DENIM DAYS MARCH 2023 closeupuk.com All in the Details Don’t get married without us! Get your spring wardrobe ready A-List BEAUTY OH HEY, SHAY! The rise of the cheekbones How TRAUMA could be affecting your current relationships The making of a model mum Celebrating Mother’s Day with Tonia Buxton MOTHER Figure
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Northaw Dining & Cocktail Bar Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday 12 till late 1 Judges Hill, Northaw, Potters Bar EN6 4NL Tel: 01707 802104 or 07960 895479 www.judges-restaurant.com @judgesnorthaw @judges_restaurant
With International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, and Mother’s Day on the 19th, in this issue we celebrate leading ladies.
And who better to praise at the highest level than Shay Mitchell. The actress and entrepreneur is no stranger to multitasking—having balanced glittering television roles such as Pretty Little Liars, Netflix thriller You and comedy, Dollface, with running a thriving, multimillion dollar travel and accessories lifestyle brand, BÉIS and being a fabulous mum to her daughters Atlas and Rome. Speaking of motherhood Shay says, “It’s critical, as women, that we speak about our experiences openly and honestly. The more and more we come out to raise each other up, the more powerful we’ll become. Each of us has a story that will help another woman feel less alone. The worst thing is to feel isolated as it makes anything we’re trying to deal with or heal from that much more difficult.”
Continuing on our journey of leaders, even though one day a year really isn’t enough to honour one of the most important people in your life, Mother’s Day is an excellent opportunity to express your gratitude and carve out quality time with the person
who raised you. No matter how near or far, this month’s edition includes a plethora of restaurants, gifts, ideas and days out to celebrate your mum, grandmother, motherfigure and dad-mums the way they deserve.
Brides to be… the day might be yours but don’t begin planning the journey without us! This month we are featuring another jam-packed wedding supplement. If you have just got engaged and are entering the “white zone” for the first time, then you are in for a treat! We have had so much fun sourcing all the latest ideas and bridal buys to help with planning your big day and are thrilled to bring you this edition. We hope you love our special issue and the journey to ensuring your wedding day will be one of the most special and memorable days of your lives.
To all of our leading ladies, we appreciate you, we value you, and we aspire to be you.
Southgate, Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill, Grange Park, Enfield, Oakwood, Hampden Square, Cockfosters, Crouch End, Hadley Wood, Barnet, Totteridge, Whetstone, Finchley, Muswell Hill and Potters Bar. Advertise Your Business With Style Publisher and Editor Leah Shakallis firstname.lastname@example.org Field Sales Assistant Elena Pedonomou email@example.com Accounts Director Chris Papacosta firstname.lastname@example.org Careers email@example.com Blog Katerina Georgiou Education Anna Pericleous Big Mouth firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE NOTE: Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Although we make every effort to quote correct prices of items featured, it is possible that these may have changed on going to press. Although we endeavour to ensure any organisations or firms mentioned are reputable, the editor cannot guarantee they will fulfil obligations in all circumstances. Neither the editor nor the publisher can accept responsibility for any materials submitted, whether photographic or otherwise. The editor reserves the right to edit any materials supplied as she sees fit. RECYCLE Printed by the Magazine Printing Company PLC www.magprint.co.uk Tel 020 8323 2444 Email email@example.com Web www.closeupuk.com If you would like to advertise your business with style, contact 020 8323 2444 firstname.lastname@example.org Leah x EDITOR email@example.com EDITOR'S LETTER MOTHER Figure Mother's Day Guide Page 42 Travel Page 66 Netflix Page 68 This month in Follow us on Instagram @closeupmagazineuk Facebook @closeupmagazineuk and Twitter @CloseUpMag Fashion Page 14 Living Page 40 Food Page 56 Wedding Supplement Page 28 4 • CLOSEUP
www.mauritiusfestival.com For tickets and information please visit: Trent Park, Cockfosters Road, Enfield, Barnet, London , EN4 0JY Nearest station: Cockfosters (Piccadilly Line)
Close Up’s monthly guide to what you should be wishing for…
LIGHT IT UP
Nights in at home just got better. Look forward to some downtime with a book in hand with this retro table lamp adding a retro cool design to your living space.
Braxton table lamp, £69 www.cultfurniture.com
GET READY WITH ME
Ideal for being on-the-go, this hasslefree vanity bag opens out into a tray in seconds, perfect for storing your cosmetics! It also offers optimal vision, showcasing your kit with no need to rummage.
The Flat Lay Co. Open Flat Box Bag, £21.99 www.lookfantastic.com
BLAZE ’N’ BLITZ
This indispensable kitchen companion makes light work of everyday tasks. From mixing dips and dressings, to chopping onions and pureeing sauces, this powerful tool is a must have for every kitchen cupboard.
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro, £60 www.cuisinart.co.uk
A SENSE OF SUMMER
Summer came earlier than expected with this aromatic delight. Filling your home with sweet aromas, this fresh linen scented candle evokes the scent of crisp linen hanging on a washing-line in the peak of summer!
Country & Cove, £13.95 www.countryandcove.co.uk
THAT’S A WRAP
Blanket scarf, travel-wrap, pashmina… call it what you will but this huge wrap will be your favourite accessory the whole year round. Pair with anything from jeans to workwear or as a cover-up over your gym kit!
Giant Wrap Pashmina, £64 www.tollymcrae.co.uk
HAIR TO HELP
Combining the best of heat styling and drying technologies, this multitasking tool transforms wet hair into sleek styles, while minimising the risk of breakage, and heat damage.
GHD Duet Style Hot Air Styler, £379 www.ghd.com
Filled with useful contents and inspiring quotes to help you move through the year with a greater sense of clarity and purpose, this personalised planner encourages productivity and selfkindness, and above all, organisation!
Personalised My Organised Life Planner, £37.95 www.marthabrook.com
A scent for every moment of the day. Easy to slip into your bag and perfect for on the go spritzing, this genius beauty product is a must have for everyone’s wishlist.
COCO MADEMOISELLE Hair Perfume, £57 www.chanel.com
Escape to a luxurious, Neroliscented oasis from the comfort of your very own tub with this beautiful nourishing Bath Pod and Orange Blossom Neroli Mini Candle bath duo. The Bath Duo, £45 www.uk.glossier.com
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COVER INTERVIEW 8 • CLOSEUP
On motherhood and life beyond Pretty Little Liars
Shay Mitchell is a woman of many talents. Since she was a child, she had an inclination toward performing arts. She also talked to her parents about her desire to become an artist. She began her career as a model and dancer. Over the years, Mitchell has emerged as a renowned actress, author, and entrepreneur. She rose to fame as Emily Fields in the hit series “Pretty Little Liars.” Let’s jump in and learn more about her.
Shays first acting stint took place in 2009 when she made a cameo appearance in “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” That same year, she appeared in a music video for singer Sean Paul. Thereafter, she soon got her big break and was cast in “Pretty Little Liars” as Emily Fields. The actress garnered praise and widespread recognition for her performance on the show, with many commending the characterization Mitchell applied to the role. She also went on to earn numerous accolades for her work. She made her debut in feature films in 2016 with the movie “Dreamland.” In 2018, she played Peach Salinger in the hit thriller series “You.”
Speaking of the hit Netflix show in an interview, Shay was asked, ‘What’s a show you guest starred on that you would’ve loved to return to?’ ‘I love You - I had the most fun playing Peach. That whole ensemble of amazing actors and people that they put together on that show, I will never not speak highly about, because it was one of the best experiences,” Mitchell told PEOPLE. “I can’t say enough good things about Penn Badgley, he’s incredible as a person, but also just such a great actor, and has brought that show to life.”
“I HAD THE MOST FUN PLAYING PEACH. That whole ensemble of amazing actors and people THAT THEY PUT TOGETHER ON THAT SHOW, I will never not speak highly about”
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Having welcomed her second child—a baby girl named Rome—with long-time partner Matte Babel earlier this year, the 35-year-old shared her thoughts on mental health and what she wishes more people would speak about during pregnancy, Shay says, “I think the first time around, it was super important for me to talk about prepartum depression. I hadn’t heard much about it, which is why I kind of went on a whole thing speaking about my experience. I wanted people to feel like they weren’t “crazy,” like they weren’t alone if they weren’t feeling like a glorious goddess during their pregnancy. It’s okay to actually not feel amazing. That doesn’t mean that you’re not grateful to be pregnant. But there were also times where I was like, this is shitty. And that’s okay! We don’t all have to be pregnant, glowing goddesses the whole entire time.”
