Affinity Luxury Lifestyle Magazine February 2019

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Marco Pierre White

We meet the man himself WWW.AFFINITYMAGAZINE.CO.UK

Blush Beautiful

give your skin an illuminated glow

Lingerie Luxe

Looks you'll loves


Suite Dreams

Romantic escapes in London, Paris, and Italy!


Valentine Gift Guide

She'll love you forever

Update your interiors

with coral, this years must have colour

Coping with a catastrophe we show you how

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I’m loving...


3 4 A recent scientific review found replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners used in Diet Coke and other soft drinks has no effect on weight loss, and their long-term health effects are still poorly understood, thus with this in mind we asked our experts to look at other food and drink myths to help us understand healthy eating and how it can be maintained (page 12).


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 22) and if you’re not loved up there’s no rule saying you can’t treat yourself. If none of the gifts appeal then how about some new lingerie (page 25), we’ve got floral, pink, red, black and pastel so there’s bound to be one or two pieces that catch your eye. Keeping with the romance theme, why not check out these romantic getaways courtesy of Starhotels Collezione in either London, Paris or Italy, all staying in luxurious suites, with added romantic gestures, page 56 tells you more. Why does tea always taste better when poured from a teapot? We don’t have the answer, but we do have a roundup of some of our favourite tea pots (page 48). What one will you choose?

1. Palm Tree Diamante Earrings, £9.99, New Look 2. Love Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle, £24, Eye Mask, £12.50, Oliver Bonas 3. Blue Shoes, £199, TK Maxx 4. Love Potion Bottle Stop, £9, Oliver Bonas 5. Florabundance Tulip Vase, £49,

As adults we have probably all had to cope with what life throws at us, anything from minor disappointments to complete catastrophes. The problem is we have no choice BUT to cope. The decision is in some ways just how much we will allow it to demolish us, page 16 examines tihs more and tells us how to cope when a catastrophe strikes. Until next month Lots of LOVE

Jane x

Cover River Island

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


Editor: Jane Fry 01234 962106 - 07507 602401 Advertising: Jane Fry 01234 962106 - 07507 602401 Graphic Design and Photography: David Zita


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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Beauty Updates Blush Beautiful Hot Picks Be Mine Black Beauty Floral Fancy Meeting Marco Indulging at Bagatelle Living Coral Exploring New Brunswick Sri Lankan Dreams Meet the New Mercedes Your Stars







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The Golden Hour

The new Golden Hour pro eyeshadow palette from Kryolan (£23.90) includes five shades with soft shadows and gold-reflecting pigments. The pressed powder shadows offer micronised pigments allow for a transparent or a more intense colour finish, with a strong hold and durability and available from

The Collection

In collaboration with backstage stylists, Balmain Paris Hair Couture have developed a line of bare essentials for the session stylist including the Thermal Protection Spray for use on wet hair for an optimal distribution of the product. Creates a lightweight thermal shield that protects the hair up to 220°C/428°F. Priced at £26.95 and available from

Spoilt for Choice The new trio of scents from Misguided include Babe Oud, Babe Dreams and Boss Babe and captures the very essence of Missguided - fun, daring and bold. Boss Babe will leave you ready to face anything the day throws at you. This fruity floral scent leads with notes of bergamot and pear with accents of pistachio. Do dreamy femininity the Missguided way, with Babe Dreams. This sweet chypre scent is cushioned by a base of patchouli, rich amber and vanilla. If you’re feeling exotic, Babe Oud has a rich middle eastern aroma, leading with baies rose, bergamot, lemon and orange with dashes of red fruit and neroli. Available from Boots stores for a RRP £28 each.

BEAUTY UPDATES A Little Radiance

Bespoke & Beautuful

Jo Malone London never stops impressing and we are in love with their new offering, a treasured limited edition collection of twelve art deco caps featuring your birthstone. Choose your fragrance and add your cap. The caps are made from bronze and finished with cubic zirconia stones £250 from

Radiance Serum from Barry M is designed to revitalise and soothe skin with its ultra-light, fastabsorbing face serum, enriched with antiinflammatory apricot oil, brightening papaya and soothing tea tree oil, it will leave skin feeling soft and supple for perfect makeup application. Use to moisturise and prime skin and as an enriching night treatment. Or add some drops to your foundation for a dewy, radiant finish. Priced at £7.99, available from Superdrug.

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Food & Drink Swaps for a Healthier Life eplacing sugar with artificial sweeteners used in Diet Coke and other soft drinks has no effect on weight loss, and their long-term health effects are still poorly understood, found a major scientific review. Our experts have provided their top tips to help you achieve healthy, long-term weight loss, which can be maintained:


Fad Diets & Quick Fixes to Healthy Eating “Detoxing may often lead to feelings of lethargy, headaches, confusion, malaise, hunger pains, low mood and low productivity. Cellular water loss occurs, resulting in temporary weight loss, which for most people returns once eating normally. Nutrition and nourishment are also absent and therefore a detox is not the healthiest option. Choose an eating plan that limits processed, high fat, sugary foods, avoid obvious ‘toxic’ culprits like caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Where possible, have

organic nutrient dense, pesticide free vegetables, occasional fruit and fibrous whole grains. Focusing on an unprocessed balanced diet and lifestyle, with time for exercise, quality sleep and adequate hydration is a better option in the long run,” explains Nutritionist, Alix woods.

White to Wholemeal Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist ( suggests, “Swapping to whole grain alternatives that release energy slowly. The carbohydrates in wholemeal bread are broken down slowly over several hours and so do not give any sudden flooding of sugars into the bloodstream. Also, this gradual release helps you to feel fuller for longer, suppressing your appetite and stopping you craving sweet foods because you are not on the blood sugar rollercoaster.”

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Bread Sticks to Carrots “We should actually be eating more vegetables than fruit! We’ve all been told to ‘eat our greens’ but it is actually better to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables because different antioxidants are found in differently coloured foods. For example, green leafy vegetables, berries, carrots, beetroot and so on all contain different antioxidants,’ explains Dr Glenville. A simple way to increase your vegetable intake could be dunking carrots, instead of bread sticks, into your hummus. Shop Bought Juices to Beetroot Homemade Smoothie Beetroot is a low calorie, fat free vegetable, which is full of energy promoting nutrients that can help give us a lift! “Beetroots can be added to smoothies and or juices and have been found to increase plasma nitrate levels, which increase stamina and physical performance- helping one to lose weight,” explains Alix Woods. High Carb Intake to High Fat Intake A Ketogenic diet, popular with the Kardashians, works with low carb and high fat intake, allowing easy access to fat stores that will burn this excess body fat for energy.

“The Ketogenic diet is a high fat / low carbs diet with medium intake of protein. There are many health benefits of following a Ketogenic diet and it also has plenty of solid research backing up its benefits. In fact, it has been found to be better than most diets at helping people with high blood pressure, heart disease, fatty liver disease and obesity,” explains Nutritionist at Natures Plus Michela Vagnini. (, “Even if you are not at risk from any of these conditions, the ketogenic diet can be helpful for you too. Some of the benefits that most people experience are: a decrease in inflammation, an increase in energy, improved body composition and reduce fat mass, especially around the middle.”

If you are struggling with your protein and fats intake whilst on the go, try a Keto friendly shake. I recommend the Natures Plus KetoLiving LCHF Vanilla or Chocolate Shake (£49.95, These shakes make it easy and incredibly

delicious to maintain a ketogenic lifestyle. They also help combat cravings by promoting optimal blood sugar control.

Crisps to Spice Up and Snack on Kale “Kale is a member of the brassica family and is extremely nutrient dense with high levels of beta carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, Vitamin K and minerals Calcium and Magnesium. It’s full of powerful antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, which protect the heart, are anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral. Kale is best served lightly steamed, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt,” recommends Alix.

Sweets Every day to Apple a Day "Eat fruit as a healthy snack. Although fruit contains natural sugars, most have a low to moderate glycaemic index and do not raise blood glucose levels excessively (though don’t over-indulge in dried fruits). A study involving 38,000 women found those eating at least one apple a day were 28% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those eating no apples. Meanwhile, a recent analysis of five trials, involving almost a quarter of a million people, found that regular consumption of apples and pears is associated with an 18% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,” advises Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin Diabetes supplement (

Fast Food Fix to A Wholesome and Tasty itsu Meal Considering incorporating more meat-free dishes into your life? itsu’s got you covered with their ‘losing your vegan’ity’ bento box (£4.99, available nationwide throughout January). “The Red Cabbage has recognised anti-ageing properties as it is brimming with antioxidants, vitamins A and C, which minimise the effects of free radicals caused by sun damage, pollution, unhealthy eating and stress. The (Red) Ginger is a versatile spice packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties; it is effective in treating chronic indigestion and associated symptoms of wind and stomach pain. It has also been proven to be cardio protective as it lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Finally, Broccoli is a cruciferous green vegetable full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants making it a super healthy addition to our diets,” explains nutritionist Alix Woods.

