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www.affinitymag.co.uk AFFINITY LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
A Stay at the Swish Sunborn London A gleaming moored ship offers a very different night’s stay in the capital
NEW YEAR, NEW FASHION
Fabulous fashion to start the season
This year’s Pantone Colour of the year creates a beautiful hue in any home
January is Veganuary
Our favourite Vegan beauty products are perfect to try in celebration of this month
'On Your Feet' with Gloria Estefan
Single, Sassy & Savvy
6 Reasons Why Staying Single Is Good For Your Health
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There’s something magical about the start of a New Year, it’s a blank page for us to plan and work towards goals we have previously put off. Many of us acknowledge that we can often end up doing things we don’t want to do. Bizarre in many ways and of course there are all sorts of reasons why we might do those things, many of them good. Let’s be honest a lot of us hate putting the bins out, taking the dog for a walk doing various tasks at work and lots of other things but we do them from a sense of responsibility, duty or because we care for others. But it is never too late to learn so here are a few ways to say no, page 10 tells us more about this and what we can do to train our mindset to say NO! With the Festive season well and truly out of the way we all think about updating our wardrobe (well I do!), page 22 starts our January fashion edit that includes dresses, bags, jewellery and denim for you to add to your wardrobe.
And of course, with a New Year comes the ever-burning question of “What will life hold for me this year” well we don’t know about the year but we certainly know about the month, turn to page 64 to read this month’s stars. Next month sees the return of ‘The London Classic Car Show’ now in its seventh year this is a must-attend event for any discerning car owner, connoisseur or collector, page 46 tells you more. Love & Hugs
3 4 5
1. DKNY Pyjamas £72, Figleaves 2. KitKat Chocolte, £12, John Lewis 3. G-land Swimsuit, £120, www.shop.horizonathletic.com 4. Blue Moon Earrings, £45.87, www.shopgirlscrew.com 5. Heroic Bracelet, £232.50, www.carolinstone.com
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Beauty Updates The Vegan Edit Single, Sassy & Savvy Forest Green Pearls of Wisdom Foodie News Wines of the Month Classic Blue All Aboard Sunborn Bethnal & Beck Vegas to UK Weekend Starts Here
On The Cover New Look
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Five Ways to Enjoy
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Many of us will acknowledge that we can often end up doing things we don’t want to do. Bizarre in many ways and of course there are all sorts of reasons why we might do those things, many of them good. Let’s be honest a lot of us hate putting the bins out, taking the dog for a walk doing various tasks at work and lots of other things but we do them from a sense of responsibility, duty or because we care for others. Some of those things just need doing. But there are all sorts of other things we might end up doing that we don’t want to, from what might either be a misplaced sense of duty, an inability to say no or a fear of offending people. Attending events, we don’t want to, buying things we don’t want, agreeing to help at things – or hundreds of other things we could think of. But it is never too late to learn so here are a few ways to say no. But first let’s be clear about why we need to.
Why we need to say no The obvious reason is that life is too short to spend it doing things we don’t enjoy (of course we all have to do some of those things as explained above) but if there are relationships where we frequently find ourselves drawn into things we wouldn’t actively choose then it can be easy to become resentful, which isn’t fair, after all if we are adults we ought to be free to say no. The other important reason is that for most of us time is short so actually saying no can prevent us from doing things that we would enjoy or that would be good for us in some other way.
1. I’d love to but…… Sometimes you might genuinely want to do something, but you have another commitment or just can’t spare the time, at that time. It should be pretty easy to either arrange an alternative time or say that you will do that when you schedule eases up a little. Its not even really a ‘no’ its more of a not now. Be careful though because some people will remember so while you can use this to say no and get out of something you can only do that a few times!
2. Sounds good but I need time to think about it It’s easy to feel rushed into things – a great technique of some salesmen, who will tell you that you need to move quickly, or you’ll miss the chance. We owe it to ourselves not to be rushed. Especially if it is something that will involve an investment of time or money – or even something we just don’t
feel too strongly about. It is very reasonable to give yourself time – in fact if you are feeling rushed and you have a sense of disquiet it could be its not right for you anyway. Don’t be afraid to ask for more time and question why if is someone is pressurising you at all. 3. It’s just not for me Sometimes though we just need to be really straight and say an outright ‘no’. There are times when we might need to give a reason but probably fewer times than we’d think. We need to remind ourselves that we can simply say no without excuses or giving reasons without even explaining why – we can just say no and learning to do that without feeling guilty can be a really liberating thing to do.
4. It’s not a priority right now a. Then there may be things that you would actually love to say yes to, but the time, effort or money involved don’t fit with your priorities at the time. That is okay, you are entitled to your own priorities so simply explain that although you’ve always said you’d love to ski, do salsa dancing or whitewater rafting- it’s just not your top priority at the moment. Of course, it could be something much less adventurous but that is ok too.
5. What Happens When you Say ‘No’ Like many things in life the art of saying no gets easier with practice. We need to remind ourselves of a few things, like we can never keep everybody happy and just because someone else thinks we should do something, that doesn’t make it right. Practice saying no and then remind yourself when you have that you shouldn’t feel guilty.
But remember too that saying o isn’t a reason to be unkind or disrespectful. Saying no often it becomes easier when we have a clear send of our own priorities and clarity about the things that are our responsibility. If we are clear that saying yes to a particular thing doesn’t mean we are not fulfilling a responsibility that really is ours then there is no need for guilt AND other people reactions to our ‘no’ aren’t our responsibility so even, worst case scenario, they get offended , well that isn’t really our problem. It might cause a few transient difficulties but nothing that shouldn’t be able to be ironed out with respect and explanations.
For more inspiration each day visit the website, www.attunededucation.com
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Get the Glow
ICONIC London’s Luminous Powder (£30) is a velvety finishing powder, designed to create a soft-focus glow that blurs imperfections and creates the illusion of sculpted features. Swirl the shades together for multi-dimensional radiance or dip into each shade alone for concentrated, metallic shimmer, be sure to apply with the Pro Puff brush (£35), thousands of velvety-soft bristles to give a flawless finish.
Laura Mercier’s Luxe Ultime Body Collection (£70), is designed to pamper the body and tantalise the senses with notes of coconut, almond and vanilla perfect for you to relax the night before your wedding. The Body Wash creates a rich lather to cleanse and moisturise the skin while the Milk Honey Bath helps to leave the skin soft and supple. Milk Soufflé Body Crème is applied after drying, to nourish the skin, while spraying on the Eau de Toilette allows the delicious aromas to linger throughout the day.
Illamasqua skin base foundation (£33) is lightweight and easily blendable that smooths, softens and conditions your skin, giving a flawless finish taken you from day to night effortlessly.
UPDATES Fragrant Fancy
Jo Malone has created a romantic fragrance (£98), Earl Grey & Cucumber with a burst of bergamot, distinct to Earl Grey, and the cool succulence of crunchy cucumber. Counterpoised with a sweet base of beeswax, vanilla and musk, light and refreshing making it perfect for brushing the winter cobwebs aside.
Complete with 12 never-beforeseen rose-hued neutral eyeshadow shades the Eye Behold, NAKED3 Eyeshadow Palette (£42) is a must this season. Choose from light, shimmering pinks, to deep glittering black shades. Or get creative and combine for the ultimate neutral smoky eye.
