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AFFINITY LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

FREE www.affinitymag.co.uk

January 2017

New Year Travel Animal Magic Fashion Edit what’s your resolutions?

JANUARY 2017

accessorise your home with animal inspired interiors

ISSUE 68

Fire & Ice Charity Ball

check out our photo gallery

Gold Rush

this season’s must have trends

the latest beauty products you’ll love


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Join us at our

Wedding Show Sunday 26th February 11am-3.30pm

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Welcome...

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So now we’ve waved goodbye to 2016 and welcomed in 2017 how many of us wish we had a crystal ball to see what the coming year is going to bring us? Well unfortunately, we haven’t got a crystal ball but we’ve got the next best things our resident astrologer Manish Kumar turn to page 80 to see what’s in store for you. January and the winter weather sees a lot of people hibernate and not want to reappear until all the cold miserable weather has gone. This means many of us neglect our fitness, which then has a knock on effect on our health; turn to page 20 where we show you how to stay active during these cold months. Has all the festive eating, drinking and socialising completely wiped you out? Then you need to recharge your batteries and pay a visit to Sopwell House for some luxury and relaxation in their Mews Suites. You’ll come away with your batteries fully recharged and ready to face the world (page 78).

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1. Alice Through the Looking Glass Truffles £12 charbonnel.co.uk 2. Looney Tunes Bag £29.99 Zara 3. Dune London Opulent Boot £130, Dune 4. Kate Spade Classic Charm Bracelet £88 katespade.co.uk 5. Stripe Jumper £39.50 Marks & Spencer

This month is also ‘Dry January’, if you’re thinking of getting through the month without even a bit of alcohol touching your lips, (and for some people that’s not as easy as it sounds), you’ll need all the help you can get page 44 gives you some helpful tips on how to cope. Finally all that’s left for me to say is Happy New Year, have a great January, and see you next month.

Jane x

Cover Yves Saint Laurent Editor: Jane Fry jane@affinitymag.co.uk 01234 962106 - 07507 602401 Advertising: Gwen D’Souza affinitymaggwen@gmail.com 07506 770554 Graphic Design and Photography: David Zita dave@affinitymag.co.uk

www.affinitymag.co.uk

facebook.com/AffinityMag

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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.Printed in the UK by Regal Litho 01908 270400.


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CONTENTS 28 14 19 22 29 32 36 42 48 54 57 65 68 72 82

Your Inner Warrior Hot Picks All That Glitters Bobbletastic Kool in Khaki Foodie News Country Dining Animal Magic Ones to Watch Fire & Ice Gallery It’s Cold Outside Meet the MX-5 Artic All Aboard! Quiet Night in

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The Ultimate Beauty Saviour The 7-day teeth whitening system from Instant Whites is completely peroxide free and can achieve results within 5 minutes. The application swab system has been designed for zero fuss, meaning it can be conveniently carried in your handbag for any last minute swipes or at home in the morning or evening before/after work. The Instant Whites system is £24,99 and available from Boots stores nationwide.

Enlightened Radiance

Skinn Cosmetics Enlightened Radiance Concentrate is designed to act as a highlighter, as well as dramatically improving the appearance of skin discoloration with its rich blend of natural skin brightening extracts and antioxidants. Formulated with a mix of gorj berry, licorice and five stabilised forms of vitamin C, this concentrate works to help fade the look of dark spots while also shielding the skin from free radicals. Available exclusively from Ideal World priced at £19.99.

Beauty Superfood

BEAUTY UPDATES

The beautiful 100% natural jojoba + rosehip oil by The Jojoba Company (£16.95, 30ml) is a superfood for your skin and hair! This all-natural formula combines a powerful mix of naturally occurring antioxidants, vitamins and omega fatty acids to deeply moisturise skin and amazing hair treatment.

Smell Beautiful

Zara Home has just released their first collection of personal fragrance. With six fragrances in the collection all with exhilarating, inspiring and evocative notes. The perfumes from this collection transport us to intimate day-to-day moments that range from the seemingly casual and carefree to the undeniably mysterious. Available from Zara Home Stores and online at www.zarahome.com with a RRP £29.99.

Eye’s Have It

Fairydrops have launched two products that include Fairydrops Cat Liner (£12.50), a liner with an ultrafine brush tip to deliver a precise, deep and glossy black line to eyelids that’s smudge-resistant and waterproof; and Fairydrops Brow Wow Wow (£12.50), a fine felt tip designed to define and shape the brows. Both available from asos.com.

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

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

As a herbalist and naturopath I can help you with

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

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


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Warrior!

Learning to be a

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They know what is important This may be different for different people, though I suspect there will also be a lot of similarities - things like family, friends, achieving career goals and of course enjoying life. In every kind of struggle there is a purpose, a clear idea of what the good outcome would be and that can only be the case when you know what is important to you.

he word warrior is one we all know and will probably assume, correctly, that it is a word that means a fighter, a soldier, a combatant of some type. But hopefully not many of us will ever know physical fighting in today’s society. I came across a definition in the urban dictionary which seemed to be much more apt. “Warrior - a person who beyond all obstacles still manages to be successful. A warrior will often be troubled in life but will persevere to the end.”

You have to know what’s important what’s unimportant, for you David Harold Fink

While not many of us will know real combat almost all of us will have times when we need to be a warrior to overcome a range of trouble or obstacles and continue to live a life that is happy, fulfilling and successful. So what is it that makes a warrior? - whilst every warrior is an individual there are characteristics that they share and if we try to develop these ourselves then there should be nothing stopping us from having a year that is happy, satisfying and successful, but of course it won’t be without some struggle and hard work.

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They don’t let failure stop them Everyone will experience something that they could call failure, either at work, in business, in study or in relationships. It happens but the characteristic shared by warriors is that it doesn’t stop them. The failure is far less important than our reaction to it. There will always be an option to give up but there is also an option to keep trying. Many people who are successful say that it is often the learning that has come though failure that helps them in the end to be successful.


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important part of success BUT looking forward and working towards things doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate what we do actually have at the moment. A mindset of gratitude is often a characteristic of those who are successful in both the worlds of business and life. Successful people have a sense of gratitude. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement. Steven Aitchison

They value themselves and others Valuing yourself is understanding the true worth you have - essentially it stops you being treated like a doormat and in business, social circles and relationships this is undoubtedly important. It also means that you know your own worth and that you take the time to look after and invest in yourself. In many ways valuing ourselves is the starting point for valuing others. Some people seem to think that valuing ourselves somehow puts others down but that is far more likely to happen by someone who doesn’t value themselves and has a low self-esteem - their value may well come from seeing themselves as superior so inevitably they put others down. In fact warriors are the people who will rejoice in the success of others- they are happy in their skin and have no need to feel bitter or resentful about others success and achievements. Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their joy is being who they are, not being better than someone else. Nathaniel Brandon

They don’t give up If you read about many successful people, entrepreneurs, athletes or leaders, they share a view that what marks them as different is simply that they didn’t give up though many of them have faced challenges and may have almost given up they somehow summoned the strength to keep going. Strength is not just a physical thing it can be emotional as well, an attitude of mind. And our ability to keep going depends not only on our strength but on our motivation and in some ways how much we want whatever it is we are striving for.

Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. Jack Canfield

They take personal responsibility It can be very easy to blame personal circumstances on other people or on ‘things’ that have happened. Of course we can’t control every aspect of life, things will happen that aren’t what we’d wish for, people can behave in ways we don’t like. But we can’t control that. What we can control are our responses to those things or that behaviour. If ever you find yourself blaming your personal situation on others then take a minute and consider what your own responses might be contributing to the situation.

Success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up, with goals so strong that obstacles, failure and loss only act as motivation. Kushandwizdom

So if you want to be a warrior it is all about having a warrior mind set. That is something that can be developed, as humans we are adaptable and resilient so as we go through life we change. Often the times of greatest challenge are the times when we change the most. So don’t be afraid of the challenge be prepared to chase your dreams, rising to challenges as they present themselves. Let your inner warrior shine in 2017!

Stop pointing fingers and placing blame on others. Your life can only change to the degree that you accept responsibility for it. DR. Steve Maroboli

For more information visit www.attunededucation.com or for help finding your inner warrior contact Sheila on 07921193479 or via email info@attunededucation.com

They appreciate what they have Having goals and desires that you want to achieve is an 15


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Winter Skin Moisture

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Nu Skin ageLOC Radiant Day Cream £54.29 nuskin.com Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Face Lotion £50 origins.co.uk Sisley Moisturiser with Cucumber £104 Selfridges Argan Liquid Gold Rejuvenating Day Cream £125 arganliquidgold.co.uk Angela Langford Thirsty Work anti-ageing Moisturiser £37.50 angelalangford.com Murad Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture £55 John Lewis GLAMGLOW ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment £39 .lookfantastic.com Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion £30 John Lewis Nu Skin ageLOC Transforming Night Cream £62.12 nuskin.com


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Midlife Madness Oh for a Great Big World We hear a lot about the world getting smaller. Of course it isn’t but the appearance is due to fast and more affordable air travel (unless you want to fly at Christmas or in a school holiday when cheap flights simply do not exist!) and a veritable plethora of communication means. I won’t even put letters in my list because other than junk mail like invitations to save money (always dubious because you only save when you actually spend, discounts off holidays, insurance, shopping or whatever else) almost everything is electronic, even my bills are sent on line these days.

communication a lot - in my experience even close friends don’t want to be phoned or ‘app’d’ at 3 am to discuss the great new outfit I’ve bought! And when it is me that is away on holiday I love being able to stay in touch though I do acknowledge that data roaming charges can certainly make it seem that the world is as big as it ever was - if you choose not to pay it you can feel very isolated very quickly. And of course it is very good in a global way that we can all hear about what is happening - I think! In a human sense it’s good to hear of earthquakes and landslides and other natural disasters, even wars and terrorist attacks so that help can be marshalled quickly though if you aren’t careful it is easy to slide into a pit of despair as it seems far more bad news is reported than good.

So leaving post aside there are emails, skype, various messenger services and apps - though I must confess the one where you tantalizingly get the message then it vanishes forever I find extremely irritating. I understand of course that it hasn’t vanished forever because if I was a celebrity sending naked pictures of myself they could be found at will with threats to publish by morally compromised papers! That aside it’s a weird kind of torture - I get a video from a loved one - realise my phone is on the quiet as a mouse, won’t disturb anyone on the train setting (maybe that is why I miss a lot of calls?) so I fiddle with volume control then find the video has gone - very frustrating especially when they then send a more lasting message saying did I see it and what did I think. Now that is a dilemma - do I confess to not being quite able to manage the chat app? Which leaves me feeling like an old befuddled relative. Or pretend that I had, which in my experience always leads to cross purpose conversations at best and ……the feeling that I am an old befuddled relative. But leaving that irritating app aside there are lots for ways to communicate and much of that is good. I also now have clock setting which tells me what time it is in different continents which has also helped

But what I don’t always need to hear when I am slogging away at work is what a marvelous time someone else is having on holiday. Yes they might deserve it and yes the catamaran trip, dog sledding with huskies, northern lights, Mardi Gras carnival or whatever does look fab! But if I am working and it is months till my next holiday I don’t always need to see it in glorious technicolour. In the old days when people returned form far flung places we’d catch up over a bottle of wine and look at photos and there was some comfort in the fact that while it might have been absolutely fabulous their nose was back to the grindstone too.

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So there are a few advantages to a big world, a world where news does take a while. When I have spent ages defrosting the car, or I am cuddled up at home with duvet while watching TV as it’s so cold do I really need to hear that in Australia it’s 34 degrees and my loved one is walking to work in flip flops!


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Ecoya Guava & Lychee Sorbet Candle £39 John Lewis

Dune Daenerys Animal Print Heel £90 Dune

AFFINITY HOT PICKS

Pineapple Mug £6 Marks & Spencer

Fedora £22 Next

Kate Spade Pelican Bangle £78 www.katespade.co.uk

Jackson Pollock Inspired Chocolate Bar £11, www.royalacademy.org.uk

This month’s must have gifts and accessories

Ted Baker Lingerie Debenhams

Stephanie Collection Floral Pyjama Set £45 www.cyberjammies.co.uk

Manhattan Midnight Collection Backpack £85, www.manhattanportage.co.uk

Macarons £16.50, ww.,laudree.com

Trinket Dish £9 Oliver Bonas

Peekaboo Rose Gold Earrings £50, ALEXI-London

Pink Chunky Cable Jumper £34.99 New Look

Archon MOVE Fitness Tracker £49.99 www.idealworld.tv


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Stay Active This Winter

When it’s grey and gloomy outside and the days are short, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get up and do exercise. Over the festive season most of us will have eaten a lot of the less healthy options on offer. Between mulled wine, mince pies and lack of exposure to sunlight, I’m sure many of us will have gained a little weight and become slightly sluggish in our lifestyle. Well now it’s the New Year and time to change that….

Brave the weather It’s easy to be put off, but going outside is all in the preparation and attitude. Wrap up warmly, wear decent footwear and once you are out there, you might even enjoy it! Cold conditions give a boost to the conversion of white fat cells to brown, which burn energy to keep us warm. Outdoor exercise increases exposure to daylight and Vitamin D, helping to increase endorphins and improving both your mood and bone strength. Exercise indoors If the weather really is appalling, try an exercise DVD or repeatedly going up and down the stairs. Gyms often have tempting trials or short term deals at this time of year and many council gyms are now high spec and reasonably priced. The price of exercising indoors is an investment in your long term health that’s worth paying. Ditch the excuses Modern life is busy, with work and family often taking priority. It’s easy to think you have too many other things on and that it is selfish to take time out. However, studies show we are more efficient at work if we make time for exercise, whilst the ‘head space’ helps with thinking and prioritising. Exercise makes you healthier and happier, improves concentration and increases energy levels. Exercise with others It can be hard to get going on your own. Going for a walk with a partner, friend or family makes it more pleasant, and meeting up with someone helps make sure you stay committed. It’s a great way to make new acquaintances and catch up with old ones.