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Blush Beautiful

Highlighters have grown in popularity and are now a must-have for your makeup bag, they give your skin a natural healthy illuminated glow, here’s some of our top picks.




4 5 8

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

Heaven's Hue Highlighter, £29, Goddess of Love Highlighter, £4.99, Superdrug Chanel Illuminating Powder, £42, Harrods Shimmering Skin Perfector Highlighter, £32, Becca Baked Highlighter Moon and Back, £7.99, Amazon Too Faced Love Light Highlighter, £25, Laura Mercier Face Illuminator, £32, John Lewis MAC Skinfinish Highlighter, £25.50,

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Learning to

Cope with Catastrophe

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As adults we have probably all had to cope with what life throws at us, anything from minor disappointments to complete catastrophes. The problem is we have no choice BUT to cope. The decision is in some ways just how much we will allow it to demolish us.

Obviously, the range of what we might see as a catastrophe varies and what happens to people can range from things that are simply a bit more than an inconvenience to life threatening or life altering events. We might even view the same event slightly differently but let’s just agree that many of us have had to, or will have to, cope with catastrophes. Acknowledge the Reality.

Whatever the nature of the catastrophe the first important thing to do is to acknowledge that it has happened. When the loss is great this can take time, denial is a part of the process of grieving for example, but in order to move forward acceptance of the situation, however dire that is, is the first step.

Acknowledging reality is not concentrating on the downsides or accepting the worst-case scenario, it is rationally taking stock of the actual situation. Accept Support Most of us have people who love and care about us and when catastrophe hits that is the time to let them support us. Don’t have a stiff upper lip mentality and think that accepting support or even asking for it is a sign of weakness. It is not. Humans are social beings and when the chips are down, we need to give ourselves permission to let ourselves be supported. The nature of the support may vary, it can be practical, emotional or both. Our instinct may be to say ‘thanks but no thanks’ and assume we can do on our own but often that doesn’t work. Soak up that support, it will help, and the likelihood is that you have had times when you have gladly supported other people that you care about.

Get inspired Whatever has happened the chances are it has happened to some other people too. Maybe people you know personally, or maybe people you will have to research. As humans we can learn from each other but also feel supported by knowing that others have survived whatever it is we are going through. It is worth devoting

time to seek out others either in person, sometimes there may even be a support group for folk experiencing what you are going through, or perhaps reading about people in similar circumstances and finding out how they overcame the adversity. Be Kind to Yourself There can be a tendency in all sorts of situations, and especially in any kind of struggle, to ‘beat ourselves up’. We can start telling how selves how we should do better, cope better, or not find it such a struggle, we might even tell ourselves that we are weak. But firstly, none of that helps and secondly it simply isn’t true. The answer to that is simply to stop. Every time a thought that runs you down or belittles or criticises you comes into your head simply get rid of it and replace it with a more positive thought like, ‘I’m doing the best I can.’ Struggle is ok in fact it is often after a very hard experience that we learn and grow. Some experiences are not of our making and we didn’t deserve them, but we must cope with them. Try to think what you would say to a friend in your situation? We often find it much easier to be kind to others. Look After Yourself In many ways this is another aspect of being kind to yourself and it is vitally important all the time but especially when we are going through tough times. But when we are coping with loss or disappointment, injury, illness, financial hardship or any other type of catastrophe that is the very time we often stop taking care of ourselves; so, make sure you get enough sleep, some good food, some exercise and spend time doing some things that you like.

Be Grateful This is perhaps the hardest thing to do, but it can be the most powerful. In circumstances that are dire it is hard to make ourselves focus on the positive. One way to do that is to find something, however small, to be grateful for – imagine you are visiting a relative in hospital, not much to be grateful for but maybe someone has given you a cup of tea and a comfy chair! It can seem trite but when we make ourselves find something to be grateful for it can give us strength. There are very few situations where there is nothing to be grateful for, even if they are small things and the catastrophe is BIG. For a regular dose of positivity follow me on Instagram

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BEAUTY SECRETS ove it or hate it, Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day) is one of the biggest date nights of the year. With the holiday of love around the corner, it’s time to start prepping for a romantic night out (or in) with your loved one and if you thought Valentine Day was all about flowers and chocolates think again. The most popular treatments at Dollyblue this time of year are pedicures and waxing - who said romance is dead?


Valentines week means waxing, lots of waxing and intimate waxing especially, is the trend for ‘hair down there’ - definitely not a treatment to be left until the last minute! I’m not saying a word!!! So why pedicures? We all know a romantic (and possibly) sexy night in has a ‘no sock policy’ so getting to grips with those neglected winter toes and cracked heels is clearly a necessary valentines treat. Your feet take on a lot throughout the hustle-and-bustle of daily life, whether that is walking on your daily commute, squeezing into ill-fitting shoes, or pushing it on your morning jogs. Getting a pedicure is a wonderful way to pamper your feet and can be a perfect excuse for some ‘me time’ to sit back and relax. Here in the salon we are loving Footlogix® its the world’s first and only Pediceutical® foot care brand for salons and spa containing fabulous ingredients such as Spiraleen which inhibits harmful germs with its highly efficacious anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties; Urea which “unpacks” hard dry skin cells and with water binding properties, keeps the skin soft and supple; one of the reasons why the results of a single Footlogix pedicure last for weeks.

Why not add a sizzling red polish for that extra Valentine pizzazz.

In my opinion, the best thing to wear on your date night is flawless-looking skin. While getting skin that feels flawless is an ongoing process that takes time, there are some things you can do to quickly get your skin on the right track… Firstly keep your skin healthy and glowing by drinking water with lemon throughout the day! Feeling hydrated is one of the most important things for great skin.

Don’t forget your SPF. All of us love to have younger looking, radiant, and healthy skin. And, this is one of the most convincing reasons to start using sunscreen. It shields your skin from developing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Looking really glowy and natural is underrated, minimal makeup is perfect for Valentine’s Day, with a sweep of pink blush on the cheekbones to make the cheeks look super rosy and warm is a must. Fun and daring looks like a bold lip or smoky eye are fun, but you can’t ever go wrong with natural. So this Valentine’s day remember be your own kind of beautiful. See you next month

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Midlife Madness


While they all vary, I think there is something about children’s eating patterns that means that for most at some stage they are a bit fussy when it comes to food. As parents we may be patient or otherwise, but most get through so that by adulthood they eat a reasonable range of stuff. But even adults vary immensely on the fussy scale!

Is it just my imagination or are ‘allergies’ on the increase? Obviously, some can be very serious, so I must confess to being a bit dismayed when having dinner at a hotel the other day my peanut allergic friend asked which desserts were nut free. Well specifically, what she asked was ’do the brownies contain nuts’? The answer on the waiter’s return from the kitchen was that it did. The logical follow up question was ‘any desserts that don’t?’. We were assured that the strawberry cheesecake was a safe bet. So, she duly ordered one and I understand it was delicious, well the first mouthful was, before the waiter hot footed it back to the table announcing that he’d now been told the base may actually contain traces of nuts. Is it just me or does it seem to you that almost everything apart from Brussel sprouts or broccoli MAY contain traces of nuts? The dessert was then whipped away from my poor friend leaving her holding her empty fork not sure whether to feel indignant or reach for her Epipen! The waiter returned to apologise and when she asked what WAS available that was definitely, absolutely guaranteed to be free from nuts - it was fruit – not Brussel sprouts at least but not chocolate brownie, banoffee pie or cheesecake either!

So, I have no problem catering for people with allergies (I know what goes into my food so I can say whether or not it has nuts, or traces, because I wash utensils, clean chopping boards etc – not sure where the problem lies really) and I have certainly made things like gluten free cakes, egg or dairy free dishes, and of course we have all catered for vegans and vegetarians.

I have no problem with vegetarians and vegans either (thought it does irritate me when at events the meat eaters eat the vegetarian options, saying how nice they are and leave me with cold chicken legs and soggy ham sandwiches which I don’t eat)!! Hands off I want to yell! In fact, I am not a vegetarian really as I eat fish and I now understand we have this term pescatarian, I need to change my identity!

Thankfully we do now seem to be developing a more critical eye when it comes to the food we put into our bodies, which is obviously good, though it does seem to mean that all sorts of people demand weird and wonderful foods and drink liquidised kale!!!! But everyone to their own I say unless of course it is at my table with my own family!

Why the hard approach I hear you ask? Well the last time family visited, all grown ups remember, and I have lived with all of them so I think I have a pretty good idea of what they generally do and don’t like, I was just making a salad to accompany a lasagne (not meat obviously). One by one the various ‘guests’ (can we call returned offspring that?) sidled into the kitchen dropping into the conversation what they did and didn’t like. ‘Oh’ said one ‘you aren’t going to put raw onion in that are you – I hate raw onion’! well I was, actually. Then the next appears who announces that a salad isn’t really a salad with out red pepper and he hoped some of that was going in! Hadn’t planned on it frankly, I was saving my red peppers for a dish the next day! But as a parent I tried to be obliging. But when the third arrived stating that they only ate one particular type of olive, not the one I had, then obviously, I felt I had to explain in rational, calm words that this was a family kitchen not a Subway!

