Close Up May 2024

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MAY 2024 closeupuk.com SPANKIN’ NEW The leopard print revival is upon us Revive & Reorganise Your spring home simplified ROAR COUTURE Thrills Without Bills Summertime Supreme EMILY RATAJKOWSKI The latest must-have beauty products Exploring life’s riches, wallet unscathed! Soul Food Friendships How developing great friendships can change your course

FIND YOUR STYLE

palaceshopping.co.uk

AUTHENTIC GREEK CYPRIOT DISHES In the heart

Scan the QR code to follow us on Instagram

4 •
of Southgate.
www.dionysus.co.uk 0208 886 5655 44 High St, Southgate, N14 6EB

At the heart of our kitchen lies a commitment to quality. We believe that great food begins with great ingredients, and our dedication to quality shines through in all of our dishes.

Our menu is a celebration of Greek Cypriot cuisine, crafted with passion and expertise by our talented chefs. From classic favourites like pastitsio, lamb cutlets and traditional souvlaki, each dish is a symphony of flavours, prepared with care.

Order via Deliveroo

Order via Uber Eats

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 12pm - 9pm and Friday & Saturday 12pm - 10pm

EMBARK ON A NEW CULINARY ADVENTURE: SKEWD AT THE GROVE

LAUNCHING 22ND MAY 2024

Skewd at The Grove promises to be an extraordinary culinary destination like never seen before.

The prestigious five-star hotel is renowned for its luxurious spa, exceptional restaurants, and a championship golf course, offering a retreat that feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Prepare your taste buds for a journey through the vibrant and diverse world of Anatolian cuisine.

THE GROVE HOTEL, CHANDLER’S CROSS, WATFORD WD3 4TG
@SKEWDKITCHEN • WWW.SKEWD.COM

This month, we're embracing the spirit of renewal and rejuvenation, bringing you an array of refreshing content to inspire the season. Spring cleaning enthusiasts, rejoice! Our pages are brimming with expert tips and tricks to declutter and revitalise your space, ensuring that your home is not just clean, but a sanctuary of freshness and tranquillity.

And of course, what would spring be without a fresh update to your wardrobe? Dive into our exclusive coverage of the latest fashion trends, from flowy maxi skirts to the return of leopard print, we’ve got your spring wardrobe covered. But wait, there's more! Our beauty section is teeming with brand new products guaranteed to elevate your skincare and makeup routines to new heights. Discover the latest innovations and must-have essentials to help you achieve that coveted springtime glow.

Now, let's talk about our captivating cover star, Emily Ratajkowski. Renowned not only for her stunning beauty but also for her fierce advocacy for body positivity and

empowerment, Emily graces our cover as the epitome of summer. With her recent collaboration with Victoria's Secret, Emily continues to challenge conventional beauty standards and redefine what it means to be confident and comfortable in your own skin. Join us as we delve into her journey, her triumphs, and her unapologetic embrace of self-expression.

So, as you flip through the pages of this month's Close Up, let the spirit of spring inspire you to embrace change, express yourself boldly, and bask in the beauty of renewal.

Here's to a season of growth, beauty, and endless possibilities.

Southgate, Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill, Grange Park,

8 •
Publisher and Editor Leah Shakallis leah@closeupuk.com Field Sales Assistant Elena Pedonomou elena@closeupuk.com Accounts Director Chris Papacosta chris@closeupuk.com Careers charley@closeupuk.com Big Mouth officialbigmouth@outlook.com Blog Katerina Llewellyn Cover Image Victoriassecret.com, Photographer: Mikael Jansson, Stylist: Emmanuelle Alt, Hair: Shay Ashual, Makeup: Mark Carrasquillo 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 sayhello@closeupuk.com Web www.closeupuk.com If you would like to advertise your business with style, contact 020 8323 2444 sayhello@closeupuk.com Leah x EDITOR leah@closeupuk.com THE SPIRIT OF SPRING Beauty Page 20 This month in Follow us on Instagram @closeupmagazineuk TikTok @closeupmagazine and Facebook @closeupmagazineuk Travel Page 50 Food Page 42 Cover Interview Page 10 Netflix Page 52 Living Page 30 Fashion Page 14 EDITOR'S LETTER
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EMILY RATAJKOWSKI

Emily Ratajkowski is a model, actress, author and a household name in the fashion industry. She rose to fame after starring in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video in 2013, and has since graced the covers of major fashion magazines and walked the runway for numerous designers. However, Ratajkowski is more than just a pretty face; she is also an outspoken feminist and advocate for body positivity.

“I love the way you can wear the pieces in and out!
COVER INTERVIEW
THE SATIN SLEEP SET IS SO PRETTY—I COULD SEE MYSELF WEARING IT AROUND THE HOUSE BUT ALSO STEPPING OUT WITH IT ON WHILE ON VACATION.” 10 •
victoriassecret.com
• 11
Photographer: Mikael Jansson

It’s been ten years since the model became famous off the back of the video for Robin Thicke’s hit song Blurred Lines. The debate that song ignited – about consent and the nature of sexiness – raged on through the intervening near decade, defining Emily’s star as it ascended. She continues to embrace the nuances around it, making both a quasifeminist statement and a highly lucrative brand identity of it. She wrote a book about it, My Body (a portrait of the tension between objectification and empowerment), according to The Atlantic), launched a swimwear line and built an influential social media presence, one that has merged so completely with her public identity, she’s now more commonly known by her Instagram handle – @emrata –than her actual name.

Emily initially declined the offer to appear in Robin Thicke’s video for “Blurred Lines.” “Basically, it’s just another shitty music video with a bunch of naked girls,” she reports telling her agent in her new book. But the director convinced Ratajkowski that the result would be more satirical than salacious, more excitement than exploitation. On the day of the shoot, she wore white underwear and plastic see-through tops, eventually stripping to just a nude thong for the unrated cut.

Despite her success, Ratajkowski has faced criticism for her looks and her outspoken views on feminism. In an interview with InStyle magazine in 2018, she said, “People don’t want to work with me because I’m too sexy. They’re afraid of what that means, of the way that people will perceive me.” However, Ratajkowski has never let criticism get in her way. Instead, she has used her platform to speak out on important issues like women’s rights and body positivity.

Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski is the poster girl (literally) for a lot of things: Countless ad campaigns, body positivity, toi-et-moiturned-“just moi” divorce rings... the list goes on. But perhaps most of all, she’s the poster girl for summer.

To further solidify her standing as summertime supreme, EmRata has a new campaign with Victoria’s Secret that’s all about summer escapes. From swim to lingerie to beach-friendly corset tops, the campaign celebrates a collection perfect for whatever your summer might entail. As for Ratajkowski’s summer plans? Lounging in the latest VS sleep set during a much-needed staycation.

construction of suits! Designing and making suits has really confirmed that Brazilian-style cuts look the best on all types of bodies.”

The collection features swim, cover-ups, corset tops and a selection of other sexy silhouettes. “I like a nice Brazilian cut bum and some support for the boobies!” says Emily, who features heavily in the incredible paradise-looking island featured in the campaign. “I love the way you can wear the pieces in and out! The satin sleep set is so pretty—I could see myself wearing it around the house but also stepping out with it on while on vacation.”

Back in November 2017, Ratajkowski launched her very own swimwear brand, Inamorata, which included some of the key swim elements Ratajkowski is known to regularly model herself when on holiday (high-waisted cuts, thong briefs, and revealing cut-outs). “I’ve learned so much about the

Growing up, Emily harboured desires to pursue a profession in writing, art or acting, but was signed with Ford models at the age of 14 with her parents’ support – her mother always instilled it in her never to be ashamed of how she looked. She studied art at UCLA for one year, before dropping out to pursue modelling full-time, mainly doing lingerie, catalogue and swimwear shoots. But she says that her ambitions were never to make a career out of modelling and she always saw it as a way of funding her creative pursuits. “I didn’t want to be famous,” “I had no plans. I wasn’t thinking about a career, I was thinking about saving money. But the saving money was to be able to do what I actually wanted to do, which was make things, basically. I saw my parents, they are both creatives, but they had day jobs, so that was sort of how I saw life working.”

COVER INTERVIEW
victoriassecret.com
12 •
Photographer: Mikael Jansson

In the past couple of years EmRata has also developed a role for herself as a cultural commentator and podcast host. She’s interviewed guests, including Esther Perel and Elliot Page on topics including feminism, gender, sex and politics on her popular podcast, High Low With EmRata.

“It is amazing to see the kind of evolution of politics that’s happened [recently] around intersectionality in feminism. Five years ago, the conversation was just the ‘girl boss’; it was the white feminism at its finest, capitalist, nightmare hell. So, thank God we’ve moved past that.

“But I do feel that the kind of feminism as a term has become weaponised. Not in like, ‘Oh, you’re so brave to call yourself a feminist,’ but in the sense of, ‘Are you good-enough feminists? Are you a real feminist? Are you a fake feminist?’ Whatever. I know how I live my life. I know my personal politics and sometimes, honestly, feminism is just giving women the benefit of the doubt.