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The Art of Memory
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How many of us struggle to remember what we did last weekend? Using our phones and devices to recall information means that we’re losing the ability to train our brain.
Even in the Google age, remembering certain things can give you a huge advantage in your career and personal life. You’ll definitely find an edge over others if you’re able to recall important businessrelated facts and figures, if you can give presentations from memory using little or no notes, if you remember foreign language vocab easily, and can recall people’s names and other things about them.
World-leading memory expert, Chester Santos, believes that we all have an amazing memory, we just need to unlock it’s potential – and our own creativity. Chester has developed techniques for boosting your creative thinking and making the most of your knowledge retention. Here are his top tips:
1. A picture is worth a thousand words – take whatever you are trying to remember and turn it into a simple image you can picture in your mind’s eye. This will serve as a sort of mental cue card. You can even take it a step further and try to draw a picture that represents the information. Research supports that drawing and doodling helps with long-term memory, and you’ll be able to better remember your visual after drawing it.
2. Sense it – after you have a visual, try to add additional senses to what you are seeing. Doing this will activate more areas of your brain and build more connections in your mind to the information, making it easier to retrieve later when needed. 3. Unleash your imagination – if, as you’re reading this article, an elephant was to suddenly crash into the room and start spraying water on you with its trunk, you’d probably remember this unusual incident for the rest of your life. There is a 15
psychological aspect to human memory. Do your best to make your mental cue card crazy, unusual and extraordinary in some way. 4. Story power – Stories are powerful memory aids. If you can keep the first 3 tips above in mind while creating a story, you will have an effective tool to help get new information into your long-term memory. Let’s go through an example with the following items: monkey, iron, rope, kite, house, paper, shoe, worm, envelope, pencil.
Instead of memorising the list with brute force, try and visualise the story I describe. Picture a monkey dancing around making monkey noises. The monkey picks up an iron. The iron starts to fall but a rope attaches itself to the iron. You look up the rope and see the other end attached to a kite. The kite now crashes into a house which is covered in paper. A shoe appears and starts to walk on the paper. The shoe smells bad so you look inside to find a worm crawling around. The worm jumps into an envelope and a pencil starts to write on the envelope. Read through the story just one more time whilst visualising everything described. See it like a movie or cartoon playing in your head. Now, go ahead and recite all the random words from memory simple by going through the story in your mind and recalling each major object that you encounter. 5. Review before you sleep – many studies have shown that reviewing information just before sleep causes your brain to process and solidify the information in your mind overnight. You’ll wake up the next morning knowing the information much better than you did the day before. 6. Use it or lose it – do your best to use these tips to force yourself to commit things to memory. If you don’t use your memory, it will deteriorate over time. The ‘use it or lose it’ principle applies but if you make it a priority to exercise your memory it will get stronger over time. Your brain is trainable just like the body. Chester Santos is a world leading memory skills expert, speaker and author See www.InternationalManofMemory.com for more information.
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Midlife Madness Having struggled with various aspects of midlife I have recently come to the conclusion that now might be the time for a full-blown crisis. The problem is which type of crisis shall I go for!
remain attractive to their partner it might herald a period of great adventure in the bedroom which could result in anything from a rekindling of romance to near death physical injury!
You see there are a few different types that seem possible in the midlife era.
The worry about attractiveness (well really the worry is about advancing age – a tough one to fight) can also show itself in the sudden urge to prove one is still young and fit by embarking on a series of increasingly extreme physical hobbies. We all know folk who have taken up yoga, cycling, Nordic walking but also those who have started marathon running, sky diving, bungee jumping, or learning to white water raft down some raging far flung river.
First there is what I have called the material crisis. By this I mean buying largely unnecessary material items that somehow speak to the world of youth and vitality. They do of course, shout mid life crisis rather loudly. But here I’m thinking of the sports car (shall I confess that I bought a red 2 seater in my very early 40’s?) or maybe moving from the family home to a trendy flat or a place in the sun but it could also encompass leather trousers, micro minis (my own opinion only), perhaps too tight trousers or shirts open half way to the navel for men - or any generally age inappropriate clothing that is meant to shout ‘look I’m still young and trendy’ but probably does the exact opposite when worn with a few wrinkles and a spare tyre.
It can also show itself in wanting to somehow alter the body – lose weight, which of course could be very sensible and good for our health, dyeing hair a very different colour or it might be a face lift, teeth whitening, or straightening, hair removal from various parts through to nose or boob jobs. All quite radical stuff not to say expensive!!
Then there are the relationship crises – oh they can be tough for all sorts of folks in all sorts of ways and I’m definitely not going to spell them all out, but they stem from the fear that physical attractiveness may be on the wane. It seems they can vary from flirting with dating apps – just to make sure you get the right kind of swipe, to going out with groups of other similarly afraid mid lifers ‘on the pull’ just to show that you still haven’t lost that magic! I guess they are the fairly harmless crises but of course we are also aware this might be the time for anything from casual ‘flings’ to serial one night stands to full on relationship break ups which of course can have far reaching impact and can be tough to repair when the crisis has ‘blown’ over.
For others who just want to reassure themselves they
So, stuck with a feeling that I need to enjoy some kind of crisis I’m simply not sure what one to choose? I couldn’t find or justify the money for radical plastic surgery, and I am at heart a coward. It doesn’t seem fair when in an essentially happy long term relationship to mess it up just to convince myself I can still be attractive, I must confess to frequently buying age inappropriate clothes but thankfully I can usually take them back OR pass them on to daughter. I am not the marathon running, bungee jumping type – even roller coasters terrify me. But I think I have come up with a perfect solution – a tattoo! Not too expensive (it’s not going to be a full sleeve or anything like that)– yes it might hurt a bit, but friends have reassured me its bearable. Now the only decision is what design to have! Even having a crisis feels difficult these days!
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THE VEGAN EDIT These Vegan beauty products are perfect to try in celebration of Veganuary
Smooth fluid single stroke colour glides on and stays on for an all-day finish without fading. With precision brush tip for combined application. Eyeko Black Magic Eyeliner (£16, www.eyeko.co.uk
A hybrid cream powder formulation that effortlessly glides onto the skin leaving behind a highly pigmented metallic and multidimensional finish. Suitable for use on both eyes and lips. Illamasqua Iconic Chromes – Various Shades (£22, www.illamasqua.com)
The waterproof formula is infused with Matcha Green Tea Extract blended with botanical fruit extracts including Strawberry, Blueberry, Blackberry and Vitamin E for an antioxidant boost – Like a smoothie for your lashes. Eyeko Yoga Mascara (£19, www.eyeko.co.uk)
Part hydrator, part primer, Hydra Veil instantly hydrates and smooths skin through a self-levelling, futuristic clear gel. Microalgae, Vitamin C and B3 work together to help maintain skins hydration levels, creating a healthy looking , balanced finish. Illamasqua Hydra Veil (£34, www.illamasqua.com)
Achieve natural looking hair strokes and more defined shape with the Define It Brow Pencil. The easy to use precision tip creates the finest of hair strokes, whilst the spoolie can be used to brush brows into shape and blend for a more natural hair finish. Eyeko Define It Brow Pencil – Vrious Shades (£18, www.eyeko.co.uk
This lightweight, easily blendable foundation, smooths, softens and conditions your skin and is suitable for most skin types. Tested in HD environments, this foundation also provides the ultimate skin realism effect. Skin Base Foundation – Various Shades (£33, www.illamasqua.com)
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Anthropologie Cushion, £128, Amara
Biker Boots, £170, Dune
AFFINITY HOT PICKS
Chevron Stripe Baskets, £15, JD Williams Home
Effie Slippers, £74.99, www.bearpawshoes.co.uk
Gold Sunburst Mirror, £135, www.audenza.com
Hello Beautiful Mirror, £34, Amara
This month’s must have gifts and accessories
Leopard Print Trainers, £29.99, Bon Prix
Resin Cross Body Bag, £35, Very
Sunbeam Necklace, £190, www.dinnyhall.com
Marbled Candle Holder, £50, Amara
SMEG Milk Frother, £149.95, Currys
Spring Leaf Framed print, £90, Very
Glamoriser Bluetooth Hair Straightener., £89.99, www.glamoriser.com
Flamingo Trinket Box, £24, Very
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Single, Sassy & Savvy 6 Reasons Why Staying Single Is Good For Your Health
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f you’ve spent the festive period surrounded by family members asking the dreaded question, “so when are you going to get a boyfriend?” or perhaps you’ve been bombarded by the loved-up couples sharing their plans for Valentines Day, don’t fret, it’s now your time to shine! The 15th of February is Singles Awareness Day[i]- a holiday celebrated by single people.
