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8 STYLE 8 SUMMER BLOSSOMS Your floral style guide 13 AU NATUREL Accessories of choice 14 LUST LIST This month’s most wanted 16 XXL Earrings 18 GARDEN PARTY Dress for your alfresco soirée FEATURES 28 DR LEAH TOTTON’s Success story 32 ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE And this dating guide 35 INTERVIEW SUCCESS Get that job! BEAUTY 39 #BEAUTY INSPO Hot off the catwalk 40 NIP AND TWEAK Tweakments and trends 52 SPF FOUNDATION Tried and tested 53 LIP CONTOURING Step-by-step guide 54 HAIR CARE What’s new? HEALTH AND WELLNESS 56 LOCAL LINE OUT Female players talk rugby 59 KINESIOLOGY Tried and tested 60 SIXTH SENSE Or common sense?

Credit: Sezane


Cover image : Photography Brendan Gallagher, hair Amy Cartwright, makeup Aisling O’Donnell Makeup, model Victoria Bustard and styling Roisin O’Donnell


Credit: Monsoon

62 EAT WELL PAY LESS 5 steps to a healthier you ESCAPE 64 WALKING THE CAMINO The easy way 67 JAMICA: PARADISE POSTPONED A Caribbean odyssey 68 FAMILY TIME Mustn’t miss events 70 DATES FOR THE DIARY 72 WIN A spa break

LIVING 74 CREATE THE PERFECT OUTDOOR SPACE 78 FROM TIME TO TIME Inside a Victorian home 82 GLOBAL FUSION Got the travelling bug? 86 LOCAL WEDDINGS 90 THE ALBUM Social pics 96 NORTHEN MAN 98 WIN A hotel stay

Publisher Independent News & Media Ltd Belfast Telegraph House 33 Clarendon Road Clarendon Dock Belfast BT1 3GB T: 028 9026 4264 Editor: Catriona Doherty Design: Robert Armstrong Manager: Eileen Doherty Art Editor: Helen Wright Editorial Contributors Emma Deighan, Claire Craig, Jeff Meredith, Roisin Carabine, Clare Bowie, Rebecca Reid, Eanna Brophy, Conor Power and Jade Beecroft Independent News & Media © 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means; electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of Independent News & Media.


Editor’s Letter


i all, Welcome to our £1 July edition. Has another issue rolled around already? Time certainly does fly, one minute you are minding your own (youthful) business, and the next thing you know years have passed by and you glance in the mirror and spot wrinkles! This month the glamorous Dr Leah Totton, former The Apprentice winner, shares her top tips for preventing and curing prematurely aged skin, and we bring you the lowdown on the very latest cosmetic trends and tweakments to try. In aid of our Garden Party editorial fashion shoot, we were dodging rain showers down at the Newforge House in Magheralin. While you can’t always be sure of the weather at an outdoor soirée this summer, you can ensure you’re looking your best with one of our featured outfits – all available to buy locally (as are the clothes in Lust List). The must-have print of the season is of course floral, update your summer wardrobe with a key piece featuring oversized blooms – see our Summer Blossoms spread for inspiration. Go extra-large in your choice of earrings, and au naturel with other accessories; think straw, raffia and recycled material. As always we look to the runways for beauty news. The saying, ‘Freckles are a sign of beauty’ must be true as freckle tattoos are the next big thing. Discover the very latest haircare products to

Behind the scenes of our fashion photo shoot photographer Brendan Gallagher takes aim

try this month, and learn how to pull off the perfect pout with lip contouring. Whether you’re looking for a new man or a new job, we’ve got you covered with our Ultimate Dating Guide, and Interview Success feature. In addition to that, we also bring you the very latest interior trends, inspiring stories, travel reviews, and the local events you won’t want to miss. Enjoy the issue, don’t forget to tweet or email us your thoughts or check in on our Facebook page for daily updates. Until next month,

Catriona Doherty Editor Northern Woman

Contact me at: Follow NW on Facebook at: Tweet us at: @NorthernWomanNW.



Credit: River Island



Brazil Full Skirt £129, Mabel Ruffle Jacket £79, Selina Cami £39, all from Coast

Floral prints are brighter and bolder than ever this summer. Forget dainty petals and opt for oversized blooms instead. From jumpsuits to playsuits, lightweight pyjama-inspired two pieces or edgy matching short and top combos, and everything in between, ‘notice me’ florals are everywhere this summer. Embrace your dark side by pairing colourful blooms with black.

Dorina Hawaii Tie Side Bikini Brief from ASOS, £12

Dorina Hawaii Bandeau Bikini Top Indigo Blue Hawaii from ASOS, £16

Summer blossoms

Floral Shorts from Dorothy Perkins, £24

Your style guide to this summer’s trend for flowery fashion

Floral Placement Swimsuit from Cotton Edits, £32


Halo Platform Sandals from KG Kurt Geiger, were £140 now £89








Botanical prints update coverups for a summer-inspired look, with dark hues counterbalancing the softness of the delicate floral print. This summer’s musthave is a tossup between the quilted embroidered jacket and the suede biker jacket; transitional pieces that will see you through early autumn.

Jacket £100, Shorts £39, Bag £29, all from Monsoon

K Meadow Balfern Suede Biker Jacket from All Saints, £380

Quilted Embroidered Jacket from Miss Selfridge, £110

Ivory Floral Kimono from Evans, £28

Red Frill bikini Top £18, Floral Crop Ruffle Hem Trousers £40, Yellow Mules £40, from River Island

Amora Bandeau Bikini Top from Boux Avenue, £30

Amora Frill Bikini Briefs from Boux Avenue, £16

Jungle Frilled Midi Dress from Oliver Bonas £75

ALL THE TRIMMINGS Fashionistas, take note: a wellplaced ruffle can do the job of statement jewellery. Think Little Bo Peep-style trimmed hems, whimsical ruffled tops and embroidered floral detail.

Floral Flounce Dress from Oasis, £60


MIX AND MATCH Clashing is the new matching. Don’t be afraid to add another statement print to the mix with clashing tops, trousers, skirts or accessories.

Tropical Print Overshirt £49.99, top sold out, Raw Cut Shorts £9.99, all from Zara

Printed Poplin Shorts from Primark, £5

Garden Floral Angel Sleeve Top from Miss Selfridge, £28

Floral Print Top from Mango, £29.99

Floral Print Swimwear from Pull & Bear, £19.99


Rodial Swimsuit £155, Rodial Pareo £125 , from Orchard Lingerie, Lisburn Road and The Lingerie Room, The Linen Green, Moygashel


Animal Peggia Bikini from Jonzara, Newtownards, £48

Soak up the sunshine in on-trend swimwear in vibrant floral hues. Canary yellow, sky blue and pale pink blooms are this season’s showstealers and sure to get you noticed poolside.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

DRESS TO IMPRESS This summer dress to impress with country garden blooms and wild leafy prints. Opt for an off-theshoulder dress or high neckline for catwalk-inspired style.

Celine Dress from Chi Chi London, £62

Gucci Cruise 2018. Photo by Pietro D’Aprano/Getty Images

Koko Tropical Embroidered Maxi Dress from Monsoon, £79

JUMP TO IT Go head-to-toe floral with a jumpsuit. Casually chic, a versatile jumpsuit can be dressed up or down for any occasion, floral lace is particularly glam. Floral Jumpsuit from Monsoon, £119

Lace Top Jumpsuit from Lipsy, £80

Bloom Print Bardot Dress from George At Asda, £16

Overlay Floral Dress from Wallis, £60


Fern Pop Botanical from L.K Bennett, £210

Faith Heels from Debenhams, £45

Lolita Mirror Leather Vachetta in Canyon Mix from Jimmy Choo, £895

STATEMENT HEELS Put your best foot forward in a pair of floral print heels. From floral applique strappy sandals to embroidered mules, blossoming heels will dress up any outfit.

Missguided Heels from Schuh, £25

Pink Print Frill Strap Barely There Sandals from River Island, £35 London Chelsea Floral Patent from Dune, £85

FABULOUS FLATS If those heels weren’t made for walking pick up a pair of flats for everyday wear. 3D flowers add a decorative touch to ballerina pumps and slip-ons.

Essentiel Antwerp shoe from Peel , Bloomfield Avenue, £285


Patent Leather Slip-On Sandals by Miu Miu from, were £665 now £465

Awesome Flowers from Schuh, £30

Blossom in Red from Kurt Geiger £150


Lucy Floral Woven Raffia Nappa in Chalk from Jimmy Choo £495

Fine Straw Crochet Cowboy Hat from Accessorize £22

Mesh Shopper (recylced polyester) from H&M £34.99

Cream and Peach Raffia Bag from TK Maxx £49.99

Cord Bracelet with Silver Pearl by Louise Karagh from RoCo Boutique, Holywood £25

Au naturel

Keep it natural in your choice of accessories this summer – think straw, raffia or recycled material

Real Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing Reversible Pendant Necklace from Ann Smyth Stained Glass, Belfast £35

Handpainted Sea Glass Pendant from, St George’s Market, Belfast £20

Honey Summer Tassel Bag from White Stuff £49.95

Multicoloured Bag from Zara £25.99

Krysie from Dune £59


Mary Tote in Plum £575, Doris Clutch in Black £145 from, designed in Portstewart

Lust List Local buys – this month’s most wanted


Printed Palazzo Trouers £39.99, Long Floral Print Kimono £69.99, Gipure Lace Crop Top £17.99, all from Zara

Fantasie Berry from Orchard Lingerie Lisburn Road, and The Lingerie Room, The Linen Green, Moygashel, £62

Drape Back Jumpsuit from Next, £48

Parallel Balance Ring from Atlantic Design Studio, Portrush, £150

Rose Goldplated Green Bangle from Newbridge Silverware, Arthur Street, Belfast, £51

Field Apothecary candle in Flora from, £30

Green Floral Print Skater Dress from Berling, Newry, £205

Nuperio Short Sleeve Dress by Essentiel Antwerp from Peel, Bloomfield Avenue, £240

Ted Baker Ivory Floral Dress from Red@ TomMorrow, Dungannon, £149








Paris Atelier & Other Stories

XXL earrings


This summer head-turning earrings make the ultimate fashion statement. Think bold geometric shapes and clean lines, hippy chick tassels, and diamanté detail




1 Autograph Earrings from Marks & Spencer £17.50. 2 Faraha Large Gold Plated Earrings from Oliver Bonas £55 (available in September). 3 Filigree Disc Front & Back Earring from Accessorize £5. 4 Turq Celeste Earrings from Ashiana £42. 5 Tassel Earrings from Mango £12.99. 6 Party Earrings With Tassels from Zara £12.99. 7 Zig-Zag Earrings from Atlantic Design Studio, Portrush £95. 8 Simple Sticks Short from Accessorize £5. 9 Bontanic Mismatch Drop Earrings from French Connection £20

SUMMER SALE NOW ON - VIEW OUR NEW PRE AUTUMN COLLECTION My Soul - Alembika - Deck - Pieszak - Masai Postcard from Brighton - Black by K&M - Elsewhere Gershon Bram - Naya - Mama B - Papucei

72 Bloomfield Avenue Belfast BT5 5AE Tel: 02890 466555

Grace your alfescro summer soirée with one of these enchanting outfits hand-picked locally Shot on location at Newforge House, Magheralin

Oasis playsuit was £46 now £36.80



Little White Lies dress was £95 now £66.50, Miss KG sandals £65, both from House of Frazer, Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast; necklace stylist’s own


Topshop skirt £68; Oasis top £25; shoes £39.99 from TK Maxx; necklace stylist’s own


Little White Lies dress was £95 now £66.50, Miss KG sandals £65, both from House of Frazer, Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast; Topshop headpiece £12.50


Dress £29.99, hat £12.99, sandals £14.99, shopper £12.99, all from TK Maxx; ring model’s own


Little White Lies Dress was £90 now £63, Dune scarf £35, Dune hat £30, all from House of Frazer, Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast



Biba dress from House of Frazer £89, Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast; belt (around neck) stylist’s own


Dress £34.99, sandals £14.99, necklace £12.99, shopper £12.99, sunglasses £29.99, all from TK Maxx

– PHOTOGRAPHY – Brendan Gallagher 07900 638365 – HAIR – Amy Cartwright Paul Stafford Hairdressing – MAKEUP – Aisling O’Donnell Makeup 07922 8890 aislingodonnellmakeup – MODEL – Victoria Bustard @ Style Academy – STYLING – Roisin O’Donnell 07742 065574 – LOCATION – Newforge Country House, Magheralin


Dr Leah Totton

on celebrity clients, the Silhouette Soft, and the sacrifices she made to succeed.

Dr Leah Totton and Lauren Goodger




ow does one go from delivering newspaper in Derry/ Londonderry, to running two of London’s most elite cosmetic skin clinics backed by The Apprentice’s Sir Alan Sugar himself? We ask Dr Leah Totton. “Nothing comes easy and I have had to put in an exceptional amount of time and effort to be in this position careerwise at 29,” Dr Leah explains, “that includes long days, long nights with limited sleep, missing holidays, nights out and social occasions, and prioritising working above all else. “I have worked solidly from my teens throughout my twenties to establish my career, firstly to obtain my grades to get into medical school and then to obtain my medical degree with distinction. I went on to complete my junior doctor training, win The Apprentice, then launch and build Dr Leah into a chain of award-winning clinics. I also obtained a diploma in dermatology.” To female entrepreneurs just starting out, Dr Leah advises them to, “be prepared to make sacrifices” in order to succeed. A strong worth ethic has seen Dr Leah through from some not-so-glamorous jobs, to being the owner of two prestigious clinics located in the City of London and Essex. “We all had to start somewhere and I have always worked for as long as I can remember,” she says. “I had a paper round when I was younger, and as soon as I obtained my National Insurance number when I was 16, I worked in a bar collecting glasses. While I was studying for my A Levels I worked in B&Q as a refund and exchange advisor, and during my university years I worked in Zara as a cashier and in a nursing home as a carer. I learnt something from each job and met interesting people along the way.”

