Page 1



T he Vale






G lamorgan ’s P remier L ifestyle M agazine

Style Stars


Restaurant Reviews What’s On, Business, Shopping

There’s more online

Art, Music, Style Health, Homes and much more plus


VALE L IFE Editor Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Creative Director Mark Roberts Editorial 0845 130 6452 Cardiff House Cardiff Road Barry CF63 2AW Passionate about the Vale of Glamorgan We are a small independent publisher. We are not a large publishing group pretending to be home grown. Vale Life magazine is written, designed and printed in the Vale of Glamorgan for the people of the Vale of Glamorgan. Our philosophy We are committed to quality. This quote by William Foster pretty much sums up our thinking: “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” Caveat emptor Advertisers supply their own copy or artwork, and therefore Vale Life cannot accept any responsibility for disputes between advertisers and their customers. Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. Important you read this We have made every effort to ensure that all information contained in Vale Life or on (or our social media streams) is correct and accurate. However, we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions and can offer no compensation should we get it wrong. Please note that the opinions, thoughts, views or ideas expressed in articles contained in Vale Life are strictly those of the authors. Intellectual property © Copyright Vale Life 2018. All rights reserved. Nothing in this magazine (including adverts) may be reproduced in any shape or form (in whole or part) without the express written permission of the publishers. We take breach of copyright and theft of intellectual property extremely seriously and will sue at the drop of a croissant. You have been warned (nicely); ignorance is no excuse. Subscriptions To guarantee your copy, please send a cheque for £20 (four issues) made payable to Vale Life. Visit for special subscriber discounts and special offers. Missed the last issue? We hold a small number of each issue in stock so if you do need a pristine copy, please telephone us or email Hopefully we’ll have the issue you want (but we cannot guarantee it). Each back issue costs £5 including postage and packing. Yes it’s free. Priceless actually! Vale Life is distributed free through a wide variety of outlets across Vale of Glamorgan and beyond and is given away free of charge on the understanding that we are happy for it to be lent, passed on, given to friends and generally read until it falls apart. At which point, you can recycle it and we’d be delighted if you did. Green is good The pulp used in the production of the paper Vale Life is printed on is sourced from sustainably managed Scandinavian tree farms and utilises an elementary chlorine-free bleaching process.

We’re very sociable! We’re on the web! Like on Facebook! Follow on Twitter! @ValeLife #ValeLife


Well, what an interesting season autumn has been. We’ve had glorious sunshine, dramatic thunderstorms and now a bit of an Indian summer. Is this global warming or the weather doing what it does? Does anyone really know? The Porthcawl Fashion and Food Festival has been an overwhelming success with many of the businesses and local townspeople getting involved in the fortnight’s festivities. The Fashion Show at The Grand Pavilion went without a hitch and, for those lucky enough to get tickets, it was a night to remember. There were singing waiters, opera singers, and an awesome fashion show from Loulou, The Closet, Hats The One and King Fox. Mark Evans did a fabulous job as host (and also belted out a few tunes!). We’re working on the 2019 festival now and the creative juices are already starting to flow! At the time of writing this, Penarth Fashion Week is in full swing and we can’t wait to feature this in our winter issue. We’re expanding our online and social media presence, so if you haven’t Liked our lovely Vale Life

Choose Life

Facebook page, please do, and join us on Twitter @ValeLife. We are also looking for contributors for our website so, if you have local history knowledge or just want to write about the things you love, please drop me a line and, if you’re a business and you’d like to promote your goods or services, we’d really love to hear from you. Let’s hope this lovely weather continues and we can all get out to the independent businesses and show them some much needed love and attention. Winter is coming… Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Editor 07766 106 701



t he vale





AU T U M N 2 017



g laMORgan ’s p ReMieR l ifestyle M agazine t he vale






g laMORgan ’s p ReMieR l ifestyle M agazine t he vale

SUM M E R 2 017







g laMORgan ’s p ReMieR l ifestyle M agazine

Choose Vale Life If you’d like to promote your business in Vale Life, please call Jen on 07766 106701.

Promote your business Butcher? Baker? Candlestick maker? Whatever business you’re in, reach over 35,000 aspirational readers right across the Vale of Glamorgan and beyond! For more information call 07766 106701 or email

Catwalk Queen

Hot ProPerty!



RestauRant Reviews what’s On, Business, shOpping


MORe Online

plus aRt, Music, style RestauRant Reviews health, hOMes andwMuch hat’sMORe On, Business, shOpping


MORe Online

plus aRt, Music, style RestauRant Reviews health, hOMes andwMuch hat’s MORe On, Business, shOpping


MORe Online

plus aRt, Music, style health, hOMes and Much MORe

Our cover stars Our front cover stars are the lovely ladies from Loulou Boutique based in Pyle Garden Centre. They always have a fabulous range of clothing and accessories from much admired brands. Read more about them on pages 34 and 35.




Sun 10am - 4pm

BARBER SHACK Corey O’Toole has been in the industry for a number of years and has built up a good following from his years in previous barbers. He offers traditional styles, fades, flat tops, patters, scissor cuts full head shaving hot towel shaves, beards. Autism friendly. Expect cold beers, fresh coffee and a great atmosphere. Walk in appointments are welcome. “The best place for a haircut in the Vale without a doubt quality hair and quality barber”. 5* Joshua Dimitri

Barber Shack 27 Fontygary Road, Rhoose CF62 3DS 07487 442711 Mon - Fri 9am - 6.30pm Sat 8am - 4pm


Vale Show 2018 - Photo by Mark Roberts © M U S I C T O YO U R E A R S

#FB12 If you’re looking for a duo to brighten up your birthday parties, weddings, funerals, BBQs, bar mitzvahs, baptisms, product launches or any special event, you’ll be in safe hands with FB12. Jake and Andy will enhance your event with popular songs from across the decades and are available for booking. Their repertoire can be tailored to your tastes and, we’re reliably informed, they haven’t been thrown out of any venues to date (or had anything thrown at them). For bookings please message their FB page


Good Life Publishing are looking for experienced media salespeople in Cardiff Please email your CV and salary expectations to




Th e C i T y






C a r d i f f ’s P r e m i e r L i f e s T y L e m a g a z i n e

S U M M E R 2 017






the vale O f u sk & wye valley ’s p ReMieR l ifestyle M agazine









The SouTh WaleS ValleyS’ Premier lifeSTyle magazine

Autumn and winter (well any time really!) is a great time to visit the lovely market town of Cowbridge. In 2017, the Sunday Times crowned this town the ‘Best Place to Live in Wales.’ It is jam packed with independent businesses galore including bars, eateries, service providers, beauty and lots of boutiques. We’ve highlighted just a few here for you to enjoy.



Sara Caroline Floral Design Sara is full of creativity and has a true passion for design and beautiful flowers. Stocking an extensive choice of seasonal and interesting fresh flowers and plants, as well as the more traditional favourites. Sara is inspired by nature’s beauty, texture, colour and form. Accessories are also available. Whether you need wedding flowers, corporate, homes, gifts, funeral flowers, this is the florist for you. Very popular at this time of the year are the floral design workshops.

Bookings are now being taken for autumn/Christmas wreath making, garlands and table centres. Please visit the website for more information. Sara Caroline Floral Design 3 Town Hall square Cowbridge CF71 7DD 01446 677550


The Pencil Case & The Toy Box With Christmas coming up, Cowbridge has two perfect shops for children’s gifts. Tucked away on Willow Walk, The Toy Box is bursting with toys and games. There is a wonderful selection of Orchard Toys games, Le Toy Van dolls houses, Big Jigs wooden train sets, classic wooden toys, family board games and more! The Pencil Case on Eastgate is stationery heaven! From an Advent calendar full of collectible Iwako erasers to a stylish Leuchtturm bullet journal or Lamy fountain pen, you’re

sure to find the perfect gift for stationery addicts of all ages! The Pencil Case also supplies official school uniform for all Cowbridge schools, as well as Scouts and Guides uniform and ballet and gymnastics wear. 6

The Pencil Case 50 Eastgate, Cowbridge CF71 7AB 01446 772210 The Toy Box 2 Willow Walk, Cowbridge CF71 7EE 01446 311303 ThePencilCaseCowbridge / TheToyBoxCowbridge


Norma Davies Opticians

Norma Davies Opticians is an independent group of practices established in South Wales for over 40 years. They are dedicated to providing excellent levels of clinical care and customer service. They supply a range of eyewear to suit different budgets including an extensive range of beautiful designer frames and high quality Rodenstock lenses. They stock exclusive brands which are not available elsewhere in Wales. If you would like something truly different make sure to see the newest arrivals from one of the world’s largest optical trade shows in Paris.

Norma Davies Opticians Just off the High Street - 2 Penny Lane Cowbridge CF71 7EG 01446 772074 MON/TUES Closed WED-FRI 9am - 5pm SAT 9.00am - 12:30pm


Fich+Ramous of Cowbridge In the words of Bob Marley, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice!” After a period of trials, tribulations and heartache Fich+Ramous is proud to announce the dawning of a new era. Lots of new and exciting things happening at F+R including: New salon name – Fich+Ramous of Cowbridge, new premises (71 High Street Cowbridge). New everything! New image and face of Fich+Ramous, Claire Collins and her Team, Hannah, Jack, Lara, Alice, Jayne, Lauren, Millie and Orla, offering a range of luxury treatments.

Product Lines: Revlon EKSPerience, Kerastraight. Please join us on our new and exciting journey! The Team at Fich+Ramous of Cowbridge look forward to welcoming you all to our new salon and you are all cordially invited to join us at our launch event on 15th November 2018. Adventures begin at the end of your comfort zone! 7

Fich+Ramous of Cowbridge 71 High Street, Cowbridge 01446 775522 Opening Hours MON 10am - 5pm l TUES 9.30am - 5.30pm WEDS 9.30am - 7pm l THURS 9.30am - 8pm FRI 9.30am - 5.30pm l SAT 9am - 5pm


“Ushi’s have had a fabulous new make-over”

New Style Ushi’s To mark the start of the new season, Ushi’s have had a fabulous new makeover to showcase more Fashion – Handbags – Jewellery – Accessories & gorgeous Girly Gifts… This contemporary boutique in the heart of Cowbridge offers excusive designer labels such as Elisa Cavaletti, Grizas & Simclan to name a few – alongside easy, affordable styles! Whether you’re looking for an instant wardrobe update or something a little special, Ushi’s has it all. Ushi’s 44 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AG 01446 773552

A M Y L OV E S H E R N A I L S !

would highly recommend them.”

Lemon Tree Nails & Beauty There’s no better advertising than a happy client. Any Walter Bresner from Ystrad Owen has been going to Lemon Tree since it opened two years ago. She goes once a fortnight for her nails and sometimes takes her daughters Poppy (5) and Millie (10) to have their nails done as a special treat. “Jayne does my manis and pedis and I love them! Jayne’s a perfectionist like me. I’m really picky and wouldn’t come here if Jayne wasn’t the consummate professional that she is. Sometimes I’ll have a colour and sometimes I’ll go for a French manicure. I think The Lemon Tree are excellent value for money and I

“There’s no better advertising than a happy client.”

5 Penny Lane Cowbridge CF71 7EG 01446 775533 8


STWFF-STUFF Opening in March, STWFF-STUFF is one of the newest stores on Cowbridge High Street. After establishing a store in Llantwit Major they wanted to bring the same unique shopping experience to Cowbridge. STWFF-STUFF offers the latest on trend homewares and gifts for newborns, children and teens, gifts for men, candles, stationery, books, jewellery, accessories, bags and cards. Find inspiration for a gift or a little something for yourself.

Stores are open Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5pm and Sunday 11am-3pm or shop online including the option to pick up in store.

Follow them on Facebook @stwffstuffuk, Insta @stwffstuff and Twitter @stwffstuff.

STWFF-STUFF 50 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AH 01446 774055


Professional, friendly and cost-effective Offering a one-stop-shop for all things legal, Hopkins Law Solicitors should be your go-to when you need of advice. They can help with Family Law including divorce, separation, child arrangements, civil partnership, prenups, care proceedings, co-habitants and financial claims; Buying or Selling Property (residential, commercial and agricultural property), Equity, Release and Re-Mortgage (lifetime mortgages, home reversion schemes), Elderly Client Matters (lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Wills and Probate and Litigation (debt recovery, commercial litigation).

Hopkins Law Ltd 50-50A High Street Cowbridge CF71 7AH 01446 774151 Also at Cardiff 029 2039 5888 Chepstow 01291 639510 9

With the cold weather and party season just around the corner, King Fox Menswear in Cowbridge is bursting with fabulous outfit choices. We catch up with owner Leila Thornton to find out what are her favourites at this time of the year.


This jacket is a meeting of classic craftsmanship and modern style. Taking the form of a bomber silhouette, its minimalist body is complemented with a detachable collar finished with genuine shearling for an ultra-soft, luxury feel. £650 Aquascutum

These jumpers are crafted from a lighter weight pure geelong lambswool. All Alan Paine knitwear is fully fashioned; each garment is knitted to shape on the knitting machine and not cut and sewn. Each sweater has three main component parts: back, front and sleeves. It is their skill in assembling these parts that is another mark of Alan Paine quality. Each stitch is linked by hand onto another to give the smoothest join possible. All Alan Paine garments are finished by hand. The stress points of the garment – under the arms, the cuffs and the ribs – are all reinforced. £105 Sport coat, 100% wool and 100% cotton velvet waistcoat £265 and £110

Monkey shirt from Carlos Cordoba £65 King Fox 6 High St, Cowbridge CF71 7AG 01446 679085 Opening hours 10am - 5pm Tuesday - Saturday kingfoxmenswear


Burgundy Modern fit shirt £65 Olymp

Belper Merino Wool Polo in Midnight from John Smedley £165 Mongolian cashmere beanie £39 Moray, Marron Antique Brogue Boots £425 Trickers Vicuna print scarf and Walker umbrella both £95 Aquascutum

Santinelli Sport coat £270 velvet waistcoat £110

Magee 1866, Charcoal needle cords £115 Henry Arlington, Liberty Tana lawn shirt in Faria print £149 Trickers, Bourton Country Shoe £395

Liberty fabric shirt in Orange 11



Dash 2018





Milk bottle holder


Painted Ercol solid oak dresser


Vintage Railway Lamp


Echo the tones and textures of natural browns with beautiful wooden furniture and vintage Welsh blankets to recreate a relaxed, eclectic, rustic look and feel in your home

ch St Chur idge r Cowb 7BB CF71

6 014491 7711

Happy Days New Tweedmill wool blanket


Vintage Salon chair (recovered in-store)

7’ rustic plank top table



Vintage Welsh blankets from


Vintage cushion in reclaimed fabric


Vintage child’s chair and Harrod’s Teddy

£48 / £35

A C H O C O L AT E S H O P & M O R E

Cocoa & Co Take a stroll down the pretty Verity’s Court and you’ll find Cocoa & Co. A gorgeous chocolate shop offering a superb selection of tempting chocolates including gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and vegan friendly. The range of treats is endless, and includes favours for weddings and corporate functions - perfect for Halloween, Christmas goodies, Advent Calendars and stocking fillers. Also available are a great selection of retro sweets, loose handmade chocolates (which will be beautifully boxed) and, if you have a pet pooch, you’ll also be able to pick up some yummy ice cream for dogs by Marshfield Farm.

Cocoa & Co Veritys Court, Cowbridge CF71 7AJ 01446 775729

“The range of treats is endless, and includes favours for weddings and corporate functions.”


Pebble If it’s smart/casual you’re looking for, then look no further than Pebble. Offering much loved brands including Maison Scotch, Great Plains, French Connection, Hatley, Odd Molly and Gant, there’s something here for every occasion and every pocket. You can also expect a very warm welcome and attentive service. “A lovely range of clothes. Regularly updated to reflect the seasons and perfect service. Love this place.” Rhian Thomas 5*

“Expect a very warm welcome.”

Pebble 5 Town Hall Square Cowbridge CF71 7DD 01446 772127 Also in Mumbles


Visage Fashion forward women (including TV celebrities) aged from 25 to 80 years old love to shop at Visage and it’s easy to see why with brands including Yest, Vetono, Cream, Naya, Junge, Moutaki and Capri. Offering a fabulous selection of jewellery and accessories with lots of exciting new lines arriving this autumn. New this season is the label Cream which offers a fantastic range of boutique clothing and footwear. Visage 13 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AD 01446 772345 14

A Cardiff University graduate who set his sights on a career in optics during a school work experience stint has returned to South Wales to become a director at Specsavers in Cowbridge.

SPECSAVERS Andy Moss, 31, from Suffolk, joins codirectors Hannah Davies and Adam Thomas at the thriving high street store more than fifteen years after completing a work experience stint at Specsavers in Ipswich. Mr Moss became a part-time optical assistant in 2002 before completing a three-year course to become a dispensing optician. In 2010, he moved to Wales to study optometry at Cardiff University, graduating as a qualified optometrist. He worked at Specsavers in Woodbridge, East Anglia before taking a six-month role at Specsavers Fremantle in Perth, Australia. Before returning to Wales, Mr Moss completed Pathway – a Specsavers programme aimed at training staff members to become business partners.‘This is an exciting next step in my career, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,’ he says. ‘Fortunately, everyone has been very welcoming, and I’m looking forward to using my expertise to support the growth of the business.’ Mr Moss’ appointment comes just months after the store was first opened by Ms Davies and Mr Thomas, who have been directors of the Specsavers in Talbot Green for the last five years.