Set goals and monitor yourself You are more likely to be successful in maintaining weight or losing a few pounds if you know what your goals are and you record what you do. You can do this manually, or use technology to help. Activity can be monitored by a wearable device to record how many steps you take, how much ground you cover and even how much sleep you have. Most health bodies recommend 10 000 steps a day. You might be surprised by how little or how much you do, and how much small things like using the stairs, a 10 minute walk at lunchtime or walking kids to school can make. You can also use apps to map your activity and distance covered in a walk or run. Looking at your progress can be really motivating. Practical Tips • • • •

Choose to do an activity that is realistic and that you enjoy. That way you can keep it up! Wear appropriate clothing and stay well hydrated Don’t exercise if you feel unwell or have a cold Don’t be too hard on yourself! If you have a little too much to eat and drink, have less the next day and work it off.

www.vavistalife.com

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Glitters

All that

Sometimes nothing else will do except for Gold! So make sure your beauty bag has at least one of these products in it.

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L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascarra £5.99 Boots YSL Sparkle Clash Palette £59 Debenhams Marc Jacobs Daisy Gold £72 House of Fraser Burberry Gold Shimmer Nail Polish £15 Net-a-Porter Make Up For Ever Liner £16 Debenhams Dior State of Gold £40 Debenhams Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadow £24 Selfridges Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold Highlighter £32 Dior Diorific Vernis Golden £20.50 John Lewis


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Hand Care When it comes to skin care your hands are often forgotten about but they are one of the areas that are affected the most in the winter months and without gloves our hands are left completely exposed to the harsh winter conditions. Using hand cream regularly is a great way of softening callused skin and can help protect your hands against the cold weather. If you find that you wash your hands more frequently or if you are outside a lot of the time, then you should make a conscious effort to add some hand care to your daily routine.

With the darker nights and colder weather now here it is safe to say that winter has officially arrived. Most people seem to forget about the effects that winter can have on your skin, so we asked our friends at the Grooming Clinic to put together some skincare tips that will help you get through the winter.

Drinking Water A lot of people don't realise that drinking water plays an essential part in having and maintaining healthy skin and it becomes even more important during the winter season. Drinking water helps hydrate the skin and if you end up dehydrated it can begin to show as your skin can become wrinkled and dry. Water also provides the skin with essential vitamins and minerals that aid towards making your skin look younger and healthier.

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Lip Care Dry and cracked lips are one of the most common effects of cold weather but there are ways you can prevent this from happening that will allow you to maintain your usual healthy looking lips all year around. Applying lip balm


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Skincare Tips To Get You Through Winter make it look younger and healthier. You should find a moisturiser that is suitable for your skin type and make sure that you apply this twice daily or more if required. If you find that your skin is oily or if you want to prevent oily skin, then make sure that you exfoliate before applying moisturiser. If you have delicate and sensitive skin it is important that you are using moisturiser that has been specifically formulated for this.

Hair Your hair is probably the last thing you think about when looking for winter skin care tips but your hair can also be affected by the weather as it can become very dry which in turn can lead to irritation of the skin so it is important that you invest in some quality shampoo and conditioner for your hair.

that contains SPF will ensure that your lips are protected from the winter weather during the colder months.

Eye Care Eyes are one of the first things you notice about a person, which means whether you look refreshed or run down it isn't going to go unnoticed. Dark circles can appear under the eyes, especially in winter, which is why it is important to take extra care during the colder season. One way of taking care of your eyes during winter is with an eye roolon which can help reduce swelling around the eyes and provide the skin with extra protection. Moisturise The cold weather can have a harsh effect on our faces by causing dry and cracked skin. Using moisturising can help prevent this and will soften the skin, which in turn will

Shaving To achieve a good quality shave, it is advised that you shave straight after having a hot shower whilst your pores are open and your hair Is softer making sure that you are using shaving foam and that you are rinsing the razor after every stroke. After you have shaved make sure that you apply some after-shave cooling balm to reduce redness that can be caused by shaving and to prevent shaving rash, as this can often be a bigger problem during the winter as your skin is dryer.

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Follow these tips will make sure your skin makes it through the winter.


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FASHION

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Obsessed with

Oxblood

“With Oxblood being one of this season’s hottest hue’s, make sure you have at least one piece in your wardrobe”

Skirt £19.99 New Look

Rollneck £40 Debenhams

Blouse £30 Marks & Spencer

littlewoods.com

Lingerie Marks & Spencer

Longline Blazer £40 Wallis Satin Top £25 Dorothy Perkins Dress £35 Pretty Little Thing

Jaeger Biker Jacket £350

OPI Nail Polish £12.50 Selfridges

Pom Pom Earrings £2 Primark Delina Bag £60 Dune

Red Herring Scarf £14 Debenhams Ankle Boots £125 Dune


Bobbletastic

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Stay warm and stylish with our knitted bobble hats this winter

Cable Knit Pom Pom £20 Oliver Bonas

Hat £5.99 New Look

Indigo Hat £17 Accessorize

Cable Knit Hat £8 M&Co

Hat £16 Debenhams

Metallic Pom Pom Hat £17 Accessorize

Pom Pom Hat £18 Debenhams Selena Hat £17 Accessorize

Grey Hat £12 River Island

Two Tone Hat £16 Oliver Bonas

Pom Pom Hat £16 Oliver Bonas


Embroidered Elegance

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“Whether it’s a jacket, skirt, shoes or bag you’ll be spoilt for choice this winter with embroidery everywhere”

Midi Skirt £45 Dorothy Perkins

Savannah Miller Blouse £60 Debenhams

Dorothy Perkins

Embroidered Dress £44.99 New Look

Embroidered 3D shirt £220 House of Fraser

Girls on Film Dress £48 Little Mistress

Embroidered Jeans £59 Monsoon

Embroidered PU Skirt £58 Littlewoods.com

Embroidered Choker £7.99 New Look

Cross Body Bag £20 Dorothy Perkins

Block Heel Sandals £29.99 New Look

Floral Embroidered Boot £45 Dorothy Perkins


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Beat the Cold

“A chunky jumper is the ultimate winter wardrobe hero, and can be dressed up or down”

Stripe Jumper £16 George at ASDA

Check Jumper £24.99 New Look

Chunky Sweater £25 Dorothy Perkins

Long Tall Sally

Cable Knit £20 Matalan

Cable Jumper £59 La Redoute

Black & White Jumper £69 La Redoute

Sweater £20 River Island

Striped Jumper New Look

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Collection Knitwear £39.50 Marks & Spencer

Grey Sweater £25 Next

Panel Jumper £32 Very


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Kool in Khaki

“Sleek and elegant yet just as good with a pair of jeans – Khaki is the colour for all year round” Necklace £20 Next

