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FEELGOOD INSPIRATION

AUGUST 2021 / £4.75

SAIRA KHAN

“I DON’T NEED TO PROVE MYSELF ANY MORE”

Wine, honey &

the sunshine diet

DELICIOUS FOOD & DRINK

live, look & feel fabulous

Health M-CELL THERAPY Can you hold back the years?

THE TRUTH ABOUT METABOLISM WAIST DISAPPEARED? The power of plank

Lockdown ended my

Fashion & BEAUTY

relationship

AU $10.50, NZ $10.50

UK £4.75

August-21

special

THE SECRETS OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION YES, YOU CAN WEAR WHITE ECO-FRIENDLY BEAUTY - REAL RESULTS FLATTERING SUMMER MAKE-UP

TRISHA GODDARD • EXPERT GARDENING ADVICE • UK GETAWAYS & TEMPTING TRAVEL


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Hello! And welcome to this month’s Platinum. How are your relationships looking now that we’re (hopefully) through the worst of the pandemic and getting life back on track? For many people, those lockdowns were tough. We’ve got a fascinating look in this issue at how ‘enforced togetherness’ affected people’s lives and feelings for each other. A huge thanks to the people who spoke to us so openly. It’s been heartening to read some people felt their relationships were stronger after everything we’ve been through. Me personally? I’ve been married for decades but I always think one of the secrets of our success is the fact we both like a lot of space and have never felt the need to live in each other’s pockets. Perish the thought! So lockdown had its moments for us but my husband decided the time was right to convert our daughter’s bedroom into his own space. She’d left home years ago but her room had remained pretty much the same. He decided it was time for a complete overhaul — and now we each have our own living rooms. The reaction to this from friends and family has been really

interesting. Some have been openly envious and admitted they’d love the same. Others, though, have been at best fascinated and at worst horrified, with one concerned friend asking if I was “having problems”. Yes — that persistent lockdown stone I’ve been trying to lose for months! It’s what works for us and, while it wouldn’t be right for some people, I’ve loved having my own room. I discussed it with Pete, Platinum’s production editor and he got it right away. “Of course you love them dearly — you just don’t want to spend every minute of your spare time with them!” was his take on relationships and our separate living spaces, while admitting he had his own similar set up. Like all relationships, the only people who can really work out what’s going on is those at the heart of them. And even then it can be challenging! But I am always thankful to the women — and men — who speak to us so candidly about life and love. Platinum wouldn’t be the same without them and they create some of our biggest talking points. Have a great month!

IN THE PINK

Image © Netflix

WATCHING

What Would Sophia Loren Do? I loved this half hour documentary on Netflix about a normal New York woman whose mantra in life is just that. By the end I’d decided it was my new philosophy, too!

Regular readers will know I’ve toyed with dyeing my hair pink. Genius Josh Wood’s latest conditioning product, Glaze, lets you experiment with pastel tones which gradually fade. In three shades, £19.

SLEEPING

On a pillowcase from The Big Silk. Said to reduce hair breakage, protect your blow-dry and skincare regime. It feels lovely to sleep on, too. £49.

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THE

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FIND US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: @PL ATINUMMAGUK

ON THE COVER 12 SAIRA KHAN: On breaking barriers

and being true to her authentic self.

18 WHITE HOT SUMMER: How you

can work head-to-toe white.

72 MEET THE ECO-FASHIONISTAS

Four women reveal why they reduced the new clothes they buy and developed their own style.

104 THE POWER OF PLANKING It’s

hard, but has a host of benefits.

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111 LOCKDOWN ENDED MY RELATIONSHIP Did the last year

make or break your relationship? Four couples share their stories.

116 STREET STYLE: Fashion, your way. 118 M-CELL THERAPY: Can it really

help you to hold back the years?

142 WINE O’CLOCK: Joanna Simon

looks at refreshing wines through rosé-covered glasses.


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SAIRA KHAN ON SELF RESPECT AND GAINING CONFIDENCE

Contents

August 2021

STAYCATIONS INSPIRED BY TV SHOWS

Style

71 DRESS TO IMPRESS Beautiful

floaty dresses to help keep you cool on the warmest days of summer.

80 “I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT” Famous

faces share the beauty products they simply love.

87

SUMMER BRIGHTS Positive

colours that make you feel good from one season to the next.

123 HOW GREEN IS YOUR BEAUTY CABINET? An in-depth look at the

beauty industry’s eco-makeover.

People

84 RAY MEARS: Welcomes you into his

wild world.

106 “I’M HAPPY IN MY OWN SKIN”: says Trisha Goddard in our

Cover Image: Co-ordinator: Boo Hill, Styist: Georgie Gray, Assistant: Lauren Glazer, Make-up: Lottie B, Hair: Anna Winterburn

exclusive interview.

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128 “MAKE-UP ISN’T VANITY, IT’S ART” Make-up artist to the stars,

Ariane Poole shares her fondest memories from the last 40 years.

Food & drink 34 TIPPLES AND NIBBLES Sure to

wow your dinner party guests.

28 VALENTINA HARRIS Making

honey work for savoury and sweet.

139 HEALTHY NOODLE BOWLS For

a clean meal packed with flavour.

WHITE HOT SUMMER


Health

Home & away

42 WHAT IS HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE?: We ask the

experts to find out.

Harper tackles care for carers and mental health resources. feet influence overall health?

100 THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET Increase energy,

feel amazing.

welcomes you to her urban farm.

66 YOUR BEST EVER GARDEN: Mark

50 HEALTH NEWS Dr Dawn

52 SOLE THERAPY Can our

62 FARM IN THE CITY Sara Ward

CAN YOU REALLY BOOST YOUR METABOLISM?

Lane shares the joy of roses.

132 BEST OF BOTH WORLDS IN THAILAND: Jo Gardner explores

bustling Bangkok and tranquil beaches.

136 CELEBRATING IN VENICE Your

chance to experience party season in Italy’s most enchanting city.

Regulars 384 FASHION INSIDER

Statement garden party outfits for every size.

94 FINANCE ADVICE

Jasmine Birtles discusses bonds and if they are right for you.

98 HOW TO WITH DOTTIE & BOO Try

going bold with colour.

MAKE YOUR SUMMER AS SWEET AS HONEY WITH VALENTINA HARRIS

YOUR BEST EVER GARDEN WITH MARK LANE

Distributed in the UK by Frontline Ltd, Stuart House, St John’s St, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 5DD. Tel : +44(0) 1733 555161. Website : frontlinedistribution.co.uk Export distribution (excl AU and NZ) – Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT. Tel: +44(0) 20 74294000. Website : seymour.co.uk Subscribers customer service & sales: shop@dcthomson.co.uk. Freephone 0800 318846 / +44(0)1382 575580

PLATINUM PICKS

Platinum, published by DC Thomson Media, 185 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2HS. The publisher takes no responsibility for claims made by advertisements in this publication. We are committed to journalism of the highest standards and abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice, which is enforced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

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OU R

experts OUR EXPERTS ARE YOUR TRUSTED SOURCE FOR WISDOM IN E V E R Y T H I N G F R O M FA S H I O N A N D B E A U T Y TO H E A LT H A N D F I N A N C E . G E T TO K N O W O U R T E A M .

P98-99

BOO & DOTTIE STYL E & B E AU TY

In this month’s ‘how to’ column, our fashion queen Boo and make-up guru Dottie offer advice on how to experiment with your personal style and become more confident in what you wear.

P94-97

MARK LANE GARDENING

Mark introduces you to the world of naturalistic garden design, bringing the tropics to your very own green spaces. Don’t miss his masterclass on growing roses with style, either. P66-69

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JA S M I N E B I R T L E S FINANCE

TV personality and finance expert Jasmine knows her stuff when it comes to money. In her monthly column she helps you decide whether investing in bonds is right for you.

GAIL ROLFE FA S H I O N

Celebrate ageless style with our fashion insider. Feel amazing at your next garden party with Gail’s steps to creating the perfect summer look. P38-39


P50-51

P 1 4 2- 1 4 3

JA N E M O O R E

D R DAW N H A R P E R

VA L E N T I N A H A R R I S

JOANNA SIMON

She’s witty and feisty — and we love her for it. Loose Women panellist Jane is all for cohabiting in later life. She also wonders whether your slang is ‘past it’ and shares a bonus swimwear hack.

Dawn is best known as presenter of Channel 4 hit series Embarrassing Bodies and as summer gets underway, our NHS expert gives advice on staying safe in the sun as well as some good news for carers.

This month, our favourite cook and food expert opens your eyes to the many joys of honey. Valentina shows you how to make the most of this sweet, sticky and all-natural ingredient with delicious recipes for summer.

A wine critic at The Sunday Times for two decades, Joanna shows you the power of pink — the colour of sunsets, hydrangeas and in this case, wine. Find your perfect blend with her expert guide to rosés.

COLUMNIST

H E A LT H

P 9 2- 9 3

FOOD

WINE

P28-33

G UEST EXPERT S P 7 2-7 5

D R M A R I LY N GLENVILLE H E A LT H

A nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives To Dieting, Dr Glenville specialises in women’s health, helping you figure out your metabolism. P46-49

I R E N E S H E L L E Y- N O R T H STYLE

Irene is a magazine editor from London and loves to wear vintage designer clothes. She gives you an insider’s look at the world of pre-loved luxury clothing and shares her secrets on how to find vintage designer bargains yourself.

P118-121

RUBY HAMMER B E AU TY

World renowned make-up artist and beauty brand owner Ruby Hammer reveals her current beauty must-haves and some useful tips on how to perfect your brows. P80-83

ESTHER FIELDGRASS H E A LT H

Esther is owner of award-winning EF MEDISPA, one of the UK’s leading medical spas and skin clinics. She demystifies M-Cell therapy as we find out what the future of holding back the years might look like.

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St yle — Treat s

GOLDEN GLAM

Clutch, £39.50, Oliver Bonas

...

Lip Chic in Capucine, £38, Chantecaille

Sandals, £12.50, George

Earrings, £210, Soru Jewellery

Coffee maker, £99, Beaumonde

PICKS

B E AC H S I D E CA L I FO R N I A N GLAMOUR WITH A RETRO TWIST IS THIS MONTH’S GLAMOROUS THEME.

Bracelet, £99, Latelita Cushion, £10.99, T.K. Maxx

k

Pair w

it

in hp

LOOKS CHIC WITH GOLD

Dress, £60, Monsoon Vase, £6.50, The Joy Edit

Blouse, £45, Monsoon

10

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Swimsuit, £16, F&F

BLUE DRESS?

’70s

DETAILS Pumps, £60, Dune London

platinum

Trousers, £46, Freemans

A dd s parkl

PICKS ...

Dress, £55, Kaleidoscope

e

Earrings, £44.95, Seol + Gold

Fairy Godmother Shimmering Body Oil Gel, £42, Sunday Riley

Mirror, from a selection at The Kairos Collective

Ring, £80, Carrie Elizabeth Armchair, £229.99, Daal’s

Brightening CC Palette in Beach Bomb, £42, By Terry

Dried flowers, £39.95, John Lewis & Partners

Wild Bluebell cologne, £105, Jo Malone London

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For Platinum: Boo Hill Stylist: Georgie Gray Assistant: Lauren Glazer Make-up: Lottie B Hair: Anna Winterburn

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People

I don’t need to

prove myself T V S TA R , W E L L N E S S GURU AND ENTREPRENEUR SAIRA KHAN TELLS G E M M A C A LV E R T WHY SHE FEELS AS I F L I F E H A S S TA R T E D AT 5 0 , B R E A K I N G BARRIERS AND BEING HER AUTHENTIC S E L F — A LWAY S .

anymore.

S

aira Khan points her phone camera towards a bi-fold window. Beyond a sizeable patch of verdant lawn is a partially-built annexe, suitably spacious to accommodate a granny. Or — as is Saira’s preference — a gym and fitness studio. Following renovations to the £2.3m Oxfordshire home she shares with husband Steve and children Zacariah and Amara — on a quick glance over Zoom, I can see an airy abode complete with open plan kitchen and diner — the new outdoor space is the last job on the couple’s property to-do list. TV star and entrepreneur Saira, who shot to fame on the first-ever series of The Apprentice in 2005, intends to use the studio to film YouTube fitness videos. Since leaving her job on ITV’s Loose Women in January after five years, a fortnight after fellow panellist Andrea McLean, Saira has immersed herself in growing her lifestyle brand. As well as the fitness vlogging plans, she is on the verge of launching an “app to help people be healthier through nutrition” and then there’s her organic skincare line Saira Skin, which has “done incredibly well” over lockdown. With a teenage history of psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis, Saira became well-versed in the healing properties of oils through her mother Hanifa, who was born in Kashmir in the foothills of the Himalayas. Now she is passing on that wisdom through a collection of plant-based skincare products, which are marketed as a kind of homespa indulgence essential. Every one, says Saira, “relaxes, calms, rejuvenates and energises” the skin as well as the senses. Bliss in a box, indeed. Saira is the ultimate advert for her range. When we meet over video call, she is sporting

gym gear and no make-up. Radiant and exuding serenity, she is effusive about women indulging not in a skincare routine, but a daily “ritual” of unapologetic me-time. And suddenly it’s clear why Loose Women had to go. On TV, Saira’s outspoken, boundary-pushing perspectives were compulsive viewing, yet this spirited directness evidently jars with the holistic, zen-like vibe of Saira Skin. “You’ve hit the nail on the head,” nods Saira, 51. “I’d talk about something on Loose Women that didn’t really reflect the calmness of my brand, then a headline would be made out of something I’d said that had been taken out of context. TV became too toxic.” At the end of last year, when Saira was blasted for being “too aggressive” towards panellist Gloria Hunniford during a debate about the pandemic, she responded, saying, “We are paid to be feisty… as that’s what makes good telly.” Soon after, she concluded she no longer wanted to be “part of that world” and set about regaining control of her public image. “I want people to see there’s another side of me and a side that I’m more comfortable with being. I’m not that shouty person all the time, not that opinionated all the time, that assertive all the time,” she explains. “Lockdown has taught me that if I’m not happy doing something, then I’m not going to do it. It’s not about the money, the prestige, being famous. It’s just about making sure that I’m looking after my mental health, my physical health and overall happiness. That’s really key for me.” Ever since her first job at 16 working in a factory making parts for Austin Rover, Saira says she has been in the “rat race”. That meant often prioritising her career over achieving balance. She was in pursuit of making real the “vision of the lifestyle” she dreamed of.

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Cardigan, T-shirt and jeans, Lili Grace Boutique Shoes, Daniel Footwear Necklace, Little Gold Collection Earrings, Emila London

“I’m really glad to say that I’m living that lifestyle and so now I feel I can take my foot off the pedal,” says Saira who, as she approached her 50th birthday last May, embarked on a mind, body and soul transformation. Initially, the challenge was to fit into a pair of jeans she wore when she was 20. A qualified fitness to music instructor, she began exercising twice a day, eating more vegetables and taking better care of herself mentally through regular meditation, therapy and listening to inspiring podcasts. “When you turn 50, it’s a milestone, a time of reflection. I thought, ‘I’ve sacrificed so much of myself — being a mother, a daughter, an auntie, a friend, a colleague.’ What I’ve not been is true to myself sometimes. I realised, ‘I’ve got to start putting myself first’,” says Saira. “Most of my life, I’ve had to play a massive balancing act and it’s been at the expense of what I personally want, what I want as a woman and how I want to express myself. I feel as if I wasn’t myself really until I hit 50 and since then people really are seeing the true version of me.” 14

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Saira’s story is one of resilience and courage. Growing up in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, with factory worker Pakistani immigrant parents, including her “very strict” late father, Saira was stifled by “pretty misogynistic” cultural constraints from which she has spent a lifetime fighting free. “For me, there were cultural boundaries, like wearing what you’re supposed to wear, not marrying who you want to marry, not eating what you want to eat, not behaving in a certain way. All of those things, as soon as you do something that is not expected of you — for your gender, your religion or your culture — you rack up shame and guilt,” she explains. “At 18 I lost my virginity. I couldn’t talk about that with my parents or anybody who was Asian because I wasn’t supposed to have a boyfriend or sex before marriage. I had to keep my husband Steve a secret for four years because I was marrying somebody outside the religion. “Everything that I went on to do in my life, [I’ve been] breaking those boundaries. On The Apprentice people saw me as being loud, gobby, opinionated and assertive, but didn’t realise I had to


People be that way all my life in order to break boundaries. If I wasn’t like that I’d probably be a statistic.” In a bid to inspire female body positivity, Saira has previously posted to social media photographs of herself in underwear, which prompted criticism from trolls. But it was her decision to pose naked on a magazine cover last year that caused the greatest furore when her mum, believing Saira had brought shame on the family, stopped talking to her for eight months. “It goes against everything she believes in. She thinks women should be modest, seen but not heard to a certain extent,” explains Saira. “I had to allow her to disapprove. I had to give her the time to understand, to go through that kind of anger — ‘Why is my daughter doing this?’ — and then to go back and say, ‘But Mum, I’m doing this for women. We can wear what we want. We can do what we want’. “I think as she’s got older, she realises, ‘My daughter’s not doing anything wrong. She’s a nice person. She’s a strong woman, she’s achieved amazing stuff in her life.’” There’s no doubt about that. Saira, who boasts an international property portfolio worth £4million, is a self-made success. She

Shirt and joggers, Serena Bute London Necklace and earrings, Emila London

“Turning 50 is a time for reflection, a milestone.” gained a humanities degree from Brighton Polytechnic, then a Masters in environmental planning before spending a decade working in the corporate world and joining the first series of BBC2’s The Apprentice, in which she was pipped to the post by Tim Campbell. Regardless, Lord Sugar recruited her on a sixfigure salary and she went on to launch a baby skincare range, Miamoo. Saira has also published a self-help book and presented several BBC documentaries including Saira Khan’s Pakistan Adventure in 2007 and Adopting Abroad, Saira’s Story, which followed her to an orphanage in Karachi where she adopted her daughter at just four days old. When Saira, who also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2016 plus Dancing On Ice three years later, stepped away from television in January, she did so discreetly. Very simply, her Loose Women contract was up for renewal and she elected not to re-sign. There was no big on-air announcement because, as she puts it, “I did not want to sit at that table, have a cake and balloon brought in, and [for people to] say, ‘Thank you so much, you’re leaving’. That is so cringey.” The subsequent discovery that Saira and some of her former colleagues are no longer following each other on Instagram sparked rumours of a fallout. Did she leave under a dark cloud? “I left on my terms,” says Saira, firmly. “People think you’re best friends with everybody on Loose Women. You’re absolutely not! You have to just tolerate [some people] because you’ve got to get the job done. This whole thing about leaving a group or unfollowing somebody, it’s such a big drama. It’s like ‘Guys, get a grip!’” Right now, Saira, who is still “really, very, very close” to Coleen Nolan, Andrea McLean and Ruth Langsford, has more important matters dominating her attention, namely her army of female followers on social media. “I do what I do to give them a bit of an uplift. A lot of people need mentoring. They need to hear good, positive words and actions in order to lift them up,” she smiles. PLATINUM

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“A lot of women lack confidence and are open to criticising themselves, having a pop at themselves and comparing themselves and their lives to others. That’s why I show a lot of myself on Instagram without make-up on, not looking really glamorous. Women need to see that we’re all the same.” For someone who oozes self-confidence and runs a successful skincare brand, it’s perhaps surprising to learn that Saira is not averse to the odd non-invasive treatment, specifically Botox. “I use it as a holistic way to feel confident about myself,” admits Saira. “I had really bad frown lines so I looked angry all the time. No matter what a cream says it will do, it will only ever cleanse, moisturise or exfoliate. It cannot penetrate the epidermis and fill your skin with collagen-boosting, moistureretaining ingredients. “I don’t need this stuff to give me confidence. I’m already confident, I’m just boosting my skin and why not? Why can’t women feel good about themselves? I don’t understand why we have to be so opinionated and cantankerous about it.”

What’s divine about Saira is her ability to tell it straight. Her frank opinions are no longer cranking up Loose Women ratings, but she’s still employed as a newspaper columnist and today is on fine form, offering no-holds-barred comment about hot topics including Amanda Holden’s insatiable sex life (“Good for her but if my husband was doing that, I’d whack him round the head, like ‘get off!’”), tokenism in telly (“Sometimes I think ‘Have I only been hired because they need a gobby Asian woman?’ I want to know that I’ve been hired because people think I’m good at what I do”), industry diversity (“If you’re a white working class male on the telly you’ve got no chance. For me it’s about meritocracy, it’s not about colour”) and consent culture (“Is a boy winking at a girl seen as sexual harassment? I just feel like we’re living in such a weird environment at the moment.”). Shortly before our interview, Saira was speaking on Instagram about the antioxidant benefits of red wine when someone accused her of encouraging people to drink alcohol. Saira sighs. “Bearing in mind that I’m a massive health advocate, do you think that is the message that I’m giving? Why have you taken it that way and, even if you have, why did you need to respond on a public platform? It’s just unbelievable. People have lost the plot.” Saira once agonised over unkind comments on social media, but no more. “I used to be attracted to that one person who said something really nasty. I would sleep on it, it would get me down and I would be really upset by it, but I’ve come to the understanding that I can’t please everybody and I don’t want to please everybody,” she says. “Block, delete and move on. With that approach, I’ve been a lot happier.” Saira suffered a setback at the end of last year when a serious ankle injury left her unable to bear weight on her legs and unable to exercise. She found herself sinking emotionally. “I was very depressed,” she says. “When I’m feeling upset, when things aren’t going right, when it’s getting to me, I am an emotional eater and I will eat sugar to absolutely pacify me. I got very down because being inactive is not what I’m used to but, actually, sometimes you have to be inactive and retreat to move forward.” Find the positives — this is what Saira does brilliantly. Instead of the punishing 5km runs she was used to, she slowed down with exercise and began embracing daily 6-7km walks. Then in March, realising sugar had become an emotional crutch, she banished it from her diet. She now eats three balanced meals a day and fasts intermittently. The results speak for themselves. “It’s really affected not only the way my clothes look on me, but I’ve got less inflammation, less

“I can’t please everybody and I don’t want to please everybody.”

Shirt and joggers, Serena Bute London Necklace, House Of Roxy London Earrings, bracelet and rings, Emila London

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People

Dress, Lili Grace Boutique Necklace, Little Gold Collection Earrings, bracelet and rings, Emila London

bloating and I feel really good about myself. I’m in a much happier and healthier place,” says Saira who also credits HRT with “revolutionising” her life since she started on the treatment four years ago. “I had every bad side effect [of the menopause] — my libido had gone, I was really down, the skin around my private parts looked like I had nappy rash, I had night sweats, I couldn’t sleep. The whole family was bearing the brunt of it. Then HRT changed my life.” Talk turns to the power of food and exercise to heal emotional trauma, which naturally leads to a conversation about her own recovery from sexual abuse after being assaulted by a family member when she was 13. “Therapy made me realise that none of that was my fault,” says Saira, circling back to the personality traits that have come to define her. “I wasn’t born assertive and hard and strong. It was my environment that moulded me to be that way and, actually, I don’t need to be like that forever. You need to acknowledge that you have experienced trauma and not blame yourself for it in order to move forward.” Savvy, eloquent, learned and wonderfully wise, Saira’s children are undoubtedly fortunate to have such a powerful woman guiding them

through life. In her eyes, what role model does she hope to be? “I think my children see that I’m hard but fair, and that I’m equal to their dad. I’m bringing them up now to see people and not to see gender. I just want them to understand that women and men are equal. The key thing I say to them is, ‘You’ve got to be kind, you’ve got to be generous, you’ve got to be charitable, not arrogant. For me it’s about good manners, good standards.” Saira and internet marketing businessman Steve (56) married 16 years ago in a traditional English ceremony. Now they are hatching plans to renew their vows, this time in a “completely Asian way”. “We’re both just very grateful that against all the odds, we’re together and have the family that we’ve always hoped for,” says Saira. “Don’t get me wrong, we have our ups and downs but what we went through as a couple — from getting married to having IVF to adopting to having a dream of a home and a lifestyle. Sharing that with somebody and completing it is huge. It’s a good foundation.” As Saira laughs, it’s clear that she is relaxing beautifully into her second, more harmonious act. She and Steve have “visions of travelling” when the children are grown up but more immediately Saira is content to keep evolving, learning and feeling free. “People say they’re scared about ageing. I just can’t wait to get older and older and older,” she smiles. “I feel 100% like my life has started at 50. I feel so powerful and what I love the most is, I don’t need to prove myself any more.” PLATINUM

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St yle — Fa s h io n

White hot

summer THINK YOU CAN’T WEAR H E A D TO TO E W H I T E ? I T ’ S E A S Y TO C A R R Y O F F W I T H STYLE. JUST ADD A SIMPLE S P L A S H O F C O LO U R SOMEWHERE AND YOU’RE G O O D TO G O — A N D OH-SO-CHIC.

Photographer: Olly Suckling Stylist: Boo Hill Hair & Make-up: Dottie Monaghan Model: Dene Moore at Sandra Reynolds

Dungarees, £149, and blouse, £59, both Baukjen Shoes, £110, Vionic Scarf £9.99, H&M

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Wear with

hite jac aw k et

Dress, £35, Accessorize

St yle — Fa s h io n Earrings, £12.50, Oliver Bonas

IF YOU ONLY

BUY

Blouse, £59, Crew Clothing Company

ONE THING

...

Dress, £349, Maje

Scarf, £19.50, Oliver Bonas

Linen trousers, £35.99, Mango

RETRO STYLE

Introduce GREAT COLOUR

White is perfect for a vintage, so-stylish feel — it doesn’t have to mean classic linen dresses. Experiment with great separates to look summer-chic.

Bag, £79.99, Zara

Swimsuit, £18, F&F Item description, £XX, From xx Espadrilles, £22.99, M&Co

Necklace, £12.50, M&S

Denim jumpsuit, £69, Sonder Studio Skirt, £34.99 H&M

Belt, £59, Hobbs

Trainers, £14, George

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St yle — Fa s h io n

Flatt er

s

iz all s es Top, £55, Hobbs

Necklace, £12.99, T.K. Maxx

Wear with floaty trousers

Blouse, £139, Whistles Dress, £89, NoLoGo Chic Suede belt, £25, Crew Clothing Sunglasses, £19.99, Zara

Sunglasses, £12.99, and bag, £11.99, both T.K. Maxx Dress, £99, Phase Eight

Bag, £29.99, Mango

YOUR SUMMER BASIC

...

Trousers, £39, Monsoon Dress, £49.99, Zara

Bag, £45, Kaleidoscope

Shirt, £89, Whistles

Earrings, £44.95, Seol + Gold

Sandals, £17, F&F

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ROCK IN RED

Sunglasses? Check. Cover-up for later? Check. Swimsuit and that thrilling beach read you can’t put down? Check and check. Now all you need is a bag in sizzling scarlet, another of summer’s hottest shades.

Blouse, £79, and sandals, £69, both Hobbs Trousers, £85, Kettlewell Colours Necklace, £24, NoLoGo Chic

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JUST ADD SUNSHINE

Keep it casual when heading for an al fresco lunch with a floaty dress. Add personality with a flash of sunshine yellow accessories, such as heeled sandals or the boldest of earrings.

Dress, £255, Marc Cain Sports Earrings, £48.50, Yaa Yaa London Shoes, £295, Rosamund Muir

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Dress, £12, F&F

From day to night

in c

hes the

St yle — Fa s h io n

ist wa

C

Sunglasses, £25.99, Zara

Linen trousers, £98, The White Company

Cotton wrap dress, £34.99, H&M

Bag, £85, Dune London

Mules, £90, Dune London

Jumpsuit, £29.99, Zara

Earrings, £15, Oliver Bonas

Shirt, £65, and trousers, £29, both NoLoGo Chic Vest top, £12, Woolovers Sunglasses, £19.99, T.K. Maxx

Swimsuit, £20, F&F

Top, £99, Whistles

Linen shirt, £35.99, Mango

TRY ALL THINGS

CROCHET THIS SEASON

...

Bag, £25, M&S

Espadrilles, £119, Hobbs

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CROCHET CHIC

Keep your look interesting with different textures and fabrics. Crochet is a big summer star and you’ll find it on everything from handbags to dresses. Broderie anglaise is a classic alternative to try and doesn’t date.

Wrap, £205, and necklace, £78, both Pranella Top, £59, Baukjen Trousers, £22, Next Shoes, £90, Vionic

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St yle — Fa s h io n

Necklace, £45, Gimaguas Bag, £179, Radley London

Kaftan, £22, F&F

Top, £34.99, M&Co Pumps, £60, Dune London

Slip on over swimwear

Waistcoat, £79, The White Company Vest top, £22, Kettlewell Colours Trousers, £85, Hobbs Shoes, £120, Vionic Earrings, £10, Woolovers

Trousers, £29.99, Zara

Skirt, £89, Whistles

Earrings, £95, Monica Vinader

Blouse, £17.99, H&M

A PERFECT LENGTH FOR

DAYTIME STYLING

...

Dress, £129, Hobbs

Loafer, £79, Crew Clothing

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Plat i nu m Pa r t ner s h ip

S T Y L E YO U WA N T,

comfort you crave

S

tep into the season with style and support in new shoes designed with your comfort in mind. Whether you want on-the-go casual style and support when you are walking or are looking for something to look good and feel great while you meet your friends, Vionic is here for you. Our Vio-Motion™ footbed technology delivers ThreeZone Comfort — giving you heel stability, arch support and cushioning throughout the footbed, aiding the body’s natural alignment for a difference you can feel. Vionic shoes are podiatrist designed and approved, so you know your feet are in good hands. Choose from a range of styles including trainers, sandals, heels and slippers available across the range in sizes 3-9, including half sizes and two widths — wide and medium.

SUMMER IS HERE! Enjoy an exclusive

15% off, just for Platinum readers.

T R E AT Y O U R S E L F TO FRESH NEW S T Y L E S T H AT SUPPORT YOU!

Instagram: @vionicshoes.uk Facebook: @VionicShoesUK

Visit vionicshoes.co.uk/platinum to redeem 15% off Vionic shoes with code PLATINUM15 Ts&Cs: To redeem your discount, simply use the code PLATINUM15 when you shop online at vionicshoes.co.uk/platinum. Code can only be redeemed once per customer. Offer valid 30.06.21 to 30.07.21. Vionic reserves the right to withdraw and/or amend promotional offers at any time. For full terms and conditions, visit vionicshoes.co.uk/platinum-tc


Wine o’clock P 1 4 2- 1 4 3

Healthy, quick noodle bowls P139-141

So you want a meal that’s quick, but doesn’t discount on flavour? These healthy and nourishing noodle bowls are delicious and ready in under 30 minutes.

Food&

DRINK

Culinary inspiration comes in the shape of fruity cocktails, honeyinfused mains and delicious wines to serve alongside.

Fancy a glass of rosé? Joanna Simon takes us through just why we love it quite so much, and offers her recommendations for the perfect tipple.

Valentina Harris P28-33

P34-37

Tipples &nibbles Take inspiration from street markets with our fish tacos. Zesty, spicy and creamy, they tick all the boxes. For tipples, we’re looking at fresh cocktails with berries as the star of the show.

This month, Valentina is sweet-talking with honey. Used in savoury and sweet dishes alike, she proves that it is as versatile as it is divine. PLATINUM

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Sweet as honey WITH VALENTINA HARRIS

E N J O Y S W E E T, S T I C K Y, N AT U R A L H O N E Y W I T H O U R R E S I D E N T F O O D E X P E R T VA L E N T I N A H A R R I S ’ S D E L E C TA B L E S U M M E R R E C I P E S .

Science, history and art

T

he world’s oldest honey was discovered in 2003 in Georgia, during the unromantic laying of a pipeline. Once unearthed, archaeologists estimated that this precious find was 5,500 years old. They actually discovered three distinct types of honey: meadow flower, berry and linden, preserved in ceramic vessels in the tomb of a noblewoman so they could journey with her into the afterlife. I sometimes wonder which of those was her favourite. Golden honey is beautiful to look at, deliciously sweet, contains several nutrients and is completely natural. But for me, the single most extraordinary thing about honey is that it keeps indefinitely: nothing else that is so delicious can remain preserved in a completely edible form for literally thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians cherished honey so much that, like the Georgians, they also buried it with their deceased to ensure a sweet transition into the afterlife. Several jars were found in King Tutankhamun’s tomb and even after 3,000 years their sweet, golden contents were still perfectly safe to eat. There are, of course, other foodstuffs than will keep forever in their raw state if they are properly sealed, such as rice, salt or sugar, but the factors that give honey its durability really are unique and they all come together to make this a genuine super food. 28

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Honey is, first and foremost, a sugar, and all sugars are hygroscopic, which means that in their natural state they contain very little water, although they will absorb moisture if left unsealed. Bacteria and other micro-organisms need moisture to survive. As long as honey is kept sealed in a jar, it will not decay, but as soon as you add moisture, it can spoil. Honey is also naturally extremely acidic, with a pH value between three and four and a half. Such a high acidity level will most probably kill off anything that tries to grow there, which also helps explain honey’s longevity. But you can’t make honey without those magical honeybees, who bring their own brilliant alchemy to this astonishing product. Honeybees forage busily throughout the day, visiting flowers and collecting nectar. They return to their hives and transfer the nectar, which is naturally very high in water content, to worker bees that flap their wings and fan the liquid to evaporate the excess moisture. This process condenses the sugar and by then ‘chewing’ the nectar and adding a special bee enzyme called glucose oxidase, the nectar gets transformed by the bees into honey. It is then stored for future potential periods of famine inside little hexagonal honeycomb cells that are sealed with wax — all ready to be opened up and the honey eaten when fresh nectar may be scarce. This brilliant method of “forage and storage” went undisturbed, until humans discovered that honeybees produce far more honey than is necessary to maintain a hive and that honey can be safely harvested from beehives that are properly cared for. And so the first beekeepers were born. The earliest record of organised beekeeping dates back to Ancient Egypt around 3,500 BC where it was happening on a large scale, including the construction of specialised rafts to move beehives along the Nile simply to keep them conveniently close to seasonal flowering plants. The Ancient Egyptians considered honeybees to be sacred and that their sun god Ra created bees from his tears. Some even believed that spirits took the form of a bee after death, and the bees’ buzzing was thought to be the voices of departed souls. Although they were undoubtedly the first to master honey production on a vast and elaborate scale, the Ancient Egyptians were not the first to take advantage of honeybees — almost 5,000 years before they were


Foo d & D r i n k

Images © Istockphoto, Shutterstock

“It is wonderful to bury a square of cut comb honey deep in the heart of your porridge bowl.”

covering their mummies in honey, beehives were being robbed of their bounty in Spain. Of course, not all honey is the same. Just like wine, there are a huge number of variables and all sorts of factors that impact on the honey’s taste, colour and texture. So much influences the finished result. From which plants and flowers the bees have been harvesting to where the honey comes from or how the beekeeper processes his product, all have an effect and make each type of honey quite different. Sometimes people worry about their honey crystallising in the jar, and discard it thinking it has gone bad, but this could not be further from the truth. In fact, the process of crystallisation is natural and spontaneous and it happens because honey is an over-saturated sugar solution, which makes it unstable. Commercially available honey that is perfectly smooth and uniform in colour is pasteurised by being heated to high temperatures and then filtered to kill off any bacteria that may be present in order to prevent fermentation. On the other hand, raw honey is in its natural state, meaning that it has not been heated or filtered. My own personal favourite is soft set honey, which is perfect for spreading and is beige, creamy and thick. It isn’t made from any particular kind of flower, but is simply processed in a different way by combining liquid honey with a small amount of crystallised honey with a very fine grain. The result gives it a unique velvety texture and a pale, opaque colour. Cut comb is when beekeepers simply cut the honeycomb into slabs to sell rather than extracting and potting the honey. I love to break it up into little pieces and stir it through yogurt, and it is wonderful to bury a little square deep in the heart of your porridge bowl. Blossom honey refers to honey that is made from the nectar of plants. The vast majority of honeys you’ll see on shop shelves are classed as blossom honey. Acacia honey is light and delicate and will stay in a liquid state for

years before crystallising — perfect for stirring into drinks or drizzling. Heather honey is one of the most popular speciality honeys with flavour notes of stone fruits, toffee and smoke. It comes from purple heather and is one of the most distinct varieties of honey produced in the UK, most of it from Scotland. Wildflower honey is honey made by bees that have access to a large variety of different flowers around their hive. This simply means that it’s derived from a combination of different nectars, all with different flavours and characteristics, so the taste can vary from batch to batch. Organic honey can only be qualified as such if the hives are in an area surrounded by 100% organic plants that stretches at least twelve kilometres in any direction — which is the distance a bee can travel in a search for nectar. This means that creating organic honey in the UK is rarely possible, so most organic honey you’ll buy here is imported from larger countries. Herb honey is produced when beekeepers place the hives near great perfumed swathes of a particular herb such as rosemary, thyme or lavender so that the honey becomes naturally infused with the flavour of the herb. Manuka honey is considered to be the very best honey money can buy, with a price tag to match! It is dark and thick and tastes quite unlike any other honey. This isn’t necessarily raw honey, but it is specialised and derived from the bees that feed on the manuka plants in New Zealand. Australian manuka honey is derived from the jellybush and golden tea tree, both said to have special healing qualities. New Zealand has applied to trademark the manuka honey name — watch this space. PLATINUM

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SMALL STUDIES SUGGEST HONEY CAN REDUCE RISK OF HEART DISEASE.

