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G L A M O R G A N ’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






Editor JEN NIFER HOBBS -RO BE R T S ❧ Creative Director M AR K ROBER T S ❧ Studio PAUL S ES S ION S ❧ Vale Life Cardiff House, Cardiff Road Vale of Glamorgan CF63 2AW ❧ ❧ 0845 130 6452 © Copyright Vale Life 2012. 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. Passionate about the Vale We are independent. We live in the Vale. We are not a large publishing group pretending to be home grown. Vale Life magazine is written, designed and produced in the Vale of Glamorgan for the people of the Vale. 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.” Important you read this We have made every effort to ensure that all information contained in Vale Life or on 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. Caveat emptor All advertisers have supplied their own copy (and in some cases artwork), and therefore Vale Life cannot accept any responsibility for disputes between advertisers and their customers. Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. Subscriptions To guarantee your copy of Vale Life magazine, please send a cheque for £20.00 (four issues) made payable to Vale Life. Visit for special subscriber discounts and special offers.

WELCOME In spring 2007, we decided to produce a lifestyle magazine for the Vale. This summer we’ll be five years old and we’re really excited about that. We always print 10,000 copies. We never compromise on quality and always go the extra mile for our readers and advertisers.

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G L A M O R G A N ’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





In this issue, we’re delighted to introduce our A-Z of Style and Beauty, which is full of great ideas for your spring wardrobe and gorgeous makeup essentials. No issue of Vale Life would be complete without our features on the many successful businesses we have here in the Vale and surrounding areas. This issue has turned out to be a bit of a bumper housing issue too, with lots of exciting new developments and properties. Throughout the magazine you’ll see these small square symbols. These are QR codes and if you scan them with your smart phone they’ll take you to links with more information and offers. I hope you enjoy this issue. Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Editor

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.

Ok, who skips to the back of the magazine to see who’s in the Social Life section? You too? It’s fine, honestly it doesn’t make you a bad person!

Yes it’s free! Vale Life is distributed free through a wide variety of outlets across the 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 around, 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 from sustainably managed Scandinavian tree farms and utilises an elementary chlorine-free bleaching process.

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CONTENTS Spring has definitely arrived and, in this issue, it brings with it a wealth of fabulous features to enjoy





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AROUND THE VALE If you have a story which you would like to share, please contact Vale Life


Tiaras and pyjamas for Midnight Sleep Walk In this Jubilee year Ty Hafan has chosen a ‘Tiaras and Pyjamas’ theme for its Midnight Sleep Walk . The event is an opportunity for ladies and girls to show their support for the mums (and dads) of life-limited children and young people, who rarely manage to get a full night’s sleep because of the need to provide 24/7 care. Little Blisse Mellens is two and a half years old and has a very complex medical condition which is compounded by a severe form of epilepsy. Her mum, Laura, dad, Ashley, and big sister, Nevaeh, were referred to Ty Hafan in July 2010. Like all young children who suffer seizures, Blisse is attached to a ‘Sats’ monitor at night time to keep a check on her oxygen and heart rate levels. Any change and an alarm will sound. BARRY

Ty Hapus benefits from 5p carrier bag donation “It is disgusting to force people to give to charity. I for one will not be paying even 1p for a bag, There are too many charities in this country, and I don't believe the money goes were it is intended.” This was the comment from one disgruntled taxpaper when asked for a 5p donation to charity in return for placing her goods in a plastic bag.

Dad Ashley, out of necessity, often has to work away which leaves Laura sometimes coping alone. At night she is constantly on alert for any changes in Blisse’s breathing which can also indicate an impending seizure. A proper full night’s sleep? That’s something she has long forgotten. To show your support register now at Visit Ty Hafan at

Whilst the new WAG ruling has caused divide, it is at least good to know that there is at least one local charity benefitting from the ruling. Ty Hapus in Barry is a charity that helps people with alzheimers/dementia. Vale Life spoke to Adrian Charles Williams, now 56, on what it feels like to be afflicted.

They’re old. It’s not where I should be. I don’t belong there. I want to be normal and be around younger people.

What was your job pre retirement? I worked for the Inland Revenue. I wasn’t popular!

Where do you see yourself in the future? I’d like to be in a house. My sister could still help. I can make myself a cup of tea but I can’t do my washing. I’d like to meet someone. Why not?

When did you first start noticing symptoms Adrian? Quite a while ago. I noticed that I couldn’t do things that I used to do. I would go to shops and people didn’t understand and ask what was the matter with me. It’s very frustrating. What did you enjoy doing before getting symptoms? I used to enjoy walking in Cosmeston. Do you get any help? My sister Frances Laign looks after me. She’s a lovely lady. She wants what’s best for me. Where do you live? I live in an old peoples’ home called Ty Dyfan but it’s full of very old people. Some of them are 60, 70, 80, 90. ❧ 6 ❧

(Adrian was put into Ty Dyfan because his wife died and his sister didn’t know what to do with him at the time as she had a family and commitments).

What do you like about Ty Hapus? It’s good here. I have friends here. People like me. The people who help are lovely. I’ve been good haven’t I? I’ve answered your questions honestly haven’t I? I’m glad you came today. I’m glad I came today too Adrian.

Ty Hapus 163 Holton Road Barry CF63 4HP For more information contact Ellin Jones on 07988 769608

From dramatic coastlines where dinosaur footprints can be found, to majestic castles and medicinal gardens, the rural Vale is full of hidden histories just waiting to be explored this spring...

EXPLORE & MORE IN THE VALE Photograph courtesy of Barry & District News

S U G G E S T E D F A M I LY D A Y S O U T IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN ■ Step back in time to experience life

in 14th century Wales at Cosmeston Medieval Village.

■ Admire the classic Italian

architecture in the Pompeian Garden and let the kids run free at Dyffryn House and Gardens. ■ Search for dinosaur prints along

the 14 mile stretch of Glamorgan Heritage Coastline. ■ Climb to the top of the tower and

look out to sea at Nash Point Lighthouse. ■ Learn which plants heal different

ailments at the hidden Cowbridge Physic Garden.

Why is Nash Point Lighthouse unique?

■ Take a fascinating journey through

“Better death than dishonour” is the mantra of which historic building? Where is Saint David believed to have been educated? If you don’t know the answer to these, then join Explore & More to get more out of your visit to the Vale of Glamorgan. Take a look at the series of short films starring actor, Ifan Huw Dafydd and local people with connections to the area’s heritage sites. The films will give you a taste of the wealth of heritage across the rural Vale and bring to life the hidden histories of the area.

“Get more out of your visit to the Vale of Glamorgan.” You can also find out about Llantwit Major’s spiritual history, technological breakthroughs at Lavernock Point, the secrets of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and more on four Explore & More interactive kiosks. The kiosks are located at key locations across the Vale including Cowbridge High Street, St. Illtud’s Church in Llantwit Major, Dyffryn House and Gardens and The Watermill Pub in Ogmore by Sea.

history and follow Llantwit Major’s Blue Plaque Trail. ■ Wind up the U-turn story teller at

Ogmore Castle then jump across the stepping stones and see if you can find the lost treasure. ■ Visit the majestic St. Donat’s Castle

where pirates were formerly held hostage.

Find out more about Explore & More and view the films online at Like Explore & More on Facebook Follow @ExploreandMore on Twitter

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River View introduces even more choice There’s no doubt in our minds what makes The River View Chinese restaurant in Cowbridge such a success and that’s teamwork. They may use the freshest of ingredients and cook to order but when a restaurant runs as smoothly as this one does, then you know it’s because the kitchen and front of house are totally in sync. River View constantly like to offer something different and this season is no exception as new chef, Shui Guang Chen has introduced more South East Asian dishes to the menu.

With twenty years experience and previously head chef for a popular Chinese restaurant in Oxford for more than eight years, in charge of 16 other chefs, he specialises in Cantonese, Hong Kong style cooking, which creatively combines other asian cooking methods such as Indonesian, Japanese and Thai. Regulars can still choose their favourites from the menu or be tempted by the new dishes on offer. Manager, Wing Chan, says, “We will maintain the very high standard cooking for the current menu, the popular Sweet and sour, black bean sauce, ginger and spring onion, Szechwan and so on that our existing customers love but we are keen to introduce our way of eating to our customers as this has been asked of us on many occasions.”

“New chef, Shui Guang Chen, has introduced more South East Asian dishes to the menu. He specialises in Cantonese, Hong Kong style cooking, which creatively combines other asian cooking methods.”

WHAT C US TO MER S SAY... George Howard Crabb Head Teacher (retired), Cowbridge

Why do you visit River View? Consistently good quality food. How often to you visit? On a regular basis. I also came to the Chinese New Year which was fantastic. What do you usually order? If there is a Chinese waitress on duty I usually ask her to suggest a dish. What I love about River View is that you can stick a pin in the menu and you know you’ll get something good. Paul Jones, Keith Griffiths Harvey (6), Williams (4)

How often do you visit River View? Every other Sunday and sometimes in the week. We also come when there are events on in Cowbridge. Why do you like it? Great value for money, great food and great staff. They are also great at accommodating the children. They tend to like chips and egg fried rice and they’re happy to prepare this for them. River View Chinese Restaurant Unit 1, Britannia House Penny Lane Cowbridge CF71 7AD 01446 771668 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter

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Food for Thought Everything you need If you're a resident or a business owner in Barry then you're in a very lucky position indeed, as you have a very fine deli right on your doorstep. What makes Food for Thought deli on Barry's High Street, so special is that this family run business of some 24 years, now under the very capable hands of Nathan, this deli does what a deli does best and that's offering the finest, freshest, tastiest goodies all in one shop. BA RRY I S L AN D

The Coffee Cove offers more than you think If you’re first thoughts of Barry Island are Gavin and Stacey and fish and chips then think again as The Coffee Cove and Wine Bar offers so much more. With spectacular sea views, comfy leather settees, healthy homemade menu and the finest Piazza D’Oro coffee, you can see why it’s popularity is growing. Local artists display their work on the walls which adds another dimension but it’s what happens after 7pm every second Saturday of the month that’s causing a buzz on the island, for that’s when owner Pete opens the doors to his open-mic nights.

From the moment the deli opens its doors at 7am, there’s a waft of gorgeous cooking smells that hit your senses as soon as you enter the High Street and you just have to step inside. The now famous pasties (both small and large) sit temptingly alongside the daily bread and pastries, while also vying for your attention are the mouth watering Welshcakes, and other delicious cakes and pastries. A firm favourite would have to be the individual cheesecakes - so deep and topped with an assortment of fruits and naughty chocolate.

Food for Thought are excited by their new range of American products such as chocolate, pop tarts, sodas, cereals and ‘fluff’. After a little spell of shopping in the many boutiques and gift shops, lunchtime is on the horizon and a quick trip back to Food for Thought is in order. The deli counter is heaving with an array of cheeses, meats, coleslaw and olives, that a baguette is called for. You must try the tandoori chicken pieces - to die for. There's always soup of the day at £1 or with a roll £1.20 very filling and nourishing. There's absolutely everything you need here to stock your cupboards from daily essentials to speciality biscuits, nuts, oils and confectionary - the list is endless.

Up and coming or seasoned singersongwriters, instrumentalists, poets and comedians play to the crowds that come and enjoy the evening over a cup of coffee or a glass or two of wine. All performers are welcome. Open-mic nights are free and there’s no need to book a space. If you’d like your chance in the spotlight, then contact Pete on 07528 185262.

The Coffee Cove and Wine Bar

Food For Thought

Unit 1, Esplanade Buildings Friars Road Barry Island CF62 5TJ 07528 185262

12 High Street, Barry 01446 735711 @fftdeli

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How do you decide on your hair salon? It could be the decor, the great smell of the shampoo used or perhaps the fantastic service? Vale Life visits some of the Vale’s best.



Coast Hair Studio

The Hair Consultancy

Stacey Ranson always had a burning ambition to own her own salon and become a top stylist. So after winning the Regional Redken NYC Colour Genius Hair Award, she thought the time was right.

Following a short sabbatical, Karl and Victoria Shellard, are back at the helm at The Hair Consultancy (formerly Creation) in Penarth.

A CUT ABOVE One of the best ways to choose a new hair salon is by asking around, specifically asking people you’ve seen whose haircuts you like. If they’re happy with their hair salon and are willing to tell you about it, chances are you'll be happy too. What makes a great hair salon can be different for everyone, and each and every stylist has different skills. Everyone is distinctive, but you know if your hair just stands out above the others as one of a kind, finding women with the same haircuts and similar hair type will help you narrow down what you need in a hair stylist. First things first, ask for a consultation. Womanly intuition can tell you a lot. n Do you gel with each other - do you seem to have the same tastes? n Ask about expertise. Are they just out of school with burgeoning creativity and the latest in technology and fashions, or are they established and offering the same service to the same ladies with the same desires in hairstyle. If you’re happy with what you’re hearing, then give it a try. n Don’t forget to take in pictures of hairstyles that you’ve seen in magazines that you like. Hair stylists aren’t like doctors, they actually like someone who’s done their research!

Stacey is now the proud owner of Coast Hair Studio in St Brides Major. Since its inception in October 2011 Coast has grown an excellent reputation for delivering great service, great style and cutting edge expertise. From experiences gained in her last salon Stacey wanted to create a wholly different environment, whereby her clients wouldn’t feel like they are on a conveyer belt, but feel like they had the full attention and time of the stylist. As a result, Stacey decided to increase the appointment times from 45 minute slots to a full hour. “Its great to get city styling in a village location. Coast provides a highly professional cut and colour and I am always 100% delighted with the result.” Kathryn Dalton

“We are the Vale’s premier Aveda salon and leading specialists in non surgical hair replacement and hair extensions,” say the owners. “We felt that there was far more to be achieved with hair extensions and therefore have embarked on non surgical hair replacement, which is a very specialised area. We’re actually one of a very few salons who can provide a hair replacement service”. Karl and Victoria have been in the industry for ten years, with Victoria having worked for Racoon International for three years as part of the artistic team and platform artists at Salon International. The salon’s emphasis is on elite hair styling and Aveda customised natural hair colours.


Hair extensions (micro rings and bonds). Redken colours and products. C O M IN G SO O N

Smoothie bar and new beauty lounge.

So, who’s getting great reviews in the Vale? Check out our guide to see if there’s a salon that ticks all the boxes.

Coast Hair Studio Ewenny Road, St Brides Major Bridgend CF32 0SB 01656 880724

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The Hair Consultancy 47 Windsor Road, Penarth CF64 1JH 029 2070 8111




Sarah’s Hair Salon

Jag Hair


Salon Owners Lance and Claire have built a huge reputation in the Vale and Lance is well known for his exciting and precise cuts. He has clients who travel all the way from North Wales and Ireland and has weathered the storms of many hair fashion trends.

