Issue No. 74 Complimentary
Cheese Grotto THE
is the wine cellar for cheese
Illusionist is back Darcy Oake Announces UK Tour
s a m t s i C hr CornďŹ eld
Winter is set to cast a seasonal spell across Weston Park this December when Enchanted Weston weaves its festive magic.
So the Floating Spa is a pretty exciting and innovative place to go for a treatment or a massage.
The spellbinding illusionist is back. Darcy Oake Announces UK Tour and is coming to Birmingham.
Hello and welcome to your December edition of Cornfield Magazine. The Christmas issue is here! Tis’ the season to indulge on delicious festive food, splurge on presents, and enjoy the wintery weather. This month, we’ve rounded up some of the magical events coming to the Midlands in December for the whole family to enjoy. We spoke to Jay Birmingham, the celebrity hair stylist from Birmingham about the perfect party hair. We also met up with Paul Wright, a certified performance coach who brings a unique blend of educational and real-world experiences to the world of mental performance that gets results. We also had the chance to get suited and booted at Albie & Lonnie’s in Rugby. For a lot of men, buying a suit is a nightmare but not at this place. All of the above plus more can be found in this month’s issue. Happy reading,
Happy Christmas from The Cornfield Team x www.cornfieldpublishing.co.uk
Contact Us Tel: 0121 796 6800 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cornfieldpublishing.co.uk
Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this magazine is accurate, the Cornfield Magazine cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or endorse companies, products or services appearing in this magazine. The Cornfield Magazine cannot be held responsible for any breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. Published monthly by Cornfield Publishing Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission from the publisher.
Hampton Clinic A doctor led medi-spa, in the luxurious setting of Hampton Manor, offering advanced aesthetics and beauty treatments Hampton Clinic is a hidden gem of aesthetics, nestled in the 45 acre woodland estate of Hampton Manor, a boutique hotel which boasts its own Michelin starred restaurant. The Clinic was awarded “Commended” at December’s Aesthetics Awards in the category of Best Clinic in The Midlands and Wales.
beauty treatments and holistic care. In support of healthy lifestyles, the team are proud to stock the high quality ZENii supplements.
The team comprises of Dr Lorraine Hill, Aesthetic Doctor and Medical Director, Dr Sally Bell a GP and lifestyle medicine specialist, Sarah Smith a functional medicine therapist. Melpo Economou offers counselling and life coaching, and Matt Chinn is our new podiatrist. There is a clinic manager, CoolSculpting nurse, one aesthetician and two Beauty therapists. With such a comprehensive team we are able to not only offer rejuvenation with injectables and fat freezing but also relaxing
Hampton Manor in partnership with Hampton Clinic make for an alluring destination for clients wanting pampering, rejuvenation and a luxurious stay. Clients relax during their treatments and can expect to see thriving wildlife in the woods. Clients comment on the tranquil setting and how they look forward to returning. We are proud of our high standards of safety and hygiene whilst delivering a cosy, rustic, home from home appeal.
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Cornfield Magazine | 9
Monthly Hair Care Column
With Celebrity Hair Stylist
Jay Birmingham 10 Easy Steps to the Perfect Party Hair That soft, glam ponytail is one of my favourite looks and it is so wearable from day to night so it works with any look and instantly adds a cool edge to any style. I love to wear this with textured, tousled waves to give it that extra volume and movement. This style looks amazing for red carpet glam and is something I often suggest to my celebrity clients however it also looks super cool worn with jeans and sneakers – it is so versatile. To create this look follow the steps below;
with freshly clean hair – to ensure your hair is shiny and gorgeous before styling you can treat yourself to a hair mask instead of your regular conditioner. The JOICO K-Pak Color Therapy Luster Lock Treatment Mask is one of my favourites to leave your hair glowing and strong.
2. Add a styling product of your choice before blowdrying, the
Color WOW Dream Coat is outstanding to reduce frizz and leave your hair smooth and primed.
3. Use a ceramic round brush to blowdry each section of hair
smooth – add a slight curl to the end of the hair by bending the brush as this will add more volume and movement.
4. Add in some velcro rollers around your hairline for extra volume
and lift, this is a great alternative to using heated styling tools and will help create that salon finish.
5. Once dry, take some Beautyworks clip in extensions and add them into your hair row by row. Use a curling tong to curl your hair each row at a time. For a contemporary feel, alternate the directions you curl the hair in to create more of a relaxed wave.
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6. Add some volumising dust like the Lâ€™Oreal Techni Art
Super Dust at the root before backcombing slightly. This will add grip to your hair and add hold too.
7. Brush out all of the hair to ensure a soft wave has been
created and add some hairspray to keep curls in place all day and night long.
8. Use a hair tie or bungee to secure your hair into a ponytail just under your crown and fix comfortably.
9. Pull sections of hair loose around your face to give this an
undone feel and use a backcombing brush to pull out some hair from above the hair tie to give the illusion of more volume
10. Finish with a mist of hairspray and rock your new look!
Love, Jay x Jay Birmingham Hair Highfield Wellness & Beauty, 23A Highfield Rd, Birmingham B15 3DP @JayBirminghamHair www.jaybirmingham.co.uk
Cornfield Magazine | 11
Henley Lash House Eyelash Extension Specialists Anna Cornfield, owner of Henley Lash House, has been in the beauty industry for 15 years and has perfected her lash treatment technique over the last five years. Specialising in Russian Volume eyelash extensions, Anna is an expert technician in semi-permanent lashes, achieving fantastic results for all clients. What are Russian Volume lashes? Designed to give the ‘wow-factor’, Russian Volume lashes are applied to match the natural curvature of the eyelid. Their ultra-fine, lightweight design allows technicians to apply multiple synthetic extensions to each natural lash, creating more volume than classic lashes and often lasting longer. How are they applied? Anna carefully applies individual extension fibres to a single natural eyelash, building up both volume and length in the process. Depending upon her clients’ desired outcome, Anna can apply two to eight extensions on a single natural lash. The Russian Volume lashes are applied in a ‘fan-like’ shape, giving an eyecatching, impactful look. Are Russian Volume lashes safe? It’s important to book a specialist technician for all eyelash extensions. Eyelash extensions can only damage your natural lashes if applied incorrectly. Untrained, amateur technicians may not have the skills and equipment to correctly isolate individual natural lashes and safely apply extensions. When it comes to your beauty and health, always go professional. Anna guarantees all clients are given aftercare advice and receive patch tests before any appointments take place.
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Dear Paul, Julie recommended I get in touch. She said you have done wonders for her. I understand you offer Performance Coaching that can get me to my goals faster.
Paul Wright is a certified Mind Factor and NLP Coach.
I am stuck and I need to do something otherwise it will affect my confidence, self-belief and motivation.
Paul brings a unique blend of educational and real-world experiences to the world of mental performance that gets results.
Where did the time go. The start of this year held so much promise but by February I couldn’t even find my list of goals, then work pressures kicked in and when I got time to myself, I must admit social media was a massive distraction. Summer passed in a blur.
All the tools and techniques you will learn have been applied at the highest levels of business, professional sport and life.
It’s now December and if I’m honest it feels like nothing has changed. I’ll soon be stood in the German Market under the singing moose wondering where the year went and whether its Christmas 2019, 18 or even 17!
Call Paul 07977 042 907 to arrange a free initial consultation.
Don’t get me wrong I am successful and have achieved some great things but I know I have the potential to achieve much more in my career and life. But clearly something is holding me back. That’s why I have reached out, I know how Julie has valued and benefitted from your coaching and I know with some support, sensible goal setting and motivation, I can do so much more. 2020 will be my breakthrough year. Look forward to talking. Best Wishes, Peter
Make 2020 the year you Invest in you Call Paul on 07977 042 907 Instagram: paul_wright_coach Cornfield Magazine | 13
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07815 460786 01827 892952
Hands all healed
David was suffering with pins and needles in his hands, numbness and pain in the night. Injections from his GP only temporarily improved his symptoms and he was told he had carpal tunnel syndrome. David took to the internet to research options for his surgery and he discovered the Midland Hand Clinic. “Reading the testimonials online gave me a high degree of confidence so I decided to travel. It was quick and easy to gain an appointment and communication was very professional” explained David. “My outcome was excellent. So much so that I sought out Mr Shyamalan when I had problems with my other hand.” David proceeded with surgery in both hands and is pleased to have his hands in full working order in time for Christmas. “For any hand or wrist problem, for an expert opinion, I’d certainly trust the Midland Hand Clinic. Having successful surgery for carpal tunnel was my only goal and they certainly provided that for me” said David. The Midland Hand Clinic, lead by Mr G Shyamalan, Consultant Hand Surgeon, has been gaining popularity as a locally based, easily accessible service. We pride ourselves on our friendly and professional service and we work closely with all our patients before, during and after treatment to provide expert advice on protecting and caring for all aspects of hands. Ask your doctor to refer you today.
Midland Hand Clinic lead by Mr G Shyamalan FRCS NHS consultant hand surgeon. All patients welcome whether you have private medical insurance or you are self-paying. Ask us about our self funding prices for minor hand surgery.
Hand Clinic PA: Pam Dziubany Email: email@example.com Call: 07815 460786 01827 892952 www.midlandhandclinic.com
Natty Buddha A Midlands football coach has launched a free meditation class to help people suffering from stress or anxiety. The first two classes went really well and I think we took a little bit of positivity from it (Feeling Better about ourselves and life). These free classes we are putting on is for people to invest in their wellbeing. Most people look at physical wellbeing, like the Gym or sports, which is great but mental wellbeing is also very important. So going inside an sitting with yourself through Meditation is great way of viewing your thoughts in a different way. So if you know anyone that would be interested, please get in touch on 0780 530 5129 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This is our new design on the Nattybuddha journey
There’s no denying that meditation is on its way to going mainstream. Gone are the days where people turned their noses up and wrote it off as a hippy-dippy practice. Now, there are posh meditation studios in NYC and a handful of smartphone apps to help us find our calm anytime, anywhere. Research shows that meditation can help you better handle negative feelings and emotions. Meditation is the practice of thinking deeply or focusing one’s mind for a period of time. While there are many forms of meditation, the ultimate goal is a feeling of relaxation and inner peace, which can improve mental health. Taking a few minutes to meditate every day with the goal of becoming more mindful, or focused on and accepting of the present, is a great way to relieve stress. But it’s even more powerful than you think. Mindfulness meditation helps ease mental health conditions like depression and anxiety—so much so, that some clinicians are trying it as a course of treatment before turning to medication. The classes will be held at True Fitness in Sheldon, on the Coventry Road. Nathan is also urging people to post pictures of themselves on Instagram or Facebook wearing their Natty Buddha t-shirt, tagging #nattybuddha to help spread the word. True Fitness, 2343-2345 Coventry Road, B26 3PN Email: email@example.com - Mob: 07805 305 129
Nath’s Netters Nath’s Netters offers weekly football sessions for kids in a safe environment with an FA qualified coach. The mission of the weekly club is to provide children with high quality football training using the latest equipment, in order to improve kids’ fitness levels, encourage exercise, and most of all, allow little ones to have fun!