Photography @GARLICK_FOOD Props: @MORECREATION

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Foo d & D r i n k

W H AT E V E R K I N D O F H O N E Y YOU CHOOSE, MAKE SURE YOU KEEP IT OUT OF THE F R I D G E A N D T I G H T LY S E A L E D TO H E L P I T L A S T I F N OT F O R E V E R , T H E N A S LO N G A S POSSIBLE. I BELIEVE IT IS THE U LT I M AT E S U P E R F O O D . H E R E A R E S O M E O F M Y FAV O U R I T E HONEY RECIPES.

Rack of lamb with honey and rosemary SERVES 2-3 1 medium sized rack of lamb, French trimmed 1½–2tbsp fresh soft rosemary leaves, washed and stripped from their stalks, then chopped finely 3-4tbsp runny or thick honey Zest of 1 unwaxed orange 3 cloves garlic, crushed to a purée with 2tbsp sea salt Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 210°C/ gas mark 8. Mix the rosemary, honey, orange zest, garlic and salt together in a small bowl. Season the rack of lamb with black pepper, then heat a heavy-based pan until it’s very hot (I mean when you can no longer hold your hand over it at a distance of 3cm or so for any more than 3 or 4 seconds). Lay the rack of lamb in the pan, fat side down, bone-side up and render down the fat for 8 to 10 minutes, then flip it over for 1 minute to brown it on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Let the lamb come back to room temperature and then brush thoroughly all over with the honey mixture. Transfer the rack of lamb to the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes, and then remove it from the oven allow it to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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Foo d & D r i n k

Honey and orange semifreddo SERVES 6 With lovely, summery zest from the oranges, creaminess from the mascarpone and sweetness from the honey, this is a perfectly balanced dessert that everyone is sure to love.

2 large unwaxed oranges 5 egg yolks 150g orange blossom honey 2tbsp CuraÇao or Grand Marnier 300g mascarpone 400ml whipping cream 35g flaked toasted almonds 1 orange, washed, for decoration

Carefully wash and dry both of the oranges. Grate the zest from 32

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one orange and put it one side. Beat the egg yolks with an electric whisk, gradually adding the honey in a thin stream until the mixture is pale and foaming. Carefully fold in the grated orange zest and the liqueur. Squeeze both oranges and add the juice. Beat in the mascarpone gradually, making sure it does not curdle. Whip the cream until stiff in a separate bowl and slowly and gently fold it into the egg and honey mixture. Pour the mixture into a lidded

mould, cover and freeze for about 3 hours or overnight. Slice half of the remaining whole orange into neat slices. Slice the skin of the other half into neat, narrow strips. Take the semifreddo out of the freezer, let it stand for about 10 minutes and then carefully turn it out on to a platter. Cover the sides and the top with the flaked almonds and garnish with the sliced orange and sliced orange peel. Leave to stand for another 5 to 10 minutes then serve in slices.


Venetian honeyed spice biscuits MAKES 40 Deliciously sweet and spiced.

250g dark honey (chestnut would be good) 250g caster sugar 50g unsalted butter, softened and cubed, plus extra for greasing 2 eggs, beaten 1 egg white 250g unblanched almonds 6tbsp very sweet dessert wine 100g unsweetened cocoa powder 1tsp ground cinnamon 1tsp ground cloves ½tsp ground ginger ½tsp finely ground black pepper 1tsp sea salt 1tbsp warm milk 400-450g plain flour 2tbsp icing sugar 2-4tbsp sugar crystals

Whisk the honey, sugar, butter and beaten eggs together thoroughly, then crush or roughly process 200g of the almonds and stir them into the honey mixture. Add the wine and cocoa powder. Stir in all the spices. Stir the salt into the milk and add this to the mixture. Add flour to make an easily-kneaded dough and work it with your hands until just combined, then wrap in

baking parchment and chill overnight. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas 4 and line and grease two large baking sheets. Roll out the mixture into several thick tubes, then cut each one into round discs about 1 inch thick. Push a hole in the centre of each one with your thumb. Arrange the biscuits on the baking sheets, then process the remaining almonds with the icing sugar to a finer texture, but still a little uneven and coarse. Put the egg white into a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk until foaming. Combine with the crushed almond mixture, and then use the resulting paste to brush over the biscuits. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals and finally bake the biscuits in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, allow to cool completely and then store in airtight tins.

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Foo d & D r i n k

Tipples &nibbles SERVE UP IN STYLE WITH THESE MOREISH BITES, PLUS SUBLIME FRUIT AND HERB D R I N K S TO E N J O Y A LO N G S I D E . C H I N , C H I N !

Fish tacos SERVES 4 A great fish taco depends on the freshness of the fish, the quality of the tortilla and the punchiness of the salsas, contrasted against the creaminess of the crema and the crunchiness of the coleslaw. Use fresh white fish fillets and coat in a spicy mix of cumin, coriander and paprika.

1tbsp cumin seeds 1tbsp coriander seeds 1tsp smoked paprika ½tsp salt 800g white fish fillets, such as pollock or hake Flour, for dusting Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2tbsp vegetable oil For the crema 2tbsp mayonnaise 4tbsp Greek-style yogurt 1tsp red salsa or Tabasco sauce For the coleslaw 400g white cabbage, coarsely shredded 1 carrot, coarsely grated ½ onion, thinly sliced To serve 8 small corn or flour tortillas 1 ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced 1 lime, sliced 1 cucumber, thinly sliced

Make up the crema by mixing together the mayonnaise, yogurt and the salsa or tabasco. Set aside. Combine the cabbage, carrot and onion into a coleslaw

and put to one side, too. Heat a small, dry frying pan and lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds. When slightly coloured, grind to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. Mix in the smoked paprika and salt. Rub this mixture all over the fish fillets and set aside for at least 30 minutes. Prepare the fish by slicing it into manageable portions for 8 tacos, then dust in flour combined with a little salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the fish in two batches until just slightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, then keep warm. Heat a cast iron pan to warm the tortillas until slightly charred and warmed through. To make up the tacos, place some of the coleslaw on each tortilla, add the fish and drizzle over the crema. Serve with slices of avocado, lime and cucumber. PLATINUM

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Foo d & D r i n k

BOOST Y O U R P E S TO WITH ANY GREENS YOU H AV E I N Y O U R FRIDGE

Polenta fries with pesto SERVES 6 Polenta can be notoriously bland if you don’t get some oomph into the mixture with well-flavoured stock and lots of Parmesan. These “fries” are served with a beautifully fresh pesto to make a very more-ish snack.

500ml good-quality stock 125g fine, quick-cook polenta 30g butter 50g finely grated Parmesan cheese Sunflower oil, for frying For the pesto 2 large handfuls of fresh basil leaves 2 garlic cloves 120ml extra virgin olive oil Zest of 1 and freshly squeezed juice of another ½ lemon 50g finely grated Parmesan cheese Sea salt flakes

Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan, turn the heat down and slowly add the polenta, stirring all the time. Stir until the polenta is thick and smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and Parmesan. Spread the polenta onto a lightly oiled baking sheet to a depth of about ½ inch/1 cm. Leave to set and when completely cold, cut into rectangular fries using a sharp knife. To make the pesto, pound the basil, garlic and oil together using a mortar and pestle to make a paste. Add the lemon zest, juice and Parmesan. Mix well and season with sea salt. Tip into a serving bowl. Pour the sunflower oil into a deep saucepan and heat to 190°C/ gas 5. Fry the polenta until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately, with the bowl of pesto for dipping. 36

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Bramble mojito

A unique twist on one of our favourite cocktails. The complementary sweetness of the blackberry and aromatic basil creates a perfect balance of flavours. This recipe can be made as a single serving or as a pitcher to be enjoyed with friends and family.

50ml white rum 20ml Bottlegreen bramble cordial 25ml lime juice 3 fresh blackberries 6 basil leaves Soda

Combine the Bottlegreen bramble cordial, lime juice and three fresh blackberries. Add basil leaves and muddle together to release the aromatic flavours. Add rum and stir gently. Fill the glass with crushed ice, top with soda and stir. Add more crushed ice to top, and garnish with fresh basil.

Hibiscus refresher

The ultimate refreshment for summer, combining the delicate floral flavour notes from hibiscus with punchy, fruity blackberries for a botanical-themed showstopper.

1 hibiscus teabag 15ml Bottlegreen bramble cordial 60ml lemon juice Still or sparkling water

Add Bottlegreen bramble cordial to a glass and top with freshly boiled water. Add the hibiscus tea bag and leave to infuse for five minutes. Allow to cool. Add the bramble hibiscus tea into an ice-filled cocktail shaker with lemon juice. Shake well and pour over ice in a tall glass. Top with still or sparkling water. For an alcoholic alternative, add 50ml vodka, gin or white rum into the shaker.

Extracted from Mortar & Pestle, £9.99, published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography © Ryland Peters & Small

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FASHION & BEAUTY

special ...

Fashion

INSIDER OUR STYLE EXPERT SHARES S O M E G A R D E N PA R T Y O U T F I T IDEAS FOR EVERY BODY SHAPE.

E

ven though the world is starting to open up, there still may not be holidays abroad this summer for many of us. We can kickstart our social lives with an informal summer party in the garden. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just a handful of friends or a bumper event, this is the perfect opportunity to rediscover the joy of getting dressed to go somewhere and feel happy wearing something that may not have left the wardrobe for many months. The best warm weather parties are those that are effortless and informal with no strict dress codes. This is about friendship, reconnecting and having fun. Ultimately the choice of outfit is driven by the necessity to always be prepared for whatever the British climate may throw at us. If we are lucky the sun will shine. Make sure you have either a cardigan, a jacket or giant shawl. I am known as the “blanket lady” by many of my friends as I always bring one, even if it’s stiflingly hot. A few years ago, I went to a party where it had poured with rain all day, but everyone still dressed up. The only style difference was that heels were replaced by wellies. The mad informality made it one of the best, and funniest, parties ever. The key to successful dressing for an event is to align the twin needs of comfort and style. You should be able to forget what you are wearing and simply revel in the hospitality, never giving a thought to your outfit. It’s time to be social.

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Shirt, £145, Brora

Go golden There are times when the weather and the event may be more suited to trousers. Nothing formal or overly tailored, but a pair that float loosely around your legs and are not constricting. The obvious choice is a pair of wide-legged silky palazzo pants or lightweight linen trousers. Both can be as elegant or relaxed as you like. If you are feeling fearless, you could always choose a bold print. Wear heels if it makes you feel good, as long as you are not going to be spending the day or evening teetering on soft grass.

Blazer, £199, Jigsaw

Necklace, £80, Uterque

Bag, £49.99, Mango

Trousers, £100, Uterque

Y E L LO W GETS A GOLDEN MAKEOVER THIS SUMMER

Shoes, £29.99, Zara


St yle — Fa s h io n Hat, £12.99, H&M Shawl, £59.99, The White Company

Baby blue Necklace, A floral, floaty cotton midi £129, Missoma or maxi dress has become the default choice for many years now, and I can’t really see the fashion gods revising that view any time soon. It is such an easy, uncomplicated way to dress up. There is no mixing and matching of tops and bottoms; all you truly need to think about is shoes. And depending on the weather forecast, perhaps take a shawl, or a sunhat. Jewellery is optional. From bitter experience I can vouch that espadrilles are the ultimate summer party shoe — a sexy uplift from the heels and safe navigating across all types of flooring.

Dress, £170, Pink City Prints

Bag, £79, Arket

Buy once, wear forever

SUMMER

essentials These summer basics add a touch of glamour and sophistication to any outfit. A white or cream blazer is such a versatile item, transforming blue jeans and a broderie anglaise blouse into an evening outfit, adding an extra layer of sophistication to a dress. Style-wise I would be lost without my collection of white blouses. The best have a hint of embroidery and long, floaty sleeves. When you have a pair of gold or silver sandals in your wardrobe you never have to worry about not having the right colour to match your outfit — as these universally work with everything.

b

ht rig

colour

Ad

d

Shoes, £129, Penelope Chilvers

Linen blazer, £169, Massimo Dutti Jacket, £29.99, Zara

Ivory chic Sunglasses, £59.99, Massimo Dutti

Dress, £179, M.A.B.E

Beach perfect Scarf, £19.99, Zara

Bag, £22.99, H&M Sandals, £79.95, Massimo Dutti

From summer parties to beach holidays via al fresco dining out, an ivory dress is special, versatile and a stylish choice. It bridges the gap between smart and casual — at the weekends, wear it with trainers and a denim jacket, and not necessarily in traditional blue, as this shocking pink variation proves. Then, smarten it up with a toning ivory blazer and strappy flats or heels for dinners or parties. The biggest change is the smart handbags we no longer carry. It seems that casual informality by way of a straw or rattan bag is still the only chic way to go this summer.

Blouse, £149, Brora

Sandals, £69.99, The White Company

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Histamine can often be the cause of hay fever-like symptoms and digestive issues. We take a closer look at this increasingly common condition.

Understanding histamine intolerance P 4 2- 4 5

As we age, the rate at which we burn calories slows down, making weight loss tough. Find out whether it’s possible to reduce the effects of this inevitable process on page 46.

Dr Dawn’s health news P50-51

Health&

wellbeing

Our trusted source for all things health, Dr Dawn keeps you up-to-date in her advice column. This month, she covers mental health resources, carers and how to keep your skin protected from the sun.

Live life on full power this summer with our expert health and wellbeing advice.

Can you really boost your metabolism? P46-49

Sole therapy P 5 2- 5 4

Could the solution to a host of health issues be found in your feet? Hannah Ebelthite speaks to experts about the power of reflexology. PLATINUM

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H ea lt h

It can cause digestive issues and allergy symptoms, but what really is

histamine intolerance? I T ’ S O F T E N U N D E R - D I AG N O S E D A N D 8 0 % O F S U F F E R E R S A R E F E M A L E . H I L A R Y B O D D I E TA K E S A C LO S E R LO O K A N D I N V E S T I G AT E S T H I S I N C R E A S I N G LY C O M M O N , O F T E N D E B I L I TAT I N G C O N D I T I O N .

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aybe those persistent allergies you’ve suffered with for years aren’t entirely what they seem? Common allergic responses such as hives, nasal congestion, stomach cramping and headaches or migraine may not be an allergy at all but a sign of histamine intolerance (HIT), a lesser-known disorder which means you have too much histamine — the chemical responsible for allergic reactions — in your body. It is a condition thought to affect millions. 80% of sufferers are women and most of them are unaware they have it. “Often patients have struggled with symptoms caused by high histamine the whole of their lives, with no diagnosis or understanding of the condition,” says Dr Tina Peers, a menopause specialist and founder of The Menopause Consultancy, a specialist menopause and women’s health and wellbeing clinic. “HIT is not an allergic reaction. It is caused by a slow accumulation of excess histamine in the body which results in a gradual appearance of allergy-type symptoms. And while it may not be life-threatening, it can be extremely difficult to live with and cause debilitating symptoms.”

WHAT EXACTLY IS HISTAMINE?

Many of us have taken antihistamines, but histamine is an important chemical that is crucial to the body’s functioning, especially the gut — triggering the release of stomach acid to aid digestion. It aids the immune system, too. “It also acts in a similar way to a hormone, communicating messages within the brain and nervous system,” says Dr Tim Bond, natural health specialist and chemist from uk.puressentiel.com. When your body comes into contact with something that your immune system perceives as a threat, it prompts the mast cells (a type of white blood cell) to release histamine and other chemicals to see off this so-called invasion, by producing allergic reactions such itching, hives,

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swelling and even, in some cases, full-on potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis (where the airways can close up). Histamine comes from two main sources: mast cells within the body and from the food we eat. Many different types of food contain histamine and certain foods may be low in histamine but help to release histamine from other foods and our own mast cells.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE HISTAMINE INTOLERANT?

We all need histamine — it is an important part of the body’s immune response, necessary to effectively help attack pathogens (‘foreign invaders’) and toxins. However, problems can occur when we have too much of it. Difficulties arise when we overproduce histamine or have a problem breaking it down. This causes an overload of the chemical in the body which can trigger histamine intolerance and a whole host of symptoms, often very similar to an allergic reaction. The more excess histamine in the body, the worse the symptoms are, which can range from mild to severe.

AN INTOLERANCE CAN ARISE DUE TO:

An overproduction of histamine. A deficiency in the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO), one of the main enzymes responsible for breaking down histamine in the body. The production and breakdown of histamine is particularly notable in the gut, which is why histamine intolerance can often lead to digestive issues. “The impaired DAO activity is usually triggered by gastro-intestinal disease or by an inhibition of the enzyme due to including things in the diet that act as DAO blockers such as green and black tea, alcohol and certain medications,” explains Dr Peers. “There are also some people who have a genetic predisposition to low production of DAO.” A diet rich in histamine-forming foods. Histamine is derived from the amino acid histidine, common in much of what we eat — eg fermented foods.


COMMON SYMPTOMS

“HIT symptoms can affect all areas of the body and can mimic so many other conditions,” says dietician consultant Nigel Denby, nigeldenbynutritiontraining.co.uk. Common symptoms include: SKIN: itching, rashes, redness with flushing, hives, urticaria, dermatographia (when the lightest scratch/stroke to the skin leaves a raised, red mark similar to hives), rosacea, psoriasis. DIGESTION: acid reflux, diarrhoea, constipation, wind, bloating, nausea, vomiting. This can indicate intolerance to certain foods containing high levels of histamine. RESPIRATORY: sinusitis, rhinitis, asthma, chronic cough, breathlessness. VASCULAR: dizziness, fainting, oedema, migraine and headaches, fluid retention, easy bruising, poor clotting. NEUROLOGICAL: insomnia, anxiety, memory loss, brain fog, poor concentration, panic attacks, chronic fatigue. GYNAECOLOGICAL: painful periods, progesterone sensitivity, plus a possible link with endometriosis. “HIT sufferers rarely experience all of these symptoms and by no means is this an exhaustive list, but it demonstrates the variety of symptoms you could see with histamine intolerance,” says Nigel, who runs a menopause support Facebook group, Harley Street at Home Menopause. “Often symptoms vary day to day.”

HISTAMINE AND YOUR HORMONES

According to Dr Peers, there’s a good reason why women tend to suffer from histamine intolerance more than men. It’s down to the role of the female hormone oestrogen. “Oestrogen and histamine are closely linked,” she explains. “Women have high levels of oestrogen production when they are teenagers, mid-cycle when they ovulate, and again during the perimenopause when levels of oestrogen can fluctuate and actually be very high.”

Your diet plays a big role in tackling histamine intolerance and keeping a food diary can be your first step in controlling it.

“WOMEN TEND TO SUFFER MORE THAN MEN DUE TO THE ROLE OF OESTROGEN.” Numerous studies have demonstrated that oestrogen can stimulate mast cells to make histamine while at the same time reducing DAO, which helps break it down. “Oestrogen and histamine increase each other,” says Dr Peers. “Therefore high levels of histamine will stimulate oestrogen production. This can then become a vicious circle.” Histamine-related problems can also be aggravated by the menopause because during this time, oestrogen “dominance” can occur. Even though levels of oestrogen do go down during the menopause, levels of progesterone reduce much more rapidly, which leads to oestrogen dominance. “Women who are menopausal will often experience symptoms similar to those caused by high histamine. They may not respond so well to HRT as the added oestrogen from HRT will increase their histamine levels and therefore their symptoms,” says Dr Peers.

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HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE HIT?

“HIT is not an easy condition to diagnose as it presents with similar symptoms to so many other conditions,” says Nigel. “It is essential to rule out more serious conditions before diagnosing HIT. Talk through your symptoms with your GP, who may refer you to a specialist such as a gastroenterologist or dietician, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing, before a full diagnosis can be made. “There is a test for DAO activity but this isn’t enough to make an accurate diagnosis on its own. You will need to have a DAO activity test while eating your normal diet and then repeat the test 14 days after following a low histamine diet. This, along with medical history, will help give an accurate diagnosis.”

WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE?

There are no quick fixes to lower your histamine levels when they are too high, but there are steps you can take to help. According to Dr Tina Peers, the most important thing you can do to ease your symptoms is to reduce the histamine in your diet. Before going to see your GP, it’s a good idea to keep a food diary, which will give a good indication of whether your diet contains too many foods that are either high in histamine, trigger the release of histamine or block DAO. “If there is ongoing concern Laura Phillips and small changes to the diet are needed then it is recommended to implement these for 2-4 weeks and then assess the impact,” says Laura Phillips, clinical dietetic advisor at AllergyUK. “If any changes are made to the diet, it is important that the diet remains balanced and referral to a dietician is recommended.” “Making small changes to your diet may be all that’s necessary to ease your symptoms,” says Dr Peers. “It may be that you just need to avoid certain very high histamine triggers, such as alcohol which also blocks DAO, to feel well and balanced.”

HOW YOUR DIET CAN HELP

Removing high-histamine foods is a simple and straightforward way to lower your histamine overload and reset the body’s histamine levels. “Histamine levels rise in foods as they ripen or age so it’s important to eat foods which are as fresh as possible,” says Nigel Denby. “It’s also necessary to avoid as much processed food as possible, and to avoid alcohol.” After following a histamine-eliminating diet for 2-4 weeks, your medical practitioner may then suggest gradually reintroducing some low-histamine foods to see how your body responds. By adding some of the foods back into your diet gradually, over time you’ll be able to work out which ones may be causing you problems. 44

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FOODS TO AVOID All canned foods Ready meals Ripened or mature cheeses Pickles and pickled, fermented foods Smoked meats Shellfish Beans, pulses and lentils Most nuts (pistachios and macadamias are OK) Chocolate or cocoa Vinegar Salty snacks Fruits including citrus fruits, pineapple, plums, papaya, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and avocado Wheat, sourdough, rye and spelt Black and green tea, energy drinks and coffee Yogurt

HISTAMINE LEVELS RISE IN FOODS AS THEY RIPEN OR AGE SO IT’S IMPORTANT TO EAT FRESH

GOOD TO GO FOODS Fresh meat Fish Eggs Fresh fruit (aside from the ones mentioned on the left) Fresh vegetables Grains including rice, rice noodles, oats and buckwheat Cooking oils, spreads and butter Non-citrus juices Fresh and dried herbs and spices Herbal and fruit teas


NATURAL SOLUTIONS Supplements such as vitamin C (low dose) and L-glutamine, both natural antihistamines, can be beneficial. “Vitamin B6 is thought to increase the production of DAO,” says Dr Tim Bond. “A multivitamin/ mineral supplement is also important when following a low histamine diet as you may run short of nutrients.” Taking a sauna or steam room session twice a week may help sweat out some of the histamine. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga and meditation can all help reduce stress and lower histamine levels in the body.

Images © Istockphoto

SARAH (54), SURREY

As histamine intolerance is a condition that is hard to correctly identify, it may be far more common than experts previously thought.

Practising mindfulness, yoga and calming breathing techniques can all lower histamine levels.

“I’ve probably suffered from histamine intolerance for a very long time but didn’t know I had it. I always had this tendency to pick up bugs and infections very easily. I had terrible IBS and was constantly suffering with problems like rosacea, styes and thrush. I also got very itchy skin and was diagnosed with dermatographia, where you just have to stroke the skin and it comes up scarlet, burning and itchy. “I started going through perimenopause when I was 46 and had all the symptoms — especially lack of sleep, night sweats and massive mood swings — so I eventually I sought help from my GP. “I tried various kinds of HRT but things weren’t improving so I decided to see a menopause specialist and found Dr Tina Peers. We went through all my symptoms, not just

“It’s hard to get a proper diagnosis.” menopausal, and she did some blood tests. She changed all my HRT medication and she also thought my histamine levels were raised. “I was then given antihistamines to take and then, together with eliminating certain foods from my diet, I began to see a big difference. I haven’t had thrush since. My IBS is under control and I have far fewer eye infections and colds. My health really has been so much better. “I think it’s really hard to get a proper diagnosis for histamine intolerance but the important thing is to find someone who can look at a series of symptoms and see how they might connect together.”

Changes to the flora in the gut may be a contributing factor to histamine intolerance, which is why it is possible to develop it after a severe infection and multiple rounds of antibiotics.

It’s not only humans who produce histamine. Plants such as nettles contain histamine in the hairlike structure on their leaves, which is partly responsible for the swelling and itching produced by contact with them. Histamine is also present in the venom of many species of wasps and bees.

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Can you really

boost your metabolism? T H E R AT E AT W H I C H W E U S E C A LO R I E S S LO W S D O W N A S WE GO THROUGH LIFE, MAKING W E I G H T LO S S TO U G H . H I L A R Y B O D D I E LO O K S AT T H E T R U T H A B O U T M E TA B O L I S M A N D T H E L I F E S T Y L E T W E A K S T H AT C A N M A K E A D I F F E R E N C E TO O P T I M I S I N G C A LO R I E S B U R N E D .

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ost of us know our metabolism and ability to burn calories gets slower with age. For many, we can see the effects in our waistline. The truth is, though, this fundamental biological process, which affects every cell in your body, gradually begins to slow when we are much younger. “Women in particular reach peak metabolic rate in their early 20s and basal metabolic rate then drops roughly one to two percent per decade,” explains leading nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, who specialises in women’s health and is author of Natural Alternatives to Dieting. “This is different for everyone but most people find that they struggle to lose weight as they get older. Although, of course, we all have a friend who can eat whatever they like, not take part in any physical activity and find their weight doesn’t change.”

What is metabolism?

The metabolism is a series of chemical processes by which food and drink is converted into energy to fuel all the processes our body needs to survive, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food. It also determines how many calories you burn per day. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn. It is a complex process, balanced between catabolic and anabolic reactions. A catabolic reaction is where the body is breaking things down, for example during the process of fat oxidation in which fat cells are broken down into fatty acids and used for fuel. An anabolic reaction is where the body is effectively re-building, such as in muscle growth, in which amino acids combine to form proteins to help build and repair muscle tissue. When it functions well, the metabolism balances both anabolic and catabolic actions, known as homeostasis.

The energy balance

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“When it comes to the metabolism, most people are especially interested in the ‘energy balance’,” says dietician Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Health & Food Supplements information Service, hsis.org. “Essentially, this means calories from food versus calories we burn at rest and when we move around.” A large percentage of the calories we burn (around 50-70%) is down to our resting metabolism or basal metabolic rate — the number of calories our bodies need simply to function, even if we do nothing. The remaining 30% is affected by day-to-day activity.


Vary your exercise routine. If you stick to the same activity, it’s easier for the body to plateau and results then decline.

Metabolism and the menopause 30% of your calories burned daily is down to day-to-day activity, including exercise.

That’s everything from getting up in the morning and having a shower to physical exercise sessions. If you go for a walk or have a big meal, your metabolism speeds up in response to the need for fuel by your muscles and your digestive tract. When you are resting or if you miss a meal, it slows down. “Factors such as genetics, size and weight, age, gender, diet, the ratio of muscle to fat, how active you are, outside temperature and hormone levels can all influence your metabolism,” says Dr Ruxton.

Why does your metabolism slow down with age?

“Muscle is the driving force of metabolism,” says Dr Ruxton. “Losing muscle mass — a normal part of ageing — tends to slow down your metabolic rate. It’s harder to gain muscle when you’re older and the normal ageing process also reduces fat burning and promotes fat storage.” These factors can conspire against us, leading to weight gain and ‘middle-aged spread,’ which often proves so hard to shift.

Are genetics important?

Our genes influence the amount of muscle mass the body naturally contains and our ability to build muscle, plus how effectively calories are used. “Some people use calories efficiently. They need fewer calories to fuel the body which can result in ‘leftover’ calories being stored as fat,” says Dr Glenville. “Other people use calories less efficiently — they need more calories to fuel the body so there are fewer leftover calories to store as fat. “Women tend to have a slower metabolism than men. They have less muscle and more body fat, plus their hormone balance has a more significant effect on them,” adds Suzie Sawyer, nutritionist at Nutrition Lifestyle.

The primary hormone responsible for regulating metabolic rate is thyroid hormone, but sex hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone play a role too. When going through both perimenopause and menopause, fluctuating levels of these hormones — especially oestrogen — can have a big impact on your metabolic rate. “Oestrogen supports non-fat mass (eg muscle, bone) which is metabolically active,” says Dr Ruxton. “When you lose oestrogen, it’s harder to maintain these tissues and the proportion of them reduces, while fat mass increases.” Most women experience a steeper decline in metabolic rate after becoming menopausal and the accelerated loss of muscle mass also contributes to those changes. “Studies show women can lose four per cent of muscle mass a year in the lead up to the menopause so by the time they are actually classed as being menopausal, around the age of 52, they could have lost 10-15% of peak muscle mass,” says expert Anne Henderson, author of Natural Menopause (Dorling Kindersley). “With this decline, muscle is converted into fat, which tends to accumulate around the middle, driving down the metabolic rate.”

What can you do to optimise your metabolism? Although our metabolic rate will decline naturally with age, making small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in helping to optimise your metabolism. STAY ACTIVE Exercise is one of the best ways of boosting your metabolism. “We know that muscle burns fat, so the more muscle increases in density, the more efficient your metabolic rate,” says Dr Glenville. STRENGTH TRAINING This is key. Using weights or resistance bands is an effective way of increasing the amount of lean muscle mass which helps the body become more metabolically active. “Muscle is metabolically active and uses calories to work, replenish and repair,” says Dr Ruxton. “A healthy, trained muscle stores fat (as triglycerides) and carbohydrates (as glycogen) ready to support your physical activity. Age is not a barrier to training your muscles to burn off more calories. Interestingly, weight training boosts your metabolism for PLATINUM

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“Muscle is the driving force of metabolism. Strength training is an essential workout.” 48

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to keep you feeling fuller for longer,” says Dr Ruxton. “Good options are lean red meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, soya and Greek yogurt. “Polyphenols such as fruit, vegetables, pure citrus juices and tea (both green and black) help to promote fat burning and encourage more favourable species of gut bacteria. High fibre foods also support the gut microbiota.” SLEEP WELL There is growing evidence to suggest that sleep loss and sleep disorders have a significant impact on metabolism. Laboratory studies have clearly shown that sleep deprivation can alter the glucose metabolism and hormones involved in regulating metabolism. “Sleep is the number one pillar of a healthy lifestyle,” says Dr Barber. “There is good evidence to suggest that if we are sleep deprived, we are more likely to have an enhanced appetite and less likely to be able to engage in a healthy lifestyle. Ideally, we should all be getting around 7.5 hours a night.” STAY HYDRATED Your body needs water to process calories so even if you are mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. Studies have shown that drinking 1.5 litres a day can increase resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.

Could intermittent fasting be beneficial?

Ongoing research is currently investigating how intermittent fasting — periods of food restriction followed by normal eating — can have beneficial effects on the metabolism by prompting the increase of some fat-burning hormones. “A 16/8 diet where you eat for eight hours a day (focusing on healthy, nutrient-rich options) and then fast for 16 hours can be beneficial,” says Dr Ruxton. “In practice, this means delaying breakfast until 11 or 12 midday and then stopping eating around 7-8pm. While you’re fasting, you’ll burn more fat.” Dr Barber urges a canny approach. “There is evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting and giving the liver a break can be helpful metabolically — but it’s important to be sensible about it,” he Dr Barber. “This type of eating regime can be quite difficult to sustain in the long term.”

Images © Istockphoto

one to two days, which is more than you’ll get from a walk, jog or even a bike ride. “Aim for 20-30 minutes of some form of strength training three to five times a week, plus keep active for 30-60 minutes a day — walking, running, cycling, gardening or dancing — to reduce metabolically inactive fat mass,” Dr Ruxton advises. TEMPERATURE This can also have an effect on metabolism. If the body is really cold, it has to work harder to keep warm. This is one of the reasons why wild swimming has become popular as a possible way of boosting the metabolic rate. Get outdoors! EAT SMART “Avoid crash diets (under 1,200 calories for a woman, 1,800 for a man),” says Dr Glenville. “Although these diets may help you drop pounds, it comes at the expense of good nutrition. Plus it backfires since you lose muscle, which in turn slows down your metabolism. The end result is that your body burns fewer calories and gains weight faster than before the diet.” Our bodies are primed to survive starvation and our metabolism has evolved to keep us alive and functioning when food was scarce. So when “energy in”, through the food we eat, goes down, so the Nutritionist “energy out” goes down to match Dr Marilyn Glenville it. That means you burn fewer calories in response to eating less. “If you lose a lot of weight very quickly — five per cent of your body weight or more — you can get what’s called persistent metabolic rate adaptation,” says Dr Thomas Barber, from the Human Metabolism Research Unit at Warwick Medical School and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. “The metabolic rate can drop by as much as 200 or 300 calories less each day which can then have a prolonged effect.” “It’s also important to eat protein with every meal as this supports muscle growth and repair and helps


H ea lt h P O LY P H E N O L S , FOUND IN FRUIT AND V E G , H E L P TO P R O M OT E FAT BURNING.

“I knew I had to do something.” RACHEL (53), NORTH HERTS

GET THE KEY NUTRIENTS

According to Dr Ruxton, you need to ensure you are getting a varied intake of nutrients. “Vitamin B complex is important for normal energy release, vitamin C and selenium are antioxidants to help with muscle recovery and iron helps to keep fatigue at bay. Consider adding a multivitamin and multimineral supplement to your daily diet. Probiotics are also worth considering as ‘friendly’ species of gut bacteria have a role in optimal metabolism.”

Eating food can increase your metabolism for a few hours — this is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). It is caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal. Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.

“Since March 2020, I’ve been working from home. I definitely feel sitting in front of a computer screen all day, working longer hours, has affected my fitness and sleep levels. I found it hard to switch off and just wasn’t making the time to exercise. To top it all I began experiencing menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and mood swings. After nine months working from home, I was horrified to see I’d put on a stone in weight — most of it around my middle — and I felt so depressed. “I knew I had to do something about it. I started to research online and found out so much more about how your body changes through the menopause and how your metabolism naturally slows down with age. “I looked at my diet. I do eat relatively healthily but struggle to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. I learned that, throughout perimenopause and menopause, there are certain nutrients that are particularly important for women. A friend recommended a multivitamin, Alive! Women’s 50+ Ultra Wholefood Plus which contains everything I need to fill any nutrient gaps that may exist due to the menopause. “After just a few weeks, I saw a huge improvement in my energy levels, mood and sleep quality, which was fantastic. “I now go for daily lunchtime walks and longer walks at the weekend. This has really helped to boost my mood and sleep. I’ve already lost half a stone and I’m happier.”

There is some evidence that caffeinated drinks such as tea and spices (including cumin, chilli and turmeric) have a modest boosting effect on the metabolism. A good reason to rustle up a healthy curry at home with a cup of green tea.

Taking a kelp supplement, such as A. Vogel Kelp (£7.50) can be helpful if your metabolism seems a little sluggish, as it supports thyroid function. Don’t take more than 150mcg iodine daily and avoid if you are already on thyroid medication. PLATINUM

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Dr Dawn’s H E A LT H N E W S

P L AT I N U M E X P E R T Dr Dawn Harper NHS doctor and TV personality Dr Dawn has a wealth of knowledge. Passionate about health and fitness, she shares expert advice to help you live life on full power.

Ask for ANI

In January 2021, a new domestic abuse codeword scheme was launched and is now available in nearly half of all pharmacies across the UK. If a pharmacy has the “Ask for ANI” logo on display, it means they are ready to help. They will offer a private space, provide a phone, and help to get support from the police or other domestic abuse support services. ANI is designed to sound phonetically like the name Annie, but stands for Action Needed Immediately. Experts are predicting that as restrictions are eased, we will see a spike in the number of men and women attempting to escape abusive partners. For free and confidential advice, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000247 or visit gov.uk/domestic-abuse

G P A N D T V P E R S O N A L I T Y D R D AW N H A R P E R TA C K L E S C A R E F O R C A R E R S , M E N TA L H E A LT H R E S O U R C E S A N D S P F I N T H I S M O N T H ’ S H E A LT H U P D AT E .