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Bee Lantern, £19.50, Marks & Spencer

Raspberry Champagne Truffles, £15,

Rainbow Heels, £95, Dune London

Belted Coat, £44.99, New Look


GLAMGLOW Good in Bed Softening Cream, £42,

Cherry Clutch, £22, Next

Earrings, £12, River Island

This month’s must have gifts and accessories

Smile There's Gin Glass, £15,

Botanical Gown, £69.95,

Gold Shell Bangle, £85,

Kate Spade Map Watch, £189,

Sabina Chair, £229, Very

Peacock Umbrella, £30,

Sara Miller Flamingo Flask, £15,

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Be Mine

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

6 Course Michelin Meal with Champagne for 2 at Angler South Place, £135,

Neon Love Llght, £65,

Anouk Bra, £46, Thong, £39 Harrods Annie Haak Heart Crystal Dangle Earrings, £40, Emma Bridgewater Pink Hearts hepbirn Radio, £130,

Love Jumper, POA. , Marks & Spencer

Jo Malone London Red Cap Peony & Blush Suede Cologne, POA,

One Night Spa Break With Dinner and Wine at Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa, £199.,

Personalised Love Art Poster, £10, Mode Prints

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Ted Baker Loved Script Necklace, £49, Bracelet, £45,

Hotel Chocolat Valentine's Goody Bag, £18, John Lewis

Pierre Marcolini Box of 25 Heart Chocoates, £25, Harrods

I Love You Candles, £7.99, Homesense

Christian Louboutin Lipstick & Nail Sets, £103, Harrods

Neom Multi Mineral Bath Salts, £38,

Seven Diamond Flower Ring $4,800 (approx £3722)

Bella Flowere, £39.99,

JIMMY CHOO Blossom Special Edition, £48, Selfridges

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New Look

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Pretty in Pastel Pink Bra, £32, Briefs, £16, Figleaves Freya Bra, £28, Briefs, £14, Figleaves

Brazilian Set, £7, Matalan

Cornflower Blue Lace Bra & Briefs, £38, Figleaves


Janet Reger, Bra, £24, Briefs, £14, Debenhams Yellow Bra, £10, Briefs, £5, Matalan

Padded Bra & Shorts, £42, Figleaves

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Black Beauty Applique Bra, £30, Thong, £14, Wolf and Whistle

Lace Bodysuit, £12.99, New Look

Ted Baker Bra & Brief Set, £32, Debenhams Satin Bra, £27.50, Briefs, £12.50 , Marks & Spencer Matalan

Pour Moi Body, £40, Figleaves

Janet Reger Bra & Briefs, £26, Debenhams

Rosie for Autograph Bra, £27.50, Knickers, £12.50, Marks & Spencer

Lace Bra, £20, Knickers, £6, Marks & Spencer

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Roses are Red

Plunge Bra & Brief Set, £84, Figleaves

Heart Bra, £9.99, Briefs, £4.99, New Look

Lace Body, £38, Figleaves

Janet Reger Bra, £24, Thong, £12.50, Debenhams

New Look

Red Body, £38, Figleaves

Rosie for Autograph Bra, £27.50, Briefs, £12.50, Marks & Spencer

Strap Back Push Up Bra, £12.99, Briefs, £5.99, New Look

Janet Reger, Bra & Brief Set, £26, Debenhams

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Think Pink Daisy Lace Bra, £10, Briefs, £5, Matalan Bra £25, Briefs £12, Marks & Spencer

Savannah Miller Bra, £22, Thong, £9, Debenhams Lepel Bra, £26, Knickers, £10, Figleaves


Bra, £18 , Briefs, £8, Marks & Spencer

Bra, £22.50 , Briefs, £6 , Marks & Spencer Lace Corset, £10, Thong, £4, Primark

Lace Bralet, £14, Briefs, £9 , Next

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Floral Fancy

Floral & Lace Bra, £9, Briefs, £4.50, George

Floral Bra, £10, Brirfs, £5, F&F

Floral Rose Body, £18, I Saw it First

Floral Print Bra, £12, Briefs, £6, Matalan

Floral Bra, £22, Briefs, £12, Next


Janet Reger Bra, £28, Briefs, £15, Debenhams Jenny Packham Bra, 28, Briefs, £15, Debenhams

Floral Bra £22.50, Briefs £8, Marks & Spencer

Ted Baker Bra, £28, Briefs, £14, Debenhams

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food & drink

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Time for Tea Organic wellbeing company, Pukka Herbs, have launched its new tea, Feel New, expertly blended by Master Herbsmith and practicing Medical Herbalist, Sebastian Pole, to help you feel and look your best self.

Feel New is blended with the finest medicinalgrade organic herbs and spices including aniseed, fennel, cardamom, and the muchloved spice, turmeric. These super-spices are used to stimulate and support the processes within the liver and digestive system. An aromatic warming blend to leave you feeling at your best. Available from Sainsbury's shops nationwide and online at for an RRP of £2.99.

Out to Sea

Could sea vegetables be the missing superfood in your healthy diet? Although they’re a staple food in countries such as Japan, we still eat relatively little of them in the UK. Sea vegetables – also known as seaweeds – are especially nutrient-dense and are a valuable source of the vital mineral iodine, which is often lacking elsewhere in our diets. SHORE have released their new healthy snacks, Seaweed Puffs (£1.25), as moreish as crisps, but at less than 100 calories per 22.5g bag and packed with nutrients, antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals.

Fizz Free

With low and no alcohol becoming a fast-growing lifestyle choice, and last month’s Dry January was the biggest yet, the latest release from premium sparkling wine brand Freixenet has launched its first ever 0% alcohol free sparkling wine! Available in White and Rosé, the 0% range is the perfect choice for non-drinkers, designated drivers, expectant mothers, or for those that are simply trying to cut down on their alcohol intake over the coming months. Available for £5, from Tesco stores nationwide.


Brunch in Brixton

Roe in Brixton have a new weekend brunch menu. Showcasing chef Simon Whiteside’s passion for sustainable British seafood, Roe’s menu delights diners with delectable twists on much-loved classics. Available on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-3pm, guests can enjoy a complimentary glass of Prosecco or Bloody Mary with any of the exciting dishes which are priced at £9 per person. Reflecting Roe’s signature modern British style, the menu includes; Poached eggs with home smoked trout and hollandaise, Cod and chorizo scotch egg with grilled squash, and Baked smoked haddock, leek and cheddar gratin with soda bread. Roe, situated in a shipping container within the heart of Pop Brixton, has become a local favourite since opening last month.

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Marco’s New York Italian and

the Man Himself

arco Pierre White, his reputation precedes him as the temperamental rockstar super chef who intimidates and bullies, so you can understand our slight apprehension when we went to meet the man himself at the launch of his brand-new restaurant ‘Marco’s New York Italian, located within the Holiday Inn, Saxon Gate, Milton Keynes.


The restaurant itself has a stylish sophisted look, wooden floors throughout, framed photos of Marco in action and a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy some classic, simple, authentic food from Marco’s vast portfolio.

Sat in the corner in his giant chair was Marco, smiling, utterly charming and the perfect host, making sure we had a drink to enjoy whilst chatting to him – I’ve no idea what all the fuss was about!

“Milton Keynes, it’s so New York, so Chicago, don’t you think, I saw an aerial view the other day and it was as if I was looking down on Chicago, I’m going to name it the Chicago of the UK “ Marco enthused when asked why he chose Milton Keynes for his new opening.

The menu here is Marco at his best, classic American dishes sprinkled with Italian flavour and twists, “You have to accept the classics and adjust them to personal taste, none are right , none are wrong, it’s a world of invention and exploration, and you have to respect everyone’s interpretation of a dish – if I came to your house to eat, it wouldn’t be about the food, it would be a privilege to be there, you had invited me to your home to share your meal with me – to me it’s not about the food, it’s about the social interaction with the people around the table, who am I to judge, I just can’t do that”.

Marco may not judge, but we certainly can – the carpaccio of beetroot, goats cheese and walnut dressing was utterly delicious and the calamari fritto misto with a tomato salsa mayo was perfection on a plate.

We were speechless at the surf ‘n’ turf, a rare 10oz ribeye, New Orleans blackened shrimps in garlic and rosemary butter, with French fries and grilled tomatoes, this was a simple steak turned into the most succulent meat you’d ever tasted – Marco at his best! And then there was the baked salmon fillet in a Tuscan bean ragu, a typical Italian dish given a very Marco twist, the flavours in this

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were exceptional, I could eat this everyday.