Sarah Jenkins and her trusty sidekick, Sam, have spent the last twenty three years building a loyal client base throughout the Vale and Cardiff. New hair trends, great products and cutting techniques aren’t the only things that can be found here. Nourishing treatments from the extremely popular Moroccan Oil product range, will have your hair looking sleek and shiny this spring, thanks to its anti-frizz and calming control benefits. Expect great service with respectful and traditional values. When a business has been this successful for so long, it must be doing something right and Sarah’s many long standing customers will testify to this. FAMOUS FO R Moroccan Oil treatments. GHD straighteners. New hair trends.

“New hair trends, great products and cutting techniques aren’t the only things that can be found here.”

Jag Hair is a cutting edge unisex hair dressing salon located in the centre of Penarth town and just 20 minutes outside Cardiff city centre. They offer a professional level of hair styling, in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and welcome clients of all ages. Staff are fully qualified and all have a number of years experience in the hairdressing industry. The team at Jag Hair frequently attend catwalk shows and courses to enable them to move forward with the latest hair trends. They have attended workshops working alongside famous names such as Errol Douglas, Lee Stafford, Tony and Guy, TIGI, Patrick Cameron and also assisted with the hair at the Gok Wan fashion road show last year. Jag Hair use a variety of different products such as Matrix, Moroccan Oil, TIGI, GHD and provide their clients with a wide range of services such as Morden and classic cutting, colouring, conditioning treatments, Opti smooth hair up, bridal hair and many more high standard services. You’ll find offers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and discounts to O.A.P customers, Monday, Thursday and Friday and 10% discount to NHS gold card holders. They also have gift cards for all of their services.

Having been in the business for over forty years and before the age of the Internet the team have had great fun in revamping over the years. The whole team love redesigning new and exciting trends. Just recently they created a set of three new looks for the summer - a gent’s with short dark black hair with blue accents with loads of texture and funky hard wax to keep it looking cool and modern, a second beautiful blonde mid length hair with lots of mixed colour from ‘summer lites’ to gentle warm browns and they gave the ends a choppy rough look with plenty of flicks. Lastly they restyled the salon owner and manageress Claire, with a stunning set of red colours and the cut, a short edgy off the face style which really set out the features in her face. All three styles looked amazing and the whole team have loved using their creative talents in this year’s Cowbridge Fashion Week.

Jag Hair

Sarah’s Hair Salon

11 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1ED 02920 705111

14 York Place Barry 01446 733299

Mon to Wed 9am - 5.30pm Thurs 9am - 8pm, Fri 9am - 5.30pm Sat 9am - 5pm

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Fich+Ramous 75 Eastgate, Cowbridge CF71 7AA 01446 775522




The Hair Studio

Gavin Alexander

Blu Hair Design

The Hair Studio in Llantwit Major strives to offer the best in client care and attention, whilst maintaining a high standard of professional hairdressing in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Maintaining high standards is the key to the team’s success and their expertise covers all aspects of hair design from classic to contemporary, at affordable prices. With the growing concerns around chemicals in hair colouring, they are expanding their ammonia free range from CHI Permanent Shine colours. At the end of April they will introduce CHI - PPD Free, one of the first professional ammonia free colours formulated without paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is a chemical that many people are allergic to. As a participating salon in Trevor Sorbie’s charity ‘My New Hair’ they offer a wig personalisation service for those suffering from hair loss. Jacquie, the salon owner, has attended both a specialised wig cutting and advanced after care course with internationally renowned Trevor Sorbie and is proud to be the Welsh regional co-cordinator for his charity A complimentary consultation service with no obligation is available for both prospective and existing clients

The boutique style salon is about to celebrate its fourth year of trading in Porthcawl with news that Gavin is now available for appointments four days a week. The salon delivers the highest standards of hairdressing and customer service under his watchful eye. Gavin’s team of stylists who are all experts in the art of colour, cutting and styling will be able to create that perfect look to suit you, your lifestyle and personality. With a relaxed atmosphere, you will feel pampered from the moment you walk through the door. With a welcoming smile, full consultation and complimentary drinks menu to a relaxing head message and a hairstyle that makes you feel great. The salon has recently introduced EVO haircare products that are luxurious formulations made from the finest globally-sourced ingredients.

Nobody knows better than Alexis, Hayley and the team at Blu Hair Design that keeping up with new trends is vital. That’s why they are one of Penarth’s most popular hair salons and their reputation, fantastic service and trend knowledge continues to grow. “We regularly send our stylists to London for training in the latest hairstyles,” says Hayley. “Hairstyles change with every season and follow the latest fashion trends. We understand that not all hairstyles can be adopted or maintained easily and that’s why we listen to our clients to make sure that what we suggest will suit their personality and lifestyle.” “Of course, the styles also depend on colour, texture and volume. We get to know the hair first before advising on some options for a new style.” All of this is achieved in their boudoir style salon, full of gorgeous gilt mirrors and chandeliers. Alexis adds, “With our busy lifestyles, visiting a salon is one of the few times when we can relax and be pampered.”

A hair extension service will be available in salon soon. You can save money on your future appointments with their client loyalty scheme and with a tiered price menu the Gavin Alexander Salon Experience can become your affordable luxury.

Gavin Alexander Salon

The Hair Studio

53 New Road, Porthcawl CF36 5DH Situated opposite Griffin Park 01656 788 241

Blu Hair Design

Commercial Street Llantwit Major 01446 7955800 Like us on Facebook

1 Washington Chambers Stanwell Road, Penarth CF64 2AF 029 2070 4040

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Mint Hairdressing, Porthcawl has built a reputation for excellence. Vale Life talked with owner Michelle Harris about how the business has grown and what drives her to make it such a success.


Can you tell us about your career? I trained at Public Image in Porthcawl and remained there for ten years as senior stylist. I left there to become a wife and mother. I then worked part time at a local salon before opening Mint Hairdressing. Tell us about your staff I truly believe that I have an elite team of three senior stylists with NVQ2 and 3, of which two are salon assessors and two juniors who are working towards their NVQ. As an all girl team, we all get on extremely well which creates harmony within the salon which benefits our clients. What are your specialities? As well as all aspects of hairdressing, we are certificated wedding hair specialists. We also specialise in hair extensions – single and double hair and have many more qualities over and above the average salons. Mint are Members of the state registered Hairdressing Council. We also value our clients It’s important that our clients feel special as they are important members of our ‘family’.

Here at Mint, we truly believe in the client’s ‘experience’, and we want to make it the very best they’ve ever had. Where do your clients come from? 90% come by recommendation. We have clients from all over – locally and from further afield. Tell us about your products We use Redken which is based on protein reconditioning and is kind to the hair and scalp. These products have natural ph content which protects the skin of both our staff and our clients. We use these products from the basin, in our shampoos and conditioners, through to colouring and retail. We also provide Moroccan Oil treatments. You opened Mint at the start of the recession, that was brave. Yes, many people told me that opening a salon in an area densely populated with salons and at the start of a recession was risky but I believed in myself and my team. I am so grateful to our clients for their custom and loyalty and my team’s determination to make it work. It has all paid off. ❧ 13 ❧

What are your plans for the future? I consider myself to be a successful businesswoman and anyone in business knows that to be successful you can’t stand still. I’m planning more developments within Mint and another salon in the near future. It’s all very exciting. I believe we have a good model here with the team, the products and our offering. Our salon is family friendly and has a lovely warm feeling to it. Our clients feel comfortable – there’s nothing worse than walking into a salon feeling intimidated or leaving feeling robbed. Clients are relaxed and feel confident about the experience and professional service they get here. The Vale deserves another Mint Hairdressing and who am I to deny them? Mint Hairdressing 16-18 Mary Street Porthcawl CF36 3YA 01656 782 088

Stockists of




Hello Gorgeous!

Hairs ‘n’ Graces


This salon has rightly earned its place as one of the leading salons in Penarth.

Acclaimed for its reputation providing excellent service quality and products within the Hair Industry, this Salon has listened to Customers requests and expanded into Beauty and Cosmetic Procedures including Botox, Fillers and Sculptra.

Owner Helen Button opened this unisex hair salon thirteen years ago and, with her team of nine, offers a truly unique service in their large, modern salon.

It might be the stunning decor or the fact that the staff go on courses for cutting, colour and wedding hair up that keeps their diary full but this family-run business ticks all the boxes and attracts young trendsetters and mature fashion aware professionals alike. Male and female clients of all ages are welcome. The salon uses Matrix products which are essential for healthy hair. These products are available to buy at the salon, along with GHD and Moroccan Oil. Hello Gorgeous! operate their own very successful loyalty card whereby clients receive a free cut and blowdry when the card is full. Hello Gorgeous! now offers Gelish nail polish from £20 and for April only, clients can receive a free hair treatment when having a full head of foils (when producing this advert).

Now based at 69 Talbot Road, Clients are delighted with the New Look Salon, opening six days a week offering four late nights , has proved to be invaluable for existing and new clients. This ‘Head to Toe Salon’ offers affordable prices for both Men and Women, using the highest quality products specialising in the full range of Dermalogica Professional Skin Care. Indulge in pure relaxation and pampering in your own exclusive room with a Pamper Party, ideal for Birthdays, Baby showers or Hen Nights, whilst also offering Childrens Pamper Parties from as little as £12 per head.

With up to date styles, they can also offer New Human hair extensions, fashion piercing, Creative Nail extensions, chemical straightening, waxing, fillers and beauty treatments. You'll also find a private new bridal suite offering bucks fizz and canapés, cut and styling to would be brides and their guests. The party's make-up artist can also be invited to complete the offering. Charizma proudly believe that this service is unique to the area. Based in the bustling and thriving village of Pontyclun, with its independent shops, restaurants and cafés, with ample parking and the nearby Talbot Green Retail Park, Charizma attracts customers both locally and also those further afield. One could easily spend a few hours shopping, grab a snack and a coffee and then spend quality ‘me time’ at this friendly, on-trend salon.

FAMOUS FO R Up to the minute staff training for cutting, colouring and wedding hair up. Hello Gorgeous! loyalty card (free cut and blowdry when card full). Hello Gorgeous! are retailers of Matrix, GHD and the fabulously popular Moroccan Oil.

FAMO US FO R Bridal suite offering a one-stop-shop for would-be brides and guests. Large, modern salon. New Human hair extensions. Hairs ‘n’ Graces

Hello Gorgeous! 111 Glebe Street Penarth CF64 1EB 029 2070 4763

69 Talbot Road, Talbot Green Pontyclun CF72 8AE 01443 231 000

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Charizma 11 Llantrisant Road Pontyclun 01443 228484







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“We pride ourselves on presentation and cleanliness and our staff are also very child and mum friendly!”

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It’s been a while since we visited The Little Blue Deli on Thomson Street in Barry. With the popularity of this stylish establishment meaning lots of customers popping in for breakfasts and lunches, we met with owner Jonathan for a relaxing teatime chat and asked him what makes the deli so successful.

AFTERNOON DELIGHT When we last spoke you said that you’ve been overwhelmed by the success of the deli. Are you still as busy? Breakfast times are immensely busy, lunchtimes too with the ladies who lunch and takeaway requests from office workers. We’re also now open on Sundays too and our Sunday roasts have really gone down a storm! You’re open tea time too. Do you ever rest? Tea times are becoming very popular. We have lots of mums who drop by after they have picked the kids up from school. People are busy and our prices are very good so visiting us to eat instead of cooking is much easier and affordable too.

“Visiting us to eat instead of cooking is much easier and affordable too.”

What’s on the teatime menu? There’s always a good selection of home cooked meals. If the kids have had a cooked lunch in school and they just want beans on toast, then that’s fine too. If there’s room for pudding, our home-made cakes, cupcakes or strawberries and ice cream are a surefire way of finishing off their meal and putting some big smiles on their faces.

What about children’s parties? We’re doing more and more of these and I think that’s come about because the children and the mums feel comfortable here. If the kids have been here a few times, it’s not a scary new place but somewhere they feel comfortable. We cater for parties or we can prepare the food, or the parents can pre-order and pick the goodies up.

What do the kids like about the deli do you think? It feels friendly, fun and trendy. They love to visit and to be able to tell their friends about the things they’ve tried. We have opened the building up right through into the garden at the back so there are lots of nice areas to settle in to. Our garden will be enhanced over the easter holidays as our temporary roofs and walls will be removed giving lots more open space. What could be better than a Coconut and Pineapple Smoothie whilst sitting in the sun?

You’ve got quite a following on Facebook. There’s a real sense of community there. We’ve always been passionate about giving our customers the very best and making sure that they feel welcome and at home. I suppose that’s how it comes across on Facebook too. Customers are very vocal and full of ideas and give us lots and lots of positive feedback for which we’re very grateful.

Scan the QR code to visit Little Blue Deli’s Facebook page.

The Little Blue Deli Thomson Street, Barry Vale of Glamorgan CF63 4JL 01446 401101 Like us at littlebluedeli Open 7 days a week 7am til 7pm Monday to Friday 9am til 3pm Sunday

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Wildlife needs somewhere to breed, feed and shelter and your garden can provide the perfect environment. Award-winning gardener Rob Hodge gives us a few tips on how to make our gardens the perfect home for fauna as well as flora.

A BUG’S LIFE It doesn’t take much effort to create a wildlife friendly garden. You can use a small corner or consider the whole garden as a nature reserve and promote yourself to warden. Keep it as natural as possible, look at the surrounding countryside and try to keep the plants as native as you can. Grow plants that will benefit birds and other wildlife throughout the year. Plants such as Buddleja will attract bees and butterflies to its flowers. The berries of Hawthorn, Holly, Cotoneaster and Pyracantha will feed our feathered friends. Honeysuckle and Ivy provide excellent nesting and roosting sites for birds.