Dress £65 Oliver Bonas

Jumper £55 White Stuff

Jumpsuit £42 Very

Altuzarra

Striped Jumper £20 Dorothy Perkins

Faux Suede Biker Jacket £30 George at ASDA

Coat £99 Marks & Spencer

Leather Look Shift Dress £24.99

Nail Polish £2.99 New Look

Dahlier £70 Dune Sweater £39 JOY

Pencil Skirt £20 Very

Packham Boots £115 Dune


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FOOD & DRINK


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Warm Up this Winter

As the weather changes so does our taste in drinks – and the last thing we want is an ice-cold beverage! Therefore, this winter The Arch London will be serving a cocktail guaranteed to warm the cockles. The ‘Joie de Vivre’ cocktail is a heartily warming concoction of Flamed Drambuie Liqueur, Fresh Winter Berries and Heated Apple Juice. Priced at £12, the cocktail can be enjoyed in the hotel’s stylish bar, a warm and inviting space with glossy brown leather booths and statement lighting. Centrally located just off Oxford Street, just perfect to enjoy your cocktail. www.thearchlondon.com

NEWS

Homemade Goodness

EasiYo’s new bright and bold Red Yogurt Maker is the perfect way to make delicious, fresh yogurt. There are no artificial colours or flavours and no stabilisers delivering all the benefits of homemade goodness. It is also gluten free and vegetarian. All you have to do is mix an EasiYo Yogurt sachet with water, put it in the EasiYo Yogurt Maker and in 8-12 hours or overnight you’ve created 1kg of delicious yogurt. There are over 30 flavours to choose from, including Natural, Greek Style, Banana, Apricot, Strawberry, Lemon & Ginger Bits and Forest Fruits. The Yogurt Maker is priced at £17.99 and each EasiYo yogurt sachet is priced from RRP £2 (per 1kg serving) www.easiyo.com

FOODIE

GINcredible

A Natural Pick Me Up

Premium gin brand Sibling, have added a GINnovative new flavour to their collection of super premium gin. The Winter Limited Edition is infused with Cranberries and Clementine. Luxuriously fruity with a bitter sweet finish, it blends perfectly with classic tonic, warming ginger ale or cloudy lemonade. Sibling's triple distilled distinctive gin includes botanicals such as Madagascan vanilla and fresh blueberries, as well as fresh orange and lemon zests - all of which are vapour infused to ensure a delicate and finely balanced, exotic taste. The perfect gift for gin lovers or a delicious winter treat. Available from siblingdistillery.com with a RRP of £20 (35cl bottle)

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Virtue have just launched their first All Natural, Sugar-Free Energy Drinks. The refreshing, lightly fruitflavoured sparkling energy waters contain zero sugar, zero calories and no sweeteners, with as much caffeine as a cup of coffee or a can of Red Bull (80mg). These energy drinks are the first of their kind in the UK – a clean, natural pick me up to hydrate and refresh, keep you alert on the go, sharpen the mind before exams, perk you up on a shopping mission or give you the edge for your next workout. Available in 250ml cans in two light and refreshing, unsweetened flavours, Lemon & Lime and Berries (RRP: £1.35) from selected retailers including Ocado and Holland & Barrett.


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Brocolli Quinoa Casserole Method Ingredients 2 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa 4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, or water 2 tbsp pesto sauce 1/2 tsp celtic salt 2 tsp arrowroot powder, or cornstarch 2 cups fresh organic spinach 16oz mozzarella cheese 1/3 cup parmesan cheese 12oz fresh broccoli florets 3 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 400F/ 200C /Gas 6. In a large rectangular dish place the quinoa and green onions. In the meantime, place the broccoli in a large bowl and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Set aside. In a large pan, mix the vegetable stock, pesto, arrowroot powder and salt. Heat the mixture until boiling. Then add the vegetable stock to the quinoa followed by the spinach, parmesan and 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Take the quinoa casserole out of the oven and mix in the broccoli. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the quinoa and broccoli and place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. If you like you can add more parmesan cheese over the top as well. Serve whilst still warm. www.eatgood4life.com


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Apple Cider-Glazed Chicken with Parmesan Potatoes “This chicken dinner is a real winter warmer” Method Ingredients 1lb baby potatoes, halved Extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish 1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 garlic cloves, grated 1 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise 1/4 cup apple cider 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup chicken stock 1/4 cup apricot jam 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425F/ C/ Gas . Line a baking tray with baking paper. Toss potatoes together with a drizzle of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, Parmesan, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Roast until tender and golden brown, approx 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and black pepper. Drizzle olive oil and cook chicken until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, garlic, and red onion; sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add apple cider, apple cider vinegar, stock, and jam. Bring to a boil and simmer with apples, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add butter and remaining parsley. Slice chicken and add to the sauce to warm. Plate chicken on bed of Parmesan potatoes and spoon sauce all over. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. www.delish.com


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Pandan Dan Kelapa Panna Cotta Masterchef 2014 winner Ping Coombes shares with us her ‘Pandan and Coconut Panna Cotta’, a classic Italian dessert with a Malaysian Twist.

Ingredients 3 fresh pandan leaves, knotted 500ml coconut milk 500ml single cream 80g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 40g desiccated coconut 4 sheets of platinum grade leaf gelatine ½ ripe mango, peeled, stoned and diced ¼ small ripe pineapple, peeled and diced

Method Put the pandan leaves, half the coconut milk, half the single cream, the sugar, vanilla paste and desiccated coconut in a saucepan and bring to just below boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside for 5 minutes to soften. Place the coconut and cream mixture back on the hob and heat through until warm. Squeeze the gelatine to get rid of excess water then stir it into the warm mixture until it has dissolved. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing the leaves with a wooden spoon to extract all the flavour and liquid. Stir in the remaining cream and coconut milk and mix well. Divide the mixture between 4 × 500ml kilner jars or bowls. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set. Serve topped with diced mango and pineapple.

*You can also serve this with Lychee and Kaffir Lime Granita or Coconut Shortbread.

Recipe from a Family Kitchen by Ping Coombes 40


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Pudding Night

20th January £16 for a main course and as many desserts as you can squeeze in

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Chinese Night

27th January To celebrate our Anniversary we're having a chinese night! £20 per person.

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On these cold dark nights nothing beats snuggling up by the fire with a nice glass of red wine, we bring you our favourites

The Black Pig Prize Shiraz 2012 The Black Pig has a depth of black fruit that is incredible alongside intense spice and a full bodied style that screams out for grilled meats of all kinds. A wine that is ready to go right away but for those who like their wines a little mellower it will cellar for another 5 years happily and soften as the months drift away. £19.99, Virgin Wines

Valentines Day

14th February Celebrate with a 3 course menu, £25 per person. Gift for the ladies.

Pudding/Pancake Night

24th February Main course and as many puddings/pancakes as you can squeeze in, £16 per person.

01234 781678

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

Pasion de Bobal 2014 This wine offers rich, spicy flavours with dense black cherry fruit and lovely, crisp brightness. A delicious product of 6 months ageing in medium toast French barrels, which rounds off the finish and gives Pasion a silky texture. £11.99, Virgin Wines

Plantagenet Mt Barker Shiraz 2013 Lots of powerful black damson, mulberry and plum fruit flavours, like ripe sticky jam in the mouth with a fabulously spicy, peppery kick. Make sure you have a second bottle lined up as you and your guests will be wanting more! £27.99, Virgin Wines


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Tempt your Tastebuds at

The Anchor

W

ith its rustic wood panelled and brick decor, bright accessories and country art adorning the walls, the Anchor in Aspley Guise is a pub/restaurant that offers guests a rural welcome with a modern contemporary twist.