Specsavers Cowbridge 27 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AE 01446 775 003 15

MITCHELL E VANS Mitchell Evans Architects have recently opened their new office in Cowbridge. Vale Life dropped in to find out more about this dynamic, award-winning practice. We talked to Associate and architect Ian Jenkins. Please tell us about your background? I was born in Bridgend, and lived with my family in Kenfig Hill before going off to university at nineteen years old. Following my time at university in Oxford and Portsmouth, I started work for Mitchell Evans Architects in August 1998 as an architectural assistant at their offices in Guildford, Surrey. I got married and we had our first daughter, and, with news that our second daughter was due in the Autumn of 2008, we moved back to Bridgend to be closer to family. I have continued to work for Mitchell Evans Architects since the move back to Wales, and in conjunction with the practice partners, Ian Bocutt and Toby Howell, we have decided that this is the right time and Cowbridge the right place to formally establish an office in south Wales. When did you know you wanted to be an architect? My father worked in the building industry and I became interested in buildings and design.

By the end of comprehensive school I knew that I wanted to go into building studies/architecture and undertook a two year course in Bridgend Technical College completing a BTEC in Building Studies. Where did you train to be an architect. Is it a long process? I undertook my degree in Architecture at Oxford Brookes University (Part 1), my post graduate diploma in Portsmouth University (Part 2) and my professional exams and interviews at South Bank University London (Part 3). It is a very long process to become an RIBA chartered Architect as in addition to the university courses, which takes six years, a minimum of two years practical experience in an architects practice is required. What kind of properties and projects do you work on? We work on a wide range of properties and projects, but our main focus 16

and expertise is in the high quality residential market providing bespoke design solutions for private clients. The type of properties and projects include new build, extensions and renovations of existing properties, and works to listed buildings. Our projects typically range from £150,000 contract value up to £10 million, with the vast majority falling between £250,000 and £750,000. We do also work for small developers with projects of up to fifty houses where a bespoke design is the focus. We have also worked on commercial and community projects including churches, sports clubs and golf clubs. We also specialise in disability projects, and have undertaken a number of new build homes and extensions and adaptions of existing properties providing the specialist accommodation required, and working closely with the client’s Occupational Therapists and Case Managers.

Is the initial consultation free? We provide an initial free of charge consultation where we are more than happy to look at a property or site with an owner or prospective purchaser to discuss the potential development opportunities, and provide advice in relation to local planning policies. What geographical areas does your practice cover? Our office is situated in the centre of Cowbridge so we are perfectly placed to provide our services to the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff, South Wales and the South West of England. Our head office is located in Godalming, Surrey, with a further office on the Isle Of Wight so we can also undertake projects in the South and South East of England. What sort of clients do you work with? The majority of our clients are private commissions with individuals and families looking for a bespoke solution

and design for a family home. We also work with small scale developers on residential projects, or institutions such as churches or private clubs and societies. What would your dream project look like? One of my main inspirations during my architectural studies was the Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who pioneered modern architecture in the 1920s with individual houses for private clients. The classic white box architecture inspired many future generations and a refined current day interpretation fused with modern technology overlooking Ogmore beach would be a perfect project and family home. What do you do to relax outside of work? I enjoy swimming, walking and cycling, and also watch Bridgend Rugby Club when time allows. I have two daughters of twelve and ten years old who are members of Pen-Y-Bont Surf Life Saving 17

Club, so during the summer months most of our weekends are spent at Ogmore beach. We also have a nine month old cocker spaniel called Lola who fits in very well with our lifestyle.

Ian R Jenkins BA (Hons), Dip Arch, RIBA Mitchell Evans Architects Office 3A, Britannia House, Penny Lane Cowbridge, Vale Of Glamorgan CF71 7EG 01446 772058


When Samantha Morgan, co-owner of Arboreal in Cowbridge wanted a new kitchen, she immediately knew who to talk to. We caught up with Sam to find out exactly why she chose to work with Topstak of Llandow. Where do you live Sam? I live in lovely St Donats on the Vale of Glamorgan coastline. I live there with my family, (Rob, three children, a dog and two cats). This is a relatively new move. We will have been there two years this month. What do you do as a living? I have a small independent cafe kitchen bar with my brother in Cowbridge called Arboreal. Arboreal captures the relaxed nature of our environment and stays true to its concept by cooking food from our open wood oven. We love our coffees, cocktails and fresh juices. We are a Michelin Guide Eatery and ,as a small independent, we really like to look after our customers. Arboreal is like another child. It takes a lot of care and attention to keep it moving forward. This year celebrates our 8th anniversary in Cowbridge. How did you hear about Topstak? I have always known Topstak since I re-located to the Vale of Glamorgan from London.

Adam Pedersen and Rob were at school together. Topstak are my instant go to for wood, fires and now kitchens. The quality of their products is excellent as is their customer service and support. The business has a fantastic forward-looking edge to it that always keeps the design aspects of their products more than-up to-date. I’m sure a lot of care and attention goes into their research and development. I not only love their fires and kitchens, I love their lights and BBQs too! I wish I could have all their products. Why did you choose Topstak to design and fit your new kitchen? Chris Pedersen and I would often talk about interior design and new interior designs styles hitting the UK when he and his wife Lynda visited Arboreal. Chris was incredibly inspirational when dealing with any aspect of design and I would always appreciate our time spent on talking about various new innovations hitting different countries. He was very knowledgeable. 18

When we moved to St Donats, I asked Chris about kitchens and asked if he would perhaps come and look at our new space and see if we could potentially use an ex-display Topstak kitchen in our home to keep our costs down, as we were dealing with quite a substantial refurbishment. Topstak were more than helpful at every stage of the buying process. They had a beautiful Eric Christian kitchen, which is one of their own designs, and we were delighted to think that we were going to have it. Who did you work with at Topstak? I worked with Christian and Steven, their kitchen designer, when putting together ideas for our kitchen design. Topstak were extremely patient as there was no room for error. Christian was brilliant. The brief was to use a more traditional kitchen but introduce more of a contemporary twist, so the design combined old and new in a rather old, listed building.

Did you have an idea of the kitchen you wanted, or did they come up with suggestions? Yes and no - the process was mutually perfect. I would show images of styles and designs I liked, and we would look at all the essentials of kitchen design from Topstak’s potential and integrate the two. Topstak were excellent recommending space suggestions, larder options, new modern features, worktop solutions and unit designs. They definitely ensured the kitchen design was 100% perfect and included every facility us as a family needed. We also looked at lighting, electrics and waste. How did you find the design process? The design process was longer than hoped for as so many important decisions needed to be made. But Topstak were very patient and were thrilled when the design was complete and I, as a customer, was so excited to get the production on way. The process took around twelve weeks from start to completion.

What difference has the new kitchen made to the way you use the room? As a family, we spend around 65% of our time in this space. As far as the house is concerned, our new kitchen has transformed our space. The colours and styles of the units are just beautiful. The functionality brilliant and I wouldn’t want to change any of the design.

with soft close technology. Hand painted with a large range of colours or option to leave undecorated to paint on-site. Topstak have a good team who are always looking at innovative new design.

Would you be happy to recommend Topstak to others? Absolutely! Their products and services are impeccable. What makes an Eric Christian kitchen special? These kitchens are high quality, bespoke, rigid kitchens. They are hand-made by skilled craftsmen, using the finest traditional woodworking methods. They are in-frame and lay-on designs. Curved door units are available. Frames and doors are made from tulipwood, a durable hard wood. Drawers are traditionally dovetailed and made from tulipwood with full extension runners 19

Topstak Unit 42, Vale Business Park Cowbridge Vale of Glamorgan CF71 7PF 01446 771567

Tallia in Cowbridge celebrates its first year this month. This gorgeous boutique on the high street is certainly growing in popularity; not only for the range of brands but for its unrivalled customer service and attention to detail.


Vale Life chatted to owner Sue Jones to find out more. When did Tallia open its doors? I opened Tallia on the 5th of October 2017. Who owns Tallia? I am primarily in the shop on my own but I’m lucky enough to have help from my daughter Victoria when she can. Do you live locally? I have lived in Cowbridge most of my life, which definitely has made a difference as everyone has been so supportive and friends call in for a chat.

“Winter is my favourite season for clothes.”

Who are your customers? I cater for ages 25 upwards with sizes ranging from 8 to 22. I have tried to keep to an affordable smart casual look that you can wear to a variety of occasions with brands such as Javier Simorra, K-design, James Lakeland, Tivoli and Femme. For the everyday basics there is Kaffe, Liverpool jeans, Luella knitwear and Jorli knitwear. For the special occasions we have Tia and Apanage. What about accessories? I also sell accessories such a jewellery from Isles & Stars and Zelly and handbags from Zohara and Punch. And for the winter there is a new brand Lemon Collection which consists of cosy hats, gloves and scarves. 20

What do you love about the autumn/ winter collections? Having been here for a full year now, I feel more established and hopefully have something for everyone. Winter is my favourite season for clothes as I love being wrapped up warm and cosy. The brands that I have will keep you warm but also comfortable. There is plenty of knitwear, with or without, wool or cashmere to choose from. I’m especially excited about our eveningwear - perfect to get you ready for the festive season. Where do your customers come from? My customers come from Porthcawl, Bridgend, Llantwit Major, Penarth and Cardiff. We also see a lot of visitors that pass through whilst on holiday.

Where does your passion come from? I love it when I’m helping a customer choose an outfit and get excited when they ask for my advice. I get great satisfaction when a customer comes in not knowing what they are looking for, especially when it’s for a special occasion and go out with an outfit that makes them smile and, more importantly, feel good in how they look. My main policy is to be honest with a customer and never say they look nice just for a sale. What do you think makes Tallia special? I hope at Tallia we provide a friendly and helpful service that makes customers feel comfortable and want to come back, whether it’s to buy something to wear, or just for a chat.

Hopefully I offer something a bit different, a bit unusual that will make you stand out from the crowd. TESTIMONIALS

What customers say Fabulous shop with affordable clothes for day and evening Helpful friendly staff. Michele Cottle 5* Great women’s boutique on the high street. Just what Cowbridge needs. Lovely clothes and staff are so friendly and welcoming. Charlotte Jones 5*

“We provide a friendly and helpful service.” 21

Tallia 41 High Street Cowbridge CF71 7AE 01446 772770

When Suzy Parkes and Welsh rugby player Hadleigh Parkes needed outfits for their recent wedding, their choice of designers was almost poles apart. Vale Life caught up with the happy couple to find out more.


Where did you meet? We met through some mutual friends, I was living with them and Hadleigh and his brother, who are originally from New Zealand, came around for dinner one night. We then met each other out one night and it all really started from there.

Where did you get your dress? Jane Yeh, a New Zealand designer, she was absolutely incredible!

Where did you choose to get married? We got married at Kauri Bay Boomrock, Clevedon, NZ. It is a beautiful lodge located just outside of Auckland on a working sheep and beef farm. The venue provided buses for the guests from Auckland CBD and it allowed us to have both the ceremony and reception in one place. Kauri Bay Boomrock suited us perfectly because Hadleigh’s family is from a farm so being just outside Auckland we thought it really represented both of our families. We were so lucky because it was a beautiful NZ winter’s day and were able to get married outside, in front of the incredible view.

Why did you choose Hawkes for the suits? Hawkes was quickly becoming one of Hadleigh’s favourite shops in Cardiff. He had already purchased a couple of suits and shirts from Russell for a couple of weddings and they were always so helpful, the suits are great quality and always received multiple compliments when wearing them. Also something a bit different, not just standard suit and tie and Russell’s eye for detail is exceptional.

Where did you get the groom’s suit? And the suits for the men of the party? Hawkes, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff.

What was working with Russell from Hawkes like? More like working with an old mate, makes you feel so welcome - does not just talk suits you get into all sorts of conversations. Listens to your ideas/ wants and also suggests different options - at the end of the day he is the expert! Nothing was too much trouble either. Russell even gave us two pairs of pants to take back to NZ for one of the groomsmen as he didn’t trust his measurements he gave! What style of suits did you go for? Roy Robson - suits. Dark Blue with a multi-coloured tie to match the bridesmaids dark red dresses. How long did the suits take to make? The groomsmen were fitted/ adjustments made and within a week they were ready to be collected.

“Hawkes was quickly becoming one of Hadleigh’s favourite shops in Cardiff.” 22

Were you pleased with the outcome of the suits? Extremely pleased - the men all looked so smart in the suits, the groomsmen were absolutely stoked with them and they look great in the photos. How were they received on the day by guests? A couple of guests commented that they were the smartest suits they had seen so it doesn’t get much better than that. How did the wedding ceremony go? Where did you get married? The ceremony and reception were both at Kauri Bay Boomrock, Clevedon, NZ. We got an incredible winter’s day so were lucky enough to get married outside. Our celebrants were very good family friends of the Parkes, who have actually married all of Hadleigh’s brothers too so that was really special having them a part of our big day. Our oldest siblings signed the wedding register, and Hadleigh’s brother Scott did a reading.

If you could change anything about your day, what would it be? Would not change a thing - it was absolutely perfect. Did you go on honeymoon, if so where did you go? Straight after the wedding we headed down to the Parkes farm to spend some time with Hadleigh’s family and the nieces and nephews. I think the first night we slept for about 11 hours we were so exhausted! We then headed off to Borneo and Vietnam. We spent 8 days in Borneo – climbed Mt Kinabalu, snorkelling at Sipadan Island, going to see the orang-utans and enjoying the incredible cuisine. We then went to Vietnam for twelve days - managed to get to Hanoi, Sapa Valley and Hoi An. Loved hiring scooters, hitting the beach, shopping in the markets and enjoying cocktails on roof top bars watching the incredible sunsets. 23

How has married life changed you both? Honestly, not a lot! Life has returned to normal and we are back into routine work, gym, tennis etc. It is still exciting being able to introduce Hadleigh as my husband and have not got used to having a new name yet! See the full interview online at

Hawkes Bespoke Outfitters 37-39 Morgan Arcade Cardiff CF10 1AF 029 2037 3780

The Brogue Trader in Cardiff ’s Morgan Arcade is a real success story. Launched by Chris Macnamara in 2013, it has established a much deserved reputation for customer service and for supplying a selection of the finest handmade shoes, leather goods and accessories - many of which are British brands.

SIX A PPEAL The Brogue Trader is a true, familyrun business in every sense. The company now employs Chris’s two sons, Keiron and Daniel, and daughter Stacey, something Chris is extremely proud of. Since opening its doors in Morgan Arcade five years ago, the business has grown year on year and now, in partnership with Loake shoes, Chris opened their tenth shop recently in Manchester. Along the way, The Brogue Trader has won countless awards and, most importantly, a loyal clientele not only from Cardiff and across Wales, but across the UK and many who order online through the company’s website.

At the heart of The Brogue Trader ethos is superb customer service. Chris and his team are incredibly passionate and go out of their way to ensure customer loyalty is appreciated. To further reward customer loyalty, they came up with the Six Pair Club*, and they seem to be the only shoe company in the UK offering this type of loyalty scheme. Owner Chris said, “Basically, you buy six pairs and your seventh pair is free! We have found that it creates loyalty and commitment from the customer and we repay that by giving away a free pair.” Talking about great service and great brands, Chris and his team only 24

stock what they consider to be the very best, including historic British brands such as Loake, Crockett & Jones, Trickers and Oliver Sweeney, to guarantee excellent quality in every pair of shoes they supply (they even offer a home service).

The loyalty scheme has been a real success with Six Pair Club customers qualifying for their free seventh pair right across the country. “Ultimately, we’re a product of great customer service, “says Chris, “at The Brogue Trader, every member of our team understands that the customer always comes first. This, we believe, is why we’re so successful and customers show us such great loyalty.”

The Brogue Trader 27A Morgan Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AF 0843 658 1812


Well, what can we say but what a huge success the Porthcawl Fashion and Food Festival was! Vale Life were delighted to be involved in helping to promote what we are sure everyone will agree was a fabulous festival.

PORTHCAWL FASHION & FOOD FESTIVAL It brought the independent businesses of the town and the community together to help raise footfall to the town and to raise much needed funds for such a worthwhile charity that is the Porthcawl RNLI. Vale Life would personally like to thank all of the committee members who worked so tirelessly behind the scenes and to the business owners who took part so enthusiastically. Here’s to next year!

After months of planning and many hours of hard work by a dedicated team of organisers, the first Porthcawl Fashion & Food Festival has come and gone. We were fortunate indeed to enjoy the support of a cross section of the business community in Porthcawl, from the early days of the project until the event itself at the beginning of September, when latecomers joined on their own initiative. The Gala Dinner and Fashion Show at the Grand Pavilion, which was the final event, was a huge success.

