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Issue 13 Jan / Feb 10

Take five romantic escapes Resistance is futile

mc stone’s Michael Cahill

Maida Vale’s kitchen designer on his recipe for success

The body beautiful 2010 health and fitness

Valentine’s Day: original gifts for your beloved NEW Health Notes: Can the Lightning technique help you? DELIVERED FREE TO RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES IN AND AROUND W9

We offer a full range of services from our showroom including soft-furnishings, upholstery, furniture and fully integrated interior design

• curtains and blinds made-to-measure in our workroom • supply of made-to-measure roller, venetian and vertical blinds

• collection of designer fabrics, wallpapers and accessories

including Osborne and Little, Designer’s Guild and Romo

• personable and efficient service, offering unique interior design solutions

• track-fitting service, including hanging and dressing curtains and blinds

Editor’s Note Editorial Editor: Lola Bailey 07988 313 055 Sub-editor: Emma Cooper Advertising Gill Pinhass 07944 684 182 Freelance Journalists Matthew Warren Lisa Brinkworth Design & Production Momentum Design Solutions Print MPC Publications 020 8440 2340 Distribution Letterbox 020 8440 0400 Contact LifeWest9 is a free bi-monthly magazine distributed to residents and businesses in W9 and NW8. It has a print run of 10,000 copies. Copyright © Lola Bailey 2010 Reproduction of material from this magazine in whole or in part is strictly forbidden without the prior written permission of the publisher. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of content of this magazine at time of going to print, some details may be subject to change. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the views of this magazine.

This month’s cover mc stone’s Michael Cahill by Verity Welstead. • Issue • Issue 13 13 Jan/Feb Jan/Feb 10 10


re you feeling impecunious after your Christmas blowout? Have you found yourself on planet broke? You may, like many I’ve spoken to, be thrilled to see the back of the noughties. However, if there is one thing to credit the recession, it is surely that it has reminded us that we don’t have to spend our life savings in order to have a good time. I am reminded on a daily basis that whatever the financial climate, it is our innate creativity, (together with more modest expectations) that sees us through on so many levels. ‘Less is more’ is a mantra to be embraced, or if you like, ‘maximum impact, minimum expense’. (The exception to this missive is when it comes to Valentine’s Day, when of course, no expense must be spared.) I am astounded by the quality of offering available on our doorsteps, from clothing to fabulous interiors, not to mention outstanding restaurants (have a look at page 33 for our review of Vineria on Blenheim Terrace, and there’s another new kid on that block too; Persian restaurant Beluga). We have exemplary establishments in our locality, which stand out in their dedication to service, quality, and uniqueness of their total product. Many are featured here (of course), so do pay them a visit. There is much to recommend. Parents with toddlers will love HTSC’s new Wednesday morning drop-in ‘Totspot’ (bang opposite Finchley Road tube or a bus ride away; 9.30-12.30am). Entertainment wise, look out for comedy actor Mahny Djahanguiri’s new offering – Blonde Compassion: Eight Steps for Enlightenment And a Nervous Breakdown at the Lexi (venue details page 5; 9.30pm, 20 February). We’ve made some minor changes in the magazine, which are worth a mention, in particular the‘local’ slant given to ‘The Social Whirl’ on page 4. It is our aim to continuously improve the content and look of the magazine and we remain grateful for all the fantastic feedback you give. Please do keep this feedback coming, as much of what you suggest is certainly implemented. Happy New Year.

Lola Bailey, Editor


On the cover 11 29 38

mc stone’s Michael Cahill The Maida Vale kitchen designer’s recipe for success The body beautiful 2010 health and fitness Take five romantic escapes Resistance is futile recycle

Regulars 04 10 15 18 20 22 30 37 42

Local life Interiors Kids life Lifestyle Health notes Work life Food and drink Travel The Essential Directory

When you have finished with the magazine please recycle it.

Maida Vale Councillors

The Social Whirl


Mostly regular, local events

Jazz Grand Union, Sundays. 45 Woodfield Road W9 | 0207 286 1886 Hugo’s, Sundays 8-10pm, 21-25 Lonsdale Road, Queen’s Park NW6 | 020 7373 1232 Acoustic Grand Union, Fridays 8pm. 45 Woodfield Road W9 | 0207 286 1886 The Waterway, Thursdays 8pm, 54 Formosa Street, Maida Vale W9 | 020 7266 3557 Envy Nights Events on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Quality music in an upscale environment. 41-43 Woodfield Road, London W9 2BA | 020 7266 3030 The Luminaire Voted ‘The UK’s best live music venue’. 300 Kilburn Road NW6 | 020 7328 6480 The Lexi cinema 194b Chamberlayne Road, London NW10 | 0871 704 2069 Quiz nights Grand Union, Thursdays. 45 Woodfield Road W9 | 020 7286 1886 Art pick Gallery K,Yuri Gorbachev Kaleidoscope, to 10 January 2010. 101-103 Heath Street, Hampstead London NW3 |

Useful numbers Police – Harrow Road

020 7289 5030

Westminster City Council

020 7641 6000

London Transport Travel Enquiries 020 7222 1234 Congestion Charge in London

0845 900 1234

Car Parks (Freephone)

0800 243 348

Business Rates Query

020 8315 2050

Council Tax Query

0845 302 3400

Local Councillors

020 7641 2322

Advice on Planning

020 7641 2513

Environment Agency

0845 331 3131

Schools Admission Query

020 7641 1816

Emergencies – Water

0845 9200 888

Emergencies – Gas

0800 111 999

Emergencies – Electricity

0800 0563 861

St Mary’s Hospital

020 7886 6666

Holding Thames Water to account: along with Joanne Cash, parliamentary candidate for Westminster North, and the Maida Flood Action residents group, we have held Thames Water to account regarding the flooding from earlier this year.This has included several meetings with them. Thames have now agreed to include the Maida Vale area in its next investment programme. Kilburn Park Road planning application: We have been alerted to plans by Brent Council to massively re-develop Kilburn Park Road in 2010.This will include the removal of the roundabout and the building of hundreds of new flats in the area. We arranged a public meeting for local residents in November and understand that the planning application has now been submitted. We have been in regular correspondence with all Kilburn Park Road residents. Bowling Green: Success! Following the great support received by residents over the summer season, the Council has agreed to safeguard the Bowling Green. Even better – the Council has committed to spending some money to re-open the Bowling Green hut in time for the 2010 season. Thanks to everyone who got involved – it was your support that made the difference! Tollgate Gardens: residents continue to work closely with a number of architects, exploring potential improvement plans for their Estate. Scottish Towers water pressure: a pipe was replaced to Atholl House in November to assess if the water pressure improves. If it does, new pipes will also be fitted to the other affected blocks. For more local news and information on our regular residents’ surgeries please visit our regularly updated blog, We are here to help! Please get in touch if there are any issues we might be able to assist you with. Cllrs Alastair Moss, Jan Prendergast and Lee Rowley 020 7625 3805 Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •

The Met: Live in HD at The Lexi Cinema

DER ROSENKAVALIER – CARMEN – Sat 09 Jan 6.00pm Sat 16 Jan 6.00pm

SIMON BOCCANEGRA – Sat 06 Feb 6.00pm

LIVE by satellite from The Metropolitan Opera, New York City. The best views, the most comfortable seats, one of the top 5 cinema soundsystems in the country, with food available to order from our local Deli, Minkies.

Tickets: £25 includes a glass of bubbles and free popcorn · 0871 7042069

194b Chamberlayne Road Kensal Rise London NW10 3JU (Nearest tubes are Kensal Green or Queen’s Park – London Overground, Kensal Rise)

Leverton and Sons Ltd Independent Funeral Directors since 1789 • Head Office: Camden Town, 212 Eversholt Street, NW1 1BD. Tel. 020 7387 6075 Muswell Hill 020 8444 5753 Hampstead 020 7586 4221 Golders Green 020 8455 4992 Gospel Oak 020 7485 1969 Kentish Town 020 7485 1266 Camden Town 020 7387 6075 • Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

A life in the day LifeWest9 catches up with Samantha Holderness, who is a Maida Vale resident and Conservatoire-trained classical pianist. Samantha offers private tuition to all ages from beginners onwards. A typical day for me is A busy mix of teaching the piano to my pupils from home, furthering my studies at Trinity College of Music in Greenwich, and perhaps playing at an event in the evening or attending a classical concert.

I love this part of London because It’s like a secret pocket – leafy and tranquil, yet a stone’s throw from central London. I love everything about it, from the gorgeous Clifton nurseries, to Paddington Recreation Ground and the quirky Prince Alfred pub on Formosa Street. I’m also very lucky to be surrounded by many lovely friends, neighbours and my brother who lives locally, so it feels very much like home.