this out there, single people are having sex more often than married people are, according to an analysis of collected from more than 26,000 people between 1989 and 2014.[iii] "Research has shown that women who have sex on a regular basis have longer telomeres. Telomeres are the end caps on your DNA like the ends on a shoelace and longer telomeres are associated with a longer lifespan. So having sex regularly can help you to stay younger for longer," adds the UK’s Leading Nutritionist and author of The Natural Health Bible For Women Marilyn.
Although Christmas and Valentine’s Day can be a simple and cruel reminder that you’re single, it could actually be a blessing for your health! A woman who celebrated her 107th birthday shared her secret to living a long life; yes you’ve guessed it, staying single![ii]
3. More Time For Self-Care “Self-care gives us access to a better version of ourselves. Proactively tending to yourself with self-care gives you the best possible chance of being the person you aspire to be, behaving in way contingent with your values, boosting our self-esteem and the health of our relationships,” advises qualified Psychologist working with ThinkWell LiveWell (www.thinkwell-livewell.com), Suzy Reading.
Our experts comment on the health benefits of being single…
1. Less Likely To Become Obese “When you settle down with a partner, you will tend to adopt some of their habits, too. According to psychologists from the University of North Carolina, once a couple start living together, they’re three times more likely to become obese than those who live separately. This is probably down to sharing obesity-related behaviours such as choosing unhealthy snacks and watching TV or playing computer games instead of exercising. Rather than encouraging each other to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, they are more likely to encourage negative behaviours so they won’t feel so bad about over-indulging alone. Apparently this tendency is strongest once a couple has lived together for at least two years,” explains Dr Sarah Brewer, working in association with the type 2 diabetes supplement CuraLin (www.curalife.co). 2. More Sex Finally, just to throw
Pop your headphones in and unwind with the new mindfulness toolkit, ThinkWell-LiveWell (www.thinkwelllivewell.com). There are a number of programs available including a ‘Stress-Busting Playbook’ - who knew that there were so many easy things you can do to manage stress?
4. Richer Social Lives Many single people embrace their single lives, and are likely to experience more psychological growth and development than married people, according to research. [iv]
5. You Can Get Your Beauty Sleep You don’t have to put up with snoring partners, what a result! A good sleep helps you look and feel better, so starfish and get those 8 hours in. “People who have less than five hours sleep a night tend to have more physical ailments, such as headaches and stomachs upsets and also undergo changes in metabolism similar to those occurring with normal ageing. Small wonder many of us look worse for wear after a poor night’s sleep! You can spend a fortune on anti-ageing skin creams but you need to sleep well to have healthy, glowing skin. When you’re fast asleep, the body goes into repair mode and regenerates skin, blood and brain cells, as well as muscles,” adds Marilyn.
6. Revenge Body If you’re recently single, that’s ok, this often results in a kiss ass comeback. If like Khloé Kardashian, you want to sweat your heartbreak and anger out remember, “Optimal nutrient intake prior to exercise will not only help you maximize your performance but also minimize muscle damage. Ideally you should try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat 2–3 hours before you exercise. However, in some cases you may not be able to get in a full meal 2-3 hours before working out. So if you eat around one hour prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain small fats, complex carbs and some protein. For example sliced apple with nut butter or the Natures Plus Vegan Power Protein (£36.75, www.revital.co.uk mixed with nut milk, kale and bananas.”
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Dressed in Denim One of the ongoing trends that’s around season after season is denim, whether it’s jeans, shirt or dress, this trend is here to stay
Denim Dress, £20, Matalan
Button Dress, £50, Joe Browns
Denim Headband, £4.25, Miss Selfridge Zip Front Boiler Suit, £55, JD Williams
River Island Denim Jeans, £42, Miss Selfridge
Midi Denim Skirt, POA, New Look
Tailored Denim Dress, £56, Lipsy
Tie Neck Denim Shirt, £30, JD Williams
Denim Jacket, £55, White Stuff
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This specific shade of green is huge this season, wear it as a full outfit or just add a little to accessorize your look, either way you’ll ooze elegance Collar Necklace, £32, Oliver Bonas
Scallop Halter Neck Dress, £42, Lipsy
Teddy Coat, £60, Dorothy Perkins
Belted Velvet Jacket, £55, Very
Knee High Boots, £450, L.K.Bennett
Bag, £88, Dune
Satin Shirt, £35, Lipsy
Leather Look Mini Skirt, £15.99, New Look
Short Drop Earrings, £6, Accessorize
Patterned Skirt, £49.99, TK Maxx
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Hats Off We love a hat. It finishes off a look in a way that no other accessory can. It says confident and fashion-savvy, make it a baker boy hat and you’ll be amongst the best dressed set. Baker Boy Hat, £12.99, M&Co
Check Baker Boy Hat, £8, Matalan
Leopard Baker Boy Hat, £14, M&Co Navy Baker Boy Hat, £17.99, Bon Prix
Velvet Baker Boy Hat, £21, Joe Browns
Fur Lined Baker Boy Hat, £14, M&Co
Denim Baker Boy Hat, £12.99, M&Co
Baker Boy Hat, £18, Lipsy
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Maxi Magic Create a chic look from head to toe in an on-trend maxi dress, Choose from a casual or a glam look for any occasion
Black Floral Maxi Dress, £44, TK Maxx Bamboo Print Dress, £149, People Tree
Green Maxi Dress, £79, Debenhams
Lace Top Maxi Dress, £299.99, Bon Prix
Twist Waist Dress, £110 , Monsoon
Blue Maxi Dress, £57, Dancing Leopard
Next Embroidered Maxi Dress, £69, ELVI
Green Maxi Dress, £57, Dancing Leopard
Reiss Cut Out Dress, £350, John Lewis
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Pearls of Wisdom Pearls are making a comeback this year, so be sure to add a few to your accessory collection
Bracelet, £16, John Lewis
Pearl Drop Necklace, £105, John Lewis
Bracelet, £10, Accessorize Pearl Drop Hoop Earring Pearl Necklace, £38, Oliver Bonas
Boudicca Pearl Ring, £44, Wolf & Badger
Pearl Drop Earrings, £5, M& Co
Pearl Hair Clip, £6, Accessorize
Silver Drop Earrings, £32, Oliver Bonas Pearl Cocktail Ring, £250, John Lewis
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food & drink
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Healthy Eating Made Easy
Mindful Chef, the UK’s favourite healthy recipe box delivery service, believes that January is the perfect time to reseat after a month of indulgence. Its low carb recipe boxes provide people with the tools needed to cook and enjoy delicious nutritionally-balanced meals that help make them feel healthier and happier. This January Mindful Chef boasts 96 delicious, nourishing recipes on its menu, each carefully crafted by MC chefs. In addition to its ‘from scratch’ recipes, Mindful Chef now offers 16 healthy frozen meals, ideal for those who are time poor. With options for all lifestyles, Mindful Chef offers flexibility to its customers via one-person, two-person and family boxes, as well as catering for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, flexitarian, vegetarian and pescatarian diets. www.mindfulchef.com
In Everyday Bakes to Showstopper Cakes, celebrity baker Mich Turner brings together a collection of 80 recipes to elevate your creations from simple to showstopper. Starting out with traybakes, biscuits and cupcakes, you'll learn to master the basics before transforming them into lavish multi-tier layer cakes that will wow your friends and family. Perfect for beginners and experienced bakers alike, available from March for a RRP £20.