All of these plants can provide naturally made hangers for bird feeders which will quickly show you how many different varieties of birds there are around – you’ll be pleasantly surprised once word gets around. Try to create different garden habitats bog gardens and small ponds can attract useful allies. Frogs, toads, newts, damselflies and dragonflies will make short work of many of our most irritating pests. Even a large shallow terracotta bowl or pot can provide drinking water for birds and small mammals and a home for insects. Log piles which occur naturally in woodland provide homes for hundreds of insects and small animals. A pile of logs in your garden can simulate fallen trees and is essential to any wildlife garden. Choose a spot in partial shade and use logs at least four inches thick with the bark still on for the best results. If possible leave dead wood on trees, this is the perfect home for lichens, mosses and fungi which will help to create an excellent habitat for micro-organisms. A well maintained lawn is like a desert for wildlife. It may look attractive to us but provides little benefit for birds and insects. Let a small part grow wild even a small corner will do. It will encourage wild flowers to grow, attracting bees and butterflies and will provide a good, nurturing habitat for ground-dwelling insects. Attracting wildlife into your garden not only benefits the ecology of your local enivironment, but also provides hours of entertainment and education no matter how young or old you are. Children of all ages love bug hunting. Rob Hodge Horticulture 01633 744075

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hülsta at Leekes - the perfect fit At Leekes we have always aspired to offer inspirational looks, extensive choice, innovative design and uncompromising quality. Now we invite you to experience all this and more in the clever world of custom crafted furniture. Step into a realm of endless possibilities at the stunning new hülsta showroom - exclusively at Leekes, Llantrisant. Llantrisant, Cowbridge Road, RCT, CF72 8XU Telephone 0845 050 8240 | Shop online at

midnight sleep walk friday 4 may 2012. millennium stadium, cardiff. Please open your eyes to women who hardly close theirs. Help mums of life-limited children get some much needed sleep by giving up one night of your own.

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Getting married? Having a baby? Sweet Sixteen Birthday party? Parents’ Golden Wedding? No matter what the occasion everyone wants to look and to feel special sometimes. When you want to capture those really important times in your life, get a little help form the professionals. For beautiful photographs that you and your family will treasure for years let us create a unique style just for you. Either at our Studio or out on location the possibilities are endless. Our style of photography is natural and artistic and lets your true personality shine through. Getting great photographs requires team work. So, contact the studio today and we can chat about your dreams and together we will have fun turning them into fabulous images.

Martin Phillips Studio, Porthcawl 01656 771525



Andrew Watts has been a successful retailer for several years trading as No.81 Interiors in Cowbridge. However, when the opportunity arose to open Wales’ first ‘And So To Bed’ store Andrew decided that Cowbridge was the perfect fit. We caught up with Andrew at the newly refurbished store on Cowbridge’s fashionable High Street to find out more about his new venture. You’ve had a very stylish and successful shop on the High street for several years, why the change? My wife and I attended a furniture show in Paris in September 2011. I began talking to a colleague and friend of my brother who happened to be the previous Operations Director for And So To Bed. I was chatting to him about the shop and the town in general and he mentioned that And So To Bed were looking for representation in Wales. I knew that Cowbridge would be the perfect location and would compliment the brand perfectly. I have always loved their products and I soon realised that this was an opportunity that I simply could not refuse. You clearly love the product. Do you think it’s important to like the products you sell? Absolutely. I can only sell a product if I believe in it. Many pieces in And So To Bed’s collections can now be finished to order; with hand-applied finishes in wonderful colours including bright turquoise, Chinese red and silver leaf.

Do you just sell beds? Not at all. Exclusive to And So To Bed is a collection of duvet covers, pillowcases and sheets in natural linens, cottons and silks; some even have lavish embroidery and drawn thread-work. Colours range from snowy whites to vivid moderns. There are also bedspreads, pillows, duvets and sumptuous quilts, together with the ultimate in bed comforts cashmere blankets and throws. Will you have a range of mattresses? The right mattress is an investment in our wellbeing. Too many people rush in to buying a mattress without ensuring it’s right for them. The shop is being extended to incorporate our mattress and divan studio which will hopefully be finished by summer 2012. The studio is designed as a relaxed, quiet environment where customers can leisurely test a wide range of different mattresses. We cover all price ranges and include And So To Bed’s own luxury label together with Vi-Spring and Tempur.

There is also a great selection of perfect neutrals for those seeking pure simplicity. Upholstered pieces too can be tailor-made - in the customer’s own fabric or in And So To Bed’s own beautiful materials. And So To Bed 81 High Street Cowbridge CF71 7YN 01446 771581 @And_So_To_Bed

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Will you be stocking accessories and furniture? The bed certainly may be centre stage, but it needs a supporting cast to really set it off. And So To Bed has a great choice of stylish bedside tables, armoires, chests and dressing tables - as well as many smaller accessories including chairs, mirrors, stools and lamps. Scan the QR code for the latest And So To Bed offers.

We have an impressive selection of accessories and, if we don’t have it here in the shop, we can always order it in specially. My philosophy is all about great customer service and that, combined, with And So To Bed’s ethos ensures customers can rest easy knowing they’ve purchased the right product.

Steve and Claire Bloom have built a kitchen design business on the solid foundations of form and function. Their high quality contemporary designs have many fans, and owners, including celebrities. Their latest venture into living spaces and bedrooms is set to be as successful.

CLOSET ENVY So, when I heard the news that Spacefittingfurniture had installed a walk-in display, I just had to take a look for myself and have a chat to Steve and Claire about what’s possible.

We love designing kitchens and living spaces and, as a consequence, we’ve ended up carrying themes through into bedrooms.

You’ve a reputation for stylish kitchens and living spaces. Why walk-in wardrobes? STEVE It’s a logical step really. We love designing kitchens and living spaces and, as a consequence, we’ve ended up carrying themes through into bedrooms. CLAIRE The bedroom furniture is beautiful but we wanted to be able to offer customers the complete package which can include beds, chests, wardrobes and even lounge units. If they want a simple, clean set of wardrobes and cupboards, no problem, but if they wanted something special like a walk-in closet, we can do that too.

Is it mainly women who want a walk-in wardrobe? STEVE Mainly, but we’re getting a lot of interest from men too. Claire I think it is a girly thing but it depends on the kind of person you are. If being organised is important to you and you value your clothes then this is for you.

Scan the QR code for the latest Spacefitting offers.

So what features are available? STEVE It’s a modular system that can be customised to the space available; whether it’s a box room or an L shape, anything is possible. The great thing about a walk-in wardrobe is that it can utilise an otherwise awkward and unusual space. CLAIRE I love them because they can be tailored to your style. If you have a lot of evening wear, you can have a space especially for those elegant long dresses. Having drooled over the display, my favourite feature that Steve has created is the full length mirror with the shoe store hidden behind. It’s a great use of space and if you’re thinking of having a bedroom makeover, the inclusion of a hidden walk-in wardrobe would be a worthwhile investment. At least that’s how I’m going to justify it! Spacefittingfurniture The Design Quarter 145 Colchester Ave Penylan, Cardiff CF23 9AN 029 2045 5778

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Photography Martin Phillips Clothing by Poppers Model, Heulwen Haf

I’ve always loved the idea of a walk-in wardrobe. Like many women, I love clothes and accessories, so the idea of a space or, preferably, a room dedicated to them fills my brain with very nice chemicals indeed.


“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel

Topshop Rabbit Pencil Skirt £40


With that statement in mind, we’ve put together our A-Z of what’s hot for this spring/summer. Whether it’s bright, floral, pleated, the it-bag or the it-shoe or the latest makeup products or scents, here’s our roundup of what’s in the shops right now. Happy shopping!

HOT SPOT All About Eve Newport and Chepstow


M&S Bird Print Dress £39.50

Winner of the ‘Best Bridalwear in Wales 2011’ at The Welsh National Wedding Awards. With stores in both Newport and Chepstow 01633 243943

But this time were not talking about leopard and zebra print, think more animal silhouettes featuring the likes of rabbits, birds and horse - a follow-on from the iconic Miu Miu collection last summer.

George Bird cardigan £14

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If you want the Harrods look at more affordable prices, then head down to The Queen B, Penarth. This fantastic boutique has fashion forward shoes and bags in every colour and shape imaginable and, at these prices, you can accessorise your new spring/summer outfits without breaking the bank.


The Queen B 7- 8 Washington Buildings Stanwell Road, Penarth CF64 2AD 029 2070 0177 Follow on Facebook Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm

Wallis Black and White Dress £tbc



...IS FO R B &W

Blink Optometrists Cardiff

The monochrome look will always be classy, but this year we’re seeing lots of bold B&W panelling and blocking on structured dresses and work wear.

With one of the widest selections of designer glasses in Cardiff, big brand names such as Guess and Gucci being firm favourites, why not check them out. 029 2049 2121

Missguided B&W Shirt £19.99 ...IS FO R B OAT SHO E

To go with the boat neck tops, Pilot B&W Playsuit £18.99 why not don yourself a pair of deck shoes. Topshop is bringing them back in full force this summer for both men and OT POT women. Plus hit a double trend whammy and get Beulah Dress Agency Cardiff them in a pastel shade!



Quality designer clothing, shoes and accessories for all occasions and at prices that won’t break the bank knowing you’re getting only the highest quality items. 029 2069 1039

Primark Boat Shoes £8

. . . I S FO R B R A ID S

They are everywhere! The catwalk was littered with them in all shapes and sizes. They’re on our shoes, round our writes and holding up our handbags – get plaiting ladies.

Head of Heels plait shoes £39

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Iconic, individual, and glamorous, Biba now boasts a vast portfolio of exclusive designs including the stunning Biba Bridal edit, a premium leather bag line, luxurious Biba home accessories, and a Biba clothing collection bursting at the seams with opulent fabrics and unique prints.

As an avid fan of Bryl’s Boutique on Barry’s High Street, I just couldn’t wait to see what delights owner, Ann Bryl had chosen for the new season. Spring at Bryl’s is always...

SERIOUSLY STYLISH I know this could be said for most boutiques but I speak from the heart, and my purse, when I say that I’m never disappointed when I walk through the door. Ann is introducing an exciting new label for mother of the bride and guests and I must say I was looking forward to seeing the new collection. What are your thoughts on the Spring collections Ann? I get excited each season when the new collections come in, but this season, I’m really excited, especially about the new label but I’ll talk more about that later. I’m seeing lots of colour. Yes, this season is dominated by colour. It’s a recurring theme across all of the brands. The striking shades bring silk blouses and elegant dresses to life, whilst the neutral tones lend themselves to relaxed and wearable separates. Florals are inescapable too with Great Plains’ collection using hyper florals and Japanese style designs and impressionist prints, while Nougat takes a trip to the tropics with Hawaiian inspired bold floral prints in clashing brights.

Classics seem to be en vogue... Yes, style is really back in style. There are lots of nipped-in waists reminiscent of the Forties and Fiftees and pleats are still a firm fashion favourite. Is retro still fashionable? Definitely. All the brands are tipping their hats to the seventies, so it’s still cool to be boho and Vale ladies shouldn’t be in any rush to say goodbye to their inner hippy. There’ll be lots of draped hanker-chief dresses, strapless jumpsuits and beach cool kaftans, meaning this summer could very well be endless. How about footwear? What are Ugg Australia doing? They’ve brought out some amazing flip flops, sandals and wedges for the spring/summer in really pretty neutral shades. If anyone has ever owned a pair of Ugg boots, they’ll know how comfortable they are and the same goes for their summer footwear. They use the best quality sheepskin available which keeps your feet cool and warm at the same time. We’ve also got the new Fit Flop range which promise to tone and tighten your leg muscles while you walk in them.

And your new label? We can always count on French Connection, Nougat and Ted Baker to offer a beautifully tailored or statement piece for weddings, Ascot or the Polo but my customers want and expect something different and I’m delighted to be able to offer it to them. I’ve now introduced Kate Cooper, a brand that cannot be found on the High Street. This label is an extremely feminine and aesthetic collection of timeless and versatile pieces that guarantees to bring out the softer, feminine side of summer dressing. The pieces are stunning boutique-style occasion wear without the high price tag. Our window of Kate Cooper pieces has certainly made an impact! What’s been the reaction so far? Incredible. So many of my customers have said that they almost dread having to buy an outfit for that really special occasion because there’s nothing out there that’s different and everybody ends up looking like clones. That’s not the case with Kate Cooper. The designs, fabrics and colours really make you stand out from the crowd. I only ever order just a few of each size so my customers aren’t likely to bump into someone else in the same design. What do you think customers return to you? It always comes down to good service. I’m also proud to have my daughters Natasha and Lousha working with me. We get to know our customers, know what they like and what suits their body shape and will suggest items that we know will work for them. My prices are competitive. I have a fantastic range of brands that my customers have come to rely on. I really enjoy my job and I think that’s what must come through. Bryl’s Boutique 7 High Street, Barry CF62 7DZ 01446 748246

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“We get to know our customers, know what they like and what suits their body shape.�


. . . IS FO R C RO P P ED TO P S

Time to start doing those sit ups ladies! Because summer heralds the revival of the crop top! If you’ve got the ads flaunt them in some of these great midriff flashing gypsy tops.

Therapy @ HOF Cropped Top £25 cropped top £20

HOT SPOT Covers Dress Agency Roath, Cardiff Like the idea of second hand? Then why not try Covers Dress Agency. It’s a great way to get your hands on quality, designer clothing at a fraction of the cost. 029 2075 6049


Carousel Dress Agency Cowbridge Located on Penny Lane in Cowbridge Carousel specialise in quality garments and accessories up to 2 seasons old. A great place to find your perfect outfit. 01446 772906


...I S FO R C R È M E D E L A M E R

This ultra light edition of the original Crème de la Mer instantly refreshes and hydrates the skin. Activate the broth and release its key ingredients. Pat a small amount between fingertips and press into your face, neck, even under the fragile eye area. Apply day and night for a lifetime. Perfect for the warmer months when you don’t want something too heavy.

There are sugary sweet pastel tones everywhere, its enough to make your teeth rot! Expect to see these girly tones of pink, lemon, blue, lilac and mint green all the way through the summer as they dominated the catwalk this season. Try pairing a blouse with a sweet pleat skirt to nail the trend and look super chic.


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BB Cream is the ultimate multitasking beauty product. It gives skin just about everything it really needs - protection, antioxidants for prevention and enough coverage to conceal imperfections. Apply new Age Defense BB Cream SPF30 under makeup as a primer under foundation for a flawless looking finish. Wear Age Defense BB Cream SPF30 alone to achieve a natural, healthy looking glow.

Monsoon Laura Dress £100

Available from Crème de la Mer counters

Available from Clinique counters



Think last years Christopher Kane for TopShop range but in more feminine prints and lots of real florals - bold and eye catching!

M&S Autograph Photo Print Dress £49.50

River Island Americana Shirt £30

Quite possibly the biggest trend this season expect to see it everywhere in every form. Jeans are a must! Think coloured and patterned skinnies and retro 70’s flared. But there will also be a wealth of shirts, dresses, skirts and shorts. As well as accessories galore. Double trend it by getting pastel coloured denim shorts in time for the summer!


Primark Aztec Espadrilles £16 Wallis Orange Floral Dress £tbc

Check out Estate Lauder’s amazing new collection. With strong yet soft colours, this collection is simply perfect for the spring. Must have’s are the Pure Colour Five Color Eyeshadow Palette in Topaz Mosaic, Intense Kajal Eye Crayons, Illuminating Powder Gelee, Gloss in Citron Kiss and Nail Lacquer in Teal Topaz.