Nathan believes football coaching is a brilliant way to help kids to stay on the right path and build confidence. The club teaches kids to work together as a team, stay active, and make lots of friends. Whether your child hopes to train
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for a professional club in the future, or just simply wants to have fun playing sport with their mates, Nath’s Netters is the place to be. Sign up for an introductory lesson for your child today for just £3 per session, with no contract required. Nath’s Netters makes football fun for boys and girls - perfect for ages 4+
New Years Eve
Party Makeup ay d i l l a H i m o a N wit h
Professional Makeup Artist, Naomi Halliday, shares her favourite products to leave you looking (and feeling) scrumptious this NYE. There’s no better way to bring in the New Year than with a dazzling dose of glitter! Feel fabulous this New Years Eve with Naomi Haliday’s top party picks and start 2020 as you mean to go on!
Kevyn Aucoin The Exotique Diamond Eye Gloss, £31.00 (spacenk.com/uk) A simple glossy eyelid can look slick and unusual, and is a beautiful counterbalance to a strong lip colour. Kevyn Aucoin’s eye gloss in Moonlight has a slight silver sheen, perfect for a glossy NYE look! Apply with a finger straight to the eyelid, and finish with a generous slick of mascara.
Too Faced Rich and Dazzling High-Shine Sparkle Lip Gloss in ‘Raisin the Roof’, £19.00 (cultbeauty.co.uk) It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is no such thing as too much glitter, ever. This dazzling lip gloss is infused with lightreflecting glitters and pearls, this ultra-luxe gloss grants lips with a twinkling shine that will upgrade any lip look.
Iconic London Loose Pigment Palette, £45.00 (iconiclondoninc.com) Iconic London have come up with this ingenious specially designed palette which can be used anywhere to add instant glimmering glam to your skin. Simply swipe over eyelids for an instant pop of glitter!
NYX Glitter Goals Liquid Eyeliner, £8.00 (nyxcosmetics.co.uk) If you love liquid eyeliner and you love glitter, then this is a no-brainer! My Favourite colours are ‘Diamond Dust’, a silver glitter shade and ‘Crystal Ball’, a champagne and silver glitter shade. Apply on their own, or over black eyeliner for a more dramatic, defined look.
Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder Glow, £30.00 (cultbeauty.co.uk) This glowy setting powder keeps shine at bay, without caking or creasing (top up through the night as required). Infused with pearl pigments, it delivers a soft-focus, luminous glow that makes you look infinitely healthier than your lifestyle probably is right now after all of the Christmas partying!
Words by Naomi Halliday For makeup booking enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org / 07912 646363 www.naomihallidaymakeup.co.uk @naomihallidaymakeup.co.uk Cornfield Magazine | 17
Short Steps by Amanda Chalmers
Prevention at heart of new mental health coaching business for men A lifetime of battling with mental illness and addiction is the inspiration behind a Warwick man’s pioneering new coaching business. Believed to be the first of its kind in the area, Short Steps aims to recognise and act on the early signs of depression in men before it takes hold. Chris Cortopassi has been forced to face up to his own demons including drink, drugs and sex addiction which almost led him to suicide. And now, combining that experience with professional coaching and problem solving skills, has dedicated his life to helping others. A reluctant student, Glaswegian Chris struggled to motivate himself through university before moving to Warwick to work as an engineer at National Grid. And looking back he now recognises the first signs of his slide into depression. “It just seemed to tick all the boxes of ‘success’ and money etc. and I had been so preoccupied with that path and that definition of success. But I was a creative person and this was a very technical environment and I often didn’t enjoy the work. I was getting more and withdrawn over the years.” Chris’ spiral also impacted on a relationship and triggered a selfdestructive path of behaviour including excessive alcohol and drug use. He said: “For a huge amount of time I was kidding myself that I was coping with the day to day, but lent heavily on my ‘crutches’ – drank a lot and smoked a lot of marjhuana – ridiculous amounts. “The antidepressants helped a bit but it was a huge amount of intoxication and I’d regularly end up making myself physically sick.” But it was an early obsession with pornography that, Chris now recognises, played a huge part in his increasing mental health struggle. “When I was a kid one day I clicked onto something I shouldn’t have and that started a lifetime of obsession about sex and pornography. I was staying up to the early hours and would struggle to get out of bed for school. My parents never knew until I had a breakdown when I was an adult and it all came out. It went on for years and years and became a big part of my life. “I would just disappear into a black hole where I would sit and anaesthetise myself with my mental ‘crutches.’ It would typically be a bottle of wine, several beers, lots of weed and I would lose four or five hours easily. It’s when he reached his lowest point – an hour standing on a bridge contemplating jumping - that Chris realised something had to change. These, plus thousands of pounds of private therapy, combined with psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and an increased focus on his personal development and learning, to give
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Chris the strength to begin fighting his demons and, in 2013, he started a new role at National Grid that was to lay the foundations for his new business. “The new role as a practitioner meant coaching people and delivering training. The topics were really interesting to me inspiring people to change their attitudes and way they work. I was really excelling at it and enjoying it. “You learn so much going through it, the processes and the way they support all the different theories and how childhood issues manifest and grow and now I really do have a breadth of knowledge.” “A huge amount of the therapy is education but a lot of it was also just about forgiving myself. Chris gained his formal coaching certificate and, with new horizons in his sights, invested his savings from his years at National Grid to set up Short Steps – the Italian translation for his surname Cortopassi. He uses online videos, one to one sessions and workshops to coach men in a five-step process around problem solving and goal setting and says it’s this preventative approach that sets his business apart from the rest. Men are particularly reluctant to seek help according to Chris, who claims mental health facilities are more easily accessible to women. He said: “Men are built from day one to be desk pounding, to be in charge, to take authority, take the lead, to be strong. The whole thing crept in over our evolution, phrases like ‘Man Up.’ “But I try and change the meaning behind that language to say ‘Man up and own your emotions’ and ‘man up’ and take responsibility for the fact that you are causing not just yourself pain, but causing your loved ones pain as well.” As for the future, Chris hopes to grow Short Steps so it can be rolled out across a wider area. Chris said: “I spent my whole life going after what I thought I wanted and what I thought was the right thing to do and when I got to the reality of it I didn’t like any of it. But I’m now a totally different person. I’m now living me. “To have been through what I’ve been through and still be strong and now be out there helping other people shows huge mental strength. It has been the combination of years of effort, thousands of pounds and medication and all the rest of it and now it’s been broken down to something that is really accessible and I’m hugely proud of it. www.shortsteps.co.uk
Images by David Fawbert Photography
Cornfield Magazine | 19
Hats off to a fantastic
night of fundraising by Amanda Chalmers
HATS were stealing the ‘headlines’ at a charity ball where more than £65,000 was raised for Molly Olly’s Wishes. A marquee at Billesley Manor near Alcester was decked out in a Mad Hatter’s theme for the 9th annual Molly Olly Ball. Sporting wacky headgear, more than 500 guests were greeted by playing cards and led through a topiary garden by The Queen of Hearts and a rabbit to begin a magical evening of entertainment and fundraising. The line up included magicians, illuminated dancers gliding on hoverboards and pixel poi jugglers courtesy of Feeding The Fish. Music was provided by The Soul Brothers followed by DJ James and Elias on percussion. The evening featured a variety of fundraising activities including charity auction when prizes such as a Portugal holiday, diamond necklace and signed Aston Villa shirt were bid on. And it was all presided over by The Mad Hatter himself – alias Molly’s dad Tim Ollerenshaw. It marks the culmination of months of preparation by the Molly Olly team who have been busy creating props as well as decorating the marquee. Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer. The Warwick-based charity works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK. Mascot of the charity is a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack that has now been handed out to more than 40 hospitals, along with a book from the charity’s exclusive Olly The Brave series. Part of more than £2m raised to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “It was an amazing night that would not be possible without the help and support of so many companies and individuals, who sponsored, gave time, prizes and all manner of the things to ensure as much money was raised as possible to help support children with life-threatening illnesses. “Our guests were very respectful and took time to listen to our story and really understand the importance of our work. Through everyone’s generosity the charity night raised over £65,000. Thank you so much to everyone involved and all our sponsors and supporters including REPL Group, SCC, Fews Marquees, New Horizon Logistics, Morgan Parkes Recruitment and Viva Theatre Arts.”
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Images by Laurence Jones Photography
Jo Reeves, Director of Sales at Billesley Manor, said: “We are delighted to have been able to host this year’s ball. The amount of money is just incredible to be able to help even more children. We hope everyone enjoyed the evening as much as we did.” Molly Olly’s Wishes need the support of companies and individuals to enable the charity to help more children. Rachel said: “We welcome the opportunity to provide more information about our work. Please help us to make those dark days brighter.” Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to help or donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk or call Rachel on 07747 854914.
Help spread extra Christmas cheer TRAMPOLINE park visitors in Warwick are being invited to spring into action and help spread extra Christmas cheer by supporting a new charity toys appeal.
Part of more than £2m raised to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Jump In Trampoline Park is collecting gifts for Molly Olly’s Wishes who will in turn distribute them to children in hospitals across the area.
Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “We are extremely grateful to Jump In once again for their support. Donating toys is a great idea and will undoubtedly bring a smile to children and their families who are facing very challenging circumstances at what should be a fun, carefree time. These gestures whether big or small can help to make those dark days brighter. Thank you to everyone involved.”
Between now and Christmas Eve the popular family attraction will accept new toys for children and young people aged up to 18 when handed in over the counter. Plus there’s the chance to take part in the Name our Reindeer Competition. The winner, which will be announced on Boxing Day, will get to take home the ride-on toy. Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer. It works to support children with terminal or lifelimiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK. The charity’s mascot is a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack that has now been handed out to more than 40 hospitals, along with a book from the charity’s exclusive Olly The Brave series.
Manager at Jump In Warwick Sam Dunn, said: “Christmas is a time for giving and here at Jump In we want to embrace that. As a family venue, we are delighted and proud to be partnering with this wonderful charity that works so tirelessly to help children and their families through such a difficult time. “Please donate a small gift next time you visit us in the knowledge that it is bringing some joy to those most in need of it, especially at this time of year.” There is plenty of fun to be had at Jump In’s new Christmas Parties, designed especially for groups of families and friends of all ages to enjoy. Molly Olly’s Wishes also needs the support of companies and individuals to enable it to help more children. Please contact Rachel on 07747 854914. Further information or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk
Available seven days a week, partygoers can choose from two unique packages Blitzen and Dasher, both of which have all the yuletide entertainment and refreshments laid on. To book call 01926 356290, contact email@example.com or book online at www.gojumpin.com/locations/trampolinepark-warwick. Choose Christmas Party from the drop down menu.