Time for Tea
Michelin-starred Chef and Restaurateur Jason Atherton has extended the offering at his latest opening, The Betterment at The Biltmore Mayfair, to include an indulgently British afternoon tea. Highlighting artisanal and heritage produce from across the UK, the luxurious tea is served in the dedicated Tea Lounge and can be enjoyed alongside a selection of fresh and dried infusions from The Betterment’s tea trolley or a celebratory glass of champagne. Devised together with Head Chef Paul Walsh, The Betterment Afternoon Tea commemorates the best of British with Savouries, Scones and Sweet Delicacies, all detailed for guests on a beautifully illustrated map which highlights the region each component is sourced from. The afternoon teas is priced at £45 per person, add a glass of Moet & Chandon, Grand Vintage 2012 £60 per person, add a glass of Krug Grande Cuvee, NV £80 per person. For more information or to book, visit www.thebiltmoremayfair.com
With low and no alcohol becoming a fast-growing lifestyle choice, and Dry January 2020 set to be the biggest yet, Australian wine brand McGuigan Wines has launched an alcohol-free range, McGuigan Zero, comprising five quality crafted wines; a shiraz, sparkling, rosé, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Set to delight non-drinkers and anyone simply looking to cut back on their alcohol intake, McGuigan Zero is the ultimate tipple for post-festive season celebrations. The McGuigan Zero range is available to buy from Morrisons and Budgens RRP £4.50 per bottle.
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Middle Eastern-Style Baked Feta “Delicately spiced with harissa and perfumed with preserved lemons, this quick and easy dinner has all of the fragrant flavours of the Middle East”
2 x 400g tins Tesco Finest cherry tomatoes 1½ tbsp harissa 1 tbsp preserved lemon paste 2 tbsp olive oil handful fresh coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped 2 x 200g packs feta, halved 80g pack pomegranate seeds Crusty bread, to serve Green salad, to serve
Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Tip the tomatoes into an ovenproof dish (large enough to hold the whole blocks of feta). Stir in the harissa and bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the lemon paste, olive oil and coriander in a large bowl. Remove 2 tbsp of the mixture and set aside. Toss the feta in the remaining mixture and nestle it into the tomatoes. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. The feta will be soft but should hold its shape.
Remove from the oven and spoon the reserved dressing over the feta. Scatter with pomegranate seeds. Serve with crusty bread for mopping up the juices and a green salad. Recipe from: www.realfood.tesco.com
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One-Pot Southwest Chicken
“Try a new chicken breast recipe with this Tex-Mex inspired barbecue chicken one-pot” Method Ingredients
580g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp Texan BBQ seasoning 100g frozen diced onions 2 garlic cloves, crushed 250g frozen sliced mixed peppers 3 courgettes, trimmed and finely sliced 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed 200g tin sweetcorn, drained and rinsed 1 lime, juiced, plus extra wedges to serve (optional) 2 tbsp frozen coriander Cooked brown rice and soured cream, to serve (optional)
Toss the chicken with half the olive oil and the BBQ seasoning. Put a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the chicken (you may need to cook in batches). Fry for 6-8 mins until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the onion and cook for 10 mins until soft. Add the garlic, peppers and courgettes and cook for 10 mins, stirring regularly, until the veg is softened. Return the chicken to the pan along with the kidney beans and sweetcorn. Increase the heat for a few mins, stirring regularly until everything is mixed through and piping hot. Stir in the lime juice and coriander. Serve with extra lime wedges, cooked brown rice and a spoonful of soured cream, if you like.
Tip: This versatile chicken and veg mix could be used to make fajitas or burritos – simply spoon onto a large tortilla, add cooked rice for a burrito and drizzle over a little soured cream. Recipe from: www.realfood.tesco.com
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Autumn Apple Pavlova “A scrumptious winter dessert that will definitely impress your guests”
750g (1 1/2Ib) Gala apples, cored, quartered, and cut into 3 wedges 40g (1 1/2oz) butter, cubed 50g soft brown sugar 4 egg whites 225g (7 1/2oz) caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla essence 1 tsp cornflour 1 tsp white wine vinegar 250ml (8fl oz) double cream 1 tbsp icing sugar 2 tbsp salted caramel sauce
Method Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Toss the apples, butter and brown sugar in a roasting dish. Cook for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick baking paper and mark out a 20cm (8in) circle in pencil. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites, until stiff. Whisk in half the sugar, then add the vanilla. Add the cornflour, vinegar and remaining sugar; briefly whisk to combine. Spoon the mixture into the marked circle on the baking sheet, leaving it slightly thicker around the edge. Bake, on the middle shelf, for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours, or until even in colour and firm to the touch. Turn off the oven, leaving the meringue inside to cool completely. When cool, remove and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Sift over the icing sugar and gently fold in. To assemble the Pavlova, spread the cream over the meringue and top with the apples. Drizzle over the caramel sauce. Serve immediately. Recipe from: www.realfood.tesco.com
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Cheers to Champagne “Jumping into 2020 seems a good enough reason to pop open the champagne"
Only £11.95 for a main course sunday roast.
Light Bites Lunch
Over 30 Dishes between £4 and £10, Served Monday to Saturday 12-5 pm
Two for Tuesday
Nicolas de Montbart Champagne An elegant and easy drinking aperitif style Champagne with fruit and floral notes. This traditional blend of equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier gives a subtle elegance on the palate. £9.99, Aldi
Buy one get one Free on all Main Courses served 12-9
Half price drinks every Thursday 4pm-6.30 pm with free nibbles
Fish & Chips
Every Friday 12 - 9pm Beer Battered Fish & Chips
01234 781 678
email@example.com www.millhouse-riverside.co.uk millhouse_hotel
Millhouse Hotel and Riverside Restaurant Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Bedford MK44 1NP
Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne With a perfect balance of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, Moët Impérial Brut offers a bright fruitiness, a seductive palate and an elegant maturity, revealing aromas of pear, citrus and brioche. £27, Morrisons
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label A fine bead of bubbles present with a golden yellow colour. On the nose: white fruits and nicely balanced citrus notes. On the palate: the Pinot Noir dominance shines through but is balanced perfectly by the delicate Chardonnay. Ripe fruits and some hints of brioche on the finish. A great non-vintage. £45.95, Tesco
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Besame Chair, Koket Lampshade with Gold Lining, £40, Mint & May
Round Blue Planter, £12.95, Melody Maison
Alveare Bar Stool, £299.99, MY Furniture
This year’s Pantone Colour of the year is “Classic Blue”
Described as bringing a “reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence and connection". Classic blue is a dependable hue in the home. It’s non-aggressive and easily relatable, allowing it to work in any interior.