“There was a wonderful atmosphere in the room.”

Porthcawl Food & Fashion Festival Should anyone wish to get involved in next year’s celebrations, please send your request to Jennifer on 07766 106701 or email Images by

The purpose of the Festival was to afford local businesses the opportunity to showcase their enterprise whilst at the same time raising funds for Porthcawl RNLI. From the response of all involved and the people of Porthcawl and surrounding areas who so generously supported the events we are encouraged to think that the Festival may become a regular fixture in the Porthcawl events calendar. David Shillaw, Chairman RNLI Porthcawl Fundraising & Events Group 26

The Porthcawl RNLI held its first ever Fashion & Food Festival earlier this month and as with all first attempts, there are lessons to be learnt and fresh ideas to grow before the next, but as a local business owner I see it as an opportunity to raise the profile of the town and surrounding area in business and tourism. All involved played their part with great enthusiasm and there was a camaraderie between shops and volunteers alike. The culmination of the Festival was a Fashion Show and Dinner hosted by the talented baritone Mark Llewellyn Evans and included a mixture of opera classics from WNO singing waiters and a Jazz band to play out the evening. A Fashion show consisted of a spectacular line-up of models wearing this season’s labels from Loulou Boutique, The Closet, Hat’s the One, and King Fox menswear of Cowbridge. Make-up styling was by Face Factor and the final scene was heralded by Loulou Model, Hollie, wearing a dress made from the RNLI flag with models wearing stunning headpieces from Hat’s the One to complete the ensemble. There was a wonderful atmosphere in the room and the Grand Pavilion played its part with a superb three course dinner and smooth technical support memorable evening fundraising for the Porthcawl RNLI. Jayne James, Loulou Boutique @PyleGardenVillage

Run by its three enthusiastic partners, Jayne James, Debra Davies and Caroline Hole, Loulou is an independent womens-wear boutiques based at Pyle Garden Village.


The three partners, Caroline Debra and Jayne from Loulou Boutique held an Autumn stock preview fundraiser for the Porthcawl RNLI Fashion and Food Festival which included a visit by one of their brand Managers, Susan Blatt of French Dressing Jeans. The aim was to show their customers the Autumn labels arriving and to explain about FDJ jeans with a Fit Lab session to highlight the versatility of the jeans to dress women of all shapes and sizes. Guests enjoyed nibbles and prosecco and the shop showcased the RNLI dress specially designed for the Fashion show and Dinner which was held later in the week at the Grand Pavilion. Loulou Boutique Pyle Garden Village Pyle, Bridgend CF33 6BJ

“Being involved in the Porthcawl Fashion and Food Festival in support of the RNLI has been an honour and a privilege. This charity, which saves lives at sea, needs everyone’s help and support to continue the amazing work they do every day.” Caroline, Debra and Jayne.


There are some boutiques that seem to tick every box. Loulou Boutique, based at Pyle Garden Village is one of those businesses. Not only will you find fabulous, coveted brands, you’ll be welcomed warmly and guided through the new season’s fashions by the any of the three owners who each possess a non-pushy, helpful and honest approach.

LOULOU BOUTIQUE We chat to one of the boutique owners, Jayne James, on what makes Loulou Boutique one of the most go-to boutiques in Bridgend. How long has Loulou Boutique been established? We first opened our doors in the grounds of Pyle Garden Village, which is a garden and shopping outlet during the Whitsun holiday week of 2012. Who are the owners of the business? There are three partners, myself, my sister Debra Davies and long-time friend Caroline Hole. What brands do you stock? We stock a varied collection of brands from around the world. Well-known labels such as Joseph Ribkoff sit alongside Naya, Masai, Deck, Suzy D, InWear, Amazing Woman, Blank London, Brodie Cashmere, Jayley, and our latest name to add to the eclectic mix of dressy to casual styles, is a Greek company called Access.

Who is your typical customer? We attract women of all ages to the boutique. Our look is essentially timeless but with seasonal trends, shapes and colours to fuel your imagination and update your look without becoming a slave to fashion.

Wardrobe staples like Masai, Deck, Naya are the go-to brands for our faithful following of casually dressed women and, although we are always looking for a new label to introduce to the boutique, we never forget that classic shapes and clever styling will forever be best-sellers.

What do you love about this Autumn/ Winter collection? This season we are loving the vibrant colours, but also look forward to welcoming back the favourite winter whites and sharp black/white combinations. From mustard to mulberry, khaki to cream, lilac to berry reds there is a kaleidoscope of colour to embrace the cold weather.

Do you offer accessories? If so, what accessories and from which brands? We have a wonderful collection of accessories with jewellery, belts from exclusive Spanish brand Uno De 50, Envy, Nouvelle, scarves from Blank London, InWear and Envy. Our bags are from Tempest, Y Folia, Helen Moore has some fabulous coloured faux fur tote bags and Malissa J’s diamante encrusted bags are perfect for a dazzling occasion.

The greek label Access is also proving to be a big hit with our younger crowd, with lots of pearl embellishments and sequins to make an impression over the festive season.


Where do your customers come from? As we are only a mile off the M4 motorway junction 37 at the Pyle Garden Village - we attract people from east to west and within the local areas

of Porthcawl, Bridgend, Port Talbot, the Vale and beyond. What do you all love about working at Loulou? We actually love our job - from buying at the exhibitions and fairs - to being excited when the boxes arrive, even when we panic when it all comes at once! We have built special relationships with our customers and we always try to give honest opinion and direction if sometimes a customer is at a loss as to how they should dress. There is always a warm welcome and it’s never a hard sell at Loulou - we’re just happy to see our customers and if the mood is right and they want to buy, so be it. What skills do each of you bring? We all dress differently but still have a common interest in the stock we buy and sell, so we try and bring different looks to the boutique with our individual styles. Caroline is the perfect merchandiser and enthusiastic seller,

Debra is the chatty one with lots of ideas, I’ve got the boring job of paying the bills, but I love marketing the boutique and networking with other businesses, so that we are all working together to provide the best service to our customers. What makes shopping at Loulou special? We are an independently run boutique with brands not seen on the High street and we care about how our customers look. Shopping should be fun with a capital F and if you don’t see anything to buy, then there’s always next time. You recently worked on the Porthcawl Fashion and Food Festival? Tell us about that? I was approached to get involved with the Fashion and Food Festival to help raise funds for the Porthcawl RNLI. Different events were held at various venues over a ten-day period by local businesses and the final fundraiser was a Fashion show and Dinner which took 35

place at the Grand Pavilion with around 200 guests. My role was to co-ordinate the fashion show with the help of my partners, Debra and Caroline at Loulou and the involvement of three other shops, The Closet, King Fox menswear and Hat’s the One. The evening was a great success after a lot of hard work from all corners. It’s for a wonderful cause close to my heart, as my late grandfather was a serving member of the Porthcawl RNLI.

Loulou Boutique Pyle Garden Village, Pyle, CF33 6BJ 01656 749841

A woman’s wardrobe is her opportunity to stand out and make a lasting first impression. The Closet Boutique strives to make this happen for every girl that walks through The Closet doors.



Hats The One was set up in 2015 from a long term love of headpieces and all things glamourous. Wearing a hat or fascinator not only completes your outfit, it gives a look of elegance.

This independent womens-wear store located in Porthcawl stocks a wide mix of clothing from day to night wear to an outfit for a day at the races or wedding. The boutique proudly caters for all ages and styles to fit any woman’s unique sense of style. Owned by Joanna Hurn, the boutique has rapidly grown since opening its doors three and half years ago and prides itself on hand picked collections of current trends, a laidback atmosphere and a friendly, helpful service to new and long standing customers. In the early part of this year, the shop underwent a refurbishment to accommodate a first floor and welcomed Joanna’s mother Christine James of Hats The One Hat Hire & Beauty. A mother and daughter team offers clothing, hat hire and beauty all under one roof.

The Closet has a strong social media presence and updates customers with daily posts of gorgeous new arrivals. Find them on Instagram @thecloset_porthcawl and on Facebook @theclosetporthcawl “I feel very proud to be part of the working community of Porthcawl. We all strive to make our hometown the best place to live and work and I can see the town is flourishing with new businesses constantly opening. With the way society is today, I’m working towards keeping this town a loveable place for my children and all our future generations to love and enjoy. Come in and say hi, you will find us at 3 Well Street, Porthcawl CF36 3BE 01656 789381.”


A stylish angled tilt, a large statement piece to give height or that small delicate accessory...hats are definitely back in fashion. Christine James, the owner of Hats The One & Beauty prides herself on her experienced and honest professional advice and a bespoke caring service to all. Porthcawl’s leading hat hire studio has recently been extended to showcase the large range of hats and fascinators available to hire. We recommend you make an appointment to enable us to give you our full undivided attention. We look forward to welcoming you at 3a Well Street, Porthcawl.

The Closet 3 Well Street, Porthcawl CF36 3BE 01656 789381 Hats The One 3a Well Street, Porthcawl CF36 3BE 07502 312748

Our Our Festive Festive Brochure’s Brochure’s Out Out Now Now Make your Christmas extra special at Harbour Bar & Kitchen. You’ll be greeted with all our usual refinements Make your Christmas extrawith special at Harbour Bar & Kitchen. be greeted added festive sparkle - done inYou’ll our own uniquewith way. all our usual refinements with added festive sparkle - done in our own unique way. Bring everyone together and let us make this wonderful time of the year that extra bit Bring everyone together and let make time of the year that extra bit special forus you all -this in awonderful way only we can. special for you all - in a way only we can.

Book A Table Today Book A Table Today

To find out more about what Harbour Bar & Kitchen has to offer this Christmas, visit To find out more about what Harbour Bar & Kitchen this Christmas, visit or has call to usoffer on 01656 786175 or call us on 01656 786175

it’s beginning to look it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas a lot like christmas

Festive Festive Party Party Menu Menu

Available from 3rd December to 31st December Excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Eve after 3pm. Available from 3rd December to 31st December Download the menu now atExcluding *This menuEve is only for pre-order bookings* Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s afteravailable 3pm. Download the menu now at menu is£30 only available for pre-order bookings* 2 Courses £25 3*This Courses

2 Courses £25

3 Courses £30

2 Courses £20

3 Courses £25

Join us Monday to Wednesday for our early week price. Join us Monday to Wednesday our early week price. 2 Coursesfor£20 3 Courses £25

/harbourbarandkitchenporthcawl /harbourbarandkitchenporthcawl @harbourbarkitchenporthcawl @harbourbarkitchenporthcawl @harbourbk @harbourbk


Harbour Bar & Kitchen Unit 1, Jennings Harbour Bar &Building Kitchen 3YR UnitPorthcawl, 1, JenningsCF36 Building Porthcawl, CF36 3YR


Subway Porthcawl The new owners at Subway porthcawl were happy to support the RNLI during the week of the sea festival whereby they held raffles and encouraged customers to donate to this deserved cause. We had a very successful day and hope that porthcawl continues to support the good work of the RNLI. Check out Subway Porthcawl’s Facebook page for lots of information on what this great eatery offers plus details of special offers. There’s no better time to each fresh! Unit 2, The Brogen Building, John Street Porthcawl CF36 3BA 01656 786452


Wales’ No.1 Independent Agent for P&O Cruises



P&O Cruises Select Price Choose ONE of the added value benefits on cruises 7 nights or more Onboard Spending Money - OR -

Car Parking at Southampton - OR -

Return Coach Transfers to/from Southampton Terms and conditions apply

No Service Charge on holidays departing from May 2019 from May 2019 No Service Charge on holidays departing

Call Traveland for further details

0800 074 3430

Gwendoline House, Lias Road, Porthcawl CF36 3AH


Providing a Professional Service by cruise experienced staff 39 A diligent processing of your cruise booking from start to finish!





A R R I VA L D R I N KS & C A N A PES, 3 CO U RS E M E A L A N D LI V E BA N D Gileston Manor, Vale of Glamorgan, CF62 4HX e:

t: 07591 203764 or 07794 611105

Based in Cardiff with a team comprised of thirty-four specialists, Bartholomew Hawkins is a Chartered Organisation and one of the largest financial planning firms in the region managing well in excess of £250 million of private investments.

This trusted company has been providing independent financial and discretionary investment planning to clients across Wales and England since 2005, Vale Life magazine finds out more. From the outset, Bartholomew Hawkins lay the foundations for a meaningful partnership with their clients, helping to figure out goals and aspirations whilst offering suitable advice with the aim of ensuring that clients’ investments will work hard and gain the most possible growth. Despite what most people think, making an investment is not always a simple task. The firm’s specialist advisors will help you get it right first time, using its team based operation to offer clients a unique experience, encouraging meetings between the client and the specialist managing their money, as well as accompanying them when visiting accountants or solicitors.

Utilising the help of a professional advisor helps remove the pressure of managing investments and provides peace of mind. Focusing on clients with over £100,000 of funds to invest, the meetings between a client and one of the many skilled Bartholomew Hawkins advisors can take place in their offices or in the comfort of the client’s home. Every client is treated as an individual with the advisor discovering their preferences around investment risk, tailoring the meeting so that they can discover the best possible investments for you. Through detailed summaries and reports all clients can rest easy as everything, including charges, is laid out and easy to understand, allowing the best possible financial plans to take place. Bartholomew Hawkins is a Chartered firm, constantly going above and beyond to remain at the forefront of the industry. Recently recognised as ‘IFA Firm of the Year’, in addition to being awarded the ‘Investors in People’ Award,


due to the culmination of lots of hard work, quality advice, and a team that constantly strive to deliver a first class service. Along with many other businesses, Bartholomew Hawkins is celebrating the crucial work of the RNLI by being the main sponsor of the RNLI Dinner this September 14th. If you want to find out more about the RNLI, as well as the many ways you could help raise money for the organisation, simply visit for more information.

Bartholomew Hawkins 5 Oaktree Court Cardiff Gate Business Park Cardiff CF23 8RS 029 2050 8000

There are restaurants that survive and thrive because they adapt to the changing times and because their reputation serves them well. The Beech Tree, on Old Port Road near Culverhouse Cross is an excellent example.


Now under new management, new owner Amir Baig’s philosophy is “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” and he’s absolutely right. Over a cup of very good coffee, Vale Life learned about the reason for its continued success and Amir’s exciting, plans for its future. Congratulations on the takeover Thank you. I’m so excited to now own the restaurant. It’s achieved such a good reputation over the years (previous diners might remember it as Gilby’s) that when it became available, I jumped at the chance of owning it. Our family live in Wenvoe and we had been long standing customers for many years, so it was a no-brainer!

“We currently have six chefs in the brigade.”

What’s your background? I’ve worked in the catering industry for a number of years having owned restaurants before. My passion is not only offering great food but offering even better service. People buy from people so employing the right staff in any restaurant is crucial. Luckily, the existing team are very accomplished and have been retained. So, it’s a happy ship. What changes have you made? So far changes have been minimal as the business worked perfectly fine the way it was. However, we have put in a new floor in the restaurant which gives it a bit more of a modern, contemporary feel. Guests are also welcome to enjoy a drink in the bar which didn’t happen previously and children are also welcome. So, it’s a much more inclusive environment. 42

How many are in your brigade? We currently have six chefs in the brigade. What is the style of the cuisine? We are a brasserie style restaurant. Our fish and meat are on display for customers to choose from. Where do you source your produce? We only serve the finest produce and like to source locally wherever possible. For instance, we buy our meat from Barratts fine meats in Rhoose and our fish from Ashton’s Fishmongers. Our fish is delivered fresh every morning. Our fruit and veg comes from Arthur David and Company and W R Bishop and Company, both known for their high-quality produce.

What about your wines? We are very proud of our wine list and source all of our wines from ND John in Swansea.

“We only serve the finest produce and like to source locally wherever possible.”

When are you open? We are open for lunch and dinner – As well as our a’la carte menu we also offer a 2 course lunch menu for £15.95. We also offer an early bird menu from 5.30pm-7pm.

The Beech Tree Old Port Road, Wenvoe Cardiff CF5 6XN 029 2059 3106

What about Sunday lunch? Ah yes. We are quite famous for our Sunday lunches. Our roast sirloin beef is £15.95 and depending on whether lamb or pork are on the menu, these are £14.95. We do recommend booking though.

Tuesday to Saturday 12 noon - 2pm, 5.30pm - 9pm Bar open till late Sunday 12 noon - 3.45pm Closed Monday 43

Calling all dog lovers. If you need help with training your pooch, or a salon to give them a spruce up, or a shop that offers doggie clothes, then we have a few businesses here who offer just that. Go on, show your four-legged friend some love and pay them a call.