Fame and fortune

For readers who watched Dr Leah Totton in action on The Apprentice in 2013, it was easy to see why she caught the attention of the public and the man himself, Sir Alan

Credit: Sara Lincoln Photography Sugar, and won a £250,000 investment in her beauty business. The experience was transformative for the Derry native “My life has definitely changed since then,” Dr Leah says, “I have developed an award-winning brand as result of the experience.” The owner of two thriving clinics employing 23 staff members, Dr Leah plans to open a third this year. The physician reported a staggering £252k profit on her clinics in 2016 alone, ‘How does it feel to achieve such success?’ NW asks. “It is good as a young company to see such healthy profits,” she replies, “Dr Leah Clinics’ profit for this financial year is even higher than the quoted figures for last year, so it is great to see that growth.” It is not only Sir Alan Sugar that advocates Dr Leah’s work, and she has a number of high-profile celebrity clients on her books.

“The Essex clinic treats some of the reality TV stars who are quite open about the fact they come to Dr Leah Clinics and the treatments they have,” Dr Leah comments, “meanwhile my London clinic in particular has quite a few celebrity clients from the worlds of TV, film and music, including some very well-known faces. Obviously confidentiality is paramount and I cannot disclose patient names.” The Only Way Is Essex reality star Lauren Goodger has publicly spoken about a 12week programme she has recently signed up for, with the aim of transforming her complexion to achieve flawless skin. We enquire about Lauren’s progress. “Lauren is currently undergoing her skin transformation with us at my Essex clinic and is getting exceptional results which will allow her to go bare faced for summer.”

Continued on 30 ➤


Credit: Sara Lincoln Photography

The Silhouette Soft

At the moment Botox is by far the most commonly requested treatment at Dr Leah Clinics, which the physician attributes to it being “a quick and safe treatment at a reasonable price which gives great results with little or no downtime”. ‘What will be the next big thing?’ we ask. “Thread Lift treatments are becoming more and more popular and we are about to launch the Dr Leah Lift which is a nonsurgical lifting treatment that treats facial sagging without the need to have Botox, dermal fillers or surgery. “The treatments I specialise in performing are the Silhouette Soft thread lifts; these are also known as the One Stitch Lift and are a skin lifting treatment for the lower face and neck. I was fortunate to be awarded Top UK doctor for this treatment in 2016 and have now become the global trainer. This remarkably effective treatment


takes 30 to 60 minutes to perform and gives a subtle but effective lift, to improve jowls and reduce neck sagging. Results last from 15 to 18 months and it is a great alternative to a surgical facelift. I am also the UK expert for Obagi Skincare – this is a prescription-strength skincare range which can be used to remove pigmentation and signs of ageing.”

µµBe prepared to make sacrifices∑∑ Homeward bound?

Although Dr Leah admits she doesn’t return to Northern Ireland as often as she would like to, during visits she enjoys catching up with her nearest and dearest. She says, “When home I enjoy spending time with my family, and with friends from when I was at

school there. For day trips I love the North Antrim Coast.” NW asks if the entrepreneur has any plans to set up a clinic locally. “Northern Ireland is my home country and very close to my heart, I would love to have a clinic there in the future hopefully,” she replies. We will keep our fingers crossed for Dr Leah Clinics to open here, in the meantime the inspirational entrepreneur is busy growing her business in England. “I plan to continue my NHS work and continue to expand and scale the Dr Leah brand with plans for a third clinic in the coming 12 months. “I still work part-time for the NHS so I spend three days of my week working in an NHS hospital. Being a doctor is my vocation. I love clinical medicine and it is a privilege to be able to help people when they are most in need.” n

Dr Leah’s summer skincare tips Skin is a barometer and reflects what you eat, what you drink, and how you treat it. You may get away with lack of care in your twenties but this is likely to catch up with you and surface in your thirties or forties! It’s not too late to start the fight against premature ageing brought about by excessive exposure to wind, sea and sun as ultimately it is an accumulative process.

Prevent and protect

• Wear a sun hat, wear a long-sleeved shirt, wear a rash vest, because two weeks in the sun can lead to a lifetime of tell-tale signs and prevention is always better than cure (much as I would welcome the visits to my clinics to put things right!). • You should also avoid UV exposure and protect with SPF. This is not just holiday advice; I strongly advise patients to wear SPF products daily under makeup. A minimum of SPF 30 -50 should be worn. UV has the ability to penetrate the skin even on the cloudiest of days and begin to degrade your support structures. Look out for SPFs that also contain Vitamin C and E for enhanced photo protection. Heliocare Gelcream Light/Brown SPF 50 is a must. • Fight the damaging effects sun exposure, summer holiday excesses, and smoking can have on your skin. Use products containing antioxidants, in particular Vitamin A, which help to neutralise damaging free radicals that lead to fine lines, dehydration and ageing. Vitamin A is also a powerhouse in treating prematurely aged skin. I recommend Dermaquest’s Peptide Vitality Range to strengthen, plump and smooth the skin.


• Dry skin needs to be moisturised, moisturised, moisturised. Choosing the right one is key. If you have oilier skin then go for an oil-free lightweight formula, for drier skin types a richer emollient formula works best. Regardless of your skin type, moisturisers will help to both nourish and protect your skin from external elements while making it soft, smooth and pliable. Our patients tend love Obagi Hydrate Luxe; just as the name suggests, this luxuriously rich face cream is extra-moisturising and contains ingredients to keep your skin looking and feeling supple and firm. • Skin peels are a fantastic way to slough off the top layer of peeling and dead cells to expose fresh, new skin beneath. This brings about renewed luminosity and evens out any uneven skin tone. A Lactic Acid peel is good for tackling sun-damaged skin. • Treat yourself to a facial which will not only repair the outer layers of your skin, but also helps to regenerate the deep layers where the UV has managed to penetrate and has potentially accelerated the ageing process. Our most frequently requested facial, is Dr Leah’s Bespoke treatment which combines radio frequency to stimulate your skin’s own collagen and tackle ageing, microdermabrasion to smooth, brighten and deep cleanse, LED light therapy to hydrate and quench parched skin,

and mesotherapy to infuse key ingredients into the skin to restore your natural glow. • AFT, an FDA approved Laser treatment is a fantastic way of banishing dark spots or pigmentation caused by the sun. By exposing them to short pulses of visible light, the highly concentrated area of pigment know as melanin can shatter. The pigment is then absorbed by

the body, making the dark patches less visible or completely destroying them, leaving you with a clear complexion. • Anti-wrinkle Injections are an effective way of smoothing out those fine lines or crow’s feet immediately (who forgot their sunglasses and scrunched up their eyes?). Results take effect between 7-14 days and will last for 3-4 months.


All you need is love … a laptop, a modern matchmaker and our expert’s guide to acing that date BY ALISON FLEMING


e’ve all been on a bad date, but Janet Walker Colling’s first venture into the world of online dating was, by her own admission, horrendous. Single for five years, and in her early fifties, the Belfast mother of two had turned to the internet in a bid to meet that someone special, but finding she had nothing in common with her date, resorted to desperate measures. “I went to the toilet and phoned my sister, telling her to call me about a family emergency so I had to leave. It was that


awful!” she recalls. Janet was one of the eight million singles looking for love online each month, and it’s estimated that the average online dater will spend 12 hours a week engaged in online dating activity, but that short-lived meeting marked Janet’s first and last foray into the world of digital dating. Scarred by the experience Janet followed a more traditional route to meet her partner Wes. She recalls, “On New Year’s Day 2015 my friend and I were going into town for a drink, on the way down she said we’re not going home until I find you someone! Her husband picked us up and brought us home, and mentioned one of his workmates

as a possible candidate. “A couple of days later Wes messaged me on Facebook. It took three weeks to get the courage to go out with him, but we went for a meal and that was it!” The couple have been together ever since, but Janet admits she was in the right frame of mind to have a relationship when she met Wes. She was committed to giving it a go, and while it was hard in the beginning it has worked out for her.

Digital fairy tale

Dating website eHarmony predicts that by 2031, more than 50% of relationships will start on the internet.

madly in love. In a whirlwind romance, the couple moved in together after just a few days and after a couple of weeks JP told Barbara he wanted to be her husband. They met on 28th June, got engaged at the end of July and booked the wedding for New Year’s Eve. Barbara credits a fresh outlook on life following her previous split, with smoothing the path for romance. “I’d had quite a difficult breakup and had moved abroad to get my head showered and I came home with a different perspective – I think I’d made peace with myself. I knew what I had with JP was something very special.”

Recent research carried out by them showed that up to 40% of new relationships in the UK rely on the internet in one way or another, and by 2040 only three in ten new relationships will owe little or nothing to online dating or online communication – with seven in ten either meeting online or using online communication to get to know each other. That’s a lot of statistics for something as natural as falling in love, but where one digital dating app fails, other technology can work to bring two people together. That was the experience of Barbara Whearty, who describes her marriage as a digital fairy tale.

The 35-year-old from Belfast had just come out of a three-year relationship when she met her now-husband. He was the founder of online parody site LAD and they followed each other on Twitter. “I had no idea who was behind the site,” laughs Barbara, “I used to joke, ‘Could a Twitter handle flirt with you?’ As there were lots of tweets and retweets – romance in a digital age! “It was all a bit of craic, and I was standing for NI21 at the time. JP joked that he did the party election broadcast in the hope of meeting me. But it wasn’t meant to be at that time and as it turned out he was in a relationship as well, which he came out of. I then moved abroad for a while and when I came back I wasn’t really dating. “I had downloaded Tinder, but wasn’t really bothering with it or going on dates, but I kept getting Super Likes from a big bearded fellow who turned out to be John Paul. I turned them all down, as I was out a lot and having a great time with a whole different idea of what I was looking for. “But then after Brexit he private messaged me and we decided to meet for a coffee. I went along out of curiosity and we knew pretty much straight away this was something different and ended up falling

µµWhere one digital dating app fails, other technology can work to bring people together∑∑ The modern matchmaker

Online or offline, chemistry can be helped along when someone else is doing the legwork. Claire Hughes formed Soiree Society NI in 2015, when one of her friends talked to her about how after leaving a long-term relationship she was feeling too old for bars and uncomfortable with the public profile of going online. Initially holding events for those looking for love, Claire’s business became a matchmaking service. Something she says ticks a lot of boxes for single people in Northern Ireland she explains, “We would have a lot of girls who say they’ve tried online dating and they could be out every night of the week if they wanted, but not with people they’d be happy to take home to meet their families.

Continued on 34 ➤


“We meet every single person and authenticate them, so we know they are who they say they are. We have their ID so we know their date of birth is correct, and also we ask for a recent photograph. “I’m not knocking online dating, but for a lot of people matchmaking is a nice alternative in that someone is working on their behalf. “It’s like we all know how to lose weight, but very few of us are good at doing it. People who take on a personal trainer tend to do better because there’s someone with them who has a vested interest.” With a database of around 200 people, Claire likens the service she provides to that of a recruitment consultancy, looking at the desired criteria to help find the ideal candidate. “Our members will say I’ve a vacancy


Google Meetup groups in your area to meet like-minded people who share similar interests such as hillwalking, reading, going to the cinema or theatre etc.


When you go out, dress as if you are going to meet your ex! Looking good increases confidence which makes you feel good, and most people find confidence attractive.


Smile and say hello to at least three people you don’t know each day. It’s amazing how good it makes you feel when people smile back.

4 5

Book a personal shopper/image consultant session.

Have a makeover or change your hairstyle, and that can apply to the gentlemen too. People who haven’t been dating for years may have fallen into a rut in how they look and dress.


The relationship between you and you is very important. Rather than concentrating on your weaknesses write down three things that you like about yourself and they don’t always have to be physical attributes. It can be things like being a good conversationalist, kindness,


in my life, I would love a companion or I would love to be married. But it’s not just marriage, we have people on our books who are looking for friendship or romance. “We look at core values, personalities and interests. Sometimes people come to you with a set criteria as if they’re going into a car showroom. People are not products, so we encourage them to be open.” It seems like the perfect solution for time-poor singles, and Claire, who has been married for 38 years, currently has five

The ultimate dating guide Claire Hughes’ top tips for dating success

couples in relationships lasting more than a year. She’s aware that marriage isn’t what everyone wants, although she’d still like to “do a Cilla” and attend the wedding of one of her couples. Her key advice is to be realistic about the process. “I’ve just had a text from a couple on a break in Portugal together,” she adds, “and another texting me on their first anniversary; it’s a nice business.” n

or recognition of an achievement. Thinking positive thoughts is uplifting and positivity is an attractive feature.


To be interesting, you must be interested. When meeting someone for the first time ask questions about them and what they love to do.


Meeting someone new is about creating a new future, so try to not talk about the past too much until you get to know someone.


Leave room for love. So many people we work with let their job and existing single lifestyle stand in the way of living. So many singles are so busy with their friends (particularly females) that it can take weeks to get them out on a date so it gives the impression that they are not interested in a relationship.


People are not products and don’t come in perfect packages. It is fine to have a wishlist but don’t stick rigidly to desired criteria; the majority of those who do are still single. Don’t judge people on photos alone. Have a look at the couples you know that are happily married or are in a loving relationship; you’ll notice they have something that often overrides physical looks.

Interview success How to impress in an interview and make your dream job a reality


f you’re a veteran of the job interview process, you’re likely to be up to date with competencybased interview techniques, and the late nights of study and research that go hand-in-hand with them. If you aren’t, and are hoping to land a new role anytime soon, then brace yourself – it’s not just about showing up and blinding the panel with your brilliance anymore. There’s a whole new skillset involved in landing your dream job, and luckily Northern Woman can guide you through. Siobhan Casey made the decision to return to full-time employment after years of freelancing as a marketing consultant but despite her years of expertise in the field

BY ALISON FLEMING she found she was a novice when it came to navigating the interview process. “I’d applied for a Marketing Director position,” begins Siobhan, who is originally from Derry but now lives in County Down. “When I was preparing for the interview I was chatting to a friend who advised me to get some coaching. “I hadn’t been interviewed for a job in about fifteen years, so I didn’t know the techniques. The career coach I worked with took me through the whole competencybased interview model.”


Competency-based interviews are where candidates are asked questions relating to their behavior in specific circumstances, which they are then required to back up

with concrete examples. Utilising SCAR scenarios (Situation, Challenge, Action taken and Result) will give potential employers a clear insight into your talents, skills and thought processes. For Siobhan, it was the key to securing the job she’d applied for. “Once you get the technique it’s like riding a bike. It really helped me prepare, and consolidate my experience. “I answered the questions showing the results of the actions that I’d taken throughout my career, instead of simply describing what I did. It was about being able to articulate the impact of the work that I’d done.”