Motherhood and fame can be pretty heavy to take on all at the same time, Mitchell discusses what she found most challenging during her pregnancy whilst also being in the public eye, she says, “Coming across a negative comment or two. I mean, it’s just more annoying. Because I know that if I’m getting that, then other people are, too. I can take it; I don’t really care. I think when I turned 30, I sort of stopped caring. As long as things feel right to me, and I can look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day, I’m good. Everything you do is going to be criticized, and you’ll be criticized 10 times more when you’re a mother. We’ve all got to just do what feels right. We’re all doing the best that we can, and that’s all you can focus on.
Shay and partner Matte are both of mixed heritages, and have both spoken about the importance of raising children to be connected with all of their cultures — so,
how have they approached this with their daughter, Atlas, so far? “We love to watch different shows that speak about it. I think it’s important for her to see characters that look like her and ones that don’t look like her. I feel like there’s a lot more that’s out there now in terms of content for children, which is awesome. Her favourite movie right now is Coco — we watch it in Spanish, and it’s really cool. I think also having our families share our traditions with her as well, even just food… She loves sushi. She loves Ethiopian food. Just exposing her to as many different cultures as possible is super important.”
“Right now, pancit is [Atlas’s] favourite food. I like seeing her enjoy that as much as I do. We also have my aunts come to the house and make lumpia, and it’s fun to be able to see her with her cousins and experiencing that. Truthfully, you can’t really pinpoint what she looks like or what her ethnicity is — she has bright eyes, a little fairer of a complexion than me or [my partner] Matte, and lighter hair.”
Fans have been hooked on the mysteries surrounding Pretty Little Liars since its June 2010 premiere. From 2010 to 2017, viewers tuned in to see what twists and turns awaited the Liars, after their mutual friend Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) went missing and threw her remaining friends’ lives into a tailspin. The trouble began when a mysterious bully called “A” began threatening to release the girls’ secrets to the world. Brainiac Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario), athlete Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell), shy girl turned popular teen Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) and artsy Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) teamed up for seven seasons to try and figure out who “A” was and how they were related to Alison’s disappearance.
Based on the Sara Shepard book series, the teens faced murderers and blackmailers while also navigating the hardships of high school in the small fictional town of Rosewood. Speaking of her time filming Pretty Little Liars, Shay says, “I remember I’d actually have to dig my nail into my skin to stop myself from laughing when the cameras started rolling, because one of us would do something stupid. It was just, it was so fun. And I think that that time for all of us just fit so perfectly. We shot it in our 20s — I don’t know if I could do that again in my 30’s. It was such a beautiful time.
Mitchell’s PLT character Emily was one of the first queer Southeast Asian characters on TV. “It wasn’t over-thought, you know? I played a similar character in Dollface who also had relationships with women. People are like, “So, do you just pick characters that are lesbians?” And I’m like, “No, I pick characters with great stories.” Their sexuality is an afterthought [to me]. Like, do we question when other actors are playing straight characters? No. So, what does it matter? I may play a character that has the interest in the same sex for the rest of my life. I don’t know. But that’s never a deterrent for me.
10 COVER INTERVIEW
“I WANTED PEOPLE TO FEEL LIKE THEY weren’t “crazy,” like they weren’t alone IF THEY WEREN’T FEELING LIKE A GLORIOUS GODDESS DURING THEIR PREGNANCY.”
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Oh so TOTES
Is there anything more versatile than a tote bag? Whether you’re heading to the shops, throwing in your laptop to go to the office or packing your gym kit for a workout session, there’s room for everything you need, plus extra handy pockets to store your valuables.
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FASHION Routine Tote Bag Bo+Tee £25 Oversized Tote Bag TkMaxx
Jute-Bled Shopper H&M £24.99
Shopper Tote Bag
£29 Marc Jacobs Medium Traveller Tote Fenwick £200
Daniella and Webbing Tote Bag Reiss £158
Mock Croc Tote Bag Zara £32.99
Cotton Canvas Shopper H&M £14.99
Black and White Athletic Club Bag New Look £15.99
They say fashion trends are cyclical, but if there’s one fashion item with the most chaotic cycle we’ve ever seen, it’s got to be denim. And for something that never goes out of style, we have collected a range of all things denim. From accessories to must have staples, there is something for every wardrobe.
Blue Denim Plait Pocket Jacket Oliver Bonas £75
Denim Corset Top H&M £20
Denim Bucket Hat Monsoon POA
Rhinestone Denim Corset Maniére De Voir £49.99
501 Cropped Jeans Levi £100
Denim Dress TkMaxx £10
Midwash Denim Floral Tu £22
High Heel Denim Ankle Boots Zara £59.99
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1dr Denim Shoulder Bag Diesel £250
An interview with: Faye Winter
We caught up with Love Island’s Faye Winter on philanthropy, being back on our TV screens, and the latest winter Love Island series.
1. Congratulations on becoming a campaign star for Guide Dogs! Is this something that’s close to your heart?
Thank you – I love being a campaign star for Guide Dogs! I volunteered full time with the Guide Dog prior to Love Island so it only made sense to continue when I came out of the villa. All the work they do is so close to my heart so I’m pleased to be able to give back to such a great charity.
2. Can you tell us a bit about the partnership and the projects you’re currently working on?
I have a few things I’m working on which I can’t wait for you all to see. I’m really excited about some of the amazing work I’m involved with for Guide Dogs and Crufts at the moment, which I’m excited for you all to be involved with as well. I’m hoping to do more with property this year, which of course I’ll be sharing on my home page on Instagram.
3. We can see that sustainable fashion and charitable causes are important to you, is there anything specific you’re working on to raise awareness?
I think my work with Guide Dogs shows this. Its been amazing that when I have done work with brands, I’ve been able to donate money to the charity on the back of and I’m now having a puppy named after me – which is so special when I know its going to change someones life. I volunteer as a ‘guide dog mum’ where dogs of all ages come and stay with me whilst their familes can’t look after them.
I’ve also recently been apart of an ITV documentary speaking on botox and filler and the importance of getting this done safely which has been a really important cause for me. I really want to continue to raise awareness around this subject and make sure everyone is getting the work done safely.
4. What has been your greatest achievement so far since leaving the Love Island villa?
Becoming a dog mum haha! I’ve been lucky enough to achieve some fantastic things since leaving the villa and its been great to work with some amazing charities and brands and I’m always proud of the all the charity work I do, but being mum to Bonnie is my fave.
5. Are you caught up with the most recent Love Island episodes? What were your first impressions of the new contestants?
Yes I am, I’m such a huge fan of this season. I think Casa Amor has come at a great time, and has really highlighted which couples are strong. The time away always causes drama so I’m ready to watch it all play out!
6. What advice would you give to the latest islanders?
Do you and be yourself! I think its very hard not to get caught up in the villa and not be your true self so I always tell people to do whats right for you and not to worry about what other people are saying or doing. But also just enjoy it, the time flys in there and you’re so lucky to be apart of it all so enjoy!
7. 2022 has been an amazing year for you, what are your goals for 2023? Will we see you on our screens again any time soon?
I’m super excited for 2023. I’ve been working on a few things that will be coming your way so you’ll have to keep an eye out for that! But I’m excited for this next chapter and to see what it brings.
“I’VE BEEN lucky ENOUGH TO achieve some fantastic things SINCE LEAVING THE VILLA AND IT’S BEEN GREAT TO WORK WITH SOME amazing charities and brands.”
The Mums Wish List
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MRL Mums Style
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Make me BLUSH
From blush contouring and sunburn blush, to using liquid formulas to brighten the under eyes, blush has had a major rebrand and comeback story over the last year or so — and Allison Kaye, a pro makeup artist who works with mega influencers like Jasmine Sanders and Sophia Culpo, says the trend will show no signs of slowing come spring: “Vibrant pink blush all over our the cheek bones, blended into the eyelids and swept over the nose is a poppy look for spring. My favourites are the Dior Rosy Glow Blushes.”
