co.uk

Green People Age Defy Body Lotion, £36, www.greenpeople.co.uk

Kiehls Restorative Argan Body Lotion, £30, John Lewis

Murad Firming Peptide Body Treatment, £45, John Lewis

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter, £10, Boots


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WIN!

An Overnight Stay for Two at

Tewkesbury Park

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ooking for some good old-fashioned romance? Tewkesbury Park, set in 163 acres of undulating grounds, provides the perfect ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s break. Intimate corners to escape to and a roaring wood-burner ensure an unassuming, yet cosy atmosphere awaits. Guests are welcomed with a glass of chilled Taittinger Champagne to complement afternoon tea. Once settled in, the Tewkesbury countryside is perfect for an enchanting walk, taking in the rustic landscape and stunning views of the Cotswolds and beyond, setting the scene for a romantic escape. The Romantic Valentine’s Breakaway includes:

• Taittinger Champagne afternoon tea for two • Accommodation including breakfast • One 30-minute spa treatment per room (to be booked at time of reservation) • Locally sourced three-course dinner, rounded off with chocolate fondue to share Prices start from £245 for a Just Right Room, up to £474 for an Opulent Suite, for one night based on double occupancy, and is available between Friday 9th – Sunday 18th February 2018. Recently completing an extensive three-year renovation costing £9million, new additions include nine individuallydesigned historic suites, two spa rooms, an Orangery, Cocktail Lounge and a new events suite – the Cotswolds Suite and Berkeley Bar.

Leisure facilities include an 18-hole par 73 parkland golf course, academy course, practice range, putting green, squash and tennis courts. A fully-equipped health club has a sauna, steam room, outdoor hot tub, indoor swimming pool and leading-edge gym. Besides the beautiful Cotswolds to explore, on the hotel’s doorstep is the historic town of Tewkesbury – home to the stunning Tewkesbury Abbey. An eclectic mix of vintage and antique shops and traditional tea rooms, along with medieval buildings, secret alleyways and museums make this an excellent weekend break destination. Tewkesbury Park is only five minutes from M5 junction nine and within easy reach of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Worcester. And we are giving away an indulgent overnight stay at this stunning location.

The Prize: One night’s stay in a suite, including breakfast, a threecourse dinner with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients and a bottle of house wine. The prize is subject to availability and cannot be taken over Public Holidays. Prize must be taken by 1st February 2019.


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How to Enter What champagne is served with the Valentine’s Afternoon Tea? A. Veuve Clicquot B. Perrier Jouet C. Taittinger

Please email your answer to jane@affinitymag.co.uk Competition closes on 28th February 2018 GOOD LUCK! www.tewkesburypark.co.uk/offers


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Midlife Madness The Trouble with Travel I’ll be honest - I love to travel. I like new places, the crisp sheets of hotels, strolling slowly through the old cobbled streets of towns and cities new to me, stopping for a relaxed sampling of local culinary specialities. I also enjoy warmer climes, the chill-out lying in the sun and enjoying beaches and pools and sangria in the sun! I like tours and spas and activity holidays, if the activity is wine tasting or mindfulness, not so much if its mountain biking or fell walking. I like spas and murder mysteries, visits to castles, gardens, museums and galleries, you could say that when it comes to travel and anything holiday related, I am very easy to please. The only challenge is of course getting there and, oh my, can that be daunting! I don’t mind too much sitting in a seat where you can hardly move on a long haul flight, because there is a beautiful destination and holiday waiting at the other end and, of course, you can overdose on films and are plied with free food and drink for twenty four hours!! I enjoy looking out of the window of trains and on a cruise recently the views were delightful, watching French scenery drift by while drinking wine and tucking into a three course meal - no problem at all. It’s the people, the fellow passengers that can be challenging and if I’m honest can cause a significant rise in my blood pressure. On a flight recently I was in the middle seat with a fella by the window and a young, late teenage, female passenger on the other side. Practically before we had taken off she fell into a deep sleep and no, she didn’t snore but as she slumbered her head fell onto my shoulder. That wasn’t too bad although I did think what on earth I would do when I wanted to move my arm to drink, or read or any one of a number of other things. The problem was that after a few minutes a hand

appeared from behind - through the gap between my head rest and hers and cupped the sleeping beauties head and moved it off my shoulder. Now I know that you are thinking ‘how kind’ as indeed I did ……..THE FIRST TIME. But when this whole ritual had been played out several times I was ready to slap the hand, which somehow reminded me of the ‘thing’ in The Addams family, so it made me cross as well as unnerving me slightly. But it’s not just on planes that people seem to want to drape themselves or random body parts over me! Not many days after my return from this particular close encounter, I found myself on a train next to a lady who also kept nodding off. She was somewhat older than me, which means she was fairly advanced in years given that my days of being a spring chicken have long gone, so in my mind she could be forgiven for unplanned naps! But every time she started to drift her hand fell on my leg. Then when she woke with a start as her head ‘nodded’, she’d notice her hand and apologise, remove the hand and then within a few moments she would drift again and, yes you’ve guessed it, the whole cycle would happen again. After a few times she tried putting the hand in her pocket but clearly it wasn’t comfortable as every time she started to drift off she’d wrench it out of said pocket, bashing me a few times in the process. She then tried sort of wrapping her hand in the handles of her bag but she clearly didn’t have much in it as when she drifted off the hand still seemed determined to flop in my direction, so then I got the hand AND the bag bashing me! I see myself as a fairly tolerant person but even my love of travel doesn’t mean I am ready to sacrifice the valuable commodity of personal space. So keep your hands and other ‘parts’ to yourself please!


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Teal Jug, £19.99, Homesense

Pashmina, £12, M&Co

AFFINITY HOT PICKS

Foxhole Gin, £44.99, www.foxholespirits.com

18ct Rose Gold Vermei Bracelet, £450, Links of London

Sara Miller Flamingo Mug, £12.50, Debenhams

Green & Black's Praline Milk Chocolates , £5, Tesco

This month’s must have gifts and accessories

Kate Spade Watch, £199, www.katespade.co.uk

Pom Pom Throw, £75, Debenhams

Little Miracles Tea Infusions, £1.39, Tesco

Bruichladdich Classsic Laddie Whisky, £42, The Whisky Exchange

Print Lace Bra, £14, Lace Briefs, £7, Accessorize

Cath Kidston Paper Ditsy Headphones, £38, Cath Kidston

Red Herring T-Shirt, £14.99, Debenhams

Cath Kidston Dog Jumper, £70, wwwcathkidston.com


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Sleep Sanctuary

Turn your Bedroom into a


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One in ten of us will send a work email from our bed, which means that although 20 million of us across the UK suffer from poor sleep, (making us one of the most ‘poor sleep’ nations), we are continuing to prioritize technology above a good night’s sleep. So, here are nine simple ways to make your room a sanctuary for blissful sleep, helping to put your smartphones down and your sleep first.