Staying safe in the sun Many of us will be holidaying in the UK this year and while most of us take sun protection seriously while abroad, many of us don’t treat the British sunshine with the same respect. I have seen plenty of cases of sunburn and sunstroke here in the UK, so here are my top tips on staying safe in the sun. Use a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. The SPF protects against UVB rays and is rated on a scale of 2 to 50+. The higher the number the greater the protection. Choose a sunscreen that also has at least 4-star UVA protection. Exposure to both UVB and UVA rays increase the risk of developing skin cancer. UVA protection can also be indicated by the letters “UVA” in a circle, which tells you that product meets the EU standards. The star rating scale goes up to 5 and again, the higher the number, the greater the protection. Check the expiry date. Most sunscreens have a shelf life of 2 to 3 years, after which they may become less effective. Use 2 teaspoons of sunscreen to cover your face, neck and arms and 2 tablespoons to cover the average adult body while wearing a swimsuit. Reapply sunscreen every couple of hours and after swimming or sweating, even if the product claims to be water-resistant. Only use sunglasses with a CE Mark or the British Standard Mark 12312-1:2013 E. Glasses without these marks may not filter the harmful rays and may increase eye damage risk as the dark lenses let the pupil dilate. Avoid being out in the sun when it is at its strongest — a simple rule of thumb is to check your shadow. If it is shorter than you, then stay out of the sun.


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App of the month

Images © istockphoto

Good news for carers There are around 13.6 million unpaid carers in the UK

and one in ten of those have become carers for the first time due to the pandemic. As a GP, I know all too well just how much those that care in our society sacrifice. Most put the needs of those they support above their own, and many go without a break as they have no one to turn to who will cover the work they do if they should take a holiday. They literally save the nation millions of pounds and often go unrecognised and unrewarded, so I was delighted to hear that science and technology company Merck has collaborated with Carers UK and other global caregiving organisations to launch the first large-scale global Carer Well-Being Index as part of its Embracing Carers initiative. Unpaid UK carers face a huge impact on their own careers and relationships. With many carers reporting an increase in the hours spent caring each week post-pandemic, the initiative will use the findings to call for clear action to be taken by Government, public and private sectors to recognise the work done by these unsung heroes and to alleviate the pressure put on them. For more information, visit embracingcarers.com.

I have been a GP for 25 years and in that time, I have seen a dramatic increase in mental health problems in young people. Sadly, the pandemic, and the lockdowns that ensued, have resulted in a further inexorable rise in stress, anxiety and depression in young people and many of you will have children or grandchildren who are struggling with their own mental health issues. NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are already under huge strain, so I was delighted to be asked to work with a team of experts on a new App called Hidden Strength. Hidden Strength is a unique, digital mental health platform for young people, offering 24-hour free support and advice in a safe and anonymous environment. There are currently 3.3 million young people in the UK struggling with their mental health and over half say they have only done so since the first lockdown in March 2020. The creators have left no stone unturned in ensuring the app is safe and secure. It offers support around the clock, meaning there is help available even in the small hours of night, which is often when young people need support the most. All the therapists employed by the app are required to hold professional qualifications and registration with their relevant professional bodies to ensure all users receive the intervention they need. When I started working in NHS General Practice, I saw the occasional young person with mental health problems. Today I hear from young people and their parents most weeks and having met the team behind its development, I am sure Hidden Strength will be a welcome tool in our armoury against the mental health problems faced by young people today.

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therapy COULD THE SOLUTION TO A H O S T O F H E A LT H ISSUES BE FOUND IN YOUR F E E T ? H A N N A H E B E LT H I T E D I P S H E R TO E S I N TO T H E W O R L D O F R E F L E X O LO G Y TO F I N D O U T M O R E .

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Reflexology works well alongside HRT. Women tell me it helps them cope with life better.

ost of us love a good foot massage; even those five minutes at the end of a pedicure can feel wonderful. But have you taken it a step further and tried specialised foot Reflexology massage that could see health practitioner and tutor Sally Kay. benefits cascade through mind and body? Reflexology is a therapy via the feet dating back more than 4,000 years. There’s evidence it was practised in ancient Chinese, Egyptian and Roman cultures. “The form we use today didn’t come to the West until around the 1940s,” says Sally Kay, an internationally acclaimed reflexology practitioner and tutor. “It’s evolving all the time, but based on the principle that specific ‘reflex’ points on the soles, sides and tops of your feet correspond to certain organs, systems and areas of your body.” “By massaging the points, a reflexologist aims to restore balance in the body and improve general wellbeing,” says Karen Young of the Federation of Holistic Therapists, the UK’s largest accredited register of complementary practitioners. They’ll use their thumbs, fingers and knuckles to stimulate the points, although sometimes crystals and other tools can come into play, too. Therapists may sometimes treat the hands, ears and face — but it’s the feet where most treatment is focused. “A recent survey of our therapists found reflexology to be the most popular treatment among their clients,” says Karen.


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How does it work? There’s no proven mechanism of action but multiple theories. Reflexology has roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is thought by some to work on the same meridians (energy pathways) as acupuncture, to stimulate the body’s own healing processes. Others suggest it stimulates nerve pathways or works on connective tissues and the lymphatic system. Even the placebo effect can be statistically significant and is not to be underestimated. In short, if something makes you feel good and delivers benefits, do the intricacies of what’s happening really matter? “Reflexology brings my clients a huge amount of comfort,” says Sally. “It’s intriguing to wonder what’s going on, but more relaxing just to enjoy it.” Reflexology is said to help calm the mind.

Which issues may it help? “Reflexology has traditionally been used as a preventative therapy, to stay well,” says Sally. “In the West we tend to wait until we’re unwell or things go wrong before we seek help, but perhaps this is changing. “As a reflexologist I can’t diagnose or claim to treat any condition,” she continues. “But I can treat anyone through all stages of life. Reflexology is as useful on babies as it is in palliative care.” Fans of this gentle, non-intrusive therapy say it helps them to relax, relieves stress and anxiety and improves sleep. All of which could be especially important during menopause and beyond. Working on the reflexes corresponding with our reproductive system can be effective for moderating hormones. “Many women find treatment useful for relieving hot flushes, night sweats and generally feeling more balanced and supported at this time,” says Sally. “It works well alongside HRT too. Women tell me it helps them cope with life better, easing physical, mental and emotional symptoms.” In the same way, reflexology can be used alongside conventional medicine to support you through many health conditions and diseases, such as digestive issues and some cancers, helping to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. “While complementary therapies like reflexology obviously can’t cure or treat cancer, lots of people find them hugely supportive through their journey,” says Karen. “As well as easing anxiety, reflexology may help them to cope with different symptoms linked to both the disease and the medical procedures which can follow a diagnosis. The power of positive touch is also not to be underestimated in people who are very poorly or distressed.”

What does the science say?

Research into complementary therapies is always lacking compared to conventional medicine. But as our interest in holistic medical practices grows, so too does an evidence base of small studies and trials. Research has shown reflexology can moderate the stress hormone cortisol and have a positive impact on wellbeing. Studies are ongoing, but many arthritis sufferers are said to respond well to reflexology, finding it reduces pain. Fans believe it can relieve sinus pain. Reflexology devotees sometimes report different responses after a session, including needing to go to the toilet more often or feeling emotional. It is said to be the body’s way of getting rid of toxins. As to evidence for cancer-related issues, look no further than Sally herself, who created, researched and

In the

KNOW

According to a study by the Federation of Holistic Therapists, 73% of clients using reflexology do so to cope with long-term illnesses like arthritis. Jennifer Wayte, President of the FHT says, “Complementary therapies can help people manage their symptoms.”

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H ea lt h developed reflexology lymph drainage (RLD) for patients suffering secondary lymphoedema, a swelling of the limbs that can follow breast cancer treatment. “It was inspired by manual lymphatic drainage massage techniques,” she says. “I found I could get the same effects using the lymphatic reflexes on the feet.” Sally’s practice has won national and international awards and has peer-reviewed trials that support its efficacy. She details it in her book of the same name and teaches it to practitioners all over the world.

While some people might find reflexology ticklish at first or find some spots on their feet a little tender or ‘crunchy’, it’s best described as a relaxing, feelgood massage. “Each session is tailored to the individual, but typically lasts around an hour,” says Sally. “We’ll start with a consultation to find out how you’re feeling in yourself and what you want from the reflexology. Then we’ll ask you to recline on a comfy chair or bed. We’ll cleanse your feet, apply a massage cream or balm and start with some relaxing movements, before moving on to the reflexology points, concentrating on those areas that need work.” You might choose a one-off treatment or to have them regularly. “Some clients will drift off to sleep while others chat or want a running commentary on what I’m feeling,” Sally says. “And while we don’t diagnose conditions based on what we find, I might suggest that a client’s shoulders are tight, or that they’d benefit from drinking more water, for example.” If you’re wary of having a stranger touch your feet, you could start with some self-reflexology or ask your partner to have a go. “The pads on the backs of your toes correspond to your head so massaging them could help relieve headaches and sinus congestion,” says Sally. “There are lots of how-to guides on YouTube, which I recommended to clients I wasn’t able to see during lockdown.”

If you’d like to try it… “While some hospitals, hospices and charities offer reflexology as part of a complementary health service, it’s not something routinely accessed via the NHS,” says Karen Young. That said, more GPs are becoming open to patients investigating therapies like these for the symptoms and conditions we’ve covered above. “If you have private medical insurance, there’s a good chance reflexology might be included in your cover, so it’s worth checking,” she adds. To find a registered reflexology practitioner near you, visit the Federation of Holistic Therapists at fht.org.uk or the Association of Reflexologists at aor.org.uk. To contact Sally or find out more about RLD, visit reflexologylymphdrainage.co.uk.

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Reflexology can help improve quality of sleep, allowing you to live life to the full.

REFLEXOLOGY GAVE ME BACK CONTROL OF MY LIFE

After major surgery and chemotherapy for breast cancer in 2003, Gail Davies (66), from Blackwood, South Wales, developed secondary lymphoedema. “By the time I found Sally and reflexology, I had suffered with lymphoedema for years and had almost given up hope. I first developed an uncomfortably swollen arm, hand and fingers 10 months after I had surgery. “Despite doing all the exercises, massage, skincare and wearing the compression garments my nurses recommended, one arm was 30% bigger than the other. I had to rethink all my clothes and felt very self-conscious — it was incredibly distressing. “It wasn’t until 2014 that a friend told me about Sally’s work, where trials had shown improvements in lymphoedema patients like me. From my first appointment, I noticed a difference. I liked the fact it wasn’t intrusive and felt so relaxing. Week-on-week I felt less tense, more balanced and harmonious. Measurements showed the swelling was going down and, unlike with my hospital treatments, it stayed down. “After the initial course, my arm was only 4% larger than the other! I started to lose weight, joined a gym and could wear my favourite clothes again. This reduction did slow down as Sally said it would, but it still helps every time I have a treatment. Until lockdown that was monthly, and I can’t wait to get back to it. Reflexology hasn’t just helped the swelling in my arm. As a cancer survivor it’s been invaluable for my emotional health and overall wellbeing, too.”

Images © Getty Images, Istockphoto

How does it feel?


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WHEN?

Friday November 19, 2021 at 3pm

Images © Istockphoto

LIVE W E ’ R E B AC K W I T H A B A N G A F T E R T H E S U C C E S S O F O U R F I R S T V I R T U A L E V E N T, W I T H A F E S T I V E BONANZA — JUST FOR YOU! JOIN THE TEAM, WITH A MULLED WINE IN HAND, FOR A VIRTUAL AFTERNOON O F S E A S O N A L F U N A N D C H R I S T M A S J O Y. Y O U W O N ’ T WA N T TO M I S S I T !

CELEBRATE THE SEASON WITH US

...

A

re you ready for guaranteed laughs, expert advice and lots of inspiration? Join us, from the comfort of your own home this winter, for a journey through some of Platinum’s best bits — with a festive twist!

You can expect*

Edible gift ideas with Valentina Fizzy, fun cocktail-making In-depth chat with Dr Dawn Harper Behind-the-scenes at a Christmas party reader makeover A festive fiction chat with Adele Parks Sparkling homes, magical crafting and so much more… *Event content is subject to change.

It’s free to join us If you’d like to join us free of charge, simply register your interest at platinum-mag.co.uk/ platinum-live-registration 56

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Party time in Venice P136-137

Best of both worlds in Thailand P 1 3 2- 1 3 5

From farm to city P 6 2- 6 5

Home& AWAY We’ve got all the ideas you need this month, from planning future luxury trips to Thailand and Venice to making your own home shine.

I Naturalistic garden design P66-69

n our home and away pages this month, we supply healthy doses of holiday inspiration, from Thailand to the suburbs of London. Travel across oceans with backpacker Jo Gardner as she enjoys a holiday of two halves, blending the luxury of inner-city hotels with the astounding beauty of rural hillsides in Thailand. Turn to page 136 and find out how you can get your hands on a once in a lifetime trip to Venice during carnival season. We don’t know about you, but partying with locals by shimmering Italian waters sounds like the perfect escape. Take a look at the amazing Farm in the City with Sara Ward on page 62. As the owner of urban farm Hen Corner, she explains why living sustainably is a lot easier than you may think, and shares a couple of handy tips on how you can start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Make the most of your garden with Mark Lane. Turn to page 66 for a look into the world of naturalistic gardening and find out how you can bring the charm of the tropics to your green spaces. Oh, and Mark’s step-by-step guide to creating the perfect rose garden will keep you busy for a few hours in the sunshine, too. PLATINUM

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UK staycations INSPIRED BY TV SHOWS A S B R I D G E R TO N ’ S L A D Y WHISTLEDOWN WOULD S AY, T H E S E A R E T H E “ M O S T H I G H LY S O U G H TA F T E R I N V I TAT I O N S ” O F THE SEASON. By ANYA MEYEROWITZ

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elevision and travel are curiously interlinked: they both allow you to explore new destinations, point the lens at an angle you’ve never seen before and escape, even if for a moment, into another world. And, after a year of watching your favourite TV shows from your sofa, what better way to keep the action going than by visiting the very destinations and landmarks you’ve been immersed in on the small screen? From a guided walking tour of Bath, following in the footsteps of our favourite Bridgerton characters, to hopping on a bus in Barry to see “what’s occurrin’” at some of the Gavin And Stacey landmarks, there’s a TV-inspired staycation to suit every type of small screen fan. With restrictions lifting, it’s now time to go behind the scenes in a way you’ve never been privy to previously.

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Travel

Bath

TOUR: Bath Adventures’ Bridgerton Sights & Music Tour, £15 per person; britmovietours.com Enjoy heading to the mesmerising city of Bath for a two-hour promenade through the historic streets, stopping off at key filming locations from the popular Netflix series. You may spot the colourfully dressed Featheringtons by their house and be sure to look out for Madame Delacroix’s dress shop, along with another noteworthy location — Lady Danbury’s house. The walking tour, which will also lead you through the quaint cobbled streets and allow time for stopping off for ice cream, heads off at a leisurely pace, so you needn’t worry about being left behind. STAY: Don’t let the drama end when the tour does. Book the Live Like A Bridgerton package at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, the iconic Georgian landmark which featured frequently in the series.

Enjoy a two-night stay in one of their decadent rooms or suites, a Champagne afternoon tea and exclusive private evening tour of the Featherington residence. From £410 per night; royalcrescent.co.uk

Images © Alamy, Brit Movie Tours, Liam Daniel/Netflix, No. 1 Museum, Istockphoto, Shutterstock

Hampshire

ENJOY REAL LIFE SPLENDOUR AT H I G H C L E R E CASTLE

TOUR: Downton Abbey at Highclere Tour, from £15 per person. Find out more at highclerecastleshop.co.uk Though the home of Lord and Lady Carnarvon needs little introduction, it is definitely one that benefits from an inside look. Highclere Castle, perhaps more famously known as Downton Abbey, brings in fans of the period drama from up and down the country and tickets are as sought after as Lady Mary herself. Highclere is only open to the public at certain times of year, although the great house does put on a programme of events outside of general admissions. If you fancy splashing out, you can book a more private tour of the castle, which includes the opportunity to view the Egyptian Exhibition in the grounds and the house without other visitors buzzing around. STAY: Though, sadly, you can’t stay in the castle itself, there are two enchanting lodges set in the grounds of Highclere. Grotto Lodge and London Lodge can be rented for a minimum of two nights. The package includes basic shopping delivered on your arrival, and a unique chance to experience the grand estate after the visitors have gone home. From £1,600 for a 3-night stay; highclerecastleshop.co.uk PLATINUM

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Wales

TOUR: The Official Gavin and Stacey Tour costs £30 per person; britmovietours.com Hop on a minibus and head off to see “what’s occurrin’” in Barry Island, the infamous location of many of the Gavin And Stacey episodes. The tour, approved by both co-creator Ruth Jones and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, is a brilliant way to relive the show, as well as to hear stories about filming, the actors, and why this corner of Wales is known as ‘Barrybados’. The three-hour tour visits many of the key locations from the TV show — including the street where Stacey lives, the arcade (and tattoo parlour) where Nessa works and the church where she nearly gets married to Dave, interspersed with upbeat sing-alongs to the music from classic scenes as you drive. STAY: You’re not inundated with luxury hotels, but what you do get in abundance is down-to-earth charm. StayBC offer two property choices, one located just a fiveminute drive from Barry Island Pleasure Beach (where many people will recognise Stacey’s place of work) and the other on the Harbourside itself. The former option sleeps seven in four rooms, while the latter can sleep four. From £99 per night; staybc.co.uk

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Travel

Cornwall

TOUR: Poldark Tour of Cornwall Filming Locations, £495 per four people; britmovietours.com You don’t get much more exclusive than this Cornish Poldark tour, a marathon eighthour, private journey into this part of the world as you’ve never seen it before. Adapted from the Winston Graham series, Poldark showcases some of the most dramatic landscape and coastline that this part of the UK has to offer, and you’ll visit, alongside a knowledgeable tour guide, through the lens of Ross Poldark. The whistle-stop tour includes Truro, Falmouth, Botallack (where the farmhouse Botallack Manor was used in the original 1970s series as Ross Poldark’s home, Nampara) and St Ives,

among various others. And keen watchers will recognise Porthgwarra, the pretty cove used in Poldark series one for the pilchard boats scene, and also from where Demelza spies on Ross taking his early morning swim. STAY: Though you might have been swayed to visit by the 18th century drama, there is nothing outdated about Carlyon Bay Hotel. The fourstar hotel, perched high on the clifftops, includes a luxury spa, a heated outdoor pool looking out over the azure bay, two award-winning restaurants and glorious sea views. There’s also a private beach and an 18hole championship golf course for those who want to take it a little easier. From £150 per night; carlyonbay.com

Kent

ENJOY THE STUNNING SCENERY OF THE KENT DOWNS

TOUR: Call The Midwife Official Location Tour, from £25 per person; thedockyard.co.uk Walk in the footsteps of Nurse Trixie Franklin, Sister Julienne and Dr Turner as you immerse yourself in 1950s East London. The walking tour is led by your very own costumed midwife, who will take you along easily-recognisable cobbled streets and buildings of ‘Poplar’, as well as iconic locations such as the Grosvenor Hotel and ‘Chummy’s Hill’, where Nurse Noakes famously learned to ride her bike. The tour ends with access to the exclusive Call The Midwife exhibition, showcasing the set, props and costumes, and an upgraded ticket will see you end your day with a cream tea and prosecco. STAY: Just 15 minutes from Chatham, the Thurnham Keep welcomes guests to stay in a magnificent Edwardian country house, just below Thurnham Castle itself. Roam the seven acres of landscaped gardens, take in the breathtaking views across the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and enjoy authentic B&B hospitality at its most luxurious. From £150 per night; thurnhamkeep.co.uk PLATINUM

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FARM in the

CITY

A HONEY MAKER, BREAD B A K E R , V E G E TA B L E GROWER AND ANIMAL LO V E R , S A R A WA R D T E L L S MAIRI MULHERN ABOUT T H E B E LO V E D H O U S E S H E T U R N E D I N TO A N U R B A N S U S TA I N A B L E FA R M .

“I’m Hens grazing by garden coops. Sara has been keeping chickens since 2007, just before moving into Hen Corner.

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living and running a business in my dream house, on my dream street, in my favourite town in my favourite country,” says Sara Ward, founder and owner of microbakery and urban smallholding, Hen Corner. A mum of two grown-up children, Sara keeps 22 hens and three colonies of bees on the grounds of her Victorian terrace house in the heart of Brentford, London. When she isn’t tending to her animals, Sara runs a sustainable bakery and backyard brewery as well as hosting cooking masterclasses in her delightful turquoise and cream tiled kitchen. “We’ve been living in this house for 13 years and I’ve been running Hen Corner from our back garden for ten of those years. The house has been here since the street was first built, hundreds of years ago. One of the workmen constructed it for his family to live in, so it’s the biggest on the street,” Sara says proudly. Backdropped by gorgeous, exposed brick walls, Sara video calls me from what she refers to as her ‘garden room’. Sara’s honey sits atop thick wooden shelves behind her and colourful fresh fruit rests on a nearby countertop, destined for the next batch of Hen Corner jam.


People “This is my favourite room in the house,” she says. “It’s where I host my classes, where we welcome friends and where we enjoy all of our family meals. “I could quite easily say that my living room is my favourite because I love watching TV or that my bedroom is because I love my sleep, but it’s this room that really brings people together. It’s where we all share time together, and that’s what life is all about.” While we speak, the garden room brightens with early afternoon sunshine and despite seeing it through a virtual lens, my mood definitely lifts — a feeling very much in harmony with Sara’s personality. The Hen Corner founder paints a picture of her garden; a space laced with fruit trees of all different kinds, with raised flower beds and vegetable patches dotted between the chicken coops and beehives. “The woman who sold us the house handed the keys to me on completion day and said, ‘Please share the garden’,” she remembers. Sara points out that her garden was once used for school events and a young couple had even married there. “The place may not look grand from the front, but

our garden extends far out the back and around the corner — it’s perfect for everything we do. We feel honoured because you don’t get many spots like this in London.” Prior to lockdowns, Hen Corner welcomed more than 400 people through its doors every year and over 100 loaves of bread are still baked and shared with local communities every Friday. Sara is committed to sharing her outdoor space as promised, but it’s a huge undertaking for this one-woman team.

Locals know Sara’s bee colonies as ‘The Brentford Bee Squad’ and enjoy news updates about their goings on during the swarm seasons.

This is aThis is a swathe of dummy

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People

“I don’t want to make Hen Corner any bigger!” she admits. “As much as this is our home and I am encouraging other people to live as we do, I don’t want it to grow too big for my space, because then it’s just not home at all.” Blending the rural with the urban is what Sara believes makes her business thrive and her home special. “We do everything that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall does with River Cottage and what Jamie Oliver does in his homegrown cooking programmes — our chickens are hatching, we’re swimming in lakes, our bees are flying and we’re growing wild garlic. But we’re doing it in the city, which makes it more accessible. We want to show people that they really can have the best of both worlds.” Sara started eating more sustainably when her son was young, after realising she had no idea where the products she was feeding him had come from. “I started looking into food and how it gets here and felt that a lot of the UK food system was (and is) broken.” The Ward family can now live almost exclusively on their own produce, especially during summer months when fruit and vegetable crops are rich. “I was on the list for an allotment for 15 years! And if balancing my crops in the tiny space has taught me anything, it’s to appreciate our food producers. “We have this awful culture of not valuing food, expecting it and then throwing it away. I think we still need to be educating people on the value of food,” Sara says. “Learning how to live sustainably and grow your own food is mainstream now — 20 years ago, pesticides and intensive farming were normal — but people still see these things as countryside pursuits.” Sara also sources meat from local vendors, ordering whole animals straight to her home to avoid waste. Add in the eggs from her hens alongside multiple jars of honey and weekly baking, and suddenly ‘popping to the shop’ becomes an entirely foreign concept.

“You really can have the best of both worlds.”

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S T E P S TO L I V I N G C O N S C I O U S LY

SARA SHARES SOME S I M P L E WAY S TO S TA R T Y O U R S U S TA I N A B L E L I V I N G J O U R N E Y.

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1 Sara holds online hen keeping classes to help people start their own urban coops. “What good is knowledge if you can’t share it?” she says. If you’re interested, find out more at hencorner.com

People

VICE

E AT S E A S O N A L LY

We know that strawberries don’t taste the same in winter as they do in summer. Not so long ago, we would only eat British strawberries in June, because that was the time of year they were available. Start engaging with the seasons and recognise what’s bountiful and what’s valuable. Once you’ve tasted what food is like straight from the ground, you’ll never go back.

2

PICK UP A BOOK

Start reading articles, books and online forums to find out what’s happening. There are numerous documentaries on sustainability now, too. The information you need is there, you just need to actively look for it.

3 “Everyone can live agriculturally and naturally and sustainably,” she declares firmly. “It’s just knowing where to start.” Achieving the perfect work-life balance is something many of us strive for, but this admirable feat is not on Sara’s radar. When your hobbies are your business, it seems that work never stops. “Some days are very long. When I finally have a day off, I’m so aware of the things that haven’t been done because I can see them right in front of me.” Sara says she’d be lying to herself if she thought this was a bad thing. “I’ve made my hobby my work and I’m so fortunate that it’s successful and helping others. “My husband doesn’t want to do this forever, though. This beautiful Victorian house needs a lot of decorating and maintenance. He’s been saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a smaller place?’, but having a smaller place means saying goodbye to Hen Corner.” That’s not entirely true though, because Hen Corner is Sara. Wherever she goes hens, honey and happy customers will follow. “If we do eventually get to downsizing then it’s probably retiring time, too… If I retire, I’ll definitely still be keeping bees and chickens anyway, so not much will change — and I don’t want it to!” Pam Wade Photography PAMWADEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM Juliet Murphy Photography JULIETMURPHYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

LEARN A SKILL

Occasionally have a go yourself, and learn something new. The amount of people that come on my courses and say, ‘Oh my goodness! I didn’t know I could do that,’ is astounding. I promise you, we can make something that looks and tastes amazing — no matter where you are.

4

AV O I D WA S T E

Know the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates. Adhere to ‘use by’ for health reasons. ’Best before’ is about quality — you can eat it within about two days of the date.

5

L I V E L I F E TO T H E F U L L

Make the effort. Working with nature and picking your first tomato crop is so uplifting. If the ‘grow your own’ mindset seems intimidating, just start small and take it from there — you’ll soon want to do more and wish you’d started sooner.


St yle — H o m es & Ga rde n s

Your best

EVER garden with MARK LANE

OUR GARDENING EXPERT INTRODUCES N AT U R A L I S T I C DESIGN, SHOWING Y O U H O W TO BRING FLAIR AND I N D I V I D U A L I T Y TO YOUR OUTDOOR S PA C E S .

L

ast month, I introduced you to French and tropical gardens. I thought you’d like a complete contrast this time around, so here we are looking at naturalistic gardens. You have probably come across the term when reading magazines or watching TV, but what does it mean, and how can you incorporate it into your garden or outdoor space? What we have come to understand is that perennial and naturalistic planting all started about 30 years ago in Germany and the Netherlands, with leading plantsman and designer, Piet Oudolf. Dan Pearson in the UK thereafter was also a big influence. The first person to write about a naturalistic style of planting in domestic settings goes back to 1870, when plantsman William Robinson wrote The Wild Garden. This went against formal-looking Victorian gardens of the time, with a good mix of herbaceous perennials, shrubs and climbers planted in a natural, “wild” way. Many of the plants were imported, but used to create a quintessentially English landscape. In the Netherlands, the ‘new perennial’ approach of the 1980s looked at the life cycle of the plant rather than just the beautiful flower. Plants from similar ecological habitats would be planted together, growing well in proximity, just like those found in woodland, prairie, wetland or steppe environments. Texture, foliage, shape and even decay played a big part — they still do within Piet Oudolf ’s work. Dan Pearson, an exceptional British plantsman and

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designer, looked at self-supporting communities of plants and how they sat within the larger landscape to create a sense of place. In America, prairie-style planting grew with a large mix of colourful perennials, initially in large groupings of single varieties. Over time, these large groupings got smaller and plants were mixed more randomly to create a tapestry of colour, shape and spontaneity. There are of course many other naturalistic-style gardeners and garden designers, but while the final look and feel of the garden may be of natural wildness, every plant has usually been orchestrated and planned to give the best effects. So where do you start when considering this style of planting? Start by looking at what grows in surrounding areas, then think about cultivars (made by selective breeding) and native plants to give the same or similar effect. Also remember that plants are not in flower for 12 months of the year, so this is when texture and structure come into play. For example, thistle-like plants such as eryngium agavifolium — I have mine around a central water feature — look stunning when in flower during the summer, but also look amazing over autumn and winter with their strong, vertical, architectural silhouettes. Naturalistic planting started in large public parks, so we want to try to create this beautiful style in our smaller domestic gardens, or even in a large container for that matter. Initially, think about the location of the flower border or container. If it’s under shade, look at woodland plants. If the border will be in full sun all day, consider prairie or steppe plants. Next, think of your border in layers. Consider allyear structure in the form of shrubs and trees. You may, however, want to omit these and focus just on herbaceous perennials. But having a structural layer is a good place to start. The next layer is groundcover plants and the final layer is the seasonal flowering plants which, if selected properly, can look good over two or more seasons.


Instead of planting in formal rows, lay out thick grasses and dot colourful flowers throughout for a meadow-like aesthetic. Add slabs or large stones to create a meandering pathway in between.

For a naturalistic-style container, think in exactly the same way, just on a smaller scale. A collection of containers can bring an area to life — one with a shrub or small tree and some groundcover plants, and two others with groundcover and taller herbaceous perennials. Make sure to look at how plants grow. We have been taught to plant in threes or odd numbers; in a triangular formation or dotted around like the number five of a dice. This still works in a naturalisticstyle garden but rather than planting them all together, you might have four planted in close quarters and then three others dotted throughout the border as if they have self-seeded themselves, as plants do in the wild. Just like in formal gardens, repetition of plants plays a big role. Not as large static groups, but as spontaneous groupings of plants repeated throughout the border. I find that fewer plants give a bigger impact for this style of planting, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have a colour-filled garden. Additional colour, shape and form can come from bulbs scattered among the planting or short-lived annuals, biennials and perennials. Ornamental grasses also play a big part in this style of gardening and are used to weave among the other plants, knitting the scheme together. PLATINUM

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“Thistle-like plants look lovely in summer and autumn.”

TOP NATURALISTIC PLANTS TO CHOOSE FROM

Myrtle spurge is a perfect choice.

Pick only four or five from each section below and have fun creating your own naturalistic theme. Think about a good mix of mounds and vertical accents. FOR DRY STEPPE MEADOWS Great coneflower or rudbeckia Blue oat grass Amethyst flower or bush violet Summerwine or yarrow Myrtle spurge

Seat, £699, House of Flora

Fire pit, £189.99, Ivyline

FOR PRAIRIE-STYLE PLANTING Miscanthus ‘Kleine Fontaine’ Helenium ‘Waltraut’ Blue wild indigo or cornflower Sedum ‘Matrona’ Achillea ‘Terracotta’ FOR SHADY AREAS Aruncus ‘Horatio’ Summer Dance Wild oats ‘River Mist’ Album Lamium ‘White Nancy’ FOR WINDY, OPEN SITES Atlas Fescue Whirling Butterflies Scabious ‘Devils Bit’ Macedonian scabious Prince

Bamboo plant, £124, Sweetpea & Willow

Garden joy Pot ornament, £16, Ella James

Customisable garden journal, £14.50, Cynefn

Garden table and chairs, £1,500, Garden Trading

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Your guide to happy,

healthy roses T H E F LO W E R O F R O M A N C E A N D GRANDEUR, ROSES SHOULD BE W E L L- K E P T W I T H A D E L I C AT E A N D C A R E F U L H A N D . F O L LO W T H E S E S T E P S TO M A I N TA I N R O S E S T H AT A R E A S C H A R M I N G A N D F E E LG O O D A S T H E Y A R E E Y E - C ATC H I N G .

1

It’s all about sunlight

The joy of roses is that they come in so many variations. Have fun with your designs. Try recreating wedding bouquets or plant blooms that have a heady fragrance — Gabriel Oak rose is simply lovely.

Roses need at least six hours of sunlight every day and under shelter to flower at their best. If possible, select roses that don’t just look pretty, but ones that will bloom all summer and are diseaseresistant. In other words, choose climbing and rambling roses to climb over trellis, pergolas and arbours to cover sheds and garages or to fill trees with colour and scent. Shrub roses, tea roses, grandiflora and floribunda are lovely for borders. For smaller spaces, consider patio and miniature roses.

2

Remember, roses are hungry plants

Images © GAP Photos/Friedrich Strauss/Tim Gainey, Istockphoto, Shutterstock, Dobbies

Mix organic matter into rich and well-drained soil. Go for well-rotted manure or garden compost. Feed in spring and again mid to late summer with a high potash and magnesium liquid feed for flower development.

3

Don’t forget to mulch

A 5-10cm layer of organic mulch like wellrotted horse manure, compost or bark chippings will help keep moisture in the soil but also help reduce rose diseases such as black spot. This lessens the amount of water splashback on leaves which again, will help to prevent fungal diseases.

4

Watering the right way is crucial

Water roses deeply and infrequently, and directly onto the soil. If you have one, use a soaker hose and attach a timer to the outside tap to ensure regularity. Get into the habit of regularly checking your roses for signs of pests and diseases and treat them accordingly. Pick up or rake away any fallen diseased leaves and dispose of accordingly. Kill pests such as aphids and greenfly by attracting

birds or ladybirds into the garden to snack on them. You can attract ladybirds by planting pollen-rich species like yarrow and marigolds.

5

Prune for perfection

Pruning is essential for healthy and robust roses. It promotes new growth and by removing any dead, diseased, crossing, rubbing, older stems you increase airflow and sunlight which helps keep pests and diseases at bay.

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“I can’t live without”

Our favourite stars, influencers and experts share their essential make-up and skincare products.

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How to wear colour with confidence Colour counsellor and stylist Jules Standish reveals how to find the perfect shades for you.

STYLE& BEAUTY

P E R F E C T Y O U R LO O K A N D B O O S T YOUR CONFIDENCE WITH OUR FA S H I O N A N D M A K E - U P F E AT U R E S .

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How green is your beauty cabinet? Sustainability is here to stay. Adrianne Webster investigates why beauty is getting an ecofriendly makeover.

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“Make-up is not vanity, it’s art”

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Meet the eco-fashionistas

Fashion expert Wendy Rigg speaks to the women who have reduced the amount of new clothes they buy and are choosing to shop differently. They share in-the-know advice for environmentally friendly style.

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From partying with Jane Seymour to eating lunch with Paul McCartney and shopping with Cilla Black, Ariane Poole shares memories of her life as make-up artist to the stars.


Flattering

Dress to impress

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£79.50, Oliver Bonas

ist wa

£45, M&S Collection

£69.99, H&M

£42, Next

£24, F&F

£290, Seraphina London

Monsoon dress, £99, Very

Gorgeous

PRINT

£45, Per Una @ M&S

£40, Next

£29.99, Zara

£34.99, H&M

IF YOU ONLY

BUY

ONE THING

W H AT ’ S N OT TO LO V E A B O U T A F LO AT Y, S U M M E R D R E S S ? S I M P L E , Y E T E L E G A N T, AND OH-SO-SWISHABLE, THEY’RE THE PERFECT P O P - O N -A N D - G O I T E M . H E R E A R E O U R FAV O U R I T E S .

...

£39.50, M&S

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Meet the

eco-fashionistas FA S H I O N E X P E R T W E N D Y R I G G S P E A K S TO T H E W O M E N W H O H AV E R E D U C E D T H E A M O U N T O F N E W C LOT H E S T H E Y B U Y A N D S TA R T E D S H O P P I N G M O R E T H O U G H T F U L LY. T H E Y S H A R E T H E I R A D V I C E F O R P L A N E T- F R I E N D LY S T Y L E . Photography: GEMMA DAY Hair and make-up: LINDSEY POOLE “I GET S AT I S FA C T I O N FROM SUPPORTING GOOD CAUSES AND BEING MORE GREEN.”

“I try to live sustainably and buy second-hand from charity shops.”

Ali wears: Vintage Topshop wrap dress, £20, Mary’s Living and Giving ‘70s style clogs, £30, Cancer Research.

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ALI WOOD (51), FROM SOUTHGATE, WORKS FOR CATS PROTECTION’S NORTH LONDON ADOPTION CENTRE. SHE PREFERS TO RE-INVENT HER EXISTING WARDROBE, OR BUY PRE-LOVED. “I’ve worn charity and eBay finds for many years and have always swapped clothes with my sister and friends. Recently I felt I’d lost my style direction a little. I had lots of clothes, but many of them no longer suited my lifestyle. I’d always worked in the corporate world, but when I changed career I no longer needed suits and smart jackets. I try to live sustainably and buy second-hand from charity shops, as it gives me the satisfaction of supporting good causes as well as keeping clothes out of landfill. “I entered a competition on the North London Waste Authority’s website (a great source for ideas on recycling) and won a consultation with a fashion stylist to help me make the most of the clothes I already own, how to edit my wardrobe down, and what to buy to complement the clothes I wanted to keep. “This made me consider not only my wardrobe, but my whole look. I was encouraged to look back at what I’d loved when I was younger so I went back to my boho/rock chic roots to develop a new style. I’ve been experimenting with my hair colour, too — it is currently various


“THE STYLIST’S ADVICE REKINDLED MY LOVE FOR MY OWN WARDROBE.” ALI’S SECRETS FOR BUYING PRE-LOVED STYLES

shades of pink, which I absolutely love. It suits my new, bolder approach to fashion and the confidence that comes with growing older and caring less about what others think. “I had great fun shopping for some of the items suggested to update my look — a gorgeous leather rucksack to take me from work to nights out, a sequinned T-shirt, Stan Smith sneakers and some silver trainers, all bought from Vinted or eBay. “I re-dye my muchloved but faded clothes to revitalise them. Fortunately, I can sew — I’ve had to shorten trousers my whole life — and I have customised or tailored some items to make them a better fit. YouTube videos are great for how-to tutorials. “The stylist’s advice rekindled my love for my own wardrobe and sparked a greater enjoyment of fashion. I’d absolutely recommend pre-loved shopping — there are so many great clothes out there already that there’s really no need to buy new!”

