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J A N U A RY T R E AT M E N T O F T H E M O N T H Start the New Year as you mean to go on with a nourishing 55 minute luxurious spa treatment and full use of the facilities. • Nectarine and Honey Blossom Salt Scrub • Cocooning Vanilla Scented Mud Wrap • Pressure Point Scalp Massage • Use of robe, towel and slippers • Use of the relaxation lounge • 3 hours use of the facilities including swimming pool, spa bath, steam room and gymnasium

CHRISTMAS GIFT VOUCHERS Purchase the perfect gift this Christmas with a Gift Voucher for a Spa Day, Treatment of the Month or individual treatments. Just call or pop into reception to purchase.

£55.00 per person Terms and Conditions apply: Price is per person, subject to availability. Expires 31st January 2017. £10 supplement for Saturday & Sunday. Add a Spa Lunch for £15.

Tel: 02920 111 110 | Laguna Health and Spa, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff CF10 3AL - Situated in Park Plaza Hotel


VALE L IFE Editor Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Creative Director Mark Roberts Editorial Thomas Goodyear Features Lucy Atkinson 0845 180 2345 Cardiff House, Cardiff Road, Cardiff CF63 2AW Passionate about the Vale of Glamorgan We are a small independent publisher. We are not a large publishing group pretending to be home grown. Vale Life magazine is written, designed and printed in the Vale of Glamorgan for the people of the Vale of Glamorgan. Our philosophy We are committed to quality. This quote by William Foster pretty much sums up our thinking: “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” Caveat emptor Advertisers supply their own copy or artwork, and therefore Vale Life cannot accept any responsibility for disputes between advertisers and their customers. Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. Important you read this We have made every effort to ensure that all information contained in Vale Life or on (or our social media streams) is correct and accurate. However, we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions and can offer no compensation should we get it wrong. Please note that the opinions, thoughts, views or ideas expressed in articles contained in Vale Life are strictly those of the authors. Intellectual property © Copyright Vale Life 2016. All rights reserved. Nothing in this magazine (including adverts) may be reproduced in any shape or form (in whole or part) without the express written permission of the publishers. We take breach of copyright and theft of intellectual property extremely seriously and will sue at the drop of a croissant. You have been warned (nicely); ignorance is no excuse. Subscriptions To guarantee your copy, please send a cheque for £20 (four issues) made payable to Vale Life. Visit for special subscriber discounts and special offers. Missed the last issue? We hold a small number of each issue in stock so if you do need a pristine copy, please telephone us or email Hopefully we’ll have the issue you want (but we cannot guarantee it). Each back issue costs £5 including postage and packing.


So, what’s to love about winter? Where do I start? Here are just a few things I love that I can fit into my small space on this page. In no particular order... Dark nail polish, polo necks, Christmas, winter boots, high tog duvets and hot water bottles, home-made stews, snow (and snowball fights), cold, crisp air, rosy cheeks, furry onesies, scarves, tights and mittens, bulky clothes (hides winter weight gain!), no pesky wasps, Christmas trees and lights, hot bubble baths, red wine and egg nog, Father Christmas, comfort food, presents, Champagne on New Year’s Eve, presents, New Year’s Resolutions, presents and winter escapes to a warm climate and, did I mention presents? I wonder if any of these ring your bells? We’ve enjoyed catching up with all of our lovely businesses during the autumn months and have loved seeing them flourish. Speaking of flourishing businesses, our cover story this issue is the very popular Cobbles Kitchen and Deli in Ogmore-by-Sea. Owner Chloe Francis has certainly been busy expanding the deli, and organising and executing a very successful Garden Festival of Food and Drink event, all whilst expanding her own family!

Alan and I and the whole team at Good Life Publishing would like to wish you all a very happy and fun-filled Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. See you again soon. Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Editor 07766 106 701

Yes it’s free. Priceless actually! Vale Life is distributed free through a wide variety of outlets across Vale of Glamorgan and beyond and is given away free of charge on the understanding that we are happy for it to be lent, passed on, given to friends and generally read until it falls apart. At which point, you can recycle it and we’d be delighted if you did. Green is good The pulp used in the production of the paper Vale Life is printed on is sourced from sustainably managed Scandinavian tree farms and utilises an elementary chlorine-free bleaching process.

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

Want to advertise? Alan Lloyd Client Liaison Manager 07860 930 399

Our cover star We loved this image our fab photographer Abbie took of Chloe Francis, owner of Cobbles Deli. Read more about the deli on pages xxx



The Vale of Glamorgan has so many great little gems and we’ve tried to share as many as we can with you in this issue. We only like to feature businesses, places, activities or events that we’ve either experienced ourselves or have been recommended to us. We’d love to hear from you too. Where do you shop? Where do you eat? What do you love about our gorgeous county? Please send your comments to



Posh Pawz Salon & Spa Are All Ready for Xmas

Pop in and see their full range of Christmas toys, jumpers and selection boxes. Perfect for their Christmas stocking! They’ll get a Christmas bandana after their treatment too!

Posh Pawz Salon & Spa are all ready to pamper your pets this Christmas. Owners Kathryn Phillips and Jo Greenough are all fully trained groomers and offer a full range of grooming services including warm baths, blow drys, clipping and styling. At every groom they will check and clip nails, pluck and clean ears and empty anal glands if needed. The salon is fully air conditioned and heated with an open and relaxed feel, all breeds are welcome and every client is given the time they deserve and treated like a VIP (Very Important Pooch).

Posh Pawz Salon and Spa 11 Fontygary Road, Rhoose CF62 3DR 01446 710044 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter


Boutique 53 Pontcanna Experience the best of ladies fashion thanks to Jayne Davies and Boutique 53 Pontcanna. Priding themselves on honest, personal, one-to-one service that you will not find anywhere on the high street. Stocking fantastic items from such recognisable brands as Frank Lyman, Capri, Marble, and Robell Trousers, Boutique 53 Pontcanna helps select the perfect outfits for their customers whilst staying up to date on all the latest fashions and, most importantly of all, being great value for money. 75 Pontcanna Street, Cardiff CF11 9HS 029 2034 2568 Facebook: Boutique53Cardiff 6

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Griffin Books Books make perfect Christmas gifts - and where better than from charming independent bookshop Griffin Books in Penarth? It stocks a great range of titles as well as maps, greeting cards and gifts, and most books not in stock can be ordered for next day collection. Mel Griffin and her team are happy to recommend reading choices, and regularly host author talks, with recent appearances from bestselling novelist Jessie Burton, F1’s Damon Hill and veteran MP Alan Johnson. Griffin Books 9A Windsor Road Penarth CF64 1JB 02920 706455 Facebook: Griffin Books Twitter: @griffinbooksuk

“Mel Griffin and her team are happy to recommend reading choices.”


Stumbling upon a hidden shop you didn’t realise lived in your town is a wonderful experience, especially after you discover that it is a remarkable store perfect for those who adore anything Vintage. Hidden away just off Cowbridge’s High Street, snuggled behind The Duke of Wellington Pub is a store full to the brim of local sellers offering completely unique items. Potters Chalk Collection Paint Transform your ordinary furniture and accessories into extraordinary beautiful pieces without the need to prime or sand. Available in 30 great colours.

Happy Days Vintage Homestore & Artisan Market Full to the brim with restored vintage furniture, antiques, and gardenware, it is easy to see why Happy Days Vintage Homestore is one of the biggest and best stores in town. Home to 30 local small businesses that stock such wonderfully quirky items as: l collectable

toys cameras l vinyl records l ladies fashion l Harris tweed jackets l waistcoats and flat caps. l vintage

Happy Days has quickly become one of the Vale’s must visit locations for everything Vintage thanks to some of the wonderful talent that reside within, some of which are detailed below.

Restore & Adore Restore & Adore is a family run business who believe in giving new life to classic furniture.

The Toybox Appealing to children and the young at heart alike, the Toybox is full to the brim of pre-loved vintage toys, books and collectables. Enchanted Cherub Jewellery Yet another small business within Happy Days run by Amanda, who designs her own jewellery using charms, glass beads and Swarovski crystal. She also stocks a wide range of vintage costume jewellery.

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK Happy Days Vintage Homestore Church Street, Cowbridge CF71 7BB Tel 01446 771191 Email Like us on Facebook 07738 851 590

We all know how important swimming is, but unfortunately many children leaving primary school still cannot swim. Swimming doesn’t just save lives; when they’re little it gives parent and child some important bonding time, with all the expected health benefits. Vale Life chats with husband and wife team Gavin and Alexandra Francis of Water Wings Swim School.


Can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds and what led you to open Water Wings? Alexandra Francis: I was a County swimmer and International Surf Lifeguard before becoming a swimming instructor and coach. I started Water Wings Swim School when I was eighteen.

Can you tell us about your swim school? Based in a private swimming pool, Water Wings was first established in 2012 by director Alexandra Francis. We’ve had an above ground swimming pool built; it’s the first of its kind in Wales. The pool is 18 meters x 6 meters and designed for swimming lessons for all ages.

Gavin Francis: My background is in surf lifesaving, and I’ve been teaching swimming for over twelve years.

Olympic Silver medallist in Rio 2016 and current gold medallist at last year’s World Championships, swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn opened the pool and ran a swimming master class with local children.

We both have a lifelong passion for swimming and education We taught in the local authority pools and knew we could improve on the standard of service and education available. We hated the thought of children not reaching their potential as a result of the service they were blindly receiving in most other swim programs. We decided to create an environment where people were taught to swim by swimmers not just by people who had been on a course.

Water Wings consists of an experienced, committed and passionate team of ASA qualified swimming teachers and lifeguards that will go the extra mile to ensure that not only all learners reach their potential in swimming but to meet the requirements of parents in the way of face to face contact and feedback of progress throughout the learning process. 12

What age range do you teach? We start with babies that are three months old and go up to adult learners that are over sixty years old, so a full range. Our children’s lessons start from two-and-a-half years. The pool is kept at a warmer than average temperature so we can accommodate babies of any age. What are the benefits of teaching babies to swim at such a young age? Baby and pre-school lessons are for babies and for parents; it’s a learning environment for both and a great bonding experience. They learn aquatic movement, buoyancy, underwater confidence and a vast range of motor skills just by taking part in the lessons. Swimming with your baby is one of the best ways to create and strengthen your bond. Babies that attend these lessons are much more likely to progress at a quicker rate once they reach mainstream lessons where they will have a lesson without a parent.

They are able to move straight on to swimming technique because they have already covered the fundamentals of water confidence. You will be able to notice progress in your baby’s ability sooner than you would think. Do you provide other water-based opportunities? Absolutely, we run a Swimming Club, Rookie Lifeguards, Aqua Aerobics, Pool Parties, Cwm Ogwr running club, public swimming for under 5s, members only swimming for children and adults to practice their swimming or just play in the water and we’re in talks with local schools and an equestrian club for private hire. Are your lessons all via groups? Not at all, we provide small group lessons of a maximum of six children to one teacher plus1-to-1 lessons for children and adults; 2-to-1 lessons for children and adults; group lessons for babies, pre-school and adults; baby underwater photos, and swim coaching

for teenagers and adults (triathlon, fitness or just stroke improvement). At Water Wings we understand the importance of learning to swim so we do not take this responsibility lightly. All teachers are experienced in pitching the delivery of swimming lessons at levels that best suit the children as individuals, everyone is guaranteed fun at Water Wings.

“Based in a private swimming pool, Water Wings was first established in 2012 by director Alexandra Francis. We’ve had an above ground swimming pool built; it’s the first of its kind in Wales.” 13

Water Wings Swim School Ltd Unit 12D, Kingsway Buildings Kingsway, Bridgend CF31 3RY 07833478762 Like on Facebook waterwings swimschool Twitter WaterWingsSwimSchool







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There are few things worse than seeing others dressed in your exact same outfit as you wander through the city. Don’t succumb to these generic high street fashions this Winter, be unique and call in to Boutique 53 on Wellfield Road for the ultimate Winter wardrobe infusion.


Winter is always the best time of year when it comes to fashion. At no other time of the year can you find such vibrantly coloured tactile fabrics that, in addition to keeping the Winter chill from your bones, can also make you look fabulous too. Best of all, by visiting Boutique 53 you will discover individually styled fashions not found on the high street that help you to stand out from the crowd this season. When we visited to find out what’s hot (or should we say ‘what’s cool’ judging by the season) in the fashion world at the moment owner Jayne Davies could not help but excitedly point us towards her fantastic range of work to weekend trousers. You can dress them up or

dress them down, no matter which you will always look amazing. “We are also stocking a lot of coat gilets, capes, and wraps. These look amazing with jeans and can take you from casual to smart in an instant.” Unlike most other fashion stores out there Boutique 53 in an independent boutique whose sole focus is to find the very best individual fashions for their customers. By offering everyone a unique, personal and honest service Jayne and her staff make sure that no one leaves with something they do not want or that does not suit them, guaranteeing that every woman who shops in Boutique 53 leaves looking and feeling her absolute best. 15

Boutique 53 53 Wellfield Road, Cardiff CF24 3PA 029 2049 7988 Like on Facebook @Boutique53Cardiff

Cobbles Kitchen & Deli is housed in a gorgeous 17th Century, Grade II listed barn on the fringe of the spectacular heritage coast in the heart of The Vale of Glamorgan. Vale Life catches up with owner Chloe Francis as she celebrates her first anniversary.


Congratulations on your first anniversary Chloe; it seems to have flown by. How has your first year been? Thank you so much; I can’t believe it’s been a year, it’s been amazing. I really couldn’t have asked for a better year; the business has gone from strength to strength and it’s all still very exciting. And how is the deli going? The Deli is doing so well thanks. We’ve just launched our Christmas gift hampers which are already proving to be extremely popular with some readymade and also build your own hampers available with free UK delivery. They’re full of all local and homemade produce and make great Christmas gifts. We also have gift vouchers available for both the Deli and Kitchen, these can be personalised for specific items - like afternoon tea for two or our steak night hampers - or for monetary amounts either way they make fab presents.

Sounds like you’ve got Christmas gifts all wrapped up - what have you got planned for the rest of December? We’ve got a jam packed December, with our sold out Wreath Workshops taking up most of the first two weeks. We have a live acoustic Carol concert on Weds 14th December from 7:30pm with festive food and drinks, this is free entry and open to all. Every Thursday from the 8th to the 22nd we’re open for exclusive Christmas Dinner evenings. The run up has been amazing too with our Christmas market being a huge hit at the end of November. Last time we spoke you were in the final planning stages for your outside catering. Yes, we’ve just launched our outside catering menu which we’re really proud of. It’s a rustic, laid back theme in some respects, with spreads like Mediterranean grazing tables to 16

traditional Ploughman’s style so we’re now available for catering for anything from small office lunches to large weddings. And last but not least, any plans for the future? It’s a bit early to elaborate too much yet, but we’re looking at expanding into Cardiff in the New Year with a slightly new concept. We’ll reveal more in the next issue - so watch this space…

Cobbles Kitchen and Deli Tymaen Farm Buildings Ogmore by Sea CF32 0QP 01656 661954 Follow on Facebook and Twitter


One of the real pleasures of publishing is meeting new people. A chance encounter in the Vale introduced us to Rob Higgins who owns a modest smallholding in Peterston, and is a Director of a brand new(ish) gin distillery hidden in the depths of the valleys. We had to visit, we just had to.


The fabulous four… Eccentric Gin currently produces four quite distinct gins (we have to admit, after tasting them, we’re fans). Here’s how Eccentric describes its range… MADAM GENEVA London dry: 42% abv. A London dry as it should be. Simple, dry and juniper forward with citrus and a hint of liquorice and some subtle floral and sweet characters added by the sacred duo ‘meadowsweet and wild sunflower’. LIMBECK A new Western style gin: 45% abv. A gorgeously heady mix of blue ginger and citrus with tarragon, Seville orange and Orris. Rested in recycled burgundy French oak casks to develop a smooth texture. The oak casks leave a subtle peach colour, which will vary subtly with each batch (that’s craft!). Hidden in a secret location, Eccentric Gin, is a craft gin distillery producing a superb range of very unique and innovative gins. Now most new gin distilleries would give themselves a pat on the back for launching one good gin in their first year. Eccentric produced four. And not only that, these particular four gins have been going down a storm with connoisseurs and gin lovers right across the UK. Using a combination of traditional methods fused with established innovative botanicals (even barrel ageing some gins - very clever stuff), the result is a range of smooth gins with flavours that appeal to all ages and palates. Eccentric originally operated in Llantrisant in 2015 but recently moved to larger premises. Eccentric’s innovative gins are distilled by a mix of brewers, mixologists and even a freeman of Llantrisant.

Described as one of the most unique men in Victorian Britain, William Price (1800 - 1893) was a physician and freeman of Llantrisant. “He was quite the eccentric!” says Rob, “He was a believer in free love, democracy, and the emancipation of women, druidism and legalised cremation. He really sums up the Eccentric ethos!”

YOUNG TOM Fresh juniper malt gin: 46% abv. Fermented from ipa wash and refined to a clean aromatic distillate. Naturally sweetened and vapour infused then rested. A sweet and floral style of gin with fennel, wild sunflower root and star anise seeds. Rested for 6 weeks to develop its flavours…

London Dry Gin, Dublin Dry Gin, Edinburgh Dry Gin, and even Plymouth have had a Gin named after them for many years. Eccentric Gin produce an innovative craft gin called Cardiff Dry finally putting Cardiff the capital of Wales on the gin map at long last.