BEAUTY Backstage Rosy Glow Dior £31 Matte Beauty Blush Wand Charlotte Tilbury £30 Cream Blush Refy £14 Creme and Powder Blush Duo PATRICK TA £30 Soft Pop Powder Blush Make Up By Mario £28 Glowish Cheeky Vegan Blush Powder Huda Beauty £19 Cloud Paint Glossier £29.95 On-theGlow Blush PIXI £18 Blursh Liquid Blusher Made by Mitchell £14 18 • CLOSEUP
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What’s Trending IN
HEALTH & WELLBEING
After relentless lockdowns, numerous Covid variants and travel restrictions, the world finally opened up again, with in-person classes, holidays, and life as we knew it pre-pandemic back with a bang. Gym classes soared in popularity, as did running events like the London Marathon - app Strava saw an 122% increase in users completing marathons last year. Sea moss trended on Tiktok, menopause finally became mainstream. So, what does 2023 have in store for the world of wellbeing?
You might have thought low-impact workout Pilates has already had its moment, but it looks set to be even bigger this year. Even Harry Styles is a fan, with stars including Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Aniston and Kendall Jenner all swearing by one particular type, Reformer, which sees you carry out the workout on a Reformer bench.
New stats from Health and Fitness Education England, one of the leading training boards for personal trainers and instructors in the UK, found 70% of people would choose Pilates over yoga, most citing its potential for muscle toning, strength building and flexibility training as their main reasoning.
Hollie Grant, founder of Pilates PT, predicts that it’ll only continue to soar in popularity this year, largely because it can be done at home, but also because it’s low-impact (great for anyone with injuries or looking to reduce stress through the body) while building strength and improving posture.
Ever heard of sound therapy? If you haven’t, you will have by the end of 2023. It’s an ancient healing practice that’s been used for centuries across different cultures to both destress and relax. How? Well, by playing low-frequency sounds, which have been linked to brain relaxation (higher frequencies are thought to encourage focus).
Now more than ever, Brits are looking for ways to relax and switch off from everyday life, with search for music therapy gradually on the rise. Studios are taking this into account, with David Lloyd Clubs recently launching what they’re calling the UK’s first soundwave therapy class, “Binaural Beats.” Taking place in specially designed meditation rooms, participants have the option to choose from a number of tracks using different frequencies depending on whether they’re feeling anxious, tired, or fatigued.
We’ve already seen a huge shift in attitudes towards drinking over the past few years, with the number of people going teetotal on the rise and 2020 stats showing a quarter of the UK doesn’t drink. Trending Tiktok hashtags “damp lifestyle” and “sober curious” - both of which have millions of posts detailing how to enjoy alcohol more mindfully - only further prove that millennials and Gen Z’s are moving away from the previous binge drinking norm.
As Professor Kinane expands, drinking in moderation comes into focus during Dry January but will continue to boom this year, with restaurants and bars going out of their way to offer alcohol-free alternatives.
A SHIFT AWAY FROM Screen-Time
It might shock you to learn that a recent study by Leeds University found that screen time in the UK now sits at an average of 11 hours per day. Yep - that’s nearly half the day. Screens can negatively impact your health in a number of ways, from poor posture to eye problems, which is why 2023 will see an increase in the rise of digital detoxes and a shift away from the “constantly on” mentality.
Unplugged, a company that runs digital detox retreats around London and Manchester, has grown in size 1500% since it first opened in 2020 due to an increasing demand. Hector Hughes, one of the co-founders, reckons people will continue to decrease their screen time in 2023, as well as realise the many benefits being outside in nature can have on their wellbeing. “We’re all becoming more aware of our screen time and the damage associated with being on our phones for endless hours of the day. More studies are being published about screen time, more celebrities are quitting social mediaeven iPhone sends you notifications now to help you monitor your weekly app usage.”
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CLOSEUP • 21
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Stay one step ahead of hayfever
For many the warmer weather will come as welcome relief,
Generally speaking, allergy can be described as an excessive immune response to an otherwise harmless substance. With hayfever we are of course talking pollen. The immune system identifies pollen as dangerous, and produces an antibody called IgE, which triggers the production of histamine. Histamine is an inflammatory chemical that causes an array of unpleasant symptoms: running nose and eyes, itching and burning in the throat, nose and eyes, puffiness, swelling and excess mucus.
Hayfever can strike as early as February or as late as September, but there are a number of measures you can take to stay one step ahead of your pollen-shaped foe.
Reduce your toxic load
Ditch the junk food, eat fresh instead, incorporating lots of fruit and veg, nuts, seeds and wholegrains, and drink plenty of water to keep your bowel moving daily; keep your caffeine and alcohol intake low and avoid nicotine. If you live in a trafficheavy area, regular detoxes to keep your system clear will help.
Say no to the sweet stuff
If you suffer with any type of allergy, hayfever included, you’re more likely to have wobbly blood sugar and be sensitive to refined sugar. Sugar can trigger surges and drops in blood sugar levels that cause adrenalin production to kick in, which involves the production of histamine - just what you don’t want.
Whilst scientists are still trying to figure out the exact relationship between sleep and the immune system, studies show that sleep helps to shift the balance of anti-inflammatory proteins so that the immune system can recognise and respond better to bugs and allergens, which may help to reduce the severity of hayfever symptoms.
Plant remedies can help
Approximately two weeks before your usual symptoms kick in, take Luffa operculata twice daily. Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets
(£11.99 from A.Vogel) contain seven tropical herbs, including Luffa operculata and Galphimia glauca, to help with allergy to grass and tree pollen. They are non-drowsy and will not affect your ability to drive or use machinery. A nasal spray is also available for immediate relief, and for red, burning, itchy eyes, try Pollinosan Hayfever Eye Drops.
Do your homework
Finally, stay up to date with the latest pollen information in your local area by checking your 5-day pollen forecast. Simply log onto avogel.co.uk and type in ‘pollen forecast’ for an up-to-date 5-day pollen forecast tailored to your local area.
Natural antiinflammatory eye gel for sore hay fever eyes
Hydrosil Dry Eye Gel has been tested on allergy sufferers and developed to be an extremely gentle and light formulation suitable for very sensitive, itchy, inflamed and dry skin around the eye.
Hydrosil Dry Eye Gel
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Available from hydrosil.co.uk
but if you’re one of the 20% of people in the UK affected by hayfever, you won’t want to hang up your hanky just yet.
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THE CURSE OF THE HYPER I ND EPENDENT WOMAN
I am an independent woman, I don’t need no man, but I’d really like one, but I don’t, but I do.
I jinxed myself last month when I said I wouldn’t be writing anything with a modicum of emotion. The upside is that it’s not about unrequited love. I have not given my mind, body, and soul to anyone whose chucked it back in my face and left me in the cold like the 2014 phenomenon of the ice bucket challenge. In fact, it’s the polar opposite. I have left myself with too many options and none which satisfy what I’m looking for.
I have set my standards so high now that it’s become an impossible reach for any normal man and it probably just gives me yet another excuse not to get into a relationship. I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking, what on earth is this banshee crying over now? She has options. She’s just too picky. Settle for something that’s not quite perfect and get on with it. Sigh. I wish it were that simple. When you have been “single” for as long as I have, your brain flips a switch and what you once tolerated, you cannot anymore. I want peace, not problems. And life is peaceful when you’re the purveyor of your own happiness. Why would I settle for someone who doesn’t interest me, or stimulate me on an even keel, or even more than what I do for myself? Why would I want to let someone in who will, at some point, let me down and leave me disappointed? I’d rather have the whole bed to myself and live life with no one to disappoint me.
And this is the curse of the hyper independent woman. Cue the newest buzzword on the scene. HYPER INDEPENDENCE. Let’s dig deeper into this. By definition, according to the Newport Institute, hyper independence, is a stress response that causes people to feel they must make decisions and accomplish things without the support of others.
Hyper independence is a trauma response. There it is. We’ve just unlocked yet another trauma response after I’ve just managed to overcome another one. It’s a funny thing when you consciously take the time out to understand who you are and how your brain ticks in reaction to the world you live in. The chances are, you will go to hell and back before you heal. And even when you think you’ve healed, you haven’t. You double back into the demon pit to then pull yourself out of it again… and being hyper independent, no doubt, you’ll go it alone. This hit me like a bolt out of the blue. I’m casually minding my own business on a Friday evening. I have half voluntarily stayed at home to relax and also half peeved that the guy I am currently speaking to, but not overly interested in, hasn’t suggested meeting up tonight. I’m a bit on the moody side. My friends are all busy tonight and I’ve ordered my 3000th Uber Eats for the week because I’m getting over yet another bout of COVID. I mean, who even gets COVID in 2023, it’s so retro. So, I’m recovering from sickness, eating garbage, gym is the name of a guy I’ve ghosted for a while, I’m
“WHY WOULD I WANT TO LET SOMEONE IN WHO WILL, AT SOME POINT, LET ME DOWN AND LEAVE ME DISAPPOINTED?”