A shoe that just screams summer. Expect to see them everywhere this summer in an array of cute patterned fabrics.



Estee Lauder Topaz Powder Gel

Available from Estee Lauder counters

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Pastel Shades may be huge but so are bold, bright and beautiful jewel colours. Look out for some great colour blocking items in nice expensive looking fabrics.


The brighter the shade the better. But dont just confine this colour to your wardrobe let it adorn your lips too! Many models pounded the catwalk for the S/S12 collection with shocking fuchsia lips.

BHS Fringe and Plait bag £28

HM hotpants £19.95

Spring/Summer trends ultimately mean floral will be back in fashion as it is every year. And this year is no different. Look for bold bright patterns and almost garish retro style fabrics rather than the ditsy prints of last year. This would be a great trend to go vintage on!

Brantano Straw Flower Wedge £24


Not the type you get on your face! Shoes, bags and accessories will be trimmed with western style fringe and tassels. Want to rock this look in a more subtle way? Then try this great fringed trimmed bag.


HOT SPOT Ginger’s Penarth Ginger’s is probably best known for contemporary daywear, but there’s more to this boutique. Eveningwear and a huge range of jewellery and accessories. 029 2070 9773


The winter wind will have taken its toll on your soft skin so now its time to give your skin a bit of TLC. Try one of Crabtree and Evelyn’s amazing hand therapy creams or they’re sumptuous body lotions. Their new Avacado, basil and olive range is to die for.


. . . IS FO R FR IN GE

The catwalk was littered with prints of all shapes and sizes, colours and patterns and the stores this season will be no different. Be as bold as you dare this summer and try some print clashing!

Republic Miso Mirror Leopard Tee £20

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News doesn’t get better than this, especially if you’re shaping up ready for the summer. The Queen B in Penarth, known for its great shoes and accessories, is delighted to offer our readers a 10% discount on all Fitflops™ until 30th April 2012.

FIT! With the recent soaring temperatures, there’s never been a better time to workout your legs without going anywhere near a gym! Fitflops™ are designed to help to improve posture and tighten and tone muscles in the legs and bottom, resulting in a shapelier pair of pins. The Queen B 7- 8 Washington Buildings Stanwell Road, Penarth CF64 2AD 029 2070 0177 Follow on Facebook Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm

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. . . IS FO R HO T PAN T S

HOT SPOT Harts Monmouth

‘Who likes Short Shorts?’ SS12 likes short shorts! Flash that thigh this summer in mega short hot pants. But try them in a bold print or denim to really nail this trend.

With designer evening and day wear on the first floor, to an array of lingerie on the 2nd floor, plus a huge selection of hats to buy or hire. 01600 712804

Urban Outfitters BDG Cheeky Shorts £40


All I can say is think fun bold statement pieces! Lots of leather bags out there at the moment, but look for classic shapes, like the satchel, and try to find bold colour combinations or added metal or appliqué detail. ...IS FO R HAWKES ESS E NTIA LS

This men’s wear store sits at the heart of Cardiff in the Morgan Arcade. Specialising in high quality men’s tailoring and custom fitted suits this is the first (and only) place you need visit for your work wear attire (or your bridal suit).


Next Croc Bag £35

HOT SPOT Italus Cardiff


Brimming with beautiful high quality clothing, and stunning Italian leather shoes and boots. A go to place for ladies with a taste for designer elegance. 029 2048 4694

Pastel blue may be in but on the other end of the blue spectrum so is deep inky indigo blue. This murky almost black at times blue is possibly the new black for this season. So best try to find yourself a LBD (little blue dress) for the summer. Reiss £225

HOT SPOT Image Penarth You’ll find many a discerning, stylish woman shopping here looking for something glamorous - whether it’s a day look or special occasion. 029 2070 2505

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Julie T shares her new brands If you’re a woman who loves to look and feel a million dollars when you walk out of the door, then you probably already shop at Julie T and I’m preaching to the converted. If not, don’t wait any longer to discover what the best dressed women of Penarth on their doorstep.

Owner Julie Turner is constantly on the lookout for amazing new brands that she knows her clientele will love and here she talks of the new brands to hit her boutique in the coming weeks. Sandro Ferrone I discovered this brand whilst on holiday last year and am now the only stockist in the UK. It’s a wonderful brand, easy dresses and tops with that usual Italian flair. Madeline This label specialises in sassy body-con dressing in lovely fabrics and vibrant colours such as lime and yellow. Daisy May This Irish brand has just arrived and is young and funky with bold and quirky designs for the customer who wants something a little bit different.

As Julie quite rightly says, “No women’s clothes are typical day to day wear, these days we have such demanding lives. Forty years ago our parents may have worn the same clothes day in and day out, but now we have so many things to dress up for – from the office and school events, to launches and parties – not forgetting weddings. Speaking of weddings, I stock a range of stunning outfits for the mother of the bride and guests that guarantee to turn heads with fascinators and hatinators to compliment each outfit. It’s astonishing the difference the right clothes can make.” As one size doesn’t fit all in the fashion industry, Julie can alter clothes if necessary to get the perfect fit. Julie T

Amazing Woman Jeans These jeans are a must. With high rise and a great fit for the derriere and in fashionable vibrant emerald, cobalt and fuschia pink.

1 Windsor Terrace Penarth CF64 1AA 029 2070 8784

“Owner Julie Turner is constantly on the lookout for amazing new brands that she knows her clientele will love.” 10

fir % st O or FF de r



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Head Over Heels Savanna £45

M&S Kitten Heel £45

HOT SPOT Katwalk Treorchy With a huge range of occasion

Lose the gloss, this seasons lips are wear with sizes up to 26, hat and fasinators, jewellery, shoe and blurred and matt! The catwalk was bag dyeing service, take the stress awash with tones of out of finding the perfect outfit. berry red and deep 01443 225482 wines. This season’s beauty is about Tom Ford Lip Color being bold but Scarlet Rouge understated. Carry on the vintage glamour feel, think 20’s and 50’s! And forget the lip liner, the just kissed lip is what you’re aiming for.


. . . I S FO R L AC E D R E S S E S

The Skyscraper heel may have been the trend for winter but summer looks set to be a lot more feminine. With all the pastel tones and girly silhouettes the perfect shoe to accompany them is the kitten heel. This low, skinny heeled shoe is simple, elegant and resounds a quiet sexiness. Look for it in nude or pastels and with a sling back. Pair it with a simple colour block dress or to finish off a perfect summer suit.

Miss Selfridge Corded Lace Pleat Dress £45

This trend has been with us for a few seasons now and looks set to stay throughout the Summer. But it is moving away from the figure hugging styles of last season in to a more modest style. Look for a simple sleeveless shift, 50’s style fit and flare or just a bit of lace panel or collar – preferably in a pastel or neutral tone.



Leather may be a fabric associated with the winter, but it has made a few appearances in the summer. This year the biker jacket is how it should be worn. This light weight style is great as a cover up for the chilly spring nights. Look out for one with quilting for a chic look. Try pairing it with the lace dress above for an edgier look.

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Mint Velvet Leather Four Pocket Zip Jacket £249


HOT SPOT Mint Green Boutique Dress Agency Cardiff

Anything shiny! Although this is not a trend for the faint of heart. Look for matt, satin or metallic fabrics in icy blue, luxury gold and spacy silver. Combine this with sportswear for a double whammy.


One of the best Dress Agencies in Cardiff. Why not take a look and you may find yourself a key item for this season at a bargain price. 07793 716532

French Connection Sequin Dress £160

Topshop silver pump £28 Topshop Metal Bag £45

. . . IS FO R N U D E

This trend is hitting big H to T (that’s head to toe for those of you who don’t watch Top Model). You will find some great nude coloured blouses and dresses on the high street. Or if you fancy a more subtle approach try a nude pump and satchel bag


Crew Clothing Nautical espadrille wedges £65


Schuh Betsy T-bar platform heel £60

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Sailor’s Ahoy! The nautical theme is back again for another summer. It seems to have been a bit of a reccurring trend over the last few summers so I hope you saved all those Breton stripes, anchor and ships wheel prints and sailor collared shirts as you’re going to need them. Look out for cute sail boat prints as an alternative. Mix it up by pairing your Breton stripes with bold patterned shorts (try the American flag ones.)


. . . IS FO R O JO N

Introducing five new Ojon hair care rituals that feature highly efficacious, naturallyderived ingredients defined by hair concern – Damage Reverse, Dry Recovery, Volume Advance, Color Sustain and Full Detox. Ojon remains committed to the one-of-a-kind Ojon oil, nature’s golden elixir that created a cult following for its treatmentbased collections.

... I S FO R O R AN G E

Another bright colour that hit it big on the catwalks. This should be worn bright and bold, or as part of a tropical Hawaiian print.


Origins have just recently launched the Plantscription Eye Cream which followed on from the phenomenal launch of Plantscription. This is an anti aging eye treatment that fights the four signs of ageing in just four weeks! Also launching is the new Youthtopia Lift, a firming and lifting cream which helps to recontour, re-define and lift the skin’s appearance.

Available at John Lewis orange espadrilles £29.50

Available at Origins counters


The best dressed women choose Poppers Poppers is now in its seventh year and this year it’s a completely new Poppers, says owner Beverley Soar. “We need to accommodate the current economic climate so, to suit all budgets, we've introduced a host of exciting labels at extremely affordable prices yet still preserving our eponymous unique style. These labels are not found on the high street but are at ‘high street prices’.” Poppers caters for all sizes from 8-22 and prides itself on non-structured ranges which flatter both the slim and more voluptuous lady. Clients are aged from mid 20s upwards and are both local and from all over west and north Wales, Bath, Cheltenham and London. Poppers is favoured by many faces in the media and behind the scenes who invariably seek something a little more quirky and unique.

The collection of statement jewellery from European designers is truly stunning. With prices starting at £19.99 these items bring an outfit to life by adding another dimension. The boutique also stocks fantastic belts, scarves, shawls, and shoes. If you’re looking for a change of direction or want to experiment with your style, why not ask for a personal shopping and styling appointment with Beverley? To quote one internet blogger, “Poppers is responsible for some of the best dressed women in Cardiff.” To help you get on that list, Poppers are offering a £5 voucher for every £50 spent in the boutique and, for all our readers, that’ll be increased to a £10 voucher when you present this article. Poppers Fashion Events are also a must. Check out their website for more details of the next event on April 27th.

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Poppers 75 Pontcanna Street Cardiff CF11 9HS 029 2034 2568

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Style is back in fashion and “Affordable style� as Jodie puts it, is even more so.

THE QUEEN B If you’re fortunate enough to already be a customer of The Queen B in Penarth, you’ll know that this haven of style has had a huge makeover recently. The Queen B was the kind of boutique that women loved before the recent refurbishment but now it’s simply superb. In its commanding position on Penarth’s fashionable Stanwell Road, The Queen B has come of age and owner Jodie Tanner’s vision has been realised. Previously two units, they have now been tastefully joined and a mezzanine area for occasion wear has been created. Why is The Queen B such a hit with ladies that shop in the Vale? Quite simply because it gives them exactly what they want. “We don’t do the hard sell here,” says Jodie, “We listen to our customers – it’s as simple as that.” And she’s right. As I sit watching several ladies browsing through bags, enthusiastically trying on the latest shoes and chatting away with staff, it’s clear that there’s a real connection between staff and customers, and that’s so rare these days. Whether it’s the integrity of the advice, the affordability or the very tastefully designed interior, customers clearly like what The Queen B is offering. “We want customers to feel comfortable. We don’t want them to feel they can’t come in and browse and leave without buying. Our loyal frequent customers know they can do that,” Jodie adds. “And, as our stock sells quickly, we’re constantly bringing in new items. There’s always something different which is why our customers visit us regularly.”

The Queen B has become one of Penarth’s (and the Vale’s) must visit boutqiues. Why? Because Jodie and her team are offering contemporary, age-appropriate and high fashion clothing for women in a good range of sizes. “We just love people. We invest time in customers and get to know them,” says Jodie. The truth is The Queen B oozes professionalism and it’s why this extremely cool boutique is becoming one of South Wales’ real success stories. Style is back in fashion and “Affordable style” as Jodie puts it, is even more so.

“We invest time in customers and get to know them.” ❧ 43 ❧

The Queen B 7- 8 Washington Buildings Stanwell Road, Penarth CF64 2AD 029 2070 0177 Follow on Facebook Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm


Pearce II Fionda One Shoulder Maxi Dress Debenhams £140


Add that little bit of rebel to your look by adding some studded or riveted shoes.

Bertie Gabiano £85


Look out for lots of Deco inspired prints and patterns, drop waists and fringed flapper dresses. Plus Art Deco jewellery will be a big hit and, if you’re brave enough, why not don a twenties hat or beaded head covering (a la ABBA!) If you’ve got the hair for it why not try a slick twenties style with some slick pin curls.

HOT SPOT Rio Llantwit Major Stocking a great eclectic quirky mix of clothing for all occasions this is a store that everyone should check out. With a huge range of brands on offer. 01446 794500

...IS FO R SHO ULD E RS Fiorelli Large Frame Shoulder £75



If you’re not a midriff or thigh type of girl how about some slinky shoulder action. Off the shoulder, cut-out shoulders and one shoulder items will be everywhere.

Next to denim this is probably the biggest trend to come off the SS12 catwalks. Now this doesn’t mean hoodies and trackie bottoms, it’s more about fitted sports wear shapes, silhouettes and patterns. Try H&M for some great metallic shorts and sports jacket combos (double trend!) or M&S for a more understated tennis dress style.


What’s a summer outfit without a hot pair of shades? This season keep in trend with retro or vintage looking frames.

HM pastel Sunglasses £5.99 M&S £39.50

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HOT SPOT Trina’s Aberdare

. . . IS FO R T O M FO R D

If you’re looking for a fragrance that will get you noticed, then Tom Ford’s Santal Blush should be top of your list. This mesmerizing, spicy wood oriental designed around the richly textured creaminess of Sandalwood, and contrasted with exotic Eastern spices, intoxicating florals and sumptuous woods. Santal Blush expresses a modern earthiness and is one of two new scents that exist within the Tom Ford Beauty Cosmetics Collection, the other being Jasmin Rouge.