CARDIFF DRY A unique dry gin: 37.5%abv. A new style of gin chosen by the people of south wales. Rich herbal notes of rosemary, fennel, sorrel and liquorice, together with citrus notes from the lemongrass and verbena. Perhaps the new aperitif gin of the world?

I ask Rob what are Eccentric’s plans for the future? “More gins! But we’re also planning on growing and harvesting Juniper in the Vale of Glamorgan to produce our own gins making it a truly local and Welsh product.” We’ll drink to that.

Indeed it was William Price, a true eccentric, with radical, innovative ideas that served as the inspiration for the Eccentric brand.

“We produce four gins that are unique and truly craft.” 18

Eccentric Gin Distillery If you’re a retailer, hotel, bar, pub or restaurant that would like an Eccentric behind your bar, please get in touch. Eccentric gins make the perfect present You don’t have to be eccentric to give, or receive, but it might help - just a little.

Established for over 25 years, Pontyclun Van Hire provide quality vans, trucks and other vehicles for hire in the south Wales area. We are open seven days a week, including bank holidays, enabling you to collect and return your vehicle exactly when it suits you.

No mileage charge VAT & Insurance included in price 4 Hour vehicle hire available 24-hour secure parking for your own vehicle Fully comprehensive insurance provided AA/RAC Cover provided Diesel vehicles for lower fuel consumption

PONTYCLUN VAN HIRE East Side Cambrian Industrial Estate, Coedcae Lane, Pontyclun, RCT CF72 9EW

01443 223890 or 01443 223907 Email Web Facebook VanHirePontyclun


Vale Laser Clinic and Tathan Beautique are ready for Christmas Are you? The festive season has well at truly started at Vale Laser Clinic and Tathan Beautique. Our winter brides are in the last few weeks of preparation with their facials, Environ skincare regime and are falling in love with our Jane Iredale Make Mineral Make up.

Now is a great time of year to start your permanent hair removal journey. With 7 out of 10 females experiencing male pattern facial hair growth, it’s time to stop hiding behind the scarves and read how our client Lisa has regained her confidence after just one treatment in our blog amazing

If you are looking for a great Christmas gift, our gift vouchers can be for specific treatments or monetary values, so your loved one can chose between treatments, skin care and JI products.

Vale Laser Clinic/Tathan Beautique 1A The Square St Athan CF62 4PF 01446 750880

To keep up-to-date with all our news and New Year’s offers, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Tathan Beautique has recently introduced Moroccan Tan with infused Argan Oil which is amazingly natural and lasts for 7 to 10 days. We have TanTastic Fridays throughout December for you to get party ready, Carly’s Gelish nail art is amazing and appointments are filling up fast. Book now to avoid disappointment.

What do you do when you’ve made up your mind that you want to leave your marriage but feel you can’t afford to divorce? Melanie Lazarus Family Law Solicitors can help.



This is an extremely important question for all clients and they must consider the emotional and psychological implications of staying in a marriage against the financial costs of ending it. Both can be substantial. First, seeing a solicitor is a costly business and legal aid is rare these days. Most solicitors will work on an expensive hourly rate. Secondly, a client needs to consider the financial implications of living on his/her own post-divorce. Clients need to think about it carefully, estimate a budget for the divorce and get legal advice before putting the wheels in motion. Let’s not pretend that solicitors’ fees are high, but the expertise and experience we bring to cases shouldn’t be underestimated. However, the reality is that the less acrimonious and contentious the split, the less you as a client will pay solicitors for their time.

The more you agree, the lower your legal fees will be. The bottom line is, where there are more arguments and acrimony, the more profit will be made by your solicitor. We profit from clients’ inability to resolve some of the basic issues regarding children and finances. Clients really do need to think about that. We, as family law solicitors, are responsible about that fact, not all are. The fact is, as a firm, we prefer not to make money about issues which a couple can easily resolve themselves. Melanie Lazarus & Co offer a fixed fee appointment so we can fully advise clients and guide them on how to move forward. We encourage our clients to remain calm and dignified during what we understand are very difficult circumstances. We actively encourage clients to consider mediation, around the table meetings; court being the absolute last resort. 22

However, there will always be clients and cases where the parties cannot or refuse to engage in dialogue with the other and such clients have to be prepared to rack up significant legal costs which later down the line they may regret and end up with a bitter taste in their mouths. Thinking of separating? Get in touch with Melanie Lazarus Family Law to find out what your options are. Call 01656 750888.

“We can fully advise clients and guide them on how to move forward.” Melanie Lazarus & Co 38 - 40 Nolton Street, Bridgend CF31 3BN 01656 750888 Like on Facebook

A Cardiff based jewellery designer has teamed up with a national Welsh charity in hopes of raising funds for grassroots community organisations across Wales.


COLLECTION Designer, Emma-Kate Francis, has collaborated with the Community Foundation in Wales to launch a new jewellery collection. The collection is called ‘Daffodil’, inspired by the logo of the Foundation, with each piece handmade from sterling silver, gold plated and complete with a pearl centre. A percentage from each purchase will be donated to the Foundation and the design is set to be officially launched at the beginning of November.

Emma-Kate has collaborated previously, designing pieces for the Victoria & Albert Museum and renowned international jewellers, Jersey Pearl. Each piece of jewellery is hand-crafted in her boutique studio in the heart of Cardiff ’s Arcade Quarter. “When the Community Foundation in Wales approached me I was thrilled as it’s a wonderful charity to support. I hope people love the new Daffodil jewellery collection and continue to support the great work the Foundation is doing across Wales.”

The Community Foundation in Wales is an independent charity, established to strengthen communities by providing a permanent source of funding for community-based projects in Wales.

Mari-Wyn Elias-Jones, Development Manager at the Foundation, said, “We are so excited to have a Community Foundation design created by Emma-Kate. As a charity we are passionate about promoting philanthropy in Wales and are always looking for new and interesting ways to do this, which makes this partnership particularly perfect.” “It has been a pleasure working with Emma-Kate and the Foundation team are pleased to see our supporters are as excited about this new collection as we are. I was recently in Canada for the North American Festival of Wales and there was a lot of interest in the pieces I had on display, so I can’t wait to launch them during our Philanthropy Week events.” The Daffodil collection is available for pre-order at


The Community Foundation in Wales The Community Foundation is a unique charity, privileged to be working alongside people who are motivated by wanting to make a difference in Wales. We use our knowledge of needs and the voluntary sector to manage high impact grant programmes designed to achieve sustainable outcomes, awarding grants on behalf of our clients, Fund holders and donors, which enable local people to achieve inspiring change in their communities. Established in 1999, the Foundation now awards grants of over £2 million each year to charities and community groups on behalf of our donors. The Foundation’s philanthropy advice and grant-making services are quality assured through a program endorsed by the Charity Commission. For more information, please visit


Court Colman Manor in Bridgend is a much sought after venue for weddings. Vale Life caught up with newlyweds Jess and Beki Lee-Burrowes to find out about their big day.

COURT COLMAN M ANOR Please tell us about how you met. Beki: We met while I was in University and living in Cardiff. We planned our first date to go to the cinema but, as Jess was so late, we missed the film altogether. She’s never been a great time keeper! Jess: So we went shopping instead. Win, win for me! How was the proposal? Jess: It was a Monday night and Beki had come home from work late and suggested we went for a drive. We drove to Cardiff Bay and we walked along the waterfront. Beki surprised me with the ring and asked me to be her wife. I felt butterflies and excitement, I couldn’t wait to start planning! What made you choose Court Colman Manor? Had you been to the Manor before? Jess: As you can never predict the ‘Great British weather’, we wanted a venue that was so beautiful inside, if it rained it wouldn’t matter. When I found the venue we both thought it was too good to be true, so arranged a viewing as soon as we could. Beki: We had never been to, or heard of Court Colman before Jess found the website. It looked stunning and my first words were “that’s out of our price range!” I was delighted after meeting Hannah and finding out we could afford to have the wedding of our dreams. Did you have any particular theme or specific colours that you wanted to include in the wedding decorations? How did you incorporate them? Jess: As we met on St David’s Day we knew daffodils would be our wedding flower so we choose yellow. As well as these being in the bridal bouquets they were also the button holes for the men. I made all the bouquets and centre pieces myself; to the daffodils I added yellow roses, carnations and gypsophila. Beki: Jess worked really hard on everything from hand-making the table plan, flower decorations and favours. She made it so personal it was the perfect finishing touch.

“The staff were incredible throughout.”

What was the most important thing for you about the wedding? Jess: Beki turning up! Beki: For me it was everyone together celebrating our new family. How did you choose your menu? Beki: We attended the menu tasting which was very enjoyable. It was great to sample the food before the big day. Jess: We decided to give all guests an option of three choices each to make sure they had exactly what they wanted. Court Colman were brilliant in catering for each guest’s individual needs. Which function rooms did you use and why did you choose them? Beki: We chose the ballroom for the ceremony as we thought it was exquisite. Jess: We then had the whole Manor to ourselves so were able to make full use of the rooms with our 100 plus guests! We also hired the vintage ice-cream cart which was a big favourite! You stayed overnight at Court Colman Manor - tell us about your experience of the honeymoon suite Beki: Jess drank a little too much wine so can’t remember much of the night, but the suite was beautiful. It was pure luxury. 24

How did you find the staff at Court Colman Manor? Beki: The staff were incredible throughout the whole process. They were always available to run through any ideas, there to help, and made sure we had the day exactly as we wanted it. Jess: Hannah was excellent. I could message her at any time and she would always have the answer right away. She even helped me with a surprise slideshow for Beki. We couldn’t have asked for more. Who supplied your dresses, cake, photography, venue dressing, hair, make-up, transport etc? Jess: I purchased all dresses from online boutiques. Our beautiful cake was made by family friends at Welsh Delights in Brecon. My hair and make-up was done by my best friend and bridesmaid Charlotte. The venue dressing was a team effort by myself, friends Holly and Stacey, and finishing touches to Top Table by Court Colman staff. Beki: Andrew Hyde and son Zac did our photography, and were fantastic from start to finish. My step dad Glyn drove myself and him to the venue in his very impressive TVR.

Did any family or friends help you with wedding preparations? Jess: Funnily enough my aunty who was also Maid of Honour sent numerous texts asking what she could do. As Maid of Honour, she felt she should be doing something, but I had already planned everything. I think this is the only time in my life that I have been organised and one step ahead. However, the Hen Party she organised was amazing! I love Alice in Wonderland and my bridesmaids organised a mad hatter’s tea party - I loved it, it was very me! Which song did you dance to for your first dance? Beki: We had our first dance song planned for over a year, we thought it was set in stone. Then the night before the wedding we were listening to the CDs we had prepared and thought, it doesn’t feel right. So, we danced around the kitchen to ‘Feels like Home’ sung by Charlotte Jaconelli and knew it was the one. Jess: Myself, Beki and Poppy had a first dance for the three of us which was “I’ve Got You Two” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Poppy was over the moon with that one!

What is your favourite memory from the wedding day? Jess: Taking off my high heels and putting on my yellow Vans - what a relief! Beki: Dancing the night away with friends and family! Jess: Also, hearing everyone’s lovely and touching speeches.

Jess: I’m looking forward to spending our first anniversary there. Hopefully, I’ll remember the night’s stay next time!

Which is your favourite wedding photograph? Jess: My favourite is the photo of the three of us after we had signed and officially become Mrs & Mrs LeeBurrowes. Beki: Mine too! Have you had any feedback from your wedding guests? Beki: Everyone I spoke to said they loved the day and night, and even said it was the best wedding they have been to. I certainly had the best time! What is your lasting impression of Court Colman Manor and the time you spent there? Beki: I have the fondest memories of Court Colman. We have returned many times since and every time I do I still get the butterflies I did that day in June. 25

Court Colman Manor Pen-y-Fai, Bridgend CF31 4NG 01656 720212 Like us Facebook, follow on Twitter, YouTube, TripAdvisor, Google+ Images courtesy of

The world’s changing. Pollsters and political experts are consistently wrong. Where can we turn? “Try Bart Simpson!” jokes Neil Ballard of Lewis Ballard Accountants. Way back in 2000, the irreverent Simpsons character saw a future with Donald Trump as President of America. Intended as a ridiculous joke, it’s hard to believe it’s actually come true. Neil ponders the implausible…


These are certainly interesting times. Once, when someone with silver blonde hair, huge white teeth and a scary tangerine tan monopolised the press, you knew it was just an outrageous reality TV star. Now the reality TV star is also US president! And what about Brexit? Whether for or against - who really predicted that one? And who really knows what to do next? The unexpected happens surprisingly often… Bart may not have all the answers but, joking aside, in turbulent times old ways of thinking won’t do. Back in 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote, “…nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” However, as businesses worry about Brexit, Trump or Isis, it’s true that our tax obligations still remain. Yet with quarterly digital tax submissions beginning in 2018 even this system is undergoing a complete overhaul.

Time for a fresh approach to tax? Finding the thought of tax bills painful, many people wait until the last possible minute to look at their Personal Tax, VAT or Corporation Tax affairs. Resulting in overdue tax bills and often hefty fines, penalties and interest charges too. This puts extreme pressure on cash-flow, which seriously damages their business. Just when it’s crucial to know exactly how you’re doing, this ‘I hate paying tax’ last minute approach leads to poor decisions, extra stress and, more often than not, even more tax than necessary. Under the quarterly tax regime, fines and penalties could mount-up even very sharply. Wagging that tail… My advice is always to make sure the tax tail isn’t wagging the business dog! In other words make decisions to strengthen your business, not just to hide from tax. 26

After all tax is the by-product of success. If you’re not successful you won’t have any tax to pay, but you won’t have profits either. Who wants a business like that?’ Meeting the Digital Challenge… Lewis Ballard are Gold Partners of Xero, the world’s leading cloud accounting providers. Our in-house expert Sam Howells, presents on the benefits of using this cutting edge software at the Apple Showroom. ‘It’s been amazing, working alongside two such prestigious companies. It gives us confidence that our approach is providing the best tools and strategies for people to use.’ Saving you tax… Our team of Chartered Accountants and our Chartered Tax adviser Johanna Evans will save you tax and structure your business to keep as much of your hard earned cash as possible.

We also focus on building brilliant businesses, which prosper in these most challenging times. Giving you the rewards your hard work deserves, with the time to enjoy them. When you know how you’re doing in real-time, how much money you make and what you owe, you’re ready to seize opportunities, without mounting tax liabilities holding you back. Because, in this world, when everything is uncertain, anything is possible!

For a free consultation to help get your 2016 Personal Tax return submitted by 31st January 2017, or to discuss any tax or business queries please ring now on 029 2073 5502 or visit

“Make decisions to strengthen your business.” Lewis Ballard Celtic House, Caxton Place, Pentwyn Cardiff CF23 8HA 029 2073 5502 Follow on Twitter and Google+

It’s a tough choice deciding where to book for Christmas and New Year. What’s the best venue? Who’s serving the best food? Where’s the best service and the best entertainment? Holm House in Penarth comes into its own at Christmas and New Year so we popped in to find out more.


What will Holm House be offering for Christmas and New Year? In December the hotel will be offering a delicious set lunch and party menu, served in The Welsh Room, from the 1st to the 24th. The head chef has put together a menu which is full of dishes that are perfect to eat in the lead up to the big day. An example of the menu could be rabbit and leek terrine to start, roast sea bass with leeks and samphire to follow and Holm House Christmas Pudding to finish. Two courses cost £23 per person or 3 courses for £26. A two course dinner option costs £26 per person and £29 for three courses. Anyone who regularly visits Holm House for one of their amazing Afternoon Teas will be in for a treat as in the lead up to the big day, the hotel is offering Afternoon Teas with a Festive twist.

There’s no better place to party? If you have been charged with booking the office party, then your colleagues will thank you for booking at Holm House. The hotel’s Christmas Dinner and Dances will be held on Friday 9th, Saturday 10th and Friday 16th December and will include a fizz reception with canapes and a stunning four course meal and dancing to a DJ until midnight. The feedback from previous years’ events has meant that these evenings are already filling up fast, so early booking is recommended.

And Boxing Day? Not many people can face turkey again on Boxing Day so our chefs have prepared a tasty alternative. A sample could be cured salmon and crayfish salad with Wasabi mayonnaise and baby leaves to start, followed by pan fried Cod loin with clam, pancetta and herb broth and to finish a zingy Lemon Tart with Italian meringue and chocolate sorbet. Two courses cost £22 per person, 3 courses £26 and for smaller guests, two courses are £11 and three, £13.

What about the big day? So the big day has finally arrived and, for those of you lucky enough to have booked the 8 course Christmas Day menu, you’re in for a real treat. The atmosphere at Holm House during the festive season is unbelievable. The cost for adults is £88 per person with children under 12 at £44 per person.

What about Holm House on New Year’s Day? There’s no better way to spend this special day. An equally stunning three course menu is on offer with prices the same as those on Boxing Day.

“Start the day off with a glass of Prosecco.” 28

Fancy a Christmas Spa Package? And who wouldn’t? Sprinkle some spice into our Christmas with the lusciously warming Journey of the Spice Route treatments package.