My favourite local places to eat are Vicki’s on Clifton Road for the delicious breakfasts, Daniela’s on Shirland Road for the warm and friendly people and unbeatable Italian food, and Le Cochonnet for the pizzas.

My passion for music was/is inspired by Growing up with my mother’s love of Motown, my father’s love of 70’s rock and country, and my early piano teacher, Maggie’s, passion for Chopin and Rachmaninoff. I always try to remain musically openminded, enjoying ‘good music,’ whatever the genre, and I like to listen to as much live music as possible.

The most romantic piece of music for me is The Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto, especially the slow movement. It is almost unbearably moving,

and was beautifully immortalised in the David Lean film A Brief Encounter.

Is music the food of love? Absolutely!

If there was no music in the world? There would undoubtedly be less compassion and empathy among humans. Music teaches us so much about life, how to live and learn from others. Whatever emotion you are feeling, you can guarantee that someone, somewhere has composed a piece of music about it!

The way I teach others is By encouraging and inspiring. I love classical music and hope to convey how much there is to discover about it, and its enduring, eternal appeal.

My message to aspiring pianists out there is Go for it! I firmly believe it is never too late to play, especially if one has long-held dreams of playing. I have seen an increase in the number of adults choosing to get back into playing even if they haven’t touched a piano since childhood, as there is so much pleasure to be found in playing, both for oneself and others. The truth is, what adult beginners may sometimes lack in dexterity in comparison with child learners, they always make up for in enthusiasm, commitment and passion.

To find out more about Samantha, and her teaching and event performing, please visit Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •


More than just a name Hans Norton Writing this column brings two benefits. First, my granddaughter (8 rising 48) is sufficiently impressed to allow me two pieces of chocolate cake. Secondly the Editor allows me the occasional self-indulgence. So, self-indulgence – about Maida, a tiny, dusty hamlet on the instep of Italy, and the battle of 1806. A British victory against Napoleon, in a totally unnecessary campaign but, dear Lord, it made people feel good. Reading about the battle I was intrigued: de Watteville’s Swiss Regiment had been part of the British forces. Now, glance at my first name. My mother was Johanna Howald from Wangen an der Aare in Canton Berne. De Watteville’s Swiss are interesting: an integral part of the British Army, they were subject to its rules, and funny little ways. Their records were kept by seconded British officers, and a fine hash they made of transliterating Swiss names. Many are from Canton Berne and, later, from Poland, Germany, Italy even France, and were a fine fighting force. Coincidence no.1 – my grandmother came from Wattewil – whose French form gave the regiment its title. • Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

Let us move to coincidence 2 – to an afternoon in the Society of Genealogists’ library, where my eye registered an author’s name in the African section. Fifty years ago I had a friend with that surname at the University of Cape Town, and her father was a genealogy nut. Yes, the book had his daughter’s pedigree, with husband John and children. What surprised me most was John’s surname: I had known it as quintessentially English, but it seemed it had once been Weiss – and Swiss. After three generations in England they adopted the English one, in the anti-German hysteria of 1916. I googled John, and there he was, unmistakably, in South Australia. I wrote, and had an enthusiastic email. John, and wife, having caught his late fatherin-law’s enthusiasm, were visiting Zurich to find more about great great grandfather, Caspar Weiss, before he came to Britain in 1830. Then I thought, I wonder if .....? I thought, no chance... Then I said, absurd... In the National Archives I trawled WO97 – the service records of British soldiers. Caspar Weiss, de Watteville’s Regiment, Sergeant, born Zurich, Switzerland 1771 – and present at the Battle of Maida. Actually, he was John’s ever so many greats uncle, but still. John later found records of his “Englische Dienst”, in Zurich. Coincidence 3. Caspar Weiss was invalided in 1815 with “ague”, and I wondered where he caught malaria (Palermo, 1811). To discover, I examined some muster rolls, in the National Archives. I picked a completely random quarter in 1807. Private Caspar was there, swatting flies in Sicily. Closing the book, a page flipped over and – wow! Lieut. André Howald deceased, Messina, 19th Sept 1807. Howald is a rare name: an ancestor in Wangen (1700-1781) had been christened Andreas (no lad in Germanophone Berne was ever André). Only one Andreas Howald in the whole of Switzerland was of an age to have been a lieutenant, dying in 1807: he was born in 1763 at Kleinholz, a hamlet four kilometres from Wangen. Oberleutnant Andreas Howald of de Watteville’s Swiss, my relation, had fought at the Battle of Maida. Now, Libby, that cake. 

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New year, new challenges


2009 gave us a lot of things to be proud of in North Westminsterâ&#x20AC;Ś The establishment of the Maida Hill task force at the beginning of the year had a great impact on the local area, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in and around the Prince of Wales junction and providing reassurance to local residents. In September we launched our first Town Centre Team in north Westminster. Working in conjunction with colleagues in the Safer Neighbourhoods Team, the Town Centre Team officers are responsible for policing the Queensway area and dealing with the issues that matter to those people who live and work in the area. The local Safer Neighbourhoods Teams continued to focus on the priorities they had been set by their local community. Hyde Park team launched an operation to tackle begging which resulted in five arrests in just one day. Bryanston and Dorset Square distributed home security advice to their residents after noticing that several of the burglaries occurring in their ward were the result of a door or window being left open or unlocked. In Little Venice, the Safer Neighbourhoods Team finally took possession of a speed gun which was purchased out of the ward budget and is planning to run a series of operations to tackle speeding over the coming weeks and months. Looking forward into 2010, we are reviewing our priorities as a borough to ensure that the issues we feel we should be dealing with reflect the views of the community and the problems affecting you. Our style of policing is constantly adapting to respond to the demands of each

â&#x20AC;˘ Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

local area. In North Westminster challenges still remain for us in certain wards, in terms of reducing motor vehicle crime, cracking down on burglary and working with our younger residents, helping them to get involved in their local community and diverting them away from anti-social behaviour. Policing an area as diverse as Westminster is always a challenge, but we work hard to ensure the borough is a safe place to live, work and visit. With your assistance, we can make sure it stays that way. Superintendent Peter Withers

On Trend:


Style statements 1. Kathy Andon Interiors Maida Vale based Kathy Andon Interiors is a treasure trove of the highest quality furnishings and fabrics. Kathy Andon Interiors also offers a unique personalised service for bespoke curtain making and interior design, drawing on over 20 years’ experience as an interior designer. KA Interiors sells unique pieces of furniture reupholstered like the featured 1920’s shell back chair, and much more. The striking rust coloured, deep button pouffes are a silk and satin fabric by Osbourne & Little; Kediri. ◘ 45, Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale, W9 3PP 2. Against the Grain Against the Grain is an online retail outlet specialising in antique style furniture, offering a truly unique and bespoke service to its customers. Their range spans the major furniture styles of the last three centuries (French, Georgian, Queen Anne, Regency and Victorian). They currently include chairs, settees, tables, stools and Chests of Drawers within the range and hope to expand in time. The majority of products at Against the Grain start as unfinished, hand carved solid mahogany frames and customers have the freedom to customise the frames via a series of online tools. Customers are invited to choose from a range of paints, polishes and fabrics but can also provide their own, leading to endless possibilities in bringing their design ideas to life. A Victorian single ended chaise (shown) in a style, which remained very popular well into the Edwardian period, characterised by fat balustered legs and sweeping curves. £1080 if customer provides fabric (£1315 with featured fabric). ◘


3. Clifton Nurseries Add some New England charm to your garden, with this stylish new range of bird boxes from Clifton Nurseries, W9. Complete with verandas, porches and pine-shingled roofs, these cosy nesting boxes are based on American architecture in the Victorian, New England homestead and other styles. These original designs feature delightful, decorative touches such as flower boxes and even a chimney. The finish is a non-toxic, outdoor paint. Likely inhabitants may include great tits, tree sparrows, pied flycatchers, house sparrows and nuthatches and dimensions are designed to invite nesting birds in and keep larger ones out. Other architectural styles include New Orleans, Amish, Long Island and laid-back California beach style – perfect properties for a chic retreat. ◘ Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •

So what do your clients get from the mc stone brand name?

Michael Cahill mc stone’s Michael Cahill shares his recipe for success with Lola Bailey – who finds no stone is unturned in this established Maida Vale based business.

The kitchen has to be the most complex room of the house. What are the main considerations in getting it right? We pay a lot of attention to listening to our clients’ requirements as we expect our kitchens to be chosen to last for an extremely long time. Our aim is to combine the client’s aesthetic and functional needs to give a kitchen that is a design feature of the house. Who are your clients? Our clients range from women doing up their homes to high-end architects and designers who know that they can rely on us to give them the quality and aesthetically pleasing products that their clients require.

• Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

We are unlike other kitchen showrooms in that we do not represent only one kitchen manufacturer but have a small, very carefully selected range of kitchens that are unified through their sense of style and quality. Our clients know that we will go beyond their expectations with not only the best quality product available but also an unrivalled service in terms of both design and installation. Another difference that sets us apart from our competitors is that we have the ability to order in one-off pieces, which would not be available to a high street outlet. Our product is guaranteed for ten years, but we have have never had to do any work under guarantee. Confidence in the care that we give is what I believe has enabled mc stone to be so successful. ‘Bespoke’ and creativity are so ‘now’ when furnishing our homes. Where do you see the mc stone creativity coming into its own? Our creativity comes in that we do not work to a fixed formula when designing a kitchen nor do we follow fashion. We do however listen and advise on how a client can achieve their dream kitchen; sometimes our clients are not aware of just how far their dreams could be taken. We have some clients who are adamant that they will not have a cooker hood nor overhead cabinets and we can advise them how to combine their desires with practical constraints. What will be key to your continuing success? More of the same really; certainly our values will remain unchanged as will our commitment to the client in helping them achieve their dream kitchen with the highest quality materials. We take great satisfaction in designing kitchens that our clients are proud of. Michael and his team are at mc stone kitchens: 2 Chippenham Mews, London W9 2AR Tel. 020 7289 7102 |



Customer serviCe AwArd

from minor repairs to major renovations


020 7435 1111

sheds and garages. If the logistics of undertaking such a project leave you feeling weary, then their full design and project coordination service – which includes planning permissions, can take the nuisance away. Resulting in a well-appointed space with the minimum of fuss. Just what every busy mother longs for.

Interior design by the experts Slimming Down and Tidying Up Relocation / Renovation? Whether you’ve just moved or you’re simply thinking about renovation works, getting to grips with your property can be a daunting prospect. Paint for the walls, curtain fabrics, lighting, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Spending time with a professional is a great way to ease yourself into the process. Maxwell Newsome is here to cover everything you need to know, in order to get started. One of our interior design duo will come to you, to discuss your requirements on site. Armed with paint charts, fabric swatches, flooring samples and lighting ideas and, with a wealth of experience, we will give you expert advice and insider tips on what to choose and where to buy it.

Bursting at the seams?! Does your house, like your trousers, feel like it’s bursting at the seams? If you feel you’ve outgrown your home, converting unused spaces is one way to give yourself a bit more space, the Maxwell Newsome team can provide advice on converting lofts into additional play or sleeping areas, excavating basements and even fitting out garden


Spring Clean Do you yearn for a good post Christmas sort out? The coloured storage ‘wall’, perfect for children’s rooms, gives you somewhere to store anything from toys to tricycles, and is one way to make tidying up a bit more fun. It’s custom made by the nice guys at DVG Construction The size, colour and shape are yours to choose. Maxwell Newsome will advise you, providing detailed drawings to encompass anything you might need.

For more information on Maxwell Newsome, please visit their website: or speak to them on 020 8740 0959 or by email at Maxwell Newsome are happy to discuss any interior design project on site – from building works to the supply of furniture and fabrics, and they will provide a free guideline estimate. Hi Tech Made Easy Were you given a digital camera for Christmas, but still not sure how to use it – full of digital photos that never get to be enjoyed? Or perhaps you were given a new lap/desk top but are unsure how to transfer data? The nice guys at Picture Process are a great help, and can take the headache out of using new equipment and give helpful advice on transferring data, printing images and setting up new systems. Contact Simon at Picture Process on 0776 775 8600 for more information. He will be delighted to talk about how your digital photography can become a pleasure not a drag. Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •


Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •

Ten tips to keep your child safe on the internet


By Emma Cooper Most homes have at least one PC with internet access, and the chances are once your children discover the delights of the internet and all the fun and games to be had, they will be eager to practise their computer skills. However, before you let your kids loose on the internet, you need to understand the risks involved, and take steps to make sure your children stay safe online. cannot be at our children’s sides 100% of the time, torment another child/teenager – is an increasing problem, 1room,We but if possible, try to keep the family PC in a communal so teach your children never to participate in cyberbullying so you can keep an eye on what is going on. themselves, and also to tell an adult if they are worried, upset or embarrassed by anything they receive or see online. Show an interest in and understanding of what your 2 children are doing online, and discuss internet safety Use the ‘content advisor’ function in Internet Explorer with them. 7 (Tools/Internet Options/Content tab), which enables you to set up a list of trusted websites your children can visit, Children will be familiar with ‘stranger danger’, so explain and blocks all others unless you enter a supervisor password 3 that this also applies online, and that they should not (which you set yourself). give out any personal information, such as name, address or phone number, on the internet. Viruses and spyware seem to be ever on the increase, so 8 make sure your PC has good anti-virus and anti-spyware Keep up to date with the technologies your children software in place, and tell your children never to open email 4 are using, such as instant messaging, social networking attachments from unknown senders, not to download things sites, and online gaming communities, that way you will have a better understanding of the risks involved. Viewing inappropriate images and content on the internet is probably parents’ main concern.You can deal with this by installing filtering software on your PC like Net Nanny, or CyberPatrol which gives you the power to control content viewed online, monitor chatroom usage, and block certain websites. Cyberbullying – which describes the use of the internet by a child/teenager to humiliate, embarrass, threaten or

5 6

without checking with you first, and not to click on pop-ups. If your child has received inappropriate contact from a stranger and you are concerned, you can report it via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) website at Parents and children can get tips and information on internet safety at, and



Give your child a great start in life.


Qualified & friendly staff x Inspiring, play based curriculum x Flexible places & discounts available x Fresh nursery-cooked meals daily** x Childcare vouchers accepted!



D AY C A R * E Registered Charity No. 299686

For award winning early years education in central London, please call 0 2 0 7 8 3 4 8 6 7 9 or email f r i e n d s @ l e y f . o r g . u k. * All new parents will be credited with two weeks fees (pro rata) at the end of their first six months in any one of our 19 nurseries with this advert. ** On-site Chef and professional catering kitchens provide fresh and hot-cooked meals daily in at least 14 of our nurseries.

• Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10



Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •

The Shirland Dental Practice Professional alterations & tailoring

A full-service general practice offering careful assessment and treatment planning with full discussion with the patient. We offer a full range of treatments including: â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘

We can help with: All aspects of tailoring and alterations â&#x20AC;˘ Bridal alterations and repairs â&#x20AC;˘ Clothes made to measure â&#x20AC;˘ Clothes re-sizing â&#x20AC;˘ And much more 187 Shirland Road, Maida Vale W9 2EU | Tel. 020 7121 0333

Gum treatment and hygiene White fillings and cosmetic treatments Tooth whitening Mouth cancer checks 24-hr Emergency Service

Our aim is to give you a healthy mouth and a lovely smile

Dr Stanley Freedman 142 Shirland Road, Maida Vale, W9 2BT Tel. 020 7289 3120

New Season Nail Colours with Bio Sculpture Gel

Disco ver the differ of an ad vance ence treatmd nail a coat ent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ing to your natura streng l nails to th en condit ion th and emâ&#x20AC;Ś

Find a new balance in your daily life with your private yoga teacher, at a time and day to fit your schedule. Classes provide the following important benefits: * Cardiovascular activities to build up strength and endurance * Breath-work, Pranayama to calm the nervous system * Alignment and Concentration to develop stamina and steadiness * Postures/Asana adapted to your level and requirements * Advice on nutrition/lifestyle to incorporate in daily life

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Private and Semi Private yoga classes can be taught in our purpose built home studio in W9, in a private studio in W1 or at your workplace and home in West, Central and North West London.