Marco may create all these recipes for the chefs to follow in his restaurants but what if he is cooking for himself “I don’t like pans, I just have a massive pot and throw everything in, far better and more authentic, so different from the menu here where authentic, uncomplicated food is served, it’s not pretentious, it’s just good food, served in a great environment.” “My mother used to say “Marco. Marco. Marco” she was the kindest lady I have ever met in my life and shall I tell you the next kindest, my daughter Mirabelle – so kind! Kindness is the most beautiful quality you can have. I taught my daughter two things, number one never fall in love with a man who diets, and number two only ever accept white roses, never ever accept red roses!”

“Why? she obviously asked and I told her, you’ve always got to be loyal to the house, loyal to the house of York, I’m a Yorkshire boy and the white rose of York, be loyal to the house. I’ve taught my boys that as well, never give red roses to a girl it’s only ever white roses loyal - I’m a great believer in being loyal to the house whether you work in a restaurant, a company, anywhere you have to be loyal and that’s a fact”.

We’ll certainly be staying loyal from now on, loyal to ‘Marco’s New York Italian’ where the food is full of flair and flavour and the service is always with a smile and as for the white roses, well who know it’s nearly Valentine’s Day! For more information or to book visit: w w w. m pw re s t a u ra n t s . c o . u k / o u r brands/new-york-italian/milton-keynes

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Red Onion and Saint Agur Pie “The ideal accompaniment to the cold, dark nights, sweet red onions perfectly balance the savoury saltiness of Saint Agur in this classic winter warmer�


135g Saint Agur 4 large red onions 30g (for the pan) + 10g (for the tin) butter 5cl olive oil 20g brown sugar 250g flour 125g butter 10g turmeric 5g salt 8-10cl cold water 15g sesame seeds


To make the pastry, mix the turmeric with the flour, salt, sesame seeds and chunks of butter. Add the cold water, little by little, mixing to get a consistent texture. Create a ball with the mixture and wrap it in cling film. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least two hours. For the topping, peel and slice the onions. In a large pan, melt the butter with the olive oil and add the sliced onions. Add salt and pepper and cook for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the onions and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes until the onions become slightly caramelized. Set aside to cool. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out. Preheat the oven at 180C. Grease a 22x25cm tin with butter. Roll out the pastry to 2/3mm thickness, then use two thirds of the pastry to line the tin. Be careful that the pastry sticks to the side of the tin. Fill the case with the onion mixture and scatter the blue cheese in small pieces on top. Cut the remaining pastry into 1cm wide strips and arrange the strips on top of the pie, crossing them to create a grid. Cook the pie for 30-35 minutes in the oven. Once out, leave it to cool for 15 minutes before serving with a salad or pasta.

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Parma ham and Saint Agur Milanese Cutlets “Add a little French flare to an Italian classic with this slightly salty spicy twist on a Milanese”


100g Saint Agur 4 veal cutlets 4 slices of Parma ham 2 egg yolks 80g flour 120g breadcrumbs 5cl vegetable oil 30g butter

Method Season each cutlet with salt and pepper. Add a slice of Parma ham on top of each cutlet, as well as some blue cheese pieces. Fold each cutlet in half to create a ‘wallet’. Press down on the sides slightly to seal. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with a tablespoon of water, salt and pepper. Using two additional bowls, divide the flour and the breadcrumbs. Take each cutlet ‘wallet’ and roll it inside the flour (pat to remove any excess flour). Then dip into the flour, then the egg mixture. Finally, roll the cutlet in the breadcrumbs so that the breadcrumbs stick. Put the cutlets in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool. While they are cooling, warm up the oil and butter. Cook the cutlets for 5-6 minutes on each side, on a medium heat and serve.

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Plum Beautiful Cheesecake Tarts “The way to his or her heart, these individual tarts are just perfect for a Valentine treat” Method


6 individual bought pastry cases 6 South African Flavorking plums, pitted and thinly sliced 100g cream cheese 2 tbsp Greek yogurt 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp lemon zest 1 tbsp caster sugar 1 egg yolk 1 passion fruit 20g light muscovado sugar Fresh mint, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan oven 160°C, Gas Mark 4. Put the pastry cases onto a baking sheet. Share half the sliced plums between the cases. Beat together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon zest, caster sugar and egg yolk. Spoon into the pastry cases. Bake for 15 minutes, or until set. While the cheesecake tarts are baking, put the remaining plums into a saucepan and scoop in the flesh from the passion fruit. Add the muscovado sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Simmer gently for 34 minutes, then remove from the heat. Serve the tarts while barely warm, with the plum and passion fruit mixture spooned on top, decorated with mint leaves. Cook’s tip: If you like, use one large pastry case instead of individual ones – though you may have to bake this for a few minutes longer to set the cheesecake filling. Recipe from:

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Looking for the best rosé champagne? We've found three of the best, all you have to this Valentine's is put it on ice.

Pudding Night 8th February

Main course & all you can eat desserts only - £16

Valentines Night 14th February

3 Course with tea & coffee and a free gift for the ladies only £25 per person

Fill Up Friday 22nd February

Taittinger Nocturne Rose ‘City Lights’ NV A voluptuous wine that will add a touch of sweetness to your Valentine’s day. This rosé is soft and mellow and is perfect to drink well in to the night. £42.00,

Bottomless Beer, Bottomless Prosecco, Bottomless Food, Bottomless Soft Drinks only £25 per person

Pancake Night 5th March

Buy one get one free on all main courses All you can eat pancakes only £5

American Night 8th March

astes of more than 15 authentic dishes only £20 per person

01234 781 678 millhouse_hotel

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

Freixenet Italian Rosé A delicate blend of Glera and Pinot Noir grapes, carefully selected from the finest Italian vineyards and harvested during sunrise, being softly pressed to capture the deliciously delicate rosé tone and fruit flavours. £12, Tesco

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. £49.99, Waitrose

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Ready to Indulge ontemporary French-Mediterranean restaurant Bagatelle London opened its doors on Dover Street for the first time last year bringing this established New York culinary destination to the capital.

The melodies begin soft and grow, gradually building energy as the evening progresses creating an exhilarating atmosphere of sound sensations and a captivating, unique ambiance for guests.

The restaurant has Dale Osborne at the helm as its Executive Chef. With twenty-two years of experience working with the most renowned chefs in the world, Osborne is an expert when it comes to gastronomy. He has worked for some of the most influential culinary establishments such as, Michelin-starred Orrery, The Wolseley, St Alban, HIX Soho, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Chiltern Firehouse and most recently Aqua Shard.

To start: a glass of champagne to stimulate our taste buds before the first course, a selection of Yellowtail carpaccio with anchovy and citrus caviar – Yellowfin tuna tartar, avocado salad and taro crisps and a salad with roasted walnuts, pomegranate seeds and blue cheese all beautifully presented, combining Mediterranean food with added tastes from classic French cuisine, a real amalgamation of delicious tastes all coming together to create a taste sensation on the palette.


Widely recognized as a New York staple and institution, the flagship location in the Meatpacking District continues to thrive after nearly a decade in the neighbourhood. Today, Bagatelle outposts exist globally in ten locations and counting - from St Barth's to St Tropez and now in London, and we couldn’t wait to see if it lived up to its reputation.

Upstairs is a buzzing mix of drinking and dining where world renowned DJs blend their lively and energetic music with the culinary excellence of Bagatelle’s menu.

Downstairs is an opulent lounge area with its own bar and private dining area, intricately coffered ceilings, a luxurious colour palette of deep blues, reds and yellows, chic lighting that enhances the already warm ambience and velvet seats that adorn the atmospheric space where we began an evening of culinary delights.

Second course was just as faultless, Tempura autumn vegetables that were light, crisp and melted in the mouth,

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accompanied with a yoghurt, harissa, sweet chilli and grapefruit dip along with full of flavour mozzarella filled aubergines.

Main course consisted of seared Scottish scallops with heritage cauliflower, toasted pine nuts and golden raisins, the scallops were succulent and full of flavour, and the pine nuts and raisins gave different textures to each mouthful. The farm raised truffle chicken, with country style potatoes, woodland mushrooms and caramelised onions, was a pristine piece of chicken that tasted delightful and then there was the Jewel in the Crown - Whole grilled lobster linguine, prepared in front of us by the super talented waiting staff and tasting utterly divine. If

you are not sighing happily inside having eaten this feast by now, then you must have been whisked off to another planet! Dessert was a gigantic platter of sweet delights including fresh fruit skewers, chocolate treats, cheesecake and much more – In Dale Osborne, Bagatelle London have definitely found a diamond, the food is faultless in presentation and taste – the clever mix of textures and tastes and pairing of food us mere humans would never even imagine, means Bagatelle London is a big hit and will have diners visiting time and time again. For bookings or more information visit

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Woodchip and Magnolia

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Living Coral Positive, warm, and expressive. The Pantone 2019 colour of the year is a combination of juicy tangerine with a delicate, soft peach and looks luscious in interiors!