Start the day off with a glass of Prosecco and choose two of three treatments; 7’ spiced mini facial, spiced full body scrub or Ayrvedic back, neck and shoulder massage. The package also includes full use of the spa and leisure facilities, use of robe, slippers and towels and complimentary teas, coffee and juices and a two course lunch from the hotel’s warming winter set menu. Weekdays (Mon-Thurs) £75, weekends (Fri-Sun - £85. You can upgrade to all three treatments for an extra £25. (T’s and C’s apply). Why not make your break more enjoyable by having a leisurely overnight stay? Enjoy a one night stay, a Holm House breakfast, a two course dinner and two 30 minute treatments and full use of the spa and leisure facilities throughout your stay. A standard double room - £256, standard double room with sea view - £280 or a mini suite - £320. (T’s and C’s apply). See in 2017 in style By joining Holm House at their New

Year’s Eve Black Tie Event. Enjoy a luxury overnight stay, Holm House breakfast, half a bottle of Taittinger Champagne on arrival. Then relax and unwind pre or post party with full use of the spa and leisure facilities throughout the day, two 30 minute spa treatments and then entertainment throughout the evening with a four piece and until midnight, a Prosecco Reception and Canapes before sitting down to a stunning six course meal. Then at midnight – a glass of Taittinger Brut Reserve to see the New Year In! Standard double room – single £248, double £358, double room with a view - single £272, double £382, a mini suite - single £328 or a double £438 (T’s and C’s apply).

Holm House Hotel Marine Parade, Penarth CF64 3BG

Holm House has vouchers are available which make the perfect Christmas present for the one you love.

HOTEL 02920 706 029

“Afternoon Teas with a Festive twist.” 29

SPA 02920 713 502

St Clare’s School recognise the critical importance of the two sixth form years. They must provide an effective preparation for life after secondary school which, for most students, will mean higher education. “Not only do we aim to support them as they seek to fulfil their academic potential, we also believe it is enormously important to develop a strong sense of responsibility for learning and development.” Simon Antwis, Headmaster


Vale Life asked Headmaster Simon Antwis, in his own words, to explain to students why he believes St Clare’s could be the right school for them. Most A* grades at A Level ever This year our Sixth Form students achieved 36% A*/A grades. We had a 100% pass rate and the most A* grades ever.. Every student went to their first choice university, including Oxford. Not just value for money - Added Value We place great importance on our pupils’ Value Added Performance. Over the journey from Nursery to Sixth Form they achieve a combined VA equivalent to 1.1 which is more than a whole grade. That’s an A grade instead of a B grade, or a B grade instead of a C grade.

“ Most A* grades at A Level ever.”

Education today is a fundamental preparation for your future St Clare’s Sixth Form is the start of a journey of exploration leading to college, university or higher level employment. The majority of our Senior School students progress into the Sixth Form and many join from other schools. We’ll offer you a broad range of subjects at A Level. This varies slightly each year depending on the interests of the cohort of pupils. You’ll be taught in small tutorial-style groups and have your own Common Room and kitchen facilities with quiet areas set aside for independent study. We’ll tailor your learning to meet your particular needs It’s your life, your future, so we’ll help you put together a programme of study that gets you where YOU want to go. At every stage, we’re here to listen, advise and support you in your choices. 30

Every individual matters, within a school community proud of its high standards of behaviour and pastoral care, together with its team of well qualified and dedicated staff. We have a fantastic record of success in Young Enterprise, Duke of Edinburgh, Young Consumer of the Year and sports which, combined with your studies, will enable you to learn about yourself, your strengths and capabilities, and about the world you live in. Achieve. Challenge. Excellence We don’t want anything to come between you and your ambitions. If you’re having trouble managing your time or need guidance on revision, you’ll get the right support. The Sixth Form Team provides strong pastoral care to help achieve academic excellence and personal maturity. You’ll be expected to provide strong

Head, Simon Antwis

and positive examples to younger members of school, and there will be opportunities to lead, organise and manage others. This is seen as a valuable stage in your education. A competitive edge in today’s global environment We place a strong focus on languages and Spanish and French at A level and an opportunity to learn Italian to GCSE.


What students say… “I think the school has exceeded my expectations as we are so far ahead in the workload compared to my friends in the other schools.” “The small class sizes help me concentrate more. I feel that in a comprehensive sixth form I would have been distracted by other pupils.”

Are Sixth Form scholarships available? Academic and sporting scholarships available for September 2017.

“Teachers work extremely hard in order for pupils to get the grades they want.”

How do I find out more? Contact Holly Fowllkes in Admissions on (01656) 789966

“The teachers have encouraged me and have made my learning very personalised. I enjoy the freedom I have been entrusted with.”

“ It’s your life, your future.”

“Great extra-curricular activities and opportunities.” 31

“Not many other schools offer Spanish as an A Level option.” “Small class sizes mean you get more help that you would anywhere else.”

St Clare’s is a non-selective independent day school for boys and girls aged 2 ½ to 18. Early registration is recommended. St Clare’s School Newton, Porthcawl CF36 5NR 01656 782509 01656 789966 (Admissions) Like on Facebook

Dealing with someone’s estate after they’ve died can be daunting. You’re faced with a number of procedures, plus a lot of legal jargon, during a difficult time. Probate specialist lawyer, Lynn Wheeldon of Hopkins Law helps us understand the decisions you need to make following the loss of a loved one.

Lynn Wheeldon



What is Probate? If the deceased left a will, they are likely to have named an executor, who will share out the estate and carry out any final wishes. When there is no will, the deceased has died intestate. This is when you may discover that you are designated to be the administrator for that person’s estate. The duties of an executor and an administrator are the same. The distinction is that an executor is appointed by a will and an administrator is appointed when someone dies intestate (without a will). Do I need Probate? In the majority of cases, probate will be required. If the estate includes property or land, is over the Inheritance Tax free threshold, comprises any stocks and shares or has a reasonable amount of cash assets, then probate will be required.

What will it cost? This will depend on the amount of work involved. Each estate is to some extent unique and at Hopkins Law we are happy to meet with the Executors/ Administrators to discuss the estate, what is required and to provide a fee estimate.

If there are no Executors appointed, then the law dictates who can take control of the estate and administer it. There is a strict legal order. If the Executors are missing, then an order from the Court may well be required, depending on the individual circumstances.

I can’t find the original Will what should I do? I am a specialist probate lawyer who can help and advise you in this situation. I can advise and assist you through the necessary process. In some cases, an order from the Court may be required. I have specialised experience in this field.

Do executors and Administrators have the same powers? The duties and powers of Executors and Administrators are to a great extent the same. Whilst the estate is being administered, they should take all appropriate steps to preserve the assets of the estate for the benefit of the beneficiaries, e.g. if the estate comprises a house, to make sure it is insured, until it is sold or transferred to the beneficiaries entitled.

What happens if I can’t find/or there are no executors? If this situation arises, you need to consult a specialist probate lawyer. 32

“ In some cases, an order from the Court may be required. I have specialised experience in this field.” What is my liability? Clearly if an Executor or Administrator acts dishonestly or fraudulently, then they will be personally liable and accountable to the estate and its beneficiaries. If you distribute an estate within six months of the issue of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, and you later become aware of a liability or claim on the estate, you will be personally liable, if you did not publish Statutory notices and await the expiry of the notice period before distributing the estate. It is important that Executors and Administrators make full enquiries to establish the extent of the estate at the earliest opportunity and publish Statutory Notices, so that they may distribute an estate with confidence

knowing that all appropriate measures have been taken to meet all debts and/ or claims made on the deceased’s estate. In the case of an intestacy ensure that full searches and enquiries have been made and the legal order of entitlement followed. When a person dies, leaving liabilities outstanding, those liabilities are a liability of their estate. If the value of the estate is insufficient to meet those debts, this is known as an insolvent estate, and there is a strict legal order of priority for payment of debts. In this situation you should seek advice from a specialist probate lawyer. As an administrator or executor, you would not be personally liable for meeting any shortfall to cover the deceased’s debts in the case of an insolvent estate, unless you failed to follow the correct order of distribution. 33

If you have any queries or questions regarding probate, give Hopkins Law a call and ask for Lyn Wheeldon.

Hopkins Law 50-50A High Street Cowbridge CF71 7AH 01446 774 151

Fine Giftware

Christmas is coming But try not to fret If you’re a bit unsure Of what presents to get. Come visit our shops As Christmas counts down We have wonderful presents In the heart of Penarth Town.

Christmas shopping in

Yankee Candle Specialist

Order your EWEMOO footstools in time for Xmas!

Bojangles 13 Washington Buildings, Stanwell Road Penarth – CF64 2AD 029 2035 0040 Gifts @ No.9 9 Windsor Road, Penarth – CF64 1JB 029 2070 2460

the heart of Penarth


Stunning diamond cluster ring. 18ct gold. 1.60ct. £5,250

Diamond solitaire with diamond shoulders, Brilliant cut diamond 0.65ct. £3,950

Beautiful diamond ring. Centre stone 0.70ct. Colour E. 18ct gold. £4,750

Beautiful diamond half eternity. 1.49ct in total. Colour G. £3,500

Tanzanite and diamond cluster. Tanzanite 2.31ct, diamonds 0.69ct. 18ct gold. £3,750

Bespoke contemporary sapphire and diamond ring. Five sapphires 0.76ct. £1,450

0% Finance!

Pa rt e x c h a n g e a l wa y s we l c o m e . Valuations f o r in s u ra n c e , p ro b a te a n d s a l e b y t wo o n - s i t e e s t a b l i s h e d v a luer s. Exc e lle n t p ric e s p a id f o r s e c o n d h a n d wa t c h e s a n d g o l d .


Beautiful pearl and diamond pendant. £3,250

To n y Wa t k i n s a n d J ac k C o h en o f D av id E d w a rds Jewe l l e r s h a v e ov er 9 0 y ea rs ’ co mb in ed e x p e rie nc e i n d i a m o n d s a n d w a tc h es an d p rid e th e ms e lve s o n b e i n g a b l e t o o ffer u n iq u e d e s ig n s o f th e ve ry h ig h es t q u ality.

Brilliant cut diamond half eternity. 18ct gold. 1.50ct. £3,750

Unique 18ct Rose Gold and diamond bracelet £2,750

Unique, stunning pearls and diamond earrings. £6,250

Simply Perfect 2 3 - 2 5 R O YA L A R C A D E , C A R D I F F C F 1 0 1 A E

029 2064 1939

W W W. D AV I D E D WA R D S J E W E L L E R S . C O . U K

Sinclarslaw have recently added a new specialism to its list of services. We chat to private client lawyer Lisa Davies, who joined the firm in October this year, to find out more.

SINCLAIRSLAW Where did you work previously? I was Head of the Private Client Department at Leo Abse & Cohen in Cardiff. They were acquired by Slater & Gordon in May 2015 and I continued to head up the Wills & Probate Team in Wales until August of this year. I was with the firm for a total of six years.

What is your background Lisa? I graduated from Oxford University in 1993 and went on to complete the Legal Practice Course before finishing my training as a solicitor with a highly respected London firm. I have worked in a number of firms in Wales, including large multinationals and niche practices across the area and have developed a solid client following as well as links with accountants, financial advisers and other lawyers. I am respected by colleagues, other professionals and clients alike for my professional and exacting approach, as well as the breadth of my technical knowledge. What do you specialise in? I am what is often called a “private client” lawyer. This means that I specialise in wills and tax planning, probate and estate administration, trust work, Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection cases, amongst other things. I have been invited by Sinclairslaw to set up a Private Client department here in Wales. This is a service we offer through our London office, but haven’t historically specialised in locally, yet it is something that most people will need at some time in their lives. What is special about the work you do? I am a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly which is an organisation dedicated to providing specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. There are only eight other individual fully accredited members within a ten mile radius of Cardiff. Why Sinclairslaw? I am looking forward to developing this area of the business, with an emphasis on providing a service of the highest quality at affordable prices to clients in Wales, who appreciate a personal and friendly small-firm approach.

What other services does Sinclairslaw offer? The firm started out as a general legal practice and has since gained wide recognition for specialist services, including its nationally regarded education law team, which also deals with Special Educational Needs as well as Higher Education and community care law. The local offices also provide a wide range of general services, such as property, litigation and family law. How many offices do they have? Sinclairslaw currently has offices in Canton, Penarth, and London. New headquarters are nearing completion in Cardiff city centre. They will be on Churchill Way and should be ready for the New Year. Facilities will include a new lecture theatre and media centre as well as state-of-the-art office space and meeting areas for clients. 38

“Providing a service of the highest quality at affordable prices to clients in Wales, who appreciate a personal and friendly small-firm approach.” Sinclairslaw Windsor Chambers, 36 Windsor Terrace Penarth CF64 1AB 029 2070 6444 Like us Facebook, follow on Twitter Offices also at 234 Cowbridge Road East Canton Cardiff, CF5 1GY 029 2038 8398 32 Candler Mews, Amyand Park Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3JF 020 8891 4488



Jingle all the way to


It’s Springtime Timberland








Agatha Ruiz De La Prada

A warm Emu Australia Lelli Kelly welcome awaitsChristmas you Merry to everyone! T: 01656selection 788628 n Sizes from birth to UK 10 (adults 10) n Huge and stunning 22bCStation Hill, nShoe22, Width fittings to H n Super E:comfortable nNew Expertroad, fittingPorthcawl service CF36 5DN

22b New Road, Porthcawl CF36 5DN Tel: 01656 788628

“A w e l l - d r e s s e d g e n t l e m a n d o e s n ’ t stand out in a crowd, his elegance sets him apart.”

37-39 Morgan Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AF 029 2037 3780

Mayer, Eton, Remix, 7 For All Mankind, Remus Without Prejudice, Circle of Gentlemen, Holland Esq Jeffery West, RM Williams, Trapper, Roy Robson, Barbour

When you walk through a town like Penarth, it’s easy to think that the shops end in the high street. That’s definitely not the case with Glebe Street and Ludlow Lane as these streets are jam-packed with vibrant, interesting independent businesses. We have picked just a few of the best that these streets have to offer.


Jewels Canley Interiors When looking for an interior design company to transform your home, what should you look for? The main priorities should be reputation, exciting and innovative design concepts, attention to detail and value for money. Jewels Canley Interiors has been established since 1983 and has built up an enviable reputation for providing the highest standard of work and has a portfolio of work spanning 33 years to prove it. From made-to-order furniture or re-upholstery, bespoke curtains or window dressing, alternative flooring, or providing a complete interior design service for domestic or commercial properties, Jewels Canley ticks every box. Owner Julie Perkins works with only the best fabric designers in the business including Manuel Canovas, Casamance, Sanderson, Sahco, Zoffany, Blendworth, Zinc, Osbourne & Little, Jab, Designers Guild, Colefax & Fowler, Jane Churchill, Nina Campbell, Romo, Harlequin, GP and J Baker, Kravet, Mulberry and Romo. Book now and get your bespoke hand-made curtains before Christmas. Jewels Canley Interiors Ltd 2 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1EB 02920 707779


A New Year A New Home A New Agent

Seabreeze Homes Established in 1999, Seabreeze Homes are a qualified professional sales, letting and management agency. We use the latest technology with the most advanced search engines to promote your property. We have established a reputation as one of the fastest growing agencies in Wales with a 5* rating on Google. Seabreeze Homes are constantly ranked in the top 5 agencies in the Penarth, Cardiff, Cardiff Bay and the surrounding areas. We only select the top two percent of applications from tenants and on sales we are so confident that we will sell your property there is no tie in fee plus we will go dual agent at no extra charge.

Seabreeze Homes

Sales I Lettings | Management Covering Penarth and the surrounding area

Seabreeze Homes Sales Lettings Management 17 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1ED 02920 70 70 64 Like us on Facebook

029 2070 7064 17 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1ED

“We have established a reputation as one of the fastest growing agencies in Wales with a 5* rating on Google.”


The Crepe Escape The Crêpe Escape is the perfect place to take your family and friends for a treat or for lunch. A cosy little creperie with an amazing selection of sweet and savoury treats that come with a base of either a crepe or a waffle, with delicious award-winning sorbet and gelato ice cream from Covent Garden in London. Try one with a freshly-made coffee, glass of Processo or a Freakshake milkshake (ice cream, entire cakes, waffles, marshmallows, chocolate bars, lashings of cream and covered in chocolate and caramel sauces).

If you have a special event coming up, why not hold it at The Crepe Escape? Birthday parties and baby showers are their speciality! Check out their Facebook page for Christmas events and seasonal specials.


Hello Gorgeous! Celebrating seven years, let Sharon and her highly qualified, friendly team create a cut and colour to suit your lifestyle. The salon welcomes men, women and children of all ages to its recently refurbished glamorous salon. This salon offers trend-setting fashion hair colours such as pink, blue and purple, which do not wash out. Stockists of the ever popular ghd, Matrix Biolage and Moroccan Oil and BeadNest jewellery and accessories. Also exclusive stockists of Marc Inbane instant self-tan. All of these would make perfect Christmas gifts.

Hello Gorgeous! 111, Ludlow Lane, Penarth CF64 1EB 029 20704763 43

The Crepe Escape 15 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1ED 029 20702395 Like on Facebook Mon - Thurs 9:30 – 17:30 Fri & Sat 9:30 – 18:00 Sunday: 10:00 – 16:00

Late nights every Friday in December (9am-8pm) Open Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve (9am-2pm) The salon will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day & Monday 2nd January

11 Glebe Street, Penarth

029 2070 5111


Peter Wood Residential Lettings and Property Management A long-established, family run, lettings and property management service operating in Penarth, Cardiff and The Vale. Proud to be members of The National Approved Letting Scheme, The Property Ombudsman and The Protecting Tenancy Deposits scheme. Let Peter Wood and his highly trained team take the stress out of letting your property. Handymen UK Ltd. For all your property maintenance needs, we’ve got it covered.