Trina’s is the perfect place to kit yourself out for all your special occasions. With dresses from Gina Bacconi, Kapaluna, Signature and many more. 01685 881500

Available from Howells, Cardiff

Matalan Tribal Dress £20 ...IS FO R TR IB AL ...IS FO R TAI LO R I N G

We saw lots of tailoring on the Catwalk for SS12, but there is no need to confine this trend to the office. For the ladies light weight summer suits are great for evenings out or try a shorts suit for the cute factor. For the men don’t go too tight fitting, SS12 saw boxy, loose fitting silhouettes in light cottons and linens.

Expect to see tribal prints galore on clothing and accessories. Lots of geometric, mirrored patterns and snake skin, mostly in warm earthy tones but look out for some in brighter colours. The tribal diamond motif will be reflected on everything from clothing, shoes, bags and even jewellery.

M&S Rose Jacket £59


Not an all out jelly shoe, but transparent panels or heels were a big hit. Try to find a transparent kitten heel with metallic heel or accents to hit a double trend!

Primark Crossover perspex sandal £10 HM Tribal Bag £14.99

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HOT SPOT Ushi’s Cardiff Ushi’s is a name known to most Cardiff locals as a store of exquisite home wears and beautiful unique clothing and accessories. 02920 399811


Ok, so this isn’t a trend as we always need underwear and not a lot changes in respect to shape. But here are some of the sets due to hit the shops over the summer.

M&S Nude Lace Slip £29.50


This trend involves mermaid like shapes and fabrics, lots of ocean blues, wave-like patterned fabrics. And look out for some seashells and fish on jewellery and accessories!

Topshop Shoulder Bag £45


I think Vintage should be the word for this season. As anything with a vintage edge or feel to it will be a big hit. We’re seeing vintage style fabrics and scarf prints, vintage silhouettes and shapes, vintage style beauty and vintage accessories. Keep a close eye for 20’s, 50’s and 60’s pieces especially. And if you’re happy OT POT to wear second hand, why not Vintage Pentre go authentic This store encompasses beautiful and buy vintage chic living in all senses. Stocking pieces!


M&S Speziale Meramid Maxi Dress £79

. . . IS FO R V IN TAG E


With so much to see and do in Tenby – four beaches, regular festivals, thriving nightslife, Castles, caves and forts, it’s no wonder that it’s on many people’s top ten of holiday destinations. If you’re looking for a boutique style bed and breakfast perfectly situated between Gumfreston and St. Florence – only two miles from the town itself, then Gower View bed and breakfast is sure to fit the bill. With only two individually styled rooms with en-suites, guarantees you great service and attention to detail. Picture yourself in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ bedroom with superking bed or the ‘Oriental Garden Room’ with kingsize four poster and French doors opening onto your own patio to communal garden.


a huge selection of jewellery, gifts, home furnishings and now cosmetics and baby wear. 01443 440469

Owner Janey Evers, an interior designer, has worked her magic on this property which faces south east and offers wonderful views across to Tenby and the Gower Peninsular. Luxurious Egyptian cotton bed linen and fluffy white towels await.

Topshop Cat Eye Glasses £18

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Gower View Luxury Bed and Breakfast 1 Gower View, Gumfreston Tenby, Pembrokeshire SA70 8RB Contact Janey on 01834 844974


White will always be the colour of the summer I think so this year is no different. Try wearing it head to toe to nail it this summer though. This trend goes for you men too! White shorts or white linen type trousers are acceptable this season, just no long white socks please!

Evans White Lace Dress £80


or palazzo’s are coming back! Look out for them in vintage style scarf prints and more modern patterns. These M&S indigo blue ones are our favourites!

Crew Clothing Healey Jeans £65


If the structured retro looks don’t suit you and your not a fan of the pony tail they try something a lot more natural. Waves are back so ditch the straighteners and add some gel to achieve the wet look which was seen on a number of catwalks.

M&Co Leaf Placement Dress £45



Sheer sexy chiffon and bedroom style garments are going to be great for the hot summer holidays (if you’re leaving the country). Think sheer billowing kaftans and tunics. And even the odd maxi if you’re brave enough to wear it!



And the final colour that you will be seeing everywhere this summer. But this colour will be found in as many shades as you can possibly imagine. From the subtlest of pale buttermilk yellow, to a neon floro and a warm mustard.

Tesco Yellow Dress £25


...IS FO R Z Z Z

To finish us off – PJ’s. There may not be a trend in the pyjama department but most of us still wear them so here’s a great pair currently about to help keep you nice and cozy. Don’t forget the slippers too! Ivory £24 (8-18)

Miss Selfridge Yellow Ombre Dress £47

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Photography by


W H AT T H E B E S T M A N WA N T S T O W E A R 37-39 Morgan Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AF 029 2037 3780


With the cost of heating our homes becoming ever more expensive now, more than ever, choosing the right windows has never been as important. So when local developer Jonathan Powell was choosing windows for his three barn conversions, he made sure he’d done his research. What was challenging about this project? I think the challenge with any development of this kind, particularly in a rural setting, is to choose materials that are sympathetic to the environment and that are in keeping with the building’s construction materials. It was so important to find the right colour for the windows to complement the old stone of the existing barns.

Why did you choose Vellacine? It was important to me that the windows were manufactured locally. Cost was an important factor and Vellacine weren’t the cheapest but, perhaps more importantly, they have an impressive track record, and are well-established with a great reputation so the benefits of using Vellacine far outweighed any perceived cost benefit of cheaper options.

What windows did you choose for barn one and why? We chose the Hybrid composite window for the traditional warmth of timber internally and the contemporary look of the aluminium externally.

Would you recommend them? The windows and doors were fitted over two days in the week that had been arranged in advance. They didn’t let me down and I found their fitters extremely friendly and, I must add, tidy.

Why were the windows in barn one different to those chosen in Barns two and three? We wanted a contrasting style across the development. With large areas of glass on barns two and three having a more contemporary look inside seemed more appropriate. Also it gave a sense of identity to each building which we felt was important.


Mark Nayler of Vellacine explains… The U-value measures how well a building component, a wall, a roof or a window, keeps heat inside a building. For anyone living in a warm climate, the U-value is also important as it is an indicator of how long the inside of the building can be kept cool. The U-value is essentially a measure of heat flow through a building’s elements - in Jonathan’s case the windows. The higher the U-value, the more heat flows through so a good U-value is a low one as you want to keep more of the heat inside. The windows manufactured at Vellacine have a very low U-value and that was one of Jonathan’s high priorities.

“Vellacine weren’t the cheapest but, perhaps more importantly, they have an impressive track record, and are well-established with a great reputation.”

Vellacine Limited The Window and Conservatory Centre Hadfield Road Leckwith, Cardiff CF11 8AQ 029 2022 8578

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If you’ve been asking people to repeat things of late; if you can’t hear people properly when in a noisy room, and you’re of a certain age, then you might be in need of a hearing test. Thankfully, Penarth’s first dedicated hearing centre, The Scott Wroe Hearing Centre, can help. Vale Life talks to owner Scott Wroe.

HEAR HEAR Why did you open in Penarth? For several years, we had a presence in Osmond Drake Optometrists in Glebe Street and built up a client base. This was growing so a clinic in Penarth was the logical next step. Tell me more about the centre. The business was originally set up by my father more than 35 years ago. We’re proud to be a totally independent business. Are you a member of any associations? Yes, I’m a fellowship member of the British Society of Audiology. What can customers expect from the centre? We’re a fully equipped, purpose-built hearing centre which provides advice, information, hearing tests, digital hearing aids and assistive listening devices. The Centre stocks all makes and models from the leading manufacturers of the latest hearing aids and accessories, including modern, discreet in-ear hearing aids.

I’ve heard Live Speech Mapping being mentioned. Please tell me more about this. We have a dedicated room to enable myself and my team to carry out the latest demonstrations of this service. It allows you to see first-hand how effective your hearing aids are in assisting your hearing loss, using real time speech. You will also gain a further understanding of your condition by seeing how speech is reaching your eardrum after being processed via wallmounted displays.

As an independent, we are lucky to be able to offer the most recent technologies, including integrated approaches that allow you to connect your hearing aid with televisions, mobile phones and other audio devices. This aims to give you normality and change your perception of impaired hearing by allowing you to hear as much as possible. What if I can’t get to the Centre? No problem. We are happy to arrange home visits.

Can you repair existing devices? Yes, if they can be fixed, then we can fix them. Why would customers come to you as opposed to opting for the NHS? The NHS does an amazing job given its resources, but what we can offer here is the personal approach. Myself and my team can match your individual needs in the utmost of confidences using the latest technology. Hearing aids have moved on so much from the unattractive devices of old. Nowadays they can be hardly visible which gives the wearer much more confidence. We can also provide a range of colours! We also follow the customer’s journey as they test the device, using our 30 day trial period, at home, in the workplace, with family and friends to ensure its suitability. Aftercare is of the utmost importance and is what brings customers back. If you do find yourself struggling with your hearing, then make an appointment for a consultation and hearing test.

“We’re a fully equipped, purpose-built hearing centre.”

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Mr Charles


“After over twenty years tolerating substantial hearing loss, relieved gratefully by NHS hearing aids, I was assured by them that due to the extent of my hearing loss no advantage would be gained by going private. Imagine my delight after finding out about Scott Wroe Hearing, a locally based independent family owned audiology service who, after a very patient, friendly, professional examination of my hearing loss using the latest state-of-the-art equipment, were able to prescribe and supply me with two ‘Phonak’ hearing aids. These have made a significant improvement to my quality of life, including many things I used to take for granted, especially communication with my grandchildren.

“Scott Wroe Hearing’s dedication to my need and care is a wonderful example to the profession, where sadly this is not always the case. I have recommended them to my friends and colleagues and I know that they all think the same.”

Barbara Hill

Dennis Vickers

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Scott Wroe Hearing Centre Penarth 1 Station Approach Penarth CF64 3EE 029 2070 7760

“Our range starts at £59 which is amazing value for money. We’re committed to ensuring affordability which ensures customers return to us.”

It’s been twelve months of constant improvement at Arbuthnot Opticians. After redesigning their interior, this well-established optometrist has turned its attention to its pricing and aims to simplify its offering... there’s much to celebrate.

RAISE YOUR GLASSES Vale Life talks to Arbuthnot Partner, Sharon Hopkins, about their ongoing commitment to constant improvement. Describe the new offering When we decided to update the interior we wanted to look at the whole offering to customers. We wanted to ensure that all our pricing was clear and transparent making it easier for customers to buy the right glasses for them so we now use all-inclusive pricing. The prices you see marked on our frames include single vision lenses which are: ■ Thinner lenses compared with other high street opticians which means lighter and easier to wear. ■ Hard coated and scratch resistant so they last longer. ■ Anti-glare coated for comfort and safety. ■ To any available prescription (unlike some opticians). ■ Amazing value. Our range starts at £59 now which is amazing value for money. We’re committed to ensuring affordability which ensures customers return to us. Can spectacles be custom made to suit the wearer? Absolutely. Our ability to create bespoke solutions has been enhanced by the recent changes. Now customers can literally choose from a menu to create the spectacles to suit them. Tell us about your EyeCarePlan and commitment to customers If a customer is a member of Arbuthnot’s EyeCarePlan they benefit from extra incentives. We’ve published a leaflet in-store which explains everything and a staff member can help with any queries. There’s a simple list of things we do, and things we don’t.

“Now customers can literally choose from a menu to create the spectacles to suit them.”

What do you provide? ■ We provide the full range of

spectacles to suit every budget. ■ We believe that our ranges from £59

up to £129 complete are simply the best value for money that you can buy anywhere. ■ Our frame ranges above £129 offer excellent value and individuality many of which are exclusive to Arbuthnots in Barry. ■ All ranges include multi layered and scratch resistant anti-reflection or anti-glare coating (MAR) on single vision lenses FREE. ■ All of our varifocals above the budget product also include MAR coating FREE. ■ Offers! 25% off any second pair whatever the prescription. Conversely, there are a number of things that we certaintly don’t do. ■ We won’t do ‘buy one get one free’.

These offers simply mean that the first pair has to be well over-priced to cover the cost of the second pair and, we feel, represent really poor value, especially as the second pair is rarely used. ■ Neither will we do ‘This month’s offer, buy before the end of the month and get...’ This type of offer is simply unfair to our loyal customers whose scheduled appointment may not be for a few months.

We have a new instrument which takes a series of measurements including your own unique ERC (eye rotation centre) measurement, which then allows the lens to be personalised for you. This means our Better range benefits from five times more precision. Our Best range enjoys Sharp vision tailored perfectly to the wearer’s frame, offers improved lower light performance and a wider field of intermediate vision. Does it get any better? It does actually. Our ultimate range is totally individualised for the customer. They are optimised for the wearer’s lifestyle, whether that’s primarily outdoor or indoor and have a balanced design for general wear. Swim away is controlled for head movers and they enjoy superior visual sharpness and improved lower light performance. Will you be making any more changes? We’re constantly reviewing our service. We take pride in offering the very best service to each and every customer and the response we’ve had from customers is that they really like the improvements with many new referrals so we’ve much to celebrate. Arbuthnot’s are Seiko Specialists and Essilor Varilux certified suppliers. They have trained, qualified staff who are happy to help you with any queries.

What else have you done to make life easier for customers? We’ve created a Good, Better, Best Varifocal Guide. We’re offering a Studio Office range which has an enhanced reading lens suitable for reading and when using a computer and a Budget range which features standard plastics and uncoated lenses. Our Good range has the latest freeform technology and benefits from state-ofthe-art back surface design. They have wider clear vision zones and come with anti-glare, scratch resistant coating. The lenses are thinner and lighter and fit all frames and all the usual lens enhancements are available. ❧ 55 ❧

Arbuthnot Opticians 6 Broad Street, Barry CF62 7XP 01446 735551 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter

This is an exciting opportunity to acquire one of only sixteen luxury, two bedroom apartments in the extremely desirable and historic west end of Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan.




The market town possesses a medieval town hall, the ruins of a manor house and a 13th Century church, as well as the foundations of a Roman Villa. It offers a good range of amenities including two supermarkets, library, primary and secondary schools, a swimming pool and other leisure facilities including rugby, football, cricket, bowling, boxing and lifeguard clubs.

Situated in the heart of the historic town of Llanwit Major, St Illtyds Court provides the best of both worlds. A superb central town location within easy, level walking distance of amenities yet less than 30 minutes from Cardiff and the M4.

These apartments combine the highest specifications in build and design with beautiful surroundings and is part renovation of a late 19th Century home and part new build, linked together by a glazed walkway.

The Heritage Coast, known for its cliff top walks, bathing and surfing beaches, lies to the south and west of the down. Further afield, there is the splendid Brecon Beacons National Park to the north, and the beautiful Gower Pensinsula to the west. BUILD E R S

Built by JCW Development, experienced house builders that have been constructing executive houses and larger developments of luxury apartments for over 20 years. This family-run NHBC registered house building company prides itself on its meticulous build quality. Each development is project managed by John and Jonathan Webb with Jonathan based on site to oversee every day to day decision.

