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FLINTSHIRE MAGAZINE MAY 2019 | ISSUE 70

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Welcome....

We’ve had so many requests and phone calls asking why we don’t deliver into the more rural areas so we’ve listened to you our readers and are very excited to tell you about our new and third Flintshire magazine called Inside Flintshire Villages. Over the coming months we will be expanding our reach and covering more villages as this magazine grows. Please feel free to get involved and send us your events, what’s on in your village and we would love to see your photographs of your favourite rural areas or wildlife, We might even use them on our cover. So from this month we will now be reaching a massive 21,000 Flintshire homes every month! What do we have for you in this month’s issue? Take a look at the best European summer city breaks on pages 8-9. Our restaurant review is back and we were very excited to be returning to one of the restaurants where we did our first review nearly six years ago, The Stamford Gate but it’s had a massive revamp and looks so much different, see what we thought on pages 16-17. More competitions to be in with a chance of winning on pages 22-23 plus lots lots more going on inside. Please give us a mention if you do use on of our advertiser’s within. Any photography we use on our cover will win £25.00

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A

s the weather hots up in Europe, its cities become a riot of outdoor festivals and al-fresco activities - so don’t wait until autumn or spring for your next city break. Discover why summer is the best time of year to see a city in full swing. Consider these great city getaways which offer plenty to see and do.

Amsterdam For all the cosy appeal and old-world charm of Amsterdam in winter, ask any local and they’ll tell you the city transforms in summer. While there’s no bad time to go to the Dutch capital, its lovely green spaces and network of waterways are awash with people having fun when the weather’s fine. Groups gather to picnic and barbecue in parks. They congregate on roof terraces and in the crop of urban beach bars to enjoy the heady days of long summer evenings.

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With its location on Croatia’s sundrenched Adriatic coastline, the dashing seaside city of Dubrovnik positively dazzles in the summer. Wallto-wall sunshine is a sure thing in this heritage-listed walled city, as is a lively atmosphere. Its cobbled streets and squares are full of al-fresco diners and it hosts several events, including the Summer Festival, one of Europe’s best arts events. Dubrovnik’s glorious beaches also come into their own at this time of year. Once you’ve filled up on the city’s medieval glories and can bear to tear yourself away from gazing at its views (catch the cable car up to the top of Mount Srd for the best), the glittering Adriatic beckons. There are good beaches walking distance from the city or the coves of sleepy Lokrum are just a 10-minute ferry ride away.

Barcelona Crammed with culture, history and architectural wonders but with a laid-back beach vibe to boot, the Catalan capital is a cracker in the summer months. When the throngs of Barcelona’s historic quarter get too much, there are beaches and shady parks to escape to. The city’s loveliest green spaces are a hive of activity at this time of year: people gather to play ping pong, watch outdoor concerts and picnic. Street fiestas seem to spring up everywhere and the city hosts some world-class music festivals, including Sónar. Another summer must-do is the open-air cinema in Montjuïc castle’s moat. With 10 beaches to play on, a city break in Barcelona can also mean splashing in the waves, zipping

Dubrovnik’s spectacular Summer Festival.

Surfing at one of Barcelona’s 10 beaches (above) and Barcelona’s famous W Hotel (right), looking like a giant sail against the blue sky.

along the water in a speed boat or cocktail-sipping on the sand. However you spend your days, a siesta is essential to keep the pace with this late-night city. Barcelona is a heavy-hitter when it comes to gastronomy too with a myriad of Michelin-starred eateries, hip bistros and traditional tapas bars to work your way around.

Cavtat, a town just to the south of Dubrovnik, from where you can take a ferry several times a day to explore the walled city at your leisure.

The perfect hotels for your summer city break

resort has a choice of five restaurants, and every room has a balcony. It’s the ideal hotel for a summer city break – chill on the beach or by the pool knowing you’re only a short ferry ride or drive from Dubrovnik.

Amsterdam: Estherea This five-star boutique hotel is housed in a row of historic buildings on Amsterdam’s oldest canal in the heart of the city with Dam square, shopping, restaurants, theatres, museums and the central railway station all within walking distance. Dating back to 1940s, its luxurious decor includes sumptuous furniture and crystal chandeliers. Each room has its own character and includes complimentary breakfast plus free Wi-Fi – and you get free use of an iPad during your stay. The hotel also provides scooter rentals, as well as hot drinks and snacks in the lobby.

Dubrovnik: Hotel Croatia Cavtat Located on its own peninsula, this fivestar resort-style hotel overlooks

Barcelona: H10 Marina Barcelona This four-star hotel has a great location: it’s close to the beach, Ciutadella Park and the Olympic Marina Harbour, but only 15 minutes’ walk from the Sagrada Familia cathedral – and provides easy access to other tourist attractions.

Amsterdam’s luxurious Estherea Hotel. With two private beaches and an incredible saltwater outdoor pool, the

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16

The dessert menu looked extremely tempting, I particularly fancied the Sicilian Lemon Possett but decided I was fit to burst so would definitely leave the dessert until next time. We will definitely be returning to The Stamford Gate as the food and service was 5 star! Well done Matt and all the team on the success of the refurbishment and the fantastic service and top notch food!

T

his Month we had the pleasure of visiting the brand newly refubished Stamford Gate. The refurbishment has taken approximately 9 weeks to undergo and has transformed the Stamford gate into an ultra modern stylish gastro pub.

eggs just piped the Prawns to the post i’am afraid!

The area is now mainly open plan so is much more spacious, our favourite feature was the floor to ceiling brick open fireplace with the blazing log burner creating a cosy contempary feeling. The restaurant was busy and had a really good atmosphere we heard so many customers that were walking in complementing the staff on how different the restaurant looked and what an amazing job they had done!

Creamy wild Mushrooms and Garlic on toast. Reg decided immediately that he liked the sound of the Black pudding Scotch eggs I on the other hand deliberated for some time whilst enjoying my glass of Sauvignon Blanc but finally plumped for Char grilled king prawns with a Thai Curry dip. The service was second to none the waitress was extremely attentive and asked immediately when our glasses were looking empty if we would like another drink. Before we knew it our starters had arrived and I was

We were excited to see the new menu and must admit it was pretty impressive with a good array of starters from nibbles to sharing platters including dishes like Goat Cheese Bon Bons, Crispy Belly Pork Fritters to classics like

immediately envious of Reg’s choice of the Black pudding Scotch eggs which looked to die for! I could not resist tucking into one and I was not disappointed, the rich black pudding and good quality pork created a sensational flavour and to top it off the egg was was slightly runny which was perfect to dunk in the rich accompaniment of Spiced Brown sauce. The Chargrilled Prawns were also delicious and juicy and coated in a tangy lime marinade they were served with a crisp salad and a spicy Thai Curry sauce but the Black pudding Scotch

For the Main Course Reg choose the 12oz Rib eye Steak and I went for the Braised Belly Pork , When the dishes arrived the first thing we both noticed was the presentation especially the braised Belly Pork the food was arranged and stacked with such precision I was sad to tuck in to it and spoil the chefs wonderful creation . My concerns soon subsided though when I tasted the food the Belly

Pork was braised in caramelised apples and was divine this was placed over celeriac puree alongside beautifully buttered spring greens and a homemade croquette potato which was absolutely delicious then finished with a Orchard thieves cider sauce.

PRIZE

COMPETITIONS

22

Magnum

WIN two tickets to see

1990’s ‘Goodnight To L.A.’ album also went Top 10, spawned the Top 40 single ‘Rocking Chair’ and was accompanied by a tour of the UK’s Arena circuit, including venues such as Wembley Arena.

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, just answer the following question:

2019 sees them embark on an 8-date European tour in support of their hard-hitting live album ‘Lost On The Road To Eternity’.

Don’t miss Magnum when they hit Warrington’s Parr Hall on Thusday June 13!

“In which decade were Magnum formed?”

Thursday June 13, 2019; Warrington - Parr Hall; Box Office No: 0844 249 1000; Tickets: £24.50; Doors: 7.30pm; Website: www.eventim.co.uk/event/magnum-parr-hall-11657349/?affiliate=GCL

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Monday May 20)

Total = £50.50

Massaoke Night at The Musicals Raise the curtain… and the roof! We are very excited to bring a Massaoke Night at the Musicals to Wrexham - William Aston Hall on Saturday 25th May 2019.

There’s no karaoke spotlight here. The entire crowd is the star of this show, singing together in celebration of all the best-loved musicals from stage and screen.

After disbanding in 1995, the band reformed in 2001 and came storming back stronger than ever!