Peter Wood Residential Lettings 97 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1EE 029 2070 3681


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

Frangoulis 2 Windsor Arcade, Penarth CF64 1JA 029 2070 0233 Like on Facebook

“Offering a wide and diverse range of services.” 44

Handymen 029 2070 4060

our local Interior Design Consultancy For a free quotation and no-obligation appointment call us on 02920 610 482

our local Fire & Fireplace Consultancy For a free quotation and no-obligation appointment call us on 02920 610 482 First Floor, 109 Glebe St, Penarth, South Glamorgan CF64 1ED


Save the Children Save the Children Penarth is a friendly and dynamic group of women who meet on a regular basis to raise funds for Save the Children. This year, they have raised more than £5,000 towards helping the invaluable work of Save the Children in over 100 countries. Their events are fun and varied and have included a children’s Halloween party, frock swaps, shopping evenings and a barn dance. They also host a series of very popular coffee mornings throughout the year which bring everyone together. They would like to thank the many retailers of Penarth who have supported them so generously with raffle and auction

prizes throughout the years and especially to Y Cwtsh Interiors for donating their beautiful footstool in Designers Guild Fabric for their next raffle. For further information on the group and how to win the footstool, see their Facebook page


When Mrs Anne Bernard from Sully visited a friend’s new house and saw her blinds she was very impressed. When she was told where the blinds came from, she was on the telephone the next day to‌


What work did they carry out? What work did they carry out? Abode fitted blinds in all rooms including Zebra blinds which were motorised in two rooms. They also fitted pleated blinds in pool area. Were they competitive? Yes. For what we wanted, they were very competitive. Did you get quotations from other companies? Yes we did. We got quotations from Thomas Sanderson and Hillarys. What made you decide to choose Abode? We thought they offered extremely good products with a lot of choice and expert guidance. How was the process of working with Abode? Abode have been an excellent company to work with. Ian was extremely helpful and made some great suggestions during his first visit. The office staff are friendly and helpful. Andy, the fitter, is a credit to the company. He is spotless in his work and extremely polite. What difference has the work they did made to your home? It has put the finishing touches to each room. Did you think they were value for money? Absolutely. We tried a range of companies and Abode came out very well. The product is first class. Would you be happy to recommend Abode to family and friends? Most definitely. Abode Shutters & Blinds 109 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1ED 029 2132 1160



Fauvette Lifelong friends Philippa Friedman and Jean-Marc Delys have turned a long-term dream into reality and have chosen the iconic Chris Capus premises for their first cheese and wine venture. The shop specialises in artisan cheeses from the British Isles as well as Natural Wines. They source goods from producers they have personally met, in order to pass on a story of craft and provenance to their customers. The pair met in London over two decades ago whilst working in the restaurant industry. Philippa later left the capital for the Cotswolds and joined the small cheese-making team at Daylesford Organic under the helm of Joe Schneider, who now produces the famous Stichelton Blue. There, she learnt about Cheddar making and rind washing, finally specialising in affinage. Jean-Marc followed later and joined local cheese wholesaler Fromage to Age, establishing links with British cheesemakers and small independent retailers across the Midlands and South. Both have been guest judges at the British Cheese Awards, alongside cheese guru Juliet Harbutt. The business is named Fauvette after a friendly, doe-eyed brown and white cow, on Jean-Marc’s childhood farm in the Loire Valley. Fauvette offers delicious cheese boards and wine to enjoy on the premises. Fauvette is taking pre-orders for Christmas hampers, gift boxes and whole cheeses. Fauvette 8 Glebe Street, Penarth CF64 1ED 029 2070 8753 Facebook/fauvettepenarth Instagram/fauvettepenarth

At USTU we have been hard at work trying to give you an idea of what we are capable of and have made some considerable effort to avoid featuring the usual stereotypical shot of the salon, coupled with a string of product names and list of services.

USTU Determined to do just that, the challenge was given to another of our creatives. Daniel Ward is a senior member of the USTU Team.

He was given free reign. “I want to show a different element of our skills. I’m thinking a male shot, something more street,” he says. We totally agree, as gentlemen’s services are now a fashion essential for any selfrespecting man in today’s society, and more and more guys are looking to us for more than just a trim. Waxing, brows, lashes, skin treatments, nails, the guys want what the ladies get already (with the exception of beard shaping and trimming, the ladies don’t want that!). Thus, from the combined artistry of Dan’s cutting and styling and Jodie Donovan’s skills they present to you the element of pure URBANITE, polished just enough, but still fabulously raw. Wayne Keene

Ustu 94 John Street Porthcawl CF36 3DT 01656 773770


gift experience THIS CHRISTMAS



01443 667800 | Vale Resort, Hensol Park, Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY

Dawn Richardson, of Dawn Clinic in Barry, has built up an enviable client base since she first opened five years ago. Now she is on the move to Penarth. We caught up with Dawn to find out why she’s moving to Penarth and about what the clinic offers.


Dawn, so why the move to Penarth? Well for those who know my clinic in Barry, it has quite a steep flight of stairs which some of my clients find difficult to climb. It’s also based on two floors, which again means more stairs. Also, I live in Penarth so I will be saving a few hours each week on commuting which will leave me more time to spend in the new clinic. Remind us of your background… I qualified first as a nurse and have been nursing for twenty years - my expertise has always been in skin care, including deep vein thrombosis. After moving to Penarth with my two children in 2009, I realised that I did not want to stay in the NHS forever and decided to expand my nursing skills. Being registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council as an independent prescriber allows me the privilege to treat underlying problems and not just the wrinkles.

I only use Medical Grade treatments that are research-based and passed for use in the UK. What treatments and procedures do you offer? I provide specialist skin treatments for men and women, including 8-point face lift, anti-wrinkle treatments, Aqualyx fat dissolving injections, chemical peels, dermal fillers, Dermaroller, EDS electronic Dermastamp, hyperhidrosis, Liquid Face Lift with Sculptra, Radiesse hands and the latest in skin lifting technology, the PDO thread lift.

“I offer free consultations as sometimes I might suggest a treatment that a client might not have previously considered.” 50

I also offer a range of cosmeceutical skin care products from Obagi, Aestheticare, Jan Marini and Skintech, Treating acne, ageing, rosacea, scarring, pigmentation and dark circles under the eyes. The new PDO lift sounds interesting, tell us more about that? This lift is an excellent and effective cosmetic technique to lift and tighten sagging tissues and is a great alternative for those who need a surgical face lift and do not want to go under the knife or use general anaesthetic. It re-defines facial contours and induces collagen production. The threads are made from 100% Polydioxanone which is widely used in surgical procedures. The thread forms an integrated support structure for the tissue of the face due to collagen synthesis. The lifting effect is at its peak at six months when collagen has formed around the threads. The lifting effect lasts for up to 2-3 years.

The PDO thread lift treatment, before and after results.

“From enhancing lips to liquid face lifts, the use of fillers, collagen stimu- lants, resurfacing and antioxidants and the thread lift, can change a client’s life and make them more confident and happier.” PDO threads can be safely used in combination with Botox, fillers, dermaroller and other skin resurfacing procedures. As a member of the Association of PDO Threads UK (APDOTUK), I have had up-to-date training and use only high quality CE marked devices (supplied by Neo Cosmedix Europe under the certification of Dr Jacques Otto, a leading expert trainer and speaker in PDO thread lifting). I perform the highly advanced 10-point face lift using dissolvable CE marked PDO threads. What makes the Dawn Clinic different to other clinics? All treatments are designed individually. I offer free consultations as sometimes I might suggest a treatment that a client might not have previously considered. I love all treatments that make a client’s skin look and feel younger,

and offer the full range of skincare and treatments to clients so that a tailored treatment plan can be offered. The ability to sculpt a client’s face is very satisfying. From enhancing lips to liquid face lifts, the use of fillers, collagen stimulants, resurfacing and antioxidants and the thread lift, can change a client’s life and make them more confident and happier. What would be the number one skin care tip you would give our readers? If I can offer one piece of advice, it would be to use a sunscreen daily up to 95% of skin ageing comes from exposure to UV light. Even when it’s cloudy, our skin can get damaged. Prevention is always better than cure, but if you need skin correction, or want to hold back the years and look younger and fresher as you do age, then I can help. 51

Dawn Aesthetic Clinic Ground Floor 110 Westbourne Road Penarth CF64 3HH 07830 520275 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter

Owain Mealing is the optometrist who fits OrthoK lenses at Davies and Jones Optometrists. Here he sits down with Vale Life to introduce his team and to discuss this exciting contact lens therapy for short-sighted people.


Owain Mealing

So Owain what is Orthok? OrthoK allows short sighted people the opportunity to enjoy life without contact lenses or spectacles during the day, whilst enjoying clear, natural vision. Developments in lens designing software and equipment during the last few years have allowed the technique to show greatly improved results since its inception in the 1970s. Essentially it involves sleeping in a custom-made contact lens which is removed upon waking and the patient then enjoys good clear vision all day. Who would benefit from OrthoK? Currently lenses are available for people who are short sighted up to about -5.00. Beyond that level of short sightedness can be fitted but the results are not as brilliant. People who do sport or work in environments where traditional lenses are not comfortable really love OrthoK as there is no lens in their eye to dry out and become uncomfortable.

For people who hate spectacles but don’t want to take the risk that surgery involves, this is ideal. Young people especially like OrthoK. Are children suitable? This is a really exciting area of Optometry. Currently there is a “myopia boom” across the world including the UK. Short-sightedness is now affecting about half of young adults compared to a quarter of the older population. OrthoK has had some really interesting research done that is linked with controlling short sightedness in young children, more work needs to be done into what happens in the future but this is really exciting as patients who are short sighted are more likely to have eye problems in the future; this is something that OrthoK may well be able to help. Is it expensive? Absolutely not. OrthoK is no more expensive than wearing a good daily disposable contact lens. 52

Is it safe? The risk of eye infections is no higher than wearing other over-night lenses and infact has been compared favourably to daily disposable lenses. Studies have shown that it is completely reversible with no significant side effects, compared to the potential problems associated with being short-sighted this is really promising for the future.

SPECIAL OFFER 10ml Hyabak , 100ml Blephasol and an EyeBag all for £35 (normally £40.98)

Davies & Jones Optometrists 58 Talbot Road Llantrisant, Pontyclun CF72 8AF 01443 223124 Facebook: Davies and Jones Optometrists

MEET THE TEAM Danielle Mealing

Alice Rees

OPTOMETRIST Danielle has been with Davies and Jones for ten years and runs our Dry Eye clinics and has higher qualifications in glaucoma.

O P T I CA L A S S I S TA N T Alice is studying with the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and assist Cath with frame selection.

Cath Coles

Juliet Lovett

DISPENSING OPTICIAN AND PRACTICE MANAGER Cath runs the operations in Talbot Green and does out reach clinics in Special Schools.

O P T I CA L A S S I S TA N T / P R AC T I C E A D M I N I S T R AT O R Juliet oversees our Private Ophthalmology clinics.

June Black

Jane Price

S E N I O R O P T I CA L A S S I S TA N T June is our longest serving member of the team in Talbot Green and oversees the running of your visit to us.

O P T I CA L A S S I S TA N T Jane will help you book your appointment and carry out prescreening.

Tracey Shugar

Adele Thomas

O P T I CA L A S S I S TA N T Tracey will help you choose your spectacles and book you appointments.

O P T I CA L A S S I S TA N T Adele will help you choose your spectacles and book you appointments.

Nicola Hurley

Kirsten Wilson

O P T I CA L A S S I S TA N T Nicola performs general receptionist duties as well as using some of our hi-tec imaging equipment.

STUDENT OPTOMETRIST Kirsten is studying at Cardiff University and assists us on Saturdays.


Managing all your skin care needs FREE consultation with an honest, friendly and professional staff. Please call 01443 223352 or email andrea@ Remove Lines, Wrinkles Moles, Skin tags Pigmentation, Warts Excessive hair, Scarring

Cyfoes Healthcare First Floor, 35-37 Talbot Road, Talbot Green Rhondda Cynon Taff CF72 8AD 01443 223 352 Follow on Facebook


Tynycoed Surgery Cosmetic Service Tynycoed surgery has been established for over 20 years. It serves a population of just over 10,000 NHS patients. The private cosmetic service was set up in March 2015, after two of the GP partners, Dr Simpson and Dr Richards, were professionally trained, completing a course accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners. Dr Simpson tells us more. What services do you offer? n Anti-wrinkle treatments using botulinum toxin and facial fillers. n Treatment of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) using botulinum toxin n Lip volumising and contouring using facial fillers

South Wales and a few clients even travel from London to access the clinic. Which services are most popular? Anti-wrinkle injections to the forehead and frown (glabella) lines. What makes Tynycoed Surgery Special? As practising doctors, we apply the same safe, medical ethical approach to our private cosmetic clients as we do to our NHS patients. We adhere to the latest GMC standards on cosmetic procedures that came into force in June 2016. We always assess patients on an individual basis, with a thorough consent process and provide advice on which areas to treat. We also pride ourselves in offering a free follow up service.

Prices start from ÂŁ140. Where do your customers come from, geographically? At the launch of the service, most of the clients were within the surgery catchment area, but just through word of mouth the clientele has spread across

Gift Vouchers are available which would make the perfect Christmas present. Promotional offers are running through December and January including: n 10% off when booking three areas of botox n 20% off group bookings of two or more people

Dr. Simpson and Dr. Richards

Tynycoed Surgery 20 Merfield Close, Bryncethin Bridgend CF32 9SW 01656 726959


Independent advice on all leading makes and and models Family practice established in Penarth for over 15 years l The highest levels of service and aftercare l Microsuction ear wax removal service l Widex Centre of Excellence l 5 Star Centre for Phonak l Gold Centre for Oticon l Home visit service available l



Hearing Centre

Call: 029 2070 7760 55

10 Royal Buildings Penarth CF64 3ED

It is easy to succumb to temptation during the Christmas period, especially with all of the cooked dinners and mince pies the season brings. But don’t let the holiday set your fitness success back, visit the personal trainer with a tremendous reputation for excellent results in all areas and levels of fitness.



With a background that has seen him play rugby in New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, Marvyn Bailey wanted to fill the free time he had between each of his rugby training sessions. After having qualified as a personal trainer and nutritionist Marvyn quickly found enjoyment through helping others to achieve their goals and watching as their characters and confidence grew. After retiring from rugby he took the opportunity to go full time with his Personal Training and branched out

into not one but two training facilities, each packed with world class training equipment - including an extensive loose weights section, plus Olympic weights and lifting platforms - as well as additional studios that hosts a range of exciting daily classes.

Alongside his powerhouse of experts that make up his team, Marvyn represents the best in the personal training industry. Happy to let their results speak for themselves, the trainers do not use the latest fads and trends - most of which cause more harm than good - instead

focusing on tried and tested methods founded on the latest industry thinking.

By working alongside each person the trainers can find the fitness solution that is perfect for them, without judgement or unneeded critique. Fundamental philosophies are the base for their fitness programmes that helps provide the needed stimulus for the clients to achieve their desired results. Their ability to use the science behind the training in a fun and dynamic format means that all sessions are both enjoyable and effective, two key results of any great workout.

Omnium Lifestyle Village 2 Eastern Business Park Bennett Street Bridgend CF31 3SH 07882 924541 One To One Gym Unit TP4 - TP5 Main Avenue Treforest Industrial Estate Pontypridd CF37 5UR Follow on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube 31 56

Popular Penarth salon owners Alexis and Hayley Williams chat to Vale Life magazine about their last ten years in business and their hopes and dreams for the decade ahead.


How long has Blu been established? We first opened the doors of Blu in December 2006. Can you believe it has been ten years already?! Time flies when you’re having fun! At that time, the country was deep in recession and, like many other small business owners, we had concerns but, as a family, we’ve pulled through and here we are, stronger and better than ever! Who are the salon owners? We are Alexis and Hayley Williams and, combined, we have over thirty years’ hairdressing experience between us. Alexis has worked overseas managing a salon in Sydney, Australia, as well as educating for product line, Sebastian a brand we now proudly stock in our Penarth salon. Hayley has worked in the Vale for several years and has an everexpanding, loyal clientele. As busy stylists ourselves, a lot of our time is spent on the salon floor looking after clients and leading our team. However, we always make time for updating and refreshing skills. It’s so important to stay at the top of our game. What makes Blu so special? Certainly our incredible location! All of our clients will testify to the salon’s incredible views overlooking Penarth and its stunning Victorian buildings.