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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Double Bed, £1,100, Ostrich Feather Floor Lamp, £4,200, Sweetpea & Willow Rug, £320, John Lewis Armchair, POA, Covet House Velvet Chair, £ ,Ligne Roset Seafern Wallpaper, £85, John Lewis 2 Seater Sofa, £1,999, John Lewis Vase, £22, Debenhams Cushion, £16.99, Very Towels, from £4, Christy Lambswool Throw, £82, Amara Footstool, £199, Cult Furniture Cushion, £35, Debenhams Matthew Williamson Rug, £50, Debenhams

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2 1


Tea Time! Ready to brew up a storm in one of our teapots? What one will you choose?




6 8


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Chicken Teapot, £32, Cath Kidston Alice In Wonderland Teapot, £22, Creative Tops Pink Flower Teapot, £30, Hurn & Hurn Gin Teapot, £9, George Home Emma Bridgewater Black Toast Teapot, £59.95 , Mugs, £19.95, Emma Bridgewater Sara Miller Chelsea Teapot, £55, Daisy Park Zebra & Parrot Teapot, £45, Amara Hens and Cockerel Teapot, £49.95, Home in The Country Knit and Natter Teapot,£50, Laura Lee Designs

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Fredericton, New Brunswick

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A Culinary Road Trip in New Brunswick, Canada ew Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces. Steeped in history, natural beauty and a landscape often compared to New England but so much more serene, a definite road trip for your bucket list, one that we were about to tick off.


New Brunswick is vast and it would take weeks to drive it all, so we decided this time we would focus our trip in and around the Bay of Fundy. Picking our car up at Moncton Airport we drive the two and half hours to Moncton (the second largest city in New Brunswick). The vast greenery of the forests and the stunning scenery as you drive along the highway with not another car in sight for miles gives you a feeling of freedom and anticipation that you’re about to embark on an endless adventure.

different than the modern hotel, designed to look like the inside of a Windjammer Ship (the grandest of merchant ships). The food here was utterly divine, the steak and lamb dishes were the best we’ve ever tasted, they literally melted in the mouth and the piece de resistancen was the crepes suzette being made and flambe tableside - the ideal end to a perfect evening. Next day we took a short trip to the beach town of Shediac, where we tried our hands at making lobster rolls, courtesy of Chef Cilles at Maison Tait House, a typical colonial house full of maritime memorabilia and antiques. Chef Gilles taught us how to cook, prepare and make the lobster into rolls and then, of course, eat them. They were utterly delicious and although I may have struggled cracking and scooping the meat out of the shell initially the end result was well worth the perseverance.

Our bellies full, we drove a few miles up the road to Parlee Provincial Park, where we took a stroll on the beach; the blustery autumn wind certainly blowing away the cobwebs and the fresh sea air giving us an extra zest for the rest of the day. One of North America’s finest beaches, this park boasts the warmest salt water in Canada and on a sunny summers day this beach is full of people not just sunbathing but enjoying one of the many activities on offer including swimming, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, football, a sand-sculpture competition, and daily scheduled sports activities.

Arriving in Moncton we check into the Delta Beausejour Hotel (a modern Marriott hotel), a quick freshen up and then it’s time to visit The Windjammer restaurant (situated within the hotel). The restaurant couldn’t be more

Next day saw us take the hour and a half drive to Fundy National Park. There is so much to explore here you can connect with the land, the ocean and the wide-open sky, a coastal wonderland waiting for you to explore.

There are many hikes within the park, but if you only do one make it the Dickson Falls, just a 1-mile loop that takes about half an hour (or forty-five minutes if you’re anything like me) but it’s well worth it. Walking through the dense forest wilderness, listening to the

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tweeting of the birds and the rustling of the leaves illuminated with a rainbow of colours, as they seem to change into an autumney hue before your eyes, is a magical experience. Around every corner there’s something new to see as you cross the many boardwalks listening to the dripping water of the springs and view the tumbling waterfalls (more than 25) from so many different angles. Water and wilderness, two of the most serene things in the world and here you can experience both.

After a morning exploring the park we headed into the coastal village of Alma, a small fishing town that has a number of cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy fresh seafood as you overlook the bay watching fishing boats bobbing about in the distance. If you’re only after coffee and cake then Kelly’s Bake Shop is the place, her sticky buns are legendary and we can see why! All too soon it’s time to leave this quaint coastal town and drive the three-hour journey to St Andrews. Driving in New Brunswick couldn’t be further removed than in the UK, the scenery is breathtaking and you almost expect Yogi bear to jump out of the forest and hitch a lift. You’re lucky if you see one let alone two other cars. Our stay in St Andrews was at The Rossmount Inn, a 3-storey Colonial manor house that is part of an 87-acre estate set between the forest and the sea. It is situated at the bottom of Chamcook Mountain, the highest point in the Passamaquoddy Bay area with breath-taking vistas over the Bay, Chamcook Lake, St. Croix River and the coast of Maine. And it was in the restaurant at The Rossmount that we had dinner that evening, Chef Chris Aerni owns the Inn with his wife Graziella. The restaurant has gained a wonderful reputation around town and

throughout the Maritimes for its creative, market fresh cuisine, which was apparent when we stepped into a busy room full of diners - the majority locals.

The menu sources locally caught fish, foraged greens as well as wild and organic foods. Because of this, the menu changes daily. Our choices included beetroot salad with goat’s cheese, beef tenderloin tartare, butter poached naked lobster and a chicken dish – the food was faultless, full of flavour and so fresh,. It is a delightful foodie experience that has to be on your road trip list.

Waking up the next day I could hardly contain my excitement we were going Whale watching. I simply adore these mammals and couldn’t wait to see them, hopefully close up and personal. Before this though our first adventure of the day was to be wowed by multi-award-winning Chef Alex Haun at Savour in the Garden, a fine dining restaurant set within the stunning Kingsbrae Gardens,

Savour in the Garden, is only open in the evenings, but Alex had very kindly opened the restaurant and created a special menu just for the two of us. Hs food philosophy is to create artistically inspired food with fresh ingredients primarily from New Brunswick, served in a relaxed setting, all with an eye on the environmental footprint. We were treated to what I can only describe as some of the finest food I have ever tasted. Mushrooms, oysters served three ways (this was a piece of art), rabbit terrine with foie gras, (textures and delicious tastes teased the taste buds), pan seared steelhead trout (melted in the mouth), blueberry & thyme cremeux, cookies and chocolate truffles, all paired with wines that further enhanced the divine flavours of each dish, if this was in London it would definitely be my go to restaurant for any special occasion, it’s no surprise that you have to book at least two months in advance to get a table at this outstanding restaurant.

We had to now go out to sea, with a belly full of rich delightful food, let’s hope the water’s not too choppy. It was with Jolly Breeze that we took our whale watching excursion onboard a historic tall ship. Safety briefing over, all wrapped up with at least ten layers on (that was me, no one else!) and off we sailed, sipping hot chocolate as the sea spray splashed on our face, we sail past seals sunning themselves on the rocks, lighthouses and beautiful landscapes until

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After two amazing days in St Andrews it was time to get back on the road and head to St Johns, on the way we stopped to see the Reversing Rapids, an amazing natural phenomenon where the Bay of Fundy collides with the Saint John River. We viewed it form the Skywalk, a platform that leads out over the water, with a glass floor for you to view the rapids below. The Hilton Saint John, was to be our home for one night, located directly on the harbour with views over the bay of Fundy, this modern hotel is centrally located and has all the amenities you need.

we reach the waters where the whales play. The crew are extremely knowledgeable and can sense where a whale is about to come up out of the water before you even see it, the experience took my breath away seeing these peaceful creatures jumping through the air before immersing themselves once again back in the water, I never tire of watching them. After all the excitement of our fine dining experience and whale watching, you’d think we’d head back to our hotel for some rest, but no first we were paying a visit to Ministers Island. You have to wait until low tide for this excursion, when the ocean floor becomes

That evening we embarked on a tour around the town with Uncorked Tours, first port of call Picaroons General Store, New Brunswick’s oldest microbrewery and also its largest. Normally you have caviar and champagne tasting, but we were having caviar and beer tasting, a little different, but just as enjoyable and amazingly the beer matched the caviar

perfectly. Romanian Cornel Ceapa owns Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar, he’s the producer of the only sustainable wild caviar in the world and it was with his son that we spent the time learning all the different types, flavours etc, before heading off to Italian by Night an authentic Italian restaurant serving us delicious antipasti.

visible and you can cross onto the now deserted island and 50 room holiday home of 19th century railroad tycoon Sir William Van Horne. An experience like no other and for those ghost hunters amongst you - we’ll just leave it there, except to say the daughter’s bedroom in the main house may intrigue you!