Suited and booted
with Albie & Lonnie’s
For a lot of men, buying a suit is a nightmare. Not everyone, of course. Some people love shopping. But picking up a t-shirt or pair of jeans is a hell of a lot easier than walking into a suit shop, getting measured, and having to go through the pain of finding something that doesn’t just look good but also doesn’t make you feel like a complete idiot. That’s even harder if you don’t wear suits very often, which us guys at Cornfield don’t tend to do. We’re not alone. In 2013, a survey of 2,000 British people found that men become bored after only 26 minutes of shopping, while it took women a full two hours. The same survey found that 80% of men didn’t like shopping with their partners and 45% avoided doing so at all cost. You get the picture? So when we were invited to menswear specialists Albie & Lonnie’s, we’ll confess to having mixed feelings. The retailer has a proven track record when it comes to kitting out everyone from grooms and their groomsmen to prom kings, footballers and rugby players with threads for every occasion. They’ve recently opening a swanky-looking new shop in their home town of Rugby, Warwickshire, so we know they know their stuff. But that doesn’t make it any less intimidating. But... it seems we might have been worrying for no reason. Yes, the shop is big and full of expensive-looking suits and clothes, but from the minute we walked in we felt more relaxed than we could have imagined. Owner Dave and manager Allison instantly put us at ease, sitting us down and getting to know us rather than just trying to throw clothing at us. For them, learning about you is the most important thing when it comes to finding you a suit that’s not just going to make you look good, but make you feel even better. Instead of having to fight our way through rails and rails of trousers, jackets, suits and waistcoats, they suggested things that would fit with the two (very different) people that we are. There’s a few clever touches in Albie & Lonnie’s, like the fact the changing rooms don’t have mirrors. As people who usually look in the mirror and decide we don’t like a suit without even leaving the changing room (come on, we know you’ve done that too), it makes perfect sense that they’ve taken away the chance this can happen. Instead, you’ve got plenty of time and space to walk out, have a look in one of the mirrors outside and see what the experts think.
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When it comes to suits, it’s definitely a bit different from your standard high street menswear shop - not just in the service but in the stuff they stock as well. From Marc Darcy to Fratelli and loads more, there’s plenty we’d never heard of but all clearly great quality and reasonably priced. It’s easy to think from how impressive the shop is that it might be a bit too steep, but there really is a range of prices as well as styles. A couple of hours after we walk through the door as two nervous ‘we-don’t-want-to-be-here’ guys, we leave with brand new suits in our hands. Both different, both hand picked for us, and each outfits that make us feel great. Not just that, thanks to Albie & Lonnie’s we might just have changed our minds about shopping for clothes… Albie & Lonnie’s, we’ll be back!
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The Floating Spa So the Floating Spa is a pretty exciting and innovative place to go for a treatment or a massage. See, it’s not like other locations - at least not in the conventional sense. You’ve got to know what you’re getting into because otherwise it can be quite strange. So what you have to try and understand is that this is all about floating in a tank of water for an hour or so. That might sound weird but it’s very relaxing if you take the time to enjoy it. But let’s talk about what we liked at first. It was a really nice place and the owner was a lovely guy, he made us feel like we were relaxed and at ease. He explained all of the procedure to us when we sat down, which is good because something like this can be quite confusing and possibly even anxiety inducing for people who aren’t used to it. But obviously the main attraction was sitting in the water. Specifically, lying in the water. It is quite difficult to describe what it feels like to be sat in the water. You sort of become quite weightless and quite devoid of external stimuli. Because of how the tank is constructed, and the way that you interact with it, you don’t hear any of the outside world. It’s very very relaxing. . Because the water is body temperature, after a while you stop even knowing that you’re suspended in the tank, and it’s very relaxing to just lean back and switch off for another one. It’s completely safe, there is no danger of drowning or anything like that, so you can just space out and enjoy the pleasant sensation of absolute nothingness. I really cannot recommend this enough. In the modern world, when we are constantly bombarded with obligations and responsibilities and pressures, it can be difficult to relax. It becomes something of an afterthought to look after the body, which is not good. It was so nice to be able to step back and decompress. I had a chance to try and relax, to think about things that made me feel happy, and to just enjoy myself without any obligation or pressure at all. That’s so incredible in the busy world today. So to perhaps round off all of my experiences, I really enjoyed my time here. It’s definitely something I can recommend to pretty much anybody who is looking for a way to recharge and regenerate. It’s very invigorating to just relax and allow the pressure of the world to just fall way. I really didn’t joy my experience, and it’s one that I would recommend to anyone who wants to get away from it all, or perhaps someone who wants to gift a loved one with a unique way of relaxing. Whatever you choose to do, there’s no doubt that this is worth it. The Floating Spa 23-24 Hall Street Jewellery Quarter Birmingham B18 6BS info@theﬂoatingspa.com 0121 448 7977
This is the perfect yet most unusual Christmas present you could get someone. I cannot recommend it enough. 24 | Cornfield Magazine
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It’s Christmas time Need a hand sourcing the perfect gift? Let us do the hunting for you!
The Lonely Planet Book of World’s Best Spicy Food Yellow Octopus www.YellowOctopus.com.au £12.99
Christmas Silver Grey Betty Apron RAGGED ROSE LTD www.raggedrose.com £20.00
Personalised Family Christmas Bar Runner mat Artylicious Home & Gifts www.artylicious.co.uk £15.99
Sophie Allport Home For Christmas Jug Sophie Allport www.sophieallport.com £20.00 Vintage Christmas Cheer Paper Plates Ginger Ray www.gingerray.co.uk £2.99
Pairing Food & Beer Yellow Octopus www.YellowOctopus.com.au £31.00
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FOOD & DRINK
No time to paws for thought
as cat café
continues to grow
by Amanda Chalmers
A MOTHER and daughter can look back with pride as they prepare to mark the first anniversary of their purrfectly unique business – the only cat café in Warwickshire. Jayne Richman-Bolt and Rio Roberts boast a loyal – and growing- clientele since opening Shakespaw in Stratford-upon-Avon last November. But the inspiration behind the venture, which has already become a favourite hot spot for locals and tourists, is so much more than financial ambition. Formerly Orangemabel café, manager Rio has poured her passion into the family business, dedicating more than 17 hours a day to its smooth running and care of its 10 resident cats, even admitting to sleeping there over night to settle in new arrivals. She said: “I always used to do a two-hour drive to the nearest cat café at the time, in Bristol and watched the owner walk through with all the cats following her and wanted that to be me. We had the Orangemabel café here anyway so just decided to change the concept by adding the cats. “When we initially opened a lot of people didn’t really understand what a cat café was. Some people thought it meant you could bring your own cats – or even dogs. But the idea has quickly caught on and it is going down really well. We have people in here now from all over the world.” “Cats are not the easiest of animals to introduce to each other, it’s a very slow process. They usually hate each other when they first meet but ideally it needs someone to keep an eye on them in those first 24 hours so I have been known to stay over.” The ladies’ close partnership with Pepper’s Pet Rescue Centre in Halesowen has resulted in the successful rehoming of several of their cats over the past year. The café which acts as a feline foster facility while their new ‘forever homes’ are found, often through customers. Rio said: “The centre rescues the cats and we take some of them off their hands. The cats have a better chance of being rescued here than if they were just on Facebook or in a cage because people get to come in and form a bond and see the nature of the animal. It’s a much nicer way of going about it in my opinion. Sophie Pepper, who started the rescue centre in summer last year, has, until recently, cared for more than 130 animals from geckos and guinea pigs to rats and rabbits – in addition to the 20 family pets already resident at their home. Today though she just focuses her rescue efforts on cats, which are lovingly housed and cared for in her garden shed. The mum-of-two, who also conducts home visits on behalf of the café, is supported ably in her efforts by volunteers who help clean the cages and socialise the animals. She said: “I never thought it would become as big as it has. As soon as one animal goes out the door, another one comes in. There is such a big need for this service, I have a long waiting list but can only really take so many at a time. She added: “The Shakespaw team are fantastic with the cats. Any problems or issues and they are straight on the phone. What I love most are their rules such as, leave them alone if they’re
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FOOD & DRINK sleeping, don’t feed them and don’t pick them up. The cats are at the forefront of everything. It’s all very much on their terms.”
me pictures. The first cat we rehomed lives just around the corner so I can see her sitting in the window when I walk past every day.
Rio makes full use of her extended shifts at the café, where she now runs regular community events, including tarot card reading sessions, Wednesday craft clubs and, in the school holidays, cupcake decorating workshops for children.
“It’s that sort of close-knit community network that we were looking for that you wouldn’t get with a bigger rescue centre.”
She said: “Because I’m here nearly all the time anyway and because of the nature of the business, I thought, why not invite other likeminded people to share my interests with me. I am quite a creative person and I love animals so it is lovely to be able to combine the two.” Rio is aided by a cat carer manager who carries out weekly weight and health checks on all the cats as well as a band of keen volunteers who take their turns on ‘cat cuddling’ duty every evening. And in those rare midnight hours with no adult company, there’s even a cat cam keeping a watchful eye on their antics. “They are not left alone for very long but during that time I can watch them if I need to. They have a party every night and literally trash the place! They cause havoc. We spend two hours cleaning every single morning before opening,” said Rio. But customers themselves are left in no doubt about the rules upon entering the café for the first time. “It’s just about educating the customer so we have some tongue-in-cheek rules on the back of the menu. “Everyone talks about how laid back and friendly our cats are. That wouldn’t be the case if the rules weren’t in place,” said Rio. “If everyone came in and picked up the cats while they were sleeping, they would quickly get fed up with people. It’s all for the cats but also for the customer experience. If the cats are friendly they will literally just climb up onto your lap. “A small admission fee makes the whole experience more valuable too. Otherwise we would have hordes of people coming in and out which would be stressful for the cats. If they have paid £5 to come in they are more likely to spend the full 90 minutes here to make friends with the cats.”