“ We have over 30 years’ hairdressing experience.” It’s also a perfect little suntrap! Our first-floor premises give a real “exclusive” private-jet feel. What has been your biggest achievement? Definitely our team. Most salon owners will agree, building a team and creating the right dynamics can be a challenge. At the moment, we’re really pleased because we feel we’ve mastered it! All of our team take great pride in their work and their ever-expanding portfolios across all of our social media accounts. Hayley and I are also incredibly proud to still be so close with one of the original Blu team members, Lawrence, who now owns his own salon and Education Company but still returns to excite and inspire us. At Blu, we’re incredibly close - it’s a great family feel. What is important to you? For us, customer service has always been paramount. The team have constant training on the most important part of your visit - the consultation. For us, it’s not just a great cut or colour, it’s about how it works for you. Our consultations will analyse not only your hair, but your face shape, lifestyle and bone structure in order to achieve a look completely personal to you. 57

Are you just as excited about Blu as when you first started ten years ago? Absolutely. Our creative space is currently undergoing a makeover. We’re super excited, as we’ve just had the most beautiful styling chairs fitted and there’s so much more to come. Watch this space! The makeover, coupled with the stunning new products we’re about to launch - there’s definitely a great buzz about the place. Where do you see Blu in the next 10 years? Onwards and upwards - always. Our biggest goal is to keep growing as a company and, most importantly, to never stop learning. Client retention is crucial in any business and we would like to thank our loyal customers who continue to support us. We would also like to invite new clients to join our happy family! Blu Hair Design Unit 1/1a Washington Buildings Penarth CF64 2AF 029 2070 4040

Winter Wondermint £2.90

Bra £39.50 / Briefs £17.50

Cyberjammies PJs £45.00 per set

Pixie Gift of Glow Holiday Edition, £76 Available from Select Marks & Spencer Stores

Tutti Rouge Knicker Bauble, £6.99


Pixie Endless Silky Eye Pen Kit, Necessary Neutrals, £22 Available from Select Marks & Spencer Stores

Clarins Contouring Palette, £36 Sleekgold compact containing a mirror and curved brush. Available at department stores nationwide and Bea Rejuvenating Wands £60 for a pack of 10 wands

Sisley Soir d’Orient moisturizing perfumed body cream, 150 ml, £75

Bare Minerals 3-piece full size brush collection plus brush roll, £39, department stores nationwide and selected salons and spas.

Hawker Harrier II Pegasus, £370

Earl Grey vs. London Breakfast – 50 Tea Bags in one awesome pink gift box £8.99 The Guvnor, Ultra-cool tin contains 15 Earl Grey Pyramid Teabags, £9.99 58

WE ARE CHRISTMAS Cosy log fire, picturesque grounds. It’s postcard perfect. Experience the magic of Fairyhill this Christmas.

Always open, always welcome. Eat. Drink. Sleep.

Describing itself as an eco-friendly, sustainable salon, providing the highest quality service to their clients, recently opened Wildwood Hair Company is a welcome addition to the county borough of Bridgend. Vale Life chats with salon owner Stephanie Duckett.



Can you tell us about your background and what inspired you to open your own salon? I discovered an interest in hairdressing while I was studying at Art College. From there I become an apprentice at Vidal Sassoon, where I was fortunate enough to be taught and inspired by some of the most talented people in the industry, ultimately qualifying as a stylist. Since qualifying I’ve worked at various salons, and even gone back to Art College to study ceramics which I now make in my spare time. What I wanted most of all was to own my own hair salon and so I opened Wildwood hair company in August 2016. The salon is in a unique location on the Old Stone Bridge in Bridgend and is situated in a stunning Grade II listed building which boasts an old oak beam in the ceiling and beautiful sash windows.

The interior was built with environmental values in mind; our workstations were built by my husband from reclaimed wood, and our furniture was sourced from second hand shops. What is your ethos here at Wildwood Hair Company? We are an eco-friendly, sustainable salon, providing the highest quality service to our customers. Our aim is to offer a unique, relaxing, quality experience. As a salon, the brands and products we use and sell to our clients are from one of the world leaders in sustainable hair products, Davines. Their products are eco-friendly and use the highest quality natural ingredients. Also we use biodegradable disposable towels to reduce our impact on the environment.

“Our aim is to offer a unique, relaxing, quality experience.” 60

Can you tell us about your appointment system? Yes, we offer hour long appointments to ensure you receive an unhurried and personal experience.

Wildwood Hair Company 3 Old Bridge, Bridgend CF31 1JD 01656 768785 Follow on Facebook & Instagram

Evermore Beauty Situated within Wildwood Hair Company is Evermore Beauty, a small but truly relaxing space offering a retreat of calm. Hannah Blackwell is a fully qualified beauty specialist offering a full range of high quality treatments; she has a passion for beauty and her ethos is to make you feel calm as well as great not just on the outside but on the inside too. Hannah what led to you setting up Evermore Beauty? Ever since I was a little girl my dream was to have a successful career in beauty. After three years at college and working at various high-end spas my dream finally came true when I opened Evermore beauty in September 2016 which is based within Wildwood Hair Company. What product range do you favour and why? I love the organic Neal’s Yard Remedies which I use here they’re natural, ethical and sustainable and my clients love them. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and an active barrier between our bodies and the environment. It’s well known that what you put on your skin ends up in your body. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what’s in the products you use on your skin. What treatments do you offer? I provide a full range of treatments such as facials and massages, and my beauty treatments include semipermanent eyelashes, waxing, pedicures and manicures including gelish nails which are extremely popular for the party season. Evermore Beauty 3 Old Bridge Bridgend CF31 1JD 07938 874 838 Follow on Facebook and Instagram

The Afan Tavern in Cwmafan won the South Wales Evening Post’s Restaurant Of The Year Award and is attracting customers from far and wide all eager to try their delicious home-cooked food. Alan Lloyd popped in to find out more...


This popular country pub has developed an excellent reputation for the high quality affordable cuisine and first class service. The Afan Tavern has won the prestigious title of South Wales Evening Post Restaurant of the Year under the Pub Food category (and also best steak in South Wales), has also received a highly commended award from Swansea Bay Tourism. The emphasis is on home-cooked produce using fresh, local ingredients wherever possible. There is an appetising choice of starters and an impressive selection of main courses such as Singapore Pulled Pork, Noodle Sizzler or Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni to name just a couple. Pub favourites include Fish and Chips with homemade batter as well as succulent Celtic Pride steaks and burgers from the grill. Delicious desserts include Jam Roly Poly and Chocolate Fudge Cake served with ice cream and the new Nutella Gnocchi is well worth trying.

Curries come with a mini naan, poppadum, mango chutney and basmati rice and/or chips for just £6.95 and include the famous Afan Chicken Tarka. There is also a choice of Real Ales that would quench any thirst.

“The emphasis is on home-cooked produce using fresh, local ingredients.”

The Sunday carvery is very popular and to cater for demand there are three sittings. Customers enjoy beef, pork, turkey and even lamb, with all of the trimmings. One course is £7.95, two courses are £9.95 and three courses are £11.95. The restaurant is now open on Sunday evenings from 6pm until 9pm. The Afan Tavern can cater for all dietary requirements and vegetarians are well catered for. Children have their own menu and kids under the age of twelve can eat free with every full paying adult from Monday to Saturday between 3pm and 5pm, and 4pm on Sunday. The Afan Tavern also has free WiFi - handy for tablets and smart phones. 62

Afan Tavern Jersey Terrace, Cwmafan Neath Port Talbot SA12 9AS 01639 898 283 Like on Facebook AfanTavern


C Magness Butchers Make the most of this Christmas by Choosing the very best tantalising treats for your festive feasts. With Christmas arriving very soon make sure you secure the very best food available by visiting C Magness Butchers. With a range of turkeys plus a whole host of seasonal offers, this traditional family butchers is here to make sure that your Christmas is merry and bright thanks to their fabulous meat. Let Carwyn and his team make your Christmas one to remember. 96 John Street, Porthcawl CF36 3DT 01656 783828 Like on Facebook PERFECT ALL YEAR ROUND

Marco’s Cafe Open all year round and no matter the weather, Marco’s Cafe is the shining centrepiece to the wonderful Barry Island. Come rain or shine the family behind Marco’s cafe are always ready to serve their range of drinks, cakes, and famous bacon sandwiches to the hundreds of customers that regularly visit them, making this famous cafe a perfect accompaniment to some of the Islands up-coming events; including the white collar charity boxing event in November, plus the annual Boxing Day and New Year’s Day swimming. The Promenade, Barry Island CF62 5TQ 07866 572288 Like on Facebook A LW AY S O P E N

Coffee Cove Banish the Winter Blues by warming your hands around a cup of some of the finest coffee Barry Island has to offer. It may be Winter outside, but that does not mean your favourite coffee place is closed for the holidays. In fact Coffee Cove is as active as ever with its hugely popular open mic nights continuing weekly plus its high quality menu boasting a range of delicious pizzas alongside the fine offerings of Piazza D’Oro coffee, all of which are available no matter the time of year. Unit 1, Esplanade Building, Friars Road, Barry Island CF62 5TJ 01446 677071 Like on Facebook 63

Somewhere you can relax with your friends and loved ones and share fresh delicious food and more-ish cocktails. Vale Life catches up with owner Alice Anthony.

19 M ARY STREET How has business been - and what’s new - since we last saw you in the summer? Business has been great since we last spoke; alongside our usual tapas we have had lots of new changes such as Sunday lunches, special larger portioned tapas dishes, and we have opened our guest accommodation upstairs. That’s great news; tell us more about your accommodation. Yes - we opened up our rooms just in time for Porthcawl’s Elvis festival at the end of September and they’ve gone down very well with our customers. We offer single, double and family size rooms - all renovated with a modern rustic style with en-suite bathrooms, Freeview and WIFI. We have a wide selection of clientele from families on holiday in Porthcawl to local couples on weekend getaways and contractors on work in the local area so we’ve been very busy since opening our rooms. The last time we spoke you were launching your Sunday lunches how’s that going? We’re absolutely thrilled with the response we’ve received for our Sunday lunches; our customers are thoroughly enjoying it as are we. We serve traditional 3 course roast dinners with all the trimmings, our starters and desserts are changed often. We do recommend calling to book for our Sunday lunches as we do fill up quickly. We’ve received such a fantastic response from our Sunday lunches that we’re putting our tapas menu on hold during December and launching our Festive menu.

Festive menu

We’re offering tables of 8 and over ‘Christmas Cracker Roulette’ where one person will win a prize in their cracker from a one night stay at 19 Mary Street to complimentary meals, cocktails and more.

Call on 01656 771 991 to book a table for your works ‘do’, Christmas get together with friends or simply a meal out with your partner or family this December. Private Christmas functions are available on selected dates; call for more information. 19 Mary Street will be serving delicious food from 12pm - 3pm and 6pm - 9.30pm and they’re open until late for drinks Wednesday Saturday. Sunday lunch every Sunday 12pm - 4pm. On the weekend, after food service, they dim the lights and have popular music for an upbeat but relaxed atmosphere for cocktails; non-diners are equally welcome to enjoy the vibe.

“We’ve received such a fantastic response for our Sunday lunches.”

A little bird tells us they’re planning some exciting event nights in the near future so keep your eyes peeled for news on their Facebook page: 19marystreet. 64

19 Mary Street Porthcawl CF36 3YL 01656 771991 Follow on Facebook and Twitter

Set on Porthcawl’s seafront, the Cosy Corner Lounge is the place to meet friends and loved ones over brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks. Here you’ll find a range of modern European dishes, focusing on fresh fish and Welsh meats.


Breakfast is available between 9.30am and 11am with a range of dishes on offer including Full Welsh Breakfasts, Eggs Benedict and Bubble & Squeak. Weekday lunchtimes they offer a two course express lunch for £9.95 which changes daily. Honestly, they had us at Eggs Benedict! Vale Life chats with owners Sophie and Adam Thomas. Can you tell us about your backgrounds and what led you to open Cosy Corner Lounge? We (my husband Adam and I) have always dreamed about opening our own bar. I’ve been managing the Bar 44 restaurants for the last six years, while Adam has managed bars in Switzerland as well as working in professional kitchens.

We’re both extremely passionate about food and drink; we saw a gap in the market for a Porthcawl restaurant serving fresh, seasonal and locally produced food and both understood it was the perfect recipe to open an establishment together.

We spent a long time tasting samples, from many suppliers, to find the very best produce at affordable prices. All our steaks are Welsh and dry aged, and our customers have been very complimentary about them.

Do you use local produce? How important is this to you? We believe that Wales has some of the finest produce in the UK so the vast majority of our produce comes from local suppliers. We have an excellent fish supplier who we are in regular contact with, so we are up-to-date with what has been caught locally every morning.

We also only have Welsh lager and pale ale on draught, which is brewed by the guys at Glamorgan Beer, based in Llantrisant. Plus we use an excellent smooth coffee (Welsh Coffee) which is roasted down in the Gower.

“Passionate about food and drink.” 66

We’ve heard your cocktails are very popular. Do you have a house special? Cocktails are my forte; I’ve studied the art of molecular mixology and taken part in world class competitions. For many years I have written cocktail menus for other establishments,

gaining national and regional recognition. I’m aiming to achieve the same at Cosy Corner. Our cocktails use a lot of home infusions keeping the drink tasting fresh; our staple cocktails, which we opened with, are the CC Le Fizz and Oi Oi Sailor - both of which remain our top sellers. If cocktails aren’t your thing, then we have a fantastic wine selection comprising of a variety of different grapes to perfectly complement our tasty dishes. How do you manage with you both heavily involved in the business? We didn’t expect our first months of married life to be so work orientated but wouldn’t change it for the world and love the restaurant and being our own boss.

What plans do you have for the future? In the New Year we’ll be offering a range of tasting menus which we will pair with wines, spirits, cocktails and sherries. These evenings will be hosted by suppliers and brand ambassadors making the evenings fun and informative. We’ll also be offering a range of delicious homemade cakes to complement our hot drinks - the perfect way to warm up and escape the cold weather in our cosy unique surroundings.

“What a great place… We will definitely be visiting again.” 67

Cosy Corner Lounge 33 The Esplanade , Porthcawl CF36 3YR 01656 503 245 Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Heidel and Phil Campbell run this quirky riverside pub set in the heart of the Afan Valley. It’s a place where their clientele feel at home, relaxing with a pint of real ale or over some delicious hearty home cooked food, without the interruption of televisions or noisy fruit machines.

THE BRIT PUB Phil & Heidel Campbell

Their vision was for all of their food to be produced on the premises, somewhere between pub grub and fine dining and their stack of awards are tantamount to their success. We ask Heidel about these “We’ve been working hard for the past 2 years to improve every aspect of the business so were thrilled to have won the Good Food Awards at the end of last year and then again this year. We also made it to the last 4 in the Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year Awards held at the Houses of Parliament. We’ve also had great support from CAMRA since we opened and were selected to go in their Good Beer Guide for the past 2 years, which is very good for a new business”. As well as real ale The Brit has an impressive wine list and even a Gin menu with obscure gins sourced from around the globe. Fans of quirky interior design and upcycling, the couple have incorporated

this into the design element while remaining in touch with the history of the beautiful building itself, bringing modern elements and contemporary ideas together with older ones. Heidel tells us “When we had to remove the doors upstairs and replace some of the floor boards during the renovation we decided to use them to make the bar which is a focal point for anyone entering the building.

Our piano is played by customers and we have a fabulous log burning fire for colder days.”

We love the history of the building which was built in 1845. We even have a piece of railway holding up part of our restaurant that was shown at The Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace back in 1851. It was part of a 63ft rail that was produced in the Cwmavon Rail Mill. There is a mannequin lamp that shines over diners and she gets quite a bit of attention. A Victorian Stags Head and wallpaper designed by Melissa Braconnier that someone described as looking as though it had been designed by Monty Python.

And from the evening menu our Porcini Crusted Lamb with wholegrain mustard mash, green beans, seasonal carrots and a port, redcurrant and rosemary sauce is probably the most popular along with the Slow Cooked Pork Belly with black pudding, dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal broccoli and cider braised red cabbage in a cider and cream sauce.


The food looks, and smells, delicious; we ask what the most popular dishes here are. “At lunch the food is more relaxed we offer a shortcrust pastry pie of the day which is well loved as well as faggots, & mushy peas with root vegetables or a bowl of mussels.

For dessert (also home made) our most popular choices are lavender & blueberry creme brulee or white chocolate & baileys cheesecake.

We source most of our food locally to bring our customers the best quality available; we also try and stick to seasonal ingredients for this same reason. Local produce tastes better, it supports the local economy and allows us to change our menus according to the season. They also offer stunning afternoon teas too which look to be extremely popular. Their chefs make all the sandwiches, desserts, and scones on the premises and they’re served up on vintage china making it a visual as well as a tasty treat. They serve cocktails to complement their afternoon teas; you can enjoy Art Deco Prosecco or Gin & Bear it, all served from vintage teapots.

to commemorate his life & times with guest speakers and even some of his family members, Beaujolais day, wine tasting evenings and more. Every other Thursday night we have a musical duo, Russ & Rob, who play beautiful acoustic music, and a Sunday night quiz that has a great following with different customers hosting it every week.” If you’re looking for accommodation in the area The Brit Pub has three bunk rooms with 4 bunks in each geared towards cyclists and walkers using the Afan Valley. The rooms have a rustic feel with exposed stone, and the chunky wooden beds have been built into the walls. they also have a drying room and secure bike stowage.