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For info and pricing please contact Dani | Tel 077 1973 0583 or visit


â&#x20AC;˘ Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 7/16/09 8:31:48 AM


The Lightning Process TM

Over the last ten years The Lightning Process has made a breakthrough in the possibility of recovery for thousands of people suffering from ME and the related disorders of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Post Viral Syndrome (PVS) and Fibromyalgia (FM). Amongst the thousands of Lightning Process success stories are a number involving celebrities and others in the public arena, including former England International Rugby star Austin Healy’s wife, and Esther Rantzen’s daughter Emily, whose story has touched many throughout the country, and who now has a ‘full, active social life’ (Mail online). What is it? Osteopath Phil Parker invented the Lightning ProcessTM. It is a training programme, which teaches a method that enables body and mind to work systematically with each other, and in so doing, triggers a self-healing process that leads to the building of new neural pathways.The method is highly effective and it is not unusual for a victim of ME/CFS to be out of their wheelchair and walking by the end of the first or second day – hence its name, ‘The Lightning Process’. The theory For the condition ME/CFS, the body has become ‘locked’ into the flight/fight stress response mechanism. If this state is maintained, the normal functions of digestion, sleep, thyroid, and the immune and healing systems can all become compromised and ‘out of balance’. The technique teaches how to rebalance the whole system and trigger a positive healing spiral. Heather Thomas, a practitioner of the process, has now trained hundreds of people in the UK and Norway to recover from the debilitating condition of ME/Chronic Fatigue. Heather herself suffered with severe ME for 16 years, bed-bound and dependent entirely on carers. On completing 20

the course, her wheelchair was taken away and her life was able to begin again: ‘I could now cook my own meals, socialize, walk around the shops, and do all the things that I just couldn’t do before. I could even eat all the foods that I couldn’t tolerate previously as my IBS had also gone’. As a Practitioner, Heather has worked with a range of severities of ME/CFS; a particularly striking case involved one sufferer aged 50, who had been lying in bed unable to move at all, for five years. ‘She was being fed by a tube. She was also unable to open her eyes or speak. I taught her the Process in August 2008. On the second day, she was able to speak without any pain, open her eyes, get out of bed by herself and stand up. Her carers were stunned. She then started walking and in the year that followed she built up her muscles with exercise, socialized, and has now travelled to the USA twice’. Another interesting patient Heather has worked with is ten-year-old Neil, who had been out of school for a year, losing weight and who displayed many classic ME/CFS symptoms. On the first day of the process, Neil was back to school. ‘His eating and his health improved rapidly and he was able to start enjoying all the activities he did before his illnesses. The Lightning Process has an extraordinary success rate of around 85%. People aged 6 up to 80 have successfully recovered from ME/CFS and other similar diseases using the technique. For more information contact Heather Thomas on 01923 219 121 / 07941 372 898 or visit Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •

Stroke diaries


A guide for survivors and their families Stroke is a ubiquitous disease – the leading cause of adult disability – and yet it is the most misunderstood. Four out of every five American households have been touched by stroke, and there are more than 6 million stroke survivors in the US alone. Up to 80% of strokes are preventable – caused by well-known conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. Even heart disease and cancer may cause stroke. But most Americans remain poorly informed; most cannot name the cardinal symptoms of stroke and have no idea that early treatment may potentially reverse the worst affliction that stroke brings.

and the physician author. Compelling episodes are dramatic hybrids of poetic prose separated by simplified medical explanations. An anthology of hope emerges, populated by helpful tips and strategies for stroke recovery and healthy living.

This book is born out of the public health crisis in stroke. It is a diary of real journeys with stroke, viewed through multiple prisms: the stroke patient, the stroke survivor, family members,

Stroke diaries: a guide for survivors and their families by Olajide Williams is available from | ISBN 978-0199740260 £11.99rrp.

Fit for Life

The Fitness Cafe combines a cutting edge fitness studio with qualified instructors and a healthy eating cafe, to create the perfect venue to exercise your appetite for all over wellbeing.

Menu for Life

The Fitness Studio offers one to one training

The Fitness Cafe for deliciously nutritious food,

sessions and classes including Pilates, Water Rowing,

freshly prepared on the premises, welcoming you

Boot Camp, Spin, Tai Chi, NIA Dance, Cardio

for breakfast, lunch, or a relaxing drink or snack.

Kick Box, Street Bollywood Dance and Alexander Technique. Power Plate, a huge hit with many celebs, the whole body vibration system. Plus Massage for injury or stress relaxation.

97 Boundary Road, St John’s Wood, London NW8 0RG 020 7372 4913

• Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10



Style and counsel

Information and inspiration for the working woman

Five tips to get noticed

Helpdesk The fastest way to get qualified leads and traffic to your website… is to buy it. And the fastest way to buy it is via paid search engine advertising or PPC (pay per click) such as Google AdWords. However, it’s a big and complex study and most people who try to use PPC waste far too much money… with little to show for it.

Matthew Warren is a journalist based in Maida Vale who writes about work and management. January is a busy month for divorce lawyers, estate agents and headhunters. All that time at home over the holidays gets us pondering our futures. With signs that the economy is picking up, lots of us are thinking about moving jobs. Starting a job search can be daunting so here are five tips to help get you noticed. 1. What is your online presence like? The first thing lots of employers do these days is look up candidates on the internet. Google yourself and check your presence on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and 2. Use your CV to show how your experience directly meets the needs of the job you want and create multiple versions for different roles. 3. Complicated job titles can be confusing. Make sure you can explain your role clearly and succinctly. 4. Get networking. Research suggests up to six out of ten jobs never get advertised, so spread the word as widely as possible with friends and associates and use your online networks. 5. Use company websites to check job vacancies and make sure you read up if you get invited for interview. It’s amazing how many people walk into interviews poorly prepared.

Safer and arguably better is organic search or SEO (search engine optimisation). This involves weaving into your web page and HTML ‘title tags’, key words and phrases that you think your target market will type into a search engine. So if you are a chiropractor based in Maida Vale, then you should make sure your content contains the words “Maida Vale chiropractor”. Be aware: it won’t do to simply pluck key words and phrases out of the air. It’s the combination of specific reader-driven key words and phrases that count. Search engine ‘spiders’ will rank your website according to the relevance and quality of these, and this ranking determines how close to the top your site will be listed when people key in a relevant search term. © 2009 T L Dooley. All Rights Reserved. The author, Copywriter and Marketing Consultant Tracey Dooley, helps entrepreneurs and companies who want to attract more customers, grow their business, and increase sales and profits. Visit her website for free tutorial articles and how-to tips:

Little black book Be forgiving of yourself this month and get hold of some Tight-End tights by Spanx, £22, from The tights have an extended thigh section and extra tummy control. Proof that appearances can be deceptive.

Good luck!


Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •


The look of love


alentine’s Day gives us all an excuse to wear that most emotive of colours, red. Said to increase respiration rate and raise blood pressure – we all recognise the inherent power in a traffic stopping red dress. Osman’s crimson jersey dress (£670) is exquisitely cut to flatter your curves and guaranteed to have admirers swooning at your feet. Rachel Gilbert’s 20s-inspired Peaches dress with silk fringing was made for passionate late night dancing. If head to toe scarlet is too much for the occasion try teaming Karina Pires’ Royal Red skirt (£275) with a simple top and a

Make a date of it At the Rous Iland SS10 Fashion Show in association with UNICEF on Wednesday 3rd March at Gilgamesh, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (upstairs private room). Drinks from 6.30pm, catwalk starts 8pm, after party at Gilgamesh. Tickets £35 each or 10 for £300 with all proceeds going to UNICEF. For tickets please call 0845 003 8945 or email • Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

Gold Charm Necklace (£120). Alternatively make the boys blush with ruby red accessories – click your heels in Lady Double You’s Alice shoes (£150) to make sure all your wishes come true. Kara and Clare are founders of Rous Iland – for personal consultations contact them at their showroom in Mayfair on 0845 003 8945.All items shown are available from

Health and wealth Health and wealth are inextricably linked, so in each issue we give you our best tips for looking after your health while you are at your desk.

Tip n°10: Eat Well. Start your morning with a protein-rich breakfast which helps the body to produce amino acids. These in turn help promote the release of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ chemical, into the brain. Protein also helps to regulate your appetite for the rest of the day. Good choices are scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, kippers and that timehonoured favourite peanut butter on toast. 23

Valentines Day:


Original gifts for your beloved 1






4. Elegantly designed initial cards for your loved one

1. Maximum impact, minimum expenditure

These tall thin cards measure 75mm x 120mm and come in packs of ten with envelopes. Each card is foil-blocked in silver or deep pink foil, making them really stand out. Available in almost all letters, these are very original and make a lovely gift. ◘

Check out the collection from Rent your Rocks, which enables the ‘renting’ of beautiful gems for set periods at minimum outlay and risk. She will be the belle of the ball! ◘ 2. Pure class Most girls love their handbags. Loved by French style icon Charlotte Gainsbourg. Clare Vivier keeps her designs simple, clean-lined and warmly minimalist and simple works. Chic, modern, understated, for us the La Tropezienne tote bag oozes authenticity and luxury. ◘ Tel. 020 8450 5600 | 3. Indulge Kenya Cretegny’s Apartment C in Marylebone is possibly a temptation too far. Set in a black and gold backdrop of Art Deco and 1960s furniture, your beloved will discover a mix of whimsical lace lingerie, silk loungewear and hot new exclusive labels – as well as range of Parisian perfumes, costume jewellery, hand-picked vintage novels and fashion books. Hidden at the back in the library, customers can enjoy a gin and tonic from an original 1930’s cocktail cabinet. ◘ Tel. 020 7935 1854 |