Keep your cool As we sleep our body temperate drops slightly, so it is important that the temperature of the room compliments this. Dr. Marilyn Grenville (www.marilynglenville.com), author of The Natural Health Bible for Women, advises, ‘Pay attention to the temperature in your room and make sure it’s not too warm and not too cold. Cooler is better than warmer. Keep the room restful: a quiet, dark, cool environment sends signals to your brain that it is time to wind down.’ Lighting is key If you spend time pottering around your room before bed, a gentle glow will help your body relax rather than a powerful bright light. Marilyn says, ‘Using dimmer switches in living rooms and bathrooms before bed can be helpful.’

Swap the Bluetooth for a bookmark If the last thing you check at night is your phone, then you may be setting yourself up for a night of tossing and turning. This is due to the fact that the blue light emitted by electrical devices,such as phones and tablets ,stimulate the brain making it harder for it to switch off when we turn the lights out. So rather than scrolling down your Instagram feed, pick up a book and let your brain properly wind down.

Keep those tootsies toasty Research has shown that cold hands and feet are often associated with sleeplessness, so although it’s important to keep your bedroom cool make sure you keep your feet warm by always having a pair of thermodynamic socks, such as Carnation Footcare’s Silver Socks [RRP £12.00, www.firstaidfast.co.uk] in your sock draw.

Cool off your colour palette Psychedelic wallpaper and clashing prints may be to your taste but they’re not conducive to a good night’s sleep. In your bedroom at least, opt for a soft, neutral colour scheme to help release your inner sense of calm before settling down for a good night’s rest.

Go the full cycle Getting through a full night’s sleep cycle, without any interruptions is extremely difficult for many, so it might be worth adding the right kind of technology to your room to help you sleep well. A sleep device, such as Somnuva (RRP £420, www.somuva.com), uses a patented sound algorithm to repair your sleep cycle and guide you through a full night of quality sleep, helping to make your room a true sanctuary from the outside world.

Refresh the nest Swapping your old threadbare sheets for fresh clean sheets is a simple way to refresh your sleeping environment and create a clean space for you to snuggle down in. Choose natural-fibre bedding, such as linen or cotton, over synthetic material, as it won’t cause you to over-heat during the night.

Leave it at the door To encourage a full night’s sleep it is important that your head doesn’t fill with worry as soon as it hits the pillow. Marilyn suggests, ‘write down what you need to do the next day at least an hour before bed. The aim is to stop the dialogue in your head which can end up stopping you from drifting off to sleep, or else waking you up in the middle of night as you suddenly remember something else that has to be done.’ Smell the sweetness Allow your bedroom to engage all your senses in your efforts to drift off to sleep. As well as low level lighting and a cool temperature, fill your room with natural relaxing scents such as vanilla, lavender and bergamot. Try spraying your pillow with linen spray or light a candle such as Janjira’s Jasmine & Ylang Ylang therapy candle [RRP £32.00, www.janjira.co.uk], which will help contribute to a sense of calm.


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Sara Miller Sandalwood Oud & Cardamom Candle, £25, www.beaumonde.co.uk

Be Mine

Plume Elegance Clutch, £69, www.lipault.co.uk

You’ll be spoilt for choice with our round up of gorgeous gifts for your Valentine

Platinum Diamond Pear Shaped Ring, £2,950, Beaverbrooks

Good Morning Gorgeous Mug, £9, Paperchase

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Love Lipstick, £28, Harrods Ted Baker Crystal Square Earrings, £39, www.jewellery4.co.uk

Ted Baker Crystal Heart Bracelet, £29, www,jewellery4.co.uk

Valentine's Day Posy, £60, www.realflowers.co.uk Personalised Print, £14.99, www.gettingpersonal.co.uk

Diamond Alphabet Charm, £140, Links of London


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Hotel Chocolat True Romantic Hamper, £35, Hotel Chocolat

Engravable Double Heart Pendant, £65, Beaverbrooks

Ugg Slippers, £80, Amara

Hotel Chocolat Straight from the Heart, £39, Hotel Chocolat

Personalised Love Letter Biscuits, £35, www.biscuiteers.com

Taittinger Nocturne Rose 'City Lights' £54.50, www.champagnedirect.co.uk

Luxury Ladies Hamper, £39, www.cuckooland.com


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FASHION

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Marks and Spencer


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Blue is Black Whether it’s dark or light, lacy or plain blue is a must have colour in your lingerie draw.

Satin Lace Bra, £18, Briefs, £8, M& Co

Gypsy Bra, £35, Briefs, £16, www.gossard.com

Daisy Triangle Set, £38, Boux Avenue

Dita Von Teese, £95, Figleaves

Autograph Bra, £22.50, Knickers, £22.50, Marks & Spencer

Balcony Bra, £18, Briefs, £9, Next Heidi Klum Zoe Bra, £38 , Thong, £22, House of Fraser

Charnos Zara Bra, £30, Briefs, £14, www.figleaves.com


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Floral Fantasy Update your lingerie drawer with a selection of luxurious soft florals

Floral Bra, £16, Briefs, £8, Marks & Spencer Phoebe Bra, £28, Thong, £14, Figleaves

Rose Bralet, £12.99, Briefs, £5.99, New Look

Floral Bra, £25, Briefs, £12, Next

Ted Baker

Floral Bra, £18, Knickers, £10, Marks & Spencer

Fantasie Lingerie, £53, Figleaves

Ted Baker, £42, Debenhams Floral Lingerie, £36, Figleaves


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Black Magic You've got your sexy LBD, all you need now is something just as hot to wear underneath, take your pick from our favourites..

Entice Bralette & French Knickers, £50, www.figleaves.com

Corset Bra, £39, Thong, £28, Figleaves

Bralet, £12.99, Briefs, £5.99, New Look

Next

Janet Reger, £34, Debenhams

Fleur du Mal Camisole, £195, Knickers, £45, Selfridges

Bralet, £18, Knickers, £10, Marks & Spencer Janet Reger Body, £28, Debenhams

Halter Neck Set, £18, F&F


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Red Hot

We love red lingerie it’s associated with passion, love, and desire, just perfect for getting his heart racing this Valentine’s day.