“I just absolutely refuse to be as hard on women as we are as a culture. I just can’t do it. And even when I hear a story [about a woman] and my initial thought is like, ‘Oh, she’s so desperate, stupid, blah, blah, blah…’ I question that instinct now, because I do think it’s internalised misogyny – and some of the most staunch academic feminists or people who maybe can write the best pieces around feminists are not nice to other women in real life.”

Emily excitedly announced last month that she is now confirmed to join the cast of Lena Dunham‘s upcoming Netflix comedy series “Too Much,”. “I’m shooting Lena Dunham’s new show [Too Much] this summer, which I’m very excited about. Other projects are still a secret, so stay tuned!”

“Too Much” follows Jessica (Stalter), described as “a New York workaholic in her mid-30s who is reeling from a broken relationship that she thought would last forever and slowly isolating everyone she knows. When every block in New York tells a story of her own bad behavior, the only solution is to take a job in London, where she plans to live a life of solitude like a Brontë sister. But when she meets Felix (Sharpe) — who is less Hugh Grant in ‘Notting Hill’ and more Hugh Grant’s drunken roommate — she finds that their unusual connection is impossible to ignore, even as it creates more problems than it solves. Now they have to ask themselves: Do Americans and Brits actually speak the same language?”

This follows on from a list of high-profile movies Ratajkowski has previously played an important role in, including the hit film “Gone Girl” and “We Are Your Friends” with Zac Efron as well as features such as “I Feel Pretty” with Amy Schumer and shows like “History of the World, Part II” and “The Spoils Before Dying.”

“IT IS AMAZING TO SEE THE KIND OF evolution of politics that’s happened [RECENTLY] AROUND INTERSECTIONALITY IN FEMINISM.”
victoriassecret.com
• 13
Photographer: Mikael Jansson

THE WILD SIDE

The leopard print revival is upon us. Whether you want to make a statement with bigger pieces with a dress or trousers, or you simply want to add a little flash of fierce to your day with a handbag or earrings, there are plenty of ways to elevate your OOTD with leopard print.

FASHION
Pretty Little Thing
14 •
Tulle Dress Zara £29.99 Jacquemus Bag Harvey Nichols £620 Bikini Top H&M £10 Sunglasses Le Specs £55 Stud Earrings Monica Vinader £198 Wide Leg Trousers Berksha £29.99 Headband Oliver Bonas £28 Heels Zara £29.99 Bikini Bottoms H&M £6 Scrunchie GANNI £25
• 15
Neve Jewellery Box Whistles £49

MAXI MAGIC

Maxi skirts are the ultimate style staple for effortless chic. Embrace elegance with a maxi skirt, instantly elevating any outfit choice, it is the perfect addition for a feminine yet timeless look.

Blend Abercrombie & Fitch £60
Tuck Skirt H&M £44.99 Denim Midaxi Skirt F&F £19.50
Skirt Zara £35.99
Linen
Pin
Long
H&M £37.99 Jersey Skirt H&M £12.99
Skirt House Of CB £109
Skirt Monsoon £55
Skirt Pretty Little Thing £26
Pleated Maxi Skirt
Asymmetric Lace
Satin
Maxi
Linen Skirt Reiss £178

SPRING SUMMER 2024 COLLECTION OUT NOW

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Embracing Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health knows no boundaries; it transcends age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status. It is a cornerstone of our overall well-being, intricately woven into the fabric of our daily lives. Yet, despite its undeniable significance, mental health remains shrouded in stigma and misunderstanding. It is time to rewrite this narrative, to shatter the barriers of silence and shame, and to embrace mental health with open arms.

This month presents an invaluable opportunity to spark meaningful conversations surrounding mental health. It is a chance to amplify voices that have long been silenced, to lend a listening ear to those who yearn to be heard, and to extend a hand of solidarity to those who navigate the maze of mental illness. Let us create safe spaces where stories can be shared without fear of judgment, where vulnerability is met with compassion, and where healing begins with a simple act of empathy.

Tips for Improving Mental Well-being:

Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional such as a therapist, counsellor, or psychiatrist. They can provide support, guidance, and treatment options tailored to your needs.

Practice Self-care: Prioritise activities that promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and self-compassion. This could include practicing mindfulness, engaging in hobbies you enjoy, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet.

Stay Connected: Cultivate supportive relationships with friends, family, and community members. Social connections can provide a sense of belonging, support, and perspective during challenging times.

Stay Active: Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and boost self-esteem. Find physical activities that you enjoy and incorporate them into your daily routine.

Set Boundaries: Learn to recognise and respect your own limits. Set boundaries in your personal and professional life to prevent burnout and prioritise your well-being.

Practice Mindfulness and Stress Management: Incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga into your daily routine to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Engage in Meaningful Activities: Find purpose and fulfilment in activities that align with your values and interests. Engaging in meaningful pursuits can boost self-esteem and overall life satisfaction.

Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude by focusing on the positive aspects of your life and expressing appreciation for the things you’re thankful for. Gratitude can help shift your perspective and improve overall well-being.

Remember that improving mental well-being is a journey, and it’s okay to seek help and support along the way. www.mind.org.uk

HEALTH
18 •

At Freys + Keeks, we define jewellery as more than adornment; it’s our mission to foster self-assurance. Our meticulously crafted pieces transcend aesthetics, aiming to amplify your confidence and ensure you feel your best everyday.

Born from the vision of our founder, the brand finds its name in the cherished namesakes of her two beloved children. Each piece of jewellery is a testament to the enduring love and inspiration derived from these young souls encapsulating the spirit of creativity and wonder that children bring into our lives.

Located in Southgate, North London, Aura Lounge Aesthetics provides a range of beauty treatments tailored to each individual, specialising in eyelash and eyebrow treatments. Aura Lounge will soon introduce new services, including skin boosters and vitamin injections, expanding its offerings even further.

@auraloungeaesthetics | 07522 269807 auraloungeaesthetics@gmail.com To schedule an appointment, head over to the Treatwell app or reach out to Latavia directly via call or text. Usecode CLOSEUP awhenbookingfor discountoffyour firstbookingwithAura LoungeAesthetics!
Please find us at www.freysandkeeks.co.uk or follow on @freysandkeeks Follow us for a glimpse into the world of luxury, where every piece tells a story of elegance and grace. Join our community of discerning individuals who appreciate the finer things in life and embrace the healing power of nature’s treasures @Exquisitegemsbyilona Discover Exquisite Gems Indulge in the essence of luxury with Exquisite Gems, your premier destination for high-quality, handcrafted jewellery. Each piece, meticulously curated with genuine gemstones and adorned with 14Ct Gold or Gold-Filled accents, exudes opulence and elegance. Experience the captivating energy of our exquisite stones, thoughtfully selected to enhance your well-being and radiate positive vibrations. Visit us at www.exquisitegems.uk or www.etsy.com/shop/exquisitegemsbyilona For the entire month of May, enjoy an exclusive 20% discount on all our pieces. Simply use code CLOSEUP20 at checkout to avail of this limited-time offer. The perfect place for gold and sparkly jewellery lovers. Consciously made with a base metal of brass or stainless steel which can be recycled endlessly making it more sustainable and real gold plated. Beautifully packaged making these a great gift for your loved ones. Find us on Instagram at @sian_mellor_design and on Etsy at https://sianmellordesign.etsy.com/

FRESH OUT THE BOX

After hibernating during the winter, we’re all ready to emerge from our cosy cocoons looking like beautiful, colourful butterflies—and that transformation starts with your makeup. Spring is a blank slate, the perfect time to hit the refresh button on your entire beauty routine. It’s time to experiment with colour, texture and maybe even time travel back to 2016 YouTube-era beauty for some inspo.

FENTYxPUMA BEAUTY
Color Wow Money Mist Look Fantastic £29.50 Macximal Sily Matte Lipstick M.A.C £25 Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush Rare Beauty £26 Reveal Skin Optimising Foundation Prada Beauty £49 Bouncy & Firm Sleeping Mask LANEIGE £32 Prisma Glass LipGloss Armani £30 Lash Sculpt REFY £20 Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Hue Drops Glow Recipe £33 Faux Filler Extra Shine Lip Gloss Huda Beauty £17.50 20 •

I began working from my bedroom in the heart of Hackney and set out on a journey that culminated in the opening of my clinic in October 2022. Dedicated to transforming skincare, my specialisation lies in tackling various issues such as acne, scarring, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, texture, large pores, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. We carefully tailor our treatments to suit all skin types and tones, guaranteeing a personalised and transformative experience for every client.

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LUSH LOCKS

As spring blooms, so too does our desire to refresh and renew our style. With the arrival of spring, it’s the perfect time to embrace a fresh look. From vibrant colours to playful textures, this season’s hair trends are all about celebrating individuality and self-expression. We have rounded up the latest hairstyles, tips, and products to help you effortlessly transition into spring.