FOR HIM 5. Floris No. 89 Classic Eau de Toilette Made famous as the fragrance worn by James Bond in the books and a personal favourite of Ian Fleming himself. No.89 takes its name from the number of the Floris shop on Jermyn Street. A fresh, citrus top note blended with shades of Sandalwood, Rose, Orris and Oakmoss create this traditional English gentleman’s fragrance. There is now a complete range of No.89 products including shaving cream and soap. ◘ 6. Boy toy The Xsight from One For All means you now only need one remote for an entire entertainment system. It controls up to 18 different devices from 2,800 brands – including DVD players, HDTV, cable/ satellite box, CD Player and computer games centre. ◘ Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •

Simply dancing partners


trictly Come Dancing has inspired so many people to learn ballroom and Latin in the style of the celebs – with an expert in tow – that new jobs for scores of Londoners have been created. Simply Dancing Partners, which pioneered Strictly-style tuition by providing every pupil with a trained partner, has expanded so rapidly it needs to urgently recruit more trained hoofers to staff classes throughout the capital. “My old dancing pal Jane Jones has become a franchisee and brought Simply Dancing Partners to Hampstead,” explains Fulham resident Jenni Kravitz, who started the school three years ago. “Jane and I met in dance class a few years ago, and were so frustrated at the lack of men to dance with who knew what they were doing. I went on to open

my own school to solve the problem, and now Jane has completed the circle by hosting classes in Belsize Park and at Hampstead Town Hall.The schools have even attracted the attention of corporates looking for a different and more fun kind of team-building activity,” she adds. “We have been called in by big banks like Credit Suisse to help make dancers out of their executives. They get themselves sponsored, and compete with each other to raise money for charity.” But every class depends on having enough partners of both sexes for every pupil, explains Jenni, who likens her classes to the one on one experience of working with a personal trainer. “The way pupils come along when a dancer who knows all the moves takes them round the floor – and stays with them for the duration of the class – is as miraculous as the transformations you see on Strictly. “I know London is full of people who are great dancers and must surely be interested in making an extra £10 an hour for something they already love doing. We teach both men and women in separate classes, but the need for male partners is particularly acute.” Dancers with the appropriate experience, intermediate level and above with a knowledge of all the basic Ballroom and Latin steps, should email with details of their background and qualifications.

Learn to dance in 2010. Light up any dance floor in 2010 with all the moves for Latin and Ballroom dancing. Learn Samba, Quickstep, Cha-Cha-Cha, Waltz and Foxtrot with one of our professional coaching par tners under the guidance of a fully trained teacher. Classes in Belsize Park and Hampstead. Call Jane on 0871 732 3467 or email

• Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10


Look gorgeous

for less with half price cut and styling at Headmasters Paddington Unit 2, West End Quay, 2 Praed Street, London W2 1JX

Bring this advert into Headmasters Paddington to receive your exclusive LifeWest9 readers discount

Look gorgeous

Headmasters reader offer Transform your locks with our exclusive offer courtesy of the fabulous Headmasters Paddington. One extremely lucky reader will receive a complementary treatment, cut and styling session with a Senior Consultant at this finest of salons. The offer must be redeemed no later than the end of April 2010. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Headmasters Paddington will have your locks appealing to many a debonair suitor. But who needs an occasion to look gorgeous?

HOW TO WIN: Be the first to contact Headmasters on 0207 402 919 quoting LifeWest9 Valentine’s Day reader competition. 26

tel: 020 7402 9191 Opening Hours: Monday - Friday: 9am - 9pm Saturday - Sunday: 9am - 6pm

Discount only valid until 28th February 2010. Not valid for under 16’s or with any other special offers or promotions

She line 128 Boundary Road London NW8 ORH 020 7624 2223


Maximum impact… minimum spend The concept of beauty can be very subjective. Both the fashion/beauty industry and media bombard us with their various ideals of how we should portray the ‘look of the moment’. It is no surprise that many women feel the pressure to subscribe to that ideal, unconsciously or not.

Questions you may be asking yourself

How do I find my own unique style and a sense of what suits me? How do I enhance my best features, so I look and feel fantastic, without needing to spend a fortune? If you need a little guidance with these, ask a few honest and trustworthy friends. Life’s circumstances, whether viewed as positive or negative will also have an impact on your overall outlook, so it is important to remain positive and optimistic.

The feel good factor on a budget

Special packages and offers: ask to be put on the mailing list of your favourite beauty salon. This way, you can look out for special offers and plan your treatments around this. Make-up bars and cosmetic houses: Mac, Laura Mercier and others will not charge a fee for applying make-up and giving you advice. Make-up application is not as complicated as it may seem, all one needs is a bit of practice using the right products. Cosmetics applied beautifully yet simply give instant vibrancy. Little or no cost suggestions: you don’t need to visit a salon or spa to achieve great results, what is important however is that your regime is sustainable for you. Simple tried and tested solutions are highly effective: Drink lots of water Eat plenty of vegetables Brisk 20 min walks daily Eat oily fish at least two to three times a week. Taking fish oil supplements, particularly good brands are • Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

Biocare and Lamberts. Fish oils are excellent for your wellbeing on so many levels and can help to keep you balanced emotionally. Also, your endorphins (the body’s natural mood enhancers) are much higher when you exercise. You’ll have more energy, yet feel more relaxed – sorry folks but don’t rely on chocolate, it’s a five minute fix. Strong camomile tea or the equivalent will help you sleep better. Deep breathing for a few minutes daily, try this when you’re in bed if you forget during the day. Sleep is clearly important to enable the body to do its own healing and repair work. Yes, your body is always on the go, even when you’re sleeping!

The salon experience

Your face and hands are important as these create the ‘first impression’ of you that others will see. Nails: your hands are in full view. When your nails are in shape, painted beautifully and cuticles neatened, it is a subliminal reminder of how well groomed you are. A professional manicure makes all the difference and need not be expensive. Again you need to ask around who and where is of high recommendation. Facial hair: this really has to go, whether you have it removed professionally or not! Facial hair can look very aging and unsightly, reminding us of our lovely grannies who due to their poor eyesight couldn’t see the usual grey moustache or the whiskers growing on their chin. Waxing is a quick and effective way and takes two to three weeks to come back depending on the hair. The best way for permanent removal is electrolysis or laser. Both take time and can be quite costly but it does make such a difference. Eyebrows: an eyebrow shaped professionally can take years off you. In between visits, take the odd stray hairs out yourself, but don’t touch the shape or you will have to start all over again. Skin: a mini facial such as the Yvonne Martin 30 minute Brighten Up works magic. This is bespoked to your personal needs, realistically in the time allocated and is time efficient for the very busy person. A simple cleanse and steam with masque can really make our skin glow for that evening out. Step into 2010 with the “Glow Taster Package” Includes: manicure, eyebrow shape and 30 minute brighten up bespoke facial. Price £65.00 (usual price £90.00). Available for all NEW clients to the salon from January 4th to March 15th. To book your consultation with the Yvonne Martin Team, please call 020 7266 2127.


Ivor Satoria is a relatively new menswear boutique in St John’s Wood established for two and half years. Ivor has been in the menswear business for over 30 years and has worked for the most prestigious menswear boutique in Mayfair. Ivor invites you to discover his ready to wear clothing and accessories for men. He is very pleased to announce his very special made to measure service of suits, jackets and trousers,with a comprehensive range of Italian and British fabrics, from Super 100’s to Super 160’s in fine weaves and flannels and a shirts service. Appointments can be made for a home visit, office visit or in the shop for your convenience. Our opening hours are 10am to 6.30pm or later by appointment.

76 Allitsen Road, St John’s Wood, London NW8 7BJ

020 7586 6899

to heart disease. Briefly, increase the number of fresh vegetables you eat particularly alkaline-rich foods such as spinach, and aim for a 70:30 ratio of alkaline to acidic food.

Use the web We love the Boots site which scores a 10 on our usefulness scale. Operating as more than just a ‘virtual health centre’, you’ll find almost everything from a ‘symptom checker’ to health news and features, and essential information on most (if not all) medical conditions. Become your own fitness expert at, which claims to be the world’s first online personalised coaching system.You get a wristband, scales and software to help you keep fit.