1. I know the colours and shapes that suit me and I base my looks around this, rather than high fashion. 2. I stay on trend by researching the coming season’s looks on fashion magazine websites and then pick out relevant items from my own wardrobe. 3. I use Pinterest to see how others put together real life (rather than catwalk) outfits. A statement bag or jewellery can really bring an outfit up to date. 4. Vinted and eBay are my favourite websites, although there are a growing number of online thrift stores. I find selling my unwanted clothes very fulfilling and it offsets the guilt of buying replacements. I package them up nicely in tissue paper with a little note, so that someone else can enjoy receiving and wearing them. 5. If I fall in love with something, or it is quite unique, I often buy it immediately, otherwise I ‘favourite’ a number of items, and if I still want something a couple of days later then I buy it. If something doesn’t fit or suit me I just put it up for sale again. For more commonplace items, like jeans or trainers, I cross-reference Vinted and eBay, as the same item may be available for a lower price on one or the other. Sites like Vinted and Nuw also enable you to swap, rather than buy, pre-loved clothes and are ideal if you want a show-stopping special outfit that you may only wear once. 6. Charity shops offer the advantage of being able to try before you buy. I try to visit regularly, and focus on searching for one or two specific items, rather than general browsing. That way I avoid temptation and have time to visit multiple shops, increasing my chance of the perfect find.


IRENE’S TIPS FOR FINDING A VINTAGE DESIGNER BARGAIN 1. Avoid newer accessories by Gucci or Louis Vuitton, as there are too many fakes around. I don’t go for big name designers as they tend to be too expensive. Also, I know to trust certain sellers, who I’ve brought from in the past. 2. Sites like Depop or ASOS Marketplace are great for finding cheap and cheerful things from the ‘80s in particular. VintedFr — the French version of Vinted — is a good hunting ground for French designers like Isabelle Marant or YSL. 3. If you’re serious about the provenance of your clothes, do your research. Check Etsy or eBay but look at other vintage sites as well as sometimes you might find a bargain. The good thing about designer vintage is that the clothes have already stood the test of time, so as the latest custodian you’re prolonging the longevity.

“I’ve stepped away from competitive dressing and dress to please myself.” IRENE SHELLEY-NORTH (60) IS A MAGAZINE EDITOR FROM SOUTH EAST LONDON. SHE LOVES TO WEAR VINTAGE DESIGNER CLOTHES SOURCED FROM WEBSITES SUCH AS ETSY AND EBAY. “Buying vintage clothing saves them from the designer scrapheap. Fashion churns out clothes we don’t really need, but supposedly ‘have to have’ because it’s the latest thing. I’ve stepped away from competitive dressing and dress to please myself. It’s definitely an age thing because having the latest handbag did matter to me when I was younger. “I like the term ‘pre-loved’ when describing clothes that have already been worn. They become part of your family. “I never pay full price for anything. The most I’ve spent on something is £400 on an ’80’s Yohji Yamamoto military-style coat. I could never afford a new coat from his label, so vintage is the way to go and it’s such a great way to find unique items. “I don’t restrict myself just to named or famous designers. I like ’70s prints, and cuts, bell sleeves, psychedelic prints and longer hems. Designers I buy are Diane Von Furstenberg, Rick Owens and Missoni. “My job requires me to attend a lot of evening events and I’ve worn many of my vintage finds to these. I’ve always got my eye on American designers from the ’70s and ’80s like Bill Tice, John Kloss and Halston for easy, fluid pieces à la Studio 54. You can dress them up with fab jewellery or be more understated. “I buy things I like and somehow they seem to go with the pieces that I already own. I never hit the ‘buy’ button straight away. I research the piece first and see if I can find any documentation — catwalk images, ads, when it first came out, other sites selling the same thing, etc. It’s got to feel right to me. “I prefer to do most of my clothes shopping online. If I’m after something, I’ll hunt it down and spend evenings researching.” “FRENCH WEBSITES ARE GOOD F O R FA M O U S BRANDS SUCH AS YSL”

Irene wears: Dress, £39 (one of three handmade ‘70’s dresses bought from an Etsy shop), necklace, vintage Missoni, $149, from eBay, and shoes from Yoox.com

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St yle — Fa s h io n “ I T WA S I M P O R TA N T TO M E T H AT MY WEDDING D R E S S WA S V I N TA G E . ”

“I always go for vintage if I can — it saves money and there are wonderful stories embedded in what you wear.”

No Place To Lie’ a debut memoir by Helen Garlick is available at Waterstone’s and Amazon

HELEN GARLICK (63) IS A FAMILY LAWYER-MEDIATOR AND AUTHOR FROM FERNHURST, WEST SUSSEX. SUSTAINABILITY WAS A KEY CONSIDERATION WHEN IT CAME TO CHOOSING A DRESS FOR HER WEDDING DAY. “The theme for our wedding celebration was Midsummer Night’s Eve, and Tim and I were married at the beautiful Ramster Hall in Chiddingfold in 2018 on June 23. I was (just!)60 and it was the second time around Helen wears: for both of us. Vintage 1930s “It was really important to me that the wedding dress, £375, dress was vintage, although I’m the world’s vintage shop worst shopper. Eventually, my older in Greenwich. daughter Unity managed to tie me down to a date when we were to look at wedding dresses — I’d kept on avoiding it beforehand! She’d found a wonderful vintage shop in Greenwich. I tried on three dresses and the second one, a handmade 1930s pale gold dress with a floaty chiffon skirt, was just perfect. Thankfully for me, I could skip going to the other two wedding dress shops she’d booked me into. “A local dressmaker fitted the dress for me and we decided to use a ribbon fastening at the back rather than buttons. I wore vintage earrings and a ‘gypsy’ engagement ring from 1910, all sourced from a jeweller’s shop in Richmond. My engagement ring is diamonds and sapphires, so it met the need for ‘something blue’ and my wedding ring was vintage too. My Titania tiara and my shoes were the only things which were new. HELEN’S VINTAGE “We gave gifts of wild thyme to each of the SHOPPING SECRETS guests or couples on the basis of something 1. Having a local dressmaker sustainable and lovely. Before the wedding on speed dial is essential for day, I potted up 98 wild thyme plants and altering vintage finds to fit. wrapped them up in recycled green tissue 2. Joli Vintage Living , paper in homage to a stanza from Shakespeare’s 7 Nelson Road, Greenwich, Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our joint speech London SE10 9JB (0203 417 finished off with the hope that people would 5790): Gorgeous dresses and have wild and wilderness times! accessories from all eras. “I like to keep shopping to a minimum. I save Such a treat. the clothes I love and donate those I don’t. I 3. David’s of Richmond always go for vintage if I can — it saves money (davids-jewellers. and there are wonderful stories embedded in myshopify.com): Perfect for what you wear. I love that my jackets from the beautiful vintage jewellery. ’70s and ’80s are right back on trend again now.” PLATINUM

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“I love to use my sewing skills to create my own unique DIY wardrobe.”

JULIE’S HOME SEWING ADDRESS BOOK SECRETS 1. Amothreads.com: Best deadstock fabrics. 2. Drapersdaughter.com: Curated online store selling stylish, modern patterns and fabrics. 3. @thefoldline1: An online community and one-stop sewing pattern shop for makers and designers. Find them on Facebook. Also follow Fashion Revolution @fash_rev on Instagram.

Julie wears: Kimono jacket made from a pattern from Stoff and Still, £4.50 (stoffstil.co.uk). Fabric was “Brick Heron’’ from Amothreads (amothreads.com), £9/m (needed 2m), total cost £22.50. Cuff top pattern from The Assembly Line, £21 (bought from drapersdaughter.com). Fabric “Grey cross dye” from Amothreads (amothreads.com) £2.95/m, total cost £24.54. Wide Leg Pant from The Nani Iro Sewing Studio Book, £15.99, white fabric from charity shop £3, total cost £18.99.

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JULIE KELLY (53), AN NHS PHYSIOTHERAPIST FROM ABINGDON, WORKS IN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH, HELPING TO LOOK AFTER 12,000 STAFF AT THE JOHN RADCLIFFE HOSPITAL IN OXFORD. SHE LOVES TO MAKE HER OWN CLOTHES AND SUSTAINABILITY IS AS IMPORTANT AS ENJOYING THE CRAFT. “I have got my sewing mojo back after a long break and have found great satisfaction in creating unique one-off pieces. I get my make-do-and-mend mentality from my mum, who sewed many of my early outfits — think trousers and skirts with matching headbands! “Through my rekindled passion for sewing, I’ve discovered a whole new world of independent pattern makers and a global support and advice forum on Facebook. I try to use charity and deadstock materials. I have been lucky in all my fabric finds and the prices are economical. I love finding a bargain. “I re-fashion charity finds and still buy the odd readyto-wear item, but always look at the production method and materials. Although I am not going to start making my own underwear any time soon! “I get ideas for makes everywhere, but particularly on Instagram. I follow fashion influencers and spotted a block printed £150 dress which I loved, by the brand Naked Generation. I decided to hack a pattern and make my own from a 50p jumble sale Indian bedspread. It’s now one of my favourite dresses. “Finding on-trend patterns is key, and I love those by The Assembly Line. They are not cheap at £21 but are well worth it. “I love to use my sewing skills to create my own unique DIY wardrobe and handmade gifts. It is important to me to look at the whole supply chain and where my fabric comes from. Respecting both natural and human resources should be our starting point when considering what we are going to buy and make as creatives. “Sewing is my therapy — I enjoy escaping to my cabin to craft and relax.”

“ I GET MY MAKE-DOAND-MEND M E N TA L I T Y FROM MY MUM.”


W HO TO

FASHION & BEAUTY

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colour CONFIDENCE W EAR

WITH

J U L E S S TA N D I S H S H A R E S H E R E X P E R T T I P S O N H O W TO F I N D T H E S H A D E S T H AT W O R K W E L L F O R Y O U , W H AT E V E R T H E O C C A S I O N .

C

olour can have a huge impact on your overall appearance and wellbeing. That’s been proven by science — plus, of course, we know most of us get a lift if we see a perfect blue sky, or a vase of sunny yellow daffodils. While it’s natural that hair and complexions change tone as you get older, I believe that wearing colours that harmonise with your underlying skintone can be as transformational as a facelift. By creating your own colour-capsule wardrobe, you can look and feel better. You’ll find what you wear works for you every day and throughout the seasons, helping you to stay visible and vibrant. We are all genetically suited to certain colours. These are the shades that make you look your most attractive, healthy and glowing, with an even complexion and sparkling eyes. The wrong colours, however, can make you appear washed out, tired or indeed older, with dark shadows under the eyes and chin. This is where I come in, as an expert in personal style and a colour consultant. Discovering your true colours is a worthy investment in yourself. Not only will you create a wardrobe that you love, but also one that saves time and money, and avoids making expensive mistakes. Shopping becomes easier too, purchasing items that not only suit you, but get worn both regularly and for special events.

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St yle — Fa s h io n

A dd r e d

Discover your seasonal palette How do you find the colours that suit you? I base colour choices around seasons. It can be a case of trial and error to find your personal shade palette, but there are handy tips to figure out the colours for you. Start with the basics. It helps to determine what your underlying skintone is. If your underlying tone is yellow/golden, you have a spring or autumn palette and should think of the colours of those seasons when putting outfits together. If you have a cool, blue base skintone, that means you have a summer or winter palette. Once discovered, you can embrace the benefits of knowing your best colours and feel confident you always look fabulous, no matter what your age. Most importantly, you should have fun finding your personal palette — don’t be afraid to try colours that once you may have shied away from. Here are some shortcuts and ways to help you figure it all out.

stick! lip

Necklace, £79.95, Seol + Gold

Nicole Kidman is a redhead with yellow undertones and blue eyes.

Blazer, £49.99, Zara

Warm, clear, bright spring You will typically have warm, yellow undertones in your skintone and you tan light golden. You probably blush easily and may have broken veins. Green veins might be visible on inner arms and you may have freckles. Your hair is strawberry or golden blonde, red, mid to dark brown or sometimes black. Your eye colour may be clear green, blue or brown. The colours that work well for you include poppy red, turquoise, coral, peach, golden yellow and lime green. Your neutrals are camel, ivory, warm grey and French navy. Try jewellery in bright gold. For make-up, try golden based foundations and blushes in peach, apricot or coral. Switch to a more flattering brown-black mascara and coral, bright red or pink lips. For eyes, go bold — green, purple or gold eyeshadow will look so stylish on you. And for your hair, aim for a warm golden look if you’re not going gloriously grey naturally.

Helen Mirren has a cool, summery undertone with pale blonde hair.

Trousers, £22.99, M&Co

Cool, delicate, soft summer If you’re summer, your complexion will have cool undertones and possibly an overall pinkish appearance, while blue veins might be visible on the inner arm. Your natural hair may be ash-blonde or cool brown, but rarely black. Your eyes will be soft blue, grey-blue or grey-brown. For clothing, try colours like raspberry pink, carnation pink, powder blue, mint green or tangerine. Your neutrals are taupe, pearl white and cream, dove grey and soft navy. Pair with rose gold jewellery to really make an outfit sing. With make-up, aim for cool, pink-based foundations and rose pink blusher. Try out lavender, blue, grey and even silver eyeshadow, along with brown-grey mascara and nude pink lips. Going fabulously grey or white-haired naturally will work wonders for you. If you’re colouring your hair, keep the ashy tones.

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Blouse, £38, River Island


St yle — Fa s h io n

Warm, muted, earthy autumn Your complexion will have a rich golden appearance and you can tan a deep golden colour. Green veins might be visible on the inner arms too and you may have freckles. Your natural hair will either be golden blonde, chestnut, auburn, dark brown or black. Your eye colour could be olivegreen, hazel or brown. If you’re an autumn palette, try clothing in shades of rust, burnt orange, rosy pink, dark apricot, mustard yellow and green. For neutrals, go for warm browns, chocolate, cream, dark grey and marine blue. Pair with antique gold jewellery. For make-up, try golden/ brown based foundations and red and brown blushers. Eyeshadow in shades of brown, gold and khaki are ideal, especially when paired with brownblack mascara. Finish off with toffee, warm red and orange lips. For your hair, opt for a warm golden or chestnut shade if you’re not going grey naturally, otherwise your skin may suffer.

Cardigan, £18.99, M&Co

GREAT VALUE

Style it Scarves add instant colour to your complexion and a colourful statement necklace adds glamour. Try wearing two or three scarves together for extra outfit interest — contrasting prints can look amazing. For a flattering, slimline look, put bright, light colours down your middle and darker ones at the side. Wear bright, bold colours on your best bits and darker shades on other areas for balance. Coloured jackets are stylish and will update your wardrobe every season. If purchasing an LBD, opt for a two-tone dress with black on the bottom, colour on top.

Cindy Crawford looks amazing with her caramel hair and bright lipstick. Dress, £16, George

Keep colours that aren’t in your colour palette further away from your face.

Trousers, £49.99, Zara

Octavia Spencer has strong, distinctive features, with dark hair and eyes.

Images © Shutterstock

Cool, vibrant, dynamic winter For winter, your complexion has cool undertones with strong distinctive features and blue veins might be visible. Your natural hair colour may be ash blonde, platinum, very dark brown or black. Eyes may be violetblue, grey-blue or black-brown.

Your clothing should include shades like fuchsia, magenta, burgundy, plum, true red, electric blue, forest green and ultraviolet purple. Your neutrals are brilliant white, black, charcoal grey, navy and your jewellery is silver. With make-up, try cool, pink based foundations and vibrant pink blushers. Cool blue, purple, grey and silver eye shades are perfect for you. Finish off with black or even grey mascara and strong pinks or red lips. Silver and white hair will look stunning on you, but you can also experiment with chestnut tones.

Top, £39, Monsoon

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t ’ n a c I “ live without.”.. O U R FAV O U R I T E S TA R S , I N F L U E N C E R S AND EXPERTS SHARE THEIR ESSENTIAL MAKE-UP AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS.

RUBY HAMMER MBE Make-up guru “The skincare I can’t live without right now is the new Hourglass Equilibrium Intensive Hydrating Eye Balm. I love its consistency, a gel with a spongy spring to it without being sticky or heavy — great under make-up. It’s vegan and uses cutting edge technology so isn’t cheap, but it’s effective and will last for a long time. I’ve been using it under my eyes and putting any excess on my face to spot treat areas that are dry and dehydrated.” £92, hourglasscosmetics.co.uk “I also love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo. We’re still wearing masks so eyebrows are the frames to our faces. My shade is Ebony for black hair, but Taupe works well for light skin and red hair, too.” £24, harveynichols.com “My new Magnetic Brush Set 02 comes with all the tools you need to create the perfect brow. Start by taming the hairs with a spoolie, then use an angled brush to shape. Don’t overload with too much powder and always start at the arch.” £28, rubyhammer.com

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02 Magnetic Brush Set, £28, Ruby Hammer

SUZI GRANT Influencer “I recently recorded a make-up tutorial and have to say I can’t live without IT Cosmetics’ CC Cream. It has light foundation properties and is SPF50. I never go out without that on my face; no more sun damage for me!” £54, itcosmetics.co.uk

CC cream, £14, IT Cosmetics

YOUR CC C R E A M ACTS AS A LIGHTER F O U N D AT I O N TO E V E N O U T S K I N TO N E


St yle — Beaut y

ANTHEA TURNER

Perfect Bronze Glow-plexion, £24, Studio10

RACHEL PERU Model “My go-to product at the moment is the Studio10 Perfect Bronze Glow-plexion. It’s a tinted hydrating fluid that helps protect from environmental stressors and it gives me a lovely, natural-looking summer glow that never fails to make me feel better.” £24, studio10beauty.com

USE CREAM HIGHLIGHTERS TO G I V E Y O U R S K I N A G LO W WITH NO CAKINESS

TV presenter “I can’t get enough of Dr Andrew Weber’s Antioxidant C Serum. I had a terrifying month when there was a shipment delay of this product during the first lockdown… five weeks passed and I was already noticing a difference in my skin! “I use it in conjunction with other vitamin E, retinol and hyaluronic acid products. £70, enquire at bodyvie.com “If you have dark circles under your eyes, you feel tired just looking at yourself! I love the Well Rested Eye Brightener by bareMinerals. “Its powdered mineral pigments are superb for older skin, with SPF20 zinc oxide protection. It blends easily over laughter lines and is light enough to buff darker areas during the day.” £22, bareminerals.co.uk

Smooth Like Silk Face Primer, £24, Tricia Cusden

TRICIA CUSDEN Owner of Look Fabulous Forever “I can’t live without my own Look Fabulous Forever Smooth Like Silk Face Primer. It smooths my skin and gives it the glow it needs to look healthy. This primer ensures that my foundation looks flawless and lasts all day, whilst also looking dewy and fresh.” £24, lookfabulousforever.com

Well Rested Eye Brightener, £22 bareMinerals

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D AY C R E A M S ARE LIGHTER AND OFTEN H AV E H I G H S P F — A PERFECT BASE FOR MAKE-UP Protect & Perfect Advanced Day Cream, £24.95, No7

JANE MOORE TV presenter “Years ago, I remember BBC’s science documentary, Horizon, saying that the No7 Protect & Perfect range of anti-ageing creams actually works on older skin. I bought the Advanced Day Cream and still love it. It’s hypo-allergenic and has SPF15, so gives protection against, in my case, further sun damage. £24.95, boots.com “When it comes to make-up, there are plenty of ‘miracle blurs’ on the market for your face, but what about your body? After two lockdowns, my legs looked like the last chicken in the shop, so I was very grateful to discover Vita Liberata Body Blur. It gives my poor legs a realistic glow, without streakiness, when it’s warm enough to wear summer dresses. Note that a little goes a long way.” £24.95, vitaliberata.co.uk

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All Nighter Setting Spray, £26, Urban Decay

A LIGHT SPRITZ OF SETTING S P R AY C A N HELP PREVENT MAKE-UP SMUDGING

Images © Istockphoto, Getty Images, Masque Photography, Chris Colls,

Lifestyle coach “I just can’t live without Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. As I journey through menopause, I need a setting spray that is strong enough to seal my make-up when I experience a hot flush. “It’s reliable, trustworthy and keeps your face fresh all day long. I always recommend it to everyone.” £26, urbandecay.co.uk


JENNY KEE Fashion designer “My signature red lips are very much part of my image and I cannot live without my Ruby Woo lipstick by MAC. I have loyalty to it because of its beautiful blue-ish undertones. I love that it’s long-wearing and has a matt finish. I could be feeling flat or having an off-day but when I put this lipstick on, I feel energised — everything lights up!” £17.50, maccosmetics.co.uk Ruby Woo Lipstick, £17.50, MAC

ALISON YOUNG Make-up artist “My current lip balm favourite is the Liz Earle Multi-Purpose Beauty Balm. It just launched at a great price of £15 and is especially good for face, hands and of course dry lips. If you have sensitive skin, you can apply it before a bath on to clean skin to protect sensitive areas.” £15, lizearle.com “Another classic of mine is Aromatherapy Associates’ range of bath and shower oils. I like them in the ‘wardrobe collections’ because I work odd hours (I’m a workaholic!). I can use them to help me sleep or wake me up in the mornings.” From £33, aromatherapyassociates.com

ALISON’S BOOK, THE BEAUTY INSIDER, IS FULL OF MORE USEFUL ADVICE. £16.99, PENGUIN.CO.UK

Bath and Shower Oils, £33, Aromatherapy Associates

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People

“Wildlife has enriched my life immeasurably” B R I TA I N ’ S O R I G I N A L T V S U R V I VA L I S T, R AY M E A R S D O E S N ’ T N E E D TO E AT A R AW S N A K E O R S W I M I N I C E - C O V E R E D WAT E R S TO P R O V E H O W C O M F O R TA B L E H E I S I N T H E W I L D E R N E S S . H E T E L L S MAIRI MULHERN ABOUT HIS INCREDIBLE WILD CAREER.

R

ay Mears grew up in southern England on the North Downs. As a child, he roamed the rich woodlands and green expanses around his home, fearless and inquisitive as he tracked foxes and built campfires. All the while he was oblivious that he was actually embarking on a journey that would become his life’s mission. “I was lucky in that I grew up near the countryside,” the TV presenter, author and documentary maker tells me. “In those days, we played on our own in the woods — we

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weren’t afraid of anything and we had freedom. That’s where it all started for me.” Ray appeared on TV screens for the first time in 1994, presenting BBC’s Tracks. Three years later, he debuted the first of many of his own series, Ray Mears’ World Of Survival. On his mission, Ray journeyed across the continents, visiting the peoples of the Mongolian Steppes, the Sanema tribe in the Amazon rainforest, the Jo’hansi bushmen of Namibia and the Evenk people who live in the Taiga forest of Siberia. “Many of the First Nations I’ve worked with have been very welcoming and interested to spend time with me, from Amazonian Indians to the Aboriginal Kalahari bushmen in Australia. “Spending time with those so different from yourself really changes you; it makes you much more tolerant of other cultures and also more respectful of cultural traditions.” His 21 TV programmes — including Trips Money Can’t Buy in 2002, in which he spent ten days trekking through virgin jungle in Honduras with Ewan McGregor — carved a space for bushcraft and wilderness education on British TV. Ray was the first to show people how to survive in the wild from the comfort of their own sofas. Ray is no stranger to fight-or-flight scenarios — in fact he thrives on them. “I don’t really get scared any more. For me, fear is a process of anticipation.” Maybe after all these years in the wild he can anticipate an animal’s next moves? “Or maybe I’m just stupid,” he offers, laughing. “It’s scarier once the danger is gone. You end up thinking of all the ways it could have gone wrong. But I’m the first to make a joke about it so it’s never a big issue.” In 1983, Ray launched Woodlore, Britain’s first school of wilderness bushcraft. “In my classes, I try to steer a path of common sense. One that’s not too bound up with an emotional response in nature — more of a pragmatic one.” Ray wants to share his knowledge and make a difference to the world around us. “We are no different to other animals around us in that we have the capability to be stewards of the environment. It’s a sacred thing and we should do all we can to protect it.”


Left: Ray in his element, exploring and meeting people around the world. Below: Ray pictured with wife Ruth. The couple live together in Sussex, along with Ray’s stepson.

“I’ve explored some of the wildest places on earth but my favourite is still Britain.” Considering the pride he displays in taking an honest approach to his work, I wonder how Ray feels about the more ‘performative’ wilderness presenters out there today. “I worry that the whole world is becoming more homogenous, that we are overly influenced by the producers of Hollywood and so on. I think that’s a great shame. I like to go to places where they retain a strong sense of the cultural tradition and identity.” Ray and I spoke just after Eric Goode’s documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness had been released on Netflix. “Respect for the tigers was missing,” he says when I ask if he thought it had done any good, exposing the treatment of big cats in captivity. “These wonderful wild animals sit at the top of the food chain with power and majesty, but I didn’t get a sense of that at all. “The closest I’ve been to a leopard was on the other side of a live cage for conservation. The energy it has is staggering — it’s like a hand grenade. It was only a young male, but the power and strength of that creature was just something else. “These docu-dramas are all about making money from people’s egos. Personally, I think it’s just appalling. I don’t see a great deal of effort in that type of work.” Does Ray prefer wild animals over people? “Oh, definitely,” he laughs. Something of a reluctant celebrity, Ray has rarely appeared to enjoy the limelight and doesn’t make a habit of turning up for red carpet events, preferring time in the outdoors and with his wife, Ruth, whom he wed in 2009. “I love taking my wife along travelling with me and sharing things with her. She is amazing. Obviously, you have your ups and downs, but we get on like a house on fire. “I had been teaching in northern Finland right before coronavirus hit, so dealing with the strangeness of lockdown together made it nice to be home. It was a special time.” Now 57, Ray tells me he has more skills and confidence than at any other stage in his life.

“When you pass 50, you realise you are mortal and that acts as a sort of impetus to find renewed vigour.” What has been the highlight of Ray Mears’ career? “Oh, it hasn’t happened yet,” he laughs. Not even winning the Royal Geographical Society’s Ness Award, approved by the Queen? “I like to live in the present. And I don’t ever call myself an expert because this world is all about learning. I think that once a person calls themselves an expert, they stop learning altogether.” With a tour planned for 2022 and a new book out on shelves, it’s clear that the king of the wilderness has a zest for learning in him yet. Ray, we can’t wait to see what you do next. PLATINUM

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Images © Jonathan Buckley, BBC Pictures, Istockphoto, Shutterstock

We are nature I N T H I S E X T R A C T F R O M H I S M O S T R E C E N T B O O K , W E A R E N AT U R E , R AY S P E A K S O F A H E A R T- R A C I N G E N C O U N T E R W I T H A J A G U A R A N D H E R C U B , G I V I N G A G L I M P S E I N TO T H E W O R L D O F E X OT I C A N I M A L S T H AT H E C A L L S H O M E .

It

is in the remote wilderness that I really come alive. In fact, the more remote it is, the more I like it. I want to immerse myself completely. I am impatient, dipping my toe into wild country while clinging to the hem of civilisation’s skirt. Memories of the wild are hard won and live forever in one’s heart. Hiking up slippery limestone ridges, I once followed the tracks of a female jaguar and her cub for two days. As far I could discern from the age of the tracks, she was always ahead of me, maintaining just enough distance to remain discreetly out of sight. At one point, I could see where she had detoured, carefully leading her cub past a jumping viper coiled in the middle of the track. The fact that the jaguar was ahead of me for two days suggests that she was as curious of me as I was of her. I have often wondered if she stalked close to my camp in the night for a closer look. When at last her tracks angled off to the right of the knifelike ridge we were walking, taking with her all chance of a sighting, I felt the vacuum of sadness that comes when a trusted trail companion departs. Nature walks and countryside rambles are good, but if we want to improve our chances of significant wildlife encounters, we must plunge ourselves into the environment for longer, embarking on multi-day wilderness adventures. More than just providing more opportunities to see wildlife, the whole experience of being on trail will heighten our sensory awareness and sharpen our intuitive response to nature. All modes of wilderness travel can provide the necessary immersion: long four-by-four expeditions, horseback treks or voyages in small boats and yachts. But without any doubt,

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it is when we ourselves are providing the motive power that the deepest rewards are achieved — travelling on foot, by canoe, by kayak, on skis or by bicycle. My favourite way to travel in nature is by open canoe. The whole experience of floating offers a deeper connection to nature. Simply to make progress, the canoeist must use their paddle skill and feeling for the elements to balance the demands of the water current with the demands of the wind. A canoe provides the most unique and tranquil access to otherwise inaccessible locations. When the skill has been learned, a canoe can be paddled slowly and silently. As such, canoes are not perceived as a threat by wildlife, their presence raising no more concern than a drifting log. Even when not searching for wildlife, in a canoe, wildlife comes to me. Crane flies and dragon flies hitch a ride on the gunwale. In foggy weather, loons surface beside me out of curiosity and sometimes otters, wolves and even lynx stand on the shore and watch with fascination as I pass by. It is whilst in a canoe that I have had some of my most amazing wildlife encounters, floating alongside a grizzly-bear mother swimming across an inlet with her cub on her back, drifting up to within four feet of a bald eagle feeding a fledgling on a lakeshore and one morning We Are Nature by Ray paddling for hours with a Mears, £20, Ebury Press, playful porpoise. penguin.co.uk/books


FASHION & BEAUTY

GREAT VALUE

Necklace, £75, Tatty Devine

Hair clips, £15, Oliver Bonas

Leather bag, £169, Zara

special ...

Linen dress, £95, NoLoGo Chic

r e m m u S BRIGHTS Ring, £98, Thomas Sabo

Top, £12.50, George

U P L I F T I N G C O LO U R PA L E T T E S A R E H E R E TO S TAY R I G H T T H R O U G H TO A U T U M N , T H A N K S TO T H E I R MOOD-BOOSTING POWER.

Cardigan, £99, Hobbs Blazer, £29.99, New Look

Add to any outfit

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Eyeshadow duo, £11.99, Zara Beauty

Trousers, £29.50, M&S

Skirt, £119, Ted Baker

Bag, £25, Accessorize Bikini top, £30, and bottoms, £20, both Boden

IF YOU ONLY

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Turquoise earrings, £54.95, Seol + Gold

Espadrilles, £169, Hobbs


FASHION & BEAUTY

special ...

GREAT MAKE-UP,

g n o l r e m m u s all PA R I N G B A C K M A K E - U P D O E S N ’ T M E A N M I S S I N G OUT ON GLAMOUR — IT’S ALL IN THE PRODUCTS AND A P P L I C AT I O N . E X P E R T S S H A R E T H E I R S E C R E T S F O R L A S T I N G , D E W Y C O V E R A G E . B Y LO U I S E R A M S AY .

S

ummer brings with it so many delights — warmer days, al fresco dining, bare legs and gorgeous dresses. It’s also tinged with optimism and hope, as we ease ourselves into out-of-lockdown life. The trend of ‘joy dressing’ — wearing bright, bold, fabulous outfits post-lockdown — is inspirational and making us smile. This extends to our makeup, too, with more bold lips and bright-eyed looks taking over the spring/summer catwalk. Yet hotter weather can also prompt a skincare conundrum — how do you get that dewy glow, without looking redfaced and super-shiny?

GET YOUR BASE RIGHT It’s time to ditch heavier products and move to lightweight, breathable formulas for sheer coverage and pared-back beauty. As make-up artist Huda Okuonghae says, “The aim is to achieve a healthy-looking glow by keeping skin looking plumped and adding colour and moisture. “A good skincare routine will be the most important part.” Exfoliate and moisturise skin — you might find oil-free moisturiser a good choice — then add SPF for sun protection. Rebecca Saunders, founder of Seekology and former John Lewis beauty buyer, shares her routine. She says, “Apply moisturiser and then move on to something else, to ensure it has time to absorb fully. Perhaps use that time to brush your teeth, then come back to do your make-up later.”

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IT’S ALL ABOUT PRIMER

PROBLEM SKIN

Next, prep the skin with a primer to last through brunch and the beach. Poreless Putty Primer, £9, e.l.f Cosmetics is infused with squalane to help protect dry skin from moisture loss without making the skin feel heavy. Velvety soft, it blends effortlessly into the skin for all-day wear. Primer can also be used as a base for eyeshadow and eyeliner, with Eyeshadow Primer Potion, £19.50, Urban Decay keeping eye looks crease-free and fresh.

If you’re suffering from sensitivity issues and skin flare-ups, consider a dermatologist appointment to get to the bottom of it. Rebecca advises, “Many people find mineral foundations to be less irritating to their skin, and the advantage is that they can provide buildable coverage that is also easy to top up on the go. “In general, ensure that you are using products designed for sensitive skin, and don’t forget sunscreen — this applies to everyone!”

BEAT THE HEAT Do you find sweating or hot flushes disrupt your summer days? Natalie James at helloSKIN shares her expert advice, saying, “Set your skin up for the weather it’s about to face. One of the best ways to do this is by trying a gelbased serum before you apply your make-up. “The next step is to make sure you stay cool while applying your make-up. Why? Because when you get too hot, it can disrupt the ingredients that help keep your make-up in place — which could affect how long it lasts. A good hack is to use a mini hand-held fan to keep me cool while I’m applying mine.”

NAIL THE APPLICATION Try layering products on to your skin with a beauty blender, rather than packing on foundation with a brush. This will help keep your make-up lasting longer. Waterproof and oil-free foundations, BB creams and concealer are your summer go-tos. For a more ‘lifted’ appearance, angle light-reflecting concealer or highlighter and blend upwards, with special placement at the corner of your eyes and your mouth.

EXPERIMENT WITH PRODUCTS There may be a temptation to go for powder-based buys to avoid any oil build-up. Instead, try cream-based bronzers and blushes, which will blend easily and help avoid a cakey look. They should sit on the skin without sinking in and provide a dewy, glowing finish. Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Wand, £29, provides gentle glow by softly highlighting the skin. Dot around high points of your face for maximum impact. Huda advises, “You want to think of cream/liquid make-up products to achieve your beautiful summer look. “Powder products can look unflattering in direct sunlight. To take any unwanted shine away, use a pressed powder in the centre of the face only.” Next, swipe on your favourite mascara. You can also add eyeliner for emphasis. Finally, spray your make-up with setting spray, helping your look to last. If you need a more hydrating spray, try Top Secrets Make-Up Setting Spray, £28, YSL Beauty. You can use it during the day for a moisture boost. Now you’ll look and feel fabulous when the heat is on — enjoy the sun.


St yle — Beaut y

What to avoid PA S S O N H E AV Y MOISTURISER Richer products may have shielded your skin during the colder months, but as the temperatures rise, too many products can leave your face oily and acne-prone. Instead choose a lighter serum, such as Skin Hero by helloSKIN. DON’T USE LOW SPF PRODUCTS Choose an SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply every hour if you are in direct sunlight. Excessive sun exposure will lead to sundamaged skin, brown spots and wrinkles. T H I C K F O U N D AT I O N Replace thicker formulas with a tinted moisturiser. As much as foundation can have us looking photo-ready, the same products can easily clog pores when it’s hot and humid outside and we’re wearing them all day.

Images © Istockphoto

Natalie James at helloSKIN shares her advice on the products to ditch this season.

Foundations tested by you Platinum ambassadors find out if two popular foundation brands can stand the summer heat.

10/10

Elainea, 52

Annie, 53 Everlasting Foundation, £31, Clarins “I found the application of the foundation was easy and it went on beautifully —I used a foundation brush to apply. The scent was fresh and it’s incredibly lightweight; you hardly feel you have any make-up on. Coverage is very good, but for me it is too good as it covers up my freckles and I’ve finally grown to love them and want to let them shine! “I was worried that the effect would enhance any lines and wrinkles, and it does sit in them a little bit and actually makes my skin feel a tad flat. However the product lasted all day and is transfer-proof as the label states, which is fabulous.”

7/10

Eaze Drops Blurring Skin Tint, £25, Fenty Beauty “I loved the packaging and design of the brand and the bottle was a nice shape to hold. The application is easy to use, the nozzle is the right size and it eases out gently. It blended perfectly with my skintone and felt so soft and silky. I had heard of the brand before — my niece had bought me a lipstick, which was a little bright so I hadn’t actually tried it. “The instructions were simple; blend as light as air. Instant perfection. I have noticed a difference using this — my skintone looks more blended and it’s helped the dark circles around my eyes, giving me a finished natural look that looks finished, but not over-done. I would definitely recommend this product.”