We decided to take pre dinner drinks in the bar, whilst deciding what to choose from the delicious looking menu. Once choices were made we finished our drinks and made our way into the informal dining room with its warm and relaxing ambience.

Having recently undergone a complete refurbishment by Epic Pubs, The Anchor is proving to be the place for everyone, whether you want a relaxed meal with family and friends or just a drink after work this is the place to visit. It has a wonderful room for private gatherings which is in keeping with the rustic look.

To start we went for sweet potato and butterbean hummus with rosemary foccacia and dressed Devon crab with avocado mousse, cherry tomatoes and crispy capers. Each dish was beautifully presented the hummus was made fresh inhouse with a rich flavour and the crab, avocado and sweet tomatoes all amalgamated together to

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create a real treat to the tastebuds. Next up we had pan-fried halibut supreme with romanesco cauliflower, saffron potatoes and basil cream, deliciously tasty, fresh and perfectly seasoned. Roasted Loch salmon with fennel and herb risotto was one of the specials of the day, presentation is as important as taste and this dish certainly didn’t disappoint on either. Customer service was impeccable even down to changing the serviette to a clean one when needed. Could we fit in a dessert? Of course we could, it would be rude not to! Lemon and raspberry meringue pie that simply melted in the mouth and white chocolate panna cotta that was creamy and chocolaty without being heavy. Again freshly made. The whole dining experience at The Anchor is a must with its rustic dÊcor, impeccable service and freshly made and authentically created dishes by the chef, delicious food at its very best, This is a must on your list of good food restaurants. The Anchor Aspley Guise, Milton Keynes 01908 991770 theanchoraspleyguise.com


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Top Tips for making it through ‘Dry January’ Dry January is the perfect way for your body and wallet to recover from an indulgent Christmas, not to mention New Year celebrations. By giving up your old friend alcohol for a mere 31 days, you will save a few quid, lose a few pounds, and feel more energised and refreshed in the process. But for some people that’s not as easy as it sounds. January has five whole booze free weekends to get through. Restaurant Manager at The Arch London in Marylebone Tugend Demir has provided us with his 10 top tips for getting through the month. 1. Don’t hibernate The worst thing you can possibly do is to hole yourself up in your house and attempt to hibernate. Make it your mission to get up and make the most of your hangover free weekends and mornings. Plan activities you would never normally get round to at times you would never usually be up. 2. Ditch cocktails for detoxing mocktails Don’t settle for plain old tap water when you go out. Drinking mocktails is a great way to get through dry

January, as you are still treating yourself to a luxurious drink, minus the calories and headache the next morning. At The Arch London we offer a ‘Virgin Vera’ mocktail made with detoxing Aloe Vera water, muddled Fresh Lime, Raspberries and fresh Guava Juice.

3. Know your numbers Read it and weep. A Pina Colada cocktail with rum has 644 calories. That’s more than a Big Mac burger. A pint of larger has 180 calories – more than a small slice of chocolate cake. And a large glass of white wine is 185 calories – the equivalent of 4 fish fingers. Calculate exactly how many calories you will save by ditching the booze – odds are you’ll be shocked by how many you can save. 4. Plan a holiday Planning a holiday is the perfect way to motivate yourself during dry January. Putting all the money you’ve saved on booze into a ‘holiday piggy bank’ will be a visible inspiration to keep going, along with your shrinking waistline of course. Win! Win! 5. Recruit a partner in crime Your driathlon will be about a million times easier if you have a least one of your friends on board the good ship


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sensible. You’ll have a sober partner in crime to go out with and look suitably smug while your other friends are being drunken idiots around you.

6. Get drunk on love Replace visiting your old friend alcohol with seeing real actual people that you care about. Arrange to go and see that old friend you’ve been meaning to visit, visit you parents, or make time for your partner. Booking a romantic city break is the perfect idea as it takes you away for a weekend of relaxation, and no pressure to go to the pub with your friends. The Arch London has an indulgent ‘Play Package’, perfect for couples looking to get away for some romantic alone time.

7. Try a new type of Exercise Taking up a new exercise for the month will boost your levels of serotonin plus giving you something else to focus on. Try a ‘Ravercise’ classes – think daytime clubbing without the booze – for your dancing hit while staying firmly on the wagon.

8. Think positive Don’t picture your month of sobriety as something negative. Think of it as something great you are achieving

purely for yourself. Rather than focusing on denying yourself alcohol, envision your success and how happy you will be at the end of the month when you have reached your goal. 9. Tell Everyone By telling everyone you are never drinking ever again (well, for January) will increase your chances of success. Why? Because your feelings of shame will be increased by about 98% if your friends or family catch you clutching a sneaky gin & tonic when you shouldn’t be.

10. Cut back, don’t cut out If all else fails, simply cut back on your alcohol intake and set yourself an achievable goal per week. This will be much more easy to sustain and will certainly alleviate any January blues. There are also plenty of other ways to put goodness into your body, by upping your intake of fruit and vegetables, drinking more water, and taking supplements such as Milk Thistle which protect the liver from alcohol damage and premature ageing by helping to regenerate liver cells. www.thearchlondon.com


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happiness is homemade

SALE

NOW ON


Interiors

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Lion Head £80 Debenhams Animal Hooks (pack 3) £6 Matalan

Magic Animal Stacked Animals £20 Matalan

Animal inspired interiors are one of the big trends this year, so why not show your animal instinct with some of our favourite accessories

Squirrel Ornament £25 House of Fraser

Rabbit Cushion £20 House of Fraser

Elephant Lamp £55 Next

Willow Piglet £8 Sainsbury's Home


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Flamingo Lamp £85 Debenhams Dog Cushion £55 matao.com Pug Ornament £15 Very

Zebra Cushion £20 Marks & Spencer

Owl Sculpture £10 Next

Bird Plate £15 House of Fraser

Owl Print £22 Very

Wooden Bird £19.50 Marks & Spencer Sophie Allport 'Labrador' Door Stop £30


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Wicked

Wicks

Baobab Collection Candle £95 Amara

Candles - one of our favourite home accessories, they add ambience and style to any décor and smell gorgeous too.

Biba Diamond Musk Candle £50 House of Fraser

Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis £42 John Lewis Emma Bridgewater Owls at Night Candle £19.95

Elemis Frangipani Candle £27.50 John Lewis

Peacock Candle £12 Debenhams Molton Brown Vintage Elderflower Candle £39 Harrods

Jenny Packham Happiness Candle £80 neomorganics.com Landon Tylor Wild Berries Candle £13.50 Joy


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this


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Affinity Fire & Ice

Charity Ball 2016

November saw us host our 5th Annual Affinity Charity Ball in aid of Cancer Research UK with ‘Fire and Ice’ as the theme. A massive Thank You to everyone that came along to support us, as you can see the evening was full of glitz and glamour with a spectacular firework display during the night. A heartfelt Thanks to Greycourt Florists and Concept Events for achieving my vision and having the room look absolutely amazing. Thank you also to Reflections Mirror Photobooth and Ice Sculptures Ltd

We hope all our guests enjoyed themselves as much as we did, your generosity and support enabled us to raise just over £11,000 (you’re all superstars) – Thank You! See you Next Year!