Colour Craze

Spring is synonymous with colour, and this year is no exception. Say goodbye to winter's muted tones and hello to vibrant hues that reflect the season's energy. From warm caramel brunettes to sun-kissed blondes, there's a shade to suit every taste.

For those feeling bold, consider trying out the latest trend in hair colouring: "underlights." This technique involves adding pops of colour underneath the top layer of hair, creating a subtle yet striking effect that's perfect for spring. Whether you opt for a single shade or a rainbow of colours, underlights are sure to turn heads wherever you go.

Texture Play

Gone are the days of sleek, straight hair. This spring, it’s all about embracing natural texture and movement. Whether you have curls, waves, or straight hair, there’s a style to suit you. For those with curly locks, embrace your natural texture by letting your curls run free. Enhance their shape and definition with a lightweight curl cream or mousse for a look that’s effortlessly chic.

Add a Touch of Flair

Elevate your spring look with the addition of stylish hair accessories. From statement headbands to delicate hairpins, there are endless options to suit every style and occasion. For a playful twist, try adorning your hair with floral accessories inspired by the season’s blooms. Whether you opt for a single oversized flower or a scattering of smaller blooms, floral accents are sure to add a touch of whimsy to any hairstyle.

If you have straight hair, add some texture and volume with a few wellplaced waves. Use a curling wand to create loose waves throughout your hair, then tousle with your fingers for a relaxed, beachy vibe.

Product Picks

No spring hair routine would be complete without the right products to keep your locks looking their best. Look for lightweight formulas that won’t weigh your hair down, such as volumising mousses, texturising sprays, and nourishing oils. To protect your hair from the sun’s rays, invest in a quality heat protectant spray with builtin UV protection. This will help prevent damage and keep your colour looking vibrant all season long.

BEAUTY
Curl Enhancing Smoothie Shea Moisture £12.99 Curling Wand Babyliss £32
Colour
£26.50 Perfect Defense Moroccanoil £27.85 22 •
Texture Spray
Wow
• 23 NAILS • LASHES • WAXING • FACIALS • MASSAGE ST ALBANS 01727 373990 14A Beech Road AL3 5AS 20% OFF ALL TREATMENTS NEW CLIENTS ONLY T&C’S APPLY

COUNT ON ME THROUGH THICK AND THIN…

Welcome you lovely bunch to this month’s column! We’ve gone from wading through treacle and handling a difficult time in my life in last month’s column to feeling energised, excited and ready to parrttaayyyy *cue bridesmaids movie references*

Yes loves, the sun is shining through the rain drops, the smell of freshly mowed grass is in the air followed by the sound of pollen season. We have officially entered Spring.

Do you see how quickly our emotions can change from one month to the next? I was in a harrowing pit of despair last month and this month, I’ve dusted myself off and back skipping through the streets and the world, once again, smells of roses. Cheers to me for acknowledging that all emotions are fleeting, but also for acknowledging that I don’t just miraculously pull myself back up on my own.

I used to say it was all me, all the time but quite frankly, that’s total BS. It is somewhat shortsighted to believe that no one in your life has not made a single impact on the trajectory of your life. Whether you realise it or not, those people, whether negatively or positively, inspired your thoughts and actions.

If, like me, you picked yourself up from rock bottom, can you think back to the point where you said, “no more” and decided to make positive changes? Do you remember it being a person that you looked up to? A reel on Instagram that inspired you or was there a friend or family member showing you tough love?

At some point on the journey, there must have been a lightbulb moment where someone, somewhere had triggered a change in your thought process. So, this column is a homage to the people in my life, and most likely yours, who turn up, whether in a small or big way, who changed our mindset and changed our course.

I thank my ex now for the lessons he taught me in my darkest times. I would have never become the person I am now if it wasn’t for him. I will always be grateful for what I went through because I found me at the end of it.

But not every good person is bred from a bad situation. For those who are fortunate enough to have not been

dealt a bad hand, there is often a person or a small village of people guiding and shaping the person you have, and will, eventually become.

The long-standing debate of nature versus nurture, where we determine what of us is us because of our genetic inheritance and what of us is a result of our environmental conditions is one I consider closely in the evolution of oneself. I truly believe your environment, your circumstance and the people you surround yourself with will have a big impact on the person you later become in life.

24 •

Growing up, the relationships I had forged with some of the most amazing people in my life have given me the sustenance, the support, the ambition and the strength to do more, for me.

I have said this time and time again, these people in my life are my ‘soul food.’

I cannot underestimate the person who listened to me cry over and over about the same guy, the person who watched me leave and go back and leave again and their patience in my journey whilst trying to support me without judgement.

I cannot give enough thanks to the woman who picked me up off the floor and cried with me at my lowest point and felt helpless that she could do nothing but rub my back and wipe my tears.

I cannot praise the woman enough who gave me the tough love I needed, the horrid words I had to hear to snap me back into reality and to start rebuilding. I know it was harder for her to say than it was for me to hear.

My heart could not feel more happiness than when us three sit on the sofa snuggled together making weird noises, cry laughing tears whilst watching Baby Reindeer after we’ve all offloaded our days problems until one of us says ‘wine?’ and the others say ‘no! I’m on a diet!’ but then continues to drink the wine.

There are not enough hours in the day to recount the countless memories, holidays, therapy sessions, career advice, celebrations, dark days, light days. The culmination of all these things is pure gratitude for every one of those people and moments that make me who I am today. I’m sure to most of you these moments sound familiar, they may remind you of better days, or days yet to come, but one thing is for sure, they’re important.

2. Friends keep you accountable.

I, myself am a bit of a deviator and can often find myself walking paths I should probably steer clear of. It’s like a horror movie, why would I go into the basement when there is a killer on the loose? I often steer myself into that proverbial basement.

My friends have been great at steering me away from bad decisions, from spiralling out of control when I’m in a zombified state of despair. We have cheered each other on to eat better and drink less, except for that one wild friend who drinks wine on a Monday night. We drag each other out of bed to go to the gym or to leave the house when we are in a funk. We will turn up at the door if we have to. We will g-check each other so we stay accountable and achieve what we set out to achieve.

3. Turn that frown upside down!

I’ve had my fair share of miserable moments. My friend had a bit of a menty b last weekend, and we rallied around to support her, whether she liked it or not. I have laughed uncontrollably from my core because my friends have been happy and energetic whilst I’ve been hunched over wailing. A state of happiness is contagious. I was in a slump last month, but thanks to my friends and the knowledge of “this too shall pass”, I’m back on top of the world today.

“I WILL ALWAYS be grateful FOR WHAT I WENT THROUGH BECAUSE
I found me at the end of it.”

So, here are some ways forging and developing great friendships is good for your soul (or health at the very least!)

1. Make friends or die!

Ok ok, that’s very dramatic, but who wants to be unhappy and die? No one. So, listen up!

According to verywellmind.com, having good friendships will reduce your risk of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes and, very directly will positively reduce loneliness in adults which can lead onto premature deaths from all causes.

Unless you have a friendship group like mine where wine is a staple on the meet up menu and I spend my life keeping my mouth shut and shaking my head as they waft a crispy rose under my nose, then yes, friendships are wonderful for physical health.

4. I’m your number 1 fan.

This is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest reasons why I love my friendship group. We are each other’s number 1 fans. We praise, we applaud, we celebrate, we are involved, we rejoice in every win we get. When we are down, we all pull each other back up. When we are treacherous, we will call out each other’s bullshit.

There’s no hidden agenda, there’s no jealousy from the sidelines but aspirations to be like one another. I have never felt more safe, loved, heard, or supported by a group of men and women than I do in my friendship group. Reciprocate that energy and it will come back to you!

But sometimes, even the odd friend can teach you so much about yourself by the way they mistreat you.

Rightly or wrongly, every person in your life will impact you and help you develop a better version of yourself whether by wanting to replicate the amazing attributes they have as a person, or by actively trying to not reenact some of the heinous ways they’ve behaved.

So, I’ll end my column with this message to my friends and hopefully I’ve inspired you to do the same…

I am forever grateful for every emotion I’ve ever felt, because of you, because you’ve made me who I am.

Big Mouth xoxo
• 25

SPEND FREE FUN

EDITORIAL
Head out for an outdoor run Listen to a podcast or audiobook Have a winter clear out in time for summer De-clutter your phone Visit a free market Take a fresh morning walk Give your plants a spa day Make a DIY healthy at-home smoothie Meal prep for the week Sit outside and paint a landscape of your choice Have a picnic in the park Watch the sunrise Enjoy street entertainment in London Give your home a deep spring clean Binge-watch an old favourite series Upcycle old clothes or accessories 26 •
Close Up’s monthly round-up of spend free activities

FBC is an award-winning marketing agency in Birmingham, serving clients worldwide.