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A P P LY A TO U C H O F L I P S T I C K TO THE CENTRE OF YOUR MOUTH, B LOT T I N G O U T FOR A SUBTLE LO O K

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Photography by EVE CONROY


St yle — Beaut y

1. Pressed Fruity Lipstick, £20, L’Occitane

GLOWING

g g or eous &

This vegetarian-friendly formula is free from silicone and mineral oils to give a satin finish. It’s ultra-light and smooth, ensuring it doesn’t smudge along the lips or melt off, and gives up to eight hours of staying power. Plus, no lip liner is needed thanks to the Cupid-shaped applicator.

THESE LIGHTWEIGHT PRODUCTS GIVE AN EXTRA DOSE OF WOW TO Y O U R D AY-TO - D AY S U M M E R LO O K .

2. Sensibio AntiRedness Tinted BB Cream with SPF30, £16, Bioderma Specially formulated for redness-prone and sensitive skin, this BB cream allows the skin to breathe while reducing the appearance of redness. We love it for outdoor exercise sessions, thanks to SPF 30 to protect against damaging UV rays and reducing sensations of heat with enoxolone, allantoin and canola.

3+4. Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour, £19 each, MAC Cosmetics Looking for a more natural, boosted lip look? The hourglass-shaped applicator perfectly hugs lips to fill in lines and enhance, with a smoothing and blurring effect. With 10hour moisture and vitamin E to hydrate, it will stay put without flaking or creasing.

5. Brow Power Filler, £21, IT Cosmetics

Create natural-looking eyebrows with this pencil. The oval tip works on fine and fuller brows, while the built-in spoolie brush grooms any stray hairs. The budge-proof formula ensures your brows stay perfect all day, no matter the temperature. What’s more, it’s handbag friendly if you’re on-the-go.

Swipe and go Smudge-proof mascaras are your make-up bag must-have this summer

Sumptuous Extreme Waterproof Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara, £26, Estée Lauder Looking for a false-lash effect without feeling weighed down? Then this mascara is for you, thanks to its mousse-light base. Flakeproof and clump-resistant with ten-hour wear helps to ensure your eye look doesn’t smudge throughout the day.

High Impact Mascara, £21, Clinique For a barely-there mascara, try Clinique. This formula adds volume and definition to thicken lashes without separating or clumping. Plus it’s available in black/brown, perfect if your lashes are on the lighter side.

Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara, £22, Too Faced Volumising and waterresistant, this mascara’s collagen-fuelled formula stays put no matter how high the temperature gets. Its hourglass-shaped brush lifts and coats lashes for sweatproof results without being impossible to remove at the end of the day. What’s more, it’s cruelty-free and vegan, giving it extra feelgood points.

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People

O U R FA B U LO U S C O L U M N I S T, LO O S E WOMEN’S JANE MOORE, ON COHABITING IN L AT E R L I F E , W H E T H E R Y O U R S L A N G I S ‘ PA S T I T ’ A N D A H A N DY H AC K FO R SUMMER SWIMWEAR.

P L AT I N U M E X P E R T Jane Moore Jane is a journalist and TV personality who makes us think while giving us a laugh, too. Follow Jane on Instagram at @janepmoore for regular musings and style inspiration.

Rev Richard Coles is moving in with an old friend.

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T

he Reverend Richard Coles is still grieving the loss of his beloved husband David nearly two years ago. At the funeral, David’s mother told him that her son would have wanted him to “go out there, meet someone, have a new life,” but, actually, 59-yearold Richard now has another idea. He’s moving in with a woman. Right now, he’s still vicar of Finedon in Northamptonshire, but after his retirement, the former member of ’80s pop duo The Communards and competitor on the 2017 series of Strictly Come Dancing, will move to the South Coast to live with one of his “oldest friends,” Lorna Gradden. “It sounds exactly like Mapp And Lucia,” he says, referring to the classic novels by E. F. Benson, “and I’m sure it will be.” What a wonderful alternative to the prospect of a solitary old age. If The Husband goes before me, I can think of nothing I’d like more than to move in to a rambling old house by the sea with a small group of my closest friends. Or even somewhere smaller with just one of them, to be honest. What I don’t want is to spend my latter years totally alone, wondering how I’m going to fill the day. In my head, my retirement will be spent among friends, doing all the things I never had time for when I was working. I want my kids to call up and say, ‘Where are you now?’ rather than worry that I might be feeling lonely. A few years ago, while travelling around Myanmar,

we met two women who told us they were “ski-ing.” When we looked puzzled, they explained it was an acronym for ‘spending the kids’ inheritance.’ Bring it on. Of course, you need money and good health to enjoy your retirement in this way, but cohabiting with a friend is easily achievable for everyone and will even bring your cost of living down. After all, loneliness is rife among the elderly. Numerous medical studies over the past decade have concluded that the single most important factor influencing our psychological and physical wellbeing is the number and quality of close friendships we enjoy. Seven best friends from China vowed that once they retire, they’ll all grow old together in their dream house. In 2019, they bought a ramshackle property — even though they’re still in their 30s — and are slowly renovating it for use in the future. “We’ll cook, have barbecues in the fields, sing and collect food from the village,” they say. Sounds heavenly. In the meantime, they’ve made a deal that each will master a skill that will be useful to their lives in retirement; such as growing vegetables and cooking. For those who don’t have like-minded friends, co-housing projects are becoming popular in Denmark where several generations live together, and Sweden has a scheme where young people get cheaper rent by living, and interacting, with the elderly. So I’m thrilled to learn that there are currently 19 co-housing communities in the UK, with many more in the planning stage. Check out communityledhomes.org.uk.


The younger generation believes ordering a cappuccino is a sure sign that you’re ‘past it’!

Are you ‘past it’? If you still order a cappuccino in coffee shops, it’s a sure sign you are ‘ancient’ according to a survey of those under 30. Other signs of someone being ‘past it’ include buying underwear from M&S, wearing comfortable shoes (pretty rich considering ‘Gen Z’ live in trainers,) using hashtags incorrectly and using the word ‘funky.’ The Husband is fond of using the word ‘vibe’, which always sends our kids in to paroxysms of angst, but I digress. Also listed is planning a second car route just in case, worrying about not finding a parking space, being obsessed with bin day, and still using a gas BBQ. To all of which I plead guilty, M’Lud. Yet funnily enough, our daughters don’t breathe a word about our ageing naffness when we’re driving them around in ‘mum/dad cab,’ putting out their rubbish and grilling their vegan burgers on the barbie. Funny that.

What’s your number?

They’re listening Amazon’s voice-activated speaker Alexa is susceptible to hacking, say scientists who found a third party could use it to make calls and open websites. Meanwhile, despite the denials of Amazon/Google/Apple, the suspicion that these devices are listening to our every utterance in the home continues to niggle. Not least in our house where, after The Sun ran my interview with Barbara Windsor’s husband Scott, I told my husband over breakfast at 7am that I was going on ITV’s This Morning to talk about it. By 8.30, Amazon sent me an email wondering if I was interested in buying ‘celebrity masks’ of Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby. Go figure.

Like Boris Johnson, I have kept the same mobile number for over 20 years. The majority of old-school journalists (of which he is one) have done this because we like to think that every contact we’ve ever had can get hold of us with a potential story at all times. But primarily it’s because we’re Luddites and, once we’ve memorised the number, there’s not a cat in hell’s chance of us learning a new one. The downside is that the people you’ve spent a lifetime trying to avoid can still call you and, worse, your number has been sold on to every unscrupulous scammer the world over. This week alone, I have had four texts from people purporting to be from the bank/ post office/tax office and a ‘friend’ purportedly trapped in a foreign prison and desperately in need of money to get out. Perhaps it’s finally time for me change my number and shake them off.

Images © Istockphoto, Shutterstock

Life hack Swimsuit, £45, Oliver Bonas

If you managed to get away on holiday this summer, and your white or pale coloured swimsuit is showing signs of yellowing, then just soak it in a bucket filled with a gallon of cold water and a half a cup of baking soda for about two hours. Then rinse well, leave it to dry and, hopefully, it will do the trick without the need to buy a more expensive whitening product.

Old shoes, anyone? The trainers worn by Kanye West at the 2008 Grammy awards have sold for, gulp, £1.3 million. Who knew there was such a strong resale market? My old school netball plimsolls are in the attic somewhere. One owner — size 6, scuffed with frayed edges — yours for £1.30. PLATINUM

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F i na nce

Bonds:

should I invest in them? O U R I N -T H E - K N O W E X P E R T J A S M I N E B I R T L E S I S B A C K , D I S C U S S I N G G O V E R N M E N T A N D C O R P O R AT E BONDS. ARE THEY A GOOD INVESTMENT? FIND OUT MORE IN THIS IN-DEPTH GUIDE.

What are bonds?

There are broadly two types of bonds: Corporate bonds Government bonds (known as gilts) P L AT I N U M E X P E R T Jasmine Birtles F O L L OW JAS M I N E O N TWITTER @JASMINE A N D I N S TA G R A M @JASMINEBIRTLES

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eople often ask me what they should do with their money to get a regular income from it. They might be retired or about to retire and are looking at the anaemic savings rates on offer and feeling rather desperate. One place to put some of your money for a regular income is bonds. I don’t mean ‘savings bonds’ (also known as fixed-interest savings accounts) but actual corporate or government bonds (also known as ‘gilts’). People who want to have a balanced investment portfolio often add bonds and gilts in order to offset riskier investments such as stocks and shares. As they get older, they may add more bonds and fewer risky investments in order to make their pot of money more secure. In the past, retirees moved a lot of their money into bonds and gilts as they gave a decent, regular income. Currently bond yields are low, so they’re not as useful to people wanting an income as they used to be. However, they’re still worth having as they tend to operate in an opposite way to shares so they keep your portfolio balanced.

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CORPORATE BONDS

Corporate bonds are loans you make to companies. Whereas with shares you actually buy a bit of a company, with bonds you just loan them money at a fixed interest rate (or it can be a variable rate) for a set period of time. Companies want to borrow money to develop products or expand the business in some way, so they come to us (through brokers and bond funds) to borrow it. In return they promise to pay you a certain amount of interest every year and then give you all your original money back at the end of that fixed period. Many people looking for an income from their investments prefer the security of bonds compared to dividend-bearing shares. They may not get as much money from them each year but with bonds, there is less risk of losing it. In fact, in some ways, lending money to a company puts you in a stronger position than you would be as a shareholder. When companies are deciding what to do with their money, bond-holders are put above shareholders. Paying off their debt to them comes before working out profits that get shared among shareholders. Also, if the company goes bust, bond-holders are much higher on the list to get their investment back (or at least some of it) compared to shareholders. The amount of interest you can make on corporate bonds very much depends on the credit rating of the companies involved. Just as with individuals, so with companies; the better their credit rating, the lower the interest rate you will get. If you’re willing to take a punt on smaller, less stable companies with lower credit ratings you can get a better interest rate, but you have to accept the risk that some or all of them will fail, taking your money with them. The highest quality and safest, lower-yielding bonds are generally referred to as Triple-A bonds, while the ones with the lowest credit ratings are termed ‘junk’.

GOVERNMENT BONDS (GILTS)

Government bonds, or gilts, are the same kind of idea except that you are lending money to a government rather than to a company. Governments, including the UK administration, regularly need to borrow money to pay for infrastructure projects or simply to pay debts, so they issue bonds that individuals and institutions buy because they like the look of the interest rate on that ‘debt’. This interest is called a ‘coupon’, so if you hear that word you know that it is the amount you will make per year on your investment. The ‘coupon’ is set when the gilt is issued and is determined by the length of time you must wait for ‘maturity’ (ie when the gilt matures and your original investment is paid back to you). The longer you have to wait for the


Bond prices and interest rates usually sit on opposite ends of a financial seesaw. When rates rise, bond prices fall — and vice versa. This is because when interest rates on savings accounts are higher, investors are less desperate to get into bonds.

redemption date, the higher the interest you will receive. Government bonds issued by the UK government and stable, Western governments generally, tend to pay a lower amount than corporate bonds, but they are generally higher-paying than most savings accounts and they are solid and reliable places to put your money if you want a regular income.

How to invest in bonds and gilts

There are two main ways to invest in bonds and gilts. You can buy them direct on stock exchanges, or You can invest in bond and gilt funds. If you buy direct, you will need to set up an account with an online broker such as AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown or Fidelity. With these platforms, you can also put your bonds into a stocks and shares ISA wrapper. This gives you added tax benefits compared to investing outside of the ISA wrapper. However, on the whole it tends to be just institutional investors that buy bonds and gilts direct. For the majority of us ‘retail’ investors (as we are called), the best way to do it is through funds.

Investing in bond funds

Investing in bond funds spreads the risk compared to individual bonds. If a few companies default on their bond loans, the impact is mitigated by other — successful — bond investments. Bond funds are collective investments, such as unit trusts or open-ended investment companies (OEICS). These funds pool your money with other investors’ money and put it in a broad range of gilts or bonds.

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You can also get mixed asset funds that invest your money into bonds, gilts and shares so that you get growth from the shares as well as income from the bonds. Unlike investing directly into bonds and gilts, there is no maturity date with funds. The manager invests in lots of different bonds or gilts that have different maturity dates and often he or she will sell them before their maturity date. You don’t have to worry about any of it, as you will only be concerned with the overall performance of the fund. By investing in multiple bonds within a fund, you are able to spread your risk. You can expect to pay an annual charge of between 0.5% and 1% for investing through a fund, or much lower if you choose a computer-run tracker fund that tracks bonds. You can also invest in a cheap Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) that tracks bond performances. For example, the iShares Corporate Bond ETF offers a 2.2% yield and Vanguard’s Emerging Markets Government Bond ETF brings in 4.1%, although here you are taking on the risk of emerging market debt — in other words, lending to some potentially questionable governments. Many economists are expecting inflation to start going up in the next year so it’s also worth considering bond funds that are ‘index-linked’ — ie the income you get from them is related to the inflation index. In this situation if prices go up, so does the money you make from the fund. PLATINUM

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“IT’S GOOD TO HAVE BONDS IN YOUR PORTFOLIO. THEY HELP TO OFFSET TIMES WHEN SHARES GO DOWN.”

Is it the right time to buy bond and gilt funds?

Laith Khalaf from investment house AJ Bell says that bond and gilt yields are quite low at the moment and that gilts particularly are just not paying enough to be relied on for a good regular income. “Part of the problem of bonds is that if interest rates rise (as they could at any time) then the value of those bonds falls,” he says. “What you’ve got to remember is that currently prices are high and yields are low. If you’re not getting a great yield — and government bonds are particularly low at the moment — then you probably have to look elsewhere to generate income. Corporate bonds are a bit better, but you have to go for the riskier, high yield ones to get a really decent income.” Laith says that the Strategic Bond Funds sector is worth considering. “These are very flexible bond funds where the manager is given discretion to invest where they want,” he says. “They can go into different areas looking for higher income and avoid areas of the market that would be affected

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by interest rises. They can even move out of bonds or gilts and go into cash, or go abroad, to find better value. They have more tools at their disposal.” Current funds that are ‘strategic’ include Artemis strategic bond which offers a 2.3% yield and M&G’s Global Macro bond fund, which gives 1.9%. Karen Lau from wealth managers JM Finn agrees that strategic funds are one of the best choices at the moment. She says, “When you look forward for a few years you want a mix of investments, with some money in bonds to give you an income in the short-term and some in equities to provide growth. “I would also utilise strategic bond funds because they can move around a lot quicker than we could on our own. These funds can include government bonds from other countries, although there is a currency risk there that has to be taken into account.” Investing in a mixed asset fund that has a collection of investments in bonds and shares is probably the best way of using the low-risk element of bonds while managing to grow your wealth at the same time. AJ Bell has a range of


F i na nce

Corporate and government bonds are NOT connected in any way to Premium Bonds or Savings Bonds. Premium Bonds are a governmentrun lottery where you might win money every now and then. Savings Bonds are another name for fixed interest savings accounts where you are promised a certain interest rate on your savings account for a period of time. Corporate Bonds, on the other hand, are loans to companies. Government Bonds (gilts) are loans to the government. Like Savings Bonds you are offered a fixed interest rate for a certain amount of time but, unlike Savings Bonds, your money is not guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if it all fails. However, as these are a bit riskier than Savings Bonds, you generally get a better return on them.

these on its investment platform. For example, Vanguard’s Life Strategy Funds offer a mix of investments and you can choose what percentage of bonds and shares you go for, whether that’s 50/50 or 80% shares/20% bonds or other proportions. They are tracker funds, cheaper to run than actively managed funds, so that will help your returns too. “What bonds are really good for is diversification,” says Laith. “Bonds and equities go in opposite directions most of the time so it’s helpful to have bonds in your portfolio as ‘ballast’. They help to offset the times when shares go down. But don’t hold bonds on their own, unless you have particular circumstances where security is much more important than income.” Karen Lau agrees. “There’s a place for bonds,” she says. “Historically they’re seen to be a flight to safety so there’s a good argument for keeping some money in bonds. A lot of our clients are drawing incomes from their portfolios and investments. We say, let’s park two to four years of money in bonds and then you can put the rest into equities for growth. In retirement you could have 20-30 years to fund, so it’s important to have some protection in the short-term while creating growth for later on.” She adds that with inflation potentially becoming a worry in the near future, they look for inflation-linked bonds that will provide a higher income as prices rise. PLATINUM

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HOW TO WITH

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the colour, the further forward the area looks. It is all about applying it on to the correct area of the eyelid and area around it. Take account of whether you have a naturally cool or warmtoned skin, and choose the tone of eye make-up that most complements this — see our feature on page 77.

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Dottie Monaghan

It’s not just our face and features that evolve and change with time, but also the way we see and feel about ourselves. It’s all too easy to get stuck into the safe zone and run to safe browns and natural coloured eye make-up. Perhaps it’s the pressure from traditional stereotyping that can leave us believing we should blend quietly into the background, or thoughts of “you can’t do that or wear that at your age” ringing in our ears. Well, one thing I have learned over the past few months is not to be put off by others — and if I want to energise my mood by adding colour to my make-up, I go for it. Everyone suits colour and everyone can wear it. You just need to find the shade, depth and most importantly tone that suits you. A soft muted blue or mauve can give us the same results as, say, a beige, brown or grey shadow, and using a dark green works well to replace black or dark brown eyeliner. You apply it using simple rules; the darker the shade, the more it pushes things back and the lighter

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BREAK THE RULES

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OUR STYLE EXPERTS OFFER THEIR TIPS ON EXPERIMENTING WITH YOUR PERSONAL STYLE.

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1. BADgal BANG Blue Mascara, £23.50, Benefit Blue mascara offers the chance for a subtle change to your make-up with a swipe. Pair with blue eyeliner to make the eyes stand out. 2. Ultimate Shadow Palette in Brights, £16, NYX This is a great eyeshadow palette. It offers a fabulous spectrum of colours and shades in both matte and flecked finish. Best applied with a brush and blend, blend, blend for that perfect finish. 3. Mood Boost You Make Me Matte Lipstick, £9.99, Kiko If you have gone for minimal eye make-up but funky glasses, load the lipstick on! I love this range from Kiko — you’ll find both bright and soft shades with lip pencils to complement the lipstick. 4. Wired 24/7 Eye Pencil, £11.20, Urban Decay Just want that subtle change or hint of colour? Try applying coloured eyeliner. If you apply the pencil to the inside upper lash line, this can make the look more intense and lashes appear longer. 5. Second Skin, £27, Sculpted by Aimee When adding colour to the face, it’s more important than ever to even out the natural skintone. This is available in 17 shades and comes in a dewy or matte finish. It leaves skin looking illuminated and radiant but best of all, it’s breathable. 6. Glasses, £7.50, Tigerspecs If you feel your make-up skills fall short, but still want that added colour, then invest in a set of bold coloured framed glasses. It works — just look at Prue Leith! 7. Eye Shadow Crème Pot, £17.50 each, Mac Pro This is a blendable eye primer and shadow all in one pot. Available in 24 colours, it can be applied with your finger over the eyelid or used as an eyeliner. Use a brush to blend the outside edges and create softness.


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It’s easy to get stuck in a fashion rut, especially after the year we’ve just had. If you’re anything like me, my go-to clothes have been comfystyle loungewear morning, noon and night. Hopefully now, though, with life moving in a more positive direction, I feel it’s time for fashion to become fun again. Let’s try out new looks and take some joy in becoming a little more experimental! Why not have a play about with your clothes and try new combinations of what you have? Try mix and match pieces that you wouldn’t have tried before. Even if they are clothes you’ve had for years, if you wear them in a new way and add a few key accessories, they will feel revitalised. It needn’t be a big change — maybe add a wide belt, bold scarf or statement earrings. Surprisingly the smallest of touches can have a big impact on an outfit. Experiment with colours and styles that you like, but haven’t worn before. If you try a new

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trend, you don’t have to forget about your own personal style, but you can personalise it to make it you — plus a little bit more! 1. Shoes, £75, Dune Statement shoes are the perfect way to take your look to another level and add instant style to a simpler outfit. These rainbow heels are perfect as with so many colours, they look fabulous with anything. 2. Collared knit, £38, Next This season the oversized collar is big news. This one comes attached to a jumper, but if you want added versatility, buy just the collar and you can move it from top to top. 3. Bag, £29, Kaleidoscope Whether you’re adding pom-poms to a bag or brooches to a jacket, accessories are key to making fashion fun. 4. Earrings, £19.50, Oliver Bonas If you always wear the same jewellery, especially if they are delicate chains and rings, experiment with bold styles to instantly update your look. 5. Headband, £9, Accessorize 6. Scrunchie, £4, Accessorize Sometimes it’s hard to revisit styles when they come round again but headbands and scrunchies are officially on trend. They have saved my lockdown locks and can make a statement with the simplest of haircuts. 7. Jumper, £32, Next If you usually go for darker shades and aren’t sure which other colours to go for, give lemon or lime a try as they suit most complexions. 8. Pack of 3 brooches, £22, Oliver Bonas Accessories add flair. You could buy new, or with a bit of clever creativity turn vintage items into this year’s essentials. 9. Sandals, £130, Vionic If you thought heels weren’t for you, think again. These are perfect for social summer evenings, when your feet need cushioned comfort and you want elevated style.

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The Mediterranean diet: Inc ease ene gy, feel amazing W E K N O W T H AT T H AT T H E M E D I T E R R A N E A N D I E T O F P R OT E I N , V E G E TA B L E S A N D W H O L E G R A I N S CAN BE BENEFICIAL. DR CLARE B A I L E Y S H A R E S L AT E S T R E S E A R C H A N D T H E D I E T ’ S P OT E N T I A L TO REVERSE SOME CONDITIONS.

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any of us find that by 50, a few sneaky extra pounds have crept on; sadly, for most of us, as fat rather than muscle. A somewhat alarming statistic shows that as many as 68% of women aged 45 to 64 are in the overweight or obese category. And although we have been constantly told we need to exercise to lose weight, the reality is that exercise is neither an easy, or even a particularly effective way to burn fat. Of course, doing exercise has lots of other important benefits, such as heart health, strength and wellbeing, but not particularly for weight loss. As a GP, until about ten years ago, the usual advice for someone who would like to shift excess weight would be to encourage them to ‘eat less, cut out fat, and move more’. This did not seem to be terribly helpful and on average, our weight continued to pile on. It turns out that it’s not just about calories — though reducing them helps — it’s about the quality of what you eat. This is where the health-boosting Mediterranean diet comes in. Think of Spain, Greece and Southern Italy in the 1960s, where the Mediterranean diet was widely seen as the healthiest, most nutrient-rich diet on the planet. It’s comprised of lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, spices and olive oil, as well as some oily fish, cheese and full fat yogurt, preventing age-related illnesses. It’s not by chance that it’s now considered one of the most beneficial ways of eating for the over-50s (my husband Dr Michael Mosley and I included!). But the sad reality is that since the 1960s,

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“IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT CALORIES, IT’S ABOUT THE QUALITY OF WHAT YOU EAT.” the traditional Mediterranean diet in these areas has gradually been replaced by a Western diet of sweet and highly processed foods. Inevitably, rates of obesity have since soared, as has type 2 diabetes and chronic disease. Read on to find out why the Mediterranean diet is the key to preventing the most common health threats to the over-50s.

Colourful vegetables, protein and smaller portions of carbs can benefit overall wellbeing and energy levels.


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Metabolic syndrome

The Mediterranean diet champions fruit and vegetables —but pickled foods are also hugely beneficial.

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of different health conditions, that include high blood pressure, raised blood glucose and increased levels of belly fat. While it’s not uncommon for people to have one or more of these conditions when they hit their fifties, the more of these risk factors you have clustered together, the greater the chance of developing coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. You can even be a normal weight, but if you store your weight around the middle, in the abdomen, as tummy fat, or around the neck, you are at greater risk. Unless you do something about metabolic syndrome, it is likely to worsen over time and further increase your risk of health issues. Metabolic syndrome often develops as a result of poor diet and lifestyle, but the good news is that it can be easily reversed without the need for medication, through a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet.

Diamond study A couple of years ago I was involved in a trial at Oxford University which demonstrated the benefits of a lowish-carb Mediterranean-style diet for people who are overweight and living with type 2 diabetes. To rapidly improve their blood sugars they started by cutting down to around 850 calories a day for up to eight weeks. Then they continued on the Mediterraneanstyle diet. The results of the research, called The Diamond Study, were recently published and showed that the average weight loss after eight weeks was 9.5kg. The participants also saw a

significant drop in their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and the use of medication. Participants and healthcare professionals involved in the trial reported a high level of engagement, confidence and motivation after seeing the initial rapid results. In addition, participants reported positive impacts on their emotional and psychological wellbeing and influence within their social circle. A rapid weight loss diet is not suitable for everyone, so do look at the FAQs at thefast800.com for further advice and as with any diet, consult your doctor, particularly if you are on medication or have a medical condition. There has been some speculation and occasionally fear around the idea of losing weight quickly. However in my experience as a GP, and from my involvement in The Fast 800, rapid weight loss is both safe and effective.

Pre-diabetes We’ve all heard about type 2 diabetes and we’re aware that it is dramatically on the rise, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Lurking below the surface is a much larger group — those with prediabetes. These are people whose blood sugars are raised but not yet in the diabetic range. If you are over the age of 30 there is a one in three chance you have it and, because there are no symptoms, you probably won’t know unless you are tested. Establishing that you have pre-diabetes and then taking positive action matters because having persistently high blood sugar levels, even if they are not yet in the diabetic range, will damage blood vessels and leave you at greater risk of stroke, heart disease and dementia.

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In the

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Ikaria in Greece is known as one of the world’s ‘Blue Zones’ for its high percentage of centenarians. Their longevity is said to be partly due to their Mediterranean diet, but a strong community and sense of belonging are also key factors.

The good news is that by making simple diet, exercise and lifestyle changes you can fully reverse the process and return your bloodsugar levels to normal. You can start by cutting back on highly processed foods and those full of sugar and refined carbs, such as biscuits and cakes, but you should also reduce starchy foods such as white bread, potatoes and white rice, along with restricting calories to get weight back to normal. Introduce a diet rich in pulses, fresh vegetables, wholewheat grains and lean proteins such as chicken and fish. Visit thefast800.com for many low calorie recipes based on this style of eating. As a GP, it is incredibly satisfying helping people to take control of their health rather than having to rely on medication. A survey I did in my practice offering advice to patients with pre-diabetes found that of 134 patients with prediabetes who had been offered

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“INTRODUCE A DIET RICH IN PULSES AND FRESH FOOD.”

such advice over the past two years, an impressive 57% were no longer in the danger zone, compared with only 22% in the usual advice group.

Bone health According to research, vitamin D plays an important role in our bone health as we age. In women over the age of fifty who have compromised levels of vitamin D, we often see an increase in osteoporosis and they can be more prone to bone fractures. Dubbed ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’, there is no doubt that the best way to benefit from vitamin D is through the sun, as long as you don’t allow your skin to burn. One of the challenges in the UK is that over the winter, most of us become vitamin D-depleted so we need to consider this. Many foods in the Mediterranean diet, like oily fish, eggs and mushrooms, are naturally high in vitamin D. I did a post on Instagram recently that showed if you line up your mushrooms on the windowsill and they benefit from direct sunlight during the day, you can expect to

get around 100 times more vitamin D in them. Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D. However it is hard to get enough vitamin D through food, so over the winter and perhaps throughout the year, if you are not exposed to sunlight, you should consider supplementation. Worryingly, Vitamin D deficiency is more common in those who are overweight or obese.

Gut health and mood — is there a link? There is a proven link between gut health and the brain’s capacity to cope with stress. In difficult times, we need all the help we can get. Studies show that having a healthy gut microbiome (army of ‘good’ protective bacterial cells living in the gut) can have a positive impact on our mood as well as our health. I love foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, fermented and pickled foods, which will all help maintain healthy levels of bacteria in the microbiome.


H ea lt h One of the best ways to improve the ‘good’ microbes that live in our gut is through eating a Mediterranean diet packed with health-promoting nutrients. The high fibre content is a great way to supercharge your microbiome. Foods that are beneficial for our microbiome, and therefore immunity, include live yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut or kimchi, and sourdough bread. These probiotic-rich foods are also rich in vitamin C, iron and zinc, which are known to boost the immune system. Green tea, mushrooms, garlic and vitamin C-containing foods like citrus fruits are also beneficial.

Exercise and energy levels ‘Cardiovascular fitness’ is of great benefit to us as we age. Regular exercise has all sorts of benefits on memory and feelgood mood and it boosts our energy levels, too. A study found that six weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for people who had previously reported persistent tiredness. When you feel as though you just want to sit on the sofa, remember that even a short amount of activity can revitalise your body by delivering some much-needed oxygen and energy-producing nutrients to your muscles.

REGULAR EXERCISE CAN REDUCE THE RISK O F T Y P E -2 DIABETES BY 50%

“THE CRAVINGS SIMPLY MELTED AWAY.”

Sue Barnard (66) from Bedfordshire shares her experience of switching to a Mediterranean diet. “I have been overweight, and sometimes obese, for most of the past 30 years. I tried a couple of the major weight loss programmes, but I couldn’t sustain the weight loss and I was often confused by the science behind the eating plans. I wanted to achieve permanent weight loss and, more importantly, a healthy body. “I have arthritis and the excess weight was having a real physical impact on my mobility. I have worked since I was 15 years old and retired at the end of May 2020. Unfortunately, I contracted Covid-19 around the end of March, which meant I lost a stone in a week, but then spent the following months putting that weight back on and more. “Like many other overweight people, I was eating and gaining weight and feeling ever more dissatisfied and despondent. I simply couldn’t understand the constant grazing that I was doing every evening despite feeling so uncomfortable — I simply felt out of control. “I watched the Michael Moseley TV miniseries Lose A Stone In 21 Days and decided to embark on The Fast 800 programme. It made such sense to me that I decided to start the weight loss journey from January 1, when I weighed 14 stones 5.5lbs. “I planned meals for my husband and me from the excellent recipe books that Dr Clare has published and using recipes from the Fast800 website. For me, planning is the absolute key to success. I set goals for myself and thought about the benefits of being healthy and slimmer. “It was incredible to me that I literally went from eating constantly throughout the evening to not having a single snack after dinner. The cravings simply melted away. “I’ve not only lost weight, but I’ve found that my knees no longer ache or become swollen after walking and I can climb the stairs without dragging myself up to avoid pressure of my arthritic knees.”

For more information about the Fast800 programme please visit thefast800.com.

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THE POWER OF PLANKING WA I S T D I S A P P E A R E D ? I T ’ S N OTO R I O U S LY T R I C K Y, B U T T H E P L A N K I S O N E O F T H E M O S T E F F E C T I V E WAY S TO B O O S T S T R E N G T H A N D TO N E Y O U R M I D S E C T I O N . EXPERT NICOLA ADDISON-NEWLAND TELLS MAIRI M U L H E R N H O W TO P L A N K TO P E R F E C T I O N .

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any of us have had a similar experience — you’re finally nearing the end of your yoga class or circuit session when the instructor announces a surprise oneminute plank, as if it’s a treat. And while it’s not everyone’s favourite exercise, it’s one that offers a lot of physical benefits. The position tests strength and condition in your arms, abdomen and back, and studies have shown that it can help improve your balance, too. The plank engages your whole body, and if done correctly and for long enough, can burn calories relatively quickly. It’s one of the most effective static exercises for trimming fat and testing you. Results from a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy showed that performing weightbased static moves like the plank can be almost 25% more effective in toning your stomach muscles than crunches or sit-ups. Nicola AddisonNewland, Healthspan’s resident personal trainer and wellbeing expert (left), shares some need-to-know facts about planking and what you can do to reap its rewards.

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W H I C H PA R T S O F T H E B O DY D O E S I T TA R G E T ? The plank focuses mostly on abdominal areas: central, side, upper and lower muscles of the whole midsection. However, many secondary muscles are used in the back, chest, shoulder, quads and glutes. This is why we generate a lot of sweat when holding the position.

WHY IS PLANK SO HARD IF I’M N OT M OV I N G ? The plank is a compound movement. They challenge numerous muscle groups and multiple joints and burn calories in the process. A static position like the plank can be held long enough to create physical exertion, in turn strengthening muscles. But it can be easy to get wrong — if you feel sharp pain, especially in your lower back, stop and think about form.

CA N I B U R N B E L LY FAT ? Body fat cannot be ‘spot reduced’ or targeted to just the belly. Instead, completing the plank — alongside other exercise and a good diet — will contribute to overall calorie burn. However, it will tone muscles of the midsection, even if you need to lose weight before you actually see that tone!


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THREE SIGNS YO U R F O R M I S GOOD Burning — the plank isn’t supposed to be easy, so when you feel your core heat up, you’re doing it properly. If the burn becomes painful, stop immediately. Shaking — uncontrollable shaking reflects the strength you have in your core. More shaking means less strength, so the more you improve, the less you will shake. Breathing — always remember to breathe smoothly in and out. This gives you more control over your torso and can distract you from intensity of the movement.

H O W T O AV O I D I N J U RY Focus on your technique rather than on how long you can hold the position. No matter how fit you think you are, start in a beginner’s plank (below). Master that hold before advancing.

ALL ABILITIES CA N P L A N K Beginners — Start with the knees bent on the floor rather than on your tiptoes. Intermediate — Try a plank press where you start in a high press-up position on the palms and then move to the elbows by lowering one arm at a time to the floor. Advanced — Try the rocking plank. Start on your elbows in a normal plank. Keeping the back straight and abdominals braced, rock forwards so that your shoulders are in front of your elbows and stay on your tiptoes. Pause at this end movement for two seconds and rock back to the start position.

Upping the ante Really challenge your strength with plyometric versions of plank. Perform at your own pace to avoid injury.

M O U N TA I N CLIMBERS Ramp up your heart rate and test your balance. Assume plank position on your hands as opposed to your forearms, engage your core and bring knee to elbow one at a time and in quick succession to imitate running movements.

LONDON BRIDGES Get into forearm plank position, hold for ten seconds, slowly twist one hip toward the ground and lift back to the middle. Repeat on the other side, keeping your feet still. This works your obliques.

BUNNY HOPS Settle into plank position on your hands with arms outstretched. Pull your abs in and bounce both feet to the right, bringing your knees toward your right elbow allowing your torso to twist. Jump your feet back into plank to complete one rep.

Image © Alamy

DOES BURNING MEAN I’M DOING I T P R O P E R LY ? Yes and no. Our aim when exercising is to ‘overload’ the muscle and make it work hard. However, most people (unless well-trained) cannot differentiate between muscle burn as a result of this overload, or a result of incorrect form. When doing planks, other muscles often burn ahead of the core. People will feel their shoulders and quads burning ahead of their abs, but this doesn’t mean they’re doing it incorrectly.

W H AT D O E S PERFECT FORM LOOK LIKE? Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders and your back should be flat. Focus on not letting your hips drop. Your abdominals should be braced, while maintaining the ability to talk — so don’t hold your breath!

F I V E WA R N I N G SIGNS I M P R OV E F O R M If you feel any sharp or shooting pains. If you are red-faced and having trouble breathing. If your rear is positioned higher than your shoulders. If your lower back is curved toward the floor. If your shoulders start to feel painful.

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“I’m happy in my

own skin” AT 6 3 , T R I S H A G O D D A R D F E E L S H E A LT H I E R , F I T T E R A N D S T R O N G E R T H A N E V E R B E F O R E . A S S H E R E T U R N S TO B R I TA I N TO H O S T H E R F I R S T S H O W F O R 1 2 Y E A R S , S H E TA L K S TO K I R S T Y N U T K I N S A B O U T T H E L I F E S T Y L E C H A N G E S T H AT H AV E T R A N S F O R M E D H E R L I F E , T H E I M P O R TA N C E O F R E S I L I E N C E A N D F I N A L LY F I N D I N G LO V E A N D I N T I M A C Y.

