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Edge Magazine December 2015

(Volume 39) FREE EDITION

Warwickshire, Worcestershire, West Midlands and North Cotswolds

Merry Christmas 2015 from Edge Magazine and Listers Audi


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Editor’s Note Lucie Abu-Zalaf Editor-in-Chief

W

ell I for one, cannot believe that December is here. Another year nearly over and what a year it’s been, some great points, some points I’d rather not remember and many that I have undoubtedly already forgotten. As ever, it’s been a busy month here in the office; we’ve been getting into the festive spirit and heading out all around the counties. I’ve always been a fan of the Christmas holidays, but I must admit that having a toddler around really does bring the sparkle of Christmas back, even if she is a little too young to really appreciate it this year. The highlight of my month has got to be taking the Audi R8 for a spin. I’ve been waiting a long time to jump into the driving seat of Audi’s new supercar and I can tell you it didn’t disappoint. It is a joy to drive, is stunning to look at and the noise that comes out of that engine is just superb. It is definitely top of my Christmas list, although I think I may not have been quite good enough for one to arrive down the chimney this year. We also got to review the gorgeous, newly opened SANTAI by EF MEDISPA at Genting Resorts World, which has been much anticipated but definitely worth the wait.

We’ve been out and about on the food scene too, popping to The White Lion at Radford Semele for a spot of lunch, sampled the fine dining on offer at Nailcote Hall and headed over to the new Miller and Carter Steak House which has just opened in Coventry where I have to admit I had the best steak that I have done in a long time. And if you’re looking for something to look forward to, check out my interview with Stephen K Amos ahead of his ‘Laughter Master’ tour, coming to us in the New Year. We’ve also put together some different and tasty recipes to help use up any food left over from the big day and we take a closer look at our Christmas traditions and where they came from and also called in to get the low down behind some of the stall holders at Birmingham’s famous German Market. We also have some excellent tips for how to capture the spirit of Christmas in any photographs you take over the festive period and have a few tips and ideas on what to wear this season. I also took a look at what the journey to Bethlehem would be like for a modern day Mary and Joseph, having visited Bethlehem multiple times in recent years myself, this is very close to my heart and I do hope that you find it interesting.

We have a fabulous gift guide for you if you’re looking for a bit of last minute inspiration and make sure you check out Mike Stafford’s book ideas. We have some tips for how to stay healthy over the party season from Mel Taffs and Dr Louise Newson, some fab tips for dressing your table from Hatton and Harding. Tom Ware is back with us this month for financial thoughts, Dean Clow gives us some pointers on how to make the perfect wreath and Matthew Curtis and Emma Jenkins ensure that your hair and clothes are right on trend. Please do get in contact with any feedback, or anything that you would like to see more of by dropping me an email at Lucie@edgemagazine.org, I love hearing what you all have to say! From all of the team here, thanks again for reading Edge Magazine, we hope that you have a fabulous Christmas and would like to wish all a peaceful and prosperous New Year and we look forward to seeing you next month!

Lucie x www.edgemagazine.org December 2015

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Main Features More Focus More Dirve The New Audi R8

The White Lion At Radford Semele

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Redhouse Barn The Ultimate in Glamourus Barn Weddings

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  ȹȹǭȹ  

Santai by EFMedispa At Resorts World Birmingham

O Little Town of Bethlehem The Journey 2015 Years On

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ÂĄÂšÂžÂ’ÂœÂ’Â?ÂŽČąž—“Š‹’ȹǭȹ ˜›Â?‘ȹ —Â?’Š—ȹž’œ’—Ž Čą ȹȹ Ĺ–Ĺ—Ĺ˜Ĺ—ČąĹœĹšĹ™ČąĹ?Ĺ&#x;Ĺ?Ĺž Ĺ˜ĹšĹ›Čą›˜ŠÂ?ČąÂ?›ŽŽÂ?Ç°Čą’›–’—Â?‘Š–ȹĹ—ČąĹ˜ 

Â Â Â ÇŻÂ™ÂžÂœÂ‘Â”ÂŠÂ›Â?’—’—Â?ÇŻÂŒÂ˜Â– 4

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December 2015

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Contents More Focus, More Drive

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Royal Leamington Spa

11

Move over Rudolph

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Editorial

The White Lion

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Lucie Abu-Zalaf - Editor in Chief @LucieLincolnLew lucie@edgemagazine.org Tel:07714 490 943

Redhouse Barn 18

Gail Braznell - Content Editor gail@edgemagazine.org

PRODUCTION

The Local Kitchen

22

Countryside A La Carte

26

What to do with the leftovers?

28

Last of the Summer Wine

30

Christmas Style 32 New Year New Style

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Christmas Party Hair

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Christmas Sparkle 38

Sales Michael Abu-Zalaf - Sales Director @ZalafAbu michael@edgemagazine.org Tel:07809 702 992

SANTAI by EF MEDISPA

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Yves Delorme Paris

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Stylish Entertaining 44 The gardens secret harvest

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Escape the Chains

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Charlie O’Neill - West Midlands Sales @EdgeMag_Charlie charlie@edgemagazine.org Tel: 07834 538 284

Friends 1st – Lovers Later

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Edge Meet and Greet

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Christmas Gift Guide

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The Gift of Books

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Steve Picker - Worcestershire Sales @EdgeMag_Steve steve@edgemagazine.org Tel:07515 493 703

Christmas Traditions

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O Little Town of Bethlehem

60

When the love has gone

64

Dorridge Music School

66

Dodderhill School 67 The Laughter Master

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Here’s to a healthy Christmas

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Drink Aware 74 The new State Pension is coming

CONTRIBUTORS Laura Clay Tom Ware Mel Taffs David Hatton Emma Jenkins Mike Stafford Adrian Barrows Dean Clow Dr Louise R. Newson

WRITE TO US MLP Publishing Ltd 3 Warwick Court Saxon Business Park Stoke Prior Bromsgrove B60 4AD

info@edgemagazine.org 6

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Worcester Warriors 76 Pop into Worcester this Christmas

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Christmas at Stratford Butterfly Farm 80 What’s On this December

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More Focus, More Drive Audi R8 Coupe 5.2 FSI V10 Plus quattro Lucie Abu-Zalaf

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sually I find car reviews the easiest pieces of editorial to write. I love cars and always have, so reviewing them and then writing my findings has always been more like a hobby than work. But this is one review that I am really struggling with and it’s not because I didn’t like the car, in fact it is the complete opposite; I am worrying that nothing I will write will be able to do it justice. I wish you could have been in the car with me. Pulling into Listers Audi Birmingham and seeing it sitting there, waiting to be put through its paces definitely gave me that spike of excitement. The Mk II R8 doesn’t look totally different from the original launched in 2006, it’s an evolution. Seeing as it’s never done Porsche any harm and the R8 was and is such a thing of beauty, it seemed silly to fix something that isn’t broken. Saying that, there are some big changes, if you look closely, especially with the V10 Plus model which I drove. The styling is more aggressive, there is more carbon fibre and everything just seems to flow a little better. It looks wide, but it’s only 11mm wider than the original, it just seems that somehow Audi has

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managed to create even more presence with the Mk II. Sitting on beautiful 20” hand forged alloy wheels, with a 5.2 litre V10 engine generating 610PS, there is no doubt that the new R8 is a bone fide super car, and certainly not just a less expensive cousin of the Lamborghini Huracan with which it shares it’s engine, drive train and blistering 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds. Yes, there is a definite image difference between the two cars, with many buyers potentially not considering the two as direct alternatives to each other, but I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at Sant Agata when they were told that the Mk II R8 would be similar in build but include more technology, be as fast and still come in cheaper. So, with all this new oomph has the R8 lost it’s every day driveability? I can safely say, after navigating it around a busy Birmingham City Centre and out down the Hagley Road that no, it hasn’t. Stick it into comfort mode which softens the magnetic ride and quietens the exhaust and the throttle response make it no harder or less comfortable to drive than my TT. The virtual cockpit lay out and flat steering wheel are also very

similar to the new TT, but everything in the R8 has that extra flair to it and that extra level of refinement. From the alcantara trim on the roof, to the full leather, hand stitched dash. The R8 has been built to be driven hard. It was developed in parallel with Audis new R8 Le Mans Series Racer and the two cars share 50% of their components, and when you are on a road that allows it, you immediately understand you are behind the wheel of a true thoroughbred. The engine comes alive from 6,200 rpm and when you get to that magic number it is like a whole orchestra has just opened up right behind your head. The model I drove came fully equipped with the first class Bang and Olufsen sound system, which usually I highly rate, but I cannot imagine ever wanting to listen to anything other than that perfect V10 engine in full flow. In comfort mode it purrs away, fairly restrained and muted from the inside, but it’s when you select dynamic mode that it really comes alive. Like a roaring beast with a handful of firecrackers, the sound and performance delivered will leave you breathless, but wanting more at the same time.


Only available in the 7 speed S-tronic gearbox, purists may say that it has lost some of its appeal by not offering a manual option, but the twin clutch is so capable and seamless that this would soon be forgotten about. At low revs the change of gear is effortless and barely noticeable, but put your foot to the floor and you will certainly feel alive; Audi have added in a bit of wizardry to ensure that you know and feel exactly what is going on underneath you and the kick of the gear change at high revs is unmistakable and exhilarating. The quattro team have been hard at work perfecting the four wheel drive system on the R8 too, with 100% of the power able to shift to either axel as and when required, giving you a huge amount of grip in fast corners, with that definite German feeling of stability and confidence, even when pushed to the edge. It wasn’t until we’d got out of the city though, and off the motorway where you can really feel the car come alive. Yes, it has a top speed of 205mph, as you would expect in a car of this ilk, but really how often, unless you go on regular track days, are you going to even come close to that? What has to be more valuable is the fun that you can have getting there and that is what the R8 has in spades. If you are in the market for a ‘junior’ supercar, then the comparable list is growing pretty quickly. But what the R8 has over its rivals, the Porsche 911 Turbo S, the Mercedes GT S and the McLaren 570S is a true supercar engine. It’s big, it’s loud and it’s naturally aspirated with an intoxicating journey to rev limit, exactly what you want when buying this sort of car. Combine that with beautiful, well thought out styling inside and out, an infotainment system that is second to none and the ability to use this car every day with the superb variety of comfort levels, means that it’s not just the cars mentioned above that should be worried about the R8 rivalling their performance. Listers Audi Worcester Bromyard Road, Worcester, WR2 5EA 01905 421000 Listers Audi Coventry 503 Fletchamstead Highway, Coventry, CV4 9BY 024 76675675 Listers Audi Stratford Western Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 0AH 01789 414477 Listers Audi Birmingham 780 Stratford Road, Shirley 0121 7465500 B90 4BQ

www.listers.co.uk/Audi December 2015

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ingle all the way to Royal Leamington Spa this Christmas for fun, festive shopping and activities for all the family to enjoy! Combining a unique mix of independent stores, national retailers and great places to eat and party, you will discover something for everyone. From finding the perfect Christmas tree to perfect pressies, Royal Leamington Spa has everything you need to ensure your Christmas is packed with festive sparkle! Strolling around town you will see beautiful Christmas windows galore offering inspiration for the wonderful gifts you will find inside. You will also be able to collect Golden Tickets from participating retailers for a chance to win over £5500 worth of prizes including the grand prize of £750 worth of jewellery from Peter Stephan Jewellers. To make your house sparkle with festive cheer take a peek into the wonderland of Walnut & Weave in Royal Priors, or for something quirky visit Tiger or delve into treasures from the past at Blighty Bazaar or Thrills of the Emporium. Discover unique gifts in our many beautiful independent shops such as delicate home fragrances from Elise or handcrafted ornaments and homeware from Fable, Collective or Driftwood Home. Don’t miss a visit to Fabulous or Lille Perle for sparkling gifts that can be dressed up or down. These will perfectly accompany that little black party dress from Revolve or the beautiful casual wear found in My Danish Wardrobe or Mint Velvet.

For the kids, Bjorn the Polar Bear will be visiting the Royal Priors on Saturday 5th of December and on Sunday the 6th of December the family can enjoy the spectacular Lantern Parade. There will be children’s rides, real reindeer and thousands of colourful handmade lanterns lighting up the town centre! Children will also love the games and toys offered by Ella’s Toys and The Entertainer and with their educational benefits parents love them too! Whilst entertaining guests leave the stress at the door!  Pre-order culinary delights from the likes of Aubrey Allen, Warwick Street Kitchen and Rustic Food or alternatively enjoy dinner at one of our many fabulous restaurants. Book a table at Queans, Restaurant 23 or treat the family to a matinee at the Pantomime in the Spa Centre followed by burgers and chips from Meatcure. To top it off, this stunning Regency town which boasts fabulous Christmas lights, beautiful buildings and tree-lined avenues, is right here on your doorstep! Just 25min from Stratford or Coventry you will find easy all day parking in the Covent Garden multi-storey (CV32 5QB) for £3. You can also enjoy Sunday Markets and Late Night Shopping on Thursdays with free parking in the Royal Priors after 6pm. For more information about what’s on this Christmas please visit

www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk

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Move Over Rudolph At home for Christmas with Caroline Shotton Gail Braznell

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rom her home in Warwick, Caroline Shotton talks about all things Christmas and spending time with her young boys Sam and Elliot. Caroline Shotton has built herself up to the top of the contemporary art world by inspiring many thousands of people with her warmth and humour. Known for her adaptations of well known masterpieces featuring her iconic cow twists - Caroline is a sensation and her artwork is highly valued, and highly collectable. Originally studying at Central St. Martins and then progressing to a self-made career as a freelance artist, Caroline’s path to success was truly made whilst she was expecting her first son, Sam. Caroline wanted to paint something happy for her child’s bedroom wall, a character that would make him smile and keep him company. This led to a colourful composition featuring a quirky cow.

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Painting and travelling as a working freelancer was going to be too much of a challenge as a new mother, so Caroline started approaching publishing companies. Leading UK Fine Art Publisher Washington Green were quick to realise that Caroline had a unique and appealing style and quickly focused in on the cow character - and history was in the making. Since then, both Caroline and Washington Green have forged a long-standing and successful partnership. What does Christmas mean to you and your boys and how will you be spending it this year? Christmas is magical for us, it’s all about being together and sharing precious moments. As I work from home, it’s one of the rare times when I can shut the studio doors and relax without thinking about painting, and spend some quality time with the boys. We love snuggles in front of the fire whilst watching a film, eating lot’s of food and of course playing with the boys new toys that Santa has delivered.

What’s on the Christmas menu and whose cooking? Sam and I love cooking together and we always have done, ever since he was a little boy it’s kind of been our thing in the kitchen. We haven’t had turkey for about four years now, he’s decided and wants to try different meat and recipe ideas. We haven’t decided what we are doing this year but last year was probably the best one, he’s pretty capable in the kitchen now. He did a wonderful tower of honey glazed pork with cider apple sauce, pureed carrot and swede, crushed potatoes and sprouts, with bacon and chestnuts finished with a gravy reduction and strips of crackling. Sam won the school bake off last year which was done like the TV show over six rounds and because of this his presentation on Christmas day was absolutely immaculate. When he’s older hopefully he can be a good dad and a good husband and pass that on to his children.


Elliot is in charge of the starter and whatever the occasion Birthday, Easter or Christmas it’s always prawn cocktail and probably always will be. He’d much rather be playing with his toys, he’s not the cooking kind, which is fine because he’s very grateful and appreciates the work that goes into it. How do you like to decorate your home at Christmas, is it the same every year or do you like to swap it around from year to year? I love decorating the house it feels so magical to come home to sparkly lights and the smell of cinnamon candles after a long walk or a chilly bike ride. The house is a 1930’s build so it suits traditional decorations like rustic pine cones, tartan bows, holly berries and fir branches. The hall and lounge are pretty much the same every year but the boys like to decorate the kitchen and choose a ball-ball every year with the date on. What would you like to find in your Christmas stocking? I love fluffy socks, candles, bubble bath anything for a little bit of time-out and relaxation. Oh and I love paint brushes, my aunt Susan always used to buy me paint brushes at Christmas.