In a nod to its famous tourist location, Shakespaw sells some branded merchandise and all the cats are affectionately named after characters from Shakespeare plays. Jayne said: “We are embracing our location because that is so important. I don’t think this would work in the suburbs. We have people travelling from all over the world and they will book this before they leave. We are more than a café, we are a destination and we’re proud that it’s part of their itinerary when they come to visit Stratford. “As well as tourists we also get a lot of regular customers who come back and see how the kittens have grown. One customer even has a shrine to the cat café in her kitchen – with more than 100 photos of all of our cats! “And those customers with special needs find it a great place to be. We’ve seen for ourselves the difference the cats can make. Some people are happier around cats and animals than they are around people and the cats seem to have an instinctive affection for them. This is a comfortable environment that has been created here - for everyone.” Rio summed up: “I love the fact that we all have something in common here. We all love animals. It’s great that for everyone who comes here for the first time you can see it’s a real treat for them and they go home feeling happy. It’s so much more than a café and it is so rewarding.” Visit the café at www.shakespawcatcafe.com To find out more about Pepper’s Pet Rescue or to make a donation, contact Sophie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
She added: “I think we succeed because we’ve got that personal touch. People like it because they can see how much love and care we put into the place.” But running a business with your heart does bring its own challenges for Rio, owner Jayne and their team. “It is really hard when we have to say goodbye to them. It’s the worst part of the job,” admits Rio. I spend more time with these cats than I do my own family. Luckily all the people who have adopted them have stayed in contact and send
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FOOD & DRINK
in the Jewellery Quarter
Sitting on the edge of Birmingham’s bustling city centre, this urban village offers a unique combination of historic buildings, independent retailers and award-winning bars and restaurants making the Jewellery Quarter the perfect place to celebrate the Festive Season! Celebrate the season in style with the FREE Christmas Lights Switch On event on Friday 15th November from 5 – 7pm on The Golden Square (B18 6NF). Dance the night away to live music on the outdoor stage, tuck into delicious street food, or warm yourself up with a cup of hot mulled wine. This event is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a night out with family or friends in the Jewellery Quarter and will culminate with a spectacular firework display as the bespoke jewellery themed Christmas Lights are turned on. Pick up a copy of the JQ Christmas Window Trail. New for 2019, this map will guide you along the historic streets of the JQ to admire the very best Christmas window displays from local retailers. With independent shops ranging from jewellers, to rare whisky sellers, florists, chocolate shops and art galleries you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift for both family and friends. Jewellery continues to be at the heart of this neighbourhood and the Quarter manufacturers circa 40% of the UK’s jewellery making it the perfect place to pick up a hand-crafted item or commission a bespoke piece for a special occasion. There is even the opportunity to get hands-on and create your own pieces, perfect for newly engaged couples or anniversary celebrations. The local jewellery shops still dominate much of Vyse Street and Warstone Lane and shoppers can browse a wide range of jewellery in all styles and price brackets. Get in from the cold and discover more of the Quarter’s industrial heritage at the local museums including Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, The Coffin Works, and The Pen Museum. A great opportunity for young and old alike to get hands-on with the manufacturing trades that gave Birmingham its nickname “The City of 1000 Trades”. Combine your visit to the three museums and save money with the Jewellery Quarter Explorer Pass, be sure to ask for the full details when you purchase your museum ticket. With special events throughout the year and quirky gift-shops, the local museums and galleries are a must on your tour of the JQ. Toast the festive season at one of our many award-winning pubs, restaurants and cafes. With over 80 food and drink options in the Quarter you are truly spoilt for choice. Take the opportunity to catch up with friends and family over a delicious meal or a locally made beer. Discover more by downloading the Food & Drink Guide from our website http://bit.ly/JQFoodDrink19. Why not extend your visit into a weekend escape and spend the night at one of our many boutique hotels or well-known budget travel options? Download the Jewellery Quarter Visitor Guide for more details http://bit.ly/JQVisitorGuide19. Best of all, this jam-packed urban village is only a 20 minute walk from Birmingham New Street or a 10 minute Metro ride. The Quarter also has two train stations, Jewellery Quarter and Snow Hill stations as well as two multi-storey car parks, Vyse Street (B18 6LP) and Snowhill Station (B3 2BJ). For the latest news, events and updates from the Jewellery Quarter, including downloadable leaflets and travel information, visit www.jewelleryquarter.net.
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FOOD & DRINK
Fruity new pudding gins
- 50p donation to British Hedgehog Preservation Society -
Just in time for Christmas, the team behind Pinkster gin has launched two new flavours of their small batch, fruit gin liqueur, Hedgepig. Cambridge Gage, a member of the plum family, and Glorious Gooseberry join the existing Wild Bullace & Quince and Rampant Raspberry drinks. Made using fruit grown in local orchards or foraged from the East Anglian hedgerows, the liqueurs accompany cheese and desserts especially well. Sugar levels are lower than many other fruit gin liqueurs, whilst the ABVs are higher. Founder, Stephen Marsh says: “In our mind, Hedgepig is the definitive pudding gin and a quirky alternative to port or sweet wine at the end of an evening. Or a festive long lunch perhaps. “All the fruit is locally sourced from our Cambridge HQ and it’s been well worth the effort rummaging around on our hands and knees to find the perfect ingredient.” In a new charitable partnership, 50p from every bottle sale across the range will be donated to The British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Founded in 1982, the charity offers help and advice to those with sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs. Patrons include Ann Widdecombe, Ben Fogle, and Twiggy. Marsh added: “The plight of the hedgehog makes for desperate reading. In rural areas, numbers have fallen by half over the past two decades. These snuffly little fellows have a special place in people’s appreciation of nature and as a business rooted in the countryside, we’re delighted to be supporting the fine work of the unsung heroes at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Every little counts.” All the Hedgepig Liqueurs are available to purchase online from www.fruityhedgepig.com Cambridge Gage 50cl, 28% ABV RRP: £36.00 - 20cl: £16.00 Glorious Gooseberry 50cl, 27% ABV RRP: £36.00 - 20cl: £16.00
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OFF MAINS BOOK NOW T: 01564 732750 The Bank House, High Street, Knowle B93 0JU Opening times Mon - Fri: 9:00-22:00 Sat: 9:00-22:30 Sun: 9:00-22:00
Terms and conditions apply. Starts from 6th January 2020. Excludes Friday and Saturday after 5pm. Cornfield Magazine | 33
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FOOD & DRINK
A Magical Christmas
in Royal Leamington Spa
Find your Spa*kle in Royal Leamington Spa this Christmastime with fun filled shopping and fabulous FREE activities for all the family to enjoy! Combining a unique mix of independent stores, national retailers and great places to eat and party, you will discover something for everyone. From finding the perfect Christmas tree to perfect pressies, Royal Leamington Spa has all you need to ensure your Christmas is packed with festive spa*kle! Stroll around town and enjoy the town’s beautiful Christmas Lights and Christmas themed windows offering inspiration for the wonderful gifts you will find inside. Plus our wonderful Christmas Angels will be on hand to offer help and advice to make your shopping experience twinkle. Shop ‘til you drop with late night shopping on Thursdays (from 5 December and FREE parking in the Royal Priors after 5pm) and Sunday Yuletide markets (FREE weekend parking at Riverside House -CV32 5HZ). You’ll find plenty of inspiration as you work your way through your Christmas shopping list to find that special gift for family and friends. Look out for Santa too! – he will be sure to put in an appearance along the way, shhhh…..you might even find him in Royal Priors Shopping Centre! And don’t forget to treat the family to, The Royal Spa Centre’s family panto this year, Snow White. During the day, Leamington is alive with tasty food stores, delis, cafes and bistros – all bursting with flavoursome treats. As evening comes, the town’s vibrant night time culture springs to life with traditional pubs, cool bars, live music venues and excellent restaurants showcasing food from around the globe Join us on Sunday 1st December to light up Leamington at our spectacular Lantern Parade. There will be entertainment, real reindeer and hundreds of colourful handmade lanterns lighting up the town centre! To top it off, this stunning Regency town which boasts beautiful buildings and tree-lined avenues, is right here on your doorstep! Just 25min from Stratford or Coventry you will also find easy all day parking in the Covent Garden multi-storey (CV32 5QB) for £3. For more information about what’s on this Christmas please visit www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk
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FOOD & DRINK
Throwing the Perfect
with Loxleys Christmas is fast bearing down on us and you’re probably already making plans for your festive entertaining. At Loxleys, making our guests happy is the number one aim and that means getting everything from the food and wine to the welcome just right. We might do it every day, but we understand that not everybody does, so with the help of Loxleys Head Chef Paul McCoombes and assistant manager Suzanne Lynch, we’ve put together some of our tried-and-tested tips to make sure everything goes smoothly with your festive celebration. Fabulous food and drink tips from Loxleys head chef Paul McCoombes • Preparation is key - Plan ahead. Get your menus ready and have a checklist so you can tick off what you’ve done and what still needs tackling. When it comes to cooking a sit down meal get as much ready the day before as you can so you don’t have to deal with all those time-consuming little jobs. • Think about who you’re cooking for - Remember, not everyone can eat the same food. When you’re cooking for large numbers, the chances are you’ll have at least one person who’s maybe vegetarian or can’t eat certain things. Make sure you check everybody’s dietary requirements in advance so you can plan. Christmas is also a great time to cater for vegetarians - embrace things like chestnuts to keep the meat-free options festive. • It doesn’t all have to be hot - Think about things you can do that aren’t necessarily hot. Maybe some cold canapes ready for when your guests arrive, or a cold starter like a parfait or seafood. That way you’re not trying to keep loads of courses hot. • It’s not all about a big bird - If you’re cooking for lots of people, think about cooking two smaller birds rather than one huge one. That way they’re less likely to dry out. Also, invest in a meat probe, then you can make sure it’s cooked without overdoing it and making it dry. • Keep it traditional - It’s always tempting to go off-piste, but the festive season is all about tradition so don’t be scared to stick to the old favourites. Roast turkey, veg, all the trimmings and Christmas pudding and brandy cream always go down a treat, so keep it simple. • Have fun - The most important thing is to enjoy it! If you’re stressed out, it will show in your food. So don’t panic, if something’s taking longer than you planned or you have a mini mishap, just pour your guests another glass of fizz and they won’t mind waiting that little bit longer.
Throwing the perfect party outside of the kitchen, with Loxleys assistant manager Suzanne Lynch • Plan your decorations in advance - Decide on the look you want. Classy? Fun? Simple? Extravagant? And then make sure you order everything you need in plenty of time. Decorating tables and the room itself can all be done in advance to limit any stress. • Pick the right music for the occasion - These days, playlists can all be made in advance, or you can find a readymade compilation for your occasion. Just make sure it fits with your plans. Nobody wants music to dance to while they’re eating, and if you’re hoping to get people dancing, you might not want to go for relaxing classical music.
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FOOD & DRINK • People love to be welcomed with a glass of fizz - No matter where you are or what the occasion, fizz makes people feel special. At Loxleys we start our special meals and events with a glass of bubbles, and like to treat people celebrating a special occasion with a glass of fizz too. You can’t go wrong. • Have a few extra pairs of hands - Whether it’s handing out drinks, serving food or clearing up the plates, it’s always handy to have some extra pairs of hands to help. It just makes things run that bit smoothly. We’d never try to do things single-handedly in the restaurant and it’s no different at home, so make sure you have a few people on hand. After all, Santa has helpers so why shouldn’t you? • Make sure all your guests are happy - No matter what else happens, as long as people are in good spirits, your celebration will go without a hitch. Whether your oven packs up, your decorations fall off the wall or someone drops your
spectacular dessert, as long as you have a fabulous festive atmosphere, it just won’t matter. So make sure you have plenty of Christmas cheer and everything else will follow. Loxleys is serving two and three-course set menus from now until Christmas, as well as a lunch or dinner complete with canapes and fizz on Christmas Day. Loxleys’ New Year’s Eve celebration includes a gourmet food extravaganza, fizz, live music from X Factor 2018 contestant Georgia Burgess and a late bar. For more information or to enquire about availability, call 01789 292128.