26 • CLOSEUP
due on my period and I’m bored. This is a recipe for disaster. Now I’m in my feelings and overthinking.
This hasn’t happened in a while. It’s true when they say that healing isn’t linear and boy, were they right. My cheek is wet. Yes. It’s the tear that I promised myself I would not shed in 2023, but this isn’t from a new wound. It’s from an old one. The six year ex was in my thoughts, not because I missed him, god no, but it was a tidal wave of disappointment and sadness coming over me again.
He’s currently travelling with his new girlfriend and it reminded me that I could not even remember the last time I even woke up next to a man I felt deeply for, let alone get on a plane with (but I do know I definitely don’t want it to be him).
My heart sank. That in the year we have been apart, and they have been together, he did more for that woman than he ever did for me, and it hurt. They’ve travelled to multiple countries, they’ve integrated their lives, and they’re in love. I’m not and could not be further from that. In fact, I’ve hardened. Without even realising it, I’ve made sure I don’t get too close to anyone and I am uncompromising in terms of what I want. “I like what I like, I am who I am, they’re either going to like it or not, and I don’t care if they don’t” has now become my unswerving attitude whilst knowing that damn man does not exist on this green earth. And why do I do it? I know this one!! Because I’m scared to be let down and hurt again. At the very core of who I am; I love, and I love deep and for me to give myself to someone in that way and for it not to be reciprocated, would hurt me deeply, and I don’t know if I can go through that pain again. It was six years of anguish.
This is deep. This stems from an inconsistent relationship with my mum. Ahh, the adage of childhood trauma still rearing its ugly head 30 years on. This month I’ve decided to highlight some of the tell-tale signs of hyper independence so you can assess if this could be you.
1. Doing everything yourself and having a hard time asking for help. I hate to ask for help. I don’t want to feel as though I am burdening anyone else so I will do everything myself, to my own detriment. I was always made to feel as though I was annoying and asked for too much (thanks mum and ex!) so I just go it alone.
2. Rejecting help when offered. I nearly threw up when one of my closest friends offered to help me with something recently. I really needed that help, but I’d rather stick a chilli pepper in my eye than take money off anyone for anything. That’s not a normal response to offered help!
3. Lack of trust. This is a given, can you blame me for not trusting anyone else? I continuously believe everyone will disappoint, so I save myself the heartache. I don’t ask for anything, so you can’t disappoint me.
4. Being an overachiever or a workaholic. Both absolutely apply to me. I have an intense career and I have made sure that any moment I have spare it’s going to the gym or working on Big Mouth. Of course, I make time for my friends and family, but I really have made it very difficult to incorporate dating or relationships into any part of my life… I wonder why! What I can’t do, won’t hurt me! The less time I have to think, the better.
Now I’m not saying all must apply for this to relate to you, but if you can recognise a few of the above in yourself, you could be a hyper independent person. I’m also not saying I don’t want a relationship with someone, I would love one in fact. But not to the detriment of my peace and happiness. And this is where I need to be more realistic.
I need to stop letting my fear of being hurt and disappointed occasionally get in the way of what could be a fulfilling and loving long term relationship. I must break boundaries and start picking the right people, not emotional unavailable men. Picking the wrong types of men is a protection mechanism because I know they will inevitably disappoint me; but I won’t let them in too close to do that.
To try and live in a perpetual state of happiness is impossible. Life has its ups and downs and to be emotionally intelligent is to navigate both; to learn from the lows and to appreciate the highs. And that’s what makes life so beautiful.
Big Mouth xx
“I NEED TO STOP LETTING MY FEAR OF BEING HURT AND DISAPPOINTED OCCASIONALLY GET IN THE WAY OF WHAT COULD BE A FULFILLING AND LOVING LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP.”
Elie Saab SS23
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Prom & Party Dresses For Tweens & Teens
Silhouette London opened its doors 10 years ago when its owner Michelle realised that there was a huge gap in the UK market for girls aged 8-16 who had an occasion and wanted to dress up!
Michelle has created a fun, luxury environment for girls to find their perfect Prom or Party dress. Over the years, it has won multiple awards and operates both online and from a boutique in Harrow, Greater London. It boasts a huge range of designers that cater perfectly for tweens and teens and has now even launched its own range of tween party dresses under their new brand, Sass & Sparkle.
The aim is for every young girl to have that “Say Yes to the Dress” moment with a huge choice of Prom & Party dresses at every price point and Silhouette’s signature one to one personal shopping appointments.
“We want every customer to leave with the dress of their dreams that they can’t wait to wear and that their mums will love…”
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Live Illustration at a wedding is an upcoming form of entertainment to introduce to your wedding day, add your entertainment package and your keepsake and wedding favour into one, guests get to have a photo taken, watch if preferred or go and enjoy the day or evening to return to a hand-painted illustration for your guests to take home.
Hand paint your wedding Venue using my own unique style of watercolour art and turn this into your own bespoke wedding invitations, featuring quirky hand painted calligraphy.
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THE PERFECT BRIDESMAID DRESSES
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‘I have become known as the TOWIE designer as I’ve dressed most of the cast for the show. Creating and making show stopping dresses for their events such as weddings and baby showers.’
Carrie is no stranger to filming having appeared on ITV & BBC showing behind the scenes of her business whilst dressing many clients and celebrities for reality shows and documentaries. From dressing stars for Strictly, Dancing on Ice, Coronation Street, Love Island, to music videos, red carpets, weddings and magazine covers, Rene K has dressed some of the most wellknown faces on your screen.
Carrie admits she isn’t phased when visited in the showroom by celebrities, ‘To be honest, I don’t get the chance to watch much TV, so the majority of the time I’m not familiar with their shows or work. It might sound ignorant but because I treat them just like any of our other lovely customers, they tend to appreciate my honest advice and confidence when suggesting what works for them and what doesn’t.’
‘The reason behind my entire business is to make women feel amazing in their clothes. Regardless of height, shape or size. Our clothing is made to measure, to ensure the perfect fit. I have, what the high-street classes as a ‘disproportionate’ figure, so I know the struggles that women face when trying to find clothes that fit when you’re a size 12, size 8 and size 16 all on the same body!’
With over 30 years sewing experience, Carrie is one of the leading experts in her industry. ‘Our bridal customers have increased dramatically in recent years with the amount of press we have had for the many celebrity weddings we have created bridesmaids and evening wedding dresses for. The traditional corset and chiffon styles of the past have made way for a modern, sexy and sleek silhouette, which is what we are known for. Our show stopping occasion wear has naturally evolved into our bridal collections that we create now’
Rene K Couture is the discerning bride’s choice when it comes to bridesmaids’ dresses. ‘We are unique in that we design, create and construct every item by hand in our in-house studios above our showrooms. We are a small team that are passionate about what we do and we care about every customer.’
Carrie admits that the word ‘couture’ can be off putting to some customers ‘Made to measure can sound scary but 95% of our orders are made remotely without ever seeing the customer. Our dedicated all-female team guide each customer through the process with easy-to-follow instructions and videos on how to take your own measurements for your order. Our experienced couturiers check each order and can instantly see if something doesn’t look quite right, which can be rectified quickly and their order can start to be cut and made’
‘Our service is very personal. It’s amazing to be a part of the process from initial concept to seeing our customers in their couture, beautifully fitting designs that reflect their individual personality and style.’ Their customers agree, with Rene K Couture being nominated for three bridal categories in the prestigious County Brides Bridal Awards. ‘It’s fantastic to be recognised not just by the bridal industry but by our amazing customers who have nominated us for our collections and exemplary service that we offer. I am beyond proud of what we have achieved so far and can’t wait to show what we have in store for the next few years’
Rene K is offering Close Up readers an exclusive 15% discount on all their collections site wide including their newly released bridal collection. Use code CLOSEUP15 @renekcouture • www.renek.co.uk • firstname.lastname@example.org
When the stars of television shows such as The Only Way is Essex want beautifully made clothes, they head to the rolling Lancashire hills above Barrowford to meet Carrie-Ann Kay, owner and chief designer of Rene K Couture.
38 • CLOSEUP TRAY BAKES | COOKIES | CUPCAKES | BROWNIES | CAKES @BAKES_BY_ANDREA
Come Celebrate Mother’s Day with Az-Ai
For the bride to be or just mama’s daughter this Mothers day, Az-Ai will mark the bond with love and strength…
Az-Ai meaning As I; A powerful statement for the Contemporary Individual.