Floor Lamp, POA, Covet House
Armchair, POA , Covet House
Stanway Vase, £8.50, Garden Trading
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2 Seater Sofa, £899, Cult Furniture
Malibu Console Table, £599, Pepper Sq Ltd Linen Cushion, £60, Habitat
Velvet Throw, £100, Soak&Sleep Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue Paint, POA, Annie Sloan
Table Lamp, £80, Habitat
Verona Pouffe, £345, Sweetpea & Willow 41
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Fry’s Footie Corner Unbelievably, we are in the year 2020. Sounds very futuristic. Yet with VAR, it does seem to me that we are living in an age that is more of confusion rather than clarity. I am all for using technology for good. Goal-line technology when it was introduced was simple, is the ball over the line, yes or no?
Now it is perfect. Nobody argues. It is quick, the referee is alerted straight away and there is no stoppage in play. With VAR, I am not too sure anybody really knows what will happen when a decision is referred.
Ultimately, it is still a human making a decision and a human can get a decision wrong. Unfortunately, with video technology, when a decision is made it sets a precedent. Once one offside call was made because a hand was offside, ultimately in the fairness of the competition, every decision that is similar will go the same way. Is that right? No. There has historically always been a desire for the strikers to get the benefit of the doubt because we want to see exciting football with plenty of goals. It is a little bit of a farce now and there isn’t really much the powers that be can do mid-way through a campaign to change the decision making. Liverpool appear to be the ones benefitting from the technology more than most, but that isn’t any different from any other season when it comes to a team getting the rub of the green with decisions. Personally, I think that they have to sit down at the end of the season with the clubs and decide how they want the technology used. Blatant off-sides, obvious red-card decisions and penalty calls are, in my opinion, what VAR should be used for. It has to be clear and obvious. Not subjective. In League One the technology is not being used but we did have VAR for the first time in one of our fixtures, the FA Cup third round tie at Premier League side Burnley. On a separate note, the January transfer window is now open and expect plenty of clubs to do business across the 92 clubs. Money is still tight in the EFL, but I am sure clubs like Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United will do business at the top end. I am not too sure Liverpool will do much business but then at the time of writing they are 13 points clear, European Champions and World Champions so they have a pretty good squad anyway! Happy New Year
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Moisture for Men It’s not just women that need to look after their skin, men do too, and with the cold winter weather drying your skin out, there’s no better time to start.
Bull Dog Moisturiser, £6, www.bulldogskincare.com
Clinique Maximum 72Hour Hydrator, £37, John Lewis
ESPA The Hydrator, £32, John Lewis
Ted Baker Moisturiser, £18, www.tedsgroomingroom.com
Clarins SuperMoisture Lotion, £30, Debenhams
Elemis Daily Moisture Boost, £35, www.elemis.com
Kiehls Facial Fuel Moisture Treatment, £33, www.kiehls.co.uk
Men-U Matt Moisturiser, £11.96, www.mankind.co.uk
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THE BEST CLASSIC CARS ON SHOW at
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London’s premier classic car event returns on 20-23 February 2020, at its new home of Olympia, London in Kensington, marking the next chapter in the history of the London Classic Car Show. Now in its seventh year, the show is firmly established as the must-attend event for discerning classic car owners, collectors, experts and enthusiasts.
Not only will visiting classic car collectors and connoisseurs have the opportunity to view and purchase over 500 desirable cars, they will also be treated to a brand-new selection of carefully curated features and celebrations of some of the most exotic and exquisite marques from throughout the decades.
2020 sees the introduction of an exciting new ‘Car Stories’ stage featuring six of the most iconic and interesting cars in the world, presented by industry personalities and previous owners, delving into the history and heritage that makes them special. Car Stories will be hosted by classic motoring expert Max Girardo and will give visitors the chance to go under the bonnet of such illustrious cars as the 1987 Rothmans Porsche 962C, the Maserati 250F driven by Sir Stirling Moss in 1954 and the Lotus 49 rebuilt by Adrian Newey. 2020 also marks the 50th anniversary of one of the UK’s greatest cars, the Range Rover. The benchmark 4x4 continues to be the utility vehicle of choice amongst those who appreciate the finer things in life and The London Classic Car Show will be celebrating 50 years of the car marque from the first prototype through iconic ‘challenge’ versions to the Range Rover of today. So, whether you’ve got a penchant for the classic, are a serious buyer or simply want to dip your toe in the water and admire these beautiful vehicles, make your way to Olympia, London from 20th – 23rd February 2020. Standard and Premium tickets available plus the opportunity to attend the Thursday evening exclusive Preview Night and Icon Awards presentation.
Tickets available online at www.thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk 47
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Sunborn London 49
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A Stay at
The Swish Sunborn, London ‘Strawberry Kiss’ cocktail as you watch the sunset in the distance. If the weather allows it’s worth venturing outside to the bars deck area, where you can watch the capital come to life before your very eyes, the ideal spot to savour the moment.
London, full of exquisite luxury hotels, all individual in their own way, whether it has balcony views over the Thames, is in the heart of the buzzing theatre district or hidden down a leafy suburb, they all have their own piece of uniqueness, but as far as unique and stylish goes, Sunborn London has to be high up on the list. Housed in a 128m super yacht and permanently docked in the Royal Victoria Docks this hotel oozes all the glitz and glamour of a super yacht, without the choppy seas to accompany.
Dinner is served in the yachts Lands End restaurant, which takes its name from the one given to the area by Victorian engineer George Bidder in 1840s, who cannily bought up the original undeveloped marshland and made a handsome return as the land was sold for the docks and for a belt of factories along the river.
Entry is via a lift that takes you to the reception area, which is dominated by a sweeping gold and glass staircase with a crystal chandelier glistening overhead, reminiscent of a luxury cruise ship or super yacht of the rich and famous.
The restaurant, with its floor to ceiling windows gives unrivalled views of the lights of the dock twinkling from the ever-changing waters of the Thames. The dining room effortlessly blends the old with the new, the classic with the contemporary, and the vintage with the avant-garde. The atmosphere is one of relaxed glamour and the soft lighting adds a little mystery to the whole setting.