Comfortably fed and watered, we thought we’d head back to the hotel, but no, our itinerary had other plans for us, a meal at Port City Royal, housed in a building that dates back to 1877. It’s been home to many things in its long life, from The Singer Manufacturing Company in the 1930s, to a radio and home appliances shop, to the Sunstar Bar. A building combining old and new, exposed brickwork and graffitied walls, an authentic atmosphere to enjoy some scrumptious food which included beetroot & citrus salad, smoked haddock with potatoes along with scallops and bacon.

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its rays softly illuminate the trees outside, whatever the season there’s always something magical to see. Inside there’s a very comfortable memory foam bed, stove for chilly evenings and cold winter months. Fully equipped kitchenette, bathroom with glass door shower, flush toilet and sink, comfortable chairs and luxurious bedding, this certainly isn’t glamping as you know it, and then there’s the wood burning hot tub slowly heating away outside, that fits two perfectly, you just need to add the wine. A few minutes’ walk from your private dome, is a pond with canoes and paddleboards to use as and when you want or, if you’re feeling energetic there’s plenty of hiking trails to explore.

Another must see whilst in St John’s is the indoor City Market, the roof is built like an inverted hull of a ship, a tribute to the city’s shipping industry and is packed with a wide variety of local and international delicacies to tempt the palate. Delicious aromas rise from the aisles of stalls which house butchers, bakers, fruit peddlers, sausage makers, fishmongers, delicatessen cheese vendors, and of course lobster sellers. Time to head to our next stop, Fredericton and the Delta Hotel. A picture-perfect location on the St. John River, right in the heart of the city. Intuitively designed rooms and suites feature modern comfort and a sense of relaxed luxury that will put you at ease, all modern amenities including an outdoor pool and its own private jetty, it was here we took a bottle of champagne, a couple of glasses and sat quietly contemplating as we watched the sun setting behind the acres of trees in the distance.

A morning stroll in the sunshine took us along the river at the back of the hotel, on the way back it was too tempting not to walk along the jetty and sit by the water’s edge enjoying the peace and tranquillity, this time drinking coffee and eating croissants. There was just time to visit the Lord Beaverbrook Art Gallery, before the final leg of our road trip to Ridgeback Lodge in the Kingston Peninsula. Ridgeback Lodge is Glamping at its best, with its dream domes in the middle of the woods, wood-fired hot tubs, the perfect place to reconnect with each other, recharge the batteries and unplug from the outside world.

Housed behind its own private fenced off area, your private dome is a perfect sanctuary, illuminated with natural light and all-weather proof, there’s something quite soothing about rain as it drizzles softly on the dome’s cover, or as the sun rises in the morning and

Being here really is like living as one with nature, the sky at night is perfect for star gazing and there’s something quite magical about sitting in a hot tub, in complete darkness glancing up at the stars and listening to the sound of the forest at night.

Food here was cooked by ourselves, but delivered by Busy Day Chefs, who not only brought us fresh supplies of food and drink but also gave us recipes to follow using the ingredients they’d delivered. Reluctantly after our night in the Dream dome, it was time to head to the airport and begin our journey home – we managed to fit so much into 8 days, but there’s still so much to see and do, we’ll be back, maybe next time in winter, how magical would the dream dome be then? Getting There!

We flew to New Brunswick from London Heathrow with Canadian budget airline Flights start from £400 return in Spring 2019.

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Suite Dreams this Valentine Day

Looking at whisking your loved one away this Valentines? Then look no further. We’ve found these beautiful hotel suites from Starhotels Collezione that are great for romantic escapes across London, Paris, and Italy!


What singles out Splendid Venice- Starhotels Collezione from its many counterparts in La Serenissima’s limits is its nod to the building’s historical past at a trading point for textiles. The hotel’s twelve new Splendid Heritage Suites are the stars of the show exuding a seductive charm, with rich pleated fabrics and inlaid mirrors, all alongside traditional Murano glass accents. Staying in the Heritage Suites offers exclusive services including: a private in-room check-in, Acqua di Parma bathroom amenities and chilled sparkling wine awaiting when you arrive. Couples can venture up to the hotel’s rooftop Altana and indulge in an Spritz while overlooking the rooftops and bellowers of the floating city. The hotel’s ‘Suite Temptations’ package which includes an overnight stay in the new suites, a private water taxi will bring you directly to the hotel where you can enjoy a cocktail at the Lounge Bar watching the gondolas pass by along the canals. To top off the evening, the package includes a three-course dinner for two at the restaurant Le Maschere. The ‘Suite Temptations’ Package at Splendid Venice begins at £1,180 (€1,350) per room per night based on two people sharing a Splendid Heritage Suite ((package includes private water taxi transfers upon arrival, a cocktail at the Lounge Bar, bottle of prosecco in room, 10% discount on breakfast and a three-course dinner for two at Le Maschere restaurant – drink not included).

GRAND HOTEL CONTINENTAL SIENA For a romantic weekend away in Tuscany, it doesn’t get much better than the tranquil city of Siena, accessible by a quick train ride south from Florence. Grand Hotel Continental – Starhotels Collezione is the city’s only five-star hotel and their Panoramic Suite is perched at the very top of the palazzo in the two-story tower and features beautiful antiques and lavish furnishings recalling to the building’s former existence as a Renaissance period Palazzo. Enjoy a late-night amble through the hotel’s main indoor courtyard, followed by a private wine tasting in the building’s lower levels where the Wine Cellar by Sapordivino will guide you and your partner through the vast collection of fine wines, paired alongside a tasting menu of Tuscan produce. The ‘Suite Temptations’ package at Grand Hotel Continental begins at £560 (€650) per room per night based on two people sharing the Panoramic Suite (package includes private transfers upon arrival, a welcome amenity, 10% discount on breakfast, a threecourse dinner for two at Sapordivino Restaurant-drinks not included and a wine tasting experience at the Wine Cellar by Sapordivino).

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Each Junior Suite at The Gore London – Starhotels Collezione is individually styled, offering couples a unique experience. Located in the iconic Queens Gate row in South Kensington, The Gore brims with Victorian eccentricity and British history. Stay in the Dame Nellie Junior Suite, named after famed Australian opera singer Miss Nellie Melba who often stayed at the hotel in the early 20th century. With bronze statues of David and Venus on either side of the tub in the mirror-covered bathroom, and a bed nestled within an intimate alcove enclosed by silk draping. Starting Rate: Rates for the Dame Nellie Junior Suite begin at £230 a night (room only).

CASTILLE PARIS While it is easy to spend languid hours walking Paris’s streets, Castille Paris – Starhotels Collezione with its supreme location along Rue Cambon is a savvy retreat after a day’s shopping and sightseeing. Stay in one of the hotel’s Junior Suites and pick one of three available interiors. We recommend the Coco Chanel inspired style with a modern take on the classic beige and black, complete with vaunt wall tapestries and a French-ceramic bathroom. After resting your feet, wander downstairs and enjoy a glass of Perriet Jouet at L’Assagio Bar, and look for the hotel’s resident charteux cat, Heliot – often found curled up on one of the lobby’s chaise-longue. The ‘Suite Temptations’ package at Castille Paris begins at £650 (€750) per room per night based on two people sharing a Suite (package includes private transfers to the hotel, overnight and 10% off breakfast, welcome amenity, bottle of champagne in room, and a dinner cruise for two aboard the Bateaux Mouches down the Seine).


Being the epicentre of fashion and design in Italy, Milan is both excessively upscale and relaxed – giving couples the opportunity to experience a well-balanced mix of luxury and unassuming Italian culture. Check-in to the centrally-located Rosa Grand – Starhotels Collezione and indulge in one of their eponymous Suites, where contemporary flair, warm hues and floor-to-ceiling windows provide light and views over the romantic fountain in the centre of Piazza Fontana. The ‘Suite Temptations’ package offers couples a chance to indulge in a luxurious stay in one of their Rosa Grand Suites which includes private transfers upon arrival, a welcome amenity and sparkling wine in room to relax. The ‘Suite Temptations’ package at Rosa Grand begins at £610 (€700) per room per night based on two people sharing a Rosa Grand Suite (package includes private transfers from the airport, 10% off breakfast, a bottle of sparkling wine and a welcome amenity).

THE FRANKLIN LONDON Often labelled as one of London’s sexiest hotels thank to its design by Anoushka Hempel, The Franklin is situated in an elegant Victorian palace tucked away off the main streets of Egerton Gardens. The Presidential Suite is decorated in London’s fin de siècle style with marbled walls, luxury silk and velvet furniture and wide windows, offering views of the private gardens. Spend a night in the suite as part of the ‘Suite Temptations’ package and enjoy a day of exploring London’s galleries and museums around South Kensington followed by a three-course dinner for two at The Franklin Restaurant by Michelin-starred Chef Alfredo Russo. The ‘Suite Temptations’ package at The Franklin beings at £1,350 per room per night based on two people sharing the Presidential Suite (package includes overnight and 10% off breakfast, welcome amenity, and a three-course dinner for two at The Franklin Restaurant by Alfredo Russo - drinks not included).