With a team of expert digital marketers, FBC offers a wide range of services, including social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and more.

At FBC we believe that successful digital marketing requires a customised approach. That’s why we work closely with each client to develop a digital marketing strategy that’s tailored to their unique needs and goals.

We take the time to understand each client’s target audience, industry, and competition to ensure that our marketing efforts are targeted and effective.

Our team of digital marketing experts have years of experience in the industry and stays up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. We use cutting-edge tools and technologies to track and analyse data, optimise campaigns, and provide our clients with actionable insights and recommendations.

Whether you’re looking to increase website traffic, generate leads, boost sales, or improve your online presence, FBC can help.

Contact us today to learn more about our digital marketing services.

ABOUT OUR FOUNDER, SAPNA

Based in Birmingham, Sapna brings a trained art director eye and a marketing background to the world of social media.

Sapna trained in Marketing at Oxford Brookes, achieving an impressive First Class in Business Marketing & Communications.

Since then, Sapna has gained over 10 years of experience in the Marketing field, specialising in social media, SEO, email marketing and graphic design.

FBC & Sapna have been featured in Close Up, The BBC and Brainz.

WWW.FEMALEBOSSCOLLECTIVE.CO.UK SAPNA@FEMALEBOSSCOLLECTIVE.INFO @FEMALEBOSSCOLLECTIVE

WISH list

Close Up’s monthly guide to what you should be wishing for…

GOLDEN GIRL

Transform your summer glow with this shimmering body oil, infused with luminous particles to leave your skin radiant and bronzed.

Sol De Janeiro Bronze Glow Oil, £35 www.space.nk.com

SUMMER SCENT

Sultry summer nights are on their way, step into a world of allure with this irresistible fragrance, both spicy and sweet.

Energetically New York, £25.99 www.zara.com

RAY OF LIGHT

Illuminate your lounge, dining room or bedroom with this super cute table lamp! it’s the ideal addition to add a splash of subtle colour to any room.

Mahina Pink Ceramic Desk & Table Lamp, £90 www.oliverbonas.com

BEACH BABE

Embrace beachy chic with this oversized woven straw tote, perfect for effortlessly carrying all your essentials in style!

Large Woven Straw Tote, £65 www.stories.com

PICK ME!

Make your home pop with this playful strawberry vase! Perfect to spruce up any living space and put a smile on everyone’s face.

Strawberry Ceramic Vase, £39.99 www.houseofbloc.com

FRESH FEEL

Indulge in sun protection with a refreshing twist. This moisturizer protects whilst delicately scented with the crisp essence of cucumber!

Estée Lauder Daywear Moisturizer, £54 www.boots.com

HYDRATION STATION

Your hydration game just got a whole lot easier with this sleek and durable tumbler water bottle, designed to keep your drinks cold (or hot!) for hours on end!

Stanley Quencher, £44.95 www.harrods.com

ON THE GO GAL

Say hello to your new best friend! This silicone, bubble case for your phone keeps your favourite lip balm on hand wherever you go.

Lip Case, £35 www.rhodeskin.com

PASTEL PERFECTION

Add a touch of whimsical elegance to your home with this charming scalloped-shaped fruit bowl, featuring a soft pastel pink hue that effortlessly complements any décor.

Stoneware Fruit Bowl, £60 www.spicerandwood.co.uk

28 •

CANDALIA LONDON PRESENTS MATCHA MOMENTS

A home fragrance brand that focuses on creating high quality fragrances with your wellbeing in mind.

Our founder, Alia Shah, envisioned to make wellness more accessible by creating a product with which everyone can create mindful moments at home.

Wellbeing and self-care, along with her love for travel and interior design laid the foundations for the inspiration behind the brand and scents. Using the power of fragrance to elevate homes to our needs, is the purpose behind the candles, diffusers, and room sprays. All products are handmade in small batches in the U.K.

NEW IN: Matcha Moments Candle

The soothing aroma of fresh matcha transports you to a perfect escape from the hustle of daily life, inviting you to unwind and reset with every flicker of candlelight.

Imagine the calming scent of matcha intertwined with the delicate sweetness of cherry blossoms, creating a harmonious blend that invigorates the senses with hints of earthy green and floral notes reminiscent of a Japanese springtime.

Create your Matcha Moment with our hand-poured bespoke relaxation candle. Infuse your space with serene energy, enjoying harmony and balance within your surroundings.

Energise, focus & reset, enjoy a Match-a moment like no other.

All our candles are made from 100% natural wax using only lead-free cotton wicks, and our diffusers and room sprays are alcohol-free and high in fragrance oil to make them long-lasting.

• 29
www.candalia.uk | @candalia_london

COCOA

Rich, earthy browns have proven to be a fan favourite both in the fashion world and in interior design, with many preferring these moodier shades over more subdued neutrals like creams and whites following the rise of warm minimalism and the resurgence of mid-century aesthetic.

LIVING
Covet House
Board H&M £22.99
Peppermill Interiors £355 Cup Where Saints Go £15
Conker No. 11 Victory Colours POA Chopping
Chair
£55
Bowl Malida Decor
Willow £1880 Candle Loriest & Co. £40 Arranging Things by Colin
Hardcopy Amazon £29.85 Throw Anbôise £150
Lamp Sweetpea &
King
Loaf £39 30 •
Cushion

At In Steel we are dedicated to providing the finest quality steel doors and windows for both residential and commercial properties. The doors and windows of a building are more than just functional elements – they are an integral part of the design and aesthetic of a space. We take great pride in our ability to create bespoke products that are tailored to the unique needs and preferences of people like you.

We specialize in crafting exquisite doors and windows that are designed to stand the test of time. Our team of skilled craftsmen use only the finest quality steel from Switzerland to create products that are both beautiful and durable.

Our products suit classic and traditional designs to modern and contemporary styles. InSteel’s doors and windows are available in a variety of finishes, including powder coating, patina, and rust, giving you the freedom to choose the perfect look for your home or business.

• 31
590 Kingston Road, London, United Kingdom @insteel.uk • office@insteel.uk

SPRING INTO FRESHNESS

As winter’s chill gives way to the gentle warmth of spring, it’s time to embrace the season of renewal by refreshing our homes and minds. Spring cleaning isn’t just about dusting shelves and vacuuming carpets; it’s a rejuvenating ritual that clears out the clutter of the past and makes space for new beginnings. Below we have picked out the essential tips and tricks for decluttering, organising, and revitalising your living spaces as you embark on your spring cleaning journey.

Out with the Old: Decluttering for Spring and Summer

The first step in any successful spring cleaning endeavour is to declutter and clear out the old to make room for the new. Take stock of your belongings and ask yourself: does this item bring me joy, serve a purpose, or enhance my life? If the answer is no, it’s time to say farewell! Donate gently used items to charity, recycle old magazines and newspapers, and discard any broken or unused items cluttering up your space. Alternatively, if you want to make a bit of extra cash, try selling your unwanted items online using apps like Vinted and Depop. By purging the unnecessary, you’ll create a sense of lightness and freedom in your home, paving the way for a fresh start just intime for the new season.

Organising Hacks for a Seamless Spring Clean

Once the clutter has been cleared, it’s time to get organised and set your space up for success. Invest in storage solutions such as baskets, bins, and shelving units to corral loose items and keep surfaces clutter-free. Utilise vertical space by installing hooks and racks for hanging coats, bags, and accessories, maximising every inch of available space. Labelling containers and drawers will streamline your storage systems and make it easier to find what you need when you need it. With a well-organised space, you’ll not only enhance the visual aesthetic of your home but also create a sense of calm and tranquillity.

Embrace the Art of Spring Cleaning

Now that your home is decluttered and organised, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into the heart of spring cleaning. Spring cleaning isn’t just a chore; it’s an opportunity to renew our spaces and our spirits, to let go of the old and embrace the new. So, grab your cleaning supplies, put on your favourite playlist, and let the transformative power of spring cleaning sweep through your home, leaving behind a fresh start and a brighter tomorrow.

Start from the top down, tackling one room at a time and focusing on high-traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms. Dust surfaces, wipe down countertops, and deep clean appliances to remove built-up grime and dirt. Don’t forget to freshen up soft furnishings such as curtains, rugs, and upholstery with a thorough cleaning or a trip to the dry cleaner. As you scrub, sweep, and mop your way through your home, visualise the energy of renewal infusing every corner, leaving behind a space that feels vibrant, refreshed, and ready for the season ahead.

EDITORIAL

Top tips to begin your spring clean!

Before diving into your spring cleaning, take some time to create a cleaning schedule that breaks down tasks by room and day. This will help you stay organised and prevent overwhelm, allowing you to tackle one area at a time and track your progress along the way. Start with high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, then work your way through bedrooms, living spaces, and finally, outdoor areas like patios and decks.