Heidel and Phil hold a variety of popular events throughout the year with every event being a sell out. Phil tells us “We have an annual Real Ale & Cider festival in June, a Charity Summer Ball, a Trafalgar night celebrations, a Richard Burton evening

The Brit Pub London Row, Cwmavon SA12 9AH 01639 680247 69


The Fountain Inn Spend this winter the right way, surrounded by family and friends in a traditional and merry inn. The Fountain Inn is pulling out all the stops when it comes to celebrating this holiday period, so much so that they are extending Christmas! On December 28th you can join them for some extra merriment in their After-Christmas Party before visiting again a few days later as they host New Years Eve, a night made complete with champagne and a mouth-watering hog roast. Park Road, Aberkenfig CF32 0EW 01656 856173 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter A A AWA R D - W I N N I N G

La Luna Brasserie and Lounge Bar La Luna claims to be the only brasserie in Rhondda Cynon Taff to be awarded with an AA Rosette for culinary excellence. It’s easy to see why this great brasserie would receive recognition. Under the watchful eye of award-winning head chef Craig Brookes, La Luna exceeds its reputation as a location for superb food and excellent service.

the upstairs bar area can be hired for private dining or corporate meetings and can accommodate up to fifty guests. So the next time you’re in Talbot Green, visit La Luna and see just why they have such a great reputation. 79 - 81 Talbot Road, Talbot Green CF72 8AE 01443 239600 Like on Facebook

In more of a party mood, then head up to the first floor where you will find La Luna’s Cocktail and Tapas Bar. With classic and signature drinks available, and all tapas freshly prepared, STICKY PROBLEM? WE CAN HELP

Vale Solicitors Advocates & Mediators We have been lawyers in the Vale Of Glamorgan since 1867 and, as members of Legal Network Wales, we can offer assistance in every aspect of the law. Your first consultation with us is free of charge and, if you are unable to visit our offices in Barry or Llantwit Major, we can visit you at home. We hold many accreditations including The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, The Law Society’s Family Lawyer Panel, and The Criminal Defence Scheme. We are Higher Courts Advocates and accredited Family and Civil and Commercial Mediators.


Local landscape artist Planning a will? Call or email us today to register for our special presentations on Wills, Powers of Attorney and planning for residential care. Vale Solicitors 102 High Street, Barry 01446 733191 or 792535 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 70

Frank Collict is a Professional Artist living and working in Penarth he is primarily a landscape Artist working in both Oils and Watercolour. Frank runs painting workshops in Oils, Watercolour and Line and Wash, he also holds demonstrations for art groups and undertakes commissions. He exhibits at the Albany Gallery in Cardiff and his work can be viewed on his web site.


Mansel’s Chippy It is with a heavy heart and saddened soul that we announce the passing of one of the recognisable faces of Mansel’s Chippy and of Porthcawl. Alison Houlihan passed away peacefully in her sleep in early October 2016 and will be greatly missed by family, friends, and the loyal locals that knew her. Alison was, and forever will be, a close friend to the owner of the chippy, Mansel, ever since the business first opened more than five years ago. In that time the pair worked closely together with not a day that went by where the pair weren’t laughing or simply enjoying each others company. Even though the chippy is in its fifth year owner Mansel has been in the industry since he was sixteen, having worked in chip shops in High Tide and Newport, as well as a Chinese in Bettws. In 2011 he opened Mansel’s with the help of Alison where they serve all the traditional chip shop favourites, with fish and chips, faggots and peas, and a delicious selection of curry. Alison was a fantastic addition to the Mansel’s Chippy family and will be forever missed. 2 Eastern Prom CF36 5TS 01656 718091 Open every day of the year except Christmas Day Monday - Thursday 11:30am - 8:30pm Friday - Sunday 11:30am - 9:30pm



Since its opening in the summer of this year, The Lounge has proved a huge hit with not only the residents of Bridgend but, now that it’s reputation is growing, foodies from all of the Vale and beyond. Husband and wife management team David and Zaneta Kobetic open their doors to us to tell us more.


Why Bridgend? We love it here. We are situated in the heart of Bridgend in the Square of Dunraven Place and close to the River Ogmore, which runs from the Ogmore Vale and Gilfach Goch past Bridgend and out to sea at Ogmore-by-Sea. Bridgend is steeped in history with its connection to the Norman invasion, its old castles in the surrounding area and its ties with the second world war, historic agriculture and architecture. The town has a good selection of independent businesses and the people are extremely friendly and welcoming. Tell us about your chef? Our food is our statement and Bradley Clay our head chef is our driving force behind our commitment to culinary excellence. The food that we serve is carefully designed, meticulously prepared and beautifully presented. Bradley creates a harmonious blend of fresh, seasonal ingredients in sensational dishes.

We love the décor. Thank you. We wanted a theme which was rustic, warm and stylishly comfortable. Yes, we’re all about great food, and great service but we wanted the décor to match. We’ve had lovely comments from our customers saying that they love the décor too.

What do you think makes The Lounge special? Between us, Zanetta and I have over 30’ experience in the hospitality business and our main focus is on providing excellent customer satisfaction and an experience that will leave a smile on everyone’s faces.

What does The Lounge offer? Customers are welcome to join us for a quick coffee, a lunchtime feed or a night filled with wine, cocktails, incredible food and laughter. Our Sunday lunches are a big hit. We also have regular events, which are proving hugely popular (please see our Facebook page for information).

The Lounge, is a place to go to impress, to celebrate or just to have a great time with friends and family and we look forward to welcoming you.

What about Christmas? We are very excited about our first Christmas here at The Lounge. Bradley has devised a deliciously tempting three course menu for £29.95 per head. We would suggest our customers book early if they want a table as tables are going fast. 72

The Lounge 9 Dunraven Place Bridgend CF31 1JF 01656 661 677 Twitter @no9thelounge

Leading such a busy life, I must confess that sometimes weeks go by without me seeing my mum. It’s not intentional (luckily she knows this), it’s just that work and life (particularly Vale Life) get in the way.


Now that she’s in her 80’s (she’ll kill me for letting you know that!), traipsing around the shops of Cardiff are probably a bit much for her, especially at the pace I walk, so I know that I trip to the local garden centre will be one that we can both enjoy.

She takes a lot of pride making sure that it is full of flowers and shrubs. She can tell you the Latin names of most plant specimens. I didn’t follow her for that hobby but, maybe now that I’m getting older, it’ll hit me, much like powerwalking did a few years back when running became too much for my knees!

We hadn’t been to Ewenny Garden Centre for quite a while, so when I told her that the coffee shop had had a makeover, we thought it would make for a pleasant morning.

We started our morning bright and early. Luckily it was a bright, sunny day. We had a good look around the plant section first although, given the time of year, there weren’t masses of plants for her to choose from, although she did manage to spot a couple of cyclamen to add to her collection.

Mum loves her gardening. Her front garden always looks the best on the street in my opinion and her back garden is a little sun trap.

“Mum loves her gardening.” 74

We then made our way into the centre and had a good look around the general gift section and the fantastic display of Christmas decorations. I always like to pick up a candle and was impressed by the huge selection of Yankee Candles and Heart of Home candles on offer. I missed my breakfast in the rush to get to mums so, with tummy grumbling, the coffee shop beckoned. On my previous visit to the cafe, I did find it rather cold so I was glad to see a roaring log fire inviting us in. On quick inspection, we liked what we saw. The new décor certainly lived up to its new name of Coast Coffee, with new booths, winged back chairs and lots of wooden interior design touches.


We were lucky to spot a couple leaving one of the booths so we slid ourselves in and made ourselves comfy. Mum wasn’t that hungry so we opted for some cake and coffee. It took us a good while to make up our minds as all of the cakes looked amazing. If only I could get my cakes to rise that high! The diet went out of the window and it was the aforementioned tallest Victoria Sponge cake for me and a scone, clotted cream and jam for mum. We could have had one of the Lite Bites; smoked salmon bagel, home-made soup or panini or a Coast Special Bite; corned beef pie, coast platter or fish cakes - all dishes reasonably priced, starting at £4.95 and the most expensive being £7.95.

Looking around I saw that there was a good mix of people enjoying the new offering too. Couples mainly but there were a few families enjoying the makeover. It was then that I spotted the High Tide Breakfasts being served to another table and wished that mum had been hungrier. It looked very impressive and I noticed on the menu, was being served from 9am until 3pm. I also spied on the menu that they serve wine. Oh well, maybe on our next visit which mum was already planning!

“I was glad to see a roaring log fire inviting us in.” 75

Find us at…

Coast Coffee Shop Ewenny Garden Centre Wick Road, Bridgend CF35 5AD 01656 663388 Like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #Coastcwtch

Richard and Teri-Joanne Anthony have built up a very successful business offering stunning kitchens for clients in the Vale of Glamorgan and beyond. They have recently added luxury bathrooms and wardrobes solutions to their business. Over a cup of coffee, we chatted to Richard to find out more.


How long has Luxury for Living been established? Luxury for Living Interiors was established in 2013, yet we have been within the design/ retail industry for 18 years, so have a wealth of experience to offer, ensuring our clients receive a seamless, professional service. Who are the owners of the business? We are a husband and wife team. I design and project manage, while Teri is involved in the client communication aspect, ensuring the smooth running of all projects. Our sons, three-year-old William and 18-week-old Bobby also love to get involved where they can! How long have you been at Ewenny Garden Centre? We set up our studio within Ewenny Garden Centre in 2013 where, over a period of time, we grew our kitchen displays, and then in October this year, we also launched our bedroom and bathrooms displays within the centre to showcase the quality we offer, to complement our existing kitchen displays.

Our service is personal, professional and bespoke, from the first meeting through to the final sign off once the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom has been fully fitted. Offering all three is a great option for clients as we can manage each project with them and they just having one point of contact. Our styles are both contemporary and traditional, so we can cater for most tastes and budgets.

Do you have premises other than at EGC? We currently don’t have any other premises yet our website, Facebook and Twitter pages help expand our studio presence, which act as our online shop window. On our website, prospective customers can view our ranges, projects, promotions and blogs and also book a home design consultation.

How did the addition of luxury bathrooms and wardrobe solutions come about? Clients whom we fitted kitchens for have asked us if we offered bedrooms and bathrooms and, if not, would we. It then made sense to offer our services to more rooms other than just the kitchen as we have gained our clients friendship and trust and we can continue our working relationship. Our business has grown organically and continues to grow through recommendations and the offering of quality furniture.

What services do you offer? We offer a free home design consultation following through to full project management.


What brands do you work with and why? For the kitchens we work with Mereway. Their British made cabinetry is one of the best in the market, as they offer sleek contemporary kitchens through to bespoke hand-made hand painted kitchens. The bedrooms we offer are also made by Mereway. We offer both sliding wardrobes and fitted furniture, with many styled options. The bathrooms are by Villeroy & Boch, which are a long-standing brand, who are renowned world-wide for their high quality and innovative ideas. What areas geographically do you cover? We tend to cover more south and west Wales but we have completed projects from Monmouthshire through to Swansea and have recently had a recommendation from Gloucestershire, so our reputation seems to be travelling further afield!

LIVING What do you think makes Luxury for Living special? We are a close family run business and we are extremely passionate about good design and exceeding our clients’ expectations. We pride ourselves on high levels of our furniture and customer service to match, so much so in fact, that we have made some great friends through our projects. We offer inspirational furniture to suit your budget which we feel reflects your style, personality and compliments your home.

“We are extremely passionate about good design.” Find us at…

We received this lovely testimonial recently from a client, which I guess sums us up. “This company is awesome! I can’t recommend them enough. Richard has the patience of a saint and is very clever with his ideas. If you’re looking for a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, I suggest you give this company a call. Project managed from start to finish!”

Luxury for Living 01656 657514 Facebook: luxuryforliving Twitter: @luxuryforliving 77

Providing their services since December 2010, Ewenny Home Improvements are south Wales’ leading aluminium specialists, directed by business partners, Geraint Simmonds and Andrew Edwards.

EWENNY HOME IMPROVEMENTS Combined, Geraint and Andrew have over 50 years’ experience in the home improvements market and they have merged their expertise in new generation glazing, exterior and interior construction, to create the ultimate home improvement service. Right from the beginning to the very end, Ewenny Home Improvements aim to provide their clients with a professional team, and the essential skills, to guide them through the process of creating a space for the home that combines both outdoor and indoor living experience. Offering an endless choice of extensions and investments, from skyrooms, orangeries, conservatories, window and bi-folds doors, there’s no doubt customers will find the perfect addition to complete their family home – all of which can be viewed at their new showroom based within Ewenny Garden Centre, Bridgend. Watching a project develop, from the client’s initial idea advancing into a whole concept, to the intricate planning and design, and finally seeing the product evolve into a dream come true for the client; that is what makes these guys tick! It’s all about the joy and satisfaction they provide for their customers, and even once a project has ended, the feedback they receive thereafter is a reward they continue to reap and aspire to.

“Aluminium Specialists.” Ewenny Home Improvements aim to work with every clients’ needs; no project or budget is too big or too small! Confident that they are a service like no other in the current market, whether construction or cosmetic, the Ewenny Home Improvements team pride themselves on arranging a complete, indoor and outdoor package, where other companies in the industry may only provide one or the other. By eliminating the usual obstacles and complications that occur when using multiple contractors, Ewenny Home Improvements promises to turn your home into an enjoyable investment as easy and as hassle free as possible! 78

“Visit our brand new contemporary show room.”

Find us at…

Ewenny Home Improvements Wick Road, Bridgend CF35 5AD 01656 663388 Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter 79

When it comes to buying wine, there is a lot of choice out there, with supermarkets, wine mail order companies and online wine retailers all vying for a share of the marketplace. Buying your wine from an independent retailer is by far the best option still.


Winesolution, based within Ewenny Garden Centre, is coming to its first full year of trading and offers first and second pressed wines from around the world, from Italy to South Africa, Germany to America they have something for everyone. Their stock is vast and imported regularly to ensure customers get what they want. Some of their personal favourites include the Dulce Romanian range which are late harvest fruity red, rose and white wines. They also have a wide range of Fuchs wines which are red wines from Germany which include Dornfelder and Spatburgunder, all of which are extremely popular and exclusive to Winesolution.

Customers are surprised to find these wines here as they are not usually exported to the UK.

“Their stock is vast and imported regularly.” So confident are they of their wines, that they have an area at the entrance to the shop where customers can sample a selection of wines to see if they like them before they make their purchase. If advice is what the customer is looking for, then someone will always be on hand to give advice on which wines would suit a customer’s palate and which ones would go best with whatever food they plan to drink it with. 80

Tasting and buying wine should be an enjoyable experience. At Winesolution they offer wine tasting experiences in the comfort of your own home. Tastings normally last 90 minutes, with a minimum of 15 hand selected wines. These events are hugely popular and fun, especially as we’re in the lead up to Christmas and New Year. So does buying wine from a wine merchant cost you more? You may not get the 3 for £10 offers that you find in the supermarkets but what you will get it imaginatively sourced, fabulous wine which is excellent value for the quality. Plus, you get in-depth knowledge of wine which means a wine that is tailor made to your tastes and preferences.

Winesolution are keen to support local producers and are happy to offer local free range farm eggs from Heol y Cyw, Bridgend, local honey, jams, marmalades and chutneys from Sycamore Close, Bridgend, Welsh cider, beer and lager, Snowdonia Cheese and Patchwork pate.

Find us at…

It’s easy to see why Winesolution is so popular. Customers are not bombarded with shelf after shelf of mass produced wines here. Customers can spend as long as they need just browsing, knowing that help is there should they need it. There’s no pressure selling, exorbitant prices or awful wine snobbery that is sometimes associated with buying wines. Call in today - you’ll be glad you did.

Winesolution 01656 766676 Like us on Facebook 81

When Steve Lewis and Tracey Lewis were building their stunning new home in Cowbridge, they needed a reputable, passionate and creative company to supply them with windows and bi-fold doors. Here, Mr Lewis tells us more.


Who are you and what do you do? We have recently moved back to Wales after twenty years of living overseas in Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai. We have a consultancy business providing specialist contract advice to construction companies in the Middle East, Asia and UK. I split my time between Wales and Dubai at the moment, serving our client base in both UK and GCC regions. Tracey is based in Wales and takes care of the administrative side of the business as well as managing the home and our three children. Tell us about your home? Before moving back to Wales we spent the best part of a year finding the right plot. Our criteria was to find a property that needed modernising, within walking distance of Cowbridge and on an elevated site. We eventually found a house for sale which was built in the 1970s and met our criteria.

After further research of the VAT rules and, based on the condition survey results, we decided to demolish the entire house and build a new dwelling rather than going down the refurb route. From that point forward our criteria was to only engage package contractors and suppliers that were passionate about their trade and or products. We also made a conscious effort to source local tradesmen and suppliers to put something back into the community. This worked well and we employed a Cowbridge based architect (Don Mitchell Associates) and even a steel fabricator living in the same street. How did you hear about Alexander James? Alexander James were introduced to us by the quantity surveyor who was responsible for sourcing trade contractors that fitted with our criteria. 82

Did you get quotations from other companies? Yes, the quantity surveyor and architect introduced us to three or four other windows and bi-fold door suppliers who we also interviewed and received quotes from. What made you choose to work with Alexander James? The passion of its management team and the insightful technical questions asked by Alexander James at tender interview made it clear they were thinking seriously about the challenges of the job (both logistical and operational). This gave us and the architect the comfort that Alexander James were capable of delivering a quality installation. Were their quotes competitive? Yes, in addition to the passion and technical competence, Alexander James’s price was competitive.

In fact, they came in just under budget, so we were able to add on additional features such as in glass blinds and enhanced finished to the windows and door frames. What work did they carry out for you? Alexander James supplied and installed over seventeen windows all of various shapes and sizes, some of them being complex triangular sections. Alexander James also installed three bi-folding doors, each of them over 3m wide. How did you find the process of working with Alexander James? We found them a pleasure to work with. The work was to a great standard and completed on time. Their on-site team are very professional and friendly. Their after sales service is also efficient and responsive to the usual snagging issues that arise as the building settles. In fact, we required some additional work in the form of a dog flap to the glass back door.