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THE PELHAM LONDON The Pelham Hotel - The Pelham’s King Suite has a wonderful modern twist on classic regal grandeur. Couples can recluse in the huge and opulent drawing room which is separate from the bedroom creating further privacy. Directly across from South Kensington station, The Pelham – Starhotels Collezione offers the perfect escape without leaving London. Guests can stay in the King Suite as part of the ‘Suite Temptations’ package and enjoy the room’s sumptuous period furniture paired with a marble fireplace. Top off the stay with a threecourse dinner at La Trattoria by Alfredo Russo featuring high-quality Italian cuisine. The ‘Suite Temptations’ package at The Pelham begins at £405 per room per night based on two people sharing the King Suite (package includes overnight and 10% off breakfast, a welcome amenity, and a three-course dinner for two at the restaurant La Trattoria by Alfredo Russo – drinks not included).

SAVOIA EXCELSIOR PALACE TRIESTE The Presidential Suite at Savoia Excelsior Palace – Starhotels Collezione is often favoured by honeymooners due to its absurdly pretty views over the Adriatic Sea. Couples can lounge in the generous 800 sq. ft. interiors, decorated with pale blues and golds, or enjoy a glass of champagne from the room’s balcony and enjoy the sights along the coastline including the iconic Castello di Miramare in the distance. Included in their ‘Suite Temptations’ Package, guests are whisked to the hotel upon their arrival and are greeted with a welcome cocktail, a bottle of prosecco in room and a three-course dinner for two at the restaurant Savoy by Eataly. The ‘Suite Temptations’ Package at Savoia Excelsior Palace begins at £690 (€790) per room per night based on two people sharing a Presidential Suite (package includes a three-course dinner at Savoy by Eataly – drinks not included, welcome cocktails, bottle of prosecco, private transfers to/from hotel and 10% discount on breakfast).


Set in an exclusive location in the centre of Rome, Hotel D’Inghilterra – Starhotels Collezione provides a timeless charm, perfect for exploring the city’s sites and monuments. Stay in one of the hotel’s Executive Junior Suites, which blend elegant antique and modern furnishings, including beautiful Murano-glass chandeliers and original artworks. After a long day of sightseeing, spend the evening sipping champagne in the room, with panoramic views. Couples can take advantage of the hotel’s current ‘Suite Temptations’ package which includes private transfers to the hotel upon arrival in Rome, a special welcome amenity, a bottle of champagne in room, as well as a three-course dinner for two at the Café Romano. The ‘Suite Temptations’ package at Hotel D’Inghilterra begins at £600 (€694), per room per night based on two people sharing an Executive Junior Suite (includes a threecourse dinner for two at Café Romano - drinks not included, 10% discount on breakfast, bottle of champagne and private transfers upon arrival).

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Haritha Villas + Spa, Sri Lanka at

Peace & Tranquility

Haritha Villas + Spa is a new contemporary Sri Lankan lifestyle destination opening this February/March. With seven intimate villas immersed in the greenery of the jungle and two colonial style mansions (each with two ensuite rooms and a salt water private pool). Designed by renowned and multi-award winning architect Gary Fell, using locally resourced recycled teak and other high quality stones, marbles and polished concrete throughout, Haritha Villas + Spa is decorated with modern and stylish interiors, with rooftops covered by greenery. Each villa also offers a private butler, salt water plunge pool, veranda and garden.

Located in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, close to Galle, a historic old trading port, and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The inland hilltop resort is nestled amongst stunning lush jungle vegetation with magnificent paddy field views, with wild monkeys, buffalo, tropical birds and peacocks, surrounded by peaceful sounds of the jungle and prayers from the nearby Buddhist monastery. Haritha Villas + Spa offers beautiful architecture, truly outstanding service and one of Sri Lanka’s most extensive spas, with an on-call Ayurveda doctor exclusively available to Haritha guests. In addition to the spa, there is also a gym, yoga pavilion and restaurant/bar for guests. With its own rice paddy, tea plantation, spice, herb, vegetable and fruit gardens, the kitchen is almost self-sustaining. The fresh produce and

spices will also be used for the spa treatments and products.

Dining is inventive international and local cuisine, created by the Head Chef using the finest and freshest ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices from Haritha Villas + Spa organic garden. Along with the restaurant and infinity pool bar, there is also the choice to unwind with a cocktail on the sala, enjoy private dining in unique locations in and around the resort, participate in cooking classes, or sample the delicious green tea produced from their on-site tea plantation. On site activities include spa treatments, yoga classes, cooking classes, tea tastings, relaxing in the library or enjoying outdoor movie theatre. For guests interested in exploring the local area, Haritha Villas + Spa’s tuk-tuks are the perfect way to discover the surroundings and can take you from the jungle to the beach in just a few minutes. For those wanting even more adventure, itineraries can include countryside biking, jungle trekking, whale watching, surfing and diving trips, to name a few. BOOK IT

Prices start from $600 (ÂŁ462) on B&B basis For booking and further information visit

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Fry’s Footie Corner

I cannot believe that I am writing this column and we are looking ahead to the month of February – it means that we are approaching the business end of the season and at Peterborough United we are very handily placed in Sky Bet League One to sustain a promotion push. Let’ s hope we can achieve it!

In the Premier League, I think this will be a very exciting title race. I think at the start of the season, me included, hung our hat on Manchester City repeating last season’s feat and strolling to their second successive title. It certainly has not been that. Liverpool have finally got the squad to challenge on all fronts and have recruited in the right areas.

Barring injuries and suspension, they have all the tools required to challenge City right to the death. It would not surprise me if they claimed the Premier League title. They have goals from all areas of the pitch and they have arguably the best central defender in the world in Virgil Van Dyk.

I feel a little sorry for Tottenham. Everybody wrote them off of a top four finish in the summer when they signed

nobody. They were in a great position, but the loss of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and others to injury have killed their momentum.

At the bottom, Huddersfield parted company with their manager after nine defeats in a row in all competitions. I guess it didn’t’ come as a surprise, but then you have to analyse the club and they were always fighting against the odds. It will be interesting how their new gaffer gets on in his first foray at that level. As Director of Football at Peterborough, we always watch our former players with interest. In the Championship, Jack Marriott has been a revelation at Derby County. I am thrilled to see him doing so well, certainly his goals have been vital to the Rams and long may that continue. Enjoy the exciting ride of the next few months. It is where the football season comes alive. Let’s hope we are in the mix come May.

Barry Fry

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Button Up

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The New Mercedes-Benz G 350 d

is Here

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he new Mercedes-Benz G350d is now available to order, with prices starting at £94,000 OTR.


The new G350 d is the perfect blend of iconic G-Class styling and rugged go-anywhere ability. The G 350 d is powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, with an output of 286 hp and 600 Nm of torque. It’s the most powerful diesel engine ever to have been fitted to a G-Class. It can travel from 0 to 62 mph in 7.4 seconds and has a top speed of 124 mph. It delivers up to 29.4 mpg on the combined cycle and emits 252 g/km of CO2 (depending on wheel size).

The G350d comes as standard with 20-inch AMG multi-spoke light alloy wheels; LED high performance headlights; mirror package including electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors; leather seats; 12.3-inch cockpit display and 12.3inch media display; ambient lighting with a choice of eight colours; AMG bodystyling; electrically adjustable heated front seats with memory function; heated rear seats; assistance package including blind spot assist and active distance assist DISTRONIC; Keyless-Go starting function; active lane keeping assist; Thermotronic automatic climate control with three climate zones; and radiator grille with chrome trim elements.

There are a number of option packages available. The Premium package costs £5,995 and comes with Multibeam intelligent light system; Adaptive air suspension; Burmester sound system; interior air ionisation; ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours; sliding sunroof; and parking package with 360˚ camera. The Night package can be added for £1,700 and includes 20-inch AMG multi-spoke light alloy wheels painted in black with a high-sheen finish; darkened indicators and tail lights; black radiator grille; black exterior mirror; heat-insulating dark-tinted glass and black spare wheel ring.

The Winter package costs £1,750 and brings a heated windscreen and auxiliary heater with remote. A heated steering wheel is available in conjunction with the Winter package for £275.

The Rear Seat Entertainment package is available for £2,995 and comprises two 10-inch touchscreen displays; a digital TV tuner; integral media player; and internet access. Order yours now for delivery this summer 2019.

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Mark Owen talks

The Band

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ritten by award winning writer Tim Firth, The Band is a beautiful story for anyone who grew up with a boyband and how those songs became the soundtrack to their lives.


For five 16 year old girls in 1992, the band is everything. 25 years on, we are reunited with this group of friends as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes. Featuring the music of Take That, Britain’s most successful boyband of all time, whose songs include Never Forget, Back For Good, A Million Love Songs, Greatest Day, The Flood, Relight My Fire, Shine & Rule the World and starring the winners from the BBC’s Let it Shine, Five to Five.