Figleaves Tease Bra, £30, Thong, £10, www.figleaves.com

Bluebella Natalia Lace Body, £38, John Lewis

Janet Reger Lingerie Set, £38, Debenhams New Look

Body, £12, Primark

Satin Bra, £12.99, Briefs, £5.99, New Look

Longline Bra, £25, Briefs, £12, Next

Bra, £32.50, Knickers, £10, Marks & Spencer

Eberjay Colette Chemise, £95, Selfridges

Lace Bra, £10, Briefs, £7, Primark


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Black & White Necklace, POA, Accessorize

Alexia Flower Necklace, £32, Phase Eight

Pink Flower Necklace, £25, Marks & Spencer

In Bloom

Geo Flower Necklace, £125, Karen Millen

Floral necklaces are a big trend this year, add to a plain tee or LBD to take you from day to night in a flash. Fleur Petal Necklace, £38, Oliver Bonas

Floral Statement Necklace, £16.99, Bon Prix

Lilac Flower Necklace, POA, Accessorize

Crystal Flower Necklace, £178, Butler and Wilson

White Pearl Floral Necklace, £20.35, www.happinessboutique.com Ted Baker Crystal Daisy Necklace, £99, www.jewellery4.co.uk


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Food & Drink


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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Freixenet’s Fruity Pink Bubbly

Treat that special someone with a glass of Cordon Rosado, Freixenet’s iconic Rosé cava. The delicious sweet berry flavours will set sparks flying, with a pop of summer fruits in every sip. Enjoy the pink fizz as a refreshing aperitif, or pair with a cheese board or chocolate fondue for two for a true match made in heaven. Feel the love with Freixenet and get your bottle of romantic bubbly from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Ocado and Tesco (RRP £10).

Take a Moment

Meet your new favourite chocolate biscuit, Bahlsen Choco Moments (£1.99). The perfect combination of melt-in-your-mouth smooth chocolate, enriched by crunchy pieces of either mint or hazelnut and a buttery, crisp biscuit. Ultimate Indulgence.

Great British bakes with all of the taste, less of the calories The brand new Good Taste Range of bakes at Warrens Bakery has arrived, offering a range of appetising bakes. Focusing on lower-calorie options, while still boasting great taste at great value, all bakes are under 400 calories with a new meal deal for under 500 calories.

The Good Taste Range includes its signature item, the brand-new Pie Thin, which uses special methods of rolling to reduce the calories and create a lighter bite, you still have the same size and filling but with less of the calories. Set to warm up the winter blues, the Balti Spiced Chicken & Spinach Pie Thin (318 calories each), Spiced Veg Fusion Pie Thin at just 294 calories. The humble sausage roll has been given a leaner new year makeover. Launching the protein-packed Gourmet Pork Sausage Roll providing a whopping 32.7g of protein for only 338 calories, and the Gourmet Apple & Cider Pork Sausage Roll with a significant 23g of protein for only 371 calories, these are a must-try! The Good Taste Range is available at Warrens Bakery stores across the UK, with just under 60 bakeries across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Birmingham, Hampshire, Essex and London. To browse the online range or to find your nearest local Warrens Bakery, visit warrensbakery.co.uk.

FOODIE NEWS Coming to a Freezer near You

Heading to a freezer near you this March is Jude’s Vanilla Clotted Cream, (£4, from Sainsbury’s). Made with Madagascan bourbon vanilla and West Country clotted cream, Jude’s recommend that Vanilla Clotted Cream is “served with your favourite pudding or garnished with olive oil and a touch of sea salt”.


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Partridge Breasts with Bacon, Apple & Thyme

“The sweet apple and salty bacon are an ideal match for the subtle flavours of the partridge�. Method Ingredients 4 field&flower partridge breasts 8 rashers field&flower smoked streaky bacon 2 sprigs thyme 2 shallots, thinly sliced 1 apple, thinly sliced, skin on Olive oil Side dish: 8 rashers field&flower smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons 100g chestnuts, chopped 6 savoy cabbage leaves, thinly sliced Handful of green beans

Remove the skin from the partridge breasts and wrap each breast in 2 bacon rashers and set aside. Heat a little oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the shallots and thyme and soften for a couple of minutes. Add the partridge breasts and fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the apple slices when the partridge is turned. Remove the partridge and rest whilst you finish the shallots and apple. Serve the breasts on top of the apple and shallots, with the side dish. To prepare the side dish: Fry the bacon on a low-medium heat until crispy, add the chestnuts and fry for a further 3 minutes, followed by the cabbage and fry until soft. Blanch the beans in boiling water for a minute; add to the pan of cabbage, toss and serve. www.fieldandflower.co.uk


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Stewed Skrei Cod with Cannellini Beans and Chorizo

“The king of classics, Michel Roux Jr takes comfort food to a new level with this warming stew using top of the cods - sustainable Skrei - from the cold, clear waters of Northern Norway. Totally moreish family fodder, best served straight at the whole table to tuck intoâ€?. Ingredients 3 thick Norwegian Skrei fillets (deboned and skinned) 175g cooking chorizo 2 small white onions, sliced 2 garlic cloves, sliced 70g cavolo nero, roughly chopped 125g cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 sprig thyme 200ml fish stock 2 tbsp olive oil For the cannellini beans (best prepared the day before): 240g dried cannellini beans 1 carrot, peeled ½ shallot 1 tsp sea salt Salt and pepper

Method

Prepare the beans (ideally the day before): Soak the beans in cold water for at least 5 hours. Once doubled in size, drain and rinse. Place in a large pan with the veggies, season and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, scoop off any foam and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cover pan and cook for approximately 1 hour, adding more water if it gets too low. Once tender, strain and discard the cooked carrot and shallot. Slice the chorizo in bitesize morsels. Sear in a frying pan over med-high heat for 3 minutes on each side (no fat needed). Remove chorizo from pan and set aside on kitchen paper. Use the fat left in pan to sear the onions, garlic and cavolo nero. Cook for about 4 minutes until tender. Then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes until softened. Finally, add the cooked beans, chorizo, thyme and stock together with the Skrei. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for approximately 8 minutes. Season to taste and discard the sprig of thyme before serving. To serve: Take the dish straight to the table for everyone to tuck into, topping a good bed of the stew with a chunky Skrei cod fillet.


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No Bake Cheesecake Cups “These elegant cheesecakes make a delicious, easy and elegant dessert for Valentine’s Day!”

Ingredients

For the Crust: 2-3 digestive biscuits, crushed

For the No-Bake Cheesecake: 1 cup Custard Yogurt, vanilla flavored 2 (8 ounce) packages low-fat cream cheese, softened 3 tbsp honey 2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed 2 tsp vanilla extract Pinch of kosher salt For the Garnish: Low-fat whipped topping, tinted pink Strawberries, 1 for each individual cheesecake

Method

Cheesecake Mixture: Place all cheesecake ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat until the mixture is a smooth consistency, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Place dishes on a tray. Place 2 tablespoons crushed digestive biscuits in the bottom of each individual dish. Spoon approximately 3/4 cup cheesecake mixture onto the biscuits in each dish. Refrigerate, uncovered, 2-3 hours or until set. Garnish with a dollop of whipped topping and 1 fresh strawberry per dessert.