Do you have any funny Christmas memories? There are too many to mention but the funniest was when the boys were very little. We were in a shop with a huge display of dancing singing Santa’s and various other Christmas musical items. Sam set a couple of them off which made Elliot who was still only little and in his pushchair giggle so much that people walking by stopped to laugh at Elliot giggling which in turn encouraged Sam

some more until all the musicals were going off. I don’t think I've ever laughed so much and the rest of the shop thought it was hilarious. What’s your favourite festive song or carol? There’s two and they are both completely different, the first one I've grown up with and has got to be Slade “Merry Christmas Everybody” which was released the year I was born. This one

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has stood the test of time, you can still hear it today and those magical feelings of your childhood Christmas come flooding back to you. And the second one is “Hark The Herald Angel”. My Grandmother, who raised me, and I used to belt out the descant together in the choir at church when I was little, and I have very fond memories of us singing together. What’s the best or worst Cracker Joke you’ve ever heard? Whats the best present in the world........... a broken drum, because you just can’t beat it. In a Christmas fantasy moo-land who would be the famous figures past and present at your dinner table and why? Actually this question is really hard because they’ve all got to get along and I keep changing my mind. The three that I’ve settled on are surrealist Salvador Dali, he’s so eccentric and so bizarre in a nice way, I think he would be hilarious as well. And of course he’s an Artist. I love Stephen Fry and just think he would be the perfect dinner guest, intellectual, funny warm and friendly. A lovely chap who would have lots to talk about. Then there’s Morcambe and Wise who are just so funny. My favorite sketch of all time has to be with Andre Previn, it’s just so funny....... “I am playing all the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order” 14

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Who would you like to grab under the mistletoe? My answer and I'm not going to elaborate so don’t dig any deeper is....... that would be telling (wink). What would your perfect Christmas look like and would there be snow? Yes, we love snow, and of course it’s a main feature of a lot of Christmas adverts, cards and decorations.... but I tend not to raise the boy’s hopes of it being a ‘White Christmas’ as it so very rarely happens here and I don’t want them to be disappointed! Instead we focus on snuggling up in front of the fire together watching Christmas films and grazing on chocolates and savoury treats! Looking back what have been your highlights for the past year And looking forward do you have any New Year’s resolutions? The highlights as an Artist is meeting people at the shows, some of the stories and the reasons why they put my work up are very humbling. It’s quite solitary working in the studio so to go to a show and see all my paintings on the wall is quite surreal. It’s almost like a different person has done that and I find it very humbling. I’ve met a lot of lovely people over the last 12 years and seeing them laugh and smile is so nice. I,m so lucky to be able to bring happiness to other people and i,m touched that people choose my work to put on their walls.

With the boys I'm so very proud, they are both happy healthy boys and I'm very grateful for that. Looking forward... I'm looking forward to some new ideas and continuing to be happy and healthy. Sam was your inspiration in the beginning, do your children inspire you now? Absolutely, yes! My favourite painting is ‘We can be Heroes’. It’s of both of them dressed up in Elliot’s Batman and Robin costumes. They’re both very funny boys, full of energy and love, and I hope that comes across in my paintings. They like to come into the studio and give their ‘critique’ of what I’m working on... They can always spot the areas that I’m working on, that aren’t finished yet, and it’s nice to be able to explain the painting process to them, and they appreciate how long it takes to complete a piece. They’re a constant source of inspiration and their characters often appear in my work. And a final word from you... I would like to thank everybody that chooses my paintings to hang on their walls. I'm truly overwhelmed and thankful to be lucky enough to do what I love. Have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year.


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The White Lion At Radford Semele Michael Abu-Zalaf

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t has been a while since I have been let out of the office to do a food review, there was a time when I used to have to do all the reviews for the magazine but that seems like a long time ago now, everyone seems to get all the perks but me nowadays. However, with absolutely everyone in the office already booked in to separate events on that day, my chance finally came. When the opportunity arose to go and try out the newly refurbished White Lion in Radford Semele, I jumped at the chance. Situated on the outskirts of Royal Leamington Spa, the White Lion is a traditional pub which offers a variety of classic and modern dishes with a twist. A much better alternative to sitting in the office working on my own on a Friday.

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It was a beautiful sunny Friday when I set off to pick up my partner in crime for the afternoon; the M5 was at a standstill because of an earlier accident so I decided to get to Leamington through the lanes instead, what a good decision it turned out to be. I had borrowed Lucie’s car that afternoon, mainly because it is easier to park in town than mine. But, on that day, it also made the trip to Leamington that much more exciting. There is a reason why I love that car, although, I can’t really tell you why without getting into trouble, especially with Lucie, but let’s just say that it’s not slow. Having taken in the beautiful countryside, having lots of fun along the way, I eventually picked up Steph from the centre of town and we made our way towards the pub.


On arrival we were greeted by our waitress who led us to our table. Having not visited the White Lion for quite a while, I was pleasantly surprised by the changes that had been made during the recent refurbishment. Gone was the dark, drab interior of old, the restaurant and bar area has been transformed to create a light and airy space. Sitting at our table and with our drinks ordered, we started to paw over the menu. The menu offers a good variety of dishes, ranging from traditional pub grub to more modern cuisine. One thing I can guarantee, there will be something on the menu to tempt even the fussiest of eaters. To start I went for the scallops and BBQ pulled pork, Steph chose the Moroccan style lamb crispy rolls. For my main I ordered the chicken makhani tiffin while Steph went for the seafood medley. Having worked up an appetite on the drive over, food envy quickly began to set in as I greedily eyed up all the dishes coming out of the kitchen, soon I started to question whether I had made the right choice. At least it wasn’t going to be long before I found out. When our starters arrived and we began to tuck in, my worries were quickly allayed. The scallops and pulled pork was delicious, as was the lamb that Steph ordered. I must admit, I was worried that the bbq sauce would overpower the delicate taste of the scallops and spoil the dish completely. But, I was wrong, the combination was perfectly balanced. If I had any criticism, it would be that the Moroccan lamb came with a fairly large salad on the side, although delicious and well made, its addition made the dish slightly too large to really be a starter and ended in some of it being left on the plate for fear of eating too much before the main event. It was not long before the waitress arrived with our main courses. On first impression, the food looked good. The makhani tiffin was served in four different bowls containing rice, dahl, chicken and rice carefully arranged on a serving tray accompanied by naan bread and dips. Similarly, Steph’s fish medley was also well presented. I don’t know why I ordered the makhani really, being a bit of a fussy curry eater it could have been a complete disaster, but I guess curiosity got the better of

me whilst choosing. Luckily for me it was absolutely fantastic, packed full of flavor and when combined with the other components of the dish, it created a simply delightful result. Steph’s fish medley was a combination of cod loin, salmon and sea bass fillets, Patagonian king prawns, served alongside a butterbean based side, chips and salad. Although I did not try any myself, I am reliably informed that the fish was well cooked and the dish fulfilled all expectations. By this time we were both feeling pretty full, so Steph and I decided to share a pudding instead of ordering one each. We went for the double chocolate dream, a mini chocolate and cherry fondant, alongside a black forest sundae, black forest bites, crumbled shortbread and lashings of ice-cream. All I can say is yes; it tasted every bit as good as it sounds. We finished our coffees whilst chatting to the manager, who told us about all the changes they have made recently and her ideas for the future of the pub. By the time we left the pub it was around half past 3 in the afternoon, we drove back to town to drop Steph off at her office and I made my way back home slightly earlier than normal. I must admit, the thought of going back to the office and doing some more work did cross my mind, ever so briefly. In the end, I came to the conclusion that my time would be much better spent putting the car through its paces along the fosse way taking the long route home. On reflection, the White Lion provides a good overall dining experience, the food was great as was the service, it was easy to get to and a nice place to while away some time. If you asked me whether I would go back again, my answer would certainly be yes. If I have any criticisms at all, they are minor. Unfortunately, neither of us could finish our main course entirely. Much like the starters, the portion sizes were perhaps a little too generous. However, if that is the only negative I could find in the whole experience then it must be worth a visit. If you find yourself in that neck of the woods, make the effort to pop in and see for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

The White Lion Southam Rd Radford Semele Leamington Spa Warwickshire CV31 1TE Tel: 01926 425770 www.chefandbrewer.com December 2015

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Redhouse Barn The Ultimate in Glamorous Barn Weddings

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f you are looking for a relaxed rustic barn wedding venue with a contemporary twist, then Redhouse Barn offers something completely different from the norm. Set in five acres of beautiful grounds, pretty courtyards and over an acre and a half of glorious gardens and koi ponds, it's no wonder Redhouse Barn is popular with stylish wedding couples. Say your vows in a beautiful 200 year old granary barn or the magnificent oak timbered barn before sitting down for dinner in fabulous Philippe Starck Ghost chairs. Superb bespoke catering from in-house Morgans Catering, who boast multi-Awards for their food and service including National 'Best Caterers' at the National Wedding Industry Awards in London, together with the Food Industry Awards 'Best Caterers' too. Morgans are finalists again this year for the Food Awards, so consistently provide superb food and service. Then enjoy an amazing party 'experience' with the barn's full Bose sound, media and the latest special effects lighting equipment, not to mention a built-in LED dance floor too!

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Surrounded by natural beauty and countryside landscapes lies Redhouse Barn, an elegant and spectacular wedding venue that has catered for some of the best countryside weddings. Couples come from all over the UK and abroad, attracted to this venue based on its amazing reputation. Breath-taking views, originality and uniqueness make this a perfect all-round wedding experience for the bridal couple and their guests. Not only this, but Redhouse Barn is environmentally friendly too, with the latest Viessmann renewable technology providing all its heating and cooling. Steeped in local history, Redhouse Barn was originally part of a large estate, which dates back to the 13th century and was owned by the Savage family of Warwickshire. The earliest documentation of the farm and 70 acres of land go back to 1779. The property has housed many local families from this time, from the Nashâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to the Pinches, which consisted of blacksmiths and pansmiths to local rate collectors and coal merchants. After the war, much

of the land was sold and it become a smallholding producing local pork. In 1969, Peter and Muriel Winter moved to the farm with their family until 2008, when their youngest daughter Jane and her partner Jeremy saw the potential for bringing the property back to life. Returning the property to its former glory, their design and development transformed it into one of the most beautiful wedding venues that you can find, creating the ultimate 'exclusive-use' wedding barn and gardens. The venue is today still privately owned and run by its creators Jeremy Bellis and Jane Finch together with Morgans Catering, so a personal service throughout your wedding planning is assured. Redhouse Barn has something for everyone looking to host the perfect wedding with all the facilities you could ask for on your special day. The bride will feel well looked after on her big day with the use of a very glamorous bridal room which really is every brides dream. The team will be on hand to help organise every last detail so that the bride can put her mind at


rest, enjoy and feel relaxed throughout the day, whilst all those plans made for her big day finally come together before her eyes. This luxury room includes a walk-in wet room accompanied by REN products. From early morning arrival, the bride and her party will enjoy having their make-up and hair done to having a fun filled champagne breakfast, whilst the photographer captures those unforgettable moments from the start of this special day. Every wedding is managed by a professional front of house & MC who really takes the pressure of the groom, best man and ushers. From greeting guests on arrival and sorting out their hats/coats and gifts; to announcing the key elements of your wedding day and speeches, to ordering taxis at the end of the night for your guests - everyone will feel pampered and looked after throughout the entire day and night. You won't have to worry about a single thing on your wedding day - it will all be taken care of for you. For welcome drinks, Redhouse Barn's contemporary lounge bar and snug is the perfect arrival reception area with full height glass, it provides a beautiful open airy space looking out onto the front gardens and fields. With its cosy comfortable lounge filled with lots of squashy sofas by a beautiful log burning stove, this is the perfect place for guests who want to sit and relax after the wedding breakfast or during the evening celebrations. As the glass doors can be closed at night - a perfect cosy snug for grandparents and babies is created, which allows them to see guests having fun, but they don't have to listen to the music if they don't want to! As guests are welcomed, the lounge bar can be used for entertainment purposes whether it be a small band, acoustic guitarist or for something a little bit different such as a steel band or even a choir! Sweet carts and photo-booth's are really popular and easily accommodated in this area. The barn's fully licensed bar stocks a huge amount of drinks and spirits all at local pub prices, plus an array of ales including Bathams and Purity Breweries well known ‘Mad Goose’, ‘Ubu’ and ‘Gold’, which are favourites with guests, or couples can special order their own favourite cask ale too.

Cocktails have also become popular, with 'Blushing Bride' permanently available at the barns - a really lovely mix of Prosecco, Archers & Grenadine mixed over ice. Or why not ask for your own favourite cocktail too - a refreshing Mohito sounds perfect for a summers wedding day! During the design of the barns, the owners also felt that it was extremely important to take the access into consideration for the elderly and those less able, so you will find that everything is on one level, leaving no steps to contend with so that all guests can enjoy a stress free day and evening throughout the barns and gardens. The barn'ss totally bespoke catering and service for every wedding means that no two weddings are the same at Redhouse Barn and certainly no 'packaged menus' are to be seen anywhere! Every couple has a private consultation with Chef Anthony Morgan to discuss what they enjoy eating and to create their own special menus for their wedding. This can include foods from around the world to fresh local produce or even a family recipe can be reproduced or a childhood favourite dish - everything is special here. Amazingly, expensive cuts such as beef, lamb and duck are cooked to order on the day with your guests being asked how they wish their meat to be cooked, which is something unheard of at other wedding venues! You don't have to compromise on what you can offer your guests, so why not give them a choice of menus too. Creativity is key and classic dishes can be recreated with a modern twist. All dietary requirements can be catered for and expect the finest presentation, using local produce and seasonal ingredients. Morgan’s menu will be designed around your wedding and couples can opt for a sit-down two or three course menu to vintage afternoon tea parties with a fabulous garden BBQ for the evening. The choice of evening food is endless too from circulated hot savouries, to 'street style' bowl food and local cheese and pork pie buffets with little tubs of Churchfields local ice cream to bacon butties for those late night hungry evening guests! Morgans can cater for weddings from 60 adults to 160 for the wedding breakfast, and from 100 to 220 evening December 2015

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guests. Service is so important to how your guests are treated and it is about them having fun on the day, whilst experiencing superb food and Morgans expert team will certainly provide a very personal and special touch throughout. With couples spending the majority of their budgets on their catering, you want your guests to be 'wowed' by the food and service and what you get at Redhouse Barn totally fulfils that brief. All couples can book a full food tasting in order to perfect their menu along with a complimentary wine tasting with parents, which will be a great opportunity to enjoy a lovely meal out at the barns and fill the family with the confidence of what they have chosen for their special day. The barns are a photographerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heaven for the stunning views and natural light it provides. The courtyard and gardens are a highlight of your big day and perfect natural backdrops to all your photography. The trees and water features can also be illuminated with oil burning torches and festoon lights, giving that romantic feel as the evening 20

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sun goes down. The happy couple may also wish to opt for something a little bit different with a firework display to music, which is great for the guests to enjoy at the end of the evening. Even your favourite four legged friends are welcome at the barns! Don't leave pooch at home when you want him in the wedding photos or to be the ring bearer! Dogs can be lovingly and expertly looked after during the day and overnight by Jane's sister Anne Matthissen, who offers a personal 'home and couch' service for your beloved animals. For more information on booking your wedding or for hiring Jeremyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fully convertible vintage Rolls Royce for the big day then look no further. You can also arrange personal viewings if you head to the Redhouse Barn website and check out their Facebook page too. Redhouse Barn is a unique and special find where you can enjoy having the flexibility to design and create your bespoke wedding with the help of a fantastic team to cater for your special day!

Redhouse Barn Shaw Lane Stoke Prior Bromsgrove Worcestershire B60 4BG Check out www.redhousebarn.co.uk Facebook: www.facebook.com/ redhousebarn To chat through your plans call Jane at Redhouse Barn on 07875 142493 and Karen at Morgans Catering on 01527 579210


Auctioneers & Valuers Antiques | Jewellery | Watches

An auction of Vintage Jewellery & Accessories

Lots 950, 978, 980, 986, 1073 & 1077 featuring in this auction

Monday 7th December Monday 25th January Monday 7th March Visit www.fellows.co.uk to view the full auction calendar and sign up to bid

CONTACT US FOR INFORMATION REGARDING FREE VALUATIONS | INFO@FELLOWS.CO.UK Jewellery Quarter Saleroom | 19 Augusta Street, Birmingham, B18 6JA | 0121 212 2131 Mayfair Office | 2nd Floor, 3 Queen Street, London, W1J 5PA | 0207 127 4198

fellowsauctions 21 December 2015


The Local Kitchen Everything that’s cooking in the four counties The Smoke Joint

In the summer of 2015 soon to be married Laura Nunn and Wayne Handley from Worcester took a trip to New York City and came back from the trip hugely inspired by the smoked foods and the concept of a particular restaurant near their hotel. The couple thought about opening a restaurant in Worcester but loved the idea of a “pop-up” style restaurant. So they ran with the idea of using established pubs and showcasing food in the form of events and combining it with music by local hip-hop, Motown and Soul DJ’s. They teamed up with good friend Andy Gynn who runs “The Pork Peddler”, a Worcester based mobile street food service and the “Smoke Joint” was born. The first event was held at the Saracens Head in the Tything, Worcester, which is also the base for the new business. Over 300 guests attended the event which was so successful that a “Rib Night Special” has been organized for the 5th December and a “Hot Links Special” for New Year’s Eve.