Continued on 36 ➤


Knowing your stuff and building rapport is key, according to HR expert and blogger Kazim Ladimeji from, who says the whole process is like a courtship. “I always recommend people do a lot of research on the company, peppering the interview with references so the entire interview is in the context of the company. “You’re trying to build rapport; it is like dating and personality is really important. There’s research coming out now in the US which shows your hobbies, interests and personality are just as important as your skills. “I would always say as well as researching the company, look at key personalities including the person who will be your boss if you’re successful, so try and find out what their interests are. It’s great to show that you have an affinity with that person, because rightly or wrongly it seems people do give personality a lot of significance when choosing an employee.”

How to prepare

An understanding of the core skills required is also crucial. Research is your friend, and a 360-degree understanding of the company and the role they want to fill, is vital. Mairead Scott, Managing Director at recruitment consultancy Honeycomb, says


µµThe whole process is like a courtship∑∑ preparation is everything. “We give candidates as much notice as possible to prepare for an interview, providing them with detail on the interview panel and format – whether formal or informal, competency or biographical, and if there’s any testing involved. “We will also help them identify key competencies or characteristics that are important to the business and we encourage our candidates to research, research, research!”

Positive language

Mairead advises steering away from any negative language, “because it creates the impression that the candidate will not embrace challenges or push themselves beyond the boundaries of their role.” Avoid buzzwords, which she says can sound clichéd or rehearsed. “What I would encourage candidates to

do is to use positive, assertive language. Use action verbs that create a sense of progression and accomplishment such as: I improved, I delivered, I achieved. “It’s important to remember that it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. We encourage candidates to think about their body language and non-verbal signals. “Keep your body language open and engaging – make eye contact and smile. Also, think about your breathing, talking speed and intonation. If you need to, practice in front of the mirror to make sure you sound calm, composed and professional.” If you’ve got to the interview stage, employers will know your skills are a good match, but it’s a ‘can-do’ attitude that can put you ahead of the competition. “What distinguishes a superstar candidate from a mediocre one is attitude!” says Mairead. “I think you really get a sense of that from the minute a candidate walks through the door – they are engaged, confident (but not cocky), and really interested in the company and the opportunity in front of them. “Even if someone is technically less skilled, or lacks the level of experience of other candidates in the interview process, attitude can often carry them through.”

µµFollow up with a thank you note∑∑

Interview faux pas

Asking about sickness policy and holiday entitlement at an interview doesn’t give a good impression. Arriving late is also unacceptable, even if there’s been a traffic jam, zombie invasion or similar. It shows a lack of preparation, so always give yourself plenty of time. And for the all-important final impression, Mairead and her team advocate asking questions. “An employer really wants to recruit someone who is genuinely interested in their business and pertinent, probing questions are evidence of this. “Finally, follow up with a thank you note or email. This personal touch goes a long way to helping you stand out from the crowd. “Most importantly, relax and be the best version of yourself!” Ah, relaxing. Not the default mode of most interviewees. So how do we combat nerves? Warren York, Clinical Hypnotherapist at Warren York Hypnotherapy and Stress Solutions in East Belfast has it covered.

evokes a specific response. “You can programme successful and calming triggers, by taking a few minutes to yourself, and thinking of a time when you were relaxed, calm and happy. This could be a previous job interview which went well, or any other event in your life that’s been successful. “Imagine where you were, what you were doing and what you were feeling and in your mind, as visibly as possible, feel that state again. When you’re at the peak of that state, you could maybe touch a finger and thumb together to create a link between those feelings with that touch.

µµThere are techniques for reprogramming our though processes to be more positive∑∑

The anchoring technique

Trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which is the practice of understanding how people organise their thinking, feeling, language and behaviour to produce the results they do, Warren York says there are techniques for reprogramming our thought processes to be more positive. “It should start in the days and weeks leading up to the interview, to change your internal dialogue to positive self-talk. We’re always making movies in our heads and thoughts - usually negative about feeling nervous about the interview going badly, and that creates the state. “You need to plan for success and be calm and relaxed. There’s a technique called anchoring which creates a trigger that

“It’s a reminder for the mind and body to go back into that state. You can stack other positive thoughts on top of that, harness the feeling, take a deep breath and press the thumb and finger together. “Keep practicing that and refreshing it so when it comes to just before the interview time you can take a deep breath, press the thumb and finger together and your unconscious mind knows to trigger that response. “Finally think about what you want, rather than what you don’t want. For example, instead of feeling ‘nervous’ talk about being ‘excited’ and use that energy in a positive way.” n


Top tips from Mairead Scott at Honeycomb Recruitment Arrive early and be nice to the receptionist. When I am recruiting, I definitely want people in my team who are genuinely nice, courteous and professional to everyone they encounter – they don’t just turn it on when they are being ‘assessed’. Do not underestimate the power of a smile! Make sure you greet the interview panel with a warm smile, a confident handshake and open body language. Maintain eye contact throughout the meeting and use the meeting as an opportunity to build rapport. Be able to tell your story well. Know your CV inside out and be able to navigate your career path clearly, highlighting successes and achievements . Employers are looking for candidates who are considered, decisive and progressive. They do not want ‘job hoppers’ who flit from one role to another. Prepare, prepare, prepare! I cannot stress this enough. Take the time to research the company and the role, to plan for ‘likely’ or ‘common’ questions and rehearse your responses. This goes a huge way to making the interview process less daunting and allowing you an opportunity to shine. Be positive. Yes you are nervous, but don’t tell the panel that. Ok, maybe you hated your boss, but the person sitting in front of you is trying to visualise you in their team, so keep that to yourself. Use positive language and statements and this will leave the panel with a positive perception of you.


BEAUTY Credit: Bershka


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

Trending – beauty looks hot off the runway THE CAT EYE

From Cleopatra to Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren, winged eyeliner has been favoured by many beauty icons. It’s perfect for any eye shape and makes the eyes appear bigger, bolder and brighter.


Let your lips do the talking; slick on red lippy and skip the eye makeup for a freshfaced look – as seen on Prada’s 2018 Resort fashion runways.


What’s not to love about those s-shaped eighties-style waves? If you binned your crimpers back in the day, simply braid sections of damp hair then let it finish drying, unwind and add texturising product for a modern crimped look.


Chanel Cruise 2017 2018 Collection – Runway. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Prada Resort 2018 Womenswear Show – Runway. Pietro D’Aprano/ Getty Images

Shaughnessy Keely

People are now tattooing freckles on their face. Yes, really! We ask semi-permanent makeup artist Shuana McKay from Permanent Perfection if she has had any freckle requests yet. “I tattooed freckles on my first client nearly five years ago,” Shauna explains, “a lady from Belfast came in to The Fall request it, so I Tattooing would say it’s not a new trend. Another client had Vitiligo, and patches of her skin, such as on her forehead, had no colouring at all prior to the freckle tattoos. In my opinion freckle tattooing won’t take off to the same scale as another beauty trend, such as eyebrow microblading.” n


Nip and tweak Butts are getting bigger, breasts are getting smaller, and lunchtime tweakments are all the rage


2017 trends


unchtime nips-and-tucks have taken the cosmetics world by storm. The modern woman is one busy lady, often juggling a number of family, work and social commitments, so it’s unsurprising that ‘walk in, walk out’ procedures are hugely popular right now. It’s been widely reported in the media that 2017 is the year of the ‘Brazilian butt lift’ (bottom augmentation) as women seek to emulate big-bottomed stars such as J.Lo, Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj – with belfies, aka bottom selfies, having a serious social media moment. While derrières are getting bigger, breasts are getting smaller. Increasingly women are opting for ‘undetectable implants’ or small breast implants, which can increase size and lift while maintaining a modest look. The icing on the cake, nipples, are also being altered. According to The Plastic Surgery Group, more and more women want small nipples. Last year they reported a 30% increase in the number of women

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for requesting a smaller nipple. According to a study published by the group, patients with smaller-sized nipples rated higher in attractiveness than those with larger nipples.

Dimplectomy is tipped to be the next big thing. If you don’t have dimples you can get them via the dimplectomy; the one-hour scarless procedure requires an incision inside each cheek. Ouch!


As the UK’s leading doctor-led thread vein removal specialist, we are helping patients across Northern Ireland restore their confidence with our revolutionary Veinwave (Thermocoagulation) treatment. Also medically known as Telangiectasia, thread veins are a common complaint that can affect people of all ages and are often found on the face and legs. The Veinwave technique harnesses microwave technology to heat fine blood vessels and destroy them quickly. It can treat all skin types and is effective in treating facial thread veins and rosacea. It can also be used in conjunction with Injection Compression Sclerotherapy to treat thread veins in legs. This pioneering non-invasive walk-in, walk-out procedure is more effective than laser treatment and results can be instant. It has also been described as ‘life changing’ by many patients. CONTACT US TODAY to organise a consultation on FREEPHONE 0800 542 2023 or email WE ARE DELIGHTED TO OFFER NORTHERN WOMAN READERS THE FOLLOWING SPECIAL OFFER - QUOTE: NW2017

£100 OFF CONSULTATION FEE (Subject To Availability. For A Limited Time Only)

Clinic located at Malone Medical Chambers, Malone Road, Belfast


The Vampire Facial

Tweakments In a move away from one-stop surgical procedures, many patients are investing in smaller tweakments undergone over a period of time. Tweakments are non-invasive, quick and subtle treatments that make you look younger without anyone knowing quite how, examples include; Botox, dermal fillers, Platelet Rich Plasma (aka The Vampire Facial), PDO threat lifting and Veinwave.



latelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) which has been nicknamed The Vampire Facial, sounds scarier than it is. In simple terms, the treatment involves extracting a couple of dessert spoons of a patient’s blood, then utilises a centrifuge machine to spin it to separate the plasma from the red and white blood cells. The concentrated plasma is then injected into the face. “You can inject PRP into any areas where you would inject a dermal filler,” explains Martina Collins from Martina Collins Dental & Skin Clinic, Belfast. “It won’t have the same effect as a filler, as the two treatments work in different ways. However it will stimulate collagen production in this

area which will plump this area with time.” Martina says one of the real strengths of PRP is rejuvenating the under-eye area, “This is a notoriously difficult area to treat and there are very few effective treatments available. PRP can improve the skin quality and decrease dark circles.” It’s not only the skin that can benefit from PRP. “Provided the hair follicles are intact, PRP can stimulate new hair growth,” Martina adds. “This is particularly noticeable with treatments around the eye areas, where patients report increased lash growth. It can also be injected directly into the eyebrows and scalp to treat hair loss in these areas.” PRP costs £385 at Martina Collins Dental & Skin Clinic and the patient can expect little or no downtime post-treatment.

Botox and dermal fillers


robably the most well-known tweakments, Botox and dermal fillers offer fast results with little or no downtime. Dermal fillers are a naturally-derived or synthetic material that is directly injected into the skin to plump out the targeted area. Botox (Botulinum toxin) is injected into muscles in extremely small concentrations to temporarily paralyse them, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and lines. “Safe, effective and fast acting, Botox offers long-lasting results, and the

results are instant,” explains Kathryn Kyle, Cosmetic Secretary at North West Independent Hospital. “After just one targeted treatment, your skin will appear smoother and younger looking. Botox and dermal fillers are extremely effective at contouring and lifting facial features.” Kathryn says patients can see the full effects of Botox within a couple of days, while it can take up to two weeks to see the full effect of fillers. “Prices vary depending on how many areas you wish to treat, one area can range from £225 to £350,” she adds.

PFO Threads


Dr Gabriela, from Dr. Gabriela Clinic, 56 Harley Street London, has created the BeautyLift Face with PDO Threads as an alternative to surgery. This non-invasive face lift technique restores youthful definition to the face, neck and jawline by gently lifting the skin and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The process is described as follows, ‘PDO Threads involves the gentle insertion of the most medically advanced polydioxanone (PDO) threads into the skin with a fine needle. The threads will create a supportive mesh under the skin to deliver an immediate and a progressive lift while also smoothing away fine lines and wrinkles.’ The threads gradually dissolve over time (between six and eight months), and encourage the skin to produce fresh new collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. This leads to a reduction in wrinkles, fine lines, jowls, loose skin on the neck, and dark circles and bags under the eyes. Recovery time varies from 48 hours to a few days, and some patients don’t bruise at all.

Skin Solutions. We offer the ultimate treatments in ultrasound and laser with minimal downtime. Solutions for: / Collagen Loss

/ Acne Scarring

/ Sagging

/ Red Veins

/ Rosacea

/ Pigmentation

/ Plus many more...

Book a skin consultation today at Martina Collins Skin Clinic on 028 9066 6684.

If you are bothered by unsightly thread veins, then Veinwave therapy could be right for you


r Newmans Clinic introduced its revolutionary microwave treatment Veinwave (Thermocoagulation) at Malone Medical Chambers in Belfast a year ago and since then a steadily increasing number of patients have tried the non-invasive ‘walk-in, walk-out’ procedure. Now for the technical bit… the Veinwave technique harnesses microwave technology to heat fine blood vessels and destroy them quickly. It can treat all skin types and is effective in treating facial thread veins and rosacea. It can also be used in conjunction with Sclerotherapy to treat thread veins in legs. The virtually pain-free procedure is said to be more effective than laser treatment and results can be instant. The Veinwave machine used in the treatment passes a high frequency microwave directly into the vein with a very fine needle and can treat up to 50cm of thread veins in a session. The heat then destroys the wall and content of the capillaries as the needle is insulated. While some people see instant results, others have to have multiple treatments – it just depends on how your thread veins react. Dr Michael Broughton of Dr Newmans Clinic, who carries out the treatment at Malone Medical Chambers, said he was delighted to bring Veinwave to Belfast and enjoys helping patients to rebuild their confidence through the removal of


Microwave Technology unsightly thread veins. He says, “Since bringing Veinwave to Belfast we have treated many patients who are thrilled with the results of our pioneering technology. While some results are instantaneous, other patients have to have multiple treatments; it just depends on the individual.” “As we are a doctor-led clinic, we can reassure our patients they are receiving

true clinical expertise and are in very safe hands,” adds Dr Broughton, a former GP and dermatologist who travels to Belfast from London’s Harley Street. OFFER! Veinwave consultation at Dr Newmans Clinic normally costs £195 and the team are offering Northern Woman readers the consultation at a discounted rate of only £95. Subject to availably.

COSMETIC SURGERY If you want to change a feature that you’re simply not satisfied with, cosmetic surgery could be the answer. NW takes a look at breast augmentation and the tummy tuck.