Gather Your Supplies:

Having the right cleaning supplies on hand is essential for a successful spring cleaning session. Stock up on essentials such as all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, disinfectant wipes, microfiber cloths, sponges, and brushes. Don’t forget to replenish your supply of trash bags, vacuum bags, and other disposable items as well. Having everything you need within reach will streamline the cleaning process and make it easier to tackle even the toughest messes.

Declutter Before You Clean:

Before diving into the deep cleaning, take some time to declutter and purge unnecessary items from your home. Start by sorting through closets, drawers, and cabinets, and donate or discard items that you no longer need or use. Clearing out the clutter will not only make cleaning easier but also create a sense of space and lightness in your home.

Work from Top to Bottom:

When it comes to cleaning each room, always start from the top and work your way down. Begin by dusting ceiling fans, light fixtures, and shelves, then move on to furniture, countertops, and finally, floors. This will prevent dust and debris from falling onto clean surfaces and ensure a thorough cleaning from top to bottom.

Don’t Forget the Forgotten Areas:

In the rush to clean visible surfaces, it’s easy to overlook forgotten areas that accumulate dirt and grime over time. Pay special attention to often-neglected areas such as skirting boards, door frames, windowsills, and behind appliances. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down these surfaces and remove built-up dust and dirt for a truly deep

clean. For stubborn stains and grime, don’t be afraid to pull out the heavy-duty cleaning products. Invest in a good quality stain remover for carpets and upholstery and use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to tackle tough grease and grime in the kitchen. For hard water stains and soap scum, try a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water or a specialised bathroom cleaner.

Freshen Up Soft Furnishings:

To give your home a fresh, inviting scent, consider freshening up soft furnishings such as curtains, rugs, and upholstery. Simply sprinkle baking soda onto carpets and rugs, let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up to remove odours and refresh the fibres. For curtains and upholstery, consider steam cleaning or using a fabric refresher spray to remove any lingering smells.

Top products for a deep clean

Miracle Cleaning Paste The Pink Stuff £1.50 Multipurpose Cleaning Liquid Flash £2.50 Carpet Stain Remover Dr. Beckmann £3.99

LIVE WITH LAURA

We caught up with Love Islands Laura Anderson on the exciting news of her new role hosting Capital FM Radio show and embracing the joys and challenges of motherhood.

Congratulations on your new role as a Capital Breakfast host! How does it feel to be joining such a prominent platform in the world of radio?

I feel so lucky! It’s definitely something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, so when the opportunity arose, I said ‘let’s do it!’. What people don’t know is we were in talks for over a year before I was announced as co-host, so it’s been a long time in the making!

What inspired you to pursue this career change, and how do you think your previous experiences have prepared you for this?

Before starting at Capital, I knew some of their radio presenters and they really inspired me to get into the radio hosting world. When I was pregnant, I began to think about a long-term career which would support Bonnie and I, and hosting Capital was such an amazing opportunity to do just that. I think in my line of work you have to be a sociable person and it helps massively to be a chatty person on the radio.

What can listeners expect from your hosting style?

I’m going to be playing upbeat music in the morning and then a bit later on, lively chart music. I want to get people excited to face their day. My co-host, Fat, and I bounce off each other and we love to make listeners laugh. It’s such an important slot of radio time to be presenting because you’re the first voice many people hear in the morning. I’m so eager for listeners to tune in and have a chat.

It’s quite nice because the show is over by 10am so I have the rest of the day with Bonnie. She adores Fat and loves dancing with us to the music in the breaks.

What aspects of hosting a breakfast show are you most excited about, and are there any challenges you anticipate?

I’m honestly excited for the early wake-up calls. I’ve never really been phased by early mornings as I used to be cabin crew; my body clock was in multiple different time zones. But one coffee is all I need! I’m also excited to connect with the listeners and hear from them. It’s about creating memorable moments that kickstart someone’s day with a smile. Fat and I are currently coming up with new games to make the show completely ours.

“IT’S ABOUT CREATING MEMORABLE MOMENTS THAT kickstart someone’s day with a smile.”

How do you plan to balance your career as a radio host with the demands of motherhood?

Since having Bonnie, I’ve become even more of a morning person. I wake up at 4:30am which is pretty standard with an infant, so the morning slot at Capital doesn’t really affect me.

A big worry for me is not swearing live on air. We’ve had lots of practice, but it’s definitely something I may slip up on. So far so good though!

How has becoming a mother influenced your approach to your career and life in general?

I think people know my fiery personality from TV, so it’s nice to step away from that and show a side that’s more compassionate and understanding. She’s the reason I decided to try something new and enter the radio world.

What advice would you give to aspiring broadcasters, especially those who are also navigating the journey of parenthood?

The best advice I could give is to say yes to any opportunities that may arise – no matter how big or small. Starting your journey into parenthood is hard without having to start a new career at the same time, so take it easy on yourself. Lean on your friends and family where you can or get childcare. It’s okay to ask for help. And avoid feeling guilty – it’s important for you to excel in your career as well as being a mother.

INTERVIEW

At By Paula, we’re inspired by the natural beauty of the world around us. From the colours of a sunset to the scent of a blooming garden, we strive to capture the essence of these moments in our candles. We believe that candles have the power to transport you to another place or time, and we’re committed to creating candles that do just that.

The refined scent of Knightsbridge part of The London Collection brings you notes of fig, jasmine and bergamot reminding you of the famously elegant and luxurious Knightsbridge.

By Paula candles are 100% soy wax, vegan and non toxic. The wooden wick adds to the magic with a crackling sound creating the perfect ambiance.

At Birthday Studio Ldn, our mission is to make birthday planning as stress-free as possible, so parents can focus on what really matters –creating memories with their little ones.

Regardless of whether you’re celebrating at home, in the park, or at your favorite venue our signature Birthday Boxes include all the supplies needed to throw the party of the year.

No more running from store to store trying to find plates, cake toppers, and party favors in your theme. Instead, just choose from our selection of kids’ favorite themes and have everything from cups and plates to balloon garlands, custom backdrops, and thoughtful and personalised party bags all delivered to your doorstep.

@birthdaystudio_ldn
birthdaystudio.co.uk Availability may be limited in certain age groups or booking patterns Please call 020 8447 1914 or email woodlands.barnet@childbase.com Woodlands Day Nursery and Preschool, 1/3 Orchard Rd, Barnet, EN5 2HL www.childbasepartnership.com FOR CHILDREN AGED 6 WEEKS TO 5 YEARS OPEN 7.30AM TO 6.30PM We look forward to hearing from you Nursery Places Available Fun is an essential ingredient at Woodlands Day Nursery and Preschool where the care and education opportunities for each and every child are as extraordinary as our colleagues who provide them. “I could not recommendWoodlandsDay NurseryinBarnethighlyenough. Bothofoursonshavegoneto Woodlandsandtheyabsolutely loved their time there. We found all ofthesta tobecaring,kindand knowledgeableandmyboysreally developeddeeprelationships with the sta .” Parent, www.daynurseries.co.uk
|
@bypaula.candles | bypaulacandles.etsy.com

Keeping Up With Katerina

Ever felt like you can’t do it all? I don’t remember feeling this before motherhood, but to be fair, before becoming a mum I was living in between mine and Jamie’s family homes, 25 years old and seemingly stressfree, enjoying a non-career-based job and my biggest stress was how I was going to get enough annual leave to go on both a baecation and a girl’s trip and what I was going to wear to Tape on the weekend.

But honestly, the older I get, the more I feel like I’m constantly juggling between EVERYTHING. Being a good teacher, a good mum, a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter, a good sister and a good granddaughter. Remembering to return the call, remembering the playdates, remembering to be present, making sure Rico’s at the right club every day with the right uniform. Is the house clean enough? When did I last mop? Have I read my bible today? Are the skirting boards dusty? Has Rico had chicken nuggets already this week? What episode of Married at First sight am I on? Where’s his football kit? The list can go on and on probably across the next 3 months of columns.

Mum guilt sinks in about the things that I feel like I haven’t done well enough and then mum guilt about how I feel like I sometimes just need a break (or several) when it all gets too much. I think the art of learning how to juggle it all is organisation and discipline (two things which I can often lack, especially the discipline part).

Here are my top tips to not losing your mind completely, trying to do it all.

1. Share the load

If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family that you can trust with your little ones, use them for help as and when you can. This obviously doesn’t have to be excessive, but booking in a trusted person to help you out with childcare once a week or once every two weeks can be a big help. Even if this is the day you do your shopping, schedule in a clean, book in for some selfcare or even a lunch/dinner date with your friends or other half, do it. Trying to tick off an endless to-do list is hard enough, let alone with your little offspring hanging off your hip.

2. Invest in the things that will bring you some peace

We all know money is tight at the moment, but honestly, investing in things that will bring you peace of mind is actually priceless. This might be a cleaner that comes once a week, once a fortnight or once a month, it might be a dinner delivery service that helps you with dinner ideas – I’ve personally used Hello Fresh, which I loved and am planning on signing back up to, with no complaints apart from the fact that one of their portions was about the size of what Jamie would eat for a starter.