Miller & Carter Raises the Steaks in Coventry The ‘Steak Geeks’ have arrived with the official opening of the first Miller & Carter steakhouse in Coventry. The Smoke Joint’s main meats are brisket & pulled pork with one guest meat each month. All meats are smoked over coal and wood for a minimum of 12hrs. Also found on the menu is ribs, wings, hot links and pork belly. Sides include naked or loaded fries topped with pulled pork chilli and lime sauce with spring and red onions, homemade sides & pickles. Pop up restaurants are quickly becoming an alternative to traditional dining out. Something different, innovative and refreshing. Based in the heart of Worcester City, The Smoke Joint can cater for festivals, events, weddings and much more. For more information contact: thesmokejointuk@gmail.com

Eastern inspiration for new mums

Walking into a pharmacy or health store in the UK you might be forgiven for assuming that nutritional support for new mums only comes in the form of tablets and pills. Whilst in the West this is the way dietary supplementation has gone, many women in Asian countries still swear by a more traditional approach… Freida’s Pantry ‘Feeding Food Bar’ contains a combination of nuts, seeds and oats. These provide a host of important nutrients for both mother and baby; including omegas 3 & 6, a great source of energy and important for the development of the nervous system, and natural proteins which are vital for a strong and healthy body. The bars also contain fennel seeds, often said to

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be a ‘galactalogue’, a substance which can increase milk supply, and may be of particular use for breastfeeding women. Perhaps most importantly, the bars taste delicious with a soft flapjack style consistency, which make them the perfect snack for new mums and the ideal treat to slip into a handbag, as nutritionist Sarah Noyce from Matters for Health explains. The new bars are on sale at selected health food stockists, Ocado, WholeFoods Market and through www.FreidaPantry.com with an RRP of £1.35.

Located on Kenpas Highway, the new steak house launched on Wednesday 25th November with a VIP event for locals with the Mayor and Mayoress of Coventry in attendance to formerly open the restaurant. Miller & Carter serve the finest 30 day aged steak, using both wet and dry ageing techniques to provide the optimum succulence and flavour. There are 12 fantastic steak cuts to choose from, including a 30oz Longbone Tomahawk, Fillet-on-the-bone, and our award-winning Sirloin steak. Each steak is individually hand cut by our butchers before being grilled to perfection by our specially trained chefs. If you want to celebrate in style this Christmas, then look no further than Miller & Carter Coventry. From the 26th of November, you can experience the carefully crafted Christmas menu and indulge in two courses for £18.95 or three courses for £21.95. To celebrate the restaurants first Christmas day, the restaurant is offering a luxury five course menu from the discounted price of £54.95, showcasing the award winning steaks as well as more traditional options. For more information about Miller & Carter Coventry, please visit www.millerandcarter.co.uk/ restaurants/east-and-westmidlands/millerandcartercoventry or call 024 7641 0199.


Visit us and enjoy our new look

White Lion White Lion, Radford Semele, has reopened after an extensive refurbishment. With more comfortable seating and a lighter and brighter feel, the upgraded pub restaurant is the perfect venue to while away a few hours with friends over great food and a drink or two. 60 Southam Road, Radford Semele, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1TE Tel: 01926 425770

Book your table online now at www.chefandbrewer.com Monday to Saturday: 11:30am - 11:00pm Sunday: 11:30am - 10:30pm :KLWH/LRQ(GJHPDJD]LQHDGYHUWYLQGG



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Sparkling Christmas Party Nights â&#x20AC;˘ Varied selection of Christmas

events to choose from â&#x20AC;˘ Resident DJ with late bar â&#x20AC;˘ All events have been hand crafted with attention to every detail

Events ranging from ÂŁ19.95 - ÂŁ49.95 per person

Call 01789 295252 to book & quote WEL-CHRIS or visit www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk for more information

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Hallmark Hotel, The Welcombe Hotel Golf, Spa & Leisure Warwick Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 0NR

7+(&52:1,11

Peopleton Ć&#x201D; Pershore Ć&#x201D; WR10 2EE Ć&#x201D; 01905 840 222 www.crowninnpeopleton.co.uk

Christmas Fayre

Limited spaces still available throughout December. Lunchtime 2 Courses ÂŁ16.95 3 Courses ÂŁ19.95 Dinner 2 Courses ÂŁ18.95 3 Courses ÂŁ21.95

New Winter a la carte now available with an abundance of local game and fresh seafood. Join us for our New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve party

Free entry from 7pm with Youthcom radio dj playing hits from the 70â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to today Food available from ÂŁ5 per head Open til late @CrownPeopleton

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/thecrowninnpeopleton


will receive a free Orchard Pig gift box containing two bottles of cider and a pint glass.

This little piggy goes to market!

Orchard Pig, the cider and juice company Rooted in Somerset™, is going to market, the Christmas Craft Market in Birmingham that is. The brand is heading to the festive event to spread some Christmas cheer from stall c27, where visitors will be able to sup up Orchard Pig Ciders and Juices, as they make their way through the variety of 70 stalls, from 12th November - 22nd December 2015. Returning to the market for another year, Orchard Pig is bringing a Christmassy themed ‘Cider Barn’ to Centenary Square, with a menu of scrumptious hot ciders and juices to keep shoppers’ trotters warm. Upon picking up their first Orchard Pig hot cider, visitors will be presented with an exclusive ‘Hot to Trot’ loyalty card, gaining a trotter stamp with each hot cider purchase Sunday to Friday 6pm. When 10 hot ciders are brought throughout the whole event, visitors

Visitors will be able to enjoy ciders from £3.50 and juices from £2.80 as well as the opportunity to buy gift boxes for Christmas presents and to enjoy Orchard Pig in the comfort of their own home. The brand has also partnered with the local council to provide a voucher on the Christmas Craft Market map giving shoppers £1 off a hot drink or £2.50 off an Orchard Pig gift box. Andrew Quinlan, Orchard Pig founder, commented: “People visiting the Christmas Craft Market are looking to discover something different and exciting which is exactly what we are as a brand. We’re giving local residents and visitors the opportunity to try Orchard Pig in a way that they may not have experienced before, hot with a little extra mischief if they want it! Should you be visiting the market come and see us for a little treat hot or cold.”

Quinteassential Loose leaf tea

For all you tea lovers why not give Quinteassential loose-leaf tea a try. The Imperial Earl Grey is one that we have tried and tested here at Edge. With a scented fragrance of Oolong tea which uses the finest oolong leaves, Italian bergamot, and blue cornflower, the taste of the Earl Grey is divine. There is also a hint of vanilla and a soft citrus aroma that really makes Quinteassential stand out from the rest. The leaves are picked from the finest gardens across the world demonstrating their passion behind each blend. On the packaging you can also find the QR code, music tea timer which will enhance the experience of the Imperial Earl Grey, available from £6. With green teas, herbal teas, chai or rooibos there is something for everyone. Quinteassential teas are designed and packaged beautifully and make the

perfect gift for any occasion whether it be Christmas or Birthdays. Also, Quinteassential provide travel tea filters, which makes it even more unique as you can even create your own blend teabag.

Boo Boo(ze)

The Harborne venue that has made a name for itself as a coffee lovers hangout continues to peddle the finer things in life as they launch a series of boozy events over the festive period. Amidst a season packed full of bad knitwear and office parties, the Boo Boo boys are hosting a welcome tonic to the normal revelry with some alternative to keep customers firmly out the box of Roses, and glued to their Boo Boo seats. Kicking off with a wine lover›s paradise, hosted in partnership with Bourneville-based small batch importer, Winety Wines, there is an evening of rare wine matching that is set to ensure attendees go home full of Christmas cheer. They go straight from the grapes into the grain with a ‘Meet The Brewer’ event with the award winning Staffordshire-based Freedom Brewery, who will be explaining all things about hops, barley, malt, fermentation, and more importantly tasting and drinking.  Add to that there is a special Advent Calendar series of surprises scheduled for evening drinkers set to take place throughout the 24 days running up to the Big Day. Expect tinsel, Snowballs (the Warninks-based versions), Babycham, crackers, and apparently the ‘punchiest› mulled wine ever brewed in a Birmingham postal code.  All details are available on the Boo Boo Facebook page, or by dropping into the shop.

If tea is not your thing then there is no need to worry, Quinteassential use their different flavours to create a cocktail of drinks using various spirits including Martini or why not try the ‘Oriental Dream Mojito’ using the award winning ‘Tales of the Orient’ Tea leaves. www.quinteassential.co.uk December 2015

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Countryside A La Carte The Oak Room at Nailcote Hall

S

et in 15 Acres of Warwickshire countryside, Nailcote Hall Hotel, Golf and Country Club in Berkswell is one of Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beautiful small stately homes that was established as a hotel in 1990. Along with this historic 17th century country house retreat the hotel hosts an experience for everyone, whether it be business or pleasure. With just a 10 minute drive from Birmingham International and the NEC, Nailcote Hall is one of the most convenient meeting places for business people to make the most out of their time spent in the Midlands and is close by to all of the main tourist attractions including Stratford-upon-Avon and The Cotswolds. On arrival at Nailcote Hall you automatically feel this wave of relaxation and warmth that enters you and this is concluded with how quaint this place actually is and the romantic feel that you gain from the A La Carte restaurant, the Oak Room. For a change I decided to treat my mum to a spectacular meal for two and we thoroughly enjoyed a welldeserved catch up over excellent quality and well-presented food in traditional settings.

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Charlie O'Neill The staff and the service were second to none, as well as being warm and welcoming; the staff were always on hand to help with any requirements and advice on the dishes available. We both opted for a refreshing gin and tonic to start and were presented with the menus including the A La Carte menu and the Menu of the Month. Of course, we both opted for A La Carte! In-between making our order and the starter arriving, the Chef had presented us both with a smoked salmon and prawn appetiser, which was deliciously creamy with the added spice of the peppers. I knew from this point on the food was going to be outstanding. To start, I opted for the Cornish Crab White Meat which was served with diced

mango, wasabi mayonnaise, radish and red sorrel with Peters Yard bread. What a fantastic and tasty dish this was. My Mum opted for the smoked Gressingham Duck Breast served with toasted pine nuts, burnt sweetcorn kernels and candied orange zest. This dish had some mouth tingling flavours and in my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words, she described this as heaven on a plate. After a few more discussions of our Christmas plans for this year and Christmas present ideas for the rest of the family, we were served our main courses and all I can say is wow! I had decided on the local pork loin dish with creamed young spinach and the most delicious black pudding filo rolls (I must try cooking something similar myself), glazed potato terrine and apple and thyme sauce to compliment the pork. The pork was cooked beautifully and is the best that I have had in a long while. Normally, my mum always most definitely orders a fish main wherever we dine as we are all big seafood fans in the Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill family; however, to my surprise she decided to opt for the lamb parmetier which included a rich minced lamb, pomme puree, lamb loin


and fava beans. This was a choice well-made and again the lamb melted in the mouth. Both dishes were also served with seasonal vegetables which gave me that true sense that winter has arrived. There were so many fantastic choices on the menu and we both found it extremely difficult to choose from the vibrant selection available and as I was watching other diners have their food served it was making us more indecisive then ever! There was still some room left for dessert and the only issue I had was that they all looked simply stunning. I must say I was really tempted by the morello cherry soufflĂŠ with clotted cream however decided on the duo of caramel apple sponge and spiced apple crumble served with apple pie ice cream. My mum went for a slightly lighter sweet and decided on the light strawberry mousse which had been set in a chocolate marbled tulip with black pepper tuille and stem ginger sorbet. This dessert immediately struck me as a work of art and a masterpiece in its own right. My mum felt so guilty in having to even lay a finger on this beautiful creation but after taking many snaps for future memories, she just couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t resist it any longer and had to give in. She was not disappointed; it tasted as dreamy as it looks. We were both well and truly spoilt at the Oak Room Restaurant and the evening did not end there. To finish off we were both served some of the Chefs own handmade chocolates which were divine and completed our dining experience at the Oak Room. The Oak Room Restaurant is the perfect place to dine whether it be for an intimate meal for two, a Christmas gathering of family, friends or work colleagues or even just as part of your hotel stay with Nailcote Hall. If you are looking for somewhere to dine that is just that little bit more special then look no further, the Oak Room at Nailcote Hall is without doubt at the top of my list of places to visit in Warwickshire this Christmas.

Nailcote Hall Nailcote Lane Berkswell Warwickshire CV7 7DE 02476 466174 www.nailcote.co.uk

December 2015

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What to do with the Christmas leftovers? For a sweet toothChristmas Pudding Ice Cream Ingredients 4 Large Egg Yolks 4 oz Caster sugar

Boxing Day Brunch-Ham and potato hash with baked beans and poached eggs.

8 oz Leftover Christmas pudding, broken up with a fork. 2-3 Tbsp Brandy

Ingredients

300ml Double Cream

Left over veggies, ham, baked beans, eggs.

Method

Method

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together with an electric whisk for 10 minutes, until pale and thick. Stir in the Christmas pudding and add the brandy, mixing well.

The recipe could not be easier, get a large heavy based frying pan (preferably oven safe, but it isn’t essential) and add a glug of your oil of choice. Place over a medium heat and add in your left over vegetables, broccoli, carrots and sprouts work particularly well. Chop up your left over ham and add this to the pan to crisp up a little. Add in boiled or mashed potato and give it a good stir around. Flatten down with your spatula, brush over some more oil and pop into the oven, preheated to 190˚ and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is crisping up slightly. If your pan can’t go into the oven, you can heat it on the stove top for a little longer and then grill, or you can just heat everything through in the pan if you don’t have a grill.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks, then using a metal spoon fold it into the mixture. Pour into a freezer proof container, cover well and freeze for several hours until set.

When the hash is nearly ready, heat your beans and poach your eggs.

For those cold winter evenings- Turkey Cacciatore Ingredients

Method

1 Large Onion, Chopped

Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Fry until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, herbs and seasoning. Simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce is really rich and thick. Stir in the turkey and transfer to an oven proof dish.

2 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed 3 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes 1 Tsp chilli flakes (optional) 3 Tbsp Olive Oil 2 tsp Dried Oregano 2 tsp Dried Basil 1 Large Ball Mozzarella 3 Handfuls Breadcrumbs 28

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Tear the mozzarella and scatter over the top of the dish, followed by the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes, until the turkey is piping hot and the top is golden and bubbling. Serve with mash, jacket potatoes, rice or pasta.