The yacht houses 136 rooms and suites, many of which have private balconies offering views of London’s iconic skyline. Our Yacht Executive Room or cabin if we’re talking ship language, is an exact replica of a balcony cabin – A bright spacious room with shiny wood panelling, sleek furnishings, private bathroom and a fabulous personal balcony, just perfect for a chilled glass of wine as you make the most of the views across the river. Suitably relaxed, it was time to explore the rest of our noncruise yacht. Spread over five decks, the elegance and grandeur is around every corner, there’s the Sundown cocktail bar, the perfect romantic spot to sip a signature
We began our onboard dining with starters of crispy freerange hen egg, on a bed of charred gem lettuce with Caesar emulsion and truffle, think scotch egg, but far more delicate, and mouth-wateringly delicious. Brixham crab, dressed with crème fraiche, apple, cucumber, & caviar was the other delight, divinely fresh and flavoursome.
Mains were just as impressive, pan fried cod on a bed of white
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beans and smoked mussels mixed with Somerset cider. They say you eat with your eyes, and you certainly do here, each dish was exquisitely presented and tasted delicous. Cote du boeuf served with Portobello mushrooms, chunky chips and confit plum tomatoes was a real hit, cooked to perfection the meat literally melted in the mouth.
I really didn’t have room for dessert, but that wasn’t the case with hubbie and he indulged in vanilla panna cotta with blackberries, apple, and rhubarb, creamy, light and refreshing a definite voyage of discovery for our taste buds. All too soon it was time to retire to our cabin for the night – I think there’s something to be said about sleeping on a yacht (whether it’s moving or not) the gentle sound of the water lapping against the side gives a relaxing, calm feeling that helps you drift off into a blissful night’s sleep.
The Sunborn is a destination in itself, you can have all the glitz and glamour of a cruise ship, without venturing out into the deep blue waters of the sea. A fabulous alternative to a hotel when you next visit the Capital, where you can see a different side of the most exciting city in the world from the deck of a luxurious superyacht hotel. BOOK IT
Prices start from £127 per night per room, based on two people sharing a Classic Dock view room.
Prices start from £345 per night, per room , based on two people sharing an Executive Riverview room. www.sunbornhotels.com
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Head into the New Year at
ADLER Lodge RITTEN free guided excursions to the Corno del Renon mountain for one of the most beautiful views of the South Tyrol. After an easy two-and-a-half-hour climb food and drinks are provided in a mountain hut followed by an easy ski down to the valley before a shuttle return the LODGE.
DLER Lodge RITTEN is the perfect place to recalibrate. Leave your busy life behind and discover new sauna rituals with sauna masters, guided moonlight ski treks and midnight snacks at the top of the mountain and daytime guided hikes and snowshoe excursions.
The RITTEN also offers snowshoe hikes five-six times a week with a choice of easy or medium difficulty. The hikes last three-four hours and equipment is provided for free.
The retreat, in the Italian South Tyrol, opened in June 2019. There are 20 traditional wooden chalets scattered around the property and 20 luxury suites in two separate wings besides the main building.
A Forest Sauna Special package is available from 2 February for three, four, five or seven nights all-inclusive from â‚Ź911 (ÂŁ778) per person. Sauna masters Michaela and Omar will be on hand to instruct guests on sauna use and rituals involving light, music, heat and water. The package also includes a 15 per cent discount on all spa treatments, daily ventilations, rituals and scrubs in the forest saunas, meditation, yoga and stretching classes, guided ski tours and hikes with or without snowshoes, a tea tasting and a gift of ADLER essential oil.
The spa at ADLER Lodge RITTEN has four treatment cabins, a heated indoor/outdoor pool, relaxation rooms, a steam sauna and two outdoor saunas in the forest - a Finnish sauna and a herb sauna. The hotel offers a gentle outdoor programme including yoga and meditation as well as guided hiking and biking tours.
The RITTEN has a ski-hire service and easy access to the local slopes.
Each Wednesday evening and every full moon there are
For more information and to book, visit adler-resorts.com
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Doggy Heaven at
Bethnal & Bec ethnal and Bec, a luxury self-catering retreat provides an ideal rural bolthole for those wanting to bring their four-legged friend along with them for a getaway in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.
be enjoyed on a flip down cinema screen, wood burner, under floor heating, a vinyl record player with wide choice of music, roll top bath, rain forest shower plus lots more.
Pampered pouches are well catered for, a dog amenity pack is provided with each stay which includes dog biscuits, a doggy beer, throws, towels, doggie shower, dog shampoo & dog magazines. Additional Green&Wilds natural and healthy products are available to purchase in the pantry.
Located in the picturesque village of Cottered, Bethnal & Bec provides the perfect base from which to explore this delightful area, boasting extensive footpath and bridleway networks so guests can get out and about with their dogs, exploring this stunning part of the world before returning to relax and enjoy the deluxe facilities which boast some special doggy extras.
The units have fully stocked kitchen and pantry with everything youâ€™d need to rustle up a hearty meal, however for those that prefer not to cook there is a choice of locally home-made meals in the freezer or there is a Dine In menu option which offers a wide range of pre-order food experiences including a make-your-own pizza set (to
Each retreat has a private fenced garden complete with outdoor hot tub and direct access to a private 1.5 acre dog exercise field. Inside there are Netflix loaded TVs which can 54
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prepare in the on-site pizza oven), a selection of BBQ goods, gourmet hot chocolate pack and ‘pop-your-own’ posh popcorn. In addition, there is an extensive wine cellar and fully stocked bar.
The large number of walking routes starting from Bethnal and Bec vary in length, recommended walks include a three-hour circular route which takes in an abandoned village, a Roman Road and moated house, or a 45-minute walk waking in a windmill, church farm and stream.
Dog friendly pubs in the local area include The Fox at Aspenden which does a fantastic Sunday roast and is a three mile walk away (or 10 minute drive) The Bushel & Strike (15 minute drive) offers a modern take on coal cooking- the oldest form of cooking, and the historic Fox and Duck which is located on the village green in Therfield (also a 15 minute drive), is often described as a well-disguised gastropub and offers dogs free treats at the bar. Bethnal and Bec prices start from £220 per night. 55
For more nformation on Bethnal & Bec, visit www.bethnalandbec.com
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The Best of Moroccan Gastronomy and an Equestrian Show to Discover in
the Heart of the Stables people, for a romantic dinner, and up to 70 guests to live this extraordinary experience together.
elman Marrakech, a palace with a singular, sublime and endearing atmosphere, emerges as a sweet Oriental souvenir. Designed by Jacques Garcia and built by the best artisans, this family-owned property seduces with its timeless harmony and the presence of Arab thoroughbreds, belonging to the owners’ private breeding.
After submitting their preferences, guests will be invited to participate in this culinary journey around a gourmet dinner made in the purest Moroccan tradition by Chef El Hachem Oulhouss, according to his inspiration, accompanied by fine bubbles of champagne and a tailor-made service. A horse show can also be planned to sublimate the experience.
To live this dream closer to the horses, which are the soul and beauty of the place, the hotel now offers its visitors a magical experience, savouring the best of Moroccan cuisine in the heart of its stables.
Selman Marrakech continues to offer the experiences that have contributed to the success of the hotel in recent years, such as the "Signature Breakfast" - a private breakfast in the heart of the hotel's fragrant gardens with a parade of finest Arab thoroughbreds; “Oriental evenings” at Assyl Moroccan restaurant with night horse Parade and musical entertainment and the “Sunday brunches” with spectacular horse shows.