Braised belly pork ................£14.50 12 oz Ribeye steak ..............£22.00

at Wrexham - William Aston Hall: Saturday May 25, 2019

at Warrington Parr Hall: Thursday June 13, 2019

1988’s ‘Wings Of Heaven’ LP really broke the band into the mainstream, going gold, breaching the top 5 of the UK chart and spawning three top 30 singles ‘Days Of No Trust’, Start Talkin’ Love’ and ‘It Must Have Been Love’. During this period the band regularly graced the stages of such venues as Hammersmith Odeon and major UK Festivals as Reading and Castle Donington.

Chargrilled King Prawns......£7.50 Black pudding scotch egg ..£6.50

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

Sing and dance along with the fantastic Massaoke Band, guided by giant video lyrics, to all your favourite songs from shows including MAMMA MIA!, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, GREASE, FROZEN, DIRTY DANCING, EVITA, CATS, LES MIS, JUNGLE BOOK, WE WILL ROCK YOU, PHANTOM, THE LION KING and many more…

Magnum, who regularly breached the Top 40 of both the singles and album charts in the Eighties and early Nineties, came together in the Midlands in the midSeventies and released their debut album ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ in 1978, followed by ‘Magnum II’ in 1979 and their first live album ‘Marauder’ in 1980. During this period they toured relentlessly with the likes of Def Leppard, Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest.

THE BILL

The 12 oz Rib eye steak I was assured was also Superb it was cooked to perfection and was a good cut and extremely tender this was accompanied by a crisp side salad , a dish of hand cooked chips ,beer battered onion rings, a fresh grilled tomatoes and pan fried mushrooms all very tasty and presented perfectly.

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WIN two tickets to see

This ultra-modern, stylish hotel features a rooftop pool and skyline lounge bar with stunning views of the city. And with free Wi-Fi to boot, it’s a great choice for a break in Barcelona.

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

THE STAMFORD GATE

The result is set to be a euphoric and thrilling night out – where else can you belt out the greatest show tunes without being shushed by the person next to you? And don’t worry: you don’t have to be a

brilliant singer to enjoy Massaoke; it’s all about sharing your love of music with a crowd of other like-minded people. It’s a unique, powerful and emotional experience. And it’s tremendous fun too!

What they say: “Fab”’ - BONNIE TYLER “One of London’s best nights out - SUNDAY MIRROR “One of the biggest and best parties” - THE LIST

Book your tickets now and bring the sing to the greatest musicals of all time!! To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, just answer the following question:

“What word did Bonnie Tyler use to describe this show?”

Saturday May 25, 2019; Wrexham - William Aston Hall; Box Office No: 0844 249 1000; Tickets: £12.00; Doors: 7.30pm; Website: www.thewilliamastonhall.com/event/massaoke-night-at-the-musicals/

?

Who am I?

Born 18 July 1918, he was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

Guess the identity of our mystery celebrity and you could WIN £25 CASH!!

His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997. He served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island,

Pollsmoor Prison, and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990. ?? and de Klerk led efforts to negotiate an end to apartheid, which resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which ?? led the ANC to victory and became president.

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Monday May 20) To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

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Mercedes-Benz A-class: Does the sequel better the original?

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General knowledge quiz 1 Melon 2 The oldest pub in Britain 3 Lake Superior 4 Nation Union of Students 5 South Africa 6 Ethiopia 7 Tottenham Hotspur 8 Billy Elliott 9 Antonio Gaudi 10 Anish Kapoor

The peace and tranquility of Amsterdam’s parks.

Dubrovnik

Amsterdam has a dizzying summer festival scene too with something to appeal to all - just about every type of food, flower, art, and music is covered off in its jam-packed calendar of events.

Copyright No part of this publication may be reproduced, resold or stored in a retrieval system without the express permission of “Inside Flintshire Magazine” Adverts When providing advertising copy, artwork or photographs from existing sources, it is our customers’ responsibility to ensure that all the appropriate permissions regarding copyright have been obtained from the originator :Inside Flintshire Magazine accepts no liability for copyright issues regarding adverts published in good faith. For full terms and conditions see our web site www.insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk

Brain Workout Answers

lidays Ho

And post-work dips in the city’s outdoor pools and swimming areas become a thing. Open-air theatres pop up in parks, performances take place at waterside venues and open-air cinemas appear on rooftops all over the city.

Last months competition winners. Elvis show - Dawn Thursfield - Oldham Red Hot Chilli Pipers - Joy Strong - Fresh Air £25 Cash - Kirsty Barton - Judi Dench Until next month. Reg - Editor Inside Flintshire Magazines T: 01352 870 760 E: reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk

The best European summer city breaks

S

equels are rarely better than the original, are they? And when you string an idea out for a third or fourth instalment, it’s often a sign that a once-grand idea is now long past its sell-by date. On first inspection, it can certainly seem that way with the Mercedes A Class. The original A Class (1998-2005) was remarkably innovative, and even its successor (2005-2012) did things differently - and in some ways better than - the competition. Which brings us right up to the present day and this fourthgeneration A Class. Logic might lead you to assume that it’s probably nothing special but, without wanting to give too much away, that isn’t the case at all. In fact, it’s really rather good.

Driving The A Class handles pretty well. Yes, there’s a bit of body lean through faster corners, but this happens so progressively that things never feel unstable during quick changes of direction. It runs out of front-end grip quicker than the sharper-handling Audi A3, but we’d happily recommend the A Class to keen drivers over the 1 Series.

Even the steering impresses; it builds weight in a natural way as you turn in to corners, and the fact that it’s always accurate allows you to place the car just where you want it on the road. It’s also light enough to ensure town driving isn’t a chore.

Motoring

revs but does sound a little strained higher up. The more powerful A250 comes across as rather more cultured, combining smoothness at low speeds with a fairly sporty rasp if you work it hard. The A35 AMG, meanwhile, sounds racier still. The six-speed manual gearbox that’s standard on lesser versions of the A-Class is a little notchy. However, automatic versions choose their gears wisely and promptly most of the time.

Interior

The A250 (and the AMG Line version of the A200) come with a more sophisticated rear suspension set-up that’s designed to improve handling.

You’re unlikely to have much difficulty getting comfortable behind the wheel of the A Class. The driver’s seat adjusts manually on all trim levels (electric seats are available as part of the Premium Plus package), supports you in all the right places and there’s plenty of steering wheel movement.

Our experience of the A250 is that it corners flatter and grips harder than cheaper variants of the A Class. It’s not quite as sharp as a VW Golf GTI but, judged as a quick yet comfortable luxury hatch, it’s rather appealing. Refinement isn’t the A Class’s strongest suit, especially if you choose the A180 or A200. Their 1.3-litre petrol engines are rather boomy and generally a bit uncouth, especially when you work them hard. By contrast, the diesel engine in the A180d is smooth and quiet by the standards of most rivals; it’s smoothest at low-to-mid

All versions of the A Class come with a 7.0in digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a 7.0in infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard, both of which sit behind one giant piece of glass. Opt for the Executive equipment package and the 7.0in infotainment screen is replaced by a 10.3in version. If you add the Premium package, the instrument screen is also enlarged to 10.3in, the two neighbouring screens combining to look like one giant widescreen that stretches across more than half of the width of the dashboard.

When it comes to infotainment technology, there’s nothing in the family car class that can touch the A Class. Even if you stick with the standard 7.0in system, you get sat-nav, a DAB radio and a couple of USB sockets. The system can be controlled through the touchscreen itself, by swiping and pressing a main touchpad between the front seats, or by another tiny touch pad on the steering wheel. The touchpad methods are the easiest to use when you’re driving; you don’t need to continually study the display as the main pad provides haptic feedback to help you navigate through the menus. That said, the rotary dial interfaces in the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series are still that bit more intuitive. Another option is something Mercedes calls ‘augmented reality navigation’. It is, in effect, a live camera feed of the road ahead but overlaid with house numbers, road names, direction arrows and other useful bits of information to help you work out where you need to get to.

their knees tucked up under their chin. Put simply, the A Class is roughly on a par with its key rivals, the Audi A3 and VW Golf, for both head and leg room, and it’s bigger in the rear than a BMW 1 Series. There’s nothing spectacular about the boot of the A Class, although it’s spacious enough for a big weekly shop or a week away for two. In fact, in our practicality tests, the A Class and A3 tied by swallowing six carry-on suitcases although it was less of a squeeze to get them in the Audi. The 1 Series, meanwhile. only managed five.