One-to-one grooming for your pooch Owner Jo Scott has opened a brand-new grooming parlour in the comfort of her own home. Caringly built by Jo’s husband, every aspect of hygiene has been considered to create a salon in which they would be happy to send their own precious fur-babies; fresh, white and above all consistently sparkling clean. One client summed it up perfectly: “A home from home.” “I’ll take that,” says Jo. “The chill out areas are proving popular. Your precious pooches are secure, they can wander outside on a nice day, or indoors they

have a choice, sit in an open cage, or chill on the rug by the fire.” Sounds like doggy bliss! Call 07986 467696 /The K9 Kabin


Ruff 2 Smooth Dog Grooming April is delighted to bring you this new mobile dog grooming service with a fully fitted van which has everything needed for your best fury friend to include a hydro-bath, drying, clipping and styling. Benefits to you and yours include: n Luxury

environment and brand-new equipment n No more travelling to a grooming salon and finding a parking space n One-to-one pampering n Stress free and comfortable environment n Covering Cardiff and the Vale

April has been fully trained at a Pet Industry Federation recommended grooming school and is a member of the British Dog Grooming Association. April offers a money saving Loyalty scheme for regular customers. 07377 734012 Ruff2Smooth Mobile Dog Grooming 44


Blue Ridge Canine Academy Limited At Blue Ridge Canine Academy they offer a plethora of canine services. They will help and advise you on how to select your new companion be it a pedigree puppy or a rescue pooch. This award-winning company are dog behaviour therapy specialists and offer puppy, junior and adult dog training classes, private bespoke 1-2-1 training, agility training classes, certified canine first aid courses and professional dog walking services. One of their popular services is their Canine First Aid Practitioner course, which prepares you to take decisive

and confident action in an emergency as well as treating more common dog related injuries. You will be trained by a qualified professional instructor. The qualification is fully certified, CPD accredited and valid for three years. For a friendly chat about any of your canine requirements why not give us a call or visit the website for more information. 01446 719 898 or 0771 500 8454


Dirty Dog - The go-to pet boutique! Helen of Cowbridge wouldn’t take her beloved lab cross Meg (age 13) anywhere other than Dirty Dog. “I live in Cowbridge so Dirty Dog is so convenient for me. I also like to support local independent businesses. We’ve been coming here since the day Paula opened it. We come here for fur cutting/medicines/toys and treats. There’s everything we need here all under one roof. Paula also gives great advice and I’m always confident leaving her in Paula’s safe hands. Also, her prices are very economical.” “Meg won’t pass Dirty Dog without stopping for a treat!” DOGGIE ACCESSORIES EMPORIUM

Barking Mad Barking Mad is a new shop on Cowbridge High Street offering everything you need for your dog – all under one roof. Owner Aimee Richardson has hand-selected brands stocked in the shop including Mutts & Hounds, Hunter, Kong, Hugo & Hudson, Ezy Dog, Barking Heads and Forthglade. Aimme also offers the pet preferred brand of ice-cream, Frozzy’s. Unique to the area, these products are of the highest quality – yet very affordable! Your dog will love them – and you!

Barking Mad 85 Eastgate, Cowbridge 07949 143184 45

Penarth Fashion Week was born to raise money for the much-needed support for the local RNLI, a charity that saves lives at sea every day. Last year the event raised £11,500 and they would love to do the same this year.

PENARTH FASHION WEEK 2018 Local independent businesses including boutiques, hair designers, food establishments, make-up artists, florists, Snowcat Cinema, Leisure Centre and the local book shop and members of Penarth RNLI got together to launch the second Penarth Fashion Week in aid of the RNLI which this year runs from 6th until 21st October. The launch evening culminated with the unveiling of a second RNLI dress designed and made by Georgina-Grace Smith and her mum Angie Smith and worn by Mia Francis. This year we were very lucky to have a second outfit designed and made by Elissa Mancusso, she designed a one-piece navy swim suit with an RNLI puffa jacket worn by both Lucy Flynn and Lauren King. The launch event was hosted by Etc. Penarth, a very glamourous venue for a glamorous affair. This year there are sixteen events during the fourteen day period which started with a Bollywood Boogie dinner and dance at the Pier Pavilion with celebrity chef Stephen Gomes.

“The launch evening culminated with the unveiling of a second RNLI dress.”

There’s an evening of Fashion and Fizz at The Queen B with arrival drinks served at Willmore’s 1938, and Refresh Clinic will be holding an open evening. Afternoon Tea will be served at Holm House with a fashion show by The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group and there will be a beauty workshop held at Ener-chi Organics. Crepe Escape will be holding an 80s theme fashion party. Snowcat Cinema will be showing two films where a donation from the ticket sale will be donated to the RNLI. The films being shown will be A Devil Wears Prada and Blow Up. Amorio Beauty will have an evening of hair and make-up demonstrations. Griffin Books will be hosting story time with Malachy Doyle who will be reading Molly and the Stormy Sea. Willmore’s 1938 will be hosting a fish supper. Coffee#1 will be hosting a coffee tasting session. You will be able to have a skin analysis and mole check at Dawn Clinic and both Blu Hair Design and SOHO Hairdressing will be hosting evenings of hair and beauty. Then, on the final weekend, the Penarth RNLI station will be transformed again by 46

the crew and staff of C3i and Events at Room 11 on the Saturday to make the station into a catwalk for the Lifeboat Fashion Show supported by The Queen B, Blu Hair Design and Hair or Makeup with the after party at Penarth Yacht Club. The transformed station will then be used as a venue for the James Sommerin Dinner on the Sunday evening which will close the eventful Fashion extravaganza. Along with the individual events, Bar 44, Etc and Willmore’s 1938 will also be giving donations to the RNLI during Fashion Week based on sales of certain food and drink and Coffee #1 are selling gingerbread men in aid of the RNLI until the end of October. Penarth Lifeboat station is one of the busiest in Wales, and the volunteer crews attend between 60 to 70 shouts on average each year. Calls can be to broken down vessels, first aid emergencies at sea, missing people searches and to assist people cut off by the tide - the Bristol Channel having the second largest tidal range in the world. Images by

Come Holm this Christmas Enjoy the Christmas celebrations at Holm House Hotel this year.

december set menus private parties festive afternoon tea CHRISTMAS & boxing day dining nye party festive spa break Contact our Christmas Co-ordinators: 02920 706029 | 02920 706029 | Marine Parade, Penarth, CF64 3BG

DINING AT HOLM An afternoon with Head Chef Matt Owen How long have you worked at Holm House? I joined Holm House at the beginning of last year, so it will be coming up 2 years in January.

Where did you train? I trained with the St David’s hotel back in 2006, I started there as an apprentice and worked my way up the knife rack from a Breakfast Chef to Demi Chef de Partie. I then worked for Raddison Blu Hotels. I opened the Bristol Hotel as Chef de Partie and then moved to their Birmingham Hotel for a year gaining a vast experience in the Filini restaurant, cooking all fresh Italian food. I then joined the Crown restaurants. Firstly at the Thistle gaining two Rosettes, then at the Celtic Manor working at 3 Rosettes, cooking to the very highest standards and learning every step of the way. I later returned to St David’s Hotel as a Senior Chef de Partie.

Why did you decide to become a chef? I became a chef simply because I have always had a love of food and boy what an eyeopener. Working in some very busy kitchens, catering for weddings, functions and large corporate events as well as à la carte restaurants and cooking for some high profile names along the way was totally inspiring to be a part of. Over time I have focussed more on learning the finer points of cooking, paying attention to the detail and developing a greater understanding of flavours. I always choose to use quality produce and ingredients at their best. Seasonality and texture are the things I enjoy most about cooking. We’re all learning every step of the way. Over time I have focussed more on learning

the finer points of cooking, paying attention to the detail and developing a greater understanding of flavours. I always choose to use quality produce and ingredients at their best. Seasonality and texture are the things I enjoy most about cooking. We’re all learning every step of the way.

What does being awarded this Rosette mean to you and the team at Holm House? It’s a great achievement to be awarded a Rosette for culinary excellence. I have pushed the team towards it for a long time after getting a taste of what it takes to get to these levels by working with the Crown restaurants. The recognition has been great for our chefs and has really inspired them to keep on delivering.

What can we expect to see in the future at Holm House? Winning this Rosette is just the beginning for us and is testament to the quality of our restaurant. We are now working towards getting a second Rosette next year and that will put Holm House firmly on the map. Focus is on the best locally sourced ingredients to create some knockout dishes to put smiles on our guest’s faces and keep them coming back for more.

Choosing the perfect wedding venue must be high on the list for any bride and groom. Having spent Valentine’s Day together at Holm House, Francesca Schubert and fiancé Huw Tate knew they made the right choice when they chose this stunning venue.


Vale Life chatted to Francesca about their very special day. Where did you meet? A real 21st century romance, we both swiped right! How and where did Huw propose? The proposal was perfect. We were going to New York for my 30th Birthday. On the morning of my birthday, we had a helicopter flight over the city that my parents had booked. We followed that up with lunch at the top of One World Trade Center. After that, Huw took me to Central Park where there was a horse and carriage waiting for us. We had a lovely ride through Central Park and then came to a stop at the Cherry Hill Fountain. We got out for some pictures and, when I was busy posing and feeding the horse, Huw got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I of course said yes and then proceeded to ugly cry while all of the people around cheered. It was perfect, the boy did good!

Where did you choose to get married and why? Margam Abbey was a non-negotiable for the ceremony as my parents had always dreamed of me getting married there and I knew how important it was to them. On our first Valentine’s Day together we went to Holm House and after leaving, I told my mother that’s the place I would love to get married as we loved the food and the service and could envisage our wedding there. We looked at a number of other venues but the flexibility and willingness to work with our different ideas was why we knew Holm House was the right place. What was the date of your wedding? 15th September 2018. Where did you get your dress? My dress was designed by Jesus Peiro. I chose that designer as you were able to customise the design to suit your specific wishes. I loved the quality of the fabric and the simple yet modern styling. 50

Where did you get the groom’s suit? The groom’s suit was hired from Dyfed Menswear on Whitchurch Road. We wanted a slightly more formal cut than a normal suit but not tails so when we saw this suit we knew it was perfect. Did you have stag and hen do’s? If so, tell us about those. I had a few hen parties. My main hen was in Las Vegas which was just amazing. There was a group of 12 of us. I absolutely love Vegas and had to go for my Hen and was just grateful that my friends and family were willing to come with me!

“I loved the quality of the fabric and the simple yet modern styling.” I then also had a spa day with my bridesmaids and both mothers, a trip arranged by friends to Essex and then a boozy brunch in Cardiff. I am well and truly henned out!

Huw’s stag was in Portugal. He is a golfer so that was always going to be part of the trip. There was a group of 16, a mix of golfers and non-golfers. They all had a wonderful time from what I’ve heard and in true stag tradition, Huw shouldn’t have bothered packing clothes as there were plenty of outfits arranged for him by the Best Man! Did you work with a wedding planner? If so, please tell us more. We didn’t work with a Wedding Planner. The staff of Holm House were wonderful and Dan the manager made sure the day went smoothly. We were so lucky to have some brilliant suppliers working with us especially Lisa from Lumi Event Design and Catherine Gray Flowers as they stayed on top of everything and made sure the day was set up and looking perfect for us. Sessy from Paper Date excelled herself with all of the stationary from the Save the Dates, Invites, on the day stationary

to the cards and gifts she helped us arrange for each other. How did the wedding ceremony go? The ceremony was brilliant, once I arrived! I was about 40 minutes late for the ceremony and Huw stood at the top of the aisle waiting for the whole time. The ceremony itself went beautifully. The string quartet really added to the atmosphere. We had a bit of a drama before the wedding as we found out on the Thursday that we didn’t have a choir. Thanks to the power of Facebook, Maesteg Male Voice choir saved the day. We then went to Holm House for our reception. The team at Holm House were wonderful, the food was perfect and people haven’t stopped telling us how impressed they were with the running of the day. The String Quartet Company came along and played through the wedding breakfast too and that made the ambience just perfect and we couldn’t be more grateful to them. 51

Did you have a theme? We chose navy, pink and gold as the colour scheme. I am a huge Kate Spade fan and really wanted to bring some of the signature Kate Spade design elements into the wedding. Luckily, Lisa at Lumi and Sessy at Paper Date were Kate Spade fans too, so they understood just what we wanted. Were there any stand out moments on the day? Walking into Holm House after the ceremony and seeing all of the decor and especially the marquee. It was just outstanding and quite emotional to see the vision come to life and all of the months of work come together. Any funny moments in the speeches? During the Father of the Bride speech our little nephew was sat with my mother and when people were being thanked he kept saying ‘and Aiden too!’ that definitely got a few laughs from people!

What were the best parts of the day/ evening for you? The best part of the ceremony for me was definitely walking into the church and seeing Huw at the top of the aisle waiting for me. Huw’s best moment was finally being able to turn around and see me when I arrived! The best part of the reception was seeing everyone enjoying themselves and their food. It was good to have the formalities done with and able to let our hair down a bit and have a dance to the band Festival Heart in the evening! If you could change anything about your day, what would it be? I wouldn’t be late! It made everything a bit rushed going from the day into evening celebrations. It was a pretty perfect day overall though. Did you go on honeymoon, if so where did you go? We had a party the day after the wedding in my parents house followed by a two night minimoon in The Corran resort, arranged by my Aunty and Uncle.

It was lovely to just chill and look back at pictures from the day and take everything in. Our main honeymoon isn’t until two weeks after the wedding. We are flying to Hawaii, joining a cruise and cruising around Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, NZ and finally fly back from Sydney. There were a few destinations we wanted to visit so doing it this way means we get to sample them all! We cannot wait for three weeks of relaxation after planning this wedding! How has married life changed you both? Not massively so far. I have a different name which will take some getting used to but at least I have the same surname as our dog now haha! What do you have planned in your future together? Hopefully starting a family as we are both keen to have children. Getting our house looking as we want, we moved 52

in about 18 months ago and there are still bits and bobs we want to get done there! Continuing to work hard so we can fund more holidays too! Images courtesy of

Holm House Marine Parade Cardiff Penarth CF64 3BG 029 2070 6029

Local Cardiff school, Westbourne in Penarth, has once again topped UK-wide league tables for the fourth year in a row. The Daily Telegraph confirmed Westbourne’s 1st place ranking in its recent Sixth Form league tables.


The ranking firmly establishes Westbourne as one of the most successful and academically excellent schools in the UK. In GCSE results where Westbourne achieved 56% grades 9-7 (previously A*-A). This included fully 1-in-5 of all grades, the new, harder, grade 9 and a further 1-in-5 grade 8s. This is 2.5 to 5 times the UK average. Westbourne’s 1st-place Sixth Form ranking and GCSE results follow
hotly on the heels of their inspection in spring where Welsh schools’ inspectorate, Estyn, rated Westbourne as ‘Excellent’ – the highest possible grade – in all five inspection categories. categories. Westbourne is an ‘allthrough’ school for children from 2 to 18 years old.
It has a long tradition of academic excellence and frequently achieves
the best results in the Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, far exceeding UK, Welsh and local averages, and with 90% of graduates gaining places at the prestigious Russell Group universities. Notwithstanding such excellent results, Westbourne remains non-selective. They achieve these results through small class sizes, unparalleled one-to-one academic support from their highly qualified and committed teachers, and outstanding pastoral care.

GCSE GRADE 9 8 9-7

UK AVERAGE 4% 9% 21%

WESTBOURNE 20% 20% 56%

“Westbourne Nursery is now accepting pupils from two years old so that they can begin their educational journey at Westbourne even earlier.” Principal, Dr Gerard Griffiths said “We are delighted to once again be ranked 1st in the UK. It is a testament to the focus and diligence of our students and the untiring hard work of our teachers and the entire Westbourne team. To have our position at the top of the league tables confirmed
for the fourth year in a row and so soon after our ‘Excellent’-across-the- board inspection rating is great praise indeed. Everyone at Westbourne looks forward to building further on this success and continuing to go from strength to strength.” 53

We would like to thank the entire Penarth, Vale and Cardiff community for their support throughout such a fantastic year and we look forward to sharing ever-greater success.”

02920 705 705

It’s been a year since Jess Carmell opened her gorgeous Blow Dry and Beauty Bar in Penarth and the number is on speed dial for women wanting to look and feel their best. Which salon are we talking about?

A MORIO BLOW DRY & BEAUTY BAR “We are small team, but have already doubled our staff in a year making four in total. We make each customer to feel a part of our little family. Clients cannot wait to come back for a pamper! We only use the best high-end brands which include Gel Bottle, SiennaX, Moroccon Oil, Nouveau Lash etc. We are all highly trained in the treatments that we offer and make sure that each and every aspect of a client’s visit to us has the WOW factor! The salon is very relaxed and friendly. We all love coming into work each day and this is something that our clients pick up on.” Says Jess.

“Always look forward to my visit here. I’ve been having my eyelashes done by Jess for a while now and feel like I’m visiting a friend’s house rather than a salon. Coffee is always amazing and the girls are incredible. Highly recommend having any treatment done. I have been to other places but always come back here even though it’s on the other side of Cardiff to me. I’ve never been disappointed and wouldn’t go anywhere else, well worth the trip”. TARYN KAVANAGH 5*


Please join us for an evening of Beauty Demonstrations on Saturday 13th October starting at 5pm. Tickets priced £10 are available from Jess at Amorio. Includes Prosecco and nibbles. Amorio Blow Dry & Beauty Bar 96 Glebe Street Penarth CF64 1EE 029 2070 5284

Refresh Skin Studio – Supporting the RNLI PENARTH fashion Week

Penarth businesswoman Dr Sarah Cuffin is celebrating 15 years since opening the doors of Smile Studio Penarth this October Many of our dental patients were telling us they’d like to try facial aesthetics, anti-ageing and skin treatments.