Champagne is really a love affair. It is all about generosity, happiness and about taking the time to share good moments

February 9th - Thai Night 7.30pm Arrival - £22.50 per person Starter Platter & Sharing Main course

February 14th - Valentines Night Tables Available all day £25.00 per person

February 16th & 17th - Valentines Special Package Deal of Dinner, Bed & Breakfast £100.00 per couple. February 23rd - Pudding Night 7.30pm Arrival - £16 per person Main Course and all you can eat desserts

March Quiz and Curry – 1st Monday of every Month £50 Voucher prize, £10 entry to quiz includes Curry with traditional accompaniments

March 10th – Mothers Saturday Afternoon Tea Special Afternoon Tea to celebrate Mother’s day 2pm – 5:30pm - £15 per person March 11th - Mother’s Day 2 Course £19.95/3 Course £25.95 Serving 12-9 Free gift for mothers

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

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Taittinger’s Brut Prestige Rosé A beautiful, vibrant rosé which makes for a brilliant aperitif and is sure to be an excellent start to the evening. Vitalie Taittinger describes drinking the wine as the ‘sensation of having a big kiss of the wine’ very fitting to the occasion. £50.60, champagnedirect.co.uk

Lanson Rosé Brut NV Delicately salmon-tinted rosé, made from 53% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier grapes. It has plenty of finesse and raspberry fruit character, together with the characteristic Lanson crispness. £37, Waitrose

Bollinger Rosé Brut NV The first new Bollinger release for 30 years and a truly stunning champagne. This is a seductive, toasty and crisp rosé showing flavours of summer berry fruits with a soft texture and a long finish. £48, Waitrose Cellar


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INTERIORS

John Lewis


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Modern Eclecticism How to Incorporate Iconic British Designs into your Home

The British furniture industry is experiencing a renaissance with iconic designs of the past adding intrigue to homes across the world,

but with a modern pulse. Jayson Branch, Creative Director at Castrads looks at five iconic British

designs for the home and gives his top tips for incorporating them into your interiors - without it feeling like you’ve stepped back in time.

The Chesterfield Sofa Legend has it this iconic British sofa design, with its distinctive buttoned upholstery and rolled arms, was named after the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, who wanted a piece of furniture which allowed a gentleman to sit comfortably upright, without wrinkling his garments. Three centuries later, the Chesterfield design continues to embody comfort and sophistication. Traditionally made of leather, today Chesterfields come in an array of different fabrics such as velvet, tweed and linen. Make yours the focal point of any room by opting for bold colours like mustard, fuchsia, purple or teal. If your living room is open-plan, opt for buttoned upholstered dining chairs in a juxtaposing shade or pattern to add a modern twist.

Tweed Textiles Originating in 18th Century Scotland, tweed has stood the test of time and regularly features on the style come-back list. Natural, earthy tones form the backdrop of traditional tweed styles, but modern designs can come in a variety of shades and can add texture and warmth to interiors. Tweed accessories like blankets, throws and cushions set against neutral furniture and wooden flooring is a simple way to inject colour and create a cosy and calming atmosphere in a bedroom or living room.


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The Four-Poster Bed A symbol of wealth and prestige in the 16th Century, the four-poster bed has experienced somewhat of a facelift in recent years. When it comes to furnishing your bedroom, nothing makes a statement like a four-poster. Try adding patterned headboards or colourful linen curtain sets to bring your bed into the 21st Century. If you want to keep things simple with just a frame, there are plenty of designs out there to suit your home. Modern aesthetics include tapered posts, brass panels, industrial metal frames and bold paint finishes.

Cast-iron Radiators If you’re looking to upgrade your heating system, castiron radiators are the perfect way to mix past and present in your home. Contemporary models on the market today are far more effective and efficient than those being manufactured in England in the early 1900s, though designs haven’t lost any of their original charm. Both the clean industrial and heavily ornate models make a striking statement in any contemporary home. Available in bare metals, bright jewel, pastel or metallic finishes, your radiator can rival any feature fireplace. New technologies are also being developed to make these classics ‘smart’ and reduce the amount you pay to heat your home.

The Anglepoise Lamp Featuring in the opening credits of every Pixar film, the Anglepoise lamp has a utilitarian charm, designed by George Carwardinea British factory owner by accident in the early 1930s. The Anglepoise lamp is a timeless classic, but to keep up with the fast-changing market, models now include touch-sensitive dimmers and LED bulb fixtures. Make a statement by brightening up a desk or home office by adding a lamp in an on-trend colour like copper, ‘millennial’ pink or ultra violet purple. If you really want a talking point for your home, incorporate a giant standing Anglepoise lamp in your living room to be the envy of all your visitors.


Sit Down

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Brighten up a corner by adding an armchair, cosy and comfortable, you won’t have to tell them twice to take a seat. Alberton Leather Armchair, £950, Laura Ashley

Fredericia Stingray Rocking Chair, £1,844, www.nest.co.uk

Liang & Eimil Chair, £429, Houseology

Hygena Angel Chair, £249.99, Argos

Nest

Malmo Chair, £249, www.very.co.uk Marseille Chair, £344, Oak Furniture Land

Tiffany Chair, £249, www.very.co.uk

Grosvenor Love Seat, £698, Oak Furniture Land

Armchair, £129.99, Homesense


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Saturday by appointment only


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Fry’s Footie Corner

At the time of writing this column, the football club were preparing for an Emirates FA Cup fourth round tie with Premier League side Leicester City at the ABAX Stadium and trust me when I say this, the magic of the FA Cup was alive and well in the city. We sold out of the home areas in the stadium in good time and I know that across the country, the competition has been much maligned, but make no mistake, to clubs like ourselves, it is very much at the forefront of our minds. Our third round success at Aston Villa was thoroughly deserved, the players performed admirably and we could have won that game more comfortably than the 3-1 scoreline suggested. For League One players, the chance to try and impress against Premier League opposition is about showcasing their talents to the millions. We have been fortunate this season because we have had two games televised live by BT and that extra revenue is crucial to clubs like ourselves. It is not something that we ever budget for. You can never budget for a cup run however confident you may be.

Personally, I love the FA Cup. I love it now as much as I did when I was a player and when I subsequently went into management. It is a competition that stirs something inside of you – the David v Goliath storyline, the chance to be on the back pages of the newspapers – it really is a great opportunity. I wish the Premier League sides took it as seriously. We have seen clubs resting players, some as many as the whole team and they have been punished as a result. Teams in the lower leagues fancy their chances – I know we certainly did. We know the bread and butter is the league and we will be going all out to try and gain promotion this season, but for us, the cup run has been something that hasn’t hindered us – it gives us the confidence to take that form into the league.