With excellent transport links St Illtyds Court are ideally situated within 0.5 miles of Llantwit Major Town Centre and the railway station, St Illtyds Court lies just 5 miles from Cowbridge, 16 miles from M4 (J33) and 19 miles from Cardiff City Centre. Regular rail and bus services from Llantwit Major to Bridgend, Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol, London Paddington, and other major UK cities means you can relax and let others get you wherever you need to go. Cardiff International Airport is just 20 minutes away by road and provides scheduled domestic, European and International passenger flights.

“Situated in the heart of the historic town of Llanwit Major, St Illtyds Court provides the best of both worlds.” ❧ 56 ❧

Each apartment has been appointed to the highest of standards, offering superior style and accommodation. P R IC ES

Prices start from £190,000. A show apartment is open for appointment viewings. All 16 apartments are available to view. St Illtyds Court Llantwit Major Vale Of Glamorgan CF61 1RE For further information or to request a brochure, please contact Watts and Morgan on 01446 773500.


“These apartments combine the highest specifications in build and design with beautiful surroundings and is part renovation of a late 19th Century home and part new build.” ❧ 57 ❧

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CLASSIC & CONTEMPORARY For the discerning furniture buyer with an eye for design and a taste for quality, there is only one place to hang out this spring! Leekes in Llantrisant have just unveiled their latest unmissable attraction and in welcoming award-winning furniture brand Hülsta to their extensive furniture floor, Leekes have ensured their customers now have even more choice when it comes to designing and furnishing their homes. As Lynne Bracey, Furniture Manager at Leekes explains, “Hülsta is a fantastic German brand with an internationally renowned reputation for fantastic quality and excellent craftsmanship; it’s extremely exciting to be able to offer these 21st Century furniture solutions to Leekes customers.” The Hülsta ethos is quite simple – it fundamentally offers huge choice with a wide variety of shapes, styles and finishes, acknowledging along the way that we each have unique preferences when it comes to furnishing our homes. So, customers not only walk away with a room of furniture designed to suit their home, but a look that reflects everything about them and how they like to live.

After all, the Hülsta collections are primarily all about creating sophisticated, timeless designs for today’s home or, as they themselves put it – ‘a modern way of living’. Indeed, it is the simplicity of this ethos that Lynne feels is the key to its success, “When a brand recognises the need to harmonise items either within the same room, or across an entire house, this makes easy work of choosing beautiful, practical and stylish furniture. Storage solutions can be designed to each individual room specification and, as Hülsta can offer the same colour ranges and wood finishes across their catalogue, this means a television stand and bookcase can work effectively alongside a dining table and seating all in one area.

Likewise, a bed complete with night tables and drawers can be selected to contrast or match an entire wardrobe system.” But it’s not just looking good that is important to Hülsta; the brand prides itself on bridging the gap between classic carpentry and modern advances in technology and offers a five year guarantee on all units, as well as a twelve year guarantee on all base frames. “Silently closing drawers and all-metal brackets that ensure longevity of use are just a few examples of the amazing quality of the product,” adds Lynne. And with the wood used to make Hülsta furniture sourced from wellmanaged, sustainable forests, and all chairs designed with ergonomic considerations, there really is far more to this natural look than meets the eye. The new Hulsta collection including bedroom furniture, wardrobes, living storage and dining sets is now on view at Leekes in Llantrisant.

For more information call 0845 050 8240 or visit the Leekes website at

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Vale Life talked with Mr and Mrs Butler of Rhoose, recent customers of Future Window Solutions, Barry.

Were you pleased with the way the work was carried out? The installation team turned up when agreed and completed the job to the highest standards, as promised by Craig. They ensured that all interior decoration was left in a first-class condition and did not leave us until we were completely satisfied with their work. We have always believed in treating workmen like guests to our home and, indeed, the team seemed to enjoy working with us which helped during the time they were here. On completion there was no internal or external damage or mess which was important to us.

What work did Future Windows carry out for you? The replacement of a front door and large lounge and landing windows, as well as an arched bedroom window at the front of the house which was the final stage of our home refurbishment and our criteria was: quality of product, security, capability of the supplier and value for money.

Would you be happy to recommend Future Windows? Following installation, Craig returned to ensure complete satisfaction and we happily paid for the work letting him know that we would be delighted to recommend his company and have told a number of people that Future Window Solutions do a superb job.

Why did you choose Future Window Solutions? It was important to us that we used a local company for the good of the local economy, and the ability to check previous work carried out, together with the confidence that the supplier would be just ‘down the road’.

The new installation has made a significant difference to the look and security of our home and has certainly improved the warmth of the property which will of course reduce fuel cost. We’ve also noticed the new windows deliver more light into the house. Our thanks to Craig and his team for an excellent job!

Spring is in the air, Summer is on the horizon and for those of you thinking about improving or extending your home then new windows and doors or perhaps a conservatory or orangery should be on your ‘to do’ list.

BRIGHT FUTURE Future Window Solutions, located in Barry, are known as suppliers and installers of quality energy efficient windows. They also supply and fit conservatories, orangeries and garage conversions. Vale Life talks to Craig and Dina Harewood, the company’s directors, on why their order books are filling up fast. Why do you think customers come to you? It doesn’t look like things are likely to change any time soon with the housing market so homeowners who may have been looking to move to larger properties, now have to think outside the box quite literally. A conservatory or orangery or a change of use of their existing garage into an extra room could be the only option open to them. What made you move into conservatory, orangery and garage conversions? Purely and simply, demand. As we offer the full design package, we can work with the customer to design to their design requirements and let them see the designs before any changes are made. We understand that people are visual, and seeing a design of how the end product might look is what’s needed to put people’s minds at rest. What’s your connection with Network VEKA? We have a proven track record of providing and fitting quality energy efficient windows and our connection with Network VEKA gives customers added peace of mind.

We approached three suppliers, and decided upon Future Window Solutions who, whilst not being the lowest bidder, met all our key criteria. Craig met with us and after discussing various designs we agreed on a very clear requirement which we believe improved the look of our property. He gave us confidence that his company could deliver, the timescales were acceptable, we were able to view other installations in the area and spoke with a previous satisfied customer. How important was the Network VEKA connection? Security of a supplier is paramount, as the installation of new windows and doors is vital to the value and look of a property. Having a national guarantee through Network VEKA gave us the confidence that, in the unlikely event that anything should happen to Future Window Solutions in the future, we would still be secure because of the national guarantee. ❧ 62 ❧

Mr and Mrs Butler, Rhoose

Future Window Solutions Unit 3C Palmersvale Business Park Palmerston Road Barry CF63 2XA Freephone 0800 032 0921 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter

WIN! A champagne weekend for two worth £750 Think Apartments, one of London’s leading providers of serviced apartment accommodation are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a champagne weekend (two nights) break in London in one of Think Apartments’ four fabulous properties. All you have to do is answer the question below. Visit the Think Apartments website if you need help at All entries must be received by August 15th. Prize must be taken by 31st December 2012. Accommodation is subject to availability. Think Apartments decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The prize is nontransferable and cannot be gifted to any other party.


The accommodation revolution Have you ever stayed in a hotel? Have you every stayed in an aparthotel or a serviced apartment?


How many years has Think Apartments been in operation?




Name Address

Postcode Phone Email If you do not wish to receive details of special offers from Vale Life please, tick here. If you do not wish to receive details of special offers from Think Apartments, please tick here.

Your answer to these questions may be very different, but increasingly more and more guests have experienced and have fallen in love with serviced apartments. Whether it’s for a weekend away or for an extended period of time on business, the freedom, space and comfort that a serviced apartment provides has created an accommodation revolution.

Think Apartment’s driving vision is to provide exceptional value, stylish accommodation that makes guests feel completely at home in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. For more information about Think Apartments, visit If you’d like to book a Think Apartment in the meantime, call 0203 465 9100.

Think Apartments was established twenty years ago and is one of London’s leading providers of serviced apartment accommodation. With over 800 stylish apartments at four convenient central London locations, you can be sure to find an apartment that’s perfect for you. Each apartment comes complete with a fully fitted and equipped kitchen, many with a wet room bathroom and toiletries, stylish lounge with a flat screen digital television, weekly housekeeping, and 24 hour Think reception teams to support you. ❧ 64 ❧

Think Apartments Ltd First Floor, 151 Tower Bridge Road London SE1 3JE Reservations +44 (0) 203 465 9100 Weekdays 8.30am - 6.30pm Weekends 9am - 5.30pm

WIN! WIN! Free hair cut service for a year at Fich+Ramous

A wedding with Grosvenor G Casino To celebrate its recently-awarded wedding licence, Grosvenor G Casino Cardiff is giving one lucky bride-to-be the chance to win their very own unique casino-style wedding, worth over £1,000.

For everyone who doesn’t win but has entered, Fich+Ramous will give you a voucher to be used off your next hair cut service. (£10 voucher for ladies, £5 voucher for gents). For contact details and to find out more about Fich+Ramous see page 11. Terms & Conditions Must enter before the 28th April 2012, If you do not have internet access please pop into the salon to enter. The winner will win 4 free haircuts (one every 3 months) presented as a certificate and must be prepared to have photo’s taken for promotional material. Draw date, June 2012. Full set of T&C’s available in salon.

“Salon Owners Lance and Claire have built a huge reputation in the Vale and Lance is well known for his exciting and precise cuts.”

Grosvenor G Casino Cardiff is the first casino in Wales to be granted a wedding licence. The recently refurbished 20,000 sq ft Welsh venue now offers you the opportunity to tie the knot in one of Cardiff’s leading casino and entertainment venues, with a range of wedding packages available, plus great value food and drinks to delight your wedding party. Grosvenor G Casino Cardiff is ideal for a great night out. With free entry seven days a week, Grosvenor G Casino Cardiff offers a wide range of gaming facilities for beginners and experienced players. It also offers an extensive drinks menu in its contemporary lounge area with five large plasma screens for watching live TV, a stage providing a platform for exciting entertainment and great value food in the restaurant. It really is an amazing venue and a great night out!

To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the question in the box below and either post your entry to: Grosvenor G Casino wedding, Vale Life, Cardiff House, Cardiff Road, Vale of Glamorgan CF63 2AW. Or email your answer and contact details to Please type Grosvenor G Casino wedding as the email title. Closing date 31/07/12. For more information please contact Grosvenor G Casino Cardiff on 029 2046 8350 or visit the casino at Grosvenor G Casino Cardiff, Red Dragon Centre, Atlantic Wharf , Hemingway Road, Cardiff, CF10 4JY. Keep up to date with the latest G Casino Cardiff news. Follow on Facebook at

Tweet or Facebook Fich and Ramous saying ‘I LOVE FICH + RAMOUS’ and we will enter every name received into a prize draw to win a free hair cut for a year.

Celebrate your special day in style with a Vegas style wedding - a definite showstopper that will have your guests talking about your big day for many years to come. This amazing prize will include a lavish ceremony complete with a dressed room and registrar, a delicious buffet style wedding breakfast for 80 guests, a champagne toast to the bride and groom and a DJ to get you and your guests dancing until the early hours. All you need to worry about is your dress!


How big, in sq ft, is the newly refurbished Grosvenor G Casino Cardiff?




Name Address

Postcode Phone Email If you do not wish to receive details of special offers from Vale Life please, tick here. If you do not wish to receive details of special offers from Grosvenor G, please tick here. Terms and Conditions: ■ Entrants must be over 18 years of age ■ Entries close on July 31 2012 ■ The prize includes a champagne toast, dressed room and registrar, buffet for 80 guests and a DJ ■ The prize does not include wedding attire, cars, complimentary drinks at the wedding reception, flowers, wedding cake or anything other than the items specified in the point above. ■ The prize must be taken by the following date: 30th November 2013.

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You Choose Your spa day, your way


A choice of any 55 minute treatment Relax in our four relaxation zones Full use of our extensive leisure facilities Robe and slippers Light lunch

Only £79* | Tel: 01443 665888 Hensol Park, Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY *Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. £10 supplement for Saturday. No other offer or discount applies.

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Dinas Powys is among the largest villages in the Vale of Glamorgan, with a population approaching 9,000. Given that the capital city, Cardiff, is less than ten minutes away, the area is surrounded by beautiful and expansive countryside.

DINAS POWYS On a day to day basis, shopping is comprehensive and within the village square itself, there are a number of historic public houses and traditional shops.

Dinas Powys has its own common where rugby is played in winter and cricket in the summer. There is also a tennis club, bowls and two golf courses. Commuting is served by train stations at Dinas Powys and Eastbrook with parking facilities. Popular with residents and visitors are the Music Festival and Village Show in the summer months and the Dickensian Evening in the old square in the weeks leading up to Christmas. All in all, Dinas Powys exudes charm with plenty to do.

If you’d like to see more pictures of Dinas Powys visit Thanks to Jon Coombes estate agents, 14 Cardiff Road, Dinas Powys for assistance with this article. www.

Bank of Flowers

Dinas Vets

Head to Head

If you’re looking to send flowers to the one you love, a friend or fancy a pick-me-up for yourself, then look no further than local florist, Bank of Flowers.

Dinas Vets, a new family run business, will ensure that your pet is in tip top condition, in a modern environment offering good old fashioned service.

When you’ve been in the business for 21 years, you must be doing something right. Given that most of the salon’s business comes from recommendation, that must truly be the case.

Servicing Cardiff, Penarth, Dinas Poyws, Sully, Barry and surrounding areas since 1989, their experience and service are second to none. Kate, Mandy and Emma have a wealth of knowledge on all things floral and can create a bouquet or arrangement to suit every occasion and budget. Can’t get to the shop? No problem as Bank of Flowers can help you via telephone or online.

“We’ll treat your pets as if they were our own, treat our clients as individuals, and take time to explain treatment options, likely outcomes and prices. Estimates of proposed treatment will be given; clients are fully aware of recommendations and costs,” says Practice Principal, Emily S. Ward-Smith.

Cardiff Road Dinas Powys CF64 4JS 029 2051 3273

47-49 Cardiff Road Dinas Powys CF64 4JS 029 2051 3838

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This spacious salon affords a very pleasant view and attracts customers locally and from around the Vale and Cardiff. Staff attend regular training courses and offer on-trend cutting and colouring techniques. The salon uses Matrix products and is also a retailer for Matrix, Moroccan Oil and Ghd. Staff training nights are on Thursdays. Walk-in barber service available. 5 Station Road Dinas Powys CF64 4DE 029 2051 4422

What services do you offer? As an Independent Funeral Director and member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), we remain committed to reducing the cost of funerals locally and can tailor funerals to the exact needs and budget of our clients, whilst still providing a dignified and professional service. We also offer a choice of bespoke pre-paid funeral plans which we offer through Golden Charter, the largest provider of funeral plans to Independent Funeral Directors in the UK. We are very proud to have won their National Funeral Planner of the Year Award in 2005 along with their Regional Funeral Planner of the Year for 2005, 2010 and 2012.