Breast augmentation


t River Medical, Belfast the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure that surpasses all others, is breast augmentation. Registered General Nurse Aoibhin Cronin, has noticed a move away from bigger breasts. “In terms of breast augmentation trends, I would say that for the past number of years patients really want to achieve a natural looking result; a more feminine shape as opposed to overtly large breasts,” Aoibhin says, “on average, we’re talking an A cup to just a C cup.” In relation to recovery time post-op, the health professional advises patients to take a week off work, “but if your job is physical you may need more time,” she adds. “We are unique in that we prefer our patients to stay overnight in hospital which is the safest place in the unlikely event of any complications. Thereafter you’ll attend post-operative appointments at our clinic on the Malone Road to check on your progress, but we find that typically patients are surprised at how quickly they recover.” Aoibhin offers this advice to readers who are considering surgery, “do your research, ask lots of questions of your would-be provider to ensure you are in the safest of hands. When it comes to your health, cutting corners is never best practice.” A breast augmentation at River Medical is priced at £4,810.

Tummy tuck A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure designed to flatten a protruding abdomen by tightening the muscles in the abdominal wall. Kathryn Kyle, from North West Independent Hospital explains all. “This procedure can be effective with a mini


abdominoplasty for patients that have a small ‘baby pouch’. The most common type, the standard abdominoplasty, is suitable for the average patient who has lost an amount of weight or has completed their family. “The larger form of abdominoplasty is a Fleur de Lys/ Aproectomy; this is for patients that have been successful in losing a considerable amount of weight and have been left with an ‘apron’. “Before the procedure, we will take time to talk to you about the parts of your tummy you are

particularly unhappy with, so that we can really focus on getting the results you want by removing excess fatty tissue and skin.” Kathryn says patients can expect to see immediate results, however it may take a few weeks for the swelling to reduce. “Our consultants advise that with any surgery patients have to allow six months before any residual swelling will have settled,” she adds. A tummy tucks costs from £3,600 to £5,700 at North West Independent Hospital. n

CONSIDERING COSMETIC SURGERY? If you are considering any type of cosmetic surgery procedure be sure to speak with the experts. River Medical is the leading specialist in cosmetic surgery in Northern Ireland.


with Aoibhin Cronin

Registered General Nurse at River Medical.

What is the most common cosmetic surgery procedure? The most common procedure is Breast Augmentation surgery, followed by liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).

What about size, what is the average increase? The majority of our patients go from an A cup to just a C cup. We’re talking a subtle increase in volume, a more feminine shape and most importantly, natural looking results.

Is breast reduction common? The majority of breast surgeries are indeed augmentations but an increasing number of women are electing to undergo reduction, uplift and asymmetry procedures. Not a lot of people are aware but less than 10% of women have identical sized breasts.

What about face lifts? Facial surgery is indeed on the rise. Patients can expect incredibly sophisticated and discrete results. A facelift is often performed in conjunction with other facial aesthetic procedures, such as a brow lift, forehead lift or eyelid surgery. An added bonus of a facelift is a nice lift to the neck which patients naturally love!

Do you see many male patients? Interestingly, blepharoplasty or “eye lid” surgery is increasingly popular with men as they tend to be prone to “hooding” of the eyes in particular and eye lid surgery can really give a fresher, less tired appearance. Again, it’s a subtle look our patients are after.

What is the recovery period after surgery? Naturally it depends on the surgery and everyone recovers differently but for Breast Augmentation surgery for example you can expect to take between seven and 10 days off work. If your job is physical you may need more time. We like our patients to stay in hospital over night to be monitored and then after they attend post-operative appointments back at our Lisburn Road clinic. Our aftercare is 24/7

93 Malone Road Belfast BT9 6SP

and lifelong should you ever need us. Naturally we go through all of this at consultation stage, well before surgery.

What is your opinion on travelling abroad for surgery so called “medical tourism”? My personal opinion is please don’t travel for surgery. A surgery, whether cosmetic or otherwise is a surgery after all. You need to ensure you are in the safest and most experienced of hands and have the best medical aftercare available to you in the unlikely event of any complications.

What sort of questions should would-be patients ask a provider? I would say to friends or family, ensure your Surgeon is a “Consultant Plastic Surgeon”, and qualified to the absolute highest level. I would also ensure that your surgery takes place in a fully accredited hospital and that you stay overnight. Aftercare is also incredibly important. Ask your Surgeon how many procedures he has done – ask plenty of questions, these are just a few examples, when it comes to your health, cutting corners is never best practice. River Medical has relocated to the Malone Road in Belfast. To book a private and confidential consultation contact River Medical on 028 9560 7585 or visit

“The majority of breast surgeries are indeed augmentations but an increasing number of women are electing to undergo reduction, uplift and asymmetry procedures.” 028 9560 7585 info@

The red carpet has been laid out, the champagne is flowing, and Dr Gabriela Mercik is standing at the entrance of her London based clinic, 56 Harley Street, welcoming her guests with a warm smile and open arms. It is the premiere launch event of her sophisticated and elegant skincare range aptly named “Dr. Gabriela”. Renowned for innovative non-surgical procedures and ground-breaking skincare technologies, Dr Gabriela is a leading aesthetic doctor known worldwide as a global voice for the latest aesthetic procedures from the emerging UK marketplace. Her exclusive clientele includes the most prominent echelon of Royalty, as well as visionary leaders, celebrities, and international media personalities. Her rare and astonishing background specialising for 10 years in the cardiology department of the lung & heart transplant hospital in Poland, provides a profoundly unique perspective and refined skills when applied to the graceful art of aesthetic design. The contrast from high profile emergency care to aesthetic medicine for a moment may not make sense, but having personally experienced a life-threatening crisis through cancer and the vulnerability that she and other patients experience, she was struck with an inspiration that changed her life forever... That beauty was not just about image. Not only committed to refining the art of aesthetics, Dr Gabriela is engaging the global beauty and lifestyle communities to set higher standards, deliver more effective outcomes, and raise the industry’s profile, by designing truly efficient systems that can be duplicated around the world. Her proprietary methodologies using specialised molecular water, v-oxygen, nanopeptides, and deephydrating serums, offer her clientele the most immaculate skin-care products, designed for optimum benefits and quintessential value. They are exclusively available at her clinic at 56 Harley Street.

“Combining my molecular background and medical knowledge, I have created the most active, integrative protocols to detox, rejuvenate, and revive skin vitality to a whole new level.”... Dr. Gabriela

As a leading voice in the multi-billion pound industry now termed “Cosmeceuticals”, retaining the innate sense of significance and luxury for both male and female products is a delicate art and more profoundly a science. What differentiates 56 Harley Street Clinic, are their proprietary PDO Threading, organic fillers, innovative applications, and clinically sophisticated skin-care products. Dr Gabriela’s unprecedented line of skin, hair, and healthy lifestyle products have shown documented results. In double blind tests increased hydration and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, were seen and supported by their on-premise 3D cameras. As a patient, one can be reassured that not only will the experience be relaxing and positive, the excellence in treatments will provide remarkable results for sun damage repair, skin hydration and smoothing, lipid cells reduction, hair re-growth and hair-loss prevention. Their breakthrough applications for detoxification and skin health are leading the category for environmental pollution protection. As a Centre of Excellence, the London based clinic at 56 Harley Street was nominated for Best Professional Skincare on My Face My Body 2016 Awards for fine lines and wrinkles reduction, and hair restoration.

There is no doubt that the future of beauty, health, and well-being, belongs in the hands of innovators, like we are seeing with Dr Gabriela Mercik, her clinic, and her brand. Dr Gabriela Clinic 56 Harley Street, London, W1G 9QA Tel: 0845 3031 155 / 0203 4902 798 E-mail:

Tried & tested

Eileen Doherty enjoys some ‘me time’ at the Culloden Estate and Spa


fter a very busy week at work I visited the Spa at the Culloden Estate and Spa in Cultra, County Down for a little bit of me time! I was met in the reception by very friendly staff who chatted through my afternoon of pampering, followed by a tour of their facilities. I slipped out of my own clothes into the fluffy robe and slippers and headed to the Zest Juice Bar for my lunch. The menu had many delicious healthy food and smoothie options – I chose the tuna and bean salad which was simply delicious. After lunch I was guided to the relaxation lounge to wait for my therapist. After a short period of time Nicole my therapist for the afternoon came to collect me and brought me through to my treatment room. The room was dimly lit with soothing music playing in the background. Nicole explained I was going to be trying their new Ocean Dreaming Summer Spa Package. To begin with Nicole exfoliated my feet and legs with a cooling spearmint scrub which left my feet and legs feeling cool and tingly. I then was asked to move onto the bed where I was given an all-over body exfoliation which began with a body brush which is designed to remove dead cells, boost cell renewal and banish cellulite – all of which helps stimulates circulations and even out

skin tone. After she finished the body brushing, Nicole applied the same spearmint scrub that was used on my feet and legs – my whole body felt revitalised. Afterwards I was wrapped in a mud treatment to help detox and pamper my skin. While I was wrapped up like a mummie I was treated to a relaxing bespoke facial and head massage. My face was cleansed and a skin polish applied to remove dead skin cells and to brighten my complexion. A toner was applied along with a soothing

eye cream and a serum to hydrate and nourish my skin, followed by a nourishing moisturiser. My head massage followed using a pink hair and scalp mud, this is used to condition and nourish my hair and scalp. I could feel the stresses of the day drain away. To finish of my treatment I had a Marma point foot massage where my feet were gently massaged and oil was applied to them. I was then sent to the shower to rinse of all the oils and creams. My skin felt soothed and nourished. Nicole came back to talk through my after care – plenty of rest, water for the next 24 hours and no makeup or showering until the next day. All of which I was happy to commit too! I returned to the relaxation are for a further period of time, changed and left the spa feeling 10 years younger! n


SPF foundation Conceal, preserve and protect your skin... ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’, as Baz Luhrmann’s song goes, ‘Wear Suncreen’. We know we should apply sun cream daily, but we hold our hands up and admit it isn’t part of our daily makeup routine. This month we touch base with Beauty Therapist Helena Williamson who explains why foundation with SPF should be in every woman’s makeup bag. “One of the most important parts of your skincare regime is a SPF,” begins Helena, from Harmony Beauty and Relaxation, Letterkenny. “SPF should be applied daily to protect us from the damaging UVA and

UVB rays that can cause skin ageing and skin damage. “Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds, so even on an overcast day you need to make sure you protect your skin. UV rays also penetrate through windows, therefore if you are driving to work or sitting at a desk by a window, you are at risk.

“I recommend wearing sunscreen every day. However if you are likely to forget to do this, or if you’re looking for an extra protective boost then wearing a foundation with SPF is the next best thing. See it as a shortcut to keeping your skin safe and looking flawless. Opt for a foundation that’s SPF 15 or higher, and be sure to apply liberally and evenly.” n

Tried & tested Face Finity All Day Flawless, Primer, Concealer and Foundation In One from Max Factor, £12.99 SPF 20 I only needed one pump of the liquid to cover my entire face. It was soft, creamy, and glided over the skin. The coverage really impressed me as I am burdened with freckles and sunspots, but this makeup covered all blemishes very well. Verdict: It minimised fine lines which may be the primer within the product. It left a lovely soft feeling on my skin and I will definitely buy this foundation again - A*! IF


BB Skin Detox Fluid from Clarins, £30 SPF 25 This product provides good cover and moisture, and lasts on your skin. I have dry, sensitive skin and it didn’t irritate at all. The cream has a lovely smell and has a great SPF25 which is important in this weather. It’s much better than other BB creams I have tried. Verdict: I recommend it and definitely would buy it again. SAG

Autograph Fluid Touch Foundation from M&S, £15 SPF 25 As directed I applied this foundation with my fingers, and it felt soft and silky on application. The coverage was quite sheer, blended easily and can be built upon if desired. Verdict: I liked the velvety feeling of this makeup and loved that it didn’t feel like I was wearing foundation. The packaging could be improved as the dropper-style dispenser is not ideal for applying makeup on the go, however I would buy it again. CG

Original Foundation from bareMinerals, £26.50 SPF 15 This was my first time to try a foundation powder, so I was concerned it wouldn’t provide the coverage I’d like. I followed the instructions; swirl the foundation in the lid until it disappears, tap away the excess, then buff onto the skin in a circular motion. The results were a little light, so I applied a second layer. Verdict: To my surprise this product actually provided better coverage than my usual foundation, stayed put all day, and it contains SPF – sold! CD

Forget fillers because there’s a non-surgical, pain-free way to voluptuous lips



Prime lips by using a gentle scrub to buff away any dry patches. Penneys

P 1




1 Lip Liner and Brush in Rose Thé from Lâncome, £19. 2 Matte Revolution Lipstick in The Queen from Charlotte Tilbury, £24. 3 Twist-Up Highlighter in Pearl from Autograph at Marks & Spencer, £9.50. 4 Superskin Lip Balm from Liz Earle, £16

umped up pouts are undeniably one of the hottest beauty trends of the last couple of years. But forget fillers because there’s a nonsurgical, pain-free way to cheat voluptuous lips and it was pioneered by none other than the original pin-up, Marilyn Monroe. More frequently associated with carving cheekbones, contouring can also be used to create the illusion of fuller, plumper lips and blonde bombshell Mayilyn would layer on several coats of lipstick and gloss to help create her famous scarlet pout. The art of lip contouring uses light, shade and texture to create the illusion of a fuller mouth and while it takes a little patience the look itself is surprisingly easy to master.


Using a liner that is slightly darker than your chosen lipstick shade, draw just slightly outside the border of the lip. Lightly colour in the rest of your pout using the same pencil.


Using a lipstick or lip crayon, start in the centre of your mouth and, using short strokes, blend the colour outwards. Try to avoid going over the outline you have created. Matte textures work best as a long-lasting base.


Using a fine brush apply a little highlighter to your cupid’s bow and the centre of the bottom lip.


Apply a gel lip balm lightly over the colour to moisturise and add dimension. n


Leave-In Repair from Kevin Murphy, £30

PRODUCTS TO PROTECT Protein Spray from Label M, £14.95

Sun Protection Spray from KeraStraight, £20

Between Chlorine, sunshine and styling; summer can take its toll on your hair. Thankfully there are a plethora of products to help protect and nourish sun-stressed hair. Suitable for all hair types Leave-In Repair from Kevin Murphy restores damage with active ingredients that moisturise for 24 hours after use. KeraStraight Sun Protection Spray is used on wet hair to provide protection (much like sun block), or on dry hair to create subtle beachy waves while protecting your locks against the sun’s rays. Protein Spray from Label M helps shield the hair from heat styling and UV rays. It can also be used after colouring to help prevent fading and damage.