Everyone told us it could not be done in a full glass panel due to the risk of breaking, but Alexander James said they would welcome the challenge and came up with a solution by using thicker glass. This vindicates our reasoning for seeking out companies passionate about what they do, since Alexander James’s competitors who are solely focused on maximising profits, may not have invested the time in giving us the desired solution. Are you enjoying your new home? Yes, it’s fantastic and has turned out better than we expected. Again this is down to tradesmen taking pride in their work and making sure they not only deliver what is contracted, but going the extra mile when they see an opportunity to enhance features. With regards to Alexander James’s work scope, our favourite feature has got to be the bi-folding doors. 83

When they are opened up fully on a sunny day, the uninterrupted elevation brings in a tremendous amount of light and you feel that you are part of the outdoor landscape. Would you be happy to recommend Alexander James to family, friends and colleagues? Yes. Several people have asked who did our doors and windows installation and we have passed on Alexander James’s contact details without hesitation. Alexander James Unit 3A, Ashmount Business Park Upper Forest Way Swansea SA6 8QR 01792 794549



est 1934


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

01656 768844

When Tony and Tegwen Green moved to their new home in Ogmore-by-Sea, they knew exactly who to call on to transform the interior. Room Designs, Barry had helped them with their interiors when they lived in Barry and they were delighted with their services, so it was an easy choice to make. Tegwen tells us more.


What do you do for a living? I’m a statistician working in Newport at the Office for National Statistics. My husband Tony works at Tarmac in Aberthaw as a packing plant manager. When did you move into your new home? We moved to our new house in Ogmore-by-Sea in late June this year after Tony was made redundant from his job as a Plant Superintendent at Zeon Chemicals. How did you hear about Room Designs? We first got to know about Room Designs after seeing and then popping into their original shop in Park Crescent about five years ago to ask advise about finishing off the decor in our newly decorated lounge. They did a great job transforming our lounge and hall in our home in Barry, so they were our first port of call when we moved into our brand new Ogmore house.

Did you get any other quotations? We didn’t feel the need to get other quotations as we knew from previous experience that they were very competitively priced and their services offered excellent value for money and provided an unrivalled personal service, tailored to our particular needs. What services did they offer you? In our Ogmore home, we asked them to suggest furnishings and fabrics for our entrance hall, conservatory, lounge, master bedroom and guest room, based on a seaside or countryside theme. This included advice on curtains and/or blinds in the lounge and bedrooms, together with light fittings, furnishings in the lounge to complement our brown leather settee and grey carpet. We also wanted advice on how to add accessories such as mirrors, pictures and ornaments to complement the seaside theme and needed complete furnishings for our new conservatory. 86

Tegwen Green

Did you know exactly what you wanted or did you leave it up to Room Designs? Whilst we knew we wanted the house to reflect a seaside feel and wanted the entrance hall to utilise some of the crystal lights we had brought with us from our previous home, there were also aspects of the show home furnishings we wanted to incorporate too. We talked through these concepts with Meryl and her team, highlighting our particular likes and dislikes and then we left Meryl to suggest how this could be brought to life. How was the process of working with Room Designs? All the staff at Room Designs are a pleasure to work with. They listened carefully to our ideas and any particular likes or dislikes and then offered suggestions for fabrics and furniture. They were very conscious of our budget and were able to source unusual and sometimes bespoke items for our consideration.

There are always catalogues available to browse through and the team are really good at explaining why they suggest a particular item and how they think it will complement the overall theme - this helped us learn a thing or two about design too! However, what I love most about the whole process is Meryl’s special talent of finding fabric or an item such as a lampshade, that looks nothing in a catalogue or sometimes even in the shop, and that I would never pick out myself, yet the object comes to life when put in a room with other suggested furnishings/fabrics and ends up looking amazing. I think of her as the Gok Wan of the furnishing world! I know the end result will be fabulous - even if it needs tweaking (which she is always eager to do in her strive for perfection). Our experience is that Meryl always puts the customer first, and that makes us and our home feel very special.

We love what Meryl and her team have done to the blank canvas of our new home, making it truly special and homely and we would highly recommend them to anyone - indeed everyone! They are always happy to offer advice and there is no pressure to buy - but I defy you not to like the end result. We love our new-look home even more thanks to Meryl and her team and one thing is certain, we will be back when it’s time to do the other rooms in our home.

Room Designs 42 Park Crescent Barry CF62 6HE 01446 748808 87

A conservatory is a wonderful way to enhance your home. It gives the homeowner an extra room, connecting the inside with the outside and allows you to enjoy your garden to the maximum. But what generally happens is that you can’t sit in them during the hot summer months, because it’s too hot, and, in the winter months, it can be too cold. Future Ideal Homes offer a solution with their tile effect replacement roof system.


Mr. Stuart Matthews of Pontypridd and his partner Karen had a conservatory which they couldn’t use. Even with blow heaters, the room was too cold to sit in and when it rained it was far too noisy due to its polycarbonate roof. After seeing a feature for Future Ideal Homes in an issue of Vale Life, Stuart gave the company a call. Stuart tells us more. Did you contact any other companies for quotes? Yes, just a few. Being in the heating and building industry for most of my working life, I have a good knowledge of how the building industry works so when I spoke with Geoff from Future, I felt confident that we were speaking the same language. Also Karen went to the same school as Geoff, so there was some history there. I believe it’s always better working with someone you know. I also researched online to find out exactly what type of roof we wanted and decided to go for an apex roof for the extra height.

What work did Future Ideal Homes do for you? They took off the existing roof, replaced it with a new light alloy system with 100ml of insulation and replaced all of the gutters and downpipes.

We’ve had quite a few parties here actually. We can’t hear any noise now when it’s raining - and we’ve had some heavy downpours recently. The heat distribution throughout the house is now a lot better too. We haven’t needed to put the heating on.

Were they clean and tidy? Yes. They were very professional and cleaned up every day.

Do you think the new roof has been worth the money? It is fairly pricey but the difference it has made to how we live has meant that it’s definitely been worth it. I couldn’t recommend the company and the system they use more highly.

How long did the job take to complete? Following a visit from Geoff to discuss the job and measure up, he then gave me a call six weeks later to say that the materials were in stock. A date was arranged and the work was completed in only three days. What difference has it made in the way you now use your home? We used to have patio doors dividing the kitchen and the old conservatory. Those have now been removed and there’s a much better flow to the house. We used to live in the lounge but now we’re always in the kitchen and conservatory.

Future Ideal Homes Ltd Unit 4, Priority Workshop Ty Verlon Industrial Estate Barry CF63 2BE Call free 0800 032 0921 01446 733455 Opening hours Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

pyle pyle pyle garde garden garden village village village

shop • eat • e

shop shop • eat • eat • enjoy • enjoy

Opened in 1974 by the horticultural legend Percy Thrower. Today Pyle Garden Village has been rebranded and redeveloped to include a wide variety of shops and services.

Ideally placed just a mile from the M4 motorway at junction 37, it’s moved up a gear with its ambition to become a unique shopping and leisure destination for all the family. Gardeners are travelling from far and wide to enjoy the extensive horticultural offering.

‘ ‘

So muc SoSo much muchmore tha just a gard more more than than Together with the centre just just a garden a garden centre centre



garden centre, and the independently run businesses on this eight acre site have collectively created 70 jobs - prompting the new name, Pyle Garden Village. | Heol Mostyn, Bridgend, CF33 6BJ 01656 741443 | Heol Mostyn, Bridgend, CF33 6BJ 01656 741443 pylegardencentre

woodwork |


Heol Mostyn, B | Heol | Heol Mostyn, Mostyn, Bridgend, Bridgend, CF33 CF33 6BJ6BJ 01656 01656 741443 741443 | Pyle Garden Village, Pyle CF33 6BJ | 01656 741443



pyle garden village shop • eat • enjoy

The outdoor plant area has all been redesigned so that you can walk leisurely around the plants and consult with our helpful, professional staff if in doubt about what you want to put in your garden. We can also source particular plants that you may not see at the Centre, they will be ordered and you can be contacted when your shrub is in store.

SUMMER at Pyle Garden Centre New Garden Leisure and Furniture Range Now in stock! Above: Kadai Firebowl range Opposite: Norfolk Leisure & Garden Furniture. Ambrosia Light brown dining chair with Amber dining table





Since opening in December 2012, the Olive tree has become a destination in its own right, the 80 cover restaurant offers traditional and Mediterranean cuisine and offers continental and traditional breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea.

pylegardenvillage Made to measure curtains and blinds, occasional furniture and a fantastic range of home accessories and gifts, all under one roof and found, conveniently, within Pyle Garden Village. Leaf Interiors was started in October 2013 by Sally and Karen; two friends who shared a love for home decor and began making customised curtains for their friends. Their hobby quickly evolved into the business we know and love today after they began taking orders for their creations, quickly adding other home accessories and furnishings to their inventory. Offering quality and premium products that are different and unique. Every single one of their bespoke items are made with love, care, and attention to detail so you know you’re getting the very best from the talented Leaf Interiors team. The beautiful work they produce is not available on the high street and that’s just how they like it. Instead focusing on delivering the best services and products to their customers in an inspiring, design-led environment. “We love what we have created and what our customers have helped us become. We invite you to join us at Leaf Interiors as we continue in what has already been a great adventure.”

Pyle Garden Village Pyle CF33 6BJ 01656 745021 Like on Facebook

pylegardenvillage A Boutique with individuality/personality that bridges the divide between designer and high street! Loulou Boutique is now in its fourth year and continues to grow in confidence and stature. The concept of former BBC newsreader, Jayne James, her sister Debra and friend Caroline, it allows clients to choose the latest trends and classic looks in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Loulou stocks an eclectic range of labels from well-known brands such as Joseph Ribkoff, Masai, Naya, Charli London, Suzy D, sitting perfectly alongside an extensive range of jewellery, bags and scarves from Pranella, Envy, Butterfly, Boho Betty and Alex Max. The shop’s ethos is that there is something for everyone, with a collaboration of styles, shapes and ideas. The trio pride themselves that there is always something new and fresh in the boutique however often you visit. With this successful enterprise well established, they are now opening Salon Loulou Hair and Beauty just a few yards away. A team of talented hair professionals will complete your look, in a stylish environment. Join Loulou Boutique and Salon Loulou for a glass of bubbly when Salon Loulou opens this December!

Pyle Garden Village Pyle CF33 6BJ 01656 749841 Salon Loulou 01656 741653 Follow us on facebook: Loulou Boutique / Salon Loulou

pylegardenvillage Installing wood burners, gas heating, and bathrooms in Bridgend and throughout the South Wales area for more than seventeen years, these guys definitely have what it takes to keep you warm this Winter. Having established the business in 1999, and with over 25 years experience in the heating industry, ‘Select Heating and Stoves’ have now moved to a bigger premises within the Pyle Garden Village, a venue that has quickly become one of the best places to visit when looking to improve your home. Thanks to this bigger location owner James Harry is now able to display and offer a wider range of wood and multi-fuel stoves, electric stoves, beams, fireplaces, and much more, all the while ensuring you get the best service and price around. The friendly team of staff are always on hand to advise you on the various aspects of owning and maintaining one of their superb stoves or heating appliances, offering a full-installation service with their in-house team once you have chosen which of their many products suit your needs best. ‘Select Heating and Stoves’ are both Gas Safe and HETAS registered as well as winning a ‘Small Business Award’ by Theo Paphitis of Dragon’s Den fame in 2015. Which all goes to show that they truly can make your dream heating a reality.

Pyle Garden Village Pyle CF33 6BJ 01656 650250 Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter @selectstoves

pylegardenvillage As the relative newcomer to the Pyle Garden Village, first appearing on the site at the beginning of this year, Aqualogic has already made a brilliant impression and is proving to be a massive hit with passing customers and fish lovers alike. Comprised of a small but dedicated team of enthusiastic fish keepers, Aqualogic aims to be the number one place to visit when looking for everything you’ll need to look after your fish, including the very fish themselves if you have yet to get them (they have a superb selection). With over 35 years of experience in the trade, Aqualogic have a beautiful range of tropical, marine, cold water, and pond fish, as well as offering a large range of wellknown brand names in aquarium supplies, accessories and tanks. The positive and passionate staff welcome any and all questions and will happily advise you on any issue you may be having with your tank or those who reside within. They offer free water testing, and maintenance and installation services are also available.

Pyle Garden Village Pyle CF33 6BJ 01656 857302 Like on Facebook

pylegardenvillage Priory Kitchens Ltd was founded in 2003 and quickly gained an excellent reputation for outstanding service and quality. Originally based in Pencoed, we have now become a staple of Pyle Garden Village after moving to bigger premises. We pride ourselves on supporting local business wherever possible, and the wonderful kitchens on display at our innovative and exciting showroom are all made here in the UK. Due to this fact, we are extremely competitive and can offer kitchens to cater for all tastes and budgets. Never compromising on quality, coupled with a before and after sales service that is second to none, most of our customers are now the result of recommendation. Our cutting edge designs, experience, fantastic build quality and keen attention to detail, ensures that we are a cut above our competitors. Our quest is simply to revitalise the living, working and dining spaces of our customers to create a living space that is perfectly suited to their needs. Be the envy of your friends and family, and pop in for a coffee with Paula and Richard and allow us to create that ‘wow’ factor home you’ve always dreamed of. Priority Kitchens - Anything less is a compromise. FREE wine cooler filled with Prosecco on all December orders. T&C’s apply.

Pyle Garden Village Pyle CF33 6BJ 01656 742766





01656 788038 • • Studio Pyle Garden Village Office Mary Street, Porthcawl

The kitchen is the hub of the home; a place not just for cooking, but for dining, socialising, working, and helping with homework and much, much more. Comprising of three generations of Master Craftsmen, Teulu continues to go from strength to strength, providing handmade, hand painted, bespoke kitchens and individual pieces of furniture, all made in their workshop in Brynmenyn.


BESPOKE KITCHENS A Teulu kitchen is exclusively made to your own design and style. Units are made to measure and hence sizes are adapted to ensure a perfect fit in even the most awkward space. Using an experienced, professional kitchen designer is key. They will be able to help you make the best use of the space; good designers know what works and what doesn’t. They know what needs to be included in a design, how to make the space functional as well as appealing. Teulu have recently joined forces with Anthony Soroko and John Griffiths to set up Korona Kitchens.

Between them they will oversee the running of the showroom, sales and designing. 100

This Teulu kitchen was installed into an area that was previously two rooms. One wall was taken out to open up the space which allowed for more light and space. The kitchen is now a much more social, relaxing area for the whole family to chill out. All building works completed by A One Construction.

This Korona Kitchen was purchased on a supply and fit basis. The minor building works undertaken by A One Construction.


KITCHEN SPECIALISTS Whilst Teulu is all about handmade, bespoke units, Korona Kitchens’ is to provide quality kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms in a range of styles and designs that are sold rigid, selfassembled units. If required, flat pack can be provided. All designs can be purchased supply only or supply and fit to suit your needs. If enlisting Korona to arrange your fittings as an all-inclusive package, they will ensure that everything is fully completed to the highest standards and satisfaction using only the best and most reliable, professional tradesmen. At their showroom, they have information and samples on every

aspect of pulling your dream kitchen to life from appliances, worktops, tiles and taps to lights etc. They can advise on all options available, recommending good quality fittings and fixtures and recognisable brand names. With the family links to established building company, A One Construction, they can also provide information, guidance and prices on any building works required to realise your dream renovation. There is so much product information and availability out there, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. We ask Director, Fiona Evans, how to make sense of it all. “Because we work with kitchens day in and day out, we’re able to bring 101

our experience and expertise to the table and help you hone your ideas and thoughts into the perfect kitchen for your taste and budget. We have a real passion and enthusiasm for making your dreams a reality. It really doesn’t have to be complicated. Our aim is to make the whole process a pleasure.” Teulu Bespoke Kitchens and Korona Kitchens 47A Millers Avenue Brynmenyn Industrial Estate Bridgend CF32 9TD 01656 722622



The new season is the perfect time to revamp the look of your home with the latest trends at Leekes. Create an ambient atmosphere as the nights’ draw in with layered lighting and co-ordinate beautiful natural materials with delicate florals in soft tones to create this idyllic look.

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

What does our resident gardening expert Rob Hodge advise us to do in our gardens this winter? Read on to find out more.


The hours of daylight in winter are frustratingly short and often the weather is bleak with wind, rain, fog, snow and ice. They all conspire to make outdoor work particularly uninviting. On such days, the fireside beckons, for these are the times for reflection, contemplation, planning and planting. In looking back over the year’s achievements and quite often failures now is the time to take stock, learn our lessons and make amends. Over the first few weeks of winter we have made our lists, pored over books and catalogues and looked out into the garden and thought, what can I do now to make that view an image to admire. It’s all well and good planning for spring and summer but spare a thought for what’s around you right now. What can I do ‘now’ to make that winter garden one for everyone to talk about?

Here is a collection of five of the easiest to grow, outstanding winter shrubs for your garden. 1. Daphe odora, a highly scented evergreen, once smelt it’s never forgotten. 2. The red barked bogwood, Cornus alba, a stunning blaze of upright stems. 3. The Chinese witch hazel, Hamamelis mollis, flowers that stop you in your tracks. 4. Winter sweet, Chimonanthus praecox, another winter treat for the senses. 5. Viburnum bodnantense, tall with highly scented flowers on bare stems. Each one is a talking point on its own, together they are outstanding! Go on treat yourself this winter, you won’t regret it! 103

Rob Hodge Horticulture 01633 744075 Like on Facebook

A great year Watts & Morgan’s Cowbridge sales team share their favourite properties that they have sold over the last 12 months, and look forward to another successful year in 2017.