Green Willow Funerals How long has Green Willow Funerals been established? Green Willow was established in 1997 and is solely owned by the Trustees of the Cardiff YMCA, however we are managed and run independently by a staff dedicated to providing a 24 hour family centred service. Our profits are donated to the Cardiff YMCA and help further the good works they undertake in the local community, particularly with disadvantaged young people.

We have a team of seventeen staff who work between our three funeral homes in Dinas Powys, Cardiff and Newport. We also work closely within the community with the Clergy and other officiants such as Humanist and Civil Celebrants. How far an area do you cover? The south Wales area. However we regularly assist in out of area funerals and repatriations from abroad.

Why do customers choose you? At Green Willow Funerals we remain committed to reducing the cost of funerals locally and can tailor funerals to the exact needs and budget of our clients whilst still providing a dignified and professional service. Green Willow Funerals 21a Station Rd Dinas Powys CF64 4DE 029 2051 4627

Elltec Solar Hilary May explains why she and her husband chose Elltec Solar Electricity to install their solar panels.

Unless you point them out, people don't notice the solar panels on the roof. And they make no sound whatsoever.

Solar makes sense We've always wanted solar panels for our home and when the government introduced the Feed-in Tariff, a scheme that pays homeowners for the solar electricity they generate, it gave us the push we needed.

Davies and Jones Davies and Jones Optometrists have six practices, one of which is in Dinas Powys.

Earning you money We had some savings that we had earmarked for home improvements. Rather than spend on a new bathroom, we decided to invest in a solar electricity system that would not only add value to the house but earn us some money too. Experience is everything We chose Elltec Solar Electricity because they have been installing solar electricity systems for six years, so they are established and very experienced. We were very impressed with their portfolio, which includes large-scale projects like libraries and hospitals as well as homes. It took a little less than a week to complete the installation.

For more information on how Elltec Solar Electricity can help you reduce your energy bills call Richard Ellis on 01443 223366. Elltec are proud to hold a Green Dragon Environmental Certificate Level, which demonstrates the company's achievements and commitment to environmental management.

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They provide the best possible patient care, have invested heavily in the most up to date clinics. The practices are owned and run by Lionel Davies and Ian Jones who have both been involved with the development of the profession through national and local optical bodies. All of their optometrists are Members or Fellows of the College of Optometrists and all hold Welsh Eye Care Initiative and Primary Eye-care Acute Referral qualifications. Davies and Jones Optometrists 84 Cardiff Rd, Dinas Powys CF64 4JS 029 2051 4089

VALE BUSINESS In association with The Business Centre S OUTH WAL E S

Martin Evans Specialist Decorators When your home or business is in need of decorating, your first port of call should be Martin Evans Specialist Decorators. We talk to business owner Martin about the importance of hiring professionals for the job.

What services do you offer? Interior and exterior painting and decorating, specialist paper hanging and wallpapering, architectural plastering and restoration of plasterwork. We also undertake fibrous plastering. We offer these services to residential and commercial customers. What areas to you cover? Cardiff, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan and South Wales.

What’s your background? On leaving school I started work in my father’s painting and decorating business. I then attended Llandaff Technology College obtaining an advanced City & Guilds in Specialist Decorating. After this he worked for five years as a supervisor in the public sector learning how to manage projects, leading a small team and obtain a variety of skills that have served me well in managing my own business which I established in 1988 and it’s grown steadily since then.

Why are you in demand? I know it’s a cliché but we do go the extra mile. We work with clients from the outset planning and budgeting. Good preparation will ensure a longer lasting finish which is more cost effective. We do not jeopardise quality by cutting corners. We use only the best paint products provided by Dulux to ensure longer lasting quality.


everyone, from family holiday-goers, cruisers needing to connect to their ship or those seeking a romantic or fun weekend away. With prices starting from as little as £30 one way, I believe Vueling is going to be a popular choice this summer. Why fly from elsewhere when you get such great fares to Spain from your local Airport?

Flying High with The Media Angel Based in Penarth, Alison Debono’s media planning and buying business already has an impressive list of clients after just four years across both the public and private sectors, including The National Trust, Keep Wales Tidy, Cardiff Airport, including campaigns for Thomas Cook, Thomson, KLM, Flybe, Vale Hospital and high end interior companies such as GW of St Clears and Spacefittingfurniture. We caught up with Alison to see how things were shaping up in 2012. How’s business Alison? Great. As well as developing new strategies for my existing clients, I’ve taken on several more which is very exciting as each is so different and requires a different media mix. Anyone we know? I’m delighted to be working with Cardiff Airport on the launch of Vueling, Spain’s leading low fare airline, which flies from Cardiff to Barcelona, Alicante and Palma, three times a week to each. This airline is perfect for

What about the exterior? Painting the exterior of a property can be a daunting task. Our painting and

How do you keep things fresh? I am constantly developing ideas to help clients attract new business. As well as sticking with what we know works for each client, we use appropriate social media channels such as Facebook adverts which are proving popular, to text mechanics and QR codes, to help us accurately gauge response. Having worked across a variety of media; TV, radio and publications, and with over 12 years marketing experience, I’ve helped many organisations get great results by selecting the right media mix for their budgets. The reason clients choose The Media Angel is because they like to have one professional, experienced, 100% impartial contact to deal with who really gets a thorough understanding of their business and brand. They simply can’t afford the time to deal with the marketing themselves and want to feel confident that it’s in safe hands. ❧ 70 ❧

decorating teams are fully compliant with Health and Safety law and we can provide scaffolding for your property if it is over two storeys high. Whether your exterior is pebbledash, roughcast, Tyrolean or any other rendered surface, we can cater for it with a wide range of equipment at our disposal. We use many different methods of application, including spraying (we will advise of this on quotation). We can also paint sash windows, repair sash windows, paint front doors and repair windowsills. Martin Evans Specialist Decorators 07990 995812 029 2070 8691

As the economic climate doesn’t look like it’s going to improve for a while yet, there’s never been a more important time to look at your marketing spend. Working with an advertising agency such as The Media Angel can ensure that whatever your budget, whatever the size of your business, your budget is invested for maximise exposure to get you more business. If you’re looking for some advice, fresh ideas and assistance with your marketing or perhaps you may need to in-source some marketing expertise to work alongside your company, it will be a lot easier with The Media Angel looking out for you.

The Media Angel 07793 355 305 029 2070 7967



Smooth Starts – an extra pair of hands

Vale bitesize news

To say that having a baby is a life changing experience would be an understatement. In the lead up to the birth and for a while after while you adjust, the day to day running of the home can be quite stressful. Now, thanks to Smooth Starts, help is at hand. This home help service can help with all aspects including housework, ironing, laundry, meal preparation, shopping, driving and much more. They can even walk the dog! Designed for families who are expecting a baby, have just had a baby or just adopted, Smooth Starts covers the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff areas and can work for as little or as long as needed.

“Having a baby should be enjoyable, not a chore. Get the help you need with Smooth Starts.”

The service also offers Babycalm Postnatal/Antenatal workshops and a postnatal depression support group (affiliated to Pandas Foundation). Vouchers are available. Having a baby should be enjoyable, not a chore. Get the help you need with Smooth Starts. Smooth Starts are available from 7.30am to 8.30pm, seven days a week. For more information please email Samantha Gately at



VIP EyeCare On a balmy spring Saturday, loyal direct debit customers of Arbuthnot Opticians enjoyed a range of new spectacle collections as well as entering into a raffle draw for some amazing prizes. The lucky winners of the raffle were as follows: Mrs Jennifer Ashley, Mrs Lloyd Jones, Mrs Ann Hill, Miss Helen Reid, Danielle Pitcock, Mrs Rita Jones, Miss Naomi Cox, Mr John Webster, Miss Hannah Reid, Mrs Pan Taylor, Mrs Amy Jackson. Arbuthnot Opticians 6 Broad Street, Barry CF62 7XP 01446 735551

Food For Thought celebrates anniversary Congratulations to Nathan, Sarah and the team on the anniversary of their first year at Food for Thought, Barry since Nathan’s father Dave retired.


The Queen B Congratulations to The Queen B on their recent refurbishment. Customers old and new like what they see! The Queen B 7- 8 Washington Buildings Stanwell Road, Penarth CF64 2AD 029 2070 0177

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Five years ago, when the launch issue of Vale Life was a mere twinkle in our eyes, local AM, Jane Hutt, was opening The Business Centre in Barry. The economy was bouncing along nicely and hopes were high that this innovative idea for the Vale was going to become a shining beacon of entrepreneurial advancement.

So what happened? Well, despite the economic meltdown in the global economy, the failure of the banks and the closest we’ve come to societal Armageddon since the 1930’s. What’s happened is, well, exactly what was supposed to. We talk to Centre Manager James Mason. James, how are things at The Business Centre? Excellent. Thank you. We can’t complain at the moment! Is this PR speak or are you actually doing okay? We are, really! Capacity is around 94% at the moment and that’s about as good as it gets in the serviced office sector. When Jane Hutt was opening the centre in 2007 could you imagine how tough things were going to be over the next five years? Truthfully, no. I don’t think any of us could have imagined the rollercoaster we were just about to get on. I won’t pretend it’s been easy but I think our facility has helped a lot of businesses. For example, we have clients that have closed their expensive offices in Cardiff and moved here. Even in our sector I think we’re competitively priced, so that’s helped several companies make the move to us who were already tuned in to the idea. I think challenging times also create opportunities and we’ve seen many new entrepreneurs and start-ups come through our doors.

They want fixed costs or wish to reduce operational overhead. The Business Centre offers the ideal solution. Was it easy to sell the concept back in 2007? Once companies understood the concept of flexible, serviced office space at The Business Centre, they could see the many advantages it has over running their own premises. For example, most companies these days would be nervous about signing up for a ten, fifteen or twenty year lease and that’s assuming they can get the finance approved. Add to that all the set-up costs for staff, IT, telecoms etc and you’re looking at serious money. What we do is take a lot of the risk out of that. Have you had to change with the times? Of course. The basic principle is there but besides the flexible serviced office space we’ve brought in the shared office suite concept, virtual office facilities, conference and meeting room hire and added an IT Training Suite. And we support our tenants and staff with a free inhouse gym, free car parking and a good quality on-site café facility. The Business Centre also provide extensive business support facilities such as secretarial services and the latest technology, with IT and telecoms infrastructure - helping businesses concentrate on doing business. What type of business uses The Business Centre? We can provide a flexible service tailored across the whole ❧ 72 ❧

Scan the QR code for the latest Business Centre offers.

spectrum helping new start up businesses, freelancers or single operators, medium sized businesses and national companies. Our tenant list is varied: financial consultants, web designers, publishers, Curves, The Beauty Spot - a hair and beauty salon,, recruitment consultants, security companies and many more. How quickly can a business get set up? We’re committed to provide a business with a fully serviced office suite ready for your arrival, with no hassle, no capital outlay and next to no downtime. I’m confident we can provide a new tenant with a fully serviced operational office suite, equipped with IT and telecoms infrastructure within 24 hours of viewing.

The Business Centre is part of the family run Masons Moving Group Ltd, founded in the Vale in 1905 with a family desire and inspiration behind it.

Where do you see The Business Centre in five years? Our occupancy will have increased steadily. Our flexible agreements, short notice periods and cost-effective office space will provide ourselves and our tenants with a platform on which to build a strong business model and I’m confident we’ll go from strength to strength.

“We’re committed to provide a business with a fully serviced office suite ready for your arrival, with no hassle, no capital outlay and next to no downtime.


The Coffee Zone is a great place to hang out Since The Coffee Zone at The Business Centre opened three years ago it has become a great place not only to enjoy a range of superb refreshments but also an excellent chance to enjoy relaxed meetings or just catch up with colleagues. Everyone is welcome and The Coffee Zone welcomes members of the public and other businesses from the Ty Verlon Estate. You’ll find excellent Segafredo coffee, beautiful freshly made baguettes, paninis and cakes here, as well as popular fresh specials such as their enormously popular chicken curry. The Coffee Zone is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday at The Business Centre.

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For more information, please contact James Mason or Nathan Paget Follow The Business Centre The Business Centre Cardiff House, Cardiff Road, Barry Vale of Glamorgan CF63 2AW 0800 6349920

There’s never a better reason to gather family and friends than Sunday lunch. You can either cook a roast and invite guests around or, even better, why not treat yourself, take the day off and visit one of the many fabulous eateries we have in the Vale of Glamorgan. Here are a few of our...




The Watermill Location is everything

Picture this, a lovely drive through the Vale, passing seaside villages and stopping for a delicious Sunday lunch at a coastal pub. Sounds perfect doesn’t it. The Watermill, in Ogmore By Sea is a Brains pub with a difference as it’s one of five Vale pubs picked by Brains as their premium sites. Location is one reason, the other is the new management team whose job it is to ensure that food quality is paramount and all produce is locally sourced. The fishmongers at Swansea Fish are on speed-dial, as are Castell Howell, Carmarthen and Celtic Pride for meat supplies. Total Produce supply the vegetables as do local suppliers. Manager, Michelle, shares the secret of this popular pub’s success.


Good food and a relaxed atmosphere at Arboreal Why do you think Sunday Lunch is so special at Arboreal? The wood-burning oven is a fabulous feature of the lunch. The open kitchen lends itself to creating a real home atmosphere where quality locally sourced ingredients are cooked to order. Do you have a signature dish? We actually have two signature dishes. Slow roasted shoulder of pork cooked overnight in the wood-burning oven accompanied by the perfectly crispy crackling. Then there’s the rib eye steaks that are cooked to order individually to get that perfect piece of beef. Both dishes are served with magnificent Yorkshire puddings and organic seasonal vegetables. Who are your Sunday diners? A lovely mixture of people. The day lends itself to those who enjoy lovely food in a relaxed atmosphere. Our Sundays are getting busier and busier. So we’re guessing that the roast is getting more popular with our loyal customers and word is spreading to bring in new ones.

Why do you think Sunday Lunch is so special at The Watermill? The location is a bit hit as we’re not far from Ogmore by Sea and Southerndown and quality produce. When you pay more on good produce, it’s reflected in the taste. Do you have a signature dish? The beef is always popular and, as we’re coastal, there’s always fish on the menu.