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Fry’s Footie Corner

forward to their day out and hopefully we can put on a decent performance too.

The romance of the cup – it certainly has spread some love to Peterborough United! A hard fought 2-0 win over Notts County in the Emirates FA Cup second round replay at the ABAX Stadium just before Christmas set up a mouth-watering tie at Premier League leaders Chelsea at the beginning of 2017.

I personally love the FA Cup. I have said it many times. This competition favours the brave, but it also rewards those that have a go at the opposition and we will certainly not be going there to defend, we will play our normal game.

In terms of a test, there is no bigger. Chelsea are the leaders for a reason. Manager Antonio Conte has got his side playing some excellent football, but it will be a great day for our players, supporters and the chairman Darragh MacAnthony.

For our players, it is a perfect shop window to showcase their talents. The January transfer window is open and we have a lot of scouts at our fixtures looking at our talented players so I am sure they will be desperate to impress.

Darragh has been owner for ten years and during that time, we haven’t had what I would describe as a big tie in the cup competitions, but this time, we were fortunate enough to be given this trip to Stamford Bridge.

I would like to finally wish all readers of the Affinity Magazine, a very Happy New Year. I hope it is a prosperous one and you enjoy every minute!

Financially, a tie like this is a Godsend. You will make a lot of money from the gate receipts, the TV revenue and of course the merchandise and for a League One side like ourselves, that money is vital. The fans are looking

Barry Fry 64


I

o

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1

t’s cold utside Make sure your man wears one of our favourite sweaters to keep warm this winter

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2

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

Cable Jumper £35 Matalan Cable Roll Neck Jumper £35 Next Chunky Knit Sweater £50 Next Jaeger Colour Block Sweater £99 Chunky Waffle Sweater £35 River Island John Rocha Jumper £52 Debenhams Jumper £50 House of Fraser Pretty Green Warley Sweater £75 House of Fraser

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Time to WOW!

Following the phenomenal success of the 2015 UK tour, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is this year returning to the UK for a 23 city Nationwide tour. Fresh from hugely successful runs in the West End, Broadway, Europe and the Southern Hemisphere, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games continues to thrill audiences around the globe with its intoxicating mix of dance and music that fuses the traditional with the contemporary in a classic tale that showcases the exceptional talent of the cast. “I’m blown away by the remarkable talent and abilities of the great cast we’ve gathered and delighted to return to the UK where we started out 20 years ago” says Flatley. Celebrating 20 years since he debuted Lord of the Dance, Flatley’s UK tour will star his protégés James Keegan, Morgan Comer and Mathew Smith in the role of the Lord

of the Dance. The show is produced, choreographed and directed by Michael Flatley. With all the precision and thrills of the original, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games features new staging, cutting edge technology, new costumes and choreography, world champion acrobats and 40 of the world’s most outstanding young performers all directed by Michael Flatley. With new music by composer Gerard Fahy, this latest iteration combines the best of tradition with all the excitement of new music and dance. Tues 4th – Sun 9th April Milton Keynes Theatre 0844 8717652 www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes


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Brighten Winter with the New Mazda MX-5 Artic

Mazda are hoping for things to turn a little Arctic this winter with the launch of their latest special edition version of the award-winning MX-5 convertible. On sale from next month (February), the new Mazda MX-5 Arctic aims to brighten winter days with its free-of-charge Blue Reflex Metallic paint and contrasting bright silver design cues. Based on the 1.5-litre 131ps SE-L Nav, the MX-5 Arctic’s striking silver details contrast attractively against the icy blue paint. With 16-inch Silver alloy wheels, a silver windscreen surround, silver wing mirrors and silver headrest hoops the Arctic has the distinctive look you’d expect of an MX-5 special edition and continues the trend of offering sports car customers a striking car at an affordable price. Inside, the stand-out feel continues with silver cup holder rings and chrome scuff plates, while the upgraded equipment tally includes heated leather seats, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and rear parking sensors. Limited to just 400 cars this UK exclusive special edition

features a numbered limited edition badge on the dashboard. The second MX-5 to wear the Arctic badge, the latest car revisits a name last used on the second-generation MX-5 in 2005. Available with 1.6i and 1.8i engines the original MX-5 Arctic was offered in a choice of Sunlight silver, Titanium grey or Razor Blue paint and the standard equipment tally included air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, heated dark blue leather seats, blue door inserts and chrome detailing on the window mountings. Commenting on the launch of the new MX-5 Arctic, Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director of Mazda Motors UK said “We are delighted to offer another special version of the award-winning MX-5 convertible; we’ve had a long history of producing distinctive limited edition MX-5s that allow customers to drive a sports car with stand-out looks and enhanced standard equipment. The new MX-5 Arctic’s exclusive looks and great value mean it’s sure to be a popular choice when it arrives in dealerships next month”.


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TRAVEL

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Another Way to Stay

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New Year means new starts, new experiences and new ways of doing things. And that includes short breaks and holidays. If you fancy a holiday with a difference, a new British company has come up with the perfect solution – staying on a boat instead of a hotel. Beds on Board is an accommodation website with a difference. It puts you in touch with welcoming boat owners who rent out cabins on their yachts, canal boats and luxury motor cruisers in some amazing locations. You can experience life on the water without any qualifications or commitments; from the heart of a city to the great outdoors with its wildlife just feet from your deck. And many allow pets, too. Costs are generally lower than you'd pay in a hotel in a similar location and because boats are close to the centre of the action; everything you need, from restaurants to popular attractions, can be as little as a few steps away. Beds on Board is the perfect way to enjoy some laid-back luxury while celebrating a special occasion with loved ones, for a unique romantic break, or a

surprise gift for someone who wants to try something new. But if you're just looking for a private room at a great price to use before that important business meeting, or as a base in a new city for a few days, Beds on Board can do that, too. Renting a boat also makes perfect sense for families. It's a great way to lure the kids away from their screens for a few days and they get their own cabin without the expense of a second hotel room. You'll be amazed at how many cities have waterways and how different a destination can look from the deck of a boat! Beds on Board has boats in over 40 countries, with more owners joining every day. UK locations include York, Southampton, London and Scotland, and abroad you can take your pick from a whole raft of locations, including Malta, Grenada, Palma and Miami Beach. BOOK IT!