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December 2015

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Last of the Summer Wine The Lowdown on Morgon Vieilles Vignes Laura Clay

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T

he end of the year is often a time to indulge in reflection as to what has gone past as well as a look to the year ahead. What winey delights did 2015 give you? I’d rather not count the number of wines I tasted, presented and drank in the last twelve months (my doctor might be reading this) instead I’d like to reflect on a wine discovery which made me consider very seriously my wine prejudices. A friend of mine asked me to make a detour whilst on holiday in France to visit British friends of hers making wine in Beaujolais. This isn’t a favourite wine of mine, I almost never drink it, but it wasn’t far out of my way and, whatever I think about the wine, the area is stunning. Lucky for me, so was the wine. This wasn’t any old Beaujolais, of course, this was Cru Beaujolais, basically the good stuff, from Morgon called Château Grange Cochard. Owned and run by James and Sarah Wilding, the vines are situated all around the château in an ideal plot with spectacular views wherever you look. The Wildings, who bought the property in 2008, are totally hands on. From working the vineyard, hand-picking the grapes and getting stuck in in the winery, their wines are (horrible and over-used but totally accurate term in this case) hand-crafted. The vines, as per the appellation requirements, are Gamay, many of them seriously old. Older vines, considered old at around 25+ years, are deemed to produce fewer but better

quality grapes. The Wildings have a plot where the average age of the vineyard is 60/70 years with many vines being over a 100. This factor, along with very selective picking and having the only triage table in the area for further careful grape selection, and well-planned, wellmanaged wine-making in old 3000 litres foudres and 228 litres barriques mean that the wines are truly first-class. It is not surprising that they have won many accolades and awards. Only three wines are produced: Morgon Vieilles Vignes, Les Charmes and Côte du Py, the flagship wine from the superior volcanic Py hillside, and although all different in structure, texture and taste they have in common a classy freshness, silkiness and purity about them. The Vieilles Vignes can be drunk young whilst the other two, unlike many Beaujolais wines, will age beautifully. These wines are exciting. If you missed tasting and buying them at the Love Wine Festival in Birmingham last month they are available from Berry Brothers, Noel Young Wines, The Sampler and Gauntleys of Nottingham. Or you can buy directly from the château. Sarah and James have put together The Barrel Experience Weekend entitling you to the equivalent of a barrel of their wine which you and five friends can bottle yourself. Over a weekend you would visit the vineyard and winery, bottle your 300 bottles of wine (or ask them to do it for you if you don’t want to get your hands dirty), have dinner

and stay overnight in the château. Now there’s a Christmas present for the wine lover in your life. For more details contact james@lagrangecochard.com What will 2016 bring? I predict that we will be seeing more and more wines from unexpected places picking up wine medals and gracing the supermarket shelves. Look out for Sauvignons form India and Turkey. I believe, and am keeping my fingers crossed, that Bordeaux will be showing off and releasing the wonderful 2015 vintage at sensible prices so that there will be a buzz about Bordeaux wines again. English wines will continue along its trajectory towards greatness and world, if not domination, certainly recognition. For a New Year’s resolution learn a bit about wine so that you Know More, Buy Better. Bywine can help with that! If you have any wine questions you’d like answering email laura@bywine.co.uk For wine advice, tastings and courses email laura@bywine.co.uk or visit the website www.bywine.co.uk

December 2015

31


Christmas Style Suiting up for the office Christmas party

I

f you regularly wear a suit to work then you may think the office Christmas party is a time to dress down and wear what you like. This is not a good idea. The office party, to a certain extent, is just like any other office event except it has more profile. This means that your boss is likely to be there, there’s a good chance that your boss’s boss will be there and there may even be some clients there so it’s still a time where presentation and impressions count. Don’t wear the same suit that you always wear to work. Instead, wear a suit that you wouldn’t normally wear…as long as it’s not a summer suit in a pale pastel colour. Navy, grey or black suits are best and, together with a crisp white shirt, you will cut a fine sartorial figure. You don’t want to blend into the crowd and by wearing a new suit or a suit your colleagues haven’t seen before; you will still make a good impact. Here are some other quick tips for suiting up for the office Christmas party: - Ties tend to be optional at Christmas parties but if you’re unsure, take one with you. You can always slip it on at the last moment if everybody else is wearing one. - Fight the temptation to wear a Christmas-themed tie or waistcoat. It’s okay to maybe have some tasteful festive cuff-links or tie clip but when it comes to being festive, subtlety is the key. - Accessorising with a pocket square and a nice watch will give a classic finishing touch to your suit. - A lot of Christmas office parties start shortly after the working day so there’s not a lot of time to get ready. Plan your attire in advance so that you can immediately change and be ready for the event. Another good reason for men getting suited up for the office Christmas party is showing some respect to your female colleagues. There’s a good chance that they will want to wear something more elegant and sparkly than their normal office attire and if you’re there in your jeans and shirt, they will be made to look and feel a bit awkward. Your female colleagues will prefer it if you’ve made an effort so getting suited up is just plain old-fashioned good manners!

For more information about being a well dressed man please see www.thebespoketailor.co.uk or call Adrian Barrows on 07968 438717

Adrian Barrows 32

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£1399

Paloma leather

6$9(ù29(5ù…ùRQùHLWKHUùWKHù5HQRùRUù9HJDVù

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December 2015

33


New Year Style

Guys Autograph luxury sumpia cotton shirt M&S

with Kingfisher Shopping Centre

£39.50

W

ith Christmas creeping up and the festive season in full swing, it’s time to prepare for the glitziest night of the year - New Year’s Eve. If you’re in need of a new outfit to ring out the old and see in 2016 in style, look no further: with 140 stores, including Debenhams, Next, M&S, New Look, H&M, Pandora, and Swarovski, Kingfisher Shopping Centre offers plenty of choice to help you feel fabulous as the countdown starts.

Best of British white shirt M&S £99.00

A recent multi-million pound investment has seen the centre undergo a stylish revamp, with major refurbishments and exciting new store openings joining the mix. Located at the heart of Redditch, the centre benefits from excellent transport links and ample car parking – so you can focus on finding the perfect outfit!

Black waistcoat

For some partywear inspiration, check out Kingfisher’s top picks for guys and girls – when you’re dressed to impress, it can’t fail to be a Happy New Year!

Best of British single breasted 3 button suit

Primark

M&S

£10.00

£699.00

Bow tie and pocket square Next £10.00

Bow tie New Look Braces Next £10.00 34

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£4.99

Tux jacket New Look £54.99


Girls

Diapason V crystal necklace and earring set Swarovski Black embellished fringe dress

Velvet dress

Dorothy Perkins

Next

£75.00

£60.00

£199.00

Debut cobalt asymmetric dress Debenhams

Silver snakeskin heels

£60.00

New Look £24.99

Jenny Packham beaded gown Debenhams £225.00

Petites sequin lace insert knot maxi BHS £42.00

Embellished heel New Look £34.99

At the heart of Redditch and with easy access for shoppers, as well as 140 stores and new food and leisure area The Hub, Kingfisher Shopping Centre is the perfect place to shop for your partywear this season. www.kingfishershopping.co.uk December 2015

35


Christmas Party Hair At Matthew Curtis Hair Design

M

atthew Curtis is one of the industry’s most exciting and sought after hair stylists. Alongside running a thriving salon and acting as the Global face of TRESemme, Matthew’s impressive credentials range from television appearances and celebrity collaborations, to working on and creating looks for some of the most iconic and influential designers out there including Ted Baker, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Falguni & Shane Peacock, Marc Jacobs and Alice & Olivia, to name but a few. Effortlessly cool, but at the same time extremely amiable and immensely knowledgeable, Matthew is all about bringing fashion hair to the high-street. Wear some of Matthew’s hottest hairstyles from Fashion Week and standout this Christmas!

High Bun

“The Winter nights are drawing in and the winter coats and scarfs are out, which means any loose styles are not the most convenient when trying to keep your hair perfectly in place. So thank god for the slick bun! The bun is such a versatile look that can be soft and sexy in the summer but can turn your outfit into a head turner in the winter. Pop some mousse in your bag to work with a few pins, and you are on your way. ” Step 1: Begin with hair that’s been blow dried smooth away from the face. Step 2: At the hair line, apply mousse and blow dry the hair back with a soft bristle brush. Step 3: Starting at the nape of the neck, straighten the hair in small sections, working your way to the front of the head, still keeping the hair away from your face. Step 4: Tip your head upside down and using a soft bristle brush, brush hair firmly into the crown, ensuring there are no pieces that gape at the back. Step 5: Secure tightly with an elastic band. Step 6: Apply serum evenly to the ponytail. Step 7: Twist the hair from the top of the ponytail to the tip and then twist inwards on itself around the base of the ponytail. Step 8: Secure with bobby pins the same colour as your hair – to make this style work. The hair must be clean with no visible grips. Step 9: Spray hair with a glossing shine spay for a super glam finish.

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Loose Waves “Keeping with the natural effortless

feel this Christmas, this style is perfect if you like a slight bohemian feel. It’s a classic Chloe look and is a style that will compliment any outfit you may decide to wear this Christmas.” Step 1: Part your hair into a soft undone parting, then massage mousse into damp hair from root to tip and blow dry smooth using a round bristle brush and a nozzle. Step 2: Take a medium sized tong and starting at the nape of the neck, bend the hair to create soft, natural movement in the hair. The more you bend the hair over and under repeatedly, the more movement you will create. Step 3: Finish the look with a texture spray to increase movement and a strong hairspray to keep your waves all night long!

Chic Ponytail “Ponytails will always be classic and wearable, and during the winter season, this is no exception. They‘re the perfect look to keep your hair in place all day long, allowing you to slightly tweak before heading out to a Christmas party. Whether you wear this style as a wet look, or with dry texture, it will always be timeless.” Step 1: Start with smooth dry hair and part the hair in a deep side parting. For an extra clean parting, apply mousse around the parting and using a hairdryer with a nozzle, dry, brushing in the direction of the hair. Step 2: Using a soft bristle brush, brush the hair smoothly into a pony tail at the nape of the neck. Step 3: Secure with a snag band, for extra hold. Step 4: Finish with a strong hold finishing spray.


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Christmas Sparkle

Star Black FringedDress £70.00 Julien McDonald

Emma Jenkins

I

Black Tassle Top £110.00 Whistles

t's fast approaching that special time of year (and I swear each year it's being pushed onto our high street earlier and earlier) CHRISTMAS!! I'm a massive lover of all things Christmassy. For me, it marks the time to have fun, dress up for ANY occasion. I think the second the 1st December hits its mandatory for red lippy/ glitter/ sparkle/ decadent textures as well as spending as much time as possible with friends and family. I'm sure most of us LOVE shopping for our outfits for the Christmas season. However, not all of us have a bottomless bank account. This month I'm offering a round up of all things that can make an outfit special, from dresses to bags and lipsticks to shoes. There are so many great accessories around that these days, it's totally acceptable to dig out your favourite LBD. Invest in some new shoes or a bag and add a little sparkle via rings or necklaces. If you are splashing out on a new little slinky number there are plenty of fab premium high-street offerings, that can be mixed and matched, or worn alone. I recommend mixing fabrics and textures but sticking to a neutral palette with a splash of colour to accentuate. There are some wonderful blacks, silvers and pewters around which work well with a metallic accent or sparkle and a deep berry lip. Sequined Pencil Skirt £25.00 Debenhams

Enjoy a glamorous Christmas everyone and stay gorgeous. See you in the New Year xoxo

For more style inspiration, follow me on; Pintrest: Emma Jenkins Instagram: itsabeautifullifeuk Blog: www.itsabeautifullife.co.uk

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Cami Vest £30.00 Next


Green Pouchette Bag £39.00 Biba

Le Nu Nail Varnish £19.00 YSL

Ring £89.00 Sabo

Black Dahlia Lipstick £38.00 Tom Ford

Lulu Frost Star Bracelet £85.00 Whistles

Sparkly Strap Heels £55.00 Faith

Wash Off Tan £18.00 James Read

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SANTAI

by EF MEDISPA at Resorts World Birmingham Lucie Abu-Zalaf

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ocated on the second floor of the amazing new Resorts World Birmingham at the NEC is SANTAI BY EF MEDISPA, which brings a cutting-edge, results-focused approach to beauty and wellbeing. This unique one stop medical spa combines your favourite spa treatments - with the latest medical advances and traditional complementary therapies. It’s personal, it’s smart, it’s intelligent skincare with holistic health. As you step into SANTAI BY EF MEDISPA, your senses come alive with delicate aromas enticing you towards the treatment rooms. Complemented by a lavish interior, the Vive Juice bar is the perfect start to your experience. With an extensive treatment menu, ranging from facials and massages, through to slimming remedies and skin therapies, this medispa really does have it all. If you’re after a post-treatment pitstop, there’s a 15 metre pool complete with pressure jets and relaxation corner to help loosen those tight muscles. Lining the pool is a traditional sauna, to really get the blood pumping; an Experience

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Shower inspired by the four corners of the World (try the Caribbean Shower, it’s my favourite!); and those all-important salt caves, which will make you feel as good on the inside as you look on the out. Continue your journey through SANTAI BY EF MEDISPA and you’ll find a beautiful array of heated pool loungers and a private outdoor terrace complete with a hot tub, heated to a perfect 37 degrees. The thought of driving home after all of this relaxation might not be on your agenda, so I’d recommend checking out the new four-star Genting Hotel within Resorts World Birmingham. With its five star suites, you can kick back and relax, without even having to brave the winter weather outside. The team invited myself and Michael in to experience what they have to offer. I was treated to a Biologique Recherché facial and a Biologique Recherché algae body wrap, both of which were absolutely incredible. They really did live up to expectations; my skin has never looked so fresh and radiant, and I saw

benefits long after the actual treatments. Michael, who is always reluctant to even moisturise, came back to the Vive Lounge after his Dermaquest Facial with a list of products that he couldn’t wait to take home. Living up to its medispa status, it doesn’t stop there. Experienced treatment consultants and practitioners were on hand to help with any specific problem areas we had. The possibilities were endless and included acne scarring, rosacea, facial peels, anti wrinkle injectables, rejuvenating laser treatments, cellulite removal, detox programmes, and more. We’re keen to make a return visit to the Drip and Chill™ bar for a fully-personalised saline drip full of top vitamins and minerals too. If you’re hesitant, these IV treatments can focus on a range of areas such as rejuventation, hydration, athletic performance, immune support, diet and detox, aches and pains, brain health, and even libido enhancement so it’s definitely worth giving a try.


With Christmas in full swing, you’re no doubt inundated with invites to festive events, so to ensure that you’re party ready and feeling your best, I would highly recommend taking a look at what SANTAI BY EF MEDISPA has to offer. From losing weight to looking great, treat yourself and your loved ones with their spa packages or weekend break. Resorts World Birmingham really does have endless possibilities. Even if you plan to pop into SANTAI BY EF MEDISPA for a quick treatment, you will likely be enticed by the 18 bars and restaurants, and the fantastic outlet shopping. There is also an 11-screen Cineworld Cinema, as well as the Genting International Casino. Don’t forget to keep details of of the SANTAI BY EF MEDISPA diet, detox and slimming treatments ready for that January motivation! Call 0121 273 1050 or email welcome@santaiefmedispa. co.uk to book your free consultation. To find out what’s on offer, visit www.santaiefmedispa.comBirmingham

Resorts World Birmingham Pendigo Way Birmingham B40 1PU 0808 159 5152 December 2015

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Yves Delorme Paris The past and future of luxury linen opens its doors at Resorts World, Birmingham

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t all began with a thread of silk and cotton which was stitched and embroidered, the structure of the textiles was then created and as a result the transformation of plant fibres were quickly formed into woven fabrics. All of the fabrics used at Yves Delorme tell a story of poetic value and history. ‘The linen road’ can only be described as a symbol of history, leading to a road of discovery across the world, with Yves Delorme dedicating 170 years to the love behind linen. The creativity and production of these fine quality fabrics continues to evolve, along with the passion for human exchange and a dream to demonstrate perfection. But it is important to remember the path that has been followed, has not always been serene. A true vision of life, the successes and victory have all been imprinted within the brand. There have been obstacles and defeat but all has been involved with being a process of learning to help the progression and growth, year by year, to produce and maintain the future of Yves Delorme. In 1845, the group Fremaux Delorme was created through a family venture where Ernestine Fremaux and her husband founded a linen weaving company in the heart of the textiles industry in Lille, France. As generations passed, the group matured by introducing new activities including the production of threads and canvases for linens, jacquards and fabrics, all for the ever growing fashion industry. Dominique Fremaux, who took charge in the 1980’s, made this brand apparent to what it is today through following a clear vision to open stores as a place for some of the most luxurious home linens you can purchase. With research and time spent striving to excel and remain at the forefront, it was not long before the group became international and the top French luxury brand in home linens. By 1995, there were 45 boutiques which have grown to an amazing 450 globally today. In 2001, Dominique became a symbolic figure, admired by many and

was included in the ‘Art de Vivre’, showcasing his 20 years of hard work and strategy which gives Yves Delorme the status it deserves today. 2014 introduced the new Artistic Director to the team, Laurence Rouet, who decided to follow in the footsteps of Evelyne Julienne who encouraged Laurence with her trail of thoughts to far away destinations bringing back the exotic feel to the brand with style and tranquillity dominating its designs. Laurence uses her passion and love of Yves Delorme to illustrate those products. Not only this, but Laurence is no stranger to the world of luxury home lifestyle, having collaborated with Fremaux Delorme through licensee Kenzo previously. The journey continues forward with Laurence bringing her love and enthusiasm for all things fashion to engage with this spectacular brand. All men and women of Fremaux Delorme are passionate together in believing in the continuation of the linen road, passing on their knowledge and experience through the generations to help create dreams and inspire the world we are in today. It has been a memorable year for Yves Delorme recently opening its doors to their new outlet store within Resorts World Birmingham where they will be sharing the spotlight with a fantastic array of designer and luxury brands, as well as great selection of bars and restaurants. You will be able to find some of the most luxurious linens you have ever come across which tell a romantic and poetic story of how Yves Delormes linens have been created for all to indulge in. To find out some further information on this luxurious French linen brand please visit www.yvesdelorme.com or visit the new outlet store at Resorts World Birmingham.