So in 2007 Sarah took the decision to train in Facial Aesthetics, building up her knowledge and expertise, she went on to open Refresh Skin Clinic, offering non-surgical facial aesthetic treatments (Botox ®, Dermal Fillers and PDO Facial Thread Lifts) and the latest in Skin rejuvenation therapies (Fusion SLR and Regenlite) aimed at enhancing patients’ natural beauty as well as treating scarring and skin problems.

Dr Cuffin recognising that this is not something people want to take a chance with, it occurred to her that with all her medical and dental training it was a natural step to expand into this area.

Please join us on Tuesday 9th October at 5.45pm You could even be chosen to have Fusion SLR treatment on the night… Entry is by ticket only and includes Fizz, canapés, free hand massage a ‘goodie bag’ and live demonstrations (Fusion SLR & Botox) by Dr Sarah Cuffin | Cost £10.00 with all proceeds going to RNLI Penarth

029 2070 8030 | 4 Plymouth Road Penarth CF64 3DH 55


Penarth is getting well-deserved recognition for its restaurants, drawing in visitors from near and far. A new restaurant that’s getting everyone talking is Keyif in Glebe Street. If you like Turkish cuisine, then you’ll love what Keyif has to offer. Owned by a true Turk, Mehmet and his team offer authentic dishes, full of flavour in convivial surroundings. We’ve all heard of hummus, shish and Kleftico and yes, these are available, as well as stuffed vine leaves, Musakka and the Keyif mixed grill. All of these dishes are of generous portions and are served by well trained, friendly staff. Children are catered for, as well as vegetarians and vegans. The prices are very reasonably as well so you’ll be able to splash out on a good bottle of wine and a delicious dessert of Baklava or Kunefe (firm Turkish favourites).

“Our group of four enjoyed a delicious meal on the evening of Sat 14th. Varied menu catered for all our diverse tastes and our order was served promptly by the polite and attentive staff. The place was packed so a good atmosphere too. Our first visit but certainly won’t be our last! Thanks, Keyif for a lovely evening.” JACKIE VINING 5*


Keyif 21 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1EE 029 2070 2429

SEABREEZE HOMES Seabreeze Homes’ reputation speaks for itself. With a 5-star rating on many review sites, the team put great service at the heart of the company’s ethos.

Here is what one delighted reviewer said recently. “A lovely and friendly estate agent, who was very helpful and calm when dealing with all manner of difficult situations. They shielded us from the unnecessary pressures given by our purchasers, making the process of selling our house much better than it could have been given the circumstances. Always keeping us up-to-date with the day to day happenings which we thoroughly appreciated. It’s been nice to deal with

a small but knowledgeable company, who gave a more personal service rather than use one of the bigger companies who don’t get to know you or your house. Would use again without question.”

Seabreeze Homes Sales Lettings Management 17 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1ED 029 2070 7064

Russell Bright 5*

Seabreeze Homes were also awarded best independent Estate Agent in south Wales 2018 by the UK Enterprise Awards which is an accolade they are justifiably proud of. 57


Frangoulis A family businesses with thirty years’ experience in the shoe repair industry. Offering a wide and diverse range of services from shoe repairs, key cutting, engraving trophies, award shields, tankards, Zippo lighters, dancewear, gymnastic wear, masks and stage accessories and leather wallets and purses. Suppliers of many local dance and theatre schools with a variety of dancewear needs.

“Offering a wide and diverse range of services.”

Frangoulis 2 Windsor Arcade Penarth CF64 1JA 029 2070 0233


Wilmore’s 1938 Willmore’s are proud to be a part of Penarth Fashion Week 2018 and are involved in three events this year including a joint event with The Queen B on Monday 8th, A Fish Supper on Sunday 14th and another joint event with Blu Hair Design Ticket prices are £15 (available from The Queen B), £20 (available from Willmore’s) and £15 (available from Blu Hair Design). 4 Washington Buildings Stanwell Road Penarth CF64 2AD 029 2070 9600

“Proud to be a part of Penarth Fashion Week 2018.”


SOHO Hair Dressing Based in a gorgeous turn-ofthe-century townhouse, SOHO Hairdressing is the perfect setting for all aspects of hairdressing. Come and enjoy their Aveda Hair and Beauty Event on the 19th October from 5.30pm-8.30pm. Included in your £5 ticket will be an Aveda gift, nibbles and a drink, a hand massage, make-up artist and hair advice. Tickets are available from the salon. 2 Herbert Terrace Penarth CF64 2AH 029 2070 0917

“Come and enjoy their Aveda Hair and Beauty Event.” Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Closed 9:30am - 5:30pm 9:30am - 8:00pm 9:30am - 8:00pm 9:00am - 5:00pm 9:00am - 5:00pm Closed 58 | 31 Hickman Road Penarth | 02920 707 356

Achieve your perfect skin with a FREE skin care consultation Try before you buy sizes aviliable on most of our brands.

Join us out our Beauty Workshop THURSDAY OCTOBER 11TH AT 6PM BOOKING FEE: £10

Autumn’s here...



Beauty Event in Aid of RNLI at the Dawn Clinic (skin analysis and mole check) Tickets £25 available from Dawn on 07830 520275

20% discount using code: RNLI 2018 (EXPIRES 31/12/2018)

07830 520275


Why wait for beautiful hair? Racoon Luxe-Weft hair extensions are coming to Blu Hair Design.

BLU H AIR DESIGN Racoon Luxe Wefts offer a more temporary hair extension option. Available in a full range of colours our Luxe Weft system sees a fine section of premium quality human hair, root point correct and cuticle intact, pre-attached to a superfine, ultra-flexible micro header.

This is individually ‘sandwiched and sealed’ in-between clients’ own hair sections. As easy to apply as they are to be styled and cared for, Luxe Wefts are virtually undetectable and extremely comfortable. They can be worn for up to four weeks before being removed, re-conditioned, re-taped and re-applied. They are so discreet, hair can be worn down and loose or dressed up and styled. It only takes 45 minutes to apply a full head – hence it being called a lunchtime makeover – making Luxe Wefts the ideal choice for those clients requesting a more temporary measure for special occasions, parties, proms and weddings. Icons of the hair industry love to use Racoon Luxe Wefts for their photographic, television, stage and fashion work.

In addition to the fast and easy to apply method they are a ‘must have’ inclusion to their kit bags for any creative work because of the quality and versatility our Luxe Wefts offer. Two of our stylists have completed the comprehensive Luxe-weft course. Leanne one of Blu’s senior stylists said, “I have used pre-bonded extensions in the past but found the Luxe-weft were superior and kinder to the hair. The hair can last up to one year if taken care of with the aftercare package. The application will take approximately one hour.”

T H U R S DAY 1 8 T H O C T O B E R

Product Demonstration Please join Blu and the team on Thursday 18th October from 7pm-9pm for a fun social evening with a talk on Racoon Luxe-Weft extensions and a demonstration, a talk on Nioxin (a product for fuller, thicker hair). Tickets are £15 (available from Blu) which includes a drink on arrival and £10 off your next service at Blu, a raffle and a goodie bag. There’s also an after party at Willmore’s 1938.

Leanne is Blu’s wedding hair specialist and was very excited that the Luxeweft can give the bride extra length and instant fullness to look even more special on their big day. Brooke, Blu’s newly qualified stylist said she enjoyed every second of the course and was very excited to have the extra qualification. Brooke, even though new to the shop floor, is proving to be a very competent and confident stylist, whose column is filling very quickly.

61 61

Blu Hair Design Unit 1/1a Washington Buildings Penarth CF64 2AF 029 2070 4040

Spa Treatments | A La Carte Dinner | Golf Lessons | Short Breaks Round of Golf | Sunday Lunch | Golf Membership | Pamper Day Afternoon Tea | Monetary Vouchers and Much Much More...

Vale Resort, Hensol Park, Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY 62


01443 667800 |

There’s really no better way of promoting a business or service than by word-of-mouth. Jayne Davies, 67 of Saron, Ammanford is more than happy to recommend Natural Therapist Angharad Evans of Penarth, after she helped her with her eczema which had plagued her since the age of three months old.


Why did you see the services of a Natural Therapist? I was looking for a Natural Therapist because conventional medicine was not working for me. How did you hear about Angharad? Two people that I know well recommended Angharad and, when I realized that I knew her, I got in contact. It was important to me that I knew of her and that she had been recommended but I had no idea how her therapy worked at that stage. I was desperate by now and as I had known Angharad since she was a child and knew her background I felt I had nothing to lose. What was the problem you were seeking help for? My issue is eczema, which first showed its symptoms when I was three months old. I believe I will always have it but hopefully now I will be able to keep it under control. During my lifetime it has appeared on most parts of my body from time to time but over the last three years it has come out all over my face, neck, chest and hands and it didn’t matter how often I used the steroid cream and moisturizer given to me by my GP, it never cleared.

How many sessions did you have with Angharad? I have had eight sessions between February and July of this year and I feel that my problem has been resolved, but I am not so naive as to think that it will not come back if I don’t keep to the diet and not go back to see her around three or four times a year for check-ups. How has this issue affected your life? My skin was sore and itchy It kept me awake at night. I was agitated and uncomfortable. At times I got quite depressed and irritable. I was embarrassed by my looks. How are you now after working with Angharad? I am back to myself again. The skin on my face is clear, which is very important to me, and there is no eczema on my body at all for the first time in years. I am realistic enough to realize that this might not always be the case but at least now there is something I can do if I get a flare up.

I have also benefited in other ways from the treatment. I sleep better. I don’t have hot flushes anymore and I have more energy, plus I have lost weight and I don’t have food cravings. 63

Was the treatment worth the money? The treatment isn’t cheap but it has worked and so I feel it has been well worth the money. Did you enjoy working with Angharad? Very much so. She has taken time to explain to me how the treatment works and, although it is not a conventional treatment, I completely understand how it works now. I have had to work hard with Angharad and the first few weeks were difficult because I had to change the way that I eat. I had to cut a lot of foods from my diet, but the funny thing is. I don’t miss them at all. I am more than happy to recommend Angharad and her naturopathy to others and have already done so.

“I am committed to providing a personalised, holistic treatment.” 07739 210291 AngharadsNaturalTherapy

Angeline Mansfield’s love of photography started as a little girl and became a vocation later in life when the need to create imagery for her children’s clothing business turned a childhood passion into a full-time career.


City Life Cardiff chatted to Angeline to find out more about her passion for photography.

How long have you been interested in photography? I’ve always loved taking photos! I still remember the feeling of excitement at getting my film developed from the pharmacy when I was a child. I used to take photos of my brother wearing all sorts of bizarre outfits and then I’d cut him out and stick him in a pencil pot or in a plant and photograph him again (he’s forgiven me now!). Over the years I guess I forgot about how much I’d loved it, until only a couple of years ago when my boyfriend bought me a camera for Christmas. At the time I’d set up an online business selling children’s clothing, so I used the camera to photograph children wearing the clothing and posted the images on social media. I began getting requests for photoshoots and all of a sudden photography was part of my everyday life.

What do you enjoy most about your work? I’ve always had a strong urge to use my work to help people and improve their lives in some way. Very early on I began to receive feedback from adults I’d photographed telling me that after their shoot they’d had the confidence to go on and pursue dreams they were previously too fearful of, and this is the reason I absolutely love my work!

I feel really blessed to have the ability to make people feel comfortable in their own skin and I love it when my clients’ eyes light up when they look at images of themselves that they love. I really enjoy showing people the things about themselves that they really appreciate and hearing what makes people happy. We always find that when the conversation to turns to things we love then creativity flows, and magic seems to happen.

“I’ve always loved taking photos!” 64

What type of photographs do you enjoy taking? I love it when my clients have an idea they’d like to go with and get excited about being creative with it. I am open to anything and often tell clients that if an image of them naked on a sky scraper in Kuala Lumper is what they desire then that can be arranged! I enjoy taking branding photos for coaches and businesses who are using their work to help people in some way too. It feels good to me because the images can bring them a much wider audience online, so they can help even more people, and I also feel inspired by the work they do.

I’m passionate about photographing women to improve their body confidence as well and, have been running ‘You are beautiful’ photoshoots in the Wedding Suite at Bryngarw House. These are boudoir style photoshoots and it is so much fun creating images that make people feel, amazing, sexy, beautiful or however it is they want to feel.


What do you think makes your work stand out above others? I think everyone’s work stands out in its own unique way. I love looking at photos and really appreciate the work of other photographers. There are so many different styles, ideas and possibilities! All the clients I’ve worked with have been because they’ve seen images I’ve taken and feel that they are their ‘style’ and resonate with my work.

What type of clients do you work for? This really varies depending on what people are looking for. I have recently worked with an architect creating images for his website and advertising. I have worked with entrepreneurs who want to create themselves a passive income and need branding images in order to build a relationship with their online audience.

“I love it when my clients have an idea they’d like to go with and get excited about being creative with it.” I am currently working with people who have recovered from illness, who have undergone a mastectomy or have a stoma bag, to make them feel beautiful and celebrate their life and well-being. Sometimes clients just book a photoshoot because they’re inspired to do it for fun… and it really is fun. I feel very lucky to be able to do this every day. 65

Angeline Branding 07841 979892 @angelinebranding @angelinebranding @angelinephot

Neil Munn, an accomplished former professional boxer and Head Coach and trainer at Penarth Amateur Boxing Club has launched an elite range of boxing and training products.


City Life popped into the Station Road gym to find out more. How’s life Neil? You’ve expanded your product line since we last met… It’s all good. I had developed the basic range to ensure that my youth boxers had a good product to work with. There’s so much over-priced rubbish out there and I wanted to make sure that we were using really good gear. Are your products available to other boxers, trainers and gyms? We have a secure website and all the products are available there.

“ This elite range will take the punishment that pro boxers will throw at it.”

Why have you developed the new elite range? I wanted to step it up a bit. Obviously this range costs more but the quality is excellent and superior to anything else we’ve produced. Developing the previous range gave me huge feedback so I’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring this elite range will take the punishment that pro boxers and trainers will throw at it.

What are your plans for the next year? I love training with my personal clients. I’ll be working hard with the young boxers - we have some really promising ones, and I’ll be trying to get the NMPower brand out there. I think I have the best job in the world but, you know what we say, no pain - no gain!

Have you had any feedback so far? Yes, it’s been brilliant. Customers like the attention to detail. They also appreciate that I listen to their feedback so they feel they have contributed to making a great product even better.

For more information and to view the latest NMPower products, visit the website or call Neil on 07773 550401.


Millions of people across the world go to a weekly meeting where they stand on a scale in front of strangers to see if they have been successful in losing a few pounds that week. Perhaps you have too!


They are given advice about strategies that will help them to succeed - inspiring recipe ideas, exercise plans etc. So, it seems we are content to share our weight issues with the world, but do we speak about our money in the same way?

So back to weight watchers - if there was a “wealth weigh in” each week where people come along to have their wealth assessed, were given strategies for improving their situation, where progress was depicted in simple charts and where they felt in better control, would this be a good thing?

Gretchen Betts of Magenta weighs in… NO, WE DO NOT! We are more likely to talk about a whole range of personal issues - our weight, our sex life, our mental health, BEFORE we share information about our money.

We think it would! Better still, if we shared a discussion which was about you and the future life you want to live, where you are free to talk about your money and all your concerns, where we can offer support, leadership and guidance - we think this would be a great thing!

But why do we feel so uncomfortable about our money? Perhaps we are too embarrassed - we think that we will be judged as feckless for having too little, or a show off for having too much.

This is what we do at Magenta. Not every week, but at least once every year, to help you formulate your plans for the future and stay on track to achieve them. 67 67

Don’t be shy or embarrassed (we never judge) - give us a call to arrange a friendly chat and start your wealth watching journey.

Magenta Financial Planning One Court Road, Bridgend CF31 1BE 01656 760670

Magenta FP

Every restaurant can owe its good reputation to the head chef. That certainly can be said of John Quill, Executive Head Chef at The Raglans Restaurant and Burgess Bar at The Copthorne Hotel in Culverhouse Cross.


Vale Life caught up with John, 46, to find out about his role at the restaurant and his passion for the job. What is your career history? I trained to be a chef in 1992 in Surrey and then went on to work for large corporate companies at senior management level including Compass and Diageo. Unfortunately, in 2006 my youngest daughter was found to have cancer and, during her treatment, I gave up my senior management role to become an agency chef so that I could work around her treatment. Now back in chef whites, I worked the agency chef circuit gaining a name for myself and a good reputation working at some of south Wales highest profile locations. In 2008 I started my own Private Chef and Consultancy business catering for business and private clients across south Wales, Birmingham, London and Essex including TV Personalities, professional sportsmen and women.