3. Win the lottery

Win the lottery, become so rich you can afford all the help the world has to offer. Hire 2 nannies, 1 cleaner, 1 cook, a live-in masseuse and a driver and voila!

All problems solved!

Until next time lovelies

in Spotlight Business

This month’s business in spotlight is Cheffing with Ash. Ash recently turned his childhood passion into being one of the leading celebrity chefs in the UK. He works with many high profiles including; Peter Jones, Anthony Joshua, Raheem Sterling and Bobby Shmurda. Ash had a 10 year professional background in real estate before deciding in 2023 to pursue cooking as a business ambition. His work grabbed attention on social media as he is passionate on making a change in the community. He supports the new generation by working with many foundations/charities and schools, teaching them about entrepreneurship and cooking workshops. He also supports any food waste and homeless charities. Giving back and working towards a better community is Ash’s motto ‘Teaching unity with food & the community’. He will be taking his work abroad this year in his motherland, Mauritius. Specialising in private cheffing and catering, offering a versatile combination of Caribbean, African, American and Mauritian cuisines known as ‘The Tropical Soul Food Experience’. He has kindly offered my readers 10% off catering services quoting my column! Enjoy and thank me later!

@keepingupwithkaterina @keepingupwithmyclassroom
Keeping up with all things life, love, family, kids and keeping it together!
BLOG
@CHEFFINGWITHASH
Katerina x
by The Liink Group theliinkgroup theliinkgroup www.theliinkgroup.com 07939 242 148 BALLOONS Private dining Branding Themes Baby showers Personalisation Children s parties Sponsors Venue Hire Launches Pop ups Ballrooms Printing Concepts Dinner settings Celebrations Birthdays Brand events Tast ngs Production

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Headmaster’s Welcome

A warm welcome to Keble Prep.

We understand the importance of choosing the right school for your child and one which will set them up for the future.

We offer a dynamic and well-rounded education that develops the abilities and enthusiasm of every child.

We believe that the environment created at Keble allows all pupils to be academically challenged, whilst also instilling the social values and learning attitudes required to succeed in an ever changing world. Our pupils access a broad curriculum which places emphasis on the physical, creative, academic and personal development. It is delivered through traditional academic teaching, coupled with the latest technology.

All of this combines to make Keble a school where every pupil can achieve, succeed and grow.

Since 1929 Keble has been educating boys, but we were delighted to introduce a Nursery setting for pupils aged 3+ and became fully co-educational across all year groups in September 2023. This was an exciting change in our history.

Our purpose and school values remain the same; “Puritas, Veritas, Probitas” “being pure of heart, true to oneself, and honest”.

We understand that the choice of the right school is as complex as it is important. With this in mind, a personal visit is the best way to form a view as to what makes Keble School so special.

Come and see what we have to offer your child. We look forward to welcoming you warmly.

Keble Prep

A vibrant, forward-thinking education for pupils aged 3-13.

NOW OFFERING

• Term-time Nursery 3+

• Fully co-educational across all year groups

Contact Admissions: 0208 360 3359 admissions@kebleprep.co.uk kebleprep.co.uk

Follow us @KeblePrepSchool

Keble Prep

Wades Hill, Winchmore Hill, London N21 1BG

WRAP AROUND

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Rhubarb, rose & pistachio

PAVLOVA

This pudding is made pretty with rosy pink forced rhubarb. Make the meringue the night before and leave to cool in the oven.

Serves 8

Prep 25 mins

Cook 1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

4 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg whites

• 350g caster sugar

¼ tsp cream of tartar

• 40g pistachio nut kernels, finely chopped

• 400g pack Cooks’ Ingredients Forced Rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces

• 2 tsp rose water, to taste • 300ml pot double cream

• 150g Greek-style yogurt

Method

Preheat the oven to 120oC, gas mark ½. Put the egg whites and a pinch of fine salt into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer). Whisk until soft peaks form. With the motor still running, gradually spoon in 200g caster sugar until incorporated.

Add the cream of tartar and keep whisking on a high speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. (When you rub a little between your fingers you shouldn’t be able to feel any grains of sugar.)

Draw a 20cm circle on a piece of baking parchment, turn the paper upside down, then stick it onto a baking sheet using dots of meringue mixture near the edges. Spoon the mixture onto the circle and spread evenly using the back of a spoon, creating a dip in the centre. Sprinkle ½ the pistachios on the rim. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, until crisp and dry on the outside. Switch off the oven, leave the door ajar and allow to cool completely.

Put the remaining 150g sugar in a medium-large frying pan with 150ml water. Bring to the boil, swirling to dissolve. As soon as you have a clear syrup (don’t let it colour), stir in the rhubarb and 1 tsp rose water; cook for 2 minutes, then take off the heat. Taste the syrup and add a little more rose water, if liked. Set aside to cool. When ready to serve, whisk the cream to soft peaks and fold in the yogurt. Spoon onto the cooled meringue. Use a slotted spoon to lift the cooled, poached rhubarb out of the syrup and arrange it on top of the cream. Decorate with the remaining pistachios and serve with the syrup alongside.

FOOD 42 •

Cook’s tip

Floral flavours are on trend, but also strike fear into home bakers as, if added with a heavy hand, they can taste soapy and overpowering. The trick is to use a proper measuring spoon, rather than just a teaspoon, so you can be sure you’re adding the correct amount. Start with just a little, as you can always add more.

Martha Collison’s elegant mini cakes are delicate with a light texture.

Makes 12

Prep 25 mins

Cook 17 mins

Ingredients

50g butter, plus extra for greasing

• 100g caster sugar • 3 British Blacktail Free Range Large Eggs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Cut out 12 discs of baking parchment, the same size as the bottom of the holes in a 12-hole muffin tin. Melt a knob of butter and, using a pastry brush, coat the inside of each hole, then line with the prepared parchment. Melt 50g butter in a small saucepan, then set aside to cool slightly. Place the sugar, eggs and rose water into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, then whisk with an electric whisk for 10-15 minutes, or until tripled in volume and pale in colour.

Sieve the flour and baking powder over the top of the mixture and gently fold together, using a balloon whisk or metal spoon, Pour the melted butter around the edge of the bowl, then sprinkle over the lemon zest and repeat the folding process until all the ingredients are just combined.

• 1 tsp rose water

• 100g plain flour

• ½ tsp baking powder

• 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest • Cooks’ Ingredients Rose Petals, to serve

For the icing 100g icing sugar

• 1 tsp rose water

• Pink food colouring

Divide the mixture between the 12 prepared holes and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until risen and golden on top. They should be spongy to the touch.

Using oven gloves, immediately invert the tray onto a cooling rack so the cakes don’t get stuck in the pan. Remove the baking parchment and allow to cool completely before icing.

Meanwhile, if using, make the candied lemon peel. For the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the rose water to taste, with enough water to make a thick spreadable paste. Add a tiny amount of food colouring to create a pastel pink colour, if liked.

Spread the icing on top of each cake, pushing it right to the edges so it begins to drip down the sides. Top each cake with candied lemon peel (if using) and a few rose petals, then serve.

Recipes and images courtesy of Waitrose. Thousands of recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com
CAKES • 43
Mini lemon & rose

Monte CRISTO

A Californian spin on an eggy bread sandwich, this version is layered with chicken, ham hock and Gruyère and finished with a drizzle of honey.

Serves 2

Prep 10 mins

Cook 5 mins

Ingredients

2 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs

• 4 slices No.1 Spelt Sourdough, or thick white bread

• 2 tbsp mayonnaise

Cook’s tip

To help the cheese melt in less time, cover the pan with a lid.

Method

Lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt in a shallow bowl. Spread 2 slices of the bread with mayonnaise and layer the chicken, cheese and ham hock on top. Spread the remaining bread with mustard, then press down on top to make 2 sandwiches. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Dip the sandwiches into the beaten egg one at a time, turning until coated, then cook in the pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with a little honey.

• 4 slices from a 130g pack British roast chicken breast

Gruyère, thinly sliced or grated

• 60g

• ½ x 180g pack

Cooks’ Ingredients Pulled Ham Hock

• 2 tsp Dijon mustard

• 25g butter

• 2 tsp clear honey, to serve

44
FOOD Recipes and images courtesy of Waitrose. Thousands of recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com
932-934 High Road London N12 9RT (Easy parking nearby) We are inbetween Whetstone & North Finchley 020 8445 3355 Email: san_giorgio@hotmail.com - www.sangiorgiorestaurant.london Now under new management, helmed by a former Knightsbridge restauranteur, bringing a wealth of upscale culinary expertise to the dining experience at San Giorgio.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

This is where you will find a definitive selection of health and lifestyle books. From books on healthy eating and getting in shape, to mood-boosting food’s, these are the perfect books to feed your soul, strengthen your body and improve your quality of life.