Yves Delorme Outlet Unit 46 Pendigo Way Resorts World Birmingham B40 1PU Tel. 0121 7675851

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Stylish Entertaining At Hatton and Harding Interiors

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hristmas may bring its stresses but it’s also the perfect time for entertaining. The Christmas table is the ideal opportunity to wow your guests, though you may need more than just a few tired Christmas ornaments to make a welcoming place that they want to linger. Just because it’s Christmas though we can’t all expect to morph into Kirsty Allsop (I always remember the phrase ‘she wasn’t born, she was knitted) and completely out of character, believe the creation of a table focal piece is a worthy way of spending an afternoon. So, let’s keep it simple. To make an impact use a striking colour scheme. Metallics will create a timeless classic feel. Crisp

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David Hatton


white table linen and crockery will add freshness and always creates a sophisticated look. Or try using warm red table linens, add in some cosy wool throws, faux fur and blankets on chairs and benches to create a luxurious chalet style. If you want to add an opulent accessory, consider decorating the backs of chairs with lavish style. If you feel creative, compliment the linen with natural foliage. Blue spruce and eucalyptus works really well and smells amazing. If you choose a white theme, natural twigs and tea lights work beautifully together. To take the pressure off on the day, use faux, the quality is now amazing and it means you can perfect the look days in advance when things are a little more relaxed. If you don’t want to get all creative yourself there are lots of readymade options available. A simple foliage wreath with added festive foliage then wrapped around a multi wick candle looks super stylish. If decorative foliage fills you with fear, decorate the table with glass hurricane lanterns filled with glimmering baubles surrounded by plenty of glowing candles of varying heights; simple but really effective. Natural scents, cinnamon sticks and Christmas tree clippings all create the smells of Christmas and a homely feel. Avoid anything pungent which for me includes anything involving spray paint!

Build up varying heights from the table with candles, glassware and vases making sure you don’t create an amazing look which blocks off conversation at the table. You don’t want a centrepiece so large that guests can only tell who’s opposite by the colour of their paper hat. Add a personal touch to your Christmas table with personalised place cards for your guests and family. You can’t go wrong with classic calligraphy (check out ‘away with words’ on Instagram for great ideas) you can then attach your cards to a simple sprig of foliage. The big day should be full of faintly hysterical extravagance so style up your dining table to rival the turkey as the star of the Christmas show! Hatton & Harding Interiors 13a Old Square Warwick CV34 4RV 01926 408892 www.hattonandharding.co.uk Follow us on Twiter @ HattonHarding5 Facebook Hatton&Harding, Instagram Hatton_Harding and Pinterest@hattonharding

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The Garden's Secret Harvest Dean Clow

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s mother nature takes us through the seasons and the icy grip of Jack Frost transforms our once colourful gardens into a deep pallet of reds and golds…we must take comfort in that the inevitable decay can be utterly transformed into a glittering symbol of new life…a circle of life, a circle that represents death and rebirth, a celebration of the end of the ever shortening days and the anticipation of the coming promise of spring…a traditional wreath. Across time, the circle or ring shape of a wreath that has no beginning and no end symbolising eternity or eternal rebirth. This is the pre-Christian cultures’ interpretation of the power of evergreens to destroy the forces of winter and embrace eternal life. With this in mind, the humble back garden holds a vast array of materials that can be used to create a natural wreath, with traditional meanings for most plants used. Holly represents immortality, for instance, where as cedar or spruce stands for strength. But for many, the wreath’s attributes are much simpler than all this, a sign of welcome. My time in the garden throughout the summer has been unforgettable and mesmerising, but now my attention turns to gathering materials for my Christmas wreath. Although the main body of my wreath is fresh, cut spruce or cedar, holly or laurel… the delicate natural materials used to decorate need to dry, so

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my harvesting starts in early November, when the suns golden rays give enough warmth to dry my Christmas bounty. Any wreath worth its salt requires a sound heart. This under structure can be bought from any good garden centre or better still, be made by you, from hazel, birch, or willow wands forming a ring of approximately 300mm. Weave together taking time to interlock, forming a sturdy circle- remember this will be covered with fresh material so don’t worry too much here, just allow to dry for a few days. Now add your fresh spruce and holly, then add your greenery in an anticlockwise direction, tying as you go with string or wire, and covering each tied area with a new bundle of fresh greenery, envelope the circle and now decorate. Birch bark, twigs and wands are a great favourite of mine to add a real natural depth, creating form and structure to the fresh wreath, simply tie them together with natural twine, in small bundles of about 150mm and add to your fresh ring….not too many as we have more glittering garden jewels to add later. Now embellish with pine cones. Add to the wreath in groups of two or three and space evenly around the fresh foliage using floristry wire or twine, this now completes your first stage. There are many treasures to be found in the garden at this time of year. Use your imagination and be confident in the materials you choose. Poppy heads

can be added naturally or gilded to add a deep Christmassy richness. Chestnuts and conkers, can also be wired in adding a gentle warmth and shine to your creation. Many an acorn has fallen, their cheeky hues of rich greens and browns give any wreath a majestic feel. Nuts, berries, dried fruits, fungus and natural moss complete the transformation and yes of course, wicker hearts and the prettiest and largest top bows and tails you can find, or alternatively, in my opinion nothing adds more depth and warmth to my wreath than a large hessian or jute burlap bow, with obscenely long tails… so understated. Remember time, courage and imagination is all that you need to impress your friends and neighbours. It is said that blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places, where other people see nothing... but remember… always look with glittering eyes at natures world around you, because the greatest treasures are always hidden in the most unlikely places, those who do not imagine will never find them. Help and advice is always available at the garden shop. Fat Bird Crafts The Jinney Ring Craft Centre, Hanbury Worcestershire B60 4BU

01527 821421


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December 2015

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Escape the Chains Exceptional floors are not just for bathrooms!

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elebrating seventeen years of successful trading, Evesham based bathroom specialists, The Bathroom Studio, is expanding into additional premises to incorporate its new sister company, The Flooring Studio. Known county-wide for its exceptional customer service and high quality products, The Bathroon Studio provides customers with a turn-key solution offering design, supply and installation. Director, Iain Cother, commented: “At The Bathroom Studio we have always worked very closely with Karndean Designflooring, specifying and fitting their luxury vinyl tiles within bathroom settings. We began to notice a huge increase in the amount of customers coming to us looking to fit Karndean in other areas of the home.” A qualified plumber, Iain set up The Bathroom Studio with business partner and electrician Kevin Ellison to help manage the demand for new bathroom installations. Since its humble beginnings the company has grown from strength to strength.

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Iain explains: “Our motto is simple; quality. We aim to get every part of the journey right for the customer, from the first meet and greet to the finished product and aftercare. We sell only the best products and make no compromises.”

The new venture is the next natural step for the company with the partners planning to offer the same level of service and expertise. Jay Forrester, showroom manager at Karndean Designflooring, said: “Since the opening of our new showroom in September we have seen a significant rise in customers taking advantage of our free design consultations. It is essential to be able to refer the KUI, to a specialised company to continue the individual journey of purchasing their perfect floor.” Booking requests for a free home consulation by The Flooring Studio will be available by visiting Karndean’s Showroom, online at www.the-flooringstudio.co.uk, or by calling 01386 761 381 .

The Flooring Studio Unit 7, Ratio Point, St Richards Road, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 1XG www.the-flooringstudio.co.uk The Bathroom Studio Unit 2, Evesham Trade Centre, Davies Road Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 1XG Tel: 01386 47234 www.the-bathroomstudio.co.uk

FlooringStudio December 2015

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‘Friends1st – Lovers Later’

The Warwickshire based dating agency success story Steve Hughes

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eeting someone who might just become a partner seems to be getting harder these days, most of us know people who have thrown themselves heart and soul into internet dating only to end up with heart and soul mangled. Yet Katharine Gray, Director of ‘Friends1st', has been successfully helping people find that partner since 1999, when she launched her off-line Christian friendship and dating service for people of all denominations and ages. Based near Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire, 'Friends1st' isn’t the usual 'here today gone tomorrow thanks for the cheque' on line dating agency. 'Friends 1st' has been around since long before the internet provided dating services, and continues to offer a very personal service, focusing on providing opportunities for new friendships, matching like-minded people, and then offering one to one support to ensure members do the right things to be successful in their quest. Becoming a member of ‘Friends1st’ is simplicity itself: you contact ‘Friends1st’ and receive a brochure containing a questionnaire asking for details such as your denomination, likes, dislikes, age and ideal partner. A profile is then created, a professional photo shoot arranged, and once that profile has been agreed, it will be distributed to other members, the frequency depending on the level of annual membership selected by the new member. The very personal and supportive relationship between ‘Friends1st’ and individual members now begins, and it’s this contact between members and the 'Friends1st' team that often makes the difference between success and failure of membership. All members receive individual attention and support throughout their membership – the foundation being laid by a very comprehensive Welcome Pack. This includes a wonderfully illustrated booklet called ‘Top Tips for Making Friends and Enjoying Successful Relationships’; a dating bible crammed with useful ideas, most of them things

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that people stressed out by embarking on the dating game often don’t ever think about: such as how to put a profile together, how to contact other members for the first time, how to respond to someone else’s contact, how to behave on the first meeting, what to do after that meeting to keep things going, and many more ideas, any one of which can make all the difference. I particularly like the one which suggests that next time you’re tempted to give up at the first disappointment or failure, remember that a relatively slow schoolboy called Albert Einstein was advised to give up physics!

Katharine Gray - Founder and Director of friends1st winning the 8th Annual Business Award for Running a Business that impacts the community

This support continues throughout membership because experience shows that the lyrics from the Bananarama girl band are so true:

twice widowed at 81, who during his end of year telephone call from Katharine said that he was sitting in front of his fire waiting to die, was persuaded by Katharine to try again, and who three months later met and married Margaret, a sprightly young 76 year old!

"It's not what you do it's the way that you do it, and that's what gets results".

With 100s of marriages to her credit, Katharine has a service to be proud of. However for her 'Friends1st' isn't just about the outcome; it's about the journey.

From telephone support, to 1:1 coaching calls to a variety of literature aimed at giving members the confidence, skills and contacts they need ensuring members are doing the right things in the right way - often common sense but not commonly found! This is probably why the success stories just keep coming including the man who was determined to meet a local white girl, who telephoned Katharine to object strongly to his profile being distributed beyond his town, who was persuaded to be just a tad more flexible, and who one year later met and subsequently married a black nurse from London. And Eric,

It's about having a friendly supportive voice at the end of that phone when things don't seem to be progressing; it's about the dating guides and video courses that keep members focused on what can bring success and what can kill a potential relationship before it's had time to get going; it's about facilitating a rewarding journey, thereby making a successful outcome a whole lot more likely. It’s all a world away from internet dating and therein lies the secret of Friends1st’s success. To contact Friends1st, Call 0121 371 0497; Email: info@friends1st.co.uk Web: www.friends1st.co.uk


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Edge Meet and Greet Up close with Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market stall holders

Gail Braznell tiered wooden stand that holds candles he door to Christmas is well and and each level of the stand features a truly open now with the opening different carved scene, a Nativity, forest of Birmingham’s Frankfurt critters, nutcrackers, or miners at work. Christmas Market well under way. We head over to Birmingham’s FrankfurtLynne Elliot from Derbyshire is the lady inspired seasonal shopping attraction to holding the fort for her German boss at meet some of the people that make it all the Crystal Palace stall with Crystals happen. and Minerals from all over the world. Working the market for 44 days nonstop First stop was the carousel run by Mrs means sadly, she gets very little time to Emily Wilson, owner of Bob Wilsons explore what’s on offer. Funfairs. Emily, who’s been running fairground rides for over 60 years, says Raener is from the South East of her family business has been coming to Germany and he’s the seller of Reindeer Birmingham Christmas Markets for as hide, where each purchase contributes long as she can remember. When the to the Sami way of life. His German boss carousel made its first appearance in Birmingham there were only five stalls in is “probably at home with his feet up”, he jokes. Raener loves the atmosphere, total. “The atmosphere has always been the Christmas spirit and the impressive great, very fun and lively” she says. Bob lights. He says, “spending time together Wilsons Fairs also own the Ice Rink and is important and not making war.” Big Wheel located in Centenary Square which is in town until the 10th January On the traditional German confectionary 2016. stall is Dave Moore (right) from West

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Christmas World is run by Agnes Gastmans from Belgium who lives and volunteers as a tree planter in India. Agnes has been running a Christmas Stall for her German boss at Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market for 12 years and loves the community spirit created by meeting the same stall holders year after year. Christmas World sells typical Christmas German items made mostly from wood such as the Nutcracker which is traditionally an authority figure like a soldier or a policeman. Or there‘s the popular Nürnberg decoration, a multi-

Bromwich and his side-kick Jessie who’s originally from Sydney, Australia. Dave is a true Brummie, the life and soul of his stall and has been coming to the Christmas Market for years as a customer. Now he runs a stall selling Stolen and Weihnachts Lebkuchen (Christmas gingerbread) amongst other sweet tasting joys for a German owner. A pint-sized Santa can be seen wandering around Victoria Square this year, an attraction in his own right for those who love to take selfies with little people and I’m afraid he was too busy to comment.

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Christmas Gift Guide It’s Christmas time and the season of giving … what are you giving your loved ones this year?

Christmas Yummies

Nothing shows how much you care more than something you have put lot’s of effort into. Homemade Christmas presents are always appreciated, especially ones that taste good! This idea can be used with whichever recipe you like, the problem is fitting all the ingredients into the jar. That’s why it’s good to top off with ingredients like nuts or chocolate, so you can use a little extra or a little less if you need to. Make sure to pack everything tightly (especially the flour and cocoa powder) to keep everything in it’s place. Ingredients: 1 litre jar In the Jar: 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp baking powder 95 g plain flour 35 g cocoa 75 g plain flour 135 g brown sugar 150 g sugar

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100 g chocolate chips 100g white chocolate chips 50 g walnuts or pecans (optional) From the larder: 150g melted butter 3 beaten eggs Method: First mix the salt, baking powder and flour together. Layer the dry ingredients in a one litre jar, following the order above, from top, starting with the baking powder, salt and flour. Press each layer down before adding the next. The amounts given should exactly fill a one litre jar.

Yves Delorme Opera Tea Towel

available from their store at Resorts World

Remember to include a tag with the following instructions: For the tag: Combine the contents of the jar with 150g melted butter and 3 beaten eggs. Mix well, and pour into a lined 9 x 9 inch tin. Bake at Gas 4 / 180 C (160 fan) / 350 F for 25-35 minutes.

Meat Porter

An online artisan butchers, avoid the Christmas supermarket rush and order high quality meat straight to your door. With British free-range producers, who supply acclaimed Michelin star restaurants, free delivery on orders over £50 and next day delivery to almost all of the UK – Meat Porter would be the perfect prezzie for any meat lover. With a range of boxes such as Steak & Bacon, Gourmet & The Ultimate – leave it up to Meat Porter to impress this Christmas time. www.meatporter.com


Green People Hand and Body Cream

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These are ‘Ungar and Ungar 18 carat gold Floral band rings with diamonds. Yellow gold floral band £1655 and white gold floral band is £2345

Green People have combined with Woodland Trust to bring you a beautiful range of hand and body creams. Pictured is the Handcare Collection, a naturally nourishing hand cream duo that is doing good for the environment too. Priced at £15.95 and available direct from www.greenpeople.co.uk

Advent Ideas

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year so why not start a new tradition by creating a more personalised experience for your child. Sometimes the best part of Christmas is counting down to it so let’s get the magic started on December 1st. Wrap up 24 children’s books (they don’t have to be new books). Put them under the Christmas tree. Before bed each evening, let your child choose one book to open and read together...until Christmas.