We’re a contemporary ﬁne jewellery brand, specialising in precious stones. Incorporating the voice of change into luxury is an ethos that rests at the premise of each design.
We at Az-Ai bring our expertise as jewellery connoisseurs and help you to create a beautiful piece that marks a special moment or event in your life. At Az-Ai you brainstorm with us and create a piece that is unique to you. You create a piece that is timeless for you which can be passed down with YOUR ESSENCE through generations.
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Make Mother’s Day one to remember with this range of adorable gifts, from comfy home essentials to delicious chocolates, there is something for everyone.
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40 • CLOSEUP
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CLOSEUP • 41
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
TO THE PERFECT MOTHER’S DAY
Shower your mum with love this Mother’s Day with these charming days out to spoil the most important lady in your life. Including epic dining experiences, idyllic landscape gardens and relaxing luxury spa days.
AFTERNOON TEA THE LANGHAM
As the first place to serve afternoon tea in 1865, The Langham afternoon tea menu keeps close to tradition and celebrates all things British! With an emphasis on Tea, the current menu by Chef Michel Roux Jr and Executive Pastry Chef, Andrew Gravett includes a selection of pastries inspired by classic British biscuits and baked tarts designed to pair with the perfect tea. From the Digestive to a buttery Custard Cream, the team have put a luxuriously modern twist on the favourites.
From 1st March 2023, Afternoon Tea will be available at £75 per person
Enjoy feel-good musical Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre in London and find out why this show’s been running for more than 20 years on the West End stage. Just like the film of the same name, bride-to-be Sophie attempts to find her father so he can give her away at her wedding. She invites three possible candidates to the wedding on a mythical Greek island, with hilarious consequences – all set to a soundtrack of ABBA songs!
Since opening in 1999, more than eight million theatregoers to London’s West End have enjoyed the musical, and it’s also been turned into a blockbuster film with a sequel.
Enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation with this Luxury Restore Spa Day and Prosecco for Two at the 5* Athenaeum Hotel. A hidden gem tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Mayfair, the spa is the perfect place to escape.
The two of you can make the most of one hour’s access to the spa’s state-of-the-art facilities which include a large bubbling hot tub, sauna, steam room and a relaxation space. Elevate the relaxation further with two 30 minute treatments each.
With a glass of prosecco, this is a spa day that is guaranteed to leave the two of you feeling revitalised, rejuvenated and ready to face the world.
42 • CLOSEUP
Get Personal is all things Mental health. From pick-
As ancient as time, as ever-present as life, providing shelter and nourishment for others; always whole, always self-contained, Moss is one of the world's great wonders.
It can grow into something beautiful, despite of the past or present conditions. Its strong and instinctive force takes over to thrive in the strangest of circumstances. Gives breath and light even in the most desolated landscapes. It gives life and hope.
Moss is the symbol of maternal love. Like a mother's kiss, it has healing properties; like a mother's heart, it is nurturing of its surroundings; like a mother's love, it has no bound.
Happy Mother’s day from Lafloreria
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Parenting is more advanced and unique to each parent now more than ever. These celebrity parenting books offer researched advice, hilarious anecdotes and much more to support you through your parenting journey. Get ready for a roller-coaster of emotions as these celebs take you on a wild ride!
Mama You Got This
By Emma Bunton
Inside the pages: Mixing first-hand anecdote with expert guidance from midwives, a paediatric sleep consultant, and an NCT counseller, Emma Bunton’s accessible and light-hearted guide to surviving the first year of motherhood is an always reassuring and entertaining read. Mama You Got This, promises to be an honest and relatable book for new mums, sharing some of Emma’s own experiences whilst giving support to the readers without judgement.
By Alex Jones
Inside the pages:
Described as a “support group for parents who are having their children in their thirties and forties”, Winging It was written by Alex Jones in response to her experiences as a first-time mum at the age of 39. The One Show host shares anecdotes, tips and tricks from fellow parents as well as expert advice for parents who are having their children in their thirties and forties to get together, to celebrate, share experiences, laugh and find joy in what is still the biggest life changing experience any of us will ever go through.
By Michelle Obama
By Frankie Bridge
Letters on Motherhood
By Giovanna Fletcher
Inside the pages: Becoming isn’t an ode to motherhood per se, but in parts, it’s a memoir of motherhood which offers glimpses into how Obama wrestled with protecting her children as their lives became increasingly public. It also touches on the topic of work post-motherhood: Obama rethought the whole linear idea of life and career, something that happened as the result of two factors, meeting Barack (who wasn’t afraid to ‘swerve’) and becoming a mother.
Inside the pages: Frankie Bridge is set to detail how motherhood impacted her mental health in her second book, Grow. The Saturday’s singer said that while the book is inspired by her own experiences about her journey with her maternal mental health following the births of her two sons, Parker and Carter, it also features advice from psychiatrists, psychologists, and paediatricians in a bid to help other mothers who may be struggling, offering a brutally honest account of how hard it can be to grow a baby and raise a child whilst you are still growing into yourself.
Inside the pages:
Letters on Motherhood is a collection of heartfelt and deeply poignant letters written by Giovanna to her three young sons Buzz, Buddy and Max, husband, Tom, and the family and friends who have inspired and supported her to become the mother that she is today.
In this beautiful book, she shares the funny and moving personal tales of her own family life, peppered throughout with her poignant family photos bringing her stories to life. Never one to glamorise the idea of a perfect family, Giovanna writes about the priceless highs and the challenging lows as she talks about the deeper universal truths of parenting.
EDITORIAL 44 • CLOSEUP
Scent makes a house a home so we’ve created a range of luxury home scents to reminisce and create new lasting memories.
Our selection of scents range from fruity and floral to a deep mysterious range giving you that touch of luxury to create an atmosphere within your chosen space.
Our collections include candles, wax melts, reed diffusers, and car diffusers. Everything is hand crafted with care using only natural ingredients and Grade A oils.
Nothing is more memorable than a scent so let Wax Hut (UK) take you on a journey of memories.
Amber Hue Candles make the perfect Mother’s Day gift, featuring a sleek and stylish design and warm, inviting scents. For a personal touch, consider our custom label candles for mum or Nan.
Our high-quality ingredients and hand-poured candles ensure a luxurious and thoughtful gift that promotes relaxation and self-care.
We believe each piece of art is a unique personal statement that represents each client.
Whether this is an original artwork, a custom commission or a print, any of these should be a perfect fit for your needs and expectations. Therefore, please get in touch where we can explore your ideas together and ensure your artwork compliments your intended space. All commissions welcome, based in Enfield.
email@example.com 07958 357346
Brad Smith (Art Creations)
Brad Smith Art Creations
Contemporary Artist and Painter
Unique wedding favours and gifts for all occasions. Rustic and handmade. Follow us
Commissions * Artwork * Prints * Framing
Katerina talks all things motherhood, family life, relationships, work, and trying to do it all at once, with of course, #NoFilter
Spring is springing and the month to celebrate mothers is upon us. Becoming a mum came with many ups and downs, but I’ll tell you something, gaining Mother’s Day was great! It’s like another little mini birthday – a day of gratitude, love and celebration (and I really am into that).
I’ve put together some lovely ideas for gifts and things to do, whether you’re reading for the mother of your children, for your own mum or wanting to gift a new mum.
Whether this is something you do alone, with friends or loved I think the majority of mothers will echo that Mother’s Day gifts that actually mean something are the most special.
For my Goddaughters birthday last year, I actually put together a photo album of all the pictures I had since she was born and all the pictures of her with me or with Jamie and Rico. She absolutely LOVED it and I really enjoyed making it for her, and I know it’s something that she will cherish and keep forever.
If someone is a new mum (because trying to do this for a mother of a 10 year old could be pretty time consuming) putting together an album of pictures for her would be something that I’m sure would be loved and appreciated. You can find a nice scrap book in shops such as The Works, The Range or Hobby Craft where you can print out the pictures and stick them in with the option of writing something to go with it, or you can use websites and apps such as Photobox or Free Prints where you can upload the pictures from your camera roll and it gets delivered as a lovely glossy book!
A nice meal
Even mothers who enjoy cooking are happy for a day off, and what better day to have head chef annual leave? Mother’s Day of course. We’re so lucky to have so many amazing local restaurants to choose from, that you don’t even need to spend ages travelling to get to. Here’s some of my local favs with a range of cuisines.