Reliability & cost This latest version of the A Class was too new to feature in our most recent reliability survey, although Mercedes as a brand came a disappointing 26

out of 31 manufacturers. True, that’s a better performance than Jaguar (28th) managed, but Audi, BMW and, in particular, Lexus finished much higher up the table. The vast majority of A Class buyers won’t be paying cash; they’ll be signing up to a PCP finance deal. If you’re planning to do that, the A Class will generally cost you more per month than its premium-badged rivals, including as the Audi A3, although this does vary from month to month depending on manufacturer and dealer incentives. If you’re buying privately, the fact the A Class is predicted to hang on to more of its value than rivals, including the A3 and the BMW 1 Series, over three years will help mitigate the fact it costs slightly more to buy.

Space & practicality You’re unlikely to grumble about space in the front, even if you tower over most of your friends and colleagues. The seats slide back a long way and there’s plenty of head room, although the optional panoramic roof (part of the Premium Plus package) does reduce this slightly. Anyone taller than six foot won’t exactly be sprawling out in luxury, but neither will they be packed in with

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Verdict Classy, good to drive and packed with technology, the Mercedes A Class stands among the best premium-badged options in the family car class. Although the entry-level diesel (A180d) makes the most sense for the majority of A Class buyers, don’t discount the A200 petrol and the more powerful A250 petrol.

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

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The best European summer city breaks A

s the weather hots up in Europe, its cities become a riot of outdoor festivals and al-fresco activities - so don’t wait until autumn or spring for your next city break. Discover why summer is the best time of year to see a city in full swing. Consider these great city getaways which offer plenty to see and do.

Amsterdam For all the cosy appeal and old-world charm of Amsterdam in winter, ask any local and they’ll tell you the city transforms in summer. While there’s no bad time to go to the Dutch capital, its lovely green spaces and network of waterways are awash with people having fun when the weather’s fine. Groups gather to picnic and barbecue in parks. They congregate on roof terraces and in the crop of urban beach bars to enjoy the heady days of long summer evenings.

The peace and tranquility of Amsterdam’s parks.

Dubrovnik With its location on Croatia’s sundrenched Adriatic coastline, the dashing seaside city of Dubrovnik positively dazzles in the summer. Wallto-wall sunshine is a sure thing in this heritage-listed walled city, as is a lively atmosphere. Its cobbled streets and squares are full of al-fresco diners and it hosts several events, including the Summer Festival, one of Europe’s best arts events. Dubrovnik’s glorious beaches also come into their own at this time of year. Once you’ve filled up on the city’s medieval glories and can bear to tear yourself away from gazing at its views (catch the cable car up to the top of Mount Srd for the best), the glittering Adriatic beckons. There are good beaches walking distance from the city or the coves of sleepy Lokrum are just a 10-minute ferry ride away.

Barcelona Crammed with culture, history and architectural wonders but with a laid-back beach vibe to boot, the Catalan capital is a cracker in the summer months. When the throngs of Barcelona’s historic quarter get too much, there are beaches and shady parks to escape to. The city’s loveliest green spaces are a hive of activity at this time of year: people gather to play ping pong, watch outdoor concerts and picnic. Street fiestas seem to spring up everywhere and the city hosts some world-class music festivals, including Sónar. Another summer must-do is the open-air cinema in Montjuïc castle’s moat. With 10 beaches to play on, a city break in Barcelona can also mean splashing in the waves, zipping

Dubrovnik’s spectacular Summer Festival.

And post-work dips in the city’s outdoor pools and swimming areas become a thing. Open-air theatres pop up in parks, performances take place at waterside venues and open-air cinemas appear on rooftops all over the city. Amsterdam has a dizzying summer festival scene too with something to appeal to all - just about every type of food, flower, art, and music is covered off in its jam-packed calendar of events.

8

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lo idays H Surfing at one of Barcelona’s 10 beaches (above) and Barcelona’s famous W Hotel (right), looking like a giant sail against the blue sky.

along the water in a speed boat or cocktail-sipping on the sand. However you spend your days, a siesta is essential to keep the pace with this late-night city. Barcelona is a heavy-hitter when it comes to gastronomy too with a myriad of Michelin-starred eateries, hip bistros and traditional tapas bars to work your way around.

Cavtat, a town just to the south of Dubrovnik, from where you can take a ferry several times a day to explore the walled city at your leisure.

The perfect hotels for your summer city break

resort has a choice of five restaurants, and every room has a balcony. It’s the ideal hotel for a summer city break – chill on the beach or by the pool knowing you’re only a short ferry ride or drive from Dubrovnik.

Amsterdam: Estherea This five-star boutique hotel is housed in a row of historic buildings on Amsterdam’s oldest canal in the heart of the city with Dam square, shopping, restaurants, theatres, museums and the central railway station all within walking distance. Dating back to 1940s, its luxurious decor includes sumptuous furniture and crystal chandeliers. Each room has its own character and includes complimentary breakfast plus free Wi-Fi – and you get free use of an iPad during your stay. The hotel also provides scooter rentals, as well as hot drinks and snacks in the lobby.

Dubrovnik: Hotel Croatia Cavtat Located on its own peninsula, this fivestar resort-style hotel overlooks

Barcelona: H10 Marina Barcelona

Amsterdam’s luxurious Estherea Hotel. With two private beaches and an incredible saltwater outdoor pool, the

This four-star hotel has a great location: it’s close to the beach, Ciutadella Park and the Olympic Marina Harbour, but only 15 minutes’ walk from the Sagrada Familia cathedral – and provides easy access to other tourist attractions. This ultra-modern, stylish hotel features a rooftop pool and skyline lounge bar with stunning views of the city. And with free Wi-Fi to boot, it’s a great choice for a break in Barcelona.

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

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Wet rooms Want a wet room, but not sure whether it will work in your home? Read on for the advantages and disadvantages of wet rooms, along with some expert design tips. Wet rooms are becoming more and more desirable, and they’re a great way to add value to your home. But how exactly do you go about designing a wet room? We’ve put together a handy guide...

Can anyone have a wet room? In theory, yes. Wet rooms are basically shower rooms minus the shower screen and tray, and have an open, fully tiled shower area. If your bathroom is on the small side you’ll need to include a shower screen to prevent everything getting sprayed.

Waterproofing Waterproofing wet rooms involves priming the floor, the lower section of the walls and the whole of the wall area around the shower before covering with a syrupy membrane. Once it’s set, the room is then tiled. It’s also worth raising the bathroom door threshold by about 5mm from the floor in case the room fills with water (if someone covers the shower drain with a towel, for example).

Advantages of wet rooms ● Wet rooms are super-stylish and perfect for creating a contemporary look. ● As a second bathroom, a wet room can easily increase the value of your home. ● Great for small bathrooms - removing the bath creates more space. ● Wet rooms are, in general, easier to clean. There’s no shower screen or tray to worry about and if you go for a wallhung sink and toilet, it’s easier still. ● If it’s done properly, your floor (the bit under the tiles) is better protected than it would be in a standard bathroom.

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The essential guide to creating the perfect shower space

Disadvantages of wet rooms

● In small bathrooms, watch out for wet towels and loo roll caused by spray from the shower. ● You’ll need a professional fitter to waterproof the room – if it’s not done properly, leaking water can cause damage. ● Wet rooms should be tiled from floor to ceiling – and that’s expensive. And if you go for porous stone tiles, they may need to be resealed every few months, which is hard work. ● Swapping a main bathroom for a wet room could make your home less saleable – buyers want at least one bath.

How much will a wet room cost? The cost of installing a wet room is usually between £5,000 and £10,000. If you are paying a company to tank and install a wet room, including floorto-ceiling tiles, suite and shower, expect to pay more.

What type of surface materials should I use? Tiles are the most popular wall and floor covering, but you can opt for sheet vinyl for the floor, or even Corian, which is a seamless, non-porous material that is low-maintenance. Concrete and tadelakt (a waterproof plaster from Morocco) will lend your wet room a rough luxe look.

Choose sleek modern drainage Longing for an invigorating power shower? Then you’ll need to install a drain that can handle high water volumes efficiently. A flush-fitting, channel-style drain collects water across its full width, effectively preventing floods. Look for a drain with an easy access dirt trap to help keep the water running freely.

Store well Allocating a dedicated space for storing shampoo and soap inside your shower area is essential. One of the smartest solutions is niche shelving, which can be built into a stud wall at construction stage and doesn’t encroach on your showering space. It’s important to tile the actual shelf on a slight gradient to prevent water from pooling at the back.