Food For Life

Inside the pages:

The respected scientist and author Tim Spector delivers an eyeopening account of the frauds and fallacies of the food and diet industries as he presents his own approach to nutrition. Empowering and practical, Food for Life is nothing less than a new approach to how to eat – for our health and the health of the planet. Food is our greatest ally for good health, but the question of what to eat in the age of ultraprocessed food has never seemed so complicated.

Drawing on cuttingedge research and personal insights, Professor Tim Spector offers clear answers in this definitive, easy-tofollow guide to the new science of eating well.

UltraProcessed People

Inside the pages:

We have entered a new ‘age of eating’ where most of our calories come from an entirely novel set of substances called Ultra-Processed Food, food which is industrially processed and designed and marketed to be addictive. But do we really know what it’s doing to our bodies?

Join Chris in his travels through the world of food science and a UPF diet to discover what’s really going on. Find out why exercise and willpower can’t save us, and what UPF is really doing to our bodies, our health, our weight, and the planet.

How Not To Die

Inside the pages:

We rely on drugs and surgery to cure us of life-threatening disease when the right decisions can prevent you from falling ill to begin with. How Not To Die gives effective, scientifically-proven nutritional advice to prevent our biggest killers – including heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes – and reveals the astounding health benefits that simple dietary choices can provide. It also shares Dr Greger’s ‘Daily Dozen’ – the twelve foods we should all eat every day to stay in the best of health.

With emphasis on individual family health history, Dr Michael Greger offers practical dietary advice to help you live longer, healthier lives.

Food-Mood Connection

Inside the pages:

Recent studies have shown that diet can have a profound impact on mental health conditions ranging from ADHD to depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, OCD, dementia and beyond.

Dr. Uma Naidoo is a board-certified psychiatrist, nutrition specialist, and professionally trained chef. In The FoodMood Connection, she draws on cuttingedge research to explain the many ways in which food contributes to our mental health, and shows how a sound diet can help treat and prevent a wide range of psychological and cognitive health issues. Packed with fascinating science, actionable nutritional advice, and delicious, brain-healthy recipes, The Food-Mood Connection is the goto guide to optimizing your mental health with food.

The Energy Plan

Inside the pages:

Forget fasting and low carb diets.

The Energy Plan is a whole new mindset that will forever change your relationship with food, exercise and your body, giving you a winning edge in everything that you do. Peak performance is all about energy and how to eat and exercise right for your body. By following The Energy Plan, you will learn how to fuel your body for your life, power through the 4pm slump and get the best out of your day. Instead you will naturally choose foods that leave you bursting with energy for work and play – and allow you to fully recharge afterwards. You’ll feel more productive, sleep well, lose unwanted weight and avoid illness.

EDITORIAL
46 •
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Sticky toffee FLAPJACKS

The black treacle in Martha Collison’s gooey flapjack

is reminiscent of a sticky toffee pudding. The thick caramel sauce and toasted pecans make this flapjack the ultimate treat and a real crowd-pleaser.

Makes 12

Prep 15 mins

Cook 30 mins

Ingredients

150g butter, plus extra for greasing

• 125g demerara sugar

• 1 tbsp black treacle

• 225g rolled oats

• 150g medjool dates, stoned and quartered

For the topping

100g dark brown sugar

• 1 tbsp golden syrup

cream

• 25g butter

• 2 tbsp double

• 50g pecans, toasted

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Grease a 20x30cm tin and line with baking parchment.

Put the butter, sugar and treacle into a large heavy-based saucepan. Heat the mixture gently, stirring occasionally, until the butter has completely melted and the sugar has almost dissolved.

Mix the oats and dates into the hot sugar and butter mixture and stir together until all the oats are completely coated. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a spatula to press it down into an even layer.

Bake for 15 minutes until the top has just started to caramelise and is a light golden colour. This flapjack is darker than most, so be careful not to over bake it – you want the flapjack to be sticky and soft. Allow to cool completely in the tin.

To make the topping, put the dark brown sugar, butter and golden syrup into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stirring all the time, cook the mixture for five minutes or until thickened and bubbling. Carefully stir in the double cream and allow to cool slightly.

Roughly chop half the toasted pecans, then drizzle the toffee sauce over the flapjack. Sprinkle on the whole and chopped nuts and leave to set for about 30 minutes, or until the toffee sauce has cooled, before slicing into squares. The flapjacks will keep in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

FOOD
be
at www.waitrose.com 48 •
Recipes and images courtesy of Waitrose. Thousands of recipes can
found
BAKES | COOKIES | CUPCAKES | BROWNIES | CAKES @BAKES_BY_ANDREA
TRAY

LIBSOA COOL

Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon beckons travellers with its irresistible blend of old-world charm and modern allure. As the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon stands as a testament to centuries of rich history, cultural diversity, and artistic innovation. Lisbon is a bustling and exciting city that boasts a wide selection of activities and fascinating tourist attractions. It has a welcoming and liberal atmosphere, while still embracing its deeprooted heritage and extensive history, it can form a cultural trip, a nightlife extravaganza, a family holiday, a relaxed city-break or even as a base for a beach holiday. Steeped in tradition, this vibrant metropolis offers an enchanting tapestry of experiences waiting to be explored.

EXPLORING LISBON

A Journey Through Time: Alfama District

Walking through the cobbled streets of Lisbon is like stepping into a living history book. From the majestic São Jorge Castle perched atop one of the city's seven hills to the elegant Belém Tower standing sentinel at the edge of the Tagus River, Lisbon's skyline is adorned with architectural marvels that bear witness to its storied past. The winding alleys of one of Lisbon’s must see attractions, the Alfama district, Lisbon’s most genuine and oldest neighbourhoods – its architecture presents the unique characteristics of old and colourful buildings that give it a joyful character and tranquillity. You haven’t genuinely experienced Lisbon without getting lost among the paths and charms of the neighbourhood that is considered the heart of the city. While walking through the disordered and narrow streets of Alfama, you’ll feel like you’re in a small village, witnessing conversations between neighbours, listening to fado echoing through the stairways and being able to see the Tejo River from another perspective.

Linger in a backstreet cafe along the way and experience some local bonhomie without the tourist gloss. With narrow lanes of residential houses and grocery stores, Early morning is the best time to catch a more traditional scene, when women sell fresh fish from their doorways.

Cultural Kaleidoscope: Art, Music, and Cuisine

Lisbon's cultural landscape is as diverse as it is vibrant. Art enthusiasts will find themselves enthralled by the masterpieces housed within the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, while music lovers can immerse themselves in the soul-stirring melodies of fado, Portugal's hauntingly beautiful musical tradition. Meanwhile, foodies will delight in the city's culinary offerings, from fresh seafood delights at the Mercado da Ribeira to the tantalizing pastéis de nata, Lisbon's beloved custard tarts.

TRAVEL

Certainly! Here's an editorial highlighting some of the top tourist attractions and must-visit places in Lisbon:

THINGS TO SEE

Lisbon, the radiant capital of Portugal, is a city where every cobblestone street and every historic monument tells a story of centuries past. From its ancient landmarks to its vibrant neighbourhoods, Lisbon offers a plethora of enchanting attractions that promise to captivate the hearts and imaginations of travellers from around the world.

Here are some of the top places to visit and mustsee tourist attractions in this captivating city:

Belém Tower

The Belém Tower was built between 1514 and 1520 in a Manuelino style by the Portuguese architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda.

It was classified as a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO.

BREATHTAKING VIEWS: SCENIC SPLENDOR

For those seeking moments of serenity amidst the urban hustle and bustle, Lisbon offers no shortage of breath-taking views. Whether it's watching the sunset over the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge from the picturesque neighbourhood of Alcântara or admiring panoramic views of the city from the scenic Miradouros scattered throughout its hills, every vantage point offers a glimpse into Lisbon's timeless beauty and embrace its unique charm.

Constructed on the northern bank of the Tagus River, this tower was used to defend the city. The architectural style of Belém Tower is a stunning example of Manueline architecture, characterized by intricate stone carvings, maritime motifs, and ornate detailing. From its imposing battlements to its graceful turrets and delicate balconies, every aspect of the tower's design reflects Portugal's seafaring prowess and the wealth of the Age of Discovery. Years later, it was transformed into a lighthouse and customs house. It's located right by the Jerónimos Monastery, so it is recommended to visit them on the same day!

Rossio Square:

At the heart of Lisbon lies Rossio Square, a bustling plaza surrounded by elegant buildings and historic cafes. Nearby, the Chiado district beckons with its charming streets, fashionable boutiques, and vibrant cultural scene. Take a leisurely stroll, sip a coffee at one of the iconic cafes, and immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of Lisbon's city centre. For a taste of Lisbon's creative spirit, head to LX Factory, a dynamic hub of art, design, and innovation housed in a former industrial complex. Browse through galleries, artisan shops, and trendy cafes, and witness first-hand the city's thriving cultural renaissance.