In 2017 I was approached to become the Consultant Chef at The Vale Resort and consequently assisted in increasing their food hygiene ratings across the resort, implementation of new menus, systems and improvements to the overall operational standards delivered. In May 2018 I took over as The Executive Head Chef here at The Copthorne in Cardiff. I am a member of The Culinary Association of Wales, an Associate Member of The British Culinary Federation, was National Chef of Wales Semi Finalist in 2012, 2014 and 2016 and was a National Chef of Wales Finalist in this year’s competition.

I spent 12 months living in Australia and travelled to Hong King and UAE where I was able to learn even more about different styles of cooking. Due to some of the requirements of my professional sports clients, I have had to learn and become fully proficient in the planning and preparation of the Paleo Diet. I love Fusion style cooking and mixing flavours from all over the world along with traditional European and British Cuisine.

How long have you worked at The Copthorne? I took over at The Copthorne three months ago.

What is the style of cooking at Raglans? British, European and Fusion.

What skills are you bringing to the kitchen? I’ve been blessed to have grown up in a multicultural community where I was able to learn about the flavours and preparation of Caribbean, Asian, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese and European Cuisine.

“We have stunning lake views and a friendly atmosphere which is enjoyed by many.” 68

How many are in your brigade? There are eight members of my brigade.

Have you made any changes to the menu? I have made some changes to the current menu, including a Brunch Menu which will include several favourites including Smashed Avocado and Smoked Salmon on Bloomer bread and our very own Croque Monsieur. There are Sharing Platters including Vegan Tapas and our Spicy Nachos. Our grill section will now be offering an 8oz Rump Steak and King Prawn Surf ‘n Turf and there is also the option to enjoy The Copthorne Mixed Grill for those with a larger appetite.

Our main courses now include a Seafood Linguine, an Asparagus and Perl Las Risotto and customers have the option to add fresh chicken or king prawns to our Spicy Singapore Vegetable Noodles. There will be a weekly specials menu which will include seasonal specials such as Welsh Lamb and Wild Boar. Where do you source your produce? Why does locally grown, seasonal, fresh produce mean so much to you? The use of the freshest possible ingredients means everything to me as it means that we can deliver the best possible food on every plate. I consciously support the use of local Welsh and British Produce with our menus in support of local businesses and farmers across the country. I understand that there will be changes to the way in which the restaurant looks. Please tell us more. The Raglans Restaurant and The Burges Bar & Lounge are both scheduled a complete refurbishment later this year or early 2019, which I am excited about. We will be relaunching the restaurant with an amazing new menu following the refurbishment.

Is the restaurant open to nonresidents? The restaurant is very much open to non-residents and I would like to invite everyone to come and sample the food and atmosphere here at The Copthorne Hotel, Raglans Restaurant and The Burges Bar & Lounge. We are situated in a prime location, on main routes in and out of Cardiff, we have parking for over 200 vehicles and we have our very own lake.

Would you say you were competitively priced? Absolutely, we offer great food, great service and value for money.

What is your Sunday lunch offering? Our Sunday Lunch offer is Three Courses for £19.95. We offer Traditional Roast Beef, Roast Chicken or Roast Pork with our Classic Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese, Vegetable Crisps and very own Copthorne Jus.

Vale Life readers quoting ‘VLC1’ will receive a 25% discount on restaurant bookings until 30th November 2018

What about Christmas and New Year? We will be serving our Festive Afternoon Tea throughout December between 1200noon and 4pm each day and have Winter Wonderland Party Nights and Cabaret Christmas Lunches also available throughout the month of December. We are taking bookings for Christmas Day Lunch and will be seeing in the New Year in style with our New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner Menu. 69

What do you think makes dining at Raglans, Copthorne special? We have a great new menu, our front-ofhouse deliver service which is second to none, we have stunning lake views and a friendly atmosphere which is enjoyed by many.

The Copthorne Hotel Copthorne Way Culverhouse Cross Cardiff CF5 6DH 029 2059 9100 @copthornecardiff

Fancy creating this mouth-watering dish using the fresh, seasonal and always organic produce, delivered free to your home from Riverford Organic Farmers? Here’s how...

R IVERFORD RECIPES CELERIAC, KALE & MUSHROOM PIE This winter warmer gives the heartiest of meat stews a run for its money. Cooking the component parts may seem a bit fiddly but it ensures each ingredient retains its perfect flavour and texture. We’ve suggested some additions to the filling below but go easy with them – the veg is more than enough to carry the show. INGREDIENTS n 4 tbsp light olive or vegetable oil n 1 large celeriac (about 1kg), peeled and cut into 1cm chunks n 1 tbsp white wine vinegar n 60g butter n 2 large red onions, roughly sliced n 500g flat mushrooms, thickly sliced n 1 glass of red wine n 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped n 150g cavolo nero (black kale), leaves stripped from their stalks and washed n 100ml double cream n ¼ whole nutmeg, finely grated n 1 x 300g ready-rolled sheet all-butter puff or flaky pastry n Beaten egg, for brushing n Salt and black pepper METHOD Turn the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a pan over a high heat then add chunks of celeriac.

It will hiss and spit – keep it moving so it doesn’t catch or burn. After a few minutes, add 50ml water, half the butter, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or lemon juice and a good pinch of salt. Give it a final stir, cover with a lid and turn the heat to medium. Keep checking every 5 minutes adding a dash more water if it looks like catching. Cook until the edges are soft but the middle retains its bite – about 20 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes to evaporate off any excess liquid, then season to taste. Use the back of a wooden spoon to smash the celeriac – as much or as little as you like. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a frying pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil and fry the onion on a medium heat until starting to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they start to release their moisture. Pour in the wine, add the chopped garlic and let the liquid bubble and reduce until you have a dark, sticky mess. Season with salt and pepper. While the mushrooms cook, blanch the kale in salted water in two batches for 1½ minutes each. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge straight into ice cold water to stop the cooking and fix the colour. 70

When cool, squeeze out the water and roughly chop. Combine all the component parts in a large bowl. Pour in the cream, grate in the nutmeg, mix gently and check the seasoning. Pack the mixture snugly into a shallow pie dish. Cut out the pastry to the size of the rim of your dish and place it over the top of the filling, tucking it around the sides. Brush with the egg and slash a couple of holes in it for the steam to escape. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling around the edges. VA R I AT I O N S n Make it festive by adding a handful of chopped pre-cooked chestnuts. n Add diced and fried streaky bacon.

Riverford Organic Farmers riverfordglamorganandswansea

By the end of 2020, Riverford Organic Farmers aims to use certified home compostable materials for all its punnets and bags. Vale Life talks to Liam & Adriana to find out what the future holds for plastic packaging at Riverford.


After many months of intensive research, we’ve decided on the sustainable future of our plastic packaging: home compostable plastic. Whether on your compost heap at home, by sending it back to us at the farm, or through your food waste bin, these plastics don’t take long to break down completely even at low temperatures.

In 2017-18, we’ve removed 180km of plastic nets in favour of compostable beech nets, unwrapped several popular veg, and overall saved 1.5 tonnes of plastic per year!

Our research suggests that our veg boxes already use less than a quarter of the packaging of a major supermarket. We think we can reduce this further to nearer a tenth in the winter, when produce is typically less perishable.

Our solution: home compostable plastics You may have heard bad things about ‘biodegradable’ or ‘compostable’ plastics. There are many different types on the market, and some are worse for the environment than conventional plastic. As well as being non-recyclable, they require high temperatures break down, meaning they don’t biodegrade if they end up in landfill or in the ocean.

The problem with plastic Cheap, strong, flexible, with a lower carbon footprint than paper and infinite uses… In many ways, plastics are brilliant. It’s no wonder that the world has become increasingly reliant on them. Unfortunately, carbon footprint isn’t the only environmental issue to be considered: staggering amounts of plastic are ending up in our oceans, endangering marine life. We’ve continued our dedication to using the minimum plastic possible.

However, we can’t do without plastic completely. Without it, certain leafy veg would dehydrate before reaching your door, resulting in massive food waste.

Home compostable plastic is different. It’s made from renewable raw materials, and breaks down at low temperatures. Many are even certified to completely break down in marine environments, so they won’t cause harm if they do mistakenly end up in the ocean. An impressive 82.5% of our customers compost their food or garden waste 71

(based on a survey of 10,240 current Riverford customers - July 2018). This, combined with our well-honed system of collecting packaging to bring back to the farm for reuse, composting or recycling, convinced us that home compostable plastics were the right solution for us. Although not a perfect solution, we are working hard to achieve the biggest improvement we can and we hope to encourage our customers and other organisations to work towards similar improvement. Find out more by contacting Liam & Adriana.

“We’ve continued our dedication to using the minimum plastic possible.” Place your order online at riverfordglamorganandswansea @veglifewales @veglifewales

Martin Briggs enjoyed a successful career as a financial advisor until his retirement 3 years ago. That work/life transition has allowed Martin to indulge in two of his passions - music and painting. City Life caught up with Martin at his Pontcanna studio.


We enter Martin’s studio and I’m immediately envious. It’s spacious, light and has a very cool and lived-in artist vibe. I could easily live there - it’s everything a want-to-be artist like me yearns for. The next thing that strikes me is the body of work; every available surface is covered with doodles, sketches, halffinished canvasses and rows of finished artworks that give you a glimpse of just how busy he’s been. I like Martin’s work. I’ve had a painting of his hanging over my stairs for the best part of fifteen years. He is, and always has been, a talented artist. I’ve watched his confidence grow over the years. They say you shouldn’t invest in art but buy it because you like it. That’s always been my philosophy but I can’t help thinking one day, Martin could become very collectable indeed. I believe he’s certainly “one to watch”. 72

His recent show at Cardiff MADE was a good example of not only how enthusiastic he is about his painting but also how professional he is. Martin understands the importance of marketing - he’s confident talking about his work and he “gets” art, being a collector of other artists’ work. He’s a gallery owners dream and a fine addition to what appears to be an emerging Cardiff, if not Welsh, art scene. He has quickly established himself among the Kings Road Artists and he is an active member of Printhaus. He has had work in group and solo shows most months over the last three years and has built a core following of collectors who have bought multiple pieces. He says that his paintings and prints are still exploratory and developmental, but with two major solo shows this autumn it is clear that he is working with

confidence and a strong, identifiable sense of style is emerging. To research one of the larger paintings (Quercus Lapsus), Martin booked into the Gliffaes Country House Hotel just outside Crickhowell on the banks of the Usk. “The hotel is fabulous,” he says. “The owners have a good art collection on display. Brilliant weather allowed me to wander with my sketchbook. What really drew my attention were some giant fallen oaks is various stages of decay. One of them, by the river bank, became my subject. Talk about spirit of place, this was an enduring tragedy.” His large, hung canvases would make a dramatic statement in any office reception or grand hotel room and his smaller scale paintings and prints bring would bring a point of focus to any living room. 73

Martin Briggs 07816 906330 martin-briggs Martin Briggs latest work can be viewed at Sustainable Studio 7 Curran Road Cardiff CF10 5NE Contact Julia or Sarah Thursday 2 to Friday 9 November 2018 Call Martin on 07816 906330 for access Private View Saturday 3 November 2018 2-5pm

It’s been a challenging few years for the owners and staff at Miskin Manor but our recent visit was a chance to catch up with Amanda Rosenberg and hear about the exciting developments at one of our favourite venues.


We understand there have been some big changes at Miskin Manor recently. Can you put us in the picture? Exciting changes, yes, and a few challenges at the Hotel & Health Club over the last three years that I have been running the business. The passing of my mother, just two years ago, was a difficult time for all of the family, friends and staff - the business still had to operate and function despite all the emotions of losing a loved one. We had always been a business partnership and that had to be reviewed. Also we had to decide in what direction the family wanted to take the business moving forward. It was decided that after twenty-two years we would become a Limited Company - still family run but operated differently, and with a clear and definite picture of what we wanted for our business and roles within it.

In our family, the women have always been the drivers; my grandmother, my mother and now me. So it goes without saying, it’s in my genes. What we love about being an independent is that we can adapt, change and make decisions very quickly. We have a great team who support us in moving the business forward. We all want our guests to have the best experience possible of Miskin Manor Hotel, and a happy workforce is really important to me as I know that this filters down to the customer, and to all of our suppliers that work with us. We are still one of Wales’ leading, privately owned wedding venues, but we have so much more to offer that you’re are not aware of. Our location, just off the Junction 34 of the M4, makes us a great place for conferences and events with wonderful awardwinning gardens and grounds that can be enjoyed during those moments when you just want to “clear your head”. You can hire us exclusively 74

for a wedding, corporate event or private party, and lots of people take advantage of this; what could be nicer than being Lord or Lady of the Manor for the day? There are more parts of the business that we are developing. The Health Club, for example, will see lots of great changes and improvements over the next two years that will complement the hotel. The other area that we have made some significant changes is our restaurant. We have enjoyed a great reputation for many years. However, the awareness that we were open to non-residents seemed to be quite limited and whilst the style of fine dining appealed to some, others we found were quite intimidated. What we needed to do was to was review all of our dining experiences in the hotel and, working with the AA Rosette Team, we were able to identify exactly what we needed to do to achieve our goals and ensure we maintain our high standards.

With this in mind, we refreshed all areas including the kitchen team and then looked at everything with fresh eyes.

more interest in the room. So, the name “Portraits at Miskin Manor” has been born.

We worked on names and the feeling we wanted to create in the restaurant and the team threw all our ideas into the pot. The last three years have certainly been challenging but very rewarding, and seeing it come together has made all the hard work and effort worthwhile.

The dining room had panels that were not real oak as we have in the rest of the hotel, so we decided to paint them in a colour that would complement the room. After many sample pots we went with a Farrow & Ball colour. It’s so different - we still have some other touches to complete the look, but we are really happy with the feedback so far from our customers.

Why the name Portraits? My father has always had an interest in art and I’ve been trying to find a way to show case his work as I’m so proud of his talents. The idea came from this and we think it works. The portraits are of family, friends and acquaintances that he’s met over the years. He’s done quite a number of commissions for people and when you’re looking for the gift for someone who’s got it all, this is the perfect opportunity to see what can be done. It’s a great talking piece and creates

A great new menu has been developed by our new Head Chef, Tom, using local seasonal produce, some home grown from our gardens. Please introduce us to your Chef and his Brigade… We are really happy to have Tom Bowsher as our new Head Chef, who has a wealth of experience. A former Sous Chef at The Clink in Cardiff, he has brought enthusiasm, innovative food ideas and great motivation for all of the team.

“A great new menu has been developed by our new Head Chef, Tom, using local seasonal produce.” We think of it as “Bistro Rosette”. We have taken away the white linen on the tables, but still maintaining the crisp napkins and now have our wonderful bespoke tables and chairs on full display with nice glasses and cutlery and, in doing so, we have created a more contemporary look and feel for the restaurant. 75

With Tom we then worked on getting his team together to compliment and support these new and exciting changes and now after many months we are where we want to be. Continues overleaf... Photography Kevin Moore

What style of cooking can diners expect? What’s the style of cuisine? We are aiming for ‘Bistro Rosette Dining’, but we also have a more relaxed menu - still at the same standard that is available to eat in our lounge areas, which appeals to some of our regular corporate guests and, of course, Sunday Lunch which is always very popular. Afternoon Tea is available from 2pm and we do need a pre order as all is cooked freshly every day. Where does the Tom source his produce? We are really fortunate to be located where we are; to pull on the wealth of local, seasonal produce available to us and we also have an extensive supply of our own fresh herbs, and home-grown vegetables. We try where we can to use local, Welsh produce and have our own pastry section where we make our own breads, cakes, and desserts.

We are now using fresh honey from our four hives that we have on site in the new menus. This has always been something that my mother has wanted and it’s so wonderful to at last achieve some of her dreams and wishes. When are you open? We are open daily for breakfast, daily from 8am until 10pm. Lunch is served from 12.30pm and, for dinner, the restaurant starts evening service from 6.30pm. We would advise that you check before you arrived as we have days when we are fully booked or are closed for Exclusive Events. Are you open for Christmas? Open all the way through the Christmas period for parties and events, and have all the information is on our web site We are open for Christmas Day - fully booked this year already. 76

We know that families like to get together over the seasonal time and we have a Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Buffet which is really proving really popular, and is a great change to the seasonal foods we’ll have all been eating. We always recommend that you make a booking to avoid any disappointment. Please call us on our main number 01443 224204 or email reservations@ and we will call you back to confirm your requirements.

“Afternoon Tea is available from 2pm and we do need a pre order as all is cooked freshly every day.” Miskin Manor Hotel and Health Club Pendoylan Road, Miskin CF72 8ND 01443 224 204 www.



Charlotte’s Web Jewellery Rajput Empowerment Spinning Ring £75.00 / Rajput Empowerment Earrings £40.00

Aura Mugler Eau de Toilette – 30ml £42, 50ml £60 and 90ml £75 Available from department stores nationwide

Favourite T HINGS... MY

Here’s a roundup of some of the lovely things that have caught our eye this autumn...