Turkish Skewd, Cockfosters or No5, Hornsey
Chinese Regency, Potters Bar
Greek Deserie, Cockfosters or Tavernaki, Potters Bar
Punto, Winchmore Hill
La Petite Auberge, Cockfosters
The Goffs, Goffs Oak
(For the most amazing Sunday roast)
Indian Winchmore Tandoori, Winchmore Hill
Japanese Sushi Mania, Whetstone
(all you can eat sushi? Yes please!)
A bunch of flowers
There’s something so special about opening the door and receiving a beautiful bunch of flowers that makes you just feel so warm inside (I hope I’m not just talking for myself here!).
A beautiful bunch of flowers is a great (and safe) way to show love and appreciation to someone. My favourite flowers to open the door to have to be from local florist, Your London Florist @YourLondonFlorist. Their displays of fresh and dried flowers are so beautifully presented and are such a statement piece on any dinner table. Their use of dried flowers such as pampas is so on trend and I personally have kept and reused so many pampas stalks from the bouquets I’ve received from there in the past.
Another great floral gift would be from Roses by Carter @RosesByCarter. These are luxury roses that come in a range of different colours and boxes that last up to a whole year! Sizes start from mini boxes of 4 roses up to 147 roses in their grand collection. Some will say flowers are a waste of money because they die, but who can argue stunning roses that last a year?
Give them what they really want, and need (time to themselves)
Do you want to know the true gift that every mother wants and needs? A break from her kids! Just kidding we want to be around them 24/7! (Yeah right!). But if you did really want to gift a mother to some time to herself, a bit of pampering and a time where she can hear herself think, I promise you – you’re on to a winner. I would always recommend my all time favourite masseuse Anthea (@relaxandreviveholistictherapy) who always has great deals and offers a mobile service at an extra charge (just make sure the kids are out of the house if you opt for this!). There is also the wonderful Beauty Rehab London (@BeautyRehab), in their Hadley wood branch you can gift the special mum in your life to a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, lashes for glam or even a nice blow dry. Alternatively, book her a whole spa weekend at the stunning Sopwell House (@SopwellHouse), then you’ll really be in the good books!
46 • CLOSEUP
A vibrant, forward-thinking education for pupils aged 3-13.
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Why are teachers striking?
AFor those who do not work within the industry, it may not always be easy to understand or relate to why teachers may need to strike and what is really going on, therefore I think it is important as a teacher and leader of education to give some insight and maybe answer some questions for parents/carers.
I will begin with some statistics:
‘Of teachers in England, 90.44 per cent of members taking part in the ballot voted YES to taking industrial action on a turnout of 53.27 per cent’
‘Teachers in Wales voted by 92 per cent for strike action on a turnout of 58.07 per cent’
‘Pay for experienced teachers has fallen by one fifth in real terms since 2010’
‘Full-time primary teachers in England reported working 52.1 hours a week. This was more than in any other participating country except Japan’.
These statistics speak volumes about the state of the sector and the morale amongst teachers in the U.K.
I have worked as a teacher in London since 2012 and have personally seen first-hand the impact of the lack of funding from the government and the increase in work load and expectations.
The lack of funding effects the entire sector from the facilities, staff, resources and ultimately the children and their progress. The gaps in funding ultimately mean teachers, leaders and support staff themselves are financially impacted by trying to resource lessons themselves and eventually are mentally impacted by the amount of outside of work hours spent trying to complete or catch up on the work expected. These expectations have also led to a decline in teacher retention and recruitment.
the reality of excessive work hours, low morale, funding and pay all are leading to the out-pour of teachers voting to strike and asking for what is needed to ensure children are getting the best education they can.
Teachers are not obliged to tell their schools if they are striking, so this may mean that head teachers cannot pre warn parents and carers ahead of time. Additionally, teachers are not legally required to teach during strike days or to make up the teaching time lost following a strike action. Therefore planning the school day may not be as easy to plan; some schools may stay open depending on staffing ratios, others may close whilst some may provide home learning. Some schools do send out letters when and if possible to provide as much information as they can.
It is important to note, teachers do not take strike action lightly and do not strike often. Teachers do not get paid for the days they strike. Teachers care immensely about children’s welfare, provision and progress and just want the best for them. Most teachers are feeling as though they have no choice but to strike, there can be no progress/developments in education unless things change.
I hope that this article has helped to clarify some questions and justify the decisions being made by those in the education sector.
Follow my Instagram for more ideas and fun education activities for younger children.
(Early Years Foundation Stage)
By Anna Pericleous Teacher and Leader of Early Years and Primary Education
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Catch the WAVE
Wave hello to all things scalloped, curved and wavy in our homes. Organic shapes echo a sense of softness throughout our spaces and have been making waves in the world of interiors for a few years now. Think the likes of rippled glassware, scallop shapes, and curving bedheads.
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H&M Home LIVING
Wave Shaped Candle Primark Home £2.50
Ceramic Pot Cover Gisela Graham London £22.99
Saville Scallop Melamine Dinner Plate Wayfair £47.20
Milo Planter Sass & Belle From £6
Eichholtz Cristo Swivel Chair Sweetpea & Willow £1590
Bailey Ecru Boucle Knot Cushion Rowen Homes £29
Drift Cord Wave Cushion Matalan £13
Mug H&M POA
Leilani Ceramic Leaf Platter Oliver Bonas £22.50
@awforhome • www.awforhome.com 125 Baker St, Enfield, EN1 3HA • 0208 3449760 @awforhome • www.awforhome.com 125 Baker St, Enfield, EN1 3HA • 0208 3449760
service given was exemplary, from providing information on suitable products, right through to order and delivery. High recommended.’’
“Stunning shop with amazing products’’
POTTY for it
Ceramics are a versatile décor staple that never really go out of style, but have definitely experienced a renewal in interest in the last few years. Whether you opt for bold, playful accessories or are looking for a more earthy
Primark Home LIVING
Ceramic Mug Gisela Graham London £9.99
Pause Ceramic Mug Oliver Bonas £12.50
Pastel Blue Ceramic Pot Home Sense £19.99
Corfe Ceramic Vase Taupe Sazy £45
Sensory Cyberpunk Pink Ceramic Table Home Sense £399.99
Tropical Green Ceramic Scented Candle Home Sense £9.99
Wobblins Ceramic Tableware Range Loaf £16 52 • CLOSEUP
Salad Bowl TK Maxx £5.99
Miss Candle Art&Deco came to life from the desire and passion of creating something new and special that would compliment your house and make it feel like home. Each candle is hand-made, using high quality oils and 100% vegan soy wax blends turning every candle we make into a piece of art, that not only looks unique, but will fill your home with a sweet scent your home even without lighting it.
Our decorative candles are the ultimate addition to your home decor. They include a variety of styles from contemporary, to chic and minimal to more classic home decor styles. Our sculptural and pillar candles can be used as a coffee table home decor, home decor on a shelf, entry table, dining table or classic tabletop element for any event. The perfect Mother's Day gift, holiday gift or any special occasion in your life. Our spa day candles and wax melts collections are my personal guilty pleasures at the end of every day. The scent will not only make your home smell amazing, but will also help you relax, unwind and have a better sleep every night.
Recently we have decided to turn to an area that we love, weddings and events with our bespoke products, so we can make your special event memorable for you and your guests.
In our Home Decor collection, you will find the our lovely trinkets that will serve as home decor, trays for your candles or an unique piece that will be an amazing statement piece in your home. Our lovely trays can be also used as jewellery holders or even as a present for your loved ones. Made with Jesmonite, an incredible versatile, strong composite material form from a mineral powder base, combined with a water based acrylic resin, each piece will be unique and any imperfections will contribute to their charm.
If you haven't been introduced to one of our items yet, now is the time!
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“Creating is our passion and we love to deliver products that create a soothing and warm vibe withing our space.”
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Specialises in Cupcake Bouq-Cake & many more yummy treats!
At Immie Jones Gifts we love to celebrate with handmade gifts. Our adorable Little Bunny Bags are perfect for Easter to fill with little chocolate eggs and treats! Each bag is lovingly handmade.
Make losing a tooth extra magical for your child with our personalised Tooth Fairy Bags, available in a range of colours.
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BESPOKE HANDMADE PERSONALISED GIFTS
The Little Bunny Bag £8.95
Personalised Tooth Fairy Bag £3.25
Mother’s day can be a bit fraught sometimes, wanting to get it right so your Mum has the best day, do you get presents? Chocolates? Flowers?