São Jorge Castle (Castelo de São Jorge): Perched atop the highest hill in Lisbon, São Jorge Castle offers panoramic views of the city and the shimmering waters of the Tagus River below. Wander through its ancient walls, explore its archaeological sites, and soak in the breathtaking views from its battlements.

Miradouro da Graça:

Miradouro da Graça is a sprawling terrace that overlooks Lisbon's historic centre and the majestic São Jorge Castle. With ample seating and a relaxed atmosphere, this viewpoint is ideal for soaking in the beauty of the city while enjoying a leisurely picnic or a glass of Portuguese wine.

Miradouro da Penha de França:

Tucked away in the charming Penha de França neighbourhood, this lesser-known viewpoint offers panoramic views of Lisbon's skyline, including the Vasco da Gama Bridge and the picturesque hills of Monsanto Park. Its tranquil setting and lush greenery make it a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Cristo Rei:

Across the Tagus River in the municipality of Almada stands Cristo Rei, a towering statue of Christ inspired by Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer. Visitors can take an elevator to the observation deck at the base of the statue's pedestal for panoramic views of Lisbon, the 25 de Abril Bridge, and the shimmering waters of the Tagus River.

• 51

WHAT’S ON

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.

1ERIC

Set in 1980s New York, Eric follows the desperate search of a father when his nine year old son disappears one morning on the way to school. Vincent, one of New York’s leading puppeteers and creator of the hugely popular children’s television show, ‘Good Day Sunshine,’ struggles to cope with the loss of his son, Edgar. Full of self-loathing and guilt, he clings to his son’s drawings of a blue monster puppet, Eric, convinced that if he can get Eric on TV then Edgar will come home.

2 3

BUYING LONDON

Property mogul Daniel Daggers and his ambitious team of agents at DDRE Global take on and challenge London’s luxury property market. The talented team set out to conquer the super prime highend real estate market from the prestigious streets of Mayfair to the exclusive enclaves of Holland Park. We follow the group as they navigate the intricacies of their personal lives as well as striving to make their mark in the glamorous world of luxury real estate.

FILES OF THE UNEXPLAINED

Group disappearances, ghosts, mysterious blobs. All across North America, ordinary people experience extraordinary and bizarre phenomena that seemingly can’t be explained. Or can they? From eerie encounters to bizarre disappearances, mysterious hauntings to chilling cold cases - a mix of perplexing phenomena are explored in this investigative eight-episode docuseries.

EDITORIAL 52 •

NETFLIX

BRIDGERTON

Bridgerton is back for its third season and finds Penelope has finally given up on her long-held crush on Colin after hearing his disparaging words about her last season. She has, however, decided it’s time to take a husband, preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown. Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. But he’s disheartened to realise that Penelope, the one person who always appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder.

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE

Lana’s daughter Emma returns from abroad and drops a bombshell: she’s getting married. In Thailand. In a month! Things only get worse when Lana learns that the man who captured Emma’s heart is the son of the man who broke hers years ago. Starring Brooke Shields, Chad Michael Murray and Miranda Cosgrove.

A MAN IN FULL

Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a latemiddle-aged Atlanta real estate mogul whose outsize ego has at last hit up against reality.

Charlie has a 29,000 acre quail-shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife, and a half-empty office complex with a staggering load of debt. When Croker faces sudden bankruptcy, political and business interests collide as Charlie defends his empire from those attempting to capitalize on his fall from grace.

• 53
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Cerulean Blue, the hue of tranquil seas and clear skies, brings a breath of fresh air into any home as we approach the spring and summer seasons. Its vibrant yet soothing presence offers a versatile charm that seamlessly bridges the gap between modernity and timeless elegance.

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• 55 What expenses are allowable? What financial records do I need to buy a property? How can I be more tax efficient? get in touch F o R you R FR ee con S u LtAtion T: 020 3404 0144 E: info@afe-accountants.co.uk follow us at afe_accountants Some of the industries we have expertise in... and many more! MUSIC social media/ content creators influencers HOSPITALITY talent PROPERTY CONSTRUCTION SPORTs personal services HEALTH & CARE ARE YOU asking YOURSELF these questions? At AFE Accountants Limited we provide a personalised service to make sure you are in the correct tax structure, helping you to achieve your financial goals and make the answers to your questions crystal clear! noWeARebASedin RthLondon Should I be a sole trader or limited company? Services we offer: Accounting & book-keeping pAYRoLL coMpAnY SecRetARiAL buSineSS StARt up’S tAX & VAt

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Hiring

Hiring

Hiring experienced candidates for roles in

Temporary and Permanent positions available.

Temporary and Permanent positions available.

retail.

Temporary and Permanent positions available.

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From our high-end clientele to our varied and exciting roles in the fashion industry, there is a role suited to all levels of experience.

From our high-end clientele to our varied and exciting roles in the fashion industry, there is a role suited to all levels of experience.

From our high-end clientele to our varied and exciting roles in the fashion industry, there is a role suited to all levels of experience.

If you are looking to further your career or are looking to expand your brand and product knowledge – we have roles and placements to suit all expectations.

If you are looking to further your career or are looking to expand your brand and product knowledge – we have roles and placements to suit all expectations.

If you are looking to further your career or are looking to expand your brand and product knowledge – we have roles and placements to suit all expectations.

luxury fashion and
Image: Christy Turlington, Copyright: Steven Meisel, 1992, Vogue Italia
Stephanie Jackson THE OFFICIAL SJR PODCAST
Stylist: Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele
experienced candidates for roles in luxury fashion and retail.
excellence with Stephanie Jackson to THE OFFICIAL SJR PODCAST
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Image: Chri

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BLOOMS & BEYOND

We caught up with Ashlee Jane, CEO of ‘The Suffolk Nest’ and Author of ‘The House of Flowers’. Ashlee shares insights into her journey as a floral entrepreneur, her creative process, and the inspiration behind it.

Can you tell us about your journey going from a DIY decor enthusiast to building a seven-figure business?

Running my own business was never part of the ‘plan’. It really began when my social media account gained a lot of interest during lockdown. At the time, I was on maternity leave which gave me more time to do what I enjoyed and explore my creativity. I realised that there was a demand for people wanting to buy my creations and the items I was using, and wanting to know how I was styling our home. It was from there that we launched our first ever ‘DIY Christmas Wreath Kit’ and when I recognised the demand, I started to take it seriously.

What inspired you to write your book, ‘The House of Flowers’?

I was approached by a publishing agency following the success of my Instagram Live floristry tutorials. The book covers a wide range of topics from how to find inspiration and develop your style to practical advice on how to choose flowers, flower conditioning, and sustainable techniques. I’ve also included my favourite flowers, the blooms that never fail to capture my heart, and my imagination each season.

What sets your faux floral arrangements apart from others on the market?

What sets us apart from others is the quality and realism of each design. It’s all in the details. Also, I feel like putting the stems together to make an arrangement that compliments each other is a form of art. Bringing in different colours, flowers, foliage that’s in line with the season – there are a lot of ingredients to think about. We also provide videos on how to arrange the stems which our customers find very helpful.

How do you stay inspired and creative when designing?

Nature is my biggest influence. With the constant shift of seasons, there’s always inspiration to be found, hence our strapline, ‘Embrace seasonal beauty’. I’m always looking at ways we can bring the outdoors indoors. However, the juggle of running the business often takes away from my creative time when it’s scheduled in the diary. Inspiration can come at the strangest of moments or times, so I try to just go with the flow and let it unfold as and when.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced along the way, and how did you overcome them?

I think some of the early months were the toughest. We had our six-month-old, Florence, and 18-month-old, Orla. My husband Chris was working 9-5 full time in medical sales whilst I looked after the girls during the day. We’d put them to bed around 7pm and stay up all hours of the night on the business. Whether that was packing up orders, working on building a website or designing new products.

One challenge that has prevailed is other businesses and brands copying my designs, flowers, website, and even packaging. Despite it being really frustrating, I used that to spur me on and grow the business further by designing exclusive collections and working directly with new manufacturers.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into this field?

Focus on the long-term goals. Short-term wins can often hinder long-term goals. You must be disciplined and make some big sacrifices to keep that focus.

What are your future plans and how do you see it evolving in the coming years?

We’re keen to take it global and reach international markets. We’re always considering new ways to evolve and deepen what we offer. I think it’s about more than just selling products; we want to share arrangement knowledge through our videos, we want to inspire creativity, and most importantly, we want to engage with our community and create a genuine connection with customers. The Suffolk Nest adventure continues, and I’m excited to see where it goes!

You can shop the Suffolk Nest at www.thesuffolknest.com

INTERVIEW 58 •
• 59 The perfect partner for your property quest Sales Lettings Management www.knights-group.net 0203 301 4700 edmonton@knights-group.net 1 Keats Parade, Church Street N9 9DP knights residential @knightsresidential
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