Credit: Sezane

This super-luxurious Estée Lauder Hair and Body Shimmer Oil £36 helps revitalise and condition dull, dry skin and hair. Lightly scented with the seductive, sun-kissed Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche fragrance it helps tame flyaway hair, reduce frizz, and enhance gloss and shine for summer-perfect locks.

Hair care The latest haircare products and styling tools to try and buy this month BY CLAIRE CRAIG SUSPENDED STYLING Air Plates from Remington £79.99 are the world’s first hair straightener with suspended plates. Designed to style every strand, the plates adjust to your hair and, unlike standard straighteners, capture every strand with each pass, leaving beautifully styled hair in just one stroke. The suspended plates don’t touch the outer surface of the straightener so the outside remains cool despite boasting variable heat settings of up to 230°. Infused with Black Titanium Ceramic for a smoother glide the straighteners can also be used to create long-lasting curls and waves.


COLOUR ME BEAUTIFUL Perfect for festival or holiday hair, L’Oréal’s Colorista Washout £6.99 is a semi-permeant colour, cushioned in a conditioning hair mask base. Available in 13 shades from soft pastels and intense vivids, the colour gradually fades over a couple of weeks.

Health & Wellness Credit: Lorna Jane


Clare McLaughlin (holding ball) Bob Given Photography

Local line out T Ulster players drop their (mouth) guards to tell us what the game means to them BY CLARE BOWIE


he 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup kicks off in Belfast next month and Northern Woman had the chance to catch up with two of Ulster’s players who have made it into Ireland’s World Cup training squad. Although the training is intensive, a seven-day-a-week commitment; including gym and endurance training, practice and skill sessions, multiple strength and conditioning sessions, and swimming/ cycling recovery work, it is not just the scrums and tackles that seem to inspire the

players but the bonds they have formed and the training it has given them for life beyond the field.

Grace Davitt

Rugby is a game that is often perceived as male dominated, dangerous and elitist; and indeed former player and three times World Cup competitor Grace Davitt had initially formed a similar opinion herself. At school in county Meath she loved badminton, hockey and hurling but it wasn’t until she was persuaded to play rugby that she became hooked on a sport that she had once regarded as “too rough.” However,

when she talks about rugby and the level of self-motivated hard work and discipline that is required to make a top class player on the field, it is the personal journey and commitment to the team that seems to inspire her most. Grace says that she learned to take criticism as constructive rather than negative and to channel the feedback to enhance her performance and ultimately work for the team. Each game with its mix of “trouble shooting, figuring out solutions and pulling together,” is like the perfect team-building exercise; one that the business world can only dream of emulating. Despite her brilliant career it is her sheer love for the game that makes her such a great advocate for the sport; she says that the World Cup coming to Belfast on 9th August will do a “huge amount” for the sport because people will have a chance to see it and soak up the atmosphere.

IIse van Staden

Ulster forward, IIse van Staden, who was once dubbed ‘Ireland’s strongest srcummager’, also believes that rugby instils a sense of camaraderie in a team like no other sport can foster. Her passion is almost palpable when she refers to her team as being “like family” and it’s clear that she is definitely someone you would want on your side! She explains the level of trust that exists within the team, “When you’re physically next to a person, you support them in a tackle, you’re there for each other, and you all suffer together and it makes you stronger.” Like Grace, IIse was not immediately drawn to the sport, she was uneasy with its social perception and says she, “didn’t want to be branded” or viewed as “what you are or what you should be” once you are associated with rugby. However, it seems like rugby chose her anyway and she admits that it ignited a real passion in her.

IIse van Staden (holding ball). Bob Given Photography

IIse is hoping to be selected for the Ireland World Cup team and will find out at the end of July, but she is confident that she has, “given it everything, trained as hard as I possibly can and all I can do is my best.” Born in South Africa, IIse has been welcomed into the squad after becoming eligible to be selected (following residency and 36 consecutive matches) for the national team. As well as welcoming a range of players from different backgrounds, rugby can also claim to have a USP in its ability to bring together an eclectic mix of players. No other sport can accommodate such a discrepancy in the size and skill set of its players; there is literally room for everyone, small and tall, large or nifty.

suffering with a recurrent ankle injury last year. Claire is now fighting fit and eager to dispel any perceptions that women’s rugby is of a “poor standard or quality.” She believes that fans will absolutely love it and newcomers will be surprised by how entertaining it can be. Claire is hoping the World Cup will raise the profile of rugby because she knows that, “Ulster is probably a bit behind” and it is a sport that has so much to offer. Like the other players Claire attributes rugby to cementing solid friendships, because every time you walk onto the pitch you are “putting your body on the line.” She believes that rugby has developed her confidence off the field and enhanced her leadership abilities. Hailing from outside of Bushmills, Claire played tag rugby at school and went on to play for Ballymoney R.F.C. Claire McLaughlin Grace Davitt and The Queen’s University of Despite its advantages in Belfast, where she was studying buidling team work skills, life medicine. Like the other players, she soon skills, collective thinking and selfrealised that rugby was the sport for her restraint, it is still a very physical contact and has become devoted to it and her sport and one which unfortunately yields teammates. The term, having each other’s many injuries. IIse has suffered with a backs has never been more prevalent. broken foot, a twice broken right hand, and The marketing message behind the 2017 broken fingers that have been stepped on Women’s Rugby World Cup is #BRINGIT (ouch!). Ulster centre, Claire McLaughlin and we have a feeling that they will! n has seen her fair share of injury too,


This month with a




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Tried & tested


Kinesiology Northern Woman reviews kinesiology



Kinesiologists make a detailed inesiology is an alternative assessment of their patient’s health before therapy that focuses on working along the body, testing addressing health muscles for areas of strength problems by and weakness. Weaknesses creating in specific muscle areas harmony may correspond to an between the body, issue with an internal mind and spirit. organ or a specific Kinesiologists work health complaints. by studying the flow These are then of energy through treated through their patient’s body acupressure – and use muscle where the therapist testing and pressure uses finger pressure point massage to on acupuncture identify and treat points – massage areas not functioning of neuro vascular as they should. Roisin Armstrong and neuro lymphatic It was pioneered by points, and gentle spinal chiropractor Dr George adjustments. A therapist may Goodheart in California. In the late also give dietary advice or recommend 1930s he began studying the link between supplements. Many incorporate other muscle function and health, merging holistic remedies or practices like Western medicine with Chinese techniques acupuncture too. n like acupuncture.

Despite my background in health journalism I’d never heard of kinesiology, so I was curious as I headed to meet Roisin Armstrong; a practitioner with some 20 years’ experience based in Holywood. I’d been suffering with a sore left shoulder and neck for about a month so was hoping she could help. Roisin began by taking a detailed overview of my state of health. No stone was left unturned; she asked about my lifestyle and diet, work and stress levels, medical history, sleeping patterns, allergies and activity levels. “As a kinesiologist I’m like a detective,” she explained as she invited me to take a seat on her couch. “My aim is to restore the body back to its factory settings – to get you functioning at your own personal best.” She asked me to extend my right arm, then worked her fingers into various pressure points around my body, while at the same time pushing on my arm to look for weaknesses. Don’t ask me how it worked, but when she hit my sore shoulder my arm became floppy. She then spent several minutes working at various points in my shoulder and neck, before testing my arm again. Rock solid! Roisin worked across my body, tackling my spinal alignment, relaxing my jaw and easing my digestive system. It was very non-invasive and surprisingly quick; it simply felt like the application of pressure here and there. “You should feel much better now,” she concluded. “I only expect to see patients between one and three times to tackle a problem. If kinesiology can’t help within that time then it’s probably not the right therapy.” I found her approach refreshingly honest, but as I left her practice I wondered just how much had been achieved. It was several hours later when I realised that I could turn my head to look over my left shoulder for the first time in weeks. The pain had completely disappeared. And that night I slept more deeply than I had in months. I still can’t quite fathom how it worked, but can happily report that it did! For more information visit Cost is £50 for a one-hour kinesiology consultation.


or common sense?

Do you take life at face value or are you open to the thought of psychic sensitivity? BY CLARE BOWIE



he idea of angels hanging out at the bottom of the garden probably seems like a step too far for most of us; but hands up anyone who hasn’t experienced déjà-vu; a weird coincidence or a highly intuitive ‘feeling’ or vibe about a person or situation, that turned out to be accurate, although you can’t explain why. Christine Lampard recently talked about how she sensed danger and subsequently pushed her husband out of the way of falling scaffolding. She later said, “I just knew it was going to happen... listen to your gut, that’s my advice”. But – was it her gut, her intuition, or an undeveloped psychic ability?

Spiritual medium Rebecca Rosen explains in her book Spirited, how that sense of ‘knowingness’ is one of the Clair Senses and once you have identified which one is your dominant sense if will help you create a more meaningful life. The Clair Senses are intuitive feelings that allow people to receive information in different ways and each corresponds with the five senses of seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. Perhaps that feeling that an old friend was going to call and then they did, wasn’t just a coincidence but a sign that you have a reliable Clair Sense. Rosen believes that we all have the gift of intuition but we may not be really listening to the signs and signals. She believes that spiritual information is constantly being broadcast all around us and we just have to learn how

to tune into it and recognise which sense is the most reliable for us; not necessarily to connect with a spirit but to be aware of our psychic sensitivities and have the courage to embrace or develop them.

The Clair Senses Clairvoyance means clear seeing. This is probably the most well-known sense and is associated with visions. Visions from the past, present or future will flash through your mind, almost like a daydream or second sight. Common signs of clairvoyance include vivid dreams and seeing flashes of light. Many of us already think in a visual way, we often find an idea or concept easier to understand when it is presented to us in a picture, written down or on a screen. Clairaudience means clear hearing. This

is when we hear words, sounds or music in our own mind. Some people experience clairaudience as repetitious thoughts and ideas that keep floating through their minds without consciously thinking about them. On occasion there may be audible sound or noises and footsteps that others cannot hear. Typically, you will be more of a listener than a talker. As a medium this is Rosen’s dominant Clair Sense and method of connecting with spirits. Clairsentience means clear feeling. This is the ability for an individual to perceive information via a feeling throughout their body. According to Rosen, “Many of us are clairsentient without consciously being aware of it. When we get a strong gut feeling, positive or negative, about someone we just met, we may be tuning into the emotional energy of a person or a spirit around us.” Clairsentinent people are normally very sensitive to their own and other people’s feelings and are natural caregivers. Clairalience means clear smelling. This is the ability to smell odours which do not have any kind of physical source. Rosen suggests this could include smelling the perfume or the cigarette smoke of a deceased relative, used as a sign of their presence around us. Smells often connect us to past memories, instantly taking us back to that time. Clairgustance means clear tasting. This is the ability to taste something that isn’t actually there. Rosen says, “This experience oftentimes comes from out of the blue when a deceased loved one is attempting to communicate a memory or association we have with a particular food or beverage that reminds us of them.” Claircognizance means clear knowing. The ability to ‘just know’ information and knowledge that comes to you spontaneously but you know it is accurate. You are highly intuitive and have a strong sense

of certainty; you also know if someone is telling the truth about something and you often get creative and inspirational ideas. Whether or not these senses describe how we interpret or interact with the material world in general, or connect with spirits from another world is very much open for debate. Not surprisingly, there are an infinite number of counter opinions and explanations to debunk any theorising about a sixth sense (dictionary defined as: ‘reception of information not gained through the recognised physical senses but sensed with the mind’), but some experts seem to ‘meet in the middle’. Based on a Flicker Paradigm Test, Piers Howe (Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences) accepts that some people do reliably ‘sense’ when changes occur in a situation but he has an explanation for this pre-knowledge that is not attributed to the presence of a special power. Piers suggests that the ability to ‘sense’ or notice subtle changes is not down to extra sensory perception (ESP) – the supposed ability to unconsciously detect things beyond our five senses of vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch, but it is because people’s brains have not been given the time to process the information that they have seen, giving a vague sense of change they cannot fully explain. Like a peripheral vision, it’s as if we have seen something but not yet had the chance to organise or interpret the image into the correct context in our mind; like we are playing catch up while we shuffle our own thoughts into order. Perhaps some things can never be fully explained; but whether or not we believe we have psychic abilities, or our minds are just playing catch-up, there is no doubt that some of us can pinpoint a number of instances where something felt a bit weird or spooky. So, who’s up for a séance? n


Eat well pay less Photo credit: Janine Boyd

1 2

Read the labels This is the first big step in saving cash and cutting back on refined sugars. Scan the nutrition lists on the back of your packets and you’ll be doing yourself and your purse a favour. You’re looking to compare the grams of sugar per 100gm in both products but be sure the brands are not substituting sugar for sweeteners such as aspartame.

Photo credit: Carly Campbell

It’s a myth that healthy eating means expensive eating. You can load your trolley and your body with prepackaged foods, filled with salt and fats, packed with sugar and chemicals or follow these five simple steps to a cleaner, healthier you that won’t dent your bank balance BY REBECCA REID 62

Make a list Think ahead! Preplanning your weekly meals saves both time and money. First, start by making a list of all the breakfast, lunches and dinners for the week ahead. Next, make a list of all the ingredient you’ll need before you hit the shops and bypass anything that’s not on there. This cuts out any impulsive buying and helps you avoid the temptations that come from wandering down the biscuit aisle. Don’t be sucked in by offers and the £1 deals unless you know they are a solid base to a meal you intend to cook in the near future.


Stock the store cupboard one item per week Often what puts people off beginning to cook from scratch is the lack of ingredients. Yes, going out and buying the bulk of a store cupboard could be pricey but not if you do it a couple of items at a time. So add a few common spices or grains such as rice and dried basil to your weekly shop and before you know it you’ll have everything you need to start making your own tasty meals.


Use your leftovers Yes you’ve heard it before but it’s true! Don’t bin that leftover pasta; make a pasta salad lunch for the kids tomorrow. Made too much bolognaise sauce? Turn it into a chili for tomorrow night’s dinner. There are umpteen ways to use up your leftovers; think wraps, salads, pies and bakes and we can use up most anything.