As someone once said: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
That’s certainly the case at Loxleys Restaurant and Wine Bar in Stratford-upon-Avon. From the end of November right through to January 1st, there’s plenty on offer to celebrate the festive season. Whether you’re planning a work shindig, a festive catch-up with friends or a special treat for one of the big days over Christmas, the family-run restaurant in the heart of Stratford has got something for you. Throughout December Loxleys - which is ranked the Number 1 restaurant in Stratford on TripAdvisor - offers special two and threecourse festive set menus as well as its impressive A La Carte menu. Add fabulous food to a warming log fire, homemade mulled wine, a well-stocked bar and you have all the ingredients for a perfect lunch or dinner of festive fun. As well as this, Loxleys’ historic building on Sheep Street, just a stone’s throw from Stratford’s famous theatres and tourist attractions, lends itself perfectly to any kind of festive occasion. There is a party room perfect for small group gatherings, whether they’re a work festive celebration or a family gettogether, while other areas in the restaurant are perfect for couples, friends and smaller groups. Christmas Day is always a big occasion at Loxleys and the perfect place for a festive feast, while this year’s New Year extravaganza sees a gala dinner accompanied by performances from X Factor 2018 contestant Georgia Burgess, as well as the legendary
Loxleys DJ. Both big days are pretty much booked up and guaranteed to be a fabulous way to wave goodbye to 2019 and see in 2020. Loxleys’ general manager Jonathan Lea said: “At Loxleys we’re busy all year round but Christmas in particular is a special time. As well as welcoming back regular guests for some of the biggest celebrations of the year, we love seeing new people come and join us for their festive celebration, whether that’s a work get-together or dinner with friends or family. “We’re a family-run restaurant but that ‘family’ also extends to our whole staff. We actually spend more time together over the festive season than we do with our own families but it’s a really special time and wonderful to see all of our guests enjoying themselves. Stratford as a town is full of Christmas cheer and somehow everyone just seems in a better mood.
“We’ve got plenty of people booked in but we still have availability for lunches and dinners through December, in between Christmas and New Year and we’re already taking bookings for January. Just give us a call to see what we can do to add a bit of sparkle to your festive season.” Loxleys is a family-run, two-floor restaurant and bar on Sheep Street in Stratford-uponAvon. Serving creative British cuisine seven days a week, it has become recognised as one of the top restaurants in Stratford and was a finalist in the Best Restaurant category in the Muddy Stilettos Warwickshire Awards 2019. Loxleys is the main sponsor of the Stratford Town Centre Food Festival each September and this year raised more than £6,000 for local children’s charity Molly Olly’s Wishes by donating a brand new car for a raffle for the charity. For more information or to reserve your table, call 01789 292128.
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Cornfield Top Pick:
The Cheese Grotto
is the wine cellar for cheese
It’s the ultimate home storage solution for any lover of fine cheeses. Like a lot of people in the world, I am not afraid to stand up and say that when it comes to cheese, I am something of a snob. I like to have the best cheese around and I also like to have a sense of luxury. So when I found the Cheese Grotto and saw how they had changed the way that a lot of people think about cheese and the way that it is eaten and enjoyed, I knew that I was in for a very revolutionary escapade. So let’s talk a little bit about how the whole thing came into my life. There’s a company in the US called the Cheese Grotto. What they focus on is all things cheese. Specifically, what drew me to them was their unique storage container for cheese that absolutely screamed bespoke. What we’re going to be looking at today is the Classico model, which is made from bamboo and is made to sit in the kitchen or in a cellar. It’s very much a refined and bespoke way of looking after cheese, and what I thought I would do is talk a little bit about what it looks like and why it’s such a delight to own. So what we have to work with here is basically a new way of storing cheese. It is much more convenient and comfortable to work with than just something like a fridge, and it also has the perfect environment for growth to take place. Now I’m not going to pretend that I want to get overly technical about this, but let me walk you through some of the key features. First of all, there are two removable shelves. In this case, mine are made of bamboo, which a lot of people will now for being a durable and long-lasting material. Thanks to a vaulted ceiling and a handcrafted clay brick, you’ve also got condensation and humidity control ready to go. You can maintain the whole thing with a 2oz bottle of mineral oil. This does the job nicely if you want to look after the bamboo element of the container.
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FOOD & DRINK
But enough of that, let’s take a look at how well the container worked as an actual storage unit for cheese. I loaded it up with a selection of my favourite options and left it for a bit to see how the short term storage system worked out. It did perform very well, which was perfect for just about anyone who wants to have their cheese on display while at the same time giving it the time it needs to ripen and mature. Like I said, I am something of a snob when it comes to cheese. I know that it is important to get it right, which is why I was so pleased with how this turned out and what it meant for cheese consumption going forward. What I adore about this is that you can have multiple options for how you store your cheese which gives you so many ways to do things. I put mine out in the open, but you can just as easily put it into a fridge, a cellar or somewhere cool and dry for long term storage. The choice is fundamentally yours and it makes such a difference when you are trying to have a flexible solution. So let’s recap. I was so pleased to have been sent this product because I am, at a fundamental level, a connoisseur of cheese. I’ve tried so many different types, and it really can be a lovely food to consume socially and privately. The benefits that can come from having a dedicated storage solution are quite considerable, and while I had not heard of this particular model prior to receiving it, I now cannot imagine storing cheese in any other way. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but it’s made from such bespoke materials that you can’t help but feel like you have received a valuable gift. What I think I want to emphasise most is just how convenient it is to be able to store cheese in multiple ways. The product was clearly designed to be used over and over again, because it’s so easy to clean, and with a monthly application of the oil which is provided, you can make sure that the woodwork itself stays in good condition. This product has definitely changed my ideas about cheese consumption. Now, whenever I want to entertain, I use the storage container to prepare the cheese beforehand, and give it a suitable level of sophistication that all of my guests tend to comment on. It was definitely a wonderful addition to my home, and I can’t help but feel I’m going to get a lot of use out of it as time goes on. www.cheesegrotto.com
How Does the Cheese Grotto Work? Fine cheese requires a balance of humidity, airflow, breathability, and temperature in order to stay fresh. The Cheese Grotto is a humidor for cheese that uses a humidifying clack block, natural materials (bamboo and birch), and a ventilated back panel to create an ideal environment for cheese. Simply submerge the clay block in water for two minutes, place in the base of the Grotto, and the unit with achieve 70% humidity without cheese inside. Cheese can then be stored, unwrapped, on the removable serving trays and they will add their own humidity to the Grotto - bringing the whole unit to 80% or more in humidity which is ideal for cheese. In cooler climates, the Grotto can be stored on the kitchen counter (as the French do) for 7 to 10 days. For month long storage of cheeses, the Grotto is designed to fit the footprint of your refrigerator.
The Ultimate Gift for the Gourmet Foodie The Cheese Grotto storage line is the ultimate gift for the gourmet foodie in your life. Keep your cheese fresher, save hundreds of dollars on cheese over time, and have a beautiful heirloom piece to showcase at your next dinner party.
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Struggling to find the perfect Christmas gifts for the special people in your life? We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite products that we’d love to unwrap this December 25th to give you a little festive inspiration!
Sterling silver birdwing butterfly necklace and earrings gift set Natural History Museum www.nhmshop.co.uk £65.00
CREED Aventus eau de parfum www.selfridges.com From £185.00
Worst Gift Socks Funky Hampers www.funkyhampers.com £4.00
Trump Caricature 3D Mug www.gyrofish.com.au £7.50
Garden Gnome Ninja - Gift Gyrofish www.gyrofish.com.au £19.50
EXCLUSIVE TO SELFRIDGES ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Men’s Show transparent-sole leather trainers www.selfridges.com £420.00
iCrib Tablet Bean Bag Cushion Pink Velvet - Gift in Pink Gyrofish www.gyrofish.com.au £19.00
BarCraft Brandy and Cognac Warmer Gift Set Kitchen Craft www.kitchencraft.co.uk/
You Know You’re Old When Gift Book Yellow Octopus www.YellowOctopus.com.au £7.78
BarCraft Deluxe Lever-Arm Corkscrew Gift Set Kitchen Craft http://www.kitchencraft.co.uk/
Baylis & Harding - Skin Spa Men’s Wash Bag Gift Set Baylis & Harding www.baylisandharding.com £25.00
IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN aquatimer cousteau watch www.selfridges.com £6,050.00
The Floating Spa www.thefloatingspa.com from £150
Newton’s Cradle Desk Office Gift Gyrofish www.gyrofish.com.au £13.00 Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band www.amazon.co.uk from £399.00
Muehle Shaving Gift Set #6 with Traditional Shaving Set M89 The Design Gift Shop www.thedesigngiftshop.com £129.00
Hedgepig Fruit Gin Liqueurs www.pinkstergin.com from £16.00 DIOR Rouge Dior Couture Refillable Jewel Lipstick edition gift set 60g www.selfridges.com £138.00
Home and Garden section, Sponsored by
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Kavanagh’s Kitchens and Bathrooms is an established supplier of leading manufacturers of bathroom and kitchen products, providing a full design and installation service. The family-run business has been delivering exceptional workmanship to clients for over 28 years. Specialising in complete bathroom and kitchen refurbishments, Kavanagh’s will create bespoke expert designs to bring clients’ dreams to life, managing the whole project from start to finish. With excellent workmanship, Kavanagh’s are able to mange the entire installation of a project including plastering, electrics, worktops, doors, wet rooms, shower panelling, tiling, and under floor heating. The company’s up-front quotations mean there are no hidden costs, and customers can rest assured their homes or businesses are in safe, expert hands. For enquiries, please call 0121 604 6464 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org www.kavsbathrooms.co.uk 32 East Meadway, Tile Cross, Birmingham, B33 0AP
Cornfield Magazine | 43
John Lewis & Partners
reveals how UKChristmas Decorating Trends
have changed over the past decade Decorations have become more sophisticated, trees are several feet taller, decorated with tree skirts and statement baubles have replaced traditional round ones. This week is when most UK households are expected to shop for Christmas trees and decorations. Research published today, by John Lewis & Partners, reveals that in December 2009, when George Michael had a hit with ‘December Song’ (I dreamed of Christmas) and Avatar became the most successful film of all time, the UK had much less adventurous and sophisticated tastes in Christmas decorations than today. Dan Cooper, Partner and Head Christmas Buyer at John Lewis said; “In 2009, we typically thought a thin bit of red or gold tinsel mixed with some round baubles and a few lights attached to a heavy adapter meant we were ready for Christmas. Ten years on the UK tastes have become so much more adventurous and sophisticated. “Artificial trees have grown in quality and popularity, and become several feet taller. Ten years ago 4ft trees dominated the range sold by John Lewis, but today 7ft trees are our most popular with 9ft trees growing in popularity. UK households are now more likely to decorate their Christmas tree in sophisticated colours of white, blush, green or copper than bold colours, such as red or gold, which were the favourite colours ten years ago. “Upside down trees which were popular in 2009 are no longer sold by John Lewis. Instead pre-lit trees are on-trend and this year for the first time they have overtaken un-lit trees. To complete the sophisticated look trees are now likely to have their roots covered by a tree skirt and to be draped in thick tinsel, which has had a resurgence that peaked in 2018, or decorated with a statement piece such as a large owl to create the perfect instagrammable tree. “One of the biggest changes in trends has been in Christmas baubles. In 2009 most of us bought traditional round baubles and there were very few individual ones. John Lewis sold santas, butterflies and angels. Today, we have over 400 different types of bauble and our best selling baubles are not traditional Christmas baubles but birds, foxes and dinosaurs as we have embraced the idea of making our trees individual to us with statement baubles. “These changes have been driven by a growing culture of entertaining, instagram and innovation in Christmas decorations which have become much higher in quality and therefore last much longer, making us more likely to invest in them.”
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Whether you are looking for traditional red, frosty flora, or decorations with a modern twist John Lewis & Partners has wreaths, garlands and stockings to suit your Christmas scheme.