Barry Fry


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Performance and Precision

The Bentley Bentayga V8

Since its introduction, the Bentley Bentayga has defined a new sector and set the luxury SUV benchmark, offering customers the ultimate Grand Touring experience unrestricted by landscape or conditions. The awardwinning Bentley model is now available in its most sporting guise to date – the Bentayga V8.

At the heart of the latest Bentayga model is a newgeneration 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine which combines immense power with impressive fuel efficiency. The addition of a characteristic V8 burble, stylish twin-quad exhaust pipes and optional carbon-ceramic brakes, reveals more of the luxury SUV’s sporting character. Sitting at the core of the Bentayga range, the new V8 model fuses exquisite luxury with power, usability and extensive sporting ability. Its responsive performance is fully customisable on demand by the driver through Bentley’s Drive Dynamics system, from limousine-like refinement to sporting precision. Inside, customers will recognise Bentley’s unique approach to modern luxury tailoring, with the familiar blend of exquisite handcrafted materials and advanced technologies. New styling features include a wood and hide steering wheel and the introduction of a high-gloss carbon-fibre interior panel finish.

Immense Performance, Impressive Efficiency At the heart of the new Bentayga V8 sits an all-new 4.0-litre, 32-valve, V8 engine featuring dual twin-scroll turbochargers located inside the ‘V’ of the engine. The dynamic unit develops 542 bhp (550 PS) and 568 lb.ft. (770 Nm) of torque, resulting in a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h) and 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds (100 km/h in 4.5 seconds). The class-leading performance of the Bentayga V8 is complemented by a range of 464 miles (746 km), with CO2 emissions of 260 g/km. This refined efficiency (24.8 mpg / 11.4 l/100 km combined) comes, in part, through the ability of the engine to de-activate four of its eight cylinders in suitable conditions, without compromising the drive. The seamless change happens in just 20 milliseconds, making it imperceptible to customers. The addition of Stop-Start technology, which can activate at ‘near-to-stop’ speeds, also contributes to the emissions figure. This unique blend of power and refinement gives the Bentayga V8 a distinct, unrivalled position in the luxury SUV market.


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TRAVEL

Les Rives d'Argentière


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Chocolate Cheese Jazz and

Apart from being famous it’s hard to believe that Charlie Chaplin, Lord Byron, Freddie Mercury and Coco Chanel all have something in common, and it’s not their love of the good things in life! It is in fact, that sometime in their lives they resided in Switzerland within the French-speaking region of Lausanne and Montreux. And it’s not difficult to see why they, along with other celebrities, have chosen to call this refreshingly beautiful country their home. Whether it’s Christmas markets and skiing in the winter, music in the summer, culture in the spring and culinary delights in the autumn, Switzerland is an all year round destination and with it being just under two hours flight time from the UK it’s the perfect place for a little getaway. We visited in November, when Lausanne and Montreux were alive with their Christmas markets, twinkling lights, culinary delights, mulled wine, hot chocolate and hundreds of artisan gifts – In Lausanne the market is dotted around the town and incorporates their Lumieres light festival, stunning light displays created by local artists. Whilst Montreux has over 160 decorated, illuminated chalets set up along the quays of Lake Geneva, nothing beats wrapping your hands round a warm cup of mulled wine as you take in the festive atmosphere around you. There’s always plenty of culinary treats to tempt you, including dining in a wooden igloo in the middle of the festive chalets in Lausanne. A real fire burns in the middle of the igloo, creating a warm cosy atmosphere, it was the perfect place to relax and share a platter of artisan meats and cheeses, a cheese fondue and a few glasses of Swiss wine.


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All cheese and wined out it was time to hop on the metro (a transport card is given to you for free at every hotel), and head to the Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa, our home for the night. A spectacular Art Nouveau style five star hotel that was originally built in 1909 and painstakingly restored to its pristine beauty. It is now a landmark hotel representing luxury and style, complemented by an elegant yet contemporary design. Lausanne and the surrounding area is a real foodie’s dream, whether it’s warm cosy eateries such as Café de Grancy, or fine dining, the choice is yours, and then of course there’s chocolate – you can’t visit Switzerland and not indulge in a little Swiss chocolate, although our indulgence was a little more than just eating it, we were trying our hand at making it! Laderach, the renowned Swiss chocaltiers in Vevey, is where we went to try out our chocolate making skills – having resisted the urge to eat all of the shop as we walked through it to the workshop, we donned chef’s hat and apron and began with a little chocolate tasting, (it’s amazing how the same chocolate tastes completely different when melted), before trying our hand at creating our very own chocolate bar. It looks and sounds simple, take your mould, run it under the tap of melted chocolate, level it out with a palette knife and decorate with confectionary goodies such as nuts, fudge, candy, etc and leave to set – the reality is, chocolate all over my hands, up my arm, and even on my face (don’t ask), but I have to say the finished product looked pretty good, could I get away with selling it in the shop? If chocolate is not your thing (are there people that don’t like chocolate?) and you prefer wine, then a tour and tasting at Les Frères Bovy in Chexbres is a must, as is Chaplin’s World - The "Manoir de Ban" was Chaplin’s actual home, where he lived his last 25 years with his fourth wife Oona, and their eight children. It’s where he wrote music and movie scripts, and contemplated his legacy, which means it is now far more than just a museum, many of the rooms are replicated to be the same as when Chaplin resided there and the interactive movie sets, black and white photographs, cinema room. his trademark cane and bowler hat make this museum something special, a rare insight into the extraordinary life of a cinematographic genius.


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A short train journey from Vevey takes you to Montreux, home to the famous Montreux Jazz Festival and to our hotel the Fairmont Le Montreaux Palace one of the most prestigious hotels in Switzerland. Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva overlooking the Alps. The views from our room were absolutely breathtaking, grab a coffee, sit on your balcony and just look in awe at the mountain and lake views, it’s simply stunning. Elegant architecture, an underground tunnel, a chandelier with one and a half tons of crystal and the world famous Montreux Jazz Café, it’s no wonder the likes of Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Taylor have stayed here. The Montreux Jazz cafe, where the guestbook is graffiti on the windows, odd plates, cups, chairs and cutlery around the tables mixed and matched with pictures, vinyl’s, film reels etc on the walls – everything here has been taken from Claude Nobs home (founder of Montreux Jazz Festival). Films of the festivals are shown around the room and a drum from Santana, a guitar from B.B King and a framed Kimono given to Claude from Freddie Mercury are on display – whether you’re a music lover or not you’ll be hard pressed not to find something to talk about, even if its just the food. Although he founded the Montreux Jazz Festival Claude also had a passion for great food, often preparing dishes for artists to enjoy after their performances, thus the menu here is inspired by Claude’s simple but high-quality cuisine, and all aptly named after artists who have performed at the festival such as ‘Quincy Jones Roast Chicken’, ‘Mob Burger’ and ‘BB Cheeseburger” All too soon our time in the Lake Geneva region was over and it was time to hop on a train back to the airport and look back on a trip that had everything - food, culture, luxury hotels, hassle free train travel, music, wine, cheese, chocolate and of course breathtaking views, we’re already booking our return ticket. BOOK IT!