Chop, grate and prep your own Often, time saving efficiency is pricy. Yes, it’s very handy to come home and pull out a packet of ready chopped cabbage and throw it in the pot but if you look, you are usually getting half the food for your money. And really, how long can it take? I’m a firm believer in keeping the skins on, especially if you wash and go organic. This saves the peeling and simply leaves the chopping. If you can, avoid buying the preprepared foods. You get twice as many carrots if you chop your own.

Fresh Food Living Mum of four Rebecca Reid is the author and creator of popular food and lifestyle blog Fresh Food Living. Visit: www. for more information or go along to her Open House Festival workshop - Cookery School: How To Eat The Fresh Food Living Way With Rebecca Reid. In this half-day workshop on 12th August at Bangor Academy, Rebecca will show you how to juggle a busy work and family life and eat healthily. For tickets visit: Cost £45.



Hospital de Orbigo bridge, Way of St James

Walking the Camino It’s said walking the Camino can be hard work, but with a little careful planning one can take any slog out of it for a more relaxing experience



ave you ever thought about setting off on your very own tailor-made Camino? That’s what we did the summer before last. We (a small group of assorted ages and very assorted walking experience) had several stipulations. First, we didn’t want to kill ourselves walking hundreds of miles along the Camino de Santiago and we hadn’t much time. Next, we did not want to stay in very basic accommodation. And we definitely didn’t fancy lugging huge rucksacks from Point A to Point B every day. Many Camino packages can give you solutions to these requirements, but we concurred that they all seemed to involve too much hard slog – the walking stages each day were just that bit too long, for some of us at least. And they could be pricey enough.

Where to start?

First of all we checked out the invaluable Camino guidebooks by John Brierley. The Dublin-born author has written several


books about all the Spanish Caminos, and has walked them all. Besides accurate descriptions of the terrain, he has maps and tips, and names, addresses and phone numbers for accommodations all along the way. The latter range from hostels and B&Bs to small hotels – and virtually all of the proprietors will collect you from the Camino – and drop you back the next morning. There was still the perplexing question of getting our baggage from one place to the next, but a quick search on the internet solved that. It was astonishingly simple to arrange all this by email with They charge about £6 per bag per delivery, with reductions for groups. You send them a list with names, times and dates of each night’s lodgings, and they send you the individually-named labels as email attachments which you can put in water-proof coverings and fix to your bags. You leave your bags at the reception desk by 8am as you depart and they do the heavy lifting for you. Some of the places we chose were not

visible on their list but when we asked if this might pose a difficulty, the laconic reply was, ‘No problem’. And it never was – we sent them the money and they did the job; our bags were always there waiting for us each evening when we arrived at our next stop.

Mapping the route

Our next decision was about our route. Mulling it over, we came upon the Epilogue Camino – the 90km walk that starts in Santiago de Compostela and goes west to Cape Finisterre. Brierley’s book Camino Finisterre covers every centimetre from Santiago to Finisterre (plus some alternatives). We also double-checked TripAdvisor for reviews of likely lodgings. Aer Lingus flew us from Dublin to Santiago de Compostela and the airport shuttle left us near the budget-priced Hotel Mexico, about a quarter-mile from the cathedral area, which is surrounded by cobbled streets alive with restaurants, souvenir shops and hundreds of happy wanderers. Some looked weather-beaten and full of the joys, having clearly just

TAKE TWO mustn’t miss Polbo a feira

Boiled octopus, sprinkled with coarse salt and paprika. Drizzled with olive oil, it’s traditionally served on wooden plates with sliced boiled potatoes in their skins, and bread.

Santiago’s Cathedral

Reputed burial place of the apostle James, this is the destination of all Camino walkers. A highlight of any visit is to see the swinging of the mighty Botafumeiro, the biggest censer in the world, during mass.

completed whatever challenge they’d set themselves. Others, like us, were fresh, raring to go, but slightly apprehensive. Next morning, with the sun barely up, we set off after a cafe breakfast. Our path started from the big square in front of the almost deserted cathedral. Walking through a public park we soon emerged into the countryside. Birds sang, a dappled sun shone through leaves of tall eucalyptus trees, the air was scented, the going was easy, and all seemed right with the world. We had water bottles in our small backpacks but hardly needed them. The road rose with us, not in a good way, but we made it to our second stop and enjoyed a nice lunch with other walkers. And so we began the ascent of Trasmonte. The book describes this as a gradual climbing path, sheltered by trees, but it can seem like the Matterhorn to those who have foolishly had white wine with their lunch. We were met by our guesthouse hosts and whisked to Casa Alda Gasamans, a big, old rural farmhouse converted into a comfortable guesthouse with a superb dining area and a swimming pool in the garden. Our next night’s stop was about half a day’s stroll away on largely empty country roads. Albergue Turistico de Logrosa looked grey and unpromising from the outside, but we were made very welcome by Antonio who showed us to very pleasant modern rooms. It was midsummer’s day, so that evening Antonio lit a bonfire in the garden and we and other guests sat at trestle tables enjoying an alfresco dinner with lots of wine, with wild Galician music swirling around us from Antonio’s CD unit.

Adventure trail

Day three was when we hit cattle country. The landscape changed from wooded slopes and sheltered paths to more open

View from Parque da Alameda – Santiago de Compostela

countryside with big fields and distant views, and cows everywhere - in barns and other shelters, and meandering along the roads. You had to mind where you were putting your feet.

µµIt was worth every drop of sweat just to get there∑∑ It got very, very warm indeed. The rest of Spain makes jokes about Galicia, saying it rains all the time there, ‘just like Ireland’, they laugh. But during our little Camino, the place was having a heatwave. By now, of course, we were seasoned walkers and there wasn’t a bother on us – until we rang our third night’s host. A few of us can speak pidgin Spanish and loud English but the man on the phone was speaking pure Galician. He kept jabbering excitedly until we deciphered the repeated word ‘café’ and went to one we could see in the distance. Soon a large jovial man in a large car arrived. We piled in and he took off, taking both sides of the road on every bend. Where on earth were we going to end up? As it happened, his Hotel Rustico Santa Eulalia was lovely, his wife was lovely, and their chef was lovely. We had nice rooms and a great meal for a ridiculously good price. And next morning Antonio (yes, another one) dropped us a few miles further along the Camino from our pick-up point. Cheating? Maybe, but we were lucky to survive his driving. A further two days of walking brought us to the coast. We had seen some beautiful

countryside, met some interesting people, cooled ourselves in a mountain stream, and had been rescued from a wrong turn by a little old lady. Cape Finisterre beckoned in the distance, and we began a final brisk march in hot sunshine. Finisterre itself is a small resort town, but the famous lighthouse is a few kilometres further on, up a long hill and then down. That last bit proved an endurance test in the midday heat, but it was worth every drop of sweat just to get there. After a long celebratory lunch we caught a local bus back to our last overnight stop, picked up our baggage and caught another bus. Just a few hours later we were back in Santiago. Including a few diversions along the way we had walked over 100km. We had gathered no official certificates, but this time as we joined the other pilgrims at the cathedral we didn’t feel like impostors. After all, we had gone to the end of the earth to get there. n


In Santiago de Compostela stay at Hotel Mexico PR; a three-star, well-run quiet and comfortable hotel with friendly staff. Rooms from approx. £61 per night. For a little bit of luxury, the Hotel Carris Casa de la Troya, is a small boutique hotel near the cathedral and good restaurants. Rooms from approx. £80 per night.


Good walking boots or shoes are essential and don’t buy them a week or so before you go. Light raingear is also a must, but fingers crossed you won’t need it. Bring insect repellent, sun screen, a sun hat and a small water bottle. Walking poles are not essential, but they’re for sale all over Santiago de Compostela.



Paradise postponed Conor Power’s Caribbean odyssey


ack in 1994, I had been due to go to Jamaica on my honeymoon. Due to flight schedule changes, however, we had to postpone our trip to that particular paradise and spent our post-nuptial break in sunny Crete instead. This year, our Caribbean odyssey finally got going. We rubbed our eyes and stared out the window of the plane at the whitefringed necklace of the Bahamas islands, glimmering in the azure sea. Then came the huge expanse of Cuba before the verdant form of Jamaica came into view. The transfer bus from Montego Bay airport took us east along a smooth highway, skirting the coastline and offering tantalising views. Looking inland, it was all rugged, dense abundant greenery. Everything here seems to grow in abundance and the land looked like it was farmed only sporadically compared to the intense competitive nature of farming back at home. Grand houses seem to co-exist rather naturally alongside wooden shacks. Every so often, little bars would appear – hexagonshaped timber structures with corrugated iron roofs – adorned with Rastafarian colours.


The guide on the bus was busy talking about our surroundings – the political organisation of the various parishes, noteworthy hotels and golf courses, as well as dropping a few famous names of regular visitors (such as Eddie Murphy).

True romance

The Jamaican accent sounds strange hearing it being spoken outside of a movie context. I also noticed that when Jamaicans talk among themselves, it’s in a sort of patois, with only the occasional word of English being recognisable in any one sentence. We were staying at the Royalton White Sands hotel. It’s a large all-inclusive resort packed with swimming pools, lounge areas and restaurants with a sandy beach at the end. We had already decided which restaurant we were going to eat in on the first night and off we strolled, hand-in-hand like a newly-married couple, to the Italian trattoria, floating back to our room two hours later. Free bars can have that romantic effect. Being in an all-inclusive resort for the first time takes a bit of adjustment. The idea that you can wander around this enormous place, simply choose a spot to eat or drink without there being any exchange of money feels odd, brilliant, disturbing and

exhilarating all at the same time. Would I become an alcoholic over the course of a week? Because if there’s nothing to do today but lie around in the sunshine then why would one not have four screwdrivers for breakfast? It turns out that the best pleasures are experienced in a sober state so I limited myself to just one Buck’s Fizz with my sumptuous breakfast before we went to ease away the jet-lag on a sun lounger.

Exquisite pleasures

The beach isn’t very long but it is a gorgeous piece of tropical paradise where you can indulge in the exquisite pleasure of lying under a coconut tree as Caribbean waves roll gently in. The public beach however stretched to either side of the hotel complex for about a kilometre or so before ending in mangrove swamps that reach the shoreline. We set off early on the second morning along the beach to see a bit more of the island. It’s the perfect time for a little exploring because it’s the coolest part of the day. It’s also the quietest as all the casual vendors are still tucked up in bed. We managed to get around a great deal of the shallow bay, staring into the clear waters below us and taking lots of pictures with our little waterproof camera.

We also made good use of the hotel’s sailboats, kayaks and pedalos. The sailboats are 2/3-person super-stable twin-hulled vessels. Neither of us have any great sailing skills, and the last time we tried sailing a small boat together had ended in tears and cursing in West Cork, so we stuck with the kayaks. As well as all the daytime fun and games by the adult pool and swim-up bar, there was great entertainment in the complex every night. By the middle of the week, we had fully adjusted to Jamaican time and managed to stay up late enough to catch some of the shows. All were top-class with high production values, but the standout show was the thoroughly convincing Michael Jackson impersonator – a man who looked, sang (well, he lip-synched incredibly well) and danced exactly like the late pop prince. We got around to trying out every restaurant in the resort. They were all very impressive but it was really hard to beat the spicy jerk beef at the lunchtime beach barbecue.

Climbing and cavorting

Following the advice of locals we met along the strand, we also went strolling off to a spot around the bay that was meant to be the best place for snorkelling. It was superb and we stayed in the water for almost an hour, coming across clusters of rocks with dozens of colourful tropical fish, sea anemones and other exotic sea life.

There are plenty of options to take tours to explore Jamaica. TUI/Thomson offers some of the best options and their award-winning Cool Runnings is arguably the optimum choice. For $120 a head (Jamaica has its own currency but the American dollar is accepted everywhere), you can have a daylong coastal tour on a catamaran sailboat, including snorkelling and visits to Dunn’s River Falls, all with the comfort of an open bar on board. We opted for two of the highlight visits. The first one was to the Luminous Lagoon only a couple of kilometres away. Bioluminescence occurs in many parts of the world, including several places in Ireland but one of the most spectacular spots in the world is at the Luminous Lagoon. After a short taxi ride from the hotel, we set out from a shanty-style fishing

The Dunn’s River Falls

Getting there We flew from Dublin with Thomson, operated by Falcon Holidays. Flying time from Dublin to Montego Bay is approx. 8.5 hours. Transfer from the airport to the Royalton White Sands (46km) takes about 40 minutes. The hotel is located on a private sandy beach in Trelawny, 5km from the historic town of Falmouth and 31km from Downtown Montego Bay. Trelawny is a beautiful, serene region in northern Jamaica that stretches from the powder-fine sands of Braco Beach to Falmouth. In between are dozens of sugar estates and idyllic sandy bays. Cockpit Country – Jamaica’s biggest rainforest – lies just inland.

village in a large flat-bottomed boat to swim in warm sparkling pixie-dust water. We also visited the aforementioned Dunn’s River Falls. This was even more rewarding. It was one of those visits that looks like a tourist trap on the brochures but which turned out to be a quasi lifechanging experience. The $20 admission fee includes a guided climbing tour of the falls, which is done in a group holding hands. Readers might remember Dunn’s from the film Cocktail, featuring Tom Cruise and Elisabeth Shue frolicking in the water. Climbing them requires a much greater physical effort than cavorting under them, and water shoes are indispensable. Water flows down at quite a pace, gushing violently in parts, making you wonder if you’ll ever make it to the top with your life and your swimming togs intact. When you finally get there after an hour of struggling through slippery rocks, blinding spray and impatient shouts from the guide with the watchful eyes, you feel like you’ve just climbed Mount Everest.