If you've ever wondered just what it would be like to wake up on your own boat, then make 2017 the year you find out‌ www.bedsonboard.com


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A Cosy Bolthole for a Winter Staycation The Crab & Boar


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It’s not just the rich and famous that can sit in a hot tub on a cold wintery evening gazing up at the stars and drinking ice-cold champagne! Pay a visit to The Crab and Boar in the village of Chiveley, Berkshire and you can do just that. This classic country pub with its thatched roof, comfy sofas, good food and 14 luxury bedrooms is the epitome of country chic. From the bright and spacious to the rustic and regal, each of the rooms have their own country charm so whether tucking up in a four poster bed, relaxing fireside wrapped up in a luxury throw or enjoying a soak in the tub, you’ll be able to relax in pure countryside comfort. Hot tub suites are housed in a separate building to the main house, with double doors opening onto your own private garden where a bubbling hot tub tempts you to climb in. We were lucky enough to have one of these rooms (I would suggest requesting one when booking), and we spent the afternoon pampering ourselves (well someone has to), and only prised ourselves out of the tub when it was time to get ready for dinner. The interior of the main building is charmingly rustic with dark wooden floors, wooden beams, secret alcoves, comfy sofas, wood burning stoves and a boars head hanging on the wall – this place is definitely somewhere for a romantic stay with your loved one. A glass of wine in front of the roaring fire, before heading into the restaurant allowed us to have a look at the menu, which prides itself on using only the freshest of locallysourced ingredients. Pan roasted sea bream with tomatoes, cucumber and basil along with Game terrine were our starters, both of

which were fresh, cooked to perfection and full of delicious flavours. For main course we opted for rump of lamb accompanied with pomme puree, cabbage and beetroot, a dish that certainly didn’t disappoint. Seared haunch of venison with braised lentils and curly kale – an indulgent plate of delicious flavours. Desserts were too tempting for hubby who made the right choice with the passion fruit soufflé served with passion fruit sorbet, whilst I had already over indulged and just settled for a pot of tea. Returning to our room, we spent a little more time in the hot tub, before retiring for a blissful nights sleep. Breakfast the next morning was a selection of cereals, cold meats, yoghurts and pastries, as well as cooked breakfasts made to order. If you want to explore further afield why not glam yourself up and spend the day at Newbury Racecourse or pay a visit to one of two castles in the area Donnington Castle and Highclere Castle and for golf lover’s you can unwind on the green with a spot of golf just 6 minutes away. The Crab and Boar is the perfect place for a relaxing overnight stay, within a gorgeous countryside setting, offering delicious food, luxurious rooms and of course hot tubs! BOOK IT!

An overnight stay in a hot tub suite in January starts from £140 for 2 people including breakfast. An overnight stay in a superior double room in January starts from £95 for 2 people including breakfast. www.crabandboar.co.uk


Travel Resolutions for 2017

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As we start another New Year, it’s customary for many people to make New Year’s Resolutions, and it’s fair to say that the most common resolutions are to lose weight, quit smoking, and perhaps even drink less. Often, we’ll find that our resolutions don’t quite make it through to 31st January. While trying to be healthier is always admirable, perhaps resolutions may be more successful if they focussed on other types of benefits or goals. Perhaps for 2017, you should resolve to visit some place new, or experience an entirely different culture or way of travelling. Perhaps you can resolve to tick off one or two destinations that have been on your bucketlist. When we don’t know what’s around the corner – in our own personal lives or what’s going to happen in the world – why not take every possible opportunity, or create new opportunities? They say that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. This is perhaps one of the truest things ever said about travel – the actual experience of witnessing a different culture, trying different (but authentic) cuisines, meeting new people, perhaps even learning a new skill or maybe going out of your comfort zone, can really do wonders for you, how you view the world, and how confident you are. With new flight routes in 2017 – including direct flights from London to the Chilean capital of

Santiago, more frequent flights to Lima in Peru and Costa Rica, and low-cost carriers offering more services to a wider range of city break destinations such as Milan, Verona, and Sofia, and Easyjet increasing regional flights to cosmopolitan cities such as Copenhagen, Venice, Nantes, and Dubrovnik – it’s as if the world is becoming ever closer. These new flight services will make it easier than before to visit some of the destinations you’ve perhaps been dreaming about for years. Perhaps your travel resolution may focus more on experiences than destinations – make 2017 the year for your first river cruise, safari, or even something as adventurous as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. No doubt the latter would be an amazing achievement, but as with all travel resolutions, you’ll be creating memories to look back on way beyond 2017. So why not make a change and tweak your New Year’s Resolutions? However, feel free to give up smoking or get fitter; after all, those sorts of lifestyle changes will make trekking up to Machu Picchu that much easier! BOOK IT!

Once you’ve made your travel resolution, contact the specialists at Select Travel Holidays to make it a reality! www.selecttravelholidays.co.uk


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Glamorous Living in The Mews Suites at

Sopwell House


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Most of you will be aware I’m a lover of all things associated with luxury and glamour. My alter ego likes to be treated like the princess it thinks it is and Sopwell House in St Albans seemed the perfect place to experience this! Oozing style and sophistication Sopwell House is a luxury country retreat that is not immune to celebrities and premier league players staying there. Our stay though wasn’t in the main hotel but in the recently developed private Mews Suites – situated just outside the hotel’s main entrance. Access to The Mews is via a gated entrance (accessed by your key card) into a stunning garden that simply takes your breath away. Completely private, an oasis of calm and tranquility – with it’s landscaped communal gardens (created by RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Show Gold award winner Ann-Marie Powell) and peaceful hydropool this really was paradise, and dare I say even more magical when the sun goes down, and it is lit by all the lights. Scattered around the garden are a handful of suites all with their own individual style, Some with feature fireplaces, four-poster beds, romantic double ended in-room baths, private terraces, cedar wood spa baths and high-end kitchenettes all adding to the being treated like a princess scenario. And all just perfect and adaptable for any stay whether it is romance or a big family get together (you can hire out all the suites) this really is a garden of paradise. We stayed in the Ivy suite, decorated in neutral tones with autumaunal colours of rust, gold’s and greys being dominant in the soft furnishings and a bathroom full of luxury ESPA miniatures and the fluffiest gowns ever. The fresh strawberries, Battenberg cake and champagne that were waiting for us only added to the whole luxury experience. All mews suites have WiFil, Sky TV, Nespresso machine, ESPA

toiletries, robes, slippers and a fantastic surround sound system. After a glass of bubbles, we changed into our robes and swimwear and went to explore outside – Curling up on the large squishy outdoor sofas sipping the rest of the champagne was pure heaven – the whole outdoor space emulated calm and tranquility. The focal point of the garden is the bubbling hydropool that proves too tempting not to experience. With bubbles massaging your body you lay back and relax you can simply empty your mind and enjoy this truly magical experience – somewhere I could have stayed all day, but needs must and dinner was calling us. Dinner was taken in the brasserie in the main hotel, a vibrant open plan dining experience. Our choices consisted of starters of Atlantic prawn and crab cocktail and a pressing of ham hock. Mains were pan fried Scottish salmon and an 8oz Sopwell House beef burger followed by a dessert of lychee and mango delcie with chef’s sorbet. All the dishes were beautifully presented and didn’t disappoint in flavour or portion. Returning to the mews undercover of darkness is now like walking into an enchanted wonderland – and when in wonderland the only thing to do is take another soak in the bubbling hydropool, with of course an obligatory glass of champagne! The Mews at Sopwell House really is a place to retreat to, indulge in some me time, create memories and live like a princess (if only for a while). BOOK IT!