Scotch Blender

Scotch Blender allows customers to become the master blender of their very own premium Scotch whisky. Importantly, we take all the worry out of ordering late in the day as we offer instant Gift Cards which will be emailed within minutes – guaranteeing that you won’t be left sweating over a late delivery. Customer can visit the virtual Blending Room at www.scotchblender.com to select any number from eight single malt and single grain whiskies to create a custom blend. They can then name their whisky and declare themselves the blender before receiving their bespoke Scotch in a premium, heavy-based bottle complete with hand-written label and one-off blending certificate. Tasting Notes and Master Tips are included to guide customers through the process of creating their very own blended Scotch Whisky. Scotch Blender’s unique blends start from as little as £35.10, which is incredible value for a premium-quality personalised gift.

Theatre Vouchers

RSC Gift Vouchers can be used to buy Theatre Tours and Tower visits in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, as well as tickets for performances in Stratford-uponAvon and RSC Membership. Vouchers can be bought in any amount and are valid for 12 months from date of purchase. The perfect gift for a theatre lover! www.rsc.org.uk/gifts 

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The Gift of Books Unleash Your Inner Geek! Mike Stafford hristmas is almost upon us, and that can mean only one thing glossy coffee table books for the book lover in your life. As we hit the thirtieth anniversary of ‘Back to the Future,’ Titan Books have served up the definitive history of that great trilogy. Stretching from its conception through to the release of the third film and even to the spin-offs that came after, ‘Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History’ takes an exhaustive look at one of the most endearing film series of the last three decades. The story of each film is told on a week-by-week basis, with input from across the cast and crew, including Fox and Lloyd - or McFly and Brown, if you prefer. However, where this offering really shines is in the spectacular visuals and add-ins. Alongside the promo photos, behind the scenes shots, storyboards and preliminary drawings of the DeLorean, there is a host of fun extras glued to the pages. A tardy card from Strickland, a copy of Doc Brown’s letter from 1885, and my personal

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favourite, a holographic card of the McFly children in which Marty’s siblings actually disappear when it’s viewed from a certain angle. Approach it whichever way you want, either as a weighty history of the films, or as a sumptuous scrapbook to thumb through, but this is an absolute must for fans of Back to the Future… and let’s be honest, that’s all of us really, isn’t it? Staying at the geekier end of the artistic spectrum, ‘The Art of Dave Seeley’ offers a spectacular showcase of the work of the genre illustrator extraordinaire. Seeley’s work draws from science fiction, hard-boiled crime and military combat, and fuses old and new media to create a sense of hyper reality. These are images you can swim in for hours; vast cityscapes under attack by alien craft; action scenes that whiten the knuckle just to look at; galactic battles rendered in a gorgeous technicolour palette. Seeley’s attention to detail is phenomenal; even when drawing or painting a colossal metropolis, he doesn’t

skimp - individual windows are visible on the gargantuan skyscrapers. We are left to wonder about the endless lives playing out before our eyes; Seeley scoffs at pictures that tell a thousand words - he can go to at least a million. A combination of paints, photos, digital imagery and drawing, this is imagemaking that’s technically brilliant but also thoroughly pleasing to the eye. If you’re struggling for gift ideas for the unrepentant geek in the group, struggle no further; buy them ‘The Art of Dave Seeley.’ They’ll thank you once they’ve wrestled themselves away from it.


  

        

 

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Christmas Traditions

Some old, some not as old as you think, but where on earth do they all come from? Lucie Abu-Zalaf Christmas Day being held on 25 December

But where did the red suit come from?

Many people believe Christmas day to be celebrated on the birthday of Christ, but the Bible doesn’t actually specify a date that he was born so it could be months or even years out. It actually dates back to the 5th Century when Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire and was chosen to tie in with the Roman (and pagan) celebration of the winter solstice. Eastern Orthodox churches and countries who follow the Gregorian calendar for Christmas celebrate on January 7th.

The perfect example of the power of advertising comes into play here. While Santa had been depicted in a furry suit, of often green and white in the 1800’s, to illustrate ‘The Night Before Christmas’ story (which also gave us the 8 miniature reindeers), it was only in 1931 when the Coca-Cola corporation depicted him invariably in a red suit with white trimming for an advertising campaign that has run every year since, to match their branding, that the red and white became universally accepted as the colours that he wears. It was also due to Coca-Cola and their advertising campaign that the reindeers appeared full size too.

th

Where did Father Christmas Come From? Well, he wasn’t in the Gospels, that’s for sure. In Myra, now modern day Turkey, in around 300 AD, there was thought to be a very kind man, named Nicholas. He was very wealthy and would often help the poor. The main story goes that a poor man had no money for a dowry for the marriage of his daughter. One night, Nicholas threw bags full of gold through an open window, with them landing in stockings hanging up by the fire giving us our stocking tradition, but more importantly, enabling his daughters to marry. His reputation for such kindness grew and he was made a Saint, not only of children, but of sailors too. In the 16th Century, stories of Saint Nick became very unpopular, but somebody still had to deliver presents to the children, so Father Christmas was born; based on a roly poly character from old children’s stories. The Victorian era brought a resurgence of Saint Nicholas when poets, writers and artists discovered the old stories and brought them back to life and leading to us knowing the big jolly chap in the red suit as both Father Christmas and Santa Claus.

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And coming in through the chimney? After the American revolution, New Yorkers tried to rediscover their Dutch roots, and revived the feast of St Nicholas, and his legend. The writer Washington Irving took the mickey out of this revived cult in a satire published in 1809, called Knickerbocker’s History of New York. In it, St Nicholas appears as a fat, jolly figure, dressed in fur, with a clay pipe and beard, who slides down chimneys. Where did the idea of a Christmas tree come from? For thousands of years the evergreen fir tree has been used to celebrate pagan and Christian winter festivals. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia and Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God. But it wasn’t a popular British tradition until Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert brought a Christmas tree over

from Germany in 1841 and put it up in Windsor Castle. The Royal family were illustrated in a newspaper standing around the tree with their children and it then became fashionable and is now totally engrained as one of the most memorable parts of Christmas. Why do we eat turkey? Simple really, it was cheaper than chicken and large enough to serve all of the extended family and have some leftovers. Before the first turkeys were imported in 1526, common Christmas meals were peacock, goose and even boar’s heads and it was only in the mid 20th century that turkey overtook goose as the Christmas Day favourite. Christmas pudding... Love it or hate it, it is one of those Christmas traditions that most of us abide by. It seems that there were two main predecessors to today’s dessert; the first being the traditional mince pie, which contained cooked, shredded meat, dried fruits and alcohol to preserve it. The second was a pottage, ladled out at the start of the meal and contained cracked wheat, currants and almonds. Subsequently, people baked this into a kind of pie, adding breadcrumbs for bulk, eggs to bind it, and upping the dried fruits. They then called it plum pudding, “plum” meaning dried grape or raisin. Christmas pudding was actually banned in 1644, when Puritan lawmakers decided that Christmas should be a time of fasting, rather than feasting. Fortunately, for those that enjoy the pudding, the fast/ feast law lapsed at the Restoration. George I proudly enjoyed his Christmas pottage in 1714 and we have never looked back. So, there we have it. I may have missed a couple along the way, but I think that’s your main ones. So, most of our traditions stem back quite a way, but not necessarily as long as you thought!


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O Little Town of Bethlehem The journey 2015 years on Lucie Abu-Zalaf

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t’s that time of year again, when schools, churches and theatres across the world recreate the nativity scenes that we all know so well. Mary and Joseph, making their trip from Nazareth back to Joseph’s family home of Bethlehem, with nowhere to stay and eventually settling down in a barn where the baby Jesus is born and laid in a manger, to be visited by shepherds and wise men following a star that come bearing gifts. Say we were to accompany Mary and Joseph on their journey today, what would it be like? In many ways, not too different from 2015 years ago, except with different religions and controlling powers. Mary is from Nazareth and Joseph from Bethlehem, travelling to return to his home town for the census. Nazareth is a predominantly Arab town, located in the Galilee, a region of Israel. Bethlehem is no longer a little town, but a city in the Palestinian West Bank; although ultimately still controlled by Israel. Today the native residents of both towns are therefore, for the most part, in the same situation as the original Mary and Joseph; now they are Arabs, back then they were Jews. Both controlled by an occupying power, now Israel, then Rome; but the towns now lie in different jurisdictions, Israel and the West Bank. Residents of the different jurisdictions live with very different rights and status and if they were to set out today a bubbling ethnic conflict and apartheid state would mean their journey would still be incredibly perilous, if they were able to make it at all. 2015 years of engineering, technological advances and surfaced roads have done nothing to help the couple. Our modern day Mary, being a resident of Nazareth, would be classed as one of over a million Israeli Arabs and would be issued with a blue ID card. Husband Joseph, on the other hand, would be living in Nazareth illegally, as a resident of Bethlehem and a West Banker; he would be issued with a green ID card. Today, Mary and Joseph could be Christian or Muslim, it would make no difference; they speak Arabic and are not Jewish, the defining factor on how easily you can move around the country. After they were married, they most likely applied for Israeli citizenship for Joseph, as many thousands of married Palestinians do, but, like most applications since the ‘Family Reunification’ procedures for the Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens was effectively ‘frozen’ in 2002, they have been unsuccessful and Joseph had to remain in his wife’s hometown of the same country without the right papers and therefore illegally.

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Climbing into Mary’s car with its yellow Israeli number plate and starting down the winding mountain road to the plains of Esdraelon, they face the common decision of which way to go. They could opt to turn west and take the fast toll road that winds through central Israel, but we will choose the route east, which biblical historians say is the most likely route taken by the couple and would also allow them to possibly stop and catch up with relatives in the West Bank on the journey. There is a third route, down the mountainous spine of the West Bank, which on a map links the Palestinian centres of Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, but lines drawn on maps do not mean much here these days and today this journey would be almost impossible. Decades of military occupation and armed Palestinian struggle have turned this route into one of the most treacherous highways in the world with never ending and constantly changing restricted access zones, closures, numerous settlements and military zones. At the last count, in April 2015, there were ninety six permanent and 361 ‘flying’ check points within the West Bank. To put that into a bit of perspective, the West Bank is just over two and a half times the size of Warwickshire. Their first hurdle comes at the Jalameh checkpoint, a crossing point in the eight metre high separation barrier, at the entrance to the West Bank just north of Jenin. Although Israeli citizens, unlike Palestinians, are allowed to travel freely and without permits around most of the West Bank, Jenin is one of several builtup Palestinian areas which, for security reasons, Israelis cannot enter without military permission. As an Arab, Mary would be safe in the city of Jenin, but as an Israeli she is forbidden to go there. As for her husband, Joseph he could be arrested at the checkpoint and imprisoned for having entered Israel illegally in the first place. But as anyone who travels in the West Bank knows, much depends on who is manning which checkpoint, and more importantly what kind of mood they might be in. This time they get a distracted teenager, weapon in hand, but one who can’t be bothered to stop and check the paperwork. Soon they are driving down the rutted, rubbish-strewn main street of Jenin. 62

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The next permanent Israeli checkpoint Mary and Joseph encounter is deep inside the West Bank, twelve miles south of Jenin, near the settlement of Shavei Shomron. Soldiers can be nervous and irritable, particularly with tensions being so high at the moment, and spooking them can prove fatal, so Mary and Joseph quietly join the long line of Palestinian taxis waiting to be checked one by one. The next stretch of road is used by Israeli settlers, and therefore outlawed to all green-plated Palestinian vehicles other than VIP cars, lorries and communal taxis with special permits. Let’s imagine that both Joseph and Mary as they live and work in Israel, with Jewish colleagues and quite possibly friends too, speak perfect Hebrew, and no longer act or dress like Arabs. Not seeming Arab is very useful when you are driving up to Israeli checkpoints, since it differentiates you from Israeli Arabs or Arab East Jerusalemites who also drive yellow-plate Israeli cars, but who are much more likely to be stopped, questioned, perhaps detained for long periods at the side of the road, for no apparent reason other than they are Arabs. Let us imagine that our Arab couple are

lucky and get through this checkpoint with only a flash of their IDs. The soldiers must be busy today, or maybe planning their weekend activities. Feeling more confident, Mary and Joseph drive through eight more checkpoints, some permanent other pop up, six without even having to slow down, passing more lines of detained taxis hundreds of metres long. At every one there is the possibility of being stopped, turned around or imprisoned. Would Mary have to face labour or childbirth stuck at a check point, like one in ten Palestinian women do, as detailed in UK medical journal, The Lancet? Not this time, they are fortunate and pass through. At most checkpoints the soldiers do not even glance at the Israeli-registered cars, like Mary’s, as they pass. Mary and Joseph eventuall arrive into Bethlehem, very glad they did not travel by greenplated Palestinian taxi, the sole form of transport permitted for the vast majority of West Bankers. Had they done so, they would have been lucky to make the same journey inside a day. If, that is, they were not arrested, detained or turned back.

In December 2011 Father Ibrahim Shomali, a Catholic priest of the city’s Beit Jala parish declared “If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed. Mary and Joseph would have needed Israeli permission - or to have been tourists.” Not much has changed in four years, not for the better anyway. Surrounded on three sides by Israel’s concrete separation barrier and with twenty two militant Israeli settlements encircling it, Bethlehem’s tourist trade has been hit hard by the occupation and life for its Christian and Muslim residents is difficult. So, at this time of year, when we sing our carols around the tree and watch little ones in Nativity plays, think twice about the little town of Bethlehem and what you can do to help those less fortunate all around the world and if you wish for one thing this Christmas, let it be peace and stability for all.

Images courtesy of Dr Alan Kessedjian December 2015

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When the Love has Gone Staying together for Christmas? Tracy Lowe

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s a Family lawyer who deals with the aftermath of the breakdown of relationships every day, I see the sadness, pain and often fear that you have to endure following the breakdown of your relationship – some people stay together just for the children, just to get through Christmas and in the hope that things will get better in the New Year, or in the knowledge that once Christmas is over they will leave their partner or some have spent many Christmas periods hoping it will get better but eventually realising that it will not. Making the decision to leave is painful in itself, let alone having to tell the children and these are decisions that are not easy to make. As a member of Resolution I am committed to helping my clients resolve their relationship breakdown with dignity

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and without acrimony where possible and putting the children at the forefront, attempting to resolve the issues by agreement and negotiation and, as a last resort, through the Court process. If you are reading this you may be separated or thinking of separating and here are some useful pointers for you to consider:1. Finding the right solicitor for you is fundamental – there has to be a mutual trust and understanding between you and the knowledge that your solicitor will be there for you to provide you with constructive advice and stand in your corner wherever necessary and that they will represent your interests in the best possible way. I suggest that you read your chosen solicitors website to make yourself familiar with the person you are seeing. Speak to them by telephone first if that gives you more confidence.

Be open with your solicitor no matter how hard you find discussing the matter and will enable you to work with your solicitor. 2. Make a note of what your expectations are when you meet your solicitor – they won’t mind if you bring along a list of questions or discuss anything that is troubling you. It can sometimes help to bring a friend with you for your first meeting who is independent and can take in more during the meeting that you often can as it is your life that we are dealing with and sometimes the stress of the breakdown can make it difficult to remember everything that you discuss. Your solicitor will usually confirm their advice in writing but feel free to make notes if you wish at your meeting. Remember – your solicitor does not make the decisions – either you do by


negotiation. Your solicitor is working for you and it is important that you are able to work well together to get the best resolution for you. 5. Try to prepare yourself in respect of what information you know about your family financial affairs – you may not have dealt with your financial situation before – if you do this will help your solicitor to do the best job for you, but don’t worry – if you have not then your solicitor should guide you as to what is required when you meet up – don’t panic if this is difficult – this is a difficult time and your solicitor will help you through the process. 6. Don’t make rash decisions. Your solicitor should give you all the choices as you progress matters and discuss with you how those choices will affect your situation in moving forward, but remember – it is you and you alone who will make the ultimate decisions along the way. Make sure that your solicitor understands and agrees the way forward with you.