Top tips

Two points for potential visitors; Jamaica has a reputation of a place where petty crime is rife so you’re advised not to go wandering out the front gate and down the road where your pale European head marks you out for the muggers that apparently lurk amidst the friendly populace. Most local people we encountered were extremely friendly, humorous and quick-witted. On a final point, be advised that marijuana is an ever-present reality in Jamaica and expect to be offered some almost as soon as you set foot in the country. Lest you be tempted, however, please note that although the police seemingly turn a blind eye towards widespread consumption of this illegal substance among the local populace, they have been known to be far less myopic to relatively well-heeled European tourists who should know better. Yah-man! n


Family Time

Photo credit: Zara

Make some memories this July with our round-up of family days out


Celebrate the Aquarium’s 30th birthday with its arts and crafts fair. Local artists and crafters will be on hand to demonstrate their skills and teach you a few crafty skills in their workshops. You can also visit the fantastic fish-filled aquarium afterwards and enjoy the activities and learning for all the family. When: 8-9th July Where: Exploris NI Portaferry


It’s party time at The Zoo. Kick off the summer holidays with a trip to Belfast Zoo and celebrate Kinabalu the Sumatran tiger’s 10th birthday party. You can see Kinabalu and her partner Kabus enjoy some birthday treats and then learn more about big cats at a special keeper talk. When: 2nd July Where: Belfast Zoological Gardens


See David Walliams’ book Billionaire Boy come to life at the Bangor Castle Walled garden. Heartbreak Productions invite you to come to the helicopter pad outside Bumfresh Towers to hear the story of how Mr Spud made his billions and then lost it all, and how his son Joe became the richest boy in the world. Warning: outdoor theatre, you may need a brolly! When: 18-19th July Where: Bangor Castle Walled Garden




Are you game? If you want to meet your favourite Minecraft YouTube stars, play virtual reality Minecraft or play on a double decker gaming bus, then you better get yourself down to the Titantic Exhibition Centre (complete with battle areas) to be immersed in all things Minecraft. There’s also a costume contest, retro gaming area and Lego creations area. When: 22-23rd July Where: Titantic Exhibition Centre

Has your family got the survival instinct? Grab your sleeping bag and get down to the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout. Suitable for all ages there will be an array of activities on offer, from nature crafts and mini-beast hunting to bat detecting and bush crafts. Gaze at the stars and feast on marshmallows, what’s not to love? When: 22-23rd July Where: Ulster Folk & Transport Museum


Take a stroll through the deep dark woods Follow in the footsteps of the very clever mouse and meet the silly old owl, fox and snake on your journey to the knobblykneed gruffalo. Each character has been beautifully recreated in this stunning forest park and it’s completely free. When: On until December 2018 Where: Colin Glen Forest Park


COME AND JOIN US WIMBELDON 2017 | VICTORIA SQUARE Friday 7th July | Saturday 8th July

Stan Wawrinka

DATE S FOR T HE DIARY Emma Deighan scours NI for the dates that demand you get out and about this summer

Rose Week at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in Dunmurry is a bit of an annual hit and is known as one of the best rose gardens in the world. You don’t need to be a horticultural fanatic to be part of it as there’s music, food, entertainment for the kids and more. Running from 17th July to 23rd August, this is a free event.

We’re in two minds about camping out but when it’s one night only and the setting is the compelling Ulster Folk and Transport Museum then our minds open! The RSPB’s Big Sleepout on 28th to 30th July includes crafts, mini-beast hunting and stargazing. Tickets cost £20 per adult and £17 per child.

If you’re up for a party you’ll not get much better rainbow vibes those emitted throughout Belfast Pride. Running from 28th July until 6th August, the highlight of the week will be the parade on ‘Pride Day’ (5th August) when Belfast will be enveloped in colour and entertainment to celebrate equality.

History, good food and some artisan beer while travelling around Belfast, what’s not to love about the Belfast Bred Tour (29th July). Run by foodie experts and one of Belfast’s greatest grocery stores, Sawers, this tour is hosted by Barney who will take you on a tour of Belfast in search of top quality ingredients that are worthy of a Titanic-style banquet. There will be theatrics and catch-ups with some of the city’s tops chefs. You’ll visit Mourne Seafood Bar, the Dark Horse, The John Hewitt, and conclude the tour at Sawers. Tickets cost £22.


After huge success in Belfast just last autumn, Sister Act the theatre show is coming back to the Grand Opera House on 14th to 19th August. With gutsy and impressive vocals from lead Alexandra Burke, this is a real friendship and feel good show about Deloris Van Cartier who, under protective custody, is placed in a convent. Tickets cost from £21.25.

There’s something satisfying about giving back to local artists and uncovering some potential greats in the mix and that’s exactly what Pintsized Surprise at the Ulster Hall on 19th August, will provide. It’s a bit of a new concept that will feature a host of local actors and singers with distinctive voices and outstanding skill. The synopsis reads ‘Gritty and fierce, the characters in this production are challenged psychologically and physically, making for an exciting, emotional and gripping journey of discovery!’ Tickets cost £10.

Belfast Mela on 27th August is a foodie festival celebrating diversity in NI. Expect an ‘exotic, magical’ atmosphere say the organisers who have put on a programme of dance, performance and even a Little Bollywood for the babies and toddlers. The food is probably one of the best things about this gig and we’ll be there to sample it alongside host U105’s Carolyn Stewart.

One of NI’s greatest athletes Rory McIlroy, is coming home on 4th July for ‘An Evening with Rory’ at the Waterfront Hall. The newlywed will share his story with Jimmy Nesbitt and all proceeds raised by ticket sales will go to the Rory Foundation. Tickets from £40.

Photo credit: Nike

The Mac in Belfast is dishing out nostalgia by hosting the Belfast School of Performing Arts’ performance of Singing in the Rain this summer from 23rd to 26th August. What can we expect? The classic tale of the 1952 romcom with all the hits to boot. It promises to be an unforgettable show. Tickets cost from £14.50.

Love your country music? Then don’t miss the Harvest Festival headlined by Miranda Lambert and Nathan Carter, on from 26th to 27th August. Taking place in Enniskillen, the festival will feature two days of live entertainment featuring 40 International and Irish acts across four music stages.




A spa break in the Ice House


orthern Woman have teamed up with the Ice House, Mayo to offer readers the chance to win a lavish twonight stay in this Wild Atlantic Way retreat. One lucky reader and a guest will enjoy accommodation in a tranquil river view room, breakfast on both mornings, dinner on an evening of your choice, access to the waterside thermal suite, and an indulgent treatment each in Chill Spa. Overlooking the River Moy and the woodlands beyond, the Ice House is an escape from the ordinary. Delicious food and drink, first-class service and an awardwinning boutique spa create a destination full of character, luxury and charm in the heart of North Mayo. Steeped in history, the Ice House hotel is an eclectic marriage of contemporary chic and traditional elegance. It’s the little things that matter at the Ice House; quirky details and original artwork, luxurious goose down duvets, and the waterside hot tub and sauna all create the sense that you have arrived somewhere very special indeed. A highlight of any visit is dinner in the exquisite restaurant with a menu focused on authentic, local ingredients created by head chef Anthony Holland. If you’re not lucky enough to win on this occasion visit: www.icehousehotel. ie for information on their packages, email: or call: +353(0)9623500.


TO ENTER Simply answer this question: What is the name of the river the Ice House overlooks? Email your answer and contact details to: before 5pm on Friday 21st July.

T&Cs: The prize is subject to availability, is non-transferrable and is not valid on bank holidays, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day and Easter.


Credit: H&M


Create the perfect


Make the most of your garden this summer with a carefully planned ‘open air room’ that’s perfect for relaxing and entertaining BY RÓISÍN CARABINE ACCESSORISE ALL AREAS

Just because your outdoor space doesn’t have walls, doesn’t mean it can’t be planned like a real room. Pick a theme and run with it. Think carefully about your choice of plants, add height and visual interest with decorative pots, create a stunning feature wall in bold pink or orange paint and add sculptures and eye-catching artwork.

Blue Planters from Dobbies, £39.99 each

Ikea Äpplarö/ Hållö 3-Seater Outdoor Sofa, £340; Äpplarö Table/Stool £40; Karlsö/Lökö Parasol With Base £80; Morum Rug £100; Bunsö Kids Easy Chair £15; Hâllö Outdoor Cushions £12


Creating shade and shelter outdoors is essential, even in our unreliable weather. A parasol, gazebo, pergolas and an awning will protect you and your guests from harsh sunlight and light rain, while creating intimacy.


Orla Kiely Tea Light Lantern, available in various colours from CFC Interiors, Cookstown, Derry and Newtownabbey, £12.49


Choose a mix of lighting to create mood, provide safety and to highlight focal points in your garden. Solar lights are perfect for highlighting paths while candles, fairy lights or lanterns are ideal scene setters.

Ikea Äpplarö Table & 4 Reclining Chairs, £275; Hållö Seat/Back Cushion, £25; Klasen Charcoal Barbecue With Trolley, £280; Karlsö/Svartö Parasol, Hanging With Base, £85

Outdoor heating

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STYLE STATEMENT Weber Fireplace from CFC Interiors, £139.99


La Hacienda Colca Clay Hand-Painted Chimenea from Homebase, £39.55


La Hacienda 1500w Copper Hanging Patio Heater from Argos, £104.99

FOCUS ON FURNITURE • Create separate areas for sitting and eating if space permits, and furnish with all-weather sofas, armchairs and day beds for maximum comfort. • If you have a smaller outdoor space, Ikea’s James Stewart suggests stackable chairs, stools and foldable tables that you’ll be able to store away easily after use. • “Make dining outdoors as comfortable as possible by adding cushions to seating and even a throw in case it gets chilly,” says James. • Arrange furniture strategically to create space, and orientate towards areas of interest. • James advises protecting furniture by investing in covers for barbeques, loungers, tables and chairs.



A trolley is an ideal portable solution for storing utensil and keeping drinks and ingredients close to hand if you like to entertain outdoors.

Fully insulated, cedar clad garden rooms from, from £5,000

BUILD A GARDEN ROOM Verdi Tea Trolley from Debenhams, £240

A garden room will provide extra space for your family and friends to gather outdoors all year round, and doesn’t require planning, says professional builder and garden room designer Robert Eadie

Deck 25 composite decking available in dark brown, silver grey and black from

of His tailor-made, responsibly sourced timber structures range in price from £5,000 (plus VAT) for a basic box room size of 2.4m x 2.4m to £30,000 plus. They are built on strong foundations and are so well insulated they are almost a passive build. Typical construction can take six days for a fully finished room, designed to your site’s specification, complete with glazing, flooring, electrical work and plastered walls. Clad in beautiful cedar, the rooms come with a 10-year guarantee and boast a lifespan of 40 of 50 years.


• Your choice of flooring is an important decision. Do you want a lawn, decking or paving slabs? • The lawn has made a big comeback in recent years and is a great way of encouraging more wildlife into your garden. It’s also good for increasing general feelings of wellbeing. • Decking has divided home owners in recent years with some moving away from the trend, though David Hanna of deckingni. insists that it’s still a viable option and its long-term usability is all about your choice of timber, how and where it’s laid, sufficient airflow, elevation and factoring in expansion gaps. Decking can be slippery and prone to rot which is why David advocates composite decking (Deck 25) as an alternative. It’s a hybrid of recycled plastic and wood fibre and although more expensive than traditional decking, it is anti-slip, doesn’t require costly yearly maintenance, never has to be painted, won’t crack or splinter and has a lifespan of 25 years. • Safety paving is a maintenance-free and safe alternative to concrete or paving. It has a very high anti-slip rating and excellent fall protection rating. The 35mm rubber tiles, made from recycled tyres are easy to lay and have a life expectancy of up to 20 years, says David Hanna, suppliers and fitters of Safety Paving at

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Professional Barbecues


Weber Genesis 11 E310 gas BBQ with 3 high performance burners, flavourizer bars and individual electronic ignition system from B&Q, £799



Broil King Signet Series BBQ with 3 stainless steel Dual Tube burners and 180° Sensi-Touch control from Sloans Gas Energy Centre, Belfast, from £699.99


The Big Green Egg Large in Metal Nest with slat side shelves, (available in 5 sizes from £599 for the Minimax and hand carry stand), from The Stove Yard, £1,345

RevolutionaRy new treatment foR women in noRtheRn iReland Cosmetech is now offering the award winning THERMiVA treatment at the Maypole Clinic in Holywood. Fresh from the USA this innovative new treatment offers a non-surgical, non-invasive solution for the alleviation of conditions associated with childbirth and the natural aging process. Giving birth can sometimes cause stretching and loosening in women post pregnancy. The effects of the menopause can also cause physical and functional changes such as excessive dryness, pain and urinary incontinence. Leaks prior to using the bathroom, during exercise and reduced sexual sensation are all areas of concern to many women. Contrary to popular belief these are not just issues that affect older women and can impact younger mothers lives as well and can cause a loss in confidence. For years’ women have suffered in silence but now a solution is available to what can sometimes be an embarrassing problem. How does tHermiVa work? The treatment works through the delivery of radio frequency heat through a small disposable wand to gently promote the production of collagen which slowly tightens and firms the vagina. Treatment lasts around 30 minutes and only 3 sessions are recommended, meaning you can get back to your best in no time and at an affordable cost. what are the benefits? • No surgery • No downtime • No anaesthesia • Comfortable in-office treatment • Three 30 minute sessions, one month apart • May resume sexual relations same day/night • Noticeable improvement after 1st or 2nd session tHermiVa is now aavailable in Northern Ireland. Sessions are carried out at The Maypole Clinic in Holywood and are carried out by renowned Gynaecologist, Professor Jim Dornan.



Rediscover your younger self

Do you suffer from any of the following post childbirth symptoms? • • • • • •

Mild to moderate incontinence Urinary urgency Vaginal laxity Pelvic prolapse Dryness Sexual dysfunction

THERMIva®, a new non-invasive treatment, is now available in Northern Ireland at Cosmetech. “THERMIva® offers a non-surgical solution to many common gynaecology problems that can arise after giving birth. Rediscover your younger self today” - Professor Jim Dornan MD (Hons) FRCOG FRCPI

Contact us today to find out more about the procedure and our prices. 028 9042 3200

Interested in finding out more? Call us on 028 90 423 200 or email for more information on our introductory pricing or to book your consultation.




Keep up to date with Northern Woman through our social media! NorthernWomanMagazine



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From time to time This month Northern Woman visits an 1880’s Victorian home


tepping into Alan and Louise McDowell’s home feels a little like stepping back in time. Quirky details catch our eye; a servant’s bell by the fireplace, a patchwork of coloured tiles in the entrance hall, and


BY CATRIONA DOHERTY an antique Singer sewing machine are all testament to times gone by. Age-old details sit alongside contemporary touches, in this modernised Jordanstown home that bestows nods to the past. Alan and Louise bought the property in 2014 and have spent three years ardently renovating it with the help of family,

Photography by Michael Bradley

friends, neighbours and local suppliers. “We wanted to keep with the period of the house and update it,” Louise begins. “The house was built in 1888 and there is just so much history here.” Louise gives NW a tour of her home, sharing more information on the décor throughout. First up is the living room. n

“We jokingly call this room the man cave; it’s where the boys have guitar lessons and watch the rugby.”