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risha Goddard was 50 years old and at the height of her TV fame when she was diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine mammogram. She had been used to delving into the deepest misery of people’s personal problems on her daily Trisha Goddard show, but suddenly she was forced to face down her own demons. A gruelling regime of treatment followed — including two operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy — but, 13 years on, Trisha is cancer free and feeling stronger and fitter than she’s ever done. Looking back on that dark period of her life, she praises the care that she received but believes her recovery is also thanks to the lifestyle changes she made during that time. “The thinking has changed a lot since 2008 when I was diagnosed, but back then I was given the whole ‘Take it easy, lie down, apply a cold compress’ advice. The doctors were wonderful, but that approach just wasn’t for me. I knew that staying active would keep me sane. “So I decided to carry on working and started running every day, even if I just staggered for an hour or so. Soon after my first operation, I remember my surgeon drove past me while I was out running in the rain — he was speechless!” says Trisha, throwing her head back with a big hoot of laughter. “Exercise was so important for my mental health — it kept me positive, it helped me to zone out and cope with the fear and anxiety. Even when I was hooked up to a drip, I’d walk

round the hospital. And the doctors started to see that what I was doing was helping me physically, too. My blood was always oxygenated, and it kept my bone strength up, which means I don’t have problems with osteoporosis now.” Leading a healthy lifestyle remains incredibly important to Trisha; she’s still an avid runner, is obsessed with ice skating (since taking part in last year’s Dancing On Ice), does regular weight training and, at home in the US, where she lives PLATINUM

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on the waterfront in Connecticut, she enjoys sailing, kayaking and hiking. “I feel happy in my own skin and that’s because I’m strong and my body is fit for purpose,” says Trisha. “You age more when your body is not fit for purpose. I’ve met women who are 20 years younger than me who feel old. If you aren’t strong and fit, you start restricting your world.” Trisha is reflecting on her own health journey while chatting about her latest TV project. Our interview takes place shortly after she’s landed in the UK to begin filming Channel 5’s You Are What You Eat. It’s a reboot of the hit Channel 4 diet series that ran from 2004 to 2007 and saw contestants vow to slim down in eight weeks, by ditching their bad eating habits. But Trisha, who replaces Gillian McKeith as the host, says that the new series is less focused on image and far more on psychology — on the emotional aspects of our relationship with food. “It’s not about fat shaming and being holier-than-thou. It’s very much got my footprint on it,” says Trisha. “The approach is kinder and it recognises the connection between what’s in your head and what goes into your mouth. Food is one of the few things we feel we have control over, and the way we exercise that control really impacts on our health. “People make choices based on what’s happened in their lives and what’s going on for them right now, and we show them how they can harness that same control but in a positive way. “There’s also a really big focus on being active and the importance of that for mental and physical health, which of course is something I love talking about.” You Are What You Eat is the first British show Trisha has presented for 12 years and it’s rumoured to mark the start of a major comeback. During the ’90s and 108

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Above: Trisha enjoyed her time on Dancing on Ice, saying she was performing for everyone going through cancer. Above right: Trisha with her daughters, Billie and Madison. Right: Trisha’s showing no signs of slowing down, fronting the You Are What You Eat reboot and continuing her fitness pursuits.

noughties, Trisha was a mainstay on our screens and her influence was not insignificant — she was the first black woman to front a British chat show and her series, Trisha, clocked up 1.3 million viewers at its peak. It ran from 1998 to 2004, but when ITV refused to allow her production company to make it, she decamped to Channel 5. After it was axed in 2009, she launched the show Stateside, though it only ran for two seasons. Now, she’s reportedly filmed a pilot episode for a rebooted version of the show. “Am I making a comeback? Oh God, I really hate that word!” says Trisha. “All I can say is that you’ll have to wait and see. There are so many conversations going on. “In the world of TV you’re like a cab driver, waiting for the next fare — and you don’t count the fare until the passenger is in the back. But yes, there has been a lot of interest. “I don’t think another chat show would take the form that it did


People

Images © Chilli Media, Camera Press/Nicky Johnston, Shutterstock

“Am I making a comeback? I really hate that word!” previously, though, because I believe everything should move on and evolve.” One thing’s for sure, Trisha has no plans to move back to the UK permanently. Though she admits she misses her two grown-up daughters, Billie and Madison (whose father is Trisha’s TV producer ex-husband, Mark Greive), the quality of life she now enjoys in Connecticut would be far too difficult to give up. “I love England, I really do, and before Covid I regularly visited my daughters in London. But in Connecticut I can afford to live on the water in a three-storey house. I wouldn’t be able to do that in the UK. And because I can commute for any TV work, it doesn’t make sense to relocate. “I’m also lucky that my boyfriend has a boat, and that’s been amazing. At the height of the pandemic, we’d pack a picnic and sail off on a little adventure. We’ve sailed all the way up to the Statue of Liberty before.” Trisha’s partner is also part of the reason she’s reluctant to move. His identity remains a secret — she refers to him only as ‘#Boo’ on social media — but has revealed that he works in management and they met at a charity event in

2018. She admits that when she found out he had lost his beloved wife to breast cancer, it helped her feel even more at ease with him. “I was very wary, having gone through breast cancer, about opening up to someone. I’m not ashamed of my body but you become aware of the changes. But we have an amazing connection, and for the first time in my life I have a sex life!” she laughs. “I think it’s also down to the fact that he’s not afraid to show his vulnerabilities. He’s secure in who he is. Our relationship is very, very different to any I’ve had before. I’ll often say to my girls, ‘I can’t believe I’ve been married all these times and I’ve never found this before’.” Trisha’s first husband was the Australian politician Robert Nestdale. They met while she was working as an air stewardess in the mid-80s and they settled in Australia after marrying in 1985. But he was emotionally abusive and she later learned that he was gay. He died in 1989 from AIDS. In 1993, she tied the knot with TV producer Mark Greive but they divorced when she discovered he’d had an affair during her second pregnancy. She went on to marry psychotherapist Peter Gianfrancesco; they were married for almost 20 years before divorcing in 2017. Trisha and ‘Boo’ moved in together at the start of lockdown, last March, though she’s non-committal about walking down the aisle for a fourth time. “We’re really happy where we are at the moment, so I don’t know whether we’ll get married,” she says. “It’s funny, there seems to be such a stigma for women who have been married multiple times. I always read things like ‘Thrice married’ in front of my name and I think, ‘No one ever puts that about Rod Stewart or Mick Jagger, do they?’” Trisha’s personal life has always been an open book, perhaps, in part, because her job as a chat show host has meant delving into other people’s. She’s had more struggles than most — from the physical abuse she suffered from her mother’s partner as a child, to her subsequent drug and alcohol addiction, and her breakdown in 1994, which saw her admitted to a psychiatric hospital. But despite all that, Trisha isn’t keen on the label ‘survivor’. “I don’t think of myself that way. I think I’ve learned resilience. And I’m not the kind of person to ever look back and have regrets — everything I’ve been through has made me who I am and got me to where I am.” She’s overcome adversity and achieved a great deal, but that doesn’t mean Trisha is about to sit back and rest on her laurels. It’s clear she has the energy of a woman half her age and retirement isn’t on the agenda. “That word makes me shudder! I’ll retire when they lower me into the ground. That’s when I’ll sleep,” she says. “When I got sent a letter saying I could have a free bus pass, I was thinking, ‘How dare they!’ “I’m still a bit of a child. When I go running, I skip and do silly dances and jump in puddles. I often say to myself, ‘One day you’re going to have to grow up’. But I don’t think I ever will.” PLATINUM

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“How lockdown affected our relationships” A Y E A R O F LO C K D O W N P U T O U R I N T I M AT E R E L AT I O N S H I P S U N D E R T H E S P OT L I G H T, W I T H S O M E LO N G - S TA N D I N G C O U P L E S C A L L I N G I T A D AY, W H I L E OT H E R S H AV E S T R E N G T H E N E D T H E I R R E L AT I O N S H I P S . S A L LY H O WA R D A S K S FOUR COUPLES HOW THEIR R E L AT I O N S H I P S S TA N D I N A P O S T- LO C K D O W N W O R L D .

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long months of Covid-19 lockdowns took their toll on Leeds-based Gen Edwards (63) and her husband Charles (72). In the first wave Charles, a recruiter, was made redundant and the couple found themselves playing host to a talkative family friend in need. “I was grumpy and snappy when I felt I couldn’t escape the house and Charles and I began bickering,” therapist Gen recalls. The couple decided to ease the pressure on their relationship by demarcating areas of their home they could occupy during the working day, “an upstairs-downstairs arrangement in which I was downstairs,” Charles explains, with a laugh. They also consciously planned things to look forward to: walks in surrounding parks and drives into the Yorkshire Moors when travel was permitted. Today, to Gen’s surprise, their 30-year relationship is stronger than ever. “We’ve spent major time together with all external distractions gone,” she says. “No pub trips or outings, even to see our son who lives locally, and we’re very lucky that

we’ve found that we can actually stand each other and have become firmer friends than ever.” As well as leading to increased levels of depression and anxiety, Covid-19 lockdowns have put a huge focus on our romantic relationships. Many long-standing couples have been cooped up with each other without daily routines and distractions for the first time in decades. Others who were living apart before the pandemic struck found themselves separated by social distancing measures that made sexual intimacy between individuals from different households an offence (much to the amusement of an international press keen to play up Britain’s reputation for sexual repression). “The lockdowns have been a cauldron of emotion and have left people with nowhere to go,” says Juliette Relationship counsellor Smith, a relationship Juliette Smith counsellor based in Maidenhead. “In relationships where there were cracks before the pandemic, couples could ignore those cracks by heading off to the gym or having a busy external social life: all of that went overnight. As a result some relationships cracked and others went the other way, taking the time to work on their relationship and emerge stronger.”

“Fortunately we realised we still like each other.”

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Statistically, the over-55s are more likely to be in the happy, latter camp. In a study commissioned by Relate in late 2020, one in ten respondents in a relationship said lockdowns made them realise that they wanted to propose to their partner, while eight percent came to the conclusion that they need to end their relationship. While 38% of surveyed 16-34-year-olds in relationships said they struggled to support their partner emotionally through the pandemic, only 14% of over-55s said they found the same. In research commissioned by the relationship app Paired with the Open University, the relationships of older partnered respondents appeared to be more stable than those of younger Britons in relationships. Only 7% of women in the 55 to 75-year-old bracket said their intimate partner relationships had deteriorated during lockdowns. Dr Jacqui Gabb, a professor of sociology and intimacy at the Open University who was involved in the OU relationships study, says that this unprecedented period has brought about what she describes as an ‘intensification of the couple’. “The pandemic has altered the rhythms and routines that ordinarily structure our lives and the yardsticks by which we measure ourselves,” she says. Carol Peett (63) and her husband Edward Rayner Peett (57) describe their prelockdown routines as being ‘like ships in the night’. The couple, who have been married for 40 years, run estate agency West Wales Property Finders and often worked seven days a week before the pandemic struck. “Most days one of us would be out doing viewings as the other manned the home office and dogs,” Carol says. “When I look back, we only really took Christmas Day off.” The first Covid-19 lockdown in Wales heralded an immediate change of pace for the couple as they abandoned their desks and phones to create a kitchen garden on the grounds of their Pembrokeshire home. They also got involved in mutual aid and community planting projects. “I hate to say it because people have really suffered during this pandemic, but because we weren’t

Above: Gen and Charles Edwards Right: Carol Peett says that the time together has helped strengthen her relationship with her husband.

“We’ve really enjoyed this opportunity to spend time together.”

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allowed to work we’ve really enjoyed this opportunity to spend time together,” Carol says. “Fortunately we discovered we still like each other.” Carol believes the physical labour of digging and planting stopped her and Edward from falling into the trap that many of us in mid and older life succumbed to during the pandemic — steadily drinking more alcohol. “We were simply too exhausted at night-time to open a bottle of wine,” she says. A study from the Centre for Ageing Better found 32% of people aged between 50 and 70 had been drinking more as a result of the pandemic, with four million people aged 50-plus binge-drinking once a week during the second lockdown. If many long-standing couples have found the inward focus of lockdown has been a boon for their relationship, this is perhaps less the case for newer couples, or couples who live apart. Dr Gabb points out that recently forged couples in older age groups often prefer to maintain independent lives and dwellings. “They’re less likely to ‘get on with it and move in together’,” Dr Gabb says of deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries’ injunction to couples in the first


Images © Istockphoto

lockdown in England. The consequences for older Britons of exposure to coronavirus were also potentially graver for older age groups, as a substantial number of 50 and 60-somethings also care for their very elderly relatives. Penny Hinchliffe* (60), from Stockport, works part-time as well as caring for her 93-year-old mother. She found that her young relationship with a ‘charming and urbane’ 63-year-old retired teacher she had met online in spring 2019 couldn’t withstand the pressure of lockdown separation. “The first lockdown was OK, but by the second lockdown I found that the only way to make things work was to move in with Mum and have very little external social contact with anyone to keep her safe,” she says. “I don’t think Steve and I knew each other well enough for our relationship to handle the shock.”

According to data from Paired, the use of dating apps among single 50-pluses boomed during the pandemic. For relationships forged during this time, there’s another problem: the challenge of embedding a new relationship within lives that have been in social deep-freeze. “Maybe you’ve not had to meet their annoying friends, or compete with the demands of their working life,” Dr Gabb says. “As normal life returns, all of these things will come crashing into your relationship.” Juliette Smith believes that couples in their 50s and older have fared well during the pandemic as many of this age group have had a taste of the loss of routine in the experience of semi-retirement and retirement. “That moment when suddenly you’re not commuting and have lost your routine; many over-55s have already been there and have strived to create a

new way of living,” she says. With Charles’ redundancy, structure became an issue for the Edwards, with Charles in particular feeling ‘at sea’ until the couple sat down and organised their day in the house around meals and daily walks. Community radio presenter Mary Flavelle (69) and Harry, her husband of 46 years (also 69), decided, for their part, to ‘have some fun’ with creating new routines in their Berkshire home. Mary struggled with the separation from their children and grandchildren as the pandemic’s first wave struck. “I used to cuddle my baby grandson and feed him bottles in my arms. Not being able to do that was almost physically painful,” Mary explains. “So we got out our grandson’s Nintendo Wii and renamed the areas of the house for exotic locations,” Mary says. “We had Spanish-themed PLATINUM

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Sex & Relat io n s h ips nights in the Costa Del Conservatory and whiled away rainy days with Netflix binges in the Playa Lounge. We’ve kept things fun and interesting, rekindling our relationship and finding each other again.” The impact of the pandemic on Britons’ sex lives has been predictably mixed, with several studies pointing to a ‘sexual recession’ during lockdowns — although this had less of an impact on married and same-sex couples. If the Flavelles found an opportunity for romance in their Spanish-themed home, the Edwards believe that there was ‘no real change’ in their sexual appetites during lockdown and the Peetts politely declined to comment on the pandemic’s erotic effects. Dr Stephen Snyder, author of Love Worth Making: How To Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long Lasting Relationship (St Martin’s Press), says that the pandemic’s long months of lounging on the sofa depleted sexual energies. “The most erotically happy couples enjoy getting excited together even when they’re not going to have sex,” Dr Stephen says. “Cuddling is great, but maybe mix it up: stroke the inside of your partner’s forearm, say. When you touch your partner, maybe do it with some erotic feeling.” As lockdowns ease, how should couples cope with the new and unique challenges of a return of social freedoms? 17% of respondents to the Relate survey said they were anxious about how their relationship would change when lockdown ends. Buckinghamshire-based family lawyer of 25 years Elaine Foster says that some couples might find their unions unravelling at this crucial point, and that this isn’t necessarily a cause for dismay. “I have more ‘silver splitters’ than in previous years,” she says. “After all, 55 is still relatively young — and when looking forward to the next 30 or 40 years, the idea of being trapped in a loveless marriage is less appealing than ever.” For the couples, old and new, that have made it, there’s a sense of achievement in having pulled through one of the gravest challenges of all of our lifetimes together. “I think we’ve done well, not leaving the house for all of this time,” Gen says of the Edwards’ pandemic. The Flavelles, who also took to cutting each other’s hair in lockdown, hope that the sense that we’re ‘all in this together’ will help us all to be more caring as life unlocks. With ‘half of London’ attempting to move to West Wales for country air, the Peetts are too busy working to tend their kitchen garden, which has now become overgrown, though Carol hopes that the TLC their relationship received during lockdown will pay dividends

Above: Mary Flavelle Below: Family lawyer Elaine Foster

“When looking forward to the next 30 or 40 years, the idea of being trapped in a loveless marriage is less appealing than ever.”

in years to come. Cate Mackenzie, a psychosexual therapist and couples counsellor, advises couples to tread gently as they reintroduce a social dimension to their lives, pointing out that members of a couple might have experienced lockdown seclusion differently. “Take it gently with introducing your ‘old’, sociable life so you don’t overwhelm the more introverted partner (or yourself),” she advises. “Bring people and plans back into your life slowly.” Juliette Smith agrees. “Even though you’ve been stuck with your partner for the last 15 months, now is not the time to rush out to the pub to meet your mates. Think about your partner in this period and let them know that you appreciate them: a hug, or a cup of tea, goes a long way.”

*Names have been changed.

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GET BACK ON TRACK D R JAC Q U I G A B B S H A R E S H E R A DV I C E FO R C O U P L E S W H O A R E S T R U G G L I N G P O S T- LO C K D O W N .

Use the time to recalibrate your relationship clock. Embrace change and agree on a new equilibrium, together. Invest in shared interests. Choose one new interest that you can both pursue together. Set one new shared goal or ambition. Evolution rather than revolution is key. Ensure you take small steps as your relationship changes.

IN THE KNOW

61%

BRITS SAID THEIR RELATIONSHIPS HAD IMPROVED OVER LOCKDOWN ONLY 1 IN 10 SAID THEIR RELATIONSHIP HAD WORSENED.

OF RESPONDENTS SAID LOCKDOWN MADE THEM REALISE RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE.

55% OF PEOPLE SURVEYED SAID THAT LOCKDOWN HAS INSPIRED THEM TO MAKE MORE EFFORT WITH LOVED ONES IN THE FUTURE. FAMILY WALKS OR SPENDING TIME OUTDOORS CAME IN TOP (30%) FOLLOWED BY SPENDING MORE QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY (29%) AND VIDEO CALLS WITH FAMILY (25%). The majority

of people say their relationship stayed the same, despite the strain the pandemic has caused.

respondents in a relationship (10%) said lockdown has made them realise they want to propose to their partner, while 8% came to the conclusion during lockdown that they need to end their relationship. PLATINUM

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People VA L E R I E , @ V I S UA L I S E A N D B LO O M

For a chance to be featured, email a pic of yourself to mail@platinum-mag.co.uk with the subject line Street Style.

“I’ve found myself being drawn to brighter colours and patterns in the last few years, and I just love this button-through dress from Zuri.” MY STYLE IS... CLASSIC WITH A TOUCH OF BOHO

STREET Vintage, upcycled and bespoke clothing was a big trend during our trips to Hackney and Brighton. Photography by GEORGINA PIPER

M A RY , 6 8

ALI, 67 “I’m wearing a COS T-shirt, M&S jacket with some Gap trousers, a pair of Converse and recycled plastic earrings.” M Y ST Y L E I S … N OT M Y AG E

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“I’ve paired my H&M jumper with some boots from Spain, a Mango coat and a thrifted bag.” MY STYLE IS… HOMEMADE


HELEN

V I C TO R I A , 5 0 “I’m wearing a bespoke, upcycled blazer by Bramwell & Cole. It has a Marie Antoinette patch to match my alter ego!” M Y ST Y L E I S … C Y N D I L AU P E R WITH A BIT OF FRENCH CHIC

“My top is from George at Asda, shoes New Look and bag is River island. Wellfitting jeans are my biggest indulgence.” M Y ST Y L E I S . . BOLD

K AY “I’m wearing M&S trousers with a jacket from Tesco and Hobbs shoes.” M Y ST Y L E I S . . . C L A S S I C B U T CA S UA L

SHARON, 57 “My whole outfit is vintage!” MY STYLE IS… SEASONAL PLATINUM

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M-cell therapy Can you hold back the years…? S T E M C E L L S C O U L D H O L D T H E S E C R E T TO E T E R N A L Y O U T H . H I L A R Y B O D D I E I N V E S T I G AT E S G R O U N D B R E A K I N G N E W T R E AT M E N T, M - C E L L T H E R A P Y, W H I C H C L A I M S TO H E L P R E V E R S E T H E S I G N S O F N AT U R A L A G E I N G , P L U S T H E P I O N E E R I N G S C I E N C E B E H I N D I T.

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“1 in 3 people will benefit from regenerative medicine in their lifetime.” 118

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egenerative medicine is one of the most exciting and promising new areas of medical science to emerge for many years. This rapidly growing field of medical practice takes an innovative approach to treating disease. It is dedicated to restoring wellbeing by rejuvenating, repairing or replacing damaged or degenerating cells, tissue and organs with new, healthy cells produced by the body itself. And while the process of stem cell therapy is still in the early stages of development, results so far have been so positive that in future it is predicted it will help improve and, in some cases even cure, a wide variety of different health conditions from some cancers through to heart disease. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people will eventually benefit from regenerative medicine in their lifetime. “There is still much to learn about how stem cells can shape the future of healthcare,” says Lauren Porter, marketing director at the UK Stem Cell Foundation. “Current research is proving to be very promising.” One example of this pioneering type of treatment is M-Cell therapy, the protocol for administering stem cells prescribed by the medical specialists at private London clinic, EF Future Health. Depending on the medical condition, this treatment can either involve umbilical cord stem cells cultured in a highly regulated UK-based laboratory, or the patient’s own stem cells derived from their adipose (fat) tissue. M-Cell therapy aims to help improve general wellbeing by harnessing the regenerative qualities of specific stem cells and their ability to help lower levels of inflammation in the body. This can not only play a crucial role in improving health but experts believe it can have an impact on slowing down the ageing process itself. So what’s the science behind M-Cell therapy, which is being described as ‘the ultimate reset for your body that can safely turn back the clock’?


H ea lt h

IT’S ALL ABOUT STEM CELLS

At the heart of this innovative technique is the unique action of stem cells. Stem cells are very special cells found in a number of the body’s tissues and organs that provide the building blocks of all other cells in the body. They have the unique ability to divide and multiply indefinitely and produce more specialised cell types, such as blood cells, brain cells and liver cells. The main different types of stem cells include: Embryonic stem cells — from human embryos that are three to five days old. They are harvested during in vitro fertilisation. Embryonic cells are known as pluripotent stem cells, which can give rise to virtually any other type of cell in the body. Non-embryonic stem cells, or adult stem cells. These come from developed organs and tissues in the body and are used to repair and replace damaged tissue in the same area in which they are found. Induced pluripotent stem cells. Scientists have discovered how to turn adult stem cells into pluripotent stem cells which can then transform into all types of other, specialised stem cells. Cord blood stem cells. The stem cells found in umbilical cord tissue (and also fat tissue and bone marrow) are called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These cells have the capacity to become any type of fully developed cell and can help contribute to replacing muscle tissues or internal organs. Cord blood MSCs are harvested from the umbilical cord after childbirth and can be frozen in cell banks for future use. Amniotic fluid stem cells. Stem cells are also found in the amniotic fluid surrounding a developing baby.

Research into M-Cell therapy is ongoing, but experts believe it could help to treat many conditions in the future.

WHAT EXACTLY IS M-CELL THERAPY?

M-Cell therapy harnesses the regenerative qualities of MSCs to help improve general wellbeing. According to Esther Fieldgrass, founder of EF Future Health, “The purpose of treatment is to allow the stem cells to support the body’s own recovery and healing process. “It can be used as part of a treatment protocol to help improve problems such as arthritis and other inflammatory issues, cartilage and tissue repair, wound healing and skin rejuvenation. By naturally regenerating cells, it could also potentially help age management.” EF Future Health works with fully licensed partners and laboratories. The umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells used for M-Cell therapy are sourced from a cell bank in the UK and taken from ‘consented, anonymous, unrelated UK donors’. The MSCs then go through a process known as ‘cell culture’ in a regulated UK laboratory.

EF Future Health founder, Esther Fieldgrass.

WHAT IS INVOLVED? After a thorough health screening to discuss specific areas of concern, detailed blood tests are carried out to assess a patient’s medical status plus patients undergo a physical examination by the clinic’s medical team. This helps to identify any health issues that might need to be addressed prior to treatment. “This screening process is very important,” said Dr Ian Gold during a recent interview with EF Future Health founder, Esther Fieldgrass. “Not only do people get a good picture of what’s going on in their body at that time but also the data collected helps monitor what happens post treatment and beyond. “Screening is also important to pick up any contraindications to therapy, such as serious underlying infection.” When all tests have been carried out and an individual treatment programme has been agreed, the umbilical cord MSCs are administered via injection or an intravenous drip into the bloodstream. “The therapy is designed to provide sustained long-term health benefits rather than a ‘quick fix’ treatment,” explains Esther. Such an investment in your health does come with a hefty price tag, with individual treatment packages starting from £20,000. Experts believe that in future costs may reduce.


HOW CAN IT HELP MATURE SKIN?

While the therapy aims to help improve overall health and wellbeing, by supporting the body’s healing process, it may also have effects on the signs of skin ageing. “As the treatment regenerates ageing cells it can have therapeutic potential in collagen renewal, scar reduction and skin rejuvenation,” says Esther. Stem cells help to regenerate renewal factors which naturally deplete with age. By introducing MSCs into the bloodstream, M-Cell therapy can help replenish these renewal factors which play a pivotal role in cell survival and, through various different processes, can be instrumental in helping to rejuvenate ageing skin.

THE RACE AGAINST TIME TO SAVE OUR SKIN The two main contributory causes of ageing are cumulative chronic inflammation, which increases as we get older, and oxidative stress caused by an overload of free radicals in the body due to factors such as pollution, environmental toxins, UV exposure, a high-fat, high-sugar diet and cigarette smoke. At the same time, as we grow older, the ability of stem cells to multiply and replace ageing cells with new ones, gradually diminishes. Introducing new stem cells into the body to regenerate and repair organs, including the skin, can potentially slow down this ageing process. MSCs have been shown to stimulate the growth of the capillary network and produce collagen, the protein responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin and elastin. As a result MSCs have the potential to increase the regenerative potential of the skin. Findings of a study published in Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy in 2019 stated, “Mesenchymal stem cells as potential anti-ageing agents to some extent have provided a promising and effective alternative in managing skin and facial skin ageing.”

ABILITY TO HELP AGERELATED FRAILTY

Two separate clinical trials, published in The Journals of Gerontology in 2017, show how MSCs could also help reverse the effects of age-related frailty in older people. “With an ever-increasing ageing population, stem cells hold great promise to treat age-related disability and frailty, improving physical capacity and quality of life,” commented Joshua Hare, one of the scientists working on the project, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, USA. It seems possible that MSCs could have the potential for helping to reverse age-related changes, both external and internal. 120

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IN THE KNOW You don’t have to save your own stem cells or have extracted ones leftover from when you were born to partake. Mesenchymal stem cells are sourced from a UK cell bank from anonymous, consented donors.

POTENTIAL FOR THE FUTURE

Some people may struggle with any potential ethical and moral issues around stem cell therapy, but many scientists believe the possibilities are very exciting for the future of medicine. According to Professor Sir Robert Lechler, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, “One of the most exciting prospects is the possibility of in-situ tissue repair, where stem cells already in our bodies could be activated to repair damage.” However, he warns it is not straightforward. “There are major obstacles to overcome before future stem cell treatments could reach clinics. Much of the research still remains at an extremely early stage.”

SPORTING SUCCESS

Several top sporting stars are turning to regenerative stem cell therapy to repair career-threatening injuries. The winner of 20 tennis Grand Slam singles titles, Rafael Nadal, has received stem cell therapy on two occasions. One was to help treat an injured knee, followed a year later by treatment to help repair cartilage causing a back problem. And in 2016 top Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo undertook treatment for a torn hamstring in order to speed up recovery and enable him to play in a Champions League match for Real Madrid. Both reported an absence of pain and successful outcomes after treatment.


H ea lt h

WIDER THERAPEUTIC USES

Stem cell therapy is one of the most exciting breakthroughs in recent modern medicine with the capabilities of this revolutionary process in the fight against disease continuing to unfold. Across the world, research is ongoing looking at how the healing powers of stem cells can be harnessed to help the body cope and, in some cases, even cure itself from a wide range of health conditions. These include blood disorders, heart disease and stroke, type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, burns, fractures, tendon damage and spinal injuries. “I was told by one expert that stem cell therapy will be the fountain of youth — and I really believe it is,” says Esther Fieldgrass, who has been at the cutting edge of aesthetic therapies for over four decades. She

currently has four EF Medispa clinics across London which offer a range of innovative face and body treatments. Her new clinic, EF Future Health, offers what she describes as “the next step in advanced, premium health management” through the use of MSC cells via M-Cell therapy. “I was first introduced to the concept of stem cell therapy at a medical conference in Israel,” says Esther. “I was told by one eminent professor at the time that, going forward, stem cell therapy will be about rejuvenation. He told me it will be the fountain of youth. That’s why I got involved.” Esther has spent the last five years researching stem cell treatments and clinical studies around the world and the different ways stem cells are being looked at to support the body’s natural healing and rejuvenation process. “I believe M-Cell therapy

can be highly beneficial to anyone regardless of their medical condition or age,” she explains. “It can help lower levels of inflammation in the body which in turn can help reduce the specific pain from a condition such as arthritis or a sports injury and it can also be used to naturally regenerate cells, thereby acting as a deep anti-ageing treatment.” A firm believer in helping people to lead a healthier life, Esther believes that beauty comes from within, as well as utilising innovative treatments and techniques to revitalise the face and body. Her vision is that M-Cell therapy will be available as a whole programme which will also look at lifestyle factors such as nutrition and exercise. “When it comes to wellbeing, the idea is to offer the complete package with real longterm benefits,” she explains.

Alternatives to try

Images © Istockphoto, Shutterstock

I F M - C E L L T H E R A P Y S O U N D S FA R TO O F U T U R I S T I C ( N OT TO M E N T I O N E X P E N S I V E ) W H E N I T C O M E S TO S AV I N G Y O U R S K I N , T R Y T H E S E T R E AT M E N T S . 1. PRP — or ‘vampire facelift’. Blood is taken and spun in a centrifuge and the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) extracted. This is then reinjected into the skin to rejuvenate. Cost: approximately £1,000. 2. LED Face Mask — LED therapy uses different wavelengths of light to send energy into the cells to stimulate cellular responses and visibly improve skin. Cost: £50-£2,000. No7 AgeDefying LED Mask, £100. 3. Morpheus 8 — Radiofrequency energy is injected into the skin via tiny needles which also has a microneedling effect. Stimulates new collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Cost: from £600 per session. 4. Micro-needling — Small needles on a derma roller prick the skin to encourage skin cell renewal. Cost: £150-£450 per session. You can buy (cheaper) derma rollers for home use. 5. Heliocare 360 Oil-free Gel SPF 50 — Many dermatologists agree the best skin treatment is the daily application of a quality sunscreen. Cost: £31.

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HOW GREEN IS

special ...

your beauty cabinet? S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y I S H E R E TO S TAY. A D R I A N N E W E B S T E R I N V E S T I G AT E S W H Y B E A U T Y I S G E T T I N G A N E C O - F R I E N D LY M A K E O V E R W H I C H I S B E N E F I C I A L F O R Y O U A N D T H E P L A N E T.

Illistration © Sarah Holliday

A

ny beauty lover will have a drawer, shelf or bathroom cabinet that is full to the brim of potions, lotions, serums and creams. And while their packaging is usually beautifully chic and worthy of sitting in pride of place on the dressing table, they often hide a dirty secret: they’re damaging to the planet. While we’ve been busy swapping our plastic straws for metal ones and supporting local businesses, we forgot to look at what’s right in front of our noses — literally. According to Zero Waste Week, the $532 billion industry that we support through our love of beauty is contributing 120 billion units of packaging

a year, equating to the loss of 18 million acres of forest annually. And it’s not just non-recyclable packaging that’s a rising cause of concern. Consumers are becoming more aware of what’s going into the products they’re putting on their faces and bodies, too. A 2019 study found that 64% of shoppers prioritise organic ingredients while looking for beauty products. So, with wellness affecting every area of our lives from practising more mindfulness to eating avocado toast for breakfast, it’s about time that beauty and personal care should get a green makeover, too. PLATINUM

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St yle — Beaut y

Why is there so much plastic?

Say hello to sustainability

With our effects on the planet on our minds more than ever before, the beauty industry has taken note and some companies are striving towards change. So what exactly do beauty brands mean when they use terms like ‘sustainability’ and ‘ethically produced’? The answer is a little tricky: it depends on the individual. For some, a beauty product simply having vegan-friendly ingredients is OK. For others, they’d be looking for vegan-friendly ingredients, plus a pledge to reduce carbon emissions.

In the

KNOW

Not only can plastics be found in packaging, but they’re often inside our beauty products too. Check the ingredients list for wording like PEG, Polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP, dimethicone or silicone) to find out if there’s plastic in your new face cream or foundation.

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To keep it simple, the lifestyle blog Sustainable Jungle (sustainablejungle.com) has divided the issue into two areas: ingredients and business practices. For ingredients to be sustainable and ethical, they should be cruelty-free, non-toxic, vegan and palm oil free. For business practices to be sustainable, companies should be sourcing ingredients ethically, be thoughtful with their packaging, give to charity and consider resources and waste management. Using this ticklist when looking for new brands is a surefire way to help make sure you’re protecting the planet. Often brands will make things easy for you, by listing their sustainable promises on their packaging and website.

Why do we need better sustainability?

Founder and formulator of the skincare brand Pamoja, Sarah Taylor, says that considering sustainability when buying beauty products can help ourselves and the planet, too. “You can protect biodiversity, reduce carbon emissions and the amount of packaging being sent to landfill. There are also opportunities to give back — whether that’s restoring forests by planting trees with every order placed, or a percentage of profits going to charity. “There are so many exciting innovations in the world of conscious beauty, meaning that when you shop ethically you don’t have to compromise on quality and efficacy. You can get results in your skin and be more eco-conscious with ethically-sourced ingredients that are effective and backed by science, as well as being gentle and nurturing on the skin.”

Image © Istockphoto

Plastic is a relatively new invention, exploding in the mid-20th century due to its pliability and cheap manufacturing costs. After World War I, the Americans dominated the self-care industry — their military had strict hygiene rules in place to stop the spread of disease — and they quickly started producing new products that people hadn’t seen before. Items such as soap, which had traditionally been made in solid bars, turned into liquids and gels when households started to introduce showers to their homes, and the plastics boom took off. Now, we are seeing the end result of decades of plastic use without considering how exactly these products will be disposed of. The tricky issue with beauty products in particular is that they are often made up of multiple parts — lids and mechanisms to squeeze out liquid – that make them hard for the busy consumer to break apart and recycle separately. More recently, beauty brands have started looking to packaging like paper, metal and glass to help cut down on their carbon footprint. L’Oréal-owned brand La Roche-Posay achieved a global first earlier in 2020 by packaging its Anthelios sunscreen in a cardboard tube, which reduces plastic usage by 45%. Kiehl’s is also set to adopt cardboard packaging. While cutting plastic usage by 45% isn’t 100%, it’s reassuring to see these behemoth brands taking accountability for their effect on the environment, and considering how to green-proof their products.


56% OF BRITS DON’T RECYCLE THEIR B AT H R O O M PRODUCTS

“The truth is, less is more.” What can we do?

What changes are beauty brands making?

Sara Last, founder and director of Elements Boutique Spa, who recently helped formulate its Luxury Skincare and Body Collection, believes that brands are making an effort to move towards greater sustainability. “I really believe we will see all brands turning to more environmentally aware packaging and ingredient sourcing. I hope to see singleuse products, like facial wipes and products containing micro-plastics, become extinct. “Looking at brands’ eco statements and initiatives is another way to see what they are giving back and how they are supporting the move to more eco-conscious buying. At Elements Boutique Spa we work with Ecologi who plant 48 trees a month on our behalf, offsetting our carbon footprint. As well as that we are working with a UK bee initiative, which ensures we are boosting bee populations with certain crops we use.”

Packaging from beauty products produces more than 1 billion tons of CO2 a year — and that’s just from shipping by sea.

The “clean beauty” movement is estimated to be worth $25.11 billion by 2025.