For me, it’s all about the pampering, and of course food, I love it when my lot take me out of the kitchen and cook me delicious food (oh and do all the clearing up too!) That’s what makes me really happy.
Start the day with Green Shaksuka eggs, it really is the best breakfast/brunch. Teatime always needs a cake! My cardamom, pecan and parsnip loaf is not only delicious but it is full of fibre and so good for you too. You can enjoy that with a turmeric latte, which is one of the most anti-oxidant things you can drink, I like mine with lots of cinnamon.
Then, an aromatic chicken tagine that can be prepared from the day before and just popped into the oven.
Your Mama will be nourished and happy, it’ll be the best Mother’s day ever.
GREEN SHAKSHUKA EGGS
Use whatever veg you have in your cupboards to make these super-tasty, pimped-up breakfast eggs.
240g baby spinach, 1 bunch of spring onions, sliced, 2 green peppers, deseeded and sliced, 3 garlic cloves, crushed, 1 tbsp organic rapeseed oil or organic hemp oil, 1/2 green chilli, deseeded and diced, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 4 medium eggs, 50g frozen peas, defrosted, 100g feta, crumbled, 2 tbsp fresh dill, Toasted sourdough, to serve
Wilt the spinach in a large shallow pan over a medium heat with a splash of water. Remove from the pan and squeeze out all the liquid. Set aside.
In the same pan, gently sweat the spring onions, peppers and garlic in the oil for a few minutes. Stir through the chilli, cumin, smoked paprika and coriander, and then add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Make 4 wells in the spinach mixture and crack the eggs into them.
Scatter the peas in evenly, cover with a lid and cook for 8–10 minutes, until the egg whites are set.
Sprinkle over the feta and dill, and serve with sourdough toast.
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With preserved lemons and olives
I’m obsessed with preserved lemons – they add incredible zing to stews like this one.
1 preserved lemon, 50ml olive oil, 1 tsp melted butter, 2 garlic cloves,finely chopped , 2.5cm piece of ginger, grated, 1 tbsp ground coriander, A pinch of saffron strands, 1 cinnamon stick, 500g whole chicken, cut into large chunks, 1 red onion, finely chopped, Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 10 green olives, 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped, 1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped, 1 tbsp marjoram, finely chopped, Couscous or crusty bread, to serve
Cut the preserved lemon in half and separate the flesh from the peel. Set the peel aside and finely chop the flesh.
Place the chopped lemon flesh in a casserole dish. Add the olive oil, melted butter, garlic, ginger, ground coriander, saffron, cinnamon stick and 250ml cold water and mix well.
Add the chicken pieces to the casserole, having pierced them with a sharp knife so they absorb the spices. Mix all the ingredients together until the chicken pieces are coated in the marinade. Add the chopped onion and mix well.
Cover the casserole with a lid and sear the chicken pieces over a low heat for 15 minutes. Keep the lid on to keep the moisture in. Turn each piece of chicken over and add a little water, if necessary.
After 10 minutes, add 250ml cold water. Increase the heat to medium, cover and bring to the boil. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes, checking the chicken occasionally and adding water if necessary.
There should always be enough sauce at the bottom of the tagine so the meat doesn’t burn.
Season, add the lemon peel and olives to the tagine and continue cooking, uncovered, for a few minutes, until the sauce slightly thickens.
Sprinkle with chopped herbs and black pepper, and serve hot with couscous or crusty bread.
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SUGAR FREE CARDAMOM, PECAN AND PARSNIP LOAF
I often put veg into cakes and muffins because they add moisture and nutrients, too. If you don’t like parsnips, use grated carrot or courgette instead.
100g pecan halves, 150ml coconut oil 3 medium eggs, 170g wholemeal flour, 2 tsp baking powder,½1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1 tsp green cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed in pestle and mortar, 150g dried pitted dates, chopped, 200g parsnip, grated
For the honey frosting
180g soft cheese, 1 tbsp honey, plus extra to drizzle (optional), Zest and juice of 1 small lemon, A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper.
Spread the pecan halves on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 10–12 minutes, keeping an eye on them so that they don’t burn. When they’re nicely toasted, take them out, allow them to cool and then chop into small pieces. Whisk the oil and eggs together with a fork. Fold in the flour, baking powder,
salt, spices and dates. Fold in the parsnip and most of the pecans, reserving some for decoration. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until risen and golden.
For the frosting, beat the cheese with a fork until softened, then stir in the honey, lemon zest and juice and salt. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake and top with the remaining pecans and a drizzle of honey before serving.
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CLOSEUP • 59 MOTHERING SUNDAY Book your table in advance Why not try out the renowned San Giorgio Restaurant, with food second to none. 932-934 High Road, London N12 9RT (easy parking nearby). We are between Whetstone and North Finchley 020 8445 3355 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.sangiorgiorestaurant.london
If you really want to make a difference to your aches, pains and general health, drink one of these every day.
3cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled or 3/4 tsp ground turmeric, 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled or 1/4–1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp honey, 1 tbsp almond, cashew or hazelnut butter, 350ml water, or milk, hazelnut milk or oat milk
For a creamier drink
1/2–3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve, 1 tsp vanilla extract, Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Then transfer to a small saucepan and heat gently until warm.
Pour into mugs, sprinkle over more cinnamon and serve.
All recipes from ‘The Secret of Spice’.
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Amphi Botanicals serves all-natural, functional beverages to serve the daily needs of the health conscious. Launching in late March/early April, the formulas draw upon elements of science, mysticism, herbalism and nutrition, to create the most restorative and balancing tonics.
The start-up is founded by a Middle Eastern Nutritionist & Herbalist, Yasmeen Jabri. After witnessing the polarising discourse that filled the health and wellness spaces, she set out on a mission to find balance between the conventional and holistic, the scientific and the spiritual. And that's when Amphi Botanicals was born.
In a world that's so heavily polarised, our mission is to find a healthy middle ground between science & spirituality, conventional nutrition, and holistic wellness, to really create the most nourishing blends. And since our ethos centres around balance, it is only natural that at the heart of our formulas lies the power of adaptogens. The wonderful mushrooms and herbs that have been utilised in ancient practices for centuries. The potent ingredients that assist the body in adapting to physical, chemical, or emotional stressors. Adaptogens are the key components of our formulas, the main inspirations behind our functional beverages, and are the middle ground between science and spirituality.
The first drinks to be introduced are an orange drink for immunity, followed by a coffee drink for focus.
Sign up on our website to stay notified on the launch date, and all things related to adaptogenic wellness
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62 • CLOSEUP A Box of Treasures serving the best quality kebabs, burgers, greek sandwiches, breakfast & more! 07939 486434 07399 598348 67 russell lane, n20 0bb
764-766 Green Lanes Winchmore Hill London N21 3RE Tel: 020 8364 1116 or 020 8360 1478 www.pizzeriagiovanni.co.uk pizzeriagiovanni_n21
It takes two to tingle
Hitmaker & Music Superstar, Ed Sheeran has announced his latest venture, his very own spicy hot sauce range - aptly named Tingly Ted’s!
The latest drop from Ed Sheeran has landed but with a spicy twist. The sauce superfan is launching his own range of hot sauces that he’s aptly naming, Tingly Ted’s – a new, blandbusting hot sauce. The range of hot sauces, which has been in the making for almost two years and created by Ed and his band of expert sauce makers, will be available worldwide.
Tingly Ted’s, named after Ed’s childhood nickname, comes in a range of two no-fuss hot sauces: Tingly and Xtra Tingly and are the perfect squeeze for your fries, nuggets, falafels, fried chicken or, quite honestly, any meal at all!
Ed Sheeran explained: “I love sauces, that’s no secret. But the older I’ve got, the more I love and need spice with every single meal. “I travel a lot, so having a bottle in my suitcase wherever I go that can spice up any and every meal seemed like a good idea. I knew I didn’t wanna do a watery hot sauce, as they usually all get relegated to the same shelf of other random hot sauces. I wanted to make a sauce that took the same pride of place as ketchup. “I had a year of whittling down the perfect flavours with a great mixing team, and we settled on two absolute belters. The tingly and the xtra tingly. I’ve had them on tour with me recently to try them with all sorts of meals, and there really isn’t anything they don’t go with (except bananas, don’t do that). “I’m so excited
To be one of the first to find out where you can get your paws on Tingly Ted’s, head over to www.instagram.com/tinglyteds or http://tinglyteds.com for further announcements.
to bring this product out, it’s genuinely something I use every day on all three meals. I hope you love them as much as I do x.”