Super-effective ways to stay on track this year

The Ki Fit System armband is worth the £149 investment. It calculates not only how many calories you have burnt, but also how effective your workout was for your fitness level. You can download the data onto your computer to see your fitness graphs and log your food intake. Visit

Fitness retreats

Eat well Research published in the British Medical Journal found that TV dinners increase the chances of putting on weight threefold, as the brain does not notice the signal of ‘fullness’. Programmes aimed at combating ‘emotional eating’ will be all the rage this year. According to Julia Buckroyd, the UK’s foremost authority on emotional eating, the key to beating this is taking a moment of reflection before heading for the tempting muffin; she suggests challenging yourself with four simple words ‘What is this about?’, which acts like the emotional equivalent of counting to ten. As with Pavlov’s dog, emotional eating is a conditioned response. If you eat a bar of chocolate every time you feel upset, eventually every upsetting situation will trigger the need for chocolate. The converse is of course true – resisting leads to a stronger resolve to keep away. Useful sites: and pH diets are the new thing this year (from the States of course), sparked by Robert Young’s book The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet; Reclaim Your Health (£10, Shere). The theory is this: your body should be a tad alkaline in order to be ‘perfectly balanced’. Too acidic and there will be an increased tendency towards inflammation and repair; too alkaline and you are more susceptible • Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

For serious workouts, look no further than Morocco or Italy. The renowned Fitscape has seven night fitness holidays in both Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and the Dolomite Mountains in Northern Italy. Both are perfect locations for walking, hiking, mountain biking and much more; throw in fabulous chefs, personal trainers and staff on hand and you’re on to a winner. Visit

Stress busters The Mental Health Foundation has developed a range of stress-relieving podcasts. For serious chilling-out, try the Rainforest take-meto-nirvana games for Nintendo DS, from

The one-stop shops The Fitness café, in St Johns Wood is a fresh concept uniting three essential principles: exercise, food and nutrition. Their café serves fabulous, nutritious food, with a variety of other health and nutrition services. Group classes includes the super-popular Water-Rowing classes which burn up to 1100 calories per hour. Personal Training is also available on a ‘pay as you go’ basis’ providing that all-important flexibility to busy Londoners. or 0207 372 4913


Food notes Buy these… Spice racks: Shaker set of five containers with stand from The Salamander Cookshop. Tel. 0845 6800258 | Tagine:The price of the All-Clad tagine is £199.95 and it is featured on the website

Instant Cocktail

Bring on the drinks!

Celebrate romance with a Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. Simply pour two shots of Luxardo Passione Rossa (available from over ice in a hi-ball glass. Squeeze in a wedge of lemon and lime and top up with a few shots of cranberry juice to taste and a couple of shots of soda water. Finish off with some grenadine. Done.

At Annie’s Bar in Kentish Town, you can knock back a cocktail without piling on the pounds. How come? Annie’s counts the calories of its cocktails and is the first bar in the UK to do so. Sex on the Peach is 200 calories, whilst a Lover’s Club is 180 and a Flirtini is 250 calories. | 180 Kentish Town Road NW5 2AZ Tel 0207 485 3237


Indulge: • The site for those on a vegetarian or special diet – including gluten and dairy-free, plus beans, pulses, and macrobiotic goods.

We’re loving the Stem Ginger Crumbly Fudge by Burnt Sugar, with its nostalgic afterglow of freshly made gingerbread. Also ‘to die for’ are their brand new Squidgy Toffees, made with Balsamic vinegar for a truly grown-up indulgence. All their products are made with Fairtrade sugar and are all available from Waitrose, Tesco, Oxfam, WH Smith travel outlets and House of Fraser. Burnt sugar products have an RRP from £1.99 for 110g. Worth every penny. • The nation’s local dining guide, with 21 regional sites covering the UK. It is packed with information on eating out with a comprehensive directory of pubs, restaurants and bars, dining deals, special offers, news, events, restaurant recommendations, a dining blog and even an Ask The Chef feature, with much more besides. • A treat for cheese lovers; they are specialists in British cheeses. • Offers fabulous artisan cheeses, gift boxes and hampers. • A superb online grocer specializing in French and Italian cheese. • Sells all things Japanese from sake and plum wine to all the Japanese ingredients you will ever need. • Probably the best for shellfish and fresh fish. • We guarantee love at first site here. Run by Henrietta Green, you can locate suppliers local to you, reduce your carbon footprint, save money and support local producers.

• Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

Look out for Alibi, a new pomegranate drink sold in Waitrose and Harvey Nichols. Alibi benefits you by boosting your immune system with antioxidants, and benefits others too: for every can of Alibi Pomegranate sold Alibi donates 5p towards POM354’S work in Afghanistan, aiming to reduce the country’s heroin output and replace the opium and poppy fields with pomegranate trees.



Individuality is the particular character that distinguishes one person from others. Soul and personal nature creates a person of marked individuality. There are ways we can achieve that, one of these is being ourselves, because that is the only way to celebrate ourselves as individuals, learning to express yourself and to be happy with who we are. As Oscar Wilde once said “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Some of us achieve that by learning to love ourselves. For others, it’s not hiding who we are, or changing things about our personality to fit in. This is a very difficult thing to do, because our lives are created by expectations of society. We are conditioned to settle for second best. Losing our identity we carry burdens from the society to mould into what everyone is doing. Deep inside us all lies the passion to conquer the world and reach to heights no one has ever achieved.Then why is it that some of us succeed and some don’t? The answers lie in seeing beyond our conditioning. To conquer the outside world, we must know our inside world. Every circumstance we attract in our life from the time we are born, our environment, belief system, values, experiences and influences from others, are deeply embedded patterns into our subconscious mind. It is not uncommon for a person who believes that life is a struggle to always attract struggle in his/her life. We should learn to define ourselves and accept what we are and stop caring about how people perceive us. The fact is, it doesn’t matter. It is impossible to be ourselves when we are caught up in wondering what others think of us. To be ourselves we have to let go of these concerns 32

Amoul Owner and chef of Amoul Deli 14 Formosa Street Little Venice London W9 1EE

and let our behaviour flow. One thing for sure we cannot please everyone, and we could end up in a vicious circle trying to do so. I believe we should be honest and open, for we are all imperfect human beings, growing and learning. If we feel ashamed or insecure about an aspect of our personality we should not beat ourselves up, we have to come to terms with these aspects and convert them into individual quirks, learning to laugh at ourselves, and making people feel that we do not take ourselves seriously. Developing and expressing our individuality whether it is our sense of style, or it’s our manner of speaking, if our preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream, then we should be proud of it, unless it is destructive to ourselves or to others. We should stop comparing ourselves with others, for we are all unique. There never was and never will be another you. This reminds me of something Billie Holiday once said: “If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all”

Amoul Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •

EATING OUT nero (Homemade ravioli stuffed with duck and rosemary, black truffle shavings).


emember Osteria Stecca? Well it’s no more. The current incumbent of 1, Blenheim Terrace is just one of the Vineria group (the others are in Italy). Chef and proprietor of the former, Stefano Stecca, parted company with his colleagues but in the main the restaurant seems to be much as it was before. The sous chef is now the Chef and for now at least, the restaurant looks the same. Of note is its eye-catching terrace inviting al fresco eating (in milder temperatures); and its bright, airy and minimalist interior space flooded by natural light courtesy of its glass and wood conservatory. This Vineria promises to be around for a very, very long time indeed. Under the management of Umberto Zorzi and Simone Trombini the philosophy is simple; to offer Italian regional cuisine at its best along with a selection of over 150 labels of the most prestigious Italian wines. Head chef Francesco Di Noia has been with the Vineria family for over three years now and previously he was at the Baglioni Hotel in London. His experiences prior to that are those that shaped his culinary path. Francesco had spent extensive amounts of time across Italy in locations with key typical regional cuisines. At Vineria Francesco has created menus which draw on his experiences and these menus feature highlights from the many regions throughout Italy. The à la carte menu includes Antipastis such as Millefoglie di pane Carasau, verdure alla griglia e mozzarella di bufala (Layers of Sardinian Carasau bread, grilled vegetables and buffalo mozzarella) and Vitello tonnato con mela verde e capperi (Thinly sliced roast veal with tuna sauce, green apple and capers) whilst Primi Piattis include Ravioli d’anatra e rosmarino con tartufo • Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