If you are going to use tiles, choose non-porous bathroom tiles like ceramic or porcelain. Porous tiles, such as slate, marble and limestone need sealing every few months to prevent water damage.

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Has Your Double Glazing Steamed Up? advertorial

Established for over a decade Cloudy2Clear windows have become a leading company for glass replacement. Issues with double glazing can often be gradual and may only be noticed during a clear sunny day or during the winter. A failed glass unit may no longer provide you with the protection you need or be energy efficient. Why not spend a few minutes checking your home to see if you have any failed double glazing? If you act now you can avoid these problems. Now, you may think you need to replace the

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THE

STAMFORD GATE T

his Month we had the pleasure of visiting the brand newly refubished Stamford Gate. The refurbishment has taken approximately 9 weeks to undergo and has transformed the Stamford gate into an ultra modern stylish gastro pub.

The area is now mainly open plan so is much more spacious, our favourite feature was the floor to ceiling brick open fireplace with the blazing log burner creating a cosy contempary feeling. The restaurant was busy and had a really good atmosphere we heard so many customers that were walking in complementing the staff on how different the restaurant looked and what an amazing job they had done! We were excited to see the new menu and must admit it was pretty impressive with a good array of starters from nibbles to sharing platters including dishes like Goat Cheese Bon Bons, Crispy Belly Pork Fritters to classics like 16

Creamy wild Mushrooms and Garlic on toast. Reg decided immediately that he liked the sound of the Black pudding Scotch eggs I on the other hand deliberated for some time whilst enjoying my glass of Sauvignon Blanc but finally plumped for Char grilled king prawns with a Thai Curry dip. The service was second to none the waitress was extremely attentive and asked immediately when our glasses were looking empty if we would like another drink. Before we knew it our starters had arrived and I was

immediately envious of Reg’s choice of the Black pudding Scotch eggs which looked to die for! I could not resist tucking into one and I was not disappointed, the rich black pudding and good quality pork created a sensational flavour and to top it off the egg was was slightly runny which was perfect to dunk in the rich accompaniment of Spiced Brown sauce. The Chargrilled Prawns were also delicious and juicy and coated in a tangy lime marinade they were served with a crisp salad and a spicy Thai Curry sauce but the Black pudding Scotch

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The dessert menu looked extremely tempting, I particularly fancied the Sicilian Lemon Possett but decided I was fit to burst so would definitely leave the dessert until next time. We will definitely be returning to The Stamford Gate as the food and service was 5 star! Well done Matt and all the team on the success of the refurbishment and the fantastic service and top notch food!

eggs just piped the Prawns to the post i’am afraid! For the Main Course Reg choose the 12oz Rib eye Steak and I went for the Braised Belly Pork , When the dishes arrived the first thing we both noticed was the presentation especially the braised Belly Pork the food was arranged and stacked with such precision I was sad to tuck in to it and spoil the chefs wonderful creation . My concerns soon subsided though when I tasted the food the Belly

Pork was braised in caramelised apples and was divine this was placed over celeriac puree alongside beautifully buttered spring greens and a homemade croquette potato which was absolutely delicious then finished with a Orchard thieves cider sauce.

THE BILL Chargrilled King Prawns......£7.50 Black pudding scotch egg ..£6.50 Braised belly pork ................£14.50 12 oz Ribeye steak ..............£22.00 Total = £50.50

The 12 oz Rib eye steak I was assured was also Superb it was cooked to perfection and was a good cut and extremely tender this was accompanied by a crisp side salad , a dish of hand cooked chips ,beer battered onion rings, a fresh grilled tomatoes and pan fried mushrooms all very tasty and presented perfectly.

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PRIZE

COMPETITIONS WIN two tickets to see

Magnum

Magnum, who regularly breached the Top 40 of both the singles and album charts in the Eighties and early Nineties, came together in the Midlands in the midSeventies and released their debut album ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ in 1978, followed by ‘Magnum II’ in 1979 and their first live album ‘Marauder’ in 1980. During this period they toured relentlessly with the likes of Def Leppard, Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest.

at Warrington Parr Hall: Thursday June 13, 2019

1988’s ‘Wings Of Heaven’ LP really broke the band into the mainstream, going gold, breaching the top 5 of the UK chart and spawning three top 30 singles ‘Days Of No Trust’, Start Talkin’ Love’ and ‘It Must Have Been Love’. During this period the band regularly graced the stages of such venues as Hammersmith Odeon and major UK Festivals as Reading and Castle Donington.

After disbanding in 1995, the band reformed in 2001 and came storming back stronger than ever!

1990’s ‘Goodnight To L.A.’ album also went Top 10, spawned the Top 40 single ‘Rocking Chair’ and was accompanied by a tour of the UK’s Arena circuit, including venues such as Wembley Arena.

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, just answer the following question:

2019 sees them embark on an 8-date European tour in support of their hard-hitting live album ‘Lost On The Road To Eternity’.

Don’t miss Magnum when they hit Warrington’s Parr Hall on Thusday June 13!

“In which decade were Magnum formed?”

Thursday June 13, 2019; Warrington - Parr Hall; Box Office No: 0844 249 1000; Tickets: £24.50; Doors: 7.30pm; Website: www.eventim.co.uk/event/magnum-parr-hall-11657349/?affiliate=GCL

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Monday May 20) 22

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WIN two tickets to see

Massaoke Night at The Musicals

at Wrexham - William Aston Hall: Saturday May 25, 2019

Raise the curtain… and the roof! We are very excited to bring a Massaoke Night at the Musicals to Wrexham - William Aston Hall on Saturday 25th May 2019. Sing and dance along with the fantastic Massaoke Band, guided by giant video lyrics, to all your favourite songs from shows including MAMMA MIA!, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, GREASE, FROZEN, DIRTY DANCING, EVITA, CATS, LES MIS, JUNGLE BOOK, WE WILL ROCK YOU, PHANTOM, THE LION KING and many more… There’s no karaoke spotlight here. The entire crowd is the star of this show, singing together in celebration of all the best-loved musicals from stage and screen. The result is set to be a euphoric and thrilling night out – where else can you belt out the greatest show tunes without being shushed by the person next to you? And don’t worry: you don’t have to be a

brilliant singer to enjoy Massaoke; it’s all about sharing your love of music with a crowd of other like-minded people. It’s a unique, powerful and emotional experience. And it’s tremendous fun too!

What they say: “Fab”’ - BONNIE TYLER “One of London’s best nights out - SUNDAY MIRROR “One of the biggest and best parties” - THE LIST

Book your tickets now and bring the sing to the greatest musicals of all time!! To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, just answer the following question:

“What word did Bonnie Tyler use to describe this show?”

Saturday May 25, 2019; Wrexham - William Aston Hall; Box Office No: 0844 249 1000; Tickets: £12.00; Doors: 7.30pm; Website: www.thewilliamastonhall.com/event/massaoke-night-at-the-musicals/

?

Who am I?

Born 18 July 1918, he was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

Guess the identity of our mystery celebrity and you could WIN £25 CASH!!

His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997. He served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island,

Pollsmoor Prison, and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990. ?? and de Klerk led efforts to negotiate an end to apartheid, which resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which ?? led the ANC to victory and became president.

To enter our competitions please send your full name, address and contact details to reg@insideflintshiremagazine.co.uk (Closing date Monday May 20) Last months winners on page 4

To advertise text ADVERT to: 07446 778 482

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Vintage Horsebox catering trailers - The "Hall & Smith" Events bar and "Dough Bellissimo" authentic Wood Fired Pizza.

If you are organising a special private party, wedding or corporate event, we can turn those special moments into long lasting memories. We are also available for outdoor sports events, country shows and festivals. We’re a professional, energetic team including trained bar tenders, Pizzaiolo’s and waiting on ambassadors who will deliver a delightful service for your guests. We can theme and tailor the bar and pizza menus to compliment your ideas and needs… a truly unique talking point and a great way to pamper your guests from one or more of our converted vintage horseboxes.

"HALL & SMITH" EVENTS BAR We offer a range of tailored menus, with a wide selection and well stocked selection of house, premium and super premium beverages to suit every need and budget. Choose a themed flavoured gin bar, prosecco bar or a full artisan bar. Or simply hire a regular bar with a large range of wine, spirits and beers. Share your ideas with us… the options are endless!

"DOUGH BELLISSIMO" WOOD FIRED PIZZA Whatever your event, we’ll work with you to ensure your guests are completely satisfied with full tummies and happy smiles. We can cater for your budget and type of celebration.