Chocolates from the Chococo’s Halloween range for 2018 Colourful Chocolate Skull £15 Chocolate Skull Bar £8

Azzaro Wanted by Night (for men) vailable now 50ml Eau de Parfum £46, 100ml Eau de Parfum £63


Origins Ginzing On-The-Go Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff Available nationwide and at £16.50

From £22. Various colours available from

Jo Malone - Honeysuckle & Davana: A happy new floral RRP from Cologne 100ml £94 / Cologne 30ml £47 / Home Candle 200g £47

Sisleÿa L’Intégral Firming Concentrated Serum Price: £350 / Le Phyto Rouge (20 shades) £38 Stylo Lumiere (4 shades) £41.50 / Stockist: 79

Everyone is looking for therapies or lifestyle changes that could improve their health. Ozone therapy is a new one to us so we talked to Oscar Matsungo of the Ozone Therapy Wellness Centre in Cathays to find out more.


What is Ozone Therapy and how does it work? Ozone therapy is a regenerative therapy and refers to the process of administering ozone gas into the body to treat a disease/condition or wound. It is a natural solution that utilizes the body’s own healing process to repair damaged tissue, and bridges the gap between non-operative treatments and surgery. Ozone is a colourless gas made up of three atoms of oxygen (O3). Since 1870s ozone has been used to treat medical conditions by stimulating the immune system. Furthermore it has been used to disinfect and treat diseases and conditions. Ozone Therapy stimulates the uptake of oxygen by stimulating the DPG (diphosphoglycerate) enzyme. The DPG controls the movement of oxygen from red blood cells to body tissues. It supports the release of oxygen from the hemoglobin molecule so that it can be used by the cell. When cells get the optimal amount of oxygen and function properly, they help to prevent or inhibit disease. What are the claimed benefits of Ozone therapy? n Anti-aging n Strengthens the immune system n Detoxifies and neutralises viruses, bacteria and fungi n Kills cancer cells n It is anti-inflammatory and relieves pain n Expedites post-surgery healing n Decreases fat / improves metabolism n Improves blood circulation

When should one have ozone therapy? The human body is an exceptional and complex machine. Like all machines the body needs servicing (dusting, changing of oil, etc) to ensure optimum functioning. There is no stipulated time to have ozone therapy. However, it is better to have regular therapy to boost wellness and prevent infections. There are notable hot spots such as winter season which elevate the infection levels and as such preventative therapy is encouraged. Is it in any way painful? Ozone therapy has been utilised and heavily studied for more than a century. Its effects are proven, consistent, safe and with minimal and preventable side effects. Ozone therapy is not in any way painful. How long does a session take? A typical ozone therapy session last 30 minutes. Is it expensive? While a single session may appear costly to the average household, the longterm health benefits far outweigh the financial cost. Moreover, our interest in the wellbeing of our local customers has meant that our prices are cheaper than in most places in the UK. We at Ozone Therapy Wellness Centre are very compassionate and it is reason we invested in the technology because we believe in health and wellness for all and as such our prices reflect that. We welcome people to come and experience this technology. 80

Are there any health risks? Uncontrolled inhalation of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation. Inhalation of ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections. However, the chance of inhaling ozone while undergoing therapy is negligible. We at Ozone Therapy Wellness Centre take strict precautions to prevent you from inhaling ozone. Your health, wellness and safety is our priority. Do you have a website? Where can readers find out more? Certainly we have a website ( that provides you with lots of information on ozone therapy and the various treatments we provide. While you are on the website you can connect with us too via the chat button. Apart from gaining information about the therapies we provide, you will be able to book an appointment convenient for yourself.

Ozone Therapy Wellness Centre 6A Dalcross Street, Cathays Cardiff CF24 4UB You can call or text on 07810 540488 Readers are always advised to research any treatment carefully and consult a doctor before undertaking any health related procedure or therapy. City Life cannot endorse any treatment. This advertorial is for information purposes only.

Josh Llewellyn-Jones, the man who went from a 10% chance of survival to exercising non-stop for 24 hours has his sights on a world record.

In 1987, Josh was born with cystic fibrosis. The life-limiting genetic condition meant that his lungs and digestive system can become clogged and he wasn’t expected to make it through the night. He defied expectations then and he’s still doing it today. Thirty-one years later, Josh wasn’t content with becoming one of only five people in the world to complete the World Physical Fitness Challenge in 2017. Now he wants to push himself even further. As part of the 24hrs4cf event in 2017, Josh, from Cardiff, exercised non-stop for 24 hours to raise awareness and money for cystic fibrosis. He lifted 100 tonnes, cycled 100 miles, rowed twenty miles, ran ten miles, cross-trained for ten miles, swam two miles, and completed 3,000 sit-ups, 1,000 press ups and 1,000 squats. Across social media, the 24hrs4cf event reached eight million people all over the world and inspired many people living with cystic fibrosis.

24HRS4CF Along with his family, Josh has helped raise over £700,000 for cystic fibrosis charities and he’s now set up his own charity to encourage children with cystic fibrosis to exercise called CF Warriors. Josh explains, “My hope is, if more children get involved in sporting activities we can increase their life expectancy, just like I have.”

Following on from the success of 2017, Josh has his sights on lifting 1,000,000 kilos in 24 hours which will be the most anyone has ever lifted in a day. That’s the equivalent of three Boeing 747s and he’ll have to average 700 kilos per minute to reach his target. It took place at RAF St Athan on 29th September, 2018. One aspect of 24hrs4cf was to raise the general awareness about cystic fibrosis but, for Josh, his main aim was always to get people with CF exercising. “It’s what’s kept me alive,” he explains. “At 31, statistics show that I shouldn’t be very well at all but I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. I never imagined that the message would reach so many people in year one. 81

The bar has been set high for year two but I like a challenge!

“We’ve had a fantastic result by securing RAF St Athan for this world record attempt and I even have two ex-marines on my training team to help get me through. The setting is absolutely perfect and the team over there are fully behind me in wanting to reach even more than the 8 million people we did last year!”

“Josh has his sights on lifting 1,000,000 kilos in 24 hours which ” To find out more about 24hrs4cf and Josh’s world record attempt, visit @JoshLJ24 @JoshLJ24 @JoshLJ24

EUROPEAN SCANNING The European Scanning Centre looks more like a boutique hotel than a medical centre. We met with manager Melanie to find out more.

Please tell us about the ESC team... Melanie is Centre Manager along with two Radiographers (Carol-Ann and Ria). The Reception staff are Lisa and Nicola.

Please tell us about the facility... The facility in Cardiff comprises of a new Open and Upright MRI Scanner, the only one of its type in Wales. n The scanner is completely open above and to the front and rear, thereby avoiding claustrophobia. n Patients can be scanned in their position of pain whether it is sitting, standing, bending or lying down. n Extra wide space ensures larger patients feel comfortable and relaxed during the scan.

The Radiographers have many years experience of working in MRI scanners across South Wales - both in the NHS and private sector. Melanie previously worked in the Open MRI scanner, which was in the same premises as European Scanning Centre, for over fifteen years. Tell us about the ambience and interior décor of the centre... The Centre has been carefully designed with patient comfort at the forefront with a warm and welcoming reception area and staff who have been specially chosen for their ability to put patients at ease. We have invested in a five star environment where the emphasis is on patient comfort & relaxation. Whilst being scanned, patients are able to watch television, listen to the radio or are welcome to bring in their music of choice.

“The scanner is U shaped so is open above.” 82

Two way audio facilities allow our radiographers to communicate and reassure patients during their scan and the viewing window ensures that both the patient and the radiographer are always in the line of vision. How does the scanner work? The scanner is a large super conducting magnet - it is the only superconductive MRI scanner that enables fully open and upright imaging of the spine and joints, allowing patients to be scanned in a non claustrophobic and full weight bearing position. Imaging in the sitting or standing position can provide a more accurate diagnosis thus improving overall patient outcome. It is a more patient friendly scanner than the usual tunnel scanners - so more suited to patients who are anxious, claustrophobic or are unable to lie down. Do I need a doctor’s referral? Ideally it is better to be referred for a scan by your GP, a consultant, physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath. However we do accept self referrals for certain scans.


What practitioners and patients say... Patients report feeling reassured by the calm environment and friendly staff. Excellent service with timely reporting. Dr D Rajender Kumar Audiovestibular Medicine The whole experience made me feel at ease which was down to the staff and the environment. Thank you very much. Mark Owen

How quickly are results generated? We aim to get the results back to the referrer within forty-eight hours. How many patients can you see? It depends on the part of the body and how many areas we need to examine. We tailor appointments to suit the needs of the patient as some patients have specific mobility issues or other needs that need extra time.

We don’t want to rush our patients as many need more time for the examination than the standard closed MRI scanner due to claustrophobia or mobility issues. How long does the scan take? Each part we scan takes approx thirty minutes but we allow more time for the appointment so that patients can get comfortable in the scan room. 83

Friendly, polite and professional staff that put me at ease from the minute I arrived. I would highly recommend their services. A completely different experience to one I had at a previous hospital. Catherine Rush European Scanning Centre Cardiff Cardiff Gate Business Park Unit G, Copse Walk, Cardiff CF23 8RB 02920 731 654

Top 10 things to do at...

pyle garden village

Afternoon Tea at The Olive Tree At just £14.99 for two persons, you will receive 2 scones with jam and clotted cream, choice of two sandwiches, choice of 2 slices of cake and tea or coffee. Booking is advised but not necessary and is taken via telephone or Facebook message. Monday- Saturday 9am-4.30pm and Sunday 10am-3pm. Tel: 01656 745948

Visit the small animals at Pet Stop The garden centre’s own animal emporium houses an array of small animals which are available to visit and purchase. Experience up close, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Hamsters, Reptiles, Birds and much more. Learn more about caring for these animals and receive expert advice on the right pet for your family before kitting them out with every accessory they need for a happy and healthy life. Monday- Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. Tel: 01656 741443

Choose your favourite scent At Leaf interiors, spend some time choosing your favourite smelling fragrances to fill you home. Whether you choose a candle or a diffuser, their unique brands offer ranges that can add every personality in the form of a scent. One of our favourites are Silverbirch & Black Pepper by Stoneglow and Inspiritus by St. Eval. Monday- Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. Tel: 01656 745021

Bring your Fur-babies for a day out Pyle Garden Village is a dog friendly site (with the exception of the Olive Tree Restaurant inside seating area) meaning there’s no excuse to not bring ALL of the family! Treat your dog to a pamper session at Paws Galore, who offer tailored grooming packages for spoilt pups. Book an appointment on 01656 856784

Get the celebrity experience Take the stress out of getting ready for a day or evening out with the expert team at Salon Loulou. From just £28 per person, you can enjoy a true celebrity ‘glam session.’ You’ll come away with full party make up and a blowdry of your choice. Perfect for weddings and parties or if you’re looking for some inspiration for a new look. Mon- Sat 9.30am-5.30pm, late night until 8pm on Thursday. Tel: 01656 741653

Treat someone you love The in-house florist, Rachel of The Dancing Daffodil can create bespoke hand tied floral arrangements for you to take away as a gift. Pair this with a great tasting bottle from Wall 2 Wall Wines and you’ll have one happy recipient. If that person is really special you could also add a piece from the extensive giftware department complete with gift wrapping service. Easy-peasy! Monday- Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. Tel: 01656 741443

Experience a styling session With 6 years in business and three very different directors’ input, Loulou Boutique is the perfect destination to revamp your look or refresh your wardrobe with some key pieces. Stocking brands such as Masai, Blank London and Joseph Ribkoff, the ladies at Loulou will give honest and helpful advice on how to best dress your shape, size and personality. No appointment necessary. Monday- Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. Tel: 01656 749841

Enjoy live music with friends Friday Night @ The Olive Tree is a great evening out with family or friends where you can enjoy a meal, drinks and live entertainment. Music varies from local singer-songwriters to tribute acts and bands. With it’s rustic interiors, freshly cooked menu the Olive Tree provides an equally amazing evening setting despite it’s daytime popularity. Monday- Saturday 9am-4.30pm and Sunday 10am-3pm. Tel: 01656 745948

Get organised for Christmas Are you a Christmas early bird? From October, Pyle Garden Centre have the most exquisite Christmas displays with decorations and lights as well as real and artificial Christmas trees. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for events such as Treefest starting at the end of November where you can enjoy mulled wine and select your favourite tree with huge discounts. Monday- Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. Tel: 01656 741443

Book your little one’s in for a workshop In recent months, Pyle Garden Village have been hosting Children’s events and workshops with specially trained actors who can engage children for an hour or so whilst parents and guardians enjoy a coffee or a nose around the different concessions. From gardening themed to seasonal workshops, head to the online booking page to see what’s on offer. | 01656 741443 | CF33 6BJ book tickets for all events at

Book your place online, visit OCTOBER GHOUL SCHOOL M o n d a y 2 9 t h , Tu e s d a y 3 0 t h & We d n e s d a y 3 1 s t O c t o b e r £15 Per Child MULTIPLE SESSIONS AVAILABLE

NOVEMBER & DECEMBER ELF SCHOOL Selected dates between 17th November - 23rd December £18 Per Child MULTIPLE SESSIONS AVAILABLE


S A N TA’ S A R R I VA L Saturday 24th November

Free event no booking required

T E A W I T H S A N TA Between Mon 3rd & Thu 20th December

S A N TA’ S G R O T T O Every weekend in December and the week before Christmas £7.50 per child

keep up to date with the latest events as they are announced by following us on our social medias

pyle garden village

01656 741443

COMING SOON TO PYLE GARDEN VILLAGE... Are you missing out on the fresh air and freedom of being more active or mobile? We at Village Mobility will help you to regain your independence with our superb quality products. Our experts are on hand to give you help and guidance on a full range of lifestyle and sports aids to improve your comfort and quality of life.

OPENING SATURDAY 13TH OCTOBER We are located behind the garden centre tills 12:00 - 3:00pm

Hosted by Derek “The Weatherman� Brockway | Coffee and cake for all visitors

Village Mobility Pyle Garden Village, 2 Heol Mostyn, Pyle, Bridgend CF33 6BJ

01656 741 443 @thepylegardencentre

You know that feeling? You notice your sleeves are just a little too short, and your cartoon rabbit socks are clearly on show below your trouser legs? It’s probably a sign you’ve outgrown your current outfit. A sign that it’s time to change.


At Lewis Ballard Accountants these signs were clear to see. We kept growing. Yet we were still determined to give the exceptional customer service we’re so proud of. It was a challenge not to spread ourselves too thin.

Under Lewis Ballard, Harris and Co are evolving, ditching paper in favour of, not only the digital practices of modern accountancy, but the cloud accounting and forecasting skills of the future. We’ve shown them Xero and 4sight and it’s love at first sight.

We needed a change and when we had an opportunity we grabbed it with both hands! Fortunately, they grabbed back.

Harris and Co are bringing so much to the table. A small team of 7 with the combined experience of over a hundred years, they have a lot to show us.

Lewis Ballard and Harris and Co Consulting have come together to build a brilliant business, bringing years of experience and youthful digital expertise together. Giving clients a new level of business support and tax advice to really drive their businesses forward.

“We’re long established locally and nationally.”

“We all see this as a great move for everyone at Lewis Ballard, Harris and Co and both sets of clients.” explains Neil Ballard MD. “We’re long established locally and nationally, as innovative and proactive accountants, with a young, dynamic team. By bringing the more mature Harris and Co team on board we are 88

creating a perfect balance between youth and experience to benefit everyone involved. We welcomed Mervyn and Kath Harris and their team to Celtic House on the 1st September 2018 and are certain everyone will soon benefit from the greater strength in depth on offer.” Tax specialist Kathryn Harris MD agrees “This move creates a sensational opportunity to provide added strength in depth to both businesses from which our current and future clients will benefit enormously.” Mervyn Harris Strategic Director adds “From the outset we have endeavoured to create a client focussed business and to ensure we’re fully up to date with technology as well as best accounting and tax practices for the benefit of all of our combined clients.

This exciting opportunity creates a 25+ strong practice providing a first-class service at exceptional value.” “The Harris and Co team will continue to work with their existing clients, who will now benefit from the digital wizardry of our amazing team. And our team and clients will benefit from the kind of guidance and expertise that only years of experience can bring. It really is a win win all round!” Jan Ballard HR Director confirms, adding with a smile “Not to dress it up too much - We saw the signs, changed the outfit and now we’re a perfect fit for all your accountancy and tax needs!”

Lewis Ballard Celtic House, Caxton Place Pentwyn, Cardiff CF23 8HA 02920 735502

Are you looking to change for the better too? Give us a ring on 02920735502 now, our first meeting is free! 89

NEW SEASON from Leekes – the home experts

From statement furniture pieces to on-trend accessories at Leekes you’ll discover inspirational ideas to update your look. Visit us in store today or shop online and let us help you create your beautiful home.


120 YEARS 1897 – 2017

Leekes Llantrisant, Cowbridge Road, RCT. CF72 8XU Tel: 0333 222 4120 | Online:

smart bi-folds by

Aluminium ...perfectly engineered for modern living

The natural strength of aluminium provides slim lines with less frame and more glass, letting light flood into your property. Aluminium is highly resistant to corrosion, offering you a sleek design that’s built to last.