My starter of scallops with baby spinach, crunchy vegetables and tomato pesto received from me ‘il massimo dei voti per sapore e consistenza’. Maximum points too for my husband’s thinly sliced roast lamb starter dish served with a parsnip and raspberry vinegar reduction; he described this as ‘melt in the mouth’. If pasta is the jewel in the crown perhaps of an Italian restaurant Vineria certainly sports some serious rocks in her figurative headgear. I had not one but two pasta dishes – thanks to an inadvertent but fortunate error in the taking of my order. My first, homemade ravioli stuffed with the freshest tasting monkfish was sublime, the second, a homemade cuttlefish ink ravioli stuffed with salmon and a fresh clam sauce was a joy to have and to behold. However, fantastic pasta does not mean a great Italian on its own. Thankfully, elsewhere, we were not disappointed. For mains, I opted for the fillet of monkfish in a bread and herb crust with pumpkin mousse, an olive tapenade and shavings of black truffle. This again was beautifully seasoned and cooked; as for my husband’s pan-fried medallion of venison with mashed potatoes and a berries sauce – ‘probably the best venison I have ever tasted’. Vineria have recently begun their ‘Thursdays in Music’ evenings, which promise to showcase the best of classical music, opera and jazz. The first of these very successful evenings highlighted the RCM Symphony Orchestra from the Royal College of Music (a string quartet of violin, viola and cello) where diners were treated to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and String Quartet N.1 from Tchaikovsky. The quality of the total offering here is so exemplary I can only urge you to visit the place, pronto. LB Dinner for two with wine, about £50. Covers 50, terrace 35. Vineria is open daily for dinner (6.30pm – 10.30pm) and for lunch Tuesday – Sunday (12.00pm – 2.30pm) with a two-course lunch starting from £14.50. Vineria, 1 Blenheim Terrace, St Johns Wood. London NW8 OEH | Tel. 020 7328 5014


The Grand Union Cosy chesterfields in front of an open fire, getting warm after a walk along the canal in the winter sun; meeting friends over lunch or just reading the Sunday papers.


Do these sound like an ideal Winter Sunday afternoon? Then join us for Sunday lunch at The Grand Union, Westbourne Park and make it a reality. Great food, friendly service and chilled jazz, all overlooking the Grand Union canal: a Grand Union Sunday! If you can’t make Sundays, then why not drop in for live acoustic music on Fridays, starting at 8pm, or take part in our quiz, every Thursday night. Planning a party? Take a look at our downstairs bar, with direct access to our canal-side terrace. Tell us what you are looking for and we’ll do our best to exceed your expectations.

Hugo’s offers all day brunch, lunch specials, a superb dinner menu and for private events, delicious outside catering.

The Grand Union, 45 Woodfield Road, W9 2BA. Tel. 020 7286 1886

25 Lonsdale Road, London NW6 6RA Bookings 020 7372 1232 | Info 07710 423 541

Jazz at Hugo’s stages great music every Sunday evening.

COASTLINE GALICIA Your local, fresh seafood shop “from the shore to your door” Armando Lema 9 times British oyster champion

69 Abbey Road, St John’s Wood London NW8 OAE Tel. 020 7624 9984 34

Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •


Plants � Containers � Flowers Furniture � Sculpture � Gifts � Delivery � Café Designing, Building & Maintaining Gardens 5 A CLIFTON VILLAS, LONDON W9 2PH 0207 289 6851

Opening times: Mon-Sat 8.30-6.00 (Mar-Sep) 8.30-5.30 (Oct-Feb) Sunday 10.30-4.30


Outstanding skiing in luxury accomodation For outstanding skiing in our beautifully designed chalets in Chamonix, a relaxing beachfront villa holiday in the Languedoc or indulgence on board our custom-built yacht in the Caribbean, Amazon Creek create the ultimate in luxury holidays. Our properties are all built for us by leading regional architects to reflect their surroundings and provide you with stylish, exclusive retreats. Enjoy the first class service and creature comforts of a luxury hotel with the privacy and flexibility of a chalet, villa or yacht. Our current portfolio includes stunning all-year round chalets in Chamonix with facilities including swimming pools, spas and cinema rooms. Modern beachfront villas in the Languedoc with swimming pools, cinema rooms, gymnasium and games room and a 77ft sailing yacht offering winter charters in the Caribbean and summer charters in the Mediterranean. Looking to summer 2010, we will


â&#x20AC;˘ Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10



offer an exquisite villa, close to the cosmopolitan town of Porto Vecchio, Corsica, complete with swimming pool, spa and unrivalled sea views. Our flexible approach allows you to personalise your holiday with us to achieve exactly what you want and deserve. Whether thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s planning your cruise past Corsicaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jade green coves, arranging a beachfront yoga retreat organising a surprise heliski trip, if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to you, we will arrange it! From your initial enquiry, you will speak to knowledgeable staff, who know the properties and locations inside out. In resort, our friendly staff are ready to help you get the very best out of your holiday. Sign up via the website to Amazon Creekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exclusive mailing list and be the first to hear about new properties, news and offers. 01344 894576 |


Take five romantic escapes Resistance is futile 1. Dar Jaguar will set your heart roaring… There are few more romantic places to celebrate Valentine’s weekend than Marrakesh.There is certainly nowhere more exotic and other-worldly at less than four hours from London than this Red City... If you are looking for somewhere exquisite to stay then look no further than Dar Jaguar. Transporting her love of old-world romance, opulent style and grace that defines her exclusive couture fashion business in Notting Hill ( Lucia Silver has created Dar Jaguar. This ancient riad has been lovingly restored as a breathtakingly beautiful private guesthouse perfectly situated in the heart of the old medina neighbouring the exotic Place des Epices (spice market) and less than five minutes walk from the world-renowned Jemaa el Fna Square. Dar Jaguar brings together an exquisite blend of traditional Moorish and Oriental architecture with an elegant European romanticism. It is built around a central courtyard in which palm trees are intertwined with bougainvillea draping onto an antique marble fountain. Each of the five generous en-suite rooms has an individual style with furnishings and heirlooms sourced from all corners of the globe. You will be greeted by the most discrete, warm and friendly house staff for whom nothing is too much trouble. This is exemplified by the greeting 38

© Lucia Silver

you receive – the house is divinely fragranced with oud and frankincense and the fountain and your four poster bed scattered in velvet red rose petals. Should you wish to have a copper bath (no less) on arrival with a glass of chilled white wine, they’d be only too delighted to prepare this indulgence… Begin your day with a delicious breakfast, freshly squeezed fruit juices and Moroccan pastries, served on the sun-blessed roof terrace with a truly magnificent view over the city. Take the edge off the heat anytime you like in the plunge pool which is set under ancient carved woodwork and a huge Syrian chandelier designed by Lucia Silver. After a busy day negotiating the vast and colourfully frenetic souk, you may want to indulge yourselves in a massage in the privacy of Dar Jaguar. Surrounded by glowing lanterns and the fragrance emanating from the jasmine surrounding the house, savour a candlelit dinner in the courtyard which can be prepared with whatever food you desire. For absolute privacy, the Riad can be hired in its entirety or on a room by room basis. Dar Jaguar has a full complement of staff including a very talented chef. Chauffeurs, masseurs, beauty technicians, tour guides and personal shoppers can be arranged as requested. For more information visit

Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10 •


4. The Boat House

The Boat House was built in 1760 as a boating house in what must be one of the most secluded, private, romantic settings in south Devon. It is situated 1¼ miles from Stoke Gabriel, a charming village (just three pubs, a post office, shops a, restaurant and a medieval church) sloping to a creek off the River Dart estuary. Contact Helpful Holidays on 01647 433593 or visit © www.chicretreats

5. Closer to home, let Altitude 360 seduce you with a personalised dinner this valentine’s day

2. Jardins Secrets, Nimes, France. This hotel has been described as ‘so beautiful it is almost heartbreaking’. The Jardins Secrets is set in the heart of Nîmes, hidden behind a walled garden. Tinkling chandeliers, curtains thick as cream and jugs in your bedroom filled with rosebuds surely qualify it as the most romantic hotel in the world. We are told that when you have a massage, everywhere is lit by candles and the jams at breakfast are made from violet and rose. Delightful. Jardins Secrets are offering Valentine’s Day packages in the spa. They are as follows: - A candlelight couples’ massage by the indoor pool for 240€. - The “Bains des Nymphes” package which consists of a hammam, body scrub and massage for two at the same time for 500€. These spa packages are available for the whole of February. UK reservations: Chic Retreats Tel. 020 7307 2797 | 3. Unique Home Stays Yet another gem in the Unique Home Stays collection is the Kingfisher folly (shown). This romantic riverside folly in Devon is the perfect haven to relax, unwind and enjoy peace and seclusion. Ensconced in nature, antiques accessorise this romantic getaway pad that is perfect for two.