For weddings we work great as an alternative day time or evening addition and we’re perfect for events where there are lots of mouths to feed! We can serve delicious Pizza from a traditional oven and can cover guest numbers from 30 to 250 quite easily. Whether you are doing a buffet style festival / garden wedding, or a traditional sit down meal and want a unique and surprising kick to the menu. Our pizzas are freshly prepared and cooked within the Dough Bellissimo horsebox and served piping hot. The professional wood fired oven cooks at over 500ºC. Which means we can comfortably cook 3 delicious pizzas to order in under 90 seconds. This means a very short wait time for your guests and quick all-round service.


ired be inspwith Slimming World Queensferry War Memorial Institute Monday 9.30am, 11.30am, 5pm & 7pm Contact Justine on 07795 191701 Sychdyn Sychdyn Memorial Hall, Main Rd (By Speed Camera) Tuesday 3.30pm, 5.30pm & 7.30pm Contact Nicky on 07731 074981 Connahs Quay Farfield Hall, Garthorpe Ave, Connah’s Quay Tuesday 8am, 10am, 12pm, 5pm & 7pm Contact Bonnie on 07456 862372

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Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies I can cater for any special occasion Contact Jayne on Tel-: 07842695515 01244 552188 Email-: danleecupcakes@gmail.com FB-: Dan-Lee Cupcakes Instagram-: Danleecupcakes

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Eyebrows For Spring 2019 By Kate Cheshire

Head Smiles!!!!! Eyebrows have been the focus in the makeup scene now for the last year or two, it all started with HD and grew from there, it seems that the bolder the eyebrow the more fashionable, but what if we just want a natural brow??? Eyebrows make such a big difference to a face, if they are shaped and groomed well they will enhance your eye shape making them look bigger and can make a face appear younger by giving the brow a lifting effect. Before you begin to shape your brows find yourself a large enough mirror so that you can see the whole of your face, you will also need to have an antiseptic lotion, or some facial toner on a cotton pad so you can continue wiping the area as you pluck, this will keep the area bacteria free and help to sooth the skin. Always stretch the skin close to where you pluck as this will feel less painful and it will also give you a clearer view of the individual hairs, pinch each hair, one at a time at the base, as close to the skin as

possible, the hair will be less likely to snap leaving the root behind. It is wise to shape the eyebrows at a slow pace and keep standing back to have a good look, this will prevent you from over plucking and will help you to determine the shape you want to achieve, remove the hairs in a line row by row until you feel happy, then wipe over the area with the toner or antiseptic to ensure a bacteria free area, it is advisable to keep the area make –up free for at least twelve hours to prevent irritation or infection so timing this procedure is essential.

Once you have achieved your desired shape, use an eyebrow brush and brush the hairs up wards, this may reveal some unruly long hairs, if you trim them to the same length as the other hairs the brows will be much tidier. If your eyebrows are sparse or too fair they will need a little help to create a fuller look, fill them in by using an eye shadow as close to your hair colour as possible and gently brush it onto the skin in between the hairs, this will give a full, more even brow. Tip*for gentle definition brush a little brown eyeshadow through to give a full effect and to the finished brows! Recommended/Tweezerman Tweezers 31


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Lamb, pepper and pineapple kebabs

Recipe

with lime, chilli and coriander mayonnaise

Method

1 For the marinade, in a glass or ceramic bowl, mix the pineapple juice, vinegar, molasses sugar and seasoning together until smooth and well combined. 2 For the kebabs, rinse the lamb neck fillet and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place the lamb into an ovenproof glass or ceramic dish and pour over half of the marinade mixture. Cover the dish and chill in the fridge for between one and four hours.

3 Meanwhile, for the lime, chilli and coriander mayonnaise, in a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper, garlic and half of the lime juice until well combined. 4 Gradually add the oil in a thin stream, whisking contiuously, until the mixture thickens and all of the oil has been incorporated into the mixture. 5 Stir in the shredded chilli and reserved chilli seeds, chopped coriander and the remaining lime juice. Mix until well combined, then chill in the fridge until needed. 6 Soak twelve wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes, then shake off any excess moisture. 7 When the meat has marinated, thread alternate pieces of red and green

pepper, onion, pineapple, banana and marinated lamb onto the soaked skewers to make 10-12 kebabs. Leave 3-5cm/1-2in free at one end of each skewer with which you can grip the skewers. Brush the kebabs all over with the oil. 8 Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the kebabs, in batches if necessary, and fry for 8-10 minutes, basting at intervals with the remaining marinade and turning regularly. (NB: The kebabs can also be barbecued or grilled under a medium hot grill, if desired.) 9 To serve, stuff the flatbreads with the lettuce and drizzle in a little of the lime, chilli and coriander mayonnaise. Sandwich two kebabs inside each flatbread.

Ingredients For the marinade ● 175ml/6fl oz pineapple juice ● 4 tbsp malt vinegar ● 115g/4oz molasses sugar ● Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the kebabs ● 750g/1lb 10oz lamb neck fillet, fat trimmed, cut into 3cm/1¼in cubes ● 2 large red peppers, seeds removed, cut into 3cm/1¼in squares ● 2 large green peppers, seeds removed, cut into 3cm/1¼in squares ● 2 red onions, peeled, chopped into 3cm/1¼in wedges ● 1 fresh pineapple, skin and core removed, flesh cut into quarters, then chopped ● 3 large bananas (not too ripe), peeled, chopped ● Sunflower or groundnut oil, for brushing.

For the lime, chilli and coriander mayonnaise ● 2 free-range egg yolks ● 1 tsp Dijon mustard ● Salt and freshly ground black pepper ● 1 large garlic clove, crushed to a paste with the edge of a knife ● 1 lime, juice only ● 290ml/9¾fl oz sunflower or light olive oil ● 1 red chilli, seeds removed (half reserved), shredded ● Small bunch coriander, leaves only, finely chopped.

To serve ● 5-6 flatbreads ● ½ iceberg lettuce, shredded.

Prep: 2 hours

34 Please mention Inside Flintshire Magazine when responding to advertisements

Cook: 10-30min

Serves: 12


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Tech talk

New innovations which will transform banking New technology in banking is already transforming the financial sector, and the traditional banking landscape is set to rapidly change in the next five years. Safety features, such as advanced cryptography and biometrics, will help protect against bank scams, and remote applications will make it easier than ever to do your banking without visiting a branch - but if you do, the experience is likely to be much more customerfriendly. Here’s a look at the how banking technology will change data sharing and the way your money is handled.

Blockchain Technology Blockchain technology is set to fundamentally transform banking and financial services. It decentralises financial management from a central authority to a widespread network of computers. Financial transactions are broken down into encrypted packets, or “blocks,” which are then added to the “chain” of computer code and encrypted for enhanced cybersecurity - it’s been compared to “email for

money”. Because the technology has the potential to improve numerous facets of banking - and is the basis for other banking technology trends like bitcoin - it’s no longer a question of if blockchain will change the banking industry, but when.

Upgraded ATMs ATMs transformed the bank tech system when they were first introduced in 1967. The next revolution in ATMs is likely to involve contactless payments. Much like Apple Pay or Google Wallet, soon you’ll be able to conduct contactless ATM transactions using a smartphone. Some ATM innovations are already available overseas. For example, biometric authentication is already used in India, and iris recognition is in place at Qatar National Bank ATMs. These technologies can help overall bank security by protecting against ATM hacks.

Proliferation of Non-Banks Banks are hoping that technology will allow them to deliver a faster, more transparent experience to consumers. A large portion of their resources, however, is necessarily dedicated to security, compliance and other industry-specific requirements,

which has allowed non-banks- or financial service providers that are not regulated by the banking industry - to flourish. Since these companies can devote a greater percentage of their assets to cutting-edge financial technology, they might be able to innovate more rapidly than traditional banks, attracting tech-savvy customers in the process.

Mobile and Digital Banking The mobile and digital transformation in the banking system has only just begun and growth is already explosive. Banks are investing heavily in digital banking technology, in which customers use mobile, web or digital platforms to use banking services. Artificial intelligence solutions, such as chatbots, often assist customers in simple tasks such as making payments. A recent found that 86 percent of banks indicated that these types of services represent their top technology investments.

Wearables Wearables - such as smartwatches are poised tobecome the future of the retail banking experience, according to Samsung Insights. One example is that banks could use Bluetooth beacons to push personal greetings to customers’ smartwatches when they enter a banking location. Another type of wearable might be smart glasses for bank staff, which could process customer banking information for the employee as the employee is simultaneously doing other customer service tasks. Overall, consumer behaviour and smart device trends are steering banking technology advances in the direction of convenience. An increasing number of remote technologies will allow you to interact with your bank right from the palm of your hand. And from your email inbox to visiting an actual branch, you can expect to encounter a whole new customer experience, perhaps even sooner than you think.