Matt Jones Kingsland will always be a firm favourite of mine as it had the most enchanted woodland surrounding the property. A tree house for the children and views as far as the eye can see. A truly charming rural home.

Kirsty-leigh Lewis I will never forget the first time I saw the views from the kitchen in 79 Broadway, it is a real WOW property, beautifully designed in the perfect setting!

Sam Dovey What is there not to like about The Salt House! I found it completely unique with its hidden nature, close proximity to town and understated opulence.

Rhys Gould As a keen golfer I always appreciated the unique setting of Hensol Castle Park. Superb, contemporary living within a stones throw of a championship golf course.

Hannah Tudor Being a country girl at heart, Hillside Cottage was one of my favourite properties this year as it was a large home full to the brim with character, set in a lovely location with wonderful views.

Call us today on 01446 773 500

New Year New Home Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Watts & Morgan

Let us show you how we can make a difference to your 2017. Please call us on 01446 773 500 for a free Market Appraisal.



As the festive season approaches, Wooden Tops Furniture are preparing for a creative Christmas with their new workshop build complete, furniture painting and skilled technique classes, as well as their Christmas tree set up in store.

WOODEN TOPS FURNITURE Wooden Tops Furniture pride themselves on selling top quality antique, vintage and mid-century solid wood furniture and Chesterfield sofas. From Welsh dressers to wardrobes as well upcycling and being official stockists of Frenchic Chalk & Mineral Paint, as well as stockists of Polyvine water based varnishes and The Stencil Studio, Wooden Tops Furniture are known as a “Painters Paradise” by their clients. In a throw-away world, this mother and daughter family-run business is helping people fall in love with their furniture all over again with their furniture painting workshops, as well as the introduction of some brand new skilled technique classes in the New Year. Since their new workshop build has been completed, Sophia and Julie are now looking forward to getting involved with even more commissioned work as well as welcoming customers to their furniture painting workshops situated in their brand new mezzanine.

As official stockists of Frenchic Chalk & Mineral Paint, Wooden Tops Furniture hold both half and full day furniture painting workshops every month for all those looking to learn how to upcycle pre-loved pieces. Plus, if you’re already thinking of those New Year’s resolutions, how about learning a new skill? Wooden Tops Furniture will be launching their skilled technique classes in the New Year, which will include decoupage, crackle glazing, stencilling, patina finishes and many more. Ideal for those who love being crafty, or just fancy trying something new! You never know, you might even discover a hidden talent! Want to know more? For more information on Wooden Tops Furniture’s products, workshops and classes, pop into their shop in Bridgend and discover what quirky treasures they have in store! Pop by between 10am - 5:30pm Tuesday - Saturday and 11am - 4pm Sundays.

Wooden Tops Furniture 14 Queens Court Bridgend Industrial Estate CF31 3TQ 01656 856 520 Facebook Wooden Tops Furniture Instagram woodentopsfurniture 106


Angell Ironwork New Zealander, Nathan Angell, is a talented and creative ironworker based in Dinas Powys. Nathan says, “I have over twenty years’ experience in steel fabrication, and have a wide range of skills in steel and ironwork including design and build, structural steel fabrication and erection, and designing and creating ornamental ironwork such as gates, railings, weather vanes etc.” Testimonial We are very happy with the final railings and gate - all carefully fitted by Nathan, and we are already planning another gate and other jobs! Hannah Evans

“I have over twenty years’ experience in steel fabrication.” Angell Ironwork Call Nathan Angell on 07976 233762 Like on Facebook angellironwork Follow on Twitter @angellironwork Follow on Instagram angellironwork



thinking outside the box

IQ Flooring Ltd is a locally run business with over 30 years’ experience in the flooring trade.


Serving commercial and domestic customers. Key clients include architects, interior designers and estate agents as well as businesses and private residences in Cardiff, South Wales.



Tel: Stuart 07814 517728 or Craig 07791 862178 Email: Website: 107

Working in the accountancy field for almost thirty years, and specialising in dentists for almost twenty years, Freemans have a wealth of knowledge relating to tax, accounting and business management and have developed symbiotic partnerships with various businesses in the legal and financial world - an invaluable resource.


Freemans Accountancy achieved 64% growth between 2009 and 2011, gaining your business a coveted place in the 2012 Fast Growth 50 Awards. How have you built on this? The growth has given us the confidence to be selective in who we take on as clients; we’re working with people we have a good relationship with, and want to work with.

a lot easier to work with clients who require regular management reports as the transactions are automatically downloaded into the software every few days giving us real time/up to date information. Also, if the clients manage their own book-keeping we can access the software at any time to monitor the business. If clients have been using a different accounts package in the past this data can be converted into QuickBooks so there is a smooth transition and historical data doesn’t have to be re-entered. We also use other software packages such as Sage and Xero.

Can you tell us about QuickBooks - and how this software is benefitting your clients? QuickBooks online has made our job

We know you work long hours, what do you do to relax? I do work long hours, as we try to fit in with when clients are available

City Life chats with Director/ Owner Craig Freeman about business and his life-long passion for car racing.


for meetings - or a client may want some figures urgently, so I will work late nights or weekends. I’m happy to do this to help the client, so tend to make the most of my spare time when I have it. I enjoy travelling around Europe watching different forms of motorsport such as Formula 1 or MotoGP, or just lazing around in the sun at Pine Cliffs resort in the Algarve. My hobby used to be playing football, but numerous knee operations put an end to that, so the last few years I have taken up motorsport and raced in the mini challenge. I have had a number of podiums in that series, and also when driving the mini in other mixed races. If I can get some sponsorship together I would love to return to the mini challenge next season in the new F56 race car.


WHAT CLIENTS SAY… “As a company we have used Freemans Accountancy for many years now. Craig and his staff are a team we can trust to provide us the very best in financial services and we are very happy to be associated with them.”

Peebles T E S TIanI M ONIALS P & P Timber Ltd

“We met Craig back in 2006 after a recommendation from a dental colleague. Over the last 10 years he has helped us with everything financially orientated from business accounts to financial forecasts for a medical practice and contacts for some great mortgage advice. Freeman & Co offer an unrivalled accountancy service that I would not hesitate to recommend.”


Sid Gautam Dermaskin

“As a company we have used Freemans “We met Craig back in 2006 after Accountancy for many years now. Craig a recommendation from a dental and his staff are a team we can trust colleague. Over the last 10 years to provide us the very best in financial he has helped us with everything “Wewehave a client services and are been very happy to of beCraig's sincefinancially orientated from business in 2004. Having associated we withincorporated them.” accounts to financial forecasts for recently moved across to Quick Booksa medical practice and contacts for to save time processing the large some great mortgage advice. Freeman Ian Peebles number of membership transactions & Co offer an “Freemans unrivalledAccountancy accountancyare proactive P & P Timber Ltd each month. Cutting down the time service that with their advice, allowing GB Vehicle I would not hesitate to spent on financials was a business recommend.” Contracts to make timely, informed need that we had to find a solution and correct financial decisions which for; the new service agreement we Sid Gautam ultimately allows us to get on with our have developed with Freeman's suits real job of providing some of the most Dermaskin both parties. It is important that the competitive vehicle leasing deals in the service we receive reflects the needs market.” of the business; to me that is how a professional service should be run.” Keir Jones “We have been a client of Craig's since GB Vehicle Contracts we incorporated in 2004. Having Simon Harling recently moved across to Quick Books Elite Fitness to save time processing the large number of membership transactions “Freemans Accountancy are proactive each month. Cutting down the time with their advice, allowing GB Vehicle spent on financials was a business Contracts to make timely, informed need that we had to find a solution and correct financial decisions which for; the new service agreement we ultimately allows us to get on with our have developed with Freeman's suits real job of providing some of theany most “Freemans exceed clients both parties. It is important that the competitive expectations. vehicle leasingIt's deals in the to find a refreshing service we“Working receive reflects the needs market.” firm of accountants that not only offer with Freemans has allowed us of the business; to me is how aand marketing a personal service, but that also have to focus on that production professionalknowing service we should run.” who can Keir Jones extensive expertise in different areas havebesomeone including specialist taxation and solid assist us with short medium and GB Vehicle Contracts Simon Harling back office support. They are extremely long term planning at the end of the efficient and friendly.” phone. The service is prompt and cost Elite Fitness effective

Rob Higgins Eccentric Gin Freemans Accountancy Hillside, The Tumble, Cardiff CF5 6SA 029 2056 4008 Follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

“Working with Freemans has allowed us to focus on production and marketing knowing we have someone who can assist us with short medium and long term planning at the end of the phone. The service is prompt and cost effective 109 49

Carmela Carrubba Real SFX

“Freemans exceed any clients expectations. It's refreshing to find a firm of accountants that not only offer a personal service, but that also have extensive expertise in different areas including specialist taxation and solid back office support. They are extremely efficient and friendly.”

Carmela Carrubba

Welcome to Vale Life Magazine’s Social Life section, a veritable who’s who in and around the Vale. Deborah (owner of Y Cwtsh), Karen Wyatt, Michael Turk


Y Cwtsh launches new studio

Owner Deborah Edwards welcomed guests to enjoy a glass of bubbly and the opportunity to chat to representatives of the latest collections from Designers Guild, Manuel Canovas, Ralph Lauren, Zoffany and Sanderson. Y Cwtsh Interiors & Fireplaces First Floor 109 Glebe Street Penarth CF64 1ED

Alison Pierry, Alexandra Reach

Carol Wornham, Amanda Biss

Deborah (owner of Y Cwtsh), Karen Wyatt, Michael Turk

Deborah, Debbie Perry, Maria Perry, Sian Gaskin

Emma Blackler, Steve Wornham

Ian and Rachel Hennessy (co-owners of Abode)

Lizzie Jones (Designers Guild), Rosie Legg (Zoffany), Stephanie Millea (Colefax & Fowler)

Marilyn Sproat, Rachel Hennessy (co-owner of Abode), Teresa Wilkinson

Paul and Christina Church

Rachel Lloyd, Hayley Morgan-Jones, Emma Berry

Sharon Stephens, Deborah Edwards, Janine Ridgwell


Loulou Fashion Show and Lunch Corks were popping and laughter filled the air at the Loulou Fashion Show and Lunch at Pier 64 on Penarth Marina on a fine afternoon in October. Another fundraiser for cancer charity, Velindre, it also showcased the autumn looks available at this independently-run boutique at the Pyle Garden Village. Owners, Jayne, Caroline and Debra were delighted to, once again, collaborate with the popular Pier 64 testaurant to produce a fun-filled afternoon for their guests.

James, one of the trio who have just celebrated their fourth year dressing women across south Wales at Loulou Boutique.

“Working to create a snapshot of our seasonal looks, alongside the stylish setting of Pier 64 is hard work but well worth the effort fundraising for Velindre,� said Jayne

Loulou Boutique 2 Heol Mostyn, Pyle 01656 749841 Like on Facebook


Room Designs celebrate their first birthday Customers enjoyed a glass of bubbly and an exclusive look at the stunning new range of curtains, wallpapers, carpets and home furniture at the gorgeous showroom in Park Crescent, Barry. Room Designs 42 Park Crescent Barry CF62 6HE 01446 748808

“Stunning new range of curtains, wallpapers, carpets and home furniture.�

Jodie, Jane Hutt and Meryl

Jodie and Meryl

Theo and Josh

Tony Holden, Meryl, Hugh Jones (Welsh Doors), Janine Jones

Alan and Jill Thomas

Tegwen and Tony Green with Meryl

Victoria Samuel and son

Leyah Dupuis, Marshall and Nicola Waudby

Theo and Sian Tinnuche



CFiW hold fundraising events The Community Foundation in Wales has come to the end of another successful Philanthropy Week. The Foundation holds an annual Philanthropy Week to celebrate and inspire philanthropy in Wales. This year was no different with several events taking place which celebrated donors, community projects and organisations meeting the needs of communities across Wales. These organisations can continue their work thanks to donations from the Foundation’s Fund holders.

Alun Evans, Captain Sir Norman Lloyd Edwards, Liza Kellett

(Left to right)Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Liza Kellett, Nigel Annett, Peter Saunders, Karen Davies, Kelly Davies

Lulu Burridge, Sheila Maxwell, Alun Evans, Tanwen Grover

Chris Rogers – Philanthropy Award

Joy Kent

Eryl Faulkes, Paul Wishart, Albert Owen MP

Alison Jermey, The Hon John Vaughan

Dr Carl Wright, Lord Anderson, Gary Smith

Kelly Davies – Philanthropy Award

Alun Evans CFIW Chairman of the Trustees

Gareth Lewis-Davies, Fiona Bowen and Sarah Lewis-Davies

Andrew Tuggey CBE, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, Alun Evans

(L-R) Lord Aberdare, Jane Ashley, Robert John

(Left to right) Grant recipients: Tom Barham, Joy Kent, Stephen Campbell, Lucy Holmes, Claire Bugler 113(Back row) Liza Kellett CFIW CEO


Cobbles Deli Autumn Garden Festival Owner of Cobbles Deli, Chloe Francis said “We are absolutely thrilled with how the festival went. Despite the rain the crowds came and we’ve been blown away by the feedback received by visitors and traders alike! The children all seemed to be having a whale of a time in their very own garden, the treasure trail, face painting, bouncy castles were all a huge hit! The music was great and it was so good to be able to showcase talent from the local area in many different industries! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all for coming and being part of this amazing day! I think the pictures prove what fun there was to be had. Cobbles Kitchen and Deli Tymaen Farm Buildings Ogmore by Sea CF32 0QP 01656 661954 Follow on Facebook and Twitter

Chloe Francis owner of Cobbles Deli



Shutters Awnings Blinds and Motorisation Conservatories Curtains



Blinds and Motorisation



Create the Mood for your home for less than you think with Solar Sunshades. Shutters Awnings Blinds and Motorisation Conservatories Curtains

Cardiff showroom

Bridgend showroom

Gripoly Mills Retail Park, Sloper Road, Cardiff. CF11 8AA

North Road, Bridgend Industrial Estate, Bridgend. CF31 3TP

Telephone: 02920 508774

THANK YOU Thanks for taking the time to read this edition of Vale Life magazine. Vale Life is the Vale Of Glamorgan’s premier lifestyle magazine. We print 10,000 copies of each edition and cut no corners on design, production and the quality of our print. Talking about printing, we source pretty much everything locally, and over 95% of Vale Life’s turnover is reinvested back into the community of South Wales. If you have a business and are interested in promoting your goods or services to an aspirational audience in the Vale then Vale Life is almost certainly right for you. Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Editor

“Follow your heart, not your head.” Kevin Green, Wealth Coach

P ROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS We value our advertisers. We appreciate the trust they place in us by promoting their businesses in our magazines. With our local partners, we currently publish a range of high quality quarterly titles across Wales. You can advertise your business from as little as £35 per season in this magazine. Pick-up-ability! Our magazines aren’t like other magazines. They have real pick-up appeal - in fact, they really do go like hot cakes. Quality comes first... along with the environment. We’re passionate about quality. The magazines are beautifully written and designed, and printed locally in South Wales on high quality paper (and no nasty varnishes or lamination we’re as green as green can be). Quality distribution to an affluent, aspirational audience... We distribute our magazines to over 1,000 carefully selected outlets across South Wales. We’d love to have your business on board. If you’d like to promote your business or service in our magazines, please get in touch, we’d love the opportunity to work with you.

OUR TITLES We proudly publish four Life-style magazines and one business to business title. Vale Life (our first magazine). This covers the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan - the most southerly county in Wales and deemed to be the most affluent. Vale Life was the first magazine we published. City Life The premier lifestyle magazine for Cardiff, Wales’ capital city. The magazine is delivered to all areas of Cardiff. Valleys Life At the heart of the South Wales Valleys. From the Neath Valley in the West to Blaenau Gwent and Pontypool in the East. West Life Covering Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and coastal Ceredigion, West Life is in touch with the relaxed lifestyle of this very special part of Wales. In Business Wales’ premier magazine for people in business. This is the kind of publication people in business want to read; interesting, inspirational and aspirational.

WHAT A DVERTISERS SAY We proudly publish four Life-style magazines and one business to business title. “The best advertising we’ve ever done!” Andy Bradshaw, Partner, Hamptons, Penarth. “Honestly, the best response I’ve ever had.” Matt Mullooly, Owner, Northern Star, Penarth. “At last, advertising that really delivers.” Ann Bryl, Owner, Bryl’s Boutique, Barry. “A truly astonishing response.” Russell Scott-Lawson, Owner, Hawkes, Cardiff. “The experience I have had with this magazine has restored my faith in advertising. Gauci Organic Candles is a small business with an equally small advertising budget. We have to make every pound count and that’s what we get with Vale Life, City Life and Valleys Life. It’s refreshing to find a magazine that really understands my business. They are never short of ideas. I recommend them whenever I can.” Spiro Gauci, Owner, Gauci Organic Candles, Cardiff “These are beautiful publications. We love working with people who are passionate about what they do.” Spiro Borg, Spiros Caterers, We’d love the opportunity to show you what a truly effective campaign in our publications can achieve.

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Vale Life Winter 2016  

The Vale Of Glamorgan's Premier Lifestyle Magazine