This Valentine’s Day, Altitude 360 opens its doors to lovers with lofty aspirations, offering a unique and inspiring setting for a memorable February 14th. Altitude 360, London’s most exclusive venue with a view, will be inviting couples to enjoy a lavish Valentine’s themed menu meal whilst towering over the Capital from the dizzy heights of Millbank Tower. Those looking to really impress their beloved this February, have the unique opportunity to assist with menu design, tailoring the meal to their Valentine’s tastes, creating a truly bespoke offering. Guests will also be treated to a pre-dinner romantic film screening of a heart-warming classic in The Millbank Cinema & Media Centre, providing plenty of opportunity to cosy up next to the one you love with popcorn in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other. Altitude 360’s panoramic views over some of London’s most iconic landmarks will be sure to get your heart racing, whilst specialist hospitality team and world-renowned caterers, Salt & Pepper Private Food Design, demonstrate outstanding attention to detail leaving you to enjoy the stunning backdrop of London’s sparkling skyline from this intimate and amorous setting. For those wishing to book, contact Alex Kersjes or Jenny Murray on 0845 500 2929. 3.


For more information contact UHS on 01637881942 or © Unique Home Stays, Kingfisher Folly

• Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

© Altitude 360


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and another thing…

Kissing clever Lisa Brinkworth

As swine flu took its grip, a distinct frost set in, from which even Maida Vale wasn’t immune. On greeting each other on our usually hospitable streets, some residents hovered warily, thinking twice before planting a smacker on the cheek of a familiar face. The more paranoid among us, pulled pashminas around our nostrils and retreated altogether from the approaching snuffle of a contagious cold. On entering cafés and shops, the warm handshake or two-sided kiss I’ve happily received over the years was replaced with a hesitant smile from behind the safety of the counter. At Paddington Rec anxious parents discouraged my over-zealous children from planting snotty smackers over their toddling friends. Almost everyone created a three foot buffer zone around themselves. Even our local churches were given orders that lip prints should no longer be allowed to congregate on the communal chalice. We were in real danger of being subjected to the same restrictions in France, where La Bise, the practice of kissing each cheek in greeting, was banned in some areas while the French Health Ministry warned everyone to avoid the ritual. A group of local women I surveyed were saddened by the enforced culling of soul-enriching public embraces. In spite of Debrett’s kissing etiquette guide stating that it’s more hygienic to exhange kisses on the cheek than to shake hands, some florists reported a fall in Mistletoe sales. But with Valentine’s Day approaching, and a New Year optimism, possibly brought about by the swine flu vaccine, and the reassurance that our ‘super-spreader’ children have not succumbed as we were told they surely would, the kiss is coming out of hibernation. The social temperature has warmed up by several degrees as the sang-froid of recent times is de-frosting. Acquaintances I see at Tesco’s no longer disappear from my aisle the moment they see me reaching for the Calpol. And although I found myself and three children ushered out of the pharmacy and made to stand on Elgin Avenue in the freezing cold while Tamiflu was prepared for my • Issue 13 Jan/Feb 10

husband, we have not generally been treated like lepers. My children’s ubiquitous chocolatey kisses are no longer rejected and the bravest of my friends invite us over even if one of us is feeling under the weather. The truth is that starving ourselves of regular physical contact goes against human nature. I write this from an isolation unit on St Mary’s paediatric ward while my six week old is being tested for swine flu. If I need to use the bathroom or make tea from the vending machine, I must first cover my face with a mask and scrub up with anti-bacterial gel. No one kisses my son who smiled for the first time two days before being admitted. His beams stopped with the halt of visitors who since his birth had been cooing over him.Then miraculously, the moment he is given the all clear, and the nurses cuddle and play with him, his smiles return. So convinced is local author, Lana Citron, of our fundamental need for kisses, that she is holding a kissing workshop in W9 to mark Valentine’s Day. Her idea for ‘Coffee Kisses’, certain to get us all back in practice, originates from her short story, The Kiss Hoarder, about a woman who collects kisses. ‘Some people save pennies for a rainy day, but she kept kisses – now that to me is real romance’ says Citron who exhibits and sells jam jars filled with kisses and individually labelled with names such as ‘Catch Me’ kisses and ‘I’m falling for you’ kisses, on which customers are becoming hooked, ‘or puckered’. Her Compendium of Kisses, detailing the history of the kiss, its social and cultural significance as well as a collection of kissing games and kiss recipes will be published in February. Citron points out that in the 15th century, kisses on the lips were planted freely and accepted as being without sexual intent. Even if we don’t go that far, she welcomes with open arms the return of the social kiss which fortunately, in Maida Vale at least, the H1N1 virus failed to eradicate.


The Essential Directoryy

An exclusive listing of selected shops, restaurants and other local businesses. Please contact them for more information and to discuss your specific requirements. Architects Archplan 020 8340 1747 Beauty and General Wellbeing Hydrohealing™ 020 7727 2570 She line 020 7624 2223 Toning tables, nails, spray tan, sunbed, complementary therapies, beauty treatments Yvonne Martin Beauty Clinic 020 7266 2127 Bedding for babies (natural) Natural Mat 020 7985 0474 Business Support Portobello Business Centre 020 7460 5050 Buying and Selling Simply Sold 020 7624 0110 Careers Support Jobs 4 Mothers 020 8537 3319 Carpet Cleaning Little Venice Carpet Cleaning 020 7286 7785 Children’s Activities Gymboree Bayswater 020 7229 9294 Gymboree Hampstead 020 7794 8719 Paddington Arts 020 7286 2722 Puppet Theatre Barge 020 7249 6876 Totspot 020 7435 0083 Toddlers drop in, Wednesdays am Tricycle Theatre and Cinema 020 7328 1000 Yaa Asantewaa 020 7286 1656 Children’s Caterers Pomegranate Kids 07726 716 394 Cleaning – General Domestic Bliss 020 7286 7785 Clothing (adults) Paulie 020 7266 0210 Clothing (children) Jou Jou et Lucy 020 7289 0866 Pipa 0207 266 2365 Their Nibs Complementary Therapies Simon Henderson 07951 621 308 Shiatsu Therapist Dentists The Dental Practice 020 7328 1200 The Shirland Dental Practice 020 7289 3120

Dog Walking Kathleen Sullivan 020 7289 5674 Dry Cleaning W9 Dry Cleaners 020 7289 9985 Free delivery Eating Out Amoul 020 7286 6386 E bar 020 7432 8455 Raoul’s Café 020 7289 7313 Ricker Restaurants 0207 433 0880 The Boat House 020 7286 6752 The Grand Union 020 7286 1886 Estate Agents Chesterton 020 7432 1922 Compton Reeback 020 7266 5000 London Tokyo Property Services 020 7372 7341 Florists Ashleigh Hopkins Florist 020 7449 0123 In the Pink Flowers 07789 866 124 Food Shops Alimentari 020 8969 3999 Fresh Italian food Coastline Galicia 020 7624 9984 Fresh fish and seafood Raoul’s Deli 020 7289 6649 Sheepdrove 020 7286 1400 Organic meat The Organic Grocer 020 7286 1400 Funeral Services Leverton and Sons Ltd. 020 7387 6075 Garden Centres Clifton Nurseries 020 7432 1871 Hair and Beauty Sali’s 020 7286 1761 Vitality 020 7266 3233 Handyman Services Handyman Service Plus 020 8772 1553 Home Security Capstan Security 020 8441 9700 Homeopathy Queen’s Park Homeopaths 07740 484 555 Interiors Flaunt-it* Decoration Ltd 07930 473 222 Fromental 020 7286 3471 High-end, hand-made interiors house

Kathy Andon Interiors 020 7286 1007 Kitchen Furniture mc stone design studio 020 7289 7102 Life Coaching Tick Tock Coaching 07793 554 228 Work-life coaching Walkie-Talkie Coaching 020 7289 5674 Coaching on the trot Luxury Gifts The Personal Paper Company 0845 3105732 Exquisite, personalised stationery online Ophthalmic Opticians Safarian and Simon 020 7722 1917 Schuller 020 7722 8242 Personal Training The Fitness Cafe

020 7372 4913

Photography Charlotte Howard-Jones 07887 893 254 Yankophoto 07817 413 912 Physiotherapy Little Venice Pilates 020 7286 5000 Piano teaching Samantha Holderness All ages, all levels Picture Framing Four Corners Framing Ltd. 020 8968 6024 Plumbers H&E Installations Heating and plumbing

020 8697 4406 07779 786 899

Property Maintenance Urban Solutions 020 7435 1111 Heating, Plumbing, Electrical, Carpentry and Decorating Rubbish Clearance The Rubbish Lads

0800 849 5865

Safe Deposits Metropolitan Safe Deposits 020 7722 2222 Vets Village Vet

020 7289 1000

Wine and Wine Education The Winery 020 7286 6457

Please note that LifeWest9 magazine accepts no responsibility in respect of any loss or damage that arise through the products, goods or services provided by the organizations listed or advertised in the magazine. Readers must be aware that they deal with these organizations at their own risk.

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LifeWest9 - Issue 13 January/February 10