Tracy Lowe. LLB

7. Your solicitor should provide you with time frames and goals to work towards. Do not be frightened to raise any worries or concerns you may have with your solicitor – you are taking this journey together and they want you to understand and make informed decisions as your matter progresses. negotiated help and assistance from your solicitor or the Judge will make the final decision for you if you cannot reach agreement. 3. Think about your children – whatever the differences that have arisen between you, they are the innocent parties who probably do not understand what is happening and love you both and only wish you could be back together again. Never discuss adult issues with them or burden them with situations that they cannot control or deal with. They are loyal to you both, even if one party is behaving badly and they often cannot understand why their world has been turned upside down. 4. Talk to your solicitor about any concerns you may have – they will discuss all the options with you including Mediation and voluntary disclosure and

8. Make sure your solicitor explains their fees structure to you, including any fees for other people who may be working on your file – read your client care letter carefully. Whatever solicitor you choose, it has to be the right one for you. Your solicitor has to see past the emotional upheaval and focus on the longer term because that is what the court is going to do. Your solicitor should guide you through the emotional turmoil so that you too can focus on your future and how you are going to adapt to any changes to it. Trying to resolve all the issues is often difficult but is the key and, here, at Lowe’s, you are always our first priority and we will always be there by your side, even if a battle is inevitable.

TEL: 01905 610888 Restdale House 32-33 Foregate Street Worcester WR1 1EE

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Dorridge Music School

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Celebrating 2015

015 is a very special year for DMS Knowle - the largest independent music school in the country, a registered charity as it has graduated to DMS Heart of England Music Academy and it is celebrating 30 years in music education. Its principal and trustee Leigh Perry has recently produced a celebration concert at THSH Birmingham with over 300 musicians, dancers and celebrity guests including Bev Bevan (DMS Patron). The concert on the evening raised over £1200 for charity and is now looking to the next event ‘A fusion of music and dance’ to be held on May 7th 2017! A DVD of the celebration concert is now available. More recently Leigh has been delighted to work with local universities and schools, presenting the second of six ‘Inspiring Women’ talks at Warwick University and being invited as guest speaker at Langley school’s Yr11 leaver’s awards. Leigh said ‘it’s been an exceptionally busy year but I’m so proud of everyone who took part in our sixth concert at the prestigious

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Symphony Hall of which a highlights show was shown on Big Centre TV and I’m also enjoying working closely with music and business in the West Midlands ‘. Leigh was also honoured to be a part of “Courageous kid’s awards” on November 21st at the Grand Hall, Birmingham University. Upcoming events include Leigh’s function band DMS FUSION performing in the Atrium at Touchwood in Solihull on Sunday December 13th at 1pm. You can also view the Winter session of LCM exam results on DMS Knowle’s Facebook page.  Follow @DMSMusicSchool @Leighmusicangel Greville Court, The High Street, Knowle B93 0LL 01564 772 831


Dodderhill School The benefits of starting girls in junior independent education explained

“Tomorrow I will be even better than today.”

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he Headmistress at independent girls’ school, Dodderhill School, in Droitwich Spa, is encouraging parents to start their children in independent education early by taking advantage of the fantastic facilities on offer at the junior school. The junior department caters for girls and boys from Kindergarten up to age eight and for girls aged eight to 11. Mrs Mawston explains what it is that makes Dodderhill’s junior department so special: “Our juniors enjoy outstanding and varied teaching from an early age. Our nursery welcomes children from as young as six weeks and is staffed by specialist staff that support them at every stage of their early years development. “Class sizes are small and young children read aloud every day to their class teacher and enjoy forest school from Kindergarten upwards and swimming lessons from Year 2 to Year 6. “Children are offered a vibrant and creative curriculum which includes French from Year 1 and Spanish from Year 5, as well as a full range of extra-curricular activities, including ballet, all taught by specialist teachers; we do not use any teaching assistants.

At Dodderhill School in Droitwich, girls grow to become inspiring leaders. A highly challenging curriculum also prepares them for the most competitive sixth forms in the area. In fact, our GCSE results consistently rank Dodderhill as one of Worcestershire’s top schools. Bursaries are available for up to full fees.

What could your daughter achieve tomorrow? Visit www.dodderhill.co.uk or call 01905 778290.

“Starting early in our junior department means that the transition through to the senior school will be much smoother, giving pupils a solid foundation for their senior years. “What sets Dodderhill apart is its unique, bespoke approach to each and every child. We adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of the student, not the other way around, which ensures that everyone is challenged, stretched and stimulated at the appropriate level. “Our classes are deliberately small because we value the uniqueness of every individual child. As such our exam results are consistently amongst the best in Worcestershire.” 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of Dodderhill School. It has seen many changes over the years, not least of all, its name! But it’s still going strong seven decades on. From its humble beginnings as a co-ed prep school in Whitford, Bromsgrove, on 25th September 1945, with just six pupils, it has evolved over the years and is now one of the leading schools in the district, offering independent education to over 200 pupils, aged from six weeks to 16 years. For more information, or to arrange a visit, call 01905 778290, email enquiries@dodderhill.co.uk or visit www.dodderhill.co.uk.

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The Laughter Master Catching up with Stephen K. Amos

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fter slogging it out for 15 years on the comedy circuit, the title of Amos’ new tour is definitely one that he has earned. Having charmed audiences all over the world, on stage and screen, it is his child like joy, exuberance and ability to find the funny in even the most unexpected of places that have lead to him becoming one of the UKs most loved comedians. With his natural, assured delivery and honest, original material, he is certainly one funny man. I caught up with him ahead of his dates up here and what a genuine pleasure it was. So, you’ve just started your UK tour, how are you finding it? I am absolutely loving it; I’ve been so lucky to have been around the world this year, when we finished Edinburgh I went over to America, then did six weeks in Australia and I got back a week or so ago and got straight back into it on the UK tour. I’m loving it, loving life on the road. But haven’t you done that slightly the wrong way around? Spending our summer in Australia and then coming back here as theirs really gets going? That is the bane of my life! If I could switch the summers around, I would absolutely do it; but autumn touring is the norm for the UK and you’ve got to suck it up and we all need cheering up here with the gloomy weather, grey days and rain, what better situation to come and put a smile on someone’s face. Who do you find funny at the moment and do you have any comedy heroes? I don’t really have any comedy heroes so to speak, as when I started there wasn’t

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Lucie Abu-Zalaf really any comedy that spoke to me, that was in my field of vision, so to speak. But people now... lots of people that I’ve worked with in fact I think are very funny. Lee Mack I find very funny and Jo Caulfield. A lot of the guys who aren’t even very well known, who work in the comedy circuit are definitely some of the best comedians in the country. How much planning goes into your shows, do you follow a strict script or does the show evolve totally from night to night? There is a script essentially, but because of my style I like to be quite conversational and be very in the moment, so there are a couple of things that I do within the show that are designed to get some sort of response and then that works like a spring board for where we go to next. And of course, things happen in the world and it’s good to react to things in the moment and keeps it fresh. Your comedy is often very open and personal, do you feel by giving more of yourself that you find you are further reaching and do more than just make people laugh during the show? I really do, not trying to sound grand or some sort of psychologist, but I do believe that every single one of us has a story to tell and we’re all kind of connected on some level. Be it family relationships, tragedy, good fortune, all sorts of things and if I can express myself and the things that happen to me, in my life and make them funny, it might help somebody. I’ve had numerous occasions in the past where I’ve had communications from people to do with that. I had a guy recently who wrote

me an email to say that he came out to one of my shows on the day he got his divorce papers through and that just took his mind off it and he just had a much needed laugh which cleared his head. I had a young lad, around 19 years of age, who stopped me after one of my shows and said because of that show he was going to go home and to sit down and have the conversation with his parents and tell them that he was gay. That sort of stuff just makes me think ‘wow’ I am doing something that helps people. We can all do funny jokes, with no depth or meaning but I think there is no other job in this world where you have a captive audience, where you can really say what you like and be a positive influence. Do you feel pressure to be the funny man all of the time? Absolutely not. Most of my personal friends are funnier than me. My best friend in the world has only come and seen me do stand up three times; he just can’t bear sitting in a room full of people laughing, but he is the funniest man I know and it’s hilarious. The only time I feel any pressure, is if I’m walking down the street and someone stops me and asks me for a joke. I just have to say ‘I’m sorry, but I’m not working’ which can land both ways. Some people think it’s fair enough and some people just say ‘well, you’re not very funny then’. What do you do if you see yourself on TV when you’re sitting watching at home? Oh my goodness, I change the channel. Some people can’t even bear the sound of their own voice when they hear it; I’m not that bad but I don’t really like to watch myself. What I have started to do more recently is if I’m going into an edit suite,


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I may tweak bits of what we’ve done, but once it’s done and out there it can’t be changed so there’s no point in me watching it. I just find myself thinking ‘why am I sweating at that point? Why is my eyebrow doing that?’ which doesn’t do any good at all. At what point did you think ‘I can actually do this?’ The only moment was when I actually started doing it. When I, and lots of my contemporaries started, it was never about having a career. There was no comedy on TV, there were no panel shows, and comedians were kind of out of favour after the 80’s mother in law joke era. So we were just doing gigs with 30 or 40 people in a room above a pub and it was great. Then it just snowballed. One year I went to Edinburgh for the first time and thought ‘wow, this is where people go and try their stuff for an hour, this is amazing’ and from there people asked me to go to New Zealand, Australia and it was just amazing, people offering to pay me to go around the world. After being around for 8 or 9 years I did think that I could do this, I can be a bit more interesting too, let me talk about other things, things that matter to me. The story would often be something that has happened to me or a friend and then the transition of making that into something funny on stage is the hard part. I’ve had tragedy in my world and awful things happen, but if I can explain those situations to strangers and make them funny, then that’s quite a powerful thing and one that people can relate to. Is the comedy circuit close between performers, or do you all pass like ships in the night? It’s like any sort of group or association where you have a group of like minded people together. We do get to catch up at places like Edinburgh, but there you have an hour for your show, where most places on the comedy circuit you only have 20 minutes or so, but there is always time to catch up with old friends and everyone is generally very helpful, open and honest with each other and offering suggestions and supporting each other. The beauty of the comedy scene at the moment is that there really is a whole spectrum of comedy styles out there so you will find something that you like.

What was the most awkward thing to have happened to you on stage?

If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?

It would have to have been when I suddenly felt very, very ill on stage with 20 minutes left to go of a show. I had to leave the stage to go to the bathroom, but the audience thought it was part of the show. Obviously the rhythm and the flow of the show was completely changed when I returned and I had to explain myself, which was really awkward, but we took that and moved on from there!

My whole plan was to be a lawyer, and thought I wanted to work in the Citizens Advice Bureau, helping people. But I think, looking back logically, people who are social workers, or who work in the CAB, to be one of the people that help other people through traumatic things in their lives, I realised I couldn’t do that, I would take their stories home with me and I just couldn’t do it. That’s why I ended up doing comedy, because I see the joy in people when I make them laugh and that’s so worthwhile. I got a lovely letter just today about a gig I did last night, totally unexpectedly, but someone reaching out to you and showing appreciation is just brilliant. I think there is also an overlap between law and comedy, with the ability to hold court, people’s attention and get your point across and I would rather do it without putting on a wig and a gown and reading through reams and reams of material, I’d rather write my own jokes!

If you were stuck on your desert island, what would be your three emergency items that you would be dreaming of? My ipad, definitely as everything is on it. I would also be dreaming of my collection of trainers. It’s only recently, within the last three years that I have become an avid trainer wearer but I’ve got the bug. I have to admit sidetracking Stephen here as he was pondering his third choice, by stating that mine would be GU pudding, which most definitely distracted us from the question as we discussed various uses for the glass dishes and how there should be a recycling service where you can swap in your old pots, similar to the Coca Cola bottles in years gone past. So, there was no definitive third answer, but I would suggest by the length of time we discussed this for, it may well be pudding related. What memory stands out most from your childhood?

Stephen is making a few stops on his tour in the new year, if you fancy adding some fun into those cold and wintery nights, the dates are below. January 15th- Huntington Hall, Worcester January 16th- The Old Rep, Birmingham February 10th- Roses Theatre, Tewksbury February 12th- The Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

That would be when I was in primary school in London. They took us to an inner city farm somewhere in south London and I think it was the first time I had ever sat on a horse, at the age of around 5 or 6? I absolutely freaked out. After being plonked on and the teacher disappearing I was left thinking ‘what is this awful creature, with a really long face and eyes on the side of its head, but it can see forward?’ I still have a massive fear of horses now Describe yourself in three words... Passionate, loyal and funny.

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Here’s to a Healthy Christmas Mel Taffs

I

t’s easy for us to eat more than 2000 calories from our Christmas lunch alone… for the average woman that’s more calories than she should have in a whole day. Temptation is all around us. We have the works parties and family gatherings, we also eat out a lot more coming up to Christmas and consume all those comfort dishes with rich creamy sauces, Christmas dinners with goose fat roast potatoes, and an array of high calorie gateaux, trifles and cheesecakesthe list is endless. Below are a few tips on how not to overdo it coming up to Christmas... Healthy starters- choose vegetable sticks i.e. carrots, raw sweetcorn, peppers, celery, with low fat dips like salsa, hummus, guacamole, fresh cooked prawns, sushi rolls, and rice crackers grilled chicken, olives, raw mixed unsalted nut and pretzel sticks. Go Skinless- turkey and chicken are really low in fat and fabulous sources of protein, remember to remove all the skin and when roasting use a rack or trivet to allow the fat to drain off. Chunky Spuds- cut potatoes into much larger chunks to prevent them from absorbing to much fat, use olive oil to roast them in. Vegetables- use the lovely array of seasonal vegetables out there with all their lovely vibrant colours, the more the merrier. Steam, boil or blanche to keep in all their nutrients. Have A Fruity Stuffing- use dried fruit over pork like apricots, cranberries or chestnuts. Gravy- use the water you cooked the vegetables in as it’s full of the nutrients and try to avoid gravy granules as they are high in salt, stock cubes are better.

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Switch The Milk- use skimmed for bread sauces. Puddings- have natural low fat yogurt or reduced fat custard rather than brandy butter or cream and have a huge fruit salad over high fat trifles and gateaux. Watch Portion Sizes- don’t pile food high on your plate and pass on that extra portion of food…You’ll be glad you did come January. Booze- it’s not just the nibbles and puddings that are the temptations at Christmas, what about the booze?! Always have some form of protein or a carbohydrate before you go out and drink water or orange juice in between each alcoholic drink. Remember the darker the drink (brandy, red wine, port) that you consume the more likely it is you will suffer a hangover. Alternate Healthy Days- one trick that works is the one day on one day off option. Just look at your diary to see what functions you have coming up, then eat and drink a lot on that day but cut back the next day. On the day off eat a salad or stir fry to cleanse the system... it’s like having a mini detox. So it seems to me that the key to having a good Christmas is to eat, drink and be merry, just don’t overdo it!

Do you really want to change bad eating habits for life: Sick of Fad Diets that don’t work: if so call Absolutely Flab u Less on 07792421080 or Email: melanietaffs7@gmail.com


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Drink Aware

The perils of drinking too much alcohol

C

hristmas is a time of parties and celebration, which is often synonymous with drinking more alcohol than usual. Although, I don’t want you to be put off drinking alcohol to celebrate Christmas, I thought I would share some facts about how alcohol can adversely affect your body. The damaging effects of drinking too much alcohol can be far worse than just a bad hangover the following morning. Many people underestimate the amount of alcohol they are drinking and so do not realise how much harm they are potentially doing to their bodies. Around a third of adults in the UK drink around half a bottle of wine each night, which is more than the current recommendations. These are that women should drink less than 14 units of alcohol a week and men should drink less than 21 units a week. A unit of alcohol is a small glass of wine or a single shot of a spirit. Most glasses of wine served in pubs or restaurants are usually two or even three units of alcohol. It is also recommended that people have 2-3 alcohol free days a week to allow your liver time to recover. Alcohol can be very addictive and around one in ten men and one in twenty women show signs of alcohol dependence or alcoholism. This means that drinking alcohol becomes a very important part of your life and you feel as if you cannot function without it. Many people who drink alcohol regularly do not realise or acknowledge they have a problem with alcohol. Around a half of alcoholics are so called “functioning alcoholics” who have extremely good jobs and deny that they have a drinking problem. Most people know that drinking alcohol regularly can damage your liver and lead to cirrhosis (scarring of your liver) developing, but do not realise that

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it increases your risk of developing most types of cancer, including bowel, breast, liver, mouth and throat cancers. Although, many people have a drink or two to help them sleep, drinking alcohol really impairs the quality of your sleep. Alcohol is actually a depressant – so in the longer term it interferes negatively with your mood, thoughts and feelings. People who drink alcohol regularly have higher rates of depression and anxiety; some people with these conditions actually drink more to try and improve their mood but do not realise that they will make it worse. The increasing rates of obesity over recent years in the UK are alarming and it is surprising how many “hidden calories” are present in alcohol. Alcohol is fattening - a pint of beer or two double gin and tonics have the same calories as one burger or a large slice of pizza. Alcohol can cause changes to your skin. It can be common to have a flushed appearance to your face when you have been drinking alcohol as alcohol leads to the blood vessels in the body become dilated. Although this is usually reversible, with time many people who drink regularly notice they have a red discoloration to their face and some may even notice thread veins on their face. Some skin conditions like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis can be more common in those who drink alcohol too. Alcohol also increases the risk of osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), high blood pressure, can lead to impotence and can make any symptoms of the menopause in women worse. These facts may encourage some of you to reduce your alcohol intake in the New Year!