In the extension of the majestic 80-meter long swimming pool, these noble creatures’ boxes stand in the hotel gardens, next to the Moroccan restaurant Assyl. Insider's secret or haunt of enthusiasts, the oriental palace unveils in the heart of its stables a unique and private table, with only vis-à-vis the thoroughbred Arabs. The secret table can accommodate a minimum of two
For more information, visit www.selman-marrakech.com
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Matt Goss Brings Vegas to the UK Matt Goss has come a long way since his denim-clad days as lead vocalist and one third of eighties boy band Bros.
Upon embarking on his career as a solo artist, Goss released his debut album, The Key, in 1995. Changing direction to a more adult-oriented dance sound. Focusing on writing rather than performing, brought Matt Goss a new-found lease of success. In writing the theme for the US TV show So You Think You Can Dance and the track Change Me, as recorded by Akon and Keri Higson, Goss opened himself up to a whole new market. The track Lovely Las Vegas was even used by NASCAR as a theme song, which led to Goss performing for 140,000 people at the NASCAR Las Vegas event. Yet another direction change saw Goss reinvent himself as a Las Vegas headline act, creating a contemporary rendition of a classic Rat Pack era Vegas show, Matt signed a lucrative three-year contract to headline Caesar's Palace in 2010, following in the footsteps of acts like Elton John and Celine Dion. The live show featured a nine-piece live band and a dance troupe and comprised of tracks from Goss's career alongside classic Rat Pack era tracks. Last month fans of Matt had the chance to get up close and personal with the singer when he brought his Vegas show to the UK.
Hosted across the country in the intimate surroundings of Hilton Hotels, the much-loved star put on an awesome performance with a collection of Christmas classics, popular covers and some of his own material. Rat Pack eat your heart out! These exclusive events were direct from Las Vegas and included champagne, wine, a sumptuous four-course meal and of course an awesome performance from Matt accompanied by his 9-piece band, singers and stunning Las Vegas showgirls. The roof was certainly raised and can only be described as one of the most fun nights of the year!
The Matt Goss â€œA Vegas Christmasâ€? was produced by Mark Harrison and his team at LPH Concerts (the brains behind Bedford Park Concerts and Ronan Keating at Kimbolton Castle). As well as all the regular concerts this year, watch this space for an exciting luxury event being hosted by LPH Concerts and Affinity Luxury Lifestyle Magazine later this year. For more information, or to express your interest in our newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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On Your Feet! Direct from London and featuring many of the original West End cast, â€˜On Your Feetâ€™ is the inspiring true love story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan and charts their journey from its origins in Cuba, onto the streets of Miami and finally to international superstardom. We caught up with Gloria to discuss music, love and Drag Queens! 60
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hat have you been most pleased with about how On Your Feet! has been received? “Simply that people seem to love it. There’s actually a group of fans called The Feeties, who are teenage girls or in their early 20s who have seen it, like, 100 times. And there are others who have written to say they were entertained or cried or were reminded of different times in their lives through the songs. That’s the point of the show - to connect with people on a very human level, which is what we’ve always tried to do through our music. It’s been phenomenal. It makes grown men cry. [Laughs] Personally, seeing grown men cry is my favourite thing. I also love how it surprises people. They go in expecting one thing and they come out feeling everything we’d hoped, which is a connection and having been on an emotional journey besides just the pure entertainment of the music and what they already know about us.”
it and how much they identify with me. These have mostly been Cuban-American girls so they’re kind of telling their own story too and that makes me very happy and proud for them.”
How has it been bringing the show to the UK? “It’s been fantastic. The cast is amazing. Christie Prades, who was in the original Broadway production, has been loving it because she has a whole different energy to play off. The book is brand new to the English cast and the acting choices they’ve made are spectacular. And Philippa Stefani, who is performing at certain shows in London and is headlining the UK tour, is just wonderful.” What are you most proud of about your career as it’s depicted in the show? “That we stayed true to who we were. What I tell every young artist is ‘They’re gonna try and change you’. One time they even told Emilio ‘Lose the singer!’ because it was the time of bands with male leads. Yes, Fleetwood Mac had two female singers but they also had male singers and yes, there was Madonna and Cyndi Lauper but that was a new thing in music. The record company even told Emilio to get rid of the horns and the percussion section. But we said ‘This is who we are’ and we fought to stay true to that. I’m proud that we were able to manoeuvre our way into the business without compromising. I remember saying ‘I can deal with failure if it’s something you really believe in but dealing with success when you’re making music you don’t like or that’s not true to you is gonna be really hard’. We stuck to our guns and learned we’re our best cheerleaders.”
Has any dramatic licence been taken with true-life events? “It’s all true, although maybe not always at the moment you see it happening on stage, and some of the songs aren’t in chronological order - they’ve been moved around to suit the story. The only thing that’s not true is Emilio having a six-pack, as he does in the show. [Laughs] It’s in there somewhere but washboard abs he does not have.”
What’s the most fun number in the musical? “There’s a couple of really big numbers. Tradición is spectacular and then of course there’s Conga, where you literally see how it grows and grows then explodes in joy and includes the audience in it.”
How involved were you in developing the script with writer Alexander Dinelaris? “We spent a year and half talking it through with him, then he said ‘You guys are a nightmare to write for because there’s no conflict’. My reaction was ‘Really? Let me introduce you to my mother!’ I loved and adored her but she was very rough on Emilio for the first 12 years of our marriage. She was the protective Cuban mum thinking ‘Gloria’s going off with a musician, is he marrying her for her or for her voice?’ The book that Alex has done is spectacular. Of course once a director gets involved they shape things, but Alex is a phenomenal writer and we’re lucky that we hired him before he won the Oscar [for Birdman]. As well as scheduling issues, he’d have been way more expensive!”
And what’s the most poignant song in the show for you? “Most definitely the one I co-wrote with my daughter Emily called If I Never Got To Tell You, which in the play is when my mother comes to visit me in hospital after the tour bus accident. My daughter couldn’t be in the show because she hadn’t been born during the timeframe. I tried to wedge her in there somewhere in any possible way and then she ended up being in it in a very natural, beautiful way through the only original song written specifically for it. It’s a very poignant song because it’s my mum telling me the things she wished she’d told me. She hadn’t spoken to me for two years after I took my sister on the road with me. She’d been punishing me for that.” Have you changed any of the songs? “I’ve done a lot of layers and added new things to old material. With Mi Tierra I’ve done some English language ad-libs because I don’t want to lose the non-Spanish-speaking audience. I want them to know what’s being sung because it’s advancing the story. I also rewrote some words for a song called Famous because of where it comes in the narrative.”
Is it strange seeing yourself played by someone else? “It was weird at the beginning, I’ve gotta say, but it’s an early version of me so it’s cool. And I’d never say ‘Hey, do it this way’, I just give as much backstory as I can rather than have someone try to clone me. I’m probably the worst judge of who I am because I’m inside myself, not on the outside looking in, and so I don’t know how I come off to other people.”
Have you learned anything about, say, your habits and quirks from watching it? “Not really because they whisk through it so fast they don’t have time for habits. What’s impressive to me is how much love and devotion anyone who has played me in the show so far has put into
You have a huge LGBTQ following. Have you encountered any drag queen Glorias over the years? “Of course! I love them. They’re far more fabulous than I ever could be and far more out-there. The other day in Miami a friend of mine had her bridal shower at a drag brunch. When we walked in the
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drag queen who was headlining went ‘Oh my God, the patron saint of drag queens has just walked through the door’. That’s one of my favourite introductions ever. We ended up doing the Conga with them and it was a blast.”
it. Then we wanted to release Words Get In The Way and they went ‘But it’s a ballad!’ But we thought ‘If we don’t take this risk now we’re gonna be locked into this dance thing’. After that song become huge it freed us up but yes, every time you create something you can’t let it paralyse you. You have to move forward.”