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Hoods Flooring A trusted name in carpet fitting services and supplies As a long-established, family-run business, Hoods Flooring can offer you an exceptional wealth of experience and high-quality service.
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commercial and private. Our large two-storey showroom stocks a huge range of flooring product options, allowing customers to select the perfect floor covering to suit their needs. We supply a wide range of carpets and hard flooring, including Karndean designer flooring, Marmoleum tiles and rubber flooring.
Transform your interiors â€“ trust in Hoods Flooring Award-winning and certified team members Hoods Flooringâ€™s award-winning team are all NICF (National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers) certified. We receive on going, inhouse training and attend regular manufacturer training courses to ensure we stay up-to-date with industry standards and maintain our high standards of service. Our team are fully trained and qualified to handle flooring projects, specialising in providing excellent carpet fitting services and expert advice for our clients.
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at Melody Maison
We have everything ranging from tree baubles and decorations, wall plaques and wall mounted deer/stags heads and many other items to truly give your house the festive uplift it needs! Each item will help to bring out your houseâ€™s inner grotto or winter wonderland depending on your chosen theme. Add a sparkly glitzy touch with our jewelled baubles and tree toppers or add a more rustic, scandi and Nordic appearance with our beautiful rustic ladders and tree inspired ladders. We have a selection of more traditional trimmings and accessories to add a warming feel with their green and red colours. Place our critters around your home to add a woodlands vibe that will catch the attention of your friends and family at your festive get togetherâ€™s. With items to suit most decors, whether shabby chic, rustic or a more contemporary decor we are bound to have what you need to complete your Christmas home. www.MelodyMaison.co.uk
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New lodge marks milestone
for enterprising couple
THE dream continues to flourish for a south Warwickshire couple who have just unveiled the latest new holiday lodge on the site of their previous business. Jo Carroll and Steve Taylor have converted part of their former baby day nursery into George’s Getaway, the fourth lodge at their boutique luxury glamping retreat in Upper Tysoe. Nestled in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a private estate in the rolling Warwickshire countryside, Winchcombe Farm has become a huge hit with holidaymakers since it opened just 18 months ago. And this latest conversion, which began life as stable and chicken coup, marks a significant chapter in the couple’s success story – one they say, has been driven by customer demand. “We never anticipated that it was going to take off like this and prove as popular as it has,” said Jo. “We’ve welcomed hundreds of guests from over 20 different countries since we opened and are currently taking bookings for 2021. “We’ve got several people who are booking for a fourth or fifth time and just can’t stay away!” George’s Getaway now joins Bob’s Lodge, The Chicken Shed Lodge and Will’s Tree House - the only tree house in Warwickshire – at the farm. The couple were forced to make a change in 2017 following the financial collapse of their nursery business - after 14 years. Steve headed up a campaign following proposed changes to The Childcare Act 2016 which committed to giving families with working parents an entitlement to 30 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds. His petition to Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi, warned that the resulting chronic underfunding for nurseries would render many of them unviable. Steve, 62, said: “It was heartbreaking to close the nursery but it came to a point where we didn’t have a choice. We were subsidising the running costs by £5k a month and our savings ran out; the business just wasn’t financially viable any longer. “The Government introduced 30 hours free childcare for parents in September 2017 and we were being paid less to deliver a service than it was costing us to provide. Warwickshire still receive one of the lowest funding rates in the country and even our local MP, who ironically is the Early Years Minister, couldn’t help us when we presented him with a petition with 6,000 signatures on from other nursery owners who found themselves in the same situation as us. “Having spent all our savings trying to keep the 80-place nursery afloat, we took out a huge loan to open the holiday let business and crossed our fingers that it would work. We just had a gut instinct it would, and thankfully the gamble paid off.” It enjoys sweeping views of the surrounding countryside from the lounge windows, with French doors that lead out onto a spacious deck area, featuring a seven-seater hot tub for exclusive use, pizza oven and barbecue.
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Jo said: “We are blessed to be situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty and have some stunning scenery surrounding us. Our guests rave about the magnificent views and love watching the grazing sheep and cattle in the neighbouring fields and feeding apples to our ponies.” The new lodge sleeps up to eight people in three bedrooms (and the geodesic dome) including a magnificent king-sized master bedroom, which boasts twin freestanding bath tubs. A family suite at the other end of the lodge has another king-sized bedroom with a corner bath, a twin children’s room and a ‘Jack & Jill’ (two-door) bathroom that joins them. There’s even a small window between the adults’ and children’s room, so they can be checked on at night without being disturbed. There’s even a telescope provided to enjoy for some stargazing from the geodesic dome, which is positioned on a raised platform. Steve said: “We designed George’s Getaway while listening to what our customers like. The first thing people want is a private hot tub, followed by the stargazing domes we’ve added on to raised platforms on all the lodges. They have huge appeal and we get people from all over the country coming to marvel
at the wonders of the galaxy from our super-king sized circular beds. We are blessed with unpolluted night skies here, given our remote rural location, so it really is a great place to spot a shooting star.” The kitchen is furnished with SMEG and Joseph Joseph accessories and, for those rainy days, there’s a 55inch TV and DVD plus a selection of board games. Guests can even make their own LEGO model art using the picture boxes and building bricks provided. A welcome basket is left for all guests staying in George’s Getaway, including milk, fruit and delicious cake. Pausing for little more than a breath, the couple are already planning work on their next lodge Ben’s Burrow, which they hope to open in summer 2020. Take a 3D tour of the George’s Getaway here https://my.matterport. com/show/?m=ehWMtVufbKA&qs=1 Book a stay at Winchcombe Farm at www.winchcombefarm.co.uk or call Jo on 01295 680190.
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at annual business awards
AN evening of celebration also raised £4,500 for local charities at The Leamington Business Awards. The 2019 awards, organised for the first time by Leamington Business Forum, shone a spotlight on some of the district’s entrepreneurial success stories. Established in 2014, the Awards champion and celebrate the work of local businesses, individuals and organisations while also raising vital funds for local charities. Now in its sixth year, the black-tie ceremony was held at the newly renovated Royal Pump Rooms and presided over by Master of Ceremonies, Dave Sharpe. More than 180 guests were treated to a three-course dinner and drinks, with entertainment and a charity raffle, as well as the awards presentation. Commercial property company AC Lloyd scooped Business of the Year as well as Property Business of the Year at the glittering ceremony on Friday, November 15th. For the first time, the Leamington Business Awards included two new categories, the Warwick District Charity Award won by P3 and The Warwickshire Achievement Awards, won by Springfield Mind and Leamington Art in the Park Festival. The People’s Choice Award winner, sponsored by The Leamington Courier, was revealed as Temperance, a vintage shop, art gallery, cafe, live music venue, art cinema and performance space. A special surprise award of the night went to Marianne and Archie Pitts. The Leamington Legend Award was introduced by BID Leamington to recognise and express gratitude for the special contribution that people make to Leamington over many years. The award was created in memory of Gerry McManus – the former manager of Royal Priors Shopping Centre and founding board member of BID Leamington -- who championed the power of teamwork and greatly valued the work of local volunteers who care passionately about the town. Stephanie Kerr, Executive Director, BID Leamington said “It was our pleasure to present the first Leamington Legend award to Archie and Marianne Pitts whose contribution to Leamington has been immense.
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“They care greatly about our town and for many years have championed high profile projects such as the restoration of the Pump Room Gardens and Bandstand, the Linden Arches and the railway station gardens and war memorial, which benefit us all. They are also strong advocates for the town’s heritage, architecture and narrative and have supported and inspired many other volunteers to aim higher with their passion and enthusiasm.” The Business Awards event was made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors and local organisations who donated funds, supplies and skills to ensure the continued success of the Leamington Business Awards. Businesses include Bravissimo, IAPS, Lodders, The Royal Priors, Aubrey Allen, The Kingsley School, The Box Factory, Tara & Co, Withers & Rodgers, Harrison Beale & Owen, Bellagio Stone, Prontaprint, ISTEAD and media sponsors Business & Innovation Magazine and The Leamington Courier. The judging panel was made up of: Roger Scott of Lloyds Bank; Sarah Windrum from IT Consultancy Emerald Group; Louise Richards from touring dance circus company Motionhouse; and Mark Ashfield, Managing Director of HB&O - and former awards organiser. The awards this year, crafted and designed by Leamington College students Harvey Farren, Libbi Ancill-Griffiths and Melissa Clayton. Jonathan Smith, of Leamington Business Forum, said: “I was delighted the event was such a success. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and all the winners were well supported on the night. “The feedback coming back from everyone was that it felt like a real celebration of what’s good about Leamington and the community and the fact that we have included that community element involving the Leamington Legend and
ENTERTAINMENT People’s Choice and charities awards was appreciated.” The £4,500 total proceeds from the night will be distributed between the four finalists in the Warwick District Charity of the Year category, winners P3 and Young People First, The Ups of Downs and Leam Trash Friends. Matt Langsford, founder of Leam Trash Friends said: “This funding is vital to our operations as we rely solely on donations to cover our running costs. The funds will be put to good use to assist with our mission of making the streets of our district cleaner and safer for those who live, work and visit our region.”
from Friday’s fundraising. As a Leamington based charity we’re always delighted to receive the support of local businesses.” Plans are already afoot for the 2020 Leamington Business Awards which are being held at on November 13th. Potential sponsors are invited to contact Jonathan Smith at: email@example.com
David Skoppek, Chief Officer of Young People First, said: “Young People First is deeply appreciative of the Awards. To be highly commended as a charity for our work is more than enough but to then receive the donation is incredible.” Nicola Enoch, founder of The Ups of Downs said: “We are thrilled to receive a contribution
Leamington Business Awards 2019 winners in full New Business of the Year
Customer Excellence Award
This coffee bar and vintage shop opened at the start of May 2018 as a multi-functional shop and coffee bar, situated in the creative end of Old Town. Plans for 2020 include the introduction of a vintage dressing room with expanded clothing range, a small fashion show to launch our vintage wedding dresses and some creative and arty workshops.
The longest established kitchen, bathroom and bedroom business in the area has entered its 52nd year and third family generation.
(Sponsored by Lodders) Bluebasil www.bluebasil.co.uk/
Owner Nikki Taylor said: “We are absolutely delighted to win the New Business of The Year award. This means a lot to our whole team who have worked really hard to create a unique and fun environment and bring something extra to Old Town.”
Business and the Community Award (Sponsored by The Royal Priors) Wright Hassall LLP www.wrighthassall.co.uk/
Alex Robinson, Partner at Wright Hassall, said: “We are honoured to have been recognised for our work within the community and to have won the Business and the Community award. We work with clients across the country but we have been a Leamington firm for over 170 years so we take our role within the local area both as an employer and business very seriously. “As a firm we have a range of initiatives throughout Leamington and the local area which support charities and businesses, reduce our environmental impact, support events such as the Regency Run and continue to run free monthly legal advice sessions. “This year has been a particularly busy one for our Corporate Social Responsibility team, supported by the firm as a whole and so to be recognised by our peers in the local area in this way is fantastic.” Judge Sarah Windrum said: “We were incredibly impressed with the continued commitment Wright Hassall make to their local community and in such a variety of ways. They have a Community Fund where the whole company votes to contribute financially to causes close to their own hearts and they actively encourage their employees to take roles on regional boards and supporting them in that process. It’s crucial businesses are involved at all levels of community and Wright Hassall achieve this so well.”