It’s hard to know where to start when making the change, but Olixa skincare founder Alexandra Jansons has some useful advice. “A small but effective step is to shop mindfully and buy products that you think you will completely use up. With the rise of the ‘shelfie’ (Instagram photos of your beauty cabinet), many people feel the pressure to buy, buy, buy, procuring a lot of products but potentially only using a little of each. “But the truth is, you don’t need a huge number of beauty products. Less is more. Experiment with the type or products you like and the ingredients that work for you, and start there.” Starting at home is something Brianne West, founder of the world’s first zero-waste brand Ethique, believes in too. “When it comes to sustainable beauty, think reusable. Reusable cotton swabs, cotton pads and so on for makeup removal. You can use something as simple as coconut oil as a great make-up remover — just make sure it’s fairly traded. “When you’re trying to find an eco-friendly brand that’s right for you, I’d suggest checking the brand’s website for its mission statement and certifications. If the owners are proud of their eco-practices then they’re likely to have them up for all to see. “Certifications like B-Corp mean that the company must go through a very transparent process and only the ones that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable will be certified.”

The average UK household uses 216 plastic shampoo bottles a year.

The personal care industry is worth over $500 billion a year.


SUSTAINABLE SWAPS

Know your symbols

FOR A BEAUTY R O U T I N E T H AT ’ S K I N D TO S K I N A N D P L A N E T.

Mascara, £25, INIKA Vegan-friendly formulation

Retinol Complex Oil, £22, L’abu Skin Cruelty-free

IF YOU ONLY

BUY

Night treatment, £42, ARK Free of parabens, SLS and formaldehyde

ONE THING

Reusable Make-up Remover Pads, £6.95, Tabitha Eve Contains naturally antibacterial bamboo

Beauty Oil, £36, Pamoja Ethically harvested oil

Safety Razor, £24.99, Peace with the Wild Cut down on throwaway plastic razors Eye Coal, £14, Fat and the Moon 100% natural colour

Cleansing balm, £22, Elements Glass bottle for easy recycling

Editor’s

PICK Lipstick in Noble, £24, Axiology Made with only ten ingredients

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THE GREEN DOT This shows that the producer has made a financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging in Europe, but doesn’t necessarily mean the packaging itself is recyclable, will be or has been recycled. PLASTIC RESIN CODES Identifies the type of plastic resin (from 1-7) that was used to make the product, helping you to find out how to recycle it. MOBIUS LOOP Indicates that the product can be recycled, but it won’t be accepted in all recycling collection systems. Sometimes it will have a percentage sign to show the how much recycled material is used to make the product. GLASS RECYCLING This encourages you to recycle the glass container in a bottle bank or glass household recycling collection. Remember to check if the lid can also be recycled. COMPOSTABLE Some innovative companies are shipping products in compostable postage bags, where you might see this symbol. It means you can recycle it by putting into your garden waste bin — but never place it with plastics, as then it won’t break down.


FASHION & BEAUTY

special ...

Anna

Ethique Lime and Ginger Body Polish and Botanica Solid Body Polish, £11 “I liked that the packaging was very fresh and funky. Their message was good as it told you how many plastic bottles (three) you would save by using the product. “I think that as a society we should all really try to be aware of the damage we are doing to the planet and find ways to support products that use environmentallyfriendly formulations.”

8/10

Gaynor

Melanie

Upcircle Face Scub in Citrus, £12.99 “I liked that this was a gentle, effective scrub and had a nice texture to it. I could feel it doing its job and my face did feel smoother after using and not tight or dry in any way. The coffee smell was quite overpowering, so you couldn’t really detect the scent of the floral oils. “Any step in the direction to improve how things are created and leave behind a more ‘greener’ world is a positive thing.”

7/10

Moo & Yoo Miracle Conditioner, £22 “The texture of the conditioner was lovely and it had a fresh smell. It left my hair feeling smooth and easy to comb through. I think it made my hair less frizzy, too. It did seem to need quite a lot of rinsing to clear it from my hair, but I’d definitely use it again. “I would definitely pay a bit extra for sustainable products that are kind to the environment and are cruelty-free to animals.”

Suzanne

Vegan by Happy Skin Day & Night Moisturiser, £29.90 “I absolutely love this cream. I love the yellow pot (happy indeed), and like that it is for both day and night. The texture is great, it smells nice (a simple fruit aroma, not too perfumed), and it left my skin lovely. I also love that they give back to a mental health charity. “The writing on box is very small, so I struggled to read it all, but there were clear sustainability symbols. “I think I will re-use the pot actually, because its design is so super-cool and attractive! It makes me happy.”

9/10

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FASHION & BEAUTY

MAKE-UP IS NOT VANITY, A R I A N E P O O L E H A S PA R T I E D WITH JANE SEYMOUR, HAD L U N C H W I T H PA U L M C C A R T N E Y AND GONE FOOD SHOPPING W I T H C I L L A B L AC K . T H E CANADIAN MAKE-UP ARTIST AND BUSINESS OWNER LEADS MAIRI MULHERN THROUGH HER LIFE IN MAKE-UP — A WORLD FULL OF GLITZ, GLAMOUR AND ‘PINCH ME’ MOMENTS.

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t r a it’s

ake-up artist, TV presenter and beauty educator Ariane Poole has been in the business of making people look beautiful for over 40 years — and is still as obsessed now as she was when she got her first ever make-up set at three years old. “It had this pretend plastic lipstick and faux gel eyeshadow. I remember exactly how it smelled and how it felt to play around with. I was hooked.” An almost childlike giddiness haloes the Canadianborn make-up artist’s every word as she tells me how her life in make-up began. “My mum used to model in the ‘50s and ‘60s and I used to watch her put make-up on before shoots. It was absolutely magical for me to see her transform from my mum into a goddess. I was always in awe of her.” Told she wasn’t allowed to wear make-up until she was 16, Ariane had to find ways to satisfy her fast-growing obsession. Mischievous and daring, young Ariane was on a mission to feed her burning curiosity. “I would sneak into the bathroom after school and use my mum’s make-up. I put coins down where each bottle stood so I could make sure that I put everything back where I found it. I gave myself a full face of make-up with weird Max Factor loose powders, creams and Yardley lipsticks, and then washed it all off before my mum arrived home from work!” When borrowing real products was out of the question, Mother

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It was while doing makeovers on This Morning that Ariane first noticed a gap in the make-up market. Mature women needed quality, long-lasting products that would work in harmony with their changing skintones.

“No make-up product will suit you forever — try to be adaptable.” Nature gave Ariane all the ingredients she needed to make her own. “I started making my own make-up when I was six. I would mess around in the garden and soon discovered that I could crush up geranium petals and mix them with a little bit of Nivea cream to make lip colours and blushes. Geraniums come in this fantastic array of pinks, corals and reds so I had a nice little collection!” she laughs. “Then when Smarties came out in Canada, I would soak them to get all of the colours out. I used brown as an eyeshadow and the red for brighter lipsticks. They were top quality products, let me tell you!” Ariane remembers her first piece of “real life” make-up just as fondly. “My mum’s

modelling took her to the UK a lot, so she brought me some quirky make-up from Biba in London. “My first pieces were the Mary Quant pastel crayon eyeshadows and a bright red Yardley lipstick.” There’s a smile in Ariane’s voice. “I just adored them and the fact that my mum had brought them all the way from Britain was so cool.” Ariane has been experimenting with colours and creams ever since — though now she has TV crews and magazine editors seeking out her expertise. During her four decades in the industry, Ariane has worked on major campaigns for Max Factor, Molton Brown and No7. She has collaborated with some of fashion’s finest photographers — including Mario Testino and David Bailey — making beautiful people even more stunning, long before Photoshop was invented. Creating out-there looks was part of the fun, but Ariane transports me back to a trend that perhaps would have benefited from some digital airbrushing. “Don’t get me started on eyebrows in the ‘80s — what a nightmare! Who decided they should be so fluffy?” she almost shouts. “I did a shoot with Selfridges for an incredible collection of women’s suits. They had massive shoulder pads and of course, I was told to draw big eyebrows. I swear, the eyebrows would enter the room before the model did!” she jokes. “Add in those shoulder pads and you’ve got yourself an ‘80s nightmare.” The world was Ariane’s oyster as she established herself in the industry and began travelling across the globe doing make-up for celebrities including Helena Bonham Carter, Catherine Zeta Jones and Paul McCartney. PLATINUM

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“I want to help older women feel beautiful and confident in make-up.”

Ariane and her team have created a line of 37 vegan-friendly products for all skin types and tones. Find your perfect match at arianepoole.com

Ariane leads professional make-up programmes, showing students of all ages how to adapt their techniques to suit all age groups and skin types.

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“I did Paul McCartney’s make-up many years ago and I just remember thinking how absolutely crazy it was that he was sitting in my make-up chair. I had watched — we had all watched — The Beatles as a little girl. “He had been recording a new track at the time, so when he sat down, I told him that I’d done his wife, Linda’s, make-up for the cover of her first cookbook and asked if he could say hello to her for me. I think he thought I was lying because the look that man gave me!” Ariane laughs. “He ended up making me lunch and was just so relaxed and polite — not this big celebrity persona, just a man doing his job.” Ariane shares a few stories about other stars she has worked with — Jane Seymour and the Queen of Greece, to name a couple — but her favourite will always be Cilla Black. The two met on the set of a Blind Date wedding in Barbados and became close after spending the afternoon together. They talked, shopped for groceries and Cilla invited Ariane into her kitchen to cook chips from scratch. “You’re thinking, ‘Oh, I remember


People Making the most of make-up at any age means listening to your body, observing its changes and finding fresh products that complement your present self. “I cannot sitting watching you on TV years ago.’ I’m so lucky to jump up and down enough about this!” Ariane exclaims. have spent time with celebrities like Cilla and Paul “As you get older, you lose pigment in your skin the same when they were just their relaxed, normal selves. I way you lose pigment in your hair. For example, somebody have treasured memories for sure.” who had naturally red lips when they were younger will Ariane was headhunted by This Morning producers have pinkish when they reach mid-life,” she explains. after a successful seven-year stint as Lorraine Kelly’s “You have to be adaptable with your make-up choices on-screen make-up expert. In 2000, she became because no matter what anyone tells you, your skin will This Morning’s makeover expert and after presenting change and the colours you need with it. I say you’re programmes like Style Challenge and Makeover Hit kidding yourself if you think you have Squad, became one of daytime TV’s something that will suit you forever, no most-loved beauty gurus. matter how much you once loved it.” “I was doing consultancy work for According to Ariane, it’s an unwillingness companies like Boots, Clarins and Estée to learn about the many ways a woman’s Lauder, and a lot of my makeovers on skin changes over the years that keeps This Morning were for mid-life women. larger brands from hitting the mark. I started to notice a lack of products “When buying a “Remember that lipsticks and blushes suitable for my more mature clients. nude lipstick, always can look different on different people — the Particularly primers, concealers and opt for pink and coral same way that perfume smells change — foundations that could last through undertones. The because the pH levels in your lips change hot flushes and work on sensitive or pale, whiter nudes the pigment. Don’t be afraid to mix and slightly wrinkled areas.” out there just wash experiment a little,” she says. Ariane launched her self-titled out older women’s skin and hide any To Ariane, make-up is less about hiding cosmetics brand in 2002 with the aim pigmentation left in imperfections and more about enhancing of making mature women feel seen by the lips. It’s these beauty that’s already there. the beauty industry. The entrepreneur sunset shades that “Many people use make-up as a sort of simply wanted to help every woman will keep you looking defence or disguise. Try to see it as comfort feel beautiful and confident. enlivened.” and security instead,” she recommends. “When I was looking for funding to “Our skin needs far less make-up as we age launch, I went all over the place looking — it just looks ‘cakey’, even if your foundation is a perfect for investors and no one would fund me because I colour match. I don’t quite understand the whole ageing was aiming at older women. process yet, but I am trying!” “Someone actually said to me, ‘Why are you aiming If there’s one thing Ariane needs you to know, it’s that for women over 40? They just need to be put out to make-up is not vanity; she passionately believes it is art. “I pasture’,” Ariane explains incredulously. “If you could was 19 and I went to get my charts read by an astrologer in have seen my face — I’m amazed I didn’t punch him!” Canada. Of course we all know that mature women are “I told him I was all about make-up and he said I was actually the opposite of that particular opinion; superficial! It’s not like I stare at myself in the mirror and expressive, passionate and as beautiful as they were go, ‘Wow, you’re so beautiful.’ I do things that help me have in their twenties. “The fact is, everyone grows older,” Ariane says. “The confidence and it’s always been that way. great thing about older women is that they have time “I just want to help other women like me feel the same. for themselves now. When you get older, you’ve got That’s what make-up is about, and it always will be.” freedom and more money to spend. It’s completely And what is next for Ariane Poole? “I have absolutely foolish to exclude them as a demographic.” no idea!” she answers blithely.

If you only do one thing

Naturally beautiful Ariane’s basics for a better, more flattering make-up look. Priming is all about timing Leave enough time between applying primer and letting it dry, or your make-up will slide off. Remember to exfoliate first so that the primer absorbs, too. If your skin is dehydrated, it will absorb the make-up, clogging pores.

Contouring — is it worth the bother? If you’re contouring the way the Kardashians do, then stop! You can use a bit of powdered bronzer for cheeks, temples and forehead perimeter — as long as it’s not too orangey. A bit of blush and a cream highlighter on the cheekbones, tip of the nose and chin is plenty.

Mixing and matching You don’t have to buy separate products for separate things. You can use bronzer as eyeshadow, and lipstick as blush. My big thing is to make sure your lips don’t look too pale, because you can’t have too bright a colour on your cheeks if there’s none on your lips. It creates an imbalance.

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Travel

Best of

both worlds in

Thailand H AV I N G S P E N T A M O N T H I N T H A I L A N D D E C A D E S A G O , J O G A R D N E R WA S I N T R I G U E D TO R E T U R N F O R A H O L I D AY O F T W O H A LV E S , P R O V I N G A B E A C H A N D C I T Y M I X C A N B E A R E V E L AT I O N .

If

The pool terrace in one of the Tongsai Bay villas.

like me, you visited Thailand as a backpacker years ago, memories of ‘I-hope-that-wasn’t-a-rat’ hostels and full moon parties so wild you took days to recover may have put you off returning. But 20 years is a long time in travel, with hotels, eco-credentials, aircraft and flight prices all moving considerably — and favourably — in the right direction. Even getting there is cheaper and more comfortable than it once was, with movies on demand, wi-fi, more legroom, decent food and free drinks making a 12-hour flight bearable. The Dreamliner has a trick up its sleeve, too: mood lighting that adjusts every hour to reduce the effects of jet-lag. Magic. I certainly felt fresh as I landed at quaint Ko Samui airport with its passenger train chugging around the low-rise buildings and lush, tropical gardens. As airports go, it’s something else. Nothing quite prepared me for Tongsai Bay, either. It’s a family-owned, all-suite resort overlooking a 200-metre pristine beach. Purposely designed around the landscape, nature was spared the price of the hotel build with 83 villas set into the hillside, a beach bar placed around an ancient tree and steps aplenty. It’s as higgledy-piggledy as they come but, with 66 species of birds, oversized flowers in an array of shades and scents, colourful butterflies and the highpitch screech of the cicadas the norm, the layout is actually one big nod to the local wildlife. My villa — all 180 square metres of it — was PLATINUM

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Travel

ONE NIGHT IN A P O O L V I L L A AT T H E TO N G S A I B AY S TA R T S AT £ 5 0 0 PER PERSON PER N I G H T, B A S E D O N TWO SHARING, INCLUDING B R E A K FA S T

The banana-loving elephants at Samui Elephant Sanctuary.

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arguably larger than my three-bedroom house in Norfolk, with a terrace so gigantic it housed a kitchen, a roll-top bath and, the jewel in the accommodation crown, a private five-metre infinity pool overlooking the beach. That’s long enough to swim lengths in. Safe in the knowledge that no one could see me, skinny dipping became my daily pre-breakfast/post-dinner ritual. And it was heavenly. For the more sociable, there are two main pools on site: a 50-metre freshwater pool with a section for children, and an adults-only, halfmoon-shaped pool located halfway up a hill. Both have loungers, parasols and waiters on hand to dish out towels, drinks and snacks. However it’s the resort’s eco-credentials that most impress, with a complete ban on plastic that was enforced a pioneering 18 years ago. Food waste is used to make washing detergent; long slices of lemongrass double up as straws, and nothing upon nothing is discarded if it doesn’t have to be. One evening — happily sun-kissed and sporting a flowing frock — I wandered down to the beach, ordered a G&T, squished myself into a bean bag on the sand and watched the sunset. As the sun slid down, I joined the other guests at tables and chairs laid out on the beach under a string of lights. On the menu: a medley of spicy Indian dishes. The inspiration for Tongsai Bay’s two restaurants comes from produce grown in the resort’s own organic garden; spinach, bananas, beetroot, dill, aubergine, lemongrass, turmeric and sweet potato were all in season on my visit. Turmeric even appeared in my spa treatment later that week — a luxurious turmeric and Thai white clay wrap that cost just £45 and lasted a delicious hour. Another highlight of my stay was the Thai cooking course run by Tongsai Bay’s head chef Chef Chom. Despite knife skills more akin to The Muppet’s Swedish Chef than Gordon Ramsay, I managed to make spring rolls, Pad Thai and a Thai green curry in a matter of hours — dishes my friends still hoover up whenever I re-create them at home. But it was my visit to the Samui Elephant Sanctuary (samuielephantsanctuary.org) that put the world back on its axis —


it’s a not-for-profit organisation that rescues, and re-houses, abused elephants. “This is Big Boss,” said a man pointing at a magnificent elephant below me. “She loves bananas.” I took a bunch and held them over the barrier for her to grab. Within seconds they had vanished, skin and all. I don’t think she even chewed. If you do come out here, a good option for lunch is the Karma Beach Restaurant (karma-resort.com), a beachside spot serving a huge selection of dishes from pasta and seafood to Thai classics and salads. My stonebaked pizza with cold Singha beer was perfection. And who needs dessert when you can kick off your shoes under the table and walk straight onto the sand? “I definitely won’t be feeling this relaxed in Bangkok,” I thought to myself as I paddled in the warm peppermint sea, mentally preparing for a week in the frenzied capital. “Please be kind to the old gal.” But in the last 20 years, Thailand’s chaotic king has aged like a fine wine into a fascinating, stylish and funky hotspot that could easily rival parts of London. I stayed at the Lancaster Bangkok (lancasterbangkok.com), the newest member of The Landmark Lancaster Group set in a cutting edge part of town. The design is sleek and modern with a 50-metre atrium in the lobby (look up as you walk in), polished marble floors, spacious rooms and an entire floor dedicated to wellness. I felt suitably smug as I swam lengths in the 12th floor outdoor pool, stopping every now and again to look out at the city below. Despite temperatures creeping up to 39 degrees, and humidity at nearly 90%, I felt as cool as a cucumber. Afterwards, I padded to the alfresco bar for a cold local drink with a view. Life was good. The next morning, I headed out with a guide to see some of the lesser-known sights of Bangkok, hopping on and off tuk-tuks and long boats to visit traditional markets, gargantuan gold Bhuddas and temples perched on top of mountains. My lunch of tofu, crunchy vegetables and soft noodles from a street vendor

Return flights from London Heathrow to Bangkok start at £670 per person, including taxes, with Eva Air. Internal transfers from Bangkok to Ko Samui start at £95 per person including taxes with Bangkok Airways.

“Happily sunkissed, I wandered to the beach and watched the sun set.”

was both fresh and tasty — and cost just 29p. Bangkok has pushed the culinary boat out in the last few years, too, with more Michelin-star restaurants on offer and more choice for visitors. For the best steak (and views) in the city, head to The Rib Room in the Landmark Hotel (landmarkbangkok. com) where you can watch your choice of cut being cooked on a large flame in an open kitchen. Then choose your sauce: blue, garlic, mustard or Dijon. I’m not sure what thrilled me most: the melt-in-the-mouth steak doused in blue sauce, the surprisingly good glass of Thai red wine or the Bangkok skyline, glittering as if to say “I told you so.” For a nightcap, hail a tuk-tuk and head to Ironballs (ironballsbar.com), a tiny gin bar and distillery that wouldn’t be out of place in Soho. After touring the distillery, I ordered a large glass of gin with elderflower and pink peppercorn and listened to the dulcet tones of a female jazz singer. On the plane home, I reflected on a holiday of two halves: a beach break in a breathtaking resort with just the right amount of relaxation, swimming and spaing, followed by a city break with all the hallmarks of achingly hip London, but with One night in a deluxe king much better weather and a more favourable room at the Lancaster Bangkok starts at £109 per person per price tag. Never again will I shun a place I night, based on two sharing, visited in my youth as a holiday destination. including breakfast, late For Thailand, like me, is all grown up. check-in and a welcome drink. PLATINUM

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Let’s

celebrate!

It’s party time at the

Venice carnival S T R E E T E N T E R TA I N M E N T, R O M A N C E A N D A C O LO U R S P E C TA C U L A R C O M B I N E D U R I N G A S TAY I N T H E C I T Y O F R O M E O A N D J U L I E T, W I T H T H E U N I Q U E EXPERIENCE OF LA SERENISSIMA AT C A R N E VA L E D I V E N E Z I A .

J

oin us for a unique holiday, spending time in your base of Verona while also enjoying extraordinary Venice, affectionately known as La Serenissima, as it celebrates the arrival of spring with its colourful parades, street entertainment and general merrymaking. There is nowhere on earth that matches the beauty and heart-stopping glory of La Serenissima, one of the most beguiling, intriguing and romantic settings on the planet. And at Carnevale time, there’s simply no better place to be. Soak up the atmosphere throughout the day and witness the carnival-goers gather at the vast expanse of St Mark’s Square. The Square is the city’s focal point with its sumptuous cathedral, clock tower and the Doge’s Palace — the Palazzo Ducale. You will witness street entertainment in the form of acrobats, musicians and dancers and of course, some elaborate costumes. Close by, joining the palace to the prisons, the famous Bridge of Sighs afforded condemned men a last view of the beauty of Venice en route to the gallows. Away from St Mark’s and the Grand Canal, a labyrinth of narrow streets awaits exploration, each corner turned revealing another memorable sight of this truly wonderful city. 136

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VENICE CARNIVAL & VERONA —

HOLIDAY AVAILABLE WITH FLIGHTS FROM EDINBURGH, LONDON GATWICK, LONDON HEATHROW, LONDON LUTON, LONDON STANSTED & MANCHESTER


Plat i nu m Travel

5 DAY S FRO M £725 pp Depa rting 21 Febr uary, 2022

Tour Highlights & Inclusions

Images © Istockphoto, Shutterstock

Enjoy four nights in beautiful Verona, in an elegant hotel base Discover the exquisite city of Romeo and Juliet Journey by train to glorious Venice, La Serenissima, to soak up the atmosphere of Carnevale Optional tours offer the chance of a second day in Venice and visits to restored Treviso and foodie mecca Bassano del Grappa Four nights of bed and breakfast accommodation at the four-star Leon D’Oro Hotel, Verona Return standard-class rail travel from Verona to Venice Return flights to Italy Coach travel and transfers throughout Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager Scenic trips, meandering waterways and historic marvels are plentiful in ancient Venice and Verona. Explore and enjoy, surrounded by beauty and elegance wherever you go. There are so many wonderful sights to see.

To book or to request a brochure, call 0330 160 7967 quoting the PLA offer code or visit pla.newmarketholidays.co.uk

Organised by Newmarket Holidays Ltd. ABTA V7812, ATOL Protected 2325. Single room supplements apply. Subject to availability. When making an enquiry about the holidays shown in this advertisement we may pass your details onto our participating tour operator partner to contact you regarding your enquiry. Other terms and conditions apply. Prices correct at time of going to print and are based on two people sharing a twin. Please check online for latest prices and availability.

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Your

tastiest BBQ yet! T H E R E ’ S N O B E T T E R WAY TO C E L E B R AT E S U M M E R T H A N G AT H E R I N G Y O U R F R I E N D S A N D FA M I LY F O R A B B Q I N T H E S U N . H E R E A R E O U R FAV O U R I T E B I T E S A N D B E V E R A G E S TO G E T T H E PA R T Y S TA R T E D . Picnic blanket, £65, Oliver Bonas

Manomasa Chipotle & Lime Tortilla Chips, £1.25, Holland & Barrett

Great as a burger sauce or dip Gran Luchito Hot Habanero Mango Salsa, £2.65, Ocado

Mary Botanical Blend, £26, Harvey Nichols

Joe & Seph’s Cheese on Toast Popcorn, £3.95, Harvey Nichols Summerberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, £3, Waitrose

Wicked Kitchen Chilli & Lime Kebabs, £3.50, Tesco

Belvoir Organic Lemon & Mint Cordial, £3.60, Ocado Set of 4 cups, £15, Joe Browns

Mallow & Marsh Raspberry Marshmallows, £16 for 6 pack

Fire Pit Chorizo Sausages, £4, Tesco

Kylie Minogue Prosecco Rosé NV, £14, Harvey Nichols

Kettle Mature Cheddar & Red Onion, £1.99

BBQ, £235, Cuckooland

Newman’s Own Sticky BBQ Marinade, £3, Sainsbury’s

Häagen-Dazs Lime Mojito Sorbet, £4.99

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Higgidy 6 Feta & Red Pepper Veggie Rolls, £2, Sainsbury’s


H

y h , t l a e

quic

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W E BO

READY IN A FLASH, THESE FILLING, YET SUPER-NUTRITIOUS NOODLE RECIPES ARE THE P E R F E C T T H I N G F O R W H I P P I N G U P I N A H U R R Y. PLATINUM

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Dan dan noodle soup with lamb SERVES 2 A ‘dan dan’ is the pole that Chinese noodle sellers use to carry the baskets of fresh noodles and sauce, with one at either end. The star in this dish is the Sichuan chilli bean paste, but you can use other chilli pastes if you can’t get your hands on it. Combined with the Sichuan peppercorns, you get a lip-tingling intensity. You can also try it as a stir-fry dish by omitting the stock water, and using fresh noodles.

½ tbsp vegetable oil 230g minced (ground) lamb or soy mince for a veggie alternative 2tsp garlic paste, or 3–4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped 5cm piece of fresh root ginger, chopped 1 carrot, finely diced 1 large onion, finely diced 120g dried wheat noodles 1 spring onion, finely sliced, to garnish For the soup 600ml ready-made fresh vegetable stock 1tbsp miso paste 1tbsp chilli paste 2tsp crunchy peanut butter ½tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns 1tbsp toasted sesame oil

Prepare the soup mixture by mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl or jug, then set aside until needed. Heat the oil in a large wok over a high heat. Throw in the minced lamb (or vegan mince) and brown for a few seconds. Add the garlic, ginger, carrot and onion and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Next pour the soup mixture into the pan and mix well, simmering for another 3 minutes. Now it’s noodle time. Put the noodles in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes, then drain. Divide your hot noodles between 2 serving bowls and pour over the soupy mixture. Sprinkle over the chopped spring onion and enjoy. 140

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Khao Soi with green jackfruit SERVES 2 Chiang Mai is the gateway to the lush, mountainous north of Thailand. After a hard day’s trekking, there’s nothing like returning to this comfortingly creamy and tangy noodle curry. The name means ‘cut rice’, but it could also come from the Burmese word for noodle, ‘Khao Swe’. It blends traditional Thai red curry paste with the more earthy, aromatic spices from neighbouring Burma and the northern spice routes.

120g dried egg noodles For the curry broth 1 dried shiitake mushroom 2 large red chillies, finely chopped ½ small red onion, finely chopped 1 lemongrass stalk, ends trimmed and outer layer removed

1tsp ground cumin ½tsp ground cinnamon Few sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped 1tbsp mild or medium curry powder ½tbsp ground turmeric 1tsp garlic paste 1tsp ginger paste 2tbsp light soy sauce 1½tbsp agave syrup or honey 500ml boiling water 560g can young/green jackfruit, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped into pieces 400ml good-quality coconut milk For the toppings ¼ small red onion, finely sliced 1 small gherkin, finely sliced 2 wedges of lime or lemon ½ red chilli, finely sliced Small handful of fresh coriander

Place a medium-sized saucepan over


Foo d & D r i n k

Hong Kong street beef SERVES 2 The richly flavoured and aromatic soup base, combined with the savoury hit of the steak, wraps you in a warm blanket of contentment. It’s the best kind of comfort food — tastes like it cooked for hours, but actually ready in minutes.

quick+

easy

a medium heat and add all the broth ingredients, except the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes over a medium heat. Now stir the coconut milk into the mixture and bring it back to the boil, then take off the heat immediately and set aside. Half-fill a small saucepan with boiling water and place over a high heat. Add the noodles and cook for 2–3 minutes. Drain well and then divide between 2 bowls. Pour the soup broth all over the noodles. Scatter the toppings over the noodles and serve immediately.

1tbsp crushed yellow bean sauce 1tsp toasted sesame oil ½tbsp vegetable oil 250g rib-eye or sirloin steak 85g broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces 120g dried thin wheat or rice noodles For the soup 230g lean minced beef 900ml ready-made fresh beef stock 2 small onions, finely diced 2 whole star anise 1 large black cardamom pod ½tsp Chinese five-spice powder 1tsp ginger paste 1tsp garlic paste ½tsp sea salt, or to taste ½tsp finely ground black pepper 1tbsp crushed yellow bean sauce 900ml boiling water For the garnish 1 spring onion, finely sliced Handful of fresh coriander 2tbsp chilli oil

Heat a medium saucepan over a medium–high heat and brown the minced beef, then add all the other soup ingredients except the water or stock. Keep stirring for 2–3 minutes, then add the stock. Cover the pan with a lid and leave all those lovely flavours to simmer and intensify over a low heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the yellow bean sauce and toasted sesame oil on a plate. Now it’s steak time! Put the steak on the plate and really rub the marinade all over, then set it aside for a few minutes. Heat a wok over a high heat and add the vegetable oil. Pan-fry the steak for about 3 minutes

on each side. This will cook it medium — but it’s your steak, so cook it how you like. The superhigh heat will seal the meat and keep it nice and succulent. As soon as the steak is cooked to your liking, put it on a chopping board, cover it with foil and let it rest for a bit. Place another medium saucepan on the hob and halffill with boiling water. Add the broccoli and boil for 2 minutes, then add the dried noodles and simmer for another minute. Drain and divide the broccoli and noodles between two large, deep soup bowls. Using a fine sieve, strain the soup broth as you pour it over the noodles in each bowl, discarding the aromatics. Slice the steak into strips, then layer on top of the noodle soup. Garnish with spring onion and fresh coriander. Serve with a small pot of red chilli oil on the side for drizzling, and you’re good to go. Make it vegan by replacing the beef with tempeh, and using vegetable stock.

Extracted from The Noodle Cookbook by Damien Lee of Mr Lee’s Noodles, £15.99, Ebury Press PLATINUM

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Pink is the colour of feelgood sunsets and hydrangeas and, as our wine expert Joanna Simon describes, the most delicious wines. We take a deep dive into the world of much-loved rosé.

It’s

hard to believe jewel of a Provence wine estate, that I once Domaine de l’Isle on the tiny commissioned island of Porquerolles. I can a feature on the vouch for the quality of the parlous state of Provence rosé wines from the 2020 vintage, wines for the magazine of which I white as well as pink. Expect was then editor. Today it’s hard to to hear more about Chanel’s think of a category of wines more Domaine de l’Isle, but don’t fashionable than pale, dry rosés, expect a flood of wines: the particularly those from Provence, island is just over four miles the region that out-produces and long and less than two wide. outsells all others and where nine So, what is it about pink wine? in every ten bottles produced Is it just the colour that attracts is pink. They’re so fashionable us like moths to a flame? Colour and successful that a vineyard certainly counts for a lot. I only in Provence, or just a Provence have to look at a rosé in summer rosé wine with their name on the to think, yes please (mind you, label, has become a sought-after I don’t limit it to summer, more celebrity accessory — as well as of which in a moment), and an exceptional money-spinner for sales of rosé went into orbit those who don’t actually need it. in lockdown, as we looked for Joanna Simon is one of the It started with Brad Pitt and ways to make our hemmed-in UK’s leading experts and she Angelina Jolie, who rented lives look more radiant. gives wine the Platinum seal Château Miraval for the Cannes But it’s not just colour. EyeFilm Festival in 2008, and then catching design lures us in too: of approval only when it’s bought it (as you do). Their chic, clear glass bottles to show met her high standards. first vintage of Miraval Côtes off the colour (bad for the wine, de Provence — 2012 — was an incidentally — see my hacks); instant success: the wine was good, the packaging was square-shouldered bottles; dumpy, curvy shapes which beautiful and, as far as celebrity endorsement goes, you are currently very fashionable, even if ‘dumpy’ doesn’t couldn’t better it. The Brangelina marriage didn’t survive, sound it; super-slim bottles; dimpled glass; bevelled; but the wine and the estate have — still co-owned by Pitt faceted; stencilled… anything as long as the bottle stands and Jolie together with the Perrin family of the famous out from the increasingly large crowd. Chateauneuf-du-Pape estate Château Beaucastel. It’s Appearance is critical, but there’s more to it. When the Perrins who manage the estate and the winemaking, I commissioned that article back in 1985, the quality so it’s no wonder the quality is equal to the packaging of a lot of Provence rosé, and rosé in general, left a lot (£18–£20, Majestic, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Amazon). to be desired. Rosé may have been drunk in the bars Since the advent of Pitt-Jolie’s Miraval, others who and bistros of St Tropez, but in the wider world it was have got in on the act include rock singer-songwriter unfashionable and hard to sell. For growers making white Jon Bon Jovi and his son, with a Provence-style rosé and/or red wine as well as pink, their rosé was usually from the south of France called Hampton Water; rapper a bit of an afterthought — what they did after lunch. Meanwhile, growers who only made rosé often didn’t Post Malone with Maison No.9, a phenomenal overnight get good enough returns to invest in their vineyards and success when it was launched last year; and now Kylie, wineries and so improve their wines. As it happens, rosé with her Kylie Minogue Collection, which leads with a is not an easy wine to make well, but that’s another story. Côtes de Provence Rosé (£20, Morrisons — that’s if it For a variety of reasons, circa 1985 marked something hasn’t sold out) and includes other rosés, too. of a turning point. Gradually, through the 1990s and into It’s not just celebrity individuals: the luxury goods the noughties, the quality of Provence rosés picked up. giant Chanel (as in No 5) has recently bought itself a

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Laurent Miquel Vendanges Noctures Classic Rosé 2020, Languedoc £7.50, Co-op Aromatic, peachy, zippy and dry. Good value.

Increasingly, they showed the hallmark supple, creamy texture, in union with red berry and peach flavours, hints of citrus and herbs and a bone-dry finish. The market began to respond too. Enter Sacha Lichine, a wine-château owner from Bordeaux. In 2006 he bought Chateau d’Esclans in Provence, with a bold and unheard of ambition: to make the best rosé in the world, a wine to stand alongside France’s top reds and whites, a wine that could improve with age. Some people thought it an outrageous idea but Lichine succeeded, by the simple-sounding expedient of using winemaking techniques from Bordeaux and Burgundy, including fermentation in oak barrels. The wine, Garrus, was launched as the most expensive rosé on the planet. It’s no longer the world’s most expensive, but it’s the one I love, especially after I’ve cellared it for a few years. And just as Brussels sprouts aren’t only for Christmas, rosé isn’t only for summer. It has become one of our festive indulgences to have a bottle of Garrus, often with smoked salmon and cold goose on Boxing Day. Only one bottle? As I write, current vintages are being offered at anything from (bargain alert!) £90 up to a more usual £130 — yes, a bottle. Perhaps more useful is knowing that Garrus now heads a clan. Whispering Angel, the world’s best selling rosé, is an Esclans wine — the 2020 is delicious and widely available (around £19) — and just below it comes The Palm (around £15, Majestic, Waitrose, independents). Then, leading in a direct line to Garrus are Rock Angel (another star, £25, Majestic, Waitrose, independents) and Les Clans (£45–£50). There’s also a new wine, The Pale by Sacha Lichine, which has a label evoking the Roaring ’20s in the style of The New Yorker magazine. Unsurprisingly, the wine is fun and stylish (£14, Waitrose). Provence rosé is in a class of its own, and goes particularly well with food, but other rosés are available. Various regions in Spain and Italy are producing some particularly good ones, but the whole world is making pink now, and doing it proudly, not just as an afterthought. I couldn’t be happier.

Viñas del Vero Pinot Noir Rosé 2019, Somontano £13.99, Oxford Wine Co Soft-textured, airy Spanish rosé with strawberry, rose and orange notes.

Domaine de Mourchon Loubié 2020, Séguret £10.95, The Wine Society Wild strawberry and peppery spice from an impeccable organic Rhône estate.

Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon Goutte de Rosé 2020 £14.95, Haynes Hanson & Clark Stylish organic Loire rosé with lovely apricot, spice and red berry flavour.

AIX 2020, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence £14.75– £15.50, Hennings, North & South Wines, Grapesmith Pale powder-pink, enticingly perfumed and appetisingly textured.

Jo’s drink hacks Clear glass doesn’t protect wine from harmful sunlight and rosé is especially fragile, so wrap bottles outside with a cloth and don’t leave them inside in sunny windows.

If using glasses straight from a hot dishwasher, swirl 2 or 3 ice cubes round them for approximately 30 seconds t o chill them.