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May Horoscopes Aries (March 21-April 19) Tiredness may overcome you if you don’t take things easy. A few minor physical ailments could manifest themselves and you may find yourself in dire need of some TLC if you don’t listen to what your body is telling you. Minor niggles could well become major ones.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Be careful with the pennies! You could be involved in a lot of different financial deals and you must be careful not to overspend on an agreed budget. In your personal financial affairs, you would be wise to pace yourself and buy only essentials.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit tetchy and out of sorts. There are likely to be changes happening all around you and you are likely to find yourself standing still. Gemini folk possess character traits that can both help and harm them. It will be important to follow your gut reactions to events as they unfold.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Big changes could be ahead! As a sensitive water sign, you will be able to feel the unsettlement around you. Your relationships may require a re-boot or there could be an ending. In your career, there could be some uncomfortable times ahead.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your emotions could become a bit topsy-turvy. It could be that you have pushed yourself a bit too hard previously and this has taken its toll. Whatever the root cause is, you will still be outwardly successful and everything you set out to do will be achieveable.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This could be a time of change, so don’t be surprised if an opportunity for advancement comes your way through work. The status of your personal relationships may also alter in some way. Everything that makes a difference to your circumstances is likely to be positive - so, embrace change rather than resisting it.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You may feel the need to be mindful of both your health and working environment. A close friend may challenge your thinking in an unacceptable way and if you pull back from this relationship it may be no bad thing. At work, you may be undermined by someone who works alongside you.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is an excellent time with regard to financial matters, with prosperity arriving through business or personal relationships. For those who get married, there are likely to be big material gains which come through the union. It will be a lucky time for men and women born under the sign of the Scorpion!

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) If you are seeking counselling it could be that you will need to take time out of your busy schedule. You might be questioning things on a spiritual level, which means that you need to understand your inner self more and come to terms with your mental, physical and emotional limitations.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You will be full of ideas as your creative juices flow. Others will listen to you and follow your lead. You usually sort things out as you go along, but nobody will know that. To others it will seem that you are highly organised and have everything already tried and tested.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18) There are enjoyable times in store for Aquarians, particularly in affairs of the heart and in familial relationship matters. It is an excellent time to try for a baby as your compatibility with partners and spouses will be especially harmonious.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You may have to deal with physical issues - specifically, you could be subject to some form of joint pain. This could be caused by injury or simply bad posture. Either way, your shoulders, neck and knees are likely to be vulnerable. You might benefit from visiting your GP for advice.

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Your monthly

Brain workout Easy Sudoku Use this area to work out your answers

General knowledge quiz 1. Canteloupe, Egusi and Water are all types of which fruit? 2. The ‘Ye Olde trop to Jerusalem’ pub in Nottingham holds which distinction?? 3. Which is the larger lake; Lake Superior or Lake Michigan? 4. In British universities, what do the initials NUS stand for? 5. Actress Charlize Theron (left) was born in which country? a) USA b) South Africa c) England 6. Addis Ababa is the capital city of which African country?

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7. Between 2012 and 2016, Kyle Walker, Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Dele Alli all won the PFA Young Player of the Year award whilst representing which club? 8. Jamie Bell plays the title role in the story of which working-class ballet dancer? 9. Which Catalan architect known for his flamboyant style designed Barcelona’s Sagrada Família which remained unfinished after his death? 10. Known for ‘Marsyas’ at the Tate

Modern and the ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Olympic Park, which ‘AK’ was awarded a knighthood in 2013?

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Answers on page 4


Quick Crossword Across

28. Liqueur, ... Maria

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29. By way of

Wimp

5. Noisy summer insect

30. Carelessly

9. Primate human, ... man

32. Flush

11. ... & panties

33. Knocks over with car (4,4)

12. Massage

Down

14. Principle 15. Irish Coffee topping 16. Businesses 20. Compulsive thieves 24. Supremes singer, ... Ross 26. Mental picture

1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 7.

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Vineyard factory Also called (1,1,1) Serving (soup) Audacity Unlawful Stroll

8. Panicky person 10. Suppresses (feelings) (5,2) 13. Fellow 17. Deadening 18. Beginning (of illness) 19. Acrobatic parachutist 21. Learner 22. Ever youthful 23. US gorge, Grand ... 25. Prize 27. French farewell 31. Excessively

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Mercedes-Benz A-class: Does the sequel better the original?

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equels are rarely better than the original, are they? And when you string an idea out for a third or fourth instalment, it’s often a sign that a once-grand idea is now long past its sell-by date. On first inspection, it can certainly seem that way with the Mercedes A Class. The original A Class (1998-2005) was remarkably innovative, and even its successor (2005-2012) did things differently - and in some ways better than - the competition. Which brings us right up to the present day and this fourthgeneration A Class. Logic might lead you to assume that it’s probably nothing special but, without wanting to give too much away, that isn’t the case at all. In fact, it’s really rather good.

Driving The A Class handles pretty well. Yes, there’s a bit of body lean through faster corners, but this happens so progressively that things never feel unstable during quick changes of direction. It runs out of front-end grip quicker than the sharper-handling Audi A3, but we’d happily recommend the A Class to keen drivers over the 1 Series.

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Even the steering impresses; it builds weight in a natural way as you turn in to corners, and the fact that it’s always accurate allows you to place the car just where you want it on the road. It’s also light enough to ensure town driving isn’t a chore.

Motoring

revs but does sound a little strained higher up. The more powerful A250 comes across as rather more cultured, combining smoothness at low speeds with a fairly sporty rasp if you work it hard. The A35 AMG, meanwhile, sounds racier still. The six-speed manual gearbox that’s standard on lesser versions of the A-Class is a little notchy. However, automatic versions choose their gears wisely and promptly most of the time.

Interior

The A250 (and the AMG Line version of the A200) come with a more sophisticated rear suspension set-up that’s designed to improve handling.

You’re unlikely to have much difficulty getting comfortable behind the wheel of the A Class. The driver’s seat adjusts manually on all trim levels (electric seats are available as part of the Premium Plus package), supports you in all the right places and there’s plenty of steering wheel movement.

Our experience of the A250 is that it corners flatter and grips harder than cheaper variants of the A Class. It’s not quite as sharp as a VW Golf GTI but, judged as a quick yet comfortable luxury hatch, it’s rather appealing. Refinement isn’t the A Class’s strongest suit, especially if you choose the A180 or A200. Their 1.3-litre petrol engines are rather boomy and generally a bit uncouth, especially when you work them hard. By contrast, the diesel engine in the A180d is smooth and quiet by the standards of most rivals; it’s smoothest at low-to-mid

All versions of the A Class come with a 7.0in digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a 7.0in infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard, both of which sit behind one giant piece of glass. Opt for the Executive equipment package and the 7.0in infotainment screen is replaced by a 10.3in version. If you add the Premium package, the instrument screen is also enlarged to 10.3in, the two neighbouring screens combining to look like one giant widescreen that stretches across more than half of the width of the dashboard.

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When it comes to infotainment technology, there’s nothing in the family car class that can touch the A Class. Even if you stick with the standard 7.0in system, you get sat-nav, a DAB radio and a couple of USB sockets. The system can be controlled through the touchscreen itself, by swiping and pressing a main touchpad between the front seats, or by another tiny touch pad on the steering wheel. The touchpad methods are the easiest to use when you’re driving; you don’t need to continually study the display as the main pad provides haptic feedback to help you navigate through the menus. That said, the rotary dial interfaces in the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series are still that bit more intuitive. Another option is something Mercedes calls ‘augmented reality navigation’. It is, in effect, a live camera feed of the road ahead but overlaid with house numbers, road names, direction arrows and other useful bits of information to help you work out where you need to get to.

their knees tucked up under their chin. Put simply, the A Class is roughly on a par with its key rivals, the Audi A3 and VW Golf, for both head and leg room, and it’s bigger in the rear than a BMW 1 Series. There’s nothing spectacular about the boot of the A Class, although it’s spacious enough for a big weekly shop or a week away for two. In fact, in our practicality tests, the A Class and A3 tied by swallowing six carry-on suitcases although it was less of a squeeze to get them in the Audi. The 1 Series, meanwhile. only managed five.