Prices start from £244 for a Mews suite for 2 peopleincluding breakfast www.sopwellhouse.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

Capricorn (22 December – 19 January) This month will activate your house of creativity, urging a cycle of change in the way you live your life. New and interesting projects or social activities will be on the cards for some. Investment or speculative endeavours may be the call for others. Someone new or different may be woven into the pattern of your life so fast that you won't have time to catch your breath. Favourable Dates: January 6, 9, 15, 18, 24, 27 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Green

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Aquarius (20 January – 18 February) This will be a lucky time where opportunity is concerned. There could be surprises or unexpected elevations in work that may change your financial situation with some speed. You will simply have the fruit of your efforts in the long term if you persist until all is done. Creative projects may receive a boost with a renewal of energy. Leisure pastimes may flourish and leave you feeling renewed. Favourable Dates: January 3, 9, 12, 18, 21, 27 Favourable Colours: Blue & Red

conceive a new and fascinating purpose that marks a turning point. Favourable Dates: January 3, 7, 12, 16, 21, 25 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Blue

Leo (23 July – 22 August) If you take things carefully and get the details right, you'll progress by degrees toward your goals. You would be illadvised to rush into things or push ahead. You may have to watch fatigue or tiredness this month. Your powers of endurance are good, but you may find that too much outward activity or involvement without a break to refresh and recuperate will take you to the limit. Favourable Dates: January 7, 9, 16, 27, 25, 27 Favourable Colorus: Yellow & Red

Pisces (19 February – 20 March) This month will be filled with action and new beginnings. Be dynamic! Take new directions with vigour. You may take a new path or hit a new level of operation. New vistas could open before you or new horizons may beckon. This is a better time for romantic adventures to prosper. Make sure you know and understand what you're getting into, for not everything that beguiles you will turn out to be what it seems. Favourable Dates: January 3, 5, 12, 14, 21, 23 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Red

Virgo (23 August – 22 September) It's a time of new ideas, new ways of doing and seeing things and a revised perspective on your relationship with the wider community. There can be new creative or spiritual influences that play a part in this, but there can also be losses, sorrows and change on a scale that you simply must learn to accept. The trick will be to seize the opportunity and the money will come further down the track. Favourable Dates: January 1, 5, 10, 23, 19, 23 Favourable Colours: Green & White

Aries (21 March – 19 April) This is a time to open to wider horizons and to study or learn whatever it is you need to set you on the upward road. This period will bring growth, expansion and opportunity for those prepared to take the adventurous course. This is a time in which love must take up the mantle of responsibility and you will have the benefit of a friend and true romance of your mate. Favourable Dates: January 1, 5, 10, 14, 19, 23 Favourable Colours: Blue & White

Libra (23 September – 22 October) If you're in for the long haul and set something important and meaningful in motion, you'll be richly rewarded in time. Romance, creativity, leisure activity and children will be preferred options or points of impact. If you're in a relationship, do something that adds texture or interest to your lives. Recreational activities, creative endeavours or gatherings with friends can enhance your quality of life. Intuitive responses will be rewarding. Favourable Dates: January 4, 8, 13, 17, 21, 26 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue

Taurus (20 April – 20 May) There are opportunities aplenty as long as your conduct is impeccable. New friends and connections will bring new ideas. New ideas or aspirations will illuminate and uplift you. Success among your peers or in the wider cosmos will come for some. Be guided by the highest ideals. You will flourish and grow both in friendship and personal success if you do. Women may feature strongly in the home or your emotional life. Favourable Dates: January 4, 8, 13, 17, 22, 26 Favourable Colours: Red & Green

Scorpio (23 October – 21 November) This period can be a journey where you have to face fears or break past patterns. Use your dreams to seek guidance or advice about the best course of action or the right decision. You may need to take a new level of authority in what you do. Set a new pattern that marks a clear break from the problems or troubles of the past. Favourable Dates: January 2, 5, 11, 14, 20, 23 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Brown

Gemini (21 May – 20 June) You may find that people from past contacts come back into your life unexpectedly. In some instances, they will bring outstanding baggage. There may be unexpected travel while for others travel arrangements could be subject to delay or change. The radical change will take you in mid-stride while others will consciously decide upon change in accordance with urges from within. Relationships may be influenced by money matters. Favourable Dates: January 2, 3, 11, 12, 20, 21 Favourable Colours: Red & Blue

Sagittarius (22 November - 21 December) You may need to look at shared goals or interests with your nearest and dearest. For some, there could be a feeling of wellbeing as you work towards a common purpose. There will be intensity and stress, but many of you will find that extraordinary new possibilities or dimensions will emerge as a consequence of a new sense of destiny. This is not a time for rash decisions, especially where money is concerned. Favourable Dates: January 1, 2, 10, 11, 19, 20 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Red

Cancer (21 June – 22 July) This could be an unsettled time, with a lot of restlessness in the air. You can forge ahead from here if you're prepared to set out on a new or different course. Some may take up the cudgel and get involved in the wider community, striking blows for new practices and ideas. Others may

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manishastroconsultant manish@manishastrologer.com


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A quiet night in... Betrayal by Martina Cole Betrayal is the twenty-third novel from Sunday Times No.1 bestseller, Martina Cole. Survival. It's all down to who you trust. Aiden O'Hara has been head of the family since he was a kid, and he's going to keep it that way. Jade Dixon is the one who watches his back. Mother of his son. The one who makes him invincible. But Jade's been in the game a lot longer than Aiden. She knows no one's indestructible. And when you're at the top, that's when you've got to watch the hardest. Especially the ones closest to you.

Bridget Jones’s Baby Renée Zellweger reprises her role as Bridget Jones, the quirky forty-something who is learning to embrace adulthood. Following her break up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), Bridget decides to focus on her career as a top news producer while also attempting to enjoy the single life with friends. Her love life takes another turn when she meets suave American Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), who helps her out after getting into a spot of bother at a music festival. With a new relationship flourishing and everything seemingly under control, it's not long before there's a hitch - she discovers she's pregnant. Unsure if the father is long-term love interest Darcy, or newcomer Qwant, Bridget is yet again faced with making some awkward and ultimately life-changing decisions. Release Date: 30th January Collateral Beauty An outstanding cast of A-listers star in this moving drama from the director of The Devil Wears Prada. Successful New York ad executive Howard (Will Smith) is bereft and disconsolate after the death of his daughter. In deep despair, he’s no longer able to reach out to his close friends Whit (Edward Norton), Simon (Michael Pena) and Claire (Kate Winslet) but instead has taken to writing letters directly addressed to the concepts of love, time and death. Astonishingly, he is then visited by human embodiments of each (in the form of actors Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore and Helen Mirren), his cry for help having set in motion a story of redemption that has wide-reaching consequences for everyone. An uplifting and bittersweet story of one man’s personal salvation. Release Date: 26th December

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