DIY Pimm’s: 2 parts gin, 2 parts red vermouth, 1 part Cointreau or orange curaçao, ice; t op up with lemonade; garnish with cucumber/mint/borage/ strawberry/orange.

Exubérance Rosé du Clos Cantenac 2020, Bordeaux £21, Private Cellar Succulent fruity, supple Merlot from an excellent SaintEmilion estate.

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We hope you have enjoyed reading this issue of Platinum. Every month Platinum brings you advice from our brilliant team of experts, inspiring fashion and beauty and need-to-know health. It’s your feelgood read. Why not subscribe and make sure you never miss out? Platinum will be delivered directly to you every month.

Style

Food & Drink

FASHION, BEAUTY AND HOMES & GARDENS

DELICIOUS COOKERY, NUTRITIOUS RECIPES AND WINE ADVICE

Fo o d & D r i n k

Tipples &nibbles

Sex & Relat io n s h i ps

Fish tacos SERVES 4 A great fish taco depends on the freshness of the fish, the quality of the tortilla and the punchiness of the salsas, contrasted against the creaminess of the crema and the crunchiness of the coleslaw. Use fresh white fish fillets and coat in a spicy mix of cumin, coriander and paprika.

1tbsp cumin seeds 1tbsp coriander seeds 1tsp smoked paprika ½tsp salt 800g white fish fillets, such as pollock or hake Flour, for dusting Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2tbsp vegetable oil For the crema 2tbsp mayonnaise 4tbsp Greek-style yogurt 1tsp red salsa or Tabasco sauce For the coleslaw 400g white cabbage, coarsely shredded 1 carrot, coarsely grated ½ onion, thinly sliced To serve 8 small corn or flour tortillas 1 ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced 1 lime, sliced 1 cucumber, thinly sliced

The Mediterranean diet: Inc ease ene gy, feel amazing Make up the crema by mixing together the mayonnaise, yogurt and the salsa or tabasco. Set aside. Combine the cabbage, carrot and onion into a coleslaw

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and put to one side, too. Heat a small, dry frying pan and lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds. When slightly coloured, grind to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. Mix in the smoked paprika and salt. Rub this mixture all over the fish fillets and set aside for at least 30 minutes. Prepare the fish by slicing it into manageable portions for 8 tacos, then dust in flour combined with a little salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the fish in two batches until just slightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, then keep warm. Heat a cast iron pan to warm the tortillas until slightly charred and warmed through. To make up the tacos, place some of the coleslaw on each tortilla, add the fish and drizzle over the crema. Serve with slices of avocado, lime and cucumber.

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W E K N O W T H AT T H AT T H E M E D I T E R R A N E A N D I E T O F P R OT E I N , V E G E TA B L E S A N D W H O L E G R A I N S CAN BE BENEFICIAL. DR CLARE B A I L E Y S H A R E S L AT E S T R E S E A R C H A N D T H E D I E T ’ S P OT E N T I A L TO REVERSE SOME CONDITIONS.

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Health

WELLBEING, NEWS AND ADVICE

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any of us find that by 50, a few sneaky extra pounds have crept on; sadly, for most of us, as fat rather than muscle. A somewhat alarming statistic shows that as many as 68% of women aged 45 to 64 are in the overweight or obese category. And although we have been constantly told we need to exercise to lose weight, the reality is that exercise is neither an easy, or even a particularly effective way to burn fat. Of course, doing exercise has lots of other important benefits, such as heart health, strength and wellbeing, but not particularly for weight loss. As a GP, until about ten years ago, the usual advice for someone who would like to shift excess weight would be to encourage them to ‘eat less, cut out fat, and move more’. This did not seem to be terribly helpful and on average, our weight continued to pile on. It turns out that it’s not just about calories — though reducing them helps — it’s about the quality of what you eat. This is where the health-boosting Mediterranean diet comes in. Think of Spain, Greece and Southern Italy in the 1960s, where the Mediterranean diet was widely seen as the healthiest, most nutrient-rich diet on the planet. It’s comprised of lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, spices and olive oil, as well as some oily fish, cheese and full fat yogurt, preventing age-related illnesses. It’s not by chance that it’s now considered one of the most beneficial ways of eating for the over-50s (my husband Dr Michael Mosley and I included!). But the sad reality is that since the 1960s,

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Metabolic syndrome

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Metabolic syndrome is a collection of different health conditions, that include high blood pressure, raised blood glucose and increased levels of belly fat. While it’s not uncommon for people to have one or more of these conditions when they hit their fifties, the more of these risk factors you have clustered together, the greater the chance of developing coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. You can even be a normal weight, but if you store your weight around the middle, in the abdomen, as tummy fat, or around the neck, you are at greater risk. Unless you do something about metabolic syndrome, it is likely to worsen over time and further increase your risk of health issues. Metabolic syndrome often develops as a result of poor diet and lifestyle, but the good news is that it can be easily reversed without the need for medication, through a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet.

Diamond study A couple of years ago I was involved in a trial at Oxford University which demonstrated the benefits of a lowish-carb Mediterranean-style diet for people who are overweight and living with type 2 diabetes. To rapidly improve their blood sugars they started by cutting down to around 850 calories a day for up to eight weeks. Then they continued on the Mediterraneanstyle diet. The results of the research, called The Diamond Study, were recently published and showed that the average weight loss after eight weeks was 9.5kg. The participants also saw a

“IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT CALORIES, IT’S ABOUT THE QUALITY OF WHAT YOU EAT.” the traditional Mediterranean diet in these areas has gradually been replaced by a Western diet of sweet and highly processed foods. Inevitably, rates of obesity have since soared, as has type 2 diabetes and chronic disease. Read on to find out why the Mediterranean diet is the key to preventing the most common health threats to the over-50s.

Colourful vegetables, protein and smaller portions of carbs can benefit overall wellbeing and energy levels.

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to work on their relationship and emerge stronger.” Statistically, the over-55s are more likely to be in the happy, latter camp. In a study commissioned by Relate in late 2020, one in ten respondents in a relationship said lockdowns made them realise that they wanted to propose to their partner, while eight percent came to the conclusion that they need to end their relationship. While 38% of surveyed 16-34-year-olds in relationships said they struggled to support their partner emotionally through the pandemic, only 14% of over-55s said they found the same. In research commissioned by the Above: Gen and Charles Edwards Right: Carol Peett says that the relationship app Paired with the Open time together has helped University, the relationships of older strengthen her relationship partnered respondents appeared to be more with her husband. stable than those of younger partnered Britons. Only 7% of women in the 55 to 75-year-old bracket said their intimate partner relationships had deteriorated during lockdowns, compared to 10% of men and women aged 18 to 34 (although the relationships of younger cohorts were also marginally more likely to have improved). Dr Jacqui Gabb, a professor of sociology and intimacy at the Open University who was involved in the OU relationships study, says that this unprecedented period has brought about H ea lt h what she describes as an ‘intensification of the couple’. “The pandemic has altered the grounds of their Pembrokeshire home. They also got involved in the rhythms and routines that ordinarily mutual aid and community planting projects. “I hate to say it because The Mediterranean diet structure our lives and the yardsticks by people have really suffered during this pandemic, but because we champions fruit and which we measure ourselves,” weren’t allowed to work we’ve really enjoyed this opportunity to vegetables —but pickled foods she says. are also hugely beneficial. Carol Peett (63) and her husband Edward spend time together,” Carol says. “Fortunately we discovered we still Rayner Peett (57) describe their prelike each other.” lockdown routines as being ‘like ships in the Carol believes the honest physical labour of digging and planting night’. The couple, who have been married stopped her and Edward from falling into the trap that many Britons for 40 years, run estate agency West Wales in mid and older life succumbed to during the pandemic — of steadily drinking more alcohol. “We were simply too exhausted at Property Finders and often worked seven night-time to open a bottle of wine.” days a week before the pandemic struck. A November study from the Centre for Ageing Better found 32% of “Most days one of us would be out doing people aged between 50 and 70 have been drinking more as a result of viewings as the other manned the home the pandemic, with four million people aged 50-plus binge-drinking office and dogs,” Carol says. “When I look once a week during the second lockdown. back, we only really took Christmas Day off!” If many long-standing couples have found the inward focus of The first Covid-19 lockdown in Wales lockdown has been a boon for their relationship, this is perhaps less heralded an immediate change of pace for the case for newly formed couples, or couples who live apart. the couple as they abandoned their desks and phones to create a kitchen garden on Dr Jacqui points out that recently forged couples in older age groups

“We’ve really enjoyed this opportunity to spend time together.”

Images © Istockphoto

Inside every issue

SERVE UP IN STYLE WITH THESE MOREISH BITES, PLUS SUBLIME FRUIT AND HERB D R I N K S TO E N J O Y A LO N G S I D E . C H I N , C H I N !

often prefer to maintain independent lives and dwellings. “They’re less likely to ‘get on with it and move in together’,” Dr Jacqui says of deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries’ injunction to couples in the first lockdown in England. The consequences for older Britons of exposure to the novel and deadly virus were also potentially graver for older age groups, as a substantial number of 50 and 60-somethings also care for their very elderly relatives. Penny Hinchliffe* (60), from Stockport, works part-time as well as caring for her 93-year-old mother. She found that her young relationship with a ‘charming and urbane’ 63-year-old retired teacher she had met online in spring 2019 couldn’t withstand the pressure of lockdown separation. “The first lockdown was OK, but by the second lockdown I found that the only way to make things work was to

move in with Mum and have very little external social contact with anyone to keep her safe,” she says. “I don’t think Steve and I knew each other well enough for our relationship to handle the shock.” For relationships forged during the pandemic, when (according to data from Paired) the use of dating apps among single 50-pluses has boomed, there’s another problem: the challenge of embedding a new relationship within lives that have been in social deep-freeze. “Maybe you’ve not had to meet their annoying friends, or compete with the demands of their working life,” Dr Jacqui says. “Now all of these things will come crashing into your union.” Juliette Smith believes that couples in their 50s and older have fared well during the pandemic as many of this age group have experienced a foresight of the loss of identity and routine in

the experience of semi-retirement and retirement. “That moment when suddenly you’re not commuting and have lost your routine; many over55s have already begun to struggle with having to create that discipline themselves,” she says. With Charles’ redundancy, structure became an issue for the Edwards, with Charles in particular feeling ‘at sea’ until the couple sat down and organised their day spatially in the house and temporally around meals and daily walks. Community radio presenter Mary Flavelle (69) and Harry, her husband of 46 years (also 69), decided, for their part, to ‘have some fun’ with creating new routines in their Berkshire home. Mary struggled with the separation from their children and grandchildren as the pandemic’s first wave struck. “I used to cuddle my baby grandson and feed him bottles in

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significant drop in their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and the use of medication. Participants and healthcare professionals involved in the trial reported a high level of engagement, confidence and motivation after seeing the initial rapid results. In addition, participants reported positive impacts on their emotional and psychological wellbeing and influence within their social circle. A rapid weight loss diet is not suitable for everyone, so do look at the FAQs at thefast800.com for further advice and as with any diet, consult your doctor, particularly if you are on medication or have a medical condition. There has been some speculation and occasionally fear around the idea of losing weight quickly. However in my experience as a GP, and from my involvement in The Fast 800, rapid weight loss is both safe and effective.

Relationships

Pre-diabetes We’ve all heard about type 2 diabetes and we’re aware that it is dramatically on the rise, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Lurking below the surface is a much larger group — those with prediabetes. These are people whose blood sugars are raised but not yet in the diabetic range. If you are over the age of 30 there is a one in three chance you have it and, because there are no symptoms, you probably won’t know unless you are tested. Establishing that you have pre-diabetes and then taking positive action matters because having persistently high blood sugar levels, even if they are not yet in the diabetic range, will damage blood vessels and leave you at greater risk of stroke, heart disease and dementia.

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The

books that

made me A U T H O R A N D H I S TO R I A N N I C O L A C O R N I C K S H A R E S T H E B O O K S T H AT H AV E S H A P E D H E R L I F E .

The book I loved as a child

The book that makes me laugh I CAPTURE THE CASTLE Dodie Smith

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y mother taught modern languages and I grew up in a house full of books, from science fiction to biography to classic literature, so I read voraciously from an early age. As the stereotypical only child I was always to be found in a corner reading. When I was about 10 years old, I discovered my grandmother’s collection of historical novels, including Catherine by Anya Seton. Those sweeping epics awoke my love of history and I realised that was the world I wanted to discover, read and write about.

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FELL FARM CAMPERS Marjorie Lloyd

I lived in the suburbs for all my childhood and rarely visited proper countryside, such as the Lake District, where the Fell Farm books are set. Activities like hiking and camping were a complete mystery to me, so I loved experiencing them vicariously through the adventures of the Browne children. These books bred in me a lasting love of wild landscapes. I was also fascinated by the sibling relationships in the book as I had none of my own.

I Capture The Castle is such a charming and whimsical story and I love the concept of trying to “capture” the people around you and the essence of your life, as Cassandra Mortmain does in the book. There is lots of humour in this poignant story but the bit that always makes me laugh is a sequence involving a train journey, an inherited fur coat and the rumours of a bear on the loose.


The book that makes me cry

THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH Rosemary Sutcliff

I cry quite often if a book moves me but it has to spring from genuine feelings. I don’t like to feel my emotions are being manipulated by an author. I first read The Eagle Of The Ninth in my English class at school and I adored it. It’s based on the mystery of the disappearance of the Ninth Legion from the historical record in 117AD and it’s a magical, beautifully written and elegiac novel.

THIS MONTH’S AUTHOR

The book that I always go back to MIST OVER PENDLE Robert Neill There are a number of books by my favourite authors, Daphne Du Maurier, Mary Stewart plus a few others that I will go back to and enjoy all over again. Right at the top of the list is Mist Over Pendle, a historical novel about the Pendle witch trials of 1612. It’s a multi-layered story about religion and society in the 17th century, as well as a rich historical adventure and romance.

The book that inspires me: THE COMPLETE POEMS John Keats The poetry of John Keats has been an inspiration to me for many years, in particular Ode To Melancholy. Despite its title, I find it an uplifting poem that examines how to deal with deep sadness. As someone who has experienced depression at times, I take comfort from the poem’s themes of embracing nature when you feel sad and accepting that joy and melancholy are two sides of the same coin.

The book that changed my life THE DAUGHTER OF TIME Josephine Tey I love every one of Josephine Tey’s books, but this riveting fictionalised examination of the murder of the Princes in the Tower around 1483 is special. My stepfather gave me a copy when I was about 12. It was the first time I had come across the controversy surrounding King Richard III and it caught my imagination completely. It was one of the books that made me want to become a historian.

Nicola is an international bestseller who has written more than 30 historical novels. Her books have appeared in more than 25 languages worldwide. Her most recent novels have been centred around some of history’s biggest mysteries, such as the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower in the 1480s.

Nicola studied history at university, writing her Masters thesis on heroes. She has worked as a historical consultant for TV and radio, including Who Do You Think You Are? and Mystic Britain.

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HOSTAGE C L A R E M AC K I N TO S H This one is likely to put you off flying for a while! But I maintain that is because it is such a tense, convincing, nailbiter of a thriller and you might very well believe it could happen to you. Flight-attendant Mina is trying to focus on taking care of the passengers on the world’s first non-stop flight from London to Sydney. It’s her job after all. Besides, this is such a glitzy occasion that the flight is full of stars and journalists. These are demanding passengers, so she needs to stay sharp as the world watches this landmark flight. However, she is struggling, as her thoughts are back at home with her troubled five-year-old daughter and the cataclysmic problems in her marriage. Mina is a wife and mother first, that defines her more than her work, but should it? Soon after the plane takes off, Mina receives a chilling, anonymous note. The control of the plane is compromised, the hijackers are demanding her cooperation and they have a terrifying way of securing it. Mina can save hundreds of lives — or the one that matters most.

Book of the

month

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GREA

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READ

BOOK CLUB A U T H O R A D E L E PA R K S S H A R E S T H E I D E A L S U M M E R R E A D S , F R O M H I L A R I O U S D E B U T S TO N A I L- B I T I N G T H R I L L E R S .

THE READING LIST S A RA N I S H A A DA M S This is an uplifting, life-affirming novel set in one of my favourite places on earth — a library. Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life after the loss of his wife Naina. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his disinterested granddaughter, Priya, who tucks herself away reading. Mukesh is desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, and whilst doing so befriends Aleisha, the librarian — she has a booklist that becomes a lifeline. And so begins a new chapter between two lonely souls. This book is about community, unlikely friendships and grief but ultimately it is a love-letter to libraries and the power of storytelling. It oozes charm.

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WOULD I LIE TO YOU? A L I YA A L I - A F Z A L This warm-hearted, funny debut is a properly indulgent page turner and I think we’ll see it popping up at poolsides and on picnic blankets throughout the summer. Faiza, a banker’s wife, has three beautiful children and a gorgeous house. So far so good, but she also has a spending addiction. She has been dipping into the family savings account in an increasingly desperate bid to find a way to ‘belong’ with the Yummy Mummies she mixes with. Her secret becomes increasingly hard to hide when her husband loses his job. They are penniless and Faiza is against the clock because she needs to fix the mess she’s in, before her secret spending brings down the house of cards. Sympathetic and fun.


Rev iews

THE BLACK DRESS D E B O RA H M O G GAC H

WOMAN OF A CERTAIN RAGE GEORGIE HALL

Pru’s husband has walked out — if she’s honest with herself, she’s missing not so much him, but the life they once had. In a daze, Pru goes to a friend’s funeral. Usual old hymns, words of praise and a eulogy but... it doesn’t sound like the friend Pru knew. And it isn’t. She’s gone to the wrong service. Everyone is very welcoming, because people are kind to the grieving and strangely, she has a better time than she’s had for a while. She feels less alone. So she buys a little black dress and decides she’ll attend another one. Maybe funerals are the answer, and what harm can she do? This story is warm and humorous.

This just made me laugh out loud! It is a smart and funny novel that will appeal to women who resent being told that it’s too late for them to shake things up or stretch for a dream. Eliza is angry and hot, she swears a lot and needs the loo all the time — so not quite the woman she was, but what a glorious woman she is! Eliza is frank, feisty and fun, a character who I think many will feel affection for (and possibly recognise elements of themselves in her too).

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ulti-million selling author Adele has written 21 novels which have been enjoyed by readers around the world. Her latest book, Both of You, is out now. It’s described by her fellow novelist Richard Osman as “an absolutely gripping read” — sounds perfect for a lazy Sunday.

P L AT I N U M E X P E R T Adele Pa rks

Pick up a copy of Both of You by Adele Parks, published by HQ.

F O L L OW A D E L E O N T W I T T E R @ A D E L E PA R K S A N D I N S TA G R A M @ A D E L E _ P A R K S

WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN L AU R E N WE I S B E RG E R We all know Lauren Weisberger’s name because she wrote The Devil Wears Prada, an international success on the sort of scale that might have tempted the author to rest on her laurels. However, Lauren has continued to write exciting, glamorous books that we all want to take on holiday ever since. Her latest is a gripping drama packed with the sort of luxury and gloss that we’re all curious about, yet it has a disconcerting edge to it that gives depth, as she explores the tangled relationships and marital secrets of the rich and famous. All of whom have seemingly perfect lives — but those lives are in fact propped up by lies.

What books have you loved recently — and what’s on your to-be-read pile? Tell us what our next great read should be at mail@platinum-mag.co.uk For more must-read books, head to our website platinum-mag.co.uk PLATINUM

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P L AT I N U M S H E - R O

Elizabeth Anionwu T H I S M O N T H ’ S S H E - R O I S E X C E P T I O N A L N U R S E , C A M PA I G N E R A N D P I O N E E R I N G L ECT U R E R DA M E E L I Z A B E T H A N I O N W U .

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he’s the nurse who revolutionised the NHS with groundbreaking contributions to British healthcare, standing at the forefront and fighting against inequalities in British nursing. Born in Birmingham in 1947, Elizabeth Anionwu had severe eczema as a child. She was brought up in care by nuns until she was nine at the Nazareth House convent in Birmingham and frequently suffered cruelty. Then a nun dressed in white, rather than the usual black habit, came to look after her. “She would tell rude jokes and use bad words like ‘bottom’ as a form of distraction therapy,” says Elizabeth. “I adored her.” It turns out this was nun was also a nurse. From there, Elizabeth’s future was decided. At 17, she applied to several London teaching hospitals for nursing training. Application forms required a photo and father’s occupation, which she left blank. Being black and not knowing her father held her back, but eventually she was accepted at Paddington General Hospital. She never forgot those early experiences of racism, though. Elizabeth travelled to the United States to study counselling for sickle cell and thalassaemia centres, as they were unavailable in the UK. She became the first sickle cell and thalassaemia nurse specialist in the UK in 1979, before going on to establish the Brent Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Counselling Centre with consultant haematologist Dr Milica Brozovic. Since then, this centre has pioneered the opening of more than 30 centres across the UK. In 1998, at this point a Professor of Nursing, Elizabeth created the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice at the University of

West London, named after her nursing inspiration. Since reading Mary’s autobiography, Elizabeth made it her mission to ensure the recognition of Mary’s contribution to British healthcare and medicine. “As nurses, we need to know about Florence Nightingale so how come we weren’t taught about Mary Seacole? It’s this deficit model due to racists. And she was buried only a quarter mile around the corner from where I trained as a nurse. The ignorance is due to a lack of interest,” says Elizabeth. In 2016, a sculpture of Mary Seacole, the first statue of a named black woman in the UK, was unveiled at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Elizabeth supported its fundraising campaign for 13 years before it reached the target goal. In 2016, Elizabeth’s memoir Mixed Blessing From A Cambridge Union was published to critical acclaim. It detailed her life’s story of a childhood scarred with racism and abuse, to her groundbreaking work in sickle cell disease and fighting inequality. It will be republished later this year, as Dreams From My Mother. Despite retiring from nursing in 2007, Elizabeth has not stopped fighting against inequality in the profession, as well as continuing to campaign to raise awareness of Mary Seacole. She has been awarded a Damehood for services to nursing, as well as honorary doctorates from St Andrews and Birmingham City universities and the Pride of Britain lifetime achievement award. On accepting her CBE she received a congratulations card saying, “I know you’re in two minds about all this, but what CBE stands for in your case is cool, black and exceptional.” And we couldn’t agree more, with such an incredibly inspirational life.

Images © Suki Dhanda/Guardian/eyevine, Alpha Press

“EVERYONE SHOULD BE CELEBRATING THE STATUE OF A WOMAN.”

WHAT ELIZABETH SAYS “It’s all well and good saying clap for carers, but it’s time to pay them.”

“ANGER IS GOOD, IF YOU USE THE ENERGY OF ANGER POSITIVELY.”

“You really can’t overestimate the importance of keeping [the door] ajar for the next person.”

“MANY PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE ROLE MODELS — I THINK THEY’RE QUITE IMPORTANT.”

Visit platinum-mag.co.uk for more stories of inspirational women. PLATINUM

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next IN OUR

issue O U R F R E S H , M OT I VAT I O N A L A N D UPLIFTING SEPTEMBER EDITION.

ON SALE

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eptember is a transitional month. A lovely time to take stock of the year that has passed so far, rest after a busy, fun-filled summer and look forward to new things to come for the cooler months ahead. So as we ease towards the dawning of a new season, take time to reflect and move forward positively — with a newfound energy, strength and style to boot. Fashion looks, beauty trends and even our food, drink and homes choices change, so we’re here to help ease you, happily, into a new season with pride in your stride.

JULY

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The delights of Cornwall… all from your kitchen

Boo & Dottie experiment with monochrome looks, plus make-up to enhance them.

You’ll love FOOD & DRINK

Eat to beat inflammation and feel fabulous Valentina dives deep into decadent fish and seafood 154

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H E A LT H & WELLBEING

6 ways to turbocharge your walk We explore the truth behind hair loss and thinning

H O M E & A W AY

Enjoy a playful look at colour and pattern in a contemporary home Mark Lane talks garden inspirations and eco-friendly landscaping

PEOPLE

Grace Fodor — founder of a gorgeous brand for mature skin — on eradicating ageism in beauty once and for all


Have another slice… oh yes, you should! Cakes, bakes and all things scrumptious.

T he incredible Esther Rantzen on relishing every moment

O R D E R A C O P Y F O R D E L I V E R Y AT D C T H O M S O N S H O P. C O . U K

Images @ Getty Images, Shutterstock

Nashville to New Orleans — explore country vibes and deep south sights in a whistle-stop break

+

Feelgood fitness

Reboot your fitness mojo with joy. Expert inspiration for working up a sweat with new ideas and ways to boost your enthusiasm

Great reads The power of volunteering. One woman’s passionate story of giving back Dynamite DNA bombshells. Discovering family secrets, hidden for lifetimes… Understanding toxic positivity and tackling your approach to life PLATINUM PLATINUM

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I n T he K now

Staying in Going out

On-the-go listening

WE SHARE A CINEMA EXPERIENCE WITH A DIFFERENCE, JUST IN TIME FOR THE PLANNED OPENING OF LIVE VENUES. ENJOY A FEW UNMISSABLE T V A N D B O O K R E C O M M E N D AT I O N S TO K E E P Y O U O C C U P I E D O N DAY S S P E N T AT H O M E , TO O .

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Great reads Songbirds JULY 8 From the international bestselling author of The Beekeeper Of Aleppo comes a heartbreaking story of love and courage, set in the lush forests of Cyprus. Yiannis dreams of marrying his sweetheart Nisha, nanny to a little girl — whose mother, Petra, is jealous of the bond they share. When Nisha disappears, Yiannis is heartbroken and believes Petra may have something to do with it. Buy at amazon.co.uk for £14.99

Re-educated: How I changed my job, my home, my husband & my hair

Desert Island Discs LISTEN NOW A timeless BBC Radio 4 show, Desert Island Discs asks guests for eight musical masterpieces they couldn’t live without, and why. Some bring joy and laughter; others melancholy, nostalgia and the odd teary eye (Tom Hanks and football pundit Ian Wright included). You’ll be transported into the lives of some of the world’s most prolific activists, writers, actors, comedians and business titans as they reminisce. It’s amazing how the stars open up to host Lauren Laverne. Then again, music has a power to bring people together in that way. Roy Plomley broadcast the first episode in 1942, featuring comedian Vic Oliver. All episodes since then are in the BBC archives — listen to legendary conversations with Helen McCrory, Malala Yousafzai, Nile Rodgers, Yoko Ono, Dame Judi Dench and more on the BBC Sounds app or search online at bbc.co.uk/programmes

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JULY 1 In her witty memoir, Lucy Kellaway reveals how she started again. For 20 years, she was an observer of corporate culture for the Financial Times. She then presented Lucy Kellaway’s History Of Office Life for BBC Radio 4. The acclaimed journalist shares anecdotes and inspirational advice as she changes jobs, homes, relationships and hair colours in her 50s. Order, for a limited time, for £13.50 at whsmith.co.uk


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Live experiences Hideaway cinema JULY 1 Watch classics and modern triumphs in the grandest locations at the Hideaway Cinema. The Cheltenham Racecourse is a favourite spot, boasting an almost regal atmosphere for your big-screen experience. Other locations include one of London’s few UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Kew Gardens, as well as Holkham Hall on the Norfolk coastline and Bakewell Showground in the heart of the Peak District. Movie line-ups feature Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new film In the Heights, Oscar-nominated The Father and Disney’s highly praised Cruella. You can book tickets at hideawaycinema.com

On the screen

Rare Beasts WATCH NOW Billie Piper is unpolished and hair-brained as single mother Mandy in this “anti-romantic comedy”. The story twists and turns around the life of Mandy as she endeavours to find a man while ironically trying to convince herself that she can thrive without one. The film was delayed and first premiered in 2019 before playing at London Film Festival and South by Southwest. Rare Beasts arrived in UK cinemas in May, and on selected streaming platforms thereafter.

Call 0330 121 1111 or visit jamesinglis.com for a FREE catalogue & measuring chart *First order only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.


puzzles SOLUTIONS ON SOLUTIONS ON PAGE PAGE 167 160

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1

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WORDWHEEL You have ten minutes to find as many words as possible using the letters in the wheel. Each word must be three letters or more and contain the central letter. Use each letter once, and no plurals, foreign words or proper nouns are allowed. There is at least one nine-letter word.

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AVERAGE: 28 words GOOD: 40 words EXCELLENT: 52 words

CELL BLOCK

6

Each letter of the alphabet has been replaced by the same number throughout this grid. Use the decoded letters given to work out the identity of other letters and fill in the grid. The alphabet list and reference grid will help you to keep track of the letters you’ve decoded.

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CODEWORD

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FROM 10-MINUTE TEASERS TO MORE COMPLEX WORD WORKOUTS, PLATINUM PUZZLES ARE THE ULTIMATE RELAXATION

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PLATINUM

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Fill the grid by drawing blocks along the gridlines. Each block must contain the number of squares indicated by the digit inside it. Each block must contain only one digit.


P u zzles

CROSSWORD 1

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ACROSS 1 Variety of lettuce with a dense round head (7) 5 Comedian’s foil (6) 9 A few (4) 12 Put in order (4) 13 Genial (7) 14 Sound of a turkey (6) 15 Single‑room accommodation common in large cities (9) 16 Great distance (4) 17 Gone missing (4) 19 Cancelled, invalid (4,3,4) 21 Wariness (7) 24 Vacuum ___, thermos (5) 25 ___ verde, green pasta sauce (5) 26 Impulsive (6) 29 Irritating sensation (4) 31 Illicitly help (4) 32 Fronded plant (4) 33 Terrible (4) 36 Large prawns often served battered (6) 38 Intimate companion (5) 39 Sam ___, The Maltese Falcon character (5) 42 Unethical (7) 44 Winter sleep (11) 46 Push the lips forward as an expression of annoyance (4) 47 Smear (4) 48 Mixture of flour, water and yeast (9) 51 Turning around an axis (6) 52 Notification (7) 53 Hostile attack (4) 54 Extreme or exclusive religious group (4) 55 Cut of beef (3‑3) 56 Unit of sound (7)

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SUDOKU Fill in the blank squares with the numbers 1 to 9, so that each row, each column and each 3x3 block contains all the numbers from 1 to 9.

In the know Creating a sense of calm and quiet, puzzles can put minds into a meditative state.

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SOLUTIONS SOLUTIONSON ONPAGE PAGE167 160

DOWN 2 Small garlic bulb (5) 3 Granulated substances for the tub (4,5) 4 Cooking in an oven (8) 6 Low‑pitched brass instrument (4) 7 Unique occurrence (3‑3) 8 Avid (5) 9 Less important storyline (3‑4) 10 ___ around your neck, burden (9) 11 Fizziness (13) 18 Appellation (5) 20 Without tenants (5) 22 Away from school (6) 23 Place where valuables may be securely stored (6,7) 27 Film storage device (inits)(3) 28 Harbour (6) 30 Purr, whirr (3) 34 Broadcasting medium (5) 35 Reviving medicine (5) 37 Brief appearance in a film by an eminent person (5,4) 40 Fragrant petals (3‑6) 41 Underhand scheme (8) 43 Exile (7) 45 Mesh of dust (6) 47 Purchaser (5) 49 Complaint, point of dissatisfaction (5) 50 Speak to God (4) PLATINUM

159


P u zzles

FITWORD

H

O

L

3 letters

6 letters

9 letters

INK

BOTHER

DESERTER

PEA

CALLUS

FLYPAPER

REF

ICICLE

FREAKISH

RIB

KARATE

LINESMAN

4 letters

T

HOLT MUSK OGRE

LEADEN ROBBER STEELY THRONG

WHET

9 letters

EQUITABLE MATCHLESS OUTFITTER PLENTIFUL RETENTIVE

How long will it take you to correctly fit these words into the grid?

SOLUTIONS CODEWORD C A L F S K I N

O I M A P R HO M MP T BU

T I MP G I H E X T E S I L

N

COR M V S E E T D R E L AC E E H L Y A L R N F I GH A E U T E D I G AGONA U A V E RWA

CROSSWORD

R E S P O U Q C I QU E T N E E J E S T C Z OP E C I N N T F UN R E E OC T OR L I M L S PO E H S R E S T

N D R T E A E R Y A E N Y E A L I ON E I R

I C E B E L A SOR T V H B E D S I A NU L L A N T F L A S K E I T CH U S CAMP A I MMOR E U POU T R C RO T AR L S S E C T

Q E B A NWL DMX UGO F T Y C P Z R I S J V HK

SUDOKU 1 3 7 8 2 4 9 5 6

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5 6 6 2 8 4 3 1 9 7 79 2 5 1 3 4 8

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PLATINUM

R O A S T I N G M A R I N A B U Y E R

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S T U F A B A T R T D O I T A L E B T T RO N L H I C C L O T B P WA R E A I B E Y E F F E R V E S C E N C E

OO N L E O A F F D S S A F F E T N Y D B E P SO S N I T E

FITWORD G E SO A U GOBB E P A R L O O CAU T I B S UD D E V RN D I T S P A I O RNA T I T P UR DOU I U NG R A U R D E C I B

M I L L S T O N E

E E T N N

R E A D E I ON GH R I D P E L

F L Y P A P E R E E L I KAR A T E B D N D E S E R T E R N Q I E OU T F I T T I U E WH E T L I N R A T ROB B E R I N L E V OGR E F R E

MU A O T H C HO L T E R S E SM

S K T E R E L T Y

C AN L C I C L E N U A K I S H

CELL BLOCK 3 9 74 9 5 4 7 8 6 5 3 6 1 2 8 1 2

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The nine-letter word is BETROTHAL.

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WORDWHEEL

3 5 All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd www.puzzler.com


Lost 2

stone

**

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The

last

O U R M U S T- K N O W H A C K S , B U Y S A N D LIFE MUSINGS FOR THE MONTH AHEAD.

Sheer indulgence

Luxury eco-style We’re always delighted when the Aspiga catalogue lands on the doormat — a responsible fashion brand championing sustainability and fair trade and the source of the prettiest summer dresses, sandals and accessories. They’re also the go-to for gorgeous leather flip-flops, many of them handmade in Africa. These starfish sandals, £90, are a bestseller (and worn by Livia Firth, a champion of sustainable clothing). See aspiga.com and get summer dressing sorted!

It isn’t summer without a picnic, but we’re not leaving the house for a limp effort with warm ham sandwiches and flat Prosecco. This year we’re only dining al fresco with the Fortnum and Mason luxury picnic hamper for two (£200), replete with fresh goodies like crab salad, rare sirloin of beef, smoked salmon, champagne, berries and chocolate brownies plus all the vital picnic accessories (wasps not included). All that and you get to use the basket as show-off home décor afterwards. Other versions include afternoon tea, birthday and vegan picnic — see fortnumandmason.com

Sun sense You do not, of course, ever venture outdoors without a sunblock — do you? It’s an all-year-round must for the outdoors, and should be a handbag essential over summer and re-applied regularly. The handsdown favourite on the block is La Roche Posay’s Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50 which wins all the industry plaudits but is a fraction of the price of its big-name counterparts at just £18. Waterproof, sweat-proof, suitable for sensitive skins and a perfect under make-up, too.

Away from it all Beat the crowds queueing for the beach and head to Salford this summer. The RHS’s brand new garden, Bridgewater, is now open featuring the largest working walled garden in the UK and cutting edge garden design — book a visit at rhs.org.uk. Treat yourself to an overnight stay at 5-star The Lowry hotel in Manchester with its excellent spa, and you’ve got a summer break without having to shake the sand from your shoes.

Live your best life Never been to a festival? Make this the year! No, we’re not saying you have to stand kneedeep in mud queueing for a Portaloo — there are festivals for everything, from cars to cheese, books to hot air ballooning, flowers to opera. We’re tempted by Into The Wild Festival (wilderlands.co.uk and running weekends until mid-Sept) where you can practise yoga or find out about folklore. If you want a gentle introduction to the music festival scene, Camp Bestival in Dorset July 29-August 1 and the Big Feastival in Oxfordshire August 27-29 are family-friendly mixes of music, food and fun. See guides.ticketmaster.co.uk

162

PLATINUM

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows.” Helen Keller


BHF-funded researcher Dr Joseph Boyle is studying how to protect blood vessels from damage that could lead to a heart attack.

Imagine the progress

we could make with

a gift in your Will. Gifts left to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have helped researchers to restart hearts, fix arteries in newborn babies, prove statins could protect millions, and give people hearts they weren’t born with. You have the power to help make more breakthroughs possible – by remembering the BHF in your Will. Heart and circulatory diseases still kill one in four of us in the UK. That’s why we’re aiming

to fund £100m of life saving research into these conditions. We simply can’t do that without gifts in Wills, because they make over half of all our research possible – so you can be sure that, if you leave a gift, we’ll make every pound count.

A gift in your Will could beat heartbreak forever. We call it Will Power.

Find out more: search online for ‘BHF Every Pound’ © British Heart Foundation 2021 registered charity in England and Wales (225971 and Scotland (SC039426) XXXXXX


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Platinum August 21  

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