Reliability & cost This latest version of the A Class was too new to feature in our most recent reliability survey, although Mercedes as a brand came a disappointing 26

out of 31 manufacturers. True, that’s a better performance than Jaguar (28th) managed, but Audi, BMW and, in particular, Lexus finished much higher up the table. The vast majority of A Class buyers won’t be paying cash; they’ll be signing up to a PCP finance deal. If you’re planning to do that, the A Class will generally cost you more per month than its premium-badged rivals, including as the Audi A3, although this does vary from month to month depending on manufacturer and dealer incentives. If you’re buying privately, the fact the A Class is predicted to hang on to more of its value than rivals, including the A3 and the BMW 1 Series, over three years will help mitigate the fact it costs slightly more to buy.

Space & practicality You’re unlikely to grumble about space in the front, even if you tower over most of your friends and colleagues. The seats slide back a long way and there’s plenty of head room, although the optional panoramic roof (part of the Premium Plus package) does reduce this slightly. Anyone taller than six foot won’t exactly be sprawling out in luxury, but neither will they be packed in with

Verdict Classy, good to drive and packed with technology, the Mercedes A Class stands among the best premium-badged options in the family car class. Although the entry-level diesel (A180d) makes the most sense for the majority of A Class buyers, don’t discount the A200 petrol and the more powerful A250 petrol.

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Model shown is AYGO x-trend 1.0 VVT-i Manual. Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (1/100km): combined 53.5 (5.3) – 56.5 (5.0). Combined CO2 93 g/km. Figures are provided for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results. Fuel consumption and CO2 produced varies significantly depending on a number of factors, including the accessories fitted (post-registration), driving style, conditions, speed and vehicle load. All models and grades are certified according to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which replaces the New European Driving Cycle test procedure (NEDC). All CO2 figures quoted are NEDC equivalent. This means the CO2 figures are based on the new WLTP test procedure but calculated (using a standard European calculation method) to allow comparison with the NEDC test procedure and will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration. All mpg figures quoted are full WLTP figures. More information can be found by visiting: www.vehicle-certification-agency.gov.uk/fcb/wltp.asp Model shown is AYGO x-trend 1.0 VVT-i Manual £12,965 including optional white flash paint at £250. Prices correct at time of being published. 5 year/100,000 mile manufacturer warranty. Terms and conditions apply. *0% APR Representative only available on new retail orders of AYGO (excluding X grade) between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019 and registered and financed through Toyota Financial Services by 30th September 2019 on a 42 month AccessToyota (PCP) plan with 0%-35% deposit. ^Payment shown is based on a 42 month AccessToyota (PCP) contract with £2,906 customer deposit and Guaranteed Future Value/Optional Final Payment. Toyota Financial Services is a trading name of Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC; registered office Great Burgh, Burgh Heath, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5UZ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s. Other finance offers are available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time. 8,000 miles per annum, excess miles over contracted charged at 8p per mile. Toyota Centres are independent of Toyota Financial Services. Participating Toyota Centres. Affordable finance through AccessToyota (PCP). Terms and conditions apply.

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Model shown is C-HR Dynamic 5 door Coupe FWD Hybrid 1.8 VVT-i Auto. Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (1/100km): 55.0 (5.1) – 57.6 (4.9). Combined CO2 86 g/km. Figures are provided for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results. Fuel consumption and CO2 produced varies significantly depending on a number of factors, including the accessories fitted (post-registration), driving style, conditions, speed and vehicle load. All models and grades are certified according to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which replaces the New European Driving Cycle test procedure (NEDC). All CO2 figures quoted are NEDC equivalent. This means the CO2 figures are based on the new WLTP test procedure but calculated (using a standard European calculation method) to allow comparison with the NEDC test procedure and will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration. All mpg figures quoted are full WLTP figures. More information can be found by visiting: www.vehicle-certification-agency.gov.uk/fcb/wltp.asp *Model shown is C-HR Dynamic 5 door Coupe FWD Hybrid 1.8 VVT-i Auto at £1,245 Advance Payment. Subject to availability. Available as part of the Motability Contract Hire Scheme. Please note that a total of 60,000 miles over three years are allowed on the Motability Contract Hire Scheme. Offer valid between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019. Motability Scheme vehicles are leased to customers by Motability Operations Limited (Registered Company No. 1373876), City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HB. To qualify you must be in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) and applications must be made with participating dealers between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019. Prices are correct at time of print, are subject to availability and may change.

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Films

The pick of this month’s movies

Aladdin

A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and selfdetermined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah. The film stars Will Smith as the Genie; Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Jasmine, the beautiful Princess.

Released: May 22, 2019 Genre: Action, Comedy, Family

Director: Guy Ritchie Cast: Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Alan Tudyk

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, skilled assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters This new story follows the heroic efforts of the cryptozoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla and his ultimate nemesis, the three headed King Ghidorah.

When these ancient superspecies rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

Released: May 31, 2019 Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Director: Michael Dougherty Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Charles Dance

Released: May 17, 2019 Genre: Action, Thriller Director: Chad Stahelski Cast: Keanu Reeves, Asia Kate Dillon, Ian McShane

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The world’s richest football clubs

Real Madrid have replaced Manchester United at top of Deloitte Football Money League The Spanish giants ended United’s two-year domination of the annual list by generating revenue of £665m last season – an all-time record for any football club. Here are the latest financial rankings...

1 Real Madrid Real Madrid returned to top spot after a two-year hiatus following their third successive Champions League victory. Sustained European success helped the Spanish club to grow commercial revenue by €55m, the main driver of their €76m overall increase in income to a world record €751m.

2 Barcelona Barcelona climbed one place in the rankings after they increased income by €42m. Commercial revenue was the biggest factor in the uplift, thanks to the start of a new shirt sponsorship deal with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.

3 Manchester United Manchester United’s revenue stagnated as continued mixed fortunes on the pitch saw the club’s famed commercial income dip for a second year in a row.

4 Bayern Munich The Bundesliga’s new television contracts and a run to the Champions

League semifinals helped swell Bayern’s broadcast revenue and lift overall income by seven per cent. The Bavarians remained fourth in the Money League for a fourth year in a row.

5 Manchester City Manchester City toasted success on and off the field in 2017-18, with a record-breaking Premier League title win and 11 per cent revenue growth. New deals with Nexen Tire, Gatorade and Amazon, who made a behind-thescenes documentary on the club for their Prime platform, contributed to improved commercial income.

6 Paris Saint-Germain Paris-Saint Germain leveraged their new star signings, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, to full effect as they posted an 11 per cent increase in revenue. The forward duo swept PSG to a fifth French league title in six seasons.

7 Liverpool

9 Arsenal

A run to the final of the Champions League fuelled Liverpool’s impressive 25 per cent uplift in revenue, the largest of any club in the Money League top 10. Only Real Madrid, who denied them the European Cup, matched the Reds’ €251.3m broadcast income.

Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football for the first time this century hit the club’s finances hard and saw them fall from sixth to ninth in the Money League. In adition, revenue fell for the first time since 1995-96

8 Chelsea

Tottenham returned to the top 10 of the Money League and closed in on their north London rivals Arsenal with 23 cent growth in overall revenue. Their temporary relocation to Wembley boosted matchday income by 54 per cent.

Chelsea increased revenue by 22 per cent to pass the £400m mark for the first time yet remained eighth in the Money League as Liverpool’s European run put them in the shade.

10 Tottenham

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Artificial grass

Everything you need to know about buying and laying a low-maintenance faux lawn Maintaining a lawn can be a labour of love, so it’s no surprise that increasingly realistic-looking artificial grass is growing in popularity.

also need to remove turf down to around 5-7.5cm (make sure cables and water pipes are below this) and any large stones.

How to lay artificial grass

Artificial grass can be bought on the roll or cut to size. It is priced to suit different budgets and available in a range of designs and ‘pile’ lengths. If you are joining different lengths to cover a larger area you will need to buy a joining kit. Most synthetic turf consists of three layers: a drainage layer, a multi-layered backing in jute, plastic or polyester and nylon or polypropylene ‘grass’ blades. Some artificial products are infilled with a granular filler to resemble natural turf.

Where can I buy artificial grass? If you fancy doing it yourself, Carpetright offers a capsule range of polypropylene and polyester UV and dirt-resistant artificial grasses from just £12 per sq m, with installation guides online. LazyLawn has the UK’s largest installation network, and Easigrass has won six RHS awards for product and design, and supplies and installs artificial grass worldwide. It’s even developed faux grass with manicured stripes for a pro-mown appearance.

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You’ll need to achieve a stable base to stop the grass shifting and stop weeds growing through.