(Sponsored by The Box Factory) Modern Homes www.modernhomesleamington.co.uk/
Tina Riley, Managing Director, said: “As a small independent kitchen and bathroom showroom, we have always put customer service at the top of our agenda, and believe this is why we have a loyal local client base that has supported us through our 51 year history, but to have this award just recognises we have achieved this!” “The evening was superb and it was brilliant to be part of such a vibrant supportive business community that we are so lucky to have in Leamington Spa!”
Warwick District Charity of the Year (Sponsored by Aubrey Allen) P3 Charity www.p3charity.org/
The P3 Warwickshire team forms part of a national charity, offering a diverse range of housing-related support for adults over 25. Operating out of hubs in Leamington, Stratford, Rugby and Nuneaton, street outreach workers identify and, offer support to, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by engaging them with the relevant services. Esther Barrett, Head of Support and Community Services, said: “P3 are delighted to have been recognised for their persistent and passionate support with people who find themselves on the streets in Warwick District. P3 will continue to work alongside those most vulnerable throughout Warwickshire and we really appreciate the support of local communities and businesses. The funding we also received will really assist our staff to support people further.”
Young Person of the Year (Sponsored by IAPS) Aaron Watkinson
Aaron Watkinson, 25, from Wolston, is a dancer and education lead at touring dance circus company Motionhouse.
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Aaron said of his award: “I couldn’t be more thrilled. It means so much to me that others think I’m making such a positive impact on the young people I work with – I love working with them. My dance teachers inspired me when I was younger, and I want to do the same for the young people I work with.” Jane Bailey, Communications and Development Director of Motionhouse, who nominated Aaron for the award, said: “Aaron does some brilliant work with children and young people – he’s a true inspiration to the people he teaches, taking them on a life-affirming journey, which is why he thoroughly deserves the award.”
Employer of the Year
(Sponsored by Bravissimo) Playground Games www.playground-games.com/ This BAFTA Award-winning, AAA video game developer and Xbox Games Studio based in Leamington was stablished in 2010 and their latest release is the criticallyacclaimed Forza Horizon franchise with Forza Horizon 4, ranking as the highest rated Xbox exclusive of this generation.
Independent Business of the Year
(Sponsored by HB&0) Lockwoods Ski and Outdoor https://lockwoods.com This independent family business specialises in the sale and fitting of walking boots, ski boots and all outdoor activity clothing and accessories. The family-run business is now in its 43rd year still operating from the same premises in Milverton. Manager Hayley Key said: “This is thanks to our customers who continue to value our family ethos and knowledgeable staff. At this challenging time for retail, and as we move into our third generation of family management, this award is a tribute to the work of my aunt and father, and our amazing team, many of whom have been with us for several decades. We look forward to the decades more to come and of course to the ski season ahead!”
Property Business of the Year (Sponsored by Bellagio Stone) A C Lloyd http://aclloyd.com
Gavin Raeburn, Studio Director, said: “We’re proud to call Leamington Spa our home and so we’re delighted to be recognised at our local awards. This year we’ve expanded to two facilities in Leamington town centre, employing more than 200 staff, and we look forward to many more years of growth and success here.”
AC Lloyd has been building and developing in the region for more than seven decades and many of the successful commercial schemes across the area have been developed by the group, which currently employs 30 staff.
South Warwickshire Achievement of the Year
A C Lloyd
(Sponsored by Tara & Co) Springfield Mind https://springfieldmind.org.uk Established in South Warwickshire 35 years ago, this grant and local authority-funded charity/Limited Company, helps people who are suffering from mental distress. They work with clients individually or in a group setting with much of the focus on early intervention. Carol Roberts, Policy Officer for Springfield Mind, said: “Springfield Mind provides peer support and drop in at Southborough Terrace, Leamington and Cygnet Court in Stratford-upon-Avon on weekly basis, we have a secret garden in Northumberland Terrace in Leamington and at garden therapy at Lifeways in Stratford town.
Business of the Year Mark Edwards, Managing Director of AC Lloyd, said: “We were all thrilled to win the Property Business of the Year, but to then land the overall award was fantastic. It was a great night and underlined the array of superb businesses we have in and around Leamington. “We work across the country but very much regard ourselves as a Leamington firm. It gives us great pride to see that many of our developments have become home to some the area’s most successful companies – companies who employ local people, create jobs and bring investment. Many of those people also live in AC Lloyd homes helping to create successful communities across the area.
“We also deliver Mental Health First Aid and Wellbeing training for local businesses to reduce stigma and promote a positive message around mental wellbeing.
“We – like many of the nominated companies – firmly believe in contributing to our community which is one of the reasons that Leamington is such a great place to work and live. We have a very dedicated team throughout AC Lloyd and they are a major reason we continue to thrive.”
“It was an honour to accept this award in my role as Chair of Trustees for Springfield Mind along with Trustee Ian Carson.”
People’s Choice Award
Innovation of the Year
(Sponsored by Leamington Courier) Temperance www.temperance.bar
3SK is a consultancy, at Warwick Technology Park, which specialises in developing processes and technology designs for complex products like electric cars, trains etc.
Owner Adrian Gains said: “Temperance only opened last year so to win this award is beyond our wildest dreams. We were overwhelmed by the number of our customers that nominated us and that makes it extra special. It was the award we most wanted most to win.”
(Sponsored by Withers and Rogers) 3S Knowledge Ltd 3S Knowledge Ltd
Giresh Krishnan, Co-Founder and Chief Engineer, said: “We attended the awards night with no expectations. When our name was announced we were shocked and equally exited. This was a thrilling moment for us as we started our company a year ago and to win this prestigious award was a real heart-warming moment for us and our families.”
Leamington Legend Award Marianne and Archie Pitts
Judge Sarah Windrum said: “Infrastructure and engineering are the bedrock of innovation which is why we chose 3S for Innovation of the Year award. Their list of patents was so impressive clearly demonstrating how important it is to protect and commercialise global innovation for an individual business but also for our town. It’s great to see companies like 3S continue to keep Leamington on the world stage for new ideas and innovation.”
Outstanding Achievement of the Year (Sponsored by The Kingsley School) Leamington Art in the Park Festival www.artinpark.co.uk Art in the Park was conceived in August 2014 when Mo Finessey from the Leamington Studio Artists and Carole Sleight along with a lot of friends, family and volunteers welcomed 50 artists and 5,000 visitors to Jephson Gardens. Since then the festival has grown in diversity of artists, music, performers, community outreach and engagement. In 2018 they proudly became the largest free arts festival in Warwickshire. Judge Mark Ashfield said: “This event goes from strength to strength. The festival showcases the diversity of the talent in the local area and the organisers devote a significant amount of time in delivering such a fantastic event.”
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All photography by Sally Evans Photography - sallyevansphoto.co.uk
Illusionist is Back
Darcy Oake Announces UK Tour Following a sell-out Halloween show in London, dare devil Darcy Oake is set to take the country by storm as he embarks on a twelve date UK tour kicking off in Newcastle on 21st March 2020 before culminating at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on April 1st 2020. Darcy will be flipping traditional magic on its head to deliver a magical Spectacular in a truly unique way. For the first time ever Darcy will perform to an audience that will move around throughout the show allowing them to get up close and personal to a plethora of breath-taking, logic-bending illusions. This fully immersive, interactive experience will see Darcy performing never before seen material fusing grand old traditional magic with his very own edgy twist. Darcy said: I am so thrilled to be touring up and down the UK performing my brand new show. It is a stunning extravaganza of illusions that will challenge all logic. Proving the impossible is possible this is going to be an evening of breath taking magic that is daring, death defying and dangerous. It will literately blow your mind. That electrifying 2014 breakthrough performance on Britain’s Got Talent – which has been watched by more than 200 million people worldwide - catapulted Darcy’s career to stratospheric heights. Not only proving the impossible is possible but demonstrating magic is young, fresh and dare devilish. Making such an impact on the UK show the US beckoned and in 2016 he made a guest appearance on America’s Got Talent leaving the judges once again in awe of his talent. Darcy was further honoured to be a part of Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday celebration where he performed before the Royal Family at a private dinner. Since then Darcy has been delighting audiences worldwide performing jaw dropping magic with finesse, intensity and his unique style. In 2018, Darcy headlined 10 shows at the world famous Calgary Stampede in his home country of Canada, in front of over 20,000 per night. This unmissable show promises a magical extravaganza full of breath-taking, mind-bending and jaw dropping illusions. Always fierce and dangerous Darcy will be electrifying audiences up and down the county during March and April 2020. Be prepared to have your mind blown! Darcy Oake 2020 UK Tour dates Theatre Newcastle Northumbria Institute Edinburgh The Caves Glasgow St Luke’s Nottingham Rescue Rooms Liverpool Arts Club Leeds Brudenell Social Club Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Manchester Academy 3 Bristol Thekla Brighton Komedia London Islington Assembly Hall London Islington Assembly Hall
Date Saturday 21st March Sunday 22nd March Monday 23rd March Tuesday 24th March Wednesday 25th March Thursday 26th March Friday 27th March Saturday 28th March Sunday 29th March Monday 30th March Tuesday 31st March Wednesday 1st April
Enchanted Weston Friday 13 to Saturday 21 December 2019 Winter is set to cast a seasonal spell across Weston Park this December when Enchanted Weston weaves its festive magic. This special experience, taking place each evening from Friday 13 to Saturday 21 December, combines a colourful illuminated winter walk under the stars and a pop up courtyard festival. As dusk falls, the natural beauty and wonder of Capability Brown’s Temple Wood is awakened. An illuminated trail through the ancient trees lights the way ahead for a serene winter walk. Landmarks, like Paine’s Bridge and the Stone Arbour, towering trees and hidden surprises are all picked out in a wash of light and hues of colour. Enchanted Weston celebrates the beauty of the natural world, taking its inspiration from the cold crisp nights, the chill in the air, the sparkle of frost and the night sky. Visitors were left spellbound in 2018, and in 2019 Enchanted Weston promises to be even more captivating. With Mother Nature given a helping hand, this joyful experience is all about the allure of the night and a reinvention of the pleasure grounds that were created hundreds of years ago by the master of landscaping, Capability Brown. A rising fog over Temple Pool will create a mystical sense of awe and fascination, and the appearance of mysterious smoke rings will add to the intrigue. Other new surprises include added sparkle in the form of a magic mirror ball area for picture perfect photos! The ideal accompaniment under the starry sky is a spot of festive feasting. Visitors will find the Stables Courtyard lit up by the flames and warmth of fire pits and the promise of some fabulous winter warmers to eat and drink. Creative partner Festive Fizz and Eats is injecting a sense of the winter festival atmosphere with faux furs to snuggle up on around the fire, street food to tuck in to, marshmallows to toast and, whether it’s a cool cocktail or luxurious hot chocolate, there’s an array of drinks to indulge in. With Christmas just around the corner, there is also the chance for a spot of retail therapy. A selection of handpicked local producers bursting with original gift ideas feature as part of a pop up festive market. For those who would prefer a slightly more traditional dining experience, Weston Park’s festive menus will be available in the Granary Brasserie & Bakery. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two in the Brasserie or a light bite for all the family in the Bakery, this is another part of the evening that visitors will find simply enchanting. Enchanted Weston Ticket Prices: £9 per person (under 4’s go free) £30 family ticket (2 adults +2 children aged 4 -14 years) (Plus booking fee) The Enchanted Weston Experience is available by advanced tickets only which can be booked via www.weston-park.com/event/enchanted-weston/ Entry into the walk is by timed slots every half hour from 5pm – 8pm, please select your chosen time slot when you purchase your tickets. Weston-park.com