Tingly Ted’s is available in two flavours: Tingly Sauce and Xtra Tingly Sauce. Tingly is a medium hot sauce and feels like a warming hug in a bottle – not too hot but just enough to get your tastebuds excited – and Xtra Tingly is for anyone who wants to take the heat up to the next level. The sauce has fresh lemon notes and a smoky flavour that make the red jalapeño and capsicum chillies sing, along with a mix of herbs and spices that all infuse together to create a party in your mouth. They are a range of vegan-friendly and fresh flavours with absolutely no added colours, artificial flavours or preservatives. The bottle is fully recyclable and made with recycled materials.
“I’m so excited TO BRING THIS PRODUCT OUT, IT’S genuinely something I use every day ON ALL THREE MEALS.”
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TRAVEL 66 • CLOSEUP
Whether you’ve been before or it’s your first time, Bali never fails to capture the imagination. Its atmospheric temples, sun-drenched shoreline and amazing food come together in perfect harmony to make a holiday destination that honeymoon dreams are made of. For most newlyweds, the honeymoon is the trip of a lifetime. This first post-wedding getaway is an experience like no other. It allows you the time to embrace your brand-new marriage with all the planning and stress left behind you. It sets the tone for the adventures to come, and most importantly it provides memories that you’ll cherish for life. So much more than just immaculate beaches, first-class surfing and luxurious beach resorts, this captivating island offers a rich historic culture, jaw-dropping scenery and age-old monuments.
Indonesia is home to over 17,000 islands, made up of lush jungles, volcanic peaks, exotic wildlife, and some of the world’s most biodiverse diving sites. Naturally then, island hopping when in Bali is an absolute must – and luckily, most of them are just a hop, skip and a short boat ride away. Just 40 minutes from Bali’s mainland you’ll find Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Cenigan and a people’s favourite, Nusa Penida. It’s one of Bali’s most breathtaking islands, with pristine landscapes that look like they’re straight out of Jurassic Park. And the best bit is, if you don’t have time on your itinerary to explore the entire island, you can try a Nusa Penida Day Tour from Bali. This single-day adventure takes you to all the must-visit hotspots, including the Insta-famous Kelingking Beach, nature’s natural infinity pool Angel’s Billabong, and even snorkelling at Crystal Bay, Manta Bay, or Gamat Bay. You’ll even have your own personal photographer to snap those all-important shots along the way!
Ubud, Bali’s spiritual heart, beckons with its tranquil temples and welcoming locals. The small town is famed for its art and crafts community, and visitors have the opportunity to take part in classes to learn the ancient techniques. Also on offer are peaceful walks in the countryside, relaxing and romantic spa treatments and some of the best diving on the island.
Ubud, Monkey Forest
Enter the Ubud Monkey Forest at the village of Padangtegal and discover a magical sanctuary for over 700 monkeys. Enjoy a close encounter with the friendly animals, feed them bananas and watch their playful antics. Journey through the forest with your loved one, exploring historic temples and find even more monkeys happy to be petted and played with.
Trek Mount Batur
Venture away from the coast to the dense forests and colonial hill towns of the interior for a glimpse into authentic Balinese life. If your feeling adventurous, sign up for an early morning trek of Mount Batur and stand atop the tall summit for an unforgettable view of the sun rising over the sleeping island of Bali. Before leaving, savour a delicious breakfast cooked with the steam of the volcano! A trip to Mount Batur in Bali is a must! Brace yourself for a tough climb up steep slopes to reach the 1717-yard summit! All the while being assisted by a professional Englishspeaking tour guide, pick up interesting facts about this active volcano! Offering unmatched views, this experience is a visual treat like none other.
Picture this: blue skies, crystal clear waters, emerald green islands all around and your very own luxury yacht to explore it all. Well, you can do all of this and more when you hire a yacht or head out on a boat tour to explore Bali’s coastlines. It’s the perfect combination of sailing, snorkelling, swimming with Manta Rays, and spending an unforgettable day on the deck of a sparkling yacht, in paradise.
One of the busiest water temples in Indonesia, Tirta Empul is a temple considered sacred by Balinese Hindu community. A very active temple built around several bubbling holy springs, Pura Tirta Empul is an interesting place to observe Hindu devotees purifying themselves by means of ritual bathing. It is especially recommended to visit on a full moon day, which has special significance in the local religion.
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The seemingly endless scroll of Netflix’s treasure trove of terrific shows and movies can be more than a little paralyzing when trying to choose something to watch. If you’ve just finished a good series and need a new one to fill the void, Close Up is assembling a monthly list of the best TV shows currently available on the streaming service, from classics of yesteryear to the hottest new titles. Below, we’ve rounded up the best shows on Netflix right now, so you can binge-watch without having to hunt for the right title.
WHAT’S ON 1
Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. When gentle Charlie and rugbyloving Nick meet at secondary school, they quickly discover that their unlikely friendship is blossoming into an unexpected romance. Charlie, Nick and their circle of friends must navigate the ever-relatable journey of self-discovery and acceptance, supporting each other as they learn to find their most authentic selves.
Danny Dyer and Ellie Taylor host this high-stakes quiz show where contestants can literally CHEAT their way to a fortune! In a binge-worthy battle of brains, wit and barefaced lying, four brave players have their knowledge put to the ultimate test as they bluff and blag across three rounds to avoid elimination and build a potential jackpot of over £50,000. But however you play it, there’s just one crucial rule… don’t get caught!
NEXT IN FASHION SEASONS:
Next in Fashion, the highstakes design competition series that embraces the fun in fashion, is returning to Netflix for a second season. Fashion designer and TV personality Tan France is joined by new co-host, A-list global superstar, supermodel and style icon Gigi Hadid. A group of up-andcoming, incredibly talented designers will compete for the chance to walk away with a prize of $200,000 and the chance to share their designs with the world. EDITORIAL 68 • CLOSEUP
Perfect Match brings together the most famously single stars of Netflix’s unscripted series (Love Is Blind, The Ultimatum, Too Hot To Handle, The Mole and more) to a tropical paradise in an attempt to find love. As they compete to form relationships, the most compatible couples will play matchmaker, breaking up other couples and sending them on dates with brand-new singles they’ll invite to the villa. Will they create better matches, or will they create chaos?
Sex/Life Season 2 hooks its finger and beckons us back into the wild world of Billie Connelly. The series continues to map Billie’s shifting connection to her family, her past — including her devastatingly handsome ex, Brad — and her future. While Billie attempts to be happy as a suburban mother of two, she remains desperate for the freedom she enjoyed as a single and sexually fulfilled student in New York City.
In Luther: The Fallen Sun — an epic continuation of the award-winning television saga reimagined for film — a gruesome serial killer is terrorizing London while brilliant but disgraced detective John Luther (Idris Elba) sits behind bars. Haunted by his failure to capture the cyber psychopath who now taunts him, Luther decides to break out of prison to finish the job by any means necessary.
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Six by Nico is infamous for a simple premise that has taken the UK by storm. Every six weeks, they offer up a new affordable sixcourse tasting menu with an all-new theme. Through the month of March they’ll be offering up their Tokyo menu, inspired by a recent trip to Japan’s capital, with dishes ranging from chicken karaage, to their take on ramen.
Proud Cabaret is showcasing the very first cabaret adaptation of West Side Story in the UK. The show is an outrageous cabaret twist on the timeless love story we all know and love. The ultimate tale of passion and rivalry performed live on the Proud Embankment stage will include your favourite songs from the West Side Story score plus modern tracks.
What to expect? Spectacular dancers, acrobats, circus performers, aerialists and fire breathers all rolled into one production. Not to mention guests can indulge in an exquisite fine dining menu, and choose an ice-cold cocktail from the tantalising selection on the drinks list.
SIX THE MUSICAL
AT THE VAUDEVILLE THEATRE
Meet six Tudor queens, the wives of
VIII, and see them transformed into inspiring on-stage divas. Each wife tells their unique story about the marriage and what ultimately led to their fate.
This sensational musical explores themes of love, sisterhood and power while empowering the representation of women in history with catchy tunes inspired from pop and R&B music. Enjoy the comedy as the wives compete to tell the most powerful story, in a celebration of girl-power and being true to yourself.
GOLF GO FOR
If you’re looking for an activity for a fun day out with your friends, look no further than Swingers. Choose between an English country golf club setting at Swingers City or a funfair-themed English riviera at Swingers West End where you can play a round of mini golf and enjoy lots of tasty treats and cocktails. swingers.club/uk
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