Describe your wine list. The wine list is simple but excellent and introduces some lovely new age wines. Our house wines are particularly good and reasonably priced.

Who are your Sunday diners? We get many local people but also people who drive through the Vale and call in. We get a lot from word of mouth too.

What can you offer children? Lots of our customers bring their children on Sundays... we offer the littlies a mini roast version.

What can you offer children? Children can have the same as the adults, albeit smaller portions (they’re not that small though!)

How about the prices? Our pricing structure is simple and reasonable too! £5 for starters, £12.95 for mains and £5 for desserts.

How about the prices? For adults a single course it’s £9.95 and for children, £4.95.

Arboreal 68 Eastgate, Cowbridge CF71 7AB 01446 775093 Follow on Twitter Like on Facebook

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The Watermill Ogmore Road, Ogmore By Sea Bridgend CF32 0QP 01656 650562



The Wenvoe Arms - a village pub transformed

The Market Place A perfect destination

The Wenvoe Arms, as it stands today is not as you probably remember it. In the past it has had several managers and had fallen into disrepair. Not so today, it has been transformed thanks to the hard work, personality and hard cash of landlord Chris Teague. Chris has drastically overhauled the menu, redecorated throughout, added three new outside areas and worked hard on sourcing top quality wines and beers, including World beers and lagers, cask ales and guest ales. As with any good local pub, events are high on the Wenvoe Arms agenda. On a regular basis these include live acoustic music, comedy nights, quiz nights every Monday and Sky Sports (sports bar only). There even a new decking terrace opening party on the 6th April and to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will be The Wenvoe Music Festival, Garden Party and Family Fun Day which will run over two days (Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th June). We talked to Chris about why more and more customers are booking Sunday lunch. Why do you think Sunday Lunch is so special at The Wenvoe Arms? It has to be our roasts. A good Sunday lunch always starts with good meat and we are proud that all of our meat comes from David Lush of Penarth. Our vegetables are also locally sourced. Roasts are served every Sunday from noon to 5pm, with a choice of meats served with homemade roast potato, Yorkshire puddings and as many vegetables as you can eat. We also cater for vegetarians.

Do you have a signature dish? Beef and pork are always hot favourites. Who are your Sunday diners? We have the local regulars but we’re seeing more and more new faces as the good word is spreading. Describe your wine list. Unrivalled! We have a great range of wines on offer and obviously there are our beers, lagers and ales. We’re proud to have recently gained Cask Marque accreditation for the quality of our beers. We also serve Gwynt y Ddraig Welsh cider and Budvar in bottles. What can you offer children? We can offer smaller versions of the roast dinner as well as dishes from our main menu. How about the prices? Our roasts are £9.45 and £5.25 for children. The Wenvoe Arms 18 Old Port Road, Wenvoe CF5 6AN 029 2059 1129 Like us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Sky Sports available

Why do you think Sunday lunch is so special at The Market Place? Set in one of the most historic buildings of the wonderful town of Cowbridge, it exudes a timeless atmosphere in modernized surroundings. Their first class menu and wine list, incorporating a selection of three roast lunches, is a great way to spend a Sunday with family and friends. Do you have a signature dish? Yes, boned rolled and stuffed pork belly served with our homemade black pudding and feta sausage which we braise for five hours then crisp under the grill. We serve it with roast garnish, apple and rosemary compote and crackling, which works beautifully. What can you offer children? We offer a child’s portion of each roast dish. We can also offer chicken or fish goujons or simple home-made tomato sauce and fresh pasta, although the roast is by far the most popular. How about the prices? Our three roast, Sirloin of beef, leg of lamb and the signature pork belly are all priced at £11.95. Our chefs have always prided themselves on providing the best Sunday lunch for many miles around at a really affordable price. Everything is made in the kitchen from the red wine and thyme gravy (no granules) to the fresh horseradish cream and apple compote.

SPECIAL SUNDAY LUNCH PROMOTION TWO SIGNATURE DISHES £12.95 Starter signature dish Chilli marinated seared sirloin salad with coriander leaf, lime, garlic and honey dressing, parmesan (A la carte price £5.95) Main course signature dish Rolled, braised and roasted belly pork, filled with garlic and rosemary, served with feta and black pudding sausage and all the roast trimmings. (A la carte price £12.95) Must pre-book table and quote ref code SPV. Subject to table availability. Promotion is valid from April through to May 2012. Please cut voucher out and present to your server.

BOOKINGS 01446 774 800

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To be in with a chance to win Sunday lunch for two at one of our featured Sunday Best establishments, like Vale Life on Facebook.

Photograph courtesy of Oaklands Organics



Quality choice at the Aubrey Arms

Sundays are special at The Quarter Penny Café

With its prime location on the A48, and its recent refurbishment by Brains in January 2012 it's no surprise that this traditional but contemporary pub is enjoying a growing list of devotees

Why do you think Sunday Lunch is so special at The Quarter Penny? Sundays at the Quarter Penny are getting busier by the week due to our fantastic beef and lamb supplied by Pwll-y-Wrach Farm in Colwinston. Vegetarians are well catered for with our nut roast served with veggie gravy. We believe our Sunday roasts cannot be beaten for flavour or value for money. Main courses are only £8.95 and you can have two courses for £12.95. Our full everyday menu is also available on Sunday for those fancying something lighter including breakfast served all day.

The contemporary style, mismatched furniture, feature open fireplaces and modern touches are very welcoming. Managers of The Aubrey, Neil and Lorraine Revers, talk us through what’s special about their Sunday lunches. Why do you think Sunday lunch is so special at The Aubrey? Our menu is varied with something for everyone, and we source quality produce from local suppliers that we trust. We change our menus regularly to keep things fresh and interesting, and so we can use whatever’s in season. We have a great selection of roasts with Celtic Pride rib of beef, roast loin of pork or turkey. And for those wanting something less traditional there is a selection of burgers, chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes. What do you offer Vegetarians? We pride ourselves on providing a good selection of vegetarian options on our menu. Currently we have a delicious mixed grains, blueberry and strawberry salad with roasted seeds and nuts or a wild mushroom and spinach lasagne with tomato, basil and red onion salad. What can you offer children? There is such a good selection of options on our menu, that our younger customers are spoilt for choice.

Do you have a signature dish? The roast beef. We slow cook it for five hours on a Sunday morning to make sure it’s tender and pink. The roasties are fluffy Maris Pipers, honey roasted parsnips and a selection of seasonal vegetables plus delicious home-made gravy. We also do a children's portion for the roast dinner at £4.95 as well as a full children’s menu. Who are your typical customers? Sunday diners are varied, they range from locals to visitors from further afield, young parents with toddlers to great grandparents and everyone in between. Our menu has so much choice, there is something for everyone; our brunch burger is a big hit on a Sunday, particularly with the twenty somethings! What about the prices? Our philosophy is to keep everything on our menu under £9. We don't do special offers, we just offer good value for money all the time. That way, we aim to offer a choice for everyone, whatever their budget.

What about prices? We offer good quality food at affordable prices with most of our dishes coming in at under £10. And our delicious Celtic Pride sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce offers great quality and taste at only £14.95.

Sunday is the only day of the week that we take bookings and we recommend that you do so to avoid disappointment.

Aubrey Arms Bonvilston, Cardiff CF5 6TQ 01446 781210

The Quarter Penny Café 54 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AH 01446 774999 Follow at @quartpennycafe


Social Life covers launches, parties, exhibitions, charitable events, fashion shows, engagements and weddings. S T D ON AT S CAS TL E

Annual Christmas event of the VMG

The VMG, whose members are all local business owners, works to promote the Vale as a destination for visitors and tourists essential to the economy of the area. The event was opened by Mandy Davies , VMG chair, and excellent addresses were given by Jane Hutt AM, Jonathan Jones director Visit Wales, Elfed Roberts Eisteddfod CEO and Phil Chappell Creative Rural Communities.

Photos courtesy of Gary Were Ffotosolutions.

The Vale Marketing Group, Tourism Association for the Vale, held it’s Christmas event in the dramatic setting of Bradenstoke Hall, St Donats Castle.

Jonathan Jones, Visit Wales Director

Jonathan Jones speaking with Jane Hutt and Cllr Anthony Ernest




Wales Tourism Week celebration A Special Event to celebrate Wales Tourism Week 2012 was held at the Cory Education Centre at Dyffryn Gardens recently. Cllr. Anthony Ernest, Cabinet Member for Tourism opened the event, Amelia Knevett read her poem on why she loves living in Wales and a very interesting talk was given by Tricia Cottnam (Coastal Access Officer, Vale Council. Guests were given a tour of the new Great Glasshouse and rooms of Dyffryn House followed by refreshments of Welsh cakes and Bara Brith.

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Open evening at St Andrew’s Grange Guests enjoyed an open evening at high-end housebuilder Waterstone Homes’ luxury new development in Dinas Powys recently. Gareth Jones, Andrea Gardner and Simon Jehu

The opening evening was to launch the new show home and guests were treated to champagne, canapes and live music from a string quartet. The event was very well attended and guests included former Cardiff City player Damon Searle. For information on Waterstone Homes please contact Andrea Gardner on 07966 999 071.

Show Home opening

Leighton Morgans, Simon Jehu and Gareth Jones

Suzi and Ross Powell with baby Georgia

Liz and Lee Gillen (Concept Gardens)

Damon Searle, Andrea Gardner and Leighton Morgans

Greg Street, Rita Benson, Helen Lloyd, Dorothy Lloyd and Simon Jehu

Karen Edwards and Anthony Wilson

Marie John, John Cowpe, Lara Cowpe and Chrissy Crump

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String Quartet


Social Life covers launches, parties, exhibitions, charitable events, fashion shows, engagements and weddings. COWBR I DGE

River View celebrates Chinese New Year Guests enjoyed an evening of delicious food and colourful entertainment at the River View Restaurant in Cowbridge as the restaurant celebrated Chinese New Year.

Rose Wilson, Chloe Griffiths, Hayley Smith and Lan

Sharon Fitzgerald, Peter Ashton

Joyce Burder, Malcolm Jones, Cynthia Jone

Andrew Housley, Tania Housley, Kath Roche, Peter Roche

Jack Wignall, John Wignall, Grace Wignall and Ruth Wignall

John H Astill and Dianne Carroll

The food was plentiful and the Laugar Kung Fu group put on a dramatic display with their elaborate and energetic lion!

Entertainment Laugar Kung Fu Group


Neil and Liesl ‘Thai’ the knot Penarth ABC’s coach Neil Munn and Liesl Munn (née Harris) were married in Koh Samui, Thailand on January 21, 2012. The happy couple were joined by delighted family and friends for the beautiful beach ceremony. Neil said, “It was the best day of our lives and we’re looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together.” Neil and Liesl were pleasantly surprised to find the wedding registrar was originally from Neath. Neil said, “He wasn’t what we were expecting but he was brilliant!” ❧ 80 ❧


Breast Cancer Care Cymru Fashion Show Wales played host to its second Breast Cancer Care Cymru fashion show earlier this month. Cardiff City Hall saw 19 inspiring women and one man take to the catwalk to prove that you can still be beautiful despite a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Ruth Jones & Warren Gatland present the raffle

Sarah Miles

The catwalk was stunning

Sarah MIles has all the right moves

Angela Chamberlain & Ryan Jones

Sian Haskell & Alun Wyn Jones

Sally Stoat & Adam Jones

28 - Kayley Sullivan & Jamie Roberts

Models strutting their stuff

Strike a pose

Angela Chamberlain

Jane Moss, Paul Tanner and Jodie Tanner, The Queen B, Penarth

The Show, supported by Welsh celebrities including actress Ruth Jones and newsreader Sian Lloyd, raised £75,000 for people affected by breast cancer. Members of the Triple Crown-winning Wales rugby squad walked the models down the catwalk for the big finale.

Photography by Steve Pope

Host Matt Johnson

❧ 81 ❧

THE LAST WORD Dean and Leanne Edmonds own Vale Orangeries, one of South Wales’ leading Orangery specialists. They share a passion for design and all things creative. How did you get into the home improvement business? DEAN I’ve been in the business for a long time, starting out fabricating windows and doors. I then progressed into various sales roles in the industry before starting my own business with Leanne. We are both creative and have a natural flair for design so for us, building Orangeries is very enjoyable and rewarding. LEANNE I come from a customer service background and have always loved interior design. I love visiting clients once the build is finished and seeing the completed transformation. It’s the best part of the job for me. What do you like about the Vale of Glamorgan? DEAN The coastline, the people and the rich sense of history. LEANNE The choice of beaches, and beautiful walks. What is your favourite meal? DEAN Indian food and of course Leanne’s Sunday Roast. LEANNE Homemade hearty soup, just like my Nan used to make. Favourite place in the Vale? BOTH We love the Knap and Porthkerry and feel very lucky to have such beautiful places on our doorstep. What do you do to relax? DEAN I love to paint. I do abstract paintings which is a great stress reliever for me. I also like to watch movies and eat out. LEANNE I enjoy long walks with my overweight King Charles Ollie, and I also like spending quality time together as a family. With two teenagers, family time is precious as they love to do their own thing now.

Favourite holiday destination? BOTH We love Ibiza and visit every year. It’s not all party party, we love the chilled vibe Ibiza has, the beautiful people, and the scenery is amazing Sum each other up in three words? DEAN Leanne is kind, loving and sophisticated. LEANNE Dean is genuine, ambitious, and creative.

I’m very good at… DEAN Making things happen, I’m very much a doer. LEANNE Keeping Dean grounded! I’m a good listener and generally make time for everyone. I’m very bad at … DEAN Managing my time. I’m always so busy it’s a real challenge to keep up. LEANNE Saying no! I try to keep everyone happy and don’t like to let people down. In a nutshell, my philosophy is … DEAN Fail fast, learn quick. LEANNE What you give, you get back.

Favourite music? DEAN A healthy mixture of rock and electronic. LEANNE Old soul classics.

Vale Orangeries Unit 8, Atlantic Trading Estate Barry CF63 3RF 01446 746353

“We build beautiful, bespoke living spaces.” ❧ 82 ❧

Phonak nano Nothing to see. Everything to hear.

Stockists of the world’s finest hearing aids 1 Station Approach Penarth Vale of Glamorgan CF64 3EE

Web: ❧ 83 ❧

Tel: 02920 707760

Arbuthnot Opticians 6 Broad Street, Barry CF62 7XP 01446 735551 Find us on Facebook

Modern eye care with a traditional touch

Vale Life Spring 2012  

The Vale of Glamorgan's Premier Lifestyle Magazine

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