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STORMZY ANNOUNCES ‘H.I.T.H. WORLD TOUR 2020’ Comes to Arena Birmingham on Saturday 19 September 2020 Set to be one of the most highly anticipated tours of 2020, Stormzy has today announced a huge 55-date ‘H.I.T.H. World Tour’. With shows spanning across Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America, UK & Ireland and Africa, the tour marks Stormzy’s biggest live offering to date. Kicking off the tour in Dubai on February 7th and concluding in Africa in October, the tour will also see him coming to Arena Birmingham on Saturday 19 September 2020. The touring news comes straight off the back of a phenomenal few weeks for 26-year-old Stormzy. Kicking-off the month announcing his hugely anticipated album ‘Heavy Is The Head’, last week the musician also announced his brand new single ‘Own It’ featuring musical heavyweights Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy which is on course become Stormzy’s 7th top 10 single in today’s Official UK Charts! Stormzy’s forthcoming album, ‘Heavy Is The Head’ marks a hugely exciting return for the multi award-winning phenomenon and is a record which has been executively produced entirely by the musician himself; showcasing his world class lyricism and musicality alongside many of his celebrated and relatable subject matters. The album also features additional vocals from some of the most exciting musicians of this generation - all of whom have been handpicked by Stormzy including, (in alphabetical order) Aitch, Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, Headie One, H.E.R., Tiana Major9 and YEBBA with production from Fred Gibson, Fraser T Smith, T-Minus and others. To date, Stormzy has unveiled four of the sixteen album tracks, leaving twelve unheard tracks still to come. In April he made his remarkable return to the spotlight where he unveiled ‘Vossi Bop’, his first release since 2017. ‘Vossi Bop’ broke the record for the biggest week one streams for a British Rapper, ever, with streams accumulating to over 12.7 million! The single saw a combined sales total of 94,495
and subsequently earnt Stormzy his first ever UK #1 single, holding the top position for two consecutive weeks! Shortly after he unveiled the stunning ‘Crown’ before unveiling his latest release ‘Wiley Flow’ – where he paid homage to British MC, Wiley. The album announcement follows on from Stormzy being hailed as one of TIME Magazine’s ten ‘Next Generation Leaders’ last month which coincided with him being the only leader honoured with a cover for the special issue. Before Stormzy released his platinumselling #1 debut album, ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ in February 2017, many would merely have called him one of the most promising rappers on the UK scene. Nearly three years on however, that description is utterly inadequate. A showman like no other, his remarkable ascent has been accompanied by his honest and relatable character. Known for evolving the underground musical landscape, as well as being a perennial political agitator, Stormzy is a true spokesman of black empowerment and social activism. He has become one of the UK’s most inspiring cultural figures and earlier this year, during his headline performance at Glastonbury Festival, he took the opportunity to highlight a plethora of social issues, including the injustice of young black children being criminalised in a biased and disproportionate justice system. Despite being out of the ‘musical’ spotlight last year, his philanthropy continued. In July 2018 Stormzy launched ‘The Stormzy Scholarship’ – a studentship which funds the study of two black students, each year, at Cambridge University and this summer, launched its second year of the scholarship. Subsequent to the scholarship, he unveiled #Merky Books, an imprint formed in collaboration with Penguin Random House UK which saw the release of his own book ‘Rise Up: The Story So Far’ in November. Shortly after he revealed the imprint’s ‘Writers’ Prize’ – an initiative which looks
for the best authors of the next generation. Adding further strings to his bow, the Ghanaian MC also announced his very own music record label #Merky Records in January 2018 - a subsidiary of Atlantic Records UK – which will look to sign the hottest new and emerging talent. Further to Stormzy’s incredible rise within his recorded music, the Croydon-born MC has also broken records in the live sphere and in June earlier this year he became the first British Rapper to ever headline Glastonbury Festival, one of the world’s biggest music festivals! Shortly after, he headed to Ibiza for his annual #Merky Festival – a 2-day event which hosts some of the UK’s most indemand artists. This year the festival soldout in 48 hours, marking the first time - in Ibiza history – for a ticketed event to have all tickets sold off of the island, prior to the event. Building momentum with impassioned support from his devoted fan base, Stormzy is now the proud possessor of over 25 awards including; 2 x BRIT Awards, 1 x Ivor Novello Award, 6 x MOBO Awards, 1 x Q Award, 1 x MTV EMA, 1 x BBC Music Award, 1 x Teen Choice Award, 3 x AIM Awards, 2 x BET Awards, 2 x British GQ Awards, 2 x Global Awards and many more. Stayed tuned to watch Stormzy pave the way with his genre-defining record, “Heavy Is The Head.”
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Motoring & Sport section, sponsored by
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Festive Sport By Alex Dudley
England in South Africa If you are looking for a sporting event to just unwind of in front of the television for a few days, then the cricket would certainly be the pick of the bunch. It has been an excellent 12 months for English cricket, with the notable standout moment being the ICC World Cup final success over New Zealand. The Ashes didn’t go the way that was expected, but England still secured a memorable win in that series through an inspired Ben Stokes performance. Cricket fans will be hoping for more of the same from Stokes and his England teammates as they take on South Africa in the first test at the Centurion from the 26th December. The action from the first test continues up until the 30th, which means you can unwind in front of the television before getting your glad rags on for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
King George VI Chase The horse racing comes thick and fast over the festive period, but this is the standout event that will be pencilled in every Racegoers diary. The Grade 1 event is the second most prestigious chase event in England, as it is only surpassed by the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. It was first ran back in February 1937, before moving to Boxing Day following the conclusion of the Second World War. Only fourteen horses have won the race more than once, and that will be something that Clan Des Obeux will be looking to emulate for trainer Paul Nicholls. However, the field is stacked full of some of the most exciting horses on this side of the ocean and looks set to be an instant classic. The open field also includes the highly-regarded Altior, Cyrname and Lostintranslation. It will be unmissable and could give an early insight as to who will be the leading chances for the Cheltenham Festival.
Festive Football No festive period would be complete without a host of games in the world of football. The packed schedule will see many of the local sides looking for valuable points in order to achieve their goals for the remainder of the season. Aston Villa will be looking for a progressive festive period to ease any worries over a potential relegation dog fight, and they take on fellow Premier League newcomers Norwich City on boxing day, before travelling to Watford and Burnley either side of New Year’s Day.
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If you would like to add your info for FREE on this page, then please email the details to: firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like your event in a black box, it’s a minimal charge of £20 per month. Then please call our sales team on 0121 796 6800 for more info.
WE NEED MORE LOCAL EVENTS. It’s completely FREE to place your event in this section. From classes, groups, shows and bootsales you can place your event here. Please email email@example.com to place your event.
meet on the last Friday of the month from 3pm - 6pm at Fibrehut, Cadbury Courtyard, Blackminster Business Park, Evesham, WR11 7RE. There is no charge and tea/coffee is free. Bring your own wheel or borrow one of ours. Beginners welcome! www.fibrehut. co.uk 01386 830396
SSA Drama presents Dick Whittington
at The Dovehouse Theatre, Langley School, Kineton Green Road, Olton, B92 7ER. In this year’s hilarious pantomime adventure, we join Dick Whittington as he goes to London to seek his fortune, befriends Tommy the Cat and tried to avoid the wrath of evil Queen Rat. Friday 17 & Saturday 18 January 7:30pm, Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 January 2:30pm. Tickets £12, Under 18s £10. Book online at http://ssadrama.com/
Personal Training, nutrition and lifestyle coaching in a lovely private gym on the outskirts of Henley in Arden. All ages and abilities catered for including over 50’s and pre and post-natal specialist programmes. Contact jan@ salveocoaching.co.uk for details of our summer special offer.
Art/Adult day Classes at the Core Gallery, The Core
Thurs 10am-12pm and 12.30-2.30 pm starting in September Fri 10-12.00. Join a friendly group of artists and watch Artist Vicki Gorman demonstrate drawing and painting techniques then try them out yourself, and develop your own style. Beginners to advanced, all abilities are welcome. To book a place and to get more details you can contact the box office on 0121 704-6962 or contact Vicki on 07940483320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Art classes are also on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm at Central England Arts, Hampton in Arden and Mondays South Yardley Libray call Vicki for more details.
Parlez-vous francais or Hablan espanol?
Small group meet in Henley. More info about, feel free to contact me at 07891390947
Come and give Bowls a try - find us off Eldorado Close in Studley at B80 7HJ from the end of April - you can be sure of a warm welcome at our Club sessions on Tuesdays 2 - 4pm and Thursdays 6 - 8pm or come to our Open Day on Sunday 19 May 2019 from 10 am. For further details visit our website: www. entacobowls.com
Henley Art Group
A mixed group of artisans meeting every Thursday 1.30-4.00. At Henley Baptist Church Hall. Paint/ sketch/whatever takes your fancy, or just sit and have a convivial chat. £3.00 per session paid 4 weeks in advance with coffee/ tea/biscuits included. With occasional relaxed mini tutorials and group sketching exercises inc. Still Life, Portraiture, Landscapes and Life Drawing (clothed) adding to the mix. Contact Colin Fisher 01564 794339. Or just simply stroll on up and have a chat and a cuppa.
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WYTHALL COMMUNITY CHOIR
We are a community choir, with 60 regular attendees. We have a professional musical director and accompanist though the rest of us have varying abilities in singing. We meet Monday nights, during term time, 7.15pm - 9.30pm at the scout hut in Wythall Park. Generally, we are rehearsing for a concert or performance. Come and join us. No audition necessary. Just turn up from Monday 10 September onwards or contact email@example.com
We meet 1st Tuesday monthly 7.30pm at Solihull Methodist Church Hall for talks on creative textiles and hold Saturday workshops. Open to everyone interested in stitch - regardless of ability. For info: www.solihullembroiderersguild. blogspot.co.uk or email: solihullsec@ embroiderersguild.co.uk
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Modern Luxury, Classic Feel
01527 519 444
Buildland Ltd, Oxleasow Road, Redditch B98 0RE
01527 519 444
Buildland Ltd, Oxleasow Road, Redditch B98 0RE
The Christmas issue is here! Tis’ the season to indulge on delicious festive food, splurge on presents, and enjoy the wintery weather. This...
Published on Dec 6, 2019
The Christmas issue is here! Tis’ the season to indulge on delicious festive food, splurge on presents, and enjoy the wintery weather. This...