When did you first get hooked on music? “I was just four or five years old. I was actually quite shy but music was my love and it would transport me. The old Cuban standards were always playing in our house and I sang as soon as I could talk. Music was big in our household. My mother performed in school shows and she won a contest to do the Spanish dubbing for Shirley Temple’s films, but her father wanted her to pursue an academic career instead. And my own father had two brothers who sang and played guitar. So I guess music was in the gene pool. Then I started listening to the British Invasion. I remember pulling into a laundromat parking lot with my mother and hearing Ferry Cross The Mersey. My hair stood on end and I didn’t want to get out of the car, I was so enraptured. That song really is like a Bolero in its rhythm. British bands were listening to a lot of Latin music and The Beatles recorded Besame Mucho. All that mixing of sounds had a huge impact on me and I had all this musical vocabulary to draw from.”
When putting together On Your Feet! how tough was it for you to revisit the 1990 bus crash that could have ended your career? “It’s strange because I remember more the aftermath than the actual crash. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have also been involved in accidents and they agree there must be some mechanism in our brains or our spirits where you remember before and after but you don’t remember the actual moment of impact. I was awake for it and afterwards, as I lay on the floor, I was in so much pain I was praying I’d faint but I never did. I remember everything except the actual breaking of my back.” What got you through the painful process of rehabilitation? “I grew up taking care of my wheelchair-bound father so I knew what my family might have to face with me. I didn’t care about getting back on stage. I just wanted to be independent and walk again. I said ‘OK, if I end up in a chair I’ll figure out a way to deal with it but I am gonna fight my hardest for that not to happen’. Then I started getting all these letters from people. They kept throwing the song Get On Your Feet back in my face and I said to Emilio ‘I never did this for the fame so what if this is the sole reason I became famous? What if I have the opportunity through my perseverance to somehow inspire people?’ I rehabbed like six or seven hours a day, first in the pool because I couldn’t walk, and I had biofeedback - attaching electrodes to the muscles so they wouldn’t die.”
You met and began working with Emilio in 1975. Did you know back then you were on to a winning thing? “I’m a bit psychic and early on I remember telling Emilio ‘I think we’re gonna be famous and I think we’re gonna be famous all over the world’. I believed so strongly in the music and I didn’t know how it was going to happen but I just knew something was gonna happen.”
As you say, Conga is one of the high points of On Your Feet! When you released it in 1985 did you realise it’d be such a huge hit? “Yes, I did. It was written when we were travelling from Holland to England as part of the Dr Beat promotional tour and when we got home we began performing it in our live shows even before we’d recorded it. People were reacting to it as if it was already a hit so we knew we were onto something. Funny thing is, it didn’t do well in the UK because Black Lace’s Do The Conga came out before our song did.”
How did it feel when you first performed on stage again? “Oh my god, it was euphoric. It was how I imagine climbing Mount Everest would feel. I had overcome so many obstacles and I’d worked so hard. It was just amazing.”
Now with your story being retold on stage, have people mentioned to you about how it has inspired them? “They have and it’s wonderful. There was a man who ran a company with 20 employees. He told me: ‘My wife took me to your show on a Broadway weekend and I went along reluctantly because it was the fifth show and I was Broadway-ed out. But because of your show I now have a 60-person company because I’d given up on my dreams of making it bigger, then seeing it really inspired me.’ Another person wanted to start a swim programme for special needs students but they’d never gotten around to it, thinking ‘This is never gonna happen’. Then they started it after seeing the show and it’s been incredibly successful.”
What prompted the decision to go from Miami Sound Machine to Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, then just Gloria Estefan? “That was Emilio’s idea. I didn’t want him to add my name to the band because we were successful and I was happy with my bandmates, nor did I want it to be just ‘Gloria Estefan’. But he was like ‘People are identifying with you, they think you’re beautiful and sexy, they need to know your name’.”
‘On Your Feet’ runs at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday 11th February - Saturday 15th February 2020. Tickets are available from www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes
It sounds like he doesn’t have a big ego? “Exactly. That’s why we’ve been able to have a successful marriage and a successful career. He does what’s best for the artist and that’s why people love working with him. With a lot of producers you have to get past their ego but he finds what’s special about them, he finds amazing music and then he makes it happen for them. He doesn’t need the accolades.”
How was it being hailed as a 1980s sex symbol? “That was tough for me. I never hid the fact I was married and had a kid [son Nayib] and growing up I never felt sexy at all. But I learned to embrace what people felt was sexy and that seemed to stem from allowing people to see who I was and how music made me feel. I think that’s a sexy thing, when someone is confident and you can tell they believe in what they’re doing.”
The show illustrates just how varied your music has been… “That was always the intention. The tricky thing is that the business wants you to continue with more of the same. Our biggest challenge when we put out Conga and it was so massive was that we wanted to release Bad Boy second and the record company went ‘But it sounds completely different’. We went ‘Exactly’ and talked them into
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STARS Manish Kumar Arora (K.P. Astrologer, Numerologist, Tarot Card Reader & Vastu Consultant) reveals whatâ€™s in store for you this month
Capricorn (22 December â€“ 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 Colours: 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 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
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: Jan uary1, 2, 10, 11, 19, 20 Favourable Colours: Yellow & Red
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Weekend Starts Here....
The Guardians by John Grisham He was framed for murder. Now he needs a miracle. 22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy's divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy's car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial. The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison. Finally, after 22 years, comes Quincy's one and only chance of freedom. An innocence lawyer and minister, Cullen Post, takes on his case. Post has exonerated eight men in the last ten years. He intends to make Quincy the next. But there were powerful and ruthless people behind Russo's murder. They prefer that an innocent man dies in jail rather than one of them. There's one way to guarantee that. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they'll kill another without a second thought.
Bad Boys for Life
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return for the third instalment in the Bad Boys trilogy. Marcus Burnett is now a police inspector and Mike Lowery is in a midlife crisis. They unite again when an Albanian mercenary, whose brother they killed, promises them an important bonus. Release Date: 17th January
Downton Abbey The Movie
The beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for the most important moment of their lives. A Royal visit from the King and Queen of England soon unleashes scandal, romance and intrigue - leaving the future of Downton hanging in the balance. Release Date: 27th January
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www.affinitymag.co.uk AFFINITY LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
A Stay at the Swish Sunborn London A gleaming moored ship offers a very different night’s stay in the capital
NEW YEAR, NEW FASHION
Fabulous fashion to start the season
This year’s Pantone Colour of the year creates a beautiful hue in any home
January is Veganuary
Our favourite Vegan beauty products are perfect to try in celebration of this month
'On Your Feet' with Gloria Estefan
Single, Sassy & Savvy
6 Reasons Why Staying Single Is Good For Your Health
Affinity is a premium quality luxury lifestyle monthly magazine. Targeting men and women who aspire to a luxury way of life.
Published on Dec 31, 2019
Affinity is a premium quality luxury lifestyle monthly magazine. Targeting men and women who aspire to a luxury way of life.