“The mirror is older than the house itself, it dates back to possibly the 1860s. The mirrors were found in a convent in County Clare, so we have a little bit of the West in the house (I’m from Galway!). The frame was sourced by Trevor Millar Restoration, Newtonabbey. The window seat furnishing and Roman blinds were custommade via Eamon McAuley Interior Design, Newtownabbey, and Eamon picked the colours for the living room.”

“The bathroom sign is an original detail of the house.”


“The bedroom is the room that sold the house for me; I love it. Before we moved in it was a formal room. I bought the chaise longue from Little French Barn, Lisburn and I based my colour scheme around it. Eamon McAuley did the wallpaper, the lights are original, Alan’s uncle painted the framed artwork, and Pamlyn Interiors, Belfast made the curtains.”

“This is original door detail; we took it off and soaked it in order to clean it up.”


“Emma McNeilly designed the kitchen. We love entertaining so the island is ideal for that. I work for an airline and have pick up bits on my travels; the lights are from Restoration Hardware in Boston. My husband saw the cooker tiles in The

Harp Bar, Belfast. He took a photo on his mobile and used an app to see where they were from, which was Fired Earth, Lisburn Road and we bought ours from there. Gary Tisdale Furniture, Ballymena handmade the units and larder.”

“My husband’s great grandmother used the Singer machine to make parachutes during the Second World War.”

“The clock was given to us as a wedding present.”


Wooden Crocodile Bench & Footstool from, £370 Botanical Tile Multi (BA2504) wallpaper by Grandeco from Noblett’s, £13.99 a roll Parrot Napkin Rings (set of 4) from House of Fraser, £15

Biba Paradise Palm Tree Table Lamp from House of Fraser, £120

Global Fusion

Be inspired by far flung destinations to create a well-travelled look at home BY RÓISÍN CARABINE

Mandala Round Pom Cushion from Primark, £5

Small Moroccan Lantern from George Home at Asda, £5

Melamine Hinterland Dip Bowls (3pk) from Sainsbury’s Home, £3

Glass Vase by Abigail Ahern from Debenhams, £28


Large world map clock in brown from CFC Interiors, £52.99

Dawi Woven Platter from, £20

Acacia Salad Bowl from Marks & Spencer, £35

Jassa Room Divider from Ikea, £45



In the August issue of

Aztec accessories August wardrobe updates Jobs for the (wo)men Me, myself and my BMI


Image credit: River Island

Interiors, relationships, health & wellness, reviews, local events and lots more 83

Recipes to relish Ballymaloe Original Relish is Ireland’s most iconic condiment. Enjoy the all-natural, versatile relish with these recipes.

Pork Fillet with Potato, Onion and Ballymaloe Apple Sauce Stuffing Ingredients (serves 2) • One medium to large pork fillet • 220g (8oz) Ballymaloe Apple Sauce • 220g (8oz) mashed potato • 220g (8oz) sautéed onions • 2 tbsp orange juice • 1 tsp thyme leaves • Salt and pepper to season

Method Insert a sharp knife 3/4 way through the width of the pork and cut down the entire length of the fillet, then open it out on a chopping board. Cut into 3 equal portions, season and place on an oiled roasting tray. For the stuffing mix all the other ingredients together, season well and heap onto each portion of pork fillet. Place in a preheated oven, 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4, for about 30 minutes or until the pork is fully cooked and the stuffing is crispy on top.


Grilled Chicken, Ballymaloe Jalapeno Pepper Relish, Parmesan and Rocket Wrap Ingredients (serves 2) • 1 cooked chicken breast • 2 wraps (plain or wholemeal) • 2 handfuls of rocket • Shavings of Parmesan • Mayonnaise • Ballymaloe Jalapeno Pepper Relish Method Lay the wraps flat, spread generously with Ballymaloe Jalapeno Pepper Relish, add a little mayo too if you like. Top with lots of fresh rocket, slices of chicken and shavings of parmesan. Roll up the wrap, cut on the diagonal and enjoy!

Roast Lamb with Ballymaloe Mint Jelly, Rosemary and Garlic Ingredients • 1 leg of lamb - about 2.7kgs • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and each cut into 3 pieces • 2 sprigs of rosemary • Salt and freshly ground pepper For Gravy: • 600ml stock • Roux, optional • Salt and freshly ground pepper • Ballymaloe Mint Jelly

Method Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. With the point of a sharp knife or skewer make deep holes all over the top of the lamb. Divide the rosemary into tuffs and put a piece of rosemary and garlic into each hole. Roast for 1-1 1/4 hours approx. for rare, 1 1/4 -1 1/2 hours for medium and 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours for well done, depending on size. When the lamb is cooked to your taste, remove the joint to a warm carving dish. Rest the lamb in a low oven at 50 - 100°C for 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile make the gravy. Add the meat juices to the stock, bring to the boil and whisk into a little roux, just enough to thicken slightly. Taste and allow to bubble until the flavour is rich enough. Correct the seasoning and serve hot with the lamb, Ballymaloe Mint Jelly, roast vegetables and lots of crusty roast potatoes.

See all our recipes at:


Mr & Mrs Carson Photography by Francis Meaney


livia Lavery and Ferdia Carson first met at the Gaeltacht area of Donegal nine years ago, “Ferdia was very persistent that he wanted me to be his girlfriend, so after asking me more than once and me saying, ‘No’ I finally gave in,” Olivia jokes. Ferdia popped the question on Olivia’s 27th birthday and the couple set the date for 17th April 2017. As the bride is a “magpie for glitter and sparkle” the wedding décor featured lots of sparkling touches including table covers custom-made by Elite Events NI, and glitter paper wedding invites by Busy Bee Bespoke Stationery. Chantal from Pretty Little details decorated the rooms with flowers, draped ribbon and wooden egg cups as it was an Easter wedding. Olivia looked sensational in an Eliza Jane Howell gown from Petticoat Lane Bridal accessorised with a cape. The couple shared the same favourite memory which was of the ceremony. “I can’t believe how calm I was as a bride,” Olivia recalls, “everything felt perfect as I was marrying the man I love and the father to our beautiful son. We also enjoyed the drive up to the venue in the VW Beetle with the roof open!” The newlyweds honeymooned in Rome and had a fabulous time, ‘eating lots of pizza, pasta and ice cream’. n

Venue: Ballymascanlon House Hotel, Dundalk Wedding dress: Petticoat Lane Bridal, Hillsborough Bridesmaids: Perfect Day, Lurgan Groomswear: Red Groomswer, Belfast Flowers: The Posy Barn, Waringstown Makeup: Carla Bailie Make-Up Artist, Lurgan and Shauneen from Tru Beauty Salon, Lurgan Hair: Medusa Hair, Lurgan Décor: Pretty Little Details, Belfast and Elite Events NI, Lurgan Cake: Ciara’s Cakes, Lurgan



Mr & Mrs McParland

Photography by Simple Tapestry


lare Jackson and Matthew McParland first met as students in Edinburgh and got to know each other when they became next door neighbours. Following their engagement in Marrakech they set the date for 4th November 2016 at Larchfield Estate. The bride and her mum went on a spur of the moment trip to Petticoat Lane, “to have a look for ideas of what I might like before booking in some appointments,” Clare explains. “Little did I think after trying on a couple that I would come home with one! The dress was the exact understated style I was looking for and I felt like myself when I was wearing it, not the dress wearing me. I didn’t go overboard on accessories as I really wanted the flowers to steal the show, but I did wear a vintage watch which was given to me when I was little by my late Granny to wear on my wedding day.” The couple chose Simple Tapestry to capture their photos, “Brideen and Deci are super cool and talented, they made us feel at ease and captured our day perfectly,” Clare says. Friend Rachel Graham created the stationery and signage, and another friend Sophie Milne, who is a gluten free baking specialist, made the wedding cakes. The couple honeymooned in Dubai the highlight of which was, “experiencing our first and definitely not last, Friday Brunch; an afternoon of all the food you could ever dream about and cocktails in a hotel overlooking Dubai Marina.” n

Venue: Larchfield Estate, Lisburn Wedding dress: Petticoat Lane, Hillsborough Groomswear: Bogart, Belfast Bridesmaids’ dresses: Flowers: The Rosehip and Berry Floral Studio, Belfast Makeup: Jennifer Ireland Make Up, Carrickfergus Hair: Hedonist, Belfast






Peter Woolnough, Anne McMullan and Julie Hastings

Christine Wright and Jullian Simmons

Christine Marshall, Maureen Ringland and Adrienne Morgan

Hastings Hotels Garden Party Hastings Hotels hosted a Garden Party at the Culloden Estate and Spa on 4th June. Hastings Hotels organised the event to celebrate 50 years’ of its ownership of the prestigious hotel. Partygoers enjoyed an afternoon of music and fabulous food.

Philippa Hastings, Matthew Stevens, Anne Stevens and Tony Stevens

James McGinn, Barbara and Russell Campbell

Victoria Mann and Sara Booth



Racegoers enjoying the action

Aine McGroarty, Alana Pell and Meghan Kelly

Ben Magowan and Ian Megahey

Down Royal Hundreds of fashionistas turned out for the annual Down Royal in Lisburn. Bardotstyle dresses, brightly coloured jumpsuits and strategically placed fascinators were popular looks this year, as were coloured shades. Photos by Press Eye

Emma McAlindon, Dearbhile McClean, Aoibhin McCool and Gemma Maguire

Mike Todd and Pamela Ballantine

Hannah Hawkes, Claire Harper and Harley Sample


Raffy Smyth, Devany Wallace, Fodhla Gallagher and Hannah Gallagher

Zara McNulty, Erin Donnelly and Claire Adams

Aoife Loughran, Orlagh Mullan, Aisling Mullan and Ciara McKernan


Sharon McElroy and Wendy Kennedy

Belulah-Anne Sinton, Emma Burdett, Mark Scott-Lennon and Eithne Fitzpatrick

Emma Burdett and Belulah-Anne Sinton

Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel Rooftop Event Eithne Fitzpatrick and her son Mark ScottLennon invited guests and press to a funfilled rooftop event at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast recently. The event was organised as an opportunity for the Fitzpatrick Hotel team to share information about their exciting new offerings.

Eithne Fitzpatrick, Peter and Ann O’Raw

Donna Barbour & Mairead Cullen




Why Jeff Meredith was having a proud moment

Blue Diamond Printed Shorts by Linea from House of Fraser £30


ey folks, It’s your Northern Man here, back for a second month. They’ve cut me down to 400 words, imagine my horror at having to reduce my ramblings, but here goes. If you read my column last month you might be expecting an update on that cruise. Princess Cruises invited me along for a short trip from Southampton to Belfast on their newly refurbished Caribbean Princess. I was last on this ship for lunch last year during a stopover in Belfast, and what a difference the refit has made. They have spent £4 million revitalising key food areas of the ship and it now looks super fresh and modern. Our trip started in Southampton before sailing to Guernsey, Cobh, Dublin then Belfast. The best part was sailing into Belfast; it’s beautiful! With the Belfast Hills on one side and the North Down coastline on the other, our wee country looked so good I was bursting with pride. There were a lot of passengers up on deck eagerly waiting to dock and head out on tours of the City, Titanic Belfast, Antrim Coast and Giants Causeway. I spoke with a few first-time visitors later that day in St. George’s Market and they said they enjoyed Belfast more


than Dublin. Another proud moment! On a completely different note, let’s talk fashion. I’m 6’5 and not that skinny teenager I once was, so getting clothes to fit isn’t always easy. The challenge was set to find something new, first up was a style haul in Bloomfield’s shopping centre in Bangor. With the help of Next, H&M, River Island and M&S, I found the start of my new season wardrobe. I set two personal shoppers the challenge, ‘Find my summer style’. First up is the Debenhams Personal Shopper and next month I’ll talk about my Victoria Square personal shop. What a treat. Someone goes around the store finding clothes for you, selecting colours which suit your complexion (my colour is blue), fits that suit your body shape and experiments with clothes you might not normally wear. The free personal shopping service in Debenhams Castlecourt made that dreaded shopping experience a pleasure and the team picked out some fantastic summer fashion, while I sat there having a drink and relaxing in between trying on my summer haul. Guys, try it! Thanks for reading, Jeff

Studio Blazer With Toggles from Zara £89.99

Blue Space Dye Crew Neck Jumper from House of Fraser £35

Light Blue Burnout Hoodie from River Island £25

Blue shorts by M&S Collection £25

Blue Logo Baseball Cap by Calvin Klein from House of Fraser £30

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, Brendon Thorne, Getty Images


It’s all about blues this season, from classic stripes to Hawaiian and jungle-inspired patterns; we are especially loving the Hawaiian print. Blue always looks best with a splash of white and is a timeless look. Here are some of our top picks to get you through this season and hopefully inspire your summer style during those lazy days on the beach and Ibiza-style party nights.

Dusty Blue Slim Chino Trousers from River Island £25 Navy Palm Print Shirt by Jeff Banks from Debenhams £38

Floral Print Shirt from M&S Collection £22.50

Emperor Presented by Reebok, Runway Dubai, Cedric Ribeiro Getty Images



A break for two at Win Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel


o celebrate the launch of its summer breaks packages, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Killiney, Dublin, has joined forces with Northern Woman to offer one reader the chance to win a relaxing two-night break for two people. The family-run hotel is owned by Eithne Fitzpatrick and managed by her son Mark Scott-Lennon. If you are looking for a stay-cation, with a very warm welcome, look no further than the luxury four-star Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, which has a great selection of packages available this summer season. Three-night family breaks*, with one evening meal, start from just €570 – and this super family offer also includes a pass to either Dublin Zoo or Airfield House & Gardens, for lots of family fun. Or for a romantic break for two, the hotel is also offering a two-night B&B, with one evening meal, the package costs from €179 per person sharing. Guests will enjoy a meal in the hotel’s popular ‘The Grill at the Castle’ restaurant, which offers a range of Irish and European dishes using the finest local ingredients. Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel is located just a stone’s throw from the picturesque village of Dalkey and enjoys stunning views over Dublin Bay. The hotel has 113 luxurious bedrooms and suites, two award-winning restaurants and a 20m swimming pool, within its fully-equipped fitness centre.


TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING B&B FOR TWO-NIGHT FOR TWO PEOPLE, WITH DINNER IN THE GRILL ON ONE EVENING Simply answer this question: Where in Dublin is Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel located? Email your answer and contact details to: before 5pm on Friday 21st July. *Terms & Conditions apply. All offers subject to availability. *Children (under 12)

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