Bi-fold Doors • Sliding Doors • Windows • Roof Lights

Affordable style, made to measure...

Contact us for a free no obligation quote @ABGlassSwansea

All our products are manufactured to order at our purpose-built premises and delivered direct to our clients throughout the UK. Our 25+ years of experience and commitment to quality ensures you receive the best products with great customer service, at a competitive price.

01792 584 440 |

AB Glass (Doors & Windows) Ltd


Selecting the perfect carpet and

You can make an appointment

flooring for your home or boutique

to suit your schedule with

hotel is important. However,

Patrick Terrett an interior

having the flooring installed to the

designer and flooring expert

very highest standard is equally

of 40 years, to make sure your

important to ensure it looks

flooring choice meets all your

wonderful. This is where Llandow


Carpet Studio has the advantage over all the other flooring suppliers

Alternatively you can talk

in the country as we have the 2017

your requirements over with

& 2018 Carpet Fitting Champions

Patrick on the phone and he

working with us. Our studio is

will visit you.

based just outside Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan offering you

Llandow Carpet Studio operate

a relaxed atmosphere where you

anywhere in the country where

will not be rushed when selecting

a client requires that extra

the perfect floor for your home.

special service.

Contact us for an appointment: T: 01446 77 50 50 E:

Mode rn lo op s, h an dmade wool s t o t ra di t iona l A x m i n s t e rs & W i lt on s W E H A V E F L O O R I N G T O S AT I S F Y T H E M O S T D I S C E R N I N G C L I E N T S .

Llandow Carpet Studio showroom: 21K Vale Business Park, Llandow, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7PF

For the past 20 years, Gareth Shaw has been in the building industry. He renovated his first house 15 years ago and has built up an enviable reputation in his field. Vale Life asks Gareth “What’s the best way to add value to your home?” His answer?

GO FOR A LOFT CONVERSION Why a loft conversion? It’s the easiest way to get an extra bedroom and bathroom.

One such customer wanted to add extra additional rooms to his home and this is what he had to say about Gareth’s work.

Not particularly disruptive, either, as most of the work can be done from outside. The key thing is to make sure access to the loft is easy and that the conversion fits the rest of the house, rather than looking grafted on. Spend £20,000 on a loft conversion and you can add £40,000 value to your house. A loft conversion adds an average 12.5 per cent to the selling price.

“Gareth and his team transformed our house from a one bedroomed bungalow to a 4/5 bedroom modern house. His eye for detail and design, combined with his trustworthiness and superb interior finish and design (attributable to the very talented interior designer Missy Shaw) have given us a finish we could not have dreamed of. We are beyond

happy and proud of our home and couldn’t recommend Shaw Property Developments enough.” AL AND SHARON HORTOP


Shaw Property Developments Loft Conversion Specialists 07900 404325




Heath Windows & Doors Ltd are a professional, family-run company using local suppliers to deliver outstanding service and quality, as standard.

We use only the best, most advanced products on the market, and back this up with superior service from a dedicated team. Feel free to check out our 100% genuine, verified customer reviews on AllChecked, Facebook, Which? And Google. 02920 650 854


Unit 105, Portmanmoor Road Industrial Estate, Cardiff, CF24 5HB 93

COME VISIT US We have a fully kitted-out showroom displaying Composite Doors, Aluminium Bi-Folding Doors, Bay Windows, and much more

After reading an article on Future Ideal Homes in Vale Life, Steve and Helen Clarke knew exactly who to call when they need work at their home in Llantwit Major. We chatted to Helen to find out more.


Who occupies your home? Myself, my husband Steve and children Ellie 21, Cari 17 and João 7, and dog Annie. How long have you lived there? Since December 1999. How did you hear about Future Ideal Homes? From reading a feature in a recent Vale Life magazine. Did you shop around before you chose Future? Yes. We tried various local and national companies but decided on Future. What work did they do for you and why? We needed a new tile replacement roof plus refreshed windows and seals. We went for the Guadian tiled roof system. Did you find them easy to work with? They were very accommodating, considerate, professional, clean and tidy.

The prices weren’t that different to other companies that we rang. We weren’t quite ready to go ahead when Craig came to quote but he rang us from time to time to see how we were doing. The other companies didn’t even ring back. He wasn’t pushy at all – just friendly and professional.

Would you use Future again? We are looking at changing our doors so will be going back to them soon. Would you be happy to recommend Future to others? Yes, we would, and we have already had some potential clients visit us.

Who did you deal with at the company? We worked with owner Craig Harewood. What difference has the work made to the way you use your room now? Before Future, we couldn’t use the room properly. It was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. We had to keep the blinds closed and the doors open. We found that we used to have to sit in the lounge which was in the other side of the house. We’ve bought two settees now and want to spend time here. We’ve not experienced a winter yet but we’re hoping it will be a lot more comfortable to sit in. 94

Future Ideal Homes Ltd. Storage unit 7, The Storage Centre Cardiff Road Barry CF63 2BG 01446 733455

New Winter Stock Now Available Why not treat yourselves & your loved ones to a spa for Christmas!

Endless Pools | Coast Spas & Swimspas | Hydrotherapy | Fitness & Wellness Accessories | Chemicals | Eco Products | Servicing & Maintenance Swimming & Triathlon Coaching Venue

Unit 2, The Trade Centre, Hadfield Road, Cardiff, CF11 8AQ | 02920 712444

Stylish age-exclusive living in a tranquil Dinas Powys garden setting

Prices from ÂŁ275,000


Kaely Backland of Usk welcomed us into her beautiful home and told us why she chose to work with Alexander James Bifold. How did you hear about Alexander James? I wanted some beautiful bifold doors. I researched online and found the Alexander James Bifolds website. I liked the look of it. It looked very professional and gave me the confidence to give the company a call. What made you choose to work with Alexander James? They came across very professional, both on the phone and when their representative, Andrew, initially came out to talk about their products and service before and after installation. What work did Alexander James carry out for you? They installed a set of bi-folding doors with four doors which open on to the garden. What difference have the doors made to the way you live? I already had PVC bi folding doors which were a substandard product and not fit for purpose. After talking with Andrew from Alexander James, and going with his advice to choose their aluminium product, I couldn’t be happier. The doors are not only a better quality product but, aesthetically, they are more pleasing - especially since I could almost choose any colour I wanted and, finally, the big plus - they actually work! Before I hardly bothered opening the PVC doors but now I use them all the time. I was so pleased with the work from this company that I have been back to fit all new windows throughout the property as well!



Alexander James Unit 3A Ashmount Business Park Upper Forest Way Swansea SA6 8QR 01792 794549 97


est 1934

BESPOKE SOFAS & CHAIRS We offer bespoke sofas and chairs in any size and design with fabrics to suit you and your lifestyle.

RE-UPHOLSTERY SPECIALISTS Breathe life back into a treasured piece of furniture so that you can love it all over again.

Banthorpe House, Crosby Yard, Bridgend CF31 1JZ Open Monday to Saturday 9am – 5pm


MADE-TO-MEASURE CURTAINS & PELMETS Whether it’s elegant, dramatic or fun, we have hundreds of quality curtain and upholstery fabrics.

BEAUTIFUL HAND-MADE BEDS Let Jack & Rose design and create the stunning bespoke bed of your dreams.

01656 768844

Well Cottage


4 Cathedral Close, Llandaff

An extended detached period family home set in a spectacular location adjacent to the Old Bishop’s Palace, directly opposite the Cathedral. Characterful, detached three bedroom cottage with well-maintained lawned and paved garden with off-road parking for several vehichles, within easy walking distance of Llandaff high street and the highly regarded Cathedral School. Accessed from the road via wrought iron gates leading to a flagstone pathway with access to a level, lawned garden with steps up to a paved patio surrounded by pretty flower borders and enjoys an elevated view of The Cathedral. There is also gated off-road parking on a driveway adjacent to the garden.

Beechwood Hollow

Springfield House

Attractive, high quality five bedroom detached five bedroom house in an exceptional position with panoramic views. Includes land and stables extending to 4.3 acres including woodland and pasture land with stabling.

Exceptional, modern detached four large bedroom family house extending to approximately 2,800 square feet, providing exceptional accommodation with a generous garden plot in a delightful semirural village setting. Llysworney is a very pretty and extremely desireable village.

Immaculately presented four/ five bedroom spacious family home with flexible living accommodation, wide driveway, double garage and mature well-kept level lawned gardens to front and rear. Country views. Easy walking distance to the local shop and garden centre.




City, Nr Llansannon

59 High Street Cowbridge CF71 7YL SALES 01446 772911 RENTALS 01446 776374

The Pines

Pond Lane, Llysworney

Wick Road, Ewenny

Herbert R Thomas





St Hilary, Vale of Glamorgan

Stylish, detached four bedroom family home (believed to date back to the 1800s in part) which has been extended by the present owners to offer beautifully presented accommodation which is both spacious and contemporary. Lovely mature gardens with tiered lawns, ornate pond and gravelled seating area with views of the countryside beyond. The property enjoys easy access to country walks. Chocolate box village with highly regarded thatched pub/ restaurant with dog walking on St Hilary Common. Just a short drive from the popular market town of Cowbridge. Gravelled driveway parking and single garage. Potential to extend further (Approved Planning Permission).

The Sycamores

Llysworney, Vale of Glamorgan

7 Cae Rhedyn

This charming, extended, detached stone-built four bedroom character house, in part dating back to approximately 1800 has a large private garden. Extensive parking with detached garage in a secluded semi-rural village setting close to the market town of Cowbridge.

Detached, four Double Bedroom modern family house in lovely village location with excellent family living accommodation, parking, double garage and wonderful views across the Village. Wide range of Village amenities and easy access to Cowbridge.



The Toll House 1 Derwen Road Bridgend CF31 1LH 01656 660036

Bryn Y Fedwen Farm

Graig Penllyn

33 Alfred Street Neath SA11 1EH 01639 639541

Ystradowen, Vale of Glamorgan

Real pportunity to acquire a fine rural smallholding of unusual quality. Stone built Welsh longhouse style farmhouse with outbuildings centrally located in a fine block of ground extending to approximately 18 acres with exceptional views in all directions No Development Clawback. Offers in excess of

121 Park Lane London W1K 7AG 020 7079 1477


Welcome to Vale Life Magazine’s Social Life section, a veritable who’s who in and around the Vale.


Cookery Demonstration at Topstak, Cowbridge

What a great response to the Everhot Cookery Demonstration at Topstak recently. The guest chef had the audience entertained whilst cooking a variety of dishes on the Everhot range cooker. These events are proving very popular and interested parties are invited to visit the Topstak Facebook page for future events. Booking is recommended! Unit 42, Vale Business Park, Llandow Cowbridge CF71 7PF 01446 771567



Major Pride Attitude is everything Llantwit Major held its first pride event this summer and, being Llantwit, they put their individual spin on celebrating diversity. Intended to be much different to city Pride events, organiser Rhodri Ellis Owen was keen to feature attractions such as a dog show and classic car display. By all accounts, the event was a great success. “I think in many ways we are a starting point, a blueprint for other communities and small towns across Wales,” said Rhodri, who moved to Llantwit Major with his partner eighteen months ago and said they were met with a “vibrant and warm welcome”. Rhian Richards, one of the Major Pride dog show judges said, “This was a fun day celebrating diversity, and also a firm reminder that sexual discrimination does not have a place in modern society.” Lu Thomas, chairman of Pride Cymru, said, “Hopefully this can inspire small towns, villages across Wales to do something similar and we at Pride Cymru are very happy to support the event in any way we can.” Hopefully Major Pride will be even bigger and better next year. Watch this space. Photography Kevin Moore



Artist Martin Briggs has it MADE Invited guests attended the Private View of Intent, a new body of work by emerging talent, Martin Briggs on the evening of 7th September. The evening was extremely enjoyable with a short presentation by MADE’s owner Zoe Gingell and Martin Briggs talked about his work and his passion for his art since retiring as a financial advisor. Martin’s work was on display until Sunday 23 September 2018 but if you missed it, he pops up again this November at the Sustainable Studio on Curran Road. Cardiff MADE 41 Lochaber Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3LS Owner Zoe Gingell - Photography Kevin Moore



Bridgend Business Forum Awards 2018 Bridgend Business Forum celebrated the shining lights of the local business community recently, as the winners of the Bridgend Business Forum awards 2018 were revealed at a glittering gala dinner and awards ceremony held at the Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel, Bridgend. Over 220 business professionals attended the awards ceremony including Carwyn Jones, AM for Bridgend and Patron of Bridgend Business Forum, eager to discover who the all-important winners of the sixth, annual Bridgend business awards sponsored by Rockwool UK and supported by Bridgend County Borough Council would be. Hosted by BBC presenter and broadcaster, Sian Lloyd, the awards saw nine lucky businesses pick up awards in a range of categories, from ‘Business Student of the Year’ to the ‘Creative Industries Award’. The team at Magenta (who regularly feature in Vale Life) were thrilled to be finalists at the Bridgend Business Forum awards. The event was a wonderful celebration of Bridgend’s thriving business community, highlighting some fantastic achievements from all the winners.


We love learning about people who live in the Vale. Michael Morgan shares his story with us. Not your typical Solicitor, I think you’ll agree!


How long have you lived in Peterstonsuper-Ely? I was born in Peterson 60 years ago. My family have lived in Peterston and Pendoylan for over 250 years. What do you enjoy most about living where you live? The sense of community where people know and look out for one another. We have two pubs, a Church, a Chapel and Village Hall with many sections for all ages. There are Football and Cricket Clubs – it’s like Midsommer Murders without the murders. Who lives in your home with you? My wife of 23 years Clare, a drama teacher at Llandaff Cathedral School, daughter Isobel aged 19 (now away at University) son Hugo aged 13, various dogs, horses, ponies, a goat and a donkey. What do you do for a living? I am a director of Vale Solicitors Advocates & Mediators. What services does the company offer? We are a traditional country practice and, although we are a small firm, as members of Legal Network Wales we can assist in any kind of legal matter. How long have you worked there and what do you enjoy about it? I qualified with the firm (then Gwyn and Gwyn) in 1984. I enjoy the variety of people that we represent. At the grim end, I have sat in cells with murderers, and in hospital wards to make death bed wills. At the happy end, I have watched businesses grow and helped hundreds of people move home.

I particularly enjoy my role as a Civil and Commercial Mediator helping people find ways to conclude disputes before they end up in Court. What geographical areas does the business cover? Principally we act for clients in Cardiff, The Vale of Glamorgan and south Wales as we prefer to meet all our clients in person, but we do act for people throughout England and Wales. What do you enjoy doing in your downtime? I follow my son and daughter in their various endeavours. I am training our new labrador pup, Arthur and rehearsing Matilda the Donkey ready for Christmas Nativities. As a family, we are all rather dramatic! We have helped to earn thousands for charities with our Fawlty Towers performances and this year have been at the Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival in Dad’s Army. Currently, I am rehearsing for the Village Panto. (I am a Prince this year and get to sing Wild Thing by The Troggs). Where do you like to eat out? We support our local pubs The Sportsman’s Rest and Three Horse Shoes who both serve excellent fayre. We also love Illtyd’s 216 in Llantwit Major and the Mughal in Cowbridge. What three words describe you? Loyal, Thoughtful and Vague. What drives you? Whatever is best for my family. My personal ambition to win the Men’s Cookery Competition in our annual Village Show. 106

What makes you laugh? I like the good comedians from Jack Benny to Jack Dee. For TV it has to be Blackadder, Fawlty Towers and Dad’s Army. Live theatre is the best - we loved The Play that Goes Wrong and are looking forward to The Comedy about a Bank Robbery at the New Theatre this autumn. What Motivates You? Preserving our environment and quality of life for our children and our older generations . I am a Vale of Glamorgan Councillor and in that role my particular concern is proper resources and accommodation of our ageing population. By 2035 the population in the Vale aged over 75 is expected to increase by 70%. I shall be one of them! Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Still alive hopefully. I don’t believe in long term plans. Enjoy every day. In the words of Basil Fawlty: ”Zoom . What was that? That was your life, mate.That was quick , do I get another? Sorry mate, that’s your lot!“

“The sense of community where people know and look out for one another.” Vale Solicitors Advocates & Mediators 1 Boverton Road, Llantwit Major CF61 1XZ 01446-792535

New 4 bedroom homes available in St Nicholas Stunning new Redrow homes at Tinkinswood Green from ÂŁ441,995 Make better memories with Redrow at our beautiful Tinkinswood Green development, located in St Nicholas, in the Vale of Glamorgan, with excellent road networks to Cardiff and Swansea. Images are indicative only. Details correct at time of going to print.

Tinkinswood Green

Cowbridge Road, St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan CF5 6SH

See website for opening times Call: 01446 474241 Visit:

Vale Life Autumn 2018  

The Vale of Glamorgan's Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Vale Life Autumn 2018  

The Vale of Glamorgan's Premier Lifestyle Magazine