Dr Louise R Newson, General Medical Practicioner at Shirley Medical Practice, Solihull, West Midlands


The New State Pension is Coming What you need to know Tom Ware

T

he new State Pension comes into effect for all those reaching state retirement age on or after 6 April 2016 ~ currently 63 for women and 65 for men. In many respects, at £155 per week, it looks more generous than the existing allowances, however, it does come with a number of complexities of which retirees should be aware. In calculating the new State Pension, the government will look at an individual’s National Insurance record before 6 April 2016 to calculate the ‘starting amount’. This starting amount will be the higher of: the amount that would have been received under the current State Pension rules (which includes basic State Pension and Additional State Pension) and the amount that would have been received if the new State Pension had been in place at the start of an individual’s working life. It is then possible to ‘earn’ more by adding additional qualifying years. If this all sounds confusing, it is possible to get a statement showing an indicative amount. One important change is that from April, it will no longer be possible to build up an entitlement to top-ups to the basic state pension (via ‘contracting out’). Workers currently get as much as £165 a week extra from the top-up scheme, which is linked to earnings. For workers nearing retirement this isn’t likely to be a problem ~ they will be able to keep their entitlements, but those workers who are still some way from retirement may find their top-ups are capped under the new system. It should be clear from a pay slip whether an individual is contracted out and therefore whether they will be affected by the change. As the rules change, a number of key points about the state pension remain in place: Firstly, it is worth deferring. As it stands, for every 9 weeks of deferral, an individual’s state pension increases by 1%, up to 10.4% for every full year. This is relatively generous and, with retirement increasingly flexible, something that should be considered.

Tom Ware

Churchill Investments PLC Registered in England No. 3125227 Registered Office: 9 Woodborough Road, Winscombe. BS25 1AB 01934 844444 info@churchillinvestments.co.uk www.churchillinvestments.co.uk IMPORTANT NOTICE The contents of this article are intended to inform, not offer specific advice on your individual circumstances. If you think any of the points we have featured may be to your benefit, please contact us for further advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any financial loss incurred as a result of reading and acting on this newsletter without receiving individual advice and our written endorsement. Our comments are based on our understanding of current tax and HMRC legislation which often changes. Taking your pensions benefits early, including the tax free cash sum, can reduce the pension you will receive in retirement. Taking withdrawals may erode the capital value of the portfolio, especially if investment returns are poor and a high level of income is taken; this could result in a lower income if an annuity is eventually purchased. That high-income withdrawals may also not be sustainable. Please note that income drawdown is not suitable for everyone and advice should always be sought before entering into such an arrangement as future pension income is not guaranteed as there is a reliance on investment returns and performance. The value of your investment will rise and fall in value depending on which portfolio you invest in and inflation can

December reduce the future value of your investment.

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Worcester Warriors

Match Day Hospitality

T

here's ssomething special about Worcester Warriors the electric atmosphere, the excitement and the passion of a rugby club that is seemingly moving in a positive direction. If you want to be part of a memorable day out at Sixways, Worcester Warriors have a range of hospitality packages for the 2015/16 season to ensure you have a great day watching the rugby action unfold. With Warriors competing in the Aviva Premiership this season, there are a number of packages on offer, allowing you to entertain corporate clients, reward staff or just enjoy a day out with friends and family while watching some top-class rugby.

XV Club The newly-formed XV Club is regarded as the ultimate way to watch the Warriors. Situated on the top floor of the East Stand with excellent views of the stadium pitch and the Malvern Hills, you can take your seat on the balcony immediately outside the suite to watch Dean Ryan’s side battling it out with the best teams in the country. This is the most prestigious hospitality area at Sixways Stadium and this popular package is available for a number of upcoming fixtures. In the XV Club you can enjoy prosecco and canapes on arrival, a three-course meal, an all-inclusive drinks package, cheeseboard, soup or mini pies at half-time, a copy of the matchday programme and on-site car parking. 76

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The XV Club is available for Aviva Premiership and European Challenge Cup fixtures Match-by-match cost: £135 +VAT per person

VIP Matchday Experience There are also a number of other hospitality options available at Sixways. Warriors VIP Matchday Experience packages start from just £75 + VAT per person and include a two-course meal in the Pitchview Suite, soup at half-time with tea and coffee, a matchday programme and on-site parking. Other packages available are the 10 or 12 seater boxes in either the East or South Stands, which include a one-course meal, personal waiting service and exceptional quality surroundings for a relaxed atmosphere - giving you a unique and memorable experience. Box packages start from just £800 + VAT. There are hospitality dining options to cater for whatever requirements you may have to provide you and your guests with a first-class experience. To express an interest in hospitality at Worcester Warriors or for more information on any of these packages contact the Hospitality team at Sixways on 01905 915 027 or email VIP@warriors.co.uk.


V I P M AT C H D A Y H O S P I TA L I T Y P A C K A G E S

P A C K A G E S S TA R T F R O M £ 7 5 + V AT For more information on any of our new packages CALL 01905 915027 EMAIL VIP@WARRIORS.CO.UK WWW.WARRIORS.CO.UK/VIP

£ 1 3 5 + V AT P E R P E R S O N DRINKS RECEPTION AND CANAPÉS THREE-COURSE MEAL A L L - I N C L U S I V E D R I N K S PA C K A G E

CALL 01905 915027 E M A I L XVC LU B @WA R R I O RS.CO.UK V I S I T WA R R I O RS.CO.U K / XVC LU B

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Over 300 shops Parking offers Late night shopping Thursdays

WorcesterBID www.christmasinworcester.com 78

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Pop into Worcester this Christmas

P

op into Worcester this Christmas and put the magic, delight and romance back into those precious few weeks running up to Christmas. Worcester’s historic timber-framed buildings and winding streets are home to independent shops and provide a setting from a bygone age that contrasts beautifully with the city’s high street and shopping centres which are home to some of the UK’s leading retailers. Combined with quality restaurants, pubs and cosy café bars you can enjoy a heartwarming Christmas welcome again and again because once upon a time is never enough. Visit Worcester city centre prior to the big day and you’ll find some of the very best shopping in the country, and the perfect places to ‘eat, drink and be merry’. Shop at unique independent stores, make the most of the big High Street names, take a luxurious midday break with coffee and cake and then, after exploring even further, why not extend your stay and treat yourself to a delicious meal in one of the city centre’s many tempting eateries? And with late night shopping on Thursday evenings when many shops will be open until 8pm, convenient, affordable parking and everything within easy walking distance, it’s a unique experience that’s

so much more pleasant than spending long hours searching fruitlessly online or battling your way through an anonymous and overcrowded retail park! On Thursdays from 4pm and on Saturdays, from 19th November onwards, there will also be a whole host of magical and free street entertainment for all the family throughout the city centre. Watch community choirs singing festive carols, be amazed by acrobats performing enchanting acts in a giant snow globe, participate in a shadow puppetry workshop, see live reindeers and take a family picture in the pop-up Christmas photo booth. Don’t miss the sparkling performances by LED dancers, meet Bjorn the friendly polar bear and make friends with the lovely penguin family! Take a look at the fully packed entertainment and event schedule and find out more about special parking offers at www.christmasinworcester.com. You’re invited to come to Worcester for a fun-filled festive programme to shop, eat and play this November and December! It’s all about making your Christmas shopping experience as easy as possible and a truly memorable treat. We’re sure that you will want to come back again, as visiting Worcester only ‘once upon a time’ is never enough.

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Christmas at Stratford Butterfly Farm Looking for a Christmas present with a difference this year? Then Stratford Butterfly Farm gift tickets could be just the thing for you and your family. Choose from a day entrance ticket, which is valid for one year for one use, or an annual season ticket which is valid for a full year. From 7th November-31st December 2015 the Butterfly Farm has a special festive offer whereby if you purchase an annual season ticket you will receive 14 months for the price of 12 months. Tickets are available to purchase from The Butterfly Farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Papillion Gift Shop or by calling 01789 299288. Please see Admissions for price information. The Papillion Gift shop is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 9am and is full of butterfly and nature inspired gifts. A treasure trove of ideas for all the family and the perfect place to look for stocking fillers. www.butterflyfarm.co.uk enquiries@butterflyfarm.co.uk Tel. 01789 299288

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B R I N G Y O U R PA R T Y T O O U R PA R T Y !

in

&

NAILCO TE HALL

at Nailcote Hall Hotel JANUARY

Sat 16th ‘BACK TO THE 80’s PARTY’ with THE GR80’s

Celebrate a night of nostalgia with the greatest hits of the 80’s. This duo will take you back to the days of fun, frivolity and great music from the 80’s era.

Fri 29th ‘LENNON AND McCARTNEY’ with THE LENNON AND McCARTNEY EXPERIENCE Come and join us with the fabulous Lennon and McCartney Experience with all the hits and the unmistakable sounds from the Fab Four, ‘She Loves You, Help, Yesterday, Hey Jude and lots lots more!

£29.50

£32.50

FEBRUARY

Sat 6th OLLY MURS & BRUNO MARS with ROBBIE GLENN

An amazing evening with the UK’S No. 1 Tribute to Bruno Mars & Olly Murs. Capturing the hits, the moves, the voices and unique style of these two fabulous performers complete in one show. Not to be missed.

Sat 13th ROMANTIC ‘HEART & SOUL’ PARTY with HARRY CAMBRIDGE

Enjoy a night of Romance with our Special 'Lovers' Menu at our Candlelit Dinner Dance. Enjoy the 'Heart & Soul' love songs from Soul and Motown singer Harry Cambridge.

Sun 14th ‘MOTOWN’ LEGENDS ROMANCE PARTY with SOUL LEGEND

Valentine's night of Romance with our Special 'Lovers' Menu at our Candlelit Dinner Dance. Enjoy the classic Motown love songs and dance to the wonderful soul sounds of 'Soul Legend'.

Fri 19th THE ULTIMATE ‘BOY BANDS’ SPECTACULAR with ULTIMATE BOY BANDS This Spectacular Show delivers the hits and choreography from the most memorable boy vocal groups including, Take That, Westlife, JLS, Blue and Backstreet Boys.

Fri 26th GEORGE BENSON - STEVIE WONDER PARTY with NAT AUGUSTIN

A double Tribute to George Benson & Stevie Wonder, bringing all the hits of these two iconic artists such as, Never Give Up, The Greatest Love of All, Superstition, Lately, Isn't She Lovely.... and many more. Plus after show Disco with DJ Franco.

£32.50

£37.50 £37.50 £35.00 £29.50

MARCH

Sat 5th THE WHITNEY HOUSTON DISCO DIVA SHOW with NYA KING

Without a doubt, the unprecedented replica of the voice of Whitney Houston. The incredible Nya King brings her amazing Soul and R & B style to deliver a sensational Disco Diva Party!. Plus after show Disco with DJ Franco.

Sat 12th THE SENSATIONAL ‘MOTOWN’ PARTY with THE BROTHERS OF SOUL

Enjoy a tribute to the Greatest Hits, the moves, the smooth vocals and toe-tapping tunes of the Temptations Drifters, Four Tops and other Motown legends. Plus after show Disco with DJ Franco.

Fri 18th ‘SWINGING 60’s & MOTOWN PARTY with THE KRYSTALETTES

Enjoy a swinging night with our amazing Female Trio, a great show that will take you back in time to the Swinging 60's with great songs like 'Da Do Ron Ron, Heatwave, Be My Baby’!

£32.50

£39.50 £32.50

APRIL

Sat 16th THE SPRING PINK BALL for BREAST CANCER CHARITIES with ‘DETROIT MAGIC’

£49.50 A Stunning 'Black/Pink Tie' Ball raising funds for Breast Cancer medical equipment. After our Fund Raising Raffle and Auction, Dance the Night away with the Superb ‘Detroit Magic’ featuring Singing Sensation Michael Brooks. Plus after show Disco with DJ Franco.

Fri 22nd ‘SUPREME’ MOTOWN & SOUL DIVA PARTY with THE MOTELLAS Enjoy a night full of toe tapping Motown classic hits, incuding Diana Ross and The Supremes, Tina Turner & Aretha Franklin.

£32.50

TICKET PRICES INCLUDE 4 COURSE MEAL - WE WILL CATER FOR ANY SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS BY PRIOR ARRANGEMENT

FOR MORE DETAILS OF THE EVENTS IN RICKS BAR & THE MARQUEE VISIT

www.nailcotehall.co.uk

BOOKING HOTLINE CALL: 02476 466174 info@nailcotehall.co.uk Nailcote Lane, Berkswell, Warwickshire CV7 7DEDecember 2015

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What’s on this December Festive family fun at the Fort

Sunday 29th November – Friday 20th December The festive season is almost upon us and the Fort Shopping Park will be counting down the days to Christmas with a series of fun events that the whole family can enjoy. From the 29th November until Christmas Eve, you can visit Santa’s Grotto and his reindeer, find the Fort’s festive elf, meet Elsa and Anna from Frozen and ensure your friends and family get you exactly what you want for Christmas with The Fort’s #HintHint competition! With over 45 retailers of fashion, food and not only is there plenty of Christmas list lust-have items to choose from. All this, combined with late night opening hours and free parking, makes The Fort the perfect choice for fuss-free festive shopping.

The Nativity 2015 December 9th, 10th, 11th at 7.30pm

The People’s Theatre of the Quarter in Birmingham will be performing The Nativity 2015 in Birmingham’s St Paul’s Church from December 9th-11th. This year the professional theatre company has brought its community together to revive a tradition of theatre going back 100s of years that is older than Shakespeare (and which is now fresher than EastEnders), telling the ageless story of Christmas and how one special boy was born 2000 years ago. This is a true ensemble piece exploring Christmas past. All proceeds will go towards St Paul’s Church development, to help ensure this beautiful building is kept alive for the people of Birmingham. Tickets £8 (£6) Box Office 07720 839612 or theatreofthequarter@gmail. com. Alternatively visit www.theatreofthequarter.co.uk St. Paul’s Church, Jewellery Quarter, B3 1QZ

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SINATRA CENTENARY CONCERT

Saturday 12 December at 7.30pm Symphony Hall - Birmingham Sinatra Centenary celebrates the 100th birthday of the late, great Frank Sinatra with a concert of songs and music made famous by arguably the world’s mostloved singer. In a special tribute to the legendary entertainer, the performance will include classic hits the artist made his own such as ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’, ‘Mack The Knife’, ‘My Kind of Town’, ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ‘Somethin’ Stupid’ and ‘My Way’. Sinatra, the first recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award stands out front as the greatest song stylist of the 20th century. The show will also feature a selection of Sinatra seasonal favourites including ‘White Christmas’, ‘Let It Snow’, ‘Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town’, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’. With special guest singers - Iain Mackenzie & Georgina Jackson JazzCoTech Dancers and a glamorous ballroom duo London Concert Orchestra - conductor Richard Balcombe Box Office: 0121 345 0603 or Book Online: www.thsh.co.uk


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December 2015

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Come along to Kingfisher Shopping Centre this Christmas for all your shopping needs

a £250 Kingfisher Gift Card this Christmas

Enter online or visit the Customer Service Desk

Late night shopping Extended shopping hours this Christmas

Santa’s grotto Open every day until Christmas Eve

Festive events Fun for all the family from 5th December

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Profile for MLP Publishing Ltd

Edge Magazine December 2015 Edition - Volume 39  

Edge Magazine December 2015 Edition - Volume 39  

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