How much does artificial grass cost? According to Easigrass, for an average garden size of 50-60 sq m, grass and supply would cost around £3,000 to £4,000, depending on the product chosen. Perfectly Green suggest £55 to £70 per sq m, depending on site requirements, including excavation and waste removal.

Can I lay artificial grass myself? Laying artificial grass can be a DIY project or it can be done by a professional landscaper, depending on complexity of the project. Measure the area you want to cover, plus 5cm extra all the way round - the grass can be trimmed later on. You’ll

Most achieve weed reduction with a layer of membrane being laid initially. If there’s no perimeter for the grass to butt up to (eg a fence), it’s a good idea to add a timber or steel edge to frame it - this will give a crisp, professional finish. Next, you’ll need to create a sturdy base, usually with sand or a similar aggregate that’s compacted down to make it level. Finally, you can unroll your grass - make sure the rolls lay in the same direction so the blades point the same way. It can be glued or pinned into place and ruffled to disguise joins.

How long does artificial grass take to install? Depending on how much preparation your project needs, an artificial lawn can usually be installed in one or two days. Sloped installations or those that require a groundbreaker will require more time.

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Health

Get started with healthy eating H ealthy eating isn’t just dumping the sugar and loading up on low fat foods. Here’s how to get started in healthy eating.

There are different nutrients in different foods. You need a wide variety of foods so that you have a better chance of eating all the nutrients your body requires. Healthy eating is about balance - about getting the right range of nutrients from a number of food groups. No foods are ‘forbidden’ - anything you want to eat will have its part to play and a place in a healthy diet. Ideally your meals should be based around the following five food groups: ● Bread, cereals and potatoes ● Fruits and vegetables ● Milk and dairy products ● Meat, fish and alternatives ● Fats and sugars

Breads, cereals and potatoes These should be the basis for every meal. This might be a baked potato, some mash, a wholemeal roll, pasta, steamed rice, couscous, polenta, bulgur wheat, pearl barley and the list goes on. Aim for whole grain versions of cereals when you can — this means brown bread and rice and

wholemeal pasta. Whole grains have been associated with healthier hearts and contain extra fibre, which can help prevent constipation and bowel cancer.

Fruit and vegetables A key part of your diet, they provide water, fibre and an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They have been shown to help prevent a number of diseases and illnesses including heart disease, stroke, cancer and high blood pressure. Include fruit and vegetables at every meal, and aim for at least five portions a day. A portion is usually around a handful — so that can be an apple, a fruit smoothie, a side salad, a can of tomatoes, some steamed broccoli.

Milk and dairy products These are a good source of calcium as well as protein, vitamins and other minerals. If you do not eat dairy products or are a vegan, soya or similar replacements fall into this category. Eat two to three servings of low fat dairy products per day. This could be milk with your cereal, a yogurt with lunch and some low fat cream cheese in the afternoon. Calcium can also found in tofu, nuts and beans.

Meat, poultry and fish These provide protein, B vitamins, iron

and zinc. Meat alternatives also fall into this category. Beans, nuts and pulses also provide protein, but contain less iron and B vitamins, so if you do not eat meat you need to ensure you are getting these micronutrients from other sources. Protein is very satisfying, so if you eat a little at every meal you are more likely to feel full and less likely to overeat or snack later. Oily fish are an extremely good source of healthy fats — aim for two portions per week. Trim visible fat from meat to cut down on bad fats.

Fats and sugars Fats and sugars should make up the smallest part of your meal. Fats should be good fats where possible i.e. olive oil, nut, seed or plant oil. Sugary treats are fine on occasion and indeed are part of a healthy diet, but can cause tooth decay if eaten too frequently. Remember to eat regularly to give your body the supply of energy it needs. Don’t skip breakfast, it’s a false economy! You will only end up overeating later in the day. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day (this can be in diluting juice, herbal teas etc.) and feel free to have one alcoholic drink a day too — this can actually be beneficial to health. Binge drinking is however, a no-no.

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Useful Numbers......

MARK ISHERWOOD AM/AC

Phone Numbers

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Assembly Member for North Wales Aelod Cynulliad dros Gogledd Cymru

because you never know…….. Useful Numbers

Flintshire County Council 01352 752121 N Wales Police emergency 999 Non Emergency 101 N Wales Fire & Rescue 01745 343431 CONTACT ME AT | CYSYLLTWCH Â 752121 FI: Flintshire Social Services 01352 Citizens Advice Bureau 08444 772020 National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, CF99 1NA Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Caerdydd, CF99 1NA Emergency Dental Care Cymru, Bae 0845 60128 5 Halkyn St, Holywell, Flintshire CH80845 7TX (Monday & Friday) Smaaritans 7909090 5 Halkyn St, Treffynnon, Sir Y Fflint CH8 7TX Child Line 0800 1111 (Dydd Llun a Dydd Gwener) www.chilline.org.uk 0300 200 7217 | 01352 710232

Mark.Isherwood@assembly.wales / Mark.Isherwood@cynulliad.cymru @MarkIsherwoodAM Mark Isherwood

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www.markisherwood.co.uk Mark Tami Your Local MP

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David Hanson MP

For Alyn & Deeside

Your Local MP for Delyn

Mark can be contacted as follows Phone: Constituency Office - 01244 819854 Parliament Office - 0207 219 8174 Write: Mark Tami MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or 70 High Street, Connahs Quay, Flintshire, CH5 4DD Advice Surgeries:1st Friday of each month (ex August) 3 pm Buckley Town council Offices 3rd Saturday of each month (ex August) 9.15 am Shotton Community Centre, Plymouth Street 10.45 am Connahs Quay Labour Club, Fron Road Mark does hold surgeries in other parts of Alyn and Deeside every month as advertised in the local press. Please contact the above office numbers for details.

Email:- tamim@parliament.uk

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! ! !

Phone: Phone: Constituency office 01352 763 159 Constituency office 01352 763 159

! Email: Email: David.Hanson.MP@parliament.uk David.Hanson.MP@parliament.uk !

Write:

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! Westminster office Westminster Office !Hanson David David !Hanson MP MP House!ofofCommons House Commons London ! London SW1A !0AA SW1A! 0AA !

Constituency office Constituency Office David Hanson David Hanson MP MP Trelawny Square 44 Trelawny Square Flint Flint\Flintshire Flintshire CH6 5NN CH6 5NN

! ! David Hanson David Hanson MP MP !

@DavidHansonMP @DavidHansonMP


Fitness

Workout myths to watch out for

F

or every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which (especially when it’s something many of us have just assumed for as long as we can remember). Recognising these fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful.

Strength training will make you bulk up It’s pretty hard for women to bulk up from a normal strength-training routine because they don’t have as much testosterone as men (the difference in this hormone level makes men more prone to bulking up). In fact, if weight loss is your goal, strength training can actually help you get lean, but you

have to keep your nutrition in check, too. Muscle is metabolically active, so the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.

You can focus on losing fat from certain body parts Fat cells are distributed across your entire body, so if you want to lose fat from a specific spot, you need to lose

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overall body fat. High-intensity interval training can work wonders after an intense workout, your body needs to take in oxygen at a higher rate to help it return to its natural resting state. This process requires the body to work harder, burning more calories in the process. Incorporating strength training can help you hit your goals too, since having more lean muscle will help your body burn more calories at rest.

Doing lots of cardio is the best way to lose weight If your goal is weight loss, logging endless miles on the treadmill isn’t always the best approach. Yes, traditional cardio workouts will help create a day-to-day calorie deficit (in addition to a healthy diet), which is essential for losing weight. But in the long-term,

since having more lean muscle mass helps your body burn more calories at rest, you’ll be adding to this deficit without doing a thing. A combination of both high-intensity cardio and strength training is a good idea. And don’t forget, when it comes to weight loss, having a smart nutrition plan is key.

Strength training means using machines and heavy weights Strength training means using resistance to work your muscles - and that resistance doesn’t necessarily have to come from a machine or a heavy weight. Aside from your own bodyweight, you can also use tools like kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands to add resistance.

Crunches are a great exercise for your abs Crunches probably aren’t going to hurt your core strength, but they’re not the most efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your midsection. Your ab muscles are designed to work most effectively when you’re standing upright.

You should attempt to work out every day Definitely not true! When you work out, you’re breaking down muscle fibres so they can rebuild stronger. However, to do this, you need to give your body time to recover from working out. Aim for one to two days per week of active recovery rest days - that means doing something that doesn’t put stress on your body, such as a bit of gentle stretching or a walk to help keep your muscles loose.

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