SWISS offers regular flights to Geneva (www.swiss.com/gb/en) To book stays at Royal Savoy visit www.royalsavoy.ch/en To book stays at The Fairmont Le Montreaux Palace visit www.fairmont.com/montreux Transfer Tickets (Train from Geneva airport to Lausanne/Montreux) are available from www.swisstravelsystem.com


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Escape to the Country

Fishmore Hall at

With unrivalled views over the stunning Shropshire countryside, and just a short walk from the historic market town of Ludlow, is the privately owned boutique country house hotel Fishmore Hall. Built in 1810, the property was once used as a grand residence, before becoming a highly respected school in WWII. The building then fell to ruin until the present owner brought it back to life and opened it as a hotel in 2007, making it the ideal place to spend a couple of days recharging your batteries, which was just what we intended to do.

After a month that had seen me working round the clock most days, the thought of dragging hubbie (well he didn’t actually have to be dragged) and cocooning myself in Fishmore’s recently opened spa, indulging in delicious food and breathing in some fresh country air, sounded perfect. Walking into the entrance, is just like stepping into your very own country house, with dark wood floors, a cosy atmosphere, friendly staff and high ceilings, you half

expect to see Mary Berry appear from round the corner, (her latest TV offering is Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets). There was just time to drop our bags off in our room, have a quick caffeine fix from the Nespresso like coffee machine and drool over the fact there were Elemis toiletries in the bathroom before heading over to the spa, for some pampering. The spa is a newly built, free standing log cabin to the side of the hotel that houses four treatment rooms and a tranquil outside space with a cedar wood hot tub, loungers, over sized hammock, and if you’re feeling brave an outdoor bucket drench shower, such a serene space almost like your very own Zen garden. Nothing quite beats luxuriating in the hot tub, bubbles massaging your aching limbs, listening to the silence as you gaze at the stars twinkling in the sky above (we visited late November) – if only time could stand still! But unfortunately it couldn’t as I had a treatment calling me in the form of a Lava Shell Thermal Rescue Massage.


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This is one of the spas signature treatments where hot lava shells are used as an extension of the therapists hands to massage your body and work deep into the muscles, helping relieve tension, rejuvenate your skin and leave you completely relaxed in a tranquil bubble of calm. All too soon it was time to rejoin hubbie who was melting away in the steam and sauna rooms, before we both headed off to get ready for dinner.

That was it, I couldn’t possibly eat anymore and politely declined the cheese and biscuits, but couldn’t resist the petit fours that were served with our coffees, and even these didn’t disappoint – the food here had certainly lived up to its reputation, from start to finish it was a fusion of flavours that tempted the palette and never failed to deliver.

If the spa is the jewel in Fishmores crown, then their 3AA Rosette fine dining restaurant Forelles must be the Piece de Resistance. A pre dinner glass of prosecco was accompanied with a selection of canapés including a goat’s cheese cone and pork scratchings with apple sauce, if the rest of the meal was anything like the canapés we were going to be in foodie heaven. We began our journey (it was a nine course tasting menu) with wild mushroom mixed with blue cheese, pickled walnut and pear, a mesmerising amalgamation of tastes and textures that were a real treat to the palette, as were the croquets of rose veal mixed with sweetbread, oyster mayonnaise, and watercress. Next came the strong flavours of smoked eel that blended perfectly with a crispy chicken wing, and crunchy pieces of cauliflower, shallot and apple. Followed by wood pigeon that was cooked to perfection (so hubbie told me, sorry I just can’t bring myself to nibble on pigeon). Next came the cod served on a bed of chickpeas and tomatoes, which enhanced the delicate flavours of the cod perfectly, making this my joint favourite, dish with the Iberico Pork both dishes mouth wateringly delicious. Surely they can’t get it so perfect on every dish? But yes they can even with the desserts, a lemon and vanilla mousse topped with honey and meringue accompanied with a rosemary gin and tonic jelly, was absolute heaven as was the chocolate pudding served with hazelnuts, coconut, amaretto, and a raspberry mousse – not only did all these dishes taste delectable the presentation was just as delightful.

After a restful nights sleep breakfast had a lot to live up to, and it did – starting with the fabulous views from the conservatory as we sat enjoying our breakfast, fuelling our bodies with a selection of fresh fruit and pastries as well as freshly made eggs Benedict, before setting off for the day to explore the surrounding countryside Whether it’s long country walks, a little shopping in a quaint market town, a romantic weekend away, Fishmore Hall has it all; it really is a luxurious country house retreat.

BOOK IT A Valentines Cupid Package starts from £350 per room per night in a standard room and includes a Valentines tasting menu, glass of Pre-dinner fizz, homemade chocolates & flowers in your room, use of Spa facilities, full English & continental breakfast and 10% off Spa Treatments (available Saturday 10th February - Saturday 17th February 2018.) www.fishmorehall.co.uk


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at

Luxurious Glamour Atzaro Hotel and Spa


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A

tzaro Hotel and Spa is one of the most prestigious hotels on Ibiza and one of Europe’s leading five-star Spa hotels. Situated in the heart of ten acres of fragrant orange groves and lush tropical gardens, the hotel was originally developed and opened in the 2004 as one of the first Agrotourismo hotels on the island. Built on the site of a generations-old ancient finca and working farm, once the family home of the owner and CEO Victor Guasch, the hotel launched thirteen years ago to rapturous acclaim. Since then, Atzaro has firmly established itself on the map as one of Ibiza’s best-loved hotels with a glittering Hollywood fanbase — international visitors over the years have included some of Hollywood’s most iconic names including Kate Hudson and Rihanna, amongst many others. This year the hotel has been redesigned and refurbishmed under the creative direction of Atzaro Design. The redesign has sensitively returned the hotel to its traditional, natural Ibicencan heritage, whilst retaining the luxurious feel that has made it Ibiza’s best Agrotourismo hotel. The concept is ‘natural luxury’ and the look is chic, pared back, harmonious and calm, one of quality and comfort with a splash of pure Ibiza glamour and romance. Inspired by the family story, the new Atzaro interiors encapsulate the true essence of authentic Ibiza. The redesign has been extensive and intricate, with attention to every last detail. Each of the hotel’s 24 bedrooms and suites have been decorated using thick soft white traditional plaster walls, which contrast beautifully with local Sabina wood beams, olive wood ceilings and the rustic dry stone exteriors. Mediterranean terracotta tiled floors and luxurious marble bathrooms are complimented with bespoke handmade furniture created by artisans. All rooms have emperor size teak four-poster beds, draped with cool white cotton linens. Commissioned paintings add a pop of colour, each telling a story of the farm and orange groves. Many of the rooms have their own private plunge pools, terraces, gardens with lily filled ponds and balconies with spectacular views, and are delicately scented with essence of orange blossom oil made from Atzaro’s own estate. Atzaro’s stunning open-air Spa has also undergone an extensive redesign that reflects the authentic Ibizan style of the hotel. With sauna, hammam, gym, yoga pavilions, pool and beautiful gardens, the solid teak treatment cabins