The Band is now the fastest selling musical theatre tour of all time, we caught up with Mark Owen who talks Take That, being a producer and how quitting the fags has seen his love of chocolate escalate: Q: The Band is a new musical that uses Take That songs as a soundtrack. It has been such a hot ticket you have had to extend the tour, including a West End run. Are you a proud producer just now?

A: We are made up that people are connecting with the show and enjoying it so much. Sometimes I feel a bit guilty for the young guys who won the competition [the five boys who won TV’s ‘Let it Shine’ search for the musical’s title roles] because I don’t think they knew just how much work was involved. But I guess it’s a dream for them and I am made up for them, too. Q: The Band tells the story of a group of 16 year-old friends who love a particular but non-specific band. Years later they try to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes. Why do you think people love the show so much?

A: Nostalgia. It brought me back to when I was a teenager knocking about with my mates and the dreams that I had then. It made me contact old friends after I saw it. People slip from us as we get busy with life, but the show made

me reminisce. It was like a pause button. Oh yeah, and it’s got these amazing songs in it!

Q: How have you enjoyed mentoring the young lads who won the TV show Let It Shine and who play the band of the title?

A: I’ve enjoyed the mentoring more than anything. You feel like a father to his son and we had sit-down talks about looking after each other and about going out into the world! It has been a real pleasure. Their energy is really positive; they inspire us. It really does work both ways. The whole experience has been wonderful. To work with someone like Tim Firth who has such an incredible pedigree and the whole crew – everyone on the show is so lovely. I have really enjoyed a sneak peek into the theatre world and feeling that energy. I was really glad that it was our music that was chosen to be the basis of the story. Q: The show sees the older women looking back at their younger selves. What advice, with the benefit of hindsight, would you give your teenage self? A: A lot! I’d probably have a big sit-down with myself! But probably I’d say just embrace it all; the ups and downs and left and rights. Oh, and don’t have that first fag; don’t start smoking. My mum and dad smoked for forty-odd years and just stopped. I’m so made up for them and so proud of them. My thing is chocolate now. Don’t tell anyone, but I did eat some of my children’s Easter Eggs this year.

Q: Who or what was in the posters on your bedroom wall as a teenager? A: I was quite into football so Pelé, Maradona and Liverpool players were my pin-ups. Music wise it was Madonna and Elvis. I loved Elvis and grew up listening to him because mum was a big fan. I used to put lard in my hair and sing Elvis songs. Mum went mad with me!

The Band is appearing at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday 5th – Saturday 9th March 2019, tickets are available from

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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 just need to watch for taking on too much and running yourself down. Stress can also impact you more physically, so try to manage your stress levels. Engage in your hobbies, take time off from work, let out your inner child, and be playful. You may be tempted to turn up the charm, but aim instead for sincerity, as it will be appreciated most. Love can be magical, and your powers of attraction run high. Favourable Dates: February 2, 5, 11, 14, 20, 23 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Red

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Pisces (19 February – 20 March) You can have unexpected expenses arise or miss something in your budget that you have to make up for. You can pay too much attention to what other people think and say about you. This is a good time to redo your budget, revisit a financial plan or planner, or buy something refurbished. Some of you could be reconnecting with old friends or lovers now. You might perform a generous act behind the scenes or anonymously. Favourable Dates: February 2, 9, 11, 18, 20, 27 Favourable Colours: Yellow & White Aries (21 March – 19 April) You will enjoy getting work done, crossing things off of your to-do list, and being efficient and productive. You’re more logical and analytical, and you would keep much to yourself. You will have a harder time speaking up for yourself and be shyer. You may need to tame urges to spend too much, however. In all likelihood, you’ll be coming out ahead in the finances department, or you’ll be putting in the groundwork for future increases in income. Favourable Dates: February 1, 4, 10, 13, 19, 22 Favourable Colours: Green & Yellow

Taurus (20 April – 20 May) You want to experience life in new ways, expose yourself to other languages, cultures, and beliefs. You can focus on how other people handle money and gain more confidence through this. This can be a good time to form a business or financial partnership. If in a relationship, you can try to infuse some new life into it by doing something new with your partner. If single, you could meet someone from a different background from yourself. Favourable Dates: February 1, 3, 10, 12, 19, 21 Favourable Colours: White & Red Gemini (21 May – 20 June) You can create new plans for achieving your goals, and they’re practical and realistically achievable. Financial matters, mainly revolving around shared resources or debts, might also heat up in this month. Good energy is with you for redecorating your home and peace and comfort with your family. The month is strong for personal triumphs, small yet significant changes, and financial boosts. You may be feeling back on track when it comes to dating, hobbies, or creative pursuits. Favourable Dates: February 1, 2, 10, 11, 19, 20 Favourable Colours: White & Purple

Cancer (21 June – 22 July) You’re more defensive of your beliefs, and you may need to analyse what you believe and see if it really fits who you are now. You will enjoy exploring the darker side of life. You’re willing to go where you normally wouldn’t dare and see what there is to find. You crave more intimacy in your life and can try to grow closer to someone. You can forge stronger bonds with those you’re close to and grow closer to new people. Favourable Dates: February 2, 9, 11, 18, 20, 27 Favourable Colours: Green & Grey Leo (23 July – 22 August) You have a lot on your mind, come up with lots of new ideas, and go from one idea to the next. The month is strong for personal triumphs, small yet significant changes, and financial boosts. You’re better at dealing with life in the abstract, but you can come up with innovative and unique

solutions to problems. This is also a good time for your health, and you can work on improving it through diet, exercise, and regular check-ups. Favourable Dates: February 3, 7, 12, 16, 21, 25 Favourable Colours: Yellow & White

Virgo (23 August – 22 September) New adventures and experiences can suddenly seem desirable. Many recent pressures tend to ease for you this month, and this frees you up to explore recreational activities. Creativity is stimulated, and some of you could be picking up a new hobby or breathing new life into an old one. I f in a relationship, you can be more passionate with your partner. If single, you want to be with someone, but you want it to be intense, not a casual fling. Favourable Dates: February 1, 5, 10, 14, 19, 23 Favourable Colours: Blue & Red

Libra (23 September – 22 October) Now is time for fun, to be carefree and light-hearted, and to embrace the fun aspects of life. You may come across as warmer, prouder, and friendlier. Let out your creative side and try to see the bright side of situations. This is a good time to have some important conversations with people to get to the heart of the matter. If single, you want a deep bond with someone, aren’t up for anything casual, and desire a passionate experience. Favourable Dates: February 2, 9, 11, 18, 20, 27 Favourable Colours: White & Red Scorpio (23 October – 21 November) You may come across as more rebellious, original, and intelligent. The more success you have, the more confident you would feel. You want to stay as busy as possible and can keep a packed schedule. You may be on the go, always doing something, and share everything you learn with people. If you’re in a relationship, you can be more romantic and plan for some fun time together. You’ll need to try to control yourself as much as you can. Favourable Dates: February 1, 4, 10, 13, 19, 22 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Green Sagittarius (22 November - 21 December) This is a good time to do research, to review financial arrangements, to take back an old financial partner, or to transform yourself in a way that you tried before. Your intensity heightens, and you can’t accept anything at face value. You might seem too serious, controlling, and emotional.. This is a good time to remind yourself of your feelings for your loved ones and to rekindle the flame Favourable Dates: February 3, 8, 12, 17, 21, 26 Favourable Colours: Red & White

Capricorn (22 December – 19 January) Your personality shines. People will see your value. This is a winning time for attracting others to you through your unique self-expression and vision, as well as for putting past grudges behind you. You can be more emotional during this time, and your intuition is heightened, but your emotions may get in the way of understanding your gut well, so you’ll need to calm yourself down. You can come across as more secretive, intense, and dark. Favourable Dates: February 1, 3, 10, 12, 19, 21 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Blue


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Weekend Starts Here.... My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber

Two women – desperate to unlock the truth. How far will they go to lay the past to rest? ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park. She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day? ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads. Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth. But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?

On The Basis of Sex

Set to be one of the year's most inspiring and entertaining films, this is the powerful and timely true story of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who led the fight against gender discrimination and blazed an unprecedented trail for equality. From being one of only a few women accepted at Harvard Law to co-founding the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU, Bader Ginsburg overcame all odds to become one of the most influential figures in the battle for equal rights, passionately arguing ground-breaking landmark cases and giving a voice to those unable to be heard. Lighting up the screen with fantastic performances, Felicity Jones stars as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Armie Hammer as her husband Marty, a talented lawyer in his own right who offers unwavering support to his wife. Release Date: 8th February

Robin Hood

A corrupt English crown encourages a Crusader to go against the system he once served. Hardened by war, his anger for the corrupt system pushes him to take action to make a change. This action packed adventure is filled with twists and turns never expected in this childhood classic tale turned modern. Lead by his commander, Robin Hood defies the odds and takes from the wealthy to give to the poor. Romance, mystery, action and suspense engulf this tale of heroism. Release Date: 19th February

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