have views to the orange groves and provide a soothing environment. A unique wellness programme includes a raft of beauty and pampering treatments, yoga and pilates and there are Atzaro signature massages to enjoy. The spa also has its own bar where you can order refreshing juices and smoothies and healthy lunches. There is a wonderful choice for gourmet dining at Atzaro. The spectacular ‘Orange Tree’ is a grand courtyard restaurant resplendent with palm trees, vines, orange blossom, rosemary, hibiscus and jasmine, held by a dramatic wood pergola, with glamorous gold lighting. You can also dine in the finca or on the grand terrace at ‘La Veranda’ restaurant, surrounded by beautiful, lush gardens. Winter and Spring you can enjoy cocktails by scented log fires, or moonlight strolls along the romantic terraces planted with olive trees. Mediterranean-fusion menus change according to season and the vast wine cellar includes an extensive choice of hand-picked bio-dynamic and organic wines from around the world. The gardens, grounds and pools at Atzaro are sensational. From the world famous long fresh water pool surrounded by dramatic palms, to the sumptuous daybeds set amongst the orange groves, the experience is a visual feast. With a wealth of private relaxation spots and a second large swimming pool, they all provide a piece of Mediterranean heaven at the heart of the Ibiza countryside. In addition to this, the many beautiful bars, social spaces and large pavilions create glamorous private events and weddings spaces. Activities available as part of the Atzaro experience include horse riding, country walking, kayaking, scuba diving, climbing, organic gardening and boat trips to the neighbouring island of Formentera on Atzaro’s private motor launch. The Atzaro Group also own Atzaro Beach, a beautiful beach club at Cala Nova, Atzaro Chiringuito, a relaxed beach restaurant on the same beach and Aubergine, the ‘farm to table’ organic restaurant in the Ibiza countryside. In the Spring, visits can be made to enjoy and learn about the wild flowers that start blooming and also to see the Almond trees blossom, a unique and special Ibiza experience. BOOK IT

A romantic two-night midweek Spa break for two people this spring starts from 455 Euros, (approx £398) and includes A la Carte and buffet breakfast Bottle of cava upon arrival - 1 Mediterranean lunch menu at Atzaro beach restaurant (drinks not included) - 1 romantic dinner menu at la Veranda restaurant for the first night (drinks not included) - Full use of spa facilities (sauna, hammam, gym, pool) - Yoga & wellness classes (according to timetable) - ‘Atzaro integration’ full body massages (50 minutes) - 1 ‘natura bisse’ facial (55 minutes) For more information or to book, visit www.atzaro.com


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Restore and Re-charge Rural Tuscany in


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As we head into February, how many of us are waining on our health and fitness New Year resilutions? If this sounds like you, you need a little boost to restore your mindset: Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa has developed the Natural Healing Retreat to help heal body and mind and kickstart your health and wellbeing through specially-designed activities that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for the year ahead. Resting in the picturesque Serchio Valley, a fascinating part of undiscovered Tuscany, this charming resort is the perfect place to relax and unwind with breath-taking views of rolling Tuscan hills as a backdrop. The Natural Healing Retreat includes a range of immune-boosting remedies such as the Japanese art of forest bathing – proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, a full body massage to de-stress and a cookery class with the locally sourced, plant-based protein, spelt. The Natural Healing Retreat includes:

• Three-night stay for two with daily, nutritionally-balanced breakfast • Relaxation welcome pack on arrival: including pillow spray, scented candles and bath oils for in-room rejuvenation and sleep therapy • The Five Borghi Forest Bathing session – Immerse yourself in the natural greenery, among enchanting trees and valleys • Full body massage to ease stress and relax the muscles and access to the spa • Immune-boosting cookery class with plant-based protein spelt, hosted by the Head Chef of the resort’s experiential restaurant, La Salette The property’s 8,600 square-foot spa offers panoramic views of the mountainous valley where guests can enjoy relaxing, indigenous and unexpected treatments. In addition to the 12 private treatment rooms, guests can take advantage of the indoor pool and whirlpool sauna, Turkish baths, a solarium, emotional showers with aromatherapy, and a private couples room with steam baths. BOOK IT Priced from €798 (approx £700) + resort fee, based on two people sharing. Available from January – April 2018 subject to availability*


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The hit TV show Fat Friends from award-winning national treasure Kay Mellor (creator of Girlfriends, Love, Lies & Records, Band of Gold, The Syndicate and In The Club) has burst onto the stage in a brand new musical, with original music by Nick Lloyd Webber. Join the infamous group of TV's most loveable characters as they are put through their Zumba paces at their local branch of Super Slimmers by the lovelorn Lauren, whilst Kelly fantasises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams. Packed full of hope, humour, love and weight loss, this new stage show reunites our favourite foodie friends and sell-out audiences are loving it! With an all-star cast including West End favourite and winner of the BBC’s I’d Do Anything, Jodie Prenger, X Factor winner Sam Bailey, Atomic Kitten’s pop sensation Natasha Hamilton, star of Emmerdale and Wicked Natalie Anderson and Coronation Street legend Kevin Kennedy, Fat Friends The Musical is a feel-good night out for every body and is a HUGE hit! Fat Friends runs from Monday 5th - .Saturday 10th March 2018. Tickets are available from www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes


Cilla The Musical

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Coming to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate later this month (February) is the spectacular and heart-warming Cilla – The Musical an adaptation of the critically acclaimed ITV mini-series based on the early life of Cilla Black, by BAFTA award winner, Jeff Pope (Philomena, From the Cradle to the Grave, Mrs Biggs). The story follows the extraordinary life of the ordinary teenage girl from Liverpool, Priscilla White, and her rocky, yet incredible, rise to fame. By the age of just 25 she was recognised as international singing star Cilla Black. By the age of 30 she had become Britain’s favourite television entertainer headlining series of Surprise Surprise, Blind Date and many more. The musical score is the ultimate soundtrack to the ‘60s including Cilla’s greatest hits Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie and Something Tells Me, alongside a backdrop of the legendary “Liverpool Sound” including the Beatles’ Twist and Shout, and American influences like California Dreamin’ by The Mamas and The Papas and many more. Starring as Cilla Black is Kara Lily Hayworth, who beat thousands of hopefuls in nationwide open auditions for the coveted role. The musical reunites Tom Dunlea, Michael Hawkins and Gemma Brodrick-Bower, all of whom starred in Jeff Pope’s original ITV miniseries Cilla. It also reunites Andrew Lancel with the role of Brian Epstein, which he played on stage to great critical acclaim in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles. Andrew is best known to TV audiences as super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street and as DI Neil Manson in the long-running ITV television series The Bill. Cilla – The Musical takes to the Derngate stage from Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th February with evening performances at 7.30pm and matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tickets are priced from £17 to £41 and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.


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

Aquarius (20 January – 18 February) You are bolder than usual and motivated to pursue what you want and to prove your value. It’s about positive new beginnings, turning over a new leaf, and expressing yourself without apology. There may be job offers and opportunities, and some of you could be receiving significant gifts or bonuses. If you have been working along the right track, you can see a significant pay-off for previous efforts. Favourable Dates: February 3, 5, 12, 14, 21, 23 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Blue


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Pisces (19 February – 20 March) This period heightens your optimism and generosity, and has the potential for being a relaxed, fortunate and hopeful time in your life. You are greeting life with a fresh, can-do attitude. Events occur that help you to overcome problems that previously seemed challenging or even insurmountable. Furthering your personal ambitions and interests comes more easily during this cycle. A compelling, intense relationship may come and go very quickly. Favourable Dates: February 3, 6, 12, 15, 21, 24 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue Aries (21 March – 19 April) This can be a beneficial period but do take it slowly. It presents more opportunity for insight into the demands of your situation. Matters of business and money may start to flex their muscle and begin to grow and expand .You will do well in matters that require good concentration, especially esoteric and philosophical studies. Sexual encounters are tempting and creativity will be high. Favourable Dates: February 4, 5, 13, 14, 22, 23 Favourable Colours: Red & Green

Taurus (20 April – 20 May) This is a month of mixed blessings. A series of events will affect your self-image and your major relationships, sparking off events and touching deep personal issues for you in terms of self and partnership. There is money to be made if you know when to act and how to manage it. There is love to be found or renewed if you know how to open yourself up to it. Favourable Dates: February 2, 6, 11, 15, 20, 24 Favourable Colour: Yellow & Blue Gemini (21 May – 20 June) You will find success through personal effort, along with honours and dignities. You can achieve high ambitions, especially those connected with government, institutions and the law. Ride your own luck and enthusiasm with opportunities that present themselves for growth, expansion and diversity. It’s a good time to get yourself noticed. You may get drawn into matters of direct spiritual experience, allowing you to touch the world of spirit and the invisible. Favourable Dates: February 3, 7, 12, 16, 21, 25 Favourable Colours: White & Blue

Cancer (21 June – 22 July) Life is keeping a firm grip on where you go and what you do. This month may find you counting the costs of the formidable efforts you have had to make to keep going. Attunement to the pattern will be an integral part of getting the most from this month, for there are clear cycles of growth, decline and re-growth in different areas of your life. Favourable Dates: February 1, 4, 10, 13, 19, 22 Favourable Colours: White & Red Leo (23 July – 22 August) You would be fostering connections, affirming efforts and bringing a note of the hard won achievement that you can celebrate. It will be important for you to redefine yourself, to see yourself in different ways, almost as a different person. You can wilt beneath the challenge or flourish, toughened by the experience. It’s up to you. Sexuality is active, experimental and somewhat detached, bringing love

affairs and adventures. Favourable Dates: February 5, 8, 14, 17, 23, 26 Favourable Colours: Blue & Yellow

Virgo (23 August – 22 September) You are more in touch with friends and dreaming up new goals. This is a period where you can grow and expand on a very personal level through opportunities for advancement through study or promotion. Eat up what’s on the plate. It will lead to more and better things for you. Romance in the work environment and fun with a dashing foreigner, or creative type is indicated. Travel will bring out the beast in you. Favourable Dates: February 3, 8, 12, 17, 21, 26 Favourable Colours: Red & Yellow Libra (23 September – 22 October) This could be a good time to avoid tying up any money with other people’s business or investments, as such ties may lead to losses, uncertainties and even outright deception. There will be endings, departures and even betrayals. You may find some new liaison. It will certainly be an intense one. For those already in relationships, the pressure around you or from within to maintain the relationship will get increased. Favourable Dates: February 1, 6, 10, 15, 19, 24 Favourable Colours: Purple & Yellow Scorpio (23 October – 21 November) Your energy levels run high and your pioneering instincts are strong. This is a fabulous period for charm and attractiveness. Stress could build up in the last week or just plain old-fashioned exhaustion could set in. Take care of yourself as you try to walk the line between self-nurture and meeting the demands of your life. Give yourself a little breathing space and time for review. Favourable Dates: Feb 3, 9, 12, 18, 21, 27 Favourable Colours: Red & White

Sagittarius (22 November - 21 December) The month ahead is strong for networking, friendships, and new approaches in your career. The first ten days can find you streamlining your routines, heavily involved in research and highly motivated in work and health matters. The second half is more auspicious for clearing up misunderstandings with authority figures. After 22nd there can be surprising happenings with friends or acquaintances and possibly a love relationship. Favourable Dates: February 2, 7, 12, 16, 20, 27 Favourable Colours: Red & White Capricorn (22 December – 19 January) You are especially companionable and open to new experiences, although perhaps starry-eyed at times. There can be a surprising or sudden show of support, emotional or financial. Romantic illusions or self-deceptions should be watched for. Some of you could connect intimately with someone seemingly out of the blue, or there can be an unanticipated financial matter to manage. The last week can involve some social drama in your life. Favourable Dates: February 2, 6, 11, 15, 20, 24 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Blue

manishastroconsultant manish@manishastrologer.com


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A quiet night in... Woman in the Window by A J Finn What did she see? It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside. Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers. But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

Winchester

Inspired by true events. On an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco sits the most haunted house in the world. Built by Sarah Winchester (Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren), heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To the outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman"s madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece (Sarah Snook) or for the brilliant Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke) whom she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters. Release Date: 2nd March

Victoria & Abdul

Abdul Karim arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity. Release Date: 22nd January


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

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